I was talking a lot with my family about the MBTI stuff and different personality types over the weekend and had to come up with a lot of examples for the types.
Anyway, it eventually led to finding commonalities with various same-type protagonists and I thought I’d share the common stories for the types!
(picture credit: 16personalities.com)
INTJ: The Architect
The ongoing chronicles of a reserved, resourceful and outrageously brilliant hero. Includes almost equally brilliant villains who will do anything to kill or exact revenge on said hero. Readers often take note on the solutions presented to hypothetical problems because they are so ingenious, though really never end up using them.
See also: Sherlock Holmes, James Bond
INTP: The Logician
Labeled as eccentric (affectionately or otherwise). Makes an amazing breakthrough discovery and must deal with others reactions to/attempts to steal it. Changes everyday life in some way.
See: Professor Brainard (Flubber), Hiccup (How To Train Your Dragon) and Flint Lockwood (Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs)
ENTJ: The Commander
Propelled forward by a strong want of the hero. Pride must be conquered and the hero learns that other people matter more than they’ve given them credit for. Plenty of snarky quotes to choose from.
See: Tony Stark (Iron Man) and Mary Lennox (The Secret Garden). Wow. Never thought I would put those two fictional works together.
ENTP: The Debator
Enters with a smash-bang hilariously memorable characteristic moment and proceeds to keep readers/watchers engaged throughout the story with witty commentary. Not easily intimidated and generally keep a nonchalant, deliberately annoying banter going to drive the antagonist nuts. Though they can loose their temper at them quite spectacularly on occasion.
See: Jack Sparrow (Pirates of the Caribbean) and Sage (Ascendance Trilogy).
INFJ: The Advocate
Burdened with great purpose and/or a difficult, meaningful quest to save an indeterminate number of innocents. Many quotable life lessons included. Likely to be a tear-jerker at some point in the story.
See: Ela Roeh (Books of the Infinite), Frodo Baggins (Lord of the Rings)
INFP: The Mediator
Not usually involved in high-stakes, beat-the-villain plots, but still don’t let the reader simply stop reading. Amazingly imaginative and change the lives/outlooks of all other characters they come in contact with. Ends with justice and a moral victory.
See: Sara Crewe (A Little Princess), Anne Shirley (Anne of Green Gables) and Elsie (Honor Girl)
ENFJ: The Protagonist
(You’d think this would be the easiest one to find, but I actually had a kind of hard time.)
The hero’s plan goes horribly wrong somehow after trying to help someone. They then must realize they were wrong and let someone else help as well on their way to the story goal. Some sort of happy irony involved in the ending.
See: Joy (Inside Out) and Emma (Jane Austen).
ENFP: The Campaigner
Unjustly hated by the general public to begin with. Goal driven and somehow manage to kick butt and have a ton of fun on the way to achieving it. They represent an ideal more blatantly than most characters, but in a good way.
See: Lord McDougal (The Peleg Chronicles) and Robin Rafferty (Amazing Honesty)
ISTJ: The Logistician
A capable, but self-doubting hero is repeatedly pushed outside their comfort zone. Often given an ExFP foil to play off of. Ending resolves their coming to terms with the change that has happened and/or themselves.
See: Fergus Leatherhead (The Peleg Chronicles), Horatio Hornblower and Elsa (Frozen).
ISFJ: The Defender
Driven by duty/love, they take on a lofty calling and/or alternate identity and embark on a noble quest. Multiple instances of self sacrifice. Violence is avoided if at all possible.
See: Captain America and Wesley (Princess Bride).
ESTJ: The Executive
Something happens that turns the hero’s world upside down and makes them really mad. They reluctantly take on a journey to get things back to the way they were and have a revelation of truth on the way and make some unexpected friends that were unliked to start out with.
See: Bolt and Shrek.
ESFJ: The Consul
A really nice, but under appreciated and unliked hero is the only one able to save the day from a villain who wants to hurt both the people the hero loves most and the ones who have mistreated them. Ends with heart-rending self-sacrifice and a long delayed appreciation of the hero.
See: Emmet Brickowski (The Lego Movie) and Wreck-it Ralph.
ISTP: The Virtuoso
Awesome action sequences and brilliant plots surround them. Cool and unusual talents and gadgets as well. They are the calm and collected improvising geniuses, fighting snarky, classically evil bad guys. Ends with a bang and a set up for another one.
See: Indiana Jones, Ethan Hunt (Mission Impossible) and Spiderman.
ISFP: The Adventurer/Artist
Uses their artistic talents and strong beliefs to fight for innocents against an evil higher power. They don’t start out believing that there’s a problem, but do after witnessing with their own eyes. Usually involves romantic subplot.
See: Elisa Lindheim (The Zion Covenant) and Libby Norstad (Freedom Seekers).
ESTP: The Entrepreneur
Starts out awesome, capable and talented (if a little reckless as well), but not recognized for it by the general public. They proceed on a climb to greatness, learning to be a little less reckless and care for people on the way. Very quotable and clever. As ENTPs, annoy their antagonists nonstop.
Ends with fame and alludes to a bright future.
See: Captain Kirk (Star Trek, new movies) and Speed Racer (new movie).
ESFP: The Entertainer
Starts in normal life or a limited environment and get launched into an adventure that they are very excited about. Someone who isn’t excited about it is usually a companion. They learn not to be so impulsive and like their teammate as well as capturing the hearts of readers and watchers. Always a happy ending.
See: Cobalt (Odd Team Out) and Rapunzel (Tangled).
What do you think?
Would that be you in a story?
Please comment and feel free to point out any other protagonists to add! 🙂