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The Sandman: 10 Reasons Morpheus Is Actually A Villain

Major Spoilers Ahead For The Sandman!

The Sandman hasn’t been out for long, but it’s already a major success. Neil Gaiman‘s famous comics already have a large fan base, and it’s only getting wider with this Netflix adaptation. The show follows Dream, an abstract entity that’s supposed to take of people’s dreams and nightmares.

However, Morpheus is a complex and layered character, and he’s not the typical hero of a story. A lot of his actions during the show are questionable and leave the audience wondering whether the Sandman is a good or a bad character. Even though Morpheus grows a lot during the ten episodes of the first season, there are plenty of moments where viewers thought he was the actual villain of the story.


10 He Creates The Nightmares

Lord Morpheus is in charge of creating nightmares and dreams for all of humanity. He explains that nightmares are crucial for human lives to face their fears and understand themselves. However, a lot of Morpheus’s nightmares turn evil and go around the world creating Havoc, like The Corinthian.

RELATED: 10 Things From The Sandman That Only Make Sense If You Read The Comics

On top of not having full control of his nightmares, Morpheus also expects them to frighten people under all circumstances, even those who are already living a nightmare. For example, he punishes Gault for trying to keep Jet’s dreams happy since the child was already suffering so much.

9 He’s Very Proud

One of Morpheus’ biggest flaws is his pride. When Alex asks him to forgive him in order to liberate him, Morpheus’ prefers to remain a prisoner, in spite of the damage his absence is causing not only on Earth but on the dreaming. It’s understandable that the death of his beloved raven, Jessamy, would trigger this reaction, but still, Alex was trying to survive his father’s abuse, which Morpheus’ had already witnessed.

Furthermore, when he goes to hell and encounters his ex-lover, who he previously sent to this realm as a punishment for an unnamed act he committed against him. Even though she begs him for his forgiveness, Morpheus refuses, once again coming across as one of the meanest characters on the show.

8 He’s Vengeful

Morpheus is a very arrogant being, and as such, he gets incredibly outraged when people dare to defy him. For this reason, he feels entitled to punish others when they go against his bidding. For example, he puts Alex to sleep after he felt Alex had wronged him, although Alex did it against his own wishes.

When Gault decides to stop being a nightmare and becomes a good dream for Jed, using her shape-shifting skills to turn into his mother, Morpheus believes she went against her duties and punishes her. Even though later he realizes his mistake, his first instinct was to be revengeful. Morpheus could become one of the most hated characters in TV shows.

7 He Underestimates Human Feelings

For a being whose job revolves around humanity’s needs, Morpheus doesn’t understand how human feelings works, which ends up with him acting like an awful person. When Johanna’s ex-girlfriend is dying, Morpheus simply leaves her to die in pain. However, Johanna makes him realize how wrong he is, and then he gives Rachel a more peaceful death.

He does something very similar with Lyta as well. Unable to understand human grief, he kills Hector in front of her, without trying to make the situation easier for the couple. He also threatens Lyta with taking away her baby, a ruthless action that doesn’t take into account the connection between mother and child. After this, he loses Rose’s trust, who starts seeing him as a villain.

6 His Punishments Are Out Of Proportion

When Morpheus thinks he has been wronged, he tends to react without thinking about the person’s motives, and his punishments are unfair a lot of the time. Keeping a person in hell for more than ten thousand years, for example, seems excessive.

RELATED: 10 Memes That Perfectly Sum Up The Sandman

His way of punishing people or the entities that work for him is aggressive and revengeful. Most of the time, Morpheus doesn’t try to understand where they come from and reacts in an arbitrary and oppressive way, just like a villain would.

5 He Believes The End Justifies The Means

When he’s looking for his mask, Morpheus is willing to sacrifice a human’s life, so he gets the name of the demon who has it in his possession. He also sacrifices Gregory, Cain, and Abel’s beloved gargoyle, so he can obtain the powers to locate his tools. On top of that, he was going to kill Rose Walker to save the dreaming realm, instead of actively working on finding an alternative.

Believing his evil actions are justified by a greater purpose is exactly what a villain would do, in fact, is what John Dee does. A hero would always try to find another way to solve things instead of killing someone. However, Morpheus believes killing a person is justifiable in certain situations.

4 He’s Extremely Self-Righteous

Morpheus has a fixed set of moral rules that he believes are unmovable. Instead of trying to create solutions for new and difficult problems, Morpheus thinks that his moral superiority grants him the authority to destroy someone else’s life. However, although he believes he’s acting for the greater good, a lot of his actions are questionable.

Furthermore, he has a black and white way of seeing the world. He’s often unable to forgive people for wronging him because he always thinks he’s in the right. At the end of the season, Morpheus starts changing these bad habits, but up to this point, he acts in less than ideal ways, for which reason the Sandman is not one of the most likable characters.

3 He’s Unwilling To Negotiate

Morpheus’ way of ruling the dreaming realm is despotic a lot of the time, even Lucifer Morningstar is more willing to negotiate with his fellow demons. Morpheus rarely listens to the other entities’ needs or ideas, underestimating most of their feelings or perspectives.

RELATED: 10 Best Quotes From The Sandman

At some point, he even creates a breach between him and Lucienne, since he tells the librarian she should only concern herself with her duties at the library. Not only does this sort of behavior creates a terrible environment in his realm, but it brings very serious consequences for it since Lucienne’s inputs are crucial for the well-being of the dreaming.

2 He Abuses His Powers

Dream, along with his siblings, is a powerful entity of a god-like nature, who has the capacity to completely alter human lives at will. For this reason, he should limit the use of his power to maintain and protect the dreaming. However, Morpheus uses his special abilities to punish others or out of capriciousness.

He and Death, for example, allow Hob Gadling to live as long as he wants just so Morpheus can prove that no one would like to live for long. Using their powers to solve petty arguments is not exactly responsible or a heroic trait.

1 He’s Willing To Kill

The willingness to kill is the true mark of a villain. Throughout the series Morpheus takes several peoples’ lives without even thinking about it, may it be directly or indirectly. He puts Alex in eternal sleep, kills Gregory to obtain his magic, and sends Hector to the land of death in front of his wife.

It seems that Morpheus doesn’t truly understand the impact of death, maybe because as an immortal unattached being, he hasn’t experienced either the fear of death or mourning a loved one. Whatever the reason, killing as casually and unaffected as Morpheus does is simply villainous behavior.

NEXT: 10 Best Takeaways From The Sandman Season 1

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