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How Was Captain America Able to Lift Mjolnir: When Did He Become Worthy?

Updated on August 17, 2019
Dean Howard profile image

Dean is a communications major at Missouri Southern State University. He loves to talk movies way too much.

How Was Captain America Able to Lift Mjolnir?

I recently watched a video on YouTube that got me thinking about Captain America. The Film Theorists uploaded a video in June and was looking into what makes a person worthy to wield Mjolnir.

The video itself is very interesting. It is a analysis on who is able to lift Mjolnir, even Thanos.(I will put the link below if you want to check that video out).

In the video, The Film Theorists makes a few great points about what makes a person worthy to wield Thor's hammer. Mjolnir judges a person's worthiness. In Thor (2011), Thor loses what it takes to be a hero and is stripped of his powers as he goes looking for a fight with the elves. His father, Odin, casts him to Earth and puts a spell on the hammer, making only those worthy enough able to lift it. There are two rules in Odin's eyes that makes a person worthy: they must only use violence as a last resort and must be willing to sacrifice their life for the greater good. At the start of the first Thor movie, Thor does not fall into either category. However, by the end of the film, Thor is willing to lay his own life down to save others. He knows he does not have his powers, yet he still stands up to the big robot guy his brother sends to Earth. This causes Mjolnir to deem Thor worthy and he regains his powers.

With that being said, does Captain America fall into these categories?

1. Only use violence as a last resort.

This is everything Captain America stands for. He never wants to purposely hurt anybody. His actions are always the most pure. He never goes out seeking violence, but he will always stand up when he is in a fight. In Captain America: The First Avenger (2011), the Red Skull tells Cap that he could have the power of the Gods, however Cap disregards the temptation and takes the Red Skull down. He does not seek any power. He just wants to do what is right. So, yes. Rule #1 applies to Cap.

2. Must be willing to sacrifice his life for the greater good.

When is Cap not willing to lay his life down for others? This is apparent in every Captain America fight. In the very first Captain America movie, Cap dives a plane into the ice, laying his life down, to save millions of people. He knew the cost, and he still went through with it. So, yes again. Rule #2 applies to Captain America.

With both of these rules applying to Captain America, in theory he is worthy to wield Mjolnir. He has everything it takes to hold the power of the Gods.

How Long Has Captain America Been Worthy?

How long has Captain America been worthy? I believe this question can bring about a lot of debate. There are some who say that he could not lift the hammer before Endgame, and others who say that he was only worthy in Endgame. However, I like to think Captain America has always been worthy. As we have made clear, Captain America has what it takes to wield the hammer, according to Odin.

Let's look back to Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), during the party scene in which all the Avengers take turns trying to lift Mjolnir. Everyone thinks it is a trick and gives their shot to lift the hammer, but Mjolnir does not budge. Then Captain America takes a turn trying to lift the hammer. The hammer slides on the table, it's a little move but it DOES move!

Anthony Russo has said that in their heads Captain America could move the hammer, however did not lift it as he did not want to hurt Thor's ego. He did not know before the party that he could lift the hammer, but in that moment when it did move, he knew he could. He just decided not to.

See, I like to think this is true because of the type of person Captain America is. He does not like to show off or make everything about him. So, in the moment when he felt Mjolnir moving, he backed off as to play it off like he couldn't lift it.

Then if we look at Avengers: Infinity War (2018), Captain America still shows that he was worthy. When Odin puts the spell on Mjolnir, he says that whoever is worthy of Mjolnir will possess the power of Thor. So, if Captain America was worthy back in 2015, he would be in possession of Thor's powers during the vents of Infinity War. Since he was able to lift the hammer in Age of Ultron, he received Thor's powers. The Film Theorists points out the fact that Captain America holds back Thanos's punch as proof that he has the power of Thor.

Co-writer, Christopher Markus has gone on to say that Cap could not hold back Thanos, Thanos was just surprised that a human would even dare to stand up to him. (Which sounds really dumb to me). Thanos's shocked look on his face as Cap catches his punch says different.

I do agree this moment would require Thor's powers, and can be used as an example to why Cap was able to do that. However, a better example to me is when Thanos punches Captain America in the face! The first time I watched Infinity War I thought about how that should have killed him. However, it would not have killed him if he possesses Thor's powers. He has the power of Thor which is why he is able to come back from that blow. It honestly makes perfect sense!

Captain America Finally Wields Mjolnir

When Endgame finally came to theaters, fans got one of the most crowd pleasing moments of the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe. During the end battle with Thanos, Thor's ax is being shoved into his chest by the mad titan. He is struggling to hold him back, and is losing the battle. Then Mjolnir flies through the air, knocking Thanos in his big purple head. At first we think it was all Thor's doing, but the hammer flies back to reveal Captain America catching the hammer. This is something we all anticipated because it has been foreshadowed before, like we already discussed. But we finally got to see it happen on the big screen, confirming our theory that Cap is worthy!

When we finally get that beauty shot of Cap holding Mjolnir for the first time, Thor smiles and says, "I knew it." Even Thor knew Captain America was able to lift the hammer all those years ago in Age of Ultron. Cap goes on to even conjure lighting and hit Thanos with it. He has the power of Thor.

So, why could he not have it all along? If he was able to move Mjolnir in Age of Ultron, he would possess Thor's powers! He has never used it before because Cap is a good guy. He does not want to take anything away from Thor. However, in the moment of crisis in Endgame, he knew he could lift it so he did!

What do I know? This shit keeps me up at night just thinking about all the possibilities. Maybe I need to stop thinking about it so much. It does make for an interesting conversation though!

What Do You Think?

When Was Cap Able to Lift Mjolnir?

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