troperville

tools

toys


main index

Narrative

Genre

Media

Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
random
This is a "Wild Mass Guess" entry, where we pull out all the sanity stops on theorizing. The regular entry on this topic is elsewhere. Please see this programme note.
Puella Magi Madoka Magica

The page has grown big enough to start corrupting the wiki software. Unconfirmed theories are here. Crossover theories are here. Meta theories are here.

    open/close all folders 

     I Knew It (Confirmed AND a major plot twist) 

Homura isn't actually traveling to the past. She is either making alternate timelines or she is actually traveling to alternate universes.
  • Much like future Trunks from Dragon Ball Z
    • Confirmed as of episode 11. Kyuubey mentions that Homura's efforts created alternate universes. All of those universes' "fate lines" made Madoka stronger than usual.

Magic, even Kyubey's magic, is The Corruption / Witches are failed Magical Girls.
Confirmed, except witches are "matured" magical girls. But now officially Jossed after Madoka makes a wish that causes a Cosmic Retcon. Magical Girls are no longer doomed to become Witches as of Episode 12.

Kyuubey recycles grief seeds from witches into soul gems for magical girls
Got it completely 180, but still a major plot point.

In the natural cycle: Producers consumed by Herbivores, Herbivores consumed by Carnivores.
In the magic cycle: Human wish consumed by Witches, Witches consumed by Magical Girls.

Magical girls are indeed powered by wishes, but Kyubey just lied about the critical part of the picture.
  • Semi-confirmed: The exact metaphor has been brought up, but nothing about witches eating wishes.
  • Confirmed in a more literal sense, since witches are corrupted magical girls, essentially making the uncorrupted ones cannibals.
  • Arguably Kyoko got the order wrong Humans consumed by magical girls (magical girls were once human), magical girls consumed by witches (witches were once magical girls), witches consumed by the universe.

Kyuubey is a hive mind
  • There always seems to be another Kyuubey around to take the last one's place—in fact, it always seems to be the exact same Kyuubey. And he may not have emotions, but he at least understands the concept of happiness and suffering; despite this, his inability to understand why the loss of Sayaka would bring emotional distress to the other Magi suggests that he can't even conceive of why anyone, even a being with emotions, would ever develop that kind of attachment to a specific individual. This is potentially explained by the existence of a Kyuubey hive mind—Kyuubey doesn't believe individuals to have any value because every individual Kyuubey body is just an extension of a single Kyuubey meta-consciousness. Losing an individual Kyuubey is about as distressing to him as losing a tooth: certainly an annoyance, but nothing to cry in the dark about.
    • Confirmed. Word of God is that to Kyubey, losing a body is the equivalent of pulling out a single strand of hair.

Kyubey is not his name. It's QB, and it means something.
It's too obvious, but it might be just obvious enough. Kyubey actually stands for QB, and not in the cute sense. QB means something in German or Latin, perhaps Faust related, that we aren't recognizing yet.

Homura is a time traveler (CONFIRMED!) on a mission to Set Right What Once Went Wrong
It is increasingly obvious that Homura is from the future. She possesses so much knowledge she has no way of knowing otherwise (Madoka and Kyouko's full name, Kyubey approaching Madoka, how a Magical Girl loses control of her body if her Soul Gem is over 100 meters away, a major upcoming battle). In Episode 6 it is made clear that she is here to stop a bad event emerging two weeks later, and once her mission is completed she will leave. If Kyubey of the future granted her contract, that would explain why Kyubey of the present doesn't know if she's contracted with him or not. (as the present Kyubey did not, it will be done in the future). She stated that becoming a magical girl and dying is not reversible, which could mean she tried to make a wish reversing them, but was told by future!Kyubey that it was impossible. However, going back in time is possible, so her wish is to go back and prevent her loved one from making that mistake in the first place. Making a contract this way grants her the power of teleportation as her main ability.

It is highly possible that Homura is Madoka's daughter or other blood relative, which explains her immense magical potential. Her mission to save her mother could also create loads of drama (such as her disappearing if she succeeds due to time paradox).
  • The last part is jossed. In episode 10 we see that Homura isn't Madoka's daughter, but a former classmate and friend.

  • Perhaps the battle between Madoka and Walpurgis Night was so intense that it resulted in Earth-Shattering Kaboom, and Homura wants to ensure the witch's victory and sacrifice a single city instead.

More into the theory: There are a few frames that have shown that Homura has soul gems on the back of each hand in Episode 6 (just before she picks up the soul gem on the truck). If that isn't an animation error, it is possible that one of them came from future Madoka. That could explain why another long-haired girl shows up when Madoka transforms in the OP animation: that was indeed her future self. That would mean she may not need a contract to transform at all (at least at the present), instead using the soul gem of her future self to control the present body.
  • Alternatively, the whole universe is set in a time loop. The scenario with Homura that Madoka saw in her dream occurs some time in the future, and that is when she makes a contract with Kyubey to become a magical girl. Her wish? None other than to make right everything that has gone wrong, a total reset. This has happened countless times and yet failed, with all possible time loop outcomes coming to a tragic end and Homura retaining every single memory of the events that occurred. (Kind of like Rachel Alucard in Blazblue)
    • Episode 10 confirms this. It was Homura who initiated the time loop with her wish.

Homura hasn't been using her real power for a reason
So far we've haven't seen her use her magic except maybe once when attacking Kyubei. She's been seen carrying a shield and used bombs to kill Charlotte (not very magical) but we have yet to see her pull out or use her bow. She's probably been conserving her magic, or is reluctant to use it knowing its corrupting influence.
  • Confirmed as of Episode 8. She has time travel powers, which she was trying to hide from QB. This and Hammerspace are her only powers. Unlike the other Puella Magi, she lacks any sort of offensive powers so she must rely on normal weapons to fight witches. Not that it impedes her in any wa.

Kyubei's contract requires constant renewal.
If Kyubei is indeed evil, it makes little sense to simply fulfill a girl's wish if she could simply refuse being a magical girl at any point after the wish has been fulfilled. This system of become-a-mahou-shoujo-for-a-wish would only be effective if the wish could also be undone at any point. In essence, Kyubei holds the sustained fulfillment of the wish as hostage, and the power entrusted to the girl is proportional to how badly she wants that wish to remain true. Alternatively, the wish may also be inverted, with Kyubei being able to turn both one's greatest dreams and worst nightmares into reality.
  • Not necessarily. If it's true that Grief Seeds are simply Soul Gems that have gone too long without being "cleansed", the Magical Girl couldn't just stop fighting witches without serious consequences. Continue to fight witches or else you become one.
    • True enough, but the theory does shed some light on the significance of the wish. Mami initially encourages the girls to choose carefully, but after Madoka reveals her desire in life and the extent of her admiration for Mami, Mami then explicitly suggests that she should simply wish for cake afterwards. Kyubei averts this since a contract based on cake hardly has any binding power, and Mami loses what she had wished for not long afterwards.
      • You say that when we haven't found out what she wished for? If Mami's wish was indeed "not to die alone" or "not to be alone" and was granted when she befriended Madoka, then a wish can only be fulfilled upon the contractor's death. That or the death of a contractor happens upon the wish being fulfilled. And if the Witches are indeed fallen MS or dead MS then a wish fulfilled equals one witch. If Kyubei is evil or a demon, then witches might be the equivalent of reapers that reap human souls. This whole situation is solely based on the guess that Kyubei is evil and the fact that the whole show is full of Faust references and symbolism.
  • Confirmed as of Episode 8. Without constant leeching of darkness into grief seeds, which QB then "eats" — remember, he's the "incubator" — Magical Girls are turned into Witches.
    • Actually, Magical Girls becoming Witches is intended, the cleansing only delays the inevitable. Kyubey mentions that Madoka would be one of the greatest magical girls ever, and that when she becomes a witch, he would get a huge amount of the energy they need for staving off the heat death of the universe.

Kyubey, or someone equal to him, is creating the Witches.
According to Kyubey, Witches are born from curses just as Puellae Magi are created from wishes. What's implied here is that the Witches made a negative wish in exchange for power, in the same way that those who become their opponents make positive wishes; both make contracts, it would seem, and quite possibly with the same people. Alternatively, if the magical girls and the Witches are created by two opposing factions, Kyubey himself must have an opposite number.
  • Both Jossed and Confirmed. Episode 8 reveals that Kyubey actually creates magical girls so that they can eventually "mature" into witches. The way he casually states his Wham Line at the end of episode 8 has connotations that he either intended for all this to happen, or he literally just doesn't care one way or another.

It gets all the trappings of the genre.
  • The worst part is that all the abominations will probably be of human origin.

Homura Akemi has already traveled to the past and failed
Perhaps this isn't the first time Homura Akemi has traveled to the past. Maybe she has failed before in convincing Madoka not to become a magical girl. That would explain her emotionless-like behavior. She has failed so many times that nothing surprises her anymore. She's failed enough times to make STATISTICS on when and where Walpurgis Night will happen. Confirmed as of Episode 10.

The dream from episode 1 actually happened.
Related to the above theory, there is a possibility that the "dream" that Madoka had in episode 1 was actually reality, but Homura used her time manipulation powers in order to turn back time as much as she could without becoming a witch herself, making these events feel like a dream to Madoka thanks to being suddenly jerked back in time by a couple of weeks in an instant.
  • Confirmed as of Episode 10. To be exact it's the fifth time line.

Every time Homura rewound time, Madoka became more depressed.
Madoka can be pretty grim for a girl her age with no major problems — she always worries about being good for nothing and feels that she will grow up to be nothing but a burden to others (and her character song is pretty depressing). We didn't see that much of her in the first timeline, but she seemed more cheerful and optimistic. If Magical Girls are powered by emotion, then it would make sense that becoming more powerful would make her more emotional. So, with every iteration of the time loop, Madoka becomes not only more powerful, but also more desperate for a purpose in life and more willing to sacrifice herself. Nice Job Breaking Her, Homura.
  • Confirmed as of episode 11. Kyubey mentioned that a leader of a country or a saviour would have more potential.
  • On episode 10 we can see that Homura is the original weak-minded and depressed moeblob.... but because of being a time-traveling transhuman she managed to overcome it and become the badass we know today, but at the exchange of the role of the Moeblob ending up at Madoka instead (especially when Homura keeps killing Kyubey and preventing the contract, since in the Drama CD it is after all mentioned that Madoka used to be someone with low self-esteem until she became a Puella Magi).
  • However, it's not a direct connection where resetting timelines causes increased depression; rather, notice how, in the timelines where Madoka does become a magical girl, she is far more confident and outgoing because she feels she's found a way to help people, whereas in timelines where Homura prevents that, she has that depression stemming from her Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life.
  • Additionally: because Homura's time cycles increased Madoka's power as a magical girl, Madoka views her reluctance to form a contract as increasingly selfish, especially after Sayaka blames her for not using that power to come to her aid.

Madoka will cheat Kyuubey out of his prize
Barring further revelations, it seems death is the only way to prevent a Magical Girl from becoming a witch. So Madoka will save the world and then kill herself.
  • Confirmed as of Episode 12. Madoka saves the world by changing the system, and then disappears from existence.

Madoka is the Final Boss.
Kyoko and Homura talk about dealing with "her" on the Witches Sabbath. QB keeps trying to get Madoka to turn into a Magical Girl. Magical Girls are larval witches. Combine all that together, and you get QB on the verge of getting the strongest witch in history.
  • Confirmed. Madoka fights it. Yeah, you heard me.

Madoka will use her wish to Set Right What Once Went Wrong... at the cost of her own life.
According to Cubey, Madoka has extraordinary potential as a Magical Girl. Thus, she could use her power to perform a Deus ex Machina, restoring everything to the way it once was, and creating a world devoid of Magical Girls and Witches. However, as the world she wished for was one without magic, this would erase her from existence. Homura knows this, which is why she tries to stop Madoka from becoming a Magical Girl. This is represented when she asks Madoka why she must "constantly sacrifice herself".
  • Confirmed. It sacrifices her existence too. However, she doesn't wish for a world without magic, exactly. What she wishes for is a world without witches, and the resulting paradox of having to destroy all witches, including her own, removes her from physical reality and turns her into a supernatural force.

