Netflix’s adaptation of The Sandman kicked off season 1 to praise from fans and critics alike. So, naturally, everyone is eagerly awaiting an official renewal announcement. But what would season 2 (and beyond) look like for The Sandman?
Season 1 of the series adapts the first two collected volumes of The Sandman comics. But with ten total volumes in the original run, there’s plenty more of the Dreaming to bring to life on screen. And season 1 actually sets up quite a few important arcs that could be explored in future seasons. Here’s a look at some of the biggest connections The Sandman’s first season makes to potential future seasons.
**SPOILERS below for The Sandman comics, and potentially future seasons of the Netflix series!**
Lucifer’s Key to Hell
In season 1 of The Sandman, Morpheus must venture into Hell to retrieve his stolen helm. He battles with Lucifer and wins – but as the tag at the final episode reminds us, Lucifer isn’t exactly willing to forgive and forget that loss.
Rather than trying to kill Dream with another battle, however, Lucifer takes quite a different approach in the comics. In Season of Mists, Lucifer actually concocts a plan to leave Hell, cutting off his wings, expelling the demons, and literally locking the gates behind him.
And he leaves Dream the key to Hell.
Dream, who has his own realm to worry about, has no interest in ruling Hell – but boy, do a lot of others sure want the job. He finds himself swarmed with demons, gods, and various beings of power who all want the key… and they’re willing to do whatever it takes to get it.
Season of Mists is one of my personal favorite arcs in The Sandman because it brings in figures from mythos across the world; you get Odin and Loki of Norse legend, Anubis and Bast from ancient Egypt, and Susanoo-no-Mikoto of the Japanese pantheon, plus angels, demons, faeries, and more. And they’re all scheming against each other, with Dream trapped in the middle of it all. (Netflix, please let me see this brought to life on screen!)
Barbie’s Dreaming Alter-Ego
As Rose taps into her powers as the Dream Vortex in season 1 of The Sandman, we see glimpses of several different characters’ dreams. They all offer greater insight into these characters… but you may have noticed Barbie’s dream skewed more fantastical than anyone else’s.
That’s no coincidence. Following her brief appearance in The Doll’s House, Barbie actually reappears to lead her own story, A Game of You. Helped by her anthropomorphic animal friends (including Martin Tenbones, who appears alongside Barbie in her dream in season 1), Barbie must stop the evil Cuckoo, who threatens both Barbie’s carefully constructed dreamscape and – if the Cuckoo is allowed to escape – reality as we know it.
Barbie’s arc in A Game of You also introduces the character Thessaly, a witch who plays an important role in Dream’s story.
During season 1 of The Sandman, a few of the Endless make reference to “The Prodigal” – a member of their family who has been missing for centuries. This is Destruction, the fourth oldest of the Endless.
Destruction abandoned his realm and responsibilities as humanity turned towards science, around the 17th century. He believed people would use science to create mass destruction (like atomic bombs), and he didn’t want to be responsible for that level of devastation.
While he remains missing for most of The Sandman series, in Brief Lives Dream and Delirium team up to find their Prodigal brother. So, we might see the Prodigal’s screen debut in a future season of The Sandman. (Gaiman has already confirmed he’s thinking about casting for both Destruction and Delirium, should the series get picked up.)
In episode 3, Johanna Constantine jokes with Dream about having ex-girlfriend troubles. She was more on the money there than she even knew.
Dream’s romantic past does actually play a role in The Sandman. We even got the first glimpse of it in season 1. Remember Nada, the woman Dream stops to speak to on his way into Hell? Well, she was queen of the first city of men – and Dream’s former love. When their relationship destroys her city, Nada kills herself. Seeing this as a personal betrayal, Dream condemns her to Hell. (Yikes.)
Dream also had a child, Orpheus, with the muse Calliope. Following Orpheus’ separation from his love Eurydice, he refuses to take part in a celebration of Dionysus. Dionysus’ followers literally tear him apart, leaving him condemned to eternal life as a severed head. (Remember Dream’s vague reference to sending 1700s Lady Johanna on a mission in season 1? It was to retrieve his son’s head.) Dream later asks for Orpheus’ help in locating his Prodigal brother, Destruction.
The plot point from season 1 of The Sandman with the biggest impact on the story overall, though, is Lyta’s pregnancy. As her child was conceived in the Dreaming and then brought into the waking world, Morpheus warns her in the series that he will return for the child one day.
Because of his conception, Lyta’s son Daniel has a unique tie to the dream realm. When he’s kidnapped, an ominous warning from the Furies leads Lyta on a quest to seek revenge on Dream – even though Loki actually took Daniel.
The arc culminates when Morpheus’ essence is drawn into Daniel, who becomes the new Lord of Dreams.
Bonus: Spinoff Potential?
The Sandman has a ton of characters who make a big impact with very little screen time. Jenna Coleman’s Johanna Constantine appears in only one episode, “Dream a Little Dream of Me” (plus a cameo in “The Sound of Her Wings”), but fans latched onto her immediately and started requesting she lead her own spinoff series. Neil Gaiman himself supports the idea, so who knows? Fans may get lucky and get a whole expanded Sandman universe.
You can stream season 1 of The Sandman now on Netflix.