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Queen Bavmorda

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Bring back that child, peck!
~ Queen Bavmorda (demanding that Willow hand back baby Elora Danan to her.)
I shall destroy you and the child with you!
~ Bavmorda's last words

Queen Bavmorda is the main antagonist of the 1988 fantasy film Willow.

She was portrayed by Jean Marsh.


Bavmorda is an evil queen and a witch who practices black magic. When she was a young sorceress from Tir Asleen, Bavmorda used her powers to seduce the prince Mikal Tanthalos, who was courting with the good sorceress Fin Raziel. Then she killed off the old king and queen. The court poet Durward suggested that she was responsible for their deaths and Bavmorda killed him.

Once ruler of Tir Asleen, she banished her rival Fin Raziel, and started the rise of her own conquering empire. She built and presided over Nockmaar Castle to serve as her capital and her formidable fortress in the namesake land of Nockmaar and started conquering realms such as Carathor and Galladoorn. She is hell-bent on conquering every land around her and expanding her kingdom's borders to attain total dominion; but, she fears that a certain prophecy may come true. This prophecy proclaims that a newborn baby will be the cause of her eventual downfall; and so, she has all pregnant mothers imprisoned in her dungeon, so that she can kill the prophesized child.

However, when the child is born, the midwife who delivers her is able to escape with the child before Bavmorda can perform a vile ceremony known as the Ritual of Oblivion that would not only kill the child, but banished the child's soul in the netherworld for eternity, unable to reincarnate. Bavmorda sends both her daughter, Princess Sorcha, and General Kael (the man who commands the armies of Bavmorda) to find and recapture the infant. After a long chase, when the midwife is cornered by the hounds of Nockmaar, she puts the baby in a raft and sends it down stream - hoping the baby will get away safely.

Bavmorda sends out her forces to find and recapture the baby, from Willow Ufgood (the Nelwyn who is assigned to take the baby back to humankind).

After a long journey in which Willow discovers that the baby is called Elora Danan - and that she is destined to end Bavmorda's reign of terror - as well as meeting a sorceress called Fin Raziel - who has been turned into a possum by Bavmorda - he, Madmartigan (the first human Willow meets on his journey), Fin Raziel and two brownies called Franjean and Rool discover the castle of Tir Asleen.

There, Sorcha, Kael and the rest of Bavmorda's army do battle with them - and, during the battle, Willow botches a magic spell and ends up turning one of the trolls he encounters during the battle into a hideous, two-headed dragon. Fortunately, the remaining members of the army of Galladoorn arrive, and also do battle with Bavmorda's forces. During the ensuing battle, Sorcha discovers that she loves Madmartigan - and turns against Bavmorda and her forces. General Kael, however, recaptures Elora Danan and takes her back to Docknaar.

Willow, Sorcha, Madmartigan, the remnants of the army of Galladoorn, Fin Raziel, and Franjean and Rool then journey up to Nockmaar - in a final attempt to rescue Elora Danan. Bavmorda and a few of her guards come out onto the castle ramparts, when they discover that this group has arrived.

Knowing what is about to happen, Fin Raziel calls Willow away into a nearby tent, and tells him to repeatedly cast a chant to protect himself. Bavmorda, meanwhile, turns everyone else - including her own daughter (whom she is disgusted with, for betraying her) - into pigs. After that, Willow finally manages to turn Fin Raziel back into a human - having tried to do twice before. Fin Raziel then turns all the soldiers back into humans.

With Nockmaar impenetrable, all hope seems lost - until Willow comes with a desperate plan to get into the fortress, and a it is a plan that somehow works. After Fin Raziel and Willow call that Bavmorda's soldiers surrender, the soldiers Bavmorda turned into pigs then manage to break into the castle. In the midst of the ensuing battle, Sorcha, Fin and Willow sneak off to find Bavmorda.

They confront her in the ceremony chamber, where she is in the middle of performing the ritual to kill Elora. First, Bavmorda sends a priest to kill Sorcha - but, Sorcha quickly defeats him and she goes to thwart Bavmorda. But, Bavmorda magically forces her away from her - and very nearly impales her on some spikes sticking out from the wall. However, Sorcha is saved by Fin Raziel.

Afterwards, a magical battle ensues between the two sorceresses. Bavmorda throws a fireball at Raziel; Raziel casts an ice-spell using the wand she's wielding; and Bavmorda deflects this spell, which results in Raziel being very nearly crushed. However, Raziel uses her wand to levitate Bavmorda into the air, and throw her around - and throw her to the floor.

Bavmorda survives the fall, and causes Raziel to drop her wand. Bavmorda and Raziel then struggle to get to the wand first, before then struggling to get the wand away from one another. But, they end up firing magical bolts from the wand - one of which results in some kind of metallic creature blocking Willow's path, as he tries to rescue Elora. Willow is able to kill this creature, and sends it out of the window.

Meanwhile, Raziel soon has to resort to punching Bavmorda in the face, to try and prize the wand from her: however, the third punch sends them both flying to the ground. Bavmorda then starts strangling Raziel, before then thinking she's killed her and getting up, only to discover Willow has run off with Elora.

She then traps him, and demands that he hand the baby over to her. When she demands that he tell her who he is, he states his name and then tells her that he is a great sorcerer ("Greater than Raziel. Greater than you, even!"), to which Bavmorda merely laughs at him. Claiming he is the greatest sorcerer, he throws a pellet from the bag of tricks he is carrying with him at her, which she then catches in her hand.

At first, it looks as though she is going to perish from touching the pellet, but Bavmorda instead crushes it in her hand and laughs, claiming "Is that the extent of your power, little one?". She then tells him that he will watch, as she calls on the power of the universe to send Elora to the Netherworld, and demands he place Elora on the altar - but Willow refuses. He tells her that he will send Elora into a realm where "evil cannot touch her", but Bavmorda says there is no such place. When Willow starts chanting a spell, Bavmorda says she will destroy him along with Elora.

However, Willow tricks her into thinking he has made Elora disappear - and, when she advances toward him, she accidently knocks over some items on the altar. And because of this, this - combined with a lightning storm - Bavmorda is destroyed by the very spell that she intended to use to destroy Elora Danan.

Meanwhile, in the battle between the two armies, Madmartigan kills General Kael - by impling him on a sword, after Kael kills an old friend of Madmartigan's.

Appearances in other media

Bavmorda appears in the videogame adaption of Willow. released by Capcom for arcades and the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1989. Both games were based on the 1988 film of the same name. The arcade version is a platform game while the NES version is an RPG.

Unrelated Willow games were also released for the Amiga, Atari ST, Commodore 64 and MS-DOS in 1988-89, developed by MidNite Entertainment Group Inc and Brian A. Rice Inc and published by Mindscape.


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