Kyubei will become a Karma Houdini
  • Confirmed. We can say it's both. Yup, he did get the quota from Earth which is what he wanted all along, but now that Madoka has Out-Gambitted him by rewriting the Magical Girl System, he can't screw anyone else and is bound to play by her rules. Considering that he may be less Lawful Evil than he used to be...

Madoka's eventual powers will be straight Reality Warping.
With all the in-universe buzz of her incredible power, I'm waiting for Kyubey to pull an Evangelion-esque "now that you have unlimited power, change the universe how I see fit".
  • This would probably be true, since Kyubey straight up tells Madoka that she has the potential to become a omnipotent goddess. (Remembering that his plot is to get them to turn into Witches eventually, so he truly wants an omnipotent witch.
    • The card for Madoka's Witch form basically states her Barrier is akin to Heaven, but as a Witch, a lot of people have to die to get there. Kind of like Instrumentality. Thus, if the bad end is everyone gets widefaced and turned into Morning Rescue, the good end might as well be CONGRATULATIONS.
  • Confirmed. Madoka rewrites reality to make the world a better place.

    Confirmed (Confirmed in universe or by Word Of God) 
Confirmed elements that were not a "huge part" of the story.

Someone very important to Madoka is going to die.
  • Sayaka has her fall of darkness in episode 8. This, combined with Mami, put this in the confirmed section.
    • In episode 9, Sayaka was killed by Kyouko. Who died right after having bonded more with Madoka. So yeah...
    • In the end, everyone is revived by Madoka's wish. Sayaka ends up falling anyway, but in the new universe this is less tragic than before, she ascends to a higher plane of existence and is with Madoka in Magical Girl Heaven.

Homura is this universe's equivalent to Sailor Nothing.
Working off of that the entire series is a deconstruction of the Mahou Shoujo genre with Homura trying to stop others from repeating her mistakes.
  • It's actually a Time Travel Plot.

Homura's wish to be able to go back in time allowed her to rewrite the past all the way back to before she and Madoka met.
However, Madoka is able to remember echoes of that timeline and recognize her/had her dream due to her own great magical potential. She still hasn't realized the truth yet/is subconsciously rejecting the implications due to how badly that would traumatize her.
  • Semi-confirmed ( In Episode 8, Madoka almost, but not quite, remembers her.

Homura is a Forgotten Childhood Friend of Madoka
So far, it looks like Homura knows a lot of things of Madoka - her naivete, her ditzy-ness, and how she'd do anything to save her friends. However, Madoka doesn't know anything about her. Why? Because Homura is a Forgotten Childhood Friend that Madoka doesn't remember. Probably that was Homura's wish - that Madoka would forget about her. Maybe Madoka found out about her secret when they were children, and wanted to become a magical girl as well. Homura, probably shocked by something like the death of someone she appreciates, just like what happened to Mami, and didn't want Madoka to go through the same thing, so her wish was that Madoka would forget about her being a magical girl. However, Kyuubee granted her wish literally - Madoka forgot about Homura being a magical girl, but she also forgot everything she knew about Homura.
  • With Homura shedding tears at Madoka for not listening to her, that would be a yes at this point.
  • Episode 10 confirms a variation of this. It's revealed that Homura and Madoka were close friends in previous time loops.

Sayaka...
...Is gonna do one of two things, now that her mental health is starting to deteriorate at a giant's pace.
  • She is going to murder Hitomi, then slowly but steadily lose her mind until her love for Kyosuke and her paranoia over possible romantic competence make her evil, forcing the other Puella Magi to slay her before its too late.
  • She is going to curse Hitomi. This will make her turn into a witch, meaning she's now an enemy to destroy. And so, Madoka's prophetic nightmare becomes a reality...
    • She curses humanity in general, but it does turn her into a witch.
      • Sorta jossed. Kyouko killed her and herself.
      • And in the end, she decides to pass on peacefully and not curse anyone anymore. Such is her share of Madoka's wish.

Madoka Magica is set in the future.
  • All those little things thought of as laziness are really intentional. The cars that move at the same time/speed = AI driven, too much glass = high tech plastic(?). Also the CD player in episode 4 and elevator in episode 5.

The magical girls compete for Witch poaching grounds.
The darkness that clouds Soul Gems isn't something that comes from using magical girl powers or anything supernatural, they just naturally decay over time and turn dark. It's not a vicious circle of use magical powers to fight Witch —> pollute soul gem —> collect Grief Seed —> use magical powers to fight Witch, it's a constant treatment for what is essentially a disease. This is why a magical girl can't stop being one, because if they stop hunting Witches for Grief Seeds, the slow natural deterioration of their own Soul Gems will eventually turn them into Witches themselves.
  • Confirmed to a point: Mami's death did open up a spot that Kyoko wanted. Negative emotions (especially despair and angst) darken the gems.

Homura had her best friend or many friends that was/were once magical girl(s).
May be the casualties were way too high that's why she refused to make friends knowing that would only harm everyone she cared. She may be the Insufferable Genius herself but she can't save her friends eventually, which explains her mental issues and attitude towards other characters.
  • The revelation that Homura comes from a Bad Future all but confirms this.
    • WAAAAAAAAAAAAAY confirmed when you find out she's friends with Madoka and the gang before experiencing hell. Several times over.

Magical power is also a person's life force
How does one ensure that your magical girls do what you ask them to? Make it so that they need to defeat your enemies to survive. Without grief seeds, a magical girl will eventually run out of power and die. In other words, once you start being magical girl, you must defeat witches or you will die.
  • Close. Run out of soul, and you Turn Red and become a witch, but only after going Ax-Crazy for a while.
    • At least until Madoka wishes it won't be like that anymore.

Kyubey is an alien
  • Confirmed. Kyubey and other Incubators were created by (or are) an alien race that is attempting to stave off the heat death of the universe.

Assuming the Prologue events are a Flash Forward, Kyouko is also going to die
It's pretty damn likely now that the Prologue is a Flash Forward, seeing as the trainstation where Sayaka turns completely into a Witch has the same black checker pattern as seen in the beginning, along with the rest of the Sayaka turns into the Prologue Witch theory, along with the hospital shots and general similarity... Think about it this way:
  • Madoka is still not a Mahou Shoujo
  • Kyuubei is still doing his recruitment thing
  • Homura is fighting the Witch
  • Sayaka may actually be the Witch
  • Mami is dead
So where's Kyouko?
  • It's quite possible that was the previous timeline before Homura jumped to the current one. Events may have changed.
  • Confirmed in Episode 9. Basically: Kyouko's death was confirmed but it didn't have to do with the initial reasoning since the scene was not a flash forward.

Assuming that Magical Girls can become witches, the witch then embodies something relating to its former life as a human.
In this case, Gertrud was a loner who liked flowers (and men with mustaches), Charlotte was a Big Eater (and might have had an eating disorder), Elly/Kirsten was a Hikikomori who stayed on the computer all day, and Elsa Maria was a practicing Christian.

For the record, familiars are said to grow into copies of the original witch, so basically familiars turned witches are clones.

So, if Sayaka is the witch in episode one, her theme will relate to hospitals, classical music (which she learned for Kyousuke), or unrequited love.

Expanding on this:
  • Gertrud was a woman who was completely obsessed with her garden and would kill anybody who trespassed. The reason why her minions all have mustaches is because her most traumatizing memory is killing a mustached man that entered her garden and burying his body in her garden.
  • Suleika was a girl who suffered from severe photophobia (fear of light).
  • Charlotte was a girl who suffered from an eating disorder like bulimia.
    • Or she may have been diabetic—there are some hypodermic needles shown briefly in one scene.
    • Someone on the Puella wiki commented that chemotherapy patients can't eat dairy products like cheese, which Charlotte always craves, so she may have been a terminal cancer patient. We know Kyubey's approached dying girls in the past.
      • According to the translations from the guidebook posted on the wiki, it wasn't her that was sick, it was her mother, and she wished to be able to share some cheesecake with her before she died.
  • Elly was a hikokomori.
  • Albertine was traumatized or victimized by something/someone, which why she always plays hide and seek.
  • Elsa Maria was an extremely religious girl who hit a faith-shattering Despair Event Horizon and turned into a Knight Templar. Extra WMG points for the possibility that she was part of Kyouko's father's cult.
  • Gisela was a kleptomaniac or pack rat that loved collecting metallic objects.
  • Uhrmann wanted to be loved by everyone.
  • We can consider this confirmed in a way. In episode 9, Oktavia(AKA Witch!Sayaka)'s labyrinth is full of calls for attention (the Madness Mantra 'Look at me' inscribed in runic text on lots of posters.). These probably represent Sayaka's mental desire for Kyosuke to pay attention to her. Additionally, the center of the labyrinth looks like a concert hall, with a violinist that looks like, guess who? That's right, Kyosuke!
    • Further confirmed by the mermaid's tail. Her story mirrors the Hans Christian Andersen version of the "The Little Mermaid" in practically every detail.
    • And let's not forget episode 10, where we see her again, and her familiars are girl dancers that look like Hitomi...
      • Granted there is some debate over it, but didn't it end with the mermaid becoming a spirit of air, being able to go into heaven after doing good deeds? Hmmm....But in this series it can only be expected that such a thing will be bad. Especially since heaven seems associated with Kriemhild Gretchen.
      • Before settling on that ending, Andersen originally had the mermaid simply die dissolved. A possible sign that a happy(ier) ending might happen despite everything pointing to tragedy?
  • Based on official website info on Kriemhild Gretchen. Madoka's witch form, the witch of salvation and mercy, intent on enveloping the world in a heaven inside her barrier. This fits perfectly with how she's only concerned about how she can help people and how the others keep warning her about taking her kindness too far.

The random gibberish isn't gibberish.
Later, Word of God will provide a translation of the random symbols and phrases the various monsters and witches are shouting out. It will turn out to be one of the most important things to understand about the series — for example: perhaps the monsters in episode 1 were shouting warnings about Kyubey.
  • This has been confirmed, and Word of God wasn't necessary. The symbols turned out to be a Cypher Language the texts during the dream sequence in episode 2 are mostly German quotes from Faust.

Homura's special ability
consists solely on Time Stop. The time traveling/"Groundhog Day" Loop was her wish, and the ability is the result of it. She can't teleport, her use of it for short intervals (maybe about 3 seconds) make it look like Flash Step. (Although this WMG should be kind of obvious as of episode 8, but there is yet to see if she has any other special abilities).
  • Confirmed in episode 10. She has no offensive magic at all, so she relies on homemade explosives and guns she steals from the Yakuza and from the JSDF.

Homura's powers
Her powers are a source of much discussion right now whether it really is Teleport Spam, or time stopping powers.
  • Time Travel, as of Episode 8.
    • Or maybe anything involving time. She slows down time in her environment, moves from one place to another, then sets it back to normal (so she appears to teleport), she stops time (already seen), and she's from an alternate timeline. Maybe her wish was, in response to a family member's or someone close's death, "If only I had more time with them..."
    • Confirmed as time stop.

... This already happened in Homura's timeline.
This is why she's so hesitant with Madoka at the start, and why she made so many warnings with her about not becoming a Magical Girl Read: Witch in Training and staying true to herself. Madoka's the True Final Boss. The entire series is Madoka's Start of Darkness. Only since Homura changed the past, QB didn't get a chance to ensnare Madoka, and this time things are going a different way.

Kyuubey will wait until it's impossible for her to save anyone to change Madoka into a Magical Girl.
After the events of episode 9, we know that Kyuubey doesn't hesitate to have people killed in order to shove Madoka towards becoming a magical girl. Following on the WMG that the dream from episode 1 was a flashforward (or something) to Walpurgis Night, Kyuubey gets Madoka to wish to be a magical girl to save Homura, but waits until it is simply too late for her to save Homura to go through with it. Having lost all of her friends, with the possible exception of Hitomi, Madoka becomes a magical girl and instantly succumbs to despair, providing Kyuubey and co. with the energy they wanted, due to her immediate transformation into a witch.
  • Confirmed. Madoka couldn't save anyone, not even Homura or the city.

