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Sam Winchester
9x18 SamWinchesterMain
Biological information
Race : Human (Special child)
Family and relatives : Dean Winchester (brother)
Adam Milligan (biological paternal half-brother)
John Winchester (father; deceased)
Mary Winchester (mother; deceased)
Henry Winchester (paternal grandfather; deceased)
Samuel Campbell (maternal grandfather; deceased)
Deanna Campbell (maternal grandmother; deceased)
Gwen Campbell (maternal third cousin; deceased)
Christian Campbell (maternal third cousin; deceased)
Mark Campbell (distant maternal cousin; deceased)
Emma (biological niece; deceased)
Cain or Abel (ancestor; presumed deceased)
Status : Alive
Biographical information
Born : 2 May, 1983
Died : May, 2007 (resurrected)
Early 2010 (resurrected)
Affiliations : Winchester family
Campbell family
Men of Letters (by bloodline)
Occupation : Hunter
Law student (formerly)
Series information
Actor/Actress : Jared Padalecki
First appearance : Pilot
Latest appearance : Do You Believe in Miracles?

Samuel "Sam" Winchester is the son of John and Mary Winchester and the younger brother of Dean Winchester, and a hunter and (as of recently) Man of Letters, alongside Dean. Sam was infused with demon blood by the demon Azazel as an infant, and thus developed psychic and demonic abilities in his later years. Sam was also destined to be the fallen archangel Lucifer's true vessel for the Apocalypse, but he turned from and overcame his destiny. Sam also at one point attempted to complete the Trials of God, which had a heavy and dangerous effect on him.

Biography

Early life

Sam was born to John and Mary Winchester on May 2, 1983. On November 2 in the same year, shortly after the baby Sam was put to bed for the night, Azazel came into his bedroom and fed the infant Sam his demon blood to make Sam one of Azazel's special children. Mary walked in on Azazel during this, causing the demon to kill her by telekinetically pinning her to the ceiling above Sam, opening her abdomen and then burning her alive. John had Sam's older brother Dean take Sam out of the burning house, with John shortly after following.

Sam and Dean were subsequently raised by John, who became a hunter, although the latter was frequently away from them. Dean and Sam spent their childhood as nomads, frequently moving around and being left with each other while John was away on hunting assignments. Sam was initially unaware of the supernatural or John's actual occupation as a hunter, until on Christmas Eve when he was eight years old, he read John's journal and learned the truth. (A Very Supernatural Christmas)

By 1997, at age 15, Sam was hunting with John and Dean, although he questioned John's orders more than Dean, and one of Sam's schoolteachers gave Sam encouraging words to make his own choices and decisions about whether or not to follow in the Winchester family's hunting business; (After School Special) this cemented in Sam a desire to be a normal person and have a happy and normal life free of hunting and the supernatural; which in turn resulted in a fractured relationship between Sam and John due to Sam's feelings John was trying to control and order him around.

7x3 YoungSamWithAmyPond

Sam at the age of 15 with Amy Pond. (The Girl Next Door)

During this time, Dean also frequently left Sam at Plucky Pennywhistle's Magical Menagerie, which Sam detested. (Plucky Pennywhistle's Magical Menagerie) In the same year, when Sam was helping Dean and John on one hunting mission for a Kitsune, he met, befriended and quickly fell in love with Amy Pond, but soon discovered she was the daughter of the Kitsune the Winchesters were hunting. When Amy turned on and killed her Kitsune mother to save Sam's life, Sam let her escape and covered her trail and existence to stop John and Dean learning of and hunting Amy. (The Girl Next Door)

Leaving the Winchesters

In Sam's adult years, his desire and longing for a normal life free of hunting caused his to sometimes run away from John and Dean. (Dark Side of the Moon) Eventually, when Sam was 18 or 19, Sam and John had an intense argument and falling out, which ended with Sam leaving his family. Sam later went to Stanford University and began studying for law school, and made friends there with Brady and Jessica Moore and tried to help Brady when the latter began doing drugs and throwing away his future. Circa early - mid 2004, Sam and Jess began dating and fell in love. (Route 666)

Return to hunting

1x1 SamSeesJessAboutToDie

Sam sees Jess about to die. (Pilot)

In October, 2005, Sam began having psychic nightmares of Jess dying in the same supernatural manner as his mother Mary, but he ignored and dismissed them and told no-one about them. (Bloody Mary) At the end of the month, on Halloween, Dean returned to Sam trying to get Sam to come back and help Dean find John, who had gone missing.

Though Sam helped Dean with a Woman in White in Jericho, he otherwise initially refused, until a few days later, on the anniversary of Mary's death, Sam's dreams of the same creature killing Jess the same way came true as he watched. This immediately caused Sam to immediately leave Stanford and join Dean on the search for John and the hunt for the creature responsible for Jess and Mary's death. (Pilot)

During Sam and Dean's search for John and Azazel, they disagreed over Dean's approach, with Sam just wanting to track John down direct rather than follow all the clues and coordinates and hunting cases that John left the brothers. Sam also had several love interests over the journey, including Lori Sorenson (Hook Man) and Sarah Blake, (Provenance) but was unable to stay with any of them due to the search for John and Azazel and Jess' death still haunting him. Sam also initially planned to return to Stanford after the brothers found John and defeated Azazel, but it would appear that this changed after time.

