Witchy Women: Xayide

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Xayide is an evil witch in the Michael Ende novel The Neverending Story (1979); she appears in the film adaptation The Neverending Story II (1990)  and in two other TV spin-offs. She lives in Horok (the Seeing Hand), a hand-shaped castle with so many windows that it looks as though it has eyes. She wants to replace the Childlike Empress as the ruler of the magical world Fantasia and impose her rule over its inhabitants.

In both film and book versions of the story, Xayide has particularly strong powers over anything that is empty–her soldiers, for example, are empty suits of armor that she controls. In the movie adaptation this is expanded into a force called The Emptiness, a force that threatens Fantasia and is similar to the Nothing of the first film, which Xayide controls.

Xayide is capable of presenting herself as an alluring and warm  presence, and she uses this to lull the Witchyyoung Bastian into believing that she is kind and means well. She gives Bastian a belt, Ghemmal, that makes its wearer invisible–a beautiful gift, but one with a the dark purpose of spying on the hero Atreyu. Eventually, she persuades him to invade the Ivory Tower, where the Childlike Empress lives.

In the novel, Xayide meets her end when she loses her power over Bastian. She is so weakened that her hollow knights trample her to death. In the film (which, aside from basic elements, has a vastly different plot than the novel), Xayide’s death is the result of a newfound sense of compassion–Bastian uses his final wish to give her a heart, and she sheds a tear before exploding.

*This post is a part of the A to Z Blogging Challenge.
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6 Comments

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  1. I totally forgot about her. Mostly I think because the second movie is so bad.
    Once I saw a picture of her I remembered her.

    I should feature her on my blog sometime too.

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    1. Yeah, that is a pretty bad movie. I was really disappointed in how many plot elements were changed. The story just didn’t work anymore.

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  2. I love this book, but it’s been *years* since I read it. I was planning on (re)learning German for my Master’s program, and as a goal to shoot for/coming reward, I bought a copy in the original German to read when I got to that point in my German studies. (The studies still haven’t started, but…they’re going to eventually!)

    The first movie was wonderful, but I was crushingly disappointed by how little resemblance there was between the second movie and the second half of the book.

    Liked by 1 person

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