Mjolnir. Chances are, you’ve practiced pronouncing the word over and over, but thanks to the introduction of the magical hammer in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, most people have now grown accustomed to the pronunciation. Thanks to Chris Hemsworth’s turn as the God of Thunder, audiences everywhere have grown quite fond of Thor’s mighty hammer. Mjolnir has been associated with the character for a very long time. It debuted at the same time as Thor, in the pages of Journey Into Mystery #83, which was published back in 1962. Over the years, it has seen more battles, and defeated more enemies, than anyone could count — even Thor himself.
Not only has Mjolnir been a part of Marvel for decades, its own existence in-universe dates back centuries. Like the Asgardians, the hammer has been around for a very long time. It’s not only one of the most powerful weapons in the Marvel Universe, it has almost become a staple of its own. Characters recognize it, and many have tried to lift it. Some even succeeded. But the hammer is still an object shrouded in cosmic mystery. Today, CBR revisits Mjolnir’s long and storied life, from the comic book page to the MCU, to list 15 things you never knew about Thor’s mighty hammer.
15. IT CAN BE LIFTED BY ANYONE… IN SPACE
One of Mjolnir’s defining traits is that only the worthy can lift it to wield its awesome power. Only a select few have proven themselves worthy enough to carry Mjolnir, like Beta Ray Bill and Captain America. But when Thor fought against the Red Hulk, it seems like all of that was turned on its head. The Red Hulk attempted a new strategy and, in this instance, it actually proved fruitful.
The Red Hulk managed to take their fight into space, where he gave Thor, just as much as the readers, a lesson in physics, as well as Asgardian magic, apparently. In space, there is no gravity, and if there is no gravity, then there is nothing to hold Mjolnir “down.” It’s an interesting theory to be sure, but it’s something that hasn’t exactly been touched upon since, considering the debate it sparked among fans.
14. IT CONTAINS THE MOTHER STORM
For a very long time, Mjolnir was just Mjolnir – the hammer of Thor, who used it to fly and summon lightning. No one questioned its origins, or how it was able to do what it did. It was just Asgardian magic/science. But recently, in the pages of Jason Aaron’s Mighty Thor epic, Marvel readers learned that the hammer actually contained inside it a sentient power called the Mother Storm.
The Mother Storm was once a sentient cosmic storm the size of an entire galaxy. When it threatened Asgard, Odin took it upon himself to battle it and save his realm. He battled the storm for a very long time, until he was finally able to trap it inside a piece of uru. Then, he tasked the Dwarves to forge him a weapon out of it, a weapon that proved immensely difficult to control. Until Thor arrived.
13. CAN BE MADE UN-LIFTABLE WITH A SINGLE WORD
In the Marvel comics, Thor has always been worthy to lift his hammer. While others were also able to wield the hammer at the same time, it didn’t negate his ability to wield it. After all, the inscription on its side reads “Whosoever holds this hammer, if (s)he be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor,” meaning that more than one person can lift it, if only they are worthy — like Thor himself.
However, in the Original Sin event series, we learned that there was a flaw to this enchantment. By only speaking a few words, a villainous Nick Fury was able to make Thor unworthy. There, on the moon, Thor dropped his hammer, and he wasn’t able to lift it back up again. The words spoken? “Gorr was right.” With these simply words — a callback to Aaron’s first run on Thor — Fury was able to make Thor doubt himself, and render him unworthy of Mjolnir in the process.
12. CAN CAUSE PERMANENT DAMAGE TO ITS WIELDER
After Thor dropped his hammer on the moon, it was later picked up by Jane Foster, who became the new Goddess of Thunder. When she picks Mjolnir up, she is turned into a strong, powerful Asgardian god who can fly through space and stand toe-to-toe with any of the universe’s big bads. But Jane’s mortal form is plagued by cancer, and her life is increasingly in danger.
Although Jane is undergoing chemotherapy treatments that help battle her cancer, using Mjolnir, which transforms her into Thor, purges the chemotherapy from her system, leaving only room for the cancer to grow. This means that the more Jane uses Mjolnir, the more dangerous it is for her. She is growing weaker and weaker, to the point that she had to stop being Thor very recently. But that might not stop her for long.
