Warning: SPOILERS ahead for Avengers: Infinity War
Avengers: Infinity War co-director Joe Russo has confirmed the survival of a certain fan favorite character from previous adventures. Infinity War is the cumulation of the first decade of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and the studio pulled out all the stops to make it a major event. It finally pays off the threat of Thanos after 6 years of build-up, and it unites a massive cast of characters.
Given that the fate of half the universe is at stake in Avengers: Infinity War, it made sense some important characters would need to die. The MCU has been famously shy when it comes to permanently killing off characters, and even when do 'die,' they tend to get resurrected a short time later. Infinity War committed to the darkness of the story by axing a number of major characters, and while it remains to be seen just how permanent these deaths will be, the movie ends on easily the bleakest note of the series.
In spite of Avengers: Infinity War's gigantic cast, some heroes were noticeable by their absence, like Ant-Man and the Wasp. Some fans were also concerned about the fate of Thor: Ragnarok's Valkyrie, played by Tessa Thompson, since Ragnarok ends and Infinity War opens with Thanos attacking the fleeting Asgard escape ship. The movie doesn't reveal the fate of the character, but in a new Q&A found on Reddit (via CBM), co-director Joe Russo reveals the character survived the opening massacre.
Sadly, he didn't provide any more details, though he also mentioned the Asgard ship had escape pods, meaning Valkyrie could have led survivors to the pods and escaped herself while Thor and the others bought them time to flee. Unfortunately, fans of Korg – the adorable rock gladiator played by Taika Waititi in Ragnarok - will be left in suspense, with Russo refusing to confirm his survival.
Given that Ragnarok ends with the destruction of Asgard and Avengers: Infinity War opens with a fairly dark scene, it would have been a little traumatizing for audiences if fan favorite newcomer Valkyrie was killed off so soon too. The character was a great addition to the MCU, so at least Russo's confirmation leaves the door opens for her return in the future, or possibly even the next Avengers. Thompson has also had some fun on Twitter recently with fans asking about Valkyrie's whereabouts.
While Avengers: Infinity War contains some shocking deaths, given that several of those characters have their own solo franchises, it feels highly unlikely all of them will stay that way. The title and plot of the next Avengers remains a mystery, but whether it's through time-travel or other means, the next movie will almost certainly undo some of those demises.
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