I've been tortured by the Devil himself. So you, you're just an accent in a pantsuit. What can you do to me?

Samuel "Sam" William[1] Winchester (born May 2, 1983) is a hunter as well as a Man of Letters, along with his older brother Dean. He is one of the main protagonists of Supernatural. Both Sam and Dean are related to the Winchester and Campbell families - a Letters family and a Hunting family respectively. The pair also shares a bloodline with Cain and Abel. Because of this, Sam was predestined to be the true vessel of the fallen archangel Lucifer (whilst Dean was Michael's). Sam is friends with angel Castiel, Prophet Kevin Tran, the demon Meg and former lover-turned-enemy of demon Ruby. He is also the occasional reluctant ally of demon Crowley and for a time was forced to be an unknowing and unwilling vessel for the angel Gadreel (before expelling him).

After the demon Azazel killed their mother, Mary, both Sam and Dean were raised in the hunting life by their father John. Sam left the hunting life to pursue a career in law, and most likely would have married his college sweetheart Jessica Moore. At the series' start, Sam was reluctant to start hunting again. When Jessica was killed, he was pushed back into the hunting life. However, he has been repeatedly known to try and back out of hunting in the hope of finally having a normal life as he wanted.

After Sam's quest to remove the Mark of Cain unleashed the Darkness upon the world, Sam was forced to confront the consequences of his actions. For Sam, the situation worsened when Lucifer manipulated the situation to escape in the vessel of Castiel. Sam was left torn between using Lucifer to help battle the Darkness as Castiel wished and his own traumas and the resulting desire to be rid of the rogue archangel as a result.

Following the reconciliation of the Darkness and God, Sam was abducted by agents of the British Men of Letters and tortured. During this time, Sam faced a surprise reunion with his resurrected mother, the return of Lucifer to evil and the draw of the promises of the British Men of Letters to rid the world of monsters. The situation was further exasperated when Lucifer conceived a Nephilim child before his apparent defeat and return to the Cage. With the British Men of Letters threat growing, Sam was forced into a leadership role to end the threat, but suffered losses while battling Lucifer for control of his child.

With the losses of Crowley and Castiel and with Mary Winchester trapped in the Apocalypse World with Lucifer, Sam struggled to find a way to rescue his mother while dealing with Lucifer's son Jack and Dean's growing depression, aided by Castiel's subsequent resurrection. He was also forced to contend with the threat from the last Prince of Hell Asmodeus. However, after Jack got trapped in Apocalypse World as well, Sam fell into a depression of his own, only lightened when a way was found to rescue Mary and Jack.

With the growing threat of the Apocalypse World Michael, the return of Gabriel and the death of Asmodeus, Sam's focus shifted completely to saving his family and ending the threat of Michael and Lucifer once and for all. After being killed by vampires in Apocalypse World, Sam was resurrected once more by Lucifer and reluctantly forged an alliance with his old enemy in light of the situation. Sam's subsequent decision to purposefully strand Lucifer in Apocalypse World again led to severe consequences when Michael and Lucifer worked together to reach the Main Universe. Though Lucifer was finally killed by Dean with the help of Michael, the victory was short-lived for Sam after he was forced to watch his brother taken over by Michael who was let loose upon the Main Universe in the body of his one true vessel.

Sam is very mentally strong, evidenced by his ability to overpower possession by Lucifer. It has been argued that he is the smarter or more intelligent of the Winchester brothers, although Sam himself would disagree.

Over time, Sam has resigned himself to the hunting lifestyle and has repeatedly sacrificed himself for the greater good, highlighting his selfless nature.

Physical Appearance

Sam has shaggy brown hair that grows longer and smoother in later seasons; he had a fringe as a child as well as in the first two seasons. Over the course of the show, he grew the fringe out. His eye color seems to change; sometimes they appear light green, sometimes they appear brown, etc. He is noted by other characters to be handsome. Sam is very tall, 6'5" (195.58 cm) having a muscular build with broad shoulders and a muscular chest. This is especially ironic considering that he used to be teased for being short and wiry as a teenager. Like Dean, Sam often wears multiple layers of clothing (namely plaid shirts) as well as jeans and boots. Recently in Season 8 of the series, Sam, who is known for always having a clean shaved face, has been sporting some facial stubble similar to Dean. In season 14, Sam grew a beard in the three weeks that Dean was possessed by Michael, mainly due to running himself ragged while hunting for leads. He later shaves it off in Mint Condition, after Dean made fun of him.

