Frodo And The Hero's Journey

Frodo And The Hero's Journey

Joseph Campbell's 12-step adventure plot explained in LOTR.

Sing to me, O muse, the steps of the hero's journey, because I'm trying to outline and I forgot what a plot even is.

Here's the deal, gang: if you're writing adventure and are stuck on plot structure, there is one pattern of story that has been studied and duplicated since the writing of the epic Gilgamesh circa 2150-2000 BCE. This is, of course, the hero's journey.

I'm sure that your high-school English teachers did their best to pound the steps of the hero's journey into your head, but if they failed, this post can act as a kind of refresher.

In his novel The Hero With A Thousand Faces, Joseph Campbell observes and catalogs the plot patterns that ancient myths and epics seem to, for the most part, follow to a T, and he dubbed this sequence of events "the hero's journey". The hero's journey typically consists of three acts and twelve steps, each of which are instrumental in moving the plot forward.

One of the best stories that illustrates the hero's journey, in my opinion, is The Lord of the Rings (LOTR) trilogy, so as I break down each act, I'll also give you an example of how Frodo goes through each step within that act.


Step One - Introduction to character in the ordinary world: when we first meet Frodo, he's living in the Shire, a safe town full of hobbits who generally live safe lives.

Step Two - Call to adventure: after Bilbo disappears, Frodo is entrusted with the Ring, and is tasked with carrying it to the elves.

Step Three - Refusal: at first, Frodo is frightened of the Ring, and tries to give it to Gandalf, who blatantly rejects it, knowing he would succumb to its corrupting properties.

Step Four - Meeting with the mentor: after refusing the Ring himself, Gandalf coaxes Frodo into carrying it. In this example, steps 2-4 all sort of mesh together, but you get the point.

Step Five - Crossing the threshold: "If I take one more step, it will be the farthest away from home I've ever been." Sam says this to Frodo as they're about to step across the boundary of the Shire. In the movie scene, Sam stops at the end of a golden field before entering into a grassy, greener one with Frodo. The color shift between fields gives the audience an actual visual line for them to cross; from safety, into uncertainty.


Step Six - Tests, allies, and enemies: throughout the course of this step, Frodo gains allies (the Fellowship), endures tests (getting separated from the Fellowship, escaping various antagonists, internally fighting the pull of the Ring), and faces many enemies (the Ringwraiths, Gollum).

Step Seven - Approach to the inmost cave: the inmost cave can represent a place of great physical danger or an inner turmoil the character hasn't yet completely dealt with. In LOTR, we get both and an actual cave. Up to this point in time, Frodo's relationship with Sam has been fractured; he tells Sam to leave, and Gollum tricks Frodo into entering a cave that's home to a vicious flesh-eating spider.

Step Eight - The ordeal: the ordeal is the hardest test that the hero has faced yet, and he must conjure up everything he's learned up to this point in order to continue surviving -- what makes this test different from the others, other than being substantially more difficult, is that it is a force of characterization; the character has a metaphorical (sometimes literal) death, and is reborn with greater knowledge or insight. In Frodo's case, he is attacked by the cave-dwelling, flesh-eating spider, wrapped in a suffocating web, and is put into a sort of coma, which Sam later rescues him from.

Step Nine - The reward: after overcoming death and his most personal challenge, the hero is rewarded. For Frodo, the reward is the rekindling of his true friendship with Sam. But the quest isn't over, and so the celebration of the reward doesn't get to last long.


Step Ten - The road back: this step traditionally consists of the hero being pursued on his way back home, but for Frodo, it is the climb up to Mount Doom, where the final test, the climax of the story, waits.

Step Eleven - Resurrection: this is the final test, the test that is not only ten-times more perilous than the ordeal, but has far-reaching, high-stake consequences if the hero fails. If the hero succeeds, he is cleansed, renewed. This is Frodo on Mount Doom, struggling to destroy the Ring, which eventually happens; maybe not on purpose, but it happens, and Frodo is freed from the pull of the Ring's power.

Step Twelve - Return with the elixir: Frodo returns to the Shire a changed hobbit -- he's grown and realized he can no longer go back to his ordinary life, so he decides to leave with Gandalf, Bilbo, and the elves. Usually, there is a final reward, and for Frodo, it is self-realization and the knowledge of good and evil. He is no longer naive or sheltered, his enemies are defeated, and his allies are honored and receive happy endings of their own.

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35 Major Life Facts According To Nick Miller

"All booze is good booze, unless it's weak booze."

Fact: If you watch "New Girl," you love Nick Miller.

You can't help it. He's an adorable, lovable mess of a man and you look forward to seeing him and his shenanigans each week. While living the infamous and incomparable life of Nick Miller, and obviously Julius Pepperwood— he has learned many valuable laws of the land. And, although Nick refuses to learn anything from anyone besides his mysterious, old Asian friend Tran, he does have a few lessons he'd like to teach us.

Here are 35 facts of life according to 'Nick Milla Nick Milla':

1. Drinking keeps you healthy.

"I'm not gonna get sick. No germ can live in a body that is 65% beer."

2. Dinosaurs never existed.

"I don't believe dinosaurs existed. I've seen the science. I don't believe it."

3. A paper bag is a bank.

"A bank is just a paper bag but with fancier walls."

4. Having sex is similar to delivering mail.

"I'm like a mailman, except instead of mail it's hot sex that I deliver."

5. Moonwalking is a foolproof way to get out of any awkward situation.

Jess (about Nick): "Now he won't even talk to me. I saw him this morning and he just panic moonwalked away from me. He does that sometimes."

6. Using a movie reference is also a great way.

Cece: "Come on, get up!"

Nick: "No, I don't dance. I'm from that town in "Footloose."

7. There's no reason to wash towels.

Nick: "I don’t wash the towel. The towel washes me. Who washes a towel?"

Schmidt: "You never wash your towel?"

Nick: "What am I gonna do? Wash the shower next? Wash a bar of soap?"

8. Exes are meant to be avoided at all costs (especially if/unless they're Caroline)

"I don't deal with exes, they're part of the past. You burn them swiftly and you give their ashes to Poseidon."

9. IKEA furniture is not as intimidating as it looks.

"I'm building you the dresser. I love this stuff. It's like high-stakes LEGOs."

10. You don't need forks if you have hands.

Jess: "That's gross. Get a fork, man."

Nick: "I got two perfectly good forks at the end of my arms!"

11. Sex has a very specific definition.

"It's not sex until you put the straw in the coconut."

12. Doors are frustrating.

"I will push if I want to push! Come on! I hate doors!"

13. All booze is good booze.

"Can I get an alcohol?"

14. ...unless it's weak booze.

"Schmidt, that is melon flavored liquor! That is 4-proof! That is safe to drink while you're pregnant!"

15. Writers are like pregnant women.

Jess: "You know what that sound is? It's the sound of an empty uterus."

Nick: "I can top that easily. I'm having a hard time with my zombie novel."

Jess: "Are you really comparing a zombie novel to my ability to create life?"

Nick: "I'm a writer, Jess. We create life."

16. All bets must be honored.

"There is something serious I have to tell you about the future. The name of my first-born child needs to be Reginald VelJohnson. I lost a bet to Schmidt."

17. Adele's voice is like a combination of Fergie and Jesus.

"Adele is amazing."

18. Beyoncé is extremely trustworthy.

"I'd trust Beyoncé with my life. We be all night."

19. Fish, on the other hand, are not.

“Absolutely not. You know I don’t trust fish! They breathe water. That's crazy!"

20. Bar mitzvahs are terrifying.

Schmidt: "It's a bar mitzvah!"

Nick: "I am NOT watching a kid get circumcised!"

21. are blueberries.

Jess: "So far, Nick Miller's list of fears is sharks, tap water, real relationships..."

Nick: "And blueberries."

22. Take your time with difficult decisions. Don't be rash.

Jess: "You care about your burritos more than my children, Nick?"

Nick: "You're putting me in a tough spot!"

23. Getting into shape is not easy.

"I mean, I’m not doing squats or anything. I’m trying to eat less donuts."

