The Sandman's Dream Explains How His Character Changed By His Friendship With Hob Gadling
Tom Sturridge, star of The Sandman, on how Morpheus' friendship with Ferdinand Kingsley's Hob Gadling made the Lord of Dreams more relatable.
Even though the Lord of Dreams is the protagonist and "hero" character in a sense of the show The Sandman. His personality is somewhat different from the usual one you would get in the main character of a fantasy show. He is slow to understand humor, occasionally insensitive, often self-obsessed, and very slow to forgive a slight, as evidenced when he sent a former lover to hell, literally.
He is the tragic figure you would find standing in the rain, the person who chooses to sit alone at the lunch table. As for why he is like this, well there is a multitude of possibilities. The stress of his responsibilities as the lord of the dreams, the desire to find a partner, or his constant battles with his siblings, specifically Desire.
But in the Netflix show, The Sandman, we got to see Morpheus's journey in live action, and one thing that helped the character grow and develop more was his friendship with Hob Gadling. Like most in real life, even mythical gods, sometimes all you need is a friend. Tom Sturridge expanded on this and how he saw Hob Gadling (Ferdinand Kingsley) change Dream in the Netflix fantasy-drama series.
"It's one of my favorite parts of the story," he said. "I think in that episode, and in that section of the graphic novels, you're right, Dream does become more human. I think that what his sister teaches him is the profundity of what an individual existence is, and how you can't understand it unless you look at it and bear witness to it. And what his relationship with Hob is, is, 'Okay, I'm going to watch now, I'm going to follow one person closely for an extraordinary period of time, and know them.' And when we know people and understand them, it's the first step toward loving them. And I think that's an unusual thing for him, to begin to love."
One of the most popular features of The Sandman's first season is the Dream/Hob Gadling interaction. Neil Gaiman, co-creator of The Sandman, previously praised how closely Episode 6 mirrored the comics, particularly Kingsley's performance as Gadling, which matched exactly how he envisaged the character. The portrayal of Gadling by Kingsley is significant for revealing negative parts of Hob's background, such as his involvement in the slave trade. Later, Kingsley pondered if spectators might forgive Gadling for his heinous actions, noting that it's not something he has to deal with as an actor. "It's not my responsibility to pass judgment on the guy I'm playing; I have to play him as you see him, and it's our job as viewers to watch him wonder, 'Do I deserve another chance at life?'" According to Kingsley.