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12 Steps in the Hero Journey

An overview of the hero journey as found in literature and film.

Janell Ramos

on 4 December 2015

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Transcript of 12 Steps in the Hero Journey

The Hero Journey
in 12 Steps
#1 The hero is in comfortable surroundings
gets an "inkling" something is wrong
home life becomes uncomfortable
#2 The call to adventure
It becomes clear what must happen
or what WILL happen
#3 Refuse the call to adventure
Hero is afraid of change
fears losing loved ones/way of life
or fears learning the truth
or is confused about next steps (unclear vision)
The Hero
meets the MENTOR and is willing to go on the journey
#5 The HERO crosses the threshold
the physical journey begins
literally the 1st steps into a foreign or unknown land
and the first steps can be dangerous!
#6 Test of Allies and Enemies
Hero must experiment with the new world
who is FOR me (my friends)
who is AGAINST me (my enemies)
the hero endures tests of strengths and has to face his fears and foes.
In Star Wars, Anakin must face his fear of losing his mother...and those he loves
Whoever the HERO decides is FOR or AGAINST him determines the OUTCOME of the journey
...and sometimes the HERO chooses wrong...
#7 Approach and Preparation for what will come
the hero has setbacks and has to adopt new ideas or strategies
The hero gets ready for the big battle
Becoming the SHADOW is a process. It doesn't happen overnight, but over time...
#9 Reward if he survives...
The hero takes possession of the reward won by facing death.
celebration seals the deal
BUT danger threatens to take the reward away
AND rewards are not without consequences...
King Midas and the Golden Touch
Anakin love and Master Jedi Status
#8 Moment of facing danger & Death
learns lessons about survival and life

#10 The Road Home
he collects himself (weapons, wisdom, training) and starts to finish the job he began
the hero is driven to complete the adventure, and bring the reward home/heal the community/bring peace
there is a sense of urgency and danger
the opposition makes one final attempt to stop the hero.
#11 Resurrection and Return
hero faces death on a deeper scale
Gets tested on EVERYTHING he's learned
it is the FINAL battle
#12 part 1: Atonement and return with ELIXIR
The hero finds the HOLY GRAIL (the solution)
Restores balance to life or to a culture
gives something back to community

If the hero fails to complete his quest, fails to bring back the wisdom he has attained...it was all a waste of time...
# 12 part #2: The Refusal to Go Home
sometimes the hero doesn't want to go home
he's changed in some way
doesn't feel he belongs to his home any more
adventure was fun
new found knowledge make home life boring

hero meets an ally
the goddess
she nurtures, helps, guides the hero, reminds him to stay on his journey, to not give up
she represents all that is good and ultimate LOVE and acceptance
Hero meets an enemy
temptress (usually a woman)
hinders the hero, tries to persuade him to short cut his journey or quit
promises impossible rewards if he will side with her

Atonement with Father (father figure)
Step 12 #3: Crossing the Return Threshold
sometimes returning home is harder than leaving in the first place

In Lord of the Rings (LOTR) Frodo mistakenly choses Gollum over Sam, not believing that Sam hasn't lied to him or betrayedhim. Also, he can no longer tell what is truly Sam's actions or what the ring is making Sam do or say. Either way, Frodo has made a wrong choice about who to trust.
Anakin is seduced by the Senator Palpatine's explanations about the Dark Side of the Force because Anakin wants to hear what he wants to hear what he wants to hear. HOwever, by trusting the Senator he trusts the villain in disguise and this ulimately backfires on him.
Full transcript