heroes

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*Unusual Birth~ Not only was Harry Potter born into a family in which both of his parents are
wizards and poses supernatural powers, but the danger he comes encounter with not long after he was
born also reveals his abnormal qualities and abilities. At the start of his life, his rival, Lord Voldemort,
immediately attempts to kill Harry Potter and his family. Lord Voldemort succeeded in taking the
lives of his parents, Lily and James Potter, but Harry Potter remained untouched except for a scar left
on his forehead (Columbus, Chris, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone).
*Leaves Family~ It was obvious to the world of wizards how much of a threat Voldemort was to Harry’s
upbringing, so he was sent to live with his Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon, who were “muggle born”, or born
without any magical powers. Through this action, Harry was completely disconnected from his magical world
and raised as a muggle. With the outlook that Harry was completely different compared to the rest of the
family, Petunia, Vernon and their son Dudley discriminated against Harry, treating him more as an outcast than
a member of their family. The disregard towards Harry that is shown through what he knows as his “family,”
begins a desire for Harry to want to know more about his life before Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon. “See,
but that’s me as well. I never knew my parents either” (Columbus, Chris, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s
Stone). Harry expresses to the snake at the zoo, seeing his connection to the snake in that he has no real family
of his own.
*Traumatic Event~ Several events take place that act as a turning point in the life of Harry Potter, but the one
most effective to Harry is when he receives a letter from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry which
reveals Harry’s true nature of being and wizard and takes him away from the life that he longed to forget.
Before Harry found out he was a wizard, he was neglected by his family members. The moment Harry got his
letter, he was no longer a part of Uncle Vernon’s family, but had a new family full of people he loved and
admired.
*Weapon~ Harry, when first exploring his new life as a wizard, searches for a wand at Olivander’s Wand shop to
see which wand suits him the best. It is there that Mr. Olivander tells Harry that his wand will only work for
him. “The wand chooses the wizard, Mr. Potter” (Columbus, Chris, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone). Mr.
Olivander further proves his point when he explains to Harry of how only one other wand contains the same
ingredients as his. “It so happens that the phoenix whose tail feather is in your wand, gave another feather- just
one other. It is very curious indeed that you should be destined for your wand when its brother-when its
brother gave you that scar”(Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, 85). Through the power that Harry
holds with his wand, he overcomes great obstacles, including defeating the only other person who has the
phoenix feather in his wand, Lord Voldemort.
*Supernatural help~ In his effort to save Hogwarts from Lord Voldemort, Harry receives the help needed to lead
him on his journey. A half man, half horse creature that rests within the forest behind Hogwarts tells Harry of
the Sorcerer’s Stone and all the magic it contains. By the help of this centaur named Firenze, Harry held the
information he had been searching for to find out how to kill Lord Voldemort (Rowling, 258-61).
*Proves himself~ With Harry Potter’s fearless bravery and
confidence, he proves himself as a true hero by defeating Lord
Voldemort. This helps him to gain not only to respect of
Dumbledore, but the entire school now views him as the hero
who saved Hogwarts. Harry is truly thought of to be a hero
when Dumbledore awards him at the end of the story
(Rowling). “…To Mr. Harry Potter… for pure nerve and
outstanding courage, I award Gryffindor House sixty
points”(306).
*Journey~ Harry, with the help of his companions Ron and Hermione, discover very early of the dangers that
Dumbledore foreshadows are going to happen to Hogwarts. Searching for an answer to keep Hogwarts and
Harry from being destroyed begins a quest throughout their year of school on how to defeat Voldemort
(Rowling).
*Un-healable Wound~ The symbol that portrays Harry as a famous figure also brings out his innermost fears and
desires. The lightening bolt scar across Harry’s forehead makes him stand out from everyone else, but presents
him as famous for another reason. This scar, as described by Harry’s giant friend Hagrid, is a mark left by Lord
Voldemort, Harry’s rival, who tried to kill him as an infant (59). “That was no ordinary cut. That’s what yeh
get when a powerful, evil curse touches yeh- took care of yer mum an’ dad an’ yer house, even- but it didn’t
work on you, and that’s why yer famous, Harry. No one ever lived after he decided ter kill ‘em, no except
you…” (59). This scar also presents Harry with the inner wound that he feels for his lack of family- his parents
that he never knew, but would do anything to meet (Rowling).
