Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

Death (Sandman)

Death is one of the Endless, fictional characters from Neil Gaiman's comic book series, The Sandman.

She is second eldest of the family, younger only than Destiny. She is portrayed as a young woman, preferring to wear casual clothes, usually black - often a black top and jeans. She wears a silver ankh on a chain around her neck; this is the sigil by which she is represented in the galleries of the other Endless. Death's realm is not portrayed in the series, except for a brief scene in her 'house' in the Sandman Special, Song of Orpheus. This is where she keeps her floppy hat collection and her goldfish, Slim and Wandsworth.

Death is one of the most popular characters in the series. Gaiman took great pleasure in creating a portrayal of Death that is entirely convincing yet completely at odds with the traditional anthropomorphic personifications of Death, particularly in English culture, where Death is conventionally depicted as an intimidating skeleton in a black robe bearing a scythe - the Grim Reaper. Death is easily the most personable and pleasant of the Endless, a happy, sympathetic, down-to-earth woman who acts for the most part as an anchor and confidant for Morpheus (Dream). Two of the key passages in the series feature Death and Morpheus together, at the end of Preludes and Nocturnes, where she gives him direction and a degree of understanding, and at the end of The Kindly Ones, where she gives him peace.

Death also features in two mini-series', Death: The High Cost of Living, and Death: The Time of Your Life, as well as the manga Death: At Death's Door which seems to be the first of a series.

Related articles