|“||Archangels are fierce. They're absolute. They're Heaven's most terrifying weapon.||”|
Archangels are primordial angels, being looked at as Heaven's most fearsome wrath. They were the first and strongest class of angels to be created, making them one of God's first creations. They were created in this order: Michael, Lucifer, Raphael, and Gabriel.
According to Castiel, they are known in Heaven as absolute, precise and wrathful creatures, as he has called them, "The most fearsome wrath of Heaven". Like all angels, their true forms are very intense, and have proven not only harmful but also fatal to humans, though Castiel also claimed that special humans can see their true forms. Their presence on Earth outside a vessel is often visualized as a blinding, pure white light, and their arrival can cause minor tremors, as shown by Lucifer when the Chapel shook as he escaped the Cage, and by Raphael while intervening to protect the prophet Chuck Shurley from Lilith. Their true voice also emits a piercing sound, which has proven to be excruciatingly painful to humans. During a subsequent appearance, Raphael caused the entire Eastern Sea Board to experience a black out and generated strong winds and heavy rainstorms. Shortly before his defeat, Lucifer's presence caused the temperature to drop drastically in Detroit.
It has been stated that Archangels are tethered to prophets. Raphael seemed to be the one who monitored and protected prophet Chuck Shurley. Before his fall, Lucifer was God's most beloved angel; he was considered beautiful, and was well respected in Heaven.
Archangels view themselves as the highest authority over all of creation since God's departure from Heaven. As leaders in Heaven, Michael and Raphael commanded the Host of Heaven, issuing orders to the "Senior Management" who were responsible for deploying angels to Earth. They did not share all their plans, especially their intention to allow Lucifer to be freed, to avoid rebellion in the lower ranks. Most of them showed little respect while interacting with humans, although Gabriel eventually confessed his appreciation of humanity even believing humans to be better than them.
The relationships between archangels and their true vessels can be complex. Holding an archangel is psychologically damaging to a human; Raphael's vessel Donnie Finnerman was left a drooling, catatonic mess after possession. Lucifer's continued presence in Nick, an alternate vessel, causes the human's body to breakdown, as evidenced by burn-like marks, scarring and tears on his skin. Lucifer's vessels can be strengthened with demon blood to better survive the ordeal; Castiel later commented that Lucifer was drinking gallons of blood to keep his body intact. However, when Lucifer transferred to Sam, Nick would die. Despite his contempt and hatred for humanity as a whole, Lucifer showed some sympathy towards Nick, and towards Sam Winchester, his true vessel. Michael, though condescendingly, was willing to explain his position to Dean Winchester while occupying his father, and promised not to leave Dean a "drooling mess" after his service and even promised to restore John Winchester, whom he was possessing, to "better than new", which he later did. This implies that, possibly because of their deep contempt for humanity, archangels leave their vessels in a dilapidated state not as a consequence of possession, but out of sheer spite.
Death revealed that it was the archangels that fought off and entrapped the Darkness that existed before God created the universe. God and Lucifer both later stated that it took the four archangels to weaken the Darkness enough for God to lock her away and even then God could barely do it.
God tells the Winchesters that the archangels are beings of primordial creation. As a result, it is extremely difficult, but not impossible, for God to resurrect them from the dead unlike lesser angels such as Castiel. However, God states that resurrecting or creating new archangels would take time.
In general, all archangels appear to be more powerful than any existing demon. The first demon Lilith fled when faced with Raphael coming after her. Michael later obliterated Lilith with just a flash of his eyes when the demon annoyed him. At full power, Lucifer was feared by the Prince of Hell Asmodeus, but was no match for him with his grace diminished. After Gabriel recovered from his torture by Asmodeus, the Prince of Hell proved to be no match for the weakest archangel who effortlessly killed him.
According to Castiel, angels cannot heal the injuries of an archangel. This extends to Seraphim such as Castiel as well as regular angels. However, this does not extend to some of his other powers as Castiel was able to forcefully place some of his memories in Michael's mind by grabbing the archangel's head and concentrating.
