Title: The Sandman: The Kindly Ones.
Author: Neil Gaiman.
Artist: Dave McKean, Kevin Nowlan, Marc Hempel, Glyn Dillon, Charles Vess, Dean Ormston, Teddy Kristiansen, and Richard Case.
Genre: Fiction, fantasy, mythology.
Publication Date: February 1994 - July 1995.
Summary: Distraught by the kidnapping and presumed death of her son, and believing Morpheus to be responsible, Lyta Hall, a former super-heroine, calls the ancient wrath of the Furies down upon him. The "kindly ones" enter his realm and force a sacrifice that will change the Dreaming forever.
My rating: 8/10.
♥ "You mustn't be too hard on him."
"Hard on him, Matthew?"
"Well, for the stuff he says about you. He can be sort of offensive..."
"It has always been the prerogative of children and half-wits to point out that the emperor has no clothes. But the half-wit remains a half-wit, and the emperor remains an emperor."
♥ "They never liked us, did they?"
"Gods don't 'like'. They love and they hate and they ignore..."
♥ I've been making a list of the things they don't teach you at school. They don't teach you how to love somebody. They don't teach you how to be famous. They don't teach you how to be rich, or how to be poor. They don't teach you how to walk away from someone you don't love any longer. They don't teach you how to know what's going on in someone else's mind. They don't teach you what to say to someone who's dying. They don't teach you anything worth knowing.
♥ "There's a theory that for a human to be killed by a god is the best thing that could possibly happen to the human under discussion. It eliminates all questions of belief, while manifestly placing a human life at the service of a higher power. Where do you stand on this theory?"
"I--I don't believe in God."
"You don't have to believe in God. But what about gods? Eh? The plurality of powers and dominions. The lords and ladies of field and thorn, of asphalt and sewer, gods of telephone and whore, gods of hospital and car-crash?"
"That is crazy."
"There is a madness needed to touch the gods, yes, this is true. Few mortals possess it, the willingness to step away fro the protection of sanity. To walk into the wild wood of madness..."
♥ "I never thought I would ever get to this place."
"Destinations are often a surprise to the destined."
♥ "I bear no grudges. I see things as they are: how then can I bear a grudge? But... my sister. You must understand: events do not occur apart and singly. And anything worth the hunting has a cost."
...But Destiny has gone. And, eventually, finding no further answers to her questions, his sister picks a path for herself, and walks it, and leaves that place.
♥ All journeys leave marks on us.
♥ "Let all that do ill take this precedent:
'Man may his fate forever see, but not prevent!'
And of all axioms this shall win the prize,
'Tis better to be fortunate than wise.'"
♥ "Sister, I have responsibilities. I cannot leave the Dreaming at this time."
"You use that word so much. Responsibilities. Don't you ever think about what it means? I mean, what does it mean to you? In your head?"
"Well, I use it to refer to that area of existence over which I exert a certain amount of control and influence. In my case, the realm and action of dreaming."
"Hump. It's more than that. The things we do make echoes. S'pose, f'rinstance, you stop on a street corner and admire a brilliant fork of lighting - ZAP! Well for ages after people and things will stop on the very same corner, stare up at the sky. They wouldn't even know what they were looking for. Some of them might see a ghost bolt of lightning in the street. Some of them might even be killed by it. Our existence deforms the universe. That's responsibility."
♥ "Are you going to hurt me? Kill me? Mess with me?"
"No more than usually; no; and perhaps, a little. But only with love."
"Love... Have you ever been in love?"
"You might say that."
"Horrible, isn't it?"
"In what way?"
"It makes you so vulnerable. It opens your chest and it opens your heart and it means someone can get inside you and mess you up. You build up all these defenses. You build up this whole armor, for years, so nothing can hurt you, then one stupid person, no different from any other stupid person, wanders into your stupid life... You give them a piece of you. They don't ask for it. They do something dumb one day like kiss you, or smile at you, and then your life isn't your own anymore. Love takes hostages. It gets inside you. It eats you out and leaves you crying in the darkness, so a simple phrase like "Maybe we should just be friends" or "How very perceptive" turns into a glass splinter working its way into your heart. I hate love."
♥ You crippled you with pain and lies
You're hurting all the time; and elf,
You built your prison cell yourself
then schemed and dreamed of open skies--
♥ Rules and responsibilities: these are the ties that bind us. We do what we do because of who we are. If we did otherwise, we would not be ourselves. I will do what I have to do. And I will do what I must.
♥ Flowers gathered in the morning,
Afternoon they blossom on,
Still are withered by the evening:
You can be me when I'm gone.