Throughout time many books of literature and movies have had some kind of hero; each having a different definition of what they believe a hero to be. A hero can be someone who risks his or her own life to save someone else or could be a good role model. In every story the hero is characterized by basic traits which include: (1) being summoned; (2) is met with danger, loneliness and temptations; and (3) having a guide. In the movie, The Labyrinth a teenage girl named Sarah must become a hero when the Goblin King takes her baby brother to his castle.
The first characteristic of a hero is that a hero is summoned, and this is what happens to Sarah when she is asked to go to King Jareth’s castle to rescue her brother, Toby. She leaves her comfortable surroundings and ventures into the Labyrinth where the Goblin King has taken Toby. Furthermore, Sarah makes the decision to save her brother because as his sister and babysitter it is her responsibility to watch him. She has guilty feelings because she wishes that the goblins would take him away. Consequently, Sarah must leave her safe room to travel into the Labyrinth, a huge maze, and this experience helped her to develop into a better person.
Secondly, as the hero, Sarah often finds herself in dangerous situation such as: feeling lonely, confused, and being tempted by the Goblin King in order to try and make her give up. For example, through the entire ordeal goblins are surrounding the Labyrinth and they often run into Sarah, giving her a difficult time by confusing her. In addition, Sarah becomes lonely many times because she is unfamiliar with her surroundings where she does not know anyone or know where she is going. On the other hand, the Goblin King would often try to convince Sarah to stop searching for her brother by tempting her with gifts such as a magic crystal ball and a life without a crying baby brother.
Although Sarah faced numerous dangers and frequently became lost in the Labyrinth, she received help from a guide. Sarah’s guide is named Hoggle who is the Gatekeeper of the Labyrinth. In the Labyrinth live many animals that also help her by giving hints from time to time throughout the movie. For example, when Sarah falls into a dark hole Hoggle is there to get her out and to show her which way she must go to reach the castle. Although Hoggle came and went, he was always close to Sarah in the times when she needed help the most.
Accordingly, Sarah follows the common characteristics of a hero since she is summoned to rescue her brother, is often in danger, feels lonely, faces many temptations, and finally was not alone — she had a guide. Every hero follows these same guidelines whether it is a modern day hero or a fantasy hero. A hero means many different things to each individual person.