Want to understand what an ISTJ would look like in multiple different scenarios and roles? Reading literature or watching movies or television shows with fictional ISTJ characters can help to add depth or nuance to your views of the type (as long as you can view a wide variety of characters!).
12 Fictional ISTJs
#1 – Thorin Oakenshield from “The Hobbit”
Serious, focused, and protective of his people, Thorin exemplifies some of the best and worst traits of ISTJs. He keeps his eyes on his goals and logically makes plans and contingency plans to achieve them. He is loyal, dutiful, and decisive. At the same time, he can be too quick to judge groups of people that align with bad experiences in his life. For example, since he has had past negative experiences with elves, he assumes that they are all against him and will never redeem themselves from their past failures.
#2 – Okoye from “The Black Panther”
Okoye is an intensely loyal, no-nonsense character deeply motivated by what she knows is right. In the film Black Panther, we see Okoye as a fierce warrior who is firmly rooted in her people’s traditions. Like other SJ heroes, she acts to protect people and to support systems that she believes in.
As a Thinking type, the decisions she makes are primarily based on impersonal criteria (to the point that she states she could kill her husband “without question” for betraying Wakanda). With her tertiary Introverted Feeling, she softens this Thinking side just a bit by also aligning her decisions with what she firmly feels is right rather than blindly following the letter of the law.
#3 – Mark Darcy from “Bridget Jones Diary”
Reserved yet dignified, Mark Darcy lives according to his principles and hides a romantic, loyal soul under a serious, blunt demeanor. Like most ITJs, Darcy hides a deeply-set moral code that guides him through life. While it may not be as obvious as it is with Feeling-Perceiving types, it shows up in his career choices. He is a human-rights barrister who fights for people whose rights are being infringed upon. While he may lack the social bravado of Daniel Cleaver, he has the integrity, loyalty, and authenticity that healthy ISTJs are famous for.
#4 – Bagheera from “The Jungle Book”
Protective and wise, Bagheera may not be warm and cuddly but he’s nonetheless devoted to the young child he found abandoned in the jungle. He always stays level-headed and grounded – on the lookout for risks and dangers and careful to take every precaution. He even goes against his own desires and feelings if he believes it’s in Mowgli’s best interest.
#5 – Hope Van Dyne “Wasp” in “Ant-Man”
As the daughter of Hank Pym, Hope Van Dyne hopes to protect what her father has created, especially from people who aim to use his technology for evil. Like most ISTJs, she’s serious but has a kind, generous heart. She focuses on competence and responsibility, pulling no punches when she sees someone being inefficient or distracted. Her brutally honest way of expressing frustration could be intimidating or off-putting to some, but those who stick with her realize she has an encouraging, protective side underneath her sometimes prickly exterior.
#6 – Arthur from “Inception”
As Dominick Cobb’s right-hand man, Arthur is skilled in the art of infiltrating dreams. Not only is he an excellent researcher but a detail-oriented, dependable planner. While some of the other characters in the film are driven by their impulses and curiosity, Arthur keeps a level head and focuses on carefully accomplishing the task at hand. He’s the organized one making sure everything is in the right place at the right time. Arthur’s character in “Inception” gives us a glimpse of why the world so desperately needs ISTJs. They are often the people who notice risks, details, and discrepancies faster than other types. And while they can be serious and by-the-books, many also enjoy discovering fascinating new theories (as exemplified here by Arthur’s interest in dream technology).
#7 – Carl Fredricksen in “Up”
Although grouchy and lonely at first, you soon learn that there’s more to Carl Fredricksen than meets the eye. Underneath his cranky exterior, Carl is a kind person who is deeply devoted to those he loves. While his patience has its limits, he also is determined to do what is right by others, even if it annoys or exhausts him. In his marriage, Carl enjoyed toying with ideas and possibilities along with his wife (who was likely an ENFP personality type). While ISTJs may seem very grounded and by-the-book at first glance, they enjoy delving into their imagination and exploring possibilities with people they trust.
#8 – Marilla Cuthbert from “Anne of Green Gables”
No-nonsense and diligent, like most ISTJs, Marilla seems overly-serious and strict at first. But as you get to know her, you see that there’s a compassionate, kind-hearted, core to her personality. She cares deeply for others and will always do right by them and follow through on her word. She has a strong moral compass, but she puts up with other people’s scruples and quirks with more tolerance than many other people would. She sees the humor in everyday situations and, with the help of Anne, she realizes that she’s much more open-minded than even she’d initially imagined she could be.
#9 – Captain John Miller from “Saving Private Ryan”
Dedicated and competent, Captain John Miller was tasked with leading his men through the daunting task of retrieving Private James Francis Ryan, whose three brothers had been recently killed in combat. Even in the midst of terrifying odds, Miller was able to keep his eye on his tasks and come up with tactical moves to get past the Germans. While he would have preferred a quiet, peaceful life as an English composition teacher in Pennsylvania, Miller takes his duties seriously and will risk his life to accomplish the missions he’s been given. Like most ISTJs, Miller is pragmatic and down-to-earth. He doesn’t give long, philosophical lectures to his men when they question their duty. He lets them express their questions and gives stories from his own life to motivate them.
#10 – Itzhak Stern from “Schindler’s List”
Even in the face of terrifying and dehumanizing situations, Itzhak Stern never loses his sense of self or his sense of dignity. As Schindler’s Jewish accountant, he is able to quietly influence a good, moral side of Schindler and use that to save 1,100 Jews during World War II. I’ve come across people that think Stern is a Feeler because of his drive to help people – and I believe that this is a gross misunderstanding of type. Thinking and Feeling types are equally capable of kindness, selflessness, and good-will. They are equally capable of making sacrifices to help others. In Stern’s case, he discovers ways to save Jews who would be exterminated by giving them jobs in Schindler’s factory. He is guided by his conscience and his moral obligations, but he’s also a shrewd accountant. No detail is missed, and every risk is accounted for. His serious, grounded nature guides him as he works to protect others.
#11 – Tenya Iida from “My Hero Academia”
Tenya Iida, like most ISTJs, is driven by a sense of responsibility and duty. More than anything, he wants to excel at his quirks so that he can live up to his older brother’s example. He may be a rule-follower, but he’s also willing to break the rules when it comes to protecting the legacy of the ones he loves most. He is deeply devoted as a friend and brother, and his discipline and hard-working nature make him a source of strength for his entire UA class. His detail-oriented perceptiveness enables him to notice when anything is out of synch or dangerous, and his pragmatic nature enables him to come up with strong plans of action when everyone else is panicking. His hunger for efficiency, his loyalty, and his attention to detail all make him a strong ISTJ character.
#12 – Harry Potter from the Harry Potter Series
Humble, brave, and loyal. Harry will go against all odds to protect his friends and bring justice to the wizarding world. Like most ISTJs, Harry has an internal moral code that drives him even if it’s not obvious to the outside world. He strives for fairness and loyalty and has no problem standing up for the weak or sticking by his friends when it could be dangerous. In typical ISTJ fashion, Harry can come up with logical courses of action quickly and he’s gifted at teaching others how to better harness their wizarding skills. Though not always comfortable with his role as “the chosen one,” Harry takes the role seriously will do whatever it takes to live up to it responsibly.
What Are Your Thoughts?
Did you enjoy this article? Do you have any suggestions for ISTJ characters? Let us know in the comments!
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