- "You do not know my family. What you guys call the Apocalypse, I used to call Sunday dinner! That's why there's no stopping this, because this isn't about a war. It's about two brothers that loved each other and betrayed each other! You'd think you'd be able to relate! [...] Why do you think you two are the vessels? Think about it: Michael, the big brother, loyal to an absent father... and Lucifer, the little brother, rebellious of Daddy's plan. You were born to this, boys. It's your destiny! It was always you! As it is in Heaven, so it must be on Earth. One brother has to kill the other. Why do you think I've always taken such an interest in you? Because from the moment Dad flipped on the lights around here, we knew it was all gonna end with you. Always! [...] Guys. I wish this were a TV show. Easy answers, endings wrapped up in a bow... but this is real. And it's gonna end bloody for all of us. That's just how it's gotta be."
- ―Gabriel to Sam and Dean on their Apocalyptic destiny and its inevitability.[src]
|Race :||Angel (Archangel)|
|Family and relatives :||God (father and creator)|
Raphael (brother; deceased)
Other angels (siblings)
|Notable affiliations :|| God and Host of Heaven (formerly)|
|Main Actor/Actress :||Richard Speight Jr.|
|First appearance :||Tall Tales|
Gabriel is an archangel who originally served Heaven, but when he became unable to bear his older brothers' fighting, he fled into hiding on Earth; where he disguised himself as a trickster and adopted a hedonistic lifestyle, becoming known to the pagan gods as Loki. Gabriel spent centuries - millennia in hiding from the Apocalypse and his archangel brothers' fighting, until the Winchesters brought him to stand up against his brothers and help stop them, sacrificing himself in the process (although Gabriel's ability to easily fool and trick others would later call whether or not his death was real into question).
Gabriel was the youngest archangel, created by God after Michael, Lucifer and Raphael. (Supernatural: The Official Companion - Season 5) After Gabriel was created, he was tutored by his older brother Lucifer, and learned all his tricks and tactics from him. (Hammer of the Gods) It is known that following the archangels' creation, they fought with their Father to beat back the Darkness, until God successfully created a Mark on Lucifer to keep the Darkness imprisoned. (Brother's Keeper)
Afterwards, Gabriel and his archangel brothers lived for a time together with God and the lesser angels in peace in Heaven; (Swan Song) until when God created humans. God commanded that all the angels bow down to humanity as his best creations, but Lucifer refused and grew angry and jealous over this. (The End) From this point onwards, Lucifer began to increasingly rebel further against God by corrupting the original humans and creating the first demons, while Michael and Raphael stayed loyal to God and did their duty in punishing Lucifer.
As the fighting between the archangels grew out of control, and eventually resulted in Lucifer being imprisoned in Hell, Gabriel became unable to take it but also lacked the courage to stand up to his family about it. So instead, Gabriel ran away from Heaven and his family, going into hiding on Earth; where he set himself up as a trickster. (Changing Channels) Under his cover identity, Gabriel adopted a sweet tooth and hedonistic lifestyle, as well as tricksters' modus operandi of targeting and killing do-badders in ironic 'just-desserts' ways, and he apparently encountered and fought off hunters over the times. (Tall Tales)
Disguised as a trickster, Gabriel also became affiliated with the pagan gods; who knew him as Loki, and whom Gabriel came to regard as an adopted family. Gabriel at one point had a brief romantic relationship with Kali, and retained feelings for her long after he and Kali had moved on from each-other. Gabriel also apparently possessed an antagonistic relationship with Baldur. (Hammer of the Gods)
Encounters with the WinchestersEdit
In 2007, Gabriel was disguised as a janitor at Springfield University, and was targeting and killing local do-badders true to the trickster MO; using stories of World News Weekly as the basis for how Gabriel attacked his victims. Among Gabriel's victims whom he attacked based on his trickster-MO were: an adulterous professor whom he killed with a ghostly college girl conjuration, a college jock whom Gabriel had probed by and made to slow-dance with conjured aliens, and an animal-testing scientist who was devoured by a sewer alligator Gabriel conjured. Gabriel subsequently met Sam and Dean Winchester for the first time, when the Winchesters caught scent of the bizarre phenomena Gabriel's killing spree was causing.
