Elsa Maria (ELSAMARIA) is a witch who battles Sayaka at the end of Episode 7. Her barrier is full of dark shadows with a white background. Her symbolism includes Christian crosses, and the terrain forms a large arm holding either a torch or a monstrance. Elsa Maria appears to be praying before this object when Sayaka engages her. She fights with fanged snake-like minions and tree branches that extend from her body.
The witch of shadow with a self-righteous nature. She continually prays for all of creation and drags all life equally into her shadow without breaking her posture. One hoping to defeat her must know the blackest anguish.
- She is named after Elsa Asenijeff, also known as Elsa Maria Packeny. After refusing many proposals, she was forced by her parents to marry a diplomat eleven years her senior; She felt at the mercy of her husband, a theme that influenced her literary works. She eventually divorced the diplomat and remarried an artist, though this marriage too suffered when her second husband took an 18-year-old girl named Gertrude Bock as a model and companion, whom he eventually married shortly before his death after he and Asenijeff also divorced. After this divorce, she lived in poverty as her second ex-husband refused to support her financially; she eventually became isolated from her friends and family and was admitted to a psychiatric clinic.
- Possibly a reference to the song Ave Maria which Kyousuke Kamijou is known to play.
- It could also be a reference to Jeanne d'Arc, another magical girl (as shown in episode 12.) Jeanne said she was hearing the voices of saints, angels and God, and prayed very often.
- Elsa Maria may be linked to Kakure Kirishitan (or "Hidden Christians") which were a group of practicing Christians that existed in hiding from the mid 1600's and on. Freedom of Religion was finally granted to Japanese citizens in 1871, which may have been the result of a wish. This would explain the heavily religious nature of the witch.
- The counter-argument to this is since there's strong evidence that magical girls do not tend to live long, with mid-20s to 30s being considered a long life for a magical girl, it is unlikely that Elsa Maria's wish was related to events that occurred hundreds of years in the past.
- On the other hand, Elsa Maria could be a modern Japanese Christian, possibly a descendant of the Kakure Kirishitan and/or just very influenced by their history and martyrdom (like real life writer Shusaku Endo, who was Catholic). She might be from either Nagasaki (the city with the biggest historical connection with Japanese Catholicism, and one of the places where the Kakure Kirishitan came from), Akita (the prefecture where the Marian apparitions known as Our Lady of Akita took place) or the Madoka world's equivalent to Nagasaki and Akita.
- The tree growing from Elsa Maria's back may be a reference to the Biblical tale of Adam & Eve. The familiars could be a reference to the animals in The Garden of Eden.
- There is possibility that Elsa Maria is praying for America to end World War II, given the Statue of Liberty-like image in her labyrinth. The dead tree look of her attacks may reference the effect of the fallout radiation from the nuclear bomb that was dropped on Japan. Her minions also are representative of the twelve zodiac, which may imply the transition after World War II from Eastern thought to the Western thought that happened after World War II.
- The Guidebook indicates that Elsa Maria's labyrinth design is a Church, with the words "I wish you, although not seen from me, to be happy." （まだ見ないあなたが幸せであるように）. It indicates when the Witch dies, the stained glass collapses and drops into the air. There's a 'baaaaaaahn' sound like from a pipe organ.