The Ace Archetype

The Ace Archetype

What is it about a Wonder-Woman or an Indiana Jones that is so endlessly captivating, variation after (sometimes underwhelming) variation? Psychology says that we see those characters within ourselves, and they represent our personal striving towards our highest potential, and towards overcoming our own personal demons- this is the Warrior Archetype, and the Hero’s Journey.  

Jung and the Warrior Archetype

The Swiss psychologist Carl Jung was one of the first to synthesize the concept of archetypes into theoretical psychology. According to Jung, archetypes are universal patterns of behavior, thought, and emotion that are shared by all human beings, regardless of culture or historical period. The Warrior Archetype represents the human desire for power, strength, and justice, and is associated with the instinctual side of human nature.

Jung believed that the Warrior Archetype had a positive and a negative side. The positive side of the archetype represents the heroic warrior who fights for a just cause and protects the weak and vulnerable. The negative side represents the violent and aggressive warrior who seeks power and domination at any cost.

Joseph Campbell and the Hero's Journey

Joseph Campbell was an American mythologist who studied the world's mythologies and religions. He believed that all human societies create myths and stories that express their deepest beliefs, values, and aspirations. One of Campbell's most famous concepts is the Hero's Journey, which is a narrative structure that can be found in many of the world's mythologies and stories.

The Hero's Journey is a narrative structure that consists of several stages. The hero starts in the ordinary world, but is called to adventure by a mentor or supernatural force. The hero then faces a series of trials and challenges, and eventually defeats a great evil or enemy. The hero then returns to the ordinary world, but is transformed by the journey and brings back a valuable treasure or lesson.

The Warrior Archetype in the Hero's Journey

The Warrior Archetype and the Hero's Journey are not only about physical battles, but also represent the inner battles that humans face in their quest for self-discovery and personal transformation and growth.

The Hero's Journey begins with a call to adventure, which represents the individual's first step towards personal growth. The call to adventure can come in many forms, such as a dream, a personal crisis, or an encounter with a mentor or a supernatural force. The hero must choose whether to accept the call, which represents the individual's choice to embark on the journey of transformation.

The hero then enters the unknown, where he or she faces a series of trials and challenges. These challenges represent the hero's inner struggles, such as fear, doubt, and temptation. The hero must overcome these challenges in order to grow and transform.

The Warrior Archetype represents the hero's strength, courage, and determination in the face of these challenges. It is the fuel that carries the hero on, the essence that is there in everyone who chooses to fight on. The hero must be brave and strong, but also compassionate and just, in order to succeed. This represents the individual's ability to balance their instinctual and rational sides, and to act with integrity and compassion, with force and also with softness.

As the hero faces challenges and battles enemies, he or she is transformed by the journey. The hero gains new skills, knowledge, and wisdom, and becomes a more complete and integrated individual. This represents the individual's growth and transformation through the process of self-discovery.

Finally, the hero returns to the ordinary world, but is transformed by the journey and brings back a valuable treasure or lesson. This represents the individual's integration of the lessons learned through the journey into their daily life, and the realization of their full potential.

Examples of the Warrior Archetype in Modern Media

The Warrior Archetype continues to be a popular subject in modern media, and can be seen in a variety of films, television shows, and video games. *SPOILER ALERTS*


Moana is a 2016 animated film from Disney that follows the journey of Moana, a young girl who is chosen by the ocean to restore the heart of Te Fiti, a goddess who has been stolen by the demigod Maui. Moana faces many challenges along the way, including battles with the fiery demon Te Ka and her own self-doubt. With the help of Maui and her own courage and determination, Moana succeeds in her quest and brings peace to her people.

Star Wars

You can’t talk about the hero’s journey without talking about Star Wars. Star Wars is one of the most famous examples of the Hero's Journey. The original 1977 film, A New Hope, follows the journey of Luke Skywalker as he leaves his ordinary life on the planet Tatooine to rescue Princess Leia from the evil Empire. Along the way, he meets allies such as Han Solo and Obi-Wan Kenobi, and faces challenges such as the Death Star trench run and his confrontation with Darth Vader. In the end, Luke emerges as a hero and destroys the Death Star, setting the stage for his continued journey in the rest of the Star Wars saga.

The Matrix

The Matrix is a 1999 science fiction film that follows the journey of Neo, a computer programmer who discovers that his entire reality is a simulation created by sentient machines. With the help of Morpheus and Trinity, Neo begins to learn about his true nature as "the One," who is destined to end the war between humans and machines. Neo faces many challenges along the way, including battles with agents of the Matrix and his final showdown with Agent Smith.

The Lion King

The Lion King is a 1994 animated film from Disney that follows the journey of Simba, a young lion who must face his destiny as the rightful king of the Pride Lands. After his father, Mufasa, is killed by his uncle Scar, Simba runs away and is taken in by Timon and Pumbaa, who teach him about the philosophy of Hakuna Matata, representing both a straying away from and a necessary part of the process of arriving back on his path. Simba eventually realizes that he must return to the Pride Lands and defeat Scar in order to restore balance to the kingdom.

The Hobbit

Good morning! The Hobbit is a novel by J.R.R. Tolkien that follows the journey of Bilbo Baggins, a hobbit who is recruited by the wizard Gandalf to join a company of dwarves on a quest to reclaim their homeland from the dragon Smaug. Along the way, Bilbo faces challenges such as encounters with trolls, goblins, and giant spiders, and must also confront his own inner doubts and fears. In the end, Bilbo emerges as a hero and helps the dwarves to defeat Smaug and reclaim their treasure.


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