I read the first two books of the "Shadow War" Trilogy when they first came out in 1995 and 1996.

As a kid I loved the movie Willow and felt that the books kind of ruined the movie for me since they are sequels to the movie. It was the first time I knew of George Lucas re-editing or in his mind "fixing" the original and so I've never been surprised by the Star Wars edits that followed.

My question is; Other than the first part of the first book and the name Elora Danan, are there any other instances in the trilogy that actually reference the movie or characters in Willow?

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    ::makes a note to self "Never read any 'Shadow War' books":: I mean, Willow was bloody brilliant. Why mess with it? Feb 14, 2012 at 19:43
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    Well that's kind of why I asked. If there is no more mention I can pull the mental trick that I did with the Matrix Sequels and just think of them as non-cannon fanfic. It's mostly Chris Clairmont's writings with a few ideas thrown in by Lucas. Feb 14, 2012 at 20:38
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    @Legion600 My ... uhm ... friend tells me there's places to get you fix on the internet. Or so I hear. From my friend. // I really hope you're kidding. Obviously there needs to be a next generation of Nelwyn, but I don't want to hear the gory details. Feb 15, 2012 at 4:49
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    @dmckee I'm sadly, unfortunately, seriously not kidding.
    – Legion600
    Feb 15, 2012 at 5:01
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    @dmckee It's too damn late for me, wish i'd never read em, they were so damn dark and gloomy I never bothered finishing the series. The first 2 books were so depressing that when the 3rd came out I just went straignt to the end to find out what happened and even the ending was depressing.
    – Dai
    Mar 27, 2013 at 0:38

1 Answer 1


The second book (Shadow Dawn) makes almost zero reference to any of the main characters in the film Willow, aside from a single paragraph in the first chapter and a couple of later mentions of Bavmorda being a psycho hose beast;

Bards told the story better, but they were supposed to, that was their profession. Each time she heard it, there was some new twist, an even more fantastical adventure to add spice to the retelling. Much more romance, for example, between Madmartigan and Sorsha, the wayward warrior and the princess who turned from evil to good for love. And Elora's guardian, her godfather, the Nelwyn sorcerer Willow Ufgood, assumed a majesty of bearing, a force of command that would have done a Daikini warlord proud.

I've just finished flicking through the Third (and final) book in the series; Shadow Star. About halfway through the book, Elora reminisces about her relationship with Willow, Madmartigan and Sorsha;

She took no action against Madmartigan and Sorsha; the elves saved her the trouble. So it went, year after year, generation upon generation. Because she lost faith in her generals, she trained herself in all the warriors' arts. When she grew convinced that Willow was rousing the local wizards to rebellion, she mastered their arts as well. And remembering the breadth of Bavmorda's power, it was the most logical progression from the craft of white magic to that of black.

Later in the book, there's a substantial subplot involving a time travel device in which Elora sees (and fights) Bavmorda and Kael.

The Resonator initiated another pulse and with it another timeslip, to the seminal moment of Elora's infancy, when Kael had stolen her away from Thorn and his companions and galloped her to Nockmaar to be sacrificed. True, an army had followed hot on his heels, composed of the survivors of those great castles who'd already fallen to Bavmorda's sorcery, the latest being gallant Galadoorn, but Kael gave it little thought. Nockmaar had never fallen that he knew of, and would never fall while he held command. Of course, it did, the very next morning, as Kael's men were hoodwinked into chasing Thorn and Fin Raziel across the plain, only to have the army they believed transformed entirely into pigs rise up out of hidey-holes dug in the ground, fully restored and spoiling for vengeance.

It was an epic battle, between Sorsha and her mother (Sorsha lost), between Fin Raziel and the woman who'd been her best friend (Fin lost), and finally between the Nelwyn who wanted to be a wizard and the greatest demon sorceress of her age. With a little bit of luck, some dexterous sleight of hand, and a fatal moment of clumsy footwork from the opposition, Thorn won the day and saved Elora's life. The Ritual intended for her consumed Bavmorda instead, utterly and completely.

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    @KevinHowell - It certainly puts a new spin on Willow. After reading these, I was positively cheering for Kael to kill Elora.
    – Valorum
    May 19, 2014 at 21:14

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