Why Captain America is worthy of lifting Mjolnir in Avengers: Endgame.
Captain America (portrayed by Chris Evans in the Marvel Cinematic Universe) was seen in the climactic battle scene of Avengers: Endgame finally lifting Thor’s Mjolnir to take on Thanos’ army, much to the God of Thunder’s excitement (as well as audiences globally). Armed with his trusty shield and Mjolnir, and pairing his super-soldier abilities with the power of the God of Thunder, Steve Rogers immediately became one of the most powerful Avengers in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
But questions still remain about Captain America’s worthiness – When did he become worthy to lift the hammer, since he tried to lift Mjolnir back in Avengers: Age of Ultron and almost succeeded; and why is he worthy to lift it? Chris Evans himself has also not addressed why he thinks Captain America is worthy of lifting Mjolnir in the movie.
- Who is worthy of Mjolnir
- Why Captain America is worthy
- Was Captain America worthy in Age of Ultron
- Why did Captain America become old
Mjolnir was enchanted by Odin, such that only someone who is truly worthy can have the ability to pick up the hammer and be blessed with the power of the God of Thunder.
Whether someone is worthy or unworthy, that’s the million-dollar question, isn’t it? When Thor committed an act of war in 2011’s Thor, driven by his thrill of battle and thirst for his own glory; he proved himself unworthy and was stripped of all his powers by Odin. As a result, he couldn’t pick up Mjolnir despite trying his hardest.
It was only when he became willing to sacrifice himself for the people that he loved, did he finally prove his worthiness and managed to finally wield Mjolnir and defeat the Destroyer in the process. Thor’s worthiness came to the fore once again in Thor: The Dark World, when he was willing to stand as a champion for the sake of the entire Nine Realms, and not just for his loved ones.
By that logic, Captain America has always shown a willingness to put others before him, as seen when he jumped onto a grenade that was thrown to save his comrades (it turned out to be a test by Colonel Phillips). He has always demonstrated the virtue of sacrifice throughout his entire life, and his trait of always doing the right thing and putting himself between danger and the innocents makes him arguably more worthy than Thor, which is why THAT scene in Age of Ultron have confounded viewers.
Who is worthy of Mjolnir?
Mjolnir was created (according to the comics) by the dwarf Eitri as part of Loki’s wager that no one could forge better weapons than the Sons of Ivaldi, with the king of Asgard, Odin, wielding the hammer before he passed it on to his son, Thor.
On the side of Mjolnir, there is an inscription that states: “Whosoever holds this hammer, if they be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor,” with the keyword here being “whosoever”, thereby implying that anyone (if they are worthy of course) regardless of whether they are aliens, humans or gods has the chance of lifting the hammer.
As part of the several enchantments placed on Mjolnir by Odin, it includes the power of controlling lightning, wind, and rain; the power of opening interdimensional portals and allowing the user to travel between dimensions; the power of time travel by creating chronal displacement (although it was removed by Immortus when he tried to eliminate the Avengers); the hammer also always returned to the user after being thrown.
Why Captain America is worthy?
In issue 15 of Thor (2020), we see Thor explaining one major criterion that needs to be met before a person is deemed worthy of wielding Mjolnir – The hammer was meant for a warrior in battle. Thor had become the King of Asgard and was no longer focusing on battle, which is something the hammer needs. He then further explains that Mjolnir was meant for someone on the frontlines of any given threat to the world, someone who is the “tip of the spear”.
Coupled with Steve Roger’s righteousness, willingness to sacrifice himself for the sake of others, and worthiness, Captain Amerca eventually became worthy to wield Mjolnir when he ultimately became the aforementioned “tip of the spear” and faced down Thanos’ army alongside Thor and Iron-Man in Avengers: Endgame – thus fulfilling the criterion.
Was Captain America worthy in Age of Ultron?
Speculation and discussions have been rife as to why Captain America couldn’t lift Mjolnir in Age of Ultron (he came close though); was he worthy then?
One popular theory speculates that Cap had always been worthy, and could actually lift Mjolnir but chose not to out of respect for Thor and not wanting to embarrass him – or at least that’s what Marvel boss Kevin Feige thinks during a Reddit AMA session.
As seen in the scene, when Rogers tried to lift Mjolnir off the table in Age of Ultron, we see the hammer actually leaving the surface of the table – but cap then let the hammer drop back onto the table and presumably pretending not to be able to lift the hammer. (We like this theory the best, it adds up)
Another theory says that Rogers couldn’t lift the hammer because he had yet to unburden himself to the truth of Tony Stark’s parents’ murder (he didn’t know that they were killed by his best friend, Bucky Barnes as the Winter Soldier).
So yes, to answer your question, Captain America was indeed worthy of lifting Mjolnir in Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Why did Captain America become old?
Contrary to some beliefs, Captain America isn’t immortal – the Super Soldier Serum that he took only served to increase his level of endurance, physical strength, and stamina as compared to other human beings; as well as regeneration to a certain extent (oh and instant abs). He didn’t become immortal after undergoing the Super Soldier Program – his physical prowess was merely heightened drastically. And although he had some form of regenerative powers, in the context of aging, it only served to slow down and not get rid of the whole aging process
The reason why Captain America looked young in the modern era was because he was frozen in ice after sacrificing himself and crashing a plane into the Arctic (remember?) and when he was “thawed” out, he maintained his youthful appearance, much like cryogenesis – he becomes old just like any other human, just at a slower rate.
In Avengers: Endgame, after Steve Rogers returned all the infinity stones to their original timelines, he chose to remain with Peggy Carter and live out the remainder of her days before returning to meet up with the present-day Falcon and Bucky as an old man.
Now, adding on to the topic of regeneration, as in “why did Steve Rogers become old if his body could regenerate itself?”
Steve Rogers was born in 1918 and assuming The First Avenger ended around 1945, that would make Steve around 27-years-old in that movie. He was then thawed out of the ice at the end of the movie and told that he had been asleep for almost 70 years, which makes him around 97-years-old, despite being in a 27-year-old body.
Avengers: Endgame was set in 2023, making Steve Rogers 39-years-old when he traveled back in time to return the infinity stones. He then went back to 1948 to be with Peggy (according to Stephen McFeely, one of Endgame’s writers), and assuming he was with her until she died in Civil War (which was in 2015), he would’ve spent 67 years with her before her death.
Adding all the numbers up, that makes Steve Rogers about 106-years-old when he came back to the modern-day and reunited with modern Bucky and Falcon. And despite being 106-years-old, he still looks pretty good save for his wrinkled skin and innumerable crow’s feet – I’d say his regeneration abilities are still working well. Although I have to reiterate that he is not immortal and will eventually die.
So there you have it, hope we have answered why Captain America is worthy of lifting Thor’s Mjolnir.