List of The Neverending Story characters

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

Bastian Balthazar Bux[edit]

Bastian Balthazar Bux
First appearanceThe Neverending Story
Created byMichael Ende
Portrayed byBarret Oliver (1st film)
Jonathan Brandis (2nd film)
Jason James Richter (3rd film)
Christopher Bell
Mark Rendall

Bastian Balthazar Bux is a shy and bookish boy around 12 years old who is neglected by his father and still mourning the sudden death of his mother (she died of an unspecified illness). He is a dreamer, who is shunned by other children due to his immense imagination. 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 films, 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 benevolent Childlike Empress, and predicts Bastian will show others the way to Fantastica.

He has been portrayed by five different actors:


First appearanceThe Neverending Story
Created byMichael Ende
Portrayed byNoah Hathaway (1st film)
Kenny Morrison (2nd film)
Dominic Zamprogna (Animated series)
Tyler Hynes (TV series)
SpeciesGreenskin warrior

Atreyu (German: Atréju) is the protagonist of the mysterious book that Bastian reads. To the readership, Atreyu is a metafictional character, existing fictionally and within the reality of the book itself. He is described as having green skin.

He is a young warrior from the Grassy Plains (in German, "The Grassy Sea"). His parents were killed by a Purple Buffalo soon after he was born, and his entire village raised him; wherefore his name means "son of all" in his native language. He is summoned by the Childlike Empress to save the land of Fantastica by finding a cure for her illness, and given AURYN, an amulet that makes whoever wears it the Childlike Empress' herald. During the quest to find a cure, he meets Falkor the luckdragon, who becomes his steed after the death of his horse 'Artax'. Bastian, reading Atreyu's story in the real world, experiences everything Atreyu does; this proves Fantasia's solution and the Empress' cure, in bringing Bastian to Fantastica to give the Empress a new name.

Atreyu plays a prominent role 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 becomes arrogant and gradually loses his memories. When Bastian has lost even his name, Atreyu and Falkor offer favorable testimony to the powers in AURYN, who allow Bastian's return to the human world. With their friendship restored, Atreyu promises to finish the stories Bastian has begun in Fantastica.

In the 1984 film version, the character of Atreyu is played by Noah Hathaway. His skin is ultimately not olive green as described in the novel; though it was attempted to do this through makeup, it never made it to the final production.[1] As such, his people were ultimately called the 'Plains People' instead of Greenskins. The character makes a return appearance in The NeverEnding Story II: The Next Chapter, played by Kenny Morrison.

In the 1995 animated show, Atreyu (voiced by Dominic Zamprogna) and his people are, as in the novel, green-skinned; but this version of Atreyu has a younger sister named Saiya, and his outward appearance has been patterned after Noah Hathaway from the first film.

In the 2001 Hallmark Channel mini-series, Tales from the Neverending Story, he is portrayed by Tyler Hynes and the character's people are called 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.

Atreyu in popular culture[edit]

  • The American metalcore band, Atreyu, took its name from this character from The Neverending Story.
  • Atreyu and Artax inspired Listener's song "Failing is Not Just for Failures".
  • In Comedy Central's Workaholics season 5 episode 10 (Trivia Pursuits), Adam and Blake argue over who gets to be Atreyu when deciding on their costumes for an upcoming 1980s trivia contest against three Asian men who are also street racers.

Carl Conrad Coreander[edit]

Carl Conrad Coreander
First appearanceThe Neverending Story
Created byMichael Ende
Portrayed byThomas Hill
John Dunn-Hill
Freddie Jones
OccupationBook shop owner

Carl Conrad Coreander (Karl Konrad Koreander in German) is a cantankerous bookseller, and 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. While Coreander is distracted by 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 film, and was the only actor who reprised his role in the second film; however, in the third film, he is played by Freddie Jones.

In the cartoon series, Coreander is voiced by Chris Wiggins.

In the 1995 television series, Tales from the Neverending Story, he functions in a double role as a wizard in Fantasia wherein he is called "the Curiosity".

