Note: If you’ve never read Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones, but plan to some day and don’t want things spoiled for you, in my chapter posts there could be spoilers.
“On the other hand,” Sophie continued, looking into the orange flames, “if the spell was off, I’d have my heart eaten before I could turn around”
“Don’t you want your heart eaten?” asked the fire. – Howl’s Moving Castle
In chapter 3, Sophie’s journey has taken her to Wizard Howl’s moving castle. She has a bit of difficulty getting inside the castle, but when she does, she sits right down. It feels great to her after walking for such a long time.
She meets Michael, Howl’s apprentice and finds out that Wizard Howl is not there at the moment. After Michael eventually leaves her be, Sophie falls asleep and is awakened by snoring. It turns out to be her own snoring.
And shortly after, Calcifer is introduced. Calcifer is a fire demon and is also one of my favorite characters of the book. He’s very funny and it’s neat to imagine what he looks like that.
Well, Calcifer agrees to break Sophie’s spell if she breaks his contract with Howl. She agrees and finds it won’t be easy as she has to find out the conditions of the contract herself.
Although a bit annoyed at first, Sophie is fine with this as long as her spell is broken and she falls into a deep sleep. And I’m sure that sleep is just what she needed after such a long walk.
I think this chapter shows another change in Sophie. Knowing what she wants and taking it. In this case, she wanted a place to rest in the warmth. She didn’t take no for answer and took her seat in front of the fire. I don’t think the young Sophie would have done that. Although I think she always had it in her, it just took being turned into an old woman to bring it out.