Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie in 'Thor: Ragnarok'

How Old Is Valkyrie in the MCU?

I hope I look like that when I'm a bajillion years old.

Thor: Love and Thunder is coming on July 8, and we’ll finally get to watch Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) in her most exciting role yet, as King of New Asgard. Valkyrie’s always been one of the coolest characters in the Thor series: she’s ruthless and tough as nails, but even when she’s selling Thor to Jeff Goldblum or drinking herself into oblivion, she has a strong moral compass, and she knows how to do what’s right. One interesting aspect of Valkyrie is that her age is weirdly difficult to pin down. The Valkyries have long since passed into legend by the time Thor meets her, and yet she seems to be roughly the same age as him. So how old is Valkyrie in the MCU?

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Settle in for a mind-bending exploration of immortal demigods and wormhole weirdness!

Age Weirdness in the MCU

The first thing to keep in mind is that the Thor movies have always played fast and loose with Asgardians’ ages, never giving us a straight answer on how long an Asgardian (or a Jotun) lives.

The first discussion of an Asgardian lifespan happened in Thor: The Dark World, while Odin’s admonishing Loki for trying to take over Earth. Odin tells Loki that Asgardians aren’t so different from humans, and that they live and die just the same. Loki responds by saying, “Give or take 5,000 years.”

That would seem to indicate that an Asgardian lives for 5,000 years, right? Like, that’s a definitive, canonical answer to the question of how long they live? But no, things get weirder!

In Thor: Ragnarok, Thor meets Surtr, the fire giant who’s destined to grow to the size of a mountain and destroy Asgard. As soon as Thor realizes who he’s talking to, he says, “I thought my father killed you like half a million years ago!”

Ha ha! What? What is that? Is Thor joking? Is it hyperbole? Or was Odin actually around 500,000 years ago, and grown-up enough to be killing fire giants? It’s impossible to say!

Then, later in the movie, when Thor is telling Bruce and Valkyrie about the time Loki turned into a snake and stabbed him, he says that the incident happened when “we were, like, eight.” That doesn’t have a direct bearing on Asgardian lifespans, but it does make the idea of their ages even more confusing. Does he mean they were literally eight years old? Like, Asgardian kids grow up at the same rate as humans and then just stay adults for thousands of years? Was there an Asgardian to human years conversion going on, like people do with their dogs? This isn’t even getting into the fact that Thor says he’s 1,500 years old in Infinity War, while Loki fans claim to have pinpointed Loki’s age to a little over 1,000.

The point is, before we even begin to speculate on Valkyrie’s age, you must understand for your own peace of mind that the whole matter is riddled with inconsistencies. If you actually try to pin down anyone’s exact age in these movies, your mind will fold in on itself like a singularity.

Oh! And don’t even get me started on the Thor and Loki: Agent of Asgard comics, in which Asgardians seem to be literally immortal, and a grizzled old King Thor is still kicking around at the literal end of time. It does. Not. Make. Sense.

Valkyrie’s Timeline

Anyway, Valkyrie. The one thing we know for sure about Valkyrie is that, despite Tessa Thompson’s flawless complexion, Valkyrie is old. Like ancient, ancient, ancient history kind of old. How do we know? Because of Hela.

In Thor: Ragnarok, we learn that the Valkyries all died a long time ago. Later in the movie, we find out that they were all killed fighting Hela, and “our” Valkyrie left Asgard shortly after that, disillusioned with her role protecting the Asgardian throne.

Hela herself is so ancient that all traces of her in Asgard have been erased. The painted ceiling in the palace has been covered up with new images, and the tomb holding Fenris has been completely hidden. More importantly, though, the population of Asgard seems to have no memory of her. Thor and Loki are floored when they find out she exists, and after her grand speech to the assembled Asgardian troops, Hogun makes it clear that he’s never heard of her and he has no idea what she’s talking about when she calls herself queen. The simplest explanation for Asgard’s collective amnesia is that everyone who was alive during the Hela era died out long enough ago that not even stories remain. If there’s anyone left who’s old enough to remember her, they sure are good at keeping a secret.

This means, by extension, that Valkyrie is also older than the oldest living Asgardians. But if that’s true, shouldn’t she look old?

Not if she’s spent the past few eons on Sakaar!

Sakaar: The Fountain of Youth

In Ragnarok, we learn right off the bat that the planet Sakaar, where Valkyrie lives and works as a scrapper, exists in a weird time vortex. Thor arrives only to find that Loki has been there for weeks, even though both of them were thrown out of the Bifrost at almost the same time. The Grandmaster tells them that time works differently on Sakaar, explaining that technically, he himself would be millions of years old if it weren’t for the time weirdness.

So … time moves faster for Loki on Sakaar, but more slowly for the Grandmaster? Remember, none of this makes sense anyway, so don’t break your brain worrying about it. But the main takeaway here is that Valkyrie could conceivably spend, let’s say, a thousand years on Sakaar, while ten thousand years—or a hundred thousand years, or a billion gajillion years—passed on Asgard. That would explain why she’s so ancient and yet still so young and spry.

So how old is Valkyrie in the MCU? She’s OLD. That’s all we can really say for sure. She’s much older than Thor, and maybe even older than Odin. But, since she’s spent so much time on Sakaar, she may also be around Thor’s age. I love science fiction so much.

Do you have any theories or insights about Valkyrie’s age? Let us know in the comments!

(image: Marvel)


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Julia Glassman
Julia Glassman (she/her) holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and has been covering feminism and media since 2007. As a staff writer for The Mary Sue, Julia covers Marvel movies, folk horror, sci fi and fantasy, film and TV, comics, and all things witchy. Under the pen name Asa West, she's the author of the popular zine 'Five Principles of Green Witchcraft' (Gods & Radicals Press). You can check out more of her writing at <a href="https://juliaglassman.carrd.co/">https://juliaglassman.carrd.co/.</a>