MBTI Type: ISTJ
Théoden is a very traditionally-minded man who relies on past experience when making decisions – Helm’s Deep’s walls have proven impenetrable in the past, so he feels certain it is a safe haven against invading armies. He considers Gandalf’s suggestions of different options, measures them against the proven success of Helm’s Deep, and decides against them. He finds it difficult to overcome his own painful past experiences – his possession, the loss of his son, how “poor” a surrogate parent he has been to Éowyn, etc. He feels a strong need to prove his worth, because he compares his own kingship against that of his ancestors; he can only die in peace knowing that he is at last “worthy” of joining them in the great halls. He finds it easy to assume a leadership position and command others. He ascertains what must be done to ensure their survival and organizes others to accomplish it. He is so certain of his own efficiency in this that he resents others attempts to sway his influence or take over command. His decisions are based on what appears to be the most rational, externally observable solution—the tactics of war, and the fortified fortresses in the mountains. Théoden puts aside personal emotion to make difficult decisions. His sense of honor means that he refuses to back down on the things he holds most dear. Théoden is a private man who struggles at times to articulate his feelings, and to give others the affirmation they need. He can show stubbornness in his desire to maintain his leadership, and his refusal to listen to options he does not believe are valid or doesn’t agree with. He is very loyal, and his willingness to forgive Gríma shows his deep kindness. Because he holds so strongly to experience, Théoden finds it difficult to entertain new ideas of how to proceed, and holds to tradition rather than explore new ways of dealing with present circumstances. He also becomes fearful of what the future holds and for a time, is despondent at the thought of it, but then finds a greater purpose in the idea of giving his life meaning by sacrificing it for the greater good of Middle-earth.
Enneagram: 6w5 so/sp
Théoden is distrustful, suspicious, and cautious. Instead of fighting Saruman in the open, he takes everyone to Helm’s Deep to protect them – and then believes the cause lost until Gandalf arrives to save them from the Uruk-Hai. He’s inconsistent and changeable in his opinions, first refusing to help Gondor and then showing a willingness to die in their defense. Because Gandalf is a white wizard, and he has been under Saruman’s influence for months, he stubbornly refuses to do what Gandalf wants him to do – rebelling against authority and then later surrendering to it. Whenever stressed, Théoden shows a strong streak of arrogance and pride (disintegration to 3). His 5 wing makes him more self-trusting and helps ground him in his decisions.