In the MCU’s history, Captain America has been the only person other than Thor and Odin to lift Mjölnir until now. So what makes Jane Foster worthy?
The Marvel Cinematic Universe has had plenty of fun throwing new ideas and What If…? moments into Phase Four. Thor: Love and Thunder, slotted as the next MCU film for theatrical release, also includes a shocking moment of fun when Mjölnir flies to Jane Foster instead of Thor in the official trailer. From being an Earth-based scientist playing with lab equipment and waiting for Thor to return to take his place as the Mighty Thor, fans can’t help but wonder, what makes Jane Foster worthy of Mjölnir?
The official merchandise confirmed that certain plots in Thor: Love and Thunder would stay faithful to Jane Foster’s comic book origin. In the comics, Jane Foster was diagnosed with cancer when Mjölnir, having been abandoned by Thor when he became unworthy of it, started calling to her. Even though the transition to the Mighty Thor would worsen her cancer and potentially kill her in the process, Jane repeatedly chose to lift the hammer and carry out the work of the Mighty Thor, making her worthy of the hammer.
The official trailer also seemed to hint that Jane has been Thor for a while. Recently, Thor’s actor Chris Hemsworth revealed that Thor: Love and Thunder would take place in an early post-Endgame setting, picking up from Thor’s journey with the Guardians of the Galaxy while he was in the mindset of considering retirement. It certainly makes sense that Mjölnir would seek out another person with a better perspective than Thor and, in turn, would possess the power of the Mighty Thor.
Odin cast a spell on Mjölnir in Thor when he expelled the God of Thunder from Asgard. Mjölnir was later destroyed in Thor: Ragnarok by Thor’s sister, Hela, Goddess of Death. In Avengers: Endgame, Thor traveled back in time to the events of Thor: The Dark World and brought Mjölnir with him during the time travel. Since then, Captain America has been the only known person in the MCU besides Thor and Odin to successfully lift the hammer.
Avengers: Endgame writer Christopher Markus explained that Captain America was able to lift Thor’s hammer because he finally told Tony Stark the truth about his parents’ deaths, which made the Captain fully worthy of the hammer. However, in the comics, Black Widow, Tony Stark, and Loki have all lifted Mjölnir. Despite sacrificing his life for the rest of the world, the MCU never saw Tony Stark wield Mjölnir.
It seemed that the MCU had a stricter judgment for who would be worthy of Mjölnir, which made the sudden development of Natalie Portman’s Jane Foster even more intriguing. Thor: Love and Thunder director Taika Waititi revealed that he didn’t plan on replacing Thor with Jane Foster. Instead, it was more of an exciting exploration of Portman’s character since Jane has always been a supporting character throughout Thor’s storyline.
To find out what makes Jane worthy, Thor: Love and Thunder arrives in theaters on July 8.
Katrina Yang is a TV/movies features writer at CBR.