Bastian Balthazar Bux
The Hero and Audience Surrogate, Bastian borrows the Neverending Story from Mr. Coreander and discovers its wonders and how it is actually a real Magical Land, learning of his required involvement to keep it alive.
- Absurdly Sharp Blade: Sikanda
- Adaptational Attractiveness: In the book, he was pretty chubby, but he's thin in the movies. The live-action series, Tales from the Neverending Story keeps his obesity intact, but it's somewhere in between.
- Alliterative Name: Thrice over even: Bastian Balthazar Bux.
- Character Development: A big difference between the book and the movie is that in the book, the development of Bastian is largely the point of the story. Most obviously, he starts out as a timid, insecure bully victim who uses stories to escape from his harsh reality, and ends as a far more confident and self-assured person who instead uses the stories and what he learned from them to make things better in reality — but an almost as important development is that he starts out as rather selfish and self-centered; while he's not a bad kid at heart and certainly doesn't lack sympathy for others, he tends to be mostly concerned about himself and about what he can get out of a situation. After various adventures and many near-disasters in Fantastica, where ultimately selfish wishes almost destroyed him, he returns to the real world a far more caring and compassionate person.
- The Chosen One: Shared with Atreyu.
- Dangerous Forbidden Technique: Bastian attempts to wield Sikanda without its permission.
- Drunk with Power: The inevitable result of giving a depressed and victimized 12 year old child unlimited wishes in a fantasy land. Bastian's ego becomes so inflated that he comes to believe that having infinite power means he can do no wrong, and he eventually marks Atreyu and Falcor as his enemies for trying to show him he is headed on a direct course for self-destruction. It takes nearly killing Atreyu and losing his mind to teach him the hard way that Reality Warping Is Not a Toy.
- Expy: Of Peer Gynt, no less.
- A God Am I: Bastian goes power-mad thanks to excessive wishing, memory loss and Xayide's manipulation, planning to make himself the Emperor of Fantastica.
- The Hero: Shared with Atreyu.
- Heroic BSoD / My God, What Have I Done?: Bastian has this upon realizing he could have suffered a Fate Worse than Death upon finding the City of Old Emperors, and also realizing he very well might have killed Atreyu.
- Horrible Judge of Character: The novel version of Bastian is completely taken in by the sorceress and all-round manipulative bitch Xayide because she does nothing more than pledge to serve him when he initially defeats her. Bastian pays absolutely no heed to her immediately ordering Atreyu and Falcor around, both of whom defy her at every turn because they can clearly see she hasn't suddenly become a good person.
- It's All About Me: In the novel, this is Bastian's fatal flaw and the reason why most of his wishes in Fantastica go horribly wrong. Because he starts out as a Loser Protagonist, he wishes for strength, good looks, favorable opinions, to be feared and so forth. Even when Bastian wishes for good things to happen for others, it's always about secretly getting something he wants, or increasing his own appearance of benevolence. The story even points out that the motive behind doing a good turn for someone is as important as the good turn itself. It takes all of Bastian's selfish wishes going wrong to show him how low he has sunk after morally wounding Atreyu and later seeing what becomes of the other humans who went down similar selfish paths and became trapped and mindless in Fantastica. Bastian's last remaining wish breaks this cycle for him, because it's a wish to love someone other than himself and thus put another person first before his own wants.
- Jerkass: In the second half of the book, and notably in the second film.
- Loser Protagonist: Bastian starts out this way, being hopeless at physical activities and a dunce in the classroom. Carl Conrad Coreander even muses that the boy is a failure "all along the line". It's this powerlessness that drives Bastian to such opposite extremes as a conquering hero once he arrives in Fantastica.
- Missing Mom: Not long before the beginning of the story, his mother died.
- Nigh-Invulnerable: While he wears the AURYN.
- Refusal of the Call: In the first movie, even when he believes Fantasia is real, he tries to deny it at first because his dad told him to "keep [his] feet on the ground".
- The Storyteller: The only thing he's really good at is making up stories. He enjoyed regaling a younger girl with them. When in Fantastica, this ability is vital to him as he is the only person, being human, who can create stories. Eventually creates a library containing all of his stories with a story of his.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: Bastian was a sweeter kid in the first film, becomes a selfish jerk in the second and finally a spineless coward in the third.
- Unfortunate Name: You try carrying a handle like "Bastian Balthazar Bux" in our real-life, modern day world. Is it any wonder the kid's constantly got bullies hot on his tail?
- What the Hell, Hero?: His actions in the second half of the book.
- With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: Being essentially omnipotent in the world of Fantastica as his wishes and ideas come true there, Bastian gradually lose sight of his originally good intentions and begins to turn into an unhinged megalomaniac in the second half of the book.
A skilled huntsman from the Greenskins of the Grassy Ocean, Atreyu is selected by the Childlike Empress to go on a quest to find a cure to her illness and save Fantastica from the Nothing. Atreyu acts as The Hero, shared with Bastian and becomes the Supporting Protagonist in the second half of the book.
- The Ace: Is seen as this by the people of Fantastica.
- Adaptational Badass: In the film, he gets to show his warrior cred by killing G'mork himself, who in the book is already chained up and dying when Atreyu finds him.
