List of The Neverending Story characters

List of The Neverending Story characters

This article lists character information from the book The Neverending Story and the movie adaptations of the same name.


First appearance The Neverending Story
Created by Michael Ende
Portrayed by Noah Hathaway
Kenny Morrison
Dominic Zamprogna
Tyler Hynes
Species Greenskin warrior
Gender Male

Atreyu (German: Atréju) is a secondary protagonist to the story, being the protagonist of the mysterious book that Bastian reads. To the audience, he is a metafictional character, existing fictionally and within the reality of the book itself.

He is a young Greenskin warrior from the Grassy Plains (in German it is named The Grassy Sea). His parents were killed by a purple buffalo soon after he was born, so his entire village raised him, thus his name means "son of all" in his native language. He is summoned by the Childlike Empress to embark on a "Great Quest" to save the land of Fantastia by finding a cure for her illness. He is given AURYN, an amulet that makes whoever wears it the Childlike Empress' herald, and he sets out on his mission with his horse, Artax.

During the long events of the quest to find a cure, his travels lead him across all corners of Fantastica. He meets many creatures, including Falkor the luckdragon, who helps him on his quest by carrying him on his back. Bastian, all the while reading Atreyu's story in the real world, experiences everything Atreyu does and begins to sympathize with him. In the end this proves to have been Fantastica's solution and the Empress' cure, bringing Bastian to Fantastica to give the Empress a new name.

Atreyu features largely in the second half of the novel, as Bastian travels Fantastica far and wide as its savior. They quickly become friends, but as Bastian continues to use AURYN, he begins to change, a fact which does not go unnoticed by Atreyu and Falkor. Both first offer to wear AURYN on Bastian's behalf; when Bastian refuses and even casts them out for their alleged treason, Atreyu leads a rebellion against Bastian on the latter's coronation day as the Childlike Emperor. He is heavily wounded by Bastian during the battle, but manages to recover. When Bastian has lost even his last memory (his true name), Atreyu and Falkor help him and offer favorable testimony to the powers in AURYN, who then decide to let Bastian return to the human world. With their friendship restored, Atreyu takes up the task to finish the stories Bastian has begun in his sojourn in Fantastica.

In the 1984 film version, the character of Atreyu is played by Noah Hathaway. His skin is not olive green as described in the book, though it was attempted to do this through makeup, it never made it to the final production [1]. As such, his people were called the 'Plains People' instead of Greenskins. The character also makes a return appearance in The Neverending Story II: The Next Chapter, played by Kenny Morrison. In the 2001 Hallmark Channel mini-series, Tales from the Neverending Story, he is portrayed by Tyler Hynes and the character's people are referred to as the Woodland People. He is shown to have a romantic relationship with a young aviatrix called "Fly Girl", and to be something of a village innocent.

Appearances in other media

  • The American metalcore band, Atreyu, took its name from this character from The Neverending Story.
  • Contrary to popular belief, Noah Hathaway did not reprise the role of Atreyu via voice acting in the short-lived Neverending Story animated series. The voice of Atreyu in the animated series was provided by Dominic Zamprogna.
  • Atreyu appears in the Robot Chicken episode "Dragon Nuts" voiced by Seth Green. When he and Falkor are bored, they throw a "Neverending Party" and get chips and liquor for it.
  • Atreyu is mentioned in the song "Shakin'", by Rooney.
  • Atreyu is also mentioned in the song "Jugular Vein", by Mr. Lif.
  • Atreyu and his horse Artax are both mentioned in the song "The Rhythm Method (Move!), by Flobots.
  • Atreyu is mentioned in the title of Cecil Otter's song "Atreyu and The Swamps of Sadness."
  • Atreyu is mentioned in the song Classy Skit #1 - Falcor vs Atreyu by The Lonely Island

Bastian Balthazar Bux

Bastian Balthazar Bux
First appearance The Neverending Story
Created by Michael Ende
Portrayed by Barret Oliver
Jonathan Brandis
Jason James Richter
Christopher Bell[disambiguation needed ]
Mark Rendall
Species Human
Gender Male

Bastian Balthazar Bux (Bastian Balthasar Bux in German) is the main protagonist of the story. Bastian is a shy and bookish boy who is neglected by his father, who is still mourning the death of his wife (she died of an unspecified illness). During a visit to an antique bookstore, he steals a curious-looking book titled The Neverending Story, and upon reading it he finds himself literally drawn into the story.

