The Asgardian god of thunder has had his work cut out for him in the Marvel Cinematic Universe so far. Thor has battled his own brother, joined up with a new group of heroes, and seen seen his girlfriend nearly destroyed by the power of an Infinity Stone. By his side through most of that, though, has been his trusty hammer, Mjolnir (that’s pronounced myol-neer).
Only those who are worthy of possessing the power can wield Mjolnir, so we all know that after he learned his lesson in his first MCU movie, Thor is the kind of hero who can handle magical objects, doing the right thing whenever he’s needed. Before Thor and Mjolnir joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe though, the two had a long history in the comics - including plenty of other people wielding the hammer.
Mjolnir gets its name, much like Thor, from Norse mythology, and much of what it can do is inspired by the legend of Thor, though Marvel comic writers have certainly had their fun with it over the years, like making Mjolnir capable of time travel or bringing the dead back to life.
Here are the 20 Things You Didn’t Know About Mjolnir, The Hammer Of Thor!
20 It Can Create Wormholes
In the movies, Thor uses the bifrost to travel between realms, but in the comics, he doesn’t even need it. Instead, he can travel easily using Mjolnir.
Just as Thor can swing Mjolnir around by its strap to allow himself to fly, he can do the same to use the hammer to travel long distances in the blink of an eye, essentially creating a wormhole. Within the wormhole, there’s no such thing as time passing, so he can teleport across both time and space.
Thor has been able to utilize this skill not just to travel alone, but also to bring the Avengers along in the comics. He actually used Mjolnir to channel enough energy to send the fire giant Surtur to another dimension.
19 It Might Have Killed The Dinosaurs
Mjolnir’s story of being forged has changed a few times in the comics. One story of its origin had it being created in the heart of a star, one the Marvel Cinematic Universe decided to borrow for its movies.
As the story goes, the dwarves who set out to forge Mjolnir didn’t have enough heat to soften the Uru, so they needed the heat of a star to do it for them. The smelting process took seventeen weeks - so long that the star actually exploded.
The star’s explosion reached Midgard - the Asgardian name for Earth - and almost destroyed the planet as well. The process occurred millions of years in the past, making it a possibility for creating an extinction level event on Earth, like sending debris hurtling toward the planet that could cause just the right amount of damage.
18 The Power Of The God Tempest
According to Asgardian legend, when time first began, there was a cosmic thunderstorm that began with it. Known as the Mother Storm or the God Tempest, it grew over time, becoming more powerful - not to mention more dangerous.
When the storm finally headed toward Asgard, Odin was the one who took it on, holding it off with his own powers for days, not wanting it to destroy his home or his people. What does Odin’s confrontation with a storm have to do with Mjolnir? That immense power is what’s inside the hammer.
Odin used a powerful piece of metal against the storm, holding it up, and watching as the metal absorbed the storm, trapping it inside. It remained trapped inside the piece of metal, and the metal was eventually used to forge the hammer.
17 It Can Project A Sentient Form
It doesn’t happen very often, but sometimes, Mjolnir can actually project a human form to fool those around it, as Jane Foster discovered in a recent issue of her Mighty Thor series.
When Jane’s identity as the new Thor was compromised, Mjolnir took matters into its own hands, harnessing enough of its power to make it appear as though Jane Foster and Thor were both in the same place. It even went so far as to carry on conversations with those around them and use Jane’s own medical knowledge to remove a bullet from Thor’s wrist.
Of course, Mjolnir also notes as it dropped the disguise that it was an arduous process and could likely only work once a century or so. The reveal that Mjolnir could hold an intelligent conversation with her in that form did make Jane curious about the hammer’s origins, and sent her on a journey to learn about how Mjolnir was forged and the Mother Storm inside of it.
16 The Dwarves of Nidavellir Provided Uru
That special metal that makes up the hammer? That would be uru, given to Odin by the Dwarves of Nidavellir.
Nidavellir is one of the Nine Realms of Asgardian lore, and it is home to races of Dwarves. Uru is only found in this particular realm. Though uru looks like stone, it acts like metal, and can actually absorb and store energy, like the hammer’s metal did to the Mother Storm. The nugget of raw uru was given to Odin as a symbol of the alliance between Asgard and Nidavellir.
Funnily enough, uru was actually the name given to the hammer originally in the comics. It was Stan Lee’s brother Larry Lieber who came up with the name when Thor was introduced in the comics, and when later writers decided to pull the name Mjolnir from Norse mythology, they wanted to keep an homage to the original comic creation - uru the metallic stone was born.
15 Odin Enchanted The Hammer
“Whosoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor,” is known by comic and movie fans alike as the inscription on the side of Mjolnir. It ended up on the hammer courtesy of Odin., who actually enchanted it.
Odin was the first to utilize the hammer after its creation, but because of the power of the Mother Storm, Mjolnir was difficult to control, so Odin decided to make sure only those worthy of its power could use it. Of course, magical enchantments can be fooled with more magic.
During the Secret Empire story arc, the enchantment was hoodwinked thanks to Madame Hydra and a piece of a cosmic cube. She used the cube’s magic to replace a few words in the inscription -- “worthy” became “strongest” and “Thor” became “Hydra” -- leading to the Steve Rogers embedded in Hydra to be able to use the hammer.
