First of all, I must apologise for resurrecting this topic -- I know many forums frown on bumping ancient threads, but hopefully this place isn't one of them. I checked the rules, and it said you should always search for an existing thread before creating discussion, so hopefully posting on this old thread falls within that area.
This is a great thread -- very interesting analysis. I'm a big fan of the series, and I've known about MBTI for years, so it's enjoyable to see the two of them being linked and explored in detail. I'm not great at 'typing' people, but my take on the characters is below.
All the following quotes/references on MBTI are taken from these sites: http://typelogic.com/http://www.personalitypage.comAang - ENFP
Aang loves to talk and enjoy himself with others, an extroverted trait which he carries all the way throughout the series. The description of the type is pretty much spot on for his personality:
'They want to both help and to be liked and admired by other people, on both an individual and a humanitarian level. This is rarely a problem for the ENFP, as they are outgoing and warm, and genuinely like people. Some ENFPs have a great deal of zany charm, which can ingratiate them to more stodgy types in spite of their unconventionality.'
One of the best episodes to demonstrate Aang's ENFP style is The Headband
, which is Aang completely cutting loose, energising other people and simply having fun, which is something his role as the Avatar hasn't always allowed him to do. Sokka - ENTP
Obviously extroverted. He's clearly the thinker and planner in the group, which at first made me think of him as a J, but after reading about the actual type, I think he seems much more like an ENTP, mainly because he doesn't quite have the steely, forbidding feel that descriptions of ENTJ's seem to indicate. He's actually very playful and casual. He's also willing to improvise, and he often combines his logical skills with creativity and eccentric decisions. (Highlighted in Sokka's Master
, amongst others.) Even though he shows amusing disdain for the hippies or people who buy into fortune telling, it always comes across as somehow soft and acceptable rather than truly malicious.
'"Clever" is the word that perhaps describes ENTPs best. The professor who juggles half a dozen ideas for research papers and grant proposals in his mind while giving a highly entertaining lecture on an abstruse subject is a classic example of the type. So is the stand-up comedian whose lampoons are both funny and incisively accurate.'
A thinker-comedian. Very Sokka. Katara - ENFJ
Katara is definitely a people person. She's passionate, nurturing, and is the kind of person who binds people and communities together. She feels very deeply, and while this results in great warmness, it can also result in fiery outbursts, and once she is wronged, she won't forget it. I think the Extroversion, Feeling and Judging parts are fairly clear for this character -- the J is probably particularly highlighted in her tendency to take strong positions on issues, which some people see as 'preaching'. I'm torn between N and S for her, though...it's hard to narrow it down. If I had to choose, I would probably go for ENFJ.
'ENFJs are people-focused individuals. They live in the world of people possibilities. More so than any other type, they have excellent people skills. They understand and care about people, and have a special talent for bringing out the best in others. ENFJ's main interest in life is giving love, support, and a good time to other people. They are focused on understanding, supporting, and encouraging others. They make things happen for people, and get their best personal satisfaction from this.'Toph - ISTP
This is one of the tricky ones...I'm not sure about Toph. I'd guess that she's an introvert, as she is more of a loner than a team player, and her isolated style jars a bit with the other characters at first, before she eventually softens. I'd be curious to see what other people think of what Toph might be.
'unlike most ESPs they do not present an impression of constant activity. On the contrary, they lie dormant, saving their energy until a project or an adventure worthy of their time comes along--and then they launch themselves at it. The apparently frenzied state that inevitably ensues is actually much more controlled than it appears--ISTPs always seem to know what they're doing when it comes to physical or mechanical obstacles--but the whole chain of events presents a confusing and paradoxical picture to an outsider.'Iroh - ENFP or ENFJ
Iroh is another people person. Very warm and understanding, and it is almost impossible to find someone he can't get along with. He has no trouble approaching others and offering advice to virtual strangers. He could be the same type as Aang, but Iroh is much wiser and far more experienced due to age, which gives him a sort of mellowness and shrewd quality that Aang doesn't really have. Also notice how comfortably these two talk to one another in their scene together at the end of Book 2. Aang confides in him about choosing his love for Katara over Power, and Iroh says: 'Protection and power are overrated. I think you are very wise to choose happiness and love.' He's very much on the same wave length as Aang. I'm not sure if he's a P or J, though...Azula - INTJ
Another tough one. I really don't know, but INTJ is my best guess.
