The Sandman Cast in Episode 4 The Battle and Their Characters’ Greatest Hope

Warning: The following contains spoilers for Netflix’s “The Sandman” Episode 4. “A Hope in Hell”

Throughout much of the Netflix series adaptation of “The Sandman,” the show argues that nightmares and the fear and immorality that haunt them are more common and representative of humanity than anything else. However, in the show’s fourth episode, “A Hope in Hell,” a counterplot is presented that sums up the central theme of “Sandman” in ambitiously creative ways.

Our hero Morpheus (Tom Sturridge) is locked in an epic metaphysical and ideological duel with Lucifer (Gwendoline Christie), where each one takes a new form be it beast (wolf, serpent, bird of prey), man (hunter), biological assassins. (bacteria), or even celestial powers (worlds that nurture life and novae that kill planets).

But with Morpheus about to lose this fight, his raven Matthew (Patton Oswalt) tells him bluntly that “dreams don’t die, not if you believe in them.” This inspires our protagonist to strike back with one last transformative blow: “I am hope… What kills hope?” he challenges.

This victory-girding realization serves as the thesis statement for “The Sandman.” The hopes that fuel our dreams are what give us the ability to overcome the darkness. So in that spirit, we asked many of the show’s stars what their character’s greatest hope may be.

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Morpheus/Dream (Sturridge)

Sturridge connected his character’s deepest desire with his role in the waking world as a guardian of dreams and nightmares.

“I think what Morpheus wants more than anything is stability,” Sturridge told TheWrap. “I think the point of our unconsciousness is that it is inherently unstable and that is why dreams and nightmares are so dangerous, because they affect our conscious lives. Dreams are a form of madness because it is all the things that we have suppressed while we are awake that come true. And Morpheus’s main responsibility, his dream, is to keep everyone safe. And that requires a stability within those dreams and a stability within our minds and souls.

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He continued: “One of the things that explores this season is with the arrival of… Well, I won’t say anything. But it’s what happens when that unconscious world becomes incredibly unstable and the potential consequences catastrophic.”

Lucienne (Vivienne Acheampong)

Lucienne de Acheampong is Dream’s loyal lieutenant, whose faith in him rarely wavers. In many ways, she is his ethical North Star and able to bring out some of the doubts, fears, and even ambitions that he may keep hidden.

“For Lucienne, she wants all of that [stability]. But what she personally wants for Morpheus is for him to be able to do that in a safe way for him to keep to himself and know who he really is,” Acheampong told TheWrap. “Because he has been captured for a century in a really inhuman way and he has seen the worst aspects of humanity, and it has affected him. So I think she’s there to remind him not only to follow the rules and regulations, but for her not to miss out on it because he’s had this horrible experience that would change anyone.”

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Johanna Constantine (Jenna Coleman)

Coleman’s Constantine, like his problematic comic book counterpart John Constantine, is a firecracker who wields magic. Although Coleman believes that his character’s life will always be full of excitement, there may also be a yearning for quiet normality underneath it all.

“I’m going to say peace. I feel like there’s a heaviness and a weariness and a disenchantment there. So I think there’s a yearning for peace, which is obviously what Dream gives Johanna Constantine at the end,” Coleman told TheWrap. “So, on the other hand, I think Johanna Constantine would get bored pretty quickly. I think she needs a bit of mischief and a bit of adventure and trickery.”

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Death (Kirby Howell-Baptiste)

Howell-Baptiste’s Death is a gentle guide to the afterlife, which conflicts with humanity’s shared perception of the Grim Reaper avatar. The character realizes that his function and purpose are the same, which gives him a sense of inner peace as he gently tries to guide souls to the next phase of existence.

“I think my character is most looking forward to a world where death is understood as part of life,” Howell-Baptiste told TheWrap. “That shouldn’t build fear, but hopefully it will build not only acceptance, but perhaps curiosity and intrigue about what comes next, because literally none of us know.”

Lucifer (Gwendoline Christie)

Christie summed up her character’s innermost desires with one succinct thought: “I think Lucifer yearns more for God’s love.”

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