She will turn all of fate's misfortune to nothing.
She will flood the earth with magic,
and take all of humankind into her play.
A moving stage construction.
If everything is a play, no unhappy things will exist.
It may be a tragedy, but it'll all be part of the script.
The play stops on Walpurgisnacht,
and the earth does not turn even once more.
The story will not change.
Tomorrow, and the day after, is the night of Walpurgis.
- From the Production Note
Walpurgisnacht (ワルプルギスの夜 Warupurugisu no Yoru, "Night of Walpurgis" or "Walpurgis Night") is supposedly the strongest witch current magical girls would have to fight. Her real name is unknown, while "Walpurgisnacht" is a common moniker given to it by magical girls. Her nature had been kept mysterious during most of the series, which led to a lot of speculation from fans during the original broadcast. This article's first purpose is, as with the other witches, to provide information about her.
The witch first appeared in the prologue "dream" sequence of Episode 1, although it wasn't called by any name back then. This led to some speculations about the witch's identity before it was finally revealed in Episode 10.
For a compilation of historical, mythological, and literary information concerning Walpurgisnacht, a term first mentioned by Homura in Episode 6, see Speculah:Walpurgisnacht.
舞台装置の魔女（通称・ワルプルギスの夜 / 本名不明）その性質は無力。回り続ける愚者の象徴。 歴史の中で語り継がれる謎の魔女。通称・ワルプルギスの夜。 この世の全てを戯曲へ変えてしまうまで無軌道に世界中を回り続ける。 普段逆さ位置にある人形が上部へ来た時、暴風の如き速度で飛行し瞬く間に地表の文明をひっくり返してしまう。
The stage-constructing witch (alias: Walpurgisnacht / real name: unknown); her nature is helplessness. She symbolizes the fool who continuously spins in circles. The witch's mysteries have been handed down through the course of history; her appellation is "Walpurgisnacht." She will continue to rotate aimlessly throughout the world until she completely changes the whole of this age into a drama. When the doll's usual upside-down position reaches the top part of the witch, she completely roils the civilization on the ground in a flash through her gale-like flight.
|Type||Minions of the stage-constructing witch|
|Episodes||Episode 11, Episode 12|
The stage-constructing witch's minions. Their duty is to be clowns. Countless souls drawn to her vast magical power. Nobody knows whether Walpurgisnacht was initially a single person, or if it was a phantom born from the gathering of many spirits.
- Official description from July 2011 Megami interview with Urobuchi: In the last episode we saw the "Walpurgisnacht", but what kind of witch is it specifically?
It has the destructive power to bring about natural disasters powerful enough to blow away an entire town, but originally it was a single witch. It's a witch that has grown from the combination of countless other witches. Walpurgisnacht combines with other witches in the same way two powerful tornadoes are able to combine and become larger. It's essentially a "conglomeration"-type witch. Because it's so powerful, it rarely shows itself.
- Walpurgisnacht is named for Walpurgisnacht, a traditional spring festival celebrated on 30 April or 1 May in large parts of Central and Northern Europe. For more information on the festival's history, cultural and literary impacts, and connection to witchcraft, see Speculah:Walpurgis Night.
- Kyoko Sakura confirmed that Walpurgisnacht was the most powerful witch in Episode 9; in Episode 10, however, Madoka Kaname eclipsed her in power in two of the timelines created by Homura Akemi, becoming the god-like Kriemhild Gretchen. Episode 11 showed that Walpurgisnacht can withstand repeated attacks from heavy artillery, and her mere appearance can cause hundreds of deaths.
- While Walpurgisnacht does not need to hide in a barrier, like other witches, her arrival in Mitakihara Town is preceded by a carnival-like procession of familiars. This is apparently a reflection of her theatrical theme, and possibly also evidence of her desire to transform the world into a giant "stage."
- The Guidebook describing the Witch's labyrinth design contains the line, "Everything in this world is fake. My life is nothing more than a drama that you penned. Please, prove it. "Faust" is on show." （この世界はすべて嘘でした。私の人生はあなたの書いた戯曲にすぎません。それを証明して下さい。「ファウスト」が上演中）
- The witch's most prominent familiars take the form of former magical girls, as evidenced by their resemblance to the magical girls shown in the final scene of Episode 12.
