Archangels are fierce. They're absolute. They're Heaven's most terrifying weapon.
Castiel about the Archangels
in The Monster at the End of This Book

Archangels are primordial angels,[1] being looked at as Heaven's most fearsome wrath.[2] 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.

The angel Metatron was also considered to be an archangel by other angels until he revealed that he was simply a regular angel who was chosen to be the Scribe of God.

Characteristics

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.[3] 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.[1]

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.[1] However, God states that resurrecting 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.[4] At full power, Lucifer was feared by the Prince of Hell Asmodeus,[5] but was no match for him with his grace diminished.[6] 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.[7]

According to Castiel, angels cannot heal the injuries of an archangel. This extends to Seraphim such as Castiel as well as regular angels.[7]

Known Archangels

Blue Glass Arrow Main article: Michael
SPN 1065

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.

Blue Glass Arrow Main article: Lucifer
Ss-sam-lucifer-1

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.

Blue Glass Arrow Main article: Raphael
Archangel Raphael

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.

Blue Glass Arrow Main article: Gabriel
Gabe

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.

Michael repossesses Dean

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.

Blue Glass Arrow Main article: Lucifer (The End)
Lucifer (Alternate Reality)

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 reality by Zachariah.

Mentioned Archangels

Archangels that have been mentioned, but not seen.

Known Vessels

Michael's

  • 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 (sealed in Lucifer's Cage) - Michael's replacement vessel. Incapacitated when he, along with Michael possessing him, are thrown into Hell by Sam where Adam still remains.

Lucifer's

  • Nick - 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Raphael's

Gabriel's

Alternate Michael's

  • 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 - 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.

Alternate Lucifer's

  • Sam Winchester - This alternate reality version of Sam consented to Lucifer and was used by him to win the apocalypse.

Appearances

Trivia

  • 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, LuciferRaphael 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.
  • The archangels are collectively one of the most dangerous and powerful antagonists in the entire series. So far, they have not been shown working alongside each other.
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • He is also the only Archangel to never have been a ruler of Heaven or Hell.
  • 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.
    • Through dream walks, Lucifer has taken on the form of various women, such as Sarah and Jen. However, he prefers male vessels.
  • 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, only Gabriel and Lucifer have become at least temporary allies to them.
  • 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 Lucifer have appeared.
  • 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 to not share screen time with another Archangel.
  • Michael is now the only Archangel who still lives in the main universe.
  • 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.

References

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