Saturday, 7 December 2013

The Endless In The Prelude

In Neil Gaiman's The Sandman: Preludes & Nocturnes (New York, 1995), on p. 27, thus very early in the series, Roderick Burgess mentions the Endless and names four: Death, Destiny, Desire and Dream.

On p. 115, Lucifer, addressing Dream, asks after "...your family...Destiny, Death, Despair and the others..." Thus, we now know that there are at least seven (this will turn out to be the total) and the names of five.

Destiny, who had already existed as a DC Comics character, appears in one panel on p. 199 and, finally, Death is introduced on pp. 213-233.

Desire appears on p. 42 of Volume 2, The Doll's House, and confers with Despair on p. 44. Delirium that was Delight attends a family meeting with the others already named on p. 20 of Volume 4, Season Of Mists, but one remaining male member does not. Destiny knows everything that was, is and will be but Delirium claims to know things that even he does not.

We do not meet the prodigal member of the Endless, Destruction, until a flashback to a family wedding in ancient Greece in Volume 6, Fables And Reflections. In the seventeenth century, men began to ask whether light and gross matter were not inter-convertible. Knowing from experience in previous worlds where that question leads, Destruction preferred to abandon his realm rather than to preside over what would happen at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

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