MBTI: Ebenezer Scrooge- ISTJ
It really would take the ghosts of past, present, and future to change the stubborn mind of an ISTJ. About as surprising Thorin, Dredd, or most other ISTJs, that’s really the only way they would have it; direct, solitary, and honest to the point of being rude.
Scrooge’s placement in literature is not too dissimilar to the reputation ISTJs can have among circles in MBTI. His penny-pinching and misery are legendary and if you’re not in the spirit, you’re either compared to him or the Grinch. But while the Grinch was so over the top in his attitude, Scrooge represents the everyday evils of only caring about your own routine…even when you don’t like it yourself.
Though he’s been portrayed by countless actors in various mediums, there are the core traits of Scrooge that just don’t change. But unlike the ISTP who can be stubborn and miserly, the ISTJ has this as something of a natural setting if they’ve felt their environment dictates it. With the leading function of Si (Introverted Sensing), ISTJs see the past as their guide and its only fitting that Scrooge’s past not be filled with random occurrences or things he doesn’t understand, but particular events that had a major hand in shaping his future (or rather present) self.
And this is how the story falls into place, doesn’t it? Scrooge is shown different periods of life to visually explain how things need to be different. As it goes, all SJs have Introverted Sensing as dominant or auxiliary function and will see the past as being highly important. Before they make a decision, will they consciously think “Hm. What would my past self do?” or something as obvious? Probably not, that’s not usually how it works.
But subconsciously, what they believe to be true from past experiences will be one of the biggest factors in their decision making. While everyone does this to a point, ISTJs live this way and Scrooge’s engagement falls apart as a young man when Scrooge’s fiancée leaves him upon realizing his love of money and work is more important to him than she is.
ISTJs aren’t always like this of course, but due to dominant Si, which can have the user falling prey to routine (which isn’t always a bad thing), whatever becomes the norm for the ISTJ, no matter how difficult or tiring, stays the norm. Working through all holidays, ignoring family and any kind of social life? Sure. Nevermind that happiness can’t be bought (Cliches!) and that to have a bunch of money with no life past a job you don’t even like is empty- “It’s what I’ve been doing!”
Replace the exclamation marks with periods and it’s a bit closer to the way an ISTJ might actually say it.
Scrooge: What reason have you got to be merry? You’re poor enough.
Fred: What reason have you got to be miserable? You’re rich enough.
Scrooge: There is no such thing as rich enough; only poor enough.”
The ISTJ’s auxiliary function is Te (Extroverted Thinking) makes them constructive and like their extroverted cousin, the ESTJ, whose top two functions are the same as the ISTJ only switched in order. It’s for this reason that the ISTJ and ESTJ are known for not only engaging in habits that become their lifestyle, it’s also why you won’t have to wait long for them to tell you how you should be doing things as well and it’s partly this reason that as types, they’re hated online. Hate is a strong word, sure, but there’s a lot of strong words on the internet, aren’t there?
Scrooge is rude of course, and at the beginning of the story this is a defining character trait. Anybody has it in them to be this rude, once again, though ISTJs and ESTJ specialize in it. Te doesn’t suffer a fool and the only difference between these two types when it comes to telling others what to do or how to be is that the ESTJ is a little more comfortable doing it. ISTJs want you to “act right” just as much as the ESTJ does, but by the time they’ve decided to say it to you, they’re already annoyed you haven’t corrected yourself already. Scrooge lives his life this way and really seems to work to fill the emptiness in his life rather than actually make money since it’s not as though he truly enjoys anything.
But as the story goes, Scrooge is changed overnight. Seeing your own grave can do that to a man. And from this change, people thing Scrooge has actually gone mad due to the severity of his behavior change. It is an interesting thing to see an ISTJ change their behavior or mindsets over time as well. While known for being stubborn and sticking to their guns, when given the right incentive over a long period of time, ISTJs can come to change the way they see things if it can be proven that the new way works.
And while Scrooge’s change occurred in just a few hours, he’d seen an actual lifetime still.