MIMIR

Real Name: Mimir Burison

Identity/Class: Extradimensional (Asgardian) god/spirit

Occupation: Prophet

Group Membership: Loosely affiliated with the Asgardian gods

Affiliations: Grand Vizier of Asgard, Odin, Thor

Enemies: Odin, Vanir

Known RelativesBuri/Tiwaz (father), Bor, Njord (brothers), Odin, Ve, Vili (nephews), Balder, Hermod, Hoder, Thor, Tyr, Vidar (grand-nephews), many others

Aliases: The Far-Seeing Head of Mimir, Guardian of the Well, Fiery Guardian of the Well of Wisdom, Grim Guardian of the Dark Well of Wisdom, All-Knowing Well of Fire

Base of Operations: Mimisbrunnen (Well of Wisdom), at the root of Yggdrasil, Asgard (possibly under Jotunheim)

First Appearance: Thor I#240 (October, 1975)

Powers/Abilities: Mimir possesses precognition and clairvoyance. He claims to be omniscient, and is apparently beyond Odin's ability to harm, though he has demonstrated fear of harm from the likes of Thor on occasion, possibly just a ruse. Mimir's energies are apparently tied to the existence of the other Asgardian gods. Following their deaths (or even separation of their spirits from their bodies), his flames rapidly dwindle.
    He is often summoned via flames combined with words spoken in languages "even gods have long since forgotten."

Height: Unrevealed (at time of death, he appeared to be of standard godly dimensions, so perhaps 6'3" - 6'6")
Weight: Unrevealed (at time of death, he appeared to be of standard godly dimensions, so perhaps 500 to 600 lbs.)
Eyes: Red (original color unrevealed)
Hair: None (white at time of death; original color unrevealed)

History:
(Thor I#500/4) - Mimir is the son of Buri, the first of the gods eventually known as Asgardians. He is the brother of Bor (father of Odin), though it is not known if they share the same mother.

(Encyclopaedia Mythologica: Asgardians) - Mimir is brother to Njord (founder of the rival Vanir tribe), another son of Buri, though it is not known if they share the same mother.

(Thor I#276 (fb) - BTS / Thor I Annual#7 (fb)) - In the dawn of Asgard, the Asgardians warred with the Vanir, a rival tribe of gods. During a truce, hostages were exchanged, and Mimir was one of the given by Asgard. "For no good reason," Mimir was decapitated by the Vanir, and his living, talking, tortured head was sent back to Odin. In this living death, Mimir possessed the power of prophecy, so Odin turned Mimir into fire and made him into his advisor. From that point on, nothing could make Mimir loathe Odin any less.

(Thor I#240 (fb) - BTS) - At the dawn of time, Odin knelt at the Mimisbrunnen and bartered for knowledge from Mimir; Odin refused to speak of the price Odin paid for such knowledge.

(Thor I#240 (fb) - BTS) - Mimir had not answered a summons from any save Odin in time immemorial.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Thor I#240) - Seeking the missing Odin, his Vizier (following Thor's request for aid) magically called upon the far-seeing Head of Mimir, who appeared within the Vizier's Brazier, demanding to know who dared summon him. Recognizing Thor, Mimir agreed, showing how Odin had followed Horus, Isis, and Osiris into the Pyramid of Kings in California, though he did not explain who those gods were or what the pyramid was. Unable to understand, Thor accused Mimir of explaining nothing, and Mimir stated that it was not his part to explain, merely to offer wisdom, that others may partake of that which they wish. Thor requested Mimir "Offer on," and Mimir showed him how Seth had conquered and trapped the three above gods in the Pyramid of Kings until the day Atum-Re, the father of the gods, returned to Earth. Mimir told Thor he was unable to see within the Pyramid but that Thor must seek it out to find his father. Thor thanked him, and Mimir faded away.

(Thor I#252) - When Odin vanished again (this time a prisoner of the Deonists), the Vizier again summoned Mimir via his brazier. Upon hearing Thor's request to locate Odin again, Mimir told him that none may seek the same knowledge twice in Mimir's name. Before he would tell Thor what he wished to know, Mimir demanded a tribute be paid him, as befit the fount of knowledge. Mimir instructed Thor to obtain the cyclopean ruby eye of the mighty dragon guarding the the golden gates to the realm below. Though reluctant to steal, Thor noted he would do whatever he must, for the sake of Odin and Asgard; laughing, Mimir noted that Thor would indeed do what he must, and thus Mimir suspected he would not hear from him again. Mimir then faded away.

