Warning: Major Spoiler Ahead
How is Captain America worthy?
It looked like, in the film, Robert Downey Jr. really meant what he said when he mentioned that no one could possibly guess what was going to happen in the film. The first Thor movie showed Thor’s father Odin banishing Thor from Asgard and whispering to the hammer before casting it out into the universe. He says: “Whosoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor”.
Captain America was able to make the mighty Mjolnir budge only a bit in Avengers: Age of Ultron but something was preventing him from fully lifting it. However, during the battle of the third act of Avengers: End game, he picks it up. Proving beyond doubt that he is worthy as he not only lifts Mjolnir but is able to summon a surge of lightning which he uses to immobilize Thanos. He also used storm breaker briefly before Thor suggested they exchanged weapons during the battle scene. This huge revelation put the same question on almost every fan’s mouth worldwide. How is Captain America worthy?
One of the top fan theories that explain all this is based on the events of the second and third Captain America films: The Winter Soldier and Civil War. In TWS, Cap found out that Bucky Barnes was responsible for the death of Howard and Maria Stark but kept it a secret. When this information came to light at the end of CW, Cap confessed to Tony that he knew but didn’t tell him. Keeping such toxic information a secret could be what made Cap unworthy to lift the hammer in Age of Ultron, at least according to the theory. But with Cap having owned up to his mistake in CW, his moral purity was restored which made him worthy to lift Mjolnir in Endgame.
The second most popular theory is from the Reddit user: U/MDUNCAN1182. He says: The reason Captain America is able to wield Mjolnir now is that he is worthy. This seems like a duh but it’s not so simple.
In Age of Ultron, we see that he is able to move the hammer because, for a moment, the hammer senses all the good that Cap is, but then, it notices his one fault…
Later in the movie, Scarlett Witch gives all of the Avengers nightmares and they see their worst fears realized. Cap’s worst fear is that there will be no more fight. No more war. This is the exact reason Odin took Mjolnir from Thor and placed the spell on it. “Whosoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor.” Remember that Thor had a strong desire for combat regardless of the consequences. He was unable to see how to resolve conflicts without violence. This seemingly makes someone unworthy. Now, back to Cap in Endgame, he has never felt such defeat like this ever before in his life. But, rather than punching away and breaking 30 punching bags a day (Avengers 2012) he is counseling people through their loss. Then, in the elevator, he easily could have taken all those guys down (we have seen it before Winter Soldier 2014) but this time he realizes he doesn’t need to fight when he can trick them and no one gets hurt. He obviously had no choice but to fight Thanos when he was right there in front of them but he did not want to “punch his way out of this one” – Black Widow (Civil War 2016) … he just wanted to bring back everyone they lost. Now to the end… just like Tony, Cap is ready to rest. He is ready to live a normal life and just be happy. He isn’t Captain America anymore. He hasn’t been since the Snap. He has just been Steve Rogers. Trying to do what’s right and go back home. This makes him worthy.
Well, whatever the real reason is, Cap picked up Mjolnir and it was bada**. The theatre where I saw the film was filled with screams of joy, I wasn’t an exception.