Category Archives: Fictional Heroes

Clarice Starling as a Prototypical Hero

By Paige Delsa

Amongst the countless heroes who’ve graced the silver screen, few have had both the charisma and ability to captivate an audience like FBI trainee Clarice Starling. Aided by the imprisoned, cannibalistic Dr. Hannibal Lecter, Jon Demme’s psychological thriller Silence of the Lambs explores in gripping detail Starling’s attempts to capture serial killer Buffalo Bill.

Starling exceptionally displays her prowess as a hero, guided by Lecter, and establishes herself as a prototype for not only FBI agents to aspire to, but also other film protagonists. Starling is immediately presented as an underdog of sorts, operating as both a student and a woman in the male-dominated FBI. This status as an underdog does little to limit her desire to succeed and overcome her past trauma. If anything, this status amplifies her exceptional actions.

As a trainee, Starling perpetually exists in a vulnerable state due to her inexperience and lack of agency. Starling, after being approached by FBI Agent Jack Crawford, attempts to receive Lecter’s help in profiling Buffalo Bill, another prolific serial killer. Though just a trainee, she manages to impress the psychopathic, highly intelligent Lecter with her honesty and strength despite her discomfort around the now disgraced psychiatrist.

We see the first glimpse of Starling’s heroic capabilities in her interaction with Lecter; the courage and selflessness it took to honestly engage with the amoral man would again appear in her confrontation with Buffalo Bill. Starling’s actions apprehending Buffalo Bill display exceptionality in both the courage and the general selflessness involved in resolving the precarious situation. Completing an action that is not only morally good but also exceptional is one of the core tenets of heroism.

After accidentally identifying Jame Gumb as Buffalo Bill, even before her amply resourced colleagues at the FBI, she engages in a heated confrontation with both her life and the life of the girl hidden at the bottom of Gumb’s basement on the line. In only a few short minutes, Starling displays immediately recognizable attributes of heroism, namely intelligence, strength, shrewdness, resilience, courage, and selflessness.

It would be in gross neglect to delve into Starling’s heroic performance without mentioning her foil, the distinguished Hannibal Lecter. The characters’ existences are inextricably linked to one another. Lecter, more so than Buffalo Bill, acted as a cultivator and amplifier of Starling’s heroic capabilities by provoking one of the most recognizable and crucial elements of heroism: transformation.

When she first appears before Lecter, Starling was no more than a scared little girl wearing the guise of a full-grown woman. Her traumas haunted her waking hours and nightmares, motivating her to succeed in law enforcement, but leaving her with a perpetual uncertainty in herself. With his pointed questions into her macabre childhood, Lecter strips away Starling’s protective exterior and forces her to confront the traumas of her youth.

In finding and killing Gumb, Starling resolves the primary conflict of the film and fully actualizes her status as a hero. Without Lecter, Starling wouldn’t have transformed into a fully fleshed hero, capable of successfully hunting Buffalo Bill and addressing her traumas. It’s tempting to think the best or most heroic characters are perfect in their strength, intelligence, beauty, ability to lead, and any other traits commonly associated with heroes.

Clarice Starling is not perfect. She is scared. She is traumatized. She is weaker physically than Jame Gumb and lacks Hannibal Lecter’s sharp wit. But these traits, these imperfections do not take away Starling’s status as a hero. Rather, they elevate her to the upper echelon of cinematic heroes. Her imperfections make her accomplishments all the more extraordinary and let the audience engage deeply with her. She is like us. She is imperfect and pained but capable of great strength.

Bringing down Gumb and enticing Lecter to assist her manhunt displayed the elements of courage and morality fundamentally necessary to distinguish oneself as a hero. Starling has transcended the mere classification of protagonist, proving she deserves to be called “hero.”

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Paige Delsa is an undergraduate student at the University of Richmond.  She is enrolled in Scott Allison’s Heroes & Villains course and composed this essay as part of her course requirement

The Fame and Heroism of Sherlock Holmes

By George R. Goethals and Scott T. Allison

Can a nerdy detective become a hero? The answer is yes. There are many examples – Columbo, Ellery Queen, and Jessica Fletcher come to mind. But perhaps the greatest of these nerdy heroes was Sherlock Holmes.

