Dean Winchester

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Needs Less Canon: This article includes too much canon detail for the amount of fannish content given. Please add fannish context or remove unneeded trivia. Although a brief overview of canon is welcome, the focus of every page should be about the fandom; canon details are important if they can be associated with a particular fannish activity, fanwork, or fannish event. See What Fanlore is not for more information.

Name: Dean Winchester
Occupation: Hunter
Location: Lebanon, Kansas
Status: Alive
Relationships: Older brother of Sam Winchester, older half brother of Adam Milligan-Winchester, son of Mary and John Winchester, etc.
Fandom: Supernatural
Other: Played by the actor Jensen Ackles as an adult, by Ridge Canipe as a child, by Brock Kelly and Dylan Everett as a teen, and by Chad Everett as an elderly man.
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Dean Winchester, art by Bohemian Weasel

Dean Winchester is one of the three main characters of the long-running television series Supernatural. Dean and his younger brother, Sam, hunt demons, werewolves, vampires, and other supernatural creatures across the United States. Their best friend Castiel also helps sometimes. They are frequently in conflict with the forces of Heaven and Hell, sometimes aided by their frenemy Crowley.

Dean drives a black four-door hardtop 1967 Chevy Impala, which fanon has dubbed the Metallicar. He calls her "baby" and is very committed to her.

Dean has been described as confident, brash, crude, protective, brave, emotional, sensitive, adventurous, obedient, loyal and witty.

Canon Character Arc

Eric Kripke has said that he modeled Dean off of Star Wars character Han Solo. In seasons one and two, Dean's character arc involved reuniting with his younger brother Sam after several years, their search for their missing father, and their ongoing hunt for the demon that killed their mother and Sam's girlfriend. Dean's motivation in the first two seasons is to protect Sam and to make sure that he doesn't succumb to darkness due to the fact that Azazel has big, dark plans for Sam and for the other children who possess psychic abilities.

Dean's devotion to his family is showcased again and again, including his guilt over his father, who sold his soul so Dean would live. At the end of season two, Sam dies unexpectedly, and Dean decides that he is unable to live without Sam and sells his own soul to a crossroads demon to bring Sam back to life. At the end of season three, Dean dies and goes to Hell as stipulated in the deal. The angel Castiel resurrects him in season four, and he angsts about having spent part of his time in Hell torturing other souls and enjoying it.

Seasons four and five show the breakdown of and attempted repairs to Dean's relationship with Sam. Dean also spends a lot of time resenting his role in the grand master plan for the world. It is discovered in season five that Dean is meant to be the vessel for archangel Michael in order to defeat (or kill) Sam, who is the destined vessel for Lucifer. Dean and Sam's relationship parallel's Michael and Lucifer; like Dean, Michael is the dutiful older brother. Because Dean refuses to be a vessel, Michael uses Dean's younger half-brother, Adam, instead. At the end of season five when Sam jumps into the pit dragging Michael/Adam in with him and sacrifices himself to save the world, Dean lives a normal life with Lisa and Ben for a year (until Sam returns in season six).

In season eight, Dean gets stuck in Purgatory with Castiel and Benny.

In Fanon and Fanworks

Dean is frequently noted for crying prettily, including often shedding a single perfect tear[1], as evidenced in several picspams.[2] He is often the ultimate woobie in the majority of Supernatural fanworks, and in reviews of especially woobie-riffic fic, he may be referred to as D:ean (sadface D Dean).

Many Supernatural fanfic writers write gen stories with a strong focus on the close, intense, emotional brotherly (but non-sexual/non-romantic) relationship between Sam and Dean.

Dean appears in slash, het, and gen fanfic.

In regards to top/bottom dynamics (mainly regarding anal sex) within most Supernatural fanfic, Dean is generally portrayed as the bottom/uke, including in both slash and het fic. In Wincest fanfic, the majority of fics and fanfic writers frequently portray Dean as the bottom/submissive/gentle partner and Sam as the top/dominant/aggressive partner. There are many different reasons as to why Dean is frequently portrayed as the submissive/bottom in the overwhelming majority of Supernatural fanfic, but some of the reasons for this could include Dean being given the established role of nurturer, protector and caretaker of people (mostly of Sam since childhood), being the obedient, loyal son who followed his father's orders, Dean frequently shown to be emotionally sensitive, vulnerable and fragile and his submissive, gentle sexual style/canon sex scenes on the show with women.

Common Pairings

Dean's most frequent and popular slash pairings in fanworks are Sam/Dean aka Wincest and Dean/Castiel. Dean/Castiel first appeared in fanwork after the angel Castiel was introduced in season 4 and later became a series regular. Dean/Castiel is also known as Destiel. A more recent ship is Dean/Crowley, aka Drowley, which became more popular after season 10.

Dean is also paired with the Impala (see Dean Winchester/Impala pairing page), both in circumstances where Sam was possessing the Impala, and where the car was just the car.[3] Sometimes Dean is paired with both Sam and the Impala. [4]

Dean is also featured in het fic, with the most frequent pairings consisting of Dean/Jo and Dean/Lisa.


SuperWolf is also a popular crossover with Dean usually taking the role of hunter in the Teen Wolf universe against the werewolves.

He's sometimes paired with Faith from Buffy the Vampire Slayer in both fic & art.

In some fanfictions and fanvideos, Dean gets paired with Elena Gilbert from The Vampire Diaries.

Dean-centric Fanvids


Dean strongly values his family (especially Sam) and their safety more than anything else, even going so far as to kill the human host of a demon in order to save Sam's life, as well as selling his own soul to save Sam's life.

Dean Winchester was born January 24, 1979 in Lawrence, Kansas. When he's not hunting, Dean seems to spend most of his time and energy going through the motions of the sort of adolescent rebellion he couldn't actually afford to have as an adolescent. He wears a leather jacket, roars around the highways in a black muscle car, blasts head-banger music, flirts crudely with every half-way attractive woman he meets, and mouths off to cops and other authority figures. I suspect that the only reason he doesn't ride a motorcycle is that he needs a trunk to keep the guns in.
A lot of this behavior comes from a conscious rejection of the "normal life" his brother is so anxious to embrace. Dean is well aware that by the standards of conventional society he's trash, a scruffy unemployed drifter whose worldly belongings all fit into the trunk of his car, and he chooses to embrace his outsider, loner status. He cheerfully refers to himself as "a freak" and claims he'd rather kill himself than live in a nice house with a white picket fence, the complete opposite of Sam, who has always openly desired a normal family and life, something that Sam was deprived of since childhood. "I'll take our family over normal any day," Dean says in "Bugs." How much of this is genuine and how much of this is a defense mechanism? Ask ten people in the fandom, and you're likely to get eleven different answers.[5]

External Links


  1. TV Trope A Single Tear
  2. Such as Dean crying Picspam! by moondropz 12 November 2009, (Accessed 25 April 2011) and 20 Favourite Dean Winchester Faces by bellanut, 12 December 2007, (Accessed 25 April 2011).
  3. Works tagged Impala/Dean Winchester at AO3.
  4. Works tagged Impala/Dean Winchester/Sam Winchester at AO3.
  5. From the essay on Dean by marinarusalka at Idol Reflection