MBTI: Theon Greyjoy- ESFP
Spoilers! You’ve been warned!
Wow, Game of Thrones week sure has turned into three, hasn’t it? Longest week ever. And I’m sure everyday Theon spends with Ramsay feels like an eternity as well. See how I tied that in there?
Theon went from royalty of the lowest order, to the Stark family errand boy…skip a few steps and now he’s basically Renfield from Dracula. Gah, it’s been a depressing journey for him. But Theon represents a side of the ESFP nobody wants to know. He’s selfish and vain, yet doesn’t have the royalty Joffrey has on his side, but rather a sort of “hand-me-down” lineage.
Theon may have actually been one of the most difficult to type. Not because he’s so complex a character necessarily, but the guy goes through a lot. Aside from always having to act a certain way depending on whose company he’s in, he’s also one character in a cast of about forty. And let’s just say that in terms of importance, he’s no Jon Snow. And lastly, his personality has taken a backseat (in the trunk) due to his mind-raping at the hands of Ramsay Bolton.
But when we meet Theon, he’s still a guy whose shown to love all the sensory pleasures the world has to offer. We’re forced to endure several scenes of him gettin’ freaky with the ladies solely to engorge on the excitement of the act itself. This of course, is Se; the dominant function of the ESFP. It’s what sticks out first, no pun intended but there it is anyway. Theon doesn’t seem to care too much about others, he’s just interested in the in-the-moment experiences.
But Theon’s auxiliary function as an ESFP would be his Fi. Our real introduction to his mind mode of mental processes, or at least mine, is when Robb first notices that Bran has disappeared in the woods. Before we’re introduced to Osha, and after being slighted by Robb about the House of Stark not being Theon’s house, Robb asks where Bran is. Theon’s reponse? “I don’t know. It’s not my house.”
Rather than forget the petty quarrel between the two due a serious matter arising, Theon shows us the petty side of Fi, where only “Me, Myself, and I” matter. As mentioned the Joffrey post, this is not how an ESFP is, but how they can be as every type has a selfish side while certain individuals engage it more often and some types are more prone than others to certain shallow behavior. Theon is shown to be vain but not particularly malicious. This by itself doesn’t tell us “Oh, he must be ESFP since he’s not completely evil.”
But with what’s already been mentioned along with the general truth that ESFPs don’t usually go out of their way to hurt people, but sometimes their goals just happen to involve harm coming to others, well, Theon couldn’t fit that any better. In season 2, episode 7, Theon remarks that “It’s better to be cruel than weak.” This shows his state of mind considering what he’s boiling his life choices being between in the first place.
Compare to Jesse Pinkman, of Breaking Bad; possibly the best ESFP character ever written for the screen, big or small. Pinkman, like Theon, isn’t looking to be a murderous gangster (or warlord) of any kind, he just wants recognition for doing “manly” things. Those things seem to be based on an idea of what men do rather than what it actually takes to reach that goal. People getting hurt is a side effect of their mission and it’s clear between Theon and Jesse that they feel guilt over several acts committed throughout their screen time. It’s Kafkaesque, yo.
Seeing as how Joffrey is an ESFP and embodies every negative ESFP trait there is, and the fact that Theon isn’t too much better, there’s no reason to repeat the same ol’ thing and sound like we’re harping on ESFPs. But to note, much of Theon’s issues come from his inferior Ni, which is evident in his “confession” to Ramsay before he realizes he’s about to enter a living hell. He notes that he “chose wrong” when it comes to betraying the Starks to serve the Greyjoys. It’s just unfortunate that he’s going through…y’know…his fileting now because of it.
It was a good speech though, even if it only lasts a minute and a half and it ends the way it does.