"I walk across the dreaming sands under the pale moon: through the dreams of countries and cities, past dreams of places long gone and times beyond recall." ― Dream[src]
Dream is one of the seven Endless, powerful beings that are older than gods. He is the personification, as well as the lord over all dreams and stories, and all that is not in reality (which, in turn, Dream may define by his existence). He also goes by Morpheus, Kai'ckul, Sandman, and Oneiros.
He is succeeded by Daniel Hall.
Billions of years ago
Dream came into existence once lifeforms capable of dreaming appeared in the universe. Dream was one of the Endless, personifications of ideas and concepts that were tied to life, and were fated to fulfill their functions until the universe ended and all life disappeared from the cosmos. The Endless are the children of Time, and Night is the mother of at least Dream. The parents, who predate all other existence, have grown estranged, and care little for the mortal world Dream concerns himself with.
Dream took Abel away from his sister Death, and offered him a place in the Dreaming. He made Abel a storyteller and gave him the House of Secrets to live in. When Abel got lonely, Dream commissioned his brother Cain to join him next door as a storyteller in the House of Mystery.
80,000 years ago
After Despair was murdered, Dream and the Endless went to the Necropolis to put her body to rest. The Necropolitans had long lost their passion for their job, and didn't know about the Necropolis arrangement with the Endless, so they laughed at them when they asked for Despair's cerements and the book of rituals. The Endless revoked the Necropolis charter, causing it to be destroyed. The village of Litharge was granted a charter by the Endless and became the new necropolis.
10,000 years ago
Dream, as Kai'ckul, appeared to Nada, the queen of an African city. She fell in love with him, and went to the Dreaming to see him again. They both knew there would be terrible consequences if a mortal fell in love with one of the Endless, but they gave in to their desires. The next morning Nada's kingdom was destroyed, and she killed herself, knowing she was responsible. Kai'ckul appeared to her soul and told her he would make her queen of the Dreaming. She refused, and out of pride Kai'ckul condemned Nada to Hell.
As a favor to the Roman god, Terminus, Dream came to emperor Augustus in a dream. Augustus saw two futures for Rome, one in which the whole world would be under Rome's banner and last thousands of years, and another in which the Roman empire would die after a few hundred years. He wanted the latter, but was afraid of the Roman gods learning of his plans. Dream advised him to give up being emperor for one day and disguise himself as a beggar in the streets. Augustus took his advice, and while the gods weren't watching over him he formulated his plan to stop Roman expansion.
Baghdad, Haroun al Raschid summoned Dream to the waking world by threatening to unleash the djinns of the Globe of Suleiman. Dream disliked being called in such a manner and took away the Globe. Raschid told Dream that Baghdad had become a city of magic and wonders, but he sensed that it would not last, so he asked Dream to take Baghdad into the Dreaming. Dream agreed, and put the dream of Baghdad city of wonders in a bottle. In the waking world Baghdad transformed from a magic city into a prosperous yet ordinary one, with Raschid and all of the residents unaware of what it once had been, except in legend.
Death convinced Dream to visit a tavern to see humanity on their own terms. In the tavern they overheard Hob Gadling say that death was a fool's game and that he had no intention of dying. Dream and Death agreed to make him immortal, and Dream told Hob he'd meet him in the same tavern one hundred years hence.
Dream met with Hob Gadling, who asked if he'd made a deal with the devil to live so long. Dream told him he had not, and that he was simply interested in Hob. Death would not touch Hob unless he desired it. They agreed to meet again in another hundred years.
Dream met with Hob Gadling at their tavern, and Hob told Dream life was great now that he'd acquired a fortune. Dream saw Will Shaxberd at the tavern, and promised him unlimited inspiration in writing his plays if Will created new dreams to spur on the minds of men.
As part of William Shakespeare's contract with Dream he wrote the first of two plays specifically for the Dream King, A Midsummer's Night Dream. Dream and the emissaries of Faerie were the audience for Will's first performance of the play. Dream told the court of Faerie that this was his payment for all the diversion they'd offered him in the past. Although their time on Earth was over humanity would remember them through Will's play. Dream noted Lucien sneaking Vassily of the People through the Dreaming. Lucien admitted that he had lost one of his books from the library of dreams, and Vassily was the current owner. Vassily promised Lucien his book back if he was taken to the bedroom of a duke's daughter, the object of his desire. Dream took over, showing Vassily to the young lady's room. Once Vassily saw her, it was enough for him, some wishes are best left unfulfilled. Dream invited Vassily to join him and Lucien for dinner in the Dreaming.
Dream met with Hob Gadling at their tavern, and Hob had fallen into poverty and despair. Dream asked if he wished for death, but Hob replied that he still had so much to live for.
Destruction called a family meeting of the Endless, and announced to Dream and the rest of his family that he was abandoning his duties as one of the Endless and taking his leave of them for good.
Dream met with Hob Gadling at their tavern, where Lady Constantine and her thugs ambushed them. Rumors of their centennial meetings had spread, and she believed they were the Devil and the Wandering Jew. She intended to kidnap them and learn what she could from them, but Dream put her thugs to sleep and put Constantine in a dreamlike state where she was haunted by those whose lives she'd sacrificed to advance her own agendas.
Dream came to Lady Constantine and offered her a reward in exchange for help in an affair he couldn't directly involve himself in since it involved his estranged son. He sent Constantine to retrieve Orpheus' head, which had been stolen from a temple in Naxos and fallen into possession of the French government. Dream needed to send her advice in dreams when Maximilian Robespierre captured her, but she eventually succeeded.
Despair presented Joshua Norton to Dream. Despair had driven him towards ruin and suicide, and speaking for herself, Delirium and Despair, challenged Dream to save him through dreams. Dream found that Norton craved success and respect, so he gave him the dream of being Emperor of the United States. Norton followed his dream, running a bulletin in the newspaper proclaiming himself Norton I. Death met with Dream and told him she had her doubts about what he was doing.
Dream checked on the progress of Norton I. Delirium met Dream, and told him she thought Norton should belong to her, but despite believing himself Emperor of the United States he was totally sane. Dream pointed out that it was madness that kept him sane.
Dream met with Desire to look in on Emperor Norton I. Desire, through its agent the King of Pain, offered Norton the world, but he refused. Dream proved his hold on Norton could not be assailed by Desire. Dream told Desire it wasn't very subtle in its tactics, and it was outraged, and promised to get even with Dream for the insult.
Norton I died, and Dream won his challenge against Despair. He never entered her realm once between the time Dream gave him his dream of being emperor and the time he died.
Dream met with Hob Gadling at their tavern, and Hob noted that he'd met other immortals in the past like Jason Blood and Mad Hettie. Hob used to think Dream was just curious as to what an immortal man would do with himself, but after seeing how many other immortals were out there he'd decided that Dream was looking for a friend. Dream told him that he had no need for mortal friends, and stormed out of the tavern. Hob said that if Dream met him again in a hundred years time it would be because they were friends, and for no other reason.
On the night of June 15, 1916 (a full moon), British occultist Roderick Burgess and his Order of Ancient Mysteries accidentally summoned Dream while trying to summon and imprison Death. Drained from a recent odyssey, Dream was no match for Burgess, who stole his ruby, helm and pouch and held him captive in a crystal prison in the basement of his house in Wych Cross. Burgess hoped Dream could be coerced into setting up a trap for his sister, but Dream refused to speak to him.
Dream's imprisonment led to worldwide problems. Some people slept all day, while others couldn't sleep or experienced waking dreams. Among those affected was Wesley Dodds whose nightmares only stopped when he became the mystery man Sandman and fought crime.
Meanwhile, in November of 1930, the items Burgess had stolen from Dream were in turn stolen by his second-in-command, Ruthven Sykes and mistress, Ethel Cripps. Sykes traded the helm to Choronzon for an amulet to protect himself from Burgess' wrath, only to lose it, and the pouch and ruby, when Cripps walked out on him in 1936.
Roderick died in 1947 and Alex Burgess took over as Dream's captor. Over the next 40 years, he too attempted to negotiate with Dream, to no avail. Meanwhile, the Order fell apart.
On September 14th, 1988, after another failed attempt to get Dream to talk to him, Alex, now confined to a wheelchair, was taken back to his room, but not before one of the wheels on his chair scuffed the binding circle, breaking the enchantment that prevented Dream from entering the minds of mortals. One of his guards fell asleep on duty, allowing him to tap into the power of dreams and make his escape from his crystal prison. He confronted Alex Burgess in dreams and demanded his helm, pouch and ruby back. Alex told him they were stolen long ago by Sykes and begged for mercy, but Dream cursed him with a never-ending nightmare.
On his way back to the Dreaming, Dream met Marco Polo in one of the Soft Places, where time and space shift like sand. Marco gave Dream water, and in gratitude Dream helped Marco leave the Soft Place, back to the year 1273 and the Desert of Lop, his point of entry.
Dream returned to the Dreaming, but escaping his prison took a lot out of him, and he collapsed on the way to his castle. He was taken to the House of Mystery and cared for by Cain and Abel. Once he was strong enough he went to his castle, and found it in shambles. Lucien, his only servant loyal enough to have stayed at the castle during Dream's imprisonment told him the Dreaming had suffered because of his absence. He summoned the Three Witches, and they gave him clues as to where he could find his helm, pouch and ruby.
Quest for the Vestments
Dream found John Constantine, who had possession of his pouch at one point. John told him it was stolen by his ex-girlfriend Rachel, so they went to her residence. Rachel had abused the power of the pouch to get high, and inadvertently loosed dreams into the waking world. Dream took back his pouch, which was the only thing keeping Rachel alive. At Constantine's insistence Dream let her die peacefully with a pleasant dream of Constantine in her mind.
