I don't have many regrets, but the few I do still haunt me. Making Napoleon so short was just bitchy. Telling Mick Jagger he had no future when I dumped him. And, well, everything with dear Fergus. Then one day, you die and go to Hell, they make you Queen and you can't make it right. So, fix it.
– Rowena, 15.08 Our Father, Who Aren't in Heaven
Rowena McLeod was an extremely powerful natural-born witch, originally from Scotland in the 17th century (or possibly earlier). Before Rowena became a witch she was a peasant and the daughter of a tanner in Canisbay, who had an affair with a man above her social class. Once her son Fergus was born in 1661, the man abandoned the two and went back to his rich wife and her grand house. Her son Fergus Roderick MacLeod, would father Gavin MacLeod and go on to become known as the demon Crowley.
Rowena would flee her village and abandon an eight year old Fergus (before trying to sell him off) after she was charged with practicing witchcraft. Rowena then studied under the great Milanese witch Leticia D’Albioni and joined the Grand Coven. The Grand Coven were critical of Rowena having a child with a "non-magic", but they were willing to overlook this because of the great talent she possessed.
Rowena was expelled from the Grand Coven because her magic was considered too extreme; one spell she created was the Defigere Et Depurgare, which was used to vanquish demons. Rowena's "unpleasantness" with the Grand Coven would ultimately lead to her being hexed by the coven with a binding spell that restrained her magic, as well as being banned from performing magic, taking on students, or forming her own coven.
In 2014, 300 years later, Rowena resurfaced to reclaim her lost power base. After being captured by Crowley, she made several attempts to use him for her own ends. Crowley was aware of Rowena's manipulations, yet captured the head of the Grand Coven, Olivette, for her. Under torture by Rowena, Olivette revealed the Grand Coven was much-diminished in its power because of a concerted campaign against witches by the Men of Letters.
Rowena was initially antagonistic towards the Winchesters as she saw Crowley's relationship with them as diminishing his power. The Winchesters often called on her help with magic, and Rowena assisted when she saw a benefit for herself. Over time, she became an ally in their battles, albeit motivated by the benefit she saw for herself in helping them. Rowena had a particular bond with Sam -- they were both tortured by Lucifer, they saw his true face, and share the struggle of living with that experience.
In 2018, Rowena began killing people and their reapers to get Death's attention, as she blamed herself for Crowley's death and the path that her abandonment led him down in life. During this, the reaper Jessica revealed that in the book Death keeps on her, it is written that she will die by the hands of Sam Winchester. While Billie refused to bring Crowley back, the experience ended with Rowena deciding that working for the greater good will serve as her redemption for her past actions. She subsequently aided the Winchesters in their efforts to return to Apocalypse World and on occasions when they needed her expertise on a situation or case.
In 2019, after the release of the Hell Ghosts upon the world, Rowena chose to sacrifice herself to save the world by using her own body to imprison all of the souls and demons and cast them back into Hell. At Rowena's request, and with great reluctance, Sam was indeed the one who fatally stabbed Rowena. Everyone around her watched as she imprisoned the damned souls into her body and fell through the fissure into Hell as it closed.
When the Winchesters and Castiel return to Hell in search of Michael, they discover that Rowena's soul took up the empty position of Queen of Hell. Retaining her old personality and her humanity, Rowena aids the Winchesters once again in the fight against God and even urges Dean and Castiel to mend their broken relationship.
Rowena was a very powerful witch, maybe the most powerful of all time. The Grand Coven used a binding spell to limit her magic until she found a spell in the Black Grimoire that could break the binding.
Spells created by Rowena included:
- Resurrection Charm – A subdermal sachet of powerful magic that is sewn into a person's body. Once the spell senses the life-force of the individual ebbing, the magic kicks in as a purple glow and works its way through the body, repairing the damage and resurrecting the individual. Rowena uses it twice herself, and has to remove one from her shoulder so that Sam can kill her and commence the spell to imprison the demons and hell ghosts. When she was captured by the British Men of Letters at some point, she also gave one to Ketch in exchange for her escape, who used it after Mary shot his head.
- Defigere Et Depurgare – Known in its English translation as "To bind and purge," this is a spell created by Rowena in the 18th century that causes demons to liquefy and get coughed up out of their meatsuit. It appears that the spell binds the demon to its meatsuit to keep it from escaping as it begins to liquefy the smoke into a sludge-like substance and be purged from the host body. The spell was only practiced by Rowena, and before she used it to kill Raul, it hadn't been seen since the 18th century. Sam attempted to use a strengthened version of the spell to kill Crowley and satisfy his deal with Rowena, but while the spell manages to temporarily incapacitate him, Crowley eventually overcomes the spell's effects and sets the hex bag on fire.
- Impetus Bestiarum – A spell Rowena referred to as an "attack dog spell," wherein the witch places a hex bag in the hands of someone and recites "impetus bestiarum," turning the object of the spell into an animalistic killer who can be directed to kill a particular individual. The spell will eventually kill the person it is cast on unless the spell is reversed by the witch who inflicted it by reciting "desiste ad levo onus tuum."
- Sanetur Acre Vulnus – A potent healing spell Rowena devised, which she used to seal the rupture that Chuck opened when he instigated the Ghostpocalypse. The ingredients include myrrh, lavender, and the skull of an owl. Casting it requires two witches and someone to carry the spell once it's prepared. Sam helps Rowena cast the spell while Dean tosses the hex bag into the rupture, eventually sealing it.
- Resurrection Spell – A spell devised by Rowena and completed by Sam Winchester which causes a spirit to become flesh. Unfortunately, the spell could only be used once as Death closes any loophole that cheats death.
In 2019, Rowena sacrificed herself to banish the Hell ghosts back where they came from, having Sam fulfill Death's prophecy that he will kill her in order to save the world. She subsequently became the Queen of Hell.
Following Rowena's death, Sam inherited her magical stash, which she intended since Sam was described by Dean as "Rowena's protégé." She even said that Sam was as close to a seasoned witch as anyone else in the team. Team Free Will uses her collection of spells and magical items in the fight against God.
Rowena is first mentioned by Crowley as he targets the people Sam and Dean saved. While killing Sarah Blake, he tells Dean that his mom was a witch who taught him a few tricks, including using spells to kill people as opposed to sending his demons.
Rowena is mentioned again when Gavin and Crowley reminisce about why Gavin hates him so much. Crowley tells him that he didn't have any role models growing up, even stating how his mother was a witch to emphasize.
In a hotel suite in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Rowena is reading a book in front of a fireplace when suddenly a drop of blood falls on her arm from the ceiling. She looks up, revealing two hotel staff members nailed to the ceiling, smiles and continues reading her book.
- "Well...I'm about as far from Grand Coven approved as it's possible to be. They threw me out many years ago. Disapproved of my methods. Said my magic was too extreme. I was forbidden from using magic, from taking students, from forming a coven. I've been on the run from those utter fannies ever since."
Two demons named Raul and Gerald are running a brothel, using women to make deals, selling sex for souls. Rowena visits the brothel and throws a hex bag to Raul, who immediately begins vomiting black goo -- liquified demon smoke -- and collapses, dead. She leaves with two prostitutes, Elle and Catlin, and takes them to eat at an upscale restaurant. The waiter tells them that Elle and Catlin do not meet the dress code, so Rowena bewitches him with a servitude spell. They are served the finest food and wine. Rowena explains that there are three types of witch: Borrowers, which harness the power of a demon, the Naturals, those who are born with the gift of magic, and the Students, who learn from a Grand Coven-approved mentor. Rowena tells them that she was thrown out of the Grand Coven a long time ago for her extreme methods, and was thus forbidden from forming a coven or even using magic. She has been on the run ever since, but offers to take Elle and Catlin under her wing anyway. Just then, the waiter's face turns red and he collapses, dead, forcing a quick exit from Rowena and the girls.
