When Odin arrived, he asked Mimir for a drink from the water. The well’s guardian, knowing the value of such a draught, refused unless the seeker offered an eye in return. Odin – whether straightaway or after anguished deliberation, we can only wonder – gouged out one of his eyes and dropped it into the well. Having made the necessary sacrifice, Mimir dipped his horn into the well and offered the now-one-eyed god a drink.
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He had seen sorrow and death aswell as joy. It was only the glorious promise at the end that gave him courage to go on.
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