Dream journeyed to Hell to reclaim his helm. Etrigan met him at the gates of Hell and offered to take him to Lucifer. Etrigan intentionally led him past Nada, the woman he'd long ago condemned to Hell. She begged him to end her suffering, and Dream told her he loved her but hadn't forgiven her. He met with Lucifer, and learned that the duke of Hell Choronzon had the helm. Choronzon challenged Dream to a duel, a game in which they would fight by altering reality and alternately choosing something in creation that would vanquish their opponent's choice. Dream used hope to defeat Choronzon's anti-life. Dream got his helm back and Lucifer punished Choronzon. Lucifer threatened Dream, and Dream reminded him that dreams kept hope alive in Hell, and without that hope Hell would lose it's purpose. Lucifer let Dream leave Hell, but vowed to one day destroy him.
Dream visited Mr. Miracle and the Martian Manhunter of the Justice League because he knew one of their old foes had his ruby. They told him that Dr. Destiny was the one who used the ruby, which was currently being stored in a JLA warehouse in the town of Mayhew. Dream found his ruby, but Destiny had altered it to the point that Dream couldn't use it. When he picked it up it drained away a good portion of Dream's power, and he collapsed to the floor. Destiny came by the warehouse and took away the ruby. When Dream awoke he found Destiny in a diner, using the ruby to drive people to madness and suicide. Destiny wouldn't give back the ruby, so Dream challenged him to a duel in the Dreaming. After an intense battle, Destiny destroyed the ruby, hoping this would also destroy dream. Instead all of the power Dream had placed in the ruby returned to him. Dream returned Destiny to his cell in Arkham Asylum.
Dream was feeding pigeons in a park when his sister Death dropped in to say hello. He told her that he felt directionless after having completed his quest of retrieving what Roderick Burgess had stolen from him. She yelled at him, for not talking to her sooner and told him he was acting like a child. Dream accompanied her as she went about her work, and gave him some insights into their relationship with humans.
Dream had Lucien do a census of the Dreaming and found four major dreams had gone missing in Dream's absence, Brute, Glob, the Corinthian and Fiddler's Green. Dream discovered a dream vortex was coming into power, and her name was Rose Walker. He watched her from her dreams and sent Matthew the Raven to keep tabs on her in the waking world. He learned that she was searching for her brother Jed, and strangely enough Dream couldn't find Jed's dreamself anywhere in the Dreaming. While Dream was in prison Brute and Glob created a false Dreaming called the Dream Dimension inside of Jed's mind and tried to create their own Dream King, one under their control. Dream dismantled the Dream Dimension and banished Brute and Glob to a dark part of the true Dreaming. Although Dream found Brute and Glob's Sandman; Hector Hall, to be somewhat amusing, he nonetheless sent Sandman, who was a ghost, into the afterlife. Dream told Sandman's enraged wife that the child she would soon have had been carried so long in the Dream Dimension that it belonged to him, and he would one day come to claim it.
Dream met with Hob Gadling at their tavern, and Hob admitted he had doubted that Dream would show up. Dream told him it would have been impolite to keep a friend waiting.
Sandman found Rose Walker at a serial killer convention, and saved her from being murdered by Fun Land. He also found the Corinthian at the convention, and told him he was disappointed in him. He'd created the Corinthian as a nightmare to be a dark reflection of humanity, but the Corinthian was now a common killer. Dream admitted he'd made Corinthian poorly, so he unmade the nightmare. Dream then turned to the collected serial killers and took away their dreams of grandeur and self-importance. Rose Walker's vortex powers began to manifest, merging the dreams of everyone in her apartment building. Dream appeared to her dream self and told her that she would destroy the Dreaming if her vortex powers were left unabated, so as much as he regretted it he had to end her life. Rose's friend Fiddler's Green offered his life for Rose's, but Dream told him it didn't work that way. Rose's dying grandmother Unity Kinkaid appeared in the Dreaming and told Dream she would have been the vortex if Dream hadn't been imprisoned during her lifetime. She reclaimed the vortex power from Rose, then passed away, sparing both Rose's life and the Dreaming. Dream found that Desire was Rose's grandparent, and confronted his sibling. He knew Desire was the one who made sure the vortex power was passed onto Rose, because it fulfilled Desire's scheme to see Dream brought to ruin. If Dream had killed Rose he would have killed his own kin, and thus brought the Kindly Ones down on his head. Dream warned Desire to stay out of his affairs and to abandon any plans of destroying him.
Dream found his former lover, Calliope, imprisoned by writer Richard Madoc. Dream asked him to free her, but Madoc refused. Without Calliope, Richard would no longer have the inspiration he needed to write. Dream overloaded Madoc's mind with ideas for stories, bringing Madoc to the point of madness, so he agreed to free Calliope. Calliope was surprised that Dream had forgiven their past differences and that he would save her. After his recent ordeals Dream was learning that he could change, and change for the better.
Dream, as the Cat of Dreams, gave council to a dreaming cat mourning the loss of her children, killed at her master's hands. The Cat of Dreams revealed that cats once ruled the world, but humans dreamed of a world where they ruled, and thus changed the universe from the beginning of time to the end. Dreams shape the world, and the cat could change it back if enough cats dreamed the same dream.
