The blackest movie of this generation is about to drop in a few days and I’m sure you think you know everything there is to know about it. But what if I told you, I know something you don’t about the women of Wakanda. With the help of my comic-obsessed husband he helped me gather little-known information about Black Panther’s female leads.
*Warning: There are some spoilers listed here but none of them are related to the film. The information in this post is taken directly from the comics.
Let’s get started…
Queen Mother Ramonda (played by Angela Bassett)
As we all know the incomparable Angela Bassett will be playing Queen Mother Ramonda, but are you aware that Ramonda is in actuality T’Challa’s stepmother.
Did you know: King T’Chaka fell in love with her after the untimely death of his former Queen N’Yami, who died giving birth to T’Challa. Ramonda is the biological mother of T’Challa’s Sister Shuri and has ruled by T’Chaka’s side for many years.
The Dora Milaje (Nakia played by Lupitia Nyong’o & Okoye played by Danai Gurira)
The Dora Milaje, or the Adored Ones as it is translated from Wakandan, are an elite group of highly trained women who are tasked with protecting the Black Panther from danger.
Did you know: The Dora Milaje are also the potential brides for the Black Panther should he one day decide to take that stroll down the aisle. And that’s not all, they also have an elite subgroup known as the Midnight Angels which is a special forces team that wears vibranium-less armor for certain special missions. If you’re wondering why their armor vibranium-less that would mean my husband would have to nerd out on me and I don’t think you’re ready for that. lol!
Black Panther’s Younger Sister Shuri (played by Letitia Wright)
Shuri is an intelligent, resourceful and brave Wakandan woman who has always tried to live up to the legacy of the Black Panther.
Did you know: Shuri will eventually become Queen regent of Wakanda and as a result, the Black Panther herself.
Yes, girl. (I’m waiting for THIS movie to be made.)
Okay, so let’s talk about how this came to be (future spoiler alert) – T’Challa was mortally wounded during an ambush by Dr. Doom leaving Wakanda without a king or protector. Shuri volunteered to undergo the spiritual trial to becoming the Black Panther.
How does one become Black Panther?
This is achieved by entering into a trance where the individual travels to the spirit world in order to be judged by Bast, the Panther God. If the potential candidate is found wanting, Bast will consume their spirit and take them away. If she finds them worthy, then the candidate will don the mantle of the Black Panther. Bast found Shuri wanting but it did not consume her soul. The elders interpreted this to mean that, even though she is not Bast’s choice, she is the only one capable of living up to the legacy of the Black Panther.
Black Panther’s Wife
Yes, girl, he has a wife and it’s none other than Ororo Munroe better known as Storm. Yes, THAT Storm. Now while she’s technically not Wakandan, she was at one time Queen of Wakanda. T’Challa and Ororo knew each other when they were children and after many years later, would become re-acquainted in their superhero identities. Black Panther, being a member of the Avengers, and Storm, being a member of the X-men. After some courting, the two were married in the traditional Wakandan fashion which involved another spirit quest to stand before Bast to see if Ororo was worthy to marry T’Challa and rule by his side.
Did you know: T’Challa and Ororo during their rule together they would fight off an alien invasion and go on to replace Mr.Fantastic and Invisible Woman as members of the Fantastic Four for a short time.
Oops! I probably shouldn’t have mentioned that part. But since the MCU has the X-men and Fantastic Four franchises back, let’s see what they do with it.
So there you have it – three things you didn’t know about the women of Wakanda.