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Ineffable Husbands: Why “Good Omens” Is A Love Story

One year ago the beloved book “Good Omens” was adapted by Amazon Prime Video. Shortly after the release, fans all over the world were (and are still) fighting if the protagonists – the angel Aziraphale and the demon Crowley – are just best friends or in fact lovers. In my opinion it is obvious that the plot of the web series is a romantic love story. Here are the subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) clues that show how much the two love each other and how deep their relationship is. 

Other Characters Assume They’re A Couple 

In various scenes of the Amazon Prime series other characters assume that Aziraphale and Crowley are a couple. In the second episode the two of them are investigating in an old convent/hospital what happened to the lost antichrist, where Crowley is pinning Aziraphale against a wall after the angel accidentally insulted him. Sister Agnes eventually interrupts the two of them by saying “Sorry to break up an intimate moment”, thinking that the two of them are in fact having an intimate moment.

In the fourth chapter a pedestrian assumes as well that the two of them are lovers. When Crowley is giving his dramatic (totally not) break-up speech in the middle of the street saying that when he’s off in the stars he “won’t even think about” Aziraphale (*sob*), a pedestrian walking by gives  Aziraphale the advice “I’ve been there. You’re better off without him”.

Last but not least, also in the fourth episode Aziraphale’s angel comrades tell him that his “boyfriend in the dark glasses” won’t get him special treatment in hell. It seems like other people can sense the deep connection that Crowley and Aziraphale have.


“You Go Too Fast For Me, Crowley”/”We Can Go Off Together”/… 

Some dialogues of the series leave no room for interpretation but are quite obvisiouly describing Aziraphale’s and Crowley’s relationship. In the beloved cold open of the third chapter that shows their friendship in different stages of history, Aziraphale eventually agrees to provide Crowley with holy water. In that scene Crowley then offers to drop Aziraphale off with his car anywhere he wants to go. Aziraphale responds to Crowley’s “proposal” with the line “You go too fast for me, Crowley” which can only be interpretated as in what stage their relationship was currently in.

In the third, fourth and last episode there are also some subtle-not-so-subtle lines that show they can’t live without each other. In the third and fourth episode Crowley suggests two times to Aziraphale that they can “run away together” when the war between heaven and hell starts – a line that often appears in love stories. In the last episode Aziraphale then wants Crowley to “come up with something” so the world doesn’t end and motivates him successfully with the words “or I’ll never talk to you again”. Crowley immediately feels inspired by Aziraphale’s threat and stops time to prevent the (not)-apocalypse and the loss of his angel.


Musical And Visual Clues 

Also some musical moments in the series suggest that Crowley and Aziraphale are in love of each other, especially in the fifth chapter. In the beginning of that episode Crowley is driving to Aziraphale’s bookshop and the song “You’re my best friend” by Queen is playing. This song was written by Queen’s bass player, John Deacon, who wrote it for and about his wife. For this sequence they chose the part of the song that says: “Ooh, you make me live. Whenever this world is cruel to me. I got you to help me forgive. Ooh, you make me live now honey. You’re the first one when things turn out bad. You know I’ll never be lonely. You’re my only one and I love the things, I really love the things that you do.”

The lyrics describe perfectly Aziraphale’s and Crowley’s relationship. First of all: The two are ethereal beings living alone in the human world but they have each other and that’s why they never feel lonely. Without one another they would probably don’t want to live anymore after all those years they’ve been on earth. They are also each other’s “only one” because it doesn’t seem like they’re connected with other people or their fellow angels and demons, but only with each other. Secondly: Aziraphale really is the first one Crowley turns to when things turn out bad, like in the beginning of the series when he is the first one Crowley calls after he is informed about the antichrist. Thirdly: Crowley also really loves the things that Aziraphale does. Because although the song “You’re my best friend” is first playing in Crowley’s car when Crowley is driving to Aziraphale’s bookshop, the song continues to play IN Aziraphale’s bookshop on an old record player. Apparently Crowley and Aziraphale share music. Last but not least: Aziraphale helps Crowley to forgive – or rather forgives him. In the third chapter Aziraphale thinks that Crowley may be forgiven in case heaven will win the war. Crowley then says “I won’t be forgiven. Not ever. […] Unforgiveable. That’s what I am”. In the fourth episode they pick that up again and Aziraphale tells Crowley after a fight “I forgive you”.

