Book Crush: the Sandman

I can’t help it.  I’m in love with the King of Dreams.  I’m not even sure he’s intrinsically lovable, but, well, he’s Dream.  He’s a tall, pale, gaunt fellow with eyes that flash like stars and a shock of black hair that would put a punk rocker to shame.  He dresses completely in black, and has no sense of humor worthy of the name.  He’s at once vengeful and completely honor-bound.

I'll admit, I'm given, on occasion, to dressing all in black myself, so I appreciate Morpheus' sense of style.

He’s also the ruler of the Dreaming, the ever-shifting realms created from the sleeping minds of dreamers everywhere in the world (and off it).  He has a raven servant named Matthew who calls him simply “Boss” and a library full of every book ever written and all the ones never written, too.  He can shape things out of the fabric of dreams, as well as shift the waking world around himself.  Death is his older sister.

So why am I in love with him?  Mostly, it’s because of what he is.  He’s the incarnation of Dreams, and as a dreamer myself, I was pretty much a goner from the start.  And, well, he is the tall, dark, and broody sort that, I shall admit with some embarrassment, does have a certain appeal.  As the ruler of the Dreaming, responsible for maintaining order (inasmuch as such a thing is possible for such a phantasmagorical realm), his powers and abilities are all kinds of awesome.

I guess a relationship really wouldn’t work out with him; humans and immortals just don’t mix.  But, you know, I wouldn’t say no to a date in the Dreaming: a tour of the dreamscape, a visit to the gates of horn and ivory, introductions to the gatekeepers three (a griffin, unicorn, and dragon).  We’d end up in the library, where I’d find a section of books containing the ends of all those dreams I woke up during.  I’d make friends with Lucien, his librarian, and I’d get invited to come back and read as often as I like.  Which means, at last, a solution to the perennial student’s problem: I’ll do all my fun reading after I go to sleep!


I was going to leave my entry at that, but Thalia and Jubilare have shamed me with their very thoughtful entries on how fictional men can help us appreciate the virtues of manliness.  And thus, in addition to what amounts to a kind of celebrity crush on the Prince of Stories himself, I include one more entry, based on those qualities I’d also find attractive in a real, live person.


He’s morally strong, rejecting the Ring when he might instead take it.  And he’s noble (perhaps to a fault!) in his obedience to his father and the defense of Gondor.

“I do not oppose your will, sire.  Since you are robbed of Boromir, I will go and do what I can in his stead–if you command it. . . . But if I should return, think better of me!”

He’s a man who protects what matters when it matters, but he’s not one who loves the fight for its own sake.

“War must be, while we defend our lives against a destroyer who would devour all; but I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend.”

He’s well-read and appreciates music, and he values the history of his city.

“He was gentle in bearing, and a lover of lore and of music. . . He welcomed Gandalf at such times as he came to the City, and he learned what he could from his wisdom.”

And, of course, he has a sense of romance.  His wooing of Éowyn is gentle and understated and completely sweet.

“Do not scorn pity that is the gift of a gentle heart, Éowyn!  But  I do not offer you my pity.  For you are a lady high and valiant and have yourself won renown that shall not be forgotten; and you are a lady beautiful, I deem, beyond even the words of the Elven-tongue to tell.  And I love you.  Once I pitied your sorrow.  But now, were you sorrowless, without fear or lack, were you the blissful Queen of Gondor, still I would love you.  Éowyn, do you not love me?”

All right, so technically maybe his hair ought to be a bit longer, but I do like Anke Eissman's vision of Faramir.

14 thoughts on “Book Crush: the Sandman

  1. What Thalia said.

    You need not be ashamed of a fictional crush that might not translate well into real-life. That’s one of the purposes of fiction, aye? Morpheus certainly has style.
    If we were doing all fiction, and not just books, I would have a fair number of those myself. I have not yet been spurred into that confession, though. 😉 All truth told, there are a few nasty pieces of work among my own characters whom I love dearly. Such is the wonderful world of Stories!

    By the way, you gave me chills with all those Faramir quotes… Denethor’s gentle son is the undisputed second to my beloved Samwise. Tolkien knew how to write good men. *sighs*

    • Hmm… Could I bribe those confessions out of you somehow? If you lived near enough, there would be ice cream involved, but alas!

      Yes, I thought I’d let the Faramir more or less speak for himself. Do you s’pose our Ranger of Ithilien secretly plays some kind of musical instrument? Hmm, maybe a lute would be appropriate… I mean, it’s an odd person who loves music and doesn’t strive to make music themselves in some way.

      • *chuckles* I might tell you a few for free, but it would take too much work to gather an exhaustive list.

        I have not, but it is on my radar. I was burned out for a while between college and grad-school, and barely read anything. I am only now really enjoying reading again. So much time lost!

  2. My daughter would certainly agree with you about Faramir. I would agree with Jubilare about Samwise. Of course, then there’s Aragorn. Such an embarrassment of riches where Tolkien’s male characters are concerned. I would take any one of them–or all of them. Why not?

  3. It occurs to me that it is a teensy bit awkward for me to be the sole guy participating and commenting in this meme, with all this talk of girl crushes. Haha, but no matter. I admit that part of the reason I’m interested in reading Sandman is just to see what all this fuss about Dream is about. I’m a little sad to hear that he has no sense of humor, though. Really, as many of my dreams are mysterious and surreal and dramatic, just as many are patently ridiculous and silly upon waking reflection. I mean, what about that dream I had about me and my St Andrews friends as Spartans fighting orcs in the Highlands while the LotR soundtrack played in the sky? Whoever sent me that dream knows how to have some fun!

    Also, Faramir’s an awesome dude, a man whom men respect, a brother to all who need him.

    • Ah, but just think, it’s also so highly educational on the literary female mind! (Maybe.)

      Well, Dream’s own lack of humor doesn’t really preclude humorous dreams. As much as Dream takes his existence from the dreaming activity of people, he’s also (as much as he might deny the fact–he tends to think of himself as someone with responsibilities to others but no story of his own, something that’s not, in fact, true) very much an individual with a personality. While in the Sandman, there are certainly some dreams that Dream creates and “sends” to people, I think most dreams are, we might say, generated by the minds of the dreamers. Sandman is actually a pretty cool blending of the ideas of modern dream psychology and mythical “dreams as portents and prophecy.”

      My Dream character, on the other hand, very much has a sense of humor. He, perhaps, adheres to the “Lord, what fools these mortals be” school of thought, by which I mean to say he finds all sorts of human things funny because he’s an immortal. But it’s true that he likes looking for an excuse to laugh and be delighted by everything. He also does the “dressed all in black thing,” though it’s because he’s aware he looks best that way. Sigh. The things we put up with in our Muses. (Now he’s giving me a look that says, “I don’t think ‘put up with’ is really what you should call it.” Pff.) Anyway, I really need to get him into more of my pantheon stories, stat.

  4. Pingback: Conclusion « Egotist's Club

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