“Thor: Love and Thunder,” the fourth solo outing for the titular Norse god, lives up to its name exploring the romantic lives of several of its key characters. But notably, Asgardian leader Valkyrie (played by Tessa Thompson) remains unattached.
Valkyrie, Marvel’s first out LGBTQ+ superhero, was introduced in 2017’s “Thor: Ragnarok,” though a scene that would have addressed her sexuality was ultimately cut from that film. In 2019, Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige confirmed that Valkyrie’s sexuality would be a more important part of the follow-up, after Thompson took the stage at Comic-Con during Marvel’s epic Hall H presentation and said: “As new king, she has to find her queen. So that’ll be her first order of business.”
However, while “Thor: Love and Thunder,” which opens nationwide Friday, does more than “Ragnarok” to acknowledge the character’s sexual identity, Valkyrie’s journey is more about finding herself.
“We’ve had lots of conversations about it,” Thompson told The Times during the film’s recent press tour. “I think there’s a lot of folks that are righteously very hungry for that representation to exist in these movies, as am I. But I also think [it’s important] not to hang the character’s hat solely on her sexual identity just because she’s a queer character. I think that’s one way of minimizing her humanity, actually, if that’s the only facet that you get to explore her in.”
“I’d love to see her with a girlfriend in any movie,” said writer-director Taika Waititi. “We had some talks, but there was something about that character that I find really interesting as someone who’s OK with being alone. So often people are like ‘to show someone is queer, you have to see them with someone.’ But [Valkyrie] lost the love of her life, and the most important person in her life [now], that’s she’s trying to learn how to love, is herself. And I think that’s just a stronger message, no matter what your orientation.”
“I think there’s plenty of room for [romance in] a spin-off or future film,” added “Thor” star Chris Hemsworth.
“With this film, there’s so many characters that are being introduced, there’s a lot of plot, and so there was a number of things that we wanted to explore with Valkyrie and her longing for love was just one of many,” Thompson said. “I feel really happy with the balance that we struck.”