Why Neil Gaiman’s Death is the Best Goth

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thesandmanneilgaimanIf you haven’t read through the amazing piece of work that is Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman, go and buy it now and come back after you have read it. Honestly. You will thank me. It is one of the best works ever written or drawn.

Need a bit of convincing? There are seven concepts of humanity, Destiny, Death, Dream, Destruction, Desire, Despair, and Delirium. They all have a personality, and all exist, controller of their own domain. And they operate as a dysfunctional family.

The series mainly follows Dream, “The lord of all that isn’t, and all will never be”, the muse, the man who comes to poets and thinkers and shows them things both of this world and of beyond.

And he is very set in his ways, without forgiveness, somber and angry.

Seriously, go and read it now[/affl.ink]. You will thank me.

Now, Death in The Sandman, is in many ways, the ultimate, perfect, goth.

For a start, I love the twist on the typical grim reaper idea. That she isn’t just the person you meet at the end of your life, but she’s also the person you have meet at the very start of it, so that going into the sunless lands is just taking a walk with an old friend. The thought gives me a small tear writing about it.

Then there is everything else that makes Death such an amazing character:

Neil Gaiman’s Death has the best personality

Sure, it’s hinted at that she used to be a lot more angry and vengeful, just like her older brother, but now she is mellow and happy, yet still stern and commanding.

She rejects the idea of mourning, or of dwelling long on sadness. She takes no delight in the reaping of her job, but takes delight in the people with it as a warm-hearted person. She at once appears as a friend, a mother, and a lover.

Her Style is just spot on

Amazing eye makeup? Check. A penchant for top hats? Check. Cool piece of Jewellery? Brilliant.

Looking nothing like any other personification of death before her, and get now the image I first think of when I picture the grim reaper. Her influence has spread across to other areas, including the TV series Supernatural.

And if you are into women, she might also be one of the most attractive comic characters (well, other than Desire, but considering how she/he/they change depending on what the person wants, that’s a bit cheating). As someone says of her in the “The Thessaliad” spin off series, when another character is complaining on how Death looks nothing like a traditional Grim Reaper, “Maybe she wants to make sure everyone is guaranteed at least one hot date before they cease to exist” which also speaks volumes about her much more beautiful personality.

Death teaches you things about Life

Perhaps the most amazing thing about death, and Neil Gaiman in general, is how much you can learn from them. One of the first Death lines, “Y You lived what anybody gets, Bernie. You got a lifetime. No more. No less.”

Through her you learn to love, laugh, and appreciate your life. Through her, you learn to not fear death, and in stead accept it as something that happens in the natural order of things.

She is everything a goth should be.

Often Death is criticised in the books for not following the traditional ways of being a grim reaper, of being the literal personification of humanities’ greatest fear. Her response to all of that?

To carry on being herself.

When told that she should be miserable, she doesn’t double down on her efforts to be happy, perky. No, she just carries on as she was before. She, out of all of the endless, is the most conformable at being one of them. She has accepted all of her roles and duties, and does not see them as a burden, or even a job. As a personification of death, she knows everything about what it is to live her life.

(Header Image By William Tung from USA (Wondercon 2016 – Death and Dream Cosplay) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons).

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