|“||O may it be Thy will, my God and the God of my fathers, not to let me fall into the hands of this angel.||”|
–Moses praying upon witnessing Sammael
Sammael was among the original and most powerful of Greater Demons, particularly a fallen angel of the highest order, along with Lucifer and Azazel. He was the former lover of Lilith when she was still human.
Created at the same time as the earth and humanity, Sammael was once a mighty angel. He was a figure who was an accuser, seducer and destroyer, and has been regarded as both good and evil. He is considered in legend a member of the heavenly host, often with grim and destructive duties, and remains one of the Lord's servants even though he appears to want men to do evil. Sammael is also the patron Angel of the Roman Empire.
In Christianity, while Michael is the Good Angel of Death: leading the spirits of the good bound for Heaven, Sammael is the Bad Angel of Death who has the job of damning souls bound for Hell in eternal torment until they become demons upon losing their humanity. Sammael's name means "the blind god", and another notable name he has been given includes "Malkira", meaning "king of the wicked". He is also suggested as being the serpent in the Garden of Eden.
During Sammael's stay in Eden, he met the first woman, Lilith, and after subsequent relations and her conversion into a demon, they became companions traversing the Earth, siring demons in the lands they visited and promoting the creation of warlocks and faeries. Eventually, Heaven took notice of Sammael and Lilith's brood and their allies, and their sheer numbers on the Earth, and decided that steps would have to be taken to protect humanity as a whole from future danger. Both demons and the rest of their kind suffered defeat at the hands of Heaven, and were subsequently driven from the Earth and into the Void. Heaven then took further steps to ensure the security they had won for humanity through a ritual making the Earth's very environment hostile to demons, and strengthening the barriers between the Void and the Earth. Should even a powerful demon such as Lilith, Sammael or another Prince attempt to enter the Earth, they could at most remain only a few hours before they wasted away and their essence was pulled back into the Void.
After a millennia of being barred from the Earth however, demonkind struck back. Both Sammael and Lilith devised an immensely powerful ritual that would serve to both strengthen all of demonkind's resistance to the Earth's environment, and drastically weaken the veil separating the Earth from the Void. Around the turn of the year 1000 (in the Christian calendar), the Earth once more saw large numbers of demons pour in from tears in the veil all over the world in a period that became known as the Incursion.
Shortly after the acts of Lilith and Sammael, however, Archangel Michael, in a fury, is said to have hunted Sammael down and slain him. This incident mentioned in passing by Lilith, it is said that Sammael fought equally with Archangel Michael, but was eventually cut down at the time by Michael's sword, "Glorious". It is unknown if he survived the angelic wound and, if he did, how long until his physical body would reform, as he has not been seen on Earth in many hundreds of years, neither Lilith nor the rest of demonkind has seen him, with both Lilith, and the demons of the demon city Pandemonium believing him to be dead.
- Sammael is listed as and openly feared as the Archangel of Death, sometimes referred to as Death himself, or the Grim Reaper, a primordial entity. He is one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
- Sammael has not been seen either on Earth or in the Void for nearly a thousand years, and as such his appearance or true form is unknown to the Nephilim.
- In many fan circles, given that he actually faced up to Michael rather than flee, it is believed that Sammael is the demonic equivalent and equal to Archangel Michael.
- Jace Herondale once mentioned that he was a general of Hell's army.