Halfway through the book, Bastian becomes a character in The Neverending Story, in a world called Fantastica ("Fantasia" in the movies, which is closer to the German original "Phantásien"). He is bestowed the magical amulet AURYN, which allows his wishes to be granted. As the story progresses, Bastian slowly loses his memories of the real world as his wishes carry him throughout Fantastica and change him into a completely different person. Deluded by the witch Xayide, Bastian moves to the Ivory Tower and tries to have himself proclaimed Emperor. The ceremony is interrupted by Atreyu, who is nearly killed by Bastian.

Eventually, Bastian realizes that he is beginning to lose himself, and starts a desperate last-ditch quest for his one true desire. In the end he forgets even his name, but with the help of Falkor and Atreyu, who promise to finish the stories he started, he manages to return to the human world with the capability of loving, which was his deepest (and thereto unknown) desire, and bringing to his father the Water of Life, curing him of his melancholy. Bastian and Coreander exchange tales of their adventures in Fantastica, and Coreander reveals that a person can return to Fantastica as many times as they can think of new names for the Childlike Empress, and predicts Bastian will show others the way to Fantastica.

He has been portrayed by five different actors:

Carl Conrad Coreander

Carl Conrad Coreander
First appearance The Neverending Story
Created by Michael Ende
Portrayed by Thomas Hill
Species Human
Gender Male
Occupation Book shop owner

Carl Conrad Coreander (Karl Konrad Koreander in German) is a seemingly grouchy shopkeeper who meets Bastian early on in the narrative. The name of his bookstore makes for the first words in the novel, the heading of the prologue being "skooB dlO srednaeroC darnoC lraC", the store name when viewed through the window from the inside outwards. Bastian finds The Neverending Story in his store, a book Coreander was in the middle of reading. While distracted with a telephone call, Bastian steals it and takes it to school with him.

In the end, the novel makes it clear that Mr. Coreander is one of the few humans who has been to Fantastica and returned. He and Bastian come to a better understanding and share telling the stories of their adventures to one another. Both he and Bastian share the oddity of triple letter initials, an insight into their mutual connection to Fantastica.

Coreander is portrayed by Thomas Hill in the first movie, and was the only actor who reprised his role in the second movie. In the television series, Tales from the Neverending Story, he is a more kindly figure who functions in a double role as a wizard in Fantasia, where he is called "the Curiosity".

The Childlike Empress

Childlike Empress
First appearance The Neverending Story
Created by Michael Ende
Portrayed by Tami Stronach
Alexandra Johnes
Julie Cox
Aliases Moonchild; Golden-eyed Commander of Wishes
Species maybe Muse or Goddess of Fantasy
Gender Female
Occupation Empress

The Childlike Empress (Die Kindliche Kaiserin in German) is the monarch of Fantasia, who resides in the Ivory Tower palace in the heart of the realm. Although she is nominally the ruler of Fantasia, she does not command a political system nor does she enforce her authority, and in fact rarely interacts with the outside world. In actuality, she is the living embodiment of Fantasia's life force; should she die, Fantasia and all Fantasia would cease to exist.

The amulet known as 'AURYN' is her emblem, and those who wear it are her messengers and representatives. As explained by Morla the Aged One, her lifetime is not measured in years or in time ("she's much older than the oldest inhabitants of Fantasia [...] or rather, she's ageless"), but by names. She continuously needs new names, which only the imagination of a human child can give to her. When she begins to need a new name, she begins to fade away, causing the Nothing to appear in Fantasia. She sends Atreyu on the Great Quest, which brings Bastian Balthazar Bux to Fantasia, and Bastian gives her the name of his mother, (according to his dreams) Moonchild, which restores Fantasia and begins the second half of the novel.

Her description is that of an indescribably beautiful young girl, appearing no older than ten, yet known to be much older than the oldest Fantasians. Her hair is snow-white, as is her gown, and her eyes are the color of gold, earning her the official title Golden-Eyed Commander of Wishes (Goldäugige Gebieterin der Wünsche in German).

The role was portrayed by Tami Stronach in Wolfgang Petersen's 1984 adaptation, by Alexandra Johnes in The NeverEnding Story II: The Next Chapter (1990) and by Julie Cox in The NeverEnding Story III (1994). In the movies, her hair is dark, rather than white, and in the first movie, she is dressed like a bride.

