The Apocalypse, also referred to as the End Times, Armageddon, Judgment Day and the End of Days, is a biblical time period during which, it was prophesised, Lucifer would be freed onto the Earth and war against Heaven, devastating the Earth and leading to the end of the world. The Apocalypse occurred between 2009 and 2010 when Lucifer was released, but the end of the world was averted when Lucifer was reimprisoned along with Michael.
According to the prophecy of the Apocalypse, Lucifer's seals which kept Lucifer bound in his cage in Hell would be broken, releasing Lucifer back onto the Earth, (Season 4) where Lucifer and his demons and servants of Hell would bring chaos and natural disasters and suffering to humanity. (Season 5)
In the final phase of the Apocalypse, Lucifer and Michael would each take their predestined true vessel (Sam and Dean Winchester respectively, as the brothers' relationship with John mirrored Michael and Lucifer's with God), and the two archangels would meet on the Chosen Fields (Stull Cemetery) for the Battle of Armageddon. In the Battle of Armageddon, Michael and Lucifer would personally fight in their true vessels in a fierce battle that would destroy half the Earth and kill millions of humans, and the battle would end with one of the two archangel brothers defeating and killing the other. (Season 5)
It is unclear which of the two brothers would have won Armageddon had it occurred; the angels and Heaven believed Michael would defeat Lucifer and win, whereas Lucifer and the demons believed Lucifer would win; Lucifer and Michael admitted to each-other when about to battle that they themselves didn't know which one of them would win and kill the other. (Swan Song) If Michael won the Battle of Armageddon, then Heaven's victory over Lucifer in the Apocalypse would bring Paradise and eternal peace and forgiveness to the world, but at the cost of mankind's freedom. (Lucifer Rising) If Lucifer won, then he would set about exterminating mankind and turning the Earth into his kingdom, then taking control of Heaven.
Apocalyptic omens, tools and figuresEdit
- Lucifer - The harbinger of the Apocalypse and the leader of the demons and Hell during the apocalyptic war. He would possess his true vessel for the devastating Battle of Armageddon against Michael. He was reimprisoned in his cage before he could battle Michael.
- Michael - The toughest warrior and the leader of Heaven in the war against Lucifer during the Apocalypse, Michael would possess his true vessel for the devastating Battle of Armageddon against Lucifer; if Michael won and killed Lucifer, what remained of the Earth would become Paradise. He was imprisoned with Lucifer in the cage before he could battle his brother.
- Stull Cemetery - The Chosen Fields on which the Battle of Armageddon, the cataclysmic battle between Michael and Lucifer during the Apocalypse, would occur. Chuck Shurley speculated that Stull Cemetery was the Chosen Fields because Sam/Lucifer and Dean/Michael's story had to end where it all began. The battle was averted when Michael and Lucifer were trapped in Lucifer's cage.
- Sam Winchester - The special child who released Lucifer for the Apocalypse, and Lucifer's true vessel for the battle between him and Michael. Sam eventually unintentionally became Lucifer's vessel as prophesised, but he managed to stop the Apocalypse by taking back control and trapping himself, Michael and Lucifer in the cage before the Battle of Armageddon could begin.
- Dean Winchester - Michael's true vessel for the war against Lucifer and the Battle of Armageddon. He rejected his destiny and overcame and turned from all the angels' efforts to get him to consent to possession by Michael, until eventually Michael gave up on possessing Dean and chose another vessel.
- Lucifer's seals - The 66 seals binding Lucifer to his cage would be broken, the 66th to break being Lilith, thus releasing Lucifer from his prison and bringing the Apocalypse. This was fulfilled when Lilith's demons broke 65 seals, and the final seal was broken when Sam killed Lilith.
- Lilith - The final seal to be destroyed, thus her death would begin the Apocalypse. This was fulfilled when Sam unwittingly killed Lilith to try and stop her from freeing Lucifer.
- Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse - Four powerful beings each embodying conflict, hunger, disease and destruction respectively, who would spread their respective natural phenomena on the Earth against humanity for Lucifer. All four horsemen were ultimately either stopped from completing these roles or turned away from them.
- War - The horseman embodying conflict and war, who would cause humans to turn on and fight and slaughter each-other during the Apocalypse. War rose shortly after Lucifer's release, but was incapacitated when the Winchesters took his ring.
- Famine - The horseman embodying hunger and famine, who would drive humans to uncontrollably give in to their hungers and eat and feast to death during the Apocalypse. Famine was defeated by the Winchesters, and incapacitated when they took his ring.
- Pestilence - The horseman embodying sickness and disease, who would plague humanity with the Croatoan virus and other diseases, sicknesses and ailments during the Apocalypse. Pestilence caused swine flu epidemics across America as part of an endgame to spread the Croatoan virus, but the horseman was incapacitated when the Winchesters took his ring.
- Death - The horseman embodying death and end, who would kill and destroy millions of humans with a series of massive natural catastrophes during the Apocalypse. Death, tired and frustrated at being controlled by Lucifer, indirectly helped the Winchesters stop Lucifer so Death could be freed.
- Croatoan virus - A deadly and fast-spreading demonic virus that would be used by Lucifer and Pestilence as a biological weapon in Lucifer's genocide against humanity. Pestilence and Lucifer's demons attempted to distribute the Croatoan virus across the country against humanity, but the Croatoan release was stopped by the Winchesters.
- Jesse Turner - The biblical Antichrist, who could become one of Lucifer's greatest weapons and utterly destroy the Host of Heaven if he fell into Lucifer's hands. Jesse chose to reject his demonic calling and apparently fled into hiding from Lucifer's Apocalyptic plans.
- Whore of Babylon - A being from Hell, who would work on Earth during the Apocalypse to condemn as many humans as possible to Hell by deceiving them into murdering each-other in God's name. The Whore was stopped while influencing Blue Earth, Minnesota when Dean killed her.
- Multiple worldwide natural disasters and destructive weather phenomena and disease outbreaks. They all immediately began after Lucifer was released from the cage and continued throughout the Apocalypse, then abruptly ceased after Lucifer was reimprisoned and the Apocalypse averted.
- Hurricane Kinley, which abruptly hit Galveston, Texas within a matter of hours after Lucifer was released. (Sympathy for the Devil)
- Successful test of North Korean nuclear weapons, within a matter of hours after Lucifer was released. (Sympathy for the Devil)
- A series of tremors within hours after Lucifer was released. (Sympathy for the Devil)
- Swine flu issues within hours after Lucifer was released. (Sympathy for the Devil)
- Torrential hailstorms and then massive lightning strikes at Tully, which caused fires engulfing over twenty acres along Route 17. (Free to Be You and Me)
- A storm system which touched off a number of tornadoes in Paulding County. (Abandon All Hope...)
- An earthquake spike, including a 9.2 in Rome and an 8.5 near Boston. (The French Mistake)
- An east/west tsunami chain. (The French Mistake)
- A torrential biblical rainstorm around the area of Muncie, Indiana. (Hammer of the Gods)
- A cyclone in Florida. (Swan Song)
- Wildfires in Los Angeles. (Swan Song)
- A 7.6 earthquake in Portland, an 8.1 in Boston, and multiple other destructive earthquakes in Hong Kong, Berlin and Tehran. They all began very shortly after Lucifer possessed Sam, as the final phase of the Apocalypse was imminent. (Swan Song)
- Hurricane Tiffany, which caused ten-foot seawater swells and 150mph winds on shorelines such as Galveston, Texas. The hurricane broke up within a day after Lucifer was reimprisoned. (Weekend at Bobby's)
In 1972, the demon Azazel, after years of searching, located the sealed door to Lucifer's cage at St. Mary's Convent, and used the door to make contact with Lucifer for instructions on how to free him. Lucifer instructed Azazel to find a special child who could release Lilith - so that she could break Lucifer's seals - and who could then break the final seal by killing Lilith to free Lucifer from the cage. (Lucifer Rising) Azazel subsequently spent the next few decades creating special children to then pit one generation of them against each other (to see which special child came out as the strongest), and send the surviving special child to open a devil's gate to free Lilith from Hell. (Season 2, Season 4) In 2007, Azazel initiated this plan and was successful in having one of his special children open the devil's gate and release Lilith, but Azazel was himself killed in the process. (All Hell Breaks Loose: Part 2)
In late 2008, when Dean Winchester was temporarily dead and in Hell for four months, he unknowingly broke the first of Lucifer's seals when he broke under his torture in Hell and took up torturing other souls there. (On the Head of a Pin) This allowed Lilith and her demons on Earth to subsequently begin breaking the other seals one by one, despite the angels' efforts to stop them (the lower ranking angels believed they were under orders to try and stop Lucifer being released, but unbeknownst to them at the time, the archangels in fact wanted the Apocalypse to occur so the angels could have Paradise in the aftermath). Dean, Sam and Bobby Singer occasionally helped the angels try and stop the seals being broken, but they steadily lost ground as more of Lucifer's seals broke. During this, the demon Ruby who was training Sam's demonic special child powers, was secretly manipulating Sam so that he would unwittingly break the final seal free Lucifer as part of Azazel's endgame. (Season 4)
In early-mid 2009, by which time 65 of the 66 seals that needed to be broken for Lucifer to be freed had fallen, Ruby initiated the final phase of Azazel's endgame and went with Sam - who had by now developed his powers enough to be able to kill even high-level demons - to kill Lilith and break the final seal. Ruby's manipulations and the late Azazel's endgame ultimately succeeded, and Sam killed Lilith and unwittingly broke the last of Lucifer's seals, releasing Lucifer from Hell and beginning the Apocalypse. (Lucifer Rising)
