Characters: Supernatural Reapers
Click here to go back to the main character page
open/close all folders
Reapers in Supernatural
"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, Ep12)
, "In My Time of Dying" (S02, Ep01)
, "Death Takes A Holiday" (S04, Ep15)
, "Abandon All Hope..." (S05, Ep10)
, "Two Minutes To Midnight" (S05, Ep21)
, "Appointment In Samarra" (S06, Ep11)
,"Meet The New Boss" (S07, Ep01)
, "Death's Door" (S07, Ep10)
, and "Taxi Driver" (S08, Ep19)
- 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).
- Kryptonite Factor:
- Cool Sword: Can be killed by an Angel blade and the first blade..
- Demonic Possession: Able to be possessed by a demon.
- Eye of Newt: Spells can be used to bind or trap a reaper.
- Geometric Magic: Can be held within traps of drawn symbols.
- Sinister Scythe: Can be killed by Death's scythe. Crowley recounts that legend has it that it can kill Death himself, but this seems rather unlikely since he most likely made the scythe in the first place and states himself to be completely immortal.
- Portent of Doom: Gather in groups at times of great catastrophe or distress.
- Powers That Be: Are in the service of Death.
- Retcon: Season 9 establishes reapers as a subset of Angels.
- The Smurfette Principle: Tessa, the only Reaper known by a name for many seasons, was also the only Reaper portrayed as female until Season 9.
- Stopped Clock: Freeze clocks at the time of death.
- Throat Light: When killed.
- Teleportation: Disappear in a flash of light.
Death (Julian Richings)
"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. 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.
- Badass: Death agrees to retrieve Sam's soul from Lucifer's Cage, a virtually impermeable prison that is then housing two very powerful archangels. When he does, he returns within the minute.
- 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.
- Badass in a Nice Suit: Death wears a black suit and longcoat.
- Badass In Charge: Death is in charge of all of the reapers.
- Humanoid Abomination: It's implied that he's something far more terrifying, but at least he presents himself in human form.
- Insignificant Little Blue Planet: Death considers Earth to be an incredibly young planet that barely registers on the cosmic radar.
- Jerkass 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 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 pretty much used as one the first time viewers see, well, Death.
- 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.
- Non-Malicious Monster: Death isn't interested in Lucifer's plan for bringing about the Apocalypse. He's not terribly interested in Earth, as it turns out...but it doesn't stop him from killing everyone in the restaurant where Dean meets him, apparently just by his presence.
- 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.
- Only Sane Man: Of the Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
Death: Please, Cas. 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 think like you...well. Think how you'd feel if a bacterium sat at your table and started to get smug.
- 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. And 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.
- 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 spoilt child.
- 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," 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.
- Time Abyss: With massive amounts of Nightmare Fuel, Uncanny Valley, Cryptic Conversation, and all other manner of unsettling tropes. 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.
- Touch of Death: Obviously. An interesting example in his first appearence, 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 dont kill us for summoning you" bribe.
- 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)
"It's your time to go, Dean. And you're living on borrowed time already."
Tessa is Dean's Reaper.
- 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.
- A Form You Are Comfortable With: She assumed her human form only after Dean was terrified of her incorporeal one, which looks more like a wraith. 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".
- Meaningful Name: "Tessa" is a form of "Theresa", which is Greek for "to harvest"… or "to reap".
- Woman in Black: Tessa in her human form after she gave up disguising herself in white-and-blue hospital scrubs.
- 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)
"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)
"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. But Maurice winds up on the wrong side of the equation when the Winchesters realize he's tailing them.
- 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.
April Kelly (Shannon Lucio)
"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's fatally stabbed 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.
- 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.
- Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique
- 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.