Death's Reading Room

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Death's Reading Room.

Dean... Every notebook on this particular shelf tells a version of how you die. You specifically, heart attack, burned by a red-haired witch, stabbed by a ghoul in a graveyard, and on and on... But which one’s right? That depends on you, on the choices you make.

Billie, 13.05 Advanced Thanatology

History

Existing on an unknown plane of existence, this room, which the new incarnation of Death, Billie, refers to as her reading room, houses a near-infinite library of notebooks, each of which lays out in detail a possible death for every being on the planet. Deaths are selected through the choices a person makes in life. When the fate of one person changes or doesn't come to pass, the notebooks rewrite themselves.

Episodes

13.05 Advanced Thanatology

Upon learning that Dean is in the Veil, Jessica arrives in the reading room to alert Billie.

When Billie needs to have a private conversation with Dean about his recent visit to an alternate universe, she shows Dean his notebooks and lists off a few of the possible deaths he may end up having, telling him he may have a heart attack or be burned alive by a red-haired witch or simply be stabbed by a ghoul in a graveyard. She tells him that any of these could be the way he dies depending on his choices but Dean's current suicide is not listed and she sends him back.

13.5 DeathsReadingRoom 1.jpg
13.5 DeathsReadingRoom2.jpg
13.5 DeathsReadingRoom 2.jpg

13.19 Funeralia

Jessica tells Sam and Dean that Death keeps notebooks on all the ways a person may die depending on their choices. Dean says he saw his, that he has a whole shelf. In Rowena's notebook, her death is always the same: Rowena's real permanent death is at the hands of Sam Winchester.

Later, when Rowena remarks that Sam is going to be the one who kills her, Sam says that it might be possible to change her fate, just as she changed the fates of others.

14.10 Nihilism

Billie visits Dean in his bedroom in the Bunker after Michael has been locked away in Dean's mind. Billie reminds Dean of his trip to her reading room and tells him that all of the notebooks containing Dean's fate have changed; all but one now show Michael escaping and using Dean's body to destroy the world. Billie hands Dean the notebook containing the one fate where Michael loses, shocking him with what it reveals must be done.

15.03 The Rupture

Rowena decides to use a spell from the Book of the Damned that can absorb the demons and hell ghosts and imprison them all, along with herself, in Hell. The spell requires her still-coursing blood and her final breath, meaning that in order to commence the spell, she has to be mortally wounded. Rowena asks Sam to do it, saying that she can't do it herself and reminding him that her final demise is in Death's books. Sam is reluctant, saying "screw the books", but Rowena says it's the only way to save the world. With no other choice, Sam mortally stabs Rowena, commencing the spell. As she walks towards the rupture, all the souls of Hell trapped by Belphegor's spell are absorbed into her wound. Rowena says goodbye to her friends as she falls into the rupture just as it is about to close, fulfilling the prophecy of her mortal demise.

Trivia

  • Death's various notebooks on the way Dean dies bears some similarity to the manga/anime Death Note, where shinigami, gods of death, write down the names of people and their deaths in their own personal Death Notes.