The Thing I Like About …

Willow: everything the High Aldwin says.

In Willow, the title character stumbles across a baby who needs to be returned to her people. But Willow’s people are hesitant to take on such a dangerous journey. They turn to the High Aldwin for counsel, and the High Aldwin “consults the bones” … which tell him nothing. So he asks Willow if he has any love for the child. Willow says yes. The High Aldwin says “the bones have spoken!”

As the party starts out on their journey, the High Aldwin sends a bird into the sky, and tells the party to follow the bird. The bird turns back to the village. The High Aldwin tells them, “Ignore the bird. Follow the river.”

Even before the baby arrives in the village, Willow is in the line to apprentice with the High Aldwin. The High Aldwin holds his hand out to each applicant, and asks each one in which of his fingers the power to control the world resides. Each applicant picks a finger and is told that it’s the wrong choice. Willow also chooses badly, but only after considering that the power was in his own finger. The High Aldwin later tells him that that’s the correct answer.

The High Aldwin is trying to show Willow that, although there is a copious amount of magic and wonder in the world, the real “power” is in ourselves – in our decisions, our desires, our efforts, our wishes and goals. Following magic – or anything else – blindly is not the way to achieve any of the things that we’ve asked magic to help us with. Love should be the basis for our decisions. We should be the instigators of our actions, the thinkers of our thoughts, the doers of our deeds. We should have faith in ourselves.

The High Aldwin has spoken: follow your heart.

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