Jane and Valkyrie in Thor: Love and Thunder

Does Valkyrie Get the Queer Love Story She Deserves in ‘Thor: Love and Thunder?’

I love her and I want the best for her.

This post contains spoilers for Thor: Love and Thunder!

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Before Thor: Love and Thunder came out, we got lots of tantalizing hints that Tessa Thompson’s King Valkyrie would enjoy a romantic storyline. At San Diego Comic-Con 2019, prior to Love and Thunder going into production, Thompson said that Valkyrie had her sights set on finding a queen. “As new king, she needs to find her queen,” she said at Marvel’s Hall H panel. “That will be her first order of business. She has some ideas. Keep you posted.”

This development came as welcome news since a scene establishing Valkyrie’s bisexuality was cut from Thor: Ragnarok. In the months leading up to Love and Thunder‘s release, when we heard rumors that Sif would be returning to the Thor series and photos of Valkyrie and Jane started to surface, fans became increasingly certain that Valkyrie would have her queen by the end of the movie. (Jaimie Alexander, who plays Sif, eagerly volunteered for the role.)

And then … it didn’t happen.

Obviously a lot can change between a movie’s early development and its theatrical release, and actors do sometimes make off the cuff remarks that fans mistakenly take as gospel. But did Thor 4 do Valkyrie’s character justice, even though she didn’t get her queen?

Does Thor: Love and Thunder Deliver?

Thor: Love and Thunder, despite its largely comedic tone, is a story about wounded hearts. Thor has lost everyone he’s ever loved, Jane is struggling with her terminal cancer diagnosis, and Valkyrie is finally coming to terms with the loss of the other Valkyries, which she spent thousands of years avoiding through heavy drinking. Notably, she calls them her sisters throughout Love and Thunder, which she never did in Ragnarok. Valkyrie is finally able to confront the pain of losing the sisterhood that was her whole world long ago.

But her pain is even deeper than that. In Thor: Ragnarok, we see a brief flashback of the Valkyries’ final battle against Hela, who wiped them all out. As Valkyries fall from the sky, we see a blond Valkyrie jumping in front of our Valkyrie, and Valkyrie’s pained expression as the other one dies. For years, fans speculated that the blond woman was Valkyrie’s lover, and Thompson herself expressed that this was her personal headcanon.

Love and Thunder pretty much made that interpretation of the scene canon, when Valkyrie and Korg are chatting in the ship on the way to the Shadow Realm. Their conversation turns to matters of the heart, with Korg talking about how Kronans make babies by singing and holding hands over lava, and he asks Valkyrie if she keeps herself closed off from other people because she lost her “girlfriend” and doesn’t want to get hurt again. She tells him yeah, that’s basically right.

That, and a quick kiss on the hand of a pretty Olympian girl, are all we get of Valkyrie’s romantic life. Still, she does seem to forge a close relationship with Jane.

Valkyrie and Jane

By the time Thor gets back to New Asgard, Jane has already become the Mighty Thor. Not only that, but Jane and Valkyrie have become close friends. Before they leave for Omnipotence City, Jane privately grapples with her worsening cancer, and breaks a sink in frustration. When Valkyrie comes to get her, we learn that she already knows about Jane’s diagnosis, and the two share a sweet moment comparing the weapons (and portable speaker) they’re going to bring with them. Valkyrie expresses that she needs a sister in battle, and is glad that Jane is there.

It’s clear that Valkyrie’s developed a lot of affection for Jane, and the two warrior women get along really well. Valkyrie and Jane never get together romantically, but you can see glimpses of the sisterhood that Valkyrie lost in the battle with Hela. In Jane, she finds someone with whom she can reestablish that bond. Jane becomes, in a way, a fellow Valkyrie.

But Will Valkyrie Ever Find Her Queen?

Femme friendship is incredibly important to portray onscreen, but it would have been more emotionally satisfying if Valkyrie’s romantic life hadn’t been hyped up before the film came out. So will she ever find her queen?

It’s worth noting that Sif now seems to be living on New Asgard, and fans were excited about a Sif/Valkyrie pairing before Jane came on the scene. It feels like a real missed opportunity that Love and Thunder didn’t delve into any Sif and Valkyrie interactions when the movie had the chance (they were both recovering in the infirmary together at the same time! C’mon, folks!) But could Marvel be setting up romance between them in the future? If so, when might we see it? Thor 5? A Valkyrie solo project (yes please yes please!!)? A movie featuring the ladies of Marvel, that Thompson has advocated for in the past?

Only time will tell, but I hope we get to meet Valkyrie’s queen someday.

(image: Marvel)


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Author
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>