“So, I watched the first five seasons of Supernatural while doing field research on the birds of northern Alaska, and when Castiel spread his wings for the first time my first thought was “Oh look, that angel’s in molt”.
For the whole rest of season 4 I kept thinking of him as “the molting angel.” I kept wondering what on earth had happened to him in Hell that left his wings so messed up, such that he had to do an out-of-season molt with both alulas broken. And I kept wondering whether his new feathers had come in all right!
But mostly I became convinced that Castiel must have suffered some real injuries while rescuing Dean from Hell. Castiel never mentioned anything about this… but I like to think that there’s a pretty dramatic story there that he has never told.”
We thought northern-sparrow’s wing theory post on tumblr was really well researched and well picked out from the scene in season 4! What could have happened to Castiel’s alulas when he was ‘raising Dean from Perdition’?
Here we see in season 8 that Castiel’s alulas have healed and from what northern-sparrow’s diagrams showed, I believe he is no longer in molt. His wings seem flared, and the different parts of the wings can be seen clearly and compared to those of a bird.
What do you think? We’d love to add more to this theory with your help!