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Dean comes from a long line of hunters dating back to at least the early 17th century where his ancestors were hacking the heads of vampires on the Mayflower. Dean was born January 24, 1979 to John and Mary Winchester. He is the couple’s older child, and has two siblings, Sam, who is four years younger, and Adam, the illegitimate son of John Winchester and a woman he saved.1 This half brother is discovered in the fourth season in the episode “Jump the Shark”. Dean was named after his maternal grandmother Deanna Campbell (and possibly himself, as seen in the episode “In the Beginning”), while his brother was named after his maternal grandfather, Samuel Campbell.
Dean drives a black four-door hardtop 1967 Chevy Impala (given to him by his father), and is a fan of classic rock music and heavy metal. He says his favorite song is a tie between Led Zeppelin’s “Ramble On” and “Traveling Riverside Blues.”2
Until recently, Dean always wore a metal amulet3, on a long black cloth band necklace. In “A Very Supernatural Christmas,” the necklace is revealed to have been a gift from Sam on Christmas Day, 1991. The amulet was originally meant for John and obtained from Bobby Singer, but after their father failed to come home for Christmas (as always), Sam gave it to Dean instead, saying “Dad lied to me; I want you to have it,” because Dean had tried to give him a good Christmas. In Season 5, it was revealed that the amulet can detect God’s presence; Castiel borrows it from Dean to track God on Earth. After finding out in “Dark Side of the Moon” that God refuses to help in the fight against Lucifer, Castiel returns it to Dean, who drops it into a trashcan.
In addition to the amulet, up until the fifth season episode “Changing Channels,” Dean always wore a silver ring on his right ring finger. He sports a MTM-Special Ops Watch (The Black Patriot Model) and wears it in the fourth season with a Velcro band. He also has a small black tattoo on the upper left side of his chest; it is a protective plated pentagram with rays of the sun surrounding it. The symbol is said to ward off demonic possession.
Dean appears to be a fan of Jack Nicholson, and possibly watches Oprah. He tends to make light of some of his and Sam’s adventures, and is known to use crude humor and make sexual innuendos. Despite being in excellent physical shape, Dean is known to have very bad eating habits. He is often shown enjoying greasy, fattening, or otherwise unhealthy food, especially cheeseburgers; this is in stark contrast to Sam, who often favors a healthier diet and usually expresses either amazement or disgust at the food Dean eats. Dean is terrified of flying, and claims that it is the reason why he drives everywhere.
Despite his working knowledge of the afterlife, Dean is skeptical towards believing in the “good aspects of religion,” while he may believe in demons he claims angels don’t exist as he only believes in what he can see. However he becomes more open minded after meeting Castiel.1
Dean values his family 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.
As the season begins, the brown haired Dean at the age of 26, is a hunter; he hunts and kills supernatural monsters. Usually, he is with his father John, but sometimes goes by himself. When his father goes missing, Dean asks for Sam’s help to find him. They go in search of their father, saving people from the supernatural along the way, but at the end of the first episode, Sam’s girlfriend Jessica Moore dies the same way as their mother did.
In the episode “Skin,” Dean and Sam battle a shapeshifter responsible for a string of brutal murders in St. Louis, Missouri. During the course of the episode, the shapeshifter assumes Dean’s form, causing police to believe that Dean is responsible for the murders. However, Dean kills the shapeshifter while it is still in his form; the authorities officially declare him dead and pin the murders on him.
John finally contacts the boys, revealing that he has been away from them because he is tracking the demon that killed their mother and, for the first time, has some really good leads. His affection for his sons could be used against him, so he wants them away from him. However, the family unites as they come into possession of the Colt, a special revolver which John says can kill anything, including demons. The season finale concludes with Sam, Dean, and John escaping from their clash with Azazel, the yellow-eyed demon. While Sam is driving an injured Dean and John to a hospital, a demon-possessed driver drives his semi truck into the Impala, causing massive damage to the car and the Winchesters inside.