Sam and Dean are on Rowena's trail and they find out that she has been responsible for a number of murders at high-end hotels, with the bodies impaled on the ceiling and brains boiled. Later, the women are staying at a hotel when there is a knock on the door. Rowena tells Elle and Catlin that it is probably the hotel manager coming to find out why she hasn't paid the bill, and that he would be practice for them. When she opens the door, it is revealed to be a bellboy whose throat has been slit by demons, who proceed to capture the women. Sam and Dean arrive and kill the demons, and say they are only there for Rowena. She puts an attack dog spell on Elle, and uses this distraction to escape with Catlin. Elle fights Sam, but when the spell runs its course she dies like the waiter. Outside, Rowena tells Catlin that most people cannot withstand the power of the spells, but that Catlin is strong. Catlin punches Rowena and runs away. Rowena begins to recite a spell but is stopped when Dean puts a gun to her head. Before he can act, Cole puts a gun to Dean and Dean is forced to let Rowena go.
At Crowley's lair, Gerald tells Crowley that although the Winchesters took down the alpha team, the beta team had a perimeter around the hotel and captured Rowena. She is bloodied and bruised and strung up in chains in a cell. Crowley enters. As Rowena mocks him, in utter surprise, all Crowley can say is "...Mother?"
- "Of course you had a father! You were just conceived during a winter solstice orgy, and it’s not like I was taking names. What do you want me to say? I … I had a disagreement with the locals and when they set their hounds on me, I had to leave!"
Gerald places a demon, Trish, in Crowley's dungeon next to Rowena. As Trish attempts to break free from her bindings, Rowena initiates small talk with her, wanting to find out what brought her there. Trish tells her she was smuggled topside as Crowley only allows certain demons out of Hell. When Trish asks why she is a prisoner, Rowena replies that she was a "horrible mother." Meanwhile, Crowley and Gerald discuss their histories with their respective mothers. Crowley states that he hates the name she gave him and reminisces about the time she almost sold him for three pigs, bragging how he was potentially worth five pigs at least.
When Crowley finally decides to see Rowena, he berates her for being a horrible mother to him, but Rowena deflects that by saying she was motivating him for bigger things. When he brings up that she abandoned him when he was eight, she tells Crowley it was because she ran afoul of the locals and had to flee. Rowena tells Crowley she wishes to be a family again, and that he can trust her, unlike the demons who will turn on him at the first chance.
After their chat, Crowley and Gerald escort Rowena to the dungeon. It's there that Rowena accuses Gerald of smuggling demons out of Hell, which Trish confirms. Gerald denies the accusation and begins to strangle Rowena. When he doesn't listen to Crowley's repeated orders to stop, Crowley stabs Gerald through the neck with an angel blade, killing him. As Crowley leaves the cell, he asks Rowena if she is coming. She smiles and follows him out the door. When Trish reminds Rowena that she said she would get her out if she lied about Gerald, Rowena responds that she'll be back for her "in a flash" and locks the cell.
- "I will not apologize for being a career woman! Besides, what’s three hundred years, more or less, to folks like us? Nothing. I’m back now."
Crowley has a vision that he is being assassinated by his own demon minions in a hallway. Rowena brings him back to reality where he sits at his throne, staring blankly into space. She shows concern and offers to help him in any way, however Crowley insists that nothing is wrong and tells her she can't do anything to help him. Immediately after he exits the room, she pulls out a hex bag from under his throne.
Later one of Crowley's minions, Guthrie, finds Rowena searching through Crowley's cupboards. When Crowley enters, Rowena tells him Guthrie is plotting against him. Crowley is suspicious of her, but Rowena promises she only wants them to be a family again. When Crowley goes to meet with the Winchesters, Rowena astral projects herself to spy on them. She hears that Crowley is planning on giving them the First Blade, and where it is hidden. She sends Guthrie to retrieve it, pretending it is at Crowley's behest.
When Guthrie returns with the First Blade, he refuses to give it to Rowena, so she kills him. When Crowley returns, she claims Guthrie was planning a rebellion against him. Crowley remembers his nightmare, which Rowena pretends must've been a prophetic vision. Rowena also warns him about the Winchesters.
- "Well, duh! Of course I was manipulating you! I am your mother, after all. Manipulation's who we are."
While Crowley is holding court with his inner circle of demons, Rowena begins to admonish him for giving in to a crossroads demon's complaints of not being recognized for his work. She suggests a particularly gruesome punishment instead, which Crowley obliges. Later Rowena approaches her son about dealing with the high-ranking Grand Coven witch, Olivette, who was responsible for her being put on the run. It's then that Crowley reveals he has been on to Rowena's manipulations from the beginning, but ultimately agrees to help her.
While Rowena begins formulating her plan of attack with Crowley, he is called away by Dean Winchester seeking the First Blade to kill Cain. This forces Crowley to postpone the attack, which Rowena does not take kindly. She argues with him about his trust of the Winchesters, and says they don't care about him.
After Crowley returns, Rowena tells him of her intention to leave, claiming to be heartbroken over the way in which Crowley rules Hell, telling him he is nothing but the Winchester's "bitch."
- "Poetic justice, if you ask me. For hundreds of years, those hags made me grovel, every attempt to please them futile. High time someone else ran in circles, eh?"
Rowena remains vexed with Crowley and vents her frustration by ruining the court and casting shocking spells to all those who interfere with her, going so far as to hex one of the demons to spawn a second face on the back of his head. She also rebukes Crowley for refusing to help her and for choosing the Winchesters over his own blood. She taunts Crowley that his existence is only because of her and again destroys his palace by casting a spell. Crowley later captures Olivette and brings her before Rowena as a gift, much to her joy. Rowena takes the shackled Olivette and beats her. Olivette reveals she excommunicated Rowena for being too dangerous with magic and that the Grand Coven has already been devastated and weakened due to the Men of Letters, who confiscated all their accumulated spells and potions and placed them in warded bunkers around the world. She reveals that the Winchesters are the only known Men of Letters in the United States. With the assumption that the Grand Coven from which she has been hiding for centuries and from which she has been fearfully groveling is no longer powerful and authorized, Rowena begins to kill Olivette with a spell, but quickly stops when she realizes death would be a release for Olivette. Rowena instead chooses to transform her into a hamster.
- "You say that like it's an insult. But nice girls, they're pathetic. Here's to evil skanks."
Rowena begins her plan to kill the Winchesters. To prepare, she draws sigils and symbols in blood on her body, and seeks the aid of a demon subordinate to triangulate the location of the Men of Letters Bunker. The demon is only able to give her a 10-mile radius to work with. After Dean has hustled money playing pool and heads to the bathroom, Rowena enters the bar and casts the attack dog spell on the trio of men that Dean just hustled and unleashes them to attack Dean. When Dean successfully beats the men without killing them, Rowena uses a Gaelic spell on Dean which is supposed to rip him apart, to no avail since Dean bears the very powerful and ancient Mark of Cain. Dean spares her life for the sake of the hexed trio as he knows that Rowena is the only one that can reverse the spell cast on them. Overwhelmed by the knowledge that even her mightiest spell cannot affect Dean, she lacerates and beats herself and tells Crowley that Dean did it to her in hope of Crowley retaliating. To her surprise, Crowley ignores her and tells her she deserved what she got for going up against Dean.
After Rowena eggs him to punish Dean, Crowley teleports to the bar to talk with Dean about what happened. Dean explains that he wanted to kill Rowena, but he barely even touched her, sparing her to save the people she hexed. Crowley is able to look past Rowena's deceit, but defends his actions for letting her manipulate him because he's been going soft. Dean explains that Rowena is not his family as she only cares about what he can do for her whereas a real family cares about you unconditionally, as Bobby taught him.
Crowley later confronts Rowena about her manipulations. He realizes that she was never his mother, stating that the only reason she is clinging to him is because he is useful to her. He also admits that he did lose his edge, but decides to change it by evicting her from his hideout, stating his intention to kill her if he ever sees her again. Rowena packs and leaves her son's palace.
- "Shall we discuss terms?"
Sam secretly meets with Rowena to seek her help in deciphering the Book of the Damned and removing the Mark of Cain from Dean. After Sam pleads his case, Rowena simply smiles and asks to go over the terms of their accord.
- "I'm over 300 years old. Beauty sleep isn't optional."
Sam meets with Rowena and asks for her help in decoding the Book of the Damned in the hope it will reveal how to remove the Mark of Cain from Dean. Rowena agrees to help, on the condition that Sam kill Crowley for her. She says she needs a special codex that was created by Nadya, a witch of the Grand Coven. Rowena knows that the Men of Letters confiscated and concealed it when they killed Nadya.
