This week on the Teen Wolf summer finale, we finally learned what sort of creature Deputy Parrish is. But what does this mean?
On Teen Wolf season 5, episode 10, “Status Asthmaticus,” Lydia has an epiphany about what sort of creature Deputy Parrish could be, so she heads to the library to confirm her suspicions.
There, she reads up on Woden’s Hunt, the Wild Hunt we heard about from Kira’s parents earlier in the season. Lydia learns that the Wild Hunt is a myth about “devilish riders in the sky accompanied by black dogs.” These spectral beasts, as they’re called, have eyes that glow with fire. They’re the bearers of death and the guardians of the supernatural.
More importantly, these beasts are called Hellhounds, which finally puts a name to Parrish’s unique powers.
We’ve seen Parrish collecting the dead bodies of the supernatural, especially if they’re in danger of being discovered by those who do not know what kind of beings Beacon Hills truly harbors. Sometimes he’s consumed by fire, and other times we just see his eyes glowing a fiery orange.
Lydia makes the connection between that big storm at the beginning of the season, plus Parrish’s connection with the Nemeton, which is where he’s been taking all of the dead bodies. The Nemeton is hidden deep within the forest, meaning that although there is now a huge pile of the dead at the base of this stump, it’s fairly well hidden from the rest of the world.
Considering both Lydia and Parrish are harbingers of death, it makes sense they have a certain connection. Their obvious feelings for each other aside, Parrish has seen Lydia multiple times in his dreams, and considering her job is to find the dead, it only makes sense he’d be tagging along to collect the ones she discovers.
The Wild Hunt is a European myth. The hunters in the tale can vary depending on the specific story, but the myth is called Woden’s Hunt, and Woden is another name for Odin — yes, that Odin. As in Thor’s father. No matter who it is, this legend has a strong connection with the dead.
The Wild Hunt is often seen as a precursor to war or plague. In other words, you know something bad is going to happen if Odin and his hellhounds are strolling into town. Interestingly, sometimes the leader of this pack can be female.
Across Europe and throughout time, the myth has changed in various ways. Sometimes people who interrupted the hunt were punished and those who helped were rewarded; other times, the hunt and the hounds were associated with the Devil and seen as Satanic and evil, though this does not necessarily reflect the origins of the legend.
In a more general sense, Hellhounds are often portrayed as fiery monsters that either chase down lost souls or guard burial grounds. Sometimes they’re even an omen of death, though they’re not always seen as malevolent creatures.
So, what does all of this mean for Jordan Parrish? It’s clear so far that we’ve already established Parrish is a bearer of the dead, seeing as he involuntarily collects the bodies of dead chimeras. He’s also a protector of the supernatural: When a body is close to raising too many questions by those who don’t know about creatures like werewolves, kitsunes, and banshees, Parrish is the one to take the bodies and hide them deep in the middle of the woods.
At the moment, he does seem neutral (and Showrunner Jeff Davis has said as much). However, Parrish has also injured several people, supernatural and human alike. Clearly Parrish did not have the wherewithal at the time to know what he was doing, but the fact that he is unable to control his abilities and has attacked people in order to carry out his duties means he could possibly be a threat to Scott and his pack sometime in the future. Let’s not even mention the fact that he’s actively working against Sheriff Stilinski, who has been trying to follow the letter of the law all season.
What is more interesting is his obvious connection to Lydia. Sure, there’s a superficial connection between the two, considering Parrish doesn’t try to hide his feelings for Lydia too hard (and vice versa). But there’s also a deeper, more spiritual pull between them as well. Could Lydia be the leader of the Wild Hunt? Could she be the one guiding Parrish to the bodies, if not in bodily form, then on the spiritual plane? He’s seen her a few times prior to going full-on Hellhound, so it stands to reason he could be seeing her when Parrish, the human being, is unaware of what his Hellhound self is doing.
Whatever happens with Parrish, we’re so glad to finally have a name to put to his powers — and it’s something new no less! Whenever we get to expand the Teen Wolf universe and add another creature to the bestiary, it’s a good day in Beacon Hills.
Parrish has been a constant since he was first introduced in season 3. He’s a good deputy, and a good person, but now that he’s more aware of his Hellhound-shaped secret, it’ll be interesting to see if this changes him at all. Will he struggle against the possibility of being a morally gray player in the deadly Beacon Hills chess game? Will he end up accidentally standing in between Scott and what the True Alpha believes is the right thing to do?
We’ll just have to wait until Teen Wolf season 5B returns in January 2016.