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Archangels are fierce. They're absolute. They're Heaven's most terrifying weapon.
Castiel about the Archangels
in The Monster at the End of This Book
Archangels are the strongest class of angel, being looked at as Heaven's most fearsome wrath.[1] They were the first Angels to be created,[2] arguably making them God's first creations, possibly older than Leviathans.[2] Archangels were harder to make and are harder to revive as they were formed from such powerful primordial energies of creation which no longer exist after the physical plane and universe were created.[3] They were created in this order: Michael, Lucifer, Raphael, and Gabriel. Michael is the mightiest and the most loyal archangel, Lucifer is the most prideful and avaricious, Raphael was the most ruthless and imperious, while Gabriel was the most mischievous and deceptive.

The angel Metatron was also considered to be an Archangel by other Angels, until he revealed that he was simply a regular angel who was chosen to be the Scribe of God. 

Early life

You think you created the archangels to bring light? No. You made them to create lesser beings; to make you large, to make you lord! It was ego! You wanted to be big!

The archangels were the four chief angelic creations of God. They were created in this explicit order: Michael, Lucifer, Raphael and Gabriel. The archangels acted as siblings, and distinctively interacted with themselves and their father.

Some point after their creation, they and God went into war with The Darkness and together, while they couldn't destroy it, they succeeded in binding it. God then created a mark, later to be called The Mark of Cain, that would serve as both lock and key for the Darkness, which he gave to his most loved son and most trusted lieutenant, Lucifer. After the banishing of the Darkness and helping create Heaven, Michael personally raised his younger brother Lucifer, and accordingly, Lucifer took care of Gabriel, and showed him different tricks.

Following the imprisonment of the Leviathans in Purgatory and creation of mankind, God asked all his children to kneel before them. Although the other three archangels complied, Lucifer refused, and led a rebellion trying to overthrow God because when he was trusted with the Mark, it corrupted Lucifer and drove him to be jealous of humanity. Therefore, Michael, on God's command, defeated Lucifer and banished his brother out of Heaven and into Hell. During the turmoil, Gabriel escaped to Earth to avoid taking sides while Raphael chose to side with God and Michael.

After God's departure from Heaven, the archangels, according to Metatron, ferociously whined, cried, and wailed. Whilst they wanted their father back, over time, however, they began to shift their attention into ruling the Universe. Although immensely powerful themselves, to rule the universe they needed the Words of God. However, Metatron, the Scribe of God, predicted the archangels' decision, and proceeded to leave Heaven to protect the tablets and himself. Lucifer, however, was able to take possession of the Angel Tablet sometime after and had it placed in one of his crypts. The archangels were also believed to have killed Lucifer's elite order of demons, the Knights of Hell by everyone who knew of them. However, unknown to everyone, the truth was that the leader of the Knights, Cain, killed all but Abaddon himself instead of the archangels. According to Cain, only Abaddon knew the truth though Crowley somehow later found out.

Characteristics

According to Castiel, they are known in Heaven as absolute, precise and wrathful creatures, as he has called them, "The most fearsome wrath of Heaven". Like all angels, their true forms are very intense, and have proven not only harmful but also fatal to humans, though Castiel also claimed that special humans can see their true forms. Their presence on Earth outside a vessel is often visualized as a blinding, pure white light, and their arrival can cause minor tremors, as shown by Lucifer when the Chapel shook as he escaped the Cage, and by Raphael while intervening to protect the prophet Chuck Shurley from Lilith. Their true voice also emits a piercing sound, which has proven to be excruciatingly painful to humans. During a subsequent appearance, Raphael caused the entire Eastern Sea Board to experience a black out and generated strong winds and heavy rainstorms. Shortly before his defeat, Lucifer's presence caused the temperature to drop drastically in Detroit.

It has been stated that Archangels are tethered to prophets. Raphael seemed to be the one who monitored and protected prophet Chuck Shurley. Before his fall, Lucifer was God's most beloved angel; he was considered beautiful, and was well respected in Heaven.

