Hero’s journey – Crossing the first Threshold

Crossing of the first Threshold

The hero agrees to take on the journey, often reluctantly or because external forces have given him no other choice. This is the point of no return, a moment of commitment and change, leaving behind the old and accepting the new. New opportunities, new dangers.

It is significant in that this event is a choice the hero makes in response to the call to adventure.

Thresholds often have guardians which represent some sort of challenge for the hero to overcome. Again, this is rooted in the need for conflict in drama otherwise a scene becomes boring. If the hero agrees to go forward there must be some force trying to prevent this.

This is the turning point into Act Two.

In The Matrix the Crossing of the first Threshold is when Neo decides to take the red pill and find out how far the rabbit hole goes. Everything has changed, new rules, new location and how well the hero responds to this is a demonstration of his mettle.

Breakdown of Crossing of the first Threshold


Definition – A place where two roads meet OR the action of moving across or over something.


Passage, intersection, transit, crossroads, pass, cut through, intertwine


Definition – Opening; beginning


Boundary, point of departure, starting point, dawn, door, verge, brink, entrance


Definition – To become different from what it was.


Transform, convert, substitution, exchange


Definition – the act of engaging oneself in an action that restricts one’s freedom


Guarantee, pledge, promise, vow, application, captivity, participation, obligation

How to use in your script

Has your hero crossed the threshold by choice or was it passive?

Do you have a guardian making it difficult for the hero?

Have you forced your hero into a rock and hard place before this moment where he has to make this choice.

Have you created a new world for the hero? New locations, new goals, new rules for him to learn or is it repetition of what has already occurred?

Read the definition and synonyms of the breakdown, are you touching on those words in this moment?

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