#sam winchester meta
Ok but whenever an abuser apologizes or "makes things right" with someone OTHER than the person abused it makes me angry.
Like why is the big apology, making things right scene in supernatural between John and Sam when Dean was the one who was mostly abused? Yes he should apologize to Sam in some ways, but Sam being apologized to doesn't fix the years of abuse Dean lived through?
Like I don't understand how him apologizing to Sam fixed everything for Sam. Like where was the "thanks dad! But, y'know, you weren't there for me and yelled at me a lot but you also forced Dean to be my parent and kicked him out of the house when he disagreed with you. Maybe you should apologize to him too!"
But no, Sam and John made up so everything is good and all is forgiven because Dean is just a perfect little soldier - no hurt feelings there. He was just doing his job.
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i know dean gets all the hunger commentary but honestly it makes so much more sense for sam. like, okay, maybe not more sense, but at the very least just as much sense. i said this to katharine, and she pointed out that sam absolutely has a lot of emotional/social/familial voids he’d like filled (and, god, isn’t voids such an excellent word), and I feel like on top of these abstract desires/voids/hungers, he also has a literal hunger for demon blood, actual cravings for a physical satiation, too.
like, sam has a whole season defined by his hunger for something (demon blood) he thinks can solve his problems (Lilith, the apocalypse), but that's actually eating him from the inside out (preparing him to be Lucifer’s vessel). this hunger is something he’s made to feel shame for, despite his pure/earnest intentions for satisfying it, and something he’s made to resist. but it’s also something he’s perpetually fighting against, especially after 5.14.
but if I widen out again to consider the abstract voids sam experiences...even like sam as a vessel. sam seen by others as an empty container to be filled how other characters see fit. dean sees sam as a container for one thing (a place to put his love, a place to express control). Lucifer sees him as a container for another (literally himself). John back in the day as yet a container for something else (sam’s body as a place that contains both the corrupt thru the demon blood and the pure thru mary’s final sacrifice). and then also the possible edges of sam's own potential desire to be used and filled as a vessel/container that maybe strikes when he's at his lowest points.
like, I don’t think sam wants to be used or treated like a vessel all the time, but certainly there are some times when he’s craving to have an experience that exists within or is defined by his physical body/abstract spirit. possess me, purify me, use me as a container to help my family/the world, im hungry to be used in a way that heals instead of harms. let me say yes, let me do the trials. let me volunteer my physical self as a container for something bigger than myself because this also satisfies my abstract hunger to be filled by something better than I am on my own.
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Dean Winchester is the music that made the show.
Over the years, I've learned that what makes a story so vibrant and transcend time is not just the writing or the acting but the music.
Music in movies and tv shows is crucial in making the story unroll. Music brings emotion to another level. When a character is associated with a genre of music, not only does it make the show interesting, it gives us more insight into who that character is.
In Supernatural, Dean is the one that gets a genre of music that's very characteristic of him and not because he's a guy's guy but because we understand that music is an escape for him. It's a way for him to relax and let go of the day. And most of the time, it's an indication of what's going on internally when he can't express himself.
What's interesting is how Dean gets his score: Americana composed by Jay Gruska. It's the one piece out there that represents Dean so perfectly. It has the heart and sensitivity that Dean tries to hide during the entirety of the show. It has the strength of a little boy who had to fight to be a kid, the pain of a young man that had to hide who he was because the world was not ready to see him.
Contrary to what others might think, he's the only one to get his own score, and if other characters happen to have one, it's usually derived from Dean's. Why is that? Well, Dean is the heart of the show. He leads the story through his music, whether it's Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, Traffic, Billy Squier, or Taylor Swift. It's not Sam or John. Dean is the narrator.
A character that has a music theme is the main character. Sam may have a score that people associate him with. However, it doesn’t make an impact on the story. It's not used as the ballad that supports every emotional scene the way Americana is, and that says a lot.
Dean's style of music makes the whole show so vibrant that in 10 years fans of the show will remember Black In black as a Dean Winchester song. They will listen to Americana, Dean's score, and remember Supernatural.
They will remember That he was the one that brought the family together. He wanted Sam and John to be family again, he made Cas care about Jack and Sam, he's the one that makes the family a whole because he cares.
And found family was the heart of the show.
If the score makes you think about the show now, it's because of Dean. It's part of his hero's journey. He's the song that makes the story lives on.
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Sam is queer coded, and he is villainized for it. The issue isn’t that Sam is queer coded. The issue is that he’s villainized for it. I hope this helps someone.
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so, i finished watching 15-season, 320-episode cw hit supernatural, which i thought was generally pretty alright. being of sound mind and body, of course, my immediate next step was to start the process over and go back and watch it all again. from the beginning.
all this to say, here’s a line from the pilot i thought was pretty neat. for context, dean says this after he gets caught up in hunting with sam Like Old Times, only for sam to remind him that their times aren’t old, and he’s got an interview for law school in like ten hours. dean’s heartbroken, but sam’s happiness comes first, he won’t push more than he’s already allowed himself to, etc.
for MORE context, the very first spn Monster Of The Week was constance welch: a “woman in white,” which, in this case, means she was half la llorona, half phantom hitchhiker. and all through the episode, she makes the same request:
sam himself, in fact, said dean’s quote above nearly verbatim to constance, before driving a car through the wall (s1 rights!)
so, yeah. it’s a theme.
naturally, since it’s being said to sam, the obvious parallel plays into monster sammy implications; this is strengthened somewhat by the fact that the ghost of constance is ultimately vanquished when sam realizes that she’s afraid to go home, that she’s scared to face her family... while sam has spent the last few years at stanford feeling just the same. however, as much as i LOVE to talk about monster sammy... i think, in this case (and at the risk of exposing my deangirlism as completely terminal), sam is only the red herring. the real monster is dean.