Sam calls Rowena when he finds the location of the Codex and she provides him information on an easy-to-obtain enchantment that can counter the effects of the Werther Box it is in, but she warns Sam that the Cabirian Invocation has a way of fizzling out in inexperienced hands and offers to come help. Sam declines and hangs up.
When Sam gets bespelled by the Werther Box, Rowena appears and instructs him to bleed himself in order to open the box. When he has lost a dangerous amount of blood, Dean appears and hits him, breaking the spell. The apparition of Rowena disappears.
After obtaining the codex from the box, Sam secretly takes the codex to Rowena, but he tricks her and manages to shackle her so she cannot escape while she decodes the Book of the Damned.
- "I read you the minute I saw you. And I'm sure you're learning that the line between good and evil is quite flexible. But we part company when it comes to blind devotion. Case in point... the Winchesters. You've made them the family you don't have. Foolish."
Since Rowena has not found a cure for the Mark, Sam accuses her of procrastinating in deciphering the Book of the Damned even though she has Nadya's Codex. Rowena replies that she is an artist and needs time for interpreting the cure for Dean. She also states that her deciphering of the codex would be expedited if she could use magic, which her iron shackles prevent. Sam is desperate and demands to know why she is stalling but Rowena denies this, saying that removing the Mark of Cain would ensure her life. She also reminds Sam of her eagerness to have Crowley killed. Rowena explains that Nadia also encrypted her own codex so that no one could ever decode it, to Sam's chagrin. When Sam goes to leave, Rowena asks him to go grocery shopping.
He returns with Charlie, who is also there to help find a cure for the Mark, but Rowena is antagonistic toward Charlie, and tells Sam that she does not need an ancillary decoder. Sam retorts by revealing that Charlie wouldn't be her helper, rather she would be subordinate to Charlie. Rowena is not impressed by Charlie's confidence in tech, as she has never heard of the school where Charlie learned this magic. Sam tells her that she will find the ancient spells and curses, while Charlie's tech will put it into context. When Castiel is counted in, Rowena is intrigued by him, and taunts that all their discreet and unwilling collaboration must be unbeknownst to Dean, who doesn't even know that Sam didn't destroy the book. Sam, Charlie, and Castiel make a mutual agreement on cooperating for Dean's sake.
Rowena mocks Charlie and her laptop, and Castiel enters with his favorite snack as a human, pork rinds. Charlie asks Rowena about the nun who wrote the Book of the Damned, and Rowena replies that she was a hermit nun, Agnes, and that she was incinerated at the stake by the men of the church. Rowena mentions that her and Charlie are similar, however Rowena believes Charlie has too much trust in the Winchesters. Charlie confesses that the Winchesters are like her brothers, but Rowena tells her that her loyalty would be her undoing. Because Rowena won't leave her alone, and even tries to talk her into witchcraft, Charlie tells Castiel that she has to leave for two hours, or even one, just to get away from Rowena.
When Charlie and Rowena start arguing, Castiel calls Sam to let him know that Charlie wants to leave. Sam says it is too dangerous, however, so Castiel moves Rowena to another room, and chains her there. Rowena feels that Charlie is being the dramatic one, and believes that determining a cure would go faster if Charlie accepted her help. She also mentions that Crowley is her son, which surprises Castiel. Castiel leaves her, and finds out that Charlie has left for a motel, where she is later killed by Eldon Styne.
- "Right, you don’t! Your brother’s a walkin’ freakin’ time bomb, and the clock, she’s a ticking. So you will kill my son, and you will do it my way, now!"
Sam decides to end the work to remove the Mark and kill Rowena, but changes his mind once he receives an email from Charlie with her code breaker for the Book of the Damned and Nadya's Codex. Rowena confirms she can now remove the Mark, but demands that Sam kill Crowley first as she doesn't trust him to keep up his end of the deal otherwise. After Sam fails, he calls Rowena to tell her and give her Crowley's warning. While Rowena is left worried, she insists Sam keep trying.
- "Impetus bestiarum. I'm afraid, Fergus, that in all your long life, you've never seen what a real witch can do with real magic. I'm terrifically pleased it's the last thing you'll ever see. Dele malum hoc."
Following his failure to kill Crowley, Sam tries to threaten Rowena into helping with bullets filled with witch-killing brew. Rowena is not intimidated as Sam needs her to crack the Book of the Damned and to cast the spell. She offers a new deal: her freedom and the codex in exchange for removing the Mark. Sam agrees and Rowena determines the ingredients needed for the spell which includes her sacrificing the person she loves most. Castiel is able to determine this is a young man named Oskar whose family had helped her hundreds of years before and whom she had grown so fond of that she cured him of a terminal disease and made him immortal. Castiel summons Crowley, who brings them the ingredients and Oskar. Rowena is happy to see Oskar despite her protests of loving no one and is horrified that she will have to kill him. However, she is forced to go through with it and casts the spell to remove the Mark. She succeeds in removing the Mark but unwittingly releases the Darkness at the same time. After using the book's power to remove the Mark of Cain, her powers are super charged by the book's influence. Rowena takes the opportunity to escape with the Book of the Damned, Nadya's Codex, and Charlie's Code Breaker. She casts an attack dog spell on Castiel so he will kill Crowley while he is immobilized.
- "...and they shall know us far and wide and fear us. And we shall be known as the... Mega Coven! Mega Coven. See, because it's greater than Grand Coven. So it's not grand, it's mega! It's the Mega Coven. I don't think you're followin'."
Rowena stands before a trio of witches in an abandoned warehouse; at her altar she declares that they shall be known as the "Mega Coven," to the confusion of the trio. When one witch questions why they would join her, Rowena tells them that the Grand Coven is obsolete and and falling apart. She tells them how she compelled an angel to kill her son, the King of Hell. But one witch tells her she made a deal with Crowley only the day before and declares Rowena "delusional as ever." As the trio begins to leave, Rowena pulls out the Book of the Damned and performs an incineration spell, killing the trio of witches where they stand.
At a restaurant, Rowena sits with two witches, pitching them to join her new Mega Coven and offering them power they could never get while in the Grand Coven. The witches appear to agree to join, when suddenly a demon-possessed waiter attacks. One witch attempts to fend him off with a spell but is too slow and has her throat slit. Rowena makes her hasty retreat, using a spell to block her exit with furniture.
Sometime later, Rowena comes out of a brick building, disguised in a blonde wig and speaking in an American accent, carrying her suitcases towards a yellow Taxi. She quickly realizes that the driver is actually Dean Winchester and sends him flying across the alley, pinning him to a wall. Before she can kill Dean, Sam appears from nowhere and places her in iron shackles. Back at the Bunker's dungeon, Dean is chaining Rowena to the chair while Sam is searching her luggage for the Book of the Damned, but he is only able to find Nadya's Codex and Charlie's code breaker. When Sam goes to retrieve Castiel, Dean threatens to call Crowley unless she helps them. Rowena eggs him on, telling him if she is dead, there will be no one to remove the curse from Castiel. A panicked Sam returns to the dungeon, telling Dean that Castiel has gone missing. The trio pile into the Impala and track Castiel down using his phone's GPS. Dean parks the Impala in the general vicinity of where Castiel's GPS brought them, and tells Sam to take Rowena one way, while he looks another. When Dean tracks Castiel down, Rowena and Sam show up not long after as Castiel starts attacking Dean. Holding a gun full of witch-killing bullets to her head, Sam orders Rowena to remove the curse. Once done, Sam briefly takes his attention away from Rowena to place her back in shackles, but Rowena is able to use the momentary lapse to her advantage and uses a spell to send Sam's gun flying across the room, along with Sam. Before either Winchester can do anything, Rowena traps them behind a cage and makes her escape.
- "It’s not easy being a parent; knowing when to hug your child, when to kill him."
A hooded and shackled Rowena is brought before Crowley and the Winchesters. She surmises they want her help to deal with the force that was released when the Mark of Cain was removed. Dean tells her everyone in the room holds a piece of the puzzle to stop the Darkness. Rowena is then filled in on Amara being God's sister, and is shocked at learning the truth, as back her day people would be burned at the stake for merely suggesting God had a sister. Knowing that her decoding the Book of the Damned is pivotal to their plan, she wants to know would be in it for her; which Crowley agrees to call off his assassins, until the next time she crosses him. She asks what is in the Cage that is so important; when they tell her Lucifer, Rowena is elated at the prospect of meeting the "Original Dark Prince." With everyone in agreement, Rowena is taken to the Bunker, where she is given Nadya's Codex and Charlie's code breaker. After some studying, Rowena finds the spell necessary to communicate with Lucifer without opening the Cage, and along with Sam and Crowley journeys to Hell to perform the spell.
