Avengers: Endgame had more than its fair share of crowd-pleasing moments, yet it’s undoubtedly Steve Rogers who steals the show during the movie’s final act thanks to one moment in particular. Yep, we’re out of spoiler territory now, so I can come out and say it: Captain America lifts Mjolnir. It was a huge, iconic shot, but it could have canonically happened well before than according to co-directors Joe and Anthony Russo.
Speaking to the Happy Sad Confused podcast, the Russos were asked “Why in your heads was [Captain America] not able to wield the hammer until this moment?” and gave a surprising answer: “In our heads, he was [always] able to wield it.”
Wait, wait, wait. What?
Yup. According to Anthony Russo, it all ties into the moment in Avengers: Age of Ultron where Cap nearly lifts Mjolnir, and worries the God of Thunder in the process. In fact, he could have done it there and then, as explained: “He didn’t know that until that moment in [Avengers: Age of Ultron] when he tried to pick it up.”
So, why didn’t he? Well, to put it bluntly, Steve Rogers is not a show-off (except maybe in the rear area): “Cap’s sense of character and the humility and the sort of deference to Thor’s ego, Cap in that moment realising he can move the hammer decides not to.”
When Thor says “I knew it,” for the Russos, that’s all harkening back to the son of Odin knowing in the back of his mind all along that Cap could wield Mjolnir.
Basically, Captain America was always worthy – he just didn’t want to let anyone know until he was ready to kick Thanos’ ass.
Here are some of the biggest questions we had after seeing the Avengers: Endgame ending