In the Supernatural fandom, there is no question asked more than: Is “Destiel”(shipping name for: Dean and Castiel) real? I want to make a try on aswering this question today. First, a little introduction into the tv-show “Supernatural”:
In the pilot episode, we meet the brothers Sam and Dean Winchester, whos’ mother was murdered by a demon when Dean was four years old. From that day on, their father John Winchester raised his sons to become hunters, like himself. While John is always on the hunt, it is Dean who raises his little brother, doing everything he can to protect him. Dean says himself that at the age of sixteen, he choosed the life of a hunter, dropping out of school, while Sam was on a never ending fight with his father and finally left his family to study at a college. Not having seen each other in years, Dean shows up at Sams’ and tells him his father has gone missing on a huntig trip. Later on, Sams’ girlfriend/ fiancé in spé dies the same why their mother did, burning on the ceilling. Sam then joins Dean on the search for their father. On their way to find him, they use his diary which helps them to fight the evil they meet on their way.
So, let’s take a closer look onto Dean. Even in the first season he almost dies twice, but is saved by some kind of supernatural assistance. He suffers from the knowledge that the second time, his father makes a deal with the demon that killed their mother to save him, and so the demon takes Johns’ life, while Dean comes back to life. Deans’ first priority is always his younger brother, his family (and what he counts as family, like Jo and Ellen) and the will to be good. He suffers from the never ending feeling of being worthless, for he isn’t clever as Sam and always is the one who does the bad for the greater good. He is attractive and charming, and uses this often for one-night-stands with women. But though he falls for beautiful women easily, he is unable to build up a relationship of trust and love. The closest thing he had to this was his relationship with Cassie, which doesn’t last long. He mostly became what he is beause of the childhood he never had.
In the fourth season, we meet Castiel, as the angel that “gripped [Dean] tight and raised [him] from Perdition”. First introduced as a one-case-character, he becomes a major part of the show, mostly because of his actor, Misha Collins. And, because he brought in a dynamic that was missing before. We have the nerd (Sam), we have the broken soldier/womanizer (Dean), and now we have the shy, unbelievable powerful angel who has a problem dealing with humans and their emotions. Plus, he also is a major counterpart to Dean, who flirts with everything that didn’t run away fast enough, who can make friends with almost everybody he meets and is a perfect liar and player. Castiel at the opposite is unable to lie, for he is an angel, he feels very unconftable near women, especially when they flirt with him, he can’t understand human emotions and actions, and he is never free of the burden of being an angel, thousends of years old, bound to God and the other angels, and to heaven itself. He switches from human to angel to human again every bit, but that doesn’t really matter, even as an angel, he becomes more and more human, for as Metatron says: “He’s in love with humanity.”. This goes far enough that he starts choosing the Winchester brothers over his duty as an angel. And that’s simply because it’s the Wichesters that makes him human.
So, I think there isn’t any couple in Supernatural shipped
as much as Dean and Castiel, if we leave out death-seperated couples (ones like Sam and Jess e.g). What makes so much people ship them so hard, it’s nearly canon now in season 12? First to mention is, that a major point goes to the cast of Supernatural, who did it’s best to fire the rumors. But to get all aspects of this, we need to take a closer look.
There are so many aspects the fans found in the series they take as proofs for a love-intrest based relationship between Dean and Castiel, so I will focus only on things that…
- are obviously intendet by the shows’ writers or actors
- show a clear definition of their relationship
- are proofed trivia
- was not made as a prank
I start with things that proof their love for each other, meaning it could be brotherly love, and then I’ll look about a possible sexual relationship. So, here we go:
1. Castiel “doing all of it for [Dean]”
There are many differnt scenes where it is said that Castiel does what he’s doing in that moment because of Dean. Sometimes it is said “them” (the Winchester brothers), but Dean is part of them. Castiel does many things that are far beyond the duty he has to fullfil, and he often risks his life doing it. He rebels against heaven, he betrays his brothers and sisters, he even is ready to turn against both, heaven and hell for Dean. And it is the first time we see him angry, realy angry, when Dean doesn’t appreciate what Castiel is doing for him. Later I’ll continue on what he does, but the most important point is: He does it all for Dean.
2. Castiel gives everything for Dean
In order to protect Dean, Castiel gives away mostly everything he ever cared of, he loses his siblings, his honor, his grace. He becomes mortal, because he turns against angels far more powerful than himself to protect Dean. On this point, there has to be mentioned the point where heaven is in a civil war, with Castiel on the one side and Raphael on the other, and Castiel gives up an entire angel army, just because they made him choose between revenging on of the angels’ deaths by killing Dean, or to lose the trust of them and with that lose them as companions. Unable to hurt Dean, he refuses and is left alone in a civil war, fought by the most powerful creatures of the world.
