Tessa Thompson, who reprises the role of Valkyrie in Thor: Love and Thunder, has spoken out about addressing the character’s queer sexuality in the Marvel movie.
Tessa Thompson’s Valkyrie was introduced to the MCU in 2017’s Thor: Ragnarok as a legendary Asgardian warrior who had fallen from grace. She later appeared alongside her fellow Asgardians and the Avengers in 2019’s Avengers: Endgame. Thompson is openly bisexual and has said she portrays Valkyrie as bi, though there has been little opportunity to explore the character’s sexuality on-screen so far.
Valkyrie In ‘Love And Thunder’
Marvel Studios has been making some progress towards greater LGBTQIA+ representation, though queer characters are still a bit of a rarity in the MCU. Loki saw Thor’s trickster brother revealed to be bisexual, though the series drew some criticism for only mentioning Loki’s sexuality in a throwaway line. Eternals introduced the MCU’s first openly gay superhero in Brian Tyree Henry’s Phastos.
In a recent interview with Yahoo, Tessa Thompson spoke about Valkyrie’s story in Thor: Love and Thunder and conversations that were had around acknowledging the character’s sexuality. Thompson revealed:
“We talked about it a lot, it was big topic of conversation. Because I think rightfully there’s this real want in audiences to see characters be very clearly queer or LGBTQIA inside these spaces. And I think it’s hugely important to have representation. And also as humans I think that we are not defined by our sexuality, and by who we love. And so sometimes I think to hang a narrative completely on that is a way of actually diminishing the humanity of the character. Because you don’t allow them to be anything else.”
The actress said that while there was little room for a full exploration of Valkyrie’s sexuality in Thor: Love and Thunder, great care had been taken in how the film treated Valkyrie and there was still room for her to grow in future:
“It becomes the only storyline, particularly in a movie like this where you don’t, frankly, have a lot of room for storyline. So there was a lot of conversation in terms of how to treat that with Valkyrie. And I feel really good, personally, about where we got to. I hope that she’s a character that fans continue to connect to, that we have a lot of time to explore her, in all of her humanity. But whether or not she finds love in this movie doesn’t mean she’s not still a fabulous queer character that is open to finding love when it makes sense.”
Based on Tessa Thompson’s comments, it sounds unlikely Valkyrie will find love in Thor: Love and Thunder, but it also sounds like Marvel are continuing to make progress in how they approach LGBTQIA+ characters in the MCU.
Here is the synopsis for Thor: Love and Thunder:
The film finds Thor (Chris Hemsworth) on a journey unlike anything he’s ever faced – a quest for inner peace. But his retirement is interrupted by a galactic killer known as Gorr the God Butcher (Christian Bale), who seeks the extinction of the gods. To combat the threat, Thor enlists the help of King Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson), Korg (Taika Waititi) and ex-girlfriend Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), who – to Thor’s surprise – inexplicably wields his magical hammer, Mjolnir, as the Mighty Thor. Together, they embark upon a harrowing cosmic adventure to uncover the mystery of the God Butcher’s vengeance and stop him before it’s too late.
Directed by Taika Waititi and produced by Kevin Feige and Brad Winderbaum, the film stars Chris Hemsworth, Christian Bale, Tessa Thompson, Taika Waititi, Russell Crowe, Natalie Portman, Jaimie Alexander, Chris Pratt, Dave Bautista, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Vin Diesel and Bradley Cooper.
Thor: Love and Thunder hits theaters on July 8, 2022. Stay tuned for all the latest news surrounding the upcoming Thor film and Tessa Thompson’s future in the MCU, and subscribe to Heroic Hollywood’s YouTube channel for more original video content.