Why do they call this place "The Empty"? This place is full. It's full of sorrow and despair playing over and over again, of angels and demons dreaming about their regrets, forever.
Cosmic Entity: You see, before God and Amara, creation, destruction, Heaven, Hell, your precious little Earth, what was there?
Castiel: Nothing.Cosmic Entity: Yes. That's right. Nothing. Nothing but Empty. And you are soaking in it. Angels and demons, you all come here when you die.
Before the Universe and even God and the Darkness, there was only the Empty, an infinite black void. The Empty appears to exist outside of creation, and is the final resting place of angels and demons. A Cosmic Entity appears to preside over the Empty sleeping alongside the dead angels and demons. The rare act of an angel or demon awakening in the Empty will jostle the entity from its slumber and keep it awake until they are either revived or go back to sleep.
The Empty is first referenced by the reaper Billie, when she is delivering a message to Sam regarding his and Dean's place after the death of Death. She states that nothing is able to come back from the Empty and the Cosmic Entity also claims that no other being has control in the Empty, not even God. However, both of these claims are later disproven. After being awoken by Jack, the Entity sends Castiel back to Earth to return to sleep. Nick manages to open a portal to the Empty and briefly release Lucifer until Jack sends him back and kills Nick. God is shown to be capable of bringing dead angels and demons back from the Empty when he revives Lilith to aid in his plans and later Lucifer. While talking with Sam, the Entity admits that it had lied about God holding no power over the realm, stating that that's the way that it's supposed to be.
While Sam is investigating the rabid infection in Superior, Nebraska, he is visited by Billie, a reaper who has a message to deliver to Sam and Dean. She tells Sam that for their roles in Death's death, once they die they will not go to Heaven or Hell, but be thrown into the Empty by the next reaper who comes for them, stressing that she hopes that it is her who does the deed.
When Dean kills himself to meet with Billie to get Sam back from the dead, she tells him that the answer will always be "no" to them and that Sam's not dead because if either he or Dean dies, she would know. She tries to take Dean to the Empty, but Dean is revived by Dr. Kessler, forcing Billie to leave.
As Castiel's body lays motionless in a black void, he is jostled to consciousness upon hearing Jack whisper his name. Castiel picks himself up in a confused haze and looks out upon the infinite emptiness he has found himself in.
Castiel wanders around the Empty looking for anyone, inadvertently awakening the Cosmic Entity from its slumber. The Entity takes on Castiel's form and speaks in a eloquent voice, telling Castiel that its true form would drive him mad and explaining the purpose of the Empty to Castiel. The Entity reveals that the Empty is the final resting place of all angels and demons, where they peacefully sleep in an eternal slumber. This prompts the Entity to question why Castiel is awake and complain that it cannot go back to sleep until Castiel does. The Entity tries to convince Castiel to go back to sleep rather than return to Earth and face everything he's done. However, Castiel steadfastly keeps his resolve and threatens to keep them awake for all eternity, driving them both insane, until it sends him back to Earth. Realizing its threats of throwing Castiel deeper into the Empty and its beatings will not work on the angel, the Cosmic Entity appears to accept the deal and sends Castiel back to Earth.
After greeting a revived Castiel, Sam and Dean are perplexed as to how he is back. Castiel tells them that he was in the Empty and that he annoyed an ancient cosmic being so much that he was revived. He tells them what the Empty looked like, its purpose as the final resting place for angels and demons when they die, and how he was awakened by hearing someone call his name. They eventually discover that since God has no influence in the Empty, it was Jack Kline who called out to him and inadvertently brought him back to life.
A distraught Nick prays to Lucifer after killing Frank Kellogg. His prayers to be with Lucifer again cause something to rise up from the black viscous void, taking the form of a skeletal figure with glowing red eyes.
