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The representations of the Norse pantheon came into existence after the Marvel Norse pantheon first visited Earth.
Here is my theory. Marvel's Norse pantheon arrived on earth, they were worshipped as gods by those who came upon them, then Marvel's Norse Gods leave. Over time the human discoverers of the gods spread the stories of their stories and their worship practices around and in doing this their descriptions of the Marvel gods became sullied resulting in the mythology that we're all familiar with, the pantheon that we see in Sandman came into existence after the Marvel gods left and over time their appearances became that of the myths, they exist because the Marvel Norse gods acted as a sort of inspiration.

Delight became Delirium after taking a peek behind the Source Wall.
During which she saw the true chaotic nature of reality and in doing that chose to become a representation of it.

Delight became Delirium by simple force of will.
IIRC, the most that Delirium ever talks about her transformation is in a brief lecture to Destiny. She admonishes him to remember that there are things not written in his book, citing her own transformation as an example. My theory is: Delight eventually noticed that fate was not pleasant. Unable to completely defy it, she chose instead to distort her nature as much as possible—to become distortion and escapism themselves. This act of metamorphosis, by its nature having no true cause, might be described as fucking with the code of the universe—deliberately subverting any/all elements of fate that can be subverted.

Hundreds of years in the future, Morpheus helps lead a rebellion against Machines
When the Machines enslave mankind and trap all humans in the Matrix, it robs them of their ability to dream spontaneously on their own. This, in turn, greatly weakens Morpheus and causes the Dreaming to break down. To stop the Machines, Morpheus takes human form and helps free the one man in the Matrix who he knows can topple the Machines: Neo.This is why Morpheus' digital avatar always wears sunglasses—he's unconsciously mimicking the formless black eyes that he has in his true form. And this is why he comes off as distant and all-knowing, and why he insists on believing the prophecies about the One that other leaders in the Rebellion dismiss as superstition—he is one of the Endless, and has an innate knowledge of things that humans can only speculate about.
  • Recall, however, from #70, the first issue of The Wake: "Not Morpheus. I have no right to that name. I am Dream of the Endless: it is enough."

Death of the Endless is actually Susan Sto-Helit.
  • In the distant future of the Discworld series, Susan eventually embraces her grandfather's abilities, becoming a Death, and chose our universe to govern.
    • I dunno. Early Death as seen in Endless Nights is too out-and-out cruel to be Susan, and the Death of the story's present is too cheerful. (Although she's somewhat more Susan-like when she's angry.)
  • Does this mean that Discworld is the predecessor to the DC Universe?

Every other book that Neil Gaiman has written takes place in Sandman's continuity.
  • American Gods: The mythological creatures that appeared in Season Of Mists like Bast, Odin, and Loki are the same as the ones who appeared in American Gods. Also, it's been speculated that Delirium of the Endless makes a cameo. And by default, Anansi Boys is connected as well.
    • More like America-based avatars of them. The Bast in The Sandman is in Egypt, the Odin is in Asgard, and the Loki is under the world missing his eyes.
    • American Gods was released between The Wake and Endless Nights. So its events could be related to why Delirium went crazier just before Going Inside.
    • Highly unlikely, given that in American Gods Thor killed himself in the 1920's and in The Sandman he's alive in the (1980's) present.
      • Um. No. It's pretty likely. In the epilogue, Shadow meets with another Odin, the one in Iceland, and it's pretty strongly implied that the American Gods were only echoes. While the American Thor (presumably named "Mr. Thursday") died, the originally is likely still alive in one of the Scandinavian countries.
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    • Sandman Odin was forever looking for was to escape his death during Ragnarok, despite knowing he would fail. The one in American Gods has a similar motivation (getting the old and new gods to kill each other in his name, albeit unknowingly, and a failure in the end).
  • Stardust: The family of Stormhold was descended from Desire of the Endless. It would explain their young nature, the rivalries between the brothers, and the romance that goes on with Tristran.
    • A more likely connection is that the land of Faerie exists in both Stardust and The Sandman (and other Vertigo comics), and it's portrayed pretty similarly in both, as well as being reached from our world in a similar way.
  • The Graveyard Book: The Lady On The Grey, who was a rather easy-going Grim Reaper, is Death Of The Endless. The reason why she has a horse? Well, why not?
  • Coraline: The other world is a part of Delirium's realm that has gone awry. The Other Mother was simply just a servant of Delirium that had rebelled (just like Brute and Glob).
    • The other mother is actually the Cuckoo from A Game of You
      • Or at least a Cuckoo, if not the same one
    • The Other Mother became the Dark Queen in MirrorMask
  • Neverwhere: Croup and Vandemar are nightmares created by Dream, like the Corinthian. And Hammersmith, the one who had forged the false key, was Destruction of the Endless dabbling in his many hobbies.
    • This Troper originally thought John Constantine's conversation with London was just John being eccentric, and that his "dialogue" (so to speak, it looks more like narration) was just his thoughts providing his bit of the conversation as well as London's. Considering, however, that some bits of London Below are technically above ground (think of Old Bailey's fondness for rooftops) this could be something else entirely. It's even possible he might have met with the angel Islington.
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    • Also, when the Market Truce is explained to Richard in Neverwhere, the last person to have violated the truce is said to have received a particularly nasty [[Fate Worse than Death] quite possibly entering into [1] territory, which is also the fate of the man who killed the first Despair. Perhaps the person killed at the market was Despair. Probably not, but this is the WMG page
  • Good Omens: The failure of the apocalypse led to Lucifer retiring and leaving Hell in Season of Mists. The version of Death here was in fact Death Of The Endless, who had known that the universe wasn't going to end and was just playing along.
  • 1602 is an alternate of the Marvel Universe. Avengers vs. JLA is still canon in Marvel, ergo The DCU and by extension Sandman is as well.
    • But it's been established that JLA/Avengers is canon in DC, the next arc of JLA spun directly out of it when the antimatter universe villains discover that their world was destroyed in the crossover and immediately rebuilt afterwards
  • Which means all the key MacGuffins are one key!
    • This also explains the disturbing recurring eye damage motif.

