The Sandman. Tom Sturridge as Dream in episode 104 of The Sandman. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022

Explained: “The Sandman’s” First Season’s Finale

The Dream of the Endless (Tom Sturridge), who brought order to his realm, the Dreaming, in the season one finale of “The Sandman,” had no idea that his formidable adversaries were coming together to fight him. Preludes, Nocturnes, and The Doll’s House, the first two collected volumes of executive producer Neil Gaiman’s adored DC Comics, were adapted for “The Sandman” season 1. Morpheus earned the ability to alter along with a deeper understanding and appreciation of humanity and the inhabitants of the Dreaming. He also faced two ordeals that threatened the Dreaming and the waking world.

Preludes and Nocturnes were included in the first five episodes of The Sandman.” After being held captive for more than a century by the British mage Roderick Burgess (Charles Dance), Dream broke free and began to restore the Dreaming, which had been destroyed while he was away. Morpheus set out on a quest to recover his stolen office symbols, including his ruby, helmet, and pouch of dream sand. This journey took him to London, New York, and even the depths of Hell, where he met Lucifer Morningstar (Gwendoline Christie) and John Dee (David Thewlis), the two men who held Dream’s ruby, in crucial encounters. The Sound of Her Wings, the conclusion to “The Sandman” episode 6, featured Hob Gadling, Dream’s immortal friend, and Death, Dream’s older sister (Kirby Howell-Baptiste) (Ferdinand Kingsley). The Doll’s House storyline was finally incorporated into the final four episodes of “The Sandman” season 1, where Rose Walker (Vanesu Samunyai) took on the role of the Dream Vortex and threatened the Dreaming as Morpheus faced off with The Corinthian, a renegade nightmare (Boyd Holbrook).

The Dream of the Endless, who better understood how his loyal librarian Lucienne (Vivienne Acheampong) and other Dreaming slaves saw their lord and master, represents the important character growth in “The Sandman” season 1. Dream, who has spent his whole eons of existence as a cold, distant, and terrifying figure, developed a new understanding of humankind and the dreams and nightmares of the Dreaming. This prepares Morpheus for his future development in “The Sandman” season 2 as the king of dreams puts the riddles of season 1 to rest.

The First Ending of The Sandman

The first conclusion of “The Sandman” season 1 was in episode 5, “24/7,” a nightmare story when Morpheus faced John Dee for the last time. Dee used the dream stone to change reality into a world where “no one ever lies” after corrupting “the Sandman’s” ruby such that only John could use it. Dee was exacting cruel retribution on his mother, Ethel Cripps (Joely Richardson), whom John held responsible for deceiving him his entire life and forcing him into an institution for many years. Dee fractured reality while manipulating and killing diners’ patrons in New York before being confronted by Morpheus.

John Dee had ambitions to rule both the waking and the dreaming worlds, and the ruby gave him greater authority than “The Sandman.” Dee made the fatal error of believing that by destroying Dream, John had also destroyed the ruby. Since Dream had invested so much of his essence in his trade instruments, this unintentionally allowed the dormant power Morpheus infused in the ruby to be released back to him. As a result, Dream was fully healed and more powerful than he had been in ages. John Dee was sentenced to eternal sleep in his asylum as punishment by Dream, but the king of dreams fixed reality and restored the Dreaming to its regal condition. Nevertheless, after realizing that his mission was complete in “The Sandman” episode 6, Dream started to lose hope until Death reminded him of his responsibility to all the dreamers who were awake.

How to Understand “The Sandman’s” Dream Vortex

The Dream Vortex, a 21-year-old woman, called Rose Walker, first appeared in the Doll’s House plot. Every few thousand years, a person develops the capacity for dreaming so potently that they may enter and control the dreams of others. This extremely unusual event is known as the Dream Vortex, which threatens Dreaming. At first, Rose was unaware that she was the Dream Vortex, but as her power increased quickly, she would soon bring about the dissolution of both the dreaming and waking worlds.

