The LGBT Character In “Thor: Ragnarok” Isn’t Who You Think

“He’s huge and heavy, but with a light soul.”

Since opening earlier this month, Thor: Ragnarok has garnered more than $430 million worldwide.

Queer moviegoers were excited when Tessa Thompson announced via twitter that her character, Valkyrie, was bisexual. That excitement turned to frustration, though, when Thompson clarified the Asgardian warrior’s sexuality was not explicitly addressed in the film.

Jasin Boland/Marvel Studios

An earlier edit featured a more overt reference to Valkyrie’s bisexuality—Thompson convinced director Taika Waititi to shoot a glimpse of a woman walking out of her bedroom,—but it was ultimately cut from the final version. (In the Thor comics, Valkyrie is indeed presented as bisexual and once kissed anthropologist Annabelle Riggs.)

“There were things that we talked about that we allowed to exist in the characterization, but maybe not be explicit in the film,” Thompson told Rolling Stone. “There’s a great shot of me falling back from one of my sisters who’s just been slain. In my mind, that was my lover.”

Thompson told Vanity Fair Valkyrie’s sexuality “was certainly something that was important to me in playing her.”

But the wayward Asgardian isn’t the only queer character in Thor: Ragnarok. In 2008, Thor’s chief adversary, Loki, re-emerged from banishment as a woman. (Actually he was wearing the body of Sif, but that’s neither here not there.)

New Avengers/Marvel Comics

The female Loki joined a cabal of bad guys to usher in a tyrannical new world order. (Spoiler: She didn’t succeed and later went back to a male visage.)

More noticeably, Korg, the rock-covered alien Thor meets on the battle planet Sakaar, was revealed to be gay in Incredible Hulk #619. While his sexuality isn’t explictly referenced in Ragnarok, he is presented as somewhat against type for an arena gladiator who must fight to stay alive.

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“We wanted to change the idea of what a hulking guy made of rocks could be,” says Waititi, who portrayed Korg himself via motion-capture. “He’s huge and heavy, but with a light soul.”

In October, producer Kevin Feige stated Korg and his diminutive pal, Miek, will appear in future Marvel Cinematic Universe movies.

Marvel Comics

It’s also worth noting that, in current Marvel Comics continuity, Thor is a woman: Jane Foster (played by Natalie Portman in the first two movies) picked up the mighty Mjolnir after Thor is declared unworthy of his power. Asked about a possible gender-swap, actor Chris Hemsworth said, “I don’t want to jinx it, but I think it could be my Oscar.”

Dan Avery is a writer-editor who focuses on culture, breaking news and LGBT rights. His work has appeared in Newsweek, The New York Times, Time Out New York, The Advocate and elsewhere.