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A Heroes Journey - The Lord of the Rings
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A Heroes Journey - The Lord of the Rings

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A visual thinking and design comparison between Joseph Campbell's archetypes described in "A Hero's Journey" with the dramatic storyline of J.R.R. Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings".

A visual thinking and design comparison between Joseph Campbell's archetypes described in "A Hero's Journey" with the dramatic storyline of J.R.R. Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings".

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  • 1. John D. Hipsley Sunnyvale, CA January 24, 2014
  • 2. Mapping Heroic Archetypes Against the Dramatic Arc
  • 3. Application of Joseph Campbell Archetypes to J.R.R. Tolkien’s Dramatic Storyline
  • 4. The Hero’s Journey Based on Joseph Campbell’s “Hero with A Thousand Faces” 1. ORDINARY WORLD 12. RESURRECTION 11. RETURN WITH THE ELIXIR 2. CALL TO ADVENTURE 10. THE ROAD BACK: 9. REWARD (SEIZING THE SWORD) 3. REFUSAL OF THE CALL 4. MEETING WITH THE MENTOR 5. CROSSING THE FIRST THRESHOLD 8. SUPREME ORDEAL 7. APPROACH TO THE INMOST CAVE 6. TESTS, ALLIES, ENEMIES
  • 5. Stages of the Journey with Corresponding Images 1. ORDINARY WORLD 2. CALL TO ADVENTURE 11. RETURN WITH THE ELIXIR 12. RESURRECTION 3. REFUSAL OF THE CALL 9. REWARD (SEIZING THE SWORD) 4. MEETING WITH THE MENTOR 5. CROSSING THE FIRST THRESHOLD 10. THE ROAD BACK: 8. SUPREME ORDEAL 6. TESTS, ALLIES, ENEMIES 7. APPROACH TO THE INMOST CAVE
  • 6. Hero Archetypes (Red Text) Mapped to Tolkien’s Dramatic Storyline (Blue Text) 1. ORDINARY WORLD Frodo, his best friend (Sam) and his two cousins (Merry and Pippin) live happily in a small village of the Shire. 2. CALL TO ADVENTURE Gandalf urges Frodo to set out on a quest to destroy the ring. 12. RESSURECTION: Several weeks after returning to consciousness Frodo awakens in time to witness Aragon’s marriage to his longtime love Arwen and Aragon’s ascent to the throne. Simultaneously all the members of the Fellowship (with exception of Gandalf ) are knighted by Aragon,. 10. THE ROAD BACK: Frodo falls unconscious from exhaustion and inflicted sword wound. Sam and Frodo are rescued by Gandalf and his eagles. 3. REFUSAL OF THE CALL Frodo is initially reluctant to leave his comfortable life in Shire, but when he is almost killed by the Ringwraiths (Sauron’s minions) he realizes his life will always be at risk as long as the ring exists. 4. MEETING WITH THE MENTOR Frodo meets the Fellowship, a group of trusted allies of Gandalf that have pledged to help Frodo in his quest to destroy the ring. The Fellowship consists of Frodo’s hobbit companions, Aragorn, Gandalf, Gimli the Dwarf, Legolas the Elf, and the man Boromir. 5. CROSSING THE FIRST THRESHOLD Frodo begins his quest with the aid of the Fellowship on his long journey to the volcano Mount Doom, the only place where this ring can be destroyed. 11. RETURN WITH THE ELIXIR Frodo returns to Shire enervated by the Friendship of the Fellowship. (Later, Frodo journeys to the Undying Lands to live peacefully for the rest of eternity). 9. REWARD (SEIZING THE SWORD) Frodo destroys the ring in Mount Doom while the Fellowship and its’ allies overcome the forces of Sauron. 8. SUPREME ORDEAL Frodo must achieve his goal of reaching Mount Doom to destroy the ring The cumulative strategy of the Fellowship and its’ allies must defeat the forces of Sauron. 6. TESTS, ALLIES, ENEMIES Frodo encounters many obstacles, allies, and enemies along the way. He journeys over the mountain pass, barely escapes the wrath of Balrog, he becomes allies with the elves, he is almost captured by the forces of Saruman, he is attacked by Gollum, and he is nearly eaten by a carnivorous Spider (Shelob). 7. APPROACH TO THE INMOST CAVE Frodo departs from the Fellowship alone with Sam to continue his long journey to the fires of Mount Doom. The Fellowship cannot continue with Frodo, because they must help defeat the forces of Sauron that are growing more powerful with each passing day. Frodo and Sam use Gollum as a guide to travel the secret back paths to reach the entrance of Mount Doom.
  • 7. Hero Archetypes (Red Text) Mapped to Storyline Images (Blue Circle): Correspondence is not Exact 1. ORDINARY WORLD 2. CALL TO ADVENTURE 3. REFUSAL OF THE CALL 4. MEETING WITH THE MENTOR 5. CROSSING THE FIRST THRESHOLD 11. RETURN WITH THE ELIXIR 12. RESURRECTION 10. THE ROAD BACK: 9. REWARD (SEIZING THE SWORD) 8. SUPREME ORDEAL 6. 7. TESTS, ALLIES, APPROACH TO ENEMIES THE INMOST CAVE
  • 8. Lord of the Rings Storyline (Blue & Red Text) Maps Directly to Vivid Images 1. Frodo Baggins and Samwise Gamgee : Ordinary Village in the Shire 2. Gandalf calls Bilbo to the adventure to return the Ring 11. Frodo bears the Anti Elixir: A Ringwraith’s mortal wound 12. Resurrection: Aragorn ascends to the throne; and the Fellowship are raised to knights of the realm 3. Bilbo refused the call but Frodo accepts the call after he encounters Sauron’s Ringwraiths 9. Frodo’s Reward is to see the ring consumed in Fires of Mordor 8. Dead Marshes and Gollum are the Great Ordeal crossed in the approach to Mordor 4. The entire Fellowship of the Ring are the Mentors 5. First Threshold is the Shire’s Cornfield 10. The Road Back for Frodo and Sam are Gandalf’s eagles 6. Tests and Enemies are many: e.g. Carnivorous spider Shelob 7. Gollum guides Frodo and Sam to the Secret Cave via the secret path
  • 9. BOROMIR Warrior of Gondor ARAGORN Aragorn II of Allasar SAM Samwise Gamgee PIPPIN Peregrin Took LEGOLAS Elf of Gondolin GIMLI Son of Gloin MERRY Meriadoc Brandybuck GANDALF the Grey (Later the White) FRODO Baggins

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