|Season(s)||1 - 9|
|Species||Children and Servants of Death|
|Occupation||Delivering souls to their final destination.|
|Affiliation:|| The Natural Order,
Death, Their enslaver
Reapers are the servants of Death. They assist in maintaining the Natural Order and are completely neutral, aligned with neither Heaven nor Hell nor Purgatory. According to Castiel, Reapers will sometimes appear in mass gatherings in prelude to a great disaster such as the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in Pompeii.
Reapers are required for death to occur, they wait till a person meets the end of his or her life (either through accident, or simply the natural end point of that person's life) and then touch the person causing them to die, they then escort their souls to Heaven or Hell. They do not however possess the power to force souls to go with them. It's unknown if they are required for death to occur to all beings or simply humans.
Reapers are completely neutral beings, not caring for deals, fate or even each other at times, all they care about is maintaining "Natural Order" of life and death. Although sometimes uncaring, Reapers generally sympathize with their victims, but refuse to make allowances, regardless of who or why. As they can't force anyone to go with them, Reapers must convince the souls to leave with them, which they normally achieve by forewarning the fate of the souls if they refuse: transforming into vengeful spirits trapped on Earth.
Reapers are also impartial in other ways, and rarely interfere in any manner other than performing their duties, and although they have the power to, they do not kill people before their time. However there is one possible account of a Reaper ignoring the Natural Order, when that one Reaper who had been bound was freed, he quickly turned on and killed the person who bound him. This is the only known occasion of any Reaper ever being the cause of a person's death. As the person in question had forced the Reaper to go against the natural order by taking those in the place of others whose times were up, this can be excepted.
Some Reapers do break these trends however, rogue Reapers do exist. Unlike normal Reapers, these rogues ferry souls out of their afterlives and take them to a different one, for the purpose of profit, and usually work for higher beings. They also ferry living mortals and at least one still ferried souls, at least those of ghosts put to rest, but on at least one occasion took a soul to the wrong place on his boss' orders. Other rouge Reapers are sent to hunt Castiel down, though they have to use conventional methods to do so.
Despite appearing stoic at times, Reapers are apparently as capable at experiencing emotions as humans, as on many occasions Reapers have shown sorrow, annoyance, compassion and anger. They also appear to have free will, although they rarely act upon it.
It is implied Reapers have a similar opinion of Death as angels do with God. Seeing him as their creator and master. Upon his release, hundreds if not thousands of Reapers flocked to meet, and receive orders from him. While dozens followed him around in Chicago. Likewise their relationship is described by Tessa as "He calls us, we don't call him".
It seems the Reapers have no sole shape, as some of them appear as ghost-like beings, beautiful women or elder men in mortician wear or suits. Commonly though, they appear as elder men in mortician wear, often black. Despite this they do have genders, as Tessa was repeatedly referred to as female - even by Death himself, and Tessa was her actual name.
After a ghost is put to rest, Reapers take them to their final resting place. In this instance they may take them against their will as many ghosts would still want to remain on Earth but are still taken to their final destination.
Reapers are able to possess humans. This may be how a few are shown to be able to manifest physically for humans to see them rather than being invisible to all but ghosts.
Reapers are first credited in John Winchester's journal. Dean and Sam Winchester first encounter a Reaper in the episode Faith, seen assisting Roy Legrange "heal" the sick. However, only someone who is dead or near-death (or is the target of it) can see a reaper. The reaper can be controlled by Black Magic and was released by smashing the Rosario controlling it, upon which it turned on the person who was controlling it: Roy Legrange's wife.
A different reaper, Tessa, appears in the season 2 premiere In My Time of Dying. After Dean is left in a near-death coma following a car accident, the reaper, disguised as a young girl, eventually persuades Dean to come with her. However, John Winchester offered his soul and the Colt to restore his fallen son. The Yellow-Eyed Demon, then taking the offer, possesses Tessa, allowing Dean to live.
Tessa has a second appearance in the fourth-season episode Death Takes a Holiday, along with another reaper, in which Sam and Dean try to stop the breaking of a seal, which involves two reapers being killed. Tessa also restores Dean's memory of their first meeting which Azazel had taken from him. After the threat is over, Tessa enlists Dean's help to get Cole Griffith to cross over and warns him that what the angels have planned for him is not a good thing.
Reapers make a fourth appearance in the fifth-season episode, Abandon All Hope.... dozens appear in a deserted street through Castiel's eyes. Bobby later reveals that they are in the town because Lucifer is planning a ritual to raise their "Boss", Death, one of the four horsemen. Reapers make a fifth appearance in the fifth-season episode, Two Minutes to Midnight. They appear through Crowley's eyes, standing outside of a building where Death was at an earlier time.
Tessa makes an appearance in the sixth-season episode, Appointment In Samarra, along with the Horseman Death, when Dean prematurely causes his own death through lethal injection. This marks the sixth appearance of reapers on the show. Tessa guides Dean through his day as Death, leading him to the people he needs to kill and then taking their souls to where they belong.
In Taxi Driver, it was revealed that some Reapers work around the natural order of things on their own free will, divulging secrets to different supernatural realms, even to living humans. These were called 'Rogue' Reapers. They take mortals and souls between Earth and Heaven and Hell for a price and are visible without the necessity of the human being transported to die. One, Ajay, was approached by Sam and Dean to take Sam to Hell to rescue an innocent soul as part of the second trial to close the Gates of Hell. Ajay revealed that he took Bobby's soul to Hell when his flask was burned and agreed to take Sam in exchange for a favor from the Winchesters in the future. Ajay took Sam to Purgatory where there is a backdoor to Hell, but Crowley learned of what he was up to and killed Ajay with an Angel Blade. Ajay's death resulted in Sam being trapped in Purgatory.
In I'm No Angel, two Rogue Reapers were hired by the angel Bartholomew to hunt down Castiel after he manages to ward himself against angels finding him. One follows Sam and Dean, but they notice and capture him. Dean tortures him with an Angel Blade and after learning what he knows, kills him with it. Another Reaper posed as a human April Kelly and uses her to get close to Castiel, having sex with him then capturing and torturing him with his own Angel Blade for information on Metatron. When Sam and Dean arrive to rescue him, the Reaper kills him and throws Sam and Dean around, but Dean manages to kill her with an Angel Blade while she is distracted with Sam. Castiel is then resurrected by Gadreel.
Powers & AbilitiesEdit
As the servants of Death, reapers are quite powerful beings.
- Invisibility - Reapers are naturally invisible to the naked-eye, unless they are dealing with the deceased. Beings with supernatural perception like angels and demons are capable of bypassing this skill and see reapers with clarity.
- Supernatural Perception - They can see ghosts, especially the ghosts of whom they are about to reap.
- Teleportation - Reapers can appear anywhere on the Earth, including in human minds. They can also travel to Heaven, Purgatory and Hell with ease. It is also possible for them to take living humans with them, although it runs counter to their role in the natural order, and is therefore offered only by rogue reapers.
- Resurrection - Reapers are capable of reviving the dead, though their dedication to the natural order usually prevents them to.
- Cosmic Awareness - Reapers are incredibly knowledgeable, aware of at what point all people are supposed to die, as well as what lives are going to be created. They also understand many concepts, including the limits of power.
- Time manipulation - Reapers are able to stop time, causing objects that measure time to permanently break.
- Astral projection - Reapers can project their astral form, similar to the angels.
- Super Stamina - Reapers do not grow tired, and will never leave their victims, unless a supernatural event disturbs them. However they do sometimes eat for pleasure.
- Invulnerability - The only two known ways to kill a Reaper is with the scythe of Death and a special incantation or an Angel Blade.
- Killing Touch - Reapers can kill any being by touching them, except more powerful beings (These beings including God, the Four Horsemen, the Archangels, or Leviathans).
- Telekinesis - Demonstrated when Tessa knocked Dean back with her mind and when the Reaper possessing April Kelly threw Sam and Dean around a room.
- Immortality - Reapers are not subjected to hunger, disease, or age.
- Flight - In their true form, they have the ability to fly and/or levitate.
- Perception Altering - By this ability, reapers are able to change their appearance before spirits to hide their true, more frightening form. This allows reapers to make people see what they want them to see, and enables the reapers to communicate more effectively with their targets.
- Disease/Death Transference - Reapers can use their powers to heal disease and injuries, however they have to give the injury or disease to someone else.
- Memory Manipulation- Reapers can make mortals forget things and can also restore memories.
- Intangibility - In their true form, they are like ghosts, and can phase through solid matter without any kind of injuries.
- Electromagnetic Interference - The appearance of a Reaper can cause lights in a room to flicker or go out.
- Wind Manipulation - A reaper's arrival can cause sudden gusts of wind.
- Biokinesis - Reapers can manipulate human biology, one angry Reaper, once infected a person with a mental condition, giving them an early death in revenge.
- Possession - Reapers are shown to able to possess humans as one did to get close to Castiel. However this seemingly makes them weaker.
Despite being quite powerful beings, Reapers do possess a few weaknesses:
- Death - They are completely under their master Death's control. As Tessa puts it, "He calls us, we don't call him". As such, Death is the only known being who can stop Reapers permanently.
- Higher-tier Demons - Powerful demons like Crowley, Azazel and Alastair can overpower Reapers, and in Azazel's case, even possess them.
- Magic - Reapers can also be imprisoned, and warded off by spells (Enochian runes or symbols), however nothing other than Death or God can permanently stop them (except for killing them). Certain spells can also bind them, however this is very old, very dark and very strong magic.
- Death's Scythe - Like most beings, they are vulnerable to Death's scythe.
- Angel Blade - An angel blade can kill them.