In the Sandman series, it's mentioned a couple of times that Despair isn't the first Despair. There's some hints that it happened a long time ago, and it may have been deserved (at least in comparison to Dream's death). Is it ever revealed how and why Despair died?

Either in-universe explanations or out-of-universe comments by Neil Gaiman would be informative.

  • 1
    You're going to make me read through Sandman again!
    – MPelletier
    May 25, 2012 at 21:39

2 Answers 2


Gaiman discussed this in the Sandman Companion. In short, her death is something that he felt would likely remain shrouded in mystery.

Hy: Lastly, do you have anything to say about the first Despair dying? For example, will that ever be followed up on?

NG: It happened, and you don't learn nearly as much about it as you'd like; but I don't know that it will be followed up on.


From Wikipedia:

The only hint to the manner of the first Despair's death is given by Daniel in his conversation with Lyta Hall during The Wake: "The person who was responsible for the death of the first Despair will take the rest of eternity to die. Only then will his pain cease... And he had better cause for what he did than you."

  • Yeah, I read that comment (since it's in Sandman) and it was what prompted me to hope there was more info out there.
    – dlanod
    May 25, 2012 at 21:49
  • @dlanod A lot has been said on Sandman and it's hard to keep track of it all. The annotated version of Sandman is coming out soon. You might want to keep an eye out for that one.
    – MPelletier
    May 25, 2012 at 21:50
  • @dlanod The more I think about it, the more I think Gaiman left it open and vague on purpose. Exactly like what made Delight become Delirium, it's never been revealed.
    – MPelletier
    May 27, 2012 at 4:53

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