The Marvel Cinematic Universe is a place filled with powerful artifacts. From the Eye of Agamotto to Mjolnir, many weapons have been known to singlehandedly defeat some of the biggest villains that have plagued the MCU. However, perhaps nothing can compare to the sheer might of Thanos' Infinity Gauntlet. Combining the power of the Soul, Mind, Power, Time, Reality and Space Stones, the Gauntlet was able to wipe out half of all life in the universe with a snap.
But, like all of these powerful objects, the artifacts themselves are only tools to be used by those who would wield them. In the hands of Thor, Mjolnir is a formidable weapon, and Thanos has been the only character with enough power to assemble the Infinity Stones.
Therefore, the question needs to be asked: Because only a handful of people are capable of lifting Mjolnir in the MCU, could Thanos do it? Could the Mad Titan wield Thor's mighty hammer (that is, if it hadn't been destroyed)?
In the MCU, few people have lifted Mjolnir. The All-Father, Odin, obviously can, as could Vision, as seen in Avengers: Age of Ultron. In fact, the Vision was deemed worthy to lift the hammer when no one, not even Captain America, could. Later, in Thor: Ragnarok, the goddess of death, Hela, not only held Mjolnir in place, and prevented it from returning to Thor, but also crushed it. The implication, obviously, is that Hela is worthy to wield the hammer.
That assumption is fueled later in Ragnarok, when we discover that Hela wielded the hammer long before Thor. However, that was eons before Odin placed the "worthy" enchantment upon the weapon, as seen in 2011's Thor. Therefore, it's possible that Hela, with all her power, is able to hold the hammer in place, but not exactly wield it anymore.
Now, enter the Mad Titan. Hela may be powerful, but from what little we have seen, she doesn't come close to Thanos. The supervillain easily defeated the Hulk in combat and has been laying waste to the universe long before he would take control of the Power Stone. So, would Thanos be able to lift Thor's hammer? On raw power levels, perhaps not. But with the Infinity Gauntlet in his grasp, it's more than likely.
After all, at full capacity, the Gauntlet can rewrite reality itself. Heck, he was able to bring down a moon with only four stones. What's stopping Thanos from using the full power of the stones to lift the worthy enchantment and take the hammer for himself? There is simply no telling the limits of the Gauntlet's full power. Sure, one of its full blasts of energy may have been defeated by Stormbreaker, but that Asgardian weapon is considerably more powerful than Mjolnir. With the Gauntlet, Thanos would surely have no trouble lifting the hammer.
Then again, the subject of worthiness also must be considered. The Vision had the Mind Stone embedded in his forehead when he lifted the hammer. Therefore, could there be a certain correlation between being worthy of the Infinity Stones' power and Mjolnir? If Thanos is powerful enough and worthy enough to bring the Infinity Stones together when no one else in the history of the cosmos ever could, then perhaps he would really be worthy of lifting the hammer without the Gauntlet.
What's more, the Mad Titan's goal, to wipe out half of all life in the universe, certainly appears cruel. However, he's also able to rationalize it as a sacrifice for the greater good. In the grand scheme of things, could this goal be seen as worthy? If Hela, a being devoted to death, is really able to lift the hammer as some believe, then shouldn't Thanos as well?
Sure, we doubt that Avengers: Endgame will offer the answer. After all, Thor's hammer is destroyed, and we have no confirmation that it could somehow return in the highly-secretive film. But still, with so many powers involved in the movie, and rumors of time travel, we never know.
Ultimately, there is no right answer. From the start, it's been clear that lifting Mjolnir doesn't just come from power, but from the heart. Is Thanos able to wield Mjolnir? Perhaps no one will really ever know... except the All-Father.
Directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, Avengers: Endgame 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 and Bradley Cooper, with Gwyneth Paltrow and Josh Brolin. The film arrives April 26.