Recently, I finally started Neil Gaiman's award-winning graphic novel series, The Sandman. People had been recommending it to me for a while, and I really wanted to read it; however, it came to a head when someone signed on as Dream of the Endless for the Good Omens role-play and I thought, here's the perfect excuse - I REALLY need to know more about whom I'll be interacting with. ;P
I was so excited when I saw the first one, Preludes and Nocturnes, in the Nanyang JC library, along with a Japanese fairy-tale version by Gaiman, The Dream Hunters. I opened Preludes and Nocturnes - and was swept away.
Dream is one of the seven siblings known as the Endless - in age order, if I recall correctly they are: Destiny, Death, Dream, Destruction, Desire, Despair, and Delirium. (Desire and Despair are twins, and Delirium was once Delight before she changed - also, Destruction left the Endless about three centuries ago). His appearance "depends on who's watching", but generally he is very tall, with skin so pale it's white, and he wears black - sometimes he wears a black cloack with flames on the hem. His eyes are deep, almost empty-looking, and dark, like the midnight sky, and twin stars shine in their depths.
And yes, I was so obsessed that, while reading, I snapped pictures of the different faces of Dream, aka Lord Morpheus, with my camera and handphone.
( Enter the Dreaming, and view more pictures of Morpheus )
^ This is my handphone wallpaper.
( The cover of 'The Dream Hunters' )
A closeup of the awesome appearance of Morpheus on the cover of The Dream Hunters.
Aaand the rest of the Endless:
Death (with the ankh around her neck), Delirium (crazy hair), Destiny (hooded, with the book) , Desire (sexy androgyne), Despair (squat, not very pretty, to put it mildly), and Destruction (in the armour), as seen at the wedding of their nephew, Orpheus, to Eurydice.
Also, the cover of The Sandman: Book of Dreams
, because it was simply awesome:
I present Lord Morpheus, the Dream-King.
Now that I'm finally done with the pictures, let me rave about the dreams I have had in which Lord Morpheus appeared (I dream of Dream!), and those featuring him. As you would know if you're a Sandman
fan, there's a difference between dreaming about
him and his being in
The very first dream I had, where King Morpheus appeared, wasn't even a Sandman
dream; I was at school, with my friends, including some of my close friends from Anderson who weren't in my junior college o_O and I was holding a book. A thick, black book, which bore a remarkable physical resemblance to the copy of Gaiman's American Gods
I had fallen in love with earlier. However, this book had a different cover design and title, and the authors was me
. I held in my hands a book I had written, which had sold beautifully, and which had rave reviews on the back. A dream indeed. I can actually remember some of the story, and one day I shall write it out properly.
There's a sort of bridge thingy connecting the two sides, the two stairwells; it's hard to describe. There's also a sort of courtyard-like thingy on the 3rd level, open to the sky. So those standing on the bridge thingy on the 4th and 5th levels and look down on us. So, in the dream, I was standing in that open area on the third level. I turned. Standing on the bridge thing (I forgot if it was on the third or fourth level bridge though) and looking right at me was Morpheus himself.
I would have known him anywhere. Tall and pale, no, white, he stood with his messy black hair and black robe billowing in the wind, although there was no wind. And his eyes
... Like twin stars in the darkness, they held mine, although they seemed reddish - in the book that happens when he's angry, but he seemed calm enough here - and then, as I recognised him, I woke up.
That was an example of a dream he was in - he appeared there briefly. Perhaps the Dream Lord was curious?
The next dream brought me
to the Dreaming, the realm of Morpheus.
I was in a large, no, huge
room, with black walls and floor and ceiling. It was a shiny sort of black, like black marble. And I knew it for the throne room of the castle at the heart of the Dreaming, the throne room of the Dream King.
Then, Morpheus himself stood before me. I don't know how, but in the dream I got the feeling that he certainly wasn't expecting me. Still, as I said, I knew him. He was even taller and paler, with the usual messy black hair, and his rather tattered-looking robe. The cloak that formed itself around him then, though, seemed made out of shadows. And his eyes, as I have said, were twin stars that perhaps ought to have scared me, but didn't. I was awed but not afraid.
Sadly, I can't remember much more of this particular dream. :( I have the vague feeling that he was polite, and that we had a conversation - then, in the dream, I realised that this was a dream, and suspected the Gate of Horn, the gate of true dreams. Then I woke, feeling a little sad at having woken up, but also elated at having seen and talked to Morpheus. I could remember a bit of the conversation then, I think, or at least more details. But then I fell asleep then, and dreamed about the Lord Shaper once more, and forgot the details of the previous dream.
In this dream, we were on an island, in a place I instinctively knew as Greece. The waves crashed and gulls called, but we were not on the shore, we were on a grassy cliff. I say we
, but I myself was not there, I think; I watched, as dreamers do. Morpheus was there, in the aspect of Oneiros. His wife, the muse Calliope and mother of Orpheus, was also there, as was Death, Dream's sister, and a few other women I cannot recall right now (this was last week, and dreams of Dream are hard to remember). I think
Nuala was there too. I do recall that in my dream, the word gossip
came to mind. The women talked about stuff, I think they mentioned Orpheus once or twice. This had to be before the death of Eurydice, because Calliope was still with Morpheus, and everyone seemed happy. XD I don't recall Morpheus himself joining in much; he was staring across the sea at another island.
