|“||The King at last...King of what, Lilliput? I mean I heard you were short. Well, get to it. Time for the coup de grâce, wee boy. Something the matter with you? Cat got your tongue, hmm? Meow.||”|
— Rowena to Crowley
in Girls, Girls, Girls
Rowena MacLeod is a very powerful Scottish witch, and the mother of the demon Crowley who was originally named Fergus Roderick MacLeod. She is also the grandmother of Gavin MacLeod. She currently appears as one of the main antagonists in Season 10.
Rowena considers herself a "natural" witch, claiming to be born with the gift of magic (as opposed to harnessing the power of demons). She is presumably immortal, as she is known to have been alive for centuries. She frequently uses hex bags to kill her victims. Rowena created a demon killing spell in the 1800's that only she knows how to perform. Many of the spells that she uses are not easily withstood by humans, and cause them to die shortly after being affected. Even simple spells like the servitude spell eventually burn up the human victims, as do powerful ones such as the Attack Dog Spell.
Rowena was formerly part of the Grand Coven, but was dismissed by her superiors as a result of her violent and forceful use of magic. Later, Olivette revealed that her having a child with a non-witch also contributed to her expulsion.
Before her reappearance in the present day, Rowena was briefly mentioned by Crowley. He described his mother as "dabbling in witchcraft" and said that she taught him a few things. However, Crowley did not mention her name.
Rowena briefly appears at the end of the episode sipping on brandy and reading a book. After some blood drips onto her arm she wipes it off and looks up revealing two hotel staffs pinned to the ceiling who she killed for coming to her for bill. She smiles and resumes reading her book.
When Rowena visits Raul's Girls, a brothel where the demon, Raul, is running a new version of soul collecting by selling sex to men, then reaping their souls, she uses Defigere Et Depurgare, a demon liquefying spell on Raul. This makes Gerald, the other demon flee. She rescues the two girls forced into prostitution by Raul, and takes them to a French restaurant. The chef of the restaurant warns Rowena that the outfits of the prostitutes violate the restaurant's dress rule. She uses the Servitude Spell on the chef, which makes him ignore the dresses and do the best he can for her table. Rowena enlightens the girls about witches and the Grand Coven, and convinces them to learn magic from her. The two girls accept, and the chef immediately dies because his brain boiled as an adverse effect of the spell he was under. Rowena and the prostitutes leave.
At a hotel, she teaches the girls some spells and tells them to use on a man who she assumes coming to her for bill but later turns out to be someone who the demons use to lure her. The demons seize them and on the way, they face off with the Winchesters who kill them. Rowena uses the Attack Dog Spell on one of the girls, which causes her to fight against the Winchesters, buying some time for her and the other girl to escape the hotel. The latter of the two girls queries Rowena that what she had done to the former. Rowena tells her that she was not strong enough to harness magic. The girl distrusts Rowena and punches her in the face, after which she runs. Before Rowena can cast a spell on her, Dean incapacitates her by brandishing a gun but was stifled by Cole at the same moment who was after Dean. Rowena,so,escapes but later captured by beta team of Crowley's demons.
She was tortured by Gerald before Crowley comes to meet her. Rowena sarcastically greets her on who is bemused by the captive being his mother.
Rowena befriends a demon, Trish and persuades her son that she left him forever not because she hated him but because she wanted to motivate him in an attempt to escape being captive in Hell's dungeon. Crowley was still exasperating with his mother and makes Gerald throw her back into the dungeon. Rowena devises another ruse which is to expose Gerald being culpable for smuggling demons from Hell onto Earth. Gerald throttles her to kill but was stabbed in the throat with an angel blade by Crowley. He brings Rowena out but she reneges the promise given to Trish that if this demon sides with her as a witness of Gerald's crimes, she would free her if being released by Crowley and leaves Trish behind.
In order to give, Crowley a premonitory nightmare depicting Guthrie, one of his minions, along with several other demons, assassinate Crowley and impale him with angel blades, killing him, Rowena hides a hex bag under Crowley's throne. Rowena is then seen prying around Crowley's palace, which Guthrie tries to get her to stop. When Crowley makes a rendezvous with the Winchesters for a transaction dealing with the First Blade, Rowena watches him by performing astral projection, in order to eavesdrop on their conversation. When she learns that the First Blade is hidden in Crowley's tomb, she threatens Guthrie to purloin the Blade. Guthrie hesitates to hand it to her even though he got it, confirming that he will only give it to Crowley. Rowena stabs him in the chest with an angel blade. When Crowley arrives, she blames Guthrie for stealing the Blade, which Crowley believes for already having the precognitive nightmare in which Guthrie betrays him.
Katja, a witch and the member of the Grand Coven, travels from Europe to the United States, in pursuit of Rowena as ordered by her superiors in the Coven. Her hunt was thwarted by Sam and Dean Winchester when Dean incinerated her in her own flaming kiln, killing her.
Rowena is present at the court and scorns a crossroad demon for demanding Crowley the credit which equals his work. She,then, suggests Crowley halve him and pin the bloody pieces to the wall of the court so that no one dares demand anything from Crowley anymore, thus not wasting the king's time, which Crowley complies.Rowena,later, reveals that Olivette , her rival and superior, the high priestess of the Grand Coven, has just resurfaced and implores Crowley to track down Olivette and coerce her to sanction her practice of magic once again on her behalf. Crowley reluctantly agrees but later, revokes the plan as he has some business with the Winchesters to exterminate Cain. Rowena is disappointed and chastises Crowley, telling him not to go but Crowley rebuffs. When Crowley returns distressed and crestfallen, double crossed by the Winchesters, Rowena is ready to leave but Crowley halts her. She berates him for being their puppet and lap dog and addresses him "their bitch"..
Rowena remains vexed with Crowley and vents her frustration by ruining the court and casting shocking spells to all those who interferes her ; she hexed one of the demons to spawn a rear face. She also rebukes Crowley for denying to help her and for choosing the Winchesters over his own blood. She taunts Crowley about his existence only because of her and again, spoils his palace by casting a spell. Crowley later captures Olivette, and brings her before Rowena, much to her joy. Rowena shackles Olivette and beats her. Olivette reveals she excommunicated Rowena for having a child with a non-witch and that the Grand Coven has already devastated and weakened dedicated to the Men of Letters. She mentions that the Winchesters are the only known Men of Letters. With the assumption that the Grand Coven from which she has been hiding for centuries and which she has been fearfully groveling until now is no longer powerful and authorized, she tortures Olivette and eventually, transforms her into a hamster.
As part of her plan to defeat Dean, Rowena draws sigils and symbols in blood on her body, and appears on earth. She casts the Attack Dog Spell on a trio of teenagers, and uses them to attack Dean. When Dean successfully beats the teenagers without killing them, Rowena uses a Gaelic spell on Dean which was supposed to rip him apart, but did not since Dean bears the very powerful and ancient Mark of Cain. Dean spares her life for the sake of the hexed trio, as he knows that Rowena can only break the spells cast on them. Overwhelmed by the knowledge that even her mightiest spell cannot overpower Dean, she injures herself and reveals to Crowley that Dean attacked her in the hope of Crowley retaliating against Dean for his mother. However, Crowley ignores her, feeling unconvinced by her love for him, stating that the only reason she is clinging to him is he is being useful to her. Rowena then packs, and leaves her son's palace.
After an encounter with the Styne Family where Sam appeared to destroy the Book of the Damned in a fire, he meets with Rowena in the hope that she can find a way to reverse the Mark of Cain, since she is a very powerful witch. With a smile, she discussed the terms of an agreement with him.
Rowena stipulates that Sam has to kill Crowley in return for her decoding the book, to which Sam agrees. She mentions that an affiliate of the Grand Coven, a witch named Nadia, once wrote a codex which can help interpret the Book of the Damned. Nadia, however, was murdered by the Men of Letters, and her codex was plundered and hidden in a Werther Box which induces hallucinations and delusions to all those who attempt to open it. These illusions manipulate the victims to commit suicide, with 98 percent lethality. When Sam and Dean discover the whereabouts of the Werther Box, the former opens it which causes Dean to have hallucinations of purgatory, in which he kills a leviathan and confronts Benny.
