Luther Shrike was a human that liked to collect rare supernatural items.
In the 19th century, Luther had a young son that he loved dearly. However, his son developed a terminal illness and Luther became desperate to save him. Luther managed to contact the Crossroad Demon Barthamus and offered up his own soul if Barthamus would heal his son. Barthamus accepted the deal and healed Luther's son of his illness.
A few years after Luther's son was saved, he drowned. Luther attempted to get Barthamus to save him, but Barthamus callously claimed that accidents happen and that Barthamus could not be held responsible for what happened. As a result, Barthamus refused to save Luther's son again.
Enraged by Barthamus' betrayal, Luther became determined to save himself from Hell and to get revenge. Over the next few years before his deal came due, Luther managed to locate and retrieve Barthamus' human bones which, if burned, would kill Barthamus. Luther was eventually dragged to Hell by hellhounds, but was able to use Barthamus' bones as leverage to force Barthamus to negotiate a new deal. Barthamus was forced to resurrect Luther and grant him immortality to the point that Luther couldn't be killed on his property, though Luther was vulnerable off of it.
Over the next two hundred years, Luther became a collector of supernatural artifacts. At some point, Luther collected what he believed to be a fossilized basilisk fang but was actually a gorgon tooth. To keep Barthamus off of his back, Luther hung on to Barthamus' bones which he kept in a mahogany trunk locked with a key that Luther kept around his neck. To further protect the bones, Luther put them in a safe that he sealed in a vault that could only be opened with the blood of a man who had been to Hell and back such as Luther. Luther added dart traps to the vault that could only be disarmed with a special combination. The darts were tipped with silver and were filled with a combination of arsenic, holy water and holy oil to deal with any monsters, humans, demons or angels that tried to break in.
In The Scorpion and The Frog, after stealing a Nephilim tracking spell from a museum in England, Barthamus took the opportunity to finally recover his bones from Luther by making a deal with the Winchesters to trade the spell for the trunk containing the bones. Though the Winchesters were reluctant and did not know anything about Luther beyond the fact that he was a collector of supernatural artifacts that Barthamus claimed to be evil, they accepted the deal and teamed up with Grab and Alice to perform the heist.
Having somehow learned of Barthamus' plans, the Prince of Hell Asmodeus sent a demon messenger to warn Luther of the approaching threat. The demon requested that Luther warn them if Barthamus showed up, but Luther recognized that Asmodeus only wanted to use him as bait. Luther lured the demon into a devil's trap and performed an exorcism on him. As the demon was returned to Hell, Luther gave it the message for Asmodeus that he was prepared for anyone that showed up, including Barthamus and that Luther took orders from no one.
As part of their plan, Sam contacted Luther via email about selling him a priceless supernatural artifact. Luther agreed to meet with Sam who snuck Dean and Alice through the gate of Luther's property hidden in the backseat of the Impala before dropping them off inside the property line.
As Dean, Alice and Grab worked to find Luther's hidden vault, Sam met with Luther and expressed awe at his collection while drinking some of Luther's homemade gin. Sam corrected Luther's mistaken assumption about the gorgon fang and presented Luther with the Winchesters' demon-killing knife which Sam told Luther was "very rare, one of a kind" and could kill demons, pleasing Luther.
As Luther paid Sam for the knife, Luther told Sam that they both knew that Sam wasn't really there to sell the knife. Grabbing the knife, Luther accused Sam of being sent by Barthamus to rob him and showed a belief that Sam was actually a demon. Luther attacked Sam with the knife leading to a fight between the two in which Sam quickly disarmed Luther, but was overpowered by his superior combat skills. After throwing Sam across the room, Luther realized that Sam was just a distraction while his friends were "out there stripping me blind as we speak."
Luther tried to kill Sam with a shotgun blast, but Sam managed to dodge the shot and retrieve the knife. As Luther reloaded, Sam stabbed him in the stomach with the knife, but Luther was unharmed to Sam's shock. Removing the knife, Luther revealed that as long as he was on his property, he couldn't die. Taking advantage of Sam's shock, Luther grabbed the gorgon tooth and used it to knock Sam unconscious.
Arriving outside the cellar containing his vault shortly after Dean managed to open the vault, Luther killed Grab with the demon-killing knife before entering the cellar. Alice quickly kicked Luther in the shin and made a run for it, leaving Dean alone with Luther. At Dean's prompting, Luther admitted that Sam was alive "as far as I left him" and that Luther had thought Sam to be a demon. Luther expressed surprise that Barthamus now had humans doing his dirty work. Drawing his gun, Dean suggested that Luther just hand over the safe, but Luther refused and advanced on Dean. Dean shot Luther several times, causing him pain but failing to stop Luther. As Luther went to stab Dean, Sam entered and told Dean that Luther was immortal. Dean responded by punching Luther in the face, knocking him out.
Luther was tied to a pillar by the Winchesters and questioned on how to get past his booby-traps and into the safe. However, Luther refused, stating that they would never crack the riddle and if they tried, they would be hit by "a thousand tiny darts, each tipped with silver and filled with arsenic, holy water and holy oil." Amused, Luther laughed and wished them good fortune, leading to Dean gagging Luther with a piece of masking tape.
Luther watched with amusement as the Winchesters attempted to come up with a solution for his booby-traps. Finally, Sam came up with the idea to use Luther himself to bypass the traps. Luther was tied to a chair on top of a rolling platform and sent rolling through the vault. As a gagged Luther screamed, he was pelted by all of his own traps, leaving him unharmed but in pain from all of the darts. With Luther having been used to effectively disarm his booby-traps, he was tied to the pillar again by Dean who noted to Sam that Luther was pissed.
