mixgoldenphoenix said: I resent the fact people think someone has to DIE to stand up for their beliefs. Look, Gabriel handed Sam and Dean the means to lock his brother(s) away for all eternity. Or, at least, until someone decides to try and let them out again. He took a stand. It was against Lucifer. He just didn't do it with a fatalistic mentality. He, also, didn't pander to Dean's whim that he HAD to kill his brother to stop this. No. No, he didn't. His brother got to live, he got to live, and there was no fighting.
i love you
i think the reason that people in this fandom think gabriel faking his death would invalidate his character development is that a lot of the heroes on this show are portrayed as being heroes because they martyred themselves for the greater good
but while team free will have a tendency to rush into the oncoming storm with guns blazing, gabriel would be the character to think up a plan, and a plan b and a plan c before doing anything too risky
gabriel did take a stand and he did, ultimately, result in lucifer and michael being locked in the cage. just because he had the forethought to not get himself killed in the process doesn’t make that worth any less
NEWS REPORTER: Reports are flooding in — a 7.6 earthquake in Portland, 8.1 in Boston, more in Hong Kong, Berlin, and Tehran. The U.S.G.S. has no explanation but says to expect a six-figure death toll.
One line - just one line - apparently forgotten by the show writers, because those six figures of human mortality were nothing more than a device to make Lucifer look big, but still. If you’re going to say Gabriel is a hero of any kind, somehow you’re going to have to account for him sitting back and letting that happen.
And yes, I’ve had to grapple with that in various Gabriel-centric fics of my own, and come up with various more-or-less forgiving ways of dealing with it - the Gabriel who was dead the whole time, the Gabriel who was so weakened he couldn’t do anything, the Gabriel who had hidden himself so well that he never actually knew, the Gabriel who just actually genuinely is that cold and that focussed on only what he really wants - but you can’t just ignore it and say, “well, he threw them a bone, so that’s all his responsibility as a near-omnipotent being over”.
All the angels did that. They sat idle through every disaster, every earthquake, flood, war - for ages. Not just Gabriel. It is only until Castiel takes it for himself, freedom of thought and spirit, like Gabriel does, that humans are actually more than a blip on their radar. That small Lucifer-induced disaster is nothing, not compared to what they’ve all ignored for millennia.Why would he care? He was made for something different. For war. Becoming empathic (like when he can’t stand Sam’s tears) is a choice, a discovery he makes himself, and it is not inherent. Learning by doing.
My guess he’s simply too used to that, too immersed in the role he plays, to actually see the suffering that Lucifer starts. Gabriel’s view is not one solely aimed at humans and earth; he’s a damned archangel, and my guess is that his perception of humans is like ours when we look at bacteria, or at a huge ant hill. We’re amusing to poke at with a stick so he can watch us run - that is what happens when he serves just deserts.
His empathy is a WIP, just as his attention to the human situation. Until, of course, something special directs our attention to it. A pink ant. A mutated bacterium. A tall moose. Someone out of Cain’s and Abel’s bloodline.
Yes! Absolutely! And that is one very viable and persuasive explanation - so long as the author makes me feel it in a fic. You can’t have Gabriel being all cute and indulging in petty human concerns and caring about Sammy’s cold and being sympathetic to the lady in the coffee shop to make him look nice and fluffy, at the same time say ‘oh yes, deaths of hundreds of thousands, he just didn’t notice it’.
Make him big. Make him above all that. Make him awesome and terrible, by all means. Give him an arc which is all about learning to live with people, not just meddle with them, or give him an arc which goes in the opposite direction, back toward the stars. But don’t pretend all of that didn’t happen. Don’t just make him cute.
(As for the other angels - I feel somehow it isn’t so true for a lot of them. Some may have enough actual Earth-lived experience to realise the magnitude of it, but I think for a lot of them it would be no more than watching ants, or at least reading a great epic tragedy which has no relevance on your everyday life. For most of them, I think, they would be able to see that and keep their innocence, and remain untouched. Gabriel, no matter how uninvolved he may feel, doesn’t have that excuse, any more than Castiel does - and therefore his Great Refusal is the greater, and far more fascinating.)
