|“||We're tired. We just want it to be over. We just want... Paradise [...] And whatever we want, we get!||”|
— Raphael to Dean Winchester
in Free To Be You and Me
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.
In Season 4, Raphael protected Chuck from Lilith's harm and then tried to stop Dean and Castiel from stopping Sam from breaking the last seal and killed Castiel. In Season 5, he became a target of Castiel, who had been resurrected, and Dean to find God but he didn't have answers and they left him in a ring of holy fire as he vowed to kill the angel.
In Season 6, Raphael escaped and returned to Heaven with the intent of taking over and restarting the Apocalypse but was opposed by Castiel and a civil war began, forcing Castiel to team up with Crowley to obtain the souls of Purgatory. When Castiel betrayed him, Raphael allied himself with Crowley to obtain the power for himself, only to be killed by the angel when he took the power.
History[edit | edit source]
Early Life[edit | edit source]
The third archangel, Raphael lived happily in Heaven with his father God and his angelic brothers. With the Darkness existing alongside them, Raphael, his brothers, and God fought in a war against the Darkness, eventually winning the war by sealing her away.
When God created humans and asked all angels to bow down before them, Raphael was among those that did so. When Lucifer rebelled against God and Gabriel skipped out of Heaven and on to Earth, Raphael chose to side with God and Michael. However, at some point, Raphael lost faith in God and became weary of his father's duties. He also even believed that God was dead and that they were "living in a God-less universe".
Raphael is referenced when Sam and Dean investigate a case where people claim angels are ordering them to kill. Father Reynolds, while administering Last Rites to Father Gregory's spirit, says "I call upon the archangel Raphael, master of the air, to make open the way. Let the fire of the Holy Spirit now descend, that this being might be awakened to the world beyond." 
When Dean went to Castiel for help about Lilith, the angel couldn't help him but told Dean that a Prophet would have an Archangel tethered to them to protect them from danger. This gave Dean an idea and he retrieved Chuck Shurley and put him in the same room as the demon. Raphael prepares to attack when Lilith is in Chuck Shurley's presence, shaking the room until Lilith flees.
Raphael possessed his vessel, Donnie Finnerman, during a demon induced riot at a Pump 'n Go gas station in Maine. The damage caused by Raphael was attributed to an explosion, and the incident was witnessed by Deputy Framingham. Raphael abandoned Donnie, who was left in a catatonic state and returned to Heaven.
Raphael returns to Earth and his vessel to confront Castiel and Dean, who attempted to summon him. He manifests in the abandoned building they are hiding in, shorting out the electricity and the entire Eastern Seaboard. He threatens to take Dean to Michael, and to torture him should he refuse, but Dean and Castiel trick him into a circle of holy oil, which they ignite and trap him.
They interrogate him to learn God's location. Raphael tells Dean and Castiel that God is dead, and that the Heavenly Hosts are tired of waiting with duties to fulfill and no guidelines. They want to bring forth paradise on Earth. Raphael brings about a storm that shatters the windows of the house. Castiel does not believe Raphael's assertion about God, and demands to know how he was resurrected, if not by God. Raphael suggests that it was Lucifer, because he needs all the rebellious angels that he can find. Castiel and Dean then leave Raphael, who warns the other angel not to leave him there, because he will catch up with him one day. Castiel replies, "Maybe one day. But today, you're my little bitch!"
Season 6[edit | edit source]
At some point, Raphael somehow escapes the Holy Fire that Dean and Castiel left him trapped in. He assumes control of Heaven after the Apocalypse is averted. Raphael is ensconced in a palatial house, apparently part of the Heaven of disgraced Enron executive Ken Lay. He summons Castiel for a meeting. Raphael informs Castiel he will call an assembly of the Host of Heaven, at which he will ask Castiel to pledge his allegiance to Raphael. He announces that he will proceed to free Michael and Lucifer from the Cage and resume their apocalyptic battle. When Castiel refuses, Raphael beats him up and threatens to destroy him unless he bows down.
After Castiel makes his deal with Crowley, he returns to Heaven, and with the power of an extra 50,000 souls obtained from Hell is able to make his first stand against Raphael.
