In Overture #6, the final issue of the Sandman's prequels, Morpheus expends a considerable amount of energy recreating the universe by using the dreams of the beings on his vessel:

Morpheus creates a Universe Morpheus creates a Universe

This leaves him vulnerable, which is why he is captured and imprisoned in The Sandman

This should immediately remind you of the story in Dream Country, where a thousand humans are able to rewrite the history of an entire universe by have the same dream:

Morpheus creates a Universe Morpheus creates a Universe

Yet in this story, there is no mention of Morpheus (or the cat version of him) getting tired. It seems a bit silly that he would ever allow such a thing to occur if he became so weakened.

So why is there a difference? Why was Morpheus not noticeably tired when changing the universe in The Sandman, but was exhausted in Overture?

  • 1
    Well, this isn't enough for an answer, but Morpheus isn't exactly the type who'll admit to having a really bad hangover, you know? He'll carefully avoid mentioning it, and if anyone points it out, he'll claim he wasn't hiding it, just... focusing on what was relevant. Also, in the Overture, he was explicitly controlling the thousand dreamers' dream as they slept, and we have no idea if he was similarly involved when the humans out-dreamed the cats. And it's possible that cat-world was never real, but just a dream given to the dreaming cat-preacher...
    – user867
    Commented Feb 1, 2016 at 5:24
  • But why would he allow it in the first place? He is, above all, focused on his responsibilities. Being left in a vulnerable state like he was in Overture would prevent him from maintaining his domain. For you second point, he would necessarily have been involved. After all, as an Endless he does not rule dreams or control dreams, he is the dream. He's a concept. An idea. If the thousand humans were dreaming, then he must be involved.
    – Emma Vega
    Commented Feb 1, 2016 at 22:59
  • Maybe? We see Dream manipulating people's dreams sometimes, and other times apparently leaving them to their own devices. Sometimes he delegates tasks to dream-beings he created and presumably sustains - does that mean he's expending less effort, or more? We don't know. And we know next to nothing about what dreaming a new reality actually entails; We've seen it happen exactly once, in unusual and high-pressure circumstances where he had a vested personal interest and the existence of all things was at stake. Maybe it's usually more or less draining than that? We don't know.
    – user867
    Commented Feb 1, 2016 at 23:25
  • "There is no mention of Morpheus ( or the cat version of him) getting tired." He was a cat, it probably just went without saying. Commented May 14, 2017 at 19:22

1 Answer 1


In A Dream of a Thousand Cats, Morpheus was simply telling the story of how the world was changed. We don't get to see his aftermath in that case; once the point has been made to the Siamese - that you can change reality if enough beings dream a new one - the tale is ended.

Its possible that once that group dream that large has been formed, Morpheus has to deal with it one way or another. That would be consistent, as Dream must deal with Vortexes from time to time. It's also possible that if it was a choice, well, doing it for one world may have limited the strain of rewriting reality to just that one aspect of Dream.

In Overture, well, we do get to see it. Not only that, but there is a small matter of scale. Morpheus is pulling the same trick, true, using a group dream to redefine reality (is it recreating an existence and pushing it out? is it just flipping the border between what is and whats not? metaphor gets blurry out here). He's just doing it with everything in existence. The universe is at The End. The only reason he has a thousand souls at all is that they were preserved. The only reason there's a Dreaming left is that a piece of it's being used to preserve them. It's possibly the only reason Morpheus still exists, in a self-recursion kinda way. He's pitting the last thousand dreams there are against an infinity of nothing. It's all that's left of him, and the universe, so it's very literally going to take everything he has.

No matter what kind of being he is, something has to hurt after that.

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