Movie Reviews

The 20 Most Powerful Characters In Supernatural – Ranked

Summary

  • From angels to demons, Supernatural’s strongest characters continuously upped the ante with bigger villains and power struggles.
  • Budget constraints limited the show’s ability to depict powerful characters in action, relying on storytelling and threats to convey strength.
  • Despite the formidable foes faced, all villains were ultimately bested by the unyielding force of Sam and Dean Winchester.



From angels to demons to a pair of brothers looking to keep them in check, Supernatural‘s strongest characters have added a lot of power to the show. Supernatural spent years building to a Biblical apocalypse. Over the course of decades, the Winchesters battled every monster imaginable – from the freak-of-the-week style ghosts and ghouls that didn’t take much to kill to the world-ending threats of the later seasons. One of the more impressive things, of course, is that the show managed to continually build to bigger villains and characters, even long after having the boys battle the Devil himself.

The other curious thing about Supernatural is that it’s a paranormal procedural show about powerful characters, but the budget is usually too low to depict them in action. Fans meet a lot of monsters who claim they can reduce the Earth to a charred ball of flame, but the audience pretty much has to take their word for it. Based on their threats, stories, history, and what is seen, though – some of Supernatural‘s strongest characters stand out as the most powerful of them all.


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21 Crowley

King Of Hell

Crowley sitting down and smiling in Supernatural

Crowley showed his power through sheer pragmatism and cleverness. In the wake of the power vacuum following the canceled apocalypse, Crowley snuck in and appointed himself the King of Hell, keeping hold of that position for most of his time on the show. Throughout his reign, he proved himself to be a good strategist. He knows how to keep a low profile when a bigger threat appears. He’s always looking for ways to consolidate his power through souls, tablets, and alliances with stronger people.


Crowley shouldn’t be downplayed as one of Supernatural‘s strongest characters; he’s still much more powerful than the average demon. Season 8 was the one time he got to be the main villain of Supernatural from beginning to end, and while he eventually became an ally to the Winchesters, his power as an enemy shouldn’t be forgotten. However, his death in the end showed that he could be weakened and destroyed.

20 Alpha Vampire

Alpha

Alpha Vampire sitting in his chair and smiling in Supernatural

The Alphas are the oldest and most powerful of Supernatural‘s strongest characters, and Crowley spent season 6 gathering them up. One, and only one, was wily enough to escape: the Alpha Vampire. The Alpha Vampire was introduced in a memorably spooky hallucination Dean had in “Live Free or Twihard,” but he wasn’t truly seen in his element until season 7.


Left alone, the Alpha wears impeccable suits and hangs out in a lavish mansion. However, he can be more involved in the action and even temporarily aligns himself with Sam and Dean, so he can hang onto those nice trappings. One of the more amusing loose ends in Supernatural was the Alpha’s promise that he’d see Sam and Dean “next season.” The character promptly disappeared from the show for many years, before Sam finally killed him in Season 12’s “The Lair.”

19 Rowena

Witch

Rowena holding a purple pouch in Supernatural.


Rowena started out as a stronger-than-average witch, but made herself into one of Supernatural’s most fearsome characters when she got hold of the Book of the Damned. She’s used it to warp reality, turn characters into her own personal attack dogs, and even dispel the Mark of Cain. Fortunately, circumstances and even more powerful villains often forced Rowena into an uneasy alliance with the Winchesters and Crowley.

Having such a power player on their team helped the Winchester brothers in a number of difficult scenarios, even if her help was reluctant. In the end, she became an ally and mentor to Sam, and the Ruler of Hell. In addition to her power, Rowena had alliances with other witches and covens across the world. There really aren’t many characters who can say they survived two direct eliminations at the hands of Lucifer himself.

18 Lilith

The First Demon

Lilith in a white dress looking menacingly in Supernatural


Lilith spent an entire year traveling the globe and triggering the apocalypse, one seal at a time. Sam paid an enormous personal cost to become powerful enough to finish Lilith. Yet she was only a harbinger of what was to come. In Supernatural’s mythology, Lilith has the distinction of being the first demon turned by Lucifer. When she came to Earth and walked among humanity, she found a favorite pastime: possessing little girls and forcing them to torment their families.

