|“|| The Shadow: Before God and Amara, creation, destruction, Heaven, Hell, your precious little Earth, what was there?|
The Shadow: Yes. That's right. Nothing. Nothing but empty and you are soaking in it. Angels and demons, you all come here when you die (...) sleeping an endless, peaceful sleep.
|“||The good souls here, the bad souls there... Angels are mine.||”|
According to The Shadow, the being that controls the Empty, the realm's existence predates everything, even God and the Darkness. Upon death, every angel and demon is sent to the Empty where they sleep for eternity. It was mentioned that nothing ever awoke in the realm.
In Form and Void, hunter Sam Winchester meets the Reaper Billie, who tells Sam about the Empty. Billie states that when the Winchesters die, she will throw them into the Empty so that they can never be resurrected again. Billie notes that Sam will soon go to the Empty due to his Rabid infection.
In Red Meat, Dean commits suicide via drug overdose to negotiate with Billie to bring Sam back. Billie refuses, stating that she would never make a deal with Dean even if Sam wasn't dead. "The Empty awaits" Billie announces as she prepares to take Dean to it. However, Dr. Kessler manages to revive Dean and he avoids being sent to the Empty.
In The Big Empty, Castiel then wanders the black void, calling out for anyone as he is followed by a strange being. He is soon greeted by the being revealed to be the The Shadow who takes on Castiel's form to communicate with him. The Entity explains to Castiel what the Empty truly is and is shocked that Castiel is awake as it says not even God has power over the Empty. The Shadow is enraged that Castiel is awake because as long as Castiel is awake, the Shadow can't sleep.
The Shadow searches through Castiel's memories, much to Castiel's dismay, and finds nothing. Castiel suggests the Entity get rid of him by sending him back to Earth but The entity suggests that it instead throw Castiel so deep into the Empty that he can't bother it anymore. However, Castiel recognizes that the entity is bluffing and that it won't work as the entity would've already done it if it would work. The entity acknowledges that Castiel is right, but refuses to send him back and tries to convince him that he is worthless and has nothing to return to. Castiel refuses to accept this and demands that the Entity send him back to Earth, threatening that he will fight the Entity for eternity if it doesn't release him. Castiel's efforts were ultimately successful and the Entity returned him to life on Earth in order to be able to return to its slumber.
In Tombstone, Castiel tells Sam and Dean that he was sent to the Empty and informs them of his experience in the realm of nothingness. He also explains he was awakened from his slumber by Jack's voice.
In Unhuman Nature, once Nick kills the man who was possessed by the demon that killed his family, Nick expresses remorse and prays that he wants to feel the same way as when Lucifer was possessing him. Nick's prayer to Lucifer awakens the latter in the Empty where Lucifer forms as a liquid skeleton and opens his red glowing eyes.
During Byzantium, The Shadow invaded Heaven and attempted to claim Jack and bring him to the realm. It was revealed by Naomi that Castiel is the only being to ever escape the Empty. Castiel later describes the Empty to Jack and Kelly, to emphasize what fate awaits Jack if he is captured. The Shadow later attacked Jack and his group, managing to defeat them as he moved to take the Nephilim. However, Castiel bargained with it for him returning to the Empty in Jack's stead and it accepted but held off on claiming him since it wanted him to be truly happy to take him. After the deal was made, the Shadow returned to its domain.
In Game Night, Nick uses the Prophet Donatello Redfield as a beacon to communicate with Lucifer in the Empty. Lucifer, who is still awake in the realm tells Nick of the necessary means to revive him. Using a sample of Jack's blood, Nick opens a rift to the Empty and the essence of Lucifer nearly escapes. However, Jack had been affected by the spell and teleports to Nick and repels Lucifer back in his prison of nothingness and kills Nick to prevent him from trying again.
In The Gamblers, a resurrected Jack explains that Billie had kept him stashed in the Empty so that he would be safe from God. Once God left the Earth, it was safe for Billie to resurrect Jack who can grow strong enough to kill God.
