Hiero's Journey - 7. Hero's Journey


Even back in 1973 (the publication date) I suspect that the idea of the Hero's Journey was reasonably well known - Joseph Campbell popularised it in the 1949 book The Hero with a Thousand Faces, it is latent in many earlier writings back to anthropologist Edward Burnett Tylor in 1871, and it features prominently in both Freudian and Jungian schools of psychoanalysis. The journey can be split into up to 12 stages, but a simple three-stage summary is
a: Departure: the Hero leaves the familiar world behind,
b: Initiation: the Hero learns to navigate the unfamiliar world of adventure,
c: Return: the Hero returns to the familiar world.
Does the book reflect this or is the title simply a happy coincidence?


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    I strongly believe it's not just a happy coincidence. But I'm really curious about how closely Lanier stuck to Cambell's structure. Despite the fact that I listened to The Hero With a Thousand Faces earlier this year, I just couldn't say - I didn't absorb that much from the book. I need to actually read it and take notes. But this is work a lot of gamers have studied, so I hope someone else can pitch in with an opinion, here.

    Going by your 12 stages, I'd say that yes, Hiero has left the familiar world behind. However, he seems quite familiar with the notion of adventure, so I'm not sure that this is really a journey of self discovery for him, at least in purpose. Nevertheless, he does experience some self discovery. At the end of the novel, he doesn't return to his familiar world - but I suppose we have to consider that sequels are planned.

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    I don't think it follows the Campbellian structure. There's no call to adventure followed by a refusal (at the beginning), no deep realisation and rebirth (in the middle), and no return with some boon (at the end). You could argue it's the second quarter: the journey through the unfamiliar world, the gaining of companions, and the preparation for great trials ahead. As @Apocryphal says, that would make sense if this was intended to have at least one sequel.

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    edited May 2019
    The title is surely not a coincidence.

    But as @NeilNjae said it only represents part of Campbell's structure. The beginning--the call to adventure and initial refusal--are absent as is the middle and second half of it.
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    Never cared to read Campbell.

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