Arthur Conan Doyle introduced the world to Sherlock Holmes in the 1887 novel A Study in Scarlet.  That mystery, and most of the subsequent ones, are told through the eyes of Holmes’ roommate and companion, Dr. John Watson.  The second novel, The Sign of Four, followed three years later.  Then in 1892 the first set of twelve short stories appeared, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. 

But shortly after those were published Conan Doyle had had enough of his consulting detective and tried to kill him off in the last story of an 1894 collection The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes.  That episode was called “The Final Problem.”

However, Conan Doyle couldn’t keep Holmes down.  There was too much popular demand.  His hero returned in “The Empty House,” the first adventure in the 1905 volume The Return of Sherlock Holmes. 

Many of Holmes sayings from those early works are still famous today.  From The Sign of Four, “when you have eliminated the impossible whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.”  From the story “Silver Blaze” in The Memoirs comes Holmes’s unforgettable exchange with Inspector Gregory:

Gregory:  “Is there any other point to which you would wish to draw my attention?”

Holmes:  “To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time.”

Gregory:  “The dog did nothing in the night-time”

Holmes:  “That was the curious incident.” 

The back and forth with Gregory was the basis for the prize-winning mystery novel The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (Haddon 2003) and the play by the same name that opened at the National Theatre in London in 2012.

Tracing the evolution of presentations of the fictional detective reveals much about changes in how heroes have been constructed over the past one hundred years.  As we shall see, there is much more attention to their inner lives.  In the last decade of the nineteenth century Holmes was depicted in drawings in The Strand magazine by Sidney Paget.  A tall, aquiline Holmes image took hold, one largely consistent with Conan Doyle’s words.

Then the American actor William Gillette portrayed Holmes on the stage, in the famous deer-stalker hat first introduced by Paget, and his distinctive pipe.  Gillette even presented Holmes in a 1916 silent film that was only rediscovered in 2014.  Gillette continued the tall, lean and obviously cerebral presentation of Holmes.

Various other actors, notably Basil Rathbone, were cast as Holmes in film and on television during the mid-twentieth century.  Each actor shaped an evolving image, largely consistent with the original.  If the detective faded somewhat in mid-century he was brought back to life by Jeremy Brett in the Granada television series running from 1984-1984, and then by Stephen Spielberg’s 1985 film Young Sherlock Holmes. 

The most recent renditions have been two television series, Sherlock on BBC with Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman (2010-2017) and the CBS series Elementary (2012-2019) with Johnny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu.  They reveal through the character of Sherlock Holmes and his companion John Watson the general evolution of recent treatments of famous fictional heroes, particularly with respect to issues of gender and sexuality.

In the Conan Doyle canon, Holmes left the “fairer sex” to Watson.  He never wanted emotion to disturb his detached rationality.  There is one fascinating exception however.  The first Holmes short story, “A Scandal in Bohemia” begins with the famous sentence “To Sherlock Holmes she is always the woman.”  Clearly Holmes is smitten with her, one Irene Adler, and admires the fact that in the end she actually thwarts his plans.  Otherwise Holmes eschews attraction, eroticism, or any other emotion.

In contrast, issues of sexuality come up quickly in the BBC Sherlock series.  The character Mrs. Hudson, the housekeeper straight out of Conan Doyle, explicitly raises the possibility, even likelihood, that Holmes and Watson are a gay couple.  The Watson character, acted by Martin Freeman, laughs at such insinuations, but the issue never dies.

At least LBGTQ issues are acknowledged in the series.  Gender and sexuality play a larger role in Elementary.  First, Dr. Watson is a woman, Dr. Joan Watson, played to critical acclaim by Lucy Liu.  As a result, one feature of the whole series is tension as to whether the male Holmes (Johnny Lee Miller) and the female Watson will ever make a romantic, sexual connection (they don’t).

Furthermore, Miller’s Holmes has frequent trysts with one or more prostitutes.  His sexuality is highlighted.  For Conan Doyle, Holmes views sex and other emotions “as abhorrent to his cold, precise but admirably balanced mind.”  His work depends on avoiding or repressing feelings.  For Elementary, discharging libidinal drives serves to clear Holmes’ mind for the operation of his “cold, precise but admirably balanced” logic.

The many variations on the presentation and representation of Holmes all work as long as at the heart of the portrayal is the cool, precise logic, with a distinct dose of narcissism and even obliviousness bordering on the autistic.  The latter actually lends him an unconventional but clearly “good” morality.  He is good as well as strong and active.  Clearly the most recent adaptations reflect today’s current cultural concerns and conversations.  But the enduring elements have to fit as well.