- Adaptation Dye-Job: His skin, which is not green in the movie. His hair is also somewhat less blue-black, though by comparison that hardly seems like a big deal. IN the animated series, both his hair and skin color are kept intact.
- Amazing Technicolor Population: Atreyu and his people have green skin.
- Audience Surrogate: In-universe, he is one for Bastian. This is made unambiguously clear in the scene with the Magic Mirror Gate, when he's supposed to see his "true self" and sees an image of Bastian. It's also underlined several times when Atreyu says and does the things Bastian wants him to say and do — most notably in the scene where he talks to the Childlike Empress, and asks the exact questions Bastian wants to ask, just moments after Bastian has thought of them. It's hinted, but not directly stated, that the Childlike Empress specifically picked him for the quest because he was a person Bastian could see himself in.
- Badass Normal: No powers or chosen one status but can still do great things.
- Best Friend: After Bastian arrives in Fantastica, Atreyu quickly becomes his best friend, at least until Bastian goes on a power trip and tries to usurp the Childlike Empress's throne and to kill Atreyu when he objects. The two reconcile again in the end, after Bastian almost loses the last shreds of himself.
- The Chosen One: At first, until Bastian is revealed to be the true Chosen One.
- Driven to Suicide: Artax somewhat does this in the Swamps of Sadness.
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Atreyu is absent in the third film. That might be a good thing to some people though, regarding the film's poor quality.
- The Dreaded: For The Nothing.
- Freak Out: Twice in the film. Once when he sees Bastian in the Magic Mirror Gate, and again when he learns he is part of a storybook.
- The Lancer: Atreyu is well regarded as a hero in his world while Bastian has no friends and is bullied. Atreyu is a sinewy warrior while Bastion is a pudgy wimp.
- Magical Native American: A green-skinned Native American who hunts purple buffalo.
- Meaningful Name: Atreyu means "son of all" in his language. He was raised by the village after his parents died when he was a baby.
- The Mirror Shows Your True Self: Atreyu sees Bastian through the Magic Mirror Gate, and is freaked out by it. The same happens to Bastian.
- Never Learned to Read: He didn't know what the words on the back of Auryn meant until Bastian told him, since he comes from a tribe of hunter-gatherers who never developed a writing system.
- Rant-Inducing Slight: Twice. Against Morla's antics, and when the Empress tells him that she knew exactly what to do despite Atreyu's trials in his quest.
- Sapient Steed: Artax, in the book.
- Static Character: Unlike Bastian, Atreyu doesn't change or develop throughout the story. Though unlike Bastian, he doesn't need it; being more or less a reflection of Bastian's best qualities without any of his flaws.
The Childlike Empress (Moon Child)
The God Empress of Fantastica, the Childlike Empress never ages and can only be met once in a person's lifetime. She becomes deathly ill during the novel, sending Atreyu on a quest to find a cure and a way to stop the Nothing. However, the quest is a Batman Gambit to get Bastian to Fantastica so that he can cure her and their world by giving her a new name.
- Above Good and Evil: She is completely neutral and draws no distinctions between anything, never judges anyone, and almost never actually uses her power. In her view, good and evil are both important parts of Fantastica's existence. She also doesn't warn Bastian about the fact that wishing will make him lose memories, and several of her past saviors have ended up in the City of Old Emperors.
- The only time she says "that's bad" about something is when Bastian says he can't think what to wish for. It seems that to her "good" means Fantastica's continued existence and "bad" means anything that threatens it (like Gmork or the Nothing, both of which come from outside Fantastica), but within the natural operation of Fantastica, all creatures, be they virtuous or wicked, wise or foolish, ugly or beautiful, are "good". Which makes sense, as many stories need villains and monsters as well as heroes.
- The dark creatures of Fantastica likewise respect her. Ygramul will not harm someone who wears AURYN, and among the 499 doctors who had been to see her at the beginning of the story are witches, vampires and ghosts, who are noted not to usually be considered conductive to good health.
- Anthropomorphic Personification: She is the embodiment of inspiration and fantasy.
- Dissonant Serenity: No matter what happens or what she sees, she is always calm and tranquil. Sometimes her serenity becomes stern and severe, but she is always calm.
- Batman Gambit: The Empress uses this to bring Bastian to Fantastica. She sends Atreyu on a quest for no real purpose but to give Bastian a story to follow, and then ventures to the Old Man of the Wandering Mountains to read out the Neverending Story's contents to her in a literal neverending fashion until Bastian names her and comes to the Magical Land.
- Fisher King: Without her, Fantastica cannot live. Her illness and the destruction of Fantastica are one and the same. Despite being called "Empress", she doesn't actually rule, though all the kings and lords of all the various lands of Fantastica would heed her if she did issue a proclamation, since everyone in Fantastica knows instinctively that their existence is tied to hers.
- Really 700 Years Old: She takes the form of a ten-year-old girl, but is much older than even Morla or any other of the ancient inhabitants of Fantastica. Her appearance may be A Form You Are Comfortable With, especially since both Atreyu and Bastian are also young children of about the same age that she appears to be.
- Say My Name: Forces Bastian to shout out a new name for her to save her kingdom: Moon Child.
- Shining City: The Ivory Tower.
- Sliding Scale of Beauty: She is a Divine Level beauty.
