Warning! SPOILERS for the movie “Thor: Love and Thunder” are ahead.
That’s why Thor looked so excited when Captain America tried to raise Mjolnir in The Avengers: Age of Ultron”, and also why the appearance of the Mighty Thor in “Thor: Love and Thunder” is a perfect reference to this iconic scene in the fourth phase of the MCU. The second Avengers movie isn’t as well received as its predecessors, but it does have some memorable moments from the original MCU hero group. The opening scene of the party was especially charming, as the characters relaxed and had fun with each other after deciding that their mission was over. The most interesting thing is that it gave the film the opportunity to see which of the Avengers was worthy to lift the hammer of Thor — an honor that is traditionally awarded to those who are destined to become the most powerful Marvel superheroes.
Almost every hero tried to see if they were worthy of lifting Mjolnir, but no one, not even the Hulk, who can come face to face with the God of Thunder, could barely move him from his place. That was until Captain America tried his hand at a godly challenge. Although he didn’t fully lift it off the ground, he was able to move it into place a little, causing Thor to look worried. It was a perfect omen that Cap would end up using Mjolnir in Avengers: Finale, but in this movie Thor was thrilled to see his fellow Avenger become worthy of Asgard’s weapons. So why did Thor even bother with such a possibility just a few years before? Ultimately, this is due to the arc of Thor’s character in the MCU.
Thor’s self-esteem as a young god was largely determined by the hammer Mjolnir, which Thor overcomes somewhat in the “Finale”, but with the cast of “Thor: Love and Thunder” led by the “Thor woman” (read: The Mighty Thor) in Jane Foster, Thor faced another difficult internal reckoning. For most, the question of who is worthy to lift Thor’s hammer, whether in comics or in the MCU, is a funny little thing to think about. However, for the Thunder God himself, whose dignity to occupy the throne of Asgard was measured by whether he was worthy to raise Mjolnir, this is not a trivial matter. Since he was exiled to Earth by Odin to learn humility, it wasn’t easy for Thor, even after he proved his worth once again. As the trailer and the final film “Thor: Love and Thunder” showed, the path of Thor’s self-knowledge is far from over. Moreover, Thor’s ongoing storyline in Phase 4 of the MCU is a continuation of Captain America’s heroic legacy as the former leader of the Avengers.
Captain America Almost stole Thor’s Thunder
Still at In the Age of Ultron, the young and daring Thor still did not realize that being the king of Asgard was not what he really wanted, and, on the contrary, Captain America had a single and worthy goal: to protect human life. Thor firmly believed that he was destined to rule Asgard, and equated his self—esteem with the idea that one day he would become like his father-that’s why he was so scared of the prospect of Captain America stealing his glory. It’s noteworthy that Cap wasn’t really particularly affected by the fact that he was almost worthy of lifting Thor’s hammer. In retrospect, this is not surprising, especially considering that Captain America retired after Avengers: Finale and quickly returned the Infinity Stones to the appropriate time frame, proving that Cap never desired divine power. In addition, he was a man who instantly jumped on a fake grenade to protect people he barely knew and who treated him badly. Although Cap’s internal conflicts prevented him from being fully worthy of lifting Mjolnir during Age of Ultron, Cap really almost managed to steal Thor’s thunder.
It was a great lesson for Thor, as personal observation of Captain America’s leadership and heroism ultimately gives Thor a fuller understanding of what it means to be worthy. At that time, Thor audaciously offered anyone to become the ruler of Asgard if he successfully raised his hammer, and by almost revealing Thor’s bluff, Cap actually helped Thor find his own heroic path. As Thor later learns the hard way, even being worthy to lift Thor’s hammer did very little to calm Thor’s grief in Avengers: Infinity War after he failed to stop Thanos. At this stage of his character’s development, Thor was still not confident in himself, and there is an argument that even after the “Finale” this remains so.
The directors and writers of “Avengers: Finale” disagree when asked if Captain America was already capable of owning Mjolnir in “Age of Ultron.” Joe and Anthony Russo claim that he was always worthy, but at that time they preferred not to disclose this so as not to offend Thor.