Fallen Angel

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"And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels battled with the dragon, and the dragon and its angels battled but it did not prevail, neither was a place found for them any longer in heaven. So down the great dragon was hurled, the original serpent, the one called Devil and Satan, who is misleading the entire inhabited earth; he was hurled down to the earth, and his angels were hurled down with him."

For the Comic Book of the same name, go here.

What does one think about when one hears the word angel? Do you see them as glowy Winged Humanoids, overworked suits, or for extra flavor, flaming wheels covered in eyes? Regardless of what (meta-)physical traits one assigns to them, one thing is almost always consistent: they are paragons of virtue and honor.

But what happens if they stop being so nice? Then we have a problem. See, when you turn your back on God (or the local variant) while knowing S/He's the real deal, there's really nowhere to go but down.

And down they go; when an angel goes bad, they tend to become far, far worse than any human ever could. They'll gleefully engage in atrocities that would leave any mortal short of a Complete Monster (and even some of them) curled under their beds in fear. The cause of their fall may be an old grudge, some extreme More Than Mind Control, or completely unknowable to mortals. Whatever the cause is, there's no going back.

Very, very rarely are any examples of this good, and usually only in certain circumstances. At the opposite end you have Ascended Demon.

Often an extreme case of Light Is Not Good and Fallen Hero. May or may not be considered demons. Not to be confused with Fallen Angles. The Ur Example is one interpretation of how The Bible describes Lucifer. Usually represented visually as a Broken Angel, though some still have their "un-fallen" countenance. If they were the right hand of the big guy upstairs, then it's also a case of The Paragon Always Rebels.

Thanks to some modern interpretations and the tendency to side with underdogs, fallen angels are often portrayed sympathetically nowadays, as being rebellious victims of Celestial Bureaucracy and Light Is Not Good, like in Bedazzled. Often portrayed as regular angels, but with skimpier outfits (often with a red and black motif) and a bit sluttier personalities (they're usually female, because of women's corruptible nature. Think Adam and Eve).

And as a warning, if an Archangel happened to be the one who fell, be afraid. Be very afraid.

Examples of Fallen Angel include:

Anime & Manga[edit | hide | hide all]

  • To Aru Majutsu no Index: A Fallen Angel makes an appearance. Not exactly its fault so in compliance with its extremely lawful Lawful Neutral nature it begins a spell of world destroying proportions in order to get back home. Later in the novels(vol.12) is confirmed that the angel is Gabriel, the one who destroyed Sodome and Gomorre
  • Digimon: Devimon is said to be a fallen Angemon. Lucemon definitely is, an angel Digimon who went bad and was imprisoned for it. "Fallen Angel Digimon" is actually one of the types that Digimon fall into, though Lucemon's the only one known to actually be this in-story.
  • Mon Colle Knights: Reda and Zaha/Gabriolis. The plot always turns serious when they show up.
  • Tears to Tiara: The protagonist can be considered one.
  • Black Butler (the anime, not the manga) has Ash and Angela.
  • The titular Panty and Stocking of Panty and Stocking With Garterbelt. Stocking gets to go back to heaven in the penultimate episode, but returns in the last to help Panty defeat Corset; the final scene states she's not actually an angel but a demon.
    • Appropriately, the end credits song for the show is called "Fallen Angel" and is about said angel longing for her home in heaven.
  • Lucifer and Gabriel of Saint Beast are fallen angels. While kind of evil, it's hard to say they were wrong to fall given who is in charge. Judas and Luca, though armed with nobler intentions, end up falling too.
  • Satsuki from Bloody Cross. Though, it's never really explained how or why he became a fallen angel.
  • Ah! My Goddess: Belldandy's Teacher, Celestin, from The Movie.
  • In Angel Sanctuary, Setsuna is a reincarnation of one of these, and his sister is a reincarnation of a water spirit she had a history with, making this also a case of Reincarnation Romance.


