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Was "Supernatural's" Crowley Already a Demon in Pre-7th Century Mesopotamia?
Warning: Spoiler alert for anyone who isn't current with the show, and who hasn't seen up to the season eight episode titled "Goodbye Stranger" (the 17th episode of the season).
Is it possible that everything that we’ve been led to believe about Crowley’s past has been a complete fabrication on his part? He is a demon, and we have to remember that demons are prone to lying. But the fact that he might have been telling us something that was completely untrue was brought to the forefront again in the episode “Goodbye Stranger”.
We have been led to believe that Crowley was originally a Scottish tailor who was born in 1661, and who sold his soul at the crossroads before becoming the King of the Crossroads himself (and then, eventually, the King of Hell). We were told that he had a son named Gavin, that the two of them hated each other, and that Gavin knew where Crowley’s bones were buried back in Scotland. And we have been led to believe that by salting and burning his bones, Sam and Dean would be able to kill him (as they would any ghost or poltergeist).
After Sam and Dean salted and burned the bones, we were given the impression that what had happened was a bait and switch that the angel Castiel helped Crowley with (in an effort to trick the boys into believing that Crowley was dead). But what if the ultimate bait and switch involved making us believe that Gavin was really Crowley’s son, that his bones were in existence anymore to be found at all, or that any of his history that we have been told is in any way true? Could the writers, at the point when we found out that the supposed salting and burning hadn’t rid them of Crowley, have been trying to lead us to a clue that there was far more to him than what we thought that there was?
The thing that makes me wonder if there may be far more to this character than what we have been led to believe until this point is a comment he made to Naomi in “Goodbye Stranger,” in which he mentioned spending time with her in Mesopotamia. The Mesopotamian empire ended in the middle of the 7th century, which is long before the year in which he was supposed to have been born in (1,000 years before his reported birth).
What makes this curious is that if he was really born in 1661 as has been stated, why would he call this area “Mesopotamia”? When does anyone who has been born that long after the fall of an empire call the area that it was located by its old name, except in some kind of historical way? If he was really born in the 17th century, why wouldn’t he have called the area “the Middle East”? Or why wouldn’t he have used the name of one of the countries in that area as they existed in the time that he has supposedly been alive? He may not have used “Turkey,” “Iran,” or “Iraq,” but he might have made reference to the Tigris or the Euphrates rivers.
And it doesn’t seem likely that if Naomi is old enough to have been walking around the planet when Mesopotamia was still in existence, that he would have taken to calling the area by a name that she may still be calling it. Crowley may be able to pretend to be at least a little bit charming (usually when he wants something . . . like to trick someone into doing something for him . . . or just to trick them for kicks), but he doesn’t seem the type to assimilate the terms that others use so that he can ingratiate himself to them (especially when that person is an angel who he would appear to already be on the bad side of, while not having much hope of ever changing that).
The reference that he made of “their time together” seemed to be saying that they had both been in that area during that specific time frame, and that it hadn’t just been Crowley using a term for the area that Naomi may have still used (because, maybe, she hadn’t been out in the world enough to be able to update her angel mainframe on what names the different areas and countries were called now). And if they had both been alive during this time (“alive” being a term that can possibly be used rather loosely in this context) that might give us a reason as to why Crowley’s smoke is red (instead of the normal black that we have come to associate with the demon populace at large).
We have come to kind of expect that the demons who are especially old (and who have become particularly powerful after all of their years of “life”) have developed a tell-tale sign to give away that they are not your run-of-the-mill demon. Azazel had the yellow eyes that gave him his nickname of “Yellow Eyes” within the show’s canon, and YED (or Yellow Eyed Demon) among fans; as well as being telekinetic (and probably pyrokinetic, what with so many people getting burned to death on the ceiling). Lilith had her white eyes, and a white light that she used to aid her in torturing people. So, is it possible that what we have here is a visual clue that he is much older and more powerful than we actually know (instead of just a new show runner trying to put his own stamp on things)?
Which leads to the question of who Crowley was before he became a demon, and how old that he actually is. If he was really in existence when the Mesopotamian empire was around, and if he really had some kind of relationship with Naomi, could it be possible that he was once an angel (and not really the human that we have been led to believe)? No matter how “off the rails” Naomi may be when it comes to her ethics, it seems unlikely that she would have a relationship with someone who was a demon; and from what Crowley was saying (and how he was saying it), it seemed to be insinuated that the two of them had been in a relationship with each other during that time.
We should probably also consider the fact that in the episode “Torn and Frayed,” we learn that Crowley understands Enochian, which up until his revelation was something only angels seemed to be able to understand. And when Viggo (the demon who had tortured a captured angel into speaking Enochian and giving away all of his secrets in the manner) realized that Crowley understood the language, he seemed truly surprised to learn the fact; this would further imply that demons don’t understand the language and that it’s something of an angelic language.
So, if he was possibly an angel at some point, when did he leave Heaven? And if he really was one, that would change the nature of his entire existence. He would no longer be just a powerful demon (since we have been led to believe that only human souls that have been tortured into becoming evil can become demons), but would be a fallen angel (like Lucifer). And if he was a fallen angel, is it possible that his comment about the Metatron being a suck up be from experience with him, instead of him only saying something nasty about an angel because the two of them were on different sides?
The only thing that seems to be in any way clear about him at this point is that we know far less about him than what we have been led to believe up to this point.
Further reading ...
- Crowley From "Supernatural" and His Red Smoke.
It doesn't seem likely that Crowley would have smoke any other color than black, regardless of what the new show runner is putting forward.