4/16/2008

Pop-culture woman of the week - Sophie Hatter

Name: Sophie Hatter
Appearance: Howl's moving castle and Castle in the air, both written by Diana Wynne Jones, and Howl's moving castle, a film by Hayao Miyazaki
Creator: Diana Wynne Jones (writer)
Weapon/ability: Can talk things to life
Race: Human
Appearance: 18-year-old going on 80.

Sophie is the oldest of three sisters and lives a boring life as a hat-maker. She has already determined that her life is everything but exciting, that nothing will ever happen to her and that she might as well give up any thoughts on adventure or excitment in her life. She hides away in the hat-shop and when she for once sneaks out to visit her younger sister, who works in a bakery, she is almost scared to death - even though she runs into a handsome young man who offers to buy her a drink (which she of course turns down).

But life takes an unexpected turn when the witch of the Waste decides that she really doesn't care for this young girl and turns her into an old hag. Sophie realizes that it is impossible for her to stay on and she is forced on the road to seek her fortune (or at least a life). After a while she comes to a castle which moves around in the hills close to her home-town. She of course knows what it is, it belongs to a dreadful wizard, named Howl, that eats the heart of young women. But since she is now an old woman she is not afraid but enters - and enters a bargain with the wizard's fire demon who promises to break her curse if she in turn can set him free.

The wizard Howl very soon turns out to not be quite the monster he was supposed to be, but he is a very sloppy and lazy young man so Sophie convinces him to let her stay on as the cleaning lady.

The picture is from the film with the same name, the main-characters are much the same as the original story though some changes has been made to the story - including the dressing of Howl in a uniform.

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