Echidna, the Witch of Greed, has a calm and composed personality. However, she loses all of her signature personality traits upon seeing Emilia.
It is clear that Echidna outright despises and hates Emilia. And it’s not just because she is a half-elf. There seems to be a different reason for this hate. For a person who has no understanding of human emotions to develop hatred, something really bad might have happened.
Echidna can’t comprehend love, and for her to hate Emilia (which kinda ties in with love in some way), is something that stands out. Every insult that Echidna directs at Emilia is spewed with venom and is solely intended to break down the latter. The disgust is there for everyone to see.
But what exactly is causing Echidna to hate Emilia?
Why does Echidna hate Emilia?
Echidna told Emilia she hates her because of Emilia’s mother.
I had thought I understood, but you are more of a pushy, insolent, conceited and arbitrary proponent of hypocrisy than even I imagined […] I do not care, after all. It is merely that in those respects, you are exactly like your mother […] It would be false to claim she isn’t partly responsible for why I become so emotional when I interact with you.Echidna to Emilia; Re:Zero Light Novel Vol. 14 Pg. 162
This mother in question is not Fortuna, who looked after Emilia as a child, but her real mother whose identity has not been revealed yet.
Seeing how Echidna also hates Satella, and connecting it with how Emilia looks very similar to her, a certain part of the fandom believes that Satella is Emilia’s mother. But this theory is some way off the mark because Satella is a half-elf and Emilia’s mother is a human and probably a witch.
It’s possible that Echidna’s hate for Emilia is not absolute. Deep down she could even be caring for the half-elf who had to suffer a lot in her life. But author Tappei Nagatsuki has time and again said in interviews that Echidna does hate Emilia.
This could be a running gag, or him trying to withhold information that he thinks is spoilery. But Echidna having some sort of weird caring mentality which she is not able to express properly is an interesting angle we’d not like to debunk. After all, Echidna does not understand “love”.
However, the more important question here is, how does Echidna, who was sealed (killed?) close to four hundred years ago, know Emilia’s mother?
It’s not outside the realm of possibility for a witch (if Emilia’s mother really was one), even though human, to survive for long periods of time (look at Pandora for example). Moreover, why does Echidna hate Emilia’s mother?
There are subtle hints that point to Emilia’s mother being helpful to the elves. And Satella, as we know, was a half-elf. Was this one of the reasons why she could have been angry? This is a pretty far-fetched assumption and there is nothing much to support this at the moment.
But, there seems to more to Echidna’s hate for Emilia. At the end of the latter’s second trial, we see the Witch of Greed crying. Why did that happen?
Why did Echidna cry?
Echidna cried after the second trial when Emilia thanks for letting her experience an alternate present. We see tears welling in her eyes even as she lets Emilia know how much she hates her.
It’s possible Echidna cried because she was overwhelmed by the gratitude that Emilia showed her. Echidna reacts in a weird way to honest gratitude, even when it was Subaru.
That aside, Tappei Nagatsuki said in an interview back in 2018 that Emilia clearing the second trial was traumatic for Echidna. She is also afraid of Emilia for some reason. Could this be a reason for why she cried? But then the tears don’t seem to come out of a feeling of being intimidated.
We had theorized earlier that Emilia is Satella who has travelled back in time. Assuming that Echidna is aware of it, it could be possible that she cried knowing that Emilia is still venturing down the same path of becoming the Witch of Envy. Clearing the trials was just the first step.
But since Echidna clearly mentioned that it was Emilia’s mother who was responsible for why she hated her; there seems to be something that we are missing.
Unless this story has a timeloop like in the movie ‘Predestination’.
Could Dona have cried because Emilia’s life somehow reminded her of her past. The Witch of Greed’s childhood was not a good one and her parents were termed as ‘trash’ by Tappei.
Even in arc 6, there aren’t many clues for us to go on about why Echidna could have cried. But the hate she has for Emilia seems to be an important part of the story.