One of the best known angels (and one of three to be specifically named), Gabriel is the messenger of God. His most famous act was foretelling the births of Jesus and John the Baptist, though he appeared as early as the Book of Daniel in the Old Testament. Because he is explicitly mentioned as the angel who comes to earth to inform the people, in fiction he is often shown interacting with humans, in addition to the higher angels' role as warriors. Many also identify him as the angel of the Last Judgement, and with the Ministering Angel who came to Jesus in Gethsemane. Gabriel, known as Jibril, plays a similar role in Islam
(he appears to Muhammad, and the revelations so transmitted are The Qur'an
) and the Baha'i Faith. In Latter-day Saint theology, Gabriel is believed to have led a mortal life as Noah.
He (and nowadays sometimes "she
") is a Public Domain Character
, from The Bible
, of course, though his status as an Archangel is never specified in the book itself.
Gabriel has commonly been depicted heralding messages with a horn, so the Horn of Gabriel may show up in fiction quite a bit. Said horn is often granted the epithet "Gabriel's Horn of Truth", and is occasionally seen as being used to herald the coming of the apocalypse itself. Sometimes, instead of a trumpet, he's holding a lily or a cup (representing Mary's purity and femininity). Gabriel himself is strongly associated with Seers
, prediction and clairvoyance in his messages.
Because of Meaningful Names
, characters named Gabriel have generally been good guys. However, since angels have largely shifted out of Always Lawful Good
territory in contemporary media, the name Gabriel has lost some of its street cred, particularly considering his links to Death
and being "The Angel of God's Left Hand
". Either way, these characters are Gabriel In Name Only
, so please don't list them here.
Also, as reading several of the examples below show, he tends to fill the "angel doing bad, bad things" role quite often these days for some reason.
Subtrope of Celestial Paragons and Archangels
. See his brethren in Archangel Michael
, Archangel Raphael
, Archangel Uriel
, and (possibly) the Fallen Angel
version in Archangel Lucifer, aka Satan
. Also take a look at Our Angels Are Different
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Anime and Manga
- An important angel named Gabriel appears in Saint Beast but he's probably not modeled on the traditional Gabriel as the work's cosmology is a bit of a melting pot and this Gabriel actually allies himself with Lucifer and goes to Hell.
- Archangel Gabriel appears in A Certain Magical Index as "Misha Croitsef", modeling itself after a girl in Russia named Sasha Croitsef after a spell which forcibly casts angels out of Heaven is cast. It attempts to go back to Heaven by casting the spell which destroyed Babylon to kill the one responsible for the spell. Later on, it's properly summoned by Fiamma of the Right to restore the balance altered by the Star of Bethlehem. The entire might of France and England couldn't lay a scratch on it!
- Acqua of the Back, William Orville, is the member of God's Right Seat who pulls his power from Gabriel. He's explicitly stated to be just as skilled as Gabriel itself at water magic.
- Also, it should be noted that every person stated to be aligned with the Archangel Gabriel have power over water.
- 666 Satan features 10 demons and angels, one of which is Gabriel.
- Baguramon from Digimon Xros Wars is the Demonic inversion of Archangel Gabriel.
- In Shaman King, Archangel Gabriel appears as a spirit ally to minor character Meene Montgomery.
- Gabriel herself does not truly appear with all her memories in Angel Sanctuary, but Sara is her reincarnation, after being forced to...reincarnate...by Sevothatarte, for opposing his rule in Heaven. Sara temporarily uses her body, but Raphael restores her to her own body, and the body of Gabriel, also known as Jibril, is placed in the Water Garden again. We can assume that after Sara lives her happy, normal life with Setsuna that they finally achieved at the end of the manga, she will be restored to being Gabriel, with all her memories, when she dies.
- Gabriel is a woman in High School D×D and she's considered as Heaven's Strongest Woman and Heaven's Most Beautiful Woman (which we do not see her face at all). In this series, she's more of The Ditz considering that she didn't know that Issei was targeting her to pull off his Dress Break on her (it didn't work of course as events conspired against Issei).
- One of Galactus' heralds, Gabriel the Air-Walker. Besides the name and appearance, he comes complete with a horn that he uses to summon the Planet Eater.
- Gabriel appears in the comic book series Hellblazer as an arrogant snob in London. He is constantly being tormented of his thoughts if God ever created him to be a good angel of mankind, or a powerful heavenly killer. John Constantine later tricks him to sleeping with a succubi, where he got his heart ripped out of him. Although alive, Gabriel became under control of Constantine where he uses him in his fight against Satan, First of the Fallen. He is killed in the process.
- Gabriel appears in a single panel near the end of Lucifer during a flashback. He was apparently supposed to form a trinity with Michael and Samael as the ones who carried out God's will, but appears to have fallen out of favour at some point. This is probably because Lucifer, as part of the Vertigo imprint, needed to maintain continuity with other Vertigo comics, of which Hellblazer is one.
- In Manchester Lost, a Good Omens fanfic, he appears as a Deadpan Snarker who gets annoyed by pretty much every single thing Michael says or does, and spends his life bemoaning his stupidity. He's also been in love with him since the beginning of creation. He admits this eventually.