Michael is the first and oldest of the four Archangels created by God, making him the very first angel ever created, as well as one of the oldest and most powerful beings in the universe. During the War In Heaven in the distant past, Michael banished Lucifer from Heaven on God's command, later restricting him to a Cage bound by 66 Seals. He was the Viceroy of Heaven in God's absence and commanded the Heavenly Host before he fell into the Cage with Lucifer. As the highest-ranking Archangel, he issued the commands, which went to the higher-ranking angels to disperse the orders down across the angelic chain. His true vessel is Dean Winchester. After God opens every door in Hell, Michael escapes the Cage and is currently free upon the world in the body of Adam Milligan.
Lucifer, was the second of the four Archangels created by God and was his favorite son. He is also a fallen archangel, and the first fallen angel. He is the original ruler of Hell and the creator of demons, seen by them as a father figure and their god. As the second-born Archangel, he is the younger brother of Michael, and older brother of Raphael and Gabriel. His true vessel is Sam Winchester. Lucifer was eventually killed by Dean Winchester while the hunter was powered by the Alternate Michael.
Raphael was the third of the four archangels created by God. He was older than Gabriel but younger than Michael and Lucifer. After Lucifer's rebellion and banishment, Raphael stood by Michael in taking over the Universe. He was second-in-command in the Host of Heaven. He was killed by Castiel using the power of the souls of Purgatory for trying to restart the Apocalypse.
Gabriel was the fourth and youngest of the four archangels created by God. Despite the fact that he is the youngest of the archangels, he is still very powerful. Gabriel was very compassionate towards his family. Seeing his brothers constantly fight each other became too much for him to bear, so, he voluntarily left Heaven and hid on Earth for thousands of years. After helping the Winchesters in Apocalypse World, he was killed by the alternate version of his older brother Michael.
Michael was an archangel that existed and ruled over the Apocalypse World. He is the most powerful archangel to date. He is an alternate reality version of Michael, where Michael won the apocalypse instead of Lucifer. He eventually breached into the main reality where he aligned himself with various monsters in an effort to destroy the Earth. Michael was killed by the Nephilim Jack Kline using the power of his soul.
Lucifer is the leader of the demons and bringer of the Apocalypse. He is a version of Lucifer from an alternate timeline where Sam said "yes" to the Archangel and allowed the Ruler of Hell to possess his body. With his true vessel, Lucifer's hordes drove mankind to near extinction and, by extension, won the Apocalypse. Dean met this Lucifer when placed into this timeline by Zachariah.
Archangels that have been mentioned, but not seen.
- Michael - Mentioned by Dean in an Alternate Timeline.
- Lucifer - Mentioned by Michael in the Apocalypse World.
- Gabriel - Referenced by Michael in the Apocalypse World.
- Dean Winchester (currently not in use) - Michael's true vessel. Refused to be possessed by him and was indirectly the cause of him being sent to Lucifer's Cage.
- John Winchester (deceased) - Michael's temporary vessel, restored to normal once Michael was finished. Was killed in 2006 by Azazel.
- Adam Milligan - Michael's replacement vessel. He, along with Michael possessing him, had been thrown into Hell by Sam where Adam had remained incapacitated and trapped for years. In 2019, God opened all the doors in Hell, including Lucifer's Cage, Michael and Adam were able to escape to Earth where Adam remains Michael's vessel, though he now shares control with the archangel.
- Nick (deceased) - Lucifer's "Plan B" vessel. Resurrected, body repaired and improved in 2016 by Crowley to act as Lucifer's vessel once more. Remained Lucifer's vessel until Lucifer's death at the hands of Dean Winchester. Survived the death of Lucifer but was later killed by Lucifer's Nephilim son Jack Kline for trying to resurrect the archangel in 2019.
- Sam Winchester (currently not in use) - Lucifer's true vessel. Was once possessed by him to send Lucifer back to his Cage.
- Jimmy Novak (deceased, body still used by Castiel) - Originally, Castiel's true vessel. Lucifer took over his body after Castiel agreed to possession. Lucifer was later expelled from Jimmy by the Darkness.
- Multiple unknown (deceased) - Lucifer's temporary vessels he went into after being ripped from Castiel by Amara. All destroyed because of their inability to contain him.