In sum, audiences over the past century have found Holmes to be a convincing hero.  His acute mental abilities, his irreverent but dashing style, and his independence in judging the perpetrators of crime make him a compelling figure.  He doesn’t always follow the letter of the law, but he does act justly and humanely.  Our admiration for Holmes’ morality and talents, along with his unique and appealing personality quirks, ensure his long-term fame and heroism.

Just Keep Swimming: Dory’s Heroic Lesson to the World

By Casey Merz

“When life gets you down do you wanna know what you’ve gotta do? Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming.”

Even if Dory left no other impression on anyone watching Finding Nemo, there is no doubt she left this saying somewhere in everyone’s head. And unless you are predetermined to not enjoy a movie, or honestly even if you are, Dory is a character that does not fail to bring smiles and laughs to watchers.

I’m convinced it is impossible to watch Finding Nemo without feeling happy just watching Dory’s spirited, hilarious actions and constant positive attitude. Despite her short-term memory loss and lack of personal connection to the problem, Dory’s optimism and selflessness makes Dory the perfect fish to go on a dangerous and life-changing journey with an overly cautious father searching for his son.

Dory was called on a mission solely by her genuine kind-hearted spirit… well, that and her clumsiness. When Dory swims right into a frantic, distraught clown fish, she does not realize she is stepping into an incredible and unthinkable journey. Unlike every other fish, Dory does not get agitated or swim away from Marlin; instead, her friendliness leads her to selflessly offer help and knowledge to a complete stranger without hesitation. And while she does forget what she is doing a few times, she jumps at the chance to help with equal excitement every single time.

Throughout the journey, Dory and Marlin face multiple dangers, threats, and unknowns. Marlin would never have the confidence to face these obstacles alone, but Dory is always there to push him through. Dory gets on Marlin’s nerves with her clueless fearlessness: asking strangers for help, assuming the best from known predators, and making fun out of serious situations.

However, Dory is always her true self and never fails to support Marlin, who she only met a few hours ago. She is able to put Marlin first despite his insensitivity to her feelings because she genuinely cares about helping, just as a hero would. Dory’s positive outlook on life and trust in those around her is the only thing that got the two of them through the journey to find Nemo.

Marlin and Dory hit rock bottom when they reach the harbor and think Nemo is dead. Marlin leaves Dory in a state of despair despite their growing friendship, and Dory is left alone and back in a confused state of forgetfulness.

But of course, just as things seem truly hopeless, Nemo appears well and alive! Nemo perfectly resembles Dory’s kindness to Marlin as he swims up to Dory to help a confused and sad stranger. With this encounter, Dory remembers everything, and they are able to find Marlin and rejoin the father and son!

Despite Dory’s constant happiness, it is clear she was missing a family and true confidence in herself. With Marlin and Nemo, Dory’s memory is better than ever, showing that she gains confidence through having a support system. She finds a family in her new friends and returns home with them, completing their broken family as well.

Dory was a hero to Marlin, bringing him optimism and hope when he had none. Dory was a hero to Nemo, overcoming her forgetfulness to find and save him. Dory was a hero to their family, bringing Marlin and Nemo back together with a bond they were missing before. And Dory is a hero to every person facing challenges in life, presenting the power of optimism and bringing a smile to our faces even in the darkest times.

Every person will struggle in their lives. Every person will face a situation where it feels they have no control. But Dory reminds us there is one thing we always have power over: our personal actions. She introduces a positive outlook on the idea that no matter how hard things seem, we must keep moving if we are going to get through it.

“Just keep swimming.”

Keep trying. Push through. You will make it out on the other side.

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Casey Merz is an  undergraduate student at the University of Richmond. She wrote this essay as part of her course requirement while enrolled in Dr. Scott Allison’s Heroes & Villains class.

The Grinch: A Villain Makes a Hero’s Journey

tumblr_lwoa32M1pW1qcyr71By Suzanne Lucero

Around this time of year a person might find his or her thoughts turning to a well-known literary character whose ultimate redemption holds hope for even the most hard-hearted of individuals.

I am speaking, of course, of the Grinch.

In the first sentence of How the Grinch Stole Christmas (by Dr. Seuss), we are introduced to the villain of the piece.

