Here’s my question for the writers of the show. Did they base the Crown of Spikes on the Crown of Thorns? I have no idea. But, I think they did and Angels being a kind of AI with an operating system makes sense to me.
Angels in Supernatural and the Crown of Thorns (A Guest Ponderation)
As you may know, I’m a big Supernatural fan and, this season, the GeekBoy’s been quietly
muttering asking himself why no one’s really brought this theory up, so I asked him to write it down so I could feature it as a guest post. I think he’s so smart ;-)
First off, if you aren’t reasonably up to date on Season Eight of Supernatural there are spoilers below. You have been warned.
To give you a bit of background on myself and point of view, I’m a software developer and was raised a Catholic. Yes, I was also an alter boy. Not currently practicing but just wanted to let you know where I’m coming from.
This season, Supernatural has introduced a new dynamic into their Angels mythos. The most dramatic being that Angels can be “hacked” via a device placed on their head with specific spikes twisted into their skulls. Now, given my background, my first thought was a Crown of Thorns. I will get back to this later but it is what started off this whole thought process.
There have been countless people from monks to modern scholars debating why humans have free will and Angels don’t. Hell, there are multiple Sci-Fi and Fantasy books about the same concept. Which raises the question how could Lucifer defy God and attempt to raise himself above his father?
First we need to understand the orders or choirs of angels. They are listed below from closest to God to furthest from God. Their powers scale accordingly but conversely their ability to interact with humans grows the further from God they are.
Yes, you read that right. Archangels and Angels are the lowest orders of the heavenly host.
A couple things to get out of the way. Metatron is commonly thought of as a Seraphim. Cherubims are not flying babies with arrows but four headed, four winged, lion bodied things that would make you crap your pants. Satan/Lucifer is sometimes thought of as a Cherubim which didn’t make much sense to me since his main opponent was an Archangel called Michael. But, it might in this telling.
So, imagine you are God. What do you do? You create beings that will serve you. Basically Roombas that praise you. Need someone to take out the garbage? Create another group of Roombas. Being an all powerful being, you are smart enough to give them some self awareness but not ultimate control. Sort of like Azimov’s Three Laws of Robotics but far more powerful.
As time goes on, you keep finding new needs and you keep creating new heavenly bodies. The problem is, each one needs more leeway. You can’t have the Virtue mowing your lawn just blender a lolcat can you? (Hey, this is Heaven, God has read all the memes before you even thought of them.)
Then God, being God, takes the progression to its logical conclusion and realizes that it might be possible to create something that doesn’t have built in safeties but doesn’t have much power either. Is this something that should be done? Maybe not, but it would be interesting. Really how much trouble could they cause?
The question is, how does he let these newbies know they can learn? Oh right, he controls the operating system for every single being in existence at the time.
So, he pops into Lucifer’s head and flips a jealously switch that causes him to envy God. Bada bing bada bang Lucifer is on Earth and ready and waiting for Adam and Eve, who are basically children really. “Getting Cast Out of Eden” is pretty much growing up. God uses Lucifer to offer the Apple to Eve who gives it to Adam and free will is born. We humans don’t have a hackable operating system because God decided to let us do whatever the fuck we wanted. Maybe not the smartest choice but, hey, who am I to argue with it.
Now we get to the Crown of Thorns bit. Jesus became a bit of a pain in the ass for the Romans (that they embraced Christianity later is ironic) and, before he carried the cross, Jesus was scourged and had a crown of thorns placed on his head.
What if, just what if, down through the ages either through word of mouth or lore or whatever, placing something on a supernatural beings head that pierced their skull would either allow you to control them or remove their powers? Sure you can say that it was simple torture but what if it was torture and something else?
The first time I think we saw the Crown of Spikes used was with Alfie/Samandriel and Crowley henchman using it to torture him to reveal secrets — then accidentally reset him to the “factory default”. It’s important to note that in this episode. depending on which spike was twisted, he would do or say different things. With Castiel, it’s never shown explicitly but does Naomi approaching with the spike imply that he is being manipulated by the Crown of Spikes? Add to this, Naomi’s desire for the Angel tablet. True, she doesn’t want Crowley to get it, but she is going for full on Heaven control — and if it lets her take control of all the Heavenly host, so much the better.