The most popular personality test, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), was created by mother-daughter pair Katherine Cook Briggs and Isabel Briggs Myers. Their 16 personality types are based on the work of Carl Jung and are used by college career departments, psychologists, and even businesses in the hiring process. While I don’t think the test should be used by hiring managers to determine who an ideal employee will be, the MBTI is a really fun way to analyze our favorite characters in literature, and to think about how their personalities interact on the page. Which is why I had to analyze the Lord of the Rings Myers-Briggs personality types.
The personalities are based on four categories, with two options for each category.
- Introvert or Extrovert
- Intuitive or Sensing
- Thinking or Feeling
- Judging or Perceiving
Lord Of The Rings Myers-Briggs Types
ISTJ—The Inspector: Faramir
Rational and loyal, ISTJs can be intimidating because of their seriousness and honorability. They remain calm in tough situations and inspire respect. Captain of the Rangers of Ithilien and Captain of the White Tower after his brother’s death, Faramir is esteemed by the soldiers of Gondor. And with his steadfast personality and the ability to think before he acts, he makes a better leader.
INFJ—The Counselor: Galadriel
One of the rarest of types, INFJs are also the most profound. Their creativity and big ideas might seem strange to others, but they come from a place of deep empathy and wisdom, so it’s a good idea to take their advice. They can see things others miss. They also care greatly for others despite their introversion. Galadriel is a perfect example of an INFJ.
INTJ—The Mastermind: Saruman
INTJs work alone. Because they dislike uncertainty, they’re constantly strategizing and planning. They respect intelligence and competence more than anything else. While a master strategist, Saruman failed to consider the Ents and the impact his plans had on the environment, and that was his downfall.
ENFJ—The Giver: Arwen
ENFJs are people focused and make decisions based on ethical considerations, and they’re outspoken about these considerations. They rely on their intuition and feelings and are often lost in thought considering abstract concepts and the future. They influence those around them not because of their leadership skills, but because of their selflessness and kindness. They’re also charismatic. Arwen is placed in a different personality type on every chart I found. To me, she embodies the ENFJ type, with her insight into the future and with her outspoken devotion to staying with Aragorn despite logic.
ISTP—The Craftsman: Aragorn
Aragorn, however, is quite logical. But despite his rationality, he can also be spontaneous, funny, and enthusiastic. Yet ISTPs are viewed by others as mysterious, and Aragorn is no different. ISTPs are also adaptable to change and always fair to others.
ESFJ—The Provider: Boromir
ESFJs are what people think of when they hear the word extrovert. They’re affable, people pleasing, and love the spotlight, just like Boromir. They also seek balance in groups, and while Boromir is the one to set the fellowship off balance, he also seeks to right his wrongs.
INFP—The Idealist: Frodo
INFPs are shy and avoid talking about themselves. Their goals are to discover the meaning in life and to serve humanity, and they rely on intuition and metaphors to accomplish these goals, just like Frodo, who selflessly volunteers to take the one ring to Mordor. They’re also perfectionists and tend to be solitary.
ESFP—The Performer: Peregrin Took
The youngest and most mischievous of the hobbit trio that make up the fellowship, Pippin is lively, fun, and loves attention. Like all ESFPs, he’s always down for another round of merriment at The Green Dragon; in fact, it was probably his idea to go there in the first place.
ENFP—The Champion: Legolas
ENFPs are free thinkers. Optimistic and imaginative, they seek the new and exciting. They also succeed at just about anything they set their mind to, as long as it’s not a routine task. Legolas’s decision to join the fellowship and to befriend Gimli are prime examples of these traits.
ESTP—The Doer: Gimli
ESTPs are highly social and excitable, and they need a lot of freedom. They tend to leap before they think, just like Gimli. They’re a lot of fun to be around, but their easy-going and fun-loving demeanor can mask their keen ability to determine other people’s desires and attitudes.
ESTJ—The Supervisor: Samwise Gamgee
While most charts label Samwise as an ISFJ, he’s such a perfect ESTJ. He’s a model citizen who likes tradition and believes hard work makes a person better. He’s extremely loyal and strong-willed, just like an ESTJ. ESTJs are outraged if they think someone isn’t doing their fair share or is being dishonest, a trait that should sound familiar to Sam fans.
ENTJ—The Commander: Elrond
ENTJs have two ways of thinking. Externally, they’re logical and rational. Internally, they’re intuitive. The two together make a powerful combination, and ENTJs make great leaders because of it. They have the ability to make choices based on both the rational and the intuitive, though their weakness is in considering the feelings of others. Elrond makes a superior leader because of his intelligence and decision-making abilities, but he’s unable to understand Arwen’s feelings for Aragorn.
INTP—The Thinker: Gandalf
INTPs can look at a large amount of information and see the patterns and details that others miss, which is how Gandalf operates. They work best alone, though their easy-going nature can make them a pleasure to be around. They are creative geniuses uninterested in typical goals.
ISFJ—The Nurturer: Meriadoc Brandybuck
Warm, generous, and dependable, ISFJs are supportive and kind. While Merry knows how to have fun, he’s also knows when to stop and take things seriously. They can be over critical of themselves, and once they find a cause to be loyal to, they devote themselves to it and are hard workers. They care greatly for those they love and admire.
ENTP—The Visionary: Bilbo Baggins
Another one of the rarest types, while extroverts, ENTPs only enjoy talking to people they like and abhor small talk. This is quintessential Bilbo, who is outgoing and gregarious with the group of people he loves, and hides from those he considers boring, like the Sackville-Baggins. ENTPs also love engaging in intelligent discussions and debates, and are easily bored if they’re not mentally stimulated.
ISFP—The Composer: Éowyn
While ISFPs can find it difficult to connect to people at first, once they do, they’re warm and generous. They also value making friends and experiencing new things, and can be quite spontaneous and fun. Once Éowyn is set free from Théoden’s emotional prison, she opens up and becomes the spontaneous and caring ISFP she is.