Guest Post by E. J., INTJ
Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien
Dominant Si: Éomer was raised in Rohan and firmly believes in the way of life that was instilled in him as a young boy. Although Wormtongue’s influence was weakening his uncle, King Theoden, Éomer’s close friendship with his older cousin Theodred, as well as the relationships built through his military training, ensure that Éomer is thoroughly formed by the culture of Rohan–in particular, its military and leadership traditions. The adult Éomer becomes angry when he sees how Wormtongue is subverting Rohan’s traditional values, but his loyalty to Theoden’s kingship never wavers.
Auxiliary Te: Éomer is a practical man, and he is willing to break with usual practices if the change will accomplish more important goals. When his band captures Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli, Éomer quickly recognizes that Aragorn is a trustworthy man and urges him to come to Theoden’s hall to help the people of Rohan. Aragorn’s refusal forces Éomer to decide whether to follow the law, which says he cannot release Aragorn, or his own logic, which tells him that Aragorn should be allowed to continue his search. Ultimately, Éomer chooses to bend the law to help Aragorn. Not only does he free him, but he also lends horses to the three travelers, only asking that they return the horses to the king’s hall once their search is over. Wormtongue has Éomer arrested for his decision to bend the law, but Éomer, convinced the choice was sound, shows no regret whatsoever. In the end, Éomer’s decision to free the travelers saves Rohan from Wormtongue’s treachery. Éomer’s empirically-based choices usually have good results, and Éomer leads Rohan well–both as a war leader and, eventually, as its king.
Tertiary Fi: Éomer holds very firm beliefs about right and wrong, and he is convinced that Wormtongue’s behavior toward Theoden and Éowyn is wrong. He refrains from acting on his feelings for a very long time and does not clearly voice his opinion about Wormtongue. Nevertheless, Wormtongue sees that Éomer’s antipathy toward him is strong and arrests Eomer in an attempt to avoid the eventual consequences of Éomer’s opposition. After Wormtongue’s fall, Éomer becomes heavily involved in the War of the Ring because he believes that Rohan’s cause is objectively right. Éomer’s emotions are internally focused, and sometimes he misses what others are feeling. Aragorn (inferior Fe) senses that Éowyn is struggling almost immediately, but Éomer is largely oblivious to Éowyn’s feelings, despite his enormous concern for her safety. Éomer is upset, shocked, and confused when Éowyn is discovered lying on the battlefield. Aragorn has to explain Éowyn’s emotions to her older brother–even though Éomer grew up with Éowyn, while Aragorn has only interacted with her on a few occasions.
Inferior Ne: While Éomer’s leadership and fighting styles are quite traditional, he is not hostile toward new ways of doing things if they appear more practical to him. If someone Éomer considers trustworthy suggests an unusual idea, he will nearly always consider it. Éomer accepts the help of Ghan-buri-Ghan, regardless of old hostilities between the Wild Men and the people of Rohan. Some old ideas die hard, however. Éomer was raised on superstitions (well-founded, as it turns out) about the Paths of the Dead. When he learns that Aragorn intends to leave the Rohirrim and go there, Éomer makes it clear that he will not consider going with him. Éomer trusts Aragorn and believes that Aragorn must have a good reason for seeking the Paths of the Dead, but Éomer is unwilling to undertake such supernatural risks himself.