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Warning: SPOILERS for Avengers: Endgame are ahead!
It goes without saying that Avengers: Endgame was filled with a lot of exciting moments, but one of the biggest was when Steve Rogers called Thor’s hammer, Mjolnir, to his hand and wielded it in battle against Thanos and his forces. It was a payoff four years in the making, as Avenger: Age of Ultron first hinted at Steve Rogers’ worthiness to lift Mjolnir when he slightly budged the hammer during a party in Avengers Tower.
However, since Avengers: Endgame’s release, there’s been debate among fans about how long Cap has been worthy to wield Mjolnir. Was he always able to do so, or did Cap reach peak worthiness sometime after Avengers: Age of Ultron, perhaps not until right before that shocking moment in Endgame? Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige was asked about this during a recent Reddit AMA, and this was his answer:
We think he was always worthy and was being polite in Age of Ultron.
There you have it. Rather than Steve Rogers straining to simply budge Mjolnir in Avengers: Age of Ultron, to Kevin Feige and the rest of the MCU brass, he was capable of lifting Mjolnir over his head back when he and Earth’s other Mightiest Heroes had just cleaned up the latest HYDRA mess and were about to battle a genocidal robot. Steve just didn’t want to embarrass Thor, so he decided to leave the hammer where it was.
The MCU did a great job highlighting Captain America’s heroism and how he was a good man with or without the Super Soldier Serum, but the criteria for being worthy enough to lift Mjolnir has always been a little murky. Still, of all the times for Cap to finally use that weapon in battle, Avengers: Endgame, the last chapter of the Infinity Saga, was an excellent place for that to happen.
One theory I’d seen making the rounds on the internet of late is that the one thing that had previously prevented Steve Rogers from lifting Mjolnir was because he knew that his friend Bucky Barnes had killed Tony Stark’s parents as the brainwashed Winter Soldier, but he didn’t tell Tony. Once that information came out into the open in Captain America: Civil War, that was the last obstacle separating Cap from Mjolnir, but as Kevin Feige explained, that wasn’t the case at all.
Steve Rogers is the fifth person shown onscreen being capable of wielding Mjolnir, after Thor, Odin, The Vision and Hela. Alas, Steve’s time with the hammer was short, because as you’ll remember, Mjolnir was destroyed by Hela in Thor: Ragnarok, and the only reason Thor was able to use it again was because he snatched it when he and Rocket Raccoon time traveled to the events of Thor: The Dark World. Once Thanos and his minions were turned to dust by Iron Man and the universe was safe, Cap returned Mjolnir and the Infinity Stones to their proper time periods.
Even on the off chance that Mjolnir is somehow brought back into the picture in the MCU, don’t count on seeing Steve Rogers hold it again. After dropping off Mjolnir and the Infinity Stones, Steve decided to go further back into the past and live his life with Peggy Carter. Now over 100 years old in the present day, Steve passed on the Captain America mantle to Sam Wilson, and it doesn’t look like Chris Evans plans on revisiting the character again.
The MCU, however, isn’t going anywhere, even with Avengers: Endgame having wrapped up a lot of plot threads. Spider-Man: Far From Home is next on July 2, and you can scan through our Marvel movies guide to learn what’s coming after that.