The Hero’s Journey: Initiation Part 4: The Reward
The hero has now overcome one of the hardest parts of the Hero’s Journey, the Ordeal. He is now able to claim the Reward, and he deserves it. He has just encountered death, so he must face the consequences, and reap the rewards.
At this point in the story, the hero will finally receive recognition for overcoming death and the Ordeal. The Reward has many purposes, and takes many forms.
After surviving a challenge like the Ordeal, it’s natural to want to celebrate. He probably feels exhausted, and seeks relaxation and replenishment. The hero(s) may celebrate with a large meal or something similar. The celebration will provide a way to refuel before the return journey, which may prove to be fairly stressful.
The Reward part of the Hero’s Journey is a great place for a love scene. In this point of the story, the hero has truly surfaced, and undergone a beneficial character arc. He truly deserves love, he’s earned it.
In this point of the story, the hero should have whatever it is they went out seeking. Whether that be self-respect, or a pot of gold, it will now be in the hero’s possession.
The reward the hero went out seeking isn’t always handed to him. He may have had to steal it, which could result in repercussions later on in the journey.
Once the hero emerges from the Ordeal, he will be recognized as special, or different. He is now a person who as managed to overcome, or outwit, death.
After surviving death, the hero will see the world through new eyes. His perception of things will be different, and often a little more clear. He’ll better appreciate life, and see things for what they are. He’ll likely have better judgement in future challenges.
Along with having better perception, the hero may have gained better insight.
He’ll have more talent in the way of seeing through deception, and determining the truth. The reward part of the journey can serve as a moment of clarity for the hero, especially if he has, or is, being deceived. This may occur is he’s traveling with the Shapeshifter, a less-than-beneficial character archetype.
Sometimes, the hero may not only experience better perception and insight, but he may also become clairvoyant or telepathic. He’ll be more intuitive, and more aware of the connectivity of things.
This part is important. The hero will begin to understand things about himself, who he really is, and who he wants to be. He’ll figure out where he fits in the large scheme of things.
In some stories, the hero may not experience perception/insight/clairvoyance/self-realization at all. In fact, the world around him may begin to feel distorted. The hero could become arrogant, and fail to really perceive anything at all. He may abuse his new found power, and become the very thing he was trying to fight in the first place.
For more information, try reading: