Castiel: Archangels are fierce. They're absolute. They're heaven's most terrifying weapon.
– Castiel, 4.18 The Monster At The End Of This Book
The Archangels, Michael, Lucifer, Raphael and Gabriel are four powerful, angelic beings created by God before other Angels, that were imbued with immense power that far eclipsed that of other Angels, Demons and other supernatural beings. They were described by Castiel as "fierce and absolute" beings. They appear to be the four angels that Anna described who have personally seen God. Somewhat like the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, who appear on Earth after the Devil's release, Raphael appears on Earth by taking a vessel and Gabriel reveals himself to be an angel - and was the entire time. Despite this, Raphael appeared to protect Chuck Shurley and to maintain prophecy, and Gabriel was on Earth but posed as a Demi-god. Angered that God demanded that all of them bow before humanity, Lucifer started arguing with his brothers, particularly with his fellow archangel brethren. Disgusted with Lucifer's behavior, Gabriel could no longer take it, and retreated to Earth and makes himself seem as a common Trickster. he was later slain by his brother Lucifer, when Gabriel chose to fight for humanity in the Apocalypse. In the absence of God, Michael formerly headed the entire Host of Heaven until his imprisonment in Lucifer's Cage along with Lucifer himself by Sam, in order to disable the Apocalypse. which has left Heaven in chaos and its inhabitants are in a state of civil war; this conflict primarily is contested of Raphael the last standing Archangel and Castiel wherein Castiel's was losing. Raphael is trying to become the ruler of Heaven's dominion and is currently working to open the Cage using God's weapons in order to re-start the end of days.
In 6.22 The Man Who Knew Too Much, Castiel absorbs the souls of Purgatory into himself - obtaining unlimited power. With this new power, he completely obliterates Raphael with a snap of his fingers and declares himself the 'new' God. Following this event, there are no more active Archangels.
Soon after God constructed Heaven, he created an Archangel named Michael. Following soon after Michael's creation, three other Archangels named Lucifer, Raphael and Gabriel came into being, and from then on they represented and served as Michael's younger siblings. Following the creation of the four archangels, a strong and healthy relationship was formed between Michael and Lucifer. After the creation of Heaven, Archangels, Angels and Cupids, God created Earth to which he gave life by creating humans. Soon after the fundamentals of humanity were established, God commanded all of his Angels to bow before Man. Lucifer questioned this command, then Lucifer retreated to Michael for support but Michael wouldn't listen. Then God told Michael to exile Lucifer, and Michael reluctantly obeyed which forever formed a wedge between them. Lucifer was thrown into a Cage by God in which 600 Seals where attached to the mouth of the prison. Only 66 of the 600 had to break for him to be released.
Sometime later, Michael constructed a plan which involved allowing The 66 Seals to break. Participants included Michael, Zachariah and Raphael. Michael wanted The 66 Seals broken so that Lucifer could be released from the Cage which would give him an opportunity to destroy him using Dean Winchester as his Vessel. It is later revealed that Senior Management of Heaven didn't share this plan with other angels to avoid rebellion; Castiel was oblivious to this plan at first but he later found out Heaven's true intention and told Dean, but he was soon found and destroyed by Raphael.
The 66 Seals eventually break and Lucifer is released. Soon after Lucifer's rising, Michael instructs Zachariah to get Dean's permission to possess him. Due to Dean's constant and repetitive refusals to angelic-possession, Michael stays in Heaven for a while, but monitors the situation, and he eventually gets to speak with Dean while Dean is experiencing time travel in the year of 1978. Dean eventually assents to Michael and he kills Zachariah using an Angel Killing Sword. However, Dean and Sam escape and Michael claims Adam Milligan's body instead and he meets Lucifer on the chosen field using Adam. Eventually, Sam is able to regain control over his body and temporarily manages Lucifer inside him and throws himself and Lucifer, Adam and Michael into Lucifer's Cage.
Following his imprisonment and Lucifer's re-imprisonment in the Cage, he along with Lucifer, according to numerous sources, have been constantly abusing and torturing Sam's soul following Sam's resurrection. A while after Sam's resurrection at Crowley's hands, Death eventually travels to Hell and retrieves Sam's soul and returns it to him.