Card Games[edit | hide]


Comic Books[edit | hide]

  • There are many Fallen Angels in Neil Gaiman's short story (later adapted as a comic) "Murder Mysteries". Oddly, Lucifer isn't one of them... yet.
  • Zauriel from the Justice League is sort of a fallen angel. He lives on earth and has a mortal body, but left of his own volition and is decidedly not a villain. His original archenemy was the angel Asmodel, who after his plan to emulate Lucifer failed became a more conventional fallen angel, imprisoned in Hell. In one arc when the US military turned against superheroes soldiers were convinced to shoot at him when their commander claimed he was a fallen angel. Then they shot at Superman, and gave up.
  • Liandra, the protagonist of the comic book Fallen Angel is, as one would expect from the title, one of these. A former guardian angel, she was banished when went against God's rules of non-interference and slayed the killer of one of her charges.
  • The Fallen, the Big Bad of Transformers: The War Within: The Dark Ages is actually one of the original Transformers, charged with guarding Entropy and observing the end of the Universe. Along the line, he decided to ally with Unicron to achieve his apocalyptic goal, losing his true name when his betrayal was discovered.
    • Ironically it was Megatronus Prime. One would have to wonder at the thought process behind Optimus and Megatron's father effectively choosing to name one of his sons after their version of Lucifer, and not expect it to bite him in the backside.
      • Although there are some stories that say Megatron actually chose the name himself.
  • The titular beings of Necrophim are former angels cast down into Hell. To make matters worse, Hell was already inhabited by demons, who are not happy about having to share their dimension with Heaven's outcasts.
  • Neil Gaiman's The Sandman features a Lucifer (referred to a Lucifer Morningstar as his full title) who wasn't so much "fallen" as he was "pushed". It is heavily implied, if not outright stated, that Lucifer's "fall" was a case of entrapment (in the legal sense) set up by God, because God needed to put one of his own in charge of Hell.
    • Later on, Lucifer gives up being in charge of Hell, and it ultimately passes onto two other angels, by decree of God. When one of them hears this, he claims he will rebel, but then realizes he would then be going to hell anyway. Lucifer's story then leads into the events of the Lucifer comic, in which Lucifer makes his own Creation, and ultimately rejects even that, exiling himself from all reality to escape God's influence.
  • In Preacher (Comic Book), being cast down is a punishment for treasonous acts in Heaven. The father of Genesis is cast down at the very start of the series, nearly taking out US Air Force jets (and is subsequently captured by the Grail). Later, two minor-character angels are dropped; they're later seen having opened a hotel in Vegas and not being very depressed about their fallen status.
  • The First of the Fallen in Hellblazer is something of this sort: He was intended to be God's conscience (Shoulder Angel, if you will), and was cast from heaven when he came to believe God was insane and that his existence was meaningless. According to a somewhat convoluted Vertigo Canon (trying to keep continuity with The Sandman) he was the first being God cast from His sight, long before Lucifer's rebellion, but is much less powerful than Lucifer and thus not the lord of Hell until Lucifer quits. The First of the Fallen acts much more like a 'stereotypical' devil, with soul-bargains and so on, and antagonizes John Constantine on a regular basis. This leads to almost equal amounts of Did You Just Scam Cthulhu? from Constantine's side.


Fanfic[edit | hide]

  • Imperfect Metamorphosis has Shinki and Sariel, rulers of their respective underworlds. Interestingly, Shinki's human appearance is a personal choice, one which Sariel did not share, leaving it as a gender-less energy being. Also, and more plot relevant, is their sibling Azrael, of whom EX!Rumia is an avatar of.


Film[edit | hide]

  • Dogma is about two fallen angels attempting to return to heaven. A deleted scene implies that much of the evil and corruption seen in the fallen angels who became demons stemmed not from inherent evil but that which was brought to Hell by damned humans. Twisted and corrupted by the self-imposed torture of the damned, the fallen angels became what humans expected them to be.
  • In Bedazzled, the Devil (or Lucifer as he was known then) explains he was once God's favorite angel and was booted out of Heaven when he wanted some of the same adoration God received. The two had since had a running wager on who could claim ten billion souls first; if Lucifer won he could reclaim his old place.
  • There's a fallen angel in City of Angels. He wasn't evil; he just wanted to experience human life. Then the protagonist falls... in love. And takes the plunge.


