*Spoiler Alert* The article below contain spoilers from Season 12, episode 21.
May 1st marked the two year anniversary of Wayward Daughters. To celebrate, Nerds and Beyond reached out to fans, the founders of the Wayward Daughters Academy, and Kim Rhodes herself to get their impressions on how they have seen the movement progress and the place it holds in their lives. Everyone had a lot to say, and it showcased the tremendous impact the movement has had thus far. The Supernatural fandom has a wide viewership that see Wayward Daughters as a manifestation of empowerment through media.
There is great beauty to the founding of Wayward Daughters because it happened so organically. Riley Keshner, one of the founders of the Wawayard Daughters Academy, previously shared the origin story with Natalie Fisher in an interview for Hypable (the article is beautifully written and definitely worth a read).
Interestingly, a particular twitter conversation is what helped spark the movement:
— Strong Work, Jessie (@zoewillowsmama) April 30, 2015
Kim Rhodes, who plays Jody Mills on Supernatural, has been incredibly supportive of the movement since its inception. She and Brianna Buckmaster, who plays Donna Hasncum, helped make the movement something that went beyond fandom by being completely on board with the idea. They not only support the idea of a spin-off in which they would be major characters, but have put their hearts and souls into the deeper meaning behind Wayward Daughters. Kim shared with us how she feels about Wayward Daughters reaching the two year anniversary mark, and what it has meant to her:
“I think the spirit took over the body. And that is my heart’s goal. We began with a fantasy of ‘what if’ and we have grown into a ‘what is’ that eclipses the fantasy. I want that to continue. I want people’s NOW to be messy and weird and huge and wonderful and perfect in its messy, weird, huge, wonderfulosityness. Life expands. I want us to expand too. Yes, please, more, please. Until everyone has a seat at the table, whether or not they want to take it. Someone incredibly wise and kind laid out to me recently. I am proud that I struck a match and people lit the world on fire. I didn’t do that. I am profoundly proud of those who knew they were worth light and warmth and created it for themselves. And I am humbled still when I’m invited in for s’mores. There is a deep gratitude in knowing I could vanish, and there would be a better world in places because you let me be here. I have no words for that. But it feels like home.”
Kim’s thoughts are reflective of what fans are also feeling. Recently we asked fans to respond to a tweet letting us know “What does Wayward Daughters mean to you?” These are some of the responses:
— #TarynAF•103 (@tarynitup1989) May 8, 2017
— Kaycee Castillo (@kaycee_castle) May 8, 2017
— Tasha🦄🍉 (@tashaaa_x3) May 8, 2017
— Becky (@hello_minky) May 8, 2017
The #WaywardAF movement? -see above-
— Amber | #Persist 💫 (@AmberKinion) May 8, 2017
Interestingly, most of the responses did not address the idea of the spin-off, as much as sharing their feelings about the movement itself. This goes to show the significant place Wayward Daughters holds in many fans’ lives. More than maybe anything else, I believe this movement and idea has grown as a result of the hard work that has been put in to develop the Wayward Daughter social media presence. The WWD twitter profile alone has over thirteen thousand followers. The lifeblood that help facilitate the movement, and administrators of these accounts are Riley Keshner and Betty Days.
They also answered a few questions for us about where they see things today:
Nerds and Beyond: How have you seen the Wayward Daughters movement evolve over the last two years? Where would you like to see it go?
Betty: WD went from a spin-off idea, to a buzz account, and now falls somewhere in the vein of a philanthropic endeavor. We’re always hoping for the spin-off of course, but we’ve managed to foster a sense of community and empowerment among ourselves that I don’t think we’d trade for any TV show.
Riley:The movement has evolved in incredible and unexpected ways. First of all, we never even anticipated that it would become a movement at all. We started Wayward Daughters simply as a petition for a spinoff, never expecting that it would grow into a force for social good. Within the first six months, Wayward had become a tight-knit, empowering community. And though it’s grown exponentially since then, the community is just as close as ever. Today, Wayward Daughters is worldwide and still growing. We’d love to see it continue to evolve in new and interesting ways. If we’ve come this far in just two years, I can’t wait to see where we’ll be in the next two.
Nerds and Beyond: What are a few things you are most proud of from the last two years?
Betty: really enjoyed our Wayward AF campaign and the donation service we managed to implement through tumblr, where someone could request a t-shirt and someone else could buy it for them. I also enjoyed doing Random Acts AMOK [a campaign supporting Supernatural actor Misha Collin’s amazing non-profit charity organization] in 2016, where we partnered with Justin Guarini and managed to do a lot of great service work around NYC.
