Witches (Umineko full series spoilers)

What are witches, exactly? In Lambda’s memoirs in Tsubasa, she places them as beings between humans and gods. But that doesn’t explain how their “ranks” work, or what it takes to become a witch.

Here’s a list of the witches we know of and their titles (let me know if I missed any):

Beatrice - Endless, Golden
Bernkastel - Miracles
Lambdadelta - Certainty
Virgilia - Finite, (former) Endless
Maria - Origins
EVA-Beatrice - Endless, Golden
Erika - Truth
Battler - Endless, Golden
Featherine Augustus Aurora - Theatergoing, Drama, Spectating, Endless
ANGE-Beatrice - Resurrection, Endless, Golden, Truth


If I recall, in some of the tips, they’ve stated that Voyager Witches like Bern and Lambda are witches with no personal ties to anything, and thus can roam freely between boards/worlds. Featherine is a Creator witch, which is stated to be somewhat on the level of a god due to the fact that they create from nothing, and are thus above Voyagers (if Maria in Fantasy honed her skill to be the Witch of Origins, she could one day rise to the rank of Creator). And then I guess there are the lower ranked witches who have powers only on their particular game board, although with things past EP6, it gets tricky since EVA and Ange can use their magic outside of the game board they’re connected to.

With Beato, though, it’s easier to explain. She has total power over her dominion, which is October 4th to the 6th of 1986 on Rokkenjima. She exists as a witch prior to it, but her game board is that of that particular time and place, so she’s at her strongest during that timeframe, and her power seems to be tied to her being on the board. She can roam almost freely across the board and mess with the pieces, but cannot change it to say, Hinamizawa in 1983 with the Stardust Crusaders cast instead of what she has, and nobody else who has control of her game board past that cannot change it completely, but can play the game in a way she wouldn’t.

And as for witches of the future, aka EVA and Ange, they are considered stronger than say Beato or Virgilia or even Bern, because the future, unless they choose to not have a future, has numerous possibilities for them (at least, I believe that is why they’re powerful. It’s been a while since I last looked at EP8) and the past witches are set in atone in which they no longer become relevant?

As for how witches are made… I believe it’s implied or outright stated that for all of them except for Featherine and Virgilia, witches are born out of hardship, suffering, and enduring. They are a desire to escape an ordinary life and are rewarded with magic for their suffering. Or, girl suffers, uses magic, becomes witch, being Majo is suffering. (It’s a lot more complicated than that and doesn’t explain how they become aspects.)

Feel free to elaborate on what I have missed or interpreted wrong, I love the witch aspect of Umineko and would have loved for it to be elaborated on.


Thanks for your input! You make a lot of good points.

I think it’s pretty interesting, too (hence the thread). Well, it looks like Alice in Trianthology is an Umineko-style witch, so maybe we’ll get some more insight on the nature of witches soon?

I feel like Memoirs of the ΛΔ gives some interesting insight into the nature of witches too.
It may be a bit early to conclude that Alice is the same kind of existence as Umineko’s witches, though.

I like to think of the witches representing ideas, with the “higher” witches being ideas of higher abstraction. We know in canon that Beato is just an idea— the idea that the message bottles and forgeries are unsolvable. Yasu projects herself onto this Beato character because she too, in a sense, is unsolvable, but Beato’s core function in the story is as a concept.

I don’t know how well the idea of witches as allegory extends because it’s been a while since I’ve read Umineko, but it explains Bernkastel and Lambdadelta really well. Bernkastel obviously represents the notion of “miracles” and Lambda is the notion of “certainty”. It reveals a really interesting dynamic between the two WTC entries:

(spoiler for Higurashi)

[spoiler]In Higurashi, the central conflict is Rika’s struggle against a certain fate. The “miracle” is tasked with overcoming “certainty.”

Umineko is the exact opposite case. The central thematic conflict involves Ange being unable to accept that her family is actually dead (as explained by EP8). The entire series, she simply refuses to leave the matter behind her to move on with her life. She holds on for an explanation which will never come, an explanation which lets her family live. The villain is Bernkastel, and Bernkastel is manipulating Ange since the beginning. Umineko is a case of the “certainty” needing to overcoming the “miracle.”[/spoiler]

Higurashi and Umineko actually produce completely opposite messages, which I find pretty interesting.