on the surface, dean is practically the inverse of constance welch. he’s behind the wheel; she’s a hitchhiker. he’s a hunter, she’s a special type of ghost. he’s trying desperately to keep his family close to him, she’s unable to face her own. BUT, look how the episode is framed. they’re both monsters. tragic monsters! they are both what life made them! it doesn’t revive constance’s victims, but we know that she only killed her children while suffering a lapse because of her cheating husband, joseph. it doesn’t take dean off the path that will see him killing literal hundreds and committing unspeakable acts against sam’s autonomy, but everything he is, is absolutely the product of being raised by john (and i feel like there’s something to be noted about the initials of Joseph Welch and John Winchester). and yet--it doesn’t change a thing. dean’s fear of being left alone in the face of the life they were raised into brings him to pull sam right back in, at the same time as constance’s new nature (the product of her actions at the very end of her life) makes sam a target. they both “violate” him. sam and constance are both running, true, and they both get sucked back toward the thing they fear, but what is for her an ending and a punishment and perhaps, on some level, a relief, holds for sam only a new beginning and a terrible continuation and abject horror of a trauma you cannot escape from. dean is lurking in the shadows. dean is the life of hunting sam wanted to leave behind.
this is the pilot episode, and it says: here is supernatural’s thesis statement. because of a corrupting outside influence (joseph/john), the mother (constance/dean... although we don’t yet know, as of this episode, that dean was essentially forced to raise sam. shhh. it still holds up.) betrays her children (the kids constance killed/sam) and makes them what she is (a ghost/a hunter). after some time, wherein the mother inevitably devolves into a non-sentient killing machine, the children are finally able to regain control of their narrative and they take her down with themselves, as a punishment for the actions and the betrayal, but also in what could be forgiveness, and to set both mother and children free from the terrible stasis she put them in.
oh boy! i can’t wait to rewatch the other 319 episodes and see how the writers will incorporate this into their grand finale!
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9.15, #THINMAN - dean waits for sam’s nod before agreeing to give harry a ride
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It kinda sucks that Supernatural decided to go full circle instead of, idk, giving their creations proper endings that would've made sense and actually been satisfying.
At the start, Sam didn't want to hunt. He wanted a normal life. Dean didn't want/didn't think he deserved a normal life. He "wanted" to die hunting. But then you see their real issues in time and what makes Sam happiest is leading and being a teacher (and getting a dog, let this man have a dog!!!) And Dean is happiest around family (Cas, Jack, Sam, Eileen, and bring in all the wayward sisters, etc)
Sam and Eileen retiring from hunting and becoming leaders and teachers to younger hunters and Dean gaining a "normal" life (job application, Cas and Jack, etc) would have been imo, the best ending for them. They don't get what they "want", they get what they need in the end. Peace AND freedom. Doing what makes them happy without an audience to entertain.
But instead we get everyone dying and going to fake heaven. It's fake as fuck because Bobby would never be happy to see Dean without grey hairs showing up. It's way out of character.
Plus, everything they did was basically for nothing because they all died anyway. It wasn't impactful considering the way Dean died kinda stupidly and unrealistically. And god, Sam was butchered with that wig! They butchered my boy!!!!!
I'm just saying... Anyone who thought the finale was a satisfying ending and in character... Maybe pay attention while watching the show....
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1 & 4
I answered 1 here.
4. Do you have a NoTP in your fandom? Are they a popular OTP?*
It's the same as 1: Sabriel. It used to be a popular ship. When I first became a SPN fan and looked up fan fiction, the sheer amount of Sabriel fan fiction confused me, but I was only in the middle of the show, so I figured there was going to be some interaction between the characters that would explain it. With every new season my friends and I watched, we'd wonder if this was finally going to be the season of magical Sam and Gabriel chemistry. But no, once again, Gabriel didn't even turn up - or if he did, it was barely more than a mention. They don't even have chemistry as antagonists (unlike Sam/Lucifer). On a theoretival level, Gabriel making Sam watch Dean die over and over again, and then both of them having to work together again, could lead to interesting things - but we watched it on the show: it didn't. They don't really care about each other. Sam doesn't even hate him even though he'd have good reason to. I don't think he thinks about him much at all post-cage.
On a more general level, I just don't see Sam being with someone so goofy (I know Dean can be goofy too but not as his no 1 character trait). The fact that the ship was mainly so big as a "Sam needs an angel too" Destiel side-lining thing doesn't help my feelings. But even with that sidelining logic, shipping Sam with Gabriel still baffles me. Why him? Why not, oh, Raphael? Why does it need to be an angel in the first place? Why not some other random side character? Kevin would have made more sense. Meg maybe. Random canon short love interests.
As much as I hate the latching onto Saileen as a way to get Sam "out of the way" Destiel-thing, at least I get where you would get the pairing from: straight from canon. But why? Sam actually had a great canon love interest. She was called Ruby, and I very very much still crave stories about them.
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The way one brother acts so desperately and helplessly when the others humanity is in danger is insane.
Dean was fighting to keep Sam human. He would rather have him die than become a monster. Sam was fighting to keep dean safe from his "destiny", so he wouldn't have to go through what sam went through. He knows what it's like to not be quite human, and he didn't want dean to have to go through that like he did. He didn't want dean to use his body and risk his humanity to be the weapon like he had to.
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7 and 26!
