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The Untold Truth Of Thor's Hammer Mjolnir

Name a more iconic duo than Thor and his hammer, Mjolnir. The Norse god of thunder and his trademark weapon have been bashing baddies since before the Viking era. In modern times, the two are most associated with their iteration in Marvel Comics and the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In those worlds, Thor is not just a god, but a living and breathing hero with flaws whose origins, while quite different, serve as the inspiration for the Norse myths.

However, there's more to Mjolnir than just being a magic hammer. Both within the various Marvel universes and behind the scenes, there are many aspects of Thor's trademark weapon that are seldom discussed. Ever wonder why Mjolnir has such a short handle, or what Chris Hemsworth does with the hammers when nobody's looking? All of these facts and more will be revealed as we delve into the untold truth of Thor's hammer, Mjolnir.

Mjolnir's handle is short for a reason

One of Mjolnir's most distinctive features is its short handle. While this feature of the weapon is taken at face value by both the comics and the films, there's a lot more to Mjolnir's length than you might expect. The story behind Mjolnir's creation, as well as its unique appearance, goes as far back as the original Norse myths, where Loki's penchant for mischief continues to make everything worse (via Mythology.net).

In the midst of a much larger tale about Loki stealing the hair of Thor's wife, Sif, Loki commissions two dwarfs named Brokkr and Sindri to create three magical gifts for the gods. To up the stakes, Loki bets his head that the two couldn't make gifts as good as those of Ivaldi, who made Sif's replacement hair. To ensure that he keeps his head, Loki transforms into a fly and bites Sindri while he makes Mjolnir, resulting in the hammer coming out with a shorter handle than intended. Despite its top-heavy appearance, it was still mighty and (as Vision said) "terribly well balanced," and thus the mythological Thor cherished it just as well.

While the mythological origins of Mjolnir weren't carried over into Marvel, with the comic version being crafted out of Uru metal in a dying star, it is interesting to see how it influenced the comic's design (via Marvel Database).

Chris Hemsworth loves stealing hammer props

Many people may not be able to pronounce "Mjolnir" correctly (least of all being Paul Rudd), but you'd be hard-pressed to find someone who thinks that the hammer isn't exceedingly cool. It's right up there with Captain America's shield, Batman's batarangs, and Wonder Woman's Lasso of Truth as one of the most iconic weapons in superhero history. Of course, Thor himself (i.e., Chris Hemsworth) is not an exception to this rule. As it turns out, the awesome Australian is an avid hammer thief while on set and has "about five" of them at home.

"One's ... next to the toilet if you need some assistance with that for whatever reason," Hemsworth said in an interview with Jimmy Kimmel. Keep in mind, actors generally aren't allowed to take props home from film sets. Oftentimes, when you hear of an actor keeping a prop, it's technically because they stole it. The case of Thor's hammer is no different, meaning that Hemsworth has stolen five likely valuable props right out from under Marvel's nose (at least one of which is being used as a toilet paper holder), and we love him for it.

Captain America isn't the only worthy one

It was a major moment in "Avengers: Endgame" when fans finally saw Captain America (Chris Evans) wield Mjolnir, proving once and for all that he truly is worthy of the power of Thor. It was a plot moment that was multiple movies in the making, with Cap's worthiness being teased way back at the beginning of "Avengers: Age of Ultron." However, as many Marvel megafans already know, Captain America is far from the only superhero worthy of wielding the hammer.

Aside from Cap and Vision, who briefly wielded the hammer in "Age of Ultron," the Marvel Database actually lists dozens of characters who are able to hold Mjolnir. These include other Asgardians like Odin and Bor, familiar characters like Jane Foster and Black Panther, and even up-and-comers like Moon Knight, who is gearing up for his own Disney+ exclusive series starring Oscar Isaac.

Those unfamiliar with Moon Knight's lore might be confused as to how a somewhat unhinged vigilante with multiple personalities could be worthy of Thor's hammer. However, thanks to Khonshu's (the ancient Egyptian god whom Moon Knight serves) status as a moon deity, Moon Knight can hold and even control Mjolnir because Uru is technically made of moon rock (via ComicBook). This could be an interesting plot point in the near future if we ever see the MCU reforge Mjolnir while Moon Knight is around.

It has plenty of seldom-used powers

Lightning, flying, and hitting things really hard are the powers most people would associate with Mjolnir. However, Mjolnir is capable of much more than summoning lightning and smashing bad guys. Much like how Superman once had an abundant list of odd powers that he no longer uses (via DC Comics), Mjolnir has a similar penchant for doing whatever the writer needs it to at that moment.

Just to name a few examples of this, Mjolnir can open wormholes to instantly travel across the universe, turn Thor invisible, manipulate people's souls, translate everything Thor says into any language he needs, and sense energy signatures. Of course, none of those powers quite replace bonking people on the head and shooting them with lightning in most situations, which is why you still primarily see Thor using those abilities in battle.

Nevertheless, it's important to remember that Mjolnir is still one of the most powerful and versatile weapons in the universe. Therefore, Thor is likely much more versatile than most comics and MCU fans would give him credit for. He's certainly more than just a hunk of muscle and lightning.

The hammer is a god too

A lot has happened to both Thor and Mjolnir in recent comics. From becoming unworthy and allowing the mantle of Thor to be carried by Jane Foster to seeing Jane sacrifice both herself and the hammer to stop the hate-fueled being Mangog to finally reforging the hammer so that Thor could fight the elf Malekith in the War of the Realms, Mjolnir has seen a lot of change. What nobody ever expected, however, was for the hammer to wake up.

Of course, Mjolnir had always been somewhat alive. Part of its comic-book origin is that Odin trapped the God Tempest in the Uru that would become Mjolnir. Upon being reforged, however, the God Tempest's essence combined with that of Mangog, a being who despised Asgard for the genocide of its people (via Marvel Database). Thus, Mjolnir was able to create its own avatar, one that no longer cared for Thor or Asgard and only desired death and destruction, dubbing itself the "God of Hammers" ("Thor" Vol. 6 #19).

Unfortunately, the comics have not shown what happens next as Thor and his Asgardian family confront this new and deadly foe. With powers equal to (or greater than) those of Thor himself, there's no telling what could happen to the hammer. It could get destroyed again or return to the fold as Thor's weapon. These events could even go on to inspire the MCU, allowing Mjolnir to return even from its destruction in "Thor: Ragnarok."