Playing the fourth lead on a Disney+ mini-series is a far cry from playing Daenerys Targaryen on the world’s most popular show. But an Avenger has the same kind of pop culture standing as a Khaleesi, and Secret Invasion’s fourth episode just made possible for Emilia Clarke to be both. The explosive installment provided a potential origin story for her character. G’iah now has everything she needs to be the MCU’s next great superhero, including a classic tragic origin story.
How Did G‘iah Survive Gravik’s Assassination Attempt?
Just as we theorized, Gravik only thought he executed G’iah. A flashback at the start of episode four revealed she’d previously used the general’s own secret lab program to imbue herself with superpowers.
G’iah recovered from a bullet to the heart thanks to Extremis. It’s the same Iron Man 3 biological nanotech that allowed Gravik to heal his sliced hand in the third episode. It’s also why he was able to withstand point blank bullets to his body and face.
What Other Superpowers Does G’iah Have?
Gravik’s attack on the President confirmed that in addition to Extremis super healing, he also has Groot-like powers. Groot and Extremis were two of the four projects G’iah discovered on the secret Skrull lab’s computer. The other two were a Frost beast and Cull Obsidian. We don’t yet know if Gravik has their powers as well. Nor do we know if his machine can only administer them individually. Gravik’s scientists could have put all four entities’ abilities into a single vial.
As for G’iah, that flashback only showed her using one vial. If it was an Extremis-only serum—which the lab’s computer indicated it was—that’s likely her only current superpower outside of her natural advanced Skrull strength and speed. If, however, she turns her arms into super long tree branches in the show’s final two episodes, we’ll get answers about both her and Gravik’s capabilities.
Is Talos Actually Dead on Secret Invasion?
Skrulls who don’t have Extremis are just as vulnerable as most humans. Talos was also already injured before Gravik stabbed him in the heart. Even under the best circumstances it seems unlikely he could survive such an injury. Nick Fury’s reaction, similar to the one he had when Maria Hill died, made clear he thought the same. If he believed Talos was still alive or could be saved he probably wouldn’t have left his friend behind. It certainly seems like Gravik killed the former Skrull leader at the end of Secret Invasion‘s fourth episode.
But while his death is obviously sad, it’s also part of the reason to think Emilia Clarke’s G’iah is positioned to become a big time MCU superhero. She not only has superpowers, she has a classic superhero origin story.
How Could Emilia Clarke Become a Major MCU Superhero?
Countless superheroes, including some of the most famous ever like Spider-Man and Batman, became heroes in part because they lost someone very close to them. Death, especially of a morally righteous family member, mentor, or friend, has a way of galvanizing those with great power to take on great responsibility. It’s a classic inciting incident in a hero’s journey.
Talos not only had a strong moral center, G’iah’s last conversation with her father put into focus just how right he was. Gravik does not have the caring heart her dad did. Gravik doesn’t value life or relationships. So while she thought (probably correctly) Talos was delusional about how willingly humans will accept Skrulls, his murder might crystallize why she still has to try to do the right thing. If she gives into hate the way Gravik has, she would end up killing the man who saved their entire civilization. G’iah risks being her peoples’ destruction. The question is, does G’iah want to believe in her dad or the man who killed him?
The fact G’iah walked away from her father’s last lesson makes their final conversation even more meaningful. If he’s truly dead it will likely haunt her forever. She walked away from him and left him on his own when he needed her the most. That’s exactly why his death could prove to be the catalyst she needs to become a great leader herself. And that means Emilia Clarke could become the MCU’s next great superhero.
The MCU now has a super powered, shape-shifting alien with a moral compass and a tragic origin story played by a famous, talented performer with experience headlining a worldwide phenomenon. No wonder Marvel Studios wanted a Khaleesi for the part. Secret Invasion is just the start of Emilia Clarke’s role in the franchise and could be setting G’iah up to be a new MCU superhero.
Mikey Walsh is a staff writer at Nerdist. You can follow him on Twitter at @burgermike. And also anywhere someone is ranking the Targaryen kings.