3. Dean starts choosing Castiel over Sam
When Castiel is killed April, Dean immediatly goes for him, not for Sam, who lies on the flor unconscious and probably injured bad. He goes for Castiel, not for the brother he raised, the brother he feels so responsible for, the brother he swore to protect no matter what. He goes for Castiel, and he is about to break as he notices that Castiel is gone.
4. The way they look at each other
So, this a kind of a subjective point, but it’s the way they look at each other. It’s always so much emotion, and the long staring-each-other-in-the-eye-thing has become a running gag at the show. To me, these looks they give each other always seem like unspoken words, and both of them know exactly what the other would say if he could.
5. “Dean and I do share a more profound bond. I wasn’t gonna mention it.”
Sam: I spent all that time trying to get through to you. Dean calls once, and now it’s, ‘Hello’?!
Sam: So, what, you — you like him better or something?
Castiel: Dean and I do share a more profound bond. I wasn’t gonna mention it.
The quote says everything.
6. “It’s me, Cas. We’re family.”/ “I did it for you. I love you.”
They both admidt to love each other, so I think the discussion could be done here, but the other points proof they love each other more than they love anyone else. And for those who think Dean never admidted he loved Castiel? The script said “It’s me, Cas. I love you.”, but Jensen Ackles (Dean) didn’t think Dean would have said it and instead said “We’re family.”.
My favourite, I have to admit, is Sams’ reactions with Castiel and Dean. He starts coughing when they stare at each other, seeming lost in their own world, he keeps complaining about Castiel always showing up the second Dean calls for him, and not even answers when Sam calls, about Castiel like Dean better than him… and the looks he gives them are priceless. But to the funny Sam-reactions, there have to be added a lot sad ones. Like, when Castiel tells them he slept with April, Sams first look goes to Dean, who doesn’t seem amused. Sam doesn’t say anything, doesn’t look at Castiel, he only looks at Dean. Because he is afraid that Dean is hurt.
So, I believe it is prooven that they love each other, at least as family.
Now to the other question: What kind of love? And how are they going to end up?
Well, let’s start with: What kind of love and relation do they share? There are, especially since everyone ships it, many scenes with sexual tension or sexual allusions. Honorable mentions are dialoges like “Blow me, Cas!” or, the possibly most famous ones,
“Cas, not for nothing, but the last one who looked at me like that… I got laid.”
Sam Winchester: Well, you know what? Maybe it’s like iron or silver, you know? Hurts them, not us.
Dean Winchester: Maybe, but a fat lot of good it does us till we find that bitch.
Bobby Singer: I’m looking, but I’m thinking maybe it’s time you made a call.
Dean Winchester: Why’s it always gotta to be me, huh? It’s not like Cass lives in my ass. The dude’s busy.
[Castiel appears behind him]
Dean Winchester: Cass, get out of my ass.
Castiel: I was never in your…
Especially the last one is for most fans a proof for their sexual relationship, because the only reason Castiel would leave the sentence unfinished is because he is unable to lie
(and if “I was never in your ass” would be a lie…).
But personally I think, these were only little hints created by the actors and writers to keep in in treating and throw all the “Destiel“-shippers a bone, for they make a major part of the shows’ ratings.
Castiel, in fact, is good possible in love with Dean, you have to remember about him that he is neither male nor female, he’s an angel, he just has a male vessel. In the next season (13), we will see Castiel in a female vessel, and this could change a lot. Dean is, I’m sorry, not gay and not enough bisexual to get into a sexual relationship with Castiel, but this might change when Castiel has a female vessel. Castiel could highly possible be attracted to Dean, and so this would be a chance. But I think “female Castiel” would be a one-episode thing (they’ll keep Misha Collins), so it will get interesting when they had something with each other while Castiel was in a female vessel and then it gets weird when he has his old male one again…
Personal I think, Dean loves Castiel as a brother, and he is far away from sleeping with him, whatever you think you can read between the lines. They share a bond that is extremely strong, and they are pretty, pretty close: Castiel gave away everything to be with Dean and for Dean it would be impossible to choose between Castiel and Sam, Sam he had always chosen above everything else, and I think Castiel would have good chances to be Deans first choice, even over Sam. Castiel might be in love with Dean, but Dean isn’t. Anyway, they love each other more than everything else. And I think they will get their personal happy end, even though it will be kind of tragic. Like it always goes in Supernatural. And that’s maybe the greatest definition of their relationship: I can imagine a fitting picture in which on e of Sam and Dean is dying (look at the fellow essays), but I don’t think we will see Dean and Castiel seperated in the end. One possible scenario is e.g., that Castiel dies, returning to heaven, and then Dean is killed and while dying, he tells Sam that it’s okay because he will be with Castiel and everyone who has left before them and tells Sam to live the life he always wanted so that one distant day, when Sam comes to join him in heaven, he will be proud.
So, “Destiel” is real. Not as a love-couple, but as really close friends, almost brothers, the fallen angel and the hunter, who keep saving each other.