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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 2

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

Unconfirmed (for now)

Stuff that we haven't gotten an answer to yet, but may possibly get an answer to in the future.

Poorfag-chan is not reading a book but using a folding tablet like a Toshiba Libretto W100
It's a new thing in 2010, so she's actually quite rich to buy one and bring it to class instead of using the standard issue laptop.

Kyubey has some kind of protection against wishes.
Thousands of years of manipulating girls to their destruction, and none of those girls friends who witnesses it made a wish to change the Incubators, either to give them emotions or just flat out destroying them? Either Kyuubey can deny such wishes (unlikely) or they can change their own species definitions to minimize such damage. Perhaps before the wording of such a wish is finished, the Incubators can change the makeup of their species so it doesn't apply to them any more; like transferring consciousness to "non-Kyuubey" containers, let the Kyuubey bodies die or change, fulfilling the wish, then consume the old bodies and return to being Kyuubey.
  • Or no girl has had the magical power required to change an entire sentient species like that.

Kyubei knows nothing, or lied, about the Law of Conservation of Energy.
Which means that what he's doing is because he doesn't have the slight idea to where the dispersed energy from the Universe's heating is going. It means that it's being recycled, somehow. Perhaps into human emotions, perhaps into something else.

The current rate of entropy right now is being slowed down by the Incubators' actions.
We have never observed at what speed heat would dissipate in a universe without Grief Seeds/Grief Cubes. Suns may burn out in centuries what would otherwise take millions of years.

The magical girls and Witches are all, technically, Gods
Witches are capable of creating their own universes (labyrinths), and particularly powerful entities such as Madokami can manipulate and rewrite the laws of physics through a mere wish. The Incubators' entire plan of surpassing Entropy is by creating new universes that can be used as material to repair the present universe, or if that doesn't work, it can be used as a refuge for when the old universe is killed by entropy. Of course, the Incubators keep this information a secret.
  • This troper doesn't think so. Madokami is special, because a series of specific events had to conspire to make her desire so powerful that the effect of its eventual energy surplus was able to rewrite the laws of the universe. No magical girl could be so powerful in and of herself. In the "old" (pre-Madokami) universe, the Law of Thermodynamics caused hope to become despair, and despair can overcome entropy, which is why the more desperate the wish, the more powerful the magical girl, and the more devastating the eventual Witch. I propose that magical girls and Witches are not gods; they are merely perpetual energy machines—because the Incubators have devised a way to make a girl's despair literally ENDLESS. The labyrinth created by a Witch is not a whole other universe, rather it's just an Ironic Hell (as theorized by an earlier troper); it's the way her despair manifests itself, creating more despair in the process, causing more magical girls to be born to fight that despair, who in turn become Witches themselves. It's a perfect system, until, of course, all that despair comes to a head and causes Earth's apocalypse, i.e: Walpurgis Night, when a bunch of Witches combine powers to destroy the world. But even though Earth is destroyed, the universe as a whole is better off, because the Walpurgis will never die, meaning that this perpetual entropy surplus machine will operate indefinitely. Being a god implies you can do whatever you like; magical girls and Witches are just inexhaustible balls of pure despair and not gods in any sense of the word.
    • TL;DR: Labyrinths are essentially Reality Marbles, which aren't necessarily the mark of a god.

The same traffic accident that killed Mami's parents injured Kamijou.
Like Mami said, her parents were killed in an accident. We don't know when this was, so it's possible Kamijou was hurt in the same accident. Unfortunately, Mami got the worse end of it.
  • Saki from Kazumi Magica may have also been involved in the same accident. Asunaro and Mikitihara may not be that far apart.
  • And Kyuubey orchestrated the whole thing, knowing it would result in at least one new contract.

Homura's time travel is what's causing the Universe's energy problems.
Because such a powerful ability might have taking energy not only from Homura herself, but from somewhere else. Which means that in the end, Kyubey caused exactly what he seemed to be trying to prevent.

Post-Ending Homura is a Multiverse Composite Being.
Like Madoka; Homura's time travel shenanigans tied her existence to that of the Dharma of all her Alternate Universe selves.
  • Even with Madoka's wish; this didn't end. After all, Madoka's wish covered "every world."
  • ALL previous Magical Girl Homuras also received Madoka's ribbon in every timeline; tying them to each other (and Homura to herselves). Each one remembers every previous (and later) timelines as well.
  • For sanity's sake; when dealing with other humans; Homura keeps her perception and memories to the reality she's in at the time (thus she's a bit lonely when in "the real world"); but when gametime is on against Demons; she draws on the entire collective unconscious of every Homura. That's why Dark Angel Homura is basically a Physical God; she's all the Homuras in every parallel dimension. It's also why Dark Angel Homura is smiling. She's quite alien by human standards; but it's okay. She's not alone; she's fighting for the world her goddess loves; and they will be reunited. One day. (And what's time? She's ancient.)
    • She's basically what would happen if Rika and Bernkastel had fused and took it a lot better.
      • Okay, she didn't take it very well, but she's still better than Bernkastel.

The perpetual existence of the Universe that the Incubators want would be a horror beyond imagining.
Entropy; death; is ultimately a necessary function to the Universe. Keep in mind, the Incubators have zero concept of quality of life. As long as something continues to exist; in any form; they see it as their job accomplished. An endless, eternal And I Must Scream.

Homura was given filler backstory for her existence and knowledge in the new timeline.
In order to prevent Time Paradox; Homura was given new backstory (her previous memory wasn't erased; she remembers the "official" timeline like a dream, her memory of her constant timelines cannot be muted.) All her life, she dreamed of a girl. Madoka. She knew that this girl was the focus of her entire existence, but she didn't know why. Along comes Incubator. Homura's wish was to know what's this missing "something" in her heart. She wished to know what and who this hole was. Her Mahou Shoujo form came with that bow and ribbon.
  • Kyubey thinks Homura is bonkers; wishing for a dream memory to be filled doesn't make it true. But she's very strong so he goes along with this "I was a Magical Girl from a previous timeline" story because it's not disruptive. (The Kyubey would be far more curious if Homura was a magical girl who had NO RECORD of the Incubators ever turning her into one.)
  • Somewhat confirmed by Rebellion: Homura is introduced as an acquaintance of Mami whose wish presumably had nothing to do with Madoka, although this exchange takes place while all the magical girls sans Sayaka and Nagisa were under the influence of Fake Memories, so it's debatable as to whether that was Homura's actual backstory in the new world.

Homura's Black Wings were simply her Attack Reflector power while in The Corruption.
Word of God says that her wings deflect attacks against her. The Barren Landscape of the Demons is a Fisher Kingdom that corrupts anyone in it, a general continuous attack. What we're seeing is simply the miasmic evil reflecting off her. Her wings are white when she's in a relatively clean area.

It's the kind of sting-in-the-butt Urobu likes. Homura at the very end is seen being surrounded by the "witchy" wings. It's all the despair she feels coming to claim her. But every time Homura starts to fall to despair, she will feel hope that she will be with Madoka, that gives her hope and/or happiness of finally seeing her beloved again. And because of the "Hope and despair always balance out to zero" law that can surpass Thermodynamics, that happiness will drive away the complete "boot on the face forever" that is needed to call Madoka to get her. That explains why, in the end, she was followed by the darkness. Homura will never see Madoka again, and will serve as an Alternating Current Generator that will power the universe for all eternity through her alternation between hope and despair, until she realizes that she will never see Madoka ever again. Alas, poor Homu-chan!
  • It's jossed in the manga, but the anime...
  • Rather, she will not be able to use the "normal" route. She will have to either complete her Dharma of protecting the world Madoka loves by taking the Long Path to godhood; or else die doing so. (She's not going to be killed easily, though.)
    • I like the idea of Homura taking the Long Path and in the meantime making the best world she can while she lives. Remember that Madokami tells Homura that they have to be separated for "just a little bit" and that they will "meet again someday". If Madokami is a true immortal unfettered by time, then any amount of time spent apart is "just a little bit" when you compare it to the rest of eternity. Homura is a very resourceful and willful girl. If she is immortal, it might take thousands of years for her to 1.) want to retire 2.) begin to feel so lonely that the thought of seeing Madoka again triggers a reset of her hope and despair levels 3.) finally realize that she must truly give into despair in order to meet Madokami. And then, yay, "a true miracle" happens as Homura overcomes despair to be with Madoka for the rest of ever.
  • Partially jossed in Rebellion. Madoka did come to reunite with Homura, but Homura turned into a being more powerful than Madoka (basically Satan), and suppressed Madoka's powers/memory of being God.

There was no actual Cosmic Retcon. Goddess/Jesus Madoka is actually Kriemhild Gretchen, and the new universe is, or inside a witch sphere.
It just happens that she assimilated the entire universe in her barrier. Madoka had been so powerful that her witch sphere contains the universe. Though whether the laws of entropy are the same is unknown. A worse possibility is that Demons does not produce real entropy, just maintaining the "show" for Madoka.
  • An interesting theory, but it doesn't seem to fit with the description of Kriemhild Gretchen who is stated to be somewhat of a Lotus-Eater Machine. Earth in the ending is certainly not a paradise, Madoka only made life slightly easier for Magical Girls.

Mami's wish gave her larger breasts.
No, she didn't intentionally wish for those; that was a side effect. Whatever the wording of her wish, it resulted in her not dying and having a healthier and more developed body.

Kyuubey tells people different things about his origin.
He tells some contractees that he's an alien. He tells others that he's an angel/demon. Others he refers to himself as a fairy. He has a different origin story for whoever asks.

Witches' dimensions are some sort of Ironic Hell
  • Seeing the witch cards. For example, Charlotte. Despite the fact that she is able to produce whatever dessert she wants, she is unable to create the cheese she loves the most.

Walpurgis Night is of extraterrestrial origin
  • Similar to Madoka in timeline 4. Walpurgis is a magical girl strong enough to destroy her own homeworld. She has moved since to do the same here.
    • Perhaps not extraterrestrial, but could be a magical girl from another country (which would be very powerful, but not enough to destroy a planet, allowing Madoka to be more powerful than she is; the girls didn't know said country was destroyed by a witch because they didn't know what a witch was at the time this happened. Might be Too Soon to theorize this sort of thing, taking in consideration the wake of recent catastrophies worldwide, but might be very plausible (that could be the reason they preferred to keep the broadcast on hold, to not affect sensibilities).

Kyubey granted Homura's wish because he wants to increase Madoka's power
  • I think it is quite possible. That becase Kyuube didn't meet his energy goal. He granted Homura's wish in order for him to somehow increase Madoka's power and get more power from her. This would explain why Madoka seems to be getting stronger after each timeline. Of course, as we say, Hoist by His Own Petard.
    • Madoka is absorbing Homura's grief, which is renewed with each reset.
    • The fact that it increases her power is confirmed, Kyubey's intent unknown.
    • It seems unlikely; Kyubee didn't seem to like Madoka's wish, tried to talk her out of it, and granted it anyway. One gets the impression that as far as he's concerned, the contract is already signed, and just waiting for the wish to go into effect.
      • He could have been planning to boost her potential to such levels without necessarily expecting her to make a wish like this. However, this is still very unlikely because Kyubey doesn't seem to understand what the deal with Madoka is, not that Homura is a time-traveler, until late on into the anime. That makes it unlikely he could have planned everything.

Boys aren't as suitable as girls for energy generation, hence the reason they only use girls
  • This being a deconstruction. There must be a reason plot-wise. Boys aren't offered the same thing as girls.
    • Wasn't this confirmed? Kyubey stated that human females "in their second growth phase" were the most emotional creatures in the universe (paraphrased), and therefore the most useful to him. He wouldn't have any use of Puerorum Magi (Magical Boys).
    • Strictly speaking, the most 'emotional creatures in the universe' would be people who suffer from chemical imbalances. Bipolar, anxiety, depression, mania... All those conditions would cause wildly fluctuating emotions, and can occur regardless of gender. The easier answer is, the magical girl genre is exclusively that. Shoujo only.

Kyubee is able to lie and in fact already has
  • Remeber that in episode 9 he said to Madoka that Humanity would eventually join their species?. Well in episode 10 he said in an alternate timeline that he didn't cared about humanity because it wasn't his problem?. This means that he is able to lie.
    • "Humanity could join my species one day, don't you want the universe to still be around?" isn't turned into lying by "well, fulfilled my quota, fuck these guys". All he told Madoka was that humanity could become that advanced and that it would be in her interest to help contribute her energy. That doesn't mean he actually ever cared about humanity. And he didn't know in the fourth timeline that Madoka would be that powerful. You can't fairly compare statements from two different timelines.
    • Not nesesarily. He used the argument of "humans may join us if you become a puella magi!" in timeline 5. Despite the fact that he knows that Madoka will become a witch strong enough to destroy this world.
      • So? There's still no contradiction between his statements, just his usual omission of relevant facts. His initial offering was always an assertion of *possibility*:'Humanity COULD join us....' What Kyubey failed to mention was the *prob*ability of that statement being realized (i.e. near zero).
  • First of all, if someone tells you that they can't lie, take the possibility of Blatant Lies first. Also, Kyubey would rather prefer Jedi Truth because a modified truth is more believable and has more supporting evidence than a lie made from the ground up.
    • Kyubey is called an extraterrestrial Incubator in Madoka Magica. The magical girls in Kazumi Magica refer to him (or at least the modified incubator body Jyubey) as a fairy and nobody anywhere bothers to correct this, which doesn't really give any serious contracting boost and if anything hurt recruitment in that city as a result of the magical girls there. Jyubey also lies (or at least does not have complete information and guessed wrong a lot), so there is not anything embedded in the individual Incubator that makes it not lie.

The reason why Madoka has so much power is because Madoka also has some time-related powers, as hinted by the OP and ED.
Scenario: Madoka becomes a magical girl during Walpurgisnacht to fight the witch. However, she's well aware of the consequences and dedicates herself to fighting a lonely battle against witches to both honor Mami's version of a magical girl and to prolong her time fighting for the side of good. Unfortunately, as she grows older, she begins losing her childhood resiliency and hope and begins falling to darkness (the ED). Recognizing this, she somehow sends her power (essentially a seed of hope) back in time to a much younger Madoka (the OP) before killing herself like Kyouko or just becoming a witch, dooming that timeline. Homura goes back in time as well to try to save Madoka.

At each iteration, Madoka gets a little more power, but events play out mostly the same. Eventually, though, Kyuubey notices how much power Madoka has and begins focusing much of his time getting her to contract with him, which pushes Homura further to just save (only) Madoka. However, she misses the entire point of what older Madoka was trying to accomplish; no matter how many "Madokas" will eventually fail, she'll keep trying until Madoka has enough power of her own, outside Kyuubey's influence, that she can somehow break through that Bad Future of a destroyed world and open a once-closed door to a happy one (per the OP and the ED).

Bonus points if Madoka gets enough power to blast a unified Grief Seed-powered Incubator out of existence so that this entire dreadful system is stopped, and magical girls are born from wholly original "magical girl" power. Or maybe I'm just wishing TTGL-style optimism comes into play.

  • About the relation between Madoka and the loops, you can add the fact that the dream she had in ep1 was in fact an alternate reality. Even if there is some differences between them, even the dialogs are the same, so there have to be a reason. It means that she is DIRECTLY and logically related to the loop. Somehow. Moreover, During most of the loops, she "dies" against the walpurgis and is not really that godlike against other witches. Well, okay, why not... Except that in a later loop, she is able to one-shot easily the walpurgis, alone. Right when she becomes a puella magi, without even knowing how to use her powers. Even if we assume that this one was also defeated in the earlier loops, Madoka and Homura being almost dead on the ground doesn't really fit with the "all-powerful Madoka one-shooting the walpurgis" supposed to be in the later ones.

Kyubey is trying to hatch a higher being, similar to a god
In episode 9, we find out that Kyubey is an alien trying to save the universe by gathering the energy from The Corruption of the mahou shoujo into witches. However, as the universe is constantly losing energy, this strikes a parallel with the situation of the mahou shoujo; they can try their best to avoid their fate, but they are only delaying the inevitable. However, I am sure that Kyubey knows this, and is only using that as an excuse to hide his true intentions, this being Kyubey after all. His real intention is given away by his real name, Incubator. His real plan is to harvest the energy of the mahou shoujo in order to hatch something. Something that his species believes could save the universe from its fate. Something that produces energy without consuming any. In other words, a god. He is trying so hard to get Madoka because the energy from her transformation into a witch would probably be enough to hatch the being.
  • Or he might have discovered that Madoka IS the being he needs to hatch.

Kyuubey is a Literal Genie.
  • Actually, it seems to be worse. He actually grants the wish they desire, and it destroys them more completely than a mere Literal Genie ever could.