Every Who

Down in Who-ville liked Christmas a lot …

But the Grinch,

Who lived just north of Who-ville,

Did NOT.

That’s terrible, we think. Who doesn’t like Christmas? A few sentences later, though, we are given the probable reason for the Grinch’s dislike. His heart, you see, is two sizes too small. Suddenly, the Grinch is a tiny bit sympathetic, and we sort-of understand when he declares,

“Why, for fifty-three years I’ve put up with it now!

“I MUST stop this Christmas from coming!

… But, HOW?”’

This is the inciting incident. The Grinch thinks Christmas means noisy toys and feasting and singing, so how does he stop all this from happening? The Grinch comes up with a plan, a “great, grinchy trick,” and puts it into action. In other words, his journey begins.

He begins by making a Santa Clause hat and coat. (He foregoes the snowy-white beard, though. Maybe it itches.) Then he decides grinch+with+doghe needs a reindeer to complete his St. Nick impersonation. For this he enlists his tiny dog, Max. The Grinch ties a horn on top of Max’s head, thereby changing the dog from a mere pet to a minion: Max will be aiding the Grinch by pulling his sled.

The plan starts well. The Grinch has Max pull the sled into Who-ville and proceeds to steal everything from the first house he sees. The only obstacle that presents itself to the Grinch comes in the shape of a child who has woken up to get a glass of water. When she asks why he is taking the Christmas tree, he placates her with a lie and sends her back to bed. The Grinch continues to ransack the village until all the presents, all the decorations, and all the food for the feast is packed into bags, loaded precariously on the sled, and pulled:

Three thousand feet up! Up the side of Mt. Crumpet,

He rode with his load to the tiptop to dump it.

(You’ve really got to be feeling sorry for Max at this point.)

The Grinch gloats. He’s won! Christmas can’t come, now. Everything is gone and the Whos will all be crying. He pauses to savor his victory and puts his hand to his ear to listen.

And he did hear a sound rising over the snow.

It started in low. Then it started to grow…

But the sound wasn’t sad!

Why, this sound sounded merry!

It couldn’t be so!

But it WAS merry! VERY!

In the hero’s journey, there comes a point where he or she must “enter the cave.” This is the ultimate low point in the story. The hero is alone, either physically or emotionally. Everything he or she has been working for is crumbling and the antagonist has triumphed; the hero is, actually or metaphorically, dead.

This is the Grinch’s cave. This is where he realizes he’s failed.

 He HADN’T stopped Christmas from coming.

IT CAME!

Somehow or other, it came just the same.

But How the Grinch Stole Christmas is a hero’s journey, not a morality tale. For all villains, unless they are true psychopaths (which is a medical condition), the cave offers a final chance to redeem themselves. When their defenses have been beaten and they are no longer fighting but only trying to understand why they failed, their hearts can be touched with a little thing called grace.

Then the Grinch though of something he hadn’t before!

“Maybe Christmas,” he thought, “doesn’t come from a store.

“Maybe Christmas … perhaps … means a little bit more!”

That was the elixir the Grinch found in his cave, the piece of him that was missing. He realized that material things don’t bring happiness. Simply being together with those we love is reason enough to sing.

the_grinch_cut_the_first_roast_beast_by_rhetoric_of_sushi-d4jyzdfAnd what happened then …?

Well … in Who-ville they say

That the Grinch’s small heart

Grew three sizes that day.

With this new understanding and (we hope) love in his heart, the Grinch completes his hero’s journey by returning everything he has taken from the Whos and sharing in their celebratory feast.

Merry Christmas everyone.

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Suzanne Lucero is a wife, mother, and pre-published author who knows a little about a lot of things and is constantly learning more. She is passionate about writing and is determined to publish her novel-in-progress within 5 years.

 

 

Powerful Hero Archetypes in Game of Thrones

By Scott T. Allison

Since the advent of language, human beings have been magnetically drawn to tales of inspiring heroes. The powerful allure of heroism is wired into us, and science appears to support that claim. Hero stories fascinate us because we are all potential heroes, and we’re called to follow the same heroic journey as the protagonists in the stories we love.

