According to Castiel, they are selected primarily by high-ranking angels or archangels. They speak of events to come, on instruction from Heaven. Archangels are tied to prophets, acting as their protectors when the need arises - each prophet has an archangel "tethered to them." Any presence of danger will cause intervention from his or her archangel, even if that intervention goes against what a prophet has prophesied. However, by the time Kevin Tran is revealed as a prophet, the archangels Michael and Lucifer were trapped in the Cage, Gabriel was hiding, and Raphael was dead. Some powerful beings like Zachariah can implant prophecy, whether it be false or true, into a prophet's mind, as he demonstrated on Chuck Shurley.
Castiel claimed that Leah is not a prophet because he has every prophet's name seared into his brain, and it is later shown that this is inherent in all angels when Crowley tortured Samandriel in order to gain information concerning the names of the current prophets. According to Castiel, only one prophet may be active at a time. When the active prophet dies, another one is awakened and replaces the previous prophet. The entire line of succession of prophets up to the future is known to all angels, with their names have been written by Metatron; however, they do not know the names of prophets that have yet to be born.
To date, Kevin Tran never showed the capability to prophesy or to see events currently taking place. His abilities were limited to deciphering the Word of God. Whether this indicates that different prophets have different functions, or that the ability of prophets has since changed the moment the Apocalypse was averted, is unknown.
Metatron, who later planned on taking charge of Heaven, ended the prophet line, ensuring no new prophet would be called upon Kevin Tran's death. This is undone by the time the Darkness arrives, as a new prophet named Donatello awakes. In Good Intentions, Castiel confirms that once again if a Prophet dies, a new Prophet will be called.
After Donatello Redfield was left brain dead, his state of being between life and death disrupted the Natural Order and activated the next Prophet, Tony Alvarez, early. However, this premature activation resulted in a malformed prophet with a connection to Donatello, a connection that drove Tony insane when he heard Donatello's mutterings and believed they were God giving him instructions. This was predicted to continue with other activated Prophets and was believed to be fixable by removing Donatello from life support thus ending his life. After discovering that Donatello's brain was trying to rebuild itself, Castiel was able to end the problem with the Prophet line by helping Donatello regain consciousness and come out of his near-death state. The fact that the Winchesters and Castiel remained concerned about Donatello's state continuing to corrupt the Prophet line suggests that the line still runs through Donatello despite Tony being activated early.
- Luke - He wrote a number of books of the New Testament known as the Gospel of St. Luke and the Acts of the Apostles.
- Kevin Tran - Kevin is a Prophet of the Lord who is chosen to interpret the Word of God after Sam and Dean break the Leviathan Tablet out of the slab of stone it's trapped in. After translating the Leviathan, Demon and Angel Tablets, Kevin was murdered by the angel Gadreel on Metatron's orders. While his soul was apparently sent to Heaven by God himself, it was later revealed that God instead cast Kevin into Hell. Released by God when he begins the end of the world, Kevin decides to wander the Earth as a ghost since he cannot enter Heaven.
- Donatello Redfield - Donatello was the most recent Prophet, turned when his town was affected by The Darkness's fog. He helped in the operation to save Lucifer, as he was capable of sensing the Darkness. Amara later consumed his soul to locate her brother but he remained alive and retained at least some of his Prophet abilities. He was rendered essentially brain-dead by Castiel after his soulless state led to him being corrupted by the power of the Demon Tablet. After Donatello's mind began rebuilding itself, Castiel was able to help Donatello who awakened back to normal, but still soulless. Donatello later translated the Demon Tablet a second time to try to help find God's weakness and was used as a mouthpiece by God to threaten the Winchesters. After the archangel Michael killed Lilith, Donatello was able to track his movements across the world for Dean.
- Alternate Kevin Tran - Prophet ally of Michael in an alternate reality. Aided Michael in briefly opening a rift to the Main Universe. Later committed a suicide bombing on Michael's orders, killing himself and several resistance fighters.
- Tony Alvarez - A malformed Prophet called by Donatello's state of being between life and death. Due to a connection with Donatello that allowed Tony to hear Donatello's mutterings as his brain tried to rebuild itself, Tony was driven insane and came to the belief that God wanted him to enact divine retributions. After murdering two people, he was stopped by the Winchesters and committed suicide.