Using Ruby, she frayed the bond between the Winchesters, and even personally unleashed a hellhound on Dean. Sam was so determined to get revenge, he spent a season corrupting himself via the Demon Blood Diet. Lilith is memorable, but mostly because of what’s done in her name rather than her own actions with others carrying out more impressive feats.


17 Abaddon

Knight Of Hell

Abbadon using her powers while smiling in Supernatural.

Abaddon was one of Supernatural‘s strongest characters in season 9, but perhaps one who suffered from faults in the show’s storytelling. She was brought into a season that already had a lot of big elements, from an angelic civil war to Gadreel possessing Sam. Though she initially arrived in the present timeline of Supernatural to take on Sam and Dean, she eventually abandoned those plans for a less interesting war against Crowley to restore Hell in the way she felt it should be.


Those stories may have hampered her reputation, but Abaddon’s power is still noteworthy. The character was the longest-living and most powerful of Cain’s Knights of Hell, rampaging her way through the centuries. She survived a decapitation and comes back for more later. Just to have a chance in the fight against her, Dean was forced to take on the dreaded Mark of Cain – an act that had huge implications for the following seasons. It took the Mark of Cain and the First Blade for Dean to kill Abaddon once and for all.

16 Cain

The Original Criminal

Cain holding the Frist Blade and facing off with Dean in Supernatural

The original Knight of Hell, the one who trained Abaddon and the others, is enough proof of Cain’s powers. He was the Cain of Biblical Cain and Abel legend, and the circumstances of his fratricide are more complicated than what is presented in the Bible.


He ended his brother’s life to ensure he would get into Heaven and, at the urging of Lucifer, took on the Mark of Cain in order to seal away The Darkness. Cain took his own life, but the Mark resurrected him and made him into the most feared demon in the history of Earth.

He eventually mastered his violent impulses and led a life of quiet solitude, but after a meeting with Dean, his evilness returned and he began exterminating his entire line of descendants before putting a stop to him. Cain was a breakout character in the midst of the chaotic ninth season, and his return was a genuine highlight of the lower-key season 10. Fans didn’t see much of this guy, but he made a strong impression in just two episodes.

15 Eve

Mother Of All Monsters

Eve standing outside at night in Supernatural.


Eve spawned every single Alpha monster in her time on Earth, then hung out in Purgatory as her descendants overran the planet. She mysteriously returned halfway through the sixth season, and it was several episodes before fans found out why. Like many things in latter-day Supernatural, it was all about Crowley. It was a surprising bit of plotting, setting Eve up as a new Lucifer-level villain only to dispatch her three episodes before the end of the season and reveal Crowley and Castiel as the true villains.

Crowley and Castiel were far more personal antagonists for the Winchesters in the end. Eve as a presence was powerful, but Eve as a character didn’t really make much of an impression until Mary Winchester assumed the role in her final scene. There was still some untapped potential with the character, but she spent her time on Supernatural creating new monsters like the Khan Worms and the Jefferson Starships.


14 Raphael

Archangel

Split image of both versions of Raphael in Supernatural

The youngest of the four archangels, Raphael was mainly seen as a bright light any time someone threatened the prophet, Chuck. His proper introduction in season 5’s “Free to Be You and Me” drenched the entire Eastern seaboard in a powerful rainstorm, and they made a lot of solemn declarations about fate and the apocalypse. The character proceeded to completely disappear from the fifth season.


When it came time to introduce a villain in season 6, the writers had Raphael in their back pocket. In terms of character, they are also quite lacking. However, Raphael is a sort of conduit for great scenes and episodes. Castiel’s descent into darkness began when Raphael beat him up in front of everybody in Heaven. The character rarely appeared, considering they are such a major villain, but conveyed menace, power, and unflexible fanaticism in the brief time onscreen. It took an overpowered Castiel to kill the archangel.

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13 Gabriel

The Trickster

Gabriel the archangel smiling in Supernatural.


The Trickster, with his wicked sense of humor and ability to warp reality, was responsible for some of Supernatural’s best and most entertaining early episodes. The character had already become a fan favorite by the time he met his end in the fifth season, and even though the future would bring episodes that were Trickster-esque in spirit, the character himself was sorely missed.

Fans of The Trickster celebrated the character’s return in Season 13 although, given what he’d been through, his sense of humor was not what it used to be. There was more to The Trickster than what met the eye. The Trickster was revealed to be Gabriel, one of the four archangels.

