Applying the Monomyth/hero’s journey to Doctor Who. Here’s Amy- I’ll look at the other companions in seperate posts too, though!
Amy starts off as an orphan. Rory and Melody (and to a lesser extent her own parents) serve as the objects of her quest: like so many other orphaned heroes and heroines, she is owed a family.
The Call to Adventure-“The hero starts off in a mundane situation of normality from which some information is received that acts as a call to head off into the unknown.”
Little Amelia meets and loses the Doctor. She’s not quite normal, but her life seems mundane, and although it takes a while for Amy to head off, eventually the Doctor comes for her.
Refusal of the Call -“Often when the call is given, the future hero refuses to heed it. This may be from a sense of duty or obligation, fear, insecurity, a sense of inadequacy, or any of a range of reasons that work to hold the person in his or her current circumstances.”
Amy hesitates, cos she’s getting married the next morning. (This would be her sense of duty) The hesitation doesn’t last long though…
Supernatural Aid- “Once the hero has committed to the quest, consciously or unconsciously, her guide and magical helper appears,or becomes known. More often than not, this supernatural mentor will present the hero with one or more talismans or artifacts that will aid them later in their quest.”
River and her diary- her diary is, of course, the talisman that helps Amy remember the Doctor later on.
The Crossing of the First Threshold- “This is the point where the person actually crosses into the field of adventure, leaving the known limits of his or her world and venturing into an unknown and dangerous realm where the rules and limits are not known.”
Amy steps into the TARDIS.
Belly of The Whale- “The belly of the whale represents the final separation from the hero’s known world and self. By entering this stage, the person showswillingness to undergo a metamorphosis.”
Amy literally ends up in the belly (well, the mouth) of the whale, and her encounter with that creature demonstrates her willingness to continue on with the Doctor.
The Road of Trials- “The road of trials is a series of tests, tasks, or ordeals that the person must undergo to begin the transformation. Often the person fails one or more of these tests, which often occur in threes.”
Amy takes on multiple tests- the Daleks, the Angels, the death of Rory…she escapes alive, but changed.
The Meeting With the Deity-“This is a very important step in the process and is often represented by the person finding the other person that he or she loves most completely.”
This is Rory! (This step is often called The Meeting With The Goddess- Rory takes the feminine role in Amy’s story) Her quest leads her to him, and once both have proved themselves worthy of the other their love becomes a force to be reckoned with.
Temptation- “This step is about those temptations that may lead the hero to abandon or stray from his or her quest”
Amy is tempted by the Doctor. (He even offers her an apple.) Had she fallen for him completely, her life would have been very different…and, like her daughter’s story, it would almost certainly have ended in tragedy. Human women can’t give in to the Doctor’s charms: we’ve seen what it can do. Like Jackie Tyler predicted that Rose would have eventually become not Rose anymore, an Amy who succumbed to the Doctor might well have become not Amy anymore…
Atonement- “In this step the person must confront and be initiated by whatever holds the ultimate power in his or her life…This is the center point of the journey. All the previous steps have been moving in to this place, all that follow will move out from it.”
Amy confronts the universe and puts it right, bringing back the Doctor. The cracks in the universe held tremendous power in her life, but now they’re gone and everything is right again. She has Rory, and the Doctor, and her parents back. All that follow will move out from it…This is the night Melody is concieved.
Apothesis- “The hero transcends, achieving a higher place. This is a point of realization in which a greater understanding is achieved. Armed with this new knowledge and perception, the hero is resolved and ready for the more difficult part of the adventure.”
Births and ‘deaths’. And then Amy’s moment of revelation…she’s the mother of the goddess-like River, and has been all along.
The Ultimate Boon- “It is what the person went on the journey to get.”
Amy’s relationships with her husband and daughter. Rory in particular serves as her reward for the trials she faced.
Refusal of the Return- “Having found bliss and enlightenment in the other world, the hero may not want to return to the ordinary world”
Amy still has faith in the Doctor, though even he admits he’s not worthy of it. She’s not willing to let him go, even though eventually she must- he’s a god and she’s a human.
The Magic Flight- “It can be just as adventurous and dangerous returning from the journey as it was to go on it.”
On her journey back, Amy faces many of the things she faced on the journey there: transformation, abandonment, Angels.
Rescue from Without- “Just as the hero may need guides and assistants to set out on the quest, often times he or she must have powerful guides and rescuers to bring them back to everyday life, especially if the person has been wounded or weakened by the experience.”
The Doctor drops off Amy- saving her from both him and herself. Had Amy travelled with him for much longer, perhaps she too would have gained a God Complex.
The Crossing of the Return Threshold- “The trick in returning is to retain the wisdom gained on the quest, to integrate that wisdom into a human life”
Amy adjusts to life back on Earth- becomes the girl who is tired of waiting- with Rory and River to support her. She starts her own business, builds her relationship with her adult daughter, and -albeit it in a dreamlike, disappearing world- claims a little revenge for herself. (Amy feels guilt over this killing, an emotion the Doctor, whose hands are very bloody, would probably not have felt- Amy Pond is still human.)
Master Of Two Worlds- “This means achieving a balance between the material and spiritual.”
Amy lives in two worlds, as she herself points out. She’s master of them both- in the ‘real’ world she has a successful life, and in the ‘doctor’ world it is only her who can stop the Doctor’s vengance. She has achieved a balance between the material and spiritual, but she can’t let the Doctor go. Not yet.
Freedom to Live- “Mastery leads to freedom from the fear of death, which in turn is the freedom to live.”
Amy is not afraid of death, not afraid to sacrifice herself for love or the greater good, and jumping into the past with Rory gives her the freedom to live free of the constraints of her quest. She is rewarded by getting to keep Rory, the thing she wants most- and, if you take PS to be canon, she’s eventually rewarded with an adoptive child as well. “We lived well,” she tells the Doctor in her letter. Happily ever after.