The NeverEnding Story is a book within a book: it begins with the story of Bastian, a lonely school-age boy who picks up "The NeverEnding Story" in an old bookstore. As Bastian begins to read, the story shifts back and forth between a fantasy novel about a hero's quest to save the dying world... read more (warning: may contain spoilers)
The NeverEnding Story is a book within a book: it begins with the story of Bastian, a lonely school-age boy who picks up "The NeverEnding Story" in an old bookstore. As Bastian begins to read, the story shifts back and forth between a fantasy novel about a hero's quest to save the dying world of Fantastica, and Bastian's own somewhat parallel feelings. The film follows the first half of the book fairly closely - but it ends when Bastian enters Fantastica, while the second half of the novel is just beginning. The rest of the story features even more extraordinary magical beings and locations, as Bastian struggles to balance the best and worst aspects of power and to find his true self.
One rainy November morning, while running away from classmates that bullied him, Bastian hid inside a small bookstore, owned by a Mr.Coreander. They spoke for a while until Mr.Coreander received a call. Bastian knew he was late for school and should leave, but something was holding him back. Something was making him stay put. A book he couldn't take his eyes off of was calling to him and when he touched it, something turned on inside him, something he could not take back. The book was called: The Neverending Story.
Bastian knew he had to have the book at any cost. Unfortunately, Mr.Coreander had made it quite clear in their chat that he would not sell him anything from his shop since he did not like children and just like that, he made a quick decision to take the book and run.
After running for a little while Bastian's conscience kicked in and it told him he was a thief! Although he knew what he did was wrong, he could not go give the book back and he could not go home, and unconsciously ended up at school. For the time being, he decided to hide in the school attic and began to read.
Blubb, a will-o'-the-wisp, was lost inside the Howling Forest trying to find his way to the Ivory Tower. While zigzagging about, he came upon a clearing with three unlikely fellows sitting around a fire. The first was a rock chewer named Pyornkrachzark, the second a night-hob named Vooshvazool and third was a tiny named Gluckuk. They were ALL messengers so Blubb decided to ask them for help for he had an urgent message he needed to deliver to the Childlike Empress. Blubb's home, Moldymoor, was disappearing into... Nothing. As Blubb recited his urgent message to the others, they all realized they were on the same errand and that Fantastica was in danger! They quickly put out the fire and set forth on their jouney to the Ivory Tower.
Vooshvazool arrived a week later and he was not the first one to arrive at the Ivory Tower, Gluckuk had arrived the day before with his racing snail. The other two, Pyornkrachzark and Blubb, still had yet to appear at the Tower. Unfortunately, they two were not the ONLY ones to appear as messengers with an urgent message about the Nothing. Many strange creatures from all over Fantastica had come to the Ivory Tower to ask the Childlike Empress advice on what to do about the Nothing threatening their home and possibly their very existence. Also, the Childlike Empress appears to be ill and none of the doctors are able to figure out the cause... could the Nothing threatening Fantastica be connected to the Childlike Empress' illness?
500 doctors from all over Fantastica came to diagnose the Childlike Empress' illness and none could figure out what ailed her. The fifth hundred doctor, Cairon, a centaur, was given a large golden amulet on a chain with two snakes, one light and one dark, which was biting each other's tail and so forming an oval. This amulet in Cairon's possession was the badge of one acting on orders from the Childlike Empress, in her name as if she were present. It is said it gave the bearers mysterious powers. Its name: AURYN or for those who feared to pronounce the name, it was called 'Gem' or 'Glory'.
The Childlike Empress has sent Cairon to deliver the amulet: AURYN to a hero who will save them all, his name is Atreyu. Once the amulet is in Ateyu's possession he will start on the Great Quest... shall he accept it.
Atreyu set out on his Great Quest with just his horse, Artax... he was unarmed and no advice was provided on where to go or what he would have to do or even face. And yet, it was his greatest mission to save Fantastica and the Childlike Empress from Nothing.
Day One, they crossed the Silver Mountains, where every road and trail was known to them and they made quick progress.
Day Two, they passed through the Singing Tree Country which wasn't devoid of danger, for many a traveler had stopped still as if spellbound and would forget everything else, except for the marvelous sounds.
