The Thursday 13 is a meme Part Time Monster does often. I enjoy writing them but don’t have the time to do them every week. When I agreed back in February to blog about Neil Gaiman’s Sandman series here , I decided to sit down and write a three of these for it. Here are my 13 favorite Sandman characters. I also have lists for my favorite Sandman stories and places.
I’m excluding the the Endless from this list because there are so many good secondary characters to choose from, and I’m writing a short series on the Endless this month, anyway. If you aren’t familiar the series, here’s a quick, spoiler-lite synopsis from The Book Wars that discusses its significance and has the added charm of being a Banned Books Week post.
My 13 favorite characters.
1. Hob Gadling – A 13th Century mercenary who Dream and Death overhear telling his friends that the trick to living forever is “just don’t die.” This amuses Dream so much, Death agrees not to touch Hob until he wants to die. Hob lives into the 20th Century and becomes one of Dream’s few friends.
2. Lady Johanna Constantine – Ancestor of John. Trained in espionage, a skilled cross-dresser, and like John, she hunts infernal beings. Dream sends her on a personal mission to Revolutionary France and by the time she’s done, no more Reign of Terror.
3. Rose Walker – Central character in The Doll’s House. She first appears as a teenager, later as a twenty-something. She is so important to the plot, and so entangled with the Endless, I can’t say much about her without spoiling everything. She’s one of the most real characters in the story to me. She’s also utterly cool.
4. Wanda – A transgender woman who hails from a small midwestern town but lives in New York. She’s well-fleshed out and the story she’s a part of is extremely honest about how society was treating transgender people in the late 80’s. See this post from Hannah Givens for more on Wanda.
5. Gilbert, aka Fiddler’s Green – A dream who takes human form and wanders into the waking world while Dream is imprisoned during the early 20th Century. His human form is a kind, portly older dude with somewhat Victorian manners. Friends with Rose Walker. I’ll discuss Gilbert’s Fiddler’s Green aspect when I do my list of places.
6. Mad Hettie – A homeless alcoholic Londoner who has supernatural longevity. She’s around from at least the late 17th Century into the 20th. She recognizes the Endless and other immortals when she sees them. She notes at one point that Dream always speaks to her and gives her strange coins.
7. Barnabas the Talking Dog – Companion of Destruction, later of Delirium. He’s a bit of a smartass, and quite capable of looking after himself. It’s unclear whether he is a creation of Destruction, a real dog who has somehow become super-intelligent, or a reincarnated human (as Dream’s Ravens are).
8. Thessaly – A witch from ancient Greece who has a deal with the Hecate for supernatural longevity. She looks like a librarian, but she is utterly ruthless, and is likely more powerful than some of the lesser immortals in the series.
9. Matthew the Raven – Dream always has one raven. It’s Eve’s raven (yes, the Biblical Eve), but also Dream’s. Dream’s ravens are humans reincarnated as dream-ravens. When they tire of being Ravens, he allows them to move on to other things.
10. Lucien the Librarian – Keeper of the Library of Dream, which contains every book that was never written. He’s tall and butlerish. After Dream returns from his imprisonment, Lucien is also Dream’s chief lieutenant. He reminds me of Alfred from Batman.
11. The Corinthian – A nightmare created by Dream to be “the dark reflection of humanity.” He has white-blonde hair and most of the time, dresses in sleeveless t-shirts, jeans, and sunglasses. His eye sockets are mouths lined with fangs. He’s a cold-blooded killer and he will eat your eyes.
12. Nuala the Elf – A gift to Dream from the Queen of Faerie. She serves him well, and when she is recalled to Faerie, she doesn’t really want to go. She’s one of the more sympathetic of the fantastcal/immortal characters in the story.
13. Eblis O’Shaughnessy – A golem created and given life by five of the endless near the end of the series. His name is so odd because it is bestowed upon him by Delirium. He’s an extremely minor character, but he’s just too cool to not make the list.
Want to join us for #SummerOfSandman? Here’s how: Write a blog post about Sandman between now and Aug. 1. Long or short, any format. Share your link with us on a Sandman thread here at CompGeeks or on Twitter using the hashtag #SummerOfSandman. It’s that easy.