Katniss’s story has many similarities with the Hero’s Journey, but before we explore the relationship between the two, we must first understand what the Hero’s Journey is. There are three major steps in the hero’s journey, (1) the departure, (2) the initiation, and (3) the return. The departure entails the hero finding out about the journey that must be taken, deciding with he/she should go on the journey, and crossing the first threshold to go on the trip. The initiation is when the hero goes on the main path, through trials and tribulations, gains allies, and completes the initial quest. Finally, the return, which marks the hero going home, the new challenges he/she faces, and the freedom the hero has finally achieved.
Katniss’s journey goes along many of these paths, she receives a call to adventure when her sister is selected in the reaping; she needs the journey as there is no real future besides one of poverty in district 12. She goes through training in the Capital and with Haymitch, she slowly makes friends with other tributes, most notably Rue, her relationship with her father deepens as the skills he taught her save her life and she defeats her greatest enemies. At various points of the series Katniss is rescued from without, and when she finally does return home, she has finally achieved some peace with herself and the world. Even though there are ways Katniss deviates from the hero’s journey, she fulfills the basic principle of ‘leaving a placed that is uncomfortable and returning transformed.