Contains spoilers for She-Hulk: Attorney at Law Season 1 Episode 3
The Marvel Cinematic Universe has continued to grow since Avengers: Endgame provided the ending to the infinity saga that has unfolded since 2008’s Iron Man. And Disney+ has allowed Marvel Studios to explore a handful of characters with a lot more focus, including Jennifer Walters, aka She-Hulk (Tatiana Maslany), in She-Hulk: Attorney at Law. It’s already earned an 88% critic rating on Rotten Tomatoes, so it’s clearly a success.
The show revels in its various ties to the broader MCU, from Bruce Banner, aka Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), who is a key element of Jen’s origins, to appearances by Emil Blonsky, aka The Abomination (Tim Roth), and Wong (Benedict Wong). ). But Episode 3 makes a surprising connection to the Thor movies, in which a troublesome light elf named Runa (Peg O’Keef) wreaks havoc for seedy lawyer Dennis Bukowski (Drew Matthews).
It’s good timing, since Thor: Love and Thunder hit theaters just a month before She-Hulk premiered. In the film, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) returns to New Asgard after some time – where he meets the newly minted Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), who becomes the Mighty Thor when Mjolnir reassembles for her.
While the Thor sequel didn’t feature any mischievous elves, She-Hulk has a lot of fun with Runa posing as rapper Megan Thee Stallion and cheating Dennis out of $175,000. She even turns into a judge in court, which doesn’t go down very well. But Marvel Comics fans know that Runa in She-Hulk is very different from the source material.
Rūna is one of the original Valkyries
While Runa is an older light elf in She-Hulk, in the comics Rūna is not an elf at all – although there is a strong Asgardian connection as she is actually one of the original Valkyries from the time of Odin’s father Bor. She is a relatively new addition to Marvel Comics, first debuting in January 2021 in King in Black: Return of the Valkyries #1. The warrior has a rather tragic history: she was trapped in an undead Celestial for millions of years while escorting her fallen lover Alta’s soul through the intermediate realm to the afterlife (via Marvel Database). She is rescued by Jane Foster – a Valkyrie – who is searching for the soul of the Sentry.
Like other members of the Valkyries, Rūna is an incredibly skilled warrior with tremendous strength. But unlike Runa in the series, she is not a shapeshifter and not a light elf. In fact, apart from their connection to Asgard, the two have absolutely nothing in common. It’s possible the writers just liked the name and borrowed it for their mischievous light elf to pad the MCU with a reference to the comics.