Warning: SPOILERS for Netflix's The Sandman and The Sandman ComicsDream of the Endless (Tom Sturridge) was forced to miss his centenary appointment with Hob Gadling (Ferdinand Kingsley) in The Sandman season 1, and he will break this rule in The Sandman season 2 as well. The story of Morpheus' unusual friendship with Hob was told in The Sandman episode 6, "The Sound of Her Wings." Hob becomes a pivotal link between Dream and humanity, and the immortal Englishman represents how the king of dreams is changing for the better.SCREENRANT VIDEO OF THE DAY
Hob's eternal life is the result of an oddball bet between Dream and his older sister, Death (Kirby Howell-Baptiste). Concerned that Dream is too distant from the humans whose dreams he has power over, Death granted Hob the immortality he wished for as a way for Morpheus to learn more about humans. Hob was a gregarious Brit the Endless family members overheard in 1389 say that he never wanted to die. Death made Hob Dream's "project," and the Sandman agreed to meet Hob every hundred years, assuming that Gadling would eventually beg for death. To the surprise of Dream of the Endless, Hob, a loquacious charmer, relished living regardless of whether he was wealthy and thriving or spending decades in poverty and misery. Dream and Hob's get-togethers every hundred years saw them encounter historical figures like William Shakespeare (Samuel Blenkin) in 1589 and become mistaken for "the Devil and the Wandering Jew" by Lady Johanna Constantine (Jenna Coleman) in 1789.
Related: The Sandman's Deal With Shakespeare Explained
Dream and Hob had a falling out in 1889 when the Sandman took offense at Gadling's suggestion that he's lonely, thus he comes to their centenary meetings out of friendship. Morpheus then missed their next scheduled appointment in 1989 because Dream was captured by the British warlock Roderick Burgess (Charles Dance) in 1916, sparking a global sleeping sickness. Morpheus was held prisoner until his escape in 2021. When Hob was "stood up," he assumed Dream was still cross with him. But Dream did finally join Hob, noting that he was late, but his presence proved that the Sandman does consider Hob his friend, after all. But whether their next meeting is in 2089 or will now be reset to 2121, Dream will break their every hundred years rule once again in The Sandman season 2. In The Season of Mists story season 2 will adapt, Morpheus visits Hob in his dreams and shares a bottle of rare vintage wine with his friend. At that point, Dream planned to return to Hell to demand the release of his former lover, Nada (Deborah Oyelade), and the dream king feared he wouldn't return. Thus, Morpheus made sure to say a possible final farewell Hob decades ahead of their next scheduled meeting.
Why Dream Finally Realized Hob Is His Friend
In the grand scheme of things, Death likely hoped Dream would make a friend in Hob. While it took the Sandman 632 years to come to the realization, Morpheus did confirm that he and Hob are friends after all. But Dream is also not the same Sandman who angrily stormed out on Hob in 1889. Morpheus was cut off from the Dreaming and spent over a century as a prisoner in isolation. When he returned to his realm, he found the Dreaming broken. Yet during his quest to retrieve his stolen symbols of office, Morpheus interacted with humans like Joanna Constantine in ways he hadn't before, and the king of dreams' feelings on mortals - and one human, in particular - began to change. Perhaps as Death intended, Dream finally understood that he does need companionship and that Hob has been there all along.
Hob is a unique character in The Sandman because he's someone who truly relishes life, and his boundless optimism for living ultimately rubbed off of Dream. Morpheus finally joining Hob at his new tavern in 2021 was perhaps the most heartwarming moment in The Sandman season 1. It speaks to how much Dream genuinely values Hob that he will make sure to say goodbye to him in case he misses their centenary gathering again in The Sandman season 2.
The Sandman Season 1 is streaming on Netflix.