All three of the Winchesters survive the wreck, although Dean is more severely injured than his father or brother. In the season premiere “In My Time of Dying,” Dean is in a coma. A reaper named Tessa tries to convince him to move on and accept his death as it is his time to die and warns him that, if he refuses, he will most likely become one of the vengeful spirits he and his family have so often fought. In order to save him, John makes a deal with Azazel, trading his life for Dean’s. When Dean wakes from his coma, virtually injury-free, he has no memory of his time with Tessa; he does, however, comment later that, when he woke up, it felt wrong. John whispers something in Dean’s ear which the audience cannot hear, then walks into another room and dies.
Throughout the first half of the second season, Dean struggles with the death of his father, as well as with the knowledge that he was the one who was supposed to have died, and the belief that his father is now in Hell. Furthermore, he is haunted by his father’s last words to him. At the midpoint of the season, it is revealed that John told Dean that Azazel intends to turn Sam evil and, if Dean cannot save Sam, Dean must kill his brother.
During an investigation in Baltimore, Maryland in “The Usual Suspects,” Dean is arrested in connection with another series of murders. It is revealed that Dean has a rather impressive police record, with charges over the years including credit card fraud, breaking and entering, and grave desecration. Although Sam and Dean are able to prove that the murders were actually committed by one of the detectives on the case, it is unclear whether or not the charges against Dean are ever officially dropped. However, since the authorities now know that Dean is not dead, as they had previously believed, he is again wanted for the murders committed by the shapeshifter. In “Nightshifter,” a team of FBI agents, led by Special Agent Victor Henricksen, catches up with Dean and Sam in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where an attempted bank robbery and several more murders are added to Dean’s list of supposed crimes, thanks to another shapeshifter.
At the end of “All Hell Breaks Loose, Part 1,” Sam is stabbed by Jake Talley, another of Azazel’s “psychic children,” and dies in Dean’s arms. Crushed by Sam’s death, Dean summons a Crossroads demon and trades his soul for Sam’s life, the bill to come due in one year. Dean wants to keep the knowledge of his deal from Sam, but Sam quickly figures it out and vows to get Dean out of the deal, no matter what. As the second season ends, Dean kills Azazel with the Colt, but not before Azazel has a Hell’s gate opened, allowing hundreds of demons to escape from Hell as well as a number of non-demonic souls, including that of their father, with whom they share an emotional moment before he disappears in a glow of light. Dean and Sam must now hunt down all of the escaped demons, as well as find a way to save Dean from dying in a year’s time.
In the third season premiere “The Magnificent Seven,” Dean decides to make the best of his final year, indulging in many pleasures and refusing to even think about saving himself, while Sam tries desperately to find a loophole in the Crossroads demon’s deal. While searching for escaped demons to send back to Hell, Sam encounters Ruby, a mysterious blonde who assists him but who also informs him that, for some reason, demons are killing all of his mother’s old acquaintances. Sam learns that Ruby is a demon, and she promises him help in freeing Dean from his contract. She “fixes” the Colt so that it can again kill “anything” and also shows them a knife in her possession that can kill anything. Later, Dean and Sam learn from Ruby that all demons used to be human, but had their humanity burned away slowly in the fires of Hell. Dean begins to train Sam to fight demons alone once he is gone.
During the course of the season, the brothers meet up with another beautiful woman, Bela Talbot, numerous times. Bela acquires magical objects and sells them for a large profit, and is unscrupulous and seemingly amoral. In “Dream a Little Dream of Me,” when Bobby falls into a coma, Sam and Dean investigate the murder of a scientist. In the course of viewing Dean’s dreams, it becomes clear that Dean believes that Sam was their father’s favorite, but only thought of Dean as a tool. Dean encounters a future, demonic version of himself in a nightmare, which shocks him into starting to fight for his life and to realize he is not worthless. After waking up, Dean admits to Sam that he doesn’t want to die. Meanwhile, Bela steals the Colt, meaning they won’t have it to fight with when the hellhounds come for Dean.
