My theory is that Mimir is illiterate. Or he at least can't read many of the languages that he speaks.
This idea occurred to me while lighting Tyrs braziers along the lake of nine. When you first meet him, he boasts that he can speak every language across the realms. As far as we see, there's no reason to doubt this. However, after reanimating his head, Mimir will offer no insight into the writings on the braziers, beyond that they are the names of the Valkyries. Not even that he recognises the languages as those of muspelheim and niflheim
After he joins the party, he could have easily translated these names for us, to save us from having to collect the translation stones. This of course can simply be explained as a gameplay quirk, that the designers wanted to preserve the nessesity of the translation stones, but Mimir , as far as I can remember, never translates any written language for us and never gives any indication that he can read at all. We would just naturally assume that he can
Again, this can all be explained easily. Maybe it's just a gameplay design choice. A choice to allow the player to find the stones themselves, or to.show Arteus' language skills develope as the the game progresses. Maybe it's a character choice. That Mimir is choosing to let Arteus' figure out the translations for himself to broaden his language abilities, similar to how Kratos will occasionally seek out combat to hone his sons skills.
But weirdly enough, I think illiteracy would kinda fit with his character. He says he's the smartest man alive (smarter than all the dead ones too), but he always struck me as having a "Man of the world" style of intelligence, rather than a scholarly type of intelligence. I believe he became who he is by traveling from realm to realm, meeting other people, soaking in their culture, witnessing their triumphs and mistakes, and learning to speak (but not necessarily read) their languages. I don't imagine he learned all he knows by having his nose stuck in books all this time, and the tales he tells of his debauchery support this assessment.
From the little we know about his beginnings, he doesn't seem to have been well educated in his youth. At least not in the traditional sense. In a less common piece of dialogue, he tells Arteus that he got his start as a errand-boy/ unofficial jester for a faerie king (explaining why he has a Scottish accent, if he was born in Celtic mythology), and had to move on when his master no longer found his hijinks amusing. This suggests to me that he has had no real formal education, and instead became the smartest.man in the world through travel and first-hand experience.
This probably wouldn't have any major connotations plot-wise, but I think it would add dept to the character, along with telling an unusual story. One of a illiterate genius.
I know from experience that being illiterate does not exclude someone from being intelligent, thoughtful, and deep. It would be interesting to see this concept portrayed.
Thanks taking the time to read this.
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© Post "I have a dumb theory about Mimir. If I’m right, it’ll mostly just be a throw away joke in the next game." for game God of War.
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