20 Most Powerful Characters In Supernatural, Ranked

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 gank, to the gods, devils, and angels of the later seasons. One of the more impressive things, of course, is that the show managed to continually build to bigger bads, even long after having the boys battle Satan himself.

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The other curious thing about Supernatural, it’s a 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 stand out as the most powerful of them all.


20 CROWLEY – KING OF HELL

Supernatural Quiz - Crowley

Crowley earns his way onto the board through sheer pragmatism and cleverness. In the wake of the power vacuum following the canceled apocalypse, Crowley sneaks in and appoints himself the King of Hell, keeping hold of that position for the lion’s share of his time on the show. Throughout his reign, he proves himself to be a good strategist. He knows how to keep a low profile when a bigger bully appears. He’s always looking for ways to consolidate his power through souls, tablets, and alliances with stronger people.

Crowley shouldn’t be downplayed; he’s still much more powerful than the average demon. Season 8 is the one time he gets to be the main antagonist from beginning to end, and while he eventually becomes an ally to the Winchesters, his power as an enemy shouldn’t be forgotten. However, his death in the end shows that he can be weakened and destroyed.

19 ALPHA VAMPIRE – ALPHA

Rick Worth as Alpha

The Alphas are the oldest and most powerful of their kinds, and Crowley spent the sixth season gathering them up. One, and only one, was wily enough to escape: the Alpha Vampire.

Rick Worthy was an inspired bit of casting, bringing a quiet gravitas and menace to the unnamed character. 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, 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 then promptly disappeared from the show for many years, finally meeting his end in Season 12’s “The Lair”.

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18 ROWENA – WITCH

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 since been depicted warping reality, turning characters into her own personal attack dogs, and even dispelling the Mark of Cain. Fortunately, circumstances and even more powerful villains often force Rowena into an uneasy alliance with the Winchesters and Crowley, and in the end, she becomes an ally, mentor to Sam, and Ruler of Hell.

In addition to her power, Rowena has 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. It sometimes takes her a little while to come back to life, but Rowena lives on to this day.

 

17 LILITH – THE FIRST DEMON

Lilith spent an entire year traveling the globe and triggering the apocalypse, one seal at a time. Sam paid an enormous personal cost in becoming powerful enough to finish Lilith. Yet she’s still only a harbinger of what’s to come. In Supernatural’s mythology, Lilith has the distinction of being the first demon turned by Lucifer. When she came topside 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 sicced a hellhound on Dean. Sam was so determined to get revenge, he spent a season corrupting himself via the ol’ Demon Blood Diet.

Using child actresses to depict Lilith was an interesting and original creative choice. Given that a later story involved her and Sam potentially consummating their unholy union, understandably Lilith moved into the body of a grown woman. This had the unfortunate side effect of making the character more generic, and the actress only had a few scenes to try and make an impression. Lilith is memorable, but mostly because of what’s done in her name.

16 ABADDON – KNIGHT OF HELL

Doing Abaddon no favors, she’s mainly featured in season 9, which is recognized as  a bit of a mess in terms of plot. Abaddon is a major villain of the season, but meanwhile, there’s Metatron, there’s an angelic civil war, there’s Gadreel possessing Sam, there’s the latest and seemingly most irrevocable rift between the Winchesters. Abaddon’s goals never get as much oxygen as they need to really develop. Who cares if she steals Hell away from Crowley?

But those are story issues. The character is the longest-living and most powerful of Cain’s Knights of Hell, slicing and dicing her way through the centuries. She survives a decapitation and comes back for more later. Just to have a chance in the fight against her, Dean is forced to take on the dreaded Mark of Cain – an act that has huge implications for the seasons ahead. If Abandon never reaches her full potential, it’s mainly the fault of the storytelling.

15 CAIN – THE ORIGINAL CRIMINAL

The original Knight of Hell, the one who trained Abaddon and the others, Cain was a formidable presence on Supernatural. He was the Cain, of Biblical Cain and Abel fame, and the circumstances of his legendary fratricide are more complicated than the Bible would have you believe. 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, fell off the wagon and began exterminating his entire line of descendants. Luckily Dean put a stop to him. Cain was a breakout character in the midst of the chaotic ninth season, and his return go-around was a genuine highlight of the lower-key season 10. Fans didn’t see much of this guy, but he made a hell of an impression in just two episodes.