Journey to Hell
Destiny called a gathering of the Endless, telling them a meeting with the Fates made him aware that he had to call the family gathering to set in motion a chain of events that would cause change and upheaval. During the course of conversation Desire got under Dream's skin by reminding him of Nada. Dream was indignant, but Death said she agreed with Desire, sending his lover to Hell for spurning him was an awful thing to do. Dream vowed to make amends by journeying to Hell and saving Nada's soul. Dream made preparations for his journey to Hell. He gathered the dreams of the Dreaming and gave them instructions on maintaining the Dreaming should he fail to return. He didn't want to Dreaming to fall into ruin like when Burgess captured him. He sent Cain to Hell to announce his upcoming visit, and visited Lyta Hall's son. She screamed for him to keep away, but Dream told her she had no reason to fear him at the present, and he named her son Daniel. Lastly Dream visited Hob Gadling in dreams and shared a bottle of wine with him. Dream then entered Hell to find Lucifer Morningstar, tired of his role of the adversary, resigned as ruler of Hell. He had cast out every last demon, never-born, and damned soul from his realm, including Nada. At Lucifer's request Dream cut off his wings. Lucifer decided to fulfill his promise to destroy Dream by handing him the key to Hell, thus making Dream its ruler.
Guardian of Hell
Dream returned to the Dreaming and asked for Death's advice on what he should do with Hell. She was confident he'd figure things out, and she was very busy containing all the souls Lucifer freed from Hell. An envoy of representatives from Heaven, Hell, Asgard, Faerie and numerous other realms and pantheons all arrived at Dreams' castle. They all sought the key to Hell, and all wanted an audience with Dream.
Dream served a banquet for the emissaries seeking control of Hell, then met with them privately. Odin offered him a glass ball containing a notional Ragnarok, and inside the ball was the Sandman (Wesley Dodds), who contained a piece of Dream's soul. The Lords of Chaos threatened him, the Lords of Order tried to reason with Dream. Susano-O-No-Mikoto offered anything, and Bast claimed to have information that could lead Dream to his prodigal brother Destruction. Azazel of Hell revealed he had Nada as his captive and threatened to devour her if Hell wasn't returned to the demons. Dream couldn't decide who to give Hell to, but the decision was taken out of his hands when the angels Duma and Remiel informed him that the Creator chose them to resume control of Hell. Dream handed over the key to them and announced the news to the emissaries. Azazel was upset and threatened to devour Nada's soul then and there. He renounced Dream's hospitality, enabling Dream to save Nada and imprison Azazel in a glass bottle.
Dream discovered Loki had switched places with Susano-O-No-Mikato while the rest of the emissaries were watching Dream and Azazel fight. Dream freed Susano from the torment Odin reserved for Loki, but instead of returning to Loki to his punishment he put a dream image in his place. Dream told Loki he was now in Dream's debt. The last emissary to leave was Cluracan of Faerie who gave Dream his sister Nuala as a servant, a gift from the Faerie queen Titania. Dream apologized to Nada, although it wasn't an easy thing for him to do, and offered her a chance to be reborn. She accepted the gift, and her soul was reborn into a newborn in Hong Kong.
Sandman observed the Land, one of the distant skerries of the Dreaming. He noted that it was dying and kept his eye on it, as he originally created it for his old lover Alianora. The Cuckoo destroyed the Porpentine and Hierogram of the Land, and because of the terms of the compact Dream made when he created the Land, he was bound to unmake the Land and it's inhabitants. The second part of compact was a boon for Barbie, the last ruler of the Land. Barbie's friends had entered the Dreaming to save her from the Cuckoo, but had no way to return home, so she asked Dream to send her, Thessaly, Hazel and Foxglove back to the waking world safe and sound.
Dream and Thessaly fell in love and Dream made a room for her in his castle in the Dreaming. They spent all their time in the castle or walking in Fiddler's Green. Thessaly left Dream, and he tried his best to forget her, forbidding his palace staff from mentioning her. He went into deep brooding, causing awful weather throughout the Dreaming.