7. Is there anything you used to like but can’t stand now?
In fandom: I used to be very much a 'I'll give anything a try as long as it's well-written' person and I'm not anymore. I'll only read Destiel if I have a very good reason to (author, really intriguing plot, comes highly recommended, etc), and I really can't read fluffy Destiel or Wincest anymore. In general, I'm not very interested in "healthifications" of relationships, and I'm not interested in stories where the characters feel completely OOC to me, especially Dean. If your Dean doesn't have anger issues (and there's no plotty reason for it) and it's not an AU or pre-series, I'll most likely bow out pretty quickly.
In canon: I used to not mind the Dean-focus of the show and the bizarre way every other character fawns over him and sympathizes with him, whether he's wrong or right. I thought, in a way, that it was clever to have a character be so charming and good-looking that he gets way with everything. Because real life is like that too a lot of time. But somewhere there was a shift that was either within me or within the show, where it didn't feel like a morally semi-neutral depiction of events anymore ("Here is Sam and Dean, and everyone around them, this is what they do, judge for yourself") to something a lot more heavy-handed. The shows didn't just show people favoring Dean, the show did it itself. And not just with Dean. Instead of just telling me the character's actions and their feelings on things, they tried to convince me it was noble and right and moral, even when it clearly wasn't.
There's really nothing major that happened to Sam and Dean in the show or that they did that I can't make sense of in terms of their characterisation - even you need to do a lot of backwards bending to make it make sense sometimes. I think Sam's and Dean's power imbalance makes perfect sense. Sam glorifying Dean and them both having a skewed perception of their relationship makes sense. But the show did this thing where it showed me a really fucked up dysfunctional relationship (which I loved!) and then, sometimes, turned around and said: This toxic love you're seeing? Totally not toxic. The violence? Just bros being bros. The framing of Sam's and Dean's relationship drives me more nuts with each rewatch.
26. Most shippable character?
Sam. Not because he has the most chemistry with a lot of people (on the contrary, that's clearly Dean) but because he's the most interesting character to me, and that's why the relationships he does have are the most compelling to me too. Also, because a lot of his relationships are really vague. I think that helps, because you get to fill in all the blanks.
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`11. Sam wakes up soulless and feels nothing but relief at the cool earth beneath his fingers. Does he know his soul is trapped in hell? Does he want it back?
He knows because when he tries and fails to sleep at night, he watches it burn when he closes his eyes. It twists and writhes and screams deep in the most ragged, bloody pit of the Cage, a cracked chassis of what was once the most beautiful beacon of life that Creation could hope to hold in its hands.
Being soulless, it doesn't disturb him when his soul begins to laugh under the torment of Lucifer's ice, so cold, it burns like blue fire. But he remembers what it was like to feel something akin to disgust and horror at such a monstrous reaction to pain. When his soul laughs, he remembers what it was like to choke the life out of Lilith without lifting a finger to her porcelain skin and feeling his eyes flicker black with the raw power that ebbed from his mind. He remembers how he enjoyed it, and why shouldn't have he?
Sam knows his soul is trapped in hell because he can feel it, distantly, like a familiar face screaming for help deep in the recesses of his mind. He knows that whatever that twisted, scorched, frozen thing is that Lucifer has made of his soul will turn him into something faceless and void of measure. He knows what pain will feel like again, and he will be alone like he was as a child.
And for that reason, despite the loss of love he once had for his brother, he doesn't tell anybody what he's missing so that he never has to take it back.
send me some hbo!natural prompts?
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We talk a lot about the Dean/Cas parallels in Repo Man (and rightfully so!), but one thing I don’t see mentioned as much is that the situation with Jeffrey and his demon is also a mirror for Sam and Lucifer (especially the first part of the episode before the twist). When we are first introduced to Jeffery, we see him as a victim who was willing to make a personal sacrifice for the greater good - he gives Sam and Dean his consent to be tortured so they can get the information they need from the demon that’s possessing him. This selfless act comes at a great personal cost to Jeffrey and his mental health deteriorates to the point where he is placed in an institution. You don’t have to squint to see the obvious parallels to Sam’s sacrifice in “Swan Song” and his ongoing hell trauma in S6/7. It’s really only after the big twist that Jeffrey becomes a Dean mirror - the broken man forsaken and betrayed by the supernatural being he loved. It’s a really clever bit of writing by Ben Edlund to be able to tie in both Sam and Dean’s season 7 arcs to the plot of this MotW episode.
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So I watched the episode, where Sam is hospitalised due to his hallucinations. I now get why people are stating that his mental madness and PTSD arc was handled poorly. I can identify two very glaring, but also rather easily fixable problems.
Number One: Lucifer’s humor detracts from the seriousness of the issue. No matter how well Jared preforms Sam under diress and mental exhaustion, Lucifer’s abundance of humor absolutely destroys any impact those scenes could have. Especially if we consider how some very serious topics get glossed over or made fun of. Sam has endured torture and if we are to take that joke seriously, he was also raped by the devil. The problem is, Lucifer’s humor is far too in the foreground. It distracts and dillutes the heaviness of the themes. How are we supposed to take Sam’s suffering seriously, if Lucifer makes us crack a grin or even a slightly nervous chuckle? The tortures, we see him preform in the hospital - the megaphone scene, crackers, Lucifer, singing fifty times in a row etc. - are more funny, if slightly unnerving then really scary. They cause Jared’s acting to be in great disporportion to what is seen on screen. You are wondering why is Sam so disturbed.
If I may dilluge here for a second, Jessica Jones equally has scenes, where Jessica hallucinates her tormentor, Kilgrave. In the very first episode, we see a glimpse of her nightmares. In this nightmare, Kilgrave licks Jessica across the cheek and even makes a slightly lewd noise. Jessica BOLTS up in her seat, staggers backwards and looks visible disturbed. And you buy it, because what is shown on screen fills you with discomfort. If the writers had just given Mark and Jared similiar material to work with, I feel like their acting would have far better alligned with each other. Basically fill the audience with a hint of discomfort and you get why Sam is such a wreck and equally having troubles with his mind.