Sam and Dean investigate the deaths of three cops which mirror Egyptian plagues. Dean summons Castiel, and they discover that a boy has been using part of the Staff of Moses. Castiel later tells Sam and Dean that Heaven has been thrown into chaos without Michael, with angels going rogue, celestial killings, and the theft of their weapons. He also warns them that Raphael is back and trying to gain all of Heaven's weapons so that he can win the civil war against Castiel, then release Lucifer and Michael, putting the apocalypse back on track. When asked why, Castiel simply calls Raphael a "traditionalist" who wants "to end the story the way it was written." A soldier of Raphael attacks Castiel, then returns to his leader.
Raphael and his soldiers track down Balthazar, the angel who stole the weapons and sold part of the Staff of Moses. Sam and Dean banish one of Raphael's soldiers with the Angel Banishing Sigil and Castiel kills another with an angel blade. Raphael then appears behind Castiel and attacks him mercilessly. He voiced his doubt that God will bring him back a third time before readying to finish him off. Just as Raphael is about to kill Castiel, Balthazar appears and turns Raphael's vessel into a pillar of salt using Lot's Salt, forcing Raphael to look for a new vessel.
Sam and Dean are given a key by Balthazar that supposedly opens the repository containing Heaven's weapons and are transported to an alternate reality to protect them from Raphael, who has started hunting them down. Raphael sends Virgil after them. When the Winchesters are transported back to their universe, they are greeted by Raphael in a new female vessel. Balthazar then appears and tells Raphael that the key given to Sam and Dean was a decoy. Castiel, now in possession of Heaven's weapons, also appears and threatens Raphael, who disappears.
Raphael forms an alliance with Crowley after Castiel betrays Crowley in their search for Purgatory. Castiel, who is outnumbered, is forced to give them the blood of a creature from Purgatory which is required to obtain all the souls from it. When the spell fails, Castiel returns revealing the blood was fake and that he has the souls and their power. Crowley beats a hasty retreat, but Raphael is unable to leave.
Terrified, he asks Castiel why he would let a demon live but not one of his own brothers. Castiel replies that he has plans for Crowley, but not for Raphael, whom he obliterates with a snap of his fingers.
In We Happy Few, when discussing battling the Darkness, God tells the Winchesters that it is beyond his power to resurrect Raphael and Gabriel in time to fight the Darkness so they can help them as archangels are different from regular angels due to their being entities of primordial creation.
In Our Father, Who Aren't in Heaven, Raphael is mentioned by Michael, who sadly comments on how all of his archangel brothers have died. Although it remains unknown if Michael approved of Raphael's attempt to open a portal to Purgatory, risking unleashing all the monsters inside, it suggested that Michael still cared for Raphael, especially as he was the only archangel who stood by Michael and supported his desire to kill Lucifer and bring paradise on the Universe.
In Unity, Amara reminds the Winchesters that it took the four archangels for Chuck to be able to lock her away the first time and wonders how they intend to do the same with her brother.
Personality[edit | edit source]
|“||Castiel, did you really think I would let you open that door? Take in that much power? If anyone is going to be the new God, it's me.||”|
Raphael is a stern, serious, and traditionally-minded angel who has lost faith in God and is weary of his duties. He believed that God was dead and that they are living in a godless universe, though he seems to have changed this view as he doubted God would bring Castiel back a third time while beating him. He supports Michael's plan to bring about paradise on Earth.
He has little patience with humans, and virtually no respect or consideration for human life, as evidenced by the fact that he callously left his first vessel Donnie Finnerman in a broken state. Raphael also has little tolerance for disobedience among his fellow angels and will not hesitate to slaughter anyone or anything that challenges him. Raphael is also incredibly arrogant, and appointed himself as the distributor of God's will. When asked how he knew that the Apocalypse was what God wanted, he simply replied "because that's what I want."
He is also quite ruthless as evidenced when he threatened to torture Dean into saying Yes to Michael and when Castiel opposed Raphael's plan to restart the Apocalypse, he commanded Castiel to submit to him and coldly threatened to kill Castiel and anyone with him if he didn't.