Archangels view themselves as the highest authority over all of creation since God's departure from Heaven. As leaders in Heaven, Michael and Raphael commanded the Host of Heaven, issuing orders to the "Senior Management" who were responsible for deploying angels to Earth. They did not share all their plans, especially their intention to allow Lucifer to be freed, to avoid rebellion in the lower ranks. Most of them showed little respect while interacting with humans, although Gabriel eventually confessed his appreciation of humanity even believing humans to be better than them.

The relationships between archangels and their true vessels can be complex. Holding an archangel is psychologically damaging to a human; Raphael's vessel Donnie Finnerman was left a drooling, catatonic mess after possession. Lucifer's continued presence in Nick, an alternate vessel, causes the human's body to breakdown, as evidenced by burn-like marks, scarring and tears on his skin. Lucifer's vessels can be strengthened with demon blood to better survive the ordeal; Castiel later commented that Lucifer was drinking gallons of blood to keep his body intact. However, when Lucifer transferred to Sam, Nick would die. Despite his contempt and hatred for humanity as a whole, Lucifer showed some sympathy towards Nick, and towards Sam Winchester, his true vessel. Michael, though condescendingly, was willing to explain his position to Dean Winchester while occupying his father, and promised not to leave Dean a "drooling mess" after his service and even promised to restore John Winchester, whom he was possessing, to "better than new", which he later did. This implies that, possibly because of their deep contempt for humanity, archangels leave their vessels in a dilapidated state not as a consequence of possession, but out of sheer spite. 

Death revealed that it was the archangels that fought off and entrapped the Darkness that existed before God created the universe.[2] God and Lucifer both later stated that it took the four archangels to weaken the Darkness enough for God to lock her away and even then God could barely do it.[4]

God tells the Winchesters that the archangels are beings of primordial creation. As a result, it is extremely difficult, but not impossible, for God to resurrect them from the dead unlike lesser angels such as Castiel.[5] However, God states that resurrecting archangels would take time.

Powers and Abilities

No one gives us the right; we take it.
— Lucifer comments on his and his brothers' powers.
in Hammer of the Gods
Whatever we want, we get!
— Raphael describing his and his brothers' absolute authority.
in Free To Be You and Me
No-one makes us do anything!
— Gabriel's description of his and his brother's powers.
in Hammer of the Gods

Archangels are the highest type of celestial being, possessing an immense amount of supernatural power that makes them among the oldest and most powerful beings in the universe. They possess the powers and abilities that are inherent in all angels, but to a much higher degree, arguably the highest degree with their power just under that of God himself. Lucifer even mentioned that it takes their combined strength and power to weaken the Darkness. The Archangels are held in extremely high esteem by angels, being looked upon as "fierce" and "absolute" in power and capability. Archangels have a vast supply of power and can create most things out of thin air.

