The Sandman Just Set Up Its Series Finale With Latest Season 2 Casting

The Sandman season 2 will bring some mythic characters to the screen, albeit in very different forms.

The Sandman. Tom Sturridge as Dream in episode 101 of The Sandman.
Photo: Netflix

The Sandman is Morpheus, also known as Dream of the Endless. And the Endless never end, right? I mean, it’s right there in the name.

Yet, with the show’s latest casting announcement, it’s clear that producers of the Netflix series The Sandman have the end in mind. The latest characters to appear in the series include some major players in Neil Gaiman‘s climactic tale World’s End, including Morpheus’s son Orpheus, Puck from Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Norse gods Loki, Thor, and Odin.

Orpheus will be played by Ruairi O’Connor, best known for The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It and The Morning Show. Comic book readers know Orpheus as the son of Morpheus and Calliope, the muse kidnapped by insecure writers in the episode bearing her name. Newcomers to the Sandman story were struck at how cruelly Morpheus treated Calliope, and Orpheus’s fate will shed light on that situation. Those who know Greek mythology recognize Orpheus as the lover of Eurydice, whose moment of weakness damns the woman to eternal suffering, a plot echoed in The Sandman.

Mythologists will also know what to expect from The Sandman‘s take on Loki, Thor, and Odin. Unlike the versions that Tom Hiddelston, Chris Hemsworth, and Anthony Hopkins in the Marvel Universe, Gaiman’s take hew closer to the more cynical figures in the original myths. Vikings star Laurence O’Fuarain will play Thor as a violent doofus, one who lacks the dignity of the superhero, while his father Odin, portrayed by veteran Scottish actor Clive Russell, is far more selfish than what some fans know.

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The most distinctive character from the group is Freddie Fox, last seen in The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare, The Great, and House of the Dragon who portrays a cruel, conniving Loki. Gaiman’s take on Loki is all malevolence, a trickster who derives joy from making others suffer, far from the dashing liar portrayed by Hiddleston.

Perhaps the biggest name on the list is Jack Gleeson, who played the most hatable character of all time King Joffrey from Game of Thrones (and a kid who isn’t Robin in Batman Begins). As the fairy Puck, Gleeson will get to show off a more playful side in the highly anticipated adaptation of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” in which William Shakespeare and his players perform the play for Morpheus and an audience of fairies.

But when Puck and Loki make their move against Morpheus in World’s End, Gleeson will be back on familiar ground. We won’t give away any spoilers here, but Puck becomes one of the more terrifying figures in Gaiman’s oeuvre, quite an accomplishment given the writer’s fondness for horror.

Also announced are Ann Skelly from The Nevers and Douglas Booth as fairy siblings and Nuala and Clurucan. Indya Moore has been cast as a driver called Wanda and comedic great Steve Coogan will voice the dog Barnabas, both of whom will interact with the Prodigal (Barry Sloane), the member of the Endless who abandoned his post.

Together, these stories help flesh out all members of the Endless, including Morpheus himself. That development will show viewers how the Endless end, raising the stakes for a series already looking toward its finale.

The Sandman season 1 is now streaming on Netflix.

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