The Hero’s Journey: Call to Adventure

We’ve met our hero in his Ordinary World and realised something needs to change. Now comes the Call to Adventure. This is the moment when something happens which challenges the status quo of the ordinary world, forcing the hero to do something to restore order.

The Call to Adventure is often also known as the Inciting Incident. It’s the event which gets the story moving and could come in the form of a challenge, an offer of adventure, a message or just an inner change in the hero. So what happens to get Thor moving on his adventure?

Loki and the Frost Giant's casket

Thor: Call to Adventure

Slap bang in the middle of the ceremony to make Thor king of Asgard, the Frost Giants return. They break into the weapons vault and try to steal back their casket. Odin realises what is happening and breaks off the ceremony, calling forth the Destroyer which does as its name implies. It kills the Frost Giants. But the peace has been breached.

Thor wants to attack the Frost Giants, they’ve broken the truce, they need to be taught a lesson. But Odin counsels against doing anything rash. Thor is impulsive and hot-headed, and Odin is angry with him, probably secretly pleased the ceremony was interrupted before Thor could become king. He forbids Thor from taking action.

This is an interesting Call to Adventure because it seems to come in the form of preventing action. Odin is trying to get Thor to grow up, he wants him to think and be wise, and so forbids him from doing anything in an attempt to get him to turn inward. This is a Call to Grow Up. Will Thor listen?

Next: Thor Refuses the Call