INFJ: Weyoun, “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine”

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INFJ – the Counselor, the Seer, the Defender

Wait, haven’t we seen this guy before? No, it’s not because Weyoun is a clone, it’s because Jeffrey Combs played another DS9 villain, Brunt. They even appeared in the same episode once, though sadly, not in the same scene.

Two Weyouns once appeared in the same episode, too, because the character we know as Weyoun is actually a series of clones (Weyouns 4-8 during the run of DS9, to be specific). However, because he’s genetically engineered to do his job perfectly, he always has the same personality, even when he turns out “defective.” In MBTI, your type is generally a function of nature rather than nurture—you are wired the way you’re wired no matter what, though personal experience will influence how your functions manifest. In Weyoun’s case, his “nature” is embedded in his DNA by those who “nurture” him, the Founders he reveres as gods.

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

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Weyoun believes in the mythos of the Dominion—that the Founders are gods who bring order to the galaxy. He believes that the Dominion will endure for thousands of years after the Federation is gone, and works to advance their holdings and influence with every move he makes. He believes that his goals are divinely inspired by the Founders, perfect and not to be questioned.

Even the defective Weyoun 6 still holds the Founders in awe and reverence, even though he awakens from the cloning process with the inexplicable idea that the Dominion’s war efforts are wrong. Continue reading

INTJ: Batman, “Batman: The Animated Series”

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INTJ – the Mastermind, the Strategist, the Futurist

(aka: Bruce Wayne)

Stephen King has a quote about the purpose of horror stories, that sometimes our brains need to let the crocodiles out of the sewer for a while before putting them back in their place. Batman’s villains act out the worst of us, our fears and damage and impulsive ids dancing through the streets, doing all the things we want to do because we want to do them. Then a shadow falls over the city, blotting out the wild colors and breaking up the party, and the chaos stops.

Batman is my hero not because he’s a bad-ass who wins every fight, or because he’s always the smartest guy in the room (which he is), but because he tames the crazy every night. He ties up the monsters and tucks them away, and when they break out, he does it again. Villains are fun to watch, but terrible to be, and Batman faithfully patrols the Gotham City of our brains to keep them from taking over.

(I must give great credit to AV Club writer and Bat-expert Oliver Sava for all the insights into Batman and the villains of Gotham I gleaned for this series while reading his reviews of B:TAS.)

Dominant Function: (Ni) Introverted Intuition, “The Labryinth”

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Batman’s identity is based on a solitary, personal symbol of fear. Bats scared Bruce as a child, so he imagines it will scare others, particularly the criminals he fights. The bat encompasses every idea he needs to convey as his crimefighting alter ego—darkness, swiftness, terror, and deadliness (even though he’s sworn to never kill).

In one sense, Batman was born the day Bruce’s parents died. Even though it took many years for the costume to appear, he was already on the path. Bruce swore to avenge his parents’ death as a boy, and regularly visits both their graves and the site of their deaths to focus himself on his vow. He sees his future early on, not just of becoming Batman, but of one day eradicating crime from Gotham. Continue reading

INTJ: Moriarty, “Star Trek: The Next Generation”

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INTJ – the Mastermind, the Futurist, the Strategist

You can keep your nervous, fidgety, so-smart-he’s-insane, modern-day Moriarty. The holographic character come to life on Star Trek: The Next Generation stands tall as the only Moriarty I need—menacing and calculating, yes, but also sophisticated, passionate, and capable of a kind of awestruck delight at the new world he’s called up into. He’s not really Moriarty, in a way, and he’s not really a villain, either. He’s a man who just wants the chance to live.

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

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Professor James Moriarty exists in the beginning as a fictional character within the holographic storybook that is Data’s Sherlock Holmes adventure. Then Geordi asks the computer to create an adversary capable of defeating Data, and the computer complies. Suddenly, Moriarty gains sentience, and an awareness of who and what he is.

He’s basically conceived in a burst of Ni.

Moriarty declares that he feels like a new man, and from there he sets out to understand the larger universe of which he’s now a part. He says that his mind is “crowded with images and thoughts I don’t understand, but cannot purge.” The truth of his reality comes to him in impressionistic bits and pieces that he attempts to put together into a cohesive whole—he manages to draw a picture of the Enterprise without fully knowing what it is. Continue reading

INFJ: Deanna Troi, “Star Trek: The Next Generation”

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INFJ – the Counselor, the Seer, the Defender

Hey, look! Troi’s a Counselor, but she’s also a Counselor. That works out nicely.

The two biggest challenges in typing Troi are these—1) She’s the most neglected crew member in terms of character development, and 2) Superpowers don’t count as cognitive functions. Troi being able to psychically read people doesn’t automatically mean she’s using Ni or Fe—it’s how she chooses to use her abilities based on her functional preferences that makes her an INFJ. We meet plenty of other telepaths and Betazoids on the show, and they all have their own personality types, particularly Troi’s mother, who’s an example of how different one person can be from their own family members.

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

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Troi’s empathic abilities read what’s going on emotionally beneath the surface of everyone she talks to. That’s not Ni itself, although it’s close to being a nice metaphor. When Troi temporarily loses her powers in “The Loss” (an episode I’ll be referencing a lot for this profile), she tells Riker that everyone seems colorless and hollow. Everyone is just a flat surface that she can’t understand.

So Troi’s Ni takes her empathic perception and creates an interpretive impression of another person. Without that impression, people have no depth to her. They don’t even seem real.

