Supernatural was initially introduced as a show strictly about monsters and demons. It didn’t delve into stuff like heaven and angels much apart from the characters wondering about whether or not god existed. By the end of Season 3, the show had explored as much as it could solely about demons and it was time for a major revamp. This came in the form of introducing the angels and with it came the breakout star of the show – Castiel. After Castiel became such a hit with the fans, the show decided to keep him on and because of that the presence of angels has now become commonplace.
Castiel’s character development has meant he has defied most of the tropes associated with angels as his friendship with Sam and Dean Winchester has meant he is a one of a kind angel. The show has still shown hundreds of angels, though, so we have a lot to go by in our assessment of the angels. For the most part, the angels are also antagonists rather than being the good guys as they fall into the Knight Templar category where their version of peace is basically bad news for humans.
In order to carry out their plans, angels need many rules for guidance. They may be millions of years old, but they are generally quite immature and need to learn a whole lot about Earth. This is why we’ve compiled a list that shows the rules they follow and those rules they love to break.
30 Have To Follow: They Need A Vessel
This requirement has been upped to ridiculous lengths nowadays in that, while once the angels were said to need a vessel to walk the Earth, they are now exclusively seen in these vessels.
Even up in heaven, we never see the angels in their true forms and they are always possessing their vessels. Regardless, the rules are clear that angels do require vessels to function on Earth and there’s no way around this requirement. We’ve seen angels try and fail when they haven’t acquired vessels for themselves, so this is an absolute necessity.
29 Love To Break: Time Travel
Time travel was supposed to be this big act that could only be used for the most important of angelic missions. The angels time traveling in Season 5 made it clear how wrong it was to do so; however, they’ve still broken this rule (pardon the incoming pun) time and time again.
They did so in Season 4, then again in Season 5, along with numerous other times. Zachariah had no problems with continually time traveling if it meant he won at what he wanted to.
28 Have To Follow: Can’t Question Hierarchy
There are some, like Castiel, who don’t fall under this rule anymore, but the standard angel has no choice but be a soldier of heaven. Even Castiel generally falls under this as far as his factory settings are concerned, but he’s by and large gotten over it.
Every other random angel we’ve seen, though, follows rules down to the tee as they don’t question the hierarchy they’re supposed to fall under. These angels consider the hierarchy the plan of God and have no problems following orders if it means even taking people’s lives.
27 Love To Break: Resurrection
This hasn’t been as prevalent as it used to be considering the regularity with which the angels started doing this at one point. They were shown to have powers of resurrection and the first instance was when we saw them resurrect Dean in Season 4.
It didn’t stop there as many others were brought back too; Bobby Singer was brought back the easiest way by Castiel in the Season 5 finale, which makes it questionable why Cas didn’t do the same in Season 7. Over time, the resurrection thing became too easy and it’s been phased out.
26 Have To Follow: They Can’t Go To Hell
Although we’ve used a picture of Lucifer to illustrate this, he’s the only one who doesn’t follow this rule. Other than Lucifer, no angels ever enter heaven save for one instance where they did so to retrieve the soul of Dean.
Even though we’ve seen angels break a lot of rules over the years, they still haven’t broken this one of not entering Hell and remain either in Heaven or on Earth. Castiel and Naomi had said sending angels to Hell for missions had cost many angel lives, so that might be a reason why.
25 Love To Break: Leaving Heaven
It was said in Season 4 that the angels hadn’t been on earth in millennia, but this ended up being a continuity mistake as we’ve seen several instances now that show angels being in the past and active on Earth.
Since Season 4, the angels very freely roam the Earth without feeling out of place. Now, we see angels on Earth more than we see them in Heaven. The angels also seem to prefer being on Earth rather than their original location as they have more freedom down there. We never see them questioning why they’re on Earth anymore.
24 Have To Follow: No Contact With Humans
This rule falls under both having to follow and loving to break, but we decided to keep it under the former pile. By and large, most of the angels don’t have contacts with humans. The angels that are alive right now don’t have any connection with humans other than the occasional visit to Sam and Dean.
Under their original orders, they were never supposed to have any contact with them at all, or even use them as vessels unless completely necessary.
23 Love To Break: Not Listening To God (Archangels)
While the regular angels use the word of God as something never to be broken, the archangels have seen who Chuck is, and they know he’s a pretty big idiot. This is why they love not following Chuck’s orders.
Lucifer and Gabriel in particular have no respect for their father’s words and love to rebel. Both of them were quite immature, so you can see why they loved to defy what they were told to do. Everything Lucifer ever did, in fact, was to piss off his old man.
22 Have To Follow: Needing Permission From The Vessel
For a long time now, we’re never shown how an angel comes across their vessel; it’s something that’s just understood. At first, getting a vessel was something that was like an impossible task for an angel, but now these vessels come a dime a dozen.
