In The Neverending Story, Bastian is not the first human to enter Fantastica; he was preceded by Mr Coreander and many others. I recall a hint at some point in the book that Shakespeare had been one of these humans who visited Fantastica. How many other names do we know of such people?

What humans do we know of who've been to Fantastica?

  • 1
    And, did Ende himself? Jul 25, 2016 at 11:59
  • 2
    I think the implication was that every great storyteller --and potentially every dedicated reader --had been to Fantastica, or at least their own version of it. Jul 25, 2016 at 14:29
  • I always thought that the guy that originally had the book had been at least once... He seemed to know what had happened to him when he returned to the bookshop.
    – Rincewind
    Jul 25, 2016 at 17:28
  • @Rincewind Yes, I mentioned him (Mr Coreander).
    – Rand al'Thor
    Jul 25, 2016 at 18:10
  • 2
    And thus, have we all been there? :) Jul 25, 2016 at 19:11

1 Answer 1


The only ones whose names are confirmed (or practically confirmed) are William Shakespeare (presumably), Carl Conrad Coreander and Bastian Balthazar Bux.

However, we do have the descriptions of several other unnamed Humans ('Know-Nothings') who ended up in the City of the Old Emperors:

  • A man who pushes a cart
  • A woman who then pushes that cart
  • A woman trying to spear peas
  • A little girl struggling to push a doll's carriage with square wheels
  • A man shaving a mirror
  • A boy with a heavy hammer trying to drive nails into a pair of socks
  • A fat man trying to paste postage stamps on soap bubbles

So a total of 10 individually identified or described Humans have visited Fantastica. But only 3 named.

On a side note I've always found the boy and girl's presence disturbing. This means at least two children came to Fantastica, gave the Childlike Empress a name, tried to overthrow her, and essentially had death of personality, trapped in a place where they will never die or even age, forever.

How long have they been there? Hundreds of years? Or could they be missing persons cases from Bastian's era, who went to an attic or library corner, started reading, and never returned?

I know you asked for names, so I might be skirting around the question here.

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