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The ‘Willow’ Season 1 Finale is Underwhelming, but That Final Scene is Fire

Airk and Elora sit under a tree in Willow.

This article contains spoiler for Willow episode 8.

All eight episodes of Willow season 1 are now streaming on Disney+, and the series is a sweet and irreverent fantasy romp (set to a killer soundtrack!). Now that the season 1 finale is streaming, speculation is building about Willow season 2. As of this writing, the show hasn’t been renewed yet, but season 1 ends with a cliffhanger that shows the story is far from over.

What exactly happens in the finale? Nothing really shocking. Long story short, Kit saves Airk, Elora defeats the Crone, and the gang sets out to try and stop the Wyrm from laying waste to the world. There were no real surprises, and the emotional beats felt like well-trodden territory.

Still, though, the finale has some good moments—and that twisted final scene rocks.

Kit and Airk share a moment

Kit and Airk are twins, but since Airk gets kidnapped in the first episode, they haven’t gotten to share much screen time. When the two are finally forced to battle each other, though, we see some surprisingly touching flashbacks to their lives as children growing up together. Even though Kit is annoyed by Airk’s pattern of gullibility—and the fact that, you know, he’s been corrupted by the most evil force in existence—she shows us how much she really loves him when she tries to snap him out of the Crone’s spell.

An homage to Val Kilmer as Madmartigan

Val Kilmer was forced to leave the Willow series before production because of health concerns, but the series pays homage to him in a couple of episodes, including the finale. While Kit is trapped in the Crone’s fantasy world, she hears her father’s voice (played by Kilmer’s son, Jack Kilmer) encouraging her. Kit may never get the reunion with her father that she wants, but it’s touching to know that he’s with her in spirit.

Elora comes into her own as a sorceress

After being enchanted by the Crone and lured into a fantasy world, Elora agrees to marry Airk. When he leans in to kiss her at the altar, though, he begins to steal her power so that he can give it to the Crone and the Wyrm. Luckily, Elora saves herself just in time.

What she can’t save, though, is Prince Graydon. After Elora wakes up from the Crone’s spell, Graydon tries to use Cherlinda’s wand to fight the Crone. However, the Crone snaps the wand in half and sends Graydon flying into the Wyrm’s chamber.

What happens to Graydon after that?

The Willow episode 8 final scene explained

After the other characters depart the Immemorial City, we see Graydon wake up in a burning wasteland covered in dead bodies. The scene looks like the battle from Willow’s visions, and Graydon looks up to find one of the biggest surprises in the series: Elora, standing on a hilltop, dressed in black leather armor with her hair cropped (this series and evil haircuts, am I right?). Behind her is an army of demons and monsters. Elora tells Graydon that she’s going to usher in the next age of the world, and she needs his help. Then a two-headed dragon spits fire.

What does this scene mean? The “Elora” that Graydon sees is clearly the Wyrm in disguise, preying on Graydon’s love for Elora and his knowledge that she’s the True Empress. But will Graydon fall for it and become the next Harbinger of the Wyrm, now that Airk has been freed? Or will he see through the illusion? (I mean, as great as Elora looks, the whole scene does have a slight whiff of unspeakable evil.)

What will happen to Graydon? How will the gang take on the Wyrm? Will Willow get a season 2? We’ll have to wait and see.

(featured image: Lucasfilm)

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Julia Glassman (she/her) lives in Los Angeles, where she reads tarot and watches Marvel movies. You can check out more of her writing at linktr.ee/juliaglassman, or find her on Twitter at @juliaglassman.