All this death and destruction still didn't prepare me for the most traumatizing death in the film-- Artax the horse, who sinks to his death in the swamp of sadness. Our hero Atreyu tries and tries to free him, screaming, crying the horse's name, and even insulting him, to no effect. Then, after a fade to black, we see only swampwater where Artax used to be. We are only left to wonder, what can a horse be so sad about after all? Do horses have ennui?
You can lead a horse to swampwater, but you can't prevent his sink.
Die unendliche Geschichte (The Neverending Story). Dir. Wolfgang Petersen. Perf. Barret Oliver, Noah Hathaway, Tami Stronach. Warner Bros., 1984.
The Neverending Story
(see the scene on YouTube here)