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In Age of Ultron, there's a scene where the various team members try and fail to lift Thor's hammer. When Cap tries, he actually manages to budge it very briefly, and we see both him and Thor react as they notice. But then he grabs the handle and grunts and strains and it doesn't move.

However, his "struggle" to lift the hammer looks horribly fake compared to the other teammates, and it seems to suggest that Cap realized that he could lift it, but then chose not to so as to not embarrass Thor in front of the team.

Is there any official reason to either believe or refute that interpretation?

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    Oh, I didn't notice that the movie suggested he faked it and could actually lift it, interesting viewpoint. But I guess that only adds to his worthiness, in the same way it did for Vision. – Napoleon Wilson May 1 '15 at 19:05
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    Related question: Why isn't Captain America worthy of Mjolnir? on SciFi.SE. – user9311 May 1 '15 at 20:17
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    @Snowman: *facepalm* I thought I had seen someone asking a similar question earlier, but I searched all over the tag and didn't find it, so I figured I must have been mistaken. Turns out that I did see it; it was just on a different SE site. :( – Mason Wheeler May 1 '15 at 20:25
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    Well, I'm glad you didn't remember. ;-) – Napoleon Wilson May 1 '15 at 20:26
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    The other question was a hot network question which is how I remembered. – user9311 May 1 '15 at 20:28
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"Whosoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor".

"Worthy" is pretty vague, however Captain America is a valiant soldier, it would make sense that he is "worthy" of holding Mjolnir.

There is already precedent for it in the comics: Captain America has already weilded Thor's hammer in The Mighty Thor #390, from 1988 and again in Fear Itself 7:

image of The Mighty Thor #390

Faking it is an interesting viewpoint, after seeing the scene myself it did seem like significantly less time was spent trying to lift the hammer in comparison to Tony Stark and the hammer definitely did move - if not being able to lift the hammer was intentionally faked it's likely we'll see the Captain wielding Thor's hammer (not an euphemism) in one of the upcoming announced sequels.

Now that Avengers: Endgame is out, the follow upto the hammer scene from Age of Ultron pays off and Captain America ends up successfully wielding both Stormbreaker and Mjolnir during the end fight against alternative universe Thanos. It is also heavily implied that Thor was aware or at least heavily suspected that Captain was ultimately worthy as he proclaims "I knew it!" upon seeing Captain holding Mjolnir for the first time.

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    Agreed. Captain America is virtuous and pure of heart, which seem to me like requirements for "worthiness". – BrettFromLA May 1 '15 at 20:00
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    For those who didn't notice, the man on the comic page above is Steve Rogers, but at the time was only going by "the Captain", during a period in which he wasn't particularly fond of American policies - hence the costume change. It bugged me enough I had to look it up. – Sean Boddy May 2 '15 at 4:20
  • Cap may be pure and valiant, although I must say that he could l be lacking other character traits that are necessary in the ruler of Asgard: Intelligence, wisdom, leadership skills, emotional stability. Considering how poorly he handled coming out of the ice in avengers one (Locking himself up with some punching bags), I feel he lacks certain traits, which is why the hammer only shifted slightly. – GiantCowFilms May 4 '15 at 22:11
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    @GiantCowFilms "lacking other character traits that are necessary in the ruler of Asgard: Intelligence, wisdom, leadership skills, emotional stability." - Uh...Wut? – Napoleon Wilson May 4 '15 at 22:17
  • @NapoleonWilson Whats not clear? Cap has all of these...? I remember him making several mistakes and having emotional issues in the last few films films. – GiantCowFilms May 4 '15 at 22:18
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In the context of the movies, no Rogers isn't worthy.

Yet.

Being "worthy" is pretty sketchy and ill defined in the Marvel universes, but the scene that actually explains this best is from the very end of Age of Ultron.

Steve Rogers: But if you put the hammer in an elevator?

Tony Stark: It'll still go up.

Steve Rogers: Elevator's not worthy.

Steve is jealous of The Vision and wants a reason why he couldn't, we expect as much from Tony, but Steve feels cheated that he "wasn't worthy". During the party he wanted to wield the hammer to show off, little more. Now Mjolnir wiggles, because we know Steve is a good person, but right then and there, his intentions were less than worthy.

enter image description here

Steve wanted to wield the hammer for the very same reason that Thor did when he landed on Earth:

enter image description here

And Thor failed here too, so why could the Vision wield it? Because he wanted to hand it to Thor to get the Avengers moving against Ultron and immediately handed it off. The Vision didn't necessarily want Mjolnir, he wanted the Avengers to work together - thats what made him worthy.

  • Interesting point, but the scene later in the movie where Vision actually uses the hammer in combat would seem to undermine it... – Mason Wheeler Sep 18 '15 at 11:07
  • Hitting people with hammer == worthy cause. Still have to be pure of heart and Vision is. Plus Vision is Thor's creation, so there's that.. – Connor Leech Dec 8 '15 at 7:59
  • Vision isn't thors creation Thor just powered the machine with his lightning vision belongs to stark banner and ultron. – Namor Jan 7 '17 at 13:06
  • "but right then and there, his intentions were less than worthy." +1. intent is 9/10ths of the law. – Mazura Jan 7 '17 at 19:35
  • I believe the reason that Vision could wield Mjolnir is that he is not a natural being. Its well established in the comics that robots and Ai with bodies can wield the hammer but not real people. – GamerGypps May 7 at 10:30
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We see during the big fight in Avengers: Endgame that

Steve is totally worthy of Mjolnir, and can even channel Thor's lightning through it, presumably due to the "Whosoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor" enchantment.

As to whether he was faking not being able to lift it in Age of Ultron,

highly likely indeed. As Thor shouts "I knew it!" when Cap first wields Mjolnir, it can be inferred that his baffled look in the Age of Ultron scene meant he had more than suspicions​ about Captain America being worthy. Steve likely knew that as well, and only went for Mjolnir when the situation was as dire as it could be.

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    Just saw this last night. Huge "I KNEW IT!!!" moment. – Mason Wheeler Apr 26 at 14:18
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He is worthy enough to do so, but decided not to out of humility.

Here's the official answer, from Joe and Anthony Russo:

Anthony replied: “In our heads, he was able to wield it. He didn’t know that until that moment in Ultron when he tried to pick it up. But Cap’s sense of character and humility and, out of deference to Thor’s ego, Cap, in that moment realizing he can move the hammer, decides not to.”

This is supported in Endgame, when Thor says:

"I knew it" when Cap picks up the hammer.

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protected by Community Feb 5 '17 at 10:57

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