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Cinder and Associates
The shining light will sink in darkness, victory for hate incarnate,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.
misery and pain for all. When. It. Falls.
misery and pain for all. When. It. Falls.
- Achilles' Heel: Salem tells Cinder that becoming the Fall Maiden has given her a crippling weakness to Ruby's Silver Eye powers. As a result, Salem doesn't blame Cinder for losing to Ruby and insists that Cinder remain by her side instead of allowing her to actively carry out Salem's plans any more.
- 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.
- Assimilation Backfire: As she discovers the hard way, becoming the Fall Maiden makes her very vulnerable to Ruby's silver eyes.
- Bad Boss: While she treats her subordinates with respect, she expects their total obedience and loyalty and will not tolerate failure or disobedience. 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 half of the Fall Maiden's power she stole. Once she took all of it, she can even catch Pyrrha's Milo and deflect a thrown Akouo barehanded.
- Bare Your Midriff: Her outfit in "Round One" is a sarashi and an open fur vest.
- Barrier Warrior: Every attack she uses is done through Dust, which takes Aura to manipulate. She can block high-caliber sniper rifle shots with her bare hand. While Lie 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 blocking and Dust manipulation powers were results of the Fall Maiden's powers she stole, rather than Aura, but how exactly the Maiden powers and Aura interact is unclear as of yet.
- The Beastmaster: In flashbacks, she summons a Beetle Grimm from a special glove on her right hand to steal Amber's Maiden powers. The act leaves a tattoo on her back. During the Volume 3 battle for Beacon, Cinder openly communes with the Grimm Dragon that joins the fight against Vale, softly comforting the creature when it becomes agitated. When she experiences more trouble than she expected against the powerful Pyrrha, the Dragon responds to her predicament and charges to her defence. It's the sight of the charging Dragon that distracts Pyrrha and allows Cinder to gain the upper hand.
- Bifurcated Weapon: Cinder's Weapon of Choice is a pair of curved blades that can be combined together by their hilts to form a bow. Flashbacks in "Fall" show she originally used a metal version of this weapon, but has since taken to manifesting it via Dust since acquiring half of the Fall Maiden's powers.
- Big Bad: For the first three volumes, 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 leads the infiltration of Beacon; she hacks into the CCT computers, has secret computer access ports, and controls the tournament match-ups. Adam tells her that he will 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. In Volume 4, she is revealed to be one of several subordinates to the true villain, Salem.
- 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 and badly wounding her.
- Black Swords Are Better: After absorbing half of the Fall Maiden's power she takes to using black glass versions of the swords she used to wield.
- Bow and Sword, in Accord: Her weapons are a pair of swords that can combine to form a bow. She used to have a metallic version of the pair, after absorbing half of the Fall Maiden's power, she can instantly create these swords using Dust.
- 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 Salem's long-running plan, which endangers the entire world. Her mission is the obtain the Fall Maiden's powers and bring down Beacon. She predicts most of the cast's moves and adapts with great flexibility when something occurs that she hasn't predicted. 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 infiltrates the CCT Tower, taking control of almost every defense available through the system, including the Vytal Tournament match-ups and Penny. At the end of Volume 3, she succeeds in her mission, although she is badly injured in the process.
- 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. She helped defeat the Fall Maiden and stole half of her powers, and as result she was able to duel Glynda in a magical battle, infiltrated the CCT and defeated a room full of armed soldiers single-handedly and held off Ruby using her Dust-crafted dual blades/bow. 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, when subjected to Ruby's silver eyes, she finally loses her cool with an almost animal "What!?" When we catch up with her in the Volume 4 premiere, she has been badly scarred, rendered near mute, and utterly humbled.
- Dissonant Serenity: Everything Cinder says and does is accompanied by a incessant, casual sense of grace, whether she's making small talk with Ruby while disguised as a student or beating the crap out of CCT guards. Even when she's crippled Pyrrha and is preparing to kill her, her tone of voice never changes. The only moment in the series when Cinder has ever lost her cool is when Ruby's silver-eyes power shows itself.
