MBTI Type: ISFP

Balian has a distinct set of personal ethics, that is rather inconsistent; he objects to his prospective marriage getting a man killed (he won’t allow it, and won’t go along with it), but not to adultery – and he tells Sibylla if she leaves her position as queen, they can be together, but he can’t be with her so long as she is a queen. He is quiet and docile, until his brother-in-law reveals that he decapitated Balian’s wife’s corpse before burying her—and then he kills him in a mad rage. Balian is obsessed with being good, and defining goodness in his own way; he repeatedly asserts himself against the Catholic Church, implying that his morals are his alone, and not necessarily living up to their standards. He also renounces his religion, after feeling “nothing” even on “the hill where Christ died. God did not meet me there.” Instead, he goes about being a good person according to his own subjective standards. He also failed to emotionally react when he found his true father, instead remaining distant and needing time alone to work through it, and his wife’s death. Balian worked as a blacksmith before he went to the Holy Land, and at first remained inert, until being a murderer forced him to leave. Once abroad, he adapts to whatever life throws at him—surviving a shipwreck at sea, rescuing a horse, killing the man who wants to steal it from him (only after the other person insists on a fight), and being highly proactive once he inherits his father’s estate. He sees there is no water, and therefore no agriculture to support his thousand acres and hundred souls, so he engages in well digging and brings irrigation to the fields. When the city comes under attack, he refuses to take his men elsewhere to protect it, saying that if they leave now, the people who live there will die—and makes such a powerful stand that he earns the respect of his enemies. When left to defend Jerusalem, Balian knows they cannot win, but believes they can withstand the siege long enough to demand terms, and fights successfully against the invasion, toppling his enemy’s war machines and successfully keeping him at bay for several days. Balian is a good tactician and sensible, but not always rational; he has a chance to become a good king by allowing the present king to execute his sister’s husband, but out of moral scruples, he does not take it – instead, allowing an eventual war. He also gives up his horse, a valuable animal, to a total stranger having met him in the desert, after they travel together into Jerusalem (later, the man returns it to him, after his army has been defeated). He says he will never own any slaves, since he was “almost one” himself in his former years (working as an apprentice in a blacksmith shop).

Enneagram: 1w9 sp/so

Balian has extremely visible principles and a deep fear of doing wrong or evil things, which allows him to become the kind of man the king can respect; the king says of him that if he continues as he is going now, he will have to find some “use” for him, out of respect for his inner goodness. He shares the values of the king, in his belief that one must be honorable in all of one’s ambitions and intentions—when given a new life, he makes the most of it, by improving the lives of everyone he meets, working hard on their behalf, and ensuring that his own actions do no harm to anyone else. He initially comes to the holy land to find forgiveness for committing the sin of murder, and in the hope of praying for his wife’s soul (she committed suicide, which is a mortal sin). He struggles to reconcile his view of God with what the priests tell him, and looks down on others who do not stand by their convictions (when a priest tells his men to convert, and pray about their sin later, to avoid being killed, Balian looks on him coldly and thanks him for showing Balian the “quality” of his faith). His rage tends to flash and fade, firing up and causing him to commit murder, but then giving him guilt about it. He wants to avoid unnecessary conflict, but will fight when forced to do so, and his brother-in-law eggs him on at the start, about being so “passive” (in the director’s cut).

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