There are movies, books, anime, manga, and comics that we absolutely love, adore, identify with, and/or fantasize about. We listen to some stories as kids, and some we watch as adults. A lot of these leave a deep impact on us and stay with us.
However, did you know that a lot of these stories are all the same story, just rehashed in different settings and with only minuscule changes to characters?
One of the most common stories to ever do the rounds – The Hero’s Journey or the Mono-myth. This story, and we have given a huge list of examples below, shares the following similar characteristics. If you wish, have a look at the list first and then read these so they would make more sense!
The Hero’s Journey:
- The Call to Adventure – The hero gets to know he is special in some way.
- Confusion – The hero is not sure about the nature of his power/weapon/inheritance.
- Meeting the Mentor – A figure comes in who guides the hero. Maybe a yesteryear hero, a parent, a storehouse of knowledge, a being from the supernatural world.
- Crossing the Threshold – The hero enters the brave new world of adventure, fantasy, magic.
- The Road of Trials – The hero faces small trials and tribulations that teach the reader about the hero’s character, the nature of his power and the new world he is part of. Minor and recurring villains maybe introduced here.
- Temptation – The hero may be tempted because of all his powers to try and go to the dark side, use his powers for his own selfish interests.
- Return to Good – The hero is reminded that he is a good person.
- The Boon – The hero receives an additional boost, a power up, an artefact that greatly increases his prowess.
- Major Obstacle – The hero faces off against the biggest villain he has faced till now. All his learning from his normal world and the world of fantasy helps him through this obstacle.
- Resolution and Return – A new sense of balance is achieved for the hero and the world. Now, the hero must go back to his normal world once again.
- Enlightenment – The hero comes back a mature person. A call for new adventure may be hinted at.
1. The Lord of the Rings
2. The Hobbit
3. Harry Potter
4. Star Wars
9. Khosla ka Ghosla
12. One Piece
13. The Matrix Trilogy
17. Iron Man
18. Captain America
19. Green Lantern
21. Finding Nemo
22. The Lion King
23. Kung Fu Panda
24. Pride & Prejudice
25. Alice in Wonderland
26. Home Alone
27. God of War
28. The Karate Kid
29. Gangs of Wasseypur
A lot of these heroes will either have family that is very distant from them, but mostly, these heroes will be orphans. This is simply for the sake of uncomplicated storytelling.
This list is in no way complete. This is such a prolific formula that more often than not, this is the same story you are reading/watching over and over again. This list only serves to show how many different kinds of set-ups can be used to make vastly different stories – from Superman to Pride & Prejudice to Home Alone.
Were you able to identify each stage in stories you have come across? You will be able to see these stages even in new movies you come across. Do you feel cheated? Watching movies, reading books, will never be the same for you again!