24. We aren't meant to talk about our feelings.

"If we needed to talk about feelings, they would be called talkings."

25. We're all a little bit too hard on ourselves.

"The enemy is the inner me."

26. Freezing your underwear is a good way to cool off.

"Trust me, I'm wearing frozen underpants right now and I feel amazing. I'm gonna grab some old underpants and put a pair into the freezer for each of you."

27. Public nudity is normal.

"Everbody has been flashed countless times."

28. Alcohol is a cure-all.

"You treat an outside wound with rubbing alcohol. You treat an inside wound with drinking alcohol."

29. Horses are aliens.

"I believe horses are from outer-space."

30. Turtles should actually be called 'shell-beavers.'

Jess: "He calls turtles 'shell-beavers."

Nick: "Well, that's what they should be called."

31. Trench coats are hot.

"This coat has clean lines and pockets that don't quit, and it has room for your hips. And, when I wear it, I feel hot to trot!"

32. Sparkles are too.

"Now, my final bit of advice, and don't get sensitive on this, but you've got to change that top it's terrible and you've got to throw sparkles on. Sparkles are in. SPARKLES ARE IN."

33. Introspection can lead to a deeper knowing of oneself.

"I'm not convinced I know how to read. I've just memorized a lot of words."

34. It's important to live in the moment.

"I know this isn't gonna end well but the middle part is gonna be awesome."

35. Drinking makes you cooler.

Jess: "Drinking to be cool, Nick? That's not a real thing."

Nick: "That's the only thing in the world I know to be true."

Cover Image Credit: Hollywood Reporter

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The Zodiac Signs As Bath And Body Works Scents

Just in case you want to know what scent you are!

Bath and Body Works fans could be considered to be part of a cult. The scents draw you in as if calling your name, if you ever
wondered what your scent should be based on your zodiac sign, here it is!

Aries: Country Apple

The rather impulsive Aries takes their time picking and choosing the scents from Bath and Body Works. The soothing scent of a fresh apple orchard is just what they need on a daily basis to keep up with their shenanigans.

Taurus: Japanese Cherry Blossom

The personality of a Taurus is stubborn, or what I like to say, is stuck in their ways. When they first discovered this scent in middle school, this was it. This is the only scent you will find anywhere around a Taurus.

Libra: Pink Chiffon

Pink Chiffon is another cult classic. This best selling scent went out of style for a hot second but is back and bigger than ever.

Leo: Thousand Wishes

Thousand Wishes is a purr-fect scent for a Leo. The light scent adornes the wearer just the right amount to get the desired reaction from those around them.

Aquarius: Be Enchanted

The rather cold personality of an Aquarius is counteracted by the loving scent of Be Enchanted. The scent is just enough tenderness for the wearer to be relaxed.

Gemini: Moonlight Path

Gemini's constantly change their favorite scent and are in and out of the store almost weekly to by new lotions, candles, and body washes. You will never see a full empty bottle of anything, however, Moonlight Path is the scent they keep coming back to again and again.

Virgo: Sea Island Cotton

The clean personality of a Virgo must be matched with the clean scent of Sea Island Cotton.

Capricorn: Cucumber Melon

Another clean scent of Cucumber Melon is the exact thing a Capricorn needs. The balance and calming scents are what make this scent so attractive to a Capricorn.

Scorpio: Paris Amour

The light scent is what you would expect from an extreme sign like a Scorpio. The scent lightly washes over the wearer in almost a cloud that

Sagittarius: Cashmere Glow

Cashmere Glow is a perfect scent for the winter sign. The vanilla and golden peach scent is just the mixture that creates the perfect accessory in the chilly months.

Pisces: Warm Vanilla Sugar

This lovely scent accentuates the lovely personality of a Pisces. They can never get enough of this scent so they just keep buying and buying until they have a full stockpile.

Cancer: Velvet Sugar

Velvet Sugar is the perfect blend of red velvet and strawberries and a Cancer is always changing their mind. The wearer can tell if it is a more red velvet or strawberry kind of day, and that is the balance that they need in their lives.

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