The Cosmic Entity invades Heaven to drag the recently deceased Jack Kline into the Empty. The remaining angels send a distress signal through angel radio, prompting Castiel to respond. The Entity appears as a liquid mass of black ooze that chases after Jack through the corridors of Heaven and possesses the angels Naomi and Dumah. When the Entity, in the form of Dumah, locates Jack in Kelly Kline's heaven, it tells him that he's going to the Empty which is "worse than Hell because at least Hell is 'something.'" After a brief battle, Castiel makes a deal with the Entity to take Jack's place. The Entity accepts, but it decides to let Castiel continue living his life until the moment he's truly happy as it wants him to suffer for awakening it from its slumber. It releases Dumah and disappears into a nearby vent, retreating to the Empty.
Nick reveals to Sam that Lucifer is awake in the Empty and Nick was able to communicate with him through Donatello Redfield. Using Jack Kline's blood, Nick performs a spell which opens a portal to the Empty from which Lucifer emerges, still in the black viscous form he had in the Empty. Before Lucifer can repossess Nick, Jack intervenes, kills Nick, and sends Lucifer back to the Empty, closing the portal in the process.
After Chuck kills Jack Kline, Jack awakens in the Empty, where he is greeted by the Cosmic Entity in the form of a viscous black humanoid which forms a smile upon its face. After Jack asks what happened, Billie appears behind him and states that they should talk about that.
A resurrected Jack explains to the Winchesters and Castiel that Billie had kept him stashed away in the Empty for safety from God. Once God left the Earth, it was safe for Billie to resurrect him as part of a plan for Jack to become strong enough to kill God Himself.
By having Jack remove most of his life force, Castiel is brought to the brink of death and visits the Empty in search of Ruby. Taking on the form of Meg, the Cosmic Entity reluctantly directs Castiel to Ruby, who reveals the location of the Occultum in exchange for Castiel's promise of help in trying to get her out of the Empty. She explains she wants to leave because the Empty is a place where angels and demons are forced to relive their worst memories in their eternal slumber. However, before he can leave, the Entity begins torturing Castiel. On the orders of the Winchesters, Jack returns Castiel's life force, bringing him back from the Empty.
Sam encounters the Cosmic Entity, still using the form of Meg, in Death's Reading Room, killing reapers in a futile attempt to call Billie's attention when it notices Sam. The Entity tells him that the Empty was supposed to belong to it with not even God holding sway but that it was actually all "sweet little lies" as Chuck revived Lilith and Nick previously contacted and summoned Lucifer in a failed attempt to revive him. Billie had promised to make it all better when she took over, but Castiel's visit to the Empty to see Ruby shook the Entity's faith in Billie's trustworthiness.
The entity reveals that Billie is planning to take over as the new God upon Chuck and Amara's deaths and her first move would be to return everyone to where they belong, including sending it back to sleep in the Empty. When it tortures Sam, he deceives it by stating that Billie sent him to retrieve Chuck's Death Book and assures it that Billie will honor their deal. When it asks if he's lying, Sam says that if it kills him, they all lose and it will never go back to sleep, whereas they all win if he leaves with the book. The entity allows Sam to leave the library with the book in hand.
Billie teleports Jack to the Empty where he detonates in front of the Cosmic Entity. Billie explains that due to the Entity's vastness, it is the only thing that can contain the blast with Chuck and Amara out of the picture. Both Jack and the Entity reform and the Entity appears horror-struck and agonized, stating that Jack "made it loud." Before the Entity can harm Jack, Billie teleports him back to Earth, much to its annoyance.
Later, after Castiel experiences true happiness once he admits his love for Dean, a portal to the Empty opens and dark tendrils emerge and absorb Castiel and Billie before dragging them through the portal.
Bobby reveals that Jack brought Castiel back from the Empty, and that they worked together to rebuild Heaven under their rule as a more peaceful version of Earth.
- The concept of the Empty is reminiscent of Sheol, which the Hebrew Bible describes as a place of stillness and darkness, cut off from life and God, where both the righteous and the wicked go upon death. As per written in Book of Psalm 139:8 "If I ascend to heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in Hell (or Sheol), behold, You are there." It implies that God holds some power in Sheol.