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Season(s) 5
Species Horseman
Status Incapacitated
Occupation The Black Horseman
Affiliation: His brothers
Family Death (older brother)
Pestilence (younger brother)
War (younger brother)
Portrayed by: James Otis
"Doesn't take much - hardly a push. Oh, America - all-you-can-eat, all the time. Consume, consume. A swarm of locusts in stretch pants. And yet, you're all still starving because hunger doesn't just come from the body, it also comes from the soul."
—Famine, speaking to Dean[src]

Famine, also known as the Black Horseman, is the personification of the concept of hunger in the universe. He is a Horseman, along with death, war and sickness. He appears to be the second oldest. Due to modern times and technology, Famine travels in a black wheelchair which represents his black steed. He manifests by taking on human form.

Physical AppearanceEdit

He manifests physically on Earth in the form of a sickly, crippled old man. How he came about obtaining this form and depth is unknown, but the condition of his element may contribute to his appearance.


Famine's frail, malformed appearance is likely caused by agricultural improvements. The embodiment of true hunger, Famine is constantly hungry, and lack of nourishment results in anger. He has an intolerance for failure, punishing any such occurrence with death.

He holds no regard for demons, even the ones who help him. He kills one for failing him, sends two to their deaths, encourages Sam to kill them, and devours them when Sam refuses. He is not too fond of Angels either after Dean sends Castiel to cut off his finger and snatch his ring. He was able to stop Castiel by providing the angel with large quantities of meat, something his vessel Jimmy Novak is very fond of, therefore affecting him. He also later referred to the angel as Dean's dog.

Famine also has a low view of humans, stating that they only require a little push to fall to hunger. He also takes joy in watching their hunger devour them. He also dislikes America, calling it the place where few are satisfied despite everyone eating and eating.

According to Angel Castiel, once fully strengthened, Famine will dominantly march across the lands with authority.

Interestingly, Famine seemed more loyal to Lucifer than his brothers, never differing from the plan, or expressing disdain for him.


With the Leviathans uncontrollable hunger, it is possibly Famine came into existence after their creation but before they were locked away in Purgatory. After Famine is triggered by Lucifer's release from the Cage, Lucifer sends several lower-class demons to care for him, attending to his needs, but most importantly, they collect souls and transport them back to Famine so that he can digest them, which is crucial in restoring and replenishing Famine's power and strength, as the times and environment improvements have severely weakened him to the point where he must be in close proximity of his victims in order to infect them.

My Bloody ValentineEdit

Famine's presence affects a small region where a cupid is at work. By marking people's hearts, the effects of Famine were elevated and made these people "rabid" for love. Upon investigating the case, Dean and Sam call for Castiel to help capture the cupid. They locate it at a restaurant. The cupid claims to simply being doing his job and is not the cause of the unusual deaths.

When Famine's effects cause Castiel to hunger for red meat, the angel deduces that Famine is behind this. As he explains to the brothers what and who Famine is, Famine is shown arriving in a black van. He appears crippled, weak and frail, and is bound to a wheelchair. Lower-level demons have been sent by Lucifer to care for Famine's needs due to his state.

According to Castiel, the demons are preparing to restore Famine back to his previous nature so he can march across the lands with authority and dominion. Famine then enters a restaurant and causes all the people there to go mad with their greatest desires, until they die.

After receiving confirmation that Famine is indeed behind this, Dean and Castiel prepare to confront the Horseman so they can take his ring. Faced with Sam's current craving for demon blood due to Famine's power, they leave him at the hotel room. Castiel teleports inside the restaurant where Famine is and tries to get the ring but falls under Famine's influence and remains eating food, which forces Dean to take action.


Famine is defeated.

Back at the hotel, two demons release Sam and prepare to fight, but Sam, unable to resist, drinks their blood and leaves to find Dean. While conversing with the Black Horseman, Dean is told by Famine that he is empty inside which is the reason why he remains unaffected by his influence, Famine mocks him for this. Sam arrives and Famine tries to compel him to drink the blood of his demons, but Sam manages to refuse. Instead he exorcises them, and Famine sucks their essences in and gains more power. Sam turns on Famine, and manages to indirectly weaken the Horseman by exorcising all the demons he devoured from inside him. This weakens Famine long enough that they're able to take his ring.

Back at Bobby's panic room, they detox Sam from demon blood. Dean steps outside and pleads for God to help him.