Day Three, he saw the Glass Tower of Eribo, where the inhabitants of the region caught and stored starlight, making wonderfully decorative objects, the purpose of which was known to no one in all Fantastica but their makers.
For many more days he rode forward to nowhere and encountered many different people and creatures that could not provide him with advice or an answer to help him in his Great Quest. And every night, he dreamt of hunting purple buffalos. In each dream, he got closer and closer to this one purple buffalo, but could never kill it.
On Day Seven, while riding through the Howling Forest Atreyu encountered three bark trolls who had suffered the touch of the Nothing. They came to find him and warn him and took him to see the Nothing. As soon as he layed eyes on it, he felt the urgency of his mission and left Howling Forest at once to escape the Nothing. That night, the purple buffalo Atreyu had been hunting appeared to him and this time he gave him a message: Because Atreyu had not killed him, he could help him. The buffalo told Atreyu that there is a being older than all other beings in Fantastica in the Swamps of Sadness and in the middle of those swamps there is a mountain, Tortoise Shell Mountain, where lives Morla the Aged One. The buffalo told Atreyu to go see Morla. Then Atreyu awoke and set off.
Artax and Atryu finally arrived at the Swamp of Sadness and they ventured inside. Artax became extremely sad and started sinking into the black water. He did not make it.
After some time Atreyu found Morla by hinself and she told him the Childlike Empress needed a new name in order to get well. BUT no inhabitant of Fantastica could give the Childlike Empress a new name and Morla did not know who could. So Morla told Atreyu to find Uyulala in the Southern Oracle, the only problem was that he wouldn't be able to reach her in his lifetime, she was too far.
All the while Bastian was reading this story from the attic of his school thinking, if all the Childlike Empress needed was a new name, he could have easily helped her out.
Two days after Atreyu left the Swamps of Sadness, he ended up in the Land of the Dead Mountains, which few had seen and even fewer escaped from them alive. He eventually came upon the Deep Chasm and skirted it terrified of when he might come upon the creature from the old song known as Ygramul.
When Ygramul made her appearance Bastian let out a cry of fear and a cry of terror passed through the ravine and echoed from side to side, which made ygramul look around... could she have heard him? Impossible...
Atreyu told Ygramul he needed to get to the Southern Oracle and Ygramul bestwoed uupon Atreyu her secret. Should Atreyu let Ygramul bite him, once her poison is inside him it would give him the power to wish himself in any part of Fantastica he chooses!
Atreyu awoke in the Southern Oracle and with him was the luckdragon, Falkor, who had heard everything Ygramul had told Atreyu and made use of the secret. Unfortunately, they both had Ygramul's poison in them and collapsed from paralization.
Atreyu awoke a while later to find himself bandaged and healed along with Falkor. A gnome, Urgl, had found them and healed their wounds. While her husband, Engywook, offered Atreyu adviceand showed him the arch with the sphinxes.
Atreyu went to the Great Riddle Gate and passed through. The next gate was the Magic Mirror Gate, where Atreyu was forced to see his inner self. His inner self just happened to be Bastian, the boy reading about him. As Atreyu passed thorugh thr Magic Mirror Gate, his memory was completely erased when he came to the No-Key Gate and he went through it.
There, Uyulala sung to Atreyu the answer to save the Childlike Empress and all of Fantastica. A human from the Outer World needed to visit Fantastica and give the Childlike Empress a new name. So off Atreyu and Falkor went to search for a human.
For many days and nights they searched and did not come to a border, until one day they came to the centre of a big battle between the four Wind Giants. Atreyu decided to ask them where the border of Fantastica was. The answer to his question was not what he expected, for Fantastica had no borders! Then Falkor and Atreyu were separated as the Wind Giants continued their war game.
Atreyu washed up on a shore and when he awoke, Falkor was no where in sight and the Glory was missing from his neck. Without AURYN Atreyu was nothing but a boy and he felt helpless without it, no longer sure of what he should or should not do.
Somewhere far away, Falkor was looking for Atreyu and being a luckdragon he refused to give up hope that everything would come out alright in the end.
Atreyu wandered through a deserted city and he realized it was the perfect place for someone who had given up hope...
While he was in this deserted city, he found a half-starved werewolf, chained up in a backyard. The deserted city was known as Spook City and the Land of Ghosts. Atreyu and the werewolf, Gmork, chatted.