Quest of Destruction
Delirium visited the Dreaming and begged Dream to help her find their prodigal brother Destruction. Seeking some diversion from his break-up with Thessaly, Dream agreed to help her. They visited the ex-god Pharamond who provided them with transportation in the waking world. They sought out Destruction's old friends, the first they visited was a lawyer named Bernard Capax, who had died under unusual circumstances the day before. This and the fact that their chauffeur Ruby DeLonge died in a freak fire led Dream to suspect that forces were conspiring against their quest to find Destruction. Delirium took over as chauffeur, but she didn't know how to drive, so Dream summoned Matthew the Raven from the Dreaming to give her some pointers. The trio visited Ishtar, a goddess of love reduced to working in a strip club. She didn't know where Destruction was, so Dream warned her about the rash of accidents happening to Destruction's old acquaintances, and left. Isthar was soon destroyed, and Dream, realizing the repercussions of their quest, called it off. He soon reconsidered, and after visiting Bast, Death and Destiny for advice he sought out an oracle, his estranged son Orpheus. Dream swallowed his pride and learned from Orpheus that Destruction lived on a small Greek isle. In exchange for the information Dream promised to end Orpheus' miserable existence after he met with Destruction. Dream and Delirium dined with Destruction and learned that the deaths accompanying their trip to see him were a result of safeguards Destruction set up in case anyone came looking for him. It was the death of the mortal Ruby that spurred Dream on in finding Destruction, and Destruction commented that Dream had changed greatly in recent years, seeing mortals as something other than characters in dreams. After some quality time together Destruction declined Dream's offer to return to the Endless, and then departed from the Earthly plane of existence altogether. Dream returned to his son Orpheus and ended his life, then went back to the Dreaming to grieve.
At Nuala's request Dream entered the realm of Aurelian and freed Cluracan from imprisonment at the hands of Carnifex Carys XXXV.
On a parallel Earth, Dream saved Prez from Boss Smiley's clutches in that world's afterlife. Prez wanted to travel to other Earths and other Americas to run for president and change those Americas for the better like he did on his own world. Dream opened a doorway to other worlds and told Prez to go where he was needed.
Dream created a new Corinthian and briefly spoke with Matthew the Raven. Matthew wanted to know what happened to ravens once their service to him was finished, but Dream declined to answer.
Cluracan sought an audience with Dream, and on behalf of Titania he asked to take Nuala back to Faerie. Dream told Nuala she could go, and as a reward for her loyal service to the Dreaming he enchanted her pendant so that if she needed him she could summon him.
Dream met with Hob Gadling, who was mourning his recently deceased lover, Audrey. He asked Dream to make the man who killed her in a hit-and-run realize how special she was, and Dream made it so. Hob told Dream that he had the smell of death about him, and asked him to be careful.
Dream brought the new Corinthian to life and sent him and Matthew to the waking world to rescue Daniel Hall from Loki and Robin Goodfellow. Odin visited the Dreaming and told Dream he knew he's allowed Loki to escape from his prison in the center the Earth. Odin expressed disappointment, but warned Dream that Loki hated being in anyone's debt and would surely try to destroy Dream for his help. Dream threw himself into his responsibilities running the Dreaming, and was met by Delirium, who told him she lost Barnabas, Destruction's talking dog. Dream conscripted a nightmare to help her find him. Lyta Hall and the Kindly Ones arrived at Dream's castle, and after killing his gatekeeper Gryphon they demanded an audience with him. Lyta mistakenly believed Dream killed her son Daniel because Dream once told her Daniel belonged to him since he gestated in the Dreaming. She demanded vengeance, which is why she merged with the Kindly Ones. The Kindly Ones told Dream he was their legitimate prey, to drive to madness and destroy, since he had spilled family blood by killing Orpheus. After the Kindly Ones left Dream checked in on Matthew and the Corinthian to see if they'd found Daniel, but they were still working at it. Dream had a funeral for his Gryphon.
Dream came to Thessaly in the waking world because Thessaly was guarding the physical body of Lyta Hall. Thessaly was still bitter over their breakup, so she created a circle of protection that prevented Dream from killing Lyta and ending the threat of the Kindly Ones.
Death of a Dream
Dream considered what to do about the Kindly Ones as they murdered his loyal dreams and began wrecking the Dreaming. Nuala chose that moment to call in her boon, calling Dream away from the Dreaming to Faerie in hopes of saving him. She didn't know that the only way the Kindly Ones could destroy him was if he left the Dreaming. Dream and Nuala spoke, and when she asked him if he wanted to be punished for Orpheus's death, he thought about it and realized how much he'd changed since he was released from Roderick Burgess prison. Dream returned to the Dreaming to find the Corinthian had saved Daniel. Once Lyta realized Daniel was all right, she told the Kindly Ones not to hurt Dream, but once they were set in motion the Kindly Ones couldn't be stopped. Dream had words with Daniel, giving him the eagle dream stone and letting him know that when Dream was destroyed, Daniel would become the new Dream of the Endless. Matthew insisted on accompanying him to the borders of nightmare where Dream would make his stand against the Kindly Ones, but when they arrived Dream made Matthew leave. Death met Dream and correctly guessed that he'd let things go so far because he wanted to leave his role as Dream of the Endless, but couldn't abandon his post like Destruction did. The Kindly Ones arrived, but Dream would not fight them, he allowed them to destroy him in order to save the Dreaming, and Death took Dream. Dream's role in the Endless was assumed by Daniel.
Dream's death caused a reality storm that rippled across time and space. The Endless collected the book of ritual and Dream's cerements from Litharge, then held a wake in the Dreaming. Dream's body was laid out and each member of the Endless, and selected friends of Dream, made speeches. His body was then put on a barge that sailed off and out of the Dreaming to become a star.
