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Cinder and Associates
"Don't think... Obey."An ambitious and enigmatic woman with power over fire, Cinder Fall is the leader of an equally mysterious group closely associated with crime lord Roman Torchwick. She and her teammates, Mercury Black and Emerald Sustrai, infiltrate Beacon Academy in Volume 2, posing as transfer students from Mistral's Haven Academy while subtly preparing the terrain for a war between the kingdoms, the results of which are coming to fruition by Volume 3.
- Ambition Is Evil: Her ambition for power has made her try and kill the Fall Maiden to take her powers for her own, and indirectly caused mass chaos and some other deaths. Best summed up by her in the season 3 episode, Beginning of the End:Cinder: I want to be strong. I want to be feared. I want to be powerful.
- An Offer You Can't Refuse: Adam refuses to work with her on the grounds that the White Fang members would be put in danger because of her, plus the White Fang does not work with humans. Cinder later offers him both money and Dust for his cause. After absorbing the Fall Maiden's power, she slaughters the White Fang members in front of him and reiterates that her offer can either benefit him as well as her, or just her alone. It's not the money and Dust that convince him, it's the threat.
- Bad Boss: Hinted in Vol 3 Chapter 7, where she's heard slapping a disagreeable Emerald and telling her to 'know her place'. She also secured the White Fang's loyalty by massacring them when they initially refused her offer.
- Bare-Handed Blade Block: Can deflect shots fired from Crescent Rose with just her palm, due to using the half of the Fall Maiden's power she stole. She can also do it with Pyrrha's actual blade.
- Bare Your Midriff: Her outfit in "Round One" is a sarashi and an open fur vest.
- Barrier Warrior: She likely has one of the strongest Auras in the show; every attack she uses is done through Dust, which takes aura to manipulate. She can also block high-caliber sniper rifle shots with her bare hand, as noted above. While Ren blocked a King Taijitu's fangs in a similar manner, he visibly struggled to do so, while Cinder does so without even flinching. Later episodes imply that the bullet-blocking was a result of the Fall Maiden's powers she stole, rather than aura, but how exactly the Maiden powers and aura interact is unclear.
- The Beastmaster: Not only is she seen summoning a tick-like Grimm from her hand, in Volume 3's finale she softly speaks to and comforts the Grimm Dragon, who then comes to her defense when Pyrrha intervenes by smashing the tower. This is particularly appropriate given Salem is the Greater Scope Villain to her Big Bad.
- Big Bad: Cinder is driving the known villains and their activities, such as ordering Roman to steal Dust or kill Tukson, and reprimanding Mercury and Emerald for defying her orders when they killed Tukson instead of Roman. She is leading the infiltration of Beacon; she hacked into the CCT computers, has secret computer access ports, and can control the tournament match-ups. Adam told her that he would make sure the White Fang continue to work with her, despite faunus deaths during the Volume 2 finale. Qrow states the Beacon infiltrator is not the Queen's pawn and is the person responsible for the mysterious condition of "Autumn", who is the Fall Maiden, Amber.
- Big "WHAT?!": In the Volume 3 finale, Cinder cries out "What?!" in angry disbelief when white power bursts out of Ruby's eyes and engulfs the entire area, freezing the Grimm Dragon in the process.
- Bow and Sword, in Accord: Her main weapons, outside of using Dust, are two swords that can combine to form a bow. After absorbing half of the Fall Maiden's power, she's able to summon them directly onto her hands.
- Blunt "Yes": Her response to Pyrrha's last words, asking her if she believes in destiny.
- Combat Stilettos: All of her outfits include heels, even when roof-hopping and fighting off the soldiers that try to stop her from infiltrating the communications tower in "Dance Dance Infiltration."
- The Chessmaster: Cinder is carrying out a long-running plan that so far has the entire world in grave danger. She easily predicts most of the cast's moves and what she doesn't ends up used against them to all the more dangerous effect. She started by recruiting Mercury and Emerald, then sapping half the Fall Maiden's powers, then recruiting Torchwick and the White Fang, then commanding Dust robberies and infiltrating Beacon. From there, she infiltrated the CCT Tower, and managed to take control of almost every defense available through the system, including the Vytal Tournament matchups and Penny. She obtains the rest of the Fall Maiden's power at the end of Volume 3.
- Chess Motifs: At the end of "Dance Dance Infiltration", a computer she was working on flashes the symbol of a black chess queen.
- The Cracker: Using a virus she's infiltrated General Ironwood's and the Vytal Festival's systems rather thoroughly, allowing her to set up the matchups to suit her plans.
- Dark Action Girl: One of the most powerful fighters in the series, she's reserved with a touch of cruelty, and managed to duel Glynda in a magical battle, and when she infiltrates the CCT, she defeats a room full of armed soldiers single-handedly before again holding off Ruby using her dual blades and bow. She also helped defeat the Fall Maiden and stole half of her powers. As Qrow stated, she is someone to be feared. By the end of "Heroes and Monsters", Cinder has gained all of the Fall Maiden's powers after shooting Amber in the chest with her bow.
- Didn't See That Coming: Cinder enacts all of her plans with a smug attitude of expecting every thing that's thrown at her, or easily adapting to the few curveballs thrown her way. However, at the end of Volume 3, she finally encounters a situation that she didn't plan for, and completely loses her composure as a result. Ruby's reaction to Pyrrha's death is an explosion of power from her eyes that freezes the Grimm Dragon and engulfs the entire area. Cinder is thrown into such disbelief, it's clear she had no idea Ruby could do this.
- Do Not Adjust Your Set: Cinder takes control of the computers of the CCT, Ironwood's army and Vytal tournament, which allows her to broadcast anything she wants, regardless of any security. When Pyrrha accidentally tears apart Penny, Cinder takes over the air waves to send a global message, condemning Ozpin and Ironwood, all four academies, the Atlas army and to claim the four kingdoms are at the brink of war. Even though Oobleck tries to cut the feed, the broadcast team can't do it.
- The Dragon: Downplayed. While she was the one who masterminded and carried out the plan to destroy Vale and claim the power of the Fall Maiden, making her the Big Bad while her master, the mysterious being known as Salem, is the Greater Scope Villain.
- Dual Wielding: When she infiltrates the CCT, she fights the guards by summoning or creating a pair of long blades. In a flashback to before she gained Amber's powers, she can be seen fighting with two swords.
- Evil Counterpart: For Ruby. A young girl being admitted into Beacon two years early contrasting with a woman infiltrating the same school illegitimately. Ruby relies on Crescent Rose almost exclusively during combat while Cinder has one of the most varied fighting styles in the entire cast. Both are looking to change the world, though Ruby hopes to give everyone a happy ending while Cinder appears to want to throw the world into chaos. They even share the same red-and-black color scheme, but where Ruby is accented with silver, Cinder is accented with gold. By the end of Volume 3 they both now possess legendary magical powers but whereas Cinder stole her Fall Maiden abilities by force Ruby inherited her Silver eyed warrior powers naturally from her mother.
- Face Framed in Shadow: When she fights Ruby in Episode 1, her face is completely shadowed except for one burning eye. Due to this, when she and Ruby meet face-to-face, she's wearing different clothing so Ruby doesn't recognize her.
- Fairytale Motif: Based on Cinderella. Cinder's name was originally drafted as "Cinder Ella" before being finalised as "Cinder Fall" and her footsteps are accompanied by the sound of tinkling glass as an allusion to Cinderella's glass slippers. Her attacks are fire-based and she uses glass weapons. Although she has fire dust woven into her clothing, her glass attacks are singled out as not being her Semblance. When she infiltrates the CCT, she has to be "home by midnight"; as the clock chimes midnight, she flees the CCT while her clothes transform. Her mask is left behind on the floor.
- False Reassurance: During the Volume 3 finale Cinder gives some less than comforting words to Pyrrha right before killing her:Cinder: It's unfortunate you were promised a power that was never truly yours. But take comfort in knowing that I will use it in ways you could never have imagined.
- Fighter, Mage, Thief: She's the Mage of her trio, with Emerald as the Thief and Mercury as the Fighter. In "Dance Dance Infiltration", however, she's shown to apply all three styles, breaching into the CCT and stealing some information, all while giving a rough beating to the guards with pure physical prowess, then engaging Ruby with her magical powers.
- Flight: An ability she gains after killing Amber and absorbing the Autumn Maiden's full power.
- Glowing Eyes of Doom: Her eyes glow yellow when using her fire powers, drifting into Fireball Eyeballs territory.
- Gunship Rescue: She arrives in a gunship to bail Roman out in Episode 1 of Volume 1.
- The Heavy: After Torchwick's imprisonment and his death, she's the most forefront villain. She's also implied to serve Salem, the Greater Scope Villain.
- Hero Killer: Orchestrated Penny's destruction through Emerald and Pyrrha, and personally killed both Amber and Pyrrha within minutes of one another.
- Hidden Agenda Villain: Everything about her is shrouded in mystery. We don't what she wants or why she wants it, who she works with (or for). There's a "Queen" who has "pawns", and a group that is responsible for the mysterious condition of someone called "Autumn". Cinder is clearly a part of this, but exactly which part of Qrow's ambiguous "they" she belongs to is still unclear.
- Horror Hunger: Due to only absorbing half of the Fall Maiden's power, Cinder describes the resulting feeling as an "emptiness that burns like hunger", but also adds that she quite likes the feeling.
- Hypocrite: Cinder tells Pyrrha that it is unfortunate that Pyrrha was promised a power that was never rightfully hers. This is after Cinder stole the power of the Fall Maiden, which means Cinder's power is not rightfully hers.
- Image Song: "When It Falls", the Volume 3 opening song, details much of Cinder's goals and Breaking Speech for the Kingdoms.
- Knight of Cerebus: As soon as her plan starts coming into fruition, the series becomes a lot darker. As of the end of Volume 3, she has been responsible for the deaths of three major characters, two by her own hands, plus the occupation by Grimm and subsequent destruction of the school that was the setting for all of the first three seasons, and a major increase in military tension between two countries.
- Know When to Fold 'Em: When Adam threatens her with Wilt and Blush in order to get her to leave the White Fang alone, she decides to back out. However, she comes back when she's stolen Amber's power, and now that she's capable of decimating the White Fang, Adam has no choice but to go with her.
- Kubrick Stare: Wears this often with an enigmatic grin, with her Peek-a-Bangs helping considerably.
- Kung-Fu Wizard: Is skilled at both fire manipulation and close combat.
- Lady of Black Magic: She's ever so composed and elegant, and a powerful user of fire Dust. She's one of the most powerful magic users shown so far in the story, thanks to absorbing half of the Fall Maiden's power. Once she absorbs all of them, her magical strength increases immensely, with her fire attacks becoming much more grand and destructive.
- Lady of War: Cinder maintains an air of calm and reserve, and when she's not using her Fall Maiden powers she employs stealth and her glass dual blades or bow and arrow to take out enemies with eerie grace.
- Leitmotif: A chilling hint of choir, and a subtle singeing sound.
- Lightning Bruiser: "Beginning of the End" shows that, in addition to her already powerful fire abilities, Cinder is incredibly fast.
- Mage Marksman: Skilled with archery along with her use of fire Dust. Her fight with Ruby shows that the arrows she forms thanks to the Fallen Maiden's powers are able to explode on impact.
- The Man Behind the Man: For most of Volume 1, Roman Torchwick was seen as the prime antagonist. Then she shows up at the very end to prove that he's working for her. She also appears to be working for someone else, Salem, who appears to be Ozpin's Arch-Enemy.
- Marked Change: After absorbing part of Amber's power Cinder gains a Power Tattoo on her upper back and her Glowing Eyes of Doom.
- Meaningful Name: Her name is "Cinder". Whenever she uses Dust, it's always Fire Dust, and a cinder is the light among ashes that can be seen when a fire has died out, linking her to the central theme of several RWBY songs and the show overall. Her surname, "Fall", is also the much more somber and negative sounding phrase for Autumn, which is the name of the original Fall Maiden, whose power she steals in two stages.
- Minidress of Power: She has one of the shortest and most revealing dresses of any cast member, given the shortest part of the skirt has a slit up the side that reveal she's wearing either hotpants or a tight skirt underneath. Best seen in this rigging test of her character model.
- Ms. Fanservice: She is certainly a voluptuous individual, and the camera angles are (in)famous for milking this for all of its worth, providing us with some tantalizing shots, the most famous of which being a butt shot in "Dance Dance Infiltration"◊. Also, when given the chance, we see a bunch of the black shorts she wears underneath (as in the Season 3 opening, and "Beginning of the End".
- Mundane Utility: Uses her Playing with Fire abilities to pop a grain of popcorn in the Volume 3 premier.
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: By killing Pyrrha, she's responsible for Ruby unlocking the power in her silver eyes, which is enough to freeze the Grimm dragon and sounds like it may be on par with the power of the Seasonal Maidens.
- Nice Shoes: In episode one her shoes make a distinct clinking sound when she walks revealing them to be made of glass.
- Not So Stoic: Cinder's usual emotional range is pretty much limited to "unnervingly calm" but when Ruby utilizes an unforeseen ability to freeze the dragon in place, she completely loses her cool and lets out a single, animalistic "WHAT?".
- Older Than They Look: She's apparently a young woman, but older than most of the main cast, and she easily passes as a student when she presents herself as a Haven student, despite officially being "older" than the main cast; how much older is unclear, but even assuming she's in her early 20s, she's still impressively youthful-looking. It helps in-universe that the audience never hears what year she's passing as, which would allow her to be 17, rather unbelievable, or 21, a bit easier to swallow.
- OOC Is Serious Business:
- After Cinder has successfully accomplished her longstanding goal of obtaining the Fall Maiden's full power and faces down Ozpin, you'd have every reason to expect her to be smug and satisfied in her accomplishment. But when she comments on Ozpin's "arrogance," she sounds... angry.
- It's very brief, but when Pyrrha asks her if she believes in destiny, Cinder noticeably pauses as her usual smirk changes into a frown. She then calmly replies "yes" with a chilliness that stands in stark contrast to her triumphant tone when she first had Pyrrha at her mercy.
- When Ruby unleashes an unknown power within her after Pyrrha dies, Cinder makes a very surprised look of panic that differs from her usual "cool" and "controlled" personality.
- Peek-a-Bangs: Her left eye is covered by her hair.
- Playing with Fire: All her attacks seen so far are fire based, even when she materializes her weapons. Before she gained the Fall Maiden's powers, she used (and still uses) volcanic glass Dust to attack, which continued her fire attack trend. She begins utilizing magic fire attacks after draining half the Fall Maiden's power. Even when she gains the entirety of the Fall Maiden's powers, which include ice, wind, and lightning abilities, she still only ever attacks with fire, albeit much more powerfully, suggesting she is either unable to use it to its full extent for some reason, or simply prefers fire too much to consider the other powers.
- Power Glows: The patterns on the collar and sleeves of her dress (and on her catsuit) light up bright yellow when using Aura. The first Remnant History episode states that some "old-school" Dust Users put Dust into their clothing. When Ruby and Glynda discuss it, Ironwood points out it's such a time-honoured tradition that it can't be used to identify the villain's identity, indicating that it may be an "old school" method, but it's still very commonly used.
