Character Study: Crowley (demon)


crowley from Supernatural
The often self-styled King of Hell, Crowley (Mark Sheppard)

Name: Crowley (originally Fergus MacLeod)
TV Show: Supernatural (2005 – present)
Role: villain (mostly true depending on the season)

What I learned about characterization:

  • Crowley started off on the show, Supernatural as something of a guest role that made it seem like he wouldn’t be sticking around for very long but he has proven to be incredibly resourceful over the course of the seasons he has been involved in, alternately having the audience boo against him and then cheer for him at various points.
  • Unpredictability. Although fans have come to expect that Crowley is always up to no good and looking after only his best interests, as any demon would do, one is never sure where he’s going to go next, putting him in the middle ground between not completely evil but definitely not on the side of good either, which makes him that much more interesting.
  • Crowley’s ability to be one step ahead of the Winchesters and really anyone else he’s come up against with the notable exception of Abbadon is one of the keys to his success as a villainous character. Despite the fact that he loves taking the easy way out whenever possible, he has a voracious tenacity when it comes to getting what he wants. And he doesn’t take no for an answer.
  • Humour, however, makes Crowley a character the audience loves to hate. It also makes him more entertaining and gives him some of the best dialogue πŸ˜‰ Over time, the humour of the Crowley character has made him an object of ridicule at times, making it difficult to take him seriously as a credible threat. Still, this shows an evolution in the character in a way and adds another dimension to his portrayal so he’s not a repetitive robot.
  • He’s a demon so you can never really be sure if he’s lying or telling the truth (much to the shagrin of Kevin Tran, for one).

For all his bravado, swagger, manipulation and scare tactics, Crowley is ultimately one of the most memorable characters on the show because he’s not completely black nor is he completely white in his decisions. We’ve seen him display tenderness and affection, most notably toward his son. We’ve seen him on the precipice toward becoming human again with the blood trials designed to turn him from demon to human. We’ve seen him as a junkie addicted to human blood because he develops a taste for how it makes him feel and it gives him the jollies for a while. We’ve also seen him display sympathy toward the Winchesters, most notably Dean who one could argue Crowley has always had a soft spot for (even when he’s tried to kill him and Sam in the past).

Crowley is a complicated fellow to say the least, and this makes him not only an interesting villain but someone whose role has evolved on the show to represent a threat at times and an ally at others.

Social Media Break Update:
I hit the “sweet spot” when ignorance became bliss about a week or so ago, and I’m still riding the euphoric wave of the sense of freedom that comes from not constantly checking in to my personal social media accounts. I am starting to realize that the sad or angry “trigger” buttons that certain social media posts would push in me have gone away, which has decreased (but not eliminated) some negative feelings that I have always struggled with. So far, the biggest surprise has been that the results of the social media break were both expected and unexpected in many ways. Let’s just say I’m not exactly jumping up and down with excitement at the prospect of getting back to my profiles, but we’ll see how I adjust to gradually getting back into the swing of things.

2 Replies to “Character Study: Crowley (demon)”

  1. Ah, Crowley. I would have thought they were going to finally off him courtesy of Abaddon last season, but they surprised me with the end of last season and heading into this new, grim season. I just caught the 2nd episode of the 10th season last night and the forlorn look on his face as he gazes at the perfect of himself and Dean in cowboy hats with goofy grins is just priceless.

    As for social media, you’re doing yourself a favor. Do not google “Jian Ghomeshi” as it will make your brain itch.


    1. I know! There have been many times in the seasons since he came on that I thought he was finished but he continues to surprise me every time. Yes!! I’m with you on that look from last episode. Can’t wait to see what he’ll do next ep πŸ˜‰

      Re: being off the social medias, hahaha! Too true–I’m staying away from the news articles on that story. That and the Toronto mayoral election πŸ˜‰


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