14 EVE – MOTHER OF ALL MONSTERS

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 Samantha Smith (otherwise known as Mary Winchester) assumed the role in her final scene. There was still some untapped potential with Eve. She’d spent her time on Earth creating new monsters like the Khan Worms and the Jefferson Starships. Given the chance, what else could she have done?

13 RAPHAEL – ARCHANGEL

The youngest of the four archangels, Raphael was mainly seen as an eye meltingly 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 he made a lot of solemn declarations about fate and the apocalypse. The character then proceeded to completely disappear from the fifth season, but when it came time to introduce a villain in season 6, the writers had Raphael in their back pocket.

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In terms of character, there’s not much here. However, Raphael is a sort of conduit for great scenes and episodes. Without him, Dean and Cas would not have paid an unforgettable visit to a pleasure house, a scene that more or less permanently transformed Castiel into Supernatural’s comic relief. Later, Castiel’s descent into darkness began when Raphael beat him up in front of everybody in Heaven. Without Raphael, there’d be no inciting incident for “The French Mistake”. The character rarely appears, considering he (later she) is such a major villain, but Damore Barnes and Lanette Ware convey menace, power, and inflexible fanaticism in their brief time onscreen.

12 GABRIEL – THE TRICKSTER

Gabriel the archangel 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 French Mistake”, “Plucky Pennywhistle’s Magical Managerie”, “Scoobynatural”) 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. In a move that dovetailed very neatly with the fifth season mythology, The Trickster was revealed to be Gabriel, another 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. In a nice little meta move, Gabriel’s actor Richard Speight Jr. then became a semi-regular director for Supernatural.

11 METATRON – ANGEL TABLET POWER-UP

Supernatural Quiz - Metatron

Everything about Metatron, from the casting of lovable ol’ Curtis Armstrong to his bookish nature, seemed designed to make the audience underestimate him. Even when he betrayed Castiel in the eighth season finale, he still seemed too cuddly to be a real threat, but he did harness 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 eventually he went down to Earth in order to assume a role as the new God.

Metatron hangs around for a couple more seasons as a shadow of his former self. He’s put in jail and he makes a few desperate grabs for power. Ultimately Metatron is redeemed when he (of all characters) convinces God to start paying attention to humanity again.

10 CASTIEL –  PURGATORY SOUL POWER-UP

The sixth season 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. What a disappointment to lose God-Cas after only one episode. However, 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 supporting character turn into the villain, after all. God-Cas’s reign, brief though it is, is chock full of darkly funny moments. Plus, it seemed Misha Collins had left the show forever back in 2011. Knowing he’ll be back late in the season makes his early demise a lot easier to take.

We’ll always wonder what a full season of God-Cas would have been like, but we need not resent the Leviathan for taking his place, as they’re actually pretty entertaining villains.

9 DICK ROMAN – LEVIATHAN

Dick Roman

God-Cas was strong, but he couldn’t stop the Leviathan from tearing his vessel into shreds. From there, the Leviathan set to work on a season-spanning, systematic plan to turn the human population into “Walking Happy Meals.” Their leader was Dick Roman, a character who was thoroughly entertaining just for how different he was from previous Supernatural Big Bads. He was cocky, full of corporate doublespeak, and empty upper management platitudes, and he 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, becuase most of the other monsters went into hiding the moment the Leviathan arrived on Earth. The Angels avoided them, Crowley steered clear after a disastrous exploratory meeting, and even Death, who rather patronizing called the Leviathan “entertaining,” kept a low profile. Fans did see Edgar make short work of an Angel, but aside from that, its 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 and were gone by the next season.