In “Mystery Spot,” Sam is forced to relive the same day, a Tuesday, repeatedly. On each new day, Dean dies a different way despite Sam’s frantic efforts to save him. Sam realizes that the culprit is the Trickster, a villain from Season 2. It finally becomes Wednesday, but this time, Dean dies and doesn’t come back. Sam spends months trying to hunt down the Trickster, who reveals that he has been trying to get Sam to understand that he and Dean can’t keep making sacrifices for each other, and that Dean is going to die no matter what Sam does. The Trickster then sends Sam back to Wednesday, despite Sam failing to learn the Trickster’s lesson. He is warned by Ruby that he might not make it back from hell.
In “Jus In Bello,” the FBI and Agent Henricksen capture Sam and Dean, thanks to a tip from Bela. While Sam and Dean are in jail, a host of demons come to kill them. Ruby comes to help them, but is furious to learn that they have lost the Colt. She says that she knows of a spell that will destroy all the demons nearby, including herself, and that she is willing to die in order to help Sam. However, they will need the heart of a virgin. Sam and the virgin, Nancy, agree to the plan, but Dean refuses to let her die. Dean’s plan to exorcise the demons works, but one demon manages to escape and tells Lilith who, taking the form of a little girl, blows the police station up, killing everyone inside. Lilith, it turns out, wants to kill Sam, as she sees him as a rival. According to Azazel’s plan, Sam was supposed to lead the demon army, and Ruby was ready to follow Sam. Now, Lilith has become their main enemy.
Dean continues to search for a means to save himself from his fate, but ultimately is told by Ruby that there is no way to get him out of his deal. Shortly before Dean’s contract comes due, he learns from Bela that Lilith, the demon pursuing Sam, holds his contract; Bela had also made a deal with a demon, and she has been taken to Hell. As the brothers search for Lilith with Bobby’s help, Dean begins suffering nightmares and hallucinations of his hellish fate. When Lilith is located, the three head to New Harmony, Indiana, and Dean discovers that he now has the ability to see the faces of demons underneath their human hosts.
As Dean and Sam confront Lilith and her demons in a last-ditch effort to protect Sam and save Dean’s soul, Ruby appears and the three are chased into a room by a hellhound that has come for Dean. Dean quickly recognizes that Ruby’s human host is now possessed by Lilith, not Ruby, but it is too late. She puts the hellhound on Dean, killing him, before trying to kill Sam, only to discover that her demonic power has no effect on Sam. Lilith flees, leaving Sam alone with Dean’s mutilated corpse. In the last scene of the season, Dean is shown in Hell, suspended in a void by seemingly endless chains and hooks through his flesh, crying out in agony for Sam’s help and yelling Sam’s name.
The fourth season premiere, “Lazarus Rising,” begins four months after the third season finale. Dean awakes to find himself in a coffin and manages to dig himself out. He then breaks into a nearby gas station where he gets some water, food and cash. Before leaving the store, Dean sees the television and radio flicker on, with static, and a powerful whine that shatters all of the glass and hurts Dean’s ears. Dean calls Sam, but finds his number disconnected. He calls Bobby, who hangs up on him, so he hot-wires a parked car and goes to Bobby’s house. A fight ensues until Dean is able to prove to Bobby that it is really him. Dean and Bobby track down Sam in a town right near where Dean was buried—he’s in a hotel with a girl, but he claims he did nothing to bring Dean back and is in town because he is searching for a demon. The girl acts puzzled by all of this and leaves, while Dean tells Sam he remembers nothing from Hell.
The Winchesters track down whatever force ripped Dean from Hell. By the end of the episode, it is revealed that an angel named Castiel pulled Dean from Hell on God’s command; Castiel tells Dean that God has work for him. The girl in Sam’s room, it turns out, is Ruby in a new body, and Sam had lied to Dean when he told him that he didn’t know where Ruby was and that he wasn’t using his demonic powers. Dean, in turn, was lying to Sam about Hell; in the episode “Wishful Thinking,” Dean confesses that he does remember every second of Hell.
