Howl's Moving Castle // Chapters 6 - 10 Discussion

Welcome back to the Howl's Moving Castle discussion. The first discussion on chapters 1-5 can be found here. This one was supposed to be up yesterday but I actually went out of my house for something other than work. A modern day miracle.

Last time we met Sophie who is insecure when we first meet her. Her sisters make a switch and make it seem like they have to protect their big sister. Did not do anything good for Sophie especially since her sister had to tell her that her stepmother is taking advantage of her skills. Howl calls Sophie cute before she is turned into an old woman by the Witch of the Waste. Sophie and Calcifer enter into a deal to break each others spells. Lastly, Sophie thoroughly annoyed Howl with her cleaning. Now on to the discussion this week! Obviously spoilers ahead!

Chapter 6: In Which Howl Expresses his Feelings With Green Slime

I'm surprised Sophie noticed that Howl was charging regular people very little when they had very little money for spells and didn't put two and two together. He's obviously good! That's a little bothersome. She's missing easy things. Calcifer mentioned that he gave her a hint which I know because I know how the movie goes. She completely missed it but I know I wouldn't be able to figure it out. And then she missed it several times again. It's funny that I don't remember any hints Calcifer gave in the movie but hindsight is 20/20.

Finally she realizes that Howl doesn't eat girl's hearts. I'm glad and I'm sure she is glad too. I felt like she was warming to him. He clearly is charming but kind as well. I find it funny how easily we can see both our main character's flaws. Sophie with her temper and nosiness. Howl with his vanity and being childish.

That temper tantrum was slime revenge! I thought it was revenge before she said so. What a jerk! He did it on purpose. He knew it would upset her the most since she did the thing that would upset him the most.

And after all that a twist! Lettie! I can't believe Howl is after Lettie/Martha. It seems Sophie's sister is in for an adventure as well. But Howl is going to end up breaking her heart.

Chapter 7: In Which a Scarecrow Prevents Sophie from Leaving the Castle

Why does she think everything is evil? I'm surprised by how scared Sophie is by Turnip Head. She's talked to a fire demon and was fine about it. Does she just hate turnips or something.

Aha! I knew Michael was going to end up with Martha. That must mean the real Lettie met Howl. And Lettie is in love with someone else! I love how every one of these girl's are going to end up being with the one they love. However, I would think the real Lettie would be more independent. It's still doesn't mean she can't fall in love but I'm curious to see who it is.

How does she expect to let Lettie know about everything? She can't tell anyone she's under a spell? Sophie seems like such an irrational person who doesn't think things through. She also has a temper and goes straight for things now that she's left the hat shop. She and Howl are perfect for each other.

Chapter 8: In Which Sophie Leaves the Castle in Several Directions at Once

He cares! Sophie is scared so much for some reason about this Turnip Head. I wonder what happened that Howl was able to calm her heart so easily. Was it a spell or was it Sophie feeling calm because she likes Howl? Or is it because Howl likes her and wants to make sure she is okay?

Michael worried bout her was also endearing. I feel like now they are truly a family. Sophie leaving was never an option.

The seven league boots were an interesting addition. I was kind of bored with that part to be honest because I wanted Sophie to see her sister. Then, Michael was worried she'll get sick chasing the dog. This is all kind of sweet in this chapter.

Wait. The person Lettie likes has a spell on him? My first thought is Turnip Head. My second thought is the dog. Here me out. The dog wanted to bite Howl. He clearly was faster than he was supposed to be. And then the witch mentioned how Howl would never remove the spell on the person who likes Lettie. I don't know. I have a feeling. The main reason I don't think it's Turnip Head is because he's clearly after Sophie, not Lettie.

It would be good if Howl taught Lettie. I hope that's all she is thinking about when she is gazing at him adoringly. I think she's playing the con game. She is supposed to be extremely smart.

I wish Sophie would have told the witch her name!

Chapter 9: In Which Michael Has Trouble with a Spell

That was such a good comment about Howl checking himself in mirrors. So if he forgets to look at himself in the mirror, that will be the day he's truly in love. This book has a lot of foreshadowing. I don't know if I love all of it but I think if I was reading this the first time then I would be enjoying it more. I would love there to be a scene where this happened with Sophie. I would probably have a goofy grin on my face.

Michael giving his backstory as an orphan is quite sad. I'm so happy he has Martha. I'm worried when she'll reveal her true name and face what he'll think. I don't think Martha was described as unpretty or something. She probably is pretty but not as beautiful as Lettie. I like that I get to see all the backstories of everyone and see kind of what is going on with Sophie's sisters lives. I wish Sophie would talk with Lettie, see Martha again, and I'm very curious how the hat business is going now Sophie is gone.

The star not wanting to be caught. This made me think of how Howl wants to look good at the time. His vanity to stay the same. I'm sure the Witch of the Waste is the same. They don't want to die while the star is running towards it. He's millions of years old so he's ready to leave the world.

I don't really believe Lettie gave in. If she did though she could easily find his house and try to curse him. It's really stupid of Howl to try to get with another witch.

Chapter 10: In Which Calcifer Promises Sophie a Hint

Howl saying he saw Sophie when he was at Lettie's house was hilarious. He could have sworn he saw her nose sticking out of the bush. I love that he noticed her because remember, he took a while to notice that Michael was living with him. It takes a lot for him to notice anything other than the girl he likes and his own face. Then he goes and gives her gifts! I know it's for a scheme, but it's still rather sweet. I wonder when he'll realize she's under a spell.

All the hints that were made! It's frustratingly easy to spot since I know the ending. Again, all the foreshadowing is a bit annoying when it isn't your first time with the story. I hope there is less since it's getting in the way of enjoying the story.

What did you think about these chapters? Do you think Howl is beginning to like Sophie? 


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