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There are some spoilers for various Marvel and DC movies throughout this story, particularly the recently released Avengers-oriented flick.
When you picture Thor and Aquaman, the first thing that comes to mind could be their origins in mythology. It could be how they are both the most powerful long-haired and bearded titans of their respective cinematic universes. Or it could be how they are both played by actors who are seemingly too ripped to be human.
Honestly, though, when it comes to Thor and Aquaman, let’s face it: what you really care about is that epic hammer and that sweet, sweet trident.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe’s God of Thunder, played by Chris Hemsworth, and the Atlantean king of the DC Extended Universe, completely reinvented by Jason Momoa, may have powers of great strength, yet still take great pride in their trusted weaponry. We can’t help but wonder, however, what is more powerful: Mjölnir or the Trident of Neptune?
Of course, in Thor: Ragnarok, Thor’s sister Hela (Cate Blanchett) destroyed Mjölnir out of spite and, and while it made a brief return in Avengers: Endgame, at the conclusion Captain America had to return it to 2013-era Thor in order to correct the alternate timelines. So, Thor’s proudly rocking Stormbreaker for now.
Still, for the purposes of comparing these two heroes, we figured Thor’s hammer would be the definitive weapon to focus on rather than splitting focus.
Depending on whether you are more of a DC fan or a Marvel fan, you might already have chosen which you prefer between Thor’s hammer and Aquaman’s trident based on personal alliances. Regardless, both have proven to be worthy assets to their respective owners. But which is the more powerful weapon?
The origin of Thor’s hammer dates back centuries before Thor’s first appearance in Marvel comics in 1962.
Mjölnir, whose name is said to be derived from a Proto-Germanic word meaning “grind,” is an object of Norse mythology, depicted as one of the most powerful and cowering weapons in existence. For instance, one strike with this bad boy and you can say goodbye to Mt. Everest.
Yet, the destructive power of Thor’s hammer barely scratches the surface. It is a weapon of great complexity and some pretty high standards.
As deemed by Odin, Thor’s father and the king of Asgard played by Anthony Hopkins, only those who are worthy of Mjölnir’s power can be given the strength to wield it. With that in mind, what makes someone worthy of Thor’s hammer?
In the comics, Thor describes those worthy of wielding Mjölnir as being pure of heart and noble of mind. This explains why he was unable to retrieve the hammer while exiled on Earth in his 2010 solo origin movie. He was a narcissistic jerk.
Once his time on Earth as a powerless simpleton proved effective in grounding his ego a bit, Thor managed to prove himself and he Mjölnir were reunited, reinstilling him with his thunderous power.
A weapon as selective as Thor’s hammer must really come in handy. For one, Thor never has to worry about Mjölnir falling into the wrong hands. Any sinister adversaries he comes into conflict with will most definitely not be seen as worthy.
Additionally, let’s say that Thor is somehow incapacitated and unable to grasp Mjölnir at a particularly pressing moment in battle. Any allies of his who, hopefully, fall under the qualifications of being of pure of heart and noble of mind to the extent that Mjölnir will accept can take Thor’s hammer and let it rip.
This, of course, was hinted at in Avengers: Age of Ultron, when Captain America (Chris Evans) came shockingly close to lifting Thor’s hammer, visibly triggering triggering the god’s anxiety, not to mention how Vision (Paul Bettany) revealed his worthiness minutes after his creation. It was later confirmed that Cap had the power in him all along when he took charge of Mjölnir in the thunderous climax of Avengers: Endgame.
However, you would be surprised by how many other characters Thor’s hammer has deemed worthy throughout the comics’ history. Some of them barely made the cut.
Superman, during a DC-Marvel comics crossover event, wielded Thor’s hammer, but only for as long as Mjölnir determined that he really needed it. Bruce Banner’s Hulk has managed to lift it, as did his even grounchier alter ego Red Hulk, along with a few X-Men.
