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Destruction (New Earth)

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Destruction is the fourth eldest of the Endless, and is depicted as a big, red-haired, bearded man. He is also known as Olethros. In appearances set in earlier centuries, he is depicted wearing military gear (such as a musketeer's uniform, or plate armour), though in more recent times he is shown in colourful clothes with no particular theme. When Delirium and Morpheus encounter him, he has taken to wearing his hair in a ponytail, and owns a talking dog, Barnabas. Since he abandoned his responsibilities there is no sigil in the galleries for him, though he keeps his own gallery (wherein is a sword, his sigil).

Destruction abandoned his realm and his responsibilities some time around the turn of the seventeenth century. The reason for this was the onset of the human Age of Reason, which would eventually culminate in the invention of the atomic bomb. Destruction was unwilling to be responsible for the destruction this would cause, and therefore left the family. He did not cease to exist as the active aspect of Destruction, he simply stopped directing the affairs over which he has control.[1] As he says, destruction did not stop, it was merely no longer his fault, this is shown for Fenrir, who is described as the act of destruction itself, though not said, it has been postulated that this is the manifestation of Destruction's realm.

Destruction was sought out by his siblings Morpheus and Delirium. When they finally meet they do not exactly argue but talk at cross-purposes; Destruction's choice of path baffles and to some degree infuriates Morpheus, while Destruction finds it hard to comprehend Morpheus' position and concentrates on trying to impart to him some wisdom on the necessity of change and self-knowledge. Delirium just wants her brother back; she is reliant on her siblings for support, particularly her elder brothers.[2]

Destruction is self-obsessed in the most positive sense of that term; after giving up his responsibilities he concentrates instead on attempting to learn about his own nature and exert control over it. This is manifested in his deliberate attempt to subvert his own essential nature and create instead of destroy; he is shown at various points writing indifferent poetry, painting an indifferent picture, cooking a meal left untouched by those for whom it was intended, and brewing Greek coffee which Delirium fails to drink properly.[3][4] Several characters refers to him as being a horrible artist. It's likely that Destruction is inspired by Death's suggestion that everyone can know everything. He tells Dream in that each Endless is really a lord of opposites: life and death, dreams and reality, destruction and creation, destiny and freedom, etc.[2]

As an aspect of change, Destruction also foreshadows the eventual downfall and replacement of his brother Dream in this interaction. It was Destruction, in fact, who told Orpheus that Death had a way for him to visit the Underworld, which set off the chain of events leading to Dream's end.


  • Personification of Destruction: One of the seven Endless, inconceivably powerful beings, Destruction is both lord and personification of all Destruction and Creation. He has power over the action and process of destroying as well as the act of making, inventing, or producing.
  • Omnipresence: Being Destruction, he is everywhere on Earth at any moment, but not in a form visible to humans, usually.
  • Shapeshifting: Destruction could change his appearance and clothing.
  • Teleportation: he can travel instantly anywhere in the mortal realm that people die and live, and, so long as he shows proper respect, he can easily enter and transit most magical realms too.
  • Immortality: Destruction was ageless and virtually immortal.
  • Magic: Nigh-Omnipotent mastery of magic.


Creative though lacking in talent or apparent appreciation of others.


Ancient Rules: Despite his great powers Destruction, like the rest of the Endless, was bound to a complex set of rules and customs.

  • One which requires he not to spill the blood of family or he is no longer protected as the personification of Destruction from other Personifications
  • Another is that he cannot fall in love with a mortal or the mortals downfall is assured.
  • Destruction's appearance somewhat resembles to actor Brian Blessed. Neil Gaiman had mentioned that he would like Blessed to play Destruction in the event of a Sandman movie.
  • Destruction's realm was not portrayed in the Sandman series.


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