Barnabas is a member of the Endless.
He is dog, the personification of all dogs.

Delight became Delirium when her search for knowledge of the universe's delights went too far.
Early on in Delight's existence, she was a child (as seen in Dream's story in Endless Nights) who found happiness in everything around her and knew nothing about sadness. However, her childish nature also led her to be curious about the rest of the universe, and she actively sought out hidden sources of happiness everywhere she could travel to. Lacking the rest of the Endless's innate wariness toward things they were not designed to know, she discovered them. As well as horrors and miseries that broke her rose-tinted view of the world into itty-bitty pieces.

No longer able to delight thanks to having too much knowledge of the anti-delights (it's very much possible that her Sanity Slippage occurred at around the same time Adam and Eve ate the forbidden Fruit of Knowledge, and one of them caused the other), she tried to return to her original state of innocence. She partially succeeded by embracing madness as a way to forget or laugh at her unpleasant memories, but not all the way as innocence can't be regained once lost. Hence why Delirium hurts so much when she forces herself to be sane (or stops forcing herself to be insane): that's when all the memories come flooding back.

Sometimes, not knowing everything is what makes it all okay.

  • Conversely, Delight learned all of the good things in all of reality. She then went mad because there were no more delights to the multiverse, just endlessly repeating tropes.

Delight probably became Delirium sometime in (or after) the 17th-18th century, based on Destiny's portraits. The first time he summons his family, we see the portraits depict them as they appeared some time ago. (It is mentioned that he hasn't updated his decor in a while.) Delirium's painting shows a beautiful child with flowers in her hair, most definitely Delight. (Seeing the painting might even be what prompts Desire to mockingly call Delirium Delight later.) Death and Dream wear clothing that fits that era. (Though perhaps someone who knows fashion history better than I can give a more specific time?)

  • Except that Delirium is portrayed as herself and not Delight during Orpheus' wedding, in Greek Antiquity.

    • Well, in some weird mystical twisty topsy-turvy way, Daniel has always been Dream of the Endless. So it might follow that when Delight became Delirium, she changed retroactively as well.

      • That doesn't really fit with how we see her as Delight in Dream's story in Endless Nights, which takes place long before life even began on Earth. Incitentally, we also briefly see the first Despair in that story; she's somewhat similar, but in no way identical, to the modern-day version; kinda like how Daniel is similar, yet different from Morpheus.

      • Delight always holds a bit of delirium within it. Have you never heard someone described as being delirious with joy? As such, it's entirely possible that Delirium was always Delight, and Delight was always Delirium, only the dominant personification changed.

Morpheus was affected by his brief visit to Delirium's realm.
In Endless Nights, Daniel says that he cannot enter Delirium's realm because only the insane can go in and out unscathed. However, Morpheus did exactly that during the previous "Brief Lives" arc and he didn't go mad.

Or did he? Morpheus's Gambit Roulette at the end seemed a tad crazy, especially the fact that he committed suicide. He may have harbored these doubts and fears about change long before, but the touch of Delirium on his mind could have given his subconscious the final push it needed to go past the point of no return. Daniel, privy to the former Dream's memories, would have realized the true power of Delirium and deemed her realm too dangerous for even the Endless to enter.

  • Alas, this one is easily defused when you remember that several of the machinations for his suicide were set up before "Brief Lives", to the point of BL itself being part of them. See Below.
    • It may have been that her realm was only too dangerous for him because of the weird 'sanity seizure' moment she was having. (After all, sane people presumably enter Delirium's realm for brief moments when ill or on drug trips.) This idea might be backed up by Delirium's threat that she could drive Morpheus mad while he was in her realm—simply being there wasn't damaging, but it did make him vulnerable. And if Delirium wasn't in full control of her actions, she might destroy the mind of anyone who entered.
      • This troper always figured that the implication was that Dream was always crazy. He does rather come off that way.

