Female INTJs: Katniss and Hermione

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July 11, 2012 by philipbullitthughes

Today I will discuss two notable INTJ’s in popular fiction: Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games and Hermione Granger from Harry Potter.

Now, Katniss and Hermione are fundamentally different, and some of you INTJ’s may relate to one more than the other, but make no mistake, both are “Masterminds.” The reason for these differences is because there are actually two types of INTJ’s: The Creative and the Scientific.

It is important to note that INTJ’s are usually very talented in both English and Science, and will typically pursue one or the other depending on preference and the environment in which they grew up. For example, if an Idealist parent raises a little INTJ, chances are they would be exposed to a vast assortment of literature, thus developing their creative side. On the other hand, if an INTJ had a parent who was interested in science, say a Guardian or another Rational, they would probably latch on to the scientific side.

As you may have guessed, Katniss is the Scientific Mastermind and Hermione is the Creative.

Katniss is raised in a world where she had almost no access to literature, and thus would be inclined to prefer the sciences, which in her case manifested itself in the form of botany, taught to her by her father. There is little doubt that Katniss is both an Introvert and Thinker. She eschews the limelight, prefers one-on-one contact with close friends, is calculating and is often accused of being cold. Now, the biggest indicator that Katniss is a Mastermind is not an instance of her being organized with sticky notes, or talking about mythology, (as many iNtuitive Judgers tend to do) but how she behaves once inside of the Games. She had one goal: survival. And she is willing to do most anything to accomplish it. For instance, she feigns love with Peeta, then instantly severs that connection with little emotional response when she thinks he betrays her. Another example is how she sizes each person up in her mind, their strengths, their weaknesses, and plans a course of action on how to deal with each of them accordingly. She gives a girl the name Foxface, seeing her truly threatening potential before anyone else—clearly an indication of her being a Scientific Mastermind. No other type behaves with such calculating precision. No other type could brilliantly maneuver herself into a position of victory when most would discount her abilities from the beginning.

Hermione, on the other hand, is clearly the Creative Mastermind. Hermione has only two close friends: Harry and Ron. She takes responsibility for both of their academic success, not only because she wants them to like her, but also partially because it makes her feel appreciated for her intelligence, which is the thing all Masterminds prize in themselves above all else. Now Hermione is at the top of her class, spends most of her time in the library, and is a quiet-natured individual who is not inclined to like sports like Quidditch very much. However, in class she speaks her mind constantly, as creative INTJ’s do, and appears almost extroverted. She solves nearly all of her problems creatively (The polyjuice potion, the riddles in the dungeon, etc.), rather than approaching them from a practical angle. All of these are primary traits possessed by Creative INTJ’s.

Another very interesting indication of Hermione’s creative side is her concern for the house elves. Now, independence is a trait that is highly valued amongst INTJ’s, and one that has dealt quite a bit with literature will sometimes be emboldened to create that independence in others, even when they don’t want it. Some would say her concern for house elf rights is an Idealist trait, and you’d be correct. However, what might be an Idealists concern for a person’s general well-being, a Creative INTJ is usually concerned for those who they see as prisoners of the mind, and will try to convince them that they really should think for themselves.

In conclusion, both of these fictional characters have inconsistencies, like most invented character. But I think it’s safe to say that they are the clearest examples of the Scientific and Creative Masterminds in pop-culture. Also, there are many INTJ’s who can delve into both worlds, and quite enjoy both. But the trend is a matter of fact, and that is that they typically choose one or the other.

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17 thoughts on “Female INTJs: Katniss and Hermione

  1. agatewood says:

    Haley would be Katniss… I’ve also heard that Peeta is an ESFJ… thoughts?

  2. Tracey says:

    Do you have a source for more information about the two types of INTJs? I’ve not been able to find anything on Creative vs Scientific INTJs.

    • Great question!

      That’s because it’s a hypothesis of David Keirsey’s, and I merely expounded upon it. He discusses the different creative and scientific intellectual persuits of the INTJ in his book, “Please Understand Me II.” He doesn’t call them “The Creative and Scientific.” That’s my own name for them. But here is one of his quotes touching on the subject:

      “[INTJs] are often led into technical positions such as scientific researcher, design engineer, environmental planner…[but] some have a strong artistic/creative bent and may become an artist, inventor, or designer.”

      Hope this helps!

  3. Interesting post! Thanks for writing!

    I am a Creative INTJ. I recognize in myself the potential to be a Scientific INTJ. It’s like the life I did not choose to have versus the one I did. It’s very interesting.

    I’ve heard a lot of criticisms of both those characters saying they aren’t “realistic.” I suspect that is precisely because they are INTJs, and specifically female INTJs. Someone called Katniss “emotionally retarded” (while she essentially believably masterminds Games set up to be unbeatable and saves everyones bum) and someone said Hermione was “too competent to be real.” You hear weird stuff just like that from people who misunderstand and/or dislike INTJs. And I think with female characters people are less accepting of the uniqueness of the characters because it does not jive with stereotypical gender roles assigned to women.

    Just out of curiosity, do you know of any INFPs in literature or pop culture? It seems INFPs are often writers and have that capacity for empathy that allows them to really embody many characters with total believability, so I’d imagine they would show up quite often. But at the moment, I am drawing a blank.

    • Cassidy says:

      I sort of feel like i think like a scientific INTJ emotionally but when comes down to expressing myself and my love for knowledge and literary works and my artistic drawing ability I’m probably a creative INTJ. i totally get the whole “the like i could have chosen but didn’t” thought. it’s almost like i could trace my life back & see how it would have changed if i had somehow “re-chosen” my “choice”.

