MBTI: Lisbeth Salander- INTJ


In what may be about the rarest type in the worlds of reality and fiction, Salander is a great example of the female INTJ. This may not come to a surprise to people who are familiar with Type Theory and The Millenium Trilogy but people that wonder why this character has such a lasting impression with fans apart from his fashion choices can find their answer with her being properly typed.

Aside from being a rare type in general (1-2% of the population), being a female in a predominantly masculine type sets her apart as well. Her impact in the fiction world makes sense when you consider the following.

When Lisbeth plots revenge against her rapist guardian, she does so by inflicting the exact method of pain and humiliation on him that he committed on her, slightly one upping him with the tattoo across the torso. Introverted Intuition’s preference for possibilities and planning would lead to Lisbeth’s “rape” of her tormentor.

While simultaneously paying him back for what he did to her, she was also able to blackmail him into getting every cent of her inheritance while getting him to write a positive report about her character to the courts whenever he needed to. Extroverted Intuition’s strategy may have been more damaging, but without the long-range benefits that Lisbeth’s plan left her with.

A dark example, but there you are.

Life is tough, but getting a tattoo and blackmailing makes it easier.

Life is tough, but getting a tattoo and blackmailing makes it easier.

Lisbeth’s blunt attitude in conversation in reality would be off-putting (as real-life INTJs have surely found) and it’s possible that she’s aware of this but doesn’t see another way around her chosen language. Te’s way of confrontation and honesty over Ti’s passivity and slyness leads  many people to see Lisbeth as difficult to get along with, when her actual goal is to give you the answer exactly how she thinks it. Te has a way of hurting people’s feelings.

Susan: Do these shoes make my ankles look fat?

INTJ: (Looks down, pause) Yes.

Susan gets pissed, stomps out of room in shoes that somehow make her ankles look fat wondering how the INTJ could be so mean! The INTJ says, “You asked.”

Lisbeth’s cold, unfriendly demeanor is reasoned to us by her traumatic childhood, but it’s highly possible that, being an INTJ, she was going to come off distant anyway. Her affinity for computers also resembles the INTJ disposition of preferring things, technology, and work (she is a hacker, after all) to people and even friends.

"I wish you were a computer."

“I wish you were a computer.”

Her closest allies throughout the stories are Blomqkvist, and Mariam. Two characters in her life that are here-and-gone, mostly because of Lisbeth herself and her tendency to disappear and reappear at will. She is, in many ways, the very opposite of what a woman is “supposed” to be, something female Rationals are probably also familiar with hearing in their life at some point.

Salander decides to have sex with Mikael after he’s been shot not because of an overwhelming attraction that she just can’t deny anymore, but more so as a way of getting his mind off of his head gash. She seems to go about it like it’s the most logical decision at the time.

INTJs are also prone to hiding emotion so often that to display anything other than “the cold truth” is a rare move and a huge gamble to their character as far as the INTJ sees. “If I say I’m sorry, they might expect me to go soft on them AGAIN later on. They might think the rest of me is an act. Hell no, I’m not getting flowers for them!

Introverted Feeling third will be used to dissect their own feelings, allowing them to make a decision about what to say rather than Extroverted Feelings “in-the-moment” attitude.

Yet at the same time, INTJs are known to take part in certain social norms, seeing them as having some use. “If getting the promotion and moving up the ladder to running this place means I have to say “Hi” to every customer that walks in with a stupid smile on my face, sure, I’ll do it.

In Lisbeth’s case, getting cosmetic enhancements in the third book implies that she is conscious of her body and how she’s viewed, despite what her appearance says to many. Compare this to the INTP female’s more likely response of…not thinking about a boob job ever in her life or having it ever cross her mind.

A young adult INTJ may move out more to say “I don’t need anybody” than to gain independence from their parents that won’t let them drink, set rules for them, etc.

If a filthy habit and the computer isn't INTJ, I don't know what is.

If a filthy habit and the computer isn’t INTJ, I don’t know what is.

7 Responses to “MBTI: Lisbeth Salander- INTJ”

  1. Great post! As an INTJ, I see your dissection very accurate.

  2. It is I, a rare female INTJ, here to tell you all about how I'm a rare female INTJ. Says:

    Is it possible that she’s actually an ISTP?

  3. Im pretty sure I read on the MBTI that Lizabeth is a ISTP… Not a INTJ. And I always thought that ISTP fit her perfectly anyways… :-/

  4. […] haven’t personally read this series or seen any of the film adaptations, but here’s a link to a really good article typing Lisbeth as an INTJ. Real-life INTJs tend to relate to Lisbeth’s blunt, factual, and straightforward approach to […]

  5. Rosie Nell Says:

    I disagree- I think she’s an ENTJ; her Te is dominant, backed up by auxiliary Ni. And when she’s stressed, she goes into a Te-Se loop- making impulsive- but rational decisions. Also- not all INTJs are blunt- that’s a ridiculous assessment. It’s like saying all ESFPs like to party. Fe does not mean they they sugarcoat things, likewise with Fi: they aren’t always going to be cold and blunt. Also- ENTJs are rarer than INTJs ( actually right now they are the rarest type in the world )


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