Rewatching the 1988 movie Willow scene-by-scene. Why? Because it’s freaking Willow! Madmartigan says goodbye (for now), 59:09-1:01:07 on the Blu-ray.
We start with a shot of a foggy lake as the Brownies step into the frame. Rool points to a land mass to the left and announces, “There it is, the island!” Willow is all smiles, saying, “We made it.” Followed by an ambiguous shot of Madmartigan taking a look around. Then there’s another glimpse of the lake, where there are two land masses, a large mountainous one to the left of the screen, and a smaller one at the center. I’m guessing the smaller one is the island in question. Franjean catches the audience up to speed, saying “We have led you the island of the sorceress Fin Raziel.”
Franjean says they’ll get a boat in “that village” although we haven’t seen a village yet. Rool adds, “A big boat” for a laugh. Our heroes walk down a hill, and in the next shot we see this so-called village. It’s just a bunch of dilapidated teepee-like structures on a muddy beach, with some structures that might be small piers at the water’s edge. It’s at this point that I dove into the tie-in books to see what they say about this village, only to discover very little about it other than it’s an abandoned fishing village. As for why it’s abandoned, and why Bavmorda hasn’t stationed NockMaar troops to keep anyone from rescuing Fin Raziel. This will get explained in an upcoming deleted scene.
Madmartigan, still chewing the blackroot from earlier, picks up a broken sword and fiddles around with the hilt. He says, “Well, looks like I got you here.” The Brownies scoff at him, saying all he did was eat their eggs. This recalls a line from even earlier in the film. Willow says he found a boat, and Madmartigan says, “Good. Take these two lizards out and drown them.” Franjean asks, “Who are calling a lizard?” as he and Rool raise their spears at him menacingly. Rool adds, “Your mother was a lizard” as Madmartigan ignores them.
Madmartigan turns his attention to the baby. “Goodbye, Sticks,” he says. He glances over at Willow, who is tossing a large branch into the boat, in case he needs to start a campfire on the island, apparently. Madmartigan continues, “If you really are a princess, take care of him.” He smiles and then starts to walk off. Willow sees him leaving and calls out his name. Madmartigan puts on his tough guy act and says “What?” Willow simply says, “Thanks.” Madmartigan responds with an odd upturned hand gesture, as if miming throwing a ball straight into the air. This could have any meaning, but in this context it’s clearly his way of saying “You’re welcome.” Madmartigan turns and walks away, but not before looking back at Willow a second time. Then, for a laugh, he kicks some dirt on the Brownies, and Rool says, “Keep walking, hero” and “Don’t even turn around.”
There’s a quick cut to later, where Willow has set up the baby inside one the small structures. She’s crying, and there’s a rumble of thunder in the distance. “It’s all right, Elora,” he says, which immediately calms her down. “Nobody will find you here,” he says, followed by “I’ll be back with Fin Raziel very soon.” Franjean stands proud and says, “We will guard her with our meager lives.” Willow gives them an action hero nod.
What to make of Willow’s decision to leave the baby behind? On one hand, he doesn’t know what he’ll find on the island. On the other hand, Willow knows they’re still being hunted by the NockMaar. Maybe enough time has passed that he believes they’re no longer on his trail, even though an upcoming scene will reveal that the NockMaar are still in pursuit, so I don’t know. Also interesting here is Franjean’s phrase “meager lives.” Throughout the movie, Franjean has been acting as if he’s the hero and this his heroic quest. This “meager lives” bit, however, reveals how he’s fully aware of his status as being surrounded by giants. Underneath all the jokes and bluster, Franjean knows this is serious business.
Next: Playing possum.
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