- Supernatural Gold Eyes: Showcasing her nature as the living embodiment of imagination. One of her titles even is "the Golden-Eyed Commander of Wishes".
- Time Abyss: The Empress and the Old Man are some of the oldest residents in Fantastica.
A mysterious but Magic Librarian (actually a bookstore owner), in whose store the titular book appears. He once went to Fantastica himself.
- Alliterative Name: Carl Conrad Coreander
- Ancient Keeper: Subverted; when Bastian tries to apologize to him at the end for losing his book, it turns out that he has never seen or heard of it, and it presented itself to Bastian in Coreander's store of its own accord. When Coreander got to Fantastica, it was by a different route.
- Played straight in the film, where he is reading the book when Bastian comes in.
- Briar Patching: In the film, he makes a point of warning Bastian that The Neverending Story is "not for you" because it is unlike the "safe," normal books that Bastian is familiar with. Unlike in the original novel, the film's Coreander seems to have done this for the express purpose of getting Bastian interested enough in the book to swipe it while Coreander's back is turned.
- Child Hater: When he first meets Bastian, he explains that he doesn't abide children, because they're only good for "screaming, torturing people, smearing books with jam and tearing the pages." When Bastian reveals that he's being chased, Coreander immediately assumes that the police are after him.
- Grumpy Old Man: He's introduced as one in both book and movie, essentially acting like a huge grouch to Bastian. At the end of the book we see a different side to him, and he's revealed to be more a Jerk with a Heart of Gold.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: When Bastian tells him about his adventures on Fantastica, Coreander noticeably listens to him quite eagerly and even reveals to Bastian he was on Fantastica at some point before him. When he sees Bastian and his dad walking back home, Coreander smiles and proudly remarks that Bastian will surely help other humans find the way to Fantastica.
- Magic Librarian: Although he actually isn't a librarian, but a bookstore owner.
- Stepping Out for a Quick Cup of Coffee: A variant in the movie — Coreander goes into his office to answer the phone, conveniently leaving The Neverending Story within Bastian's reach with only the most cursory of efforts to hide it by putting a newspaper on top of it. As mentioned above (see Briar Patching), given the look on his face when he returns to find both Bastian and the book gone, it seems to have been intentional.
Falkor the Luckdragon
A luckdragon who befriends Atreyu. He is very courageous and upbeat, believing luck is a wonderful thing. As a Giant Flyer, he spends most of his time flying. He is a shining white Eastern-type dragon with leonine features.
- Big Damn Heroes: After Atreyu's meeting with Gmork, Falkor shows up to save him from the Nothing at the last minute. In the movie he's even introduced as a Big Damn Hero, showing up like a Deus ex Machina to rescue Atreyu from the Swamps of Sadness — though this is inverted in the book, where it's Atreyu who ends up saving him from Ygramul the Many, and Falkor becomes his companion out of gratitude.
- Born Lucky: He at least claims to be this, and it's true that things tend to work out for him — and for the people he's around.
- Catchphrase: "With luck!" or variations thereof, whenever someone asks him how some big or impossible task can be done.
- Friend to All Children: He is benevolent to everyone, but especially likes children.
- Giant Flyer: Which enables him to become Atreyu's Cool Horse.
- I Owe You My Life: In the book, this is the main reason for his Undying Loyalty to Atreyu. In the movie, he just decides to help him out because he's a Nice Guy.
- The Lancer: To Atreyu.
- Meaningful Name: Possibly. His German name, Fuchur, sounds a bit like the Chinese word "fuk". Which means blessing, happiness, or luck.
- Nice Guy: In the first film, Falkor is optimistic, wise, and friendly.
- OOC Is Serious Business: If he loses hope or is unable to see the positive in a situation, you know it's bad.
- Our Dragons Are Different: He's an eastern dragon, and distinct from the more western dragons like the one that Bastian creates. When he's introduced, the narrator even says that when you read "dragon", you should not think about a nasty, fire-breathing, winged creature. In the film, his head is reminiscent of a dog.
- The Pollyanna: He's the quintessential "glass-half-full" character, always looking on the bright side and always certain that everything will work out in the end.
- Took a Level in Dumbass: He is supposed to be a very smart character. He is a smart character in the first film and still somewhat smart in the second. In the third film, however, he becomes a downright moron.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: He doesn't become a jerk in the third film but he does become a complete coward who is afraid to make any actions even when something is no more than a rumor.
- Undying Loyalty: To Atreyu, whom he will follow through anything and everything — but also to Bastian, to a lesser extent.
- Winds of Destiny, Change: He enjoys supernatural good luck in the end no matter how bleak things appear, and so do his companions. For example, even after he was bound and bitten by Ygramul the Many, he chanced to hear her telling Atreyu the secret that her venom allows her victims to teleport, and used this knowledge to follow Atreyu to the site of the Southern Oracle, where Urgl cured them both.
A rock chewer, although known in the film as the Rockbiter, Pyornkrachzark is one of the travelling companions on their way to visit the Childlike Empress for help against the Nothing. A giant man made of rock, Pyornkrachzark enjoys eating rocks and rides on a large stone bike.