In the next episode “Are You There, God? It’s Me, Dean Winchester,” in the course of fighting off ghosts, Dean is told by Castiel of Lilith’s plan to break the 66 seals and free Lucifer.
In “In the Beginning,” Dean is transported back in time to Lawrence, Kansas in 1973. There, he meets younger versions of his father and mother, as well as his grandparents, and learns of a connection between Azazel and Mary. A causal loop is revealed in that the time-traveling Dean, by trying to stop Azazel in the past and change his future, actually made the demon aware of his family in the first place, setting in motion the events leading to the death of his parents, the corruption of his brother, and the life he tried to change, therefore setting up a predestination paradox. (However, it is implied by Castiel that the events would have happened anyway without him being there as they were already destined.) Upon returning to the present, Dean is informed by Castiel that Sam is “going down a very dark road” and that, if Dean doesn’t stop him, the angels will.
Dean follows Castiel’s directions and witnesses Sam using his powers to exorcise a demon, also learning of Ruby’s return. He conveys the warning of the angels to Sam. After he and Sam stop a rugaru in Missouri, Sam decides to stop using his powers, which seems to satisfy Dean.
In “Heaven and Hell,” Dean reveals to Sam what happened to him in Hell: Time flows differently there, so four months on Earth was forty years in Hell. During that time, he was put on the rack and “cut, carved, and torn” apart until there was nothing left of him, only to be made whole again just so the demons could start over on him. Dean reveals that, at the end of every day, the demon Alastair would offer to take him off the rack if Dean would put souls on it and torture them. Dean resisted for thirty years, but eventually gave in and spent ten years torturing people in Hell to escape being tortured himself. In “Family Remains”, Dean confesses to Sam that he enjoyed torturing souls, as he finally had the chance to dish out the same pain that he’d endured for the past thirty years.
Later on in the season, an episode titled “After School Special” aired with flashbacks of a teenage Dean and a pre-teen Sam while they are going to a high school. In this episode, we learn that Dean was as promiscuous as ever when he was younger. The girl he was then dating told him that he acted cool when, in reality, he was a little boy who played with people’s feelings to make himself feel better. Dean, clearly stung, from then on hated the school.
In “Death Takes a Holiday,” Dean meets up again with the reaper Tessa, who wakens his memories of their previous encounter with a kiss; Dean confesses that there has been a “hole” in him since that time and realizes that it is related to her. Soon after, Tessa is taken by Alastair in his quest to break another of the 66 seals; breaking the current seal involves killing reapers. The boys ask their psychic friend Pamela Barnes to help them leave their bodies so that they may find the kidnapped reapers. Once they have, they are captured, but Sam is able to break them out and Tessa is able to continue reaping souls. However, before Dean is able to return to his body, Alastair corners him, only to be captured by the angels; Castiel then appears and informs Dean that they have won this seal. As Dean awakes in his body, Pamela is dying from her injuries she obtained during a fight with a demon, while the boys were “out.”
In the next episode “On the Head of a Pin,” Dean is pressed into service by Castiel and Uriel, who need him to torture Alastair for information on who is killing angels, since Dean was his “student” in Hell. Dean refuses at first, but eventually agrees. However, he only succeeds in getting Alastair to reveal that Dean was the first seal to break, by virtue of giving in and torturing souls in Hell. (“The first seal shall be broken when a righteous man sheds blood in Hell. As he breaks, so shall it break.”) The distraction is enough for Alastair to free himself, the Devil’s Trap set up by Castiel having been eroded by a leaking pipe. Alastair nearly kills Dean and then comes close to sending Castiel back to Heaven, but Sam, having grown stronger in his demonic abilities, arrives and uses his powers to torture Alastair in to revealing he does not know who is killing the angels; Sam kills Alastair shortly after. Later, as Dean recovers in the hospital, Castiel informs him about Uriel’s betrayal; Uriel had been killing angels who did not join his cause to free Lucifer from Hell. Castiel also confirms Alastair’s claim that Dean was the first seal, but adds that, because of this, Dean is the only man capable of averting the Apocalypse. However, Dean does not believe he is up to such a task and tells Castiel to find someone else as tears run down his face.