Sometime before Jus In Bello, Sam got a tattoo on his chest of the anti-possession symbol to protect himself from demons. He kept it until Road Trip when Castiel removed it so Crowley could go inside Sam and help him expel Gadreel. He got it restored at some point off-screen as it is seen again in later seasons.

A cut on the palm of his left hand was sustained during the episode Meet the New Boss. He was taught by Dean to use it as a way to discern hallucination from reality. Although the scar has healed by now, Sam still presses upon his left palm whenever things get too difficult to believe.

In The Benders, a police file on Sam states his eyes are brown; however, his FBI file in later seasons lists them as blue.

Personality

Holy Terror 06

Sam is usually kind, empathetic, intelligent and independent. In the 200th episode, he is described as 'sweet, brave, selfless Sam'. He is often the exasperated voice of reason in his relationship with Dean, who in turn sees him as a geek or prude, and teasingly calls him "bitch". Dean has respect for Sam as a hunter and trusts Sam to "have his six". Sam is repeatedly telling Dean that killing humans is wrong and he does not enjoy the job as much as Dean. However, in later seasons he has not hesitated to kill humans when necessary and even led an assault to wipe out the British Men of Letters American operation despite them all being human due to the threat they posed. He was even poised to shoot the unarmed Doctor Hess due to the threat she represented before she was killed by Jody Mills instead. He does not seem to drink alcohol as much as Dean does and has a much healthier diet than his brother (Dean scoffs at Sam's diet and calls it "rabbit food"). According to Dean, Sam's blood type is O negative as said in the episode Red Meat. Sam also has a phobia of clowns, due to his brother often leaving him at Plucky Pennywhistle's Magical Menagerie when they were children. This is not helped by the fact that every time they have encountered a clown in the show, it has tried to kill them. Sam can become a very different person when Dean is dead, as evidenced by his change in Mystery Spot and what is shown in I Know What You Did Last Summer, becoming almost psychotically angry.

Sam has phenomenal mental power. This is most evident in Swan Song, where he is able to mentally overpower possession by Satan himself to stop the apocalypse. Other incidences include My Bloody Valentine, in which Sam is able to resist Famine's temptation and not drink more demon blood, exorcising the demons and incapacitating Famine instead.

Because of his intelligence, Sam is usually assigned the role of researching information for hunts; he is the "brain", whilst Dean is the "muscle". He normally remembers details that Dean overlooks and is prone to make connections quicker than his brother. He also knows a great deal of information that causes Dean to label him a "walking encyclopedia of weirdness". In college, Sam scored a 174 out of 180 on his LSAT, which Jessica Moore noted was "scary good" in the series pilot. In spite of their bickering, Sam has looked up to Dean since they were children and knows him better than anyone else. He tries to get Dean to open up about his emotions and problems, and encourages him to take care of himself; on several occasions, he has even been frustrated by his brother's fixation on placing Sam's well-being above his own. However, Sam shows similar protective tendencies towards Dean, particularly after Dean makes his deal and returns from Hell as a shadow of who he used to be, to the point that Sam's memories of Dean allowed him to regain control of his body while possessed by Lucifer. Sam tends to be driven by feelings of anger and vengeance.

As a teenager and even as a young man, he argued with his father constantly whenever they were together. Sam wanted to live a normal, "apple pie" life instead of continuing to hunt, which led to most of his arguments with John and his estrangement from his family at the beginning of the series. However, Dean once stated that despite his own best efforts to be like John; liking the same music, clothes and cars; being the good son, the soldier and the Hunter; Sam always has been and always will be more like John than Dean is. Sam and John clash and argue so much because they are so similar. Sam does not take this as a compliment, and it is clear that while Dean truly idolized his father, both boys are not always overly fond of their father due to his secrets, mysterious actions, and his strict treatment and upbringing of his sons.

After Jessica's death, Sam became fixated on vengeance but still held out hope for eventually returning to Stanford. Early in Season 1, Sam was more focused on finding Jessica's killer than he was on following John's instructions on which hunts to take, something that often put him at odds with Dean. He was obsessed with revenge, and was even willing to sacrifice his life to kill Azazel, although he ultimately proved that he valued Dean's life over the demon's death in Devil's Trap.

After John's death in In My Time of Dying, Sam focused all of his attention on hunting instead of returning to a normal life. He felt guilt for angrily confronting his father in his final moments and for not realizing that he had been planning on sacrificing himself. Sam put all of his energy into doing what he thought John would want him to and kept trying to get Dean to deal with their father's death in a healthy way. After the reveal of John's ultimatum to Dean and the discovery of the other "special children", Sam became terrified that he would somehow turn evil. He made Dean promise to kill him if anything were to happen. Everything came to a head in All Hell Breaks Loose - Part 1, when Azazel placed all of the special children in a death match. Sam was killed (metaphorically and literally stabbed in the back) because he refused to murder another human being, but when Dean brought him back to life by selling his soul, Sam killed his murderer without hesitation. Azazel implied to Dean that since he was resurrected by a demon deal, he may not truly be "100 percent pure Sam", which Dean would also come to question himself when Sam killed Casey when Dean told him to stop, as he wanted her alive. After finding out Dean had made the demon deal, Sam declared that he would save his brother no matter what.

In Season 3, Sam spent most of his time trying to save Dean from his deal. He became frantically obsessed with doing everything he could to stop Dean from going to Hell - even going so far as to try to convince Dean to turn them both into monsters and harvest organs for their survival in Time Is On My Side. Sam kept struggling to come up with some way to save his brother to the very end, but ultimately wasn't able to. To his horror, he was forced to watch helplessly as hellhounds tore Dean apart and was distraught at holding his dead brother's body.

Following Dean's death and condemnation to Hell, Sam became so fixated on avenging his brother and killing Lilith that he almost turned himself into a monster. Due to his grief at Dean's death, the demon Ruby was able to manipulate Sam into a sexual relationship and convinced him to start drinking demon blood, claiming it was the only way he would be able to avenge his brother. Sam drank so much that he became an addict; showing the same symptoms and going through an immensely torturous detox (at the start of season 5, Sam's addiction is gone, but later he has to drink a great deal in order to house Lucifer in his body). Even after Dean returned, Sam was unwilling to let the desire for vengeance go and he continued the affair in secret. Sam was repeatedly warned by Dean and Castiel that he was making mistakes, but he disregarded their advice, believing that he was the only one who could stop Lilith from releasing Lucifer.

As he previously hunted alone for months, Sam became more understanding to his father's training him in hunting. This was best seen when the Winchesters met their half-brother Adam Milligan whose mother went missing because of a monster and he tried to teach the latter how to hunt, despite Dean's protest.

After Zachariah manipulated a fake voicemail message from Dean, saying that he didn't love Sam anymore and was planning on killing him, Sam decided to take Lilith down on his own in a possible suicide mission. Sam was able to defeat Lilith with his powers, but didn't realize that Ruby had lied to him and that Lilith was actually the final seal to unlock Lucifer's Cage. And as a result of his arrogance, Sam ended up being the one to release Lucifer from Hell and begin the apocalypse.

Sam felt extremely guilty over his role in freeing Lucifer throughout the majority of Season 5, and spent a large portion of his time trying to make amends. He also took responsibility in his part of starting the apocalypse. In Sam, Interrupted, Sam confessed that he always felt angry and he didn't know why; as well as the fact that he tended to blame other people for his anger, instead of accepting it as a personal flaw. In Swap Meat, when he temporarily switched bodies with a teenaged boy and was forced to lead said teenager's life, he told Dean that the boy's ordinary life "sucked", and seemed to decide to forgo normal life in favor of being a hunter. In Swan Song, Sam's desire to set things right finally culminated in him sacrificing himself to save the rest of the world, throwing himself into the Cage with Lucifer and Michael in order to protect his brother. It was thought that Sam would be trapped in the Cage forever, but the final show of season 5 reveals that Sam is not in the Cage at all, but on Earth, alive.

At the start of season 6 (one year later), Sam reveals himself to Dean, and they begin hunting again. However, something about Sam is strange; he lets Dean get turned into a vampire in order to find a nest. It is later revealed that, whilst his body and mind are not in the Cage, his soul is. During the time that Sam was soulless in Season 6, he lacked empathy and behaved like a sociopath. Without any emotions or sense of morality, he was often willing to overlook the deaths of civilians as collateral damage, which was an extreme departure from Sam's normal desire to help people and protect the innocent. Without his soul, Sam also felt nothing for any of his loved ones, telling Dean point blank that he didn't care about him, and he even tried to murder Bobby in an attempt to prevent his soul from being returned to his body. After his soul was reunited with him, Sam again felt great remorse for his actions and spent the rest of the season struggling to make up for what his soulless self had done.

