Avengers’ screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely explain how and when Steve “Captain America” Rogers became worthy of wielding Thor’s warhammer, Mjolnir.
Avengers: Endgame, the grand finale of the first three phases of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, was tasked with the daunting challenge of trying to satisfyingly conclude a decade’s worth of intricate storytelling spread out over almost two dozen films.
In a recent Twitter watch-along of the film, Endgame writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely revealed a bunch of new details about what went into the film’s creative process, and shared their opinions on a number of crucial scenes, plot-points, and character choices. Including the now legendary moment when Captain America proves himself worthy of wielding the mighty hammer Mjolnir during the final battle with Thanos.
The crowd-pleasing scene had been set up years earlier, in Avengers: Age Of Ultron, where Captain America tried to pick up the hammer, which can only be lifted by someone deemed worthy of its power. He managed to move it less than an inch before giving up. At the time, many felt that Cap was in fact worthy, but chose not to lift the hammer so as not to publicly embarrass Mjolnir’s true wielder, Thor.
AS USUAL, CAPTAIN AMERICA WAS DEFENDING BUCKY
In Avengers: Endgame, during the film’s climactic battle, Cap not only manages to lift Mjolnir off the ground, but uses the Asgardian hammer to conjure up a lightning storm to fight Thanos. But according to Markus and McFeely, Cap hadn’t always been worthy of lifting the hammer, and his admission of defeat in Age Of Ultron wasn’t just a polite gesture on his part. They recently revealed that it was Captain America’s lingering guilt over what he had learned that actually prevented him from lifting the hammer.
Strange as it might sound, Cap’s inability to lift Mjolnir during his first attempt had nothing to do with chivalry, but everything to do with Bucky Barnes, the Winter Soldier. Shortly before the events of Age Of Ultron, Captain America and Black Widow (who was the only member of the Avengers team not to try her hand at lifting Mjolnir) were both witness to a secret Hydra film reel revealing many of the Winter Soldier’s previous crimes. Including being witness to the fateful assassination of Howard and Maria Stark, Tony “Ironman” Stark’s parents. Something Tony himself never knew about and which Captain America hid from Tony until their clash in Captain America: Civil War.
This makes sense, given that the secrecy surrounding Tony’s parents’ deaths would later lead to the Avengers breaking up and thus directly to their defeat in Avengers: Infinity War. That one piece of information might have seemed inconsequential when we first learned it, but it would have lasting, permanent ramifications. At that time, Cap’s first priority was defending Bucky Barnes from harm, and he wasn’t going to spill any of his friend’s damaging secrets. Even if that meant he would have to wait a little while longer before he could lift Mjolnir.
What do you think of this new reveal? Do you agree with the idea that Captain America had to be free from his guilt before he could wield the hammer? Did this ruin your own personal theory behind the Mjolnir moment? Leave your thoughts in the comments below or on our social media. Make sure to share our stories and keep coming back to The Illuminerdi for even more awesome news!