The Sandman is one of the greatest shows in the recent fantasy scene, bringing both familiar mythology and original concepts to our screens. Many have been hooked by Dream and the other Endless, but we've seen relatively little about their relations; for instance, why does Desire hate Dream so much?
As expected, spoilers below:
The Sandman: Desire's Plan Explained
In Netflix's The Sandman, Desire and his twin, Despair, have a rocky relationship with Dream, to say the least.
The siblings aren't featured much in the show - though Desire does steal the scene every single time they appear - to the point that one might wonder why they're even there.
Desire, on the other hand, influences the first season of The Sandman in subtle but very tangible ways.
While Dream was captive - a fact that caused some dreamers, including Unity Kinkaid to remain asleep for years - Desire orchestrated a plan to cause immeasurable pain to their sibling.
Desire impregnated Unity Kinkaid in her dreams. As a result, Unity, who was supposed to be the dream vortex of her era, escaped this fate, but her great-granddaughter, Rose Walker, inherited the chaotic vortex powers.
As a result, Dream got very close to killing Rose before Unity realized that she was meant to be the vortex and peacefully accepted her fate, sparing her great-granddaughter.
In doing so, she also spared Dream from spilling family blood; right now, the implications of what would happen if he did so are not entirely clear, but his reactions suggest it would be a huge deal.
This is confirmed in the comic by Neil Gaiman, where we find out that if an Endless killed one of their own they also had to be eliminated.
And this was exactly what Desire wanted to happen. But why do they hate Dream so much?
Why Does Desire Hate Dream in The Sandman?
Based on what we know from The Sandman Season 1 Desire seems to hate Dream because they consider him too self-important and acting like the dream realm is better than his siblings'.
Specifically, Desire seems to disregard Dreams, which constitute Morpheus' identity as "merely echoes of desire and despair."
Desire thus wished to trick Morpheus and cause him pain - even death.
Mythology and works of fiction from many different times and cultures make it plain that it would be hard for gods and other similarly immortal families to peacefully coexist throughout the millennia.
In that state of immortality, misunderstandings are almost inevitable, and, as the comic demonstrates, Dream and Desire had more than their share.
While the two used to be on good terms a long time ago, things soured between them.
This fallout is associated with Dream's relationship with his then-lover, Killala, which ended badly because of Desire's involvement.
Since then Morpheus has resented Desire. Moreover, Desire's wish to meddle with the affairs of the dreaming complicates the siblings' relationship.
The way Dream and Desire's relationship is portrayed in the Netflix tv series, it's quite clear that there's a lot of background and subtext - let's hope that we'll get a season 2 to explore this further!