Volume 10 fucked up the world and everything that followed was a mass hallucination.
Everyone in the world was, simultaneously, put to sleep to attend the Sandman's funeral. No one controlled the weapons systems, vehicles, power supplies, nuclear reactors or anything else. This resulted in a motherfucking nuclear apocalypse and the world became an uninhabitable piece of shit. Sandman's survivors decided to resurrect everyone who died in the chaos and create a hallucination where everyone would think he lived a normal happy life.
  • It's entirely possible that they only fell asleep for a split second— which can seem considerably longer.
  • Given the odd way time passes in dreams, there's really no need to assume that everyone in the world is asleep at the same time, nor do we need to assume people are "put to sleep" in any unusual, supernatural way. It could be that as everyone falls asleep naturally, they go to attend the wake, which exists in dreamtime, outside normal time. That way everyone can be there at once, but not asleep at once.
    • Especially when you start to take into account time zones.
    • People are definitely not all asleep at once in the real world- when Alex wakes up, Paul is awake and has been all day, having spent it at Jack's funeral.
  • And regardless, even if everyone fell asleep simultaneously, nothing like the above would take place. Nuclear weapons need to be actively launched, and untended nuclear plants just shut down in a few hours. By far the largest issue would be all the airplanes in the air - any close to their destinations would be doomed to crash. Those with long distance ahead might be fine, thanks to the autopilots.
  • It's also explicitly stated that everybody attends the funeral when they next fall asleep, made possible due to the reality-distorting power of the Endless in general and Dream in particular.
  • Hold on, does everybody alive at the time of the funeral attend, or everybody across all of time? I thought the latter, with all the implied non-simultaneity that requires.

The punishment for the murderer of the first Despair was becoming the second Despair.
No real evidence, but it's an awfully appropriate punishment. We know the murderer is a male, but having his gender changed to conform with Despair's when he becomes her is entirely possible, considering the way baby Daniel is physically changed to become Dream. It also fits with what we know of the murderer's punishment: he will take all of eternity to die, since he's now one of the Endless. And what suffering could be worse than to be the embodiment of despair?
  • Plus that thing where she keeps tearing her skin with the hook looks to be some sort of self-punishment. Either the murderer of the first Despair is punishing himself or the Endless made the new Despair have this compulsion.
  • Sorry, doesn't work. It's explicitly said at least once that the current Despair was "split off" from Desire — that's why they're so close. Unless you think Desire killed the first Despair — which isn't entirely impossible, but then she ought to be tormented by the Kindly Ones.
    • Yes, but the murderer would have probably been one who desired to rid the world of despair and in that sense is one of desires creations.
  • I just though they were twins, born at the same time - and that means the primal form of them, not just the aspects that we see. Though I can't see Desire being in any state of punishment, or "taking the rest of eternity to die" - s/he seems to be enjoying itself quite nicely.
    • Also, this Despair has expressed admiration for the first Despair, and even fear about the task of filling her shoes. Even if the murderer had since realized the importance of despair and accepted it, one would think this statement (one of very few moments when someone refers to the first Despair) would be tinged with personal regret. And again, this Despair loves her work, sees beauty and wonder in suffering.
  • The new Dream is not Daniel he is Dream of the Endless, just with a new perspective. Daniel just provided the seed for that new aspect. In the same way, the first Despair's killer could be someone who lashed out after reaching the Despair Event Horizon and then provided the seed for the new Despair. It could also be that the killer is not in charge of the new Despair's personality, but is instead locked away inside, unable to do anything but lament his new state.

Morpheus' death was due to a self-destruct mechanism.
So Dream of the Endless finally slipped. After letting his guard down once in centuries of vigilance, he allowed himself to be captured and kept in humiliating confinement for the best part of a few decades. Because of this, his realm fell apart completely.

A careful re-reading of The Sandman seems to indicate that from a certain point in Volume 1 - whether it be his imprisonment, his escape, or even just his viewing the ruined palace - Morpheus began subconsciously plotting his own death, down to the smallest details. Why? Because he failed. In such a tremendous failure, he recognised his inability to perform and automatically began preparing for his death and replacement with a better model. When you look at the series like this, you recognise hundreds of hints throughout - his laughing at the idea of a human replacement for The Sandman in "The Doll's House", his manipulation of Loki to help burn away Daniel Hall's mortality, his goading of Despair & Desire over Emperor Joshua Norton in "Fables and Reflections". It could even be that he purposefully engaged in his love affair with Thessaly and knew all along that it would end in tears, purely because that would force him to think that going to look for Destruction would be a good idea.

