Crowley's Evil Deeds
M25 London orbital motorway
"...the very shape of the M25 forms the sign odegra in the language of the Black Priesthood of Ancient Mu, and means 'Hail the Great Beast, Devourer of Worlds.' The thousands of motorists who daily fume their way around its serpentine lengths have the same effect as water on a prayer wheel, grinding out an endless fog of low-grade evil to pollute the metaphysical atmosphere for scores of miles around. It was one of Crowley's better achievements... and had involved three computer hacks, two break-ins, one minor bribery and, when all else had failed, two hours in a squelchy field shifting the marker pegs a few but occultly incredibley significant meters" (pages 5-6).
"I tied up every portable telephone system in Central London for forty-five minutes at lunchtime," Crowley brags as he recounts his Deeds of the Day to Hastur and Ligur on page 8. Which means that "twenty thousand people got bloody furious... You could hear the arteries clanging shut all across the city... Then they went back and took it out on their secretaries or traffic wardens or whatever, and they took it out on other people... In all kinds of vindictive little ways which, and here was the good bit, they thought up themselves... The pass-along effects were incalculable. Thousands and thousands of souls all got a faint patina of tarnish."
The, uh, paintgun incident
When Crowley and Aziraphale wander into paintgun war, Crowley answers the unspoken wishes of many of the participants and changes their paintguns into real guns with real bullets.
Dousing Ligur with holy water
It's an old and rather childish trick, but it works. Crowley balances a bucket of holy water on top of a door, entices Ligur to walk through, and the bucket falls and douses Ligur, causing him to scream and burn and writhe and melt and turn into a mess on the carpet. Granted, this is actually done in the name of self-defense, and Ligur WAS a Duke of Hell and all, but still, that's pretty nasty. "There are some things that are unthinkable: there are some depths that not even demons would believe other demons would stoop to" (page 230).
Crowley also claims responsibility for...
- Welsh-language television
- Most television in general...
- ...especially game shows...
- Value-added tax
- Manchester, England
- Glasgow, Scotland
- The widespread use of record-keeping
"There are always records... It was one of my better ideas" (p. 91).
- Funding the Witchfinder Army
- Explaining the helicopter to Leonardo daVinci
- Terrifying his houseplants
Crowley also seems to have it out for God's smaller, cuddlier creatures, such as how he tries to drown a duck (page 32) or hit a hedgehog with his car (page 94). Most of his attempts at furrycide, however, are unsuccessful.
... and Good Deeds, Too
Failing to kill any pedestrians or other motorists with his Bentley
Contrary to what Aziraphale might think, Crowley actually IS conciously avoiding vehicular homicide when he drives. Mostly, he just has to "arrange matters" so that nobody is in his way.
Convincing Aziraphale to become the Antichrist's Godfather
This is actually the first thing that Crowley does to try and prevent Armageddon. He's rather sly about it too, if you go back and reread his conversation with Aziraphale on pages 43-45. Crowley *wants* Aziraphale to influence the Antichrist to grow up and become a "good" boy, so that he will choose not to bring about Armageddon. Of course, Crowley also sets himself up as the opposing "evil" influence in the boy's life. Have to be fair about it, you know.
Crowley does a good deed so quickly and casually on page 65, that I missed it completely my first time reading through the book. Crowley "breathed life back into" a dove that had been suffocating while stuffed up Aziraphale's coat sleeve. It's one of those subtle moments in the book when a role reversal takes place; Aziraphale, in his absent-minded way, ends up being negligent and harmful, and Crowley consequently fixes the problem for him.
Undoing the, uh, paintgun incident
Crowley gives in to Aziraphale's pestering, and decides to undo the harm that's been done by replacing all those paintguns with real guns. "Oh, all right," he says, "No one's actually going to get killed. They're all going to have miraculous escapes. It wouldn't be any fun otherwise." (page 91).
