|“||Many people, meeting Aziraphale for the first time, formed three impressions: that he was English, that he was intelligent, and that he was gayer than a treeful of monkeys on nitrous oxide.||”|
–Page 165, Good Omens (novel)
Aziraphale is one of the main characters in Amazon series Good Omens. He is an angel who doubles as a rare book dealer.
Aziraphale is looking to prevent the apocalypse because he enjoys humans and he likes his life on Earth. There are restaurants on here, for a start. Furthermore, he does not find the idea of listening to The Sound of Music for eternity very appealing. He is best friends with the demon Crowley, and perhaps feels something a bit more, though he'll try to deny it.
Significance in series
Aziraphale is sent to guard the Garden of Eden with a flaming sword. When Adam and Eve are thrown out of Eden, Aziraphale gives them his sword. As he watches the two depart into the wilderness, he is joined by Crowley - then Crawly - who had transformed himself into a snake to tempt Adam and Eve. The pair wondered whether they had done the right thing - giving up the sword - and the wrong thing - tempting Adam and Eve - respectively. Crawly reassures Aziraphale for giving Adam his flaming sword by stating that as an angel, Aziraphale might not be able to actually do anything bad, and they watch Adam use it to fend off a lion. Aziraphale shelters Crawly with his wing from the rain, beginning a 6000 year old friendship between the two.
Eleven years before the end of the world, Aziraphale goes to a sushi bar where he discovers from Gabriel that Crowley has delivered the Antichrist to an American diplomat's family. Crowley later calls Aziraphale and tries to persuade him that they should try and stop the end of the world from happening by influencing the Antichrist (named Warlock). Though initially against the idea of disobeying Heaven's orders, Aziraphale agrees to help neutralize good and evil in Warlock so he would grow up normal and not end the world. Aziraphale becomes a gardener at the estate and teaches Warlock only good things whilst Crowley poses as a nanny who teaches him only bad things.
On Warlock's eleventh birthday, Aziraphale puts on a magic show at the party whilst he and Crowley wait for the appearance of the Hellhound, hoping Warlock would turn the dog away and avert the Apocalypse. The Hellhound never shows up, however, revealing that Warlock was not the Antichrist, who was misplaced at birth thanks to a mixup by the nuns at St Beryl's. Aziraphale lies to Heaven to cover this up and begins working with Crowley to find the misplaced Antichrist.
Aziraphale and Crowley go to St Beryl's to find records of the Antichrist's birth only to discover it has been turned into a paintball facility. As a joke, Crowley turns all the guns into real ones but makes sure no one actually gets hurt. When Aziraphale calls him “nice”, Crowley angrily slams him into a wall insisting to the contrary. After recognizing the owner of the facility as the nun he gave the Antichrist to, Crowley uses hypnosis on her and she reveals Hastur burned down the nunnery eleven years ago, destroying the records of the delivery.
On the way back to London, Crowley's car hits Anathema Device who was cycling past; Aziraphale heals her and fixes her bike, convincing Crowley to give her a lift home. Anathema accidentally leaves her copy of The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter behind in the car, which Aziraphale finds and uses to track down Adam Young, the real Antichrist, in Tadsfield.
- 3004 Mesopotamia
The pair met again just before the Flood when the animals were boarding the ark. Aziraphale told Crawly about the imminent event to which the demon replied it seemed something Hell was more likely to do. Aziraphale seemed visibly uncomfortable with the approaching extinction of humanity but was optimistic at the new concept of a rainbow.
- Golgotha, 33 AD
Aziraphale was present at Jesus' crucifixion where he again ran into Crawly, who had now changed his name to Crowley.
- Rome, 41 AD
8 years later in Rome, the pair met at a tavern where they discussed oysters.
- Wessex, 537 AD
Aziraphale later became a knight in King Arthur's court and went out to confront the Black Knight - who turned out to be Crowley causing chaos which was neutralized by Aziraphale being good. He is initially put off by the demon's suggestion that they could do nothing and achieve the same result as they were doing now.
