Season 9 | How Dean sees Cas vs. How the Angels and Demons see Castiel.
(pssst yaelstiel i hope you don’t mind if i respond to your tags? i know you’re planning to write a whole meta but i want to talk about this now :-D)
#this is actually important #how the angels are expecting Cas to because that is how they know him #brain washed.and dean knows the real cas #the one that tries so hard to break those ties (via yaelstiel)
Okay so, my first thought on this one was how much it reminded me of the Dean Winchester: Expectations vs. Reality gifset (I’m linking to it on my own page because I already kind of ranted about this in the tags on that one)—when there is more than one perspective on a person, we tend to attempt to simplify, take sides. Dean’s not just a brawny/nomadic/tough/bad boy, nor is he only a brainy/domestic/sensitive/dork, he is all of those things and more. Similarly with Cas, he is not just what the Winchesters see him as—or what the angels and demons see him as. Cas is the sum of these things and more.
It kind of feels like shortchanging him when you limit “what he really is” to a narrow perspective. Cas is what the angels see him as—and their expectations aren’t completely unfounded. The Winchesters (Dean especially) have a tendency to downplay Cas’ angelic identity. It’s easy to assume that the Winchesters/Dean are more right, because again, Supernatural is from their perspective. We’re told they’re right so much of the time that we tend to forget the “unreliable” part of the unreliable narration.
Either way, at the end of the day, Cas’ prowess and advantages come not from what the angels(/demons) see him as or what the Winchesters do, but more because he’s able to be all of those things.
I get what you are saying, let me make it clear (after all, you responded to my lazy tags…) when I say who he really is , I didn’t mean Cas’ prowess and advantages. I meant who he wants to be. Because for me, that is what matters about Cas, his progress, his effort. The fact that he can be fearless leader is not who he is , in his words 'who I was, what I did, that's not who I am' this is the key of my assumption. The fact that heaven was able to forge him into a fearsome leader doesn’t mean that this is who he is, and when a person tries so hard to break those ties, I find it respectful not to tell him ‘Yeah, but you are also a fearsome leader’, because this was mind intervention, from the very beginning, as Naomi tells him, and this I would love him to be who he works so hard to be, Who he wants to be.
I want to be an astronaut, but that doesn’t mean that’s who I really am. And yeah, what someone chooses to be is way more important than what any boxes they’ve been forced into, but that doesn’t mean that those things don’t inform who that person is.
I am the sum of my experiences; even the ones I didn’t like or the ones I didn’t choose for myself. Even the ones that I vehemently did not want or did not consent to. Doesn’t mean I get to hit some reset button and pretend like the bad things didn’t exist, that those aren’t part of me too. I learned things and have been shaped by those just as much as the stuff I wanted.
"Legend" and "awesome" and "fearsome" and "madman" and "dangerous" and "hot" — those are all descriptions not identities. (Except madman, but the way it’s used is as a description… kinda.) I don’t think anyone called Cas "fearsome leader" either—you’re probably thinking of 5.04 (although it’s what Cas calls Dean, not what the angels call Cas). They angels say Cas was a good leader, and asked him to continue. It’s not like they’re wrong, he did manage to bring a bunch of them together and give them purpose.
“Who I was, what I did, that’s not who I am,” is a direct reference to how Castiel ≠ Godstiel. Cas has accepted the fact that when he was full of purgatory critters he was not making fully sober decisions and is therefore, while he is still responsible for what happened, he is not solely responsible for shouldering the guilt. And throw in a little bit of good old Winchester Denial. Cas did murder a bunch of beings. (So have Sam and Dean.) That doesn’t mean that’s all he is, but it’s not something he gets to just paint over and hope no one notices.
Yes, we can extrapolate that to “I’m different now and I don’t want to be associated with my past” but that doesn’t change that the angels and demons will think of Cas as a legend, that they’ll see him as awesome, that they’ll remember what he’s done with fear.
Anyway, when we talk about “what Cas wants to be” it’s also good to note that “weird dorky little guy with dark hair” isn’t necessarily it. Cas wants to be an angel, Cas wants to save the world, Cas wants to help the other angels, Cas likes fixing things in general (healing, solving cases, even while he was working at the Gas’n’Sip he seemed to really enjoy putting things to order) and Cas sometimes forgets that actions have consequences. Nothing is really quite so simple as we want it to be.