“Thoughts before coffee” Part 12: The importance of the Quest

Almost every tale revolves around the hero’s journey. A quest to hunt soul-binding items that grant immortality, throw rings into pits of lava, you get the picture. Why is it so important though? Why does the majority of those stories include a quest?

For one, I believe that the purpose of a quest is to ensure the character’s growth. Imagine every game you’ve played (one that involves a quest – PacMan does not count): don’t you have to pick up the best items, in order to increase your chances of defeating the final boss? Well, so does every character involved in a quest. Apart from the physical skills though, it is the mentality of the person that changes too. ‘Growth’ includes both body and mind. And they are both equally important.

The second reason is that a quest is a solid ground for getting to know a character and identify with them. Quests are steps towards a single goal. When faced with a challenge, we get to choose from at least two courses of action, and see how the path unfolds. Through their actions and decisions, the reader/viewer can understand how their mind works. This, in turn, leads to identifying ourselves with certain characters. It is through peril and struggle that we get to know both them, ourselves, and each other.

Finally, a quest is a symbolism of our eternal journey through life. I know, sounds way too easy to grasp, right? Still, it is important. We, too, have our own rings to carry to our own Mordors. We, too, are living an adventure. Each one of us has a goal, a ring to be destroyed, an ‘evil master’ to defeat. A quest is nothing, if not a representation of life. And yes, I get that we don’t actually have to blow up a planet-destroying spaceship. It’s a metaphor, shut up!

That’s all for now! See you all tomorrow!

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