In a previous post I wrote about the Seven Point Story Structure and in this post I will show you this structure in a case study of the movie The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey directed by Peter Jackson.
Case studies are a great way to learn the structure of stories. So, let’s get down to business.
Warning: There are spoilers below. If you don’t want to know more about this story, you should stop reading this post.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
First, a quick note: The main character of the movie shifts from time to time, moving between Bilbo and Thorin. However, the story begins and ends with Bilbo as the main character.
Hook — The character’s starting point. This is the opposite of the Resolution.
- In The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey — The uninvited dwarves visit Bilbo. Bilbo sees how the dwarves behave and is horrified. When the dwarves and Gandalf invite Bilbo on a journey, Bilbo doesn’t want to join them. Thorin doubt that Bilbo is a burglar.
Plot turn 1 — The event that sets the story in motion and moves you from the beginning to the Midpoint. The conflict is introduced and the character’s world changes. This is basically when the character sets out on his/her journey.
- In The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey — Bilbo’s heart changes. He decides to join the company and leaves the Shire with them.
Pinch point 1 — This is where more pressure is applied. This is often used to introduce the antagonist.
- In The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey — The company is chased by orcs astride wargs.
Midpoint — The character moves from reaction to action. He/she determines he/she must do something to stop the antagonist.
- In The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey — Unwillingly, Thorin shows the map of the Lonely Mountain to Lord Elrond. Thorin has to do this to get the information he needs to get into the mountain and ultimately reclaim it.
Pinch point 2 — This is where even more pressure is applied. The story takes the ultimate dive. The character is at his/her darkest moment. He/she has lost everything.
- In The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey — It is revealed that Azog the Defiler is still alive, which Thorin didn’t know. It is also revealed that Azog is looking for Thorin.
Plot turn 2 — Here the story moves from Midpoint to the end, the Resolution. The character gets or realizes he/she has the final piece of information to achieve what he/she set out to do in the Midpoint.
- In The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey — The dwarves are captured by goblins. Bilbo becomes separated from the dwarves and falls into a cave where he meets Gollum. Bilbo takes the golden ring Gollum unknowingly drops. They play a riddle game — which Bilbo wins — and when Gollum realizes his ring is lost, he chases after Bilbo, who discovers that the ring makes him invisible.
Resolution — This is the climax of the story. Everything in the story leads to this moment. Here, the character achieves (or fails to achieve) what he/she set out to do.
- In The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey — The company is attacked by the orcs and Azog. Bilbo saves Thorin’s life before the eagles rescue them. After this, Thorin thanks Bilbo and they become friends.
Download the FREE Seven Point Story Structure Template to use on your own story!
Hopefully this has helped you see how the Seven Point Story Structure works.