The first season of Netflix The sand man dropped, and it’s a vast epic of dreams and nightmares. At first glance, The sand man seems to be about the exploits of Morpheus, the Dream Lord. However, like the comics that preceded it, the series is equally about all people, human and immortal, who are caught in Morpheus’ orbit, as he deals with the dreams of all beings in the universe. . This means that this series has a lot of characters and it can be hard to keep them all straight. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! Here are all the important characters that appear in season 1 of The sand man.
Warning: Spoilers ahead!
The Infinites are the personifications of the primordial forces that govern all that exists. They were there at the dawn of time, and they will be there until the universe closes up shop. It’s also a bunch of wayward siblings who don’t get along very well.
Dream (Tom Sturridge), also known as Morpheus, Kai’ckul and countless other names, is the personification of dreams. As such, it is his duty to shape the dreams and nightmares of all living beings and to keep the Dreaming in good working order. When imprisoned for a hundred years by magician Roderick Burgess, the Dreaming decays and millions of people around the world fall asleep and cannot wake up.
The dream is also moody, capricious and stubborn. He doesn’t always make the right decision, but it’s hard for him to admit he screwed up. Despite himself, he gets close to humans like Hob Gadling and Nada, only to push them away when he feels vulnerable.
Dream has six siblings, though we only meet three in Season 1. Death (Kirby Howell-Baptiste) is Dream’s older sister, who meets him near a park after retrieving his tools. Death is kind, wise, and gently irreverent, and she manages to snap Dream out of her funk by having him accompany her as she makes her rounds, guiding souls to the afterlife.
We also meet Desire (Mason Alexander Park) and their twin, Despair (Donna Preston). Despair is scheming and devious, jealous of Dream’s superior status and determined to prove that they and Despair are superior. Desire is a beautiful non-binary person with golden eyes, while Despair drags a hook through her own flesh when aroused.
Although they haven’t made any appearances yet, we see Destiny and Delirium’s sigils in the galleries of Dream and Desire. There’s a missing brother that others keep calling the prodigal, but if you haven’t read the comics yet, I won’t spoil their identity.
Dream Dwellers (and adjacent territories)
The Dream Realm and all the lands around it are full of dreams, nightmares, stories, and other characters. Lucienne (Vivienne Acheampong) is Dreaming’s librarian, though in Dream’s absence she has taken on the unofficial role of caretaker. Matthew the Raven (Patton Oswalt) was a man until his death, but now he serves as Dream’s crow, as crows can travel back and forth between the dream world and the waking world. Mervyn’s Pumpkin Head (Mark Hamill) is the Dreaming’s gardener.
Among the countless dreams and nightmares of the Dream, we encounter three major arcana, which have escaped. The Corinthian (Boyd Holbrook) is a nightmare who turned his skills into a highly successful career as a serial killer. The green of the violinist (Stephen Fry), who passes by Gilbert in the human world, is the personification of a pleasant afterlife for sailors in English folklore and a resident of the doll’s house who helps Rose Walker find her brother Jed. Gault (Ann Ogbomo), who traps Jed in a perpetual dream of being a superhero called Sandman, is a nightmare that wants to be a dream instead.
To finish, Cain (Sanjeev Bhaskar) and Abel (Asim Chaudhry) are two brothers from the Book of Genesis. Cain is the world’s first murderer and Abel is the world’s first victim, and they spend eternity repeating the murder over and over again. They originally live with a gargoyle named Gregory, but Dream must reabsorb Gregory to regain enough power to regain his tools. To compensate for this, Dream gives them a new baby gargoyle, which they name Goldie.
The Fates making appearances throughout Season 1, giving Morpheus and other characters prophecies and cryptic advice. They take the form of three women: a young girl (Dinita Gohil), a mother (Nina Wadia) and an old woman (Souad Faress). Although they appear as three, they are all aspects of the same being.
inhabitants of hell
When Morpheus discovers that a demon has taken his helm, he travels to Hell to retrieve it. He is met at the gates by a demon called Squatterbloatwhich leads him to the City of Dis to meet Lucifer Morning Star (Gwendoline Christie), fallen angel and ruler of Hell. Lucifer is assisted by the demon mazikeen (Cassie Clare), one of the Lilim, whose face is half whole and half skeletal.
The demon Choronzon (Munya Chawawa) has the helm of Morpheus and challenges him to a battle to keep it. At the end of the season, the demon Azazelwho appears as a collection of faces floating in the void, tells Lucifer that the demons want to expand the borders of Hell so that it encompasses the entire world.
While traveling to Dis, Morpheus encounters a human soul he recognizes: Nope (Deborah Oyelade), the queen of an ancient city who had an affair with Morpheus ten thousand years ago. When she refused to become his queen, Morpheus condemned her to hell. Although Nada thinks, at first, that Morpheus (whom she knows as Kai’ckul) has finally come to free her, he tells her that he hasn’t forgiven her yet.
In the first episode, Morpheus is imprisoned by a mage named Roderick Burgess (Charles Dance), who attempts to imprison Death to bring his son back to life. Burgess has another son named alexanderwhich resumes the imprisonment of Morpheus at the death of his father.
A woman named Ethel Cripps (Joely Richardson) becomes Roderick’s lover and gives birth to a boy named John Dee (David Thewless). Ethel steals Morpheus’ tools from Roderick and sells them, buying herself an amulet that extends her life and protects her from harm. A century later, she is a successful dealer in art and rare artifacts.
His son, John, is interned after murdering people. Although in the comics he is in Arkham Asylum, in the Netflix series he is in an unnamed mental hospital. He uses Dream’s ruby to manipulate people into committing acts of brutality under the guise of honesty.
Caught up in all this mess is the exorcist Johanna Constantin (Jenna Coleman). Constantine is based on the DC Comics character John Constantine, who originally made an appearance in The sand man number 3, “Dream a little dream of me”. Johanna earns her living by getting rid of demons, but she is haunted by the mistakes she has made in the past. His ancestor of the same name appears in episode 6.
John Dee’s victims at the 24-hour restaurant
When John escapes from the hospital, a woman named Rosemary offer to drive it. When she brings him to the Ruby, although he knows he is a murderer, he gives her Ethel’s protective amulet instead of killing her.
John then goes to a 24-hour restaurant run by chardwho is a waitress and a fiction writer, and Marsh, the cook who is secretly having an affair with Bette’s college-aged son. Also at the restaurant are a couple named kate and Gary who do not get along; a young woman named Judy whose girlfriend left her after Judy hit her, and To mark, a young man interviewing for a job at Kate’s company. After John manipulates them using the ruby, they all eventually die and the Fates appear in the forms of Bette, Judy, and Kate.
Hob Gadling and his contemporaries
Episode 6 takes us back several centuries, to when Death and Dream encounters a man named Gadling hob (Ferdinand Kingsley) bragging in a pub that he intends never to die. When Death decides to grant his wish, Morpheus tells him that they should meet in the same pub in a hundred years to see how much Hob loves immortality. They begin to meet once a century, and although Morpheus is initially offended when Hob suggests the two have become friends, he gradually comes around to the idea.
As they navigate their way through English history, Hob and Morpheus encounter Geoffrey Chaucer, Christopher Marlow, and william shakespeare talk about their job.
Rose Walker and her family
The second half of the season focuses on a young woman named rose walker (Vanesu Samunyai), who is looking for his brother jed (Eddie Karanja), who got lost in the US foster care system years ago. While she searches, she and her friend Lyta (Razane Jamal) receives a mysterious invitation to London, where they meet Rose’s great-grandmother Kincaid Unit (Sandra James-Young).
Unity is a survivor of sleeping sickness which spread while Morpheus was imprisoned by Burgess and was sexually assaulted by Desire while she slept, leaving her pregnant. The unit was meant to be a dream vortex, a rare being that destroys the barriers between dreams and can collapse reality itself, but because it was sleeping it passed the trait onto Rose.
Lyta, meanwhile, spends her dreams with her dead husband, Hector, who turns out to be a ghost who refuses to go to the afterlife. Lyta becomes pregnant in the dream world, and Rose’s powers carry the pregnancy to the waking world.
The residents of the dollhouse
While looking for Jed, Rose and Lyta stay at a B&B run by Hal (John Cameron Mitchell). Also staying home are a couple named Barbie and Kenand two gothic spider collectors named Zelda and Chantal.
Finally, at the end of the season, Rose finds herself at an annual convention for serial killers who call themselves Collectors. Each killer has a nickname like “Fun Land” or “The Good Doctor”.
(featured image: Netflix)
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