Some people see Death as a sweet release from the pain and troubles of their lives. For others, like Hob Gadling, Death is a mug's game and they want to stay far away from it. Regardless, Death will come for every living thing, and when the last one dies, she will put the chairs up on the tables and lock the universe up behind her.
But while we are alive, there are those instances that we claim are “worse than death”. In the universe of the Sandman comics, that sentiment is not only intensified but personified. In a world where immortals, fairies, demons, and monsters are all true things and they interact with humans as easily as we may cross a street, there are some fates that have befallen characters within the pages of Neil Gaiman’s ground-shattering work that would make the arrival of the beautiful ankh-wearing woman a welcome sight indeed.
With the immense and hopefully continued popularity of Netflix's The Sandman show, many more people are beginning to visit this realm and are finding that the Dreaming isn’t always a nice place to be and that Dream isn’t always the most benevolent being.
Some of these things were punishments doled out by the Dream King, others were consequences of his presence in the mortal world, and a few were simply because that was the way of things. But for all, Death’s journey to the Sunless Lands would be a welcome alternative.
10. Being Dream’s Ex
For all his admirable qualities, Dream is truly the worst when it comes to being a romantic partner. Most of the beings he has been intimate with generally hate him by the end of the relationship, with a few coming to blows. In one case, Morpheus’ ego doomed a former love to centuries of imprisonment.
As relayed through an African myth, Nada was the 16-year-old queen of the city where humanity began. Dream took her as a lover, an act that is forbidden for a member of the Endless to do with a mortal. When the sun saw what the pair were doing, it melted her glass kingdom with a giant fireball. Unsure how else to end the relationship, Nada committed suicide.
Dream stopped Nada before she entered the Sunless Lands and offered once again to make her his Queen. She refused and Morpheus condemned her to imprisonment in Hell for centuries. When Dream saw her again in Sandman #4, he said he still loved her but hadn’t forgiven her. It wasn’t until his sister Death chastised him for the imprisonment that the Dream King finally let Nada go and allowed her to be reincarnated into an infant on Earth.