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Thought it would be interesting to discuss the Myers-Briggs Personality Types (MBTI) for the different Cosmere characters. Since I didn't see anyone else doing this, and I'm a bit of an MBTI junkie, I thought I'd start a thread.

So, since I just finished reading "Sixth of the Dusk" for the first time, and it really only has two human characters of note, I thought I'd start with typing Dusk and Vathi. Much easier than trying to type every charactert in, say, the Stormlight Archives. So, here goes:

 

Dusk: ISTP

Vathi: ENFP

I'm going to spoiler up my descriptions of why, because they contain lots of little spoilery tidbits.

At first glance, Dusk seems to be a pretty straightforward ISTJ, but I think that the argument could be made that he is actually an ISTP. Although traditions are very important to him, he has an extrememly pragmatic side as well (experiementing with Sak, following the ship debris instead of going straight to his safecamp, throwing himself into a midnight jungle trek, wanting to kill all of the Nightmaws, etc). Here is an ISTP who has been trained very well to emulate J behavior, but who still has that spark. The spark in Dusk isn't nearly as strong as it was in, say, Kaladin - another SP who was raised to be a J, and rightfully so. Giving in to his P nature on a regular basis would absolutely get Dusk killed on Patji. He retains just enough of it to give him a leg up against the other trappers (his Meeker trick, for example).

Vathi seems like she might be an ENFP to me. She gives off a sort of natural charisma, enough so that she actually makes Dusk feel protective of her and move to save her more than once despite his reservations and frustration with her being there at all.

EDIT: 1/12/XV, 10:00 PM
 

Hmmm, ok, since Curiosity asked, I'm going to type a few Rosharians. Here are some of the ones I've given some thought to:

Dalinar: ESTJ

Adolin: ESFJ

Shallan: INFJ

Kaladin: ISFP

Jasnah: INTJ

Wit/Hoid: ENTP

Some of them seem pretty obvious to me (Shallan, Jasnah, Hoid), but others I'll give a bit of extra justification for. If someone asks for clarification on any of the ones I've only touched on, I'll be glad to give it.

As usual, I'll spoiler up my reasons, since they will contain myriad little bits of spoilers.

DALINAR (ESTJ): He fits the classic mold for an SJ who has grown up in a culture that most nearly values SP ideals - Alethi Noblity. (An example of a culture like this is the United States, which has promoted SP cultural archetypes throughout its history: Minutemen, Cowboys, Hard-Boiled Detectives, Superhero vigilantes, etc.) SJs who grow up in these cultures tend to exhibit SP traits (like Dalinar's drunken carousing and his willingness to throw himself into battles), but are showing those values out of a desire to fit in with cultural expectations rather than a desire to actually perform the activities associated with those traits. As this type of SJ grows older, they tend to follow the cultural expectation of becoming more sedate and conservative as you age. Especially when coupled with a traumatic event in the person's life (Galivar's death, in Dalinar's case), this change can be quite drastic.

Dalinar can give a false read as an ENFJ, since he has a cause that he is championing and trying to unite everyone around, and because he seems so focused on his internal growth. In actuality however, the thing he is focused on is not his own growth or developing his own ideals - he is focused, with laser-precision, on his visions. The ideals he is championing are the values of Tanavast, the man giving him the visions. I think that it's likely that Tanavast is an ENFJ (or possibly INFJ), and because of Dalinar's utter devotion to his teachings, he often displays those values. His reasons for advocating those values, however, are SJ reasons - they are the "correct" path, and Dalinar's guardian instinct kicks in to protect and enforce those values in the people around him. His reluctance to spend time at social gatherings is not an Introverted trait, it is simply the effect of an SJ not wanting to be around a giant group of people who all think that he is strange and wrong (especially when he thinks that they are ALL wrong).

ADOLIN (ESFJ): He is cut from the same cloth (and culture) as Dalinar, but is still in the youthful portion of being an SJ growing up as an Alethi Noble. Social expections call for him to be competitive, so he is very competitive. His SJ shows through in his absolute dedication to his fighting skills, skills that he has cultivated very deliberately and painstakingly through careful practice over many, many years (as opposed to, say Kaladin's SP fighting skills, which he picks up very quickly once he decides to learn them). In fact, he's so dedicated to these skills that he has an complete inability to realize some of the other things that are important to him (like settling down with a wife) and he cannot understand why he is so bad at these these things (it's because he hasn't put in the time to practice them).

