The Reason Captain America Could Not Lift Thor's Hammer in Avengers: Age of Ultron Revealed

Avengers: Endgame celebrated its one-year anniversary, and remains a topic of discussion for Marvel Studios fans as they await the next installment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Black Widow. One of the film's standout moments was when Captain America (Chris Evans) proved himself worth of lifted Thor's hammer during the Avengers' fight with Thanos (Josh Brolin). For many fans, this was the payoff to years of foreshadowing and speculation. During ComicBook.com's Quarantine Watch Party of Avengers: Endgame, co-writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely were asked to explain why Steve Rogers couldn't, or didn't, lift Thor's hammer during the Avengers Tower party scene in Avengers: Age of Ultron. Markus suggested that Cap couldn't life the hammer because he wasn't truly worthy yet, due to the fact that he was carrying around the truth about The Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan) killing Tony Stark's (Robert Downey Jr.) parents, which only came to light during the events of Captain America: Civil War.

These comments are certainly interesting, as some have argued that Steve was actually worthy throughout his life. Marvel Studios executive Louis D'Esposito argued as much in Endgame's art book last year, saying that Steve just chose not to lift the hammer during the casual setting of Age of Ultron.

"I think one of the most special moments in this film is when Captain Americapicks up Mjolnir," D'Esposito said last year. "If you remember from Ultron, they were all sitting around in the Avengers complex in Manhattan, and there's a party, and they're all a bit inebriated, and they're loose, and they're having fun, and they're all trying to pick up the hammer. It's Captain America's turn to try, and you look over to Thor's face, and he says, 'I think he might be able to do it,' but Cap doesn't pick it up. But Cap could've always picked it up. He didn't want to at that point because it would've not been right."

Joe Russo, who co-directed Endgame, also argued that Steve was always worthy, but that building the reveal to such an epic moment was going to be worth it.

“I think everyone who’s a Marvel fan in that moment where Cap tested the hammer, felt deep down in their heart that he was worthy and that he could potentially lift that and boy wouldn’t it be special if one day he did,” Russo previously said. “And obviously if you create drama around the circumstances of him wielding the hammer and then kicking Thanos’ ass for 30 seconds after that, we felt like we could create a riseable moment for the audience.”

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Do you think Captain America was worthy in Avengers: Age of Ultron, or not until later on in the MCU? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

Avengers: Endgame is currently available to stream on Disney+.