Why Claire Novak is Important


I asked my Twitter followers why Claire Novak was important to them and ultimately why she is important to Supernatural.  There was a huge positive response from people of all ages about what Claire meant to them and what she meant to Castiel, Dean, and Sam and Supernatural in general.  In the time since I’ve posed my question, I’ve seen other people on Twitter complain about Claire for being an annoying teenager and how “we” don’t care about teen angst.  Which, let’s be real, Supernatural is a big ol’ bag of angst during nearly every episode. The Winchesters or Castiel having the angst isn’t superior to Claire’s for lack of being an adult or a main character. And while we’re on the topic of teenagers, props to Misha Collins for sticking it to the Man, with his tweet prior to Angel Heart airing.

Collins is not wrong, not at all.  Recently showbuzzdaily.com put together an Audience Map for CW Primetime.  @xceteras on twitter put together a graph specifically for Supernatural viewership using the information provided.  The results are overwhelmingly teenaged girls between the ages of 15 and 20.  That is Supernatural’s biggest viewer base.  This is one of the many reasons why Claire Novak is important to Supernatural.  So yes, there is plenty of room for a little teen girl angst.


The fact that Claire is a teen girl on a TV show with such a large teen girl viewer base is also a common trend in the response I received from fans on Twitter.  They felt that she was an accurate representation of some of the things they have gone through, and how they deal with how life treats them.  Claire also gives them a character in their own age range to connect with.  I’ve witnessed the happiness of younger fans feeling included because of Claire being on the show.  This is as valuable for the fans as it is for The CW itself.

On the other side, I had seen complaints that Claire was cliché and represents the stereotypical foster child teen in the United States.  I had to bite my tongue at that.  I grew up with foster children. My parents have a heart for the teenagers especially. This is the age group that people do not want to take in and some of the people needing and deserving of the most love.  I didn’t always like it when I was younger, but I realize now what it means for these children to have a place to call home and for someone to love them and to care.  Seeing a representation of this on Supernatural was a little less stereotypical and sadly at times a reality. These are the children who fall in the cracks of the system.

Beyond the viewership and audience target, Claire Novak serves a very distinct purpose to Castiel’s storyline.  Throughout the seasons, he is often either on the peripheral helping the Winchesters directly or working away from them with issues of Heaven that still tend to have a direct impact on the brothers regardless.  Claire is part of Castiel’s story much more so than the Winchesters, though she does mean something to their story as well, which I will address later.


What happened to Claire and Amelia was one of Castiel’s first and biggest screw ups.  Cas was different back then.  He thought he was doing what was right as an Angel of the Lord.  What he did not realize until much later, was that his using Jimmy Novak as a vessel was also what destroyed the Novak family.  He did not foresee the consequences of his actions and probably, at the time would not have much cared either.  Claire was right when she had told Castiel that he had changed, he is, “Nicer now. And also kind of a doof.”  Claire Novak gives us more insight into Castiel as a person, who he is now and how much he has changed.  She makes him more relatable and more human. It was great that the show brought back someone from Castiel’s past. Claire is no longer a lose end in Castiel’s history.

Claire Novak is also important to the Wincester brothers’ story.  We don’t often get to see the repercussions of lives hurt directly or indirectly because of Sam and Dean.  Castiel locating Claire and asking for help from Sam and Dean, allowed them to face that.  It allowed us as viewers to see the other side.  Sure, they save a lot of people, and there is no argument that they are heroes, but there are casualties along the way.  Robbie Thompson did such an amazing job with Angel Heart.  We were able to see Claire bond a bit with Sam and Dean in such believable ways.

There was Sam as the big brother, teaching Claire how to hack her mom’s credit card statements and how to commit credit card fraud.  Sam knew how to talk to her. When Claire didn’t want to answer Castiel’s, “What were you doing in a bar?” Sam knew the better question to ask was, “What were you doing in an alleyway outside of a bar?” Sam has always been good at talking to younger people.  He remembers that it wasn’t so long ago that he was also full of rage toward his own father.

