Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse

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Horseman War.jpg
Four Horsemen of The Apocalypse:
Powers and Abilities superhuman strength, teleportation, telekinesis, ability to influence people's minds and immunity to Sam's powers
Vulnerabilities Removal of their rings weakens them, with the exclusion of Death.
Appearance Can assume human form
Episode(s) 5.02 Good God Y'All
5.10 Abandon All Hope (Death hid his Visage)
5.14 My Bloody Valentine
5.15 Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid (Death hid his Visage)
5.19 Hammer Of The Gods
5.20 The Devil You Know (Pestilence hid his Visage)
5.21 Two Minutes To Midnight

The Horsemen are powerful beings that act as instruments of chaos and destruction during the Apocalypse. Their actual biological origin remains unclear and has yet to be represented in Canon itself. War refers to them as his siblings; Their relationship to each other is also unclear. Although Pestilence professes compassion for War and Famine. According to Death, he's been present since the origin of time, thus making War, Famine and Pestilence younger than him.

War and Famine were both loyal to Lucifer's plans, whereas Death wasn't subjected to Lucifer's agenda until Lucifer bound Death to him through a spell, and Pestilence worked for Lucifer to which he spread the Croatoan virus, but he learned that War and Famine both fell into an impaired state due to the actions of Sam and Dean which made him stray from Lucifer's plans.

War was the first Horseman to appear in Supernatural, and Death was the last Horseman to appear.

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. In Supernatural, each Horsemen drives a car that reflects these colors, and each possesses a different ring. Their rings prove integral in ending the Apocalypse.

The Four Horsemen are immortal and cannot be killed. However, it is rumored that Death's Scythe can kill Death, who is the most powerful of the four, and possibly the others; also, the Colt is said to have the power to kill anything except five beings (only one of which has been confirmed). It is unknown who the other four are, and it has been speculated that they are the Horsemen, while it has also been speculated that two of the others are God and Michael. Therefore, it is unknown if the Colt can kill them. It is also possible that a gunshot from the Colt will leave them in the eternally withered state most of them are left in when they are defeated.


War, Famine, Pestilence and Death are extremely powerful beings that are immortal. They can take on human form. Their powers and inner potential greatly surpass that of humans, demons and angels.

  • Destructive qualities. They possess an extreme amount of destructive power, which War demonstrated by destroying a bridge in River Pass, Colorado5.02 Good God Y'All Pestilece also demonstrated this by infecting a vast majority of Earth's population with the Croatoan Virus 5.04 The End Death also demonstrated this power by summoning massive and deadly storms; however, Death's destructive capabilities surpass those of the other three Horsemen. Death can wipe out entire states with his powers5.19 Hammer Of The Gods, 5.21 Two Minutes To Midnight
  • Telekinesis. They are telekinetic beings, which allows them to move objects or people with their mind5.14 My Bloody Valentine
  • They are spiritual beings that cannot be seen by humnas until they take on human form, thus making it impossible for humans to interact with a Horseman while it’s in its true form. However Lucifer can perceive them while their in their true forms, as he demonstrated when he saw Death's true visage.
  • They are immune to Sam's powers5.14 My Bloody Valentine

Also, they each possess unique powers that coincide with their apocalyptic roles - War can alter human perception. Famine can affect people's urges and addictions. Pestilence can manipulate and generate deadly diseases which he uses on people. Death has full control over life and death itself.

War, Famine and Pestilence all require an individual ring in order for their core (main) power to be focused and manageable, and the lack of their ring seems to disassemble their true essential power. Ruby's Knife can wound and damage them.

The Horsemen



War, along with Famine, Pestilence and Death, is one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. He is sometimes referred to as the Red Horsemen. War wears a gold ring that enables him to affect human perception. War leveled a bridge in River Pass, Colorado when he landed on Earth, demonstrating some of War's power. War also tells Sam that he can see inside his mind, and reveals that he sees an endless lust for power there.

