Created by Roy Thomas and John Buscema back in 1970, Valkyrie is a Marvel Comics mainstay who's finally making her debut in ! Director Taika Waititi has chosen to race-swap the character, explaining that he views the source material as an inspiration rather than a rule book.

"You want to be more inclusive and provide a broader representation. And at that point, you have to look at the source material as a very loose inspiration. And then take it from there and go with your gut. Say, 'You know what? None of that stuff matters. Just because the character was blonde and white in the comic book. That doesn’t matter. That’s not what [that character] is about.'"

What Is A Valkyrie?

Valkyrie takes charge in the comics! [Credit: Marvel Comics]
Valkyrie takes charge in the comics! [Credit: Marvel Comics]

In Norse mythology, the Valkyrie are warrior maidens who scour the battlefield in search of warriors' souls. They ferry the fallen warriors to Valhalla, where they celebrate their lives and await Ragnarok - the End of Days.

In the comics, Valkyrie was originally a warrior spirit that possessed women and transformed them into Asgardian warriors; we eventually learned that her original body had been held prisoner by Amora, the Enchantress. She's been a long-running member of the Defenders, even acting as leader for a while, and has been a frequent ally - and love interest - of himself.

What Are Valkyrie's Powers?

In the comics, Valkyrie is a physically powerful warrior who's tremendously skilled in combat. Like all of her kind, she possesses the ability to sense the 'deathglow' - she can sense an aura around a person when their death is at hand.

We don't yet know whether or not the MCU version of Valkyrie will possess the same powers, but - apart from the race-swap - Taika Waititi clearly intends to be very comic-book-accurate. The first trailer for Thor: Ragnarok showed Valkyrie astride her traditional winged horse, Aragorn, and we've been told she wields a very special sword. In the comics, this is her mystical blade Dragonfang, a powerful Asgardian weapon.

Valkyrie's Role In 'Thor: Ragnarok'

The first trailer for Thor: Ragnarok hints that Valkyrie was somehow banished to Sakaar - either by Odin in days long past (as in the comics), or by Hela. She seems to have fallen in league with the Grandmaster, and brings the battered Thor to the Grandmaster as a potential champion.

That's about all we can be certain of so far, though; Valkyrie has been teased as an ally rather than an antagonist, so we can assume she winds up working with Thor. It's likely that some scenes in the trailer - such as Valkyrie launching an attack on Hela alongside her sisters - are from later on in the film.

Excitingly, Tessa Thompson has now been spotted on-set for - meaning she's confirmed to not only survive Thor: Ragnarok, but also to join that stellar cast in battle against !