First Knight: Lancelot [ESFP]

Functional Order: Se-Fi-Te-Ni

Perceiving Functional Axis:

Extroverted Sensing (Se) / Introverted Intuition (Ni)

Lancelot lives a lifestyle of opportunism and living freely in the moment, which is why he does not understand Guinevere’s inability to do so with him – she refuses to kiss or sleep with him just because she “wants to,” she does not want to run away with him, and she will have none of his coercions. He is a master of leaping into situations, figuring them out quickly, and adapting to them – he sees her running away in the woods, helps her escape a kidnapper by distracting him (suggesting they rape her, so she has time to kill the man with a crossbow), and then hastens her to safety. Later, he ventures into Mordred’s castle, bluffs a message from the king, insists on seeing her, and rescues her from ‘a place of forgetting.’ He runs a gauntlet without any padding, and is ‘the first man to do so’ because he trusts his body, watches how everything swings, and just knows when to act. Lancelot’s impulsive nature allows him to accept a position as a knight in Camelot, a serious matter which has unforeseen consequences when he foolishly kisses her, passionately, in her chambers—a place her husband is inclined to walk into. Thus, they are caught. The idealism and concept of Camelot gradually appeals to him, but even more pressing is his growing realization that if he stays, Camelot will suffer because of his deep passion for Guinevere.

Judging Functional Axis:

Introverted Feeling (Fi) / Extroverted Thinking (Te)

He is a man without a home, driven by deep wounds of loss in his past – the loss of his family and friends in a burning church, which prompts a similar display of emotion in him when he fears the same has happened to Guinevere’s peasants. Lancelot tears open the church walls, finds them alive, and overcome with relief and remorse, runs away to hide and weep in private. Elsewhere, he displays a strong sense of knowing what he wants (a beautiful woman he met in the woods) and his own heart; he scoffs at Guinevere making decisions with others in mind, and appeals to her to ‘follow her heart.’ But eventually, he decides he does not want to ‘change her’ and volunteers to leave. He is passionate, headstrong, and reckless, but also rational in how he figures out how to accomplish things and in how he finds his way through the woods (he notices the scavenger birds, which tend to linger along roads to ‘pick up the small animals crushed by the wagon wheels’).

Enneagram: 7w8 self-preservation

Lancelot is running away from his past and anything that looks like commitment – he wants to avoid the sorrows he has seen and cover them up through an excess drive for momentary pleasure and fun. He has a cheerful, likable nature and enjoys teasing other people. Lancelot is playful and light-hearted, but also unfortunately in some ways shallow. He falls in love-lust with a woman he barely knows, and has no purpose to his life and nothing ‘lasting’ until he decides on a whim to accept Arthur’s promise of meaningfulness through being a Knight. As he matures, Lancelot comes to see the danger in remaining in Camelot and how it will hurt those he most cares about (Arthur, the man who ‘gave him a chance’ and the woman he desires). In this, he learns to be less selfish – but his solution is still to leave. His 8 wing can be bullying and reckless. He repeatedly attempts to convince Guinevere to give in to her sexual attraction to him, because as a 7w8, he believes in capitalizing on the moment, without moral inhibitions. He is also fearless, assertive, and independent, even argumentative, which makes him the most courageous of all Arthur’s men.

Read the Review: First Knight (1996)