Then we have Dean. He served as another father figure of sorts for Claire.  He doesn’t think he knows how to talk to teens, but he does and he always has known.  He has much more in common with Claire than he does not.  They both grew up troubled and lost family members at young ages.  Both Dean and Claire had to grow up too fast and went through way too much. They were both nearly (possibly?) sexually assaulted, but were saved by their father (father-figure).  There’s also the anger on the outside with a big heart on the inside.  Castiel could see the similarities which was why he wanted so badly for Dean to speak with Claire. He felt that Dean could help her.  Dean’s scenes with Claire were some of my favorite during Angel Heart.  The mini-golf scene was adorable and so poignant. Claire now knows that her father was a hero and did not die in vain.  The world still exists in part because of Jimmy’s sacrifice.

Claire Novak’s personal journey was also important.  The first thing that Castiel ever said to Claire was, “I am not your father.” This was after she had called out, “Daddy!” to him, in a heartbreaking scene in the episode, The Rapture.  This is when Claire’s life changed so dramatically.  As she grew up without her father who was gone or dead as far as she knew, and her mother ran off to, “find herself,” she became understandably angry.  She fell into the wrong crowd because they were the ones who cared.  As Castiel had pointed out, she must not have had a lot of people in her life who really cared, to see Randy, the guy who made her steal for him, as family.

Then Castiel came back into her life and once again told her, “I am not your father.” How disappointing and heartbreaking that must have been for Claire again. But, she humored him, a bit.  She even came to like Castiel.  It was cute and said something about Claire that she had kept the Grumpy Cat plush that Castiel had bought her for her birthday at “the Hot Topical.” The hug was also sweet.  It may be awkward to see Castiel who looks exactly like her father, but at the same time, it means so much to her to have someone who cares.  This is why Castiel reaching out to Claire and not giving up on her is so important.  Claire has learned to forgive those who have hurt her and she grew in the process.  She’s incredibly strong.  No, she’s not just teenaged melodrama.  Robbie Thompson wrote her in a very believable way.

Lastly, I personally (among others) am hoping that Claire Novak is important to the continuation of Supernatural.  She now lives with Jody Mills and I’m sincerely hoping we see more of both along with Alex, Donna, and maybe even Krissy again.  Supernatural has done quite a bit this season to be less misogynistic and “women in the fridge.”  There is definitely an audience for people who would love to see a Jody Mills and Wayward Daughters spin-off.  Strong women characters are important and I hope we continue to see more of them, Claire Novak especially, in Supernatural. Not to mention Kathryn Newton, who plays Claire Novak has been so utterly delightful on Twitter. She fits in so well on the show, with the actors, and with the fans. Supernatural, you have something great with Claire Novak, I do hope you continue to keep bringing her back in the future.

Author: Jessica Rae

Jessica has a BA in music with an emphasis in voice and spends her day typesetting, editing, writing, and moderating webinars. Jessica primarily reviews anime and comic book series. She also offers insights on various movies, books, games, and other geeky topics.


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38 thoughts on “Why Claire Novak is Important

  1. Nice article, well done. I especially appreciate your comments about the foster child issue and how well Claire’s story shows the ‘fall through the cracks’ outcome for older kids. Here’s hoping something comes of the spinoff idea! I’d love to see how the girls we know who’ve found themselves embroiled in the supernatural world — Krissy, Alex and now Claire — are helped by the two women who’ve had the same experience and lived to tell the tale. 🙂

  2. I’m going to be honest…I’ve been kinda bored with Supernatural lately (which makes me sad) but last weeks episode made me sit up and take notice. I thought it was so well down and I really liked Sam and Dean’s interactions with Claire. It showed such a different side to them. I hope we see more of her.