Number Two: The madness arc is inconsistent and gets resolved far too quickly. When Lucifer gets introduced as a hallucination in the first episode, we are lead to believe this is a big deal. This will be something that willl accompany Sam and us as the audience for the majority of this season. We are expecting an arc to come from it. But the problem is, we don’t get an arc. At best we get some disjointed events, which are in disporportion to each other. We may get a few hints that Sam is hallucinating, but you gotta pay a ton of attention in these moments. And then we get three/twoish episodes back to back, where Sam’s hallucination are the foreground. Problem is: The issue gets resolved far too quickly. Castiel miraculously returns from the dead and takes Sam’s madness from him. That’s it! For all we know, he could have done this, the whole fucking time!
We don’t get a sense of progression in Sam’s madness. It starts out simply, then it sort of disappears, before we spiral hardcore into worse territory. It doesn’t feel like it’s an arc. It feels like somebody was taking bullet points and went Okay, I want from A to C and I conveniently forget there is a step B. It makes the madness storyline feel more like some idea in a first draft then a properly fleshed out storyline. This reflects poorly on everybody, involved in it!
And the problem is: This could have been fixed so easily, it is infuriating! First of all, tone down Lucifer’s humor! It can still be there, if you want that to be part of his character. But use it sparringly and in a probably sarcastic and sardonic way. Make Lucifer weaponise his humor against Sam. Make it be mockery, make it be something that hurts! Speaking of hurt, treat the topics, you are dealing with seriously. Sam has been traumatised. Lucifer’s behaviour should reflect that trauma. He should fill the audience with dread and discomfort, whenever he is on screen. Make his tortures more hellish in nature. Make it really be as if Sam is still in the Cage. After all, that is how he perceives the world. He thinks he is still in Hell! He thinks he is still being raped and tortured! Show that the audience by making Lucifer a legimate threat to Sam’s mind. Heck, maybe even make him a poorer hunter to show how difficult life has become for him.
Second of all, plan the madness arc out more properly and thoroughly. Which especially means, include Dean into this. There is this really powerful moment at the beginning, where Dean convinces Sam that he is real and gives his brother the mantra: “You got away. We got you out, Sammy. Believe in that. Believe me, okay?! You gotta believe me! You gotta make it stone number one and build on it!” This mantra should have played a far more crucial role in the store. Have Sam use it as a coping mechanism aside from the handscare. Have that slowly become less and less efficient as the arc goes on. Have Dean be a mental pillar of support for his brother. instead of him just being worried that Sam goes insane. Have Sam’s mind unravel slowly, so that when it all comes crushing down, we really feel the impact. Heck, maybe our Team Free Will even has to work together to help Sam fight his way out of the madness in his head. Even if it is just them being supportive and helping Sam develop anchors to ground his reality. Instead of just having a Castiel-Ex-Machina happening! Heck, if you have to have Castiel do the shifting, maybe have him only be able to get parts out of it. Have Sam end the season with his PTSD still there, but he is handling it. He knows his way around his own mind and trauma now. Or at the very least, he is on the road there.
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i guess its time to be a bitter samgirl. like people will ignore canon aspects of sam that dean also has (anger issues), focus on implied aspects of dean over canon aspects of sam (deans implied alcoholism over sams canon demon blood addiction) or will just give dean traits from sam (i cant think of specific examples of this but it happens all the time, if anyone can think of ones feel free to add them on). and it cant just be about j*rpad cuz i hate him too, yall just HATE to see a girlboss bloodfreak winning
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happy birthday!! for a meta request, i'd love to hear if you have any thoughts on sam's parallels to minor characters like patience and magda? <3
Thank you!! I love this idea and the two examples you have here. Going off that I think it would be really interesting to explore parallels between Sam and other psychics on the show—besides the Special Children (who are another type of parallel altogether) and Jack (a major character).
Sam vs Psychics
Sam & Magda
This, I think, is the parallel that is drawn most often, because this is the psychic that has been most explicitly connected to Sam. He also had the majority of the interactions with her in the lone episode in which she appeared.
The similarities between them are numerous: both Sam and Magda express telekinetic abilities at some point. Both have had family members who witnessed their powers and believed them to be wrong or evil. As a result, both of them see their powers as negatives, as things that make them impure or wrong or evil. And this perception is largely drawn from the way that their respective families react to these powers, and will lock them up in an attempt to tamp down on their abilities. Self hatred coalesces inside of them, and things go horribly wrong when they attempt to stick to the status quo that they have been told will rehabilitate them.
However, there are differences between them, and significant ones. For one, the extent to which their respective families commit to deeming them evil. Dean certainly flirts with the idea, but when push comes to shove he simply can’t commit all out to assigning Sam as fully evil. Magda’s family, her mother in particular, does commit completely to the role. However, perhaps Dean isn’t paralleled to the mother, but to Magda’s brother, who also isn’t convinced of evil. Perhaps John would’ve been the mother, had he still been alive. Regardless, their familial situations are just different enough that Sam, despite having his powers deemed impure, is not as beaten down and alone as Magda. He’s also, well, not a child. He’s had time and room to grow into himself (or, well, more than Magda has), as well as to make mistakes. Magda has barely had time to do the same.
What is fascinating, though, is how Sam interacts with Magda. He’s staring at himself, and he knows it. He’s looking at a what-if scenario where he was locked up from childhood, where his self-hatred and fear developed much sooner and much more intensely. He’s finally seeing himself from an outsider perspective, that scared 22 year old kid whose crime was just...existing with powers. In affording Magda the understanding he kindness he didn’t get, he’s forgiving himself. He addresses for the first time that his powers, although he still doesn’t know much about them, are not inherently evil. He is not inherently evil.
