A Deeper Look Into Madoka Magica's Ending

Homu Homu is still the best character in the series.

I guess it's time to tackle all the big questions this series left us with. There were many things people found unclear about the episode and the general different direction the ending took. Quite obviously, this will be spoiler-ific, so you have been warned.

Church of Google > Church of Madoka

I'll start with what is probably the most popular claim? Why couldn't Madoka just wish for some other randomly broken wish? 

In this category, the most popular idea is just stopping entropy at the source, but the problem is balance. It is portrayed in this world that everything needs to be balanced out. Even in a world without witches, quite clearly Mahou Shoujo are still required. There still needs to be a balance to be preserved with every wish that is made. This is shown when every wish "backfires" on them. QB even says that with every hope that is created, an equal amount of curse and despair is born. Hence, the only way to stop entropy would be to stop the universe in general, probably by putting it into stasis.

Another common concept for a wish was for Madoka to stop the witches' source: no more despair. To cause no despair would need to be balanced by no more hope and feelings. Madoka was very adamant about the importance of those emotions, and tried to explain various times to QB. Essentially, Madoka was fated to turn to a witch, so any wish not pertaining to something about this, would lead to her killing everything. Most of the "game-breaking" wishes could be explained properly; either how come they couldn't be done, or that they would have horrible side affects.

I love this depiction of the witches.

The second biggest misconception is that nothing has changed.

It is true that Mahou Shoujo are still required to fight and die for entropy, but there are some slight differences. The ultimate goal of incubators used to be to wait for Mahou Shoujo to turn into witches. With the new change, the goal shifted to reversing entropy by killing the "demons" (I guess I'll use the gg translation for it). The biggest difference is that incubators now work together with Mahou Shoujo, rather than secretly against them.

The huge change is the deal that they're entering into. The end of a Mahou Shoujo previously was to turn into the thing they despised the most. This fate would lead anyone to be in despair, continuing the vicious cycle of sacrificing little girls to reverse entropy. The new system involves a "heaven" for Mahou Shoujo. I think the fate that lies after you die would heavily affect what you prefer. Just think of this old system like nuclear power: it a very unclean source of energy, but it produces insane amounts of it at a heavy price. The new system is like solar energy: it's much cleaner, but overall much less efficient and effective. So this change in the system can be seen as a conversion to a "cleaner" source. Madoka might not have ended the need for energy, but it is still a huge improvement in how the system used to work.

Go, Green Mugi!!

Sayaka is one of the largely misunderstood ones too.

She is shown in two separate scenes, both which I think are misinterpreted. My take on the scenes was that Sayaka was fated to fall. Her fate was sealed when she didn't pick her wish carefully enough and couldn't take the emotional burden. The reason she died was related to herself rather than a witch biting off her head.

So, what about the "Demons"?

They are explained by QB as curses and despair. Basically, they're born in part from the wishes that are granted, creating a cycle here. This cycle is needed to harvest the cubes that can reverse entropy, and exist because of incubators meddling to turn Earth into a "farm". During the time of witches, these demons did not exist because there was already something to fight. Just think of it as an artificial alternative method to harvest the entropy-reversal cubes to make the farm productive. Another take is that the demons will always exist, because of Madoka's new law. Her law creates hope for Mahou Shoujo after death and, as such, despair needs to be created in order to balance. By creating a Mahou Shoujo heaven, the consequence was that there were now "demons" roaming around.

I guess the final controversial point would be the ending scene.

We clearly see that Homura has lost her time travel shield and and gained the same bow as Madoka. Another thing is that she can grow wings, which are seen as white and later shown to look exactly like the witches' barriers. This first explanation seems to be the most popular cycling: she gained a "respec" because she lost her time travelling ability when Madoka stopped existing in time. The wings signify that Homura is finally close to her end and is about to turn to a witch, which is why you hear Madoka whispering to her.

A second popular explanation is that Madoka fused a bit of her spirit into Homura. This is characterized as the bow and the final line stating that you aren't alone as long as you remember them. The wings are Madoka's godly powers influencing her, which explains why Homura can hear her.

My take on it is something slightly different. I believe her bow is gained through the "respec" method, since nothing else seems to give a better explanation. She lost her abilities and wanted to preserve Madoka through her weapon choice. I believe the epilogue is showing Homura in a post-apocalyptic world, since it looks very similar to the timeline where Madoka was about to destroy the planet.  It is showing that Homura will forever fight for Madoka. I assumed the wings were proof that she had become so powerful that she harnessed the powers of a witch. It is something that would be possible as a Mahou Shoujo, given enough time, since they are made of the same thing. The voice she heard, Madoka speaking to her, was nothing other than proof that even now, she remembers her, proof of Homura's unshakable dedication to Madoka.

The final lolz random Jesus Madoka, prophet Homura references.

I think it was just a lucky coincidence. Madoka isn't as much of a god as she is a grim reaper or shinigami for Mahou Shoujo. You can obviously draw this conclusion if you wish; it just depends on how you want to look at it.

I hope you liked my explanation of things. If you've got some other questions, leave a comment.