The Sandman's Dream with a helmet

Netflix ‘The Sandman’ Season 1 Ending Explained

Please renew this series, Netflix, please please please

Whether you binged The Sandman over the weekend or savored it over ten delicious evenings, the ending probably left you hungry for more. What’s with all those loose ends, like Lucifer’s plan and Lyta’s baby? What might Netflix be planning for future seasons? We’ve got you covered! Here’s everything you need to know about the ending of The Sandman Season 1!

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The Plot

Season 1 covers the first two volumes of the original comics series, so you’ll notice that there are two distinct plot lines. Episode 6, “The Sound of Her Wings,” serves as an interlude between them.

The first half of Season 1 focuses on Morpheus being imprisoned by Roderick Burgess and then, once he’s free, finding his tools: his helm, ruby, and bag of sand. He gets the helm and the bag of sand, but John Dee destroys the ruby, thinking it’ll destroy Morpheus with it. Instead, the ruby’s destruction releases the power that Morpheus poured into it, allowing Morpheus to defeat John. After that, the world finally starts to go back to normal after a century of Sleepy Sickness and the global mayhem unleashed by John Dee’s tinkering with the ruby in the 24 hour diner.

The second half of the series focuses on Rose Walker, who’s a dream vortex: a being capable of breaking down the barriers between dreams and collapsing the entire universe. The only way to deal with a vortex is to kill it, which is Morpheus’s ultimate plan (although he waits to see if Rose will ferret out the missing Major Arcana first).

However, the season finale reveals that the vortex situation is much more complicated than it seems. Unity finds out that she was supposed to be the vortex, but because she fell prey to the Sleepy Sickness, the vortex was passed down her family line to rose. Since they meet in a dream, Rose is able to give Unity the vortex by taking it out of her chest in the shape of a heart. Unity then destroys the vortex, killing herself in the process.

Rose is obviously lucky that Unity came up with such an elegant solution. However, when Unity reveals that the person who impregnated her had golden eyes, Morpheus realizes that it had to have been his sibling, Desire — and killing Rose would have had disastrous consequences.

The Forces Plotting Against Morpheus

The final scenes of Season 1 show two schemers hard at work: Desire and Lucifer.

Desire reveals that they’ve meddled in Morpheus’s affairs before, spurring his ill-fated love affair with the ancient queen Nada. Desire is jealous of Morpheus and determined to prove that desire and despair are more powerful forces than dreams. “Dreams,” Desire says, “are merely echoes of desire and despair.”

Desire’s plan, it turns out, was to impregnate Unity so that when Morpheus went to deal with the resulting vortex, that vortex would be related to him (Rose is Morpheus’s great-grandniece), and he’d be forced to kill his own kin. The series only hints at what would happen next, but Morpheus’s references to “all that would entail” hints that it would be pretty bad.

Meanwhile, Lucifer is visited by the demon Azazel, who tells Lucifer that the demons want to take over the rest of the world. Lucifer has another idea, though, that “will make God absolutely livid … and bring Morpheus to his knees.”

Where the Show Might be Going, Based on the Comics

The series also sets up a couple of longterm story arcs that are based on the comics. Don’t read any further if you’re avoiding potential spoilers for Season 2 and beyond!

Thanks to Rose’s powers and Hector hiding out in Lyta’s dreams instead of going to the afterlife, Lyta gets pregnant in a dream and then carries the baby into the waking world. When Morpheus sees what has happened, he claims the baby as his, since it was conceived in his realm. In the comics, that baby, Daniel, becomes the new Dream when Morpheus dies. (Yes, the main character dies at the end of The Sandman — yet another reason it’s the best comic series ever. Seriously, go read it if you haven’t already.) Since the series has already set up a conflict between Morpheus and Lyta in terms of who gets to keep the baby, it’s very likely that the show will at least loosely follow the comics.

Another seed the series plants in Season 1 is the introduction of the rest of the Endless: Destiny, Delirium, and a missing sibling the rest of them call the “Prodigal.” You can see Destiny and Delirium’s sigils on the walls of Desire and Morpheus’s galleries — Destiny’s is a large book and Delirium’s is a multicolored swirl — so we know they’ll make an appearance at some point in later seasons. In the comics, their first appearance is at a family dinner that kicks off the plot of Volume 4, Season of Mists, so if the series keeps adapting two volumes per season, we may see them in Season 2.

And what about that missing sibling, the Prodigal? That’s none other than Destruction, who abandoned his post long ago. Morpheus and Delirium eventually go looking for him, but that story arc is still a ways off.

There’s one more loose end that the show will likely return to: Nada, the ex-lover Dream happened upon in Hell. In Seasons of Mists, Death convinces Dream that damning Nada to Hell was a really shitty thing to do, so he journeys back to Hell to free her. When he gets there, though, he finds that Lucifer is abdicating as sovereign of Hell and emptying the whole place out, flooding the waking world with the souls of the damned. That might be the plan Lucifer refers to at the end of Season 1. In the comics, Lucifer’s final screw-you to Morpheus is giving him the key to Hell, which leads to all manner of gods and spirits clamoring to get it from him and claim Hell as their own.

The comics series just gets better and better the deeper you get into it (not to mention its many spin-offs), so here’s hoping that the series follows in its footsteps. With Neil Gaiman at the helm, we’re in good hands.

(image: Netflix)


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Author
Julia Glassman
Julia Glassman (she/her) holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and has been covering feminism and media since 2007. As a staff writer for The Mary Sue, Julia covers Marvel movies, folk horror, sci fi and fantasy, film and TV, comics, and all things witchy. Under the pen name Asa West, she's the author of the popular zine 'Five Principles of Green Witchcraft' (Gods & Radicals Press). You can check out more of her writing at <a href="https://juliaglassman.carrd.co/">https://juliaglassman.carrd.co/.</a>