But what is the ‘miracle’ in this case?

Well, so far she sounds like a textbook Umineko witch, seeing as she’s a “cruel” witch who wanders across “kakeras” to escape boredom.

I’m totally ready to eat my hat if I’m wrong, though.

I like that idea. It would explain the whole ‘title’ business very well.

But Ange’s story isn’t solved simply by her accepting the red truth. It’s by creating her own golden truth.

And you say they have completely opposite messages, but…

(Spoiler for Higurashi ?) [spoiler]

Sounds pretty Higurashi-ish to me.[/spoiler]

Also…Ange’s “miracle” was (part of) her family coming back…which does eventually happen (sort of).

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No, @DaBackpack was arguing that Bernkastel was the antagonist whose ‘miracle’ ange had to fight against.

Who knows, we may get an answer about the nature of witches in TriAnThology, we may not.

The idea that witches do represent an abstract idea makes sense, since Erika and Ange, being Witches of Truth, are different variations of accepting the truth in EP8. (Though Virgilia always seems to be an exception to the normal pattern for witches. She is definitely suited for her Virgilius role as well as the Fantasy form of being Sayo Yasuda’s mother figure and mentor Kumasawa, but nothing revealed about her suggests anything on the lines of what the other witches have gone through, and apart from being Fantasy Kumasawa and being a guide to Beato for Battler, does she represent any particular idea, like Beato and most of the other witches do?)

(And I briefly hinted on it, but it does seem that Madoka Magica borrowed elements of Umineko in the making of witches. A young girl makes a wish, can use her ability she wanted if she believes or chooses to do so, and when she suffers greatly and beyond human compare, she becomes a witch and most often becomes a corrupted variation of what she wished for.)

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The ‘miracle’ Ange had to fight against was the hope of some kind of concrete evidence that would explain the events of the Rokkenjima disaster. Her whole life she tried to find something to incriminate Eva in order to assert her own narrative that “Eva did it”, but no matter how hard she looked, she never found something conclusive, which was tearing her apart. Even when given “the truth” she rejected it because it didn’t support her own theory.

I imagined that her character arc was accepting that she could never really know what happened (and she could never totally prove her own biases) and that she had to just accept that. The ‘miracle’ of a solution never came. The ‘certainty’ was the resolve to give up the search and acknowledge that, with certainty, she would never find a concrete answer, and to turn her life around, she had to accept ‘magic.’

This is just off the top of my head though.


I don’t know if this counts as a spoiler, but in the Trianthology trial version,

(Trianthology spoilers?) Beatrice is mentioned. As ‘the Great Lady Beatrice’ at that…and apparently Alice is a lower ranked witch. Which is interesting, because people always pegged ‘voyager witches’ as higher ranking than Beatrice. So either Beatrice has moved up in the witch world, or this whole rank thing doesn’t work quite the way we thought.

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So as we’ve discussed, it seems pretty likely like witches represent ideas. This would explain why they’re considered more powerful than humans and use them as ‘pieces’—because they represent abstract forces.

First, there’s Beatrice.

Beatrice originally represented Sayo’s imagined magical alter ego, but she grew to personify ‘endlessness.’ However, she doesn’t represent endlessness in a general sense; only for the ‘catbox’ of October 4~5, 1986. It’s possible that she could have grown/could grow to represent it in a general sense. This would fit with what Lambda says in her memoirs about Beatrice possibly having greater potential than her or Bern.

Also, that’s the reason Beatrice continues to exist after Sayo dies—because the catbox is still intact.


(Higurashi spoilers) Bernkastel originally represented the “dark” side of Rika that developed from living the months and years before June 1983 over and over. After splitting from Rika in Saikoroshi-hen (when Rika sheds her ‘witch’ mindset), Bernkastel grows to also represent the concept of miracles.

Then there’s the matter of Bern being the name of Ikuko’s cat, but I don’t know…


We don’t really know who Lambda was before she became a witch, but like Bern, she lived through some kind of hell, and eventually grew to personify the concept of certainty.


