The trailers for Thor: Ragnarok have been plenty exciting, giving fans more than enough to chew on when it comes to the latest installment in the Marvel Comics Universe. Yet possibly one of the most interesting and exciting parts of every trailer released has been the introduction of Tessa Thompson’s character, Valkyrie. The up and coming actress has been electric in every project she’s been in lately and that electricity seems to be on full display in the third Thor stand-alone movie.
But who exactly is Valkyrie and what role does she play in Thor: Ragnarok? I’m so happy you asked.
Valkyrie leads the Valkyries or Valkyrior, also known as the “Choosers of the Slain.” Valkyrie’s actual name is Brunnhilde and she is a Norse warrior goddess from Asgard who was chosen by Odin (Thor’s father) to lead the Valkyries. She is a skilled fighter and warrior with her weapon of choice being a double-edged sword. Valkyrie has super human strength and speed, as well as durability and reflexes.
Brunnhilde was dispatched to keep Hela from escaping Hel, a mission that provided to be a failure as Hela ended up killing all of the Valkyries and defeating Valkyrie.
After the defeat at the hand of Hela, Valkyrie retreated to Sakaar, where she became a bounty hunter. It was there when she came across Thor, which is how it appears she is introduced in Thor: Ragnarok. Valkyrie goes on to join Thor in his battle to defend Asgard from Hela.
In the comics, Valkryie is white and has long blond hair. Spoiler alert: Tessa Thompson is neither white, nor does she have blond hair. This fact was not lost on the director of Thor: Ragnarok, Taika Waititi.
“You’re working with comic-book Vikings, so you have to look at the source material as a very loose inspiration,” the director said. “A character’s skin tone and hair colour doesn’t matter. I think the story is king, and you want the best person for the job, and Tessa was the best person.”
The casting of Thompson has predictably angered some hardcore fans out there.
Thompson didn’t only clap back at the disgruntled fan, she dropped some more information about her character, mainly that she was in fact bi-sexual, something that had been alluded to in the comics. The portrayal of Valkyrie as bi-sexual would make her the first character in the Marvel Comics Universe that is openly bi-sexual. Jeri Hogarth from Jessica Jones, played by Carrie-Anne Moss, is the first openly gay character.
Valkyrie’s bi-sexuality has it’s origins in the character’s Fearless Defendersstoryline. In it, Valkyrie has a brief relationship with Dr. Annabelle Riggs, an anthropologist. Thompson reportedly made the case for Valyrie’s bi-sexuality to be included in Thor: Ragnarok, something that Waititi was on board with. According to Thompson, a scene that wasshot addressing the character’s bi-sexuality was ultimately scrapped because “it distracted from some vital exposition.” Thompson hopes that if she returns in The Avengers: Infinity War (something that is rumored to happen,) Valkyrie’s love life will get some more attention.