Function Order: Te-Ni-Se-Fi

“I tell you now, I will not bow to this Ranger from the North, last of a ragged house long bereft of lordship!”


Denethor’s primary focus is to maintain power in Gondor, and to rule it as an effective Steward. Time has worn away his mind, but he continues to be a harsh taskmaster, dominating and controlling his sons, berating Faramir for his “weakness” (his emotions) and pushing Boromir to strive to attain power. His directness often leaves the people around him in emotional tatters, since he does not mince words in assessing the people around him – such as when he dismisses Pippin from his service and tells him to go now and die in whatever way he sees fit. His singular focus can be problematic – even when Faramir tells him that his idea about having the Ring bring honor to Gondor was wrong, his father refuses to listen and clings to his interpretation of events instead. He holds to his own instincts, even when they conflict with real life – being paranoid about others betraying him, Gandalf wanting to replace him with Aragorn, believing his son dead when he’s not and wanting to burn them both alive to leave behind a “glorious” death. His deepest need is to be remembered, to make an impact that will last forever. He dwells mostly in comfort in the palace, indulging his Se in good food and other pleasures, but can be impulsive and erratic when threatened – turning violent, aggressive, and impulsive (wanting to be burned alive, throwing himself from a parapet). Denethor’s inferior Fi reveals itself in his total detachment from anyone’s emotions but his own – under stress, he becomes fixated on his own hysterical feelings of loss over his oldest son, never realizing that he could have a bond with Faramir that would be just as deeply fulfilling to him.

Enneagram: 3w4 so/sp

Denethor’s entire existence is focused around how he comes across to others – he demands their respect, he does not want to admit failure, he needs to accomplish and to have his sons honor him by also doing “great deeds.” As an unhealthy 3, he’s so blinded to his own feelings (pursuing ambition and power) that he does not realize how much Faramir means to him until it’s too late. His social 3 makes him competitive, assertive, aggressive, and unable to admit failure. His 4 wing makes him elitist and have a romantic ideal he clings to about his eldest son. Under stress, Denethor gives up and tells everyone they are going to die – he sees no reason to fight and simply accepts his fate (disintegration to 9).