The Childlike Empress[edit]

Childlike Empress
First appearanceThe Neverending Story
Created byMichael Ende
Portrayed byTami Stronach
Alexandra Johnes
Julie Cox
Audrey Gardiner
Voiced byLisa Yamanaka
AliasMoon Child, Golden-Eyed Commander of Wishes
OccupationGoddess of Fantasy

The Childlike Empress (Die Kindliche Kaiserin in German) is the mysterious and benevolent monarch of Fantastica, who resides in the capital called Ivory tower in the heart of the realm. Although she is nominally the ruler of Fantastica, she rarely interacts with the outside world. Should she die, Fantastica and all Fantasticans would cease to exist.

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

Her description is that of an indescribably beautiful young girl, appearing no older than ten, yet much older than the oldest Fantasticans. Her hair is snow-white, as is her gown, and her eyes are the color of gold, earning her the 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 (apparently as an adolescent) in The NeverEnding Story III (1994). In the films, her hair is dark, rather than white, and in the first film, she is dressed like a bride.

In the 1995 cartoon series, the Childlike Empress has golden hair and wears a green gown, and is voiced by Lisa Yamanaka.

In the 2001 television series Tales from the Neverending Story, the Empress, again depicted with dark hair, was played by Audrey Gardiner.

Engywook and Urgl[edit]

Engywook and Urgl
First appearanceThe Neverending Story
Created byMichael Ende
Portrayed byEngywook:
Sydney Bromley (1st film)
Tony Robinson (3rd film)
Wayne Robson (cartoon)
Patricia Hayes (1st film)
Moya Brady (3rd film)
Barbara Byrne (cartoon)
SpeciesFantasian Gnomes
OccupationEngywook: Researcher of the Southern Oracle
Urgl: Housewife

Engywook (Engywuck in German) and his wife Urgl, called in German the "Zweisiedler" (neologism from "Einsiedler" hermit; roughly "doublitarian") are a quarrelsome pair of gnomes who live close to the Southern Oracle. Engywook is a research scientist who has studied the Southern Oracle and her three gates for most of his life, but has never entered any. His wife Urgl often gets in his way while brewing potions in a large cauldron for healing wounded people. Engywook can observe the Riddle Gate, also known as the Sphinxes, from his telescope on a hilltop overlooking the first gate. In the book, 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 is played by Sydney Bromley and Urgl is played by Patricia Hayes.

In the third film of the series, Engywook (played by Tony Robinson) and Urgl (played by Moya Brady) 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 Nasties. The two go with Bastian, Falkor, and Bark Troll to find the Empress for help, but are stranded on Earth and arrive in Alaska, where they mail themselves to the others and return home, their house rebuilt.

In the 1995 cartoon series, Engywook and Urgl are voiced by Wayne Robson and Barbara Byrne.

Falkor the Luckdragon[edit]

Bavaria Filmstadt - NeverEnding Story, Falkor the Luckdragon.jpg
"Side view Falkor", an original prop used by Bavaria Film Studios
First appearanceThe Neverending Story
Created byMichael Ende
Portrayed byAlan Oppenheimer (1st film)
Donald Arthur (2nd film)
William Hootkins (3rd film)
Howard Jerome (cartoon)

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

The original name Fuchur is derived from Japanese Fukuryū (福竜/福龍, "lucky dragon").[citation needed] It was changed in the English translation because the pronunciation of the original name is similar to that of the agentive form of an English expletive. Personality wise, Falkor is optimistic, friendly, dignified, helpful and wise, trying to help Bastian remember to "never give up and good luck will find you."

Falkor has an elongated body with rudimentary paws and pink scales and hairs that appear white in dull light. His head is described less precisely, though his eyes are given the color of rubies. In the illustrations of the German novel, he appears much like a Chinese dragon or his appearance is of a camel (Great Pyrenees); whereas a cover for the book by Dan Craig illustrated Falkor as lion-like; and in the 1984 film adaptation of the novel, as well as its sequels, Falkor has canine features upon a white furred body and is pleased by affectionate scratchings behind his ear.