  4. Charity says:

    Hermione seems concerned with people’s feelings too much to be a straightforward INTJ — but then, so do I (and I rate INTJ every time I test). I like to think of her as one, I’m just not sure that she is! =/

  5. I can’t comment on Katniss, I’m afraid, as I’ve not read Hunger Games. I do, however, know Hermione’s character intimately.
    I’ve only just discovered MBTI, so I am by no means an expert in it, but this analysis is one of the most sensible I’ve seen; many seem to think she’s ISTJ,and I’ve even found ESTJ. Still, I have to say I would peg Hermione as INFJ.
    She feels emotions very strongly herself, and these can overpower her rationality: in first year, she spends an entire day in a bathroom crying because she is not accepted by her peers, in third year she punches Malfoy when his insults go too far, and in sixth year she attacks Ron in a fit of jealousy. These are just a few of quite a number of times in which Hermione loses her control in times of extreme emotional stress.
    I feel that her rational approach is actually a defensive mechanism; that she consciously detaches herself precisely because she feels things too strongly and can’t deal with them. The fact that she deals with it by attempting to detach herself can make her seen on the surface more Thinking than Feeling, but I’m not sure that she is.
    She is also very insightful about other people’s emotions;

    “Don’t you understand how Cho’s feeling at the moment?…Well, obviously, she’s feeling very sad, because of Cedric dying. Then I expect she’s feeling confused because she liked Cedric and now she likes Harry, and she can’t work out who she likes best. Then she’ll be feeling guilty, thinking it’s an insult to Cedric’s memory to be kissing Harry at all, and she’ll be worrying about what everyone else might say about her if she starts going out with Harry. And she probably can’t work out what her feelings towards Harry are, anyway, because he was the one who was with Cedric when Cedric died, so that’s all very mixed up and painful. Oh, and she’s afraid she’s going to be thrown off the Ravenclaw Quidditch team because she’s been flying so badly.” – Hermione Granger in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, page 405-406.

    You also mentioned the House Elf rights, but Hermione doesn’t only campaign for “prisoners of mind”; she later goes on to campaign for all non-humans who are discriminated against in wizard law. She even goes so far as to pursue this in her career with the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures and later in the Department of Magical Law Enforcement.

    Well this became a bit of an essay. I guess I was just curious as to how you decided on Thinking over Feeling and if I’ve understood the system properly.

  6. [...] had posted a link to an article about INTJ females in pop culture, and how Katniss from The Hunger Games trilogy and Hermione from the Harry Potter series present [...]

  7. FinnTheHuman says:

    Hermione is an obvious ISTJ.

    Katniss is an obvious ISTP.

    Where you get Ni-dom for either of these characters is beyond me.

  8. Sara Joy says:

    I’d like to start off by saying this post has started a worthwhile discussion since these two women represent such popular figures, and I value the author’s contribution. However, Katniss is an ISTJ so the premise of this thread IS flawed. That may make it even more intriguing.

    Yes, she manipulated Peeta in the Hunger Games and responded to Haymitch’s signals. However, anyone who has read the trilogy (Which is written in the first person POV) knows she spends the majority of the three books struggling to operate as a strategist who plans ahead, and doing so brings her incredible mental and emotional stress. Her survival instincts are focused on the here and now for herself and her family, and it is other people (Haymitch, District 13, Peeta) who think to use her as a larger force for revolution.

    Hermione however, seems to be a true INTJ who thrives emotionally on aggressive planning and execution, always thinking about how to one-up her adversary and finding satisfaction in her triumph.

    Both women have strong personalities that have developed distinctive survival strengths – and personal flaws. Perhaps that is why we see them as BOTH INTJs?

  9. I have only read The Hunger Games, and not seen the movie. I actually think that Katniss is a hardened INFJ who grew up in tough circumstances. This is what makes her seem T-ish, along with her being an Enneagram type 8. From the time she described her rationale on trying to drown her sister’s cat, I completely related. Sounds horrible, but you have to make sacrifices to save your family.

    I felt like we were the same person throughout her narrative during all three novels, especially the first one, where she’s describing and reasoning her life, family, and society. Her tone and brashness were also classic Type 8 INFJ. Just like me. This is a very rare personality combo, especialy for a female. This is likely what confuses people.

    • Julia says:

      I’m an INTJ, and I 100% related to Katniss throughout the entire book. I see myself more of a Hermionie than a Katniss, but I still think both of them are Ts instead of Fs. I think a common misconception on an INTJ is that the T makes them unfeeling. Katniss didn’t drown the cat because she is human and not a sociopath. What makes Katniss such a hard T, is because she realized that life would be easier without the cat in it, because she realized that she would have to care for her family, and because she knows what has to be done to survive, and that sometimes means she will have to lead Peeta on. If she were an F instead of a T, I think it is very likely she wouldn’t have survived as well as she did in the conditions she grew up in.

  10. Dominika says:

    I’ve done 3 tests on mbti ( one test twice, then one with a bit different questions). I’m intj (female) and I’m a bit terrified :( it’s like… things got even more complicated because it’s all so true and…. will anyone ever understand? I mean, that I don’t need that many hugs, that I don’t show I care but I do?

    • Hello Dominika! You share the fears of many female INTJs. I think it’s best you search for someone who really appreciates you for who you are. Do they exist? Yes. Are they rare? Yes. The most accepting personality types tend to be NFs. If you find someone with this preference to be your friend or significant other, you would find an empathetic ear.

    • Melanie says:

      It is funny. I am an INTJ female also. I never wanted to be touchy or feely with. However, when I found my boyfriend (we have been together for 5 years now) and I was able to break this down more. I cannot stand this with other people, but with the love of my life I have been able to do it. Hopefully it will happen with you! All of my other loved ones understand me greatly and I have great relationships. You can also :)

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