[Howl's Moving Castle] Yo, what is going on? (Spoilers) : AskScienceFiction
Jul 13, Howl and Sophie's romantic relationship was a very gradual one. In the end, their relationships are what allow our flawed but still lovable. May 22, I first read and loved Howl's Moving Castle when it was published twenty him into doing what you want are very much part of a relationship. Aug 11, I love Sophie and Howl's relationship and how it develops so naturally I also appreciate how well the plot is explained to Sophie in the end.
In the book, Sophie has two sisters, Martha and Lettie, but she only has one, Lettie, in the film. In the film, we only see Lettie at the pastry shop but, in the film, Lettie reveals that she and Martha have actually swapped places using a spell, since Martha wants to settle down, get married, and have ten children.
In the book, Sophie believes that she has bad luck because she is the oldest of three. In the film, Sophie is only miserable because she thinks she is ugly. In the film, Howl helps Sophie escape from a soldier trying to hit on her in town, flying her into the air.
In the book, Sophie is hit on by Howl, but she is too nervous to respond and walks off. In the book, the Witch does have to henchmen but they look like normal soldiers, not like blobs as they do in the film. In the book, the Witch comes into the shop with a red-haired young man. In the film, she is on her own. In the book, the Witch announces that she is here because she wants to get rid of any competition Sophie might present to her in regards to Howl.
In the film, she only says to send her regards to him. In both the book and the film, Sophie pulls a scarecrow out of a hedge.
In the film, the scarecrow follows her and she asks it to find the castle for her. In the book, she wishes it luck and it goes away. In the book, Sophie also passes a dog caught in a rope tied to a post and frees it, even though it growls and snaps at her.
The dog is not included in the film, which is quite important towards the end of the book, which I will mention later.
In the film, she has to run after the castle but the door opens easily. In the film, Calcifer looks very different from how he described in the book.
In the book, he is a lot more demon-like and even quite scary. In the film, Michael is named Markl. In the film, we see many ships and aircrafts as a war is going on, which Howl is requested to serve in. In the book, Howl wears more extravagant clothing than he does in the film. In the book, Howl has a guitar which he plays. This is not in the film, although it is another important detail for later in the book. Michael also comments that if Howl has left with his guitar, that this must mean he is wooing a girl.
We later find out that the guitar is to do with finding Justin, however. In the film, the scarecrow returns trying to get into the castle. In the book, Sophie is terrified of it gets Calcifer to speed up so that they can get rid of it. In the book, Howl leaves his castle quite often. In the film, he usually leaves to take part in the war, turning into a bird to fly alongside the aircrafts.
This is not in the book. In the film, Sophie returns to her normal age in her sleep. She does not in the book. In the book, Howl talks about his current girl, who we find out is Lettie Hatter. The Lettie that Michael is dating is actually Martha.
The dog tries to bite Howl but, again, this dog is not in the film. In the film, Sophie has a note hidden in her pocket from the Witch of The Waste which hints to the curse she has placed on him. It leaves a mark on the table. Instead, Michael finds the note and thinks it is a spell, which he tries to figure out with Sophie.
To do so, Sophie and Michael try to catch a falling star, thinking this is what they must do for the spell, but they fail. Howl is, in fact, Howell, an everyday Welsh man who once led an ordinary life, playing rugby and drinking with friends. The film, instead, keeps the story much more fantastical. Miss Angorian reads out the second verse of the song since Howl asked, but soon realises that it is part of the curse and that the Witch of the Waste has caught up with him.
None of this is in the film, and there is no second part to the curse to be found. Mrs Pentstemmon is not in the film.
In the book, Mrs Pentstemmon also makes Sophie aware of her magic abilities, telling her that her gift is to bring things to life by talking to them. In the film, Sophie has no such powers. In the book, Sophie goes to meet the King with Michael and Howl. In the film, she goes alone and bumps into the Witch on the way they.