- Power Parasite: Vol. 3 Chapter 7 reveals that Cinder absorbed Amber's power using some form of parasitic Grimm creature that appears from a portal conjured in her Tricked Out Glove.
- Pragmatic Villainy: Cinder berates Emerald and Mercury for killing Tukson without her orders, but not because she's against the murder. She's just pissed that Emerald and Mercury risked exposing themselves by killing someone when they need to keep their hands clean for the infiltration of Beacon and sabotaging the Vytal Festival.
- Psychotic Smirk: Sports them very often, such as with this one◊ at the end of "Welcome to Beacon", and another◊ right before confronting Ruby in "Dance Dance Infiltration". She also gives one when fighting Amber.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Gives quite the scathing one to both the kingdoms of Vale and Atlas soon after Pyrrha's murdering of Penny, questioning why a place like Beacon would make Child Soldiers who could be prone to Heroic BSODs so easily or why the heavily militarized Atlas would go and build Ridiculously Human Robots like Penny, make them combat ready and let them wander around so easily. She even claims that Mistral, the kingdom she and her associates apparently hail from, is just as bad.
- Sarashi: Her combat outfit during the Vytal tournament consists of an open fur jacket over cloth binding her chest. She also has cloth binding her lower abdomen underneath the navel, as well as wraps on her arms.
- She's Got Legs: Her normal outfit, the minidress, allows for a ton of opportunities for the camera to linger on her nice legs, which it does repeatedly.
- Spy Cat Suit: In ''Dance Dance Infiltration," with gratuitous cleavage.
- The Stoic: Throughout three volumes Cinder has never raised her voice, maintaining a low, calm tone even when disciplining (in one case physically) her subordinates. In a show in which everybody taunts their foe, grunts, or makes some variety of vocalization during combat, Cinder is notable in that she almost never speaks- or even emotes- throughout the battles she has been a part of.
- Stealth Hi/Bye: Pulls this on Ruby in "Dance Dance Infiltration", disappearing from view during the brief period where Ruby turned around.
- The Straight and Arrow Path: One of her weapons in Dance Dance Infiltration. She can fire 3 arrows at once. It turns out this was the alt. mode of her dual swords before she absorbed the Fall Maiden's powers.
- Summon to Hand: In "Dance Dance Infiltration," when she spins around, her limbs illuminate orange, and she materializes a pair of swords for battle. She later does the same when she whips out a bow with three arrows versus Ruby Rose. Given how she previously carried about identical physical swords that could merge into a bow prior to absorbing the Fall Maiden's power, it can be assumed she gained this ability as a result of stealing said powers.
- Super Toughness: Blocking Crescent Rose's shots with her bare palm with no effort would require an intensely powerful Aura, or a Maiden's powers.
- Tricked Out Glove: In the flashback shown in Vol. 3 Chapter 7, Cinder puts on a glove with the symbol of an eye inside a circle over her right hand. This glove seems to summon the Beetle Grimm that allows Cinder to absorb Amber's power. It is also possibly a one time use device, as it burns off after Qrow cuts off Cinders connection with Amber.
- Unnecessary Combat Roll: She does a cartwheel just before finishing off one downed soldier with her black swords.
- Vague Age: She's described as "older" than the main characters, but still looks young enough to infiltrate Beacon posing as a student. This is apparently because she's Asian, and moisturizes a lot.
- Wizard Duel: Her fire versus Glynda's telekinesis.
- Worthy Opponent: Cinder has a measure of respect for Pyrrha, as in her words, Pyrrha's skill and subtlety in battle makes her appear to be destined for victory, but she's actually taken destiny into her own hands. During their confrontation, she has a brief conversation with Pyrrha, and tries to reassure her (in her own twisted way) that the Fall Maiden's power will be used properly, and tries to give Pyrrha a quick and efficient death.
- Xanatos Speed Chess: Cinder has a talent in taking advantage of every opportunity that comes her way to make incremental gains. When she was initially disappointed that an assassin she was hoping to recruit was killed by his previously unknown and clearly hostile son, she just shrugged and took in the clearly more talented orphan. When Team RWBY provokes Torchwick into causing the Grimm invasion early, she lets the authorities take care of it so Torchwick can be a Trojan Prisoner and use the incident to discredit Ozpin and Beacon. She initially files away Pyrrha's Semblance as a useful factoid, but when her spyware eventually discovers that Penny is a robot of clear value, she immediately arranges the tourney match ups to pit the magnetism-using Pyrrha against the all-metal Penny. The fact that she has a very simple objective for her plan (causing terror, despair, and other negative emotion to bring in the Grimm) makes it even easier for her to adapt.
Voiced By: Gray Haddock [EN], Shinichiro Miki [JP]
"As for me, I'll do what I do best. Lie. Steal. Cheat. And survive!"A crime lord who tries to steal Dust from a store Ruby is visiting. He has been stealing an enormous amount of Dust in recent months, and is working with the White Fang, though for what purpose is unknown.
- Arch-Enemy: Ruby. By the time they meet in Heroes and Monsters he's so fed up with "Little Red" that he gives her a Motive Rant and Breaking Speech just to rub in what he thinks of her idealistic heroics.
- Ax-Crazy: He may not seem like it, but he actively enjoys causing pain. He has a blatant disregard for human life, and finds blowing entire airships full of people down to be absolutely hilarious. Usually Played for Laughs, but occasionally, he has a serious moment.Roman: What does this button do? (After blowing up an airship) Oh, fun!
- Back for the Dead: He missed the majority of Volume 3 after he got arrested at Volume 2's climax. Neo frees him in PvP and he gets to enjoy the freedom for two episodes before he gets Swallowed Whole by a Grimm Griffon in Heroes and Monsters, after which said Griffon is sent crashing into the Atlesian ship's deck courtesy of Ruby.
- Bomb Throwing Anarchist: Roman is positively gleeful at destroying government property. His speech at a White Fang rally also gives this impression. And when he gets the chance to destroy the Atlas air fleet in Volume 3, he's absolutely thrilled.Roman: I'd like to mention the fact that you and I all have a common enemy! The ones in control, the people pulling the strings, the dirty, rotten humans that run our kingdoms. Government, military, even the schools. They're all to blame for your lot in life!
- Breakout Villain: He was originally going to be a first-episode-only villain who does little fighting, but positive reception led to Monty making him more significant in the grand scheme of things (and more dangerous too).
- Cane Fu: His Weapon of Choice is a walking cane that can be used as a firearm. With it, he not only overpowers Blake, he blocks every single shot from Sun's shotguns, point-blank! When he and Ruby finally fight again, it's almost entirely in his favor. Had he not been Swallowed Whole by a Griffon, he probably would've killed her.
- Casual Danger Dialogue: Defeating him is just not enough to get him to shut up. Seriously; he has one-liners for almost every single instance his plans have been thwarted by the heroes.
- Combat Pragmatist: The moment Ruby turns to tell Penny to stay back, he takes full advantage and blasts her. And when both arms are blasted off the Paladin he's piloting, he still kicks Yang away with the legs - not to mention having shoulder-tackled her into a pillar before that. When Ruby is knocked down by one of his blasts and on the verge of falling off the hijacked airship, Roman immediately walks up and tries to finish her at point-blank range.
- Curse Cut Short: When Blake sneaks up on him in Black and White:Roman: Oh, for fu—
- Dastardly Dapper Derby: He wears a Derby as his hat of choice and he's appropriately a suave villain.
- Deadpan Snarker: Has a sharp wit and usually snarks in a calm kind of voice.
- Dragon with an Agenda: Has shades of this. He primarily operates separate from Cinder's group, holds Emerald and Mercury in contempt, hired his own Dark Action Girl to counteract the White Fang's and Cinder's numeric superiority, and on occasion outright ignores orders, such as with Tukson and starting the train plan ahead of Cinder's schedule (though the latter may be due to his hideout being discovered by Ruby). He also remains one of the best fighters, going up against Team RWBY with a Mini-Mecha, and the groups front man, attending a White Fang rally and presenting an acquired Atlesian Paladin. Downplayed in the conclusion to Volume Two: Roman is willing to be captured by the police and imprisoned for the actions that Cinder planned. However, whether or not this was to pursue a broader agenda is unclear.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: Roman and Ruby are fighting while surrounded by Grimm. Roman gains the upper hand, knocks Ruby to the ground and beats her with his cane while ranting about the idiocy of her positive, heroic idealism in a world where Hunters die young and the only thing people can do is just try to survive however they can. Just as he emphasises he's a survivor instead of a hero, he is abruptly swallowed by a Griffon. His rant had been highly negative, and Grimm are attracted to negative emotions, but the death is very abrupt, and unexpectedly mundane by this show's magical standards.
- Early-Bird Cameo: We get a brief glimpse of him talking with Junior in the "Yellow" trailer.
- Eaten Alive: Right as he's in the middle of a loud rant to Ruby on why she should just give up, a Griffon lands behind him and chomps him. When it roars a second later, there's no sign of Roman. Word of God is that yes, he dies by this.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: The only time he shows any slight concern for any life other than his own is when Neo is blown off the airship by Ruby.
- Evil Is Hammy: Whenever he has time to make an angry speech to the protagonists, it's always with unapologetic gusto and and dramatic gestures.
- Expy: DVD commentary points out he's Alex DeLarge from A Clockwork Orange, wearing a Derby Hat, a white jacket, using a cane as a weapon, and even having Alex's eye tattoo. And while Roman isn't nearly as Ax-Crazy as Alex, he's certainly a ruthless criminal mastermind.
- False Reassurance: In Vol. 1 Ep. 1 he and a few goons visit the From Dust Till Dawn shop. He assures the shopkeeper that he doesn't want any money... right before ordering his men to steal the Dust.
- Fantastic Racism: Has a low opinion of Faunus and badmouths some hired Faunus mooks. According to DVD commentary, his racism isn't just exaggerated to show how villainous he is; his low opinions of Faunus are actually commonly held views in this setting.
- Faux Affably Evil: Sugarcoats his nature as a ruthless crime lord by adopting a relatively polite, gentlemanly manner that just barely lapses when he's annoyed. And then, when somebody really irks him, completely drops, as in Season 3.
- Gentleman Thief: He likes presenting himself as a dashing, polite gentleman as he's being a crime boss. Though he's willing to use violence when necessary; namely, when an Action Girl has just pulverized all his goons.
- Giggling Villain: When he fights Sun and Blake, he lets out a series of maniacal, though low-key, cackles.
- Good Smoking, Evil Smoking: Being evil and classy, he loves smoking cigars.
- Gonna Need More Trope: He comments that whatever scheme is being planned in Players and Pieces needs more men.
- The Heavy: The Stinger at the end of Volume 1 reveals that he's working for Cinder, not the other way around as it seemed back in the first episode. Even with the introduction of Cinder, Mercury, and Emerald into the story, Roman is the one making most of their plans actually happen while they remain under cover at Beacon. Evetually Torchwick is locked up in Prison at the end of Season 2 with Cinder fully taking on the role in 3.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: His ranting at Ruby's optimism ends up being his demise at a Griffon Grimm because Grimms are naturally attracted to strong negative emotions - and Roman was flooding with it at the time.
- I Fight for the Strongest Side: He states that he sides with Cinder because he believes she's unstoppable.
- I Shall Taunt You: He actually does a pretty good job at breaking Blake's composure during their second fight, though he didn't account for the Dust that Weiss gave her to tip the scales.
- Know When To Fold Them: He's a very good fighter, but he knows better than to get into a prolonged fight with the main cast, so whenever it looks like he's just about to face some trouble, he hauls his ass out.Roman: I may be a gambling man, but even I know there are some bets you just don't take.
- Lampshade Hanging: When he's fleeing yet again in Black and White:Roman: These kids just keep getting weirder!
- Leitmotif: A low, slightly mysterious flute, violin, and piano piece.
- The Nicknamer: He calls Ruby "Red" during their first encounter and continues to use it in future ones. His first encounter with Weiss results in him calling her "Ice Queen" due to the ice attacks she was using on him. He doesn't know others call her that because of her personality. After seeing Blake's cat ears, he refers to her as "Kitty Cat" during their next encounter.
- Peek-a-Bangs: His hair covers the right side of his face.
- Pet the Dog: He shows genuine concern for Neo in Heroes and Monsters, crying her name in anguish after she falls from the airship, which can come as a surprise, considering how he's been a Jerk Ass to even his allies most of the time. It's also the first time he expresses care for anyone else in the series.
- Actually not the first time. He insults Faunus in general, but upon realizing one is right behind him, you'd expect, knowing this guy to just kill him. Instead, however, he claims that he's the only one he ''doesn't'' hate. On the one hand, the Blatant Lies are obvious. On the other, he didn't kill him. That, at least, counts as a moment of kindness for this guy.
- Play-Along Prisoner: He's arrested in the Volume 2 finale, but remains completely confident and taunts Ironwood when he tries to interrogate him; it's part of the plan.
- Politically Incorrect Villain: Of the fantasy type. He clearly looks down on Faunus and calls them animals to their faces. He does acknowledge that they're both people, and dangerous though. Especially the dangerous part.
- Pragmatic Villainy: Prefers to run off, preferably with the loot, than to fight the heroes when his Mooks fail.
- Reality Ensues: In Heroes and Monsters, he gives an angry and frustrated rant to Ruby in a sky full of Grimm. His inattentiveness (and the Grimm's attraction to negative emotions) gets him Swallowed Whole by a Griffon.
- Recurring Boss: The main cast do keep running into him. He and Ruby are introduced together when they run into conflict with each other while he's stealing Dust from a shop she's in. He later takes on Sun and Blake in two-on-one combat, fights RWBY, Sun and Neptune in a giant mecha, climaxing in a huge confrontation between RWBY and Roman's group that leds to Roman's capture - although being captured appears to be part of the plan.
- Sedgwick Speech: Gets killed immediately after ranting to Ruby about how he'll survive.Roman: As for me, I'll do what I do best: Lie, steal, cheat, and survive! [Griffon swoops down and eats him]
- Self-Deprecation: When he tells the faunus that "humans are the worst", he uses himself as an example of what he means by that.
- Silly Rabbit, Idealism Is for Kids!: He angrily rants at Ruby for her idealism.Roman: This is the real world! The real world is cold! The real world doesn't care about spirit! You want to be a hero? Then play the part and die, like every other Huntsman in history!
- The Social Darwinist: Episode 11 of Volume 3 gives him shades of this, when he tells Ruby that, since she wants to be a hero so much, she ought to die like one, while he does what he does best: "lie, steal, cheat, and survive!"
- The Social Expert: He can walk onto a stage in front of a mob of angry Faunus, use himself as an example of why Humans Are the Real Monsters, and still have them cheering for him by the end.
- Starter Villain: In the first episode, he organizes a simple store robbery only to be thwarted by Ruby and Glenda. Thanks to his popularity, he was quickly given a much more solid role in the overall story.
- Stealth Pun: The shots from his cane look an awful lot like roman candles...
- Super Reflexes:
- Despite Sun and Blake's superior speed, he's still able to keep up with both of them attacking him near-simultaneously, and able to dodge and/or deflect almost everything the pair sends his way, including point-blank shotgun blasts courtesy of Sun.
- In "Heroes and Monsters", he's quick enough to shoot a round from Melodic Cudgel, grab it with the cane's handle, then redirect the shot to Ruby.
