Captain America’s shield. All-Black the Necrosword. The Eye of Agamotto. There are countless iconic weapons in the history of Marvel Comics. However, none come even close to Thor’s beloved hammer, Mjolnir. Many know about the ‘worthiness’ enchantment and the power it holds, but do you know how Thor got Mjolnir in the first place? It’s time to find out!
How was Thor’s hammer created?
Mjolnir is an iconic weapon wielded by the Asgardian God of Thunder, Thor. Over the years, there have been several different origin stories for Mjolnir told in Marvel comics, albeit the differences between each story are rather small.
The magical weapon first appeared in ‘Journey Into Mystery’ #83, when a physician, Donald Blake, tapped his cane on the ground and transformed into Thor Odinson. As it turns out, his memory was wiped clean by his father, Odin, to have him learn humility and become worthy of wielding the hammer, becoming Thor once again.
The first time we heard the name Mjolnir was in ‘Thor’ #135 in 1966, but we didn’t receive the first origin story for the hammer until 1983, in ‘Thor Annual’ #11. This version of Mjolnir’s creation mirrors the version from Norse mythology the most.
In the mythological version of events, Loki cuts off the hair of the goddess Sif as a cruel joke. Thor gets mad and threatens to beat Loki if he doesn’t get replacement hair for Sif, which Loki promises to do by visiting the dwarf blacksmiths.
The dwarves he visited – the Sons of Ivaldi – use magical strands to create the hair for Sif while also forging Gungnir – a magical spear, and Skidbladnir – a collapsible magical ship – as gifts for the Asgardian gods.
As cunning as he is, Loki sees their fine craftsmanship as an opportunity to gain even more. So, he challenges Eitri – the dwarf leader on Nidavellir – in a bet to craft finer treasures than those if he can. Eitri gladly accepts and creates a magical golden ring and a spear even greater than the items Loki had.
Then, Eitri starts working on a hammer. Seeing that he may lose the bad, Loki panics turns into a horsefly, and bites Eitri’s assistant in the eyebrow. He stops for only a moment to wipe away the blood from his eye, and the bellows of the forge fall flat, causing the hammer’s handle to be shorter than intended. You guessed it – that hammer was Mjolnir.
Loki lost the bet and had his lips sewn shut, whereas the Norse gods gladly accepted and used the items forged by the dwarves. Odin initially wielded Mjolnir before being passed down to his son, Thor, with several additional enchantments.
In ‘Thor Annual’ #11, however, the story is changed ever so slightly – with Loki turning into a wasp instead of a horsefly, annoying Eitri while he was forging instead of biting his assistant. Also, they didn’t create a golden boar spear but rather an enchanted golden boar that could fly.
In ‘Thor’ Vol. 2 #80, an alternative version of Mjolnir’s creation was offered – Odin orders Mjolnir from Eitri, Brok, and Buri, instructing them to use the core of a star in its forging process.
Finally, in ‘The Might Thor’ Vol. 2 #12, the might of Mjolnir came after Odin managed to trap Mother Storm (a galaxy-sized storm) into a piece of Uru metal. He then gave the Uru piece to the dwarves, instructing them to forge a weapon out of it that could harness the power of the Mother Storm locked within.
How did Thor become worthy of his hammer?
Whichever version of Mjolnir’s origins you choose, one thing remains the same – the hammer was incredibly powerful even before Odin added the ‘worthiness’ enchantment to it. Even he used it as a weapon for a long time before passing it down to Thor.
However, he stripped Thor of his powers and added the enchantment that stated: “Whosoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor.” He then wiped Thor’s memory clean and sent him to Earth to live as Donald Blake. He did so because Thor was too boastful, and Odin wanted him to learn humility and humbleness.
Thor, not remembering his Asgardian origins, lived as a physician on Midgard for a decade before being guided to Norway by Odin, where he proved his worthiness and transformed into Thor Odinson once again.
In the MCU, however, things were a bit different. Mjolnir was actually used by Hela, Thor’s sister, centuries before he was born. Hela used Mjolnir and her deadly magic to conquer the Nine Realms alongside Odin before her bloodlust and ambition grew too dangerously, so Odin locked her in Hel.
Mjolnir then sat in the vault of Asgard before being passed down to Thor. Now, we saw that Mjolnir was incredibly powerful in ‘Thor’ (2011), when Odinson, his brother Loki, and several of their friends attacked the Frost Giants in Jotunheim.
It was only then that Odin reprimanded Thor for his recklessness, banished him to Midgard, and enchanted Mjolnir with the ‘worthiness’ enchantment. Thor tried and tried to lift Mjolnir but was unworthy.
He became worthy after learning humility, bravery, and sacrifice, as he sacrificed himself to the Destroyer armor in order to save others. Mjolnir flew to him, restored his health, and he possessed the power of Thor once again, never losing it again in the MCU after that.
While he didn’t lose his worthiness, he did, however, lose Mjolnir along the way.
How did Thor get his hammer back in ‘Avengers: Endgame’?
In ‘Thor: Ragnarok,’ Hela is released as she shatters Mjolnir into pieces in front of Thor. However, Thor gets his beloved hammer back in ‘Avengers Endgame.’ How does he do that?
Well, as you know, the Avengers use Ant-Man’s quantum tunnel and Tony Stark’s brilliance to essentially figure out time travel. They go back in time to retrieve the Infinity Stones before Thanos and undo the ‘Snap’ that wiped out half of the universe.
On their journey, Thor travels back in time to Asgard, where he retrieves Mjolnir, as this was years before Hela had destroyed it on this particular timeline. He carries Mjolnir back to the present day with him, which ultimately leads to Captain America wielding the hammer as he proves worthy during the fight with Thanos.
However, even the shattered version of Mjolnir was reassembled and used again – this time by none other than Jane Foster. During the ‘Blip,’ Jane was diagnosed with terminal cancer, and through her research, she found out that the wielders of Mjolnir gained a huge deal of stamina, strength, and endurance while wielding it.
Jane travels to New Asgard, where the shattered pieces of Mjolnir reassemble themselves and turn Jane Foster into Mighty Thor. In a flashback, it was revealed that Thor had unwittingly enchanted Mjolnir years earlier to protect Jane Foster at all costs.
However, Mjolnir has to use the wielder’s life force to work. Seeing that Jane was terminally ill, wielding Mjolnir worsened her condition, eventually leading to her death in ‘Thor: Love and Thunder’ (2022). After her death, Thor reclaimed Mjolnir and again became its primary wielder.
Did Thor actually have a hammer in Norse mythology?
If it wasn’t clear enough in the first subheading, I wanted to make it clear right now. Yes – Thor did actually have a hammer in Norse mythology, and the hammer was also named Mjolnir. We mentioned the legend of how it was forged on Nidavellir already, and it’s still a Norse legend passed down through generations.
In Norse mythology, however, Mjolnir wasn’t just a powerful weapon – it could also provide blessings and divine interventions. There’s some dispute about the etymology of the name Mjolnir and what it actually meant, but the gist of it is that it was, indeed, Thor’s hammer, which he used for all kinds of purposes, but mostly warfare.
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