Finding John and Azazel

1x20 Sam+JohnArgue

Sam and John argue over the Colt and Sam's departure. (Dead Man's Blood)

Sam and Dean eventually reunited with John, (Shadow) and later joined him in tracking Azazel down and using the Colt to kill him. (Dead Man's Blood) The Winchesters also learned that Sam's psychic and telekinetic abilities were due to what Azazel did to Sam on the night the demon killed Mary. (Salvation)

After John was kidnapped by Azazel's demons, Sam and Dean tracked John and Azazel down and went into a showdown with Azazel, in which all but one of the Colt's bullets were used, but Azazel still managed to survive and escaped. (Devil's Trap) The Winchesters were shortly after sent injured to hospital after a possessed trucker crashed into the Impala. The Winchesters all survived and recovered in hospital, but John mysteriously died anyway, (In My Time of Dying) leaving Sam and Dean stunned and devastated. (Everybody Loves a Clown)

Tracking Azazel and the special children

2x1 SamFindsJohnDead

Sam upon discovering John dead from his deal with Azazel. (In My Time of Dying)

While continuing hunting, Sam and Dean subsequently set about finding out what Azazel's plans were, and about tracking down the other psychic children like Sam that Azazel had created, with help from Ash and Ellen and Jo Harvelle. John's death also caused Sam to become more active in hunting and attempting to do what John would have wanted, (Everybody Loves a Clown) and Sam's demonic powers continued to advance and develop.

Sam soon learned from John's secret last message to Dean that he and the other psychic children were intended to be demonic soldiers in an upcoming war against humanity and that Dean was to kill Sam if Sam gave in to his demonic side, and this caused Sam to become more determined than ever to save people and do good to stay good and change his demonic destiny. (Hunted)

After approximately nine months of the searching for Azazel and finding the other special children, Sam and the other surviving special children were abducted by demons and placed in the abandoned Cold Oak town. All of them were killed over time, until only Sam and Jake Talley were left. Just as Dean and Bobby tracked Sam down, Jake both literally and figuratively backstabbed Sam, who then died in Dean's arms. (All Hell Breaks Loose: Part 1)

2x21 SamDiesInDeansArms

Sam dies in Dean's arms after being backstabbed by Jake. (All Hell Breaks Loose: Part 1)

Dean secretly resurrected Sam by selling his soul to a crossroads demon, and the Winchesters, Bobby and Harvelle subsequently tracked Jake down to an old cemetery in southern Wyoming as Jake opened a devil's gate there to release Azazel's demon army. The group managed to kill both Jake and Azazel and close the devil's gate, but not before the gate released hundreds of demons from Hell. After learning about the deal Dean made to bring Sam back, Sam set about finding a way to save Dean from his contract before his one year was up as well as helping hunters battle the demon army. (All Hell Breaks Loose: Part 2)

The demon war and Dean's contract

While the hunters fought the demons freed through the devil's gate, Sam determinedly and desperately searched for a loophole in Dean's contract or other means of saving Dean from going to Hell, all the while fond of but also concerned about Dean's initial positive behaviour despite what his crossroads deal meant, and growing darker and more cold and ruthless over Dean's fate. Sam learned from Dean's crossroads demon that a more powerful demon held Dean's contract.

3x4 SamRuthlesslyKillsDemons

Sam kills Casey and Father Gil with the Colt, colder and more hardened than ever. (Sin City)

Sam was assisted in the goal of saving Dean from his contract and battling the released demon army by the rogue demon Ruby, and learned from her that he had been the planned leader of the demon army, but the demons were now instead following the powerful demon Lilith. Sam's status as the original leader of the demons caused hunters Kripke and Gordon Walker to hunt and go after Sam, believing him to be the Antichrist, but both hunters were killed during their hunt for Sam. (Fresh Blood)

At one point, Sam was first trapped in a time loop by Gabriel in which he constantly relived a day on which Dean died, until Gabriel freed Sam with the loop but left him bitter and broken with Dean dead and in Hell. After months of seeking Gabriel out, Gabriel undid Dean's death and sent Sam back to the day of Dean's undone death. (Mystery Spot) As Dean's one-year time began to run out, Sam became more and more desperate to find a way to save Dean, even considering resorting to Doc Benton's method of immortality in a Frankenstein-like body. (Time Is on My Side) Eventually, Dean's time ran out, and despite Sam and Ruby's efforts to hold off Lilith's hellhound and kill her to negate Dean's contract, Dean was killed and taken to Hell and Lilith escaped. (No Rest for the Wicked)

3x16 SamMournsDean

Sam weeps over his brother's death and damnation. (No Rest for the Wicked)

