Jon Snow: ISFP

Note: massive spoilers ahead

Game of Thrones, George R. R. Martin

Dominant Introverted Feeling (Fi): Jon is used to being different and doesn’t let other people’s opinions get in the way of doing what he believes is right. His strong moral principles are derived from within himself, and he typically puts his own ethical sense of direction above the feelings of others. After making a series of decisions that the Night’s Watch finds hurtful, he is killed, an experience he struggles to move past. Considering his duties fulfilled, Jon has little issue walking away from people who have rejected him. When he does have trouble choosing a direction, it’s because his emotions are in turmoil. Even if he says nothing, it’s obvious to others when he’s having a hard time (i.e. Daenerys quickly recognizes that he’s keeping something from her), and he can only keep his feelings in before he needs to express them. Jon finds himself unable or unwilling to accept Daenerys’ wish for him to keep silent about his true identity. Despite having been emotionally neglected, Jon is good at talking to his sisters about their feelings.

Auxiliary Extroverted Sensing (Se): Jon can make spur-of-the-moment decisions that both save his life and allow him to create diplomatic connections with unlikely people. Thinking on his feet, Jon figures out a way to befriend the Free Folk and is a quick learner in the sensual domain. He also has no trouble giving a last-minute motivational speech. However, Jon doesn’t always think through consequences before he acts. He can be impatient and has trouble waiting until he knows a plan will work before he’s ready to move forward. Frequently, he puts himself in situations he can’t get out of on his own. It’s only because Sansa foresees his army being overwhelmed and forms a backup plan that he survives one scenario, and in another, he’s rescued at the last minute by Daenerys and her dragons. Jon values his bodily autonomy and has no trouble letting people know when they’re unwanted in his personal space.

Tertiary Introverted Intuition (Ni): Future-oriented and driven, Jon becomes so hyper-focused on responding to future events that he misses important things happening in the present. While fixated on stopping the Walkers, Jon fails to recognize the seriousness of growing animosities towards him in the Night’s Watch. When Jon chooses a course of action, he sticks to his plans unless he encounters a significant conflict of values. This is evident at the end of the TV series when he’s forced to choose between staying true to his long-held goal of defending the people and his new relationship with Daenerys. When it comes down to it, he chooses his original ethical mission and sacrifices not only his relationship, but his standing in society.

Inferior Extroverted Thinking (Te): Jon forms his opinions based on evidence he’s seen in the real world, and is willing to task extreme risks to obtain evidence from beyond the wall. He is assertive and knows how to give orders, but isn’t the best arguer. Often, he struggles with understanding how to share his understanding of reality with others. As a leader, he’s perpetually frustrated by his failed efforts to convince others that drastic action is necessary to save lives.

Additional Comments: Jon doens’t fit ISFP stereotypes because he’s a very well-rounded ISFP. There’s a fair amount of argumentation already circulating in the ether for Jon Snow being an INFJ, and I disagree with that on multiple counts outlined below.

Most of the arguments I’ve read rely largely on stereotypes about INFJs as self-sacrificial altruists and INTJs as cold narcissists without really taking into account the differences between FiTe and FeTi. Understandably, it’s easy to see Jon sacrificing his relationship with Daenerys as willingness to set aside his personal desires for the greater good. However, this relies on the assumption that certain actions always have the same thought process behind them (i.e. reluctantly sacrificing someone you love always comes from a place of either complete altruism or total selfishness), as well as lack of awareness of how Jungian cognitive functions work.

However, Jon has a pronounced SeTe task-orientation FiNi self-direction that INFJs lack.

Why Jon looks quite different from typical ISFP stereotypes has a lot to do with having experienced trauma from a young age. Because his adoptive mother is emotionally neglectful, Jon has learned to keep his feelings to himself and has a hard time sharing them. However, he has a powerful, self-defined moral compass that directs almost everything he does. It’s by referring to this moral compass and calling Jon out on ignoring it (in the only instance in which he does ignore it, mind you) that Tyrion convinces Jon to go through with killing Daenerys. In killing her, Jon ultimately rejects her request not to honour his identity as a Targaryen, as well as the social expectation that society places on him as heir to the Iron Throne. To call the sequence altruistic is reductive, in my (admittedly over-analytical) opinion.

Please discuss in the comments.



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