On first impression, Sam appears to be little more than an exceptionally tall backwoods hunter. He lives his life in jeans, t-shirts, flannel shirts, the occasional leather jacket. Oh, and weapons. Unless you see him without a shirt, you might miss the sculpted muscles beneath the flannel facade. Unless you talk to him, you might miss the intelligence and compassion in his eyes. If you catch him sweeping his bangs out of his face or, unlikely enough, smiling, you might catch the last fleeting glimmers of his boyish innocence, broken at the gates of Hell.
If for some reason, he draws himself up to his full height and his gaze narrows, take a step back unless you're prepared to go toe-to-toe with a bull moose. When he forgets to be awkward, Sam takes up a hell of a lot of space, and he's clearly not someone to trifle with.
Sam Winchester hates Harry Potter, and not just because Dean insisted on dragging him to the movie and calling him The Boy Who Lived fifty times a day for the next week. Harry Potter represents everything Sam doesn't want to be: a hero in spite of himself, a boy important because of something someone else did, the Griffyndor who could as easily be a Slytherin (even though in Sam's case it's a Ravenclaw; Dean's the Griffyndor) a legend, different. (According to canon, this is no longer true, but canon is wrong.) Sam wanted to be normal. He ached to be normal. To have a good job, doing good things for good, sane, normal people, or maybe oppressed people. To have the luxury to play soccer with his kids, take his wife out for nice, genteel anniversaries dinners, buy her diamonds and support the Sierra Club.
What Sam doesn't want is to be the Boy King, the Anti-Christ, the leader of the demon armies - that's right, he can't even be a normal hunter, whatever that would be. Because the Winchester boys are trouble. Their daddy was trouble and now they're worse, and Sam's the worst of all. There's something not quite right about that boy, special powers, psychic abilities. He dreams the future and there's always blood.
Sam wishes it could be different. He wishes Dean could have a life, be a fireman, have a pretty nurse for a wife, a son like Ben, anything but the life he didn't even choose for himself but got thrust on him by their dad. Dean's been a soldier his whole life, and Sam wishes, he wishes with all his heart that his brother could have what he wants. Because he has to want something for himself, doesn't he? He can't be nothing but his duty to protect his brother and care for him, can he?
All of that's gone now, and Sam knows it. They can't ever go back. He can't ever be that man, and if he's honest with himself, he never could have been. But now there's nothing left of that Sam. No thinking about what comes after or what could be. Can't dream about better days; it hurts too much; it's a distraction. He'll do whatever it takes to get Dean out of that deal. Fix where it went wrong and break that contract, even if it means embracing the demon blood in his veins, embracing everything he's never wanted to be.
Nothing else matters. Not the hunting, not the normal life he wanted, and definitely not the girls Dean's always tried to set him up with. It's all focus and attention, research. Polite smiles for the waitresses in the diners, strong handshakes for the people he helps along the way. Then back to the motel room to read, to poke around the internet for that one random joker who isn't joking at all and maybe knows some hoodoo that can get it done.
It's not that Sam doesn't care about those other people, the ones he saves. He does. He cares a lot. Maybe too much. About all of them, but especially the ones who're like him or touch him. About Ava and Madison and Lenore, and Andy and Jake. Sad, isn't it, that all of them but Lenore are dead. That's why he can't right now, he just can't. There's no room to think of anyone but Dean. Because if he fails - and he's not going to fail, failure's not an option - Dean's going to stay in Hell and it'll be his fault.
Just like his mom. Just like Jess. Just like Ava, Andy, Jake, Madison... It'll be his fault, because he's The Boy Who Lived. Twice.
Skills & Abilities
Sam possesses psychokinesis, precognition, eventually exorcism/killing demons with his mind, and other abilities possessed by demons developing more slowly than canon through application of practice, magic and exchange of bodily fluids with demon types.
A walking encyclopedia of weirdness, Sam has an exceptional but not eidetic memory. He's proficient with Latin, has some background in Hebrew, Aramaic, and other languages commonly used for arcane writings and spells. He has not insubstantial skill as a hacker, and other low-level con skills like identity theft.
