Netflix’s The Sandman season 1 ending explained

We have gotten a lot out of season 1 of The Sandman: Dream losing and then recovering their powers; a dinner episode that will stay in your mind long after Netflix autoplay; all about a Vortex, his brother, and the missing sentient parts of the Dreaming that swirl around him. Suffice to say, there are a lot of details to keep track of, even if made read the comics.

You can hardly blame Netflix or Neil Gaiman, who were so excited to have finally made this world after three or more decades of hellish development (and not the kind with Gwendoline Christie skipping over, unfortunately). But with the Season 1 finale so delightfully so, it seems like it’s a good time to double check: Did I get everything? The Sandman were you trying to explain me?

Why does Desire want Dream to shed “family blood”? What’s wrong with that?

Tom Sturridge as Dream and Mason Alexander Park as Desire in Netflix's The Sandman

Image: Netflix

As Dream learns in the final moments of Season 1, Rose Walker’s entire existence is based on Desire impregnating Unity in her sleep during Dream’s absence. He is, of course, less than happy to hear this, accusing Desire of meddling in an attempt to make Dream spill family blood (either by attacking Desire or by killing Rose Walker, who would also technically share family blood with Dream).

“This time it almost worked,” Desire purrs. “Oh, poor Dream. I really got under your skin this time, didn’t I? Next time… I will draw blood.”

In episode 10 (or even the entire season) we have no idea what’s so taboo about it. But when Dream warns Desire to stay away from him, we get the feeling there’s more than just a family rule to it, as he alludes to “everything that would entail.”

[Ed. note: Book explanation below; don’t read it if you don’t want to know.]

In the comics, the Endless have a handful of rules passed down to them, as old as themselves. One of them is not to spill “family blood”, or else you will get bad news, that is, you summon the Furies, which are no joke and Will be crazy

What is Lucifer’s plan?

Lucifer leaning over a table and grunting a bit

Photo: Laurence Cendrowicz/Netflix

Although things have finally started to come together in Dream’s realm, allowing him to not only return to his form but better himself and the lives of those around him, Lucifer is not happy. Having been embarrassed in a formal challenge earlier in the season, we find Lucifer in a bad mood, unenthusiastic about any of the pleasures hell has to offer. Just when it seems that the mysterious lord of all hell is simply left depressed, they are visited by a demon with an incredible offer. Lord Azazel shows up to share something on behalf of the “assembled lords of hell”.

“We have [assembled] against your enemy – our enemy, Dream of the Eternal. The armies of hell are at your disposal, should you wish to attack,” Azazel says of possible plans to invade Dream’s realm and then the waking world. “Since none of us can get out of Hell, we might as well expand its borders until Hell is all there is.”

With the generals demanding action, Lucifer promises to act, saying only that the plan was “something he’s never done before”. Something that will make God… absolutely livid.”

If you’re curious about what exactly Lucifer is cooking, you can read the comics. But to put it briefly: big, hellish plans.

What is the plan for the series? How many stories will be included in The Sandman?

Matthew the Raven talking to Dream (who you can see from his knees down)

Image: Netflix

With 75 issues in the series’ original print run, there’s certainly plenty to The Sandman to pass, if Netflix allows it. With season 1 only covering about 16 of the issues (the first two books, Preludes and Nocturnespicking up 1-8, and the doll house9-16) there is enough to The Sandman run at least four seasons. And Gaiman tells Polygon that he could see it running even longer than that.

“If we had our preferences and the world was perfect, we would make it to the end of the Sandman: Overture [a prequel to the series published in 2013], which would strangely be the beginning of episode 1 again,” says Gaiman. “And we can do a lot of side stories and interesting detours and diversions along the way.”

That could mean, Netflix renewal gods permitting, Sandman run around for a while, charting the arc of the comic while also making time for the odd episodic or standalone adventure. Although Season 1 made time for the occasional jaunt into the core story, it was largely limited to focusing on Dream returning to Dreaming and accounting for all the changes. But as the comics continued, there was less emphasis on the overall story arc and more on the small, almost vignette-like chapters of Dream’s journeys. if it’s from netflix Sandman may look like that, then there are certainly plenty of places to Sandman to carry out.

Will Rose Walker be in Sandman season 2?

Fiddler's Green leaning over Rose and smiling at her

Image: Netflix

The Doll’s House arc in the comics isn’t the last we see of Rose Walker, nor is it the last we see of Lyta Hall and the baby of her dreams. Though the show has rearranged the storylines a bit to fit into the season arc, it seems likely that they could return in season 2 (or beyond).

Who is the “Prodigal” that Dream, Desire and Despair talk about?

Although the Endless are all related, there is apparently one that stands out from the crowd, who is only referred to as the “Prodigal” by Dream and his siblings.

The response is slow Sandman season 1; beyond a few mentions, we get few details. But the comic (of course) has the answers.

[Ed. note: Book spoilers below.]

The Prodigal refers to Destruction, which is next in line after Dream. (Dream, of course, is not the oldest of his brothers, even if he has all the seriousness of an older child.) He earned the nickname because he was the only Endless child who abandoned his duties. As Neil Gaiman wrote in the companion comic, the Endless don’t have names but rather titles that describe their actions. Due to Destruction leaving his position, he is now the “Prodigal”, since he has no function.

Of course, the root of the word certainly suggests a bit of judgment on the part of the remaining Endless siblings, rather than a mere abdication of duty. After all, the parable of the “prodigal son” relates specifically to someone running away from home and spending resources on a “reckless” scale. There may be a bit of resentment there as they rule their respective kingdoms. The Endless: They’re just like us.

How many Endless are there? Will we meet them all?

Dream talking to Lucienne with Matthew on the floor between them

Image: Netflix

There are seven Endless children! Though we’ve only met a few so far. To make it easier to tell them apart, they all have names that start with D. In order of age they are: Fate, Death, Dream, Destruction, Desire, Despair, and Delirium (which used to be known as Delight).

Of those, we have known Death, Dream, Desire and Despair. But in his confrontation with Desire, Dream alluded to a distribution of powers between them, implying that he, Destiny, and Death were strong enough (and united enough) to keep the others at bay.

What was the deal Dream made with Shakespeare?

We can’t see it revealed on the show, yet. But in the comics, Dream’s realm isn’t purely “dreams” as we know them in our sleep; it is more the creation itself, any dream world that can be imagined. This is how Dream met the Justice League, and this is how Will “Shakesbeard” might have something to offer Dream of the Endless.

Also, in the comic we know what happens. [Ed. note: Another small book spoiler coming up here.] Dream gave the Bard the talent to write immortal stories, and in turn commissioned two plays from him: Summer night Dream (in honor of the current Unseelie Court) and The Tempest.

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