The Enneagram and Lord of the Rings, Part I: Frodo, Type 6. By guest blogger, Kelly Gomez

Frodo (Elijah Wood)

Frodo (Elijah Wood)

How do authors create dynamic characters for their novels? Many people believe authors know people who are characters in themselves, and choose to write a book based on the characters in their own lives. Sometimes, although less common, authors create characters that were inspired by a well-known personality type. There are plenty of personality types out there, derived from many different systems, such as the Myers-Briggs system, The Temperament God Gave You temperament system, and the Enneagram. The Enneagram is an interesting personality system because it teaches us how different people are motivated; whether it is a drive for success, emotional security, or the need to feel loved.  


                  In the series, The Lord of The Rings, and in the first book (The Fellowship of the Rings) a hobbit, Frodo, is called by a great wizard to go on a long and perilous journey. Frodo agrees to venture on this journey because he believes it is his duty after he is entrusted with a magic ring. The ring holds an insurmountable power, and must be destroyed before powers of the Dark Forces discover it. The only way for the ring to be destroyed is if it is taken to Mount Doom by Frodo. One thing clearly explained in the first book of the series is that most hobbits never leave their homes or communities under any circumstance. What is surprising is that Frodo joins Gandalf and agrees to leave his home behind. He is accompanied by his gardener and friend, Sam Gamgee. (Pictured, Frodo Baggins)


                 What kind of hobbit would choose to leave all the comforts of food, warmth, and shelter in order to venture on a dangerous journey?


                  Frodo’s personality is similar to the type 6 personality of the Enneagram, the Questioner. A type 6 makes decisions based on their need for personal safety. Frodo may feel that not returning the ring could put his life in danger if the Dark Forces were to find it in the Shire (where the hobbits live). Sometimes a type 6 may choose to take risks (even dangerous ones) in order to conquer their fear of risk taking. Frodo is like a counter-phobic type 6 and prefers to boldly confront danger instead of run away from it. Type 6’s are also very loyal and dutiful and seek the guidance of those in authority. It wouldn’t be unusual for Frodo to accept the ring that was given to him by his uncle, and to accompany the great wizard on a journey (as his duty) to prevent the Dark Forces from destroying the world.


A few bloggers have also commented on who they believe Frodo to be:


“Frodo definitely is possessed of a noble and admirable character. We can look at the various words used in this criterion by definition: Noble – lofty and exalted character – showing greatness and magnanimity; Magnanimous – noble of mind and heart; generous in forgiving, above revenge or resentment; unselfish; gracious; Admirable – to have a high opinion of; to esteem or respect.” (


 “INFP…Frodo Baggins.” (


“Frodo, the ring-bearer, carrying a burden that ripped him apart from the inside and almost destroyed everything he was…had the vision, bravery and resolve of character to get the ring all the way to Mordor… [To] not recognize him as one of the noblest of heroes shows a great lack of understanding of the power of evil and forgets that though Frodo makes it look easy, it wasn’t.”



Merry and Pippin

Merry and Pippin


According to The Enneagram Made Easy, written by Elizabeth Wagele, type 6’s like to work in teams. At the edge of the Shire (the town where Frodo lives), he meets Merry and Pippin, two other hobbit brothers that decide to join him. Frodo (a type 6) welcomes them on his journey because he knows that it would be more fun with others to accompany him.


Kelly Gomez is a student at the University of California, Berkeley, majoring in English. She was an extern for Elizabeth for two weeks during winter break, 2014.


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Projecting Self-doubts on Others

"I must have deserved this."He “blamed” a restaurant after he lost his house.

Seth’s house washed away in a storm. He lost everything, including valuable paintings, antiques, and computers containing all his writings.

In the nineteen years since he designed and built his dream house, several floods have come close and terrified him. Recently he woke up to the sound of rushing water and began filling sandbags. All his neighbors evacuated but he stayed to fight. The neighbors, who had collected together in a safe place, thought he had died. Some scolded him for taking a dangerous chance.

After listening to the details of his experience, his friend Linette did Seth a favor, she thought, by telling him about the new take-out restaurant that delivers a hot meal in less than ten minutes for $6.00, thinking he could use such a convenience as he rebuilds his life. To Linette’s surprise, however, Seth became angry and attacked the restaurant: “This place is delivering food to 3 year olds who can’t cook it themselves!” he ranted. “Restaurants have to make sure they never run out of food, so they waste a lot of it. People these days don’t even know how to cook their own meals!” And he boasted that he only shops for food every two weeks. Linette felt his anger was directed partly to her, as if he was telling her, “I-have-all-the-answers-so-why-are-you-wasting-my-time?”

Perhaps Seth’s sudden burst of moral superiority was an unconscious attempt to feel better about himself after his loss. Suffering a natural disaster can result in feelings of self-doubt and shame. “I got picked on because I’m a loser.” Without quite realizing it, we try to feel okay by comparing ourselves to others, tearing someone or something down to inflate ourselves and prove our worth.

Linette felt Seth was browbeating her and calling HER one of those 3 year olds. She wanted to keep the peace, however, because Seth had just undergone a trauma. So she struggled to keep her mouth shut.

Seth seemed to be making sure Linette, and more to the point, HE (Seth), knew he was capable and could handle everything. In Enneagram terms, Seth, an independent 5-Observer, has a strong 4-Romantic wing and a need to feel special. He needed more attention than he was getting concerning his loss and his survival.

Linette eventually realized Seth had lashed out in response to  stress, fear, and shame. Scolding her and “her restaurant” was a projection—a way of scolding himself for putting himself in harm’s way. She realized his need to boost himself up had little or nothing to do with her. When she next saw him he was more in touch with his grief. Instead of lashing out he expressed his real feelings, that he was depressed and overwhelmed.

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