Crowley is sneaky. Crowley is wily. Crowley is fantastic. Crowley knows how to get under your skin and stay there. Sly Crowley. Crowley all of this and so much more. And for Crowley’s evil genius there is Aziraphale.
I encountered Crowley and Aziraphale in Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. There they were, two complex characters that are supposed to be the angel of heaven and demon of hell on earth. Two characters that are supposed to depict the stark contrast between the good and the bad.
One is supposed to be the harbinger of evil and the other, the paragon of peace. But Crowley and Aziraphale show us that there is a bit of both in everyone. Not that Aziraphale (the angel) goes about doing anything wrong in Good Omens, but just that in being too straightforward and good, he does cause a little twinge of pain here and there.
Crowley is the quintessential rogue agent – for both heaven and hell. At the beginning of the book, he starts of as Crawley, the serpent in Eden, who analyses situations without the blind faith in the good and evil. His character then metamorphoses into Crowley, who is supposed to help Adam (Pratchett/Gaiman must have intended the pun) realize his role as the son of Satan.
But then, his conscience, which he has been growing for thousands of years now, his lacking appetite for the evil, and his liking for mankind, bring twists and turns in this book. Add to this, Crowley’s sense of humor and his friendship with Aziraphale, and you have a demon that’s a sympathizer.
To be honest, Crowley is a vibrant character. A character that cannot be captured adequately here as well as in Good Omens, of course. But all that I can say is that a demon who believes that humans have the ability to cause each other more harm than Hell thanks to the fact that we have an amazing imagination and of course, electricity, is worth meeting.
While this post discusses more about Crowley than Aziraphale, I’d like to point out that without Aziraphale, Crowley would not seem to be as powerful a character as he is. Don’t believe me? Read the Good Omens and let me know what you think.