Characters / Supernatural: Reapers


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"Come with me. Be done. You've earned it. Or fight me. Stay here. And you know the drill."

Reapers escort souls to the afterlife under the direction of Death. They are seen in "Faith" (S01, E12), "In My Time of Dying" (S02, E01), "Death Takes A Holiday" (S04, E15), "Abandon All Hope..." (S05, E10), "Two Minutes To Midnight" (S05, E21), "Appointment In Samarra" (S06, E11),"Meet The New Boss" (S07, E01), "Death's Door" (S07, E10), "Taxi Driver" (S08, E19), "I'm No Angel" (S09, E03), and "Stairway to Heaven" (S09, E22).

  • Invisible to Normals: They usually are only seen by humans who are ready to die, or already dead. Angels are able to see them as well, as are Demons, and whoever wears Death's ring (as they temporarily become Death).
  • Portent of Doom: Gather in groups at times of great catastrophe or distress.
  • Powers That Be: Are in the service of Death.
  • Psychopomp
  • Retcon: Season 9 establishes Reapers as a subset of angels, which completely contradicts everything established about reapers before.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Tessa, the only Reaper known by a name for many seasons, was also the only female Reaper seen until Season 9.
  • Stopped Clock: Freeze clocks at the time of death.
  • Throat Light: When killed.
  • Teleporters and Transporters: Disappear in a flash of light.


Death (Julian Richings)

First appears in "Two Minutes To Midnight" (S05, E21).

"This is one little planet in one tiny solar system in a galaxy that's barely out of its diapers. I'm old, Dean. Very old. So I invite you to contemplate how insignificant I find you."

Death is the one and only "Grim" Reaper, and leads the other Reapers.

