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20 April 2010 @ 04:07 am
Just something I've been pondering  
I've been wondering about Castiel and his powers. It seems the general consensus of fandom thinks that Castiel has been losing his powers bit by bit since he returned, I've seen this being referenced a lot in fics and also in fandom discussions. However, are Castiel's powers really dwindling away?


He said in the beginning of the season that he's been cut off from Heaven so there are certain things he doesn't have full capability of doing such as healing and time travel. This doesn't necessarily mean his powers are slowly draining away from him episode by episode. If that were true, he would have been completely weakened by now. Instead, in the last episode Castiel seemed to possess a bit more power than we've seen from him in previous episodes, and perhaps even more badass than when he did have full capability of his powers from last season. So in my view from this, Castiel is only limited to certain abilities rather than losing them, as he's already stated in 5.02, since I'm sure to him this does feel like he's been weakened or made helpless because of being cut off from his home, but certainly not weak as in feeling his Grace drained from him. As for the 2014 future!Castiel, it's my belief that when the angels had left and Lucifer took power that is when he became completely powerless and "no longer an angel" (at least somewhat, he's still an angel just trapped inside a human vessel). Not before, not along the way, but in the moment when Lucifer had taken control did that occur. And even though we're now seeing Castiel subtly become humanized by his mannerisms with each passing episode, he still has BAMF skills and his some of his powers intact.

Overall, from what I've observed, I think with the knowledge of him having limited access to certain abilities people are confusing that with him losing more of his powers, especially since we've seen over the course of this season just to what extent does this limit him to.

Now I don't know if there's been any kind of articles or interviews explaining whether he is or isn't gradually losing his angel powers, since I don't read anything that could have potential spoilers in them so I don't know if this has already been discussed or confirmed or whatever. These are just my thoughts and opinions on the matter.


This is just me, having thinky-thoughts at like, early in the morning. And it has to do with Castiel, go figure. Heh.
 
 
Current Mood: curiouscurious
 
 
 
once upon a kadiel krieger: CasRapturekriari on April 20th, 2010 11:17 am (UTC)
My fanwank on this particular front is just what you've mentioned. I don't think he's slowly becoming less of a BAMF. I think there are just things he CAN'T do without access to the Host. Healing and time-travel. The difference (for me) is that they're a different type of power - something external rather than internal. It's early in the morning for me too, and I'll have to mentally spool through the clips in my head later but that seems to be the unifying theme. He's still incredibly powerful, can teleport himself anywhere, can lay the smack down on some henchmen, etc. He seems to be losing his ability to effect the world around him with his angel mojo though and that may be because he taps into some secret angel mojo network to pull those things off. Since technically they're a collective and all.

RE: F!Cas. Similarly, I think those collective powers were what he lost when the Host departed Earth. I also think the loss of his personal power is tied intrinsically to that loss of faith and that the fact he still has any power at all means somewhere deep down he still has hope and a kernel of faith.

This is interesting and deserves a full-fledged meta.
Renée: Castiel. Wings.rogueslayer452 on April 20th, 2010 11:29 am (UTC)
It's interesting that you brought up the collective term because I was just thinking about that, esp in the last episode with how Castiel was able to get notified about something that was happening when Heaven was resurrecting Adam. He's obviously been cut off, but can still receive certain messages/warnings from them? But it makes sense because angels in Heaven are practically a collective, and with connecting that with future!Castiel and when the angels left Earth, that places things into a much clearer perspective concerning that.

And yes, I completely agree, this topic truly does deserve a full-on discussion.
once upon a kadiel kriegerkriari on April 20th, 2010 12:24 pm (UTC)
Now I'm just waiting for the ST:TNG crossover where the angels = Borg.

Yep, I figured. I have exhausted my pool of thinky thought before coffee already.