- The manga version even takes this one step further by explicitly featuring the deceased Sayaka, Kyouko and Mami, all of which are main characters, as Walpurgis's minions. It turns out that this depiction was in the original storyboard of Episode 11. It is unknown why this was changed.
- They also bear similiarity to characters from the music video of Maaya Sakamoto's Universe. This is unsurprising as both the MV and witch sequences are designed by animators Gekidan Inu Curry.
- Walpurgis never drops a Grief Seed in any of the timelines. Whether this is because she doesn't have one or because the Grief Seed is always lost in the confusion of battle is unknown.
- However, Walpurgis is known to have a Grief Seed in the PSP game.
- In one of the timelines, Madoka lies about not getting any Grief Seeds after a battle with Walpurgis, and uses the seed on Homura's Soul Gem. Therefore, Walpurgis did have a Grief Seed.
- The grief seed Madoka uses contains a musical staff inside, likely making it Sayaka's.
- The exterior view of Homura's residence resembles a scene from Shadow of Memories (Shadow of Destiny for North America). Interestingly, it went through several title changes before release, among them The Day and Night of Walpurgisnacht, Days of Walpurgis, and Time Adventure.
- According to witch animator and designer InuCurry, Walpurgisnacht's and Kriemhild Gretchen's silhouettes are supposed to make a pair. The significance of this is unknown.
- According to Walpurgisnacht's page in the Guidebook, the top part of the gear can turn into a stage where her familiars hold performances.
- Also according to the Guidebook, the familiars become as heavy as rocks when grabbed, like a Konaki-jiji.
- The mandala surrounding the witch has a tomoe pattern on it.
- Walpurgisnacht was voiced by Kaori Mizuhashi.
- Puella Magi Madoka Magica: The Different Story mentions Walpurgisnacht as a colossal super-dreadful witch, whose existence is only known through rumors from other magical girls.
- In the german version Walpurgisnacht is just called Walpurgis.
The theories below have been proven wrong.
They are only kept here for the sake of completeness.
- Many fans believed that the witch in the first episode was Sayaka, citing similarities in their clothing. It was proven false in Episode 9 when Oktavia von Seckendorff was shown.
- Homura's documents shown in Episode 6 contain illustrations of Walpurgisnacht. This led to another speculation that it is the witch from the prologue. It was confirmed in Episode 10.
- Homura may have been tracking down several other magical girls to figure out which one of them became Walpurgisnacht. She may also have been trying to figure out what the witch might look like; however, the visuals she has depict several magical girl appearances.
- Walpurgisnacht could be the witch of a magic girl who defeated the previous most powerful witch. As QB mentioned in episode 10, the only choice left for a magical girl after defeating the most powerful witch "is to become a (even more powerful) witch herself".
- The witch's familiars could potentially be the past witches' human form morphed just a bit.
- Given the nature of Walpurgisnacht and the presence of gears and the "falling" figure of the witch, Walpurgisnacht could be the witch form of Homura. Although Homura's magic is very limited, her experience in multiple timelines makes the witch a formidable foe.
- Walpurgisnacht could be Homura's witch form from the future, where she despairs with the fact that her involvement with Madoka only made her suffer some more. This would make sense if Timeline 1 was the best possible ending and the witch's goal is to kill Madoka alone (Timeline 1) or to kill Homura and end her fate or Kyubey to prevent him from making more contracts so other girls won't suffer a similar fate.
- Evidence supporting this theory are the gears and cogwheels, as well as the fact how her arrival is always extremely vague (ie. time travel, Homura Akemi's power as a magical girl).
- Also by her theme of helplessness and her being "the fool who continuously spins in circles" (referencing the time loops Homura has created).
- This theory is now disproven by the reveal of Homulilly in the Portable game and in Rebellion.
