MBTI: Jon Snow- ISFP
Spoilers! You’ve been warned!
Fitting the ‘Solemn ISFP Hero‘ mold, Jon Snow is simultaneous royalty and a bastard, as no one will let him forget. A man (or boy) of principles similar to his father but with a bit more compassion over honor, Jon doesn’t mind getting his hands dirty with a sword though he never takes a life without knowing full well why he’s doing it.
The ISFP hero strikes again! With a constant somber attitude, Jon’s dedication to the Wall and his family is a nice place to begin when describing the ISFP trait of quietly desiring to please, yet refusing to be controlled or control others. Instead he opts to act (Se) by his values (Fi) and he ends up a leader still.
Jon’s lead function is Fi, which of course, are ones inner principles. While other types have their principles as well, an ISFP’s way of acting on these inner beliefs are done so quietly and in solitude. While an ISFP can easily make friends as Jon does, their way of keeping to themselves can confuse others who believe friendship is acted out raucously, or in a more expressive way.
David Benoiff and D.B. Weiss, the creators and writers of the show explain that “Jon Snow tries to live with honor, while knowing that honor often gets his family members murdered.”
It seems no matter what situation he’s in, though he may pretend otherwise for a time, Jon refuses to let his inner values slip away. When he’s behind enemy lines he pretends for a time being to be part of the “free folk” but when it comes to actually killing an old man, he refuses. While this wouldn’t scream “Fi” for his refusal to murder an innocent man, a character’s life being on the line depending on one old man in a world where death so rampant it seems to be alive itself, this takes a bit of moral fortitude you could say.
But what majorly separates the INFP and the ISFP is the ISFP’s auxiliary Se, which allows them to act in the moment, taking in every bit of their environment rather than intuiting other options. Jon’s ability with a sword shows his preference for Se as he’s not just able to wield it, he’s the best there is on the wall and talented north of it as well.
As discussed previously, ISFPs are known to excel at whatever physical hobby they take up, with their Se allowing them to work in the moment entirely, almost without thinking at times. This could range from fencing, archery, video games to painting; as long as it’s an act they’re interested in, the ISFP can take it as far as their bodies’ allow.
It’s not as though other types can’t excel in the aforementioned skills, it’s just more natural for Se users.
Jon’s inferior Te is shown in several episodes that involve him to think (not feel) on his feet. Any time his skills or principles are called into question, he responds with an almost textbook-recited response and often one that elicits laughter or mockery. It’s not like he’s an idiot, but when Snow’s rules and codes that he lives by aren’t accepted by those around him, he’s like a lost puppy or a fish out of water, unsure of how to react in a way that will gain him respect by those that aren’t already in line with his beliefs- kinda like his daddy.
But Jon’s tertiary function of Ni is shown to develop throughout the seasons as planning and seeing the outcome ahead of his superiors seems to be a common occurrence, and one that gains him respect among his peers. If only they’d listen to Snow! Then again, you can only do so much against giants and mammoths.
Take for example other types that have been made as cases for Snow, the INFP and INFJ. While neither is too far out there, there’s too much leaning away from the types’ dominant function than towards.
Why Not INFP: While ISFPs and INFP do share the dominant function of Fi, all similarities stop there. The INFP’s auxiliary function of Ne takes the users mind to places that would make others’ heads explode. People and values-oriented possibilities are what the INFP thrives on and though Jon does show that he cares about his brothers and their place on the Wall, he’s much more in the moment as an Se-user is, dealing with the immediate situation rather than brainstorming the best way to deal with the issue he’s facing. While Jon wants to help those he’s sworn to protect eventually, he initially just wants to get into the action.
Why Not INFJ: While solemn and driven by values, INFJ’s tend to plan years into their future while Jon is just ready to get in on the action at the Wall. The INFJ’s auxiliary Fe doesn’t necessarily have them running to people’s feet to please them, but it will have the user attempting to harmonize much more than an ISFP like Snow does, who naturally gets along with those around him, but clashes with them when he feels underused. Snow’s ability to adapt to the Wildling’s way for his time of imprisonment show a more on-the-feet approach while INFJs are known more for their quiet resilience to outside influences rather than the blank faced ISFPs that may be one of, if not the toughest type to read.