Supernatural: Ruth Connell Talks Rowena’s Nemesis and Complicated Mother-Son Bondsby Clarissa / March 25, 2015
When we last saw the 300 year old witch Rowena on Supernatural, she was expressing disappointment that her son had left her to reunite with the Winchesters and had lost the First Blade to them. When the family returns in tonight’s episode, Crowley captures his mother’s great nemesis and delivers her to Rowena as a bit of a peace offering. We’ve seen this complicated relationship between mother and son veer between manipulation to traces of genuine emotion. Is it real? Does Rowena want to get to know her long-lost son or is she just in for the power? We spoke with Ruth Connell to find out more about Rowena’s relationship with the Grand Coven and with Crowley.
Rowena’s Past With the Grand Coven. “[Rowena] knew Olivette and [when they see each other again] there’s a bit of a throw-down between us. From Rowena’s point of view, the Grand Coven, they cast me out. They took away my license to practice witchcraft. You hear more in discussions between Olivette and I in this [upcoming episode], you garner more of the backstory. That’s one of the things you do find out in this episode. There’s a reason Rowena is this way. She’s had to survive without the protection or the reaching scope of the Grand Coven. At one point I think I said to Crowley ‘I’ve been on the lam for 300 years’. That’s pretty tiring, being on the run from the very organization that you want to, I suppose, be in charge of. I think it’s a dream of Rowena’s to be a high-ranking member of the Grand Coven herself. So far, this season, I think it’s been very much about Rowena and trying to reclaim her power base. Either get her own back or somehow dismantle the Grand Coven or be taken seriously by them. It turns a corner in this episode. It’s a lot of fun for Rowena. You get to see her be really tough.”
Does Rowena Want the First Blade? The First Blade has been a hot commodity for a lot of characters since its introduction last season and we’ve seen Rowena be preoccupied with it for a few episodes. But was it because of her desire for the blade itself or just as a tool to manipulate Crowley? “I think, first and foremost, dealing with what’s right in front of her, [she wanted it] to control her son. That’s in her eye-line. But the fact is, the First Blade can kill us all. I would rather have control over it or, at least, Crowley have control over it and I have control over him, rather than have it in the world as a danger. Particularly not with the Winchesters. That’s practical common sense for Rowena.”
Trying to Figure Out What’s Real Between Rowena and Crowley. “I think we keep playing with this mother-son relationship, working out what’s real and what’s not. Are there real feelings there or are there not? We keep trying to suss out where we stand and how far I can push him. How much I can get out of him. And it’s really wondering in this [upcoming episode] because he let me down in the last episode. I’m sure he has his ulterior motives, but he delivers Olivette to me. He brings my nemesis to me for me to deal with. And I definitely appreciate that. You know, ‘thanks, son!'”
Genuine Emotion or Manipulation? “I think old habits die hard. I think to be a survivor and having been on the run for so many years must be second nature [to Rowena]. But, for example, when Crowley stabbed [the demon who was strangling me in an earlier episode], he saved my life. And when I said ‘thank you’, I tried to mean it. I think it’s very inconvenient to care for someone, I think it’s very inconvenient to love someone. And to trust someone when you’re used to trusting no one. But I think there are moments, hopefully, where you see where ‘gosh, if these two could actually work together, they would be unstoppable’. But only if they can get over all of the things that happened in the past. Can he forgive me? Do I even want to be, really, a mother to him or is it just because he’s powerful now? I think it’s something I’ve been playing with as an actress.”
Dean and Rowena’s Confrontation. Ruth wouldn’t spoil too much about a meeting between Dean and Rowena in episode 10.17 (watch a preview), but she did joke that “there’s worst ways to spend an afternoon than being bent over a bar by Jensen [Ackles]. We came face-to-face before in ‘Girls, Girls, Girls’ and I managed to get away from him because Cole came in. This is our second face-to-face. That was a long day’s filming, I’ll tell you. [But] he’s wonderful to work with.” As a final teaser, when asked whether the Grand Coven storyline and the Mark of Cain storyline will intersect, Ruth hinted that “It’s Supernatural, of course they could intersect.”
Don’t miss an all new episode of Supernatural tonight at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.