Game of Thrones, one of the most highly acclaimed series in television history, owes much of its success to its effective portrayal of heroes. There are at least five deep hero archetypes that Game of Thrones uses to create alluring heroes. These archetypes are: (1) the underdog hero, (2) the hero’s secret royal heritage, (3) the hero’s redemption, (4) the heroic transformation, and (5) the hero’s mentor.

1. The Underdog Hero. There are over a half-dozen characters in the series that win our hearts because of their ability to overcome their underdog status. Tyrion Lannister is a dwarf whom everyone seems to underestimate. He uses his wit, intelligence, and wisdom to survive and thrive in Game of Thrones’ harsh world. Jon Snow is the bastard child of Ned Stark, a status that relegates him to third-class citizenship, yet his overall goodness and courage allow him to climb the social ladder.

Two legitimate Stark children, Sansa and Arya, are diminished and underestimated due to the lowly status of women in Westeros, yet their resilience and cunning enable them to overcome evil. Samwell Tarly is at first a lovable coward whom everyone dismisses but he evolves into a brave and stalwart member of the night’s watch. Daenerys Targaryen is, at the outset of Game of Thrones, mere breeding stock for the Dothrakis yet she emerges as the most powerful ruler of the seven kingdoms.

2. The Hero’s Secret Royal Heritage. In many classic fairy tales, the hero is oblivious to their true special identity, which is often that of a king, queen, prince, or princess. Jon Snow suffers the status of an outcast, and unbeknownst to everyone he is actually the true heir to the iron throne.

As mentioned, Daenerys at first is nothing more than a sex slave while her true identity is Queen of the Andals, the Rhoynar and the First Men, Protector of the Realm, Queen of Meereen, Yunkai and Astapor, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Mother of Dragons, The Unburnt Breaker of Chains, Lady of Dragonstone, and more.

Bran Stark has been reduced to a crippled boy but soon discovers his true identity as the three-eyed raven who can see the past, present, and future. It should be noted that the “third eye” is considered a sign of deep enlightenment in Christian, Hindu, and Buddhist cultures. Bran grows from nothingness into omniscience.

3. The Redeemed Hero. Stories of redemption abound in Game of Thrones. One notable redeemed hero is Theon Greyjoy, an arrogant jerk who develops severe PTSD after enduring lengthy mental and physical torture at the hands of Ramsey Bolton. Humbled almost beyond repair, Greyjoy slowly regains his confidence and appears to be climbing to the status of a leader as the series enters its final season.

Jaime Lannister’s redemption looked next to impossible after he shoved young Bran Stark to his seeming doom in the series’ first episode. Seemingly irredeemable, Jaime has proven himself to be one of the more loyal and honorable Lannisters. In fact, he could be the only person willing and able to stop his evil sister Cersei. The Hound, who was once a vicious killer, is another character who appears to be slowly carving out a redemptive heroic path for himself.

4. Heroic Transformation. During their journeys, heroes undergo significant mental, moral, emotional, spiritual, and physical transformations. The two Stark sisters, Arya and Sansa, each undergo transformative arcs. Sansa grows in confidence and wisdom, whereas Arya grows into a fierce and daring swordsperson. Jon Snow, too, evolves from a mere guardian of the wall into a wise king of the north. Bran, of course, undergoes a striking spiritual transformation.

Theon Greyjoy transforms twice, first from an arrogant lord into an emotionally destroyed cipher, and then from that cipher into a newly empowered lord. Daenerys owes her remarkable transformation to an unnamed servant to Drogo, a woman who teaches the future Queen how to empower herself in her marriage. This act of mentorship sends Daenerys on her heroic journey.

5. The Hero’s Mentor. In classic hero mythology, heroes receive assistance for someone older, wiser, or unusual in some respect. Daenerys has had several mentors giving her advice over the years, the two most prominent being Jorah Mormont and Tyrion Lannister. Jon Snow was mentored by Ned Stark, Davos Seaworth, and Maester Aemon. Snow himself has served as a mentor to Samwell and to Theon.

There have been plenty of dark mentors, too — people who appear to mean well but are intent on steering the hero down a dark path. Sansa Stark’s dark mentor is Petyr ‘Littlefinger’ Baelish, who manipulates her into making several bad decisions. King Tommen’s dark mentor is the High Sparrow who steers Tommen toward betraying his wife and his mother. Some mentors are a mix of good and bad, as when Arya Stark is trained by the assassin Jaquen H’ghar, the mysterious man of many faces who teaches Arya important skills yet almost destroys her in the process.