The ApocalypseEditImmediately after Lucifer's release from the cage, the world began experiencing a large increase in (mostly natural) disasters; among them were earthquake spikes, tsunami chains, increases in cyclones, hurricanes, tornadoes and wildfires and diseases spreading, although according to Zachariah, the true chaos and destruction of the Apocalypse would not start until Lucifer possessed Sam as his true vessel for the Apocalypse. (Sympathy for the Devil, Swan Song, Mannequin 3: The Reckoning) Sam and Dean learned that they were predestined to be Lucifer and Michael's true vessels for the Apocalypse respectively, but they both rejected and attempted to avoid and steer from their destinies, postponing the Battle of Armageddon. After Lucifer was freed, the demons in Hell and on Earth fell in line behind and began to follow him in Lucifer's plans against Heaven and humanity. (Season 5)
While the Winchesters, Bobby and the rogue and fallen angel Castiel worked to try and find a way to defeat Lucifer and stop the Apocalypse, they also at times stopped several Apocalyptic tools of Lucifer, including two of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, the Antichrist and the Whore of Babylon. (Season 5) In the team's efforts to stop the Apocalypse, they initially tried to find the Colt to kill Lucifer with it, (The End, The Real Ghostbusters) but this failed when Lucifer proved to be immune to the Colt. (Abandon All Hope...) Castiel tried to find God so that he would intervene and stop the archangels, (Free to Be You and Me) but God refused to help. (Dark Side of the Moon)
The Winchesters finally found a way to stop the Apocalypse when they learned from the fallen archangel Gabriel that the Four Horsemen's rings could be used to reimprison Lucifer in the cage. (Hammer of the Gods) The team subsequently set out to collect the rings of the remaining two horsemen; successfully capturing Pestilence's ring, and in the process incapacitating the horseman and afterwards foiling Lucifer and Pestilence's plan to release the Croatoan virus against humanity. The brothers collected all four of the rings needed to reimprison Lucifer when Death willingly gave his ring to Dean in Chicago. (Two Minutes to Midnight)
After tracking Lucifer down in Detroit, Sam allowed Lucifer to possess him in hopes that Sam could take back control and use the horsemen's rings to send himself with Lucifer in him into the cage. However, Lucifer took control and the final phase of the Apocalypse started, with the Apocalyptic disasters sparking and worsening worldwide. Lucifer went to Stull Cemetery to meet with Michael for the Battle of Armageddon between the two archangel brothers. Just before Michael and Lucifer could begin their battle, Dean, Bobby and Castiel intervened, and Sam successfully took control back from Lucifer. Sam then used the four horsemen's rings to send himself into Lucifer's cage, taking Lucifer with him and pulling Michael in as well when the latter tried to stop him, and the Apocalypse was successfully stopped. (Swan Song)
Within a day after Sam trapped himself, Michael and Lucifer in Lucifer's cage and stopped the Apocalypse, the natural disasters that were occurring around the world as part of the Apocalypse ceased, with the hurricanes and storm systems breaking up overnight and weather patterns settling down back to normal. (Weekend at Bobby's)
It was implied by Balthazar that after the Apocalypse was stopped, the defeat of fate when the Apocalypse was averted meant that free will was now governing the universe instead of destiny, (The Third Man) and this meant that history was now more susceptible to change and manipulation with time travel (My Heart Will Go On) than it had originally been. (In the Beginning)
After the Apocalypse was disrupted and averted, a majority of the Host of Heaven led by Raphael aimed to free Michael and Lucifer from the cage so the Apocalypse could restart, and this 'traditionalist' angel faction had a civil war in Heaven, with a freedom-fighting faction led by Castiel. (Season 6) Raphael and the angels following him in restarting the Apocalypse were ultimately defeated and wiped out when Castiel absorbed all of Purgatory's monster souls and used their power to destroy Raphael and wipe out all his followers in Heaven. (The Man Who Knew Too Much, Meet the New Boss)
- In an alternate future where Sam and Dean had remained separated after defeating War early on during the Apocalypse, the Apocalypse was not stopped. Lucifer and his forces and demons continued to ravage and plague and conquer the world, and by 2014, the angels had abandoned the Earth to Lucifer and Lucifer had all but conquered and taken the planet from humanity and severely decimated the human race with the Croatoan virus. (The End)
In Abrahamic lore and teachings, the Judeo-Christian Apocalypse is generally believed to be a period of time in which Lucifer and evil will initially overpower good and take hold over the world, bringing unholy suffering and chaos upon humanity and causing the darkest times in the world's history. It is said in Apocalypse lore that this dark and terrible period of chaos and evil will last for some time, until the final battle in which Lucifer and Hell's forces wage an all-out war against God and the armies of Heaven; in the final battle, the forces of Heaven will defeat Lucifer, and all evil will be cast from the world by God to make way for eternal Paradise.
- In Supernatural, there are several large and notable differences between the show's depiction of the Apocalypse and the actual real-life prophecy in lore. In I Believe the Children Are Our Future, Castiel explained the differences between Supernatural's mythology and real-life lore by mentioning that the Bible "gets more wrong than it does right."