Drinking demon blood

Following Dean's death, a bitter and despairing Sam spent a month ruthlessly and recklessly attempting in vain to try and get Dean out of Hell, but nothing he attempted worked. Eventually, Sam reunited with Ruby, and Sam spent the following three months, under Ruby's encouragement and assistance, teaching himself to use his demonic powers, fuelled by consuming demon blood, to exorcise demons from their vessels so that Sam could eventually develop these powers enough to be able to take revenge on Lilith for Dean's fate. Ruby and Sam also became lovers, which partially shook Sam out of his despair and depression over Dean's death. (I Know What You Did Last Summer)

Dean's return and the 66 seals

On September 18, 2008 (four months after Dean's death), when Dean was rescued from Hell and resurrected by the angel Castiel, Sam and Dean reunited, overwhelmed. (Lazarus Rising) However, the brothers soon began fighting over Sam's use of his demonic abilities and trust in Ruby, and had a minor falling out. Sam initially promised Dean to stop using his powers, but quickly broke this promise and returned to using them to try and exorcise and destroy demons without killing their vessels.
4x7 SamExorcisingSamhain

Sam using his demonic powers to exorcise Samhain. (It's the Great Pumpkin, Sam Winchester)

Sam was initially overjoyed to discover that angels were real and helping the brothers, but became deeply disillusioned upon meeting Castiel and Uriel and seeing from them how ruthless and condescending angels were in actuality. (It's the Great Pumpkin, Sam Winchester)

When Sam continued to use and develop his demonic powers and drink demon blood with Ruby, eventually becoming powerful enough to kill Alastair, (On the Head of a Pin) this began to drive a wedge between Sam and Dean which began to grow. Eventually, when Dean and Bobby discovered that Sam had developed an addiction to demon blood and that it was affecting him very negatively, they attempted to painfully detox Sam in Bobby's panic room, (The Rapture, When the Levee Breaks) but Sam escaped and returned to Ruby and using his powers. Dean tracked Sam down and the brothers got into a brutal fight over Sam's choices of his demonic nature over his friends and family, and Sam ultimately chose Ruby and his demonic abilities over Dean and left with Ruby. (When the Levee Breaks)

4x20 SamAfterFeedingFromDemon

Sam's demon blood addiction is exposed. (The Rapture)

Sam subsequently powered his demonic abilities up, and he and Ruby tracked Lilith down to the abandoned St. Mary's Convent as Lilith was seemingly preparing to break the last of Lucifer's seals that kept Lucifer imprisoned in his cage in Hell. Dean arrived to try and stop Sam and warn him that Lilith was in fact the final seal herself and thus killing her would release Lucifer, but Sam once again followed Ruby over Dean and used his full powers to kill Lilith. Sam then realised from Ruby too late that he had just opened Lucifer's prison and started the Apocalypse and that Dean had been right about Ruby and what would come out of Sam's choices to use his demonic nature. Sam and Dean then killed Ruby with her demon-killing knife as Lucifer emerged from the cage. (Lucifer Rising)

The Apocalypse

Sam and Dean were teleported from St. Mary's to safety by God as Lucifer rose from the cage, and subsequently regrouped with Bobby and Castiel and, with Lucifer free and the Apocalypse in motion, set about finding a means of defeating Lucifer and stopping the Apocalypse. Sam's role in starting the Apocalypse by breaking the final seal also caused him to desperately find a way to redeem himself by stopping Lucifer. (Sympathy for the Devil) Sam and Dean initially chose to part ways and Sam attempted to lead a normal life, but after Sam learned that he would be Lucifer's true vessel for the Battle of Armageddon, (Free to Be You and Me) the brothers reunited in the fight against Heaven and Hell to stop the Apocalypse. (The End)

5x3 SamLearnsHesLucifersVessel

Sam discovers his dark destiny as Lucifer's true vessel. (Free to Be You and Me)

Sam tried to reconnect with Dean and earn his trust back, but the brothers were unable to become as close as before again. However, while Dean had no faith that Sam would resist Lucifer indefinitely, Sam was faithful that Dean would be able to defeat the archangel Michael. (Point of No Return) Sam and Dean initially attempted to stop the Apocalypse by getting the Colt back and using it on Lucifer, losing the Harvelles in the process, but this ultimately failed. (Abandon All Hope...) With this having failed, the Winchesters and the team decided to instead seek out God and get him to stop Lucifer, until Sam and Dean learned when they were temporarily killed and sent to Heaven that God would not stop the Apocalypse. (Dark Side of the Moon)

Sam and Dean eventually learned from Gabriel that the four horsemen's rings could send Lucifer back into his cage, (Hammer of the Gods) and the brothers set about gathering the rings of all four horsemen while also fighting off an attempt by Lucifer's demons in Niveus Pharmaceuticals to spread the Croatoan virus. However, when Sam realised that they would still have to find a way to get Lucifer back into the cage, Sam came up with the plan of allowing Lucifer to possess him, then taking control back from Lucifer and jumping into the cage to seal both of them in Hell. (The Devil You Know, Two Minutes to Midnight)