14 Thor Had To Prove Himself
Odin didn’t just give Thor Mjolnir as a gift. Instead, Odin made his son wait until he was sure that Thor was worthy of Mjolnir.
While there weren’t outright tests given to Thor, he wasn’t able to use Mjolnir until he had defended Asgard against evil outside forces, retrieved the apples of immortality from Storm Giants, and rescued Lady Sif from Hela. Once he had proven himself selfless and brave, Odin presented Mjolnir to Thor and held a banquet on Asgard.
That idea of worthiness would often come back around in the comics as any time Thor was deemed unworthy - arrogant and selfish - he would no longer have access to his hammer, much like the character’s first film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
13 Blame Loki For The Short Handle
There are two different versions of how Loki was involved in Mjolnir’s creation, but both still have him to blame for the hammer’s short handle.
In one version, Loki challenged the dwarves who made the hammer, not believing they could make treasure as grand as the Sons of Ivaldi, a group from whom he had commissioned hair to be made after he cut Lady Sif’s. (Yes, the Asgardians can apparently have hair made for them by blacksmiths.)
The hammer was the last of the items manufactured, and during the process, Loki was afraid he would lose the bet, so he shapeshifted into an insect and stung the dwarf working on the hammer, causing the dwarf to make a slight mistake as he wiped away the blood from the sting, creating a hammer with a short handle.
In another version, Loki hated Thor so much that he followed him when he was sent on a mission to retrieve treasures made by the dwarves. There, he turned into a moth, repeatedly getting in the face of a dwarf until he sneezed and made a mistake, shortening the handle, and ensuring that Mjolnir would need to be used one-handed.
12 Primary Adamantium Can Withstand Mjolnir
Because of the powerful uru that makes up Mjolnir, the hammer is able to break apart most substances with a single blow. There are very few that withstand its power in the pages of Marvel comics.
One metal that can withstand uru is more uru. When Thor’s hammer was used against some of his enemies on Asgard, set against him by Loki, those who had weapons made of uru were able to put up a fight. Uru, however, isn’t typically found in weapons when he makes his way to Earth.
On Earth, it’s primary adamantium that can withstand that uru. Thor discovered this for himself during an early issue of Avengers in which he went to battle against the robotic Ultron.
Ultron’s body was made from primary adamantium, and a blow from Thor’s hammer had no effect on him. primary adamantium is also the same type of adamantium that makes up Wolverine’s skeleton.
11 It Does More Than Smash
Traditional hammers might be for hitting nails into place, but Mjolnir isn’t just good for smashing enemies. Thor often swings the hammer in a fight, but it can do plenty more.
Mjolnir is able to defy gravity, something movie audiences have seen in the MCU. All Thor has to do is spin the hammer around to get it to fly, pulling him along with it. Holding the hammer in the air also allows Thor to boost his control over thunder and lightning, and bringing the hammer into contact with an object and also produce an energy blast.
Mjolnir can also be used to sense strange energy, absorb energy, manipulate the electromagnetic spectrum, and more. It was even able to disguise itself as everyday objects. During Thor’s time on Earth as a mortal, Odin enchanted the hammer to appear as a cane; Mjolnir only became a hammer once Thor needed it to.
10 It Can Cut Through Planets
Readers and moviegoers have watched Thor throw his hammer, only for Mjolnir to come speeding back to his outstretched hand like a magical boomerang. The reason the hammer will always return to its master is a magical connection.
Once a worthy individual has become the one to hold the power of Thor, Mjolnir recognizes them as master and never wants to be separated for long. The hammer’s will to be with its master is so strong that nothing can stop it from returning to them.
Thor himself explains this while he’s in the middle of the ocean about to fight a sea monster after being rescued by Namor in the second volume of his series. Thor, trying to stay afloat, doesn’t look all that threatening, but he reveals that Mjolnir would even drive itself right through the center of the planet if it needed to in order to give him the full extent of his power.
9 Immortus Stopped Mjolnir From Time Traveling
In addition to those wormholes to travel across long distances and the power to rip holes between dimensions, Mjolnir could also allow Thor to time travel. He was tricked into giving up that particular power set though.
On a trip to a far away planet, Thor found himself in a place where none of the natural laws applied -- the castle of Immortus. Immortus had plenty of his own magical abilities, and with them, he made sure that no enchantments were allowed in his territory unless he put them in place, allowing him to borrow Thor’s hammer for a time.
In exchange for helping to save the planet, Thor was told that his hammer would use so much energy to set time right again that he would never be able to time travel again. Thor agreed, though Immortus, who could control time himself, could have saved the planet whenever he wanted.
8 It Can Resurrect The Dead
Thor hasn’t always been particularly knowledgable about what’s going on in the world considering his focus is often on what’s going on in Asgard. As a result, he’s accidentally worked for some pretty bad guys. In World War II, he even briefly took on a mission for Adolf Hitler, though he was able to rectify his mistake in the end.
