ByTom Bacon, writer at
I'm a film-and-TV fan who grew up with a deep love of superhero comics! Follow me on Twitter @TomABacon or on Facebook @tombaconsuperheroes!
Tom Bacon

If trailer views are anything to go by, Thor: Ragnarok looks set to be the most hotly anticipated film of the year. Adding new depth to the cosmic side of the MCU, Ragnarok promises to unleash the full power of Hela against the Immortal Asgard. But Asgard will not go undefended; as the film progresses, Thor looks set to gather a team of allies and fellow heroes who he will lead out to war!

Valkyrie In Popular Culture

The Ride of the Valkyrie. [Credit: Wikipedia Commons]
The Ride of the Valkyrie. [Credit: Wikipedia Commons]

Marvel has always been fascinated with Norse mythology. In this case, the legends of the are those of warrior-maidens who, seated astride their flying horses, swoop and dive over the fields of war. Their sacred task is to ferry the souls of warriors to Valhalla, the Norse afterlife, where they will be prepared for Ragnarok — the End of Days.

In the 1800s, Richard Wagner breathed new life into the legends of the Valkyries. He focused in on one iconic figure, Brynhildr, a warrior-woman who defied Odin and was condemned to live the life of a mortal woman. Most of Marvel's Valkyrie mythology is based on Wagner's famous The Ring of the Nibelung cycle.

Valkyrie in Marvel Comics

Beautiful and dangerous! [Credit: Marvel Comics]
Beautiful and dangerous! [Credit: Marvel Comics]

In the comics, Valkyrie goes by the name Brunnhilde. She was created by Roy Thomas and John Buscema back in 1970, and was envisioned as a spirit that possessed women; her immortal body was held captive by Amora, the Enchantress. The character became increasingly popular over the decades, joining (and even leading) different incarnations of the Defenders. She sometimes acts as a love interest for Thor.

As beautiful as the comic-book version of Valkyrie may be, she's also lethal. She's a tremendously skilled warrior, with millennia of experience in battle, and she wields the blade Dragonfang. Valkyrie rides into battle on the back of her beautiful winged horse, Aragorn. Like all Valkyrie, she is able to perceive impending death, sensing it as a 'Death-glow' around those who die.

The Movie Adaptation

Marvel fans were rather shocked when Tessa Thompson was cast as Valkyrie in ; Valkyrie is most commonly depicted as a blue-eyed, blond-haired warrior, epitomizing the traditional aesthetic of the Norse gods. Director Taika Waititi defended his casting choice confidently, explaining that Thompson was simply the best person for the job. What's more, he was clearly satisfied that her casting had improved the film's diversity.

"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.'"

The Valkyrie we're set to see in Ragnarok is markedly different to the one that almost made her way into Thor: The Dark World. Concept art for The Dark World shows a much more comic-book-traditional rendering of the character astride her famous winged horse.

Unused concept art for 'Thor: The Dark World'. [Credit: Marvel Studios / Josh Nizzi]
Unused concept art for 'Thor: The Dark World'. [Credit: Marvel Studios / Josh Nizzi]

There are persistent rumors that Valkyrie will replace Natalie Portman's Jane Foster as a love interest for Thor in Ragnarok, but it remains to be seen how willing he is to indulge in romance when Asgard is under attack. If the trailer is anything to go by, she seems to be an Asgardian who was cast out by Odin (as in the legends), and has entered into a business relationship with the Grandmaster. When a weaponless Thor is captured on Sakaar, it's Valkyrie who brings him to the Grandmaster to fight in the Arena.

She's working with the Grandmaster? [Credit: Marvel Studios]
She's working with the Grandmaster? [Credit: Marvel Studios]

The film's completely redesigned Valkyrie's costume. As Tessa Thompson told EW:

"As far as the armor, she’s such a bad ass that she doesn’t need a lot of metal to protect her. I’m essentially in leather. I have some really cool, like, chain mail like basically with my arms I can sort of shield and use them as weapons as well. I wield two daggers, which are sort of attached to me. And I also have a very special sword."

Whatever Valkyrie's character arc may be in Thor: Ragnarok, we know it will ultimately lead her back to her people — and she'll ride upon those flying horses once again, straight into battle with Hela!

Valkyrie rides to battle! [Credit: Marvel Studios]
Valkyrie rides to battle! [Credit: Marvel Studios]

Fans will be delighted to hear that Tessa Thompson has been spotted on the set of - confirming that Valkyrie will be joining the heroes of the MCU in the battle against Thanos!

See also:

Let's face it, comic book fans, we really are living in the best of times; Valkyrie is hardly an A-list superhero, but she's about to join the MCU! Personally, I'm convinced that Tessa Thompson has what it takes to bring the character to life; she's sure to be one of the highlights of Thor: Ragnarok!


Do you think Tessa Thompson was the right cast choice for Valkyrie?

(Sources: EW, ScreenRant; Poll Image Credit: Marvel Comics)


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