8 DEATH – HORSEMAN OF THE APOCALYPSE

Julian Richings as Death on Supernatural

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

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

7 LUCIFER – THE DEVIL

A rarely discussed element of Supernatural is that Lucifer totally becomes a different character. He was kind of stately and self-righteous in season 5. Fans then meet the more taunting version that existed in Sam’s head throughout season 7. In season 11, he just kind of 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. Sam and Dean found out he was walking the Earth again (in Cas’ body no less) and literally went to a wrestling match the next week. 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.

6 MICHAEL – RULER OF HEAVEN

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, we 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.

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Several seasons later, Supernatural introduced the concept of multiple universes, and a much better sense of who Michael is. He’s still single-minded, but he plans, he threatens, and he fights. Michael makes short work of Lucifer on a couple of occasions throughout season 13, and he finally fulfills his destiny and decisively defeats his brother in the finale. The fight is rather less destructive to the world than promised, so perhaps the original Michael is overrated. By taking down Lucifer, the character finally proves himself to be, beyond all doubt, the strongest angel in all Supernatural.

5 CHUCK – GOD

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

Kripke never comes back, but Chuck does. Rob Benedict is an unlikely choice to play the ruler of Heaven and Earth but maybe that makes him all the more perfect: no one would suspect him. His God is at times benevolent, aloof, dangerous, and of course, all-powerful. But not powerful enough to come out on top in a direct fight with his sister.

4 AMARA – THE DARKNESS

Emily Swallow as Amara in Supernatural

Amara, by a very wide margin, shows off the most awesome display of strength in the series. Wave after wave of powerful characters take a shot at her. Crowley fetches his demon horde, Rowena enlists a coven of witches, Lucifer calls all the Angels into action, and God himself takes a shot at her. He may be all-knowing, but even he doesn’t realize that this big confrontation is taking place in the second to last episode of the season, so it’s not likely to end well. Sure enough, he’s mortally wounded, and it falls to Dean to get 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 achieves the impossible; she becomes a more dangerous villain than Lucifer.

3 THE ENTITY/THE SHADOW

In season 12, Castiel meets what must be his twentieth “totally-for-real-this-time” demise and winds up in the Empty, the afterlife for angels and demons. It’s there that he meets The Entity, a formless creature that takes on Castiel’s appearance and winds up sending the angel back to Earth after he proves too pesky.

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 see his real form without going mad from terror, but more than this, it is heavily implied that the Shadow has power over everything – Death included – and the only reason it isn’t used is because the Entity’s sole goal is to go back to sleep.

2 JACK – NEPHILIM

In season 5, future showrunner Andrew Dabb wrote “I Believe the Children Are Our Future”, an episode about the Antichrist. That character was a child who didn’t seem inherently evil, and who might someday come into his own terrible powers. That particular Antichrist has remained a loose end, but the basic story does seem to have stuck with Dabb. When he 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 what impact would his father’s evil blood have upon him?

The Winchesters and Castiel strive to be good influences on Jack, something that proves difficult when he disappears to the alternate universe with his father for a huge chunk of the thirteenth season. Despite everything he goes through, Jack’s decency shines through and he winds up recognizing and rejecting Lucifer for what he is. Lucifer in turn steals his son’s grace, but in the end, he becomes the new, true ‘god’, and a being of seemingly limitless power.

1 TIE: SAM AND DEAN – WINCHESTERS

The Alpha Vampire and Lilith? Not walking the Earth anymore, thanks to Sam and Dean. Abbadon was a fearsome Knight of Hell. Dean took on the Mark of Cain to take her down and then for good measure went back to finish off Cain too. Eve, Dick Roman, Death himself? Gone, gone, and gone. Lucifer took possession of Sam’s body, but Sam was strong enough to beat him from within. Lucifer himself was finally defeated by Michael, who was in Dean’s body. God himself was taken down by the Winchesters (with some help from Jack) in the end.

The thing is, Sam and Dean may be human, they may be self-destructive and unhealthily co-dependent, they may be in over their heads. But they’re the heroes of Supernatural, which means fans know deep down they’ll ultimately be victorious no matter what the universe throws at them. There have been and will continue to be setbacks along the way, but there is a constant in the universe. We call it Winchester.

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Split image of Jenna as a vampire, Elena and Stefan in their dream, and Kai talking to someone in Legacies.


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