Fox Mulder and Dana Scully

Opposites Make a Powerful Team

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The abstract images above are spiritual portraits, or Grojas,[1] depicting the personalities of the fictional characters Fox Mulder and Dana Scully, Special Agents in the FBI on the show The X-Files.

On the show Mulder and Scully are partners, and it's immediately clear they have different personalities. Their spiritual portraits reflect their difference tendencies, and show the two Special Agents are in fact opposites.

Opposites at Work

The warm Red and deep Blue in Mulder’s image contrasts strongly with the cool Green and flat Yellow in Scully’s portrait. These colors, along with the compositions of the images, show Mulder's personality is very different from Scully's.

Although both images show clear preferences, they are both also colorful enough to suggest the agents' preferences remain fairly moderate. Thus, the images show Scully and Mulder can easily learn to get along with each other despite their differences — if, for example, they share similar ethics, morality, and goals.

Different Decisions

The long Horizontal Red line near the bottom of Special Agent Mulder’s portrait depicts his preference for making emotional decisions.

Mulder's preference is most obvious in his decision to dedicate his life to learning what happened to his beloved half-sister, whom he believes was abducted by aliens. For obvious reasons, he keeps this goal mostly to himself, and that helps lead his colleagues to be suspicious of his motives. Some of his peers come to mock him with the nickname Spooky.

In contrast, Scully’s portrait is full of Green, the opposite of Red, depicting her preference for logical decisions.

A preference for being cool and rational is important for people who are in law enforcement, because incarcerating someone based on an emotion — a feeling or superstition of some sort — is obviously wrong.

In an organization like the FBI Scully can, unlike Mulder, easily afford to be vocal in expressing her preference.

Different Perspectives

Fox and Dana also see the world differently.

The Blue in Mulder’s image represents his openness to new ideas. He wants to believe not just in aliens, but in all sorts of paranormal activities. It is Mulder’s openness to these ideas that makes the X-Files so different from the standard police procedurals such as Dragnet, Hill Street Blues, the various Law and Order and CSI series, and so on.

In contrast, Scully’s portrait has more Yellow — the opposite of Blue — depicting her preference for facts. Again, as far as being a law enforcement officer is concerned, Scully is the normal one.

Most people expect officers to have a preference for facts over ideas. because facts are there for everyone to see. Ideas, on the other hand, are not necessarily shared, and can sometimes exist only in the mind of the beholder — and can make the person with an interest in these ideas seem Spooky.

Different Directions

As is the case with her preference for logic, Dana Scully is the one who can afford to express her preference for pragmatic perceptions, while Fox Mulder is best off keeping his ideas — which are all too often very unconventional — to himself. The compositions of the spiritual portraits above reflect this.

The long, Horizontal Red line near the bottom of Mulder's image represents his tendency to be more reticent, especially when it comes to his personal feelings. In contrast, Scully's portrait has a long Vertical line near the left side[2] of her image, reflecting how she is more comfortable speaking out.

The colors and the compositions of these images show that Scully and Mulder are complete opposites — that is, opposites in all four of the aspects comprising these Jungian profiles.

This does not by any means imply they hate each other, though! Quite the contrary, Mulder's ability to confirm his preferences — to run a sanity check on his perceptions and decisions — by consulting with Scully, his trusted partner who happens to have opposing preferences, is what makes the X-Files team greater than the sum of its parts.

Mulder's knowledge of the paranormal in turn plays a big role in helping Scully see patterns of presumably unexplainable phenomena. When Mulder gets Scully going on a search for a rational explanation for what they are seeing — which Scully is compelled to do because she is Scully — the Special Agents are a picture of what true teamwork looks like.

Same Team

Once Fox Mulder and Dana Scully survive a few life-threatening experiences together, they establish a mutual trust and bond to form a unique team.[3]

Ethics and morality are traits that — much like Scully’s preferences for facts and logic — citizens hope to find in people worthy of the public trust. It is these shared qualities that enable the otherwise mismatched Special Agents to combine their skills and successfully face all sorts of challenges.

These spiritual portraits show how even the smallest team can learn how to communicate, compromise, and work together to become much greater than the sum of the team's individual parts.

Scully and Mulder's shared trust and values, along with their complementary tendencies, enable them to form a resilient, tightly-knit team and take on criminals, extra terrestrials, and even their powerful and ruthless bosses at the highest levels of the American government.

See More at

To see the original posts containing the images of Fox Mulder and Dana Scully, see the X-Files gallery at

The X-Files on DVD

These portraits are based on the complete series of The X-Files.

As the story above delineates, the pairing of opposite personalities helps give The X-Files its enduring quality. The show is so unique that, if another series came along with similar characters, many people would no doubt see it as a rip-off.

The powerful and enlightening dynamic between Dana Scully and Fox Mulder makes recommending the series to everyone a total no-brainer!

I highly recommend the complete series  to everyone!

Tom W. Hartung

 Buy It Now! 

  • 1  A spiritual portrait or Groja — for Graphical Representation of Jungian Archetypes — is an image representing the personality of a person.

    Using rectangular shapes and primary colors to depict basic personality traits, Grojas make visible the ideas Carl Jung expressed in his ground-breaking observations in the early 1920s. Find essential information about these images on the About page at

  • 2  Scully's preference for making logical decisions — represented by the Green in her image — is quite strong. This results in her image having an excess of Green, making the Vertical line referenced in the article less obvious.

  • 3  When done properly, the bond between opposites can be extremely strong — not unlike the chemical bond formed when very positive sodium atoms and very negative chlorine atoms combine to form common table salt molecules.