Thanos’ final victory over the Avengers — the so-called ‘snap heard ‘round the universe’ — has been a matter of understandable concern for Marvel fans ever the final twist from Avengers: Infinity War (2018). It’s no wonder why, either. We saw Earth’s Mightiest Heroes brought to their lowest point yet. The snap, now officially called The Decimation,’ took out half the universe: men, women children, even plants and animals — all life cut in twain. Or, as Thanos himself put it, the event was “Random. Dispassionate. Fair to rich and poor alike. […] I call that… mercy.”
Over the course of the movie’s closing minutes, fans watched many of their favorite heroes helplessly dissolve into ash before their very eyes. Spider-Man. Black Panther. Scarlet Witch. Nick Fury. All gone, in what is assuredly one of the most unexpected endings to come out of a major studio blockbuster in decades.
Naturally, speculation ran rampant as to which other characters won the Decimation lottery. After all, we never saw Jessica Jones die. We never saw Luke Cage die. We never saw Daredevil die. There’s still a chance that they, and others, made it and will join in with the final offensive against Thanos.
One of the biggest question marks in the now greatly diminished Marvel Cinematic Universe was Valkyrie: Tessa Thompson’s Asgardian warrior character from Thor: Ragnarok (2017). In that movie, she quickly became a fan favorite with her larger-than-life personality and badass abilities in the thick of combat. She was conspicuously absent in the aftermath of Thanos’ assault on the Asgardian refugees. Some assumed that she had died in the fight, or escaped by the skin of her teeth, or maybe just didn’t have a role to play in that movie. Many people suspected that she might have been snapped right out of existence, a theory that some particularly vicious Marvel executives “confirmed” later last year (around the time when it was revealed that the Decimation affected animal life as well).
Reports of her death, as it turns out, had been greatly exaggerated.
Valkyrie fans can stop worrying, though, since the build-up into the hotly anticipated Avengers: Endgame (2019) has finally revealed some telling details about the beloved Asgardian character. She is, at is turns out, alive and well and scheduled to appear at some point in the prodigiously long, 3+ hour movie. She even got prominently displayed on one of the movie’s many variant posters, suggesting that she has some sizable role yet to play, especially since other “victims” of the Decimation have yet to appear comparably in the movie’s marketing push.
No matte the outcome, Endgame is going to be one of THE movies that defines the state of the industry in 2019: right up there with Captain Marvel (2019) and Us (2019). Who survives this final battle — and who doesn’t — will have lasting effects on all the Marvel movies for the foreseeable future. The fact that Valkyrie will be there in this final hour of need can only stand to cement her place within the movie fandom further.
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