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I've been watching the TV show Supernatural for years. Last year I listened to the audio book version of Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman's Good Omens and was astounded by the similarities between the character named Crowley in both works.

Does anyone know, has their been any discussion about the use of Good Omens' Crowley as the template for the character Crowley in Supernatural?

As an aside, is the demon Crowley mentioned in the Bible or previous works somewhere or is there some other reason multiple works of fiction would use the same name to describe the same sort of character?

I also suggest anyone who likes Supernatural give this book a try.

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    I'm not familiar with either character, but Aleister Crowley immediately comes to mind. – phantom42 Apr 12 '15 at 22:30
  • Aleister Crowley would be my answer, thats what I always assumed. – razethestray Apr 12 '15 at 22:46
  • No one to bring Castiel as Aziraphale ? More than the name, it's the frenemy relation between the angel and the demon that make me think of good omens. – dna Oct 8 '18 at 11:08
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I have never seen any indication that Gaiman and Pratchett's work was used as the basis for Supernatural's Crowley, and the similarities between the two characters are mostly superficial.

Crowley from the novel is a demon whose existence dates back at least to the Garden of Eden; his name is just a modernized version of "Crawley" ("Crawly", in the novel), since he was the serpent from that story. He lives on Earth, is friends with an angel, and is largely content to keep living the life he has.

Crowley from the show is a demon whose existence dates back about 350 years, and who was originally human. Prior to about the 4th season, he spent most of his time in Hell, travelling up to Earth to make deals and collect souls. While he does try to prevent the apocalypse from happening (like his counterpart), he does so primarily to gain more power for himself, and ultimately seize control of Hell from Lilith. His plans later on in the series include an attempt to open the Gates of Hell and let his demon army loose on the Earth, which is arguably worse than the Apocalypse, where the general consensus is that Michael would have won in the end.

As far as the similarity in names, there is a very prominent figure in recent occult history named Aleister Crowley, who shows up rather frequently in pop culture. For those people who aren't familiar with him, the name is often associated with "Satanism" or "witchcraft", making it a good choice for a vaguely evil sounding name.

For the record, that categorization of the man is pretty far off base. The guy was a bigot, not to mention (IMO) out of his mind, but he wasn't "evil" so much as he was a "proponent of individual morality." He refused to even accept the idea that Satan existed. But few people know anything about him other than Ozzy Osbourne wrote a song about him that sounded creepy.

  • I suppose you're right - the details are different. Still their characters were similar. I could easily envision some of Good Omens Crowley dialog coming out of Supernatural Crowley's mouth. Maybe I'm just nuts. I was hoping the writers of Supernatural were fans of Good Omens or something like that. – Jim2B Apr 13 '15 at 3:44
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    This is an incorrect answer as one of the writers confirmed Crowley is inspired by Good Omens and even Neil Gaiman approves of it. supernaturalwiki.com/index.php?title=Neil_Gaiman – Sean256 Jul 27 '18 at 22:15
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According to Kripke (and Mark Sheppard, who discussed Neil Gaiman's reaction to his version of Crowley), "Crowley’s name is a reference to the character of the same name in Good Omens." Interestingly, Crowley is introduced in 5.10 Abandon All Hope... which opens with an overhead shot of a freeway, which evokes the description in Good Omens of the M25 which Crowley builds in the shape of a sigil and on which the traffic unknowingly helps generate “low-grade evil to pollute the metaphysical atmosphere.” Given that Kripke basically hero-worships Gaiman, and that he has admitted "I’m such a fan of Neil, and he’s every bit as smart as promised and every bit as cool and down-to-earth, and I just loved my conversations with him... I've ripped off Neil front, right and centre. I mean Supernatural is basically Sandman meets American Gods", and has included elements of nearly every Gaiman story at some point in the show, I'd say there was a definite influence.

Obviously there are a few differences between the characters, but I'd say Supernatural's Crowley is pretty heavily influenced by Good Omen's Crowley. I mean, just look at some of his quotes! Heck, Supernatural even has a waiting room near the gates of Hell, just like Crowley says in GO.

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The facts are that Kripke has mentioned the huge influence that Good Omen’s had on the creation of supernatural. Spn’s Crowley’s namesake is in fact Crowley from GO. Even Castiel’s character design is completely inspired from the Sandman character John Constantine. There are many references littered throughout the show, clearly Kripke’s way of showing his admiration for Gaiman and his works.

For more see this wiki page.

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Neil Gaiman inspired Kripke for a lot things http://www.supernaturalwiki.com/index.php?title=Neil_Gaiman

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    Hello, and welcome to the site. Can you expand on this answer? Short answers are likely to be deleted. Please refer to the site guidelines for writing good questions and answers. – Wad Cheber Jul 25 '15 at 21:19

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