Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse

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Name War, Famine, Pestilence, Death,
Actor Titus Welliver (War), James Otis (Famine), Matt Frewer (Pestilence)
Dates  ?
Location no fixed address
Occupation Horsemen of the Apocalypse
Episode(s) 5.02 Good God Y'All
5.14 My Bloody Valentine
5.15 Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid
5.19 Hammer Of The Gods
5.20 The Devil You Know

General traits of The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse in the Supernatural Verse

  • The Four Horsemen seem to be set strongly on their assigned missions.
  • They are extremely powerful.
  • Their true origins currently are unknown, as is the method of destroying them.
  • While clearly being instruments of evil and chaos in the Apocalypse, it is unclear whether the Horsemen are angelic or demonic or something entirely separate in origin.
  • War states them as 'siblings'.
  • Horsemen are immune to Sam's powers, but he did use them to banish Famine by destroying all the demons that Famine had consumed.
  • The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse and the Antichrist as described in the book of Revelation are part of the apocalyptic destruction of Earth. They are generally described as War, Death, Famine and Pestilence (also described as Conquest or the Anti-Christ himself) - each riding a different coloured horse.
  • The Black Horseman first appears in 5.14 My Bloody Valentine in a black SUV. Famine can manipulate and intensify the hunger/desires of human beings. Famine can absorb essence-energies; he can sustain himself by absorbing life-energy, in other words: souls.

Improvements in farming and agriculture have severely weakened Famine, resulting in his sickly and weakened state. Lucifer was aware of these farming and agriculture improvements. Lucifer assisted Famine by sending lower-level demons to Famine's aid. This is theoretically, the only way to kill/destroy the Horsemen, by getting rid of the effects they give off to the World. For example: if wars suddenly stopped, then logically the "Horseman War" would be destroyed.

  • The White Horseman first appears in 5.19 Hammer Of The Gods drives a green car with Nevada license plate SIKN TRD ("sick and tired"). Disease and plague follows pestilence where ever he goes; when pestilence's essence past by a hospital, he left a plague that seems to be very similar to the H1N1 academic (swine flu).

5.02 Good God Y'All

War causers havoc in a town when he convinces people that people are being possessed by demons. He is banished when Sam and Dean remove a ring from him that seems related to his power.

5.10 Abandon All Hope

Lucifer undertakes a ritual to release the Head Horsemen named Death. It involves killing all the women and children in the town, and then the men, who are possessed by demons, sacrifice themselves. He then performs an invocation. Death is yet to be seen.

5.14 My Bloody Valentine

Famine arrives in town and causes everyones cravings to turn rabid as people start killing each other and themselves. He infects Sam who craves for demon blood and Castiel who's vessel had a fondness for red meat, but Dean shows no effects. Famine says this is because Dean is already "dead inside". Famine is killed when, after consuming demons that Sam had exorcised from their hosts, Sam exorcises those demons from his body.

5.15 Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid

In Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Death causes previously dead townpeople to come back to life, including Bobby's wife, Karen. Death sends Karen back with a warning; that because Bobby is helping Sam say 'no' to Lucifer, Death has his eye on him. Karen describes Death as "A really thin man, almost like a skeleton," but he is not seen in this episode.

5.19 Hammer Of The Gods

Pestilence arrives at a small store, and enters, coughing and spreading snot and phlegm everywhere. He buys some flu medication and leaves. As he drives, his car fills with flies.

5.20 The Devil You Know

Pestilence does not appear in this episode, but he plays a prominent role.

Sam and Dean begin the episode on the trail of Pestilence, posing as CDC agents at a hospital hit with a swine flu outbreak. The doctor reports there have been 70 cases in a day and a half. Dean notes that the timing of the outbreak coincides with when "those statues started crying." Bobby later tells them over the phone that this is the fourth town that they know of that Pestilence has hit, but they are no closer to finding him.

Crowley offers to help Sam and Dean find Pestilence by tracking down and cutting a deal with Brady, who he calls "the Horsemen's stable boy." Brady uses the Goblet of Blood ritual to communicate with Pestilence about the progress on the vaccine. Brady eventually relents and gives up Pestilence's location to Crowley, Sam, and Dean.

Brady reveals that War and Famine aren't dead, but they have been taken out of the game, telling Dean, "See, War and Famine, even if I could cram the rings back on their bony fingers, I doubt it would do much good. They're withered husks right now, fetal position on the floor, all thanks to you. So I don't want the rings. What I want is retribution. And I'm going to rip it right out of your ass!"

Bobby is talking on the phone with Rufus Turner discussing possible omens for Death when Crowley appears in his home. Crowley tells Bobby he can help them find Death, but he needs to make a deal for Bobby's soul to pull it off. Bobby is resistant to the idea, but Crowley assures him that it will be temporary and that he will give Bobby back his soul after it's done.

Rings of the Horsemen

Without me, you got zero shot at killing Lucifer. Sorry. But... you can trap him. The cage you sprung Lucifer from, it's still down there, and maybe, just maybe, you can shove his ass back in. Not that it'll be easy. You got to get the cage open, trick my bro back into it, and oh yeah, avoid Michael and the God Squad. But hey - details, right? 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 'em all, you got the cage.

Gabriel, 5.19 Hammer Of The Gods

Dean: Horsemen, huh? Well we got War's... And we nicked Famine's. That's two rings down. Collect all four? All we need is Pestilence and Death.
Sam: Oh, is that all?

Dean, Sam, 5.19 Hammer Of The Gods

File:War's Ring.jpg
War's Ring, which seems to be the source of his power

Each of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse own a single ring. The Four Horsemen draw their powers from these rings. These rings channel some type of energy; this energy is then directed and channeled to the bearer of that specific ring. The Horsemen cannot properly sustain themselves when their not wearing the ring. According to Brady; War and Famine are in a "drooling"/motionlessly state on the floor because they no longer have their rings to sustain them.

In a hidden message recorded on a Casa Erotica DVD, Gabriel reveals posthumously how Sam and Dean can trap Lucifer back in Lucifer's Cage. The keys to the cage are the rings worn by the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Each ring's color matches that of its Horseman's car.


Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse in Lore

This interpretation replaces Conquest with Pestilence, which is portrayed as a distinct entity (separate from Death). The first horseman to appear is Pestilence, who rides upon a white horse. In the wake of Pestilence comes War, riding a large, wild red horse and wielding a tremendous sword. In the wake of War, due to immense destruction because of War and Pestilence, is Famine. Famine is portly, and rides upon a black, sickly horse; this represents gluttony and hunger, respectively. And in the wake of Famine comes Death. His horse is pale green. He is followed by Hades and carries the remaining souls to their final destinations.