MBTI Type: INTJ
Alfred has a vision of a united England, and each decision he makes carries him toward that ultimate end. He surmises it as all kingdoms united under one God, called England, and “it must begin here.” His first meeting with Uhtred, Alfred is philosophizing on whether or not “luck” exists – and is surprised when Uhtred sums up how it is “lucky if God is with you.” He has a keen understanding of Uhtred upon their first meeting, with a sincere distrust of his motives; and each interaction thereafter shows Alfred subtly manipulating Uhtred for long-term benefits. As someone else tells Uhtred, “Alfred doesn’t just want you for now… he wants you to win him England.” He is careful in decision-making, calculating both the immediate benefits and long-term rewards or consequences. His decision to turn Uhtred over to the Danes as a hostage is both to test his loyalty, because he knows only Uhtred can escape death if the Danes kill the hostages, and so Uhtred can light the beacon fires to call his armies to war. He is calm, calculating, precise, and driven to achieve some end. Alfred makes only calculated, logical decisions – he does nothing without great thought, or without purpose; even his choice to marry Uhtred into a family in debt to the church is so Uhtred has “ties” to the community, a chance to prove loyal to the church, and does not gain wealth too quickly. Whenever his wife urges him to make a fanatical religious decision, Alfred calmly tells her to be still. Though Uhtred’s violent, pagan ways offend him in many ways, Alfred continually allows him to live and even thrive, in some instances, because it makes more rational sense to do so – Uhtred is a valuable commodity. Alfred negotiates with the Danes with aggressive terms, but knows a good deal when he sees it – he argues one down to a month’s departure, with provisions supplied by his farmers, under the agreement the Danes leave within a month. Yet, never one to trust blindly, Alfred makes secondary plans, anticipating Dane betrayal. He confesses to his priest that he isn’t sure he “inspires” his armies enough; he allows another, more passionate speaker, to do so in his place. Alfred refuses to back down on the things he believes in; he holds his faith close to his heart, and is troubled that he cannot be pure, for his sexual desires occasionally cause him to sin. Alfred never shares his innermost feelings, even with his wife; he prefers to show affection for her (and to his mistress) through actions. Alfred is calculating but never intentionally cruel or unjust. His personal dislike for Uhtred often means allowing him to face humiliation, in an attempt to break his pride. Alfred laments that his “weak constitution” does not allow him to partake of the pleasures his body cries out for – he is stuck eating “porridge” for his digestion, rather than the rich meats he craves. He is both devout and fallen, since he laments his desire to sin, while also finding it difficult to resist sexual temptation. He is willing to go to war, and fight in battle, though he is also aware that he is not a “great warrior.”
Enneagram: 5w4 sp/so
Alfred is an undeniable head type – he approaches situations with caution and emotional detachment, always thinking how best to structure his decision to get a positive future outcome from it. His occasional “whims” (moving to 7’s impulsiveness) show in his reactions against Uhtred, such as when he takes his children from him, puts them in an abbey, and baptizes them as Christians. But mostly Alfred focuses on logical solutions. He thinks an tremendous amount, considering everything carefully and reacting with much slower emotions than his wife (a gut type). He is also more concerned with rationality and usefulness than morality. He is moody, introspective, deep and concerned with meaning; he sets himself apart from others and needs to leave a legacy behind, something that makes him unique and special.