Supernatural lore: Is the Ma’lak box based on anything?

Supernatural -- "Damaged Goods" -- Photo: Bettina Strauss/The CW -- Acquired via CW TV PR
Supernatural -- "Damaged Goods" -- Photo: Bettina Strauss/The CW -- Acquired via CW TV PR /

The Ma’lak box has been introduced in Supernatural as a way to trap Michael forever. Is this based on any real lore like most other Supernatural lore is?

In Supernatural Season 14, the Ma’lak box was introduced as a way to lock an archangel away forever. Most Supernatural lore is based on something from real mythology. Is that the case with this lore? Let’s take a look.

The Ma’lak box is extremely difficult to make, but Dean has managed to do it. With the use of Enochian and various symbols, it can lock away an archangel forever — although Dean knows that he’ll need to be locked away at the same time. It’s a sacrifice to protect the world.

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The term Ma’lak comes from the Semitic word for angel, so really it’s an “angel” box. In the show’s lore, it’s almost impossible to make and Dean has become the first person to physically create the item — before it was put in the Men of Letters’ books and Death!Billie provided the spellwork needed.

Unlike most other Supernatural lore, this isn’t something that has been based on something specific from real lore. It’s likely come more from pop culture than anything else. We’ve had other shows use items that have been able to lock powerful creatures away, such as Angel and The Vampire Diaries.

The idea is that the box is a coffin, a permanent resting place for the archangel. It’s also a little like Lucifer’s cage, which was certainly developed from Biblical lore. The box is locked up tight so that no archangel will ever be able to escape, sent mad for eternity. Instead of being somewhere in Hell, the box sits on Earth, deep in the ocean so it won’t be disturbed accidentally.

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What do you think of the idea of the Ma’lak box? Did you realize it wasn’t based on mythology? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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