|“||Please. I've sold sin to saints for centuries. Think I can't close one little demon?||”|
in The Devil You Know
The Ruler of the Crossroads is a title which denotes the demon who holds it as the commander of all crossroad demons. Depending on the gender of the demon in question, it may be known either as the King of the Crossroads if it is male or as the Queen of the Crossroads if it is female. The Ruler of the Crossroads has ultimate authority over all crossroads demons, who are called his "employees" and who in turn call him their "boss," as well as over all the contracts to the deals they make with humans. However, the Ruler of the Crossroads is still beneath the Ruler of Hell (and possibly other high-level demons) in rank. As the Ruler of the Crossroads is a title, the age and power of each Ruler vary depending on the demon who has the title at the time.
The King or Queen of the Crossroads is the overarching leader of the crossroads demons and is, in fact, a crossroads demon himself. As such, he shares with his subordinates the job of buying souls from humans. Due to his position, however, he has added power in terms of both supernatural abilities and the hierarchy of Hell, including the authority to overrule other crossroads demons and take or even break their contracts with humans. Crossroads demons are forbidden from betraying the name of their king to humans. Ordinary demons are also reluctant to give this information away despite not being ruled by the King of the Crossroads, as it is implied that he will punish them heavily for it.
The King or Queen of the Crossroads makes deals directly with humans he considers important enough. Similarly, he holds the contracts of souls considered too important by Hell to be entrusted to other crossroads demons. For example, Crowley personally held the contract to Dean Winchester's soul because Lilith intended for Dean to break the first of the 66 Seals in Hell. The King or Queen of the Crossroads is also the emissary for higher-ranking demons who seek to do business with humans, negotiating and altering the terms of contracts and receiving the payment for deals for the demon he was sent by.
In addition to commanding crossroads demons, the King or Queen may also have a small group of black-eyed demons to act as his personal guards and servants. He may also own his own hellhound. He has access to extremely valuable occult artifacts in Hell's possession, such as The Colt and its bullets and also Death's Scythe.
Although still serving under the King or Queen of Hell, the King or Queen of the Crossroad is a high-ranking position in the hierarchy of Hell. At least two rulers of the Crossroads had become the rulers of Hell, Lilith, the white-eyed demon, who escaped the out the pits of Hell and took over as the second leader of Hell after the death of Azazel in season 2; Crowley served as the right-hand man of Hell's then-leader Lilith. He was also able to secure the position of King of Hell once she and Lucifer were defeated, which would indicate that he held enough power and status to claim leadership of Hell without higher-ranking demons to oppose him and claim it for themselves. However, Abaddon has little respect for Crowley, whom she referred to simply as a "salesman," implying that the King of the Crossroads is outranked by the Knights of Hell. However, it is possible that Crowley had not reached the position of King of the Crossroads by 1958 and Abaddon was not active from then until the year 2013.
The King of the Crossroads is assumed to share the same basic appearance that other demons have. As such, he would have a horrifying true form but manifest as a cloud of smoke on Earth without a human host. When the King of the Crossroads is possessing a vessel, the human host's appearance and voice do not change significantly from what it was before he became possessed. The most distinguishing change is that the host's eyes may suddenly become red—the eye colour that signifies all crossroads demons—should the King of the Crossroads choose to reveal himself. Humans cannot usually see the King or Queen of the Crossroads's true form, even if he or she is in his disembodied smoke form, whereas certain other beings (e.g. other demons) can.
Powers and Abilities
The King or Queen of the Crossroads is a powerful demon, though Dean once dismissed Crowley, a former King of the Crossroads, as "nothing but a punk-ass crossroad demon." The King of the Crossroads is higher-ranking than most black-eyed demons and all crossroad demons. As such, he can overpower and even kill them, as demonstrated when Crowley slaughtered all but one of a nest of demons, purposefully allowing the sole survivor to escape in order to unwittingly play a part in his plan.
- Teleportation - The King of the Crossroads can disappear and reappear in different locations in an instant. Like other crossroad demons, he can be summoned by a human at a crossroad if said human buries a box containing graveyard dirt, his photograph, yarrow, and a black cat bone. The King of the Crossroads will then immediately appear behind his summoner.
