Walpurgis Night In Real Life

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Note: This page is about Walpurgis Night in real life. For the witch with the same name, please visit Walpurgis Night. Please note that this page is still under maintenance and may not look consistent for the time being.

Walpurgis Night is a term first used by Homura in Episode 6. Due to the lack of information on its subject, and due to the overwhelming imagination of fans, a lot of information about "Walpurgis Night" had been gathered during broadcast. This article is then a compilation of historical, mythological, and literary information concerning this event. This article shouldn't contain references to the anime witch, as these points of data belong to Walpurgis Night's page.

Contents

[edit] Usage of the Term in Canon

This section may contain major spoilers!

Please refrain from reading if you are not yet familiar with all the latest media released.

[edit] In Episode 6

During the arcade scene, Homura mentions "Walpurgisnacht," which is the name of a northern European Spring Festival also called "The Night of the Witches."

| style="text-align: left; width:10em;background-color:#EEF; font-weight:bold; vertical-align: middle; text-align: center;" |Japanese | style="text-align: left; {{{datastyle}}}" |ほむら: 「2週間後、この街に『ワルプルギスの夜』が来る。『そいつ』さえ倒せたら、私はこの街を出てゆく。」 |- | style="text-align: left; width:10em;background-color:#EEF; font-weight:bold; vertical-align: middle; text-align: center;" |English | style="text-align: left; {{{datastyle}}}" |Homura: "In two weeks, 'Walpurgisnacht' is coming to this town. Once I defeat 'it,' I'll leave." |-


For clarification, 「そいつ」 -- rendered here in English as 'it' -- is a pronoun that usually refers to a person, and Kyoko's response to Homura made it clear that what was being referred to could be 'defeated.' Prior to the broadcast of Episode 9, it was unclear if the pronoun used specifically referred to Walpurgisnacht, or whether the term Walpurgisnacht referred to an event or a being (a witch?).

[edit] In Episode 8

Documents regarding Walpurgisnacht on display in Homura's apartment contain imagery that strongly resembles the Witch from Episode 1. These are provided as screencaps below. For more information, please refer to Homura's residence page.

[edit] In Episode 9

Kyoko Sakura confirms that "Walpurgis" is in fact "the Strongest Witch." It might be that "Walpurgisnacht" is the name given to the time of its manifestation, or simply its full name.
The day before episode 10 aired, it has been confirmed on the official website that it is actually a witch (see below)

[edit] In Episode 10

There is now visual, undeniable proof that Walpurgis Night is in fact the witch from the dream in the first episode. It is an extremely powerful witch neither Madoka nor Homura managed to defeat ever (well... "almost ever" if you want to be picky).

  • Except not. In every timeline Walpurgis Night is defeated, but it always involves the death of Madoka in doing so, either through her literally dying in the fight, or through becoming a witch afterward from depleting her magic. More of a pyrrhic victory than a victory, though. It just so happens that Walpurgis Night's defeat always ends up in there being a worst witch than it afterward or Madoka's death.
  • Also, Mitakihara Town has always been shown to be in complete ruins after Walpurgis's defeats, suggesting that Madoka never succeeded in fulfilling her (presumable) goal -- that is, to protect the population from Walpurgis.
    • It's possible the ruined city is just Walpurgis Night's barrier, a theory not refutable by saying the city is still ruined after the fight because we know barriers can keep existing for a little while after the witch is beaten.
      • Demonstrably false, walpurgis nacht does not have a barrier.
    • Actually, not just that, but so far we've been made to believe that witches can't affect the physical world beyond sucking humans into their barriers or affecting them psychologically (ie suicide, murder, etc). Walpurgis Night would then either be the first witch to bypass this by wrecking the city outright (unlikely) or the ruined city is just its barrier. If it has such a barrier, it could be guessed that Walpurgis Night is the witch of ruin, its gears representing the slow but certain progress of time ever forward toward inevitable destruction.
      • Kyubey mentions that Kriemhild Gretchen can "obliterate the planet within ten days," though, so it is possible that very powerful witches can cause damage on both the mental and physical levels. (Unless, of course, Kyubey was speaking in metaphor and was just referring to the total loss of life that would occur when Kriemhild gathered everything into her barrier. The world would be empty of life, but technically would still be intact!) Walpurgis's apparent ability to migrate is suspect, as well, since we've always been told that it is "coming" to the city, not that it is going to be born in it; if it can indeed move through the physical world, then it can possibly affect it directly.
        • Walpurgis Night wouldn't be the first witch to migrate. Sayaka's witch form changed her location after transforming, then there's Mami's whole explanation about how they have to track down witches before taking them down, and that familiar that Sayaka was fighting before Kyoko interrupted: it escaped off to somewhere else. It's possible a witch the size of Walpurgis Night can be tracked more easily so you can vaguely know it's coming without knowing when exactly. (This would reinforce Kyubey saying that it's hard to predict exactly when Walpurgis Night will arrive, meaning he at least knows it's coming as well. Then again, Kyubey being Kyubey...)
  • Mami mentions that the Walpurgis Night is coming in the first timeline, suggesting there might be some way of knowing when one will appear.
  • Walpurgis Night has no Grief Seed. Why this is the case is unknown.
    • It's more that one is not seen dropped when it is defeated. This suggests one of the following: It doesn't have a Grief Seed, it has a Grief Seed but never drops it after being defeated, it can drop a Grief Seed but it's always destroyed as a result of the battle, or that it did drop a Grief Seed but it was not somewhere Madoka or Homura could have easily gotten to (for example, it could have been blown several miles away, or even as far as the next town).

