When a movie is three hours long and centers on the culmination of more than a decade of superhero cinema, there are bound to be a few story beats that don’t ring true. Add time travel to the mix, and plot holes are practically guaranteed. Even though Avengers: Endgame is ultimately a success, there are some undeniable inconsistencies throughout.
One of these involves one of the movie’s most memorable moments, when Captain America finally picks up Thor’s hammer Mjolnir, having finally deemed him “worthy.” However, in the ensuing battle, Cap is seen using Mjolnir to summon lightning. As many viewers have noted, it’s established in Thor: Ragnarok that Mjolnir is not the source of Thor’s control of thunder and lightning. He’s more than capable of doing it on his own: the hammer is just a conduit.
With this in mind, it doesn’t seem to make sense that Cap is capable of summoning lightning with Mjolnir. However, an interesting fan theory suggested in response to an Endgame writer admitting to one of the film’s plot holes offers a plausible explanation — one that has ramifications for the upcoming sequel, Thor: Love and Thunder.
“There was certainly a debate at one point because particularly in Ragnarok it establishes that Thor can summon the lightning without the hammer,” Endgame screenwriter Christopher Markus said recently in an interview, “I think Odin even says, ‘It was never the hammer.’ And yet Cap summons the lightning without the hammer. You get to those things and you’re like, ‘It’s too awesome not to do! We’ll talk about it later.’”
The fan theory involves the specific phrasing of Odin’s enchantment over Mjolnir. A few folks over at IGN have noted that the spell dictates, “Whosoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor.” If the power of Thor includes the innate ability to control thunder and lightning, the person wielding the hammer would possess that power as well.
With a new wielder of Mjolnir on the way in the form of Natalie Portman’s Jane Foster for Love and Thunder, this revelation feels pertinent. It means that there’s room in the film for Jane Foster to wield Mjolnir (or maybe Stormbreaker?) and possess the power of Thor without rendering Chris Hemsworth’s presence in the movie irrelevant. One Thor is good. Two Thors? That’s even better.
Thor: Love and Thunder comes to theaters November 5, 2021.