Despite this, Raphael was not entirely without forgiveness or mercy, at least when dealing with his siblings. Upon their first meeting since Castiel's resurrection, although hostile, Raphael was willing to forgive Castiel. Similarly upon their first meeting after the Apocalypse, Raphael was again willing to offer him another chance, even after promising to destroy him on their next encounter, at the end of their last meeting.
He is also power hungry as after Crowley told him about Castiel's plans to increase his power by absorbing the souls of purgatory, he decided to take the souls for himself and formed an alliance with Crowley as a means to complete this. He was also very eager to do this as shown when he was smiling when the ritual to absorb the souls was almost done (unaware that one of the ingredients were wrong and Castiel had already absorbed the souls)
Castiel has also once called Raphael a traditionalist, as he said to the Winchesters. Castiel stated that this was the reason for Raphael's plan to restart the Apocalypse after Lucifer and Michael were imprisoned in the cage.
When backed into a corner or faced with a more powerful being, Raphael can behave cowardly and resort to begging as shown in his final moments when he resorted to pleading to Castiel (who was now stronger than him after absorbing many souls) after he allowed Crowley go. He was visibly frightened when Castiel made it clear he was going to kill him.
Powers and Abilities[edit | edit source]
|“||Raphael was stronger than me. I wouldn't survive a straight fight.||”|
As an archangel, Raphael was one of the oldest and most powerful beings in existence, possessing a considerably high amount of supernatural power that made him more powerful than any Ghost, Demon, lower Angel or nearly anything else in the universe for that matter. When Castiel as a Seraph was at full power, Raphael was still enormously more powerful than Castiel. Merely trying to summon and trap him is, according to Castiel, harder than capturing a hurricane in a butterfly net. Only a few beings are known to be more powerful than him such as, for example, his older brothers, father, aunt, nephew and Death. Below are listed the powers he has demonstrated on the show.
- Lower Tier Nigh-Omnipotence - Being an archangel, Raphael possessed a vast amount of incredible supernatural power, enough to cause a blackout on the entire eastern seaboard and could summon powerful storms even while trapped in a holy ring of fire. Being the third archangel, he stroke great fear into Lilith (the first and strongest Demon) and his mere reputation was enough for her to flee, he was superior to Gabriel, but weaker to Lucifer and Michael, the later who opened a portal to Purgatory with just a simple snap, while Raphael needed a powerful spell to achieve this feat, however Michael did this with a strong vessel descended from Cain or Abel, while Raphael was in a regular one. He beated Castiel, a Seraph at full power, to a bloody pulp and Castiel was not able to fight back at all.
- Angelic Possession - Raphael, like all celestial beings, required the use of a human vessel in order to physically interact with humans while on Earth, as it is a law that applies for all angelic beings. As an angel, he also needed the vessels consent. Despite needing the vessel's permission, his presence was so powerful that it permanently damaged his vessel.
- Biokinesis - Raphael was able to cause Sam and Dean internal pain when confronting them.
- Electrokinesis - Raphael could generate and manipulate electricity as he did when manifesting before Dean and Castiel.
- Holy White Light - Raphael, like all archangels, could generate immense amounts of energy and release a divine light from his vessel, capable of killing humans, demons, monsters and angels. He could use it as a powerful blast of light which seems to manifest as kinetic force, concussively throwing or repelling objects a considerable distance, as using the light against Castiel while talking in his office caused them both to suddenly appear in a grassy field, with Castiel vomiting blood on the floor. He had complete control of the intensity of the blast, being able to obliterate or damage any target.
- Molecular Combustion - Like Lucifer, Raphael could render lower angels down to their component molecules as he did Castiel.
- Portal Creation - Through some unexplained manner, Raphael was capable of generating a portal that yanked the Winchesters from the alternate universe to the main universe, where Raphael was expecting Virgil.
- Power Granting - Raphael was able to grant Crowley immunity from Castiel's killing touch.
- Reality Warping - His mere arrival on Earth was enough to blackout everything from an entire room and the eastern US seaboard.
- Regeneration - Raphael's nonlethal wounds healed nearly instantly.
- Super Agility - Raphael had incredibly sharp reflexes, as seen when Dean threw an Angel Blade at Raphael, the latter caught it in his grasp before it could hit him. He also did so without even turning around.