In the book, Sophie bumps into the Witch after visiting the King, when the Witch tells her that she has killed Mrs Pentstemmon. And perhaps with an aside at seeing if Sophie and Howl's care for each other can break him from her efforts, suggesting a possibility of breaking the overall curse.
You have to work backward from the end of the film to understand what's going on. We know based on the ending that Suliman's spirits were fallen stars. We know that Calcifer is also a fallen star. We know that Calcifer enhances Howl's magic.
We know that too much magic causes Howl's transformation into a monster to speed up. We know that Suliman's objective is to either get Howl back under her wing or to put him down. Putting all that together, we can deduce that Suliman was using the fallen stars to make Howl's magic go haywire, thus turning him into a monster and, presumably, giving Suliman the opportunity to kill him.
I think the wave and the sky illusion are meant to be displays of power Sophie and the Witch of the Wastes require contact with Howl in order to withstand thembut that's mostly conjecture. I know that she was explicitly identified as one in the book, but should I assume that Sophie was actually an untrained witch in the movie as well? Its a logical conclusion based on what happens to her in the screenplay.
They just don't go out of their way to spell it out. Didn't go out of their way, or really even to encourage the notion. Is it just intended as a joke, or does it have darker implications for the future of Sophie's relationship with Howl? I took it as a sort of joke, a sort of "I won't let this get me down.
There is a sequel to the book in fact, there's two, but little-known as the first one is the second one seems to be even more obscureso maybe it's drawing on something that'll happen there? I couldn't say, though, because they're pretty hard to get hold of so I've never read them. No, I'm glad to say. Sophie is happily if snarkily married to Howl, though neither time is he as been seen before. Speaking from the books. They needed a greater sense of urgency in the movie, so they brought the future war to today and made the prince the reason for it.
In the books, the Prince doesn't fall in love with anyone. Sophie being the one who manages to hold him in challenge mode in the end. I don't think that's necessarily what he meant. He said "hearts change," not referring to Sophie, but to himself. He meant that he would go home, get over Sophie, then come back to hang out with his new friends.
Why does Sophie have an English accent as a young woman and an American accent as an old woman? I didn't see it as her getting an American accent or having an English accent, more that she had a lighter pronunciation and then got an old-person-cranky-creaky-voice as an adult. It just sounds comparatively American and English to you I've heard English characters and American characters on television who sounded more American and more English, respectively, who didn't have Fake Nationality.
Along this line, why do Sophie and her sister have English accents when her mother has an American accent? She could be American or Ameracish, or whateveror raised in a different part of Ingary that had an accent that sounds vaguely American, while her stepdaughters and daughter picked up their father's and the local accent.
In the book, "their mother" is actually a stepmother to Sophie, and her sister I believe. That might explain the difference in accents, especially if Ingary has varying accents as well that happen to mirror English and American accents. You can tell the difference between an American and English accent in Japanese? I just assumed it was Emily Mortimer doing a generic old-woman voice.
Emily Mortimer does not provide the voice of the elderly Sophie; that would be the voice of Jean Simmons.
Both of whom are English. Old Sophie does sound English as well. That witch Suliman is a Karma Houdini. Yes, it's a complicated case in that she's working for her country, and Howl as a powerful and independent and quasi- Demonically Possessed magician was a threat to their war efforts. Not to mention she was either involved with the creation of the slimy war mages, or quietly complicit by not acting against their creation.
They turned people into weapons with a tiny lifespan, how can she be happy at the end?! I think the sort of people who'd try to hold military heroism against someone are the last people who'd have some kind of vengeful need to keep a mother and son apart.
You can really chalk all her "sins" up to doing anything to have the prince returned. Suliman is the king's royal sorceress, not his wife as far as we knowand the lost prince is the prince of the other kingdom. Who's to say that she is happy? She seems to view her job with a calm practicality, that she's doing what has to be done. Throughout the movie though, we see that the wizards and witches who become involved with war and the military are ultimately slaves and screwed for life.
It could be that Suliman is just as miserable and hides it, in which case we know that she's still in the service of the king and forced to obey him. Or it could be that she's been waiting for a chance to change things for the better.
