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 various other characters in the universe, while including Howl and Sophie's later life together.
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 for the stage in 2011 by Davy and Kristin McGuire, with music from The Guillemots' Fyfe Dangerfield and narration from Stephen Fry 
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. One fic created for Yuletide, In Which Sophie Again Explains Things to Howl, is the source of the term Dewclaws.
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. "Howl's Moving Castle" AUs are also common, frequently titled "[Main Character's] Moving Castle".
- Close Your Eyes and Trust It by reversedhymnal — a rare explicit Howl/Sophie vignette
- In Which Sophie Gets What She Wants, And Howl Learns A New Use For A Table by violentdarlings — one of the only explicit fics on AO3
- 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)
- "if you’d let me catch you" - A canon divergence fusion crossover in which bookverse Sophie has taken the place of her counterpart in the movieverse.
- 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
- untitled by Andrea Tamme, Sophie/Howl, inspired by Gustav Klimts ‘The Kiss’ (1907-1908)
- untitled by janey jane fashion sketch and final design of an outfit inspired by Howl in the Ghibli movie version for her universe fashion show
- 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)
- Howl's Moving Castle adapted for the stage in Southwark accessed 12/30/2016
- The Doujinshi & Manga Lexicon: Howl's Moving Castle (accessed 18 May 2012)