Not as good of a marksman as Dean, Sam is still a very good shot, proficient with a variety of projectile and bladed weapons. Although he most often serves as the show's damsel in distress, when it suits the plot, he seems to be capable of defending himself and Dean in hand-to-hand combat. He is a brutal rather than skilled fighter, physically and mentally strong, and willing to injure himself to end a fight.
- the Colt, because he needs it to threaten and kill demons who won't free Dean
- Dad's hunting journals and his own, because the world wouldn't seem right without them
- his laptop and an internet connection, even if he has to bring his own.
- saving Dean
- saving everyone else he can
- words - books, crossword puzzles, research
- stubborn as hell
- angrier than hell
- more arrogant than hell
No, really. He leaned into all of them to shut the Gates of Hell.
Sam Winchester, born May 2, 1983 to John and Mary Winchester of Lawrence, Kansas. The bedroom burned up on the night of his sixth-month birthday. The local firemen will tell you it was the damnedest thing, an accident caused by bad wiring or they don't know what, a fluke. A tragedy, sure, but there was nothing anyone could do, and John Winchester oughtta have accepted it, moved on and taken care of those poor boys. Or someone maybe oughtta have taken them away to their kin, because John Winchester, bless him, was never right after that night, and his boys paid the price.
But there was no fluke to that damned fire. No accident about seeing his wife burning up on ceiling, bleeding from her womb. And there was sure as hell no way back to normal after sending his four year-old out the front door, running with his baby brother in his arms and holding on like Sam was the air he breathed. It wasn't a mistake, and John was gonna get the sonuvabitch who did this to his Mary. That yellow-eyed sonuvabitch was going to pay.
He did pay, twenty-some years later, John dead and Dean shooting him in the eyes with the Colt John found. John'd say that was well done, pat his boys on the back, and tell 'em to get on to the next job, and Dean would happily go. Because, as Sam tells it, they were raised like warriors. When he told his dad he was scared of the thing in his closet, John gave him a .45. He was nine years old. And Dean didn't think there was anything wrong with that, but Sam did.
Unlike his brother who followed in their dad's footsteps, eating up everything John would teach him about demons, werewolves, wendigos and things that go bump in the night, Sam tried to have a normal life. He went to school, played soccer, got straight As despite moving around. He even got a scholarship to Stanford and built a life with a girlfriend and normal friends who didn't talk about how to melt silver to make bullets and didn't put salt by the door when the weather patterns changed.
Just days before his interview for Stanford Law, his 174 on the LSAT and grades putting the future he craved on a silver platter, Dean came breezing back into his life. After four years of nothing, there was his brother saying "it's Dad, he's gone" and hitting on Jess in her smurf pajamas like he'd never been gone, and expecting Sam to just pack up and help him. Then Dean said he needed him, and what was Sam supposed to do? Just leave him standing there, Dad maybe dead, and Dean on his doorstep with that damned Impala?
He went, but on the condition he got home in time for his interview. Dean said sure, okay, but when they'd laid to rest the Woman in White, Dean said, "we made a good team back there," and Sam couldn't disagree. He missed his brother, but he didn't want that life. He wanted law school and Jess, and the white picket fence - the life he and Dean never had, and he was going to have it.
Until Jess burned up on the ceiling, same as mom, and Sam's been riding with Dean ever since. Killing Wendigos, laying ghosts, chasing Azazel the yellow-eyed demon and their dad right along with him. The first year it was all about learning it again, brushing up his skills, trying not to punch Dean for being a bossy piece of shit. One time, he almost left. Turned around for a bus back to California with Meg, the pretty blonde girl he met who seemed to understand him, get everything about him. Wouldn't you know it she was a demon, and Dean almost died before Sam got worried about him not answering the phone and went back. Norse harvest gods are nothing to mess with; they take their sacrifices seriously.