Literature[edit | hide]

  • The Angelwalk trilogy featured three protagonists—an angel who had almost joined the rebellion against heaven, a demon who almost didn't, and an angel who had never wavered. Late in the middle book, Observer gets a chance at redemption—maybe—but doesn't take it. (Possibly subverted in that it may be predestined that he can't. Careful; thinking about it too hard has broken many brains.)
  • The Dresden Files: The Knights of the Blackened Denarius are all powered by Fallen Angels, each trapped in one of thirty silver coins, the same coins Judas was paid to betray Jesus. Anyone who holds the coins has the old as time Fallen acting as an advisor, they cease to age, and they get the ability to transform into a battle form that features things like super-strength and various pointy bits. The more mental fortitude and will you have the more control you have over the Fallen. Too weedy in the willpower department and they'll basically enslave you: Stronger minds enter into a sort of partnership instead. Only way to get rid of them is to voluntarily give up the coin. Harry picked up one of the coins for a second once, and got an imprinted 'shadow' of the Fallen living in his head as a result. The 'shadow' eventually underwent Character Development and committed a Heroic Sacrifice, but this had no bearing on the Fallen itself.
  • In the series The Fallen by Thomas Sniegoski, fallen angels have children with humans, producing the half and half children called Nephilim. The main character Aaron is the son of Lucifer
  • Anthony J. Crowley, from Good Omens, although he didn't so much Fall as "saunter vaguely downwards". He's definitely a sympathetic portrayal, and his opposite number is Aziraphale, an angel, who is also officially the Enemy—except instead of battling to the death, over the past 6000 years of knowing each other they've become best friends. Aziraphale and Crowley tend to lunch together, go out for drinks, and join forces against Heaven and Hell to help prevent Armageddon. Aziraphale used to be the angel of the Eastern Gate of Eden; Eden being where they met, although Crowley (originally known as "Crawly") had the form of a snake at the time. Yes, Crowley's that snake.
  • In The Guardians, demons are angels who supported Lucifer's bid for power, and nosferatu are the angels who did not choose a side and were cast down to Earth as punishment.
  • The Grigori from The Bible are the antagonists of the Time Quartet novel Many Waters, although the word "nephilim" refers to the angels themselves and not their children.
  • The guardian angel in Maura's Angel by Lynne Reid Banks.
  • In the book Humans an angel is sent to Earth to destroy it. As he begins to live among humans, he decides to defy God and let humanity live. He "falls" out of God's grace and becomes a human for love.
  • In I, Lucifer, the story is told from the titular Fallen Angel's perspective whilst he inhabits the body of a mortal. Lucifer even details the fall from paradise.
  • The Silmarillion & The Lord of the Rings: Morgoth/Melkor is a Fallen Vala (Archangel) and becomes Tolkien's version of Satan. Sauron, the Wizard Saruman, the Balrogs, and probably the Werewolves, are all Fallen Maiar (Angels). Dragons, and possibly even Ungoliant, may be Fallen Maiar as well.
  • Islington from Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere
  • In L. Jagi Lamplighter's Prospero Lost, elves are fallen angels. They have scars on their backs where the wings had been. (This is an authentic piece of folklore—one explanation of The Fair Folk is they were fallen angels who didn't quite qualify for Hell.)
  • The Nightside series has Pretty Poison, a fallen angel who now works as a succubus. She ultimately redeems herself and earns her way back into Heaven.
  • Murder Mysteries (also a comic book, not quite in The Sandman continuity) by Neil Gaiman features a man who meets the fallen angel Raguel, formerly Vengeance of the Lord. He recounts how he solved the first murder, and how he felt his purpose was subverted in the process so that Lucifer would witness the injustice of God.
  • In Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick, Patch is a fallen angel.
  • In Gene Stratton Porter's Freckles, a marvelous black feather causes Freckles to contemplate this trope:

What if the angels of God are white and those of the devil are black? But a black one has no business up there. Maybe some poor black angel is so tired of being punished it's for slipping to the gates, beating its wings trying to make the Master hear!