This show will have a Downer Ending
Because Signature Style Gen Urobuchi is writing it

Kyubey will be Hoist by His Own Petard
This is why in the other timeline, he granted Homura's wish to travel back. Witch!Madoka is the Spiral Nemesis, erm, so powerful she can end the universe. Of course, Homura doesn't tell the current Kyubey anything because why should she? He's part of the problem, and she thinks he wouldn't believe her.
  • Incorrect in detail but Confirmed in core; his wish-giving was what enabled Madoka to change the system to favor Magical Girls instead of him. He was Oh Crap when he realized it.

The Black cat in the opening doesn't appear in the anime and is merely symbolic.
Nearly everyone is familiar with the typical witch and black cat pairing, so the black cat is just representing it. The cat first appears with Madoka, and she is perhaps crying tears of joy/relief over not turning into a witch when she fully expected to turn into one (this part of the opening might take place after the Walpurgis Night). The cat is possibly with her because she IS supposed to turn into a witch after turning into a Magical Girl, but somehow, she doesn't turn into one. Perhaps due to Homura's meddling. The second time the cat is shown it's sitting on Sayaka's lap. Is it symbolizing the relationship between witch and cat by favoring her over the other girls? Coincidence?

Black cats also represent bad luck. In the opening with Madoka, perhaps it is protecting her from the bad luck of turning into a witch, which might be foreshadowing of the final result - perhaps something will happen and stop Madoka from becoming a witch. Perhaps Homura will bring an extra Grief Egg with her to the past, and will use it on Madoka's Soul Gem when the world is saved? Homura IS good luck to Madoka - if Madoka wasn't nice to Homura, then Homura wouldn't be trying to save her and she would have perished or turned into a witch. In the opening, Madoka is holding/hugging the cat. She is showing it kindness, which might cause it/luck to favor her. Perhaps like karma?

On the other end of the spectrum, the cat is seen with Sayaka. Sayaka isn't shown to be petting the cat, or paying any attention to it. She's indifferent to it. She also is the unluckiest of the girls, having used her wish on someone who possibly doesn't return her feelings (as far as she knows). She also dies every time-line, and is turned into a witch.
  • It appears in the first Drama CD. Timeline 1 Madoka made her wish to save that cat, and that cat leads Timeline 1 Homura to Walpurgisnacht

The prologue dream in episode one is subject to Plot-Based Voice Cancellation
This is what is meant by Word of God saying "...please watch the first episode before episodes 11 and 12. It'll totally look like two completely different shows." The most obvious example of Plot-Based Voice Cancellation in the dream is when Homura cries out right to Madoka, but no sound is heard from her. Another example is later where Madoka grabs her ears, as though something is talking and she doesn't want to listen. It could be that she just doesn't want to listen to Kyubee, but she seems to be covering her ears after he's done speaking, when we see the lights flash. As such, it's possible she's covering her ears because another character is talking to her, one she doesn't want to hear from. Who? There are a few possibilities but one that stands out is the Prologue Witch, and likely through telepathy. The witch trying to communicate with Madoka would explain why it just seems to sit there after defeating Homura.

This might mean that there's a case of One Dialogue, Two Conversations going on. It looks like Madoka is speaking to Kyuubey, but she might actually be talking with someone or something else.

  • This is confirmed in Homura's case. In episode 10, we revisit the events of the prologue and find out that Homura was desperately pleading to Madoka to not accept Kyubey's contract:
    Homura: Madoka! Don't listen to what he says! Don't listen to him! He's tricking you! DON'T!!!

Madoka is going to become a True Magical Girl
By rejecting Kyubey the entire series, at the very end when it's needed (namely: to beat Kyubey), her magical power will come out on it's own, leaving her the only one with the power to fight him. Kyubey is intervening and desperate to trick girls with magical potential because by doing so he can control them.
  • Kyubey tricks the girls into becoming magical girls so that they'd collect all that yummy negativity for him. Then he'll take back the Soul Eggs, gorge on them, and become a full-fledged Eldritch Abomination. And then the above happens.
  • The details are incorrect (she does gain her powers by making a contract with Kyubey), but the basic idea is confirmed.

The show will have a Decon-Recon Switch
  • Either this or the show will be a deconstruction, but the manga to be released after the show ends will be a reconstruction. It would nicely parallel the two parts of Goethe's Faust.
  • Confirmed without the upcoming manga. Madoka herself performs the reconstruction by removing the worst aspect of Magical Girl life (i.e. witching out) and restoring the hope the genre typically has. However, the reality is still present in that Magical Girls can still die in battle and other social isolation.

Charlotte wished for cake.
Like Madoka, all Charlotte wanted was to be a Magical Girl, so she wished for cake (making Mami's advice to Madoka an Ironic Echo) but when she realised exactly what she'd gotten herself into, she decided she hated cake, and started eating cheese instead of desserts. That would explain why she can create cake out of nothing (she did just that when she made her contract), but she can't create cheese.
  • The cake is a lie!
  • Confirmed, though it was cheesecake that she could share with her mother.

Sayaka is destined to become a witch in every timeline where she becomes a magical girl
, but only because she will never confess her feelings.

Kyosuke isn't stupid, and Hitomi agreed to let Sayaka have her shot at him before she took hers. If Sayaka had just been completely honest with him about being a magical girl and the reasons she became one, he would have believed her, and maybe even admit he loved her too, and he would have been able to keep her from falling from despair.

Walpurgisnacht is a result of a Fusion Dance when a hell of a lot of witches will congregate to start the apocalypse.
On Walpurgis Night, many or all of the witches not defeated or eaten by Kyubey will combine and try to destroy the world. The resulting creature is the "it" Homura is trying to defeat. Expect them...having the world go up in flames. That, and they influence a lot of people with their witch-kisses to go insane and destroy everything. Still with fire. After all:
In Germany, Walpurgisnacht, the night from 30 April to 1 May, is the night when witches are reputed to hold a large celebration on the Brocken and await the arrival of spring. ..... A scene in Goethe's Faust (Part One) is called "Walpurgisnacht", and one in Faust (Part Two) is called "Classical Walpurgisnacht". .....In some parts of northern coastal regions of Germany, the custom of lighting huge fires is still kept alive to celebrate the coming of May, while most parts of Germany have a derived Christianized custom around Easter called "Easter fires". In rural parts of southern Germany, it is part of popular youth culture to play pranks such as tampering with neighbours' gardens, hiding possessions, or spraying graffiti on private property. These pranks occasionally result in serious damage to property or bodily injury.
  • For those interested, in Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's Faust the Walpurgisnacht of Part One had Mephistopheles taking Faust to a big gathering of witches (and wizards) all singing and flying. Interestingly, there was a short piece of dialogue with a half-witch who couldn't fly, and she was told that if she can't fly on that night she'll never fly again. A half-witch...you mean like a magical girl?
    • Therefore, Walpurgisnacht is the event in the prologue, Madoka's the half-witch, Kyubee is Mephistopheles and the world will perish in a witch's bonfire while crazed humans [[AxeCrazy destroy things, leading to The End of the World as We Know It.
    • Walpurgisnacht is a hell of a lot of witches, leftover bits and bobs of curses and familiars and such that coalesce into one super-witch. She's powerful enough that she doesn't need a barrier, she just manifests whenever and wherever the Hell she feels like it; that's why all her familiars are arranged into a traveling circus. God only knows how many natural disasters were her doing.
  • We can even get a Faust reference out of this, though it would be from a different version of Faust than the one referred to in Madoka. If Walpurgis Night is a Fusion Dance, it can then be thought of a horrifically twisted version of You Are Not Alone (a recurring theme in this series). In Marlowe's Doctor Faustus it's none other than Mephistopheles who says "Solamen miseris socios habuisse doloris (It is a comfort to the wretched to have companions in misery)" or more simply "Misery loves company". Being that witches are embodiments of despair, it only makes sense they would bond - literally! - with others like themselves.
  • As of episode 10 we know that witch is the Walpurgis Night, named after a gathering of witches, adding further credibility to the theory. If so it and its powers may have been changing depending on the timeline and who was available.
  • Supporting this theory is that in Episode 12, when Madoka greets her, she splits into a circle of girls (though this could just be symbolic and they could all be the same girl).
  • The witch's spell circle has multiple symbols on it. The inner most part of the circle, as seen here resembles a pointed flower. The next ring out has a bunch of strange letters. The next ring is the bizarre line of Tomoe. The outermost ring has symbols that resemble a spade in playing cards, or more specifically, something containing the spade. Essentially, the spell-circle appears to be a combination of symbols, which suggest that Walpurgisnacht is a composite entity; formed from multiple witches.
  • Supported by the witch card, though not confirmed.
  • Confirmed by Word of God

    Jossed (Confirmed as being incorrect by canon) 
WMGs that were later proven wrong by events in the show.

Kyubee doesn't have that many different bodies.
Just a couple at a time; and when one dies he needs to recover the biomaterial through consumption to create more. His casual talking was a bluff to prevent further bodies from getting killed; he pretended it didn't matter.
  • Jossed by Word of God. Kyubei creates new bodies from surrounding mana, and consumes old bodies to "hide evidence of the unnatural from the world.." Which raises questions as to what he's hiding the evidence from and why... Considering how affective regular ammunition are against witches and how horrifying the whole thing is, Kyubee is likely trying to keep the world governments from finding out, killing all the witches and educating young girls about the dangers of becoming Magical Girls.

Sayaka is going to become a Self-Made Orphan
She is slowly losing her sanity, and back in the fridge entry, it is suggested that Puella Magi are fated to be alone because their loved ones die sooner or later in a very convenient way. How will Sayaka end up alone? Simple! When she goes insane, she will kill her own family!
  • Jossed in episode 9 Kyouko killed witch Sayaka before she had the chance to make herself a self-made orphan. We see Sayaka's parents later during her funeral.

There is more than one Kyubey.
Kyubey doesn't appear to have any teleportation powers, yet it always manages to be there at the most convenient moment for him to try to make a contract with the girls. Considering Kyubey's telepathic abilities, it could very well be achieving this by controlling multiple bodies at the same time or by constantly communicating to other Kyubey in order to track each individual girl, waiting for the right moment for one of them to appear. Due to the fact that Kyubey are Invisible to Normals, it could very easily tell the others to hide from the prospective mahou shoujo while it is talking to one in order to maintain the illusion that there is only one Kyubey.

This theory also prevents an otherwise unavoidable time paradox in the "Madoka is Kyubey" theory and explains why Homura gave up on killing Kyubey after it meets Madoka for the first time.
  • Apparently there IS more than one Kyubey. After Homura kills him in episode 8, another one appears to eat the corpse.
  • Could be a Hive Mind of some sort. There is one Kyubey, but he has multiple bodies he jumps around between.
  • Jossed by Word of God. It was stated that Kyubey cannot be killed that way. Whenever its body is destroyed it will drain the magic from nearby and reform a new body. That's why Homura cannot just kill it over and over, as that will only waste her precious magic to achieve nothing.

Mami can't die. As in, literally can't die.
Call this denial if you will, but if Mami's wish was "I don't want to die", in correlation with the above theory of Kyuubey as a Literal Genie, then Mami might've wound up Nigh Invulnerable, with a Healing Factor, or with Resurrective Immortality. Either way, she may show up in a few episodes, unharmed at best, or missing her head and shambling around like a zombie at worst.
  • Maybe... If her Soul Gem isn't over 100 meters from her body, she might recover. If her body can still be fixed and/or her Soul Gem has enough magic.
    • She wore it in her hair, though.

Mami is evil.
(Jossed with extreme prejudice in Episode 3)

Or at least has less than good motives. She has half closed, droopy (yet strangely stern) eyes, which since that other anime used it with a memorable villain, has become a villainous trope in Anime.
  • Observe her creepy discourse with Homura at the end of episode one, which changes from a strange, almost approving speech about "killing the witch" to a very passive-aggressive threat if Homura didn't leave immediately ("What I meant was, I'll let you go this time").
  • Observe episode 2, which shows that Mami is stealing the Grief Seeds from the Witches she kills and then draining them of power... instead of giving it back to the original humans (who may, however, be beyond all help by then). Or worse, she's siphoning her own evil and shoving it into the witches' coupon to prevent her appearing as / transforming into a witch.
  • Continue to note that she tries to hand Homura the empty(?) Grief Seed, but she refuses to take it, something that visibly pisses Mami off — the first time we've seen her openly angry (possibly because it hints that her earlier statement about Homura seeing new magical girls as "competition" was a lie). The parallels to some form of drug use are uncanny.