  • Lower Tier Nigh-Omnipotence - Archangels have a tremendously vast supply of power, they can accomplish almost anything they desire with only some exceptions. Only God, The Darkness, and Death can defeat them. A great display of their power is also everything from the ability to create alternate universes to, collectively and assisted by God, being able to stand up to The Darkness. Archangels rank in age in this specific order: Michael, Lucifer, Raphael, Gabriel. As for the power line, the order is the same, with Lucifer and Michael being equals, or Michael very slightly stronger. They are far older than The Universe itself.
    • Angelic Possession - Even archangels require vessels to manifest physically on Earth[6] and need their consent to do so.[6][7]
    • Highly Advanced Holy White Light - Archangels can blast basically anything into oblivion with holy energy. This power can also be controlled and concentrated from completely obliterating something to only severely damaging it.
    • Super Strength - As the first and most powerful angels, Archangels can exert or apply extreme immense amounts of physical force to people, objects, creatures, and beings.[8][9][10][11] They can overpower and kill anything, besides God, Death, or The Darkness.
    • Super Stamina - Archangels' vessels need nothing to maintain their strength, to strive, or operate, as they are self-sufficient. "Falling", or being banished doesn't affect their powers at all, where as it causes normal angels to lose the ability to smite and heal.
    • Telekinesis - Archangels can move matter with their mind.
    • Teleportation - Archangels can disappear and reappear anywhere that's not sigil-protected instantly. Even after Metatron's Spell, Lucifer was still able to teleport, as his wings are fully intact.
    • Apporting - Archangels can teleport people, objects and lesser angels to wherever they want.[9][12][13]
    • Telepathy - Archangels can read and feel/sense the thoughts of humans.
      • Sedation - Michael used this to put Mary Winchester to sleep.[12]
      • Dream Walking - Archangels can appear in peoples' dreams, and they usually use this ability to communicate when they can't find the person they're looking for, or when they want to talk privately.[6]
    • Empathy - Archangels can read, and feel/sense the emotions of humans.
    • Precognition - Archangels can see into the future, although they do not always see the full picture; as Michael has apparently been "wrong", and neither Lucifer nor Gabriel foresaw their defeats.
    • Memory Manipulation- Archangels can erase, fabricate and restore memories of people.
    • Shapeshifting - Archangels can change form, as Lucifer did when he appeared to Nick using Sarah's visage. He also did this to Sam while using Jessica's visage. Gabriel also demonstrated this ability several times, in conjunction with his reality warping abilities.[14][9]
    • Reality Warping - Like some Angels and Seraphs, Archangels can alter reality, albeit to a greater degree. This ability is better demonstrated in the archangel Gabriel, who can create anything he wants out of thin air and can even put people in a TV universe.
    • Chronokinesis - Archangels can travel and send themselves, and/or others, backwards or forwards through time.
    • Resurrection - Archangels can resurrect deceased individuals back to life.
    • Power Granting - Archangels can grant protection or powers to other beings as shown when Raphael made Crowley immune to Castiel's angelic killing touch.
    • Supernatural Perception - They can sense and perceive beings and things that are naturally invisible, such as Reapers and even Horsemen. Lucifer was able to casually look at Death's true form upon his release.
    • Weather Manipulation - Practically every Archangel changes the weather upon first emergence. The sheer presence can drastically alter the Earth's weather and surroundings, and they are capable of causing raging storms[7] and generating strong air-currents[15]
    • Pyrokinesis - Archangels can manipulate, control and generate fire. They can incinerate any other angel type, all demons, all fairies, alphas, all monsters, deities, and humans with a tap. Michael incinerated Anna, burning her from the inside out.
    • Thermokinesis - Archangels can alter the temperature of their surroundings. Lucifer's presence could cause a massive drop in temperature,[11] and he could cause ice to form on a window just by breathing on it.[11] Michael was also to cause a door knob to heat up drastically to prevent Adam from escaping.[16]
    • Electrokinesis - Archangels can manipulate, control and generate electricity with such an intensity that they can cause coastal blackouts.[7]
    • Terrakinesis - Archangels can cause full-fledged earthquakes, regardless of whether they are in a vessel or not.[6][16]
    • Molecular Combustion - Archangels have demonstrated the ability to explode lower angels into their component molecules with snaps of their fingers.[17][18][19]
    • Regeneration - If they are in some way harmed, they can instantly heal all non-fatal wounds.[10]
    • Flight - Like regular angels, archangels have demonstrated flight, though not when in a vessel.
    • Healing - Archangels can cure any disease, wound, or injury. Michael even said that after he used Dean, he would just simply undo all the damage done to his body.[12]
  • Nigh-Omniscience - Being around for billions/trillions of years, the Archangels have vast knowledge and awareness about many things. Even when Lucifer was trapped in the cage, he had knowledge about what Sam has been through.
    • Eidetic Memory - Like all angels, the Archangels have the faces of every prophet who has existed or will exist etched into their memories. This ability also makes them aware of reality warping and timeline changes.
  • Immortality - Archangels aren't affected by time or disease and don't need to breathe, eat, or sleep to sustain themselves. They predate creation and the universe itself making them more than 13.8 billion years old.
    • Invulnerability - Archangels cannot be damaged or injured by anything that's at least not supernatural.
    • Immunity - Archangels have immunity to that which affects lesser angels. Michael was not killed by holy fire[11] as lesser angels are, and Lucifer is one of the five things in all creation that the Colt cannot kill, though it can still inflict pain upon him for a time.[10]
  • Astral Projection - Archangels can display their wings like any other angel.