Kyubey is evil.
Or at least has less than good motives. Look at him. He looks as cute as a button, but he has to speak telepathically. Thus, his face is always stuck in that permanent smile. This is very good for hiding any other emotions that he might have in the future.
  • There's a reason everyone considers him as a Devil figure and The Deceiver.
  • This thing gives me the vibes of Dung Beetle.
  • Note that Kyubey and Mami very intentionally make sure that Homura never gets a chance to speak extensively with Madoka... even in safe places like at school.
  • Considering that there are numerous quotes of Gothe's Faust in the second episode, this is actually not very far-fetched. Both works are about someone being approached by a cute animal which offers them a wish. The dog in Faust is the devil.
  • Note that Homura pauses and refuses to answer when asked about her wish — leading credence to the idea that the "wish" stuff is a lie made up by Kyubey to tempt Madoka.
    • It's heavily insinuated that the "Making a Selfless Wish is a BAD IDEA" thing is referring to Homura, who may have made a wish on someone else's behalf only for it to not work out.
  • Observe episode 3, where in a flashback you can see Mami dying in a car wreck, with Kyubey happily jumping in to make her an offer she can't refuse.
  • This happens again in episode 4. Kyubey shows up in front of Sayaka at just the moment Kamijou is at a high point of despair over his illness.
Gen Urobuchi has already semi-Jossed a lot of these theories; he's written on his Twitter account that he's seen far too many people jumping to conclusions about Kyubey and refusing to trust him, when that wasn't the creators' intention. Just because Kyubey, unlike most mahou-shoujo mascots, has creepy eyes and talks through telepathy doesn't make him automatically evil. Of course, this doesn't exclude the possibility that Urobuchi's lying his ass off.
  • Episode three has made me believe he's lying his ass off.
    • On the other hand, the implications of Kyubey's evilness are so obvious it could be a Red Herring.
Note that in Episode 1, when Kyubey was running away from Homura, he was covered in wounds — but not bleeding. Kyubey is a shell, hiding something much more sinister. Also — According to Episode 5, Kyubey creates all the magical girls, including Homura, who "uses his power but he didn't give it to her", or some such (Exact quote?).
  • Observe in Episode 5 when we see Kyubey empower Sayaka — he reaches into her and rips out her soul in order to make a gem out of it.
  • It's getting kind of ridiculous as of episode 6, when we find out that Kyubey eats the grief seeds to dispose of them and that magical girls are effectively liches. He couldn't be any more obvious, even if he started dancing around yelling "I'M EVIL!".
  • In Episode 7, Homura supports the idea that Kyubey isn't exactly evil. Rather, he has no concept of human morality and values. Whether or not this amounts to the same thing is up to you for now.
  • So....episode 8 confirmed right?
    • Not necessarily. He could be a third, neutral faction, like a natural (for the setting) force. Having said that, hell yes, he's evil.
  • In episode 9, Kyubey explains his motivations, or at least what he claims his motivations are. Even assuming that he told the whole story (most likely not a safe assumption), it still means that at best he is essentially an Anti-Spiral.
  • Episode 10 makes it worse. In episode 9, Kyuubey said "Sometime in the future you humans will leave this planet and join us, too. It wouldn't be nice if the universe was dying by that time, would it?". In episode 10? "...it won't take long before she's destroyed this planet. But well, that's not my problem. I gathered a lot more energy than our collection quota." In other words, what he said was basically Blatant Lies. Kyubey doesn't even care about humanity as whole, except in terms of how much energy we could provide. Definitely Lawful Evil.
    • I'll echo one of the other WMG comments; Loop 4 Kyubey not really caring after he met his quota does not disprove his claim that humans can, not will, join Kyubey's race in space. They're exclusive things that he says in different timelines

Kyubey, in addition to being the obvious, is also a Koschei
  • As quoted: "Koschei cannot be killed by conventional means targeting his body. His soul is hidden separate from his body inside a needle, which is in an egg, which is in a duck, which is in a hare, which is in an iron chest (sometimes the chest is crystal and/or gold), which is buried under a green oak tree, which is on the island of Buyan, in the ocean. As long as his soul is safe, he cannot die. If the chest is dug up and opened, the hare will bolt away. If it is killed, the duck will emerge and try to fly off. Anyone possessing the egg has Koschei in their power. He begins to weaken, becomes sick and immediately loses the use of his magic. If the egg is tossed about, he likewise is flung around against his will. If the egg or needle is broken (in some tales this must be done by specifically breaking it against Koschei's forehead), Koschei will die."
    • This description sort of fits the Puella Magi as well

So Homura could legitimately kill that damned thing if she finds the right duck...the day is saved. (Or possibly doomed.)

It was all part of Kyubey's plan for Mami to die
It's clear from Homura that becoming a magical girl is a bad thing. A very bad thing. It's even more clear that Homura does not want Madoka to become a magical girl. So how could Kyubey get more people to become magical girls? Simple. Sacrifice one, and allow the girl to bring her back with a wish or, as said above, shock her into never wanting another person around them to die if they have the power to change that. This will cement two more magical girls for the little rodent.
  • Another reason that supports this theory is how in Episode 9 Kyubey deliberately manipulates Kyouko to sacrifice herself, eliminating all the other Puella Magi and coercing Homura into a Xanatos Gambit: try and fight Walpurgis alone and lose, or have Madoka make a contract with Kyubey to help her win.
  • This theory doesn't make any sense, because had Mami lived past Charlotte fight, Madoka would have made a contract with Kyubey right there and then.
    • ...But it is possible that Charlotte and her world were warping the minds of Madoka and Mami at that time. I highly doubt it was a coincidence that they were talking about wishing for a cake inside of the world of a cake-obsessed witch, which meant that Madoka would had probably changed her mind once she left Charlotte's dimension and her mind was cleared of any external influences. Besides, don't pretend that we know Madoka better than Kyubey does, he stares into her soul after all. In fact, I starting to believe that...

Kyubey is responsible for every major event that has happened in the show so far.

This includes everything, and I mean everything, that has happened from episode 3 onwards.

However, in order to do this, he probably needed some kind of mind warping powers, and he may very well have them, but said powers probably only work on "normals" such as Kyousuke (possibly used in episode 4, to cause the event that led to Sayaka forming her contract with Kyubey, giving Kyoko a possible relation for Kyoko to sacrifice herself for.), Junko (possibly used in episode 6, when she gave the advice that led Madoka to throw away Sayaka's soul gem, giving Kyoko a reason to get closer to Sayaka, with the view of the two being close enough for Kyoko to sacrifice herself when the time came.) and Hitomi (possibly used in episode 7 when she told Sayaka about her planned confession, kick-starting Sayaka's transformation into a witch). However, that, combined with his mind reading of the mahou shoujo, is more than for him to influence everything that has happened so far. I'm not talking full-blown mind control, by the way, I'm thinking it's more along the lines of a subconscious voice which is egging the characters to say certain things.
  • I'm really hoping he didn't plan Episode 12. I really hope.
  • This troper says no. Kyubey does not understand human values, so how can he know with certainty how someone is going to react to a certain situation, especially when we're talking about tween girls? Incubators simply provide the energy needed for a young girl to manifest her greatest wish, which always leads to an amount of despair in surplus of the original energy provided to grant the wish, thus overcoming the Law of Thermodynamics. There's no reason for Kyubey to scheme; the effect of having our desires granted brings the despair on ourselves—we are our own worst enemies. This is a good argument for Kyubey is Evil, however.

Mami's wish was not to die alone
Kyubey just fulfilled it in the bluntest way possible after she befriended Madoka.
  • ;_;
  • Unlikely given that in another timeline she was with Sayaka, Homura, and Madoka, and certainly still alive.
  • Apparently, this suggests that Kyubey is a Literal Genie.
  • Wasn't it mentioned somewhere she regretted not saving her family as well, implying they were in the accident with her? She wouldn't have been dying alone if all that were true?
The witch of Episode 3 wasn't evil
The monster wasn't doing anything harmful or threatening until Mami attacked it. Then it merely acted in self-defense.
  • If the information about witches it correct, it would have drained the life of people in the hospital. After observing the woman who attempted suicide in Episode 2, we can assume that this is plausible.

Human souls sporulate.
  • A weird thought I just had. Witch familiars eat people and become a witch-clone. So what if human souls do something similar? According to Kyubey human spirits are annihilated upon death...supposing they disintegrate into little pieces, each waiting for a chance to be reborn? So a human day of judgement/afterlife is less a ressurection and more like a fungal bloom. Nice, but a bit creepy IMO.

Madoka was born with two souls
  • It explains her power and the opening henshin scene.
    • Unlikely. With the unveiling of a time traveler, we may end up seeing a timeskipped future Madoka come back, however.
  • Unlikely, but not directly contradicted.

Magical girls don't age
Since their bodies are just empty shells that can be maintained by magic. This could also mean that...
  • May or may not be the reason why Homura still looks the same, depending on how her time travel works and whether it just sends back her soul gem or the body with it (Since memories are stored in the soul here, it's probably not strictly necessary for the whole body to travel through time tho) Heck, could even explain the below.

They're all Reality Warpers, not just magic girls
Isn't this pretty obvious?

Kyubey claims he can grant any wish, but it's really a matter of letting them grant their own wishes. Kyubey himself even admits that despite developing the technology that unlocks this potential from humans (Soul Gems), the Incubators are still unable to comprehend why Puella Magi and their Eldritch Abomination form can warp reality in the first place. Homura, who attempts to be a Nanoha-style brawler and whose Time Lord powers (which arguably allows for the most creativity, just ask anyone who watched Doctor Who) are restricted by her depression and the single duty/hope to protect Madoka, is the weakest of them; it's all about imagination.

The witches are only defeated, not killed, and Kyubey is saving them for his evil plan.
Since we now know that witches are Puella Magi who absorbed too much corruption, we can infer that grief seed are just like soul gems. When a Puella Magi pours their corruption into a grief seed, they are making the witch more powerful. Once a witch is powered up enough, Kyubey stores away the grief seed for a time when he can put his plan into action. When that time comes, he will release the grief seeds and allow the witches' bodies to regenerate and use his army of witches to destroy the world.
  • His full name is Incubator, so...

An alternate to the above theory on Grief Seeds...
The Incubator consolidates the corruption in the Grief Seeds fed to him and on Walpurgis Night gains the ability to force it all upon the strongest puella magi in the immediate area. If a stronger puella magi makes for a stronger super-witch, Kyubey would obviously want to make a contract with Madoka, who would likely have enough power to encroach the entire universe with her barrier.

Also concerning the above theory.
Kyubey is waiting for Walpurgis Night so he can have an all-you-can-eat buffet of Grief Seeds - but the only magical girl who could defeat that many witches alone is Madoka. She's literally his meal ticket.

Being a magical girl is not only a Fate Worse than Death
But to witches also since they were once magical girls. To make the three previous theories above EVEN worse. The deceased cannot be sent to the afterlife, because their Grief Seeds which are basically their souls are taken away and used by Kyubey as batteries. So they will live in eternity cramped up in a Soul Gem or settling in Kyubey's stomach.

The strongest witch will be encountered in Aokigahara
Where else would be more appropriate? And if not in the anime, perhaps one of the spinoff manga.

Note that it may not be the last witch fought, which I still believe will be the one from Madoka's dream.

Kyubey plans to turn Madoka into some form of Antichrist
If Madoka has the potential to be powerful, even omnipotent like Kyubey says, imagine if she matured into a witch.
  • Kyuube says he can make Madoka a god, and Homura then says Madoka is self-sacrificing, i.e a Messianic Archetype. Magical girls prevent others from suffering, but they suffer themselves. which turns them into witches. Witches are the opposite of magical girls, causing suffering to others. If Madoka becomes a self-sacrificing god, then what would she become if she became a witch? What is the opposite of God? Oh, and in Goethe's Faust, Mephistopheles a.k.a Kyubey was Satan. Funny how that works...
  • Funny how you say that. He made her Christ...

Witches are purging their despair
Collected from the forum thread:

Grief seeds collect darkness from the gems; if they collect enough darkness the witch is reborn; dark gems turn into seeds. As witches kill people, their seeds become more valuable -> by killing people witches purify themselves. Witches kill people by dumping their despair into them - killing them in order to purify itself. If a witch fully cleanses herself, she transforms into something else. QB for some reason does not want this, so he sets magical girls on them - they kill the witches, feed more darkness into their seeds and give them to QB. He later replants them and the witch is reborn.
  • Second-tier WMG: If a cleansed witch transforms back into magical girl, Homura is one such transformed.

The OP is a Spoiler Opening
Let's see. Everyone is looking for minor changes between each episodes' OP to see if it reveals any important plot points. However, the biggest hints the OP has given of things that happened much later so far are in the parts that haven't changed at all. Take the scene with Madoka at her desk, for example. In this scene, she is thinking of all of the reasons why she doesn't want to be a magical girl. Some of these thoughts include:
  • Being surrounded by spiders while thinking about being outside. This could be seen as a representation of the nightmarish properties of the witches' dimension.
  • Being attacked by a Sand Worm. This could be seen as a spoiler for episode 3 and Mami's death, which was caused by a sand worm-like witch called Charlotte.
  • Having her body inflated. This could be seen as a (minor) spoiler for episode 4, where she is subjected to Body Horror
  • Being carried away by crows. This could be seen as a spoiler for episode 6, where it is revealed that the soul of a mahou shoujo gets separated from its body, essentially leaving the body dead if the soul gem is more than 100 meters away, explaining why the crows are carrying her in the first place.
  • Crashing into a lamppost while riding a broomstick. While the crashing isn't a spoiler, the very fact she is riding a broomstick in the first place could be seen as a spoiler for episode 8, where it is revealed that mahou shoujo turn into witches when they are older. The scene which shows Madoka in a Stripperiffic outfit that follows straight after that could be seen as a spoiler for the effects that The Corruption has on a mahou shoujo.

...and that's even not even take the rest of the OP into account. If this theory is true, then it is highly likely that the Madoka is Kuybey theory is also true, considering that she is seen with an older Madoka when making her transformation in the OP, but Kyubey is the one that she has to make physical contact with (going off Sayaka's contract formation sequence) in order to to transform in the anime itself.
  • Actually, putting aside the fact that the opening scenes are very likely events that did happen in alternate timelines, the lyrics to both the OP and the ED are surprisingly relevant to the plot especially after watching episode 10. "I won’t forget the promise we made"? The very FIRST line of the OP. "When can I see again here the future that I lost?"!? "destroy one of the dreams of a world racing towards destruction"!? COME ON, PEOPLE, HOW WERE WE SO BLIND ABOUT THIS FACT!? AND THOSE ARE JUST A FEW OF THE MANY RELEVANT LINES IN THERE.

Walpurgis Night Isn't a Witch. It is an Incubator

This is an alternate theory to the fusion dance theory.

In episode 12, we see Walpurgis Night in full view. It appears to be white, like Kyuubey, and its arms look suspiciously like the flaps of skin that come out from Kyuubey's ears. Supporting this theory, Walpurgis Night doesn't have a barrier, nor does it drop any grief seed. And despite being visible to the naked eye and capable of causing the End of the World, no normal human newscaster even noticed a WTF Eldritch Horror in the middle of the hurricane/earthquake.

Everyone refers to Walpurgis Night as the "strongest witch", of course, but this is probably only because Kyuubey said that it was, since the mahou shoujo can't prove otherwise. Of course Kyuubey doesn't lie outright, and this isn't a outright lie either. The Walpurgis Night probably attacks by using the grief seeds that Kyuubey has collected for it, thus making it the master of all witches and thus is the strongest witch From a Certain Point of View, and Kyuubey is infamous for his love of the usage of From a Certain Point of View.

Of course, Walpurgis Night would destroy the earth, which would go against Kyuubey's plans, or would it? As far as a remember Kyuubey only said that the witch that is born from defeating Walpurgis Night would destroy the earth. I can't remember him saying anything about Walpurgis Night itself destroying the earth. Not even once. Yet again, an example of Kyuubey choosing his words in such a manner as to trick the mahou shoujo to do his bidding.

Instead, the purpose of Walpurgis Night's existence is to cause enough death and destruction to make girls into mahou shoujo and speed up their progression into witches to help Kyuubey with his energy quota.

To address the final standing point, its appearance, it is possible that incubators have a system which is similar to how bees and ants work on Earth. Kyuubey is a worker-class incubator. His job is to gather resources (in this case, energy) to help keep his colony (or the universe) alive. Walpurgis Night is probably a warrior-class incubator. It's job is what I stated before, provide a tough opponent to the mahou shoujo so that they become witches quicker.

The world where Madoka Magica happens is actually a dream world created by the real Madoka

This is a mix of some theories presented here, and mashed up with some new ones, courtesy of a pic in the Puella Magi wiki, here.

Back in the real world, Puella Magi are not born from contracts with Kyubey, but rather, from a human experiencing a traumatic experience in her life. Witches are still created the usual way, however.

Madoka was a normal person, with a lot of dreams and aspirations, until she witnessed her entire family being brought to suicide by a witch. This event was the trauma that made her turn into a Puella Magi. Like in the series, her magical potential was enormous, practically godlike. With that power, Madoka created Kyubey so that others could help her fight witches if they wanted to do so, and gave power to her pet cat, Homura, to help her in battle.

However, although Madoka was full of determination, her life had suffered a very drastic, dramatic change. Nevertheless, out of a self-sacrificing sense of duty, she kept fighting and trying to make a better world for everyone. It was all in vain, however. No matter how much she tried, people she loved died or fell into despair and turned into witches. Ultimately, Madoka couldn't take it anymore, and her cries of despair ruptured the world as she turned into a witch herself.

After a long, terrible battle, Madoka, the ultimate witch, was subdued, but her friends didn't have the courage to kill her, or it was outright impossible to do so. Instead, they joined forces to seal her and themselves into a dream world where her inner self could live a happy life, free from the pain that being a Puella Magi involved. Kyubey and Homura were tasked with watching over the seal so that Madoka's physical body didn't escape into the real world.

However, Kyubey grew sick of the light-hearted slice of life going on in this world, and longed for the good ol' days in which he was by Madoka's side, killing witches and setting the world on fire, and ultimately decided that this dream world he had been told to watch over was nothing but a cowardly lie spun by Madoka's so-called friends to pull her away from her true life. And so, he tried to get Madoka to awaken and return to the real world.

Homura found out of Kyubey's betrayal and used her powers to reset the time stream of the dream world. This had the effect of everyone forgetting almost everything about their past lives and believing that the dream world was the real world all along. Some residual impulses remained, however... Among them, Kyubey's obsession with getting Madoka to 'awaken', Homu trying to stop Kyubey, and Madoka's depression in general. Should Homura ever fail to stop Kyubey, the ultimate witch will be unleashed on the real world, with catastrophical consequences for humanity.

Unfortunately, dreams are bound to end sooner or later, and so, Kyubey's victory is inevitable. It's not a matter of 'if', but of 'when'.

...or, the whole story takes place in a witch's dimension
and the witch involved is Madoka. If the idea that Witches = Reality Warper holds true then Madoka, being the most powerful witch, should have the ability to create such an intricate alternative dimension where her wishes are kind of fufilled. Not sure why it's starting to break apart though...maybe a magical girl just entered??

Madoka will become a NOT Axe Crazy Witch
Kyubey sees that Madoka's Magical Powers and Idealism won't make her a witch too early, the right age to turn into a witch being adult. Homura is trying to stop her because she's afraid that Madoka will mess up and thus not become a "true" witch but an axe crazy "false" witch. That's why Kyubey wants to kill witches even though magical girls turn into them: they aren't real witches, in a sense.
  • Seemingly subverted in episode 10, where Witch!Madoka brings about The End of the World as We Know It in an alternate timeline.
  • She has a desire to create a perfect world, so whether this is Axe Crazy or not is up to you.

