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Engywook is a character in Michael Ende's novel The Neverending Story.


Engywook is a gnome who lives with his wife, Urgl, near the Southern Oracle.

Engywook has spent his life studying the Southern Oracle and her three gates, although he has never entered any of them.

Engywook has an observatory where he can observe the Sphinxes of the Riddle Gate.

In Chapter 5 of the novel, he shows them to Atreyu, who has to lie on his stomach in order to look through the telescope.


The NeverEnding Story (1984)[]

Sydney Bromley as Engywook in the first film

In the first film, Engywook is portrayed by Sydney Bromley.

Engywook is shown to be very sexist towards his wife, frequently calling her a "wench".

Like in the novel, he shows Atreyu his telescope, and they both witness a knight get obliterated by lasers fired from the eyes of the Sphinx Gate. Engywook is annoyed that he didn't get to see through the telescope, but he also tells Atreyu that a person has to have a pure heart if they are to pass the gate, for if they have the tiniest shred of doubt, they will suffer the same fate as the knight.

Believing he is pure-hearted enough, Atreyu decides to pass the Sphinx gate. Engywook is heavily worried, especially when the Sphinx's eyes start to open, but he shouts for Atreyu to run. Atreyu jumps out of the way of the lasers just in time, and an excited Engywook tells Urgl and Falkor.

Although excited that Atreyu has passed the Sphinx gate, Engywook is worried for Atreyu's safety again when he mentions the Magic Mirror Gate, which he hadn't told Atreyu about. The Magic Mirror is the next gate Atreyu has to pass, and has to face his true self. Engywook also says this is the hardest gate yet, as most people cannot handle being confronted by their true selves.

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

In the third film, Engywook is played by Tony Robinson, who is famous for playing Baldrick in the Blackadder series.

Like in the first film, Engywook is very sexist towards his wife, again calling her a wench; the two trade insults back and forth throughout the film.

Urgl is busy making dinner one evening, while Engywook studies the alignment of the planets. All of a sudden, Bastian comes crashing through their home, destroying Engywook's machine. Initially furious, Engywook and Urgl soon calm down when they realize it is Bastian.

Urgl makes snake patties for dinner, and Bastian tells the gnomes why he is in Fantasia: while hiding in the Hillabury High School library, he was found by The Nasties, who were seeking revenge against him for getting them expelled. To escape the Nasties, he entered the book. Engywook wonders if the book is in a safe place, but as he says this, the Nasties, who have found the book and are reading it, cause chaos throughout Fantasia, starting by creating a firestorm that destroys the forest and the gnomes' home. The gnomes ride in Barky the Bark Troll's hair, although very unwillingly. Engywook reveals that Bastian can return to Earth using the AURYN, the symbol of the Childlike Empress which can also grant wishes. When Falkor arrives, they decide to rendezvous with the Childlike Empress at Wandering Mountain.

At Wandering Mountain, the Childlike Empress reunites with Bastian and the others, telling Bastian that they must not give in to The Nasty's power. Engywook mentions that while Bastian's heart is strong, he's "not exactly Arnold Schwarzenegger in the muscle department" and asks how he will get the book away from the Nasties. The Empress bestows Bastian with the AURYN, and tells him that he is to use the AURYN to wish to return to the human, and use the AURYN to restore both worlds before returning it to the Empress.

Bastian makes the wish, but he doesn't go anywhere, and as he tries to do it again (with Barky and Falkor holding onto him), the Rock Biter's son Junior runs in and touches it as well, causing all four of them to be transported to the human world. Fragments of Junior fall onto Engywook's foot, and Engywook explains that there's been a "wish overload", and how Engywook and Urgl are lucky that they had no contact. As he says this, he stands on a fragment of junior, causing his entire body to disappear. Engywook then touches Urgl, and they get transported to Nome, Alaska.

While in Nome, they go to a FedEx and ship themselves to De Forest, Washington, where Bastian lives, as there was only one "Bux" in the phone book. They end up arriving at the house of Bastian's stepmother, Jane Baxter, and are soon reunited with Bastian and the fellow Fantasians, although they both desperately have to use the bathroom.

That night, they learn that Bastian's stepsister Nicole Baxter has stolen the AURYN, and has gone to the mall with it, so Bastian and all of the Fantasians go to the mall to find the AURYN. Engywook and Urgl ride in the FedEx box, carried by Barky. The AURYN gets stolen by the Nasties, and after a few rounds of keep-away, the Nasties regain the AURYN and disappear into their hideout.

After Barky regains and uses the AURYN to reverse what the Nasties have done, everyone returns to Fantasia. Engywook and Urgl's house has been rebuilt, with bathroom doors specifically made for both of them. Finally back in their world, they run into the house.

Physical description[]


Engywook wears a carved root for a hat, brown robes made from withered leaves, similar to a monk’s habit and large eyeglasses. His features are described as being sharper and more anxious than Urgl’s.

He is approximately 3 feet tall.

The NeverEnding Story (1984)[]

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

Engywook is described by the book as having a bald, onion-sized head, and a nearly toothless mouth. He has a heavy Irish accent.


  • In third film, Engywook's favorite food is revealed to be frog and lizard puree soup.