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Game of Thrones has won 39 Emmy Awards for a reason – the series has crafted highly memorable characters who have undergone dramatic heroic arcs. We’ve reviewed five ways that Game of Thrones has used powerful hero archetypes in portraying extraordinary heroism. We look forward to the series’ eighth and final season when all these hero journeys reach their natural completion.

Harry Potter: The Perfect Fictional Hero

20160210_nerdistnews_harrypottercursedchild_1x1By Annie Ryan

It may seem obvious that Harry Potter is a hero. After all, he does save the world from the evil that is Lord Voldemort. But what kind of hero is he? According to Goethals and Allison’s (2012) taxonomy of heroism, Harry fits best in the traditional hero category, in which the hero completes the the class hero’s journey as described by famed mythologist Joseph Campbell.

Throughout the series’ cumulative 4100 pages, Harry follows the major stages of the hero’s journey: departure, initiation, and return. When we first meet Harry, he is an obedient, insecure, and lonely boy who lives in a closet. He has no friends and no one who cares about him, and he accepts that this is his life. Fortuitously, Harry is plucked out of this mundane life, never to return again. In this new world, he is famous, adored, and is expected to do great things.

In his initiation stage, a second taxonomic system can be included in defining Harry Potter as a hero. Harry belongs in the category of underdog, an important hero-type in Franco, Blau, & Zimbardo’s (2011) taxonomy of heroism. He is in a world where everyone exceeds him in knowledge and experience. At Hogwarts, almost all the students grew up with wizards, and have had exposure to magic. Harry is an underdog on the traditional hero’s journey.

This underdog theme persists throughout the various books: he is the only first-year Quidditch player, is more sensitive to the dementors that are brought into Hogwarts than the other students, and is the only under-age 635890934224265787884431994_new-harry-potter-story-halloweenstudent in the Triwizard Tournament. Most importantly, his archenemy, Lord Voldemort, is a brilliant wizard with powerful wizards as his allies. Harry is an amateur wizard, and his allies are amateur wizards for the majority of obstacles he faces.

Inspiring underdogs often emerge as leaders. Harry has had various labels assigned to him, including “The Boy Who Lived”, “The Chosen One”, “Undesirable Number One”, and “a lying show-off”. There’s no denying that Harry embraces his role in the war against Voldemort, and he begins to become a leader. He heads the rebel organization Dumbledore’s Army, is Quidditch Captain, and is ultimately commander-in-chief of the Battle of Hogwarts, which results in the defeat of Lord Voldemort and the Death Eaters. His influence is so strong that people continued to fight and die for him even after they thought he was dead.

His death suggests that Harry fits into a second category in Franco et al.’s taxonomic structure of heroes, the martyr. In one of the final chapters of the books, Harry sacrifices his own life in order to defeat Lord Voldemort and save the world. But even before his ultimate sacrifice, Harry risks his life to help others. Harry completes dangerous tasks to stop Lord Voldermort from reaching the Sorcerer’s Stone, enters the Chamber of Secrets to save Ginny Weasley’s life, and almost drowns saving Gabrielle Delacour. In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Harry breaks into the Ministry of Magic, Gringotts, and Hogwarts under the risk of capture and subsequent death in order to destroy the Horcruxes and thus Lord Voldemort.

One could say that Harry’s return stage begins after he dies. After Lord Voldemort “kills” him, he talks to his mentor, Albus Dumbledore, and finally learns all the information to defeat Lord Voldemort. As with all great heroes, Harry returns to Earth, his transformation complete. He can finally complete his journey, and although he never physically returns to the Muggle world where he started, he is rejoined with everything he loves. After coming back from the dead, Harry is the true heroic leader everyone expected him to be.

References

Allison, S. T., Goethals, G. R., & Kramer, R. M. (2017). Setting the scene: The rise and coalescence of heroism science. In S. T. Allison, G. R. Goethals, & R. M. Kramer (Eds.), Handbook of heroism and heroic leadership. New York: Routledge.

Goethals, G. R., & Allison, S. T. (2012). Making heroes: The construction of courage, competence, and virtue. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, 46, 183-235.

Franco, Z. E., Blau, K., & Zimbardo, P. G. (2011). Heroism: A conceptual analysis and differentiation between heroic action and altruism. Review of General Psychology, 15(2), 99-113.