It’s been three seasons since we met Deputy Jordan Parish on Teen Wolf, and we still don’t know what kind of supernatural creature he is. In an interview, Showrunner Jeff Davis promised that we would find out exactly what Parrish is within the first 10 episodes of Season 5. Though we have learned more about Parrish throughout Season 5, we’re anticipating a big reveal in Teen Wolf’s Season 5 mid-season finale, “Status Asthmaticus.”
Deputy Jordan Parrish (Ryan Kelley) first appeared in Teen Wolf in the Season 3 episode “Riddled.” In Season 3 it was hard to miss the handsome deputy who seemed to get caught up in the thick of things. Initially, Parrish appeared to be nothing more a sheriff’s deputy who remained remarkably in the dark about the supernatural forces in Beacon Hills. As Parrish began to appear on Teen Wolf more frequently we still learned very little about his background. In the episode “Insatiable,” Sheriff Stilinski asked him why he chose to come to Beacon Hills, to which Parrish responded: “Maybe I needed a change. I don’t really know. I guess … I kind of felt drawn here.”
Parrish’s unveiling as a supernatural creature has been slower than most on Teen Wolf. During the Season 4 episode “I.E.D.” it was revealed that Parrish was on the Dead Pool list, indicating he had some kind of supernatural status. At this point it wasn’t clear if Parrish himself knew that he was a supernatural being or not. It became evident that Parrish had some powerful supernatural abilities when he survived being trapped in a burning car in the episode “Perishable.” In the Season 4 finale “Smoke and Mirrors” Lydia brings Parrish a bestiary, telling him that she’s going to help him figure out what type of creature he is.
In the Season 5 episode “Condition Terminal,” Lydia tests Parrish’s response to flames, leading him to reveal a dream he’s been having about a clearing in the woods with a giant tree stump that looks a thousand years old:
Lydia: “It’s a real tree. In a real part of Beacon Hills. It used to be the center of a grove of trees called a nemeton.”
Deputy Parrish: “What’s a nemeton?”
Lydia: “A sacred meeting place for Celtic Druids. They were scientists and healers thousands of years ago. I’ve never seen this place. But that’s why you’re here. It drew you here. That’s what it does. It’s a beacon for supernatural creatures.”
As Season 5 continues, it’s revealed in “A Novel Approach” that Parrish is a creature not only immune to fire, but also able to generate flames. In his fiery state, Parrish has unknowingly been carrying the failed experiments of the Dread Doctors to the nemeton. In “Lies of Omission,” Lydia tells Parrish about what he has been doing, and they find the nemeton surrounded by dead chimeras.
Despite the storyline centering on Parrish, we still don’t know what kind of supernatural creature Parrish is. Neither does he. There’s been much speculation about what he might be. We are anxious to find out, but in the meantime, it’s fun to explore the possibilities.
The idea that Jordan Parrish is a phoenix is the most popular theory that abounds and one that has been discussed since Parrish emerged covered in ash from the burning car. The phoenix is a long-lived bird that is reborn when it rises from the ashes of its predecessor. The phoenix is associated with regeneration, which could also connect to Parrish bringing bodies of the chimeras to the nematon. The phoenix is also connected with the ouroboros symbol seen in Episode 8 of Season 5. Both the phoenix and the ouroboros represent the cycle of life, death, rebirth, and all things eternal.
The idea of Parrish being a Hellhound is one of our favorite theories, and not just because we’re terrified of the invisible hellhounds from Supernatural. Hellhounds are associated with the afterlife and can have fire-based abilities and appearance. Hellhounds are known to guard entrances to the world of the dead. In “Creatures of the Night” Noshiko Yukimura mentions them when she describes the Wild Hunt to Kira: “He’s talking about The Wild Hunt. About the Ghost Riders. Imagine a night like this, Kira. In storm clouds just like these, phantom hunters would appear. Riding black horses with blood-red eyes. And wolves and hounds at their side, baying and snarling.” Are the Dread Doctors Ghost Riders, with werewolf Theo and hellhound Parrish doing their bidding? (Learn about Cerberus, the most famous of hellhounds, here.)
