The next Thor movie to grace our screens will be Thor: Ragnarok. When this was announced it raised more than a few eyebrows, given that in Norse mythology, Ragnarok translates roughly as “Twilight of the Gods” and foretells a series of disasters culminating in the death of the Gods, and the destruction of the world, only to be reborn anew. In the comics, when this happened most recently, the souls of the Gods were strewn across the cosmos, and had to find their Godly bodies before re-ascending to Godhood in Asgard – Earth was spared during this event, but Loki ended up being reborn as a woman thanks to a complicated series of tricks.
The movie version most likely won’t play out like this, and we know Thor himself will not die, as Chris Hemsworth let slip that he was due to star in the third and fourth Avengers films Avengers: Infinity War Parts 1 and 2. All in all, we don’t really know what will happen, but we can assume that Earth survives, seeing as there are quite a few movies slated to be released…
Rumours have surfaced though, suggesting that keeping with MCU tradition of introducing (or at least building up) a new hero per film, Thor: Ragnarok will feature the debut of a new heroine, Valkyrie. But who is she? In the Marvel Comics mythos, and to a lesser extent Norse Mythology, the Valkyries serve as a group of Odin’s personal shieldmaidens, who choose who lives and dies in battle. They then shepherd the spirits of the slain to Valhalla, where they train together and drink a lot of mead, until the end of days, when they will fight alongside the Gods of Asgard.
Given the title of the next Thor film, this would be the perfect time for Valkyrie (born on Earth as Brunnhilde) to make an appearance, leading Asgard’s non-God troops into battle against whatever threat may rear its head. In fact in Avengers: Age of Ultron, (SPOILERS FOLLOW) we even saw a glimpse of what could be Valhalla, where Valkyrie works. Here, Heimdall told Thor in a prophetic dream that the end was approaching. It therefore follows that if Heimdall was in Valhalla, and blind at that, he was (or will be) dead. If you have watched Thor: The Dark World, then you will know that Loki has faked his death and usurped Odin, replacing him as ruler of Asgard. It is very likely that this dethroning will somehow lead to Ragnarok, Heimdall’s death, and Valkyrie’s (alleged) debut as leader of the slain armies of Asgard. (END SPOILER)
Valkyrie in the comics has been on several different Avengers teams, a sometimes lover of Thor, as well as leader of her own all-female team (twice). She is well known as holding one of the most feminist worldviews in all of Marvel Comics. Most recently, in the Fearless Defenders comic, Valkyrie died but was sort of brought back to life bonded to a human, similar to how Thor first appeared bonded to Dr. Donald Blake. It is unknown whether the films will even go down this “bonded-to-a-human” route seeing as Thor is just Thor and nothing more, but the idea of Asgardian souls being seperate entities to their bodies is sort of hinted at with the midcredits scene of The Dark World.
No matter what role she will or will not end up playing, Valkyrie – if indeed she is to appear in the MCU – would make a welcome addition to the universe, seeing as the only female superheroes we have so far are Black Widow, Scarlet Witch, Gamora and maybesortof Sif. If she doesn’t end up appearing though, at least we will have Wasp and Captain Marvel to look forward to!