Mami is farming Madoka, raising her to later fall and become a Witch.
(Unlikely, given Episode 3)

Observe in Episode 2, when Homura refuses to do something special with the evil plot coupon after it's been drained/filled, something that Mami says is a good thing, that the Magical Girls are willing to fight each other for... but she refuses to do herself. Are witches merely Magical Girls who absorb too much magic? Is this the result of a "wish"? Is Mami merely trying to get Madoka and Sayaka to embrace magic so she can later kill them for their plot coupons?
  • The reason Mami shoves blackness from her seed into the Grief Seeds she steals is to prevent her from turning into a Witch. The reason she's so interested in getting the others to become magical girls is because they will likely fall, very quickly, into witchdom, which will give her 2 free Grief Seeds to use.

Jossed rather badly due to Episode 3. However, the new magical girl appears to be farming familiars — intentionally letting them kill humans until they gain a grief seed, then killing them.

The Witches aren't monsters, but the humans can't perceive their true form.
The series is a tragedy. The witches are based on truth — i.e., accepting reality, whereas the Magical Girls are based on fantasy — i.e., denying reality. Unfortunately, all the witches are seen in the inverse of A Form You Are Comfortable With, possibly due to Kyubey's influence.
  • Semi-Jossed. Witches are basically the "adult" form of magical girls.
    • And then fully jossed when Madoka rewrites the Magical Girl system. There are other enemies to fight, but not witches anymore.

Only one Puella Magi can have her wish.
Whichever Puella deals the finishing blow on the Big Bad will be granted her wish. Any other Puella Magi will die immediately.
  • Jossed. They all get wishes, but it's all at a horrible price and with severe repercussions they don't recognize at the time.

Homura made a "Selfless Wish" and it worked out very poorly.
Homura is the girl they used as an example of why Selfless Wishes are very bad. Homura made a wish for someone else, who promptly betrayed her, leaving her trapped as a Magical Girl.
  • Jossed. It was Kyoko. Though Homura's wish also was selfless. Not like they knew it, anyway.
  • Semi-Jossed. Homura made a half selfless, half selfish wish. She selfishly wished for Madoka to be saved because she didn't want to live without her. BUT, I'm guessing that Madoka wanted to live, so Homura was selflessly using her one wish for Madoka's sake. And for the first many timelines it worked out poorly, but the very last was an okay ending
Kyubey is actually stuck in some sort of And I Must Scream situation.
If Urobuchi is telling the truth about Kyubey not being evil, maybe there's another reason for what he does and why his face never changes expression. Maybe someone is forcing him to do all these things, only allowing him to say so much, and his face can't change expression.
  • Then again, he's an animal. Like a real animal (and very pointedly unlike most magical-girl animal mascots), he expresses more emotion through body language than through facial expression.
  • Its because he isn't human and he doesn't understand emotions. But he might turn out to be good.
  • Episode 8 shows that Kyubey is definitely in control of what's going on, and whatever he is, he is definitely not good.

Those who have the most magic potential are also the most easily corrupted.
The more powerful you are, ironically, the more likely it is that, as you gain control of your powers, you will fall into hate and despair and turn into a Witch. Hence Homura's fear of Madoka becoming a Puella Magi — once her potential is unlocked, she could become the strongest Puella Magi ever or the most dangerous Witch ever, and it all depends solely on Madoka's strength of will, on whether she's determined enough to resist the temptation of despair. (Oh, that's reassuring...)
  • Not exactly. For example, Sayaka is described (and shown) as being the weakest of the Puella Magi seen so far and she's the first to become corrupted into a witch.

Hitomi is actually a magical girl too.
She actually knows that Madoka and Sayaka are thinking about becoming one too, and that's why she was so worried about their trip to the mall. Her green hair is actually rounding out the four main colors. Also, her name is made of the kanji for "purpose" and "benevolence".
  • If that is the case then we get: PuellaMagiSentaiMadokaMagica....
  • Seeing how in episode 4, she was affected by a witch and almost Driven to Suicide, it's rather improbable. Still, she may become a magical girl in some later episodes.
    • Nope, she remains human.

Witches...
Are created whenever someone makes a wish to become a Magical Girl. The person who makes the wish will get to be a Magical Girl, but their negative emotions, regrets, doubts, or anything like that are used to form a "curse" of sorts, allowing a Witch to form at the same time, based on the negative feelings of that person. And yes, I did this get this idea from Kingdom Hearts.
  • Episode 8 confirms that witches are actually magical girls who succumbed to their own corruption.

Kyouko ISN'T going to kill Sayaka.
Because Sayaka and Madoka Are going to use The Power of Friendship to defeat her instead.
  • Jossed in the sense that Kyoko is one of the heroines now, albeit an Anti-Hero.
  • Fully Jossed now from a certain point of view since Kyouko kills the Witch Sayaka becomes, at the price of her own life.
  • Actually sort of inverted - Madoka did try to use The Power of Friendship, but it was to help save Sayaka from her fate as a witch, and it was KYOUKO'S idea!.

Hitomi is actually...
Already a witch, as an alternative to the above, or at least The Big Bad. She only told Sayaka that she is in love with Kyousuke to provoke her into going insane. Sayaka will turn into a witch, like the theory above, creating another servant of Hitomi. Remember all those times that Hitomi was too busy to be with Sayaka and Madoka? She was actually off creating other witches' familiars/witches. Remember when Madoka found Hitomi with the group of people wanting to commit suicide? Hitomi had actually been the witch doing that, trying to create more witch power with all those lives, and simply put on an act for Madoka.
  • Jossed. The witch's name was Elly and she had nothing to do with Hitomi. She's fully human.

Even if Sayaka confesses, Kyousuke will not return her feelings

As a cruel twist, she musters up the courage to confess only to learn that he loves music more than he does human beings and be Friend Zoned. Or he has someone else in mind.
  • Or he's gay.
  • Or loves Hitomi.
  • Or is too focused on his music.
  • Jossed. Hitomi got to him first.

Homura is the real enemy.
She doesn't want Madoka to become a Magical girl because Madoka will foil her plans. She let Mami die, she has shown to be able to teleport so why didn't she? She let Sayaka become a Magical girl so that Madoka will be dissuaded from being one since Sayaka has taken that role. She even comments about leaving Sayaka since theres no hope for them. All the good things she's doing is just to keep Madoka from suspecting her.
  • Jossed hard as of episode 10.

Kyubei isn't evil
Kyubei isn't evil but is so alien he can't understand what he's doing to the Mahou Shoujo. In episode 6 he seems genuinely concerned with keeping Sayaka from being killed by Kyoko but also genuinely confused by the distress caused from learning that "soul gem" isn't a euphemism.
  • Jossed with a vengeance in episode 8.
    • And then, episode 12 has him apparently re-written to be less of an asshole. Possible side-effect of Madoka using her wish to rewrite the MG system.
    • How is he less of a jerk? He seems to think that the idea of depleted Soul Gems creating witches is awesome. And possibly confused as to why they don't. He's only "nicer" because he gets more demon cores out of a live Puella Magi than a dead or despairing one.
  • Besides standing by and not participating in fights and speaking cryptically, viewers seem to be tacking on evil based on amusement of a little creature being evil rather than the actions. He seems to be more of an observer who speaks harshly.

Witchs are Well-Intentioned Extremist, Magical Girls are inherently evil
What is truely the ultimate deconstruction of the Magical Girl genre? Let them be Villain Protagonists without realizing it until the very end. Humans that were targeted by witches deserved to die. Witchs hunting human is somewhat a heavenly effort to kill off bad humans to keep the human race from destroying themselves. On the contrary, Magical Girls is a creation of the evil beings to combat the balance so that the human race will be filled with more suffering, which is their source of power.
  • Hitomi certainly didn't seem evil... And she wasn't. She had good intentions, but HORRIBLE timing.
    • We will see this in Ep8. Each episode grounds on this theory firmer than ever, especially in Ep7 where there is a strong indication that using magic to perform a miracle is inherently evil.
    • Episode 8 sort of Josses this, since it shows that witches are corrupted magical girls.

Kyoko became a magical girl through Mami
Kyoko seems to know Mami and even has a bit of respect for her. Mami managed to convince Kyoko to become a magical girl, hoping that she would have a companion. Kyoko, however, didn't want to but was thankful to Mami. plus her wish was cake or something similar to it which would explain her appetite.
  • Completely Jossed, with us finding out Kyoko's tragic origin story. While she and Mami did meet each other according to Oriko Magica and the 3rd Drama CD, it looks like it happened after Kyouko became a Magical Girl via Kyuubey.

Kyoko will farm Sayaka into a witch.
She will fail in killing Sayaka in their duel due to Homura's intervention and decides to take a different approach: letting Sayaka fight with witches so she has to use magic and corrupt her Soul Gem, then Kyoko will kill-steal her. Then, as a catalyst to force the transformation, she'll do something like, say, completely break Kyosuke's forearm.
  • Looking less likely. She just wants Sayaka to leave her alone or else she will kill her.
    • Jossed. As of episode 8, among other things, it seems that Kyouko didn't know that fallen Mahou Shoujo turn into witches.

Kyubey will die.
Because as far as Magical Girl subversions go, the death of the mascot character would be an interesting one, and it'd force the girls to go forth without his advice (however sketchy it may be) or his communication channel. Also, any mysteries revolving around his true nature would be left unanswered... and it's even possible that without him, the girls' wishes no longer work.

It'd definitely be an interesting twist.

As Homura was already seen trying to kill Kyubey, his intentional death at the hand of one of the girls would be more probable, but a completely unintentional death (being eaten by a Witch) would be interesting.
  • With what happened at episode 8, THAT'S HIGHLY UNLIKELY!!! A second Kyuubei just popped out of nowhere and devoured the first Kyuubei.
    • He even remarks that was the second time she had killed him, which means it already happened once before.

Sayaka wont kill anyone as a witch.
Or at least the main cast. It's not like she became hateful and crazy,She just went into deep despair. Then one of these will happen:
  • Madoka will rush in the last minute and plead for Sayaka's sake.
  • Kyoko will not give up on Sayaka.
  • Homura would finish her off.
    • Jossed. In episode 9, Kyoko makes a Heroic Sacrifice to fend off Sayaka as Homura pulls her out of the barrier. Sayaka has killed someone already... She has killed Kyoko. ;_;

Kyubey was once a Puella Magi himself.
But something happened—either a wish went wrong or someone was seriously pissed off—and he was turned into that. Just a possibility.
  • It's also possible that Kyubey was once like Madoka, a person with extremely high magical potential, as in strong enough to give other people powers. Then the higher powers/rules/whatever decide to use him and his magic as an empowering device. Thus Kyubey wants to turn Madoka into a magical girl so she can take his place.
  • Jossed in Episode 9. Kyubey is actually a Starfish Alien.

Homura is Madoka's pet cat, made human by a wish to save Madoka's life.
Freeze-Frame Bonus from the opening animation. Notice the cat on Sayaka.

You know that little black cat Madoka's holding in the OP animation? Ever notice how it's never seen around her house or even alluded to in the show?

The cat was Madoka's pet, at some point in the past or an alternate timeline. Something horrible happened to Madoka - grave illness or death - and her cat, desperate to save her owner, made a wish to Kyubey. Madoka's life was saved, but, in order to fulfill her contract, the cat was made into a human Puella Magi and ran away from home. She fought witches on her own, but Kyubey (executing witches for some unknown reason or for personal gain) begins pressuring Madoka to make the same contract - by showing her the suffering of Akemi Homura, the human identity her old pet has assumed. Homura still cares about Madoka and wants her to live happily, even if she can't be by her side any more, so she confronts her and tells her not to take the bargain. This is why she's in pursuit of Kyubey: he's ruined her life, and she doesn't want him to ruin Madoka's too. If this keeps up...
  • This troper think it will be the reverse. From the frame here it is more likely that Homura will become a cat in the end of the series
    • Jossed, she was always a human.