Engywook and Urgl

Engywook and Urgl
First appearance The Neverending Story
Created by Michael Ende
Portrayed by Sydney Bromley/Tony Robinson, Patricia Hayes/Moya Brady
Species Fantasian Gnomes
Occupation Researcher of the Southern Oracle (Engywook), Housewife (Urgl)

Engywook (Engywuck in German) and his wife Urgl are a quarrelling pair of gnomes who live close to the location of the Southern Oracle. Engywook is a research scientist who has studied the Southern Oracle and her three gates for most of his life, hoping to publish a book containing his research. However, he has never been to the Southern Oracle himself. Engywook is portrayed as a rather excitable and slightly proud old man. His wife Urgl often gets in his way while brewing potions in a large cauldron, most are for healing wounded people. The two often argue, Engywook referring to Urgl as "wench". Engywook can observe the Riddle Gate, also known as the Sphinxes, from his telescope on a hilltop overlooking the first gate.

In the book, Engywook and Urgl help heal Atreyu and Falkor after they escaped from Ygramul. Urgl removes poison from Atreyu and Engywook instructs him about the three gates that lead to the Southern Oracle. This scene is portrayed in the 1984 film, Engywook played by Sydney Bromley, and Urgl played by Patricia Hayes.

In the third film of the series, Engywook and Urgl have moved to a forest and still argue continuously. The house is stepped on by Bastian during his return trip to Fantasia, although it is then completely destroyed by the powers of the Nasties effects on the land. The two go with Bastian, Falkor and Bark Troll to find the Empress for help, but they end up traveling to Earth due to a wish overload caused by Bastian and the others. They end up in Alaska where they mail themselves to the others and return home, their house rebuilt.

Falkor the luckdragon

The "life-size" reproduction of Falkor used by Bavaria Film Studios
First appearance The Neverending Story
Created by Michael Ende
Portrayed by Alan Oppenheimer
Species Luckdragon
Gender Male

Falkor (Fuchur in German) is a luckdragon, and a friend of Atreyu. He is the only luckdragon to appear, although five others are mentioned in passing. He helps Atreyu in his quest to find a cure for the Empress after escaping the web of Ygramul the Many.

Falkor has an elongated, winged body with rudimentary paws and many white scales and hairs on the length of his body that appear pink in dull light. He seems to like children based on what he says in the first movie. The form of his head is described less precisely, though his eyes are mentioned as being the colour of rubies. In the color illustrations of the original German version he appears much like an Oriental dragon. A cover for the book by Dan Craig illustrated Falkor as lion-like, while in the 1984 film adaptation of the novel, as well as its sequels, Falkor has distinctive canine features. Additionally, in both the first and second movies, Falkor asks to be scratched behind his ear, which are very big, accenting his dog-like appearance.

Unlike most of their dragon kin, luckdragons possess neither an immense physical strength, nor great magical talents, though they can still breathe fire, which is blue, as shown when Falkor fights Ygramul. Their only distinctive ability that sets them apart is their incredible luck in everything they do, as shown at one point in the novel when Falkor manages to locate and rescue his companion despite being lost in a violent, blinding storm and having absolutely no idea where to look for him. A luckdragon's typical answer to how it is going to accomplish a nearly impossible feat is always "With luck!" Despite such carelessness, it seems their luck truly never fails and is a valuable asset for their companions.

Another special trait of luckdragons is the ability to fly despite the fact that they have no wings. It is explained in the book that luckdragons are beings made from fire and air. When in flight a Luck Dragon is in constant motion and literally swims through the air. Luckdragons never stop taking in air and heat through their scales, which makes eating unnecessary and makes water deadly to them if they are immersed in it for more than a few minutes. Luckdragons are capable of sleeping while flying, and prefer to have as much open space as possible rather than be cooped up in a building, regardless of how spacious it may be.

In the first film, Falkor is voiced by Alan Oppenheimer, who also voiced Mighty Mouse and Skeletor.

Bavaria Film Studios in Munich has a "life-size" reproduction of Falkor which tourists can climb on and ride.

