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Elora Danan is a fictional character from the 1988 fantasy Willow,[1][2] played by infant twins Kate and Ruth Greenfield. A baby named Laura Hopkirk played her for the parts filmed in New Zealand.[3] In the more dangerous scenes, however, "a thirteen-pound animatronics baby with a remote-controlled moveable head and mouth" was used instead.[4] She is a Daikini, the average-sized race of people in the film (as opposed to the dwarf-sized Nelwyns).

Fearful of a prophecy that a girl would be born who would bring about her downfall, the evil Queen Bavmorda imprisoned all pregnant women in the realm. Elora was born in prison and identified as the prophesied one by a birthmark on her arm. Queen Bavmorda wanted to kill her at birth, but her mother convinced a nursemaid to smuggle the infant out. Both mother and nursemaid died to keep her safe.

After the nursemaid's death, Elora was found by a young Nelwyn farmer named Willow Ufgood (Warwick Davis), who initially wanted nothing to do with her but later embraced his role as her protector. The queen's efforts to destroy Elora Danan, preventing the prophecy, led to Queen Bavmorda's fall. Afterward, Elora Danan was adopted by the new queen.

Elora Danan appeared again in the Chronicles of the Shadow War trilogy of books by Chris Claremont & George Lucas: "Shadow Moon" (HC 1995, SC 1996), "Shadow Dawn" (HC 1996, SC 1998), and "Shadow Star" (HC 1999, SC 2000), this time as the protagonist heroine of the tales. The trilogy takes place thirteen years after the movie, which allows for far greater character development than was possible when Elora was an infant. As Jim Smith explains, she is the focus of these books, rather than Willow.[5]

References

  1. ^ Donald Haase, The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Folktales and Fairy Tales (Greenwood Publishing Group, 2008), 1029.
  2. ^ Barry Brummett, Uncovering Hidden Rhetorics (SAGE), 36.
  3. ^ It's 'Laura' Danan! from Warwick Davis's website
  4. ^ Sheerly Avni, Cinema by the Bay (George Lucas Books, 2006), 129.
  5. ^ Jim Smith, George Lucas: Virgin Film (Virgin Books, 2003), 176.
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