In Avengers: Infinity War:

Thor's new weapon Stormbreaker was thrown by Thor and Thanos was not able to stop it and it pierced him in the chest.

With all the Infinity Stones obtained, how could he not block or deflect this weapon? As far as I know the same material made the hammer which Hela easily stopped and crushed to pieces.

I cannot make sense of this, can someone enlighten me please. The only thing I want to know is why Thanos got hit when he had all stones in the gauntlet.

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    The "worthy" aspect is specific to Mjolnir (Thor's hammer) and not Stormbreaker (axe). Also, that enchantment wore off Mjolnir when Odin died. As for Thanos not being able to stop Thor's assault, Stormbreaker is significantly more powerful than Mjolnir (i.e., when Thor fought Hela). This is partly because Stormbreaker can be used two-handed. That's about all I can offer..
    – Charles
    Commented May 1, 2018 at 0:02
  • 2
    I think it's because as powerful as the stones are, Thanos is kind of bad at using them. Where he was able to use the reality stone earlier in the movie to completely disable the guardians, later in the movie he has extended hand to hand combat with Tony and the others where apparently he forgot he could do that. As when he gets the opportunity to use the stones, he ends up just using the power stone to throw some giant rocks instead?
    – Kai
    Commented May 1, 2018 at 0:06
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    "Whoever holds all six Gems and uses them in concert gains omnipotence and omniscience." It looked like he was just using the power stone to try and block. "What did you do!?!" Thor asks, once we see the gauntlet all tore up looking, after the 'dream' sequence. My guess is that he finally used all six gems in concert. Ignorance being bliss and knowledge a burden, that's why he'll "lose" in the sequel, as he secretly deems himself unworthy of ultimate power. Spoiler alert: part two will end with a deus ex machina :\
    – Mazura
    Commented May 1, 2018 at 0:36
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    This post has too many questions in one. Please limit the scope.
    – Möoz
    Commented May 1, 2018 at 6:09
  • Thanos can block the attach only if he sees it coming and at that specific time, he was somewhat occupied with the whole "I-gathered-all-Six-Stones" thing. Commented May 1, 2018 at 6:59

5 Answers 5


I'd say this was mainly due to the element of surprise, and a bit of disbelief.

At this point in the film, Thanos is the most powerful being in the universe, and he'd already made sure no one could forge a weapon to destroy him (by killing all the dwarves but one and extinguishing their forge). To Thanos, Thor is just another minor annoyance to swat away before completing his ultimate plan. By the time he realizes that Stormbreaker is no ordinary axe, it's too late to change tactics.

Thanos doesn't seem to be the smartest villain in the MCU, nor the fastest. There's no Infinity Stone that increases reflexes, or makes you smarter.

  • 2
    Great answer! (Though actually I think the mind stone might actually make people smarter not 100% on that)
    – Ummdustry
    Commented May 1, 2018 at 17:33
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    @Ummdustry hmm, maybe. So far, the Mind Stone has been shown to control other people's minds, give superpowers to otherwise normal people, create sentient artificial intelligence, and shoot lasers. So I guess it's within the realm of possibility that it also makes you smarter, but since I don't recall seeing it actually do that I'd like to think that it can't (because really, it's already super versatile). Commented May 1, 2018 at 18:56
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    Actually, Thanos is very intelligent. And he's fast when he wants to be Commented May 13, 2018 at 21:40
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    This is so wrong. Thanos is extremely smart (he tells it himself), and he is fast as hell. Plus once he wear the infinity gauntlet with all the gems on it he becomes God. Can you think of anything smarter than an omniscient being? Oh, and by becoming a god he becomes invulnerable too. There's no way a puny axe could hurt him, unless he wanted so.
    – motoDrizzt
    Commented Jun 27, 2018 at 7:46
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    @motoDrizzt He becomes near omnipotent, not omniscient or omnipresent, so not what one would traditionally call a god. He also doesn’t seem to become invulnerable, as that axe goes right into his chest. Commented Aug 20, 2018 at 21:54

Just because the two weapons are made of the same material doesn't mean they are of equal strength/power, especially in the Marvel universe. Different techniques in their design, creation, and enchantments, all seem to play a part in the ultimate power of the weapon. Thor and the one who forged the weapon are both convinced this is the most powerful weapon they've ever created, so it stands to reason that we shouldn't compare them on a simple material level.

We also need to consider that Thor had disadvantages in both fights with Hela. In the beginning, he had the power of the hammer, but lacked a true understanding of his own power. In the end, he understood his one power, but lacked a weapon with which to channel that power through. This also fits in that in the beginning of Avengers: Infinity War:

He still has that power, but no sufficient weapon, and thus loses easily to Thanos and his servants. But come the end of the movie, he has both his powers and a great weapon to focus it through, and comes out a much greater threat.

