Christopher Vogler: The Writer’s Journey

Meeting with the Mentor

Heroes and Mentors

  • Movies and stories of all kinds are consistently elaborating the relationship between the two archetypes of hero and mentor.

Sources of Wisdom

  • Heroes will always make contact with some source of wisdom.
  • This can be from mentors or other forms like people who had gone on the adventure before.

Mentors in Folklore and Myth

  • Folklore and Myths are often filled with heroes who meet magical, wise mentors who help them on their journey like Chiron.
  • Chiron; a centuar in Greek mythology who appears multiple times even in modern literature (Percy Jackson).

Chiron a Prototype

  • As mentioned previously he is a centaur who trained many famous heroes like Hercules, Achilles and Actaeon.
  • He is similar to a Shaman, being a bridge between humans and the higher powers of nature and the universe.

Mentor Himself

  • Mentor was a character in The Odyssey.
  • Mentor was the loyal friend of Odysseus.
  • He was tasked with raising his son Telemachus while Odysseus made his may back from the Trojan War.

Avoiding Mentor Clichés

  • Since people are used to the mentor archetype it’s easy to fall into clichés.
  • To combat this, defy the archetypes, the absence of a mentor can make the heroes conditions interesting.


  • People like being surprised, and being mislead by a mentor can be very interesting for the plot and keep the audience interested.
  • Use an audiences expectations and assumptions against them.

Mentor – Hero Conflicts

  • The Mentor – Hero relationship can take a turn for the worst if the hero is ungrateful or prone to violence.
  • A good example of this is Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker.

Mentor – Driven Stories

  • This isn’t done a lot but sometimes the story revolves around a Mentor.

Mentor as Evolved Hero

  • Mentors can be regarded as heroes who have become experienced enough to teach others.
  • They themselves have gone on their own Heroes Journey and in their lives have progressed through the ‘Tarot Cards’.

Critical Influence

  • A Mentor is usually in the story briefly however this appearance is critical for the progression of the story and the Heroes Journey.

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