Crowley is one of the main characters in Amazon series Good Omens. He is a straight-up demon. He didn't so much fall from Heaven so much as saunter vaguely downwards. He has snake eyes — and a penchant for designer sunglasses. He's the snake that tempted Eve in the Garden of Eden, naturally.
Not much is known about Crowley before he Fell, though he does make a few references to his time as an angel. Crowley states he didn’t so much as Fall as “saunter vaguely downwards” and that he didn’t mean to Fall he just “hung out with the wrong people”. It’s also implied that he joined Lucifer’s Rebellion because he was bored or Fell because he asked too many questions about the Great Plan. He has been on Earth for at least 6,000 years.
Crowley also aided in the design of the M25 so it would be in the shape of the demonic sigil odegra, causing a circle of low level evil to be produced around London by the motorists, and making it incredibly frustrating to drive on. Odegra means “Hail the Great Beast, Devourer of Worlds” in the language of the Black Priesthood of Ancient Mu. The design earned him a commendation.
Significance in series
After being cast into Hell with the other Fallen Angels, Crowley is told to go upstairs and cause problems. He turns into a snake and tempts Adam and Eve to eat fruit from the Tree of Knowledge which results in them being thrown out of Eden - something Crowley thinks was a bit of an overreaction on God’s part.
Crowley - then Crawly - meets the angel, Aziraphale, standing on the wall of the Garden and watching Adam and Eve depart into the wilderness. 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 6,000 year old friendship between the two.
Eleven years before the end of the world, Crowley is summoned by Hastur and Ligur to deliver the Antichrist to the nuns at St Beryls and ensure he is raised as the son of an American diplomat. Arriving at the nunnery, Crowley mistakes another father for the diplomat which, along with a misunderstanding amongst the nuns, causes the Antichrist to be delivered to the Young Family instead.
Crowley tries calling Aziraphale but is initially unsuccessful due to his own sabotage of the mobile network around London, so he has to use a phone box to call him. Crowley attempts to persuade Aziraphale 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. Crowley lies to Hell to cover this up and begins working with Aziraphale 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.
- 3004 Mesopotamia
Crowley later bumps into Aziraphale standing by Noah’s ark and is slightly put off by the coming Flood, remarking it was something he thought “his side” would be doing. He is disturbed that the Flood will kill the local children, stating that "You can't kill kids". He also tries to point out that one of the unicorns had run off but no one else noticed.
- Golgotha, 33 AD
At some point, Crowley met Jesus and showed him the Kingdoms of the world because, according to him, as a carpenter, Jesus didn’t have many travel prospects.
Crowley later changed his name from Crawley to Crowley sometime before Jesus’ death where he again bumps into Aziraphale. He once more questions God’s plan in having Jesus killed. When Crowley asks what Jesus said to make everyone so mad, Aziraphale replies, "be kind to each other."
- Rome, 41 AD
Crowley visits a tavern in Rome after doing some tempting where he once again runs into Aziraphale, who invites him out to lunch.
- Wessex, 537 AD
During the reign of King Arthur, Crowley poses as the Black Knight to cause unrest and disturbance in the peaceful time where he is eventually confronted by Aziraphale. The demon points out that by doing their jobs in the same place they were neutralizing each other and suggests they stop bothering with their jobs and just report some things back to Head Office since it would only have the same effect. Though Aziraphale initially rejects this idea, by the 1600s they had come to an arrangement whereby one of them would go if both had been sent to the same place and do both blessing and tempting.
- Globe Theater, London, 1601
At the Globe Theatre, Crowley watches some of Shakespeare’s new play, Hamlet, remarking that it was too depressing. He does a coin toss with Aziraphale over who would go to Edinburgh, with Aziraphale going. Crowley uses a miracle to make sure Hamlet is a success since Aziraphale seemed to enjoy it.
- Paris, 1793
In the 1700s, Crowley rescues Aziraphale from being guillotined during the French Revolution after he was mistaken for an aristocrat. By this point, Crowley has started using the nickname "Angel" to refer to Aziraphale. He tells Aziraphale not to thank him for the rescue, and they go out for Crêpes.