Uh…I’m stumped by this one. Obviously she’s based on Kumasawa, but she doesn’t seem to be a witch in the usual sense. She doesn’t seem to represent anything, either…


Much as in Sayo’s case, Maria’s witch form is her imagined magical alter ego. She also loosely represents the concept of ‘creating something from nothing.’ As @WitchOfGames says, she could presumably grow represent that concept in general, thus becoming a very powerful witch.


Originally Eva’s alter ego, EVA-Beatrice later grew to probably personify the Eva culprit theories that sprang up after the Rokkenjima incident.


Well…she represents truth, obviously, but other than that I don’t know. Some people say she was a person who died at sea who was adopted by Bern as her piece, but it seems extremely unlikely that her name would just happen to be ‘Erika Furudo.’


Meta Battler represents Tohya before he lost his memories. Beatrice drags him into her game, and he eventually succeeds Beatrice in representing the endlessness of the Rokkenjima catbox.


Featherine is made up of the writing duo of Tohya and Ikuko, right? But isn’t Featherine supposed to be ancient? Or at least older than Lambda and Bern? Well, here’s my theory…Featherine has “died” multiple times, right? Well, maybe Tohya and Ikuko simply ‘resurrected’ her. So in a way, they created her, but in a way, they didn’t.


ANGE is, you guessed it, the magical alter ego Ange developed after reading Maria’s journal. Bern formally made her a witch when she jumped off that building, and she came to represent various things.

So my remaining questions are…

I guess the biggest one is the whole chicken-or-egg problem… Is the meta-world a reflection of the real world, or does the real world develop from the actions of those in the meta-world?

Also, what’s the difference between witches and other meta-beings? For example, Will and Dlanor represent things, but they aren’t witches.


I could be completely wrong and its been a while since i have read Umineko, but i heard a theory that Will could be Tohya. This could be correct because Ikuko says before Episode 7 begins “I want to check my answers”. So my interpretation is that Will is Tohya confirming Ikukos theories about Beatrices indentity and the real culprit of the Rokkenjima Massacre. Since Tohya is also the only man who would know such details since he is the only survivor except Eva. So basically episode 7 is just a regular conversation between “prime” Ikuko and Tohya in her house, just a bit embellished for the reader.
As for the meta-world i have a thought on Beatrices and Battlers meta-world characters. For the two of them the meta-world is a place where their “souls” meet. Beatrice drowns herself and literally on the next page in the manga she is already in the meta-world. So maybe for Beatrice its a kind of “purgatory” since she is really dead, and her role is to make Battlers soul remember everything.When Battler finally remebers she moves on from the purgatory and at the end of Episode 8, Battler moves on also and lets Tohya live freely.
Now for the other characters the meta-world is not a place for “souls”. Its just an embellishment of their real life suffering. For example the whole episode 7 as i mentioned just a regular conversation between Ikuko and Tohya in her house. Or episode 8 just Anges struggling with accepting the truth. But i guess we will never know.

In Lambda’s memoirs, she talks about being impressed by Yasu’s “magic system.” Therefore…it’s reasonable to assume that the “magic” shown in Umineko reflects this system of Yasu’s, and didn’t exist beforehand.

Also, notice that the more obvious “meta witches” (such as Bern and Lambda) never refer to their powers as “magic.” (At least, I’m pretty sure they don’t.) Then there’s characters like Battler and Erika, who are dead set against believing in magic, but who easily accept meta witches and their abilities and even eventually become meta witches themselves.

So I think a clear distinction can be made between “meta witches” and “magical witches”, at least. (Although it’s possible to be both, like Beatrice.)

Where it gets tricky is where “metaphorical witches” come in. The line between meta witch and metaphorical witch is much fuzzier than that between meta witch and magical witch.

What is a metaphorical witch? Well, it seems that anyone could be considered a metaphorical witch. After all, we all seek out various kakeras (stories/games) out of boredom, don’t we? And when we create a fictional world, we’re like all-power meta witches to that world, aren’t we?

So are metaphorical witches called witches because of this resemblance to meta witches (on a smaller scale), or are they actually supposed to be the same thing? I have to say I prefer the former option, because the latter seems unnecessarily headache-inducing.


