WHERE THIS EVIL HAILS FROM: The CW’s Supernatural
WHY THIS EVIL MADE ME FILLE THE FEAR: In a single episode, appropriately titled “Abandon All Hope,” scrappy little powerhouse, Supernatural introduced the demon Crowley and all hell broke loose. Although initial episodes portrayed Crowley as a sarcastic, low-level salesman making soul-grabbing deals with humans and collecting when their ten years were up, he quickly worked his way up through the ranks to eventually become the King of Hell. Selfish and yet seemingly objective at times, he had a knack for getting people to do what he wanted them to do without lifting a finger. And when it came down to it, he could really apply the pressure, ripping apart whomever and whatever necessary to capture someone’s undivided attention.
The thing about Crowley that makes him so chilling isn’t his murderous past or his evil associations. It’s his unpredictability. He’s ambiguous. He never stays in one place. The worst part? You never know exactly whose side he’s on. That’s what gets the good guys every time. A friend of mine put it best: “He’s devious. He lulls you into this sense of security–of trusting him–which you should never do. EVER.”
And she’s right. Just when you think he’s done something good for a change, he kills the lights and drags you back into the dark. And who could blame him? He is a demon after all. Try to cross him and he’ll crush you with the weight of a thousand years in the Pit. Renege on your crossroads deal? You’d better start running, kid, because his Hell Hounds are coming for you.
With a witch for a mother, Crowley knows the tricks of the trade. Skillfully portrayed by the charming Mark Sheppard, his snarky remarks, doled out with the most enchanting English lilt, punctuate spine-chilling threats of hell-fire, torture, and mangled limbs, making even the most horrifying of speeches sound honeyed and tactful. “Never underestimate the King of Hell, darling,” he quips. “I know a lot of swell tricks.”
Perhaps it’s Sheppard’s masterful presentation or ability to become his character so fully, or maybe it’s simply a matter of good writing. Whatever the case, Supernatural has set the bar impossibly high when it comes to scripting the ultimate villain: one who romances the viewer into falling for them, artfully slicing them to pieces when they get too close. Of course, it’s the King of Hell himself who sums it up best: “You’re good…but I’m Crowley.”
HOW THIS EVIL STILL DOES: Crowley was last seen in the Season 9 finale, speaking to (SPOILER) Dean Winchester’s corpse, or at least what we thought was a corpse. “When I suggested you can take on the mark of Cain, I didn’t know this was going to happen …What you’re feeling right now, it’s not death. It’s life, a new kind of life,” he explained, coldly, hinting at a chilling new turn of events. With Season 10 right around the corner, the King of Hell has seemingly returned to his elaborately vengeful roots with an equally threatening partner in tow.