Morpheus usually appears as a tall, thin man with bone-white skin, black hair, and two distant stars looking out from the shadows where his eyes should be. Most often they are silver, blue, or white, but when he becomes angered, they have been known to turn red.
Morpheus' appearance ranges widely, depending on the entity looking upon him. He is described in Season of Mists as appearing to mortals as "rake-thin, with skin the color of falling snow" and that he "casts a human shadow when it occurs to him to do so". People generally perceive him as wearing a style of dress appropriate to their region and era. In the Dreaming, however, he is often seen wearing a grey tee-shirt and dark jeans. The people of "Tales in the Sand's" primordial African city see him as a starry-eyed African man.
Although he is most often seen in human form, Morpheus appears as a giant black cat when speaking to the lonely cat-pilgrim of "Dream of a Thousand Cats", and as a cat-headed god when addressing the Egyptian feline goddess, Bast . The Martian, J'onn, of the JLA, sees Morpheus as a Martian god in the shape of a flaming alien skull and identifies him as Lord L'Zoril, but Mister Miracle; looking at him simultaneously, sees Morpheus as a human. In Season of Mists, however, he appears in the same form to all the attending gods, and Bast comments, "I much prefer you in cat form, Dream old friend".
In The Dream Hunters, which is set in ancient Japan, Morpheus appears as a Japanese man to a Buddhist monk, and as a fox to a fox spirit. It is unclear whether Morpheus' appearance is determined by the expectations of onlookers, or if he chooses to manifest himself in different forms. He deliberately changes the style of his clothing to be less conspicuous when he visits the waking world as seen in Preludes and Nocturnes when he dealt with John Constantine.
He customarily wears a billowing black cape when abroad, sometimes with a flame motif or a pattern of dreamers' faces. In battle, he wears a helmet made from the skull and backbone of an enemy god whom he defeated. This helmet is also his sigil in the galleries of the other Endless; as well as appearing in the dreams (and at least once on the staircase wall) of Wesley Dodds.
Morpheus' speech is usually portrayed as white text in black, wavy-edged speech bubbles bordered in white. The text is capitalized normally (sentence case) in stark contrast to other characters' speech; generally in block caps text. He has a formal manner of speech.
He almost never laughs out loud - or even smiles - but when he laughs, it is a disquieting sound, almost a growl.
Though ultimately a heroic character, Dream has many flaws. He has trouble catching sarcasm and jests, causing him to often appear cold and humorless. Dream can be insensitive, self-obsessed, and slow to forgive or forget what he perceives as slights. He has a long history of broken romances, and is shown, both directly and by implication, to be prone to harsh reactions when his relationships fail.
As Mervyn Pumpkinhead remarks after the end of one of Morpheus' romances, "He's gotta be the tragic figure standing out in the rain, mournin' the loss of his beloved. So down comes the rain, right on cue. In the meantime everybody gets dreams fulla existential angst and wakes up feeling like hell. And we all get wet."
There is a long-standing enmity between Morpheus and Desire, stemming from Desire's involvement in the breakup of one of Dream's romantic relationships (seen in Endless Nights). Near the end of the Brief Lives story arc, Desire says of Dream: "He's stuffy, stupid, and thinks he knows everything, and there's just something about him that gets on my nerves." Desire's self involvement, by definition, being even greater than Dream's.
It is implied that before his imprisonment he was in some ways colder and more blind to his flaws, and much of The Sandman is focused on Morpheus' desire to atone for his past behavior such as helping past lovers Calliope and Nada. Morpheus has great pride that does not tolerate damage or embarrassment, examples include banishing Nada to Hell for rejecting him, and being angry (originally) at the notion presented by Hob Gadling that he is lonely and needs friends.
Morpheus is constantly aware of his responsibilities, both to other people and to his realm. He is detailed and exacting in their fulfillment, as noted in Season of Mists, where Morpheus is described as, "Of all the Endless, save perhaps Destiny, he is most conscious of his responsibilities, the most meticulous in their execution." He shares a close, reciprocal bond of dependence and trust with his elder sister, Death. He consistently strives for understanding of himself and of the other Endless, but is ultimately defeated by his most tragic flaw: his inability to accept change. In The Wake, when asked by Matthew "Why did it happen? Why did he let it happen?", Lucien remarks, "Charitably... I think... sometimes, perhaps, one must change or die. And in the end, there were, perhaps, limits to how much he could let himself change."
During the course of the series, Morpheus consistently strives for understanding of himself and of the other Endless, especially his elder sibling Death, but he is ultimately undone by his most tragic flaw, his innate inability to accept change. This is especially ironic considering that the nature of dreams are constant change. As Lucien remarks in The Wake when asked (by Matthew, the raven) "Why did it happen? Why did he let it happen?", "Charitably...I think...sometimes, perhaps, one must change or die. And in the end, there were, perhaps, limits to how much he could let himself change." In a last gut-punch of ironic underpinning, by the series final story arc Morpheus had become a kinder version of himself, more able to forgive, and better able to love.
