Neil Gaiman's Dream is commonly depicted as having star-like glow in his eyes, usually when he's extra serious (extra serious? you might say):

What are you asking, John Constantine?"You want a name, "Scott Free"? I am a friend. I have come to reclaim something of mine. A ruby..."

Those are just from the first volume, but the general trend holds.

Thing is, when reading, I immediately thought that this is what Death's eyes would look like. Here is a relevant passage from Mort:

Something like a small blue supernova flared for a moment in the depths of his eyesockets. It dawned on Mort that, with some embarrassment and complete lack of expertise, Death was trying to wink.

Is there any evidence (other than what I pointed) that Dream's eyes were a homage to Terry Pratchett's Death?

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    More than the several hundred characters who've had a twinkle in their eye/burning eyes over the years? What makes you think this is anything more than a very common trope made manifest in two separate works?
    – terdon
    Mar 13, 2017 at 22:43
  • @terdon nothing, admittedly, except perhaps for the fact that Gaiman and Pratchett had collaborated later - maybe Gaiman was a fan before that, though I can't find any references for that. Mar 14, 2017 at 5:22

1 Answer 1


The eyes are meant to invoke the night sky, as is his cape at times. The night being the time for dreams.

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  • Has this always been like this, or is it something Gaiman only added in 2014? I'm interested whether Gaiman was explicitly influenced by Pratchett, given their later collaboration in 1990 on Good Omens. Mar 30, 2017 at 13:26
  • @Gallifreyan: Well the picture in the question was first published in 1989. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Sandman:_Preludes_%26_Nocturnes
    – Abulafia
    Mar 30, 2017 at 13:34
  • 1
    I know, I cropped it myself :) But was Gaiman actually influenced by Pratchett from the start, or did he always envision Dream's eyes as the night sky? I'm asking for the conception of the idea, but you're giving me a description of the consequence. +1 for tweet though, certainly makes it clearer for me how Dream's eyes looked. Mar 30, 2017 at 13:40
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    Ah yes. I guess we don't even know if the twinkles WAS Gaiman's idea or if e.g Dave McKean came up with it.
    – Abulafia
    Mar 30, 2017 at 13:47

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