‘Thor: Love and Thunder’: Taika Waititi on Making Tessa Thompson’s Valkyrie ‘Explicitly Queer’
One of the most highly anticipated Marvel Cinematic Universe films in Phase 4 is Thor: Love and Thunder. The upcoming film will bring back director Taika Waititi and much of the cast of Thor: Ragnarok. Star Tessa Thompson is among them, and she has some ideas for her character. Is Waititi, who is also writing the script, on board? Here’s what we know.
Tessa Thompson is Valkyrie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe
Thompson’s character was introduced in Ragnarok. She is called Valkyrie, though that’s not actually her name. Instead, it refers to the group of female warriors she was once a part of. Valkyrie teams up with Thor, Loki, and Hulk to fight Hela, and they narrowly escape.
She was absent during the events of Avengers: Infinity War. However, she — along with other former Asgardians — survived the Decimation. Valkyrie then took the lead in rebuilding their community with New Asgard on Earth, as seen in Avengers: Endgame. And she played a part in the second battle against Thanos.
The character is canonically bisexual
Valkyrie’s sexuality has become a prominent topic of conversation among Marvel fans. In many of the recent comics, she is bisexual. And Thompson reaffirmed this on social media. In fact, the actress has encouraged proper representation for the character.
Speaking about her role in Ragnarok, Thompson once told Rolling Stone, “There’s a great shot of me falling back from one of my sisters who’s just been slain. In my mind, that was my lover.” So though we don’t ever see her with a romantic interest in the film, the actress believes the character had one.
Both Thompson and Waititi return for ‘Thor: Love and Thunder’
Thompson will return for a third film as Valkyrie. At San Diego Comic-Con in 2019, she confirmed that she will be in the fourth Thor film, subtitled Love and Thunder. Also returning are Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, and Waititi as director and in his supporting role of Korg.
When asked about her character in the November 2021 film, Thompson said, “As new King [of Asgard], she needs to find her queen, so that will be her first order of business. She has some ideas. Keep you posted.”
On portraying Valkyrie’s sexuality
Clearly, Thompson is on board with giving Valkyrie a female love interest. She reaffirmed this at ACE Comic Con in October 2019, when she, along with fellow MCU star Brie Larson, revealed that they “ship” their characters. “Brie is my real-life queen in general,” Thompson said. “If it becomes canon, that’s cool, too.”
For his part, Waititi seems to be good to move forward with providing Thompson a romantic storyline with another woman. When asked about making Valkyrie “explicitly queer” in Love and Thunder, he told Variety in February 2020, “If Tessa wants to do that, I’m in.” He added that he’s supportive whenever an actor feels there’s “a natural choice” for their character.