[This] has to do with Crowley "Undoing the, uh, paintgun incident." Just an
opinion, but it didn't seem to me there was anything to undo. Yes,
Crowley turned all the paint guns into real guns, but even before
Aziraphale pestered him, the only casualty was a credit card wallet. It
seemed more to me, when I was reading it, that he planned it with the
"miraculous escapes" from the start, and just didn't want to admit that
to Aziraphale. To, you know, keep up his bad image. At least until
Aziraphale glares at him, at which point he immediately, albeit a bit
reluctantly, admits it. Awww.
Of course, we all know that deep down inside, Crowley is really a good guy anyway. ;) His list of good deeds continues...
Dousing Ligur with holy water
Like I said, Ligur is a Duke of Hell... So this is a good thing, right?
Not turning Hastur into Freddie Mercury (even if he deserves it)
After Crowley traps Hastur in the cassette recording in his answering machine ("ansaphone" for those British among you), he ponders putting the cassette into his Bentley. "What would happen if he put the cassette in the car? He could play Hastur over and over again, until he turned into Freddie Mercury. No. He might be a bastard, but you could only go so far." (page 234).
Averting the Apocalypse
Yes, in the end, Aziraphale and Crowley DO prevent the Apocalypse, mostly by being in the right place at the right time, saying the right things at the right time, and convincing Beezlebub and the Metatron that they might not have all of their facts straight. To be perfectly honest, Adam, the Antichrist, deserves the most credit, since it ultimately boils down to him choosing not to rule the world. But still, Aziraphale and Crowley helped.
Consistently letting Aziraphale convince him to do the Right Thing
Don't drown the poor duck. Don't kill the Manor trainees. Stand up to Lucifer when there are human lives to protect. There are plenty of times when Crowley gives in to Aziraphale's point of view - whether it's apologizing for a particularly nasty remark, or actually undoing a bit of evil spitefulness.
But above all, Crowley hates it when Aziraphale tries to point out that he is, deep down inside, not such a bad guy after all. Crowley reacts with bitter embarassment during both times that this happens in the book.
So when it comes down to the bottom line, what is Crowley - good, or evil? Pwca writes:
Crowley isn't evil. Crowley was never evil. He just hung around with the wrong crowd. (Besides good and evil are just a name for sides really...)
In the book several examples of Crowley not being evil exist.
On page 32 (of the paperback American version) the first full paragraph says that Crowley and Aziraphale "hold the fort for one another whenever common sense dictated."
Page 45, of the same version, (Durring the talk at the restaurant where they discuss how to stop the coming of the Anti-Christ) Crowley says,"Why are we talking about this good and evil? They're just names for sides. We know that."
Also in the book he never does anything really evil. I mean he didn't even let Hastur turn into Freddie Mercury! (Though that wouldn't have been a bad thing.)
London Wolf adds:
Right at the end of the book, Crowley and Aziraphale go to the Ritz for
lunch 'and, for the first time, a nightingale sang in Berkeley Square'. Why
only this time? Well, the song says, 'There were angels(plural) dining at
the Ritz, And a nightingale sang in Berkeley Square.' So, maybe, this means
that for the first time we are talking about angels rather than an angel and
a demon... is it just me or does this line kind of imply Crowley's
redemption? It's not beyond the realms of possibility that, if anyone can
'un-fall', it's the fallen angel who is willing to go face to face with
Lucifer, siding with an angel and a witchhunter and armed with a tire iron.
If you have anything else to add, please don't hesitate to send some comments my way.
<--- Forbidden Fruit // Slither Home --->
Important Note: Page numbers in reference to quotations from the book refer to the 1996 Ace mass-market paperback edition. Disclaimer: Crowley, Aziraphale, and Good Omens are owned
and copyrighted by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. Excerpts and
quotes from the novel Good Omens used throughout this site
are reproduced without legal permission, for which I can only hang
my head sheepishly and apologize. However, this is a FANSITE, meant
in the name of fun, and not intended to make a profit. The lovely model in this site's header graphic is an endangered Eastern Indigo Snake, in a photograph courtesy of SeaWorld.org. Brushes used in the header graphic are courtesy of Paper Flowers.