Three images from the TikTok trend.

What Is The 'Soldier, Poet, King' Personality Quiz? How The Oh Hellos Song Became A TikTok Sensation

You might not think it at first, but TikTok is full of soldiers. It's also full of poets. And, oddly, the largest group on TikTok is kings. Which are you?

People online have embraced many personality tests over the years: veterans of Tumblr may remember Enneagram and the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. TikTok's latest obsession with a quiz that examines your values and tells you whether you are a soldier, poet or king, is part of this older pattern, but it also offers insight into the unique mindset and inner life of Generation Z.

Where Does The Soldier, Poet, King Quiz Come From?

A song called "Soldier, Poet, King" by the Oh Hellos was the inspiration for the quiz. It was released in 2015 on the album Dear, Wormwood and originally was intended to tell about the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. The song became a meme in 2018 with an animated video by YouTube user Gothfrog that spread widely and was remixed many times, with users swapping in different animated characters for the soldier, poet and king. The original can be seen below left, and a remix below right.

How Did It Get On TikTok?

On January 16th, 20223, Tumblr user @atlanticsea created a twenty-question Soldier, Poet, King quiz on (you can take it here )

In the next few days, users on TikTok who took the quiz shared their impressions about it. Often, they recorded their faces peering out from behind a wall of text describing how they felt. Many wished to get "poet" as their result but got "king" instead: according to the quiz itself, 62% of users end up with "king."

Why Do People Post The Soldier, Poet, King Quiz?

The soldier, poet and king are mythical archetypes. They can be found in many literary and religious traditions. King David, author of the psalms and slayer of Goliath, was all three and is mentioned in the song by the Oh Hellos.

Everybody is looking to figure out who they are, and these very old character types offer some firm ground to stand on. It's fun to imagine who you might be. It's also necessary: wondering who you might become is the "job" of a teenager.

The questions ask about values, and the majority of respondents turn out to be kings, the most authoritative and duty-bound of the three types.

For the full history of the quiz and the viral song, be sure to check out our entry for even more information.

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