ENFJ: Lore, “Star Trek: The Next Generation”


ENFJ – the Giver, the Mentor, the Believer

Lore only shows up three times through the whole series, and yet he seems like he’s always around. That’s partly because he’s played by Brent Spiner, who also plays his twin brother Data, but it’s also because his existence mirrors Data’s. Whenever Data struggles with his feelings, his ethics, or his desire to be human, the spectre of Lore, the too-human robot, lurks in his shadow.

Dominant Function: (Fe) Extraverted Feeling, “The Garden Fountain”


Lore’s dominant and inferior functions are flipped from his twin brother—he’s a Feeler first, and a Thinker last. He can both interact with Humans and act like a Human successfully, but a lot of it is still an exaggeration of the way emotions work. On a similar but smaller scale, Data’s inferior Fe tries to imitate Human behavior and comes out weird. Lore’s dominant Fe cranks that process up to overdrive.

When they first meet, Lore makes a show of wanting to do anything necessary to please Humans, an objective which Data questions. Of course, Lore’s manipulating the situation the whole time, but he’s still a naturally-gifted people-pleaser. In fact, he overdoes it a little when praising Wesley’s work on the bridge, almost tipping his hand as to his ulterior motives. He exploits the crew’s trust when he pretends to be Data and gets them to do whatever he needs.

And he works desperately for the approval of their father, cyberneticist Dr. Soong. Lore’s first big lie is to tell Data that Lore was too perfect, and that Data was created to be less perfect—but that’s hiding the truth that Soong considered Lore a failure and deactivated him, neglecting to come back and fix him later. Lore’s resentment of his father spurs much of his spite and hatred of humanity in the first place.

I strongly considered ENTP for Lore, given his mischievous nature and the fact that his twin brother is an INTP. But he doesn’t have the Ti detachment from his emotions. Fe in the tertiary means that the user has an outsider’s interest in the function, able to grasp it at some times and at others not. Sometimes, as they’re developing, they use it for fun and experimentation—“Let’s see if this behavior offends anyone or gets a reaction.”

Lore doesn’t step back and study his emotions, or anyone else’s—he just feels them, and acts on them. His Fe is petty because he’s perpetually immature, abandoned when he malfunctioned. Sometimes this means he tries to earn his father’s love, and sometimes it means he plots the vengeful death of everyone who’s mistreated him.

Data, meanwhile, is the one who started out unwittingly offending people because he didn’t understand things like modesty. Lore gets all these concepts, but his Ni-driven superiority complex drives his Fe to want to dominate rather than obey. Data is more childlike but oriented towards personal growth, so his Fe ends up being the healthier and more stable of the two.

Lore’s Fe crystalizes when he becomes leader of the rogue Borg. Given a collective of vulnerable, frightened followers—mechanical beings even more lost than he is—he appeals to their needs and unites them with his charisma. He literally manipulates their emotions, and Data’s, by dialing the output of his emotions chip up or down, like a drug. He punishes disunity and demands sacrifice, all the while promising a better life.

Not to mention that years before he was a Borg cult leader, he befriended the Crystalline Entity and learned how to communicate with it, offering to help it feed by leading it to prey.

Auxiliary Function: (Ni) Introverted Intuition, “The Labyrinth”


Lore was a big-picture dreamer from early on.

As Dr. Soong tells it, problems with Lore began when he developed a superiority complex. He saw himself as better than Humans, with all their intelligence and emotions and none of their weaknesses. When he first meets Data, he encourages him to think about how grand it would be to hold not just the memories of a few colonists in his databanks, but the knowledge of millions of beings. He sees Data’s ambitions to rise through the ranks of Starfleet as small-minded and limited by systems designed by Humans.

Data doesn’t buy it, but Lore has been plotting his escape from the moment he was re-activated, bending every interaction with the crew towards the goal of feeding them to the Crystalline Entity.

By the time he meets up with the Borg, Lore decides that completely mechanical life forms are the way of the future. He rallies his Collective around his vision and declares biological life forms to be obsolete. Giving them a purpose pulls them back from the brink of chaos and creates a dangerous new form of Borg.

Tertiary Function: (Se) Extraverted Sensing, “The Kitchens”


Lore survives despite repeated attempts to put him down. He moves into action as soon as the Enterprise crew reassembles him, waiting patiently until the moment is right for him to spring his trap—and then he fights Worf in a turbolift to kick off his plan. Even after he’s beamed into space, he hitches a ride with some passing Pakleds and somehow makes it all the way back to Dr. Soong’s secret lab. His next chance to do something great happens when he meets with the rogue Borg, an opportunity he seizes with manic energy.

He’s much less in touch with his Sensing function than his brother is with his, and mainly wields Se to take hasty action on his Ni goals. Lore conducts risky experiments on the rogue Borg in an effort to make them completely artificial. It doesn’t go so well, but he ignores the sight of these damaged drones in favor of his vision of an AI future. When the whole plan goes to hell, he takes off immediately—always ready with an escape plan, like his father—but Data finally gets the drop on him.

Inferior Function: (Ti) Introverted Thinking, “The Laboratory”


Lore has no control over his emotional reactions, and his malevolence scared the colonists he and Dr. Soong lived with. His brother Data has a highly logical, well-though out ethical system, but Lore’s erratic thinking leaves him spastically reacting to every hurt. He finds fault in Dr. Soong’s decisions—and he’s not wrong—laying the blame on his father for his dangerous behavior.

He pleads with Soong to just fix him, to repair the wiring that makes him bad. When Soong can’t, he once again impersonates Data in order to get the emotions chip meant for his brother. Unfortunately, dialing up his emotions is exactly the opposite of what he needed.

Unable to integrate his functions into a healthy whole, Lore is finally dismantled for good, left forever in pieces.


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