- "Walpurgisnacht" is essentially a nickname for either itself or its "dreadnought class". It's name, currently shown only as "?????", can potentially refer to any previously named witch that started combining with other witches, or even a new name for the combined form. Walpurgisnacht is "a Witch that has grown from the combination of countless other witches". We have no idea whether such a witch would retain the same appearance and abilities as the original witch from which it began as, then snowballed into. Or if a single Witch among those "countless witches" may gain dominance over others and become the "new core". It is likely that Homulilly is the "base witch", and the Walpurgisnacht that we see in the anime is the result of Homulilly's eventual conglomeration with other witches. Considering Homura/Homulilly's time traveling/endless loop mechanic/abilities, it is feasible that as long as Homulilly has been born into even one timeline/universe, she can potentially endlessly hop through at least the same one month cycle Homura repeats, possibly gathering and/or amassing other Witches through some sort of time magic. While witches generally "do not exist" in the post Madokami timeline, they can still come into being. (Proven by Ultimate Gretchen and Homulilly both spawning after Madoka's wish, birthed from Madoka and Homura, respectively.) The endless cycle fate that Homura goes through is similar to the released information about Walpurgisnacht/?????, knowing "it is all an endless play", etc.. Another possible connection between ????? and Homura, is the fact that despite all of Homura's power, she seemingly cannot inflict any damage to "Walpurgisnacht", perhaps as if they are the two sides of the same coin, possibly even strengthening ????? through increasing her own karmic burden with her timeline/parallel world/dimension connections. Which would reflect needing a more powerful Madoka to match it/stop it every time. If there was no relation between ????? and Homura, then there would be no reason she couldn't at least scratch it with an army's worth of weaponry and about 10 years of experience (100 months of repeats.), while Timeline 1 Madoka, the weakest one due to not yet amassing karmic burden, somehow is able to defeat the dreadnought-level Witch. Even the minor physicial changes to ????? throughout the timelines could also be a side-effect of Homura's constant growth. Homulilly was slightly different pre and post Madokami, after all. Kriemhild Gretchen wishes to "save everyone" by trapping them in an artificial world within her barrier. Homulilly is doomed to relive and watch her failures/own death forever. Considering Homura and Madoka's intertwined destiny, one a Goddess, the other a Devil, their Witch forms combining to form some kind of "all rapture hourglass mode form/witch" isn't too absurd. The two lovers, eternally tied through space and time; once their despair-ridden "Ultimate Formes" combine into that "sunadokei" (Literally "sand clock".), they will halt all of existance in all universes in an "endless rapture" of some kind.
- The top section of Homulilly's head being cut off for seemingly no reason shortly after her birth in Rebellion might allude to this.
Walpurgisnacht's minions were magical girls
- Some fans speculate that Kazumi might be Walpurgisnacht, because of her appearance. Since Walpurgis is a combination of countless other witches, probably Kazumi combinated with the Pleiades Saints and/or the girls trapped in the Freezer
- In the guidebook, the Witch's labyrinth design contains the line, "Everything in this world is fake. My life is nothing more than a drama that you penned..." it could be referring to the fact that Kazumi was actually a clone so she has no memories of her own and her life is fake.
- After the release of chapter 18, fans believe that Kazumi and/or Kanna Hijiri might be Walpurgisnacht. Notice what Kanna says during the chapter: "I'm just a doll that's living in a story she made..." which is similar to the witch's labyrinth design notes.
- The exact time of Walpurgisnacht's appearance may be midnight at the Brocken mountain in Germany, the site of real Walpurgisnacht festivities. This is approximately 8 AM in Japan. When Madoka defeats Walpurgis in Episode 12, a blue daytime sky is revealed. The sun is not shown, so is most likely close to the horizon, as it would be at 8 AM.
- The city's order to evacuate was announced at 7 AM in the Portable game and in Episode 11 of the anime.
- It is speculated that a Walpurgisnacht event has taken place before in the past, and perhaps it has visited different places during the night of the festival of witches. In Episode 8, Kyoko is surprised to hear that Walpurgisnacht will visit Mitakihara, since it has never done it before.
- Since the festival of witches takes place once a year, it is possible to speculate a Walpurgisnacht event takes place at least once a year in different places. People could have confused hurricane events or other natural disasters to be the work of nature instead of a witch.
