Watch Dr. Sylvia Gearing share the first five types of psychopaths and discuss examples using characters from Game of Thrones! click here
A solid understanding of how psychopaths function can help you see them coming. However, psychopaths have individual characteristics central to their typology.
To give you a better idea of each typology, I’ve matched each type of psychopath with a character from Game of Thrones.
So, there are some Game of Thrones spoilers ahead. (Spoiler Alert! Final Warning!)
Here is part one of the top ten types of psychopaths from psychologists Millon and Davis:
The Unprincipled Psychopath
The unprincipled psychopath is highly narcissistic and delights in wrecking vengeance through humiliation. They love to exploit and abuse other people, and they genuinely enjoy the anguish they create. People are used until they are no longer useful and then demolished and discarded with no guilt. Consequences and morals have no influence with them and their motto is, “Do unto others before they do unto you.”
Walder Frey’s ultimate betrayal of the Stark family is a wonderful example of an unprincipled psychopath. He delighted in his vengeance as he watched dozens of people murdered in front of him.
The Disingenuous Psychopath
The disingenuous psychopath enjoys popularity and a great social façade, and they are able to charm those around them initially. However, long-term intimate relationships are next to impossible due to their unreliability, seething resentment, and tendency to plot against others. They view life as a zero sum game—only one of us can win, and it’s going to be me. They will rationalize all of their heinous behavior, and they will expect others to appreciate their cunning schemes.
Cersei Lannister fits the disingenuous psychopath typology with her complex schemes, deep resentment, and commitment to victory at all costs.
The Risk-Taking Psychopath
These psychopaths live for the rush they get when they take risks and put their lives in danger. They thrive on a steady diet of dangerous and treacherous living. They are convinced that they are invincible and view others who will not take the same risks as weak and inept. Their lack of reliability and responsibility is central to their character, and they lack any understanding or concern for how their dangerous actions affect those around them. All that matters is the thrill of the game.
Khal Drogo is an unstoppable warrior and feared commander who is eventually killed by an infected wound. His risk taking, belief that he is invincible, and reckless attitude are all hallmarks of the Risk Taking Psychopath.
The Covetous Psychopath
Envy and revenge are the central characteristics of the Covetous Psychopath. They are exhibitionistic and self-indulgent, and they often have little concern for the people they deceive and exploit. They may become successful entrepreneurs who will do anything to succeed in business. All immoral and cruel acts are rationalized as being fair since all they are doing is taking what should have been theirs in the first place. Dr. Millon notes that their true sense of pleasure comes from taking what they want rather than earning it.
If you haven’t guessed already, Petyr Baelish aka “Littlefinger” is the quintessential Covetous Psychopath. He is a successful businessman due to exploiting and trading other people in his brothel, and his only true desires are what other men have and he is willing to do anything to get what he wants.
The Spineless Psychopath
Viewing themselves as defenseless and weak, the Spineless Psychopath will strike out first against others in a counter phobic effort to avoid the aggression of others. They project a false bravado and want desperately for others to see them as invincible and “not to be messed with.” Drawn to militaristic groups that prey on the innocent, they bully and victimize to soothe their own fears of inadequacy.
Everyone’s favorite person, King Joffrey Baratheon is a perfect example of the Spineless Psychopath. A sadistic and cruel bully who commands others to fight his battles for him, Joffrey is in fact a scared little boy who everyone hates.
"Psychopathy" by Theodore Millon, et. al.
"The Psychopath Test" by Jon Ronson
"The Sociopath Next Door" by Martha Stout