|“||Like we're actually a family? When what we really are are a bunch of glowing lights filled with self-loathing or delusions of grandeur. Or both.||”|
Angels are powerful celestial beings of light created by God and as of recently, the Nephilim Jack Kline, his grandson. They are responsible of maintaining Heaven and guard the souls of righteous humans. They power Heaven and at full potential they are imbued with considerable power. Angels also have connections to Prophets.
After Heaven was attacked by an entity called The Shadow, the angel, Duma overthrew Naomi, the current leader of Heaven at the time and took control. Duma manipulated Jack into turning a few humans into angels by taking their souls and forge them into angels, slightly increasing the number of angels until Castiel killed her.
|“||Perfect. Like a marble statue. Cold... no choice... only obedience.||”|
As warriors of God and agents of fate, angels are extremely powerful beings in the supernatural world. They are superhuman beings superior to mortals in both power and intelligence. Their true spiritual forms or visages prove overwhelming to most mortals; however, some 'special' people can view their true visages without suffering lasting effects; demons also can't look at them in their true form without damaging their hosts. A key example of this: Pamela Barnes used her psychic powers to see the true form of Castiel and her eyes burned out as a result of her actions. Although not physically seen as they have no physical presence or being of their own, an angel's presence has been seen or manifested on earth as a brilliant white light (or a bluish luminous smoke if they have no wings). Respectively, angels in their true form do have large swan-like wings on their backs which can range in number anywhere from two to six. In Lazarus Rising, Castiel displays his wings through his shadow.
When angels die after being stabbed by an angel blade, shadows of their wings are burned into the surface on which they are lying, as seen in the opening of On The Head Of A Pin. Also, 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. He also explains that the reason that humans can't see an angel's wings while in a vessel is because their senses are limited or too dull to perceive them. In Sacrifice, an angel's fiery wings were physically seen for the first time.
After Metatron expelled the angels from Heaven, most of them lost their wings as a result. When Gadreel displays his wings to three demons, they are shown to be damaged. Since the spell is irreversible, most angels known have broken wings.
An angel's true form also appear to be very large in height, as evidenced when Castiel states that his true form is "approximately the size of your Chrysler building". However, according to Castiel and Metatron, angels may actually just be waves and lights of pure energy, and how this fits in with their true form, is unknown. Lucifer's true form was so intense it obliterated an entire convent, and as Lucifer rose from the cage, Sam and Dean were able to see an immense white light flash from the perspective of an airplane overhead.
Anna Milton describes angels as being emotionless, not permitted to have feelings or free will. She even goes on to compare angels to marble statues, in the sense that they're both cold, loyal and have no choice. However, Castiel has shown loyalty to the Winchester brothers and regret when he was ordered to kill Anna. Gabriel has shown anger and love towards his brothers, Michael and Lucifer, in Changing Channels. In Dark Side of the Moon, Zachariah shows clear signs of anger, pettiness and arrogance. In Hammer of the Gods, Lucifer is saddened and sheds tears over having supposedly killed Gabriel. In My Bloody Valentine, Cupids are shown to be very cheerful, emotional, and love giving hugs as opposed to handshakes. To be more accurate, angels are very much capable of both developing human emotions and flaws of character, rather the majority of them choose not to show or admit to having emotions as emotions are considered doorways to doubt as well as a weakness, and they are not permitted to display emotions for the same reasons.
Angels consider themselves family to one another, referring to each other as brothers and sisters. The angels also refer to God as their father. Even though God is their 'father', all angels except the archangels, Metatron, and Gadreel have never actually seen God or his true face. According to Anna Milton, only four angels have actually met God and seen his true face. This number later proves to be false, and six angels are said to have met him. This increased to seven after Castiel meets him.
Due to their age and power, many angels look down upon humans and see them as inferior. Lucifer rebelled because God loved humans, a flawed and arrogant species, more than angels. Some angels continued to hold resentment to this many thousands of years later, as evidenced by Uriel and his followers. Despite this, angels guard the souls in Heaven, and as shown in What's Up, Tiger Mommy? refuse to pawn them, even for the Word of God. Feelings of resentment aren't universal, as some angels such as Samandriel, Joshua and Inias are much more civil with humans, while others, such as Anna, Gabriel, and (eventually) Metatron, consider them better than angels because, despite their inherent flaws, a lot of them strive to do good.
While outside of a vessel, angels either appear to humans as a brilliant white light, or a bluish luminous smoke (depending if they have their wings or not). While within a vessel, angels only have their powers thanks to their grace. Without it, they are just like humans and become subject to the process of life and death, as stated by Metatron when he removed Castiel's grace. Anna stated that removing it voluntarily is very painful, comparable to a human removing a kidney.