Homura's reason to like Madoka...
After she makes a contract, Madoka frees all magical girls of their problems, while reviving Mami and returning Sayaka back to normal. Sometime after this she meets and adopts Homura (she'd be an adult and Homura a child; Homura who lost her parents is infinitely grateful to Madoka, however Madoka has a hard life since as Kyouko said something along the lines of equivalent exchange between hope and despair, meaning Madoka by saving everyone would lead a horrible life. Homura realizes this and asks Madoka to stop, but Madoka doesn't, then she asks to become a different kind of mahou shoujo, one that doesn't need soul gems, and can time travel to prevent Madoka from becoming a mahou shoujo, Madoka grants her wish, but prohibits her to trave to the past. This is all stopped when Madoka's soul gem is consumed by darkness and turned into a grief seed, having no magical girls to take grief seeds from, Madoka's soul gem is eventually taken by darkness. It is then that Homura decides to time travel to the time before Madoka makes a contract with Kyubey.

  • Jossed in episode 10. Homura's reason to like Madoka was that Madoka was her only friend at school in her original timeline, where she was weak, shy and nervous. In other words, it doesn't have anything to do with Madoka's wish or deeds after becoming a magical girl.

Homura is actually Madoka from the future.
She's come back to the past, wanting to stop Madoka from going down the same road again. The dream Madoka had demonstrates the time loop aspect. Madoka sees Homura fighting and dying, so becomes a Magical Girl to help, but in the end it loops back around. In this theory, Kyubey and Mami are the villains.

  • Jossed in episode 10. Homura was a ordinary student in her original timeline and made her wish when Madoka died in that timeline, making it impossible for Homura to be Madoka.

Junko Kaname (madoka's mom) is Homura Akemi
An alternative theory regarding Junko's possible role in the story.

Junko's motive for stopping Madoka from becoming a mahou shoujo would be either to stop Madoka's future death after Maokda protected her from a witch as a mahou shoujo, or to stop Madoka from being corrupted into a witch that kills the rest of her family and goes on to possibly destroy the world and her wish to Kyubey would be to prevent Madoka from ever being a mahou shoujo, and gets sent back through time as a result, probably to the time when Kyubey first knew about Madoka, which could have been as soon as when Madoka was born, as opposed to when they first made contact, which would explain how experienced Homura is as a mahou shoujo, as she would have had 14 years to practice and be de-humanised from having her soul and body separated, explaining her comments in episode 7. As it was a transportation wish, she gets teleportation as an ability. The Kyubey from Madoka's present hasn't actually formed a contract with Junko at this time, which explains his comments about her forming, yet not forming a contract.

The magic potential that Madoka has may very well be in Junko as well, seeing as they are blood-related, which would explain her power. Furthermore, there doesn't appear to be an upper age limit to being a mahou shoujo that we know of, and it is likely that if an older person becomes a mahou shoujo, the ageing process gets reversed in the process in order to make their bodies more able to battle. Also, Homura's beauty and intelligence get commented on positively by those around her, just like Junko's and they are both pretty cold and distant in personality, further strengthening a possible link between the two. Sure Junko is more cheerful, but pretty much anyone would be more cheerful than someone who has spent 14 years as a mahou shoujo, with all of the despair that being a mahou shoujo brings.

  • Perhaps Misato became a witch in the original timeline. Her mom probably wished her youth back. And got time travel powers as a side-effect. That would explain why Homura is so obsseed with saving madoka. Becuase Madoka is her daughter.
  • Also it could be that Junko wished being able to time-travel in an attempt to save her daughter madoka from becoming a witch. This could explain why madoka knows a lot of things about past stuff despite the fact that there isn't a present version of her.
  • Jossed in episode 10. Homura was a weak, shy, transfer student at Madoka's school before making her wish.

Madoka is the Big Bad aka. the Witch. Kyubey is her lackey.
In the opening fight, Homura didn't scream from the pain - she screamed when she saw Madoka. Also, the Witch's intervention later was awfully convenient for Madoka.

Per the OP, her older self will be very nice to Madoka, even if she happens to be evil (or broken?). This doesn't mean she'll be nice to anyone else. Madoka may try to avoid this fate, but fate is fate..
  • There are apparently multiple witches. Still, this does not preclude Madoka from becoming a very powerful witch or the Big Bad later. See also the theory that Mami is raising Madoka up as a magical girl as a food source.
  • Not impossible. Since we now know that Magical Girls are Larval Witches, and Madoka is the strongest potential magical girl QB's ever seen (he likens her unto a god-like level of power), and Homura (who can time travel) is very, very specificlaly trying to keep QB away from her...
  • We've seen what Homura screamed at Madoka and it wasn't because she was the Big Bad. This one's out.

The witches are eldritch horrors from out of space
The interface screw is there to protect us from their SAN-draining effects. It also affects the girls, naturally.
  • We now know what Witches are. Or used to be, til Madoka said "NO DAMIIT!".

Homura is an alternate Sayaka
This would explain everything. Her general disdain of Sayaka is the usual I Hate Past Me stuff. Her obsession with Madoka is because she's her best friend. And her eyes are blue when she's at her most emotional in episode 8. Oh, and it'd make Urobuchi's statement about Sayaka being the real heroine technically true.
  • Jossed in episode 10. Sayaka is also present in other timelines... And she still becomes a witch that has to be Mercy Killed.

Homura is not who she says she is.
Now that we know that Magical Girls' souls are separated from their bodies, it's a possibility that a Magical Girl can use her Soul Gem to possess a vacant body and take control of it. Expanding on this, it could be that Homura (or her body, at least) is being controlled by a different magical girl. This may be why Homura talks to everybody as if she already knows them, yet nobody recognizes her.
  • Nope. Homura was always the same person. It's her time travel powers that cause this one-sided difference in knowledge.

Kyubey is Future Madoka
Here, I found an interesting theory: M.Ruri theorizes that "Kyubei is Madoka from the future and is more of an anti-hero than evil." Or so she says. Because I still think that even if it is, Kyubei is still just creepy....
  • Since we now know that Kuybey is a representative of a Starfish Alien race, this one is jossed.

Homura is in a Ground Hog Day Loop triggered by Madoka's wish
  • Madoka's previous (and future) wish was/will be for none of this to have happened. Homura remembers each cycle because of the powers granted from her wish. The sin she talks about are all the things she's done in previous loops to try to break out of the cycle.
    • Perhaps Homura was empowered in the middle of a cycle, and maintains her status because of her wish (or powers gained from the wish).
  • No, but close. It was Homura's own wish.

Homura's wish was to be the best MG, Sayaka will wish for power, Madoka to help others.
  • Jossed in episodes 10, 4, and then confirmed in episode 12

Homura is one of Madoka's descendents, possibly her daughter.
Or rather, a descendent of a differerent-timeline's Madoka.
  • Jossed, since we now know who Homura is.

Homura is actually literally travelling backwards in time from the future.
For her, the last episode is actually the first episode, and the first episode is chronologically last for her. So instead of being cold in the beginning to being emotional, she is actually emotional to start with, and gets increasingly cold and uncaring as she goes further back in time.
  • Nope. She resets time everytime things go wrong.

Kriemhild Gretchen isn't the name of Witch-Madoka
It's a Red Herring: Kriemhild Gretchen is the name of her familiar, which is so powerful it gets runes of its own.

Yeah, it's unlikely, but it's WMG so why not?
  • Jossed by her witch card.

Homura's family and/or friends have all been killed by the Big Bad.
The Big Bad is the kind of villain who goes after the heroes' loved ones in order to threaten them and/or ruin their will to fight, and he/she/it probably did so right in front of her. Which is why she's trying to turn Madoka away from the hero's path - becoming a hero puts at risk everyone and everything that you love, and as the audience knows full well, Madoka has a lot to lose in that area.
  • Jossed. Homura didn't even seem to have a family in the first place; it's very telling that her residence only has her name on the nameplate.

Homura's wish was to escape from an abusive or otherwise bad family situation.
Episode 5 reveals that a magical girl's abilities are related to their wish, so it make sense that Homura's ability to teleport shown in eps 1 and 3 would result from her wanting to get away from something. It would also explain why Homura was so upset when Madoka said she liked her name - it could be that she hates her family name, or maybe Kyubei went Literal Genie on her and killed her family, giving her Survivor Guilt.
  • Jossed as of Episode 10.

Homura became Magical Girl as a result of someone's wish.
In episode 5 Kyubei asked about Homura's making contract with him, answers along lines She did and she didn't. It's rather ambiguous answer. So maybe, Homura was friend with a girl sharing Madoka's idealistic views (well, pre episode 3 idealistic views), who thought being Magical Girl is great, fun and games, so she wished Homura was Magical Girl with her. Then Reality Ensues, original Magical Girl bites the dust (or is bitten to dust) and Homura is left in the witch slaying business alone and bereft of initial benefit of having her wish granted. It wouldn't be hard to see how this would result in her cynical view of Magical Girls
  • Jossed as of Episode 10

Homura's wish was to be popular.
Sayaka notes the improbability of someone being very beautiful, very smart and very athletic. When Mami takes a jab at Homura, she tells the girl that she is doing something "a bullied child would do," and is rewarded with visible tensing on Homura's part. It's reasonable to conclude that Homura used to be an unpopular, picked upon kid, and wished for popularity and to be liked on receiving Kyube's offer.
  • Jossed in episode 8, where her wish was confirmed as a time-travel related wish.

Homura wished to be good at everything and loved, but now regrets it.
This is why she is perfect at everything without even trying in the first episode, and why everyone is always asking her to hang out with them, but she refuses them. Before her contract she was never good at anything and often bullied, but the contract fixed this. Please note her reaction to Mami saying she was acting like a bullied child. For some reason she regrets her decision, and she wants to stop Madoka from making her mistake. This is why she told Madoka not to change herself. Her attempted killing of Kyuubey was as much revenge as an attempt to help Madoka.
  • Jossed in episode 10.

Homura is Kyubey
Or at least the member of the same species. She certainly shares his Lack of Empathy (where Madoka is not concerned), social graces of an alien and tendency to withhold information. It is not impossible that in the end Madoka vengefully wished for Kyubey to felt the same grief and despair she felt, and logically that required from him to turn himself into a human girl. And then getting so shocked by newfound emotions, that his new persona even travelled back in time to undo the whole plan. Even Homura's relative inability to manipulate people might be somewhat explained by feeling the result of such manipulations personally.
  • Jossed in episode 10. Notice a pattern?

Madoka is not going to become a Puella Magi after all
Kyubey will keep tempting her into making a contract, but Madoka will keep being dissuaded via witnessing all the horror that it involves and, most probably, seeing the other Puella Magi fall like flies, one after another, until she's the only one left. After all, this is a Deconstruction of the Magical Girl genre. What would be the biggest, most demolishing hit to the genre? That the titular girl refuses the call! Yet what are we all expecting? (Myself included, I must recognize)? That Madoka becomes a Puella Magi! And so, Urobuchi and co. are trolling and will troll all of us to death with all the foreshadowing that will NOT get to be fulfilled.
  • On a related note - if she does become a magical girl, her outfit will be NOTHING like the one she wears in the opening and released artwork.
  • Or alternatively, she won't become a magical girl until either the final episode or the end of the second-to-last.
    • This WMG may be jossed, but the two above points are actually confirmed!
  • Jossed. Madoka becomes a Puella Magi in the last episode.

Walupurgis night = enemies of Kyubee's race and/or their collection system
  • Maybe the walpurgis are actually enemies of kyuube's race, trying to stop them from their nonsensical collection of energy.They are against magical girls because they want to stop them from gathering energy.
    • Jossed. Walpurgis is a witch.

This show will have a Gainax Ending just like Neon Genesis Evangelion

The cat in the OP is a direct result of Madoka's wish.
In the scenes in which the cat from the OP appears, Madoka is always wearing her mahou shoujo outfit. The cat never appears when she wearing anything else, in the OP and in the show itself. This implies that the cat's existence may be directly related to the wish that Madoka will make to Kyubey in order to become a mahou shoujo, and if she doesn't make a wish by the end of the series, the cat will never appear in the show itself.
  • Jossed sort of. The cat was related to Madoka's wish in the very first timeline, as revealed by the first Drama CD.