- Globe Theater, London, 1601
By the time of Shakespeare, the angel and the demon had come to an arrangement - when two of them needed to go to the same place, only one of them would go and do both blessings and curses. Aziraphale responded enthusiastically to the staging of Shakespeare's Hamlet that otherwise seemed destined to be a flop until Crowley eventually cast a miracle so that it would be a success.
- Paris, 1793
During the 1700s, Aziraphale started a bookshop. In 1793, he also decided to pop over to France for some crepes but was mistaken for an aristocrat and almost guillotined before he was rescued by Crowley.
- St. James Park, 1862
In 1862, Aziraphale refused to provide Crowley with holy water believing the demon needed it as a 'suicide pill' if Hell found out about their deal.
- London, 1941
In 1941, Aziraphale teamed up with who he thought was British Intelligence to break up a Nazi spy ring in Blitz Era London, this turned out to be a trap set by Nazi spies to claim valuable prophecy books though Aziraphale had been unable to find The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter. The British Intelligence officer turned out to be a Nazi spy as well and Aziraphale was almost discorporated before Crowley stepped in using a miracle to aim a Nazi bomb at the church they were in killing the three spies but sparing him and Aziraphale. Aziraphale was dismayed at the loss of his precious books but Crowley used another miracle to save them which touched Aziraphale deeply.
- Soho, 1967
In 1967, Aziraphale discovered Crowley was planning to rob a church to get Holy Water after Aziraphale had refused to give him any. Worried Crowley would get hurt, Aziraphale gave him Holy Water in a thermos and suggested that in the future they go on a picnic or have lunch at the Ritz.
- The Present Day, One Day to the End of the World
Aziraphale went to Heaven and posed a "hypothetical" of a missing Antichrist only for Gabriel to say that no matter what, the Apocalypse was going to happen. Aziraphale again tried to persuade Gabriel that a war didn't need to happen but was quickly dismissed. Due to his strange behaviour, Michael investigated and discovered that Aziraphale and Crowley had been working together.
Crowley tries once more to convince Aziraphale to join him but after the angel snubs him Crowley yells at him and drives home angrily. Aziraphale sends Witchfinder Shadwell to track Adam Young. Aziraphale is accosted by Uriel and Michael, who eventually depart. Aziraphale calls Crowley to tell him that he has found the Antichrist but the demon hangs up on him immediately due to his own problem. Aziraphale tries contacting God to try and convince Her to stop the Apocalypse but instead reaches Metatron. His conversation is overheard by Shadwell. He believes Aziraphale is a demon and accidentally pushes him into an incomplete transportation circle disincorporating Aziraphale from his body. Shadwell leaves in a hurry and misses a candle falling, which then sets fire to the bookshop.
Aziraphale manages to transport his disincorporated self from heaven back to Earth where he finds a drunk Crowley grieving his "death". He is incredibly saddened to hear that his bookshop was destroyed but Crowley reveals he saved Agnes Nutter's book which has Aziraphale's notes on Adam Young. Aziraphale leaves to find a body to host him, landing in Madame Tracy during one of her seances.
In Madame Tracy's body he travelled with her and Shadwell to Tadsfield airfield where they were joined by Crowley in his burning Bentley. The four watched as Adam and the Them cycled into the airfield before Crowley's car exploded. Aziraphale noticed a soldier pointing a gun at them and tried to get Crowley to deal with him because he was "the nice one". However Crowley was busy "having a moment" over the loss of his car so Aziraphale made the soldier disappear himself hoping he didn't send him anywhere too nasty.
Inside the airfield they, along with Anathema and Newton, arrived to stop the end of the world. Aziraphale took Shadwell's weapon to kill Adam but Madame Tracy intervened preventing him from doing it. Adam then separated the two giving Aziraphele his normal body back. Aziraphale and the others witnessed the Them defeat the Four Horseman with Aziraphale's flaming sword - with the exception of Death - and Crowley returned The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter to Anathema. A piece of burned paper flew from the book which Aziraphale grabbed, stating that they would face fire and need to choose their faces wisely.
