What’s the number one rule of the Enneagram?
Everybody say it with me now: “I will not type other people.”
Learning the Enneagram is a journey of self-discovery. No one can tell you your number. Only you can know your own motivations, fears, and desires. It’s not some party trick, Oooh, let me guess everyone’s number and tell me if I’m right! You can make assumptions, but you’re better off keeping them to yourself. If you tell someone what you think their number is, you are robbing them of a valuable part of the experience.
But while I won’t sit here and tell others what I think their type is, it can be a lot of fun to discuss the types of fictional characters. You can’t really be “wrong,” and even if you are you aren’t hurting anyone in the process. When it comes to literary figures, we are often given a glimpse into their inner thoughts, motivations, fears, and desires. We can make certain conclusions about them that we can’t for our friends and family.
So let’s start with the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, shall we?
I’m currently re-reading the entire series. I’m about midway through book 6, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. If you’ve never read the series, then what are you waiting for, ya Muggle?!
The characters in Harry Potter are incredibly well-written and developed. JK Rowling makes you fall in love with these characters. You genuinely care about what happens to them. By the end of the series, they feel like close personal friends. She also brilliantly writes some positively unlikeable characters apart from the main antagonist.
Her characters are so great and relatable because they are consistent within themselves. They grow and develop in a believable way. They respond to situations in ways that are in line with what we already know about them. And this makes the characters a good case study for Enneagram Types.
Some of them are rather easy to pin. Let’s begin with those.
- Hermione Granger – a textbook ONE if there ever was one
- Hagrid – a TWO all the way
- Severus Snape – most likely a FIVE with a dominant FOUR wing
- Professor McGonnagal – most certainly a ONE
- Luna Lovegood – almost stereotypically a FOUR
- Gilderoy Lockhart – a very unhealthy THREE
- Draco Malfoy – also an unhealthy THREE with a strong FOUR wing
- The Weasley Family…
- Ginny – EIGHT
- Fred & George – SEVEN, do you really need to ask?
- Percy – ONE
- Mrs. Weasley – TWO
- Mr. Weasley – probably a FIVE with a strong SIX wing
- Ron – phobic SIX
- Neville Longbottom – most likely a NINE
- Sirius Black – SEVEN with an EIGHT wing or vice versa, it’s difficult to say
- Albus Dumbledore – many lists like this have him as a FIVE, but I think he’s most certainly a NINE
- Tom Riddle/Lord Voldemort – learning his back story makes me believe he is an unhealthy FOUR with a dominant THREE wing
To compensate for insecurities, they become sarcastic and belligerent, blaming others for their problems, taking a tough stance toward “outsiders.” Highly reactive and defensive, dividing people into friends and enemies, while looking for threats to their own security. Authoritarian while fearful of authority, highly suspicious, yet, conspiratorial, and fear-instilling to silence their own fears.
I believe that description fits Harry perfectly, especially throughout book 5, The Order of the Phoenix. And that is the description of a Low-Average type SIX.
Enneagram SIXES can be split into two subtypes: Phobic and Counter-phobic. SIXES are driven by fear and a need to feel secure. The subtypes are split based on how they react to fear. Phobic SIXES exhibit a flight-response (like Ron). Counter-Phobic SIXES instinctually exhibit the fight-response. They are more openly aggressive and confrontational. These SIXES can often be mis-typed as EIGHTS, but there are key differences.
Let’s start with the Loyalty aspect of SIXES. Harry is fiercely loyal once you have earned his trust. He is loyal almost to a fault. Think about his devotion to his friends – Ron, Hermione, Neville, Luna, Ginny. But even more so, think about his devotion to the trusted authority figures in his life – Dumbledore, Sirius, Hagrid, McGonnagal. He’s even over-the-top loyal to the very institution of Hogwarts.
But he is also inherently distrustful of most people until they have earned his trust. And those who have not earned it or have broken it, they are almost certainly viewed as his arch-enemies. This is particularly evident in his relationship with Snape. It doesn’t matter how much Dumbledore trusts Snape; Harry won’t give Snape one ounce of trust – not until the very end at least.
When Harry is afraid, his instinct is to fight. He fights against Malfoy and Voldemort and Umbridge and all his general critics and nay-sayers. He even fights against his own friends and mentors when he feels threatened. Here’s another description of Counter-Phobic SIXES from the Enneagram Institute:
Sixes become aggressive because they do not want to be pushed around anymore; Eights become aggressive to push others even more.
The essential difference is that Sixes eventually will yield and their defenses will crumble if enough pressure is applied to them, whereas opposition to Eights only encourages them to remain defiant and to meet their adversary with renewed aggression.
Harry’s opposition to Dumbledore and others ultimately crumbles. He finally yields and lets Dumbledore take more of a leadership role in his life. Even though he felt like his trust had been betrayed, he is eager to mend those broken relationships for the sake of his devotion and loyalty. An EIGHT wouldn’t do that so easily.
Also, we must look at the paths of Stress and Security. In stress, SIXES go to the unhealthy side of THREE. We see this play out in Harry’s life, especially book Five. He takes it upon himself to lead the D.A. (Dumbledore’s Army) in response to the oppressive Umbridge regime. More than that, Voldemort takes advantage of 1) Harry’s loyalty and 2) Harry’s arrogance to trick him into going to the Ministry of Magic. When Harry is a state of stress or “disorientation,” he responds by doubling down on his own self-worth and arrogance. He begins to think of himself as more important and more capable than he really is. He develops a sort of “Messiah complex,” believing that he is the only one who could save Sirius. He stops relying on the help of others. He begins to believe himself to be more skilled and more qualified than others. He becomes more self-focused and less group oriented.
But in times of security, SIXES go to the healthy side of NINE. We often do see Harry in a peacemaker role, bridging the gap between Ron and Hermione or bringing together different groups of people who would otherwise never work together. As I read through book six again, I’m reminded of how important it is to the story that Harry find out more about Voldemort’s past. Harry needs to understand Voldemort, and he can do so in a way that most people can’t. Harry feels most secure when he is in the presence of Dumbledore, who himself is a NINE. Dumbledore helps Harry to develop empathy even for his greatest enemy.
I don’t think Harry is a NINE, but he does move towards NINE. I don’t believe Harry is an EIGHT, although he does display a lot of the same aggression and fighting spirit of an EIGHT. The type that makes most sense to me is that Harry is a Counter-Phobic SIX.
What do you think? Would you argue that Harry is a different type? What about the other characters? Let me know in the comments below!