- 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.
- Dual Wielding: When she infiltrates the CCT, she fights the guards and Ruby by creating a pair of combine-able swords made from Dust. In a flashback to before she gained half of Amber's powers, she used fighting a metallic, more conventional version of the 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. Salem confirms that, while Cinder now has unimaginable power, it carries with it a crippling weakness - Ruby's power.
- Eyepatch of Power: As a result of losing her eye to Ruby, Cinder's left eye now has a simple black patch over it. However, her Peek-a-Bangs makes it hard to see most of the time.
- Eye Scream: Cinder's left eye is destroyed by Ruby's Silver Eye powers at the end of Volume 3, and she's given a nasty scar across the left-side of her face in its place.
- 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. Several shots hang on her high heels briefly, alluding to the glass slipper. She constantly uses Volcanic Dust and glass weapons. When she infiltrates the CCT, she has to be "home by midnight"; as the clock chimes midnight, she flees the CCT while transforming her clothes with Dust. Her mask is left behind on the floor. Her relationship with the true villain even appears to be similar to Cinderella's relationship with her fairy godmother.
- Fashionable Asymmetry: In Volume 4 she's taken to wearing a dress that exposes her right arm and leg while her left arm and leg are completely covered. Given the loss of her left eye and scarring on the left side of her face, it's possible that Ruby's power damaged more of her left side.
- Faux Affably Evil: She seems composed and polite at first, but she shows her sadistic side when viewing the carnage that her actions have inflicted once the Grimm attack Vale in large numbers.
- 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: Cinder has the ability to fly up the Beacon Tower's lift shaft and hovers every so often during her final battle of Volume 3. It's an ability she gains only after obtaining the full power of the Fall Maiden. In flashbacks, Amber is also shown to be able to hover when using the Fall Maiden power.
- Glowing Eyes of Doom: Her eyes glow yellow when using her fire powers, and gain flaming streaks when enhancing that fire power with the Fall Maiden powers.
- Gunship Rescue: She arrives in a gunship to bail Roman out in Episode 1 of Volume 1.
- Handicapped Badass: The blast she took from Ruby's awakening powers at the end of Volume 3 left her severely crippled. She has difficulty speaking, a good portion of the left side of her body is burned, she wears a mask over her possibly blinded left eye, and she tires out easily. To cap it all off, she still can't fully control her Maiden powers yet. Despite all of this, she is still able to One-Hit Kill several Grimm in one go, including a Beringel.
- The Heavy: After Torchwick's imprisonment at the end of Volume 2, she becomes the main villain focus, driving the villainous plot and being the woman that Ozpin's secret group is trying to find. Her role becomes more significant after Roman's death, and once Salem is revealed as the villain Cinder is working for.
- Hero Killer: She orchestrates all of the tournament fights to ensure the right people are paired up to achieve her goals. She also doesn't hold back during the battle of Beacon, resulting in her actions getting several people killed. She orchestrates Pyrrha and Penny's fight so that Emerald can trick Pyrrha into destroying Penny. Later on, she shoots Amber dead to steal the remaining Fall Maiden power and then fights Pyrrha to the death. When Pyrrha's Aura finally runs out, leaving her without her Semblance, Cinder burns her to death from the inside out with a fiery arrow.
- Hidden Agenda Villain: Everything about her is shrouded in mystery. We don't what she wants or why she wants it. Although her boss and fellow villains are known, why Cinder wants to be involved is poorly understood, especially as it becomes clear early in Volume 4 that there are things about her position that Cinder was not previously told, much to her dislike.
- High Class Gloves: Adding to the Cinderella imagery, Cinder wears shoulder length gloves on two separate occasions: A black pair in "Dance Dance Infiltration" as part of her Spy Catsuit, and a purple pair in Volume 4.
