9

It is important to distinguish between the original text and the English translation. If one only allows for text-immanent interpretation and considers the translation the sole text, all my following arguments are pointless. Furthermore, I'm not saying that the interpretation of Atreyu considering the queen to be a monster is wrong per se, but I want to ...


7

I actually made a list of all of these many years ago, which deserves to be recorded for posterity. Here they are, in the order that they appear in the text. The four messengers: Gluckuk, Vooshvazool, Pyornkrachzark, and Blubb. During the long waiting period, the four so unalike messengers became good friends. From then on they stayed together. But that'...


7

The German version reads Do what you want (Tu Was Du Willst). The ambiguity could exist in German as well with Tu Was Du Wünscht, albeit that would be a less common phrase and kids probably had trouble understanding it. The quote that follows the inscription (chapter M, p.199 in my edition): [...] Wichtig war allein, dass die Worte die Erlaubnis, nein, ...


6

TL; DR: There is an ambiguity, intended by the author, between "do what you wish" and "find your true will" which is important for the development of the main character Bastian. Long answer: To answer the question we can look at what the author himself said or wrote about it. The following comment is from a typescript from his literary estate. I quote it ...


6

Beforehand, they didn't know the effect of the swamp. When Atreyu and Artax first reach the swamp, it looks gloomy and forbidding but no more than that. Despite the name, they didn't realise that anyone entering it would get so depressed that they sank into the swamp. The little horse uttered one last soft neigh. "You can't help me, master. It's all ...


6

In the original, it's B and K, not B and C. You can see this in the German Wikipedia page (emphasis mine): Bastian Balthasar Bux ist ein zehn oder elf Jahre alter, in sich gekehrter Junge. Sein Vater hat den Tod seiner Frau, Bastians Mutter, nie verkraftet, flüchtet sich in seine Arbeit und beachtet seinen Sohn kaum noch. In der Schule ist der Junge ein ...


5

Perhaps it's deliberately meant to be ambiguous. Certainly there's a recurrent theme in The Neverending Story of ambiguous endings and unfinished tales: just look at how often variations of the phrase "that's another story and will be told another time" are repeated throughout the novel. Ende is leaving a lot to our imagination, deliberately so. In fact, ...


2

It's easy to see this as a conflict between literacy (represented by the Old Man) and illiteracy (represented by the Childlike Empress), but I don't think that was what was intended. Just before this passage (still within chapter 12), we read in the message of The Old Man of Wandering Mountain (from the 1983 English translation by Ralph Manheim, formatted ...


1

During Bastian's return from Fantastica, the following sequence of events takes place (starting on page 388 in my Dutton 1997 edition): Quickly Bastian cupped his hands, gathered as much of the Water of Life as he could hold, ran to the gate, and flung himself into the empty darkness beyond. ... [He] put on his his shoes and coat, and saw to his ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible