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No pleasure, no rapture, no exquisite sin greater... than central air.
~ Azrael
But... I'm a f**king demon.
~ Azreal's last words.

Azrael is the main antagonist of the 1999 film Dogma. A fallen muse-turned-demon, he seeks escape from hell by any means necessary, even at the cost of erasing all of existence.

He was portrayed by Jason Lee, who also voiced Syndrome in Disney/Pixar's The Incredibles.

Biography

Azrael was originally a muse like his "sister", Serendipity, and he was also from heaven. Ages ago, Satan (originally known as Lucifer) started his war for his place as God's usurper and the new ruler of heaven. Heaven itself was divided into two armies: the Faithful (those who fought on the side of God) and the Renegades (those who fought on the side of Lucifer). The Ethereal Plains were filled with the chaos of the battle as angelic factions from both opposing sides fought. Azrael refused to fight, seeing that an artist does not destroy. When the fight was over and God's side emerged victorious, He/She first cast Lucifer and his followers to hell, but then did the same to Azrael because of his refusal and neutrality.

After spending many millennia in Hell, he looked for a way out. So he sent two banished angels, Bartleby and Loki, an article explaining that by walking through the archway at a church in New Jersey on the day that it celebrated its centennial (hundredth anniversary), they could return to heaven by way of plenary indulgence. He also incapacitated God, who was temporarily spending time in a human body, to prevent Him/Her from stopping his plan, as he knew that He/She had just the power to resolve the problem easily. He then sent his triplets to kill the Last Scion, a remaining and last descendant of Jesus Christ.

After the triplets' failed attempts and the Golgothan demon's defeat, he decided to meet the Last Scion (revealed as Bethany Sloane) and the rest of the heroes in person. He and his triplets captured Bethany, Rufus, Jay, Silent Bob, and Serendipity in a bar in the hopes of keeping them from impeding Bartleby and Loki's reentry into heaven, which would prove God wrong and, thus, fallible, in turn destroying existence (and thus securing Azrael's ticket out of hell: simply not existing rather than being left to suffer in hell). However, after being prompted by Serendipity, Silent Bob killed Azrael with one of the golf clubs of Cardinal Glick, which he had previously blessed to have a better golf game. The pure, heavenly properties given to the club were enough to fatally damage Azrael's demonic form, as he had been struck by an instrument of God.

Personality

Azrael is manipulative, vengeful, bitter and cowardly. Azrael's most outstanding personality trait is his selfishness; he regarded himself as being above those who took part in the War in Heaven, deciding that as an artist he had no place in battle. He showed no regard for the needs and concerns of others, caring only for his release from Hell and caring not for destroying the rest of existence in the process.

Azrael's motives are more fleshed out in the deleted scenes from Dogma that appear on the special edition DVD. Azrael gives Bethany a brief monologue explaining his motives. While he is still portrayed in a negative light, his motivations are portrayed in a more sympathetic and understandable light. Azrael's hatred of humans is also explained, as humanity's presence in hell and desire to atone for their sins is what caused it to become a place of eternal misery.

Human, have you ever been to Hell? I think not. Did you know that once Hell was nothing more than the absence of God? And if you've ever been in His presence, you'd realize that's punishment enough. But then your kind came along... and made it so much worse. Evil... is an ABSTRACT! It's a HUMAN. CONSTRUCT. But, true to his irresponsible nature, man won't own up to being its engineer, so he blames his dark deeds on my ilk. But it's not enough to shadow his own existence, no! He turned Hell into a suffering pit! Why? Because it is beyond your abilities to simply make personal recompense for the sins you commit! No, you choose, rather, to create a psycho-drama, and dwell in a foundless belief that "God could never forgive your grievous offenses"! So you bring your guilt and your inner decay with you to Hell, where the hoarded imaginations of so many gluttons for punishment gave birth to the sickness that has infected the Abyss since the first one of your kind arrived there, begging to be punished! And in doing so, they have transformed the cold and solitude into pain and misery! I've spent eons, privy to the flames, inhaling the decay, hearing the wail of the damned! I KNOW WHAT EFFECT SUCH HORRORS HAVE ON THE DELICATE PSYCHE OF AN ANGELIC BEING! I'd rather not exist than go back to that. And if everyone else has to go down with me, so be it.
~ Azrael's monologue from a deleted scene
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