After coffee I will MUSE.
Renée: Cylons. By your command!rogueslayer452 on April 20th, 2010 06:35 pm (UTC)
lol! I have my BSG parallels still in my head where the angels are basically just like the Cylons. XD
lloyd, i'm ready to be heartbroken: holding out for a larger than life herosapphirestar_ on April 20th, 2010 11:24 am (UTC)
i think you're right. the fact that cas has been quite effectively kicking some angel ass is evidence enough - the angels he's been fighting, they haven't lost any powers. they've always had heaven backing them up, and as such have been full of angel mojo, and it just doesn't make sense that cas could kill them as easily as he has if he's slowly losing his powers. (because c'mon, angels fighting each other? that's gotta be tough if one of them's almost human, which cas obviously isn't.)

conclusion: cas is one badass motherfucker who will seriously kick dean's some ass when he needs to.
Renée: Castiel. I'm almost out of minutes!rogueslayer452 on April 20th, 2010 05:32 pm (UTC)
conclusion: cas is one badass motherfucker who will seriously kick dean's some ass when he needs to.

YES. THERE IS NOTHING TRUER THAN THIS TRUFAX.

If anything, Castiel is becoming more resourceful with being limited to certain powers, which makes him even more badass in my book. And you're totally right, if Castiel were slowing being weakened by the loss of his powers he wouldn't be able to fight full-fledged powerful angels, all of which gang up on him. Which he as done plenty of times. This last episode gave us him being both resourceful and kicking ass at the same time, and that is very hardcore. So yeah, there isn't anything supporting him losing his abilities or becoming less of a BAMF. He just cannot do certain things, as stated, but he's still a powerful angel that will smite your ass.
yeah, i live on the hellmouth.vichan on April 20th, 2010 12:50 pm (UTC)
I think strangecharm just recently had the same thoughts, and there's a super long discussion about it over on her journal.

I'm one of those that's pretty much on the fence over it, only because of the scene in 5.10 where he figured out he couldn't do the 'hand-to-forehead' demon gank any longer when he was trapped in the fire with Meg. It seemed like he knew some of his powers would be diminished (he knew he couldn't heal Bobby), but losing the power to kill demons seemed like a complete surprise to him. Did he know he would lose some powers and not others? That's ringing weird in my head.

As for the argument for him not losing his powers, they're all lined up here already. However, I don't think him being able to sense what Heaven is doing is an argument for him not losing them - Anna could hear the angels, too, when she was still human. I think angels are just loud.

And like I said - I'm on the fence, mostly 'cuz we haven't gotten a definite answer either way. :)


I haven't had coffee yet.

Edited at 2010-04-20 12:50 pm (UTC)
Renée: Castiel + Cell phone = OTP.rogueslayer452 on April 20th, 2010 05:24 pm (UTC)
Interestingly, what happened in 5.10 is exactly what happened in 4.10 when Castiel discovered he couldn't gank Alastair, as well. But back then he truly was surprised at his lack of ganking demons, Alastair in particular, since he was in full angelic power. Could it be because Alastair was stronger or more powerful? I don't know. However in "Abandon All Hope" he didn't have that same surprised or shocked expression on his face, which means he probably already knew he couldn't or knew there was a possibility he lost such ability, seeing as how killing demons that way is connected with the Host of Heaven, so he had an alternative plan of action by throwing her down in the fire.

And yes, even angels who have supposedly fallen or have been cut off still are able to have that certain connection with the rest of the angels in Heaven. Which is further evidence to me at how collective the angels really are, at least in certain aspects.

I think this is an interesting topic of discussion to have, especially since there's nothing that confirms or denies either side. It makes my brain all tingly with thinky thoughts. ;)
yeah, i live on the hellmouth.vichan on April 20th, 2010 05:35 pm (UTC)
I always got a different impression from that scene - he couldn't gank Alistair because of how powerful he was.