  • Not to mention that Thessaly's magic circle in The Kindly Ones kept Dream from being able to save his own life. If he hadn't had the love affair with her, she wouldn't have done that to him.
  • The Joshua Norton story happened before he was imprisoned, so it probably wasn't part of his planning.
    • However, Thessaly appears to have done the magic circle ritual merely to get out of a debt with the Three Ladies a little more life, and she was upset with Lyta Hall after it all went down. And Morpheus appeared to have been completely ignorant of where Daniel was - it does not appear that he hired Loki and Puck to steal the child (not Lucifer). It may have been entirely unconscious though. He is the lord of the unconscious, after all...
      • It's hinted Loki and Puck were working for Desire. Desire has been trying to bring the Furies down on Dream at least as far back as "Three Septembers and a January"; during the "Kindly Ones" arc Desire goes into hiding, and when Corinthian asks Puck who he was working for, Puck enigmatically replies "I could answer you endlessly, and perhaps you expect me to", strongly implying that he means Desire. But even this could be part of Dream's grand plan; after Desire failed with Rose and the Vortex, he threatened Desire specifically to rile it up and encourage it to try again.
      • When Dream visits Thessaly and observes her magic circle, he leaves - and shatters her windows in what appears to be a final melodramatic gesture. But then there's a panel where we see the circle at Thessaly's feet, and we can see that one of the shards has broken the circle. Dream's little way of saying that he could have crossed into the circle and taken Lyta's life - if he wanted to.
  • Agreed. Death herself, shortly before taking Dream's life, remarks that Dream has been (to paraphrase her) "making preparations for a long time - you just didn't admit to yourself that's what you were doing". On re-reading, it's clear that everything Morpheus does from his escape onwards is a case of him putting his affairs in order - freeing Calliope, making peace with Nala, settling his pact with Leonora, putting Orpheus out of his misery, releasing Nuala, all the "admin" work he does in the Dreaming and the waking world before the Furies arrive - or arranging his own death and replacement - stirring Lyta against him, overseeing Daniel's safety, helping Loki in the knowledge that Loki would hate being indebted to him, seeking out Destruction, killing Orpheus so that he would have family blood on his hands.

Morpheus was dead all along.
A variant of the above idea. In "Brief Lives", the Endless debate over which particular moment Orpheus 'died', implying that he may have been technically dead before Morpheus 'killed' him, and only ceased to consciously exist later. Similarly, characters such as Prez Rickard & Edward Paine have been shown to actively refuse to go along with Death and be properly dead, a gesture which involves taking her hand and accepting the fact that you are dead.

So here's the idea: Morpheus is killed in his first appearance. The body that is summoned and imprisoned in the opening of the first issue is dead, and the person inside it remains dead for the entire rest of the series. Morpheus actively realises this; he accepts it; and he spends the rest of his time specifically arranging everything for life after he is gone. Although Death does make physical contact with him several times, he nevertheless refuses to acknowledge the fact of his demise up until the climax of "The Kindly Ones"; it is possible that Death herself works out that he has been dead all along only at that specific last conversation of theirs.

  • Has credence in this troper's mind: after all, the magicians who imprisoned Dream were trying to imprison *Death*. If Dream was in fact dead, then they did partially succeed...

Jed Walker's encounter with the Corinthian, however brief, left him pretty fucked-up.
Along with a lot of systemic abuse, and having a couple of superheroes living inside his head for a while. When we do see him again after The Doll's House, in Rose's company at Morpheus' wake he's a college student, walking around with a six-pack of beer under his arm and generally looking... kind of like a stoner. Kind of like Shaggy, to be honest. While he may not be left with any glaringly obvious mental problems, he may well self-medicate, and probably still has tendencies towards escapism. Even as raised by a loving family, I can't imagine anyone who'd encountered the Corinthian in the position of victim as getting over the experience easily.

The killer of the first Despair was Superman.

Okay, it's one thats been trucking around for a while but considering that the first Despair inspired the creation (and destruction) of Krypton, in order to create a being that would be alone to mourn, to remember, to despair. This plan backfired on an epic scale, beccause despairing isn't exactly something that Superman does. After he found out, he somehow managed to kill the first Despair. Although the exact punishment for killing a member of the Endless isn't specific, Daniel told Lyta Hall that the killer of the first despair would take forever to die. Sounds about right.

  • It sounded more like an eternity of torment instead of mere immortality, which really doesn't fit Superman's existence. And Superman doesn't kill, and appeared in the Dreaming during the Wake with none of this mentioned.
  • Reasoning for and reasoning against here:
    • Against: Despair I is already dead by ancient times on Earth. Way before Superman in every continuity could kill Despair I without resorting to time travel.
    • For: Time travel? Not unheard of. Also, think of Superman's fate. He is hope. Hope that is the last of his world to live. Hope that is the last of Earth to live, in time. The last of the mortals to likely live, only to die when the last yellow star dies. To see the changing of times through dark ages and golden ages. To either sucumb to despair or become the unreachable symbol of hope that will lead others to despair that they can't match.
  • Of course Despair's plan backfired. Despair's plans always backfire. If Despair succeeded at anything, she/he/it would begin to lose reasons to despair. Also, consider that the Endless each define their opposites, and hope is very much the opposite of despair - Superman was not merely defined but created by his particular Endless...
  • The one who killed Despair wasn't just Superman, but the original Golden Age Superman. Due to Early Installment Weirdness, the original Supes was less The Cape and more a vigilante working for the downtrodden. While it was off-panel, he did kill/try to kill on occasion. Said Superman is better known as Kal-L of Earth-Two. Maybe he was sent back in time and killed Despair, in hopes that by eliminating the Cosmic Entity in charge of it he could free the entire universe of it. As for despairing, Kal-El had to suffer his entire universe never exist. While Superboy-Prime did kill him, that doesn't necessarily mean Daniel is lying:

The killer of the first Despair is Batman.
Or possibly one of Bats' ancestors during when the first Despair died. And given how Batman's ultimate fate is to reincarnate as himself forever, it matches up to the "forever to die" statement.
  • It would explain the shit out of the Joker. If the whole eternal torment is anything to go by.

