Colonel Brandon has pined for his lost first love for many years, and the similarities between her and Marianne strike him at once – their innocence, their idealism, their love for life. She transports him back to the life that evaded him, and his pursuit of her brings him happiness… but also sorrow as he relives painful past memories. He was so steadfast, he cared for her and her child even after “other men used her ill.” He is so familiar with various musical notes, he notices when Marianne creates her own interpretations of the pieces. Brandon thinks history tends to repeat itself (if Willoughby misuses one woman, he will do so again as it establishes a pattern of behavior). Even before he knows the truth about his ward, Brandon has a sense Willoughby’s intentions toward Marianne may be false and inappropriate; he is correct and incorrect (Willoughby loves her, but his intentions are not entirely honorable). He listens to the ideas of others (concerning their engagement) and takes them at face value. Marianne is a bit put off by him when they first meet, because he remarks that she changed the notes she was playing on the piano, and did not follow the music completely. Brandon has a gentle manner about him, but is also frank in his opinions; he informs his ward marriage to Willoughby is out of the question and she cannot be seen in public. He assesses the situation with Willoughby and Marianne and reaches a swift logical conclusion (he is displaced, and her favoritism lies elsewhere). When others push him to court Marianne, Brandon says she will not want an “old man” like he is. He knows the facts of life, that young women do not want settled, mature suitors but handsome rogues. He is quick to take action when situations arise – riding off to investigate the truth of his ward’s disappearance, challenging Willoughby to a duel over her honor, and informing Elinor of the truth. Brandon is very emotional, but rarely lets anyone see or comprehend what he is feeling. He offers Edward a parish on his estate, because he knows what it feels like to be “prevented from marriage” to the person you most care about. His disappointment in Marianne’s love lying elsewhere does not prevent his own affections, but he directs them toward ensuring her happiness—going so far as to hint that he will keep Willoughby’s indiscretions from public view, to protect Marianne. Brandon has repressed the truth of his former love for years, and only shares them with Elinor in the hope the story will comfort Marianne.

Enneagram: 1w2 sp/so

Brandon is principled, moral, and kind. He wants to do “right” in every situation. Upon learning of the mistreatment of the woman he loved, he ran to find and liberate her from her bad circumstances, then took on her daughter as a ward, regardless of the damage it might do his reputation. (He considered it the moral thing to do, regardless in how others might regard him for it, or assume the child was his.) He disapproves of Willoughby’s careless behavior and “toying about” with women’s hearts and reputations, though is willing to put aside his grievances for Marianne’s sake, if Willoughby will do the honorable thing. His 2 wing is genuinely helpful, compassionate, and willing to forgive others’ mistakes. He is a caregiver and guardian to a young woman who needs him. He gives a parish to Edward so he can marry, he fetches Mrs. Dashwood to her daughter’s side when Marianne is ill (“Please give me an occupation, Miss Dashwood, or I shall run mad”) and is generously tender with Marianne, showing his love by giving her a small pianoforte for her front room.