Retroactively his encounters with Sam and Dean were revealed to be offbeat life lessons. In terms of power, he was the one character in season 5 who even came close to finishing off Lucifer. It took Lucifer using the Archangel Blade to finally kill Gabriel.


Angel Tablet Power-Up

Metatron extracts Castiel's grace in Supernatural

Everything about Metatron seemed designed to make the audience underestimate him. Even when he betrayed Castiel in the season 8 finale, he still seemed too cuddly to be a real threat. However, he harnessed the power of the Angel Tablets to enact sweeping changes across Heaven and Earth. He kicked all the angels out of Heaven, he kept human souls from ascending, and he eventually went down to Earth in order to assume a role as the new God.

Metatron hung around for a couple more seasons as a shadow of his former self. He ended up in jail, and he made a few desperate grabs for power. Ultimately, Metatron was redeemed when he convinced God to start paying attention to humanity again. As a further testament to how powerful he was, it took the overpowered Amara to kill the angel.


11 Castiel

Purgatory Soul Power-Up

Castiel looking down at the camera in Supernatural

Season 6 of Supernatural ended with Cas consuming every soul in Purgatory and declaring himself God. With that cliffhanger, it’s not unreasonable to expect the story to carry through the next season for a while. While it was a disappointment to lose God-Cas after only one episode, the fifth and sixth seasons hold up a lot better when watched straight through.

There are few things more dramatic in a TV show than seeing a favorite good guy character turn into a villain. God-Cas’s reign, brief though it is, was chock-full of darkly funny moments, but his season six moment was an intimidating display of power. Even when his powers went back to normal, he was still able to do just about anything, and he stood up to powerful angels and demons and won more times than not. Even though he died several times, God resurrected him time and time again.


10 Dick Roman

Leviathan

Dick Roman with a vial of his blood to give Crowley as long as they write out a contract in Supernatural

God-Cas was strong, but he couldn’t stop the Leviathan from tearing his vessel into shreds, proving they were some of the most powerful demons on Supernatural. Their leader was Dick Roman, a character who was thoroughly entertaining just for how different he was from previous Supernatural villains. Dick was cocky, full of corporate doublespeak, and empty upper management platitudes.

He also ate people who failed him. That self-satisfied smirk never left his face, even in his final moment. However, it is difficult to compare the Leviathans to other characters in Supernatural.


The Angels avoided them, Crowley steered clear after a disastrous exploratory meeting, and even Death, who rather patronizingly called the Leviathan “entertaining,” kept a low profile. It’s not really known how they’d fare against Supernatural’s other heavyweights. Dick didn’t go down without a fight, but without him, the Leviathan collapsed into a disorganized mess.

9 Death

Horseman Of The Apocalypse

Julian Richings as Death on Supernatural

The fifth season was spent building to Death’s first appearance. It didn’t seem possible that he’d live up to expectations, but he ended up as one of the most striking, terrifying characters on Supernatural. His three fellow horsemen were all dispatched with relative ease by the Winchesters and Cas, so he felt his best play was to scare Dean off with a lot of spooky talk and a lightning storm. The plan only worked for so long before Dean put a scythe in his chest at the end of the tenth season, and he disappeared without a word.


This character is sometimes used to talk up the latest new Supernatural villain, but there’s no bigger hype man than the being himself. It’s possible he was just a glorified reaper, but having seen how Billie took over the role in later seasons, there is no doubt he was a more powerful Supernatural character than he let on.

8 Lucifer

The Devil

Mark Pellegrino as Lucifer with glowing red eyes in Supernatural

A rarely discussed element of Supernatural is that Lucifer became a different character. He was stately and self-righteous in season 5, but fans met the more taunting version that existed in Sam’s head throughout season 7. By season 11, he permanently became that more snide, jokier character, whether he was played by Mark Pellegrino, Misha Collins, or Rick Springfield.


That version of the character was decidedly less intimidating than he had once been. Lucifer’s release in the fifth season triggered a global wave of natural disasters. The Winchesters spent the whole season at a loss on how to get rid of him. Lucifer escaping the cage in season 11 was treated like just another problem.