The killer of the first Despair is the Nameless One
The Nameless One once committed a grievous sin so severe that he sought immortality to atone, only to have his personality rearrange itself after each resurrection, ensuring he would 'take the rest of eternity to die'. Ultimately, this cycle is broken by the power of belief. As a bonus, Planescape: Torment and The Sandman have extremely strong tonal and thematic similarities.

Lobo is to Destruction what Wesley Dodds is to Dream.
It's stated that before Lobo came along, Czarnia was a peaceful planet & no real explanation is given for his violent tendencies. When Destruction quit his job, the universe still needed somebody to serve as the embodiment of destruction, a position Lobo is only too happy to fill.
  • From the Lucifer series, it looks like Fenris (the wolf) is that embodiment - he pretty much says so himself, and has all the requisite powers (can destroy absolutely anything in the universe, can manifest as anything destructive, etc.)
  • Fenris seems to be all about entropy, while Destruction is about reaction and change - the nuclear reaction that keeps the stars going is under his power, for example.

The Corinthian can echolocate.

There wasn't just one suicide attempt, indirect attempt, by Morpheus, but several detailed in the series.
  • Attempt 1: The dream stone that gradually weakened him on use. Perhaps to the point that it would either leave him effectively a powerless mortal or trap him forever inside of it removing him from power in a similar manner as Destruction.
    • Daniel might currently be powered by his dream stone, the lesser of all of them. He has said he'll one day smash it. Possibly removing Dream from power again?
      • Actually, smashing the stone would simply release the power held in it, making it an integral part of Dream once more (the same thing that happened when Dee shattered the original ruby).
      • But, it was Morpheus who made the stone. It is also possible the power would attempt to return to him. Failing that, would become diffused throughout the universe.
  • A Change of Plans: Getting caught and imprisoned. It was a trial period as much as Morpheus could directly allow to see what a universe without A Dream would be like. One could argue that after this attempt he decided, at least subconsciously, that a replacement to at least ween the Universe off of Dream would be needed. See sub-WMG of Attempt 1.
  • Attempt 2: The order he went after the items is telling. His helmet was in the hands of demons and his dream stone in the hands of just humans, but powerful humans. The dream dust had fallen into the hands of the descendant of a former acquaintance. Dream, as we see, did not want to just commit suicide. He wanted torture and martyrdom for his death, he wanted to be killed. Punished. He planned the order specifically around this.
    • He gets the sand first because he needed it to help find the other two items and did not want to go to hell completely defenseless.
    • The helmet was next as it was the highest chance of being killed, but dying would also leave it in the hands of the demons. Torn between his desire to die and his desire to not leave such an artifact behind in their hands he went there second. Weakened by lack of the dream stone, another apparent softball, but armed with at least the sand.
    • The dream stone was an unknown for him, but being just in the hands of humans seemed easier to retrieve than the others. After all, we learn he eventually handed out dream stones like candy at Halloween. If he could escape Hell, but mortally wounded, it wasn't as big as a threat in his eyes. Until he encountered Dee, that is.
  • Attempt 3: The fight with Dee, Doctor Destiny. The quest till then was Dream having fun, getting out to the world after boredom. Think of it as a post-failed suicide high. Getting the bag of dust was easy. The high begins wearing off as he heads to Hell, but exists. He is glad to have it two of his icons back. Then he encounters a surprise. Someone who could fill in for him as a substitute if he loses, if he dies, Dee. Due to Dee's smashing of the Dream Stone Morpheus effectively couldn't lose at that point.
    • Substitue? Hardly. Dreams Substitute would need to be someone who wouldn't use the power to kill everyone—ie, not a psychopath like Dee. Dee's use of the ruby effectively rules him out.
    • Look at Desire's and Despair's actions. Look at Endless Waking and the first Corinthian. Dream wasn't upset at the first because he was a killer, but he became a mundane piece of trite horror. He lead his followers to live more in delusions and madness closer to that of Delirium's realm than to either accept reality or dream of being higher. Dream is effectively amoral until he began to change, and in the end you either change or die. Pre-changed Dream, which this early Morpheus might still qualify as, would have likely glossed that over as an early power rush.
  • Attempt X: Morpheus' final fate.

The King of Pain that tempts Joshua Norton is the same from The Police's song
  • It's his destiny.

Delirium was once Delight, and still is from time to time
  • Since obviously happiness and delight do still exist in the world, then depending on the state of the majority, delirium flips between personas accordingly. If the world is in a particularly bad state, then Delirium is just that, however should the majority of the population become happier, Delirium flips right back around to Delight again.
    • Alternately, because the world is in such a crappy state (third world countries being the majority, %10 of the world controlling %90 of the wealth, environmental damage, etc.), Delight changed her nature to better reflect/provide happiness: the only people who can be really happy considering the state of things must be deluding themselves.
      • Planet Earth is just a small part of the provice of the Endless, and they also define ther opposites - Death defines life, Destruction defines creation...That people are sad shouldn't in itself do anything to the concept of the Delight. In any case, the Endless aren't suspectible to people's beliefs like gods are.