War's Ring is one of three other Rings that are keys to Lucifer's cage. The others belong to the other Horsemen. When War arrives on Earth, he disguises himself as a man named Roger to interact with the townsfolk and the hunters.

According to Dean, War ran away right after his ring was removed.

For other details on War see War's Mustang and Wormwood.



Famine, also known as the Black Horseman, is affiliated with War, Pestilence and Death. Famine is one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Famine wears a sliver ring that enables him to infect people, causing them to go insane for what they desire or crave. Castiel states that Famine is "hunger".

Famine's hunger is never truly quenched, and because of this, he can devour any type of energy (human souls, dark souls of demons) without needing to stop or take breaks in-between meals. Famine can also perceive a person's soul and see what that person craves or desires simply by placing one hand on their chest, as he demonstrated on Dean to which he responded by saying that Dean is empty inside. Once Famine's strength is replenished, he will then be able to march across the lands with authority as described by Castiel. He will then be able to spread his influence upon his victims from vast distances, like he could previously before he was weakened by agricultural improvements.

Famine's Ring is one of three other Rings that are keys to Lucifer's cage. Famine arrives crippled, weak and hungry. Lucifer sent some lower-level Demons to assist Famine. His current location is unknown.

For other details on Famine see Famine's Car



Pestilence, also known as the Green Horseman, is affiliated with Famine, War and Death. Pestilence is one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Pestilence wears a ring with a green emerald that enables him to infect people with deadly diseases. His power can reach people from far away. This was shown when Sam and Dean were searching for him in a hospital, and once they reached a certain point, they got very sick; when Sam opened the door and saw him, and Sam immediately fainted, as well as Dean. He states that his power is "pure". He told Dean and Sam that he wants to prove that God's wrong in thinking that humans have a role to play on Earth; he described them as being weak and messy.

He told Celeste, a patient of some nursing home, that she has a combination of the common cold, dengue fever, and a "nasty, nasty case of Japanese encephalitis." And after telling her all this, Celeste is stricken with the diseases that Pestilence had listed out to her.

Pestilence's Ring is one of three other Rings that are keys to Lucifer's cage. Pestilence arrives as a disease ridden man accompanied by a swarm of flies. Pestilence sees Dean and Sam as worthless tokens in the apocalypse, and has no problem harming them. And when a demon reminded him that they were under strict orders not to harm the Vessels, Pestilence tells the demon that if Michael and Lucifer want them so bad that they could ressurect them after he killed them.

His current location is unknown, when Castiel cut off his ring finger he told the Winchesters' it’s too late and he vanished.

For other details on Pestilence see Pestilence's Car and Croatoan Virus.



According to Bobby, the last time Death was free, "Noah was building a boat".

Death was always kept restrained under the Earth's surface according to Bobby. Death was released from his cage in 5.10 Abandon All Hope. His current location is unknown.

Death, also known as the Pale Horseman, is affiliated with Famine, War and Pestilence, although he is far more powerful than them. Death is one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Death wears a ring with a white stone; unlike his brothers, Death's powers do not come from his ring. Death's Ring is one of three other Rings that are keys to Lucifer's cage. Death can create massive storms, tsunamis and hurricanes; all of which can wipe out millions of people; this suggests that Death possess weather manipulation. Death can revive dead people. And by simply brushing his shoulder, he can cause someone to drop dead.

For other details on Death see Death's Scythe and Death's Cadillac.

Episodes Featuring Horsemen

5.02 Good God Y'All

War causes havoc in a town when he convinces the townspeople that some of them are being possessed by demons, when in fact none are. 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 most fearsome Horseman, Death. It involves killing all the women and children in a town, and then the men, who are possessed by demons, sacrifice themselves. He then performs an invocation. Death rises, but is not seen.

5.14 My Bloody Valentine

Famine arrives in town and causes everyone's cravings to turn rabid. People start killing each other and themselves. He infects Sam, who craves demon blood, and Castiel, whose vessel had a fondness for red meat, but Dean is unaffected. Famine says this is because Dean is already "dead inside". Famine is stopped when, after consuming demons that Sam had exorcised from their hosts, Sam exorcises those demons from his body. The brothers take his ring.

