The Hero’s Journey: Return with the Elixir

Today we reach the last step in the Hero’s Journey: the Return with the Elixir. Your hero, having lived through and survived the worst of dangers, and having gone from death to resurrenction, now returns to home or continues his journey. But he always returns home with the knowledge that he is a different and a better person because of his journey. 

A true hero returns with a gift for those he left behind. This gift, called “the elixir,” represents the wisdom he has gained as a result of his journey. The elixir will serve to bring some sort of healing to the people in his hometown or home country. 

Questions to ask as you write this step of your story include: 

1) How will you show that your hero has indeed changed? In other words, how will you dramatize his change? 

2) How will I tie up any loose ends in my story? 

3) This step is your last opportunity to touch the emotions of your reader. How will you include emotional resonance as you close your story? 

I now leave you with a question I’ve pondered about the Hero’s Journey: In stories, many heroes do go home, but I wonder if we could say that, since they are no longer the same person, the home to which they are returning is no longer the same place in their eyes but, instead, it has been transformed by their personal transformation. What do you think?

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One thought on “The Hero’s Journey: Return with the Elixir

  1. What we need to remember at this point is to tie in something from the beginning of the story.

    In The Lord of the Rings, Sam goes back home to his hole and his family, which is the heart of hobbit kind.

    In my WIP, Akeela goes home to get her guardian settled, but she leaves to complete her training with the man she loves. She always wanted to see more of the world, and now she gets to. But it has come with a high price – a sacrifice – like so many worthwhile things.

    November 21, 2009 at 4:46 PM