SHALLAN (INFJ): She is every INFJ I've ever met.

KALADIN (ISFP): Here we have the polar opposite of Dalinar: An SP who is raised in an SJ culture (Alethi darkeyes). Kaladin oozes with resentment at his place in life and at the "betrayals" of the Lighteyes. Most SJs would not see these actions as betrayals, they would simply accept their place in the hierarchy and assume that the Lighteyes must have good reasons for whatever they do. His decisions are made quickly and generally driven by emotion - his choice to join Amaram's army, or to give up the Shardblade he won, for instance. He is able to think on his feet and quickly react to situations as they arise.

Jasnah (INTJ): The biggest "tell" here (other than her utter disregard for social conventions) is her giant and intricate web that she is constantly tending. Jasnah is playing an intricate chess game against fate, and she just might win it. Her pieces include a vast array of different people, technologies, political games and bits of knowledge, both common and archane. There is no way that she isn't an INTJ.

Wit/Hoid (ENTP): He is a classic ENTP. In the interest of full disclosure, I should admit here that I am also an ENTP, and Hoid is clearly the coolest character ever, so I clearly am a little biased. But still he seems to match all ENTP traits to a T.  Especially the T. Also, his giant NT web (like Jasnah's except that it spans multiple planets and thousands of years, so).



So there you have it. What do you think? Agree or disagree? I'd love to have some discussion about this...

EDIT: I updated this post, rather than double-posting. Thank you for the suggestion, Curiosity.

Edited by AndrewStirlingMacDonald
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Could you do Dalinar? I'm curious how much he has changed his personality like Dusk.

 

(I've never been good at ID'ing MBTI types, but I've always been fascinated by them.)

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Hmmm, ok, Curiosity, I'm going to type a few Rosharians. Here are some of the ones I've given some thought to:

Dalinar: ESTJ

Adolin: ESFJ

Shallan: INFJ

Kaladin: ISFP

Jasnah: INTJ

Wit/Hoid: ENTP

Some of them seem pretty obvious to me (Shallan, Jasnah, Hoid), but others I'll give a bit of extra justification for. If someone asks for clarification on any of the ones I've only touched on, I'll be glad to give it.

As usual, I'll spoiler up my reasons, since they will contain myriad little bits of spoilers.

DALINAR (ESTJ): He fits the classic mold for an SJ who has grown up in a culture that most nearly values SP ideals - Alethi Noblity. (An example of a culture like this is the United States, which has promoted SP cultural archetypes throughout its history: Minutemen, Cowboys, Hard-Boiled Detectives, Superhero vigilantes, etc.) SJs who grow up in these cultures tend to exhibit SP traits (like Dalinar's drunken carousing and his willingness to throw himself into battles), but are showing those values out of a desire to fit in with cultural expectations rather than a desire to actually perform the activities associated with those traits. As this type of SJ grows older, they tend to follow the cultural expectation of becoming more sedate and conservative as you age. Especially when coupled with a traumatic event in the person's life (Galivar's death, in Dalinar's case), this change can be quite drastic.

Dalinar can give a false read as an ENFJ, since he has a cause that he is championing and trying to unite everyone around, and because he seems so focused on his internal growth. In actuality however, the thing he is focused on is not his own growth or developing his own ideals - he is focused, with laser-precision, on his visions. The ideals he is championing are the values of Tanavast, the man giving him the visions. I think that it's likely that Tanavast is an ENFJ (or possibly INFJ), and because of Dalinar's utter devotion to his teachings, he often displays those values. His reasons for advocating those values, however, are SJ reasons - they are the "correct" path, and Dalinar's guardian instinct kicks in to protect and enforce those values in the people around him. His reluctance to spend time at social gatherings is not an Introverted trait, it is simply the effect of an SJ not wanting to be around a giant group of people who all think that he is strange and wrong (especially when he thinks that they are ALL wrong).

