Danai Gurira hints that Okoye is again torn between love and duty in Black Panther 2. Okoye was first introduced as a powerful warrior and leader of Wakanda’s Dora Milaje in Black Panther. She is close to the royal family and shares jokes and camaraderie with both T’Challa and Shuri, but she is steadfast in her duties. When Killmonger takes control of Wakanda, Okoye is clearly torn, heartbroken at the apparent loss of T’Challa and the ousting of Shuri and Ramonda. However, she makes it clear that her duty is to the king and Wakanda, not to any individual.
When T’Challa returns, she and the other Dora turn against Killmonger and support their true king. Okoye is even willing to fight the man she loves, W’Kabi, to protect her country. With the loss of T’Challa in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever“Okoye will again be drawn between love and duty. While her love for the royal family was an important part of her journey in Black Pantherit looks like it will now be at the forefront of her story as she not only mourns her own loss but also tries to help Shuri and Ramonda through theirs.
During screen frenzy‘s exclusive interview with Gurira, she reveals where Okoye is emotionally and as leader of the Dora Milaje at the beginning of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. She also talks about Okoye’s relationship with the royal family. Interestingly, Gurira points out that Okoye might get in trouble if she tries to help Shuri deal with her grief.
We see her trying to take care of everyone. She is still the head of the army; she is the head of this nation’s armed forces and information. She needs to make sure this nation is secured right away, and it’s in a compromised place. We have no Black Panther, we have lost our king and we are now exposed to the very greedy western nations who want what we have.
So a lot is happening for her in terms of how to take care of everyone. And of course the people for whom it is her job to take care of? They are also more like family to her… She considers them family. That’s like a mother figure to her; that’s a sister to her. And so the aspect of how to take care of them after this level of destruction is paramount to her and, you could say, the way she chooses to help Shuri may not have been the brightest.
How does the role of the Dora Milaje change without Black Panther?
After T’Challa’s death, Wakanda is left without his main protector, the Black Panther, and it seems that its weight will fall on Okoye and the Dora Milaje. The Dora Milaje have always been warriors serving the throne, even if it’s difficult, but to add the stress of personal grief to the loss of their king seems like a lot for Okoye to bear. Okoye also survived The Blip and teamed up with the Avengers to keep the world together in the aftermath, which may have profoundly affected her relationship with both duty and grief. Her close relationship with T’Challa, Queen Ramonda and Shuri could present a new challenge to her duties, especially as she tries to help them through their own pain.
Gurira seems to hint at a major misstep by Okoye in her efforts to help Shuri with the loss of her brother. Okoye’s judgment may be clouded due to her own feelings of grief and her love for the royal family. Okoye can help Shuri become the new Black Panther, place a target on her back, or accidentally draw the attention of enemies, such as Namor, to them. Shuri is poised to carry on her father and brother’s legacy as the likely next Black Panther, but Okoye could be a factor in her decision to don the suit as well. It seems Okoye’s relationship with Shuri could lead to trouble, especially if she puts her feelings before her duty Black Panther 2.
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