MBTI: Brienne and Oberyn- ISTJ and ESTP; Rules VS Principles


Spoilers! You’ve been warned!

When I was first introduced to MBTI, I’d see online that there was a “Sensor vs Intuitive” thing going on. Seems a bit imbalanced, doesn’t it? Considering there are so many more sensors than intuitives and you’ve got to have both anyway; one side dealing with the others’ problems they didn’t know they had.

No, the real war is between Judgers and Perceivers. Those control-freak judgers! Just leave me alone! Lazy perceivers! Get off your bums and accomplish something!

No, but in all reality, understanding the others’ working process, among other things is key to applying MBTI. Here are some differences and similarities between Brienne (Of Tarth!), an ISTJ and Oberyn “Red Viper” Martell, an ESTP.

Yes. There will be spoilers.

Unsightly though she may be, there’s a lot to love about Brienne. Not that you would necessarily get along with her in person even, but her way of refusing to break no matter what the circumstances are a great example of how not only ISTJs look at life, but how Judgers in general do.

And though we do use functions on the site when speaking of Type Theory, you can also find similar qualities in any types that can be classified as said “Judgers.” Think of the letters as the clothes you wear. You shouldn’t judge a book entirely by its cover, but it’s still the first thing you have to go off of and you can tell a lot about a person by the way they dress. The functions are the actual person while the letters are their clothing that expresses them firsthand. So while functions matter and it’s why we use them, the letters are still useful as well. They give us the basic idea of the user.


“I’ve never used in my life.”

ISTJ, ESTJ, ISFJ, ESFJ, ENFJ, INFJ, ENTJ, INTJ are all types that tend to look at rules as being the set criteria you must reach in order to achieve any sort of peace in your general life. It’s not that they go by anyone’s rules, but what they believe to be the best set of externalized guidelines; something other people can go by as well. This is the number one rule ISTJs get so pissed at ESFPs maybe more so than any other type. Why? Because there are so many of them and they love breaking rules the way it’s traditionally thought that you break them- sex, drugs, basic teen stuff.

But I digress! We’ll get to that in a moment. Yes, I know that I typed ESFP even though ESTP is in the title, don’t get you knickers in a twist.

And Brienne is definitely one to go by the rules. She devotes herself to Renly Baratheon and soon after he dies, then to Catelynn Stark for having saved her life by convincing others that she wasn’t the murderer. Even though it doesn’t seem to matter much to those she’s devoting herself to, it’s extremely important to her that she pledge herself and keep to the promise she’s made, regardless of how others look at her.


This was a zany duo, wasn’t it? Kooky, too.

“Judgers” in general will keep to rules no matter who else is breaking them. That is, if they’re stuck in the users’ head in the first place. While more likely to be products of their environment than Perceivers, Judgers like Brienne will be the odd-man-out if they’ve been trained or raised to honor certain rules and ideals, yet are placed in areas where rules are scoffed at. At the same time, if the Judger is raised in a place that doesn’t value any particular rules, they’ll follow suit as well.

Brienne follows a idea of knighthood that doesn’t exactly exist in the world that she lives. Even though knights are shown to be pompous and violent, Brienne has made it clear she plans on making it to knighthood and being an example for all to follow. This idealism, along with her looks, gets her mocked and ridiculed. And even though you can see that she cares, it’s not nearly as important as the rules she’s following.


Oberyn Martell, however, is a much different story. Though his functions are in the same order as Brienne’s, they’re flipped over. While Brienne leads with Si, Oberyn leads with Se. Though Brienne’s auxiliary function is Te, Oberyn’s is Ti. You get the idea.

So you can see why Brienne’s life is pious one, though no one has commanded her to follow the rules she’s set for herself; she’s following the standards she’s believed knights should follow. Oberyn though, is a man who’s meant to act more regal than he does. He comes from Dorne, a place not nearly as stuffy as King’s Landing, his lifestyle of bedding men, women, and drinking nonstop show that more of a lead Se user, preferring not to “limit himself.” And he’s clearly having a good time with it rather than living it up nihilistically.

Yet his quick-witted conversations with Tyrion and Tywin show he’s not solely going off of his gut, but his ability to break down the info he processes rationally. Though he’s all about his, uh, “past times,” he’s not one to choose fun over business if business is what needs tending to. His near obsession with avenging his sister shows us the serious side of Oberyn we hadn’t seen until he saw his moment to actually avenge her.


Well, I mean…good effort, if nothing else, right?