- St. James Park, 1862
In the 1800s, Crowley worries that his and Aziraphale’s friendship will be discovered and asks Aziraphale for ‘insurance’ in the form of Holy Water. Aziraphale refuses, believing Crowley wants it as a ‘suicide pill’, and storms off.
- London, 1941
In 1941, Crowley rescues Aziraphale from being shot by Nazi spies, wincing painfully when he steps on the consecrated ground of the church they were in. He directs a bomb to hit the church, killing the spies. He also uses a miracle to save Aziraphale’s prophecy books, which touched Aziraphale.
- Soho, 1967
In the 1960s, Crowley organizes a mission to rob a church with some criminals to get Holy Water. He meets a member of the Witchfinder Army whom he would come to use the skills of. Aziraphale gives him a thermos of Holy Water so he won’t have to go through with the robbery of the church and suggests they go on a picnic or have lunch at the Ritz at some point. This is the earilest appearence of his beloved Bentley, which he claims to have had from new.
- The Present Day, One Day to the End of the World
Crowley maintains to Hell that everything is perfectly fine and he contacts the Witchfinder Army to try and find the missing Antichrist. He and Aziraphale meet up and Crowley tries to convince him they are on their own side away from Heaven and Hell. He suggests that the universe is massive and they can run off together but Aziraphale rejects this idea. Crowley eventually decides to go to Alpha Centurai.
Crowley tries once more to convince Aziraphale to join him but after the angel snubs him Crowley yells at him and drives home angrily. Hastur and Ligur discover that Warlock is not the Antichrist and go to confront Crowley. Crowley uses the Holy Water Aziraphale gave to him to kill Ligur. He tries bluffing that he has enough Holy Water to kill Hastur too but is called out on this by the Duke of Hell. Crowley pretends he is testing Hastur when Aziraphale calls with a message about having found the Antichrist. Crowley hangs up on him and then uses the voicemail the angel left to trap Hastur inside his answering machine.
Crowley rushes to Aziraphale’s bookshop only to find it in flames with Aziraphale nowhere to be found. Crowley assumes that Aziraphale has been killed and he takes Agnes Nutter’s book before going to a bar and getting drunk, ranting about his Fall and how he has lost his best friend. Aziraphale appears, having been dis-incorporated from his body and Crowley briefly doesn’t recognize him still lamenting Aziraphale’s death. When he does recognize him, he is delighted. He tells the angel his shop had been destroyed. Aziraphale shows him his notes on Adam Young - the real Antichrist - and Crowley goes to Tadfield whilst the angel finds a host.
The demon becomes stuck in traffic thanks to his design of the M25 which became a ring of fire thanks to the incoming Apocalypse and the fact it was a demonic sigil. Crowley debates how to get through the fire when Hastur appears and destroys Crowley’s sunglasses, telling him it is over. Crowley, instead of surrendering, starts playing music in his car and drives straight into the fire, dis-incorporating Hastur and using his imagination to imagine his Bentley is perfectly fine and not on fire as it actually is.
Crowley tries to convince the soldier guarding the airfield to let them in but is cut off by Adam and the Them cycling through the now open gates. As the soldier chases after them, Crowley's car finally explodes and the demon falls to his knees mourning the loss of his Bentley. Aziraphale tries to get him to deal with the soldier but Crowley was "having a moment" meaning Aziraphale has to deal with the soldier.
Grabbing a piece of his car, Crowley refocuses and drives the four of them further into the airfield where they watch as Adam and the Them faced off against the Four Horsemen, Crowley tries to convince Aziraphale to kill Adam but the angel is stopped by Madame Tracy. Adam restores Aziraphale's body and the Them defeat all the Horsemen but Death who departs. Crowley also returns Agnes Nutter's book to Anathema.
When Beelzebub arrives, Crowley bows and tries to play along but Beelzebub dismisses him as a traitor which Crowley is slightly offended by. Crowley also backs up Aziraphale when the angel suggests that the war couldn't be God's plan because God's plan was 'ineffable' - something Aziraphale had said to him the first time they met.
As soon as Beelzebub departs, Crowley collapses in pain as he feels the full force of Satan's anger at Adam's disobedience. He seems ready to give up because there is no beating Satan and tells Aziraphale it was nice knowing him. The angel initially seems ready to threaten Crowley with his burning sword but instead threatens Crowley that he would never speak to him again if the demon didn't do something.