- Horror Hunger: In the flashback, Cinder attempts to use a strange piece of summoning technology, in the form of a white glove, to give herself more power. Cinder is only able to partially complete the process and, when on the phone to a mysterious contact, she describes the feeling she's been left with as an "emptiness that burns like hunger". She then adds that she likes the feeling. The glove summons a Beetle Grimm that absorbs Amber's Fall Maiden power. Qrow interrupts the process before it can complete, resulting in Cinder only achieving half-Maiden status and Amber being trapped in a coma.
- How the Mighty Have Fallen: Her current status as of Volume 4. Despite having become the Fall Maiden and instigating the fall of Beacon Academy and Ozpin, she's critically injured by Ruby's power and forced to stay close to Salem for healing; on top of it all, Salem's other subordinates have no respect for her, deem her a failure, and mock her to her face. Cinder didn't expect this outcome, and deeply resents it.
- 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.
- It's Personal: She appears to have formed an intense hatred for Ruby due to being defeated and crippled by her silver eye powers, and makes sure to add during Salem's meeting that something must be done about her. When training during the Volume 4 finale, she has Emerald summon an illusion of a defenseless Ruby on the floor begging for mercy, before she burns it with her Fall Maiden powers in a manner more concentrated than when she was testing her powers on some Grimm.
- 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.
- Lady of Black Magic: She's ever so composed and elegant, and a powerful user of volcanic Dust. In her first battle during the pilot episode, she engages in a magical dual with Glynda, where she transforms whatever Glynda throws at her into a range of things that either become dust and scatter or attempt to strike Glynda and Ruby. During the fight, she's on a careering plane with an open hatch, but aside from poised, carefully placed leg movements, she rarely loses her balance. Once she gains the full power of the Fall Maiden, she can float in the air, conjure fire in her hands, and disintegrate and reintegrate her own arrows so that they can unnaturally bend around solid objects that get in the way of the flight path.
- Lady of War: Cinder maintains an air of calm and reserve, even in the heat of battle. When she infiltrates Beacon Tower, she initially employs stealth, then fights the guards in a spinning and whirling style that makes it appear as though she's dancing, even when it buys her the time to manifest glass-based and Dust-based weapons in the middle of fighting. When Ruby confronts her, she makes summoning forth a bow and arrows while engaging in leaping dodges look effortless.
- Laser-Guided Karma: Cinder wishes for nothing but to be strong, feared, and powerful, and appears to gain that by becoming the Fall Maiden and instigating the fall of Beacon Tower and Ozpin. After she is wounded in the Volume 3 finale, Salem forces her to stay close for healing, revealing that Cinder now has a crippling weakness to Ruby's power. Salem's other subordinates have no respect for her, view her as a failure and mock her injuries. Cinder didn't expect this outcome and resents it. She has gone from strong, feared and powerful to weak, mocked, and protected.
- Mage Marksman: Skilled with archery along with her use of Dust. Her fight in CCT shows that she can conjure blades, bows, and exploding arrows from Dust, thanks to the Fall Maiden's powers.
- 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 herself is the subordinate of the true villain, Salem - Ozpin's Arch-Enemy.
- Marked Change: The flashback reveals how Cinder obtains the tattoo on her back that lies between her shoulder blades. She uses a strange piece of summoning technology, in the form of a white glove, to give herself more power. The glove disintegrates after use, leaving behind a Power Tattoo. The glove contains a red symbol of an eye inside a circle which summons forth a Beetle Grimm that steals half of Amber's Maiden power and transfers it to Cinder. After use, the Beetle Grimm vanishes and the glove disintegrates leaving behind the tattoo.
- Meaningful Name: Her name is "Cinder". Whenever she uses Dust, it's always Volcanic Dust (not fire) 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: During Volumes 1-3, 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.