Live Action TV[edit | hide]

  • Mahou Sentai Magiranger has Raigel / Meemy, a former "Heavenly Saint" who switched sides during the war with Infershia.
  • Supernatural has Anna, who rebelled against the Celestial Bureaucracy, and decided to become human and live on earth. Unusually for a Fallen Angel, she does get to go back... although the other angels aren't happy about it. Castiel fits this trope in season five, although he's sickly and about as Chaotic Neutral as always. There's also Lucifer and Gabriel, although he's more of an angel in hiding than a fallen angel.
    • A major part of the falling process is a seperable component called Grace. Glows under its own power and its presence causes a tree to sprout on the spot. Also, Anna is unique in that she not only was reborn as a human but she still had the ability to hear an angelic newsfeed once the angels hit Earthsphere after the siege of Hell.
    • This is the standard package. Cas was cut off due to politics and dwindled slowly instead; Lucifer may be accursed and Gabriel incredibly blasphemous and AWOL, but neither is technically Fallen by the rules of the setting. (Also note, the demons of this Hell are all derived from human souls; if Lucifer took anyone with him when he left they go unmentioned and are apparently dead now. If any demons are former angels it is only through an intermediary process of Falling to earth, sinning there, and being damned.)
      • Uriel and whoever are in his faction never make it beyond heretic to fallen, even after he goes around killing his brothers in support of a plan to defect to Lucifer. Balthazar's defection might eventually have run into this due to severing ties with Heaven, so he somehow kept himself charged with human souls. Corrupt scumbag, but not Fallen. When Cas does his, er, One-Winged Angel thing and declares A God Am I, he's apparently a mutant angel. Fallen is the loss of Grace and power, survived; result, humanity.
  • Monsters: One episode of the horror series featured a Fallen Angel who called himself "Obeya" and looked more like a conventional demon than an angel after falling into Hell.

Obeya (disguised as the janitor): I had a pretty bad fall. Maybe you've read about it... in The Bible? That's what they call it. A Fall. I'd say I was pushed!


Music[edit | hide]

  • Within Temptation: The song Angels seems to be about this and has the lines, "Fallen angel/ tell me why/ what is the reason/ the thorn in your eye"
  • "Fallen Angels" by Black Veil Brides is about this (duh), but uses the fallen angels less as an evil figure and more as a symbol for misfits and outcasts.


Myth & Religion[edit | hide]

  • Older Than Feudalism: The Bible: Satan is probably the Ur Example of this trope. The apocryphal Book of Enoch offers several more.
  • In Islam, this is considered impossible. Angels are said to have no free will whatsoever, so they can't fall. Instead, Shaitan (a.k.a. Iblis) and his followers are considered fallen djinn.


Radio[edit | hide]

  • In the first season of Old Harrys Game Satan was prone to reflecting wistfully on his time as an angel, much to the irritation of his lieutenant, Gary.

Satan: Do you remember my wings, Gary?
Gary: Not really, no.


Tabletop Games[edit | hide]

  • The demons in In Nomine. Also, angels can fall and become demons by violating their angelic nature. (Except for Malakim.) [1]
  • The demons of White Wolf's Demon: The Fallen.
  • In Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 [2] The original Erinyes fell from Heaven. Their descendants in the present day are the only devils who are actually born, and not created. They definitely look the part, being attractive, black feather-winged beings. They are a race of deceivers, Horny Devils who lead followers of good religons away from their faith. In 4th Edition, all devils from the generic setting are fallen angels, who backed Asmodeus' overthrow of their patron deity.
  • In Infernum, demonkind are descended from the First Fallen's mating with spawn. Newly Fallen angels in the present day tend to die very quickly; the survivors become worse than demons.
  • Played straight and inverted in "Warhammer40000". Horus sided with the Chaos gods against the God Emeperor, taking half of the Emperor's Space Marines into evil with him. However, the Imperium's angels, known as saints, are daemons.


