Thor: Ragnarok and Thor: Love and Thunder director Taika Waititi revealed he wants to make Tessa Thompson’s Valkyrie explicitly queer.
Waititi recently discussed the film with Variety who asked him, “Would you like for Tessa Thompson’s Valkyrie to be explicitly queer in this next movie?”
The director responded, “I think so. The IP is not mine. But with the actors, I feel whatever makes them comfortable — whether they feel like there’s a natural choice, or a natural way for that character to go — then I’m pretty supportive. If Tessa wanted to do that, I’m in.”
Thompson took to Twitter in October 2017 to declare that her version of Valkyrie is bi. She also added, “she cares very little about what men think of her.”
She’s bi. And yes, she cares very little about what men think of her. What a joy to play! https://t.co/d0LZKTHCfL
— Tessa Thompson (@TessaThompson_x) October 21, 2017
This is a change from the comics, where Valkyrie was the lover of Thor’s son Siegfried. Their love would end tragically with Siegfriend murdered and Valkyrie throwing herself onto his funeral pyre to be incinerated.
Following this tragic death, Odin would resurrect the two, but wipe their memories. She would then go on to have a number of trysts with Thor.
In 2013’s Fearless Defenders, Marvel Comics would introduce Dr. Annabelle Riggs, a lesbian, who upon first meeting Valkyrie openly embraces Valkyrie with a kiss. However, Valkyrie would spurn her telling her, “Now is not the time.”
Later in the series, Valkyrie would end up killing Annabelle Riggs when she became the Doom Maiden of Rage. Fortunately, Clea would be able to resurrect Riggs. However, Valkyrie and Annabelle would have to share a body. Misty Knight describes it as “It’s a shared body kind of thing. Asgardian magic. Dark dimension hoodoo. You know how it is.”
Given the two have to share bodies, they reveal by the end of the series they are rubbing off on each other. But when Riggs questions whether Valkyrie has romantic feelings towards another woman, Valkyrie tells her, “Later Annabelle.”
In Asgardians of the Galaxy #9, it is clearly laid out by Clea that Annabelle Riggs and Valkyrie are two separate entities and they are not one in the same.
While Valkyrie did not have any previous comic book history about being bisexual, Marvel Comics did introduce the Tessa Thompson of Valkyrie into the Marvel Universe in their Exiles series.
This Valkyrie is not the prime Marvel universe Valkyrie, but one from a separate dimension. Writer Saladin Ahmed described her character:
“Valkyrie’s a character who’s always appealed to me. Her iconic warrior-woman look — spear! sword! flying horse! — but also the juxtaposition of a kickass ancient fantasy hero operating in contemporary New York City. She’s a classic Marvel heroine. But the EXILES version of Valkyrie is a bit different from what we’ve seen in comics thus far. Our Valkyrie is known as the Lone Defender of Asgard, and she’s a tankard-draining, maiden-wooing, giant-slaying thunderbolt of a woman. Though she’s not technically from the Marvel Cinematic Universe reality, she’s basically the literalization of the larger-than-her-physical-frame swagger that Tessa Thompson displayed in THOR: RAGNAROK, turned up to 11.”
While Thompson’s Valkyrie might have debuted in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, she won’t be the first confirmed LGBTQ superhero. That will go to Brian Tyree Henry’s Phastos in The Eternals.
Actor Haaz Sleiman confirmed that he plays Phastos’ husband that the two have a child. Not only did he confirm that Phastos will be gay in the upcoming The Eternals movie, but he indicated they shot an on-screen gay kiss.
“Oh, yeah, absolutely, and it’s a beautiful, very moving kiss. Everyone cried on set,” Sleiman stated.
What do you think of Valkyrie’s character being shown as explicitly queer in Thor: Love and Thunder?