Crowley leads the trio to "Limbo," a desolate area in the furthest reaches of Hell. There Rowena paints warding sigils around a cage, and performs the first part of the spell, which activates the warding sigils as a ring of holy fire surrounds the cage. The second part of the spell causes the flames to rise high above; once they die down a figure appears in the shadows with glowing red eyes -- Lucifer. As Rowena and Crowley watch Sam's conversation with Lucifer from a distance, Rowena becomes enamored by the fallen angel. Eventually, the illuminated spell-work on the cage begins to fade and the fire around the cage begins dying. Crowley looks startled, but Rowena looks intrigued. As Crowley questions why the warding failed, Rowena simply tells him to follow her, and leads him away.
- "I hate you, because when I look into your eyes I see the woman I used to be, before magic, before the coven. When I was nothing but Rowena, the tanner's daughter. A pale, scared little girl, who smelled of filth and death. I hate you, because when you were born, your father said he loved me, then he went back to his grand wife and his grand house, whilst I lay pathetic and half dead on a straw mat -- my thighs slick with blood. I hate you, because if I didn't, I'd love you. But love, love is weakness. And I'll never be weak again."
During a recurring nightmare in which she experiences Christmas morning with a child-like Crowley, the dream is suddenly interrupted by Santa Claus kicking the door down and impaling Crowley with a candy cane, when Rowena asks who he is because he is a new element in the dream, Santa pulls down his beard and reveals himself as Lucifer, causing joy to fall on Rowena.
After Sam is transported into the Cage, Rowena and Crowley abscond to another room. While Rowena sits at a table, Crowley begins to choke her, telling her she betrayed him in his kingdom. She tells it's not his kingdom, it's Lucifer's and she is also his. Crowley questions how long she has been working for Lucifer, she tells him not long and that Lucifer came to her in a dream. Her allowing Crowley to capture her was all apart of Lucifer's plan. She tells Crowley that once Lucifer defeats the Darkness, he will ascend to Heaven and take the throne, with her by his side as his queen.
While Crowley and Rowena are about to have tea, Crowley excuses himself, but unbeknownst to him Rowena slips a hex bag in his pocket, allowing her to eavesdrop on his conversation with Dean Winchester. She reveals this fact to Crowley when he returns to her. Crowley replies that he drugged her tea, causing Rowena to double over in a coughing fit, allowing Dean to place a witchcatcher around her neck. Furious, Rowena demands Crowley remove the collar from her neck. He tells her would, if not for the fact that the collar allows him to control her, and proves this point by forcing Rowena to hop on one leg, much to her chagrin. With Rowena in their control, Dean and Crowley force her to perform a spell to send Lucifer back to the Cage, a spell that will only work as long as Lucifer doesn't take a vessel to anchor himself. Rowena performs the spell and is seemingly successful when Lucifer disappears in blinding white light. With everyone regrouped, Crowley declares the team-up a "trainwreck" and over. When Sam questions what to do with Rowena, Crowley tells him she is staying with him in Hell.
With everyone taking their leave from Hell, Crowley sits in front of a fireplace and has Rowena massage his temples. During this time, he asks his mother why she hates him. Rowena goes on to tell him about her life before magic and how Crowley's father abandoned them after his birth. With tears in her eyes, she tells him that if she didn't hate him, she would love him, and love is a weakness. Unexpectedly, Castiel appears in the doorway. However, Castiel soon reveals himself to actually be Lucifer, who had gained consent from Castiel before Rowena finished the spell. As Crowley tries to flee, Lucifer flings him to the wall and approaches Rowena. He removes the witchcatcher from her neck and tells her she deserves a reward for her help in freeing him. As he closes in seemingly to kiss Rowena, Lucifer asks her if anyone else is capable of opening the Cage. When Rowena tells her only she is capable, he snaps her neck.
- "Oh, I can be useful. Provide you with information on the troublesome brothers and Lucifer... their plans. And even if it is born out of my own self-interest, I-I care about you. I'm someone you can talk with. Confide in. Have you... have you ever had that?"
Rowena is shown to be alive, having survived her encounter with Lucifer through the use of a spell. Finding herself in the company of a weakened Amara, Rowena proceeds to use her abilities with magic to heal Amara. When Amara realizes Rowena is Crowley's mother, she asks if she is trying to bring her back to Crowley. Rowena assures her that is not the case and tells her how much she and Crowley loathe each other. She tells Amara how she died and of her resurrection and that she has a score to settle with Lucifer, and promises to fix Amara so she can destroy her enemies. As the healing sessions continue, Amara asks Rowena why she is helping her, as she doesn't detect the capacity for concern or kindness within Rowena. Rowena explains that she wants revenge on Lucifer, but also that she wishes to be by Amara's side when she remakes the universe in her image, and in the meantime she can spy on the Winchesters and Lucifer for her. As Amara tests out her strength, the show of power appears to frighten Rowena. When Rowena spies on the Winchesters and Crowley and overhears their plan, she lies to Amara and tells her they are paralyzed with fear and have no clue what to do. As Crowley and the Winchester argue about their plan, a message appears stating "Back from the dead, Fergus!" on a metal wall.
Rowena, now having abandoned Amara, joins the Winchesters in an abandoned church where they plan on summoning Lucifer to eject him from Castiel's vessel and send him back to the Cage. When Crowley asks Rowena where she's been this whole time, she tells Crowley that, like him, she has been in hiding from Lucifer. Crowley demands that she not muck about like the last time and do her job as the holy fire and warding will only hold for so long against an archangel. Once Lucifer is summoned, Rowena quickly hides behind a corner, panicked, and remains there even after Lucifer gets free. When Amara arrives and tells everyone she had been tracking Rowena since she left her side, Rowena takes the opportunity to flee as Lucifer and Amara face each other.
- "Aye. I came face-to-face with the Darkness. The apocalypse bell’s been rung a few times in our day, but when I looked inside her, I saw it. Not just the end of the world, Heaven and Hell. The end of magic."
Believing the end is near, Rowena pays a visit to the witch Clea. Not trusting Rowena, Clea instantly pulls a gun on her and asks what she wants. Rowena says she needs a second witch for a spell. Clea is not inclined to help her, knowing of her "impetuous little fits." When Rowena tells Clea that the world is ending, Clea shows Rowena her tarot cards, revealing she is aware that the end is near. Rowena explains that the spell she is working on is from the Book of the Damned and can buy them centuries more of life by going back in time. Still sensing Clea isn't on board, Rowena tells her of her encounter with the Darkness, and that it will be the end of everything, including magic. Clea agrees to help, under the condition they go to the time period of Greek antiquity.
As Rowena and Clea are preparing the spell, Sam appears out of nowhere and tells Rowena they need to talk. When Rowena threatens Sam, Clea senses Sam's aura is under potent protection and says she should hear him out. When Sam tells them God is back and they want Rowena's help, Rowena refuses, claiming to only serve magic, not God. However, Clea tells Sam she is interested. When Rowena shows surprise at Clea, Clea points to the cross around her neck, telling her she serves both. As Rowena continues to refuse, Clea points out that they have a chance to fight and win, rather than escape, telling Rowena and Sam she can enlist other witches to help in the fight. Rowena continues to protest, prompting Clea to pick up her tarot deck, which shows the sun card, telling Rowena there is a chance.
Rowena, having been convinced to join the fight, arrives at the abandoned power plant. Upon the arrival of Chuck, Rowena immediately begins to ingratiate herself to the Lord, apologizes for her past deeds. Rowena, Crowley, and Lucifer begin fighting over the order of the attack wave; once a decision is made, Rowena communicates with Amara through astral projection, telling Amara that she is with God as they speak. As Rowena steps outside of the abandoned power plant, Amara appears out of nowhere. Amara reveals that she knew Rowena's betrayal of God was a trap the moment she made contact with her, but doesn't care as all she has wanted was a chance to be face to face with her brother. Amara makes a veiled threat about how she can repay Rowena, which prompts her to attack Amara with a spell. The spell has no effect on Amara, who tells Rowena that it tickled and mocks Rowena for thinking the power of one witch could hurt her. Rowena retorts that she isn't one witch and attacks again, this time with the pooled power of Clea and three other witches, which sends Amara to the ground. Amara stands up and deflects the magic back at Rowena, knocking her down and sending blowback to Clea and the other witches, killing them. As Amara approaches the prone Rowena, the second attack wave begins as the angels in Heaven fire a blast of energy, sending Amara to her knees.
With the assault on Amara having failed, a disoriented Rowena picks herself up, and looks around, spotting something in the distance.
- "Now, Fergus was bright. Walked before his first birthday, but he hated pants. Hated them. He'd run 'round the village, his wee banger just flapping in the breeze."
After Amara has severely wounded Chuck and taken her leave, Rowena enters the building to tell the group they need to take a look outside. As Rowena, Dean, Sam, Chuck, Cas, and Crowley walk outside, they begin to look around as Rowena taps Dean on the shoulder, turning him around and pointing to the sky. They all look up and see the sun -- the sky around it is bright red/orange. At the Bunker, the group soon realizes that the sun is dying. Meanwhile Rowena tends to Chuck, telling him she'll go and make some tea. In the library Chuck and Rowena are drinking tea, sharing stories about Crowley and Adam and Eve, while Crowley is off to the side drinking a glass of whiskey.
Later, Sam suggests the only way to keep the universe from being destroyed is to even the scales by killing Amara. In Chuck's weakened state he is in no position to help. Castiel suggests using souls, which Rowena agrees is a good source of power. She tells Sam and Dean that if they collect enough souls, she can build a bomb to take out Amara. With the vengeful spirits Sam and Dean collected from Waverly Hills, on top of Billie's raid of the Veil, Rowena creates a soul bomb. Dean being the only one who would be able to get close to Amara, will be the one to carry it. Then Rowena tells him he wouldn't be smuggling the bomb, but actually be the bomb. She places her hand on Dean’s chest and tells him that to activate the bomb, all he will have to do is press his index finger and thumb together. Rowena begins an incantation over the crystal in her outstretched hand. As she finishes she pushes her other hand towards the crystal and Dean. A stream of bright white light hits Dean in the chest for several seconds. Dean groans and hunches over in pain. She tells Dean he has an hour before he becomes a literal ticking time bomb.
After taking Sam and Dean to Mary's grave site, Sam, Cas, Crowley, Chuck, and Rowena pull up in the Impala to the Lazy Shag bar, which has closed for the day. This does not stop the group from entering to drink and wait for Dean to detonate the bomb. At the Lazy Shag, Sam, Crowley, Rowena, and Castiel run outside as the sun streams in through the windows. Outside, they all look towards the sun which begins shining bright once again, as Rowena and Crowley exclaim that Dean "did it."
- "I can't believe I'm once again down some dank hole seeking the Devil. When does it end? It's exactly why I'm retiring to Boca Raton. With Ben."
Rowena seeks to start her life over again as she no longer wants to have anything to do with the supernatural. However, both Crowley and Lucifer intend to use her because of her vast knowledge and her ability to decipher the Book of the Damned. Crowley is the first to reach her, by interrupting her date with a man named Ben. Despite her insistence that she wants to retire, Crowley orders her to help him send Lucifer back to his Cage; if not, then he will expose her true nature to Ben. Rowena reluctantly agrees, and the two set up a trap for the archangel.
When Lucifer confronts Crowley in his throne room, Rowena appears and uses a spell to paralyze Lucifer and enable Crowley to throw acid on him, weakening his vessel. However, Lucifer is able to resist Rowena's magic and heal the injuries caused by Crowley. Seeing no other option, Crowley flees the scene, leaving Rowena behind. Rowena tries to inform Lucifer of her desire to be elsewhere and start a vacation, but Lucifer refuses to let her go since he wants to keep his enemies "close." Rowena is taken prisoner, and she screams in horror.
- "Until you forced me to get back in the game, I'd tried to forget about Lucifer. I loathe him, and I loathe that I had any part in letting him out of the pit he belongs in."
Lucifer takes Rowena on a short trip to Wendy Vincente's house, whom he'd promised his vessel to heal. He then ties up Rowena inside a cabin in the woods. Realizing his vessel is already decaying, Lucifer requests Rowena's help in strengthening it. she makes up an excuse of not knowing where the Book of the Damned is, but Lucifer is not fooled. Instead, he threatens to snap Rowena's neck clean off if she doesn't obey his orders. Rowena agrees and begins applying a spell on Lucifer's vessel, but soon reveals that she was using a spell that would not improve the vessel's condition, but rather speed up its decaying process.
Furious, Lucifer tries to threaten her, knowing she cannot destroy him, but she banishes Lucifer along with his rotting vessel to the bottom of the ocean. Just then, Castiel and Crowley arrive, having been searching for her. They find her enjoying a cup of tea. As the three leave the cabin, Rowena expresses her regret in having any part in freeing Lucifer, which is why she is willing to help them send Lucifer back to his Cage once they have the archangel cornered. She tells Castiel to call her when the time comes.
- "Well, dear. I'm a witch, he's an angel."
In Boca Raton, Rowena is enraged when she discovers that her latest fiancé has run a background check on her and has been lying and using her. While Rowena argues with the man, Crowley comes to get her help in imprisoning Lucifer. Crowley eventually blows the man's head off, which Rowena calls the nicest thing Crowley has ever done for her.
Rowena participates in the planning for defeating Lucifer but is skeptical about the idea of using the British Men of Letters' Hyperbolic Pulse Generator to eject Lucifer out of President Jefferson Rooney. The group is able to use Kelly Kline and Lucifer's unborn child to lure him to their motel where Sam use the generator to remove him from his vessel. As the generator does its work, Dean signals Rowena who begins reciting the spell to send Lucifer back to his Cage. Lucifer vacates from Rooney. Believing they have finally locked Lucifer back up, both Rowena and Crowley disappear before the secret service arrives.
- "You help those other than yourself. But me? I've done terrible things and I told myself it was fine. It was the price of power. And power's what matters, right? Then I met God and His sister. The two most powerful beings in the universe, wasting it on squabbling with each other. I thought if -- if they can't be happy, or at least satisfied. How can there be any hope for me?"
After Dean is hexed, Sam calls Rowena for help. Rowena, who is using her powers to cheat at poker, suggests that Sam find the witch who cast the curse and kill him. After finding the glyph used in the curse, Sam sends it to Rowena and notifies her that they have found the witch who cast the spell, but he is dead and Dean isn't getting better. Rowena joins the Winchesters and is intrigued by Dean's memory loss. Rowena then tells Sam that the spell is Druidic magic belonging to the Loughlin family. She recognizes the dead witch as Gideon Loughlin and tells Sam that the only way to break the curse before Dean dies is to get her the Black Grimoire. Instead of taking Rowena with him, Sam leaves her to watch over Dean until he can get the Loughlins to give him the reversal spell. While waiting, Rowena explains her current motives to Dean, knowing he won't remember it. The two then listen over the phone as Catriona and Boyd Loughlin capture Sam.
Following Sam's capture, Rowena locates the Impala and uses it to reach the Loughlin house. Rowena leaves an unconscious Dean in the car with a note explaining the current situation, another note to stay, and notes in the weapons locker directing him to his gun and the witch-killing bullets. In the house, Rowena confronts Catriona, who recognizes Rowena and taunts her about their past. Rowena and Catriona engage in battle, but Rowena is no match for the other witch who prepares to kill Rowena with a shard of glass. Before she can, Dean interrupts and kills Catriona and Boyd with witch-killing bullets. Rowena is then able to use the Black Grimoire to break the curse and save Dean's life.
The next day, Rowena departs in a cab, but not before Sam makes her give him the Black Grimoire. Sam promises that the Winchesters owe Rowena "a small one" for her help.
- "I'm your Mother dear. Who better to crush your shriveled heart."
Rowena is summoned by Sam and Dean to help them once again. Rowena does not wish to participate in anything the brothers have in mind for her, but they insist and offer her something she really wants in exchange. The brothers ask her to locate someone important, and when Rowena inquires as to the identity of said person, they reveal to her that it's her grandson, Gavin.