As Sam and Dean investigated the case, Gabriel initially managed to throw Sam and Dean off his trail and distract them with blaming each-other, by vandalising the Impala and stealing Sam's laptop and framing one brother for it. But when Bobby Singer arrived and calculated that the brothers were dealing with a trickster, Sam and Dean pieced together that Gabriel was the supposed trickster, and went to confront him. Gabriel first tried to bribe Dean into letting him slip away, then fought Bobby and the Winchesters off with his deadly corporeal conjurations, until Dean managed to stake Gabriel. Sam, Dean and Bobby were led to believe they'd succeeded in killing Gabriel, but Gabriel had in fact fooled and misled them and was still alive. (Tall Tales)
Approximately a year later, Gabriel returned with plans for Sam and Dean, and he lured the brothers to the Broward County Mystery Spot by sending Dexter Hasselback into a wormhole so the Winchesters would come to investigate his disappearance. Once Sam and Dean arrived, Gabriel stuck Sam in a time loop; in which Sam was forced to relive the same Tuesday over and over, with Dean dying in each replay of the loop. Sam apparently spent a vast number of Tuesday-replays fruitlessly trying to find a way to break out of the loop and/or save Dean from dying in each replay, until he eventually learned that a trickster was behind this, and he found and confronted a disguised Gabriel in the time loop. When Sam demanded that Gabriel free them from the time loop or he'd kill him, Gabriel broke the loop and sent Sam forward to the next day, but Dean was shot and killed on that same day.
After Dean's death when the time loop was broken, Sam spent at least six months angry and alone and searching for Gabriel to try and get him to bring Dean back. Gabriel eventually brought Sam to his location by having a fake duplicate of Bobby that he'd conjured call Sam and give him Gabriel's whereabouts. Gabriel tried to tell Sam that this was all meant to teach the latter that Dean was Sam's weakness, and Sam needed to let Dean go because more bad than good came out of the brothers' resurrections. Sam still tearfully begged and pleaded with Gabriel to just save Dean, and Gabriel relented and reset time for Sam back to the Wednesday after the time loop ended; and Dean this time avoided death. (Mystery Spot)
In 2009, the Apocalypse began when Sam unwittingly freed Lucifer from his cage, and Sam and Dean subsequently rejected and tried to permanently derail their destinies to serve as Michael and Lucifer's true vessels. Gabriel was aware that the Apocalypse had begun, and was angry that he'd now have to watch his brothers fight and destroy each other all over again, but also just wanted it to happen and be over with. To this end, Gabriel intended to lure Sam and Dean into another one of his trickster games, the lesson behind this one being for them to accept and play their roles in the Apocalypse.
Gabriel lured Sam and Dean in to Wellington, Ohio by killing a violent local hunter with a conjuration of the Incredible Hulk, then trapped the Winchesters in TV Land; a pocket dimension Gabriel had created, containing multiple 'channels' each based on a different TV show or commercial. In TV Land, Sam and Dean were forced play out their characters' roles on each channel in order to both survive and to move on to the next, with Gabriel demanding that they survive 24 hours in TV Land and learn their lesson from it to win their freedom. Castiel also tried twice to break into TV Land and free Sam and Dean, but Gabriel overpowered, banished and imprisoned him both times.
Dean and Sam eventually learned but refused to accept Gabriel's lesson that they say yes to Michael and Lucifer, and they also tried to escape TV Land by killing Gabriel with a stake, but the stake didn't work on Gabriel and the brothers remained trapped in TV Land. However, Sam and Dean worked out from these clues and the fact that Gabriel was immune to a stake that would normally kill a trickster that Gabriel wasn't really a trickster at all and was in actuality an angel. Armed with this secret knowledge, Sam and Dean were able to outdo and defeat Gabriel by trapping him in a ring of holy fire, and forced him to free them from TV Land and release Cass.