ADOLIN (ESFJ): He is cut from the same cloth (and culture) as Dalinar, but is still in the youthful portion of being an SJ growing up as an Alethi Noble. Social expections call for him to be competitive, so he is very competitive. His SJ shows through in his absolute dedication to his fighting skills, skills that he has cultivated very deliberately and painstakingly through careful practice over many, many years (as opposed to, say Kaladin's SP fighting skills, which he picks up very quickly once he decides to learn them). In fact, he's so dedicated to these skills that he has an complete inability to realize some of the other things that are important to him (like settling down with a wife) and he cannot understand why he is so bad at these these things (it's because he hasn't put in the time to practice them).

SHALLAN (INFJ): She is every INFJ I've ever met.

KALADIN (ISFP): Here we have the polar opposite of Dalinar: An SP who is raised in an SJ culture (Alethi darkeyes). Kaladin oozes with resentment at his place in life and at the "betrayals" of the Lighteyes. Most SJs would not see these actions as betrayals, they would simply accept their place in the hierarchy and assume that the Lighteyes must have good reasons for whatever they do. His decisions are made quickly and generally driven by emotion - his choice to join Amaram's army, or to give up the Shardblade he won, for instance. He is able to think on his feet and quickly react to situations as they arise.

Jasnah (INTJ): The biggest "tell" here (other than her utter disregard for social conventions) is her giant and intricate web that she is constantly tending. Jasnah is playing an intricate chess game against fate, and she just might win it. Her pieces include a vast array of different people, technologies, political games and bits of knowledge, both common and archane. There is no way that she isn't an INTJ.

Wit/Hoid (ENTP): He is a classic ENTP. In the interest of full disclosure, I should admit here that I am also an ENTP, and Hoid is clearly the coolest character ever, so I clearly am a little biased. But still he seems to match all ENTP traits to a T.  Especially the T. Also, his giant NT web (like Jasnah's except that it spans multiple planets and thousands of years, so).



So there you have it. What do you think? Agree or disagree? I'd love to have some discussion about this...

EDIT: I linked each of their types to pages with descriptions and examples of those types.

Edited by AndrewStirlingMacDonald
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One thing that I really love about Brandon is that he not only has a closer-to-reality ratio of types (IRL, for example, SJs make up around 40-45% of the population, but they are incredibly rare characters to find in fiction, probably since fiction-writing is a job much more likely to interest non-SJ types), but he does a great job of showing that any personality type can make for an interesting and compelling character.

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I knew I loved Jasnah for a reason. The majority of tests I've taken have pegged me as INTJ.

 

(One lower quality test said INFJ, but I don't believe in rigid personality types, so it made sense. I view them as general descriptions, not deterministic formulae.)

 

Thank you! This is really cool! Where did you learn all of this? And where might I learn to do the same?

 

Edit: What are the tells for INFJ's? I'm really not that experienced in this field. Could you elaborate on what Shallan's tells are?

Edited by Curiosity
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Oh yeah! Me and Hoid match. I'm ENTP/ENTJ.

Nice work.

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Curiosity, I agree with you that MBTI are general descriptions - description pairs, I'd say, with sliders on them. Like temperature, but instead of "hot" on one end and "cold" on the other, you have "intuitive" on one end and "sensing" on the other. Everybody falls somewhere on that scale, so you might have two people with the same personality type that are drastically different because of where each of their personalities fall on those four sliders. So, it's very possible that you have stronger areas of I, N and J, but your T/F is more nearly towards the center. The biggest difference between NFs and NTs is that NFs tend to be champions of ideals and focused on personal growth, where NTs tend to focus on changing big pictures (hence the "webs" I spoke of with Jasnah and Hoid) and focused on personal accomplishment.

 

The very best resource on MBTI is David Keirsey's book "Please Understand Me II." It is not necessary to have read the original "Please Understand Me" to read II. I recommend that you read a hardcover version rather than an e-book, as it is a reference material and you will often find yourself wanted to flip back to other sections as you come to understand various aspects of the types differently.

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Funny post. Turns out I'm ESFJ. Who would have thought? :ph34r:

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Never took a personality test before. The questionnaire from OP's link tells me I am INFP albeit a mild one. Seems spot on.:)

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Surprise surprise I'm INTJ? Nope. Well, was "moderate" in all 4 categories. I see myself being more like Jasnah much of the time but have more of Shallan's creative/curious/chaotic side.