  3. Very nice article. I have enjoyed having Claire on the show. She has definitely added a new dimension to all 3 guys. I especially love the way she has touched on the human side of Castiel and as a consequence they have become closer. But most of all, Claire now goes to live with Sheriff Jody. Hopefully, The CW,has the insight to pilot a spinoff with the strong women of Supernatural — Jody, Donna, Alex, Claire, Charlie

  4. I needed her like a hole in my head… 10×20 was the most disturbed episode of SPN I ever watched…. watching my cat licking her tail was more amusing than seeing this new age propaganda parantal advise soap opera or deranged remake of ‘Silence of the Lambs’

    Nothing new was ‘told or shown’ in this episode, we know that Dean is on the brink of self-destruction caused by MoC, which btw he himself is responsible of, ‘cuz he didn’t do his homework when he bromanced with the demon Crowley and accepted the Mark from Cain AKA the Knight of Hell AKA the most malicious demon on earth… or Sam softly advising the kid… nothing new, ‘cuz as we all know Sam uses empathy instead of emotions when he’s confronted with troubled people. And the entity Castiel ‘living or using’ a corpse, a dead body to walk on earth,like a necromancer wants to help the kid whoms dead fatherly corps he is wearing… yikes… O_O

    And the parents of the kid that got killed because of the entity Castiels ignorant and egoistic decision, live happily in heaven… now thats utter BS!

    The entity Castiel and Dean were gaslightening the kid and Sam was the only one that tried to give the kid a plausible reason for the insanity she is experiencing by trying to give her comfort through his own experienced insanity. Now truly what was so cute and great about this episode?

    Dean is living in constant denial, Sam is walking on eggs, has to live with the concequenses Dean has ingnorantly caused and the entity Castiel discovers a new human toy to play with… yeah if one has the lacking moral & ethics like a psychpath then it may sound cute…

    1. This was not a review for Angel Heart but rather an analysis of Claire Novak as a character.

    2. This was not the episode review. The episode review is in a separate article. Furthermore please read our site rules before commenting further. We welcome civil debate, but your tone breaks our site rules.

    3. The entity Castiel, yeah right. Can you be anymore insulting? For your info, Cas is not walking around in a corpse. Jimmy’s body was destroyed and Cas is in a manufactured one much like the one Anna was given after her body was destroyed.

    4. You have been banned for repeatedly violating our policies. Your policy violations date back to 2013. The rules you’ve broken are the following:

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      1. No offensive but I don’t see where in the original post these rules were violated. Was there a deleted post I’m not seeing?

        1. As I stated, she’s been banned for repeatedly violating our policies. She’s posted more than 14 comments, more than half of which violate the policies I’ve listed. I didn’t catch them because she used sock accounts to post them, but now that I’ve connected them all she’s been banned for repeatedly violating our policies spread across all of her comments.

          If you notice, I commented before the banning, investigated her, then banned based on the findings.

          1. I guess what I’m asking is what in that comment prompted the investigation into her post history.

    5. I have to confess that Im confused at how this episode rates so poorly compared to others this season that have left young women or teenage girls homeless (Kate in Paper Moon, Claire in The Hunter Game), had a child and wife abandoned by his father (Cole) in a hunt for vengeance that drove Cole to capture and torture Sam (Black, Reichenback, Girls, Girls Girls), had women selling their bodies for souls and a woman’s life sacrificed to become a guard dog (Girls, Girls, Girls)…

      It’s almost like women are okay in this show only if they are fridged, tortured, abandoned, or otherwise treated as if they are worthless as anything other than a plot decide.

      Claire is a great character. I hope to see more of her in SPN and, hopefully, also in a SPN spin off with Jody Mills.

  5. Jessica lovely article btw. I agree with most of your points. The only one is I feel Cas had to possess Jimmy. He had a mission and back then he was trying to guide and help Dean. We’ve seen the fall-out but Jimmy has to take some of the responsibility because he did say yes. That’s the consequences when angels walk the earth. Too bad the writers went in that direction with angel occupation in a human vessel instead of manufactured bodies which is what Anna & Cas ended up with.
    Anyway lovely article. And this old lady who has left her teens a long time ago just adores Claire and hopes to see her many times in Season 11 or perhaps in a new spin-off.

    1. I had a slightly different reaction to Jimmy’s story. When Castiel first appears and describes his vessel as ‘very devout, he actually prayed for this’, it seemed like Jimmy was an equal part in the process. But The Rapture left me agreeing with Dean about the angels: d*cks with wings. 🙂 Jimmy prayed to be of service, and it was pretty clear Castiel, as arrogant as he was in the beginning, offered him the chance to do that without actually being clear about what it involved. Nor did Castiel keep up his end of the deal re protecting Jimmy’s family. It was later, after he’d been around the Winchesters long enough to reactivate his rebellious tendencies, that Castiel developed real remorse about the Novaks’ fate. That’s why I was so happy to see this episode, and so glad Robbie wrote it and Misha and Kathryn played it as they did. It wasn’t a perfect solution, but by the end Claire was on her way to forgiveness and acceptance (and to live with Jody, come on, spinoff!).

