Sophie, a diligent teenage girl working in her family's hat shop, finds her life thrown into turmoil when a handsome-but-mysterious wizard named Howl sweeps her off her feet. This innocent encounter enrages the vain and conniving Witch of the Waste, who transforms Sophie into a 90-year-old woman. Sophie's efforts to break the curse bring her to Howl's magical moving castle, where she befriends Markl, Howl's apprentice, and the hot-headed fire demon Calcifer. Her love and support have a major impact on Howl, who can be maddeningly self-indulgent and singularly noble. He defies royal orders to participate in a meaningless war and risks his life to bring peace to the kingdom.