Okoye is the general of the Dora Milaje and the head of Wakanda's armed forces and intel. Witnessing T'Challa's coronation, she joins him in tracking down Ulysses Klaue. After Erik Killmonger overthrew T'Challa, Okoye found herself conflicted between her friendship with T'Challa, or her duty to her new king, Erik Killmonger. T'Challa soon returned and Okoye soon joined him in the fight against Killmonger and successfully taking back the throne.
When Thanos and his forces arrived on Earth to forcefully take the Mind Stone from Vision, Okoye soon was forced to defend Wakanda alongside her king and the Avengers. Although they succeeded in killing Thanos's forces, when Thanos himself came on Wakanda, Okoye and the other heroes were completely overpowered and unable to stop him from completing the Infinity Gauntlet, though Okoye remained one of the survivors.
Serving for the King
On orders of King T'Chaka, Okoye was sent with T'Challa when he went to save Wakandan hostages from Zanda and Douglas Scott, to report back to the King on T'Challa's progress as the "Black Panther".
Saving the hostages while Black Panther distracted the mercenaries, Okoye ended up confronted by Douglas Scott. Once the hostages escaped, and the police stormed the building, the mercenaries fled, and Black Panther made Okoye return to their aircraft to follow them.
Following them to a yacht, Black Panther and Okoye took out the mercenaries and confronted Zanda and Scott. Okoye fought Scott again, but was almost killed by a surprise attack, spared only when Black Panther dropped a metal bar on Scott's hands.
One week following the death of T'Chaka, Okoye and T'Challa flew a Royal Talon Flyer to Nigeria to rescue Nakia from her undercover assignment with a group of terrorists. T'Challa told Okoye that he did not need her help but when a gunman held a woman hostage, Okoye stabbed the man from behind with her Sonic Spear, saving T'Challa from a tough situation and ending the skirmish.
Following this, Okoye flew the Royal Talon Flyer back to Wakanda, passing several shepherds as they approached Golden City's border. The three were greeted by Queen Mother Ramonda and Shuri, the sister of T'Challa, escorted by the rest of the Dora Milaje. When Shuri asked if her brother froze upon seeing his ex, Okoye giddily confirmed, comparing him to 'an antelope in headlights' as the two laughed. As Shuri and T'Challa went to prepare for the ceremony, Okoye motioned for the Dora Milaje to follow her to prepare.
En route to Warrior Falls, all of the tribes of Wakanda sailed along the river, with Okoye and the Dora Milaje leading as they struck their spears in unison, sending a sonic signal beneath the river to activate the drainage system of the Falls. Later during the ceremony, Okoye watched and cheered for T'Challa during his fight with M'Baku of the Jabari Tribe.
Okoye alerted both T'Challa and W'Kabi that Ulysses Klaue had resurfaced. When the Tribal Council convened, Okoye informed them that Klaue would be in South Korea. T'Challa decided that he, along with Okoye and Nakia, would go to South Korea to either arrest or kill Klaue.
Okoye, Nakia and T'Challa arrived in Busan and entered into Jagalchi Market Casino thanks to Nakia's contact Sophia. Upon entering, they decided to split up to cover more area, with Okoye asking her partners to focus on the mission instead of having personal conversations. As Nakia sat at the bar and spotted some Americans, thus potential buyers to Klaue, Okoye saw more coming into the casino. Meanwhile, Okoye was informed by T'Challa that CIA Agent Everett Ross was also present.
Klaue eventually arrived in the casino with more bodyguards, and Okoye noticed that all of them were armed. As Nakia intended to move forward against Klaue, Okoye instructed her to wait, but this caused her to be identified as a Wakandan hostile by a bodyguard. Knowing that her cover was no longer relevant, Okoye wielded her Sonic Spear and took down the two bodyguards who attacked her. This however caused a shootout in the casino.
Okoye managed to defeat several bodyguards and left the casino with Nakia to chase Klaue who escaped with multiples SUVs. Okoye and Nakia successfully tailed Klaue's car as well as another SUV. Okoye climbed onto the roof of her own car while Nakia was driving and threw her Vibranium spear in front of the second car, successfully destroying it and leaving only Klaue's SUV to chase. However, Klaue retaliated by firing his prosthetic arm's gun, destroying Okoye's car.