In short, Magda speaks to the part of Sam that unclean, impure, fearful. And in doing so, he helps her, and himself, start to heal. Magda never makes it due to her life being cut short, but perhaps Sam does, eventually.
Sam & Patience
This parallel is interesting in its deliberate mirroring of Patience to Sam, and yet, they never really interact. The role Patience plays in our understanding of Sam, then, is less explicit than the route taken with Magda, but is not less telling.
The main obstacle Patience has to deal with, primarily, is not the powers themselves necessarily. Instead, Patience has to deal with the way that her powers place her in the middle of two people that she loves: her father and her grandmother. In expressing her powers, she has unwittingly picked a side, and has to figure out where to fall and who to keep in her life. In this, her powers function as a connection to a side of her that her father wants to keep her from, a family secret that he worries will place you in danger. Again, it’s less about what the powers actually are and more about what they mean.
This plays an interesting role in our understanding of Sam too, because the powers have both mattered and haven’t at various points in the show in his case. Sometimes, like the demon blood, what he can do is the point. But, underlying much of the discussions about Sam’s powers is instead on what they mean instead of what they are, on what they can tell us about him. Like Patience, Sam’s powers separate him from his family, make him the outlier that he felt he was in his childhood. They make him have to make hard choices with the people he loves, as he ultimately cannot ignore a basic part of himself to make them happy. Patience learns this lesson too. No where does this connect to Sam more explicitly than when Patience’s father echoes the last words that John said to Sam before he left for Stanford. Like Sam at that stage, Patience is trying to find herself, to find her calling and her place in life. With something that separates her, and him, from the rest of the world so significantly, it’s difficult to ignore them.
However, this is also where they differ. Patience has the space to accept the powers, grow into them, grow into who she really is. She integrates them as part of her reality, and finds the support network to do so. Sam does not. After Sam tries to use them, they backfire completely, and he learns his lesson to never approach them again. He ignores them, and it works! They are referenced tangentially, if at all. They no longer seem to be a part of his identity.
This is also reflected in the fact that despite being so similar, Sam and Patience barely interact, if they ever interact at all. Their stories started almost exactly the same way, but diverged heavily at the outset. Patience is an alternate reality Sam, one where he got the chance to grow into his abilities rather than fear them.
Patience speaks to the part of Sam that is connected to his powers, that has accepted them as his own and grown with them. And, since Sam does not do so, the two do not meet.
Sam & Missouri
Speaking of Patience, her grandmother, Missouri, is also a notable psychic on the show. In fact, she may be the first proper psychic we ever meet. Unlike both Magda and Patience, she is older than Sam and thus takes a more mentor-like role in his life. She acts as a positive example of the supernatural in a world that seems hell bent on proving them to be evil, providing support and reassurance to a Sam who is just starting out his journey with them.
Missouri is incredibly kind. Instead of using her powers to hurt the supernatural, she seems to be trying to help them find peace. She uses her abilities in the service of others, both human and not. Missouri is the ultimate example of the “good psychic” and she’s the first proper example of one Sam ever got. And in a way, it shows. Sam grows up to follow in her footsteps in terms of this attitude, as much as he allows himself to: he chooses kindness, he chooses mercy, he chooses to help. His propensity to help supernatural beings tends to fluctuate but he does show an occasional awareness to at least try. He also leans towards mentoring other children who express similar abilities that he once did, echoing the role that Missouri took towards him.
However, not even Missouri survives. The person who is labeled the perfect psychic, the right way to do the crossroads between the supernatural and human worlds, is killed. She took with her the proof that you don’t have to be othered by being not quite human, and that you can be free to use the powers you were born with without them “tainting” you. Sam, her primarily point of contact early on, doesn’t even get to see her one last time.
Missouri speaks to the part of Sam that is a mentor, that uses his experiences to help others. However, this help can only go so far.
Sam & Pamela
Pamela is an interesting case here, because there seem to be deliberate attempts to differentiate her from Sam as much as possible. However, she still can’t escape the fact that she’s psychic and this, almost more than anything else, ties her to Sam’s story in various ways.
Pamela seems to be the polar opposite of Sam when we first meet her. She is loud, sociable, confident, and adept in her powers and extremely comfortable with them. She doesn’t seem to be worried about what her powers are doing to her, nor about what they mean in the big picture, but embraces her abilities gladly and uses them to help others where she can. However, despite her confidence and abilities, she is hurt again and again by her powers until they ultimately kill her.
At first, she is blinded by an angel because she felt that she was powerful enough to look at it. She overestimated herself, and it backfired on her. In season four, Sam is blindsided by Heaven and Hell partly because he grew confident and comfortable in his abilities and ultimately caused the apocalypse. Here, the message is clear: if you think you are competent in your powers, you aren’t. Don’t bother trying to use them. Later, she is killed because she is convinced to use her powers, again, to help the Winchesters. Her abilities are ultimately what cause her doom, twice.
This doom is inextricably linked with Sam. Although she may have been closer to Dean (so much so that she showed up in his mind construct 10 years after her death), her dying moments connect to Sam to the danger of his burgeoning abilities. She wakes him up specifically before she dies so that he can use his own powers to save himself and his brother. In doing so, she encourages his abilities. However, right before dying, she warns him that his powers are not to be trusted. In other words: she builds his confidence, then instantly brings him back down.
Pamela speaks to the part of Sam that is confident in himself, acting as a cautionary tale. There doesn’t seem to be a point in trying to master your powers, as they will ultimately kill you in the end.
