Thor: Love and Thunder sees unexpected character come out – but disappoints on LGBTQ+ plot

Thor and Valkyrie

Thor: Love and Thunder isn’t exactly the big LGBTQ+ love-fest we expected.

Marvel star Natalie Portman claimed Thor: Love and Thunder is “so gay” at a screening of the new film on Tuesday (5 July), but in the end LGBTQ+ storylines are few and far between.

Portman made the claim at the London event after being asked: “How gay is the film?”

The crowd burst out in laughter as director Taika Waititi added it was “super gay”.

In the film, Waititi’s character Korg is confirmed as part of the LGBTQ+ community.

Korg reveals that his species, the Kronans, reproduce by the males holding hands over pools of lava until a new rock formation is created, and at the end of the film falls in love with another male Kronan.

Thor: Love and Thunder also marks the first time Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) is confirmed as canonically queer.

While Thompson had teased that her character – Thor’s long-time ally and New Asgard’s ruler – would “find her queen” in Love and Thunder, her bisexuality becomes another blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment for Marvel.

The scene in question sees Korg bluntly point out that Valkyrie is sad and drinking because her girlfriend died in battle. She’s later seen kissing the hand of another woman, and that’s pretty much it.

Thompson had hinted ahead of the film’s release that Valkyrie’s love life wouldn’t be a major part of the new film.

She told the Los Angeles Times that there was a “number of things” the cast wanted to explore with Valkyrie and her “longing for love was just one of many”.

“We’ve had lots of conversations about it,” Thompson said.

“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.”

Hemsworth quipped there was “plenty of room” for a queer romance featuring Valkyrie in a “spin-off or future film”.

Waititi added he would “love to see her with a girlfriend in any movie”, but he thought it was “really interesting” to see Valkyrie 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’,” Waititi said. 

“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.”

Thor: Love and Thunder was teased as an extremely queer film with Chris Hemsworth’s Thor seen cheekily flirting with another hero in one trailer.