The Sandman season 2 could have 12 episodes, will adapt classic stories from the comics

It sounds like the second season of The Sandman on Netflix will adapt two story arcs from the comics in addition to some classic standalone stories, just like the first season.
The Sandman. (L to R) Gwendoline Christie as Lucifer Morningstar, Tom Sturridge as Dream in episode 104 of The Sandman. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022
The Sandman. (L to R) Gwendoline Christie as Lucifer Morningstar, Tom Sturridge as Dream in episode 104 of The Sandman. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022 /

In August of 2022, Netflix dropped the first season of The Sandman, its adaptation of Neil Gaiman's classic comic book. The Sandman is about an eternal being named Dream (or Morpheus, or the Sandman, or whatever one of a million different cultures calls him) who presides over the realm of Dreams, the place we all go when we fall asleep. Gaiman's series intertwines Dream's adventures with myths and legends, coming out with an unforgettably weird story about storytelling itself.

The Sandman is a tricky work to adapt, but the first season did a pretty good job of capturing the changeable mood of the comics. They've been working on season 2 for a while, although we don't have a release date yet. However, thanks to Redanian Intelligence doing some snooping around the the CV of producer and director Jamie Childs, we know there's a "strong possibility" that season 2 will have 12 episodes total, up from 11 in season 1. Moreover, RI has even learned the names of six of those episodes, although we don't know the order yet:

  • "The Song of Orpheus"
  • "More Devils Than Vast Hell Can Hold"
  • "Brief Lives"
  • "Family Blood"
  • "The Ruler of Hell"
  • "Season of Mists"

RI speculates that these six episodes could be released as one block of episodes released on Netflix all at once, with another block of six to follow later. That fits with how Netflix has been dividing up seasons of television lately, and I endorse it.

Episodes of The Sandman season 2, explained

So what can we tell about the shape of The Sandman season 2 from these episode titles? Let's look at each one. Beware minor SPOILERS below:

  • "The Song of Orpheus": This one's easy to figure out. There is a story in The Sandman comics called "The Song of Orpheus." It's set in ancient Greek times and introduces us to Dream's son Orpheus, who is the same Orpheus from Greek myth, who had a voice so beautiful that he could move even gods to sympathy. The story is basically a retelling of the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, with Dream and his Endless siblings now involved. We've seen them filming this episode already.
  • "More Devils Than Vast Hell Can Hold": This is a line from William Shakespeare's play A Midsummer Night's Dream, which can only mean that this episode will adapt the Sandman story where Dream and people from the fae realm take in the first-ever performance of the famous play. The Sandman already set this episode up in the first season, where Dream grants a playwright named Will the ability to craft works that will move men's souls. This is one of the most famous Sandman stories and we absolutely expected to see it onscreen. We've also seen them filming this episode.
  • "Brief Lives": Moving away from individual stories, "Brief Lives" is the name of a story arc in The Sandman comic where Dream accompanies his little sister Delirium as they search for their missing brother Destruction, who we know will be played in season 2 by Barry Sloane.
  • "Family Blood": Dream has six siblings, all of whom are personifications of different aspects of the human condition, just like him. Powerful as the Endless siblings are, there is an ironclad prohibition on any of them spilling the blood of anyone in their family. That prohibition will play into the story. Dream's sibling Desire (played in season 1 by Mason Alexander Park) tries to take advantage of his prohibition to hurt Dream.
  • "Season of Mists": "Season of Mists" is the name of another story arc from The Sandman comics. In this arc, Dream travels to hell only to find that Lucifer (played by Gwendoline Christie in season 1) has abdicated the throne. Moreover, Lucifer has left Dream in charge of hell, which leads to all sorts of chicanery and tomfoolery, let me tell you.
  • "The Ruler of Hell": This is undoubtedly an episode from the "Season of Mists" arc.

So it looks like the second season of The Sandman will adapt two full story arcs from the comics — "Season of Mists" and "Brief Lives" — in addition to adapting a few standalone stories like "The Song of Orpheus" and "A Midsummer Night's Dream." That's exactly what happened in the first season, which adapted the story arcs "Preludes and Nocturnes" and "A Doll's House" as well as standalone stories like "Men of Good Fortune" and "The Sound of Her Wings." Everything seems to be in order here.

The problem with "A Game of You"

There is one wrinkle worth mentioning. In the comics, there's another story arc between "Seasons of Mist" and "Brief Lives" called "A Game of You." This one mostly revolves around a supporting character from the "Doll's House" storyline named Barbie, played by Lily Travers in the first season of the Netflix show. Apparently Barbie has a very rich fantasy life, enough to fill out a whole trade paperback collection.

The problem with "A Game of You" is that Dream and the rest of the Endless don't play big roles in it, and it kinda lifts out of the overall continuity without much trouble. I wonder if the Netflix show may opt to just skip that story rather than make multiple episodes without actor Tom Sturridge showing up as Dream to glower at us. Or maybe they could shrink it down to one episode?

We'll find out more the closer we get to the premiere of The Sandman season 2. Again, we don't know when that's happening. Sooner would be better.

sandman. All 11 episodes of The Sandman, ranked worst to best. dark. Next

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