Sam & Oliver
Now we get to the one-off characters, the psychics we only get to meet briefly. One of these is Oliver, the psychic that Sam and Cas go to to contact Bobby in Heaven. Oliver is an interesting case, as he was connected to the Men of Letters, an organization that Sam is a legacy of. However, he is also a loner, as his powers make it too difficult for him to venture amongst people, as their thoughts can overwhelm him.
Being connected to the Men of Letters, Oliver is a scholar and a practical man, a little at odds with the abilities that he possesses. In that way, he’s a bit of a contradiction, being wholly confident in his abilities while also being disbelieving of their origins. Sam is the opposite: being convinced of greater and higher powers, but very unsure of his own abilities and his access to them. However, Oliver’s abilities are the direct reason for his solitude, as he is literally unable to stay in the presence of others because of them. He is separated form then solely because of his abilities.
Oliver speaks to the part of Sam that feel isolated from the people around him, but in him there exists a glimmer of hope that there is more out there for him.
Sam & Sunny
Technically, both Sunny and her father Chip, in 14x15 Peace of Mind, could qualify for this list. Both of them are powerful psychics with the ability to manipulate a whole town into adopting new identities and personalities, and even being able to kill them if they strayed. However, Sunny seems to appeal more to Sam’s story specifically, as she is the one who is uncertain about where she stands with her abilities. She is also uncertain about whether or not to choose her family or what she believes to be right, and ultimately decides on the latter.
Interestingly, we don’t see Sunny truly express her powers until the episode is almost over, when she uses them to cause permanent harm to her father. Here, he is about to kill Sam, after he has killed many others (including someone important to her), until she can’t take it anymore. She turns against him, breaking his mind with her own. She’s dangerous that way, but chooses not to use her powers unless she feels others are in danger too.
Like Sam, she sees her powers as a curse. Counter to Sam, however, is that it is he refusal to use them that separates her from her family. Finally embracing them, which she had not wanted to do, doesn’t do that either: instead, she uses her family curse to work against them and save the ones that they are hurting. While this does not parallel Sam directly, the situation does: a young person with powers they do not want in a family they feel that they don’t belong to sounds exactly like the setup young Sam faced in the earlier seasons. Her fear about her powers and their use also echo Sam’s own feelings, as well as the fear (realized) that doing so will turn her against her family.
Sunny speaks to the part of Sam that is scared of losing his family, of going too far to save them. And ultimately, he will do anything to save them.
Sam & Margaret & Kate
These are the first of the Lily Dale psychics that we’ll discuss today, and they’re an interesting case here. Starting with the obvious, there’s two of them: they’re two sisters, ghost psychics who are at odds with each other. One of them, Kate, is the more popular sister, and the more gifted one. After death, she appeared to help prospective victims of her sister before she was salted and burned for doing so. The other, Margaret, was less popular and less gifted, and held resentment for her sister for it. She was brought back as a ghost to kill, and she enjoyed it, before being stopped by Sam and Dean.
In a way, this may seem like a Sam and Dean parallel, and they could be. However, I’m going to suggest that they actually both represent different parts of Sam, different areas of his psyche. The first, Margaret, is his resentful side. The side that is angry, that wants to be unleashed, that wants to have his own successes. It also happens that this ghost is the evil one. The second, Kate, uses her powers to protect others, even from the people she loves. She is Sam’s self-sacrificial side, helping others at the extent of his own life. Interestingly enough, it is Sam who ultimately burns both of their bones, killing off both of these warring aspects of his personality.
Margaret and Kate speak to the part of Sam that is at at war with himself, with what he wants battling what he thinks is the right thing to do. Interestingly enough, neither side seems to win.
Sam & Jimmy
Another one of the Lily Dale psychics, Jimmy is unable to reconcile his abilities with his identity. As he lacks the personality for it, he is unable to make a living as a psychic despite having actual powers. Fake psychics, however, are able to do so because they have the showmanship for it. This makes Jimmy resentful, and he aims to make them pay for it with their lives. Here, Jimmy is trying his best to slot himself into his psychic-ness as he sees it, but cannot seem to manage it. The disconnect causes him turmoil, and he does whatever he can to reclaim this identity.
Interestingly, it’s Sam who has the lion’s share of interactions with him, and it’s Sam who ends up killing him. Sam kills almost all the real psychics in this episode, the people who are like him. It was in self defense, but it was still Sam who did it. Sam kills off the part of himself that desperately wants to hold on to his abilities, to his psychic identity, finally letting it go forever.
Jimmy speaks to the part of Sam that wants to have his powers, and wants them to belong to him. He makes sure to kill off that part of him as soon as possible, before it can hurt him or others around him.
Sam & Fred
Fred is a particularly interesting case. He is notable for being a well known psychic to Sam and Dean, familiar to them from their childhood. He was investigated and deemed to be good, safe, by the judge, jury, and executioners that are the hunting community. And thus, he was left alone to live his life until he grew old. He locked himself inside his own head, psychic powers drawing out the cartoon rules he loved so much, leaving him open to manipulation in order to hurt others. After being saved by the Winchesters, he asks them to take away his abilities, at great personal cost to himself. He is left totally unresponsive, but is happy with doing so.
The lesson here for Sam is quite clear. No matter how good you are as a person, your psychic powers can always be used, or manipulated, in order to be dangerous to others. The powers are a way for him to regress to his youth, and this is a scary notion to him. The lesson here is that you should shut down the parts of yourself you feel are scary or could hurt others, even if you yourself are dead. Locking yourself away is treated as a victory.
Fred speaks to the part of Sam that wants to forget, to get rid of the powers that could prove so dangerous without control. Fred is the justification that forgetting and ignoring his abilities is the right thing to do.