Madoka will have to fight, and perhaps kill, her own mother.
Junko is a hard-hearted businesswoman; when Madoka asks her what she'd wish for if she could have just one thing, she immediately, almost unthinkingly, answers that there are a few people at work she'd like to see put out of the way. This is quite likely the very mindset that allows the creation of Witches - one can hardly doubt that, were she offered a contract, Junko would accept it immediately and, for all we know, throw herself into the battle against Magical Girls with gusto. Anything to get ahead in business.
  • Jossed (and thank goodness, given episode 11)

Both our protagonists will be driven to make their wishes by Mami's death.
Sayaka and Madoka have just been brutally cut off from someone to whom they were close (Madoka in particular). Each of them has another person to whom they're close, who's circling the drain: Kamijo's unspecified illness is slowly killing him, and Junko is working and drinking herself to death. Both our protagonists will think of these people, and then think of them winding up DEAD DEAD DEAD JUST LIKE MAMI — and that'll be what convinces them to make the contract, in spite of all Homura's warnings.
  • Supporting this theory: When the subject of Kamijo comes up in connection with Sayaka's potential wish, Mami asks her whether she really wants to put him so deeply in debt to her. Sayaka is, in turn, incensed that Mami would phrase it so bluntly. Clearly, she didn't get the point of the question — she just thought it was a mean thing to say.
  • Allow this troper to continue from that theory...
  • Jossed. But it probably helped.

Madoka's wish will be to bring Mami back from the dead
Considering that she is one of the featured characters in the promotion material it would be very unlikely that she won't have any more screentime after episode 3.

The catch to Madoka wishing Mami back alive will be PTSD for Mami.
Magical girls dying and coming back to life in magical girl shows are common. What never happens is that they don't suffer any mental or emotional effects from the trauma of their death. Mami will come back, but will have horrible PTSD.

Madoka's wish will be to revive Mami
but.... Kyubey will do just that, however, since Madoka never said anything about stitching her back together......

Mami isn't dead
As shown in episode 6, the magical girls' entire being is kept inside their Soul Gem and their body is merely an interface to the world. We saw Mami's body be destroyed... but did we see her Soul Gem shatter? This could open up a whole new can of WMG worms.
  • Her soul gem was on her barette. It's likely that it was either chewed up by Charlotte or destroyed by Homura's bomb (meaning Sayaka might've been right about Homura murdering Mami).
  • That seems not possible as all her magic cease to function is a strong indication of dying. She was seen being slammed into a wall without any lasting damage previously. It is more likely that she ran out of mana and died due to the critical damage done to her body. Kyubey states that Magical Girls are invincible as long as they have mana remaining.
    • Except Homura was released the exact moment Mami's head was being eaten. Forget the whole thing about mana being depleted, the theory that her gem was crushed is more plausible than simply running out.
  • Jossed, though Mami isn't dead anymore.

(as of Ep4) The Prologue is a Flash Forward to when Madoka accepts her Contract
Think about it. What would be the ultimate subversion of the Magical Girl genre? The girl in question choosing not to fight. Combined with the theory that the Prologue Witch is also Sayaka, and things make a little more sense. If it is a Flash Forward, then Homura fighting Witches wouldn't be horrible unless that Witch was Sayaka. Kyuubei's and Madoka's comments also make a disturbing amount of sense in this context: "She's already made up her mind" and "No way, it can't end like this!", as well as Homura crying out when she spots Madoka. Homura was trying to take out Witch!Sayaka so that Madoka wouldn't be forced to do it. Madoka then showing up rather spanners this.

There's also a possibility that Madoka holds the power to break the Witch / Magical Girl cycle, given Kyuubei's other comments about rejecting fate, which might explain why he's so pushy to get Madoka to accept his contract.

  • Then there is also that option where Gen will do his usual thing. I shudder to think of a tree where Madoka and Homura is hanged by a, hypothetically, deranged Sayaka.

  • A slightly different take on this theory: The whole thing is a set-up by Kyubey and will take place in the next 2-3 eps. Kyouko (who is just an Unwitting Pawn for Kyubey) attacks Sayaka in an attempt to get rid of her, and is about to win due to having more combat experience. Sayaka, angry that she is going to lose and that she is unable to protect the city as well as Mami did, curses Kyouko. Kyubey grants that curse, in the process turning Sayaka into the witch from Madoka’s dream and taking Kyouko out of the picture. Homura attempts to stop her. This is when Madoka arrives and sees what’s going on. Wanting to save both her friends she makes a wish: to return/restore Sayaka, Homura and the city to normal. Her wish is granted and her friends are saved while she becomes a magical girl ? which is exactly what Kyubey was aiming for the whole time.
    • In anycase, why is Madoka so special anyway? There has got to be tons of pure girls out there, why Madoka? Is it because she's the one with the purest heart? She's a frikin' goddess? Or she might be an magical WOMD?
      • Supposedly, she has enormous magic potential.
      • Ok.... why is that? Supposedly magic comes from, we all guess, from a person's soul. Does using magic consume an MS' soul? Will Madoka, upon becoming an MS, show that her soul is the greatest source of magic?
      • Well, as of Ep 5, we now know that a MS's powers relate to their wish, ie Sayaka's regeneration. As Madoka had no real wish in life that needed fulfilling - even after certain recent events, the situations where Madoka would have contracted would have been less 'fulfil a wish' and more 'become an MS for the power that entails', maybe that would be the cause, considering powers are granted depending on wishes?. Thinking about it, given the implication that Homura tried to wish a dead person back to life, which apparently doesn't work, this may explain why she is an irregular that Kyuubei cannot predict; her wish went ungranted.
      • Alternately: Someone ELSE wished for Homura to get power, leaving her stuck as a magical girl. Alternately 2: She gained her powers through a different way — force of will, self-corruption, etc.

  • This becomes a whole lot more likely after episode 10, assuming that it wasn't actually a Flash Back to the previous timeline, where Madoka really did accept the contract. However, things are a bit different to what has been speculated. Firstly, it is highly unlikely (but not impossible, as we never saw if her grief seed was still intact) that Sayaka is the prologue/Walpurgis witch. She died after Kyoko (who is still essentially an Unwitting Pawn despite her Heel-Face Turn of sorts) sacrificed herself so that Sayaka (who did become a witch, by the way) didn't die alone. Secondly, Homura's motive for trying to stop Madoka from accepting the contract is so that she doesn't become a witch. Partilly out of her past love, er, friendship with Madoka, which resulted in homura promosing Madoka to never let her turn into a witch, and partially to stop earth from being consumed by witch Madoka.
  • Jossed (probably), since it didn't go that way.

Homura will become a witch
To keep Kyubey away from Madoka, or as revenge for his turning her into a Puella Magi, Homura will try to (or succeed in) cursing Kyubey and become a witch.
  • Jossed though she gets pretty damn close.

Homura is older than she looks
If the previous WMG is correct, than it would go a long way towards explaining Homura's behaviour and skill. She's has learned from years of experience and has spent ages trying to stop other girls from falling to similar fates, or something along those lines. OR she has been constantly using her time travelling powers to return?
  • Forget Homura, Kyouko could be a good example of this. How so? Her flasback hints that the time in which her dad lost his church, the family went destitute and she made her Selfless Wish happened LONG ago, in a time where there wasn't even electricity in Japan. Since they were Christians and lived peacefully in their faith until it got worse (if it was earlier, they would've been persecuted and killed for it), it's likely that Kyouko has been around ever since the Meiji era in which Japan opened its borders to the world. If this is true, then she's more than 100 years old.
  • Homura, jossed. Kyouko, not. By now.
    • How is it jossed? While her body is about the age it looks, we have no idea how many times she's lived through her time with Madoka, except to set a minimum, and she has Ripple-Effect-Proof Memory. Sounds to me that, aside from the time-looping/Alternate Reality source of the extra time, the original WMG is dead on.

In order to save the world, Madoka is going to have to kill her own family.
Madoka can apparently stop 'unavoidable destruction and death', but the entire setup is too blatant and obvious for that to be likely. Add Akemi's insistence that if she values her family and friends she'll stay as she is, and the fact we've seen nothing of Akemi's family, and it seems logical that these magical powers don't prevent the death and destruction, but simply redirect it to the loved ones of the caster. Akemi herself has experienced and is aware of this, which is why she is trying to act against her former allies. She's the true protagonist, painted as the villain by Kyubei and Mami, and Madoka has just been strung in totally unaware of the implications.
  • Jossed. They all live, but barely remember Madoka anymore due to the Reset Button.

Madoka will turn into a Mahou Shoujo using future Madoka's Soul Gem.
As hinted in the opening where a long haired Madoka embraces and turns Madoka into a magical girl. Long haired madoka = future madoka as implied by her 1) longer hair, and 2) bigger boobs. Also note that long haired Madoka is semi-transparent, indicating her body-less status.

Now that it's been confirmed Homura is a time traveller and has Hammer Space powers capable of storing hand-held sized items. She probably brought future madoka's Soul Gem with her as her trump card on stopping whatever she wants to stop in this timeline. And she kept stopping Madoka from becoming a mahou shoujo because if Madoka's powers are really needed she can use future Madoka's soul gem to transform instead OR Madoka can lend her body to her future self to turn into mahou shoujo.
  • The problem with this is that Homura has no Soul Gem to bring back. In the first timeline, Madoka died; this is only possible if her Soul Gem was shattered. In the second timeline, it turned into a Grief Seed as she became a witch. In the third timeline, Homura mercy-kills her, the only way to do so being shooting her Soul Gem, and in the fourth Madoka once again becomes a witch, meaning it became a Grief Seed.
  • Jossed, she does it on Kyubey's terms.

Madoka is Kyubey
See here
  • Alternatively, Kyuubey is Madoka's familiar. Specifically a witch version of Madoka - possibly even the longer haired Madoka seen in the OP. But either theory leads to the following:

Sayaka will give Kyousuke a kiss
A Witch's Kiss, to be precise.
  • Jossed. He and his girlfriend Hitomi live on. Though at least he recalls her now.

Homura will kill Madoka.
Homura will be forced to make the very thing she didn't want to happen happen - Madoka getting hurt and/or killed.
  • You know what? This actually happened in a previous timeline. The reason she did it was to stop her from turning into a witch, at Madoka's request. Uuh... Confirmed?
  • Not until it happens at the end of the series.
  • Madoka killed herself, in a sense, so this is Jossed.

The series will end with one final time loop.
Specifically, Madoka will make the wish to go back with Homura. The last episode will be Madoka and Homura both awaking in the 6th timeline, this time both with full memories, and clean up the mess together.
  • Alternatively, Madoka will come back instead of Homura.
    • Alternatively alternatively, they send back the cat from the OP. The cat will be created as the anti-Kyuubey, capable of contracting Magical Girls without the pesky "rip out soul, turn into witch" problem. Somehow this will also provide the energy Kyuubey needs which is why he'll stick around (and why we see him with the cat in the last scene of the OP); basically he'd be the Token Evil Teammate.
  • This is the end, so jossed.

Hitomi isn't in love with Kyousuke

Notice how entirely stoic Hitomi was when she told Sayaka that she was in love with him, how it only came up after she notices Sayaka's crush on him, and how she gives Sayaka a convenient 24-hour window for Sayaka to confess her feelings first. Chances are, Hitomi doesn't have any feelings for him: she's just trying to make Sayaka think she does in an effort to push the girl to make the first move. Too bad she doesn't know that the reason Sayaka's too scared to confess her feelings is because of the whole being technically dead thing..
  • Note how this is unlikely in the manga, where Hitomi and Kyousuke are holding hands. The anime however...
  • In the anime, Hitomi mentions how she wishes she were outspoken like Sayaka (or something to that effect) in either the first or second episode. It was probably a very tiny hint about Hitomi's crush on Kyosuke.
  • Pretty much Jossed, she's very concerned about him and his concert in a lover-like way in episode 12.
  • It's still possible that she wasn't in love with him, and that she started going out with him out of a sense of guilt.

Hitomi will become a magical girl.
She finds out about Sayaka and feels she has to atone, even if it means she will eventually become a witch. Then, she and Homura fight Walpurgis together. Since Homura is now very experienced with her power and she now has someone to help whom we don't know the power capabilities of, we can't tell yet whether they would successfully defeat Walpurgis.
  • Jossed. Human through and through.