11. IT CAN BE DISGUISED AS A WALKING STICK
In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Thor comes to Earth in all his Asgardian glory. But, for a very long time in the comic books, the God of Thunder actually had a human alter ego that he used to disguise himself with, a mortal form by the name of Donald Blake. Of course, it’s not exactly practical to walk around New York streets in Asgardian garb, with a big hammer in your hands, especially if one is trying to be discreet.
Donald was smaller in stature, and he used a walking stick. But when he would knock that stick on the ground, Donald would transform into Thor, and the stick into the mighty Mjolnir. Thor: Ragnarok actually paid homage to this, by having Thor carry around an umbrella that turned out to be Mjolnir. When he knocks it on the ground in the film, he turns back into a fully-armed Thor.
10. IT’S MERELY A COUNDUIT FOR THOR’S POWER
In the MCU, Thor used his hammer for two of his own movies, as well as two Avengers films. In all four, he showed that he was the God of Thunder, thanks to the power that emanated from Mjolnir. However, all of that changed in Thor: Ragnarok, the final movie in the character’s trilogy. When Hela destroyed Mjolnir, Thor was now left powerless. Or so he thought…
As Thor found himself on Sakaar, he slowly began to discover that the power of lightning was still inside of him. Later, when Thor would commune with his deceased father, he would learn that he was always the God of Thunder, hammer or no hammer. Mjolnir only served as a conduit for his power — a way for him to focus it. Without it, Thor finally harnessed his power like never before.
9. IT’S SUPER METAL
Uru is one of the strongest materials in the entire Marvel Universe. Although the name is never used in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it is the metal-like material that Mjolnir is made from. The hammer was created by the Dwarves of the realm of Nidavellir, and it proved incredibly difficult to create. There is simply no other material like it in the universe, which makes Mjolnir, with the magic it contains, unique in nature.
However, there are other weapons in the Marvel Universe that are made of Uru, like Odin’s spear, Beta Ray Bill’s Stormbreaker and even Iron Man’s Thorbuster suit. Uru requires impressive fires to mold, like those that can be found in an enchanted forge or in the far reaches of space; i.e, in the heart of a star. There are no other metals like it, and this makes Mjolnir one of the most powerful weapons in all of the Marvel Universe.
8. WIELDED BY ODIN AS PART OF THE AVENGERS 1,000,000 BC
While Mjolnir has always been closely associated with Thor, he was not the only Asgardian to wield it. In fact, we recently came to learn that eons before Thor, Odin wielded the hammer – albeit with a certain bit of difficulty. In the Marvel Legacy #1 one-shot, we learned that not only was Odin a hero on Earth, he was part of an early version of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, the Avengers 1,000,000 B.C.
In prehistoric times, Odin wielded a newly-minted Mjolnir next to a Phoenix host, a Black Panther, an Iron Fist, a Starbrand and a mammoth-riding Ghost Rider. In these early years, the Mother Storm inside the hammer was still strong, making it quite difficult for Odin to harness its power. With his help, this team of Avengers was able to defeat the cosmic threat of a Celestial.
7. IT CAN BE DESTROYED
For the longest time in the MCU, Mjolnir was thought to be one of the most powerful weapons in the universe, outside of the six Infinity Stones. At Thor’s side, it turned the tide of battle and helped cement Thor as the most powerful member of the Avengers. There were no limits to Mjolnir’s power, and nothing could damage it. Not the Hulk, not the Aether and not even the Chitauri’s weapons.
That is, until Hela returned. At the start of Thor: Ragnarok, Hela wrapped her hand around Mjolnir, and crushed it to smithereens with ease, displaying her great power in a scene that came as a shocking turn of events for fans everywhere. Although it had been made thousands of years ago, the powerful weapon, thought to be indestructible, actually had a weakness.
6. CREATING MJOLNIR NEARLY DESTROYED THE EARTH
It’s not easy to create a weapon worthy of the God of Thunder. As Odin himself states in the first Thor film, it was forged in the heart of a dying star – and that came directly from the comic books. In fact, the Dwarves charged with creating Mjolnir had to use all the resources at their disposal to mold the powerful uru into a concrete hammer to be wielded.
