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Author Topic: The Shadow of Efrafa  (Read 747 times)

Offline Darkling Nocturnal

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The Shadow of Efrafa
« on: February 12, 2014, 09:53:52 AM »
Let's see if we can't get new ilfe into this board  :)

So I've decided to create a new... call it category?   :wacko

Episode Talk

Here, you can talk about single episodes. What do you think? What do you like about it? What would you have done better? The beginning makes one of my favorite episodes of the series:

The Shadow of Efrafa
Well, it's the first appearance of General Woundwort and for my opinion, he was played amazing. John Hurt is a fantastic voice actor. He has an very interesting past and with episode, the series starts to get really great!

Sorry for this short start of a new idea, but I can't write as much as I want at work.

So now it's your turn ;)
« Last Edit: June 11, 2017, 02:17:09 PM by Bright Side »


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Offline Keeralie Starflight

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The Shadow of Efrafa
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2014, 04:19:38 PM »
This is a good idea! :)

I agree, The Shadow of Efrafa is one of the best episodes. Besides the first appearance of Woundwort, there's also Campion and Vervain, who, even though we saw them in the previous episode, we don't actually learn much about their characters there.
"What would you give to save your friends? To save Watership Down?"

Offline Myrkin

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The Shadow of Efrafa
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2014, 11:07:05 PM »
Indeed it is a very good episode. It presents Woundwort as imposing rabbit and dangerous antagonist from his very first scene, where he sentences Blackavar to die for trying to escape from the warren (luckily he changes his mind). That one quote from his scene with Hazel is especially memorable:

Quote from: Quote:on 
General Woundwort: You ask which I prefer: War or Peace. I answer War! You ask which I prefer: Life or Death. I answer: death!

That one line defines who Woundwort is: a warrior, who will rather die fighting than submit to anybody. Why did I put this "submit to anybody" part in that sentence? Look at this from Woundwort's perspective. One day a rabbit comes to Efrafa, claiming to be the Chief of great warren and ask him the above question. To Wounwort it must sound like a subtle threat: "You better answer 'Peace'... or else". Woundwort isn't the kind of rabbit who would leave this apparent threat and challenge go unanswered. I admit that he would probably still want to conquer Watership Down, but Hazel's poor choice of words gave him additional motivation for doing it. IMO that wasn't the greatest example of Hazel's diplomatic skill.

Speaking of Woundwort and Blackavar's trial, am I the only one who thought it was strange that Primrose was able to save the latter by saying he was only running away from Keehar and wasn't trying to escape from Efrafa? I mean... Wouldn't at least somebody question that excuse? Wouldn't they say something like this: "Wait a moment... This is the first time anybody sees this gull around our warren, so how could Blackavar try to get away from it earlier this day? Actually, we have guards who claim they didn't see any birds when Blackavar run away."?


"My heart has joined the thousand, for my friend stopped running today." - Hazel

Pessimist sees a dark tunnel. Optimist sees a light in the tunnel. Realist sees the light of coming train. And the train driver sees three idiots standing on the track.

Offline Darkling Nocturnal

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The Shadow of Efrafa
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2014, 06:04:54 AM »
Wow! Never seen it that way. But now, as you say it, Myrkin, it sounds total logical!

Another great line:

Quote from: Quote:on 
He cames from another warren. A great one, he says.

And then there are other things, why Woundwort will destroy Watership Down (i must mention it on my site, too):

Fiver sees his past. He sees something, nobody else could know! Woundwort thought, Fiver was the Black Rabbit of Inlé. The Black Rabbit got his parents, and maybe, Woundwort things, he wants him now, too.


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Offline Naylte

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The Shadow of Efrafa
« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2015, 02:04:57 AM »
Love this episode. I guess I'll continue the discussion that was going on, since it's an interesting topic.

Assuming that they were his exact words, I agree that Hazel did not make a very good proposition with General Woundwort. He was well aware that Woundwort was the aggressive type that would never submit to a stranger in his own warren.

