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WILLOW 1×02 “The High Aldwin” Review

Episode 2 of Willow is available to stream now exclusively on Disney+



Willow (Disney+)

Tuning into Disney+ has taught us a few things. We love the variety of content that is available, as well as the opportunity to revist classics in different mediums. But the most important thing we’ve learnt is that we adore multiple episode premieres. There’s something special about them, right? Not only do we get to watch more, but it makes it feel like a proper event. While Episode 1 of Willow very much focused on establishing the new characters and threats, this next episode fully immersed us, and suddenly… We were transported to the centre of this beautiful and treacherous realm that many grew up with.


After a somewhat turbulent start to their quest, the gang manage to find Willow, but all is not what it seems. New allies are made, new foes appear, Willow’s abilities are questioned, and the fate of Elora Danan is revealed. Before the group can continue on their journey, they must confront their new reality as the looming threat grows. All the while, Willow harbours a dark secret of his own, one that could change everything.


As you know, episode 1 focused a lot on introducing us to the world post Queen Bavmorda. However, this episode really gets into the more familiar elements of Willow and it’s such a joy. Most of this episode is spent with the Nelwyns as they contemplate what the identity of Elora Danan means for their world, and their future. While there is definitely an impending doom on everyone’s mind, although Kit’s mind remains firmly on finding her brother, this episode isn’t afraid to have a bit of fun. The Nelwyn culture is as endearing as before, but the highlight is definitely seeing Warwick fully embody this older version of Willow, who is utterly charming. He really owns the role and has a lot of fun with it, but it becomes clear that there is a gravity to Willow. The film obviously saw Willow become a hero and guardian, but things are different now. Relationships have become tainted, Willow’s responsibilites have increased, and there was this desire to become a teacher ready for when the darkness returns; a desire that was distinguished. We meet an almost relucant hero.

In a way, it seems like Willow envisioned himself as an Obi-Wan Kenobi type figure. In order to prevail, he must train Elora and prepare for the battle of all battles. What’s interesting about this approach is that even though Willow sees himself as a great sorcerer, he may not actually be the best teacher. This results in some amusing clashes between characters, but it actually reveals a very different side to Willow. He’s plagued by this necessity to contribute. He carries the weight of the situation on his shoulders, so there’s this desperation to teach and serve. Orginally, it seemed like it was all about Willow proving himself, but as the episode progresses you learn that something else is brewing under the surface. Some of it may seem very cliche to a degree, but the fact that these revelations have been revealed so early on seems to suggest that things may not play out the way we think. As Willow gets to know his new company, his ways may evolve and his guard may gradually fade, like a dissapating magical forcefield.

A few of the new core characters take a bit of a back seat, and it’s really to let Willow shine. We learn a lot about what he has been up to, and what he’s doing now, and the sweetest moments definitely come from his interactions with his now grown up daughter. This is Willow’s episode, but that doesn’t mean that everyone else is neglected. There are subtle moments where certain character reveal a bit more about themselves. Graydon displays a natural curiocity about the legend of Elora, and even a more tender side which was hidden away in the opening episode. Jade’s relationship with Kit is somewhat tested as the Knight within her compels her to rally behind Elora, the true ruler of the kingdom. For Kit, it seems as though everyone has forgotten why this band was created in the first place. However, Kit’s mood shifts when Boorman reveals he knows about her father Madmartigan, whose fate is an entirely different mystery altogether.

As the group disembark, reality starts to sinks in. There are larger powers at play here, and if any of them are to stand a chance they’ll need magic, and each other. Episode 2 is a fantastic continuation. It’s pretty much seamless. For fans of the original film, this episode will definitely hit that soft spot as we relive some of the classic moments from the film, and discover what happened afterwards. Honestly, some of it is rather tragic. While it’s great to see this new version of Willow, there is this slight sadness to him that will most likely become the centre point of the series… And we’re not quite ready for that.

Compared to the opening episode, this one is definitely a lot more relaxed. We’re given the opportunity to soak everything in, and adjust to the current circumstances. There’s this gradual build up in regards to the narrative, and the growing tensions from within. While we’re left to ponder which way this series is heading, especially in regards to The Crone, Elora, and the other mysterious subplots that have appeared, this episode doesn’t let us forget about the beautiful world that exists outside of the chaos. Filled with sweeping landscapes that perfectly juxtapose the threatening darkness, this series is slowly forming into a visually stunning and immensely engaging adventure that is full of awe, mystery, and love.


Willow continues to nail this balance between light and dark. This episode may have given us some laughs and chuckles, but it constantly reminds us that something is coming. The group have a very long journey ahead of them, and it’s probably going to get a lot tougher for them. The pieces have been set, certain forces are on the move, and prophecies are waiting to be fulfilled. Willow is a great reminder as to why the fantasy genre is one of the most captivating and joyous genres out there.


Experience the magic of Willow exclusively on Disney+ from November 30th. You can enjoy the incredibly fun and intense two-episode premiere right now. New episodes of Willow will air every Wednesday, so tune in again on December 7th for episode 3. Have you watched the second episode of Willow? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.


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