Featured Articles

The Meanings Behind Howl's Ring: Howl's Moving Castle Analysis

In one of Hayao Miyazaki's masterpieces, Howl's Moving Castle, Howl has special rings that he wears in the beginning of the movie. Later, he gives one of these rings to Sophie. This seemingly small detail actually has plenty of strong meanings behind it! Read on to find out.

by Camelot3
Nov 30, 2015 2:27 AM | 117,578 views

The First Meeting

Howl's Moving Castle Sophie Hatter
When they first meet, Howl protects Sophie from a couple of “strange” men. This is the first time we see the elusive ring. The ring appears during the most crucial moment of the story and becomes more symbolic as the movie goes on.

I Trust You, Sophie

Howl's Moving Castle Sophie Hatter and Howl
After Howl asks Sophie to go and see Madam Suliman, he gives her one of his rings. Not only does this ring symbolize Howl's trust, but also it also represents Howl's desire to protect Sophie from danger. This touching moment shows that Sophie and Howl have grown closer to each other.

A Place Called Home

Howl's Moving Castle Howl's Ring Sophie Hatter
Howl's magical ring leads Sophie back to Howl's castle. The ring connects to Howl's heart, which is in Calcifer. The ring led Sophie home and to Howl's heart at the same time. This also symbolizes the trust Howl has in Sophie because he led her to his heart, which is the most fragile part of Howl. Letting Sophie into his heart and leading her back to the castle revealed how much Howl cares for Sophie and how much he changes throughout the movie. Wherever Howl is, Sophie will be truly at home, and vice versa.

A Connection Through Time

Howl's Moving Castle Sophie's Ring
Near the end of the movie, the stone in Sophie's ring changes from red to blue and casts a blue light toward a mysterious entryway. The film reveals that it's the doorway to Howl's past, which shows how he and Calcifer met.
Howl's Moving Castle Young Howl and Calcifer
A young Howl and Calcifer, a fallen star, meet for the first time

During this pivotal moment in the movie, Sophie discovers how to save Howl and get his heart back from Calcifer. It's all thanks to the ring that led her back to Howl's childhood, which is actually the official first meeting between the two! The ring Howl gave Sophie was the biggest clue to finding out how to rescue him. It also represents the deep, long connection between the two main characters, even if Sophie didn't realize it herself until much later in her life. You can even say it was their own "red string of fate," though it was more like a red-stoned ring of fate. Close enough!

Howl's Moving Castle is a truly heart-warming story about love, courage, magic, and self-discovery. With this special ring, Howl and Sophie found their true loves and their true selves. If you've seen Howl's Moving Castle, you can rewatch it again and see for yourself what Howl's special rings symbolize. This oh-so-subtle detail has many meanings behind it, and it's just the kind of thing Hayao Miyazaki would do in his beautiful films.

Related Articles

Chihiro and Haku from Spirited Away: Friends or More?

Chihiro and Haku from Spirited Away: Friends or More?

Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi (Spirited Away) portrays more than breathtaking magic, delicious food, and strange spirits. The main stars of the film, Chihiro and Haku, share a deep connection that becomes the most important aspect of the movie. Let's walk through the timeline of their relationship.
Howl no Ugoku Shiro: From Castle to Home

Howl no Ugoku Shiro: From Castle to Home

Howl no Ugoku Shiro (Howl's Moving Castle) follows the story of Howl and Sophie and their adventures in Howl's mysterious moving castle. As Howl and Sophie grow closer and mature as individuals, how does the castle change to reflect their deepening relationship?
Top 10 Characters Who Would Make the Best Anime Girlfriend

Top 10 Characters Who Would Make the Best Anime Girlfriend

If it was physically possible, and we managed to avoid being put in the friend zone, it would be almost every anime fan's dream come true. Let's take a peek at some characters that would make for the best anime girlfriend!
Top 27 Best Hayao Miyazaki Anime Movies [Updated]

Top 27 Best Hayao Miyazaki Anime Movies [Updated]

Hayao Miyazaki, one of the most famous directors in the world, has produced many extraordinary works such as Spirited Away and Howl's Moving Castle. Take a look at our countdown of Studio Ghibli films directed by Hayao Miyazaki based on MAL user ratings!
Let It Rain! My Neighbor Totoro's Famous Umbrella Scene

Let It Rain! My Neighbor Totoro's Famous Umbrella Scene

Studio Ghibli released My Neighbor Totoro in 1988. Since then, Totoro has gone on to become one of the most recognizable fictional characters in the world. His lovability is showcased to great effect in the most famous scene from the movie. You know which one—in the rain, under an umbrella...

Related Database Entries

Anime: Howl no Ugoku Shiro
People: Miyazaki, Hayao
Characters: HowlSophie HatterCalcifer Suliman

All Tags Trending Tags

It’s time to ditch the text file.
Keep track of your anime easily by creating your own list.
Sign Up Login