Supernatural: 20 Things Hunters Can Do (That Angels Can't)
For the sake of clarity, hunters are humans who take care of demons and other supernatural creatures terrorizing the world in a permanent manner. Yes, Supernatural fans have seen Castiel and other angels (or archangels) work on the side of the Winchesters, but their existences are still governed by a set of rules separate from those which apply to humans. Just because angels have helped out against other angels, doesn't mean they're immune to the same weaknesses as their brothers and sisters.
Hunters know the specific kinds of weapons and sigils that can affect angels in a negative way, changing or affecting their abilities. They also don't have to worry about things such as permission to take a vessel or possible expulsion from a vessel.
However, angels are also lucky in the sense that they have fewer weaknesses when it comes to being injured, except by certain weapons, than hunters. Hunters are also subject to such things as aging, sickness and injuries in ways that angels aren't. They can also be affected by other supernatural creatures in ways that angels can't be. They've also usually been affected in some way by the supernatural world that led to them becoming a hunter.
With that said, here are the 20 Things Hunters Can Do (That Angels Can't) On Supernatural.
20 Go to Heaven or Hell
When humans pass away, they usually have two options as to where they go next: heaven or hell. The good souls go up to heaven, while the others are end up in hell, and have to endure endless torment. Hunters know what to expect when they lose their lives.
However, angels are a different story. When an angel's time comes to an end, he or she goes to a different kind of afterlife. After they've passed away, they go to the Empty, a void were angels and demons sleep for eternity. It's an awful place to end up, yet it's what's waiting for angels (and now Castiel, given the deal he made in order to save Jack from that fate).
19 Lose Their Lives Without Risking Extinction
Fortunately for hunters, humanity is not nearing extinction, at least not in the main universe of Supernatural. (It was a totally different story in the apocalypse world.) Hunting is a dangerous life. As fans have seen multiple times, it usually ends tragically. Hunters lose their lives too often while trying to save others from a supernatural creature.
However, there are hunters all over the place. As recent seasons revealed, there was even a chapter of the Men of Letters in England. While hunters can lose their lives, it's not like it's hard to imagine someone enduring some tragedy due to the supernatural and becoming part of that world. Angels, on the other hand, are endangered now, after everything that has happened (fighting each other, the fall).
18 Not Be Trapped or Locked Out By Sigils
There are a couple sigils that keep angels from moving freely. If there are certain sigils around, the angel is affected in such a way that they are essentially trapped or locked out. They also can't hear what's going on in the area. These sigils seem to be well known enough to be a serious threat to angels.
On the other hand, hunters do not have to have such concerns. They don't have to worry about such symbols to keep them from going about their business. Instead, they can use these sigils as weapons against angels. Viewers have seen the Winchesters use these sigils against angels as well as seen them in affect against Castiel.
17 Maintain Status Quo Around Certain Sigils
There are certain sigils that affect an angel in such a way that they are no longer the powerful beings they usually are. Some depower angels, while others banish them from or keep them trapped in areas. If there are certain sigils around an area, an angel cannot teleport into it.
Sigils can also be used to keep angels from locating people, such as when Castiel carved them into Dean and Sam's ribs. However, hunters don't have the same problems (as long as they're not angels who are hunting). If they're around these sigils, nothing about them changes. They can still enter and exit a room and maintain the same fighting abilities as they would without the sigils.
16 Be Unaffected by Angel Traps
Like demons, angels can be kept in place by a special kind of sigil painted on the floor or ceiling. It needs to be broken by scraping the paint off the ground (or ceiling). Sam, Dean, Crowley and Rowena have used angel traps against Gadreel and Lucifer.
Furthermore, angel traps aren't as commonly used as other ways to keep the beings in place, so they're probably not an angel's first concern. However, hunters don't have the same kinds of concerns. They are usually the ones drawing and using the angel traps to their advantage. They can come and go as they please through these traps, so they don't have to worry about stumbling across one.
15 Exit a Circle of Holy Fire
While holy oil has several uses in the world of Supernatural, it is especially useful when dealing with angels. When holy oil is set on fire, the flames trap angels and archangels. They can't leave the circle of holy fire or they risk damage to their vessels and loss of their lives.
