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Earlier tonight, Marvel released an official video offering a behind-the-scenes look at Avengers: Infinity War. It was a fun glimpse into these first days of shooting, and fans also learned more about how this blockbuster will be the culmination of everything that's happened in the Marvel Cinematic Universe since its inception in 2008. However, one of the more interesting moments was when a piece of concept art was shown depicting Thor and Rocket Raccoon fighting side by side. Looking more closely, Thor's choice in weaponry is different, and this may provide a clue about what happens to the God of Thunder in Thor: Ragnarok later this year.
Before going further, take another look at the Avengers: Infinity War concept art of Rocket and Thor, and notice now the weapon is his hand is definitely not his trusty hammer, Mjolnir. Instead, he appears to be holding what looks like an axe.
Mjolnir is one of the most powerful weapons in the universe, capable of conjuring lightning and only being lifted by those deemed "worthy." So in a movie where Thanos, an alien who's been set up as the MCU's greatest threat, is wreaking havoc, why wouldn't Thor be wielding Mjolnir? There's no guarantee that the mystical hammer would be the key to defeating Thanos, but it would still come in handy. Well, there's only one reason that Thor wouldn't be swinging Mjolnir around against a dangerous super villain: he's lost his connection to it. Assuming that we do indeed see Thor using the weapon above in Avengers: Infinity War, there's a good chance that something will happen in Thor: Ragnarok that either cuts Thor's connection to the hammer, or worse, it is destroyed completely.
As far as a lost connection goes, this wouldn't be the first time that's happened in the MCU. Thor's first movie saw Odin taking his son's power away from him because of his arrogance, and it was only when Thor sacrificed himself to The Destroyer that his power returned. He's come a long way since then, so it's hard to imagine what could happen that would make him unworthy again. That being said, since 2014 in the Marvel comics universe, Thor has been without his hammer. During the Original Sin event, The Unseen (a transformed Nick Fury) whispered an unrevealed secret that caused the Asgardian to lose his ability to pick up the hammer. Now calling himself Odinson, he's been wielding a battle-axe called Jarnbjorn in battle, and has also been fitted with a prosthetic arm after losing his original one to Malekith.
We don't think the God of Thunder will lose any appendages in either Avengers: Infinity War or Thor: Ragnarok, but losing the hammer is a definite possibility. The conflict against Hela, Skurge and other new foes is set to be a big one, and since Thor: Ragnarok could be the last solo Thor movie ever, Mjolnir being destroyed or severed from the main protagonist would be a great shocker. Since he's still a warrior with or without the hammer, Thor would choose a new weapon and continue from where he left off. It's also worth pointing out that if the hammer remains intact after Thor: Ragnarok, this could pave the way for Jane Foster, Beta Ray Bill or another being to inherit its power.
While the axe is our primary guess for what Thor's new weapon is, it's not the only "candidate." Looking at the longer handle, this could also be a new hammer based off the Mjolnir the Ultimate version of Thor wielded in the comics, seen above. In fact, just recently in the comics, "Odinson" came across this version of the hammer, which is one of the few remnants left from the dead Ultimate universe. The MCU could be putting its own twist on this development and have Thor pick up a new hammer, whether it's from the Asgardian armory, was forged elsewhere in the MCU or also comes from another universe. For now, though, we're thinking it's likelier to be an axe until more evidence presents itself.
Thor will finally return to the big screen when Thor: Ragnarok is released on November 3, and Avengers: Infinity War will follow on May 4, 2018. Let us know what you think of this theory in the comments below.