Willow Original and Limited Edition Art (1988)
Fearful of a prophecy stating that a girl child will be born to bring about her downfall, the evil Queen Bavmorda (Jean Marsh) imprisons all pregnant women within her realm, the formidable stronghold of Nockmaar. The child,Elora Danan, is born in the Nockmaar dungeons and identified as the prophesied child by a birthmark on her arm.
However, before the black sorceress arrives to claim the child, Elora's mother convinces her reluctant midwife to escape with the baby. Bavmorda sends her daughter Sorsha (Joanne Whalley) and General Kael (Pat Roach), the leader of her army, after the midwife to retrieve Elora. After a long pursuit, the Nockmaar hounds finally catch up with the midwife. Knowing she can't escape, she puts the baby on a makeshift raft and sends it downstream, trusting fate to run its course, just before she is caught and torn apart by the hounds. The child washes up on shore near a village inhabited by a race of dwarf-like people called Nelwyns, derisively called "Pecks" by humans, and is found by the children of Willow Ufgood (Warwick Davis), a farmer and amateur conjurer (though he has actual, if latent, magical talent). Willow is at first loath to take in the child, but eventually he comes to care for it.
The next day, Willow and his children attend a celebration in their village and Willow takes part in a 'test of magic' to become the apprentice to the village's wizard. During the celebration, a Nockmaar hound, that was tracking the baby, attacks the village. Once the cause of the attack is found, Willow is chosen by the town council to return the child to the world of the "large people," or Daikini (humans). The first Daikini Willow comes upon is a boastful warrior named Madmartigan (Val Kilmer), being held captive in a crow's cage by the side of the road for an unspecified crime (possibly desertion). Seeing a way to escape his cage, Madmartigan offers to take care of the baby. During their interaction, they meet the retreating army of the kingdom of Galladoorn, which was recently destroyed by Bavmorda, under the leadership of Madmartigan's old friend Airk Thaughbaer, an officer in the army. With no alternative, Willow entrusts the baby to Madmartigan, but on his way home, Willow is attacked by a clan of Brownies, who stole the baby from Madmartigan. Willow is then told by the fairy queen of the forest, Cherlindrea, that the baby, Elora Danan, has chosen Willow to be her guardian. She gives Willow her magic wand and commissions him to find the sorceress Fin Raziel, with two of her brownies, Franjean and Rool, acting as his guides. Along the way, they bump into Madmartigan again, who helps them escape from Sorsha.
Willow and the rest of the group finally meet Fin Raziel (Patricia Hayes), only to find that the sorceress has been turned into a possum by Bavmorda. Soon afterwards Sorsha captures Willow and the others, and they start the long trek to Nockmaar castle. In a mountain camp, Willow attempts to use magic to turn Fin Raziel back into her human form, but transforms her into a raven instead. Franjean and Rool cause further mayhem when they accidentally expose Madmartigan to a fairy love dust they are carrying, which makes him become infatuated with Sorsha, but eventually they manage to escape.
The group eventually finds the castle of Tir Asleen, which has been put under Bavmorda's spell; all its inhabitants are frozen in ice. Madmartigan, refusing to give up hope, prepares for Sorsha's attack while Willow once again fails transforming Raziel into human form, this time turning her into a goat. Sorsha, Kael and their army arrive and give battle. Willow also has to handle a few trolls, and after a botched magic spell, even transforms one into a horrific two-headed dragon. Luckily, the remnants of the Army of Galladoorn arrive just in time to relieve the friends. A battle ensues, and Sorsha finally discovers her love for Madmartigan. Kael, however, captures Elora and takes her to Nockmaar.
Willow, Madmartigan, Sorsha, the Brownies, Fin Raziel, and Airk's army set up camp at Nockmaar, preparing to storm the castle in a final attempt to rescue Elora. Bavmorda turns all the soldiers into pigs, but Raziel quickly teaches Willow how to protect himself from the spell. Willow finally returns Raziel to human form, and the sorceress is able to transform the soldiers back to their true forms as well. Since Nockmaar's walls seems impenetrable, all despair until Willow proposes a trick which gets them inside the walls: The army appears to have deserted, while Raziel and Willow provoke the Nockmaar army into attacking, abandoning the security of the castle. At the last minute, everyone else comes out of hiding from under tents and pits, ambushing the enemy. While Madmartigan, Airk and his soldiers battle Kael and the Nockmaar army in the courtyard, Willow, Fin Raziel and Sorsha ascend the castle's main tower trying to locate Elora. They find Bavmorda in the process of initiating an evil ritual that will banish Elora's body and soul to a nether-realm. Below, Kael kills Airk, then engages an enraged Madmartigan in a lengthy battle, which ends with Madmartigan killing the General. Using one of his sleight-of-hand tricks, Willow saves Elora and causes Bavmorda to get caught in her own ritual, banishing her body and soul forever. Willow leaves the baby in caring arms of Madmartigan and Sorsha and returns to his Nelwyn village and his beloved family with a special reward: a spellbook from Raziel, which helps him develop his own magical abilities.
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