- Ascended Extra: In the book, he only appears in one chapter and is mainly used, along with his companions, to introduce Fantastica and the Nothing to Bastian and the other readers. He has a somewhat bigger role in the movie, essentially becoming the Breakout Character and going on to have more substantial roles in the sequels and the shows.
- Big Eater: The fact that he eats his own bicycle is even more shocking in light of the fact that Rockchewers can usually live for weeks on a single mouthful.
- Cool Bike: Made of stone. He eats it.
- Gentle Giant: It's clearer in the movie, where he's shown as soft-hearted and soft-spoken. He's as big as a building, but he has a kind personality, apologizing when a "crumb" from a rock he's eating lands on the Racing Snail's head, and then later being Driven to Suicide when he fails to save his companions from the Nothing.
- Mighty Glacier: Though he is pretty fast on his bike.
- Powerful and Helpless: Laments about how, even with his "good big strong hands", he couldn't keep his friends from being sucked into the Nothing.
- Rock Monster: He doesn't just eat rocks, he's made of rock.
- Took a Level in Dumbass: In the third film, he's reduced to a stereotypical Bumbling Dad.
The Big Bad of the first half of the book, the Nothing uses The Power of the Void to erase Fantastica from existence. Created from the forgotten hopes and dreams of mankind, the Nothing is used by the unseen Manipulators to destroy human imagination so that humanity will be more controllable.
- Big Bad: Of the first half of the book, and the first movie.
- Body Horror: The Nothing can erase body parts by mere touch, causing hell for a trio of Bark Trolls.
- Driven to Suicide: The Nothing can make Fantasticans literally suicide jump into nothingness.
- Eldritch Abomination: In the book, it is a formless and indescribable void. This is also indicated to be true in the dialogue amongst the travelers at the beginning of the film, which makes an explicit point of the fact that things devoured by the Nothing don't leave behind an empty space in any way the mind can comprehend, because even a hole or a dry lake bed would be something. However, there's no way to depict this on film, so the movie mostly represents the Nothing via footage of roiling storm clouds.
- Imagination Destroyer: The Nothing is an eldritch force that represents the opposite of humanity's imagination. It is empowered by things like apathy and cynicism and it threatens to erase Fantasia out of existence, which would leave humans' ability to imagine forever heavily damaged if such a thing came to pass.
- The Nothing After Death: Fantasticans who jump into the Nothing become lies in the human world.
- A Storm Is Coming: In the movie, the Nothing is represented by storm clouds.
- The Power of the Void: It covers the land in a mist that erases it.
The Dragon to the Nothing, Gmork aids the destroyer of worlds to prevent Atreyu from finding a way to defeat it. A servant of the Manipulators, Gmork appears as a wolf and relentlessly hunts Atreyu through the book and film.
- Adaptational Badass: While a deadly servant in the book, the movie makes him even scarier and more of a Straw Nihilist which is indeed more terrifying.
- Adaptational Villainy: In the book, Gmork had a somewhat sympathetic, if petty, backstory, wherein he never had a home, and, as a result, wanted Fantastica and the human world destroyed so others could suffer like he did. The film, on the other hand, removed this motivation, instead giving him his Straw Nihilist characterization, in addition to simply being hungry for power.
- Adaptation Dye-Job: In the animated series, he is depicted with white fur and red eyes.
- Back from the Dead: Downplayed. After he dies, his body springs to life and wounds Atreyu.
- Canis Major: "The size of an ox," according to the book's English translation.
- Chained to a Rock: Thanks to Gaya, the Dark Princess of Spook City in the Land of Ghosts.
- Dark Is Evil: He sports a dark coat and has an even darker heart.
- The Dragon: He describes himself as: "I am the servant, of the force behind the Nothing."
- Evil Counterpart: To Falkor. They are both faithful furry dog-like creatures. But while Falkor is loyal to Atreyu and saving Fantasia, Gmork is loyal to the Nothing and those behind the Nothing, aiding in Fantasia's destruction.
- Envy: His reason for wanting to destroy Fantastica. His kind can travel between Earth and Fantastica, appearing human on Earth and in Fantastican form while in Fantastica, but they are not of either world for they have no world of their own.
- Fangs Are Evil: Unlike a typical wolf, Gmork's front incisors are prominently displayed to the point where he appears almost vampiric.
- Guttural Growler: In the movie.
- The Heavy: In the movie he does most of the on-screen villain work.
- Honey Trap: How Gaya loosened his tongue about the Manipulators' plans and then tied him up.
- Hope Crusher: His true purpose in the film. Humans who have forgotten their dreams have no hope, those who have no hope are easy to control, thus Fantasia would die and in its place Gmork would reign over humanity as a demon god.
- Killed Off for Real: He is killed by Atreyu, and despite his jaws closing on Atreyu when he approaches because even a dead werewolf is full of lingering malice, he does not come back to life. In the book, he starves to death, laughing, after being chained by Gaya.
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: After Gmork dies, Atreyu gets too close and Gmork's jaws clamp down on his leg, holding him tight, unable to move. Intended to keep Atreyu from leaving as the Nothing moved in, it also helped to keep him from walking into the Nothing, which attracts Fantasticans when it comes closer. This allowed Falkor to find Atreyu and save him.
