The Pillars of the Earth: Tom Builder [INTJ 1w2]

Function Order: Ni-Te-Fi-Se

“I won’t see this church completed.Nor will you, Alfred. Nor you, Jack, most likely. I may see it roofed. You might see the interior well on its way. But it might be 50 years before it’s finished, which is why I teach you. That’s why you must never stop learning even after I’m gone.”

Tom Builder

Tom is a visionary whose grand idea for the cathedral surpasses anything Philip has ever before seen. He wants to make it majestic, has specific ideas about how to build a vaulted ceiling made of stone, and is determined to see it made a reality, though he also knows he will not live to see its completion. He tells his sons that such structures can take fifty years or more, and that if they are lucky, one of them may live to see the roof put on. He shoots down Alfred’s suggestion of a vaulted stone roof, because he believes it will crumble because the walls cannot take the weight (he is later proven right; Philip allows Alfred to build it after his father’s death, and it collapses due to the weight). Philip calls him an “idealist and a dreamer,” but his vision for the cathedral spurs on the builders for 35 years. Though he has a blind spot for his son Alfred, in that he doesn’t fully want to admit to how cruel, spiteful, and wicked his own blood can be, Tom also has a pragmatic approach to all the decisions he makes. When he must send one son away, due to their constant fighting, he chooses his flesh and blood over Jack, even though he has foreseen that Jack is “brilliant… a genius” stone carver, because he knows Philip will miss Jack more, and be amenable to his return in a few months. Believing his newborn son will not live long, and knowing they have no milk to give him, Tom chooses to let him freeze to death in the woods—then a few miles up the road, realizes he cannot stand to do this and rushes back to collect him (only to find him gone). A non-traditional man, Tom doesn’t like Philip trying to force Ellen and her son into sharing his religious beliefs, and urges him to “let them be who they are.”

Enneagram: 1w2 sp/so

Tom has a temper that only gets out of hand when those within his care do not behave as they should, show the proper respect to the authorities, or treat each other with respect. He is angry and disappointed at Alfred and Jack’s inability to get along, but also pleads with them to make more of an effort for his sake. It horrifies him to learn that Jack burned down the first cathedral, so that he could stay, have work, and build the second. Tom doesn’t feel right about sleeping with Ellen outside of marriage, and asks her to marry him several times – he worries about people “talking” about them negatively, which she scoffs at. Though severe at times in chastising people, and firm in demanding what he is due, Tom is also willing to forgive people and allow them to remain in his good graces. He may be over-indulgent, in that respect, with his son, for his desire to help him only makes him even more proud and vengeful.