 

Regarding your analysis of the other SA characters, I'm not sure about Dalinar and Adolin (rest feel spot on). I suspect that Galivar was more of a ESTJ - Dalinar might have been more like an ISFP when younger but forced himself to adapt to cope with the stress. That said, I agree with a lot of your analysis on him. The analysis of Adolin seems off to me - I see him as someone who is highly attracted to the new or exotic and his problem with girlfriends is not because he's bad at courting (he isn't) but because he gets entranced by the next girl to turn up and it's developed into a jinx over time. I suspect he would make a good "critic" of the arts - his personal interest in fashion is actually against social norms (being fashionable is fine but being personally interested and engaged to the extent of being the local expert is unusual).

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Yeah, it's hard to say exactly. I think that things will be much clearer after the Dalinar perspective book... Is Adolin confirmed as getting one of the ten books? I feel like I saw a list at one point, and I know that Dalinar, Szeth and Eshonai are confirmed from the SotS we got in December...

I'm curious, kari-no-sugata, what did you think of my assessment of Dalinar presenting ENFJ qualities because of Tanavast being an ENFJ? \

 

Also, gjustice99, my best friend is an ISTP. It's a pretty fun type.

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Looks like I'm INFJ... same as Shallan. Seems accurate to me! That description basically is me, kinda scary. My JP difference was only 1% though, so while I could be INFP, I think the INFJ is a much better description of me.

I'm impressed with the results, how have I not heard of this before?

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Yeah, it's hard to say exactly. I think that things will be much clearer after the Dalinar perspective book... Is Adolin confirmed as getting one of the ten books? I feel like I saw a list at one point, and I know that Dalinar, Szeth and Eshonai are confirmed from the SotS we got in December...

Nothing is certain until the books are written but it currently looks unlikely Adolin will get a book. Maybe between Dalinar and Renarin's books we'll get enough on Adolin.

 

I'm curious, kari-no-sugata, what did you think of my assessment of Dalinar presenting ENFJ qualities because of Tanavast being an ENFJ?

It's a very interesting idea and not something I had considered. It would be very interesting to know what selection criteria Tanavast gave to the Stormfather (for Bondsmiths). I think it's highly likely that Galivar was also getting the same visions and my impression is that he was generally changing for the better.

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Surprise surprise I'm INTJ? Nope. Well, was "moderate" in all 4 categories. I see myself being more like Jasnah much of the time but have more of Shallan's creative/curious/chaotic side.

 

Regarding your analysis of the other SA characters, I'm not sure about Dalinar and Adolin (rest feel spot on). I suspect that Galivar was more of a ESTJ - Dalinar might have been more like an ISFP when younger but forced himself to adapt to cope with the stress. That said, I agree with a lot of your analysis on him. The analysis of Adolin seems off to me - I see him as someone who is highly attracted to the new or exotic and his problem with girlfriends is not because he's bad at courting (he isn't) but because he gets entranced by the next girl to turn up and it's developed into a jinx over time. I suspect he would make a good "critic" of the arts - his personal interest in fashion is actually against social norms (being fashionable is fine but being personally interested and engaged to the extent of being the local expert is unusual).

 

I think Adolin is a very typical ESFJ. He is my male alter-ego, though much more F than I. I'm borderline on the T. Reading Adolin is like reading myself at the same age: it's mesmerizing at times.

 

ESFJ literally ride on emotions: most of their reactions are attuned to their emotional response to the external stimulus. Not to say they can't be thoughtful or are incapable of logic and rationality, they can, but if they get emotionally involved within the case at study, their judgment may be influenced by what "feels right" or what gives the best "vibe". Strong emotions are very hard to contain (especially anger), like a ball of liquid fire that grows on the inside and threaten to destroy everything unless you find a way to channel it.

 

ESFJ are fiercely loyal. Once you enter their personal circle, they will stand by you no matter what. If you are attacked, they will jump into the melee with teeth snarled like a growling dog to defend you. They care deeply about their close-ones (or their close ideas or concepts or anything dear to them, really) and will give in everything they've got.

