the tao of jaklumen

the path of the sage must become the path of the hero

The Hero’s Journey- Thor (Disney/Marvel Studios)


I have had trouble, dear readers, compiling more serial posts for the Hero’s Journey category this past year, so, I present you with something ready-made.

This presentation was done by a father and son team, for the son’s 5th grade English class.  The video segments are from the Disney/Marvel Studios motion picture THOR (based on the Marvel comic book character of the same name):

Please note that Cimmorene and I have some objections to how the Stages are laid out here.  What is here labeled “Reward” falls to The Ultimate Boon stage.  Indeed, this is what Christopher Vogler also calls “Seizing the Sword”.  I’m going to bet that the display of Mjölnir (Thor’s hammer) in rock was very intentional here, to evoke comparisons to Arthurian legends of the sword in the stone (which was not Excalibur originally, but fused with the Lady of the Lake’s gift in modern reinterpretations).  Resurrection/Transformation/Rebirth occurs here, and not at the scene of Thor destroying the Rainbow Bridge between Asgard and Midgard (Earth, or literally, “Middle-Earth”, which I assume was the inspiration of J.R.R. Tolkien).  The destruction of the Rainbow Bridge would be Crossing of the Return Threshold.  While peace is restored to Asgard and Earth, what is labeled Return with Elixir should be called Atonement with the Father, since it is apparent that not only did Mjölnir come to be wielded by someone worthy as Odin All-Father declared, but that Odin himself confirmed that Thor was worthy, and deserving of fatherly praise.

The Hero's Journey: The Abyss

For those comic book and folklore aficionados that care– Thor, as he was presented in Marvel Comics originally, was Donald Blake, a crippled doctor who knew nothing of his origin as Thor.  When the doctor learned of the legend and found the hammer, he spoke the name of Odin to become Thor, his cane becoming Mjölnir.  Later his memory was restored, and Thor learned that he became the mortal Donald Blake to learn humility.  This is not mentioned in the film; the name Donald Blake is instead said to be an ex-boyfriend of the movie’s romantic female character.  Also, in the original Norse tales, Loki is brother to Odin, and is therefore Thor’s uncle.

Author: jaklumen

Wherever you see "jaklumen", that's me- the username is still unique as of the current year. Be aware that the facet you see, is only a small part of the me that is me.

4 thoughts on “The Hero’s Journey- Thor (Disney/Marvel Studios)

  1. Loved this! The clip was great and so was the following analysis. Very interesting!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have a little tidbit for you, Jak:

    you’re definitely on the right track about Tolkien. He was a scholar in Anglo-Saxon history and language, which encompassed the Germanic languages of the British Isles around the turn of the first century A.D. And drew directly from the Germanic languages of that era, including North Germanic, a.k.a. Old Norse.

    Out of this linguistic tapestry came a poem that Tolkien loved, called “Eala Earendel”, written in Anglo-Saxon about the angelic protector of the Germanic peoples of Central Europe. The first three lines go like this:

    Eala Earendel
    engla beorhtast
    ofer Middangeard monnum sended

    “Hail Earendel, brightest of the angels, over Middle-Earth sent to men”

    Tolkien used this poem as an inspiration for the Elvish languages he started developing prior to actually writing the LOTR novels, and for the legend of Eärendil in The Silmarillion, a sailor who carried the morning star across the sky.

    Also, you can hear it sung by Aragorn in the film adaptation of Return of the King.


    • Oh yeah, definitely! Tolkein was a linguist, and, as you said, used that knowledge to construct Elvish and Dwarven languages. He isn’t the first person to come up with constructed languages, but I would say all the Star Trek fans speaking Vulcan and Klingon owe a lot to his work.

      Kudos to you delving into that, Rob– it’s exciting stuff! I get pretty nerdy about linguistics and etymology, and in the Redemption of the Four Kingdoms stories I’m working on, I’m doing the same sort of things. One of the protagonists is named Tjask, and he’s a half ogre, half storm giant paladin. Tjas in Old Norse signifies “storm giant”.


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