After her surprise appearance at the third witches tea party, a lot of details were revealed about Satella, also known as the Witch of Envy. Though she was responsible for the deaths of the witches, they did not seem to hate her, with the exception of Echidna of course. Furthermore, her obsession and totally unexpected behaviour with Subaru have raised questions about Satella’s real identity.
The following part of the article has major spoilers from Season 2 of Re:Zero anime and Vol. 12 and 13 of the light novels. Read ahead at your own discretion!
Who is Satella?
Satella is commonly known to the world as the Witch of Envy. According to the records she was the one responsible for the Great Calamity 400 years ago. However, in reality Satella and the Witch of Envy are two different personalities. This was caused because she absorbed a witch factor that was not compatible with her.
Absorbing the Witch Factor Satella to suffer from a mental abnormality, eventually creating The Witch of Envy personality in her. However, this information about Satella’s split personality could be found nowhere in the legends. This part was revealed in the Light Novels during the third witches tea party but was comfortably ignored in the anime.
During his second meeting with Satella, Subaru comes to realise that Satella cares deeply for him. She bore him no ill will. In fact she visited the second tea party to thank him for saving her and to tell him to value his life and wellbeing.
However, her behaviour towards Subaru has only raised more doubts about Satella’s relation to Emilia.
Is Emilia Satella?
Weird question huh!
Well, from what we have seen so far, there is enough stuff that atleast lets us speculate that Emilia is the Witch of Envy Satella. In one of our previous posts, we mentioned that Satella thanked Subaru for “giving her light, showing her the outside world, holding her hand when she was lonely, and kissing her when she was all alone.” (this dialogue was again ignored from the anime)
Wait!! When did this happen? Wasn’t this the first time Subaru had met the Satella personality (the one he met outside Echidna’s tomb was clearly the Witch of Envy, but we do believe Satella’s personality took over the Witch of Envy towards the end, when Subaru stabbed himself with Petra’s handkerchief)? Unless Subaru lost part of his memories related to Satella, this statement did not make sense. Subaru himself comes to the conclusion that Satella has something going wrong in her head.
But then, what if these things indeed did happen in Satella’s timeline, but is yet to happen in Subaru’s current timeline. Confusing? Yes?
Well, let’s clear this stuff. There is a major theory gaining popularity among fans of Re:Zero that Satella is indeed Emilia who has travelled back in time to save Subaru.
Here’s how the theory goes. Put on your tinfoil hats just in case!
Also, while reading this theory, also consider that there is a possibility of alternate timelines existing out there. This is hinted in Subaru’s second trial, which shows Emilia, Rem, Beatrice and other people grieving over his dead body. If the world indeed was being reset, then these incidents should not have happened. It is true that most of these scenes are only a part of the world recreated from Subaru’s memories and not the real thing. However, what points to the possibility of an alternate timeline is the incident involving Puck and Reinhardt Van Astrea. There’s no way Echidna’s trials randomly made it up from Subaru’s memories. But we can’t be sure about this.
We can hear you folks laughing, but hear us out for once!
Emilia travelled back in time to be Satella?
In the future, some terrible things happen that cause Subaru, the person Emilia has come to love the most (or second after Puck) to die. The assumption is that he kills the Witch of Envy, or he fails to prevent the death of Witch of Envy, which makes him lose his Return by Death Ability.
Now Emilia does not have the power to revive him. Being desperate, she consumes a witch factor that lets her control time. Emilia must have intended to go back in time to the point where she could save Subaru. However, the half-elf, not having any idea of controlling the witch factor, could have gone berserk. This could have sent her back almost 400 years (or to an alternate timeline?).
Emilia might have consumed one or more witch factors in her desperation which made her go berserk and lose mental stability. We could assume that by the time she made an appearance 400 years ago, she was already suffering from her split personality disorder. This would also explain how the historical records said The Witch of Envy appeared out of nowhere.
The example of people going berserk or not being able to control the witch factor was also seen in the case of Peteleguese Romanee Conti (this part from the web novels, and will be explored in detail in the second cour of Re:Zero Season 2). So it is safe to assume that something similar might have happened to Emilia.
