Elsa Granhiert was the first formidable opponent that Subaru came across after being isekai’d to the world of Re:Zero. He might have hoped that his days of painfully spilling his bowels were far gone. However, come Season 2, Subaru was plunged into despair yet again as his nemesis returned. She made an appearance at the Roswaal mansion trying to take down its occupants. No matter how much Subaru tried, he was unable to prevent his meeting with Elsa.
And there was no Reinhard Van Astrea this time around to help him stop the Bowel Hunter from going on rampage.
Subaru has encountered Elsa in most of his loops during Re:Zero Season 2. And each time, not only was he subject to the pain of his bowel being slashed, he also had to witness the harrowing deaths of the people he cared about the most, including Rem, Petra and even Beatrice (Re:Zero Season 2 Episode 10).
But Elsa is only a hired assassin!
The following part of this article contains spoilers for Arc 4 of Re:Zero Light novels. Read ahead at your own discretion:
While going on a rampage at the mansion, Elsa lets slip that her client, the one who hired her, had not mentioned anything about Rem. This proves that Elsa was not on a mindless rampage. Nor is she out to seek revenge. Someone with ties to the Roswaal mansion had hired her to eliminate its occupants. And thanks to Rem being attacked by the Sin Archbishop of Gluttony, the client seemed to have no recollection of her. However, that doesn’t stop Elsa from spilling Rem’s guts too.
But no matter what Subaru did, he was not able to avoid his meeting with Elsa. She seemed to be predicting his moves, even though he used Return by Death. This tells us that the client is someone who is closely monitoring Subaru and is aware of his every move. So who could this mysterious person who hired the crazy assassin be?
The one who hired Elsa Granhiert to kill the occupants of Roswaal mansion was none other than Roswaal L Mathers, the owner of the mansion himself. In fact, it was Roswaal who hired Elsa even back in Re:Zero Season 1 in order to buy the insignia from felt and get rid of obstacles.
Why did Roswaal hire Elsa Granhiert?
Roswaal hired Elsa Granhiert because he was following what was written in the Gospel. By hiring Elsa and Felt in order to take the insignia from Emilia, he made sure that Emilia and Subaru would meet. He wanted the latter to be drawn towards Emilia’s cause. And later he hires Elsa to kill the residents of the Roswaal mansion in order to steel Subaru’s resolve. This would ultimately help Roswaal in achieving his goal of reviving Echidna.
There is only one thing that matters to Roswaal, and that is to bring back his teacher and mentor, The Witch of Greed Echidna. Roswaal believes that he can break the seal holding back Echidna’s soul using the dragon’s blood. However, the dragon’s blood (or the dragon itself) is only accessible to the members of the royal family. This is the reason why Roswaal is supporting Emilia in the race to be Lugunica’s ruler.
For this Roswaal needed Subaru on his side!
However, he alone could not guarantee Emilia’s victory. And that’s why he needed Subaru to use his Return by Death to the fullest extent in order to make Emilia sit on the throne. Roswaal set things up in a way that Subaru would fall for Emilia. He and Emilia were merely pawns for Roswaal in his path towards achieving his goals.
By hiring Elsa to kill the occupants of the mansion, Roswaal wanted to push Subaru into despair. He hoped the pain of losing people would make him care less for the others (or so we think) and focus only on Emilia. According to Roswaal, Subaru was wasting his time by trying to save others. He wanted Subaru to use Return by Death to protect (only) Emilia and clear the trials of the sanctuary. This would put Emilia a step closer to Lugunica’s throne and Roswaal a step closer to reviving Echidna.
Roswaal even admits that he wants Subaru to be like himself, before being ripped to shreds by The Great Rabbit in Re:Zero Season 2 Episode 10. Do you think Roswaal succeeded in making Subaru only care for Emilia? How will Subaru react to Roswaal using him as a pawn? Let us know your answers in the comments section!