Another musical clue: Shortly after that, when Crowley is standing in the middle of Aziraphale’s bookshop – assuming his angel is dead – he shouts emotionally “Somebody killed my best friend!” Devastated, he then leaves the bookshop and Queen’s song “Somebody to love” is playing – no further explanation needed.

Not only the music but also the visual gives us many hints how these two feel about each other – like the gazing (the copious amount of gazing). I think any of us would be lucky to find someone who looks at you the way Aziraphale is looking at Crowley.

Or someone who picks such an explicit work of art to show you how he feels, like Crowley…

You can also see that they’re attracted to each other by the way they check the other one out. Crowley already seems to be attracted to Aziraphale in the Garden of Eden…

…while Aziraphale needed a little more time and gives Crowley a suggestive look during the French Revolution.


They Know Each Other Better Than They Know Themselves 

In the beginning of the first episode Aziraphale is, like already mentioned, the first person that Crowley contacts when he is informed about the apocalypse from his demon comrades. It seems like he knows that his angel is the only person (being, entity, whatever) who would also be upset about the end of the world and who would also want to save it – even though Aziraphale hesitates at first to work with Crowley.

Later in that episode Aziraphale suggests that they keep tabs on the beginning of the apocalypse at the antichrist’s birthday party and that he could perform magic there. Crowley then immediately responds with “oh, no, no” because Crowley knows how bad his angel is at performing magic. We don’t get to see it in the series but Crowley apparently saw Aziraphale’s magic acts in the past and he knows that his angel would embarass himself at the party (which he does).

After the two of them realise that they have the wrong boy, they go searching for the real antichrist in an old convent, only to find office clerks there who shoot each other with paintball guns. Crowley then magically exchanges the fake guns for real guns to mess with the clerks. Aziraphale reacts terrified and asks Crowley “They’re murdering each other?” what Crowley negates. Aziraphale then tells Crowley that he “always said that deep down” Crowley really is quite a nice person. In fact we never see Crowley killing anybody or doing something really evil. Compared to his fellow demons he seems more to be like a rascal than the incarnation of the devil, for example when he brings down every London area mobile phone network. So Aziraphale always knew (and apparently also told other poeple?) who Crowley really is, although Crowley would never admit it himself that he is a nice person and tells Aziraphale every time to shut it when his angel compliments him on his character.


They Save Each Other’s Life And Can “Sense” Each Other 

Especially during the cold open of the third chapter there are a lot of scenes where Crowley and Aziraphale save each other’s life. To give one example each: During the Second World War Crowley saves Aziraphale from Nazis because he doesn’t want his angel getting discorporated. Not only that – in that sequence he also saves Aziraphale’s precious books because he knows how much they mean to him.

Later in the 1960s Aziraphale provides Crowley with holy water although he refused to do it for a long time and they had a big fight about it. But Aziraphale was afraid that Crowley would get hurt in a planned heist where the demon intended to steal holy water from a church – so Aziraphale caved. Crowley then responds to Aziraphale’s gift with the words “After everything you said”, clearly moved.

What baffles me is that the two of them always seem to know where the other one is – for example they both happen to be in France or Great Britain at the same time – like they can “sense” each other. Neither in the book nor in the web series this occurrence is explained. You could speculate that demons and angels can always sense each other but that doesn’t seem to be the case. For example when other angels visit Aziraphale’s bookshop in the first chapter, Sandalphon notices “Something smells… evil” but he doesn’t sense that it was Crowley’s presence in Aziraphale’s bookshop. Instead the angels believe Aziraphale when he uses the excuse “Oh, that’ll be the Jeffrey Archer books, I’m afraid.” So angels can sense evil but they can’t sense demons. The fact that Crowley and Aziraphale can sense each other and also can sense when the other one is in trouble, is another clue that shows what a special connection the two of them have. When Crowley finds Aziraphale’s bookshop burned down, he knows that Aziraphale is gone and doesn’t look for him in another place because he can sense that he is gone.

Is there already a fanfiction about that sense and sense-ability thing?