  • All-Powerful Bystander: Downplayed. He frequently provides Sam and Dean with the means to save the world, but, as a rule, Death refuses to involve himself personally. His only concern is maintaining the natural order until time comes to an end.
  • The Anti-God: While technically not a god, he might as well be, as he is far more central to the order of the universe than the pagan gods who are seen. He's at least as old as God, his equal and antithesis, and will bring creation to a close when the last living thing, God himself, dies, or so he claims-the S10 finale seems to prove him wrong. However, unlike other examples of this trope, he is neither evil, particularly destructive (aside from his reaping), and is, in fact, one of the more benign entities in the show and possesses a dislike of the natural order being thrown into chaos. Ultimately averted, he is both younger and less powerful than God, and precedes him right before the reveal of the real Anti-God, Amara.
  • Badass Boast: Death gives one to Dean, in which he claims that he will reap God at the end of time. Dean is fairly taken aback by this. which ultimately turns out to false when Dean kills him and God's still around.
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: Death wears a black suit and longcoat.
  • Badass in Charge: Death is in charge of all of the Reapers.
  • Badass Longcoat: On top of his suit.
  • Blue and Orange Morality: Seems to operate this way.
  • Captured Super-Entity: In Season 5, he is magically bound to do Lucifer's bidding. In Season 7, Dean and Sam bind him to their will.
  • Complete Immortality: Death claims he is the one thing in existence that will last forever. Dean disproves this in Season 10.
  • Cool Car: Death drives a 1959 Cadillac El Dorado with plates reading "BUH*BYE".
  • Cosmic Entity: His cosmic perspective and lack of interest in Earthly matters becomes clear in the very first conversation he has with Dean. When Dean protests his relative lack of help to prevent the Earth from being destroyed in a later episode, he outright threatens to leave Earth for a better planet.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Very, very grumpy and very, very scary, but generally a benevolent force.
  • Deadpan Snarker
    Dean: You're not serious?
    Death: No, I'm being incredibly sarcastic.
  • Did We Just Have Tea with Cthulhu?: In the first three of his appearances.
  • Did You Just Scam Cthulhu?:
    • Death reveals that Lucifer managed to trap him into his servitude. Death, who is very annoyed that he's being leashed by a petulant child with daddy issues (yes, that is how Death describes the Devil), proves that it's not a good idea to piss off an eternal and infinite force of nature by actually helping Sam and Dean imprison Lucifer again.
    • The Winchesters try to bind Death in a last-ditch effort to stop the newly-godlike Castiel. Death warns them that it won't end well for them, but he doesn't follow through on his threat after Castiel removes his restraints because the "mutated angel" is a bigger concern for him at the moment.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: A guy in the street is rude when they bump into each other, so Death makes him keel over and (presumably) die.
  • Do Not Taunt Cthulhu: Every other character on the show (except for Lucifer, who temporarily controls him) fears him, and seems to be aware that it's a bad idea to piss off an eternal force of nature. The picture to the right sums up his character pretty well.
  • Don't Fear the Reaper: When the Winchesters deal with him he's usually quite snarky and dispassionate because he feels they're wasting his time by asking him for favors. However, when he's actually reaping someone he appears quite polite and complimentary and finds it an honor to guide specific people to the afterlife.
  • Dragon with an Agenda: He considers Lucifer to be a tantruming child, but he is bound and has no choice but to obey him. Though Lucifer turns out to be older than Death, it doesn't make his point any less correct.
  • Dragon-in-Chief: Far more powerful than Lucifer (and the strongest of the four horsemen) and merely bound to his will.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Initially introduced as one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, he reveals when Dean meets him that while this is true, he didn't join voluntarily nor was he created for the purpose (implication being that the other three are one of the two), but was bound by Lucifer. He then gives Dean his ring-the key to defeating Lucifer because he considers it an insult to be bound by someone as far beneath him as Lucifer is. In the same conversation, he reveals that he can't remember if he's as old as God or older, and that he will kill God in the end, though the latter seems to have been disproven, and based on Season 11. Before he appeared, his scythe was introduced and shown to be capable of killing reapers, something supposedly impossible. "Appointment In Samarra" heavily implies that he's The Omniscient, though he seemed surprised in a later episode that Sam and Dean wanted him to kill Castiel so how exactly this works is unclear. In "Meet The New Boss", when Bobby protests that they can only open the door to Purgatory during a solar eclipse, Death calmly replies that he'll just make one.
  • Enemies with Death: Death gets into a very heated argument with Castiel, in which Castiel outright threatens to kill Death. Death isn't impressed by the "mutated angel".
  • Establishing Character Moment: Death gets one as he enters Chicago. He parks his Horseman car, a white 1959 Cadillac, and goes on foot. When a rude guy bumps into him, Death doesn't even look at him, instead casually brushing off his sleeve where he touched him, causing the guy to drop dead.
  • The Fog of Ages: Death is either as old as God or even older; he can't remember anymore. According to him, God Himself can't remember that far back, either. He also claims that he's going to be the one to reap God at the end of time, potentially making him the oldest known entity in the Supernatural universe. He later turns out to be lying about his age and wrong about reaping God. He may be lying about being unable to remember that far back.
  • The Grim Reaper: The original, oldest of all the Reapers, and their boss.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Dean kills him with his own scythe.
  • Horsemen of the Apocalypse: The fourth.
  • Humanoid Abomination: He presents himself in human form, but see Eldritch Abomination above.
  • Insignificant Little Blue Planet: Death considers Earth to be an incredibly young planet that barely registers on the cosmic radar.