*Atonement with Father~ As presented by one of Harry’s companions, Hermione, Harry not only looks and
acts like his father, but takes on his position as seeker on the Hogwarts Quidditch team during his first year
at Hogwarts (Columbus, Chris, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone). Not only his talent but also his
sense of mischief brings out the father-like qualities in Harry. When James Potter, Harry’s father, was a
young student at Hogwarts, he would create mischief by roaming around at night under his invisibility
cloak. In Harry’s second year at Hogwarts, his godfather Sirius Black gives this same cloak to Harry as a
Christmas present (Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Rowling). With the help of the cloak, Harry
is able to save Hogwarts from Lord Voldemort, connecting to his father by acting as a hero in his father’s
image (Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone).
*Apotheosis~ With all the courage it took to stand up to Voldemort, Harry is rewarded by winning the house
cup for Griffindor, and begins his journey back home until his next year at Hogwarts (Rowling, 306).
*Unusual Birth- Frodo Baggins was orphaned at a young age, growing up
among the Bucklanders across the Brandywine River, until he was
adopted and named heir to Bilbo Baggins, his favorite Uncle. After Biblo
decides to leave The Shire, Frodo’s home, Frodo is left to become the
sole master of Bag End and everything inside of it. “…and he went out
boating on the Brandywine River; and he and his wife were drownded,
and poor Mr. Frodo only and child and all” (Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings,
31).
*Leaves Family- Frodo leaves behind his home in Buckland to come and
live with Bilbo Baggins in The Shire. “…for Buckland was on the eastern
borders of the Shire, and as he had lived there in childhood his going back
would at least seem credible” (Tolkien , The Fellowship of the Ring, 76).
Never really knowing his real home or family, Frodo loves The Shire and
never wants to leave. When Bilbo confronts Frodo about leaving The
Shire, he gives him a ring (The One Ring) along with his home, Bag End,
and the rest of his belongings. Later, Frodo finds out that the ring Bilbo
has given to him must be destroyed, and is forced to leave The Shire in
order to save his life and The Shire (Tolkien).
*Traumatic Event- Bilbo gives Frodo The One Ring in attempts to leave
the power of the ring in his hands. Unaware of the power the ring
possesses, Frodo soon finds the ring to be an evil weapon of the great
Sauron, maker and controller of the ring. When this information is
brought to light, it is decided that the One Ring must be taken to
Rivendell to be dropped into Mount Doom, the only place where The
One Ring can be destroyed. As the ring’s bearer, Frodo begins a quest,
along with The Fellowship of The Ring, to destroy The One Ring
(Tolkien).
*Special Weapon- During his stay at Rivendell, Bilbo gives Frodo two of
his most personal belongings- the mithril armor, and his sword made by
the elves, Sting. “’This is Sting, he said, and thrust it with little effort deep
into a wooden beam. ‘Take it if you like. I shan’t want it again, I expect’”
(The Fellowship of the Ring, Tolkien, 290). When beginning his journey
along with the other members of The Fellowship, an elf named Galadriel
gives Frodo a crystal phial. “May it be a light to you in dark places, when
all other lights go out” (367).
* Supernatural Help- Throughout the trilogy, Frodo is given numerous
amounts of help, advice, and guidance from Gandalf the Grey, friend and
mentor to Frodo. Gandalf uses magic and the wisdom he has gained
through the passing years to assist Frodo as he attempts to complete his
perilous task (Tolkien).
*Proves Himself- Frodo
proves that he is a
worthy hero by saving
Middle Earth, resisting
evil and it’s temptations,
and destroying the One
Ring and it’s master.
Frodo shows that size
and strength does not
always prevail over a
good and pure heart. He
remains loyal to his
cause and to his friends
and risks everything that
he holds dear to make
Middle Earth a better
place for all (Tolkien).
*Journey- Frodo ventures to destroy The One Ring and save The Shire,
accompanied by The Fellowship of the Rings, Frodo’s eight other
companions. His quest is to obliterate Sauron and the One Ring. “’There
is only one way: to find the Cracks of Doom in the depths of Orodruin,
the Fire-mountain, and cast the Ring in there, if you really wish to
destroy it, to put it beyond the grasp of the Enemy forever.” (70).
*Un-healable Wound- The wound inflicted by the Morgul blade of the
Nazgul did permanent damage to Frodo’s left shoulder and arm. Every
year on the anniversary of the wound, Frodo experiences a
considerable amount of pain. “’I am wounded,’ he answered, ‘wounded;
it will never really heal’” (305).
*Atonement with Father- The father figure in Frodo’s life is his uncle, Bilbo.
By destroying the One Ring, Frodo compensates for Bilbo’s mistake by
using the ring. Instead of Bilbo journeying to Mount Doom, it will be Frodo
taking his Uncle’s ring to The Cracks of Mount Doom in attempts to
Destroy the One Ring (Tolkien).