Luckdragons possess neither an immense physical strength, nor great magical talents, though they can exhale fire, which is blue, as when Falkor fights Ygramul. Their only distinctive ability that sets them apart is incredible luck in everything they do, as shown when Falkor locates and rescues his companion after being lost in a violent, blinding storm. When in flight, a luckdragon is in constant motion. Luckdragons never stop drawing air and heat through their scales, which makes eating unnecessary and makes submersion in water deadly to them. Luckdragons are capable of sleeping while flying, and prefer to occupy as much open space as possible.

In the first film, Falkor is voiced by Alan Oppenheimer. In the second film, Falkor is voiced by an uncredited Donald Arthur. In the third film, Falkor is performed by Gord Robertson and voiced by William Hootkins. In the cartoon series, Falkor is voiced by Howard Jerome.

Bavaria Film Studios retains a "side view Falkor" which tourists can climb and ride. The prop is the last remaining version of Falkor from the original film and was used for blue-screen side angle shots.


Gmork, as he appears in the 1984 motion picture.
First appearanceThe Neverending Story
Created byMichael Ende
Portrayed byAlan Oppenheimer (uncredited)
Edward Yankie (TV)
Don Francks (cartoon)

Gmork is one of the main villains of the story. He is the servant of the power behind the Nothing. His appearance in the book is that of a large, wolf-like creature with night-black fur and capable of human speech; but the film gives him blue-black fur and luminous green cat-like eyes, as well as more fangs than an ordinary wolf would have. In Latin Spanish dubbing, Gmork is alternatively (and erroneously) known as "La Nada", "The Nothing".

Gmork's primary mission in the Neverending Story is to kill the young warrior Atreyu. He, and other dual-natured creatures like him, are able to travel between worlds, changing into a Fantastican or a human depending upon the world, in appearance only. 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 chain (reminiscent of Fenrir in Norse mythology) and leapt into the Nothing, leaving him to starve. Gmork explains to Atreyu the nature of the Nothing, and that a Fantastican who enters it, must 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. As Atreyu approaches the dead wolf, the carcass grabs Atreyu in its jaws, which, ironically, prevents Atreyu from succumbing 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 the film, Gmork almost manages to kill Atreyu in the Swamps of Sadness, but Atreyu is saved by Falkor. Their meeting in Spook City occurs in the film as well, where Gmork attacks Atreyu, impaling himself on an improvised stone knife held by the young warrior.

In the cartoon series, Gmork has a werewolf-like appearance and is voiced by Don Francks.


First appearanceThe Neverending Story
Created byMichael Ende
Portrayed byGary Crawford (cartoon)
AliasThe Many Colored Death
OccupationGuardian of the Desert of Colors

Grograman, known as The Many Colored Death (Graógramán, der Bunte Tod in German), is the guardian of 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 to suit the color of sand under his feet and changes all life around him into sand. Grograman turns into an obsidian statue at night 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 Sikander. One night, Bastian is called away. He promises to return, but is ultimately unable to keep his promise (the story states, however, that one day someone would fulfill the promise in Bastian's name).

In the animated series, Grograman (voiced by Gary Krawford) burns down Perilin to protect Fantastica from being overrun by its roots and branches. He is later captured by Xayide and freed by Bastian.


First appearanceThe Neverending Story
Created byMichael Ende
Portrayed byRobert Jadah (film)
Pam Hyatt (cartoon)
AliasThe Ancient One
SpeciesGiant Turtle

Morla, known as The Ancient One (Die Uralte Morla in German), is a giant turtle who, because of her size, is mistaken for a mountain. Morla lives in 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 indifferent to the fate of Fantastica and her own survival. Reluctantly, she informs Atreyu that the Empress needs a new name and points Atreyu to the Southern Oracle. Morla speaks in the 'royal we' or nosism.

