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Power Grid

8 Great Monster Hunters

Ellen and Jo Harvelle, <em>Supernatural</em>

Ellen and Jo Harvelle, Supernatural

Supernatural’s attitude toward female characters is… um… problematic. Basically, they all get killed. If a female character is introduced, you can be damn sure she’s going to hang around long enough to forge some sort of emotional connection to one or both of the protagonist Winchester brothers before either A) being written off the show in a way that makes no damn sense (see: Anna) or, more likely, B) dying in some gruesome way, as is the case with Ellen and Jo Harvelle.

(I should note here that last season saw Bobby and Castiel, the show’s most longstanding male secondary characters, get killed off as well… but that’s season seven. And we don’t talk about season seven.)

Ellen (Samantha Ferris), the show’s matriarch figure, ran hunter gathering spot the Roadhouse before it was unceremoniously burned to the ground in season two. She subsequently gets back into hunting, though she’s not too keen on her daughter Jo (Alona Tal) following in her footsteps. What’s so great about the Harvelles is that, in the midst of all the never-ending Winchester family drama, Ellen and Jo had a positive, realistic mother-daughter relationship. Sure, they fought—as a headstrong mother and her headstrong daughter are going to do—but you knew they’d always do the right thing by each other.

Which is what makes their death in season five—Jo is mortally wounded, and Ellen stays by her daughter’s side to trigger the explosion that gives the Winchesters a chance to escape—all the more heartbreaking. Theirs was one of the only healthy family relationships in the show (say what you want about Sam and Dean, their relationship is
way too codependent); losing the Harvelles was not only one of the most gutwrenching moments in a show all too full of them, it also deprived future seasons of a pair of awesome ladies who could be depended upon to take the Winchesters down a peg or two when needed.

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  • Geeky Guide

    No Supernatural?

  • Crimson Tear

    Supernatural is the last one.

  • crosberg

    Sorry Mary Sue, I’mma let you finish, but the Hero Twins, Monster Slayer and Born of Water, are the best monster hunters of all time: and

  • Geeky Guide

    Oh weird, I guess I double-clicked as I went through the list.
    Stupid fingers.

  • Terence Ng

    Re: Buffy, considering that the Council PAID Watchers, it is indeed bizarre that Slayers didn’t get a salary…

  • Kea Alwang

    Okay, I’m all about having Ellen and Jo on the list…but without my Winchester boys? I think you need a top 10 list, with Sam and Dean each having their own number. (And I love their super codependency….and your list despite their absence!) ;}

  • Rachael Hixon

    Ah, no Vampire Hunter D. I guess it’s too obscure.

  • Anonymous

    God I love Nextwave.

  • Anonymous

    My head canon for Season 6 is that they were paying(just not while she was dead, hence the emergency needed money in Flooded) and she was still in debt, so had to take a temporary part time job at the DMP to make ends meet.

  • Rebecca Pahle

    I like that head canon! It always bugged me that Willow or Tara didn’t get a part-time job, though. Were they living with Buffy rent-free?

  • Rebecca Pahle

    OK, but then we’d have to include Ash, because honestly. He’s Ash. And also Bobby. We’ve gotta leave room for other shows!

  • Anonymous

    I think traditionally the Slayers would usually live with their Watcher rather than having an independent life of any sort. And apparently it didn’t occur to Buffy to ask for a salary when negotiating with the Council in season 5.
    What I don’t get is why Willow and Tara couldn’t have gotten part-time jobs and paid some dang rent. Jeez.

  • Psychotronic (Michael F.)

    An honorary mention for Abslom Daak, the Dalek Killer from the Doctor Who comic strips.

  • ShifterCat

    So glad Teen Wolf got a shout-out.

  • Anonymous

    Actually, I think she was being smart. Taking money from someone gives them power over you.

  • TKS

    Thematically, I think that was the point.

  • TKS

    The more I watch Adventure Time, the more it feels like Twin Peaks.

    Speaking of cartoons that feel like Twin Peaks, I’m a bit sad that Dipper and Mabel from Gravity Falls didn’t make the list.

  • Duck Linsenmayer

    Anita? I know the series has gone downhill, but without her, 90% of those would never have been made.

  • Mark Wyman

    Rhedan Monster-hunter? I mean it’s right there in the name!

  • crosberg

    Whoa, whoa, seriously? You think the Anita Blake series impacted “90%” of this list? Which ones? Because I see basically no similarities between what amounts to soft core lit porn (nothing wrong with that) and these.

  • Terence Ng

    I don’t know. Nikki mentions that her Watcher lived separately from her, which is why Robin was always on patrol with her and she could choose to take him to stay at her Watcher’s place.

    In the present era, it’s also rare that a Slayer wouldn’t have a family, since she’s likely to be a teenage girl who has to undergo the Tento di Cruciamentum. If the Slayer has some sort of quality of life dependence on the Watcher, it’d be strange for it to also have to be a secret from the Slayer’s family, or for the Slayer to keep her identity a secret from her family or the general public. (And the Underworld eventually knows who the Slayer is, anyway…)

  • Anonymous

    Ash Ketchum.

    In a world populated by monsters, some sentient enough to speak, and some so powerful they are near gods, he heads out into the world to catch them, and then use them as tools to catch more. Fighting an international criminal cartel, battling dojo leaders, and competing in tournaments against the best in the world.

    Starting at the age of TEN.


  • Sean

    Aww….No Alucard from Hellsing….

  • Ann Sulaiman

    You left out the BPRD and Troll Hunter’s Hans.

  • Rebecca Sutherland Borah

    What the ?!?!? You mention Hellboy, but he’s not on the list???

  • Victoria Fletcher

    Not to mention a chunk of this list came before Anita Blake.

  • Blase Villano

    Watchers probably have a better Union rep.

  • Chris Kelley

    No Fullmetal Alchemist? Please, I’d love to hear how homunculi aren’t monster-y enough to qualify. oo OOO!!! PLEASE tell me more about teenagers and werewolves! Sorry Teen Wolf, but I’ve already had several lifetime’s worth of secret werewolves and teenage love stories, and I should know, I’m The Doctor!*

    *This statement may only be true within my own reality.