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Howl's Moving Castle

Howl's Moving Castle


by Diana Wynne Jones

Howl's Moving Castle Chapter 14 Summary

In Which a Royal Wizard Catches a Cold

  • When Sophie gets home, Howl is clearly upset.
  • Sophie feels horribly guilty about the whole Royal-Wizard-failed-name-blackening business, but Howl is really miserable about Mrs. Pentstemmon's death.
  • Howl leaves the castle early in the morning, after getting all dolled up in his magic gray-and-red suit.
  • Michael is so freaked out by the threat of the Witch of the Waste that he boards up the door—idiotically, since Howl still has to get back in.
  • When Howl comes back, Sophie realizes that he's been visiting Miss Angorian.
  • She asks him about Lettie—you know, that girl who he has been desperately pursuing for the whole novel up until now—but Howl ignores her.
  • In fact, the two of them start arguing nonstop about Miss Angorian and Howl's search for Prince Justin.
  • The only thing that cuts off their bickering is the fact that Howl is clearly getting sick.
  • Sophie hears knocking at the door and goes to open it.
  • A dog jumps into the castle.
  • The dog, clearly concentrating hard, suddenly turns into a guy with reddish hair.
  • The man tells her that Lettie sent him, they're in love, and that Sophie shouldn't tell Howl—and then the man transforms back into a dog, though it's a different kind of dog than he entered the castle as.
  • Sophie tries to talk the dog into transforming back into a man, but her magic doesn't seem to work on him.
  • Upstairs, Howl is lying in his dusty bed looking extremely miserable.
  • Besides having a cold, part of what is making him so uncomfortable is that he can't stop thinking about the Witch's curse.
  • There are only three things in the poem that haven't happened to him yet: the mermaids, the mandrake root, and the wind to advance an honest mind.
  • Sophie accuses Howl of wooing girls and then dropping them cruelly.
  • Howl admits that he keeps trying to fall in love, but he made a bad bargain a long time ago and he has ruined his chance to "love anyone properly now" (14.86).
  • Sophie realizes that Howl is actually crying now. (Awkward.)
  • But before she can think of anything comforting to say, the dog-man slips into Howl's room.
  • Sophie happens to look through Howl's bedroom window, which looks down on Megan and Mari's yard in Wales.
  • The dog-man shoves Sophie out the door of Howl's room.

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