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A Hero's Journey in Thor

Using Joseph Campbell's model of a hero's quest to analyze the 2011 movie Thor

Molly Rea

on 22 October 2012

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Transcript of A Hero's Journey in Thor

The Hero's Journey
in Thor Molly Rea Departure The Call to Adventure When Loki lets the Frost Giants in to Asgard to steal the Tesseract during the ceremony. Thor is unaware of what is happening, but Odin knows something is wrong. Refusal of the Call After the Frost Giants steal the Tesseract, Thor must make a decision. As a wise king, which is his calling, he should act calmly, but instead, he decides to wage war against the Frost Giants with just him and a few friends. Supernatural Aid During the war that Thor impulsively wages against the Frost Giants, he begins to lose. Odin, his father, comes down from Asgard and apologizes to the Frost Giants for his impulsive son. Thor's supernatural aid gets him out of trouble with the Frost Giants, but Odin also begins Thor's journey. The Crossing of the First Threshold Thor crosses his first threshold when Odin banishes him to Earth. The Belly of the Whale When Odin banishes Thor, he also strips him of all his power which is Thor's lowest point. He arrives in an unknown world and must begin his journey. Initiation The Road of Trials Thor's trials are trying to adapt to the Earth and its culture. He does not understand anything around him or how he is to get his power back. The Meeting with the Goddess One of the first humans that Thor meets is Jane who is a scientist. Thor falls in love with her as she is the one who is helping him along his journey. Woman as the Temptress Thor and Jane spend a moment in the desert under the stars where the connect on a deeper level and Thor begins to realize that he is in love with Jane. He strays from his journey a little but not too bad. Atonement with the Father Thor's atonement with his father occurs twice. The first time is when Loki appears to Thor when he is in holding at the SHIELD location around his hammer. Loki tells Thor that Odin has died (even though he hasn't) and Thor regrets disobeying his father. The second atonement occurs towards the end when Thor returns to Asgard and sees that his father is in fact alive. Apotheosis When Loki sends The Destroyer to kill Thor and his friends, Thor does not want to cause Earth any trouble, so he walks up to The Destroyer and attempts to sacrifice himself. He gets hit pretty hard and knocked out, appearing to be dead. Jane rushes to his side, and he wakes up to continue fighting The Destroyer. The Ultimate Boon After Thor sacrifices himself, he reaches the lesson that he has been journeying to reach. Because of this, his power is returned to him which allows him to fight The Destroyer. Return Refusal of the Return At first Thor does not want to leave his new life on Earth because of Jane. He realizes that he brings danger to Earth and he must defeat Loki in Asgard in order to finally take control. The Crossing of the Return Threshold When Thor returns to Asgard, he acts a wise king and is able to develop a plan to defeat Loki. Instead of acting impulsively, he thinks through his plan and therefore is able to execute it perfectly. Master of the Two Worlds Thor destroys the Rainbow Bridge, even though he will not be able to see Jane again. By doing this, Thor shows that he has achieved the balance between the two worlds. The balance is that Asgardian "monsters" and people will not be able to interfere in Earth's affairs again. Freedom to Live Thor lives as king after defeating Loki. He knows he won't be able to see Jane again, but he does not regret meeting her. He uses his newly acquired wisdom in order be a great king, just like his father. Archetypes Situational Archetypes Good Vs. Evil The good vs. evil matchup in Thor is Thor vs. Loki where Thor is the good guy and Loki is the bad guy. Character Archetypes Hero Thor is the characteristic hero. He is handsome, young, muscular, strong and courageous. He is also a king. The Devil Loki is definitely the evil person in this movie. He is from Asgard (or so they think), yet he is taking over Asgard in order to help the "evil" Frost Giants. The Helpers Thor has two sets of helpers. His first group of helpers are from Asgard. They are his close friends who go with him to fight the Frost Giants in the beginning of the movie. They also come down to Earth initially to get him back, but they stay and help Thor defeat The Destroyer and save his Earth friends. Thor's Earth friends are Jane, Darcy and Selvig. The Woman Jane would be considered the platonic ideal woman because she seems spiritually ideal and a genuinely nice person who wants to help Thor. Symbol Archetypes Magic Weapon Thor's magic weapon is Mjolnir, his magic hammer that only belongs to a person who deserves it. Heaven vs. Hell In the movie, Asgard would be considered Heaven because it houses the gods and man can not access it. Jotenheim, where the Frost Giants live, would be considered hell. It contains mounains, ice, snow , and canyons. Tree Thor briefly describes to Jane about Yggdrasil. In Norse mythology, Yggdrasil is the tree that ties everything in the universe together. This tree symbolizes growth and knowledge between the nine worlds.
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