There will be a witch that will maintain its original human appearance
And odds are it will be Madoka. See Humanoid Abomination, Monster Lord, and Bishonen Line.
  • Don't count this theory out just yet: Kriemhild Gretchen may be based off the Brocken Spectre. The Brocken was a mountain peak where Walpurgis Night (in both Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's Faust and German folklore) occurred. The Brocken Spectre is a magnified shadow. So it's possible that we've only seen the shadow, and that the witch is much smaller.
  • Note that those monks in the end look pretty human. They're not the same witches though.

Some (or All) of Urobuchi's trolling is actually him dropping real half-truths of the plot
  • Before episode 3, he claimed "We still haven't shown even a single scene with bloodshed!". Hints at how Kyubey being slashed viciously by Homura (albeit offscreen) in episode 1 doesn't count as blood being shed. Cue episode 8...Kyubey doesn't bleed. AT ALL.
  • "Kyu" in "Kyubey" comes from "cute". He wasn't lying. In japanese the 'kyu' from Kyubey shares the same kana as both cute and incubator. The audience has a million to one chance of guessing the correct english word... but still...
  • Kyubey isn't evil. He just has different moral standards.Being an alien and all, AND doing it for the greater good

Homura acts stoic at least in part just to spite Kyubey.
She can never stop being a puella magi, but if Kyubey's ultimate goal is to harvest the energy produced by her emotions, she will feel nothing, damn it. Of course, part of it is just plain desensitization.

The tree-like structure in episode 1 is Sayaka's familiar that transformed into a half witch
The witch is dead, but... Given the impression that the inside structure and color theme resembles Sayaka's barrier of a music hall and the implications in the scene that the familiar which resembles Kyouske who was shielded off by Kyouko's magic barrier before the explosion. It transformed as it collected enough soul fragments from Sayaka's grief seed and Kyouko's soul gem and gained memory fragments from both as a result. If this is true, the dead body of Sayaka will be missing for no reason for the next few episodes because that familiar reclaimed it. The colored water representation of both girls also implies this happening.

Epic Fail awaits Kyubey.
Sure, he'll save the universe from heat death, but he'll overload the universe with so much energy it'd blow up anyway.

Kyubey lies.
He's not the alien you think he is. Plus he already lied to Kyouko once. Saving the universe from entropy and heat-death is impossible. It's like saying that a Perpetual Motion Machine(wiki it) is possible without a magnet or any net input of energy(it is not). Subtle laws govern physics, much more so with Thermodynamics. There will always be wasted energy until energy is dispersed evenly, throughout the available space...

Alternatively, Kyubey always tells the truth, but there is still a way he can give out false information
He can give out false information if he believes that information to be true. This allows Kyubey to lie about his true purpose; "saving the universe from heat death" is not at all true, but he was created to think that it was.

The reason not even Kyubey knows his real purpose? It's so others can't learn about it as well, until it's too late.

A variation of Mephistopheles will be used as a name for a witch, probably witch Madoka
Because Kanamephisto is too good a pun to pass up. Is it a pun in Japanese too?

For that matter, there will be a witch named after a Valkyrie
We got a witch named Kriemhild, so why not? Brunhild would also fit the Stellar Name.

Kyubey wants Madoka to make her contract during Walpurgisnacht, no sooner, no later.
First, let's review some key points:
  • A puella magi's power level and abilities depend on the wish she made.
  • As proved by episode 8, the characters are, to some vestigial degree, aware of the alternate timelines.

Given these two points, Kyubey knows what he needs to do: contract Madoka on Walpurgisnacht. Episode 10 demonstrates that whatever wishes she made at other times didn't make her powerful enough to be able to change the laws of nature. That one time she turns into a thundercloud-witch implies that she's likely still very strong, but not as strong as Kyubey keeps telling her she would be in the current timeline. Whatever wish Madoka made on Walpurgisnacht in the previous loop did make her powerful enough, however—and Kyubey can remember it happening. So this timeline, he'll try to do it again. We can only wait to see if he's successful or not...

It's never really been about Madoka. Kyuubey's real target is Homura.
Episode 10 reveals that originally, Madoka was pretty much a normal, if very competent, magical girl alongside Mami. She had enough power to defeat the Walpurgis Night witch after it had already (presumably) been weakened by Mami's Heroic Sacrifice, but not to survive the process. In other timeline she survives the fight, but it entirely drains both her and Homura. It seems clear from this that Madoka isn't inherently the uber-magical girl, as Kyuubey's been pretending (and Homura's been believing). Her extreme power in the alternate timeline where she defeats the Walpurgis Night witch in one hit was probably situational, the by-product of being in such a horrible situation to begin with (and maybe other factors). After this, she indeed became a grossly powerful witch, but only because she'd already become a grossly powerful magical girl. The point however is that if she'd made the contract at some other time, she wouldn't have been as powerful. In short, then: the power of a magical girl is not something inherent to that particular girl, but instead dependent on what situation she makes her wish in.

From this, it seems rather likely that Kyuubey's shenanigans with Madoka are simply one big Batman Gambit to keep his real target, Homura, occupied until she becomes a witch. So long as she doesn't think about things too hard until that happens, she won't realise she's being played like a Stradivarius. Indeed, it's likely that Madoka is a) being singled out in the alternate timelines by Kyuubey to wind up in more and more optimal situations to improve her power, to maintain this illusion and b) only being thus singled out because she was Homura's close friend to begin with. Remember, in the original timeline, she was good, but not that significantly better than Mami. It's only since then that she's been portrayed as the magical girl Jesus - or rather, given what they become, the magical girl anti-Christ.
  • It should be mentioned that Kuubey initially doesn't realize that Homura is from an alternate time line. However when he figures it out, he goes along with it for this reason. In fact, this is why he allowed her to travel back the first time; he wanted to make Madoka a witch.

Sayaka never had a chance with Kamijou
During the third iteration none of the girls really believed any of the crazy things about Soul Gems that Homura told them. So Sayaka presumably had no reason to avoid confessing to Kamijou. Yet she still becomes a witch. Moreover, a witch that really hates Hitomi. Obvious conclusion: Kamijou just isn't interested in her that way, but he does like Hitomi. Which would also explain why the current Kamijou has been completely ignoring her.

Walpurgis Night is a different witch (or collection of witches) each iteration
This seems obvious. They all bear resemblances to each other, but they're never exactly the same.

Of course, this Walpurgis will be the worst of them all.

The reason there are five timelines is because Four Is Death
Confused? Think of it in this way: Homura has gone back to the past four times. Of course, you could argue whether Four Is Death applies to the loop or to Homura...

Mami and Kyoko became witches in previous iterations.
  • For Kyoko, it could have been in iterations 1, 2, or 4.
  • For Mami, it could have been in iteration 4. It's also possible it could have occurred in iteration 2.

Homerun has traveled to the past more than 4 times
We seem to assume what we have seen is all that has happened. However, it could be more of a case like in Higurashi no Naku Koro ni. Or it could not be like it since Homuhomu has tried to change fate herself from the start unlike in the mentioned example. Although we have yet to see if there is any indication about she doing it many more times than we have been shown.
  • Her character development in the first three iterations wouldn't make sense if there's more, the 3rd leads directly to the fourth, and the fourth ends with the prologue. There's no room for any more
    • What I had in mind was that some timelines could repeat and be very similar. So the room for more would be any timeline after the fourth. But since she is not the kind to sit and wait for something to change, even I thought it is more likely that there have been no more timelines than the opposite.
    • In episode 11, QB says she has looped 'countless' times. He can probably count past five. When asked how many girls she's seen die, Homura herself says 'too many to count.' Any other timelines would likely fall between the fourth and fifth.

The cause of the Walpurgis Night
The Witch of the Walpurgis Night is actually a way to balance out the Puella Magi - Witches quantity. If there were too many Puella Magi in an area, the number of Witches would diminish faster, and the amount of Puella Magi turning into Witches would reduce as well, having partners and being less likely to see a friend fall in battle (reducing the desesperation levels). So as a counter-measure, by some kind of method, the Walpurgis Night Witch is born.

For example (just a possibility), maybe when a Witch dies, its residues reunite with other Witches' residues in some secluded area and start forming a special Grief Seed which cannot be detected by the Puella Magi due to its low activity level, until this "egg" is strong enough to hatch and give birth to the Walpurgis Night Witch.note 

This Witch would not only create a huge amound of energy itself, it would also hugely reduce the number of Puella Magi (and probably turn many of them into Witches), so that more witches can reproduce. Slowly, more girls would be contracted to fight the newborn Witches, repeating the cycle.

Yes, you should have noticed what I've implied there: The Walpurgis Night has happened many times before. The devastating effects caused by this Witch are probably explained in the real world by a)Natural disasters note  or b)Human causes (huge wars, genocide, etc.), AGAIN, as a WMG above mentioned.note 
  • It showed up at the same time when there were only two magical girls around and when there were five, though
    • Yes, I noticed. But my point here was that there is some kind of "time limit" for the girls. If you don't die before this night, you will die during it anyway. The Witch wouldn't differentiate about how many there are left, it just appears at a certain time to do its ass-kicking job.

Elsa Maria was Kyouko's sister
Kept here for archival purposes, as it was a common fan theory when Episode 7 came out. Should be noted that it's very unlikely: This theory would require an implausible set of Contrived Coincidences...unless the (equally unlikely) Came Back Wrong theory is true, in which case all bets are off.
  • Regardless of this theory's validity, there is nothing that says Kyouko's sister wasn't a magical girl. This might then be something that comes up in Oriko.
  • At this point, the only way this theory is possible is if her wish was something like " Don't let Kyoko know I'm a magical girl".
    • Not necessarily. she could have realized that his father insanity was caused by Kyoko, which in turn caused him to murder his wife and almost-murder her. She was able to make a wish to save herself(Like Mami) and left with a grudge against Kyoko

Kyubey is using Homura as his Unwitting Pawn.
Stop to think about it for a moment, reflex. We find the key of this theory in episode 10. Kyubey says that Homura's wish has 'surpassed entropy'. Each time Homura resets the timeline, Madoka degenerates more and more from the strong-hearted girl she was into a weak-minded moeblob, all for the sake of Homura wanting to protect Madoka instead of being the one protected. It is seen that the more desperate things turn out to be when Madoka makes her contract with Kyubey, the greater her powers are, and the more powerful she is when she becomes a witch. And Kyubey has often shown signs of knowing that Homura is a time traveler from the very beginning.
  • A point: if Kyubey is to be believed, 'surpassing entropy' is the whole point of making Puella Magi and witches. Every time a prospective Peulla Magi makes a wish, they surpass entropy.

From this, what can we deduce? That Kyubey is laughing his ass at Homura and her puny attempts to save Madoka from her destiny as the ultimate witch that will generate energy without limits to stave off entropy forever. Everything that has happened in the series was all part of a plan that was set in motion when Homura got her time powers and Kyubey realized that she was his mithrill vein. From this point on, there are a few possible outcomes:
  • Homura manages to defeat Walpurgis by herself. Since anyone who destroys Walpurgis is fated to turn into an even more powerful version of it, he still has an ultimate witch from which to obtain energy. Kyubey wins.
  • Homura doesn't manage to defeat Walpurgis by herself and dies, and Madoka makes a contract with Kyubey. After Madoka turns into a witch, Kyubey obtains the ultimate source of energy. Kyubey wins.
  • Homura doesn't manage to defeat Walpurgis and dies, and Madoka does not make a contract with him. Kyubey still has a consolation prize of not having anyone to stop him from continuing to harvest witches. Kyubey wins.
  • Homura finds out that she has been being manipulated from the beginning, but finds no way to foil the plan. Homura dies or turns into a witch. Madoka makes a contract to try and save Homura. Madoka turns into a witch. Kyubey wins.
  • Homura somehow finds out that she's being manipulated and finds a way to foil the plan. Kyubey loses. But finding out this would require of plot omniscience capabilities that Homura, simply put, doesn't have, or alternatively, a lot of luck. Therefore, this is very unlikely to occur. And even if she finds out of the manipulation, there are no guarantees that she can foil it in some way. And even if the plan is foiled, Kyubey could simply go look for suckers to farm elsewhere. The plan continues as intended. Kyubey wins.
  • Homura resets the timeline again. But since everytime she presses the rewind button, everything turns out worse, she's just delaying the inevitable. In fact, it is possible that, through experiencing so many failures, Homura grows so resented that, in her obsession for saving Madoka, she doesn't notice that she reacts more coldly to her in every iteration, that she's hurting her. Now Madoka hates Homura. Homura falls into despair and turns into a witch, then Kyubey's plan continues as expected. Kyubey wins.
  • Conclusion: This is all one epic Xanatos Gambit (it fits the definition) fated to bring a satisfactory result to Kyubey everytime, and Homura has no way to stop it. Game Over. Kyubey WINS.
    • What would happen if Homura does a Kyoko and kills herself and the witch at the same time? I suppose that Kyubey will have to look for more suckers and hope that they become strong enough to get Madoka to sign a contract. Kyubey wins again, I suppose.
    • That's pretty much the incubator plan, yeah. Even if they run out of witches and Puella Magi, well, in that case they can still find girls who are willing to make a wish. After all, a Puella Magi who can't purify their soul will transform into a witch... and the incubators get a benefit out of creating Puella Magi, and allowing witches to form. Preventing the witches from destroying humanity is in their interests, too, because no humanity means no more Puella Magi wishing and no more witches cursing.

The witch Roberta, from episode 10, was Mami
Taken from the Puella Magi wiki. There is a flower pattern on the floor of the Roberta's barrier (that alternates with a gear pattern, ie Walpurgis Night), some have suggested she explodes into muskets when killed, and of course the witch has no head.

Homura still has a part of her that is a shrinking violet
Probably justified due to the fact that she has a number of Not So Stoic moments and her ever present lack of social skills.
  • Seen in episode 11, though I don't know if you can call that shrinking violet.

The effects of a Puella Magi's wish have No Ontological Inertia
Especially if it's a Selfless Wish, so for example, if Sayaka is dead, that means that Kyousuke's hands will once again be nonfunctional.

Cross-posted Ending List from Puella Magi wiki
Pretty much every possible ending there is, right here. Ratings are:

Kriemhild Gretchen is the mask of Mephisto at the end of the ED
Kriemhild means "battle mask". Madoka is floating in the eye of the Mephisto mask in the ED. Coincidence? I THINK NOT.

The title character of the spin-off Kazumi Magica manga is actually a witch that was turned back into a magical girl
Kazumi has signs of a Dark and Troubled Past, even referring to her amnesiac self as a "new Kazumi" as opposed to the "old Kazumi". At the end of chapter 2, her friends say that anyone can become a witch, with the implication that that they're referring to the "standard" witches of the anime, and they've had to deal with it personally. And let's face it, her magical girl costume is a Cute Witch outfit! A black cat even appears in the second chapter!

Of course, the anime has said that such a thing is impossible, which is why this WMG must be taken together with the next WMG
  • Although this is unconfirmed, we can say the amnesia and outfit have nothing to do with this.
  • Confirmed! Kazumi's friends were so traumatized by Kazumi (Real name Michiru Kazusa) turning into a witch that they made a "doll" stuffed with dead witches to replace her- In fact, this Kazumi is the thirteenth one.

Kyubey's species...
...is actually comprised of humans, or reincarnated/converted/modified humans.

Derived from the line in Episode 9 where Kyubey says "Someday, you humans will join us" or something along those lines.

It is possible to get a human back from being a witch, Kyubey just didn't know and Kyouko made the wrong choice.
Sayaka wouldn't listen to Madoka even when she was a human. What Kyouko should have done was gotten Hitomi to come and apologize or try to smooth things over.
  • There's also the fact that Sayaka seems to temporarily turn into Oktavia when she seemingly kills the two mysogynistic assholes on the train (or at least seems to bleed into the Mind Screw of some of a Witch's power), yet later she is sitting on the bench at the train station when Kyouko finds her, utterly despondent but not yet Oktavia.
  • From a different troper: Details for how may be specific to each girl's circumstances and likely requires a very close relationship between the girl and anyone that may be critical in "bringing her back from the brink" - not necessarily Romantic Two-Girl Friendship levels, but at least someone whom the Witch would be able to let down her defenses and accept that "this person in front of me is not a threat and wants to help." However, given that: 1) Witches are running chiefly on emotion and are usually not being rational (and Sayaka is moreover rather headstrong), 2) the one who would be most able to reach out is often the same one who is at the root of the conflict (and therefore would elicit hostile reactions - Hitomi would pretty much have to be willing to face death), and 3) the difficulty in finding someone to be the one to reach out (other magical girls are often suspicious and not prone to cooperation on such a deep level, non-magical girls may be skeptical and will be very vulnerable), any such endeavour probably won't have odds better than the lottery. And even if Kyubey were to ever somehow calculate that successfully bringing this particular Witch back would be beneficial entropy-wise in the long run, the amount of time and effort needed to find someone that might be able to pull it off (and therefore not spent on making contracts/cultivating Witches/harvesting energy)note  plus the risk of losing so many potential Witches via dead magical girls (including any potential future ones, e.g. Hitomi) would most likely be too much to bet on the line. TL;DR - It might be possible, but the odds of pulling it off are so remote even in the best case scenario it's not worthwhile for Kyubey to find out.
    • With Rebellion, may we call this one confirmed to some extent vis a vis Homulily? Or do the circumstances of the ending ruin that?

Hitomi already is a magical girl.
She visited Kyosuke at the hospital like Sayaka, and asked him to keep it a secret not only because she was aware of Sayaka's crush on him, but she was unable to face up to her own feelings. Kyuubey asked her to contract roughly halfway through the show, and she was going to wish for the courage to confess when Kyosuke was suddenly discharged. Either by asking Kyuubey or figuring things out on her own, she realized Sayaka was also a Puella Magi and gave her the first chance at confessing for making a more 'selfless' wish; she also didn't want to pull Kyosuke away from someone who could be his true love. When the deadline passed, she made her wish, but never got a chance to reveal things to Sayaka (who she didn't want to make an enemy of) or Madoka (that may have been why she told her to wait at the start of episode 9, however). She's been avoiding other Puella Magi, hiding her Soul Gem in her school bag, and not sending telepathic messages to keep the secret. She doesn't know the specifics about witches just yet...