To put Dean back on the right path, Zachariah, Castiel’s superior, re-writes Dean and Sam’s memories to remove their knowledge of supernatural creatures, making them believe they are average people working regular jobs, and drops them in a haunted building. After the brothers proceed to defeat the ghost behind the hauntings, Zachariah (who posed as Dean’s boss) restores Dean’s memories to show him that hunting is in his blood. This renews Dean’s resolve.
In the episode “The Monster At The End of This Book,” it is revealed that Dean is aware that Sam used his demonic powers to kill Alastair, but both Castiel and Dean don’t know how Sam is getting stronger. In “The Rapture,” Dean witnesses Sam drink the blood of a demon he is about to kill. Later, in the Impala, Sam tells Dean to get it over and yell at him for drinking demon blood when Sam gets a request from Bobby to head to his house. Once there, Dean and Bobby trick Sam and lock him in the demon-proof panic room for his own safety as he detoxes from the demon blood.
While Sam is going through painful withdrawal symptoms from the demon blood, Dean asks Castiel for help. He takes an oath to serve God and the angels if it would mean that Sam wouldn’t have to kill Lilith, to which Castiel says “If that gives you comfort.” Sam escapes the panic room after Castiel releases him, and Dean tracks him down to a hotel, despite Sam’s efforts to shake him. They argue whether or not Ruby is corrupting him, if he is supposed to stop the Apocalypse, and if Sam is turning into a monster. The argument leads to a fight that Sam wins. Dean yells at Sam by saying, “If you walk out that door, don’t you ever come back,” after which Sam leaves the room.
In the fourth season finale “Lucifer Rising,” the angels take Dean to a “safe” room, and Zachariah explains that they are preparing for the Apocalypse and will allow the final seal to be broken. They want Sam to kill Lilith; her death will break the final seal holding Lucifer, after which Dean will kill Lucifer and bring Paradise to Earth. Dean, shocked and horrified that the angels would allow the Apocalypse, asks Castiel for help; together they escape and meet the prophet Chuck Shirley to see where the final seal will be broken. As Castiel holds back the Archangels that start to descend, he sends Dean to Ilchester, Maryland to stop Sam from killing Lilith. Ruby prevents Dean from interfering and, after the final seal is broken, reveals that she has been working to free Lucifer the entire time. Dean manages to get to the two and then stabs Ruby to death with Sam’s help. The season ends with a portal opening for Lucifer while Dean and Sam can only watch.
The fifth season begins right where Season 4 ends with the portal for Lucifer opening. As Lucifer escapes, the brothers are teleported into an airplane by an unknown force (later revealed to be God). Later, Dean is told by Zachariah that he is “Michael’s Sword,” meaning the Archangel Michael will use his body as a vessel to lead the forces of Heaven against Lucifer, but Dean must consent to this. Dean refuses and Castiel saves him when Zachariah tries to force Dean to agree by harming him and Sam. Bobby gets possessed by a demon and, instead of killing Dean, he kills the demon inside himself, using Ruby’s knife, in turn paralyzing himself from the waist down.
In “Good God, Y’All!,” Dean and Sam fight War, one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, in a town where the people think that their neighbors are demons. In this town is Ellen, Jo, and Rufus Turner all trying to hunt the demons, who turn out to be just people that War has made eyes seem black. Once the brothers cut the ring finger off of War, restoring the town to normal, Dean worries that Sam cannot control his urge to drink demon blood, and the brothers agree to go their separate ways because Sam is a liability with his demon bloodlust.
In “Free to Be You and Me,” Castiel finds Dean and they capture the Archangel Raphael to ask the location of God.
In “The End,” Dean is transported forward in time by Zachariah, who wants Dean to see what the future will be like if continues to refuse giving his consent to Michael. He finds himself in the year 2014, eventually meeting up with his future self, as well as the survivors and victims of the Croatoan virus from Season 2. Dean finds out that Sam let Lucifer into his body, and this was the reason the world was in such disarray. Later, the future Dean is killed by Lucifer in Sam’s body. After being told by his future self to accept Michael into his body, Dean is transported back to his own time, where he comes face-to-face with Zachariah; he again refuses to become Michael’s vessel. In the end of the episode, the brothers meet back up again and decide that they should stay together, to “keep each other human.”