They Are Able To Hurt Each Other’s Feelings 

When you really love somebody, there is always the risk of getting your feelings hurt. But that only means that two persons actually have true feelings for each other. In the series Crowley is clearly hurt when Aziraphale rejects his proposal to go off to the stars with him and told him that “it’s over” between them. You can see it, crossing over his face (even with sunglasses).

Ironically in the same scene it wounds Aziraphale when Crowley goes away angry, wishing him “a nice doomsday”. It is obvious that Aziraphale loves Crowley and he just doesn’t want to leave the earth with him because he still intends to save it.

I think they both know how they feel about each other already 1862 in London, when they meet at St. James’s Park and Crowley asks Aziraphale for holy water. Aziraphale assumes in this scene “Do you know what trouble I’d be in if they knew I’d been fraternising?” Crowley then is appalled by the term “fraternising” and tells Aziraphale that he has lots of other people to “fraternise with” and that he doesn’t need him. Aziraphale then answers “Well, and the feeling is mutual, obviously” and leaves.
“Obviously” both already know back then that they have deep feelings for each other that can not be denied and that they don’t share with anyone else, and that their relationship can not be discribed with frivolous terms like “fraternising”.

Last not but least: You can see how much they love each other in the last episode when they both get kidnapped by the forces of heaven and hell. It breaks my heart every time when I see how Aziracrowley reaches out for Crowleyphale and still tries to run after him (*sob*).


What Does Neil Gaiman Think? 

It is quite well known that Neil Gaiman enjoys the subculture of fanfiction and wants fans to have the freedom to interpret his work their own way. Here is what he said on Twitter about Aziraphale’s and Crowley’s relationship:
“I wouldn’t exclude the ideas that they are ace, or aromantic, or trans. They are an angel and a demon, not as make humans, per the book. Occult/Ethereal beings don’t have sexes, something we tried to reflect in the casting. Whatever Crowley and Aziraphale are, it’s a love story.”

In an interview with RadioTimes he states:
“Particularly the way that Michael plays Aziraphale just as a being of pure love, I think that gave us something very special, because people of every and any sexual orientation and any and every gender looked at Crowley and Aziraphale and saw themselves in it, or saw a love story that they responded to, and that was completely unexpected. Things like this, you can’t manufacture, they have to happen from a fandom.” Amen?

On a side note: Although Gaiman doesn’t think that ethereal beings have sexes, I think it’s adorable that Gaiman apparently ships Aziraphale and Crowley as well (maybe due to the influence of his fans?). On his Tumblr he told his followers what’s the story behind “the statue”, as follows:
“The statue in Crowley’s flat. ‘it represents,’ said the Production Designer, Michael Ralph, ‘Good and evil wrestling with evil triumphing.’ ‘…are you certain that they’re wrestling?’ I asked.”


“To The World!” Or: Why Do They Love One Another? 

Some people of the “Good Omens” fandom say: “Opposites attract”. But I think that’s too simple. Actually (in my opinion) it’s quite the opposite. They both have evil and good inside of them – for example when Aziraphale tries to shoot the antichrist after all or when Crowley DOESN’T kill the office clerks at the old hospital (“The world is a libra” after all), and they have more in common than one would think. They both love the world and want to save it – not only to save all the people on earth but also because they love different aspects of human life, like food, music and books. It’s like the other demons and angels always suspected: Aziraphale and Crowley have been down there/up there “too long”, “gone native”. They don’t have sides, they’re on their own side – on the side of humanity.

They have been on earth for over 6000 years for heaven’s sake (“Ew, I can’t believe I said that”) and they like to live there because they had an instant connection with humans (Aziraphale giving Adam and Eve the flaming sword) and with each other in the Garden of Eden (which is symbolized in the first chapter by Aziraphale protecting Crowley from the rain with his wing). They know that there is good and evil in every person or being and they accept each other how they are.

In the end the series is very Nietzschean: Enjoy life on earth and don’t think about a Garden of Eden, heaven or hell, or the end of the world. Like Crowley said: “Time to leave the garden” and let’s have some lunch.

Sources:
https://www.radiotimes.com/news/tv/2020-02-04/good-omens-crowley-aziraphale-romance/
https://neil-gaiman.tumblr.com/post/170898533526/the-statue-in-crowleys-flat-it-represents

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