Walpurgis has teleportation or time-travelling powers
  • Now, first off, in the episode where Homura is discussing Walpurgis with Kyoko, Kyoko doesn't seem to know when, where, or even if Walpurgis will appear in the city. This leads to...
  • Point 2. We don't ever hear anything about any city-leveling earthquakes (ahem) happening progressively closer to Mitakihara, which makes me think that...
  • Walpurgis will just appear out of nowhere over the city. And the two powers that I know that allow for that are teleportation and time-travel.
    • If it is time-travel, this would make the Homura is Walpurgis WMG even more likely.
...but I don't know how to explain how Madoka and Mami know that Walpurgis will appear in the first timeline in episode 10. Maybe Madoka in that timeline is in a "Groundhog Day" Loop to save Homura and ok that's getting a bit too far now.

Witches can be revived by other witches.
Kyuubey says that a witch can be revived if a magical girl uses its Grief Seed too many times to recharge magic. The process of recharging magic involves putting the darkness from inside the Soul Gem into the Grief Seed. It's only logical to assume witches can do something similar with their own Grief Seeds, especially since Grief Seeds are just corrupted Soul Gems.

As a corollary, this is the reason why Kyuubey devours "used up" Grief Seeds. If a roving witch stumbles across a nearly-revived Grief Seed, it could easily get a new ally. Two (or more) witches working together might be enough to quickly defeat a magical girl, and Kyuubey has some interest in keeping magical girls alive so they can become witches themselves. And if the "Walpurgis Night is a Fusion Dance of witches" theory is true, then you probably want to keep the witches seperated. Unlesss you're trying to use Walpurgis to get someone to contract...

If this theory is true, there's a bit of Fridge Horror: Who here thinks that Homura gives her Grief Seeds to Kyuubey? Anyone? It's highly doubtful she does so. Meaning she probably keeps a stockpile of Grief Seeds somewhere. They're probably kept in her Hammerspace shield, but it's also possible they can be removed somehow. And if she keeps her seeds somewhere else? We only need a witch to stumble across it, and then...Why hello, Charlotte!

Kyoko knew magical girls could become witches, but not that soul gems were their souls encased as gems.
She seemed very worried about Sayaka's gem darkening, even though Kyubey apparently never told what would happen if the gem became completely dark. Perhaps she've seen a fellow magical girl become a witch before Sayaka (Elsa Maria, perhaps) and thought that becoming a witch corrupted her soul gem, killing her in the process, but never really knew that Puella Magi, as well as herself, were Soul Gems.

Walpurgis Night is powerful because it's a witch that can fuse/reunite with other witches.
The witch we see is just the result of the fusion. The girl who became a witch probably wished to not be lonely, or to have many friends, thus, enabling her, as a witch, to fuse with other witches and become really powerful.
  • Implied by the witch card but not directly confirmed.

Kyubey recycles Grief Seeds on occasion.
It has shown that a defeated witch's grief seed has a usage limit, or else, the witch might wake up again. Perhaps Kyubey has a way to recycle it into the same witches, over and over, by putting said Grief Seed near places where people tend to have negative emotions (like schools, hospitals and places where people tend to commit suicides/crimes; Charlotte's Grief Seed could be a recycled one). It could be a way to not extinguish the planet's power source so quickly, as well as a way to invite new mahou shoujo and make them able to defeat witches for a while before becoming witches by themselves. The way he "ate" the Grief Seed was different from the way he ate his own corpse; actually, he could be storing the Grief Seeds for later reuse, instead of just plainly eating them.

Walpurgis Night's motivation will be to Put Them All Out of My Misery
Derived from Homura's Nietzsche Wannabe speech in Timeline 3. The idea is that Homura's "turn this world upside-down" comment does refer to Walpurgis, but it doesn't mean Homura will become Walpurgis. Rather her line acts as Foreshadowing for Walpurgis's goal - destroying everything to end suffering, out of its own suffering. In this context, the line "become monsters together", can be thought to support the "Walpurgis is a Fusion Dance" theory.

For maximum effect, there will probably be a Meaningful Echo. "Destroy, destroy, destroy it all!"

Walpurgis Night will be "born" from that giant tree that keeps appearing
Every time Walpurgis is seen, a giant dead tree is somehow also present in the city. Since witches have Grief Seeds, it only makes sense that one of the most powerful of witches would grow from a giant tree.

The incorrectness of Kyubey’s energy/entropy theory was intentional.

The use of energy – energy cannot be created or destroyed (first law of thermodynamics). It does however get turned into heat (second law of thermodynamics), so eventually all usable energy will become heat, and no energy input will result until some kind of energy output (from the heat) happens.

What Kyubey is doing is saving the universe from this, not loss of energy altogether. Thus with all the witchery and magic Kyubey is creating usable energy, i.e. adding to the total amount of energy to the universe. This leads to usable energy plus the energy converted to heat.

The result? Said created usable energy will also be converted to heat, as he gains more usable energy that will also eventually become heat. The mass accumulation of energy that eventually becomes heat gathers together and eventually there will be enough heat to burn up the universe and everything in it, or at least make it an unlivable place to be in.

Thus, Kyubey’s part of a mass effort to destroy the universe. Whether this is intentional or not...
  • That's. . .what Kyubey was talking about when he was referring to the heat death of the univers- in episode 10 he actually refers to it by name, as entropy.

In one of the alternate timelines, Sayaka was in love with Hitomi.
In the current timeline, when she became Oktavia von Secekendorff, her barrier resembled a concert hall with violin-playing familiars, including one who looked like Kyosuke. However, in the alternate timeline, she had a rock stage and dancing familiars that resembled Hitomi, not to mention that alternate!Oktavia's card mentions her favorite sound being a guitar, not a violin. Clearly, they fell in love or broke up at a rock concert and Sayaka went mad with despair.
  • Word of God has said that Kyousuke was a guitarist rather than a violinist in that timeline, so that would explain the guitar motif and make this theory unlikely.

Kyubey uses Grief Seeds to fuel Walpurgis Night.
Because the whole Magical Girl process is already a Vicious Cycle, there's no reason why the cycle shouldn't end at Kyubey just making the things disappear. Besides, it seems as though WPN is a regular occurrence, or a least one that can be predicted.
  • Alternatively, Walpurgis Night occurs naturally, but Kyuubey is going to use his stored Grief Seeds to increase this particular Walpurgis Night's power, in order to force Madoka into becoming an even stronger magical girl and subsequently release even more energy when she becomes a witch. Of course, this might backfire...

Walpurgis Night does drop a Grief Seed (or multiple Grief Seeds)
It's just that when it dies, the Grief Seed(s) scatter across so wide a area that they're hard to find. It/They may even fly into another town, and the Vicious Cycle repeats again...(especially if the Incubators can revive witches from Grief Seeds).

Charlote ate Mami's head because her hair was yellow, like the cheese she craves
. The idea came from this fic. Might also count as Fridge Brilliance.
  • So, it wasn't obvious from the start? Not to mention that Mami had, well, big milk producers.

Nothing is real (a.k.a. the Homu-space theory).
Everything is in Homuhomu's head, henceforth known as "Homu-space". The entire series is a dream sequence while she's in the hospital, and the restarts are akin to the classic dream-within-a-dream scenario. This would explain why all these fantastic things are happening around her, but her power equates to a glorified pause button and a Hammerspace shield. She escapes from Homu-space when she finally saves Madoka, or for absolutely no reason in episode 12/13 for trolling purposes.
  • Bonus points if we're lead to believe this is the case only to have it averted at the last minute, or when she does wake up for real, that she lives in a "regular" world like ours (i.e. not quite as futuristic).
  • Double bonus troll points if she wakes up, realizes everything was a fabrication and Madoka (Magica) wasn't real, and then hangs herself.

Kyubey is trying to create a pepertuum mobile
That's why he granted Homura her powers. His goal is to create something that will eternally consume unusable energy and transform it into usable energy, thus defying entropy without having to destroy more magical girls. That's also why he's called Incubator.

There's one wish Kyubey can't attend.
Said wish is exactly the one to reverse entropy (thus, preventing the heat death of the Universe). If Kyubey made it real, things would be simpler in the start, but, the witch that would come out of it would destroy the whole Universe via instant heat death, rendering the whole deal completely pointless.
  • Then there was the Gainax Ending in Episode 12, in which Madoka recreates the universe several times so this wish is entirely possible to happen.

Madoka's Wish is to be useful.
She's always moping about not being useful and just wanting to help people. It was granted by making her powerful enough to meet the energy quota. She might have also had different wishes in the different timelines.
  • Jossed for this timeline, unsure about the previous.

"Puella Magi" is not synonymous with "magical girl".
We've assumed it's what Puella Magi is due to how it was fit in the title, but in fact it means something else.

Perhaps, related to the "Madoka will become a True Magical Girl" theory, "Puella Magi", or "girl of the mage", is Madoka's True Magical Girl name. (Just one suggestion.) This will have the side effect of forcing all of the wiki writers and fansubbers to change all of the instances.

Keeping in mind Episode 12, it may be the name of Madoka's Goddess Form.

Madoka didn't end witch formation forever
Kyubee still has his quota, and the creation of a witch is still the best source of energy around. She ended his current means of going about it, but nobody ever said anything about him not finding non Puella Magi contract-based ways of turning little girls into monsters for energy production afterwards.
  • Hell, depending on how narrow the wish was interpreted, he may simply move on to Puer Magi.
  • Keep in mind that her wish was retroactive. If that was the case, the Incubators would have to move pretty slowly not to have figured it out within the last 5000 or so years.
    • He gets it from Demons now. Anyone can become a Demon Slave (Word of God says they suck humans in and enslave them) (called "Witches" in Puella Magi Kazumi Magica) when they get too much Despair; except for Magical Girls; who die when they reach the Despair Threshold.
      • Until there's a girl who wishes that they could erase demons before they became such. Then, there'll be Madoka to erase the witches, the other girl to erase the demons. And Kyubey will have to, somehow, work his way around it.
      • Keep in mind though that Demon Slaves can return to their human forms, unlike witches (e.g. Kazumi chapter 2). So the universe is definitely a lot better.
      • Kazumi Magica is actually very likely to take place before or during the anime, where are you getting this stuff from?

Related to above, Gainax Ending Sequel Hook suggests that another alternate timeline Homura became a witch in human form.
...which will be the new enemy in Season 2. Homura diverged when into two separate entities while with Madoka, and, as a result, two possibilities came about. One being that relied on Madoka and gave her hope. The other...well, that happened after she became a witch and couldn't rely on herself, losing hope in the process. Each got a ribbon, and each signified each other as polar opposites (with hope versus those without). Also, did anybody notice that there was only ONE ribbon with Homura?!

Madoka wasn't the first to make a Reality Warper-level wish
In episode 9 Kyubey states that there are some things about magical girls that even his creators can't explain. Then, in episode 12, he states that he has no idea why Soul Gems disappear when they're used up. My theory is that at first magical girl powers were completely explainable, and somehow the rules were even worse than they are now. But then a powerful magical girl made a wish to change the rules and managed to move the Sliding Scale Of Idealism And Cynicism just slightly more towards idealism. She, like Madoka, Ascended to a Higher Plane of Existence, resulting in Kyubey forgetting both her and the wish. This could have happened multiple times, with each girl adding a new wrinkle to the rules that Kyubey can't explain.
  • Perhaps, at the end of the universe, someone wished for a way to reverse entropy, kicking off the biggest Vicious Cycle of all time.
  • "Even worse than they are"? Not particularly difficult. What if the Incubators' power had originally been in the hands of humans?

A Puella Magi's desires extend to even what her outfit looks like.
How else was Madoka able to somehow perfectly predict what her outfit would be?

Madoka wanted to be one of those fulfilling heroine-magical-girls, so she drew herself that way in her notebook and thus came out looking exactly like that. Homura wanted to be the bold, brave protector, and thus her outfit has many straight lines and sharp angles, giving a sense of don't-mess-with-me. Kyouko wanted people to listen to her father, and her outfit gives the feel of an aristocratic messenger. Mami's can't be defined since nobody knows what her desires besides
  • Madoka had a dream of Timeline 4. There's nothing to say that she couldn't have somehow remembered her magical girl outfit subconsciously too.

Hypothetical Season Two predictions
If the previous season was Part 1 of Goethe's Faust this will be Part 2, which is more episodic in nature. The episodes can be a bunch of vignettes dealing with the lives of the characters in a changed world. If we're lucky, we may even be treated to witch backstories. The main plot will probably focus on Homura, who might even be Walking the Earth, killing demons in a Reconstruction of MagicalGirls. If the Faust parallels continue, the end of Season 2 will be Homura being reunited with Madoka in some sort of afterlife. If we're really lucky they may throw us readers a bone and bring everyone Back from the Dead, but don't hold your breath.
  • Urobuchi said a potential Season 2 would probably be just a Slice of Life story without any real plot, but then again he's also a lying liar who lies.

The Stinger speculah
1) Homura is in an apocalyptic world, in the far future or even in the near future. Madoka is egging her on, but Homura is about to die; she hears Madoka because of this, and her ties to fate show.

2) Homura is inside a demon's barrier and Madoka still has a connection to her.

3) Mami and Kyouko may or may not be dead.

4) Some mixture thereof of the facts of the last three points.

Homura's wings in The Stinger
Are a manifestation of her witch form.

But instead of becoming a witch, she'll manifest it as a Guardian Entity. Oh yeah, we're getting Stands.

Tatsuya can actually see Madoka.
Considering he treats her like an actual imaginary friend, maybe he can even see and interact with her (though not in a physical level the world can see).

Madoka killing Kreimhild...
...was a Battle in the Center of the Mind.

Kyubey was right.
The series up to the end of Episode 12 was all in Homura's head. Madoka never existed. The "happy" system had always been the system.

Anne Frank's wish was to be a famous author.
Unfortunately for her, it didn't happen until after her death.
  • It is true that she planned for her diary to be published in the hopes she could become famous. (She also had dreams to go to Hollywood, I think, though I think it's unrelated.) Perhaps her fighting witches was what caused her to get caught...
    • The world war 2 must have an end, so it's natural planning to have the diary published if she or her family have any chance of surviving it.

Dark Angel Homura is the result of a mental paradox; as well as driven by her oath.
Homura will protect the world; so she won't let herself get killed by the Demon Beasts. She knows that if she absorbs too much darkness than even Kyuubey can absorb; she will theoretically succumb to the despair and see Madoka again. Which gives her more hope than anyone. She knows that Madoka would never let her fall to darkness, and her hope at seeing Madoka again when she does gives her a capacity to absorb more despair than any magical girl ever.

Kyuubey has a different name in the new world.
Since he's not an "Incubator" anymore.

Pre-witch Walpurgis made a wish similar to Madoka's, but screwed it up.
She wished to save other Puella Magi from their violent deaths, not knowing at the time that they eventually turned into witches. As a Puella Magi's body dies when she becomes a witch, Walpurgis is endlessly forced to roam the Earth, collecting the 'remnants' of their souls to be her familiars (which is also why any Puella Magi fighting her has their Soul Gem corrupt incredibly quickly). Her moment of despair was learning the truth of the system, which reduced her to Laughing Mad.

Charlotte had diabetes.
When Charlotte was healthy, her two favorite foods were sweets and cheese. When she developed diabetes, she could still eat cheese, but not sweet things, so she wished her diabetes away so that she could eat desserts again. The association between her wish and sweets is why, as a witch, her barrier is dessert themed; that same association is also responsible for witch!Charlotte's ability to create sweets. Ironically, because Charlotte's wish had nothing to do with cheese, witch!Charlotte is unable to create any sort of cheese, explaining the description regarding her fixation for it in her witch card.

The following theory is true:
Taken off the PiratePad speculah pad.

I actually thought Homura's black wings in the end were actually "Madoka." Since Madoka is formless now, and only a concept in theory, so they depicted her as a pair of wings surrounding Homura, protecting and embracing her, as if saying that she has her back and is supporting her. This also explains the "ganbatte" Homura hears from Madoka. The ending scene shows their reunion which Madoka promised and reinforces the scene of English text shown right after the ending song: That as long as you remember her, you are never alone. And I don't think the wings look evil. It's black with sparkles (kind of like pictures of space and galaxies), like their bodies when Madoka and Homura hugged and parted in space. It has flowers, like the rose on Madoka's bow, and if you look closely, there are depictions of wheels (both spinning wheels and tire wheels), which are symbolic of time (i.e. Madoka is time itself, existing at all points in time).

The Slice of Life second season will take place in a Mundane Afterlife.
Specifically in a world Madoka created for the Puella Magi who disappeared.

There will be a super fusion demon named Samhain in the new world.
For those who don't get the Meaningful Name, Samhain also refers to a festival, but this time taking place during October.

Joan of Arc becoming a Puella Magi resulted in Gilles de Rais becoming a child killer
Learning of the source of Jeanne's powers, Gilles went mad like Kyoko's father, believing himself to be slaying demons or at least be "saving" them from the fate of being a Puella Magi.

It seems like a depressing enough scenario to be possible, and in a show like this it seems unlikely that it would mention Jeanne d'Arc and not Gilles de Rais.

Homura worsened the problem that is Walpurgisnacht in the same way she increased Madoka's potential.
Think of it this way. Walpurgis was a somewhat above-average witch that got lucky and managed to kill Mami, thus making her undefeatable due to it requiring a two-person teamwork to beat (or something). Madoka made her Last Stand, while Homura made her wish. On the second iteration, Homura gets stronger, Madoka too, but still they can't beat Walpurgis. It's because Walpurgis, as the other 'Central Core' element in the generated multiverse, also got stronger. It's only logical that for all the potential Madoka gets in every iteration, something has to counteract it. However, this Troper suspect that Madoka's potential gain outstrips Walpurgisnacht's power gain by a rather fair margin (perhaps due to said Last Stand), or otherwise Madoka's final solution won't work after only six iterations (barring any iteration not shown).
  • Also, Madoka's Wish gave her power to "erase every witch." In addition, by erasing her physical existence from the equation, this also had to balance out on the other end as well; making Walpurgis vulnerable.

