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Fridge / The NeverEnding Story

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As a Fridge subpage, all spoilers are unmarked as per policy. You Have Been Warned.

The Book:

Fridge Brilliance

  • The first letters of each chapter form the alphabet. This might seem obvious to you if you have one of the first German pressings, otherwise not so much. Other translations (such as the Brazilian one) kept it.
  • The story contains lots of references to J. R. R. Tolkien and William Shakespeare because Bastian probably knows a lot about their works.
    • The story also states that Shakespeare went to Fantastica. Near the end, Mr. Coreander says that there are more ways than one to Fantastica; it's possible that Tolkien, with his interest in old epics and mythology, was able to go to Fantastica himself, which inspired him to write his Legendarium.
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  • Gmork says he can move freely betwen Fantasia and the human world, and he can't call either his home, this is why he helps the Nothing. But wiping out Fantasia and probably other worlds apart from the human one (since the human one is CAUSING it, it would just grow dull instead of become nothingness) would leave Gmork with only the human world to live in- a world he would be most probably able to settle down in permanently, even if it wouldn't be exactly a home.
  • The apparently misleading title – the neverending story – is often the butt of jokes seeing as the story does, in fact have an end. However, the ending is a cornerstone of any story, you can't have a never ending story in the literal sense. However, all throughout the original book, there are what appears to be lead-ins for other stories. For example, one passage states that Engywook (The gnome who was studying the Southern Oracle) went on to become rich and famous for his outstanding findings. However, each of these ends with the line 'but that is another story and shall be told another time'. In this way, the story itself spawns other stories to go off of, and those would presumably do the same. The story itself is not neverending, but the chain is.
    • The story is also, in a certain way, never-ending; it is all but outright stated that this is not the first time a human has had to enter Fantastica to give a new name to the Childlike Empress / Moon Child, nor will it be the last. Hence, it continues in a cycle; Bastian's contribution to the cycle is made, but someone else will have to do so again at some point.
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  • The Deus ex Machina events which allow Atreyu to complete his quest make no sense, from Y'gramul's poison working as a magical teleporter to anywhere in Fantastica, to Falcor's presence as a companion, to the Sphinx gate arbitrarily letting Atreyu pass through. These fortuitous events seem set up to help Atreyu which makes no sense, until you remember that Fantastica can be changed and added to by the wishes of a human brought there. Y'gramul, Falcor and the Southern Oracle could have been created by a previous human who named the Childlike Empress before Bastian's time in order to ensure that the means to bring a human to Fantastica would always exist.
  • The Childlike Empress is shown to have a lot of Blue-and-Orange Morality, only caring if the humans that come to Fantastica can dream. However, being childlike, she could have and incomplete understanding of morality like how some children don't understand why you lie to protect other's feelings.
    • The reason for the Empress's blue-and-orange morality could be that she views all Fantastica from the point of view of a storyteller, rather than one of the characters. For someone whose only concern is the story, the only thing that matters is that something happens. It doesn't matter if a character is good or evil as long as they advance the overall narrative, hence the Childlike Empress regards all Fantasticans as equally important and necessary, while expressing no opinions on their actions. She doesn't actually do any governing, even though she's the Empress, since enforcing restrictions on behavior by passing laws or punishing evil-doers would discourage plot elements. It's also why the only action she does take comes when the whole of Fantastica is in peril, which would mean the end of all stories.

Fridge Horror

  • When Bastian decided to create a dragon for Hero Hynreck, he described one that is about 1,000 years old and captures young maidens who are forced to be its servant for the rest of their lives. Bastian also stated that none had ever been rescued, meaning that at least 20 women each who served the dragon for an average of 50 years (Bastian stated) had been kidnapped in the past as a result of Bastian wanting to give Hynreck a dragon to slay.
  • When asked about her armored soldiers, as they are merely empty suits, Xayide says that they move by her will as "her will can control anything that is empty". Later, during the preparations for Bastian's coronation, she "keeps everyone so busy they barely had time to think" and when the coronation day arrives, she somehow has an entire army at her disposition. It implies that her giants once were living beings that she has "emptied" until they were under her control. Mind Rape and Body Horror, enjoy!
    • This makes the huge throne of mirrors where Bastian sits during the coronation day and how "it made him look as small as a doll" and Xayide's manipulation of him even creepier.