Other appearances

  • Falkor makes a brief appearance in the Family Guy episode "Breaking Out Is Hard to Do". He is being ridden by Peter Griffin in the role of Bastian. Peter appears to weigh substantially more than Atreyu or Bastian in either the book or film versions of The Neverending Story, causing Falkor to crash into the ground.
  • Falkor also appears in a short scene in the Robot Chicken episode "Dragon Nuts" voiced by Seth Green.
  • Falkor appears during the end credits of the PC game Jets'n'Guns.
  • The dragon serves as a mode of transportation for Yakko, Wakko and Dot during the fantasy level of the Animaniacs video game.
  • Falkor is seen in Dean Venture's dreamland in an episode of The Venture Bros.
  • Falkor is seen in Code Monkeys episode 7 "Larrity's Got Back", being ridden by Mr. Larrity's son Dean.
  • Falkor is seen in episode 4 of Downtown no Gottsu Ee Kanji's "5 Rangers" series of comedy skits.
  • Falkor can be seen in the background in the South Park episode "Imaginationland Episode I". He can also be seen in the skies carrying a machine gun in the final battle against the forces of evil in "Imaginationland Episode III".
  • Falkor appears at the end of the Meme segment of the SuperNews! episode Memes, Monoliths, & Pubes, Oh My!. Darren and Craig are seen riding Falkor and Falkor says " Technically no, so long as we're spending time on the internet, OK".
  • The song Luck Dragon Lady! by The Aquabats, from their 2011 album Hi-Five Soup! is sung from the point of view of Falkor.
  • Falkor appears as a cameo in a joke segment of Homestuck.
  • The American comedy band The Lonely Island have a track called "Falcor vs. Atreyu (Classy Skit #1)" on their album Turtleneck & Chain.


Gmork, as he appears in the 1984 motion picture.
First appearance The Neverending Story
Created by Michael Ende
Portrayed by Alan Oppenheimer (uncredited), Edward Yankie (TV)
Species wolf, traveller between worlds

Gmork, a werewolf, is one of the villains, a servant to the power behind the Nothing. His physical appearance is that of a large, wolf-like creature with night-black fur and capable of human speech. The film shows him as having short, dark, blue-black fur and luminous green cat-like eyes, as well as more fangs than an ordinary wolf would have.

Gmork's primary mission in the Neverending Story is to track down and kill the young warrior Atreyu. He, and other dual-natured creatures like him, do not possess a world of their own like Fantasticans and humans do. Instead, he is able to travel between worlds, changing into a Fantastican or a human depending upon the world, but in appearance only. His knowledge of Fantastica interested the Manipulators, which is why they gave him his mission. However, he never manages to catch up with Atreyu, because the latter uses the magical powers of the monster Ygramul's poisonous bite to wish himself to the Southern Oracle.

Atreyu finally meets Gmork in Spook City, where he is chained, and Atreyu employs the name 'Nobody' to hide his identity in shame of his failure to complete his quest. Gmork confesses that he has been hunting a boy sent on a quest by the Childlike Empress to find her a new name, but lost him early on. He then met the Princess of Darkness, Gaya, who upon hearing of his mission to help the Nothing, chained Gmork with an unbreakable magical chain and leapt into the Nothing, leaving him to starve. Gmork explains to Atreyu the nature of the Nothing, and that if a Fantastican enters it, they become a 'lie' in the human world. Eventually, Gmork reveals the name of the boy he is pursuing, and Atreyu reveals his identity, which causes Gmork to laugh until he finally succumbs to starvation.

Gmork's fate, bound with an indestructible chain, is reminiscent of Fenrir in the Nordic mythology.

In the movie, Gmork almost manages to kill Atreyu in the Swamps of Sadness, but Atreyu is saved just in time by Falkor the luckdragon. Their meeting in Spook City occurs in the movie as well; Gmork, however, is not depicted as tied, and does not name "Manipulators" as the power behind the Nothing. He attacks Atreyu, impaling himself on an improvised stone knife held by the young warrior.

In the book, Gmork's evil lives on after his death. As Atreyu approaches the dead wolf, the carcass lashes out and grabs Atreyu in its jaws. Being held by Gmork, however, prevents Atreyu from being able to give in to the overpowering urge exerted by the Nothing to throw himself into it. He is freed from Gmork's grip by Falkor, who escapes with him to the Ivory Tower.

In Tales of the Neverending Story, Gmork is a werewolf-type creature under Xayide who invades Bastian's world to assume the guise of Mr. Blank to keep an eye on him and stop his meddling.


First appearance The Neverending Story
Created by Michael Ende
Aliases The Many Colored Death
Species Lion
Occupation Guardian of the Desert of Colors

Grograman, the Many Colored Death (Graógramán, der Bunte Tod in German), is the guardian and lord over Goab, the Desert of Colors, which exists in a symbiosis with Perilin, the Night Forest. He appears in the form of a huge lion, who changes colors much like a chameleon based on the color of sand he is treading on. He is said to "bring the desert with him", turning all life around him into sand, thus his nickname. Grograman turns into an obsidian statue at night in order to allow the growth of Perilin.

Grograman is the first creature Bastian meets upon his arrival in Fantastica (if the Childlike Empress is to be excluded); Bastian is protected from the effect of Grograman's death aura by AURYN, and is thus the first living being ever to make friends with him. Grograman is the first one who teaches Bastian something of the nature of Fantastica, and he gives Bastian his magic (and seemingly intelligent) sword, Sikanda. One night, Bastian is called away; he promises to return, but is ultimately unable to keep his promise (the story suggests, however, that one day someone would fulfill the promise in Bastian's name).

In the Animated Series Grograman is depicted as being a fire Lion that burns down Perilin to protect Fantastica(Fantasia) from being overrun by its roots and branches, he is later captured by Xayide so that this could happen in a plan of hers to take over Fantastica but Bastian who had been visiting at that time sets him free. Also Grograman is depicted as dying every nightfall rather than turning into stone. It's either the Book or the Empress trying to teach Bastian about the cycles of as the Empress later tells Bastian through AURYN that this is normal for Grograman's realm, for him to die at nightfall so the forest can live, and then for him to awaken at sunrise so the rest of Fantastica can live under his protection from the forest.


First appearance The Neverending Story
Created by Michael Ende
Aliases The Aged One
Species Giant Turtle

Morla, the Aged One (Die Uralte Morla in German), is a giant turtle who, because of her size, is mistaken for a mountain. She lives amidst the Swamps of Sadness, which might be either the cause or the result of her melancholy mindset: as the oldest living Fantastican (after the Childlike Empress and the Old Man of Wandering Mountain who are both ageless) she has grown to be totally indifferent to the fate of Fantastica and her own survival. Reluctantly, she eventually informs Atreyu that the Empress needs to be given a new name and that no Fantastican can do that. Unknowing who can provide a new name, she points Atreyu to the Southern Oracle.

In the movie she has allergies to youth (Atreyu) and sneezes violently what they are visibly aggravated. Unlike in the book she knows nothing about the illness of the Empress, but sends Atreyu directly to the Southern Oracle.

The Old Man of Wandering Mountain

Old Man of Wandering Mountain
First appearance The Neverending Story
Created by Michael Ende
Occupation Chronicler

The Old Man of Wandering Mountain (Der Alte vom Wandernden Berge in German) is an elderly bearded chronicler who has existed since the beginning of Fantastica and has never been young. He is of the same species as the Childlike Empress, and not from Fantastica. His chronicle contains all events in Fantastica as he writes everything down as it happens, and everything happens as he writes it down. He lives alone in an egg-shaped home on top of the Wandering Mountain, which can be found only by chance or fate.

The Old Man appears in the story when the Childlike Empress is forced to use drastic measures to make Bastian fulfill his part in the story. As she approaches his mountain, the Old Man tries to dissuade her from entering, to the point of insulting her, as Fantastica's origin cannot meet up with its end. On her request, the Old Man begins reading from his chronicle (starting with Bastian entering the book shop). As he reads, all events happen again and as they happen again he writes them down again, beginning a vicious circle of eternal repetition which finally drives Bastian into calling out the Empress' new name.

The Old Man does not appear in the first film and his appearance in the third film differs drastically from the book. He possesses the Great Book, which can seemingly write the future on its own accord. He dwells in a hidden crystal cave where he can see outside events using a "magic mirror". He is visited by the Childlike Empress and her guard Big Head, who remain with him until the end of the Nastie crisis. In this film, he grovels before the Empress and sees it as an honor that the monarch would visit him. Also enjoys bread pudding and pinochle.

Pyornkrachzark and the other messengers

First appearance The Neverending Story
Created by Michael Ende
Aliases Rockbiter
Species Rockbiter
Occupation Messenger

The beginning of the novel as well as the film introduces a travelling party consisting of messengers: Gluckuk (Ückück in German), a tiny man (Winzling) riding a racing snail (in the film he is called Teeny Weeny and portrayed by Deep Roy), a Nighthob (Nachtalb) by the name of Whooshwoozool (Wúschwusul) who rides on a bat, Pyornkrachzark (Pjörnrachzarck), a Rockbiter riding a stone vehicle, and Blubb, a will-o'-the-wisp. All four are sent by their respective people to the Ivory Tower to ask the Childlike Empress for help against the Nothing's destructive forces. In the film, Blubb isn't featured, and his actions are given to the Rockbiter.

Among the messengers, Pyornkrachzark, more commonly known as "Rock Biter" (in German Felsenbeisser) is the most famous. He is a large creature made completely of stone. The Rockbiter species are named due to their diet consisting of only rocks and earth-based materials. The Rockbiter seen in the movie particularly has a liking for limestone.

In the novel, the Rockbiter only appears early in the novel. But in the film he reappears towards the end when he is encountered by Atreyu. He has lost faith in himself after failing to save his travelling companions from the Nothing, who were sucked right out of his hands. He advises Atreyu to flee before the Nothing takes him too and remains to be taken himself.

In the second and third films, Rock Biter's family is introduced. His wife appears in the third film and his son appears in the second and third films. Rock Biter Junior is the same size as a regular human and is only a toddler, being rather clueless about the world and is rather gluttonous and playful. Junior has a main role in the third film where he is sent to Earth during a wish overload caused by Bastian, Falkor, Bark Troll, Engywook and Urgl. He is saved from falling to his death by Falkor and they are reunited with Bastian. Junior doesn't make life easy for Bastian, causing mayhem in his kitchen at night and playing a watercan like a trumpet. Rock Biter and his wife begin fighting and eventually nearly split due to the absence of their son and the further effects of the Nasties, who are in possession of the book and AURYN. The family are reunited at the end of the film. Rock Biter also sings a rather bad version of Born To Be Wild by Steppenwolf.

The Southern Oracle

Southern Oracle
First appearance The Neverending Story
Created by Michael Ende
Aliases Uyulala; the Voice of Still
Occupation Oracle

The Southern Oracle, also named Uyulala (Uyulála in German), is a mysterious and all-knowing oracle guarded by three magical gates. Many creatures in Fantastica try to visit the oracle for wisdom, but few succeed in getting through all three gates and as such it is a great mystery who or what Uyulala is. She is in fact an incorporeal entity; depicted as a disembodied, continuous female voice who speaks in - and can only understand - rhymed speech and otherwise sings ceaselessly to maintain her existence.

The ancient, giant turtle Morla tells Atreyu that Uyulala is the only one who knows who can give the Childlike Empress a new name and prevent her from dying. But the Southern Oracle is so far away that on foot Atreyu would be an old man by the time he reached it. It is only with the help of Ygramul's poison that is Atreyu able to transport himself near the oracle instantly. There he learns from the gnome Engywook, a scholar who wishes to uncover the secrets of the Southern Oracle, that in order to speak with Uyulala he must pass through the three gates:

  • The first gate is the Great Riddle Gate, which consists of two Sphinxes who face one another. In Greek mythology the Sphinx presents riddles and punishes those who cannot guess them. Fantastican Sphinxes are blind: their eyes do not take in light, rather they send forth all the riddles in the world. Those caught between their gaze are frozen on the spot and doomed to remain until they solve every riddle, or until the more likely outcome that they die. There is a random chance the Sphinxes will close their eyes and allow a person to pass, however. It is possible that being afraid is the key to passing this gate.
  • The second gate is the Magic Mirror Gate, which is a large, circular, moon-like mirror. Rather than reflect physical appearances, the mirror reflects the absolute truest nature of the observer. This often frightens people into running away or drives them mad with hysteria. To pass the gate, a person must work up the courage to pass through the image. Atreyu sees Bastian reading the Neverending Story, demonstrating that it is not merely a "story" and terrifying Bastian.
  • The third gate is the No-Key Gate, which is a keyless door made of a strange metal called Fantastican selenium that is physically indestructible, but reacts to a person's will. Only by forgetting everything and losing the desire to enter may one get it to open.

When Atreyu passes through the three doors, he discovers that Uyulala is a disembodied, singing voice who can only understand rhymes. In a poetic conversation, Atreyu learns the reason why the Childlike Empress is ill, and what he must find in order to restore her health. Uyulala is then quiet and the Southern Oracle with its three gates is silently destroyed by the Nothing. Passing through the first two gates causes Atreyu to first lose all fear (the Great Riddle Gate), and then all memory of himself (the Magic Mirror Gate). This allows him to open the No-Key Gate, though only Bastian's voice keeps the now empty-minded Atreyu from wandering off in a random direction.