Kyubey benefits more from the new system than the old one.
Yes, sucking off a lot of power from a Super-Witch is faster; but merely exceeds Kyubey's "quota." It's still finite; especially since Kriemhild would destroy the Earth almost immediately; killing the golden goose that is the human species. A continuous Magical Girl/Demon war provides QB with a renewable resource, that should, if maintained long enough, exceed the power output that the creation of a single devastating witch would harvest.
  • Given how long-term the heat death of the Universe would be (context, in about 100 Trillion years, star formation will end), if QB's race thinks long-term at all; they should know this. You do not slaughter the entire herd of cattle without leaving breeding stock.
    • Addendum: QB did know this, and encouraged Madoka and Homura to make the decisions they did in order to create a renewable system.
      • ...Are you saying he planned it all? Damn...

Kyubey planned everything; including Goddess!Madoka, because he can read minds and wanted a better system.
An elaboration of the above; Kyubey was not "beaten" in the end. He got exactly what he wanted; a better self-maintaining perpetual human being energy factory from Earth. "More efficient" doesn't mean "destroys itself after one big output." Kyubey can likely read minds; and he's good enough at manipulating emotions (even though he doesn't have any) that a lot of his wonderings about human beings emotions don't make sense (just because you don't feel emotions doesn't mean you can't predict them) unless he's specifically goading them into doing something he wants. He's even tells Madoka she can be a Goddess and tells her everything about the system. He psychically shows her the suffering of magical girls/witches throughout the ages. He wanted her to change the system.
  • How does he keep track of the timelines? He reads Homura's mind and realizes the changes each time.
    • His wide eyes at Madoka's Wish isn't an Oh Crap moment. He's excited he's getting his goal achieved.
      • His "lol witches would be awesome" in the new timeline are to let Homura continue to think he's a defanged monster; instead of someone who got what he wanted; thus he can farm despair from the demons through her.
      • Just as planned...

Kyubey won, Grim Dark edition.
Madoka's wish eliminated all witches from the universe - by shunting them outside the universe. This benefits Kyubey because now the Incubators can get the same return (while they may not have figured it out by the modern era, they will eventually) and the magical girls don't even realise it and so won't interfere.
  • Except we see Goddess Madoka purifying the Magical Girls who are about to witchify, and she's smiling. This would require Kyubey being able to manipulate her wish into even fooling her, and nothing implies that level of control over the wishes.
    • Oh, that bit's fine. The issue is what happens after Homura/Madoka's conversation. Besides, we know that witches can do some pretty screwed up things while thinking they're helping people. Remember Kriemhild Gretchen?
  • Jossed: Rebellion heavily implies that while the witches did exist outside the universe, they all collectively had a Heel-Face Turn offscreen, due to them entrusting Sayaka and Nagisa with an army of familiars that they use to fight Homulilly during The War Sequence, and if the ending is anything to go by, Kyubey definitely didn't win.

Puella Magi are always recreating the universe.
  • It's an endless cycle. The world prior to Madoka's reboot was actually created by another Puella Magi who made a similar wish to change an even worse universe into a slightly better one. Ditto for the one before it as well. This is actually a part of the Incubator's race plan: since they can only temporarely stop the heat death using powers they don't even completely understand, they are harvesting Puella Magi until one of them get's strong enough under the current system and decides to change it, in the hopes that under the newer system, one new Puella Magi might be able to just pull off a "Stop the Heat Death" wish and write a "perfect" universe. However, even they do not know about this plan, either because it's been lost in the many reboots, because it's the master plan of someone higher up, or simply because they don't know it... but hey, unexpected side effect.
    • All the non-grimdark Magical Girl universes come from this, actually.
    • So in the future some other magical girl will become a Groundhog Peggy Sue in order to stop her friend from dying or vanishing. This will cause her friend to become as powerful as Madoka was, and her eventual reality-altering wish will be to create a way for vanished magical girls to come back. Presto-chango: We have a Belated Happy Ending as Madoka and Sayaka come back in the rewritten world.

Witches used to absorb all ambient negative emotional energy before it could coalesce into demons.
In the old timelines, demons could have existed but never had a chance to form. In the witch-free reality, they happen naturally.

When magical girls disappear in the new world, they are taken by Madoka to a Magical Girl Valhalla.
The ultimate reward for fighting the demons, happiness in an afterlife.

Girl!Charlotte had a tapeworm.
But she didn't realize it, so therefore even as a Puella Magi, it was still there. Witch!Charlotte's first form was a cute little doll-thing, and the second form, a worm-like creature, came out of her mouth. Tapeworm.
  • Cancer. It's semi-confirmed by the medicine bottles and the "Operating" sign in the dreamworld.

Homura's heart was cured as part of her wish.
I still found the Common Knowledge about she cured her heart using restorative magic unfeasible, as there's no "normal" state that she could restore to. And then I recall the main point of her wish was (parapharsed) "to protect, and not to be protected, by Madoka." While her visual problems should not be an obstacle to that wish, but if her heart condition forced her to be hospitalized up to the age of 14, it would be an obstacle. So, as a part of granting that wish, Kyubey not only gave her time manipulation abilities, but also cured her heart. Disclaimer: this troper has no first-hand experience on this work, so he may have misquoted.
  • Nope. Homura's heart condition stops affecting her as soon as she becomes a magical girl because it doesn't need to beat anymore. She starts out weak and anemic because of atrophy, not a heart condition. The healing doesn't restore a person to their natural state as much as it restores their bodies to complete, whole wellness.

A Walpurgisnacht Witch consists of deceased Puellae Magi, at least in the manga.
note When Kyouko suicide attacks Oktavia von Seckendorff in the manga, we are shown a scene with Kyouko and Sayaka in some kind of afterlife, indicating that some semblance of an afterlife for Puellae Magi already existed before Madoka's Cosmic Retcon. This is Jossed, however, during Homura's battle with Walpurgisnacht later in the manga. Remember how Walpurgisnacht's Familiars resembled Puellae Magi? Well, in the manga three of them are clearly Sayaka, Kyouko and Mami, all of which died in different waysnote , suggesting that all dead Puellae Magi become Walpurgisnacht's Familiars.

Tl; dr: Walpurgisnight is a recurring event, and therefore more of a force of nature than a simple Witch. If all Walpurgisnachts are the Witch form of the same Puella Magi, it could be that Walpurgisnacht cannot be defeated, and simply comes out periodically to "feed". It is the fate of all Puellae Magi who die, no matter how, between two Walpurgisnights to become part of Walpurgisacht, while their souls go to Puella Magi Purgatory. Only if/when Walpurgisnacht is defeated note , would the souls of the Puella Magi be free to travel on to whatever afterlife existed before Madoka reset the universe.

Charlotte was bulimic.
She may have wished for better self-image/self-confidence, only to fall back into her old habits in a misguided attempt to gain control of her life when being a Magical Girl proved too much for her. Her first Witch form is a mouse not just because of the cheese theme, but because she was a Shrinking Violet, and she's a poor fighter because she let bullies push her around and make her feel bad about herself (which would add some real Fridge Horror to Mami's apparent curb-stomping of her). And remember how she unleashes her One-Winged Angel form? She throws it up.

The "second love letter" Hitomi is mentioned to have gotten in the first episode was from Kyosuke...
...which lead Hitomi to develop feelings for him. He couldn't confess his feelings to her at first because he was in the hospital. Hitomi might have realized it was him and started to like him. Sayaka was doomed from the beginning.
  • Either that, or Kyubey wrote the letters knowing Hitomi would fall in love with Sayaka's love interest, which would lead to Sayaka's becoming a witch and killing Kyoko after he doesn't return the feelings?
    • This troper thinks that Kyuubey could never come up with that kind of scheme. It would require a perfect knowledge of how human feelings affect our actions, and Kyuubey's race is baffled by the concept.

Anne Frank is in a And I Must Scream scenario.
She was seen holding her Soul Gem on the train ride to Bergen-Belsen. Something like that looks valuable so the Nazis would have snapped that up if they knew about it. So Anne kept it hidden, until one day she's caught holding it and it's taken away from her. Soul Gems being what they are, she would have dropped dead as soon as it was far enough away, and the Nazis brushed her off as another typhus victim. The Soul Gem would have likely been bartered, sold, or hoarded. So somewhere, there is a Soul Gem sitting on a shelf, and Anne stuck inside it. (Heck, that might be a way she became a witch in the pre-Madoka world.)

Mami's wish was to live and be able to cook again
So we know that Mami is a mentor, Cool Big Sis, somewhat of a Team Mom to Madoka and Sayaka (and Homura in the other timelines). And you might remember the scene where she takes Sayaka and Madoka to her apartment for the first time and they're marveling over how delicious her cake is. What we don't know however, is exactly what she wished for to become a Puella Magi. Now here's where my WMG comes in - what if Mami had somewhat of a hobby of cooking or baking and wanted to do it as a career? It wouldn't be too surprising considering her mature demeanor and motherly personality. So what if her wish on that day of the car crash was something close to "I wish I could live and make delicious food!" (The last bit could possibly be to ensure that she would have a promising future had fate only been kinder). And adding the whole "balance of hope and despair" thing to this wish, well...just think about how easy it is to turn around the phrase "make delicious food"...
  • Perhaps this is also related to being killed by the dessert witch?

Mami, like Kyoko, is Christian
Not much in the way of evidence, but this rendition of Mami's theme shows just how easy it is to replace the fake language lyrics of the original into holy lyrics of Latin. The Latin roughly translates as "Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of hosts. Heavens and the earth are full of glory. Of your glory". Adding more to this argument is the fact that there is already a confirmed Christian in the cast (Kyoko) and one witch highly suspected of being one (Elsa Maria).
  • Perhaps they're all virtually Christians?
    • The Mitakihara Junior High uniform looks very much like a Catholic School uniform, and Homura mentions having gone to a Catholic school in episode one. It's very possible that Christianity spread through Japan much more thoroughly in the world of PMMM than in our world, perhaps through some wish. (Maybe even Kyoko's...)
    • Mitakihara's chief religion is Kyoko's father's cult.
  • Likewise this could apply to Homura. Homura said she attended a Christian School in Tokyo before coming to Mitakihara.
  • It also applies for Goddess Madoka's theme, "Sagitta Luminis", where the lyrics of the prayer "Agnus Dei" fits in easily. This of course, emphasizes Madoka's purpose and universal mercy. "Lamb of God, who takes away the sins fo the world, have mercy on Us. Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, Grant us peace".

Roberta as a regular girl...
...was isolated due to being very bitter and dislikeable, and maybe even snobby and prideful. So she filled her head with fantasies of the people who disliked her, only instead they worshiped her. Her wish made this dream a reality, hence the nature of her familiars and Roberta found that having her ego stroked was not as she had hoped it would be, (possibly due to clinginess or jealousy of others) so she fell into despair (which may have involved alcohol as well) and, well, the rest is history.

Jack the ripper was the result of a witch.
As this troper can recall, Mami notes that both unexplained suicides and murders can be attributed to a witch's kiss. My theory is that whoever the killer was lost part of his soul and killed people to "make it whole" again. Or it just be the witch manipulating him directly.

All the familiars to Witches were people, victims, converted into that.
In the first time line we see from our perspective she begins witching out on one, maybe two, guys on the train. Her familiars are a legion of men who look performing just for her. In the flash back timeline we see a different familiar, perhaps in that timeline it wasn't two smucks she takes but Hitomi.
  • Word of God said she didn't kill anyone in the anime.

The plot of the sequel movie will be the What Could Have Been from the Drama CDs.
Based on Shinbo calling it "Incubator's Counterattack".

Roberta is Madoka's teacher, Kazuko Saotome.
In one of the timelines in Episode 10, the girls are shown battling Roberta, the Birdcage Witch. There seems to be evidence that Roberta is the witch form of Madoka, Sayaka and Homura's teacher.
  • Roberta lives inside a birdcage. What do the classrooms in the girls' school look like? The birdcage can also symbolize the loneliness Kazuko experiences due to her constant rejections.
  • Pretty much every time Kazuko is shown in the classroom, she is almost comically furious at dates of hers who treat her in ways she feels are derogatory. Now look at this part of Roberta's description: She continuously stamps her feet inside her cage, directing her rage at those who do not respond to her.
  • Roberta is also associated with alcohol. In Episode 11, we see Kazuko and Madoka's mother in a bar together. The familiar manner they have and the sensitive topics they discuss clearly show them to be good friends, and since Madoka's mom almost always has some sort of liquor with her, it's not improbable to assume the two of them are or have been drinking buddies. In addition, alcohol is typically something adults consume on dates - dates like the ones that cause Kazuko so much stress.
  • Roberta's familiar, Gotz, is described as such: These birds that swarm together are idiotic men. Even though they are total good-for-nothings, they try to attract her attention by swarming around her feet and attempting to woo her. They are nothing more than an object of disgust to the witch. If a witch tries using her barrier to live out her fantasies; as seen by Octavia's concert hall, Gertrud's garden, and Charlotte's world of sweets; it fits that the emotional, easily angered Kazuko would get a kick out of reducing the men who rejected her to meaningless idiots who clamor for her affection. She is disgusted by them for disrespecting her.
  • Finally, we have a production note describing Roberta: A witch who lived for a long time as a magical girl. She is weak, as she was no longer a girl when she became a witch (mid-20s to 30s?). The form she takes in her barrier is how she would've turned out in the future (around 40s). What she desires is life. Enjoys alcohol and books. Kazuko is no girl, she likes liquor, as a teacher she is obviously going to like books, and all she wants is a life with a man who can appreciate her.
  • The biggest problem with this theory is that Kazuko is probably not a magical girl in the "current" timeline, which can possibly be handwaved by Homura's game with the Timey-Wimey Ball.

The new girls from the mobile game have nothing to do with the witches in-show.
We keep guessing and assuming this girl is that witch, and it never comes to fruition. So, let's jump the gun!
  • In an actual WMG, while Komachi and Claire may in fact be Elly/Kirsten and Elsa Maria, Elise might not have anything to do with Walpurgisnacht despite having physical similarities (and I can't think of who Hiyori could be at all).

Homura's Hammerspace power isn't Hammerspace at all.
Think about it. Homura's wish gave her the power to screw around with one month's worth of time. It doesn't really make sense that it would also give her an infinite amount of storage space that takes up no actual space. However, where does she put these weapons when she's storing them away? Behind her shield. AKA her time machine. She's not actually storing them, she's sending them directly to the point in the future when she'll need them. And how does she know when that is? At the time, she doesn't; however, when the time comes, she always reaches behind her shield to retrieve the item she needs, so she could in fact be reaching into the point in the past (which she does know) when she "stored" the item in the first place, thus taking it directly out of her own hands.
  • On the other hand, Hammerspace can come with the Time Master package. TARDIS anyone?

Theories why Madoka could see Homura fighting Walpurgis Night (both in the show's timeline and the one immediately before), despite not being a Magical Girl (yet):
  • Madoka's magical potential was so great that it qualified her to see Walpurgis even before she used it.
  • Kyuubey allowed her to see Walpurgis, possibly to encourage her to become a Magical Girl.
  • She couldn't actually see Walpurgis, but she had been told about it, and when she saw Homura getting smacked around and buildings thrown at her, she knew what was responsible.
    • Actually, we know the reason, and it's none of the above; Kyubey allows girls he intends to contract see himself and Witches, just like he helps transmit their telepathic messages.
  • Despite Homura's resetting the timelines fragments of the previous timelines remain locked in Madoka's subconscious hence her de ja vu in episode 8.

Theories why Homura could never defeat Walpurgis Night by herself, no matter how hard she tried or powerful she became:
  • Madoka became more powerful with each iteration of the time loop because she was the sole cause of Homura reversing time. However, whenever Madoka died or became a witch, it was usually because of Walpurgis, making it the indirect cause of Homura reversing time. Thus, Walpurgis also became more powerful each time, going from two ordinary Magical Girls being able to defeat it to an extremely experienced Magical Girl with tons of firepower giving it her all being unable to scratch it. The hyper-charged Madoka was the only one who could have possibly stopped it.
  • Walpurgis Night is immune to all non-magical damage, and none of Homura's weapons are magical. She was only ever able to defeat it with Madoka's help.
  • Walpurgis Night is a Puzzle Boss that can't die until it has been damaged by at least two Magical Girls — Mami and Madoka in the original timeline, and Homura and Madoka in most of the others.
  • In the Final Fantasy series, there's a type of recurring monster called a Tonberry, which usually has a special attack that does damage based on the number of monsters the target has killed. Walpurgis might have a similar ability: rather than dealing more damage based on the number of witches her opponent has killed, though, I think it might be that her strength is tied to the number of Magical Girls/witches her opponent has seen die in their life, rather than the number they've directly killed. Going by the five timelines we've actually seen:
    • Timeline 1: Mami dies against Walpurgis, and Madoka wins with a suicide attack. Since this is before Homura started those time loops, Madoka would only be as strong as a normal Magical Girl, so why would she, who's only been at it for less than a month, be able to succeed even at the cost of her life where Mami, a powerful veteran with years of experience, could not? The answer: Mami's seen a lot more witches die, of course.
    • Timeline 2: Madoka would have seen the same number of witches/MGs die as the previous timeline, but she's able to survive here because Homura is with her, along with the magical power boost from the first timeline. Homura gets through this battle more or less fine.
    • Timeline 3: Madoka would have seen the same number of witches/MGs die, again, with a couple of additions because of the Sayaka/Kyouko bit. Homura now has a few timelines of deaths under her belt. Even with Madoka's time loop power boost, both girls are completely drained in the aftermath of the battle and can't even sit up.
    • Timeline 4: Homura's seen even more deaths by this point, especially if she really did take out every single with in this timeline by herself. Despite several timelines' worth of experience, though, she doesn't manage to inflict much damage and gets taken out of the fight fairly easily. Madoka proceeds to win in one attack (while this could simply be a result of her insane power from all the connected timelines, it's also possible that this was helped by the fact that the Madoka of this timeline was unaware of Magical Girls and witches until right then, and so Walpurgis had little power against her and little defense against her already overwhelming attack). Afterwards, Homura is still able to get up and walk away, though.
    • Current timeline: As always, Homura's seen even more death. This time, we can see quite clearly that Walpurgis is almost completely unfazed by Homura's attacks, and Homura herself ends up beaten, bloody, and with her leg pinned under rubble, giving in to despair without having landed a single effective blow.
    • It's not a perfect fit, I know, since Madoka's successes can easily be attributed to Homura's timehax unwittingly supercharging her magical potential, but it does offer an explanation of why even an experienced Magical Girl like Mami wasn't able to do much, and also why Homura seems to be doing worse in every timeline, even though she should be getting stronger every time.

