Cognitive Type “Game of Thrones” Edition: Who Is Jon Snow?

Through the end of the final series of Game of Thrones, I will be typing all the main characters from the series, NOT the books. I will also make sure to find a character from each of the 16 cognitive types.

What type is Jon Snow?

Jon is one of the easiest and most obvious characters to type in “Game of Thrones”.

I had a good laugh when I did a simple search on what the intertubes thimk. Three types came up the most: INFJ, INFP, ISFP. The prevailing view seems to be that Jon is an INFJ. This is obviously wrong.

What was my starting point in typing Jon?

Without ANY analysis, on intuition and impression only, Jon seemed to be an Idealist: one of the NF types. But not an INFJ.

This was just intuiting on my part. I had to look specifically into what Jon does and says to try and reject those views.

When typing people, it’s always easier and more reliable to use the method of exclusion rather than try to pinpoint a type.

First, let’s look at why Jon is not an ISFP. This should be fairly obvious even to a beginner, simply on the basis of temperaments and your own perceptions. Unless, of course, you’re very unperceptive.

The 16 cognitive types fall into 4 groups of temperaments: Guardians, Artisans, Intellectuals and Idealists. The four types within each temperament share attitudes and behaviors. ISFP, often called “The Artist” (Prince, anyone?), is an Artisan type.

Artisans are pragmatic, whereas Idealists are affiliative. What does that mean?

Remember that the Cognitive Type model is about cognitive preference. Pragmatic people emphasize what works, whereas affiliative people emphasize their relationships with other people. Jon Snow just won’t stop grinding on about his family, honor and a number of other affiliative values. He does this so much that sometimes he sounds more like an SJ (Guardian) type than an Idealist. His preference is so clearly affiliative that ISFP sounds ridiculous.

Incidentally, this same set of behaviors shows that he’s not an INFJ either. How?

Both ISFP and INFJ have an Se ego. What does that mean? Their conscious Sensing function is Extroverted, focused on the here and now. Yet, Jon keeps talking about family, the past, his childhood and adolescence, honor, duty – all associated with Introverted Sensing, the aspect of the cognitive function that looks to the past. Just watch Jon reunite with his “sisters” at the end of Season 7 and the first episode of Season 8. That genuine innocent child-like affection has an INFP’s Si Child function written all over it.

There is another powerful way to differentiate between INFP and INFJ in Jon’s behavior.