The Hero’s Journey: The Belly of the Whale



Intellectual Credit Joseph Campbell

Last time we discussed the Road of Trials in the Hero’s Journey, up next is the Belly of the Whale.

The Belly of the Whale


Credit: Disney

After a long and arduous journey from leaving the comfort zone and traipsing through untold toils, the hero will eventually find himself/herself trapped in the antagonist’s backyard.

The name for this stage obviously comes from the Biblical story of Jonah famously misinterpreted by Disney in a scene in Pinocchio, (Jonah was neither in a whale nor alive). But just as Pinocchio faced certain death with no escape, so too do heroes.

A classic example is Frodo and Sam in Mordor.


Credit: New Line Cinema

But the convention has existed in myriad other stories such as the aforementioned Pinocchio as well as Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, or Luke in Return of the Jedi just to name a few.

The overarching idea here is that the hero is trapped and must somehow defeat his/her enemy to find a way out. Frodo is stuck in Mordor, Pinocchio is in the Whale, Dorothy is locked in the Witch’s castle, and Luke is on the New Death Star.

All of this stage really accomplishes is to foreshadow and set-up the Supreme Ordeal which we will unravel next time.

Until then,
Peace and Long Reads


Top 10 Most Terrifying Star Trek Villains


I have combed through countless hours of film (738 to be exact), and I have compiled the definitive list of the most terrifying villains in Star Trek. In an attempt to narrow down the list, I excluded whole races and focused solely on individual villains even though there are entire races that are quite terrifying (i.e. the spider-resembling Tholians)

10Sylvia and Korob



Everything about these characters is just plain creepy. From witches making curses to wizards turning nightmares into reality, these little alien guys would make me huddle in a corner crying if I ever had to face them in real life.



The very first time I saw Q sitting in his red and black robes judging humanity, I immediately thought of the judgment seat of God, and terror filled my own heart. Q seemed so sinister and evil, and unbeatable. And he was right. Humanity is evil and despicable. How could Picard and his crew possibly escape the judgment of Q? Even today when I see those scenes, I still feel a slight shiver run down my spine.

8-Borg Queen


Nothing sickens me more than seeing someone’s spinal cord intermingled with mechanical pieces dangling beneath an exposed torso. The scariest thing about the Borg Queen exists in the knowledge of who the Borg are, a relentless foe who destroys worlds, can adapt to weapons, and has never been defeated. She is the collective mind of every mindless drone in essence keeping them alive and functioning. The very thought of losing identity and independence to be absorbed into a larger collective and the one person controlling all of them is mortifying.



Speaking of the Borg, what’s creepier: an assimilated Borg drone or a man partly assimilated but retaining his individuality who gives himself freely to the collective and Queen as a liaison between the two cultures? No contest, huh? Locutus’ “Resistance is Futile” speech filled me with terror like nothing else. Though he wasn’t exactly frightening looking, the thought of a man who knows all of the Federation’s secrets willingly sharing them with the Federation’s most unstoppable foe seemed like a lost cause. If that was today’s world, I would have traded in my bed for an alcove the moment  I saw his red eye beam flash across the screen.



Dude was an emotional Data who could control a squad of Borg back when the Borg actually couldn’t be stopped. Lore made me wonder if I had an evil twin somewhere in the world desiring to end my life. Every time Lore showed up you knew bad things were going down. Plus, look at that smile. This side of sane? I think not.



How do you beat a cloud?

The shear size of V’ger made it formidable. Add to it the fact that it could destroy anything it wanted plus its obsessive need to find its creator, and you get the formula for one scary villain. I think the fact that there was no face to it, just a small probe made alive from a race of machines, and that there was no way to reason with it because it had no clue what it really wanted is what made me really afraid of it.

4Gary Mitchell 


This guy gets electrocuted and becomes a god. But not just any god, guy goes all Van Gogh (minus the ear and paint thing) and has to kill everyone using his new powers. Plus, those silver eyes.  .  . The right one is looking at you.

3Charlie Evans


Little Boy is the sole survivor of a crash. Aliens grant him with powers to keep him alive. Powers include deconstructing matter, altering living physiology, and mind control. Oh yeah, and he acts like a 2 year old. Great idea, aliens. This can’t go wrong at all, huh?  Don’t let him look at you…

2M-113 Creature



Besides just making you want to scream, this creature sucks the salt out of your body through its fingers. And it can take the shape of anyone it touches. Makes you think twice about that person sitting next to you, doesn’t it?



A nice throw back to Creature From the Black Lagoon, this villain takes it up a notch. Beginning as a simple black puddle with a deep, dark, evil voice who enjoys seeing people in pain, Armus finally rises from his primoridal ooze into this figure. Shiver. And then to top it off, he has the gusto to kill off a main character just to show off its power and sucks another main character into his goop. In the end, with no way to win the Enterprise runs away with its tail between its nacelles. Dang.

Honorable Mention- The Clown


Enough said.

Peace and Long Reads,


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