#TT: The transformation of the Winchester brothers’ relationship throughout 12 seasons of Supernatural


Photo Credit: Supernatural/The CW Image Acquired from CW TV PR

Can you believe Supernatural is going into its 13th season? The relationship of the brothers has helped to cement the show in our hearts, but it’s definitely changed over the years.

Whenever I rewatch Supernatural from the very beginning, the relationship between the brothers always stands out. It was clear they were estranged but they deeply cared for one another at the same time. They wanted different things from life and neither could understand the others’ wants and dreams. Yet, they went ahead with their lives and tried to support each other.

Over the first few seasons, we learned more about the brothers as they learned more about each other. Dean was shocked to learn Sammy had visions, while Sam didn’t realize Dean had ever been in love. But one thing stood out amongst it all throughout those early years: the dedication to each other.

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Dean wouldn’t let Sam down without a fight. Sam wasn’t just going to be the one that always needed saving. They worked together and gelled as a team, as we as fans got to know more about their personalities, back stories, and lives.

Here’s a look at the transformation of the Winchesters’ relationship throughout 12 seasons of Supernatural.

Seasons 1-3: The discovery

The first three seasons was about the discovery of the characters. We did that through the brothers. After four years apart, Dean found himself needing Sam’s help to find their dad. Soon Sam’s life crashed around him, as his fiancée was killed by the same demon that had killed the Winchesters’ mom.

As they grew closer, we grew closer and fell deeper into the SPNFamily. We found a bond that could be broken by distance or heartache.

Seasons 4-5: Trust and support

In the next two years, the brothers went through a turbulent time. Dean returned from Hell, struggling to cope with everything he had done. Meanwhile, Sam struggled with his addiction to demon blood and the power it gave him.

Photo Credit: Supernatural/The CW Image Acquired from CW TV PR

At first they started drifting apart, but they were pulled back together. Trips to the past, meeting a new (although deceased) brother, and seeing the dark future that threatened to come helped to pull the Winchesters back together. They mourned over the loss of close friends and found strength within each other to make it through.

It was arguably the hardest two years for the Winchesters, but they got through it. Even if it was with the sad ending that could have been an epic but traumatic Series Finale.

Seasons 6-8: Finding each other again

The next set of years weren’t easy for the Winchesters. Sam was trapped inside Lucifer’s cage and pulled out without a soul. Dean had to leave his apple pie life and arrange for memories to be wiped to protect people he cared deeply about. The Winchesters were pulled from one big bad to another, with sometimes only each other to turn to.

These three seasons were about finding each other again. They needed to learn to trust in one another once more. It cumulated to Sam realizing that his biggest sin was letting his brother down and Dean’s monumental line:

"“Don’t you dare think that there is anything, past or present, that I would put in front of you.”"

The three years weren’t just turbulent for the brothers. They were turbulent for us as fans. Some of the seasons stagnated and we wondered whether the show would pick up the juice it had in the earlier years. We stuck with the brothers though and connected with the new people they had become.

Seasons 9-11: Struggling with the darkness within

Despite the epic line from the Supernatural Season 8 finale, the Winchesters’ relationship didn’t stay on track. There was plenty of angst and drama in the next three seasons. Dean gained the Mark of Cain, Sam made a decision that led to the death of the best character ever, and the relationship suffered more blows than ever before.

By the end of Season 11, it was difficult to watch as the brothers were far from the men they were in the earlier seasons. Sure they had grown up and been through apocalypse after apocalypse, but they never seemed to learn from mistakes or sacrifices. Time and time again, they questioned each other and wouldn’t trust the others’ judgment.

Season 12: The turning point

Finally, in Season 12, we saw a spark of the relationship we had back in Season 1-3. They began to rely on one another again and trust plans. The two even stood on the same side (initially) when Mary Winchester returned and told them she was working with the Men of Letters.

Photo Credit: Supernatural/The CW Image Acquired from CW TV PR

When Sam did decide to join the British Men of Letters, fans expected Dean to fly off the handle. Instead, he gave his brother the benefit of the doubt. He agree to work with them for the time being. The two made a pact and actually followed through with it.

When it came to Sam leading hunters to take down the Men of Letters, Dean stood back and allowed him. He never jumped in and questioned the plan; all the while gaining Sam’s support to help save their mom. It was the emotional moment fans had waited 12 seasons for.

Next: #TT: The journey of Sam Winchester's hair throughout Supernatural

Supernatural Season 13 looks to put the Winchesters against each other again. Both are on different sides when it comes to Jack and Mary. Will they be able to push past their differences or will we see that relationship break down again? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Supernatural Season 13 returns on Oct. 12 on The CW.