I’ve often pondered on what ‘magic’ really means in the context of 07th Expansion. It seems to me like a certain jargon exclusive to the Umineko universe. The term ‘magic’ and all related jargon are just a lens through which we can interpret certain unexplainable phenomena. If this were a sci-fi story, we could easily replace the term magic with ‘grey goo’ or ‘psionics’, and it would accomplish roughly the same thing.

Witches are the only constant here. Witches in the 07th Expansion universe represent beings that exist on a higher (or by Lambda’s metaphor lower) layer of existence to the focal ‘basic’ layers presented in each story, that we’d usually consider ‘planet earth’. The term witches and gods seems interchangeable in Ryukishi’s lore. I think the term God more accurately describes them, but I understand that Ryukishi wanted to distance himself from religious ideas of benevolent creators and all that, and instead coined his own term for these higher beings. So, it’s not a matter of ‘casting spells’ like the magic doctrine would imply, it’s a matter of bending realities to their will. ‘Magic’ is a human concept, and does not apply to real witches. I do wish he’d use a different term than ‘witches’ though, because it’s stuck with an association to that ‘magic doctrine’ I mentioned earlier. I much prefer using their ranking terms, ‘Territory Lords’, ‘Voyagers’ and ‘Creators’.

But anyway, magic is super interesting to me, because it starts raising a chicken and egg problem. I was talking about this with @Rabla, about “Where the red truth came from”, and it really is unclear. In Episode 2 it’s implied that Beatrice made it up, but in later episodes it’s suggested that the Red Truth is just an objective fact of the universe. But that got me thinking. It’s suggested that characters like Dlanor and Will are meta beings, but what if they too, together with all the demons and furniture, are all part of Beatrice’s ‘compendium of magic’? It’s as if Beatrice herself, as essentially the author of Umineko no Naku Koro ni, created all of these concepts of ‘magic’ and ‘furniture’ and ‘demons’ and ‘red and blue truth’ as mechanics of HER universe. Apart from perhaps Bern, Lambda and Featherine, it could be argued that EVERYTHING in Umineko was born from Beatrice, or should I say Yasu’s mind. She created the ‘universe’ and ‘systems’ governing that work of fiction we call ‘Umineko no Naku Koro ni’. Of course it could be argued that EVEN THE META SPAWNED FROM HER, but that gets very hairy so I prefer not to think of it like that. Maybe it could even be argued that Battler, through his association with Featherine, helped create Yasu’s universe, since ‘it takes two to make a universe’.

There is another interpretation though, and that’s something like, a shared multiverse with different ‘phases’ or ‘lenses’. Let’s take the character of Will. He’s a manifestation of Van Dine, but anime-fied and magic-fied to fit into Beatrice’s system. A real life man has become an embodiment of one concept present in Beatrice’s universe. If you take him out of Umineko, he doesn’t look anything like the Will of Umineko. And of course he can’t wield anything like the ‘Blue Truth’.

Not the strongest resemblance…

By this interpretation, if a future 07th Expansion work featured Will, he would probably be a completely different character to conform to the ‘rules’ and ‘system’ of that universe. If it’s a sci-fi story, maybe Will is a time traveller in that story. But there will still be some part of him that’s consistent between the two universes. It’s very counter-intuitive from a human perspective, since when we go to bed and wake up the same day we are still, with some minor exceptions, for all intents and purposes ‘the same person’. But what if we weren’t? What if when we went to school, our appearance and personality changed to suit the rules of that place, like maybe everything’s in black and every time we say something it appears as a speech bubble above our heads, and when we return home for the day we’re back to our old atom-filled body? Just like wearing a mask and taking it off again, but on a more fundamental level. It’s crazy, but that might be the kind of way the ‘Multiverse’ of 07th Expansion works. After all, it’s strongly suggested that many characters in Umineko do play roles outside of Beatrice’s world, but that just depends on your interpretation of how far the scope of Beatrice’s world extends. Are characters like Ronove, Will and Lambda all part of Beatrice’s world, or where does her world end and a ‘higher world’ begin? It’s up for interpretation and debate, but I don’t think questions like these on the metaphysics of Umienko and the origin of concepts weren’t something Ryukishi didn’t have in mind while writing. At the very least, he had the sanity to leave them open-ended.

Umm, did that make any sense?