 

ESFJ are very obedient: they have a strong regard towards authority and conventions, but at the same time they are plagued by a black and white vision of the world, a sense of right and wrong. They have a hard time obeying to rules they do not understand or see as irrelevant. However, since they are not rebels and have a natural incentive to just obey, they will do as told, but they will sure complain about it the whole time. They will pull a tantrum on silly things (such as uniforms: school uniform, Kohlin's army uniform, same debate really), but will never go as far as to derogate from the rule.

 

Successful ESFJ are good at what they do. If they find themselves a particular talent, they will work extra hard to excel at it. Why? Because the feeling of pride one gets from being good at something is one of the most powerful drive an ESFJ could get. It is so strong it could make you move mountains, fly above the sea: once wrap into the beneficial feeling of competence they are unattainable, unbeatable. The more good they get a given task, the stronger the feeling, the more positive ESFJ will feel about itself, the more confident they'll get.

 

Adolin is caring, loving, loyal, obedient and very emotional. He's a typical ESFJ.

 

My thoughts are he does not like the exotic: he likes what is popular and right now, fashionable clothes are popular. Every single young man dwindles into fashion and thus Adolin wants to pitch in, but if he's to do it, then he'll chose something to make a statement. He fails with women because to succeed in relationships, one first needs to put oneself into an emotionally vulnerable position. Adolin is not ready to do this just yet, so he jumps to the next women the second the first one seems disinterested to avoid having to open-up. As long as he does not involve himself emotionally with any women, he cannot get hurt. Heart is the main weakness of any ESFJ and it surely is Adolin's.

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Hi Maxal, awesome summary of Adolin / ESFJ. If that's all typical of ESFJ then I have no problem with Adolin being called ESFJ - however, the other summaries of ESFJ didn't feel like Adolin to me.

 

I still think Adolin is attracted to the new/exotic though. I'm sure there was other examples but the main one I remember is when he first sees Shallan for the first time: Shallan sees herself as being a poor fit to the normal standards of beauty (too short, too skinny, wrong hair colour, has freckles, dresses too simply) yet that is exactly what Adolin finds attractive:

 

Gorgeous red hair. There wasn't a single lock of black in it. A slender build, so different from the curvaceous Alethi. A silken blue dress, simple yet elegant. Pale skin - it almost had a Shin look to it - matched by light blue eyes. A slight dusting of freckles under the eyes, giving her an exotic cast.

 

The young woman seemed to glide through the room. Adolin twisted about, watching her pass. She was so different.

 

All his other reactions to her seem to confirm this: Shallan initially tried to be what she guessed Adolin would expect then realised that just "being herself" worked best.

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Hi Maxal, awesome summary of Adolin / ESFJ. If that's all typical of ESFJ then I have no problem with Adolin being called ESFJ - however, the other summaries of ESFJ didn't feel like Adolin to me.

 

Personality types are just like everything, you have variations within the same type. For example, we are supposed to be good at care-giving kind of career: I am a geeky engineer. My very good male friend, another ESFJ, also is an even more geeky engineer: but he is the nicest person around. He deeply cares about others whereas I tend to more invested in inanimate things or ideas. I grow very attached to objects (Adolin someone) and if I happen to lose something: I have the hardest time ever to contain myself :ph34r: 

 

My colleague sees his projects almost like his children :ph34r: I treat my antennas like little babies :ph34r: Adolin treats his Blade like a living person and invest himself into a necklace. Typical ESFJ.

 

I could honestly rant on pages and pages about ESFJ, Adolin and how I believe things will unravel purely based on personality type.

 

 

I still think Adolin is attracted to the new/exotic though. I'm sure there was other examples but the main one I remember is when he first sees Shallan for the first time: Shallan sees herself as being a poor fit to the normal standards of beauty (too short, too skinny, wrong hair colour, has freckles, dresses too simply) yet that is exactly what Adolin finds attractive:

 

I think his attraction to Shallan is more linked to the circumstances then to a true interest with the exotic. Adolin is blond in a sea of black and has been known to rant on how everyone thinks his hair color is wrong. As a result, he has grown over sensitive (very ESFJ, we can be true emotional nut balls at times) with the so-called "hair issue". Therefore, when he sees a gorgeous women with flaming red hair: he is attracted because he senses they have something in common which is accentuated by Shallan inappropriate first conversation on... hair color.

