We’ve witnessed plenty of seemingly impossible things in the MCU, and plenty of them were done by Thanos. We’ve also seen an ever-expanding arsenal of some of the most powerful weapons in the Marvel Universe, and several of them belonged to Thor. We know that Thor’s weapons usually have a “catch” when it comes to wielding them, most notably Mjolnir, who can’t be lifted without the wielder being worthy. But what about his other iconic weapon, Stormbreaker? We’ve seen an alternate version of Thanos casually lifting the axe, and fans have been wondering ever since how is that possible? How did Thanos manage to lift Stormbreaker?
Thanos was able to lift Stormbreaker because the axe doesn’t have worthiness enchantment as Mjlolnir does. Mjolnir is specific when it comes to the wielder’s might since the only prerequisite to wielding is that the wielder is “worthy” of its might. When it comes to Stormbreaker, there aren’t really any limitations as long as the wielder is physically strong enough to lift it, and this is how Thanos managed to lift it.
Now that we’ve covered that Thanos didn’t become worthy all of a sudden and he did not, in fact, manage to mess with old Asgardian magic, it’s time to explain Stormbreaker and its lack of enchantments in more detail. If you’re interested in more, stay with us and keep reading!
Stormbreaker is one of the rare weapons that managed to injure Thanos
So far, in terms of might, no weapon comes even close in the MCU to Infinity Gauntlet and its vast destructive potential. However, the Asgardian God of Thunder, Thor, is notable for wielding the other most powerful weapons in the MCU, notably, Mjolnir and Stormbreaker.
Stormbreaker was created by the dwarves of Nidavellir in Thor’s time of need following the destruction of Mjolnir, his most iconic weapon. Stormbreaker is made out of Uru, which is known to be among the most powerful metals in the Marvel Universe. And as it turns out, the weapon came in handy, specifically in a fight against Thanos, due to its special properties.
Stormbreaker is most notable for being able to focus Thor’s powers and summon the Bifrost Bridge, and the weapon can kill Thanos instantly.
Yes, Stormbreaker is a significantly more powerful weapon than Mjolnir. The secret lies in the metal Uru which is capable of deflecting damage from Infinity Stones and is sharp and indestructible enough that it’s capable of doing harm to Thanos, whose titan physiology is famous for being incredibly durable and nearly invincible.
We’ve seen Stormbreaker severely injuring Thanos, with Thanos commenting that Thor should have aimed for his head since the weapon was able to decapitate him easily.
But there’s also one more special thing about Stormbreaker, the fact that Thanos was able to lift it. So what’s that all about?
You don’t have to be worthy to lift Stormbreaker
We know that Thor sometimes has a love-hate relationship with his weapons, specifically Mjolnir, whose worthiness enchantment landed him in hot water on more than a few occasions (in MCU and comics). Mjolnir can only be wielded by the people the hammer deems worthy.
This enchantment wasn’t put on the hammer by accident. Odin did it to teach Thor a lesson of humility and controlling himself. During Thor’s coronation, the weapon was used to shatter the fragile truce between Asgard and Frost Giants, and this is when Odin whispered the enchantment that prevented Thor from using the hammer for some time.
Obviously, Thanos cannot be considered worthy of any weapon with such enchantment, so how could he lift Stormbreaker?
It’s easy, Thanos managed to lift Stormbreaker because the weapon doesn’t have worthiness enchantment on it, and practically anyone with sufficient physical strength is able to wield it. Not all Asgardian weapons come with worthy enchantment. That is really only the case with Mjolnir, and Mjolnir’s enchantment was the result of Odin’s disappointment with Thor.
Thanos was, in theory, free to keep Stormbreaker since there’s really nothing that prevents him from wielding the axe, although the weapon wouldn’t be so powerful in his possession because he lacks specific powers that Thor has that make Stormbreaker extremely lethal.
And now that we’ve covered that Thanos was able to lift Stormbreaker because the axe doesn’t require its wielder to be worthy, how on earth did he manage to lift Mjolnir that has worthiness enchantment?
Thanos didn’t lift Mjolnir, Captain America did
Now that we’ve covered why Thanos was able to lift Stormbreaker, the fact that he could also be seen holding Mjolnir is still unresolved. Fear not, because there is a simple explanation for this as well. With Mjolnir’s worthiness enchantment resulted in Thor being able to lift the hammer only if he is considered to be worthy, but likewise, the enchantment is not discriminatory in nature, and anyone who is deemed worthy is able to lift the hammer.
Such was the case with Steve Rogers, aka Captain America, who was seen being able to lift Mjolnir in numerous instances. If you think about it, Captain America has all the makings of a hero that would be worthy of lifting the Mjolnir. He is honorable, courageous, and willing to make a sacrifice when it’s needed. In the scene where Captain America and Thanos struggle, and Thanos can be seen holding Mjolnir, it’s not Thanos that’s holding the hammer. He is actually holding Captain America’s hand, which is holding Mjolnir.
The only reason why it appears that Thanos is holding the hammer is that he has his hand around Steve’s arm. If Steve let go of the hammer, Mjolnir would fall straight to the ground, and Thanos would be pushed toward the ground since he wouldn’t be able to lift the hammer or carry it in any case.
To summarize everything, Thanos could lift the Stormbreaker because the axe wasn’t enchanted like Mjolnir, which means that any physically strong being can lift it. And in the scene when it seems like Thanos is holding Mjolnir, it’s not actually him holding the hammer. It’s Captain America who was deemed worthy by the hammer. Thanos is merely supporting Steve’s arm.