In regard to that specific hit you're questioning:

The implication does seem to be that Stormbreaker combined with Thor's powers are indeed formidable enough to stand up to the power of the infinity stones, at least to some degree. Considering individual stones are capable of being destroyed from a variety of "non-infinitely powerful" means, I think it's safer to consider the stones as sources of incredible power rather than omnipotent power. That is to say, they are incredibly powerful, but not "all powerful", and can be overcome to at least an extent given other sufficiently powerful forces.


The stones, like any other weapon, are only as powerful as how they're used. If Thanos' goal was just using them for their unfocused power to stop Stormbreaker, and it overcame that, then that's one thing. If he had used the stones to cause the axe to unexist, or reverse time on it, would that have had an effect? Maybe, maybe not. All we know is that however he chose to act against it, it was at least more powerful than that, and thus he was hit.

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    I am more satisfied with this explanation but as far as the movie is concerned, I don't remember seeing any enchantment on Stormbreaker and Scarlet Witch was able to destroy the stone was because her power is made of the same thing, like diamond cutting diamond
    – Huangism
    Commented May 1, 2018 at 16:39
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    @Huangism The explanation they gave for her was that because her power derived from the stone, it should be able to break it. My point in referring to that is not about what can break a stone, but to highlight that they are not truly as "all-powerful" as they are often considered. They do have weaknesses in their power. I don't know if Stormbreaker could destroy them, but I do know from the scene that it was capable of overpowering them, even if just for a moment, enough to make that hit. So given that they have other weaknesses, this explains how it might have managed to break through.
    – Mwr247
    Commented May 1, 2018 at 16:48
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    1 ) A nail and a hammer can be of the same material - but that nail won't stand a chance... 2) I believe, that the visions of Odin, that Thor gets, is a symbolism to Thor achieving some of the Odin-Force - thereby not only having a stronger weapon, but also is stronger himself.
    – Stender
    Commented Dec 19, 2018 at 11:09

The Stones are omnipotent, but the Gauntlet is not. He wasn’t using the full power of the Stones because doing so would mean damaging the Gauntlet beyond usage, thus preventing him from doing The Snap. Notice at the end that the Gauntlet looked burnt and beaten up after The Snap, thus showing that the Gauntlet cannot handle the full power of the Stones.

Let’s not forget that the Infinity Gauntlet is the latest iteration in a recurring theme in the MCU: the Infinity Stones need to be harnessed through a medium or device in order to remain safe and usable; the cube the Space Stone was in, the Aether containing the Reality Stone, the ball that had the Power Stone in it, the Eye of Agamotto containing the Time Stone, and the Mind Stone in Vision (who has a Vibranium body). As revealed in the first Guardians movies, you pretty much need to be a god to even touch a single one of them.

Thus the whole reason why the Gauntlet was made at all was because Thanos needed a weapon capable of harnessing the power of the Stones (this is why he forced the dwarves to make it for him). Once that full power was actually used, the Gauntlet became heavily damaged, possibly beyond repair or usage.

  • If Thor hit him before The Snap, this is a good point. If not, then the gauntlet should still be at full power then.
    – Obsidia
    Commented Aug 7, 2018 at 2:22
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    @Bellatrix - Aaron is saying that Thanos didn't use the full power of the stones to try to stop Stormbreaker, otherwise the Gauntlet would have been all smashed and unusable before The Snap. Commented Aug 7, 2018 at 9:23
  • Came here to answer this. ScreenRant (and others) have theorized this on youtube and it seems sound. youtube.com/watch?v=Q1cjKRi6CnU
    – Jeremy
    Commented Dec 19, 2018 at 15:14
  • Professor Hulk shows no particular issues with holding the time stone directly. You might be thinking "that's close enough to a god", but recall that Quinn holds the spirit stone directly. And that's rather less close. Commented May 10, 2019 at 3:35

When the dwarf Eitri was explaining about the weapon, which would be worthy of a king, able to evoke bifrost itself (In the comics, Mijolnir is capable of this and of opening passages to other dimensions and planes), then Thanos was simply ingenuous and not specting for a weapon capable of manipulating elemental forces such as TIME and SPACE, he attempted to defend himself with a burst of energy from the gauntlet, but the axe simply ignored becose it was POWERFUL enough, and this is why he got hit in the chest.


The official statement on how the gauntlet uses the stones, is that Uru can channel energy. A mere energy blast can be absorbed by Stormbreaker and used to protect itself. Then, Thanos could fix it but just didn’t.

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