Willow (1988) rewatch – Part 42

Watching the 1988 movie Willow scene-by-scene. Why? Because it’s freakin’ Willow! It’s finally time to settle the debate between war and agriculture, 1:41:56 to 1:43:57 on the Blu-ray.

We begin with Bavmorda and her wide men continuing the all-night preparations for the ritual, starting with a creepy shot of Bavmorda holding a knife right over the baby. She very carefully cuts off a slice of the baby’s hair, and then holds for a few seconds, contemplating both it and the knife. Bavmorda says, “Black fires kindled within, let the second rite begin.” The fan wiki doesn’t specify how many rites this ritual has or which rite is which, so I guess we’ll just have to accept that this twelve-hour-long ritual comes with several steps. One of the wise men puts the hair in a bowl and then slowly pours blood-like liquid from that bowl into a larger bowl. Bright red fumes come from the larger bowl. These fumes will show up again in the movie’s climax.

 We then cut to the Galladoorn soldiers’ camp, where two of soldiers are sneaking from tent to tent, as to not be spotted. They duck inside one of the tents to join a makeshift war council, with Madmartigan, Sorsha, Fin Raziel, Willow, and Airk, with a few more unnamed Galladoorn. The fact that they’re being so sneaky suggests the Raziel has successfully transformed all (or most? or some?) of the Galladoorn from pigs back to human without the NockMaar soldiers on the castle walls seeing them. Also, this further establishes that this society has really excelled in tent technology, because, like Sorsha’s tent earlier, this one is huge.

 Airk’s first line of dialogue is hard to understand. According to the Blu-ray’s subtitles, he’s saying, “We can’t breach the wall. We can’t get inside.” Raziel says, “Elora will die unless we save her.” Interesting that they’ve all accepted her as one of her own. Is this just because she saved them, or has her fame as a great sorceress reached Galladoorn from Tir Asleen? There’s a quick shot of the Brownies, standing on the table, establishing that they’re no longer pigs, and that they’re somehow included in the war council. Perhaps they’ve been included to speak on behalf of Cherlindrea.

 Another unnamed Galladoorn, who looks a little bit like Eric Idle, says “Bavmorda’s too powerful.” Raziel says, “No. She cannot transform you again. My spell is protecting this camp.” Madmartigan asks Raziel if her magic can get them inside the fortress. She merely shakes her head. I’m sure a lot of viewers would prefer a real answer, but given that this world’s magic system is only given partial (at most) explanations, we have no choice but take Raziel at her word.

 Airk stands and says, “We can’t do it.” And what on Earth is that thing he is holding. It appears to be a ceremonial staff of some kind, made from a knotty tree root. He’s quick to set it aside. Willow pushes forward through a couple of soldiers and says, “Back home at my village, we have a lot of gophers.” Madmartigan then says one of my favorite lines, “Willow, this is war, not agriculture.” Willow keeps his cool and says, “I know. But I have an idea that can get us inside the castle. Without saying a word, Airk sits at the table, and listens to Willow. The other Galladoorn do as well. This is a total turnaround from Airk’s dismissive attitude toward Willow back in the snowy village.

 We then cut back to the ritual where Elora Danan is still crapped up on that altar thing, and she is still crying. Are they feeding her or changing her during these twelve hours? Bavmorda chants some more magic words, with some liquid cupped in her hands. It looks like water to me, but who knows? She seems happy almost to the point of delirium as she does this. Then another reaction shot of the baby, this time just watching instead of crying, suggesting that she is aware of what’s going on.

 Back to the tent, and Airk has done another 180 turn. “Come on, Madmartigan,” he says. “You and I are soldiers. You know the peck’s plan will never work. There’s a second of silence as Madmartigan contemplates this. Raziel says, “If the baby dies, all hope for the future is lost.” She and Willow exchange a nod, and she says, “I’m going to fight.” Willow stands and says, “Me too.” Madmartigan and Sorsha both stand. Madmartigan takes charge, starting with, “All right, we’ve got to decide who’s going to go and who’s going to stay.” This is followed by a series of shots as all the characters exchange glances. I suspect this is to generate suspense as to whether Airk and the other Galladoorn will stay and fight, or if they will bail. Notice Airk is holding that weird staff again. What is that thing?

 Next: Go go gophers.


Want more? Check out my book, CINE HIGH, now available for the Kindle and the free Kindle app.

About Mac McEntire

Author of CINE HIGH. amazon.com/dp/B00859NDJ8
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