Castiel

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Character
Name: Castiel
Occupation: Angel of the Lord
Title/Rank: angel of Thursday, (formerly) member of Team Free Will
Location: Heaven, Earth, or under a lake (depending on which season)
Status: Alive
Relationships: Dean Winchester, Sam Winchester, Anna Milton, Uriel, Balthazar, Crowley
Fandom: Supernatural
Other: played by the actor Misha Collins
Castiel as he first appears to Dean in the episode "Lucifer Rising"
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Castiel is a recurring character on Supernatural. He is an angel who first appears on Earth inside a human vessel called Jimmy Novak during the first episode of the fourth season. He is played by Misha Collins.

He is one of a group of angels who attack Hell in order to rescue Dean Winchester, a man who had sold his soul to bring his brother Sam Winchester back to life. Among all the angels, Castiel is the one who manages to reach Dean and rescue him, setting the stage for a deep and permanent bond between the two characters that is reflected throughout fan fiction and vids.

Canon Background

"I'm the one who gripped you tight and raised you from perdition." ~ Castiel to Dean Winchester in Episode 4x01 Lazarus Rising

Castiel is one of a group of angels who arrive on Earth to stop the Apocalypse. He becomes friends with the Winchesters. After he discovers that his superiors are secretly maneuvering to start the Apocalypse, he breaks allegiance with Heaven to side with humanity (Sam and Dean Winchester) and is stripped of his heavenly powers (temporarily, because this is Supernatural). Neither he nor the Winchesters are successful, and Lucifer is freed. In season five Castiel tries to find God to help with the Apocalypse, but is demoralized when he finds out God doesn't want to help. He rallies and works side by side with the Winchesters in an effort to stop the the battle between Michael and Lucifer.

At the end of season five he is murdered and almost immediately resurrected. During season six he takes on a leadership role in Heaven and makes a series of ethically bad decisions. In season seven he initially goes on a killing spree while mad with power, lets the leviathan out, dies, reappears with amnesia, gets his memory back, spends time in a mental institute, helps the Winchesters save the day, and gets trapped in Purgatory with Dean. In season eight he is still harboring guilt from his actions in seasons six and seven.

In Fanon and Fanworks

Castiel's introduction caused massive waves in the fandom, and he gained popularity rapidly. Within hours of his debut, at least two Castiel-related LiveJournal communities were created (deancastiel and spn_castiel), and people began posting fic about him. Check out the excited comments in the first spn_castiel post: Welcome!: spn_castiel, Archived version

Castiel represented a drastic change in the mythos of the show, which did not feature angels in the early seasons, and in his first scene had an intense moment with Dean Winchester. He inspired many fan writers, including a large subset of slash writers (and vidders and fanartists) who had not been comfortable creating fanworks for the extant juggernaut pairings for the fandom: an RPF pairing (J2) or an incestuous one (Sam/Dean). Some people also found him attractive.[1]

He is most often paired with Dean (see the Dean/Castiel page), and more rarely with Sam (pairing name: "Sassy"), or with both Winchester brothers (Wincestiel), or with (usually just one of) his angelic siblings.

Some fics deal with how Castiel would react to losing his grace and becoming fully human, either voluntarily or involuntarily, and whether there would be physical or psychological side effects to his falling. Castiel is also often portrayed as asexual, as he canonically doesn't show much interest in sex.

In AUs, Castiel is often given the last name Novak, in reference to his vessel Jimmy Novak. In High School AUs, Cas most often plays the role of the socially awkward nerd, often in combination with jock!Dean. Furthermore, he's often written to have grown up in a conservative and religious family, with other angels being his siblings, most often Michael, Lucifer, Gabriel and Anna.

cupidsbow noted that "in the early days of slashing Dean and Castiel, fandom quickly developed fanon that had Jimmy's soul dead and in Heaven due to one of Castiel's many smitings, and Castiel alone in the vessel. This has since become canon, largely because it's the only somewhat ethical solution to the Vessel Problem, with regards to Castiel anyway."[2]

Nickname

Castiel has a canon nickname that was adopted by fans for use in fanfic. However, in fanfic, the nickname is spelled "Cas", whereas it turned out that the show's writers and the closed captions were spelling his nickname as "Cass". According to Super-Wiki, fans rejected this canon.[3] A search on Archive of Our Own confirms the standard fanfic spelling as "Cas"; the word "Cas" appears in 60,958 works tagged Supernatural, and the word "Cass" appears in only 501 works.[4]

Communities and Archives

Example Fanworks

Fanfiction

Examples Wanted: Editors are encouraged to add more examples or a wider variety of examples.

Vids

Fanart

Resources and External Links

References

  1. 20 September 2008 comments on spn_castiel: "UNGH, HE'S SO HOT." "GUH!!!!!!!!!" "TOUCH ME, ANGEL." 4.04 episode stills, Archived version (accessed 16 October 2018)
  2. end notes, the fruit of a righteous man - cupidsbow - Supernatural, Archived version, AO3, 2016-02-01.
  3. Cas - Super-wiki, Archived version, accessed on 17 November 2018.
  4. Works search on AO3, 17 November 2018. Enter "Supernatural" in the fandom field and "Cas" or "Cass" in the "any field" field. [1]