 

As for Shallan seeing herself as a poor fit, I think she is just being your typical 17 years girl. She thinks she is ugly and unfitting. She was kept in a close-up world with a father that kept ranting against her hair. As a result, she developed a poor self-esteem on her physical appearances, but in reality, she is a cutie.

 

 

All his other reactions to her seem to confirm this: Shallan initially tried to be what she guessed Adolin would expect then realised that just "being herself" worked best.

 

It worked because she reached to him. Being herself means being curiously interested and this opened-up Adolin in a way other women never managed too.

 

One of the reasons he keeps failing with women is because he never invest himself emotionally in any relationship be it friendship or romantic. Why? Because that would mean putting himself into an emotionally vulnerable position and since he's too sensitive, he doesn't. If he were to open-up, others could go and use his inner emotions against him. Overall, as long as the relationships keeps failing for reasons unknown to him, he does not have to deal with the emotional backlash. Besides, he's popular, so he can afford to just date around, get some sense of relationship without risking anything. It's the comfort zone for a popular ESFJ (we are not all popular or serial dater, this is just a variation).

 

Shallan goes around all this by aiming straight to the inside. She literally digs into him and any typical ESFJ will talk if probed. We talk. We love talking. We talk, all the time. Reach to us and we will never shut up :ph34r:

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Just to add water on the boiling oil, but my husband just took the test: INTJ.

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Yay lots of INTJs!

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She literally digs into him and any typical ESFJ will talk if probed. We talk. We love talking. We talk, all the time. Reach to us and we will never shut up :ph34r:

This is definitely true. I have a good ESFJ friend, and it takes very little probing to start her up, for hours.

 

 

Just to add water on the boiling oil, but my husband just took the test: INTJ.

Nice. It isn't surprising to find a lot of NTs in these forums, as science fiction often appeals to N types and ideas like the cognitive realm in particular will appeal to NTs.

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This is definitely true. I have a good ESFJ friend, and it takes very little probing to start her up, for hours.

 

Yep :lol: We tend to be a talkative bunch although my ESFJ male-friend is not naturally as talkative as I (if probed adequately though, he'll talk and talk and talk) Adolin is just the same as soon as Shallan probed him about Sadeas, he opened-up like an oister and talked endlessly about it while she listened. She even wondered how it was he confided in her this easily and this soon. Classic ESFJ. Everyone knows everything about their life, whether they want to or not :ph34r:. He does it with Kaladin as well. He starts talking and one thing leading to another, he starts opening-up about himself and his issues with women. To a darkeye :blink:

 

We also do the social butterfly thing... Put us in a crowd and as soon as we stop being shy (for those of us who are), we'll go talk to a bunch people (known or unknown, does not really matter :ph34r: ), then fly around to another group of people, then see a group of people we have not greet yet so of course we have to fly over there.... The more at ease we feel, the more we talk :huh: For example, at the company Christmas party, it usually takes me 1h to go to the bathroom back and forth...................... so many people to talk to in between :o:ph34r: 

 

 

Nice. It isn't surprising to find a lot of NTs in these forums, as science fiction often appeals to N types and ideas like the cognitive realm in particular will appeal to NTs.

 

Well, I love fantasy. My ESFJ male-friend is a science fiction nut. My NT husband hates everything that is not concrete which includes: fantasy and science fiction.

 

I think you'd be surprised at who reads fantasy in RL ;) Though, truth to be told, I am more interested in character development then world-building or magical systems.

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Something that would be an interesting exercise, although require substantially more work/effort, would be to run characters through IBM's Watson User Modeling service (found here).  Someone did this with LotR and posted their methodology and results here (which is what gave me the idea).  Undoubtedly the best results would be from someone with oodles of time and the e-book versions to copy/paste... :D

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Something that would be an interesting exercise, although require substantially more work/effort, would be to run characters through IBM's Watson User Modeling service (found here).  Someone did this with LotR and posted their methodology and results here (which is what gave me the idea).  Undoubtedly the best results would be from someone with oodles of time and the e-book versions to copy/paste... :D

 

This looks fun, but time consuming.

