Steven Nyeo



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Characters in The Man in the High Castle

Posted on 09.18.2020

Juliana Crain - The Man in the High Castle
Juliana Crain - The Man in the High Castle

One of my recent favorite TV shows on Amazon Prime is The Man in the High Castle, which depicts an alternate reality in which the Axis Powers of World War II won over the Allies. After the war ended, the Germans and the Japanese divided the world while establishing buffer zones between the two major spheres of influence. Meanwhile, on the United States' former territory lives two puppet states, the German-backed American Reich and the Japanese Pacific States, as well as the Neutral Zone separating the two political entities.

In this alternate world of the year 1962, there have been reported incidents of discovering 'time travelers' who can travel between alternate universes and transport films from one to another. Along with other time travelers, Juliana Crain, the main protagonist of the TV show, attempts to learn about these films' implied consequences to find 'the way out' and promote peace between the two factions.

As I was learning more about the TV show's plot, I also started analyzing the characters according to the thought processes described in socionics. Most government official and authoritarian-complying roles in the Man in the High Castle, including but not limited to Oberstgruppenführer John Smith, Chief Inspector Kido, and Robert Childan, are predominantly Ti-users, specifically LSIs. Without the hierarchical support of LSIs, it is almost impossible to sustain political systems supported by pure obligation and power dynamics (Ti-Se). Outside of these roles, I have listed a few other characters that I am 80% certain of their archetypes below.

Hawthrone Abendsen (ILE-ENTp)
Hawthrone Abendsen, prominently known as 'the Man in the High Castle', was presumably the only character who could internally comprehend and organize this massive collection of films (requires 4-D Te) and provide a reliable judgment what will happen to the world (internalizing into Ti). As a spectator of the alternate worlds, Abendsen could logically make connections between the implications of the films he has collected and watched (Ne-Ti). He sees each character in the world merely as a chess piece in a game while figuring out how each step would affect the whole political ecosystem. Abendsen was never involved in Juliana's emotional states and moral values but instead registering it only as a given fact (lack of Fi).

Juliana Crain (ESI-ISFj)
As the TV show's main character, Juliana Crain stood out as the primary influencer of the world's direction, according to Abendsen. Abendsen referred to Juliana as the 'consistent' one who always follows her moral compass, which is a good indication of valuing Fi. She can act sincerely for others to trust her, including Lucy (ESE-ESFj), who mentioned to Juliana that she could not bear children for the Reich.
Hawthrone's consistency comment also provides evidence that Juliana is a static type. Throughout the show, Juliana is determined to find what 'the way out' is, a sign of her archetype's third function, the hidden agenda function - Ni, at work. She was adept at coming up with a plot (Ni) and put it into action (Se). However, without much Ne and Te skills herself, Juliana usually ends up seeking help from Abendsen whenever her active plan hits a wall.

Nobusuke Tagomi (SLI-ISTp)
As the Trade Minister of the Japanese Pacific States, Tagomi is part of the Japanese authority, yet a soft, emotional, and caring person at heart. He is a low-key peacekeeper and advocate of humane operations (Fi), and secretly arranges meetings with Juliana and the Resistance despite understanding his duty and obligations to the Japanese empire (demonstrative Ti). Tagomi always makes sure he is mentally and emotionally in-check (Si), and regularly meditates. The big giveaway of his Fe PoLR is his obliviousness of the family atmosphere in the timeline where the Cuban Missile Crisis occurred, as well as his quarrels with his SLE son Noriyuke Tagomi about his Japanese American identity.

Joseph Blake (SLE-ESTp)
Joe Blake exerts a powerful Se presence throughout the show as he never backs down from any difficulty thrown at him. Also, his slight fear of Ni manifests when Nicole Dörmer offered him to attempt recreational drugs. I was deciding between SEE and SLE, but in the end, I find SLE as the better fit. Joe Blake demonstrated loyalty to the Reich (Ti). However, his weak and uncontrollable Fi erupts from time to time and distracts him from making the best decisions.

Frank Frink (LSI-ISTj)
Juliana's former romantic partner. He is a sensing archetype, possibly an LSI. As an artist, he is very skilled in producing fine art pieces, a sign of demonstrative Si. As the story progresses, his Se manifests as taking part in the radical Resistance attacks against the Japanese authority. Frank disagrees with Juliana's belief that the films can save the world, which made me hesitant to identify him as Juliana's Fi-based archetype. However, he presents his underlying Ni ability by taking part in many of the plans he has come up with to support the Resistance.

Other characters that I am not quite sure of yet:

Ed McCarthy (LIE-ENTj)
Frank's friend at the factory. He is somewhat an awkward character who cares about Frank's and Juliana's well-being. Ed worried a lot and could never make as firm commitments as Frank (slightly weak Se). However, he made an impromptu introduction of Childan's fake antiques to Childan's customer, which requires much Ne and Ni skills while including hard Te facts to back up his story. Childan even commented on him as having the potential to be a persuasive salesman.

Sarah Murakami (SEI-ISFp)
Sarah was also a member of the Resistance. Like Frank, she had strong sensing skills to take action and execute plans. However, Sarah was much less impulsive as Frank since the auxiliary Fe held her back from emotional aggression bursts. Also, she was a much more careful planner and assesses each plan's risks in detail (Si).

Note that this is not a comprehensive list of characters in the show. I will perhaps make another post on the other characters that come to my mind.

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