She wasn’t always cold-hearted.
Prior to becoming a magical girl, Homura was simply the new timid transfer student. As she was recently released from the hospital, her confidence to perform well in school was at an all-time low. Her classmate, Madoka, was often there to help put a smile on her face. Still, she continued to beat herself up internally. Those thoughts one day unknowingly led her into a witch’s labyrinth. However, this would not be her end. Veteran magical girl, Mami, and her new partner, Madoka, saved her life. Through these two, Homura learned about the world of magical girls. While she treasured her time with these two, it all ended in the blink of an eye. The arrival of Walpurgis Night claimed Mami and Madoka’s life. Although the surrounding scene was chaotic as could be, Kyuubey used this opportunity to lure in another one. In exchange for her soul, Homura was gifted the power to see Madoka again. As the world around her rewound itself, Homura awoke in her hospital bed, but this time as a magical girl.
During her second attempt, Homura wasted no time reuniting with Madoka. She may have been a novice magical girl, but she was willing to put in the work. Still, even her best efforts led to the same conclusion. Not only did Madoka fall during Walpurgis Night, she became the very thing she swore to fight. With a fraction of the truth before her, Homura used her power to turn back time once more. However, she would soon learn the price of telling the others the truth. Not all magical girls can accept the reality of what Kyuubey did to them. At the end of her third attempt, only herself and Madoka remained. Although they approached Walpurgis Night with a glimmer of hope, they were no match. With both their Soul Gems about to give way to despair, Madoka bet it all on Homura. Using her final Grief Seed, she asked Homura for two favors. First, to stop her foolish self from ever making a contract with Kyuubey, and to end her life before becoming a witch. As her one true friend drew her final breaths, Homura swore to do everything in her power to find the perfect timeline. No matter how long it may take, she’ll keep on going until she saves Madoka.
Though this episode took place entirely in the past, I believe this to be the most important episode of the show. Not only does one learn about the dedication Homura has for Madoka, it allowed for the existence of Magia Record. Homura has without a doubt been through a lot, and understandably it’s made her cold, but her leaps through time ensured future stories. As we’ll soon learn here, there’s no possible way the main timeline can end happy for everyone. Anyhow, a promise is a promise. Enjoy the eternal battle of saving Madoka!
Now this is suffering.
We can only dwell in the past for so long. The long awaited night begins next time.