Kyubey lied about the entropy part. Throughout the entire universe there are more effective ways to harvest energy and overcome entropy (the universe is big, what do you expect), but it's just because for him personally magical girl souls taste better and/or is basically drugs to him.
In this case he's more like the C'tan. Also fits in with "Kyubey = deceptive soul-consuming Eldritch Abomination" speculah.
  • When you take too much drugs, you become dependent on it, and when you decide to suddenly abstain from it, you suffer decay and loss of energy. Entropy, From a Certain Point of View.
  • Unfortunately for him Madokami, who was supposed to be today's special, screwed his dining system, forcing him to eat either horrible-tasting alternative energy resources or slightly less horrible-tasting demons for the rest of eternity.

Madoka isn't done resetting the world yet
Okay so Magical Girls don't turn into witches any more. But they still have to fight, and eventually die/dissapear. That's not really a happy ending. But Madoka was a bit pressed for time. She could only come up with so good a wish. However she's got more to her plan. Okay in the new universe the Magical Girls fight Demons right? Demons live in hell. Madoka takes the magical girls to heaven/Valhalla. the inhabitants of hell are opposed by the inhabitants of heaven. When the Ragnarok/final battle against the demons rolls around, and their leader/supreme demon/the devil/Incubator/whatever appears, and it apears all hope is lost, the sky will split open. And Madokami will appear with every magical girl who has ever been, will ever be, or could ever be. Only now they'll all be goddess like Madoka. And they will make it so their is a true happy ending.

Madoka is the temporal equivalent of a black hole.
Homura's repeated time travel causes multiple timelines/universes to converge onto Madoka. The timelines reach the temporal equivalent of a critical mass. When the last trigger is used (Kyubey unlocking her potential) she then transcends the critical mass, absorbs the entire spacetime continuum into herself and proceeds to fuck up reality as we know it.

It's not completely Sayaka's fault that she became a witch in every timeline.
Sayaka has an extremely self-destructive nature, as evinced by her dying even in the witchless world. But she only died every single time because Kyubey was intentionally targeting her. Kyubey's only goal is to get Madoka to make a contract. Two possible paths to that are to torment her friends enough for Madoka to make a wish to end their suffering, or to make Walpurgis unbeatable without Madoka's intervention. If Sayaka becomes a witch, Sayaka herself is out of the picture and it also makes Kyouko very likely to die. If Mami is still around, the Puella -> Witch revelation will drive her to murder all her comrades (and probably attempt suicide afterwards). Even setting Sayaka on such a self-destructive path is enough, since in the series Madoka tried to contract to reverse it. So, taking a few minutes to have a private conversation with Sayaka about how she doesn't have to feel pain is one of Kyubey's most effective tools to discreetly force Madoka to contract without making his malicious nature obvious.

Kyubey isn't eating Grief Seeds.
He gains energy just from the natural process of magical girls turning into witches or maybe from the existence of magical girls fighting witches, not from the physical Grief Seeds themselves. He doesn't need them, but he takes them from the magical girls anyway so he can plant the seed and have a witch come back faster. That opening in his back leads to extra dimensional storage or a hollow interior or something, unlike his mouth, which he's been seen eating out of. Otherwise, his desire to contract Madoka doesn't make sense, because no one would ever be able to defeat Gretchen and her Grief Seed would be unreachable.

The original wish of Walpurgis Night before becoming a magical girl in the first place
was to become better than everyone around her. So every time a newcomer arrives and show a special talent, that girl will automatically assimilate that skill, but better. Then everyone becomes suspicious and that becomes her Start of Darkness. Her witch form reflect her wish by assimilating in everyone nearby (hence Walpurgis Night as a gathering of witches) and making familiars out of them.

Charlotte is Kyouko
In a previous Timeline, Kyouko was addicted to sweets and cheese and became a ] witch eventually. She still pigs out on treats at times, but, attempts to stay healthy and eats apples, because she was unhealthy in her past life, and, while she cannot remember that, she feels guilt eating too much junk.
  • Jossed: Charlotte doesn't have any time powers whatsoever, meaning that she couldn't have appeared before Kyouko, and Charlotte has also already been confirmed to be Nagisa.

The demons from the new timeline are all men
Entropy and negative emotions don't strike Magical Girls anymore due to Madoka's wish. But since energy can't be destroyed and the balance must be maintaned, the negative energy move to new receptacles, men. It is possible that these demons exist from that naturally goes around the world, but the creation and the existence of a Magical Girl stimulates the creation of demons because since the negative energy that would be directed to witches now is directed to them. The fact that all demons in the final episode had masculine bodies are a hint of that. Also, since Madoka turned herself in a God of Hope if balance is really in the jerk mode, there must be a boy who is a Despair God out there...
  • Alternate theory, ganked from A History of Magic: They're Kremhild Gretchen's familiars.

There were mahou shounen, but someone wished them out of existence.
How and why? Who knows. Maybe they bought Kyubey's spiel about entropy, but wanted to save all their magical friends, who happened to be boys. Maybe they thought girls were better suited to be sacrifices. Maybe they thought girls were better suited to be heroes. Maybe they wanted girls to have magical power to balance their lack of societal power. Whatever the reason, someone said something along the lines of "I wish girls are, were, and have been the only suitable candidates for contracting". Maybe they even said "I wish everyone who ever contracted was a girl".

The original Moemura still exists in every timeline and is witnessing everything Homura does in every timeline after the first.

Homura's time travel powers aren't Mental Time Travel - she just sends her soul gem back. Since her soul gem is her true self and contains her consciousness and powers, it's essentially the same as Mental Time Travel while keeping her contract valid. She travels back to the 16th on the day she's going to be discharged from the hospital, ending up in the hands of her former body.

Normally, this body is just hardware, but there's already a consciousness in that body... no matter, though, because Homura's stronger than her former self and can just hijack the body. In theory, her soul gem being over 100 metres from her body wouldn't result in death-like symptoms, as her old self would regain control.

Possibly not valid in the Godoka timeline because of her new powers, though.

The Incubators are an insect-like society.
On their home planet, they live in hives, possibly "ruled" by Incubator Queens. Their ideas about the worthlessness of the individual before the common good hints strongly towards this.

H.N. Elly/Kirsten was actually an extremely powerful witch.
She has kissed a huge amount of victims, enough to form a whole ritual suicide cult - a feat not repeated by any witch seen before or after. The reason why she was killed easily by Sayaka is because she had expanded all of her energy on Kisses to form said death cult.

This takes place After the End
The theory is too long for this page, so here's the link to it and first paragraph. This theory makes even more sense after ep.6.
  • http://wiki.puella-magi.net/Speculah:Pillar_System_Theory
  • Once upon a time no longer, the "Real World" collapsed. The result was a void in which even "time" and "space" couldn't exist as concepts, and the only existences that persisted were souls. Some souls were stronger than others; their dreams and desires imposed themselves on the nonsubstance of the void, and became bubbles of newborn "reality." These bubbles were called Labyrinths, and their creators were called Witches.

Becoming a god-like being is a "natural" ability of Puella Magi because they're liches.
In Dungeons & Dragons, by separating their souls from their body; Liches gain power; which they use to study to become the next level. From Lich to Demi-Lich to Arch-Lich to Deity. Puella Magi are "partial" Liches, however, since Kyubey is draining crucial energy needed to maintain their focus. "Witches" are a kind of failed Demi-Lich transformation; they only partially achieve an astral state and are still fused with their damaged phylactery/grief seed. Madoka jumped several levels with her wish and succeeded in becoming a God.

Puella Magi "sidestep" entropy because they generate equal amounts of positive and negative energy.
"Hope" and "Despair" in equal proportions cancel each other out mathematically. Thus equal amounts can be created and still maintain the equation; like virtual particles; but on a larger, magical scale.

The magical system DOES NOT actually add energy to the universe (which violates the Equivalent Exchange theme).....
What the magic is doing is healing the universe; the inevitable increase in entropy is rotting it. Energy is changing form without overall increasing or decreasing, as outlined by the First Law of Thermodynamics (Equivalent Exchange); according the Second Law of Thermodynamics (Entropy), it will never be a 100% perfect conversion into work, with some energy changing from being localized to randomly dispersed (mostly as waste heat). It might make more sense if you replace "the universe is losing energy" with "the universe is ageing/decaying/degenerating until it becomes too old and inefficient to sustain life" (which is pretty much what the Heat Death is about), and "adding more energy" to "the souls of magical girls (who can of course symbolize youth and fertility) reverse the process of energy decay, returning energy to a better, less entropic form, and provide some sort of Philosopher's Stone for this universe in order to rejuvenate itself".

The Puella Magi system sidesteps physics by absorbing/converting physical energy into a psychic equivalent
Despair (represented by Witches and Daemons) is basically the emotional equivalent of accumulated Entropy. And Incubator tech can be presumed to be sufficiently advanced enough to create life-energy based power plants ala Mako reactors. Somehow the Puella Magi/Witch cycle absorbs entropy from its surroundings (like a metaphysical air conditioner, but instead of simply and inefficiently shunting entropy outside, it reverses the "Energy of all types changes from being localized to becoming dispersed or spread out, if it is not hindered from doing so, usually as random heat" thing which is basically what the Second Law of Thermodynamics aka Entropy is about), and condenses the physical process of entropy into whatever mysterious-yet-far-more-useful form of psionics that the Incubators would then harvest to feed into themselves and the physical universe.
  • If sufficient despair/entropy is absorbed and put back into a localized singularity (you know, like black holes) it could theoretically create a Big Bang, hence Madoka's potential enhanced by Homuhomu piling up multiple fate lines (and thus desperation) unto her.

The "entropy" Kyubey referred to isn't Thermodynamics, but an Eldritch Abomination.
It exists and infests outside of known reality, is even more alien than the Incubators themselves, infinitely worse than our limited scientific conception of entropy, and is eating Reality alive. Its true form is completely Inconceivable, and the Incubators can only describe it vaguely to us laypersons by paralleling with the scientific concept of entropy we learned from ordinary middle school Science (hence why they refer to it as Entropy. The abomination's presence accelerates the decomposition process of Reality, there this Abomination is basically Entropy From a Certain Point of View, as expected with the Incubators who are pathological users of From a Certain Point of View).

The Incubators evolved into an emotionless Hive Mind Singularity in an attempt to preserve the remains of their civilization from such a completely insane affront to all sense of reality, while enhancing their collective intelligence enough to know just a subatomically minuscule fragment of its composition, only for them to discover that every single scientifically-based methodology in the universe is woefully insufficient to stop it.... except for a certain form of phlebotinum on which they themselves can't even comprehend why harnessing this process into an Industrialized Evil works anyway out of all possible things. The necessity for tormented girls' souls to be sacrificed to it in order to stave it off? Same thing as to why the Dark Eldar sacrifice tortured souls to Chaos (another name for Entropy) so that it does not eat them alive instead.

Fits in with how a Cosmic Horror Story will always have its hierarchy of abominations to be Always Bigger And More Inconceivably Insane Fishes.

Earth and other emotionally-ridden worlds also have a double purpose of being asylums for mentally-ill Incubators.
Among Incubators themselves emotion is a mental disorder, but you need to have an experience of having a little bit of emotions themselves to know how they affect an organism (and thus harvest Puella Magi). Thus, those who have a little bit of emotion (like Kyubey) are instead sent on Puella Magi-hunting sessions which also banishes them from Incubator society-at-large at the same time.

Suleika was originally a Ninja Puella Magi
She thought it would be an awesome thing. She was wrong. Hence, the delusional nature.

Some other Witch theories...
  • (From the messageboards) Amelia Earhart manifested herself as the Bermuda Triangle (or one of several other "vortex zones" throughout the world). The crew of the MV Joyita may have fallen into one of them (especially since Amelia disappeared in the Pacific, not the Atlantic). In keeping with Gratuitous German Theme Naming of the Witches, let's call her form "Ehrhardt".
  • Marilyn Monroe committed suicide after she vainly tried to seduce John F. Kennedy. About a year after her death, she formed a barrier around Dealey Plaza in Dallas which not only murdered Kennedy but also generated images of multiple suspects (Oswald, the guys behind the grassy knoll, the tramps, etc.), hence the lingering mystery.
    • She was also probably behind the "Kennedy Curse" (Robert Kennedy's assassin Sirhan Sirhan claimed he was in a sort of "trancelike state" when he shot Bobby.)
    • Roberta may be her Witch form.
  • Janis Joplin murdered Jimi Hendrix (who was 27 at the time) in a fit of despair in her last month of life, much like Sayaka possibly murdered those two misogynists on the train. After becoming a Witch herself (at age 27), she began the 27-year curse which of course later took Jim Morrison (who was a possible one-night stand lover of hers) and later Kurt Cobain and Amy Winehouse.
  • One of Osama bin Laden's wives. She was already "weakened" and developed a dislike for the West as a child in Soviet-occupied Afghanistan, and wished for the Soviets to be removed from her country. Osama "picked her up" if you will while a mujahideen "freedom fighter". His horrific abuse of her (remember, this guy used some of his wives as Human Shields) coupled with fundamentalist zealotry pushed her over the edge sometime before 2001. As a Witch she eventually kissed him...I think you can tell where this is going.
  • With Haiti's Woobielicious history of slavery, dictatorial rule, genocide and horrific poverty, it proved a very fertile target for the Incubators. Add Hollywood Voodoo to that and, many years later, you get the 2010 Haiti earthquake, which may have been brought on by Walpurgisnacht herself like Japan's quake a year later. Hurricane Katrina may have had similar origins, as Louisiana has a somewhat similar history (and many slaves from there and Haiti were probably bounced between the two while both were still French colonies).
  • You know who else died on Walpurgis Night?
  • Salvador Dali and M.C. Escher both saw some witches and their barriers early in their lives and were inflicted with both inspiration and insanity, leading to their fame as eccentric artists. Tell me that their art don't look like it came from Witches' barriers.
    • Witches also influenced most of 20th century art and literature, from the weird styles of the Dada to the weird tales of H.P. Lovecraft to the general weirdness of modern physics in general (General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics might be borrowed from Incubator science, and Incubator meddling did encourage human advancement)
    • Speaking of Lovecraft, the Salem Witch Trials of course created Witches rather than destroyed them. H.P. encountered some of them, and The Cthulhu Mythos and all the rest were the result. He may even have encountered an Incubator or just witnessed it being behind all the Eldritch Horrors, hence Nyarlathotep. (Fictional Arkham, Massachusetts is after all not far from real-life Salem.)
  • Speaking of Witch Trials, the Inquisition's Witch hunt (along with the crapsack Grimdark environment of the Middle Ages in general) contributed to a massive rise in Witches, which increased in further superstitious paranoia (yup, they inspired the extremely morbid images of Hell such as those presented by Dante Alighieri) and/or may have probably contributed to such things like the Black Death (perhaps caused by an equivalent of Walpurgisnacht) and the Renaissance (well Incubator meddling contributes to human advancement). Perhaps this is related to how Joan of Arc is a Magical Girl.
  • The cursed Indian Burial Ground in Pet Sematary is the barrier of a Witch who was an Native American woman. She contracted with an Incubator after her child died of smallpox introduced by the arriving colonists, and wished for her child to return from the dead. The resulting zombies are her familiars, and the Wendigo that Louis Creed sees in the woods is her Witch form.
  • Room 1408 of New York's Dolphin Hotel was formed when a poor Irish immigrant wished her children could rise above her impoverished situation. One of her sons did...by starting a real estate development agency that eventually bought out her property to build the hotel. And now of course one of the rooms on the 13th floor (labeled as the 14th) is her barrier, and guests have a tendency to "check out" without ever leaving.

Madoka not only reformed the system, but saved the incubators.

The idea of extending the lifespan of the universe sounds good. But if the universe itself has a natural life cycle (like a gigantic cell), then what the incubators were doing was staving off apoptosis by artificially inducing telomeres to keep the universe itself long lived. Unfortunately, the Incubators failed to realize (or just didn't care about) was the fact that this would also turn it into a cosmic cancer, which could metastasize and infect other universes. What happened was that other universes made subtle changes so that the corruption would stay contained away from their universe, but didn't expect Madoka to turn it into a symbiotic system.

The backgrounds during the Transformation Sequences is actually a mini-barrier.
From the outside it appears as a brief glow coating the girl, but inside is a small bit of compressed space where the girls suit up which, like any good Pocket Dimension, is bigger on the inside. This is a subtle hint as to the true nature of witches and magical girls.

Kyubey is actually a witch.
With few exceptions, runes have only popped up in two places: within a witch's barrier... and within Kyubey's Mind Rape in episode 11. Since the runes seem to be a product of magic (the exceptions appear in places touched by magic, either witch or magical girl), which is a complete Black Box to the Incubators, it only makes sense that Kyubey is in some way magical. And he's no magical girl.

He is the witch of creation with a calculating nature. It is his job to maintain the existence of witches by forming contracts with mortal girls to turn them into magical girls, the child form of witches. As essentially the queen ant of all witchdom, he takes this responsibility very seriously, and comes up with any number of plans to ensure witches will always populate the world. This means he's either a Mother of a Thousand Young or a Monster Progenitor; personally, I'm leaning towards the latter.

