What’s Your Hero’s Journey?

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Types of Heroes

(Adapted from Chris Vogler, 1999, pp. 41–44)

What kind of hero are you writing?

Willing, active, gung-ho heroes: (Tarzan, King Arthur, Luke Skywalker, Wonder-woman)

  • committed to the adventure
  • without doubts
  • always bravely going ahead
  • self-motivated

Unwilling heroes: (Frodo Baggins, Spiderman, Han Solo)

  • full of doubts
  • hesitant
  • passive
  • needing to be motivated or pushed into the adventure by an outside force
  • usually change at some point and become committed to the adventure

Anti-heroes: (Billy the Kid, Jack Sparo, “Bride” from Kill Bill)

  • specialised kind of hero
  • may be outlaws or villains from the point of view of society
  • audience is in sympathy with them
  • they may win in the end over society’s corruption
  • rebels

Tragic heroes: (Darth Vader, Brutus)

  • flawed heroes
  • never overcome their inner demons
  • brought down and destroyed by inner demons
  • may be charming
  • their flaw wins in the end

Group-oriented heroes: (Nemo, Simba)

  • are a part of society at the beginning
  • journey takes them to unknown land far from home
  • separate from group – have lone adventure in the wilderness away from the group

which they eventually rejoin

Loner heroes: (Indiana Jones, Incredible Hulk)

  • story begins with hero apart from society
  • natural habitat is the wilderness
  • natural state is solitude
  • journey is one of re-entry into the group, an adventure within the group, then a return to

isolation

Catalyst heroes: (Teacher from Dead Poets Society, any mentor)

  • central figures who act heroically
  • don’t change much themselves
  • main function is to bring about change in others

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2 thoughts on “What’s Your Hero’s Journey?

    Behind the Story said:
    July 9, 2017 at 3:57 am

    We saw Wonder Woman this week. She was a good heroine.

    I couldn’t find my character in your list. Maybe she’s not on a hero’s journey.

    Like

      Mindy responded:
      July 9, 2017 at 7:58 pm

      Yes, Wonder Woman is a great example of a hero. Sometimes our hero’s/heroine’s journeys are not as obvious as good vs evil, like, self actualization or coming of age. Though not necessarily a true hero’s journey in the classic sense I think they are more and more common now. When the ‘hero’ grows in some way that is a journey.

      Like

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