Unlike humans, because they lack physical bodies, angels do not reproduce while in their true forms, as reproduction is a purely physical process. Anna tells Dean that one of the things that humans have that angels don't is sex. Dean even describes angels as "Ken dolls" meaning that the only way for them to have sex is to possess a human. Only while within a human vessel can angels mate with humans, resulting in Nephilim. It has not been seen if they can mate with other angels in human vessels or what the resulting offspring would be.
The episode Torn and Frayed has shown that after a sufficient amount of torture, angels can be broken and their "operating system" be accessed. Angels have secret knowledge pre-programmed into their being that they aren't even aware of. The screams an angel makes when tortured sends out ripples that cause strange occurrences, such a glass bottle shattering or a bush lighting on fire.
When angels fall from Heaven, they appear like meteors to the human eye. Anna explained that when she told her story to the Winchesters, and it was demonstrated when all the angels fell from Heaven, due to Metatron's spell. However, being expelled from Heaven due to this spell, doesn't deny angels their Heavenly powers, although it burns off their wings, which denies them teleportation, and forces them to manifest as bluish luminous smoke.
Similar to demons, Angels possessing a vessel can change the eye color of their vessel; in the case of Angels, they can cause the vessel's eyes to turn bright blue. Unlike demons however, Angels rarely do this so as not to draw attention to themselves and only do so in stressful or combat situations. Among Angels, the Archangel Lucifer is unique as his vessel's eyes glow red instead of blue.
Most angels, when possessing vessels, often dress in suits or formal wear. There are a few exceptions. Sometimes, if the vessel they possess did not originally wear something formal, the angel would change. An example of this being Raphael and Alternate Michael.
Many angels have names of Hebrew origin. Many angels also have names ending in "el". Examples include: Castiel, Michael, Raphael, Gabriel, Hael, Gadreel, Uriel, Rachel, Nithael, Jophiel, Ambriel, Nathaniel, Mirabel, Asariel, Muriel, and Samandriel.
Angels have also been shown to not be distressed from witnessing violence and gore. While humans can get frightened and traumatized by witnessing violence, angels appear to be typically unphased when seeing bloodshed and gore.
Angels are capable of sharing control with their vessels, though they typically don't do so. Gadreel shared control with Sam Winchester, though to hide his presence, he would erase Sam's memory each time of Gadreel having control and anything revealing that might've happened in that time. When Gadreel would switch back, Sam would often act as if he had never been interrupted, sometimes completing sentences that he had started before Gadreel took over. Sam later told Castiel that it was more like they were sharing headspace than a full possession. On another occasion, Lucifer willingly relinquished control to Castiel so that he could help the other angels to follow through with their plan to fight the Darkness. On a unique occasion, the Apocalypse World Michael was able to power his vessel Dean Winchester from within while Dean remained in control in order for Dean to fight and kill Lucifer. After escaping from Lucifer's Cage, the Main Universe Michael willingly shared control with his vessel Adam Milligan. In this case, Michael was able to manifest to Adam as an exact duplicate of his vessel to communicate with him even while Adam was in control and Adam in turn appeared to be aware of the world around him even when Michael was in charge, resulting in a seamless transition between archangel and vessel when they traded places.
Types of Angels
The Archangels are the four eldest and most powerful of God's angels, they were the only ones to have seen his face, with the exception of Castiel,Metatron and Gadreel. They are far more powerful than any other angelic rank, being imbued with near unimaginable and immeasurable power and authority. Furthermore, they are some of the strongest beings in all of Creation. The four archangels were created in this specific order: Michael, Lucifer, Raphael, and Gabriel. The archangel Michael is the only one alive in the main universe. Castiel killed Raphael when the angel was imbued with the power of 40 million souls from Purgatory. Gabriel was killed by the Michael from Apocalypse World, while trying to hold him off so Dean and Sam could escape. While empowered by this Michael who he was acting as a vessel to, Dean Winchester killed Lucifer. Alternate Michael was killed by Jack.
Currently the only known living archangel in any universe is the Main Universe Michael. Locked in Lucifer's Cage since the end of the Apocalypse, Michael escaped after God threw open every door in Hell and currently wanders the Earth in the body of his vessel Adam Milligan with whom Michael shares control. However, Michael has turned against God after learning of his various betrayals, though Michael refuses to help fight his father directly.
The Grigori were a squad of elite angels who were sent to watch over and protect humanity but turned bad. They were believed to have been wiped out, but few of them survived. Some of these angels survived and began preying on humanity, kidnapping humans, trapping them in dream states of their perfect Heaven and feeding off of their souls. These angels had Angel Swords instead of Angel Blades, with each of their names written on them. Their survival was discovered in 2015 when Castiel and the Winchesters came up against Tamiel. In 2020, the surviving Grigori were hunted to extinction by the Nephilim Jack Kline under the orders of Billie as part of her plan for Jack to become strong enough to kill God himself. The last Grigori, Kabaiel, was killed by Castiel when he rescued Jack.
