Lily Sunder was a professor of apocalyptic literature who fell in love with an angel only to have him and her daughter murdered. After getting her revenge, Lily gave up her magic and sought to ensure her entry into Heaven to be reunited with her daughter.
In the late 19th to early 20th century, Lily was a professor of apocalyptic lore with a daughter named May and studied angels heavily, eventually becoming fluent in Enochian. Lily's studies led her to a spell that enabled her to summon an angel and when she cast it, Ishim appeared. Ishim grew obsessed with Lily, believing he was in love with her. As a result, Ishim shared all of the secrets of angels with Lily. However, Lily came to regard that Ishim was a monster obsessed with her.
Following her realization, Lily cut off contact with Ishim, eventually meeting, and marrying the angel Akobel so that he could protect her from Ishim. Upon learning of this, an enraged and jealous Ishim set out for revenge. To do this, Ishim gathered his flight, including Benjamin, Mirabel and Castiel and claimed to them that May was a Nephilim and she and Akobel needed to be killed. When the angels arrived, Akobel ordered Lily to take May and run while he distracted them. As Lily desperately gathered her things, Akobel was killed by Mirabel and Ishim entered the house to confront her. Pinning a powerless Lily with telekinesis, Ishim accused her of leaving him for Akobel and murders May in revenge. Ishim then leaves Lily to mourn May's loss.
Over the next century, Lily began using her study of Enochian magic to give her immortality and the powers she would need to get revenge on Ishim and his flight. Using Enochian magic in such a way burned away a piece of Lily's soul each time, eventually resulting in her losing the ability to dream. Despite this, Lily pressed on, consumed by her revenge.
Lily eventually tracks down the angel Benjamin as he plays arcade games and confronts him. Lily battles Benjamin who proves to be no match for her and eventually pins the angel up against a wall. After Benjamin begs for help over "angel radio", Lily kills him with an angel blade.
Next, Lily goes after Mirabel, Ishim and Castiel as they meet in a diner to discuss the situation, being the last three angels alive that Lily is hunting. As Mirabel checks the perimeter, Lily ambushes her and quickly kills the angel. Ishim eventually emerges looking for Mirabel and is shocked to find Lily who slashes his side with an angel blade. Ishim attempts to smite Lily, but her new powers render her immune to Ishim's smiting. As Lily gains the upper hand against Ishim, Castiel arrives and slashes her with an angel blade, also recognizing her from the murder of Akobel. When the Winchesters arrive and point guns at her, Lily tries to convince them to allow her to get her revenge, not wanting to hurt humans. When they refuse, Lily lets off a massive blast of light that blinds everyone and flees in her rental car.
Returning to her hotel room, Lily heals her wound and later departs to find Castiel and Ishim to get her revenge. To her surprise, she is confronted by the Winchesters who had managed to track her rental car after Sam saw the license plate during her escape. When the Winchesters attempt to talk her down as they believe her daughter was a Nephilim, Lily tells them the truth about what happened the day Akobel and May were murdered, breaking into tears. Inclined to believe Lily but needing proof, Dean heads off to confront Ishim while Sam stays with Lily. Lily explains to Sam the source of her powers and why she had waited so long for revenge then tells him that after Ishim kills Dean, Sam will help her so she is willing to be patient further. Concerned by her words, Sam agrees to take Lily to confront Ishim.
Arriving at Ishim's church safe house, the two find Castiel nearly unconscious and Dean cornered by the rogue angel. Armed with an angel blade, Lily engages Ishim in battle with the two hunters attempting to aid her without success. Having been fully healed by Castiel, Ishim proves to be more than a match for Lily who telekinetically flings him against a wall. However, Ishim tells her that she can't hold him there forever and begins to fight through Lily's hold, slowly advancing on her. As the Winchesters and Lily helplessly watch, Ishim eventually reaches her and prepares to kill Lily with his angel blade. To everyone's shock, at the last moment, Castiel kills Ishim from behind with an angel blade of his own. As Lily stares at him in shock, Castiel tells her that "you held him for long enough".
Following Ishim's death, Lily stares down at his dead vessel and the imprint of his broken wings. The Winchesters question whether or not Lily will give up on her revenge now that Ishim is dead, but Lily isn't sure as revenge is all she's had for over a century. Dean tried to threaten her but now knowing the truth about what happened in 1901, Castiel stops Dean and apologizes to Lily for his role in the murders of Akobel and May. He states his ignorance was no excuse and tells Lily if she leaves and finds that she can't forgive him, she can return to get her revenge on him. In tears, Lily thanks Castiel and leaves.
In Byzantium, Sam calls Lily in hopes that she can translate Kevin Tran's notes on the Angel Tablet and find something that can help them to bring back Jack. Lily, now an old woman due to no longer using her magic to keep herself young, is unable to read the notes, but suggests using her Enochian magic to save Jack. Lily proposes using a piece of Jack's own soul to sustain his body, but requests that in exchange, the Winchesters ensure her entry into Heaven. Lily explains that she has stopped using her magic as she still has a sliver of her soul left and when she dies, she wants to be reunited with her daughter in Heaven.
As Castiel goes to Heaven to find Jack, the Winchesters summon Anubis who agrees to judge Lily's soul. Anubis' scales determine that Lily will go to Hell upon death and he insists that he can do nothing to change her fate. Anubis explains that a person's own choices during their life determine their final fate and the Winchesters are forced to let him go. Lily prepares to depart, but Dean begs her to stay and help them so that they won't have to suffer the loss of a child as she did. Lily finally agrees to stay and help.
As Dean prays to Castiel, Lily performs the ritual to use Jack's soul. After Castiel resurrects Jack, Sam quickly provides him with the incantation Lily wrote out and Jack completes the ritual, curing his condition. Unnoticed by anyone else, Lily suffers a heart attack moments after Jack's resurrection and she quietly sits in a chair and dies.
To Lily's surprise, she is greeted by Anubis in the afterlife who offers Lily another chance to weigh her soul. This time, Lily's soul is determined to be worthy of Heaven. Anubis implies that Lily knew that helping resurrect Jack would be fatal to her and that her selfless decision to help anyway was what tipped the scales in her favor. Anubis tells Lily to greet May for him and Lily smiles in peace and happiness, as she prepares to be reunited with her daughter at long last.
Powers and Abilities
- Enochian Magic - Through Enochian magic, Lily has gained many powerful abilities. However, each time she uses one, a piece of her soul burns away. When she stops using this magic, she lost the abilities granted to her by it, particularly her immortality.
- Summoning - Lily was able to cast a summoning spell for an angel.
- Immortality - Using Enochian magic, Lily was able to make herself immortal. However, this effect only lasted as long as she was using her magic and she began aging when she stopped.
- Super Strength - Lily is stronger than most humans, able to fight against a lower-level angel such as Benjamin fairly evenly. She was able to kick Castiel across an alleyway, but caught him by surprise when doing so.
- Immunity - Lily has displayed an immunity to angelic abilities.
- Photokinesis - Lily has displayed the ability to emit a blinding blast of light to disorient her opponents.
- Healing - Lily has displayed the ability to heal herself in a similar manner to how an angel heals another being. Using a ritual, Lily was able to cure Jack's fatal condition and save his life.
- Telekinesis - Lily has displayed the ability to move objects and people with her mind. She was strong enough to throw Ishim across a room, but could only hold him back a short time before he fought through it.
- Localization - Lily was able to locate Benjamin.
- Expert Hand-to-Hand Combatant - Lily is an expert at hand-to-hand fighting, able to fight fairly evenly with angelic soldier Benjamin.
- Expert Swordsman - Having spent a century training, Lily became skilled in using an Angel Blades. Lily was able to fight fairly even with the former angelic captain Ishim on her own before she was overpowered.
Lily was once a smart and kind woman who cared for her daughter very deeply. Her studies in angels however led her to meet Ishim, an obsessive and wrathful angel who desired Lily for himself. Lily attempted to flee from Ishim and form a new happy life with another angel, Akobel. This peaceful life brought on jealousy from Ishim, who arranged the deaths of both Akobel and May as punishment towards Lily.
From that point on, Lily herself began to change, becoming vengeful and willing to sacrifice her own existence in order to get back at the flight of angels who took part in the murders of her loved ones. Lily's use in Enochian magic gradually ate away at her soul, turning her into a dreamless and murderous individual who only saw revenge as a goal. After the death of Ishim, Lily admitted she wasn't sure she could give up on her revenge as it had been all she had for so long. In spite of the fact that the last angel she was after, Castiel, saved her life, she still wasn't sure if she could forgive him. After Castiel's apology and offer to allow her to return for her revenge against him at a later date if she wanted, she appeared to finally let go of her hatred and vengeance and move on with her life, tearfully thanking Castiel.
In order to enact her revenge, Lily developed a great deal of patience for it took many years before she could get her hands on her desired targets. Despite the increasingly loss of emotion, Lily still remembered her daughter and Akobel fondly, and could still feel sorrow by the time she encountered Ishim again. She also showed reluctance to harm and kill innocent humans in her quest for vengeance, asking Sam and Dean to step down and later deciding to share in the true story instead of attacking them. With Ishim's death, Lily was left to accept that her journey was over. It is unknown if Lily has managed to live a normal life or not.
Following her time after revenge, she gave up on using her powers and allowed herself to rapidly age as she intended to save a piece of her soul so as to go to Heaven and see her daughter. She made amends with Castiel, despite hating him for a century and helped in trying to save his nephew. After Anubis implied she wouldn't see her child, Lily felt empty and nearly walked on saving Jack until Dean remarked on her inhumane nature. She related to the Winchesters on losing a child and stayed to help, though it cost Lily on her life. However, she found peace when Anubis gave her another chance and she was happy at the thought of being with her daughter for eternity. Anubis implies that Lily knew she would die if she helped save Jack but did it anyway with the implication that it was this selfless act that allowed her to go to Heaven instead of Hell.
- Lily is the first human to knowingly marry an angel.
- Lily's gradual loss of her soul (and thus, her emotions) resembles Sam during his soulless period. Sam without his soul did not require sleep, let alone dream, and he cared little for the well being of others. Lily's casual remark of Sam losing his brother to Ishim is proof that Lily was becoming more like Soulless Sam.
- Lily shares some similarities with Luther Shrike: both lost a child as a result of the actions of a supernatural being, both wanted revenge, both initially appeared to be the bad guy in their respective episodes but are revealed to ultimately be the good guy and both got their revenge through the actions of a third party. Unlike Luther, Lily lived to see her revenge exacted.
- Lily is one of the few characters to die of natural causes, suffering a fatal heart attack moments after helping to save Jack.
- Despite her incredible knowledge of Enochian magic, Lily appears to be unaware of other kinds of magic or at least what can be done with them. When the Winchesters reveal that they are going to summon Anubis, Lily expresses surprise that a god can be summoned.