Video Games[edit | hide]

  • In Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of The Betrayer, in the ending for Kaelyn the Dove that you don't kill her in, she continues her quest to destroy the wall and becomes a fallen Angel. She is a case of Dark Is Not Evil, still fighting the Lawful Stupid god Kelemvor who maintains a wall made out of the souls of people who don't worship gods. Kaelyn the Dove can be considered somewhat of a fallen angel before the ending as well, having been barred from entering Celestia.
  • In Disgaea female healers are apparently fallen angels, Love Freak Flonne in the best ending for the first game also a case of Dark Is Not Evil as she's every bit the same lovable ditz as she was as an angel, only in a skimpy outfit and a little sexier.
  • Trias the Betrayer from Planescape: Torment. He turns out to be more Necessarily Evil than anything else.
  • The Fallen from Devil May Cry 3.
  • In The World Ends With You Sanae Hanekoma is revealed to be Fallen in the Secret Reports because of his involvement with teaching Minamimoto how to create Taboo noise.
  • In Fall From Heaven the Fire Angel/Goddess Bhall literally fell... right through a city, dragging it to Hell with her. When she landed, she went into a coma for nearly 1000 years.
  • The insanely difficult hidden boss from Bayonetta Rodin. The reason why he was kicked out wasn't because he was doing bad things. Its implied in his entry in the Book of Laguna that he was TOO POWERFUL to exist there.
  • In Solium Infernum, you are one of the demon lords fighting to become the new Devil after the old one disappeared.
  • Knights in The Nightmare: This is Melissa's Japanese title, but she's Affably Evil.
  • Yggdra Union: Nessiah.
  • Riviera: The Promised Land: Marietta.
  • The Prologue of Dragon Quest IX sees your hero falling to earth after an accident, rather than losing their powers through their own actions. Later, a straighter example is shown in the Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds villain.
  • Ys IV: Eldeel, in both versions.
  • Kid Icarus: Uprising: One of the early concepts was that Pit (now an adult) was cursed for thousands of years and had become a Fallen Angel due to a crime, with a tattoo bearing an inscription of said crime. This idea was dropped after a very poor reception.
  • Champions Online brings us Therakiel, a half-angel/half-demon who wants to start the apocalypse and pretty much does, causing you to go back in time and prevent him doing it in the first place!
  • Shin Megami Tensei, due to being a Fantasy Kitchen Sink, features many fallen angels from Christianity/Judaism. The most prominent is, of course, Lucifer.
  • Growlanser IV: Wayfarer of time features a world that was nearly destroyed by angels 2,000 years ago. The angels return to once again attempt to destroy the world and it is up to the protagonist's party to stop them.
  • Anghel in Hatoful Boyfriend insists he is one and is summoned by the protagonist wishing for the 'Mad Love of a fallen angel'. However, he is considered the 'class eccentric' and has a human name as well, which he refuses to answer to.
  • In Diablo III Tyrael renounces his angelic powers after his fellow Angels refuse to help Sanctuary. He falls to Sanctuary so he can continue to protect it even as a mortal.

Webcomics[edit | hide]

  • MAG-ISA: Lucia gets mistaken for Lucifer a lot. Maybe she is, maybe she isnt. Who knows?
  • Misfile: Technically Rumisiel is a fallen angel, or at least a semi-fallen one [3] since he has been banished from heaven on a temporary, with a distinct prospect of it becoming permanent, basis. He's rather eager to clock up some karma points to get back in though.
  • Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal pokes fun at this, claiming that Hell is actually a pretty nice place because angels, fallen or otherwise, aren't very good at torturing people.


Web Original[edit | hide]

  • Wingspan: The main character is a fallen angel.
  • Monster Girl Encyclopedia: This is what happens when angels get corrupted by succubi. At first it just twists their logic, thinking that sex is proper reward for good deed. They still think that they're doing holy work, rewarding good-doers with pleasure using their body. Eventually, however, they will realize their own desire and fully transform into dark angels.
  1. Though demons originated as fallen angels most demons in the setting's "present day" were never angels but were created as demons.
  2. Specifically in Tyrants of the Nine Hells
  3. A Stumbled Angel?