Stage Five: Crossing the Threshold

CROSSING THE THRESHOLD: The hero passes the first threshold and fully enters the special world of his story for the first time. This is the moment at which the story takes off and the adventure gets going.

  • The Wizard of Oz: Dorothy learns the rules of Oz to find her path. Follow the yellow brick road!
  • The Matrix: Neo must come to grips with the realities and unrealities of the Matrix.
  • The Hobbit: Bilbo leaves the Shire.
  • Star Wars: the alien bar, a meeting place of the weird & wonderful on the edge of his own planet.

The call has been heard, doubts and fears expressed and allayed, all preparations made. But the real movement remains. The hero crossing the first threshold (boundary) is an act of will, when he commits wholeheartedly to the adventure. We then enter a strange no-man’s land, a world between worlds (a ‘liminal’ zone). It may be desolate or crowded with life; other beings and forces guard the way to the treasure you seek. But there’s no turning back – the adventure has begun. The trick is realising that what seems like an obstacle may actually be the means of climbing over the threshold. Enemies can be turned into allies. Like tipping a doorman – he can either stop you entering, or guard you once you’re in.


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