I think we can reconcile @pik3rob’s theory – ‘Beatrice’s entire image is made to center around these atrocities, and her personality was made to develop around the image these people have of her’ – and the mysteries involving Beatrice’s handwriting in Maria’s journal and the bottle messages, Beatrice’s existence in the hidden mansion in 1967, and Beatrice’s appearance on the gameboard. All those things create and contribute to ‘the image of Beatrice,’ but Beatrice herself – the Beatrice of Purgatorio, the Beatrice challenging Battler and playing against him – did not do these things. That’s not a controversial statement, is it? That’s the thrust of what we’re trying to prove. Like @UsagiTenpura said, we’re trying to prove Beatrice innocent. The bottle messages were written by someone, but that someone is not Beatrice the immortal witch. There was a Beatrice in 1967, but she was not a homunculus built to cage a witch’s escaping soul, she was a human woman raised in isolation by Kinzo. And someone spoke to Battler who, from a distance in the rain, looked like the Beatrice from the portrait, but that was either a disguise or a somehow unaccounted-for human. (Though with the new red truth regarding the number of people on the island, there are a limited number of avenues left to us to keep looking for unaccounted-for humans.)
We’re trying to answer two or three questions at once, I think, and the questions may be related.
Who is the Beatrice that is Battler’s challenger?
Who is the Beatrice that claims Beatrice’s name on the gameboard?
Who is the Beatrice that lived in Kuwadorian?
For an example of how those questions could be related – one theory proposed in this (long, long) thread was the Beatrice who lived in Kuwadorian died, like Battler must have died at the end of the first episode, and then Beatrice ascended to the Metaworld, like Battler ascended. This is one way where 1 and 3 could have the same answer.
However, all questions needn’t have the same answer. The Beatrice who lived in Kuwadorian died in 1967. So she is not the Beatrice who writes in Maria’s diary, and it is unlikely that she is the Beatrice who wrote the bottle messages, since the bottle messages involve people who were born after her death. (I know, I myself speculated she might have been, but it’s nevertheless unlikely.) And she of course could not be the figure in the rain who claims to be Beatrice and tests Battler. So in that case the answers to 2 and 3 are not the same.
There is another question, which is the question Beatrice actually asks.
- Who is the Beatrice that killed Battler at the end of this episode?
Which could have the same answer as 1, 2, 3, or … not. There was also an attempt to answer this upthread, where Beatrice is the ‘concept of the Rokkenjima killings.’
Now this would be a tricky question to answer without taking a more metaphysical stance on who or what Beatrice is – something abstract like ‘the Rokkenjima killings’ or ‘the image of Beatrice produced by those killings.’ Even if you think a real, living human being was pretending to be Beatrice up until this point, Beatrice clears them off the gameboard with her red truth that at the time of Battler’s death, there is no one other than you on the island.
I’m not saying it’s impossible! That would just be an excuse to stop thinking. If the person claiming Beatrice’s name set up a trap in advance, and then died leaving Battler alone on the island, that’s one way 2 and the final question could have the same answer. If the Beatrice who lived in Kuwadorian somehow set in motion the killings years and years before they occurred, that’s a way 3 and the final question could have the same answer. But it’s worth thinking about all the possible questions, all the possible answers, and whether or not they’re the same.