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Taneleer Tivan is the head of the Tivan Group, and renowned as the keeper of the largest collection of interstellar fauna, relics and species in the galaxy, operating from the Knowhere port installation, which lead him to being widely known by the moniker of the Collector. Through his dealings with Asgardians and the Guardians of the Galaxy, he was in possession of one of the Infinity Stones and was nearly able to obtain a second stone. However, this caused Thanos to attack his museum seeking the Reality Stone.
Building the Collection
Taneleer Tivan, along with the rest of his kind, made his appearance in the Universe shortly after its beginning. He has a brother who would go onto be known as the Grandmaster. Over the course of the centuries, he became the leader of an intergalactic conglomerate known as the Tivan Group. Due to his complete obsession with collecting different objects and specimens, Tivan was given the title "Collector"; he controls a massive intergalactic trove containing a vast collection of both objects and living specimens.
Collecting Infinity Stones
Meeting the Asgardians
In 2013, two Asgardians, Sif and Volstagg, arrived at Tivan's museum, bringing with them the Infinity Stone known as the Aether, which had been recovered by Thor after his battle against Malekith on Earth. Carina introduced the Asgardian warriors to her master, which was followed by Tivan greeting them. Sif insisted upon finalizing their deal so they could leave the museum, as she was somewhat appalled at the sight of female workers imprisoned in specimen cages.
Tivan agreed, and asked the two why they decided not to keep it secure in the vault, to which Volstagg replied that the Tesseract was already safe on Asgard, noting that it would be unwise to keep two Infinity Stones in close proximity. Tivan assented that they made a wise choice before Sif handed the contained Aether to Tivan, who looked at it in astonishment, before assuring them that the stone would be safe in his possession.
As Sif and Volstagg left the Aether in Tivan's care, he observed the Aether and remarked to Carina that they now had one of the Infinity Stones in their possession, and only needed the remaining five, hinting that Tivan was already seeking to obtain the Infinity Stones. Tivan started to investigate the whereabouts of the other Infinity stones, in particular, the Power Stone, which was contained inside the Orb and begun working out a plan to obtain it for himself.
Buying the Orb
In order to obtain the Orb, Tivan hired Gamora and offered her four billion Units in exchange for the Orb. Together with Star-Lord, Drax the Destroyer, Rocket Raccoon, and Groot, Gamora brought the Orb to him. Tivan greeted the group warmly, kissing Gamora's hand, but he was particularly fascinated by Groot, as he had never seen Flora colossus before. He offered money for his corpse, although he insisted he would wait until Groot had died first. Rocket Raccoon became defensive of Groot, asking Tivan what he would do with Groot.
Tivan angered Rocket when he asked if Rocket were the group's pet. As a somewhat intoxicated, irate Rocket attempted to retrieve his gun to silence Tivan, Gamora intervened and reminded Tivan that they had traveled halfway across the galaxy to retrieve the Orb for him, alluding to her arrest on Xandar and the Escape from the Kyln. Tivan listened and asked them to show him the Orb so he could add it to his collection. Quill presented the Orb to Tivan, despite having dropped it on the floor.
Tivan began opening the Orb, and gave the four outlaws a history of the origin of the Infinity Stones, along with showing them video footage of the Power Stone being used to destroy all life on a planet. Once the Orb was fully opened and the Power Stone was revealed to the group, Tivan could not hold back his glee as his hands shook and he remarked how beautiful the stone was. Rocket still was not impressed and demanded that they get their payment.
However, as Tivan was taking out the agreed-upon payment for the Orb to give them, Carina, intending to use the Stone to free herself from his servitude, grasped it to try and become powerful enough to kill the Collector. Unable to contain its power, she was killed as the Stone released a massive pulse of energy, which caused her to explode, and destroyed most of Tivan's archive. While Tivan lay in the wreckage, the Guardians took the Orb and escaped from Knowhere.
Tivan survived the destruction, sustaining an injury on the head, which needed to be bandaged. Clearly frustrated with the destruction of his collection, he sat in the debris and shared a drink with one of his former exhibits, Howard the Duck. Cosmo also joined them and tried to comfort Tivan by licking his face, an action which was mocked by Howard the Duck.
In 2018, in his quest for the Infinity Stones, Thanos traveled to Knowhere to obtain the Reality Stone after having procured the Power Stone and Space Stone following his assault on Xandar and ambush on the Statesman. Thanos confronted Tivan and acquired the Aether from Tivan and extracted the ancient weapon from its container before solidifying it back into its original state. Knowing the Guardians of the Galaxy would follow and needing Gamora to recover the Soul Stone, Thanos used the Reality Stone to bait a trap for them.
The Guardians arrived at an intact, yet abandoned, Knowhere where Thanos was attempting to beat information on the Reality Stone out of Tivan's illusion who claimed he had sold the Stone while being ignorant of its true nature. As Thanos admonished Tivan's selfish personality, noting that he was aware that Tivan would broker his brother for an extra artifact that he could add to his collection, the Mad Titan gave him one last chance to acquiesce to his demands.
When Thanos heard Drax the Destroyer falling to the ground after being put to sleep by Mantis, he threw the Collector into a specimen cage. Gamora then attacked Thanos and seemingly killed him, causing Tivan to applaud her victory before the real Thanos revealed himself and dropped the illusion. Tivan disappeared at the same time, revealing that he was an illusion and Knowhere was truly up in flames.
