The Real Reason Why Captain America Couldn’t Lift Thor’s Hammer

Oct 17, 2016


Warning: Spoilers will follow!

Some time ago, there was some conjecture that Captain America was unable to lift Thor’s hammer, Mjolnir. The only legitimate conclusion was that Captain America was not worthy. Only problem with that theory is that we never really knew why Captain America wasn’t worthy. In the comics and the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), Captain America has been the epitome of a moral compass for what’s right, honest, and good. In the comics, he’s been deemed on various occasions to be worthy of picking up the mighty hammer.


So What Could Make Cap Unworthy?

Well, I think we have to do a little time jumping to get this answer. If we jump first to Captain America: Civil War we know that Captain America is in a bit of a moral conflict with Tony Stark.


While Tony Stark was advocating for the Avengers to be under governmental supervision, Captain America was totally against that level of oversight and control. So, was Captain America’s position wrong? Was that what made him unworthy of picking up Thor’s hammer? I’ll will venture to say “No” to both of those questions. Instead, I believe we find the real answer at the end of Captain America: Civil War. Go on and skip over to 4:20 and watch the last fifteen seconds.

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Yes, that’s right. He (Captain America) knew! He knew all along that the Winter Soldier killed Stark’s parents. (What kind of friend is that?) To withhold such vital information from someone you deem as your friend can certainly be seen as problematic. Despite Captain America having the best intentions to protect Tony from such heartbreak, Tony Stark didn’t take too kindly to the Captain’s reluctant silence.

How Long Did Cap Know?

Well, we know that Captain America couldn’t lift Thor’s hammer in Avengers: Age of Ultron.


In order for this to make sense, Cap would’ve had to know about Tony’s parents before he tried to lift the hammer in Avengers: Age of Ultron. So we’ll have to go back to Captain America: Winter Soldier and look really close. It all started when Captain America and Black Widow met Arnim Zola.


As Zola is recounting the infiltration of Hydra to Cap and Widow, we’re shown some images of how the Winter Soldier has been used and “history was changed.”

This is where we see that not only was Winter Solider used for assassinations, but he was also responsible for the death of Tony Stark’s parents.


So Cap knew about the Winter Soldier’s involvement for quite some time, and never once decided to mention it to Tony.

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So What’s the Big Deal About Keeping a Secret?

Since worthiness is completely up to Mjolnir to determine, we can only speculate that Cap’s actions (or lack thereof) were deemed to be unworthy. Maybe withholding information from a friend (which can be deemed as lying) was considered to be unworthy. It certainly wouldn’t make someone worthy of being a leader. Such actions could breed distrust between friends or a team. As we’ve seen from the end of Captain America: Civil War, this eventually became a reality in the disassembling of the Avengers team.


I think this is the most logical theory as to why Cap was unable to lift Thor’s hammer. Who knows? Maybe now that the cat is out the bag, Cap will be able to lift the hammer just like Vision was able to.

Maybe, just maybe there’s more to the story.

Maybe Cap has another hidden secret that hasn’t been revealed in the MCU.

Maybe that secret will continue to keep him unworthy.

. . . maybe?


(Cue dramatic effect.)

That’s my theory. What did you think? Do you think that Captain America’s dirty little secret was the reason he was unworthy of lifting Thor’s hammer? Do you have a different theory? Let me know in the comments below.


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