5x22 SamLucifer+MichaelAdamFallIntoCage

Sam and Adam fall into Lucifer's cage, taking Michael and Lucifer with them. (Swan Song)

After gathering the horsemen's rings, Sam and Dean tracked Lucifer down to Detroit, and Sam said yes and was possessed by Lucifer as the latter's true vessel. Sam was initially unable to take control of his body back from Lucifer, and Lucifer attempted to get Sam to join rather than fight him, by revealing just how greatly Azazel's demons had manipulated Sam's life. Eventually, when Lucifer began brutally beating Dean to death with Sam's body for Dean's interference in Lucifer's battle with Michael, the sight of a miniature soldier in the Impala's ashtray which Sam had put there as a child triggered all of Sam's happy memories of the Impala and his love for Dean. This gave Sam the strength to retake control of his body and trap Lucifer inside himself just long enough to jump into Lucifer's cage, taking Lucifer inside him and Michael possessing Adam into the cage with Sam.

Post-Apocalypse

Only a matter of hours after the Apocalypse was stopped, Castiel pulled Sam out of the cage and returned him to Earth, but unknowingly left Sam's soul behind in the cage, where it was severely damaged, abused and mutilated by Michael and Lucifer in the two archangels' anger and frustration towards Sam for trapping them in the cage.

6x7 SamScannedForSoul

Castiel searches Sam's vessel for his soul. (Family Matters)

The soulless Sam chose to let Dean think Sam was still in the cage, so that Dean could have a happy, normal life, and subsequently joined with his resurrected grandfather Samuel Campbell and the Campbell family in hunting monsters and the Alphas. However, due to his soul being missing and still in Lucifer's cage, Sam lacked any empathy or moral compass and was an extremely ruthless, cold and calculating hunter during his time with the Campbells.

Reunion with Dean

A year after the Apocalypse was stopped, Sam and the Campbells were forced to come to Dean when the latter was targeted by djinns, and Dean subsequently began to rejoin Sam in hunting. (Exile on Main St.) Dean began noticing and pointing out Sam's colder personality, but Sam dismissed it as being an effect from when he was in Hell. (The Third Man) However, when Sam allowed a vampire to turn Dean so that they could use Dean to track down the Alpha Vampire for the Campbells, (Live Free or TwiHard) Dean realised that something was truly wrong with Sam and began to distance himself from and distrust Sam. (You Can't Handle the Truth)

But just when Dean was beginning to soften up and dismiss this, an encounter with Veritas confirmed that Sam indeed wasn't properly human, (You Can't Handle the Truth) and the brothers and Castiel subsequently learned of how Sam's soul was still in the cage and this was the cause. The Winchesters subsequently set about finding a way to get Sam's soul back, and also learned to their disappointment that Samuel was actually working for Crowley in finding a means of reaching Purgatory in exchange for Mary's resurrection; and Crowley agreed to return Sam's soul in exchange for the brothers capturing one Alpha for Crowley. (Family Matters)

6x11 SamAttemptsToKillBobby

Sam attempts to murder Bobby to stay rid of his soul. (Appointment in Samarra)

Over time, Sam became less and less certain that he wanted his soul back upon learning how damaged it presumably was from its time in Lucifer's cage, until eventually he went rogue from Dean and Bobby and searched for a way to stop his soul being returned. While Dean was fulfilling a bargain with Death for the return of Sam's soul, Sam attempted to kill Bobby so as to render Sam's soulless vessel uninhabitable to his soul, but he was stopped by Dean, and Death subsequently reunited Sam's soul in an excruciating process. Death also placed a mental barrier to protect Sam's mind from the damage done to his soul in Hell, which also caused Sam to lose all memory from when he was soulless on Earth. (Appointment in Samarra)

After an entire week unconscious, Sam recovered from the return of his soul, and was initially unaware that his soulless vessel had been on Earth while his soul was in Hell, and convinced that Dean had never gone to Lisa Braeden and left hunting, until Sam learned the truth from Castiel. (Like a Virgin) Over time, the mental wall in Sam's mind began to slightly erode and fragments of his memories from both the cage and his soulless self began to return. (Unforgiven) After Sam's soul was restored, he and Dean were forced to deal with repercussions of the civil war in Heaven between Castiel and Raphael, and soon learned that Eve, the Mother of All Monsters, had returned from Purgatory and was creating and spreading new monsters. (...And Then There Were None)

6x22 SamVsSoullessSam

Sam confronts his soulless self in his mind. (The Man Who Knew Too Much)

