- “Can't you shape-shift or something?"
"You see my hook? No magic hook, no magic powers!”
- ―Moana and Maui, as they attempt to escape from the Kakamora.
The fish hook is a sizable bone-like weapon created by the gods of Polynesian lore. It was given to Maui after the gods adopted the former and turned him into a demigod with supernatural power. It had since been used throughout his exploits, and has considerable magical abilities. Like its owner, the fish hook has elaborate markings engraved on it, representing the various tales and adventures it has been used in. According to Maui, he used the fish hook to slow down the sun itself, pull islands out of the sea, and battle colossal monsters. Aside from being a weapon, Maui also uses the fish hook in his dances and performances, swinging it around himself as he does so.
The hook is notable in that it grants Maui the ability to shapeshift. The hook itself disappears into Maui's animal body whenever he does so, as its shape is seen on the wing of Maui's hawk form. Without the hook, however, Maui cannot perform this ability.
Thousands of years before the film, Maui lost this weapon after his theft of the heart of Te Fiti and his subsequent battle with the lava demon Te Kā. The fish hook was lost in sea, and eventually was found by Maui's arch-rival Tamatoa, who placed the fish hook on his shell as a prize.
Role in the film
Years after the legendary battle, Maui and a mortal girl named Moana sail to Lalotai to retrieve the fish hook. Even when Maui manages to get it back, the hook and its ability did not allow its previous owner to transform into the animal that he wants; it even turned the top part of the demigod's body into a shark's head. Eventually, with Moana and Mini Maui's help, the hook was able to respond to Maui's shapeshifting commands.
When the duo are ready to face Te Kā, Maui is initially able to use the fish hook and holds fighting Te Kā for a while. However, when blocking a blow from the demon, the fish hook is severely cracked, hampering its power. Angered over the state of his hook, Maui briefly leaves Moana, but later has a change of heart and rejoins her second battle with Te Kā. This time, Maui has better success with the fish hook in keeping Te Kā occupied as Moana tries to reunite Te Fiti with her heart. However, the fish hook is eventually destroyed after Te Kā strikes at it once more.
After it is discovered that Te Kā was truly Te Fiti, Moana is able to restore the goddess and Maui apologizes to Te Fiti for his transgression. In response to his modesty, Te Fiti recreates the fish hook and gives it to Maui, allowing Maui his shapeshifting abilities once more.
- In Polynesian folklore, the fish hook was fashioned from the jawbone of Maui's grandmother Muri-ranga-Whenua.
- Many of the stories Maui mentioned using the fish hook in allude to the legends the mythological Maui was involved with.
- There is a constellation named Manaiakalani, the name of the fish hook in Hawaiian versions of the Maui myth. This is alluded to in the film, as the hook has its own constellation which is said to direct where Maui is.
- The fish hook can be seen on the side of Finnick's van in Zootopia. A similar hook is seen on David Kawena's neck in Lilo & Stitch.
- The markings seen on the fish hook differ in the teaser and the actual film.