- Our Werewolves Are Different: Creatures that appear human on Earth and appear like Fantastican monsters in Fantastica.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: In the animated series, his eyes are red instead of green.
- Savage Wolf: Gmork is a hitman sent by "the force behind the Nothing" to kill Atreyu and thereby doom the world.
- Villains Never Lie: He's not wrong about Fantastica having no boundaries.Atreyu: That's not true. You're lying!
Gmork: Foolish boy. Don't you know anything about Fantastica? It's the world of human fantasy. Every part, every creature of it, is a piece of the dreams and hopes of mankind. Therefore, it has no boundaries.
The ManipulatorsGmork's employers. Mysterious beings who wish to use the Nothing to turn Fantasticans into delusions and lies, wherein they will be set loose in the human world, driving humanity further wayward.
- Eldritch Abomination: What they are is never elaborated upon, but one can assume they are this trope.
- Evil Is Petty: For being a group of Omnicidal Maniacs their objectives are ridiculously petty. According to Gmork, their ambitions are to sell people things they don't need and teaching them to them hate things they don't know. Though it's implied that it's all part of a larger scheme.
- Evil Plan: Turn Fantasticans into lies and delusions with the Nothing, and then use them to plague humanity.
- Greater-Scope Villain: A textbook example really. They control the Nothing, and hired Gmork to take out Atreyu. Given they work through the Nothing their involvement is quite indirect. They're only mentioned in the book once, and never play any role in the story after the Nothing is defeated.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Does "The Manipulators" sound at all like a group you'd trust?
- Rule of Symbolism: They represent the dark side of human imagination. Whereas Fantastica is filled with dreams and stories that inspire goodness in humanity, the Manipulators twist those dreams into illusions and fears that cause chaos in the human world.
- It is possible that they are not symbols, or even a real group of characters, as much as they are simply a collective name for any people in the story's human world who use imagination solely for manipulation, and frown upon it being used for other purposes. Gmork describes them as having fairly diverse mundane goals like selling things people don't need (false advertisement) and making them hate things they don't know (propaganda). Under this interpretation, the Nothing is not truly part of the Manipulators' Evil Plan as much as it's a byproduct of people in general shunning "innocent" imagination, such as for storytelling, and using it only to dominate others. Hence Fantastia, the embodiment of positive imagination being suppressed by Manipulators, being slowly consumed by the Nothing and turned into nothing but a series of lies and manipulations. Of course they still somehow sent Gmork after Atreyu which implies some kind of intent.
- The apparently unrelated schemes may be part of a far-reaching plan to lure each person into committing whatever unethical act they are most prone to do, no matter how seemingly petty, until it becomes a habit, then a belief which will serve as a window to induce further corruption. With the gradual weakening and eventual loss of morality in human-kind, their utter downfall will be all but ensured.
An evil sorceress who serves as a villain in the second half of the novel, while pretending to be Bastian's humble servant after he defeats her on her home turf. She manipulates Bastian to siege the Ivory Tower, planning to use him to take over Fantastica. She dwells in the hand-shaped castle Horok, and controls an army of empty iron minions.
- Big Bad: Of the second film. In the book, she's closest thing to an antagonist in the second half, but since she's killed off before the climax and never comes to blows with Bastian, she's not really big enough to be a Big Bad.
- Defeat Means Friendship: Or so she'd like the heroes to believe. She pretends to submit to Bastian after he defeats her, but actually uses her position as his servant to manipulate him.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: She was killed by her own soldiers when they died and crushed her.
- Empty Shell: She is emptiness incarnate.
- Evil Sorceress: In fact, the text specifies that she is Fantastica's wickedest and most powerful sorceress.
- Extreme Doormat: She acts this way in order to manipulate Bastian.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Her death is actually something Bastian inadvertently causes due to an evil act he performs.....and Bastian is only being evil because Xayide has manipulated him into being so.
- Hot Witch: She's described as very beautiful in the book.
- Humanoid Abomination: In the film, she's the living embodiment of emptiness.
- Lady of Black Magic: An Evil Sorceress and the main villain who has Power of the Void.
- Mark of the Supernatural: She has one red and one green eye.
- My God, What Have I Done? / Villainous BSoD: In the film, Bastian used his last wish to give her a "heart"/"conscience", which results in her shedding a Single Tear presumably of remorse (or perhaps budding compassion) shortly before dying in a Puff of Logic.
- Power of the Void: Her will can control anything that is empty.
- Puff of Logic: Her death in the film—Bastian wishes that she has a heart and she gains one. However, gaining a heart means that she's no longer empty, which defies her very existence as the living embodiment of emptiness. This results in her (very violently) ceasing to exist.
- Token Evil Teammate: She travels with Bastian to the Star Cloiser and Ivory Tower as part of his company on their quest, and, as her advices make clear, is still evil. No one but Bastian trusts her.
A group of Fantasticans who are travelling together to the Ivory Tower as messengers from their far-flung regions of Fantastica to ask the Childlike Empress for help with the Nothing, only to learn she herself has fallen ill. They consist of Pyornkrachzark the rock chewer on his stone bike, the Will-o'-Wisp Blubb, the night hob Vooshvazool (and his stupid bat), and the tiny man Gluckuk with his racing snail.
- Adapted Out: Blubb doesn't appear in the movie.
- Bat Out of Hell: Vooshvazool's mount.
- Horse of a Different Color: Gluckuk's racing snail.
- Speedy Snail: Gluckuk's racing snail is capable of moving at high speeds.
- Team Pet: Gluckuk's racing snail and Vooshvazool's bat.
- Will-o'-Wisp: Blubb is a will o' wisp.
A black zebra-centaur who is the last and greatest of the five hundred doctors summoned to examine the Childlike Empress. She gives him AURYN and sends him to find Atreyu and put him on his quest.
- Adaptation Species Change: In the book, he is a black centaur with a zebra body while in the film, he is more of a humanoid merman with a ridge on the top of his head, and can breathe on dry land.
- Meaningful Name: His name originates from Chiron, the Greek centaur sage and physician who taught many heroes.
- Nice Hat: Cairon wears a Japanese straw hat.
- Our Centaurs Are Different: He's a black one with the body of a zebra.
- Our Mermaids Are Different: In the film, he is a merman who is able to walk and breathe on dry land.
Morla the Ancient One
The oldest being in Fantastica, discounting the Childlike Empress and the Old Man of Wandering Mountain, who are ageless. Morla is a tortoise of fantastic size, who has been inert in the Swamps of Sadness for so long that she has become a landmark, Tortoise Shell Mountain.
- Abnormal Allergy: she is allergic to youth.
- Fisher King: It's Implied in the book version that the swamps of sadness cause despair in anything that ventures into them because Morla is perpetually sad and uncaring, rather than Morla's attitude being a result of the swamp's effects.
- Split Personality: Morla has been alone with herself for so long that she's separated herself into two distinct identities and often talks to herself, calling herself "old woman."
- Time Abyss: One of the oldest beings in Fantastica — in fact, the only beings older than her are the Childlike Empress and the Old Man of Wandering Mountain, who are as old as the world and eternal unchanging.
- Straw Nihilist: As a result of living in Fantastica so long, and coming to believe that life is meaningless and simply repeats itself. She doesn't even care whether Fantastica is destroyed or not. Then again, what would you expect from someone living in the Swamps of Sadness?
- That's No Moon!: When Atreyu first finds her, it takes him a fair bit to realize that she doesn't live in Tortoise Shell Mountain — she is Tortoise Shell Mountain.
- Turtle Island: A variant on dry (mostly dry) land. She's grown to be so big as to be easily mistakable for a hill, which combined with her habit of rarely ever moving has led to her being named Tortoise Shell Mountain.
- Wise Old Turtle: She's far more cynical than is usual for the trope, but she's nonetheless the oldest living being in Fantastica besides the Childlike Empress and Old Man of Wandering Mountain, who are eternal and undying, extremely knowledgable, and offers useful advice to Atreyu at a key point.
Ygramul the Many
A feared and powerful monster that lives in the deep chasm.
- The Dreaded: Called the Horror of Horrors by the Greenskins, who consider meeting it to be A Fate Worse Than Death.
- Hive Mind: Ygramul is composed of a swarm of steel-blue insects that move to compose a shapeshifting form.
- Third-Person Person: Ygramul talks this way, perhaps due to its Hive Mind nature.
Engywook and Urgl
The Gnomics. Engywook is a gnome scientist who lives near and studies the Southern Oracle, and Urgl, a gnome healer, is his wife.
- Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: They always argue and insult each other, but whenever one is acting particularly badly, the other is always quick to insist that "s/he really means well." Urgl also comforts Engywook when he is at his lowest point.
- Audience Surrogate: In-Universe, Engywook is strongly implied to be Mr. Coreander's Fantastican avatar, the same way Atreyu is Bastian's own.
- Fantastic Science: Engywook is a scientist trying to figure out how the Southern Oracle works.
- Glory Seeker: Engywook's goal is to become the most famous gnome in Fantastica. He succeeds, but not in the way that he thought that he would.
- Grumpy Old Man: Engywook. Urgl is a Grumpy Old Woman.
- Mad Scientist: Urgl seems to think that Engywook is one.
- The Professor: Engywook.
- Supreme Chef: Urgl. The food she makes for Atreyu is described as so delicious that Bastian's mouth waters just reading about it. Averted in the film, when Urgl reveals her healing potion has all kinds of gross stuff in it (a newt's eye, tree mold, old lizard brains, scales of a rancid sea serpent).
Uyulala the Southern Oracle
A legendary being known to be able to answer nearly any question, but can only be met by those who can pass three magic gates to reach her.
- Made of Air: Her body is a living construct of pure sound; her body is the melody that she sings.
- The Omniscient: She is borderline this, as people from all over Fantastica travel to speak to her and she can give answers to just about anything.
- Rhymes on a Dime: In fact, she can't speak without rhyming, and also cannot hear people if they do not talk to her in verse. (Atreyu manages to get a knack for it rather quickly.) This trait is only from the book; in the movie she speaks normally.
The Old Man of Wandering Mountain
An ancient being of the same kind as the Childlike Empress. The Old Man of Wandering Mountain writes the Neverending Story, recording every event that has ever happened into the book, in absolute solitude.
- Anthropomorphic Personification: He is the counterpart of the Childlike Empress: where she is the personification of inspiration, he embodies the practice of writing down and recording stories so they become fixed and unchanging.
