Tessa Thompson's Valkyrie is a breakout character from Thor: Ragnarok and early concept art shows how different she almost looked. Following two modestly received installments, the Thor franchise went through a major change for the third installment. Marvel Studios brought indie comedy director Taika Waititi onboard to tackle the end of times tale, but inject it with the cosmic stylings that Guardians of the Galaxy introduced. These changes brought many new characters into Thor's franchise, but it was Tessa Thompson's Valkyrie that stole the show for many fans.
Coming hot off of a supporting role in Creed, Thompson joined the MCU as a former member of Asgard's special forces. She's given plenty of memorable moments in Ragnarok, and it all begins with her introduction and utilization of her weaponry. However, her look and weapon of choice were almost very different.
Marvel Studios' in-house concept artist Andy Park revealed an early, alternative design for Valkyrie in Thor: Ragnarok. The designs came before Thompson was part of the project, but shows the character she'd eventually portray in a different look. This other look has Valkyrie's face concealed, a spiked shoulder pad, and mace gauntlets for close quarters combat.
Here’s another alternate concept design version I did of #TheValkyrie for #ThorRagnarok Early idea Taika had of her being hooded w/mask & w/mace gauntlets. & of course b4 perfect casting of @TessaThompson_x pic.twitter.com/DfDmHH49GD
— Andy Park (@andyparkart) December 3, 2017
Instead of being fitted with this look, Ragnarok allows Thompson's face to be shown throughout. The mace gauntlets are a cool design, but Valkyrie probably makes better use out of the weapons she was given in the final product. Instead of the maces, Valkyrie has a Dragonfang sword - and demonstrates on multiple occasions how skilled she is with it. Her introduction on the other hand utilizes remote controls in her gauntlets to activate the weapons system of her ship, Warsong.
Valkyrie undergoes a costume change right before the big battle in Thor: Ragnarok, and none of these early design elements are included in her transformation. The change is instead to bring Thompson back into Valkyrie's classic warrior costume - the one she presumably hasn't worn since the previous battle against Hela. Considering these design elements weren't included in the movie, any chance of Valkyrie eventually getting these mace gauntlets appears to be slim.
Her appearance in Ragnarok is hopefully just the first of many appearances Thompson makes as Valkyrie, so Marvel could eventually reconsider this idea and implement it in a future movie. Whether that comes in an upcoming Avengers movie, a possible sequel to Ragnarok, or the all-female film Thompson and others are championing remains to be seen. If she does go on to make many more appearances, it will be expected for her look and weapons to evolve, just maybe not to this extent.
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