Riley: I’m personally most proud of our fundraising and service projects. It never ceases to amaze me when the Wayward family comes together to make a difference. I’ve never seen a group of people (especially one so large and diverse) that can organize and commit to goals as well as the Wayward community. It seems that no matter what goal we set, they will not only hit it, but completely bust it. And then double it.
Nerds and Beyond: Kim Rhodes and Kathryn Newton both made appearances this season. Their acting was phenomenal. This revived chatter about the possibility of a spin-off. At the end of the episode, Ladies Drink Free, Claire is cured from being a werewolf. She speaks about her family that loves her, Alex and Jody, and calls Jody “mom” in a voicemail she leaves. In the final scene Claire is seen leaving after making the decision to continue hunting, as the song “Real Wild Child” by Joan Jett plays in the background. One of the show’s Producers, Jim Michaels, posted a picture of the episode’s script ending with “To Be Continued.” Some are seeing these hints as circumstantial evidence for the possibility of a spin-off coming to fruition. What are your thoughts on the future of a spin-off, and how can fans support this idea?
Betty: Support for WD is support for the spin-off. When TPTB [the powers that be] are wondering if a spin-off would be a lucrative endeavor, they should be able to look at our social media and see the numbers loud and clear: there is an audience for this show. All they have to do is make it, and we’ll watch. We’ll buy merch. We’ll go to cons. We’ll build a fandom. Kim and Briana are phenomenal actresses and wonderful people, and I would love to see them headline a show.
Riley: Even though Wayward Daughters has evolved into much more than a bid for a spinoff, we’re still as excited and interested as ever in the possibility. I think that even two years later, there’s still a huge interest in both the characters and the actresses who portray them. Every time Jody, Donna, Claire and Alex appear onscreen, there’s a fresh wave of excitement about the possibility for more. As always, the best ways for fans to help make it happen is to be vocal about their support for the idea online and to watch the heck out of any episodes our girls are in 🙂
Nerds and Beyond: Is there anything else you would like to share with us?
Betty: It’s been such a wild and fantastic couple of years! We couldn’t ask for a better community. I’m thankful for all of you every day.
Riley: I just wanted to take the time to thank everyone who has been a part of this community—every person who has blogged or tweeted about it; who’s supported our fundraisers or helped with our projects; everyone who’s reached out to a fellow fan in times of need or sadness. Without you, Wayward Daughters would have been nothing more than a petition in May of 2015. Thank you for two wonderful years!
We are grateful to Kim, Brianna, Riley, Betty, and all the fans who have made Wayward Daughters into a long-lasting movement that means so much to so many people.
This article is being written in the wake of Eileen Leahy’s (portrayed by actress Shoshannah Stern) death during the twenty-first episode of season twelve “There’s Something About Mary”. There was a general sense of anger and devastation that went through the Supernatural fandom while this episode aired. Nerds and Beyond has written an article with more thoughts on this subject (you can read it here), but we would be remiss not to mention it in the context of the Wayward Daughter’s movement.
Understandably, people were outraged at the death of another woman, in this case a woman who is also deaf, at the hands of Supernatural writers Eugenie Ross-Leming and Brad Buckner. They are the writing duo who also notably killed beloved character Charlie Bradbury in a way that was considered by many to be insolent and cruel. Eileen’s death could also be characterized this way. The hashtag #FireBuckLemming trended on twitter for hours after the episode ended. The sentiment that women, especially women from marginalized identities, are expendable on Supernatural was once again revived. Something that stood out in the aftermath were the calls on social media for Wayward Daughters to once again be considered for a spin-off, and/or for the movement to serve as a place of solace in a time of understandable pain and frustration. There are fears and doubts about how this would happen, and whether Supernatural’s creative team (led by Showrunner Andrew Dabb) can be trusted with this endeavor that holds so much meaning for so many. These are questions we cannot answer, but it is important to note that this movement goes deeper than whatever the end result of a potential spin-off ends up being. Ultimately, the main message from fans seems to be that the show may exhibit disregard for the lives of women, but they cannot kill this movement.
We hope Supernatural sees this as an opportunity to write and portray complex women who are treated with respect. If and when that happens, hopefully through Wayward Daughters, I believe the fans will show-up for what they have already proven to love so dearly.