Entertainment News | TV & Film
In Marvel's recently released "Thor: Love & Thunder", star Tessa Thompson returns to the screen in her role as Valkyrie. For those who aren't verse in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), Valkyrie (whose actual name is Brunnhilde) is a character based on Norse Mythology. She appears for the first time in the Marvel Universe via the Avengers comic, issue #83 (December 1970).
Within the MCU, the Valkyrie refers to a group of elite women sworn to protect the Asgardian throne. After the fall of Asgard, Brunnhilde (Tessa Thomspon) is named King of the New Asgard. During Marvel's panel in Hall H, Thompson says that as a new king, her first order of business would be to "find her queen".
The Marvel Cinematic Universe added an unexpected layer of diversity to the character by casting Tessa Thompson in the role of Valkyrie, whose appearance in the comics is typically that of a Caucasian woman with blonde hair.
Director Taika Waititi stated that "A character's skin tone and hair color doesn't matter. I think the story is king, and you want the best person for the job, and Tessa was the best person."
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, while addressing the fact that Valkyrie is typically a blonde woman dressed in a bathing suit, Thompson says "… we had conversations about her sort of feeling like a tomboy and having a certain masculinity about her while still being very much a woman."
In her role as Valkyrie as well, Thompson was the one who pitched the idea of including the character's bisexuality in the films to director Waititi. This decision was based on Brunnhilde's comic book relationship with anthropologist Annabelle Riggs. Thompson is said to have swooned over an illustration of the two characters kissing, which is also said to be a part of the motivation to include Valkyrie's sexuality in the film.
In an uncut version of the Thor, Thompson also convinced Waititi to include a scene where a woman seen leaving Valkyrie’s bedroom. The scene was ultimately cut however, as it was said to have taken away from the exposition and main idea the scene was supposed to present.
Tessa Thompson recalls that after two very intense years of COVID, not working and having to think about identity and how much the way one pictures themselves, sexual orientation included, she said it was important to go back and explore these themes within the context of a superhero movie.
Thompson made an appearance on Variety's Just for Variety's podcast and opened up about coming out as bisexual herself and encouraged fans to fully embrace who they are. She also makes mention of the fact that given the platform that she has, she would like to use it to help others fully embrace their sexuality in their own ways.
Although Thompson feels as though Valkyrie is “single and ready to mingle”, she notes that it’s important to normalize LGBTQ+ characters outside the parameters of being in love or yearning for a partnership. Thompson continues to say that it’s important to allow queer characters to exist fully in their humanity, without the trope of romanticism.
In her interview with Variety, Thompson mentioned that it’s “been tremendous” that so many persons have written to her saying that they were able to come out or talk to their families about their sexuality after seeing her live her own truth. Tessa Thompson continued to say that “there is something powerful about seeing an image of yourself reflected in any way. But we all know all too well there are some ways that really just matter because we don’t have enough of it.”
Marvel’s Thor: Love and Thunder has already exceeded over $600 million in its third week in the box office and is now showing at a theater near you. Gayes, let’s continue to show up and support the representation of our own on screen.