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The Childlike Empress (also known as the Golden Eyed Commander of Wishes or Moon Child) is a character in Michael Ende's novel The Neverending Story.

She is the supreme and immortal ruler of the mystical universe called Fantastica.


In the novel, the Childlike Empress is described as being a kind and gentle individual who is pure at heart.

She resides in Fantasia's imperial capital called The Ivory Tower, living within the very center of a giant white Magnolia flower made of intricately carved ivory that sits high on the very top of the tower. This tower is said to be so high that it reaches up into the clouds.

She possesses a wisdom far beyond that of mortals or any other fantasy creature. She is the highest rank of all things mystical. The empress also has many magical powers, but what these supernatural abilities exactly are is never fully explained in detail

Although she is nominally the ruler of Fantastica, she rarely interacts with the outside world.

The amulet known as the AURYN is her emblem, and those who wear it are her representatives.

It appears that, periodically, the Childlike Empress and her powers grows very weak, and to regain her strength, she must be willingly given a new name by a child dreamer from the human world to maintain good health and keep alive. If the empress was to ever die, the world of Fantasia and all of its magical inhabitants would completely cease to exist as everything would be consumed by the dark and negative force simply known as "The Nothing."

She sends Atreyu on the Great Quest, which brings Bastian to Fantasia, and Bastian gives her the name of Moon Child, his deceased mother's name, which saves her and restores Fantasia.


The NeverEnding Story (1984)[]

The Childlike Empress in the first film

In the first film, The Empress is portrayed by Tami Stronach.

The NeverEnding Story II: The Next Chapter (1990)[]

In the second film, The Empress is portrayed by Alexandra Johnes.

The NeverEnding Story III: Escape from Fantasia (1994)[]

In the third film, The Empress is portrayed by Julie Cox.

The Neverending Story (1996)[]

In the cartoon series, The Empress is voiced by Lisa Yamanaka.

Tales from the Neverending Story (2001)[]

In Tales from the Neverending Story, The Empress is portrayed by Audrey Gardiner.

Physical description[]


She has soft pale white skin and large, almond shaped eyes the color of bright gold (which earns her the title Golden-Eyed Commander of Wishes). Her eyebrows are two arched lines of sepia-colored India ink, yet her long hair is as white as snow. She wears a formal silk gown of pure white and sits on a round satin couch of many cushions.

As explained by Morla the Aged One, her lifetime is not measured in years, but by names, which only the imagination of a human child can give her.


In the films, her hair is dark, rather than white, and in the first film, she is dressed like a bride.

In the first film, she wears a pearl headpiece and a chiffon and tulle dress with a lace bodice and silver beaded skirt.

The Neverending Story (1996)[]

In the cartoon series, the Childlike Empress has golden hair and wears a green gown.

Tales from the Neverending Story (2001)[]

In the 2001 television series Tales from the Neverending Story, the Empress is again depicted with dark hair.