      And as another old lady whose teens are a distant memory, I also enjoyed Claire very much. Well-written and well portrayed. 🙂

      1. I guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree. I never viewed Cas as arrogant but more self-assured and righteous. I’m sorry but Cas isn’t totally to blame. Jimmy has to take some responsibility for saying yes. We don’t know exactly what Cas told Jimmy because it wasn’t completely spelled out. I do agree though that he did fail in protecting Jimmy’s family. He was pretty busy what with the apocalypse and all, but I suppose he should have never made that promise. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed Robbie’s episode. I’m just getting a little tired of all this guilt that the writers are heaping on Cas. He did the best he could with the knowledge he had and all the self-recrimination is not going to change anything.

        1. You’re right – we disagree. 🙂 And I also enjoyed this episode.

  6. Thanks for this thoughtful article. I’d been craving the continuation of the Claire Novak story for a long time so I was thrilled to see her character addressed this season.

    It’s been a long time since I’ve been a teenage girl, but having a young daughter of my own I am beginning to pay attention to how girls and young women are portrayed and which stories are told in the media, so I appreciated that my favorite show (if not the CW PR dept.) took a considered empathetic approach to a character that could have been only a homogenized cliche.

    My main reason for tuning in though is because bringing some resolution to Claire is important for Castiel’s story, and to a lesser extent the Winchesters. Dealing with the consequences of their often morally problematic decisions drives so much of this show, and Castiel’s journey has arguably been the most dramatic and satisfying so far. Also having a character that provides a rich touchstone for all three main characters, when they have so few victories, and fewer connections to ‘real’ people, helps assuage a constant craving I have for meaningful moments and interaction for these guys I have so much love for.

    Here’s hoping for that spinoff, and please give me more!

  7. Wonderful analysis, Jessica! I have to say I haven’t cared much for the teen characters on Supernatural especially not the recent ones. Krissy annoyed the crap out of me as did all of her smart mouthed little friends who seemed to think just because they could swing a knife they knew more than seasoned hunters aka Sam and Dean. But Claire was different right from the start. I felt her pain and anger at the Winchesters/Castiel was actually deserved because of the role they’d played in ultimately destroying the life she knew. It’s not that she was a bad girl or even a b*chy girl, she was just hurt and angry and having to face them again brought all of that to the forefront ten fold.

    I just understood a lot where Claire was coming from and I think with some people they didn’t really pay any attention to her story because they were too busy whining about her age and how she didn’t fit in with the show. But I loved her in Angel Heart so much. It’s the only episode of the season I’ve watched more than once. Her interactions with everyone were so cute and emotional, and I’m glad they sent her to Jody’s where she can continue to grow and be loved.

    But long story short lol yes I really enjoyed your article!

  8. I really enjoyed this character analysis of Claire and I couldn’t agree more. I was so excited when the show was finally going to revisit the Novaks and their faith. I admit I was a bit disappointed in the first two episodes Claire appeared in this season 10×09 and 10×10. I felt like the character was written to ineptly especially in 10×10 when she tried to get those people to kill Dean.

    But Kathryn put on such a wonderful performance and her scenes with Castiel were gold. When I found out Claire would be returning and Robbie Thompson would be writing her, I was really excited because I feel like he does the best job of all the writers in handling complex, young female characters, and I definitely wasn’t let down! Robbie really allowed Claire to shine and we got great interactions with not just her but Sam and Dean and as well. 🙂

    I think one thing that really helped Claire make peace with her father’s passing is Dean’s assurance that Jimmy hadn’t died for nothing. Jimmy was a hero because his sacrifice allowed Castiel to save the world with the Winchesters.