Beelzebub and Gabriel arrived still wanting the war against Heaven and Hell to go ahead and tried to force Adam to start the Apocalypse. Aziraphale then intervened stating that if God's plan was truly "ineffable" as it was so thought then really they couldn't know that the war was what God actually wanted. Crowley backed this up and Beelzebub and Gabriel departed angry but satisfied that they knew who to blame and that Adam's father would hear about this.
As soon as they disappeared, Aziraphale watched as Crowley collapsed with pain due to Satan himself rising up and being incredibly angry. Aziraphale tried to motivate Crowley not to give up threatening to never speak to him again if he didn't do something. Crowley stopped time transporting himself, Aziraphale and Adam to a desert where the angel and demon's wings were visible. The two told Adam about his real father and that Adam would need to do something before restarting time and they watch as Adam faced Satan, stating that he was not his real father and never had been causing the Devil to vanish.
Aziraphale showed Crowley the prophecy that he had caught as the two boarded a bus back to London. At some point the pair altered their appearances to look like the other before they arrived. Aziraphale, as Crowley, went to Crowley's apartment and discovered that Adam had reset reality meaning the demon's Bentley was intact before he met up with Crowley, who looked like him, in the park they frequented. Aziraphale discovered that his bookshop was also restored and bought the pair ice creams before the angels abducted Crowley - whom they thought was Aziraphale. Aziraphale chased after them but was knocked to the ground by Hastur and taken prisoner to Hell where he was tried - as Crowley - and sentenced to execution by Holy Water brought by Michael.
The Holy Water of course did not harm Aziraphale and he asked for a rubber duck. Still in the guise as Crowley, he suggested that Hell leave him alone and asked Michael to miracle him a towel when the angel returned.
Aziraphale and Crowley switched back their appearances in the park with the latter suggesting that this Apocalypse was just the precursor for a bigger battle; Humanity vs Heaven and Hell. The angel seemed disconcerted by the idea but brushed it off before the pair went to the Ritz for lunch where a table for two had 'miraculously' become free. Aziraphale suggested that Crowley was at least a little bit of a good person to which the demon good naturally responded that Aziraphale was at least a little bit of a bastard and that's why they were friends. The two toasted 'to the world' and had lunch.
The flaming sword was Aziraphale's divine weapon with which he was supposed to defend the Eastern Gate of Eden.
6,000 years ago, Adam and Eve inhabit the Garden of Eden. Cast out of the Garden by God for disobeying, Adam and Eve go out into the desert that surrounds the Garden. Concerned that Eve is already pregnant, that there are wild animals out there, and that the nights in the desert would be cold, the Principality Aziraphale of the Eastern Gate gave away his flaming sword to the couple, in hopes that it would help protect them from wild animals and keep them warm in the cold desert nights.
- "Get thee behind me, foul fiend....After you." - "In the Beginning"
- "You know, Crowley, I've always said, you really are a nice-" - "The Book"
- "You can't kill me! There'll be paperwork!" - "Hard Times"
- "Oh...fuck." - "Saturday Morning Funtime"
- "Not just a Southern pansy...THE Southern Pansy." - "The Doomsday Option"
- "Although, I believe that none of this was possible if you weren't-at least a tiny bit, of a good person." - "The Very Last Day of the Rest of Their Lives"
Notes and trivia
- He doesn't like people buying his books, and has a load of weird methods to chase away customers.
- He enjoys tartan patterns.
- He's described as fussy.
- As stated in the novel, Angels and Demons have no inherent gender or sex, however they can choose a gender if they so please. Although it's never explicitly stated that Aziraphale identifies as a man, he consistently presents himself as a male and uses he/him pronouns.
- A good part of the fanbase, as well as Michael Sheen, support the theory that Aziraphale is in love with Crowley.