Helping Everett Ross
In the CIA South Korean Black Site, Okoye advised T'Challa not to leave Everett Ross interrogate Ulysses Klaue alone. When Ross gently tapped on T'Challa's shoulder, she threatened to impale him on a desk, although she talked in Xhosa, causing Ross to not understand a single word of what she said. In the end, T'Challa agreed to let Ross interrogate Klaue on his own while Okoye and himself would remain behind. However, T'Challa had secretly planted a microphone on Ross' shoulder so they could listen to the conversation.
Okoye watched in silence as Ross confronted T'Challa about Klaue's reveal that Wakanda actually had large supplies of Vibranium. However, the conversation was interrupted when Erik Killmonger arrived to release Klaue, causing an explosion and killing several CIA operatives. Okoye remained hidden and ready to attack and later joined Black Panther to help him, but Klaue and Killmonger managed to escape in front of Okoye and Black Panther.
They returned to the CIA facility where Ross had been heavily wounded while protecting Nakia. Although Okoye strongly advised him against it as Ross was a foreign intelligence agent, T'Challa decided to bring Ross to Wakanda so he could be healed. Okoye warned T'Challa that this could endanger Wakanda, but did not keep him from taking Ross to Shuri's Lab.
Erik Killmonger's Arrival
Okoye later unsuccessfully tried to call T'Challa as an outsider had showed up at Wakanda's borders with Ulysses Klaue. As she could not reach T'Challa, she contacted Shuri so she could warn her brother. Okoye then joined the throne room with the Tribal Council where W'Kabi took the stranger. She followed T'Challa as he stood up and came face to face with the man, who happened to be N'Jadaka, T'Challa's cousin, who went under the alias of Erik Killmonger and who had come to challenge for the throne.
Okoye was among those who watched the duel between T'Challa and Killmonger. Before the fight, she asked Nakia about Everett Ross and was answered that he was locked in her office. Okoye then watched with growing anguish as Killmonger slowly gained the upper hand over T'Challa. When Zuri intervened in the fight, Okoye tried to call him back, but to no avail as he was killed by Killmonger. When the fight reached its end, Okoye could hardly keep her tears as Killmonger mocked a defeated T'Challa. She remained silent when Ayo asked her if there was something they could do and watched in horror as Killmonger threw T'Challa down the Warrior Falls.
The New Ruler
- "I'm not a spy who can come and go as they so choose! I am loyal to that throne, no matter who sits upon it."
- ―Okoye to Nakia
Following the Incoronation of Erik Killmonger, Okoye found Nakia, who had put Queen Mother Ramonda and Princess Shuri in safety. However, Okoye told Nakia that she could not follow them as she was bound to serve the throne of Wakanda no matter who sat on it. Therefore, she let Nakia, Ramonda and Shuri go into exile while she would reluctantly serve Erik Killmonger as her new King.
Okoye attended Killmonger's first Tribal Council, where he explained his plan of delivering Vibranium weapons all over the world to start a global revolution. Okoye spoke against this plan, claiming that Wakanda never got involved in a fight if it was not absolute necessary, only for W'Kabi to contradict her and advocate for a change in Wakandan foreign policies.
Therefore, Okoye was forced to comply as Killmonger and W'Kabi gathered weapons to be sent throughout the world. However, a first plane was destroyed and Okoye expressed considerable joy and relief when she saw T'Challa emerging from the remnants of the aircraft. As Killmonger ordered W'Kabi to kill T'Challa, Okoye tried to keep him from it by claiming that the ritual challenge was not over. Nonetheless, W'Kabi ordered the Border Tribe to charge.
- "You are so full of hatred! You're not fit to be a king!"
- ―Okoye to Erik Killmonger
While T'Challa faced the Border Tribe, Okoye and the rest of the Dora Milaje openly rebelled against Erik Killmonger, calling him unworthy of ruling over Wakanda. Therefore, Okoye ordered Ayo to take the Dora Milaje on the battlefield to assist T'Challa while she and three other Doras would fight against Killmonger, who wore an upgraded version of the Panther Habit to fight them.
Okoye and her soldiers furiously fought against Killmonger, who managed to withstand their assault and took one of them captive. As he executed her, Okoye screamed in rage and the Doras resumed their attack. They managed to block Killmonger between their Vibranium Spears and almost stripped him of the necklace which enabled him to use his suit, but Killmonger released a burst of kinetic energy, sending Okoye away on the battlefield.
