Bed-time musings on character in DWJ

Philip.Belben at Philip.Belben at
Tue Nov 14 12:30:25 EST 2000

Hallie wrote:

> My final thought was that Reg's being with Joanna, was like Howl and
> the Witch of the Waste, but then I remembered wondering whether
> Sophie had done that?  Can't for the life of me remember whether we
> discussed this or not, but I'm thinking of the bit near the beginning
> where she says that the heartless Howl and the Witch of the Waste
> should get together.  I was never clear whether they'd have to have
> been together before Sophie said that or not.

Sophie said that when Howl's castle appeared in the hills.  This was only a few
months before Sophie met him.

I got the impression that Howl's affaire with the Witch was earlier than that.
I think it was before the Witch caught Suliman and Justin - I don't think she
could have concealed that from him!  Gaston/Percival was with the witch when she
cursed Sophie, so she had already done most of the necessary workings on Ben and
Justin by that point.

I think it could fit into the timescale in the book with the whole of Howl's
affaire, the Witch's capture of Ben - and then when Justin went to look for Ben,
and after several dud finding spells, Justin - between Sophie's remark and
Sophie meeting Howl, but it would be very tight!

Besides, while her talent was strong, I don't think it was well developed at
that stage.  She talked life into hats, and later into her walking stick and the
Witch's old-age spell, by prolonged muttering at them.  At that stage, I doubt a
single chance remark would have been very powerful against Howl or the Witch!


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