They found their dad, killed some vampires, got the Colt, then Dad split again. Left them to be bait for Yellow Eyes and keep him distracted. It worked, except for how he and Dean got sucked into Meg's trap and Dad had to rescue them. He had to rescue Dean twice, because after they got the hell out of there, they got hit by a semi. Dean was dying, and Sam didn't need a Ouija board to know it. But their brotherly bond helped them work together to stave off the Reaper - at least they thought so. But it was really Dad, making a deal with a demon. His life and the Colt for Dean's.
Like it wasn't bad enough that Dad died, he told Dean something about Sam. Something Dean wouldn't tell him, not right away. Not until Sam dragged it out of him. Then he found out there was something wrong with him, something really wrong. And if Dean could save him, Dean was going to have to kill him. Sam tried to deal with that on his own, tried to find out why he started having visions of people dying. That didn't turn out so well, even if he did drop a dime on Gordon to the police instead of ending up dead in Gordon's explosion.
That year ended up pretty much like the last, only worse. Because this time it was Sam who died - in a camp full of demon kids in some twisted psychic kill or be killed version of Survivor. Yeah, Yellow Eyes said Sam was his favorite, but it was Jake who won. Jake, who'd seemed like a damned good guy before the demon got to him, knifed Sam in the back. And Dean who held him while he died.
He should've just let go. Dean should've just let him die, you know? But Dean, still aching over what Dad did for him, he couldn't just let Sam die. Even though he was supposed to kill him if he couldn't save him, and even though Sam was Yellow Eyes heir apparent. No, Dean couldn't leave well enough alone. He made a deal with the Crossroads Demon. His life for Sam's. Not even a good deal. A shitty deal. One year, and if he tried to wriggle out in any way, then Sam would drop where he stood, a rotting piece of meat.
Just like that, Sam was back, and they closed Hell's Gates but not before hundreds of demons escaped. One good thing happened that night. Yellow Eyes died. Bullet through the skull from the Colt. And they saw Dad again. He made it out of hell at least. So that wasn't bad either, and at least Dean was letting him help. Not like Sam was giving him a choice in it, but it's good, you know, that Dean wasn't fighting him so hard on it. Sam figures Dean's scared, and, dude, he should be.
Sam was scared, scared of doing this without Dean. No, not scared. Worried. Worried about what he'd become, worried he'd become what they hunt, and not the cute Psychic Wonder version, either. But now he's not scared, or worried, or anything except focused. Determined. Dean brought him back, and he'll bring Dean back if he has to drag him out of Hell himself.
But there's still time. So, after they've ended the fairy tale menace in Maple Springs, New York, Sam offers the Crossroads Demon an ultimatum: "You can let Dean out of his deal right now. He lives, I live... you live, everyone goes home happy. Or you stop breathing permanently." Sam arrives at the Madonna Inn just minutes after shooting her with the Colt. (Bedtime Stories, Season 3x05).
Story So Far
A year into his stay at the Inn, Sam's been through a grandfather, a brother, and a girlfriend. It really didn't take him long of feeding Rebekah Mikaelson to fall in love with her, but when does it ever take Sam long to fall in love? It took him longer to accept Henry Winchester and longer still to let go of his quest to get Dean out of his deal. But then Dean disappeared and then Henry and then Rebekah, and Sam was alone again. Ish. Because River Tam decided they both needed brothers, so she should move in with him. It stuck.
Because Rebekah hadn't been gone a month when he started feeding Caroline Forbes and sleeping with Bo Dennis. Then Kashaw Vesh
hurt Molly Carpenter and he was sleeping with her, too. By the time Mary Winchester showed up, he was feeding Caroline blood, Bo chi, and Molly a steady diet of affection. Dean Winchester came again at New Year's along with an almost-clone named Alec McDowell and somehow Sam was juggling three women.
In February 2018, Sam and Bo got serious. Caroline noped out. And Molly opted in with a Soulgaze and more strings than before. Sam's working on his relationship with his mom and his brother. Trying to figure out being poly. And has somehow managed to charm Illyana Rasputin into not eating him alive. Some days, the least complicated relationship he has is with River. And that? Is saying something.
- Acquaintances (aka People Sam Thinks He Needs to Protect)
pretty much everyone. If you want to have met him, feel free.