Study Guide

Orion The Hero's Journey

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The Hero's Journey

Monomyth/ The Hero's Journey:

The Hero's Journey is a framework that scholar Joseph Campbell came up with that many myths and stories follow. Many storytellers and story-readers find it a useful way to look at tale. (That's actually putting it lightly. Some people are straight-up obsessed.) Chris Vogler adapted Campbell's 17 stages of a hero's journey, which many screenwriters use while making movies. Vogler condensed Campbell's 17 stages down to 12, which is what we're using. Check out a general explanation of the 12 stages.

The story of Orion doesn't fit perfectly into the Hero's Journey structure, but we're giving it a shot. As the gross old saying goes, there's more than one way to skin a cat. Here's how we've diced up the story:

Ordinary World

We first meet the giant Orion on the island of Khios where he works as a hunter. (Yes, you could be a pro-hunter back in the day.) A normal day for this dude is shooting bunches of wild animals with his arrows, or whacking them with his club (club hunting: a lost art form).

Call To Adventure

Adventure calls when Orion takes a shine to Princess Merope, the daughter of King Oinopion, the dude who runs the island and who is Orion's boss. (Too bad nobody ever told Orion that it's always a bad idea to fall for the boss's daughter.)

Refusal Of The Call

Orion never refuses the call at all. He marches right up to the King and says, "Hey, why don't you let me marry that nice-lookin' daughter of yours?" The King says, "Uh, yeah maybe," and delays as much as he possibly can. So, Orion's quest does take a little while to kick in, but it's not because of any hesitance on his part.

Meeting The Mentor

Nope, no mentor here. Too bad. If Orion had had a role model, maybe he wouldn't have messed this up so bad.

Crossing The Threshold

Orion takes a big awful step across the threshold when he gets drunk and rapes Merope. Yeah, so this is definitely not your typical hero's journey. In fact, it's a little hard to think of Orion as heroic at all.

Tests, Allies, Enemies

As punishment for the crime, King Oinopion blinds Orion, and the big guy stumbles all around. From here on out, he really just meets a bunch of friends instead of enemies, since everybody he runs into tries to help him get his sight back. Hephaestus and Cadalion become Orion's biggest buds when Hephaestus tells Orion how he can be healed by Helios and Cadalion guides him to the sun god's palace.

Approach To The Inmost Cave

Unlike some hero's journeys, this part isn't all that suspenseful. Cadalion just rides on Orion's shoulder and tells him which way to walk to get to Helios' palace.


Yeah, there's no ordeal here. Orion just shows up at Helios' golden pad, and the sun god is totally down with helping him out.


Orion gets his reward when Helios gives him back his sight. We're not quite sure what Orion deserves an award for, but whatever.

The Road Back

Cadalion and Orion peace out and walk back the way they came. Apparently, it's a pretty uneventful stroll.


So, Orion kind of does this when he returns to Khios to get revenge on Oinopion, who blinded him. Unlike a lot of stories, though, Orion doesn't face his biggest danger here. He doesn't really even face much danger at all, since Oinopion just hides underground until Orion gets bored and leaves.

Return With The Elixir

Orion does go back to Khios where he started from, but there's no real reward for him. Well, for a little while there is, when he starts hanging out and hunting all the time with Artemis on another island called Delos. This ends pretty badly, though, when he brags that he's going to kill every animal on earth, and Gaia sends a scorpion to kill him. Orion does get turned into a constellation after he dies, which is a pretty cool reward if you ask us.

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