While the flames would, of course, hurt hunters, a burn is very different from the end of a life and vessel. One can heal over time. The other cannot. It's a useful tool for hunters to have in their arsenal, especially since it can in no way harm humans. In fact, hunters can use holy oil to make bullets to use against angels.
14 Become Intoxicated By Consuming a Normal Amount of Alcohol
Considering what hunters see in their line of work, it's no surprise that they sometimes take the edge off with a few drinks. Sam and Dean have done it time and time again. Since they're human, it takes a normal amount of alcohol for them to become intoxicated. It also means they stop at a certain point.
On the other hand, angels don't have that kind of luck. Instead, as has been established, they must consume much more than humans need to in order to feel the effects of alcohol. That’s true even though their vessels are technically human. That's why while fans may see humans being intoxicated on the show, it's rare to see angels in a similar state.
13 Become Demons
Only humans can become demons. Humans usually become demons after their humanity is gone following enough torture in hell. Supernatural showed another way for this to happen with Dean Winchester after he took the Mark of Cain from Cain. After Metatron ended his life, Dean's eyes opened and they were black. Sam eventually cured him, and the Dean Winchester everyone knew and loved returned.
This is one area in which angels are lucky that they can't do something hunters can. They can't become demons because it wouldn't be possible the usual way. Once they lose their lives, they go to the Empty, not to heaven or hell, so they could never suffer enough torment for the necessary change.
When angels use a human body as a vessel, they essentially pause the bodies in their present states. They no longer need to eat food, drink water or sleep for a required number of hours a night. The vessels seemingly stop aging as soon as the angel takes possession. Along with that, the vessels aren't vulnerable to everything that comes along with aging.
However, hunters are not only in a dangerous line of work, but they also age. Not only are they constantly risking their lives, but they're also subject to growing old and everything that comes along with that. (To be fair, Supernatural doesn't seem to address that in the ways that it should.)
11 Become a Supernatural Creature
Over the 14 seasons, hunters have sometimes not fared well against the supernatural creatures they're trying to stop. They've lost their lives or they've turned into the very thing they're hunting. For example, hunters have to avoid ingesting vampire blood and then feeding on human blood so they don't become vampires. They also have to avoid being bitten by werewolves. Some people are also born as werewolves.
Dean briefly became a vampire in season 6 until he was given the cure. Garth is now a werewolf. However, angels don't have to worry about any of this, even though their bodies are human vessels. While human bodies are vulnerable, they aren't when angels are possessing them.
10 Be Hurt or Lose Their Lives Because of Regular Weapons
While there are some weapons, spells and sigils that can be used against angels, the beings do have one thing going for them: they can't be hurt or lose their lives because they've been attacked by regular weapons. Certain blades will cause significant harm and the loss of their lives, but regular weapons won't harm angels.
On the other hand, human hunters have to worry about more than just the threat of the supernatural creatures they're after. That's why other humans are also a threat they have to take into account. (The season 1 episode, "The Benders," is a perfect example of that.) Humans can suffer serious injuries even off the job. It's not as easy for an angel to be hurt or his or her life taken.
9 Have a Tragic History
It's not always the case, but Supernatural viewers were introduced to hunting through Sam and Dean Winchester and their very tragic history. When they were kids — Sam was just a baby — a demon took the life of their mother. Their father became a hunter. They grew up on the road. They became hunters themselves, and life has been anything but kind to them along the way.
They've met other hunters over the years, and while they don't all have some tragic backstory that got them into the life, it's more surprising if that's not the case than if it is. Meanwhile, angels don't have that kind of history. (They also don't usually become hunters, like Castiel has dabbled in, but that's another story.)
8 Have Completely Human Children
Hunters may be in a risky line of business, but that doesn't necessarily mean that they all swear off having a normal life, including children. Hunters can have completely human children (as long as both parents are human). Whether or not they are around to see them grow up is another matter.
The same is not true for angels. Angels cannot have completely human children. The child of an angel and human is called a Nephilim, and having one is forbidden. The Nephilim everyone knows the best on Supernatural is Jack, the son of the human Kelly Kline and the archangel Lucifer. As fans have seen since Jack's introduction, he has powers and cannot survive without his grace.