In the episode “Changing Channels,” it is revealed to Dean and Sam by The Trickster (who reveals that he is the Archangel Gabriel) that their relationship (Dean the older brother loyal to an absent father and Sam the younger brother who is rebellious of the father’s plan) mirrors the relationship between Lucifer and Michael, and has been told to the angels since the beginning to bring about Judgment Day.
In “Abandon All Hope,” Sam and Dean plan to find Lucifer and kill him, with help from Castiel, Jo, Ellen and Bobby. They find out that the Colt is in the possession of a demon named Crowley, who gives the Winchesters the gun to kill Lucifer and end the Apocalypse. While looking for Lucifer in Carthage, Missouri, Castiel sees reapers all over the town and is captured by Lucifer while investigating. The hunters run into Meg, who sics a pack of hellhounds on the group; Jo is severely injured by one of the hellhounds during their escape. The group finds shelter in a hardware store where they make bombs out of rock salt and iron nails to kill the hellhounds. Jo plans on setting off the bomb since she is going to die anyway; Ellen stays with Jo and both die in the blast. The Winchesters then find out that Lucifer is one of five things in the universe that the Colt cannot kill when Dean tries shooting Lucifer in the head with no effect. Having lost another plan, Dean becomes more disillusioned and hopeless, and in “Dark Side of the Moon” where, after spending time in Heaven and finding out God doesn’t see the battle with Lucifer to be his problem, begins to see little reason to deny his destiny as Michael’s vessel, deciding to take on the role at the end of the next episode “99 Problems”. Before doing so, though, he visits former girlfriend Lisa Braeden (Season 3 “The Kids Are Alright”), confessing that when he dreams of being happy its with her and her son Ben, and promising to get them protection for what’s to come.
During the series’ 100th episode “Point of No Return,” Dean was preparing for his possession by Michael before being discovered by Sam and Castiel, who take him to Bobby’s house. They convince him to allow them some more time in order to research another method of stopping Lucifer; however, the unexpected resurrection of their half-brother Adam, planned to be Michael’s vessel, forces Sam, Bobby and Castiel to keep Adam and Dean from Zachariah. When Dean escapes and tries to lure the angels, both Castiel and Sam leave to find him, allowing Adam to be taken by angels. Despite Bobby and Castiel’s insistence in keeping Dean from Zachariah, Sam allows him to try to rescue Adam. With Castiel removed, along with angel guards, the brothers attempt to rescue Adam, but Sam’s ambush on Zachariah fails and Zachariah causes internal damage to both Adam and Sam to coerce Dean to consent to Michael. Ultimately, he relents, but after Zachariah summons Michael, Dean taunts him into sacrificing himself in order to allow Michael in. Zachariah angrily refuses, and Dean kills him and rushes out, unfortunately leaving Adam locked in the room with the approaching Michael. As they leave, Dean admits that he would have accepted Michael, but because of Sam’s faith, he decides that he will “take the fight to them.”
After being trapped in “Hammer of the Gods” by a group of gods bent on using them as bargaining chips in the upcoming Apocalypse, Dean and Sam learn from Gabriel (who died at the hands of Lucifer while saving the brothers) that the cage Lucifer was sprung from was still open and, if they could get all four Horsemen’s rings, they could put him back in and trap him again. He also claims that Lucifer has no knowledge that he can be trapped again. In “The Devil You Know”, the demon Crowley returns and leads Dean to a confrontation with Brady, one of Sam’s college friends who in fact was a demon “Handler” for Pestilence. Despite being beaten badly, Dean and Crowley trap Brady and are eventually able to get the location of Pestilence before allowing Sam to kill Brady (who had earlier revealed that he had killed Sam’s former girlfriend Jessica).
