The Sandman Season 2 Casting Confirms Arrival of an Important Missing Character

New casting points the way to big revelations for The Sandman season 2 on Netflix.

The Sandman. (L to R) Vivienne Acheampong as Lucienne, Sanjeev Bhaskar as Cain, Tom Sturridge as Dream, Asim Chaudhry as Abel in episode 102 of The Sandman.
Photo: Netflix

This article contains spoilers from The Sandman comics.

The Prodigal is finally set to return.

Throughout the first season of The Sandman, viewers met not only Dream a.k.a. Morpheus (Tom Sturridge), but also his siblings, known as the Endless. The mopey Dream gets a pick-me-up from his cheery sister Death (Kirby), while dealing with the machinations of the duplicitous twins Desire (Mason Alexander Park) and Despair (Donna Preston).

But readers of the cult comic book series by Neil Gaiman know that the Netflix adaptation left other members of the Endless off screen. But according to a casting announcement, the rest of the family will be dropping by for season two.

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Esmé Creed-Miles of the Amazon Prime Video series Hanna will play the playful younger sister Delirium, while Adrian Lester, currently seen in the Disney+ show Renegade Nell, will don the cloak and chains of the mysterious Destiny.

But the most interesting casting involves a character known only as “the Prodigal.” Close watchers of The Sandman season 1 will recall “the Prodigal” as a missing member of the Endless referenced by Death and Dream. The Prodigal abandoned his post, which made Dream’s long capture by magician Roderick Burgess (Charles Dance) all the more troubling.

The casting announcement plays coy with the identity of the Prodigal, but Gaiman fans know that the Prodigal was Destruction of the Endless. Destruction once ruled the Fulcrum, a space of endless explosions. Humans entered the Fulcrum when their bloodlust rose, but understood his role as necessary for creation and rebirth. But shortly after the scientific age, Destruction realized that humans could wreak havoc on a heretofore unprecedented level. Unwilling play a part in such a cataclysm, Destruction abandoned his role, taking the name “the Prodigal.”

Barry Sloane will take the part of the Prodigal in season two of The Sandman. A veteran of shows such as Revenge and Longmire, Sloane has quite a challenge before him as the Prodigal. Despite his frightening job, Destruction was actually a loving and kind member of the Endless. He took comfort in the peace that followed after people left the Fulcrum, and had a long view that made him a wise and compassionate brother. In particular, he supported Despair, one of the few who showed love to the misunderstood sister.

The Sandman built up the coming of the Prodigal throughout its first season, which adapted the first two arcs from the comic book series, from 1989 to 1996. Those stories followed Dream’s release from imprisonment by a selfish magician and reclaiming his power, while also dealing those who took advantage of his absence, namely the troubled John Dee (David Thewlis) and the escaped nightmare the Corinthian (Boyd Holbrook).

The casting suggests that the second season will be adapting the Brief Lives arc, in which the Endless search for their lost brother. Along the way, Morpheus must deal with his cruel treatment of past loves and his son Orpheus, as well as intensified attacks from Desire and Despair.

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In other words, the return of the Prodigal might be good news for viewers, but bad news for Dream.

The Sandman season 1 is available to stream on Netflix now.