Destruction's departure and Delight's change to Delirium were both caused by the death of the first Despair.
  • The death of one of the Endless must be a pretty traumatic event, especially if they were murdered. Destruction responded by simply leaving. Delight couldn't be Delight anymore because she no longer knew Delight. So she changed to Delirium.
  • After all, endless delight without the memory of despair to hold you back is exactly that... Delirium.

Delirium is aware she is a comic book character.
  • She makes multiple references to knowing things that not even Destiny knows. As a specific, she cites that only she knows why she segued from Delight to Delirium. It could be that she became aware of her existance as a comic character and went maaaaaaaaaaaad.
    • Furthermore: when she, Dream, and Matthew were trying to get into a strip club to find Ishtar, and the bouncer was refusing them entrance because Matthew was a raven and Delirium was (apparently) a little girl, Dream basically used a Jedi Mind Trick and told the bouncer that they were all age-appropriate males wearing culture-appropriate clothing, and that they should be let in. Delirium then comments that she did that, "in the beginning." Which she did— the beginning of the story arc. Sure, we, the readers, would indeed mark that as 'the beginning', but why would she? 'The beginning' (ie, the apparent impetus for the quest, as opposed to the start of a comic book story arc) for her could just as easily have been something that happened before the beginning of the story proper, or when she came up with the quest in Desire's Threshold, or when Dream agreed to accompany her. Her arbitrary concept of what the beginning would be coincides with the audicene's almost seamlessly.

The Endless are the true embodiments of the lantern spectrum.
  • Destruction: Red Lantern Corps
  • Despair: Sinestro Corps
  • Destiny: Green Lantern Corps
  • Dream: Blue Lantern Corps
  • Delirium: Star Sapphires
  • Desire: Agent Orange
  • Death: Indigo Tribe. The Black Lantern Corps being the corrupted version.
    • Slight problems in that Destruction is not a raging entity at all, instead he himself speculated that he's more the embodiment of change. In fact, the Corps don't synch up very well to the Endless.
    • Perhaps they helped with the development of the Corps instead:
      • Death may have created the Life Entity itself, maybe with Destiny helping her. Nekron could represent who she used to be/is her middle management
      • Dream gave people the ability to make constructs, thus making their dreams into reality
      • Desire is responsible for the addictive qualities of the rings
      • Delirium is responsible for the insanity that the rings can bring
      • Destruction caused the emotional spectrum to splinter in the first place, and thus is responsible for the War of Light

Death is kinda pissed about Blackest Night.
  • Having to see some wannabe proclaim himself to be the embodiment of death while everybody else keeps getting killed and revived has to at least strike a nerve for her.
    • Jossed: She doesn't really care. It happens, she was busy, really sorry.
      • Where was this jossing- one of the comics, Word of God, or what?
      • Action Comics, number eight-ninety-something, Lex Luthor has a near-Death experience.
      • It may have said she didn't care about Blackest Night, but not if she's pissed at Nekron or not.

The Seven Dwarfs were based off the Endless.
  • I can match Dream and Sleepy, Destiny and Doc, Delirium and Dopey, Grumpy and Desire,... If anyone comes up with more/betterer matches, go for it.
    • Death is Happy, Despair is Sneezy and Destruction is Bashful?
    • Sounds good!

Nekron and the Black Racer are technically a part of Death in much the same way that The Dreaming is a part of Dream
She split off the Black Racer because frankly, she doesn't have the time to chase down the speedsters, so she split off the part of her in charge of collecting them. Nekron was that part of her in time immemorial which made her so gloomy and typical Reaper-ish; when she cheered up millions of years ago, she did so by splitting the darker part of herself into a separate consciousness, which then spent all the time since then festering and feeling resentment. Like with The Dreaming, although they're separate minds, they're still technically one entity; at some point in the future she's going to re-assimilate Nekron to stop him from going crazy again.
  • Black Racer is the god of death for the New Gods, no different from Hades or Hel. You're probably thinking of the Black Flash. I'm also like 90% sure that Nekron being death was jossed. I'd have to actually look but I could've sworn it was specified that Nekron was created as a balance to the emotional spectrum, not as an embodiment of Death, he's just out of his gourd.
  • Death is the ultimate incarnation of her domain. Those other guys are middle management at best.

Loki was the first Despair's killer.
  • He will take until the end of time to die, and he will be in agony the entire time. Plus, doesn't it seem just like something Loki would do - try to kill a fundamental force of nature just to mess with everybody?
    • Loki isn't supposed to suffer till the end of time though, just until Ragnarok when he and Heimdall kill eachother.

The Sandman takes place in the DCAU.
  • This. YES!

Delirium was always Delirium,until she ret-conned Delight into existence.

Delirium is the true, if unknowing, killer of Morpheus.
  • When Destiny told here that retrieving her dog would require a great sacrifice, she subconsciously retconned all of reality so that Dream would be in a position to be near death and so that her actions in searching for Barnabas would contribute to Dream's death.

There is an eighth member of the Endless.

