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Enneagram Types in The Lord of the Rings Trilogy

Updated: Jan 14

While I’m not a big fan of using personality assessments on fictional characters because it usually devolves into silly debates, I was inspired by a recent trip to New Zealand and couldn't help myself. We use every Enneagram type at least once in our character analysis, including the wings of each type. Each fictional character’s Enneagram type match might not be perfect, but for the sake of truly helping people better understand the Enneagram, the typing will offer symbolic representations of real character traits from each type.

1 wing 9: Galadriel

While several characters from The Lord of the Rings could fit the One wing Nine (1w9) description, Galadriel, aka the Lady of the Wood, seemed the best fit as 1w9s are known for their wisdom, spirituality, and a great deal of repressed anger.

When Galadriel rejects the temptation of the Ring's power and says: “In place of a dark lord, you would have a queen. Not dark, but beautiful and terrible as the dawn.” -- she offers a great image of a Type One going to Type four in disintegration. The fact that she feels the need to test herself in order to see if she is truly good and capable of withstanding the Ring’s temptation aligns with the Type One’s intense moral willpower. “I passed the test.”

Galadriel is known for her wisdom and foresight, which is on display during her interaction with Frodo as she foretells of the future and alludes to Boromir’s desire to take the Ring from Frodo. Although she says to Frodo, “You know of whom I speak.”

Lastly, being dressed in flawless glowing white clothes is a big turn on for the Type One’s taste for symbolic purity and perfection.

1 wing 2: Frodo

Frodo highlights many of the best characteristics of the Type One Reformer. Frodo is very concerned with doing what’s right, even if it costs him everything. “I will take the ring. I will take it!”

Like a typical One, Frodo feels the weight of the world is on his shoulders. Many of the other hobbits are quite sneaky, playful, or downright childish, but Frodo is more serious and discerning. “Frodo suspects something. Of course he does. He’s a Baggins. Not some blockheaded.”

Furthermore, Frodo has a strong moral compass and is able to resist the evil of the ring he carries.And yet to have come so far still bearing the ring, the hobbit has shown extraordinary resilience to it’s evil.”

Frodo even shows a bit of the harsh, critical nature of Type One in his initial perception of Gollum, though this changes throughout the course of the story. “It’s a pity Bilbo didn’t kill him when he had the chance.”

Lastly, the Two wing suits Frodo because of his willingness to serve the Fellowship through direct action rather than with his philosophic morals, which would be more like a 1w9.

“Then I know what I must do” It also creates a nice overlap with his best friend and some-would-say “true hero of the story,” Samwise Gamgee.

2 wing 1: Samwise Gamgee

Samwise Gamgee is a true Type Two Helper with a One wing (2w1). Sam is noble, committed, and willing to serve the ones he loves with his entire being. Sam also has the most epic Enneagram Two quote of all time: “I can’t carry it for you, but I can carry you!”

When Twos are threatened, they often take on the bold, brash, aggressive traits of the Type Eight Challenger, which Sam does constantly through each of the three films.“Let him go, or I’ll have you, Longshanks.”

Twos are also in the Positive Outlook Group of the Harmonic Triad and Sam radiates positivity as he constantly seeks to encourage Frodo even in the bleakest moments:

“But in the end, it’s only a passing thing. This shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it’ll shine out the clearer.”

While it may be easy to label Sam as a Type Six Loyalist because he’s loyal to Frodo, 2w1s often mistype themselves as Sixes, especially men. Sam's unrelenting spirit of positivity doesn’t embody the Six's tendency toward a more realistic, if not often pessimistic, worldview. Plus he always brings the food, and If any of you have a Type Two mom, then you know their snack game is unparalleled.

2 wing 3: Elrond

Twos with a Three wing (2w3) are called “The Host” because they serve people through their gifts, talents, resources, and yes, their homes. In the first LOTR movie, Elrond welcomes all types of folks to Rivendell--men, hobbits, dwarves, wizards, etc. in order to host the council that ultimately becomes The Fellowship of the Ring.

Elrond also helps heal Frodo after he is stabbed by the Nazgul. While Elrond doesn’t portray the peppy, upbeat demeanor typical of 2w3s, he does shows the willingness to serve those in need like a Two while leading his people like a Three.

