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Thor Actress Clears Confusion About Gendering of King Valkyrie

Thor, Love and Thunder, Marvel, Tessa Thompson, Valkyrie
By Russ Milheim

There was a lot to love about Thor: Ragnarok when it was released in 2017. For one, it was Love and Thunder director Taika Waititi's first Marvel flick—where he clearly nailed the landing, as audiences were drawn into his energy and rambunctious fun. Another big part of the adventure was the introduction of Tessa Thompson's Valkyrie, who eventually came to help Thor in his mission of defeating Hela. From that point on, the two became strong allies.

By the end of Avengers: Endgame, Thor decided to go off with the Guardians, leaving New Asgard in the hands of Tessa Thompson's Valkyrie. However, instead of becoming Queen of the Asgardian nation, she retains the title of King—a change that was confirmed to have been retained in Love and Thunder thanks to a LEGO set.

This confused many fans, as the gendered term doesn't fit Valkyrie's pronouns. Some audiences were bothered by it, while others found no problems with it at all.

Now, the actress behind the beloved MCU character commented on why the studio decided to go in that direction.

Valkyrie, the King of New Asgard

Valkyrie and Thor in Endgame
Marvel

In an interview with GamesRadar, Tessa Thompson, who plays Valkyrie in Thor: Love and Thunder, talked about how her character is faring when the events of the movie pick up and why she's the King of New Asgard as opposed to Queen.

Thompson explained how "[they] just didn't bother to change the title" and that they wanted the gendering of King to be "sort of a fun nod to Frida Kahlo:"

“I think she’s very egalitarian... she’s a kind king. I know there’s been some confusion on the internet in terms of the gendering with her being king. The truth is, that’s the job that Thor was going to do, and then he just gave her the job, and we just didn’t bother to change the title, because the title is ‘king’, and she’s like, ‘Well, I can be king.’ The suits that she wears – we thought it was sort of a fun nod to Frida Kahlo.”

But is Valkyrie enjoying her new position? The actress revealed that "she feels slightly less enchanted with the bureaucratic elements of New Asgard," even though Valkyrie still "feels entirely proud:"

“She likes it... she feels slightly less enchanted with the bureaucratic elements of New Asgard. It’s really been put on the map by the events that have happened in past movies, so it’s also become this sort of tourist destination. I think she feels entirely proud. The thing about Asgard that’s always been true is, it’s not a place, it’s its people.”

Despite her new role as King, Thompson noted how Valkyrie "feels a lack of purpose" and that "having this new sort of problem to deal with, with her old friend Thor, is exactly what she needs:"

“Last time around, you met her, she was quite despondent, and missing her sisters, and not dealing with her trauma, maybe, in the healthiest of ways... this time around, I think you meet her with a new sort of lease on life, in a position of leadership, representing her people. She loves her people, and loves being able to lead for them. She also really enjoys being on Earth. But I think she feels a lack of purpose... I think the time when she feels most of use is really in community – it’s been, historically, in battle, with her tribe. And so I think in some ways, now having this new sort of problem to deal with, with her old friend Thor, it’s exactly what she needs.”

Will the King Protect New Asgard From Gorr?

It's easy to understand why one might be a little confused by Valkyrie keeping the title of King, but at the end of the day, it doesn't matter much at all. She's the leader of New Asgard, whether the position is denoted by either the King or Queen title.

While she may not be labeled by the title of 'Queen,' maybe she'll be looking for someone to fill that position. Rumors seem to be pointing toward Brie Larson's Captain Marvel appearing in Love and Thunder as a romantic interest of Thompson's hero. Could audiences be looking at the next power couple?

Hopefully, by the end of Love and Thunder, there's a New Asgard to lead in the first place. That little nation hasn't had the best of luck. With the destruction of Asgard's original location in Ragnarok, Thanos decimating their numbers at the start of Avengers: Infinity War, and then the snap itself, the poor town has been through the wringer.

Now they'll have Gorr and his minions to deal with. Maybe they can turn the tide of battle at New Asgard quickly. After all, not only will they have Valkyrie to help defend the city, but they also have two Thors. Maybe even a bunch of Guardians as well. Gorr doesn't stand a chance... or does he?

Thor: Love and Thunder releases on July 8.


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