Part 8 of the Hero’s Journey
Might not seem as important, but it’s the heart of the Hero’s Journey. It’s where the magic comes from.

For the reader or viewer, it’s tragic, sad and unbelievable. The hero appears to lose, to fail or to die. He has to face the greatest ordeal so far and is likely to go down trying. It is where the hero figuratively dies and is born again anew – and so is the viewer after a shock period.

E.T. is sick, found by the older brother at the creek, and Elliot has the same symptoms. “We are sick”, he says. Then E.T. dies on the operating table. Luke and the others with the rescued princess Leia are in the worst place you could imagine – the waste bin of the Death Star – and a monster pulls Luke down, so it appears for a moment that he is dying.

This works because you’re never more alive than when you were just reborn, when you faced the worst. In real life, this could be a threatening disease or a murder attempt, and once that is survived, we get the best reward you can imagine.


  1. Alex J. Cavanaugh said...
    I sent my main character through an ordeal!
    doreen said...
    #100 yeah!!!
    I have really enjoyed reading your posts. I loved ET and really love Winnie the Pooh!
    It is nice to meet you:)
    Bish Denham said...
    Yes, the ordeal. You continue to explain the hero's journey in a wonderful concise way!
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