Get smart curated videos delivered to your inbox.   SUBSCRIBE
The Kid Should See This

The Monomyth of the Hero’s Journey

Watch more with these video collections:

What do Harry Potter, Katniss Everdeen, and Frodo all have in common with the heroes of ancient myths? What if I told you they are all variants of the same hero? Do you believe that? Joseph Campbell did. He studied myths from all over the world and published a book called The Hero With A Thousand Faces, retelling dozens of stories and explaining how each represents The Monomyth or Hero’s Journey.

What makes a hero? This TED-Ed lesson by Matthew Winkler describes the cycle of the Hero’s Journey, first conceived by Joseph Campbell in 1949.

From one to twelve, these stories include variations of these key events: Status quo, a call to adventure, assistance, departure, trials, approach, crisis, treasure, result, return, new life, resolution, and status quo again, “but upgraded to a new level. Nothing is quite the same” for the hero.

the hero's journey
Harry Potter, Katniss, and Frodo
Does this cycle apply to Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, or The Lord of the Rings? Can it be found in Black Panther, Moana, The Wizard of Oz, The Lion King, or Star Wars? The video challenges viewers to look for this pattern, not only in our favorite books, comic books, movies, and television shows but within our own lives, as well:

Listen for your call to adventure. Accept the challenge. Conquer your fear and claim the treasure you seek, and then do it all over again.

the hero's journey - fighting the enemy
Watch these related videos next:
• The Importance of Setting in a Story
• The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore
• Sylvester and the Magic Pebble read by Reid Scott
• Stop-motion animation goes high tech at Laika
• How did animators create the Spider-Verse?

This Webby award-winning video collection exists to help teachers, librarians, and families spark kid wonder and curiosity. TKSST features smarter, more meaningful content than what's usually served up by YouTube's algorithms, and amplifies the creators who make that content.

Curated, kid-friendly, independently-published. Support this mission by becoming a sustaining member today.

🌈 Watch these videos next...

B or not a B: Patrick Stewart performs a parody of the Shakespearean soliloquy for Sesame Street

Rion Nakaya

Popular Words Invented by Authors

Rion Nakaya

The V&A’s Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser

Rion Nakaya

How to Write Fiction That Comes Alive

Rion Nakaya

Sylvester and the Magic Pebble read by Reid Scott

Rion Nakaya

Life Cycle: Ai Weiwei in Los Angeles

Rion Nakaya

Giant Minotaur and spider robotic puppets in Toulouse

Rion Nakaya

The Importance of Setting in a Story

Rion Nakaya

How do you play Swingball Shakespeare?

Rion Nakaya