- Surrounded by Idiots: He pretty much calls the mobsters useless when Ruby defeats them in under a minute.
- Swallowed Whole: Gets swallowed by a giant Griffon just after finishing his rant to Ruby in "Heroes And Monsters". Ruby promptly trounces the Griffon and makes the Griffon, Torchwick, and the entire battleship explode.
- Tactical Withdrawal: In the first episode, he chooses not to face Ruby head-on after she knocks his goons out. And in the sixteenth, he flees after watching Penny decimate the White Fang and destroy three airships in quick succession.
- Talking Is a Free Action: Averted in the Volume One finale. The moment Ruby turns to look at Penny and tell her to get back Torchwick blasts her with a direct hit from Melodic Cudgel. Averted again, this time against him, when a Griffon grabs him while he's monologuing.
- Teeth-Clenched Teamwork:
- He clearly shows disdain for the Faunus, but he's forced to work with them under Cinder's orders.Roman: We're not exactly the most inconspicuous of thieves at the moment, so why don't you animals try and pick up the pace?
- He can't stand Emerald and Mercury, and made it plain (and public) that Cinder is the only reason he hasn't tried to kill them outright.
- He clearly shows disdain for the Faunus, but he's forced to work with them under Cinder's orders.
- Tempting Fate: Just after finishing his rant to Ruby that he'll survive, he gets swallowed by a Griffon.
- Took a Level in Badass: When his role as a villain got buffed up, so did his fighting competence. He goes from cutting his losses and escaping from Ruby in his first appearance to overpowering Blake and giving Sun a run for his money during Black and White.
- Trojan Prisoner: Roman is deliberately captured at the end of Volume 2 because Cinder's plan needs him on that ship. While Ironwood seems happy to have captured him, Qrow is concerned it's an excuse for the "second head" of the enemy to work more freely. Cinder needs one of Ironwood's ships under her command to take out the fleet when she sets off the second Grimm invasion of Vale. Neo breaks out Roman, who takes control of Blue-2.
- Villain Exit Stage Left: He has a tendency to use a colleague as a distraction so that he can escape via a suddenly available airship. It's done in his debut departure in Ruby Rose and repeated in Black and White and Painting The Town.
- Villain Has a Point: He has a point when he gives Ruby a good lecture for her idealism. Turns out in the real world, no matter how strong or determined you are, trying to be a hero when the odds are against you is a quick way to get yourself killed. He's proven right post-mortem when Pyrrha engages Cinder, who has now absorbed all of the Fall Maiden's powers, alone in a desperate attempt to save Beacon. This results in her dying tragically while Ruby can only watch on in horror.
- Villainous Breakdown: While his rant to Ruby might be seen as "The Reason You Suck" Speech, it can also be seen as this, seeing that Ruby just forces Neo off the ship and declares that she would never give up her fighting spirit no matter what he throws at her. Instead of fighting tactically, he resorts to just hitting her over and over with his cane as if trying to knock some sense into his opponent, being one of the only few times he loses his cool, which cost him dearly when a Grimm Griffon eats him while he's distracted.
- Villainous Friendship: While he treats most people like tools or morons, he does seem to legitimately care about Neo. The only time he displays anything nearing concern for anyone is when Ruby throws Neo off an airship.
- We Gotta Stop Meeting Like This: One of his teasing taunts to Blake before they start fighting in "No Brakes".
- What Does This Button Do?: While piloting one of Ironwood's ships in Battle of Beacon, he's seen pressing buttons on the control panel at random while saying this. One button seems to set off an explosion, while another causes the Atlasian Knights onboard to be jettisoned (though Roman thinks it doesn't do anything).
- Where Does He Get All Those Wonderful Toys?: Manages not only to steal an assload of Dust easily, but also procures an Atlesian Paladin literally the episode after it was introduced.
- Worthy Opponent: Roman has respect for Ruby's stubborn nature and determination, even praising her spirit. On the other hand, he finds her idealism and desire to be a hero to be utterly infuriating, as it clashes with his brutally cynical view of the world.
- Would Hit a Girl: Ruby is a fifteen year old girl. Torchwick doesn't hesitate to fight her, and even when he's making his escape, he throws explosive uncut Fire Dust at her, requiring Glynda to intervene to protect her. In their encounter in Heroes and Monsters he gives her a real beating with his cane while she's curled up in the fetal position as he monologues to her about how meaningless spirit is in the real world.
- You Have Failed Me: Junior implies that Torchwick did this to his hired mobsters, seeing how none of them returned after their dust heist. He also implies this will happen to a White Fang member who momentarily objects to his order to start the train early.
Melodic CudgelRoman's weapon, which appears to be an ordinary walking stick, but when activated it raises a crosshair and fires an unstable explosive round resembling a roman candle.
- Cane Fu: It can stand up to Blake's Gambol Shroud and he's skilled enough with it to put up an extended fight with Blake and Sun.
- Classy Cane: The shaft of the cane serves as the barrel of an explosive round shooter, complete with a crosshair attachment above the barrel.
- Grappling-Hook Pistol: Its handle can be shot out to grapple onto something.
- Sigil Spam: Look closely at its tip, and you can see a jack-o-lantern face carved around it. Judging from the episode 8 credits, it's probably his symbol.
- Stealth Pun:
- A Roman Candle is a kind of firework.
- Pinocchio's nemesis likes getting you all tangled up in strings.
- Stuff Blowing Up: It fires explosive bolts.
Voiced By: J.J. Castillo [volume 2], Yuri Lowenthal [volume 3]
I'm the one that was born in a nightmare a murderer's son!
Got no gun but I gleam like a blade and I'm harder than iron!One of two "right-hand men" to Cinder introduced in the Black and White stinger. Mercury is a laid-back man who frequently engages in friendly bickering with his partner Emerald. He fights primarily with his modified greaves, and has absolute confidence in his combat ability.
- Abusive Parents: He mentions that the drunken Qrow smells like his father after a long day. One of the verses from his perspective in "I'm the One" implies that he was regularly beaten. When Cinder and Emerald first meet Mercury, he's just killed his father and is tottering around on legs that are badly bandaged and very bloody.
- Armed Legs: His weapon appears to be a pair of greaves that look and act like a dark version of Yang's gauntlets, complete with the ability to fire projectiles. They're also durable enough to withstand the full impact of Yatsuhashi's sword slam. It seems that the greaves function only to store the Dust he is carrying, and his prosthetic legs are his actual weapons.
- Artificial Limbs: His entire legs from the knee down are revealed to be cybernetic prosthetics.
- Awesome by Analysis: His entire fight with Pyrrha is him simply testing her abilities as well as figuring out her Semblance.
- Blood Knight: While he keeps calm and collected in combat, he seemed to find his match against Pyrrha amusing.Mercury: Learning is so much fun.
- Blow You Away: The developer's commentary on the Volume 3 dvd refer to Mercury's bullets as wind dust projectiles.
- Co-Dragons: With Emerald for Cinder. The two of them have been working with Cinder longer than anyone else and have a much more intimate knowledge of her plans than other parties such as Torchwick. Come Volume 3 most, if not all, of Cinder's schemes involve Mercury and Emerald in one way or another.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: In the doubles rounds of the Vytal Festival tournament, not only does he completely dominates Coco and Yatsuhashi on his own before forcefully separating both of them with Emerald's help, but he then goes on to relentlessly strike Yatsuhashi until the latter is pushed into an erupting geyser, at which point Mercury ends his part of the fight with a merciless drop kick.
- Curtains Match the Window: He has matching grey hair and eyes.
- Dance Battler: He's a kick-fighter and his weapons are based around his shoes and ankles. His fighting style can make him look like he's break-dancing, involving lots of body rolling and spinning, to free his legs for attacking. He will even drop to the ground, spinning his body and legs to enable his weapons to fire in all direction. Additionally, it takes cues from Capoeira... which is basically the Martial Art of Dance Battlers.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Along with all the hints of Mercury being abused by his father, the Volume 3 DVD commentary implies that Mercury's backstory is even darker than we've already seen.
- Deadpan Snarker: He has a sarcastic comeback for almost everything that's said around him.Mercury: You're an inspiration to every punk with a gun and a ski mask...
- Death from Above: He seems very fond of taking flying leaps and bringing his right heel down on his enemies' faces. It's almost a signature move for him—he uses it twice in the doubles rounds, once on Yang, and even tries it (to no avail) on Amber. It even featured in his Volume 2 Opening scene.
- Evil Counterpart: To Yang. While both are generally in a good mood otherwise, Yang is much more boisterous and outgoing, while Mercury is more laid-back and low-key. Mercury's attacks are predominately kick based and he seems calm and calculative during combat. Yang is a Boxing Battler who gets angrier the longer she fights. There's also their contrasting relationships with their fathers: Both were taught by their fathers, but Mercury's relationship with his father is significantly more antagonistic. Given the events of "Heroes and Monsters", it's very likely that Yang will be getting a prosthetic right arm to contrast with Mercury's robotic legs.
- Extremity Extremist: Attacks exclusively with his feet. He does use his hands a few times to grab opponents or to block, but he never uses them to actually punch people.
- Fashionable Asymmetry: Towards his right side. The right side of his collar is folded while the left is popped, his hair is cut to hang lower on the right, and like Yang he has a cape (though in Yang's case it's a skirt) around his waist on the right side, bearing his sigil.
- Faux Affably Evil: He seems rather easygoing at first for an assassin, but later episodes in Season 3 show his more sadistic side, to the point where he records all the chaos his group caused.
- Freudian Excuse: It's implied that his father is the reason why he's such a sadist.
- Homing Projectile: Mercury can pull this off with the bullets in his greaves, guiding them around the battlefield by some unknown means. Twice he is seen crafting a miniature hailstorm of bullets before sending the whole thing at an enemy.
- I Let You Win:
- He forfeits his match to Pyrrha after he figures out her fighting style. This is after he's shown to be capable of going toe-to-toe with her, keeping her on the defensive and even managing to disarm her.
- It's implied his fight against Yang went along those lines. He'd left her Aura capacity one percent too high to count as a knock-out, and turned his back despite there being no signal that the fight was over. Not to mention that when he hears Yang unleashing her Semblance, his expression implies that he was expecting it. It's part of the plan to frame Yang in the ensuing incident.
- Image Song: Mercury and Emerald share the song "I'm the One", played during their fight with Team CFVY. Mercury's part in the song details his upbringing with his abusive father and his skill as a fighter.
- I Resemble That Remark!: One of the ways he describes Qrow to Cinder in Volume 3 is "bad hair", apparently not realizing he and Qrow have very similar hairstyles.
- Jerkass: During his confrontation with Ruby in "PvP", he chases Ruby with the intent of capturing or killing her, and when he finds her outside broken up over Penny's dismemberment, he reacts by giving a smug sneer and then calmly shutting the door and leaving her to cry. Given how he also casually joked about murdering a man in cold blood and ruining Yang's reputation by getting her arrested on live TV, it's quite apparent Mercury takes great enjoyment from other people's pain and misery. When watching widespread slaughter and destruction, he takes absolute joy in catching it all on camera.
- Knight of Cerebus: His introduction to the show involves him disobeying The Dragon to carry out the murder of a White Fang defector, before he, his partner and the The Dragon infiltrate Beacon as students. He tests out Pyrrha's Semblance in training as part of a long-term strategy to set Pyrrha up for something, and is later the key player in ensuring Yang is arrested after being framed for an unprovoked attack on him that's captured on live television. It's also later confirmed he killed his father, which is the reason Cinder recruits him as her "assassin".
- Lightning Bruiser: Shockingly fast, as well as being able to hit hard enough to bring down both Coco and Yatsuhashi. Also, he's tough enough that he can directly block a blow from Yatsuhashi that collapses the terrain in a dozen meters in all directions, and it has no impact on his fighting ability.
- Meaningful Name:
- His appearance is a mixture of greys and blacks to give the "silver" tones associated with the element mercury. His foot weapons and the winged helmet motif allude to the Roman god Mercury.
- He also takes after his namesake with his laid-back, trickster nature.
- Mercury, or at least Hermes (his original Greek counterpart) was also responsible for transporting people to the underworld, and thus was associated with death. Mercury Black has the first on-screen murder.
- More Dakka: Seen twice, once to get the drop on Coco and Yatsuhashi and the other to land his final series of hits on Yang. With Yang, it's used to give her a Death of a Thousand Cuts pummelling that leaves her one point short of a loss.
- Patricide: Mercury indicates his father may have been an abusive alcoholic. He killed his father either way. Cinder actually wanted to recruit Marcus, but when she witnesses how Mercury dispatches his old man, she recruits him instead.
- Sadist: Mercury enjoys hurting people and watching them suffer. He's entirely happy to taunt and terrify Ruby, and when he sees Ruby crying over Penny's destruction he has an immensely cruel and satisfied grin. Later, as Vale is being overrun by Grimm, he's recording the entire thing with another sadistic smile.
- Smug Smiler: Has a sardonic grin that almost never seems to leave his face. He approaches almost any situation with a smile that borders on arrogance, because it's usually combat he's tasked with, and he knows almost no one can keep up with him.
- The Sociopath: He murders a man only to discuss comic pictures and joke about the guy he killed. He's casually manipulative, interacting with others only as far as it will benefit himself, such as sparring with Pyrrha to analyse her Semblance and halting as soon as it no longer serves a purpose. He has a high opinion of himself and a great need for stimulation; he is not excited by killing but does enjoy fighting and tends to bore easily if he's not involved in Cinder's machinations; his skirmish with Ruby shows that he will attack someone simply to curb boredom, but stop as soon as it no longer proves interesting. Unlike Emerald, he displays no overt connection to Cinder and qualified when they first met that there needed to be something in it for him before he'd help her. Overall he displays a severe disconnect with other people; that is likely what makes him such a good assassin.
- Super Reflexes: Mercury is faster than he looks. His legs are capable of combating some very fast actions his opponents take. He can even stop Ruby when she's using her Semblance at top speed. Fitting for someone named after the Roman God who's often depicted as being incredibly fast.
- Turns Red: After moving slower than normal and testing the waters, Mercury is uppercutted by Yang, who follows it up with a brutal elbow that knocks him on his stomach. After getting up from this and narrowly avoiding getting disqualified by getting knocked off the ring, he noticeably stops messing around. He moves nearly twice as fast afterward, blocking every blow Yang sends his way and blowing through her defenses like paper. It seems he started getting real after she landed a hit that actually put him on the defensive.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With Emerald. He constantly annoys her by trying to come onto her and being relatively lazier, but he does give her a good chuckle every now and then. They are also quick to back each other up when they get into an argument with Roman.
- Would Hit a Girl: Asides from going all-out on his female opponents, which is expected, he also attacked an unarmed Ruby just to keep her from running away.
Voiced By: Katie Newville
I'm the one who rose out of filth and was loved by no one.
Delusion, I'll steal 'til you're blind and defeat you from inside your mind.One of two "right-hand men" to Cinder introduced in the Black and White stinger. Often feigning an amicable demeanor, Emerald is a snarky woman who also has a habit of sneakily robbing people when they least expect it. She's a premier stealth fighter, preferring opportunity attacks over straight up confrontations.