- Mute, but Not Silent: In addition to losing her eye, Cinder's injuries render her incapable of speaking above a low, strangled whisper. She has to whisper in Emerald's ear and then Emerald has to speak for her.
- Nice Shoes: In episode one her shoes make a distinct clinking sound when she walks revealing them to be made of glass.
- 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.
- O.O.C. Is Serious Business:
- 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. Before she gained the Fall Maiden's powers, she used Volcanic Dust to attack with fire and to create glass-based projectile from its residue. In the series proper, she still uses the Dust type, displaying the ability to form glass-based weapons including swords, bows and exploding arrows. Even after 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, especially since she had ordered Torchwick to do so anyway. 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 (accidental) killing 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.
- Revenge: Cinder wants to get payback on Ruby for being crippled by her at the end of Volume 3, to the point that it's her main concern during the meeting at the start of Volume 4. Later on, she has Emerald creating illusionary copies of Ruby just so she can burn them.
- 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.
- Sadist: Cinder takes pleasure in the pain of others. When she infiltrates the CCT, she defeats the guards with a smile on her face and assesses her network access in amusement while standing over their bodies. She describes watching the Grimm slaughtering Vale citizens as "wonderful", and when she stole the first half of Amber's power, she drew out the pain of Amber's last conscious moments with needless theatrics that gave Amber the chance to see what was going to happen to her and beg for life in horror. When she kills Pyrrha, she doesn't simply shoot her through the heart, her arrow also burns Pyrrha from the inside out — while Pyrrha is still alive. After Ruby disfigures her, she motivates herself to grow stronger by burning alive illusions of of a begging Ruby that created by Emerald.
- The Sociopath: Cinder wants nothing more than to be feared and powerful and is willing to achieve any means to do so. She murders without remorse and with little hesitation and is willing to ruin lives and allow the kindgdom to be destroyed by Grimm beasts as long as it gets her the Fall Maiden's power. Her response to watching the Grimm tear up the city and killing civilians is to smile and make sure Mercury is recording it. She is able to put on the facade of politeness when it suits her such as when she attempts to recruit Adam Taurus' faction of the White Fang, but she later comes back to slaughter many of his supporters to convince him to join. And where she isn't physically carrying out her plans, she uses manipulation and deception to push things further. Her desire for power shows that she has a bit of an ego considering she wants power for herself and will throw anyone under the bus to get it.
- The Speechless: The beating she got from Ruby at the end of Volume 3 has rendered her incapable of speaking above a very faint, hoarse whisper. This is obviously distressing to her, considering how much she enjoyed using her smooth-talking to project power and intimidation.
- Spontaneous Weapon Creation: In "Dance Dance Infiltration", when she spins around, her limbs illuminate orange, and she materializes a pair of swords made of Dust for battle. She later does the same when she whips out a bow with three arrows versus Ruby Rose.
- Spy Cat Suit: She wears one in ''Dance Dance Infiltration" while breaking into the CCT tower.
- 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 alternate mode of her dual swords before she absorbed the Fall Maiden's powers.
- That Wasn't a Request: Cinder initially offers Adam 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.
- Traumatic Haircut: She spends Volumes 1-3 with long shoulder length hair that spills over her left shoulder. In Volume 4, she's recovering from terrible injuries gained as a result of her brief encounter with Ruby's power. Her hair is now cut short and her fringe covers her lost left eye, just barely revealing the extent of the scarring on her face underneath the patch and hair.
- Tricked-Out Gloves: In the Volume 3, Chapter 7 flashback, Cinder possesses a white glove for her right hand that possesses a red image of an eye inside a circle. The glove has a (possibly single-use) summoning power. The glove summons a Beetle Grimm as if through a portal in the palm of her hand which has the ability to absorb Amber's power into Cinder. Once the connection between the Beetle Grimm and Amber is severed, the Beetle Grimm vanishes and the glove disintegrates, leaving behind the tattoo on her back that lies between her shoulder blades.
- 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.
- Villain Song: "When It Falls", the Volume 3 opening song, details much of Cinder's goals and Breaking Speech for the Academies and Ozpin's group.
- Wizard Duel: She duels Glynda in the first episode, displaying power not seen until seasons later.
- 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, even less regard for Faunus 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.
- Captain Ersatz: 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.
- 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.
- 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: The Yellow Trailer is the last prequel before the show begins and introduces Yang fighting Junior, a bar owner, and his men, when Junior fails to provide the information she's looking for. When Yang first enters the bar, Roman can just be seen in the background finishing a conversation with Junior and leaving. Roman is introduced in the show's pilot episode, robbing a Dust store with men he's hired from Junior's bar. The hired men don't do any better against Ruby than they did against Yang, much to Roman's sarcastic disgust.Roman: You were worth every cent. Truly, you were.
- 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. He reaches out and calls her name as she's blown off the ship.
- 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. The DVD Commentary clarifies that his racism isn't exaggerated to show villainy; it's Remnant's standard human perception of Faunus.
- Foil: To Ruby. She's a naive, idealistic teenage girl who sees the best in everyone, has close friendships throughout her school, and wants to always do the right thing. He's a jaded, older male gangster who hates the people he's working with, has one ambiguous friendship with Neo, and whose only goal is self-preservation.
- Giggling Villain: When he fights Sun and Blake, he lets out a series of maniacal, though low-key, cackles.
- The Heavy: He is the only key villain focussed on during Volume 1. The media mentions the manhunt for him and every time the protagonists run into a villain, it's Roman. In the pilot episode, he appears to order his female get-away pilot to fight Glynda while he takes over the controls, but The Stinger at the end of Volume 1 reveals that the shadowy, faceless woman in the pilot episode is actually his boss, and his Dust thefts throughout the volume have been ordered by her. In Volume 2, Roman remains the face of villainy for that the protagonists are trying to track down and stop while Cinder, Mercury and Emerald infiltrate Beacon as students. Once he's captured by General Ironwood's forces at the end of Volume 2, Cinder replaces him as The Heavy for Volume 3.
- 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.
- Karmic Death: When Ruby fights Roman and Neo on top of a flying battleship, she's knocked down and hangs from the side of the ship helplessly. Neo leans on her unopened weaponised parasol to kick Ruby off the ship, allowing Ruby to grab the parasol's catch; it opens, catches the wind and blows Neo off the ship, while Ruby regains her footing. Roman then brutally beats Ruby to the ground, ranting about her misguided idealism in a savage world where most huntsmen die young. His heightened negativity attracts the negativity-sensing Monsters of Grimm, and one swallows him whole just as he's stating that the only thing that matters is survival skill.
- 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. It's implied that this was the reason he joined Cinder in the first place.Roman: I may be a gambling man, but even I know there are some bets you just don't take.
- Laughably Evil: Roman's a ruthless crime lord whose every interaction with both allies and enemies is laced with condescending, sarcastic wit. He talks down to younger allies and enemies as if he's a parent and they're wayward children, and sarcastically flirts with female allies and enemies alike. He has a childish, petty attitude that makes him pull faces at allies when they're being reprimanded and excitedly press random buttons just to see how much destruction the Atlas ship he's commandeered can cause. When spanners get thrown into his plans, he becomes melodramatic and bombastic, such as when Cinder implies he hasn't been pulling his weight and he objects by theatrically unveiling the city's entire Dust stockpile that he's stolen for her.Roman: [When Cinder sends him Mercury and Emerald.] Oh, look! She sent the kids again! This is turning out just like the divorce.
- 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: He has a right-sweeping fringe that is so long it hides the top half of the right side of his face and ear, almost down to the nose. His right eye is never seen.
- 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.
- 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.
- Plucky Comic Relief: Despite being a villain, his scenes during the fall of Beacon are some of the few funny moments in the otherwise tense and dark situation. Him playing with the controls of the Atlas ship like a kid in a candy store, is one example.
