However, I also
see many incorrect characterizations of Levi. To me, he has one of
the easiest personalities to pin–but that could be because I, too,
am an INTJ.
As you might
assume, this is a spoiler-heavy post. Proceed with caution.
First, I want to
address a stereotype of INTJs that probably makes most people stray
from thinking of Levi as this type (and while I’m at it, the same
goes for ISTJs):
are not always “smart.” Part of how one grows academically is
one’s personality, yes, but another huge
part of it is one’s environment. Keep in mind that Levi probably had
an extremely limited education, if any, and he was not taught that
schooling was important.
Levi is very
intelligent–just not booksmart.
It’s important to distinguish the differences between the two, as I
see a lot of people characterize other people in real life
as an INTJ/ISTJ because they’re “bookish,” instead of paying
attention to their actual personality and breaking down each part of
the MBTI type. (Though, if we take Junior High!Levi into
consideration, he actually is quite good at school, judging by the
95/100 he got on a test.)
notoriously rational and independent–something that definitely rings
true for Levi. He tends to keep to himself, especially emotionally,
and he has been criticized for being too harsh or robotic, which
happens to be a common stereotype for INTJs, too.
quick-witted and strategic.
It’s not something
he himself gives himself credit for, but I don’t think Erwin would
have pulled Levi into the Corps AND given him a squad of his own
otherwise. As I mentioned before, he is street-smart, and he also is
able to see things from a variety of perspectives.
–He is confident.
“If it comes to
killing him, I can do it.” Levi said this in regards to taking
down Eren if need be during his trial. Levi has definitely lost that
confidence as time has gone on (because we also need to take into
account that Levi is NOT neuro-typical, but I’ll save that for
another time). However, if he knows something to be true, he sticks
independent and decisive.
don’t feel like I need to explain this one much at all–all you have
to do is watch the first season of the anime to see it. Erwin lets
Levi run around on his own because Levi is incredibly
capable on his own.
incredibly hard-working and determined.
as a thug, Levi made sure he was the best of his kind. Granted, he
does have special
Ackermann-strength or whatever, but I don’t think it matters. He
didn’t know he was
special–he just worked hard because he knew that he had to. Once
given a task, Levi analyzes it, and if it seems worth his time, he
will do it to the utmost.
doesn’t seem immediately obvious, because I think people mostly
associated open-mindedness with extroversion and gullibility.
However, almost everyone
in the Corps has to be open-minded to some extent. They have to be
ready to change on the dot because they’ve discovered something new
about the Titans, or they have to to develop a new way of fighting.
Levi is stubborn, yes, but he is open-minded. Otherwise, he would
not have believed Hanji’s proposal about the Titans coming from
humans. He would not have accepted the role of Squad Leader watching
–He’s a jack of
Erwin uses Levi to
the Corps’ advantage because of the combination of qualities listed
above. Levi can do whatever, so he will, if he believes it is worth
This died down a
bit once he entered the Corps, but Levi has an arrogant streak in
him. He’s aware of his abilities, and he’s also aware that no one
else is really like him. It makes him stubborn and insensitive in
The problem with
most INTJs is that we are overly rational. Even to other Thinking
types, INTJs can be brutal. Levi is not an exception–we see it most
with Hanji, how he’s not afraid to question her methods. He also is
pretty unforgiving to people like Pastor Nick, Reeves, and so on.
–He is overly
are perfectionists, and once a goal is in mind, they will do anything
to accomplish it. That’s a common stereotype, but it mostly applies
to INTJs that are not neuro-typical. Levi is one, though, and it’s
best shown in his relationships with other people. Though he
obviously loved and cared about his first squad, he prioritized them
as soldiers, not as his friends. The same goes for his relationship
with Erwin–and when his analytical side crumbled, we were left with
a man overcome by his emotional attachments who was unable to make
the logical decision. In other words, Levi uses his analytical,
logical side as a sort of defense mechanism in the environment of
this story–which is not uncommon for someone who has undergone
–Levi hates when
things are overly-structured.
whiny baby, I swear to god. 16Personalities has this quote: “Blindly
following precedents and rules without understanding them is
distasteful to INTJs, and they disdain even more authority figures
who blindly uphold those laws and rules without understanding their
intent. Anyone who prefers the status quo for its own sake, or who
values stability and safety over self-determination, is like to clash
with INTJ personality types.” Let’s see, here: Zackley, Nile,
Nick, Reeves, and Rod Reiss–what do they all have in common? Levi
does not get along with them, and the preceding quote explains why.
He even hated Erwin at first, because he did not understand that
Erwin had greater intentions when they first met in the underground.
Notice that, once Levi understood that Erwin did not
fit that description, he started to trust him and followed him
–He is not
I’m not saying
he’s necessarily aromantic. However, INTJs are judgmental and
analytical to the point that “romance” in their relationships is
not what other people would define as “romance.” It is not his
focus, but even if their world was safer and much different, I don’t
think that would change this aspect of his personality. He is the
last person to see the world through any kind of rose-colored
glasses; Levi barely even understands basic human emotion, so to say
he is any kind of charming or romantic is completely incorrect.
breakdown, I’d like to share a passage from 16personalities about
INTJs in the workplace:
little to INTJs–trust and respect are earned, and INTJs expect this
to be a two way street, receiving and delivering advice, criticisms
and results. INTJs expect their managers to be intelligent enough
and strong enough to handle this paradigm. A silent INTJ conveys a
lack of respect better than all their challenges ever will.”
about Levi’s relationship with Erwin, versus his relationship with
Pyxis, Nile–literally any
other high-ranking officer, or even someone of higher social status
than him, like Reeves or Rod Reiss. Think of how much Levi openly
criticizes Erwin–because he knows that he can,
and he also knows Erwin will do the same for him.
Levi doesn’t like to be slowed down by anything, even his comrades,
but his questioning mind is not always out of hostility, as some
assume and interpret. It’s just part of this personality type.
So, when we break
I-Introversion, or a focus on the
keeps to himself, and he does not need to project onto other people.
His highly analytical nature also naturally makes him more
introspective, and considering what he’s been through, he has a lot
to think about. However, he is far from selfish.
or a focus on facts supported by other facts
likes to keep things short and sweet, without stumbling over one
possibility on top of another. Though he is analytical, he keeps
things factual and unbiased. “Cut to the chase” could be his
motto. In fact, I’m pretty sure he uses it more than once in canon.
or a focus on logic
we’ve seen an exception to this at the end of the Serum Bowl, Levi is
just…not in tune with his emotions. I don’t think it’s just based
on his upbringing–it seems to just be how his mind works.
or a focus on decided paths and plans
is not known for his strategic abilities, but he is perfectly capable
of making plans. However, he often leaves them to Erwin, and
sometimes even Hanji or Armin.
Levi is a complicated guy, and I often see him characterized as an
ISTJ or INTP. However, I have confidence that he fits the bill of
the INTJ, especially when I read through other summaries of the
personality type. I hope we can see more of him again soon…
And, if you don’t agree, remember this is just for funsies, and I
love reading other people’s analyses. C:
Anyone who's been around me for at least 5 seconds:
You love Erwin Smith, we know. You Love Erwin Smith so much, we know. You just love Erwin Smith, he's the light of your eyes, we know. You love Erwin Smith as a proud mother, you are proud of him he is a genius and a wonderful commander, you are so proud of your Cinnamon roll, you are so proud and you love him so much. We fucking know. YOU LOVE 13th COMMANDER OF THE SURVEY CORPS ERWIN SMITH. WE KNOW.