You’ve reached the end of the first season of Netflix’s surreal, charming series. You probably have a lot to think about. Here’s how the series is teasing a cliffhanger and how the comics could inspire season 2.
The series is called “a delicious, dark, funny fusion of myth and magic in a modern world, full of charming and destructive supernatural beings in a rich layer of horror and fantasy”. Now airing, the show follows Morpheus aka Dream, the creator and ruler of people’s dreams. Imprisoned for a century, his escape and return to the dream world brings him into conflict with Corinthian, the elegant serial killer, Lucifer, the ruler of Hell, and a man with the power of a “vortex” that threatens to destroy both existence and the awakening. and dream worlds.
There are two aspects we can go into in the end. First, there’s the show itself and how its characters and stories have concluded. Second, there are the source comics that we can look to for clues as to where the show’s story might go next. If the series got you into reading the comics, and we heartily recommend it, then we won’t spoil them for you.
The series is based on the iconic comic book series written by Neil Gaiman with artists Sam Kieth and Mike Dringenberg and many others. The TV version consists of the first two volumes, Preludes and Nocturnes and A Doll’s House.
The series is faithful to the comic in some ways. For example, the park bench meeting between Dream and Death in episode 6 is translated almost verbatim from the page. Other changes are bigger: comic book character John Constantine is tied to the broader DC continuity with his live-action show and appearances on Legends of Tomorrow , so he’s replaced on the show by Jenna Coleman’s foul-mouthed exorcist Joanna Constantine. This is obviously a big change from the comics: She clearly has a London accent, while John is from Liverpool.
The second half of the season sees the Dream threatened by the emergence of a “dream vortex” that once destroyed the human and dream worlds. He’s determined to destroy the vortex, which is bad news because it’s actually a person: a young woman named Rose Walker, played by Vanessa Samunyai.
He loses control of his powers, breaks the barriers between separate dreams, so that his friends collect their dreams in an unconscious place. Here we see Barbie learning about her husband Ken’s wandering eye, while Hal’s duet with his drag alter ego shows her coming to terms with the different parts of her personality following her earlier nightmare. Chantal and Zelda, a spider-obsessed couple, are also residents of the guest house, and their dream contains a recursive sentence that keeps repeating itself (“It was a dark and stormy night, and the captain said to his mate, ‘Tell us a story,’ my friend, and here is the story. It was a dark and stormy night …”), inspired by a sentence that opens Edward George Bulwer-Lytton’s 1830 novel Paul Clifford, which has been derided as a literary cliché.
One by one, they are stopped by an actual whirlpool-type vortex to oblivion. Eventually, he accepts that his powers threaten the world and submits to Morpheus and his destiny.
Fortunately, it turns out that Rose was never meant to be a whirlwind. This fate was originally intended for her great-grandmother, Unity Kincaid. But when Dream was incarcerated, Union was one of the millions who succumbed to constant sleep (we saw his father struggling to wake him up as a child in episode 1’s “sleeping sickness” montage). The Union and the librarian realize this and arrive just in time for the Union to retrieve the vortex from Rose, leading to her death.
Rose is reunited with her long-lost brother Jed, whose dreams of becoming a superhero seem like a reminder that superhero stories have their roots in children’s fantasies of power.
He’s also reunited with Lyta, whose dream reunion with her late husband led to an imaginary pregnancy – which somehow turned into a very real baby bump after she woke up. Morpheus is less than happy about this turn of events and warns Lyta that the Dreamborn is hers.
Dream and Desire
Speaking of unusual pregnancies, it turns out that all the troubles were caused by Death’s sister, the charming Desire. Desire, played by curvy Alexander Mason Park, hates Dream and the pair have a toxic rivalry, along with Desire’s twin Despair. But this scheme goes beyond sibling sparring: Desire has been indoctrinated into the Unity, which means that her offspring, including Rose, are children of the Endless family, just like Desire and Desire. Desire knew that one day Morpheus would have to kill the vortex, and Dream went on a collision course with the Infinite family’s golden rule of not killing each other.
The Union was able to pull Morpheus out of this deadly void, but Desire is far from defeated. Morpheus visits Desire’s lair and reminds his brother that he still has Death and Fate on his side. But what about the missing member of the Endless?
Lucifer in hell
Desire and Despair aren’t the only enemies scheming behind the Dream. When Morpheus went to Hell to reclaim the reins, he clearly defeated Lucifer. In the final episode, we see the leading demons of hell pressing in to strike at Lucifer. If they cannot leave hell, they reason, they must expand the boundaries of hell. Lucifer, played by Gwendoline Christie (Game of Thrones’ Brienne of Tarth), gives in to the pressure even though it irritates God.
In the end, Morpheus returns in the Dream. But he grew and perhaps softened through their experiences, shedding his arrogant and domineering nature to turn Gault from nightmare to nightmare, allowing the librarian to rule the realm. Meanwhile, he focuses on creating new dreams and nightmares, including a replacement for Corinth. While this seems like a welcome period of reflection and recovery for Morpheus, you have to wonder if he’s looking over his shoulder at his enemies gathering…
How to draw a sandman from comics?
OK, now onto the spoilers for the original comics. Here’s how these different themes play out in the books, but that doesn’t mean season 2 of the TV version will follow the same plots.
Lucifer’s attack on Morpheus comes in Volume 4, Season of the Mist. But it’s a more subtle and brutal revenge than you might expect, as Lucifer gives Morpheus an extremely neat vessel: the keys to Hell. Dream has only come to rescue her ex-girlfriend Nada – the caged woman she encountered while entering Hell in episode 4 – but finds herself facing off against Hell’s hordes. His foes include the nightmarish demon Azazel (voiced by incongruous British actor Roger Allam), who feuds with Lucifer in the season finale, and the Norse gods Thor and Loki. Given that Loki is currently a major figure in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, we wonder if they’ll make an appearance in a TV version of this story — not to mention Gaiman’s own American Gods , a recent series on Starz.
One of Rose’s friends also reappears in the comic: Barbie, who later breaks up with Ken and moves to New York. He reappears in the 5th comic volume, having more adventures in the fairytale dreamland alongside his canine sidekick Martin Tenbones (voiced by legendary British comedian and actor Sir Lenny Henry).
We will definitely be seeing more of Lyta Hall. Ironically, when the original comics began, they were tangentially connected to the DC superhero universe. Lyta was originally Wonder Woman’s daughter. But even without any super connections, Lyta has an important impact on the story when she allies herself with the three-faced Furies, witch-like women from episode 2.
Whether the series will follow the comic book storyline remains to be seen, but with The Sandman TV adaptation gaining critical and fan acclaim, there’s clearly plenty to dream about when Netflix confirms a second season.
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