- 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.
- Psychopathic Manchild: When Cinder reprimands Mercury and Emerald for killing Tukson, Roman taunts them by childishly pulling faces behind Cinder's back. During the battle for Beacon, he's given control of an Atlas ship and randomly begins pressing buttons like an excited child to see what they do; blowing up an Atlas ship with the touch of a button thrills him into exploring what other chaos he can wreak.
- Reality Ensues: In Heroes and Monsters, he gives an angry and frustrated rant to Ruby in a sky full of Grimm. His inattentiveness to the negativity-attracted Grimm they're surrounded by gets him Swallowed Whole by a Griffon.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: After Ruby forces Neo off the ship, she argues with him that she's going to stop him no matter what he tries. He drops the cute one-liners and executes a volley of moves to regain the upper-hand and rants about her determination to be a hero. He points out what a dangerous, crappy world Remnant is, that people who try to be a hero just get themselves killed, and that the only thing Huntsmen do well is die young.Roman: You've got spirit, Red, but 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!!! As for me? I'll do what I do best! Lie, steal, cheat, AND SURVIVE—!!!
- 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.
- 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 Sociopath: Is referred to a "a destructive sociopath" in-universe. He's a ruthless crime boss who has been pulling a string of dust robberies all over Vale, which is revealed to have been done under his boss, Cinder Fall's orders. He has loads of charisma, as shown during a White Fang rally where he manages to sway dozens of Faunus onto his side, and drives an underground train armed with bombs towards Beacon in order to draw Grimm into the city. When he escapes from his imprisonment near the end of Volume 3 and hijacks an Atlus airship, he shows great pleasure in destroying other nearby airships, as shown when he presses a button on the controls pondering "What Does This Button Do?", and when it blows up another Atlus airship, he says, "Oh, fun!" He doesn't check all the requirements though, as he show genuine concern when his right-hand gal, Neo, is blown off the side of the airship when Ruby unclips her umbrella.
- Starter Villain: In the first episode, he organizes a simple store robbery only to be thwarted by Ruby and Glynda. His popularity among the fans and the voice actor's skill with the character convinced the creators to give the character a more [[long-lasting role as the face of the villainous threat Ruby's team begins to investigate while the real threat works undercover, unrecognised by Ruby and her team.
- Stuff Blowing Up: When he gets control of an Atlas warship, he spends all of his time figuring out how which controls make the best explosions.Roman: What does this button do? [distant explosion] Oooooh, fun!
- 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: In the pilot episode, he has hired men to help him rob Dust stores. They're defeated by the teenaged Ruby in less than a minute. He's not at all impressed by the money he wasted on them.
- 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: He lectures Ruby that, in this harsh world, heroes just get themselves killed and she should do what huntsmen do best... die. He tells her that, unlike her, he's a master at surviving against the odds. He barely finishes the rant before he's swallowed whole by a Griffon, having forgotten they were surrounded by monsters that are attracted to negativity.
- 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: After Ruby forces Neo off the ship, she declares that she would never give up her fighting spirit no matter what he throws at her. Roman's fighting style becomes much more aggressive; he drops the cute one-liners and back-talk and concentrates on a swift execution of moves that overpowers Ruby and forces her to the ground. As she falters, he begins ranting at her and beating her over and over with his cane. He's so angry with her determination to be a hero that he doesn't spot the huge Griffon that lands directly behind him.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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 Ruby's Crescent Rose and he's skilled enough with it to put up an extended fight with Blake and Sun, and beat Ruby down in their final season 3 battle. Word of God is that he's skilled in Bartitsu.
- 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.
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.
