“Probably the most persistent criticism of the Marvel Cinematic Universe cycle of films is that they’re more than a little lacking in the area of diversity. And while some of that issue can be chalked up to faithfully adapting characters largely created decades ago, it doesn’t always look good next to other factors like no less than three of their major franchises being headlined by white men of the similar age all named Chris. But on the flip side, Idris Elba as Thorsupporting-player Heimdall, one of the studio’s most notable race-swapped characters, has also been the subject of controversy due to the comic book character and the Norse mythological figure he’s based on having traditionally been depicted as white.
Now, a new rumor suggests that the Thor franchise could be doubling down on its diversified vision of Asgard. To be exact, Tessa Thompson’s mystery Thor: Ragnarok role is (allegedly) that of Brunhilde the Valkyrie.
The character of Brunhilde has a convoluted history in terms of both Norse mythology and the reimagined version thereof that forms the basis of her Marvel Comics incarnation, where she is typically referred to be her title, “Valkyrie.” In traditional Germanic mythology and Poetic Edda (Old Norse mythic poetry) The Valkyrie are supernatural warrior women who choose which souls of dead warriors are fit to enter Valhalla, and Brunhilde (originally spelled Brynhild) is often depicted either as one of them or a similarly-aligned shieldmaiden. The character (believed to have been inspired by a historic Visigoth princess, Brunhilda of Austrasia) also appears in slightly different form as the female lead of the epic poem Nibelungenlied and Wagner’s opera adaptationRing of The Nibelung, likely the most well-known depiction globally.
In traditional Marvel lore, Brunhilde is the eponymous leader of The Valkyrie, who serve their traditional mythological function but with the same “interdimensional aliens viewed as gods by ancient humanity” backstory as the other Asgardians…”