- Super Senses - Raphael could instantly sense anything that posed a threat to a prophet, regardless of where he was. From heaven, he was able to sense Lilith's killing intent after Dean brought Chuck in to the same room with her, which provoked him to descend down to earth to protect him.
- Super Stamina - Owed much to his status as an archangel, Raphael could never tire and could remain endlessly engaged in a task for as long as he saw fit.
- Super Strength - Being an archangel, Raphael endowed his vessels with tremendous physical strength, as he could exert immense amounts of physical force. He was able to casually and easily overpower other beings with relative ease. He easily overpowered Castiel during a fight, nearly beating the seraph to a bloody pulp.
- Supernatural Perception - Raphael could see angels and demons through their vessels.
- Telekinesis - Raphael could exert force on objects and people with his mind.
- Teleportation - Raphael could travel from one place to another virtually anywhere in the universe, instantly, without occupying the space in between. Castiel said he could fly at the speed of thought.
- Terrakinesis - Raphael could manipulate the earth itself, causing tremors and earthquakes.
- Weather Manipulation - Raphael possessed total control over the weather, able to summon colossal storms easily. His mere arrival on Earth could cause lightning storms.
- Nigh-Omniscience - Raphael possessed an immense amount of knowledge of The Universe. He knew of an unknown method of releasing Michael and Lucifer from the Cage.
- Immortality - Raphael had an infinite lifespan, and couldn't be affected by diseases or toxins. He couldn't get tired and did not require food, sleep, water, or oxygen to survive. At the time of his death, he was over 13.8 billion years old, predating creation and the universe itself.
- Invulnerability - Raphael could not be killed by any conventional weapons, however certain weapons (such as an Archangel Blade, Death's Scythe, and possibly certain weapons of Heaven) could kill him. More powerful entities, such as Lucifer, Michael, God, The Darkness, Jack, Death, and Castiel (while empowered by millions of Purgatory souls) were able to kill him.
Weaknesses[edit | edit source]
Harming, Misleading and Trapping[edit | edit source]
- Enochian sigils - Raphael couldn't locate someone if they were warded by enochian sigils.
- Heaven's Weapons - Lot's Stone was able to transmute his vessel's body into salt beyond repair, and all the weapons unified could fatally wound if not kill the archangel.
- Holy Oil - Raphael could be trapped in a ring of holy fire. However, he was eventually able to escape.
- Ma'lak Box - Capable of containing even the most powerful archangel.
Banishing or Destroying[edit | edit source]
- Primordial Entities - The Darkness, God, and Death could effortlessly kill Raphael.
- Souls - With 50,000 souls, Castiel was able to banish Raphael. Consumption of millions of souls gave Castiel so much power that he could snap his fingers and obliterate Raphael.
- Archangel Blade - An archangel blade can kill an archangel in the hands of another archangel.
- Archangels - Lucifer and Michael were his older brothers and were more powerful than him.
Death[edit | edit source]
Killed By[edit | edit source]
After taking in all of the souls of Purgatory, Castiel rendered Raphael powerless, preventing Raphael from escaping. As Raphael tried to convince Castiel to spare him, Castiel exploded Raphael at the molecular level with a snap of his fingers, killing the archangel.
Appearances[edit | edit source]
- Season 2
- Houses of the Holy (mentioned only in Last Rites)
- Season 4
- Season 5
- Season 6
- Season 7
- Season 8
- The Great Escapist (mentioned only)
- Season 11
- Season 13
- Devil's Bargain (mentioned only)
- Season 15
- A Very Special Supernatural Special (archive footage)
Lore[edit | edit source]
His name means "God Heals". In multiple interpretations, including the Book of Enoch, Raphael was responsible for binding Azazel to a clear, deserted landscape. He was also mentioned in the Book of Tobit, although the Book isn't found in Protestant Holy Bibles. In the Book of Tobit, Raphael healed Tobit of his blindness and delivered Tobit's daughter, Sarah, from Asmodeus.
In Islam, Raphael, under the name Israfel, is the Archangel who sounds the start of Judgment Day. To Roman Catholics, Raphael (venerated as Saint Raphael) is the patron saint of doctors, medical workers and travelers.
