In the final episode of Good Omens, Aziraphale and Crowley are captured by the forces of Heaven and Hell and put on trial for treason.

Both are sentenced to death, Aziraphale by hellfire and Crowley by holy water, but to the surprise of their masters, they are not hurt by these.
Belzeebub even says,

He became native
He is not one of us anymore.

We later see that they had actually switched places, not become native.

What does 'became native' actually mean?

We learned earlier in the season that Crowley was an angel that fell. Can a demon rise up and become an angel? Is that what becoming native means, or that spending too much time on earth means you become native?

  • 1
    "becoming native" is an old English term for westerners who have assimilated and adopted "local" cultures - for example an Englishman who've converted to Hinduism and speaks Hindi or becomes a Muslim and speaks Farsi. We see that both have indeed "become native" to a degree - only not so far as to actually make them immune to holy water and hellfire
    – slebetman
    Jun 26 '19 at 7:43
  • 2
    spoiler tag for the 'We later see ...' sentence?
    – mcalex
    Jun 26 '19 at 8:59
  • @mcalex: Why a spoiler tag for that and not the information in the first or second paragraph?
    – Chris
    Jun 26 '19 at 11:46
  • 2
    @Chris Most of the first two paras were ascertainable from the blurb ("Adam, Crowley and Aziraphale must work together to fight the powers of heaven and hell and prevent the apocalypse; they find out the fate that awaits them if they do") and previous episodes. The sentence in question is a late reveal in the show and explains the episode puzzle.
    – mcalex
    Jun 26 '19 at 12:26
  • 4
    @mcalex I mean, I can put one, but if you didn't watch the whole series why would you keep reading the question after "In the final episode.."? Jun 26 '19 at 12:46

Became native to me implies 'not born there, but imbued with the traits of there'... 'there', in this case, being Earth.
They were presumed to have become 'human' to some degree.

There's an old British saying, that someone 'goes native' if they live in a foreign land and develop the characteristics and behaviour patterns of that land, rather than their own.
It's a bit of an old-fashioned idea - the kind of thing you might have heard during the British Raj rather than these days.

The alternative, that they reverted to their actual, true native state, just doesn't fit the plot; only one of them - Crowley - was anything other than his native state of 'angel', so one of them would have died in the execution scenario.

  • 2
    So you are saying that they became so "native" that their earth traits overcame their demon and angel traits, that's why they didn't get hurt in the fire and water. Jun 25 '19 at 14:48
  • 6
    Well, I'm saying that was the assumption - the actuality turned out differently, of course. No other explanation fits either the plot or the old saying. You just can't 'become' your own native native. You already are native to where you came from.
    – Tetsujin
    Jun 25 '19 at 14:55
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    I'm still hanging on to the use of the word "became" rather than "reverted" as a clear indication of what he thought. Neither Gaiman nor Pratchett could ever be accused of being sloppy with language.
    – Tetsujin
    Jun 26 '19 at 10:06
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    I'm pretty sure one of the demons said "he's gone native" in reference to Crowley earlier in the show, referring to his use of human technology. The underlying plot is that both sides suspect them of secretly losing their loyalty to Heaven/Hell (which they certainly have by the end). Jun 26 '19 at 13:15
  • 2
    @Luciano only Beelzebub makes the remark about Crowley because humans can survive unaffected in a bathtub of holy water, so that seems like a much more plausible explanation for how he's unaffected than the outlandish idea that he's actually Aziraphale in disguise. No such comment was made in Heaven because even if Aziraphale "went native" and adopted human traits, a human can't survive in fire like that, so in that case it's not a plausible explanation for what's happening. Jun 26 '19 at 14:43

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