Terminator 2: Judgement Day – The Hero’s journey breakdown

Ordinary world

Sarah Connor is in a mental institution and John Connor is a juvenile delinquent.

Call to Adventure

The T-800 is sent back in time to protect John Connor, by John Connor’s future self, from the new model terminator the T-1000

Belly of the whale

The motorcycle truck chase in the drain where John is nearly killed.

Refusal of the call

John refuses to follow the T-800 instructions and instead insists they rescue his mother Sarah from the mental institution first. T-800 doesn’t want to do this because he thinks it’s a risky move.

Supernatural Aid

Sarah has been John’s mentor all his life preparing him for when he must lead humanity in the fight against the machines.

Crossing the First Threshold

Rescuing Sarah from the mental institution

The Road of the trials

They go on the run with the T-800 and begin teaching him to be more human

Meeting with the Goddess and Woman as Temptress

I don’t think either of these stages are used although you could look at the relationship between T-800 and John.

Death of the mentor

Sarah decides to leave John and let the T-800 be his father. In an insane world this is the sanest choice.

Atonement with the Father

Sarah can’t kill Dyson when she is face to face with him, when John arrives he sees the humanity in his mother and instead of seeing her as a psychopath that he described her as at the start of the story, he now tells her he’s always loved her. He sees her as a mother.


The T-800 cuts the flesh off his arm as proof that he is from the future and then tells Dyson the story of everything he is about to do which results in the deaths of three billion people. It’s imparting God-like knowledge of the future.

Ultimate Boon

They destroy Cyberdine, all the tech and Miles Dyson is killed. Ending any chance of Skynet coming to be.

The Magic flight

The T-1000 chases after them and the final battle in the metal factory.

Rescue from without

The T-1000 recovers from the shot gun blasts but T-800 appears with a missile launcher which strikes him in the chest and he falls into the molten hot metal.

The crossing of the return Threshold

John must say goodbye to the T-800 and live his life without him. At first he refuses but ultimately accepts it.  This stage more or less is blended with the next stage.

Master of two worlds

T-800 can’t self terminate and asks Sarah to do it for him. He now knows why John cries but he can never do it himself. The best way for him to protect John is to die.

Freedom to live

The future is saved and filled with hope “If a machine can learn the value of human life, so can we.” 


Terminator 2; Judgement day takes on the challenge of being a sequel by introducing new characters and giving the old characters that we knew from the first film new goals and challenges rather than just repeating the same story from the first film like many, many, many other cash-in sequels do.

Meeting with the Goddess and Woman as Temptress missing? There was a cut scene when they pulled the chip out of T-800’s head and Sarah wanted to destroy it and kill him but John refused to let her do this. This could serve as the Temptress moment and John could serve as the Goddess for the T-800 as he inspires him to be a hero. That’s my best guess but feel free to include your thought below.


You may also want to look at

The Terminator Hero’s journey breakdown

The Terminator Save the cat beat sheet


One Reply to “Terminator 2: Judgement Day – The Hero’s journey breakdown”

  1. Refusal of the call – John talking to his buddy and saying his mom’s a psycho and that he’s not going to be the future leader.

    Supernatural aid – The terminator entering John’s life

    Crossing the first threshold – Getting on the terminator’s bike during the LA river chase

    Road of Trials – Phone call with foster parents, jock douchebags, “I swear I will not kill anyone”, breaking mom out

    Meeting with the Goddess – The car scene when Sarah is checking John for wounds

    Woman as temptress – Sarah abandoning John in the desert to kill Dyson…this causes their entire plan to change.

    Death of the mentor – Dyson dies (mentor to the future with sky net), Terminator dies at the end.

    Apotheosis – Dyson sacrifices himself so humanity can live.

    Ultimate Boon – The arm and chip from the first movie.

Leave a Reply

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