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Quote1 I am the king of dreams and nightmares. When the waking world leaves you wanting and weary, sleep brings you here to find freedom and adventure, to face your fears and fantasies in dreams and nightmares that I create, and which I must control, lest they consume and destroy you. Quote2
Dream src

Dream is the cold and distant king of the Dreaming, realm of sleep and stories, and one of the powerful Endless. After being imprisoned for over a hundred years, he went on a journey to reconstitute his fallen kingdom.


Dream was created at the beginning of time one of the Endless, the personifications of various aspects of life. Using magical sand, a powerful helmet, and a Dreamstone with a large part of his power inside it, he ruled over the Dreaming, the realm of dreams and nightmares, for eons with godlike power. His distant nature, cold attitude, and natural pride estranged him from his siblings, and often brought him into conflict with his sadistic and greedy younger sibling, Desire, but he found himself closest to his older sister, the spunky and empathetic Death.

Over the years, Dream adopted many names, often being referred to as "The Sandman" in legends about him, and began mainly using the names "Dream" and "Morpheus" interchangeably. Dream also amassed several servants in the Dreaming, such as Lucienne, librarian of the Dreaming, Merv Pumpkinhead, the custodian of Dream's palace, and Cain and Abel, two constantly dueling brothers who serve Dream as required. Dream also created several dreams and nightmares to populate the Dreaming, his greatest creation being the Corinthian, a nightmare who showed humanity the darkest sides of themselves so they may improve as people. He also used human souls transformed into ravens as his aides, and acting as his eyes in the waking world.[1][5][6]

Visits to Earth

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Dream meets Nada as Kai'ckul

Dream came to visit the humans of Earth often throughout his life, under many different names and guises. One day, Dream, under the name Kai'ckul, fell in love with the African queen Nada. However, she wronged him greatly, and he damned her to Hell for all eternity. Over the years, he never lost his love for her, but he also never forgave her for her slight against him.[3] Sometime later, using the name Oneiros, he fell in love with Calliope, the Greek muse of epic poetry and daughter of Zeus, and the two were married, fathering a child named Orpheus. Eventually, Orpheus died, and the couple were separated, and Dream thought Calliope lost forever for many.[4]

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Meeting an old friend

Millennia later, in 1389, when Death forced Dream to walk among the humans to see what their lives were like, they overheard a man named Robert Gadling talking about how dying was a fool's game, and he'd have no part in it. Curious, Dream made a deal with Death for her to leave Robert alone, with him betting Robert would grow tired of life quickly, and Death agreed. Dream then met with Robert for a drink every hundred years to see how he was enjoying his eternal life, which he never got tired of, not even after one century of particular hardship and heartache, always seeing something worth living for.

Robert fascinated Dream, although he never saw Hob as much more than a distraction. During their meeting in 1539, Dream met Will Shakespeare and offered him a deal, granting him his extraordinary storytelling abilities. Eventually, during their meeting in 1889, Robert implied that maybe Dream was lonely and sought companionship. Furious and wounded, Dream stormed out on Robert, determined to never return to prove he didn't need Robert's company.[6]

Trapped by Roderick Burgess

The Sandman TV Series Episode Sleep of the Just

Imprisoned for a century

In 1916, when Dream left the Dreaming to chase down the rogue Corinthian, he was captured by a magical ritual performed by Roderick Burgess and his cult. His sand, helmet, and Dreamstone were taken from him, his raven was killed, and he was imprisoned in Burgess' basement for over a century, with Burgess asking until his dying day for something from Dream in exchange for letting him go free.

In 2021, decades after Burgess' death, his son accidentally allowed Dream to go free, and he returned to the Dreaming, which was in ruin after his hundred years of absence. Furious, Dream vowed to reclaim his fallen kingdom by reclaiming his tools, and right the wrongs that occurred while he was imprisoned.[1][5]

Reclaiming the Dreaming

The Sandman TV Series Episode A Hope in Hell

Dream battles Lucifer

Dream started with his sands, which he traced to a sorceress named Johanna Constantine, who helped him recover it from her ex-girlfriend. While working with Constantine, Dream began to regain his trust in humanity, and even accepted help from Matthew, a new raven sent by Lucienne despite Dream not wanting to put another in danger on his quest. Next, he and Matthew journeyed to Hell for his helmet, which had been stolen by a demon. They met with Lucifer Morningstar, ruler of Hell, and Dream battled them for the helmet. He prevailed, but hurt Lucifer's pride and incurred their wrath against him, and so when he and Matthew left Hell, they swore they would kill him someday.[2][3]

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Defeating John Dee

Finally, Dream located his Dreamstone, but when he reached it, he discovered it had been tampered with by Burgess' other son, paranoid serial killer John Dee. He had been using the Dreamstone to force people to stop lying to themselves and others, usually killing them in the process, and he had somehow altered it to only work for him. When they met, Dream and John engaged in a great battle that destroyed much of the Dreaming, as well as the Dreamstone itself. This allowed Dream's full powers to return to him, and, after sparing John's life, he began making preparations to rebuild his kingdom.[7]

The Dream Vortex

After escaping an existential crisis with the help of Death and Hob Gadling[6], Dream set to work rebuilding the Dreaming. While working, Lucienne discovered there was a new dream vortex, a mortal that threatens to destroy the Dreaming by drawing all dreams together. The vortex was a young woman named Rose Walker, who at the time was looking for her missing brother Jed. Dream also noted that three dreams were missing from the Dreaming: Gault, Fiddler's Green, and the Corinthian. Dream resolved to keep an eye on Rose, and make sure she didn't get out of control[8]

Roy Harper Cry for Justice
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