  • It Amused Me: Billie reveals that the reason Death Is Cheap for the Winchesters is he finds it funny.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Despite being extremely callous, dismissive of humanity, and unconcerned with the suffering of the protagonists, he is still fairly benevolent for such a powerful entity, and far more than the various gods and angels shown in the series. He gives important aid to the Winchesters multiple times. He also hints to Dean in "Appointment in Samarra" (S06, E11) that he finds his job of causing all death hard to do, empathizing with Dean's turmoil over having to reap a child, and noting that even he sometimes wishes he did not have to do this job. He also always makes sure to share his junk food with Dean. This is shown and emphasized at the beginning of season nine even more in his interactions with Sam, where he reveals he genuinely admires Sam for the good he has done.
  • Leitmotif: "O Death" is used as one the first time viewers see him.
  • Mister Exposition: Gives info on how to trap Lucifer again and later about the Leviathans.
  • Mood Whiplash: Death very seriously threatens Sam and Dean, and coldly instructs them how to get the souls back to Purgatory. Then as he leaves, he suddenly turns and says, in a very jovial tone, that the pickle chips were really good.
  • Nutritional Nightmare: Death is so fond of the fattiest treats and fast foods to be found that he almost always appears while eating something gloriously unhealthy. Whenever the need arises to summon him, Dean has found it advisable to present Death with a deep-fried offering.
  • The Omniscient: Death is functionally omniscient. Every time Dean tries to tell him something, the bored-looking Grim Reaper notes that he's already aware. He does show surprise when the Winchesters summon him and ask him to kill an evil god for them, so it seems he needs to focus his all-knowing powers for it to be effective.
  • Pretender Diss: Death gives one to Castiel, who deems himself a god.
    Death: Please, Cass. I know God, and you, sir, are no God.
  • The Problem with Fighting Death: Dean tries to kill Death, unaware that he could've gotten what he wanted without killing him, as they both had a common interest in stopping the "bratty child" (Lucifer). Dean assumes that Death would be angry at this, but it turns out the problem with a human fighting Death is that the human just doesn't matter.
    Dean: Is this the part where you kill me?
    Death: [after staring at him incredulously] You have an inflated sense of your importance. To a thing like me, a thing like you...well. Think how you'd feel if a bacterium sat at your table and started to get snarky.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Death is much more level-headed and temperate than his fellow Horsemen "brothers," even though that doesn't stop him from being sarcastic. In the first episode of Season 7, he even gives the Winchesters advice on what to do after they bound him, which is what he was so angry at Lucifer about that he told them how to defeat him. He also brings an eclipse to aid in the spell to open Purgatory a second time. He's arguably the most reasonable super-powered being on the show.
  • Sealed Badass in a Can: Death was imprisoned by God for unknown reasons (though his role and influence in existence were not halted by this) and then released by Lucifer. Considering that this is Death and that only God or The Darkness could take him in a slugfest as far as we know, his status as a badass is pretty much a given.
  • Sinister Scythe: Averted, as it's a rusty hand tool like you'd use for gardening. But it soon becomes obvious that Death does not need props to be scary.
  • The Starscream: He is all too willing to stab Lucifer in the back. However, he is a slight subversion in that he never agreed to help him in the first place (what with Lucifer trapping him and all), and could arguably count as an inversion in that he's far, far more powerful and important than Lucifer, whom he regards as a spoiled child.
  • The Stoic: He's very nonchalant about everything, since everyone else is too far beneath him for him to care what they do.
  • Subbing for Santa: In "Appointment in Samarra", Death agrees to retrieve Sam's soul if Dean will act as him for one day.
  • Summon Bigger Fish: In "Meet the New Boss" (S07, E01), after Castiel declares himself the new God, the Winchesters—with an assist from Crowley—bind Death to their bidding so they can have him kill Castiel. It doesn't do much good, as Castiel frees Death from the Winchesters' control.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: Death doesn't care about humanity, Earth or helping Dean. He's very specific about that, while giving Dean advice on saving Earth and humanity.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Gives one to Castiel at the beginning of season 7.
  • Time Abyss: In his few appearances he has explained several times that he will persist throughout eternity, and is the only thing that could truly never die.
    Death: This is one little planet, in one tiny system, in a galaxy that's barely out of it's diapers. I'm old, Dean. Very old. So I invite you to contemplate how insignificant I find you.
    Dean: I gotta ask, how old are you?
    Death: As old as God. Maybe older. Neither of us can remember anymore. Life, Death, chicken, egg.
    • Turns out to be younger than God, Amara, and the Archangels, despite what he said, but those are all beings who predate Creation itself, so...
  • Token Good Teammate: Death is better than War, Famine and Pestilence by a country mile.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Seems to think it was a good idea to hand Dean the one thing in existence that could kill him, and then order him to kill his own brother, who is just a normal human who could be killed by relatively mundane weapons.
  • Touch of Death: Obviously. An interesting example: in his first appearance, Death kills a man who rudely bumps into him by brushing off the part of his shoulder the man touched.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Devouring junk food of any kind seems to be Death's main hobby aside from, well, death. So much so that a large bag of fried pickle chips form the Winchesters' "please don't kill us for summoning you" bribe.
  • Vanity License Plate: His is registered in California and says "BUH*BYE" as he brings death.
  • Terror Hero: Death is the only supernatural creature that Dean will show nothing less than genuine respect for. Even when Dean starts to get a little bitchy toward death, Death only has to calmly but firmly use a simple line like "Dean, it's impolite to roll your eyes." and Dean will pause and go right back to being respectful. Considering Dean does nothing but mock and disrespect beings like LUCIFER, this says a lot about how powerful Death is.
  • Walking Wasteland: Death goes to get some food at a diner. When Dean enters he finds that everyone in the room died in Death's presence.


