These are a series of battles, cliff hangers, and obstacles that are in the Initiates way; that force the Initiate to grow physically and mentally (Thompson and Harris). The next set of steps, the abyss, transformation and atonement are sometimes hard to pick out in the plotline. The abyss is where the Initiate must face or fight the greatest fear or enemy. It is the do or die moment. The transformation deals with after the abyss, when the Initiate finishes the abyss and transforms and is reborn as the hero (Thompson and Harris). The atonement brings the Initiate o peace, and the missing piece in the call has been filled. It is not Swanton 2 normally an event, but in the mind or heart. The hero may or may not feel happy with the outcome. The last step is the most difficult for the new hero (Thompson and Harris). This is where the hero must return to everyday life, and bring the peace the Initiate feels to the real world. The traditional hero quest is seen in numerous ancient folklores, to the headlining movies of today; all of them contain the same essential steps. Even in classic myths, the hero quest is clear to see.
In the ancient myth of Theseus and the Minotaur, the hero quest is seen within Theseus; the myths Initiate. The Minotaur was the child of Pasiphae, wife of King Minos; the king of Crete. Queen Pasiphae slept with a bull sent by Zeus, and gave birth to the Minotaur; half man, half bull (“Myth of Theseus”). King Minos was embarrassed by this, but did not want to kill the Minotaur, so he hid the monster in the Labyrinth built by Daedalus. Later King Minos’ son was killed by the same bull that had impregnated his mother at the Panathenaic Games in Athens (“Myth of Theseus”).
Enraged, Minos demanded that every seven years King Aegeus of Athens send seven men and women to the Minotaur to be eaten. The third year of doing so, Theseus, son of Aegeus decided to be one of the seven men that would go to Crete, in order to kill the Minotaur and end the human sacrifices to the monster (“Myth of Theseus”). Theseus told his father that he would put up white sails coming back from Crete, allowing Aegeus to know in advance that Theseus was coming back alive. The ship would return with the black sails if Theseus was killed.
Theseus met Princess Ariadne, daughter of King Minos, who fell madly in love with him and decided to help Theseus. She gave him a thread and told him to unravel it as he would go deeper and deeper into the Labyrinth, so that he knows the way out after he kills the monster. Theseus followed her advice and entered the labyrinth with the thread. Theseus managed to kill the Minotaur and save the Athenians. Theseus returns to Athens but forgets to change the sails to white; thinking his son is dead Aegeus kills himself (“Myth of Theseus”).
Also, he forgets Ariadne on the island of Naxos and loses her to Dionysus because she becomes Dionysus’ bride. Based on the classic novel The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, Four London children; Lucy, Edmund, Susan, and Peter Pevensie are sent to a professor’s country home in order for protection during World War II. One day, while playing hide and seek, Lucy, the youngest of the children, finds a wardrobe which leads to a magical land called Narnia. Later that same night, Edmund follows Lucy to Narnia, but instead of being led to the right path Swanton 3 he meets the oppressor of Narnia; the White Witch.
She promises to make him king of Narnia if he brings her the rest of his siblings. When he returns, he pretends he didn’t even go to Narnia. Susan and Peter don’t believe her at first, but soon all of them go through the wardrobe and discover all is not well in Narnia. Narnia is being ruled by the evil White Witch who has made it winter for 100 years and according to an old prophecy, Edmund, Lucy, Peter and Susan are the “chosen ones” who will defeat the Witch. Peter, Susan and Lucy of them trudge through the snow with some helpful Beavers to join forces with Aslan, the mighty Lion, to defeat the White Witch.
Edmund takes a more treacherous path and falls in league with the Witch, he stays in fear she will turn him to stone with her magic. It is said that two sons of Adam and two daughters of Eve will bring the White Witch to an end. They are assisted by the true ruler of Narnia, the lion, Aslan. When Aslan is sacrificed on the stone table in place of Edmund, all hope seems lost. Peter and Edmund go to war, while Lucy and Susan witness Aslan coming back to life. Aslan takes Susan and Lucy to the White Witches castle and brings the creatures she has turned to stone back to life, then they bring the reinforcements to the battle.
Aslan assists Peter defeat the White Witch. Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy are crowned Kings and Queens of Narnia. Finding the wardrobe years later, they all return back to reality and realize that no time has passed at all. In the myth, the call begins when Theseus hears of the men and women being sent to Crete to be sacrificed to the Minotaur (“Myth of Theseus”). The adventure is calling to him. The initiate may refuse the call, in this case, his father; King Aegeus asks Theseus not to go. Refusing his father, Theseus goes to Crete anyways.
Theseus is also looking for a chance at glory; in the hero quest the Initiate often feels that something is missing (Thompson and Harris). In the myth, Theseus’ missing piece is glory (“Myth of Theseus”). In the film The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, the steps of the hero quest can be seen amongst the four Pevensie children. Though the steps of the quest are broken up between the four children, Lucy, Edmund, Susan and Peter, the steps are all there. One aspect of the call is that initiate has no intention of being called to the world of adventure.