In order to achieve those results, they had to use the fires of a burning star. Doing so not only burned the star out completely, the appropriately massive and cosmic resulting impact almost reached the Earth itself. Obviously, it’s dangerous to meddle with the forces of the universe, and creating Mjolnir proved to be a world-shattering event in and of itself. Thankfully, no planets were damaged in the making of this hammer.
5. IT WAS PREVIOUSLY WIELDED BY HELA
The Thor: Ragnarok film shook the entire foundations of the character of Thor. He lost his hammer and his friends, he got a haircut and was taken to an alien world where he was forced to battle in an arena. But that was not all. The audience also learned that Asgard was built upon lies. When Hela took control of the kingdom, she decimated the paintings that told of Odin’s fairy tale past, to reveal Asgard’s true, bloody origins.
It might have been easy to miss, but the paintings underneath showed us that Hela once fought at Odin’s side, as the two waged war against all the realms, in order to establish Asgard’s true rule. And to help in this battle, Hela had in her possession Mjolnir. This means that, in the MCU, Hela wielded the weapon long before Thor ever would.
4. IT’S INEFFECTIVE AGAINST VIBRANIUM AND ADAMANTIUM
There isn’t much that can stand in the way of Mjolnir. Whether in the comic books or in the cinematic universe, the hammer doesn’t have much in the way of weaknesses. With a swing, it can level almost anything that stands in its path – that is, unless those things are made of adamantium (which laces Wolverine’s bones) or vibranium: two indestructible fictional metals from the Marvel universe.
Vibranium is the famed metal that can only be found in Wakanda, the metal that constitues the Black Panther’s armor and Captain America’s shield. As a matter of fact, when Thor and Captain America briefly fought in the first Avengers film, viewers saw that the vibranium was able to absorb the hit from Mjolnir, and redirect it outward. It’s an attack that the two Avengers have since perfected.
3. IT CAN BE ALTERED BY A COSMIC CUBE
Thanks to the enchantment and the inscription on its side, Mjolnir can only be wielded by those who are pure of heart – the best and greatest of heroes, like Steve Rogers. However, in the recent Secret Empire event, an evil nazi version of Captain America was somehow able to lift Mjolnir, much to the shock of Thor, who was still unworthy himself at the time.
It seemed implausible for such a villain to wield the hammer when Thor could not, and it just so happens that that was very much true. In fact, we would later learn that Hydra used the shards of a cosmic cube to slightly alter the enchantment on Mjolnir. Instead of “worthy,” the inscription was changed to “strong.” That way, the villainous Steve Rogers was able to harness the power of the hammer for his own nefarious goals.
2. IT CAN SUMMON THE SPIRITS OF THE DEAD
When Thor returned to life in a world he no longer recognized, he needed a bit of guidance, and he longed to commune with a friend who had recently passed after the events of the Superhero Civil War: Steve Rogers. Thankfully for Thor, Mjolnir was able to arrange such a meeting. Summoning great power from his hammer, the God of Thunder was able to summon the spirit of Steve Rogers.
Because of this magnificent power, Thor and Steve were able to share a conversation for a short period of time. This was made possible because Steve Rogers had once sworn an oath on Mjolnir, when he previously wielded it. This made it so that Mjolnir was able to pierce through the realm between life and death, and summon his spirit. Of course, Rogers is not the only spirit that Mjolnir can summon.
1. CAN IT BE LIFTED BY AN ELEVATOR?
One of the running gags of Avengers: Age of Ultron revolved around each of the individual Avengers being unable to lift Thor’s hammer. Everyone tried during their team party, with only Cap coming close. But later in the film, the newest member of the team, Vision, was able to lift the hammer with ease, even using it to attack Ultron in the final fight of the film.
This sparked a debate between Thor, Steve and Tony. The two humans pointed out the fact that Vision is an android, not human, and that therefore the rules would be different for him. Cap posits that if Mjolnir is set down in an elevator, the elevator will still go up. Does that make the elevator worthy? Is Vision truly worthy, or is he operating by a different set of rules? Somebody take Thor inside an elevator so we can find out.
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