- Lucifer's Teenage Vessel (deceased) - A teenager briefly possessed by Lucifer who lasted longer than the rest of his family. However, Lucifer quickly burned him out as well.
- Vince Vincente (deceased) - After multiple other vessels, Lucifer was able to find a vessel that could contain him, a rock star. Vince lasted for about a month before deteriorating completely.
- Jefferson Rooney - Lucifer possessed the President of the United States for a short time following the death of Vince Vincente. Lucifer was ultimately exorcised from Rooney by Sam Winchester with a hyperbolic pulse generator. Rooney survived his brief possession.
- Donnie Finnerman (deceased) - Raphael's first vessel. Killed when Balthazar used Lot's Stone on Raphael which only Raphael survived.
- Unnamed female (deceased) - Raphael's second vessel. Was killed along with Raphael by Castiel.
- Unnamed male (presumably deceased) - Gabriel's only known vessel. He was assumed to have been killed by Alternate Michael.
- Unnamed male (presumably deceased) - This man was used as the vessel of the Apocalypse World Michael. He is not Michael's true vessel as Dean was never born but rather some form of alternate vessel like Nick for Lucifer but one capable of holding Michael without degrading. Vacated by Michael in favor of Dean Winchester and presumably died of his injuries afterwards.
- Dean Winchester (currently not in use) - Michael's true vessel. Originally refused to consent to Michael, but consented to an alternate reality Michael to gain the power to kill Lucifer. He was possessed by the alternate Michael but was soon abandoned by him. Michael later repossessed Dean without gaining his permission again, having left the door in his mind 'open just a crack'. Dean took back control and locked Michael away in the form of a prison in his subconscious, so he couldn't continue his rampage. Michael later escaped Dean's mind and was killed by Jack after possessing Rowena.
- Unnamed female - Used as a vessel by the Apocalypse World Michael following his leaving Dean Winchester's body. Abandoned by Michael when he once again possessed Dean.
- Rowena MacLeod (deceased) - Used by Alternate Michael when he escaped from Dean's mind. Rowena was chosen due to her centuries of witchcraft and was intended to be used by him to conquer the world. Michael was exorcised from Rowena by Jack Kline, and survived the possession. When God opens Hell and unleashes all of the souls inside, Rowena chooses to sacrifice herself to send everything back. She draws all of the souls and demons into herself using a spell from the Book of the Damned and sacrifices herself to throw them back into Hell. After being sent to Hell, Rowena became the new Queen of Hell.
- Sam Winchester - This alternate timeline version of Sam consented to Lucifer and was used by him to win the Apocalypse.
- Sam Winchester - This alternate reality version of Sam consented to Lucifer who killed Dean after Dean failed to kill the archangel with the Colt.
- Season 1
- Season 2
- Season 3
- Season 4
- Are You There, God? It's Me, Dean Winchester (Lucifer, mentioned only)
- Monster Movie (Lucifer, referenced only)
- It's the Great Pumpkin, Sam Winchester (mentioned only)
- I Know What You Did Last Summer (Lucifer, mentioned only)
- Death Takes A Holiday (Lucifer, referenced only)
- On The Head Of A Pin (Lucifer, mentioned only)
- The Monster at the End of This Book (Raphael, presence only; other three collectively mentioned)
- When the Levee Breaks (Lucifer, mentioned only)
- Lucifer Rising (Raphael, presence only; Lucifer, voice and incorporeal form; Michael, painting and referenced)
- Season 5
- Sympathy for the Devil (Lucifer; Michael, mentioned only)
- Good God, Y'all (Lucifer, mentioned only)
- Free To Be You and Me (Raphael and Lucifer; Michael, mentioned only)
- The End (Future Lucifer; Michael, Alternate Michael, and Lucifer, mentioned only)
