A hug is of various types and serves many purposes. It ranges from a quick pat on the back with someone you haven’t seen in sometime, to a long lasting one meant to reassure or provide comfort; or simply because you missed the person. It is a symbol of joy, celebration, sorrow, companionship, love and friendship. As versatile as hugs can be they are also specific to each relationship or pair of individuals. Each pair has a typical style of hugging, which rarely changes in cases of joy or sorrow. For some that’s a sideways hug, for some a bear hug and for others it’s one tucking themselves into the other. Whichever form, it tells you a lot about the relationship between the individuals if you just watch how they hug.
I have been a fan of supernatural and the boys for more than five years now. For five years I have yearned and waited with bated breathes (as have most fans) for the next episode, the next season. I survive on the brotherly love, not just between Sam and Dean but also between Jared and Jensen. I adore both the fictional and real life personas tremendously and ship them as my friendship/brother OTPs. Safe to say, one of the things I crave the most is the brotherly moments, not just between Sam and Dean but also Jared and Jensen.
The brotherly hugs between both sets are like chocolate or coffee for me. They have the potential of making me smile bright and full teethed. They fill me with that warm and fuzzy glow; that in most cases lasts through the day. They also at times make me bawl like a baby (when the hug is about comfort, or when one of the brothers is dying, on the show of course). Whatever be the reason or nature, I crave them, cherish them, hoard them and revisit them over and over again.
In this revisiting process I have realized something; the hugs between Sam and Dean are just another example of how J2 are amazing actors and have embodied the characters. The key in this instance is the differences between the Winchester hugs and J2 hugs. I am sure the members of the fandom, like me, can tell apart which hug is for which set just by a glimpse at the picture, whether that be based on the attire or setting.
Possibly the biggest difference for me between the two sets of hugs is how they reflect the dynamics between the boys. The Winchester hugs are another means of personifying the relationship between the two brothers. They are tight, bear hugs, usually with one brother seeking comfort or reassurance. The hugs reflect and showcase the desperation and need to feel the other person against you, reaffirm that they are there, to once again familiarize yourself with their unique scents. But each hug is also another way the dynamic of Sam and Dean is re-established, the dynamic of elder brother Dean and younger brother Sam. This happens through Sam folding himself onto Dean’s shoulder, while Dean himself stands flat footed. When it’s Sam initiating the hug, he usually bends down to Dean’s level (as he does with practically everyone). Even when it’s Dean initiating the hug, he usually pulls Sam down to his level, and Sam of course goes willingly.
In contrast, a J2 hug, usually involves whoever is initiating the hug pulling the other into them with a hand on the neck. The difference is that it usually involves Jensen standing on tippy toes to accommodate Jared’s height. In the sideways hugs, Jensen is usually seen as happily standing tucked into Jared’s shoulder.
In the Winchester hugs, I have always seen the personification of the brother’s relationship with Dean as the protector and leader and Sam as the one with faith and trust in his elder brother. In contrast; the J2 hug is a hug between equals, standing side by side with each other. There are moments when the roles are of course reflected of Sam and Dean, but that is usually when one is seeking comfort and reassurance as well.
However, regardless of whether it’s a Sam and Dean hug or a J2 hug, I hope we keep getting more and more of each and may these on and off screen brothers keep fighting the good fight.