Kyubey is likely the absolutely most powerful witch ever even compared to Gretchen; like Walpurgisnacht, he doesn't have a barrier, but unlike her, he's so strong he doesn't have to impose barrier-like qualities on the world around him in order to maintain his existence (except maybe enough for him to teleport around like he did in episode 9). That's not to say he doesn't have a barrier; he has one, but he is in full control of how, when, and for how long it manifests. What we see in episode 11 is in fact Kyubey temporarily forming his barrier around Madoka. Hell, he may even have been powerful enough to shield himself from Madoka's Cosmic Retcon, allowing him to continue existing while every other witch got picked up.

It's quite likely he was even the very first witch on Earth. The ability to be Invisible to Normals is shared by all witches and familiars as well as Kyubey; theoretically, if a witch wanted to appear before humans, she damn well could, it's just more convenient not to so they can kiss them. Kyubey, however, is such a powerful and old witch, as well as the "mother" of them all in some form or another, that he can not only make himself visible to any mortal of his choice, but force all other witches to appear to those people as well whether they like it or not. Like other WMGs above, his "eating" Grief Seeds is actually a form of storage for them to be transported elsewhere and start anew.

As to the Starfish Alien and entropy story, he's either making it up as part of his plans for more witches or he actually believes that's the truth for some reason. Maybe it has something to do with his wish...?

The ending is actually Homura's Dying Dream as Madokami hugs her (and everyone else on this cruel, cold world) and turns them into Morning Rescue.

Madoka didn't specifically wish to be able to travel through time, and we know Kyubey is pretty insistent on reading the fine print. So the only way she could remove MGs' growing despair was to remove their AT Fields. Of course, that also necessitated removing everyone else's (including her own), so all of humanity got [[stroke:Tanged]] Morning Rescued. And of course it was just so much easier to suck energy out of a sea of orange soup than out of sentient beings.

So Congratulations, Madoka! Now if you would be so kind, please join Unit 01 forever drifting through space rather than leaving an eight-mile-tall rotting corpse for Shinji and Asuka to clean up.

Kazuko deliberately gave Homura overly hard math problems on her first day as a prank
  • She knew Homura would be behind on school work but wouldn't know how much, and so decided to make her feel even more out of place by giving her college-level math problems. Little did she know that after traveling through so many loops, Homura knows how to do the math (or at the very least, memorized the answers). Kazuko's tendency to do this might be one reason why she keeps getting fired from her teaching jobs.

Madoka had multiple wishes granted all at the same time because of how powerful she is
  • We know from Sayaka's contracting scene that one does not need to verbalize one's wish. While Madoka was making her huge Earth-Shattering Kaboom wish, she thought back to Mami's sacrifice and wished she could see her one last time. She thought of Kyoko's insistence that Madoka didn't need to become a magical girl and wished for her forgiveness. She thought of the life she was giving up and wanted to have something to remember it by. And she still really wanted that cake. All of these other wishes come true in the scene in Mami's apartment.

Charlotte was inspired by the Greedy's scene in Raggedy Ann & Andy: A Musical Adventure.
Studio Shaft loves its artsy Deranged Animation, so likely some of the crew has some appreciation for underappreciated (and equally deranged) animator Richard Williams. Also, both creatures obviously live in worlds of desserts, both can "never get enough", and both are constantly trying to get one treat out of their reach (respectively, cheese and a "Sweet Heart").
  • By the same token, the Greedy could be another Witch, or perhaps an earlier form of Charlotte.

For some reason, we got Sealed Inside a Person-Shaped Can, and the Incubators are one of the only things managing to unlock us.

The Incubators farm souls to avert entropy because they do not want to die
I always found Kyubey's motivations kind of suspect. He says he is trying to save the universe, but expresses little concern when a planet is consumed by a witch. The magical girl system itself is inherently unstable and will always result in the destruction of whatever planet is it used on.

Considering that they have conquered personal death, I believe that the Incubators are concerned solely with their own survival and consider any atrocity justifiable in order to maintain it. This only makes them evil from the perspective of their victims... wouldn't we do the exact same thing in their position?

Walpurgisnacht forms when a Grief Seed hatches inside another witch's barrier.
Pretty rare, I'd imagine. Magical girls who are exhausted or depressed would be more likely to get munched, since they can't use magic when they're too close to ending, but you might sometimes get a girl who witches out during the fight. Or maybe one who happened to be carrying a Grief Seed when she died. Incubators would be able to predict Walpurgisnacht's appearances since they would probably notice that sort of thing.

Walpurgisnacht forms when a particular witch defeats some number of magical girls.
Several minions are described as imprisoning humans or being somehow composed of dead humans.

Perhaps when a magical girl is killed within a barrier, her soul is also kept and consumed into that witch or one of its familiars. Then, when the witch had gathered enough souls (or perhaps when the familiar killed enough people to become a full witch), a Walpurgisnacht forms.

Sayaka's potential as a magical girl in the third timeline onward is because of her connection to Madoka.
In the first two timelines, Sayaka is not shown as being recruited into being a magical girl. Because she's relatively weak even in the penultimate timeline, she only gains that "potential" for it because of her proximity to the increasingly powerful and important Madoka. Her doomed fate in every single timeline may also be because she's ultimately not supposed to be one and doesn't hold the right mindset for it, and only has the opportunity because of Homura messing with the timeline. It's an example of how Homura just keeps making things worse and worse. Also, if Homura kept resetting the timeline, eventually Hitomi would be a potential magical girl as well, as opposed to just a normal human.
  • You could get more specific and say it's not just her "proximity" to Madoka, but the fact that she plays such an important role in Madoka being willing to make a contract. Madoka would calmly and willingly give her life for Sayaka's. Of course, it's a bit tautological to say "If Sayaka became a magical girl, Madoka would contract to save her, so Sayaka had the potential to be a magical girl." But causality and that mysterious "potential" have always been weird in this series. Maybe Sayaka would have gotten into danger as a human anyway, or it's more about her effect on Madoka's attitude and philosophy. Some dubiously canonical novels and such talk about Madoka feeling indebted to Sayaka and wanting to become the kind of person who could pay her back. Hitomi's important to Madoka, but probably not nearly as important to Sayaka. There are probably few situations in which Hitomi could influence Madoka's willingness to contract and what wish she would make, especially since it's possible Hitomi is the kind of person who would inevitably turn Kyubey down, no matter what. This got a bit rambly, so to summarize my addition to this WMG: Maybe Sayaka gained her potential not just by her proximity to Madoka, but by her influence over Madoka.

The series is inspired not only by Goethe's Faust but also by Thomas Mann's Doctor Faustus.
There's a famous scene in the later where Adrian Leverkuehn, the "Faust" character, is visited in one of his hallucinations by The Little Mermaid and has sex with her. It's intended to point out the similarities in the Faust story and in the plot of the Little Mermaid. Considering the references to the latter with Sayaka's storyline and the design of Oktavia von Seckendorff ( Sayaka's witch form), as well as the fact that Sayaka's wish was to restore her crush's musical abilities by healing him (Leverkuehn was a composer and his musical career is the major focus of the Mann novel) it's likely that the writers were inspired by the Mann version of the Faust story as well, not just Goethe's (which we know played a role in the inspiration from its frequent references in the form of German quotes in the scenery, being shouted by Gertrud's minions, etc.)

The Incubators actions will eventually lead to their destruction
Okay so as we see the Incubators mess with other races, creating magical girls, and witches. Then they leave once they reach their energy quota. But they leave behind the witches, and witches can be potentially planet killing. If any races actually manage to survive this they will now have ample reason to consider the Incubators enemies. Even without factoring in revenge, the incubators actions would make it so exterminating them could be seen as self preservation. After all, Entropy being delayed does you know good if an eldritch abomination made of despair eats your race billions of years before hand. Any races that manage to survive the leftover witches would thus seek to destroy the Incubators... And if they manage to survive said witches might just be able to do it. Alternatively...

The Incubators are also trying to eliminate other races
So they won't have to compete for resources. Only so much of the Universe to go around.

Homura went through exactly 288 loops.
Assuming that each loop is a month in length, that would mean that she looped for 24 years. Yet another Faust reference to add to the bin.

Another burden to Homura's troubles is being (or perhaps knowing that she's becoming) He Who Fights Monsters.
Kyubey's credo: The Universe Justifies The Means. Homura's credo: Madoka Justifies The Means. I can bet that Kyubey might have gave her a Hannibal Lecture about his, how Homura is Not So Different from him, or even worse, due to her more selfish Madoka-centric goals that pale in comparison to Kyubey's For the Greater Good, but it seemed to have really pissed her off, the "shoot Kyubey everytime he shows up even though it is utterly futile and Kyubey is immortal" is very likely done also as a form of angry Shut Up, Hannibal!.
  • Was Homura aware that her actions and timeloops were the cause of all the carnage? I'm pretty sure that it was that realization in the final loop which sent her close to the Despair Event Horizon. Before that, Homura probably wasn't trying to "screw the world" - not intentionally, anyway.

In the distant past, a team of magical girls, unable to defeat Walpurgis, instead sent her into the future.
Kinda like Alduin from The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.

Madoka wasn't the only one affected by Homura's time-travel abilities
.

Madoka and Mami were capable of taking Walpurgis down by themselves in the first, unaltered timeline. Mami was a veteran, sure, but she and Madoka were both fairly average in terms of magical potential; there's no way the two of them could match the sheer destructive power that Homura dishes out when she takes Walpurgis on alone, and yet Walpurgis doesn't even flinch, and she tearfully begs to know why.

It's because Walpurgis is also at the center of Madoka's karmic destiny; Madoka's defeat in the battle against Walpurgis in the original timeline is what made Homura a magical girl in the first place. Every time Madoka becomes a witch and Homura negates the timeline, that curse energy feeds back into Walpurgis the same way that Madoka's magic potential feeds back into her in the next loop.

Walpurgisnacht is Anne Frank's witch.
In the incantation of Walpurgis that appears on the supplementary manuals, she refers to writing a play. And Anne was fond of writing. Also, she could have been so powerful as to become a god because she was the assimilator of the accumulated despair and deaths of World War II.

Walpurgisnacht is Eve.
Like, that Eve, with the Incubators representing the Tree of Knowledge. Her contract with the Incubators for them to give Humanity science and dominion over nature so that we will no longer be "naked and living in caves" is the original sin that released both civilization, intelligence and grief into the world.

There are magical boys/mahou shonen/puerum magi.
They're just not as common as magical girls, and probably pop up only a few times every century.
  • Adolf Hitler probably is one of said Puer Magi, who lived through and created a major influence of mass despair and misery in history (enough to power another Alternate Universe) and "died" (I mean witched out) on the day of Walpurgisnacht (fitting because Hitler viewed his life as a bombastic Wagnerian theatre, and Walpurgisnacht represents reality turning into theatrics). This is the reason for Hitler's Time Travel Exemption Act because Hitler/Walpurgisnacht will accumulate ever more power from Homura, The Doctor and other countless time travel assassins that plan to kill him.
  • Or a pre-op Ft M transexual could've met with an incubator. His contract wish was to get the right body.

Hitomi was a magical girl in at least one timeline.
Given that Sayaka seemed to be ordinary in the original timeline and only contracted with Kyubey in later loops, it's possible that the same could've happened to Hitomi at one point. For all we know, the outcome of the situation with Sayaka, Kyosuke, and Hitomi could have been reversed in one time loop where it was Sayaka who confessed to Kyosuke and Hitomi who fell to despair.

Magical Boys were the Witches of a previous universe that someone wished away.

Someone rewrote the universe like Madoka did once before. In that previous universe, the Incubators could only promise magical girls that the one they loved would love them back if they made the contract. But, instead of the magical girls becoming witches, whoever they named as their beloved would have to bear the curse generated by the wish and become a magical boy/monster (upholding the Beauty and the Beast story, rather than Sayaka's mermaid) that the magical girls would eventually have to kill (and probably be killed by) them.

One magical girl found out how the system worked, and rather than refuse to make a contract and let thousands of girls wish their crushes into the bodies of beasts, she simply named herself her own beloved and became the first Witch. The resulting energy disruption shattered the universe and forced it to reorder itself into the witch-system universe.

Kyubey's species once had emotions.
As they advanced, emotions became viewed as a hindrance to good judgment and efficiency. Thus, they genetically modified themselves to not have emotions. Rarely, a mutation occurs which allows an individual to feel emotions or to have them released, ala Pon Farr. This is the reason why Kyubey refers to emotions as a "mental disease." It is literally considered a biologically-based genetic disease, and it is treated with gene therapy.

The universe will be reordered again and again due to Magical Girls wishing to change the system.

Eventually, there'll be a Magical Girl who finds out what Kyubey's race is doing, why, and how, before he approaches her for a contract. She'll come to the conclusion that the Incubators are using human girls to further an agenda that humanity will probably not survive long enough to see fulfilled, and when she decides to make a wish and join the fight against the wraiths, she'll wish for every planet in the universe to have its own magical girl, forcing the Incubators to share equally in the burden of battle; in the process, the Incubator Planet becomes Planet Mau, and Kyubey becomes Artemis.

The Incubators are simply servant AI of the real Big Bads behind the scenes: an entire race of Corrupt Corporate Executives.
It explains exactly why the Madokaverse has undergone an Energy Crisis so early, when Heat Death from Entropy alone is supposed to be working in scales of trillions of years. It's because the Energy Crisis was artificial and was initiated by a higher power. These higher powers are greedy as fuck and hoarded much of the universe's energy in their own banks (or an alien equivalent) for their own selfish pleasures. They created the Incubators to supply them more and more energy, whatever it takes. Of course, if the Incubators know what the Space Executives are doing, they would try to exterminate the greedy bastards so that Puella Magi and the Universe may be saved once and for all. So, the Space Executives programmed the Incubators to forget everything and went into hiding. The Incubators, unable to solve the hole in their programming, accepted entropy itself as an excuse. It can also be like a metaphor for how empires and megacorporations exploit resource-rich countries for their own greed and selfish benefit (insert No Blood For Oil allusions here), under the mask of bringing civilization.

The real issue is Dark Energy; the theory of the Heat Death of the universe is an oversimplification.
The Incubators and the Producers simply gave the No Conservation of Energy Hand Wave about "losing Energy" because they thought Madoka and the audience were idiots who cannot understand the real cause of the End of the Universe As We Know It, and so can only understand a bite-sized version of Middle School Thermodynamics instead of Incubator-level Theoretical Physics stuff such as dark matter and dark energy. Also because the revelation of Kyubey (aka "Mr. From a Certain Point of View") meant the sudden and sloppy Genre Shift of this anime from a Faustian Magical Girl fantasy into an Asimov-like speculative Science Fiction, and so they simply never had the time and the enough level in the Mohs Scale of Sci-Fi Hardness to discuss and theoretically demonstrate the ramifications and consequences of the how The End of the Universe As We Know It will happen, while still retaining the Madokaverse's central theme of Equivalent Exchange.

The current model of the universe suggests that long-term trillion-year normal thermodynamic entropy is not what will ultimately do us in, but something else in a shorter amount of time. In real life, what is Dark Energy? The force which powers the exponential expansion of the very fabric of space itself. Gravity, Higgs Bosons and Dark Matter hold everything together, in direct competition with Dark Energy which is more abundant in the universe and has the characteristic of tearing everything apart ("acceleration of Entropy, From a Certain Point of View").

As space expands, the size that an organized structure can be, without being torn to selfsame strings, gets smaller. This effect can actually be seen in our universe already, in grand scale. After one gets past the supercluster level of galaxy "groupings" there is no further structure. (In the recent past/relatively close to us, the further out you look, the older the light traveling it is, the younger the universe was, the bigger structures could be.) Now, because of the universe expanding, gravity will slowly weaken as objects become too far apart to strongly interact.

Stars work by establishing an equilibrium between gravity and energy output. The heat of fusion keeps them from collapsing into black holes or neutron stars, the gravity keeps them from exploding outwards due to fusion pressure. Basically, a star is a giant explosion that's been running for billions of years. Produce more energy, and what happens? A red giant. Shut off the fusion (due to the creation of iron and heavy metals), and what happens? A supernova. Exploring this further, the amount of energy a star outputs is directly proportional to its size: big stars burn and are consumed by entropy faster. Also, stars with hot cores are big. Our sun, of medium size, will last another five billion years. Sirius, a hugely massive incredibly bright star will die in the next several million. Dark Energy will eventually shut off hydrogen fusion in massive stars, switching them to helium fusion early, making them premature, and consequently freakishly entropic red giants, eventually destroying them outright or creating premature Black Holes.

Eventually, far in the future, yet long before the heat death becomes a problem, Dark Energy will dissolve every form of matter and spread across the entire universe, never stopping, never faltering, never fading. People and dogs and planets and stars (Black Holes are not an exception due to Hawking Radiation) will become molecular dust. And that molecular dust will become atoms and the atoms will become nothing. Every electron, every proton, and antimatter, and hadron, and quark, and Higgs Boson, and all of every single subatomic particle, shall be reduced into a complete vacuum. And that Dark Energy will break through the rifts of space and time, and will continue to spread and permeate and strain throughout every single corner of the fabric of Creation, until every dimension, every parallel, the very Continuum of Space and Time Itself shall be torn apart.

Therefore, Dark Energy = CLASS Z DESTRUCTION. OF REALITY. ITSELF. And the real force behind Kyubey's Jedi Truth about the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

Puellae Magi never violated Equivalent Exchange. When Incubators talk about "harvesting energy", they refer to how they discovered that the Psychic Powers of a rare class of specialized modified humans can attract Dark Energy in the quantum level. What the Puella Magi experimental technology actually does, that which looks like Reality-warping Magic to us laypeople, is condensing, assimilating and manipulating Dark Energy for their own utility; this process is "harvesting energy" From a Certain Point of View. The Puella Magi's "magical" ability to manipulate mass itself to perform physics defying stunts (such as Mami's Matter Replicator ability to create unlimited musket works) is technically fuelled and facilitated behind the scenes by Dark Energy (and hereby doesn't really violate Einstein's E=MC2 Equivalent Exchange), with the psionics of the Puella as the operating software for the whole control mechanism. Some specialist Puella Magi individuals, if they wish to, have a limited ability to consume a lot of Dark Energy to manipulate and fold Space-Time itself in a manner similar to how some theoretical warp drives can work ("Time Lord" Homura, who sacrificed Matter Replicator abilities in exchange to be a Time Master) and therefore carries an additional potential to modify and heal the spatial-temporal-dimensional damage caused by runaway Dark Energy.

This allows the Incubators, and any client civilizations affiliated with them, an indirect way to control this cancerous force for their own benefit instead of letting it accelerate entropy and kill the universe. The amount of Dark Energy the Puella absorbs is psionically represented by the level of Depression she possesses. Combining the Puella Magi's capabilities with "Lich" technology, by extracting and exposing to open space the Puella Magi's primary Psionic software (or "soul" in layman's terms), accelerates their absorption and control of Dark Energy from the environment and increases the efficiency of the process.

The Incubators are yet to provide a complete unified theory for the affinity between negative emotions, psychic abilities, Quantum Mechanics, Dark Energy etc., and why enslaving psychic females is the only thing that works most efficiently for the meantime while other more "logical" and "scientific" and "mechanical" methods such as Antimatter or FTL or Black Holes fail or add to the entropy; but hey, it works anyway for now, and for an Incubator, if the system ain't broke, don't fix it.

The symptoms of emo-behaviour, Clinical Depression, Mind Rape and/or Insanity are simply side-effects caused by all that alien Dark Energy screwing with your fragile human psychology. When a Puella Magi falls into insanity and overloads herself with too much Dark Energy radiation, the result is the exponentially accelerated mutation of the Conversion Factor, eventually giving birth to a Dark Matter-based mutant lifeform capable of using Dark Energy to warp Space itself and create its own dimensional barrier; the "Witch".

Witches' dimensional barriers, their own "space-time continuum" and "Big Bangs" so to speak, are a reverse counterpart of uncontrolled Dark Energy's random spacetime destruction. Witches are technically only limited by their own closed-minded thinking. As an additional bonus, the Incubators (and allied spacefaring civilizations) can "harvest" the Witches as batteries to manufacture Dark Matter and more of their sufficiently advanced technology (some of which has the side-effect of excreting some energy back to ambient dark energy and restarting the cycle of Equivalent Exchange. Now I can't get out of my head the idea of little girls being used in a plan to manufacture cheap unobtainium to power FTL and make nanomachines for Kyubey's bodies).

As a last resort just in case, they also deliberately planned the creation of the godlike Kriemhild Gretchen (now reformed and renamed as Madokami/Ultimate Madoka/Madoka Jesus), for she shall assimilate a lot of Dark Energy into her tormented soul as like the Forsaken child of Omelas, and also use it to create a new Heaven. This shall provide the Incubators (and surviving civilizations immune to its psychological effects) a new Big Bang for a more stable pocket universe to live in, even when that stability and protection from Dark Energy is by a metaphorically crucified Forsaken Child. (It's also the ultimate Eternal Poison Oak And I Must Scream Downer Ending for poor unfortunate Madoka.)

The enemy is "Entropy From a Certain Point of View", the happiness of a few cute Puellae shall be the destruction. of reality. itself. The limiting factor is time itself, and though the Incubators torture Puellae by force-feeding them Dark Energy, they do it to save the entire fucking universe and many more important intergalactic civilizations from such a form of Omnicidal Force much more eldritch and alien than themselves. "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few." Q.E.D.
  • Or maybe I just ranted this or copied this from Mass Effect 3's original script about "Dark Energy" (which was now thrown out), while reducing the Puella Magi concept from A Wizard Did It to something like biotics, all to slightly redo Madoka Magica's fail attempt to switch from Faustian fantasy to Science Fiction (and because all the dark energy technobabble makes a better willing suspension of disbelief rather than disputing thermodynamics in the face), and to return the fundamental theme of Equivalent Exchange back into the Madokaverse. Also, after all, in a meta sense Kyubey's "kick physics to the curb" fail goes contrary to the Equivalent Exchange, Omelas and Messianic themes of this anime (in The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas, a single forsaken child has to absorb the misery of the rest of Omelas' inhabitants, and of course you can expect that Jesus or Madoka and friends also act like said forsaken child but on a far cosmic scale).

The Incubators deliberately planned Homura, and their actual thousand-year-plan is the invention of Time Travel
Remember when Kyubey commented that "Your wish has surpassed entropy" when Homura wished to become a Time Lord? That was supposed to make a point. You, see, in IRL physics, in a closed system, every law of physics is reversible except for the Second Law of Thermodynamics; this is referred to as the "arrow of time". As one goes "forward" in time, the second law of thermodynamics says, the entropy of an isolated system will increase. Hence, from one perspective, entropy measurement is a way of distinguishing the past from the future. For example, you drop a blob of ink in a jar of water. The ink will dissolve, from an ordered system to disordered. Spontaneous processes left by themselves are more likely to have entropy than perfect order; Milk spills but doesn't unspill; eggs splatter but do not unsplatter; waves break but do not unbreak; we always grow older, never younger. These processes all move in one direction in time - they are called "time-irreversible" and define the arrow of time.

You can then see why Time Travel is significant to the entire process of entropy-defiance working: it counters the Entropic Arrow of Time. For example, when run in reverse, broken glasses spontaneously reassemble, smoke goes down a chimney, wood "unburns", cooling the environment and ice "unmelts" warming the environment. No physical laws are broken in the reverse movie except the second law of thermodynamics, the law in which entropy is defined.

Now you know why Kyubey said "Your wish has surpassed entropy" to Homura after becoming a Time Lord. It was the key to solving the problem of the end of the universe once and for all. The Incubators are somehow incapable of Time Travel by themselves without wasting more additional energy to entropy, hence the necessity for wishes because it's the most energy-cheap one for now. All Puellae and Witches have the potential of reversing the Arrow of Time and using the disorder of the environment itself to fuel their powers, but for the root Entropy problem itself to be solved, somebody needs to make a Time Travel wish and specialize for it. The rest of the Puella Magi and the collection of Grief seeds? All merely parts of the plan for the Incubators to fuse together multiple witches and create an entity powerful enough to provoke somebody into making a Time Travel wish (Word of God confirmed Walpurgis as a Fusion Dance of Witches). The rest of the mages who died during Walpurgisnacht were too stupid to conceptualize a time travel wish, instead conceptualizing a wish they can enjoy in the present.

The Incubators also prey on girls plagued by too much regrets and guilt, gambling that maybe, just maybe, one of them will be making a Time Travel wish to reverse their regrets. This is why using Homura was instrumental; she is a Shrinking Violet who regrets everything, especially letting Madoka die during Walpurgisnacht. Homura also indirectly used her Endless Recursion Of Time to accidentally force Madoka to accumulate a singularity of pure energy, e.g. a God, hereby repeatedly "reversing" the entropic arrow of time back to the Big Bang singularity. After Madokami's ascension, not everything went according to plan; but then again, Madokami makes her contribution in reversing entropy by time-traveling at every point in space and time as a companion/witch-annihilator/bearer of despair/god for every Magical Girl ever.

TL;DR: Only Time Travel can solve the death of the universe, and Kyubey promoting Homura from regretful Shrinking Violet to Badass Time Lord were all Just as Planned.

Eve was the first magical girl
Once Upon a Time, humans were insignificant and suffering from being eaten by predators or killed by diseases or anything Nature has to torment and destroy their weak bodies. However, Humans had a mysterious potential, and The Incubators, trying and failing to find a solution to Universal Entropy, colonized Earth to examined the potential of the young race dying from extinction. Eventually they found and saved a human girl dissatisfied by the brutality of Nature and willing to enter a contract. That girl was Eve. The wish was Knowledge, to create Human Civilization that shall have Dominion over Nature instead of being dominated by it, as indicated by Kyubey's quote "If it wasn't for us, then you humans would still be naked and living in caves". Since there was no witches to fight, Eve would solely use her powers to protect humanity, invent various technologies that humans can use, and guide civilization. But Eve eventually succumbed to despair, and so she became the first witch; Lilith, starting the cycle amongst humans.

Eve's tribe passed the story down through generations as a warning against dealing with the Incubators, and the tale was eventually absorbed into the Abrahamic religions. But as time passed, the story was heavily altered, as details was lost in time through retelling upon retelling. Eventually the Incubator in the tale became Lucifer and the soul gem (and by extension the knowledge of magic) that Eve was offered became the Fruit of Knowledge. The part with Lilith became especially mucky, eventually falling completely out of the Christian canon, but survived, in some fashion, as Jewish folklore.

Homura is Walpurgis Night's origin; or at least its jump in power.
In a timeline that never happened, Homura fell. (Likely the PSP Earn Your Bad Ending, where she became Homulilly.) As a witch, her powers multiplied exponentially, although they became unstable. She didn't just jump through time farther than as a Puella Magi, she jumped through Alternate Continuity as well. She encountered the mix of fused witches and became part of them. This is why Walpurgis Night's magic became stronger with each time jump, but Homura's didn't. (Her magic alone, not its application.)
  • This explains why in the manga, we see Kyoko and Sayaka happy in the afterlife; and as fallen shade familiars in the same timeline; Walpurgisnacht had absorbed them from a different timeline.

Junko knows Kyuubey
During Walpurgisnacht, Junko doesn't seem to take much convincing to let Madoka run out into the "storm." Years ago Junko met Kyuubey, but declined to become a Puella Magi herself, so she recognizes Walpurgisnacht for what it really was. Though neither of them say it out loud, Junko deduced from Madoka's story that the friend who needed help was a Puella Magi.

The Incubators influenced the creation of the Magical Girl anime genre
What better recruitment tool could there be?

The new Magical Girl, Nagisa Momoe, is Charlotte.
She kinda looks like her (same general colors). Either she wished for something different in this timeline, or she didn't fall into despair as soon.
  • Confirmed.

Walpurgisnacht is the nickname given to any uberwitch that appears when multiple Grief Seeds fuse together and the Incubators fail to stop them, and some catastrophes are the result of the Incubators stopping them
Inspired by a WMG of Puella Magi Kazumi Magica and borrowing from some WMG above and real history.
When multiple Grief Seeds are fused (either because a Magical Girl attempted to create a Grief Seed that will clean her Soul Gem forever, because a Puella Magi handles them carelessly, because a Witch stumble on them, or whatever the cause), an incredibly strong Witch is born. If not stopped in time, this Witch will become so powerful her mere appearance will cause immense devastation, and is thus named Walpurgisnacht after the first witch with this characteristic.
The Incubators usually stop them before they can become that powerful, and thus risk to become unstoppable and then destroy the world (thus stopping the production of much needed energy), but sometime they don't find out in time or allow this to happen for their own reasons (possibly because Magical Girls have been too efficient and there's not enough Witches around).
Sometimes, the means the Incubators use to stop a forming Walpurgisnacht are extreme. One of these was to cause cloudy weather over Kokura on August 9, 1945, thus causing the atomic bomber to be diverted over Nagasaki and destroy the city, and a Walpurgisnacht with it.

Charlotte was a drug addict as a human
Her witch dimension gave me this vibe, what with the syringes and all. although this has probably been already Jossed.

Charlotte was just a girl who wanted cake

There will be more Witch Summons in season 2.
  • A resurrected Magical Girl can summon her witch via Summon Magic, as seen in Rebellion. In Homura's Univeral Barrier, the Law of Cycles isn't...gone, but it is different. Magical Girl's will have more access to their Witch selves. We'll see Candeloro and Ophelia.
    • There will also be an All Your Powers Combined event that results in Walpurgis Night. The question is...whose side, and can they control THAT?

Homura's decaying mental state as of Rebellion is also due to long-time usage of drugs
  • From the original series and the first two movies, we know that Homura suffered through countless loops of the same month. It was a miracle she didn't give up to desperation earlier, but what if it wasn't only thanks to her will, but also with the help of substances? It's not like she couldn't have easy access to them with her time-stopping power (we are speaking of a girl who robbed the Yakuza), and her experience makes heavy use of antidepressants not unlikely. At the end of the series / second movie, she was out of her addiction but over time, she fell back into it. By the time she was near death and closed by the Icubators in their barrier, she was in a state that made her extreme actions at the end of Rebellion less surprising than they seem at first. Just look at her face: she's now a junkie who has completely lost touch with reality and thinks her action are good no matter what, even if judging from how her familiars act, there's still a part of her that knows it's wrong.

In a future movies or series following Rebellion, Mami and Kyouko will end up siding with Homura
  • As we saw at the end of the movie, Homura caused another rewrite of reality, creating a world where Madoka, Sayaka and Nagisa are alive and well, but has not total control over it. Eventually, Mami and Kyouko will uncover the truth; however, realizing that restoring the old status quo would mean losing Nagisa and Sayaka, although reluctantly they'll accept Homura's reality and will, for a time, collaborate with her.

  • Mami probably had a European mother and a Japanese father. Maybe both of Mami's parents were Europeans. How about their names? They just changed their names into something that's more Japanese. Mami probably got her taste for tea from her European, most likely English, mother.
    • Plus, Mami's blonde. We all know that Europeans tend to have blonde hair in Anime. Mami's eyes ain't blue because she has Japanese ancestry. Then, Mami's European-ish magical girl outfit may reflect her keeping in touch with her European heritage and the memories of her deceased parents.

There are more than one Gertrud, Charlotte, etc.
Think about the fact that if familiars victimized enough number of humans, they become witches themselves, as Kyouko said. For example, an Anthony (Gertrud's familiar) wanders out of its main witch's barrier and creates its own to prey on humans. After killing enough humans, the Anthony becomes a witch as well, becoming another Gertrud. This rule perhaps applies for other familiars in the series including Walpurgisnacht's.

The sweets inside Charlotte's barrier are edible
Just don't expect to find any cheesecake or any dessert with cheese. These things are what Charlotte eats if she can't find any humans to feast on. Perhaps the sweets are loaded with medicine that only Charlotte can eat without being overdosed.

Emotional energy is self-replicating
In episode 10, Kyubei makes mention that with Madoka's transformation, he's reached his energy quota, meaning that the destruction of Planet Earth is no longer his problem. Most fans assume that this means that the incubators are actually harvesting multiple planets, and the loss of just this one doesn't matter much. However, if you remember Kyubei's explanation of his peoples' influence on human history in episode 11, you'll also remember that Kyubei says that the idea of a planet where people with emotion could co-exist never even crossed their minds, and that they had to go out of their way to get to earth. Of all the species that were known to the Incubators, not a single one had emotion as a universal trait. It seems that in this setting, humans are either a unique, or at least a near-unique phenomenon. So the idea that the incubators would just shrug and leave such a planet to be destroyed is a nonsensical one. However, we do already know that emotional energy breaks the laws of thermodynamics in one way, so why not in another? If emotional energy is somehow capable of self-replication, the enduring existence of humans is no longer of concern to Incubators. They just need to reach a specific quota (enough to allow for the continued ignition of new stars), and that's that. Under this theory, Itzli (and possibly Quitterie) would have likely been magical girls made from the rare insane members of non-emotional species.

The incubators spread humanity across the universe
An alternative theory to the above. While Earth may have originally been a unique or near-unique phenomenon, it would have been foolish and naive to rely on the continued liveability of a single planet for the Incubator plan to save the universe from entropy. As such, they spread humans across many, many worlds, turning them into magical girl farms. No real big deal if one of the planets gets destroyed, since the incubators can always just set up another farm.

Before the events of Rebellion, the incubators started creating magical boys and warlocks
In the original timeline, it is mentioned that the incubators chose to contract teenage girls because they produced the most potential energy during their transformation into a witch. However, it doesn't seem like contracting other populace groups is actually impossible. With Homura revealing the original girl/witch cycle to Kyubei, and the realization of how much more energy that would produce, it would have made sense to start looking into alternatives. While mature women might still be covered by the law of cycles (the end result would still be called witches), Madoka's wish only covers females. The incubators could still have contracted boys. Not quite as productive as the girls (hence the events of rebellion), but more so than just relying on run-off despair.

Jeanne D'Arc's wish was that Christianity would become the prevalent global religion
In the show, you'll notice a lot of Christian presence and imagery, despite taking place entirely in Japan. Kyoko grew up in a church, Homura went to a catholic school, and Elsa Maria draws heavily from religious imagery as well. Shintoism and buddhism, Japan's actual dominant religious influences, are entirely absent by contrast. Now, which legendary Saint who believed herself on a mission from god is shown to have had access to a magical wish? Especially notable is that the story of Jeanne is shown while Kyubei explains "This includes girls who have changed history forever, and led your society to new stages".

The only reason Sayake was offered magical girlhood was to entice Madoka
Note that during Homura's first two loops, Sayake isn't shown to have been a magical girl. It's only after Madoka starts getting more and more potential from the time loops that Sayake is suddenly seen as a member of the group. It's also known that Sayake is the weakest member of the group. It's possible that Kyubei originally didn't consider her a candidate, but chose to also offer her the status so that Madoka wouldn't have to distance herself from all her old friends, making it more likely she would accept the contract.

Homura's weird apartment is actually...
...A Pocket Dimension inside of her magic buckler. While SHAFT is well know for over-the-top, massive interiors and futuristic-looking settings, Homura's apartment seems just a little too weird. The fact that the room itself contains a gigantic set of gears and swinging pendulum and no windows, despite Homura apparently living in a normal apartment, makes very little sense. Aside from the fact that they float, the multiple photo frames in the room also happen to change their display based on Homura's emotional state, as shown when they show images of the previous timelines when Homura desperately tries to tell Madoka all she's done for her. Most damning of all, when we see Homura's bedroom for a brief scene in Episode 10, it's a plain, normal room. As to why other magical girls and Kyubey can also enter this room: anyone who entered was invited inside (Kyouko to discuss Walpurgisnacht, Madoka - likely unconscious when Homura carried her inside - after Kyouko's sacrifice), Kyubey being the only exception. And even then, he gave Homura her powers, and in Episodes 9 and 10 teleports on-screen, so who's to say he couldn't stroll in whenever he felt like it.
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 Madoka MagicaWMG/Anime & MangaPuella Magi Madoka Magica 3

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