The Answer is Dean
If you had to choose one person for whom the story of Supernatural is about, who would it be? At first, you might be led to believe it’s about Sam. After all, the first couple seasons revolve around him and his problems. Avenging his girlfriend’s death, going dark side, finding out he’s destined to be Lucifer’s meat suit. But what if I told you that you were wrong?
Supernatural is a story about Dean. Dean Winchester. The eldest sibling, the surrogate father figure, the one who literally went to hell and back for his family. The story is about him. You’ll see as you carefully pick through the show that everything is a result of him.
From the Beginning
Supernatural would have been the solo adventures of Dean Winchester if Dean hadn’t gone home to pick up his little brother, Sam. Perhaps it would have started off instead with his father being around, teaching him. Then pops suddenly disappeared, leaving Dean on his own trying to find him. However, in reality, Dean decided to bring Sam along for the ride. He easily could have decided not to.
It could be argued that the events of Jessica’s death could have pushed Sam into hunting on his own. Just like his father before him, he wouldn’t rest until he got his revenge. He might have sought out Dean instead of the other way around. That would have been what made Supernatural truly Sam’s story. Instead, it is Dean that first pushes Sam back to hunting because he doesn’t want to be alone.
Even as their journey continues, it is Dean who takes the spotlight. John entrusts Dean with the knowledge of who Sam really is and later trades his own life for Dean’s. Dean is the one who ends up killing Yellow Eyes. The eldest keeps trying to save his little brother from the dark side. To top it off, when you point the finger at who is to blame for the apocalypse, it’s actually Dean. Sam might have lined up all the pieces, but it’s Dean’s breaking point that actually jump-starts it all.
There is No Story Without Dean
It was Sam who gathered up the strength to temporarily disable Lucifer so he could jump in the cage, but it was Dean who gave Sam the power to do so. When Sam is released from the cage, it’s a full year before Dean knows about it. But where does the story pick up? When Dean finds out his brother is alive. It’s clear: there’s no adventure worth watching without Dean.
A true turning point that diverts the story away from Sam is that Sam eventually lets Dean go. Sam tried to save Dean from death before, however, when Dean disappeared after killing the head Leviathan, Sam stopped fighting. Sam didn’t try to resurrect his brother. The story of Supernatural would have ended there if Dean hadn’t forced his way back. Dean saved the story.
Yeah, Dean technically let Sam go first when he was trapped in the cage, but the difference is that Sam didn’t return on his own as Dean did. Dean had time to accept the cage plan and let Sam go, whereas Dean getting trapped in purgatory was sudden and unexplained. Sam let Dean go without knowing if he was dead or just missing.
Again and again, the story revolves around Dean. When he’s sent to Purgatory we see his plight there before we ever find out what Sam was up to. Dean ends up with the mark of Cain. Even with Season 14, everything is about Dean. His destiny as Michael’s sword, his struggle with being possessed by an angel, his strength to face his fears.
Dean is the Universe’s Favorite
Let’s not forget that Dean is not only the center of the story but the center of attention. Castiel rebelled against heaven and fell for Dean. Crowley took Dean under his wing when he became a demon and has been bromancing him ever since.
Dean is not only a favorite of God’s creation, but God’s sister, Amara “The Darkness,” also has a huge crush on him. She rewards him with the thing he always wanted: his mom, Mary. Mother Mary wouldn’t be back in the story without Dean’s love for her.
And let’s not forget that the original Death tolerates him more than he tolerates most other “insects.” Even the new Death, Billie, is on his side. Everything always turns up Dean over and over again.
So, I’ll ask you again, if you had to choose, who would be the protagonist of Supernatural? Let us know in the comments below!