God created the Archangels namely: Michael, followed by Lucifer, Raphael and Gabriel. After all of the Archangels were created they formed a strong and a very meaningful bond with one another. But after the creation and start of mankind, Lucifer began to argue constantly with his brothers and with God. At first, these arguments annoyed Gabriel but he eventually became upset and was angered by these arguments which directly resulted in his voluntary exile.
God then commanded his Angels to bow before Man, but Lucifer refused and was cast out of Heaven. As an act of defiance, Lucifer twisted a human being's soul to create the first demon, Lilith. He was then confined against his will to a Cage by God. The Cage could only open if the 66 attachments on the Cage broke. Sometime after Lucifer's incarceration and the creation of humans as he rotted and grew weak in his Cage, humans started referring to Lucifer as Satan and the Devil.
In 1972, Azazel possessed a priest at St. Mary's Convent, and killed eight nuns in the chapel very brutally and violently. This enabled him to speak to the imprisoned Lucifer. Lucifer tells Azazel that Lilith is needed to break The 66 Seals that hold him captive in the Cage and that he needs to find a very special child.
Lucifer is freed when The 66 Seals that were attached to the mouth of the Lucifer's Cage all break - the final seal being broken inadvertently broken by Sam when he kills Lilith. While on Earth, Lucifer with the help of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, causes chaos and natural disasters and plots to cause the destruction of humanity and to kill Michael. Essential to Lucifer's plan is the possession of his destined vessel - Sam Winchester.
Sam and Dean try to kill Lucifer with the Colt, but fail. Sam comes up with a plan in which he will allow Lucifer to posses him, and then force him into the Cage. The initial attempt fails, but when Lucifer confronts Michael at Stull Cemetery, Dean distracts them long enough for Castiel to banish Michael allowing Dean to talk to Lucifer. Dean fails to bring Sam to the surface, and Lucifer savagely beats Dean, but then Sam catches a glimpse of a toy soldier shoved into a side tray, and remembers so much love and emotion that he takes control and activates the rings and as the cage opens, Sam manages to force himself (and Lucifer) into the Cage. Michael (in possession of Adam) tries to stop him but is himself also captured.
Raphael is working to open the Cage, so that Michael can finally kill Lucifer.
Raphael is first referenced when Sam and Dean investigate a case where people claim angel's order 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."
He was assigned the task of protecting the Prophet Chuck Shurley. Raphael was known by Castiel to possess knowledge on God's coordinates. However, when confronted and trapped by Castiel and Dean, he denies knowing where God is, and speculates that he's dead.
Shortly after the breaking of The 66 Seals and Lucifer's release from the Cage, Raphael arrived on Earth inhabiting his Vessel, Donnie Finnerman. Although his arrival mainly concerned a conflict between angels and demons near a Pump 'n Go gas station in Maine. After he finished with the demons he immediately abandoned his Vessel and ascended back to Heaven, which greatly damaged Donnie's body, leaving him in a catotonic-state.
While occupying The Host of Heaven, Raphael is summoned back to Earth by Castiel and Dean for God's current position via an Enochian Water Cup ritual. After being summoned, Raphael re-inhabits his former Vessel and gets enclosed within Holy Fire. After denying God's position, Castiel and Dean leave him in the circle of flames.
Following the re-imprisonment of Lucifer and imprisonment of Michael in the Cage, Raphael manages to escape from the circle and starts gathering God's Weapons so that Michael and Lucifer can escape the Cage, restarting the Apocalypse, giving Michael a final opportunity to kill Lucifer. Donnie Finnerman's body was destroyed by the effects of Lot's Salt which forced Raphael out of his Vessel, and he left in search of a new suitable Vessel.
Following sometime later after the destruction of his former vessel, Donnie Finnerman by Lot's Salt, he sends an angel named Virgil to kill Balthazar and anyone else who allied with Castiel. He eventually claims an woman as his new vessel. After being threatened with Heaven's Weapons by Castiel, he flees. in 6.22 The Man Who Knew Too Much Castiel absorbs the power of all the souls of Purgatory - with this power he destroys Raphael with a mere snap of his fingers.
After being created by God, Gabriel dwells in Heaven with Michael, Lucifer and Raphael. But due to Michael and Lucifer's constant bickering, he sacrifices his position on the Host as God's greatest messenger, and retreats to Earth.
Dean and Sam Winchester first encounter him in 2.15 Tall Tales, and they think that he's a type of immortal entity known as a Demi-God, more specifically a Trickster. While posing as the Trickster on Earth, Gabriel frequently went around giving people what he judged to be their 'just desserts' which ironically matched their original crime. After reading in lore that the only way kill one is to stab them with a wooden stake dipped in the blood of one of their victims, Dean and Sam eventually stab him with such a weapon but he survives .
A year later in 3.11 Mystery Spot, the Trickster traps them both in a time loop where Dean dies every Tuesday in different ways, that proves unavoidable by any means. Around the hundredth time of Dean dying, Sam realizes who is responsible for everything and confronts the Trickster. He demands for him to reverse what he's done. He reluctantly obliges. While in the real world, Dean dies again, this time for good. Sam spends six months tracking the Trickster. The Trickster assumes the form of Bobby Singer and lures Sam to him. Upon realizing that its the Trickster, he demands that he resurrects Dean and he eventually agrees.
Upon investigating a case in 5.08 Changing Channels where a women claims that her husband was killed by the Incredible Hulk, they become trapped in an alternate reality of TV Shows. The Trickster appears to tell them they need to"learn to play their roles", referring to the desire of Heaven to see them act as Vessels for Michael and Lucifer. Sam and Dean start to suspect that the Trickster is more than he appears to be, and when they trap him in a ring of burning Holy Oil, he reveals himself to be the Archangel Gabriel. He claims that he "skipped out of Heaven, had a face transplant", possibly referencing his vessel.
In 5.19 Hammer Of The Gods, he helps the Gods and the Winchester brothers. He finally admits that God was right in say that humans are better than angels. He confronts Lucifer and meets his fate when his older brother stabs him with his own Archangel Killing Sword.
In 6.06 You Can't Handle The Truth, Dean thinks that a weapon known as Gabriel's Horn of Truth may be causing the people in a town to speak terrible truths to one another. After being summoned by Dean, Castiel searches the entire town for the weapon, and assures Dean that it's not related to the problem.
According to Castiel, they're known in Heaven as absolute, precise and wrathful creatures. On Earth, they displayed different personalities depending on the Archangel.
Like all angels, their true visages are very intense, overwhelming, and have proven harmful and fatal to humans. Although their visages have proven to be more intense and overwhelming than that of normal angels. In Canon, their true forms are often visualized as a blinding white light and their presence can cause minor tremors, as shown by Lucifer when his presence shook the Chapel while escaping the Cage, and by Raphael while intervening on Chuck's behalf and while maintaining prophecy. While their angelic presence is present on Earth, they greatly affect the environment around them, effectively altering the weather and their presence creates destruction in the area in which they emerge in. In 5.02 Good God Y'All, Lucifer creates high-altitude winds with his essence. In 5.03 Free To Be You And Me, Raphael creates a rainstorm and causes the entire Eastern Sea Board to experience a black out. In 5.22 Swan Song, Lucifer causes the temperature to drop drastically in Detroit. In 6.15 The French Mistake, Raphael while searching for a new vessel to inhabit since the destruction of his former one, creates a raging storm with his essence.
Along with being Archangels, Michael and Raphael are tethered to prophets and Gabriel served as God's greatest messenger after the creation of humansS5Com Raphael seemed to be the one who monitored and protected Prophet Chuck Shurley. Before his fall, Lucifer was God's most beloved angel. Gabriel may have owned an angelic weapon called Gabriel's Horn of Truth.
Archangels view themselves as the higher power and prominent authority over Earth since God's departure from Heaven. Known Archangel leaders in Heaven included Michael and Raphael. As leaders in Heaven, Michael and Raphael counseled The Host of Heaven, issuing orders to the "Senior management" who were responsible for deploying angels to Earth while initially not sharing their true intentions of allowing The 66 Seals to break so that Lucifer can be freed to avoid rebellion. While on Earth, they even demonstrate their leadership over other organisms like humans. Most of them show little respect while interacting with humans, although Gabriel eventually admits that they should love humanity.
- Michael's true form was very powerful. His angelic spirit can slowly destroy any vessel that is not brother to Lucifer's vessel, possibly only pertaining to humans who are part of the Winchester bloodline.
- Lucifer's true form was very beautiful and well respected in Heaven. His angelic spirit can slowly destroy any vessel that hasn't been prepared and who hasn't consumed an efficient amount of Demon Blood. Before his re-imprisonment in the Cage, Lucifer maintained a prideful but sympathetic nature towards others, Sam in particular, as he was Lucifer's true Vessel.
- Raphael's true form is very powerful. It is so strong that it can leave vessels in a catatonic state after possession.
- Gabriel's true form was strong but apparently, not as strong as that of his brothers. It doesn't seem to damage his Vessel, this may indicate that he was inhabiting his true vessel or that it possible for him to possess any human for as long as needed.
While manifesting on Earth or while intervening on a prophet's behalf, while not inhabiting a Vessel, their angelic bodies initially emit a piercing sound, which has proven to be excruciating to humans. Like Angels, Michael, Lucifer and Gabriel can materialize using the same or a different Vessel during time travel.
Powers and Abilities
All Archangels possess all powers and abilities that are inherent in all angels but are greatly elevated because they're God's oldest and most powerful celestials. in shorter terms arkangels are gods children.
Both Michael and Gabriel can create fire out of thin air, as demonstrated by Michael when he kills Anna by heating up her human host by touching her vessel, which turns the vessel into ash, effectively killing Anna, and by Gabriel when he snaps fingers and flames appear on two candles. Raphael claims that he can deliver a human soul to Heaven without actually killing the human in the process. He also possesses a refined skill in using telekinesis, and by utilizing this ability, he can also manipulate electricity. Lucifer can freeze objects and people with his breath, and in extension, he can manipulate ice.
Gabriel while posing as the Trickster, heals stabs wounds inflicted on his vessel by wooden stakes. While using his vessel, Lucifer heals Nick's body after Dean shoots him in the forehead with the Colt gun, and the scar instantly disappears. Michael tells Dean after he defeats and kills Lucifer, he'll heal all of the wounds his body received during possession. Michael heals Sam completely after he was impaled with a pipe. Gabriel and Lucifer can resurrect organisms like humans, as demonstrated by Gabriel while posing as The Trickster when he places Dean and Sam in time loops, killing Dean every Tuesday and reviving him every time, then he eventually kills him in real life but eventually resurrects him on Sam's request. Lucifer tells Sam that if he killed himself he would resurrect him, and Castiel also states that if Anna killed Sam that Lucifer would only resurrect him and Lucifer brings back enemies from Sam's past back to life to kill them in revenge.
All Archangels can overpower lesser angels easily, as shown by Gabriel when he snaps his fingers, banishing Castiel to another location, and by Michael when he banishes a young Uriel by snapping his fingers and when he destroys Anna and her human body, and by Lucifer when he, in retaliation, causes Castiel's Vessel to explode by snapping his fingers, killing Castiel and again by Raphael when he battles Castiel, easily overpowering him. Raphael can protect demons from the killing ability used by other angels.
According to Gabriel, after God created humans, he and his brothers possessed knowledge of Dean and Sam being The Vessels of Michael and Lucifer. Lucifer appears to be somewhat omniscient, as demonstrated when he reveals to Sam that he, despite Gabriel's word, knows that his Cage can be reopened via the four rings belonging to the Four Horsemen, or he may just possess a wide knowledge of the Universe. Michael can incinerate lesser angels by physically touching his or her Vessel. According to Castiel, killing Lucifer is an impossible task, although the only things known that can in fact kill him is God and Michael. Kali assumes that Lucifer can also be killed with Archangel Killing Sword because this weapon can kill Gabriel. This assumption seems accurate, as Lucifer took great caution while Gabriel was holding the weapon. He eventually gets the upper-hand and uses it to kill Gabriel.
Lucifer can seemingly manifest in his Vessel more than once without leaving the human's body, this process can result in the freezing of things or objects. Like Castiel, Uriel and Zachariah, Lucifer seems to be able to invade peoples' mind while sleeping, as it appeared as if he invaded Sam's mind while he was perceiving a dead Jessica, and again while Nick was "sleeping" Lucifer also invaded but he told Nick that what he saw is real.