Homura is the cat...
...but instead of being the cat turned into a human, she will be transformed into a cat as a byproduct of saving the world, and Madoka will be forced to live with it.
  • Mew, nope. =^-^=

Kriemhild Gretchen will somehow appear in the current timeline
She practically screams Sinister Silhouette, Brocken spectre speculation aside. Someone did suggest on this page that a future Madoka could come back in time. Didn't Sayaka also say something along the lines of "So there's another you who's insane?" in the first episode?
  • Here's a possibility: Homura becomes a witch. She then fulfills her wish to protect Madoka by pulling her witch form from an alternate timeline.

Madoka's supposed impressive power has nothing to do with natural inborn power.
Instead, it has to do with her wish. At the beginning of the series, Madoka doesn't have much of a desire beyond "I want to become a magical girl" or possibly "I want to become a capable magical girl"; since magical-girl powers are related to the wish, Madoka would probably get a power boost to her natural magical girl powers. Thus, the time loop isn't just "things getting worse every time".

In the first timeline Madoka had to work alone, and died. In the second timeline, Madoka had Homura help her, so while it saved her life, it turned her into a witch. In the third timeline, Madoka and Homura had taken on some grief, so it put both of them on the verge of becoming witches. Thus, in the fourth timeline, Madoka's capability to become an extra-powerful witch was due to the fact her wish was probably along the lines of wanting to defeat Walpurgis Night; having the capability to wield such power severely increased her power as a witch. Thus, the key to saving the universe - and protecting Madoka - would be in what exactly Madoka wishes for.

QB likely knows a lot about what's going through Madoka's head and what she wants, hence why he sees "potential" in her.
  • Jossed, it's Homura's wish.

Madoka will kill Homura
  • No reasoning behind this other than it would be appropriately mind fuck-ish.

The series' end will put Kyubey in a sympathetic light
  • Again, can't imagaine how this could be possible, it's just that the Mind Fuck would be fitting.
    • ...Nope not sympathetic.
    • He's reset alongside the whole Magical Gil gig, as of the Grand Finale. And seems to be less of an ass than he used to be.

We will see another Homura time-rewind
before the series reaches its conclusion.
  • Jossed; this was the final.

Homura's mission will succeed but end up destroying the universe due to her reckless time travel for saving Madoka
And the black cat come to stop this. This speculation sparked by Urobuchi's Twitter avatar being an action figure of the character Frank from Donnie Darko. Donnie Darko is a story about timeloop and saving the universe by resolving a time paradox.
  • Even the first half was Jossed.

The ending will be Kriemhild Gretchen absorbing everyone into her barrier into a utopia.
The first of what I predict will be a ton of WMG theories all based on the recently released witch card.

Madoka-as-Kriemhild will make her barrier into a perfect world, or at least a world where everyone is saved, and will absorb the entirety of Earth into it. That was what Kyubey meant by “destroying the world”.

Thus, everyone will live in said utopia, and Kyubey will ignore it since he got his quota.
  • Jossed, Kriemhild is killed by Madoka.

Kriemhild Gretchen will somehow merge with Walpurgis Night
Based only off the fact that Kriemhild's apparent appearance in Episode 1 has Walpurgis Night's spell circle behind her. Of course, it might just be symbolic, but this is the series where things get worse. And worse.

Madoka's wish will be...
No more magical girls.
  • It'd be a very interesting twist, as well as a paradox for Kyubei. It'd probably destroy him, causing the Universe to not lose its heat anymore.
  • Jossed, though it's close (no more witches).

The ending will be a Reset Button
With Homura going back in time until she gets it right.

The series well end with an Earn Your Happy Ending.
If we go by Goethe's version of Faust, which this series seems to draw heavy influence from, it may have a happy ending, at least for Homura.

Homura is essentially an Expy Faust, who forges a friendship with Madoka, who is an Expy for Gretchen. After seeing Madoka being killed, Homura makes a contract with Kyubey to change Madoka's fate, but inadvertently makes things worse for Madoka in progressive timelines. Eventually, in the final timeline, Homura will sacrifice herself to achieve a single moment of happiness, finally being able to protect Madoka. Like the original Gretchen, Madoka attains godlike powers without becoming a witch and uses them to save Homura, as a reward for her unending striving and because Madoka is just a nice girl like that. The series will then either end on a bittersweet note with Homura being the last magical girl alive, or a truly happy ending where the Reset Button is hit and Kyubey and witches never existed.

Homura and Madoka are in an endless loop of saving each other
See how Madoka became weak through the repetitions Homura made, while she got a hang of her power and became even better each time? At the end of the current timeline, this means that Homura will defeat Walpurgis on her own (or almost on her own), then possibly become a Witch herself, if she doesn't die in the process. Then Madoka will ask for a wish that is very similar to what Homura initially wished, so she can save Homura from that fate. The loops Madoka will enter will strengthen her while weakening Homura, "ending" in her own death with Homura's original wish, and so on...

Homura will die in Episode 11
...
  • Jossed, though she was this close to becoming a Witch. Madoka stopped it, though.

Homura will fail and go back to the beginning of another loop
BUT something will be different. Either she brings back something with her or someone retains memories of the previous time loop or something, anything that implies that her struggle is fated to continue, but she's getting close. The show ends, everyone gets trolled and they announce a Season 2 that allows you to buy the DVDs twice.

Homura's time travel abilities isn't limited to her teen years.
Theoretically, she could actually travel back further into the past to, say, prevent Kyoko from becoming a Mahou Shoujo, save Mami and her family, prevent Kamijo's injury, and so on. She just never thought of it.
  • Jossed by Word of God:
    Urobuchi: The weapon that looks like Homura's shield is actually a sand timer. When the flow of the sand is blocked, time is stopped. And when there is no sand on the upper part of the sand timer and then the timer is reverted, one month's worth of time is turned back. But before that stage is reached, only time stopping is possible. This means the special power of Homura is the ability to manipulate one month's time's worth of sand in the sand timer.

Madoka is the source of all witches
How's that for a Genre Deconstruction?
  • Jossed in the most extreme way possible. Rather than being the source of all witches, Madoka brings about the end of all witches.

Junko (Madoka's Mother) is The Witch
  • Listen to how she reacts to having the blinds opened and covers pulled off of her in her first scene - Gee, that's a rather over-the-top reaction.
  • Look at how her toothbrush falls away from everyone else's when she puts it down. Just a little something to take note of.
  • Listen to her talk about how appearance is really important. This can be taken in multiple contexts if you're reading into it hard enough.
  • She's built up by Madoka's friends as such a gorgeous career woman. And, of course, you can knock down just as easily as you build up.
    • And remember her Family-Unfriendly Aesop about how Madoka should "make mistakes" in Sayaka's stead? "Tell white lies, run away when things look bad. You'll realise later that this was the best thing to do. Make mistakes now, before you get old. You heal faster when you're young." And Magical Girls...are younger witches.
  • Highly unlikely given Episode 11.
  • Barring further revelations in a future season, this is jossed. Junko is a muggle.

Related the above, assuming Sayaka is the Prologue Witch, Walpurgisnacht is an event, and it happens to her.
Homura's documents on Walpurgisnacht feature the Prologue Witch. There is heavy implications that Sayaka is the Prologue Witch, especially when you compare the trainstation's distinctive black/white tiles with the tile-based Labyrinth Madoka is in at the very start. Black and White themes also mesh rather well with Sayaka's views on morality by the end of it. Add the presence of the hospital, and the visual similarities people had already spotted, and you get this. Sayaka is the Prologue Witch. Walpurgisnacht is an event; something that boosts Witches. It happens to her. That Homura has pictures of Walpurgisnacht!Sayaka would also imply that the future she is from is after this occurs, and hence knows exactly what will happen to her. Which explains why she was so willing to kill her, though it does make her comments on not thinking to stop Sayaka becoming a Mahou Shoujo in episode four a little odd...
  • However, Sayaka turns into a witch quite some time before Walpurgisnacht is "supposed" to arrive. The only explanation is that either Sayaka escapes and eludes the magical girls until that night, Homura's time traveling screwed up the set order of events and caused Sayaka to fall much earlier than intended, or the more distressing possiblity that Sayaka is not the Final Boss.
  • Maybe the fact that Sayaka just turned into a witch means she'll stage, possibly, a huge, apocalypse-bringing event with her witch-kisses. Like a mass murder or something.
  • Extremely unlikely (though vaguely possible).
  • Jossed. Sayaka is not the prologue witch, and her corruption has nothing to do with Walpurgisnacht.

They spend quite a lot of time introducing Madoka's Family. Mami lives alone. Something tragic has happened in Homura's past that makes her wanna protect Madoka from becoming a magical girl. This is all connected: Homura is an idealist turned anti hero because she had to see her family die. The same happened to Mami, but her pragmatism made her turn neutral evil, or a toned down version of it. They both have to use grief seeds to take the bad karma out of their soul gem so they don't turn into witches.
  • In Goethe's Faust (which the series references heavily and quotes often), Faust's lover's family suffer and die as a result of his contract with Mephistopheles. It's likely that Kyubey's contract has similar consequences.
  • Confirmed in Episode 3: Mami's family died in a car accident, where she was slowly dying as well. Kyubey just happened to be there in time to rush in and offer her a Deal with the Devil.
    • "Just happened." Right.
  • Madoka's little brother will be the worst. Why? [[Moe He's cute]], he's her little brother, and think of all the possibilities!
  • Jossed, thankfully. For the entire series, the rest of the Kaname family is mercifully unaware of and unaffected by what's going on.

Sayaka...
Is the witch from the prologue. I didn't come up with this theory, and I really, really don't want it to be true, but there is a lot of evidence pointing towards Sayaka being the witch from the dream. Oh please do not let this be true.
  • Judging by the events of episode 7, Sayaka might have just gotten her Start of Darkness. Hoo boy...
    • Well, we've got the "become the witch" part so far...
      • This is the troper who originally posted this, and I'm here to say... CONFIRMED...TT~TT I'm gonna go grab a tissue now...
      • Slightly Jossed as of episode 9. Sayaka's witch form, Oktavia von Seckendorff, doesn't look like the prologue witch and was killed by Kyoko.
      • Not Jossed entirely. Given the drastic differences in visuals between both times the girls walk into Sayaka's kekkai, it's possible that what Kyouko killed was one of Sayaka's familiars and not Sayaka herself.
      • That seems to be grasping.
      • No One Could Survive That
    • For what it's worth, in episode 10 the Walpurgis Night of the first iteration is wearing blue. The Walpurgis of the fourth iteration also seems to be wearing blue (though she might have red sleeves with white cuffs), although the two look different, and both seem to have differences from the Walpurgis in episode 1. (That one resembles the first ep 10 Walpurgis, but with white cuffs, which the first ep 10 Walpurgis didn't have.) However, it's likely the third iteration's Walpurgis - which was unseen - was not Sayaka, as it seems that the Grief Seed Madoka uses to cleanse Homura's Soul Gem at the end of the battle was Sayaka's.
  • Jossed. Sayaka becomes a witch, but is unrelated to the Walpurgisnacht witch.

Madoka is inescapably doomed to die/ become a witch
after arrival of Walpurgis Night, due to Homura's wish. Because, if you pay attention, successive timelines bend to ensure that end to the extent, that cannot be explained by Homura's actions at all. Even if we assume that Walpurgis Night is Homura's witch form and therefore always gets stronger whenever Homura does. In Timeline 1, Mami and Madoka already knew of Walpurgis Night by the moment of meeting Homura and were preparing to fight her, something that stopped to be true later. Sayaka only gets involved in the whole magical girl businness (before Homura contacts others!) in Timeline 3, right when the need to tear apart the forming team (that can possibly dogpile Walpurgis Night) by her self-destruction arises. In Timeline 4 Kyubey presumably takes considerable time to respawn, as he was rather easily stopped from making an early contact with Madoka, yet in Timeline 5 he starts respawning near-instantly. Overall, there seems to be evidence, that reality itself bends to ensure a bad outcome every time, at least to an extent of rearranging events disfavorably (and, theoretically, changes might go as far as changing the whole nature of magical girls to add extra "lose" conditions, although this is not likely, as Kyubey's words at the end of Timeline 1 suggest that at least his goals always were the same). The most likely reason for this is nature of Homura's wish, which shares the tragic flaws of both Sayaka's (wishing allegedly for the sake of another but with the real goal of validating herself through the approval of wish's recipient) and Kyoko's (wishing for what you believe another needs, without thinking of what the person that is supposed to benefit from the wish actually wants), therefore leading to unparallelled amounts of unintended consequences.
  • First half confirmed. Due to Homura's wish, unknown.
  • Episode 12: This is jossed unless you count Madoka's ascension to the level of metaphysical god as "dying".

