What’s Your Hero’s Journey?
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
Unwilling heroes: (Frodo Baggins, Spiderman, Han Solo)
- full of doubts
- 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
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
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?”
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.
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.