Unhealthy or stressed 2w3s tend to lie to themselves about why they’re helping people, when they’re really just manipulating them to get what they want. In Return of the King, we find out that Elrond hid the truth about Arwen’s future with Aragorn because he selfishly wanted her to come with him to the undying lands with her people.

3 wing 2: Faramir

The Enneagram Type Three is called the Achiever because they’re defined by a need to appear successful in order to cope with a deep sense of shame around their identity. If there’s one character in The Lord of the Rings that fits this description to a tee, it’s Faramir.

Faramir is a loved and respected leader amongst his soldiers, but he's plagued with shame because he feels like a disappointment to his father, Denethor II, the terrible steward of Gondor. It doesn't help that his father says he wishes Faramir was dead:

Faramir: “You wish now that our places had been exchanged. That I had died and Boromir had lived."

Denethor II: "Yes.”

Threes are fueled by praise, and Twos want to be loved, especially by their fathers,

“If I return, think better of me father.” Faramir depicts the starved needs of a 3w2 in his willingness to go on a suicide mission simply to please his father. At the same time, he also depicts the strong leadership skills of a Three in the fact that his men are willing to follow him even in to certain death.

3 wing 4: Aragorn

Aragorn is a mix of the Three’s fantastic leadership skills and the Four’s dark, brooding sense of self, making him a solid Three wing Four (3w4). Threes are known for being natural born leaders as they have an ability to inspire folks from all walks of life, like elves, dwarves, humans, hobbits--even ghosts follow him!

When Threes are overwhelmed with shame and insecurity, they can look like unhealthy Nines that try to avoid dealing with living as an anonymous ranger when you’re actually the king of Gondor--reflecting a strong Four wing.

Lastly, when Threes feel healthy and secure in themselves, they take on the best traits of the Type Six Loyalist and stop hiding in dark corners, they become a selfless and committed member of the team willing to bravely fight for those in need. “Not if we hold true to each other.”

4 wing 3: Arwen

Arwen embodies many major traits of the Four with a Three wing (4w3). Arwen is constantly looking forlorn and melancholy as she pines for her lover. Fours typically feel more intense attraction to people that are not physically present. They live in their imagination and can stir up some pretty heavy emotions while doing so.

You could also say that Fours are hopeless romantics, much like Arwen who is willing to do some dramatic things, like sacrifice eternal life, in order to live and die with the one she loves.

Arwen also rebels against the vision of her father and the expectations of her Elven community in order to do her own thing and look.

Her polished demeanor and elite status amongst the elves lends her the Three wing, as 4w3s are called The Aristocrat. Plus she prides herself in being a faster rider than Aragorn, which reflects the competitiveness of the Three as well.

4 wing 5: Legolas

Peter Jackson made the elves in The Lord of the Rings moody, ethereal looking beings that live in elegant, almost monastic, communities deep within the forest. While that may not align with perfectly with the books, it does create the perfect backdrop for the Four wing Five (4w5) aka “The Bohemian.” That's Legolas.

4w5s feel deeply, but do not readily express their emotions directly. After Gandalf dies, Legolas cannot even bear to translate the elvish songs of mourning to the rest of the group when Mary asks what they’re saying: "I have not the heart to tell you. For me, the grief is still too near.”

While Fours are generally stereotyped as the creative or artsy Enneagram type, it's arguable that what Legolas does with his bow and arrow and general fighting style is a creative expression, like the martial arts.

This one might be a bit of a stretch, but lastly, a Four and an Eight teaming up would be the epitome of opposites attract. Since Legolas’ close friend Gimli is pegged as an Eight, it made sense to cast Legolas as a Four.

5 wing 4: Saruman

Enneagram Fives with a Four wing (5w4) are some of the most isolated, intelligent, and crafty individuals you’ll meet, which more or less sums up the master wizard himself, Saruman.

5w4s are the most naturally withdrawn Enneagram type, and Saruman seems to spend all three movies holed up in his creepy black tower in Isengard.

Fives also tend to be morally ambiguous as they’re pragmatism drives them to do whatever keeps them safe, much like how Saruman started out as a "good guy" alongside Gandalf, and shifted to the dark side once Sauron started to look unbeatable. “Against the power of Mordor, there can be no victory. We must join with him.”