Crowley freezes time and Aziraphale and Crowley tell Adam that as the Antichrist he won't be able to fight Satan but he does have control of reality itself and can use that. Crowley restarts time to watch as Satan bursts through the Earth. Adam tells Satan he has never been his father, which Crowley encourages him to repeat the phrase so that Adam's reality warping abilities destroy Satan. Arthur Young arrives not long after and Crowley explains that Arthur is now Adam's real father.
As they board a bus back to London, Aziraphale shows Crowley the prophecy he had caught telling them they would face fire and need to choose faces wisely. At some point the pair alter their appearances to look like the other. Crowley, as Aziraphale, goes to the angel's bookshop to find Adam had reset reality and restored it, additionally leaving a new collection of books.
He meets up with Aziraphale, as Crowley, in the park they frequent. He is abducted by a group of angels and taken to Heaven. Crowley tries to convince them that they are the good guys and shouldn't execute him by fire. The demon steps inside the column of Hellfire meant for Aziraphale, which can't harm him because he is a demon. He also spits fire, scaring Gabriel and the other angels who then let him go.
Back on Earth, he freezes time to switch back appearances with Aziraphale in the park. He also comments that he believed the bigger war would be Humanity vs. Heaven and Hell before he and Aziraphale go to lunch at the Ritz.
After the angel mentions that Crowley is, deep down, a bit of a good person, Crowley responds that Aziraphale was deep down, enough of a bastard to be worth knowing. The two toast 'to the world' and have lunch.
Crowley is overall a non-threatening demon. He somewhat attempts to be evil in his own way, but is actually quite morally decent in human terms. He objects to the killing of innocent people and animals and wants to save the world, albeit for his own reasons. He has a flair for the dramatic and can be a heavy drinker. He seems to not take his job seriously and doesn't really partake in "normal demon" things. Most of his "accomplishments" were faked or done by humans, which he considers better at making their own lives miserable than he is. He thinks of himself as evil, but is usually a minor inconvenience at worst. He also has a soft spot for Aziraphale, thinking of him as his best friend and more and typically going out of his way to save or help him. Crowley rarely thinks things through, as many of his own plans end up backfiring on him. He is sarcastic but overall rather friendly and lovable, especially compared to other demons. Crowley is also curious by nature, and his tendency to ask too many questions caused him to Fall. Unlike other demons, Crowley has an imagination - something that helps him in various situations, such as keeping himself and the Bentley together while driving through the burning M25 to reach Tadfield airbase.
- "Well that went down like a lead balloon."
- "... Just sauntered vaguely downwards."
- "I didn't mean to fall... I just hung around the wrong people."
- "Can I hear a waHOO?"
- "Oh, Lord, heal this bike."
- "Excuse me ma'am, we're two supernatural entities looking for the notorious son of Satan, wonder if you might help us with our inQUIRIES?"
- "What kind of stupid question is that ‘still a demon’? What else am I going to be? An aardvark?"
- "GROW! BETTER!"
- "Somebody killed my best friend!! BASTARDS!!! ALL OF YOU!!!"
- "I wrote it down. Walls have ears. Well, not walls. Trees have ears. Ducks have ears. Do ducks have ears? Must do. That's how they hear other ducks."
Notes and trivia
- Crowley is into gardening and his plants are some of the healthiest and most verdant because of his unique gardening technique: he'd learned from the radio that talking to plants helps them grow... so he threatens them by periodically culling the least healthy or slowest growing and parading the newly-emptied pot in front of his remaining plants which terrifies them into not slacking off.
- Crowley personally knew Leonardo Da Vinci and was a friend of his, hence the rough sketch of the Mona Lisa in his apartment (signed by Da Vinci himself to Antony J Crowley).
- Angels and Demons have no inherent sex or gender, but they can choose to have one. Crowley himself is a bit androgynous, but can be interpreted as Male as he more often makes an effort to appear as such. However Crowley canonically presents as female in Golgotha during the Crucifixion and as Nanny Ashtoreth, so Genderfluid is also a common and valid interpretation.
- Crowley's relationship with Aziraphale is popularly read as romantic by fans, an interpretation which David Tennant and Michael Sheen have endorsed in interviews.