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Transcript of Hero Cycle
Refuse, or Denial:
The hero has options when it comes to the call; she will have to choose one of these as a response to the
call to action. In many cases, a refusal happens first.
The Known World:
Many times the hero
will feel frustrated
by the real or perceived limits of her
surroundings; she might feel
like a misfit, or that she is
with where she is bugs her.
Rae, Finn, Junior, Carl,
Mr. Incredible, Luke Skywalker,
Katniss, Margo from Papertowns
The Hero Cycle
The hero will cross the
threshold from the known
world into the
unknown. Now there is no going back.
Neo, Marlin, Starlord
The Other world:
The hero will find herself
in a strange land filled with all sorts of new things:
strange language, strange actions, strange appearances.
The Capital, Narnia, Oz.
As soon as the hero crosses into the new world, he will begin the road of trials; he will likely undergo a test, most times a series of tests, that challenge whether or not he is ready to continue the quest . Many times he will initially meet with failure: this failure serves to question or sharpen his commitment. The test serves as a catalyst for change; furthermore, the test confirms who the hero's enemies and allies are.
The hero will
meet someone(s) who will provide specific,
direct education for the hero. This mentor will typically be a major character who becomes round as a result of a flashback story.
The mentor is definitely an archetypal figure.
Many times this character serves not only for physical training, but can provide for development of the emotional: caring, comfort, clarity, - psychological: knowledge, skill, wisdom, virtue- or spiritual: reinforcing the hierarchy of the divine or
challenge it. Lastly, this character will serve as either a contrary of reinforcement of the mythos of the culture.
The Call to Action:
The hero is
to do something:
Find Will Beyers,
volunteer as tribute, fight Apollo, infiltrate mean girls, save private Ryan.
Aid:Allies and enemies:
Because the hero may need more than the mentor to serve as aide, friends of some sort provide what the mentor cannot: physical, emotional, spiritual, psychological support is provided to the hero by either one of the major characters: this can come from the a major- i.e. the mentor. It is also made clear in this stage who the antagonist is, if it has not been made clear already.
A conflict of some kind- physical, emotional,psychological, spiritual will be augmented, and it will shake the faith of the hero. This may also establish clearly who is an enemy and who is a friend. Many times this is associated with loss: of life of freindship, a loss of faith, a loss of direction, a loss of life.
Ron & Harry, Rocky & Mickey,
The hero does not give up
despite all warnings to the contrary;
he may want to or it may even appear that he is defeated, but he keeps working toward
the goal even though
the road of trials is becoming
His skills are developing.
This is the scene where
the hero displays all the courage/ bravery/greatness that she has learned up to this point.
Many times it is a battle montage as well as a
of will; it also follows very specific patterns
The hero will be rewarded
for his efforts.
Something that will
serve as a reminder to himself
and to others that he has undergone
the journey of the hero.
As usual, this prize may in the form of an object or an action; however, it may take the form of physical, emotional,
psychological, or spiritual strength.
The Return & the Fanfare:
The hero must now return
to the old world to show how different he is;
he is most times publicly-welcomed as significantly more valuable than
when he went forth. In the celebration of the hero, there will be
a public celebration: a parade,
a concert, a ceremony, a something awesome to celebrate the awesome.
The hero's birth may have
different circumstances from normal. Whether it is how he is conceived, Darth Vader, Buddha, Jesus, or how, where, or when he is born: physical or mental conditions may also be a factor- hole in the heart wall, water on the brain.
Weapon of special valor:
Many times the hero is given a unique weapon to help him in the stages of his quest. The weapon may take many forms: an object, action, valuable knowledge. If the hero is male, most times the weapon prepares him for a battle scene; however, that is not always the case: the weapon can also be emotional, psychological, spiritual knowledge, or strength.
The wound that will not heal.
The hero may have some
disfigurement, a scar, a trauma, the loss or addition of something, that marks him as different from others. This wound may be physical, spiritual, intellectual, psychological, moral/ethical. Harry Potter's forehead, Roy Hobb's bullet wound, Nemo's lucky fin, Odyseus' scar, Batman's thrill-seeking, Rudy's height, Hazel Grace's cancer
Table 1. Stages of the Hero's Journey
Departure Common World
Call to Adventure
Refusal of Call
Crossing First Threshold
Initiation Road of Trials
The Ultimate Boon
Return Refusal of the Return
Crossing the Return Threshold
Master of the Two Worlds
The Chthonic Episode:
Traditionally speaking, this is where the hero goes underground, under the Earth, to the underworld to find something, to face a difficult truth, to gain wisdom, or to earn a talisman. The word translates to subterranean. In more modern storytelling, this stage can be represented in a dream, in a psychological/mystical state, or it can be simply represented by going down stairs. Sometimes it is also represented as the belly of the beast stage, wherein the hero is consumed by someone or something. It can also be represented by a moment where there is darkness that causes the character to reflect.