In Season 7, after Castiel brought down the wall in Sam's head, Sam began to lose his sanity as a result of the damage done to his soul in Hell. He started to see hallucinations of Lucifer tormenting him, and had a hard time determining what was real and what was a flashback of his torture in the Cage. Dean managed to help Sam distinguish between the two, and Sam was able to block out the worst of the hallucinations. However, in Repo Man, Dean was captured by a serial killer and Sam became desperate enough to save his brother's life that he turned to Lucifer for help. He was able to save Dean, but the reliance on his hallucination meant that he could no longer turn them off, and his visions became so severe that Sam almost died due to fatal insomnia. Dean became determined to save his brother's life in The Born-Again Identity and, luckily, came across Castiel. Sam's mental stability returned when Castiel absorbed Sam's insanity into himself to atone for his actions.

After Dean and Castiel's disappearance in Survival of the Fittest, Sam spent a year thinking that his brother was dead (which he technically was). He "spiraled" out of control for a while, but eventually found some semblance of normality with Amelia Richardson. It was at this point that Sam started to re-imagine the possibilities of a normal life. After Dean's reappearance, Sam immediately returned to his side, but Dean was hurt when he found out that Sam hadn't looked for him while he was in Purgatory. Sam defended his choices of quitting hunting and grew jealous of Dean's close relationship with Benny, which led to a growing strain between the brothers. After bumping into Amelia once more, Sam realized that he wanted to stay by Dean's side and chose his brother over his ex-girlfriend. Sam became determined not to let Dean down again and took on the weight of the trials to prove himself. They took an extreme toll on his health, and as Sam got sicker, he became ever more defensive of Dean's attempts to mother him. He eventually got to the point where he was so ashamed of letting his brother down that he was willing to commit suicide in order to finish the trials. Dean managed to talk him back from the edge, but they weren't able to cure Sam before he succumbed to the effects.

Sam started Season 9 in a coma, dying from what the trials had done to his body. He remained somewhat suicidal, deciding to go with Death if he could promise that no one would be able to get hurt by bringing him back. But Dean managed to trick Sam into allowing the angel Gadreel to possess him, and for the first half of the season, Sam seemed to be in a much healthier place emotionally. However, once Sam found out that Dean had lied to him, he became furious. He told Dean they couldn't have a brotherly trust anymore and their relationship remained tense until the end of the season, closer to a partnership than a brotherhood. Even when Kevin Tran's ghost requested that Sam and Dean fix their issues, Sam refused to do so. Eventually, Sam's worries over Dean's reliance on the First Blade took precedence over Sam's anger and when Dean attempted an apology, Sam forgave him. But they made up just in time for Sam to see his brother die in his arms, and Sam's grief at Dean's death propelled him to try and make another demon deal. During a conversation with Charlie Bradbury in Season 10's Book of the Damned, Sam indicates that his behavior came from his anger at Dean and a desire to lash out and hurt him rather than an actual desire to sever their brotherly bond.

Following the release of The Darkness, Sam is at a complete loss on what to do. He decides to pray to God for guidance. When struck by visions of the Cage and of his dead father, Sam becomes heavily determined to seek Lucifer out, against Dean's better judgment. He even goes to Hell without waiting for Dean to join him. Sam briefly expresses horror when Lucifer reveals that he was the origin of the visions, not God. Lucifer goes so far to point out that from the time they fought at Stull Cemetery, Sam has grown increasingly weak, citing his decision not to seek Dean out when the latter was trapped in Purgatory. Lucifer reveals that Sam's guilt over abandoning Dean in Purgatory for a regular life with Amelia Richardson has filled Sam with such guilt that he can't bring himself to lose Dean again which is why he allowed Dean to talk him out of "boarding up Hell." Sam later admits to Dean that he agrees how he should have searched for him and is surprised to learn that Dean has long ago forgiven him for his actions. Although despite his weakness, Sam is able to brush aside Lucifer's various lies and not say "yes", proving Sam to be smart and still brave enough to stand against the archangel.

When he met God, he was very excited to actually meet him even gaining a semblance of hope after latter came back to fight the Darkness.

