Avengers: Endgame was full of moments that made the theatres scream even harder than Thor’s Entry in Wakanda. Well, one such moment which may have been even better than Thor’s Entry was Captain America proving his worthiness. Thanos is almost about to kill Thor and we see Mjolnir rise at the very same time. The next thing we see is Mjolnir striking Thanos and going back to Captain America! The look on Cap’s face when he caught the hammer was priceless!
The fight that followed this moment was ever better as Thanos really got what he deserved and that made him super pissed. The “Avengers Assemble” moment may have been the best of the MCU, but if we were to pick up our favorite Captain America moment then it has to be this one where he shows everyone that he is actually worthy.
This also brings us to the question that why exactly couldn’t Captain America lift the Hammer back in Avengers Age of Ultron? Why is he worthy now but wasn’t in Age of Ultron? Well, the answer to this question has been given to us and it is pretty simple.
We had two theories before the directors and writers confirmed this. One of them was that Cap could always lift the hammer. When he tried in Age of Ultron, he found out that he could, in fact, wield it and we all saw Steve move it a bit before he gave his best Oscar worthy acting shot of not being able to lift it up. So, perhaps Steve did not want to Steal Thor’s Thunder!
The second one was that Cap is supposed to be the most righteous person we’ve ever known. But since he hid a deep dark secret from his friend, i.e. Bucky was the one who killed Howard Stark, until the Civil War, he wasn’t worthy. Getting Tony’s forgiveness now sort of unlocked his worthiness.
But as it turns out, the first choice was the right one. As you can see above, Kevin Feige was skedin the Reddit AMA, whether Cap could lift the hammer in Age of Ultron, and he answered that Cap was always worthy and was just being polite to his fellow teammate.
Just a little while ago in the Happy Sad Confused podcast, directors Joe & Anthony Russo talked about why Captain America only lifted Mewmew in Endgame and not before. They said:
“Joe – [It] goes all the way back to [Avengers: Age of] Ultron. 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. 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 rise-able moment for the audience.
Anthony – We have to confess we have snuck into more than one theater over the past week and have taken great pleasure in witnessing the audience reaction to that moment.”
As for Cap’s worthiness for Mjolnir, they said:
“Anthony – In our heads, he was able to wield it. He didn’t know that until that moment in Ultron when he tried to pick it up, but Cap’s sense of character and his sort of humility and sort of out of deference to Thor’s ego, Cap in that moment realizing he can move the hammer, decides not to.
Joe – Thor says ‘I knew it,’ you know.
Anthony – Which maybe you can’t hear yet in movie theaters [laughs].”
So there you have the final confirmation. Captain America is really the noblest hero there is, and that is why he also deserved the happy ending that he got. It came as a shock seeing Cap not sacrificing himself, but that was obviously done to subvert the fan expectations.