From Lucasfilm comes Willow, an all-new action-adventure series based on George Lucas’ 1988 fantasy-adventure film Willow. The story begins when an aspiring sorcerer, played by Warwick Davis, is whisked away on a journey to protect an infant empress, Elora Danan, and vanquish the evil Queen Bavmorda from their world of Andowyne. Now, their world is threatened once again when evil forces descend on Queen Sorsha’s (reprised by Joanne Whaley) Kingdom of Tir Asleen, and kidnap one of her children, Prince Airk (Dempsey Bryk). Prince Airk’s sister, Princess Kit (Ruby Cruz), embarks on a perilous quest to save her brother with an unlikely fellowship of heroes – played by Ellie Bamber, Erin Kellyman, Tony Revolori, and Amar Chada-Patel – but they cannot succeed alone.
With a full-scale epic series like Willow featuring stunning locations and state-of-the-art special effects, the action and mythology does not overwhelm the characters and their relationships. Instead, you are invested in the human dilemma at the center of the story. In episode 4, “The Whispers of Nockmaar,” that couldn’t be truer when the show fully connects to the film, testing what viewers thought they knew about their beloved Willow and growing friendships, while revealing the truth about Graydon’s past and the weight of his future.
To learn more about “The Whispers of Nockmaar” and Graydon’s future, The Koalition spoke to actor Tony Revolori.
“The Whispers of Nockmaar” is a representation of the torment many of the characters carry through their own anxieties and traumas, including a cursed Graydon who’s fate is running out of time if a cure isn’t procured. It is within this episode that Willow’s real role in Bavmorda’s defeat is revealed, as well as who was responsible for Dermot’s death.
Graydon Hastur is fiercely intelligent, sensitive, timid, and introspective but socially awkward as well. “He’s an off-balance, awkward kind of guy who needs to go on this mission just to prove himself as sort of worthy of greater responsibility in the realm,” Revolori says. The majority of the time, Graydon mostly keeps to himself, but does slowly start to form a friendship with Elora when she is struggling to perform magic.
“In these first couple of episodes, he’s kind of resigned his life to just doing what people tell him to do, which is a little bit sad. I think what he would want is the ability to hope and dream again for himself; something that he’s always wanted as opposed to what people have wanted for him,” said Revolori.
In episode 3’s The Battle of the Slaughtered Lamb, he gets injured and believes it’s “bad magic” and he might be turned into a slave of The Crone. As Graydon starts to turn, he is being controlled by The Lich. However, Elora removes the corruption from Graydon; she sees a vision of him as a child, pushing his better-liked brother from a tree, murdering his older brother. Graydon’s eyes flash red when he does this, implying he’s under corruption. Graydon possession in the past may mean a latent evil has always manifested within. The scars on Graydon’s body and the look in his younger self’s eyes at the time of the murder hinted that something bigger was going on.
“The scars shown, those markings were a previous exorcism done by someone who is much less talented than Willow and it’s left his body really really scarred. This is what I’ve been told and it’s something that is a great point of shame for him. He’s always kind of been a little scared about it, which is why in the first episode he says he’s really scared of dying and communal bathing, which is a joke, but also now that everyone can see his scars, they understand why. Laura knows what really happened, she was able to see in the past,” said Revolori.
Dermot’s death by Graydon’s hand is “something that is well known within his family, which is why he feels so much shame about it, because they’ve made him feel ashamed of all of it. [Lich talking through Graydon] wasn’t his subconscious, it was almost manifestation of previous actions and words that were twisted by the Lich who was possessing him.”
This insight into Graydon left Elora completely rattled and could test their friendship going forward. “I think whenever you find out something about anyone that may be a little startling, it always shifts the dynamics. The only issue here is that Grayden doesn’t know she knows and it leads to a little bit of comedy. At the end of the day, we are still a fun show. But it does almost force them to be closer, because he is a wonderful listener and, overall, someone who you want to have as an ear and as a sounding board. He doesn’t really let anyone know anything about him and now obviously someone does, [so] he’s very scared about it. It’ll be a really fun dynamic between the two in the next couple of episodes.”
One of the biggest revelations that changes not only the path of the series, but the original movie involved Willow, after it was revealed his entire reputation as a sorcerer was based on a lie, as he never defeated Bavmorda as he claimed. Her downfall was by her own hands. In fact, Willow is barely a sorcerer at all, only capable of performing basic magic.
“I think the reason people are still finding and appreciating Willow is the idea that a hero can come from everywhere and anywhere,” Revolori explains. [However], “there’s some people who’ve seen him do magic and still believe and then there’s some people who feel kind of almost betrayed by it, by the things they’ve heard and read, even what he said himself. It definitely affects the dynamic [of the group] and splits us, but in the end, I think we’ll figure it out. He means good and from the bottom of his heart he means to do the right thing regardless.”
He continues, “Jon [Kasdan, our writer and Executive Producer] was able to bring a new version of this movie to life, and I think the reason he was able to do that so tremendously is, first and foremost, because he is a fan of the original movie. Plus, you can relate to the ensemble cast. Some people will be drawn to Kit and the cheekiness she has, and some people will be drawn to Graydon’s sensitivity or Boorman’s outlandishness. It is great when you have got such a blend of characters and personalities, but they still have this common mission. They still must go on this quest and go on this journey. And through that, they will discover themselves, and they will discover a lot about each other. You can find an unlikely hero in any number of places. It is just a fun story.”
To learn more about Willow, check out the full interview in the video above.