As of Season 12, Sam is shown to be a strong and resilient person, able to withstand various torture methods imposed on him by Lady Toni Bevell. He is also more forgiving, as he accepts Mary's decision to take a break from her grown-up sons. He continues to show compassion too, as he gives Magda Peterson support in learning to control her psychic powers which she formerly believed were bad, and again, when he tries to comfort Ellie Grant. Sam does not express any unhappiness or distress until he discovers Lucifer's new goal of killing humans out of contempt. He finds this situation bad and expresses low hopes of solving it. Throughout the season, Sam's ultimate goal seems to be fighting against his past fears, namely Lucifer, and in their latest confrontation, he bravely tells the archangel to "go to Hell". His constant mention of his past ties with Lucifer heavily implies that Sam wishes to be rid of the archangel once and for all, presumably considering his entire existence as a bane in his own life. Sam would later reveal that he has been terrified of Lucifer ever since he saw Lucifer's "true face", and that instead of dealing with this fear, he has been suppressing it. After being resurrected by Lucifer in Season 13's Beat the Devil, Sam reluctantly formed an alliance again with the archangel due to the circumstances, but kept an eye out for a chance to betray him once again. After Lucifer was badly injured by the Apocalypse World Michael in Exodus, Sam took the chance to betray and strand Lucifer in Apocalypse World once more asking the shocked archangel "how did you think this was going to end?" After Dean killed Lucifer with the help of the alternate Michael in Let the Good Times Roll, Sam appeared hardly able to believe that Lucifer was gone but immensely relieved and pleased that it was finally over.

Due to his own past of being rejected for his powers, Sam was very sympathetic to the Nephilim Jack. Even though Jack was the son of his most hated enemy, Sam did not bear any ill will to him and was the only one to truly understand his pain. While Sam admitted he wanted Jack to master his powers to open a rift and save his mother, he defended Jack from Dean's resentment and called him a confused kid. Sam continued to support Jack and found his belief was well put when Jack saved him from being killed by a shapeshifter. His good opinion continued after it was revealed Jack was partially responsible for bringing Cass back, which ended Dean's depression.

After spending time in The Bad Place, witnessing Kaia Nieves' death and Jack being trapped in the alternate universe with Mary, Sam has become quite depressed, similar to Dean's depression after Mary was trapped and Cass' death. This depression has caused him to adopt a more serious mindset, as well as expressing a belief that everyone who gets close to him, Dean or any Hunter will end up dead. He has even come to believe that, when it comes to the end for him or Dean, it will only end bad and bloody, showing that Sam has lost his optimism about living any sort of "apple pie life". Once Cass warns him of an impending threat, Sam is worried and decides to focus himself on saving his mother and Jack. He sees a glimpse of hope when Donatello Redfield told him there might be a way to open a rift.

Deaths

Throughout the course of the series, Sam has died multiple times. His first resurrection seems to have been the catalyst for Sam's increasingly cold nature and it has been insinuated by Azazel that when he was resurrected, he did not come back "100% pure Sam".

  • "All Hell Breaks Loose - Part 1" - Sam is stabbed in the back by Jake Talley. He was resurrected by the Crossroads Demon when Dean paid the ultimate price with his soul.
  • "Wishful Thinking" - Sam is struck by lightning and briefly died when Hope wished him dead. However, this was quickly reversed.
  • "Sympathy for the Devil" - Zachariah takes Sam's lungs away long enough for Sam to die briefly. Castiel orders him to return the boys back to normal.
  • "The Song Remains the Same" - Sam is impaled with a pipe by Anna Milton after time-traveling to the late 1970s. He is resurrected by Michael soon after.
  • "Dark Side of the Moon" - Sam is shot dead alongside Dean by Roy and Watt who blame them for starting the Apocalypse. It was also mentioned he has died more time than he knows but his memories were erased. They are resurrected by Joshua.
  • "First Blood" - Sam and Dean make a deal with the Reaper Billie where she temporarily kills them by stopping their hearts then brings them back later to give them a chance to escape Site 94. In return, the Winchesters agree that a Winchester will die permanently at midnight. Before this part of the deal can be carried out, Billie is killed by Castiel.
  • "Beat the Devil" - While traveling through a tunnel in Apocalypse World, Sam is attacked by Apocalypse World vampires and overwhelmed. Sam's throat is ultimately ripped out by a vampire and he quickly bleeds to death. Sam's body is found shortly afterwards by Lucifer who resurrects Sam in order to request Sam's help in creating a bond with his son Jack, something Sam reluctantly agrees to under the circumstances.

Relationships

Name

  • Samuel (sometimes spelled Samual) is a male given name of Hebrew origin meaning either "name of God" or "God has heard".
  • Sam was named after his and Dean's maternal grandfather, Samuel Campbell.
  • He only allows those closest to him, such as Dean and John, to call him "Sammy", as Gordon Walker learned the hard way in "Bloodlust". However, Lucifer, Azazel, Crowley, Ruby, and Meg also called him Sammy a few times.
  • Sam once mentioned that he didn't like being called "Samuel" either, not even by Dean.

Trivia

Gallery

→ see also Sam Winchester/Gallery and Category:Images of Sam Winchester


See Also

References