When Troi does use her powers, they don’t necessarily give her exact information. She’s infamous for giving vague advice about feeling that someone can’t be trusted, or that they’re hiding something, insights that barely require an empath to discern. Compare this to her Se-dom mother Lwaxana, who aside from being a full telepath, is direct and blunt about stating exactly what she hears other people thinking. Continue reading

INTJ: Jean-Luc Picard, “Star Trek: The Next Generation”

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INTJ – the Mastermind, the Strategist, the Futurist

Jean-Luc Picard is one of the healthiest examples of any type, but especially so for a type that’s commonly considered cold and inhuman. He’s not the cowboy that Kirk was, but in many ways I think he’s the most quintessential Star Trek captain—the flag-bearer of Gene Roddenberry’s belief in humanity’s potential for progress and achievement, and a man driven both by disciplined thought and passionate convictions. Get ready for an in-depth exploration of a very great, very human INTJ.

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

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“Future-oriented” pops up in INTJ descriptions all the time, and it also shows up in dialogue about Jean-Luc Picard. He confesses to Troi once that he “probably skipped my childhood altogether,” since he knew from a young age that all he wanted was to be a Starfleet officer. A family friend on Earth agrees, remarking that Picard and his ornery older ISTJ brother never got along, because Jean-Luc was always looking to the future, while his brother stayed home to take care of the family business.

It’s almost like an MBTI nerd was writing TNG and wanted us to know for sure what Picard’s type was.

But beyond those superficially typical examples, how else do we see Picard acting like an Ni-dom?

First off, in almost any given episode, Picard sits thoughtfully at the head of the conference table while the senior staff verbally debate whatever situation they’re stuck in that week. Picard draws all their points together and then decides on one course of action. Though he gives himself time to get there, he’s definitive in his conclusion, and this rallies the rest of the crew around his plan. Continue reading

INFJ: R’as al Ghul, “Batman: The Animated Series”

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INFJ – the Counselor, the Seer, the Defender

(pronounced RAYSH in the Animated Series, RAHZ in the Nolan movies)

Batman’s most powerful enemy doesn’t need a cute nickname like those ordinary lunatics (although his name does mean “Demon’s Head” in Arabic). He’s an international criminal mastermind who’s been at this for centuries before Bruce Wayne ever asked his parents to take him to the movies.

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

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R’as has been playing the long game for about six hundred years. He founded the Society of Shadows, used the Lazarus Pits to keep himself alive and healthy, and grew independently wealthy in order to achieve his goal of healing the planet from humanity’s corruption. Strangely, though Ni is usually associated with forward-thinking, R’as vision of a pristine green earth means that he distrusts technology and its influence—even as he uses it to execute his plans.

As he transports Batman to his rainforest hideaway, R’as explains how the forests benefit all mankind, but the rich find value only in its destruction. He’s profoundly disappointed with the thoughtless way humankind has used the earth without considering the consequences. His own vision for the earth has grand and far-reaching consequences, namely wiping out a huge swath of the human population. Though the immediate results are horrifying, he believes that in the end he will create a healthier planet.

Continue reading

INTJ: Richard Daystrom, “Star Trek: The Original Series”

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The Mastermind, The Strategist, The Futurist

As I complete this series about the characters on one of TV’s most idealistic and imaginative shows, I’m surprised to find that most of the Enterprise’s crew are Sensors and Extraverts. That’s not surprising for real life, but kind of fascinating for a show loved by a bunch of us Introverted Intuitives (nerds). So to balance the scales, here’s a profile of one of my favorite guest stars of the whole series—Doctor Richard Daystrom.

Daystrom comes on board the Enterprise in the second season episode “The Ultimate Computer,” to test a system called the M-5 that promises to automate all shipboard functions with a minimal need for human crew. Already sounds pretty mad-scientist-esque, right? Daystrom’s character arc hits a lot of familiar beats, like a Dr. Frankenstein with a computer instead of a giant corpse-creature.

But actor William Marshall doesn’t play it with cackling laughter and templed fingertips. Daystrom is a man of charismatic vision, and comes off as likeable and even charming in his excitement. By the time he hits the inevitable crisis, he’s not so much going wild-eyed with mania as he is sinking into moral despair.

That’s because Daystrom’s not a supervillain, like your stereotypical INTJ. He’s a relatable but brilliant human being. He’s not a bad guy, just a tragic one.

Dominant Function: (Ni) Introverted Intuition, “Anticipate the Experience”

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Daystrom believes in the success of his project before it even begins. “Its potential is a fact,” he tells the skeptical crew when they first meet him. It doesn’t matter that the last four models of the computer failed, the M-5 will work. His confidence makes him almost light up with hope and attractive charisma.

Daystrom bristles at the crew’s doubts, and even speaks the immortal mad scientist line, “I’m going to show you. I’m going to show all of you!” It hasn’t happened yet, but in his mind, it has. His vision is its own proof.

As things begin to go wrong, Daystrom dismisses the problems or claims that they’re part of the plan. The M-5 is learning, growing, and adapting, he says. Everything is working as he expected—until it isn’t.

Part of Daystrom’s motivation comes from the fact that he won the Nobel Prize for his scientific work at the age of 22. As McCoy points out to Kirk, where do you go from there? An Ni-dom like Daystrom needs a purpose ahead of him to work towards, and the idea that he peaked early in life terrifies him. Continue reading