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Episodes 10 & 11 of Supernatural's season 15 have raised this question. What is a true hero? What does a true hero do? What defines them? Is it having heroes’ luck? Or is it more? 

What Makes a Hero?

It can be winning,

Overcoming evil,

And saving those who need you.

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Dean killing the Wendigo in 1.02 “Wendigo"

12 12 1573 Ramiel death
Sam killing Ramiel with the Lance of Michael in 12.12 “Stuck in The Middle with You”

But it’s not always winning,

Especially when winning,

so often means losing.

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Sam jumping into The Cage in 5.22 “Swan Song"

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Dean after killing Abaddon in 9.21 ”King of the Damned”

It can be the friendships,

Bonds created,

Loyalty inspired.

Charlie saving the day in 9.04 “Slumber Party"

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Garth keeping Dean from killing Sam in 8.06 “Southern Comfort”

But often,

The friends made,

Die because of that loyalty.

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Gadreel smiting Kevin in 9.09 “Holy Terror”

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Finding Charlie in 10.21 “Dark Dynasty”

It can be a willingness to sacrifice yourself,

To put yourself between the innocent and the monster.

To care about others more than yourself.

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Sam protecting in 1.02 “Wendigo”

Dean guarding Melanie in 7.07 “The Mentalists”

But that can be seen as self-loathing,

Of giving up,

Of not wanting to go on

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Sam wondering why he should stop, even if it means his death, in 8.23 “Sacrifice"

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Dean being confronted by Sam in 14.12 “Prophet & Loss”

So, being a hero,

Is more than one thing.

It’s winning,

But also going on,

Even when you lose.

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Sam and Dean watching the rift close behind Mary in 12.23 “All Along the Watchtower”

It’s gaining friends and family,

And mourning and

Honoring them when they’re gone.

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Mary’s pyre in 14.18 “Absence”

It’s fighting for others,

Even at the cost of losing yourself,

Despite what some may say.

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Fortuna after winning in 15.11 “The Gamblers”

Being a hero,

Is keeping on fighting the good fight,

No matter what.

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Sam and Dean confronting God himself in 14.20 “Moriah”

As Cassandra Clare says,

“Heroes aren’t always the ones who win. They’re the ones who lose, sometimes. But they keep

fighting, they keep coming back. They don’t give up. That’s what makes them heroes.”

What do you think makes the brothers heroes? Can you think of other examples of their heroic actions for the criteria I've listed here? What do you think makes anyone a hero? We'd love to hear your thoughts! Please share in the comments!

Screen caps from Home of the Nutty (except Fortuna by Pathryn34)

Enjoy Pathryn's Picture Poetry Essays on the Brothers:
It Must Be Hard Being Sam Winchester
14 years of Broments: Supernatural's Epic Story Told through Sam's Hugs, and through Dean's Hugs
and  Supernatural Characters Regressions: Dean!