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HomeUS NewsDisney+ 'Willow' new women heroes bring LGBTQ love, grown Elora Danan

Disney+ ‘Willow’ new women heroes bring LGBTQ love, grown Elora Danan

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Willow Ufgood never worked his magic alone in the 1998 adventure fantasy “Willow.”

The pure-hearted sorcerer wannabe (Warwick Davis) relied on a motley crew that included the drunken knight Madmartigan (Val Kilmer) and the warrior Sorsha (Joanne Whalley) on his epic adventure: saving endangered baby Elora Danan, who is prophesied to become empress.

More than 34 years later, Davis is back in the Disney+ series “Willow” (first two episodes now streaming) to save the world with a new generation of champions. The female-focused team includes Madmartigan and Sorsha’s daughter Princess Kit (Ruby Cruz), Kit’s protective childhood best friend Jade (Erin Kellyman) and resourceful kitchen maid Brunhilde, nicknamed Dove (Ellie Bamber).

Their quest reveals budding LGBTQ love and the once super-secret identity of the now-grown Elora Danan. Here are the heroes of “Willow.”

‘Willow’ star Warwick Davis:Celebrates his underdog return in Disney+ series: ‘Absolutely magic’

Princess Kit rides into adventure and new love

Ruby Cruz took horseback lessons growing up in New Jersey. "It's like riding a bike. You pick it right back up," says Cruz.

Cruz, 24, who had a breakout role in HBO’s 2021 drama “Mare of Easttown,” has her hands full portraying Princess Kit’s complicated family life. The young royal bristles against her over-protective, duty-oriented mother, Queen Sorsha (Whalley, reprising her film role), who pushes her daughter towards a strategic marriage with a prince (Tony Revolori). Kit’s other parent is the legendary  Madmartigan, who disappeared when she was a child.

“In a way, she looks up to her parents and rejects them, especially having the larger-than-life father Madmartigan, who is never around,” says Cruz.

Kit jumps at the chance to rescue her kidnapped brother, Prince Airk (Dempsey Bryk) prompting her childhood bestie and blossoming lover Jade to join the rescue party.

Jade (Erin Kellyman) and Kit (Ruby Cruz) in "Willow."

“Their relationship is really special,” says Cruz. “I’m really proud of what we’ve put together, constructing an authentic representation of queerness and of two people falling in love. It was the greatest of honors to tell the story of these two women.”

Protective Jade has big heart, wields lethal sword

Erin Kellyman as Jade Claymore in the Disney+ series "Willow."

Kellyman made a major impact on screenwriter Jonathan Kasdan as the resilient resistance fighter Enfys Nest in 2018’s “Solo: A Star Wars Story.”  As “Willow” executive producer, Kasdan wrote the noble knight-in-training Jade character for the 24-year-old British actress,

“Jonathan told me that he had me in his mind for Jade since ‘Solo,’ which was a complete shock,” says Kellyman. “I was overwhelmed.”

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