The Hero’s Journey – Apotheosis


Apotheosis is the expansion of consciousness that the hero experiences after defeating a foe.The Hero has the ability to do something which ordinary people can not. They are capable of doing things which their old self could not.

He has discovered his life’s purpose and come to a realization about the world and his position of greatness in it. Now, with his consciousness expanded, he is vastly different from the man he was at the beginning of the journey. He can see things others can’t see and do things others can’t do.

Often this means his focus has shifted from himself and puts the welfare of others above his own. It can happen at the end of the second Act and give him the ability to face the rigours of Act III or it can happen at the end of Act III as part of the climax.

In The Matrix when Neo experiences his Apotheosis, he acknowledges he is The One. Suddenly he is able to see the code and is able to unleash the almighty power he had within him all the time.

Neo becomes The One

Apotheosis – Elevation to devine rank or stature

Role model, saint, ideal, paragon, deification

How to use it in your writing

Has your hero experienced some sort of death, something has ended and a new life can begin?

Has your character had an Ah Ha moment where they have a new level of understanding?

Hero’s Journey Main Page

The Hero’s journey – The Temptress

The Temptress

The Temptress is the opposite of the Goddess, the Goddess compels the hero on but the Temptress, provides a distraction or a detour. Rather than performing the role of a blocker or threshold guardian the Temptress presents a situation for the hero where he must make a choice.

This is an internal, moral battle rather than a physical battle. After enduring the grueling road of the trials, the Temptress throws up an option to take the easy way out, to give up on the quest. But by demonstrating he has the ability to refuse this offer, he is more heroic because of it.

The Temptress role may also be played by the Goddess but is not necessarily female.

Star Wars Temptations

Han Solo “Why don’t you come with us? You’re a good pilot, we could use you.”

Darth Vader “Join me and together we can rule the universe as father and son.”

Leia “Run away, far away, if he can feel your presence then leave this place.”

Emperor “Fulfill your destiny and take your father’s place at my side.”

Sirens would lure sailors to death by singing beautiful songs which would attract the ships  to the shore where they would break up on the rocks. They are not true Temptresses as their call is irresistible; they give the hero no choice.

Temptation in the Garden of Eden. They were warned by God not to eat from the Tree of Knowledge but a snake convinced Eve there was no harm in eating the fruit so she does,  she offers Adam some and he eats it as well. God finds out banishes them from the Garden of Eden and dishes out some eternal punishments. The dilemma they faced was their curiosity to find out what would happen if they ate the fruit versus obeying God, they choose the former and as a result, suffered the consequences.

Tempt – to attempt to persuade or entice to do something, especially something morally wrong or unwise

Lure, seduce, invite, charm persuade, magnetize


Dilemma – A problem offering at least two possibilities but to choose one means you lose the other and this loss causes pain

Difficulty, problem, bind, puzzle, quandary

How to use it in your writing

Identify a moment in your story after the hero has experienced some difficulty and hazards and present him with an opportunity, from another character, to leave the quest. If he is able to resist this temptation we admire him as a hero. If he cannot resist, he is punished and made to suffer, it is a hard lesson learned.

Most often, but not always, the temptation will come from either the Goddess or the Antagonist of your story. Is this the case or does it need to come from another character, such as one of the hero’s allies?


The Empire strikes back and Return of the Jedi – The Hero’s journey breakdown

Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi

The Empire Strikes Back is an unusual film because the big action piece which usually ends the third act happens in the first act and the ending of the film has one of the main heroes frozen in carbonite – you can’t finish a film with Han in carbonite. It’s two part story with the next film, Return of the Jedi. Whereas Star Wars – A New Hope is a stand alone film.

Call to adventure

Luke has a vision from Obi Wan to seek out Yoda and be trained in the ways of the Jedi

Refusal of the call

Instead of rushing off straight away he stays to defend the Rebel alliance

Supernatural Aid

Luke meets Yoda and although he refuses to train him at first, he eventually agrees with Obi Wan

Crossing of the first Threshold

Landing on the planet

Road of the trials

Learning the skills of the Jedi

Belly of the whale

He enters the cave, kills Darth Vader who turns out to be himself.


“Join me and together we can rule the universe and father and son.”

Atonement with the father

He is defeated and realizes that Yoda was right, he was not yet ready to face Vader.


He has lost his hand and discovered the evil dark Lord Vader is his father. Instead of joining Vader he makes a suicidal leap down the ventilation shaft.

The Ultimate Boon

The Ultimate boon takes place in the first act of Return of the Jedi. All his friends are captured and he has to use all his Jedi skills to rescue them.

Meeting with the Goddess

Finding out he has a sister, Leia.


He assists his friends on the mission to deactivate the deflector shield on Endor. Yoda has told him he will only be a Jedi once he faces Vader. The temptation comes from Leia, “Run away” but Luke turns himself over to Darth Vader.

Crossing of the return Threshold

Facing the Emperor and fighting his Father on the Death Star


“Your hate has made you powerful. Now fulfil your destiny and take your father’s place at my side”

Master of two worlds

He has defeated his Vader but he did not turn to the dark side.

Rescue from without

Just before the Emperor can kill Luke, Darth steps in and throws the Emperor to his death.

Atonement with the father

Luke “I’ve got to save you.”

Vader “You already have. You were right about me.”

Magic flight

As the Death Star explodes Luke escapes in the shuttle.

Freedom to live

The Empire is defeated, he is a Jedi and the universe can live happily.