In the first two episodes of “Willow,” we witnessed the rise of the Gales (a group of hideous creatures who probably work for the Crone), who came to Tir Asleen on the night of Kit’s wedding to Prince Graydon and kidnapped Prince Airk. Queen Sorsha formed a rescue party made of Kit, Boorman, Jade, and Graydon. Dove/Brünhilde (who later turned out to be the future Empress of Tir Asleen, Elora Danan) joined the team because she was in love with Airk. Willow made a grand entry and agreed to assist the newbies on their journey to the Immemorial City (which is where Airk has supposedly been kept). But their plan was disrupted by an infected Ballantine (the commander of Sorsha’s army and Jade’s mentor) who kidnapped Elora with the plans of taking her to his current master, the Lich.
Major Spoilers Ahead
Elora Enters The Wild West?
Boorman opens episode 3 of “Willow” with the story of Thuul, the heir to the Kymerian Empire, who was incredibly sick and faced his younger brother Tiberius’s wrath because the latter felt he could be a better king than the former. So, their mother, Annabel, made a special weapon called the Kymerian Cuirass, which could only be activated by the Lux Arcana and served the person who was not just wearing it but was worthy of its power. Kit tells Boorman to speed up his story so that she can know how her father, Madmartigan, factors into all this. Boorman hesitantly agrees, but before he can make his point, the group of heroes finally realizes that Elora is missing. So, they start searching for her. While Kit finds the eckleberry bush that Elora was working on (thereby proving that she has magical powers), Jade discovers Ballantine putting an unconscious Elora on a horse and preparing to ride away. Ballantine tries to keep up the ruse that he’s working for Sorsha, but the heroes soon realize that something is wrong with him and engage Ballantine and his platoon in a gnarly fight.
Sadly, the heroes’ uncoordinated attacks allow Ballantine and his team to run away with Elora. They do manage to track them down, but it doesn’t bode well for anyone because they find out that she has been taken to Crone territory, which is surrounded by a big storm cloud and Pnakotic murmurings. Graydon presumes that Ballantine is going to get Elora killed. Willow says that if they kill Elora, her spirit is going to endure, and she’ll be reborn as someone or something else. So, like Bavmorda, Ballantine or the Gales aren’t going to kill her but banish her so that they can trap her soul for all eternity. Before they can do that, the heroes try to get to her, but the wheel of their horse-drawn carriage gives out, thereby stranding them. Elora does manage to buy them some time by cutting herself loose and running into the forests. And, you know what, the weirdest thing happens. She runs into a part of the woods where two woodswomen (Anne and Hubert), dressed like they are in a Western, welcome her. I thought that Elora had gone through a secret portal and entered the Wild West or something. Or it’s a trick being played by the Crone to stall Elora. But no. It really doesn’t amount to anything because both Anne and Hubert are eventually killed by Ballantine.
Ballantine And His Platoon Bring Elora To Nockmaar
Kit, Boorman, Jade, Willow, Graydon, and Silas have a major disagreement over whether they should take the Pitiless Pass (which will lead them to the Slaughtered Lamb inn) or go through the Capella Pastures and into the Voluptuous Vale (these names are insane). Willow tries to calm them down and points out that there’s an interdimensional portal opening, which the Gales or the Crone are going to use to banish Elora’s soul. He even sees a vision of Elora being possessed and tortured. Boorman suggests that they should split up and find the best path to Elora. So, Kit and Boorman take the Pitiless Pass while the rest go through the Capella Pastures. Like before, Boorman makes another very vague insinuation that Madmartigan probably died trying to find the Cuirass because if he did make it out alive, then things would’ve been different, and the darkness that’s rising, well, wouldn’t have risen. While Jade and Graydon express their doubts about Willow’s magical prowess, Kit realizes that Boorman has brought her to the Slaughtered Lamb to find out about the Cuirass and not to look for Elora. Since the Cuirass’s lore is connected to her father (and because it can probably help them beat the Crone or the Gales), Kit chooses to look for it with Boorman.
Ballantine and his group force Elora to climb up the path to their “home,”. But she refuses to do so. When they try to shove her, Elora gets her hands on one of the soldiers’ faces, and his skin burns and peels off. It’s a disgusting sight, but it proves that Elora’s touch is dangerous to those who are poisoned by dark magic. Elora’s efforts to fight back give Willow, Silas, Jade, and Graydon enough time to catch up to the villains. Jade tries her best to reach Ballantine’s humane side. However, he proves that he has gone off the deep end as he starts to ramble about how he has seen the future, which involves some kind of cleansing by “The Eternal One.” Going by Ballantine and his team’s rotting faces, I think he’s unknowingly referring to the genocide that his new master wants to carry out. Jade and the rest understand that, though, and engage them in battle. Meanwhile, in the well in The Slaughtered Lamb, Boorman finds the Lux Arcana (but doesn’t reveal that he has found it), and Kit fights off a bunch of were-rats, which are exactly what it sounds like and are brought to life by some amazing visual effects and special effects.
‘Willow’ Episode 3: Ending Explained – Why Is Jade Forced To Kill Ballantine?
Boorman and Kit’s escape from the Slaughtered Lamb brings them right in the middle of the pitched battle between Ballantine (and his team) and Jade and Silas. Graydon, Elora, and Willow kind of watch it unfold from the sidelines. But once Silas gets grievously injured, Graydon joins in (with his fists), and so does Willow (with his energy blasts). That knocks out Ballantine and his men and exorcizes their souls as well. Willow tends to the wounded Silas, who dies in his arms, and tells him to make sure his wooden dog toys reach Libby, knowing that he died protecting his best friend. A dying Ballantine tells Jade that her job now is to protect the group that’s going to rescue Airk. If she fails, then Tir Asleen, Galladoorn, and the rest of the world will fall to the will of the Crone. He adds that the Crone fears Elora Danan, thereby making the task of helping her reach Immemorial City of utmost importance. And on that note, Ballantine requests that Jade kill him, and with a heavy heart, she obliges.
Miserable, wet, and exhausted, the team goes up the “scary steps” that the cursed Ballantine was forcing Elora to take. Willow does advise against it. When Boorman asks why, he doesn’t give a straight answer. But when Graydon falls down because he has been cursed with “bad magic,” we see that those steps have brought them to Nockmaar. So, over the course of the last two episodes, we’ve seen that the Gales’ curse doesn’t only allow them to take control of people; it also rots them from the inside out. Even if the curse is lifted, the victims continue to wither and eventually die. That’s why Ballantine chose to die by Jade’s hand instead of taking the slower route. Now that Graydon has been infected, we know what’s going to happen to him. Thankfully, it has been detected at a very early stage. Therefore, it’ll probably give our heroes a little head start in terms of finding a cure. The only issue is that Nockmaar isn’t really the best place to find a cure, especially when they’ve got Elora Danan with them. Because that’s the place where Bavmorda tried to banish her in the first place. Here’s to hoping that Elora’s newfound powers, Willow’s skills, and the rest of the team’s wits come in handy, and they manage to fix Graydon and protect Elora from getting harmed.
See More: ‘Willow’ Episode 4: Recap And Ending, Explained – Did Willow And Elora Manage To Cure Graydon’s Curse?