The Hero’s Journey: Refusal of the Call

We are still in the Ordinary World of the story but the Call to Adventure has been made. At this stage we discover if the hero is ready to heed the call, and usually they’re not. It is a rare hero who, on receiving a challenge, just says OK and gets on with it. Makes for pretty dull storytelling too.

At this stage the hero is still reluctant to change. He doesn’t want to leave the familiarity of his ordinary life. Fear of change and the unknown makes him cling to old habits. He’ll make excuses or try to run away. The hero needs a push. So does Thor heed the call?

Thor: Refusal of the Call

After being forbidden from attacking the Frost Giants, Thor throws a massive wobbler. Well, he overturns a massive table. Loki manipulates him into defying their father, and Thor convinces his friends, the Lady Sif and the Warriors Three, to go with him. Together they manage to get past the Gatekeeper, Heimdall, and travel via the Bifrost to Jotunheim.

Thor throws a wobbler...

The group of friends fight the Frost Giants and we see Thor in action with his hammer, Mjolnir. We also discover there is something different about Loki when one of the Frost Giants grabs his arm – it doesn’t hurt him the way it hurts Volstagg. Is Loki one of them?

Impressive as Thor is in a fight, things don’t go well and they have to be rescued by Odin, who uses all his diplomatic skills to get them away unscathed. Thor has failed the test and refused the call to grow up. He was impetuous, arrogant and frankly, downright stupid. As usual. What will it take to get Thor moving on his Hero’s Journey? It is time for him to meet his mentor…

Next: Thor Meets the Mentor