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  1. #1
    Fantastic Member
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    Default Thor & Mjolnir: what does it mean to be worthy?

    This thread is in response to another thread that asks the question: are you sick of how everybody and their sister can lift Mjolnir? The answer is a resounding "yes!" It was cool when Walt Simonson did it with Beta Ray Bill because it was unprecedented. Then, Tom Defalco had Captain America lift it, and I said "okay" because it was Captain "frigging" America! Now, anyone can do it - literally.

    The big problem with Mjolnir is how nebulous the term "worthy" is. This is something future Thor writers and editors ought to give some thought to. If being worthy means, having a nobility of spirit and being selfless then there are any number of Marvel heroes who could be worthy including but not limited to: Black Panther, Storm, Captain Marvel, Captain Britain (Betsy), maybe even Wolverine. The list would never end. Then, there's Jane Foster. What exactly made her worthy? Was it simply her belief that the world still needed gods (like Thor)? Was she just the right woman at the right time? Because, aside from that, Jane is just an ordinary person,a good person, but just an above average human being.

    I hope other readers will add their takes on what makes a person worthy of lifting a Mjolnir, but let me start with something obvious. To be worthy means to have performed many many heroic and selfless acts, so many that it would be virtually impossible for someone with a normal human lifespan to perform them all.

  2. #2
    Boisterously Confused
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    As with all Powers, it ultimately means what a writer needs it to mean.

  3. #3
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    Is being able to perform heroic acts more important than being willing to perform selfless acts? Truly heroic people are heroic with or without any sort of "powers". Why would past deeds matter more than what they actually plan on doing with the hammer?

    The thing that always annoyed me about Thor's worthiness is that most of the other heroes should be worthy. If the excuse is that only someone like Thor is strong enough to withstand the intense power of Mjolnir, I could accept that, but the argument is about character. Thor doesn't seem to be inherently more heroic than other characters. That's why I don't have too much of a problem with other people being able to wield the hammer.

  4. #4
    Extraordinary Member JudicatorPrime's Avatar
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    I'm going to sidestep this discussion, but I have my popcorn ready. This should be a good one. I find it hilarious that a person whose name loosely translates to mean "lord of the mad, frantic, frenzied, possessed and deliriously enraged" is the one who deterimined what worthiness means. After all, it's Wōdunaz's spell and his standard.

  5. #5
    Astonishing Member babyblob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PCN24454 View Post
    The thing that always annoyed me about Thor's worthiness is that most of the other heroes should be worthy. If the excuse is that only someone like Thor is strong enough to withstand the intense power of Mjolnir, I could accept that, but the argument is about character. Thor doesn't seem to be inherently more heroic than other characters. That's why I don't have too much of a problem with other people being able to wield the hammer.
    I used to be annoyed that everyone picked it up. i even commented on the other threar the OP mentioned.

    But when I sat down one day and thought about Thor and his hammer a couple of things bothered me.

    Number one a person has to be worthy tp lift it. Yet I have read a couple of stories where Thor is evil yet he still has the power. In Avengers special from 1968 Captain America, Wasp, Hawkeye, Black Panther, and Goliath travel o an alternate Earth where the Original Avengers have taken control of the Earth. They have captured all other heroes and pretty much control the world. yet tht thor still has the hammer and the power it gives.

    In the Mc2 comics The Anext team goes to another Earth where Thor is just pure evil working for an evil Doctor Doom (I think). Yet he still has the power.

    And on the who is worthy note. Why is Spiderman who is one of the most selfless heroes Marvel has not able to lift it? Its kind of a dumbass plot point that bugs me a bit. It really doesnt mean anything any more.
    Last edited by babyblob; 11-26-2020 at 05:36 AM.
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  6. #6
    Astonishing Member babyblob's Avatar
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    What about the times Thor has been mind controlled or forced to do things that were bad or evil. He is no longer worthy. Yet he does not lose his powers. yes you can say he is still worthy because he is being forced to do this things. But Odin took Thor's freaken powers away because he refused to return to Earth or give up hi love of Jane Foster. Do you really think he cares about the fine lines? I remember reading an issue where Thor had his personality altered by Loki and was raising Hell on earth. Odin said something like. Thor's actions make him unworthy of his power. What can i do to stop him? Take away his powers. You have the ability to do it and have done it many times. Yet when Thor goes bad you forget you are able to?

    The more I read Thor the more I see only he who is worthy as the worst plot device in comics. I still enjoy Thor I just wish they would let this drop. I mean Hell Odin in the movies deems Thor unworthy and then deems him worthy in the space of what? A week? Just because he was willing to die for his friends? Every hero is willing to do that.
    Last edited by babyblob; 11-26-2020 at 08:24 AM.
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  7. #7
    Moderator Frontier's Avatar
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    Worthiness is up to whatever the writer wants, at this point .
    Quote Originally Posted by babyblob View Post
    The more I read Thor the more I see only he who is worthy as the worst plot device in comics. I still enjoy Thor I just wish they would let this drop. I mean Hell Odin in the movies deems Thor unworthy and then deems him worthy in the space of what? A week? Just because he was willing to die for his friends? Every hero is willing to do that.
    Well, Odin didn't deem him worthy again, it was his actions and acting selflessly instead of for himself that finally made him worthy to lift the hammer again.

  8. #8

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    I want to see somebody like Luke Cage get to use it.
    I'm not kidding.

  9. #9
    Astonishing Member babyblob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frontier View Post
    Worthiness is up to whatever the writer wants, at this point .

    Well, Odin didn't deem him worthy again, it was his actions and acting selflessly instead of for himself that finally made him worthy to lift the hammer again.
    Just like pretty much every hero does on a daily basis. Yet the Hammer does not deem them worthy?
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  10. #10
    Extraordinary Member WebLurker's Avatar
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    I agree with anyone who says that "it means whatever the writers decide it means."
    Doctor Strange: "You are the right person to replace Logan."
    X-23: "I know there are people who disapprove... Guys on the Internet mainly."
    (All-New Wolverine #4)

  11. #11
    Astonishing Member Panic's Avatar
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    Worthiness, shmurthiness, really the point is that only Thor should be able to use the hammer, it shouldn't be able to be taken away from him.

  12. #12
    Moderator Frontier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by babyblob View Post
    Just like pretty much every hero does on a daily basis. Yet the Hammer does not deem them worthy?
    It was in contrast to how he had been acting prior to that and not thinking through his actions and the effect it had on others and acting like a child. He had to regain his inherent nobility, compassion, and honor to be able to really be Thor again.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hypestyle View Post
    I want to see somebody like Luke Cage get to use it.
    I'm not kidding.
    While that would awesome to see (like in some sort of "Thorverse" or "Thored-out Heroes" type of story), it's not hard to see why people are sick of it.

  14. #14
    Astonishing Member babyblob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frontier View Post
    It was in contrast to how he had been acting prior to that and not thinking through his actions and the effect it had on others and acting like a child. He had to regain his inherent nobility, compassion, and honor to be able to really be Thor again.
    The same can be said for Spiderman. he became a kind of jerk when he got his powers. Wanting money and looking out only for him. hence why he let the theif go. He had to regain his nobility and remember what uncle Ben taught him. So by those standards he should be able to lift it.
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  15. #15
    Better than YOU! Alan2099's Avatar
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    I've always taken it to mean that a person must be the kind of guy that Odin would think is worthy. They have to be a noble warrior. They need a good heart, but must also be willing to kill their enemies if the need to.

    As for the times when Thor has been mind controlled or went mad, Thor is still Thor. The person itself hasn't changed. He's just not in his right mind at the moment.

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