We know that Thor's hammer can be held only by those who are worthy of it. In Thor: Ragnarok, we saw Hela break Thor's hammer. But how is Hela worthy of it? She has evil intentions and wants to destroy Asgard.

Hela holding the hammer by its head Her thumb causing the hammer head to crack with lightning

Not only did she hold it, she broke it into pieces, like it's nothing to her. How can she break it? Is there any explanation for this or references from the comics?

  • 6
    The quote is "Whosoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor" .... it doesn't say only that no-one can hold the hammer. Its more about wielding it with the power of Thor.
    – iandotkelly
    Commented Oct 10, 2017 at 16:50

2 Answers 2


Those enchantments of only a worthy person for holding the hammer were only made in the first Thor movie when Thor was banished at Earth. There were no enchantments on it before that.

enter image description here

Hela's power was equal to Odin's before she was imprisoned. It was Odin's power that kept her away from the Asgard.

Given her past history, she is very powerful. Odin did banish her by imprisoning her, but when he became weak, he couldn't hold her.

Odin: Her violent appetites grew beyond my control. I couldn't stop her, so I imprisoned her. Locked her away. She draws her strength from Asgard, and once she gets there, her powers will be limitless.

Before this, he says,

Odin: It has already begun. She's coming. My life was all that held her back. But my time has come. I cannot keep her away any longer.

So, given the Odin cannot hold her due to weakness, all the enchantments he put on the hammer were also lifted after his death.

From our fellow SFF user's answer on Quora,

She was ignoring the worthiness enchantment, ignoring the hammer’s Uru-enhanced durability and with the addition of energy unique to her as a person channeling Asgard’s energy, she could destroy even the incredible Mjolnir.

We also saw her holding the hammer in the painting on the ceiling which gets revealed when she breaks all the things that covered it. So, it's possible that she is able to hold and break it with that enchantment gone.

enter image description here

  • Congratulations, this is the winner of the monthly answer challenge.
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Commented May 18, 2018 at 16:08
  • 1
    "all the enchantments he put on the hammer were also lifted after his death." I believe this is contradicted by Endgame as discussed in this question and answer.
    – GendoIkari
    Commented Aug 7, 2019 at 14:27
  • 3
    @GendoIkari I don't believe it is. Remember that the version of Mjolnir wielded by Cap was retrieved from 2014, when Odin was still alive and the enchantment was still in effect.
    – F1Krazy
    Commented Jun 20, 2021 at 7:56
  • @F1Krazy Interesting point; I hadn’t considered that!
    – GendoIkari
    Commented Jun 20, 2021 at 14:41

But how is Hela worthy of it? She has evil intentions and wants to destroy Asgard.

Because when Odin died, the enchantment on the hammer no longer existed.

We first see Odin put the famous enchantment on Thor's hammer near the beginning of Thor..

At that time, Odin had striped Thor of all his power and imbued the hammer with it. From there, he added the enchantment to restrict Thor from being able to use it until he changed his ways of thinking and behaving (and, perhaps, anyone else that comes across the hammer.. but really it's Thor's hammer, so, Thor).

"Whosoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor"

When Odin died though, his magic died along with him. This is, in fact, the very reason why Hela is able to return to Asgard. So, although they didn't make a point to show it, the enchantment did wear off with Odin's death.

We know that this enchantment lasted beyond Thor because it's referenced again during Avengers: Age of Ultron, when everyone takes turns trying to pick it up (with Captain America actually wiggling it). Also, there's that scene with Vision picking it up and everyone being both shocked and automatically trusting of him because of it.

At the same time, Hela is extremely powerful, and it's quite possible that she wouldn't have needed the enchantment off the hammer anyway, in order to stop/destroy it..

Lastly, it is confirmed that Hela held the hammer, instead of just stopping it. From the script, obtained from Walt Disney Studios Awards:

Thor winds up and HURLS Mjolnir at Hela...

-THUD- the mighty hammer comes to a cold stop, against Hela's hand.

Thor is shocked. He stretches out his hands, trying to call Mjolnir back to him.

The hammer trembles in Hela's hand, like a mini game of tug-o-war. But ultimately Hela keeps possession.

THOR: That's not possible.

HELA: Darling, you have no idea what's possible.


This is also shown in the film, with Thor reaching out and there being a brief struggle before Hela shattering Mjolnir.

enter image description here

Top - After Thor throws Mjolnir, Hela catches it; Bottom - Thor tries to recall Moljnir but Hela is holding on and won't let go.

  • But this still doesn't explain how she was able to break the hammer into pieces just by her bare hands? I mean that metal was likely Uru, the strongest metal in the universe; something which even Thanos couldn't possibly break (since Thanos' hand weapon is made of the same metal).
    – darKnight
    Commented Mar 3, 2021 at 9:49
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    That doesn't make sense that the enchantments were lifted when Odin died. If that were the case, anyone could have lifted Mjolnir in Avengers End Game and Avengers Infinity War Commented Jun 20, 2021 at 1:06
  • @MichaelProcaccino It's not that straightforward. In Endgame, when Thor retrieves Mjolnir, it's from a time when Odin was still alive, so it would still have the enchantment.
    – F1Krazy
    Commented Jun 20, 2021 at 7:54

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