Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Favorite Fictional Character (8)

Today's fictional character is one of my absolute favourites. He's Howl, the wizard from Diana Wynne Jones's awesome novel, Howl's Moving Castle.

Howl's Moving Castle
(This is the cover for the UK edition.
I think it does a great job of capturing
the characters' personalities.)

If you think you know Howl because you've seen the mediocre movie adaptation, think again. Howl is at once annoying, charming, mysterious, and petulant. He lives in the land of Ingary in a magic castle and has a bit of a reputation as a playboy. He dyes his hair, wears fancy clothes, and sulks (with hilarious results) when things don't go his way. Throughout the story, we get to watch the developing relationship between Howl and Sophie Hatter, a young woman who has been cursed with an aging spell by the Witch of the Waste.

Howl and Sophie
(Really? He's supposed to protect her like that?
What's he going to do... tickle their enemies
to death with his pretty feathers?)

The Howl of the movie is a deep-voiced, whiny, emo she-man (seriously... he looks girlier than Sophie!) who sprouts wings and goes flying off into war. He retains little of the fun (or depth) of Jones's character. If you're altogether unfamiliar with the story, read the book first. And if you've only seen the movie, go and get the book. Nothing can compare with the author's original imagining of this delightful character.

The Favorite Fictional Character meme was started by Ryan G. at Wordsmithonia.


  1. I watched the movie first and then read the book. I like both versions but really, the book is far more interesting. Holy crap, when he had a fit and slimed everything, I was like, "Really now?" lol. Sophie was awesome. She never put up with his crap :)

  2. I always LOVE your favorite fictional characters!!!! Don't you just love Diana Wynne Jones! The movie was great, but the book was even greater!

  3. I gotta read this. I've heard such great things about it.

  4. ohmygoodness! I love this story-it's just phenomenal. I have not read the book yet, but you've just convinced me to get it. Usually books are better, but I do love movie Howl. Even if he does look slightly feminine ;-D

  5. I have never read these stories but they sound really interesting, more fun reads. Believe it or not I havent seen the show either.

    This is a great FFC this week. I love meeting new characters!

    I have just got my FFC up this evening. Stop by if you would like...

  6. I love these books but I've never seen the film. Howl is such a awesome character, I do love Sophie though.