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|“||The rose garden witch with a distrustful nature. She holds roses dearer than anything else. She expends all of her power for the sake of beautiful roses. Despite stealing the life-force of humans who wander into her barrier to give to her roses, she loathes the thought of them trampling the inside of her barrier.||„|
|~ Official profile|
Gertrud is a minor villain from the tragedy/psychological horror anime Puella Magi Madoka Magica. She is a "witch", a dark entity born of grief and despair. Like most witches, she was originally a magical girl before her soul darkened and became a grief seed.
Role in the plot
Her Barrier (pocket dimension in which she resides) and her minions are first seen in Episode 1, menacing Madoka before getting dispatched by Mami. The witch herself appears in episode two, where her Witch's Kiss causes a woman to attempt suicide by jumping from the window of a tenement. The woman is then rescued by Mami. Mami, Madoka, and Sayaka find the barrier of the witch, and after destroying some minions, Mami is able to dispatch her.
Like all witches, Gertrud can cast a "Witch's Kiss" upon mortals, causing them to fall into despair and commit suicide.
Inside her barrier, Gertrud is not a very powerful witch, but she can prove a challenge. When challenged, she tries to escape attacks while her tiny minions change into rose vines in order to entrap the intruder. When she successfully traps the interloper, she attacks, using thorny scissor-tipped vines to mangle her victim to pieces.
Trivia and Speculation
- Gertrud's name may be a reference to Queen Gertrude from Shakespeare's play Hamlet or to Gertrud Barkhorn from Strike Witches.
- In episode 2 there's a grotesque image of Napoleon right before the door to *Gertrud's barrier opens. Gertrud may have been inspired by Joséphine de Beauharnais, wife of Napoleon Bonaparte. She was known as Rose until she married Napoleon, and she patronized the development of rose breeding at her gardens at Malmaison, collecting some 250 varieties.
- Seiyus called Anthony ひげおじさん (Higeojisan, Uncle Moustache) in the audio commentary tracks of BD/DVD. They think he is cute.
- In the Catholic tradition, St. Gertrude is considered the patron saint of gardeners and herbalists. Incidentally, she is also the patron saint of cats (and those who also loved them), travelers in search of lodgings, and insane people.
- Gertrud's appearance is somewhat reminiscent of Cthulhu's. The rose bush that serves as her head resembles an octopus, her body is flabby and amorphous, and she has wings (although hers are butterfly wings as opposed to Cthulhu's bat wings).