[edit] In Episode 11

Homura confirmed that Walpurgis Night is a witch that doesn't need a barrier to appear. Its appearance itself would cause hundreds of casualties.

This episode also confirms (or partially confirms) that Walpurgis Night is named after the actual 'festival' it represents, and while it doesn't have a barrier outright, around the spot where it appears can be found a festival-like gathering of familiars. Whether it is an actual gathering of witches or just themed after the historical gathering is up in the air, but some of its familiars did appear to be similar to the magical girl forms of some witches.

[edit] Literary & Historical Background

Paul Klee's "Walpurgisnacht"

[edit] Walpurgis Night in Real Life

Walpurgis Night (Walpurgisnacht) is a traditional spring festival on 30 April or 1 May in large parts of Central and Northern Europe. Its celebration is associated with dancing and bonfires.

The current festival is, in most countries that celebrate it, named after Saint Walburga (ca. 710-777/9). As Walburga was canonized on 1 May (ca. 870), she became associated with May Day, especially in the Finnish and Swedish calendars. The eve of May Day, traditionally celebrated with dancing, came to be known as Walpurgisnacht ("Walpurga's night"). The German term is recorded in the 17th century, e.g. by Johannes Praetorius (1668), as S. Walpurgis Nacht or S. Walpurgis Abend. In earlier references, the first of May is more typically referred to as Jacobi Philippi (after James the Less and Philip, the apostles whose feast day falls on 1 May), e.g. in the Calendarium Perpetuum by Johannes Coler. The 17th century German belief that a meeting of sorcerers and witches is held on May Day is influenced by the descriptions of Witches' Sabbaths in 15th and 16th century literature.

[edit] In Goethe's Faust

[edit] Walpurgisnacht

Goethe's Faust Part I contains a scene called "Walpurgisnachtstraum" (the name in brackets is the equivalent character in the anime):

Mephistopheles [Kyubey] notices that Faust's [Homura] relation to him is getting lose because of Faust´s love to Gretchen [Madoka] (a woman Faust made pregnant). He tries to get him motivated again by promising him a fantastic event on the Hexenberg (witch´s mountain). Meanwhile, Gretchen snaps and kills her baby. The event promised by Mephisto is the following:

One the night between April 30 and May 1, the witches meet the devil on the mountain. Faust decides to climb the mountain too, because he thinks he'd be able to solve some riddles there, but Mephisto made him dance with a witch instead. The dance comes to an end when a red mouse falls from the mouth of the witch, and a pretty child appears with a red cord around her neck. This reminds Faust of Gretchen, who has been condemned to death for drowning her child.

To distract Faust from his feeling of culpability, Mephistopheles then brings him to a hill where a play should be shown.

[edit] Classical Walpurgisnacht

In Act II of Faust Part II, Mephistopheles transports the unconscious Faust into his old study. Mephistopheles, donning Faust's robe once again, resumes his conversation with the freshman, who is now a cynical baccalaurus. An artificial human made by Faust's former famulus, Wagner, by means of an alchemical process, the Homunculus, leads Faust and Mephistopheles to the "Classical Walpurgisnacht", where they encounter gods and monsters from Greek antiquity. Faust, still searching for Helen, is led by the sybil Manto into the Underworld. Mephistopheles, meanwhile, meets the Phorkyads, the hideous three-headed daughters of Night, into whose shape he transforms himself. Guided by the sea-god Proteus, the Homunculus is initiated into the process of becoming fully human.

[edit] Paul Klee's painting

The German artist Paul Klee made in 1935 a painting called "Walpurgisnacht". As stated in the page for Episode 8, many fans found that this painting bears similarities with Sayaka's transformation sequence. Whether this is intentional or not is still unknown.


[edit] References

[edit] Official Website

The entry on the official website's glossary states the following:

| style="text-align: left; width:10em;background-color:#EEF; font-weight:bold; vertical-align: middle; text-align: center;" |Japanese | style="text-align: left; {{{datastyle}}}" |単独の魔法少女では対処しきれない超大型の魔女。 |- | style="text-align: left; width:10em;background-color:#EEF; font-weight:bold; vertical-align: middle; text-align: center;" |English | style="text-align: left; {{{datastyle}}}" |A gargantuan witch impossible for a single magical girl to handle on her own. |-


The witch and her minions also have their own description cards, which are translated on their character page.

[edit] Japanese Madoka Wiki

The entry on Walpurgisnacht on the Japanese wiki states the following:

Original text Translation
ワルプルギスの夜 Walpurgis Night
第6話にてほむらが2週間後に来ると告げた物。 Homura announced in Episode 6 that it would come 2 weeks later
現時点では現象なのか敵の名前なのかも不明。 At this point, it is still unclear whether it is the name of an event or an enemy
語感からすると現象だが「そいつ」「倒す」「勝つ」などと言われてたことより敵の名前なのかもしれない。ワルプルギスの夜に現れる敵を仮定して言っていたのかもしれないが。 The sense of the word would make it a phenomenon, but words such as "to defeat", or "to win" could also refer to an enemy. It might also be possible that enemies appear during Walpurgis Night.
すでに命名がされており、「二人でなら倒せるかもしれない」などという何らかの前提情報が存在するため、今回が初めてではなく過去に例がある現象であると思われる。 As the information exists that "Perhaps it can be defeated by two people" (spoken by Kyoko), it is plausible to presume that Walpurgisnacht has appeared or occurred in the past, and that this current manifestation is not a first.
実際にはヨーロッパで広く知られてる魔女と死者のお祭り。日本でいうお盆のような物。 In real-life, it is a widespread European festival for witches and deceased. It is similar to the Japanese O-Bon festival.

[edit] External Links

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