About the parts that were omitted in the anime:
Re:Zero Season 2 Episode 13 omits two very crucial things that was included in the anime. First one is that Satella and Witch of Envy are two different personalities. The second one is the dialogue that Satella says about how Subaru saved her.
Both these instances are cornerstones in the theories that assume Emilia is Satella. The reason they are omitted only points to one thing in our mind, the creators don’t want fans to catch up to the fact about their identities. C’mon the dialogue is a dead giveaway that Emilia is Satella!
So basically Emilia and Satella are the same people
The Emilia from the current timeline would go on to become the Satella in some alternate timeline. Or, if alternate timelines don’t exist, it would be a Causal loop or a Predestination paradox.
Now, going back in time, Emilia realised that she overdid it. Not being able to find Subaru in her desperate state would ultimately cause her “Witch personality” to go out of control resulting in the Great Calamity. Understanding that she now had a split personality, Emilia could have come to the dreary realisation that she herself is the witch of Envy. She would then go on to name herself Satella and let herself be sealed by the dragon Volcanica. The whole Emilia naming herself Satella has been brilliantly foreshadowed in the very first episode of Re:Zero, when she introduces herself as Satella to Subaru.
This theory would also explain most of Satella’s actions during the third witch party. Before the dream palace collapses, she knowingly tells Subaru that he would kill her in the end. This is because Satella (who is Emilia) has already seen it happen in her timeline. This explains Satella’s affection for Subaru and also why she thanked him for having saved her. These are probably the things that Subaru did to Emilia, but they just haven’t taken place in the current timeline yet.
This also explains why the Sin Archbishops obsess over the Witchof Envy’s love.
Subaru’s Return by Death could be a perfected version of Satella’s powers
Remember that Emilia is not aware of Return by Death or how it works. So everytime she goes back in time and becomes Satella, she perfects her powers, summons Subaru into this world and grants him the Return by Death thinking this would save him from dying and would allow him to reach a better future than the last time.
Now, here’s another observation, before Subaru gets isekai’d, he has a brief moment outside the store, where he experiences memories of Emilia lying in a pool of blood and Subaru promising to save her. Now, you should find this weird because Subaru has not yet experienced this scene. The only way he could be experiencing this was if Satella’s memories were getting transferred into him due to their connection or the whole process of being summoned. Since Satella would be an Emilia who has travelled to the past (or to an alternate timeline) she has already experienced that scene before Subaru.
But if Satella is Emilia herself, why hide the powers of Return by Death from Emilia in the current timeline.
The reason could be because Satella, who is mentally unstable, wants Subaru all for herself. She does not want Emilia to know about this nor does she intend to lose him to her. If you want a hint of this unstable behaviour look no further Re:Zero Season 2 Episode 11. In this episode we see a broken Emilia towards the end, whose eerie behaviour towards is oddly similar to that of the Witch of Envy we encountered at the Sanctuary.
Also, this could also be her reason behind Satella, who is currently defeated and sealed away, wanting to resurrect in Emilia’s body. Because she knows that Subaru would end up falling in love with her anyhow.
The downside is, Emilia’s actions have either created a causal time loop or an alternate timeline paradox that would never end. It begins with Subaru’s death while defeating the Witch of Envy and Emilia travelling back in time (or an alternate universe). Consider this to be a larger version of Subaru’s return by death, where everyone’s will and action does affect the outcome. But somehow the end result has not changed. Subaru still dies and Emilia in her desperation consumes Witch Factor/s going back in time.
In fact the time loop or the divergent timelines could be even more messed up than that of Dark or Steins;gate, because Subaru is not the only one affecting the outcome (read Aldebaran)
Now, there is one slight chance that this whole loop might stop, and that is if Subaru manages to save Satella and also himself. And hence his promise to her at the end of the third witches tea party is of utmost importance!!
In the webnovels, when Emilia meets Echidna during the trials of the Sanctuary (just like Subaru did), she shows an unexplained visible hatred towards the half-elf. Echidna was in possession of the book of knowledge which knows all the truth of the world. This would explain that she is in part aware of Emilia’s connection with Satella, thus justifying her hatred.
While this is very plausible theory, it is only an assumption and the outcome could be something very different. What do you think about Satella’s real identity. Could she be Emilia? Let us know your opinion in the comments section!