One small thing has been bugging me ever since I watched the Endgame. (well, that’s a lie. I’m not okay with many things from that film, but that’s for another time).
Why was Captain America able to use Mjolnir to strike Thanos when the purple titan was overpowering Thor and Stark? He was even able to bring forth lightning with the hammer. How did he do that?
Basically, how did a mortal passed Odin’s trial of a worthy individual and harvested the power of a god? Yeah, you get the gist. I had all these questions running through my mind.
Marvel President Kevin Feige confirmed that Captain America was always worthy of Mjolnir. However, he didn’t lift it in Age of Ultron out of respect for Thor. With Thor’s life in danger and him getting a new weapon (Stormbreaker), Steve finally picked up the hammer to attack the mad titan.
When Did Captain America Become Worthy?
Let’s cut to the chase. It is not a matter of how but since when.
To be worthy of lifting Mjolnir, one must be humble and selfless. And Steve is a perfect blend of it. This would also explain his usage of thunder because Odin’s chant says,
“WHOEVER HOLDS THIS HAMMER, IF HE BE WORTHY, SHALL POSSESS THE POWER OF THOR!!!”
Steve Rogers, aka Captain America, was always worthy of holding the hammer of the thunder god, Mjolnir, at least since The First Avenger. He is a great and selfless leader who leads by example. Moreover, he is very compassionate and a true apostle of justice.
He’s even worthier than Thor if you ask me.
In Captain America: The First Avenger, it became pretty apparent that Steve Rogers was a person who was willing to sacrifice himself for the sake of others. For example, in one particular scene where Colonel Phillips threw a grenade in front of Steve and other soldiers, he jumped on the grenade to protect others while others scattered away from it.
This quality of his set him apart. And then In Age of Ultron, there is this scene where Steve almost lifted the hammer. While it was just a tiny nudge, It is this instant that makes it clear that Steve Rogers was worthy of wielding Mjolnir. So to put it simply, Captain America was always worthy of wielding Mjolnir.
Was he really worthy in Age of Ultron?
Thor challenges all the Avengers to lift the Mjolnir in the film, and all of them tried and failed terribly, except for Steve, because of course.
I know. Steve didn’t really lift it, and it was just a slight budge. But nobody else came close to making the hammer even move a little. In fact, that started the whole “who’s worthy” conversation in the first place.
Now I was just as much disheartened as any other fan who really wanted Steve to pick the hammer up. But I gotta give respect where it’s due, and I do agree with Captain’s decision.
Even though Rogers was worthy of Mjolnir, he didn’t lift it back in Age of Ultron out of respect to Thor’s pride as the thunder god. At that moment, Steve knew that letting his prideful and egotistical teammate believe he’s the only worthy person in the room was more important.
Moreover, all of this just made Captain America’s “worthy reveal” in the Infinity Wars even more delightful. Come on, would you have been THAT excited to see Steve lift the hammer and literally shoot thunder off of Mjolnir if he had picked it once earlier?
In short, Steve was always worthy, even in Age of Ultron. He just didn’t feel like ruling Asgard because saving America from aliens and maniacs took priority.
How does one become worthy of Mjolnir?
While there are many theories on the topic, I think it’s pretty simple. The worthiness of a candidate is not absolute or objective; it’s pretty subjective.
Who put the enchantment on Mjolnir? Odin. So, how does Mjolnir recognize a person’s worth? Through Odin’s will.
The famous god enchanted the hammer only to be used by those who are worthy of it. So, if you’re worthy enough to be recognized by the great god and Alfather Odin, you’re good to go!
And to become worthy of the hammer, one must abandon all greed and be willing to do whatever it takes to protect humanity. Thor has proven his worth, and so has Captain America.
Let me take you back to the first Thor film. In a scene, Thor wasn’t able to lift Mjolnir, which was a little iffy to me because it is Thor who is always associated with the Norse Hammer. But then it made sense to me later, when it turned out that Thor wasn’t entirely selfless and had a bit of an ego.
But that changes at the end when Thor lets go of his ego and was willing to die in place of other Avengers. The Mjolnir instantly flew to his hand. And I have already talked about Captain America almost lifting the hammer, to even using it to fight Thanos in Endgame.
About Avengers: Endgame
Avengers: Endgame is a 2019 superhero film under the Phase Three Marvel Cinematic Universe. It is the 22nd film under the franchise. The film is produced by Marvel Studios as a sequel to Avengers: Infinity War. Endgame is Directed by Anthony and Joe Russo.
The film stars Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Don Cheadle, Paul Rudd, Brie Larson, Karen Gillan, Danai Gurira, Benedict Wong, Jon Favreau, Bradley Cooper, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Josh Brolin.