What Is the Dreaming, Morpehus’ Kingdom?

Editor’s Note: The following contains spoilers for Netflix’s The Sandman.A good chunk of Netflix’s The Sandman takes place in the Dreaming, a fantastic land where Dreams and Nightmares run amok and which living beings visit from time to time. Like in Neil Gaiman‘s original comic book stories, the Dreaming is the kingdom of Dream, or Morpheus (Tom Sturridge), one of the Endless. But what exactly is this mysterious place? And how does the Dreaming connect to our everyday life?

As an Endless, Morpheus incarnates one of the concepts without which life wouldn’t be possible in the universe: the ability to dream, wonder, and imagine new worlds. Also, just as every other Endless, Morpheus has a realm from which he rules; the Dreaming. So, first and foremost, the Dreaming is a Kingdom created and controlled by Morpheus, the place where he’s more powerful than anywhere else.


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From his throne in the Dreaming, Morpheus performs his duties. While the Endless might be some of the most powerful beings ever created for the DC universe, they do not exist to rule over other forms of life. Instead, they exist to serve. In Morpheus’ case, it’s his responsibility to create new Dreams, Nightmares, and fantastic locations in the Dreaming, to inspire people or to force them to confront their fears. Every time living creatures close their eyes, they create a connection with the Dreaming, visiting a particular version of the fantastic dimension tailored to their exact needs. That’s also why multiple people don’t usually share the same dream; each person and animal only has access to a fragmented area of the Dreaming.

The Dreaming is also the vault where Morpheus keeps safe all the stories ever created in the universe, even the ones that only crossed someone’s mind without ever being published. The library of the Dreaming, for example, has a collection of every book that has ever been imagined, overseen by Vivienne Acheampong’s Librarian. Characters of lost tales also find shelter in the Dreaming, gaining eternal life as long as they obey Morpheus and follow the Endless ruling. That’s the case of a few biblical characters already introduced in Season 1 of Netflix’s series adaptation, such as Cain (Sanjeev Bhaskar) and Abel (Asim Chaudhry).

The Dreaming can be a safe haven even for mortal creatures, such as Matthew, a man who accepted to become a raven in the Dreaming and act as Morpheus’ messenger through all eternity. However, the realm can equally work as a prison, trapping unfortunate creatures into an endless nightmare. Morpheus’ Helm, for instance, is sculpted from the bones of a dead god, said to exist still, locked away in the Dreaming. And for the humans who decided to cross the path of the Endless, they might be trapped in a never-ending nightmare until their lives expire.

The Dreaming also has a deep relationship with the waking world itself. As The Sandman keeps showing us, dreams can shape the world, sometimes literally. FIn Season 1, that’s exactly what makes David Thewlis version of John Dee so dangerous, as the villain can use Morpheus’ Dreamstone to change the world according to his will. Besides that, the Dreaming is a source of inspiration for all the creatures, who, through their dreams, realize the world could be a better place if only we dared to wonder and work towards a better future. Finally, in the comic books, it is teased that if many creatures dream the same dream simultaneously, they could rewrite history and make changes so profound that everything that came before would also be altered to validate the new version of reality. So, if we dream together, we can rewrite the waking world’s history.

With such a powerful realm at the reach of any creature, it’s no wonder Morpheus has to spend a lot of energy to keep the Dreaming working as intended and all its visitors safe. So, the next time you close your eyes, remember to thank the King of Dreams for his diligent work.

The Sandman is available now on Netflix. Check out the series trailer below:

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