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"I present to you, Taneleer Tivan, the Collector!"
Carina[src]

Taneleer Tivan, also known as the Collector, 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. 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.

Biography

Tivan Group

Building the Collection

"It's quite a collection he has."
"He likes to collect."
Volstagg and Carina[src]

Taneleer Tivan, along with the rest of his kind, made his appearance in the Universe shortly after its beginning.[2] Over the course of the centuries, he became the leader of an intergalactic conglomerate known as the Tivan Group. Due to his own 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.[3]

Collecting Infinity Stones

Meeting the Asgardians

"One down, five to go."
―Collector to Carina[src]
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Tivan personally greets Sif and Volstagg

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. They gave it to him believing that it would be safe from other parties. When Tivan asked why they did not keep the Aether in their own vault on Asgard, they explained that they thought it would not be wise to keep it on Asgard since another stone, the Tesseract, was already on there; a notion that Tivan agreed with.

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Tivan being given the Aether for safe-keeping

As Sif and Volstagg left the Aether in Tivan's care, he 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 the Infinity Stones. Tivan learned the location  Power Stone, which was contained inside the Orb and begun working out a plan to obtain it for himself.[4]

Buying the Orb

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Collector making his deal with Groot

"Beautiful, beyond compare."
"We're all very fascinated, whitey. But we'd like to get paid."
"How would you like to get paid?"
"What do you think fancy pants! Units!"
―Collector and Rocket Raccoon[src]

In order to obtain the Orb, Tivan hired Gamora and offered her four billion Units in exchange for the Orb.[5] 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. Tivan angered Rocket when he asked if Rocket were the group's pet.

Collector-explains-the-Stones

Tivan tells the Guardians of the Infinity Stones

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.

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Tivan survives an explosion

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. 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.[3]

Quiet Drink

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Tivan shares a drink with Howard the Duck

"Why do you let him lick you like that for? Gross!"
Howard the Duck to Collector[src]

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.[6]

Thanos' Ambush

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The Collector being pinned down by Thanos

"I told you, I sold it. Why would I lie?"
"I imagine it's like breathing for you."
"Like suicide."
"So you do understand."
―Collector and Thanos[src]

In his quest for the Infinity Stones, Thanos traveled to Knowhere and acquired the Reality Stone from Tivan. 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.

Collector (Infinity War)

The Collector notices Thanos' apparent death

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.[7]

Personality

"Everyone in the galaxy knows you'd sell your own brother if you thought it would add even the slightest trinket to your pathetic collection."
Thanos to Collector[src]

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.

His relationship with his brother according to Thanos was not good, saying he'd be willing to sell him out if it meant adding something to his collection. 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: His 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 just a bad hit on the head which just needed to be bandaged.
  • Immortality: The Collector is nearly as old as the Universe itself, due to his kind having appeared shortly after the Universe began.[2]
  • Energy Projection: The Collector while in possession of the Orb used its power to project constructs of purple energy to visually show the guardians his thoughts.

Equipment

Facilities

"I can assure you, it will be absolutely safe here in my collection."
―Collector to Sif[src]
Guardians-galaxy-movie-screencaps.com-6634

The Collector admiring his entire collection

  • 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.

Relationships

Family

Allies

Enemies

Trivia

  • 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

References

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The Marvel Cinematic Universe wiki has a collection of images and media related to Collector.
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