There have been certain intentional diversions created by the makers of the Netflix series, “The Sandman,” that not only have a stark difference from what was mentioned in Neil Gaiman’s graphic comics, but the nature of those dissimilarities is such that it would determine the course of the narrative in the upcoming seasons. One such major difference is the way “The Sandman” deals with the character of Lucifer Morningstar as the makers try to lay the foundation for it as a potential antagonist for the upcoming season. Obviously, not to forget that Desire, Dreams’ younger sibling, is always there to create obstacles and make matters worse. Generally, any diversion made for the screen, in a film or series based on some literary works, is not appreciated by the fans, but Sandman is cautious and makes sure that it does so in a manner that adds more depth and paints a diversified picture of every character, rather than opting for a single-tone approach. For example, the makers abstained from making the character of John Dee outright villainous. He adhered to a philosophy his whole life. He had a purpose and a rationale behind what he was doing. He was not a lunatic or a killer who did it for pleasure. With the makers not scared of creative liberties, let’s try to assess and understand in which direction they would want to steer their wagon and which characters would probably come up as potential antagonists in “The Sandman” Season 2.
Lucifer Morningstar: A Bruised Ego
The depiction of Lucifer Morningstar in the comics, “Preludes and Nocturnes”, was very different as compared to the Netflix series. When Dream reaches Hell, he is greeted by Lucifer Morningstar, the Lightbringer, and told that his visit is no social call. Lord Morpheus’ tools were stolen by Roderick Burgess when the former was imprisoned at his house in Fawney Rig. Ruthven Sykes had given the helm to a demon known as Choronzon, in exchange for an amulet of protection. Ruthven was scared that Roderick Burgess would find and kill him for betraying him. Dream asks for his helm, and that’s when he is made aware of a change in the status quo of Hell. A civil war had led to the division of powers inside Hell, such that there were three monarchs who together ruled the realm. Together with Lucifer Morningstar, there were Beelzebub and Azazel, who were now the co-monarchs. Choronzon, who had the helm, was a duke of the Eighth Circle and captain of the hoard under Beelzebub. Choronzon says that it was a fair deal that didn’t break any laws, and so he could not be obliged to return the helm. The demon asks Dream to fight him if he wants his helm back. Lord Morpheus wins the battle and gets his helmet back. Lucifer, in furtherance of his mendacious propaganda, asks Morpheus what power dreams have in Hell. To which Lucifer replies that Hell would have no power over those imprisoned here, if they could not dream of heaven. Lucifer has to let the King of Dreams leave his realm, but promises that one day they will destroy him.
In the series, “The Sandman,” we see that Choronzon chooses Lucifer Morningstar to represent him in the battle against Lord Morpheus. Also, power in Hell wasn’t divided between the co-monarchs, as it was in the comics, “Preludes and Nocturnes”. When Lord Morpheus wins the battle, Lucifer Morningstar is left bitter. She was insulted in front of the people of her realm. She brews a desire for revenge inside her and waits for the opportune moment. In the end, we see her talking to Azazel and making her intentions to attack Morpheus and his realm, The Dreaming, very clear. Not only that, Lucifer expresses a desire to wreak havoc on the waking world as well as the Silver City. It is very much possible that the makers chose to show that Hell and The Dreaming have waged war against each other.
“The Sandman” Season 2 could additionally choose to take inspiration from Seasons of Mists, the fourth collection of “The Sandman” comics written by Neil Gaiman. In “Seasons of Mists,” it is shown that Dream is made to feel guilty by Desire when all the siblings have met after a long time in Destiny’s realm. Nada, someone whom Dream loved with all his heart, was condemned to Hell because she chose to refuse his offer of love to save her people. Nada was the Queen of her city, and she knew that a mortal could not enter into a relationship with an endless, and that is why she had killed herself. Death, probably the only sibling for whom Dream not only had respect but a lot of affection, told him that his actions were not right and that he should make amends as soon as possible. Dream had decided to talk to Lucifer Morningstar and get Nada released. He knew that it would be an uphill task. “Season of Mists” takes a completely different path, revealing that Lucifer has decided to abdicate his monarchy and hand over the keys of Hell to Morpheus. In my personal opinion, they would not take that route in the Netflix series, as then the point of showing Lucifer wanting to take revenge would make no sense. But it is possible that the makers take elements from it and drive the action of Lord Morpheus with a motive in “The Sandman” Season 2. Now, if Lucifer Morningstar attacks with her whole army, then not only does Dream have a responsibility to protect his realm, but he would also want to fight them to free Nada from her sufferings.
Desire: A Promise to Draw Blood
The fact has been clearly established that Desire would never stop adding obstacles in Dream’s life. Maybe over a period of time, it had become an essential attribute of their existence. Desire used Nada as a tool and also played a role during the time of Roderick Burgess. All these were attempts to harm Dream and his realm in some or other manner. Desire always felt that Dream was the most stubborn, selfish, and often the most conceited of all the Endless. She was constantly in search of ways to prick him, annoy him, irritate him, or make him go through some kind of suffering. With the vortex too, she almost succeeds in making Dream commit a sin. She had made an intricate plan, but eventually, Dream did get the better of his younger sibling. He was just fortunate this time as Unity Kincaid revealed the truth just at the right moment, and he got to know that making Rose Walker the Vortex was a pre-planned move by Desire.
Desire was once again unsuccessful, but she vowed that the next time she would draw blood, if not more. The makers would surely want to harp on the potential presented by the character of Desire. In “The Sandman” Season 2, maybe we would get to see the ideologies and beliefs of the two siblings coming at loggerheads once again. Desire has this innate belief that dreams are nothing but echoes of Desire and despair. She considered her realm, her role as an Endless, to be superior and more important as compared to that of Lord Morpheus. Her actions and all her endeavors were just means and methods to prove that fact. It would be interesting to see how the makers use the character of Desire to add further obstacles in the path of Dream. It is blatantly clear now that Desire can stoop low in order to fend for her aims and aspirations in life, and she will play a crucial role as an antagonist in the upcoming seasons.
Though Lucifer Morningstar and Desire would be pulling the reins from behind curtains at all times, there would be other nightmares, demons, and characters that would probably be introduced by the makers to create conflict in the upcoming seasons of “The Sandman.”