After losing his hammer Mjolnir, Thor has forged himself a new weapon, Stormbreaker. Having similar powers and abilities, it is logical to wonder if Thor can fly without the Stormbreaker?
Thor is able to fly without either the Stormbreaker or Mjolnir, as was exhibited in Thor: Ragnarok, but it may be that the weapons augment his flight abilities to a certain degree.
In the rest of the article, we will further explain how exactly Thor “flies” and to what degree his weapons, Mjolnir and Stormbreaker, have an impact on his filing abilities.
How does Thor fly?
In order to determine whether Thor can fly, we have to see what powers and abilities he possesses. Thor is a god and has a lot of the same powers his father, Odin, has, but he is still significantly weaker than him. He is superhuman in most aspects (strength, durability, intelligence, longevity, etc.) but is not immortal, as one might think based on his divine attributes and heritage. He is practically invulnerable, but he does age and, like all the other Asgardian gods, will eventually die; it’ll just take him longer than your average bear to do so.
Thor also has access to a variety of unimaginable powers that stem from Asgard, the best-known being the powers of Mjolnir, the Stormbreaker, and the Odin Force. Thor can also use other forms of energy and blend with them, as he did with Power Cosmic. There’s also the forbidden Warrior’s Madness, which can turn Thor into an unstoppable beast, but also destroy his psyche, which is why it was banned by Odin.
In addition to all of that, Thor has – on a lot of occasions – demonstrated that he can fly, even without the use of his weapons. It seems that, in addition to all of the above mentioned powers, flight is also something that is inherent to him due to his divine, Asgardian nature. Thor’s flight is a proven thing in the comic books.
Can Thor fly in the MCU?
The question of whether Thor can fly is a bit more complex in the Marcel Cinematic Universe (MCU), as the situation is not as clear as it is in the comic books. Namely, throughout his appearances in the MCU, Thor has shown that he can fly, but the true nature of that ability is rather dubious, even after all of his appearances.
Initially, Thor was shown to not be a good flyer when without Mjolnir. With Mjolnir, he was shown to fly over the Rainbow Bridge, but at that point, it was quite obvious that the Hammer was Thor’s “vehicle”, i.e., that he was using the Hammer to fly. Without the Hammer in his possession, Thor was unable to fly and he was even seen using public transportation, along with other “civilians”.
In Thor: Ragnarok, we see Thor’s sister Hela breaking Mjolnir into pieces, leaving Thor – it seemed – without many of his abilities, including flight. But then, this happened:
After a talk with his father, Odin, Thor managed to awake his true powers and was able to use the lightning to fly. You may find opinions that this was just a long, Hulk-style jump, but seeing how the bridge Thor had to cross is exceptionally long, we doubt that the God of Thunder actually jumped. It just seems more likely and more realistic that he used his powers to fly, thereby proving that he can fly in the MCU, just as he can in the comic books, and that without the use of his hammer, Mjolnir.
Does Thor need the Stormbreaker or Mjolnir to fly in the MCU?
The question in this section seems a bit obsolete now that we have explained that Thor is, indeed, able to fly using solely his powers and not any of the weapons, but we still wanted to expand upon that answer separately.
Namely, after Mjolnir, Thor seemed to use his new weapon, the Stormbreaker, to fly, but we can state clearly that that was not the case and we have several pieces of evidence to confirm that.
First of all, the continuity is completely out of order. Thor has, as we have stated above, proven that he can fly in Thor: Ragnarok and the Stormbreaker was forged after this event, so it wouldn’t make sense for the producers to give Stormbreaker such an important role when Thor had already demonstrated that he could fly without it.
Secondly, the Stormbreaker in the MCU is quite different from the comic book version of the same weapon, something we have already written about. In the comic books, Odin was the one who had the Stormbreaker forged as a weapon for Beta Ray Bill and that version of the weapon had roughly the same powers as Mjolnir. In the MCU, Thor himself had the Stormbreaker forged sometime after Odin’s death and it was just a regular weapon in the MCU, meaning that it had no special powers that could help Thor fly.
Thirdly and finally, the movements Thor had while holding the Stormbreaker are way different from the ones he had while holding Mjolnir. While holding the latter, it was obvious that Thor used the hammer to fly, i.e., that the hammer carried him. With the Stormbreaker, it’s completely different, as it is evident that Thor is carrying the weapon and not vice versa.