'INTJs are perfectionists, with a seemingly endless capacity for improving upon anything that takes their interest. What prevents them from becoming chronically bogged down in this pursuit of perfection is the pragmatism so characteristic of the type: INTJs apply (often ruthlessly) the criterion "Does it work?" to everything from their own research efforts to the prevailing social norms. This in turn produces an unusual independence of mind, freeing the INTJ from the constraints of authority, convention, or sentiment for its own sake.'
This also really reminds me of her horrible social skills on display in The Beach
'This happens in part because many INTJs do not readily grasp the social rituals; for instance, they tend to have little patience and less understanding of such things as small talk and flirtation (which most types consider half the fun of a relationship). To complicate matters, INTJs are usually extremely private people, and can often be naturally impassive as well, which makes them easy to misread and misunderstand. Perhaps the most fundamental problem, however, is that INTJs really want people to make sense. This sometimes results in a peculiar naivete, paralleling that of many Fs -- only instead of expecting inexhaustible affection and empathy from a romantic relationship, the INTJ will expect inexhaustible reasonability and directness.'Mai - INTP
Definitely an introvert. The rest is more debatable. My best guess is INTP, as she has a sort of natural icy coolness to her that doesn't quite feel like the F type. She doesn't seem to display the emphasis on logic, but she does seem very detached, and even during danger it feels like she's observing events from a distance rather than being truly engaged in everything going on.
'INTPs are relatively easy-going and amenable to almost anything until their principles are violated, about which they may become outspoken and inflexible. They prefer to return, however, to a reserved albeit benign ambiance, not wishing to make spectacles of themselves.' Ty Lee - ESFP
Most people agree on this one, so nothing much to say here!Jet - ESFJ
Extrovert. Very charming, very good with people. A natural leader. Very much a character interested in the world and the physical rather than abstract, so an 'S' type. Very passionate and fiery about his ideals and the wrongs done to his people, and makes quite firm judgements and decisions.
'ESFJs are people persons - they love people. They are warmly interested in others. They use their Sensing and Judging characteristics to gather specific, detailed information about others, and turn this information into supportive judgments. They want to like people, and have a special skill at bringing out the best in others. They are extremely good at reading others, and understanding their point of view. The ESFJ's strong desire to be liked and for everything to be pleasant makes them highly supportive of others. People like to be around ESFJs, because the ESFJ has a special gift of invariably making people feel good about themselves.'
This bit is particularly relevant:
'ESFJs who have not had the advantage of developing their own values by weighing them against a good external value system may develop very questionable values. In such cases, the ESFJ most often genuinely believes in the integrity of their skewed value system. They have no internal understanding of values to set them straight. In weighing their values against our society, they find plenty of support for whatever moral transgression they wish to justify. This type of ESFJ is a dangerous person indeed. Extraverted Feeling drives them to control and manipulate, and their lack of Intuition prevents them from seeing the big picture. They're usually quite popular and good with people, and good at manipulating them. Unlike their ENFJ cousin, they don't have Intuition to help them understand the real consequences of their actions. They are driven to manipulate other to achieve their own ends, yet they believe that they are following a solid moral code of conduct.'
Finally...Zuko. Zuko might be the hardest character in the whole series to find a 'type' for, and I can see people have been debating about him quite a bit on this thread. Part of the problem is that he changes so much, and isn't really static, and another problem is that we're using a naturally restricting method to analyse him. MBTI, like other systems, is limited and cannot capture the full complexity of personality. Humans are too dynamic and contradictory. MBTI is more of a guideline, or something to help, but not really the end in itself. Zuko seems to fit different types because he goes through various shifts and changes, and it's hard to pin down the 'real' him.
My instinct is that he's an INFJ, but it's hard to tell. I think INFJ types are often known to have an intensity and oddness around them, something you can feel or see when around them that the other types just don't have. Deeply emotional people, and quite layered. One thing that makes me doubt it, however, is that INFJ types are supposed to be highly perceptive in regard to other people and their emotions...Zuko doesn't seem to have this trait, which is why Iroh balances him out so well. I noticed you guys thought he could be an INFP, and that's possible too, although he'd have to be the most twisted INFP I've seen. Then again, the way he acts when he attains a peace of mind later in the series IS strangely INFP-like...but he still has a sort of hard edge that I don't associate with the INFP type as a whole.
(Although there is one site I've come across that offers a darker and less idealised perspective on the INFP that may fit Zuko: http://similarminds.com/jung/infp.html