The Nature of Death on Supernatural
(AKA: How my former love of the anime Bleach affects my Supernatural world-view)
Yesterday, I was talking to someone in comments on "To Being Half a Person" about S6. They expressed disappointment that God brought Cas back at the end of S5, but (so far) did not bring Gabriel back.
This got me thinking that I should post how *I* understand the way death works on Supernatural. To do so, I'm going to be using screen caps from this anime I used to watch called Bleach. You don't need to know anything about Bleach to understand though....
Basically, in my mind the Supernatural-universe looks like this:
Blue is the living/human souls.
Brown is the dead/creatures/demons/etc.
The space within the hourglass is made up of those places over which God has dominion.
The space outside the hourglass is OUTSIDE God's dominion - It doesn't exist. It is outside the known universe. It is nothing.
When someone is killed by natural means, they are still WITHIN the hourglass. When Sam and Dean were in hell/heaven, they were still in the hourglass. Creatures in purgatory are still in the hourglass. Both times Cas was killed, he was exploded - they've never said where angels go when they are exploded, but it's my opinion that they are STILL IN THE HOURGLASS.
Here, let me write all over this thing for you:
It's MY opinion that when something is killed by the Colt, the Knife, or Sam's Mind - they are taken OUT of the hourglass. They are cast into nothingness - they are immediately and irreversibly doomed to confirm the atheist's world-view, because they quite simply cease to be.
I believe that angels that are killed with the angel killing swords are also thrown out of the hourglass - they cease to be. God CANNOT bring them back.
So, basically you have this:
The brown liquid outside of the glass represents those beings that have been destroyed by the Colt, Knife, Angel Killing Sword, or Sam's Mind. God cannot bring those beings back to life. There is now a pocket of air where they once existed inside the hourglass.
Only, unlike in Bleach (whence this screencap comes) this does not destroy the world....or at least, not that we've been told so far.
But that, my friends, is why I don't believe Gabriel will ever come back....or Ruby, or Azazel, or Zachariah, or Alistair, or Lilith....they are simply gone.
Mind you, the show could still prove me wrong - Supernatural has never liked following it's own rules after all - but I think personally, even though I dearly love Gabriel, I'd be disappointed if they did prove me wrong. In order for death to be a threat SOME death has to still be permanent and irreversible.
On a related note: Bleach is a pretty good anime for the first 38 episodes or so...then it falls into the common ongoing-anime trap and gets too convoluted and causes me to lose interest. Uryu Ishida is my favorite character. He is the one that can remove things from the hourglass and thus destroy the world....and he does it with the power of ARCHERY! What's not to love?!
But that's just my opinion...