The trio go to meet Gavin at a bus stop. Gavin initially believes his father is sick, but the brothers tell him they lied and proceed to introduce him to Rowena. Gavin is needed in order to investigate the wreckage of The Star, a trading ship he was supposed to have been on but due to Abaddon's intervention, he ended up in the present timeline instead. When Gavin discovers that his fiancé had boarded the ship and suffered brutal assault from the crewmen, he decides to travel back in time to protect her and ensure she does not become a vengeful spirit.
Rowena agrees with Gavin's decision, and stops Crowley from interfering when he tries to prevent Gavin from going back in time and to his death. She also modifies the blood sigil spell slightly so that it can be used to return Gavin to his own time without the need to connect him to a blood relative. In the aftermath, Rowena admits that she saw Gavin as "a lovely boy," but she accepted his death because it would teach Crowley the pain and agony she suffered when she was forced to kill Oskar, a child she loved more than her own son, to remove the Mark of Cain. After explaining her motive to avenge Oskar's death by sending Gavin back to 1723, she leaves when her bus arrives, leaving a heartbroken Crowley to contemplate what happened.
When Sam tries to get ahold of Rowena to help in sending Lucifer back to the Cage, he is shocked to hear Lucifer's voice on the other end. As Lucifer plays with a lock of Rowena's hair, he tells Sam of how he stomped her head in and set her on fire just to be sure she was actually dead, as Rowena's charred corpse lies on the floor at Lucifer's feet.
Arthur Ketch is revealed to be alive, searching for Rowena and torturing witches to do so. After being captured by Sam and Dean, he reveals to them that Rowena was captured by the British Men of Letters several years ago, at which time he discovered that she uses a powerful charm that can revive her if she is ever killed. He'd agreed to help her escape in exchange for having the same charm implanted in himself. He explains that the charm can only be used once before it needs to be recharged, hence his crusade for Rowena. Before escaping with a broken shoulder, he implies that Rowena is still alive.
- "You know what I've seen, what it's like. Lucifer may be locked away, but he'll be back. He always comes back. And when he does I can't be helpless again. I need the spell."
As Dean is about to choke Sam out for coming between him and Jamie Plum, they are struck by a blast of purple lightning before Rowena makes her presence known, burning the hex bag that was controlling Dean.
The trio return to the Men of Letters Bunker, where Rowena explains that Lucifer did kill her, but she was saved once again by her resurrection charm. She reveals that after Lucifer killed her, it took her a long time to heal, and since she doesn't wish to go through that again she wants the Black Grimoire. Dean finds it coincidental that Rowena would show up just as he gave the book to the Plum sisters; Rowena tells him it's no coincidence as she had placed a tracking spell on the book before she handed it over to Sam and Dean, and once it began moving, she was able to sense its location. Sam asks her what she wants with the book now after all this time. Rowena explains that the Grand Coven cast a binding spell on her which limited aspects of her magic, and she believes that there is a spell in the grimoire that may help lift it. Dean scoffs at the idea of letting Rowena get stronger, but Rowena tells him she just wants to protect herself. Rowena goes on to propose they help each other out -- she can track the book and help them find the Plum sisters. As Rowena fixes herself another drink after toasting their new partnership, she asks the Winchesters where Crowley is. Sam and Dean tell her that Crowley has died, and that he sacrificed himself for them and to lock Lucifer in an alternate universe. They tell Rowena she would be proud. Rowena, however, is angry, telling the brothers that Fergus was her only child and would much rather have him alive than dead, even though they hated each other.
Rowena soon tracks the grimoire to Stillwater, Oklahoma, but due to it no longer being in movement she can only surmise the general vicinity of the book within the town. As Dean goes into a local store to question the cashier, Sam and Rowena have a conversation about Lucifer, where Rowena reveals that before Lucifer crushed her skull, he showed her his true face, and admits to Sam that she is scared all the time. Sam tells her that he has also seen Lucifer's true face, and it still keeps him up at night. He tells Rowena no matter what she does, she is always going to feel helpless and those feelings are never going away. Rowena exits the Impala and tries to regain her composure as Dean returns with the Plum sisters' address. When Dean refuses to take Rowena along to retrieve the book, she casts her immobilization spell that freezes Sam and Dean where they stand. Dropping a hex bag just out of their reach, she leaves to see the Plum sisters.
Rowena arrives at the Plum household and begins berating the sisters for going off their plan and forcing her to use the Winchesters to find them. She tells them, however, that their deal is still good -- she will help them cast the spell to resurrect their dead mother in exchange for the book, because witches of their level have no use for it. Not liking Rowena insulting the skills their mother taught them, the sisters reveal that they already performed the first part of the spell, as their zombie mother walks into the room. As Rowena tries to use magic on her, she finds that the spell has made the zombie impervious to magic.
She locks herself in the kitchen, but the Plum Sisters' mother is eventually able to break through just as Sam and Dean arrive and begin fighting with the sisters. As Rowena screams for help, Dean suggests she shoot the zombie in the head. She is able to get a hold of Dean's gun after it's been knocked to the ground and she drops the zombie Plum with a head shot. Picking herself up, she places the Impetus bestiarum spell on the sisters and forces them to kill each other. With the Grimoire in hand, Rowena pleads to Sam for the page, telling him that while Lucifer may be locked away, he will be back, and she can't be helpless against him again. Sam relents and gives Rowena the spell, a fact that Dean discovers only later when he realizes a page has been torn from the book.
In a hotel room, Rowena sits in the middle of a pentagram, the grimoire page in hand, chanting in Latin. As the page begins to glow, Rowena takes a dagger and makes a cut down her throat, which begins to release purple energy that reveals itself as binding magic adorned all over her body. The binding links begin to break one by one until there are none left, the candles blow out, and her wounds heal as Rowena's eyes begin to glow a dark violet.
- "It's given me clarity. It's shown me that everything I did before. For wealth. For Magic. For myself... meant nothing. And it took everything from me. Everyone I loved. My family. Oskar... My son... I'm a flawed, petty, evil creature, Samuel. I don't know if I can be redeemed. But I have to try. And I do wish there was another way. "
Rowena is contacted by the Winchesters for help but she ignores their pleas and goes about killing people who had heinous pasts, while also killing the Reapers assigned to them. This gets the Winchesters' attention as well as Billie's; she sends Jessica to aid them in getting Rowena to stop. Rowena calls the brothers for a meeting, where she reveals that she was trying to get Death's attention so she would resurrect Crowley for her. She states that she believes it was her fault that he turned out the way he did. The brothers tell her that Crowley's return won't be possible and threaten her by sharing the revelation that Sam will be the one to permanently kill her. She is mildly surprised to hear this, then runs away with her associate Bernard. Sam chases her and tries to get through to her but she refuses to be deterred and dares him to kill her to stop; he reluctantly shoots but she stops the bullet and knocks him out for his actions.
Rowena takes Sam to her hideout where she tortures him before Billie shows up. Billie tells her to stop but Rowena threatens to kill Sam. She then levels a powerful attack at Billie, who is completely unfazed. Rowena breaks down, saying all she wanted was her son back, but Billie tells her that there is a natural order to things and though it may hurt they all have to accept it. She continues to cry as Dean and Jessica enter, then Billie and Jessica disappear.
Afterwards, Rowena sits with the brothers, telling them she feels weaker after facing off with Death. She is then comforted by Sam before she is told Lucifer is back and they may need her help in stopping him. She agrees to help, pointing out that she now knows Lucifer won't be the one to ultimately kill her. Both brothers express hope that Rowena can be redeemed and that they can help her change her fate.
Rowena helps the Winchesters and Castiel search for Gabriel by using a tracking spell to narrow down his location. Later, as they wait for Gabriel's grace to recharge, Sam mentions that Rowena is "boning up" on the Demon Tablet, presumably familiarizing herself with its spells for their upcoming mission to Apocalypse World.
- "I know a thing or two about wounded masculine pride."
Rowena performs the ritual to open the rift to Apocalypse World using only a small portion of grace donated by Gabriel. However, the rift quickly fizzles out due to the inadequacy of the supplied grace. As the Winchesters and Castiel debate what to do, Rowena and Gabriel debate why the ritual didn't work, flirt, and end up having sex before they are interrupted when Sam comes up with a plan.