He is also said to be the one to slay the Leviathan.
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- Raphael is one of the three main antagonists of Season 6; the others are Crowley and Castiel.
- He is the only Archangel who never interacted with Lucifer while on Earth in a vessel; although, as brothers, interactions between them did take place in Heaven.
- Dean calls Raphael a "Teenage Mutant Ninja Angel" the first time he hears his name. This is a reference to the series Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, in which one of the heroes is named Raphael.
- Coincidentally, they are both rather hot-headed and care a lot about their three brothers, even though they rarely show this.
- It is never revealed how Raphael escaped the Holy Fire Dean and Castiel left Raphael in in Free To Be You and Me. However, Holy Fire is only shown to have a limited effect on the two Michael's who appear in Supernatural and Lucifer, suggesting that Raphael may have been able to break out on his own with enough time.
- In The Third Man, Castiel mentions that Raphael likes to "follow traditions". This explains why he wants to summon back Lucifer and Michael in order to end the Apocalypse the way the traditions says so. An in-joke could be present here as the angels who followed Michael before Raphael seized power would be known as the Pre-Raphaelites.
- Raphael's new vessel bears many resemblances to Semirhage, one of the Forsaken from the Wheel of Time series, particularly in his/her healing archetype and earlier dismissive attitude of Zachariah's skill in torture. Raphael also physically resembles this character.
- Raphael is the only Archangel to only use African-American hosts.
- Raphael has been featured second-least out of the four archangels, having appeared in a total of 3 seasons and 5 episodes.
- He is the first main antagonist who has been killed by someone that isn't a Winchester. After him, Metatron was killed by The Darkness after he had switched sides and joined the Winchesters. He was a main antagonist of Season 9. Rowena was temporarily killed by Lucifer twice, Doctor Hess was killed by Jody Mills, Crowley killed himself after officially siding with the Winchesters, and Asmodeus was killed by Gabriel.
- He is also currently one of only three main antagonists to die who is also an angel, the others being Metatron and Lucifer as Michael, Naomi and Castiel all lived in the end.
- Raphael is one of three angels shown to possess a male and female vessel, alongside Castiel and Hannah.
- Raphael was killed in the same manner he had killed Castiel in Lucifer Rising, by Castiel himself.
- Raphael is the first archangel shown to possess both a male and female vessel. The second is Alternate Michael
- His belief that God was dead was proven false as it turns out he was ironically watching him as Chuck Shurley.
- Also his belief was proven hazardous as it was shown if God dies the world will be destroyed.
- Raphael is the only Archangel to not show destructive wrath on screen. Michael showed it killing Anna, Lucifer when he slaughtered a group of pagan gods, and Gabriel when he smote Asmodeus. Raphael did kill 40 demons in one shot but off screen.
- Raphael is the first archangel to die in the series. Though Gabriel was apparently killed in Hammer of the Gods, this was proven to be a trick. Gabriel was later killed by the Apocalypse World Michael in Exodus while Lucifer was killed by Dean Winchester in Let the Good Times Roll.
- He's the only Archangel that doesn't have a known counterpart in Apocalypse World. It was confirmed by the Alternate Michael that his world did have a Lucifer and may still have a Gabriel, but he said nothing about Raphael. As the two worlds had the same history up until 1973, Raphael presumably exists and was never mentioned or died during the Apocalypse.
- Raphael is the only archangel not to have a counterpart either seen or mentioned from Apocalypse World or in The End.
- The power difference between Raphael and Michael can easily be demonstrated by the fact that Raphael required a spell to open a doorway to Purgatory in The Man Who Knew Too Much while Michael could open a twelve-hour rift to Purgatory with just a snap of his fingers and his innate archangel powers in Our Father, Who Aren't in Heaven.
- Raphael is the only appearing Archangel to not be an ally of Team Free Will for at least a short period of time, though Lucifer and Alternate Michael ultimately betrayed the alliances.
- Raphael is the only archangel to not appear in the series penultimate episode Inherit the Earth in some form: Michael and Lucifer both appear in person while Gabriel is in the flashback sequence at the end.
References[edit | edit source]