The other former raven still in the Dreaming.
  • Lucien is one, though he no longer recalls. Dream specifically mentions another is present, but no one is ever explicitly stated so.
    • This troper's favored candidate is the Corinthian, who is the only character in the series to directly compare himself to Matthew, and who does indeed have a fondness for eyes. The Corinthian is also pointedly spared annihilation, so that a piece of himself might be used and remade later. Two others of Dream's creations get remade after their deaths, but without such: Merv Pumpkinhead, and Fiddler's Green. Both very clearly remember their former lives, and are the same entity, which implies that the Corinthian is significantly different from a normal dream, even beyond being one of Morpheus' favorites.
      • Strong argument, but there is a possibly crack in one crucial difference: the Corinthian is being remade because the initial version was flawed; Fiddler's Green and Mervin are being remade exactly as they were. Perhaps the Corinthian getting a large overhaul has to do with his more amnesiac glimpses of his former self.
    • What about Eve herself? She is referred to as the "Raven Woman" at one point, and although that might just be because she lives with the ravens, she could also have once been one.

Delirium will become Delusion.
  • Because Destruction mentioned a 'next change' and it fits the theme.

The behavior of the Endless changes based on which pantheon they're participating in at any given time
We know they were members of the Greek Gods for a while so participation in other pantheons isn't out of the questionnote , and we know from Morpheus' old girlfriend he had imprisoned that their appearance varies based on who's looking, so changes in behavior and mannerisms to fit the narrative "theme" of the pantheon they're with at the moment wouldn't be out of the question. If anything else, Dream (AKA, prince of stories) probably gets them to do it just to avoid messing with the various pantheons' narrative cohesion and thematic air.

Delirium was a lot stronger in the 1950s, 1960s, and early 1970s than she is now
Either as a result of, or as a cause of, what we know as the Silver Age.

The first Despair was killed by Batman.
Who knows the context of this event, but clearly it led to the circumstances described in Neil Gaiman's Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader?, where we learn that whenever Batman dies, he is reborn to become Batman again in a different universe, always doomed to experience the death of his parents and the following torment of his life in trying to exert justice that never sticks because of Joker Immunity. Wouldn't that be perfect punishment for the killer of Despair?

Black Hand is to Death as Wesley Dodds is to Dream.
Wesley Dodds has/had a portion of Dream's soul in him. That's why he took the name of Sandman and had supernatural dreams. So, if Black Hand had a portion of Death's soul, it would explain why Scar called him the embodiment of death. Also, the Guardians don't know about the Endless, or if they did, they 'forgot' it so there wouldn't be a repeat of what happened to Killalla. It also helps explain why they ditched emotion.

The Endless exist in all realities.
That's why they seem to sometimes exist in the DCU and sometimes not. Do you really think that a company could get away with publishing a story about Hyperman and the Weirdzos without getting shut down by a worried Superman because of 'Clint Clarke?' And yet, Superman appears in the Wake.
  • The Kindly Ones? The Corinthian? ALL REALITIES?
  • Canon. In Brief Lives, when Dream and Delirium go to Pharamond to arrange for transportation, he asks if they will be traveling off-planet. Dream specifies that they will be staying on this Earth.
  • Also, recall that Dream interacts with Prez Rickard's "alternate Earth" in the 1970's, while he is still imprisoned by Burgess on THIS Earth. Ergo, though basically the same character, the Endless in each reality is in some way a separate instance of that character.

Dream didn't actually die until The Wake.
In "A Dream of a Thousand Cats", it's stated that if a thousand beings dream the same thing, it will happen. Dream didn't spend the entire series orchestrating his suicide, it only showed him that he would have to die because he couldn't change. So Death told the other Endless that Dream had died and they started the funeral, Daniel became partially Dream while the first Dream was still alive, and Dream's last act was to bring the whole world into a dream where he was dead, which killed him.
  • This makes SO MUCH SENSE. It never seemed to me like the Furies (powered by Lyta Hall of all people) would have the authority or the power to kill Dream, considering he's an Endless. But if he killed himself by using the Dreaming as a tool; it all makes sense.
    • The Furies can't kill anyone (the residents of the Dreaming don't count because they're constructs and not properly real). It's not part of their function. They can only hound people until they end their own lives.
      • This was why it was actually Death that finally took Dream, directly and personally, after she told the Furies to go stuff themselves. But remember, it is constantly emphasized that the Endless are abstract beings. Their persona's are just something for other beings to interact with. Otherwise they are their realms. Hence Destruction did not seek to die. He knew that if he did then another persona would just have to take his place and be stuck with the same problems he had.

Death and Nekron do not get along.
While Death didn't seem to have any problem with the dead rising from their graves, I doubt she'd like Nekron-the guy decided to impose himself as the personification of death when he's clearly not(think a cosmic version of Small Name, Big Ego) and if he succeeded in killing everyone, Death would be out of a job. There's also the fact he acted like a hypocrite-claiming to be an emotionless entity yet greedily collecting sleeper agents, suggesting that he's lying. After being beaten, Death likely chewed out on Nekron for this. Nekron would probably detest Death too for being too lenient. And I can imagine Black Hand not liking the idea of the reaper being an emotional, caring individual instead of the neutral, oblivion he dreams of.
  • Technically, Death takes everybody. In the fullness of time, she would eventually take Nekron too.