Fives will even behave like aggressive Type Eight Challengers when they feel secure, and for Saruman, that looks like chopping down an entire forest to breed an army of Urak-hai.

Lastly, Fives are called “Investigators” because they crave knowledge, which often leads them down some dark rabbit holes. Saruman was likely corrupted by his use of the palantir because he couldn’t help but study the dark magic of this mysterious and powerful crystal ball.

5 wing 6: Gollum

While it's probably not fun to have your Enneagram type connected to an unsavory character like Gollum, it's a pretty strong match for the Five wing Six (5w6). The Five's chief struggle is with a kind of isolating avarice. Fives deep down want to protect what they value most, what they find: "My precious!" Once they find that thing they can become total reclusive minimalists.

Fives are also known for their trust issues. "They will tick you, hurt you, lie."

The Six wing creates an inner tension for Fives because the natural pull for Fives is away from people, while the movement of Sixes is towards people. We see the same push-pull inner dialogue between Gollum and Smeagol throughout all three books and films.

When Gollum is talking, his pupils get really narrow, but when Smeagol is talking his pupils dilate. This is a fun metaphor for the way he let’s more light in as Smeagol. An important piece of advice for Fives is to go towards the light, as Fives are often drawn to dark or taboo areas of society.

6 wing 5: Boromir

Boromir represents a Six wing Five (6w5) because of how he behaves in the very first scene he’s in, which is the council at Rivendell. Boromir is a mix of confidence and fear, leadership, and cowardice:

  • “It is a gift. Give Gondor the weapon of the enemy. Let us use it against him.”

  • “Not with 10,000 men could you do this. It is folly.”

This paradoxical nature is primarily caused by the Six’s lifelong struggle with fear and doubt. “It is a strange fate that we should suffer so much fear and doubt over so small a thing.”

Boromir is also very attached to the authority of his father which is another common trait of Sixes:

  • “Long has my father, the steward of Gondor, kept the forces of Mordor at bay.”

  • “She spoke of my father.”

  • “My father is a noble man.”

Also, when Sixes have a Five wing they struggle even more with doubt, worry, and cynicism: “It is long since we had any hope.” But 6w5s are also known as “The Defender” because they often use their skills to protect weaker folks, like helpless hobbits.

6 wing 7: Merry

Merry is an Enneagram Six with a Seven wing (6w7), also known as “The Buddy.” Merry is almost as concerned as Pippin is with having a good time, but he’s a little more mature about his recreational tendencies.

We see Merry exhibit this more grounded perspective in his scrutiny and criticism of Pip’s careless behavior. Sixes are typically more responsible and restrained than Sevens, which is why they have a tendency to nip at those closest to them:

  • “Why do you always have to look?!”

  • “You smoke too much, Pip.”

Lastly, the main virtue of healthy Sixes is their courage and willingness to fight for underdog causes, and we see this multiple times as Merry tries to convince the ents to go to war:

“You must do something. You are young and brave master Merry," as well as in Merry’s desire join the army of men in Return of the King: “To battle.”

7 wing 6: Pippin

While the hobbits seem to have a culture defined by Seven-ness, no one exemplifies the most cliche aspects of the Type Seven Enthusiast quite like Peregrin Took. Pippin is the embodiment of the Seven's key struggle with gluttony:

  • “It comes in pints? I’m getting one.”

  • “We’ve had one yes. But what about second breakfast? What about elevenses?”

Pippin is upbeat, fun-loving, ever-curious and mischievous, in a harmless way (well, mostly harmless…). While Sevens love having a good time, the Six wing adds a layer of relational loyalty to their sense of adventure, which we see in his attachment to Merry.

7 wing 8: Bilbo

Bilbo Baggins is a perfect mix of the upbeat, adventurous Seven mixed with the independent, and somewhat rebellious spirit of the Eight. The sign nailed to his fence pretty much sums it up:

“No admittance, exception on party business!”

When we first meet Bilbo, he’s throwing himself a massive birthday party, entertaining children with stories of his adventures, smoking some pipe weed with Gandalf, and slurring his speech after a few too many ales, and then pulling the an epic Irish goodbye.

