Readers ask: How To Invert The Hero’s Journey?

When Good Turns Bad: The Reversed Hero’s Journey

The “hero’s journey” is a structure found in fantasy fiction and many other genres in which the protagonist grows and changes, becoming a better person or being “reborn.” But what happens when that journey leads them down a darker path?


Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul are two examples of anti-heroes embarking on dark side journeys, while House of Cards depicts two villainous characters becoming increasingly heinous, and The Godfather I, II, and III are classic examples of a reversed hero’s journey.


In science fiction, many good characters become villains; in fantasy, however, reversed journeys appear to be less common. Tales of the villain’s descent into evil abound, but they are rarely the focus of the current story; instead, a downfall is frequently suggested in the fantasy world’s past.


The reversed hero’s journey is diametrically opposed to the happy endings that are so central to the fantasy genre; we need the euphoric conclusion and triumph of the forces of good, which a hero becoming an anti-hero does not provide; in fact, it’s more akin to a tragedy.

What is the opposite of the hero’s journey?

Term Definition Hero’s Journey: A unifying structure and pattern that is common to heroic stories in virtually every culture; heroes do something new, brave, or good within the story. Villain The hero’s antagonist; a character who is in conflict with the hero.

How do you end the hero’s journey?

The Hero has been resurrected, purified, and has earned the right to return to the Ordinary World and share the Elixir of the Journey. The true Hero returns with an Elixir to share with others or heal a wounded land.

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Can a villain have a hero’s journey?

The hero must overcome the villain in any hero’s journey, whether the villain is a person, monster, natural disaster, or the hero’s own internal conflict. I theorize that the hero’s cycle is mirrored by a similar cycle, a villain’s cycle, in which the villains follow their own journey.

What are 3 examples of a hero’s journey?

Two Case Studies of the Hero’s Journey in Movies

  • Luke lives on a farm on Tatooine with his aunt and uncle.
  • The call to adventure.
  • The call’s refusal.
  • The mentor.
  • Crossing the threshold.
  • The ordeal.
  • The return.

What are the 12 parts of the hero’s journey?

The Hero’s Journey Has 12 Stages

  • Call To Adventure.
  • Refusal Of The Call.
  • Meeting The Mentor.
  • Crossing The Threshold.
  • Tests, Allies, and Enemies.
  • Approach To The Inmost Cave.
  • Ordeal.

Who are the 4 main characters in a monomyth?

The Archetypes are a group of people who share certain characteristics.

  • Herald.
  • Shadow.
  • Trickster.
  • Shapeshifter.
  • Threshold Guardian. A character who serves to keep the unworthy from entering.
  • Threshold Guardian. A character who serves to keep the unworthy from entering.

What are the 8 steps of a hero’s journey?

There are eight terms in this set.

  • Challenges.
  • Abyss.
  • Transformation.
  • Atonement.
  • Return with a gift.
  • The call. A problem is presented, and the hero cannot remain in the ordinary world.
  • The call.

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.

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What are the 10 stages 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.

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.

What are the four parts of the hero’s journey myth?

What is the Hero’s Journey, and how does it work?

  • The Departure Act: the Hero departs from the Ordinary World. The Initiation Act: the Hero enters unknown territory (the ” Special World “) and undergoes various trials and challenges in order to be born into a true champion.

What is an example of a hero’s journey?

You’ll recognize the stages of the hero’s journey in the Old English poem Beowulf: Ordinary world – Beowulf’s ordinary world is Greatland. Call to adventure – Beowulf heard stories of Grendel, who had killed many men.

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