The movie version of the Southern Oracle shares the generalities. The first gate judges whether the person attempting to pass through it "feels his own worth"; if the person is doubtful of their ability to pass through safely, the two Sphinxes fire beams of light from their eyes to incinerate the visitor. The second gate is a mirror much like the book's description, located in a snowy wilderness. There is no third gate. The Oracle itself is two blue glowing Sphinxes facing one another, exactly like the yellow glowing sphinxes at the first gate. It speaks in prose. As with the book, the Oracle crumbles and dies after revealing the cure for the Childlike Empress' condition.

In Tales from the Neverending Story, a hero must pass through the Riddle Gate, which tests his confidence in himself. He must then answer a riddle and pass through a mirror that displays the necessary thing he needs. In the case of Atreyu, he lands in a library owned by the wizard nicknamed "the Curiosity", who teaches him to read. Thereafter he passes through a glass door on which the name Uyulala is inscribed, to find the Oracle much as she is described in the book.


First appearance The Neverending Story
Created by Michael Ende
Portrayed by Clarissa Burt
Aliases Mistress of Horok Castle
Species Fantastican
Gender Female
Occupation Sorceress

Xayide (Xayíde in German) is an evil sorceress. She appears later in the book after Bastian enters the world of Fantastica. Xayide lives in a castle shaped like a hand, called Horok, the Seeing Hand, so called because its multitude of windows appear like human eyes. Xayide's most striking physical feature are her heterochromatic red and green eyes. She has the ability to control anything empty, and thus she employs a number of guards which are effectively empty suits of iron plate armour.

While at her core Xayide is cold and calculating, she presents to Bastian a warm and worshipping exterior, which fools him easily. Her vain wishes are to replace the Childlike Empress as ruler of Fantastica and bring sharp order to the realm of fantasy. Realizing she cannot defeat Bastian by force, she uses him in an attempt to rule by proxy, convincing him to invade the Ivory Tower with the power of his wishes to become Childlike Emperor. After losing Bastian, she is trampled underfoot and crushed to death by her iron minions who resist her waning magic. The book's chapters follow an alphabetical order pattern of the first word, thus her name serves well for the difficult "X" word in Chapter 24, where she meets her demise.

Xayide is portrayed by actress and model Clarissa Burt in The NeverEnding Story II: The Next Chapter, which is loosely based upon the second half of the novel with key differences. In the adaption, Xayide's ability to control hollow things, such as her guards, is taken to another level: control of an entity similar to the Nothing called 'the Emptiness' which plagues Fantastica and threatens the Empress. She is faceless in her first appearance and puts on a face by applying a magic substance. Xayide is depicted in the movie very much akin to the book's description, cunning enough to manipulate Bastian into delusion, planning to usurp the Childlike Empress and bring order to Fantastica. In both media she gives Bastian the belt Ghemmal, which turns its wearer invisible and was intended for the same purpose: to spy on Atreyu. She meets her end in the movie when Bastian uses his last wish for her to have a heart, causing her to no longer be empty and cancel herself out.

In the miniseries Tales from the Neverending Story, Xayide is portrayed as the Childlike Empress' sister and is the main antagonist of the story.


First appearance The Neverending Story
Created by Michael Ende
Aliases Ygramul, the Many
Species Insect Hive

Ygramul, the Many (Ygramul, die Viele in German), is a monster that lives in the land of Dead Mountains.

Ygramul is portrayed as a shapeshifter, who often takes form of a large spider and builds webs to catch its prey. The creature is actually composed of many little hornet-like insects who share a single hive mind. Ygramul's poison is deadly and kills within one hour, but grants the victim the ability to teleport to any location within the land of Fantastica before succumbing to its effects.

In the book, this poison is the means by which Atreyu travels to the home of Engywook and Urgl, near the Southern Oracle. At this point in the story Falkor the luckdragon is introduced; he is caught in Ygramul's web, and also uses the power of Ygramul's poison to follow Atreyu. The lingering effects of the poison are nursed out of the two by Urgl, while Engywook, a scholar of the Southern Oracle, instructs Atreyu on the challenges he is to encounter within the Oracle's demesne.