- Affably Evil: Despite being as cold as you'd expect an assassin and thief to be, her general sense of energy and quirkiness seems pretty genuine.
- She seems to also be genuinely sad over the carnage she and her cohorts helped to unleash, whereas Mercury seems to simply find it funny while Cinder is more concerned with the spectacle being what she needs it to be for advancing her plan.
- Ambiguously Brown: Her skin is very dark but all nations are fantasy nations in this show. She's not native to Vale, that's all that's been said.
- Artistic License – Physics: Emerald's hair doesn't fall down or indeed move much when she performs flips and acrobatics. This could be excused with products, but it also applies to the two tails hung over her back.
- Back Stab: How she finishes off Coco in the double rounds of the Vytal Festival. It's so devastating that she put her down to the red in Aura levels and knocked her unconscious when Coco's levels were previously at 70%.
- Bare Your Midriff: Exponentially. Emerald's top has two portions - a beige brassiere and a strip-like shirt of white with black outlines. Combined, it leaves a sizable chunk of her chest exposed in a quasi-triangular, vaguely arrowhead shape. She does have an alternate conservative look.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Emerald's good at masking her true intentions with a polite facade. She acts very sweet to the old shop owner while trying to find the location of someone she's looking to murder in cold blood, stealing his wallet in the process. During the tournament, she acts super cheerful and friendly to Team RWBY but, as soon as they leave, she tells Mercury that she despises them; apparently she can't comprehend how they can be so happy all the time.
- Cleavage Window: She wears a two-layered design. The green top barely covers her breasts, while a white bolero wraps around her neck. Together they create an exposed cleavage region.
- Co-Dragons: With Mercury for Cinder. The two of them have been working with Cinder longer than anyone else and have a much more intimate knowledge of her plans than other parties such as Torchwick. Come Volume 3 most, if not all, of Cinder's schemes involve Mercury and Emerald in one way or another.
- Combat Pragmatist: Instead of taking on Yatsuhashi and Coco directly, she melts away into long grass so her opponents lose sight of her then sets herself up in the trees to engage in guerrilla-style ambush attacks. When she does finally confront her opponent directly, she attacks from behind.
- Concealment Equals Cover: Emerald chooses to hide in the trees during her fight with Coco and Yatsuhashi, not attacking until Coco is vulnerable. Coco's gatling gun bullets should have easily shredded her cover given their relative power during the Breach, but don't. note
- Curb-Stomp Battle: While she sees virtually no action in her doubles fight up until she drags Coco into the forest, Emerald easily defeats her opponent by inducing an hallucination of Yatsuhashi when he's been been beaten by Mercury beforehand, before going in for a strike in the back. One so powerful it knocks Coco's Aura from 70% to critical and promptly disqualifies her.
- Dark Action Girl: Cinder's associate and a thief who uses stealth and isn't above employing under-handed tactics to defeat someone, as Coco can attest.
- Deadpan Snarker: She's pretty sardonic at times. When Roman snarks about how "it's like a divorce" regarding him and Cinder, Emerald immediately counters with:Emerald: Spare us the thought of you procreating.
- Dual Wielding: Emerald has a pair of gun knives she uses in battle, which she uses on both hands in Volume 2's finale.
- Even Evil Has Standards: As she watches the devastation being inflicted on Vale, Emerald isn't celebrating, instead expressing mild pathos.Emerald: It's almost sad.
- Evil Counterpart: She and Blake are snarky, aloof, baulk at the innocent cheer of others, and have similar dual-fighting weapon styles. Emerald sports twin revolvers on chains while Blake uses pistol-swords on ribbons; Emerald manipulates the mind to deceive her opponents, while Blake generates shadow-clones to deceive hers. Both had harsh upbringings, fighting to survive poverty and inequality respectively and were guided by abusive mentors. While Blake eventually turned her back on the violence of Adam and the White Fang, Emerald has only shown a hint of doubt about Cinder's path.
- False Friend: She acts friendly towards Team RWBY, but she's actually their enemy and in "Round One" she immediately starts telling Mercury how much she hates them as soon as they part ways.
- Five-Finger Discount: She enjoys pickpocketing, robbing the Dust Till Dawn shopkeeper from his wallet with nary a hint, and later snatches Roman's lighter as revenge for his earlier demonstration of pickpocketing.
- Gainaxing: Suffers from this to an equal or even greater level than Yang. Regardless of the "actual" level of the gainaxing effect, the bouncing is much more prominent on Emerald compared to Yang thanks to Emerald's above mentioned arrowhead cleavage window. Even in scenes where she's just standing still, her breathing alone seems to be enough to send her breasts bouncing all over creation. The Animator Commentary reveals that they set her model up so that they each moved (rather than a single element), and found themselves having to go in and tone it down at times.
- The Gunslinger: Her falxes are also revolvers, going along with the cowboy chaps she wears.
- Gun Twirling: Seen when she pulls out her weapons during the Volume 2 finale before opening fire.
- Image Song: Emerald and Mercury share the song "I'm the One", played during their fight with Team CFVY. Emerald's parts in the song, detail her growing up a street urchin and her Semblance abilities.
- Kick Them While They Are Down: She stomps on Amber after Mercury knocks her down, from above and with both feet.
- Knight of Cerebus: Cinder's plans in Volume 3 depend very heavily on the great lengths Emerald is willing to go to in order to hurt people with her Semblance. She destroys Yang's reputation on global television by creating illusions that make Yang think she's being attacked by Mercury. While she defends herself, the world only sees her attacking an innocent, defenseless man. She then ruins Pyrrha's phenomenal reputation by making Pyrrha think she's being attacked by an entire swarm of Penny's swords. Pyrrha uses her Semblance at full force, accidentally destroying Penny in the process. The global negative responses to both fights cause a massive upswing in Grimm activity, allowing Cinder to publicly destroy Ozpin and Ironwood's reputations, claim the four kingdoms are on the brink of war, and ensure another Grimm invasion of Vale.
- Master of Illusion: She confuses and unnerves Coco by conjuring a hallucination of Yatsuhashi. In the past, she used to use her Semblance to steal by making shopkeepers hallucinate while she stole their goods from right in front of them. She usually targets a single individual at a time, as even two minds will tax her. She frames Yang and Pyrrha for excessive ruthlessness by making them think they're being violently attacked by Mercury and Penny, but she then has to fool the two paramedics who carry Mercury away to make his legs seem like broken, bloody flesh. The only obvious hint that her power is at work is the sound of a high-pitched metallic swish.
- Manipulative Bastard: Emerald's illusions allow her to tear apart lives and wreak havoc with ease, and she causes an innocent girl to get dismembered by another innocent girl by making her see hundreds of swords that weren't there.
- Meaningful Name: "Sustrai" is Basque for "thief". Emerald is a street rat who has become an exceptionally-skilled thief. Put together, her name essentially means "jewel thief" and on at least one occasion she made her living by stealing priceless jewelry.
- Psychotic Smirk: Sports a small one right before she hit Coco in the back of the neck with her falx, winning the fight.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: Emerald has a powerful Semblance that she can use in very subtle ways to achieve Cinder's aims. Whenever her Semblance is in effect, there is a lot of camera focus on Emerald's red eyes to show that she's using it. Every time this happens, very bad events happen to a protagonist. She can manipulate the mind of a target to make them think they're seeing anything she wants them to see. When Amber drops her guard from Emerald's illusion, and when Pyrrha is being tricked into killing Penny, there is a close up shot of Emerald's red eyes both times.
- Rock Theme Naming: Emerald is named after the semi-precious stone, and her hair is green to match the name. Cleopatra, whom Emerald resembles, was said to have been both obsessed with and cursed by emeralds.
- Stealth Pun: her thematic color (a pale, bluish green) could be described as jade. Her personality (unenthusiastic and bitter) could be described as jaded.
- Swiss Army Weapon: Emerald's weapons appear to be a pair of falxes with alternative gun functionality, each having a blade which folds against the barrel, and can detach with chains to create a kusarigama-like weapon. As such, they can be used for both hand-to-hand and ranged combat.
- Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Back when she first meet Mercury she wasn't too fond of him, and tried to convince Cinder that they didn't need him for their plans, before Cinder reminded her of her place. According to Miles and Kerry during the Afterbuzz special for Vol. 3 episodes 1 & 2, the two of them are still trying to one-up each other in Cinder's eyes, although their relationship has improved slightly.
- Variable-Length Chain: Her weapon's chain length is usually held at nunchuck size when fighting, but can extend really far away, as demonstrated during the Vytal Festival tournament when she drags Coco all the way from the middle ground into the forest.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With Mercury, most of their interactions consist of being sarcastic with each other to get under each other's skin. They still share a laugh every now and then, showing that they don't always annoy each other. They are also quick to back each other up when they get into an argument with Roman.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: She has pale green hair.
An acquaintance of Torchwick who was present with him at a White Fang faction meeting in Volume 2. She is introduced when she bails him out of a fight with Team RWBY and later defends the execution of the White Fang's plan. She appears to be mute, as she never says a word and only vocalizes via chuckles or gasps. She attends the Vytal festival tournament under a different appearance as Cinder's fourth teammate.
- Audible Sharpness: The blade inside her parasol, which can be heard even after it's out of the sheath.
- Ax-Crazy: Much less subtle than Roman. She enjoys causing pain and killing people. Every time she's about to badly injure or kill somebody, she has a Slasher Smile on her face. Unlike Roman, this is hardly ever Played for Laughs.
- Badass Adorable: She's really short (shorter even than Ruby and according to the wiki is only 4'9'') and looks really young, yet she's able to utterly outperform Yang in speed and uses her maneuverability to make Yang's strength useless, all while wordlessly taunting her throughout their fight.
- Bare Your Midriff: Her tournament outfit includes a midriff-revealing blouse.
- Big Damn Heroes: Villain variant in "Painting the Town"; just as Yang fired a round at Roman, who just got out of the wrecked Paladin, Neo landed before him and blocked the shot with her umbrella, before making their escape on an airship.
- Combat Stilettos: She's not the least bit hindered by her heels when battling Yang, adding to her graceful fighting style.
- Curbstomp Battle: Despite not looking at all the part, any encounter she engages in quickly becomes this in short order. Ruby and Yang, two exceptionally skilled fighters, cannot land a single hit on her and get beaten down and nearly killed by her with style, and this was likely the case with an entire airship full of trained soldiers as well, judging by the aftermath. The one time an opponent catches her by surprise (the equally enigmatic Raven Branwen, someone to be feared by principle of being a grown Huntress alone), she still blocks both strikes sent her way before promptly disappearing.
- Curtains Match The Windows: Due to having Multicolored Hair AND Technicolor Eyes, the colours often match up, with one eye brown and one eye pink. However, her eye colours frequently change, so sometimes they're the reverse of her hair colour, sometimes on the same side as her hair colour, and sometimes are either both brown, both silver or a combination of brown and silver. She can even turn them green, along with purple.
- Cute and Psycho: Showed an obvious glee as she was about to deliver a Coup de Grâce to a downed Yang, and later right before she stomped another poor dude's face. She takes over one of Ironwood's airships with a casual glee despite the bodies lying around her.
- Cute Mute: She's said nothing in any of her appearances, and stayed completely silent during her fight with Yang.
- Dance Battler: All of her moves have an elegant flow to them; so much so that she even manages to calmly take a seat mid-fight. This aspect of her personality seriously irritates Yang, which Neo takes full advantage. She made use of her umbrella's parasol in parrying Yang, using it to catch her off guard and open her up to incoming blows, which she delivered with a series of skilled and highly acrobatic use of kicks. This is enough to keep (a highly irritated and consequently slower) Yang from her ability to tap into her Semblance, and it ends with Neo knocking her out by throwing her onto the ceiling, all in a graceful and elegant way that screams finesse.
- Dark Action Girl: Torchwick's associate, she trashes Yang during their fight and came close to gleefully killing her.
- Distaff Counterpart: To Torchwick. Her outfit is essentially a feminized version of his with softer colors (pink, brown and white vs. red, black and white), they both wield weaponised accessories associated with the gentry and they do so with a smirk on their faces. Monty revealed in a livestream (About 55 minutes in) that she was even based on a genderbent Torchwick cosplay
- Edible Theme Naming: Named for Neapolitan ice cream, which combines vanilla, chocolate and strawberry flavors.
- Elegant Gothic Lolita: Her clothing style while in disguise, wearing a black and white Victorian-like dress.
- Enigmatic Minion: Beyond her working with Roman and some basic aspects of her fighting skills, absolutely nothing is known about Neo, and even that is mostly guesswork. Where she comes from, her goals, her connections to the other villains, even whether or not she can speak are all completely unrevealed. She displays at least three different powers and how she manifests them is completely unknown. All we really know is the look she seems to prefer and how impressive her combat skill is.
- Every Proper Lady Should Curtsy: She gracefully does this to introduce herself to Team RWBY after shielding Torchwick from one of Yang's blows.
- Eye Color Change: During her second fight with Yang, her eyes change over a dozen times. Combinations include: both brown, heterochromatic (sometimes in line with her Multicolored Hair, sometimes opposite to her hair), to pure white when she flees in terror. During her first team fight in the Vytal tournament, her eyes initially appear green. before turning back to their usual set of colours as a cue to her identity. A similar thing happens in "Beginning of the End", except this time they appeared purple.
- Flash Step: She's fast enough to seemingly teleport Roman and herself away to an awaiting escape ship.
- Flaw Exploitation: Neo has twice left an enemy open rather than finishing them immediately. The first time, she took her time preparing to kill Yang after knocking her out, which allowed Raven Branwen to get inside the train and stop her. The second time, she holds Ruby at knifepoint while Torchwick is monologuing, and it provides Ruby with the window of opportunity to pop her parasol open and send her flying.
- Girlish Pigtails: She styles her hair like this while in disguise during the Vytal Festival tournament.
- Guys Smash, Girls Shoot: Inverted with her relationship with Roman, especially during their skirmish with Ruby. He seems to prefer shooting fireworks, and even when he attacks physically, he tends to augment it with candle shots. On the other hand, Neo is responsible for solely physical beatdown, not seeming to have any long-ranged capability anyway.
- Hoist By Their Own Petard: During her fight with Ruby on the outside of the Atlesian ship Ruby opens up her parasol, causing the wind to blow her off the ship.
- Hyper-Competent Sidekick: While Roman was getting his ass kicked by Blake, Neo was completely and utterly destroying the even more powerful Yang.
- Know When to Fold 'Em: In episode 11 of season 2, after being stopped from killing Yang by the mysterious Raven Branwen, Neo takes one look at her and realizes who she is, before making a swift escape.
- Lady of War: She maneuvers herself in a graceful manner while fighting Yang and maintains a dignified air throughout the fight, even taking a moment to take a seat on a crate, complete with crossing her legs.
- Master of Disguise: Neo possesses the ability to alter her physical appearance, which can range from costume only to her actual physical body. Volume 3 shows her in disguise on three occasions and the process of her lifting the disguise is shown in Heroes and Monsters. The means by which she alters her appearance is clearly supernatural, but the exact nature of it is ambiguous.