*Apotheosis- Ultimately, Frodo is rewarded for his achievement and given
the rare privilege of joining the elves in the West. He journeys to the
Havens and travels across the sea with Elrond, Galadriel, and Gandalf.
“…and looked on the distant Sea; and so they rode down at last to
Mithlond, to the Grey Havens in the long firth of Lune” (310).
*Unusual Birth~ Sigurd’s father was
greatly injured on the battleground while
Hjordis was still pregnant with Sigurd.
Sigmund died and foretold that his
unborn son would take revenge for him
and Hjordis' father. Sigurd, however,
did not grow up without a father figure.
Hjordis married Alf, the son of King
Hjalprek of Denmark, and he raised
Sigurd as though he was his own son
(Joe, Volsunga Saga).
*Leaves the Family~ Sigurd’s tutor, Regin, asked him to help him gain
the famous treasure from his brother. Sigurd agreed to help his fosterfather (Regin) to gain the otterglid (or Otter’s Ransom, later called the
Rhinegold). So, Regin and Sigurd set out to slay Fafnir (who was now a
dragon because his inner evil and gluttony altered him (Joe).
*Traumatic Event~ After Sigurd slays Fafnir, (the dragon, also was
Regin’s brother) Regin wanted Sigurd to slice out Fafnir’s heart and cook
it for him. Regin knew that by eating the heart of the dragon it would
give him authority over other men. Sigurd, not knowing the effect the
heart would have on Regin, agreed. While roasting Fafnir’s heart,
Sigurd was making sure that it was cooked. In doing so, he burned
himself with the blood. Sigurd automatically stuck his finger in his mouth
and instantaneously had the power to hear and comprehend the
language of the birds and other animals. The birds knew that Regin
would betray him after he consumed the heart, and told Sigurd so that
Regin would not get the treasure to himself. Knowing of Regin’s
betrayal, Sigurd at Fafnir’s heart himself and killed Regin by decapitating
him. Also the birds told Sigurd about Brynhild, a Valkyrie, who slept
surrounded by a Ring of Fire at Hindfell. Knowing this, Sigurd set out to
find Brynhild at Hindfell (Joe).
*Special Weapons~ Earlier in the story,
Odin drove a sword into Branstock and
said that whoever could put the sword
from The Great Oak Tree would have the
power to win all his battles. Sigmund
(Sigurd’s father) was the only one who
could remove the sword from Branstock.
Sigmund became the rightful owner of the
sword (Gram), and after Sigmund was
killed and the sword was shattered in two,
the sword was given to Hjordis to give to
Sigurd to forge a new sword. The sword
that was forged from Gram is the sword
that killed Fafnir (the dragon). Sigurd also
laid the sword between him and Brynhild
when he went disguised as Gunnar, in
order to not betray Gunner with his soon
to be wife. Gram (Sigurd’s sword) was
also thrown at Guttorn’s back after he
fatally injured Sigurd during his sleep
(Joe).
*Supernatural Help~ Odin drove the sword into Branstock; the same
sword that Sigmund (Sigurd’s father) removed and became rightful owner
of, and that sword helped Sigurd defeat many men. In addition, Odin
acquired an apple from the giant Hrimnir, which impregnates Rerir’s wife
who gave birth to Volsung. Volsung married Ljod who had Sidny and
Sigmund, and they gave birth to Sinfiotli. Later, Sigmund married
Borghild who kills her stepson Sinfiotli. Sigmund then seeks another wife.
He marries Hjordis who gives birth to Sigurd. In the end, it all links to
Odin. Sigmund later dies in batter and Alf, his stepfather, took care of
him. Alf let Sigurd decide on a horse of his desire from his stable. Odin,
disguised as an old man with one eye, assisted Sigurd to pick the gray
stallion in the stable, which was bred by Sleipnir (Odin’s horse). Sigurd
then decided on the gray-coated horse and called it Greyfell (Joe).
*Prove Himself~ While on a quest with Regin for the treasure that Fafnir
protects, Sigurd proves himself by slaying Fafnir (the dragon) so that
Regin can obtain the famous treasure. Sigurd also journeyed through the
flames of Hindfell to waken the gorgeous maiden named Brynhild. Sigurd
even wounded Guttorm after being gravely injured during his slumber
(Joe).
Journey~ Sigurd’s first journey was when he accompanied Regin in
killing Fafnir for the great treasure. His Second journey was traveling to
Hindfell where he fell in love with Brynhild. On his third journey, he went
to the kingdom of the Rhine where Grimhild gave him a concoction so
that he would not recall Brynhild and fall in love with Gudrun. They
married and had a daughter named Svanhild. Gunnar (Gudrun’s
brother) wanted to marry Brynhild. So he sent out Sigurd (being the
only one who could ride through the ring of fire because he had
Greyfell) disguised as Gunnar to flatter Brynhild and bring her back to
Gunnar (Joe).
