The first of the sixteen Myer’s-Brigg’s Typology Indicators I will be discussing is ISTP (Introverted, Sensing, Thinking, Perceiving).
Often dubbed “The Crafter” due to their leaning towards mechanical interests, ISTP personalities appear resilient and thick skinned to others, sometimes being interpreted as tasteless. They have a need for personal space and, should their lifestyle become threatened can become extremely defensive. They are more practically than theoretically minded, often bestowing them with a no-nonsense, practical approach. Due to a love of sensory experience, ISTPs often participate in physically demanding activities, such as sport. A key trait of an ISTP is that they lie dormant until finding a task which suits them, at which point they devote a great deal of effort to it, often appearing frenzied. In truth, their actions are highly controlled, though this is often only understood by the ISTP themselves.
The six characters I have placed into this position are: Eve, Stannis Baratheon, Captain Anderson, Grumpy, Bill Smoke and the Sten. Allow me to explain why…
Curiously, Eve blends both the mechanical and the artistic. As the “Mother of All”, Eve is the creator of all monsters, combining both aesthetic and practical functions to create new breeds of creature. She holds true to the principle of dormancy, remaining in Purgatory for 10,000 years until freed from Purgatory to continue her work, at which point she devotes all of her energy into, at first seemingly random, attempts to create a new race of superior monsters. She also demonstrates a disregard for authority, opposing both the hierarchy of Hell and of Heaven. Eve’s confidence is a symptom of her resilient nature. Finally, when her mission and her children are threatened, she refuses to negotiate, acting on a mother’s instinct, becoming very inflexible.
Here we have a man so focused on the practical and so disinterested with theory that he perfectly fits these criteria for the ISTP type. Stannis does not care for courtesy, even directly calling Jaime Lannister the Kingslayer in correspondence, betraying his dislike for “nonsense”. When his authority as the heir to the Iron Throne is doubted, he does not seek discussion, not even with his own brother, instead conspiring to have him killed in order to further the structures he has developed around him. He has little respect for the authority of others, though this is solely because he views himself as the sole, legitimate heir to Westeros.
Anderson is a military man by training and shows little interest in art, but a great expertise and love for technology, including weaponry. His character is shown as a mover in the background, though certain not inactive, playing an active part in galactic politics when he feels the need, particularly when it concerns humanity and Commander Shepherd. He is shown to handle himself well in a crisis, as ISTPs often do and, though not entirely unconcerned with theoretical discussion, is a highly practical man, always focused on what the situation before him actually consists of. Whilst he displays respect for authority, he is more than willing to break regulation, for example when he aids Shepherd in escaping the citadel, if he has a gut feeling that it is the right thing to do.
A miner by trade, Grumpy is undoubtedly more mechanically minded than artistic. Whilst he displays loyalty to Snow and Charming’s authority, he is willing to challenge it when he feels the need, especially when he feels threatened, which only leads him to become more stubborn, in typical ISTP fashion. Though undoubtedly soft at heart, Grumpy displays a thick skin to others, many of whom are less than impressed with his lack of tact upon first meeting him. He may be a good character, but Grumpy has been willing to consider courses of action which others have viewed as deplorable if he considers it more practical to do so. Spending much time alone, Grumpy certainly needs his space.
Practical to the core, Smoke shows no interest in anything other than getting the job done. He enjoys the thrill of the chase, immersing himself in the rapid, sensory experiences it allows him to enjoy. He cares little for theory or for ethical thought, all of which he would regard as nonsense, irrelevant to his life. Smoke keeps to himself, his harsh exterior keeping others away. In truth, he rarely offers his opinions, keeping them to himself. Living for his work, Smoke has little else in his life, falling into the typical ISTP dormancy when he has no target.
Hailing from the Qunari, with their culture of harsh rules, Sten might seem an odd choice, at first, for the role of ISTP, who are known for their disdain of authority. However, Sten consistently shows a dislike for any kind of authority outside of that of his people. He does not connect with others, preferring to keep to his own space. Sten lets little of his personality out, typically thick-skinned. He does not waste time, he does not speak unless he has reason to. Though he does appreciate art, he seems more at home with pure, rational technology, like the philosophy of his people. Though he follows the Qun, he does not appear to enjoy discussing it, thus betraying his lack of love for theory. Any threat to his beliefs and Sten simply becomes silent, never admitting that there might be a fault in his beliefs. Sten displays a love for the fight, a standard ISTP trait.