5.15 Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid

In Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Death causes previously dead townspeople 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 germs and phlegm everywhere. He buys some flu medication and leaves. As he drives, his car fills with flies.

5.20 The Devil You Know

Sam and Dean begin the episode on the trail of Pestilence, posing as CDC agents at a hospital hit with a swine flu outbreak.

Crowley offers to help Sam and Dean find Pestilence by tracking down and cutting a deal with Brady, who Crowley calls "the Horsemen's stable boy." Brady is in charge of the plan at Niveus Pharmaceuticals. He 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 locating 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.

5.21 Two Minutes To Midnight

Props for Pestilence's fingers

Using the alias "Dr. Green" Pestilence is working at the Serenity Valley Convalescent Home. He tends to an old woman named Celeste, telling her she has a combination of the common cold, dengue fever, and a "nasty, nasty case of Japanese encephalitis." He then proceeds to give her chicken pox. She asks if he is going to cure her, and he tells her that she is going to die. She vomits in his face (a la Linda Blair in The Exorcist) before she dies.

Using information from Brady, Sam and Dean arrive at the home, but are incapacitated by Pestilence. While writhing on the ground from their illnesses, Pestilence tells them they're suffering from scarlet fever, meningitis and syphilis, and gives them a condescending lecture about God, disease and humanity. Castiel, now human, enters the room and falls to the floor after beginning to feel the effects of Pestilence's epidemic. Pestilence mocks him for being a powerless occupied vessel, noting that "there's not a speck of angel in you." Castiel picks up Ruby's knife and cuts off Pestilence's ring finger. A possessed nurse rushes at Castiel, but he kills her with the knife. Sam and Dean immediately recover from their illnesses and get up from the floor. Pestilence, clutching his hand bleeding, tells them "It doesn't matter. It's too late," before vanishing.

Later in the episode, Sam and Dean figure out what Pestilence's plan was after a talk with Crowley. Brady was vice president of distribution at Niveus Pharmaceuticals. The first part of the plan was for Pestilence to start a swine flu epidemic, which set the stage for the second step: mass nationwide distribution of the Niveus vaccine which contains the Croatoan virus. Crowley suggests Sam and Dean stock up on everything, because "this time next Thursday, we'll all be living in Zombieland."

Bobby tells Sam, Dean and Castiel that he's figured out that Death is going to cause a storm and a series of natural disasters that will kill three million people in Chicago. He is eventually forced to admit that he sold his soul to Crowley to get the information on Death. The group splits up: Sam, Bobby and Castiel go to Niveus to destroy the samples of the vaccine and the distribution center to prevent the outbreak of the Croatoan virus, while Dean and Crowley head to Chicago to try and defeat Death, save the city, and get the last ring. Crowley gives Dean Death's Scythe to use in Chicago, saying that in addition to killing angels, demons, and reapers it's rumored to be capable of killing Death himself.

Death arrives in Chicago to start the disaster. Dozens, if not hundreds, of Reapers arrive too, and are later seen by Crowley.

Death stops in a pizzeria for lunch, killing everyone inside (possibly unintentionally) and is found by Dean, who attempts to sneak up on him with Death's Scythe. However, the scythe begins to burn hot in Death's presence, forcing Dean to drop it and alerting the Horseman to his presence. Rather than showing hostility toward Dean, the Horseman thanks him for returning the Scythe before asking Dean to join him at the table. Death then reveals that he has been waiting for a while to talk with Dean.

When Dean asks him how old he is, Death admits he can't really remember anymore and guesses he is as old or older than God himself and neither can remember anymore. He surmises that he has been alive since life itself began and someday he will even reap God, to Dean's surprise. Death just states God is a living being like any other and someday he too will die; its just the way things work.

Death explains that Lucifer, whom he describes as "a bratty child", has him bound by a spell and is using him to create Apocalyptic chaos.