Thor, believing himself to be on the right side of things, was sent to kill Joseph Stalin, who had been in opposition to Hitler’s quest for power. He thought he got the job done, but it was only after letting Mjolnir’s lightning loose on Stalin that he found it was actually a man in a mask.
Thor, after realizing he was in the wrong, used Mjolnir to remove the power of the lightning he just used and bring the man back to life.
7 It Kills Vampires
Most stories containing vampires have very specific rules about what will kill them. There are stakes through the heart, garlic, crosses, and more. In a broader sense of the rules, any religious object can kill a vampire. Marvel showed that Mjolnir, as a relic of a religious belief system, can do the job too.
Unlike a wooden stake, Thor doesn’t have to be quite as precise while using Mjolnir. All he has to do is throw it at his intended target, and even though a vampire can move faster than his usual foe, it’ll still hit its mark. Mjolnir only has to strike a vampire in order to turn it to dust.
Of course, only someone who has faith in in the Asgardian (or Norse) religion would be able to use Mjolnir to fend off a vampire, much like only one who’s worthy can wield it.
6 Functional Replicas Exist
Once in awhile when someone proves themselves worthy of wielding Mjolnir, a replica of the hammer is made for their very own use.
Eric Masterson, a friend of Thor who worked in construction, was saved by the god of thunder on numerous occasions, and even used the hammer himself when he was merged with Thor for a time.
Eric became a hero in his own right when Odin gave him Thunderstrike, a mace which he then named his heroic alter ego after. His son Kevin was also given a replica of Thunderstrike as a toy.
5 It Grants Users Allspeak
If you’ve ever wondered how Asgardians are able to interact with anyone, seemingly understanding any language they’re introduced to, it’s because they have Allspeak.
Allspeak isn’t just granted to Asgardians though, it’s also something all deities have in Marvel comics. It stands to reason that only those with immense power, or those who have already walked many lives, can speak and understand every language.
In reality, those who use Allspeak don’t speak many languages, but the language they do speak is understood by those listening as their own native language. It’s like an innate translation service.
The hammer allows those who don’t have god-like abilities to do the same. Even if a human fighter is deemed worthy of Mjolnir-- like Jane Foster being chose to wield the hammer as a female Thor-- they too are granted Allspeak as long as they’re using the hammer.
4 It Carries A Piece Of Asgard
While not true for the regular continuity in Marvel comics, in the Ultimate Universe, Mjolnir actually has a piece of Asgard hidden inside the hammer to help give birth to a new realm in the event of Ragnarok.
It might seem strange that a tiny piece of Asgard could allow an entire realm to be reborn, but we’re talking about the same stories where a magical cube can rewrite reality. Think of it like an Asgardian seed that can be planted.
Of course, the Ultimate version of Thor spends much of the comics using a man-made replica instead of the Asgardian Mjolnir.
3 Wonder Woman Is Worthy
There are many Marvel characters who have been deemed worthy of using Thor’s hammer, and there have even been many who have taken up the mantle. Outside of the Marvel comic book universes though, it’s less likely to see another hero wield Mjolnir.
When Marvel and DC decided to give fans what they wanted in the '90s -- matchups of favorite characters across publishing lines -- Mjolnir fell into new hands, though it was only temporary. In the Marvel Vs DC limited series, characters found themselves transported into each other’s universes unexpectedly.
As a result, Wonder Woman got her hands on Mjolnir right before a battle with the X-Men’s Storm, proving she was worthy of the power of the god of thunder.
By the end of the limited run, the publishers had a different gimmick in mind, blending the characters together and creating an Amalgam Universe… and nothing in the crossovers is considered canon for either publisher.
2 It Resides In Mr. Gold’s Pawn Shop
Fans of the television series Once Upon A Time will know that the pawn shop in Storybrooke is a great set to spot Easter eggs. One such egg is actually Thor’s hammer.
On the shelf in the store in the episode “Quite A Common Fairy”, Mjolnir can be spied. The hammer has never been revealed to be an artifact belonging to one of the town’s residents, and there’s never been any indication of just where Mr. Gold might have picked it up. With the location moving to Hyperion Heights in the most recent season, fans may never know.
Of course, the show has referenced Asgard as another realm before, so it’s always possible Once Upon A Time could introduce its own version of Thor.
1 It’s Journey Into Mystery
Mjolnir made its Marvel comic book debut in Journey into Mystery issue #83 in 1962 (though Mjolnar had already made an appearance in DC’s Action Comics years earlier). Journey Into Mystery had long been an anthology series, starting off as horror stories before moving into science fiction and fantasy. Beginning with issue #83, Thor became a regular character.
That first appearance of the hammer didn’t feature a name for it yet, just referring to Mjolnir as “a mighty hammer,” and at the time, Donald Blake didn’t know his real history as the Asgardian warrior.
He believed he had simply stumbled onto the object, disguised as a cane, by accident. Donald spent the short stories in the issue learning how to use the hammer and fighting off a group of aliens in the guise of Thor.
Less than 40 issues after the debut of Thor and his hammer, the series became The Mighty Thor, and the character went on to become one of the Avengers and a Marvel mainstay.
Did you learn something new about Thor's hammer, or did we miss a fun Mjolnir fact? Let us know in the comments!