Angel's Wings are a symbol of both their nature as celestial beings as well as being a representation of the overall status of their strength and the potency of their grace. Angels may display their wings through a form of astral projection, showing them through their shadows.
HistoryAngelic Beings can display their wings as a sign of their status as an angel by summoning a shadowy form of them. When angels die as a result of being stabbed by an angel blade, shadows of their wings are burned into the surface on which their vessel is lying, as seen in the opening of On The Head Of A Pin when Castiel finds a female angel dead on a street, and again when Anna kills Uriel and when Zachariah and Gabriel were killed. Following the Fall, angels display broken wings upon death.
An angel may display its wings through Astral Projection to intimidate enemies: Castiel displayed his wings to intimidate Raphael after getting Heaven's Weapons and then when he was about to smite Crowley.
Gadreel's astral projection showed broken wings and when Gadreel killed angels using the Horn of Gabriel, broken wings were scorched into the ground behind them. When Castiel regained his grace, he regained his wings as well, though like Gadreel, they were still broken.
Metatron's spell that cast out all angels from Heaven burned and destroyed every single angel's wings. The angel's wings were left broken, though they still possess what's left of them.
The spell doesn't appear to have affected the grigori, and archangels since they were able to teleport and Lucifer was able to time travel, which required wings. This means all angels save for Michael, Lucifer, Gabriel, Metatron, Virgil and probably all Grigoris have broken wings.
When Lucifer was bound to Crowley and under his control, the demon was able to make the archangel's wings fold back by snapping his fingers.
In Rock Never Dies, a fossilized black feather from Lucifer's wings is shown to be capable of restoring his vessel, though only temporarily.
In Bring 'em Back Alive, Lucifer revealed to Anael that he lied about being able to restore the angels' wings. Later, after healing himself, Gabriel displayed his unbroken wings in a show of power before the Prince of Hell Asmodeus.
Despite being only a Nephilim, Jack has wings like any angel and can display them like one. When Kevin Tran uses himself as a suicide bomb in Unfinished Business, Jack enfolds Mary Winchester in his wings to protect her. The action shields Mary from the blast and saves her life, but she is still knocked unconscious.
In Let the Good Times Roll, Dean had access to Michael's wings while acting as his vessel and displayed them upon arrival in an abandoned church. At the end of Dean's fight with Lucifer, Lucifer's burned wings were left burned into the ground around his vessel.
In Lebanon, in an alternate timeline created by the disappearance of John Winchester in 2003, the Fall of the Angels never happened and the angels never lost their wings. In an effort to intimidate the patrons of the Big & Little Palace restaurant, the alternate timeline Castiel displayed his full wings, drawing the attention of Sam and Dean who were outside and spotted the effects of Castiel displaying his wings.
Angelic Beings Who Have Shown Their Wings
- Season 4
- Season 5
- Season 6
- Season 7
- Season 8
- Season 9
- Season 10
- Book of the Damned (Castiel's)
- Season 12
- Season 13
- Lost & Found (Castiel's)
- The Rising Son (Michael's)
- The Bad Place (Kaia's Abductors and Shipyard Attackers)
- Wayward Sisters (Kaia's Abductors and Shipyard Attackers)
- Bring 'em Back Alive (Gabriel's)
- Unfinished Business (Jack's)
- Exodus (Michael's and Gabriel's)
- Let the Good Times Roll (Michael's and Lucifer's)
- Season 14
- In Dark Side of the Moon, Zachariah tells Dean and Sam that in his true form he has six wings and four faces, one of them being that of a lion, but only two wings rather than all wings appear upon death (as seen when Zachariah died in Point of No Return).
- In On The Head Of A Pin, the imprint of wings that unnamed female angel left in death is significantly larger than any other wings displayed on the show, including those of Archangels. It is unknown if this bears any significance, or is it simply a scrapped artistic choice.
- A feather from the angel wings is one of the three components for a spell to travel through time along with the tears of a dragon and a pinch of the sands of time.
- Sacrifice is the first episode to actually show an angel's wings, apart from Astral Projection or in the event of an angel's death.
- In Mamma Mia, it's been confirmed that Lucifer's wings were unaffected by Metatron's spell.
- Archangel wings are shown to be much bigger and longer than those of a standard angel, likely as a symbol of their higher status and power; additionally, though Angel wings typically arc upwards when displayed, Archangel wings arc outwards instead.
- In Lily Sunder Has Some Regrets, all angels are shown to still possess their wings, albeit broken. It's also the first time an angel's wings have been burned into the ground following their death since season 9's Meta Fiction.
- In Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell, Castiel finds that two angels that have been killed by Dagon have left imprints of their broken wings on a wall despite being obliterated by her.
- In All Along the Watchtower, Castiel's wings are shown after being stabbed by Lucifer with an angel blade.
- Some of the actors from the series have described some specific angel's wings.
- Angels weren't originally portrayed as having wings. The tradition that angels possessed wings began in the middle ages.
- When Castiel becomes a Seraph, his wings become altered, as shown going out more to the side rather than pointing more upward.
- Due to the fact that all angels only show two wings through their vessel, it makes it impossible to know how many wings they actually have unless stated.