Morpheus is noted in Season of Mists as "accumulating names to himself as others make friends, but he permits himself few friends." He is given more names in The Sandman than any of the other Endless, far beyond the many translations of Dream.
A very different version of Dream was shown in Endless Nights where he had a positive relationship with Desire and was very happy. However, this changes during the events of the story in Endless Nights.
Following his reincarnation, Dream is noticeably kinder, something the denizens of the Dreaming are quick to comment on. He pets the Hippogriff (something he had never done before) and freed Lyta Hall and Alexander Burgess, judging that revenge was a "road with not endings."
Dream has had a history of romantic involvements, all of which ended poorly for various reasons. Despite his cold exterior, Dream is often passionate and infatuated with his lovers. Whenever his respective relationships end, he is often crushed and goes into a state of depression. Very few of Dream's relationships are depicted in the Sandman Library, forcing readers to a great deal of speculation. Dream seldom mentions his past relationships, they usually are only mused upon by his servants or by his siblings.
The most ancient of Morpheus' known relationships, the much younger Dream was in love with Killala and was vastly different, far more cheerful and outgoing. While Morpheus deeply loved Killala, she was uncertain of her feelings to him, and ultimately left him for Sto-Oa (her planet's sun) at a conference of universal manifestations. This event was initiated by the interference of Dream's sibling Desire. The events are implied to have changed Morpheus relationship with Desire and ultimately led to his less open personality.
A young African Queen of an ancient kingdom, Nada fell in love with Dream or Kai'ckul as he is known to her people. It was love at first sight for her after noticing him standing below her palace's window. She went on to search the world for him, at last discovering Kai'ckul in the Dreaming. Nada, however, changed her mind despite being deeply in love, once she realized that Kai'ckul was of the Endless. Being mortal, their love was forbidden. She turned Kai'ckul down but he disregarded her words, stating that he, too, loved her, and that no woman had ever sought him. He swore to make her his Queen. Nada, however, ran from Kai'ckul who chased her. Eventually the two consummated their relationship, only to discover the Sun destroyed Nada's kingdom in punishment for the improper coupling. Nada, ashamed, killed herself. Kai'ckul, however, followed her to the netherworld, and enraged by her rejection of him, he imprisoned her in Hell.
Years later Kai'ckul would see Nada in Hell, and he stated that while he still loved her, he did not forgive her, and refused to free her. Kai'ckul would relent when he was accused of being unjustly cruel to Nada by Desire, an opinion with which Death concurred. He then decided to return to Hell, only to discover that Lucifer had forsaken his kingdom and Nada was nowhere in sight. Nada had been taken by former Triumvir, Azazel, as a bargaining tool to reclaim Hell. Azazel challenged Dream to release Nada by going inside him, which he accepted, freeing Nada while imprisoning Azazel into a jar.
Kai'ckul apologizes half-heartedly to Nada, which she responds angrily to at first, but he becomes more sincere, and Nada forgives him. Kai'ckul again offers Nada the opportunity to be his queen but she turns it down, and he chooses not to relinquish his role as Dream of the Endless to be with Nada. Nada is instead reincarnated as a newborn baby. The baby possibly appears in this form at Dream's wake.
A muse of poetry that was at one point married to Dream then called Oneiros. The couple lived separately as to make their meetings special. Calliope is the only known consort of Oneiros to have had a child with him. Their son, Orpheus, grew up in the Dreaming, where he was treated well by Dream, though a rift was beginning to form between Calliope and him by then. After Orpheus' wedding, the couple began to argue over Dream's cruel treatment of Orpheus, leading her to insult and leave him.
Calliope, while still in love with Oneiros, was not able to reconcile as the next time she returned to the Dreaming, the guardians of the gate pretended they did not know her. Calliope and Dream would not see each other for millennia, until 1989, in which he freed her from her imprisonment by Richard Madoc. Calliope offered to see him again, implying that their relationship could start again, but Dream brushed it off as a bad idea. She would later attend Dream's Wake, and spoke in the trio of his lovers, she regarded it more as remembering a friend than a lover, and out of gratitude for ending their son's misery.
The Queen of the Fae. Titania and Dream had a brief affair.
Alianora was sent to Dream by Desire upon his request for assistance in regaining his realm from the old gods who had taken it over and imprisoned him in his own palace. Little is known about the relationship between Dream and Alianora, now deceased. Alianora appears to have been Dream's lover once, but like all of Dream's relationships, it eventually soured. Her help in regaining his realm left a scar on her face, and Alianora foretold that he would receive his own scars, both physical and emotional, in turn.
She was also the recipient of one of Dream's 12 Dreamstones, the Rose-Quartz, as Morpheus tells Matthew in their last conversation. Dream is also known to have made a pact with her. He gave her a skerry of her own - one which he would eventually dismantle, long after she had died.
The last of Dream's lovers, Thessaly was the last of witches who had lived for thousands of years. Thessaly was not intimidated by Dream when they met in a skerry, and chastised his actions. Months later she, to her surprise, dreamed of the Dream Lord, which he had not expected or desired, yet the two had a long conversation that eventually led Dream to offer Thessaly a stay in the Dreaming. Dream quickly became hopelessly in love with Thessaly, though she did not truly feel likewise, and realized it when he stopped courting her, and resumed working. Thessaly left Dream, who did not attempt to convince her to stay. Dream was crushed by the break-up, and vainly hoped he would see Thessaly when he accompanied Delirium on her quest to see Destruction. Destiny later told Dream that Thessaly had never truly loved him, and never would.
Thessaly and Dream met once later, when Dream was threatened by the furies who entered the Dreaming through Lyta Hall. Thessaly made a circle to protect Lyta making it impossible for Dream to kill the living body of Lyta in the waking world without breaking some sacred laws and serious consequences. Dream and Thessaly mused that she may have done so out of spite. Dream said that he never intended to hurt her, but she spitefully replied that he had regardless of intentions. Thessaly would to her surprise miss Dream's company and later said to Lyta that she wanted to kill her for killing Dream.
Thessaly attended Dream's Wake and funeral, speaking in a trio of Dream's lovers. She wept, breaking the promise that she would never shed another tear for him after leaving the Dreaming.
Powers and Abilities
- Dream Personification: As one of the seven Endless, Dream is one of the most powerful beings in the universe as he is the very definition and master of the dream. He exerts absolute control over dreams, nightmares and even insomnia.
- Immortality: Being an Endless, Dream is an immortal being and will exist forever. Diseases and age do not affect him, allowing his existence to be unshakable. If an Endless is killed or destroyed, their personality and powers will be passed on to someone else, taking their place and incarnation in the universe. When Dream died, his gifts were passed on to Daniel Hall.
- Teleportation: Dream can go anywhere on Earth or realm easily. He can open interdimensional portals to travel between worlds, even going to hell itself.
- Shapeshifting: The ruler of dreams can alter his own appearance and clothing at will through "dream space". He also seeks to disguise himself in the presence of lesser beings so they can understand who he is.
- Superhuman Strength: Dream has higher and tougher strength than an ordinary human. He managed to lift a demon guard and hurl it a great distance with just one arm.
- Superhuman Endurance: Dream spent his last 70 years trapped without food, which didn't starve him to death. Despite this, he was only slightly weak and hungry.
- Dream Conjuration: He can conjure dreams, ideas, and nightmares into the minds of humans with ease, having complete control over this aspect. He cursed a man into an "eternal awakening", causing him to be trapped in an endless cycle of awakening from a terrible nightmare.
- Cosmic Consciousness: Dream is the ruler of all dreams in the universe, having access to all stories told. Morpheus knows pretty much everything and even how the Omniverse was created. He still knows all the stories that will be told in the near future.
- Dream Absorption: Morpheus literally feeds on dreams generated by people and the food within dreams.
- Illusion Generation: Dream can create projections of Illusions so real that he can physically and verbally interact with them. He says that dreams and reality are much closer to each other than many realize.
- Healing: He can heal his own wounds and injuries quickly.
- Reality Manipulation: The power of the Dream is directly connected to the Dream, it can easily manipulate reality on a universal scale. He can create objects and entities to serve him, as well as alter the weather and landscape within the Dreaming. As he was absent from the Dreaming for 70 years, his realm weakened and only grew stronger in his presence.
- Photokinesis: Dream can manipulate, create, and cast light at will.
- Telekinesis: Dream can manipulate objects and people with the force of the mind. He managed to unlock a door and telekinetically open it.
- Magic: Dream is an excellent and powerful magic user, being near-omnipotent within the Dreaming.
- Power Distribution: Morpheus was able to distribute a portion of his power over his equipment like Sand Pouch and Dreamstone.
- Curse: Dream can cast and create curses through magic. He can curse someone who has troubled him suffering from nightmares for eternity with ease.
- Artistry: Supreme talent to make creative dreams (and nightmares).
- Insight: Dream has a particular talent for introducing different ideas and new concepts into people's minds and lives (and also removes them).
- Ancient Rules: Despite his great powers, Dream, like the rest of the Endless, is bound to a complex set of rules and customs that limit his abilities. One which requires him not to spill the blood of family or he is no longer protected as the personification of Dream from other Personifications. Dream is also only capable of taking a mortal life if it is to protect the Dreaming. Another is that he cannot fall in love with a mortal or the mortal's downfall is assured.
Behind the Scenes
- His overall look resembles his creator, Neil Gaiman.
- Dream is the third oldest of the Endless, he appears to have arguabley he most influence over mortals next to his elder sister, Death. As quoted by Mervyn Pumpkinhead at the end of one of Dream's relationships: "He's gotta be the tragic figure standing out in the rain, mournin' the loss of his beloved. So down comes the rain, right on cue. In the meantime everybody gets dreams fulla existential angst and wakes up feeling like hell. And we all get wet." This implies that depending on Dreams mood, he is able to affect peoples dreams and implant his feelings in them, effectively manipulating mortals behavior when they are awake.