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The Marvels: Valkyrie’s cameo explained and what it means for the MCU

The final trailer for The Marvels revealed that Thor's buddy Valkyrie stars in the new movie. Now it's out, let's unpack her big cameo.

Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie in The Marvels: Valkyrie cameo explained

The marketing for The Marvels was more than a little odd. Until the last week or so, all the promotion for the latest chapter in the MCU was pretty standard Marvel fare, but then they went and ruined one of the film’s biggest cameos by putting Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) in the trailer.

If you’re an MCU fan, chances are you’ve already seen The Marvels and were delighted to see one of your favorite Marvel characters, Valkyrie, make an appearance. Still, while we’re still excitedly watching all the Marvel movies in order before a new release, we know that some folks have lost interest in the greatest superhero franchise ever made, and you may have decided to skip The Marvels.

First of all, that’s a mistake. We thought it was great (read more in our The Marvels review), and we think even the most jaded of Marvel fans will love its infectious, fun spirit. We also think it sets up something very interesting for the character of Valkyrie and the future of Earth in the MCU.

Valkyrie’s cameo explained

Valkyrie appears about halfway through the movie after the destruction of the Skrull world, Tarnax, and she takes the Skrull refugees back to New Asgard using the Bifrost.

The fan-favorite Thor character’s cameo is a brief one but a significant one for two reasons.

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What Valkyrie’s cameo means for the MCU

The first is probably less important but no less cool. We see throughout The Marvels that Earth is becoming something of a sanctuary for different alien races. It’s only hinted at, but we see a few different species working alongside Nick Fury. on the S.A.B.E.R. station (including an Asgardian and what might have been a Krylorian).

The suggestion, in our eyes at least, is that Fury’s learned his lesson following the events of Secret Invasion, and he’s working harder to assimilate the myriad of species who call our galaxy home into Earth’s culture should they choose to live there.

It’s a neat continuation of the storyline Secret Invasion botched, and Valkyrie taking in Skrulls gives us a clue that Fury (who surely must know what the Asgardians are up to) is still committed to helping the Skrulls whenever he can and living up the promise he made to Talos. It’s also nice to see how far Earth has come; in the Guardians movies, it’s frequently described as a backwater dump. So, knowing humanity is taking its first steps into the wider cosmos gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling (it must be the Star Trek fan in me).

Secondly, while they only had a brief interaction, there was definitely an implied friendship between Carol and Valkyrie. Not much was made of it, but the way they spoke to each other made clear they shared a bond that went beyond the time they beat up Thanos. There’s even been some speculation their friendship could be romantic. This isn’t just coming from fans either; Thompson’s been clear that she’d quite like Carol/Valkyrie to be a thing.

“I, you know, the heart wants what it wants. I don’t… I can’t speak yet to Valkyrie,” she told PinkVilla. “She hasn’t had a ton of time to focus too squarely on her love life since she’s been besought with a lot of kingly duties. But there are a lot of amazing men, women, and otherworldly creatures inside of the MCU and certainly in the canon of characters that could enter the MCU. So, I think there are so many fish in the sea. She’s single. She’s ready to mingle. And I love, both in the comics, Carol and I… Brie Larson is a good friend of mine and I love spending time with her. So, I wouldn’t be mad at it, for sure.”

Tess Thompson as Valkyrie in The Marvels: Valkyrie cameo explained

We don’t want to get ahead of ourselves, but this also might be Marvel Studios laying the groundwork for an A-Force movie. A-Force is an Avengers force that debuted in 2015’s Secret Wars, and it was Marvel’s first all-female Avengers team.

While there’s not been any official word on a spin-off movie, we got a glimpse of what the group could look like when Captain Marvel, Wanda Maximoff, Pepper Potts, Shuri, Okoye, Wasp, Gamora, Nebula, Mantis, and Valkyrie teamed up to take on Thanos during the final battle in Endgame. Evangeline Lily, who plays The Wasp, has said she wants A-Force to get its own movie, so who knows, maybe Marvel has started building itself a springboard for future movies here?

Or maybe not. Find out with our guide to the upcoming Marvel movies, including Deadpool 3, and read about the whole plan for Phase 6. Or, find out why Robert Downey Jr could be back in the iron suit someday.