Sam and Dean set about stopping Eve, and ultimately succeeded in killing her, (Mommy Dearest) but afterwards learned that Castiel was in an alliance with Crowley to reach Purgatory and use the power of the monster souls there. (The Man Who Would Be King) When Crowley's demons threatened the Winchesters, as did the risk posed by the creatures and beings in Purgatory, Sam, Dean and Bobby tried to talk Castiel out of opening Purgatory, (Let It Bleed) so when they attempted to forcefully stop him, Cass took Sam's mental wall down; leaving Sam trapped in his mind until he regained the respective memories of his three selves (his full self, his soulless self and his damaged soul). Sam then attempted to stop Castiel, Crowley and Raphael with Dean and Bobby, but they failed when Cass absorbed all the souls in Purgatory and used their power to decide to replace God. (The Man Who Knew Too Much)

Leviathans and memories of Hell

Shortly after Castiel decided to use Purgatory's souls to become the new God, Sam began suffering intense and damaging hallucinations of his memories from his soul's abuse and damage in Lucifer's cage. (Meet the New Boss) Eventually, Sam developed an illusion of Lucifer which mentally tormented Sam and tried to convince Sam that he'd actually never left the cage and was still there with him. The Lucifer illusion's torment began to worsen and stress Sam and threaten to drive him closer to insanity, until Sam and Dean learned that physical pain could drive Sam's hallucinations off due to the difference in Earthly pain and pain in Hell. (Hello, Cruel World) Sam subsequently used pain from a scar on his hand to keep the hallucinations and the torment they caused at bay.

7x17 SamTormentedByLucifer

Sam is severely tormented by his hallucination of Lucifer. (The Born-Again Identity)

At the same time, Leviathans that Castiel had absorbed from Purgatory with the deceased monsters' souls were released onto the Earth and took human form, and subsequently began attacking and hunting Sam, Dean and Bobby down; (Hello, Cruel World) forcing the trio to go into hiding at Rufus Turner's cabin until they could find an effective means of combatting the Leviathan threat. (The Girl Next Door)

Sam reunited with Amy Pond when she began killing humans to save her Kitsune son. When she agreed to stop killing, Sam decided to spare Amy and let her go, but Dean secretly killed her anyway. (The Girl Next Door) Shortly afterwards, while Sam and Dean defeated two Leviathans that were framing the brothers for the two Levis' nationwide massacre, Sam learned the truth about Dean killing Amy behind his back from the Leviathan, which left Sam furious with Dean for his actions and not telling Sam, and Sam left Dean as a result. (Slash Fiction) However, Sam and Dean quickly ran into each other again while working the same case in Lily Dale, and the brothers eventually made up and reunited, and Sam remained unhappy about Amy's death but decided to move on. (The Mentalists)

While Sam, Dean and Bobby were investigating murders in New Jersey and uncovered a Leviathan food additive part of their secret plans for humanity and conspiracy, (How to Win Friends and Influence Monsters) Bobby was fatally injured by the Leviathan leader Dick Roman and died afterwards, (Death's Door) leaving Sam and Dean emotionally stunned and mourning for weeks before they resumed hunting and investigating the Leviathans' plans. (Adventures in Babysitting)

7x17 SamLosesHellMemories

Castiel moves Sam's tormenting memories and illusions of Hell from his mind. (The Born-Again Identity)

Over time, when it became more difficult to keep his hallucination of Lucifer at bay, Sam began to accept the illusion, (Repo Man) which in turn allowed it to freely and unstoppably mentally torture and torment Sam, leaving Sam unable to sleep, (Out with the Old) and eventually driving Sam to the mental breaking point and getting him institutionalised. The Lucifer illusion's torment and its devastating mental effects on Sam almost killed Sam, but the latter was saved and recovered when Castiel moved the illusion from Sam's mind. (The Born-Again Identity)

Afterwards, Sam and Dean learned that Bobby had remained with them as a ghost, (Of Grave Importance) but the brothers were later forced to send Bobby's spirit away due to the growing risk of Bobby becoming a vengeful spirit. (Survival of the Fittest) Meanwhile, Sam and Dean learned from the Word of God via the prophet Kevin Tran how to construct a bone of a righteous mortal washed in the three bloods of the fallen with which to defeat the Leviathans by killing Dick Roman. (There Will Be Blood) After completing the bone, the brothers, along with Meg and Castiel, launched a battle against the Leviathan-occupied SucroCorp and successfully killed Dick, but, unbeknownst to Sam, the bone also sent Dean and Cass to Purgatory. (Survival of the Fittest)

Giving up hunting

8x1 Sam+DeanReunite

Sam and Dean reunite after Dean's return from Purgatory. (We Need to Talk About Kevin)

After defeating Richard Roman Enterprises and the Leviathans' plans for farming humanity, Sam chose to give up hunting rather than look for Kevin or attempt to get Dean or Castiel back, and met and got into a relationship with Amelia Richardson. However, the two began to break up when Amelia's presumed-dead husband Don returned.