- Fallen Idols (Michael and Lucifer, mentioned only)
- I Believe the Children Are Our Future (Lucifer, mentioned only)
- Changing Channels (Gabriel; the other three mentioned only)
- Abandon All Hope... (Lucifer; Michael, mentioned only)
- Sam, Interrupted (Lucifer, mentioned only)
- Swap Meat (Michael and Lucifer, mentioned only)
- The Song Remains the Same (Michael; Lucifer, mentioned only)
- My Bloody Valentine (Lucifer, mentioned only)
- Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid (Lucifer, mentioned only)
- Dark Side of the Moon (Lucifer, mentioned only)
- 99 Problems (Michael and Lucifer, mentioned only)
- Point of No Return (Michael, presence only)
- Hammer of the Gods (Gabriel and Lucifer; Michael, mentioned only)
- The Devil You Know (Lucifer, mentioned only)
- Two Minutes to Midnight (Lucifer and Michael, mentioned only)
- Swan Song (Michael and Lucifer)
- Season 6
- The Third Man (Raphael)
- You Can't Handle The Truth (Gabriel, mentioned only)
- Caged Heat (Michael, Lucifer and Raphael, mentioned only)
- Appointment In Samarra (Michael and Lucifer, mentioned only)
- Like A Virgin (Lucifer, mentioned only)
- The French Mistake (Raphael)
- The Man Who Would Be King (Raphael; Michael and Lucifer, flashbacks)
- The Man Who Knew Too Much (Raphael; Michael and Lucifer in flashbacks)
- Season 7
- Meet the New Boss (Raphael, corpse; Lucifer, as a hallucination; Michael, mentioned only)
- Hello, Cruel World (Raphael, corpse; Lucifer, as a hallucination)
- The Girl Next Door (Lucifer, voice only)
- Defending Your Life (Lucifer, voice only)
- Slash Fiction (Lucifer, mentioned only)
- Repo Man (Lucifer, as a hallucination)
- Out With The Old (Lucifer, mentioned only)
- The Born-Again Identity (Lucifer, as a hallucination)
- Reading Is Fundamental (Lucifer, mentioned only)
- There Will Be Blood (Michael, painting only)
- Season 8
- Season 9
- Season 10
- Season 11
- Out of the Darkness, Into the Fire (Michael and Lucifer, mentioned only)
- Baby (Lucifer, posing as young John Winchester in Sam's vision)
- Our Little World (Lucifer, mentioned only)
- O Brother, Where Art Thou? (Lucifer)
- The Devil in the Details (Lucifer; Michael, flashbacks and mentioned; Raphael and Gabriel, mentioned only)
- Into the Mystic (Lucifer)
- The Vessel (Lucifer)
- Beyond the Mat (Lucifer)
- Hell's Angel (Lucifer)
- The Chitters (Lucifer, mentioned only)
- Don't Call Me Shurley (mentioned only)
- All in the Family (Lucifer)
- We Happy Few (Lucifer; the other three mentioned only)
- Alpha and Omega (Lucifer, mentioned only)
- Season 12
- Keep Calm and Carry On (Lucifer, mentioned only)
- Mamma Mia (Lucifer)
- The Foundry (Lucifer)
- American Nightmare (Lucifer, mentioned only)
- The One You've Been Waiting For (Lucifer, mentioned only)
- Celebrating The Life Of Asa Fox (Lucifer, mentioned only)
- Rock Never Dies (Lucifer)
- LOTUS (Lucifer)
- First Blood (Lucifer, mentioned only)
- Stuck in the Middle (With You) (Lucifer; Michael, painting and mentioned)
- Family Feud (Lucifer)
- Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell (Lucifer)
- The British Invasion (Lucifer; Michael, mentioned only)
- The Future (Lucifer)
- Twigs & Twine & Tasha Banes (Lucifer, mentioned only)
- There's Something About Mary (Lucifer)
- Who We Are (Lucifer, photo and mentioned)
- All Along the Watchtower (Lucifer)
- Season 13
- Lost & Found (Lucifer)
- The Rising Son (Lucifer and Alternate Michael; Alternate Lucifer and Michael, mentioned only)
- The Big Empty (Lucifer, mentioned only)
- Advanced Thanatology (Lucifer, mentioned only)
- War of the Worlds (Lucifer and Alternate Michael)
- The Bad Place (Lucifer, mentioned only)
- Various & Sundry Villains (Lucifer; Michael and Alternate Michael, mentioned only)
- Devil's Bargain (Lucifer and Gabriel; Alternate Michael, Michael and Raphael mentioned only)