In the film, Morla has an allergy to youth (Atreyu) and sneezes violently in his presence. This version also knows nothing about the illness of the Empress, but sends Atreyu directly to the Southern Oracle. In the cartoon series, Morla is voiced by Pam Hyatt.

The Old Man of Wandering Mountain[edit]

The Old Man of Wandering Mountain
First appearanceThe Neverending Story
Created byMichael Ende
Portrayed byFreddier Jones

The Old Man of Wandering Mountain (Der Alte vom Wandernden Berge in German) is an elderly chronicler whose chronicle contains all events in Fantastica. 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. On her request, the Old Man reads 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 ultimately does not appear in the first film, and his appearance in the third film differs drastically from the novel. 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.


First appearanceThe Neverending Story
Created byMichael Ende
Portrayed byAlan Oppenheimer (1st film, uncredited)
Unknown (2nd film)
Gary Martin (3rd film)
Harvey Atkin (cartoon)

Pyornkrachzark (Pjörnrachzarck) is a Rockbiter (in German Felsenbeißer) riding a stone vehicle. He is a large creature made of stone. The Rockbiter species are named due to their diet of rocks and earth-based materials. The Rockbiter seen in the film particularly has a liking for limestone.

In the novel, the Rockbiter only appears early in the novel among the messengers sent to see the Childlike Empress at the Ivory Tower during the "Nothing" crisis; whereas in the film he ultimately reappears, encountered by Atreyu. He has lost faith in himself after failing to save his travelling companions from the Nothing, and advises Atreyu to flee. During the end of the film, he and his two traveling companions wave at Bastian as he flies by on Falkor.

In the second and third films, Rockbiter's wife appears in the third film and his son appears in the second and third. Rockbiter Junior is the same size as a human, and is rather gluttonous and playful. He is sent to Earth during a wish overload caused by Bastian, Falkor, Bark Troll, Engywook, and Urgl; whereupon he is saved from falling to his death by Falkor and they are reunited with Bastian. Rockbiter and his wife 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; but the family are reunited at the end of the film. Rockbiter also sings a rather corrupt version of Born To Be Wild by Steppenwolf.

In the cartoon series, Mr. and Mrs. Rockbiter are voiced by Harvey Atkin and Jayne Eastwood while Rockbiter Junior is voiced by Lisa Yamanaka.


Gluckuk (Ückück in German) is a tiny man (Winzling) riding a racing snail. He was sent by his race to see the Childlike Empress at the Ivory Tower during the "Nothing" crisis.

In the film, he is ultimately called Teeny Weeny and portrayed by Deep Roy.

In the cartoon series, Gluckuk and his racing snail are voiced by John Stocker.


Whooshwoozool (Wúschwusul) is a Nighthob (Nachtalb) who rides on a bat. He was sent by his race to see the Childlike Empress at the Ivory Tower during the "Nothing" crisis.

In the 1995 cartoon series, the Nighthob is voiced by Adrian Truss.


Blubb is a will-o'-the-wisp. He was sent by his race to see the Childlike Empress at the Ivory Tower during the "Nothing" crisis.

Blubb is ultimately not in the film version.

In the cartoon series, Blubb is voiced by John McGrath.

The Southern Oracle[edit]

Southern Oracle
First appearanceThe Neverending Story
Created byMichael Ende
Portrayed byEllen Ray Hennessy (cartoon)
AliasUyulala; The Voice of Still

The Southern Oracle, also named Uyulala (Uyulála in German), is a mysterious and all-knowing oracle guarded by three magical gates. She is 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; and with the help of Ygramul's poison, Atreyu transports himself near the oracle instantly. There he learns from the gnome Engywook, that 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. Those caught between their gaze are frozen on the spot and doomed to remain until they solve every riddle in the world or until they die.
  • The second gate is the Magic Mirror Gate, which is a large, circular, moon-like mirror, which reflects the absolute truest nature of the observer. This often frightens people into retreat or hysteria; but the observer, to pass this gate, must walk through its reflection.
  • The third gate is the No-Key Gate, which is a keyless door and physically indestructible, but responsive to a person's will. Only by losing the desire to enter may one get it to open.

