Willow is a fantasy series that serves as the sequel to the 1988 film of the same name and revolves around the sorcerer who travels with other heroes on a dangerous quest. The episodes are streaming on Disney+.
Episode 1 Recap: The Gales
The Princess of Tir Asleen, Kit trains with her close friend, Jade when they are summoned by the Queen for an upcoming banquet. Her twin brother, Airk is in the fields, gallivanting with a kitchen maid when he’s summoned as well.
Their mother Queen Sorsha has called them in to get ready to receive a party from Galladoorn. Kit insists that Jade join her at the banquet or else she’ll get bored.
She also makes fun of her brother and says that he will lose interest in the maid eventually, much to his disagreement. He says that he’s in love with Dove, which is how he addresses her and Kit accuses him of not knowing her real name which he denies.
Queen Sorsha hears whispers of a warning but doesn’t pay them much heed. The party from Galladoorn includes King Hastur and his son Prince Graydon who is set to marry Kit and bring their kingdoms together.
Kit isn’t too excited about this idea and acts out while Graydon doesn’t seem to be too keen either but keeps his emotions subdued. Jade tells Kit that she’s been accepted into the training so that she can become a knight and she’s the first girl to ever get in.
Sorsha goes down to meet a prisoner and chats with him about how she doesn’t want to force Kit to marry but she has to for the safety of the kingdom.
Dove sees Airk flirting with other women at the party and feels jealous. After Kit makes a scene, Sorsha scolds her and sends her and Airk back to their rooms. Airk tries to help Kit even though she doesn’t want it and he promises to always be by her side.
Dove confronts Airk and says that they can’t see each other anymore because he’s a prince who has many more options but Airk says that he’s committed to her and gives her a bracelet as a token of his love.
Kit sneaks out of the castle and visits Jade to let her know that she’s running away. Jade does her best to convince her that it is a bad idea but they are interrupted when strange creatures attack under the cover of mystical fog.
A fight breaks out and everyone gets involved, Kit, Jade, Sorsha, Airk and the soldiers in the castle. Sorsha even releases the prisoner, Boorman, who collects his cleaver and joins the fight.
The creatures have mystical abilities and one of them attacks Ballantine, the commander of the Pacalcade, with his magical staff. Sorsha is hurt as well. Suddenly they leave Graydon says that he saw them take Airk, with one of the creatures Flying away with him in her clutches.
The next day, the suggestion is made for a party to go out in search of Airk and the Queen agrees. Kit, Jade, and a soldier named Kase who always took care of Airk volunteer to go. King Hastur forces Graydon to join the party as well.
The Queen orders Boorman to guide them as he has outside experience and in exchange, he would be pardoned for all his crimes. She also tells them that they will need to look for a sorcerer who is already expecting them.
Sorsha tells Kit about Willow and the lost empress Elora Danan, whom she kept hidden because she believed that if they simply ignored magic then it would protect them from evil.
The party sets out on their journey and Dove follows them as well because she’s in love with Airk and wants to rescue him. Kit doesn’t think she belongs out there since she doesn’t know how to defend herself but Dove is persistent.
The journey is long and hard and they even lose Kase after he was killed by some bone reavers but eventually they reach the village where they’re supposed to find the sorcerer, Willow.
He walks out to greet them and then notices Dove and walks up to her. He grabs her hand and recites an incantation which reveals a mark on her arm. He then calls her by her true name, Elora Danan.
Episode 2 recap: The High Aldwin
Years ago Willow visited Sorsha and told her that it is time to start Elora’s magic training so that she can be prepared for the trouble they may face in the future but Sorsha prefers to let Elora live as a normal girl.
In the present, Elora is welcomed by all the Nelwyn and everyone is excited to see her. However, their optimism dies down when they realise that she doesn’t have any magic abilities.
Willow tells the party that Airk is still alive and he was taken the Crone’s disciples to a city beyond the Shattered Sea. He tells Elora that she must stay behind so he can train her in magic before she faces the Crone to save the world.
Kit is getting restless and wants to go and save Airk and Elora agrees with her. Willow’s daughter convinces him to go along with the party so that he can teach Elora magic along the way and he agrees.
Sorsha finds out that Elora has run away from the castle so she sends Ballantine to look for her but he has been poisoned by the Crone’s disciple and does her bidding now.
Ballantine corrupts his fellow men as they follow the trail of the travelling party. Boorman tells Kit that he knows what happened to her father, Madmartigan, who went missing many years ago.
They find a camping spot to rest and Willow gives Elora her first lesson by making her repeat a spell that is supposed to grow a seed into a plant in mere moments. Elora isn’t able to get the incantation right and everyone gets frustrated.
Elora goes off on her own and Graydon goes after her to tell her how special she truly is and everyone else sees that except her. She continues to recite the spell with no luck.
Willow believes that they need to go back because Elora may not have the magic within her anymore. He also talks about his vision which foretells that to defeat the Crone, Elora must die.
Kit tells Boorman that she wants to know what happened to her father. Elora wakes up in the morning and sees that she has made no progress. She says the spell out loud one more time before Ballantine shows up and takes her away.
As she’s being kidnapped, the seeds that she planted slowly grow into a small plant, signifying that Elora still has the magic in her, and there is still hope.
- The series has struck a nice balance between humour and intensity. All the characters are funny and likeable and they mesh well with each other too.
- The locations are expansive and mesmerising in the series and more of the same is certainly expected. The barrier showcased how the special effects might look when more intense magic makes an appearance.
- Despite coming out 34 years after the original movie, Willow requires the audience to have some knowledge of it and doesn’t do the best job of acclimatising new viewers. While the story isn’t hard to follow, having prior context enhances the experience altogether.
Director: Stephen Woolfenden
Date Created: 2022-11-30 13:30