‘Thor: Love and Thunder’: Why doesn’t Valkyrie have a girlfriend?

Thor Love and Thunder
Image via Marvel Studios

Warning: This article contains spoilers for Thor: Love and Thunder.

Fans have been waiting three full years for Thor: Love and Thunder, as Marvel officially announced that a fourth Thor movie was in the works at San Diego Comic-Con in summer 2019. Memorably, Natalie Portman arrived on stage at Hall H with Mjolnir, thereby revealing that Jane Foster was about to become the Mighty Thor. Sure enough, the film is now here, and we finally get to see Portman in action as the goddess.

However, something else that was promised to us at that Comic-Con panel never came to fruition. Another tease at the movie that got fans excited was something Tessa Thompson promised the crowd — that Valkyrie would be getting her own romance in Love and Thunder. “As new king, she has to find her queen,” Thompson revealed, to a rapturous reception. “So that’ll be her first order of business.”

But, in actual fact, Valkyrie remains single throughout the storyline, although her bisexuality is finally confirmed on-screen at least. So what happened to the intended hunt for the queen of New Asgard? How is Val’s past love life explored? Let’s recap the heroine’s character arc in Love and Thunder and examine why plans might’ve changed.

Valkyrie’s arc in Thor: Love and Thunder

For starters, we quickly learn in Love and Thunder that Valkyrie’s first order of business — after Thor appointed her king of New Asgard in Avengers: Endgame — wasn’t to find herself a queen at all, but to transform the coastal kingdom into a tourist trap. An introductory montage showcases Val hawking Asgard-themed products and tackling endless meetings and paperwork, clearly missing a life of action.

Luckily for her, she’s soon called back into battle when Gorr the God Butcher comes a-knocking and she sets off with the two Thors to take him down after the villain kidnaps the children of New Asgard. Over the course of the adventure, we learn that — much like Thor — Val has closed herself off to love after losing so many people in her life, but once she returns to her kingly duties by the end of the film, we’re left to infer that maybe she’s open to opening herself up again in the future.

Valkyrie’s bisexuality is confirmed on-screen

Image via Disney

While Val remains single throughout Love and Thunder, there are two key scenes which at long last confirm her sexuality. Thompson first unveiled that the character was bi in the wake of Thor: Ragnarok, admitting that a brief moment of a woman walking out of her bedroom was cut from the finished film. This sequel puts that right by, giving us two much more substantial moments exploring Val’s queerness.

First of all, when Team Thor kills Zeus, steals his thunderbolt, and flees Omnipotence City, Val takes a moment to kiss one of Zeus’ handmaidens on the hand before she takes off, with the woman clearly attracted to Val herself. Later on, during their journey to face Gorr in the Shadow Realm, Korg correctly deduces that Val has been avoiding romantic entanglements ever since she lost the love of her life.

As seen in Ragnarok, Val is the last surviving Valkyrie, as Hela slayed the other warrior women during an ancient battle. Her exchange with Korg makes clear that one of these fallen Valkyries was her partner or possibly even wife. Gorr also taunts Val by mentioning how she once lost the women that she loved by following the orders of gods.

So why doesn’t Valkyrie have a girlfriend?

thor love and thunder
Image via Marvel Studios

While LaT goes as far as confirming Val’s bisexuality, then, it never actually gives her a girlfriend. Ironically, though, Korg himself ends the film in a gay relationship instead, having found a mate in a mustachioed Kronan named Dwayne. But Thompson’s Comic-Con announcement tells us that wasn’t the original plan, so what happened to the intention to have Val find love?

Thompson and director Taika Waititi addressed this burning question while speaking to LA Times. The Westworld actress stressed that it was the topic of many intense discussions, as the pair knew how much fans want to see a lesbian relationship in the MCU. However, they elected not introduce a love interest in order to focus on other elements of Val’s personality. As Thompson explained:

“We’ve had lots of conversations about it. I think there’s a lot of folks that are righteously very hungry for that representation to exist in these movies, as am I. But I also think [it’s important] not to hang the character’s hat solely on her sexual identity just because she’s a queer character. I think that’s one way of minimizing her humanity, actually, if that’s the only facet that you get to explore her in.”

Waititi, meanwhile, argued that queer characters don’t need to be portrayed as being in a relationship to validate their sexuality. With Valkyrie specifically, the filmmaker was drawn to her status as an eternal loner and the potential to take her down a journey of self-discovery. Waititi said:

“I’d love to see her with a girlfriend in any movie. We had some talks, but there was something about that character that I find really interesting as someone who’s OK with being alone. So often people are like ‘to show someone is queer, you have to see them with someone.’ But [Valkyrie] lost the love of her life, and the most important person in her life [now], that’s she’s trying to learn how to love, is herself. And I think that’s just a stronger message, no matter what your orientation.”

Thompson and Waititi made some interesting points, although fans will no doubt be disappointed that Thor: Love and Thunder reneged on what we’ve been looking forward to seeing for three whole years. Like the director says, fingers crossed Valkyrie will end up getting a girlfriend in some future movie…perhaps in another three years.