Un-healable Wound~ The fact that Sigurd had to kill his own tutor
internally wounded him, only doing it because Regin was going to
betray him. He also broke his oath to Brynhild, saying that he would
come back to her, and later realizing that he broke that promise
probably scared him because he married Gudrun when he was still in
love with Brynhild (Joe).
Atonement with Father~ Sigurd got revenge on Hjordis’ father just like
Sigmund (his father) predicted that he would (Joe).
Apotheosis~ At the end of his life, Sigurd was rewarded with a new Son
that takes his place and fights against his fate (Joe).
*Unusual Birth~ Dorothy grew up on a farm in Kansas where she lived with her
Aunt Em and Uncle Henry (The Wizard of Oz, Baum, 1).
*Traumatic Event~ One of the traumatic events that Dorothy faces in one version of The
Wizard of Oz is when Miss Gulch comes to take her dog, Toto away. Dorothy is not only
losing her pet that she cares deeply about, but her sidekick and supporter. “That dog’s a
menace to the community. I’m taking him to the sheriff and make sure he’s destroyed.” (The
Wizard of Oz, Fleming). After Professor Marvel tells Dorothy the fortune from the crystal
ball, she runs home to comfort Aunt Em when a twister appears. Through the events of the
twister Dorothy becomes unconscious and is suddenly taken away from her destiny into the
world of Oz (The Wizard of Oz, Baum).
*Special Weapons~ The silver slippers that Dorothy obtains after her house lands on the
Wicked Witch of the East hold powerful magic that the Wicked Witch of the West desires.
Glinda, the good witch of the North, gave these slippers to Dorothy in attempt to prevent
the Wicked Witch of the West from getting them. With the slippers in the possession of the
Wicked Witch, the Munchkins of Munchkinland would lose their freedom. Now that
Dorothy has the slippers, however, they cannot be removed from her feet unless she chooses to
remove them (Baum).
*Supernatural Help~ The
Scarecrow is one of the
characters who provides Dorothy
with logic along the way. The
Scarecrow is the planner of the
group, which gives Dorothy the
confidence that she needs.
Glinda the good witch guards
Dorothy and tries to keep her
out of harms way. Glinda also
gives Dorothy the internal sense
of what is right and what is
wrong and governs her to make
the right choice (Drivers and
Passengers in The Wizard of
Oz).
*Prove Herself~ Dorothy proves
herself by killing the Wicked
Witch of the West and getting
her broom to take it back to the
Wizard of Oz. “ You cursed
brat! Look what you’ve done!
I’m melting! Melting! What a
world! What a world! Who
would have thought a good little
girl could destroy my beautiful
wickedness? Look out! Look
out! I’m going!” (The Wizard of
Oz, Fleming).
*Journey~ Dorothy’s journey is ventured not only within her, but she also carries out the
journey down the yellow brick road. From the beginning of the movie to the end, her
prospective on her life changed drastically. At the beginning of the story, Dorothy feels
threatened by Miss Gulch, and would do anything to escape her life in Kansas. After
entering the Land of Oz, however, Dorothy is more then eager to get home. In this journey,
she finds an appreciation for her home (The Wizard of Oz, Baun).
*Un-healable Wound~ The fact that she was torn away from Auntie Em and Uncle Henry
at first did not effect Dorothy, but she later realizes how much she misses Kansas. Thinking
that she would never see Aunt Em or Uncle Henry again wounded her heart. When she does
return back to Kansas, it becomes clear to Dorothy exactly how much she loves her home
and family, thinking she never wants to leave home again (The Wizard of Oz, Fleming).
*Mentor~ When first coming to the Land of Oz, Dorothy is given silver slippers by Glinda,
The Good With of the North. Along with trying to help the Munchkins in Munchkinland
by saving them from the evil powers of The Wicked Witch of the West, Glinda gives
Dorothy the advice needed to fulfill her journey in finding her way home. With her
guidance, Dorothy allows the Munchkins to keep their freedom while achieving her goal of
going back home to Kansas (The Wizard of Oz, Baum).
*Apotheosis~ In the end, Dorothy is rewarded by getting to go home to Kansas
where she can live once again with her Aunt Em and Uncle Henry. Glinda explains
to her how she held the power to bring herself home the entire time, and all she had
to do was find it. With her wish to go home granted, Dorothy returns with open
arms to her farm, gaining a new appreciation for all the gifts she has (The Wizard of
Oz, Fleming).
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