Pop Culture Relationships

Game of Thrones Shipping MBTI Style: Romance Between Daenerys Targaryen (ENFP) and Jon Snow (INFJ)?

Written by Eric Gee

“Look what is done cannot be now amended.”

Spoiler alert: If you have not yet seen Game of Thrones up to season 7’s “Queen’s Justice”, you might want to stop here.

Episode: “Queen’s Justice”. Place: Dragonstone. Time: With HBO GO, does it really matter? It was the moment we’ve all been waiting for. Two of the series’ most likable—Jon Snow is admittedly growing on me despite his slightly irritating moments in seasons 1-4—characters finally meet. Narratively, the meeting of these two protagonists—three if you count Tyrion and the always-appreciated levity he provides—was pivotal in many ways, though none of those ways will be described here. Dany/Jon shippers and MBTI-lovers, this article is for you.

As much long-awaited pleasure—think Steve Carell 40-year-old virgin release—as that scene must have given to Jon Snow fans out there, it must have been just as disappointing to the many MBTI enthusiasts who claim that Daenerys Targaryen is an INFJ (or what we at Youtopia call a Giant Panda). Juxtaposed next to a true Panda like Jon Snow, the differences become pretty clear. Of course, when it comes to typing, context is important. Let’s examine:

  • both Jon Snow and Daenerys are rulers in their own right
  • both have earned the love and respect of their followers
  • both know very little about the accomplishments of the other, save for the small snippets they’ve been told

Thus, the context of the meeting is fairly neutral and should not greatly affect typing results based on the character’s behavior; unlike, say, Sansa Stark’s time at King’s Landing, where her status as a de facto prisoner and target of Joffrey’s torment pushed her Elephant (ESFJ) temperament inward.

In their meeting, Dany shows herself to be every bit of the fire-breathing Baboon (ENFP) that she is. Her aggression is palpable; burning beneath her diplomatic veneer. She pronounces her achievements not out of ego, but because they’re true, and the perfect evidence for her quintessential Baboon pronouncement, “Faith… in myself. In Daenerys Targaryen.” Some might argue that home field advantage had a lot to do with her demeanor, but those same people need only look back into past seasons to find her spewing much of that same swagger in less friendly confines (the gates of Qarth, the Spice King’s estate, and Astapor, to name a few). Plus, it was Daenerys who requested Jon’s presence and put him in such an unenviable position in the first place. A Baboon’s best defense, for better or worse, is their offense.

Jon Snow’s Panda (INFJ) tendencies are on full display here. Brooding, inward, with a strength so unadorned it garners the best laugh line of the episode—and one of the best in the series—Davos’ “Ummmm… this is Jon Snow.” Of course, there are many people reading this thinking, “What the hell do all these animals and letters mean? I came here to read about Dany and Jon hooking up!”

The reality is, temperament theory can’t really tell us whether this is going to happen or not. It can only hope to predict what might go right and wrong if they do—ignoring that they are really quite closely related to each other, a fact that, let’s face it, would be a lot more icky if we had never heard of Jaime and Cersei Lannister.

To start with, Dany and Jon have a lot in common temperamentally speaking. They are deeply introspective. They have a preternatural ability to understand the feelings and concerns of people across a wide social spectrum. They, quite often, make a habit of bucking conventional “wisdom” and following their own intuition. This is no surprise, seeing as they’re both Idealists (NF) and these traits are straight out of the Idealist playbook. Those unfamiliar with the term “Idealist” as it relates to temperament theory—I’m looking at you cognitive function purists—should put our description of Idealists, and the other three quadrants as well, on their must-read list.

You’d think that, as fellow Idealists, Dany and Jon would make a good match, and in a lot of ways you’d be right. Their altruism, their spirituality, their identity-seeking personalities—if this was a different kind of story, meaning one that didn’t involve dragons, zombies, and cutthroat politics, one could imagine Dany and Jon meeting cute during yoga class, Dany as the part-time instructor, part-time actor-writer waiting for her break, Jon as the guy who got dragged there by his girlfriend, ended up breaking up with her, and stayed anyway because he loved the group. But since it is Game of Thrones, let’s just say that both Dany and Jon want to do what’s “right” for the people, which is more than can be said for the power-grabbing behavior exhibited by the rest of high-born Westeros, and that high-mindedness alone might be enough to spark a romantic flame.

Then again, it’s just as likely that these two Idealists will begin to annoy the hell out of each other with their respective preaching and passive-aggressive brooding. Righteous fury is a godsend when it comes to inspiring the masses, but like anything else fueled by enthusiasm and passion, it can grow tiring. And that’s assuming that the two sides actually agree on what they’re fighting for. If Dany and Jon were to find themselves on opposing sides of an argument… well, let’s just say that Melisandre would have a hard time reviving Jon a second time from a pile of Drogon-induced ash.

I guess what this intellectual exercise actually show us—because, of course, what is shipping if not an intellectual exercise?—is the great and terrible aspects of being an Idealist. Their confidence in their beliefs will have you believing in yourself, but it’s a confidence that can often turn to self-righteousness. And if an Idealist’s romantic mate is unwilling to be flexible in his or her own beliefs? Bear in mind Dany’s non-question from season 3, “what happens to things that don’t bend?”

About the author

Eric Gee

Eric Gee has administered personality-based life coaching for more than twenty years. He built a successful education company that used his personality typing method to better the lives of more than twenty thousand students, parents, and teachers. As creator of The Youtopia Project and the Youtopia 16 assessment, he has disseminated his method to over half a million users since the website’s creation in 2016.

His upcoming book, The Power of Personality, is the culmination of decades of research and application for the Youtopia Project, insights honed by personality typing upwards of fifty thousand people throughout his career.

Eric graduated from UCLA, where he studied English literature and screenwriting. Coincidentally, he’s also a classically trained pianist, backyard-trained barbecue dilettante, three-time fantasy football champion, professional mentor, and amateur magician. He owns Youtopia Creative, a shared creative workspace in Los Angeles (projectyoutopia.com/creative) where he dispenses life coaching (projectyoutopia.com/university) as well as an inordinate amount of 90s pop culture references.

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