The revelation that Rose was not intended to be the Dream Vortex of her time is one of The Doll’s House’s biggest surprises. Unity Kincaid, Rose’s great-great-grandmother, was intended to be The Vortex (Sandra James-Young). When Morpheus was imprisoned by Roderick Burgess, Unity fell prey to the sleeping sickness that plagued millions throughout the globe, and she slept for a very long time until Dream’s escape. Unity gave Rose the ability to become the Dream Vortex. Morpheus’ only option was to murder Rose because she was the Dream Vortex and was destined to obliterate the Dreaming.

Rose was ultimately saved by Unity and Gilbert (Stephen Fry), actually Fiddler’s Green, one of the great Arcana of the Dreaming who departed Morpheus’ realm to experience life as a human. Dream was persuaded not to kill Rose by Gilbert, a.k.a. Fiddler’s Green, and he voluntarily assumed his rightful place in the Dreaming. Unity begged Rose to give her great-great-grandmother her power back after realizing she was destined to be the Dream Vortex of this time period. In order to preserve the Dreaming and the waking world, Unity gave her life in Rose’s place. The opportunity to live her life was provided by this, and Rose even authored a book about her experiences.

Rose Walker Will Be Used By The Corinthians Against Dream

The trigger event that made it possible for Roderick Burgess to capture Dream initially was the Corinthian’s escape from the Dreaming. The Corinthian was the “finest masterpiece” of Morpheus, a nightmare designed to represent human nature’s evil. However, The Corinthian craved the flesh of mortals, and over the more than a century that Dream was imprisoned, The Corinthian turned into a serial killer who ultimately served as an inspiration to hordes of other killers. The Corinthian kidnapped Rose Walker’s brother Jed Walker (Eddie Karanja) to lure her to a “Cereal Convention,” or a gathering of serial killers where The Corinthian was the guest of honor, after learning that Rose Walker was the Dream Vortex and that she would be the perfect weapon to use against Dream of the Endless.

To eliminate Morpheus and the Dreaming and replace them with the girl, the Corinthian’s strategy involved using Rose as the Dream Vortex. As Rose’s strength mounted, weakening the Sandman, the Corinthian drew nearer and could even stab Dream and draw blood. Rose chose to forge her way because she had no faith in either Dream or The Corinthian. Morpheus ultimately defeated the Corinthian, who gave Lucienne his skull to keep safe. Dream did not quickly rebuild The Corinthian, unlike Gault (Andi Oshi), the third Arcana who escaped the Dreaming and tricked Jed Walker into believing he was a superhero known as “The Sandman.” Thankfully, Gault was transformed into a dream, but The Corinthian’s time of preying on people is finished. All of The Corinthian’s followers were also punished by “The Sandman,” who made them feel the suffering they had inflicted, which compelled them to confess or commit suicide.

How Desire Was The True Villain In Season One Of “The Sandman”

Although their twin, Despair (Donna Preston), was also involved, Dream eventually understood that his sibling, Desire (Mason Alexander Park), was the ultimate perpetrator behind the tragedies of “The Sandman” season 1 all along. Two hints allowed Morpheus to determine Desire’s villainous nature. First, Unity Kincaid had a dream that she had a lover with golden eyes who had conceived her while she was unconscious due to lethargic encephalitis. The second crucial indicator came when Unity instructed Rose to “reach inside” herself and give her great-great-grandmother whatever made her the Dream Vortex. Rose released the Dream Vortex’s power to the group as she withdrew a heart-shaped symbol from her body. Dream noticed how similar Desire’s heart-shaped symbol was to the Dream Vortex power source.

Desire instantly admitted what she had done and claimed full responsibility for getting Unity pregnant when Dream questioned them, which resulted in Rose Walker becoming the Dream Vortex. The Walker siblings, however, are “children of the Endless” and are blood relatives to Dream and his immortal family, the Endless, as Desire is officially the great-great-grandfather of Rose and Jed. Dream was unaware of the extent to which Desire had genuinely manipulated Morpheus and his life. Desire alleged that it was their intention for Dream to have a terrible love affair with Nada (Deborah Oyelade), which led to his decision to send her to Hell for 10,000 years.

