MBTI: Clarice and Hannibal- INTJ

Sir Anthony Hopkins feiert seinen 60. Geburtstag

It’s pretty rare to get more than one INTJ in the same room, in real life or fiction. The so-called “1%” is normally the type pulling the strings behind the scenes and is foiled by the film’s end. Here, we get an INTJ as the protagonist and supporting role.

But like any well-written INTJ, Hannibal’s supporting role is pretty much what ultimately carries the film series. For an introvert, the guy sure is a glory hog.

Reserved, sophisticated, and weird, Lecter is known for not only his love of culture and human flesh but for the bizarre he minds games he plays with just about anybody he talks to. If you know any INTJs, they probably don’t live up to the genius that Lecter is meant to embody but they’ll definitely enjoy feeling on top of whatever situation they’re in.

Hannibal 2016- a face you can trust.

Hannibal 2016- a face you can trust.

The Rational sense of humor will often create friction between whatever company they keep. Some won’t be as aware of how their behavior comes off and INTJs can be an exception to this, though many times they’ll know exactly what they’re doing. Hannibal certainly knows, but he’s locked in a cell for extended periods of time, it’s not a mystery why he would feel the need to gain some sort of control over the people he comes into contact with.

The highest ranking heroine on AFI’s 100 Heroes & Villains List coming in at number six (Hannibal is number one on the Villains’ side), Clarice Starling is an agent still with the academy when we first meet her. But even with her naivete shining through to the ever-perceptive Hannibal, it just as easily stands to reason that he sees some of himself in her. Much like she sees herself in him.

She describes Lecter as such in Lambs“small, sleek, and in his hands and arms she saw wiry strength like her own”.

Lecter family photos

Lecter family photos

This isn’t the only instance of how the two are alike, just because one compares themselves to the other. You could strongly relate to any type no matter their circumstances; but Lecter and Starling match each other nearly line for line. While Lecter seems to hold all the cards because of his dominating personality, Starling is new to it all but always has an ace up her sleeve to interest Lecter as well.

And Lecter makes it clear that he’s not just going to talk to any doctor that promises him opera records and food- he really likes Clarice. Dr. Chilton is shown to be a jerkish glory hound and comes off as less likable than Hannibal the cannibal, prompting Lecter to take special interest in Clarice, something he probably would have done anyway.

She's just got..."it" y'know?

She’s just got…”it” y’know?

When the two first meet in the film adaption of Lambs, Lecter definitely does what he can to shake Starling and it works to a point, her being a trainee and all. But ultimately, her return and general attitude toward him should tell you that she isn’t entirely turned off by his behavior. She knows he could be a valuable asset and is willing to play his games to an extent to get what she needs.

INTJs will speak with a combination of directness and that is their game, in this story and in reality: Who can get to the others’ core the quickest? Who’s blows can do the most damage and find out what the other is made of first? To some this will sound like a positive thing- you find out what a person is really like when you get to the stuff underneath and you know whether or not you can keep toying with them.

But to many, this just makes INTJ a small group of elitist bullies. They won’t see it that way and that’s why they keep doing it. Why would continue doing something if you “knew” it was wrong? INTJs will see the prodding more as a test rather than bullying.


“A census taker once tried to test me. I revealed to him that his mother never loved him and shut the door in his face. It was hilarious.”

So while Hannibal attempts to break Clarice, she usually avoids his insults by either turning things back on him or by changing the subject entirely. She’ll play his mind games if she may be able to get what she wants and sees no other way around it, but normally does not consent to his antagonizing.

All in all, it’s what makes their relationship so interesting. One has the power physically; Clarice is able to go where she wants and help Hannibal gain special privileges. Yet Hannibal, a prisoner, holds all the information and invaluable insight as to what Clarice should do next. A conversation between two INTJs will be something similar, with an odd straightforwardness that some might envy while others would find without fun.

The level of creepiness though, might be a matter of perspective.

INTJ third base.

INTJ third base.


4 Responses to “MBTI: Clarice and Hannibal- INTJ”

  1. Sairor Says:


    What type is the NEW Hannibal Lecter, though? Is he also an INTJ?

    At one point he literally says that he kills people “just to see what happens”, which sound ENTPish.

    • Taylor Says:

      I watched my first episode of Hannibal maybe a week ago. It was in the middle of season 3 so my opinion would be pretty uninformed. But I would still see him as introverted. Much of Hannibal’s goals involve the feeling of power and control regardless of what is happening to hi victims.

  2. Amande Says:

    *some spoilers*

    TV Hannibal is a quintessential ENFJ. Genius doesn’t preclude introversion, as is so often assumed, bizarrely. The fault so often made when typing him is assuming his weaknesses come from his inferior function, as they do for many people, when we must take for granted that Hannibal’s character is far more developed than most people’s, and as such his functions are almost equally developed.
    His faults lie in his irrationality – yes, stick with me. For all his intelligence, his linguist ability, his mathematical skill, his musical accomplishment, his memory, his everything typically ‘clever’, what is the one quality even the least informed person knows about him? He is a cannibal. And by what criteria does he judge a person worthy of being eaten? Being rude.

    Wait, what? Being rude? Does that sound like the kind of criteria for murder formed a T user? And we’re not talking the ‘rudeness’ of a serial killer or rapist – the kind of criteria Dexter uses to assess his potential prey (INTP). We’re talking about a person who will judge you worthy of being served for dinner because you interrupted his evening with a survey, or because you mucked up the sound of his favourite orchestra. This is not the rational choice of Te, this is the irrational side of Fe, which makes judgements based on a very personal set of beliefs with a goal to creating a world which adheres to these principles. ‘I prefer to eat the rude’ he tells Barney, ‘discourtesy is unspeakably ugly to me’ he tells Clarice. Not brutality or sadism, but impoliteness.

    Furthermore, we need only examine his actions in relation to Will Graham to see the full force of Fe. For a start, Hannibal loves people – LOVES them. Whether or not novel Lecter is an ENFJ, he’s clearly not an introvert: when out of prison he was a social butterfly, forever holding dinners and parties, sitting as a member of the Baltimore symphony board, attending exhibitions and operas. The man is a psychiatrist for crying out loud. He is absolutely fascinated by people, beyond the purely scientific, beyond medicine and anatomy and chemistry – psychology is his passion. He is also very charismatic and genuinely warm towards a lot of people, not to mention physically attracted and attractive to them (‘kinda made a girl’s fur crackle’). He returns to America in Hannibal purely to see Clarice again, to hell with the almost fatal consequences, which he was well-aware of. In the series, he actually ends up handing himself in, in order to ensure Will can see him whenever he wants to! Not the actions of a man who would ‘rationally’ decide that staying out of prison is a nicer idea, regardless of any relationships he had.

    It’s not a big stretch to assume he’s an intuitive type, and his keen observation and inductive ability point to Ni. He’s also terrifically romantic, in a strongly Ni sense – he loves seeing things tie together, patterns, repetitions, synchronicity. The tableaus he creates ring strongly of an Ni’s scope and clarity of vision along with an Se capacity to bring it to life. This is where the INTJ muddle comes from, as these qualities are shared and – as mentioned at the start – practically as well developed. But his undoubtedly fearsome Ni is clearly overshadowed by some other drive – Fe. Not to mention his far more sophisticated command over his Se (food, presentation, clothing, music, art, etc) than most INTJs.

    I could go on for pages, but I will add a link to a far more comprehensive analysis than this below. It always amuses me how easily people dismiss F when discussing so-called ‘villainous’ characters. Yet another reason why Hannibal is such a unique character.


  3. Wonderful! Love it, and love him!


Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: