Heroes and villains are polar opposites in our society. Whilst the heroes represent what our society stands for, trusts and admires, the villain represents what society fears, distrusts and hates. An example of a fictional modern day hero is Superman who is looked up to and respected, whereas the Joker from Batman is a stereotypical villain; dangerous and hated because of this. But what are the stereotypical MBTI types of heroes and villains?
A stereotypical hero is perceived as a person of integrity, honour, bravery and a desire to do good for the world. Because of their ability to relate to people and shine in the crowd, without hiding anything, this makes an extroverted person popular, famous and accepted in a community. Therefore, a hero is typically an extroverted type like Superman, who shines in the spotlight, whereas a villain is typically a more introverted, behind the scenes plotter, such as Lex Luthor or Voldemort.
Typically, a fictional hero is also a sensor type as they, rather than trying to come up with new ideas to change the world, are trying to keep the system in check; in other words, they are the rule abiders, who try to prevent the evil villains visions from being played out throughout the story. It is this heroes desire to prevent the evil innovations from the villain that drives the audience to relate to them: through identifying with the sensor type, who represents the security of our society, the sanity and the common sense, compared with the severaly unhealthy intuitive villain, we can strive for the hero to win. This is evident in Game of Thrones, in which a sensor, Eddard Stark in season 1 opposes the intuitive Lannisters, the less dutiful and honorable characters who wish to control and change King’s Landing to suit themselves. Therefore, sensors are generally perceived as heroes in fiction, whereas intuitives are perceived as villains.
Additionally, heroes are generally feeling types. What they are doing is for the people, and their ability to fight the evil cold hearted ways of the thinking type and their desire and concern for others makes them appear kind, filled with integrity and passionate, rather than their cold blooded arch nemesis. This makes them far easier to relate to. An example of this would be in Breaking Bad, in which noticeably, I’ve typed most of the more evil characters as the logical thinking types. Does this mean that thinkers are generally more evil than feelers? Of course not, but it is far easier to create a more resilient, tough and emotionless character who is a thinking type rather than a feeling type, and in contrast it is far easier to create a more integrity based hero who is a feeling type. So, whilst Gus and Walter are calculated, business men who are perceived as more evil, Jesse Pinkman is a feeling type, making us identify with his humanity and emotional captivation as a character than we do not find in the other characters. Therefore, fictional heroes tend to be feeling types, whereas fictional villains are generally thinking types.
Finally, heroes are generally perceivers. Unlike the villains, they strive for freedom rather than control and power. It is fun rooting for the underdog, as evident with Luke Skywalker in this Star Wars blog entry, in which I’ve typed Luke Skywalker as a perceiver type in his fight against authority for freedom. Therefore, because perceiving types fight for equality and acceptance of all in fiction, which is more easily identifiable amongst these types, perceivers are generally the heroes in fiction, whereas judgers are generally the controlling, ambitious manipulating villains.
This typing relates to most heroes and villains evident in fiction. For example the most popular fictional heroes, Luke Skywalker, Frodo from Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Rick from the Walking Dead, all very closely match the ESFP- with their types being ESFP, ISFP, INFP and ISFP respectively.
On the other hand, villains are far more varying, and do not necessarily always fit close to the INTJ category. As mentioned before, the Joker from Batman is a villain, and could be classified as ENTP. However, if you have read my Harry Potter article here you will realize that Voldemort is a more controlling, ambitious, calculated man; your typical INTJ. Other INTJ villains include Sauran and Saruman from Lord of the Rings, Darth Vader from Star Wars and the ENTJ Governor from the Walking Dead, each opposing the heroes mentioned in the previous paragraph.
In conclusion, it is clear that the typical hero is an ESFP whereas the typical villain is an INTJ. Keep in mind, that this is the fictional representation of people- remember, that in real life, people behave far different than their MBTI tells them to.
Do you agree with these typings? Who do you think makes the best villains and heroes? Do you know any INTJ villains/ESFP heroes you could share? Post in the comments below, let’s get a discussion going, I’m in the mood for a debate 🙂