So, three things happened. Firstly, season six of the Game of Thrones is taking too long and second, I just finished reading A Dance of Dragons, and I do not, for the love of God, know what to do with my life. And third, I just had to study about a fascinating little concept called the Meyer-Briggs theory of personalities. So, how are these related? Well, you’ll see.
The Meyer-Briggs type indicator or MBTI is a personality assessment questionnaire that was constructed by Katharine Cook Briggs and her daughter Isabel Briggs Meyer during the Second World War. Here, each individual is said to show dominant traits from any of the four given dichotomies – extroversion/introversion, Sensing/Intuitive, Thinking/Feeling and Judging/Perceiving. A combination of any of the four traits gives a particular personality type, for instance ESTJ (Extroversion, Sensing, Thinking and Feeling) or INFP (Introversion, Intuition, Feeling, and perceiving).
Now, as it usually happens while studying, my mind wandered off to a completely different realm, across the seven kingdoms of Westeros. And the messy amalgamations of various thoughts in my already jumbled brain lead to this particular post.
How would Meyer-Briggs have analysed our most loved and most hated characters from the Song of Ice and Fire? So, here is a list of the sixteen personality types and their characteristics and my opinion of who fits it the best.
ESTJ people are strong willed, hardworking and reliable. They are efficient and have a knack for creating order out of chaos. But these are extremely judgemental people and are hesitant to change and are extremely uncomfortable in situations they did not anticipate. They find it difficult to relax and more often than not have extreme difficulty in expressing emotions, and feel a need to maintain that façade of dignity all the time. The problem with being so fixated on what works is that ESTJs too often dismiss what might work better. So caught up are they in their lofty ideals, that they are bound to neglect and hurt their family, though they never mean to do so. However, giving your daughter to the fire God does seem a bit of a stretch.
Catelyn Tully Stark
Quiet, serious, thorough and dependable, ISTJ personalities are honest who put their duty above everything else. They value traditions and loyalty and when they want something done they go ahead and do it regardless of the personal cost. They seek stability and security and often tend to keep their opinions to themselves. So, whether it’s helping your eldest son become King in the North or battling a paid assassin for a younger one, nothing comes in between the ISTJ devotion.
The ENTJ is a relentless, dominant and unforgiving soul. While they are strategic, strong-willed and can charm many with their charisma, they can also be extremely stubborn, notoriously unsupportive of any idea that contradicts from their own and are downright scornful of others. People with this personality type often trample others’ feelings, inadvertently hurting their partners and friends, especially in emotionally charged situations. Their ruthlessness might distance themselves so much form loved ones, that they might be compelled to a horrific walk of shame.
Brienne of Tarth
ISFJ’s are true altruists, meeting kindness with kindness (and also sword with sword, if need be). They are dubbed the ‘protectors’ and rightly so. Never comfortable in the spotlight, they touch people on an intimate level. Reliable, patient and extremely loyal their only weakness is that they are humble and shy to a fault. Their strong senses of duty and perfectionism combine with this aversion to emotional conflict to create a situation where it is far too easy for ISFJs to overload themselves and any negativity from conflict or criticism can carry over from their professional to their personal lives, and back again. If anyone was worthy of a sword named Oathkeeper, it is them.
INTP’s are the most logically precise of all the personality types. They love patterns, spotting discrepancies between statements and have a vigorous intellect. You have good reason to guard your tongue in front of them; they can smell a lie a mile off. They often appear dishonest as they do not share their thoughts completely. They are friendly with people are open-minded, enthusiastic, and really good analysts. However, they are very private and withdrawn and remain an enigma to most people. Beware of their little birds; they have ears and eyes everywhere.
The ESFP personality creates a party wherever they go. They chat with a unique and earthy wit, and love to soak up all the attention. Always focused on immediate pleasures (ahem! Who wouldn’t?) and often rely on their extensive circle of friends to get them out of trouble. Bold, practical and observant with excellent people skills. Though emotionally strong, they are sensitive and tend to get bored easily. They are conflict-averse and tend to say and do what’s needed to get out of such situations, then move on to something more fun. They can make any man break their vows.
The INFJ personality types are born with a high sense of morality and idealism. Though soft spoken, they work tirelessly for the ideals they believe in. They are decisive and strong-willed, but will rarely use that energy for personal gain. They wouldn’t even claim a throne if they believe it doesn’t belong to them. Always inspiring and kind, they work tirelessly through all administrative work. These people are always at conflict with their ideals and the harsh realities of life, causing them to burn out easily. As an honest person caught up in an unforgiving world, the pressure of it all might sometimes roll your head off.