Still, the angels do maintain they require the consent of the vessel they’re using. However, this consent seems pretty easy to get as we can use the example of Gadreel, who didn’t have any problems repossessing his vessel even after he made that man commit a lot of crimes.
21 Love To Break: Running Away From Their Problems (Archangels)
For this point, there’s no better character to use as an example than Gabriel. While we had thought he was a simple trickster at first, and then Loki, it turned out he was an archangel.
Gabriel was a master of running away from his problems as he spent thousands of years in hiding just so he wouldn’t have to confront problems in heaven. The same way, Lucifer also ran away from heaven because he disagreed with God; he did so again from Season 12 where he proclaimed he’d wreak havoc simply because he could.
20 Have To Follow: They Can’t Go To The Apocalypse World
After Jack’s impending birth opened up the gateway to the Apocalypse World, the angels became knowledgeable that there are different universes out there. This means they have the option to carry on to other worlds if they want to.
However, with Naomi now in charge of heaven, that is out of the question. Naomi keeping her cards pretty close to the chest which means the handful of angels that do remain can’t go on to different universes even if they wanted to. Considering the Apocalypse World is awful, no one’s lining up to go there as it is.
19 Love To Break: Using Reality Warping (Archangels)
Back in Season 5, the high-ranking angels also had reality warping powers and they used these powers to antagonize the Winchesters. However, now it seems only the archangels had these powers as the regular angels aren’t shown to use them.
The archangels love to utilize these powers whenever they can. Gabriel did it right from the get-go in Season 2 by morphing the world, and even taking Dean’s life over and again. Lucifer did it most recently by showing Sam alternate visions when he wanted to take possession of his body.
18 Have To Follow: Possessing Their True Vessels
Speaking of taking possession of Sam, here comes the rule that even archangels aren’t exempt from. When it comes to taking possession of a vessel, the angel requires the body of a particular familial line of humans.
They can’t just take the body of anyone and hope things remain peachy as we saw in the case of Lucifer as he couldn’t contain himself in Nick’s body and the vessel was close to being destroyed. Archangels especially need to have the right type of vessels as these beings are just so much more powerful than average angels.
17 Love To Break: Possessing Non-True Vessels
In recent times, though, the whole true vessels thing has been ignored quite a lot. Angels aren’t shown struggling in makeshift hosts and continue without any problems. They’re still breaking rules as it was explicitly stated in earlier seasons that the angels couldn’t stay long in an improper host.
This was the reason why Castiel had chosen James Novak to be his vessel because Jimmy came from the right line of people to whom Castiel was the right angel. But it doesn’t seem like that big of a deal nowadays.
16 Have To Follow: Following Archangel Commands
The angels we saw initially were doing whatever they did because of orders from archangels. In Season 4, they were following the orders from Michael and this continued until the end of Season 5. In Season 6, the civil war in heaven began because the archangel Raphael wanted to bring Michael and Lucifer back.
In Season 11, Lucifer simply strolled in heaven and made the angels do his bidding, although in this case they all just did in fear as he threatened that “he who hesitates, disintegrates.”
15 Love To Break: Entering Someone Else’s Heaven
Supernatural has a weird concept that shows heaven is one big office where the rooms comprise of the souls of people living in their best memories. It’s not a great idea because it more or less makes everyone victims of their memories rather than letting them be truly happy.
The angels regularly break rules by entering the heaven of these people for their own interests. Raphael borrowed the heaven of the disgraced owner of Enron, while Castiel would use the heaven of an autistic man.
14 Have To Follow: Carrying Angel Blades
Despite the angels being encouraged never to fight one another and to see each other as siblings, it seems they are also taught to take each other out whenever it’s convenient. This is because every angel comes equipped with an angel blade.
At first it seemed only a few had this option but it turned out that every angel carried a blade. Now, an angel blade is so easy to find that even the Winchesters and Crowley carried one on a regular basis. So it seems the angels are now handing these out.
13 Love To Break: Using The Angel Blades
Of course, simply having an angel blade doesn’t mean you need to use it. It may have been given to the angels to be used only when absolutely needed as opposed to taking each other out on minor squabbles; however, the angels do use the blades very frequently.
This got to the point that Crowley improvised and melted the angel blades to make bullets out of them. This way, the blade fragments would take out multiple angels without the need to fight and stab anyone. Castiel uses one quite frequently.
12 Have To Follow: Remembering All Current And Future Prophets
Castiel had said having so much knowledge can feel like a burden at times and he wasn’t so crazy about it. This was true to continuity as Castiel has always been able to tell the Winchesters who the current prophet is.
This also came into very good use in Season 5 when a false prophet was running around and causing people to slay each other. So, while it’s not the best thing to have the names of so many people, both past and future, seared in their heads, the rule does have its benefits.
11 Love To Break: Using Hand Of God Weapons (Archangels)
This applies to those angels who could get their hands on a Hand of God weapon. Seeing that these angels would have done anything to beat the Darkness, they would have no qualms breaking this rule.