Hammer of the GodsEdit

It is revealed that Famine's ring, along with the other three rings belonging to the Horsemen, can open Lucifer's Cage so that he can be re-imprisoned.

The Devil You KnowEdit

A Horsemen loyalist named Brady tells Dean that Famine and War are no longer currently active due to the loss of their rings. He admits that placing the rings back on them might not make any difference as they are withered husks.

Powers and AbilitiesEdit

As a Horseman, Famine possesses great power, but due to agricultural improvements, he has been significantly weakened. Even weakened, he can easily telekinetically overpower demons and affected Castiel's vessel while he was cut off from Heaven and made him gouge on hamburgers constantly. Lucifer wanted to amp him up back to full power where his powers would increase exponentially. Like his brothers, he requires his ring to help him focus his powers.

  • Immortality - Famine cannot die by anything unless the concept that he represents is removed entirely.
  • Teleportation - Though weakened, as a Horseman he can teleport.
  • Insatiable Hunger - As the embodiment of hunger itself, Famine possesses an unquenchable appetite and constantly craved sustenance, although he can be temporarily satisfied. This gave him the ability to devour pretty much anything - even the essences of demons and human souls.
  • Devouring - Famine, as the personification of hunger itself, can devour practically anything in the universe. The only obvious things he cannot devour is God, The Darkness, Death, and other Horsemen. He used soul energies and demonic essences to momentarily cap his hunger. Consumption of what he devours, can strengthen him.
  • Influencing Hunger/Gluttony Augmentation - Famine can enhance the senses of hunger in other beings and make all in his range, which even weakened is miles wide, become consumed by their greatest hungers, such as money, sex, love, attention, drugs, alcohol, etc. causing them to seek whatever it is they crave most until it results in their destruction. Once infected by hunger, removing the person from Famine's presence will not have any affect, the hunger will just follow them, the only cure is to defeat Famine. The range of this power increases the more powerful he becomes, and the closer to him the person is, the more quickly it affects them. However if a person does not hunger for anything, then they are immune to his power, however to be in this state the person has to be literally dead on the inside. It also appears he can filter out certain people, as none of his demon helpers were consumed by their hunger. 
  • Body Locking - Any person who dies through Famine's hunger, their soul does not leave their body on death, but is trapped, so it can be harvested and devoured by Famine.
  • Exorcism - Famine was able to forcibly exorcise a demon from its host, with a gesture of his hand, so he could devour it.
  • Telekinesis - Famine can mentally affect objects, and even impressively pull demons into his mouth with simple gestures.
  • Cosmic Knowledge - As a Horseman, Famine possesses an incredible amount of knowledge and understanding of the universe and its workings, although his knowledge is vastly inferior to Death's. He can understand concepts, such as hunger, the Apocalypse and the nature of souls.
  • Electromagnetic Interference - Famine can cause electronic devices to malfunction, through his presence or his mood, when he got angry, he caused lights to flicker and explode.
  • Telepathy - By touching Dean, Famine was able to enter Dean's subconscious and discover that Dean was dead on the inside, and as such did not hunger for anything.
  • Soul Reading - Like his brother Death, Famine could tell if a person had a soul or not, just by looking at them. He could also read and determine the condition/state of that person's soul.
  • Invisibility - As a Horseman Famine is naturally invisible and can only be seen if he wants others to see him.


  • Ring Removal - Without his ring, his corporeal form loses all its powers, except for teleportation.
  • Physical Objects - Anything serrated or jagged, or for that matter anything that can be implemented into a weapon, that can be used to inflict pain upon Famine's physical form. His physical body can be pierced and penetrated identically to how humans sustain infliction.
  • God - While even God can't kill him, God can do absolutely anything else to Famine.
  • The Darkness - As the older sister of God, Amara can do anything to Famine.
  • Death's Scythe - It can kill Famine.
  • Soul Extracting - While Famine was in weakened state, Sam Winchester was able to extract the demon souls that Famine consumed. This led to the defeat of Famine.



Trivia Edit

  • Famine's weakened appearance in comparison to War may be due to the fact that famine is not as major problem in the world as it was before technological advancements in agriculture, so Famine does not have enough natural energy to sustain himself yet.
  • Although it is said that Famine was the third Horseman to rise after War and Pestilence and before Death, in Supernatural it is unknown when he rises, and he appears before Pestilence and Death.
  • Famine wears a silver ring with a black stone.

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