- Master of Illusion: Seems to be one. Unlike Emerald who creates hallucinations that are only visible to the target, Neo seems to create something akin to mirages/holograms that are visible but not physically real. She creates a mirror image of herself and Roman as a decoy for their escape in Volume 2, which disappears when Yang tries to shatter it. She repeats this tactic again during her battle with Ruby atop the airship, but where the real Neo is (if that wasn't the real Neo) or where she went while doing so is not clear.
- Mix-and-Match Weapon: Her umbrella has a gun function just like Roman's Melodic Cudgel, but so far she never uses it as a pistol and only uses it to teleport herself away. However, if you were to take away the canopy and its supports, the designs of the two are almost identical.
- Multicolored Hair: Brown and pink with a white Skunk Stripe.
- Nonchalant Dodge: Type 1. Her primary mode of defense, all with a very smug smile on her face.
- Oh Crap!:
- When Raven Branwen appears right before she delivers the Coup de Grâce to Yang, Neo shows a look that can only be described as horror, followed by a swift and silent Screw This, I'm Outta Here!.
- In "Heroes and Monsters", when Ruby opens her parasol on top of an airship, she has just enough time to gasp in horror before getting blown away.
- One-Man Army: She's able to slaughter the crew of an entire ship singlehandedly to break Roman out.
- Parasol of Pain: One that is strong enough to block Yang's powered-up shots and she uses it to great effect in her fighting style.
- Parasol Parachute: Ruby forces her into one during their battle to take her out of the fight.
- Pint-Sized Powerhouse: In heels, she only reaches Yang's shoulders and is one of the smallest characters in the show, standing at 4'9'' in heels according to the wiki. Yang is unable to harm her, no matter how hard she strikes at Neo. Yang is the strongest member of Team RWBY and gets stronger the more damage she takes. However, Neo doesn't flinch, doesn't appear to take damage, and easily knocks Yang out cold.
- Quizzical Tilt: She does this in the middle of her fight with Yang, though she's obviously doing it to taunt her opponent rather than express confusion.
- Reality Ensues: An umbrella is very good at catching wind, so having one on top of a moving vehicle in the sky isn't going to be pretty. It doesn't help that Neo's also pretty small, making it easier for her to fly away.
- Silent Snarker: Even while silent, her body language and facial expressions show how much she's taunting Yang in their fight.
- Slasher Smile: Pulls off one◊ while about to deliver the finishing blow to Yang in No Brakes, and again in Round One before stomping her opponent's head into the ground.
- Smug Smiler: Her grin borders on mockery through her fight against Yang, knowing full well she can overpower her opponent with ease. This only serves to irritate Yang even more.
- Stealth Pun: Neo isn't just short, she's pint-sized. Ice cream often comes in pint containers.
- Super Reflexes: As much as or greater than Roman. When fighting Ruby, she flawlessly dodges every single attack thrown at her and disarms Ruby as though it's nothing. She can perform multiple flips and kicks in a single jump and land them all exactly on target, all while avoiding the massive spinning scythe headed her way.
- Sword Cane: She has a sword hidden inside her parasol. She doesn't use it in fights, only to finish off downed opponents.
- Sword Drag: In "Heroes and Monsters", she does this on top of the airship, preparing to kill Ruby.
- Technicolor Eyes: She often displays heterochromia, with one eye being pink and the other brown. However, her eyes frequently change colour depending on her mood and/or situation. The following combinations have been seen: two brown eyes; two silver eyes; brown in the left and pink in the right; brown in the right and pink in the left; brown in the right and silver in the left; green in both eyes during the Vytal tournament; and purple in both eyes while pretending to be a nurse.
- Troll: Seems to be one. She tricked Team RWBY with an illusion before escaping them, and then drove Yang nuts in their fight while stomping her. All with a big smile on her face, and occasionally taking a relaxing break in the middle to show just how little of a concern her opposition is.
- Uncertain Doom: Last seen blown off of the Atlas ship she and Roman hijacked into a big crowd of Grimm. There are no signs or confirmations of her fate after that.
- Villainous Friendship: With Torchwick, apparently. It's not very obvious on her end but Torchwick displays his first emotions other than smug and annoyed when she gets blown off the ship.
- The Voiceless: Goes throughout Vol. 2 without uttering a sound for anything, nor has had a voice actress attached to her. Miles and Kerry have made innocuous comments heavily suggesting she really is mute. She does text though, and there have been a few rare instances were she's made brief sounds, but that's it.
The White Fang
White Fang as a Group
Originally an organization formed after the war to advocate peace between humans and Faunus, but the Cycle of Revenge made sure such a thing would remain a pipe dream. With a change in leadership five years prior to the start of the series, the formerly peaceful movement has traded in its banners for bombs, and engages in wanton violence to perpetuate a anti-human agenda, with a particular vehemence towards the Schnee Dust Company.
- Evil Costume Switch: The White Fang used to be a peaceful organisation, devoted to creating equality through diplomatic, political engagement with the humans and peaceful marches when strength of feeling was required. Their logo was originally white and blue; a white beast's head, eyes half-closed, inside a white ring on a blue background. When a violent faction took over the organisation to turn the White Fang into a terrorist group, the logo was updated; the beast's head is now blood red, eyes opened, on red claw marks instead of within a white circle. Originally blue, the background colour is now usually white or occasionally black.
- Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: A faction of the White Fang felt that peaceful protest was getting them nowhere. They staged a coup, kicked out the former leadership and took over. Now the White Fang is a terrorist organisation even other faunus wish didn't exist.
- Mooks: Ordinary members of White Fang are Faceless Goons, identified by their plain (unpatterned) white masks. Their roles consist of filling in for mobsters, filling out fight scenes, losing to named characters and creating a sense of an organisation with a large membership.
- Resignations Not Accepted: Tukson is assassinated by Cinder's group for abandoning the White Fang. While a search was initially attempted to find Blake after she deserted, Adam calls it off very quickly citing an imminent departure for Mistral as the reason.
- The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized: It once was, but the new leadership decided to be a bit more "hands on" with their message of equality.
- Then Let Me Be Evil: The White Fang wear masks that are designed to imitate the Grimm. The creator of the concept reasoned that if humanity was going to view the faunus as monsters, the White Fang may as well play the part.Blake: The masks are a symbol. Humanity wanted to make monsters out of us, so we chose to don the faces of monsters.
- Western Terrorists: Faunus have historically been treated as second-class citizens by humanity - at best. They have lacked the rights, employment protections and basic equality that the humans take for granted. There have been wars in history between the faunus and humans over this issue. Eventually a faunus organisation called the White Fang was created to ensure peace and equality between the two races, but met with only minimal success. Frustrated, a faction of the White Fang began to engage in violence to make their voice heard and eventually staged a coup to take control of the whole organisation. Now the White Fang is a criminal organisation, engaging in theft, criminal damage, violence and bombings against humanity. Even other faunus dislike what the White Fang have become.
- Your Terrorists Are Our Freedom Fighters: A faction of the White Fang felt that peaceful protest marches wasn't getting the faunus the equality with humanity they deserved. They staged a coup, took over the organisation and began use violence and bloodshed as their route towards equality. They've earned humanity's fear instead of respect, and even faunus who are not White Fang members dislike the White Fang and their actions.
Voiced By: Garrett Hunter
"But I understand. Because all I want is you, Blake. And as I set out upon this world to deliver mankind the justice it so greatly deserves, I will make it my mission to destroy everything you love."One of the radical leaders of the present-day White Fang. Boasting a chokutō named Wilt, and a rifle named Blush, he infiltrates a train alongside Blake in the third trailer, set some time before the events of Volume 1. He makes his first in-series appearance at the end of Volume 2, where it's confirmed he's working with Cinder Fall.
- All There in the Manual: His full name was revealed through Monty's Facebook Turnaround models during Volume 1, but not used onscreen until the halfway point of Volume 3.
- Animal Motif: Adam Taurus. He has two horns, and there are markings on his mask that resemble horns as well.
- Animal Stereotypes: He also "sees red" and seems unwilling to consider the views of others (i.e. he's bullheaded).
- An Offer You Can't Refuse: Adam refuses to work with Cinder on the grounds that the White Fang members would be put in danger because of her, plus the White Fang does not work with humans. Cinder later offers him both money and Dust for his cause. After absorbing a portion of the Fall Maiden's power, she slaughters the White Fang members in front of him and reiterates that her offer can either benefit him as well as her, or just her alone. It's not the money and Dust that convince him, it's the very clear threat.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: Adam proves once and for all that he earned his high standing in the White Fang during "Heroes and Monsters" by effortlessly defeating Blake and Yang in quick succession.
- Badass in a Nice Suit: Contrasting most of the other Faunus' and White Fang's depictions of mismatched clothing, Adam wears a full suit and slacks with a longcoat and gloves to go with it. The only thing missing is a tie. He's also one of the finest swordsmen yet seen.
- Badass Longcoat: He wears a long-sleeved trenchcoat that glows when he performs his Charged Attack.
- Blade Spam: He does so love this trope. When fighting the robots on the Schnee train, he sends his blade out extremely fast to hit three or four of them around six times, actually juggling them.
- Blood Knight: Given his laughter in the face of near-death to a Spider Tank, even if he can beat it, this seems to be in effect.
- Charged Attack: Seems to need time to charge up his Limit Break, as he tells Blake to distract the Spider Tank while he's doing so.
- Chekhov's Gunman: First appears in the "Black" trailer along with Blake, with little context other than a train robbery in the making and lots of robot asskicking. Then, midway through Volume 1, a handful of revelations from Weiss and Blake make him out to be a key figure in the new and violent White Fang. He makes his formal appearance right before the credits roll in Volume 2's finale, with the implication that he's working with Cinder's group.
- Cool Mask: It has a flame-ish pattern of red markings on it, and if you get a close look, the design resembles a bull when facing him head-on.
- Crazy Jealous Guy: "Heroes and Monsters" makes it quite clear that he didn't take it well when Blake left the White Fang, and his referring to her as "my darling" and "my love" implies that they had some sort of romantic history together. He's now dedicated to destroying everything Blake holds dear and starts by lopping off one of Yang's arms.
- Domestic Abuser: Word of God states that his relationship with Blake was this, but it's unknown if they were an item of some sort.
- Energy Absorption: Although the specifics on how this works haven't been explained, this technique has been shown twice now. Adam is shown to intentionally block projectile attacks with his sword, unsheathing it so it directly hits the blade. Adam seems to store this energy and release it in one large attack. The first time he used it to destroy the Spider Drone by completely absorbing its Wave Motion Gun attack. The second time in "Heroes and Monsters" he periodically blocks Blake's bullets with his sword, and cuts off Yang's arm with the same animation as when he destroyed the Spider Drone.
- Evil Former Friend: Used to be Blake's partner within the White Fang, at least until the latter realized Adam was knee-deep in the new leadership's violent approach, causing her to desert him and the organisation altogether. When he reappears at the end of Volume 2, he has a firm grasp over the White Fang, and he's teamed up with Cinder's group.
- Fairytale Motifs: Beauty and the Beast, being the "beast" to Blake's "beauty".
- Fire-Forged Friends: Prior to Volume 1 he was being forced to work with Cinder under pain of death. By the end of Volume 2, he's throwing his aid towards Cinder's plan much more willingly.
- Iaijutsu Practitioner: Finishes off the Spider Droid with an extremely fast sword draw and slash. Also his method of breaking the trapdoor lock at the beginning of the trailer, where he slashes so fast it looks like Wilt never left its sheathe. And how he cuts off Yang's arm.
- Implausible Fencing Powers: A worse offender than Blake, Adam combines the art of drawing with nearly indiscernible movement while blade spamming the hell out of the SDC robots. And that's before going into his Limit Break, which absorbs the Spider Tank's energy blast to send it back tenfold, reducing it (and the scenery) into nothingness.
- Impossibly Cool Weapon: His rifle barrel is also the sheathe for his sword.
- Ironic Name: Adam means man, but he is part of an Anti-Human Alliance.
- Jerk With A Heart Of Jerk: He seems to have a soft side when he saves Blake during the Black Trailer, but then Season 3 reveals that he's violently possessive of her to the point of trying to kill her friends to spite her.
- Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: According to Blake, Adam's slide into extremism was gradual, starting with justifying his violence as accidents, then self-defense, then as a necessary evil. It wasn't until the train mission that Blake understood just how far he had really fallen.
- His entire appearance in "Heroes and Monsters" involves this. He nearly murders a student in front of Blake to keep her from running, then proceeds to slap her around after defeating her, and then tells her he's going to destroy everything she loves as retaliation for her "betrayal." Then he backs it up by cutting off Yang's arm.
- Knight Templar: When Blake refers to her motives for being a huntress in "Mountain Glenn", she recalls that Adam used to keep telling her how their actions as terrorists would make the world a better place. However, she came to realize his idea of a perfect future was not for everyone, and that he had become a monster in trying to reach it, which eventually led to her defection from the White Fang.
- Limit Break: The red markings on his mask and jacket light up when he's ready to cut loose.
- A Load of Bull: Given the name, the existence of Faunus, and other hints, likely part of his nature is having bull attributes.
- Meaningful Name: Prince Adam has been dubbed the Beast's real name in the Disney version of Beauty and the Beast. "Adam" can also mean "of the red earth," which fits his color scheme.
- Additionally, as mentioned in Ironic Name, the name Adam is Hebrew meaning "man". Adam Taurus is technically the first man seen in the series, during the Black trailer.
- Multicolored Hair: His hair is a series of red and brown streaks, with the red being the most noticeable at a distance.
- No Body Left Behind: Things sliced apart by his iaijutsu strikes burn away into dust, including the spider droid and Yang's arm.
- Offhand Backhand: Kills a Creep Grimm running at him with one swing and without even glancing at it.
- Off with His Head!: He attempts this on Blake in "Heroes and Monsters", only to find it was one of her shadow clones and the real Blake escaped. At least a few robots back in the Black Trailer suffer decapitation as well.
- One Head Taller: He's at least a foot bigger than his former partner, Blake.
- Perpetual Frowner: Adam seems to have one default expression on his face: an either angry or annoyed frown. It makes the few times he smiles or smirks that much more unsettling in comparison.
- Psycho Ex-Girlfriend: A Gender Flip version of this trope. As implied in "Beginning of the End" and confirmed in "Heroes and Monsters," he has romantic feelings for Blake, but his sociopathy led her to leave him and the White Fang in the "Black Trailer." By "Heroes and Monsters," he has more or less given up on having her back, and has decided If I Can't Have You is his best option, coupled with Revenge by Proxy. His entire fight with Blake and Yang is spent ranting about how Blake hurt and betrayed him, and how he's ready and willing to do the same, starting with Yang.
- Quick Draw: On top of using the standard technique, his sheath, Blush, has a rifle-like mechanism in it, allowing him to fire his sword out of the sheath.
- Recoil Boost: In conjunction with being an Iaijutsu Practitioner, he uses recoil to unsheathe his sword instantly.
- Red and Black and Evil All Over: Adam wears black trousers and a red top, over which is a black jacket with red designs on the front and back. His gloves and shoes are black, but the shoes have red soles. His hair is red, with either black horns or two black tufts of hair designed to look like horns. His rifle sheathe is black while his sword's blade is blood-red. When he activates his power, his hair becomes an even brighter red. His white mask carries intricate red designs. He is one of the leaders that deposed the old guard to drive the White Fang down a path of violent terrorism. He has no problem killing humans, even when he doesn't need to which is what makes Blake leave him in the Black Trailer, and will dismiss the deaths of White Fang faunus to further the aims of the villains. He is also implied to have been abusive to Blake in the past.