(Thor I#255) - The Vizier summoned Mimir again via his brazier, and Thor prepared to tell Mimir the ruby eye of the dragon had been destroyed (as Thor had sacrificed it to save the troll empire from the monstrous Trogg); but Mimir already knew this and told Thor was nothing that could be kept secret from he who is the fount of all knowledge. Thor apologized, but Mimir told Thor he had done precisely what was expected of him. Stating he was not vain and needed no tribute, Mimir revealed that the ruby had actually been a test of his worthiness, which he had pass with honor. Mimir thus showed Thor an image of the Doomsday Star and told him he must seek out Odin there, but Mimir faded away again without revealing to Thor where the Doomsday Star was located.

(Thor I#274 (fb)) - Receiving word from his ravens Hugin (thought) and Munin (memory) of events which might foretell the coming of Ragnarok, Odin sought the advice of Mimir, asking what he could do to prevent the gods' doom. Mimir agreed to share his knowledge, but only for a price, the sacrifice of one of Odin's eyes. Odin thus tore out his own right eye and cast it into Mimir's fires. Pleased to have gained revenge on Odin for his treatment with the Vanir, and doubly pleased because the knowledge he had to share was so limited, Mimir told Odin he must go to Hel to consult with the prophetess/goddess Volla's spirit. Odin was angered at the deceit, but as Mimir was beyond his power to harm, Odin departed for Hel.

(Thor I Annual#7) - Concerned regarding the potential for Ragnarok after Balder was mortally wounded, Thor traveled to the brazier from which Mimir's fiery visage could be glimpsed, and Mimir, noting his disdain of Odin, mocked the potential end of Asgard. Thor questioned Mimir on the true origins of humanity, threatening to destroy Mimir's well, leaving him a homeless, drifting spirit if he refused. Telling Thor he feared him not, Mimir told he already knew how the Earth would end, and he then told Thor of his past encounters with the Eternals (and Dromedan) of which his memory had been suppressed (by the Eternals). Mimir then showed Thor the image of the Celestials (in the Andes mountains) judging humanity's fate, which was occurring at that very moment. After Thor departed, Mimir considered how Thor's destiny was intertwined with Midgard (Earth)'s, for reasons only Mimir and Odin knew but kept to themselves.

(Thor I#286) - Mimir showed Odin images of Thor surrendering to Kro (though Thor was actually feigning surrender, and Kro was given a false duplicate of Thor's hammer, created by Sersi), intending to torture him with images of his son in dire danger. When Mimir taunted Odin further, Odin blasted Mimir and threatened to snuff out his flames for all time. Keeping his peace, Mimir reminded Odin he could see more of the unglimpsed future than Odin.

(Thor I#288) - Showing Odin images of Thor battling the Forgotten One, Mimir taunted Odin about his son opposing the Celestials. Mimir asked Odin why he had not revealed to Thor his true reasons for banishing him (Thor) from Asgard, which related to the Celestials.

(Thor I#300 (fb) - BTS) - After Odin summoned the collective life forces of the Asgardians (including himself) to enter and power the Destroyer to oppose the Celestials, Mimir dwindled to a mere flicker, unable to sustain his own life with the gods essentially dead.

(Thor I#300) - Seeking answers to why all the Asgardians appeared comatose, Thor brought the Eye of Odin (which had somehow traveled to another realm and taken on a life of its own), to Mimir. Mimir asked for the eye,, whose immortal essence would stave off his own end. Strengthened upon receiving it, Mimir revealed to Thor exactly what Odin had done, and Thor swiftly departed for the Andes to aid his brethren.

(Thor I#300 - BTS / (Thor I#301 - BTS) - With the Asgardians restored to their bodies upon the Destroyer's incapacitation, Mimir presumably was restored to his full strength.

(Thor I Annual#9) - Discovering a mysterious chess match between Odin and Dormammu, Thor sought answers from Mimir, approaching his flaming form above the brazier through which it communicated. Dismissing Thor's praise and knowing why Thor had come there, Mimir delighted in Odin's losing ground and asked if Thor would sacrifice an eye as his father had, and Thor said he would if Mimir's information would save the realm. When Mimir said his words may or may not save the realm, Thor angrily raised a wind to diminish Mimir's flame and threatened to extinguish him with a tempest. Seeming to fear Thor's wrath, Mimir revealed how Odin represented Master Order and Dormammu represented Lord Chaos and that their chess match would determine the fate of the universe. When Mimir revealed Dormammu could be defeated in his own realm, the Dark Dimension, Thor departed for there. Laughing after Thor's departure, Mimir revealed that if Dormammu was forced to leave the game, Asgard's doom would be sealed.
    Umar subsequently revealed that if Thor had forced Dormammu's departure, Odin would have been accused of cheating and would thus forfeit the game.

