In Thor: Ragnarok, we see Hela breaking the artwork on the dome in Asgard to reveal the paintings of the time when she and Odin went on a quest to conquer the realms.

The painting shows Hela holding Mjolnir while riding on Fenrir, alongside Odin. Hela says this conquest happened long before Thor and Loki, otherwise, they would have remembered their sister.

At the time when Mjolnir was forged, Odin had inscribed the line "Whosoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor", which insinuates that the hammer was made specifically for Thor's use and no one else. But how is it that we see Hela holding the hammer belonging to Thor even before Thor existed?

We know that the hammer was Mjolnir for sure because Hela explains how she broke Mjolnir by saying she used to wield it before (in the paintings).

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    As was made clear in the movie, Odin lied a lot, so it could be that he made the hammer for Hela first.
    – Hans Olo
    Nov 14, 2017 at 13:58
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    @EricaMeltzer Was the inscription made at the time of forging in the movie continuity though? Odin says those exact words when banishing Thor in the first movie. I'd always assumed that that particular enchantment, and the inscription to go along with it, were added then, not when Mjolnir was first forged. Nov 14, 2017 at 14:07
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    You're being exceptionally picky when referring to the inscription. Though it mentions Thor, it starts off with Whosoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy ..., which clearly means that there are (or at least could be) others who can wield the hammer. I don't understand how you can conclude from this "that the hammer was made specifically for Thor's use". It literally states the opposite.
    – Flater
    Nov 14, 2017 at 14:12
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    @EricaMeltzer If Hela can destroy Mjolnir with her bare hands, why can't Odin the Allfather enchant an inscription upon it after its forging? It stretches credulity to suggest that when Odin enchants it in the first movie that he was only repeating the words that were already written upon it.
    – J Doe
    Nov 14, 2017 at 14:27
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    Too brief and speculative for an answer - The literal translation of "Thor" from old norse to modern english is "thunder". It became a given name at some point in the past. In the MCU, Odin certainly hung out with the old norse. Linguistically the reasoning can be as simple as it was Odin's way of saying "my kids are strong and make a lot of noise"
    – pojo-guy
    Nov 14, 2017 at 20:58

5 Answers 5


The enchantment on Mjolnir (the hammer) is not made until Thor (the character) is banished to Earth in Thor (the movie). Long, long after Hela used it when she went a conquering with Odin.

Up until that time presumably anyone Odin gave the hammer to could wield it without restriction. I don't believe just anyone could have taken it though, because the hammer returns to the caller. There would have to be some kind of 'ownership' of the hammer so it knew who to return to when called. Odin calls it from Thor's side, maybe the hammer is loyal to the Asgardian throne.

The interesting thing about that whole scene now, is that Thor is very much like the young Odin, apparently. He wants the 9 realms to fear him and he wants to conquer them, but Odin doesn't want his son to follow in his footsteps.


The MCU hammer doesn't have the inscription.

I haven't found an indication that there is a physical inscription on this version of the hammer at all! We see Odin speak the enchantment over the hammer in the scene where Thor is banished, but we don't see any inscription or writing/lettering.

Edit: Evidence for this provided in the answer to this question, with thanks to Valorum: Does the MCU version of Mjolnir carry the "Whosoever holds this hammer..." inscription?

If the inscription is there, it could probably be changed.

If the comics are any indication, even if such an enchantment/inscription WAS on the hammer during Hela's time wielding it, it is changeable: when the female Thor took up the hammer, the inscription changed, replacing "he" with "she". No one had to make the change, it changed of its own accord. It's not a stretch to think that Odin would be powerful enough to have the inscription added as he enchanted it, or to alter it if one already existed.

The hammer wasn't made specifically for Thor.

There are several variations of Mjolnir's origin in the comics, but of the ones I've found, none of them actually have the hammer being made specifically for Thor at all. In the base mythological origin, it was simply created as a gift to the gods, and it turned out only Thor was strong enough to wield it one handed (due to the short handle). In another, it is forged from the heart of a dying star. In still another, it is made by trapping a giant sentient space storm...thing...in a lump of Uru, which is forgotten for a long time before Thor finally appears and is able to wield it. In all of these cases, the hammer was made for other reasons, and happened to find its way into Thor's hands to become his signature weapon.

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    I recently rewatched Thor and I thought I saw the inscription on the side opposite the Triquetra. Nov 14, 2017 at 23:15
  • Weirdly, I have been unable to find a picture of it. Lots of cosplay pieces, but no images of the official prop that could make it clear one way or the other. My search fu is weak today :(
    – Irishpanda
    Nov 15, 2017 at 13:37
  • And my memory is not 100% reliable either. It might have been in the illustration in the children's book Dr. Selviig found in the library. Nov 15, 2017 at 17:55

Because in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Mjolnir was not created specifically for Thor, it was created as a "god-training tool" by Odin to help his progeny master their extraordinary powers.

Hela is seen using it because she fought alongside Odin when he was conquering the Nine Realms. This was before she developed her own death-dealing powers and was imprisoned as a threat to Asgard after she killed the Valkyries.

As far as the enchantment which limits who can lift the Hammer, in the MCU, this was something done by Odin when he banished Thor from Asgard due to his lack of humility in Thor (2011).


Referring to the inscription on the Hammer - "Whoever is worthy to wield the hammer shall possess the power of Thor", it doesn't specifically say it was made for him nor does he own it. It is just like saying, "I can buy this iPhone so it was made only for me". No. it was made for everyone who can afford it. Same is the case with Meow-meow :P but in this case one should be worthy. Mjolnir was forged as a weapon

Speaking out of context a bit here, but outside the MCU, Hela never used Mjolnir (at least as far as I've seen/read). MCU bends the comic books and the Norse mythology as it wishes.


That's not how it works; there is no power of Thor that makes anyone lift the hammer.

In the comics, he couldn't lift it because Nick Fury said essentially "the world doesn't need gods". Thor believed it, so then he couldn't lift it. Jane Foster carried the hammer next because she was worthy, not because of Thor's powers.

Plus his name is 'Odin Son' not 'Thor'. The hammer titles the person as Thor, just as Odin Son wasn't the first Thor.. Beta Ray Bill was.

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    Can you provide any sources for your answer, as I’m almost certain Odinson is one word, not two.
    – Edlothiad
    Feb 21, 2018 at 11:05

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