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|Notable inhabitants :||Adam Milligan|
|Appearance(s) :||See full list below|
Lucifer's cage, also known simply as the cage or the box, is a sealed, impregnable prison, located in the deepest part of Hell, designed by God as a prison for Lucifer after his rebellion. The cage currently holds Michael and his vessel Adam Milligan; Lucifer has escaped from the cage twice, and Sam Winchester was trapped in the cage for a time after stopping the Apocalypse.
Lucifer's cage is apparently located at the very deepest part of Hell. It is visualised as a massive cube-shaped stone cage of archaic design, with intricate runes engraved into its sides, suspended on seemingly-infinite chains in the dark, stormy void of Hell. (Our Little World, O Brother Where Art Thou?)
Though the cage's interior is visualised as being the same as what it looks like from the outside, (O Brother Where Art Thou?) it has been implied that imprisonment inside the cage is extremely unpleasant, even by Hell standards. Death described it as a "fiery pit," (Two Minutes to Midnight) and Michael apparently went insane inside the cage when he didn't adjust to imprisonment as well as Lucifer had. (The Devil in the Details)
Having been personally designed by God as an impregnable prison that could hold and contain Lucifer, the cage is a divine mechanism which is extremely difficult, almost impossible, to forcefully crack or break open, and can safely contain two archangels with no chance of them forcing their way out. However, the blast of the Darkness's release was powerful enough to damage the cage's structure, allowing Lucifer to psychically reach out from within. (O Brother Where Art Thou?)
Lucifer's cage is almost impregnable to all but the most powerful supernatural beings in the universe. It is very difficult for anything to access the cage from the outside, and not even an archangel can escape the cage from the inside without specific assistance.
The most notable door to Lucifer's cage is located beneath Ilchester, Maryland, where St. Mary's Convent is built, and when the door was opened, Lucifer could escape the cage and rise through the doorway to Earth. (Lucifer Rising) The only known way of opening this door was by breaking 66 of the 600 seals that locked Lucifer's cage. (Season 4) Since this process required that only one specific seal could be the first to break, and another specific one be the sixty-sixth, this method of opening the cage probably no longer works after having been completed once.
Though breaking the 66 seals was the most notable and well-known method of opening the cage, there are several other ways of accessing it. When the Four Horsemen's rings are brought together and combined, they form a key to the cage. A person wielding the four rings can then use them to open a portal into the cage from anywhere on Earth, by placing the rings on a wall or the ground and saying an incantation. (Season 5)
Alternatively, there was a very complex, intricate magical process, discovered from the Book of the Damned; which allowed one to summon one of the occupants of Lucifer's cage to a secure, smaller cage in Limbo, without fully releasing them from the cage: when this process was used to summon Lucifer, though he was able to exercise his powers from in Limbo's cage without the necessary warding to neutralise them, he remained tethered to his cage, and would be sent straight back to it once a reverse-spell was cast. However, if Lucifer was able to take possession of a vessel while he was in Limbo this way, then he would be anchored to Earth and would fully break free from the cage. (O Brother Where Art Thou?, The Devil in the Details)
While Lucifer's cage is almost completely impregnable to all angels, and seemingly to most other supernatural beings for that matter, it is not impossible - it seems to be easier to breach the cage from the outside than the inside. Castiel, after being upgraded by God during his seecond resurrection, succeeded in partially raising Sam from the cage (although he unknowingly failed to bring all of Sam back, bringing back a soulless Sam while his soul remained behind in the cage); however, he did so with extreme effort and difficulty that he apparently wouldn't have been able to repeat. (Family Matters, The Man Who Would Be King) Raphael also indicated he could have freed Michael and Lucifer from the cage had he taken control of Heaven. (The Man Who Would Be King)
It has been demonstrated that while almost all spiritual beings are almost incapable of breaching the cage's security, some entities are powerful or tricky enough to freely enter and exit the cage, and even transport others in and out with them, without compromising the cage's integrity. Death once did so unaided when rescuing Sam's soul from the cage. And fairies such as the leprechaun have claimed to know secret 'backdoors' into the cage that even angels are unaware of. (Clap Your Hands If You Believe..., Appointment in Samarra)
During Lucifer's increasing rebellion and disobedience towards God after God created humans, when Lucifer's actions against humans and God got out of control when he created the first demons, God was forced to cast out and imprison Lucifer to end the threat he posed to Heaven and humanity and the damage he was causing. God subsequently created Lucifer's cage in Hell as a sealed, impregnable prison capable of containing even archangels, and he had Michael cast Lucifer into the cage and lock him away inside, to keep Lucifer imprisoned until the Apocalypse. (The End)
In 1972, after years of searching, Azazel tracked and found the door to Lucifer's cage beneath St. Mary's Convent in Illchester, Maryland. Azazel was able to make contact with Lucifer by massacring the nuns in the convent so that Lucifer use one of the nuns' corpses as a mouthpiece through the door with which to whisper to Azazel from within the cage. Lucifer instructed Azazel to free the former from the cage by finding a special child strong enough to free Lilith from Hell so that Lilith could break Lucifer's seals. (Lucifer Rising)
In late 2008, after Dean Winchester unknowingly broke the first of Lucifer's seals by taking up torturing while he was in Hell, (On the Head of a Pin) with the other seals now breakable with the first seal broken, Lilith and her demons on Earth began working to break 66 of the seals so as to release Lucifer and begin the Apocalypse. (Season 4) The archangels controlling Heaven also secretly intended to allow the seals to be broken and the Apocalypse to occur, in hopes of killing Lucifer and having Paradise. (Lucifer Rising, Season 5) In 2009, after 65 seals were broken, Sam Winchester unwittingly broke the 66th at St. Mary's when he killed Lilith; freeing Lucifer from the cage and allowing him to rise to Earth. (Lucifer Rising)
In the following year, when Sam and Dean learned from Gabriel that the rings of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse formed a key to Lucifer's cage, they planned to capture all four rings, then use them to reimprison Lucifer in the cage. (Hammer of the Gods) After the brothers obtained all four rings and tracked Lucifer down in Detroit, Dean used the horsemen's rings to open a door to Lucifer's cage. Though Sam allowed Lucifer to possess him, Sam failed to retain control long enough to throw himself and Lucifer through the portal into the cage, and Lucifer subsequently closed the portal and took the horsemen's rings. (Swan Song)
At Stull Cemetery the next day, Sam managed to take back control from Lucifer, and then used the horsemen's rings to reopen the portal to Lucifer's cage, so as to send himself with Lucifer inside him into the cage. Michael, possessing Adam Milligan, intervened and tried to stop Sam, resulting in Michael/Adam falling into the portal with Sam/Lucifer. The portal then closed, leaving Sam, Michael, Adam and Lucifer trapped and locked away within the cage. (Swan Song)
Shortly after Sam sent himself, Adam, Lucifer and Michael into the cage, Castiel successfully raised Sam from the cage and returned him to Earth from Hell. (The Man Who Would Be King) However, initially unbeknownst to anyone, Castiel unknowingly left Sam's soul behind in the cage, where it was apparently viciously damaged, abused and tortured by Michael and Lucifer in their anger and frustration at Sam over their imprisonment in the cage. (Season 6) After Sam's soul suffered a year and a half (in Earth time) of severe damage and mutilation at Lucifer's hands in the cage, Death, as part of his end of a wager with Dean, rescued Sam's ravaged soul from Lucifer's cage and returned it to Sam's soulless body on Earth, leaving Michael, Adam and Lucifer to remain locked away in the cage. (Appointment in Samarra)