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Netflix's Sandman reveals the remaining Endless (and maybe some teases of what to expect in season 2 of the Neil Gaiman adaptation, too)

What does it mean if we're seeing the Prodigal in the second season of the adaptation of Neil Gaiman's DC comic?

The Sandman Casting
Image credit: Netflix

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The family circle is now complete, with Netflix announcing that the remaining members of the Endless — that’s Dream’s siblings in the mythology of DC’s The Sandman — will make their appearances in the second season of the Neil Gaiman adaptation… and fans of the original comic book might be particularly interested to see the way the streaming service is referring to one of them in particular.

Joining the Endless already introduced in the first season — Tom Sturridge’s Dream, of course, but also Kirby as Death, Donna Preston as Despair and Mason Alexander Park as Desire — will be Adrian Lester as Destiny, Esmé Creed-Miles as Delirium, and Barry Sloane as… the Prodigal?

Yes, yes; we know that “the Prodigal” doesn’t begin with the letter D, thereby ruining the entire theme of the Endless, but that’s not a mistake; the character was originally known as Destruction before breaking with the family and abandoning his cosmic duties… at which point, in the original comic book lore at least, the family refused to call him by his name, and simply started referring to him as “the Prodigal.” Neil Gaiman’s love of language comes into play here; while the obvious intent in using that name is to refer to the well-known meaning of the word as someone who has been absent for a period, there’s a second definition: one who is wastefully extravagant, or who spends resources foolishly. Such as, you know, someone who’d abandon their duties and search for their own life, instead.

(For those familiar with the original comic, where the Prodigal/Destruction has gone with his life could arguably fit with the definition of wasting resources, as well… For those unfamiliar and keeping track with the TV show… you’ll see.)

Including the Prodigal in the casting announcement is possibly a sign of what material the second season of the Netflix adaptation will cover — and that the series won’t be an exactly faithful reproduction of what was originally published. Destruction didn’t eventually show up in the Sandman comic book series until the ‘Brief Lives’ story arc, which was the fifth major arc in the series… but, perhaps tellingly, the first season of the Netflix show only covered two arcs (what became known as ‘Preludes and Nocturnes,’ and ‘The Doll’s House’). Does this mean that the new season will expand to include the next three arcs, or skip one entirely…?

If so, it’ll be interesting to see if ‘A Game of You’ is the one passed over, temporarily; an indirect sequel to ‘The Doll’s House,’ it’s also arguably become the most controversial of the original series’ arcs in the years since the series’ original release, due to its treatment of gender identity and specifically the new character, Wanda.

The Sandman season 2 is currently in production; no release date for the show’s return has been announced. Watch the social media announcement here.

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