Rowena teams up with Gabriel to capture Lucifer and use him as a continuous power source for the ritual. Together, the two are able to bind Lucifer and knock him unconscious, shocking Lucifer as he had believed both to be dead at his hands. With Lucifer's grace, Rowena is able to open the rift properly and she stays behind to guard Lucifer in case something goes wrong. She does her best to ignore Lucifer's antics, but when Lucifer taunts Rowena about her death, she snaps and yells at Lucifer, revealing that his son is in Apocalypse World. Lucifer breaks free of his bonds and strangles Rowena up against a wall, stating that she has revitalized his purpose with her revelation about Jack. As Lucifer tries to kill her again, Rowena magically repels him in a moment of desperation, but inadvertently blasts Lucifer through the rift.
With Lucifer gone, Rowena begins packing her things to flee even though she knows she is the Winchesters' only hope of keeping the rift open for their return. Ultimately, Rowena's conscience gets the better of her and she begins searching the Black Grimoire for a solution to keeping the rift open without Lucifer there to power it.
- "Don't think I won't collect."
Rowena worriedly watches the closing rift as she struggles to find a solution in the Black Grimoire. As time runs out thirty-one hours later, an exhausted Rowena performs a spell from the Black Grimoire to augment the power of the rift and keep it open a few minutes longer. Rowena is able to keep the rift open long enough for the Winchesters to return with people from Apocalypse World. When Arthur Ketch steps through, both are surprised to see each other and give a brief acknowledgment.
As everyone is celebrating, Rowena tells Sam that she couldn't have kept the rift open any longer. Sam congratulates Rowena for holding the rift open long enough to get everyone back. Sam admits that they owe her one and Rowena tells him that she plans to collect on it eventually, but smiles at Sam as she says it. The two clink glasses before Sam moves away.
Bobby reveals to Mary that Rowena and Charlie are roadtripping through the Southwest.
- "It's as I suspected. A Nephilim, for all its power, is an unnatural presence. Part human, part angel… It -- It doesn't quite fit. It's delicate. Its grace is what holds it in balance, and when Jack's grace was taken from him, his being fell into chaos. The -- The cells are gobbling each other up."
Sam calls Rowena to the Bunker under the guise of helping a sick Dean with the Book of the Damned. Upon learning they want her to help Lucifer's son Jack instead, she immediately attempts to leave, but is stayed by Sam's words and meeting Jack face to face, as he compliments her and thanks her before having another fainting spell. A somewhat annoyed Rowena realizes she is going to have to help, and in Jack's room performs some magic to get a reading on Jack's condition. Stepping into the hall, she tells Sam, Dean, and Castiel that Jack's nature as a Nephilim is what is killing him -- without his grace holding his human and angel halves in balance, his body is eating away at itself. As Jack enters a critical phase, Rowena places calls to various witches in hopes of finding a solution, but comes up with nothing.
When Castiel returns from the shaman Sergei with archangel grace and a spell to stop Jack's deterioration, Rowena recites the ritual as Jack consumes the grace. Although at first it appears that Jack has been saved, he quickly begins deteriorating once more, collapsing to the floor. As Rowena performs another reading on Jack, she reveals to the others that the only thing left to do is to stay by his side as he dies.
- "Fine. Don't tell me. But using dangerous, mysterious magic, regardless of the cost. That's a very on-brand 'me' thing to do."
While relaxing at an exclusive desert spa, Rowena is called on by Sam and Dean to help on their current case. She devises a tracking spell to locate the monster they have been tracking, only for it to keep eluding them. Arriving at the home of Dennis Barron, Rowena finds the black around his lips curious, telling Jack "everything means something."
While doing research with Sam at the motel, Rowena begins questioning him about Jack's sudden good health, claiming simple curiosity. She also asks about how Dean is doing with an archangel in his head, only for Sam to tell her to not worry about either thing. The two eventually discover they are hunting a gorgon; she tells Dean, Cas, and Jack that gorgons can glimpse the future when they eat the eyes of a victim, making her tracking spell useless against it.
Dean and Castiel discover that the gorgon Noah cannot see angels in his visions. With a new plan of action, Rowena suggests she make an antidote to the gorgon's poison, and comes up with an idea to get their hands on anti-venom. Temporarily turning Jack into a dog, Rowena and Sam pretend to be a couple and take him to an animal clinic, where he is able to steal a vial of anti-venom. Afterwards, Rowena questions Sam about the spell that is keeping Jack alive, calling it volatile and parasitic magic. She tells him she is worried, but is only told they are being careful. Rowena uses her tracking spell again to locate Noah, taking his inability to see angels and nephilim as an advantage.
After Dean is knocked unconscious and Noah is killed by Jack, Rowena returns with everyone to the Bunker, where she learns that Jack is using his soul to keep himself alive. While in the library researching, Rowena is visited by Michael, who has a proposition for her: She becomes his vessel, and he will keep her alive. Rowena refuses, citing her fate is in Sam's hands. When Michael counters with an offer to find another vessel, keep her alive, and kill everyone she cares about, Rowena finally agrees to possession. Michael immediately reneges on their deal and kills all the refugees in the Bunker. He says that Rowena's body is strong enough to hold him due to her centuries of practicing magic. While he tortures Sam, Dean, and Castiel, Jack intervenes by using his soul to access his powers. After a brief fight with Jack, Michael is forced out of Rowena. She falls to the ground and watches as Jack burns Michael away and absorbs his grace, regaining his power once again. Rowena looks up in awe as Jack spreads his wings.
- "Necromancy is a delicate art. It's unpredictable under ideal circumstances. In his state, oh, I fear your boy will bring back something terrible."
After Jack and Mary go missing, Sam contacts Rowena in the hopes that she can track them down. Using scrying magic, Rowena is unable to find Jack due to his energy being too unstable. She reveals to Sam that she knows with certainty that Mary Winchester is no longer on Earth.
While Rowena studies the Book of the Damned in her flat, she is surprised by a sudden visit from Jack. He admits that he accidentally killed Mary and needs Rowena's help to undo it. She tells Jack there is a spell, Magice Necromantiorum, that they may be able to use. But when Sam and Dean arrive to the flat, Jack realizes that Rowena had been stalling and teleports Rowena and himself to the Bunker to collect the ingredients.
After collecting the ingredients, Rowena tells Jack the final item they will need is the body. Jack takes Rowena to the spot of Mary's death, but when Rowena refuses to perform the spell, Jack teleports her back to her flat. Rowena calls Sam to tell him what Jack plans to do, and that in his desperate state he may bring back something terrible.
- "A town full of ghosts! Messy even by Winchester standards."
Having been asked to come by Dean in 15.01 Back and to the Future, Rowena arrives and Sam asks if she can build a crystal to catch the ghosts, similar to the one used in the Soul Catcher. As she starts to construct the device, Ketch arrives. He apologizes to Rowena for when she was held prisoner by the British Men of Letters, where Ketch tortured her but also helped her to escape. Rowena say she has not forgotten.
With the device constructed, Rowena enters the neighborhood to meet with Sam and Dean. She encounters the ghost of Francis Tumblety, with whom she had a brief liaison centuries ago in England. He wants her to deliver a message to the Winchesters -- the ghosts have Kevin and want to talk to them. Ketch appears and shots him with his gun. Rowena runs away but Ketch is knocked out by Tumblety from behind. When Rowena arrives, she tells them about Ketch and that she's not sure if her crystal works.
Sam and Dean meet with the ghosts in a house. Tumblety wants them to take down the warding or he will devour Kevin. When they refuse his demand, Tumblety sticks his hand into Kevin and begins absorbing him. Rowena and Castiel soon enter from the other side and she catches a few spirits with her crystal while others escape.
Outside of the warding and at its weakest spot, Sam, Dean, Belphegor, Castiel, Rowena, and Kevin watch the ghosts attempting to escape. The demon says that there are about a hundred spirits already and that more are coming as Ketch joins them. Rowena proceeds with her crystal, catching a large number of souls, but she gets knocked out by Ketch, who is possessed by Tumblety. He wants to use the crystal with all the souls to destroy the warding, but is shot by Dean. Rowena takes the crystal again and catches the remaining ghosts, including Tumblety. However, more souls are escaping from Hell, and the containment spell won't hold for much longer.