    I think Claire is a great addition to Supernatural who is a breath of fresh air on this show. I really hope we’ll get to see her with Jody and Alex next season (can Castiel get to meet Jody too? :D). I also love that because of Claire we were able to see another side of Castiel and the Winchesters too.

  9. Thank you! Enjoyed, and agreed. Glad someone addressed it! I for one was ecstatic when I heard Claire was coming back. I’m a long way from a teenager, but this was a loose end that always bothered me. There is a lot of collateral damage for the Winchesters, and Cas to deal with. She is important for that very reason. Her life was changed, in a bad way. Nobody spared her or Amelia a thought. I did. I wondered about them often. Sam and Dean are maturing. Part of that is dealing with the past. Now, if we could just get Adam out of the hole! Great article!

  10. I don’t agree with the audience of teenage girls wanting to see teenage girls on screen, that doesn’t track at all, teenage girls want to see teenage boys and/or men and if they tune into Supernatural they don’t want to see an angst ridden teenage storyline that has been reduxed before aka Krissy.

    I thought it was an ill timed episode and I don’t think the Novak story needs to be romantisized. Its not a nice happy story. Jimmy in heaven is not supposed to be a good thing, he was killed and left his family because of Castiels possession. That shouldn’t be put up as something good and noble. And I here Xetera is a fan and her graphs are not scientic or accurate imo, sorry. Nice points but I respectfully disagree.

    1. Thanks for being respectful. I disagree though. When I was a teenage girl I absolutely wanted to see other teenage girls in the media. I was a huge fan of Buffy and Roswell, but not as big of a fan of Angel. Now that I’m older my tastes have changed, but I was not interested in teenage boys or men at all.

      1. No problem, you write well. I suppose its all from personal experience, I was the opposite and probably still are in the way I’d rather see adult problems and male adults in particular really interest me as a women. And I was watching with teenagers that said they would rather watch Sam and Dean. Its not Claire, for me and talking to them, she was a one off and it would of been better if this episode had come earlier in the season and we left it there. side note: we were all happy with Jimmy’s story concluding the way it did, was very sweet.

        1. Agreed about Jimmy. It was a very touching end. And it definitely comes down to personal experience. I feel the same way about LGBTQ+ representation. Another reason why Buffy was so huge for me. It hit at the right time with the right type of characters for what I needed to see.

          1. I still call myself a huge Buffy and Angel fan. I loved every single one of the characters. I’ve never watched for representation of such I just love well rounded characters with a smart story which Buffy and Angel had in abundance. Supernatural had that, but I do think the writers struggle following such accomplished writers before hand that essentially created the central storyline and premise. They’ve had some good moments but it mostly seems a little slow and disjointed. Which was most of my displeasure of the latest episode it was horribly mis-timed in the season for all of us watching in my household anyhow.

            1. I can agree about it coming rather late in the season for a one off episode. I still loved it though but it’s position so close to the end of the season is unusual.

              I’m all for people watching things for different reasons. Representation for be is hugely important and always has been. I get a lot from being able to identify with characters on some level. Doesn’t mean I can’t identify with male or heterosexual characters, but I get a lot of joy, self reflection, and validation from fiction that focuses on women or LGBTQ+ identified people because both are things I’ve had a lot of struggles about in my life. It’s all up to the person.

              1. I think thats where some fans differ, I’ve never felt the need to see myself represented up on screen, I love to get away and delve into complete fantasy. Sam and Deans world has always been a cross over of reality and fiction,the perfect balance. I do love the aspect of fantasy and male angst is so different to womens and I think for me thats what I love. That and the hot guys.

                1. People are into it for different things. It’s great you don’t need representation and I’m glad you’ve found a lot of stuff here you like. I like self reflection and complex social issues being explored in fun and interesting settings. That’s my jam.

    2. Hello David. I’m sure that some teenaged girls like to see teens girls on TV that they can relate to and some don’t. However I *did* ask teenaged girls specifically and that is what I referenced in my article. I don’t begin to claim that this is something agree upon across the board.

      As for Emma’s chart, it was compiled from from graphs from this website: http://www.showbuzzdaily.com/articles/audience-map-cw-primetime.html and they got their numbers from Nielsen. Nielsen is not a perfect system, however this isn’t just a fan (in fact, she isn’t a fan) making a graph from numbers out of nowhere – it’s about as accurate as we can get.

