“Forget everything you think you know.”
Change is often the mark of a great fictional character. As character transformations go, Doctor Strange’s is perhaps one of the most profound in the Marvel Universe. He doesn’t just gain a superhero skill set. He’s also forced to change his whole concept of the universe and life itself. His personality type reinforces how difficult that may have been for this intelligent superhero.
When last we saw our hero in Avengers: Infinity War, Doctor Strange was just so much cosmic confetti drifting off into oblivion. So, why include him here as we anticipate the upcoming Endgame movie? His pivotal part in the overarching plot suggests that there may be more for him to do.
Remember the 14,000,605 possible outcomes and the single way to victory that he saw just before he gave up the Time Stone? Some fan theories suggest that he covertly took charge of everything after time-tripping. Maybe. Remember, he said, “We’re in the endgame now.” We’re in the Endgame? Perhaps a nice way to include oneself in the next movie?
That speculation aside, what about his personality type?
We see Doctor Stephen Strange as a fairly straightforward example of an Assertive Commander (ENTJ-A) personality type. Here’s why:
Strange is a bon vivant. In the first scene of his origin movie, we have Stephen Strange, the surgeon, affably joking and playing music trivia with the staff while operating on a patient. Good times. His collection of expensive watches and his car suggest a Tony Stark-esque playboy lifestyle. People don’t own those things so they can sit at home and look at them.
Throughout the two films he’s in, nothing about him suggests a shrinking violet. Even after his transformation at the monastery and in his role as a sort of mystic Avenger, he continues to be outgoing and adventurous. He has no problem speaking his mind or giving his off-the-cuff opinion.
Initially, Doctor Strange portrays Stephen Strange as elite even among surgeons. In that role, he likely needed to take multifaceted problems and develop imaginative solutions based on the big picture.
Once the Ancient One exposes Strange to the mystical world, he must reorient himself to new realities. But he lands in the same place: using his expansive imagination to solve problems. Remember his meeting with Dormammu, his setting up the “endless” time loop, and his persistent line, “I’ve come to bargain.” As an Analyst, he thinks outside the box. Which brings us to the next personality trait.
The heart of his hero’s journey involves Strange surrendering one way of thinking and adopting another. It mostly revolves around his rational approach. There’s a mild subtext about faith in his journey, because he has to let go of his established way of thinking, but he never allows it to come down to blind faith. His “faith” is always evidence-based. And when he combines this evidence with his Thinking and Intuitive personality traits, he grows comfortable with a systemic mysticism that he might have rejected earlier.
His thirst for knowledge remains present – looking through forbidden books or surfing a crazy number of timelines in search of an answer. While there are signs of practical compassion in his personality, he usually seems unconcerned about offending someone, if it means reaching a practical solution.
Doctor Strange is orderly and prefers the predictable. He doesn’t jump into a battle and hope that strength and cleverness, found in the moment, will win the day, unless he absolutely has to. Strange isn’t the Hulk. He strategizes. He knows where he’s going and what he will do.
While the psychedelic trip that the Ancient One sends him on during their first meeting might throw anyone, there’s a sense that this is especially painful for Strange. His new awareness forces him to abandon the world he understands for a new set of rules. And while he eventually adapts, his new mission becomes to guard the cosmic order of the universe against disruption and corruption. It’s the same need for order and predictability – it’s just a much different playground.
People sometimes stereotype Assertive individuals as being arrogant. And they can lean that way, if they don’t balance their attitudes with other personality traits or if they become overconfident. Doctor Strange may not be the poster boy for how humble Assertive people can be.
He is highly enamored of his own intelligence and skills, especially during his days as a surgeon, and hints of that remain during his second career as a superhero. A lack of confidence is not among the Doctor’s problems. He becomes less self-centered after he understands the true nature of the universe. But it’s safe to say, that doesn’t cause him to become any less self-assured.
These are just a few examples that illustrate Doctor Strange’s Assertive Commander personality type: a bold, imaginative leader always finding a way, or making one.
When typing fictional characters here at 16Personalities, the type we present is determined only by what we’ve seen of the character’s behavior and actions in the movies or books in which they appear. Ultimately, they are fictional and are used to help others better understand aspects of personality type.
This personality typing is based on the character as portrayed in Marvel’s Doctor Strange and Avengers: Infinity War movies from 2016 and 2018.
If you see something different in Doctor Strange’s personality, we’d love to hear about it below. And while you’re at it, if you read this article before April 26th, tell us what role you think Strange might play in the inevitable defeat of Thanos.