Benny was trying to persuade Dean into puncturing himself with a shattered glass bottle, killing himself. Meanwhile, Sam is saved from Suzie, who blames him for being responsible for her death by Rowena by using a spell, who, herself, is a hallucination induced by the Werther Box. Rowena and Sam confer how to open the Werther box in order to get Nadia's codex. Rowena uses a spell to reveal the letters etched on the box which read that only by spilling the Men of Letters' blood would the hallucinations cease, and allow the box to open. Sam cuts his arm, and spills his blood into the collection bowl on the box. It doesn't work, however, since more blood is needed.
Being a hallucination that would bring about Sam's death, Rowena encourages Sam into spilling vast amounts of his blood and he almost kills himself by excessive blood loss, but Dean is freed from his hallucination by impaling Benny instead of himself. He seeks out Sam, and spills his blood with Sam, which deactivates the spell on the Werther box, and disperses Rowena. Having successfully opened the Werther box and retrieving Nadia's codex, Sam arranges a rendezvous with Rowena, and hands her the codex. As a precaution to make sure that Rowena neither goes back on her promise and abandons the search for a cure, Sam binds her with iron manacles and chains. Sam tells her to work on the codex and departs, leaving Rowena furious and enraged.
Since Rowena has not found a cure for the mark, Sam argues with her for procrastinating in deciphering the Book of the Damned using Nadia's codex, to which Rowena replies that she is an, artist and needs time for interpreting the cure for Dean. She also states that her deciphering of the codex could be expedited if she could use magic, since Sam has her in iron shackles. Sam is desperate and demands why she is stalling but Rowena denies, saying that removing the Mark of Cain would insure her life, plus her willingness to have Crowley killed. In addition, Rowena mentions that Nadia also encrypted her own codex so that no one could ever decode it, to Sam's chagrin. When Sam goes to leave, Rowena asks him to go grocery shopping.
He returns with Charlie, who is also there to help find a cure for the Mark, but Rowena is antagonistic toward Charlie, and tells Sam that she does not need an ancillary decoder. Sam retorts by revealing that Charlie wouldn't be her helper, as she would be subordinate to Charlie. Rowena is not impressed by Charlie's confidence in tech, as she has never heard of the school where Charlie learned this magic. Sam tells her that she will find the ancient spells and curses, while Charlie's tech will put it into context. When Castiel is counted in, Rowena is intrigued by him, and taunts that all their discreet and unwilling collaboration must be unbeknownst to Dean, who doesn't even know that Sam didn't destroy the book. Sam, Charlie, and Castiel make a mutual agreement on cooperating for Dean's sake.
Rowena taunts Charlie and her laptop, and Castiel enters with his favorite snack as a human, pork rinds. Charlie asks Rowena about the nun who wrote the Book of the Damned, and Rowena replies that she was a hermit nun, Agnes, and that she was incinerated at the stake by the men of the church. Rowena mentions that her and Charlie are similar, however Rowena believes Charlie has too much trust in the Winchesters. Charlie confesses that the Winchesters are like her brothers, but Rowena tells her that her loyalty would be her undoing. Because Rowena won't leave her alone, and even tried to talk her into witchcraft, Charlie tells Castiel that she has to leave for two hours, or even one, just to get away from Rowena.
When Charlie and Rowena start arguing, Castiel calls Sam to let him know that Charlie wants to leave. Sam says it is too dangerous, however, so Castiel moves Rowena to another room, and chains her there. Rowena felt that Charlie was being the dramatic one, and believed that determining a cure would go faster if Charlie accepted her help. She also mentions that Crowley is her son, which surprised Castiel. Castiel leaves her, and finds out that Charlie has left for a motel, where she is later killed by Eldon Frankenstein.
Following Charlie's death, Sam decides to end the work to remove the Mark and kill Rowena, but changes his mind once he receives an email from Charlie with how to crack the codex. Rowena confirms she can now remove the Mark, but demands that Sam kill Crowley before she will as she doesn't trust him to keep up his end of the deal otherwise. After Sam fails, he calls Rowena to tell her and give her Crowley's warning. While Rowena is left worried, she insists Sam keep trying.