Great post, Aspi! I found myself agreeing with pretty much everything you said.

I really like this interpretation. I was going to bring up the prologue of Hotarubi, where Bern and Lambda seem to be the same as in Umineko, but then I remembered that that prologue technically appears in an Umineko book (which is a collection of Umineko short stories). And the book is even called ‘The Last and First Gift’, implying that it’s the “end” of the Umineko “phase.”

So I’m very interested to see how and if Lambda and Bern “change” in the next When They Cry (These two are the only guaranteed appearance, thanks to their promise to meet again ‘When Something Cries’, although of course other Umineko characters may appear, too).

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I feel like you guys might be going overboard a bit (haha, overboard)
But first, let me apologize in advance in case I seem to make no sense or am repeating myself too often or am not going anywhere or I’m saying things that were already said in different words.

I don’t think this is much of a chicken and egg problem, the answer can be both in this case. Like, imagine that a gameboard is a book and someone wrote it. Then this someone made it so that Beatrice “made up” the red truth, when the red truth is actually a common knowledge in the metaverse.

It’s as simple as saying the creator made it so this world was born from Beatrice, making it true in the gameboard itself but not so much in the meta. As mentioned in the Discord discussion, multiple truths can exist, and can go both ways.

Also, I’m pretty sure there exist things within the meta, who take care of the kakeras in their own way. And while the lenses thing does make sense, I’m sure that these characters don’t sort of morph from universe to universe, maybe they just try to fit in and hide within the stories or gameboards in a way to not make the story focus on them too much, since they might be trying to either take care of the game board, kill off their boredom, or just cause chaos and havoc. In fact, didn’t Ryukishi consider some of the characters as actors who play different roles?
So I don’t really find the existence of Will and Dlanor all that weird in this context, they don’t necessarily need to be created by Yasu to exist.

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Also, what’s this Senate that gets mentioned occasionally? I think it first gets mentioned in EP3, but what exactly it is is never really explained. Pretty much all we know is that it’s some sort of organization of powerful witches. But what’s its purpose?

I forgot about these Tips from EP4. They don’t say anything about the Senate, but they’re still pretty interesting:

Can’t say I get the Magical Compendium stuff at all…


I guess it goes back to the talk of shared illusions, shared worlds and stuff. You could say that all of the magical lore of Umineko could very well be Yasu’s ‘magical compendium’. Or maybe it’s more like, the existence of Mariage Sorciere as shared by Beatrice and Maria who both choose to believe in the legend of Beatrice.

EDIT: I can put it another way. Magic is a golden truth. Those who share the belief in it sustain it. Thus, a magical compendium is a system organised to sustain that belief. You could interpret things like the Stakes, the legend of the witch and the pentagrams as part of Yasu’s magical compendium. Those that share in that belief give magic form. It becomes truth, a golden truth.


We did kind of touch on this idea as well, the possibility that Beatrice’s ego decided to bring the Red Truth into her game and make it a huge deal, whereas it’s actually just a common part of the “magic” world.

This is pretty much my assumption. Maria’s knowledge and base of magic comes from Yasu-Beatrice, so obviously they share a lot of the same ideas.

For example, in ‘Final Fantasy’ the best Fire spell is “Firaja”. They all share this convention since that’s the magic of their world. Anyone who practices magic in the Final Fantasy multiverse has mentally connected the ultimate fire-element incantation to “Firaja”.

However in ‘Shin Megami Tensei’ the best Fire spell is “Agidyne”, and any magic practitioner in that multiverse uses that incantation.

In effect they’re the same spell achieving the same results, but because of the rules of magic established in their worlds, they’re achieved via different means.

Within Umineko’s Gameboards, everyone follows the system of magic established by Yasu-Beatrice’s imaginary world, because that’s what they know or were taught. Other magicians in that world may work entirely different because they learnt magic from a different originator.

Bernkastel does use the term “Furniture” for Erika, but maybe she got that from Beatrice. Lambdadelta’s supposed assistants were just “Friends” right? I assume at the point of Voyagers and higher, they all work on their own rulesets and adapt to their current Kakera’s rules. Featherine does whatever she wants but she’s a Creator-tier being, so she’d be above even that.