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Jessamy's Failure To Help Dream Prevents A Major Sandman Change

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  • Posted on 09th Aug, 2022 09:29 AM
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The subplot with Jessamy in Netflix’s The Sandman episode 1 helped explain a plot hole regarding Morpheus’ raven from the original comics.

style="text-align: center;">Warning! SPOILERS for The Sandman season 1.

The death of Jessamy the Raven in the first episode of Netflix's The Sandman represented a major change from the comic book that inspired the episode. However, the early introduction of Jessamy into the show helps address a plot hole that was seemingly created by the introduction of Dream's ravens later in the comic book series. It also helps to set up the introduction of Matthew the Raven, who provides Morpheus (aka Dream of the Endless) with someone to talk to while simultaneously providing the audience with a proxy to whom the world of The Sandman can be explained.

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The character of Jessamy did not originally figure into the opening arc of The Sandman comics, nor was Morpheus depicted as using ravens as messengers and spies until the second volume of The SandmanThe Doll's House. This retroactively raised the question of why Morpheus' raven did not come into play when he was captured by the wizard Roderick Burgess in the first issue of The Sandman. Morpheus and his ravens were shown to share a psychic connection in the comics. Even if the raven could not aid in helping Morpheus to escape directly, there was seemingly nothing to stop it from summoning help from Morpheus' servants in the Dreaming and guiding them into the Waking World.

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Related: The Sandman's Biggest Story Changes From The Comics Explained

The first episode of Netflix's The Sandman adaptation, "Sleep of the Just," addresses this point by revealing that Jessamy spent a decade harassing Roderick Burgess after the Corinthian instructed him in how to bind Morpheus' physical form and hide him from magical detection. Presumably the same spells that contained Morpheus' power also prevented Jessamy from being able to travel back to the Dreaming. This sets up a thrilling sequence in which Jessamy enacts a daring plan to free Morpheus, only to be shot to death by Alex Burgess while trying to break the glass globe containing Morpheus.

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Why Netflix's The Sandman Had To Kill Jessamy

Beyond covering the plot hole from the comics, the death of Jessamy also sets up an important story structure for Netflix's The Sandman season 1. By eliminating Jessamy and creating the need for a new raven, the series was enabled to introduce Matthew the Raven (Patton Oswalt) far sooner than he originally appeared in the comics. This gives Morpheus someone to talk to in the earlier episodes, eliminating the lengthy internal monologues that dominated the early chapters of the original comics.

While Neil Gaiman's language is beautiful, it would have been odd for most of Netflix's The Sandman to consist of Tom Sturridge narrating footage of Morpheus standing silently. By bringing Matthew in to act as Morpheus' eyes and ears, he also becomes the eyes and ears of those members of the audience who haven't read the comics and might be unfamiliar with things like how the Hell of DC Comics functions. While the death of Jessamy was shocking and tragic, it was also necessary from a story standpoint, for multiple reasons.

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Next: What Happens Next In The Sandman Comics After Season 1

The Sandman season 1 is now streaming on Netflix.

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