|“||That cannot be! Why would I be the last? What do men know? Because they have seen no Unicorns for a while, does not mean that we've all vanish. We do not vanish. There's never been a time without unicorns. We live forever! We're as old as the sky, old as the moon! We can be hunted and trapped! We can be killed if we leave our forrest. We do not vanish.||„|
|~ Amalthea as a Unicorn.|
|“||I can feel this body dying all around me.||„|
|~ Amalthea as a human being|
The Unicorn is the protagonist of the book The Last Unicorn, and the 1982 English-language Japanese film based on it. When secretly following two hunters within her forest, she overhears them say that all the unicorns of the world may be gone, save her. Concerned that she has not seen any of her own kind for quite some time, she decides to leave her home and the safety of her enchanted woods in search of her kind. Along the way she learns from a talkative butterfly that a creature called The Red Bull may have driven her kind to the ends of the earth. When she first encounters the Red Bull, Schmendrick the magician manages to inadvertently change the Unicorn into a human female to confuse the Red Bull and force its withdrawal. Schmendrick calls her "Lady Amalthea" so it won’t arouse King Haggard's suspicions, but he soon grows suspicious of Lady Amalthea becaues due to her eyes never showing his reflection in them, but rather, shows green leaves and fox kits and images of the forest from whence she came.
She was voiced by Mia Farrow.
She was born in a forest somwhere in Ireland. She leaves the safety of her forest upon learning that she is the last unicorn in the world, with information about the Red Bull as her only clue. When she first encounters the Red Bull, Schmendrick manages to inadvertently change the Unicorn into a human female to confuse the Red Bull and force its withdrawal. Schmendrick calls her "Lady Amalthea" so as not to arouse King Haggard's suspicions. Beagle notes that he took the name "Amalthea" from a Greek deity with the same name. Actually, Amalthea was the goat whose milk was given to the infant Zeus.
The Unicorn has a personality that develops throughout the progression of the story. She is free-spirited, open-minded and shows concern and compassion to all around her. She also becomes saddened when she discovers the fate of her kind and is greatly upset by her transformation into a human, claiming that she can feel her fragile human body dying around her. This new form terrifies her to the point where she breaks down in tears, claiming that she is more afraid of it than even the Red Bull. She is very much a lost, lonely, frightened soul who seeks to find what matters most to her in the world.
When she defeats the Red Bull and frees her fellow unicorns, she admits that she is glad that she has had a chance to experience being human, as it allowed her to find love and meaning in her life, something that no other unicorn has or will ever know.
The Unicorn's goal is to find the rest of her species, which have been driven away, under Haggard's instruction, by the Red Bull.
The friend that the Unicorn makes is Schmendrick, when he frees her from Mommy Fortuna. He is delighted when she asks him to accompany her on her quest, and does all he can to protect her.
Her other friends are Molly Grue, the Butterfly and Mommy Fortuna's Animals.
The Unicorn becomes good friends with Schmendrick and Molly Grue, but her biggest relationship is with Prince Lír. At first, she ignored his advances but when she begins to forget her identity, she softens towards him, and when Lír expresses his love for her, she falls in love with him as well. Later, when her true identity is revealed to Lír, his love for her remains, which prompts her to stay human and abandon her quest. Lír, however, disapproves, and believes the quest can't be left. The Red Bull appears, and Lír tries to defend her, while she is turned back into a unicorn in the process. When the bull kills him, the unicorn forces the bull into the sea and the other unicorns run free. On the beach, she revives Lír and leaves for her home. Schmendrick tells Lir that the unicorn will love him for the rest of time.
Many people try to catch The Unicorn, each for their own purposes, and these are her enemies. Among these people are:
- King Haggard
- The Red Bull
- Mommy Fortuna
- Captain Cully
Frosty's Winter Wonderland
Nestor, the Long–Eared Christmas Donkey