Sometimes the crossing into the unknown can lead to the hero being thrust directly into danger’s path.
Crossing the threshold itself can be a trying feat.
The crossing in The Matrix (1999) takes the form of a decision from the protagonist, Neo. If he chooses the blue pill, he will stay in his ordinary world, but if he takes the red pill he will move on into the extraordinary one.
These are the characters or events that try to prevent the hero from crossing into this dangerous unknown world. This can be either because they don’t want the hero to succeed in their mission, they don’t want the hero to get hurt, or are just unfortunate natural circumstances.
Zazu from The Lion King (1994) tries to prevent Simba and Nala from travelling to the Elephant Graveyard out of fear for their safety. He is the kind of threshold guardians who prevents the hero from advancing in their journey out of fear for their life.
Mycroft Holmes from BBC Sherlock is a similar kind of Threshold guardian to Zazu, only a lot classier. Mycroft knows full well that his little brother Sherlock keeps trying to stick his nose into situations that will inevitably end up in tears. This is probably because Sherlock nearly died from overdosing on cocaine in his university years and Mycroft wants to make sure Sherlock doesn’t put his life in such danger ever again.
The pathway from the ordinary world to the unknown world can be called the First Threshold. This event can be voluntary or involuntary depending on the circumstances. What is consistent, however, is that the crossing of the threshold is a major event in the story and propels the hero into the dangerous, exciting world.
Mentor is the name of a figure in Greek mythology, and is the origin of the term.
The character Mentor comes from Homer’s Odyssey. He was the son of Hercules, and his body was inhabited by the spirit of the goddess Athena to encourage Telemachus, the son of Odysseus, to find his father who was fighting in the Trojan War.
Sometimes the mentor has gone through the hero’s journey themselves, and in their wiser years offers the wisdom they learned to the next generation of heroes.
Lyze of Kiel was the hero of the Battle of the Ice Claws and Soren’s inspiration.
Bilbo Baggins was the hero of The Hobbit, and raised Frodo, the hero of The Lord of the Rings, as his heir and told him the stories of his adventures.