The second Avengers movie — Avengers: Age of Ultron — is nobody’s favorite Marvel movie. And yet, one very specific moment from Ultron paved the way for perhaps the most hyperbolic, ridiculously cool scene in Avengers: Endgame. If you’ve seen the movie, you can already guess what scene that is, and if you haven’t, stop reading now!
Spoilers ahead for Avengers: Endgame
In what is probably the climax of Endgame (isn’t the entire freaking thing a climax?), Captain America’s shield is broken in the battle with Thanos. But that’s okay. No big deal, because suddenly, Cap is swinging around Thor’s famous hammer “Mjolnir” to beat down the dreaded purple one. Enthusiastically, Thor is totally cool with someone else swinging his hammer and confidently says “I knew it!” in support.
In Marvel lore, Mjolnir can only be wielded by a person it deems worthy, meaning, the hammer chooses you, not the other way around. Mostly, this plays out as a security measure: regular mortals can’t just pick up the hammer if Thor drops it. But, that doesn’t mean people haven’t tried to lift the hammer. And, in the opening scenes of Age of Ultron, in 2014, Cap did try to pull the hammer up, and almost succeeded.
In Age of Ultron, all the Avengers take turns trying to lift Thor’s hammer, mostly as a party joke. But, Captain America is the one person who actually makes it budge, a fact which clearly makes Thor super worried at the time.
Now, five years later in our world (and about 9 years later in Marvel movie time), Captain America is clearly gone through enough that the hammer has decided he is worthy enough to swing it. It’s a nice moment made even nicer because back in 2014, this seemed like a gag. (Or at the very least, a gag connected to the fact that in the comics, Cap swung the hammer a lot.) And now, in the biggest Avengers movie ever, that gag has been turned into a moment of badassery that no one will forget. It might not be everyone favorite part in the film (it’s honestly hard to pick) but it is probably the moment everyone in your theater cheered the most.
Avengers: Endgame is out now in wide release.