Sorry that it’s taken me FOREVER to answer this (I’m always on mobile). fair warning, I’m gonna be analyzing the shit outta this just so you know.
In a sense, I feel as if the only way that
Sophie could break the curse, was to do it herself, and no one could help her.
I find that the curse and how she overcomes it in the movie is thoroughly based
on her self-confidence and her emotions.
That being said, you can see at the very
beginning of the movie that Sophie doesn’t have a lot of self-confidence.
Especially when she’s talking to her sister after the whole “walking on air”
ordeal. When Lettie asks her if Howl could have possibly stolen her heart, her
reply is, “Don’t worry. Howl’s only after beauties.”
Let that line sink in for a minute.
is only after beauties”
This line right here makes it extremely
obvious to the audience that Sophie is severely lacking in the self-confidence
It’s not until after she is cursed that
she begins to gain some confidence, not just in herself, but in the others
around her as well.
The most notable scene that comes to mind,
is when Markl asks Sophie if she’s working for the Witch of the Waste, and
she’s “HELL NO THAT WITCH…” (obviously she can’t say who cursed her because
that also another spell on her). And then she gets in angry cleaning mode
(which I find highly hilarious), and at the end of the whole ordeal she claims
that “seems my little outburst gave me my strength back.”
If you watch very closely, from the
beginning of the time she got cursed, up until she goes to Kingsbury to talk to
Madame Sulliman, she has an easier time walking.
While she is walking through the wastes
trying to find the castle, she is very hunched back and has to walk with a
cane, but after her little outburst at breakfast, she doesn’t use her cane as
much anymore, unless she is going long distances. The seaside market for
instance, and the walk to Kingsbury when she is going to talk to Madame
Sulliman for Howl. She’s even walking straight up, with her shoulders back and
her head held high, she is literally oozing confidence (at least that’s what it
seemed like to me).
At the beginning of the movie Sophie was
very meek and timid (best seen when she comes across the soldiers, she’s all
stutter and soft-spoken). But when she comes across the Witch of the Waste
again she talks back to her, something she wouldn’t have done at the beginning
of the movie (okay…that’s a lie. She did talk back, but to be fair, she had
I just want to say this, Sophie is
seriously sassy when she’s very confident, and it is freaking awesome.
Did you suddenly remember how to break my curse.”
good luck to you then, still I’m not nice enough to help you out”
Seriously. I love sassy Sophie.
But back to the topic at hand.
I feel as if the Kingsbury arc is where we
really see Sophie shine, and where the curse on her really begins to fade. When
she confronts Madame Sulliman on the reason why she now knows why Howl didn’t
want to report to castle. In that speech, she is assertive, she is confident in
what she believes in, mainly Howl, and that’s when we see her turn back to her
former, younger self. It’s not until after Madame Sulliman calls her out on
being in love with Howl, and when she reverts to her older self.
This scene here has me firmly believing
that her emotions have as much effect on her curse as her confidence.
After the Kingsbury arc, you can
definitely begin to see the changes in Sophie, physically and emotionally.
I see this especially in the meadow sceneas well.
When Howl presents the meadow to her as a gift, she begins to feel young and
youthful again, which ends up actually turning her young once again. It’s not
until Howl shows her the cottage he spent his childhood in that she begins
doubting again. She asks him why he’s doing this and if he is going to leave again
is when the doubt comes back in full force. She’s not just doubting her
self-worth, but also her emotions as well.
know I’m not very beautiful, and I’m only really good at cleaning…”
Sophie, you are beautiful!”
At this point she’s turned back into an
older woman right in front of Howl. So now he obviously knows about the curse.
That’s another thing. It’s my own personal
belief that Howl knew exactly who she was the entire time, or that she was at
least cursed to look the way she did.
It’s not until Granny tells her outright
that she’s in love she really begins to believe it.
You can especially see it the next day
when she has become considerably younger (at least compared to the day before).
When Markl asks her not to leave because
he loves her so much. That’s when I believe that Sophie has really opened her
heart up to the concept of love. Telling Markl that she loves him too, and that
she had no plans of ever leaving them is when the idea of them being a family
really solidifies in her brain. This even more solidifies her feelings for Howl
as well, seeing as she loves Markl, and he loves her as well, that perhaps
maybe her feelings could be reciprocated.
It’s actually later that night when Sophie
breaks her curse. When she realizes that Calcifer is out for the count because
of the peeping bug, and Howl is out trying to stop the war, she comes to the
conclusion that it’s up to her to protect Granny and Markl. These feeling and
thoughts of protectiveness are what really break the curse. But what I think
really does it, is when Sophie confronts the “blob men” telling them that they
should be using their energy to control/put out the fires from the bombs,
instead of going after them.
It’s her confidence in herself, and her
protective instincts that lead her to making the rest of her decisions that
To me, it became obvious that she finally
broke her curse because she finally had two bows in her braid, instead of just
one (I know, it’s weird, but just go with it). But when you really think about
it, even in the meadow scene she still only had one bow in her braid.
As for her still having silver hair, well,
don’t all curses leave some sort of mark on a person? Her hair just happens to
be the after effect. But let’s be real. She totally rocks it.