Mjolnir can only be lifted by beings who are worthy, which I generally interpret as honorable. Just like this time, Should attempted murder make him unworthy? When Thor discovered the prophecy that he would die battling Loki's son Jormungandr, he began a quest to kill his own nephew. Is it explained how he can still wield Mjolnir?

Considering both Thor and Jormungandr were going to die in the prophecy, Thor and only Thor benefits from murdering his nephew. If he let fate play out he would kill the serpent anyway. This seems selfish. Is he still worthy after attempting to murder his own nephew when no one was in danger?


(The Mighty Thor #486)

Loki's son Jormungandr, born by Angerboda.

This question considers that no matter how evil a villain is, heroes in Marvel never seek out to kill them. (well, honorable ones who can wield Mjolnir don't). The honorable solution to evil has always been imprisoning or containing it somehow. Only an accident, the chaos of war, a force majeure, or the hands of a villian actually kill. For example, Thor has never even considered killing his own brother even after Loki endangered all of Midgard.

How is someone who is actively seeking out a sentient being to murder them, with no provocation, still worthy of Mjolnir?

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    Where is this panel from and why do you think an attempt to kill a gigantic beast (regardless of its parentage) would make Thor unworthy? – Valorum Oct 4 at 23:26
  • Motive. Thor sought Jormungand out only because the prophecy said it would kill him. Premeditated murder. – Vogon Poet Oct 4 at 23:32
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    And trying to kill someone who's destined to kill you isn't self-defence? – Valorum Oct 4 at 23:36
  • There is no way to answer this without a canon definition of "worthiness". – Spencer Oct 21 at 22:26
  • I'm sure that's true, and that is my point. I read the comic many years ago and thought I understood it well, through the many people who have tried and failed to lift it. Hulk, Vision, and Cap are worthy. Everyone else is not. – Vogon Poet Oct 21 at 22:37

This question considers that no matter how evil a villian is, heroes in Marvel never seek out to kill them

Are you sure you're reading the same Marvel comics as everyone else?

Let's see, Captain America once used his shield to sever the Red Skull's arm, which caused him to drop a Cosmic Cube and be destroyed (being the Red Skull, he came back eventually), but still, intentionally severing his arm. When the Red Skull's consciousness was trapped in a robot body, he was destroyed by Sharon Carter (being the Red Skull, yadda yadda...).

Nova killed Annihilus at the climax of the Annihilation storyline.

Wolverine...hoo, boy, you could have a telephone directory for him. He's killed Omega Red, Daken, countless mooks.

I could dig out more, but I trust the point is made, yeah? Marvel heroes can, and have, killed opponents.

  • It was a war to preserve all life in both the Negative Zone and the Positive Universe, so yeah, Nova preserved himself and everyone else killing Annihilus in a war Annihilus started. Yes, it's the same comic as everyone else. How does this relate to Mjolnir or Thor? Is your point that honorable and worthy people engage in premeditated murder? – Vogon Poet Oct 7 at 18:08
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    Glad to see you picked one and ignored the others. – Keith Morrison Oct 7 at 18:15
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    A frame challenge is an answer, regardless if it doesn't address the title question. The answer suggests just because he Thor plans to kill doesn't suddenly make him unworthy or dishonourable. – Edlothiad Oct 7 at 18:24
  • Nor does it in any way suggest why it makes him still worthy. It's a random list of people who are not worthy (Wolverine, Nova, etc) but have killed; therefore "Thor is worthy." The question is about worthiness per Mjolnir. Through extreme extrapolation we could do our own research, check the Captain America story, and judge if Red Skull's death was "premeditated murder," but none of that extrapolation is in the "answer" nor do we have a reference for fact-checking. This is not even a frame challenge - no logic connects the "challenge" to "Worthiness to wield Mjolnir." – Vogon Poet Oct 7 at 18:58
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    @Keith Morrison, wolverine (and the xnen in general) is more in a grey area of heroness than outright being a hero – Garret Gang Oct 11 at 20:49

Jormungandr in Norse mythology is normally conceived of as utterly evil (like his brother Fenrir). The Marvel universe follows more or less along with this (as it does with most of its secondary characters drawn from Norse myths). These cruel and fairly animalistic spawn of Loki (unlike some of Loki's other, more intelligent offspring) are not deemed worthy of continued life—but, being divinities themselves, they cannot be slain until the final battle of Ragnarok, when the Midgard serpent is destined to kill Thor (and be killed by Thor).

Thor can try to fight fate, but he is not going to succeed. (Deep down, he probably knows this himself.) And even if he could get around the Norns' prophecy and destroy Jormungand, that would not be an evil act. He would be purging the world of poisonous monster that is responsible for storms, earthquakes, and other vile outcomes.

  • @VogonPoet This is a strange objection. Thor has not lost his worthiness trying to kill some of the other Marvel villains, so clearly you don't need to be 100% pure uncut evil to be evil enough. – Misha R Oct 5 at 2:08
  • @VogonPoet Your comment's objection had to do with whether or not Jormungand is pure evil, and I responded that this does not seem to be a requirement. But, to respond to the other issue - if Jormungand is to be seen similarly to the way he is portrayed in Norse mythology, then he is a threat to everyone. I don't see why it should be objectionable to take him out. Nor do I see why it would be laudable to refrain from taking on an evil dangerous being just because it hasn't harmed you. If anything, that seems rather selfish. Moreover, self-preservation is generally considered ok. – Misha R Oct 5 at 2:44
  • I would also say, if Thor sees himself as a force for good and he knows he is destined to die battling Jormungand, is it an entirely selfish act to try to keep himself alive longer to continue being a force for good? Jormungand dies in either scenario, but in one scenario the universe also loses a huge net positive force for good. That seems worth trying to prevent, all other things being equal? – delinear Oct 7 at 12:56
  • I feel this post would benefit greatly if it included references. – Vogon Poet Oct 7 at 17:06

The hammer's spell was put on by Odin and he seems nice but whoever Odin thinks is worthy can hold it. At one point in time Odin was a tyrant conquer of Realms but he stopped at 9 and was a noble king. He had an army and he killed a lot of people so if he thinks that's worthy then that's him.

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