Bastian Balthazar Bux is the main protagonist in The Neverending Story.
Bastian is a shy and bookish boy around 12 years old who is neglected by his father, who is still mourning the sudden death of his wife (she died of an unspecified illness). Bastian is a dreamer, who is shunned by other children due to his immense imagination. During a visit to an antique bookstore, he steals a curious-looking book titled The Neverending Story, and upon reading it he finds himself literally drawn into the story.
Halfway through the book, Bastian becomes a character in The Neverending Story, in a world called Fantastica ("Fantasia" in the films, which is closer to the German original "Phantásien"). He is bestowed the magical amulet AURYN, which allows his wishes to be granted. As the story progresses, Bastian slowly loses his memories of the real world as his wishes carry him throughout Fantastica and change him into a completely different person. Deluded by the witch Xayide, Bastian moves to the Ivory Tower and tries to have himself proclaimed Emperor. The ceremony is interrupted by Atreyu, who is nearly killed by Bastian.
Eventually, Bastian realizes that he is beginning to lose himself, and starts a desperate last-ditch quest for his one true desire. In the end he forgets even his name, but with the help of Falkor and Atreyu, who promise to finish the stories he started, he manages to return to the human world with the capability of loving, which was his deepest (and thereto unknown) desire, and bringing to his father the Water of Life, curing him of his melancholy. Bastian and Coreander exchange tales of their adventures in Fantastica, and Coreander reveals that a person can return to Fantastica as many times as they can think of new names for the benevolent Childlike Empress, and predicts Bastian will show others the way to Fantastica.
- 1984: Barret Oliver in The NeverEnding Story.
- 1990: Jonathan Brandis in The Next Chapter.(J. Michael Haney, Jr. as Young Bastian)
- 1994: Jason James Richter in Escape from Fantasia.
- 1996: Christopher Bell provided the voice of the character in The Neverending Story animated series.
- 2001: Mark Rendall in Tales from the Neverending Story