Additionally, it is implied that Desire was the catalyst for The Corinthian uprising and that it played a role in Dream’s capture by Roderick Burgess. Additionally, desire probably had a hand in convincing the nightmares and dreams, such as Gault and Fiddler’s Green, to depart from the Dreaming since they thought Lord Morpheus had abandoned them. It will be revealed in a later season of The Sandman, which adapts the graphic novel The Sandman: Overture, why precisely Desire schemes against Dream.

What “The Sandman” Should Make Of Lyta’s Baby

Lyta Hall (Razane Jammal), Rose’s closest friend, got pregnant while in the Dreaming and gave birth to a boy just a few days later. Hector Hall (Lloyd Everitt), Lyta’s deceased husband, forced her to live with him in the Dreaming until Morpheus stepped in. Hector, a spirit hiding in the Dreaming, was exiled by Dream to the Sunless Lands, where he belongs. Because Lyta’s child was conceived and carried to term while Dreaming, Dream claimed that the child was “my.”

The destiny of Lyta’s child, who lacks a name after “The Sandman” season 1, is of utmost importance. Dream himself gives the child the name Daniel in “The Sandman” season 2, which is anticipated to adapt The Season of Mists plot. Regular readers of “The Sandman” comics are aware that Daniel’s ultimate goal is to evolve into the next manifestation of Dream of the Endless. However, Lyta is currently caring for her young boy with assistance from Rose, Jed, and the rest of their improvised extended family.

What You Don’t Expect Is Lucifer’s Plan of Retaliation Against Dream

The first season of “The Sandman” concluded with Lucifer Morningstar traveling back to Hell to hatch a plan of vengeance that “would make God utterly furious” and “throw Morpheus to his knees.” This foreboding threat is the Devil’s way of getting even with Dream for embarrassing and beating him in “The Oldest Game” so he could have his helmet back. A second demon named Azazel, who serves as a Duke of Hell and a general in Hell’s forces, pays Lucifer a visit after “The Sandman” season 1. As the first step in a larger strategy to enlarge Hell’s limits by conquering Morpheus’ domain, the waking world, and ultimately Heaven itself, Azazel implores Lucifer to declare war on the Dreaming. The Lightbringer pretended to be open to Azazel’s proposal, but Lucifer devises an entirely different strategy instead of just extinguishing Dream.

The Season of Mists plot, which should serve as the second season of “The Sandman’s” second half, features the return of Lucifer Morningstar. But contrary to what he had previously said, the Devil is not out to destroy Dream; instead, he abdicates his throne, flees Hell, and gives Dream of the Endless control of the deserted realm. As various beings, including the Norse gods, the Faerie, and the demons commanded by Azazel, attempt to take over Hell, Morpheus is forced to act as the ersatz ruler and must decide what to do with the infernal kingdom. Lucifer, who had Dream’s wings amputated, got the last laugh as the Devil takes pleasure in no longer being in charge of controlling Hell after 10 billion years.

What Comes Next In Season 2 Of “The Sandman” (And The Comics)

The Season of Mists and Dream Country, two of Neil Gaiman’s most beloved Sandman tales, will be dramatized in Season 2 of “The Sandman.” Calliope, one of the Ancient Greek muses, will be introduced in Dream Country. In addition to being one of Morpheus’ prior lovers, Calliope is also the mother of his son, Orpheus. The well-known stories “Dream of a Thousand Cats” and “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” are also found in Dream Country; they illustrate the outcome of the agreement Morpheus made with William Shakespeare (Samuel Blenkin) when they met Hob Gadling in 1589, as depicted in “The Sound of Her Wings.” The Season of Mists is an epic story about Dream’s struggles as the new king of Hell, but it also introduces two additional Endless characters, Destiny and Delirium, albeit not (yet) Destruction, the brother of “The Prodigal.”

The narrative of Dream and Nada will also be resolved in The Season of Mists in “The Sandman” season 2, as Morpheus decides to release her and atone for sending her to Hell for 10,000 years. Another indication that the Sandman is maturing into a better and wiser being is that Dream risked his life to save Nada from Hell. But as Dream evolves, his enemies—and “The Sandman” has many of them—seek to eliminate him.