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The Hero’s Journey Part 3: Return

Return: To go or come back, as to an earlier condition or place

The final stage of the hero’s journey is the return. After the trials and tribulations of the first two stages, the hero returns to where he came from, hopefully a new, improved and changed person, from the person they were when they first stepped out of their comfort zone, into an unknown adventure.

Part 1: Refusal To Return

Once the hero has been through all the previous stages of their journey, they are faced with the decision to stay where they are, or to return from where they came from. The pull of the new, facing the pull of returning to the life they knew, all the people and places and the familiarity.

Part 2: The Magic Flight

Once the hero has achieved their goal, the flight home can be just as perilous as the adventure to gain it in the first place. If the hero is returning with the boon they gained in their adventure this can cause heightened risk of failure and increased adventure.

Part 3: Help from Without

Just as the hero required help to begin and succeed in their journey towards their goal, they require help from their guides and rescuers on the return journey. The help they receive can come in many forms, but ultimately without that help, they would not be able to succeed in their return journey.

Part 4: The Crossing of the Return Threshold

This section looks at the return of the hero. It focuses on how the hero can retain the wisdom they have discovered on their journey. It is here the hero integrates their newly discovered wisdom into the day-to-day life, and how they can share their wisdom with others.

Part 5: Master of Two Worlds

This is where the hero of the adventure masters two worlds. It is the point where the hero is comfortable in both the inner world – where they set out from – and the outer world – the experiences and adventures they had in the journey of the story.

Part 6: Freedom to Live

Throughout the journey the hero has learned many valuable lessons, about strength, about finding answers. It is in this stage the hero overcomes their fear of death and is able to fully embrace the life they have to live. This section can be interpreted as living in the moment, neither fearing the future or regretting the past.

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