While Thor’s hammer is now crushed, there are still some unanswered questions about who could lift it and why, and who is considered “worthy.” What is worthy, exactly? And why could an an artificial being like The Vision lift it so effortlessly?
Of course, there are the meta answers: the production team decided it would be a funny payoff to the Avengers: Age of Ultron “party game” where our heroes all gave it a whack. As Dan (owner of RunPee) states, “I don’t think there’s a ‘reason’ Vision can lift the hammer. It’s just there for drama, and perfectly set up by Joss.”
Well, yeah, Joss Whedon produced Age of Ultron, and he’s known for both witty banter and developing a satisfying payoff to amusing set-ups. So it could just be that Joss found it funny (which it is, no question). But he’s also a certified geek, like we are at RunPee. So a purely production-oriented answer isn’t enough for us. Surely Joss thought this out completely and has an in-universe reason. (For the sake of this discussion, I’m not indulging in comic book storylines about Mjölnir.)
In a previous article, I mentioned who was able to lift Mjölnir, and offered some ideas why Vision had no issues.
However, with someone as “pure” as Captain America not lifting the hammer (although he made it jiggle slightly), and someone as genocidal as Hela holding/crushing it so casually, I have to wonder what ‘worthiness’ entails, and if that term even makes sense from a human standpoint. Maybe Asguardian worthiness is something very unique and specific…although in the first Thor movie, Odin made the concept sound just like what we would expect it to mean.
So, if Cap can’t lift the hammer, and Hela can, then where does Vision fall into this part of the narrative?
It’s possible that Vision, being an android and essentially a brand-new person, was like Data from Star Trek: a being of intensely curious intelligence, great innocence, and no personality flaws. That could well be seen as worthy. But it’s more likely the hammer, essentially being ‘magic’ and non-tech, didn’t recognize Vision as a person. The tool was never hinted to be sentient, so how would it even know the android was alive? It would more likely automatically pick up on a person’s soul/aura/katra/whatever. I’m positing Vision didn’t have a soul/etc, although in the MCU anything can happen. Plus there was an Infinity Stone at play, which makes its own rules. (I’m painting myself into corners here, I know.)
Which leads to wondering about non-living elements and their relationship with Thor’s deceased hammer. Can other things, like an elevator, airplane, helicarrier, or even a car, be able to move it? If Thor traveled in a plane and put the hammer down, would the hammer punch through to the ground, possibly pinning the plane under it? Am I over-thinking this?
I’d have to rewatch all the scenes where Thor is traveling (or in an elevator) and see if he ever put the hammer down. I imagine if the hammer can’t be moved mechanically, that Thor would have to have the weapon somewhere on his person at all times. The writers probably didn’t stress themselves too greatly over this matter, but bear with me. If indeed Thor isn’t carrying the hammer in every scene on the helicarrier, for example, then maybe tech can lift it (although Iron Man AND War Machine, working together, could not use their suits to move it, nor could Stan Lee get it to budge with his truck in New Mexico — maybe ignore those moments for now).
If the hammer can be moved/lifted by such non-living things as vehicles, then it would follow that Vision should have no problem with it. It’s hard to say what a satisfying answer would be. That probably depends on whether cold, rational logic applies in the MCU, and how big a fan one is of The Vision as a heroic character.
Too bad we didn’t see Ultron try to lift Mjölnir, for comparison. I’m going to say this: Hela handling the hammer makes this all really problematic. While I adored Thor: Ragnarok, Hela’s ability threw the entire worthiness concept out the window for the sake of an admittedly very cool image.
I am definitely over-thinking this. 🙂
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Co-Creator of RunPee, Chief of Operations, Content Director, and Managing Editor. RunPee Jilly likes galaxy-spanning sci fi, superhero sagas, fantasy films, YA dystopians, action thrillers, chick flicks, and zany comedies, in that order…and possesses an inspiringly small bladder. In fact, that little bladder sparked the creation of RunPee. (Good thing she’s learned to hold it.)