AURYN
The Neverending Story

AURYN is a mystical talisman in The Neverending Story. In the novel, AURYN is always spelled in capital letters and is revered by all Fantasticans, referred to as "The Gem" and "The Glory." It is a symbol of its mistress, the Childlike Empress, who is also called "The Golden-Eyed Commander of Wishes" in reference to her relationship with AURYN. While the book makes noteworthy the point that the image of AURYN is on its "cover(s)", it does not actually refer to it as AURYN. 

Two mythological serpents, symmetrical, bite at the other's tails. In the book, they form an oval, not intertwined. One serpent is white and one is black. Each has an eye to correspond to the color of the book's print, red and green. It may be noted that the film version has the two snakes in an "Infinity Knot", a kind of grief knot which looks like a more intricate variation of the figure "8" infinity symbol and another sign of ouroboros. The two snakes represent the dual nature of the two worlds, Fantastica (German: Phantásien) and Reality, but also the twin nature of their mutual creation and destruction. On the back of AURYN are these words:"Do what you Wish" (German: "Tu, was du willst").

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AURYN helps guide Atreyu through Fantastica in his quest to find a cure for the ailing Childlike Empress, and in turn defeat the Nothing. It serves him clandestinely, but does return him to the Ivory Tower. Although Atreyu believes himself to have failed in finding the human child past the borders of Fantastica, the Childlike Empress informs him to the contrary and that indeed the boy had been with him all along.

In the hands of the Childlike Empress, AURYN displays greater powers even in the face of the Nothing. She releases seven spirits to serve her as she ventures across her tattered realm to find the Old Man of Wandering Mountain. They carry her chariot and provide a haven for Atreyu and Falkor within. 

Bastian christens the Childlike Empress with her new name. She presents him with AURYN; her only request being that he follows the instructions written on the back. While it grants him the power to make wishes and imagine more of Fantastica, it drains him of his memories which are his only way back to his world. Bastian searches for the same obscure boundaries of Fantastica, only to realize it is within AURYN itself.

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In the mystical interior of AURYN, two gargantuan serpent statues stand sentry, one shining brighter than white, the other darker than black. They guard the Waters of Life, a waterfall and pool that serve as the exit from Fantastica. The statues refuse Bastian's passage, for he had left many stories unfinished in Fantastica. Atreyu, however, agrees to undertake the quest, which allows Bastian to return to his world. When Bastian touches the waters, their truthful properties dissolve the illusion of his glamour wishes, and he returns to being a fat little boy, instead of a Fantastican prince, but this time he has learned to love himself as he truly is. At this point the snakes of AURYN allow him to return to his world. 

The original Auryn used in the filming of the movie is now displayed in a glass case on the wall of Steven Spielberg's office.


This is a raw resin copy I received from a prop buiilder who had sculpted and casted the AURYN from "The Neverending Story."
I carefully filed and cleaned up the edges of the AURYN. I then went ahead and washed throughly.
I thought about giving the AURYN a coat of primer but decided against that since I did not want to fill in any of the details that are sculpted onto this piece. So I began with the golden color and painted it with Testors 1144 Gold Or.
When the gold was dry on the front side I went ahead and painted the back side following the snake in the same gold color.
When the golden color was dry I painted the other snake of the AURYN with Testors 1146 Silver Argent.

When the silver color was dry on the front side I went ahead and painted the back side following the snake in the same silver color.

That way my AURYN (while not seen) will be painted accordingly.

When completely dry I lighty washed the AURYN with a black wash to fill in some of the details to help make this thing look old and used.

You do not want it perfectly clean since Atreyu gets into some messy situations.

Then came the hardest part. I carefully placed in the eyes of the snakes using some extremely small glass jewels. By using the tip of a pin I put in a small drop of super glue into one of the eye sockets of one of the snakes. I then used a pair of surgical (pointy tip) tweezers to place one of the jewels into the eye socket. I did this for all four eye sockets.

This is my completed AURYN from "The Neverending Story"

AURYN