The sand man may have satisfied viewers with a brilliant adaptation of the works of Neil Gaiman. However, the series also reminded us of some questions that have remained unanswered since the graphic novels were released decades ago. For example, people have long wondered why Morpheus’ siblings never came to his rescue when he was imprisoned for nearly a century.
The series extends Dream’s imprisonment to an entire century, but we’re not going to split the straw for a few years. So why did the Endless just allow their brother to be sealed away all these years? And why didn’t death itself do anything when it was fully aware that it was the primary target in the first place?
The Sandman: Why was Dream imprisoned for 100 years?
In the series, Morpheus is accidentally captured in a cult ritual led by Roderick Burgess in an attempt to catch death. Roderick’s goal is simple: he wants to force Death to resuscitate his son who died during the First World War. When he realizes he has captured another member of the Endless, he tries to negotiate with Dream who remains silent.
Morpheus’ imprisonment is decided when the Corinthian tells Roderick that keeping an Infinite nearby could lead to wealth and immortality. And so, the Magus decides to keep Dream in his basement for 100 years.
The Sandman: Why didn’t The Endless intervene with Morpheus’ imprisonment?
It was clarified that the Endless knew their brother was stuck in an aquarium somewhere, but neither of them tried to save him. At one point, death could have easily swooped in when it picked up Roderick who died in that basement as Morpheus watched.
Neil Gaiman offered an explanation for the blind eye. In The Sandman Companion (via CBR), the author said it’s just not part of their nature.
“The reason the Endless didn’t release him isn’t because they didn’t know about the situation, but because they’re not a great team; rushing to the rescue isn’t is not what they want. The Endless stick to hoeing their own farms,” Gaiman said.
It’s a weird thing to know, but it kind of makes sense. Still, we wouldn’t have a truly compelling story if death had saved his brother right away.
All episodes of The sand man are now streaming on Netflix.
Related: Neil Gaiman Explains Why The Sandman Is NOT A Part Of The DC Universe