Okoye found herself surrounded by members of the Border Tribe and their war rhinoceros. She took down several opponents but ended up cornered by the Border Tribe with Shuri, Nakia and Ayo. As W'Kabi ordered them too surrender, they received the support of the Jabari Tribe, who had decided to side with T'Challa.
Okoye resumed the fight against the Border Tribe. When she saw M'Baku being charged by W'Kabi riding his war rhinoceros, Okoye ran to get between them. The rhinoceros, recognizing Okoye, stopped right at her. When W'Kabi stepped down, Okoye ordered her husband to surrender. W'Kabi, visibly saddened by her betrayal, asked her if she would kill him and Okoye, although she too was saddened, replied that she would not hesitate to do it for Wakanda. This convinced W'Kabi to lay down his weapon, putting an end to the Battle of Mount Bashenga.
Wakanda Moves Forward
With T'Challa being fully reinstated as the rightful King of Wakanda, Okoye accompanied him to a United Nations meeting in Vienna. Okoye stood behind T'Challa as he announced that Wakanda would open to the rest of the world, and she mildly smiled as a delegate asked what Wakanda, which he believed to be a nation of farmers, could offer to the international community.
Greeting the Avengers
As Thanos' forces assembled to assault Wakanda, with Okoye leading the Dora Milaje and the Wakandan military. During the battle, Okoye and Black Widow fought Proxima Midnight, who was attempting to kill Scarlet Witch. As they fought her, Scarlet Witch used her powers to lift Midnight into the path of one of Thanos' war machines, killing her.
When Thanos arrived in Wakanda, Okoye was one of the heroes who engaged him in battle but soon found themselves hopelessly outclassed by Thanos's use of the Infinity Gauntlet. Okoye was beaten when she hurled her Sonic Spear at Thanos, who easily repelled it with the Power Stone and then flung her away. Once he took the Mind Stone from the Vision, Thanos united the Infinity Stones and enacted his plan to wipe out half of all the life in the universe. Okoye watched in absolute horror as T'Challa, who was trying to help her up, disintegrated into dust and tried to call out to him until she realized he is gone, much to her despair.
- "Guns. So primitive."
Okoye is a fiercely loyal protector of Wakanda who isn't afraid to question her king, but would defend him with her life, fiercely protective of him despite his warrior abilities. A staunch traditionalist who is as formidable with her Sonic Spear as she is with her tongue, Okoye finds herself torn between her allegiance to her country and her king when T'Challa begins to challenge ancient Wakandan traditions and rules. Despite her position and her serious attitude when her duties are concerned, she shares a relaxed, friendly relationship with T'Challa, quick to make jokes at his expense, especially when Nakia is concerned, and was on the verge of tears after seeing him disintegrate. She is quick to object to Erik Killmonger's challenge as not only due to Killmonger's blatant disrespect of Wakandan traditions, but also because she knows the disastrous potential Killmonger holds to the nation and to the world. Due to her utmost respect for traditions however, she is unable to prevent Killmonger, who has a legitimate right to claim the throne, from challenging T'Challa.
When Killmonger succeeds in taking the throne, Okoye was torn between her personal loyalty to T'Challa, and her duty as the general of the Dora Milaje, which is essentially the king's royal guard. She nonetheless decides to stay and serve Killmonger, albeit reluctantly. When T'Challa came back alive and ready to continue the unfinished challenge, she is quick to side with him, and turn on Killmonger with the Dora Milaje almost immediately when the contested king refuses to adhere to the very tradition that made him king to the letter.
Okoye's immense bravery and loyalty to her country proves instrumental in stopping a full blown civil war from happening, by standing in front of W'Kabi on a charging White Rhinoceros to prevent them from tackling M'Baku, halting his rampage from exacerbating the situation by appealing to his loyalty to Wakanda, resulting in the Border Tribe laying down their arms and allowing T'Challa and N'Jadaka to finish their duel one-on-one. Her loyalty to Wakanda outstrips her love for W'Kabi, as she told her husband she would not hesitate to kill him for Wakanda, although she did look visibly distraught and did not kill him but offered him a chance to surrender, implying she still loves him.