      1. Hi Jessica, thankyou for the information. In my opinion is that charts in general are biased and uniformed based on no real proof from a ratings chart that teenagers or any age are watching. A number on a form of an kind can be filled with flaws and be inaccurate since alot of the time these forms are randomly filed in by whoever can be bothered in the household. And I can only go by whom I have in my own household and 3 girls and 1 boy have no interest in watching Supernatural the teenage drama but infact love the connection between the 2 brothers.

        1. Nielsen ratings, while sometimes done by hand in a booklet, can also be done through something called a “Nielen Box,” which is an automatic way of cataloging viewership. So both are used. I’m not the biggest fan of Nielsen ratings because they don’t take into account other types of viewing such as non-permanent residences (dorm rooms, hospitals, etc), digital viewing demographics, etc. So it’s not perfect and I do take issue with it. But these aren’t xtecera’s numbers. These are Nielsen numbers, and Nielsen is a massive organization, not a ‘fan’ of anything.

  11. TBH I’m not a huge fan of Claire I found her SL should have been done a few seasons ago. Cas has spent more time helping others like Hannah Claird etc then with Sam in trying to find a cure for Dean which IMO sucks

    1. That’s fair, however I think we’ll be seeing Cas put his life on the line for Dean in the next few episodes. 🙂

  12. This is a good article, very thoughtful. I’m not a fan of Claire or her storyline, but I can see where you’re coming from and respect your opinion. The only thing I’ll add is in reference to this:

    “The Winchesters or Castiel having the angst isn’t superior to Claire’s for lack of being an adult or a main character.”

    I very much disagree. The fact that the Winchesters and Cas are main characters, and have been for years, does make their stories superior to Claire’s. Or any other guest star. I’ve had years to develop feelings for the main characters, to care about them, wonder about them. Naturally, their angst is going to cause me more angst than a guest star I’ve only seen a few times.

    That is my biggest problem with Claire right now. I feel like her story is taking away from the stories the show should be focusing on. Mainly, Dean’s Mark of Cain arc, which was SO poorly done this season.

  13. I’ve cared about Claire Novak since she was played by another actress, so I’m hardly to objective. 😉 But I was thrilled that the show finally remembered about Castiel’s original sin. The show very rarely deals with collateral damage other than in an abstract way. For instance, Sam feels bad about starting the apocalypse, but not about murdering Cindy McClellan. Dean feels bad about the MoC making him enjoy killing, but he doesn’t feel bad about the killing itself.

    This is the only time one of the main characters have gone back to right a wrong, and I’m so grateful to the writers for that!

  14. I agree with your article about Claire. This might sound cliche but I’m glad that the show went back to Castiel’s earlier mistake and focus on the consequence of one of his actions. Ever since I watched the episode “The Rapture” I have been wondered what happen to the Novak family after Castiel possessed Jimmy. When Cas went back to find Claire in episode 10×09 and 10×10 to make amend with her after what he have done to her ‘long’ time ago was a great plot. I used the word ‘long’ because Cas actually left her suffered way too long (from season 4 to 10) since his work to stop the Apocalypse was done in season 5 and he supposed to give Jimmy his life back if he not dead before that. And that ‘long’ time could lead to Claire’s problems as shown in episodes 10×09 and 10×10 which makes Claire’s reactions to Cas understandable. Before episode “Angels Heart” was aired, I’ve always curious what would be the end of Claire and Cas problem. Will Claire become a new villain that wanted to hunt Cas (which she has a pretty good excuse to do so which is kind of ruin my heart since I am Cas fan)? Or will they finally sort thing out? At that time I feared that it might turn out that Claire becomes a bad guy who trying to kill Cas and end up get killed instead which would be very sad because I felt it is unfair to her to get killed off that way since she was the one whose life was ruined by Cas in the first place and has to die in his or his friends (the Wincester) hands. I am really glad that they made the episode “Angels Heart” to at least ended her story in a good way or at least fair enough as it can possibly get. After I watched season 10 all Claire episodes I really wish I could see her in the next season.

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