Following his failure to kill Crowley, Sam tries to threaten Rowena into helping with witch killing bullets. However, Rowena is unthreatened as Sam needs her to crack the Book and to cast the spell. She offers a new deal: her freedom and the codex in exchange for removing the Mark. Sam agrees and Rowena determines the ingredients needed for the spell which includes her sacrificing the person she loves most. Castiel is able to determine it is a young man named Oskar who's family had helped her hundreds of years before and she had grown so fond of she cured him of a terminal disease and made him immortal. Castiel summons Crowley who brings them the ingredients and Oskar. Rowena is happy to see Oskar despite her protests of loving no one and is horrified that she will have to kill him. However, she goes through with it and casts the spell to remove the Mark. She succeeds in removing the Mark, but unwittingly releases the Darkness at the same time. Rowena takes the opportunity to escape with the Book of the Damned and the codex, casting the Attack Dog Spell on Castiel so he will kill Crowley.
Personality and Traits
Rowena is an intelligent, cunning and extremely manipulative individual who takes great pride in her deceit and devious nature, describing it to her equally manipulative son as "who [they] are". Rowena often fluctuates between her mannerisms, sometimes presenting herself as calm and courteous and then suddenly vicious and violent when revealing her true intentions. She is exceptionally ruthless towards her enemies, whether they are people she loathes or disapproves of or someone who has simply annoyed her. She gruesomely kills the demon Raul after denouncing him as nothing more than "filth" and openly suggests to Crowley that he savagely rip a crossroads demon apart and brutally display his carcass for asking for recognition for his work, justifying this as a tyrannical threat not to waste the king's time.
Rowena has also demonstrated that she has no concern for innocent lives as she frequently uses spells that result in their death by boiling their brains and impaling hotel employees to ceilings. She even points out to Dean that using the innocent against heroes like him will play out to her advantage. Furthermore, Rowena is dangerously wrathful as she takes great pleasure in torturing Olivette for wronging her in the past and threatens to burn everything that Crowley cares for when he throws her out.
Rowena is highly ambitious who believes strongly in ruthlessly fighting and striving to gain power for the sake of greatness. She is very carefree and displays disregard and resentment for authority, openly and deliberately defying both Hell and the Grand Coven without fear of the consequences, preferring to use her magic whenever and however she wished. Olivette stated that while talented and skilled, she has always been reckless and egocentric.
Rowena often feigns a warm and sweet disposition towards others in order to manipulate them and gain their trust. Rowena claims to be extremely proud of her son, Crowley, and regrets abandoning him as a child. She states that she left him both for his safety and to further her career in witchcraft which she deemed "no environment to raise a child". However, it is highly implied she never cared for her son as a child, apparently trying to sell him for pigs on one occasion and abandoning him so she could live out her own selfish desires.
While she claims to love Crowley and regularly reminds him that they are family, it is later revealed that she is merely playing on his emotions, using it to manipulate and gain control over him so she can use his position as the King of Hell to her advantage and to further her own goals. Once Crowley realizes this with Dean's assistance and throws her out of his domain, she becomes disowning and berating and shows her hatred for him and her desire to destroy everything around him.
Although genuinely powerful and talented, Rowena's ego causes her to often over estimate her capabilities, both magical and in manipulation. Many of her failures are caused by her underestimating her opponents.
Like her son, Rowena is quick witted and has something of a dry sense of humor.
Rowena has shown that she is capable of genuine love and affection which she shows for Oskar, though she was willing to sacrifice him for her own freedom.
Powers and Abilities
|“||That? Parlor trick! I'm capable of greatness. Given free reign I'd be unstoppable.||”|
in Paint it Black
|“||I'm afraid Fergus that, in all your long life, you've never seen what a real witch can do with real magic. I'm terrifically pleased it's the last thing you'll ever see.||”|
in Brother's Keeper
Rowena is a very powerful witch that has been around since the 1600s. She is among the most powerful witch to appear in the series. After training throughout her life, she has mastered and collected a vast arsenal of spells and other magical objects, which vary in complication. Although her current powers are somewhat reduced due to Olivette's sealing, she is not significantly affected.
- Witchcraft - Being a witch, Rowena is very experienced in the use of spells and hex bags. She even has the ability to create some spells of her own (Defigere Et Depurgare). It is unknown whether or not the Attack Dog Spell is of her making. She also capable to cast a spell that capable to obliterate a human with ease. Her magic is strong enough to affect the King of Hell and a fallen seraph.
- Immortality - Rowena can live for a very long time if not infinitely. She has lived for at least 300 years, if not longer.
- Hex Casting - Due to being an old talented witch, she has absolute knowledge of hex bags, and are said to have taught Crowley how to use spells and hex bags back in the 1600s.
- Dream Manipulation - Rowena demonstrated this ability by crafting a spell which manipulates her victim's dreams.
- Astral projection - Rowena demonstrated this ability by crafting a spell which projected her awareness outside her body in order to spy on Crowley making a deal with Sam and Dean Winchester.
- Illusion Casting - Rowena proved capable to crafting an illusion spell powerful enough to successfully trick Cain.
- Transmogrification - Rowena was able to cast a spell to turn Olivette into a hamster.
- Reality Warping - Rowena was able to cast a spell so that one demon had a face on both sides of his head. However, she claims that this is merely a parlor trick compared to what she is really capable of.
- Telekinesis - Rowena has pinned humans to the ceiling by impaling them on furniture on multiple occasions. She also able to cause several items in Crowley's lair to shatter and explode with a simple spell. She was also able to restrain both Crowley and Castiel simultaneously.
- Torturing - She is able to torture her target until death with a certain powerful spell.
- Power Granting - Rowena was able to turn Oskar immortal so that he lived for centuries.
- Curse Removal - Using a spell from the Book of the Damned, Rowena proved capable of removing the Mark of Cain, the first curse. She indicated that she can remove curses even without the Book but was unaware of how to remove the curse of the Mark itself without it.
- Power Sealing - Her powers are reduced to a certain degree due to an unknown sealing spell that was casted by Olivette before her expulsion. Although her current powers and abilities are somewhat reduced, she is still very powerful and difficult to defeat. It's not been revealed what she is capable of in her full state.
- Iron - Her power was reduced dramatically and blocked when she was bound by iron. She severely weakened when bound by the iron cuff's in Hell's Dungeon. Sam was also able to restrain her using iron chains.
- Verbal Restraints - It appears Rowena is unable to cast many spells without reciting an incantation as Crowley's demons were able to capture her with ease after they had gagged her.
- "Of course you had a father. You were just conceived during a winter solstice orgy, and it's not like I was taking names."
- "This demon asks you to equalize credit for his and another's work. Split the baby if you will. Well, then I would well and truly split the baby. I'd cut this pulling, pathetic, grade-grubbing git in two, literally. Then I'd nail his bloody halves to the doors of the court. A reminder to all not to waste the King's time! Whiners beget whiners. You can't reward behavior like that. Why, I never gave in when you asked for sweeties as a child no matter how much you cried. Well, you were a very chunky child, darling. A bit of a bloater."
- "You can't understand my disappointment or my pride. You don't know this but after I left you, after I was forced to leave you, I heard of your death. Your mortal death. I thought you were gone to me forever. Then, hundreds of years later and thousands of miles away, I find you: the King of Hell. And not by luck or accident, you made that happen all by yourself. You're not a mother. You can't know what that pride felt like. How huge it was. But can you try to imagine, for me? Now do you understand why it breaks my heart to see what a colossal numb nut you've become? You've got the crown but you're no ruler, not really. A sad, bored wee boy on the throne who'll flop ass up the second those Winchesters, hunters who'd as soon see you dead as have you to tea, ask you to. You're no king. Not any more. You're their bitch!"
- "You see my son, the spawn you speak of, is now the King of Hell - total Cinderella story I'd say. Oh aye, and now you, dearest Olivette, are prisoner of the baddest of the bad and his devoted mother."
- "You say that like it's an insult. Nice girls, they're pathetic. Here's to evil skanks."
- Rowena is Scottish, along with her actress Ruth Connell. She is also naturally a redhead, for Scotland has the most redheads in the world.
- Season 10
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Girls, Girls, Girls
- ↑ Soul Survivor
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 The Things We Left Behind
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 The Hunter Games
- ↑ About a Boy
- ↑ The Executioner's Song
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 Paint it Black
- ↑ Book of the Damned
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 The Werther Project
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 Dark Dynasty
- ↑ The Prisoner
- ↑ Brother's Keeper