“but i don’t care either, i don’t care!” said tonks, seizing the front of lupin’s robes and shaking them. “i’ve told you a million times….” and the meaning of tonk’s patronus and her mouse-colored hair, and the reason she had come running to find dumbledore when she had heard a rumor someone had been attacked by greyback, all suddenly became clear to harry”
So I spent a lot of time trying to figure out this Dean’s reaction because to me there’s something more than just sadness here.
I watched this gif for hours wondering what was there other than the obvious sadness of listening to his best friend’s dying speech.
And then it became clear to me. There are two things more. The first thing I identified was a thought that I have a hard time defining, but basically it means “this doesn’t fit”. The way Dean blinks at the same time he looks away, to me it seems like in his head he says “this doesn’t fit here, now”. Like if Castiel had to say ILY, it shouldn’t be when he’s dying. As if Dean expected him to say it but in other circumstances.
I highly doubt Dean (or Sam for that matter) realized that Castiel loved him (them) at this moment. After everything they’ve been through, everything Cas did for them, it wasn’t a surprise when Cas voiced it out. There is no surprise or realisation in this scene. There is just “I wasn’t supposed to hear it like this”.
The second feeling I found was guilt. Not guilt of Castiel dying, but guilt because Castiel needed to say it before dying. It truly mattered to Cas to say ILY to Dean & Sam (& Mary, though I still don’t understand how he could have developed as strong feelings for her as for the boys in such little time). Castiel needed them to know, to truly know by hearing it explicitely before he wouldn’t have the chance anymore.
Well Dean feels guilty for that, because that means that Castiel doesn’t understand or even know how much he & Sam value him. He didn’t show Cas enough how much he means to him (& Sam as well), because otherwise Castiel wouldn’t have that need to say ILY. This is a continuation of season 11: Castiel thought it was better to let Lucifer in, even if it could kill him, & Dean felt this guilt already then, that’s why he told Cas at the end of season 11 “we don’t show it much because we have a lot to think about but you’re like a brother to us”.
But words, for a million yo celestial being that heard so many of them, they don’t mean as much as intended. And to me that’s why Dean made Cas his mixtape right after. We don’t know when he did it & maybe it was before that but I don’t think so. Dean needed to show Castiel how important he is to him with actions… with a gift. The mixtape scene is the implied “I love you too” from Dean.
So to me that’s what Dean’s reaction means. Sadness yes, but also guilt because Castiel shouldn’t feel the need to say it while dying, & it’s Dean’s fault if he feels it. And Castiel shouldn’t be saying these three magic words while dying. It feels wrong.
Again, hands so much down to Jensen who, even though it’s maybe not what he tried to play, made all these little subtle things that give us so much to analyse