Thomas Lindmer was the Sorcerer Supreme of Earth-96173. A Human magician several centuries old, he lived in his Mansion in 22 Bleeker Street, New York City. He was familiar with several details of the history of magic, although that could be through academical study or direct observation.
In 1945, Lindmer was associated with another scholar (not a user) of magic, a Strange. When this person had a son, both him and Lindmer noticed that the kid, Stephen Strange, had a great potential to become a magician, as he was righteous and perceptive. In 1958, Lindmer lost contact with the Stranges. In 1963, the Stranges suffered a car crash and only five-year-old Stephen survived; Lindmer believed that external forces were trying to murder Stephen and that his fathers had died protecting him. Stephen inherited a ring with the mystical symbol of light from his father; the older Strange knew that Lindmer would eventually apear looking for Stephen.
At some other point (either before of after the events with the Stranges), Lindmer trained and befriended Wong, an Asian wizard. Eventually Wong graduated and left, in good terms with Lindmer.
In 1978, the evil witch Morgan le Fay, exiled in a different dimension after her defeat centuries before, was able to reach Earth in a quest to kill Lindmer and get Lindmer's successor. Lindmer, who knew of le Fay, noticed le Fay's arrival and understood her mission. He called Wong for help. His plan was to find his successor, whom he decided would be Stephen Strange, and to fight le Fay. To do both at once, Lindmer sent Wong after Strange.
Meanwhile, Lindmer dressed in normal clothes and left his Mansion to challenge le Fay. When they met each other, Lindmer blocked her path on an urban bridge, and then le Fay disappeared from sight. Le Fay possessed a college student, Clea Lake, who walked next to Lindmer and then, catching him unaware, pushed the old man from the bridge to the road below. The shock broke the possession and Lake screamed in panic, seeing the old man and the possessing witch. She escaped. The event was so vivid that Wong perceived the danger to his master.
However, Lindmer survived. He stood up and left, injured; he recovered from the worst damage using his magic in broad daylight. He went to the Mansion, and there he met with Wong. Lindmer quickly explained Wong that there was no immediate threat, and listed to Wong's report: Wong had found Strange, a doctor of psychiatry working in East Side Hospital. Lindmer, weakened after losing the duel, was also worried about the innocent girl that le Fay had manipulated, because le Fay would probably use her again. Lindmer asked Wong to find her and, to that end, the old man draw a portrait of the girl and told Wong that she was carrying books so she was probably a college student.
Lake happened to have a psychic bond with Strange (even if they had never met) and thus, when she slept and remembered vividly the events of the possession, Strange shared the same dream and saw Lindmer. Lake had a crisis at the dream, including amnesia, and she ended in the hospial, being treated by Strange. Lake's bumbling about the accident with the old man coincided with Strange's memories of his dream. Strange agreed to admit her in the hospital.
Wong, following her track, discovered Lake's name and address, and followed her to the hospital. Satisfied with his success, Wong cooked breakfast for Lindmer to eat while Wong reported. Lindmer reprimanded Wong for behaving like a servant, but agreed with the report. Lindmer decided to take a taxi and go to see Lake and Strange in the hospital; but Wong could not go with Lindmer because the Asian wizard had other occupation at that point. Lindmer used a spell to close his Mansion, preventing le Fay from entering; and, once, in the hospital, he used his powers to "convince" a nurse so he could see Lake.
Finally meeting Strange after so many years, the doctor only recognized Lindmer because of his recent "dream". Lindmer claimed to know something about the amnesiac girl, and Strange agreed to interview him in his office. The doctor explained his dream, and Lindmer told him that Strange and Lake shared a psychic bond. Aghast at the idea, Strange demanded to know who was Lindmer, and the sorcerer gave him his card. Psychiatry chief Frank Taylor tried to interrupt them, but Lindmer's powers stopped Taylor suddenly. Lindmer tried to convince Strange that Lake was being targetted by evil forces, something that Strange's rational mind had trouble to accept. Lindmer asked Strange to visit his mansion of his own free will, warning that Strange himself would be in danger if he tried to save the girl. Strange was doubtful about this.
However, soon afterward, Taylor's treatment caused Lake to fall into a coma. Strange reconsidered then and decided to visit Lindmer, especially because Lindmer's card had the same symbol as Strange's ring.
Strange met with Lindmer, first asking him about the symbol. Lindmer explained that he and Strange's father had knew each other. Lindmer then offered Strange the knowledge of magic to save Lake, because Lindmer himself was too weakened and would be destroyed if he tried that quest, and Strange agreed even if he disliked the idea of becoming an apprentice alchemist. Lindmer took Strange's ring and made a spell on it.
Lindmer explained the mission: He would send Strange to the dimensions known as the astral planes. Lake, as a dreamer, was supposed to visit the harmless lower planes, but she had been ensnared to the dangerous higher planes, where hostile beings dwell. Lindmer taught Strange a protective spell, calling on Raggadorr, in case he faced any of these monsters. Strange would be able to track Lake by following their psychic bond. Strange agreed, and Lindmer sent him to the astral planes. Although Lindmer could not intervene, he was able to monitor Strange's odissey and knew of his success.
Clea recovered and was released from the hospital. She started a romantic relationship with Strange and they arranged a date, but Strange decided to visit Lindmer before that, to tell him that he did not want to follow the path of wizardry. Lindmer was disappointed but accepted his decision, because the Sorcerer Supreme was to accept his path willingly. Wong tried to appeal to Strange, but he failed.
