In Avengers: Endgame,

Thanos was able to stop and catch Mjolnir and Stormbreaker mid-air as both Captain America and Thor used/called them BEFORE he got the Infinity Stones.

Since this character is clearly not worthy and had no super powers at the time, how were they able to wield Thor's Mjolnir and Stormbreaker, when even the Hulk couldn't do it in The Avengers?

  • 5
    Does he ever wield Mjolnir? I think he just blocks blows and deflects it. Stormbreaker is never shown to be given the same "worthiness" enchantment as Mjolnir, so that's likely not a consideration. Thor does say in Infinity War (before actually getting Stormbreaker) that attempting to wield a "Thanos-killing" weapon would destroy any of the Guardians of the Galaxy, but Thanos is considerably more powerful. He was able to touch the Power Stone without any problems, and the combined Guardians were only capable of doing that for a small amount of time. – Anthony Grist Apr 26 at 10:00
  • 3
    Hmmm... "stopping" is not the same as "wielding". I remain to be convinced that he wielded Mjolnir. – Paulie_D Apr 26 at 10:36
  • 3
    @GamerGypps Nope, she could stop Mjolnir. at no point does she "wield" Mjolnir. – Paulie_D Apr 29 at 15:15
  • 2
    @GamerGypps incorrect. Mjolnir does not just become dead weight as soon as an unworthy person touches it, nor is that how the enchantment works/is phrased. We see the opposite, Spiderman and quicksilver have both attempted to grab the hammer, and (being unworthy) it continued to carry on its intended course with no resistance. The only time we DON'T see that happening is with Helga, and not because she is worthy, or because she's Asgardian, but because she is powerful enough to hold it in place. The hammer is still attempting to fly toward her (as evidenced by the shaking), but she (continued) – AAlig May 10 at 14:33
  • 3
    @GamerGypps That's the core issue, is that the MCU(Earth-199999) is inconsistent with regards to the comics. Sometimes the continuities align, but the movies have shown several things that disagree with the main marvel universe (Earth-616), so we can't make assumptions about the MCU based solely on the Comic continuity. – AAlig May 10 at 14:50

Note: there is significant disagreement about whether Thanos actually wields Mjolnir and Stormbreaker. If he doesn't, no further explanation is required. For the purposes of this answer, I'll assume that he does and attempt to explain how this could be possible.

The criteria for wielding Mjolnir and Stormbreaker aren't clear.

At the beginning of Thor (2011) Odin places this enchantment on Mjolnir:

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

Unfortunately, Odin doesn't provide us with a handy guide of what "worthiness" means to him. Even after Thor becomes worthy at the end of Thor, he isn't exactly a paragon of good behavior. He's "heroic" in that he generally tries to do good, but he can also be arrogant1 and irresponsible2. The same descriptors apply to Tony, who can't wield the hammer. Neither can Rhodes, Barton, or Banner.

Option 1: Thanos is worthy

In an excellent answer to a related question, A J proposes that the worthiness comes from "being willing to sacrifice [oneself] to protect others." This isn't a airtight explanation3. Based on this criteria, Thanos might actually be worthy. At the beginning of Avengers: Endgame, he...

...destroys the stones because they are a temptation. Specifically, they are a temptation to the Avengers to destroy the new way of life that he has inflicted on the universe. The effort of doing this nearly kills him.

His logic is twisted, but his intentions are genuine. He believes he is protecting others from a grave threat, and he is willing to sacrifice himself to achieve this protection. It's possible that Mjolnir finds him worthy based on these criteria.

Option 2: Thanos is powerful

Thanos has been claimed to be "the most powerful being in the universe." It's not clear that this is literally true, but he is a remarkably powerful being able to do things that no one else can. We also know that Odin's magic isn't unbreakable: Hela is able to escape his imprisonment. This is speculation, but there's nothing logically inconsistent about Thanos being able to break or ignore Odin's spell.

1 "Strongest. Avenger." (Thor, Thor: Ragnarok)

2 "You were supposed to protect us. Asgard was supposed to protect us!" (Eitri, Avengers: Infinity War)

3 Just by being part of the Avengers, Barton and Rhodes risk their lives to help others. It's part of the job description. Futhermore, in Endgame, we see that...

...Barton is willing to sacrifice his life to get the Soul Stone.


Thanos never wields Mjolnir during Endgame.

What happens is Captain America takes a swing with Mjolnir at Thanos, Thanos grabs Captain America's hand (which is holding Mjolnir), and punches Captain America hard enough to knock him down. At this point, Mjolnir flies off to the side out of reach.

At no point does Thanos pick up/hold/carry/use Mjolnir in any way.


Thanos does not wield Mjolnir, and Stormbreaker has no such requirement

Thanos does not wield Mjolnir, he blocks it, deflects it, and battles against it but never picks it up and uses it. Therefore worthiness doesn't come into play here.

And Stormbreaker wasn't given any enchantments about worthiness, anyone who is strong enough to wield it can. Not even Mjolnir had any enchantments for worthiness until Thor's first movie when Odin placed it:

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

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .