There are many things I love about Supernatural. I could wax lyrical about it ad nauseum, but for the purposes of today’s Snowflake task, I’m going to discuss one of my favourite pieces of canon which is Dean’s subtly understated intelligence.
Throughout the show, Sam is generally regarded as the brain, whereas Dean is seen as the brawn. That’s not to say that Sam isn’t, indeed, intimidatingly intelligent, because he absolutely is, but across fourteen seasons of our show, we occasionally see glimpses of Dean’s formidable brainpower as well.
I’m talking about the Dean that rebuilt the Impala from the ground up; who made his own sawn-off shotgun in sixth grade; who has an almost encyclopaedic knowledge of the Wild West; who reads Vonnegut; who built an EMF meter out of an old Walkman and who effortlessly disabled the burglar alarm at old Gert’s fancy cocktail party.
Time and again Dean proves his intellectual mettle by quoting lore off the top of his head and thinking on his feet to solve a problem or a tricky situation.
It’s also canon that Dean didn’t do well at school. He refers to himself as a 'high school drop-out'. However, history as shown us that not excelling at school is no reliable indicator of lack of intelligence – Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and Richard Branson, anybody?
I believe there are several reasons for his apparent failure at school. The first of which was the boys’ upbringing. How could Dean possibly have the incentive, or even the energy, to study, when he was too busy being mother, father and brother to Sam? Secondly, Dean’s particularly practical, problem-solving, street-smart form of intelligence isn’t necessarily one that would have the opportunity to flourish in a more academic environment. Finally, I think Dean is so proud of Sam’s academic accomplishments, he’s happy to see himself as ‘the dumb one’ so Sam’s intellectual prowess is always showcased. That, in itself, would be such a ‘Dean thing to do.
So yes, I love our goofy, daft-as-a-brush Dean with his low aspirations, his questionable table manners and his hilariously random pop culture references; but it just makes my little heart flutter with joy every now and again when we get a glimpse at that great big brain behind that handsome face!
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