Throughout the universe, Taneleer Tivan has amassed the largest collection of an interstellar variety, through the use of illegal dealings or other, sometimes immoral means; the contents of the collection, while harmless, is also composed of dangerous, even planetary-destructive relics and unlawfully imprisoned sentient beings, who were either made a part of his collection just to fulfill a desire to have them or as a punishment.
Tivan also has a preoccupation with the Infinity Stones, as evidenced by his expressing a desire to obtain all six of them. Whether he has expressed this desire for megalomaniacal purposes or simply an extension of Tivan's desire to amass the most powerful objects in the universe for his collection remains to be seen. The way he states this desire, however, after coming into the possession of the Reality Stone just after Sif and Volstagg leave his presence, may imply a sinister design at hand.
Towards clientele or business partners, Tivan has an affable and somewhat gentlemanly side, such as kissing Gamora's hand upon meeting with the Guardians of the Galaxy. Beyond this, he can be just as equally cruel. This is displayed by the relationship he has with his servant, Carina, and her fearful demeanor around his presence. Likely viewing anyone in his servitude as an extension of his own collection, Tivan abused her to the fullest, since he had also imprisoned his previous servant and threatened to do the same to Carina over the slightest hint of disobedience. It was this that drove her to attempt to use the Infinity Stone to break out of Tivan's servitude, which resulted in the Stone killing her and destroying his collection simultaneously.
Tivan's depraved and treasure-hungry nature was sufficiently strong that even Thanos himself expressed disgust at how far he would go for his collection, openly expressing this in the illusion he showed to the Guardians, particularly when he stated on how Tivan would be willing to sell his own brother out if it meant adding something to his collection. Additionally, his depraved and treasure-hungry nature was sufficient to earn him Thanos' disgust as in the illusion he showed to the Guardians, he did not hide any effort to suppress his disgust of Tivan. Nevertheless, Tivan has an honorable side and will follow through on any deal, no matter the price. He seems to respect Groot's species and expressed a desire to buy his corpse, but would only add him to his collection after his death, as opposed to several other living subjects Tivan imprisoned in his collection.
Powers and Abilities
- Superhuman Durability: Tavan's body is much more resistant to physical harm than the body of a human being. When Carina used the Orb, it released a massive pulse of energy, which caused her to explode, and destroyed most of Tivan's archive. He survived the destruction with only some bruising and a bad hit on the head which just needed to be bandaged.
- Longevity: The Collector is nearly as old as the Universe itself, however he could still die.
- Genius-Level Intellect: The Collector has vast knowledge on the universe, being able to narrate the history of the Infinity Stones to the Guardians of the Galaxy.
- Master Businessman: Tavan is a very intelligent businessman. He formed a deal with Gamora to give her millions of units in exchange for the Power Stone to widen his collection. He also made a deal with the Asgardians to keep the Reality Stone safe.
- Tactician: The Collector formulated a plan to gather all six Infinity Stones for unknown purposes, however, he could only get the Reality Stone before it was taken by Thanos.
- Birth Pods: The Collector had a primitive Birth Pod from a Sovereign, which he kept in his museum.
- Reality Stone: Given by the Warriors Three, the Collector was entrusted with the Aether, a liquified-form of the Reality Stone, shortly after the Second Dark Elf Conflict because the Asgardians deemed it unwise to keep two Infinity Stones in proximity as the Tesseract was in Odin's Vault. However, Thanos stole the Aether from the Collector's Museum four years later and added it to his gauntlet.
- Power Stone: Despite having hired Gamora to retrieve the Orb for him, the Collector never owned the Power Stone as Carina attempted to use its power to free herself despite being killed.
- Collector's Ship: The Collector had his own personal ship that he parked at his museum on Knowhere. The ship was destroyed during Thanos's assault on the museum in search of the Reality Stone.
- Collector's Museum: The Collector's Museum was where Tivan would store the various objects and specimens in his collection. Located in Knowhere, the Asgardians went to the museum to deliver the Aether to Tivan. The Guardians of the Galaxy brought the Orb to the museum to sell it and Tivan explained to them that it contained an Infinity Stone. Upon learning this, Carina committed suicide by grabbing the stone, causing an explosion, resulting in the escape of all his creatures. Years later, Thanos traveled to the museum, and stole the Aether from Tivan.
- In the comics, the Collector is one of the Elders of the Universe, a group which is comprised of the last survivors of extinct races from across the universe, making them the oldest individuals in the comics. He dedicated his life to collect artifacts and living beings to place them out of danger as a goal for his life, as his immortality is directly linked to his will to live.
Behind the Scenes
- Benicio del Toro was uncredited for his appearance in Thor: The Dark World.
- Describing Benicio del Toro's performance, James Gunn said "He's like an outer-space Liberace. That's what it says in the script, which he's kind of doing".
- Oliver Gough was a stunt double for Benicio del Toro in the role of the Collector.
- Benicio del Toro was early reported by Zoe Saldana to be reprising his role as the Collector in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. However, del Toro later confirmed that he would not be appearing in the second film.
- Thor: The Dark World
- Guardians of the Galaxy
- Avengers: Infinity War
- Thor: The Dark World Mid-credits Scene
- Guardians of the Galaxy Prequel Infinite Comic
- Guardians of the Galaxy Post-credits Scene
- 'GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY': LATEST ON VIN, BRADLEY AND THE SCENE EVERYONE'S TALKING ABOUT
- ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’: Zoe Saldana Confirms Benicio Del Toro Will Return
- Don’t Expect the Collector in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2