THE HERALD ARCHETYPE
The Messenger Of Change On The Hero’s Journey
Image By John D. Batten (1860-1932) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
The Herald Triggers Change By…..
cajoling, tricking, pushing or forcing your hero
From Their ’Safe Space’ And Their Comfort Zone - Onwards And Upwards Into Their Call To Adventure….Using Any And All Means Necessary ...Regardless Of Their Desire To Stay.
When we’re talking about great storytelling an archetype is universal symbolic model or representation by a pattern, an image or simply a thought..
Many of these representations happen on the subconscious level for the audience. The use of archetypes are very powerful and influential in telling a great story.
Here are the 7 Archetypes:
Each archetype has their own character traits and roles to play. Using these archetypes as tools, we push and move the story in very specific directions for our particular needs.
The Herald Is Responsible For The Call To Adventure. They Push And Push The Story To The Next Stage - So We’re Not Waiting For Change To Happen.
Conventionally, a herald was a person event or object is used to announce, to make proclamations or carry important messages …. ..in an official capacity.
Typically, they also bring wit, wisdom and more importantly - experience.
Their role is key to the shift from The Ordinary World into The Call To Adventure to facilitate the transformation of our hero.
A Herald may embody these archetypes in the story to get the job done:
However, according to Christopher Vogler, we may go further. We may also encounter the following archetypes in great storytelling:
As you may see this archetypal role and the form it takes is not set in stone. In the past, when the herald plays this solitary part in the story (being the catalyst for change), they were rarely seen again.
However, the herald may be a character that takes on this role of the herald temporarily. It is not uncommon to find The Herald appearing and disappearing throughout the story.
More often they are another character simply taking on the role of a herald.
The Herald may be embodied in the following ways:
AS A CHARACTER - there’s more to the world that meets the eye. The herald comes across as having more powers than they seem - some valuable ‘been-there-done-it-experience’ or wisdom. They often also suggest that the hero also has something more to them than they realise - courage, wit, a knowing, some form of understanding that others don’t see.
FORCEFUL OR DESTRUCTIVE HERALD can have villainous intentions for the hero or may simply invoke change in a forceful and destructive way.
HERALD AS AN OBJECT - may be a sign. In the form of a delivery of a letter or message, a telegram, a text, email, poster, advertisement or an just an invitation. It may be a dramatic message or equally a pensive moment. It’s a force that announces that there is a need for a change.
THE HERALD AS AN EVENT - can be a hurricane or weather event, an accident or traumatic event.
The Greater Role Of The Herald Is As THE CATALYST In Our Hero’s Main Transformation
Here is some of the essential knowhow of how to apply The Herald’s qualities. Firstly, The Herald offers a challenge or structures an opportunity for our Hero. In doing so, our hero will contemplate, encounter or be faced with the following:
Meeting the Heralds is a high point and a significant signpost for the impending need for a change to take place. The following 3 points may help immensely bring this meeting to significance.