Prophets in the current generation
There are seven prophets other than Kevin Tran in the current generation of prophets: Luigi Ponzi, Justin Hunt, Aaron Webber, Maria, Dennis Adams, Krista, and Sven. The next generation has not been born yet. Crowley tortures Samandriel for their names and has them kidnapped by his demons. Dennis is injured by Crowley in a fit of pique and Krista is killed too, to demonstrate to Kevin how expendable they are to him, but the others are rescued by Sam, Dean, and Castiel. According to Sam, they have nothing in common: they are from different places and are all different ages. They are even of different religions.
By the time of Season 11, the prophet line is resumed since one that Crowley missed became a Prophet after being hit by The Darkness' Fog. Even after losing his soul to the Darkness, he appeared to retain his status as a Prophet and continued to possess some if not all of his Prophet abilities.
- Chuck Shurley: Also known by the pseudonym Carver Edlund, and later revealed to be God, Chuck is an author of the marginalized book series Supernatural. After confronting him about his seemingly omniscient knowledge of their escapades, it was revealed by Castiel that Chuck was a Prophet of the Lord, and his works will become new gospels. He was protected by the archangel Raphael. In Don't Call Me Shurley, it was revealed to Metatron that Chuck was in fact God, and thus never a prophet to begin with.
- Whore of Babylon: Pretended to be the prophet Leah Gideon to earn the trust of the townspeople and trick them into the condemning their souls. She was exposed when Sam, Dean and Castiel realize she is, in fact, the Whore of Babylon in disguise. The real Leah is deceased. Dean eventually kills her.
Powers and Abilities
- Precognition - Prophets can see parts or glimpses of the future, but never the whole picture.
- Decoding and fixing the Word of God - As a Prophet, Kevin could both read and repair the Word of God tablets. Donatello Redfield also possessed the ability to read the tablets though he appeared to have a harder time at it than Kevin. Kevin's alternate reality counterpart could also read the tablets. It was suggested that the next Prophet to be called after Donatello would be able to read the tablets as well, suggesting that this is a universal ability amongst the Prophets.
- Fluency in Enochian - Donatello unconsciously translated "Behold the face of God" from Enochian. When he became a Prophet, Tony Alvarez also became fluent in written and spoken Enochian.
- Spell Casting - Kevin was capable of casting the demon bomb spell to escape. His alternate self could perform the ritual to open a rift and use the Suicide Bomb Sigil.
- Localization - After becoming a Prophet, Donatello could sense powerful beings and find their locations. He was able to use this ability to track the Darkness, Jack and Asmodeus. After sensing Michael killing Lilith, Donatello was able to track the archangel as he jumped all over the globe.
- Super Senses - Donatello is able to sense Primordial Entities, angels and demons. In season 11, Donatello was able to sense God when heading to the Men of Letters Bunker. He was also able to sense the intense "waves of power" coming off of the nephilim Jack and that they were not toxic or dark. He also sensed Jack's birth. He could also sense Asmodeus when he was in close proximity to Jack. When Michael killed Lilith, Donatello sensed and was startled by the burst of power it emanated.
- Connection to each other (unique) - Due to the circumstances behind his creation, malformed Prophet Tony Alvarez possessed a connection to his comatose predecessor Donatello Redfield, hearing Donatello's mutterings in his head and mistaking them for the voice of God.
- Angelic Mouthpiece (while injected with angel grace) - After being injected with angel grace by Nick, Donatello's Prophet abilities were boosted to the point that he was able to act as a mouthpiece for Lucifer to communicate with Nick from the Empty.
- Mouthpiece for God - Due to his status as a Prophet, which is literally a mouthpiece for the Word of God, Donatello can be taken over by God himself as a method of communication.
- Season 4
- Season 5
- Season 7
- Season 8
- Season 9
- Season 11
- Season 13
- Season 14
- Season 15
- So far, all of Prophets of God are human, with the exception of false prophets.
- The Archangel Gabriel is often referred to in real world lore as God's messenger, which is a similar role to prophets who act as God's mouthpiece.
- Both on-screen prophets have physically interacted and spoke directly with God, something rare among creation.
- Castiel said that he heard of a Prophet that was almost corrupted by the Demon Tablet.
- Despite being the mouthpieces God, prophets are not required to belong to any of the Abrahamic faiths to be selected as potential or even active prophets; Donatello was an atheist prior to becoming an active prophet (though, notably, he was activated not through God's power, rather his sister's).
- The way that there is only one Prophet active at one time, with a new one being called when the last prophet dies, is quite similar to the way the Slayer line originally worked in Buffy the Vampire Slayer.