Parrish could be a Fire kitsune. Kira is a thunder kitsune, allowing her to generate and absorb electricity, so it’s possible that Parrish could have similar powers related to fire. In the Dead Pool, Parrish was similar in worth to kistune Noshiko and Kira, indicating his supernatural status could be similar as well. (Learn more about kitsune here.)
The Ifrit is a type of infernal Jinn that is able to generate fire, and withstand smoke and flames. Ifrits can transform into flaming beings, have enhanced strength and speed, and can only be killed with magic. Ifrits come out of middle-eastern lore, which could connect to the period that Parrish served in Afghanistan. (Learn more about ifrits here.)
If we’ve learned anything from Game of Thrones it’s that “Fire cannot kill a dragon.” Sure, when we think of a dragon we picture a giant creature like Smaug, but don’t let that limit your imagination. Teen Wolf wouldn’t be the first show to make humanoid Dragons, since Supernatural had dragons in human form in the episode “ Like a Virgin.” If Parrish is a dragon, maybe he’s just storing those bodies at the nemeton for a midnight snack.
Another creature from Supernatural that we’d love to see cross over to Teen Wolf would be a reaper. Reapers guide souls to the next world. Who knows what the Dread Doctors did to the souls of those chimera—they might need a little extra help moving on. Though reapers aren’t known for their connection to fire, they are certainly recognized for their business with the dead. It seems unlikely that Parrish would be a reaper, but if he were it would bring something very different to Teen Wolf.
Seraphim are six-winged angels in Judeo-Christian culture. They are associated with fire, which can used to purification or cleansing purposes. In Celestial Hierarchy, Dionysius the Areopagite explains their connection with fire arises from “the exuberance of their intense, perpetual, tireless activity, and their elevative and energetic assimilation of those below, kindling them and firing them to their own heat, and wholly purifying them by a burning and all-consuming flame; and by the unhidden, unquenchable, changeless, radiant and enlightening power, dispelling and destroying the shadows of darkness.” Teen Wolf has yet to introduce any divine characters, so if Parrish were a seraph, it would open up new possibilities.
Some of the other theories about Parrish include that he is a salamander, a raven, a Cat sith, or a siren. Tell us what creature you think Parrish is in the comments. After watching “Status Asthmaticus,” let us know if you were excited or disappointed in Deputy Parrish’s long-awatied reveal.
8/24/15 Update: During the 10th episode of Season 5, “Status Asthamaticus,” It was finally revealed that Deputy Jordan Parish is a Hellhound. Lydia realized he was a Hellhound when she remembered Kira telling her about the Wild Hunt. The Bestiary provided the following description: “Woden’s Hunt, also known as the Wild Ride or Wild Hunt. A myth of devilish riders in the sky accompanied by black dogs, spectral beasts whose eyes glowed with fire, A Bearer of Death and Guardian of the Supernatural, the black dog is also known by its more common name… The Hellhound.”
For more recaps, photos, and news about Teen Wolf and other shows like Game of Thrones, Supernatural, iZombie, Doctor Who, and The Walking Dead, subscribe to receive notification of new content by email. Or you can follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram and Google+. Check out our Monsters of the Week, and other scary and supernatural posts.
I like the idea of him being a salamander. That seems entirely in keeping with the shows style and salamanders are known for their regenerative fire abilities, too, which would also explain how he survived the car fire.
I also like the idea of his being an Ifrit because of his connection to Afghanistan. This could have been something that happened to him there, which would account for his lack of memory and knowledge of what he is.
LikeLiked by 2 people
The salamander theory is really interesting. Teen Wolf has shown it’s always willing to expand it’s lore to include all different were-creatures.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Pingback: Teen Wolf S05E10 Recap: Status Asthmaticus | The Supernatural Fox Sisters
Pingback: Teen Wolf Finale | The Dunnos Project
I just did a short comic strip about Deputy Parrish and I wanted to thank you because your article was really helpful (for the names of the creatures and everything). I put a link of your blog in the article I just posted about Teen Wolf midseason finale!
LikeLiked by 1 person
Sounds awesome! Can’t wait to check it out.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Pingback: Monster of the Week: Hellhounds | The Supernatural Fox Sisters
Pingback: Teen Wolf S05E11 Recap: The Last Chimera | The Supernatural Fox Sisters
Pingback: Monster of the Week: The Wild Hunt | The Supernatural Fox Sisters