- Hela’s ability to catch and destroy Mjolnir raised questions about why she was able to hold and break the hammer.
- Odin’s enchantment on Mjolnir in the beginning of Thor made it so only those worthy could wield its power.
- The most plausible explanation for Hela being able to hold and destroy Mjolnir is that Odin’s death weakened the enchantment and she was too powerful for it.
Thor: Ragnarok introduced Hela (Cate Blanchett), Odin’s daughter and thus Thor’s sister, who surprised the Asgardian prince and the audience by catching and destroying Mjolnir. After two solo movies and two adventures with his fellow Avengers, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) returned in his third solo movie, which made some necessary changes to the character. Under the direction of Taika Waititi, Thor: Ragnarok brought out the God of Thunder’s personality and injected the character with comedy, which boosted his popularity. Among the laughs and jokes, Thor: Ragnarok also explored some Asgardian family drama with the introduction of Hela.
Odin (Anthony Hopkins) was known for keeping secrets from his sons, but he forgot to tell them a very important one: he had another daughter, Hela, who he imprisoned centuries back and wrote out of history. Odin’s death would set Hela free, and almost immediately after the Allfather passed away, Hela arrived and met her brothers, and after trying to force them to kneel, Thor threw his trusty hammer Mjolnir at her. To everyone’s surprise, Hela stopped Mjolnir with one hand and destroyed it, raising many questions about why she was able to hold and break the hammer.
How Hela Held & Crushed Mjolnir In Thor: Ragnarok
What makes Mjolnir so special in the Marvel universe is the enchantment that Odin cast on it at the beginning of Thor. The hammer was forged from Uru in Nidavellir as requested by Odin, and during his conquest of the Nine Realms, Hela was in possession of the hammer. Hela fought alongside her father as she was the leader of Asgard’s armies, but after conquering the Nine Realms, Hela’s ambition grew and she plotted a much more aggressive conquest of other worlds. Wanting to end the war, Odin disagreed with Hela, and after trying to take the throne of Asgard by force, Odin banished her to Hel, where she would remain until he died, and the Allfather wiped all mention of Hela from history and took Mjolnir.
Sometime before Thor’s coronation at the beginning of Thor, the Asgardian prince was given Mjolnir to help him channel his powers. However, after Thor killed many Frost Giants behind Odin’s back, the Allfather punished Thor by taking his powers away, exiling him to Earth, and enchanting Mjolnir so that only those worthy of it could wield its power. Given her backstory, selfishness, greed, and more, Hela definitely wasn’t worthy of lifting Mjolnir, yet she was able to hold the hammer without much effort. It’s believed that Odin’s enchantments died when he did, allowing Hela to hold Mjolnir, but if that was the case, anyone would be able to wield it in the movies that have followed Thor: Ragnarok.
A more plausible explanation would be that Odin’s death didn’t break the enchantments but weakened them, which would have allowed a powerful being like Hela to lift it, but without leaving it weak enough for any human to hold the hammer. This, along with Hela drawing energy from Asgard, made her way too powerful for the weakened enchantment to keep her from holding the hammer, and it also allowed her to destroy it.
Did Odin Make Hela Worthy Before He Banished Her?
Not much is known about Mjolnir’s backstory in the MCU, only that it was made by the Dwarves in Nidavellir and that it was Hela’s weapon. It’s unknown, then, if Odin enchanted the hammer before giving it to Hela, thus making her worthy of it, and reinforced the enchantment when Thor became unworthy of it. In that case, the manner of her banishment might have not taken her worthiness away, thus allowing her to hold Mjolnir. However, the enchantment cast on it when Thor was exiled would have made Hela unworthy. The most likely explanation to why Hela held and crushed Mjolnir might be that Odin’s death weakened the enchantment and she was too powerful, but she definitely wasn’t worthy of it.