MBTI Scene-It: The Council of Elrond ('The Lord of the Rings')
MBTI in action: multiple personalities interacting with one another in a very stressful scene as they determine what to do about...the One Ring...
QUICK DISCLAIMER: I know there are debates on the MBTI typing of each of these characters, and I may - indeed - be errant in some of them. I'm just calling it how I see it! Thanks! ^_^
In every movie or show you watch, every book you read, every real-life situation you observe or engage in...MBTI personality types are clashing with and complementing one another every moment. So what happens in The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring when the Council of Elrond is called to discuss what to do about the monstrous artifact that is sure to doom them all if they don't take action...if they don't destroy the One Ring?
The INTJ - The Architect, the Foreseer
Elrond, the INTJ in the scene, sees more than most, knows more than most, and understands it all without letting emotion cloud his judgment. Elrond beholds the world over thousands of years and watches it decay with corruption. To Gandalf, who is full of hope that men will rise up and rally together, Elrond states,
"Men are weak...It is because of Men the Ring survives...I was there the day the strength of Men failed."
Even as he watches the hopelessness, however, the likely outcome of the world being destruction, he still states the facts, the same consistent facts he stated 3,000 years ago to Isildur (mankind's heir to the throne of Gondor):
"The Ring must be destroyed."
Addressing the council before him, he concludes,
"One of you must do this."
He doesn't have high hopes that people will be strong and selfless enough to listen to him, but the INTJ will state the facts, regardless of who believes him or her.
Well, someone does take action this time...
The ESTP - The Entrepreneur, the Initiator
"Then what are we waiting for?"
Brandishing his battleaxe, Gimli the ESTP brings a mighty and masterful strike down upon the One Ring with the intent to destroy it right then and there. Unfortunately, the attempt is futile due to lack of information; he didn't realize the Ring could only be destroyed in the fires of the volcano, Mt. Doom, in which it was forged. Hesitation is foreign to the ESTP, for he or she is not afraid to take risks to get a job done. Initiating action is something an ESTP does best, with a brilliant mind for the most efficient approach. As a Dwarf knowledgeable, particularly, in the field of metals and forges, this ESTP understands gold, but the One Ring was not made of mere gold. This failed attempt, however, doesn't stop Gimli from taking action all throughout his quest, as the one with a mind for opportunity and efficiency.
The ESFJ - The Consul, the Sentinel
When they say a quest is not for the faint of heart, Boromir and all other ESFJ's are nearly always brave and strong enough to qualify for the venture. The ESFJ is a warrior, but not in pursuit of glory or changing the way the world works. Rather, for peace, for protecting, for keeping safe the people and the land he or she loves. Boromir stands for his home and his home alone, risking everything - his very life - for the dream of his people being safe and happy. Beholding the Ring displayed upon the pedestal, he expresses,
"So it is true. In a dream, I saw the Eastern sky grow dark. But in the West, a pale light lingered...'The doom is near at hand. Isildur's Bane is found.'"
Beholding the Ring, he sees it as a means to accomplish his goals for peace.
"Long has my father, the Steward of Gondor, kept the forces of Mordor at bay. By the blood of our people are your lands kept safe. Give Gondor the weapon of the enemy. Let us use it against him."
The vastly important role of the ESFJ is to keep people alive and protected, to represent and protect his or her home.
But Boromir's insistence on the usefulness of the Ring irritates another personality type present among the Council...
The ISFP - The Adventurer, the Artist
Disgusted by what he sees as obviously a terrible idea, Legolas stands and counters,
"Have you heard nothing Lord Elrond just said? The Ring must be destroyed!"
ISFP's see the world very clearly, highly in touch with their sensory surroundings and believing it obvious how they should handle every scenario. Legolas has a clear and confident view of the world, like an artist painting a scene with his observations and statements. The Adventurer, aware of what should be done and what role he can play, then offers his bow to the quest of destroying the Ring. When an argument breaks out, a little bit of racism spewed between the Dwarves and Elves, Legolas stands in the middle of it, but only to hold back his more hot-tempered companions shouting at the offensive Dwarven front. After all, what good would it do to turn a peaceful council meeting into a race war?
But, as the fight breaks out among many, one type disperses the conflict with only a few words...
