We have talked about the poor worldbuilding in Teen Wolf before, but this problem really takes the cake. Recently on Tumblr I saw a transcription one fan did at a Teen Wolf convention called Wolfsbane 3, during a panel featuring Ian Bohen, who plays Peter Hale. I’m not always the biggest fan of Peter, but Ian Bohen tends to be hilarious. And his opinions on Peter often make the character seem more interesting than he actually is on the show. But it was one comment Bohen apparently made about Alphas that really threw me for a loop. Basically he pointed out that Laura Hale, Derek’s sister and Peter’s niece, who is killed by Peter at the beginning of Season 1, might have killed her mother, Talia Hale, in order to become Alpha. Since she isn’t a True Alpha like Scott, she would have had to have killed Talia, or at least some other random Alpha.
Because I can’t find the actual video of this panel, I am uncertain if Ian Bohen actually said this. But whether or not he did, on closer reflection I realized this has to be correct. In meta and fanfiction, the Teen Wolf fandom has always explained Laura becoming an Alpha as a hereditary thing. Talia died, and her eldest child, Laura, inherited her alpha powers. However, Bohen’s comment made me realize that this fandom theory has never been confirmed in Teen Wolf canon. You either can be a True Alpha, which is so rare in the show that most Teen Wolf characters didn’t think it was possible until Scott became one, or you kill another Alpha to take their powers. The show constantly tells us that lone werewolves and packs without an Alpha are not likely to survive. This would mean a whole society that is based on murdering your successor in order to keep a pack going and if most werewolf packs are like the Hales, then that would mean that they would comprise mostly of family members. So if you wanna be Alpha, then you have to kill grandma. …Suddenly everything in Teen Wolf gets a lot darker and more uncomfortable. It also sets up several issues in the storytelling, particularly in regards to which characters we are supposed to view as villains.