 

It would interesting to run Dalinar in this as I am unsure about him... I have always pictured him as an I and not an E. Galivar was clearly an E and Dalinar spend most of his life bowing to his brother and letting him have his way, which strongly suggest an I-type personality. He does not seem to exhibit the characteristic energy emerging from most E-types.  He's probably a SJ-type as shown by his tendency to follow the established order, to defer to his older brother: Adolin exhibits the same traits. He is either a T-type or a very walled-in F-type (rules over rules to control himself, tries to have Adolin do the same, but his tactic is to have him repress his emotions, which will never work with ESFJ. Renarin has a much better approach with big brother emotional management).

 

So hmmm ISTJ, ISFJ for Dalinar? He's hard to pin-point...

 

Renarin most likely is INTP.

 

Shshsh probably was a ESFP or another ESFJ, which would explain why Navani described her as "sympathetic", but "dumb". ESF-types often get taken for stupid because their exuberance and their tendency to be emotional nut-job hides their true intellectual potential. However, they are just as smart as anyone else. Based on my reading of Navani, this is not the kind of distinction she would be able to make.

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I could honestly rant on pages and pages about ESFJ, Adolin and how I believe things will unravel purely based on personality type.

 

:D

 

I think his attraction to Shallan is more linked to the circumstances then to a true interest with the exotic. Adolin is blond in a sea of black and has been known to rant on how everyone thinks his hair color is wrong. As a result, he has grown over sensitive (very ESFJ, we can be true emotional nut balls at times) with the so-called "hair issue". Therefore, when he sees a gorgeous women with flaming red hair: he is attracted because he senses they have something in common which is accentuated by Shallan inappropriate first conversation on... hair color.

 

It was a lot more than just her hair though - it was pretty much everything about her.

 

As for Shallan seeing herself as a poor fit, I think she is just being your typical 17 years girl. She thinks she is ugly and unfitting. She was kept in a close-up world with a father that kept ranting against her hair. As a result, she developed a poor self-esteem on her physical appearances, but in reality, she is a cutie.

 

Certainly Shallan sells herself short, not just in terms of looks but pretty much everything... though what I was trying to say was more like this: Shallan's assessment of what attributes are considered "ideal" beauty in Alethkar (and how she fails to match that ideal) is entirely correct as best as I can tell. Yet Adolin, who supposedly goes along with social expectations, still finds her extremely attractive immediately. It's not just that he finds her attractive in spite of social conventions but that her not following social conventions of beauty makes her even more attractive - or at least, that's how it reads to me.

 

Going back to my feeling that Adolin is attracted to the new/exotic in general I'll withdraw it for now: I've re-read nearly all of his scenes from tWoK and WoR and there's little real evidence.

 

It worked because she reached to him. Being herself means being curiously interested and this opened-up Adolin in a way other women never managed too.

 

One of the reasons he keeps failing with women is because he never invest himself emotionally in any relationship be it friendship or romantic. Why? Because that would mean putting himself into an emotionally vulnerable position and since he's too sensitive, he doesn't. If he were to open-up, others could go and use his inner emotions against him. Overall, as long as the relationships keeps failing for reasons unknown to him, he does not have to deal with the emotional backlash. Besides, he's popular, so he can afford to just date around, get some sense of relationship without risking anything. It's the comfort zone for a popular ESFJ (we are not all popular or serial dater, this is just a variation).

 

Shallan goes around all this by aiming straight to the inside. She literally digs into him and any typical ESFJ will talk if probed. We talk. We love talking. We talk, all the time. Reach to us and we will never shut up :ph34r:

 

Indeed. Adolin himself says he prefers to have a wide circle of "friends" and we see in his first date with Shallan that though he's friendly and relaxed he's still a bit reserved - Shallan finds some of his reactions rather "scripted"... until she drives a truck chasamfiend through his comforting expectations.

 

Hmm, how about this: short version, Adolin needed someone who was a "breath of fresh air" and Shallan was the right person in the right place at the right time. Long version, in tWoK Adolin is agitating against Dalinar and wants to follow modern Alethi convention more but by the time we get into WoR he's starting to side with Dalinar more and more and is agitating against Alethi convention. There's this particular quote shortly before he sees Shallan:

 

The Alethi way. You could abandon an ally on the battlefield, and everyone could know it—but an offense in person, well, that just wouldn’t do. Society would frown on that. Nalan’s hand! His father was right about them all.

 

Maybe if she'd turned up 6 months earlier he would have been less impressed with her "outsider" ways.

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