The Sandman’s John Dee Explained: Dreams Do Come True

Editor’s Note: The following accommodates The Sandman spoilers.While Netflix’s adaptation of Neil Gaiman‘s The Sandman follows the identical storyline because the comedian books, the collection additionally adjustments just a few issues in most important characters’ origins, together with John Dee (David Thewlis). In the comedian books, Gaiman tried to jot down the Endless epic contained in the confines of the DC universe. So, when it was time to decide on the large villain for his first quantity, Preludes and Nocturnes, the author used a forgotten Justice League villain, John Dee, aka Doctor Destiny. However, for the collection, Netflix couldn’t use different DC characters, which led them to adapt the villain’s origin. So, who’s John Dee in Netflix’s The Sandman? And how did they alter the villain for the live-action adaptation?

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Instead of choosing an existent villain and pitching him towards Morpheus (Tom Sturridge), The Sandman leans over John Dee’s connection to Morpheus’s imprisonment. That’s as a result of, within the collection, John Dee is the undesirable baby of Roderick Burgess, os Magus (Charles Dance), the grasp of the mystic arts who summoned and trapped Morpheus for over a century. John’s mom, Ethel Cripps (Niamh Walsh /Joely Richardson), flees from Magus as soon as she finds out she’s pregnant – Magus desires to pressure her to get an abortion. She additionally steals Dream’s instruments from Magus’ vault, a selection that, sadly, would ceaselessly curse her son.

To escape London and make a life for herself in America, Ethel sells the Pouch of Dream Sand. She additionally trades Dream’s Helm with a demon from hell in change for an amulet of safety. The Dreamstone ruby, nevertheless, she retains for herself, lending the jewel to her son on his birthdays, so he might make his desires come true. Addicted to the facility of the Dreamstone, John steals the instrument from his mom and adjustments its properties so it will solely ever reply to his desires. However, the Dreamstone energy is an excessive amount of for any human thoughts to deal with, and as soon as John loses management, he finally ends up murdering many individuals. That’s why Ethel decides to lock up her son in a psychological establishment, the place he stays for thirty years. Worse, Ethel instructs the medical doctors by no means to say the Dreamstone, deceiving John concerning the artifact’s existence.


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After Morpheus escapes his jail, the Corinthian (Boyd Holbrook) realizes his former grasp will attempt to get better his instruments. Wanting to forestall Morpheus from retrieving his misplaced powers, the Nightmare convinces Ethel she’s in peril. Scared concerning the chance that Morpheus is coming to take revenge on her and John for stealing his instruments, Ethel goes to go to her son within the psychological facility. There, she items him her amulet of safety, asking him by no means to go after the Dreamstone once more.

Despite Ethel’s pleas, John makes use of the amulet of safety to flee the psychological facility and go after the ruby. After a long time of heavy medicine and being lied to concerning the Dreamstone’s existence and powers, John developed a pathological aversion to any form of lies. Of course, as everyone knows, mendacity is a part of grownup life and an necessary instrument to make use of in on a regular basis life. Unable to grasp this, John makes use of the Dreamstone to take away lies from the waking world. And that, in fact, results in people giving into their deepest needs with out fascinated by the results, which in flip results in a number of destruction.


Removing each form of lie from the world additionally removes desires. So, John’s infantile visions of truths and lies end result within the disappearance of hope, fantasy, and wishful considering. It’s no marvel he turns into certainly one of Morpheus’ biggest enemies, because the King of Dreams’ duty is to make sure individuals within the waking world can maintain dreaming, in order that life will be bearable.

Netflix’s The Sandman retains all of the powers of John Dee and his place as Morpheus’ first huge nemesis. However, the collection erases the villain’s connection to the Justice League, focusing solely on his household historical past. This permits the collection to discover the villain’s damaged psyche, turning him right into a terrifying unhealthy man. And with Thewlis’ sensible efficiency bringing John Dee to life, Netflix’s collection turns into the most effective adaption of the story we might have dreamed of.


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