The INFP - The Mediator, the Pure-Hearted
The INFP is the pure soul who recognizes the need for peaceful resolution. Frodo sits amid a roomful of arguing personalities and gazes into the golden visage of the very artifact that will destroy everything that is beautiful to him. Expecting that only he can and will resist the Ring's power long enough to succeed, though he knows how greatly he will suffer, he stands - small and unassuming - and cries out with a voice not even heard at first,
"I will take it! I will take it! I will take the Ring to Mordor!"
The INFP is the one who ensures peace, even at his or her own cost. Though they may not know the way, they will walk. And walk. And keep walking until they can no longer, because they know it is the right thing to do, to save the world from all that is evil and dark.
This act of heroism breaks the heart of another type right then...
The ENFJ - The Protagonist, the Guide
Gandalf the ENFJ looks upon Frodo as he hears the brave words. The wizard is filled with sorrow and joy at once, knowing what fate may befall the innocent but also knowing what peace will be restored because of the Hobbit's pure heart. When Frodo says he does not know the way, Gandalf approaches with an ENFJ's true response:
"I will help you bear this burden, Frodo Baggins, as long as it is yours to bear."
This is the ENFJ's role: the hero, the guide, the one who helps others attain their victory by pointing them in the right direction.
Following this, another stands up and makes his offer...
The INFJ - The Advocate, the Martyr
Aragorn stands from his quiet corner of the busy room after Frodo has silenced the argument and Gandalf has offered his guidance. Staring the peacemaker in the eyes, the INFJ states with complete resolve,
"If by my life or death, I can protect you, I will."
He then kneels before Frodo to swear his loyalty and offer his protection,
"You have my sword."
The INFJ says this to the world: to every man, woman, and child. The INFJ would die for any cause he or she believes in and certainly for anyone, for no other reason than to save the victim and take on the suffering personally instead.
As the Fellowship assembles, a voice from someone who had merely been watching in secret cries out...
The ISFJ - The Defender, the Supporter
Though previously hidden in the bushes, Sam Gamgee calls out, emerges, and sprints to Frodo's side, crossing his arms with determination.
"Mr. Frodo's not going anywhere without me."
The ISFJ has one primary quest in life: family. Sam's family is his best friend Frodo, who has never judged him and always cared about him. In return, the most loyal companion in the entire story swears his life to protecting Frodo, whatever else may happen. Pure and determined as he was in his quest, Frodo never would have made it without Sam at his side. The ISFJ supports and defends without question, without doubt. The ISFJ is the very definition of loyalty to another person.
At this point, two more voices emerge from hiding...
The ISTP - The Virtuoso, the Practicalist
"Oi! We're coming, too!"
Merry the ISTP proclaims, jogging in with his friend Pippin close behind. Slipping beside Frodo, Merry adds,
"You'll have to send us off tied in a sack to stop us."
The ISTP is an odd mix of loner and loyal; they enjoy both pursuits because they are content with being who they are, whether alone or with others. But they are also prepared to fight for what is relevant and practical, such as survival for themselves and for those they care about. Frodo is a friend to Merry, and an endangered friend in that moment, so Merry declares he will join on behalf of Frodo, ready to apply his practical skills and knowledge to the situation: the ISTP is a survivor with a calm yet wild side ready for adventure.
And accompanying the ISTP on this loyalty claim is...
The ESFP - The Entertainer, the Promoter
Close behind, Pippin jumps on the bandwagon after Merry has initiated the ride, excited by the opportunity to be a friend and just be in the midst of the new thing happening.
"Anyway, you need people of intelligence on this sort of...mission...quest...thing..."
he proudly remarks even as he clearly demonstrates his lack of knowledge about the mission quest thing itself. The purpose behind the quest isn't as relevant to the ESFP as the fact that he or she will be there, in the midst of the sensory experience, and helping the people who matter to him or her. ESFP's are incredible at caring about people; if they know someone they care about is in trouble or needs cheering up, they will come up with elaborate, exciting, and engaging plans to fix the problem. They are one of the best at living life to its fullest and reminding others to do so as well. The ESFP is the definition of a "people person". A highly social creature always looking for excitement, Pippin is merely happy to be involved, whatever the quest may be, which he clearly indicates as he expresses,
"Great!...Where are we going?"
And that concludes this MBTI Scene-It!
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