Warning! Spoilers ahead for The Sandman season 1The first season of Netflix’s The Sandman introduces The Corinthian, an eyeless nightmare created by Dream of the Endless, aka Morpheus. While the Corinthian escaped Dream’s realm and entered the Waking World to terrify his victims outside of their dreams, not much is revealed about his lack of eyes and what happened to them, having been replaced by mouths full of grinning teeth. Likewise, the Corinthian is seen throughout the first season claiming and consuming the eyes of his victims.
Having escaped the realm of the Dreaming, The Sandman reveals that the Corinthian is one of the greatest nightmares to have ever been created by Morpheus. Although he was meant to terrorize humanity in their dreams as a dark mirror that would force them to acknowledge hidden truths about themselves, the Corinthian wanted to be more than a nightmare. Choosing to escape and enter the Waking World, the Corinthian began killing humans for real. He’s also given a more intentional role in Netflix’s adaptation of The Sandman, where he’s actively trying to sabotage the King of Dreams and Nightmares. Played by Boyd Holbrook, the Corinthian is incredibly charming and handsome, always wearing dark sunglasses to cover the disturbing truth about his eyes.
The Corinthian has never had normal eyes, with his extra two mouths making him quite the disturbing nightmare. However, he’s somehow able to see perfectly as the rogue nightmare travels the Waking World in search of victims. That being said, the Corinthian does have a penchant for gouging out the eyes of his prey, an act that eventually becomes his calling card human serial killers would become inspired by, as seen in the ending of The Sandman season 1.
Once Dream eventually finds his rogue nightmare in the finale of The Sandman, The Corinthian reveals that he likes to kill and take the eyes of humans simply for the act of killing itself. Claiming that killing makes him feel human, the original Sandman comics reveal that the Corinthian can see his victims’ memories and potential futures when he consumes their eyes. While this was likely meant to be used within the confines of the Dreaming, where the Corinthian would challenge fearful humans into confronting the secrets within their own lives, the ability has been twisted by the nightmare in the Waking World.
Although Dream destroyed the Corinthian at the end of The Sandman season 1, the comics see Morpheus creating a new Corinthian in future stories. As such, Boyd Holbrook’s version of the character could certainly return in The Sandman season 2 and beyond. While the extra mouths instead of eyes are truly disturbing, the Corinthian is one of the most compelling characters in The Sandman next to Dream himself.