In the 2012 movie 'Avengers', Thor and Hulk battle on the lower hanger bay of the Helicarrier. During the battle, Thor throws Mjölnir (his hammer) at Hulk, who dodges and grabs it as it flies past. He can't hold Mjölnir up and it drags his hand down as it falls to the carrier deck. He tries to pick it back up but can't and catches a flying knee from Thor. Thor then picks up Mjölnir and jumps on Hulk's back, using the hammer's handle in a choke hold attempt. Hulk starts to shake him off and jumps around while carrying both Thor and Mjölnir around on his shoulders. How can this be?

I understand Hulk is the strongest but shouldn't mystic Mjölnir pin Hulk to the deck much like when Thor pinned Loki to the Rainbow Bridge 'Bifrost' in the movie 'Thor'?

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    I really feel like the OP answers it's own question---Hulk is carrying Thor, who is worthy to "wield" Mjolnir. Technically, Hulk is not wielding Mjolnir, but rather he's carrying the one who is wielding it.
    – FoxMan2099
    Jul 19, 2013 at 14:24
  • duplicate: scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/31331/…
    – Phil Frost
    Jul 19, 2013 at 16:17
  • 1
    Nice find Phil Frost I didn't see that question posted. You appear to be right FoxMan, Hulk gets it on a technicality. The two top answers below by @Thaddeus and Singular1ty seem to be correct and get thumbs up but I give the 'Answer Accepted' to Thaddeus for more comprehensive.
    – Morgan
    Jul 20, 2013 at 3:12
  • The same way Samwise Gamgee can carry Frodo and the Ring without feeling the incredible weight of the Ring in Mordor. The helicarrier registers Mjolnir's weight as whatever the metal and wood that it consists of weigh. The reason Hulk can't picture up Mjolnir is because he isn't worthy, not because it weighs too much. If it weighed so much that Hulk couldn't lift it, the Helicarrier probably couldn't lift it either. When Thor is holding Mjolnir, the Hulk can lift him because he weighs as much as Thor plus a big hammer.
    – Wad Cheber
    Jun 1, 2015 at 1:56
  • TL;DR - Only the wielder must be worthy. Anyone can wield the wielder.
    – Wad Cheber
    Jun 1, 2015 at 1:58

4 Answers 4


Mjolnir, the mystical short-handled Uru-metal warhammer of the Asgardian, Thor Odinson, has two enchantments related to movement. Both can and have been subverted over Thor's history in the Marvel universe, but they are the most consistent powers of Mjolnir.

  • The first enchantment allows, when Mjolnir is deliberately thrown by Thor, to return to his hand after striking or attempting to strike a target despite any intervening obstacles or distance, even traveling through planets to return to Thor.

  • It has been blocked from returning by placing objects or substances between Thor and the hammer. Captain America using his shield and Magneto (using his magnetic powers) were known to have deflected the hammer from returning to Thor, even temporarily.

  • The hammer's movement limitation can be subverted if one picks up Thor and throws him, or punches him hard enough. We have even seen Mjolnir being "wielded" like a club against Thor in zero gravity by the Red Hulk, partially because Thor was still in contact with it and partially because of the zero G environment.

enter image description here

Thor taking a beating with Mjolnir at the hands of the Red Hulk due to a technicality...

Editor Tom Brevoort has offered the official explanation of how a bad guy like the Red Hulk could wield Mjolnir.

"…during a pause at one of our editorial retreats a few years ago, Jeph Loeb asked me if there were any circumstances under which the Red Hulk might be able to lift Thor’s hammer. We batted it around for awhile, and after some thought I told him that I could foresee two circumstances under which that might work: 1) If Thor still had his hand within the hammer’s thong or in his hand as well, so that the worthiness enchantment was defeated in that [Thor] himself [was] still in contact with the weapon, and 2) if the battle occurred in space where there was no gravity, and therefore the hammer was weightless. Jeph ended up using versions of both of these approaches in the story he thereafter wrote."

  • When Mjolnir is dropped or set aside, it takes a fixed position, from which it cannot be moved except by a 'worthy' individual. This power does not stop the hammer from being driven from place to place in a vehicle unless Thor does not want it to be moved. If it is dropped by Thor in a battle, its "default" setting is immovable until summoned by Thor. So while on the Helicarrier, Mjolnir could sit on a shelf somewhere until Thor called for it and it would still be immovable to a person trying to drag it away, but perfectly able to be flown where it needs to be.

This immovability enchantment has been subverted as well. Mjolnir has been wielded by a select number of other individuals: alien Beta Ray Bill; Avenger Captain America; Eric Masterson; Odin (Thor's father); Borr (Thor's grandfather); and Buri (also known as Tiwaz, Thor's great-grandfather).

The hammer has also been lifted by various sentient constructs (non-sentient machines apparently cannot), such as Zarrko the Tomorrow Man's mining robot; the Air-Walker (animated by the soul of Nova Corps captain Gabriel Lan); and the Awesome Android (by mimicking Thor's abilities and worthy nature). The hammer has also been lifted by Earth itself when animated via magical means. --Wikipedia -> Mjolnir (comics)

enter image description here

Captain America (in his guise as The Captain) wields Mjolnir long enough to free himself and return the hammer to Thor (off panel).


As far as I understand it (and I have a very limited Marvel knowledge), Mjolnir can only be physically carried by those it deems worthy.

Whoever wields this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor. -Odin

In the film, Thor, Thor himself is unable to wield the hammer when he descends onto Earth after being banished from Asgard, and has to 'earn' his right to be Thor again.

But when the current Thor is holding the hammer, it's magical weight effect wouldn't be, well, in effect. So Hulk can easily pick up Thor, who is in fact holding Mjolnir, without any apparent difficulty because Hulk is not wielding Mjolnir - he's just picking Thor up.

  • 1
    Precisely. If the weight of Mjolnir were in full effect while Thor was being lifted by a super-strong sentient, then Thor would essentially lose hold of Mjolnir or have his arm ripped off. In other words, if Thor himself is the vehicle/structure by which the weight of Mjolnir is being transferred to an unworthy sentient, then Thor would have to experience and withstand the full weight of Mjolnir himself, which obviously wouldn't be good. Jul 19, 2013 at 22:32

As long as Thor is holding Mjolnir, its magic is not in effect. Also, it's a very inconsistent magic to begin with, since while Hulk is failing to pick it up from the deck, technically the pilot of the entire carrier is "carrying" it without Thor's help.

  • The enchantment should only affect living things, as otherwise it'd just drop straight into the molten core of the earth (or possibly out the other end).
    – ardent
    Jul 19, 2013 at 0:06
  • @ardentsonata yes, but the pilot is a living thing. There is a comic in which it is established that a crane operator can't lift it with a crane, but apparently a pilot can lift it with a helicopter if that helicopter is big enough (the hover carrier)...
    – Sparr
    Jul 19, 2013 at 11:31

As you know the hammer has an effect of that when thor throws it up.At the time of fight,thor is on the shoulders of hulk and the hammer is in thor's hand.He can't throw it up in the air bcoz it wud hurt him too.So the power of the hammer can't let hulk down,and he threw thor .

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