|“|| I've had enough of running away, Sophie. And now I've got something I want to protect. It's you.
Howl Jenkins Pendragon (born Howell Jenkins and occasionally aliased as such, with the preferred name of Pendragon) is the title secondary protagonist in Howl's Moving Castle. He was voiced by Takuya Kimura in Japanese and Christian Bale in English.
Howl is a young, handsome man with bright blue eyes and hair that reaches below his chin. At the beginning of the film, his hair is blonde, but because of an incident while Sophie is cleaning Howl's bathroom, he briefly comes to have orange hair, before it finally turns black through his curse. In the novel, Howl has naturally black hair.
Throughout the movie, he is seen wearing a plain white shirt and dark pants, with a plaid coat in red and a blue-ish shade of grey, which has yellow rims and sleeve ends, though Howl barely uses the sleeves at all and instead lets the coat loosely hang on top of his shoulders. Additionally, he wears a pendant around his neck.
At other times, he is shown making use of his magical abilities by turning himself into a bird-like creature. His body is then completely covered in black feathers, the only space not affected being the main part of his face. Two broad wings are shown either on his back or in the place of his arms when he uses them to fly.
At the beginning of the movie, Howl is known as rather flamboyant and rumored to have a wicked personality. A rumor that has begun to spread among the residents of Market Chipping even says that he is searching for beautiful young women whose hearts he may steal and subsequently eat, or that he will devour their souls. He appears rather vain, as well as confident, and does not really seem to care about a lot of others besides himself. Unlike these rumors, he is kind enough to let Sophie clean the castle and even tries to break the curse that was put on her.
As time goes on, his actual personality comes to light, which is that of an endearing, charming and intelligent young man, who unfortunately has a tendency to stubbornness and dishonesty, as well as to become secretive when it comes to his own life. He commonly avoids getting involved in uncomfortable situations or those which require his committed participation. His vanity is also a very distinct trait, as he is easily irritated if something about himself looks off.
Near the end of the story he confesses to Sophie that, in truth, he is a coward and that the only way he can get himself to do something he really does not want to do is to tell himself that he will not do it.
Howl Jenkins Pendragon was born in 1873 in Wales, United Kingdom, but resides in the hills of the imaginary country, Ingary.
When Howl was younger, he gave Calcifer his heart in order for the fire demon to continue living, as he pitied his arriving disappearance. Though this pact strengthened his magical abilities, it also sapped his humanity and continued to do so over the years. Due to this incident, he allegedly lost the ability to feel emotions such as love.
- In the novel of the story, it is mentioned that Wales, the country of his birth, is unknown to most people of Ingary, but is the place his family resides at. His family remains unaware of his activities in Sophie's world or of its existence. Howl also has a younger sister who gets annoyed by his frequent disappearances, although he visits them a lot when he happens to be troubled.
- In the sequel novel, he and Sophie have a son named Morgan.
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