mime-nibelung-full.jpgMIME

Real Name: Mime

Identity/Class: Unrevealed (Uncertain connection to Asgardian cosmology; see comments)

Occupation: Unrevealed;

Group Membership: Nibelung clan

Affiliations: Sieglinda;
    formerly Siegfried (a mortal incarnation of Thor Odinson)

Enemies: Alberich, Fafnir (as holder of the Ring of Power)Siegfried, Odin

Known Relatives: Alberich (brother), Hagen (nephew, deceased);
    Siegfried (godson; could be considered his adoptive son, as Mime raised Siegfried from infancy to adulthood);
    possibly others I'll sort out as I finish the profiles from this story arc (for example, I have his son Hagen listed as:
son of Alberich and an immortal woman, half-brother of Gunther and Gutruna)

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: Unrevealed;
    formerly Nibelheim (terrestrial subterranean caverns)

First Appearance(Wagner's Mime) Das Rhinegold (The Rhinegold), the first of four parts in the opera "Der Ring Des Nibelung" (The Ring of the Nibelung) opera (September 22, 1869);
    (Marvel's Mime)
Thor I#295 (May, 1980)

mime-nibelung-forging.jpgPowers/Abilities: Mime had no superhuman abilities on his own. He was a skilled craftsman, experienced in swordmaking. He also had some experience in using poisons. 

    Mime could forge powerful magic items, including creating the helmet Tarnhelm, transforming the Rhinegold into the Circlet/Ring of Power.

    Mime carried a short sword (full-sized for him) and used a walking stick on journeys.

Height: Approximately 3'
Weight:  Approximately 100 lbs. (assuming human body density, see comments)
Eyes: Brown
Hair: Gray (bald on top)

History:

mime-nibelung-smite-age.jpg(Thor I#295 (fb) - BTS) - Alberich forced his brother, Mime, to forge the Rhinegold into the Circlet of Power and create the helmet Tarnhelm. Enslaving the other gnomes of the Nibelung in the caverns beneath Nibelheim, Alberich forced them -- including his brother, Mime -- to mine for gold.

(Thor I#295 (fb)) - As Mime pleaded with Alberich not to enslave him and their brother-gnomes, Alberich noted that power had no kith or kin and that soon the men of Midgard would break their backs laboring for him as well. As Thor, Odin, and Loki broke into the caverns, Alberich used Tarnhelm to turn invisible and assault/taunt Mime -- despite his calling Alberich master and exclaiming his smiting him unseen as unfair -- until discovering the invaders. 

    Ultimately the gods tricked Alberich into a position of weakness and forced him to surrender, after which they took him away and forced his surrender of the Circlet of Power, Tarnhelm, and gold horde (which the gods subsequently delivered to the giants Fafnir and Fasolt in exchange for returning the abducted goddess Idunn).

mime-nibelung-tending_sieglinda.jpg(Thor I#297 (fb)) - Mime found Sieglinda -- after Brunnhilde the Valkyrie transported her, pregnant with the son of Siegmund (a mortal incarnation of Thor), to Earth -- lying by a tree, in labor. Mime was surprised to see the maiden, but when she begged him for help, he took her to his nearby hut and cared for her. 

(Thor I#297 (fb) - BTS) - Mime delivered Sieglinda's son, but could not save her life. Before dying, Sieglinda told Mime to name the baby Siegfried.
    She also gave Mime Siegmund's shattered sword, telling him its name was Needful, that it had been shattered by a god, and that when Siegfried grew up Mime should give it to him.

(Thor I#297 (fb)) - Holding the newborn in his arms, Mime told him how his mother had told him to name him Siegfried.

mime-nibelung-raising_siegfried.jpg(Thor I#297 (fb) - BTS) - At some point, Mime resolved to use Siegfried to recover the treasure of the Nibelung from the lair of Fafnir, who had transformed into a dragon.

(Thor I#297 (fb)) - At some point, Odin appeared before Mime, telling him only a man who had never known fear could forge needful anew. 

(Thor I#297 (fb)) - Mime raised the child, who grew up straight, tall, and strong.

(Thor I#297 (fb) - BTS) - Forging a series of swords for Siegfried, Mime grew increasingly frustrated as the youth broke the swords, requring another forging.

(Thor I#297 (fb)) - As Mime angrily forged a new sword and cursed the "vile boy" for which he did so, he was startled to hear a sound outside seconds before the wall of his hut was smashed in by a battle between Siegfried and an immense bear. As he wrestled the bear, Siegfried teased "old Mime," telling he had brought the bear to see his new sword or to speed Mime along if he was not yet done. Begging Siegfried not to let the bear near him, Mime assured Siegfried the sword was done, after which Siegfried defeated the bear (stunning it before planning to carry it back to the woods). Mime asked why Siegfried brought live bears to him, and Siegfriend told him it was for want of better company than Mime. The gnome advised Siegfried that he should show more honor to the one who brought him up by hand, but Siegfried instead insisted to see the sword instead.

    Mime proudly displayed the razor-sharp sword, but Siegfried considered its steel untrue after he shattered it by striking its flat against Mime's anvil. As Siegfried angrily grabbed him and accused him as a bungler planning to use him for some undevined purpose, Mime insisted he loved Siegfried as if he were his own son. To prove this, Mime showed Siegfried the shattered Mime, telling its origins and that no mere mortal would be able to defeat it when it was welded together again. mime-nibelung-face.jpg

    Rather than be appreciative, Siegfried insisted Mime immediately reforge his rightful sword, which he accused Mime of keeping from him all these years. As Mime melted the sword in the forge, he asked why the urgency, and Siegfried told him he had decided to leave Mime's hovel forever. Blanching at these words -- as this would foil Mime's plot to use Siegfried to obtain the Nibelung treasure -- Mime nonetheless continued to forge the sword, but when he shattered the sword anew while trying to hammer into shape, Siegfried angrily announced that "a dunderhead like" Mime could not be trusted to the task, and that he would forge it himself. Though Mime reminded Siegfried that he had never learned swordsmanship, Siegfried said he could not know less than Mime, it seemed, and instructed Mime to stay and advise him.