Other characters

  • Bastian's Dad – Bastian's unnamed father, who is a dental technician by profession, is described to have grown distant from his son after the death of his wife, although this changes when he and Bastian are reunited at the end of the book. In the second film, Bastian's father is given the first name Barney and finds the Neverending Story and follows Bastian's journey by reading the book and reunited with his son at the conclusion of the film. However, in the third film, he appears to have no memories of reading the book. He marries a woman named Jane and thus gains a new family, along with a daughter named Nicole who plays a main role in the third film. Played by Gerald McRaney
  • Cairon (Caíron in German) – Herald of the Childlike Empress and in-between bearer of AURYN, who passed it to Atreyu. In the book he appears as a black elderly centaur, his lower half with the striped pattern of a zebra, but in the film he appears as a humanoid Merman. By his name, and being a centaur and physician, Cairon is an allusion to the mythological Greek Chiron.
  • Four Wind Giants – Four giants who guard the winds of Fantastica. They are shown to have a habit of fighting each other, which causes the separation of Atreyu and Falkor in the novel. In the movie, they are replaced by the Nothing.
  • The Four Heroes – Four swordsman who appear in the second half of the novel. They are said to be the bravest and strongest warriors in all of Fantastica and participate in a tournament together in the Silver City of Amarganth. One is identified as Hero Hynreck, who is infatuated with Princess Oglamar; the other three, Hykrion, Hysbald and Hydorn, accompany Bastian on his journey and swear allegiance to him. They are often portrayed as cheerful beings, but when Bastian decides to make himself an emperor, they get drunk and become rather useless. They survive the battle against Atreyu's rebellion but lose track of Bastian, and go their separate ways to look for him.
  • Yikka (Jicha) – A female mule who acts as Bastian's steed and mode of transport during the second half of the novel. She is quite faithful to him, but under Xayide's influence Bastian allows her to leave his side to start a family with an attractive male pegasus.
  • The Acharis (Acharai) – Worm-like creatures who are so ashamed by their own ugliness that they hide underground and constantly cry. Their acidic tears eat away the soil around them, allowing them to mine Fantastican silver (the only element which is impervious to their tears), which they use to construct beautiful buildings. Bastian pities them and transforms them into the Shlamoofs (Schlamuffen), but they become anarchist, clown-faced flying creatures who have no rules and destroy all of the work they did as Acharis. They pursue Bastian and demand that he becomes their leader, but they are driven off by Atreyu and Falkor — unfortunately too late before their screaming destroys the fragile picture of his father that Bastian previously excavated from Yor's Minroud (see below).
  • Ilwan (Illuán) – A blue genie with a bird's beak in place of his nose and mouth. Ilwan became one of Bastian's closest servants, but was killed during the battle for the Ivory Tower.
  • Querquobad, the Silver Sage (Quérquobad der Silbergreis) – The ruler of the silver ship city of Amarganth, which was built by the Acharis and swims on a lake made by their tears.
  • Dame Eyola (Dame Aiuóla) – A living plant taking the form of a motherly woman who lives in the House of Change, who waited for Bastian to find her so she could take care of him and help him on his path to find his own, personal desire.
  • Yor – The picture miner of Yor's Minroud, a mine from which he excavates dream pictures (which make up the soil of Fantastica), who helps Bastian find his lost dream.
  • Bark Troll – a walking tree troll who is a creation of the third film, making no actual appearance in the original book. He is loosely based on three characters of a species called bark trolls that appeared briefly to advise Atreyu about the Nothing in the book. In the film he is rather grouchy but acts as comic relief. He befriends Bastian and joins him to fight the Nasties, but lands on Earth due to a wish overload in a conifer forest. He comes across a logging shipment and hitches a ride to Bastian's house, disguised as a log and a garden plant. He develops a difficult friendship with Rock Biter Junior in the process.
  • Nimbly is a bird-like creature in the second film and does not exist as a character in the book. He is Xayide's spy, who encourages Bastian to use up his memories wishing, but later has a change of heart. In the book, there is a species called nimblies, who are rabbit-like creatures with feathers instead of fur.
  • Shexper/Shakespeare Mentioned in XVIII (18) when Hykrion, Hysbald, and Hydorn sing a song ("When that I was a little tiny boy, With Hey, Ho, the wind and the rain..."). They mention that that song was sung by one called "Shexper", which is mispronunciation of the name, "Shakespeare", alluding to the possibility that the real Shakespeare once visited Fantasia the same way Bastian did.

External links

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