7 Show Their True Forms Without Causing Injuries
Angels take human bodies as vessels, and that's how viewers see them on Supernatural. Angels' true forms have been spoken about in various ways, but something that was established early on after Castiel's introduction on the series is that it can be dangerous for humans to gaze upon these states.
Psychic Pamela Barnes saw Castiel's true form when Dean was seeking answers in season 4, and it burned out her eyes. It is also dangerous for humans to hear angels' true voices; it is a high-pitched sound that shatters glass. However, that is not the case for hunters. Hunters are almost always humans, whose true forms are no danger to others (and are just their human bodies).
6 Be More Likely to Exhibit Free Will and Think for Themselves
While Sam and Dean have been shown saving the world multiple times, hunters usually don't have to worry about the big picture. They go after supernatural creatures that are a threat to humanity on a smaller scale, usually investigating after one person has lost his or her life. They can do what they want when they want without having to worry about the world.
That is not true for angels, on the other hand. They have to look at the world as a whole and how what's happening to and around them (like the state of heaven) in relation to humanity and the survival of the universe. They also tend to easily follow a leader, rarely rebelling.
5 Not Have to Worry About the State of Heaven
Just like hunters usually don't have to worry about the big picture, they also don't have to worry about maintaining life on Earth. Sure, they go after supernatural creatures that prey on humans and stop them, saving lives, but that's about it.
Angels, on the other hand, are tasked with maintaining Heaven. Without angels around, Heaven would fall, which would then affect life on Earth. All the souls in Heaven, which viewers have seen especially in recent seasons via trips there, would fall to Earth. If that were to happen, it would then become a problem for hunters and something that would concern them. At that point, there wouldn't be angels around to take care of it.
4 Not Worry About Being Exorcised
While Castiel may be just one of several angels (and archangels) who has helped the Winchesters and other hunters over the years, they have had to deal with angels who have been enemies. Fortunately, hunters have multiple weapons at their disposal to fight angels — and not just sharp ones. Sigils are great and all to keep angels in or out of a place, but there's also a more permanent option.
Angels can be exorcised, just like demons, but the exorcism chant doesn't seem to be widely known since it has only rarely been used. There's also a chant that can be used to cause angels pain. Still, these are weaknesses of angels, and one that hunters don't have to worry about since they're not possessing human bodies.
3 Not Worry About Vessel Expulsion
Angels must possess human bodies, which become their vessels. While they usually seek permission, that doesn't mean that the human can't retract that permission or the angel can't stay past their welcome.
Just look at what happened with Dean and the archangel Michael. It was supposed to be a one-time deal, but the archangel refused to leave. However, some people are able to expel the angel from their bodies, though that wasn't true with Dean. He wasn't strong enough to expel Michael (and as he learned in the season 14 midseason finale, Michael was able to leave the door open to return when he pleased). Hunters obviously don't have to worry about this, since they don't need vessels.
2 Need Time to Heal and Recover
When angels take a vessel, that human body becomes invulnerable to everyday injuries and disease. That didn't change even after they fell from heaven because of Metatron. Theoretically, that would make them better hunters than humans (if they cared to get into that line of work).
On the other hand, hunters can get injured. They can become sick. They do need time to heal, or at least they should; some injuries do seem to heal faster than normal, due to Supernatural being a television show. They're likely going to have scars from getting hurt on the job (but probably not on their faces because, again, this is a TV show). They can't just work job after job without stopping or resting.
1 Pass Away from Old Age
Hunting is a dangerous line of work. More often than not, those in it aren't going to make it retirement age (or if they do, won't necessarily retire). More often than not, they're going to lose their lives to the hunt.
However, it is possible that hunters can pass away from old age, that one day, their bodies just give out and they move on, to heaven or hell. Angels, on the other hand, don't have to worry about this problem, even with their vessels. Once they take possession of a human body, the person seems to stop aging. They don't have to be concerned about moving on (to another vessel) until they are ready.
Are there any other things hunters can do that angels can't in Supernatural? Let us know in the comments!