As it happened, it was Lucifer who used the Hand of God weapon against the Darkness and lost horribly; the reason that God was nowhere near as powerful as the Darkness. He had tried to use it first when he’d also done some time traveling, but the weapon was all juiced out.
10 Have To follow: Attending Conferences
The angels make their decisions up in heaven, but these meetings don’t just happen anywhere, they take place in a boardroom. We saw this room first in Season 8 when Naomi was using it, but the meeting was fully in place in Season 11 when Lucifer brought one together.
More than a meeting, it was a conference where Lucifer told everyone what the plan was to beat the Darkness and no had any choice but to agree with him. You can bet Zachariah had similar conferences back in Season 5 as well.
9 Love To Break: Usurping Authority To Become The Leader
While the angels can’t function without having a leader, the leadership position itself doesn’t have to be an archangel. We saw Castiel do this first when he found himself in charge of a faction of angels in Season 6, before Naomi took over in Season 8.
Later on, Metatron did the same, and was followed once more by Castiel, and then Hannah in this position. Bartholomew also tried to join the fray briefly before he was taken out. The angels love to claim power when a position for it opens up.
8 Have To follow: They Can’t Show Their True Forms
This isn’t so much as can’t as much as being something impossible to do. In Season 4, Castiel first tried to appear to Dean in the first scene only to destroy the vicinity. Next, Pamela tried to see what he looked like but had her sockets burned out for her efforts.
Castiel mentioned his true visage is comparable to the Chrysler building, so you can imagine how gigantic he really is. However, we’ve since seen angels in silvery wisp forms closely resembling demons’ true forms, so who knows what the truth of the matter is.
7 Love To Break: Sending Someone Else In The Past Or Future
We haven’t seen angels time travel as much as we’ve seen them send someone else back in time. This, though, was supposed to be even more taboo than the angels time traveling themselves as sending a person through time could fracture reality.
However, Zachariah was prepared to suffer the consequences and sent Dean to an alternate future and was prepared to do so repeatedly. Later, Castiel sent the Winchesters back in time even though he was cut off from heaven. Since then, the Winchesters have done a lot of angel-assisted time travel.
6 Have To Follow: Showing Wings When Using Superpowers
We’re not sure if it’s a rule or just a reflex the angels love to show. Either way, whenever an angel powers up, they show off those beautiful wings in a burst of light. It would seem this rule is a requirement as it gives the angels the energy they need to maximize their fighting potential.
As recently as the 300th episode, Castiel’s alternate reality form showed his wings when using his powers on Sam and Dean. He was successful at walloping them bad, so it seems this showing off their wings thing has a reason behind it.
5 Love To Break: Developing Fondness For Human Habits
Castiel was the first angel we saw display this, but the angels have been shown to enjoy human habits for a long time. Chief among them is Gabriel, who is a pretty big playboy and enjoys being a ladies’ man – he was even seen sleeping at one point, which makes no sense.
Castiel shows every kind of human habit nowadays as he’s seen crying and laughing whenever the need to do so arises; something he couldn’t do once before. We’ve also seen angels sire nephilims so you can surmise that they can also do pretty adult stuff.
4 Have To Follow: Not Having Any Real Personality
Although Chuck had a personality of his own, and so did his archangels, the regular angels weren’t given such luxury. This is why Castiel seems like such a well-developed character as he is supposed to be one of those angels who doesn’t have any personality of his own.
The angels are always stoic, with little to no emotion shown. They don’t have many questions other than what their orders are supposed to be and can’t feel any physical needs either. They are more or less supercharged robots.
3 Love To Break: Cutting Deals With Demons
Before Season 6, the very idea that an angel would become partners with a demon was something unforgivable. Cut to the end of that season, and both Castiel and Raphael were doing it. Despite being in a partnership with Crowley, both angels had very low opinions of demons.
Later on, Lucifer seemed to be favoring a deal with Crowley as well in Season 11, but then decided to make him his personal dog and kept him on a leash instead. In Season 4, the idea had been that angels would instantly obliterate demons – not anymore.
2 Have To Follow: Becoming Humans After Losing Their Grace
Although angels like the idea of welcoming human habits, they aren’t so quick to jump in at the opportunity of becoming one themselves. This isn’t an option, though, when their grace is taken away and at that point they have no choice but to become humans.
While the whole grace thing was way different in Season 4 where Anna had to be reborn, now it comes in the form of removing the grace from their throats, rendering them human. Whichever way is used, at the end of it the angel becomes human and is stuck in the host’s body.
1 Love To Break: Siring Nephilims
Like we mentioned beforehand, angels take on human habits and have even become parents to children whose other parent is a human. The first chronological happening of this was when the Nephilim Castiel and Metatron took out was conceived, although her parent is unknown.
The best example we have now is Jack, who is the son of Lucifer. Previously, it had been stated angels don’t have the capacity to be reproductive, but clearly some angels have been getting pretty rebellious in this regard.