In this case, Lucy has no intention of going to Narnia when she hides in the wardrobe (The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe). The only way to Narnia is if you aren’t searching for it, so naturally when the Swanton 4 other three go to Narnia they have no intention of being there either. When Lucy tries to convince the others of Narnia’s existence, they don’t believe her. The same night Lucy returns to Narnia, and this time Edmund follows her. He also had no intention of going to Narnia, Edmund takes a different path than the rest of his family, but in the end he too becomes a hero.
The next time, all four of them go to Narnia; Susan and Peter finally believe Lucy even though Susan wants to go back, almost refusing the call. A characteristic of the call is that the initiate has been prophesized about, the four Pevensie children learn that is has been foretold that two sons of Adam, and two daughters of Eve will defeat the White Witch and restore peace to Narnia (The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe). Susan and Peter don’t want any part of it, they want to refuse the call, but as they turn to leave they realize that Edmund is missing.
The threshold is often the time when the Initiate goes to the world of adventure (Thompson and Harris). Theseus sets off for Crete with the other men and women who are to be sent to the Minotaur, this is the time when Theseus is entering the world of adventure (“Myth of Theseus”). During the threshold the Initiate may inherit a mentor, and a talisman (Thompson and Harris). Theseus meets Ariadne, who tells Theseus he will not get out of the Labyrinth alive without help. She becomes his mentor. Ariadne also gives him thread, the thread becoming his talisman because it will play a large part in him escaping the Labyrinth (“Myth of Theseus”).
The threshold in The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, begins when the three remaining children find out that Edmund has gone to the White Witch (The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe). The siblings have now entered the world of adventure, although before Susan and Peter wanted to leave, they can’t now. They all feel the need to save Edmund, but the beaver who has been helping them so far tells them there’s only one person who can save Edmund now (The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe). The Pevensie’s learn that Aslan, a lion; the true king of Narnia, has returned, and he is the only one who can save Edmund from the path he has chosen.
The descent is the point in the hero quest where the Initiate must face a decision (Thompson and Harris). The danger is clear; and even though the Initiate knows of the danger he decides to continue. The point in the myth where this happens is the point where Theseus is about to enter the Labyrinth. He knows that this is the Swanton 5 moment, he’s either going to die in the Labyrinth; or he will emerge victorious in glory (“Myth of Theseus”). Once he goes into the Labyrinth there is no turning back. Theseus decides to enter the Labyrinth in spite of the danger. The descent in the film; is a little hard to decipher.
The descent, by definition, is when the initiate it completely aware of the danger ahead, but decides to go on. When the Pevensie children decide to stay, and save Edmund, this is the start of the descent. They are not completely aware of the danger ahead, until they are attacked by the wolf pack, back at the beaver’s dam. Peter, Susan, and Lucy understand that it is not going to be easy getting their brother back, and that they are going to need help. They see the possible outcome of their endeavor when the Morgrem, the head of the wolf pack, injures and threatens to kill a fox that is on Aslan’s side (The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe).
They understand that if they are ever captured, they will be killed. The danger is clear and evident, but they decide to go on. The main trial and ordeal that Theseus must face, is finding his way through the Labyrinth. He must find the Minotaur before he runs out of thread (“Myth of Theseus”). Theseus must find the Minotaur before the Minotaur finds him. He faces the fact that he must succeed or he will die in the Labyrinth and never see his father again. His life depends on this; he must complete this obstacle to finish his quest. The trials and ordeals of the hero quest are the bulk of most films.
In The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe the four Pevensie children go through many trials and ordeals on their journey in Narnia. One of the very first is running across the frozen lake away from the White Witch, or so they think. Soon they find out that it is actually Father Christmas returning to Narnia for the first time in 100 years. He gives Lucy a dagger and juice of the fire flower which has the power to heal anything. He gives Susan a bow and quiver and a horn to call for help. Lastly, he gives Peter a sword and shield, the traditional symbols of a hero (The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe).
Later they must escape the secret police of wolves by crossing the frozen river which is in the process of thawing. Once they reach Aslan, Susan and Lucy are playing by the river when Morgrem, the wolf pack leader, attacks them. Peter kills him, and Aslan makes Peter a knight of Narnia. Aslans army goes and rescues Edmund, who returns and rejoins his siblings. Later Susan and Lucy follow Aslan into the woods who has sacrificed himself in Swanton 6 Edmunds place, Susan and Lucy watch the White Witch slay him on the stone table (The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe).
The abyss is clear in the myth; this is the point where the Initiate stands to fight his greatest fear or enemy (Thompson and Harris). Theseus must stand and fight the Minotaur. He has nothing to fight with; using his wit he tears off the horn of the Minotaur and uses the Minotaur’s own horn to kill the Minotaur (“Myth of Theseus”). Theseus lets go of Ariadne’s safety thread to fight the Minotaur and faces the Minotaur alone (“Myth of Theseus”). This is his darkest moment because he’s facing his fear and facing it alone. The abyss is the point of which the Initiate must stand to face his greatest fear.
