Howl's Moving Castle
|Name:||Howl's Moving Castle|
|Creator:||Diana Wynne Jones|
|Country of Origin:||Britain, Japan|
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- Howl's Moving Castle (1986)
- Castle in the Air (1990)
- House of Many Ways (2008)
In Howl's Moving Castle, Sophie Hatter, a timid young hat-maker, falls foul of a malevolent witch and is turned into an elderly woman. After taking shelter in a magical moving castle and making a bargain with its fire demon, Calcifer, she enters the service of his master, the Not-So-Much-Evil-As-Adolescent wizard, Howl Pendragon, and finds that being old has paradoxically set her free. There's plot by the bucketload, but most fans are in it for the slow-burning Howl/Sophie rom com. The sequels follow the couple after their marriage.
The first novel, Howl's Moving Castle, was loosely adapted into a popular anime film by Hayao Miyazaki. The adaptation centres around a war plot only mentioned in passing in Wynne Jones' novel; Miyazaki adds steampunk elements and his trademark flying machines. The film keeps Calcifer and the Howl/Sophie romance, while significantly changing Howl's character to make him nobler (not to mention prettier). Diana Wynne Jones commented: I had grown used to young ladies regularly writing to me to say that they wanted to marry Howl. Now, Howl in the film is so plain stunning and sexy that I think I have joined them. The film's popularity among Western fans was enhanced by an English-language version with well-known actors voicing the lead roles, including Christian Bale, Billy Crystal and Lauren Bacall.
The novel has also been adapted by Mike Sizemore into a stage play, which premiered in November 2011.
The Howl series, especially Howl's Moving Castle, had a small Western fandom before the release of the Miyazaki film. Fanfiction in English has since risen somewhat in popularity. Book canon still has the edge, though many stories fuse elements from the book and film versions. Both book and film are perennial requests at Yuletide.
Most fanfiction is het, focusing on the canonical pairing Howl/Sophie, though there's little erotica. Futurefic, often dealing with Sophie's taming of Howl and how the trio of Howl, Sophie and Calcifer get along is probably the most common type of fanfic; lashings of babyfic usually draw on Castle in the Air. Pre-canon stories are less prevalent; they often deal with Howl and Calcifer's early days together, but even before Sophie's appearance slash is unusual. Crossovers, particularly with other Diana Wynne Jones' novels, such as the Chrestomanci series, or with other magical sources, are relatively common.
- Close Your Eyes and Trust It by reversedhymnal -- a rare explicit Howl/Sophie vignette
- Four Castles Howl Built (& One He Had No Hand In) by Firerose -- backstory highlighting the steampunk aspects of the film
- Hearts Change by Sinope -- movieverse Howl/Sophie/Justin triangle
- Howl and Calcifer by JM Torres -- bookverse backstory
- Natural by Minutia_R -- post-HMC Howl/Sophie
- Playing with Fire by Spicy Diamond -- kidfic which crosses film & book canon
- Scalloped Sleeves by Mellish -- Howl/Sophie during HMC
- Seventh Son, Wicked Lady & Dark Lord by Eildon Rhymer -- trio of stories that explore the bookverse mainly via original characters
- A Woman True and Fair by The S -- widely recommended retelling of the HMC novel from Howl's point of view (WiP)
- AO3: bookverse & movieverse -- home of Yuletide since 2009
- Fanfiction.net: movieverse (actually a mixture of film & book) & Diana Wynne Jones (bookverse)
- Yuletide: bookverse & movieverse -- Yuletide 2004-8
Fan Art and Doujinshi
- This Book will Prove the Following Ten Facts: Diana Wynne Jones and the World-Shaping Power of Language by Deborah -- section on HMC which discusses Sophie's magic
- movingcastle -- all fanworks, book & film
- Chrestomanci Castle: Mansion: Howl's Moving Castle film (Hauru no Ugoku Shiro) (accessed 18 May 2012)
- Southwark Playhouse: Howl's Moving Castle (accessed 18 May 2012)
- The Doujinshi & Manga Lexicon: Howl's Moving Castle (accessed 18 May 2012)