Meg, on the other hand, is just a run-o-the-mill demon. The audience gets to see Castiel try to kill her and fail, and then hear Meg vocally point out that he wasn't able to kill her. From a story-telling standpoint, that's telling me that it's as much of a surprise to Castiel as it is to the audience. What are the writers trying to tell the audience with that? They'd already established episodes before that he'd been weakened by abandoning Heaven, so why did they need to do it again? Why didn't he just throw her into the fire right away?
Renée: Castiel. Guardian angel.rogueslayer452 on April 20th, 2010 05:52 pm (UTC)
What are the writers trying to tell the audience with that? They'd already established episodes before that he'd been weakened by abandoning Heaven, so why did they need to do it again? Why didn't he just throw her into the fire right away?

The thing I find with Supernatural and its writing is that there are times when they need to rehash certain things, sometimes in a repetitive format, as they've done with the brothers and their issues multiple times. Perhaps they needed to reestablish that with Meg taunting Castiel about no longer being connected with Heaven. But even so, I understand how that can be something that Castiel could have been like "oh yeah" about not having that ability, even though I still think he kinda already suspected. Which is why if Plan A doesn't work, he had a Plan B.

Also, I think he didn't throw her in the fire immediately was to tell the audience that yes, he may be cut off from Heaven, but he's still a cunning BAMF who is becoming more resourceful even without Heaven's assistance.

Edited at 2010-04-20 05:57 pm (UTC)
yeah, i live on the hellmouth.vichan on April 20th, 2010 06:12 pm (UTC)
I see Castiel losing his powers as something significantly different from the the boys' emotional issues - the writers will often use the trope of having other characters speak for Sam and Dean (it's a convenient way of avoiding all those 'chick flick' moments, even though we get plenty of those, anyway :D). Castiel hasn't made his losing his powers something emotional yet (aside from 5.04 and the "I used to belong to a much better club" line). He's actually painting it as nothing more than an inconvenience, and not something he's getting bent out of shape over.

Which - hell, that's an argument supporting both sides. :D

Eh, my point - it makes no sense to me that the writers would reestablish something we already know when it's not something like "Dean is losing all hope" or "Sam's got addiction issues." It makes sense when we get that for something emotionally affecting a character that a certain character wouldn't talk about otherwise.

Of course, the writers are known for giving us pointless anvils, so maybe they just did it there.

And hell, I think I find Castiel gradually losing his powers to be an absolutely fascinating potential storyline, so I'm probably biased. :D
goldenusagigoldenusagi on April 20th, 2010 05:46 pm (UTC)
what happened in 4.10 when Castiel discovered he couldn't gank Alastair, as well

You know, I was thinking about the Alastair thing earlier. Castiel sure got beat up a lot in S4, didn't he? Uriel, Alastair... And now he's killing angels like nobody's business. But I think in S4, he relied too much on his powers (like with Alastair), whereas now he knows he has to fight dirty, strike quick, and take no prisoners. Also, I think he was sort of willing to die for what he believed in with Uriel, and now he knows that if he dies, there's no one left to fight the fight. So he's 100% BAMF, and he's alwways ON. And everyone IS out to get him, so he's not so much in "holy, smiting angel of the Lord mode" anymore, but "sneaky, cunning, kill them first" mode.

Edited at 2010-04-20 05:48 pm (UTC)
Renée: Castiel. Show some respect.rogueslayer452 on April 20th, 2010 06:20 pm (UTC)
YES. THIS, EXACTLY.

