Learn all about the protector archetype, including definition, characteristics, examples and how it relates to the Hero archetype.
What is the Protector Archetype?
The Protector archetype is one of an individual who sees danger in the world and wants to protect both those they love and society at large from the threats which they perceive.
They are driven to maintain the status quo rather than to shake things up, in doing so demonstrating immense problem-solving abilities and dependability.
They are always willing to help other people, finding fulfillment in helping others in need and protecting them from coming to harm, whether physical or otherwise.
The archetypal protector is a popular individual as a result of their willingness to help and serve others, possessing immense interpersonal skills which allow them to build effective relationships with a broad range of people.
Protector Archetype Characteristics & Traits
- They are patient individuals, cooperative with others and good team players who others benefit from having around.
- They enjoy working with other people as well as working on their own, needing social interaction with others to help fulfil their inner need to protect other people.
- Their interpersonal skills and caring nature make them well suited to careers such as teaching, medicine and the other emergency services, where they can combine their best qualities in service and protection of others.
- The archetypal protector enjoys physical activities and tasks, finding tactile work brings them fulfilment.
- Whilst they are social individuals they can prefer to undertake such physical tasks alone, allowing them to achieve the sense of fulfilment they need to feel successful and needed in the world.
- If the tasks they are required to accomplish do not have a direct or perceivable positive impact on other people then they may struggle to find the motivation to undertake them.
- Concrete, tangible tasks and problems are far preferable to the Protector than more theoretical or abstract activity, meaning that they tend to be attracted more to careers in areas such as the sciences rather than the arts.
The Selfless Protector
Despite all of their social, compassionate and protective qualities, the Protector archetype does not see themselves as a hero or someone to be help up for praise.
Rather, they act with selflessness and only see their actions as the natural responses of someone to life’s travails.
They act in response to the dark moments that life presents them as they believe that anyone else would and should, not for praise or aggrandizement but simply to help others overcome the difficulties which they face.
Protector Archetype Examples
An example of the Protector archetype in film is the 2020 American Netflix film Extraction, starring Chris Hemsworth.
Hemsworth plays a black-market mercenary and former Special Air Service Regiment operator who is recruited by a fellow mercenary to rescue his son, who has been kidnapped by a drug lord and hidden in Bangladesh.
Hemsworth’s character rescue’s the boy but when his father fails to pay the required ransom he is required to undergo a series of traumatic events to prevent the boy from coming to harm, eventually dying in order to ensure that the boy is taken to safety.
Further reading on the protector archetype includes:
- ISFJ: Understanding & Relating with the Protector – by Clayton Geoffreys
- ISFJ: Portrait of a Protector – by Molly Owens
- The Protector Ethic: Morality, Virtue, and Ethics in the Martial Way – by James V. Morganelli