He revealed the fate of Valkyrie, the Asgardians and other SPOILERS during a high-school Q&A.
When you have a movie with as many moving parts as Avengers: Infinity War, there will always be some loose threads lying around. While the film featured an unprecedented number of superheroes, there were noticeable absences. Where were the missing heroes?
Hawkeye and Ant-Man were evidently under “house arrest.” But no one even mentioned fan-favorite Valkyrie, played by Tessa Thompson in Thor: Ragnarok.
More distressingly,Thanos killed Loki and Heimdall and dozens of others before ripping the Asgardians ship apart in the opening scene, leaving Thor as the only survivor…
…or so it seemed.
Reddit users MaxPiper4 and Anewthrowaway_quest revealed that Infinity War director Joe Russo came to their school for a Q&A, and gave everyone a little more information about the events in the movie.
He confirmed that many Asgardians had managed to make it to escape pods, so Thor’s people live yet. More importantly, he confirmed that fan-favorite Valkyrie was one of the survivors.
Other tidbits revealed in the Q&A:
Tom Holland improvised his dramatic death scene at the end of the film;
He heavily hinted that Dr. Strange gave Thanos the Time Stone because “it was the only way” to achieve victory;
The title of Avengers 4 will not be released anytime soon;
He refused to confirm that Korg was still alive; and
The attack on Xandar was done off-screen to save time and to avoid repetition.
Earlier in the week, Tessa Thompson had her own explanation as to where Valkyrie was during the action. She had turned into a goat being cared for by Bucky Barnes in Wakanda.
We got more information on the the third installment of the Thor franchise last week. Tessa Thompson and Cate Blanchett were confirmed as Hela and Valkyrie, respectively. And Karl Urban and Jeff Goldblum were added to the cast as Skurge and the Grandmaster. They join the already confirmed Mark Ruffalo as the Hulk, Idris Elba as Baldur, Anthony Hopkins as Odin, Tom Hiddleston as Loki and Chris Hemsworth as the titular Thor.
That’s a lot of new information, but these characters are likely unfamiliar to the public unless you read Thor comics. So we’ve prepared a quick guide for each character to catch you up to speed. If you can’t follow all the crazy subplots — don’t worry. The backgrounds will undoubtedly be simplified for the movie.
Valkyrie is the title given to the Asgardian Brunhilde. She was a woman chosen by Odin to lead the Valkyrior, warrior maidens who brought the souls of the recently deceased to the afterlife in Valhalla. She wields a magic sword and is one of the fiercest combatants in Asgard — on par with Sif and bested only by Thor himself.
At times, Valkyrie has been a love interest for Thor, although she has not been used in that capacity for decades. Although Valkyrie herself is immortal, her soul was removed from her body and placed into the human host of a wealthy socialite Samantha Parrington. In this form, Valkyrie joined the Defenders and fought strange menaces alongside Doctor Strange, the Hulk, Hellcat and others.
The current version of Valkyrie has reunited the mind and body of Brunhilde. She rides a winged horse named Aragorn and has been tasked with assembling a new group of Valkyrior — using women from Earth this time.
Valkyrie will be played by Tessa Thompson in the upcoming Thor: Ragnarok.
Hela is the Marvel Universe version of the Norse goddess Hel. Hela was appointed as the goddess of death by Odin, and rules Niffleheim and Hel, the realms of the dead. She is a frequent foe of Thor and Odin as she seeks to expand her realm into the lands of the living.
Matching the Norse myths, Hela is both a daughter of and a past love interest of various incarnations of Loki. As the goddess of death she wields immense mystical power, and she fully controls the fate of any who die in Asgard or worshiping the Asgardian pantheon.
Hela will be played by Cate Blanchett in Thor: Ragnarok.
Skurge is an Asgardian warrior who wields a double-bladed magic axe. He made a name for himself fighting storm giants to protect Asgard, taking the nickname “The Executioner.” In the comics, Skurge was deeply in love with Amora, the villain known as the Enchantress. She frequently used him as a pawn in her schemes, although she never truly loved him.
Originally portrayed as a simple supervillain, Skurge also often found himself allied with Loki and other villains. He has attempted to take over Earth, led an army of trolls against Asgard, among other crimes.
Although generally portrayed as a villain, Skurge died a hero, sacrificing himself in an attack on Hela’s forces, as he attempted to stave off Ragnarok, the Asgardian end of the world. Skurge was consigned to Hel, until Thor drank a toast to his memory, which made Hela realize that he belonged in the halls of Valhalla.
He was taken from Valhalla by the Grandmaster, who forced him to join his Legion of the Unliving and attack Asgard. Freed from the Grandmaster’s control, he fought Hela’s forces in Hel and once again earned the right for his soul to enter Valhalla — making Amora realize she truly loved him in the process.
Skurge will be played by Karl Urban in Thor: Ragnarok.
The Grandmaster is one of the ageless and immortal “Elders of the Universe,” along with his brother The Collector — portrayed by Benicio del Toro in Guardians of the Galaxy. The Grandmaster is obsessed with and has mastered all forms of games of chance. He was a former wielder of the Mind Gem, one of the Infinity Stones coveted by Thanos. In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, that gem originally powered Loki’s scepter and is currently a part of the Vision.
The Grandmaster is a being of almost unfathomable power. He has frequently engaged in games of chance — using Earth’s Heroes as pawns — with other cosmic beings including his brother and even the cosmic incarnation of Death. The heroes are generally forced to fight villains or each other for the entertainment of the Grandmaster and his foe. The heroes have defeated him by winning his games — occasionally cheating to get the desired outcome.
After besting Death, The Grandmaster and his brothers were banished from her realm, making them effectively immortal. They attempted to destroy Galactus and with him the entire universe, reasoning that since they cannot die, they would live to control and manipulate the next universe. They were defeated by Galactus and the Silver Surfer.
Based on Benicio del Toro’s portrayal of The Collector, the Elders of the Universe are significantly less powerful in the MCU, but still formidable opponents.
The Grandmaster will be played by Jeff Goldblum in the upcoming Thor: Ragnarok.
It’s a poorly kept secret that Natalie Portman has not been happy with her role in the Thor franchise. The departure of director Patty Jenkins
from Thor: Ragnarok was evidently the last straw, and Portman announced she would not be returning.
It didn’t take Marvel long to recalibrate. Creed star Tessa Thompson was announced as Thor’s new love interest, and according to Deadline, “kind of a superhero.”
So let the rampant speculation begin. While fans have theorized Thompson will be playing everyone from the Enchantress to Thor Girl, we think the most likely role is Valkyrie, an Asgardian hero who has been both a love interest for Thor and a superhero as a member of the Defenders.
Here at Heroic Girls we will admit that there is a special place in our heart for Valkyrie, who was an unabashedly feminist hero and gave us one of our favorite comic panels of all time.