LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 03: Kirby Howell-Baptiste attends "The Sandman" World Premiere at BFI Southbank on August 03, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Marsland/WireImage )
TV - Movies
Neil Gaiman's
Thought Process
Behind Death's
Personality In
The Sandman
In Neil Gaiman’s “The Sandman,” seven powerful beings known as “the Endless” oversee the balanced continuance of mortal life: Destiny, Death, Dream, Destruction, Desire, Despair, and Delirium. These entities are mostly characterized in ways fans might expect — except for Death, whom Gaiman designed to defy stereotypes.
Most might expect Death, played by Kirby Howell Baptiste, to be grim and cold, but when a fan asked why Gaiman’s Death is “adorable,” the writer responded, “I wanted to create the kind of Death that I would like to meet when my life is over. And I thought I would like a Death who is practical, [...] sensible, and [...] above all, kind.
Kirby Howell-Baptiste's Death from the Netflix show definitely shows Gaiman's desired characteristics; she provides calm, yet firm guidance to souls transitioning into the afterlife. Death's preferred attire — chains, Doc Martens, and all-black clothing — is closer to the idea of a “doom and gloom,” making her personality even more surprising.