Once past, 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, whereat Bastian's voice keeps the now empty-minded Atreyu from wandering.

The film version of the Southern Oracle shares the generalities; but the first gate judges whether the person attempting to pass through it "feels his own worth"; if the person is doubtful of its ability to pass through safely, the two Sphinxes incinerate the visitor. The second gate is a mirror like the novel's description, located in a snowy wilderness; and there is ultimately no third gate (which, as the third gate would have stood for the precise contrary of "felling one's own worth", somewhat turns the message to the contrary). The Oracle itself is ultimately two blue glowing Sphinxes exactly like the yellow sphinxes at the first gate, and speaks in prose. As with the novel, 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 novel.

In The Neverending Story cartoon series, the Southern Oracle is depicted as two sphinxes facing each other and are voiced by Ellen Ray Hennessy.


First appearanceThe Neverending Story
Created byMichael Ende
Portrayed byClarissa Burt (film)
Victoria Sanchez (TV series)
Janet Laine-Green (cartoon)
AliasMistress of Horok Castle

Xayide (Xayíde in German) is one of the main villains of the story. She is an evil sorceress who 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”, 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 as guards empty suits of plate armour.

She presents to Bastian a warm and worshipping exterior, in hope to herself replace the Childlike Empress as ruler of Fantastica. Realizing she cannot defeat Bastian by force, she persuades him to invade the Ivory Tower. After losing Bastian, she is 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. In the adaption, she is the personified avatar of an entity similar to the Nothing, called 'the Emptiness', which is born of the dying imagination of the collective human species. In both media she gives Bastian the belt Ghemmal, which turns its wearer invisible and was intended to spy on Atreyu. She meets her end in the film when Bastian uses his last wish to give her a sense of compassion, whereupon she destroys herself to amend the damage done by her.

Xayide is the main villain in the 1995 cartoon series voiced by Janet Laine-Green.

In the miniseries Tales from the Neverending Story, Xayide is portrayed as the Childlike Empress' sister and the ruler of a 'Dark City'.


First appearanceThe Neverending Story
Created byMichael Ende
Portrayed byMarilyn Lightstone (cartoon)
AliasThe Many
SpeciesInsect Hive

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

Ygramul is portrayed as a shapeshifter, who often takes form of a giant 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 novel, 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.

In The Neverending Story cartoon series, Ygramul is shown in her spider form and is voiced by Marilyn Lightstone. In "To Save Falkor," Bastian encountered Ygramul in the Dead Mountains while looking for a cure for Falkor's illness.

Other characters[edit]

Bastian's Dad[edit]

Bastian's Dad (portrayed by Gerald McRaney in the first film, John Wesley Shipp in the second film, Kevin McNulty in the third film) 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 Bux and follows Bastian's journey by reading the book and reunited with his son at the conclusion of the film. 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.

Bark Troll[edit]

Bark Troll is a supporting character and friend of Bastian who appears in The Neverending Story cartoon, and the third film which is based on the characters as they appeared in the animated series. He is loosely based on three characters of a species called bark trolls, that appeared to advise Atreyu about the Nothing.

In the third film, Bark Troll is performed by Kaefan Shaw and voiced by William Hootkins.

In the 1995 cartoon series, Bark Troll is voiced by Richard Binsley.


Cairon (Caíron in German) is a herald of the Childlike Empress and in-between bearer of AURYN who passed it to Atreyu. In the novel, he appears as an elderly black centaur with his lower half with the striped pattern of a zebra.

In the first film, he ultimately appears as a humanoid and is portrayed by Moses Gunn.

By his name and status of a centaur and physician, Cairon is an allusion to the mythological Greek Chiron.

Dame Eyola[edit]

Dame Eyola (Dame Aiuóla) is a plant taking the form of a motherly woman who lives in the House of Change, who cares for Bastian.

The Four Heroes[edit]

The Four Heroes are swordsmen who appear in the second half of the novel, said to be the bravest and strongest warriors in all of Fantastica, who participate in a tournament in the Silver City of Amarganth. One is identified as Hero Hynreck (or Huunreck), 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 useless. They survive the battle against Atreyu's rebellion but lose track of Bastian, and go their separate ways to look for him.

The Four Heroes ultimately do not appear in the film adaptations of the novel. However, Hykrion and Hynreck appeared separately in episodes of the Tales from The Neverending Story television series; "Home Sweet Home" & "The Gift of the Name", and "The Luck Stops Here".

Although unconfirmed, there is a scene in the first film which serves as an indirect "reference" to the Four Swordsmen, namely an unnamed knight who (unsuccessfully) tries to pass through the ′′′Sphinx Gate′′′. Michael Ende and Wolfgang Peterson collaborated on the script for the first film, which incorporated new scenes by Ende to help reinforce the essence of the story on screen. Ende claimed that Peterson later secretly rewrote the screenplay, but it is possible that this is one of Ende's additions.


Ilwan (Illuán) is a blue genie with a bird's beak in place of his nose and mouth. Ilwan appeared in the novel where he became one of Bastian's closest servants, but was killed during the battle for the Ivory Tower.


Nimbly (performed by Martin Umbach) is a bird-like creature unique to the second film, and ultimately does not exist as a character in the novel.

He is Xayide's spy, who encourages Bastian to use up his memories wishing, but later has a change of heart.

In the novel, there is a species called Nimblies, who are rabbit-like creatures with feathers instead of fur.


Querquobad, the Silver Sage (Quérquobad der Silbergreis) is the ruler of the silver ship city of Amarganth, which was built by the Acharis and swims on a lake made by their tears.

Large Head[edit]

Large Head (voiced by Colin Fox) is a human with a large forehead in the 1995 animated series. He works as an advisor to the Childlike Empress where he and Bastian do not often see eye to eye. The two of them once worked together to solve the attacks on a mountain path by a mountain creature.

Shadow Goblin[edit]

Shadow Goblin (voiced by Benedict Campbell) is a character in the animated series who is the master thief of Fantasia. The Shadow Goblin wants nothing more than to become the richest creature in Fantasia.


'Vermin (voiced by Len Carlson) is a bat-winged rat who is the Shadow Goblin's henchman. Vermin's job is to spy all over Fantasia for something worth stealing and the Shadow Goblin is the one who steals it. While Shadow Goblin wants to become rich, Vermin mostly thinks about food.


Shexper/Shakespeare is mentioned in Chapter XVIII 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 a mispronunciation of the name "Shakespeare", which alludes to the possibility that the real Shakespeare once visited Fantasia the same way Bastian did.


Smerg (Smärg) is a dragon created by Bastian for Hynreck to slay and prove his worthiness to Princess Oglamar. He had the tail of a scorpion, back legs of a grasshopper, and the wings of a bat. Smerg had the heads of a male and female instead of eyes. He appears in the second film when Bastian wishes him into existence (as in the novel), but in the film, he was ultimately meant to be a new steed to carry Bastian.


Tri-Face is a three-faced scientist who is Xayide's servant in the second film. Each face represents a part his personality and spin into place depending on his mood. This character is based on a figure from the novel named Four-Quarters Troll (Vier-Vierteltroll) or Temperamentling, who becomes a member of Bastian's entourage.

A similar character Threehead is a three-headed knight, and Xayide's servant in the 1995 animated series voiced by James Rankin. Each of Threehead's personalities is represented by a different head and pop up depending on his mood. The blue-haired head is his happiness and loyalty, the red-haired head is his sadness and fear, while the green-haired head is his anger and pure evil.


Yikka (Jicha) is a female mule who acts as Bastian's steed 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.


Yor is 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.

