I’ve got a feeling that Avengers: Infinity War is going to be a movie based on moments. Moments where Earth’s mightiest mortals unite with the frickin’ Guardians of the Galaxy to dispense some justice towards Thanos and his quest to recover all of the Infinity Stones so that he can harness the power of gods.
Just imagine it: The Hulk and Groot tearing up the scene. Gamora and Black Widow kicking ass with style and class. Star Lord and Iron Man jockeying for a position with the tightest of quips in their team dynamic. Thor and Rocket Racoon maaaaaaaan! Thanks to a sneak peek behind the scenes of Avengers: Infinity War, we at least know that the Odinson will team up with the surly space-vermin for at least one scene. Presumably a mighty showdown with Thanos and his dark forces. But look closely, and you might have spotted something else:
Didn’t catch it? Let’s zoom in:
Yup, looks like Thor isn’t holding Mjolnir. Instead, he appears to be holding his fabled axe Jarnborn instead, a weapon he wielded in an age before he was worthy of the mighty hammer forged in the dying heart of a star. Has Thor become unworthy once again, following the events of Thor: Ragnarok? It wouldn’t be surprising, nor would it be the first time.
In fact, Thor has been without his trusty hammer since the 2014 Original Sin event, when a rogue Nick “non Samuel L Jackson version” Fury took down the Thunder-God with the weight of a mere whispered secret that left him unable to lift Mjolnir. Things got even worse for Thor from that point, as he abandoned his identity and became known as merely the Odinson as Jane Foster proved herself worthy enough to wield the hammer.
Since then, original flavour Thor found himself losing an arm in a battle against Malekith and imprisoned by dark forces as he sought out the hammer that belonged to the Thor of the Ultimates universe, one of the few remainders of a reality that was after the Secret Wars had ended. So how will this factor into Avengers: Infinity War? Marvel movies aren’t entirely beholden towards their source material, adopting elements to help build a tale, but I’d wager that the upcoming Thor: Ragnarok will provide answers to how an unworthy Thor finds himself wielding an axe instead of a hammer.
Then again, maybe Mjolnir itself will be shattered by the hands of Thanos and thus force the Thor to find a replacement. And with Doctor Strange confirming that there is a multiverse of alternate realities and worlds out there, maybe Thor could find himself paying a visit to another land to prove himself worthy once more.