Guest post by Debaparna Das, INFJ
A Song of Ice and Fire, George R.R. Martin
Dominant Fe: Sansa’s personality is shaped largely by the customs, morals, and standards upheld in Westerosi society, particularly in the South, as taught to her by her Septa, under the guidance of her mother. She is immensely skilled at the courtesies followed in court, and Septa Mordane’s instruction to her, “Courtesy is a lady’s armour”, becomes her mantra, something she comes to depend on for guarding herself in the face of extreme pressure. She draws her sense of self-worth from her ability to practice social niceties and navigate social strata flawlessly. This ability is what essentially keeps her alive during her time in King’s Landing as hostage of the Lannisters. She keeps up a facade of obedience and meekness, that often gets taken for stupidity, in order to hide her true feelings and avoid being punished for them as much as possible. Sansa is highly empathetic, and can connect emotionally with people in spite of overt differences (for e.g., her relationships with Sandor Clegane and Lothor Brune). She craves harmony and social stability and often suppresses her personal discontent with a situation or certain people if necessary.
Auxiliary Ni: Sansa is extremely idealistic. She follows an inner model of exactly how the world should function, which is shaped by romances and songs of chivalry and honour. Initially, she fully expects the world around her to be a manifestation of her long-held ideals. Her idealistic worldview suffers a severe blow when faced with the grim, cutthroat world outside of her home in Winterfell, particularly in King’s Landing. However, she refuses to give up on her dreams straight away. This idealism has a definite effect on other people – via her Fe – and often inspires them (for e.g., Sandor Clegane, Jaime Lannister, Dontos Hollard, etc.) Sansa knows instinctively when people approach her with dubious intentions – see her attitude towards Petyr Baelish – but her Fe often ends up overruling her Ni.
Tertiary Se: Sansa loves ceremony and spectacle. She appreciates high fashion, colourful pageants and tournaments, and is fond of music and dance. Her love of novelty and beauty is the principal reason why she was attracted to the culture of the South in the first place. However, she can get so engrossed in sensory diversions that she misses out on other, subtler events taking place. She can act impulsively at times – interceding for Dontos Hollard without immediately thinking of the danger it puts her in, for instance. In physically volatile situations, she tends to freeze instead of taking further action, and depends on her Fe to power her through them.
Inferior Ti: Sansa does not feel confident with critical thinking. She is prone to low self-esteem, which intensifies with the physical and emotional abuse she suffers at King’s Landing. Initially she interprets every person and their actions according to a limited mental model of how the world works, one that is too reliant on value judgements learnt from her Septa (an effect of her upper Fe). She expects people to conform to her internal view on how they should behave, and is disappointed and frustrated when they do not do so. Currently, her Ti is strengthening, and she is taking more pride in her independent contributions to events and her ability to think objectively.
Author’s Note: I have seen Sansa Stark being typed as an ESFJ, ESFP, INFP, ISFJ, etc. But I don’t think she fits either of those types. Sansa does not have Fi and Si except as shadow functions. Also, no substantial Ne or Te in her – she has a very strong Ni, though, and her ego works along an Fe-Ti axis more than anything else.