Tattoo Ideas: The NeverEnding Story

Atreyu riding Falcor
Atreyu riding Falcor

If you were a child of the 80's and did not fall in love with "The NeverEnding Story", I don't want to know you. After my very first viewing of this 1984 adventure masterpiece, I was immediately hooked. I can't even count the number of times I rewound the movie to try to figure out what name Bastian was screaming into the wind. I wanted Falcor to be my pet dog. Atreyu was my future boyfriend. And if I couldn't physically become the Childlike Empress myself, I at least wanted her to be my sister.

As I got older, and still revisited the film from time to time, I began to grasp some of the deeper, philosophical concepts explored in the movie. One of my favorite quotes is, "We do not know how much longer we can survive The Nothing." The Nothing is an unseen, all-encompassing force that is destroying the land of Fantasia. It is unstoppable. During my angsty teenage years, I took it to mean that Nothing is way worse than Something, even if that Something is unpleasant. When the Nothing of depression or loneliness consumes you, for example, it is vast and dark and endless. It is unbearable, even as it is being beared. Anything would be better than emptiness. For years after stumbling upon the deeper meaning, I was fond of telling myself and others that I would rather feel pain than nothing at all.

I am not alone in my obsession for "The NeverEnding Story". My love for this fantastical film that features actors who were never seen or heard from again is shared by many, and memorialized in flesh in many different ways.

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AURYN Tattoos

The AURYN is a talisman that helps guide Atreyu on his quest through Fantasia. It features two serpents of contrasting colors, formed in a type of infinity knot. I'm having a hard time remembering whether it happens like this in the movie, but in the book after Bastian shouts out the Childlike Empress' new name (Moonchild, I now know is what he named her, according to a Google search done twenty years after the fact) she gives him the AURYN and instructs him to follow what is written on the back. What is written is this German phrase: "Tu, was du willst". The English translation is: "Do what you wish."

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Falkor Tattoos

Falkor, the luckdragon, befriends Atreyu and helps him on his journey through the weird world of Fantasia as he seeks to find a cure for the ailing Childlike Empress and ultimately defeat The Nothing. Falkor is best described as a fluffy dragon dog, as he greatly resembles a Chinese dragon, but also enjoys being scratched behind his ears. Although he is a luckdragon, he flies without wings because he accomplishes everything, as he is quick to remind the other characters, "with luck!"

Gmork tattoos

Gmork is an evil werewolf whose sole purpose is to track down and kill Atreyu. Gmork is a servant of The Nothing (who is not and cannot be seen). He is not far behind Atreyu throughout the length of the film. He nearly kills him in the Swamp of Sadness, but Falkor saves the day. He finally attacks Atreyu in Spook City, but does not succeed since he impales himself on a knife Atreyu improvised.

There are many other characters in "The NeverEnding Story" worthy of tattoos. The Southern Oracle is an all-knowing oracle guarded by three separate gate. The first gate of the Oracle is two yellow glowing sphinxes, and the second gate is two blue glowing sphinxes that sit opposite one another. Morla, the Aged One, is a giant turtle who is often mistaken for a mountain. Engywook and Urgl are a couple of married, quarreling gnomes who live right near the Southern Oralce. Engywook is a scientist who has studied the Oracle for years, but never gotten close to it.

The movie has so many great characters and nuances that can only be appreciated through viewing it firsthand. If you haven't already done so, get on it immediately (keeping in mind that it WAS an 80's film and thus taking it with a grain of salt). Then maybe we can be friends.

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