“Whosoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of ... Thor.”
What makes a person worthy to lift Mjolnir? In the Marvel Comics universe, there have been several characters who have proven worthy to lift Mjolnir and wield its awesome power. Steve Rogers aka Captain America has lifted it on several occasions and shown that his soul has the necessary purity, as well as warrior spirit.
Besides Captain America, there have been others capable of lifting Mjolnir from the ground, these have included the alien Beta Ray Bill, the Red Norvell, Buri, Bor, Thunderstrike and Odin himself. The new Thor, the mortal woman Jane Foster, has also shown to be able to not just lift it, but utilize the full extent of Thor’s powers too.
Looking outside the Marvel Universe, we look at the common traits of those worthy and hypothesize who might have the traits needed to not just lift the hammer, but use its power too.
These are the traits we're looking for: Viking lust for battle, purity of spirit, willingness to kill but only when necessary, and the desire to do good.
Here’s 15 Non-Marvel Characters That Could Lift Thor’s Hammer
15 Optimus Prime
It was theorized in Avengers: Age of Ultron that The Vision could lift Mjolnir because he was a synthetic, and not a biological human being. It’s entirely possible that as a living entity, biological or otherwise, he is bound by the same rules as everyone else however. Which brings us to the greatest Autobot of them all: Optimus Prime.
There have been several versions of Optimus Prime since his first incarnation in the original cartoon back in the ‘80s. Most have been older and wiser than the rest of the Autobots, but some have seemed to be less mature, like the one seen in fan-favourite Transformers Animated. A constant through all his incarnations is that he is considered to be one of the greatest warriors in the universe.
His courage is unquestionable. In Transformers: The Movie he takes on Megatron and his best warriors single-handedly, even giving his life to try to stop Megatron once and for all. It has even become a staple of the character that in just about every iteration he gives his life at least once.
While rarely one to display enthusiasm for killing, his “One shall stand, one shall fall” speech from Transformers: The Movie shows that when it comes down to it, if you smash his city and kill his friends, he’s going to kill you for it.
Which just leaves a desire to do good. If spending eons attempting to rid the universe of one of its greatest evils and liberate your home planet doesn’t count, we aren’t sure what does.
Neo, the prophesied saviour of all humanity from The Matrix not only had fantastic powers when linked to the machine world, but also in the real world too, as evidenced by wirelessly deactivated Sentinels in The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions.
What makes Neo worthy to lift Mjolnir? Throughout the Matrix franchise he appears to have a pure soul, while rebellious and self-doubting, his intentions are noble. When he embraces his destiny to become The One he wilfully accepts his burden and uses his full power to liberate mankind from the machines that have enslaved them. Despite living for years in the machine world as a mere computer programmer, with little demonstrated bravery (he was scared of heights, remember) once he begins training he embraces his warrior side and battles dozens of humans still loyal to their reality as well as Agents, the sentient programs that police the humans.
Therefore, Neo meets all the requirements to lift Mjolnir. He embraces battle readily, his spirit is pure, he is willing to kill (and does so several times), and he shows a frequent desire to do good, even sacrificing himself to end the threat of the rogue Agent Smith.
13 Martian Manhunter
The Manhunter from Mars, J'onn J'onzz was one of the seven original members of the Justice League and has been a pillar of the team ever since. His nobility and courage have always been respected by his peers and his power is unquestioned. Superman himself refers to J’onn as “The most powerful man on the face of the Earth.”
But assuming the Marvel version of Mjolnir made its way to the DC universe, why would J’onn J’onzz be able to lift it? He has shown countless times that he is more than willing to wade into battle. As one of the most powerful members of the Justice League he is called upon to fight their fiercest opponents, to the death if necessary. He is also surprisingly pure of spirit. As the last of his kind, he is often seen as lonely but strives to form connections with his newfound friends and allies. His love of simple things like Oreos show him to be a gentle soul. He has also shown that he is willing to kill, if it serves the interest of protecting the innocent. Like Superman and the rest of the League, he sees this as a last resort.
Despite already having great power, should he ever own Mjolnir he could well become the most powerful League member of all-time.
If a Jedi encountered Mjolnir, would he be able to use The Force to lift it? It’s a question that’s been asked several times and the answer is unequivocally… probably not. Using the force to lift something is essentially telekinesis, moving an object through thought. Several telekenetic characters in the Marvel universe aren’t worthy to lift Mjolnir, so we assume that it wouldn’t automatically work for Jedi either. Yoda would most likely be able to lift Mjolnir though, because despite his small stature he’s one of the biggest bad-asses to ever live in the Star Wars universe.
His soul is incredibly pure. He fought in many battles, but never became arrogant or fell to the Dark Side of the Force like his former apprentice Count Dooku, or Anakin Skywalker. He maintains a jovial nature even in the darkest days of the Empire, as evidenced when he playfully teases Luke Skywalker in their first encounter.