- Because Destiny Says So: Legend says that the only way to meet him is by fate.
- The Omniscient: He writes down everything that happens in Fantastica. The only thing that he doesn't seem sure about are the Childlike Empress's motivations.
- Rewriting Reality: For the most part, reality and the book he writes are indistinguishable and simultaneous, so the fact that everything he writes into the book becomes real doesn't matter, since everything that happens is written, by him, into the book as it happens. However, when the Childlike Empress makes him recite the book to her, he writes the words he says as he says them, which causes the events described to repeat themselves, up to his own recitation of the book. This would have gone on without end without outside intervention, forcing Bastian's hand.
- Time Abyss: He is as old as the Childlike Empress, and Fantastica itself.
Grograman the Many Coloured Death
The Many-Colored Death, Lord of the Desert of Colors, and the deadliest creature in Fantastica. He is a lion whose fiery aura makes everything around him into Goab, the Desert of Colors. He turns to stone at night, and the sands of Goab grow into Perilin, the Night Forest, until he awakens again in the morning. Bastian is one of the few beings who can be around him and live, thanks to the protection of AURYN.
- Back from the Dead: He dies with every nightfall, but is resurrected in the morning.
- Cats Are Mean: Subverted. Grograman, despite his very presence being deadly, is very helpful and wise.
- Fisher King: He fulfills this role to the desert Goab itself, feeling it as he feels his own body. When he dies, the desert becomes a forest.
- Panthera Awesome: A lion with powerful scorching habilities.
- Super Strength: He is capable of wrestling with Bastian on an even footing.
- Walking Wasteland: Everywhere he goes, all the land around him turns into desert and all living things die, because he is the deadliest creature in Fantastica.
The Four Heroes and Princess Oglamar
A group of travelers that Bastian meets shortly after arriving in Fantastica. Hero Hynreck is a knight determined to be the greatest and impress Oglamar, the Princess of Luna, who is only interested in the very best of heroes. Hykrion, Hysbald, and Hydorn are wandering knights looking to prove themselves as the strongest, swiftest, and most enduring of all knights, respectively, who met up with Hynreck and Oglamar by chance and became his friends.
- Badass Mustache: Hykrion.
- Badass Normal: All four heroes.
- Break the Haughty: Both Hynreck and Oglamar. Bastian doesn't think too much of Hynreck's boasting and deriding of how saving Fantastica "didn't require much of a hero," and soundly defeats him. Oglamar, who is only interested in the best, leaves Hynreck because of this. To remedy the situation, Bastian then invents a story about Oglamar getting kidnapped by a dragon, getting her into a situation for Hynreck to rescue her from. In both cases, Bastian realizes afterwards that what he did was Disproportionate Retribution.
- Defrosting Ice Queen: Oglamar.
- Distressed Damsel: Oglamar, after Smerg kidnaps her. Bastian then wonders if it wasn't Disproportionate Retribution to get her into such a situation just because she'd been haughty.
- Human Aliens: The five of them seem human, but can't be, as they are from Fantastica.
- In Harm's Way: How Hynreck wants to live. His greatest frustration is that Fantastica has become too boring by the time he's alive and doesn't have enough monsters, demons and wars left anymore, thus depriving him of opportunities to demonstrate his skill. His reaction to hearing that his girlfriend has been kidnapped by a dragon is to jump up and clap his hands with joy.
- Knight in Sour Armor: Hynreck views himself as a Failure Hero after Bastian defeats him and gives up on his relationship with Oglamar, but when she is kidnapped, he rescues her anyway.
- Knight Errant: Hykrion, Hysbald, and Hydorn become this. At one point, however, after getting lost several times, they declare that they are absolute failures at it.
- Master Swordsman: All of them, but especially Hysbald and Hynreck.
- World's Strongest Man: Subverted with Hykrion, who claims to be the strongest, but is later outperformed by Hynreck, who is then outperformed by Bastian.
An elderly, talking mule in service to Hykrion, Hysbald, and Hydorn, who later becomes Bastian's mount.
- But I Can't Be Pregnant!: Her regret, as she tells Bastian, is that mules are sterile, but he finds a way around this with his power of storytelling by giving her a magical mate who can father a child with her.
- Interspecies Romance: She meets a pegasus stallion whom Bastian conjures for her. They fall in love and later Yikka gives birth to a winged mule named Pataplan who has adventures of his own.
- Morality Chain: She's the only creature Bastian is consistently nice to even after he shuns Atreyu and Falcor. When Xayide tricks Bastian into getting rid of Yikka, Bastian makes sure the old mule gets a happy ending by pairing her with a pegasus, and her departure makes Bastian so unhappy, causing him to go further downhill just as Xayide expected.
- Nice Girl: She's gentle and understanding, and loves to converse with Bastian.
- Talking Animal: Like the book version of Artax, Yikka can talk and converse as well as anyone.
The Acharis / Shlamoofs
The saddest, ugliest, and most depressed creatures in existence, who fashion the indestructible silver that composes the City of Amarganth and weep endlessly. Later, they are transformed by Bastian into their polar opposites, the Shlamoofs, a race of clowns and everlasting laughers.