After Gabriel revealed his true identity and explained his past about Michael and Lucifer's fighting to Sam and Dean, the brothers refused to accept their destiny or let Michael and Lucifer end the world. Dean declared to Gabriel that this was not about destiny or about the archangels' fighting but about Gabriel being too afraid to stand up to his family. Dean then freed Gabriel from the ring of holy fire, and the trio walked away and left Gabriel silently fuming. (Changing Channels)
A couple months after the TV Land encounter, when Sam and Dean were held captive by a meeting of gods at the Elysian Fields Hotel as part of the gods' discussion about the Apocalypse and how to survive it, Gabriel was alerted when Kali secretly called him over. Gabriel crashed the party and joined their meeting to discuss the Apocalypse, but he secretly intended to rescue Sam and Dean and get them away from the gods to safety. Gabriel also hoped to sway the gods, particularly Kali, as his adoptive family against decided to take on the archangels, Gabriel himself knowing firsthand that the gods wouldn't stand a chance against Lucifer or Michael.
As Kali had used a blood spell to bind Sam and Dean to her, Gabriel had to get her samples of their blood back from her in order for Sam and Dean to be able to get away. Gabriel pretended to romantically approach Kali to resume old times, and tried to woo and distract her long enough to slip the Winchesters' blood off from her. But Kali saw through the ruse and knew who Gabriel really was, and captured him as well by using the same binding spell on him. Though Gabriel tried to plea with Kali and the other gods that he knew for a fact that they had no chance against Lucifer, Kali didn't listen, and tried to take Gabriel's archangel blade and kill him with it.
Though it seemed to Kali, the gods and the Winchesters that the archangel blade did work and Gabriel was dead, the blade Kali had was actually a useless fake Gabriel had made out of a can of diet orange slices, and thus Gabriel was in actuality still alive; although he was still bound by Kali's blood spell and unable to go far from the motel. Gabriel alerted Dean while the latter was alone that he was still alive, and wanted him to grab their blood off Kali so they could escape and leave the gods to their fate; but Dean recognised that the gods, despite their sociopathy and treachery, were still family to Gabriel, and so he couldn't just leave them to their suicide run against Lucifer.
Shortly afterwards, Mercury betrayed the other gods and called Lucifer to the motel, and Lucifer proceeded to brutally and easily overpower and massacre all the gods until only Kali was left. At this point, Gabriel realised and admitted that Dean had been right that he was too afraid to stand up to his family, and that Gabriel now needed to join the fight and pick his side. Gabriel decided that he wasn't on Lucifer's side or Michael's but on humanity's, and he stood against Lucifer while Kali and the Winchesters escaped. Before Sam and Dean fled with Kali, Gabriel gave Dean a Casa Erotica DVD which Gabriel had implanted himself into with a message telling the brothers how they could stop Lucifer - they could reimprison Lucifer in his cage, by collecting the Four Horsemen's rings and using them as a collective key to reopen the cage.
After Kali and the Winchesters were safe and Gabriel and Lucifer were left to their confrontation in the motel, Gabriel tried to sneak up on and kill his older brother with an archangel blade while Lucifer was distracted and fooled by an avatar double of Gabriel. But Lucifer second-guessed and saw through his younger brother's tricks and tactics, and turned the archangel blade on the real Gabriel and apparently killed him. (Hammer of the Gods)
After the FallEdit
In 2014, when Castiel was captured by Metatron and placed in a dream world, Gabriel returned seemingly alive as part of the dream. Gabriel claimed he'd once again faked his death when Lucifer had stabbed him with the archangel blade, and afterwards had hid away in Heaven until he'd been banished to Earth with all the other angels in the Fall. Gabriel also stated that he planned to lead the fallen angels on Earth to war against Metatron to retake Heaven, with Cass's help.