The Movies:

Fridge Brilliance

  • Watching The Nostalgia Critic gave me a Fridge Brilliance moment for The Neverending Story 2. The Critic complains that Bastian could just wish for Fantasia to be saved and be done with it, but think about it. The last time Bastian interacted with Fantasia, Atreyu got sent on a grand quest to find a human child, only to be told that He Was Reading About You All Along. And, the threat to Fantasia is a manifestation of humanity's growing apathy towards dreams and stories. Again. A quick resolution might not keep Fantasia safe for very long. - Classified
    • Funny you should say that, because he did the same for me for The Neverending Story 3. After all his lamenting about how out-of-character the characters were, I began to think, and I came to realise: They are so out of character for a reason! At the point where Bastian comes across Falkor, the Nastys already have a hold of the book and are messing around with the story. Considering the fact that they are probably barely literate, and most definitely don't read, all their ideas of what the characters were like would be pretty much retarded. Take the Rockbiter and family, for instance: They are essentially a fantastic sitcom, because HEY, this was the nineties, so the Nastys probably watch almost nothing but sitcoms. He sings a stupid rock song because HEY, rock songs are cool! Let's have him sing one while riding on his awesome hog! - The Real CJ
    • Same with getting all the characters back in 3, and the wishes-cost-memories machine in 2. If he just wishes for everything, there's no story. Fantasia is literally a storybook fantasyland, and with no story to revolve around, it all falls to ruin. Like how Alan Wake had to stay true to the story's internal logic or it would have had a The Bad Guy Wins Downer Ending, instead of the Bittersweet Ending it did have. A copout ending is incredibly bad news. - dvorak
      • I always got a somewhat more cynical impression of why everyone is an idiot in the sequels. Because Bastian is one. At the end of the first film, Fantasia is basically destroyed, but is recreated by Bastian through his wishes. And as his behavior in the 2nd movie shows, he's just not that creative/clever, and even has a streak of jerkass in him. So while his wishes were able to rebuild Fantasia, it's his version, and just plain not as wondrous as it once was. -Elan
    • This arguably causes terrible Fridge Horror: Everyone who dies/gets consumed by the Nothing in the first film stays dead, because it's not the original characters Bastian wishes back, but his version of the characters.
    • Also to consider, the core of any story is the conflict or plot. Take away the plot, the story goes, too. The whole conflict in this movie was that no one was reading books anymore, so taking away the plot - the reason to read a book in the first place - would be very bad.
  • A lot of people expressed confusion at the scene in the first film where Artax drowns in the Swamp of Sadness. However, horses are very good at sensing human emotions, which is one reason why they're used as therapy animals. That's probably why Artax couldn't stop the sadness from getting to him.
    • That, and as the book clearly states, the Swamp amplifies a person's sorrow just by being in it, followed by drowning. Atreyu only didn't sink because he had the AURYN.
  • The movie breaks the fourth wall near the end, when the Princess is explaining to Atreyu that she is aware of Bastian and knows what he must do. "He doesn't realize he's already a part of The Never Ending Story. Just as he is sharing all of your adventures, others were sharing his. They were with him when he hid from the boys in the bookstore. They were with him when he took the book with the Auryn symbol on the cover, in which he's reading his own story, right now." She's referring to the film's audience. The implication is that there is yet another audience, sharing theirs. The Never Ending Story, then, is not Atreyu's story, or Bastian's or even Fantasia's. It is the ever-spreading infinity of stories within stories being witnessed and shared. As such, it has no ending.

Fridge Horror

  • Bastian wishes back all of Fantasia at the end of the movie. That means he brought G'mork back to life.
    • Not so fast, I see it as that he only brought back the good parts of Fantasia. After all, why would he have The G'mork come back?
    • In the book, the G'mork states he is not a creature of Fantasia, but a being that can travel freely between worlds and take on a form which resembles the natives of any world. Restoring Fantasia did not bring back the G'mork because Fantasia did not spawn him to begin with.
    • Then again, there's the animated series that follows the events of the first two movies to think about. And guess who one of the main villains is?

The Song:

Fridge Brilliance

  • The song recorded by Limahl for the soundtrack of the movies begins by fading in to a melody that's already underway, and then fades out at the end. Thus giving the illusion that the song, like the story, is never-ending.


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