Dean's return and the Trials of God

A year after the Leviathans' defeat and Dean's disappearance into Purgatory, Dean and later Castiel returned, and Sam returned to hunting with them. However, Sam's actions in abandoning Dean and Kevin caused a rift between the brothers, (We Need to Talk About Kevin) though they eventually made up after Sam decided to break up with Amelia and fully return to hunting. (Torn and Frayed) At the same time, Sam learned that Dean had resurrected the vampire Benny Lafitte after bonding with him in Purgatory, and Sam was against leaving Benny alive to potentially return to killing, but at Dean's request, Sam left Benny alone. (Southern Comfort)

8x12 Dean+SamAtHenrysGrave

Sam and Dean at their late grandfather Henry Winchester's grave. (As Time Goes By)

Meanwhile, after reuniting with Kevin, Sam and Dean learned that another Word of God recorded the three Trials of God which would allow the person who completed them to permanently close the gates of Hell, and the brothers set about learning what the three Trials were so they could complete them and defeat Crowley and his demons. Sam and Dean also learned of the Men of Letters, and adopted their old bunker as a base of operations and unofficial home. (As Time Goes By, Everybody Hates Hitler) Sam ended up becoming the one who would have to complete the Trials of God to seal Hell after he (partially unintentionally) completed the first trial. (Trial and Error) Sam later managed to complete the second trial by rescuing Bobby's soul from Hell, (Taxi Driver) and the Trials' purifying effect began to have dangerously damaging effects on Sam. (The Great Escapist)

8x21 SamDamagedByTrials

Sam is physically and mentally damaged and tormented by the Trials of God. (The Great Escapist)

After Sam and Dean captured Crowley for the third and final trial of curing a demon, Sam managed to at least partially restore Crowley's humanity, but before he could complete the final trial, he discovered from Dean that doing so would kill him. Sam did not care and was still willing to sacrifice himself to close the gates of Hell, as he felt he'd let Dean down too much in the past, but Dean talked Sam out of it and got Sam to give up on the Trials. (Sacrifice)

Possession by Gadreel

Following the Fall of all the angels to Earth, when Sam was dying from the effects of the Trials of God, Dean secretly resorted to having the angel Gadreel (posing to Dean as Ezekiel) enter Sam's body as a vessel to secretly repair the damage from inside while keeping Sam alive and functioning. Dean and Gadreel also agreed to both let Sam keep control of his body and keep his possession by Gadreel a secret to stop him fatally ejecting Gadreel. (I Think I'm Gonna Like It Here) Though Gadreel would usually let Sam remain in control of his body, he would (when Sam was in grave enough danger, or when he and Dean needed to talk) briefly take control to protect Sam's life or speak with Dean. (Season 9)

9x8 GadreelAwakens

Gadreel, during his possession of Sam, briefly awakes to talk with Dean. (Rock and a Hard Place)

Throughout his possession, Sam initially remained oblivious to the fact that he was being inhabited and healed by an angel which Dean was keeping secret; but as time passed, Sam grew suspicious and picked up that something was not right, when the episodes in which Gadreel was in control resulted in Sam's memory losing those chunks of time, (Holy Terror) and when threats he faced such as the shaman Leo recognised Sam wasn't in a human state, (Dog Dean Afternoon) and when Sam began picking up hints that Dean was hiding something. (Slumber Party) In the meantime, Sam, Dean and Kevin began searching for a means of reversing the Fall and sending the angels back to Heaven, (Heaven Can't Wait) while also having to deal with Abaddon usurping leadership among the demons in Crowley's absence. (Devil May Care)

9x10 SamVsGadreel

Sam, after being awakened by Crowley, fights with Gadreel in his mind for control of his body. (Road Trip)

Eventually, when Dean learned that Gadreel wasn't Ezekiel and couldn't be trusted, he attempted to explain the truth to Sam so Sam could expel Gadreel immediately, but Gadreel took full control of Sam's body from him, killed Kevin, and left to begin working for Metatron as his new second-in-command. (Holy Terror) After a matter of days or more, Dean and Castiel tracked Gadreel down, and the angel was successfully expelled and Sam freed when Crowley (in exchange for his own freedom) made Sam's unconscious mind aware of Gadreel's presence so he could expel him. (Road Trip)

After Kevin's death

After Gadreel was expelled, while the angel had healed Sam enough now for him to function without Gadreel, Sam was furious and betrayed with and unable to forgive Dean for lying to him and taking away his choice once more, and for how Dean letting Gadreel in had caused Kevin's death. This in turn led to Sam and Dean initially going separate ways (with Sam and Cass searching for Gadreel and Metatron, while Dean and Crowley searched for the First Blade to kill Abaddon with); (Road Trip) however, Sam eventually agreed to become hunting partners with Dean again, but it would now be a purely professional co-worker relationship, and the rift between the brothers over Kevin's death remained. (Sharp Teeth, The Purge)

9x17 SamReleasesMinedSoul

Sam freeing extracted souls that have been mined by Abaddon's demons. (Mother's Little Helper)

After rejoining as partners, Sam and Dean learned that Kevin had stayed behind as a ghost due to the Fall closing the gates of Heaven, and Kevin encouraged the brothers to put his death behind them and move on. (Captives) Sam also himself joined Dean and Crowley in the search for Abaddon to kill with the First Blade, (Blade Runners, Mother's Little Helper) but Sam became concerned for Dean when the latter began behaving more angry and aggressive since taking on the Mark of Cain. Though Sam, Dean and Crowley eventually succeeded in killing Abaddon using the First Blade, Sam's concern for the Mark's effects on Dean were confirmed by Dean's violent and psychotic burst of rage when he destroyed Abaddon. (King of the Damned)

War against Metatron

9x23 SamHoldsDyingDean

Sam holds a dying Dean as Metatron is defeated at the price of his brother's life. (Do You Believe in Miracles?)