    Recalling Odin's instructions, Mime realized Siegfried had likely never known fear, and he plotted anew. After Siegfried had completed re-forging Needful and demonstrating its strength, Mime told him he had everything he needed to be a warrior, except one thing he had neglected to teach him before: he needed to learn fear, without which he would never be a mighty warrior. With Siegfried eager to learn, Mime advised that the dragon Fafnir could teach him if they journeyed to his Hate-Cavern, which was due east of their home. 

(Thor I#297 (fb) - BTS / Thor I#298 (fb) - BTS) - Mime prepared food and drink for their journey, including some poisoned wine, prior to their departure.

    As they approached the cavern, they glimpsed the fleeing Alberich, who had also sought to reclaim the Nibelung treasure but who had fled when Fafnir emerged from his cavern, spewing flames. As Fafnir approached, Mime clung to Siegfried's leg in terror, advising Siegfried that he would swiftly learn fear by looking into Fafnir's eyes. Fafnir agreed that he would teach Siegfried Mime's lesson, but that Siegfried would not live long enough to profit from it. mime-nibelung-helmet.jpg

(Thor I#298 (fb)) - Terrified, Mime was barely able to blurt out that the dragon's heart was in the same place as in any other beast, after which he fled to seek shelter. 

(Thor I#298 (fb) - BTS) - Siegfried slew Fafnir and claimed the Circlet of Power, which shrunk to fit his finger as the Ring of Power. 

(Thor I#298 (fb)) - Mime watched as Siegfried entered the Hate-Cavern, plotting to kill Siegried and claim the ring and the treasure of the Nibelung.mime-nibelung-death.jpg

    Alberich approached Mime, asking him what devious act he had caught him in, and Mime bragged that he would convince the young warrior to turn over the Ring to the man who had raised him like the son. Alberich countered that he would rather the Ring went to a mangy dog than Mime, whom he said would never possess it. However, when Mime warned that if Alberich was to attempt theft, he would call to Siegfried, who would punish him. Though calling Mime's threats empty, Alberich apparently fled with his Nibelung allies.

(Thor I#298 (fb) - BTS) - After donning the Tarnhelm and exiting the Hate-Cavern, a bird spoke to Siegfried (having gained the ability to understand the bird from exposure to Fafnir's blood), warning him that Mime plotted treachery against him. After Mime delivered Siegfried's helmet (dropped in the battle with Fafnir), the warrior placed it atop the Tarnhelm, and the two apparently (and without any ado) merged into the classic winged helmet of Thor. Learning Siegfried had failed to learn fear from Fafnir, Mime suggested that Siegfried must be thirsty and offered him some of the wine he had brought. Thanking Mime for revealing himself as a murderer and plotting to steal his treasures, Siegfried tore the flagon open, spilling the wine. Mime pulled his short sword in hopes of killing Siegfried directly, but the warrior easily swatted him aside. Mime landed in a puddle of Fafnir's blood; he swallowed some and soon felt it "seizing his throat like a thing alive" and choking him. Mime cursed Siegfried as he collapsed in the blood and died. 

Comments: Created by Richard Wagner;
    adapted by Roy Thomas, Keith Pollard, and Chic Stone.

    Mime was based on the character from Richard Wagner's Das Rheingold (The Rhinegold), the first of four parts in the opera "Der Ring Des Nibelung" (The Ring of the Nibelung) opera. You can Google it for more information. 
The Ring of the Nibelung comes, in a very general way, from the old Norse/Germanic legend of the Nibelungenlied ("The Song of the Dwarves"). Mime is apparently based on the dwarf Reginn (aka Regin and Regan) from that story.

    What are the Nibelung?

    In Thor I#297, the Eye of Odin names Mime as a descedent (and again, specifically as a son) of Alberich...and Alberich even calls him his sire...but they call each other brothers in #295 and #298, and the Eye calls them brothers in #298.
    In Wagner's Ring of the Nibelung, Mime and Alberich are brothers. We'll go with that. Roy Thomas stopped writing the series after #297 because he needed to focus on his editing, and I'm guessing he might have been stretched a bit thin prior to that.

    Between the last panel of #297 and the first panel of #298, Mime apparently pulled his helmet out of his napsack and put it on.

    These stories were among those told to Thor by the Eye of Odin, and the events therein, particularly the origins of the current Odin incarnation, have been called into question. 

Profile by Snood.

CLARIFICATIONS:
Alberich
should be distinguished from:


images: (without ads)
Thor I#295, pg. 8, panel 6 (smote by invisible Alberich);
    #297, pg. 8, panel 4 (tending Sieglinda);
            panel 6 (with young Siegfried);
        pg. 9, panel 1 (full body);
            panel 3 (forging sword);
        pg. 13, panel 6 (face);
    #298, pg. 11, panel 8 (with helmet and sword, challenging Siegfried);
        pg. 12, 2 (dying)


Appearances:
Thor I#295 (May, 1980) - Roy Thomas (writer/editor), Keith Pollard (penciler), Chic Stone (inker), Jim Shooter (consulting editor)
Thor I#297 (July, 1980) - Roy Thomas (writer/editor), Keith Pollard (penciler), Chic Stone (inker), Mark Gruenwald (assistant editor)
Thor I#298 (August, 1980) - Ralph Macchio (writer), Keith Pollard (penciler), Chic Stone (inker), Jim Salicrup (editor)


Last updated: 07/22/17

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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