A heart's a heavy burden.
Sophie Pendragon (née Hatter) is the main protagonist of Howl's Moving Castle. Her given name is retained in both the English version and the Japanese version. She and her family run the hat shop in her town. When the Witch of the Waste curses her with a spell that turns her into an old woman, Sophie goes to the Waste in search of a cure. She was voiced by Chieko Baisho in Japanese and Emily Mortimer as Young Sophie and the late Jean Simmons as Old Sophie in English.
She is a plain looking 18-year-old youth, who passes all of her time working. She has big brown eyes and matching hair, tied with two pink ribbons, in a long braid. She has thick eyebrows, and Howl says that her smile is beautiful. She wears a cerulean dress with a white neck and black buttons.
After getting cursed by the Witch of the Waste, she gains the appearance of a 90-year-old woman (with a similar appearance to Yubaba or Zeniba) with wrinkled skin and pain on her spine. According to her, she becomes more cunning as she has grown older. She still wears her dress, and now wears her straw hat adorned with a red ribbon.
Due to her love for Howl, Sophie de-ages depending on her emotional state. When defending Howl to Sullivan, Sophie briefly regains her original appearance. Throughout the rest of the film, her old form doesn't suffer back pain and she stands straighter; her wrinkles also smoothen. Sophie's braid is shorter in her old form.
Her hair becomes silver as a side effect of the curse; Howl likes it because it looks like starlight. She later cuts her hair and gives it to Calcifer so that he can move the castle. Afterward she tucks her shoulder-length hair behind her ears.
Sophie is a gentle, quiet young woman who doesn't like being in the spotlight. She is mature, and wears clothes meant for women older than her, despite her sister, Lettie's, protests. Sophie also initiates cleaning the massive castle.
- Honey (mother): A loving mother, a loving daughter. They have a good relationship but betrays Sophie at the end.
- Lettie Hatter (sister): They treat each other with kindness.
- Markl (apprentice): Almost like a son to her.
- Howl Jenkins Pendragon (wizard): At first, they don't seem to like each other much, and simply view each other like strangers. But later, the two fall in love, and marry at the end of the movie. In the sequel (novel), they have a son.
- Calcifer (fire demon) Sophie and Calcifer are relatively good friends.