His warrior spirit is unquestioned. He goes toe-to-toe with Darth Sidious and engages in one of the most destructive force-battles ever seen. He is also willing to kill. Despite serving the Light Side of the Force and cherishing life, he tore through Clone Troopers in Revenge Of The Sith like a cop in a doughnut shop.
While Kung Fu Panda is mainly played for laughs, Po is surprisingly bad-ass. His “Panda Style” of Kung Fu is effective against the forces of evil, even if it does emphasize laziness and gluttony over agility and strength.
While Po generally incapacitates his enemies with a finger-hold or just slamming his impressive belly fat into them, he does show that he will do whatever is necessary to save innocent lives. In the third instalment he takes himself and his adversary to the spirit world, essentially killing them both. He is saved by the collective Chi of the other Kung Fu masters and pandas present… making Kung Fu Panda 4 more or less certain.
In his youth, he idolized the other masters, showing a love for battle, even before he ever fought in one. As the fabled Dragon Warrior, Po has shown a purity of spirit that even his masters have yet to match. He was the first to focus his Chi in years, with the other Pandas having lost the skill decades previously.
The toughest guy in Middle-Earth and the one you most want at your back when defending Helm’s Deep or storming The Black Gates. Aragon, the king of men, is the definitive warrior’s warrior.
Turning his back on his destiny for years, he finds himself accompanying the hobbit, Frodo, as he carries the One Ring to mount doom. Along the way he battles Orcs, Goblins and assorted monsters. He even manages to win the hearts of not just one, but two of the most beautiful women on Middle-Earth. Come to think of it, they may well be the only two beautiful women on Middle-Earth, so it’s an even bigger boast.
When faced with the chance to be with another woman, he chooses to stay true to his heart and not betray Arwen, his love, showing that a pure soul can take many forms.
While Aragorn typifies what it means to be worthy in every respect, his nobility and warrior spirit make him the ideal candidate to lift Mjolnir. It probably would have helped a lot in The Lord Of The Rings, too.
9 Forrest Gump
“Life is like a box of chocolates; you never know what you’re gonna get.” That was probably the first thing that came to mind when you thought Forrest Gump. While he doesn’t scream “Viking Warrior” his bravery under fire during the Vietnam War won him a medal from the president, so he’s more bad-ass than you might think.
Not only a war hero, he showed a purity of spirit throughout his life. His lifelong loyalty to his childhood friend, and one and only love, Jenny, was merely one example of his purity. When he founded the Bubba-Gump shrimp company he gave half the company to the mother of his late friend Bubba, who died in his arms in Vietnam. He literally gave away millions of dollars, to honour a promise he made to his dead friend. His entire life was dedicated to doing no harm to others, and respecting the lessons his mother taught him as a child. That’s pure by anyone’s standards.
While a little late to make an addition to the 1994 movie, a scene where Forrest lifts Mjolnir with no clue as to what it is and just casually uses it as a doorstop would have been an awesome end-credits scene.
8 Kyle Rayner
While rarely anyone’s favourite Green Lantern (Hal Jordan, Jon Stewart, Guy Gardner, Killowog, and even Sinestro usually rate higher), Kyle was the lantern that carried the torch when the Lantern’s light left the universe.
Kyle was the sole Green Lantern during the years after the corps were destroyed and before they were restored. Unlike most lanterns, he received little training in using the ring and had to protect the whole universe and not a single sector. He was even chosen to be the vessel for Ion, becoming the only person to have the power of a lantern, without the ring. His destiny to carry the torch complete, he continued to fight the good fight even after the corps were restored. He would eventually become the White Lantern, a symbol of power that combined all aspects of the emotional spectrum, proving that he is one of the greatest beings to ever be a lantern of any color.
He has fought many wars, endured terrible tragedies and yet still maintains a purity that is evident in his incredible artistic constructs. Based on the principle that he was worthy to carry the last lantern ring, he’d be worthy to lift Mjolnir as well.
7 The Master Chief
Spartan John-117, of the Halo franchise, has been trained to be a warrior since he was a small boy. Kidnapped by the government to fight an insurrection, he was repurposed to fight the alien Covenant instead. Given years of combat training as well as indoctrination, John was finally given the aptly-named Mjolnir battle armour to become the ultimate fusion of man and machine.
His Mjolnir (literal translation “That which smashes,” by the way) battle armour gives him a wide range of physical attributes on top of his cybernetic enhancements. His entire mind and body are dedicated to fighting a war, with little thought for anything beyond that. He has killed thousands of Covenant to protect Earth and her colonies and has no problem using anything and everything he can to achieve his goals. Far from sadistic, John has a purity of vision. He sees Earth as needing to be defended and the Covenant are merely a threat.
A warrior through and through, John-117 would be one of the few on this list to not only use Mjolnir to its full effect, but he’d appreciate its simplicity and awesome power more than the rest, too.
Korra is the current incarnation of the Avatar, responsible for maintaining peace and balance in the world. He ability to manipulate Air, Water, Fire, and Earth make her a powerful warrior and also one with the forces of nature that Mjolnir commands. She has the potential to have an affinity with the hammer that few others could match.
