“He was in there two hours,” said Calcifer, “putting spells on his face. Vain fool!”
“There you are then,” said Michael. “The day Howl forgets to do that will be the day I believe he’s really in love, and not before.”
Fast forward Chapter 21:
Sophie saw another person leap through the gap behind it. This one had flying black sleeves. It was Howl…
Sophie looked up at him. As she had feared, hard black-and-white daylight coming through the broken wall showed her that Howl had not bothered to shave or tidy his hair. His eyes were so red-rimmed and his black sleeves were torn in several pieces. There was not much to choose between Howl and the scarecrow.
I just finished Howl’s Moving Castle and oh god guys I have so many feelings about this book
I could go on and on about how wise and funny and wonderful it is (and I might, at some point, but I’m sure people infinitely more eloquent than me have already shared their thoughts) but right now I need to talk about Sophie and Howl because HOW I LOVE THEM
Probably my ultimate weakness is those couples that you don’t see coming, the ones that sneak up on you. The problem with couples that are obviously endgame from the first is that (although there are some that are well written) the majority just end up being dull. When you know from the very first scene that two people are going to get together, there’s nothing to root for.
When it comes to my OTPs, I need to be caught off guard. I need to fall in love with them slowly, even as they fall in love with each other.
And that’s where I think Howl’s Moving Castle shines. I watched the movie before I read the book, so I knew how it ends, but I really do believe that anyone who hadn’t already seen the film could make it through at least half the book without thinking, well, Howl and Sophie are definitely endgame. Their relationship up till then is a thing of beauty in and of itself, even without the factor of romance.
And, oh, god. Don’t even get me started on the snark. I adore snarky couples in any and every permutation. I read them. I watch them. I write them. When I die, bury me in wryly sarcastic OTPs.
(Note that there is a world of difference between snarky and cruel. I do not need or want couples who are terrible to each other, but OTPs who bat conversation back and forth between them like a ping-pong ball, who keep each other on their toes - ah, they are my catnip and kryptonite. See also: Jeff/Annie, Merlin/Arthur)