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The Lord of T he Rings. Archetypes The hero Journey. Archetype. Carl Gustav Yung developed an understanding of archetypes as universal patterns and images that derive from the collective unconscious of human beings.

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the lord of t he rings

The Lord of The Rings


The hero Journey

  • Carl Gustav Yung developed an understanding of archetypes as universal patterns and images that derive from the collective unconscious of human beings.
  • Collective unconscious: personal unconscious is a personal reservoir of experience unique to each individual, while the collective unconscious collects and organizes those personal experiences in a similar way with each member of a particular species.
  • So……
archetype in plain english
Archetype – In Plain English
  • Universal patterns reoccurring in writing and film that are present in all cultures.
  • Or… a pattern of behavior, a prototype upon which others are copied, patterned, or emulated.
  • Modern day society archetypes:

The hero, the villain, the suck up, the jock, the geek

the hero journey
The Hero Journey
  • One type of an archetype – also referred to as the monomyth - coined by Joseph Campbell
  • Encompasses many archetypes into one model… the journey that most hero’s take. It is arguable that this pattern is seen in all cultures’ stories across all recorded time. Even Beowulf, one of the first hero stories ever, contains most steps of this journey.
  • In today’s American society:
    • Iron Man
    • Batman
    • Man of Steel
      • Created by George Lucas specifically to follow the idea of the hero’s journey archetype
the call
The Call
  • The hero begins in a mundane situation of normality from which some information is received that acts as a call to head off into the unknown
  • This is the opportunity to enter into the journey
    • Lord of The Rings:
      • Frodo is offered the role of transporting the ring.

Frodo’s call

the refusal of the call
The Refusal of the call
  • Often when the call is given, the future hero first refuses to heed it. This may be from a sense of duty or obligation, fear, insecurity, a sense of inadequacy, or any of a range of reasons that work to hold the person in his or her current circumstances.

Frodo Refuses

supernatural aid
Supernatural Aid
  • Once the hero has committed to the quest, consciously or unconsciously, his guide and magical helper appears, or becomes known. More often than not, this supernatural mentor will present the hero with one or more talismans or artifacts that will aid them later in their quest.

Frodo’s Aid

threshold guardian
Threshold Guardian
  • The Threshold Guardian's job is to ensure the protagonist is worthy of passing the threshold, and thus they act as part of the tests the protagonist must face in the journey.

Frodo’s threshold guardians

crossing t he threshold
Crossing The Threshold
  • This is the point where the person actually crosses into the field of adventure, leaving the known limits of his or her world and venturing into an unknown and dangerous realm where the rules and limits are not known.

Frodo crosses the threshold

helper mentor
Helper / Mentor
  • Helper / Mentor
  • The hero is often accompanied on the journey by a helper who assists in the series of tests and generally serves as a loyal companion.
challenges and temptations
Challenges and Temptations
  • Challenge in the caves
  • The road of trials is a series of tests, tasks, or ordeals that the person must undergo to begin the transformation. Often the person fails one or more of these tests, which often occur in threes.
  • The abyss
  • The abyss represents the greatest challenge of the journey. Usually the initiate must face the abyss alone and overcome his/her greatest fears. Here is where the initiate must "slay the dragon". The dragon often is the thing the hero most dreads and needs to overcome.
the transformation
The Transformation
  • As a result of successfully meeting the challenge of the abyss, the hero is transformed. The transformation is the moment of death and rebirth. Often the transformation takes the form of a revelation, a discovery or insight about oneself or one's culture. This revelation involves a change in consciousness, a change in the way the hero(ine) views life.
  • Transformation
  • The achievement of the goal of the quest. It is what the person went on the journey to get. All the previous steps serve to prepare and purify the person for this step.
  • The Atonement
the return
The Return
  • The trick in returning is to retain the wisdom gained on the quest, and to adjust to living in the “normal world” again.
  • Campbell: "The returning hero, to complete his adventure, must survive the impact of the world. Many failures attest to the difficulties of this life-affirmative threshold. The first problem of the returning hero is to accept as real, after an experience of the soul-satisfying vision of fulfillment, the passing joys and sorrows, banalities and noisy obscenities of life.