- Reality Warping - The King of the Crossroads has a limited ability to alter aspects of reality, as he can only do so through a deal. Crowley made a deal with Mr Pendleton to bail out the latter's failing bank and make him "obscenely" wealthy. Like his employees, the King of Hell seals his deals with a kiss. As for Lilith, she seals her deals with sexual favours. As for others like Azazel, they make their deals on a whim but do not require a soul for deals.
- Telekinesis - The King of the Crossroads has the ability to move or otherwise affect people and objects using only his mind. An angry Crowley destroyed a street light by pointing at it.
- Super Strength - The King of the Crossroads is stronger than subordinate black-eyed demons and subordinate crossroads demons. Crowley was able to slaughter a nest of demons with barely a scratch on him and overpower Brady, an upper-tier black-eyed demon.
- Pyrokinesis - A King of the Crossroads can create fire. Crowley pointed at an empty fireplace and a blazing fire immediately sprang up.
- Immortality - The King of the Crossroads does not age nor have a natural end to his lifespan; he/she can live on indefinitely unless killed. Crowley claimed to have been making deals for centuries.
- Possession - The King of the Crossroads depends on having a human host on Earth so that he may interact with "clients" and make deals. He does not require the permission of his host before he possesses him.
- Invulnerability - Like all demons, the King of the Crossroads is immune to conventional weaponry.
- Healing - The King of the Crossroads has a limited ability to heal: he can restore humans to full health if they are ill or injured, but only through a deal. Crowley was able to heal Bobby's paralysis through a hidden clause in their contract when a recently-fallen Castiel could not without Heaven's power.
- Supernatural Perception - The King of the Crossroads can perceive reapers, demons, hellhounds and ghosts while humans usually cannot.
- Regeneration - The King of the Crossroads can heal his host from certain injuries such as bullet wounds.
Although powerful and high-ranking, the King of the Crossroads has most of the standard weaknesses ascribed to demons.
- Devil's trap - The King of the Crossroads cannot use his powers within an intact devil's trap, nor exit it on his own power once he has entered it; he can only leave the trap or use his powers again if the symbol's integrity is broken, such as a portion of the trap being rubbed away. His powers can also be bound by contact with objects engraved with devil's traps.
- Angels - The King of the Crossroads is outmatched by angels (including seraphim and archangels) in terms of raw power. Knowing that he would be unable to defeat Lucifer on his own, Crowley arranged an elaborate scheme to have the Winchesters kill Lucifer for him without risking exposure of his treachery to Lucifer before Lucifer could kill him (and the other demons), and feared eternal torture at Lucifer's hands once Lucifer learned of his betrayal.
- The Colt - The King of the Crossroads can be killed if shot in a vital area with the Colt.
- Demon-Killing Knife - The King of the Crossroads can be badly hurt and possibly killed if stabbed with the knife.
- Hellhounds - The King of the Crossroads is unable to defeat an attacking hellhound on his own, though he has expert knowledge of them and their capabilities.
- Salt - The King of the Crossroads finds contact with salt painful and cannot cross an intact salt-line. However, Crowley may have limited immunity to salt; when Bobby shot him with rocksalt three times, he shouted in pain but quickly recovered each time.
- Holy water - Likewise, the King of the Crossroads finds contact with holy water painful.
- Angel Blades - An angel blade is capable of killing the King of the Crossroads.
- Burning their human remains - Burning the King of the Crossroads human remains can kill them. It is also an effective means of blackmail against them.
Known Kings and Queens of the Crossroads
- Season 3
- Season 5
- Season 6
- Weekend at Bobby's (mentioned only)
- Season 12
- Season 13
- The King of the Crossroads is the first of four explicit ranks in the hierarchy of Hell to be named; the other three, in chronological order, are King of Hell, Knights of Hell and Princes of Hell.
- It was not revealed who the current King of the Crossroads was until The Scorpion and The Frog when Barthamus revealed that he took the position following Crowley's ascension to the throne of Hell. Following Barthamus' death, it is unknown who will take up the position.
- All known Rulers of the Crossroads are dead.
- Barthamus is the only Ruler of the Crossroads to appear in only one episode. He is also the only Ruler to not have been the Ruler of Hell.
- Lilith is the only known female Ruler of the Crossroads, and the only Ruler to not have been a Crossroad Demon.