|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)|
|Relationships:||Dean Winchester, Sam Winchester, Anna Milton, Uriel, Balthazar, Crowley|
|Other:|| played by the actor Misha Collins|
|Click here for related articles on Fanlore.|
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.
"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 season 9 Castiel is human for a time. In season 11, with his grace restored, Castiel agrees to be Lucifer's vessel in an effort to fight the Darkness. In season 12, Lucifer has returned to his former vessel and Castiel ends up protecting Kelly Kline, a human woman pregnant with Lucifer's child. Castiel dies in an effort to banish Lucifer.
In season 13, Lucifer's son Jack Kline views Castiel as his father, and resurrects the angel. Castiel later travels to Apocolypse World to rescue Jack.
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.
Common Tropes in Fanworks
- Human Castiel: 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.
- Asexual: Castiel is also often portrayed as asexual, as he canonically doesn't show much interest in sex.
- High School AU: 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.
- Castiel's Vessel Jimmy: In AUs, Castiel is often given the last name Novak, in reference to his vessel Jimmy Novak. cupidsbow noted that "in the early days of slashing Dean and Castiel, fandom quickly developed fanon that had Jimmy's soul was dead 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."
- Wingfic: Given Castiel is an angel, there is a considerable amount of wingfic works featuring him. Trueform Castiel works imagine what his angelic form looks like, and often features multiple heads and animal features as well as wings.
- Hurt/Comfort: in the majority of fanworks Castiel is providing comfort, although there is a small subset of Hurt Castiel fics, usually when Cas is weak or been turned human
- Parent Castiel: in the later seasons it has become more common to explore Castiel's role as a parental figure, often with either Claire Novak or Jack Kline, his adopted son in canon
- Crossovers: usually with other fantasy/sci-fi fandoms, specially if those canons include supernatural elements, like angels, demons, werewolves, etc
Castiel's most frequent and most popular pairing is with Dean (Destiel), fanworks about the pairing began immediately after Castiel's introduction in season 4, and it has gone on to become a fandom juggernaut. Of his smaller slash pairings the most common is with Sam (Sassy), or a poly OT3 with both Winchester brothers (Wincestiel). Some of his more minor slash pairings are with his angelic siblings, the most significant being with Balthazar (Calthazar), Gabriel (Cabriel) and Lucifer (Casifer), or with the demon Crowley (Crowstiel).
Castiel is featured in het fic, with his most popular pairing being with the demon Meg (Megstiel), with whom he had a close canonical relationship. Some of his rarer het pairings are with his sister angels, Anna (Casanna) or Hannah (Hanstiel), although Hannah occupied both a female and a male vessel, so it could be considered het or slash depending on the context. Readerfic and the pairing of Castiel with Original Female Characters can also be found.
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. 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.
- The Inexhaustible Silence of Houses by steeplechasers. (October 2012)
- The Gospel of the Winchesters by allthebeautifulthings9828
- by your ancient names by mishcollin
- Djinn in a Bottle by HazelDomain
- The man who would be king by ToruFinalFantasy.
- The unforgiven by skoobie 79.
- Castiel - On my Own by AngelDove
- • Castiel deserves better • by YouHavePossibilities
- Castiel ► I'll Be Good by Ancaria
- Castiel||(not so) wonderful world by voordeel
- When I Ruled the World // Castiel by Liisakee
- Castiel - You're Broken by zaynab;
- Castiel || Thou shalt not kill by Soledad
- Castiel | Angel of the Lord by Marie S
Cloudwalking by cue (arty-mis), created for CastielFest
Art by ammo for the fic No Gods, No Kings... Only Man, created as part of the 2013 Jimmy Novak Big Bang. This piece showing Cas with a representation of his vessel, Jimmy Novak
Communities and Archives
- Works featuring Castiel on Archive of Our Own.
- spn_castiel, a Livejournal fanwork community about Castiel.
- Thingstiel, a community for the appreciation of the many different "true forms" of multi-dimensional wavelengths of celestial or demonic intent.
- Uriel/& Castiel community on LJ.
- Fans of Castiel on Twitter.
- #Castiel-Club on DeviantArt.
- Castiel tag on Pixiv.
- Castiel tag on Tumblr.
Resources and External Links
- Castiel character page at Supernatural Wiki (canon resource)
- Castiel at Fandom.com Supernatural Wiki
- 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)
- end notes, the fruit of a righteous man - cupidsbow - Supernatural, Archived version, AO3, 2016-02-01.
- Cas - Super-wiki, Archived version, accessed on 17 November 2018.
- Works search on AO3, 17 November 2018. Enter "Supernatural" in the fandom field and "Cas" or "Cass" in the "any field" field.