Up until then, we’d only heard his clever words and gotten the idea this guy just does whatever he wants without a single responsibility. But when it came to this one thing…this event that seemed forgotten by everybody else- the rape and murder of his sister and her kids years earlier- that wasn’t going to be let go. It wasn’t going to be forgotten. And if it took Oberyn his entire life to return the favor in some way, it was going to happen.

Perceivers, such as ESFP, ESTP, ISFP, ISTP, ENFP, INFP, ENTP, and INTP all prioritize information and rules based on an internalized guiding system of sorts. The reason Perceivers you know are often so late is because if they can’t find how the rule is important, then the rule doesn’t need to be followed. This is in contradiction with the Judger mindset that if the rule is exactly that (a rule), then everyone should follow it.

The Perceiver says “What does it matter if I’m here on time? Nothing can be done until thirty minutes AFTER.”

The Judger says “If I’m supposed to be there at nine, then I’ll be there at nine. But since no work can be done until thirty minutes later, we should see if we can change the time to 9:30.”

"You clocked in at 9:03? What are you, some kind of ANARCHIST?!"

“You clocked in at 9:03? What are you, some kind of ANARCHIST?!”

Though it’s not as black and white as it could seem.

A Perceiver might be a particularly pushy person and feel the need impose their own standards onto those around them, if for no other reason than to challenge the conversation partner. And a Judger might have a personal set of rules to never infringe on anyone else’s ideas, no matter how much they disagree, so usually you won’t argue with them unless you initiated it.

Oberyn’s way of life seemed hasty and frivolous but by the end, it really did seem as though he’d made certain things a priority- family, vengeance, and fun namely, letting all other aspects of life fall under those things. He’d chiseled away to only support what he though really mattered. Brienne was living a much more difficult life striving for an ideal she could never really meet- though it could be argued that’s the best way to live as it makes for a sturdier person.

"What does this word mean, 'sturdier?'"

“What does this word mean, ‘sturdier?'”

Take their fighting styles for example. Brienne wears heavier armor as a knight would, and her “Oathkeeper” sword is big enough to be an axe. She chops away with it, using it as efficiently as possible but the real strength it has is in its raw power, so users need to be strong. Her battle with The Hound was one of the greatest fights we’ve seen throughout the show and we really get to see how capable she is, fighting someone on her level.

This is similar to Judgers, whose lives may include a bit more stress than Perceivers as they take on more responsibilities in general, seeing life as though it’s held together by those same rules that they follow. Though more blunt and perhaps less graceful, they’ll get the job done.

Obeyrn fights with more cleverness, his spearhead tipped in Manticore poison and his abilities mostly made of style and quickness, refusing to let the Mountain get a hold of him. He knew where his strength lied and didn’t bother trying to directly take on a man more than twice his size. While Perceivers aren’t always the most disciplined people, they’ll often be more aware of their own strengths and weaknesses being that they focus more inwardly on what’s important to them. All types may do this, but it’s Perceivers that tend to live this way.

Put simply, Judgers are more likely to take any responsibility given to them seriously while Perceivers take only what responsibilities they believe to be important seriously. There are positives and negatives to each side, balancing us out by the end. While one is more disciplined, the other may be too selfish. Where one has a better grasp on balancing the inner self with the rest of the world, the other may be too rigid. Learning why the other is the way they are might help you understand yourself as well.

The end!

The end

3 Responses to “MBTI: Brienne and Oberyn- ISTJ and ESTP; Rules VS Principles”

  1. Since you are pretty deep at this you might want to take deeper look at socionics. MBTI and socionics are both systems based on Jung.

    Socionics is pretty damn systematic: quadras, clubs, aristocrats, democrats… It is far more advanced as a system.

    Anyways: ISTJ (ISTp, SLI) is part of delta quadra: maintainers alognside with ESTJ, INFP and ENFP.

    ESTP (ESTp, SLE) is part rebellious beta quadrant (also included ENFJ, INFJ and ISTP). They introduce new rules to the world and tear down the old ones. That is why ESTPs and INFJs are together dynamics duos.

    I’m an ENTJ (ENTj, LIE). And I am inclined towards bringing in new systems (gamma) with my vision and I desperately need an ISFP to give me consistent willpower and people handling skills. Scrooge McDuck was my childhood hero…

    • Taylor Says:

      Heh, interesting. Socionics was what made up much of my introduction to MBTI, though the beta quadrants and all seemed a bit out of my depth at the time and I hadn’t looked at it too deeply again. You’ve re-sparked an interest though. Especially the bit about your exact opposite being your source of strength.

  2. AnEstp Says:

    Why is he Estp and not Esfp? Most are thinking that he is esfp. Maybe because of his welk developed Fe?


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