Atreyu wanted to set Gmork free, but could not because a magic chain trapped Gmork and the only person that could take it off was the person who put it on and that person was Gaya, the Dark Princess and she and the rest of her people had gone and jumped into the Nothing.
Gmork also confided in Atreyu that he could pass between worlds. The world of humans and Fantastica, and the only way for a Fantastican to go to the human world was to jump into the Nothing. The only hitch was, that once a Fantastican entered the Nothing, they could never come back. They would have to stay there forever and they would appear not as they are in Fantastica, but as something else. Lies.
Humans hate Fantastica and they want to destroy it. They do not realize that by destroying it they are harbouring into their world the things they are trying to prevent. Lies!
Atreyu asked Gmork what his mission was and Gmok told Atreyu that he was sent to find the messenger of the Childlike Empress and kill him and Atreyu declared it was him he had been looking for. Then Gmork dropped dead after letting out a horrible laugh. After a few moments Atreyu approached the dead werewolf and touched him. Even in death Gmork continued his mission and snapped onto Atreyu's leg, refusing to let go. The Nothing closed in...
While the Nothing closed in on Atreyu, Falkor was still frantically seaarching for him. Water surrounded the luckdragon on all sides and he saw nothing but water and... a beam of light? He raced towards the beam of light and noticed it was under water. Water for a luckdragon was their worst enemy. Still, Falkor decided to make the plunge and their he found AURYN. AURYN then leaded the luckdragon to a beach where the Nothing was slowly taking over and there he found Atreyu and rescued him.
Off they sped to the Ivory Tower. When they arrived Falkor was down and immovable. Atreyu had to continue up the Tower on his own and when he came face to face with the Childlike Empress something incredible happened. Bastian who had been reading the Neverending story this whole time, saw her. He could clearly see the Childlike Empress and knew without a doubt that what he was seeing was not part of his imagination, but something else and in that moment, Bastian knew her name: Moon Child.
The Childlike Empress needed Bastian to utter her new name, but Bastian was afraid and could not. So, the Childlike Empress decided to journey out to find The Old Man of Wandering Mountain. While, Falkor and Atreyu rested at the Ivory Tower to heal.
The Childlike Empress found the Old Man of Wandering Moutain after many days and nights of searching, but before she could see him, he warned her against it, because their meeting was forbidden.
When they came face to face the Childlike Empress commanded The Old Man to re-tell her the story from beginning to end, trapping all of Fantastica in The Circle of Eternal Return where there was an end without an end and only Bastian could save them from it.
As Bastian too was re-living the Neverending story, tears started running down his cheeks. He could no longer take it and shouted out the Childlike Empress' new name: Moon Child!
Bastian was trasportated to Fantastica and was told he had to create Fantastica through wishes from the very beginning. So Moon Child gave him a seed which sprouted and grew and she asked him to name the place.
Later, he told Moon Child he was ashamed of himself and she asked him to look into her eyes so that Bastian may see what she sees when she looks at him and what he saw was a slender and handsome boy, who he turned into in that moment. Then Moon Child vanished and left him with AURYN which had an inscription on the back: DO AS YOU WISH.
Unfortunately, after a while, Bastian started taking his newfound good looks for granted and slowly he was starting to lose his memories.
Bastian continued making wishes and creating Fantastica, piece by piece.
When he started to get loney he wished for Atreyu and when he found his friend, his friend along with three knights went on a quest to help Bastian find his way back home. Unfortunately, Bastian did not want to go home and since he did not want to find his way home, he could not.
Instead he decided to see the Mooon Child in order to figure out what he should do. On his way to the Ivory Tower he came upon many princes from all oer Fantastica that wanted a story, for none of their nations had stories. Bastian promised them all stories once he had spoken to Moon Child.
On their way to the Ivory Tower, Atreyu took Bastian aside and suggested he hold onto AURYN, since it seemed to be affecting Bastian differently than it did when he wore AURYN. With Atreyu, AURYN guided him, with Bastian, it took away a memory everytime he made a wish. Bastian would not have it. He refused! And he also refused to go back home.