Death offers his ring to Dean on the condition that Dean must do everything in his power to assure that Lucifer is put back in his cage, even if that means sacrificing Sam. Dean reluctantly agrees, and Death warns him to hold true to his word, reminding him that he can't cheat Death. The Horseman then gives Dean the instructions on how to operate the rings, which combine to form a key-like device.

Later, Dean and Bobby discuss the plan, and while Dean is skeptical, Bobby says that Death probably has a larger view of things than they do and they should have more faith in Sam.

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

Each of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse wears a single ring. If the ring has a stone, its color matches that of its Horseman's car. The Four Horsemen draw or channel their powers via these rings, and most of them cannot properly sustain their full powers when they are taken. According to Brady, War and Famine are in a debilitated state, and even getting the rings back to them would not soon make them active. Pestilence also appears weakened after the loss of his ring. Death, on the other hand, seems unfazed by giving Dean his ring, suggesting that the ring is not essential to his nature. Death is likely more powerful than the other Horsemen, having been present since the beginning of time itself, and being one of the only constants in the universe.

In a hidden message recorded on a Casa Erotica DVD, Gabriel reveals posthumously how Sam and Dean can trap Lucifer in Lucifer's Cage. The keys to the cage are the rings worn by the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. In order for Lucifer's Cage to open, the current holder of the rings must place them on a surface and say the incantation, "Bvtmon Tabges Babalon". The opened cage can be closed by a counter-incantation, as Lucifer demonstrated by reciting "Chdr Bvtmon Tabges Babalon." The cage also closes if something passes through the opening.

  • War wears a gold ring. War's ring is a simple band, and is the only one of the Horsemen's Rings without a colored stone. His ring allows him to affect the perception of humans. Sam and Dean get War's ring after cutting off his finger using Ruby's Knife.5.02 Good God Y'All

File:Famine's Ring.png
Famine's Ring.
  • Famine wears a ring that is silver, engraved, and has a black stone. His ring affects human urges and addictions (lust, hunger, and addictions to alcohol, drugs, or demon blood, etc.). Sam and Dean get Famine's ring after Sam exorcises the demons out of Famine's body.5.14 My Bloody Valentine

File:Pestilence's Ring.jpg
Pestilence's Ring.

File:Death's Ring.jpg
Death willingly gives his Ring to Dean, in return for promising that he will ensure Lucifer's re-incarceration, even if it costs Sam his life.
  • Death wears a ring with a white stone. Unlike the other Horsemen, Death is does not have his ring taken from him by force. Death gives Dean his ring in exchange for Dean's promise to re-imprison Lucifer's by ensuring that a possessed Sam jumps into Lucifer's Cage. Death also instructs Dean on how the four rings work to open the cage. 5.21 Two Minutes To Midnight
File:The Key to Lucifer's Cage.jpg
The four Horsemen rings conjoined together forming the Key to Lucifer's Cage
  • Later Dean is seen working with all four rings. By placing them on a table, they all join together to form a triangle-shaped design, with War's ring in the middle, and the other three surrounding it. When Bobby asks him about Death teaching him how the rings work, Dean responds "Yeah, it's nuts." 5.21 Two Minutes To Midnight
  • When Sam allows Lucifer to possess him, Dean uses the four rings to open a portal to Lucifer's Cage. The first time Sam is unable to overpower Lucifer to throw him in. Hwoever the second time, in Stull Cemetery, Sam manages tor egain some controal and throw himself and Lucifer into the cage. While trying to stop him Adam, whi is possessed by Micahel is also trapped.
  • Dean tries to make a deal with Death to get Sam's soul back. Death agrees on the proviso that Dean wears the ring and performs Death's duties for a day. Dean retrieves the ring from where he had buried it at Singer Salvage. While Dean doesn't keep his side of the deal, Death does return Sam's soul. Dean returns the ring to Death.


Alastair refers to them as 'amigos'.

Four Horsemen of The Apocalypse in Lore

Left to Right: Death, Famine, War and Conquest.

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.