At the time of and just after Abaddon's death, Sam and Dean became involved in Castiel and his angel army's war to retake Heaven from Metatron, uncovering a conspiracy among Cass's ranks which ultimately led to Cass losing his entire army to Metatron. (King of the Damned, Stairway to Heaven)

Shortly afterwards, as Metatron made his move to become worshipped by humanity as their new Messiah, Sam unsuccessfully tried to stop an out-of-control Dean from going up against Metatron himself. Castiel ultimately succeeded in depowering and imprisoning Metatron and taking back Heaven, but not before Metatron mortally wounded Dean in combat. Dean subsequently died of his injuries; and an angry and furious Sam set about getting Crowley to bring Dean back, unaware that the Mark of Cain was bringing Dean back as a demon at that very moment. (Do You Believe in Miracles?)

Alternate realities

  • In one alternate future where Sam and Dean remained separated during the start of the Apocalypse after defeating War and thus the Apocalypse was not stopped and Lucifer ravaged the Earth with the Croatoan virus, in 2013, Sam said yes to Lucifer in Detroit during a massive battle in the city, and Lucifer then possessed Sam as his true vessel in his winning war against humanity. (The End) This future was negated by Sam and Dean’s actions in the present.
  • In an alternate universe where the supernatural and the Winchesters and their lives are fictional, Sam’s counterpart in this reality is an actor called Jared Padalecki who portrayed Sam in the show Supernatural. (The French Mistake)
  • In an alternate timeline created when Balthazar saved the Titanic from sinking, Sam and Dean possessed a Mustang instead of the Impala. The alternate timeline versions of Sam and Dean helped Castiel and Balthazar fight Atropos, until Atropos threatened to kill them and Balthazar restored history to normal. (My Heart Will Go On)

Personality

Sam is caring, selfless, heroic, good-hearted, strong, independent, intelligent, rational, kind and sensitive, and often served as the brains and the voice of reason among the two Winchester brothers. He also showed some obsessive-compulsive tendencies, such as being more serious about order and cleanliness than Dean, having a healthier diet than his older brother, and preferring to be in control of the situation, sometimes on his own.

Sam had also, ever since he was a teenager, longed for a normal life away from his family and free of hunting and the supernatural, although over the years after rejoining Dean in hunting, he resigned himself to hunting upon seeing he could not permanently lead an ordinary life, but he later regained his longing for a normal life from the year when Dean was in Purgatory.

Sam argued and disagreed with and rebelled against his father John and disapproved of John raising him and Dean as hunters and had always wanted to be able to feel free of john and hunting. However, after John died, Sam brought himself to understand John's actions and forgive him. Sam also had a strong and fierce love for his family, especially Dean, and had always looked up to Dean despite the brothers' bickering and tried to get Dean to be more open about the latter's problems and emotions. Sam also tried to get Dean to care more for himself and was sometimes even frustrated by Dean placing Sam's well-being over his own, although Sam himself had fierce and selfless protective tendencies with Dean. Sam also once displayed something of a deep inferiority complex on how he appeared in the eyes of his older brother, and his emotions about what happened to Dean could sometimes cloud his judgment; when Dean was killed and taken to Hell by Lilith's hellhounds, Sam became obsessed with avenging Dean to the point of unknowingly starting the Apocalypse by killing Lilith, and Sam considered letting Dean down with his past mistakes to have been his greatest sin, to the point that Sam was willing to sacrifice himself with little hesitation to make up to Dean for his mistakes.

Despite his brave, selfless and good intentions, Sam is prone to feelings of anger and vengeance and does possess a darker and more cold and vicious side, although this is often triggered by outside influence. After his first resurrection through Dean's crossroads deal, Sam became much more cold-blooded, arrogant, ruthless and even cruel, and he lost his previous strongly-held adherence to morality and once even chose to sacrifice human life for the many. Azazel suggested that this dark change in Sam's personality and morality may have been a side-effect of Sam's resurrection disrupting the Natural Order, but Sam claimed that it was because he felt he had to become darker and more ruthless to be stronger for the war against Azazel's and Lilith's demons. When Sam was drinking demon blood, this appeared to be a large factor in Sam's increased viciousness, brutality and aggression, as it was known to make Sam much more aggressive than usual. After Sam unintentionally started the Apocalypse in his mission to kill Lilith and realised that his choices and decisions of ruthlessness were the cause, he became deeply regretful, and desperate and determined to stop the Apocalypse to gain redemption for his mistakes and earn Dean's trust and faith back, and he also seemed to regain his previous moral code.

