The Sandman: Decoding the Magdalene Grimoire and Order of Ancient Mysteries

The Sandman: Decoding the Magdalene Grimoire and Order of Ancient Mysteries

Netflix series The Sandman premiered on the streaming platform on August 5, 2022, based on Neil Gaiman’s comic of the same name. The DC Comic’s first two volumes have been adapted to the fantasy drama, with some changes but mostly sticking to the spirit of Gaiman’s masterpiece.

The ten-part series follows the adventures of the King of Dreams, Morpheus/Sandman/Dream, and his quest to find his tools of power after being captured and imprisoned for over a century. 

The show stars Tom Sturridge as Lord Morpheus/Dream, Boyd Holbrook as Corinthian, Vivienne Acheampong as Lucienne, Gwendoline Christie as Lucifer Morningstar, Jenna Coleman as Johanna Constantine, Kirby Howell-Baptiste as Death, Mason Alexander Park as Desire, and Donna Preston as Despair. 

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SPOILERS AHEAD! This page contains spoilers from The Sandman.

The first half of the season covers Dream’s quest to find his tools of power to rebuild his realm of The Dreaming, which crumbled in the wake of his century-long absence. By the end of the fifth episode, Dream has regained his sand, helm, and ruby and made allies and enemies along the way. He unleashes the depths of his power and becomes stronger than ever.

But let’s backtrack a little to learn more about the ritual that sealed his capture, the people who did the deed, and the book of magic that gave them the spell to trap one of the Endless. For that, we travel back to 1916, when Dream was captured by the Order of Ancient Mysteries with a spell, which they uncovered in the Magdalene Grimoire.

In the first episode, we see Roderick Burgess, or Magus as he likes people to call him, talk his way into making a grieving Dr. Hathaway get the Magdalene Grimoire to imprison Death and coerce her into bringing back their sons. Hathaway hands over the book of magic with the ritual to capture an Endless, which was unclear to the Magus.

The Magus is the leader of the Order of Ancient Mysteries, which in the comics and the series, is an occult organization created by Burgess to make his mark as one of the greatest occult magicians.

In the comics, the Order of Ancient Mysteries was Burgess’ secret to reaping awards that without magic he could never earn and winning against one of his greatest rivals, the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, led by Alistair Crowley.

The show followed the fall of the Magus and the decline of the order in the hands of his second son Alex but did not chronicle the rise of the occult group with Paul Mcguire (Alex’s partner) as the leader.

The Sandman: Order of Ancient Mysteries & Magdalene Grimoire
Magdalene Grimoire | Source: Fandom

The magic book used by the Magus in the show was also a part of The Sandman comics. In the comics, the Magdalene Grimoire, or the Liber Fulvarum Paginarum, was a book full of dangerous spells and powerful magic. Like in the comics, in 1916, the Grimoire fell into the hands of Roderick Burgess, who captured and imprisoned Dream with it in the show.

The show has so far kept many things the same from the two volumes that Season one is based on, namely Preludes and Nocturnes, and The Doll’s House. The show is now streaming on Netflix.

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About The Sandman

The Sandman is an American fantasy drama TV series based on the 1989–1996 comic book written by Neil Gaiman and published by DC Comics. The series was developed for Netflix and is being produced by DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. Television.

The first season adapted the first two comics in the series, Preludes & Nocturnes and The Doll’s House. In 1916, Dream, the king of Dreams and Nightmares and one of the seven Endless, is captured and imprisoned after an occult ritual. After being held captive for 106 years, he escapes and sets out to restore order to his kingdom of The Dreaming.

The Sandman stars Tom Sturridge as Dream, with Gwendoline Christie, Vivienne Acheampong, Boyd Holbrook, Charles Dance, Asim Chaudhry, and Sanjeev Bhaskar in supporting roles.

Source: Fandom