The new Willow series debuted its first two episodes yesterday, and they feature the return of the 1988's film's Warwick Davis (Willow) and Joanne Whalley (Sorsha). In the original film, Willow teams up with some unlikely new friends in order to protect Elora Danan, a baby who was prophesied to bring down the evil Queen Bavmorda and become the empress of Tir Asleen, Galladoorn, Nockmaar, and Cashmere. The new series takes place many years later, and it's revealed in the beginning of the first episode that Elora had been hidden away for her own protection, and doesn't even know her own identity. However, her true self is revealed at the end of the first episode when she comes face to face with her old protector, Willow. Warning: Spoilers Ahead!
Elora is first introduced as Dove (Ellie Bamber) who works in the kitchens at the Tir Asleen castle. She falls in love with Airk (Dempsey Byrk), the son of Sorsha and Madmartigen (Val Kilmer, who does not appear in the new show). When Airk is kidnapped, Dove secretly follows the team assembled to find him, which includes Airk's sister, Kit (Ruby Cruz). Upon meeting Willow at the end of the episode, the Nelwyn sorcerer uncovers the birthmark on her arm, proving her identity. In the second episode, Willow attempts to teach Elora magic, but the young apprentice seems hopeless. However, the very end of the episode teases her magical promise, which will have any Willow film fan excited about the character's future.
Is Madmartigen Part of the Willow Series?
While Val Kilmer was unable to return to play Madmartigen, Bryk and Cruz both capture the star's essence while playing his twin children. Recently, the duo had a chat with ComicBook.com's Chris Killian, and he asked if there was anything from Kilmer's performance in the original film that they tried to "latch on to" in order to "make it feel more believable" that they were the children of Madmartigan.
"Yeah, absolutely," Bryk replied. "Definitely," Cruz agreed. "Yeah, I think having access to that character was so helpful because we could sort of envision or imagine, we didn't have to imagine who he was, but then we could imagine how he was as a parent, which was really fun ... What we would admire, what we would reject, and I mean... I don't know how much we can spoil." Cruz then whispered something to Bryk and he replied, "Yeah, I think that's probably fine." Cruz continued, "Yeah, and sort of the absence of him was really interesting and sort of allowing our characters to – I actually don't want to spoil." Bryk added, "It's also, you see their energy and that's your parent, so you kind of subconsciously let it filter in. I think the most conscious way ... I know for me personally, there were certain action moves or sword moves that were almost exact parallels. Little easter eggs that I'm curious to see if people will pick up on."
The first two episodes of Willow are now streaming on Disney+.