In Destiny's Child, Castiel decides to visit the Empty to ask Ruby where she hid the Occultum. By having Jack remove most of his life force, Castiel is sent into a near-death state in which he is able to enter the Empty in awake state and call out for Ruby. The Shadow appears to him in the form of Meg, but reluctantly allows Castiel to awaken Ruby who takes on the form of a pulsating blob before changing into the form she died in. Ruby agrees to reveal the location of the Occultum, but asks for Castiel to help her escape the Empty in return. After Castiel promises to at least try, Ruby gives him the location before vanishing.
When Castiel tries to leave, the Shadow, who is revealed to be working with Billie in exchange for sending it back to sleep when it's all over, tortures Castiel while he is still in its power. However, Jack returns Castiel's life force on Sam and Dean's insistence and Castiel vanishes from the Empty, returning to his vessel on Earth.
- Season 11
- Season 13
- Season 14
- Season 15
- The dark void known as the Empty has similarities to Sheol from the Hebrew Bible. Sheol is described as a place of darkness and stillness, where the righteous and unrighteous go after death. This is similar to how angels and demons going to the Empty. Another similarity is Sheol is described as absent or cut off from life and God, similar to God having no power over the Empty.
- It is unknown if angels and demons from Apocalypse World come to The Empty after their death or if Apocalypse World has its own version of the Empty.
- The Shadow says God had no power in the Empty, yet Castiel was "rebuilt" by him several times.
- Most recently, God resurrected Lilith through unknown means.
- In addition, Billie, with the powers of Death, which were stated to be equal to that of God's, resurrected Jack. Its later revealed that this happened because the Shadow and Billie are working together and thus the Shadow allowed Billie to do it.
- The Empty is the only thing confirmed to predate The Darkness.
- Both Castiel and Lucifer were awoken because of a person calling out to them.
- From the Shadow's attempts to claim Jack, it seems Nephilim come here as well. However, the Shadow was also stated to believe that Jack belonged here due to his being half-angel and when he died, his soul went to Heaven instead of the Empty. After Jack died soulless, he went to the Empty as seen in Moriah.
- It's unknown if the Shadow had already attempted to collect the other Nephilim that had already died or if they had gone to the Empty after they died.
- In Byzantium, the Shadow is also referred to as the Empty by Naomi in conversation. Duma does the same in Jack in the Box. In Destiny's Child, after seeing through the Shadow's disguise as Meg, Castiel also calls it the Empty.
- Naomi also reveals Castiel is the first ever being to escape the realm.
- During Proverbs 17:3, Lilith is the second known being to escape, although she was later sent back to the Empty during Our Father, Who Aren't in Heaven after being obliterated by Michael.
- During The Gamblers, Jack is the third known being to escape, having been resurrected by Billie.
- The Shadow considers The Empty as even worse than Hell, saying that "at least Hell is something". This is a contradiction as during the initial meeting with Castiel, the Shadow says the demons and angels within the Empty peacefully sleep.
- In Destiny's Child, Ruby claims that despite being called the Empty, the place is full with the sorrow and despair that comes from the angels and demons sleeping there who dream about their greatest regrets. Castiel states that he remembers that from his own time in the realm. This is likely what The Shadow meant, that though they appear to sleep peacefully, the Angels and Demons dream of their greatest regrets.
- During Game Night, it is shown there is a ritual to bring beings back from the Empty, despite Billie stating there was no way for that to occur.
- However, for that to happen, the ritual used required Nephilim's blood, being that Nephilim the offspring of the angel that is trying to escape, and also it's necessary for the angel to be awake. Having in count that Nephilim are forbidden and the angels are normally in an eternal sleep unless they are reached by the ones who pray to them, Billie's statement is still valid.
- Aside from dying, it is possible for an angel to visit the Empty by entering a near-death state through the removal of most of their life force. In effect, such a visit is comparable to a near-death experience for a human.