Samwise Gamgee: ISFJ

Guest post by E. J., INTJ

Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien

Samwise Gamgee ISFJ | Lord of the Rings #MBTI #ISFJ

Dominant Si: Most hobbits are traditionalists, and, in that sense, Sam is the quintessential hobbit. He understands life in based on his experiences growing up in the Shire and frequently refers to it in conversation, even when he is in danger hundreds of miles away. Sam also quotes his father frequently, even though Sam is better educated and probably more intelligent. On the road, he continues to use courtesy terms for Frodo, Merry, and Pippin, despite the fact that the differences between upper and lower classes in the Shire are largely irrelevant outside it. Sam has difficulty accepting new ideas: Tolkien himself, although fond of Sam, remarked that his narrow-mindedness would make him almost insufferable if the Ring quest had not forced him to mature. Sam’s traditionalism is one of the reasons why he dislikes Gollum, who comes from a hobbit-like people but behaves in a very un-hobbit-like manner.

Samwise Gamgee ISFJ | Lord of the Rings #MBTI #ISFJ

Auxiliary Fe: Sam cares about living in harmony with other people, and he is normally a very kind person. He can be hostile, however, to those who disturb others’ general harmony. In the Shire, he resents Ted Sandyman for being critical of Bilbo and Frodo. On the quest, he despises Gollum for attempting to deceive Frodo. While Sam cares deeply about all the people he considers good, he has a special attachment to a few of them, especially Frodo. Usually he is good at anticipating Frodo’s needs, although sometimes Frodo’s reluctance to discuss his feelings makes Sam’s task difficult. (He expresses his own emotions openly, crying around other people many times throughout the book.) Sam is more concerned about Frodo’s well-being than his own, to the point that he often thinks less about his own future than about helping Frodo fulfill his quest. Sam is not particularly good at explaining his own feelings. After he has carried the Ring himself and finally understands Gollum’s addiction, he finds himself unable to explain his changed feelings to Gollum, although he wants to respond in a more sympathetic way.

Samwise Gamgee ISFJ | Lord of the Rings #MBTI #ISFJ

Tertiary Ti: Sam reasons using an internal, common sense-based logical system. He does not usually adapt his logical system to changing circumstances. Instead trying to respond to Gollum based on an empirical analysis of their situation, Sam responds with what he considers common sense. Unfortunately, Gollum’s psyche does not fit into his understanding of how the world operates. As a result, Sam often has trouble interacting with him on a rational level.

Samwise Gamgee ISFJ | Lord of the Rings #MBTI #ISFJ

Inferior Ne: A part of Sam longs for new experiences, despite his overall traditionalism. During his education by Bilbo, Sam leared about Bilbo’s travels, and he developed a fierce longing to see the Elves for himself. He is initially eager to go on the Ring quest with Frodo because he hopes they will meet some Elves along the way. When pushed into difficult circumstances, Sam can respond creatively. The trek through Morder was unlike anything Sam had ever experienced before, but he adapts to the new situation, ensuring that he and Frodo reach Mount Doom. Sam comes up with the idea that they should disguise themselves as Orcs, which allows them to pass through the Orc armies without being arrested.

7 thoughts on “Samwise Gamgee: ISFJ

    • I suppose, but then Tolkien always said he was a hobbit, but Sam, the quintessential hobbit, happens to be the hobbit that Tolkien liked the least. He really didn’t enjoy writing Sam, which is ironic in context of how loved Sam is by the fandom.


      • Maybe he wasn’t really a hobbit, then. (Tolkein, I mean.) Maybe he just THOUGHT he was a hobbit.

        How about his ISTJ characters–like Eomer–did he enjoy writing those?


        • I’m not sure about his ISTJ characters. I’m studying Tolkien this term and was reading a very detailed letter he had written to a fan in response to the question of Sam being the most “loved” character. And he, evidently, intended Sam to be perceived as bumbling and pathetic, rather than as a humble hero.


      • He failed, then, I guess. Every LotR fan I know loves Sam to pieces–like you said.

        Do you know who his favorite hobbit actually was? (I’m guessing Frodo, since he seems to be the least-typical of all the hobbits.)



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