- The Eeyore: The Acharis to the extreme.
- Gonk: The reason why the Acharis are so depressed and constantly crying — they're so completely ugly they can't bear to look at themselves, and later beg Bastian to help them. His attempt to do so has nasty consequences.
- Ocular Gushers: The Acharis constantly cry an endless amount of acidic tears.
- Plucky Comic Relief: The Shlamoofs are created to be the embodiment of laughter and comedy. Deconstructed in their second appearance; the Shlamoofs are incapable of taking anything seriously and can no longer do anything remotely practical, with the result that they've destroyed all the beautiful things they made while they were the Acharis and can't make anything new.
- What the Hell, Hero?: When they meet up with Bastian for the second time, they reveal just what happened as a result of Bastian's well intended wish.
The Old Emperors
Former human saviors of Fantastica who never made it out to the real world. They inhabit the City of Old Emperors, and are looked after by Argax the monkey.
- Empty Shell: Every one of them. They lost themselves by abusing their wishes in Fantastica and wasting away their memories of the real world.
- Fallen Hero: Every single one of them saved Fantastica at some point. They also succumbed to the temptation of becoming Emperors of Fantastica and caused great chaos before losing all of their memories and ending up trapped in the City of Old Emperors.
- Fate Worse than Death: Their punishment for failing to return to the real world and attempting to overthrow the Childlike Empress is to spend eternity as Empty Shells in the City of Old Emperors, never being able to go back home and performing pointless mockeries of menial tasks.
- Ironic Hell: What they get to live. For abusing their power given as bearers of Auryn, now they don't get any control over anything, and they can now only create stories by randomly throwing dice.
- Monkeys on a Typewriter: One of the many pointless things they do is constantly throw dice with letters on them instead of numbers. As explained by Argax (a monkey), most of the time the dice spell gibberish, but since they throw the dice time and again and they'll keep on doing it for eternity, sometimes coherent phrases and even whole stories turn up. Shame no one will ever read them.
- Rummage Sale Reject: They wear random things instead of clothes, such as barrels and lamp screens.
A talking monkey that looks over the inhabitants of the City of Old Emperors.
- Catchphrase: "In a manner of speaking."
- Everything's Better with Monkeys: Thoroughly and mercilessly averted. His domain is utterly depressing and creepy, and he is sadistic and unpleasant.
- Jerkass: Through and through a very unpleasant character. He shows absolutely no sympathy for the Old Emperors (not that they deserve much, anyway).
- Maniac Monkeys: He takes a sick pleasure in watching the mindless Old Emperors going around with their meaningless lives.
- Nice Hat: Is described as wearing a doctoral cap, as those worn by people receiving their doctorate.
- Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant: Argax's job is to oversee the City of Old Emperors and keep all of them occupied for eternity. He is endlessly amused by it, while Bastian is suitably horrified.
- Orderlies Are Creeps: Although not exactly an orderly, he has shades of this as the overseer of a city full of incoherent, mindless humans. He also finds sick amusement in watching the Old Emperors live out their pointless existence.
- Pet the Dog: Argax lets Bastian go after showing him the City of the Old Emperors, as Bastian still has a few wishes left in AURYN and because Argax develops a soft spot for the boy. He's also the one who teaches Bastian how to go back to the human world.
The prince of the djinn, who seeks out Bastian and becomes one of his most trusted administrators.
- Heroic Sacrifice: He dies in the Battle for the Ivory Tower in order to save the invisibility belt Gemmal for Bastian.
- Senseless Sacrifice: After his Heroic Sacrifice, Bastian loses the belt the very next day.
An immortal plant woman who lives in the House of Change, repeatedly dying and being reborn. Her desire and purpose is to have a child to love.
- Meaningful Name: The original spelling of her name, "Aiuola", is Italian for "garden".
- Parental Substitute: Becomes one for Bastian for a while, as the embodiment of the mother he misses.
- Plant Person: She's a living plant; she "eats" by watering herself, and even bears fruits.
The blind miner, who spends his days going deep underneath Fantastica to harvest the forgotten dreams of humanity from the Picture Mine.
- Innate Night Vision: Yor is only blind in the light. In the total darkness of the Picture Mine, he can see perfectly.
- The Mentor: To Bastian, in the difficult task of forgetting himself.
- One-Note Cook: The only food Yor ever makes and eats is some kind of salty soup.
- The Quiet One: Since loud noises smash the pictures he digs up, Yor rarely speaks and even when he does, he only whispers.
- The Stoic: Yor rarely shows emotions. He smiles only once in the story, when Bastian finally finds the picture of his own dream.
Bastian's father, a dentist, who became depressed and distant from his son after the death of his wife, Bastian's mother.
- The Eeyore: He's introduced at this, as a result of losing his wife. He gets over it at the end, when he gets back his son.
- Fantasy-Forbidding Father: Not in the book, where he is too lost in his own depression to notice what stories Bastian makes up — but in the opening scene of the movie he tells his son to get his head out of the clouds because he's failing in school as a result. In the end, if not for Bastian's vivid imagination Fantasia would have been destroyed forever.
- Non-Action Guy: Understandable though, considering he's not the one who goes to Fantasia. He is a pretty badass Dad when the need arises in the films.