ISTJ: Aragorn & Cogsworth


August 10, 2012 by philipbullitthughes

It’s time to talk about the silent leaders of society, the stalwart ISTJs—Aragorn son of Arathorn from J.R.R. Tolkeins’ beloved series, The Lord of the Rings, and Cogsworth from Disney’s, Beauty and the Beast.

Aragorn is a clear depiction of the ISTJ in pop-culture. Often described as grim, Aragorn is definitely not the life of the party. However, in a world where the dark fist of evil has caused a tremor of hopelessness, Aragorn’s steady, quiet strength provides solid ground beneath his friends’ feet.

ISTJs don’t typically enjoy being in the limelight, and Aragorn is more than content with living alone in the woods. ISTJs almost always enjoy the outdoors. They also quite content any time they can employ concrete knowledge of the world—fishing, how to build a fire, how to repair this or that, what to-or-not-to eat. Aragorn is not simply an outdoorsmen, but is nicknamed ‘Strider,’ and the ‘Ranger of the North,’ because of his expertise in handling any wilderness.

However, it is not simply Aragorn’s quiet, subdued nature and love for the outdoors that qualifies him as an ISTJ. It is his internal struggle between his sense of duty and a troubling lineage that makes him a classic “Inspector.” Aragorn is the heir to the throne of men—the rightful king. Like all Guardians, Aragorn takes his role in society very seriously. However, he is also constantly haunted by history. He knows the weakness of his lineage—that the blood of his ancestor, a man corrupted by the power of the ring, is the same blood that courses through his veins. Thus, he is plauged by a very common ISTJ vice: worry. This worry leads him to a great fear of inadequacy, worrying that somehow the past will come back to haunt him and that he will be corrupted too.

Like all ISTJs, Aragorn takes his promises very seriously, and protects his friends with the utmost dedication. If there is one word to describe the ISTJ, it is ‘superdependable’—not only with their commitments to friends, but also their significant others. Aragorn is in love with Arwen, and the advancements of another, the most beautiful woman in all of Middle Earth cannot so much as turn his head. He completely ignores her advances, and is faithful to the very end.

Ultimately, Aragorn’s powerful sense of duty wins out over his worry and he claims his rightful place as king, stoically leading the last remnants of the armies of men against the powers of Mordor. Though, not before all of his prior commitments are taken care of.

Next, there’s Cogsworth. While not nearly as glamorous a character as Aragorn, he is still to be admired. ISTJs are nicknamed the ‘Inspectors,’ and Cogsworth shows us why. ISTJs are particularly good at making sure others within an organization tow-the-line, do as they should, and don’t do as they shouldn’t. Of course, Cogsworth’s primary companion is a highly extroverted partyer—surprisingly, a trend fairly common among ISTJs. Cogsworth’s severe nature keeps the entire castle running smoothly and efficiently, but with this comes the perception that he is a bit of a fuddy-duddy. So, naturally he welcomes the fun that comes from his livelier cohort. While a bit stiff at first, he proves he can let loose like the rest of them given the appropriate time and place.

Unfortunately, ISTJs are often taken advantage of, because they are willing to do the thankless jobs so many others neglect. Cogsworth is no exception. Despite his dedication and dependability, the others often overlook his efforts. Naturally, Cogsworth feels as though if he didn’t take care of things no one would, so he continues quietly managing the castles affairs without flourish.

In conclusion, ISTJs should be not only respected for their dependability, beneficence, and dedication, but also revered. They offer strength to any organization or relationship they find themselves in.

3 thoughts on “ISTJ: Aragorn & Cogsworth

  1. Chrissy says:

    I have to disagree with typing Aragorn as an ISTJ; I think he aligns more closely as an INFJ instead. While he does have a very strong sense of duty, I think that’s caused more by external forces (ie Gandalf falling off the bridge in Moria) rather than that ‘inner drive’ that ISTJ’s have. Also, Pippin states in the Return of the King that Aragorn is perhaps the only person in the Fellowship who actually understands Gandalf (classic INTJ). This is more indiccative of having that iNtuitive connection (both Ni dominant), as compared to the ISTJ’s Si dominance (rules, details, etc). Plus he has a wonderful connection with Galadriel (INFJ maybe?), and no ISTJ is going to connect with an NF quite like that. Lastly, whenever he has to deal out judgements/make decisions, Aragorn *always* considers the well-being of the group first, which is also indicative of Fe. I strongly recommend reading the Appendices in the back of RotK; they’ll tell you a LOT about his character that the movie’s either did completely wrong or didn’t have time to get to.

    You’re spot on about Cogsworth. There’s an SJ if ever I saw one.

    • Interesting evaluation. Solid argument. As I said, these are mere opinions. As Aragorn has never actually taken the test, it’s difficult to say beyond observations.

      I think you bring up a valid point about movies not fleshing out characters the way books do. It’s unfortunate that most people only know a character based on what a two-dimensional screen and someone’s interpretation dictate. Give me a book, every time.

      • Chrissy says:

        It can be really challenging to type a fictional character, since 1) they don’t exsist in reality, and 2) they can react any way the author wants them to. Plus PJ kinda screwed up Aragorn’s character development in the movies. Yes, he was angsty about claiming the kingship, but that’s because he was torn between going with Boromir to save Minas Tirith and helping Frodo destroy the Ring (which was the true quest). Not because he felt guilt/remorse about being related to Isildur.

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