When I woke after that dream, when I was still in that half-asleep state where you suddenly feel like you're a genius because of some epiphany in your dream you still believe to be true, I somehow knew instantly that this dream came to me through the Gate of Ivory, the gate of false dreams.
I had more dreams featuring the Dream-Lord after that, because I remember them vaguely, and waking from them - sadly, I can't remember them properly. :( I'm pretty sure I returned to the Dreaming at least once.
MAJOR SPOILER ALERT!!!
Near the end of The Kindly Ones
, Lord Dream of the Endless, Kind Morpheus, the Lord Shaper, the Dream-Lord, Kai'ckul, whatever you wish to call him, dies
. :'( As I read the panels leading to his death, the tears were pricking at the back of my eyes. I choked up as he died.
Tears welling up, I abandoned my usual practice of reading a new book twice to pick up The Wake
. And as I looked at the beautiful illustrations, as I watched people entering the Dreaming for the wake of Lord Morpheus, as I watched the remaining Endless preparing, I began to cry. I found myself sharing Matthew the raven's sentiments towards Daniel Hall, the 'new' Dream, the one with messy white
hair, and wearing white robes. As he [the new Dream] stated that he was Dream of the Endless, I almost hated him; as I sobbed brokenly, I was mentally screaming over and over, "YOU'RE NOT DREAM
! You're not the Lord Morpheus we got to know; you're not the dark king who haunted my dreams!"
Strange; I was feeling such grief and pain for a fictional character, one I only got to know over the past couple of weeks. Yet, he had come so often in my dreams. And I had really grown to like and emphatise with him.
I cried and cried as I read; I had to keep stopping, holding my head in my arms and brushing away my tears. A couple of times, I even had to get up and find tissue to wipe my tears. I cried for more than half an hour, as I read The Wake
, sobbing as Endless and mortal alike spoke at the wake of Lord Morpheus, and a bit after that, in bed.
[At the end of Brief Lives
, after he grants Orpheus death, Morpheus remembers himself advising Orpheus when Eurydice died: And at times the fact of her death will hit you like a blow to the chest
(I can't remember exactly what he said here, something about pain, and it being hard to go on). She is dead. You are alive. So live. So live
, Morpheus repeats to himself. Then he enters a bleak, empty room, and sit in an armchair, with his head in his hand.
Also, at the end of The Song of Orpheus
, and again as repeated by Orpheus before Morpheus grants him death in Brief Lives
, is what Morpheus says to his son: Your life is your own. Your death, likewise. Always, and forever, your own. Farewell. We shall not meet again
. These two scenes were so beautifully sad; they play over and over in my head. Especially now.]
And here's something I still wonder at; I tossed and turned last night, trying desperately to sleep. And when I finally fell asleep, I dreamed of the Wake.
I was there, at the wake of Dream of the Endless, King Morpheus. I saw his friends, like Robert Gadling and Larissa the Thessalian witch. And I saw the Endless; especially Death, she sticks out in my mind. My mind felt strange, almost as if it were floating, or delirious, the same way I feel when I'm running a high fever or when I'm about to faint - perhaps because Delirium was there? I remember that, as I saw the Endless up close, there was this strange, high-pitched, insistent beeping noise. Finally, it pulled me back to reality.
I opened my eyes with a frustrated growl, to see the light on and my sister doing something to the air-conditioning, hence the beeping. I was so angry
I'd been pulled from the wake. (Irony: my waking pulls me from the wake)
I feel asleep again, and this time I dreamed a dream I am certain should have belonged to the elf Nuala.
I knew somehow, in the dream, that it was something that Nuala was dreaming. Sometimes they were on a boat, sometimes they were on the seashore. Either way, Lord Morpheus and Nuala the elf-maiden stood there, alone together. In the Sandman
story arc itself, Nuala loves Morpheus, but he does not return that love. He offers to give her a dream of his love, but she says she already has it. And then he returns - to the Dreaming and to his death. In the dream, somehow I knew this was after The Wake
; Nuala was dreaming about Morpheus and that he returned her love.
I remember them talking, in the dream; I cannot remember the actual conversation now, only that it was sad and beautiful. And finally, he embraced her and they kissed [with me silently going finally
]. Then I woke, knowing that this should have belonged to Nuala, and that it came through the Gate of Horn, with that certainty you have when only half-awake. Did I dream Nuala's dream for
her, or with
Either way, I shall write it into a story, if I can. ;P
And as you can see, The Sandman
has me completely under his spell. XP I absolutely love it, although it's made me shed as many tears as I did for Deathly Hallows
- and that was for so many deaths; this is just for one death. All hail Neil Gaiman!
Meanwhile, it's past midnight, and sleep has been calling me for two hours; I've been fighting it to post this. I'm going to go and give in; I would like to see Morpheus again in my dreams, but he is dead, and I have little wish to see the new Dream.
A very goodnight and sweet Dreams to all of you! ;)