ESTJ – the Director, the Achiever, the Optimizer
Brunt is so oily and sly—and sometimes pathetic—that it was easy to miss his type as one that I usually think of as commanding. His Ferengi manner of enforcing the rules is more devious than other ESTJ villains, but the rules still govern his life. Kind of cool to note, though, that in a race once meant to be the new Big Bads, Brunt is the only Ferengi in this series who’s a straight-up villain.
(I would have included Brunt in DS9 Villains’ Week, but DS9 is so chock full of great villains that I had to cover him with the Ferengi to make room.)
Dominant Function: (Te) Extraverted Thinking, “The Workshop”
Brunt works as a Liquidator, basically the IRS agent from hell. He lives to enforce the rules of the Ferengi Commerce Authority, which means he’s constantly showing up on Quark’s doorstep—or in his closet—to force him into compliance. Whether he’s breaking up a union or halting a Ferengi female’s business activities, Brunt tolerates no deviation from the law.
Brunt will use the force of his position as well as the brute force of Nausicaan thugs to ensure the obedience of wayward Ferengi. He demands that Quark follow through on a contract to provide his desiccated remains, even after Quark learns he’s no longer going to die. When Quark decides not to kill himself to fulfill the contract, Brunt happily revokes his business license.
What Brunt really wants is the ultimate power in the Ferengi Alliance, the seat of the Grand Nagus. He bribes Quark into helping him take down Zek by exposing his affair with Ishka, but that effort gets him fired. Brunt always has a card to play, though, and he later gets himself back in Zek’s good graces by offering the use of his shuttle to a rescue team that he otherwise disdains for their incompetence.
Brunt finally gains the title of Acting Nagus by rallying others against Zek’s reforms—betrayals of Ferengi standards as he sees it. This is only temporary, and Brunt is soon booted off the throne. He continues to follow the path of power, and allies himself with Quark when it looks like the bartender is about to be named Zek’s successor. He finally offers his services to Rom, a Nagus who unfortunately stands for everything Brunt has been resisting his whole career.
Auxiliary Function: (Si) Introverted Sensing, “The Study”
Brunt has physical reactions to those who break the rules. He’s sickened by the very idea of a labor union, and he can’t even look at Ishka when she wears clothes. After his first dealing with Quark, he hopes to never see him again in his life.
That doesn’t pan out.
Brunt holds to the traditional Ferengi way even more strongly than Quark does, and he defines himself by his compliance to those standards. He wears a bar of gold-pressed latinum around his neck, a physical sign of wealth and finance, and consistently introduces himself every time he appears with a reminder of his name and status. On the long, tiring mission to rescue Ishka, he grows nostalgic for the rains and rotting vegetation back home.
Tertiary Function: (Ne) Extraverted Intuition, “The Hiking Trails”
Brunt can’t see any way of life other than what he’s lived. Change to Ferengi culture angers and terrifies him. He’s fiendishly clever when it comes to scheming for power—he bids on Quark’s remains betting that Quark isn’t going to die, just so he can force him out of business—but he lacks the ability or will to adapt with the times.
Inferior Function: (Fi) Introverted Feeling, “The Deep Well”
Brunt carries out his duties with a mean streak of self-righteousness. He’s a devout Ferengi, much more so than Quark or Rom, who both find ways to be flexible. Their betrayal of Ferengi morals—like greed, exploitation of workers, and subjugation of women—repulses and offends Brunt.
(Note the difference between Brunt and the healthy ESTJ Nog, who is able to integrate his Ferengi values into a new system.)
When his authority fails him, Brunt becomes petty, desperate, and passive-aggressive. He grovels and cringes to convince the more powerful to favor him. He has to deal with Quark so often that he begins to feel their conflict is personal. Whereas at first his job was just business, Brunt’s vendetta takes over his work, filling him with hate for Quark, Ishka, and their whole family of “deviants.”