Roswaal Mathers – The Perfect Villain for Re:Zero

Subaru has been dancing in the palm of Roswaal this entire time. 

At the end of Episode 38 we get a good look at Roswaal, how has he not driven Subaru insane? Roswaal request is simple for Subaru, he wants Subaru to keep helping Emilia. Subaru after all is the self-proclaimed knight for Emilia. The means of accomplishing that request is different for Roswaal and Subaru. Roswaal would have Subaru throw away his feelings and trample on the will of Emilia to accomplish the goal of aiding Emilia. Subaru resists that method of help. Perhaps the timing of that conversation was off for Roswaal, but it seems like Roswaal is tired of waiting for Subaru to build a conviction necessary to be of use in his plans. If he is telling the truth he has been waiting for 400 years and would explain his impatience. 

Remember that previously in the episode Subaru has at least found some emotional center for his reason of being. At least the witches are on board with his future success. Is there a right time to talk to Roswaal? 

We, the audience, know so little about Roswaal’s plans, but Subaru is at the center of them. Roswaal even goes as far to call Subaru his hope. If we thought we were going to get a happy ending with Re:Zero, we were mistaken. For a moment we thought we had saved everyone in the battle with Betelgeuse (Petelgeuse) only to realize we aren’t going to get Rem back. I wonder how many times Subaru tried to save Rem and couldn’t? I don’t see a way to get out of the situation that Subaru is in without doing as Roswaal says. 

Roswaal after all appears to be the architect of everything that has transpired so far. If he sent the assassin’s after the mansion, did he also send the assassins after Emilia’s insignia? There is a high likelihood after all. Of course we are still unsure of who exactly sent the assassins after Emilia’s insignia the first time. He was also self-admittedly responsible for the attack by the Witch’s cult on the mansion. 

With the power of the predictive text Roswaal is able to always be a step ahead of Subaru. I also wonder if Roswaal uses that text to change things, and pre-empt actions that Subaru will take if he is actively using the text instead of passively using it. Of course I also wonder how absolute the predictive text is? Will it always know, is there a way to defy what is written within it? I am not sure. Time will tell as Subaru continues to take action. After all while the witch of greed is certainly knowledgeable, she doesn’t know everything. I assume the text has to have a range of predictions, or gives the most likely outcome. 

If Subaru has the ability return by death, having Roswaal with his predictive text makes things interesting especially since Roswaal is a schemer above all else. The text is a perfect tool for Roswaal and his personality. Roswaal is an amazing villain and antagonist. I don’t even hate his methods or reasons for what he is doing. They make sense from his perspective, as long as you remove the ethical elements and remove emotion from the equation. The battle right now is going to be over Subaru’s ability to hold on to his humanity as he desperately tries to outwit Roswaal. 

Agree? Disagree? What are your thoughts? I want to know!

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2 thoughts on “Roswaal Mathers – The Perfect Villain for Re:Zero

  1. I agree with you that it’s possible Roswaal hired Elsa to steal Emiila’s signal in Arc 1 given that the circumstances behind that incident were so strange. Why would Roswaal send Emilia to the capital and not give her any money? It made no sense whatsoever.

    Roswaal has what I call a not-quite-Tome of Wisdom given that he referred to it as being the closest thing to the Tome of Wisdom, which means it isn’t the Tome of Wisdom. Echidna likely has the original Tome of Wisdom since she saw the future and knew that Subaru needed a spirit blade to kill himself with. It would also make sense if she had it given Beatrice and Roswaal’s connection to her and that the two have something that is not quite as powerful as the original.

    As for whether you can defy what is written in a not-quite-Tome of Wisdom, I almost certain that you can. Roswaal mentioned in episode 12 that as of right now Subaru was unable to make the prediction in the book come true, which shows that Subaru’s actions can change the future written in it. Another indication of this is that Beatrice said that the last words Echidna gave to her was to wait for “that person”, which suggests that Echidna personally makes the text in the not-quite-Tome of Wisdom appear. I think it’s clear that the future as written in the not-quite-Tome of Wisdom can change given that Roswaal makes it snow whenever Subaru leaves the Sanctuary, and this can happen on different days of the loop. Echidna probably changes up the text in the not-quite Tome of Wisdom depending on what she sees from the original copy.

    I really wonder how Subaru will succeed this arc as right now it seems impossible. I think Subaru providing Emilia the emotional support she needs to pass the first trial might be the best path forward at the time. Maybe Emilia will only see one bad future in the second trial since she doesn’t have Return by Death, so the second trial might actually be easy for her to complete in comparison to Subaru.

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