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Name: Castiel
Occupation: Angel of the Lord
Relationships: Dean Winchester, Sam Winchester, Anna Milton, Uriel, Balthazar, Crowley, Jack Kline
Fandom: Supernatural
Other: played by the actor Misha Collins
a clever use of canon setting by petite madame; the neon motel lights form a halo. (2012)
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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. In the final season it is confirmed that Castiel is in love with Dean.

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 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 season 15, Castiel sacrifices his life to save Dean, right after confessing his romantic love for the hunter. He is revived by Jack at some point offscreen and is helping him to rebuild Heaven.

In Fanon and Fanworks

Fan Reaction

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]

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. Or focusing on the times in canon when Castiel was made human. Cas was sometime referred to as Steve!Cas when he was human, because that was the name he adopted in season 9.
  • Last Name: in non-supernatural AUs Castiel often has to be given a last name, popular name choices are Novak, the same last name as his vessel Jimmy, and Milton, the last name of his sister angel Anna, it is also not uncommon for Cas to be given a last name that somehow plays on the word angel
  • 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."[2]
  • Wingfic: Given Castiel is an angel, there is a considerable amount of wingfic works featuring him, fanon often had his wings being grey or black in fanworks, but after the events of season 15 it became popular to illustrate Cas with rainbow wings. 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
  • Castiel in the Bunker: when the bunker was first introduced Castiel did not spend time there, and at one point was purposefully excluded by Dean, so writers wrote canon divergent AUs where Cas had a home in the bunker, especially when he was turned human and was homeless for a time. Since that point the use of the tag has expanded to be used for fics where Cas spends the majoirty of the story in the bunker
  • Parent Castiel: in the later seasons it became 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 and demons
  • Aside from Human!Cas, there have been many other times in canon where Cas has been different, that fans like to expand upon, these include:
    • Endverse Cas or Future!Cas: Cas from the Endverse, who was human, used drugs and partipated in orgies. Fanworks often explore his decent from angel to uninhibited human, and his possible addictions to drugs and sex
    • Claire!Cas or Clairestiel: Castiel possessing Claire Novak
    • Godstiel: when Cas became God for a short period of time. Fic usually expands his time as God, and explores if/how he uses his powers to control and manipulate other characters
    • Emmanuel!Cas: Cas from season 7, who had lost his memories and thought his name was Emmanuel. Sometimes in fanworks Emmanuel is treated as a completely separate person, even though Cas and Emmanuel are one and the same. More often, fic focuses on Cas slowly regaining his memories and dealing with the consequences of his previous actions, such as releasing the Leviathans
    • Casifer: when Cas was possessed by Lucifer

Common Pairings

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, the ship went partially canon in season 15 after Castiel confessed his love for Dean before his death. 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.[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]



Some fans were very unhappy with how Castiel's love confession, and the wrap-up of his character arc, was handled in season 15. See Destielgate for further details.

Example Fanworks





Art Gallery

Communities and Archives

Resources and External Links


  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]