- Good Intentions (Alternate Michael; Alternate Lucifer, Lucifer and Michael, mentioned only)
- A Most Holy Man (Lucifer, mentioned only)
- Scoobynatural (Gabriel, referenced only)
- The Thing (Gabriel)
- Bring 'em Back Alive (Lucifer and Gabriel; Alternate Michael and Michael, mentioned only)
- Funeralia (Lucifer, Gabriel and Alternate Michael, mentioned only)
- Unfinished Business (Gabriel; Lucifer, Michael and Alternate Michael, mentioned only)
- Beat the Devil (Lucifer and Gabriel)
- Exodus (Lucifer, Gabriel and Alternate Michael; Michael, mentioned only)
- Let the Good Times Roll (Lucifer and Alternate Michael; Gabriel, flashback only)
- Season 14
- Stranger in a Strange Land (Alternate Michael; Lucifer mentioned and flashback only; Gabriel, mentioned only)
- Gods and Monsters (Alternate Michael; Lucifer, mentioned and flashback only; Gabriel, flashback only)
- The Scar (Alternate Michael, flashbacks only)
- Mint Condition (Alternate Michael, mentioned only)
- Nightmare Logic (Alternate Michael, mentioned only)
- Optimism (Alternate Michael, Alternate Lucifer and Gabriel, mentioned only)
- Unhuman Nature (Lucifer; Gabriel, mentioned only)
- Byzantium (Alternate Michael, mentioned only)
- The Spear (Alternate Michael; Lucifer, Michael, mentioned only)
- Nihilism (Alternate Michael; Lucifer, Michael, mentioned only)
- Damaged Goods (Alternate Michael flashback and mentioned only; Lucifer, mentioned only)
- Prophet and Loss (Alternate Michael flashback and mentioned only; Lucifer, mentioned only)
- Lebanon (Alternate Michael, Lucifer, mentioned only)
- Ouroboros (Alternate Michael; Lucifer, mentioned only)
- Peace of Mind (Alternate Michael, mentioned only)
- Game Night (Lucifer, corporeal form and voice only; Alternate Michael, mentioned only)
- Absence (Lucifer, hallucination; Alternate Michael, mentioned only)
- Jack in the Box (Lucifer, hallucination; Alternate Michael, mentioned only)
- Moriah (Alternate Michael, Lucifer, and Michael, mentioned only)
- Season 15
- Back and to the Future (Michael, mentioned only)
- The Rupture (Lucifer, mentioned only)
- Proverbs 17:3 (Lucifer, alternate reality)
- Our Father, Who Aren't in Heaven (Michael; Lucifer, mentioned only; Alternate Michael, flashbacks only)
- The Trap (Michael, mentioned only)
- Destiny's Child (Michael, mentioned only; Lucifer flashback and mentioned only; Alternate Michael, flashback)
- Bobby Singer's Guide to Hunting (non-canon, mentioned only)
- Even though in some religions there are many archangels and 7 of them are the favorites of God, only four have been confirmed in Supernatural - Michael, Lucifer, Raphael and Gabriel - and a few fans have argued that the fact that Metatron (when asking if Sam and Dean worked for any of the archangels in The Great Escapist) only mentioned these four archangels would suggest that there aren't any other archangels in Supernatural. Though given Metatron's lowly position within Heaven, before leaving and cutting himself off from angel radio, there could be more that he was unaware of.
- Metatron was described as an Archangel in one of The Word of God tablets, but he revealed that he was simply an angel that was chosen to be a scribe.
- Michaelmas, also known as the Feast of Saint Michael, is a Christian festival observed on September 29, to honor the Archangels, specifically Michael, and sometimes Gabriel, Raphael and Uriel. This day is also coincidentally the birth date of Adam Milligan, Michael's second vessel.
- Season 5 is the only season in which all four archangels from the main universe are active. In Season 12, only Lucifer is, as Raphael is deceased, Gabriel is in captivity of Asmodeus and Michael is in The Cage. Season 13 marked the return of Gabriel and the appearance of an alternate reality Michael alongside appearances by Lucifer. Season 15 has Michael escaping the Cage to find that he is the only archangel remaining.
- It was originally believed by the Men of Letters that the Archangels were responsible for the extermination of the Knights of Hell except Abaddon, it was actually the Knights' founder, Cain. Whether or not this rumor was started by the angels or by Cain himself is currently unknown.
- Gabriel, so far, is the only archangel for the main universe to only use one vessel.
- Michael is the only archangel who wasn't introduced with a vessel specifically for him. For Lucifer, it was Nick; for Raphael, it was Donnie; and for Gabriel, it was his unnamed vessel.
- This is not the case following the introduction of Michael from an alternate reality.
- Lucifer is the only Archangel to impregnate a human in the series.
- Raphael and Alternate Michael are the only Archangels to use both a male and female vessel.
- It has been implied that Cain and Abel, as their blood line contains the vessels of Michael and Lucifer, also could've been vessels for the latter.
- Lucifer's eyes are shown to glow reddish orange in O Brother, Where Art Thou?, this implies that the color Archangels eyes would glow with the same color whereas the eyes of Castiel and other angels glow bright blue. In Season 12 and Season 13, Lucifer's eyes often glow red when he is angry or as a form of intimidation. When resurrecting Maggie in Let the Good Times Roll, his eyes glowed like this as well. This eye glow is notable enough that Sam identified Lucifer as Maggie's killer simply because she saw her killer's glowing red eyes.
- All four archangels have acted as antagonists towards the Winchesters; however, Michael, Gabriel and Lucifer have become at least temporary allies to them. This leaves Raphael as the only main universe archangel who has not allied with the Winchesters at least once.
- The Archangels are the only creations of God confirmed to exist pre-Universe, and thus his only known primordial creation.
- So far, only an alternate reality version of Michael and two alternate versions of Lucifer have appeared.
- Curiously, all versions of Michael and Lucifer introduced so far tells a different story of how The Apocalypse could have ended, Michael and Lucifer from the Apocalypse World, tells what happens when Michael wins the Apocalypse, Michael and Lucifer from the Alternate Timeline of The End, tells what happens when Lucifer wins the Apocalypse, and Michael and Lucifer from the main universe tells what happens when both lose/draw the Apocalypse.
- Season 9 is the only season where an Archangel appears and does not play some sort of antagonistic role.
- Michael of the main reality is the only recurring Archangel to not show his wings. Lucifer, Gabriel, and Alt Michael showed theirs in shadow form on walls behind them and Raphael through lightning from his back.
- Raphael is the only Archangel of the main reality to not share screen time with another Archangel.
- Raphael is the only Archangel whose Apocalypse World counterpart is neither mentioned nor referenced.
- Michael is now the only Archangel who still lives in the Main Universe.
- Alternate Michael and the Lucifer from Proverbs 17:3 are the only Archangels to have their appearance be outside Season 5.
- Of the three deceased Archangels from the Main Universe, two have been killed by members of Team Free Will with help from an outside power source.
- The Winchesters and Castiel have utilized holy oil against all of the archangels they have come across.
- Dean and Castiel use a ring of holy fire to trap Raphael in Free To Be You and Me.
- Sam and Dean use a ring of holy fire to trap Gabriel in Changing Channels.
- Castiel uses a holy fire Molotov cocktail to temporarily banish Michael in Swan Song.
- Holy fire is part of the warding around the cage in Limbo where Sam meets with Lucifer in O Brother, Where Art Thou?.
- Sam, Dean, Rowena and Crowley use a ring of holy fire as part of their warding to trap Lucifer while they try to expel him from Castiel in Hell's Angel.
- Dean uses a holy fire Molotov cocktail to hold the Apocalypse World Michael at bay in Let the Good Times Roll.
- Sam and Castiel use a holy fire Molotov to distract Alternate Michael in Nihilism so that they can capture him.
- Castiel traps the Main Universe Michael in a ring of holy fire in Our Father, Who Aren't in Heaven so that he can be taken captive.
- In Our Father, Who Aren't in Heaven, the Main Universe Michael reveals that he wasn't aware of the existence of archangels in other realities, believing himself to be the sole Michael.
- In the non-canon book Supernatural: The Men of Letters Bestiary: Winchester Family Edition, it is stated that all Special Children are suitable vessels for Lucifer.