(Thor I#326/2) - After Tyr and Loki had led the theft of Idunn's golden apples, leading to the Asgardians aging and losing vitality, Odin consulted Mimir for advice. Mimir advised they travel to Midgard (Earth), where they would not need to eat the Golden Apples to maintain their vitality. Vowing Loki and Tyr would pay for this indignity, Odin prepared to lead the Asgardians to Earth.

(Thor II#83) - As Ragnarok approached, a manifestation of the Odinforce led Thor to the Well of Mimir to gain its wisdom. Though Thor noted that the well was dry and Mimir, but the Odinforce noted that Odin didn't gain the wisdom from Mimir, but instead the ritual and sacrifice allowed him to find the wisdom within himself. Guided by the Odinforce, Thor sacrificed both of his eyes, and the well suddenly began to overflow. The Odinforce advised Thor to drink deeply, and from this Thor revealed that Ragnarok had occurred several times over as a cycle. The Odinforce then told Thor he must seek the magic of the runes and sacrifice his very life to learn the true secret of the never-ending cycle (They Who Dwell in Shadow).

Comments: Adapted to comics by Roy Thomas, Sal Buscema, and Klaus Janson.

    In Thor#240, Mimir is once described as "the giant who guarded the well of wisdom." In mythology, Mimir is sometimes described as a giant, and other times as a disembodied head, guardian of the "Well of the Highest Wisdom."
    When first seen, the Vizier communicated within him through a brazier, and he was seen as a disembodied head through the flames. Subsequent appearances have consistently shown him as a flaming face, as if he was a fiery elemental.

    Also in Thor#240, Mimir described Thor as "Scion of Greatness," indicating some respect for Odin. In most other appearances, Mimir typically expresses disdain for Odin.
   
At the risk of being super-obvious, when Odin-disdaining Mimir referred to Thor as "scion of greatness" in Thor #240, perhaps he was (per current knowledge) referring to Thor's status as the scion of Gaea? Just a thought.
    --Ronald Byrd
    Could be, though at the time the story was written, Gaea being Thor's mother had not yet been revealed, and it would be another 5 years until that reveal.

Profile by Snood.

CLARIFICATIONS:
No KNOWN connections to:


images: (without ads)
Thor I#240, pg. 10, panel 4 & 6
Thor Annual#7, pg. 4, panel 1 - brazier/face
    panel 4 (decapitation), panel 5 (disembodied head)


Appearances:
Thor I#240 (October, 1975) - Roy Thomas (writer), Sal Buscema (penciler), Klaus Janson (inker), Roy Thomas/Marv Wolfman/Lein Wein (editors)
Thor I#252 (October, 1976) - Len Wein (writer/editor), John Buscema (penciler), Tony DeZuniga (inker)
Thor I#255 (January, 1977) - Len Wein (writer/editor), Tony DeZuniga (artist)
Thor I#274 (August, 1978) - Roy Thomas (writer/editor), John Buscema (penciler), Tom Palmer (inker)
Thor I Annual#7 (1978) - Roy Thomas (writer/editor), Walt Simonson (penciler), Ernie Chan (inker)
Thor I#286 (August, 1979) - Roy Thomas (writer/editor), Keith Pollard (penciler), Chic Stone (inker)
Thor I#288 (October, 1979) - Roy Thomas (writer/editor), Keith Pollard (penciler), Chic Stone (inker)
Thor I#300 (October, 1980) - Mark Gruenwald & Ralph Macchio (writers), Keith Pollard (penciler), Gene Day (inker), Jim Salicrup (editor)
Thor I Annual#9 (1981) - Chris Claremont (writer), Luke McDonnell (penciler), Vince Colletta (inker), David Kraft & Chris Claremont (editors)
Thor I#326/2 (December, 1982) - Doug Moench (writer), Alan Kupperberg (penciler), Jon Tartaglione (inker), Mark Gruenwald (editor)
Thor I#500/4 (April, 1996) - edited by Bobbie Chase
Thor II#83 (October, 2004) - Michael Avon Oeming with Daniel Berman (writers), Andrea Divito (artist), Andy Schmidt & Nicole Wiley (assistant editors), Tom Brevoort (editor)


Last updated: 01/01/12

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