Ellen and Jo Harvelle are mother and daughter. They also live and work together at the Roadhouse. They have a good relationship besides the fact that Jo wants to hunt and Ellen won't let her. Eventually, Jo does get into hunting and Ellen joins her. Ellen strongly believes that if her daughter is going to put herself in danger, she is going to be there to protect her. They are together till the end.
Ellen and Jo have lived at the Roadhouse all their lives before they met Sam and Dean. Ellen's late husband Bill, was a hunter, which is why Ellen and Jo know so much about the supernatural. Then on a mission with John Winchester, Bill gets killed. After losing Bill, Ellen makes sure that Jo never gets near anything related to hunting. Although she doesn't let Jo walk around unprotected. Jo carries knives with her so she can protect herself. Although, Jo still wants to go into the hunting lifestyle despite her mother's wishes.
|“||Joanna Beth, this family has lost enough. Now I won't lose you too.||”|
— Ellen to Jo
in No Exit
In "Simon Said" Jo is shown beating a Hunter at a shooting game in the Roadhouse. After he gives her the money they bet, Ellen walks up and proudly tells him he should check the high scores, which are all Jo. After Sam and Dean get back from the Ellen has Jo break out the beer, so she can question the boys about their last hunt. After hearing about it, she then has Jo break out the whiskey.
Sam and Dean witness a fight between Ellen and Jo in "No Exit". It is because Jo wants to work a hunting job, but Ellen will not allow it because she is afraid Jo will get hurt. She refuses to allow the possibility of looses Jo, and tells Sam and Dean they should take the case. Jo tells Ellen that she is going to Vegas and has Ash plant a credit card trail to the casinos, but really follows the brothers on their case. Ellen doesn't believe it and calls Dean to make sure she hasn't gone with them. Dean lies to her about it, but Ellen gets the truth out of Ash and calls Dean back, furious. When she learns Jo has been taken by the ghost, she is terrified. She immediately gets on the first flight out. After Sam and Dean rescue Jo, the four of them drive back in the impala together. Ellen doesn't say a word. When they get back to the Roadhouse, Ellen leads Jo in by her arm, and asks Sam and Dean to leave. She says that Jo doesn't have the sense to be a hunter because she trusted her life to the Winchesters. She then reveals to Jo that her dad was killed by a mistake made by John Winchester.
When Sam goes back to the Roadhouse in "Hunted" he asks Ellen where Jo is. She tells him that after her hunt with them she wanted to continue hunting. Ellen said she wouldn't allow Jo to do it under her roof, and Jo said "Fine" and left. She sends her mother the occasional postcard.
|“||You got me, Jo, and you're right: this is important, but I will not leave you here alone.||”|
Ellen and Jo are now hunting together. Since Jo won't give up hunting, Ellen decides to join her. Ellen still believes Jo isn't ready for hunting, but if Jo makes a mistake, Ellen will be there to help.In Good God, Y'all, they get separated doing a hunt involving the whole town supposedly turning into demons. Ellen was looking for Jo, when she ran into Sam and Dean. Ellen and Jo later bump into each thinking the another is possessed by a demon. When Ellen sees Jo's black eyes, she tells the demon not to hurt Jo. Ellen is hurt when Jo calls her a "black eyed" bitch. This makes her wonder what is really going on in this town. On the other side of town, Jo is worried for her mother, and asks Rufus if her mother will be okay. Rufus promises to exorcise Ellen safely, so she survives. Eventually, Dean figures out its War, and they go to convince Rufus and Jo. Ellen takes on Jo, and manages to convince Jo. After that, they go separate ways with Sam and Dean. They later return to help Sam and Dean in Abandon All Hope..., in the hunt to kill the devil. After getting the colt from Crowley, the group all goes to Bobby's to prepare. Jo watches her mother have shots with Castiel and they all take a group photo. The next day, Ellen, Jo and Castiel ride into the town together. Sam and Dean tell them to look around to see if they can find anyone, which they can't. By the time they meet back up with Sam and Dean, they have lost Castiel, who went after the reapers. As the four of them look around the town, they are confronted by Meg and several hell hounds. Dean shoots one of the hell hounds with the colt, and they start running. Dean is knocked down, but is saved by Jo, who is subsequently knocked down and attacked by the hell hounds. Ellen screams at the sight of her daughter being attacked. Dean picks up the wounded Jo and the four of them go into the safe haven of a convenience store and barricade the entrances. Ellen looks at Jo's wound and covers it with an Ace bandage.
Throughout the time in the store, Ellen rarely leaves Jo's side. When Jo announces her plan to build a bomb and sacrifice herself to kill the hounds, Ellen is strongly opposed. Jo tell her mother that it may be her last chance to treat her like an adult, and that she might want to take it. Ellen sobs and is very clearly upset, but she tells the boys to get to work on the bomb. After the bomb is made Ellen sits down in front of Jo and tells them that she is staying behind. The group doesn't like it, but she points out that someone has to let the dogs in, and that she will not leave Jo by herself. Sam and Dean leave sadly, and Ellen un-barricades the door. She sits down beside Jo and says she will always love her. Jo then dies in Ellen's arms. Ellen starts to cry even more, and kisses her dead daughter on the top of the head. The hounds then come in, and Ellen blows up the building, killing herself in the process.