Weaknesses

Despite them being very powerful, the archangels possess a few weaknesses which are common to all angels. Some of their weaknesses may not affect them in their true intense light form.

Harming, Misleading, Banishing, and Trapping

  • Angel Banishing Sigil - An angel banishing sigil can banish an archangel.[20]
  • Lot's Stone - Lot's Stone can destroy their vessel.[21]
  • Enochian sigil - Can conceal a person's location from all angels, including archangels.[6][7] Enochian sigils were also used to keep Lucifer confined in a cage in Limbo.
  • Lucifer's Cage - This cell can hold any angel, therefore including archangels, without any internal means of escape.[22][23]
  • The Colt - While the Colt could at least not kill Lucifer, it still caused him considerable pain and he was unconscious for a short amount of time, but possibly it can't harm it all him and his brothers in their true vessels.[10]
  • Holy Oil - Archangels can be trapped in a loop of holy fire. However, unlike other angels, passing through the Holy Fire would only deal them pain and not injuring them. Their vessels, would, however, be severely burnt, though they could heal them. An archangel as powerful as Lucifer could only be bound by holy fire and warding for a matter of minutes. Once the warding failed, the archangel could put out the holy fire.
  • Heaven's Weapons - All of Heaven's weapons acting together can hurt and kill Raphael. It is unknown if Lucifer and Michael would be dealt any pain by the heavenly weapons combined. 
  • Angel Blades (possibly) - It is implied that angel blades can, at the very least, harm archangels as Raphael chose to defend himself when one was thrown at him and Lucifer was wary when Castiel threatened him with one and was sure to disarm him.  
  • Hand of God - The power from a Hand, is capable of knocking an Archangel down and prevents them to use their powers temporarily.  
  • Magic - Powerful magic, spells can have limited effect on an archangel as Rowena could paralyze Lucifer briefly and Kali could bind Gabriel to herself.  

Destroying

  • Archangel Blades - An Archangel Blade can harm and kill archangels.[13]
  • Death's Scythe - Can kill anything, including Death.
  • The First Blade - Combined with the Mark of Cain, the blade should be able to harm and kill archangels as the weapon is powered by the Mark, which binds the Darkness.
  • Souls - Imbued with 50,000 souls, Seraphs are able to withstand Gabriel and Raphael's minimal attacks.[24] Consumption of 30-40 million souls and Leviathan gave Castiel so much power that he could snap his fingers and obliterate Raphael, and therefore Gabriel as well. However, it is unknown if he could destroy Lucifer and Michael.[24]
  • Primordial Entities - The Darkness, God, and Death can effortlessly kill archangels.[25]

Known Vessels

  • Dean Winchester (not used) - Michael's true vessel.
  • Sam Winchester (currently not used) - Lucifer's true vessel.
  • Nick (deceased) - Lucifer's "Plan B" vessel.
  • Jimmy Novak (deceased, body still used by Castiel) - Originally, Castiel's true vessel. Lucifer took over his body after Castiel agreed to possession.
  • Donnie Finnerman (deceased) - Raphael's first vessel. Killed when Balthazar uses Lot's salt on Raphael which kills Donnie but Raphael survives.
  • John Winchester (deceased) - Michael's temporary vessel, restored to normal once Michael was finished. Was killed in 2006 by Azazel.
  • Adam Milligan (sealed in Lucifer's Cage) - Michael's replacement vessel. Incapacitated when he, along with Michael possessing him, are thrown into Hell by Sam containing Lucifer where Adam still remains.
  • Unnamed male (deceased) - Gabriel's only known vessel. Was killed along with Gabriel by Lucifer.
  • Unnamed female (deceased) - Raphael's second vessel. Was killed along with Raphael by Castiel.
  • Multiple unknown (deceased) - Lucifer's temporary vessels he went into after being ripped from Castiel by Amara. All destroyed because of their inability to contain him.
  • Vince Vincente (deceased) - After multiple other vessels, Lucifer was able to find a vessel that could contain him, a rock star. Vince lasted for about a month before deteriorating completely.

Appearances

Trivia

  • Even though in some religions there are many archangels and 7 of them are the favorites of God, only four have been confirmed in Supernatural - Michael, LuciferRaphael and Gabriel - and a few fans have argued that the fact that Metatron (when asking if Sam and Dean worked for any of the archangels in The Great Escapist) only mentioned these four archangels would suggest that there aren't any other archangels in Supernatural. Though given Metatron's lowly position within Heaven, before leaving and cutting himself off from angel radio, there could be more that he was unaware of.
  • The archangels are collectively one of the most dangerous and powerful antagonists in the entire series.
  • After Season 6, it appeared that no Archangels remained as Michael and Lucifer were trapped in the cage and Gabriel and Raphael were dead; however in Season 9 it was shown that Gabriel might have tricked everyone and survived. Lucifer is shown to believe him dead however. God later confirmed this.
  • Metatron was described as an Archangel in one of the Word of God tablets, but he revealed that he was simply an angel that was chosen to be a scribe.
  • While it is unknown what an Angel Suppressing Sigil would do to an archangel, Sam was able to use the angel banishing sigil against Lucifer successfully in The Vessel, showing that archangels can be affected by that sigil.
  • It was originally believed by the Men of Letters that the Archangels were responsible for the extermination of the Knights of Hell except Abaddon, it was actually the Knights' founder, Cain. Whether or not this rumor was started by the angels or by Cain himself is currently unknown.
  • Gabriel, so far, is the only archangel to only used one vessel.
  • Gabriel is also the only Archangel to never have been a ruler of Heaven or Hell.
  • Michael is the only archangel who wasn't introduced with a vessel specifically for him. For Lucifer, it was Nick; for Raphael, it was Donnie; and for Gabriel, it was his unnamed vessel.
  • It has been implied that Cain and Abel, as their blood line contains the vessels of Michael and Lucifer, also could've been vessels for the latter.
  • Lucifer's eyes are shown to glow reddish orange in O Brother Where Art Thou, this implies that the color Archangels eyes would glow with the same color whereas the eyes of Castiel and other angels glow bright blue. However it is unknown if this trait is unique to Lucifer. It is possible that Lucifer appeared that way as he makes use of theatrics when talking with certain people, such as Sam and Dean, to psychologically get under their skin.
    • In Season 12, Lucifer's eyes often glow in this color, proving this is his natural eye color.
  • All four archangels have acted as antagonists towards the Winchesters, however, only Gabriel and Lucifer have become at least temporary allies to them.
  • Lucifer is the only archangel to have met God following the First Heaven Civil War.
    • Raphael, as Chuck's protector, was unknowingly protecting God himself, though whether they ever met face to face is unclear.

References

  1. The Monster at the End of This Book
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Brother's Keeper
  3. We Happy Few
  4. We Happy Few
  5. We Happy Few
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 Sympathy for the Devil
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Free To Be You and Me
  8. The End
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Changing Channels
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 Abandon All Hope...
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 Swan Song
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 The Song Remains the Same
  13. 13.0 13.1 Hammer of the Gods
  14. Mystery Spot
  15. Good God, Y'all
  16. 16.0 16.1 Point of No Return
  17. Swan Song
  18. Into the Mystic
  19. Hell's Angel
  20. The Vessel
  21. The Third Man
  22. Caged Heat
  23. Family Matters
  24. 24.0 24.1 The Man Who Would Be King
  25. All in the Family

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