Captain America lifting Thor’s hammer in Avengers: Endgame has gone down as one of the most exhilarating moments of the big Phase 3 finale for fans – and Chris Evans. Still, there’s often been a lot of discussion about how much it actually makes sense, for a couple of reasons. First of all, there’s the issue of Steve Rogers’ worthiness and secondly, how exactly is Cap able to summon lightning with the weapon?
You see, Thor: Ragnarok has Odin explicitly state to his son that Mjolnir only serves to aid Thor in controlling his powers and he can actually channel lightning by himself. Yet Cap’s actions in Endgame seemingly ignore this revelation and treat the hammer as the source of Thor’s power again. Co-writer Christopher Markus has admitted this was a concern, but the image of Cap controlling lightning was just too cool not to include.
There is, however, a perfectly acceptable explanation for how this all works that goes back to the 2011 Thor movie. As pointed out by IGN and many other fans over the past few months, Odin yet again provides the key exposition here. When he strips Thor of his abilities and exiles him to Earth, he enchants Mjolnir with the following incantation: “Whosoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor.”
So, there you go. Cap was deemed worthy to hold the hammer and so temporarily possessed the powers of Thor, including his knack for summoning lightning. That power is unique to Thor and not Mjolnir, but those wielding the weapon get a replication of the skill if they’re able to lift it. The same enchantment is presumably what turns Jane Foster into a Goddess of Thunder in Thor: Love and Thunder. This Avengers: Endgame moment is not so much a plot hole, then, as an accidental set-up for an incoming movie.