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Supernatural: Death

Updated on May 10, 2012

When Lucifer was unleashed on the world his first order of business was freeing the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. All of them were powerful beasts, but none were as intriguing of a character as Death was. He was also the eldest of his brothers and described as the Pale Horsemen. The actor, Julian Richings, portrayed Death well as he is a tad on the creepy side and his pale complexion fits the bill needed for the role. Death is quite possibly one of the strongest beings in the Supernatural universe, yet surprisingly sarcastic. He is also described as one of the oldest beings in the universe as he joked to Dean that he and God are not entirely sure anymore as to who came first. Despite only appearing in three episodes of the series, he still has had an impact on the show as he was mentioned in five more episodes. It is never explained in the canon of the show as to why he was previously imprisoned, but he is described as the big daddy of the reapers and thus Lucifer rose him out of his imprisonment to use him as an instrument of war, against Death's will. Death also is shown to like pickles and pizza.

Death's Introduction

Death's major plot point came in season five when he was there to do Lucifer's bidding. The Winchester's found out that they could defeat the Devil by uniting all of the Horsemen's rings and opening up a portal that would send him back to his cage in Hell. The boys have three rings from War, Pestilence and Famine leaving Death for last. Dean was told and led by Crowley to Death's location in Chicago. It was known that Lucifer had Death stationed in Chicago to kill the entire city. The two couldn't find Death and were about to leave in fear of getting caught in the destruction but on their way out they see Death in a pizza parlor. Dean goes around back with the only item that can kill Death, his own scythe. The closer Dean got with the scythe in hand, the hotter it burned until it ultimately appeared in front of Death, to which Death thanked him for returning. Death invited him to sit down and enjoy some good ol' Chicago style pizza, which he found delightful. Dean, for obvious reasons, was caught off guard and terrified. Death has a nice little chat with Dean as he tells him a lot about himself, such as the fact that he firmly believes he will someday reap God himself. Death knew that Dean was there for his ring, to which he urged to Dean that he had to defeat the Devil as he grew tired of being his errand boy. Lucifer had him create biblical storms and massive hurricanes to up the death toll. He willingly gives up the ring to see Lucifer re-imprisoned but questions whether or not Dean would be able to let his brother give up his life in the process. He makes Dean promise to him that he will let Lucifer take over his body and take control long enough to jump back in the Pit.

After the Winchesters defeated Lucifer, Death went back to trying to restore the natural order. He is later contacted by Dean in the episode, "Appointment in Samarra," as he tried to plead with Death to place Sam's soul back into his body. Sam was risen from Hell without it as his soul was damaged from all of the torture he endured from Lucifer. Death, initially, had reservations about placing Sam's soul back into it's rightful owner but he decided to make a deal with Dean. Death wanted a break from reaping, so he offered his job up to Dean for a day. Death gives him his ring, and if for whatever reason Dean takes the ring off within the day then the deal is void. Tessa, the reaper who tried to reap Dean in season two, appears as his assistant explaining how to be Death essentially. Dean makes it through a majority of the day, but his heroic instincts kick in when he sees a man on the edge about to kill himself. In order to save the man, Dean takes the ring off and appears in a corporeal form and saves him. The deal he made with Death is now void, but Death explains that he is happy that Dean learned his lesson about disrupting the natural order of things and cheating death. In return, he puts Sam's soul back into his body while also putting up a wall that will keep the bad memories of hell out. Death reappeared on the season premiere of the seventh season as Dean called him, and binding him to do his bidding. Since Castiel had gone off the deep end after consuming many souls from Purgatory, Dean recalled Death telling him before that some day he would reap God. Castiel has taken so many souls that his power is on the level of God, yet his vessel is too weak for the power and so is he. Dean orders Death to reap Castiel, but Castiel unbinds Death before he can. Before Death leaves he warns the Winchesters of a particular group of souls that Castiel took on called the Leviathans.

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    • Nickalooch profile image

      Nickalooch 5 years ago from Columbia, MD

      Dean broke the record in Mystery Spot lol.

    • Lamar Johns profile image

      Lamar Johns 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Death is a pretty cool character in Supernatural. I think the most important aspect about him is his role in the Supernatural universe. He maintains that order as you mention instead of always going against it like how Sam and Dean got so comfortable at doing all these years.

      Seriously though how many times have those two died and came back to life?

    • Nickalooch profile image

      Nickalooch 5 years ago from Columbia, MD

      He understood the natural order of things, and preferred it. He was the smartest of his brothers and because of it, look at who is alive.

    • lifeoflata profile image

      lifeoflata 5 years ago from Tacoma Wa

      Death was by far one of the most memorable characters. The amazing thing was that not only was he the most powerful of the horsemen, he never truly seem evil, like his brothers.

    • Nickalooch profile image

      Nickalooch 5 years ago from Columbia, MD


    • Nightmarephantom profile image

      Nightmarephantom 5 years ago from Columbia, MD

      OhhhHHHHhhhhHHHHhhhh Deaaatthhhhhh. Great hub! I love Death.