- Revenge by Proxy: The White Fang doesn't tolerate defectors and will kill them when they track them down, but Blake's defection is deeply personal for Adam. He's not content to simply kill her. He's absolutely determined to destroy everything she's ever cared about. That includes the people she cares about. He cuts off Yang's arm as soon as he realises Blake cares about Yang.
- Shout-Out: His weapon, fighting style, and cutting off a protagonist's arm in a brief battle will remind one of Jetstream Sam.
- Single-Stroke Battle: Round 2 with the Spider Droid, at any rate. Adam unleashes a powerful slash that cuts the Spider Tank, the cargo, even the forest background in one go. His battle with Yang ends similarly.
- Slasher Smile: When he sees Blake for the first time in about a year during Battle of Beacon, he gives a very creepy one to her.
- Something About a Rose: Similarly to Ruby. However, Word of God says they're not related. Monty says their difference is "scatter and wilt."
- Spotlight-Stealing Squad: He's the one that defeats the Spider Droid in the Black trailer instead of Blake.
- Stealth Pun: One regarding the irony of his name meaning "man". He was the first male character to be shown in RWBY.
- Terms of Endangerment: He repeatedly calls Blake "my darling" and "my love" during their confrontation in "Battle of Beacon" and "Heroes and Monsters."
- That Wasn't a Request: Cinder initially offers him the chance to bring in the White Fang on a "revolution" she has planned. He refuses on the grounds that he doesn't want faunus dying for human goals. Cinder accepts that and departs but later returns with the offer of Dust and money to make it clear he can't turn her down. She also slaughters some of his men in the process, leaving him with no choice but to join her cause.
- Tranquil Fury: Every single line he delivers towad Blake in "Heroes and Monsters" is filled with venomous rage towards her for her perceived betrayal, but they're all calm and controlled. Much like his fighting style, it's all contained and conservative, until he unleashes it to devastating effect.
- Western Terrorists: He's one of the higher ranking members of the White Fang post-reform, and he makes it clear to Cinder that they'll listen to him even after Roman's screw-up, which incidentally cost many White Fang members.
- Why Did You Make Me Hit You?: Right before he attempts to decapitate Blake.Adam: Why must you hurt me, Blake?
Wilt and BlushAdam's weapons, a Chokutō (Wilt) and a rifle-sheathe (Blush). The rifle barrel serves as the sheath for the sword.
- Abnormal Ammo: The sword can be fired out of the gun.
- Audible Sharpness: Adam's blade can occasionally be heard even when it hasn't touched anything. One example is the sound heard right as he's about to stab Blake.
- Captain Ersatz: Oum specifically cites the Michael XIII from Ga-Rei -Zero- as inspiration for the design, and given the timing of Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance's release, made more than a few people draw comparison to the Murasama, another red-bladed Japanese sword characterized by draws done by shooting the sword out of the sheathe.
- Meaningful Name: "Blush" is shorthand for "blood rush", and Wilt is a term for when a plant dies, likely referencing the wilting rose of Adam's inspiration literature, but in general referencing death. So his rifle + sword are named Blood and Death.
- Named Weapons: "Wilt" is the chokutō and "Blush" is the rifle-sheath.
- Power Glows: Near the end of Volume 3's eleventh episode, his sword is seen glowing as he deflects some of Blake's bullets. This also occurs in the Black trailer when he absorbs the giant robot's Wave Motion Gun with his sword.
- Sheath Strike: Unlike conventional examples, the sheath is also a gun, rather than a melee weapon.
- Technicolor Blade: The chokutō is colored bright red.
White Fang Lieutenant
Voiced By: Gray HaddockAn unnamed member of the White Fang in "Painting The Town..." who speaks at the faction meeting where Roman unveils the Atlesian Paladin. He later reappears in "No Brakes" and "Beginning of the End" and fights Weiss with a chainsaw.
- Badass Normal: He has yet to demonstrate a Semblance or Dust powers, and his weapon is just an ordinary chainsaw, but he's still more than a match for a Huntress-in-training.
- Boss In Mooks Clothing: He's not dressed any differently from the regular White Fang members, albeit he's taller, has an unique mask, and wields a chainsaw. He manages to knock Weiss unconscious after taking a severe beating from her.
- Chainsaw Good: He wields a lightweight chainsaw in battle. He can hold it one-handed like a sword.
- Conservation of Ninjutsu: Several White Fang Mooks can't even touch a Huntress-in-training, but one elite White Fang is a threat to Weiss.
- Cool Mask: Like Adam's, it has strange red markings and his is one of the only two full-face ones seen.
- Facepalm Of Doom: Gives one to Weiss before smashing her into the floor.
- Guttural Growler: He doesn't talk often, but whenever he does it's with a harsh, deep voice.
- High Collar of Doom: Like many characters, his collar is popped, and he boasts the highest and straightest in the show. It serves to draw attention to his size in comparison to Weiss and pull the eye towards his unique mask.
- Mighty Glacier: He wields a large, rather unwieldy chainsaw weapon that's fairly slow. Weiss runs rings around him during their fight, hitting him with blow after blow, but it ultimately doesn't seem to phase him. On the other hand, he had a hard time pinning her down, but one hit from him seemed to be all he needed to turn the fight around.
- Mook Lieutenant: He hosts the White Fang's warehouse meeting and flashbacks confirm he was present at the private meeting between Adam and Cinder, despite Blake not being allowed to know what happened. He is confirmed in the credits to be a lieutenant.
- No Name Given: Credited simply as 'White Fang Lieutenant'.
- Sleeves Are for Wimps: Both arms are bare, showing off intense muscle and a strange tattoo in the case of the left arm. It should be noted he weilds a chainsaw as large as he is, which makes it very large.
- Sword Drag: When he appears in "No Brakes", he nonchalantly drags his chainsaw across the floor as he prepares to face Weiss.
- Tattooed Crook: As shown in his image, he has a large, intricate tattoo on his left shoulder that goes nearly all the way to his elbow.
- What the Hell Is That Accent?: He has an odd, unrecognizable accent in his first appearance. According to Word of God, this was because that voice acting was originally a placeholder but ended up in the show anyway. In subsequent appearances the accent is completely gone, and his voice is much deeper.
Atlesian Paladin-290A semi-robotic battlesuit created by Atlas, this particular model made its debut before a gathering of White Fang. It had been "acquired" and, subsequently, it was piloted by Roman Torchwick in his attempt to wipe out Team RWBY. More Paladins are later employed by the White Fang to defend the train during 'No Brakes'.
- Conservation of Ninjutsu: The Paladin piloted by Roman took a fair bit of effort to bring down. The White Fang Paladins that appear in 'No Breaks' are swatted off the train (though not destroyed, by the attacks anyway) with only a quarter of the effort. Winter would later say that those were incomplete prototypes. And later on, a trio of them nearly wipe out CFVY, SSSN, ABRN, and part of FNKI and JNPR.
- Flawed Prototype: The Paladins used by the White Fang were actually stolen prototypes, according to Winter, and that the real models would have been much harder for RWBY to deal with. True to form, in Volume 3, a trio of production model Paladins which are hacked by Cinder are able to take on the combined force of Teams CFVY, SSSN, ABRN, FNKI, and part of JNPR. It isn't until Velvet unleashes her Power Copying weaponry and Weiss summons part of the Knight she defeated that they're able to beat the Paladins.
- Holographic Interface: Like most other computers in Remnant, the interface in the mech is a holo-projected screen and a likewise keyboard.
- Laser Sight: When Yang blows Weiss's ice with her weapon, a dense fog is created, and Torchwick has to activate several laser sights to see through it.
- Mini-Mecha: The cockpit is about 1/3 of the suit's overall mass.
- Reality Ensues: What happens when you pilot a big, sorta-cumbersome mecha on top of a moving train with limited space? One good hit, regardless of effectiveness, is gonna knock you right onto the tracks... where fast-moving physics then mercilessly take over.
Club as a Group
An organization led by Junior, Melanie and Miltia are likely his bodyguards as they can be seen with him at the bar. The mobster-like henchmen are spread out across the club, keeping an eye on the attendees.
- Advertised Extra: Despite having a been Promoted To Opening Credits in Volume 2, Junior and the twins only show up in one episode for barely thirty seconds.
- Ascended Extra: The Club and its occupants, including Roman Torchwick, were all originally attended as one-off characters for the "Yellow" Trailer. While Roman and the Henchmen quickly appeared in the official series, Volume 2 would bring Yang back to the Club to meet Junior and the twins once again.
- Wretched Hive: Torchwick hires some of Junior's men to help in his Dust thefts. The club itself is a hideout for Mobsters and other undesirables.
Hei "Junior" Xiong
Voiced By: Jack PattilloA man whom Yang meets in a club and interrogates in the "Yellow" trailer before he and his minions fight her. Later appears in volume 2 as a (potentially recurring) villain.
- All Men Are Perverts: He accepts a kiss (actually a sucker punch) from a girl who made his acquaintance by grabbing his balls and demanding he call her "Sir." The same girl that he himself also earlier pointed out was underage.
- All There in the Manual: Junior's full name was revealed in Monty's facebook.
- Animal Motif: Bears. He's physically the largest man encountered short of the White Fang Lieutenant and Yatsuhashi, his name literally means "Black Bear," his DJ wears a bear costume, and his Mobsters all have the words "bear" engraved on their handaxes.
- Anti-Villain: In volume 2 episode 4, he expresses no hostility towards Yang or Neptune (though he does get annoyed at Neptune for asking a dumb question) when they show up at his club for information instead of a fight. He even tells her what he knows about Roman Torchwick, though admittedly it's not much.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: He lasts longer and lands more hits on Yang during their fight than any of his guards.
- Badass Beard: It's something of an Actor Allusion to his actor, whose beard is legendary to the Rooster Teeth fandom. Junior fully proves that facial hair equals power, since he actually manages to beat Yang down with his bat before losing to her Super Mode.
- Bilingual Bonus: Hei Xiong is Chinese for "Black Bear" which fits his theme as the junior bear in Goldilocks, being smaller than the Grizzly and Polar bears.
- Color-Coded Characters: Hei is Chinese for black.
- Cool Shades: They're red. He loses them in his fight with Yang.
- Freeze-Frame Bonus: In Yang's trailer, she first sees Junior talking briefly with Roman Torchwick.
- Groin Attack: Yang interrogates him by grabbing his crotch and squeezing.
- Knowledge Broker: According to Yang's sources, he knows everything (presumably everything in the underworld).
- Know When to Fold 'Em: When Yang returns to his club, he wisely tells his goons to stand down.
- Large and in Charge: Junior is 6'11", and is the only one who manages to do more than squat damage to Yang.
- Meaningful Name: His name is Hei Xiong, which translates into 'Black Bear'. Yang is based off Goldilocks. Do the math.
- Muscles Are Meaningless: He is the second largest human character seen so far, but he has to rely on a large bazooka in order to stand a chance against Yang, and she still trounces him.
- Sunglasses at Night: He and his mooks all wear ones with red lenses, except when they're getting their asses kicked at which point there's a good chance they'll get knocked off.
- Surrounded by Idiots: When being grilled by Yang for information in "Painting the Town" he mentions how he hasn't seen any of the men Torchwick hired since the night of the robbery. He assumes that he wasn't "satisfied" with them, then yells loud enough for the henchmen in the club to hear that he can see why.
- Unfortunate Name: Yang mocks his name, saying he looks too old to be called "Junior".
- Waistcoat of Style: The bartender variant, and he can be seen tying it up during his reappearance in "Painting the Town".
Junior's weaponJunior's weapon transforms from a bazooka capable of simultaneously firing multiple rockets into a club for when closer combat is needed.
- Batter Up: In its club form, it's wielded like a baseball bat. It also resembles a bottle in shape including jagged edges when broken.
- Macross Missile Massacre: The rockets spread out when first fired and home in on the target from different directions in order to make dodging or blocking them harder.
- Swiss Army Weapon: It can transform between a club and a bazooka.
- Wrecked Weapon: Yang breaks it in half and appropriately, it looks like a broken wine bottle.
Melanie & Miltia(des) Malachite
Both Voiced By: Margaret TomineyA pair of black-haired twins that Yang encounters and fights in a nightclub during the Yellow trailer.
- Alliterative Name: Miltiades and Melanie Malachite.
- Armed Legs: Melanie fights with a set of Combat Stilettos.
- Beat Them at Their Own Game: Miltia's weapons are attached to her fists while Melanie's are attached to her feet. Yang beats Miltia with a power-punch across the room when she was off-balance after a low kick, and finishes Melanie with a kick to the head after grabbing her arm and swinging her around for a good while.
- Dance Battler: Melanie especially employs a lot of ballet-style steps and feints in her combat style. It would have probably made for an effective form of Confusion Fu had Yang not simply grabbed her by the arm and kicked her in the head.
- Elegant Gothic Lolita: Miltia's clothing is dark red set off by black lace and bows. Melanie's clothing follows a more classic lolita look being white clothing offset by green-white lace and bows.
- Elite Mooks: In the "Yellow" trailer, they start fighting after Yang has taken out all the Mobster mooks, and the two of them put up a much better fight with just the two of them than all the Mobsters combined.
- Excessive Evil Eyeshadow: Their eyeshadow covers the upper parts of their eyes and travels all around the outside edge of their eyes as well. Both girls have eyeshadow that's colour-coordinated with their clothing.
- Extremity Extremist: Melanie is a Kick Chick while Miltia focuses on punching.
- Meaningful Name: Miltiades is Greek for "Red Earth" in reference to the color of her dress, and Melanie is a Greek derivative of "Blackness" which, considering her outfit... Their surname, 'Malachite', is a green mineral, which likely refers to the twins' green eyes.
- Shout-Out: Early in the fight with Yang, Miltia does Ling Xiaoyu's "X Marks the Spot" move.
- Spell My Name with an "S": Miltia's name can be spelled Militia or Milltia or similar variants. Monty has confirmed the spelling is Miltia.
- Stocking Filler: Melanie wears white garters, Miltia wears black ones.
- Tag Team Twins: The two attack Yang in an alternating pattern over the course of their admittedly rather brief fight. Their combat styles also complement one another.
- Valley Girl: In the "Yellow" Trailer when they talk they have a heavy Valley girl drawl. When they appear again they only say "Whatever" with the same drawl.
- Wolverine Claws: Miltia fights with a pair of two-fingered red claws strapped to her gloves.
These are tuxedo-wearing criminals who are on the payroll of Junior and work at the club he runs. These men wear black suits, black hats and red ties, armed with red axes and swords. Torchwick hired several of them to aid in the robbery of From Dust Till Dawn in episode one.
- An Axe to Grind: Some of them have an axe with the word "bear" (as in financially speculating via a bear market) written in Chinese.
- Bilingual Bonus: The above Chinese word "bear" can also mean "empty head", indicating their uselessness.
- Mooks: None of them pose a threat to Dust wielders; much less to Ruby or Yang.
- Mugging the Monster: In the first episode.
- Nice Hat: All of them.
