"The Doll's House (Part I)": In a private Threshold in the Dreaming, Desire plots against its sibling, Dream. Desire summons its twin sister Despair to a private gallery. It tells Despair about the coming of a dream vortex
- Hee! I am one, and three, and many... but that was the wrong question, child! Had you asked the right question I could have warned you against the Corinthian, told you of Jed, and of Morpheus...
- — Mordred
Appearing in "The Doll's House (Part I)"
- Miranda Walker (First appearance)
- Rose Walker (First appearance)
- Unity Kincaid
- The Hecteae
- Brute (Cameo)
- Glob (Cameo)
- The Corinthian (First appearance)
- The Endless
- Fiddler's Green (Cameo)
- Davey (Single appearance)
- Jack Holdaway (Single appearance)
- Jed Walker (Mentioned only)
Synopsis for "The Doll's House (Part I)"
In a private Threshold in the Dreaming, Desire plots against its sibling, Dream. Desire summons its twin sister Despair to a private gallery. It tells Despair about the coming of a dream vortex in the form of a young woman. The two decide to wait to see how things play out before intervening.
Meanwhile in the real world, Miranda Walker and her daughter Rose take a jet from the United States to England. At the airport, a solicitor ushers them into a limousine and drives them to the home of an apparently rich and eccentric woman, who sent them the cryptic invitation to come see her. On the way, Rose falls asleep in the back of the vehicle and has a dream.
In her dream, she sees Lucien visiting the House of Secrets, taking a census of all of the House's occupants. He is in the process of taking a census of all the inhabitants of the Dreaming for the Lord of Dreams. When complete, he reports his findings to Dream, noting that four of the major arcana are still missing from the Dreaming: Brute and Glob, the Corinthian and Fiddler's Green. Lucien adds that there have been rumours of a dream vortex floating about, and Dream reveals that he already knows that it is a girl, and points to Rose, sitting in the corner of his castle. As they look at her, she wakes up.
The dream ends as the limousine pulls up to a home for the elderly. They are greeted there by the doddering Unity Kincaid, who reveals that while she was in a coma for several decades, she gave birth to a child, and that child was Miranda Walker. She is her true birth mother. Miranda is incredulous at first, but before long, Unity convinces her of the truth. Having stepped out of the room, Rose wanders the house and has an encounter with the Hecatae. They each speak in riddles that confuse Rose, but Mordred makes a point of warning her about the Corinthian and the coming of Dream. Rose tries to press them for more information but the strange sisters suddenly disappear.
Rose returns to Unity's room, where her mother is in tears of joy as she accepts the truth about her own parentage. In the room is an intricately carved doll's house on a nightstand, one of the only keepsakes that Unity managed to maintain during her coma. A light in one of the doll house's upper windows flickers on, and Dream peers outward and smiles at the three women. None of them is aware that he is watching them. As a gift, Unity offers a ring to Rose - the same ring that Rose dreamed about. She begins to fear that her dreams are coming true.
In Amarillo, Texas, the Corinthian, a sadistic nightmare entity, captures a boy named Davy. He binds and gags him and tosses him into a bathtub at the Love Inn Motel. The Corinthian removes his sunglasses, unsheathes a large knife and tells Davy "It's playtime".
- This issue is reprinted in the Sandman: Absolute Edition, Volume 1, the Sandman: The Doll's House trade paperback and Essential Vertigo: The Sandman #10.
- First actual appearance of the Corinthian. The Corinthian makes a chronologically earlier appearance in Sandman Presents: The Corinthian: Death in Venice #3.
- First appearance of Despair of the Endless. Although all of the Endless are siblings, Despair is said to be Desire's twin.
- The Hecatae appeared last in Sandman #2 when Morpheus was forced to ask them three questions regarding his lost symbols of office.
- No trivia.