Lucifer appears to be unaffected by time. Lucifer can also perceive the true forms of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, as he demonstrated when he saw Death's true form. Lucifer can also overpower Gods (whom he referred to as "pagan gods"). While occupying a Vessel, Lucifer (even while invading minds) and Gabriel can morph into or revert from their Vessel's physical appearance, changing its shape and form. Gabriel can construct alternate realities and time loops, controlling who is aware of the repetition, and he can create things out of thin air. He also can send himself to the future. Gabriel can also make objects appear in a variety of different forms, as he proved when he made a can of diet Orange Slice look like his Archangel Sword. According to Lucifer, he taught Gabriel how to warp reality, proving that Lucifer can too. Soon after the imprisonment of Lucifer and Sam, Michael and Adam, Crowley after assuming leadership over Hell, resurrects Sam, raising his body but leaving his soul in the Cage. While in the Cage, Michael and Lucifer torture and abuse Sam's soul in their angelic forms.
Every Archangel apparently possess knowledge on The Cage and how it works - Michael understands the prison very well because he cast Lucifer there, and Lucifer understands almost everything about it; knowing how it can be opened and shut, Raphael knew of another means to open it, and Gabriel knew that the Cage can reopened with the Horsemen's Rings.
Suitability of Vessels
The suitability of being a vessel for an archangel is defined by their bloodline and lineage. Most humans, while hosting archangels including Nick (Lucifer's temporary host) and Donnie Finnerman (Raphael's first host), have endured intensive physical pain in which their bodies are greatly damaged;which makes it unusable. Lucifer's mere essence caused Nick's body to decompose and Donnie Finnerman became brain-dead after hosting Raphael. Archangels in order to maintain their full essence require their true vessels because they're the only vessels that can maintain the integrity of hosting an archangel.
For further information concerning the true physical complexion of Angels and Archangels alike, see Angel Lore.
- An Archangel Killing Sword can kill an Archangel.
- The Weapons of Heaven can harm and possibly kill an Archangel. Lot's Salt, one of the weapons, turned Raphael's vessel into a pile of salt, which made it uninhabitable.
- The Colt can penetrate through an archangel's invulnerability. It cannot kill Lucifer, however, as he is one of five beings the Colt cannot kill.
- Archangels can harm one another greatly. However, angels seem to be incapable of damaging or harming Archangels with their own strength.
- Despite the fact that angels, under normal circumstances, can't harm an Archangel, with the aid of many souls, they can harm them.
- Kali bound Gabriel to her presence by gaining a blood sample from his human vessel.
- Proving to be extremely powerful, souls, when used in vast quanities, can harm an Archangel. Imbuing all the souls of Purgatory inside his vessel, Castiel dispatches Raphael by snapping his fingers.
- Holy Fire can restrain an archangel from leaving the circle; Holy Fire can also be used to banish an archangel for a short period of time.
- Enochian Sigils carved into human ribs hides the humans from archangels.
- When closed, Lucifer's Cage is strong and dense enough to secure or restrict Archangels within its bowels, as seen with Michael and Lucifer.
- God created them. They were born in this exact order: Michael, Lucifer, Raphael and Gabriel.
- These brothers all love one another deeply, but in different ways.
- They have seen God's true likeness, meaning that they have seen him face to face.
- According to Gabriel, God loved Lucifer more than the other three.
- As of now, Canon suggests that God only created four archangels. Although there may be more in existence.
- As of now, no one has ever tried to banish an archangel with an Angel Banishing Sigil, so it remains unclear as to whether or not it would even work on one.
Archangels in Lore
- Archangels on Wikipedia
- 2.13 Houses of the Holy
- 4.18 The Monster At The End Of This Book
- 4.22 Lucifer Rising
- 5.01 Sympathy For The Devil
- 5.18 Point Of No Return
- 5.13 The Song Remains The Same
- 5.19 Hammer Of The Gods
- 5.03 Free To Be You And Me
- 5.22 Swan Song
- 3.11 Mystery Spot
- 5.08 Changing Channels
- 6.03 The Third Man
- 6.22 The Man Who Knew Too Much
- 5.02 Good God Y'All
- 5.04 The End
- 5.10 Abandon All Hope