I’ve always seen Gabriel as a quote from Disney’s Atlantis. Vinny says: “We’ve done a lot of things we’re not proud of […] but nobody got hurt. Well… maybe somebody got hurt but… nobody we knew.”
And that’s basically Gabriel as I see him. He’s not a good guy, far from it. He’s self-centered and has dubious morals when it comes to humans, and definitely thinks himself better than them. But a few of them he happens to like, and chooses to stand for them. Does it make his effort any less that he does one thing and not the other hundreds and thousands of things he could/should have done? No, I don’t think so. Coming from someone who has regarded the human race as something like termites for most of his existence, I think his effort was pretty damn huge.
Also, my headcanon is definitely that he did not pull it off unscathed. To fool one of the oldest archangels, he would have to make his demise pretty damn watertight. That can’t have been easy or pleasant.
Definitely not a Gabriel-apologist here. I dislike the white-washing of character; what makes Gabriel so damned interesting is that he, like Sam and Dean, is so deeply flawed and broken, almost irrevocably so.
Whit wrote: “Make him big. Make him above all that. Make him awesome and terrible, by all means. Give him an arc which is all about learning to live with people, not just meddle with them, or give him an arc which goes in the opposite direction, back toward the stars. But don’t pretend all of that didn’t happen. Don’t just make him cute.”
I can only say: THIS! This is precisely why I dislike the cute, candy-crushing, size-difference-is-so-adorable characterisation so much. I can see how people jump into it - but it takes either ignorance, or deliberate refusal to dig deeper into his character or his agendas to keep him like that. Canon Gabriel is in no way cute. He’s a mass murderer, a selfish, hurt little asshole, a coward, an afraid, wounded thing which happens to be one of the most powerful - and biggest - beings in the universe.
It takes time for him to get his shit together, and he does not use that time on eating ice cream and lollipops. He needs to get the courage to crawl out from under his rock, to see what is really going on, discover humanity as something that is interesting, important and worth preserving. When he finally does that, he is not a hero. He’s an “ordinary” guy - and I insist here on ordinary, because he sports to many human flaws that he sort of becomes one of us - and it can be argued that he is heroic, if by “hero” we imagine ordinary people doing extraordinary things. On the other hand, it is ordinary for a brother to have a quarrel with his big brother, and maybe, from Gabe and Luci’s perspective that’s all it is.
Also, Luci might know the tricks. But his obvious intelligence is partly blinded by his dedication to his goal. My bet is (and again, confirmed by Richard and Berens) that Gabriel might have learned from him, but damn, if he doesn’t outsmart him. He has been turning tricks on Earth for a millennium already. :D To be serious, one does not play Loki for that long without being revealed unless one’s mind is devious enough to outsmart the Devil himself. Odin is All-father, all-knowing, and not even he knew.
I wouldn’t call myself an apologist either. I do allow myself to have several versions of Gabriel, and yeah, one of them is the “cutesy” one. I also don’t think he’s a hero, because nothing he ever does is truly selfless. But I do think he did an amazing and difficult thing, and knowing he’s a massively flawed character won’t make me think less of his effort.
All of this. If Gabriel had stayed in the game he would have been outed and then expected to pick a side against at least one brother. He would’ve been expected to try to kill brothers he loved so much he couldn’t bear seeing them fight. He would never be able to kill them, but he can trick and so he tricked them all.
He gave the Winchesters the key to stopping the apocalypse without killing Lucifer or Michael, and then he removed himself from the game. It was the only way to end it without the deaths of at least one archangel.
Gabriel isn’t a hero or a villain. He isn’t even an angel or a pagan. He’s both something more and something less, and he most definitely isn’t human, so his morality isn’t really something we can align with ours.
He’s on his own axis, and he did what fit with his own morality and got the happiest ending he could see. It’s the same way he dealt with the Winchesters in Mystery Spot and in Changing Channels. It’s how he determines his lessons.
A heroic martyrdom never fit his character. It’s simply another face transplant and witness protection program.