Hamir

hamirthehermitfilmTime for the last character appearing in Doctor Strange (as usual, if I missed anybody let me know in the comments): Hamir the Hermit, portrayed by Topo Wresniwiro. Hamir first appears when Stephen Strange is introduced to Kamar-Taj to meet the Ancient One: seeing an old man with a white beard reading some book, Strange immediately mistakes Hamir for his master. Later, during the surgeon’s training, it’s revealed that Hamir is missing a hand, but this doesn’t prevent him from being a Master of the Mystic Arts nevertheless, as he very easily performs rituals and spells despite the missing limb. In the comics, he has a very strong connection to one of the main recurring characters in the series, but he’s not a sorcerer: let’s see together.

Hamir was born in an unspecified location in Tibet, and since his birth he had his destiny pretty much written: he was the descendant of Kan, a legendary healer, and just like him he was raised a monk and a mystic, like his father before him and so on for generations. Kan’s descendants, in order to atone the mistakes of their ancestor who had been deceived by the evil sorcerer Vung and conquered a peaceful dimension, had sworn their allegiance to the Sorcerer Supreme, and from that moment every son from their family would have become the assistant and attendant to the one in charge during their lifetime. Since his youth, so, Hamir was assigned to serve the current Sorcerer Supreme, the Ancient One, a wise and just magic user who protected Earth and the balance between realms. Hamir served the Ancient One at the best of his capacities, becoming also a good friend of his; because of his (far too) discrete presence, he also gained the monikers The Silent One or The Living Shade, but everybody knew him just as Hamir the Hermit. He assisted the Sorcerer Supreme both in time of peace and in time of war, the latter being both against threats from other dimensions or even “barely” human wars. During World War II, in fact, the Nazis attacked Kamar-Taj to try hamirthehermitcomics1and steal some of the sanctuary’s powerful artifacts to potentiate their war might: when Red Skull tried to invade the place to obtain the Eye of Agamotto, Hamir was at the Ancient One’s side as he disposed of the threat, and he helped him in repelling the human invaders. The war ended, time passed, and generations continued: Hamir had a son from an unknown woman, and he named him Wong. When he was four, he brought him to Kamar-Taj to meet the Ancient One, believing that he would have been the Sorcerer Supreme even during his son’s lifetime.

With Wong growing up, Hamir the Hermit started preparing his future, and he found him a wife for when he would have had to conceive a child to replace him. When Wong was ten years old, he introduced him to the girl and her parents, officially arranging their marriage. Years passed, and eventually the Ancient One informed Hamir of his intention to find a successor, believing he had been the protector of Earth for far too long. Many studied the mystic arts under the Ancient One, but among them there was also an evil man, Baron Mordo, who continuously tried to kill the Ancient One to steal his powers; luckily enough, there was another, Doctor Strange, who was committed to his role as successor. After Baron Mordo finally left Kamar-Taj, he didn’t give up on his intent to kill his former master, and he used the closest person to the Ancient One to get near him: Hamir. With a dark spell, Mordo controlled Hamir’s mind, and he made him poison his master’s soup, making him fall ill. Luckily, Strange realised what was happening: he cured the Ancient One, released Hamir from the spell, and defeated Mordo. The latter, however, came back in forces with his disciples, having increased his powers thanks to a deal with Dormammu: Strange was defeated, and the Ancient One got severe injures. Only Hamir’s intervention saved his old master’s life, as he brought him to a secret cave, where he hamirthehermitcomics2could tend to his wounds. The Ancient One was in a comatose state, and to seek his help against Mordo and Dormammu Strange needed to probe his mind: Hamir feared this would have been too much for the old man, but he trusted Strange’s judgement…and his faith proved to be well-placed, as Strange found the means to defeat his enemies, and left to seek them. Mordo, however, found the cave, and attacked Hamir, who wasn’t a match for him. As a result, the Ancient One was abducted: for the first time in his life, Hamir had failed to protect his master. Maybe it was truly time to leave Earth’s protection to the new generation…but as long as he could breathe, Hamir would have kept his ground, no matter the foe.

Hamir is a serious and gentle man, deeply committed to his job and loyal to a fault to the Ancient One and to his successor, Doctor Strange. As an assistant to the Sorcerer Supreme, he’s a trained martial artist (albeit he seldomly shows his skills), and he’s initiated to the mystic arts as well, even if he’s able to cast only minor spells: he can master some healing charm, he can levitate, and he can use telekinesis, and possibly he has knowledge of other incantations. The descendant of a family of loyal servants, Hamir lives to protect the Ancient One and to put himself at his complete disposal: everything else, his own life included, is but secondary.

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