After opening the safe and retrieving the trunk with Alice's help, the Winchesters discovered that Luther had escaped his bonds and disappeared. As the Winchesters drove away, Luther appeared in the middle of the road in a truck to stop them. Luther chased the Impala, but as he closed in on the smaller car, Sam opened fire and shot out Luther's driver-side tire, forcing Luther's truck off the road.
Now vulnerable as he was off of his property, Luther emerged from his truck without a fight when the Winchesters confronted him with their guns. To the Winchesters' shock, Luther asked them if it felt good to "whore yourselves out to pure evil, because that's what he is." Luther explained to the Winchesters and Alice what had happened with Barthamus and his son, earning their sympathy as the Winchesters believed Luther's story. Luther revealed that he had leverage over Barthamus and provided Sam with the key to the trunk to look inside. When the Winchesters found a set of human bones, Luther explained "Bart's bones. You burn them, he dies. That's my leverage. You're on the wrong side of this boys. You gotta ask yourselves if you can live with that."
Moments after Luther finished his explanation, Barthamus appeared next to him and decapitated Luther, killing him. Barthamus taunted Luther's corpse that he never should've left the house and confirmed Luther's story to the Winchesters, showing a callous attitude about what he had done to Luther and his son. Utterly disgusted with Barthamus' treatment of Luther and his son and deeply sympathetic to both of them, the Winchesters refused to turn over Barthamus' bones to him.
Shortly afterwards, Barthamus was killed when Alice burned his bones, avenging both Luther and his son and finally giving Luther his revenge against Barthamus.
Powers and Abilities
- Supernatural Awareness - Luther possessed an awareness of the supernatural even before he lived for centuries. When he was still mortal, he had enough knowledge of demons that in addition to knowing of their ability to make deals, he is even aware that burning their human bones could kill them. Having spent years collecting supernatural artifacts and accumulating knowledge, Luther's knowledge had clearly grew considerably, to the point that he was even aware of angels and knew enough on their lore that he knew of their weakness to holy fire. Luther was also aware of werewolves being weak to silver but it seems that his knowledge on monsters were limited, unable to recognize the difference between a fossilized basilisk fang and a gorgon tooth, as well as demons being weak to holy water and devil's traps. With this knowledge, he was able to create darts that were dipped by silver and filled with a combination of arsenic, holy water and holy oil to deal with any monsters, humans, demons or angels that tried to break into his vault.
- Spell Casting - Luther already had a level of ability to perform spells two hundred years ago, as he was able to summon the Crossroad Demon Barthamus to make a deal. The centuries he spent experiencing the supernatural has greatly increased his magical capabilities, as he was able to cast several powerful enchantments on his vault to ensure it's safety. He cloaked the vault from being detected by demons, made the only way to dispel the traps he placed being to solve the riddle, something which proved to be complex enough that even the experienced Sam and Dean proved unable to crack and had to resort to expanding the darts on the trap on Luther to overcome it, and enchanted the device to open his vault to require the blood of someone who had went to Hell and returned. He also possessed the knowledge to perform exorcisms on demons.
- Immortality - Due to his leverage, Luther was able to force Barthamus to grant him immortality. At the time of his death, Luther was over two hundred years old and did not appear to have aged during that time.
- Limited Invulnerability - On his property, Luther could not be killed. He was able to take a knife to the stomach, several bullets and his own deadly darts that were tipped with silver and filled with a combination of arsenic, holy water and holy oil without being killed. However, even on his property Luther's invulnerability was limited and he could feel pain and be knocked unconscious with just a punch.
- Regeneration - The injuries Luther sustained on his property where he couldn't be killed quickly healed. Luther was fully healed from a stab wound, several gunshots and "a thousand" darts tipped with silver and filled with arsenic, holy water and holy oil by the time he left his property to chase down the Winchesters as he did not die immediately once he lost his invulnerability.
- Master Hand-to-Hand Combatant - Having had centuries worth of experience, Luther was a highly capable hand-to-hand fighter, to the point that he was able to overpower the seasoned hunter Sam Winchester.
- Leaving his property - By leaving his property, Luther lost the invulnerability that he possessed on it.
- Mortality - Away from his property, Luther was as mortal as any other human and could be killed like one.
- Dean mentions Game of Thrones because Luther Shrike's actor portrayed the Night King in Game of Thrones in season 4-5.
- Luther is the third collector of supernatural articles seen in the series. The first was Cuthbert Sinclair and the second was Ramiel.
- How Luther managed to leverage Barthamus with his bones from Hell is never revealed. It is also unknown how Luther learned of Barthamus' human identity and located the bones in the first place. Presumably Luther used a third party on Earth to threaten the bones while he was in Hell.
- Despite his knowledge of the supernatural and his collection of artifacts, Luther did not appear to possess a way to kill a demon beyond burning Barthamus' bones before he met the Winchesters. Luther displayed no sign of having any demon-killing weapons amongst his collection before Sam "sold" him the demon-killing knife. Luther proceeded to use the knife as his weapon against Sam when he thought that Sam was a demon and then to kill Grab. Also, Luther used an exorcism on Asmodeus' Messenger rather than killing the demon outright after trapping him.
- Luther shares some similarities with Lily Sunder: both lost a child as a result of the actions of a supernatural being, both wanted revenge, both used magic to live for a long time, 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 Lily however, Luther did not live to see his revenge occurring.