Some of the more malignant/active cosmic entities are evil or shadow counterparts of the Endless.

The Corinthian used to be Dream's beloved.
  • (In the hierarchical sense, not the strictly emotional one.) Back when Dream was still doing the whole Classical Greek thing and he was still in Dream's good graces, they had a thing. As cultural norms/narrative tropes changed, their relationship altered, but this makes Dream's chastising and unmaking him once he's gone completely off the rails from this intended purpose another instance of making peace (such as it is) with a former lover. Their creator-and-created relationship (and the fact that Dream seems to at least consider himself mostly heterosexual) allows him to be less sentimental than where he's elsewhere playing the brooding Byronic lover. (Definitely in Poison Oak Epileptic Trees territory, though, especially with whatever Parental Incest implications can be drawn from the fact that Dream literally created him.)

Delight was raped.
  • Delight was a young girl. Delirium is a teenager. Sexuality is a big part of growing up, so the bad thing that made Del grow up may have been sexual in nature. This may also explain why the first Despair was murdered; it was a failed attempt to keep Delight from going insane.
    • I'm guessing Desire was responsible.

Delight existed to become Delirium.
  • The Endless are their opposites as well as themselves, and delight is superfluous once you have Despair. But no one starts out crazy—not even madness itself.
    • Perhaps Delight became Delirium when she realized that she was always meant to.
    • Perhaps in the early days the universe was a much simpler place, and it was easier to be happy. But as it expanded and grew more and more complex, with more and more alternate realities spawning off the original, things became more confusing and complicated, and hence Delight became Delirum. This is almost a metaphor for comics in general. Back in the Golden and even Silver Ages, stories were simpler, morals were more clearly defined, everything was more straightforward. But as the years passed, and the reading audience became older, continuities got more tangled, moral ambiguity arose and innocent simplicity was gone.

The commedienne in chapter 8 was killed by The Joker.
  • She's makes a crack about Batman just before she dies, and in general the Joker doesn't approve of anyone else joking about Bats. Further, electrocution by the mic is suspiciously similar to the ol' electric joy-buzzer.

The Mane Six will turn into their universe's equivalents of the Endless after they become alicorns.
  • Discord is Destruction, the prodigal son. You can probably figure out the others yourself.

Dream will not be the last to die.
  • At some point, perhaps far in the future, another one of the Endless will do the same. It doesn't happen very often (Despair and Dream being the only examples so far) but there is a very real, however slight, possibility of it happening again. Destiny knows this, of course, but he's not really telling.
    • Destiny and Death both appear at the end of the universe in The Books of Magic, seemingly unchanged from their present incarnations. At this point the other Endless are already gone, but it is quite possible that they underwent more transitions over a hundred billion years.

Harley Quinn is a Chosen One or avatar of Delirium.
  • A corrupted cutie with a hard life who was once happy, but got her will broken in a big way? Manic and gleeful, even to the point of not understanding the damage she's causing? Definitely not in touch with reality and deluding herself big time over "Mister J?" Yeah. I'm betting the Youngest of the Endless took one look at Dr. Harleen Quiznel and said "That one's Mine."

The Endless were created with Greek Mythology in mind.
Specifically, they're inspired by the children of Nyx. In Classical mythology, Nyx was the primordial goddess of night and one of the first beings born out of Chaos, alongside Gaea, Tartarus, Erebus and sometimes Chronos and Erebus. Her offspring, the daimons, represented certain concepts. Having learned that the mother of the Endless is Night, that got me thinking; what if the Endless were partly inspired off this? Destiny is a Composite Character adaptation of the Fates, Death is obviously Thanatos(even sharing the peaceful aspect), Despair is Oizys(the spirit of misery and woe), Desire is Eros(sometimes considered a scion of Nyx) and Delirium Eris. Obviously some things don't add up, but much of them are similar to Greek mythology.

Death is the same Reaper as from Paradise Lost.
After seeing Satan and Sin's in destroying humanity by deception, Death realized humans would endlessly resist a disgusting amorphous shadow trying to consume them. So, it decided to become she, a conventionally attractive and joyful woman to ease humanity into accepting the unnatural separation from their bodies. This is also why Death is the only of the Endless to spend time bonding with humans, since she wishes to know the best way not to terrify them. She and Lucifer also arranged so that the younger Endless would be ignorant of their origin as Fallen Angels, so much so that Dream refused to acknowledge his demonic origin when Shakespeare said it to his face. Who else would the Devil give the keys to Hell to, but one of his own kind?

The price Johanna Constantine got from Dream was the resurrection of her daughter Mouse in some form or other.
There's no indication she ever married, and she had to have descendants to carry on the family name from somewhere. It also seems to have been one of her bigger regrets and something she might have wanted fixed.

Not all of the "Collectors" were significantly changed by Dream's Cruel Mercy
Yes, plenty of them had their illusions, but it's possible that some were Card Carrying Villains none of that made a difference to.


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