Is Riparia Dellbane an INFJ? For a long while that question has flittered about in my brain, but I’ve never taken the time to examine it—until now. Before I do, a few important points:
For those who don’t know, Riparia Dellbane is the protagonist in the mystic fantasy series I’m assembling. I’ll talk more about her as I go along.
In brief, an INFJ is the rarest personality in the Myers-Briggs Typology, the letters standing for Introverted iNtuitive Feeling Judging. Introversion means a person is more energized by time alone. Intuitiveness is the ability to see patterns and possibilities more easily. Feeling in this case is extroverted feeling, reading the emotions of others better than their own. Lastly, the desire for structure and order make up the judging portion.
This last point is more of a disclaimer. Though I’m an INFJ, when Riparia’s character was developed I didn’t know.
*Rest assured, this is a simplified examination.
No other part of Riparia’s personality is established as quick as her introversion. At the outset of the first novel the reader learns her job is to travel the lonely roads of Carrdia delivering messages for the rebel Keepers.
There’s also her discomfort entering crowded cities where she dreads interacting with people, preferring her horse, Doppla. She often comments on how high society dinner parties and balls would be the worst possible punishment.
INFJs are also known for their paradoxes and Riparia is no exception. She cherishes time alone, yet craves meaningful conversation with one or two others. For all her reserve, she’s prone to outbursts. Her insights that come from the heart fare best, but when she tries to be someone she isn’t it’s often a disaster.
Over the decade preceding the first novel, Riparia eluded the military and the Dioptric Ministry’s spies because she’s quick to perceive patterns and exceptions. Her uncanny knack for avoiding danger is often described by others as her caution sense. When she most often fails is when her heart is involved.
Riparia is also a dreamer, someone who sees wrongs and creates solutions until they come together as a vision for the future. As a young girl before tragedy struck, she’d spend time sitting on an enormous rock behind her home that jutted into the Sentinel River. Listening, fingers finding the current, she’d wonder at the river’s origins and its destination.
Riparia is a Healer Partial, someone endowed with specialized magic. In the decade before the first novel she often denied the ability so as to not risk losing her lonely job on the road. Yet, she never refused healing. Early in the first book she’s drawn into providing care despite great risk to herself. Though distant so as to keep people away, when providing help to others she’s gentle and empathetic, forming a swift connection.
Despite the chaotic times she lives in, Riparia craves order, though her life has been marred by losing stability time after time. The life that Riparia is thrust into in the first novel is every INFJs worst nightmare, yet so strong is her desire to set what’s wrong to right that accomplishing the task becomes a crusade. It’s aided by her keen sense of responsibility, determination, and her stubborn streak.
Riparia also possesses other paradoxes common to INFJs. Dreamer and doer? Absolutely. In fact, her determination to realize her vision runs through the books, even when those goals conflict with her personal desires. Often she’s blind to her own strengths and flaws, and to all the inner conflicts she carries in silence. I could go on and on, but in reviewing the multitude of information I have on INFJs I’m hard pressed to find why she isn’t one.
I’d thought one trait she didn’t possess was artistic ability, but her vision for the future is a blueprint for the people of Carrdia. Too, when placed in an audience to attend a play she’s literally on the edge of her seat.
I don’t think of Riparia as an extension of myself, though I’m as comfortable with her as I am with a fellow INFJ. Instead, if there was a subconscious motivation it was to have the opportunity to dream of Riparia’s accomplishments, which, I guess, I do—in writing.