- Shout-Out: They resemble the Axe Gang, a semi-fictional crime syndicate most notably appearing in Legend Of The Drunken Master and Kung Fu Hustle. Also, the Crazy 88 from Kill Bill considering the katanas.
- Sunglasses at Night: They all wear red sunglasses no matter the time of day or even inside a dark club.
- Technicolor Blade: Their axes and katanas are red.
- You All Look Familiar: Some of them wield different weapons or have other minor variances, but they are all clearly made from the same character model.
- You Have Failed Me: None of the minions that Junior loaned to Torchwick came back. He thinks Torchwick killed them, and Junior can't blame him.
Creatures of Grimm
Grimm as a Group
Enigmatic beasts that have antagonized humanity since their inception. With the power of Dust, humanity was able to fight back and contain the Grimm. They are still dangerous, but are no longer a threat to the entire human race... at least for now.
- Always Chaotic Evil: None of them appear anything other than aggressive and hostile, especially dominant in the younger, smaller versions. The larger ones have learned better than to simply attack humans indiscriminately, and will wait for opportunities to strike.
- Animalistic Abomination: Creatures of darkness that take the form of various real and mythological creatures, yet are clearly in no way "living", without souls, and feed on negative emotions? The Grimm more than qualify.
- Dark Is Evil: The Grimm are predominantly black creatures and are manifestations of animosity.
- Emotion Eater: Grimm are drawn in by negative emotions. Fear, hatred, sadness, and despair cause Grimm to congregate in an area. If one Grimm attack fails, the pain and suffering from that attack ensures even more Grimm will gather and launch another assault. One reason for the existence of Ozpin's Benevolent Conspiracy is to discreetly destroy threats without causing widespread fear and panic, which would bring hordes of Grimm to attack the Kingdoms.
- Genius Bruiser: Truly old Grimm are gigantic, and more than that they learn from experience, so they're also the smartest.
- Glowing Eyes of Doom: When a Grimm is about to attack or becomes aggressive, it's common for their eyes to begin glowing.
- It Can Think: Assuming that all Grimm are mindless beasts is a grave error. While the smaller and younger ones are indeed simple-minded with how they deal with humans, the larger and older varieties are not only smarter, but they tend to coordinate their attacks (like the Death Stalker and the Giant Nevermore teaming up in "Players and Pieces") or even command lesser Grimm.
- Kaiju: The oldest and most powerful Grimm are fittingly also the largest, with some easily being larger than trees or even skyscrapers. They're also the most intelligent Grimm.
- Kill All Humans: Their primary motivation. They don't even seem interested in animals outside of territorial disputes. They also don't need to eat them for sustenance, they attack humans because they want to. On the other hand, as long as humans aren't around, or they're hidden and not filled with negative emotions, Grimm generally just wander in docile packs. It's only when they catch sight or scent of a human or pick up strong negative emotions that they become aggressive and attack population centers.
- Leit Motif: Fast paced drums and even faster low brass notes, best heard in the end credits of "Search and Destroy" and "Forever Fall, pt. 2."
- Meaningful Name: The name for the creatures of Grimm may be a reference to the Brothers Grimm or Grimm's Fairy Tales, a famous classic collection of German fairy tales compiled by the brothers
- Mook: A young, common Grimm doesn't stand much of a chance against even student Hunters. Regular soldiers are easily able to down individual young Grimm. The danger, of course, comes from all the Grimm behind that one....
- No Body Left Behind: They evaporate a short while after death, making it harder to learn more about them. Trophies are simple recreations.
- Nothing Is Scarier: We know next to nothing about the Grimm in terms of origin or how they can exist. Efforts to keep them in captivity always fail because they mysteriously die off and their bodies disintegrate shortly after death, meaning the only way to observe one is to find it out in the wild and keep it from killing you. Nothing is known of where they come from or how they reproduce either. note
- Red and Black and Evil All Over: Grimm typically have predominately black bodies with white bone-like protrusions or plates that are decorated with red patterns.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: The Grimm typically have red eyes, to go along with their shadowy, oversized appearances and evil nature. They also have pinkish red markings to go along with those glowing eyes.
- The Soulless: All living things possess a soul: plants, animals, and of course, the denizens of the world of Remnant. However, the monsters of Grimm lack a soul and an aura, since they're incarnations of darkness.
- Spell My Name with an "S": In Ruby's notes and the credits, "Grimm" has a double m, though the official subtitles in the first episode used only one.
- Spikes of Villainy: Several variants have large, bone-like spines protruding from their bodies.
- Stronger with Age: Grimm bulk up the longer they live, and their faculties become more refined.
- The Heartless: Grimm are attracted to human negativity. Sadness, envy, loneliness, hatred.
- The Usual Adversaries: Fulfill this role in Season 1, and to a lesser extent in Season 2.
- White Mask of Doom: It's unclear as yet if their faces really do have masks, but they certainly have this aesthetic. Either way, Pyrrha refers to them as "manifestations of anonymity."
- Zerg Rush: The general strategy of the Grimm. While even novice Hunters can cleave through packs of younger Grimm with ease, the sheer number of Grimm means that they will eventually overwhelm a defender if they prolong the assault. They launch continuous, relentless attacks, with each subsequent attack being worse and worse as the negative emotions caused by the previous attacks attract more Grimm to the area.
Jet black werewolf-like creatures. They fight Ruby in the Red trailer. In the Red Trailer, the Beowolves appeared as black wolf shadows with red teeth, because Monty was working on the trailer by himself. Patrick Rodriguez, one of the concept artists and character designers for the series, later redesigned the Beowolves (see the picture to the right) making them look more fitting for a creature of Grimm.
- Composite Character: In the manga's full color page reinacting the Red trailer, Beowolves are shown with their series proper design, but with blood red teeth like the trailer versions'.
- Dark Is Evil: In their first appearance they are completely black skinned, seemingly made of shadows.
- Elite Mook: While most Beowolves are about six feet tall, there exist much bigger, stronger variants known as "Alphas", which take a fair bit more effort to bring down. General Ironwood takes one out, and Coco may have faced one if judged on size alone.
- Gorn: Subverted, as when Ruby was goring them in the trailer, rose petals spurted out instead of blood.
- Half the Man He Used to Be: Lots of them in the Red trailer, courtesy of Ruby and Crescent Rose.
- Mooks: Word of God compares them to slimes, and it shows: Despite their intimidating appearance, they're much weaker and slower than typical werewolves, so Ruby has an easier time taking them out. In episode 6, she clearly considers them as such; she complains to Weiss after the latter's decision to retreat because of the fire she accidentally started:Ruby: What was that!? That should've been easy!
- Our Werewolves Are Different: They're humanoid wolves, but their level of sapience is unknown as of yet.
- Punny Name: Their name comes from Beowulf.
- Savage Wolves: They do nothing but terrorize humans, being Grimm.
- Skeletons in the Coat Closet: The older and stronger Beowolves have more skeletal protrusions compared to their younger kin, including what look like exposed ribs.
Bear-like Grimm appearing in the Emerald Forest in Episode 6. It is later revealed that there are larger Ursai in the world, and a large one, the Ursa Major, was seen living in the Forever Fall forest.
- Bears Are Bad News: Very big, very burly, and very mean.
- Beary Funny: The only Grimm to get any role other than "Snarling Monster".
- Dire Beast: Ursa Major, the bigger kind of Ursa.
- Elite Mooks: While not seemingly dangerous to the characters, they can be perceived as large and burly Beowolves. The Ursa Major itself is an elite to the rest of its species, being bigger and stronger, and routinely giving more trouble than the standard Ursa.
- Meaningful Name: "Ursa" is Latin for "bear", but the name choice may be closer to "Ursa Major and Minor", alternate names of the Big Dipper and Little Dipper. It may even be appropriate to call the smaller ones "Ursa Minor" as well.
- Off with His Head!: Jaune managed to lop the head off one in Forever Fall.
- Smarter Than You Look: They evidently possess enough intelligence to be confused as to Yang's mood shift.
- Spell My Name with an "S": The official spelling of the plural form of Ursa in the show is U-R-S-A-I.
- Spikes of Villainy: The Ursa Major in Forever Fall has large spikes protruding from its back, implying they grow them as they get bigger. It also has many bony plates on its back and limbs.
- Sweet Tooth: That big Ursa certainly seemed to have been attracted to Cardin after he'd been pasted with sweet sauce.
Giant snake Grimm premiering in Episode 6 in the Emerald Forest.
- Fake Ultimate Mook: The King Taijitu leading the Grimm horde seen in episodes 11 and 12 of Volume 2 is the single biggest specimen the teams have fought, surpassing even the Nevermores in sheer size. Keep in mind, this was one of the Mountain Glenn Grimm, and its larger size indicates longer life and greater intelligence. Nora hits it on the head once, it collapses, and no more is said about it. Even the first one was defeated by Ren alone compared to the Death Stalker and Nevermore, which required teamwork to take down.
- Go for the Eye: Ren managed to pluck the fangs off the black head and stab one through its eye.
- A Head at Each End: A King Taijitu is a single large snake with two heads. Qrow even uses this as a metaphor when Ruby and Yang point out that it was thanks to them that Torchwick was caught: he says that they've cut off the head of a King Taijitu, but that the other head is still operating from the shadows.
- Kaiju: This Grimm is 15x the size of the largest known snake (anacondas are rumored to be able to reach up to thirty feet in length but are narrow in width and unable to "stand up").
- Meaningful Name: A Taijitu is the proper word for what the West would call a Yin-Yang. Now look at their colors.
- More Teeth than the Osmond Family: This Grimm has fangs, and a full set of sharp teeth.
- Reptiles Are Abhorrent: So far the only reptiles in the show and they both attacked without provocation.
- Volumetric Mouth: Justified. They're snakes.
- Your Head Asplode: The final fate of the black one, courtesy of Ren.
Giant scorpion Grimm which appears in Episode 7, and fights Team JNPR in Episode 8.
- Alluring Anglerfish: Its stinger glows in the dark. If only Jaune knew that...
- Beware My Stinger Tail: Being a massive scorpion and all.
- Can't You Read the Sign?: The cave where the Death Stalker emerges from has old cave paintings of people attacking the monster with sticks and spears. This could signify that the monster had been in the cave since the original war with the Grimm and warning people to stay away, especially since the original cave entrance was clearly blocked up by boulders to make it a much smaller man-sized entrance.
- Darkness Equals Death: How the Death Stalker makes its debut.
- Disney Villain Death: After it gets brained by its own stinger, Nora fires her hammer again, allowing her to alight the scorpion and let it fall along with the bridge it was standing on.
- Go for the Eye: Pyrrha took out one of its eyes with her spear.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Team JNPR impaled it with its own stinger, namely by having Nora drive the thing right through its brain after Pyrrha sliced it off (which came after Ren loosened it before getting knocked away).
- Kaiju: The largest known scorpion species in real life can reach 23cm in length and 56g in weight. The Death Stalker is so large it dwarfs adult humans, covers the ground as fast as a running human, and requires team-work to defeat.
- Light Is Not Good: The stinger tail glows in the dark, getting an Alluring Anglerfish reaction from Jaune.
- Meaningful Name: Named after the Leiurus quinquestriatus "Deathstalker" Scorpion.
- Scary Scorpions: Especially scary when they are the size of a hill.
- Weaksauce Weakness: If Ren's targeting of the creature's stinger cause it to nearly tear free, coupled with the fact that the only real way of damaging the mutant variation in Grimm Eclipse is via the stinger, then it seems that that is the Deathstakler's weak spot.
- The Worf Effect: Only Nora's grenades made any damage on this armored Grimm, but second-year Coco's minigun rounds pierce through one easily.
Avian Grimm. Debuted in Episode 8, when Team RWBY fight a giant version of it.
- Dire Beast: There exists gigantic variant of this Grimm.
- Extra Eyes: Four menacing red eyes of glowing doom.
- Feather Flechettes: It fires its (huge) feathers for an attack, at one point pinning Ruby's cape to the ground.
- Feed It a Bomb: Yang inflicts this on the Nevermore, with blasts of her gauntlet. All it does is cause it to crash into the cliff and get back up soon after. It's actually All According to Plan, as Weiss gets an opportunity to freeze its tail and pin it to the cliff.
- Ever since the students entered the forest a feather keeps popping up. A very large feather falls in the foreground after Ruby cuts down a tree before walking offscreen.
- Also in the beginning of Episode 4, Ruby killed a bird during her descent to the forest.
- Freeze-Frame Bonus: The tiny bird Ruby crashes into is actually a very small Nevermore, darkened so that it looks like a crow.
- Giant Flyer: The older Grimm get, the larger they become. The Giant Nevermore is so huge in size, one flight feather alone is longer than a tree. It flies like a normal raven, however.
- Kaiju: The very first definitive Kaiju shown. The Death Stalker and King Taijitu, while massive in their own right, were still small compared to it.
- Kidnapping Bird of Prey: One of them is seen carrying off Roy of Team BRNZ during "Battle of Beacon".
- Lightning Bruiser: Despite its massive size, it is very fast and easily maneuvers through the air. In contrast, the condor, which it resembles, is a clumsy flier. It is strong and tough enough to smash through solid rock, and can crash into the side of a cliff no worse for wear, whereas any other bird would be killed on impact.
- Meaningful Name: Quoth The Raven: "Nevermore".
- Off with His Head!: Two of these suffer a decapitation on-screen.
- The first giant Nevermore seen in "Players and Pieces" gets pinned down by Team RWBY's combined effort, before getting dragged up the cliff by the neck courtesy of Ruby's scythe. It then loses its head as soon as Ruby reaches the summit.
- The giant Nevermore attacking the stadium in "Battle for Beacon" is repeatedly pummeled by a concerted teamwork between teams JNPR, ABRN, FNKI, SSSN and CFVY, before getting its head sliced by Yatsuhashi and Sage's cleavers.
- The Worf Effect: Aside from Yang's explosive rounds in sensitive areas (i.e. the eye), the Nevermore plowed through the rounds of first-year Team RWBY in "Player and Pieces". Several are taken apart by Coco's minigun in "Breach" to demonstrate the power of an upper-year student.
Wild boar-like Grimm. It made its action-packed debut in Episode 10.
- Attack Its Weak Point: It has no armor on its belly.
- Extra Eyes: Four menacing red eyes of glowing doom.
- Full-Boar Action: Wouldn't be quite as Grimm without the tusks.
- Meaningful Name: The name Boarbatusk may be in reference to the Latin term "barbatus" meaning "bearded," as in the Boar is "bearded" with tusks.
- Ramming Always Works: It's a boar after all.
- Rolling Attack: One of its techniques, and one is seen taking out a few SDC robot soldiers this way.
Huge elephant-like Grimm, first seen in Volume 2, Episode 9.
- Death Glare: Eerily, one of them noticed Ruby and Oobleck, stopped moving, and simply stared at them for an entire minute. It was not a pretty sight.
- Immune to Bullets: Oobleck states that Crescent Rose's bullets would only agitate them.
- It Can Think: They are Grimm, but the first specimens seen have lived for hundreds of years, and have learned that humans are more resilient than they look - thus they do not mindlessly attack on sight. However, they stay near the walls of the Kingdoms, explicitly 'waiting' for something...