Sevens struggle with over indulgence and Eights struggle with lust for power and autonomy. Bilbo embodies all of these traits in his interactions with the Ring. He keeps the Ring because it helps him live longer and have the strength to do what he wants.

Lastly, we see Bilbo embody the Seven’s move to Type Five in security when he finally settles down and finishes his life’s work:

“There and Back Again: A Hobbit's Tale" by Bilbo Baggins

8 wing 7: Gimli

The grouchy yet lovable dwarf Gimli, Son of Gloin, is in many ways a classic Type Eight Challenger. The first time we meet Gimli he’s trying to destroy the Ring with sheer, brute force and getting pretty snappy with the elves: “I will be dead before I see the ring in the hands of an elf.”

Eights are defined by their need to fight against what they find to be evil, corrupt, or anything that threatens their independence. Eights feel energized when they face extreme adversity: “Argh, let them come! There is one dwarf left in Moria that still draws breath!”

When Eights feel secure, they become big 'ol softies that resemble Type Two Helpers:

Gimli: “Never thought I’d die fighting next to an elf."

Legolas: "What about next to a friend?"

Gimli: "Aye… I could do that”

8 wing 9: Eowyn

Eowyn is a great example of an Enneagram Eight with a Nine wing (8w9). Eowyn is a badass shieldmaden of Rohan: “Those who do not fight by swords can still die by them. I fear neither death nor pain.”

All Eights believe the world is dangerous and that you must protect yourself. They also have a natural longing for autonomy and heroic action. When Aragorn asks Eowyn what she fears, she says: “A cage. To stay behind bars until use and old age accept them. And all chance of valor has gone beyond recall or desire.”

Her Nine wing shows up in her internal or reserved strength rather than the brash, overt aggression of the 8w7.

9 wing 8: Gandalf

Gandalf is a Nine wing Eight (9w8) because he’s a perfect mix of lovable and strong. At their core, Nines are filled with radical acceptance for all people. It’s why they’re so easy to like, and why they’re often able to hold divisive groups of people together, like...a Fellowship of the Ring filled with men, hobbits, elves, and dwarves.

Even Saruman wanted Gandalf on his side once he turned alleigances: “We must join with him, Gandalf.” But that’s where Gandalf shows his Eight wing, going blow for blow with Saruman in order to fight against evil & oppression.

9w8s are also called “The Referee” because they don’t mind raising their voice to keep people in line: “Bilbo Baggins, I’m not here to rob you! I'm here to help you.” Their sternness or anger can be shocking as the seemingly chill Nine let’s their Eight wing shine.

Furthermore, Gandalf demonstrates that trademark Type Nine non-judgemental perspective when discussing Gollum with Frodo:

Frodo: “Pity Bibo didn’t kill him when he had the chance.”

Gandalf: “Pity? It is pity that stayed Bilbo’s hand. Do not be too eager to deal out death and judgement. Even the very wise cannot see all ends.”

Lastly, Nines are often called lazy, but it’s far more like a preference for unproductive activities. Nines love anything that can help them chill out for a bit, like smoking their pipe lighting some fireworks. “Your love of the halfling’s leaf has clearly slowed your mind.”

9 wing 1: Treebeard

Treebeard is a funny yet fitting depiction of the Enneagram Nine wing One (9w1). Average or unhealthy Nines avoid conflict as much as they can. And when the hobbits try to convince Treebeard to go to war against Sauron, he says "no": “The ents cannot hold this storm. We must weather such things as we have always done. This is not our war.”

It’s not until Treebeard's peaceful environment is destroyed by seeing the forests of Isengard cut down that he finally decides to get involved.

The One wing makes Nines very principled and concerned with doing the right thing. They will lead the charge to make the world a better place, as secure Nines take on many of the strengths of the Type Three Achiever. However, the One wing does make already slow moving Nines even slower when it comes to taking action: “It takes a long time to say anything in old Entish, and we never say anything unless it is worth taking a long time to say."

Final Thoughts

It's an interesting parallel that there are nine members of the The Fellowship of the Ring, nine Ringwraiths that make up the Nazgul hunting the ring, and nine Enneagram types that are defined by the dark side of the ego, and the bright side of their essence.

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