The first time we see the dream lord show much emotion in Netflixs The Sandman adaptation is for a bird named Jessamy.
This article contains little spoilers for The Sandman's first episode.]
After being held captive by humans for many years, he had mostly sat in his bubble prison, brooding and waiting for his release. But when Jessamy arrives, he briefly emotes: a flicker of a hopeful smile, then hot, angry tears when she is shot in front of him.
The brutality of my captors crafted a world, whose dreams in my absence became more dark, as Dreams' voiceover reveals. He continues to stare, steely and cold, unresponsive and unwilling to talk.
For Dream of the Endless, its a cool and sullen goth who walks as lightly as he expresses emotions. When Dream's son takes over Dream's imprisonment, Dream notes that he could not forgive him for killing his raven. Much of his emotion is expressed through those close to him, like Lucienne.
He has been captured in such a cruel and cruel manner. He has changed, according to Vivienne Acheampong, who plays Lucienne. They spend the most time together for the longest time [with each other] so she knows the essence of his being. However, with what has happened to him, he has grown stronger.
Dream continues to reel from that trauma as he strives to regain his full potential and remind himself why he fulfills his obligations to humans (and the world). Season 1 of The Sandman is about Dream emotionally regaining his strength. He is forced to rely on everyone else to help him get there, from Matthew and Johanna Constantine to foes like John Dee.
Tom Sturridge, who plays Dream, claims, makes him the most vulnerable person he has ever been in his life. He is the closest he will ever be to being human, and thats why his connection with Rose is so important, because he continues to develop an understanding of what it means to be human. She is so alive, and so generous and brave, and I think he is disarmed by her.
Rose reminds him of his love for the world as a whole, and Lucienne keeps him in check, and even challenges him to fulfill his duties with heart. Sometimes that means falling in line, but sometimes, as Acheampong notes, it means reminding him that growth is possible, even for an omnipotent being that may not change much.
Acheampong claims that he has seen the worst of humanity and is vengeful. So I think for Lucienne, what she wants to do is restore him to the self she knows that he is; she understands that he needs these laws and regulations. He has to suppress a bit because that's what keeps the universe intact. Still, she draws out his conscience, and she only wants to remind him of that.
Lucienne, I think, believes in the Dreaming; she understands how vital it is, and she wants to protect it. The same with Morpheus. Acheampong continues, She believes in this work that he does; she understands how vital it is. [...] She always knew he would come back.
Netflix has now released all ten episodes of The Sandman.
Tasha Robinson provides further reporting.