Real Name: Gnives
Identity/Class: Extradimensional (Jotunheim; associated with Asgardian cosmology) Giant
Occupation: King of the Giants (presumably the Storm Giants)
Group Membership: Jotuns (Giants of Jotunheim)
Affiliations: Ulik; unidentified advisor
Enemies: Odin, Thor, Warriors Three (Fandral, Hogun, Volstagg), Asgardian gods in general
Known Relatives: Ulif (wife), Holth (son, deceased), unidentified other children
Aliases: "Old Gnives"
Base of Operations: A castle in Jotunheim (one of the nine/ten worlds associated with the Asgardian cosmology)
First Appearance: Thor: Blood Oath#1 (November, 2005)
Powers/Abilities: As a Jotun, Gnives was large and strong (perhaps Class 25-75), with superhuman durability and longevity (enhanced lifespan/delayed aging, with a lifespan perhaps measuring presumably at least millennia).
Gnives also had a number of magical abilities including some sort of clairvoyance.
Height: Unrevealed (approximately 50' tall)
Weight: Unrevealed (based on the idea that giants have 3x human density, at 50' tall, he would weigh approximately 347,000 lbs. (173 tons)
Eyes: Black sclera and/or irides with white pupils
(Thor: Blood Oath#1 (fb) - BTS) - Gnives considered his son Holth to be stupid, useless, an embarrassment, and ugly. Gnives tried yelling, beatings, humiliation, and magic, but Holth continued to disappoint.
Gnives and his wife, Ulif, disowned Holth.
(Thor: Blood Oath#1 (fb) - BTS) - After the Warriors Three (Fandral, Hogun, Volstagg) unwittingly slew the giant Holth, who was in the form of a sea serpent, Holth's spirit allegedly called to his father, Holth, for revenge from the sea.
Via the magic All-Seeing Skull of My Fathers (see comments), Gnives divined Holth's fate.
Though Gnives considered Holth to
be useless, he nonetheless saw this as a chance to gain advantage over
the gods of Asgard.
Gnives informed Odin of Holth's murder; as his life was not taken on the field of battle or during a rightful challenge, Gnives requested justice for his son (for his life, for his value to his family, and for his family's honor) and judgment for the Warriors Three.
To keep the truce between gods and
giants, the Warriors Three agreed to come to the Althing and fall under
(Thor: Blood Oath#1 (fb)) -
Gnives and his giants met with Odin and the Gods for at the judgment
place known as Thingvellir, the Althing (see comments).
Noting this to be a sacred place of law, Odin ordered that no blood would be spilled upon this soil.
After Odin had related the events
of the unwitting murder of Holth, Gnives explained how Holth's spirit
had come to him, but as he prepared to name the price for his son's
life, Thor interrupted, refusing to allow a giant to decide his
figurative brothers' fate.
After Odin forced Thor to back down and respect the ceremony, Gnives assured Thor that his fellows would not face death; however, he then informed Thor that his outburst had linked his fate to theirs, which Thor accepted.
Gnives subsequently acknowledged that he
had long ago disowned Holth and that he was glad that he was dead, but
that he enjoyed having the lives of these four gods wrapped around his
When Balder(?) noted that the price must be something on which
all agreed, Gnives explained that they would all agree, as the price
was simply three apples, the skin of a pig, a sword, and three shouts
to be delivered on a hill.
Considering that they had most of that
already on hand, Volstagg agreed before the full nature of the mission
could be revealed. Although Balder(?) tried to silence Volstagg, Gnives
noted that it was too late, that acceptance had been made, and that -- according to their laws -- there was no further need to deliberate.
Gnives then explained that the three apples were to come from the loftiest branch of Yggdrasil, the World Tree, guarded by a giant eagle that would not let them have the apples; the skin of pig would come from Olympus and was Dionysus' magical swine, which was guarded by Hercules, who would not let them have it; the spear "Slaughter" was in Ireland, guarded by the great warrior Chulain, who would not let them have it; the Sword was the Grasscutter in the Far East, and it belonged to the dead, who would not let them have it; and their shouts were to occur outside tomb of Toth (aka Thoth), guarded by his warrior sons, whose sole purpose was to keep the tomb silent.
Gnives concluded that these things must be
brought back to Jotunheim or a great loss of honor would befall the
gods, and the giants would prove their betters.
If the gods prevailed,
honor and peace would fall over Asgard and Jotunheim, but if the gods
failed, death would be the only option for failure.
When some of the gods protested, Gnives mockingly
suggested if the price was too steep for the gods, he could find
something easier, but the arrogant Thor assured that he could best any
task Gnives could mark. Gnives further noted that the use of the
greatest weapon of the gods would be unfair, and that Thor could only
bring Mjolnir if he did not use it in combat. Odin accepted this and
dispatched Thor and the Warriors Three to journey on these tasks for
the weirding price of Gnives' son.