In “Two Minutes to Midnight” the brothers go after Pestilence and, with help of a nearly-human Castiel, take his ring. During the trip, Sam tells Dean that he believes the only way to trap Lucifer is to say yes and allow him to be possessed, believing that he can overcome Lucifer long enough to throw himself into the trap. Crowley, having since gotten Bobby to sell his soul temporarily for the location of Death (though this is revealed as a ruse to insure the brothers would not kill him), then takes Dean to Chicago where they have located the final Horseman. In the midst of a massive storm, Dean confronts Death in a pizza parlor. Revealing that Lucifer controls him due to a spell, Death agrees to give Dean his ring with the explicit condition that Sam say yes so he can lure Lucifer into the trap, and that Dean allow his brother to jump into the pit. Dean reluctantly agrees and gets the ring and instructions from Death on how to use the four rings. Upon returning, Dean claims he lied to Death, but upon talking to Bobby it becomes clear that their last best chance may be to let Sam say yes, with Bobby asking Dean if he was more afraid to lose, or to lose his brother.
In “Swan Song” (the season finale) Dean relents and agrees to let Sam say yes, citing that his brother has indeed grown up, is capable of making his own decisions, and that perhaps he himself needs to grow up a little. As Sam prepares to drink demon blood to become strong enough to take in Lucifer, he makes Dean promise that he won’t attempt to come after him once he has jumped into the pit. Dean objects, but Sam insists, begging that he instead go to Lisa and try to live a normal, happy life. Dean promises he will do so, and after drinking the demon blood, the brothers go to confront Lucifer in Detroit. Despite Lucifer revealing that he did indeed know about the brothers’ plan to trap him again, Sam says yes believing he can overcome him nonetheless. After taking over and briefly knocking Sam unconscious, Dean opens the portal to Lucifer’s prison, and Sam wakes up and prepares to jump in. At the last moment, though, Lucifer reveals himself, claiming that “Sammy is long gone”. After closing the trap, taking the rings, and briefly taunting Dean about being right (In “The End” Lucifer in Sam’s body had predicted that he would take over Sam in Detroit regardless of Dean’s efforts), Lucifer disappears.
As omens begin to signal the final battle, Dean calls Chuck to try and pin down the location of the final battle, which will occur in Stull Cemetery back in the brothers’ hometown of Lawrence. While Castiel and Bobby seem despondent, believing the battle to be lost and further confrontation pointless, Dean vows to go to the fight between Lucifer and Michael (now possessing his half-brother Adam), claiming at the very least he “won’t let his brother die alone”. As Lucifer and Michael prepare to fight, Dean interrupts and drives the Impala into the graveyard. He attempts to reach out to both Sam and Adam, asking for five minutes with Sam, but is dismissed by both. Bobby and Castiel suddenly appear, and Castiel throws a molotov cocktail with holy fire at Michael, burning him out and buying Dean five minutes. It comes at a high price: an enraged Lucifer snaps his fingers, making Castiel explode for interrupting the fight. Lucifer and Dean begin to fight, with Dean taking a beating. Bobby shoots at Lucifer, but the bullets have no effect, and with a twist of his hand, Lucifer snaps Bobby’s neck and kills him. He then continues beating Dean and, with Dean backed against the door of the Impala, prepares for a kill shot. However, at that moment, he catches a glimpse of a toy soldier that a young Sam had stuck in the Impala’s ashtray, and the memories of his brotherhood with Dean help Sam to overpower Lucifer and take control of his body. Sam reopens the pit, and though Michael returns and attempts to stop him, Dean watches as Sam pulls Michael into the pit, which closes as they both fall in, trapping both in Hell.