My 25th birthday celebration
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spn season 9 is so funny because Sam is like nooooo Dean im so pissed at you for the Gadreel thing we cant be brothers anymore.......we cant talk........and everything is all uncomfortable and then 3 seconds after Dean gets killed Sam is scraping together shit to summon Crowley and make a deal to bring him back.........literally this perpetual obsession with one another is chronic and unyielding in spite of any and all circumstances
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actually to elaborate on something very few care about i think sam and betty are very interesting characters to compare especially as they are both takes on the idea of rebelling against /not becoming your parents. very interesting because they start and go in completely opposite directions. betty is attracted to violence and crime, to rebel against what her mother expects of her, as a way to be the exact opposite of what she thinks her mother is like, only to go in the exact direction her mother ran away from (the southside, becoming a serpent, dating a jones etc etc). sam is the exact opposite because hes rebelling against the violence john raised him in, chosing completely differently a normal life, chosing to be kind on purpose, only to find out he cant run away from that life when his girlfriend endures the same tragedy his mother did, making him the same as his father on his quest for revenge. kind of similar to how betty cant outrun the inherent "evilness" that is in her genes, like sam was contaminated by the demon blood as a baby. its interesting to see both betty & sam as characters running away from their parents but also themselves
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top/bottom discourse in spn should really hinge not on stereotypes or canon but on which brother has the worst hemorrhoids after the years of long haul drives
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saw someone make a comment about how “there’s no proof sam winchester isn’t straight!!” and it made me realize how new this side of spn tumblr is to bi/pan/nonbinary/queer sam. the history of it, the evidence for it, and most importantly...how fun it can be!!
as someone who’s been in the trenches in both the samgirl/desticule side of tumblr over the years I thought it’d be fun to share some LGBT Sam Winchester History (Herstory? Theirstory???) for @spnprideweek and @transnaturalweek (both of which I’m super excited for!!)
disclaimer: it’s okay if you didn’t know these things before! a lot of destiel shippers got into supernatural for destiel. that’s not and shouldn’t be controversial? joining spn tumblr doesn’t come with a welcome pamphlet and it’s a show with 300+ episodes. people shouldn’t be expected to have analyzed every aspect of it and know every behind-the-scenes fact. people are STILL discovering new details even in 2021. this is not a “why isn’t anyone talking about this??” post (I hate those) but hopefully a "queer sam for newbies” for anyone new to it but still interested!
sam winchester: COULD he be any gayer??
writer and s6-s7 showrunner sera gamble supported a MLM reading of sam as early as s2, revealed in the commentary for the episode “bloodlust”. in the episode, sam has a flirtatious exchange with the bartender eli (coincidentally played by ty olsson, later known for playing benny.) however it’s implied that gamble was shut down as robert singer referred to her queer sam headcanons as nothing more than “sick twisted fantasies”.
there’s theories that the main character on sera gamble’s The Magicians is VERY similar to sam and this was sorta her way of having a queer sam-esque character (it is a good show, just know it does NOT end happy for the character in question.) the character of quentin doesn’t use any specific labels but is in relationships with men and women in the show all while being a floppy-haired, bookish but powerful nerd just like sam!
sam’s crossroad demons have been both male and female!
sam always refers to past love interests with gender neutral pronouns
when dean makes jokes like “could you be anymore gay?” sam actually looks pensive like “huh? COULD I be?” this is very much how I would respond to this kind of joke if my roommates made it and we are LITERALLY all queer
brady is referred to as sam’s demon lover (a throwaway joke but some deancas evidence is just throwaway jokes too so why not?)
some of the fun evidence we use for trans!dean (i.e. the photo ID that says “F” for birth sex) has also happened to sam
in general, sam’s story is just...queercoded af. “son is treated as wrong and a freak by his father until he leave home at the age of eighteen?” that’s queer baby!! and I get it, I too moved to college in a state I knew my family would never visit as soon as I could!! alexa play The Village by Wrabel!!
and lastly but most important (and I say this as a bi!dean truther because hello look at my blog)...at no point has sam ever said he is straight. dean has said they are (“we don’t swing that way” in response to victor henrickson) but sam never said anything regarding his sexuality!
are you into the idea of queer sam but don’t know where to start? here are some of my favorite arguments for the different readings along with some personal interpretations and headcanons!
why I think bi/pan/queer/labelless sam is sexy:
saileen, samruby and samjess all feel like bi4bi couples let’s be real here
demon lover brady could’ve actually been his demon lover! the trauma of your college boyfriend / probably first gay experience being a monster used against you??? lifelong disorders! this has the same angsty appeal as the “what if jess was secretly ruby all along” headcanons to me
sam’s not hung-up on any of the things dean is hung-up on. labels or orientations, he’s always been open to all of it. just like how sam can listen to a celine dion album or drink “vegetable water” without thinking twice about it. to me, it’s all about how sam has always been comfortable with his sexuality and it not being a big deal for him, and dean just...hasn’t lol.
sexualty is a spectrum! sam can still prefer women and if anything, it’ll explain WHY he is so good with women if he’s multisexual
while a lot of queer sam fans ship with him with castiel (and who can blame them, it’s CAS) there’s other cute boyfriends out there for him too:
max banes, the cool and canonically queer witch from s12. in their first scene together, he defends sam from a stranger asking about his trauma! a man that respects sam’s boundaries? sexy af. also witch!sam and max banes?? sexy af. in general there was so much more the show could’ve and should’ve done with the banes twins, and exploring that through sam’s pov would’ve been fascinating because you know he would try to help max & alicia and understand why he did what he did!
