Joanne Whalley Talks Sorsha’s Return to Willow on Disney+

Much of the promotion for the new Willow series on Disney+ focuses on the new cast of characters; the younger generation that will continue the adventure. Yet the saga hasn’t forgotten the veterans. In addition to the title character played by Warwick Davis, the show will see the return of Joanne Whalley as Sorsha, now the queen in place of her deceased evil mother. In the 1988 film, she fell for Val Kilmer’s master swordsman Madmartigan, and in real life they married afterwards. Kilmer, who has trouble speaking since a bout with cancer, won’t appear in the show, but Madmartigan’s story will be addressed.

“You can’t do Willow and not have that be an important element of how the story evolved,” says Whalley to EW. “It’s absolutely addressed. You couldn’t do it without it.”

As for Sorsha, “She’s older and wiser. She’s carrying the weight of the world on her shoulders, and she is struggling under that burden. There are things looming for the people as a whole. There’s stuff in her family relationships that are proving difficult. There’s something she might not have been completely straightforward about [in terms of] the level of honesty between her and her kids. When you’re the carer, when you’re the person in charge and responsible for everyone, you can’t share everything. They have no one to rely on if they think you’re going to crumble. You have to carry it and carry it for everyone.”

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“She’s a little world-weary, and there’s stuff coming up that she can see where it’s going that she has anxiety and fear about, but she’s going to deal with things as best she can.”

But while she may be older, don’t count her out of the action. She always knew how to fight, and as Whalley describes it, “It’s not like, ‘Now I’m going to have to use my special strength, and I’m an extraordinary [person].’ There’s a goddamn monster in front of you. If you need to get past, you’re going to have to deal with it.”

Several decades on, the actress says, “She’s not laying down. It might have been a while, but sometimes, you just have to deal with what’s in front of you, and she is very practical at heart.”

Are you excited for Sorsha’s return? Let us know in comments!

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