Nikolai is a bit of an enigma, in that nobody really knows his true identity when he serves as a pirate king – but he’s highly effective in charming people, getting them to go along with his plans, knowing what to say to gain their respect and approval, and shape-shifting to meet their expectations of him. Nikolai is, however, also a softie in a sense, because he’s very much a humanitarian – he’s against the slave trade and prostitution, he refuses to punish the woman who murdered his father (the king) when he finds out she was forced into his bed for many years (against her will) on humanitarian grounds, etc. When he needs an alliance to promote himself at court, for his own protection and for Alina’s, he proposes a pretend engagement, which would give them both the status and respect they need, after assuring her that he does not mean to take advantage of it. He mixes a natural charm and enjoyment of taking care of people with his ability to read situations, strategize, and anticipate what is coming; he gives Mal his own former identity, sensing that he needs to find himself; he sends his ship to take down the slave trade; he senses the connection between Alina and Mal, and sees the bigger picture of needing to take down the Darkling, and forget smaller problems in the meantime. But he also shows a lot of tert-Se behaviors in how reckless he can be in a bad situation. His best friend dies saving his life, because Nikolai can’t get out of the line of fire in time. He’s efficient with many different kinds of weapons, and tries to run into combat multiple times, only to have his advisors and friends yank him back (it won’t do for the only remaining “king” to perish fighting spell-casters). He lived a good portion of his adult life pirating ships, chasing them down, and ridding them of their cargo. And while he’s strategic and good at planning battle techniques, he rarely questions his own motivations.

Enneagram: 3w2 so/sp

Nikolai shows so much of both 3 and 2, it’s hard to choose between them, but ultimately I see him as a shape-shifter, constantly redefining his approach to meet other people’s expectations (an attachment trait). He becomes whatever he is doing, for as long as it’s required, and then he sheds that identity to wear another hat—from a fearsome pirate to a savior of lost souls to a prince who suddenly has to become the king, despite his misgivings about the rumors of his bastard birth. He is at ease, charming, and knows how to swing situations in his favor, but also is optimistic, cheerful, looks for the best in everyone, and goes out of his way to help them, supply their ships, set them up with new identities, risks his sailors’ lives to protect them in the Fold, etc. He wants to be seen as a good and noble king who has done right by his subjects.

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