|“||The Cage you sprung Lucifer from? It's still down there. (...) And here's the big secret Lucifer himself doesn't even know. But the key to the cage -- it's out there. Actually, it's keys -- plural. Four keys. Well, four rings. From the Horsemen. You get them all, you got the Cage.||”|
The Rings of the Horsemen are rings that each of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse wear that allows them to channel their essential abilities, although some powers like teleportation, can still be executed without it on. They prove integral in the Apocalypse. Brady describes War and Famine as "withered husks" after the removal of their rings. Together, these rings form the key to Lucifer's Cage. The Archangel Gabriel told Sam and Dean this secret, and after acquiring all four rings, the brothers used them to re-open the Cage.
Lucifer, contrary to what Gabriel thought, was aware of this ability to open his Cage. Nevertheless, he allowed the Winchesters to collect the rings since the boys' plan required Sam to consent to being Lucifer's vessel. Ultimately, Sam managed to regain control of his body long enough to use the rings to open Lucifer's Cage and imprison Lucifer once again.
War's ring is gold and contains no gem. War used the ring in a town Rufus was hunting in to cause the inhabitants to hallucinate a demon attack. The Winchesters were able to stop him by cutting off his ring finger. This ring makes up the center piece of the Keys to Lucifer's Cage, and binds all the other three rings together.
Famine's ring is silver and has a round black stone on it. He uses the ring to spread his influence all over a town, massively amplifying people's cravings and hungers to the point of causing deaths, so he could feed on their souls. Famine was eventually weakened by Sam's demonic powers and his ring was taken.
Pestilence's ring is silver like Famine's and Death's, and has a round green stone on it. He uses this ring to spread diseases in a hospital to test their effects on humans. He loses it when Castiel cuts off two of Pestilence's fingers using Ruby's Knife, separating him from the ring.
Death's ring is silver with a white stone on it. In Two Minutes to Midnight, he gives the ring to Dean without suffering any apparent side effects. Even without his ring, he was able to destroy Chicago. After Sam and Dean successfully used the four rings to reimprison Lucifer in the Cage, Death's ring was buried in the junkyard by Bobby's garage.
In "Appointment In Samarra", Dean attempts to use the ring as leverage to get Death to retrieve Sam and Adam's souls from Lucifer's Cage. Dean tells Death that he'll return his ring to him in exchange for their souls, but Death reminds Dean that he was only supposed to be borrowing his ring in the first place, and anyways, he knows where Dean hid it. He doesn't completely reject Dean's request, however; he tells Dean that he has to make a choice between Sam or Adam's soul. Dean chooses Sam... Death decides to make a deal with Dean anyway. Dean has to wear Death's ring for 24 hours during which he will take up Death's duties, in exchange for Sam's soul. The ring is returned to Death at the end of the episode. It was destroyed when Death crumbled to dust upon being killed by Dean.
In Advanced Thanatology, Billie appeared to Dean in the veil and removed a glove from her hand to reveal a new ring to signify her ascension as the new personified manifestation of the concept of death.
Powers and Abilities
- War - Induces hallucinations in nearby humans, causing them to attack each other.
- Famine - Induces massive hunger in nearby humans, causing them to overfeed or partake in their greatest desires until death.
- Pestilence - Induces sickness in humans. The type and severity of the diseases are controlled through this ring.
- Death - Gives the wearer the power to instantly kill any human with a single touch. Also makes them invisible, intangible and gives the wearer the ability to teleport.
- Keys to Lucifer's Cage - When combined, the four rings can be used to open Lucifer's Cage with the enochian incantation "Bvtmon tabges babalon" (Beh voh tah mo en tah beh geh sah bah bah loh en; which roughly translates to "Open the mouth of the cave of the evil/wicked one").
- War's ring is the only one without a stone and it is the only one made of gold; the rest are silver.
- Death's ring has a square stone instead of a round stone, like Famine and Pestilence.
- Death apparently does not suffer any side effects from giving his ring to Dean, whereas War and Famine were, according to Brady, reduced to withered husks without their rings.
- Death, Famine and Pestilence's stones in their rings are the same color as their horses (or cars).
- They are called 'The Rings of Destiny' in The Essential Supernatural.
- Of the four rings, only Death's was returned.
- Season 5
- Season 6
- Season 7