The Sandman. Vanesu Samunyai as Rose Walker in episode 109 of The Sandman. Cr. Laurence Cendrowicz/Netflix © 2022

Who Is Rose & What Is a Vortex in the Sandman?

Who Is Rose Walker & What Is a Dream Vortex in The Sandman?

Netflix’s The Sandman features a plethora of characters and terms, many of which may confuse viewers, with one of the more confusing elements revolving around the character of Rose and that she is a being known as a Dream Vortex. Well, if you’re one of those people who are confused, we luckily have this guide just for you on who Rose is and what a Vortex is in The Sandman.

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Warning: Major spoilers for The Sandman below, and as the show follows the comics very closely, spoiler alert for those as well.

Who Is Rose Walker?

Rose Walker first appears very briefly in Season 1, Episode 5 as a friend to one of the unlucky diner patrons, Judy, the woman who is looking for her girlfriend after they had a fight. However, Rose isn’t introduced as a complete character until the opening moments of Episode 7, where we see her parents separate her from her little brother Jed. We then quickly see Rose years later in the present, now an adult, where she is trying to locate Jed with the help of her neighbor and best friend, Lyta.

Rose ends up meeting her grandmother Unity, more on her in a moment, who continues Rose on her quest to find Jed, sending Rose and Lyta to Florida. As Rose proceeds with her mission, she begins to notice strange occurrences involving the people around her and their dreams. Nevertheless, Rose is able to overcome this and, thanks to some help from her friends, including a few of Morpheus’ own creations, is able to rescue Jed.

What Is a Dream Vortex?

Unity, Lucienne, and Rose
Courtesy of Netflix

All of this is only part of Rose’s story, though, as she is something that is known as a Vortex, more specifically a Dream Vortex. So, what exactly does this mean?

Dream Vortexes aren’t fully explained even by the season’s end, as they are said to be something that even Dream himself doesn’t completely understand. Regardless, this doesn’t mean that we don’t have some idea of what they are, as it is clearly displayed within the show that a Dream Vortex has the ability to manipulate and break down the walls between reality and dreams. This is shown in particular when it comes to Lyta becoming pregnant in the waking world after seeing herself pregnant in the sleeping realm.

Furthermore, Vortexes have a slower aging process, which explains why Rose is consistently remarked as looking young for her age. These beings also have the ability to attract other dream creations, which explains why exactly Morpheus’ subjects are so aware of her presence. Lastly, Dream Vortexes are said to be naturally occurring phenomena, as they will come into existence seemingly on their own.

A wrinkle is added with Rose being a Vortex, though, as it is revealed in the season finale that Unity was supposed to be the Dream Vortex. In The Sandman’s series premiere, we see that people worldwide are afflicted by something deemed the Sleeping Sickness. However, thanks to Roderick Burgess capturing Morpheus, random people all across the world get this sickness where they fall into a coma, Unity being one such person. It’s only because of Dream escaping Burgess that people are able to wake up from the sickness, but due to it lasting a century long, Unity is the only survivor of the initial victims.

So what does this have to do with Dream Vortexes? Well, as it turns out, Vortexes can be passed down from generation to generation, something that Dream apparently had never encountered before as he had usually killed them before they could cause too much trouble. Yet, due to Unity’s coma, she couldn’t become a full-on Vortex.

It is revealed in the season one finale that Dream’s Endless sibling, Desire, had impregnated Unity in her dreams, also making her pregnant in real life. Desire has always “desired” to mess with their brother, with this particular plot being that they wanted to ensure that a Vortex would be formed. Desire has sex with Unity to make sure that the threat of such a danger was able to affect Morpheus and not just stop because of Unity’s illness.

Despite Desire’s plans, Unity willingly sacrifices herself for her granddaughter by taking in all the powers of the Dream Vortex from Rose and allowing Morpheus to destroy her in her granddaughter’s stead. This is only something she could do, thanks to once being supposed to be a Vortex. For now, it looks as though Desire has had their plans foiled.

That is everything you need to know about who Rose Walker is and what precisely a Dream Vortex is in Netflix’s The Sandman. If you’re looking for even more coverage on this fantastic DC Comics adaptation, Twinfinite is the home to multiple guides on the series, some of which can be found down below.


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Author
Joel Tapia
Love anything gaming and entertainment. Favorite game genres include anything Kingdom Hearts, superheroes, and survival horror. Favorite TV shows include Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., WandaVision, Dark, and The Office. Can talk for hours on end about any of these things and more.