Hammer of Thor, popularized by Marvel comics is a mythical weapon belonging to the Norse God of Thunder, Thor. The Hammer appearing in comics is a large metallic sledgehammer with cuboid shaped (square shaped) head. The handle is shorter relative to the head and is covered in leather. The head is covered in intricate detail.
The Hammer, originally referred to as Mjölnir in Norse mythology is known by the same name in Marvel Comics.
Also: Hammer of Thor may also refer to a monument, located in Quebec, Canada. It is a 3 meter tall, T shaped stone structure, originally thought to be erected by Vikings.
In Norse Mythology
Mjolnir is the weapon of the Norse God Thor. The Hammer looks different as per Norse mythology and culture than in comics but has many similarities. The hammer looks more like a ship’s anchor, with its characteristic small handle and large curved head.
As per the Prose Edda, the hammer was crafted by Eitri and Brokkr, Dwarf brothers. The name Mjolnir means to grind. In the older texts, the weapon is simply referred to as “Hamarr”. It either meant “Hammer” or “Stone, Stone Tool, Rock, Cliff” etc.
The origin story of Hammer is found from Prose Edda, in Skáldskaparmál. The origin story involves Loki, Thor’s Brother, making attempts to ruin the preparation of Hammer after betting that such a thing can’t be made. The conflict ends with the brothers forging the hammer.
In Marvel Comics
As per Marvel Comics, the Hammer is a square shaped heavy metallic hammer made from Asgardian metal Uru. Its square head is filled with intricate engravings. As per the comics, the following words are inscribed on the Hammer of Thor:
“Whosoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor.”
Similar to the Norse Mythology, the Hammer is crafter by Dwarven Blacksmiths in the Marvel Comics. There are two alternative origin stories of the Hammer. The popular one says that the hammer was created from the core of a neutron star and forged using enchanted forge. This version of creation was also adapted in the movie. The forging was so intense that it destroyed the star and nearly destroyed the earth too. The creation was popularized by the phrase “forged from the heart of a dying star“.
Since the creation, God of thunder has led many of his most famous missions with his true companion, Mjolnir. Thor is able to travel through the nine realms by holding onto the strap and swinging the hammer. It grants him the power to control the lightning and create thunderstorms. We have seen Thor destroy the evil gods and supervillains with the sole help of the Hammer.
Hammer of Thor has got some interesting properties!
- It was found to have shapeshifting capabilities during Thor’s ‘Dr. Blake’ years. Dr. Donald Blake was the civilian identity of Thor created by Odin. And, Mjolnir’s capability to change its appearance proved to be of great help. However, this is not a trait that hammer exhibits often in modern continuity.
- It can fly at a speed greater than that of sound. For the hammer to be able to make Thor fly, it has to be flung by the God of Thunder. Holding to its handle, Thor can fly across the nine realms. Hence it can be said that the maximum speed of Mjolnir’s flight is 770 mph.
- It stores Thor’s memories. This trait mainly came into light when Thor met Ragnarok. A series of events happened and Thor was unable to find his way back to the living. During this catastrophe, Mjolnir finds its rightful owner and upon holding it, Thor instantly retrieves his memories.
- It is seen to fly through planets on its own. Thor may have got all the limelight but it is evident through many events that his hammer not only has been through as many adventures as he himself has but also through some of them, all alone.
- Frogjolnir, Frog version of Mjolnir also exists (along with Throg- Frog of Thunder). Both of the mentioned frog versions most probably appear for the first time in ‘Lockjaw and the Pet Avengers” #1.
Worthiness enchantment of Mjolnir
As mentioned in a quote above, the hammer is surrounded by the spell that prevents it from being wielded by anyone who is not found worthy of it, meaning it can’t be lifted from the ground by merely everyone. The power of this enchantment also comes in light from the fact that even when being cut in half, it’s still in effect. Thor, being one true master of Mjolnir can also will unto others the ability to wield the hammer. Odin also has the same power.
Throughout the MCU timeline, we have seen many Avengers and other superheroes trying to wield the Hammer of Thor. Some of them even succeeded! So let’s see who has been worthy enough to access Mjolnir and when.
- As depicted in an iconic (yet a little funny) scene, all the mighty heroes try their best to lift the hammer and all of them fail except our very favorite and ‘pure of heart’ Captain America. However, in comics, he has done a lot more with it than just a nudge and has been able to wield it more than once.
- Marvel’s 2099 comic-book line has also shown Spider-Man 2099 wield Mjolnir.
- In one of the very epic crossovers of “Marvel vs. DC”, Wonder Women has been shown to wield Mjolnir. However, she is not the only DC hero to be able to do this. In JLA/Avengers, we see Superman appropriate both Thor’s hammer and Captain’s shield at the crossover’s end.
- If we address the technicality of the situation, anyone should be able to wield it in space where there is no ground to stick to and no gravitational forces. In fact, this logic is used in Ed McGuinness and Jeph Loeb’s “Hulk” #5. There is a moment when Odinson loses the grip of Mjolnir and with immediate response and ability to wield the hammer, Red Hulk directs the battle into the stratosphere.
The science behind why everyone cannot lift the hammer lies in the properties of metal Uru and the kind of forces it exerts on the surface it is resting upon, at any time. Gravitons (as depicted in MCU) are the particles responsible for exerting the gravitational force on the surface by the hammer. So when someone “unworthy” tries to lift it, the hammer has the capability to emit additional gravitons thus increasing its net weight and balancing the net force to remain at rest.
So what powers does Hammer of Thor grant its wielder?
Following is the list of powers that are granted to its wielder.
- Weather Manipulation
- Energy Protection
- Energy Sensing
- Energy Absorption and Redirection
- Matter Manipulation
- Negation of mystic energy
- Electromagnetic Spectrum Manipulation
- Invisibility and Intangibility
- Event Recall
- Transmigration of Souls
- Life Force Absorption
- Interdimensional Messaging
- Immunity to Other Force
- Time Travel
- Illusion Detection
- Allspeak (ability to communicate with all races) … and many more
One of the darkest moments in the history of MCU (ok maybe, just slightly dark) was when Hela, the Asgardian goddess of death destroys Mjolnir. Thor proves his unarguable power and honor of being the god of thunder by defeating Hela anyhow, but he suffers a lot of harm without his hammer and even loses his eye in the battle with Hela.
But Avengers Infinity War needed Thor with all his might and power so came Stormbreaker which is not a hammer but an ax. Stormbreaker has also got his rich character, traits, and properties similar to Mjolnir, if not exactly same. We hope to see Mjolnir making its appearance back in future Marvel movies.
Also Read: You’d be a bit shocked, or surprised (depending on your preferences) if you search “Hammer of Thor” on Google India. It is more popularized by its name of a capsule. What this Hammer of Thor capsule does? We recommend you find it out yourself. So, this made it all the more reasonable and compulsory for us to shed some light on what you might actually be looking for.