Castiel eventually worked out that it was all an illusion and none of it was real, and Gabriel admitted it to be true, and advised Cass to just hear Metatron out about his plans. Gabriel then ended the dream reality and woke Castiel up, but Gabriel deliberately left one question unanswered - whether he really was dead and was just an illusion with the rest of the dream, or was indeed alive and working for Metatron. (Meta Fiction)
Acting as a trickster, Gabriel's behaviour was much more human than that of most other angels, and he retained his trickster-like behaviour even after his true identity as an archangel was exposed. He behaved in a mischievous manner with a sense of humour and enjoyed his games with his victims, and he exercised a sarcastic, capricious, mocking and immature demeanor. Gabriel also lived a hedonistic lifestyle and displayed a sweet tooth for candy as the trickster, and as the Trickster he seemed to have a poetic sense of ironic justice towards his victims; preferring to either kill them in ways that served as ironic and twisted 'just-desserts' for the victims' faults, or to put them in dangerous games and fake realities meant to teach the victims a lesson about themselves and a flaw within them that they needed to overcome. Gabriel also lived up to his namesake as the Trickster by often using trickery and misdirection to mislead and trick his victims and enemies.
However, despite his carefree and childish behaviour, deep down Gabriel was shown to be highly haunted, insecure and passionate about his older brothers and their fighting and the Apocalypse. Initially, Gabriel was convinced that the Apocalypse and the battle between Michael and Lucifer was inevitable, and was internally upset by his brothers' fighting and fate to the point he just wanted it to happen and be over with. Dean chastised Gabriel as acting more cowardly and weak than he really was by refusing to actually stand up and pick his side, and pointed out that what this really was was Gabriel being too afraid underneath it all to stand up to his family.
It would seem that Gabriel's confidence and bravado was actually a facade meant to cover up how small and insecure he really felt, which Dean observed and compared to the way he himself used to act. Gabrie also claimed that after his pagan adoptive family stabbed him in the heart and tried to kill him that he would leave the arrogant gods to their fate at Lucifer's hands, but Dean pointed out that Gabriel would still care about them and want to save them: it was a rather pitiful relationship that Gabriel had with the pagan gods in that respect.
Despite apparently not possessing much respect for human life (seen from the often-lethal comeuppances he used on his victims), Gabriel in fact admired and respected humanity for trying to overcome their faults and do better, and he in this respect agreed with his Father that humans are indeed better than angels. Due to this, when Gabriel was confronted with his own flaw (his cowardice in refusing to stand up to Michael and Lucifer over what they were doing), he ultimately, upon overcoming it, chose to side with humanity and help protect them against Lucifer's genocide and Michael's Apocalypse machinations.
Powers and abilitiesEdit
As an archangel, Gabriel was an extremely powerful being, able to warp and alter reality to his whim and easily overpower low-level angels, although he was still not as strong as the other archangels such as Lucifer. When posing as a trickster, Gabriel displayed powers and abilities similar to those that real tricksters possess, although according to Castiel, Gabriel's fake trickster powers were much stronger than a real trickster's. Gabriel was able to conjure and create fully-corporeal miscellanea under his control (including creatures, people, animals and food, and even decoy avatars of himself) out of nothing, and make them cease to exist again just as quick.
Gabriel was particularly skilled at using his powers to control and alter time and space and reality. Gabriel was able to create pocket dimensions and virtual realities, and control and manipulate time in the fake reality and the fake reality's characters' actions and behaviour. Gabriel also once mentioned that he was able to create wormholes. Gabriel's reality-warping powers were great enough that he was even able to stick and trap people in time loops, the events in which were under Gabriel's control, and Gabriel could even reset time back to a certain date.
