Archetypes: A Hero's Journey Part 1
Archetypes: A Hero's Journey Part 2
Archetypes: All the World's a Stage Part 1
Hey guys! It's been less than a week since I last posted but I wanted to get this post up close after the last one since they're supposed to be one thing always.
If you missed last week's post there's a link above that will escort you there ;)
As a reminder, I'm currently covering symbolic setting archetypes which are settings in stories that mean more than what how described. They can prove a point or add some weight behind what the author is trying to say.
Now, let's move straight into the facts!
FUN FACT: Hundreds of archetypes are in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. Go ahead and count them if you don't believe me XD
7) The Maze or Labyrinth
This can represent a puzzling dilemma or a great uncertainty. It's sometimes a symbol for the monster within one's self.
In the maze or the labyrinth, our hero may ask questions regarding himself or his journey. Perhaps he feels lost or afraid. Not necessarily lost in the maze and afraid he'll never get out (though that may also be the case!) but lost in himself and afraid he'll never reach the goal.
What better example for this than the Maze Runner? The entire book is centred around escaping this unsolvable maze! I'm posting the trailer for the movie because I'm way to excited for this thing XD
ex. The Maze Runner by James Dashner, The Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan
Oh the castle... I can think of a million–bagillion examples for this one!
Castles are strong places of safety. They can hold treasure or the princess (Super Mario anyone?). Sometimes castles are bewitched or enchanted. They can represent home or another safe place.
In The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy by J. R. R. Tolkien, Rivendell (the place in the photo) is most definitely seen as a safe place. Bilbo describes it as "A perfect house, whether you like food or sleep or story-telling or singing, or just sitting and thinking best, or a pleasant mixture of them all."
It's a safe place, protected by Elven magic, the River Bruinen and Eldron himself. When our heroes arrive in Rivendell, I feel a sense of 'everything will be okay', I feel a bit relaxed.
When characters leave the castle walls, bad things may happen to them like they do in The Little Mermaid. Castles are shelters.
Disney knows how to use castles well. It's true that a lot of the villains reside in castles but who said that they were safe places for the protagonist alone? Our antagonist needs a security blanket too and maybe it just so happens to be a castle.
ex. The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy by J. R. R. Tolkien, The Little Mermaid, Brave
9) The Tower
This is the strong place where evil resides or where something is locked away from society and fellowship. How many people thought of Lord of The Rings when they heard 'tower' and 'fellowship'? I know I did!
The Tower of Cirith Ungol used to be a place that protected the province of Ithilien from the evil of Mordor. However it slowly became a base for Orcs. Bad things happen at this tower and what it became was the complete opposite of fellowship. It was built after The War of the Last Alliance of Elves and Men and then slowly became corrupted. See the link?
Towers also keep princesses locked up like in Tangled and Shrek. The person that locked them up usually isn't the nicest of people either, supplying the evil in the tower.
ex. Tangled, Shrek, The Lord of The Rings: The Two Towers
10) The Winding Staircase
This is symbolic of the long and difficult way into the unknown.
This archetype will forever remind me of Gattaca. There's this one spiral staircase that shows up every time Vincent and Jerome are in the apartment and my teacher couldn't stop pointing it out when we studied the film in class! It really is a fantastic example though. Jerome physically can't climb stairs and Vincent is taking on a new identity. The photo below is a screenshot of this.
There might be a staircase that leads up to the a tower (*wink, wink, nudge, nudge*). Our hero must climb it but they have no idea what lies ahead of him. Maybe there's a spiral staircase in the hero's home that leads to their thinking spot. The hero may go up their when he doesn't know what to do. And a staircase doesn't just have to lead up, it can lead down too. Maybe it leads to the underworld (*gasp* another archetype!) The possibilities are endless with this one!
ex. Gattaca, Cinderella, Enoch's Ghost by Bryan Davis
So that concludes the setting archetypes. After three posts, I've got everything covered XD I hope they've been useful and inspiring to those of you who read them :) If you enjoyed them, be sure to check out the other archetypes posts at the top of this one.
Are any of these archetypes in your story? I'd love to hear if they are! Let me know in the comments below :)