- The preview pages for Oriko Magica reveal that the title character, Oriko, is a magical girl able to the future; in this future, she sees Walpurgisnacht, not upside down, wrecking Mitakihara Town. Then she sees the magical girl from the cover art, and believes that she might be the key to stopping Walpurgisnacht, suggesting to Kyubey that he go recruit her. As such, speculah: either Oriko or the girl from the cover will become Walpurgisnacht, as either one of them becoming that Witch would illustrate Oriko's helplessness at changing the future.
- Volume 2 of Oriko Magica reveals that Oriko had actually seen Kriemhild Gretchen.
- The witch's card refers to the humanoid part of Walpurgisnacht as a doll, and the gear as the "top part" of the witch. Therefore, the lower half is probably only a decoy body, similar to Charlotte's first form. This is further enforced by the fact that while the doll body is destroyed by Madoka's attack, the gear is unaffected and continues to approach her.
- Until Madoka destroys it, thus killing Walpurgisnacht for good.
- Let us say that "Walpurgisnacht" is the product of the amalgamation of several Witches. Considering that the festival goes back to ancient times, we can only assume that a New "Walpurgisnacht" emerges during the time of the Witches festival to replaced the old one if it gets defeated. It is unknown what happens to "Walpurgisnacht" after the witches festival ends. We can only assume that it either disassembles back to "normal" or perhaps it goes to slumber until the next festival. Considering there is little evidence, this speculation could be completely wrong.
- Perhaps Walpurgisnacht appears to absorb new magical girls/witches into its power. That could be why she came to Mitakihara -- to find Madoka.
- That works for later timelines when Homura's wish made her stronger, but not for the first timeline or two when Madoka was still average, if not weak, for a magical girl.
- Whatever the witch is, what it represents seems fairly clear -- in line with the overwhelming Buddhist allegorical nature of the show, it stands for the Hindu/Buddhist concept of Maya (illusion). As alluded to by the makers of the show, it is a stage for a play; as shown in Episode 11, it manifests itself as a carnival. This also explains the tragic grandeur and futility and of Homura's struggle against it: the endless war against the samsara of suffering can never be won because her opponent is not real. It can never be overcome in battle. It can only be transcended by an Awakened One.
The theories below have been proven right.
At least one element from the franchise is rendering them valid.
- It is possible that Walpurgisnacht is a fusion of multiple witches into a single powerful entity. This is supported by Walpurgisnacht in both real-world belief and Faust being a witch's gathering - in this case the witches are gathering into one entity. The magical girl silhouettes in Homura's room can be interpreted as Homura not tracking down one magical girl that becomes Walpurgis, but rather all of the magical girls that become Walpurgis. The Paul Klee painting "Walpurgisnacht," assuming it has relevance, does seem to depict several witches fused together.
- One of the pictures in Homura's room is of two lines of female silhouettes holding hands and dancing. In between the two lines is the word "Walpurgisnacht." Perhaps they're doing a fusion dance?
- Walpurgisnacht's familiars perform a similar dance both while the witch is attacking the town and while Madoka is cleansing the witches. They may be attacking Madoka, enhancing her power, or in some way trying to fuse with her (perhaps resulting in Kriemhild Gretchen's ultimate form#.
- This theory is strangely sound, since the basis of Walpurgisnacht is a gathering of witches. This could mean that Walpurgisnacht could be a mash-up of many witches, thus creating a super-witch.
- Further support for this theory may be the gradual dissolution of Walpurgisnacht as Madoka granted absolution to the various Magical Girls throughout time, in addition to the fact that the witch's familiars take the form of the various girls.
- Walpurgisnacht's minions suspiciously resemble the silhouettes of speculated magical girls like Gisela#?#, Charlotte#?#, Gertrud#?#, Izabel#?#, Elly#?) and one unknown.
- The theory that Walpurgisnacht is a fusion of multiple witches has been confirmed by Gen Urobuchi in this interview.
Walpurgisnacht's first appearance in the series.