- In Misfiled Dreams, Rumisiel's fevered dream in the first chapter includes him and his brother defying their father, the Archangel Gabriel.
- Gabriel is referenced in Sonic X: Dark Chaos as one of four Archangels (himself, Raphael, Michael, and Tephiroth) who lead the military forces of the Angel Federation. Gabriel is a diplomat and negotiator at heart who forges alliances between the Federation and other anti-Demon elements.
Films — Live-Action
- In Legion, Gabriel is the one sent to find and kill off the new savior baby during the angel apocalypse. Michael strongly objects.
- In 2007, the Australian film Gabriel tells the story of an "Arc" Angel who fights to bring light back to purgatory place where darkness rules and save the souls of the city's inhabitants. Actor Andy Whitfield portrays the title role. He's also a Badass Longcoat with a lot of firepower.
- In The Prophecy trilogy, the angel Gabriel, played by Christopher Walken, is portrayed as a villain and is jealous of humans for being God's favorites and wishes to destroy them all. In the second film, he is banished to be a human; this causes him to change his opinion of them. After helping Danyael out through the third movie, Gabriel is granted a second chance as an angel and ascends to Heaven once again.
- In Van Helsing, it is implied that Van Helsing is actually the angel Gabriel in human form.
- In Constantine, Gabriel is played by Bifauxnen Tilda Swinton. He resents God's love for an unworthy humanity and plots to release Hell on Earth so that humanity can earn God's love.
- Gabriel makes several appearances in The Nativity Story, naturally.
- In Paradise Lost, John Milton made Gabriel, with horn, chief of the angelic guards placed over Paradise. He's really badass.
- The Hebrew poem Elifelet by Nathan Alterman, put to music and often heard on the Israeli Radio, tells of a heroic, self-sacrificing Israeli soldier being killed in battle. Upon the protagonist's death, the angel Gabriel descends to Earth, in order to comfort the spirit of the fallen hero and take him up to Heaven.
- Salman Rushdie's The Satanic Verses has his main character be the modern incarnation of Gabriel.
- In Incarnations of Immortality, he's actually God's second in command, and the one running the place while God is busy contemplating his own greatness for centuries on end.
- Mentioned in passing as the Messenger by Mab in The Dresden Files after Uriel, most mysterious and probably most powerful of the Archangels drops by.
- In Katherine Kurtz' Deryni novels, Gabriel is invoked as the Angel of Water and the Angel of the South; he is the patron of the Gabrielites, a monastic order devoted to healing magic and pledged to non-violence.
- The Bible of course is the Trope Maker, making Gabriel Older Than Feudalism. He is described as "one having the appearance of a man," with a tendency to make people fall down in fright. Usually, he has to reassure them and tell them not to be afraid. In addition to announcing the birth of Jesus in the New Testament, Gabriel first appeared to the prophet Daniel to help interpret his apocalyptic visions of the future.
- In Alexander Pushkin's humorous and blasphemous poem The Gabrieliad, Gabriel is the main character sent to Virgin Mary by God to conceive (yes, physically) Jesus.
- In Please Don't Tell My Parents I'm A Supervillain, we have Gabriel, an angelic hero with six wings. He's notably tight-lipped on his past and origins, but the villain Lucyfar (who claims to be the Archangel Lucifer) insists that he is the Archangel Gabriel himself, and her divine brother. She also insists they're dating (that part Gabriel denies).
- In an episode of the original 1959 The Twilight Zone, entitled "A Passage for Trumpet", trumpet player Joey Crown (played by Jack Klugman) makes a decision to live or die with the help of a trumpet player who later turns out to be the angel Gabriel.
- In a Season 5 episode of Supernatural it is revealed that the recurring character the Trickster is actually the Archangel Gabriel. His role as messenger seems to be fulfilled in his modus operandi, teaching the conceited that there are powers above them. Interestingly, he is also the Norse God, Loki. Gabriel himself refers to this as his own personal "Witness Protection." Ultimately that he and Castiel are among the only angels who actually followed what God asked of them, which was to protect and serve humanity. Gabriel, however, goes from being the son who denies his true nature in order to hide from his dysfunctional family, to being a hero of mankind when he stands up to his brother Lucifer, who has long been bitter about the fact that God created humans and expected angels to serve them, and is in a longstanding rivalry with their brother Michael.
Gabriel: Oh, I'm loyal. To them.
Lucifer: Who? These, so-called Gods?
Gabriel: To people, Lucifer. People.
Lucifer: So you're willing to die for a pile of cockroaches. Why?
Gabriel: Because Dad was right. They are better than us.
Lucifer: They are broken! Flawed! Abortions!
Gabriel: Damn right they're flawed, but a lot of them try. To do better. To forgive.... I've been riding the pine a long time, but I'm in the game now. And I'm not on your side, or Michael's. I'm on theirs.
Lucifer: Brother, don't make me do this.
Gabriel: No one makes us do anything.
- He also gets what is possibly the most hilarious line spoken between angelsnote , when he says: "Lucifer, you're my brother and I love you, but you are a great big bag of dicks."
- Gabriel's horn is later referenced to in season 6, though it is not seen or relevant to the plot, only assumed to be.
- Alluded to in an episode of Star Trek. McCoy jokes that he'd like to beam down to a planet and say "Behold, I am the archangel Gabriel."
Spock: "I fail to see the humor in that situation, Doctor."
McCoy: "Naturally. You could hardly claim to be an angel with those pointed ears, Mister Spock. But say you landed someplace with a pitchfork..."
- Dominion, as the TV sequel to Legion (in the Film section above), continues to use Gabriel in the Big Bad role. He blames mankind's sins for God's disappearance, and intends to use his army of angels to finish the job started in the movie and wipe us out.
- Two entirely separate Archangel Gabriels appear in Old Harry's Game. However they're both officious creeps who'd like to see Satan somehow sent somewhere even worse than Hell.
- In the Witchcraft RPG, he is the biggest douche of the Archangels. His machinations resulted in the creation of the Combine, every evil conspiracy organization stereotype out there. His douchebaggery resulted in the archangel Michelle, leaving Heaven to form the Alliance.
- The worst part is that in the sequel, Armageddon, it turns out he was thoroughly Out-Gambitted by the Church Of Revelations (servants of the Mad God Leviathan), and that not only was his pet project thoroughly infiltrated and subverted towards their cause, said pet project's asshattery towards all of humanity in general and the numerous mystical Ancient Traditions running around specifically (including several false flag operations so they'd fight each other instead of their true enemies) was as instrumental in the Church's unstoppable takeover of almost half the world early in the war, thereby ensuring that Leviathan's forces are dangerously close to victory - which wouldn't mean just The End of the World as We Know It, but the total unmaking of reality and its recreation according to Leviathan's utterly alien will.
Of course, even after this comes to light, Gabriel is still a Holier Than Thou Jerkass Knight Templar who refuses to admit any fault in this and refuses to collaborate with anyone who doesn't worship (his personal version of) God's will and recognise him and the angels who side with him as their superiors in all things, further dividing the opposition to the Church of Revelations and marking him as dangerously close to being Too Haughty To Live. By comparison, even The Legions of Hell (who pretty much all hate humanity and non-fallen angels on principle since the Fall) are pretty much on board with their Enemy Mine situation with The Alliance and other factions opposed to Leviathan.
- In In Nomine, Gabriel is a Mad Oracle who lives in a Heavenly volcano. He may have been driven to madness by the persecution of the Archangel Dominic, who believes that Gabriel rewrote the Quran, or by the strain of sharing a Word with a Demon Prince. These days, Gabriel more frequently appears as a woman.
- In the Shin Megami Tensei series, Gabriel is portrayed as the only female Seraph and, in the second installment, stands apart from the other Seraphim when their goals diverge from God's. This means, that, unfortunately for her, she has to ocasionally play the Only Sane Man amongst the Four Archangels. When she doesn't join them in the Knight Templar and Well-Intentioned Extremist camp, of course.
- The Dawn of War main campaign features a saintly (by Imperial standards) Space Marine named Gabriel Angelos. Now, the name might just be a coincidence, but the Emperor's Space Marines do refer to themselves as His "Angels of Death"...
- The Star Ocean (and Valkyrie Profile and a few other Tria games) have a bonus boss named "Gabriel Celeste", one half of a duo and the lesser male Half Identical Twin of an even stronger Angel Bonus Boss named Iseria Queen. The "Celeste" part is to differentiate from a Person of Mass Destruction named after the angel Gabriel who was the boss of Star Ocean: The Second Story.
- The Eroge Makai Tenshi Djibril has an angel named Loveriel apparently transforming girls into the angel Djibril. It has a cute opening.
- In Misfile, Gabriel appears in flashback as the father of Rumisiel and Vashiel.
- In Sister Claire, a female angel named Gabrielle comes to tell the titular character she's been selected as the next mother of the Messiah, and continues to communicate with her throughout the comic.
- In mathematics, the trumpet-like shape generated by rotating the graph of 1/X around the X-axis is called Gabriel's Horn. It has infinite surface area but only finite volume, thereby linking the divine with the mortal.
- Gabriel and his horn are featured in the final line of "The Eyes of Texas".
- Gabriel and/or his horn is often referenced in African-American spirituals.
- In Johnny Cash's song Ain't No Grave, he commands, "Well, look down yonder, Gabriel, Put your feet on the land and sea, But Gabriel, don't you blow your trumpet, Until you hear from me."
- A heckler once told Australian Prime Minister Robert Menzies "I wouldn't vote for you if you were the Archangel Gabriel!" Menzies replied, "If I were the Archangel Gabriel, you wouldn't be in my constituency."
- In many tarot decks, particularly the famous Rider-Waite version, the card "Judgement" depicts Gabriel blowing on his horn to announce the Day of Reckoning.
- In some versions of the Little Bunny Foo Foo children's poem, Gabriel replaces the more commonly used good fairy. He reprimands the titular character and threatens to turn him into a goon or (in some versions) goose for bopping the mice on the head.