- Sophie Hatter
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- The Studio Ghibli Retrospective: “Howl’s Moving Castle”
Note at the end when she receives Heen's communique that she requests a meeting with the prime minister to end the war-not the king seen earlier in the movie enthusiastically reviewing battle plans. It could be mirroring the decline of royal influence in politics after World War I. In the book, Royal Wizard Suliman is actually missing, and a Mrs.
Pentstemmon was Howl's teacher. The two were combined for the movie role, hence the odd mixture of moral royal henchman. In fact, you seem him attacking enemy magician blobs and airships repeatedly. I highly doubt that they're attacking their own city near the end.
Her qualm seems to be that he would lose himself to the power all together, be it as a physical super monster similar to the blobs, and probably be uncontrollable sooner or later, or an inner monster like the Witch and just be plain selfish, greedy and essentially evil. Is Howl's castle CGI or traditional animation?
The problem is it's really hard to tell. Maybe it's both, depending on the scene? Sophie really mistreats the sentient fire demon that Howl told her to take care of. Very out of character. Like forgetting to feed the dog. She puts him in a fire-proof container with some fuel while she cleans out the hearth and lays a new fire. It's no more mistreatment than hustling someone out of their room while you clean it up and straighten it. Remember that Calcifer, in both the book and the film, is prone to being over-dramatic, as is Howl.
Agreed, drama, but she's also taking her frustration out in general. To reference the book, Sophie is quite certain at first that Calcifer, simply by being a fire demon, is inherently evil.
And it's only with time that she sees him for who he is neither good nor bad, but loyal regardless and begins to treat him with kindness and respect rather than by bullying. The movie version of this transformations is just muuuuch quicker. He's an evil fire demon, he matters, but not enough to baby him. They are just too blue. Knowing how vain he is, they're probably glamoured. Might be drawn from the book - they're almost always described as "glass marbles" there.
You know, that kept getting me. They're referenced as 'green glass marbles' to be more specific, but there's several times that they're also referenced as 'blue'. I feel like maybe his eyes are biologically blue, and he makes them green with his spells like his blonde hair. Possibly evidenced by his wide eyed look when the colour is really hitting the freak factor, whereas they're simply nice blue eyes when he's partially hooded, you know, like a normal person.
It took three viewings before I caught the one single clue to it: As Sophie's racing out of the hat shop, two old men are discussing to themselves, and one says, "Didja hear? Their prince went missing! And Howl didn't cast the spell, he could just see the magic. But like Sophie's spell, he couldn't lift it.
Turniphead had to do it himself. Except somehow I managed to pick up that the whole war was because of the prince missing, as a background detail. Turniphead turning into the prince was if anything, a deus-ex-machina way of stopping the war from my perspective, though it wasn't entirely spontaneous. It's from the book; in the original turniphead was a prince, so prince he stayed in the movie. No, he was half a prince. No, the wizard was the original turniphead.
The DOG was half a prince. Now, that brown skull is part of the wizard the skull later melts into the scarecrowand probably the guitar too, and the dog is made up of both the prince and the court wizard. The scarecrow was a golem made by the Wizard Suliman to guard the garden he was creating in the Waste, which is where the Witch caught them together.
Suliman cast all his magic into the golem and ordered it to 'come to his rescue', but the Witch had taken his body to pieces and the scarecrow ran out of juice before he could get to any of the pieces until Sophie spoke life back into him. Meanwhile, the Witch kidnapped Prince Justin, combined some of his body bits with some of Suliman's body bits, then used the extra bits to make a second body, to which Justin's head was attached, while Suliman's head was sold off as a skull.
I'll call you when I need you. That one bit of dialog hinting at the lost Prince being the cause of the war was different in the original Japanese version. The three men were just talking about how the war was "going to be terrible".
The Studio Ghibli Retrospective: Howl's Moving Castle | Movie Mezzanine
They just added that tiny bit of Foreshadowing in the English dub. Near the end of the movie, Madame Suliman says "Howl found his true love. The game is over" Now, that strongly implies that she started the war to get Howl to find his true love. Did she really kill hundreds merely to teach a former student a lesson? Madame Suliman didn't start the war for Howl, but she was using the war as an excuse to track down and neutralize rogue witches and wizards. She tricked the Witch of the Waste into coming to the royal palace with an invitation supposedly motivated by the need for magic users in the war, but drained her of her powers instead.
Madame Suliman was also going to try to catch Howl since she believed he was destined to be become a monster after losing his heart. The "game" she referred to was her attempts to capture Howl. Ending the war was a separate goal that only became attainable when she saw that the missing Prince had been found.
I don't think she was using the war as an excuse to track down rogues, so much as she used the fact that magicians were being enlisted into the army to coax in the Witch, who was a 'greater power.
In fact, Howl's curse was completed when he fell in love. But it was care and love for others that caused everyone to try to help everyone else in general. She has divined the location of the prince, whom the movie war is centered around, and she's going to tell the king he's been found, and diplomacy should start up.
You'll buy crazy things when you have a coupon.
He bought it, didn't like it, but never quite got around to throwing it out. He's quite the pack-rat; remember his bedroom? Red is his real colour, before he called the spirits of darkness into his hair. No, it was black in the past. I got the idea that he had a lot of potions and spells set up and Sophie just messed them up when she was cleaning. I'm pretty sure we're pulling legs here.
Sophie obviously changes dresses just before she leaves the hat shop to go out on her own. Ignoring the obvious problem of dress size, how did she have a message from the Witch of the Waste if it note wasn't in the same dress she was cursed in? The message stuck to Sophie herself, not to her clothes. It probably wasn't even "activated" until she was next to Howl again.
You know, I never even noticed that little change from bluey-green to blue in her dress. But I go with my fellow Troper. It's a magic note, attached to Sophie, the pocket was just a convenient place for it to be 'taken from' once Howl 'found' it.
What century is the film set in? The setting isn't Earth, but the overall feel of the film seems to tally with the mid-to-late 19th century. There's a fairly strong WW1 vibe as well, albeit the more mobile first year of war, rather than the more famous trench stalemate.
I don't know if these are things that were explained better in the book or if the purposes simply went over my head, but I've three questions. Why did Sophie immediately decide to go into the mountains upon being transformed into an old woman? I read somewhere that she did it to seclude herself but wouldn't it be better just to seek refuge in another part of the town, or even travel to another one?
Traveling far into the mountains doesn't seem like the smartest thing to do you when you just became a 90 year old woman. Maybe some would say that she did it to found Howl, but none of her dialogues hinted that she did, and her reaction when his castle appears is that it's "not what she had in mind".
What was the point of taking Calcifer out of the castle to make it collapse, then go back in and have him move it again? What was Sophie hoping to accomplish by moving the leftovers of the castle to where Howl was? He was fighting far up in the sky, it's not like she could have reached him. She says as much right in the film, just before she does it. In fact, in the book, when asked by a shepherd on the hills about where she was headed off to, she replies, " It doesn't matter really.
You can't be fussy when you're off to seek your fortune. In the movie, there is a similar scene, except Sophie says she was trying to find her sister.
This might have been a reference to Sophie's sister Lettie from the book, who is studying magic in a town which lay just beyond the hills.
Said sister never gets mentioned again nor makes an appearance. Howl will continue to risk his life as long as Sophie and the others were there. By taking Calcifer out on the hills where the Castle was, they're transported safely out of the hat shop and Howl won't have to defend it anymore. Sophie hopes Howl will then see them and escape with them.
Howl needed to know that they're no longer in the hat shop so Sophie moves the leftovers of the Castle to try to inform him so they could finally escape. The Wastes simply happen to be beyond some rather high, steep hills. In both cases, she only hops into Howl's castle because it's cold and getting dark, and the castle is better than spending the night as an old lady on a vacant hillside.