In the film, the army must face the White Witch’s army. Lucy and Susan witness Aslans rebirth, for he knew the stone table magic better than the White Witch (The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe). While Susan, Lucy, and Aslan go to the White Witch’s castle to bring back to life all the creatures she has turned to stone with her magic, Peter and Edmund are in the midst of battle. The beaver is telling Edmund to draw back, but Edmund sees the White Witch going for Peter so he goes to face her (The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe). As Edmund is fighting the White Witch, he successfully breaks her staff that turns people to stone.
In rage, the White Witch finds the chance to stab him. Peter witnesses this, and Peter uses all his might to face her. As Peter is about to be killed by the White Witch; Aslan, Susan and Lucy enter with the reinforcements. Aslan comes to Peter’s aid and slays the White Witch, and she is defeated. Edmund and Peter faces their greatest fear, the White Witch; and won. Lucy uses her magic juice to heal everyone who has been hurt, including Edmund (The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe). Theseus’ transformation is the point at which he defeats the Minotaur.
He realizes he has done it in shock, he has conquered the Minotaur. The thread from Ariadne worked, and he would return home to his father in glory (“Myth of Theseus”). He would return to his father a man, Theseus is no longer considered a boy. In addition, he loses Ariadne to Dionysus. He transforms from an arrogant boy who thought he could win every time, to a man who can compensate with loss (“Myth of Theseus”). Swanton 7 The transformation deals directly with the abyss, it is the moment when the initiate finishes the abyss and realizes he’s done it (Thompson and Harris).
In the film, the transformation is when all four children are being crowned Kings and Queens of Narnia. The siblings realize that they have accomplished their task of bringing Narnia back to peace, and breaking the spell of the White Witch forever. Lucy is crowned the valiant, Susan the gentle, Edmund the just, and Peter the magnificent (The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe). They have been reborn as the rulers of Narnia. Theseus’ atonement is when he forgets to change the black sails to white ones on his way back to Athens (“Myth of Theseus”).
The black sails signal death and the white ones signal survival, so when Aegeus’ see’s the black sails he jumped into the sea and kills himself. Now Theseus has lost Ariadne and his father, when he gets distracted from the journey he must pay the price. Afterwards Theseus may not be happy, but that can be a component of the atonement (Thompson and Harris). During the film, the atonement is difficult to find. The atonement is when the initiate missing piece that they felt in the call has been filled (Thompson and Harris). Lucy, Edmund, Susan, and Peter stay in Narnia until they have grown older.
They have stayed there because the missing piece they felt in the call was filled, they felt like they didn’t belong at the Professor’s house; they belong in Narnia. Edmund, who felt inferior to Peter throughout the whole film, now feels equal with him; Edmund is at peace. Peter, who felt like he needed to protect his siblings with his life, has done that exact task; Peter is at peace. Susan, who always felt like she had to be right, now feels right where she should be. Lucy is clearly happy with her life in Narnia (The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe). The return is literally Theseus’ return to Athens.
He claims the throne, and returns back to everyday life (“Myth of Theseus”). He is still grieving over his father’s death, and continues to grieve throughout his rule. He is not recognized as a hero until many years later (“Myth of Theseus”). Theseus is not happy with his return to Athens because he no longer has his father (“Myth of Theseus”). Swanton 8 The return, in the film, is again literally their return. Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy come across the old lamppost where they first came to Narnia. Lucy finds the entrance to the wardrobe again, and all four of them fall out of the wardrobe into the spare room, young again.
It seems as if no time as passed at all (The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe). They have now returned to reality but will never feel happy again until they return to Narnia. The return concludes the Pevensie’s quest to Narnia, and though they do not know it, they will return to Narnia once again. The traditional hero quest is seen throughout the years of story lines. From hundreds of years old myths to popular films of today, the hero quest follows the same eight simple steps; the call, the threshold, the descent, trials and ordeals, the abyss, the transformation, atonement, and the return.
The classic myth, Theseus and the Minotaur and the film The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe both show the hero quest excellently. Both are alike countless other plots that have the hero quest. The classical hero quest has withstood years of different takes on it, it just shows that the hero quest can never get old, and entertains many different viewers of all generations. “Used wisely, these ancient tools of the storyteller’s craft still have tremendous power to heal people and to make our world a better place. Christopher Volger once stated (“The Writers Journey”). Swanton 9 Works Cited The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe. Dir. Andrew Adamson. Walt Disney, 2006. “The Myth of Theseus and the Minotaur. ” Greek Myths Greek Mythology. Greek Myths and Greek Mythology, n. d. Web. 17 Apr. 2013. Thompson, S. , and R. Harris. “The Hero(ine)? s Journey in Life and Literature. ” California Association of Teachers of English. 1992. Vogler, Christopher. The Writer’s Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers. Studio City, CA: M. Wiese Productions, 1998. Print.