Historical Costumes in The Sandman (2022-), Pt. 2


Before we get started, let’s just understand one thing: Racist bullshit regarding the casting of Kirby Howell-Baptiste as Death will not be tolerated. The end.

Now that that’s out of the way, the second thing to understand is that there will likely be spoilers ahead. Skip if you haven’t seen the series and care about that kind of thing.

As promised, I am back to discuss the second “frock flick” episode of The Sandman (2022-). Episode 6, “The Sound of Her Wings,” is a condensed introduction to Death, Morpheus’ older sister. The first half of the episode is basically a “day in the life of Death,” as Morpheus tags along with her while she does her work and tries to lift her brother out of the doldrums he finds himself in.

The second half of the episode is where all the costume content comes in. After Morpheus and Death part ways, he wanders up to an abandoned Tudor building on the Thames, and the scene cuts to the year 1389. Morpheus and Death are standing outside the same building, but it’s now a bustling medieval tavern. They go inside and observe the goings-on of the humans within. Morpheus is disdainful of all of it, but Death thinks it’s pretty great. They overhear a man bragging to his friends that he has no intention of dying, and the two Endless siblings decide to make a wager: Death will grant the man his wish for immortality, and Morpheus bets that he will be begging for death within a year. Morpheus and the man, Hob Gadling (played by Ferdinand Kingsley, son of Ben Kingsley), agree to meet up in 100 years at the same spot, to evaluate the situation. At the appointed time in 1489, Morpheus appears and finds Hob thoroughly enjoying the immortal life, much to his surprise. They agree to continue meeting every 100 years, and the show takes us through the rise and fall of Hob Gadling’s fortunes over the centuries.

According to the Twitter account, Netflix Geeked, the show’s assistant designer Dominique Arthur was responsible for the many centuries of sexy black costumes worn by Morpheus in the episode.

As far as historical accuracy goes … heh, not so much. But the costumes do a serviceable job in a show that obviously allocated most of the budget to the SFX team, and since it’s 30 minutes out of an entire series, I’m not going to hate on them too hard. I will say that I wish they’d given Death a better costume in 1389, but I will give them props for putting her in a wimple.


1389 Costume in The Sandman

The Sandman (2022-)

Count me in the Kirby Howell-Baptiste fan club. I thought she brought everything to the role that needed to be brought and then some. She was absolutely a delight to watch.


1589 in The Sandman

The Sandman (2022-)

In 1589, we are introduced to a very nerdy Will Shakespeare.


The Sandman (2022-)

Though Hob is looking pretty fly in that doublet.


1689 in The Sandman

The Sandman (2022-)

Yoinked from Tumblr. Because apparently fandom is still alive and well over there.


1789 in The Sandman

The Sandman (2022-)

Jenna Coleman appears as Johanna Constantine, looking for the man who made a deal with the devil for immortality.


The Sandman (2022-)

Oh, Tom Sturridge, why are you so damn pretty?


1889 in The Sandman

The Sandman (2022-)

My favorite Tumblr meme so far: “Look at these two losers becoming friends.”



Have you watched The Sandman? What was your favorite episode? Tell us in the comments!


About the author

Sarah Lorraine

Sarah has an undergraduate degree in Clothing & Textile Design and a Master's in Art History and Visual Culture, with an emphasis on fashion history. When she’s not caught in paralyzing existential dread, she's drinking craft cocktails and writing about historical costume in film and television. She's been pissing people off on the internet since 1995.

11 Responses

  1. Elizabeth

    This is one of my favorite episodes. I loved Kirby Howell-Baptiste as Death, and I adored Ben Kingsley’s hot son Ferdinand as Hob Gadling, especially the bit where even though he’d lost everything, he still didn’t want to die, because things could turn around!

  2. Stacy

    It took me until the 1889 scene and Hob wearing Victorian fashion to get me to realize I’d seen him as Mr Francatelli in Victoria, lol.

  3. Rhonda L Stannard

    I got addicted to this series real quick and that episode was my favorite one.

  4. Roxana

    Death’s headress is 12th, not 14th century imo. I’m pretty sure the wimple -pillbox-veil look had given way to wimple -cauls-veil by then, or even escoffions/hennins.

    • Lily Rose

      Yes & no; the wimple/pillbox (actually it is a fillet) in particular was popular well into the 1300s. Later in the 14th century you see more of the cauls and crespinettes (the braid or jeweled blob on the sides of the head), but the wimple stayed popular well into the 15th century. (It covers a multitude of sins!) Escoffions & hennins are solidly 15th century. So her headwear may be a tiny bit old-fashioned, but it’s quite reasonable. And well done!

      • Roxana

        Not everybody dresses in the height of the latest fashion after all. And Death can wear whatever she wants! Wimples really are quite becoming, can we bring them back? I got jowls!☹️

  5. eldalorien

    The Sandman isn’t my favourite comic series (it’s close, though), but it’s the one I’ve re-read the most. This episode was like two issues of the comic slapped onto the screen. Perfect perfect perfect.
    And can we talk about Desire?!? Holy carp is Mason Alexander Park exquisite!


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