As well as his more powerful and cosmic abilities as an archangel, Gabriel was also capable of other and lesser angelic abilities; including instantaneous and controlled teleportation of himself and others from one place to another, and telekinesis with which Gabriel could easily overpower humans and even regular-level angels. Gabriel could also temporarily take away humans' voices on a whim, could alter his own vessel's form to take other human forms and appearances, and could even trap his human victims in other forms and reverse it just as easily; with the latter power, Gabriel once turned Sam into a consciousness part of the Impala, before he was forced to change Sam back to normal. Gabriel could manipulate electronics and radio signals to form fake calls and conversations over radio channels as well.
One of Gabriel's more regularly-used abilities was his supernatural 'witness protection,' which hid his angelic nature from others and disguised him as a trickster. Gabriel once described his trickster-disguise as being akin to a face transplant. Gabriel's witness protection could disguise his nature as an archangel from even pagan gods, although it couldn't hide Gabriel's true identity from other angels such as Castiel. Gabriel's power to fool and deceive not only humans but even pagan gods was enough that he once successfully faked his death at their hands when they attempted to use a fake archangel's blade on him.
Although very strong and powerful, as a celestial, Gabriel was still susceptible to the angelic weaknesses that even archangels possess. Gabriel couldn't cross holy fire, and this respect could be trapped within a ring of it. Gabriel was also susceptible, just like humans, to the binding blood spell used by Kali. He was apparently not as strong as his older brothers, and it was implied that he couldn't easily overpower multiple gods like Lucifer could. As an archangel, Gabriel could be destroyed and killed by a mortal wound (such as a direct stab to the heart or through the torso) inflicted by an archangel blade. He was also completely inferior to God, Death, or the Darkness, who could easily destroy him.
In the Abrahamic religions, Gabriel is an angel who serves as God's messenger for sending messages from the divine to certain people on Earth. In the Christian Bible, Gabriel is mentioned twice in the Old Testament and twice again in the New Testament, and is best known as the angel who visited the Virgin Mary to inform her of the impending birth of Jesus Christ. Gabriel also appeared to Zechariah to announce the birth of John the Baptist, and to Daniel in the Old Testament to tell him the prophecy of seventy weeks. Though never referred to in the Bible as an archangel, Gabriel is described as such in the Intertestamental Book of Enoch, and has been recognised by some as the Left Hand of God.
In Norse mythology, Loki is either a god or a jötnar (or both), and is the son of Laufey and Fárbauti. Loki is also the brother of Býleistr and Helblindi, and is the father of Fenris, Jörmungandr and several other Norse creatures and deities. Loki is said to be able to shapeshift, taking the forms of fish, equines, flies, seals, and possibly an old woman. Loki is said to sometimes assist the other gods and sometimes cause trouble for them, but after Loki engineered Baldur's death, the gods severed positive ties with him and bound him in the entrails of one of his sons.
- It has been wildly speculated by fans, particularly after Meta Fiction, whether or not Gabriel really is dead after his confrontation with Lucifer, or is actually alive and had faked his death as the Trickster once again. In The Devil in the Details, Lucifer at least believed that Gabriel is dead. However, Richard Speight, Jr. himself said that he thinks it's a very good possibility that Gabriel might be alive.
- It was revealed in Hammer of the Gods that the pagan gods know Gabriel as Loki. Fans have speculated on whether Gabriel was impersonating a real pagan god called Loki, or was in fact the original figure whom Norse mythology knew as Loki.
- Although angels, and by extension archangels, were not officially introduced onto Supernatural until Season 4, through Gabriel, in-universe, angels have been appearing on the show since Season 2; as Gabriel was believed in Season 2 and 3 to be a trickster, until it was revealed in Season 5 that he was really a runaway archangel.
- While it was never stated nor confirmed in the show, a few viewers have suggested that Jane, the Nephilim who Castiel and Metatron killed in Clip Show, may have been Gabriel's daughter.
- Richard Speight, Jr. suggests in Supernatural: The Official Companion - Season 5 that while Gabriel was no longer a part of the other angels' affairs and had officially left Heaven, he still actually had access to his own personal 'toy room' part of Heaven, where he kept his 'playthings' and where he sent Castiel to in Changing Channels.