Mimir Time

Picture by Emil Doepler
We know that Odin drank from the Well of Mimir, but who was this Mimir? Well, in some versions of the story he’s a giant, and in others he’s one of the Aesir. There seems to be a fair amount of overlap there, really.

Picture by Boris Vallejo
There’s also a dwarf named Mimir who made a sword for the hero Siegfried, but I would imagine that he’s a different individual entirely. Mimir’s well, which bestows wisdom to anyone who drinks from it, is located in Jotunheim, the realm of the Frost Giants, at the root of the World Tree. Some sources say that he supports the Kjolen Mountains, which run along the border of Norway and Sweden. The most elaborate story involving Mimir concerns the war between the Aesir and the Vanir. When both groups of gods had tired of fighting, they negotiated a truce, which involved an exchange of hostages. The Aesir got Njord and Freyr, while the Vanir received Mimir and the handsome Hoenir. The Vanir initially thought Hoenir was quite intelligent, but it turned out he was just taking advice from Mimir. For some reason this really pissed them off, so instead of just directly taking Mimir’s advice as you’d think they would do, they beheaded him.

Odin rescued the head and preserved it with herbs, and it now gives him advice. I guess this is one talking head it actually pays to listen to.

Picture by Miguel Regodon

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