ENFJ’s were born to lead. They are full of a natural confidence, charisma and passion. They radiate altruism and concern, and speak against anything that seems wrong in their eyes. They unite, motivate and inspire their team with infectious enthusiasm. Sometimes overly idealistic, they are unable to make tough decisions as they want the best solution for all, this is especially true when the consequences are humanitarian in nature. Troubled with a fluctuating self-esteem, they are prone to fits of insecurity if unable to accomplish a goal.
ENFP personalities are true free spirits. They are independent, charming, and compassionate. Easily switching between driven passionate idealists to creative free spirit, they are very sociable and empathy comes easily. Curious, friendly, spontaneous, whether it is swimming in long deep river or trekking across a frozen forest in biting cold, they can adapt to almost anything. However, despite your close emotional connections with your friend, you tend to become over-emotional. An ENFP might hate being micro-managed by a sullen little brother, but they love him despite everything.
ISFP’s live in a highly colourful and sensual world. They are spontaneous and unpredictable, surprising even their loved ones. With a love for exploring and experimenting, they often push the limits a little too much and can indulge in reckless behaviour like gambling and extreme sports. But the ISFPs always know just the compliment to soften a heart that’s getting ready to call their risks irresponsible or reckless. They have a certain irresistible charm specifically because of this. The ISFP personality type establishes a more self-centred identity, acting with selfishness, manipulation and egoism. If they go down, they take a mountain down with them.
The INFP’s of the world have a strong inner flame beneath that calm, reserved and sometimes shy exterior. Often feeling lonely and misunderstood, they shine in the presence of like-minded people and experience a deep harmony and an abundance of joy and inspiration. Interested more in the purity of intent, the INFP’s have no shame befriending even the frog-eaters, they are overwhelmed with the need to fix the world, despite being broken themselves. Trusting their intuition and precognition, these are truly green-seers. They have all the talents, but just need to open that third eye.
The ultimate devil’s advocate, no one loves the process of mental sparring more than the ENTP’s. Their wit is their sword and the like to sharpen it regularly with books. An odd juxtaposition arises with ENTPs, as they are uncompromisingly honest, but will argue tirelessly for something they don’t actually believe in (the Lannister cause for instance). Taking a certain pleasure in being the underdog, ENTPs enjoy the mental exercise found in questioning the prevailing mode of thought, making them irreplaceable in reworking existing systems or shaking things up.
The ISTP’s dare to be different. They are a mess of contradictions, friendly yet reserved, calm but spontaneous, appear simple but are actually quite enigmatic. Although they make decisions based on a sense of practical realism but in their hearts they will always be ruled by a sense of direct fairness and justice. Often very impulsive, they might take decisions considered rash and risky. They dislike commitment and being locked up in one place for too long and might often say things that are not very sensitive. They push all boundaries and flirt with adventure and danger and why not after all valar morghulis. And what do they say they say to the god of death…Not today!
ESFJ personalities are social creatures, and thrive on staying up to date with what their friends are doing. They love themselves a bit of juicy topics. Long boring talks on history and politics aren’t their thing, they love fashion and needlework. ESFJ’s love to be cherished and valued and therefore tend to seek out more service based roles that helps them be better loved. Having great respect for hierarchy, the women believe in traditional gender roles. Being pretty conflict-averse, ESFJs spend a lot of their energy establishing social order. Coming to terms with lives harsh realities is the biggest challenge for the ESFJ.
Jaime Lannister/Robert Baratheon
For the ESTP personality, life is an adventure or nothing at all. They are the likeliest personality type to make a lifestyle of risky behaviour.
They live in the moment and dive into the action – they are the eye of the storm. Like Jaime, they are most alive in action, with a sword in their hands. Bold, rational and perspective, they are meant to be on the battle field. Though very often they are insensitive (her name is Brienne not wench, Jaime!). The ESTP’s are known to defy social mores and conventions and hate sitting quietly while they are lectured at. Their impatience and impulsiveness are their doom. And also the things they do for love.
Honourable mention: King Robert Baratheon, who loved women, wine and wasting coin and who ultimately, got gored by a boar.
A paradox to most observers, INTJs are able to live by glaring contradictions. INTJs are simultaneously the most starry-eyed idealists and the bitterest of cynics. In matters of principles they stand like a rock. They are constantly shifting with consideration and intelligence, always assessing new tactics, strategies and contingency plans, constantly out-manoeuvring their peers in order to maintain control of a situation while maximizing their freedom to move about. They are highly self-confident, to the point of being arrogant. And what happens when this lion’s pride is hurt…well you have heard Rains of Castamere haven’t you.
The personality types have been decided keeping in mind the characters from both the TV show and the books.
Reference for the information on MBTI: www.16personalities.com