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Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie
Image via Marvel Studios

Asgardian enthusiasts have serious questions about Valkyrie’s leadership credentials

Fans have questions about her past.

Everyone loves Tessa Thompson’s King Valkyrie, the snazzily suited, wise, brave defender of New Asgard. In Thor: Love and Thunder she displayed some impressive leadership skills, reworked the dilapidated fishing village into a tourist attraction, and battled her way through the galaxy to save her town’s kidnapped children.

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But fans on r/MarvelStudios have noted that Valkyrie has some serious skeletons in her closet that they think should disqualify her from leadership. They remind us that prior to Thor: Ragnarok she’d spent eons as a slave-trader on Sakaar, hunting and trading refugees to the Grandmaster and getting paid handsomely for it. Not only that, she even enslaved and sold a Prince of Asgard!

The OP also says:

“I don’t know what Asgard’s policies on slavery is, but it couldn’t be any worse than contemporary human civilization’s policy on slavery.”

They might be surprised. As many replies point out these are Viking gods and the real-world Vikings were notorious for slave-trading: capturing villagers from places during raids and selling them into slavery overseas. While most dramatic depictions of Vikings gloss over this, it was front-and-center in Dave Eggers’ excellent The Northman, in which dispatching slaves to distant lands for menial labor drove the plot.

So, if these really are space-vikings, Valkyrie having a history of successful slave-trading may arguably make her a better candidate for the throne of Asgard than someone who didn’t. After all, Ragnarok revealed that Odin himself had a past of raiding, theft, and bloody warfare.

Plus, on a more depressing note, another reply says that doing heinous things in the past doesn’t seem to stop contemporary leaders seizing power, so why should it in Asgard?

Thor: Love and Thunder is still in theaters.

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David James
I'm a writer/editor who's been at the site since 2015. Love writing about video games and will crawl over broken glass to write about anything related to Hideo Kojima. But am happy to write about anything and everything, so long as it's interesting!