The Sandman, Calliope reveals to Dream that she despised him before he rescued her, because she blames him for what happened to Orpheus.
The first time that The Sandman fans were introduced to Calliope was in the special bonus episode in season one.
During the course of this episode, Calliope hints at the fact that she was sceptical of asking Dream for help, because she despised him for his role in their son’s unfortunate fate.
Calliope’s introduction into The Sandman show
There is nothing quite like a special double episode featuring a new animation style and a goddess, to end the first season of the show. The Sandman’s “Dream of a Thousand Cats/ Calliope” bonus episode features all of this and more.
This special double episode is an adaptation of the very popular 17th and 18th issue of the “Dream Country” comic series.
The “Calliope” part of this episode introduces the character of Calliope, played by Melissanthi Mahut, as a Greek goddess and one of the original Muses.
The Sandman: Why does Calliope despise Dream?
Rather than focussing on Dream, the “Calliope” episode starts out with the struggling writer, Richard Madoc.
Madoc, who has been struggling with writer’s block and has already exceeded the deadline for his follow-up novel, approaches an older and more experienced writer by the name of Erasmus Fry for some advice.
In a surprising twist, Fry informs Madoc that he managed to enslave Calliope years ago.
Even more surprising, Fry decides to give Calliope to Madoc, who becomes her new master and will thus be able to exploit her as a source of inspiration until he makes the decision to free her.
Calliope insists that she is not an object that can be traded around and abused, but not even The Fates can help her to gain her freedom back, but they do encourage her to reach out to Dream.
This is also when it is revealed that Calliope and Dream were once married, and even had a son together. However, in the same breath, Calliope insists that Dream will not come to her aid and that she would not accept his help even if he tried.
Although Dream does end up coming to Calliope’s aid and eventually helps her to earn her freedom, she later reveals that the reason why she seemingly despised him in the beginning of the episode was because she blamed him for what had happened to their son, Orpheus.
Does Dream despise Calliope?
After Calliope is freed, she and Dream reunite and have an emotional exchange about how the feel about each other.
Calliope tells Dream “In the old days, you would have left me here to rot without turning a hair” which implies that their relationship ended very badly and left many things unresolved.
However, Dream confirms that he does not feel the same way about Calliope and that he does not hate her.
Will fans get to see more of the couple moving forward?
At the end of the day, Calliope asks Dream to release Madoc from the endless thoughts that had driven him almost mad at that point, but this is not the last request that she has for Dream.
Calliope also asks Dream if she can visit him in the dream realm, so that they can talk about their son and grieve his loss together.
It is very evident that Dream is not ready to confront his emotions about Orpheus yet and he never really ends up giving Calliope an answer, so it is still uncertain whether the couple will meet up again in future episodes of The Sandman.
What happened to Orpheus to make Calliope blame Dream?
When The Fates encourage Calliope to reach out to Dream at the beginning of this episode, they also mention that Calliope and Dream’s son, Orpheus was “torn apart for his sacrilege.”
This, along with the fact that Calliope blamed Dream for this happening to their son, strongly implies that Orpheus’s story and Dream’s involvement in this story may come in to play later on in the show.
In the Neil Gaiman comics, Orpheus first makes an appearance as a disembodied head in “Fables and Reflections”. As the story goes, Dream refused to help Orpheus to save his bride Eurydice after a fatal snake bite.
Following this rejection, Orpheus set out on his own to rescue Eurydice, but was eventually cursed to live out the rest of his life alone, just like in the Greek myth.
He is then torn to shreds years later by the bacchanal when he refuses to join in their rituals.