Jonah Byrde (Ozark, 2017-2022 with Jason Bateman, Laura Linney, Sofia Hubiltz, Julia Garner, and Skylar Gaertner as Jonah) Summary (from Netflix): The Byrdes and their teenage kids, Charlotte and Jonah, are, for all intents and purposes, an ordinary family with ordinary lives. Except for the job of Marty, a Chicago financial advisor who also serves as the top money launderer for the second largest drug cartel in Mexico. When things go awry, Marty must uproot his family from the skyscrapers of Chicago and relocate to the lazy lake region of the Missouri Ozarks. Hero– Jonah Byrde (Skylar Gaertner). He’s smart, quiet, introverted. Approximately 11 years old. Ordinary World— Jonah is approximately 11 years old in season one. He’s an ordinary kid living with his parents and sister, Charlotte, in Chicago. Call to Adventure– Jonah’s parents tell the kids they will be moving to the Ozarks. This is the first hint to Jonah that his life may be changing. Refusal of Call– Jonah (and …

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The Hero’s Journey: Top Gun (1986), with Tom Cruise, Anthony Edwards, Tom Skerritt, TJ Cassidy, Val Kilmer, Kelly McGillis Hero– Maverick (Pete Mitchell) Ordinary World– Maverick is a gifted Navy fighter pilot who doesn’t follow the rules. Goose is his RIO. During a flight, they encounter two MiG-28s. Cougar, the pilot in another place, freezes. Maverick performs a risky inverted maneuver to help Cougar.  They are all low on fuel. Maverick is just about to land safely on the carrier when he breaks protocol and directly disobeys orders in order to help Cougar and his RIO land.  Call to Adventure– Maverick and Cougar are the two top pilots. There is a chance to go to compete for Top Gun, which is the best of the best. Refusal of Call– This comes in the form of TJ Cassidy not wanting Maverick to be the one to go to Top Gun. He thinks Maverick is too much of a liability. Meeting the Mentor– Goose acts as mentor …

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Movie: A Knight’s Tale, starring Heath Ledger, Paul Bettany, and Rufus Sewel Hero– Will Thatcher Ordinary World– Will is a peasant squire. The opening scene, his master has just died. Call to Adventure– Will Thatcher wants to better his station in the world. His Call to Adventure is initiated by him. Refusal of Call– Despite Will’s desire to change his stars, he can’t realistically do this because you are born into nobility…and he was not. This is the refusal, thrust upon him by circumstances. Meeting mentor– Will Thatcher meets Geoffrey Chaucer, played by Paul Bettany. Chaucer gives Will vital information and guides him in his ruse.  Crossing the Threshold– Will literally crosses the threshold into the new world when he is accepted into the first jousting competition. Before that, he’s just trying on his new identity. It is when Chaucer (who is also an ally) helps him with his papers that he ‘becomes’ this new person. Tests and Allies– Will …

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The Hero’s Journey is a passion of mine. From the time I first read about it, I was interested. Once I started studying it, I became more and more fascinated by its storytelling power.  The hero is an archetypal character and his or her journey full of archetypal moments which, ultimately, offer reader (or viewer, as The Hero’s Journey is widely used in Hollywood films) satisfaction. Why is The Hero’s Journey so compelling? It comes down to the transformation of an ordinary person into a hero. We–humans–respond to this because we can put ourselves into the role and see the potential we all have to be heroic. All cultures and individuals make sense of the world they live in by telling stories. The hero’s journey tells us who we are, and what destinies we are here to fulfill. Read WriterSpark’s Overview of The Hero’s Journey to understand the 12 steps. This database breaks down books and movies into those 12 …

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