- Kaiju: They appear to be enormous elephants that dwarf everything around them. The trees they pass by don't even match their leg height, and the creators confirm that they are 200 feet tall.
A Theropod-like Grimm that was briefly seen during the Grimm assault on Vale.
- Armless Biped: They only have one pair of limbs, and their theropod-like appearance makes it hard to know which animal they're based on.
- The Goomba: In Grimm Eclipse they're the weakest enemy by far. Even their extra durable version are of minimal threat.
- Joke Character: It doesn't seem to do much. Even Beowolves outshine it.
- Tunnel King: Creeps are shown in the video game Grimm Eclipse to quickly tunnel underground and pop up elsewhere.
- The Unfought: The larger variants of this species, which are about as large as a car (making them stand between an Ursa and a Deathstalker's sizes), are featured heavily in the opening credits for Volume 3 and some panning shots, but have yet to be actually fought by the cast.
This section contains spoilers.
A miniature beetle-shaped being that bears the red eyes and black-and-white marks of the Monsters of Grimm. It appears to be summoned using a special glove, and Cinder uses to steal Amber's powers, it being responsible for the actual power transfer.
- Pintsized Powerhouse: Grimm threats are generally measured by size, as they never stop growing and get stronger and more intelligent the longer they live. This Grimm, however, is able to put a woman as unimaginably powerful as the Fall Maiden into a coma by draining half her power. It thus presents the biggest individual Grimm threat in the show so far, next to the Grimm Dragon.
- Power Parasite: The smallest Grimm-type creature so far seen, it is capable of spewing a black substance onto a person and using that to drain the victim's powers. Breaking the threads linking it to the victim stops the power transfer, but still left the victim comatose in the only case seen. It does not retain the transferred power for itself, but transfers the power to the person wearing the glove it appears to partially manifest out from.
Winged Grimm that first appear in Volume Three, attacking the Coliseum.
- Elite Mooks: Compared with the normal Grimm. Less than a dozen of them are considered so dangerous that Oobleck and Port order the rest of the students to retreat while they fight them, convinced that the kids would get themselves killed trying to fight them. They display a lot more size variance than most Grimm as well, ranging from ten feet to about thirty feet within the span of two episodes.
- Extra Eyes: Like the Nevermore, they each have four eyes.
- Mighty Roar: They signal their appearances with these. Unlike the Nevermores, which make loud, high screeching sounds, the Griffons' cries are deep, rasping roars.
- Our Gryphons Are Different: They have all the characteristics of the classical griffin, starting with the body, back limbs and tail of a lion, and the front legs, beak and wings of a bird of prey.
A massive wyvern-like Grimm living in the peak of a mountain outside of Vale. When the Grimm invade Vale in Volume Three, the chaos and negative emotion awakens it, and it breaks free to attack the Kingdom.
- Blob Monster: The concept art shows the black portion of its body as constantly oozing. This constant dripping is also how it manifests extra Grimm in the series proper.
- The Dreaded: The reaction of everyone who understands its arrival is imminent is horror. By Volume 3's finale, even the White Fang attacking Beacon Academy are forced to withdraw due to its presence.
- Enemy Summoner: The Dragon drops black ooze all over the ground from which multiple new Grimm appear. The sketch notes during the end credits reveal that the Dragon is using a form of "Grimm Summoning"; it calls Grimm rather than making them.
- Extra Eyes: Three pairs of red eyes, all glowing ominously and moving together.
- Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: There is no foreshadowing to the Dragon's existence until a series of ominous earthquakes climax with it smashing its way out of a mountain. It is also the first Grimm species that has displayed the power to deposit black ooze that summons multitudes of Grimm. Although Cinder and Glynda appear to know what it is, Taiyang refers to it as a thing, suggesting that knowledge of this creature existence is not widespread even among experienced huntsmen.
- Glasgow Grin: Its jaw unnaturally extends way past its mask and partway into the base of its neck, as if it wasn't already large enough.
- Kaiju: The monstrously-sized dragon puts in an appearance at the height of the despair and negativity being felt from the Grimm invasion, just as the huntsmen look like they're beginning to gain the upper hand. It circles the city, dropping black ooze on the ground wherever it flies, from which manifest many extra Grimm that the huntsmen cannot keep up with. It keeps circling Beacon Tower, forcing even the invading White Fang to withdraw from the region. Even after it's been frozen, it continues acting as a magnet, drawing in more Grimm to the ruins of Beacon.
- Our Dragons Are Different: It's a huge, wyvern-shaped Dragon, with the black body, white mask and red eyes of all Grimm. However, it sheds and breathes black ooze that summons multiple Grimm wherever the ooze lands.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: It was sleeping inside a mountain until an excessive quantity of negative emotion from the local human populations awaken it. When Ruby's latent powers awaken, she accidentally leaves it frozen to Beacon Tower, but it still continues to summon new Grimm to Beacon.
A subset of Grimm featured in the video game RWBY: Grimm Eclipse. They are more powerful than the standard versions, but where are they coming from, and who or what is behind their appearance?
- Action Bomb: Mutated Creeps have the ability to explode violently to deal damage. They will also do it when killed.
- Attack Its Weak Point: The Mutated Deathstalker is only vulnerable to Team RWBY's weapons on its stinger.
- Elite Mooks: They are much more powerful than standard Grimm. A normal Mutated Beowolf is even stronger than an Alpha Beowolf.
- Phlebotinum Muncher: They are attracted to a mysterious blue substance, which is also implied to be part of the serum that creates them.
- Playing with Syringes: They were created by injecting Grimm with a serum.
- Sickly Green Glow: The main difference between regular Grimm and them is the addition of glowing green spikes across their bodies.
A gray-colored medieval knight that resides within a palace. It fights Weiss in the White trailer, giving her a permanent scar over her left eye with its sword.
- Animated Armor: There's nobody inside of it, and it seems to move of its own accord. According to the manga, it's possessed by a group of small Grimm.
- Beef Gate: In the manga, Weiss is tested by her father to beat the Knight to determine is she should be allowed to attend Beacon Academy.
- BFS: Wields a sword as tall as it is, with the Knight being easily three times as tall as Weiss.
- Continuity Nod: In "Welcome to Beacon", there are Knight figures on the board of the game that Team RWBY is playing. And then in "Heroes and Monsters", Weiss makes a partial summon of it's arm and massive sword.
- Literally Shattered Lives: Once it hits the floor after Weiss's Coup de Grâce, it completely shatters apart like ash.
- No Body Left Behind: Dissolves into snowflakes when killed.
- Shout-Out: Both the setting it's fought in and the general design he has are evocative of Dark Souls; down to the enemy dissolving when defeated.
Voiced By: Shane Newville
INTRUDER. IDENTIFY YOURSELF.Confirmed name for the robot train security in the Black trailer. Their "faces" are comprised of a spherical red light, with helmet plates that seem to form a large letter V. When they see hostiles, the plates cover their faces. Adam and Blake spend half their time running through them without too much difficulty. As of Volume 2, the AK-130s seen aboard the train are being phased out in favor of the AK-200 model.
- Anti-Villain: While in the "Black" trailer they fight Blake and Adam, they are just security robots trying to stop White Fang Terrorists from stealing a large supply of Dust. Given Adam's statement about the crew, they come off as the good guys.
- Blade Below the Shoulder: The "Black" Trailer shows that their hands can become either blades or guns
- Collapsible Helmet: When they're looking for a fight, a helmet plate appears over their faces.
- Left the Background Music On: The mechanical voice saying "Intruder — identify yourself" is actually part of the song "From Shadows".
- Half the Man He Used to Be: At least one robot suffers this fate at the hands of Adam's Implausible Fencing Powers.
- Mecha-Mooks: More durable than the Beowolves, but they don't pose too much of a threat.
- More Dakka: Their hands have cylindrical fingers that fire bullets in the air.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: When their faces and torsos light up red, they're ready to swarm over you.
A tentative name for the machine that appears in the Black trailer. Colored dark gray and highlighted by red, it fires large, blue orbs from its guns, which are outfitted on its arms.
- He Was Right There All Along: Blake and Adam enter a train car which contains a Dust deposit, but little did they know the Droid was lurking in the ceiling.
- Mini-Mecha: The manga reveals that the Droid is piloted by a security robot.
- No Body Left Behind: Dissolves into rose petals when Adam destroyed it. The manga averts the trope and the machine is left as a motionless wreck after Adam cuts its cockpit open and offs the pilot.
- Spider Tank: Four curved, insect-like legs accompanying its more humanoid torso.
- Use Your Head: Performs what can only be described as a headbutt to knock Blake out of the air.
- Wave Motion Gun: When it merges its cannons, the blast is powerful enough to send Blake and Adam flying.
Grimm Eclipse Villain
Dr. Merlot (UNMARKED SPOILER WARNING.)
Voiced by: Dave Fenny
"Welcome to the testing grounds, students. Why don't you get acquainted with my test subjects? They could use the exercise."The main villain of the video game RWBY: Grimm Eclipse. A scientist and former student of Ozpin's who is fascinated by the Grimm, seeing them as a perfect life form and desiring to further increase their power.
- Admiring the Abomination: His views of the Grimm come very close to reverence.
- A Pupil of Mine Until He Turned to Evil: He once studied at Beacon under Ozpin, but even then the teachers thought something was very wrong with him.
- The Beastmaster: Like Cinder, he has direct control over the Grimm, to the point where they even act as a security force to protect his labs.
- Been There, Shaped History: The game all but states that the reason Mountain Glenn was overrun and destroyed by Grimm was this man's experiments. At the very least, he made the situation far worse than it could have been.
- Cybernetics Eat Your Soul: Has a very obvious cybernetic eye, along with what appears to be a cybernetic right hand. Whether or not he got these before he became evil is unknown, however.
- Evilutionary Biologist: He believes the Grimm are a more perfect lifeform than humanity, and wishes to see just how powerful they can become with his help.
- Mecha-Mooks: He uses heavily-armed combat robots as his main security. They consist of a mixture of red warrior machines with a double-bladed staff, and white gun-toting droids that can alternate between grenade launchers and rapid-fire energy cannons.
- Smug Snake: He initially comes off as very secure in his power and is dismissive of Team RWBY's attempts to foil his plans. This self-assurance gradually breaks down as nothing he throws at RWBY manages to stop them.
- Taking You with Me: Upon the destruction of his prize specimen, a Mutated Deathstalker, he decides to just blow up the whole facility. Fortunately, Team RWBY escapes.
- Villainous Breakdown: Once Team RWBY starts doing some actual damage to his labs and his experiments, he starts losing his cool and demanding to know why they aren't dead yet.
Salem (UNMARKED SPOILER WARNING.)
Voiced by: Jen Taylor [EN], Kikuko Inoue [JP]
"So you may prepare your guardians, build your monuments to a so-called 'free world', but take heed... there will be no victory in strength."The narrator of the first episode and the World of Remnant videos, who provides exposition on the fantasy setting of RWBY. She's credited as "Mysterious Narrator" at the end of Volume 1, and finally appears in the Season 3 finale.
- Arch-Enemy: She seems to really have it out for Ozpin and is fixated on proving his worldview wrong.
- Chekhov's Gunman: She was the narrator in season 1, and in the World of Remnant series. Come the season 3 finale, she's the Greater Scope Villain.
- Delayed Narrator Introduction: She is the first voice you hear in the RWBY series, but only revealed at the end of Volume 3.
- Despair Gambit: Salem's Image Song and her Volume 3 finale speech suggest that her plan is to destroy humanity by turning them against each other and sinking them into despair. Her goal appears to be to ruin Ozpin. She strongly implies that the only way to truly destroy humanity is to destroy Ozpin's faith in them and their future, but that Ozpin's faith will not be shattered until she has managed to destroy the hope and optimism his "simple soul" represents. The "simple soul" is implied to be the resolutely optimistic Ruby.
- Divide and Conquer: The general theme of her plans. She knows that if humanity is united and works together, they are a powerful force. So, the natural counter to that is to spread doubt, mistrust, and hatred among them so they turn on each other and tear each other apart. She is also aware of how a "small, honest soul" can spark hope in the defeated, and unite those who were once disparate, so she's going to put special attention on snuffing such souls out before that can happen."Your faith in mankind was not misplaced; when banded together, unified by a common enemy, they are a noticeable threat. But divide them, place doubt into their minds, and any semblance of power they once had will wash away."
- Face-Revealing Turn: At the end of Volume 3, we see the Female Narrator from the pilot episode, her back to the audience, completing the conversation she and Ozpin are having at the beginning of the show. It's obvious she's a white-haired woman in flowing black robes until she turns around... revealing a face as white as a Grimm mask, the black sclera and glowing red eyes of the Grimm, a mark in the centre of her forehead like a partially-open third eye, and skin covered in what looks like reddish-black veins.
- Glowing Eyes of Doom: Her red irises glow bright when she finishes her monologue and sneers at the screen. By this point, her plan is well underway and the people of Remnant are divided for most of the part.
- Greater Scope Villain: She is implied to be Cinder's master, but does not appear until the Volume 3 finale. Although it's indicated that Cinder communicates with her, Cinder clearly has the freedom to adapt plans on the fly, so Cinder's level of freedom is unknown.
- Hope Crusher: Reveals that one of her major goals is to completely destroy all sense of hope for the people of Remnant in general and Ozpin in particular.
- Humans Are Flawed: She concedes that humanity has an amazing ability to find hope in even the darkest times, a trait that makes them great, and when united they are truly a force to be reckoned with...but she also adds that once that hope is crushed and they fall to their petty differences, they are beyond powerless. She's been taking steps to ensure the latter part comes true.
- Image Song: "Divide", one of the Volume 3 ending songs, is one part Salem boasting of humanity's destruction, and one part a "The Reason You Suck" Speech to Ozpin for his methods.
- Ironic Name: In addition to her name being a reference to the eponymous witch trials, her name can also mean peace or completion in Hebrew terminology. Her final monologue in Volume 3 is literally her talking about how she'll divide mankind before stomping on whatever resistance humanity has to offer. Ozpin, in particular, is the subject of her wrath.
- Last Episode, New Character: While the Mysterious Narrator's voice did speak during the first volume, Salem herself doesn't physically appear until the final scene of volume three.
- Ms. Exposition: She tells some of the history of Remnant, including humanity's experiences with the Creatures of Grimm and the Dust. She also uses the narration to hint at a deeper, darker, history of humanity that has been forgotten by all but a few such as her (and, she implies, Ozpin).
- Obviously Evil: When we finally get to see Salem in person it's pretty clear she is not a good person. She dresses in a black cloak decorated with red eyes, and has a Grimm-like appearance with white hair, white skin, highly visible purple veins and black sclera with red irises.
- Shout-Out: Her name is Salem, as in Salem, Massachusetts where the infamous Witch Trials occurred.
- Tainted Veins: Black veins are highly visible against the ghost white of Salem's arms and face.
- Walking Spoiler: Her reveal indicates she's deeply connected to Ozpin, has some kind of deep enmity towards him that is influencing her decision to attack humanity, and that her existence and actions are the reason for Ozpin's own behaviour throughout the first three volumes. Her speech in the Volume 3 finale is a continuation of the debate between Ozpin and the mysterious Female Narrator at the start of the pilot episode, revealing her to be that Female Narrator.