MBTI: Varys and Littlefinger- ENFP and ENTP

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Spoilers! You’ve been warned!

Westeros’ two most devious information brokers have got one thing going between the two of them- Ne. It’s not surprising at all that Littlefinger is often typed as INTJ, being that he works behind the scenes and it seems to be for total control. But Varys as INFJ? Are we watching the same show?

Here’s an examination and comparison of the characters and their respective types.

The differences and similarities between the two characters seem clear enough right off. Both serve on the king’s counsel and really aren’t to be trusted. They make the way of the city known to Ned Stark and that lies and secrets are forms of currency. But are mentally and verbally quick and even have a certain professional respect for the other, though you get the idea that if it came down between them, they’d have no problem gutting the other and tossing them into Blackwater Bay.

I bet they've got nice little spots picked out for the other.

I bet they’ve got nice little spots picked out for the other.

But while one is a feminine eunuch with a taste for garish clothing, the other is dressed like some sort of priest and speaks as though even his greetings are meant to be kept a secret.

It’s known and understood that both ENFP and ENTP are dominant Ne users. Without giving the definition on Ne for the bazillionth time, both Varys and Littlefinger use every opportunity and possibility available to them to garner secrets and keep what power they have. Both the ENFP and ENTP have the “gift of gab” as it’s called and it can be put to very manipulative uses if the user is selfish enough.

And these two are definitely selfish enough.

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But Varys, as an ENFP, will secretly proclaim that everything sneaky thing he says and does is ultimately for the good of the realm. ENFPs, as Idealists, do keep higher priorities in mind than to simply wear the most expensive clothes or drive the most expensive car. Idealists by nature want to live their lives according to what’s best for humanity.

And while forums and others speak of “twisted” ENFPs masterminding evil plans to take over the world, in truth, an ENFP gone down the wrong path would look a bit more like Varys. Not a bald, portly eunuch, but a man that would allow innocent men like Ned Stark to die because it will mean that ultimately everything involving the kingdom will remain intact.

While death and dismay seem to be a major part of the behind-the-scenes plays he directs, it’s really for the stability of his homeland.

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Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish on the other hand, sees death and dismay as the primary tool for his plans. Though working behind the scenes is thought to be an INTJ trait generally, consider Baelish’s actual methods of getting what he wants. Many of the events being played out throughout the series weren’t revealed until his meeting with Lysa, but it wasn’t as though you didn’t know he wasn’t trustworthy. On the contrary, it’s as though Petyr’s untrustworthiness is part of his image on purpose.

While certain characters expect him to have a hand in small-minded schemes, they’d never expect him to have poisoned Joffrey nor did Ned Stark expect to actually be betrayed by the man who told him “You are slow to learn, Lord Eddard. Distrusting me was the wisest thing you’ve done since you climbed down off your horse.”

Much of Petyr’s MO deals in sleight-of-hand tricks and even playing with fire, as is the ENTP way of showing you how much smarter they think they are. As is the way with Ne; making the disjointed and unorganized connect in a way you didn’t expect. But as ENTP’s often do, Baelish has shown himself to be a bit too confident at times.

The same scene was used as an example in Cersei’s type article to analyze her simple, blunt look at power. Here, Baelish makes his views apparent too. Only he claims that knowledge is power while mockingly hinting he’s aware of Cersei and her brother’s relationship. Had he thought it through, he might not have offended the Queen Regent just for the sake of making a comeback, seeing as how she’s not someone to be taken lightly. But when you’re as secretly cocky as Baelish is, it’s probably tough to hold back as much as he is.

Varys however, has his in-and-out dips with morality. From the time he tells Tyrion’s lady Shae that her leaving would be the best thing for the realm since Tyrion might be the realm’s best hope and her presence could be used against him…only to testify against Tyrion in court. Why? it serves his higher purpose of “protecting the realm.”

But it seems Varys’ Fi really did have something of a soft spot for Tyrion because he was the right man for Jaime to contact in sneaking Tyrion out of the city. It’s the ENFP way to only truly rebel when they believe their superiors to be going against what’s actually right. While others may begrudgingly continue obeying and some might directly speak out, it’s the sly ENFP that seems to weave like a boxer (usually verbally) to make their ends meet and do what they must without bending their own morals, which must be kept together for them to live with themselves.

I wonder what he's drinking. I bet it's a cup full of SECRETS.

I wonder what he’s drinking. I bet it’s a cup full of SECRETS.

 Why Varys isn’t INFJ: While ENFPs and INFJs do have certain things in common; their love of the abstract and the humane, Varys seems to prefer the more social side of life, commuting with his “little birds” as he calls them, and while he has many secrets, it’s the socializing ENFP that matches his persona much more so than the quiet INFJ. This isn’t to speak out against the idea of a social INFJ, but Varys’ way of life is much more sociable than an INFJ’s route would be. There’s loving people and there’s being sociable. The two can be joined together but they can also be separate. Varys’ way of life isn’t sectioned off between work and play but the two seem to be the same for him, as ENFP and Perceivers altogether are known to do, ideally.

Why Littlefinger isn’t INTJ: While behind-the-scenes power plays don’t scream the absent minded stereotype of the fictional ENTP, Littlefinger’s “Chaos is a ladder” speech given to Varys, as well as the constant misdirection he presents to his “friends” and foes fit the ENTP variant much better than the firm and direct Te-minded individuals the INTJs are. While INTJs have plans (It’s Ni, it’s what they do), you’re either a part of them or you’re not.

Ni/Te users might be one of the least likely to types to deal in theatrics as a part of their plans, preferring to work quietly but with scary drive while ENTPs don’t mind taking their time an savoring their victories. Compare to an NTJ type, Tywin, who has plans that aren’t known until they’re in action. He’s much more likely to sneer at Littlefinger’s ways rather than appreciate the cunning they take to pull them off. Littlefinger has his fingers in so many pies it’s bound to come back on him, while INTJs prefer more organized methods.

Below is possibly the best scene of both characters explaining their view on society.

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4 Responses to “MBTI: Varys and Littlefinger- ENFP and ENTP”

  1. Coming from an INFJ who’s boyfriend is an ENFP (stereotypical — I know), I really can’t see Varys as an ENFP.

    I love my boyfriend dearly, but he’s a mess — as are most ENFPs (I’m good friends with quite a few). They don’t care for themselves very much, unless it’s something that’s violating their ideals or convictions. ENFPs are incredibly strong, caring, insightful individuals, but I can’t see one as being a master strategist like Varys. Varys is also described as being particular about his taste in clothing and aesthetics, and ENFPs don’t usually care for that sort of thing at all.

    I may be a bit biased here, but I can’t see anything else besides INFJ. “I serve the Realm — someone has to”. His whole life is based on this inexplicable altruism with a dash of cynicism (cynicism that you wouldn’t typically find in an ENFP). He’s willing to kill, debase himself, and commit all manner of atrocities in order to further the big picture. I think one of his most INFJst moments was when Littlefinger tells him that he’s killed Ros. You can see his anger and remorse at the fact that Ros suffered (Fe), but you can see him snapping back into his big-picturescope as he defends his actions with the anger and passion that is an INFJ’s trademark whenever their actions or convictions are under attack.

    • The Good Samaritan Says:

      I had the same exact thoughts! Thank you for voicing them, I support your argument, Varys doesn’t seem to be an ENFP, he is most likely an INFJ. One of the few people dedicated to the big picture, along with Melissandre.

  2. jeremy Says:

    Varys is an ENFJ! A talented actor, and is doing things for the common good, as opposed to a personal value.

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