Marvel Studios' newest upcoming blockbuster, Thor: Love and Thunder, is getting ready to strike at theaters around the world. The film follows the titular God of Thunder and his pals as they take on the villainous Gorr. One such companion is Valkyrie, portrayed by Tessa Thompson. Thompson is openly bisexual, and has long said that she plays her character as bi too.
Marvel Studios has been taking baby steps towards better LGBTQ+ representation in their shows and movies, and while the franchise has been getting better at it, the MCU is somewhat lacking in prominent queer characters.
Phastos from Eternals is gay and has a husband and child, which was a stride in the right direction. Plus, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness' America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez) had two moms who appeared in a flashback sequence. Young Chavez also wore a Pride pin on her jacket throughout the film, perhaps indicating that she herself is a lesbian, much like her comics counterpart.
So yes, baby steps. And according to Tessa Thompson, Thor 4 will continue on the path of showcasing queer MCU characters.
Tessa Thompson Speaks Up On Valkyrie's Sexuality
Interviewing with Yahoo, Thor: Love and Thunder star Tessa Thompson opened up about making sure the film represented LGBTQ+ individuals, including her character Valkyrie, properly:
“We talked about it a lot, it was big topic of conversation,” says Thompson, who is bisexual IRL. “Because I think rightfully there’s this real want in audiences to see characters be very clearly queer or LGBTQIA inside these spaces. And I think it’s hugely important to have representation. And also as humans I think that we are not defined by our sexuality, and by who we love. And so sometimes I think to hang a narrative completely on that is a way of actually diminishing the humanity of the character. Because you don’t allow them to be anything else.”
The actress also spoke on the fact that Vakyrie's love life wasn't able to be fully explored in Love and Thunder's runtime, with everything else going on in the story. But she noted that there were "a lot of conversations" about how Marvel Studios should be treating a queer character like Valkyrie.
“It becomes the only storyline, particularly in a movie like this where you don’t, frankly, have a lot of room for storyline. So there was a lot of conversation in terms of how to treat that with Valkyrie. And I feel really good, personally, about where we got to. I hope that she’s a character that fans continue to connect to, that we have a lot of time to explore her, in all of her humanity. But whether or not she finds love in this movie doesn’t mean she’s not still a fabulous queer character that is open to finding love when it makes sense.”
Will Valkyrie Find Romance Going Forward?
When Love and Thunder was in production, there were rumors that Valkyrie would spend the film looking for her queen. Fans will remember that in the closing minutes of Avengers: Endgame, right before Thor jetted off into outer space with the Guardians of the Galaxy, he was sure to appoint Valkyrie as the King of New Asgard, with Valkyire promising to "make some changes" to the seaside kingdom.
As mentioned above, Tessa Thompson has always played her character as being bi, whether or not it was in the script. Many have speculated that the other, blonde Valkryie, who was killed by Hela in Ragnarok's flashback sequence, was actually the lover of Thompson's character.
What's more is that a sizable contingent of the fanbase wishes to see the MCU pair up Valkrie with Carol Danvers aka, Captain Marvel. Carol has never shown any real romantic inclinations in any of her appearances but did share a particularly close relationship with Maria Rambeau. With Valkyire rumored to make an appearance in 2023's The Marvels, might this "ship" be made canon?
In any case, Marvel Studios' Thor: Love and Thunder will hit theaters on July 8.