Hero’s Journey 101: Definition and Step-by-Step Guide (With Checklist!)
The Hero’s Journey is an age-old story structure that can be found in everything from Theseus and the Minotaur to The Lion King. In this post, we’ll show you how to make this classic plot work for you u2014 and summarize everything in a handy infographic.
What is the Hero’s Journey?
The Hero’s Journey, also known as the monomyth, is a common story structure. In 1949, Joseph Campbell coined the three stages of the hero’s journey, and in his book The Writer’s Journey, Christopher Vogler refined Campbell’s original structure, defining 12 stages.
The 12 Steps of the Hero’s Journey
The Hero’s Journey is a story structure that applies across mediums and genres, and we’ve used the 1976 film Rocky as an example to show how it can be used outside of your average sword-and-sorcery novel.
1. Ordinary World
Before our Hero discovers a strange new world, we must first comprehend the status quo: their ordinary, mundane reality. It is up to this first leg to set the scene, introducing the Hero to readers and setting the stage for the rest of the story.
2. Call to Adventure
The Hero is confronted with a problem or challenge that they can’t ignore, which can take many forms, as Campbell points out in Hero with a Thousand Faces. The stakes of the adventure and the goals become clear.
Rocky: Call to Adventure:
The undisputed World Heavyweight Champion is Apollo Creed.
3. Refusal of the Call
In Star Wars, Luke Skywalker initially refuses to join Obi-Wan on his mission to rescue the princess because it is risky and there are perils u2014 such as spiders, trolls, or a creepy uncle waiting back at Pride Rock.
4. Meeting the Mentor
Mentors are people who help the Hero avoid making a fool of themselves by providing practical training, profound wisdom, or a kick in the pants. Mentors can take many forms, ranging from witches to hermits to suburban karate instructors.
Rocky: Meeting the Mentor
Mickey “Mighty Mick” Goldmill, a former boxer, sees potential in Rocky and begins training him for the fight to save his life.
5. Crossing the First Threshold
The Departure stage is when the Hero’s speed really picks up, and there’s no turning back now. Take a moment to re-assess your bearings before continuing into unfamiliar territory.
6. Tests, Allies, Enemies
Spencer, Bethany, “Fridge,” and Martha run into a herd of bloodthirsty hippos in Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, while Marlin and Dory encounter three “reformed” sharks, are shocked by jellyfish, and are swallowed by a blue whale in Harry Potter.
7. Approach to the Inmost Cave
The “inmost cave” in Star Wars refers to the most dangerous location in the other realm, and it is almost always where the quest’s ultimate goal is located. This stage covers all of the necessary preparations for defeating the villain.
Rocky: Approach to the Inmost Cave
Rocky’s Inmost Cave is his own mind, where he fears he’ll never amount to anything, as evidenced by his butting heads with his trainer, Mickey, in his apartment.
The Ordeal is the main event of the second act, and if the Hero survives it, they will be transformed. It is sometimes not the climax of the story; there is more to come, but it can be thought of as the main event of the second act.
What follows the hero’s journey?
Regardless of the story’s genre or setting, the central narrative follows the hero’s journey structure, also known as the “monomyth” in literary circles or the “hero’s journey” in popular culture.
Do stories have to follow the hero’s journey?
Not every story is a Hero’s Journey, but every story fits into the structural concepts outlined in the Dramatica theory of storyif it has something meaningful to say.
How does tangled follow the hero’s journey?
Rapunzel’s life becomes filled with adventure when she leaves her tower and sees the world in this film; the hero’s journey could be considered that of Flynn Ryder, the outlaw who rescues Rapunzel from her tower and saves her from her loneliness, but it can also be seen in Rapunzel’s own journey.
What are the 3 stages of a hero’s journey?
The Departure (or Separation), the Initiation, and the Return, according to Campbell, are the three main stages, each of which consists of several steps. During the Departure, the hero is introduced as they are presented with and prepare for their journey.
What are the 8 steps of a hero’s journey?
There are eight terms in this set.
- Return with a gift.
- The call. A problem is presented, and the hero cannot remain in the ordinary world.
- The call.
Is the Wizard of Oz a hero’s journey?
The Wizard of Oz is a classic Hero’s Journey that begins with Dorothy’s decision to leave home, and ends with her refusal to return home after being duped by the soon-to-be-wizard.
Why is the hero’s journey so universal?
The point of this stage in the Hero’s Journey is that the Reward is never enough; no matter how much we hope they will, life’s physical rewards never satisfy us as deeply as we hope; the Hero’s Journey reflects this universal human truth by continuing the story even after the Hero appears to have gotten what they want.
What are the 10 steps of the hero’s journey?
Steps in the Hero’s Journey
- Step 1: The Ordinary World.
- Step 2: The Call to Adventure.
- Step 3: Cross the First Threshold.
- Step 4: Trials, Friends, and Foes.
- Step 5: Magical Mentor (or the Mentor with Supernatural Aid)
- Step 6: Dragon’s Lair.
- Step 7: Moment of Despair.
Which word is another name for the hero’s journey?
The u201cmonomythu201d u2014 or, more commonly, the hero’s journey u2014 is the name given to this template.
What movies do not follow the hero’s journey?
5 Movies That Demonstrate The Monomyth
- The Matrix, Men in Black, The Hunger Games, The Lion King, and Star Wars are just a few of the movies that come to mind.
What is a good story idea?
A young prodigy becomes orphaned, a middle-aged woman discovers a ghost, and a deeply in love woman is crushed when her fiancu00e9 breaks up with her are among the top ten story ideas.
Who is the hero in Tangled?
Eugene Fitzherbert (born Horace, later renamed Eugene and referred to as Flynn Rider) is a fictional character who appears in Walt Disney Animation Studios’ 50th animated feature film Tangled (2010), the short film Tangled Ever After (2012), and the 2017 television series Tangled: The Series.
Why is Rapunzel a hero?
Rapunzel is a hero because she sacrificed her hair, which symbolizes her personality, and had the courage to embark on a new dangerous adventure, based on her decision to leave the tower, leave her mother who locks her in the tower, and her desire for freedom. Rapunzel is a hero because she sacrificed her hair, which symbolizes her personality, and had the courage to embark on a new dangerous adventure.
Who is the threshold guardian in Rapunzel?
Mother Gothel is the threshold guardian, and even though she is not present when Rapunzel leaves her tower, she is present in Rapunzel’s mind.