If ENTJs are rebel leaders flouting the authority of establishments and institutions at every turn, ESTJs are the creators, rulers, and defenders of those institutions. ESTJs have a taste for the conventional, highly value the rule of law, and–at their best–are fair-minded and magnanimous. Emotions are likely to play only a supporting role in their decision-making processes and they are known for their objectivity.
ESTJs are quite an interesting bunch. I don’t know any other types that could potentially inspire me (an INTJ) to follow them into battle and lead a mutiny against them at the same time. Here are a few of my favorite ESTJ characters in books and film.
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1. Hermione Granger, Harry Potter
‘What are you doing with all those books anyway?’ Ron asked, limping back to his bed.
‘Just trying to decide which ones to take with us,’ said Hermione. ‘When we’re looking for Horcruxes.’
‘Oh, of course,’ said Ron, clapping a hand to his forehead. ‘I forgot we’ll be hunting down Voldemort in a mobile library.’
I struggled with this typing quite a bit. There are many aspects of Hermione’s character that strike me as ISTJ. That said, most type her as an ESTJ and I think they are ultimately correct. She leads with strong extroverted thinking and seems to really enjoy taking charge. Hermione is my favorite ESTJ in the world of fiction. She’s intelligent, kind, magnanimous, strong, and she throws an excellent punch. She’s a bit of a stickler for the rules but is able to set that aside when the situation calls for it.
2. Dolores Umbridge, Harry Potter
I will have order!
Harry Potter has a few compelling ESTJ characters within its pages that show the range of this type. For every fine quality Hermione possesses, Professor Umbridge has two nasty ones. She’s cruel, petty, and uses the rule of law as a means of oppression. Still, you have to admit, she’s one of the most memorable villains of all time. The Harry Potter series just wouldn’t be the same without her.
3. Minerva McGonagall, Harry Potter
We teachers are rather good at magic, you know.
Rounding out our selection of Hogwartian ESTJs, Professor McGonagall steals the spot for coolest teacher ever. She’s strict and a little regal but behind the stern mask lies a woman with a fantastic sense of humor, a taste for adventure, and the heart of a lion. Only fitting for a true Gryffindor.
It should be noted that some have typed McGonagall as an ISTP, arguing that the ESTJ qualities of her personality are a show put on for the benefit of the students at Hogwarts. For now, I’m going with the traditional typing of ESTJ for her, but I can see the logic of the ISTP argument.
4. Violet Crawley, Downton Abbey
I was right about my maid. She’s leaving–to get married! How could she be so selfish?
In addition to Professor McGonagall, Dame Maggie Smith also portrayed the ever-quotable Dowager Countess of Grantham. With more epic one-liners than a stand-up comedy show, the Dowager Countess is by far the most entertaining character on the show. She’s blunt yet diplomatic, traditional yet surprisingly accepting at times, and full of fire. One cannot help but admire her.
5. Mrs. Patmore, Downton Abbey
Do I look like a frolicker?!
The downstairs equivalent to Violet Crawley’s upstairs ESTJ, Mrs. Patmore is a force to be reckoned with. She’s strong as a bulldozer, commanding as a general, and kind to boot. She doesn’t go in for any romantic nonsense about higher learning and working to improve one’s lot in life but she does support Daisy in her efforts to do so. Like many an ESTJ before her, Mrs. Patmore is suspicious of newfangled ideas and technology but she adapts and thrives like everyone else.
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6. Galina “Red” Reznikov, Orange Is the New Black
I have a birthmark on my left butt cheek that’s shaped like a scarab. Doesn’t make me Cleopatra.
Speaking of firebrand red-haired cooks who serve as maternal figures to the women in their charge…“Red” Reznikov embodies the idea of tough love. She provides structure and support to the women she has adopted into her makeshift prison family and doesn’t put up with any bullshit. She’s also a mean cook–if only the zookeepers would give her better ingredients to work with.
7. Bryan Mills, Taken
I don’t know who you are. I don’t know what you want. If you’re looking for ransom, I can tell you I don’t have money. But what I do have are a very particular set of skills, skills I have acquired over a very long career, skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you let my daughter go now, that’ll be the end of it. I will not look for you; I will not pursue you. But if you don’t, I will look for you, I will find you, and I will kill you.
Bryan Mills is a pretty unlucky guy. I mean, it seems like everyone in his life is either killed or, you know, taken. Still, for a film series that is probably spoofed more often than Game of Thrones, Bryan is a pretty cool character. And it’s not just all that punching guys in the throat business, although, admittedly, it doesn’t hurt. It’s too bad they butchered his storyline in the new NBC show.
8. Jack Shephard, Lost
Naomi: Jack, can I ask you a question?
Naomi: What did you do for a living before you became Moses?
Sure, Sawyer’s got that Southern swag but Jack is King of the Island. He’s a little bit too serious for his own good but Jack is a handy person to have around. He’s a doctor AND an effective leader, which is really all you can hope for if you find yourself stranded on a purgatorial desert island with a bunch of people you neither know or trust. Also, A+ on the five o’clock shadow.
9. Peter Pevensie, The Chronicles of Narnia
Peter did not feel brave; indeed, he felt he was going to be sick. But that made no difference to what he had to do.
Peter is neither the most popular member of the Pevensie family or my favorite. (That title goes directly to INFP Lucy.) Still, Peter is a great character. He’s a little anal but that’s understandable considering the amount of responsibility placed on his shoulders. He has to care for his siblings in the middle of a war, a task that takes no small amount of bravery. That really prepares him for his later role as King of Narnia.
10. Georg von Trapp, The Sound of Music
Captain von Trapp: Fräulein Maria, did I or did I not say that bedtime is to be strictly observed in this household?
Maria: Yes, well the children were scared of the thunderstorm and…You did, sir.
Captain von Trapp: And do you or do you not have trouble following these simple instructions?
Maria: Only during thunderstorms, sir.
Captain von Trapp is a great example of an unhealthy ESTJ who grows to be a magnanimous patriarch once more–under the influence of a bubbly ENFP, of course. He’s big on rules and discipline in a way that only an ESTJ can be, but he also has solid principles. He won’t give into the Nazi’s as easily as some of his countrymen have. And he can sing, which doesn’t hurt.
See my favorite characters of other types: