Love & Thunder Proves No MCU God Would Pass Thor's Worthiness Test

This article contains spoilers for Thor: Love & Thunder.

Thor: Love & Thunder proves no god would ever be worthy of Mjolnir. There is a sense in which "worthiness" is the unifying theme of the Thor films. The inciting incident of the first film was a moment of brash recklessness that led Odin to decide his son was unworthy of his powers, and Thor was banished to Earth to live as a mortal until he learned just what it meant to be worthy.

Even Thor: Ragnarok shone a subtle light on this theme, hinting at the real reason Odin stripped Thor of his powers. The All-Father had once displayed that same pride, arrogance, and recklessness, and he led Asgard into an era of military conquest. When Odin cast judgment upon Thor, he was in fact condemning his past imperial self. Odin wanted Thor to learn he was not a warrior but a protector, and that a true ruler's goal should not be to glorify himself - but rather to sacrifice himself for the sake of others.

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Thor: Love & Thunder builds upon this, revealing none of the gods would have been worthy in Odin's sight. It sees Thor travel to Omnipotence City, where the greatest of the gods have gathered, and he is shocked to learn that none of his heroes were worthy of his praise. Zeus in particular disappointed Thor, because he had always modeled himself on the Greek God of Lightning—and yet Zeus had no interest in confronting the threat of Gorr the God-Butcher on behalf of the other gods. The simple truth is that none of these gods would have been worthy of Mjolnir in Odin's eyes, for Odin sought to turn his son into a hero and champion rather than simply a god.

What It Really Means To Be Worthy Of Mjolnir In The MCU

Captain America wielding Thor's Hammer Mjolnir in Avengers Endgame

This revelation subtly rewrites what it means to be worthy in the MCU, for it suggests worthiness is found not in the gods, but in human beings. None of the hundreds of gods of Omnipotence City would be worthy to wield Mjolnir, and yet both Steve Rogers and Jane Foster - mortal humans - have been able to do so. Even more striking, Thor became worthy through being stripped of his divinity, reduced to mortality, and thus learning the value of life. Thor: Love & Thunder means worthiness is the province of mortals.

This is actually a theme that ran through Jason Aaron's comic book run, that served as loose inspiration for Thor: Love & Thunder. There, Nick Fury gained the power of the cosmic being known as the Watcher - essentially an omniscient narrator in the Marvel Universe - and learned no god was ever truly worthy of Mjolnir. He whispered this truth to Thor, shaking the God of Thunder's confidence, and the Odinson found himself unable to wield Mjolnir. In contrast, Jane Foster was proved worthy of Mjolnir because she knew there would always be a need for a Thor figure - and she was willing to pay any price to fill the void the Odinson had left, for every time she transformed into the Mighty Thor the effect of her chemotherapy was reversed. Thor: Love & Thunder doesn't make this theme explicit, with no real overt commentary on the idea worthiness comes from self-sacrificial heroism, but it is implied nonetheless.

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2022-08-06T11:25:06.000Z

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