The Sandman Burning Questions and Ending Explained – IGN
This article contains detailed spoilers for The Sandman on Netflix, as well as the graphic novels. Dig into our spoiler-free review if you’re not ready to learn what happens just yet!
When you’ve got several episodes that span hundreds of years on their own, it makes sense to come out of a series with a lot of questions. Netflix’s The Sandman has finally landed on the streamer, and it’s time to break down the who’s, the what’s, the where’s, the why’s, and just what was going on with Season 1’s ending.
The Sandman Ending Explained
A lot occurred between Rose Walker (Vanesu Samunyai) marching into the Dreaming to meet her fate and the final credits of The Sandman. Things kick off with one of the most jaw-dropping of those moments as Gilbert (Stephen Fry) chooses to stand between his creator and Rose before ultimately transforming back into his original form — the stunning Fiddler’s Green.
As Dream is set to absorb Rose after the realization that nothing can be done to stop the vortex inside her from consuming the waking world, a delightfully belligerent Unity Kinkaid (Sandra James Young) marches into the Dreaming with Lucienne (Vivienne Acheampong), insisting that her great granddaughter is not the vortex Morpheus is seeking. Or, rather, she’s not supposed to be. Upon revealing that she was impregnated during the sleepy sickness in a dream by someone with golden eyes, Unity helps Dream come to the realization that not only was she supposed to be the vortex all along, but that his sibling, Desire (Mason Alexander Park), intentionally ensured that the unwitting curse was passed down to his descendant — Rose — in an attempt to make Dream stumble after eons of rivalry (we’ll get to why a bit later).
While the Rose Walker story gets a happy ending, there’s more trouble coming for Dream from all sides. Despite the threat of Dream and Death — ostensibly the most powerful of The Endless that we’ve met thus far — knocking down their door should they toy with the dreaming again, Desire seems unphased and intends to continue to pick at their brother until satisfied. Meanwhile, Lucifer (Gwendoline Christie), Azazel (voice unknown), and the denizens of hell are making plans to take hell to the next level by overtaking the waking world, and then the dreaming.
Will The Sandman Get a Season 2?
Though this isn’t usually the kind of question we go over in stories like this one, there’s precedent here. Unlike Prime Video’s Good Omens — which covers the original source material in its entirety in its first season and was believed to be a limited series at first — The Sandman goes on for many, many more issues after “Preludes & Nocturnes” and “The Doll’s House” (the two segments adapted by Season 1). There could be many future seasons in store for fans, should Netflix see the performance they want.
What is Lucifer Planning With Azazel?
This is perhaps one of the most straightforward scenes of the series, but it brings with it the most questions. Canonically, Lucifer gets bored with hell and simply chooses to leave the key with Dream. While that could be what the character is hinting at when they tell Mazikeen (Cassie Clare) that they plan to do something they’ve never done before, that will make their father livid, and bring Morpheus to his knees after Azazel’s visit in the very last scene of Season 1, it seems that at least a part of the character intends to play with her proverbial food for a time before we see her follow the path originally forged for the purveyor of Hell.
Why Does Desire Hate Dream?
They don’t! But, they do have a very strained relationship with their brother. Desire may not hate their sibling but they are, notoriously, kind of an asshole. Things between the two Endless started to get rough ages ago after Desire made Dream fall for Killala, a woman who didn’t ultimately return Morpheus’ feelings and left him for her planet’s sun. (Yes, you read that correctly.) All of Dream’s broody proclivities are said to tie back to this key moment in his history, as the entity who fell in love eons ago was a more chipper, happier member of The Endless and the one we see now is, well… learning not to be cruel in his own right.
Will We See Rose Walker Again?
The chances are pretty decent that we’ll see Rose Walker return in coming seasons should the series continue. The former vortex is involved in several stories throughout The Sandman’s run and, given how solid Vanesu Samunyai was in the role, it seems likely Gaiman and company would be more than happy to see the character return.
Who is “The Prodigal” The Sandman Kept Mentioning?
There’s a missing member of The Endless that gets brought up a few times throughout the series. While he’s referred to as “The Prodigal” now, he was once known as “Destruction,” and is the only member of The Endless to abandon his duties. He disappeared some 200 years before Dream was captured by Roderick Burgess, and no one has seen him since. It’s possible we’ll see him come up in the potential Season 2, but those secrets are better kept for the next chapter. Also worth mentioning? He’s not the only member of The Endless that we don’t meet in Season 1! The ever-serious Destiny and the delightfully kookie Delirium could grace our screens in the next chapter.
Can Dream Restore Gregory?
Honestly? We don’t know! Gregory and Goldie are supposed to work in tandem together, with the two of them often taking care of Abel (Asim Chaudry) after Cain (Sanjeev Bhaskar) murders him. The gargoyle’s “death” came as a huge surprise! But here’s hoping it’s not the last we see of him. Look how little Goldie is! She needs a friend.
Who Was the Woman In Hell?
Dream of the Endless has had quite a few relationships despite his duties constantly pulling him elsewhere. The woman we see imprisoned in Hell while Morpheus is on his way to meet Lucifer is named Nada (currently uncredited). Once a queen of an ancient African kingdom, Nada came to know Dream as Kai’ckul. The two fell in love despite the universal laws forbidding humans and The Endless from being together and, in response to their love, the sun destroyed Nada’s kingdom. She then kills herself in shame, and refuses to be Morpheus’ queen in the Dreaming after he seeks her out in the afterlife. Dream, who at this point of his existence is deeply cruel, then imprisons her in hell. There’s a strong chance you’ll meet her again later should the series continue, but we’ll save those details for later!
What’s Going To Happen To Lyta’s Baby?
Since Lyta’s (Razane Jammal) son was conceived in the Dreaming, he technically belongs to Morpheus. Rose did threaten Dream to try to ensure the safety of her friend’s child, but young Daniel will cross paths with the Dream Lord again down the road and Lyta could end up playing more of a role in Morpheus’ story than you’d expect.
Will We See The Sandman’s Superheroes Come Into Play In Season 2?
As hinted at by Jed Walker’s (Eddie Karanja) dreams of a Sandman-related superhero, caped crusaders have played a not-insignificant role in The Sandman canon in the past. Now, rights issues complicate things and the recent turmoil at Warner Bros. Discovery only stands to make the waters muddier, but there’s a strong chance we could see powered individuals in the waking world if the show keeps going long enough. In fact, in Lyta and Hector’s (Lloyd Everitt) original canon, they’re both superheroes! Perhaps we’ll see her take more of an active role in the series should Rose and their lovely brood return.
Amelia is the Streaming Editor here at IGN. She’s also a film and television critic who spends too much time talking about dinosaurs, superheroes, and folk horror. You can usually find her with her dog, Rogers. There may be cheeseburgers involved.