Even Deadpool got his hands on it before. Hmmm, maybe Mjölnir’s standards are not as high as we thought.
When it comes to the unworthy who have felt the wrath of Thor’s hammer, that list is longer. Thor has taken on the likes of his adopted brother Loki and planet-eating Galactus in the comics. He has even managed to defeat fellow heroes such as Iron Man or the Fantastic Four’s The Thing. Clearly, his weapon is powerful.
Yet, even some unworthy folk proved to not be completely vulnerable to Thor’s hammer. Fellow mythological god Hercules took on Thor and won, as did Doctor Strange and Scarlet Witch. In one of the funnier comic book defeats I could find, Hulk managed to outsmart Thor by causing him to knock himself out with Mjölnir.
You may need to be pure of heart and noble of mind to wield it, but even Thor’s hammer is not impervious to motivation and a little cleverness. Still, it levels mountains, so there’s that.
According to its mythological origin, Aquaman (nèe Arthur Curry) is not the original wielder of the Trident of Neptune, nor is the original wielder even the sole original. In fact, that is only its name in Roman mythology. In Greek texts, the trident belongs to Poseidon.
DC’s interpretation of the myth borrows from the Roman equivalent, which depicts the trident as created by three Cyclopes (so, three one-eyed monsters) who forged impenetrable adamantine with Neptune’s own essence into a shape resembling a fishing spear. The three prongs are said to represent the three different kinds of bodies of water: seas, streams and rivers.
Aquaman’s trident serves as a symbol of his authority over the seven seas, as well as a few other fun purposes.
With its triple-pronged head and indestructibility, Aquaman’s trident appears to be a weapon of great effectiveness in battle. That would be considered an undeniable assumption. Aquaman has used the trident to slay sea monsters and wound his greatest enemies, such as archnemesis Black Manta or the powerful DC villain, Darkseid.
The Trident of Neptune is capable of much more than violence, however… even if it used for that purpose most often.
Aquaman's trident allows the wielder complete control over the seven seas, power to manipulate water, which allows him to create whirlpools, tidal waves, and even part the seas a la Moses in The Ten Commandments. If you are in the mood for another biblical reference, Aquaman could also flood the entire Earth with it if he wanted to.
Aquaman’s trident is not exclusive to waterbending, however. It possesses a vast array of magical abilities, including changing the appearance of people or objects, or making them disappear altogether. That may be a neat trick, but when he really wants to make an impression, he can use the trident to conjuring bolts of lightning and manipulating thunder.
Waaaaaiiiiittttt! Aquaman has the power of lightning and thunder? Looks like you’ve met your match, Thor.
Speaking of which…
Hammer Vs. Trident
It’s main event time. Which comic book hero weapon is most powerful: Thor’s hammer or Aquaman’s trident?
As for similarities, both Mjölnir and the Trident of Neptune have proven to be of great imperviousness, except for that time Thor’s sister, Hela, crushed the hammer in one hand. However, we have yet to see Aquaman’s trident suffer a similar fate in future films, so whether it upstages Mjölnir in indestructibility is still up in the air.
Both weapons also possess the benefit of only allowing chosen champions to wield it. Thor’s hammer is the sentient one that is literally impossible to lift if not deemed worthy, though. I would have to award points to Mjölnir for encompassing the better security feature, but also take some back for letting Deadpool take advantage.
Thor’s hammer also allows him to fly, strike gargantuan blows against enemies, conjure bolts of lightning, and, as I have said before but cannot stop saying, level whole mountains for Odin’s sake!
The question is, however, which weapon is more powerful. Admittedly, Thor’s hammer has nothing on the ability to change the shape of matter, creating tidal waves and hurricanes, and manipulating, not just lightning, but also Thor’s bread and butter: thunder.
Thor may be the God of Thunder, but with the Trident of Neptune in his hands, Aquaman is literally the perfect storm.
By the power invested in me by CinemaBlend, I dub Aquaman’s trident the victorious weapon. Admittedly, it's close.