2 Stage 1 Departure: Call to Adventure The future hero is first given notice that his or her life is going to change.Situation starts on a “boring”, ordinary dayProblem, a challenge or requestHelps to bond the hero with the audience
3 Stage 1 Departure: Call to Adventure Prim is chosen in the “Hunger Games” (prompting Katniss)Harry Potter receives the invitation letter from Hogwarts
4 Stage 1 Departure: The Refusal of the Call The future hero often refuses to accept the Call to Adventure. The refusal may stem from a sense of duty, an obligation, a fear or insecurity.Creates tension in the story, especially if the need for the hero was shown to the audience.Makes the hero seem more human, and the audience bonded to the idea they will change!
5 Stage 1 Departure: The Refusal of the Call Simba does not want to return home, even when told by Nala how bad it’s gotten.Spiderman doesn’t stop the initial burglar
6 Stage 1 Departure: The Beginning of the Adventure This is the point where the hero actually beings the adventure, leaving the known limits of his or her world and venturing into an unknown and dangerous realm where the rules and limits are unknown.Audience feels a sense of anticipation…what will happen???!!Hero may still be reluctant
7 Stage 1 Departure: The Beginning of the Adventure Frodo and Sam leave the ShireLuke leaves his home planet of Tattooine
8 Stage 2 Initiation: The Road of Trials The road of trials is a series of tests, tasks or challenges that the hero must undergo as part of the hero’s transformation. Often the hero fails one or more of these tests, which often occur in threes.Trials often get progressively harderHero often grows more confident/capableUsed to build tension in the story
9 Stage 2 Initiation: The Road of Trials Frodo and the Fellowship face monsters in the tunnelsBatman/Bruce Wayne faces his fear of bats
10 Stage 2 Initiation: The Experience with Unconditional Love During the Road of Trials, the hero experiences unconditional love and support from a friend, mentor or family member. This love often drives the hero to continue on the journey, even when the hero doubts him/herself.Does not have to be “romantic” love
11 Stage 2 Initiation: The Experience with Unconditional Love Dory stays with Marlin even when he is rude to her, and reminds him to “keep swimming”.The memory of his parent’s sacrifice motivates Harry Potter.
12 Stage 2 Initiation: The Ultimate Boon The goal of the quest is achieved. All the previous steps serve to prepare and purify the person for this step.Usually gained after a particularly hard battleOften the climax of the story
13 Stage 2 Initiation: The Ultimate Boon The One Ring is destroyed!The Avengers defeat the enemy!
14 Stage 3 Return: Refusal of the Return When the goal of the adventure has been accomplished, the hero may refuse to return with the boon or gift, either because the hero doubts the return will bring change or because the hero prefers to stay in a better place rather than return to a normal life of pain and trouble.“normal” life seems boring compared to adventure! The hero wants to stay!
15 Stage 3 Return: Refusal of the Return Luke stays with the rebels rather than returning home.Frodo wants to give up after getting rid of the One Ring.
16 Stage 3 Return: The Magic Flight The hero experiences adventure and perhaps danger as he or she returns to life as it was before the adventure.The hero rushes home with The Ultimate BoonThere may be a chase as hero attempts to outrun bandits or a time limit
17 Stage 3 Return: The Magic Flight Giant eagles rescue Sam and Frodo and fly them away.The ruby slippers have the power to get Dorothy home.
18 Stage 3 Return: Rescue from Without Just as the hero may need guides and assistants on the quest, oftentimes he or she must have powerful guides and rescuers to bring him or her back to everyday life, especially if the hero has been wounded or weakened by the experience. Or perhaps, the hero doesn’t realize it’s time to return, that he or she can return, or that others need his or her gift.
19 Stage 3 Return: Rescue from Without Alfred serves as a mentor and guide to Batman/Bruce Wayne.Ron and Hermione helped Harry regain “normal” life after his battle with Voldemort.
20 Stage 3 Return: The Crossing or Return Threshold At this final point in the adventure, the hero must retain the wisdom gained on the quest, integrate that wisdom into his or her previous life and perhaps decide how to share the wisdom with the rest of the world.Hero returns homeMay face one last battle
21 Stage 3 Return: The Crossing or Return Threshold Marlin learns to trust Nemo, and lets him go to school.Alice wakes up from Wonderland.
22 Common Hero Archetypes Born under unusual circumstances.Child of a great king or deity.Marked for greatness by prophecy or physical traits.While young is exiled or placed in harm’s way in an attempt to kill or hinder him/her.Must prove “royal” claim by test or trial.Accomplishes great deeds for his/her people.Often a mysterious or ambiguous death.A suggestion or promise that the hero will someday return to reward or rescue.