Those of us watching the Thor: Ragnarok trailers may have noticed a woman dragging Chris Hemsworth in a net. Some might have recognized her as Tessa Thompson from her appearance on Westworld as Charlotte Hale. Her character introduction in that show featured more… risqué attire. Yet she had the acting chops to stand toe-to-toe with Anthony Hopkins who played the theme park creator Robert Ford. Ironic that these two would share the screen again.
In the trailers of Thor: Ragnarok, she first wears a dark leather outfit in service to the Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum). In the second trailer, she dons a white outfit in battle against Hela, the goddess of death. Who is this mysterious figure? She’s Valkyrie!
Who is Valkyrie?
Back in 1970, Marvel writer Roy Thomas and artist John Buscema created Valkyrie who made her first appearance in Avengers #83. She was originally an Asgardian named Brunnhilde, who lead the fallen worthy warriors to Valhalla.
Brunnhilde soon after runs into Amora the enchantress, who offers her a life of adventure. Joining her on her quests, Valkyrie begins to realize that Amora has inclinations towards immorality. So she wanted to separate herself from Amora, not wishing to be part of what other devious plans she had in store. Seeing her most powerful ally wanting to leave her, Amora traps Valkyrie’s essence in a crystal. The enchantress would then only loan that essence out from time to time to do her or her pawns’ service.
Valkyrie was only allowed out a few times over the years, once to a woman named Samantha Parrington in a fight against the Hulk, and another time to Amora herself as she led a group of female super-humans against male contingents of the Avengers. Her essence was also loaned out to a woman named Barbara Norris to help The Defenders against a sorceress named Casiolena.
After some time, the Valkyrie escaped the prison of Amora’s crystal. She has been switching between bodies over the years, her essence currently in a woman named Annabelle Riggs. Yet how the movie might use her will hinge on her relationship with Hela.
Valkyrie and Death
Valkyrie has a unique ability to see an aura around a person when they are about to die. When a warrior dies in battle in reverence to the old Norse gods, her responsibility is to take those souls to Valhalla, the Norse paradise. Her relationship with Hela, the Goddess of Death, is interesting in that she is pitted against her in Thor: Ragnarok.
What her service is in the first trailer to the Grandmaster is unknown. Whether or not she is Valkyrie/Brunnhilde or just a potential host for her essence at that point in the movie is unclear at this point. However, it is interesting to note that in her ascended form as assumed in the second trailer, she is fighting against Hela, as if protesting against death, the very vehicle that allows her to do her job.
It is also interesting to note that Valkyrie will also be in Avengers: Infinity War. When, to quote Mark Ruffalo, “Everyone dies.”
We’ll soon see the role Valkyrie plays in the Asgardian conflict when Thor: Ragnarok hits theaters on November 3rd.