Tessa (Lindsey McKeon)

First appears in "In My Time of Dying" (S02, E01).

"It's your time to go, Dean. And you're living on borrowed time already."

Tessa is Dean's Reaper.

  • Dark Is Not Evil/Don't Fear the Reaper: Some of the other Reapers we see range from creepy to outright scary, but Tessa appears to spirits as a gorgeous, compassionate, and genuinely sweet servant of Death, and Sam and Dean even willingly save her from meeting a grisly fate in season four. Though during her role there, she's a bit more snippy than in her first appearance, mostly dismissing the brothers when they try to help a dead young boy who has yet to pass on, the reason being that she was supposed to take Dean until he was brought back to life by Azazel thanks to his dad making a deal.
  • Death Seeker: Ironically, since she's, well, a reaper. She desperately wants to die because she can't take the souls of the dead to Heaven no matter how hard she tries, thanks to Heaven's door being closed.
  • Despair Event Horizon: She loses her will to live after hearing the cries of the souls that are stuck in the Veil because Metatron closed Heaven.
  • Distressed Damsel: In "Death Takes a Holiday" when Alastair kidnaps her to use as a sacrifice for a Seal.
  • Driven to Suicide: Jumps on the First Blade.
  • Expy: Of Death from The Sandman.
  • A Form You Are Comfortable With: She assumed her human form only after Dean freaked at seeing her incorporeal one, which looks more like a ghost. When a boy who died was scared off by even her human form, she appeared in a white dress instead.
  • Grand Theft Me: Azazel briefly body-jacks her in the Season 2 premiere to use her power to heal Dean per his deal with John, even though she's incorporeal.
  • The Grim Reaper: Not THE Grim Reaper, just a Reaper (she may be Dean's Reaper, though.)
  • I Have Many Names: When Dean calls her "Tessa" when he meets her again in her second appearance, she simply replies "Yes, that is one of my names".
  • Killed Off for Real: Chooses to commit suicide so she can finally stop hearing the voices of the dead.
  • Meaningful Name: "Tessa" is a form of "Theresa", which is Greek for "to harvest" or "to reap".
  • More Than Mind Control: It looks like Tessa is persuaded by Metatron to take part in the suicide bomb-squad. However, it turns out that Tessa does so because she wants to die, having hearing the despairing voices of the dead for so long.
  • Only One Name: Her "Tessa" alias doesn't seem to have a last name.
  • Woman in White: In her true form, Tessa is a transparent white phantom-like figure. She also literally turned herself into one at the end of "Death Takes A Holiday".
  • You Can't Fight Fate: Her primary argument to persuade souls to go with her.


Ajay (Assaf Cohen)

Appears in "Taxi Driver" (S08, E19).

"Smuggling a mortal across the border is risky enough, but gate-crashing a Winchester into Hell seriously blows."

Ajay is a rogue Reaper who smuggles people and souls between earth, Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory, for a price.


Maurice (Artine Brown)

Appears in "I'm No Angel" (S09, E03).

"You can kill me. It won't matter. If I don't find Castiel, there are others that will."

A freelance Reaper hired by the angel Bartholomew to find the now-human Castiel after he wards himself against angel detection.

  • Cold-Blooded Torture: What he was hired to do to Castiel, if April's treatment of Cas is any indication. Winds up on the wrong side of the equation when the Winchesters realize he's tailing them.
  • Evil Gloating: Tells Dean that the angels will eventually find Castiel and that he will kill him (Dean) eventually. In return, he gets impaled by the angel blade.
  • Forgot About His Powers: Why he chooses not to use his invisibility power (which all reapers have) to sneak on the Winchesters is a mystery. Regardless, it ultimately leads to his death, making this a case of Too Dumb to Live.
  • Genre Blind: Maurice expects to be the one pulling someone into an alleyway and holding a knife to his throat, not the other way around. Still no excuse for continuing down an alleyway into which his marks have seemingly vanished.
  • Killed Off for Real: Killed by an angel blade.
  • The Hunter Becomes the Hunted: Hunting Castiel via the Winchesters. Gets captured by them.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Oh sure, tracking the extremely-experienced Winchesters without using your invisibility power which leads to your capture, and then gloating about how he will kill them after the angels find Castiel? Your seconds are numbered.