Bruised and beaten, a stunned Dean sits over the spot where his brother lept to his death. A fully restored Castiel suddenly appears, claiming to have been resurrected by God. He heals Dean and also brings Bobby back from the dead. Castiel plans on returning to Heaven and bringing new order now that Michael is gone. Dean claims that he will go after God next, but Castiel claims, before disappearing, that Dean only got what he wanted in the end: no Paradise, no Hell, more of the same-freedom over peace. After an emotional goodbye with Bobby (it is said in Chuck’s epilogue that the two will not see each other for some time), Dean returns to Lisa Braeden as Sam had suggested. Dean is last seen sitting down to dinner with Lisa and her son Ben. Unknown to Dean, a streetlight just outside the home goes out, and Sam is inexplicably standing beneath, watching the home with a blank look on his face.
The sixth season picks up a year later after Dean sadly watches Sam sacrificing himself down into the pit. Keeping the promise he made to Sam, Dean gives up the life of hunting and now lives with Lisa and her son Ben.
Abilities and skills
Dean possesses excellent combat and hunting prowess; comprehensively trained by his father from early childhood as a paranormal investigator and hunter of the supernatural, he is established throughout the series as an extremely dangerous individual, and he is more than capable of taking a stand against even the most formidable of opponents, such as demons and vampires.
Dean is well-versed with multiple types of firearms; he prefers his Colt 1911 and sawed-off shotgun, but is proficient with most other weapons he might acquire. An expert marksman, he seldom misses his intended target and can efficiently put down anything vulnerable to bullets.
Dean is adept with martial arts and knife fighting as well; he has subdued several human assailants with ease in multiple episodes and bested physically more powerful creatures, often unarmed or equipped with only a blade. In “Nightshifter”, he killed a shapeshifter armed with a simple silver letter opener. In “Fresh Blood,” he managed to subdue a vampire long enough to inject her with a shot of “dead man’s blood.” In “The Magnificent Seven,” he fought and held off several demons by himself, armed only with a flask of holy water.
Dean is also a proficient tracker and possesses prudent tactical skills and an instinctive ability to “read” behavioral characteristics and manipulate people. Highly resourceful, he frequently utilizes improvised weapons and explosive devices; in “Croatoan,” he demonstrated knowledge in chemistry constructing Molotov cocktails and improvised explosive devices, and in “Phantom Traveler,” he revealed knowledge of electronics and reverse engineering, having built an electromagnetic field detector from an old Walkman radio.
Dean also possesses extensive knowledge of the supernatural and mythology. He is versed with how police, fire departments and various government agencies (FBI, CDC) typically operate and conduct investigations, and knows how to both impersonate and evade them effectively. An accomplished mechanic, he maintains his Impala in tip-top condition and has maintained an intimate knowledge of automobiles and engines since childhood.
Dean is a virtuoso of escape, evasion and silent movement, when the situation requires subtlety and stealth. Lastly, he is also alarmingly skillful in many areas frowned upon by the law: lock picking, breaking into security systems (not so much computers, which often falls to Sam), carjacking and gaining an ‘advantageous purchase’ comes naturally to him.
Due to his time spent in Hell as Alistair’s “student,” Dean has an in-depth knowledge of torture, able to inflict the maximum amount of pain and agony on a victim while keeping them alive as long as possible. In the Season 5 premiere, Dean revealed he had learned the banishing spell that sends angels back to Heaven from Castiel.
Throughout the series, Dean is shown to possess a large amount of weaponry. He tends to use a Colt 1911. In addition to which, he also uses a sawed-off shotgun on occasions where greater fire-power is required. He has also been seen with an MSG3 sniper rifle in “Simon Said.”
Dean is shown to possess a large machete in “Dead Man’s Blood,” and has used a knife in several episodes. He is shown to possess a Desert Eagle loaded with wrought iron in the episode “Something Wicked” and tasers which he and Sam used in the start of “Faith”, when he electrocuted himself. Throughout Season 5, he uses a Model 1887 shotgun against hellhounds and zombies. When weapons are scarce and Dean is in a dangerous situation, he uses hand-to-hand combat or whatever is available as a weapon.
During “On the Head of a Pin,” Dean is shown with a number of torture implements, including syringes of holy water.
The trunk of the Impala contains numerous weapons which are implied as having been needed in the past, notable examples include sheath knifes and, perhaps the most alarming, an MGL-140 40mm grenade launcher.