(Thor: Blood Oath#5 (fb)) - In Jotunheim, a human-sized female (see comments)
counseled "old king Gnives" that the signs held well for Thor and the
Warriors Three; they had even raised themselves from the dead and
continued their mission. She predicted that they would complete the
tasks laid before them if they did not...intercede. After she warned
that the Grasscutter sword would be theirs next, Gnives considered that
his wife, Ulif, would kill him as she wanted honor for her stupid boy.
He then informed her that he had dark business to attend to and favors
to call upon in Nornheim.
(Thor: Blood Oath#6 (fb) - BTS)
- Gnives arranged for Ulik to ambush Thor and the Warriors Three at the
temple of Toth to prevent their return.
(Thor: Blood Oath#6 (fb)) -
After Thor, the Warriors Three, and Ulik had been banished by Toth and
retrieved by Odin to the Thingvellir, the Althing and to a specific
time (perhaps shortly after their departure) when both the gods and
Gnives and the Giants awaited the outcome.
Having considered Gnives'
involvement of Ulik a breaking of the oath to which they had sworn,
Thor had used Mjolnir against Ulik, and Gnives announced that Thor had
cheated. In return, Thor cast Ulik back at Gnives, telling him his
cheating ways spat in their face and that Gnives had no honor. Odin
acknowledged that the truce was broken and war was upon Gnives' hands,
which Gnives considered a love-song to his ears.
Gnives urged his
brethren to war, but they were interrupted by the arrival of Ulif, who
admonished Gnives as trying to going to war to get out of work around
Ulif asked only to honor her son, and she would deal with her husband.
(Thor: Blood Oath#6 (fb) - BTS) - Thor and the Warriors Three arranged a funeral pyre for Holth, whose body was retrieved by Njord, lord of the sea
(Thor: Blood Oath#6 (fb)) - Ulif, at least, and other Giants gathered around the funeral pyre with the gods and honored Holth's passing.
Comments: Created by Michael Avon Oeming and Scott Kolins.
It is a little interesting how
Gnives looks similar to Brimer...but what is more interesting is how
much Gnives' advisor looks like Nedra...but at human size...WTF, yo?
Gnives called it " the magic All-Seeing Skull of My Fathers"...his fathers? presumably his paternal ancestors?
The name Țingvellir is derived from the Old Norse Țingvǫllr, from țing (“thing, assembly”) and vǫllr (“field”), meaning assembly fields. Compare the English thing and weald (“Thingweald”) from Anglo-Saxon țing and weald. The site takes its name from Alțing (Althing), the national parliament of Iceland, which was founded at Țingvellir in 930 and held its sessions there until 1798. A thing was a form of governing assembly found in Germanic societies, and a tradition that endures to this day in one form or another across Northern Europe.
Although the name Țingvellir is plural, the older form Țingvǫllr is singular, and the modern singular form Țingvöllur can still be heard.
The name is most commonly anglicised as Thingvellir, and might appear as Tingvellir, Thingvalla or Tingvalla in other languages. The spelling Pingvellir is also seen, although the letter “p” does not correspond to the letter “ț” (thorn), which is pronounced [θ], like the th in thirst.
Dingwall and Tingwall in Scotland, Thingwall in England, Tynwald on the Isle of Man, Dinklage in Germany, and Tingvoll in Norway bear names of the same root and meaning.
Profile by Snood.
Gnives should be distinguished from:
images: (without ads)
Thor: Blood Oath#1, pg. 19, panel 1 (face close-up);
panel 7 (squatting or seated beside Odin);
#5, pg. 14, panel 1 (castle);
panel 2 (seated at throne, advisor before him);
panel 3 (advisor, best view);
panel 4 (advisor on Gnives' finger);
panel 5 (face, showing, beard);
#6, pg. 17-18 (to war!)
Thor: Blood Oath#1 (November, 2005) - Michael Avon Oeming (writer), Scott Kolins (artist), Molly Lazer, Andy Schmidt & Aubrey Sitterson (assistant editors), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Thor: Blood Oath#5-6 (February, 2006) - Michael Avon Oeming (writer), Scott Kolins (artist), Molly Lazer, Andy Schmidt & Aubrey Sitterson (assistant editors), Tom Brevoort (editor)
First posted: 05/06/2020
Last updated: 05/08/2020
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
Non-Marvel Copyright info
All other characters mentioned or pictured are ™ and © 1941-2099 Marvel Characters, Inc. All Rights Reserved. If you like this stuff, you should check out the real thing!
Please visit The Marvel Official Site at: http://www.marvel.com
Special Thanks to www.g-mart.com for hosting the Appendix, Master List, etc.!
Back to Characters