The gear portion under the witch's skirt, moments before blowing Homura away.
A clearer shot of the gears.
Walpurgis's face can barely be discerned.
One of the screens in Homura's residence displays an elaborate woodcut of the witch. She seems to be holding her "hands" to her mouth.
On the right-hand side of the image, Walpurgisnacht is shown right-side-up and surrounded by flames. This is in line with her informational card, which states that she causes destruction when her upper body is righted.
The witch's familiars are shown more closely here.
A silhouette of an upside-down Walpurgisnacht is accompanied by the text "Ein Narr," which translates to "a fool" in German; the witch's informational card also refers to her as a "fool." However, the torn part of the image shows a part of a letter which might be part of another word, k ("kein narr" translates to "no fool"), or R ("Rein narr" means "pure fool").
Note the green figure above the caption "Walpurgis Night" on the left-hand side. This may have been Walpurgisnacht's magical girl form, as a girl wearing a similar tulip-shaped skirt and conical headdress appears in the magical girl "lineup" at the end of the series.
Walpurgisnacht from one of the previous timelines.
Her appearance seems to change every time Madoka and Homura encounter her.
Madoka's victory over the witch is a Pyrrhic one: Mitakihara is still in ruins, and she herself has become Kriemhild Gretchen.
Walpurgisnacht is not upside-down. Something may happen according to the card.
The procession of familiars heralding the arrival of Walpurgisnacht.
In order to defeat the witch, Homura gathered enough weapons to rival a small dictatorship. Unfortunately, this was not enough.
Walpurgis Night beginning her attack on Mitakihara City.
Walpurgis breathes fire, fitting for her carnival theme.
Unaffected by previous attacks, Walpurgisnacht taunts Homura.
Flying towards Homura before being hit by missiles.
Knocked down by Homura's attack.
A beam fired by Walpurgis breaks apart to reveal her familiars.
Given the holiday's association with bonfires, Walpurgisnacht appears to be fireproof.
Walpurgisnacht is surrounded by dancing figures that burst into flame.
The familiars attempt to stop Homura from reaching Walpurgisnacht.
Walpurgisnacht cuts a path of destruction through the city.
The doll half of Walpurgisnacht appears to be a decoy.
Walpurgisnacht's doll body looks mechanical in origin.
The gear positions itself before Madoka. It may be the true body of the witch.
The familiars dance around Madoka before Walpurgisnacht is destroyed.
Official confirmation and comparison
Walpurgisnacht sketches from production notes.
Walpurgisnacht's minions sketches from production notes.
More sketches of Walpurgisnacht's minions.
Puella Magi Madoka Magica Official Guidebook "You Are Not Alone".
Puella Magi Production Note by Inu Curry: "It tries to get rid of the all fates of misery. By covering all around the world with her magic. A moving stage set. Which trying to take all humans into the play. There is no need to grieve if all of it is just a play. Maybe it would be a tragedy, but they only performed a such kind of play. Play will be paused in Walpurgisnacht. The Earth will no longer rotate for a single circle. The story will no longer to be developed. Tomorrow and the day after tomorrow also, is Walpurgisnacht."
From Shafts 40th anniversary website.
Official art from the Madoka Magica x Phantom of Kill Collaboration Mobile Game
Background image for the Walpurgisnach's level in Phantom of Kill
Fanart and speculation
This section contains fanart images
Everything in the following fan gallery is created, or the comments accompanying them are created, for entertainment value and should not be confused with actual canon events of the Puella Magi
A fan's approximation of Walpurgisnacht's appearance.
Speculation that the soul gem shown in "Prologue in Heaven" scene may be that of Walpurgisnacht.
Chart displaying similarities between Sayaka and Walpurgisnacht' appearance in episode 1. Those similarities led some to believe that the it was Sayaka's witch form. It has been, however, proven false.
Other fans speculated the identity of the witch to be Suleika.
Comparison between the design of the witch and Ultima from Final Fantasy XII
Fanart of Kriemhild Gretchen on the bottom and Walpurgisnacht on top. The two of them together are suppose to form an hourglass shape.
Walpurgisnacht in human form