mick davies, aka sam’s “nerd soulmate” as dean refers to him. sam and mick get each other and bond over their love of learning and making the world of hunting a better place! mick even turns against the BMOL to side with them (but unfortunately dies before that can be realized.) oh, society if mick was resurrected instead of ketch and got to be nerdy bfs with sam...
brady the demon and/or human (a given)
crowley! this might be a “you had to be there” but pre-samwena and drowley summer of love, samcrowley (or moosely) was where it was AT baby!
and can’t forget ol’ gabriel the archangel. sabriel is a cheesy but classic “opposites attract” pairing that’s existed ever since sam puppy-dog eyed his way out of a timeloop and you know what? for good reason. two words: height differences.
sam being an ally isn’t nearly as fun to me as sam being out for years and just waiting for his idiot brother to catch up so he can get the stick out of his ass so he can then list of a list of microaggressions dean has made over the years. I think he deserves it.
why I think nonbinary/he & they sam is sexy:
again, the whole “not hung up on labels” thing. sam using gender neutral pronouns for his past relationships means it makes total sense for them to also refer to themselves with gender neutral pronouns.
a lot of sam’s journey on the show is about their body autonomy and lack thereof. to me, trans/nonbinary sam is just him reclaiming their body and making it their own again. whatever mother mother was singing about in “body” and ajj in “body terror song” but personified
sam/sammy is literally the perfect nonbinary name!! they struck the gender neutral name LOTTERY I’m so goddamn jealous
long hair, don’t care!! nonbinary people have the freedom to mix & match whatever gender expressions they want because they owe no one androgyny. I love the idea that sam’s always been into having more traditionally feminine hair that’s it’s become part of their identity, while dressing and presenting traditionally masculine otherwise.
sam’s actor has vocally supported it he/they sam headcanons! am I always his biggest fan? of course not! does it still matter just as much as jensen saying dean’s side of the confession is open to all interpretation? yes! actors do not make and cannot make anything canon, but being supportive of it IS still so nice and encouraging! can you imagine if misha hadn’t been so open to queer readings of cas? can you imagine if his support was taken away from you? it’d suck!
I’m samcoded and also a they/them, so like...they/them solidarity I guess???
why trans!femme sam is sexy (bonus points if it’s trans!lesbian sam):
basically everything about nonbinary sam but x100 and also sam wears cute skirts and dresses now
alternatively, they dress and look like my queen laura jane grace (punk trans!femme sam YES.) if you don’t know who she is, go to google images IMMEDIATELY.
why wait for your dream girl when you can BE your dream girl?
there’s so many goddamn cute hairstyles femme!sam can style her hair in, I’m sobbing even thinking about it
trans!femme AND witch!sam? best combination known to man, the POWER that has, the IMPACT that has---
sam does have lesbian energy. I don’t how to explain this. I just know it to be true. maybe it’s the vegetarianism? maybe it’s the fact that her sexy daydream about bela involves going down on her? anyways, all that matters is that eileen, jess, ruby, hell even rowena can now be lesbians with her and that’s what matters!
confessions of a teenage samgirl: I watched a lot of jennifer’s body a lot growing up and the feeling bloody megan fox gives me is not dissimilar to the feeling s4-s5 demon blood sam gives me. *closeted high schooler voice* I just think they’re neat!!!
trans!femme divorcing herself from not only her old self but her family’s obsession with toxic masculinity? *chef’s kiss*
why I think trans!masc sam is sexy:
see less love for this but so far every FTM Sam fic I’ve read has made me cry so that’s gotta be something right
speaking of “makes me cry”, THIS TRANS SAM COMIC BY @kimodraw MAKES ME FULL-ON SOB PLEASE READ IT
there’s lots of interesting show details that could be used as evidence just like trans!dean headcanons (sam being called “samantha” in mostly derogatory manners being deadnaming, the F on his ID that one time, etc.)
sam going from Baby Boy to Buff AF? that’s just the T!
the john, sam and dean dynamic is only intensified if he was seen as the precious daughter that must be protected (and not as a living person) and adds even more layers when sam return to the family as a man
sam coming to embrace who he is in college, jess being openly supportive of sam as soon as he comes out, jess joining sam on his appointment to get his top surgery, jess proudly loving her boyfriend as the man he’s grown to become...goddamn it I’m crying again...
I don’t have anything to offer in the Gay/Ace/Aro Sam departments, but my inbox is open to anyone passionate about it who want to talk about it (or anyone who has anything to add here!!)
final argument: what queer!sam adds to destiel because they can (and should!) coexist!
“I’ve been out since Standford” Sam can judge dean for still being hung up on his outdated ideas of masculinity, sexuality, etc. (which he does anyways! now he just has more reason to!)
all of TFW and their friends being LGBT only makes sense because gay people tend to flock to each other like magnets!! science cannot explain this!! all but one of my friends I knew in high school / college has since come out as something!! even one we joked was the token straight realized they were ace this year!! it never stops!!!
the impala is basically now just the “down with cis” car
the chaos of sam and cas’s friendship is not only explained if they’re both queer but ELEVATED
jack gets THREE gay dads!! the literal dream
when dean does come out, he still has the most supportive brother in his corner ready to help him be more accepting of himself...but also to help educate him on queer issues because let’s be real, dean has some learning (and unlearning) to do. charlie and sam are preparing a powerpoint as we SPEAK.
sam, dean, and adam all being lgbt??? john winchester’s worst nightmare baby!
at the end of the day, they are literally all fictional and this is a sandbox in which we can do whatever we want! no one wins by keeping someone from headcanoning a character as any form of LGBTQIA, but we do have fun to gain! anyways, excited to see y’alls queer & trans spn posts this month. 🙌
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something about john giving sam all the tools to be the worst version of the evil he’s so scared of......
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