The fact that Castiel is proving to be more resourceful and more badass than he ever has been when he was part of Heaven's forces says at lot about where his character is now. He's not weakened, he's not losing any more of his powers or abilities. He's just becoming a survivalist and a fighter for what he believes in rather than what he used to believe in, which he found out was underneath a pretense last season, and without relying on Heaven's power to help him in times of crisis he has to find alternative ways of dealing with situations. He's definitely all, "bring it on!" to anything right now, and I kinda love that about him this season. THIS IS MY BAMF ANGEL Y'ALL. ♥
goldenusagigoldenusagi on April 20th, 2010 03:04 pm (UTC)
It's funny, I never thought he was losing his powers until I got online and found fandom. And I just didn't understand where everyone was coming from. But the idea is all over fic, and even in discussions about episodes. I don't think he's getting weaker, and I'm not sure why fandom seems set that he is. For a while I suppose it might have seemed like it, but given what we've seen in 18 episodes, I can't find anything that supports he's losing powers. There's been nothing in season 5 that he's done and been unable to do later. He said twice that he was cut off from Heaven (5.02 and 5.13). I read spoilers and interviews, and I've seen nothing discussing Castiel losing his powers or not. But I just don't see anything in canon that supports him getting weaker, even though lots of people seem sure that he is. (There's speculation now about Castiel using up his angel mojo at the end of 5.18 when he banished himself, but I almost wonder if the only reason we're speculating is because so many people want him to lose his powers and are looking for a way for that to happen. Because I don't see how banishing himself would do anything. I suppose the angels he banished himself with could do something to him.)
Renée: SPN. Castiel.rogueslayer452 on April 20th, 2010 05:09 pm (UTC)
For a while I suppose it might have seemed like it, but given what we've seen in 18 episodes, I can't find anything that supports he's losing powers. There's been nothing in season 5 that he's done and been unable to do later.

Exactly. From all the episodes we've seen there's no further evidence of losing his abilities, and like you said everything he's done this season, with the exception of time travel, he's been able to achieve again. It's very interesting seeing fandom think he is when there's nothing suggesting or supporting such a claim. I guess, on the fanfic front, people could just be trying to find alternative ways of how his character could wind up, either slowing losing his powers or Falling or whatever, which is kind of fine however I've seen that everywhere in fic along with just random discussions, as if it's been canonically proven somehow.

but I almost wonder if the only reason we're speculating is because so many people want him to lose his powers and are looking for a way for that to happen. Because I don't see how banishing himself would do anything. I suppose the angels he banished himself with could do something to him

I don't see Castiel carving the banishing sigil on himself as channeling something powerful from Heaven, either. It's just a resourceful, if not risky, way about defeating those five angels in a short amount of time for the Winchesters to get Adam. That's it. There really doesn't have to be anything special about that other than such a tactic probably hasn't been done on another angel before, so the repercussions of it can be very interesting (since I'm going back and forth whether such an action can have some counteraction or he just banished himself along with the other angels, wherever they go when this happens).

It's interesting that some people want Castiel to lose his powers. I mean, it can be a great challenge for furthering his character development in some ways if that was to be explored, however I would prefer Castiel remain an angel while still being amongst Sam, Dean and the rest of humanity. To have him Fall or become human would be very cliche. I think having a powerful angel on the Winchester side could benefit them, especially Dean.
goldenusagigoldenusagi on April 20th, 2010 06:32 pm (UTC)
It is interesting that fandom has come to this conclusion. Not saying that Castiel couldn't be losing his powers, but I just don't get why everyone seems to think he is. But then, I've never been much for fanon, and I don't see evidence in canon that Castiel is getting weaker.

I noticed it first in fic. Even in fic that isn't about him falling, it just seems to be assumed that he's losing power. And I just really don't get why everyone seems to think that. I wondered for a while if I was missing something.

I don't actually want Castiel to fall. I like him fine how he is, a slightly less than full power angel. I wouldn't like it if he turned human in S6. And on the one hand, I can see how the story could be handled beautifully. However, at this point, I'm afraid it wouldn't be handled beautifully by the writers (and this is the Sam and Dean show), and I fear that a human Castiel would just end up being a fish out of water/comic relief. They wouldn't have time to focus on what becoming human would actually do to him. And what would a human Castiel do? Join the boys on the road full time? Great in fanfic, but I don't see the show going there.
kira_bouviea on April 20th, 2010 07:48 pm (UTC)
I haven't really given it much thought either way (I'm taking a slight hiatus from reading fanfic) but I'm rather partial to you interpretation. Another thing, perhaps with Castiel's position being what it is, he's gaining knowlegde in just what he can do? Maybe he never reached his full badass potential, because he never had cause before now to explore just what his limits were, but now that he's been cutoff from heaven, he's not quite as powerless as he first thought he would be (time travel issues aside)?