Fantastican creatures[edit]

The following is a list of creatures appearing in the different media adaptations of The Neverending Story:

  • Acharis (Acharai) — The Acharis are a race of worm-like creatures 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): anarchist, clown-faced flying creatures who 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.
  • Four Winds Giants — Four giants who guard the winds of Fantastica. They constantly fight with each other, which causes the separation of Atreyu and Falkor in the novel. The four of them by name are: Lirr, the black North Wind, Sheerek (compare with sirocco), the sulfur-yellow South Wind, Baureo (compare with Boreas), the leaden-gray East Wind, and Mayestril (compare with mistral), the fiery-red West Wind. Uncharacteristically silenced by the power of the AURYN, it is through the Wind Giants that Atreyu learns that Fantastica has no boundary. In the film, they are ultimately replaced by the Nothing.
  • Greenskins (Grünhäute) — Also known as the Grass People (Grasleute), these are Atreyu's people, a folk of hunters and gatherers with a culture and lifestyle very similar to the North American Plains Indians. As their name implies, their skin is of an olive-green hue, and their hair is blueish-black. Their home is the Grassy Sea, a vast prairie in an undisclosed part of Fantastica bordered by the Silver Mountains range.
  • Iceheads (Eisbolde in German, a merging of the words "ice" and "kobold") — A race of creatures which reside in the Mountains of Fate, where the Childlike Empress encounters the Old Man of Wandering Mountain. They are described as giant humanoids covered in (or made of) ice who move so slowly that a single footstep takes years to complete. As a result, they are fairly isolated even from their own kind and more so from any other living creature in Fantastica.
  • Nighthobs (Nachtalb) — The Nighthobs are a race of nocturnal humanoids that live in the southern regions of Fantastica. They have sharp features, wild hair, and wear drab clothing. Nighthobs are known to employ large bats that they fly much like a hang glider. The most notable of the Nighthobs was Vooshvazool, who was sent on the mission to the Ivory Tower.
  • Rockbiters (Felsenbeißer) — The Rockbiters (or Rockchewers in the book) are large rock creatures that eat rocks and delight in different geological varieties. Rockbiters are often seen riding stone bicycles. Despite their gargantuan size and intimidating appearance, Rockbiters are generally kind and concerned with the well-being of Fantasticans smaller than themselves.
  • Sassafranians (Sassafranier) — A race of human-like people from the novel who are born elderly. Their physical age regresses as they advance in years, and they die when they reach infancy state.
  • Tinys (Winzlinge) — A race of tiny people that ride on racing snails. They are quite sophisticated, but due to their size they live in trees, erecting entire villages whose dwellings are connected by a huge number of ladders, slides and stairways.
  • Unlucky the Rabbit (Unlucky the Rabbit) — Large rabbits that are often victims of Rock Biter's bikes. These are original characters from the third film.
  • Yskálnari — A race of humanoid people living at the edge of a sea of mist, which can be navigated only by boats fashioned from special reeds and which are propelled by willpower (achieved by the Yskálnari through ritual singing). Commonly also called Mist Sailors, their name actually means "the Conjoined Ones" (Die Gemeinsamen). While Bastian joins them for a while during his quest for the Waters of Life, he discovers that the Yskálnari have no concept of individualism. In the animated series, the Yskálnari are depicted as identical-looking seal-like humanoids manning conventional wooden ships which can navigate the Mist Sea.

The following creatures appear in the first film in the Childlike Empress' throne room when Cairon mentions her illness, and are unnamed:[2]

  • Big-Headed Rock Creatures — A race of creatures made of rock that have big heads.
  • Bird Humans — A race of bird-headed humans.
  • Four-Faced People — A race of humans who have four faces.
  • Monkey-Headed Creature — A creature with a monkey head.
  • Palm-Topped Creatures — A race of humanoids with palm tree-like growths on top of their heads.
  • Three-Headed Creature — A creature that has an unspecified head, a wolf head, and a goat head.
  • Two-Faced People — A race of humans with two faces that have two noses, two mouths, and three eyes.