     Spoiler Character 

April Kelly (Shannon Lucio)

Appears in "I'm No Angel" (S09, E03).

"New sheriff in town, Cas. They hired a bunch of us. I got lucky. Enough questions from you—I have several of my own."

Another freelance Reaper hired to track down Castiel, her approach is somewhat different: After possessing the real April's body, she gains Castiel's trust by giving him food, shelter and companionship—as in, introducing him to sex.

The next morning, Cas finds out the hard way that she's borrowed his angel blade. April reveals herself to be a Reaper, ties Castiel to a chair and tortures him for information on Metatron's spell to empty Heaven. Sam and Dean arrive and ice her—but not before she fatally stabs Castiel through the stomach.

  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: She starts out seeming like a sweet-natured woman. Once she reveals her true identity and purpose, she becomes a lot more snarky and unpleasant.
  • Expy: April's human persona bears a strong resemblance to Penny in Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog—who was, coincidentally, portrayed by Charlie Bradbury's actress.
  • Hero Killer: Well, for a moment, anyway. Stabs the then-human Castiel with an angel blade, which kills him instantly. He gets brought back by Gadreel.
  • Honey Trap: Her strategy for capturing Castiel. Posing as the human April Kelly, she wins him over with kind gestures like giving the starving Castiel her sandwich and taking him home to clean his wound and make him feel less alone. Unsurprisingly, Coitus Ensues.
    April: My briefing said you were "dangerous" and "powerful". And you did arrive armed, so. I needed information, so I had to gain your trust.
    Castiel: And that required intercourse?
    April: [laughs and points the angel blade at Castiel's crotch] Well, I'm allowed some leeway for executive decisions. [straddles him] And I can't say I didn't find you attractive.
  • The Ingenue: Minus the sexual purity connotations, April initially embodies this trope, appearing to be wholesome, innocent and kind-hearted. She turns out to be The Vamp when she reveals her intentions.
  • Psycho for Hire: It's not clear whether the opportunity to cause pain and suffering was the primary reason April took the job, but she does revel a bit in her sadistic streak. If you look closely at the wounds on Castiel's torso, you notice she carved a smiley face into him.

     Spoiler Character 

Billie (Lisa Berry)

First appears in "Form and Void" (S11, E02).
"You and Dean dying and coming back again and again. The old Death thought it was funny, but now there is one hard fast rule in this universe. What lives, dies."

A Reaper who shows up after the apparent death of Death, which she seems to take personally. It's her stated goal to make sure the next time Sam and Dean die, they don't come back.

  • All Deaths Final: She firmly believes in this trope, which is why she is mad that the Winchesters are always able to escape their deaths.
  • Asshole Victim: She comes to claim Dean, Sam or Mary in season 12 as a consequence of a bargain they made. While she gloats about how enjoyable it will be to finally reap a Winchester, Castiel sneaks up and stabs her in the back to void the contract.
  • Enemy Mine: Helps the Winchesters to stop the Darkness by persuading an army of ghosts to empower Dean and giving him the ability to use Soul Bomb.
  • Good Is Dumb: Makes it clear to Dean in their chat after Dean has committed suicide to try and bargain for Sam's life, who he believes to be dead, that even if Sam was the only person who could stop the Darkness, she still would not bring him back, even if it meant the annihilation of reality, herself included.
  • Good Is Not Nice: She's on the same page as Sam and Dean when it comes to defeating the Darkness and saving the universe, but she makes it clear that she doesn't like either of them.
  • Hell-Bent for Leather: She's worn a grey leather jacket in her first two episodes.
  • Hero Antagonist: In a way, she has a noble goal for wanting to stop the Winchesters from coming back to the world whenever they die, correctly saying that their appearances in the world just brings more harm than it is necessary. However, she sheds this trope when she reveals that she will stop them even if they are the only solution in stopping the Darkness.
  • Knight Templar: Will do anything to prevent Dean and Sam from coming Back from the Dead again.
  • Pragmatic Hero: She'll make whatever allegiances she needs to in order to save the world.
  • Revenge Before Reason: She won't bring back the Winchesters even if they're the only thing that can save the world, herself included.
  • Tranquil Fury: While telling Sam that All Deaths Are Final, she remains calm, but the way she speaks makes it clear she's not happy after Death was killed.