Jane Foster & The Mighty Thor

Is the Beloved Mjolnir Going to Return in ‘Thor 4’?

Mew-new, where are yew?

Thor: Love and Thunder is only a few months away! And with the trailer held up somewhere in the Nine Realms, we’ve all got a million questions about the latest installment in the Thor franchise. Is Zeus going to attack New Asgard? How will Gorr the God Butcher get involved? Will Loki make an appearance? How awesome is Valkyrie going to be as King? Most importantly, with Jane Foster expected to take up the mantle of the Mighty Thor, will the magic hammer Mjolnir be returning?

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Here’s everything we know so far.

Why Mjolnir is integral to the Thor series

Before we get into what we know so far about Thor 4, let’s look at why Mjolnir is so important to Thor, and why the hammer’s return to the MCU makes so much sense.

Mjolnir has been inseparable from Thor since before Marvel’s God of Thunder was even a glint in young Stan Lee’s eye. Mjolnir originates in one of the stories from Norse mythology, in which Loki cuts off Sif’s hair, and then convinces the dwarves to craft the hammer and other treasures for the Gods as penance. In the myths, Mjolnir is a formidable weapon, which Thor uses to defeat all sorts of giants, monsters, and other enemies. So, when Thor entered the Marvel universe in Journey Into Mystery in the 1960s, he transformed from his alter-ego, Donald Blake, into his true self by striking Mjolnir on the ground.

The first Thor movie introduced Mjolnir into the MCU, along with the spell Odin places on it to make sure that only Thor can wield it—and then, only if he’s worthy. When Thor begins, Thor is a brash and immature prince, and before Odin banishes him to Earth for attacking Jotunheim, he whispers a spell over Mjolnir: “Whosoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor.” Thor finds that he can’t pick up the hammer until he grows up, develops some integrity, and learns to put others before himself. Mjolnir becomes not just a weapon to Thor, but a symbol of his inner journey to be a hero and a king.

Throughout the Thor and Avengers movies, Thor and Mjolnir are inseparable. This dynamic hits home in Avengers: Age of Ultron, with the unforgettable scene in which each Avenger tries unsuccessfully to lift it, and Thor is visibly startled when Steve Rogers grabs it and it budges just the tiniest fraction of an inch.

Then, in Thor: Ragnarok, tragedy strikes when Hela is released from her interdimensional prison and destroys Mjolnir by shattering it. Thor is brokenhearted over the loss, and he tries to describe his relationship with Mjolnir to Korg, the Kronan and fellow gladiator he meets on Sakaar. Korg sums Thor’s feelings up nicely by saying, “Sounds like you had a pretty special and intimate relationship with this hammer and that losing it was almost comparable to losing a loved one.”

Sorry, had something in my eye there for a second. Korg really gets it!

After Ragnarok, the Mjolnir situation gets a little wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey. In Avengers: Endgame, Thor has become a shell of his former self, drowning himself in alcohol and video games to numb the pain of losing his family and half his people. When he travels back in time to get the Aether and sneak in a visit with his mom, he holds out his hand to see if Mjolnir will come to him like in the old days. He’s elated when it does, because it means that his years of depression haven’t rendered him unworthy of his powers. (On the contrary, Thor! I think they render you even more worthy! Destigmatize mental health struggles, people!) His joy is enhanced even more in the final battle, when Steve picks up Mjolnir and proves that he’s worthy, too. Mjolnir becomes a focal point for both of their heroic journeys.

After Thanos is defeated for good, though, Steve returns Mjolnir to its proper place in the Asgardian past to avoid creating a branch timeline. It seems like in the MCU, Mjolnir is gone for good.

Or is it?

There’s one detail that seems to be forgotten in all the hubbub of Ragnarok and Avengers 4 and 5, though. What happened to the fragments of Mjolnir that fell to the ground after Hela broke it? The last we see of Mjolnir is the fragments sitting on a grassy cliffside in Norway. Thor and Loki try to escape to Asgard immediately after Hela breaks it, and then Infinity War happens, so we never see anyone come to collect the fragments. Do they just sit there forever?

Some new action figures suggest that they don’t!

Jane Foster as the Mighty Thor

In the comics, Jane Foster finds Mjolnir on the moon after Thor loses the ability to wield it. Jane finds that she’s able to pick it up, transforming into the Mighty Thor and serving as the Goddess of Thunder for several years while Thor becomes the Odinson. Thor 4 will be adapting this storyline, with Natalie Portman’s Jane wielding Mjolnir.

For a long time, fans speculated on how exactly Mjolnir would come back. Would it be from another universe? Would it be shown in flashbacks? Now that some Thor 4 merchandise is dropping, though, we can get a better sense of which Mjolnir Jane will use.

Thor and Jane action figures.
Jane and Thor as action figures. (S.H. Figuarts)

As you can see in the photo of some newly released action figures above, Jane is holding a Mjolnir that was clearly once in pieces. This makes it overwhelmingly likely that the Mjolnir we’ll see in the next movie will be the same one that Hela broke. How is this possible!? Has someone been saving the pieces all these years? How will those pieces fuse back together? How will Jane prove herself worthy to wield Mjolnir?

More importantly, will Mjolnir’s presence help Thor continue the emotional journey he first started out on in 2011? In the comics, Thor goes through a whole mess of feelings when he realizes that he needs to give up—not only his hammer, but his name to Jane. Now that he’s regained his confidence and sense of self in the MCU, seeing Mjolnir going to the Midgardian who dumped him will surely bring up a lot of emotional baggage. How will our boy deal with it!?

We’ll find out soon! Thor: Love and Thunder, complete with Mjolnir, will hit theaters on July 8th, and a trailer is likely just weeks away.

(featured image: Marvel Comics)


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Author
Julia Glassman
Julia Glassman (she/her) holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and has been covering feminism and media since 2007. As a staff writer for The Mary Sue, Julia covers Marvel movies, folk horror, sci fi and fantasy, film and TV, comics, and all things witchy. Under the pen name Asa West, she's the author of the popular zine 'Five Principles of Green Witchcraft' (Gods & Radicals Press). You can check out more of her writing at <a href="https://juliaglassman.carrd.co/">https://juliaglassman.carrd.co/.</a>