MBTI: Catelyn, Sansa and Robb Stark- ESFJ and ISTJ
Spoilers! You’ve been warned!
It’s not really a secret who runs the world. While rarer Intuitives may have a hand in it, it’s the SJs that keep rules, regulations and traditions in place. For better and worse.
And Ned Stark’s mostly SJ family show their traits of tradition and order throughout the majority of the episodes they’re in, excluding Arya and Jon of course; who have kept the principles but exnayed on the tradition.
Catelyn is an example of the ESFJ mother and wife that’s been influenced by those around her in a positive way. While ESFJs are their own people just as anyone else is, SJs are the most apt to becoming true products of their environment. While everyone is to an extent, SJs become the environment more often than not. When it comes to ESFJs especially, whose first function is Fe, they’re open to newer ideas than most Guardians if for no other reason than it keeps things comfortable in the moment.
Compare to the ESFJ Cersei, who is constantly surrounded by backstabbers and murderers. She herself has taken these traits herself and isn’t someone you’re likely to trust. Yet Catelyn, married to the most morally upright man in Westeros, Ned Stark, is shown to be wise to the way the world works yet still sticks to her guns- family, duty, honor. It goes without saying that her upbringing had a hand in it as well while her marriage to Ned only kept her values strong rather than have her come to a moral crossroad.
Also Compare the older, wiser Catelyn to her daughter Sansa, also an ESFJ. Clearly there are differences between the two, with age and time being factors. But Sansa represents the ESFJ girl who has yet to learn about the ways of the world while holding to her interpretation of honor and tradition.
Despite Joffrey’s insistence to show what a numbskull he is, season one displayed a Sansa that was determined to be with Joffrey. Why? She was ready before she even knew him and once she knew him, there only seemed to be instances of Joffrey being an idiot. Yet it took her dad’s head being cut off and stuck on a spike for her to realize Joffrey may not be the best suitor.
While some ESFJs may have caught on sooner, Sansa’s way of sticking with the choice of Joffrey for way longer than she should of shows the ESFJ trait of remaining steadfast in their choices. Their auxiliary Si can make this type difficult to sway if their source of authority is stronger in their minds than the argument you can present, even if the original deliverer of said principle is speaks against it.
While ENFJs will follow only the ideas they really believe in, following it when all others disobey, the ESFJ don’t need to even understand the reason behind it- if it’s worked before or hasn’t shown itself to fail, they’ll keep to it.
Ned responds to Sansa’s refusal to leave Joffrey
Ned: When you’re old enough, I’ll make you a match with someone who is worthy of you. Someone who’s brave and gentle and strong-
Sansa: I don’t want someone who’s brave and gentle and strong! I want him!
It’s not until after her dad is executed that Sansa begins to see how horrible everything around her really is and that she can’t trust anyone. Her behavior the following seasons is generally one of helplessness and sadness, feeling as though she can’t escape.
She “adapts” but only in the sense that she lies and pretends she still loves the Lannisters. It’s not until Littlefinger makes his move to take her away. At which point, we see a certain “change” in Sansa; one showing that whether she really has taken to Littlefinger’s ways or is just playing him, she can’t go on as the misguided little girl. If everyone around her is so corrupt, she won’t survive by playing to their mercy.
Si is a powerful thing, and for those of you who know Guardians (I.E., ALL of us) know that when their mind is made up, you’re going to have to use government brainwashing techniques to get them to think differently. Take Robb Stark for example, an ISTJ like his daddy.
While Robb didn’t seem to carry the same weight his dad did (Partly due to Sean Bean playing Ned), it couldn’t be denied that once he’d decided to make his moves against the Lannisters, his steadfast resolve was something to be reckoned with, even by Tywin, who didn’t appear to look at anyone as his equal.
As an ISTJ, there’s a reason Robb came off as cold yet righteous. Si and Te as head functions really do set a person up to be rigid and “superdependable” as Myers put it and if you look as his upbringing, with Ned and Catelyn as parents, it’s no wonder Robb is the way he is.
The way ISTJ Robb and his ESFJ mother deal with Jaime Lannister as a captive was interesting as well. While Robb considered his duty to his kingdom as his first priority, Catelyn saw family as number one and you could say this is a difference between ISTJ and ESFJ. While Si says “Do what you know,” Fe asks “What feels right?”
Catelyn’s decision to let Jaime go in the hopes that he would release her daughters conflicts with Robb’s idea that Jaime as a prisoner is the Stark House’s biggest bargaining chip. He loves his sisters but has a multitude of other families to take care of as well.
It’s not surprising that an ISTJ’s ISTJ son would pick up where his dad left off. If you want a job seen through, you give it to an SJ.
It’s also interesting to note that the one time the Young Wolf breaks an oath to marry one of the Frey daughters was his undoing, while Ned’s was “admitting” that he was a traitor. It seems the lesson to learn as far as the Starks are concerned is to keep to your principles.