“‘A fickle heart is the only constant in this world,'” said the Prince evenly.

The day is born aglow

With the light of our yesterdays

Like the first time we spoke

Somehow I lost you

Among all my memories

You brush past my face

Softly as the breeze

The piano accepts a solo graciously, delivering a wondrous variation on the “Merry-go-round of Life” theme as Calcifer returns to Sophie. We cut to a shot of the ships of war flapping on home, their purpose now removed; pan up to Howl’s Moving Castle, rebuilt into a fantastical flying machine. The variation on “The Merry-go-round of Life” develops chromatically and goes away, returning control to the soloist.

Though we slipped apart

Like sunlight through the leaves

The promise of love

Will live on eternally

Howl and Sophie share a kiss. The castle flies off into the distance. Fade to black. Roll credits.

Even though I’m alone now

My tomorrows are boundless

Like the kindness you showed me

Hidden in the night

Somehow I lost you

Among all my memories

In a brook’s gentle laughter

In the scent of a flower

In the depth of the sky

You will live on eternally

And segue into “The Merry-go-round of Life” properly.

The usage of the “Merry-go-round of Life” theme when the castle appears in its flying incarnation essentially binds the motif predominantly to the castle, and not to any particular characters. That the castle flies above the ships of war in the clearest part of the sky is a metaphor for love trumping all; the ships of war are below Howl and Sophie and the vessel of their affection.

And even the end credits seem to (jokingly) evoke images of Howl’s Moving Castle. The waltz has a very proper feel to it, striking a sharp contrast with the lumbering, not-very-graceful movements of the castle. The development paints a picture that is not for me to interpret; but at the end, I imagine that the exciting ascending scale symbolizes the castle taking flight; it leaves behind little whirling eddies of dust (the agitated strings playing harmonics) which then settle to a peaceable end.

Last night, I recited what I could of “The Boy Who Drank the Star” on the piano in the rec room. It was a way to purge my heart.



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