Just a thought.
Renée: Castiel. PWND.rogueslayer452 on April 20th, 2010 10:34 pm (UTC)
Now that's a very fascinating scenario that I can get behind. :) And it would make sense too, because it seems most of the angels are being restricted from exercising their ability to think outside the box, whether it be questioning orders or going against the grain, so even with relying on Heaven they were still limited to such freedoms like that. Now a rebel and fighting alongside our Team Free Will, Castiel is able to open himself up to the possibility of other things he can do without the assistance of Heaven. So even with no longer being tied to Heaven's powers he's not exactly powerless or helpless as they would think as he's beginning to understand what he can now do without being held in those restricted bonds he used to be in while underneath his superior's command.

Oh, I really like this idea. A lot. :D
cheerful_earl: Team Free Willcheerful_earl on April 20th, 2010 08:38 pm (UTC)
The things that made me think he was losing powers was the incredible weakening during the time travel trip, and not being able to exorcise Meg. Granted, that last one could have been a new discovery, not a power he'd gradually lost, but he looked *so* surprised, and in 5.02, he seemed to know what he could and couldn't do.

As to the first, he obviously can still do it, but he was aware that it would weaken him and it did not weaken him in 4.03. That could just be a limitation placed on his power by the lack of heaven, or it could be that the longer he's away, the less power he has in certain areas.

However, I do think you're probably right that he's not gradually losing all of his powers. It was the angels leaving that made Future!Cas lose his powers almost completely, and Cas certainly can still fight and beat a lot of angels, so unless the angels leave again, I can see him staying pretty much right where he is.

And since we're on the topic, re: healing... Could he heal in the first place? In OTHOAP, he tells Sam he cannot heal Dean. Maybe it was just his orders not to?
Renée: Castiel. Wings.rogueslayer452 on April 20th, 2010 10:11 pm (UTC)
As to the first, he obviously can still do it, but he was aware that it would weaken him and it did not weaken him in 4.03.

And that's another interesting point, Castiel explains that even with Heaven's assistance time travel is still very difficult, but as you said it didn't seem to faze him in 4.03. From what we've been told time travel, while it can be done, is extremely difficult to arrange and for those who aren't given permission by Heaven's forces can be very weakening to said angels who attempt to do it themselves. Which explains how come Anna seemed to have been weakened when she did so, but only temporarily whereas with Castiel is seemed very effected by the travel, especially by carrying passengers along with him, which he did mention would be even more difficult than before. So yeah, I think even without having been cut off time travel wouldn't have been an easy task for him either because of that.

so unless the angels leave again, I can see him staying pretty much right where he is.

Yeah, pretty much. He's just kinda been the same since he returned in the premiere, it's just we've only begun to understand those certain limitations he mentioned.

And since we're on the topic, re: healing... Could he heal in the first place? In OTHOAP, he tells Sam he cannot heal Dean. Maybe it was just his orders not to?

Hmm, you know that is an interesting question. I honestly don't know. I mean, I figured all angels had the ability to heal others, and I presumed that Castiel couldn't fix Dean because he either was ordered not to and we know that Castiel was still obeying orders then, if just questioning where those orders came from. But now that I think about it, I'm not entirely certain the answer to that. That can also be something worth pondering or speculating about.

It's so funny, this show offers a lot of interesting meta-worthy material but sometimes they don't offer straight answers, or even any answers at all. Thus, leaving us hanging. Heh.
The Large Purple Weed: Castiel BAMF walktracy on April 21st, 2010 04:31 pm (UTC)
You know, I think his moment of "oh shit can't gank Meg" might even have been his first attempt at demon exorcism since he rebelled? It seems unlikely, but it's possible since it's the first time we saw him try to do it this season. So I'm inclined to agree that his powers are weakened but stable right now, and he's becoming more badass because he's been learning to compensate for his weakened powers with physical prowess. XD