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Background information on the Hero's Journey

  A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces  are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man.

Joseph Campbell, The Hero with a Thousand Faces (1949)

For more information:

The Hero's Journey

  The Hero's Journey preface

Many followers of Campbell have defined the stages of his monomyth in various ways, sometimes supplying different names for certain stages. For this reason there are many different versions of the Hero’s Journey that retain the same basic elements. 


Heroes exist in a world is considered ordinary or uneventful by those who live there. Often the heroes are considered odd by those in the ordinary world and possess some ability or characteristic that makes them feel out-of-place. 

  • The Wonderful Wizard of Oz: Dorothy in Kansas
  • The Hobbit: Bilbo Baggins in Hobbiton
  • Star Wars: Luke Skywalker on Tatooine
  • The Lion King: Simba at Pride Rock 

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  The Hero’s Journey (What Is Fantasy Part 4) By: Cora Foerstner

Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey: The Monomyth

Joseph Campbell was an American scholar who studied and wrote about mythology. While still a young boy, Campbell became interested in storytelling and world myths. He followed this interest all of his life, and his writings and ideas have influenced and shaped our understanding of traditional fantasy.

He is well known for defining the structure and storytelling patterns of the hero’s journey. This structure is found is some of the oldest literature and myths and in many of our contemporary stories: Batman, Superman, Katniss from The Hunger Games, and more.

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  Joseph Campbell, the Hero's Journey, and Epic Fantasy

The epic quest. The Adventure. The journey. This is what epic fantasy is all about. Our potential hero always embarks on a quest. And while we initially think that it is all about the external world we always discover that the most important part of the journey is how it changes our hero.

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