Korra was confined to a wheelchair at one time, and after recovery is unable to summon the elements. She travels the world, gaining a spiritual purity once more and becomes an Avatar again. This isn't unlike Thor Odinson's own story - he has at times been left powerless, and must become worthy of the hammer once again.
Her worthiness to wield Mjolnir is largely based on her warrior nature and her desire to do good deeds. Her ability to summon the elements, used in conjunction with Mjolnir’s element manipulation powers, could make her an even more powerful thunder-god than Thor himself.
While there have been several versions of Link across various games and other media, his motivations are usually the same. He travels across Hyrule fighting evil and saving Princess Zelda, usually using light arrows, boomerangs, hookshots, and other assorted legendary weapons. Well, there’s no greater legendary weapon for him to wield than Mjolnir itself. In fact, he's already wielded the Megaton Hammer - as good a preparation for Mjolnir as any.
While Link has little to no dialogue in the game series, he is the epitome of bad-ass hero that is the personification of good within his universe. He battles non-stop, and kills pretty much anything in his path, so is a worthy warrior to carry Mjolnir into battle.
While his character is generally left for the player to interpret, it’s usually accepted that Link is a true hero and pure of heart. If Mjolnir is to be lifted by a hero with the intention to use it for good, then a magical realm is the perfect setting and rescuing a princess is the perfect cause.
4 Samurai Jack
Jack is a time-displaced samurai on a quest to return to his own time and defeat an evil demon known as Aku. If ever there was a worthy cause for someone to use Mjolnir, this was it. Jack already has a magic sword, and uses it to fight the evil world Aku has created in the future. If he were to have a magic hammer as well, he’d be an unstoppable warrior.
As a boy, Jack’s father sent him to travel the world to train his mind and body, having foreseen Aku’s rise to power. When Jack returned, he was a strong and powerful warrior and, armed with his father’s katana, an unbeatable one at that.
But what makes Jack worthy? He is brave, fearless and always ready for battle. While he may not have a Viking-like lust for combat, each episode of the show had him tearing into Aku’s robotic forces and inflicting incredible amounts of devastation on them showing that he isn’t afraid to unleash the beast when he has to.
Goku is an extra-terrestrial who has adopted Earth as his home world. While he is a carefree and happy person, he becomes a fierce and strategic warrior at a moment’s notice.
While Goku is generally famed for his skills in unarmed combat, he could potentially use Mjolnir as a weapon due to his warrior spirit and his pure soul. His ability to focus his Ki to devastating effect makes him a powerful and destructive warrior, the kind that Mjolnir could easily find worthy to use its elemental powers.
While Goku is generally restrained in the use of his powers, he has been known to unleash his full potential of a few occasions. When he does, his fury is akin to Viking style rage, making him worthy of using Mjolnir in battle. The purity of his spirit is never in doubt, nor is his intention to do good. While he has rarely been forced to kill, if the stakes were high enough, he would do it to protect innocent life, meaning he’d almost certainly be worthy to lift Mjolnir.
If Captain America can lift Mjolnir, then Superman certainly can. In fact, during DC/Marvel crossovers, HE HAS lifted the hammer and used its power.
Superman meets all the requirements to lift Mjolnir and then some. His Kansas upbringing by the kind-hearted Ma and Pa Kent instilled a goodness into Superman during his childhood under the adopted name of Clark Kent. While his spirit is pure, he has shown that under extreme circumstances he will actually take a life, even if it breaks his heart to do so. Remember the anguish when he broke Zod’s neck in Man Of Steel?
When it comes to a lust for battle, Superman has to hold back most of the time. But when he’s faced Mongol, Darkseid or Doomsday, he’s cut lose with a ferocity that would make Thor shudder.
Given that Thor is often seen as Marvel’s Superman, it’s unsurprising that Superman would be able to lift the hammer. The bigger question would be, if Thor used it to pummel Superman, which would break first? The man of steel, or the Uru hammer?
1 Wonder Woman
Again, we’re cheating with this one as Wonder Woman has already shown that she can not only lift the hammer, but channel its power to its full effect, too. As a goddess and daughter of Zeus her divine nature has made her the current God of War in her own universe. Her combat prowess is second to none and she is one of the most powerful members of the Justice League, easily besting Superman.
Her lust for combat is rarely tamed, and her use of magical weapons has been part of her repertoire for decades (Bracelets, Lasso of truth, etc). A hammer that can smash almost anything to dust doesn't sound too out of place.
One key characteristic that would make her worthy to lift Mjolnir is her willingness to kill. While not exactly an anti-hero, she doesn’t have the qualms about killing that Superman or Batman have. She has remarked that her rogue’s gallery is smaller than most heroes because when she deals with a villain, she deals with them permanently. While this may make her seem like a cold-blooded killer, she is far from it. While she does kill, it usually comes from a desire to protect the innocent.