While leaving, Strange saw a cat at Lindmer's door and, believing it to be Lindmer's pet, he let it in. The cat was really le Fay in disguise, and she used Strange to trick Lindmer's Mansion's protecting. She first found and defeated Wong, and she then went to Lindmer's studio. Lindmer, in full regalia, was waiting for her and they dueled again. Lindmer's magic bolts were useless against le Fay: Laughing, she deflected the attack and floored Lindmer. Le Fay then sent fire bolts to Lindmer, and she invoked a monster, Asmodeus, to help her taking Lindmer to her own dark dimension (Lindmer later claimed that he threw the fight to motivate Strange). Once there, le Fay tied Lindmer to a plant and tortured him.
Le Fay threatened Lake to attract Strange to the dark dimension and, once there, she tried to convince him to join her side with riches. Strange was unable to take his ring off, saying that only Lindmer knew how to do so; but le Fay tried to convince him that Lindmer was powerless and, to prove it, she showed Strange that Lindmer was her prisoner. Strange, appalled, challenged le Fay, and she attacked him in rage. Strange's Raggadorr spell was ineffective, but his ring protected him against le Fay's magics, and Strange dsicovered how to redirect le Fay's attacks against her, stunning her.
Strange released Lindmer and called him master. They both reappeared in the Mansion, leaving le Fay abandoned in her own domain, to the pitiless favor of her sponsor Nameless One.
Once in the mansion, Lindmer collapsed, but fortunately Wong recovered and went to help, and Strange was a qualified doctor. Lindmer recovered his senses, and saw that dawn was coming. He decided to perform a ritual so that Strange could formally accept his position, and asked Strange to stand in a circle on the floor. Strange explained that he was dressing robes given by le Fay, but Lindmer gave it no second thought. He asked Strange to swar serving humanity, thus forsaking an easy death, ignorance or having children, but not love, because universe itself was love. Strange agreed.
Lindmer then invoked The Ancient One, a disembodied voice that asked Strange to confirm, and then the transmutation took place: Great energies moved from Lindmer to Strange, so that a part of Lindmer's power went to Strange—but Strange still lacked knowledge or wisdom to use this power. New robes appeared on Strange, and Lindmer glowed and felt weakened for this effect; Wong then explained Strange what had happened. Strange had became a wizard.
- Thomas Lindmer is the Sorcerer Supreme of his universe. He has shown several magic-based powers, including the following ones (It is assumed that Lindmer had many other powers):
- Astral Projection: Lindmer claimed to be able to travel to the higher astral planes and return to Earth, but not in a weakened state under penalty of his utter destruction.
- Bolts (of Eldritch?): Lindmer can generate and attack with colored magic bolts. His bolts have proved useless against a high-level sorceress like Morgan le Fay.
- Danger sense broadcasting: When Lindmer was in danger, his pupil Wong immediately senses it.
- Longevity: Lindmer claimed to be several centuries old, although he admitted he was past his prime.
- Matter transmutation: After receiving part of Lindmer's power, Dr. Strange was able to metamorphose a bunch of flowers into a dove. It's assumed that Lindmer was able to do this too.
- Mind control: Lindmer can control the ideas of normal humans. He used this power to convince a nurse to let him pass where he was not allowed to, and to stop Dr. Frank Taylor when he was disturbing his first meeting with Dr. Stephen Strange
- Ancient One invokation: Lindmer can invoke the Ancient One as a disembodied voice, during a ritual to name his own successor as Sorcerer Supreme.
- Power transfer: Lidmer can transfer a part of his own power to a successor - but not the knowledge to use this power wisely. This transfer leaves Lindmer very weakened.
- Raggadorr plea: Lindmer is familiar with a prayer to Raggadorr, scourge of demons, that could repel several hostile creatures including inhabitants of the astral plane.
- Seal: Lindmer can seal his abode from enemy sorcerers using a spell that made his hands glow. His enemies, or direct agents completely controlled by them, are then unable to cross this barrier. However, Morgan le Fay tricked the barrier by hiding within Dr. Strange's aura.
- Self-healing: Lindmer is incredibly tough, being able to survive a fall which would have been lethal for a human with only severe wounds. He could later heal some of these wounds by imposing his hands.
- Besides being an excellent wizard himself, Thomas Lindmer is a great scholar of wizardry, familiar with history and theory of magick (such as the details of the astral planes). He is also a great teacher, having instructed Wong and later Strange. Lindmer is a resolute man, able to withstand certain kinds of torture.
- For some reason, Lindmer seems to be the only person who could take off the symbol-of-light ring from Strange's finger.
- Lindmer was also a good artist, able to draw portraits of people he had seen only briefly.
- Ailing due to his age, Lindmer suffered from aches and pains when moving. He was weakened after losing a magic duel and felt unable to travel to the astral plane.
- Lindmer's sight was less than perfect and he required glasses to read or to see other nearby items.
- If Lindmer's initiation was similar to Strange's, then Lindmer had renounced to having children of his own, to an easy death and to the bliss of ignorance.
- Lindmer has quaint yellow togues with hood and hooked runes (although he also has normal clothing). He uses glasses and a pipe to smoke.
- Lindmer owns a mansion in 22 Bleeker Street. The rooms in the mansion have been adapted to his magical needs.
- Lindmer seems to not own a car, because he takes taxis.
- In the movie Dr. Strange, Lindmer is portrayed by Oscar-winning actor Sir John Mills, credited only as John Mills.
- In the movie, Lindmer is only called "Old One" by his enemies. "Old One" may be either an official pseudonym for Lindmer or a mere insulting taunt.
- Although Lindmer's character parallels The Ancient One from the comic-book series, IMDB claims that a different character in the movie is called Ancient One—a disembodied voice that is never identified by name in the movie and that is provided by uncredited actor Michael Ansara.
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