After his “victory” over Xayide, him and Atreyu got into a fight and he sent Atreyu and Falkor away, but they stayed on with Bastian and the rest of the procession, except they did not speak to him or anyone else.
In the meantime, Xayide convinced Bastian to get rid of Yikka and start ridding in her litter with her. She presented him with a gift, the belt Ghemmal, an invisibility belt. She also put it into Bastian's head that Atreyu and Falkor were trying to steal AURYN from him.
That night Atreyu wished to be the wisest person in all Fantastica. Not too long after he made that wish, owls came to find the Great Knower, Bastian Balthazar Bux, to help the Deep Thinkers solve a problem they've been having their whole lives. Bastian agreed, as long as he could bring with him his 2 disciples: Atreyu and Xayide.
The Three Great Thinkers question: What is Fantastica?
Bastian's answer: Fantastica is the Neverending Story
Q: Where is the Neverending Story to be found?
A: In a book bound with copper-coloured silk
Q: If our world, Fantastica, is a Neverending Story and if this Neverending Story is in a book bound in copper-coloured silk – where then is this book?
A: In the attic of a school-house
Q: Can you show us this truth?
A: Yes, Bastian could. With the power of Al Tsahir, bastian illuminated the night sky with a vision of the attic.
On the way to the Ivory Tower, Bastian called for many rest stops. His commands became contradictory, he was at war in his head. On the one hand, he wanted to see Moon Child. On the other, he didn't want her to ask him for AURYN and send him back to his world. He didn't want to go back and he wanted to keep the Gem.
As he arrived at the Labyrinth, he decided to make camp for the night and sent a messenger to the Tower to let Moon Child know they would be arriving the next day. The messenger came back with news that Moon Child was not in the Tower and that she had not been to the Tower in a long time.
At that moment Bastian wanted the company of his friends, Atreyu and Falkor. So, he put on the invisibility belt, Ghemmal, and went to them, just in time to hear his friends talking of a plan to steal AURYN from him.
Bastian went to Xayide, got the knights to capture Atreyu, got the armoured giants to capture Falkor and then banished them both.
Xayide then tried to convince Bastian that he was Moon Child's sucessor and that he was meant to take the thrown. The next day, Bastian stormed into the Ivory Tower and proclaimed to all that he would be taking over the Childlike Empress' thrown and in 77 days he would have his coronation and that every nation of the Fantastican Empire was to be represented.
The day of the coronation did not take place, instead it went down as the day of the bloody battle for the Ivory Tower. A war led by Atreyu.
Bastian and Atreyu fought. Bastian struck Atreyu in the chest and Falkor swooped in and carried hm off.
Bastian went after them. He wanted vengence!
While searching he came upon a city with very strange people known as the Know-Nothings. Whom turned out to be humans who had lost their way back home, by using up their last wish for something else.
Instead of revenge, Bastian now wanted to find his way back home.
The only way to find his way back home was to find the Water of Life and to learn how to love. Bastian must know who he wants to love in order to drink from the fountain and the only way to find the fountain is by finding a forgotten dream in the Minroud Mine that will take him there and the only way to find that picture is to forget the one thing you have left: Yourself.
When he found the picture he resumed his travels and came across Atreyu and Falkor and he gave them AURYN which in turn led him to the Water of Life and he was brought back to his world.
“If you have never wept bitter tears because a wonderful story has come to an end and you must take your leave of the characters with whom you have shared so many adventures, whom you have loved and admired, for whom you have hoped and feared, and without whose company life seems empty and meaningless.”Narrator
“I wonder,' he said to himself, 'what's in a book while it's closed. Oh, I know it's full of letters printed on paper, but all the same, something must be happening, because as soon as I open it, there's a whole story with people I don't know yet and all kinds of adventures, deeds and battles. And sometimes there are storms at sea, or it takes you to strange cities and countries. All those things are somehow shut in a book. Of course you have to read it to find out. But it's already there, that's the funny thing. I just wish I knew how it could be.”Bastian
“He didn’t like books in which dull, cranky writers describe humdrum events in the very humdrum lives of humdrum people. Reality gave him enough of that kind of thing, why should he read about it? Besides, he couldn’t stand it when a writer tried to convince him of something. And these humdrum books, it seemed to him, were always trying to do just that. Bastian liked books that were exciting or funny, or that made him dream. Books where made-up characters had marvelous adventures, books that made him imagine all sorts of things. Because one thing he was good at, possibly the only thing, was imagining things so clearly that he almost saw and heard them. <Ende, 21>”Narrator
“AURYN gives you great power," he said solemnly, "but you must not make use of it. For the Childlike Empress herself never makes use of her power. AURYN will protect you and guide you, but whatever comes your way you must never interfere, because from this moment on your own opinion ceases to count. For that same reason you must go unarmed. You must let what happens happen. Everything must be equal in your eyes, good and evil, beautiful and ugly, foolish and wise, just as it is in the eyes of the Childlike Empress. You may only search and inquire, never judge.”Cairon
“When it comes to controlling human beings there is no better instrument than lies. Because, you see, humans live by beliefs. And beliefs can be manipulated. The power to manipulate beliefs is the only thing that counts.”Gmork
“Human passions have mysterious ways, in children as well as grown-ups. Those affected by them can't explain them, and those who haven't known them have no understanding of them at all. Some people risk their lives to conquer a mountain peak. No one, not even they themselves, can really explain why. Others ruin themselves trying to win the heart of a certain person who wants nothing to do with them. Still others are destroyed by their devotion to the pleasures of the table. Some are so bent on winning a game of chance that they lose everything they own, and some sacrifice everything for a dream that can never come true.Some think their only hope of happiness lies in being somewhere else, and spend their whole lives traveling from place to place. And some find no rest until they have become powerful. In short, there are as many different passions as there are people.”Narrator
“Yet Bastian knew he couldn't leave without the book. It was clear to him that he had only come to the shop because of this book. It had called him in some mysterious way, because it wanted to be his, because it had somehow always belonged to him.”Narrator
“The Childlike Empress – as her title indicates – was looked upon as the ruler over all the innumerable provinces of the Fantastican Empire, but in reality she was far more than a ruler; she was something entirely different.She didn't rule, she had never used force or made use of her power. She never issued commands and she never judged anyone. She never interfered with anyone and never had to defend herself against any assailant; for no one would have thought of rebelling against her or of harming her in any way. In her eyes all her subjects were equal.She was simply there in a special way. She was the centre of all life in Fantastica.And every creature, whether good or bad, beautiful or ugly, merry or solemn, foolish or wise – all owed their existence to her existence. Without her, nothing could have lived, any more than a human body can live if it has lost its heart.”Narrator
“Atreyu wouldn't give up just because things were getting a little rough. What I've started I must finish. I've gone too far to turn back. Regardless of what may happen, I have to go forward.”Bastian
“How many wishes have I got?”
“As many as you want—the more, the better, my Bastian. Fantastica will be all the more rich and varied.”Childlike Empress (aka Moon Child, aka Golden-eyed Commander of Wishes)
“What do you suppose it means?" he asked. "'DO WHAT YOU WISH.' That must mean I can do anything I feel like. Don't you think so?”
“All at once Grograman's face looked alarmingly grave, and his eyes glowed.”
“No," he said in his deep, rumbling voice. "It means that you must do what you really and truly want. And nothing is more difficult.”Discussion between Bastian and Grograman
“Their favorite song seemed to be one that began with the words:”
“When that I was and a little tiny boy,”
“With hey, ho, the wind and the rain...”
“As they explained, this has been sung by a human who had visited Fantastica long years before, name of Shexper, or something of the sort.”(narrator)
I Fantastica in Danger
II Atreyu's Mission
III Morla the Aged One
IV Ygramul the Many
V The Gnomics
VI The Three Magic Gates
VII The Voice of Silence
VIII The Wind Giants
IX Spook City
X The Flight of the Ivory Tower
XI The Childlike Empress
XII The Old Man of Wandering Mountain
XIII Perilin, the Night Forest
XIV The Desert of Colors
XV Grograman, the Many-Colored Death
XVI The Silver City of Amarganth
XVII A Dragon for Hero Hynreck
XVIII The Acharis
XIX The Traveling Companion
XX The Seeing Hand
XXI The Star Cloister
XXII The Battle for the Ivory Tower
XXIII The City of the Old Emperors
XXIV Dame Eyola
XXV The Picture Mine
XXVI The Water of Life
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