When being tormented by his illusions of Lucifer, Sam began to lose his sanity and become less and less sane and powerful from the illusion's torment, eventually becoming more amenable to Lucifer's suggestions and eventually reaching the mental breaking point. Sam's sanity was restored when Castiel removed Sam's Lucifer hallucinations from him.

Soulless Sam

During the year and a half when Sam was soulless while his soul was still in Lucifer's cage, he was largely identical in demeanor to how he was with his soul, except he had no love, empathy or moral compass whatsoever due to his lack of his soul, and he had no instinct and instead relied entirely on cunning and intelligence; due to this, Sam was effectively a sociopath in his soulless state. Soulless Sam was extremely cold, calculating and ruthless, and would engage in amoral and morally questionable actions without hesitation, until Sam's soulful self.

Special abilities

Special child

Due to him being fed Azazel's demon blood when he was exactly six months old, Sam developed several psychic and demonic powers and abilities in his adulthood from the demon blood in him.

4x22 SpecialChildFullPower

Sam using his demonic special child powers to kill Llith. (Lucifer Rising)

Sam's demonic nature as one of Azazel's "special children" at first manifested when he was 22 as premonitions of future events indirectly tied to Azazel (such as Jessica's death on Azazel's orders and Azazel's testing of the Croatoan virus in River Grove), as a small amount of telekinesis, (Nightmare) and as immunity to the Croatoan virus, (Croatoan) fellow special child Andrew Gallagher's mind controlling powers (Simon Said) and Lilith's and Samhain's blasts of destructive demonic light. (No Rest for the Wicked, It's the Great Pumpkin, Sam Winchester) Originally, Sam's powers and abilities were weak and flunctuating due to his reluctance and hesitance at the time to use them.

When Sam began consuming demon blood and attempting to use his demonic powers against demons with Ruby's tutelage, his supernatural abilities were greatly amplified and increased by his using in to his demonic side and his consumption of demon blood. Sam gained telekinetic powers over demons, the strength and effectiveness of which depended on how much demon blood Sam had recently taken in: when Sam drank enough demon blood, he could telekinetically forcibly pull average demons out of their vessels and send them back to Hell, and eventually even not only exorcise and torture but destroy extremely powerful demons such as Lilith and Alastair; but when Sam had taken in no demon blood recently, his demon-exorcising/killing power was much weaker.

After Sam stopped drinking demon blood, his demonic powers became inactive again so long as he didn't drink demon blood, although his enhanced senses and addiction to demon blood could return when he saw or smelled demon blood. (Good God, Y'All!, My Bloody Valentine)

Trials of God

When Sam entered the three Trials of God to close the gates of Hell, he suffered several effects from the Trials purifying him, which Sam retained even after giving up on the Trials. It affected Sam on a subatomic level which was deadly and dangerous to his health and body and degraded it. (Clip Show) The Trials' affects also gave Sam a connection to the Word of God and/or Metatron; when Sam was near Metatron, he would resonate in response in the form of hearing an intense noise from Metatron. (The Great Escapist) The Trials' effects seemed to give Sam a connection with the other angels as well, as Sam reacted with shock and pain as all the angels were expelled from Heaven. (Sacrifice) Another effect of the Trials on Sam was that even very tiny details of highly minor memories became very clear to him. (The Great Escapist)

Deaths

Sam has died and resurrected numerous times.

  • Sam's first death was when he was literally backstabbed by Jake Talley and died from the stab severing his spine. (All Hell Breaks Loose: Part 1) He was later resurrected by a deal between Dean and a crossroads demon. (All Hell Breaks Loose: Part 2)
  • Sam was struck by lightning and briefly died of this when Hope Lynn Casey used a real wishing well to wish him dead; this was quickly reversed when Wesley Mondale removed the Tiamat coin which gave the wishing well its power. (Wishful Thinking)
  • Sam seemed to briefly die when Zachariah tortured him by removing his lungs in an attempt to force Dean to consent to angelic possession by Michael. Castiel forced Zachariah to return Sam and Dean to normal moments later. (Sympathy for the Devil)
  • Sam was fatally stabbed in the gut with a pole by Anna to stop him from consenting to possession by Lucifer. He was restored by Michael minutes later. (The Song Remains the Same)
  • Sam was shot and killed by Walt in revenge for starting the Apocalypse, and his soul sent to Heaven. Sam was some time later sent back to Earth and resurrected by Joshua. (Dark Side of the Moon)

Trivia

  • Sam was commonly referred to as Sammy by his family and Azazel, particularly by Dean as a means of teasing; however, Sam only allows those whom he is closest to to use this nickname and he finds it a juvenile nickname.
  • It is said that Sam's character was inspired by Luke Skywalker of the Star Wars franchise.

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