That said, there is the possibility that he wasn't actually that blunt. I always found it odd that Hazel would ask whether Woundwort wanted to fight or not when his purpose for entering Efrafa in the first place was just to get some rabbits out. I don't see how effectively taunting Woundwort like that would make that goal any easier. Maybe the whole "war or peace, life or death" question was a gross oversimplification of what Hazel actually said. After all, you never hear what he says; it was delivered as a message to the general by Campion and Vervain.

Now, I will admit that there are some flaws with this theory. For one, Hazel doesn't deny asking those questions when Woundwort gives his answers in the hearing, nor does he appear to deny them (he looks surprised when Woundwort orders the execution for some reason though haha). He also confirms that he's from a great warren like the message says. Second, when Campion delivered the message to Woundwort, he and Vervain looked at each other uneasily just before he repeated it. I don't think they would have done that if they were lying or just stretching the truth.

Personally, I think he really asked those questions based on the evidence. I just wanted to throw some ideas out there. What I don't understand, then, is why Hazel wanted to sell himself as the leader of such a formidable warren and taunt Woundwort when his objective was to take Primrose and Blackavar. It's too high profile, and it isn't as if Woundwort was his enemy at that point. Telling those lies probably made Woundwort hate him even more.

On a less analytical note, the way Hazel jumps on the opportunity after Fiver's vision catches Woundwort off guard makes me laugh every time. He boldly reasserts that his warren is extremely powerful, and you get the sense that Woundwort was actually starting to believe him (who wouldn't be shaken after a psychic recalls your traumatic past like that?). Bigwig's "army" certainly helped with that as well. What really gets me, though, is his claim that Fiver's dark spirit (Fiver? dark?) will torment Woundwort forever if he harms them. I think he was crossing the line on that one in terms of plausibility, but I guess it affected Woundwort enough to let them gain a head start in their escape.

Oh, one last thing. At one point Hazel directly addresses Campion by name. I notice it every time I watch the episode. How does he know Campion's name? The only time it gets mentioned before then is when Primrose addresses him after Blackavar's defense. Hazel wasn't there to hear that, nor was Kehaar (he flies off). I know this seems trivial, but I distinctly notice it every time and I always ask that question.
If we light a candle, a shadow appears. The more we strive for light, the bigger the shadow will grow behind us.

Offline Myrkin

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The Shadow of Efrafa
« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2015, 02:54:41 PM »
Quote from: Quote:on 
Oh, one last thing. At one point Hazel directly addresses Campion by name. I notice it every time I watch the episode. How does he know Campion's name? The only time it gets mentioned before then is when Primrose addresses him after Blackavar's defense. Hazel wasn't there to hear that, nor was Kehaar (he flies off). I know this seems trivial, but I distinctly notice it every time and I always ask that question.


Maybe Hazel overheard his name in some off-screen scene? Like this:

Campion: Take those two to prison burrows!

Efrafan soldier: As you command, Captain Campion.


Another possible scenario: Primrose and Blackavar mentioned (also off-screen) Campion as an example of decent Efrafan soldier.
« Last Edit: October 29, 2015, 02:55:41 PM by Myrkin »
"My heart has joined the thousand, for my friend stopped running today." - Hazel

Pessimist sees a dark tunnel. Optimist sees a light in the tunnel. Realist sees the light of coming train. And the train driver sees three idiots standing on the track.

Offline Darkling Nocturnal

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The Shadow of Efrafa
« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2015, 02:59:47 PM »
When you watched Lost, you don't mind such small inconsistencies :D

It's really a bit odd, but he could heard Campion's name during his imprisonment.


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Offline Magic-Rabbit

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The Shadow of Efrafa
« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2018, 06:47:04 PM »
I just gonna say that Andrew Falvey saying "The fire in the field, the man with the gun, save him (Insert name of person here)" is not only dark and haunting but a great Thrash/Death Metal lyric.
"All the world will be your enemy, Prince of a Thousand enemies. And when they catch you, they will kill you. But first they must catch you; digger, listener, runner, Prince with the swift warning. Be cunning, and full of tricks, and your people will never be destroyed."- Lord Frith