Captain America could lift Mjolnir before Avengers: Endgame according to the Russos

Avengers: Endgame
Image credit: Disney/Marvel Studios

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.

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Bradley Russell

I'm the Senior Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, focusing on news, features, and interviews with some of the biggest names in film and TV. On-site, you'll find me marveling at Marvel and providing analysis and room temperature takes on the newest films, Star Wars and, of course, anime. Outside of GR, I love getting lost in a good 100-hour JRPG, Warzone, and kicking back on the (virtual) field with Football Manager. My work has also been featured in OPM, FourFourTwo, and Game Revolution.