Seraphim are a whole other type of angelic being, who are stronger and more powerful than regular angels and Cupids. Like the archangels and the Grigori, Seraphs powers are imbued within them, and if they fall from or become cut off from Heaven, they don't lose any of their powers. Their current role on Heaven is unknown but one was sent over to watch, observe and learn about humanity.
Rit Zien are the medics of Heaven. Their name means "Hands of Mercy" in Enochian. On the battlefields of Heaven, their job was to heal Angels who had been injured. If the injury was too severe for them to heal, then they would give them a quick, painless death, by smiting them. Rit Zien have a unique way of smiting other, which consists of them placing their hand near the victims face, shining a pink light from their palm, and causing them to quickly, and painlessly implode into a pink liquid made of their own essence.
These are normal, common angels. In comparison to most other supernatural entities, angels are among the most powerful and feared beings in the series. Though not nearly as powerful as seraphs, archangels, or other higher supernatural beings, angels easily outclass black-eyed demons, lesser monsters, and other supernatural creatures, with the exception of the highest ranking demons. Angels possess a great number of formidable abilities that make them a dominant presence in the supernatural world. They are grouped into garrisons and are commanded by a garrison leader.
Cherubs, also called Cupids, are ordered as third class angels, and thus placed at the very bottom of the Celestial chain of command, Heaven's hierarchy. They follow Heaven's orders, particularly serving Michael. In their occupation, they are responsible for manipulating affection in certain, special bloodlines. John and Mary Winchester, for example, were "matched" by a Cupid on Heaven's orders so that Dean and Sam could be born.
Intelligence Angels are the intelligence division of Heaven. Their work is to gather information, fix the angels who cause problems, and occasionally, take control of the their minds if needed. These angels were under the leadership of Naomi before the fall.
A fallen angel is an angel who was expelled from Heaven. They are not a class of angel and therefore they look no different than normal angels. An angel who has fallen may or may not retain all of his or her abilities, depending on the rank of the angel. For example, a fallen Seraph, like Castiel, retains all of his powers, whereas a standard angel would lose a few of his or her powers, such as smiting and healing. A fallen angel's blood can be used in the Leviathan killing weapon. Known banished angels include Lucifer, Anna Milton, Zachariah, Castiel and the Grigori.
Nephilim are beings that consist of a mixture between a human soul and angelic grace. They are normally created when an angel and a human reproduce together. Nephilim are considered as one of the most dangerous beings in Creation and it is strictly forbidden to produce one. The only known Nephilim are Jane and Jack so far. They are shown to be extremely powerful with Jack being described as possessing "unimaginable power." Even from the womb he demonstrates powers such as healing and resurrection and through a partial possession, granted an angel the power to effortlessly incinerate a Prince of Hell, one of the most powerful demons to ever live. A Nephilim grows to be stronger than the angel who sired them. By stealing and absorbing Jack's grace, Lucifer became super-charged to the point that he could destroy the universe if he so wished. By having his grace stolen, Jack's body slowly broke down since the grace keeps his body intact. Through absorbing the grace of Alternate Michael, Jack was able to return to full power and no longer being plagued. Recently, Jack showed the ability to create new angels, something that only God was said to do. After his second resurrection, Jack stated that if he follows a plan laid out for him by Billie, Jack can become powerful enough to kill God himself.
Alternate Timeline Angels
Alternate Reality Angels
Upon death, a pair of wings, reflecting the angel's own, are brazed into the wall and floor around them. It is revealed in The Big Empty that angels go to The Empty after death where they are to sleep for all eternity with demons. It was hinted in Byzantium and confirmed in Moriah that Nephilim go to the realm after their own death.
Though they can revive humans from death, angels do not seem to have the power to resurrect other angels, although Raphael thought that the fallen archangel Lucifer might have brought Castiel back in an effort to bring the rebellious angel to his side. God, however, was able to revive angels, as he resurrected Castiel three separate times. Miriam has indicated that the Nephilim Jack, who has the power to do "almost anything", cannot resurrect an angel once they are "all the way dead." However Jack was able to telepathically call out to Castiel even in The Empty, a realm which God was said to not have influence over. The Shadow, the ruler of the Empty is also capable of resurrecting angels, as it did with Castiel. Billie, the current incarnation of Death, has shown the ability to resurrect someone from the Empty as well, bringing back the Nephilim Jack.
When killed by an alternate Michael in Exodus, the archangel Gabriel died the same way as any other angel killed in the series. However in Let the Good Times Roll, when the super-charged Lucifer was killed by Dean Winchester, fire streamed from his fatal wound and his vessel's eyes and mouth before his wings exploded in a burst of fire. After Lucifer's death, he was left surrounded by the burned imprint of his wings like any other dead angel. This different death for Lucifer was possibly due to him being supercharged by Jack's grace at the time that Lucifer was killed.
Even though they didn't officially and properly appear until Season 4, Angels, along with Demons, are arguably the most recurring supernatural creatures in the series, appearing in a total of over 100 episodes so far.