Despite her being able to see T'Challa's viewpoint and arguments regarding the issue of breaking Wakanda's isolationism, it is yet to be seen if she turns personally supportive of the king's measures to reveal what Wakanda truly is to the world. She was even willing to let Everett Ross die to conceal Wakanda's true nature from the rest of the world. However, she does seem to have a fondness for some United States of America culture, as she was hoping to have a Starbucks in Wakanda after it was revealed to the world as well as having Wakandians participate in the Olympics. She has also grown more trustful of outsiders after the battle against Killmonger, evidenced by the fact she wanted to impale Ross against a table for simply giving T'Challa a friendly bump and after the battle against Killmonger, she smiled out of enjoyment and entertainment when Ross tried to learn their language, but failed to communicate his intended message. However, Okoye remained very serious in battle, as shown when she was unamused when Bruce Banner, wearing the Hulkbuster armor, tripped over a stone and fell. She also was willing to welcome the Avengers into Wakanda and was shown to fight effectively alongside them, although this may be due to their famous reputation as selfless heroes, and was visibly impressed by Wanda's abilities, asking why did she not aid at first and was instead up guarding Vision. Her bravery was shown when she unhesistantly charged at Thanos despite his possession of nearly all the Infinity Stones.
- Master Martial Artist: Okoye is the General of the Dora Milaje, thus, she is extensively trained and highly proficient in various forms of combat, with her skill marking her as one of the greatest martial artists in Wakanda, with only T'Challa surpassing her. She prefers to battle with her Sonic Spear with which she is able to almost effortlessly incapacitate multiple foes at once during the casino fight. During the Battle of Mount Bashenga, Okoye managed to pin down Erik Killmonger alongside the other Doras and defeat many Border Tribe warriors without sustaining any injury. She also proved capable of defeating many Outriders and competing against Proxima Midnight with aid from Black Widow, holding her off long enough for Scarlet Witch to kill her, during the Battle of Wakanda, surviving with no injuries, only being no match for Thanos himself, who easily flung her away.
- Spear Mastery: Okoye is extremely skilled in using her Vibranium Spear as a tool in close quarters combat and as a long ranged weapon. Okoye has taken out multiple enemies with her spear at once.
- Master Marksman: Okoye is an excellent marksman, able to throw her spear through the back of a window of truck exiting out through the windshield and penetrating the ground so that the truck could crash into the spear. She later threw her spear at Thanos accurately while running, although Thanos easily reacted to it and used the Power Stone to halt and blow her spear and Okoye herself away.
- "Does she speak English?"
"When she wants to."
- ―Everett Ross and Okoye
- Multilingualism: Okoye is fluent in Xhosa, English, and Korean, as she was able to understand the exchange between Nakia and Sophia.
- Vibranium Spear: Okoye uses a specialized Vibranium spear capable of collapsing into a handle for concealment. The spear is sharp enough to pierce a Vibranium car during the Arrest of Ulysses Klaue and is strong enough to stop an SUV, as seen when Okoye threw it through the windshield of Klaue's goons' vehicle and embedded it into the road ahead, totalling the vehicle on impact. Her spear along with others have been shown to be able to interact with technology by striking the ground with the blunt end, notably electrocuting an enemy during the brawl at the Jagalchi Market Casino, and activating the drainage system for Warrior Falls.
- Dora Milaje Armor: As the General of the Dora Milaje, Okoye wears a slightly more elaborated version of the Dora Milaje armor, notably with the epaulets, bracelets and necklace being golden instead of silver. Being made of Vibranium weaves, the armor offers high durability and protection.
- Kimoyo Beads: Okoye used her Kimoyo Beads to project images to the Tribal Council and to control the Royal Talon Flyer.
- Magnetic Boots: Okoye wore boots with magnetic soles during the Arrest of Ulysses Klaue, using them to secure herself on the roof of the Vibranium car Nakia drove.
- In the comics, Okoye was a member of the Dora Milaje who assisted T'Challa during his coma.
- Rather than using a spear, in the comics Okoye used energy daggers and other traditional Wakandan weapons.
Behind the Scenes
- Janeshia Adams-Ginyard and Keisha Tucker were stunt doubles for Danai Gurira in the role of Okoye.
- Shara London was a stand-in for Danai Gurira in the role of Okoye.
- Regarding Okoye's stoic demeanour, Danai Gurira stated that "she can be serious, but she also has an unexpected sense of humour. She has a heart, but for her country and for her people. She’s not a person who doesn’t connect to human beings as a result of what she does."
- The strip of beadwork on the abdomen part of Okoye's Dora Milaje costume was inspired by a table runner from senior visual development illustrator Anthony Francisco's aunt's home while the rings on the tassels at the side of her uniform were meant to be good luck charms.