However, the early version was truly dangerous, all the more so because he came across as more persuasive and reasonable. Everything in the first four seasons led up to his release, and all the fallout that came afterward was a result of his capture. In many ways, Lucifer is still the character upon which Supernatural as a whole pivots.

7 Michael

Ruler Of Heaven

Michael walking out of the mist, wings spread in Supernatural


For years, he was the most powerful Supernatural character with the least amount of screen time. Michael didn’t even have his own default vessel like Lucifer. He was only briefly seen possessing established characters like John and Adam Winchester. In both instances, the audience came to realize that, tragically, Michael was blindly devoted to his destiny, with no free will or agency of his own.

Supposedly, his fight with Lucifer would have destroyed half the planet, but Castiel made sure that no one got to see it. Several seasons later, Supernatural introduced the concept of multiple universes and a much better sense of who Michael is.

He was still single-minded, but he plans, he threatens, and he fights. Michael made short work of Lucifer several times throughout season 13, and he finally fulfilled his destiny and decisively defeated his brother in the finale. By taking down Lucifer, the character finally proved himself to be, beyond all doubt, the strongest angel in all Supernatural.


6 Chuck

God

Chuck creating a light in Supernatural

The notion of Chuck being both a Prophet of the Lord and God was always controversial. There was speculation that the fifth season implication that Chuck was God was more a wink at how the character was sort of an author avatar for show creator Eric Kripke. Indeed, after his introduction, Chuck appeared in every episode Kripke wrote and was often used to comment directly on the show’s narrative. When Kripke stepped away during the fifth season, so did Chuck.


Kripke never came back, but Chuck did. Rob Benedict was an unlikely choice to play the ruler of Heaven and Earth, but maybe that made him all the more perfect: no one would suspect him. His God was at times benevolent, aloof, dangerous, and of course, all-powerful. However, he was not powerful enough to come out on top in a direct fight with his sister. God also lost all his power in the end at Jack’s hands.

5 Amara

The Darkness

Emily Swallow as Amara looking into the sky in Supernatural

Amara, by a very wide margin, showed off the most awesome display of strength in the series. Wave after wave of powerful characters took a shot at her and she didn’t fall. Crowley fetched his demon horde, Rowena enlisted a coven of witches, Lucifer called all the Angels into action, and God himself took a shot at her. He may be all-knowing, but even he fell, mortally wounded, and it came down to Dean convincing Amara to stand down in the finale.


Thanks to some decent special effects, the high stakes of the story, and an imposing performance by Emily Swallow, Amara achieved the impossible; she became a more dangerous villain than Lucifer. No show of force could stop her and what finally brought Amara’s downfall was Dean betraying her, so she allowed God to absorb her into him, ending her existence.

4 The Entity

The Shadow

The Entity standing in the darkness on Supernatural.

In season 12, Castiel met one of his many demises and wound up in the Empty, the afterlife for angels and demons. It’s there that he met The Entity, a formless creature that took on Castiel’s appearance and wound up sending the angel back to Earth after he proved too much of an annoyance.


It very well may be the case that, contrary to his claim, God actually does have some power over The Empty. Maybe if The Entity came to Earth, he’d have no power, but there’s something cosmic about the Entity, especially compared to the downright approachable Chuck. It’s impossible to see his real form without going mad from terror, but more than this, it is heavily implied that the Entity has power over everything – Death included – and the only reason it isn’t used is that the Entity’s sole goal is to go back to sleep.

3 Jack

Nephilim

Jack standing shirtless in Supernatural.


When Andrew Dabb took control of the show in season 12, he wrote in an arc about Lucifer becoming a parent to a child named Jack, a Nephilim with the potential to become an even more destructive force than his father. Jack’s mother was a good-hearted, faithful woman named Kelly, but there was the lingering threat of the impact his father’s evil blood would have upon him.

The Winchesters and Castiel strove to be good influences on Jack, something that proved difficult when he disappeared to the alternate universe with his father for a huge chunk of season 13. Despite everything he went through, Jack’s decency shined through, and he wound up recognizing and rejecting Lucifer for what he is.

Lucifer in turn stole his son’s grace, but in the end, he became the new, true ‘god’, and a being of seemingly limitless power. When Jack absorbed the power from Michael and Lucifer’s deaths, he had enough power to strip God of all his power and Jack took over Heaven.

2 Sam & Dean

The Winchesters

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