- "Goodbye, boys."
Rowena has the Winchesters, Castiel, and Belphegor take her back to the crypt so she can cast the Rafforza l'incantesimo spell from the Book of the Damned to strengthen the barrier. Though Rowena expresses confidence that the spell will work, it fails and she becomes convinced that they are all going to die, explaining that the barrier is now too weak and the ghosts too strong for it to work. Rowena warns that together the ghosts are too strong and the barrier will fall and there's no magic on Earth that can stop it. If they are lucky, they have only hours. Dean asks Rowena to create some more Soul Catchers, but she informs him that it wouldn't matter and insists that it's over. Rowena suggests that if she had gotten there sooner, she could've tried any number of spells to close the rupture before it got to this point, but it is now too late. As Dean prepares to fight to the end against the ghosts, Rowena looks through the Book of the Damned and Sam questions if there is anything useful in it, but she tells him there's "not a thing."
When Belphegor suggests a plan to call all of Hell's souls back with Lilith's Crook, Rowena states that she can close the rupture using the Sanetur Acre Vulnus, a healing spell of her own creation. As the rupture is a wound rather than a gateway, she can use the spell to heal the wound, causing the hole to close itself up. Rowena warns that they must time it perfectly and wonders how they will know when to start if Belphegor is in Hell when everything goes down. Belphegor assures Rowena that she will know when the time comes and Rowena states that they will need a few ingredients, nothing too exotic: lavender, myrrh, the skull of an owl, quiet to perform the spell, and an assistant. She requests Sam's help, stating that he is the closest thing they have to a seasoned witch amongst the group, aside from herself. However, they also need someone close to the edge to serve as a carrier for the spell, someone who will carry it and toss it into the rupture when the time is right. However, whoever performs this duty will be unprotected from the ghosts and can't use salt circles. Dean volunteers for that job. Belphegor states that he needs protection for his trip to Hell and Dean volunteers Castiel.
Shortly afterwards, Stevie brings Rowena the ingredients for the spell and is annoyed by the witch's lack of a thank you. Stevie warns that most of the ghosts are at the edge of town trying to break down the barrier and asks if they are planning "another magical long shot Hail Mary" which Dean confirms, stating that it hopefully works this time with a pointed look at Rowena. As Sam is distracted wanting to help Dean, Rowena reminds him to keep focused on his role in the plan. After hearing the blowing of the horn and the shaking of the ground caused by the souls returning to Hell, Rowena and Sam perform the spell together. Though the rupture begins to close, Castiel is forced to kill Belphegor before all of the souls are sucked back into Hell, which Rowena immediately senses.
As Sam and Dean try to figure out what happened, Rowena grabs a knife and cuts her last resurrection sachet out of her left shoulder, to Sam's shock. Rowena explains that Lilith's Crook and Belphegor sucking the souls into Hell was the Winchesters' only shot, but it wasn't Rowena's only shot: magic can do anything and contain anything, including the vast multitudes of Hell. Rowena can soak the souls up for a time if she pays the price of Death is an Infinite Vessel: a spell from the Book of the Damned that's so simple that it draws its power from its caster and only requires two ingredients. Sam questions why she didn't tell them before and Rowena explains that the ingredients are her own still-coursing blood and her final breath. Rowena can absorb the ghosts and demons and return them to Hell, where her body will break down over time and release them back where they belong. Sam realizes that Rowena means she will have to sacrifice herself, which she confirms, along with the fact that Sam must be the one to kill her.
Rowena reminds Sam that her real permanent demise is at his hands according to Death's books, but Sam continues to refuse. Rowena tells Sam that she can't do it herself and it has to be him. She says she wishes there was another way, that she doesn't care about anything enough to take her own life, not Sam, not Dean and not even the world. However, Rowena believes in prophecy and magic and they are both there with everything they need to end this. Rowena insists that she knows in her bones that it has to be this way and demands that Sam kill her.
Tearfully smiling at Sam, Rowena acknowledges that they have grown quite fond of each other and asks if Sam is willing to let his brother and the world die to save her. Crying, Sam pulls Rowena into a hug while stabbing her in the abdomen with the knife. Rowena tells Sam "that's my boy," before pulling out the knife and casting the spell. Walking towards the rupture, the mortally wounded Rowena draws all the souls and demons that escaped from Hell into herself. Stopping at the edge, Rowena looks back at Sam, Dean, and Castiel one last time and tells them "goodbye, boys" before throwing herself into the rupture. Rowena's devastated friends watch as she falls into Hell, the rupture sealing itself behind her.
Following the return of Eileen Leahy as a ghost, Dean suggests creating another Soul Catcher and sends Sam to Rowena's Apartment to find her stash, suggesting that Sam can make one as he was Rowena's protégé. With the help of Eileen, Sam finds Rowena's magical stash, including journals of her spellwork throughout her life, and he becomes emotional at the reminder of his dead friend. Among Rowena's journals, Sam finds a resurrection spell Rowena had been creating to bring Mary Winchester back, one that Sam realizes can be used to bring back Eileen. Sam is subsequently captured by the remaining two witches, who suggest that Rowena specifically excluded Sam from being harmed by the curse because she wanted him to inherit her magical stash once she was gone. Sam is later able to kill the Witch Mother with a spell Rowena taught him and use Rowena's resurrection spell to bring back Eileen.
- "Samuel, please. You killing me was one of the best things that ever happened. Yes, there are things I miss about being alive, flesh-on-flesh sex, Amazon doesn't deliver here 'yet', but lads, I'm Queen. My subjects revere me, well 'fear me' which is better. I should have died a long time ago."
The Winchesters and Castiel use a spell from one of Rowena's Spellbooks to enter Hell in search of Michael. As the three fight with demons, they are shocked when Rowena interrupts them. Rowena explains that following her death, she was able to seize control of Hell for herself and has now become the new Queen of Hell as a damned soul rather than an actual demon. Though she knows Michael may not be in Hell anymore, Rowena directs her demons to search for the archangel and talks to the trio in her throne room. She talks about how the demons fear her and despite the things she misses in being alive, she absolves Sam for killing her, assuring him that dying was one of the best things that happened to her. Noticing tension between Dean and Castiel, Rowena, noting her own long list of regrets from life, urges the two to make amends. Later, a demon brings word that Michael is no longer in Hell and the Winchesters take their leave.
Sam and Dean journey to Hell in search of the Occultum. Upon arriving they are met by a demon, and ask to see Rowena, whom the demon reveals is giving orientation to all the newly damned souls, a fact the demon does not seem so enthused about, before telling Sam and Dean he'll take them to her. However it turns out to be a ruse set up by Sister Jo in exchange for releasing them from Hell. As a result, Sam and Dean kill the demons and leave Hell.
The crossroads demon Zack told Castiel and Jack that Rowena ended the practice of making demonic deals and pacts, believing that souls on Earth will end up where they belong, essentially putting crossroads demons out of a job. She also closed Hell's doors, preventing demons from ascending into the world unless they're summoned. When Sam and Dean discover this, Dean shows pleasure at Rowena putting the demons in their place.
- After breaking the binding spell that was limiting her powers, Rowena's eyes glow purple. This has previously also been seen with Tasha Banes and her son Max. Many fans reported that Rowena's eyes appeared blue on their broadcast of the episode. Head of Supernatural VFX Mark Meloche confirmed that the effect had been created to be purple.
Rowena in Fandom
- Magnus, Rowena, and The Island of Doctor Moreau…on identity, isolation, and people who think they should be able to do whatever they want no matter who gets hurt by larinah (November 2014); archive link
- Rowena’s Good Day 10x16 by drsilverfish (March 2015); archive link
- Lucifer vs. Rowena: A Study in Character Development by waywardsam (May 2018); archive link
- All in all, Funeralia is my favorite Rowena episode by royalrowena (September 2018); archive link
- Rowena in Beat the Devil by mad-as-a-box-of-frogs (September 2019); archive link
- The Witch and the Winchesters by mittensmorgul (December 2019); AO3 link
- Nate's Character Chat: Supernatural's Rowena -Character Study Video by Nate Winchester for The Winchester Family Business (Feb 23, 2018).