The black cat in the opening credits is her goal
Similar to Rika's calender in Higurashi, Madoka wants a pet cat (much like any child that age), and will receive it the day after the Walpurgis Night is defeated She is crying in the opening credits after opening her eyes and seeing it because its proof that she lived through the attack. It also might mean that she becomes a Magical Girl to defeat the Walpurgis Night.
  • Madoka is crying but also smiling when we see her lying down with the cat on her. Perhaps they're Tears of Joy from getting a happy ending? Should be mentioned that the cat is still present in the last scene of the re-purposed episode 10 opening with all five of the magical girls. Some believed that the opening was actually a "Season Zero". Perhaps it's actually a "Season Two".
  • Jossed. The cat is metaphorical and never appears in the series proper.

Homura will die...
...for reasons related to her heart condition.
  • Homura's still alive and kicking at the end of the series, so this is jossed. For now.

Homura will get a moment of perfect happiness that will make her want to stop time so she could experience it forever. At that moment, she will become a witch
It's an allusion to Faust. Specifically, the conditions under which Mephistopheles would claim Faust's soul
  • Jossed.

By the end of the series, there will be one and only one magical girl still alive.
And she will take Homura's place as a Zen Survivor Stoic.
  • And she will be Madoka. Hence why she's crying in the OP—all her friends are dead.
    • Or her wish will be to hit the reset button for the rest of them, leaving HER as the only one fighting the Witches — suffering in silence, so her friends can all have peacefully ignorant lives.

Homura would have been trapped eternally in time loop, had Madoka not pulled her Reset Button.
Even if Madoka survives Walpurgis, Homura is tasked with keeping Madoka alive. So every time Madoka dies, even if by natural or normal causes, time will reset and Homura will have to go through the ordeal again, for all eternity.
  • Jossed by the explication of Homura's powers. She can only turn back one month, and of her own will.

Funimation will do the dub, and Nodoka's voice actor will be Madoka.
Part serious, part Fridge Brilliance. Come on, IT WORKS!
  • Jossed: Aniplex is releasing Madoka, and the cast is mostly unknowns.

Kyouko
is the Devil. Kyubey and Kyouko are seen conspiring together at the end of episode 4. If the Faust allegory is consistent, Mephistopheles/Kyubey is in servitude to Kyouko/the Devil. That means Kyouko is the Big Bad.
  • Jossed and very much subverted as of episode six.
  • And jossed even more with her Heroic Sacrifice of episode 9.

Kyouko is older than she looks
How so? Her flasback hints that the time in which her dad lost his church, the family went destitute and she made her Selfless Wish happened LONG ago, in a time where there wasn't even electricity in Japan. Since they were Christians and lived kind-of peacefully in their faith until it got worse (if it was earlier, they would've been persecuted and killed for it), it's likely that Kyouko has been around ever since the Meiji era in which Japan opened its borders to the world. If this is true, then she's more than 100 years old.
  • In the concept art showing a younger Kyouko and her family, Kyouko and her sister are wearing fairly modern clothes; however, the art is not within context. However, a shot in Episode 7 shows the younger Kyouko drawn normally; her outfit is distinctly modern, detracting from the theory that she is centuries old.
    • Doesn't mean she isn't older than she looks. For all we know, she could very well be, chronologically speaking, on her twenties, without ant major problems.
    • Jossed in the third Drama CD, in which Kyouko says she has been a magical girl for about a year when talking with Homura at a strategy meeting, and was fighting her first witch when she first met Mami.

The title character of the soon-to-be-released Prequel manga, Puella Magi Oriko Magica, will become Charlotte
Because the piece of promotional artwork marks her as a Token Mini-Moe, and she's seen with Mami and Kyoko.
  • Another thing. Homura is mentioned to be appearing in the series. Since it seems unlikely that Oriko will take place in the week between the beginning of Homura's "Groundhog Day" Loop and when Homura transfers to Madoka's school, it's possible that we will see Homura in the hospital, before the loop begins. A likely reason we would see her there is because Oriko is an Ill Girl too, and they're in the same hospital. Isn't there a theory about Charlotte being the Littlest Cancer Patient?
    • Homura boldly kept Charlotte's grief seed, partially so Kyuubey wouldn't dispose of it and it could be useful (and keep it away from Sayaka and Madoka), and partially because she might have recognized Charlotte.
  • We may actually have a piece of evidence for this: Remember the runes in Episode 3? The one that basically went " OMNOMNOM Mami"? The line before that one is apparently the origin of Homura's Fan Nickname Homuhomu. Now remember the following: The runes are messages from the witch. Which means that Charlotte knew Mami and Homura's names!
    • Should be mentioned that if Oriko does call Homura Homuhomu it would still fit with her "people don't usually call me by my first name" statement in episode 10.
  • Preview pages of Oriko Magica show that the girl on the cover IS NOT Oriko. However, she can still be the Mysterious Green-Haired Girl.
  • Jossed

Kazumi takes place after the anime, specifically after Madoka makes a reality-altering wish
Specifically, a wish to change the magical girl system forever. Part of the changes would include a way to turn witches back into magical girls. Note that the black cat in Kazumi chapter 2 resembles the one seen in the OP of Madoka (and in a piece of official artwork with Homura). Earlier guesses on this page say the cat could be a result of Madoka's wish.
  • Extremely likely given Madoka's wish. The only contradictory part is that in Chapter 3 we see a Grief Seed much like the ones in the anime, not the cube-like shapes Homura has in the end.
  • Nearly Jossed as of Chapter 4.
  • Jossed six ways to Sunday in Chapter 5.

Homura isn't going back in time physically, just mentally.
Knowing Kyuubey, he likely decided to grant Homura's wish in Episode 10 in a way that wouldn't make her a threat, but would allow him to meet his energy quota. To make this even worse, I'll tie it in with the theories that Homura is Walpurgisnacht and that she was the real target all along. As others have noted, Homura's powers and home are linked to clockwork imagery, as is Walpurgisnacht. Because she is only travelling back in time mentally, her Soul Gem in the original timeline is becoming more and more corrupted, and she is unable to take action to cleanse it. After it becomes fully darkened, she becomes Walpurgisnacht, going back in time physically over and over, trying to stop Madoka from becoming a Magical Girl, unaware of the destruction she causes each time.

Walpurgis/the Prologue Witch is the witch Homura
Mentioned several times before in other forms, but here's some food for thought. In each iteration, Walpurgis night appears to be different. Likewise, Homura changes as a person, growing both stronger and more desperate. In the grand finale, Homura wonders why she can never become strong enough to beat Walpurgis night alone, and it's because she's literally fighting a powered up version of herself as she is then. If, by definition, your witch is a stronger version of yourself, then Homura is doomed to fighting a losing battle, unless she has help. Making both herself and Walpurgis Night from alternate timelines - if Madoka accepts a contract, the despair will transform Homura, which she is trying to prevent.
  • The witch's card states that it's nature is helplessness, as in Homura's helplessness against fate continuously dooming Madoka and making her suffer, while the description "It symbolizes the fool who continuously spins in circles" is symbolic of the "Groundhog Day" Loop hell she had been living. Additionally, the minions could actually represent the different Madokas Homura failed to save. The gears, and their relation to Homura's shield and also to clocks bears mention as well.
  • When Homura fights against the witch, we see shades of other witches. Instead of Walpurgis being just a collection of witches, those witches are the familiars of Homura...the collection of the countless witches she killed on her quest to save Madoka.
  • If you look at Homura's home, it's covered with references to Walpurgis' form, including the swinging pendulum that looks like the monster's head. She lives in a house designed like a clock's interior and has time travel powers; the witch from episode 1's dream has a gear motif. It could be suggested that these representations are part of Homura planning, but it could also be that Walpurgis night is Homura's personal hell, and that surrounding herself with its trappings is forming a Stable Time Loop, where she surrounds herself with images of Walpurgis, and in turn creates those images herself.
  • Another thing that contributes to this theory is that when Homura muses to Madoka about them both becoming witches together in the 3rd timeline. She considers becoming a witch, and together with Madoka/Kriemhild Gretchen, "turn the world upside down". Now, look at Walpurgis Night. Doesn't it look like its hanging upside down in the air?
  • Animator and witch-designer InuCurry has stated that Walpurgisnacht's and Kriemhild Gretchen's silhouettes are supposed to make a pair. Rule of Symbolism alone should explain the significance of that.
    • It gets better. Production Documents show that Walpurgis Night and Kriemhild Gretchen are supposed to respectively be the upper and lower half of a sand timer. And what what did Word of God say Homua's weapon was? A sand timer.. Not mention Homura's flipping an hourglass to reset time is reminiscent of Walpurgis Night description of flipping herself to reset civilization. Walpurgis' desire to turn the world into a stage now makes Homura's time power reminiscent of making a film. Either Walpurgis Night is yet another Evil Counterpart of Homura, or she's a full-blown Enemy Without.
  • Okay, bear with me, because I've got an alternative theory stolen from When They Cry that replaces how Homura transforms into Walpurgis herself (made unlikely by Puella Magi Madoka Magica Portable below). Every time Homura leapt through time, it (or her repressed emotions) created an "echo" of herself in the space between timelines, similar to how Madoka went to another plane of existence after her death. These echos merged with each other, as well as with the Grief Seeds she had on her possession in every timeline, eventually forming a powerful witch that existed outside of time and space. This witch then sent copies of herself into each timeline, appearing at the exact place where, in her corrupted mind, it remembered leaving.

    Yeah that's right, Homura created Walpurgis Night the exact same way that Rika created Bernkastel. And because of it's unusual nature, it might be something even Madoka's wish would have trouble erasing, since by existing outside of time it might be difficult to be erased before it is "born". Walpurgis Night wouldn't be considered a witch in the new universe, but rather a type of demon and be called by it's real name (probably a variation of Mephistopheles or another witch-related festival).
    • I'm only writing this theory because All There in the Manual doesn't give Walpurgis Night's actual name, which smells suspiciously like something that would be picked up upon later, possibly in Oriko Magica. It helps that part 2 of Goethe's Faust had a "Classical Walpurgis Night". Incidentially, that the characters were taken to that Walpurgis Night by a homunculus. The humanoid form on top of Walpurgis Night in series is described as a doll.
  • That scene in the manga where Walpurgis summons Mami, Sayaka, and Kyouko? Well, rumor has it that Puella Magi Madoka Magica Portable will answer the question of "what if that magical girl became a witch?" If Walpurgis Night is somehow made with witches from alternate timelines...But of course that part may not be canon.
    • That manga omake about Homura telling the magical girls that they can combine may just become Hilarious in Hindsight.
    • Jossed by Puella Magi Madoka Magica Portable. It shows a possibility of Homura turning into a witch after failing to destroy Walpurgisnacht. This witch is named Homulilly and is very different to Walpurgisnacht.
      • But It is still disputed whether or not the Portable Game is canon.
      • The game is canon since Gen himself aka God supervised the scenario
      • Not necessarily. "Walpurgis Night" is a class of Witch, not the specific name of this Witch; it 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(s) from which it was born, if a single Witch among those "countless Witches" may gain dominance over others, etc. It's possible that Homulilly is Homura's actual Witch form, and the Walpurgis Night that we see in the anime is the result of Homulilly's eventual conglomeration with other Witches or multiple dimension-hopping Homulillies from other timelines.


You have some really great ideas. I can make any of them true.
All I need is for you to make a contract.
/人 ‿‿ 人 ——
Puella Magi Kazumi MagicaWMG/Anime & MangaPuella Magi Madoka Magica 2

random
TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from thestaff@tvtropes.org.
Privacy Policy
196636
23