ISTPs are rebels. Rules and systems don’t interest them but they have strong personal value systems. They’re adventurous and thrive in vocations that require physical coordination and reliance on the five senses. They’re logical and mechanically oriented. Here are ten of my favorite ISTP characters in books and film.
1. John Luther, Luther
Jenny: You didn’t really do that, did you?
Luther: Do what?
Jenny: Like, call up some totally psycho killer girl?
Luther: Her name’s Alice.
Luther: I dunno, what do you think?
Jenny: Mmm…dunno. I do know you were totally epic though.
John Luther is not your average London copper. He doesn’t play by the rules and walks a thin line between legality and illegality. Legal or not, his actions are driven by a strong sense of morality–a drive to do whatever it takes to take down the bad guys. Like most ISTPs, he has a high tolerance for risk and acute sensory awareness.
2. Logan/Wolverine, X-Men
Logan: Hey, hey! It’s me.
Scott: Prove it.
Logan: You’re a dick.
ISTPs and ESTPs are pretty much the human embodiment of animal instincts, so it makes sense that the Wolverine is an ISTP. Logan is kind of a loner but when needs must, he’s an indispensable part of the X-Men team. He may act like a grumpy old man most of the time but it’s hard to dislike someone with such a fantastic sense of sarcasm.
3. Indiana Jones, Indiana Jones
Snakes! Why’d it have to be snakes?
Indy epitomizes the two sides of the ISTP personality–nerdy archaeology professor during the week, globe-trotting adventurer on his days off. He’s deeply fascinated by and holds a high regard for the history of the artifacts he recovers but he also loves the near-death excitement involved in the process of acquiring them.
4. Aragorn, The Lord of the Rings
A day may come when the courage of men fails, when we forsake our friends and break all bonds of fellowship, but it is no this day. An hour of woes and shattered shields, when the age of men comes crashing own, but it is not this day. This day we fight!
Like most ISTPs, Aragorn is a bit of a lone wolf–that is, until he pledges his sword to Frodo & Co. As The Lord of the Rings progresses, Aragorn comes into his own, flexing his leadership muscles and eventually spearheading the charge at the Black Gate. The ranger of few words is replaced by an eloquent commander and his transformation from strider to king is complete.
5. Selina Kyle, Batman Returns
I am Catwoman. Hear me roar.
Catwoman is my all-time favorite female superhero/villain. I’m pretty sure her life slogan is “defeating the patriarchy while turning it on.” Whether she’s fighting with or against Batman, Catwoman always has a lot of fun. She revels in her power and would never take orders from anyone.10 Kickass #ISTP Characters in Books + FilmClick To Tweet
6. Jason Bourne, The Bourne Identity
Jason: We got a bump coming up. [drives car down a flight of stairs]
If there’s one Myers-Briggs type best-suited to the life of a super-spy/assassin, it’s ISTPs. They seem to thrive on unpredictability and, as I mentioned before, their awareness of their own bodies is unmatched, making them fierce opponents in battle (or a car chase). What I like about Jason, though, is that he also shows the soft side of ISTPs. He’s loyal and caring, and has a strong sense of ethics, even if circumstances force him to kill.
7. Mulan, Mulan
You said you trust Ping. Why is Mulan any different?
Female ISTPs are sorely under-appreciated. Just like their male counterparts, they thrive on adventure and action. Mulan is stifled by the gender expectations of her time and culture, so when the opportunity arises for her to exercise her true strengths by fighting in the Chinese army, she jumps in headfirst. Ultimately, she demonstrates her skill in battle and proves that women can be just as heroic as men.
8. Haymitch Abernathy, The Hunger Games
While I was waiting, I ate your lunch.
Haymitch is one of the best characters in the Hunger Games trilogy. He’s a drunk champion with PTSD who enjoys pushing people’s buttons just a little too much. ISTPs aren’t exactly known for their people skills but Haymitch knows how to turn on the charm when necessary to secure sponsors for Katniss and Peeta. He pretends not to care but deep down he’s a good guy.
9. Jim Hopper, Stranger Things
Flo, we’ve discussed this. Mornings are for coffee and contemplation.
Chief Jim Hopper doesn’t care about much in life after the death of his daughter. When Joyce rolls up to the station with tales of her missing kid, Hopper doesn’t take her seriously. Eventually, he wises up, pulls his head out of his ass, and finds his inner hero, battling monsters and venturing into parallel dimensions to save Will.
10. Emma Swan, Once Upon a Time
People are gonna tell you who you are your whole life. You just gotta punch back and say, ‘No, this is who I am.’ You want people to look at you differently? Make them! You want to change things, you’re gonna have to go out there and change them yourself because there are no fairy godmothers in this world.
Emma Swan may not seem like the maternal type but that’s part of her charm. She’s pretty taken aback when her long-lost son shows up on her doorstep one night but they quickly develop a heartwarming rapport. Emma is brave, tough, and a bit cynical, but there’s a heart of gold hiding under that exoskeleton.
See my favorite characters of other types: