Avatar – The Hero’s journey breakdown

Ordinary world

Jake is paraplegic marine on a deadly alien world set in the future.

Call to Adventure

Jake replaces his twin brother in the Avatar program and travels to another planet

Refusal of the call

There’s no true refusal from Jake, he simply begrudgingly accepts his lot in life. The refusal is flipped onto his Mentor Grace, who thinks it’s a terrible idea using a marine instead of scientist but is forced into accepting the situation because the military and the corporation are funding her operation

Supernatural Aid

Grace becomes his mentor and gives him his Avatar, opening  whole new world for him.

Crossing the First Threshold

Whilst on a scientific expedition into the forest, Jake becomes separated from the group when he has to escape from the Thanator

Belly of the whale

Jake is being hunted by animals, cornered and near death before he is rescued by Neytiri

The Road of the trials

Jake must learn the ways of the Na’vi. How to hunt, how to ride, how to capture his own Banshee

Meeting with the Goddess

Even though the actual Goddess on this planet is the Ewya, Neytiri is the Goddess who motivates Jake to become a hero “If you are one of us, help us.”

Woman as Temptress

Quaritch offers Jake a chance to get his real legs back, however in order to get he must betray his new people.

Death of the mentor

Grace is wounded during the escape and she cannot be saved

Atonement with the Father

Jake understands the Na’vi people and their connection to the world around them. He prays to Eywa to help them in their upcoming battle.


Jake captures the Toruk Makto. This elevates him to a God like status.

Ultimate Boon

Jake becomes the leader of the Na’vi and rallies them to fight against the human invasion. Here he has completely integrated into his new people

The Magic flight

Jake leads the Na’vi in a battle against the humans.

Rescue from without

The battle appears lost but Eywa sends in her own army of the planet’s creatures and they tear through the soldiers.

The Magic flight

Jake and Neytiri fight the final battle against Quaritch

Rescue from without

Jake is about to be killed by Quaritch when Neytiri shoots him with her arrows

The crossing of the return Threshold

Neytiri sees Jake for the first time in his human form and breaking the barrier between the Na’vi and the human world for them.

Master of two worlds

They send the Humans back to their own world.

Freedom to live

Jake’s eyes open from inside his Avatar.

There are two final battles in this story, the first is humans versus Na’vi on a massive scale but then a second battle more personal battle between Protagonist and the Antagonist. This gives a more satisfying ending rather than Quaritch just dying randomly in some explosion in the sky.

7 Replies to “Avatar – The Hero’s journey breakdown”

  1. I believe that Jakes refusal of the call would be him not accepting help from others. It is an obstacle the Jake must(and does) learn to make it on the world of pandora.

  2. When I go looking for the Refusal of the Call sometimes it’s extremely obvious and straight forward and sometimes it’s a little more concealed. It’s true that Jake doesn’t want help from other people, he refuses help when he’s dismounting from his wheelchair, (there’s probably more examples). This probably falls into the section of what Blake Snyder in Save the Cat calls the six things that need fixing- Things that are wrong with the hero at the start of the film that will be fixed by the end.

    In the section http://gordonnapier.com/heros-journey-refusal-of-the-call/ I list nine things that often serve as the refusal and the different ways it can be used.

    I hope all is going well with your writing and you are finding this site useful.

  3. Thanks for the information dude this helped me and other students in my class get information over the stories and movies you go over to help us write our story over a hero’s journey and well i chose this one. So thank you so much.

    1. Based on feedback, most of the people reading this site are students. I’ve been alerted by people that one teacher has banned the films on this site as everyone just copies my breakdown and hands them in. I’d recommend doing the breakdown yourself and seeing how it differs to mine. After you’ve done about ten you’ll begin to see how crucial temptation, atonement and apotheosis are to make an effective second half of the second act (which is where a lot of screenplays come undone)

      1. I am a student, I am required to do an assignment finding the hero’s journey in the movie Avatar. I found this site very helpful in just finding a base of some of the things I wanted to discuss in my paper.

  4. Ummmmm… NO!! When the Na’vi find out that Jake is one of the humans, they tie him up and are ready to kill him. then when the humans attack the Na’vi tree, every one is either abandoning to be safe or trying to fight the humans back. while Jake is still tied up Mo’at comes up to Jake and says “If you are one of us, help us.”

    1. They don’t tie him up straight away. They accept him grudgingly and let him learn their ways. They tie him up when he warns them about Quaritch, and that he always knew that their tree was going to be destroyed by humans, yet he did nothing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *