Introduced in Thor: Ragnarok, Valkyrie quickly became a fan favorite MCU character. The hard drinking brawler became a kindred soul with the Hulk and a begrudging friend to the God of Thunder, eventually rediscovering her honor and helping save her fellow Asgardians from Hela's wrath.
She didn't appear in Avengers: Infinity War, and while it seemed like a missed opportunity, it may have actually worked to her benefit in that it meant she wasn't on the Thanos' radar to get reduced to dust. Escaping the Mad Titan's snap set her up to play a role in Avengers: Endgame, and while the film shows off her skills as a warrior during the climatic battle, it more importantly set up her future role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, giving Valkyrie the most dramatic possible promotion she could get: The new ruler of the Asgardians.
A Queen To Her People
In the wake of Thanos' death (the first one) Black Widow finds purpose, Hawkeye searches for vengeance, Iron Man starts a family, and Thor goes into seclusion and spends the next five years in a drunken stupor. He lives with the remaining Asgardians, who have claimed a plot of land in Norway and dubbed it New Asgard. But while Thor is content to get hammered, Valkyrie steps up, and by the time Hulk and Rocket arrive to recruit Thor, Valkyrie has effectively become the new leader of the Asgardians.
In Ragnarok, Thor was determined to save his people, regardless of the risk or the cost while a disillusioned Valkyrie was wallowing in a seemingly nonstop bender. But after the loss of their world and over half of their people, Thor has become a broken shell of a man. He's at his lowest, proudly yelling at an Internet troll while using his positively mythic ax Stormbreaker as a glorified bottle opener.
Meanwhile, Valkyrie has embraced her best qualities and risen from the walking mess she once was. She leads the Asgardians into the final battle against the armies of Thanos, and while she manages to impress with some amazing moments throughout the fight (including the relay to keep the Infinity Stones out of the hands of Thanos), she also solidifies herself as the leader the Asgardians need going forward.
And no one notices this more than Thor.
Where We Go From Here
After the dust has settled, Thor and Valkyrie speak about the future of their people. Thor relinquishes his throne, saying the Asgardians need someone who can actually lead them, someone they trust, and he can't think of anyone better for the job than Valkyrie. He needs to go on a quest to rediscover himself, but he doesn't want to leave the Asgardians with no one to depend on. To that end, he names Valkyrie the new ruler of Asgard.
Taken aback, she tells him that there's a lot about their kingdom that she'll want to change if she's being given this power, to which he quietly replies, "I'm counting on it, your majesty." It's a low-key affirmation of Valkyrie's growth and Thor learning to humble himself and admit that he needs to get better.
With Thor gone, Valkyrie is left with a new role of importance not just in the Asgardian community, but in the MCU as a whole. The heroes of Earth have never been so united, and Valkyrie might be able to expand on her people's newly strengthened relationship with Midgard and its people, raiding the prominence of the character in the MCU along the way.
Valkyrie was widely considered a highlight of Thor: Ragnarok, and seeing her as the leader of the Asgardians seems like a good reason to see more of the character. It's a huge step up for a character who was introduced as a self-pitying alcoholic, and we can only hope that while Thor is off in space with the Guardians, Valkyrie takes the opportunity to truly make her mark on the MCU in a big way.
Directed by Joe and Anthony Russo, Avengers: Endgame stars Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, Chris Evans as Captain America, Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, Brie Larson as Captain Marvel, Paul Rudd as Ant-Man, Don Cheadle as War Machine, Karen Gillan as Nebula, Danai Gurira as Okoye and Bradley Cooper as Rocket, with Gwyneth Paltrow Pepper Potts, Jon Favreau as Happy Hogan, Benedict Wong as Wong, Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie and Josh Brolin as Thanos.