MBTI: The Three Types of ISTP- Arya, The Hound, and Bronn
Spoilers! You’ve been warned!
You could say that any type has a “subtype” of sorts. Many people are willing to write MBTI off because being that type puts them in a box and since they cannot be another type, they believe it to be highly limiting in how they’re viewed.
As mentioned previously- NO! That’s not how it works. Unless you consider the reality that people will always box you in in some way. They’ve only got so much space in their brain, we don’t all have time to understand each others’ complexity. So while you are your type and only your type, your upbringing, environment, and various other factors play a role in who you are.
Using three characters of the same type from Game of Thrones as models, we’ll go into three types of ISTPs you could just as soon come across in your real life.
Arya Stark- The Rebel With A Cause
Arya Stark may only be a kid, but with all the crap going on in Westeros, she’s growing up fast. Described as tomboyish and into fighting much more so than dresses and acting like a “lady,” Arya shows a natural drive for these Se-driven skills than most kids (especially girls) her age would. When it comes time to take revenge on those she’s deemed worthy to be killed, i.e., they’ve sincerely pissed her off, a cold gaze emits while her voice becomes numb with the stillness of having broken down the situation in her head.
While it was initially difficult to type Arya, being that she’s a younger girl in a very unique situation, ISTP seems the best fit for a character so “logically” driven to take revenge for her loved ones by simply killing those that killed first. There’s no bigger picture here, just good ol’ fashioned revenge in the form of a child. Arya, though still a kid, represents the type of ISTP you may meet in your life that has a purpose to them. While the same could be said of anyone, it wouldn’t necessarily be true for them.
This is the kind of ISTP that knows what they want and go after it. Sure, they still appear lazy as ISTPs often do, but they just know where to put their energy. This is the most positive kind of ISTP you could meet. It doesn’t mean they’re going to be bouncing around like an ENFP or ESFJ, but they’ll generally be friendly enough to go to a problem with, having it solved with a quick efficient answer.
Arya’s trait of dealing with her own problems while assisting others along the way is similar to the ISTP trait of defending the few that know them best. Arya’s intentions aren’t to save humanity or rid the world of evil, but to fight fire with fire.
Not that the “Rebel” ISTP is going to go to the lengths to kill someone, but their cause will be a simple one and they won’t even like the wording of a “cause;” they’ll just see the point in doing unto others when it’s for the right reasons.
When people have a problem with this type, it genuinely is out of jealousy. It’s the guy or girl other people hate because they have a hard time aspiring to their level and in ISTP form, it’s especially intimidating. Think about how badass Arya will be as an adult with what she’s been through as a kid.
Bronn- The Neutral Partier
Bronn’s role as an ISTP in the show is pretty clear- he does what he does for money, what he does usually isn’t very nice, and he doesn’t care if he’s the best, he just wants to get paid. Part of the reason for not writing an entire post on Bronn is just for the reason that this guy’s Ti/Se combination is made so obvious right from his introduction- he’s a Sellsword, or a mercenary; any job can be taken so long as the money’s right.
Bronn has given us some of the most enjoyable moments of the show, especially with his Tyrion team-ups. They even beg for a “Brains and ‘Bronn'” pun but I’ll spare you and I’m sure someone else has already been there. When he meets Tyrion in his cell in season four, “The Mockingbird”, he lets Tyrion know that he’s not going to fight the Mountain on behalf of Tyrion because A. There’s no reward he could get that he didn’t already own, and B. It’s a small chance he would win anyway.
It’s this kind of brutal honesty spoken so plainly you can’t help but like him, as ISTPs are often aware of their limits. Bronn fits the “Neutral Partier” ISTP in the way that he does what he does for the pleasure of it, while money can continue funding his excursions, so he does things for money as well.
ISTPs you meet like this in the real world tend to straddle the fence of morality and it’s most likely your “typical” ISTP because being the extreme of anything is going to be rarer. It’s what makes it extreme. These guys and gals are great friends with the occasional urge to act out that makes you wonder if you can trust them. While they’ll normally direct their urges outward, it’s the ones closest to them that get the hurt the most. It’s sad but true.
And as the ISTP sees it, those are just the people that happen to be around the most. But if you get into an issue with someone, the ISTP will be the first one to have your back if for no other reason than that they want to be a part of confrontation. That, and they have more reason to be on your side than the next guy. They want to be a part of the action and you’re their way in.
You can’t say you didn’t question Bronn in the scene where Tyrion asks if Bronn would snatch an infant from its mother and kill it in front of her without question. Bronn’s response- “Without question? No. I’d ask ‘How much?'” Same reasons we love them are the same reasons ya have a hard time trustin’em.
Sandor “The Hound” Clegane- The Cynic
The name says it all, doesn’t it? The Hound starts off as a complete villain, killing Arya’s friend Mycah, the butcher’s boy, and even making a joke about it to Ned. The Hound’s ISTP preferences are the type of ISTP villain we see in fiction most presently- it’s for the similar reasons Bronn does what he does. But while Bronn’s morality is in the middle and is more likely to face down surrounding evil, the Hound is the evil just to spite the rest of the world.
Throughout the seasons, more and more of the Hounds’ personality and past comes into view and while it’s difficult to see him as a good guy, he definitely gave us reasons for why he is the way he is. Not that the hard life takes away your ability to choose the right thing, but it makes it harder to stay on the straight and narrow. He seems like a saint compared to his brother though, doesn’t he?
The fact that his job consisted of protecting Joffrey should tell you everything you need to know. And when his only fear of fire arose? He got out of there fast. ISTPs are pretty fearless when it comes to taking risks but one as selfish as the Hound is only willing to risk himself on principles and desires that no one else has any place in.
Think of the most miserable person you can think of and it’s possible that it’s a “Cynic” ISTP. These subtypes thrive on doing things for themselves and only for themselves. Oh, did you help your mom carry groceries in? Idiot. The way these guys see it, any time spent doing anything outside of greedily pursuing your own interests is high-minded and stupid.
While any type can be bitter and misanthropic, this type of ISTP takes a sort of pleasure in being so ridiculously pessimistic it’s as though they didn’t grow out of their terrible twos. Except they don’t actually get pleasure from anything. They’re only fun to be around if you’re watching what they do to somebody else- from a distance. These guys hate everybody like a spoiled kid that didn’t get what they want on Christmas and are determined to make the world pay for their problems.
The Hound’s relationship with his brother certainly had an effect on the way the world is and it’s not until Arya’s around that he seems to even look at the world in a different light than he has his life up until that point. Not that he changed of course, but even he knew he deserved to be left the way Arya left him.
But man, if he wasn’t an awesome character.
[Arya and the Hound watch an inn from the bushes]
Arya: I’m hungry. YOU’RE hungry.
The Hound: Five horses, five men. More than I feel like killing on an empty stomach.
[a door opens and two men walk out; Arya recognizes one of them]
Arya: I know him. The small one. His name is Polliver. He captured us and took us to Harrenhal. He killed Lommy.
The Hound: What the f***’s a Lommy?
Arya: He was my friend. Polliver stole my sword and put it right through his neck. He’s still got it.
The Hound: Got what?
Arya: My sword. Needle.
The Hound: [derisively] Needle. Of course you named your sword.
Arya : Lots of people name their swords.
The Hound: Lots of c***s.