- Ax-Crazy: Mercury is a sadistic sociopathic assassin, who loves to see people in pain and misery, especially if he's the one who caused it. He was introduced to Cinder and Emerald after beating his abusive father to death, and only gets worse from there. Twice, he has ignored a direct order from Cinder to go off to kill or attack someone. First was Tuskon, who he killed and then casually joked about the act later on. Then their was Ruby, who he almost beat into submission with a smile on his face. When ordered by Cinder to film the massacre of the citizens of Vale, he does so happily while watching the slaughter.
- 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.
- 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.
- Deliberate Injury Gambit: Emerald uses her hallucination Semblance to make Yang see Mercury attacking her, fully expecting her to counter-attack and break his leg on a live broadcast, when the real Mercury was already down. Considering his legs are prosthetic, it wasn't that big of a sacrifice.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Mercury and Emerald are introduced bantering while they murder a bookkeeper for defecting from the White Fang. They enjoy destroying the reputations of students and getting them killed, and they help plan the invasion of Vale and destruction of Beacon; Mercury even gloats while filming the sight of people dying all around him. However, once they arrive at the lair of their boss, Salem, their cockiness vanishes as they begin to realise they're in way over their heads. They watch in open-mouthed horror as the Creatures of Grimm they had previous used like tools to invade Vale and Beacon, are being constantly created from inky black pools right before their eyes, implying that humanity cannot hope to defeat their overwhelming, and constantly replaced, numbers. When they see the kind of Grimm that Salem has under her direct control, such as the Seer, they are so terrified that they cringe against the door to try and put as much distance between it and them as possible.
- 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. By the finale of Volume 4, Yang now has a prosthetic arm, contrasting with Mercury's prosthetic 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.
- Faux Affably Evil: Mercury is a laid back, casual joke-y kind of guy, who has many funny and goofy moments. Like when he was bothering Emerald about getting them lost in Vale, or acting as Deadpan Snarker to Roman or Emerald. But under all that is a sadistic, sociopathic assassin, who finds the slaughter of hundreds of innocent people to be funny.
- 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.
- For the Evulz: When Cinder asked Mercury to join her cause, he asked her what was in it for him. When a White Fang member defected, he and Emerald assassinate him at the bookshop he owned; when they leave, he takes a comic book with him because he likes the pictures. After Mercury frames Yang for crippling him, Cinder orders him to lie low to avoid blowing their cover; he ignores the order and attacks Ruby; he lets Ruby understand just enough of Cinder's plan to realise why Penny and Pyrrha have been matched against each other at the tournament and then smiles as she collapses in tearful despair at the consequences. When Cinder orders him to record the Atlasian robotic army killing civilians instead of protecting them against the invading Grimm, he smiles and does so cheerfully.
- 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.
- His fight against Yang. 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 shows that he was expecting it. It's part of the plan to frame Yang in the ensuing incident.
- 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 Cinder's instruction to carry out the murder of a White Fang defector, and then infiltrating Beacon as a student, along with Cinder and Emerald. 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 that he killed his father, which is the reason Cinder recruits him as her "assassin".
- 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.
- Oblivious to His Own Description: 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.
- Out of Focus: After netting a pivotal role in Volume 3, Mercury is reduced to a voiceless cameo in Volume 4, as the few scenes he's in instead focus on Cinder's struggles and the other members of Salem's group. Even Emerald has slightly more relevance since she offers to speak in Cinder's place.
- 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.
- Slasher Smile: Lets out a few of these when he's going to do something sadistic. Like when he was going to murder Tuskon, beating down Ruby or filming the massacre at Vale.
- 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.
- Spiteful Spit: When Cinder first meets Mercury, she asks for his father Marcus Black. Mercury spits before pointing to his recently murdered father's body.
- 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.
- Villain 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.
- 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 [EN], Marina Inoue [JP]
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, which makes an appearance in "Fall".
- 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.
- 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: Mercury and Emerald are introduced bantering while they murder a bookkeeper for defecting from the White Fang. They enjoy destroying the reputations of students and getting them killed, and they help plan the invasion of Vale and destruction of Beacon; Mercury even gloats while filming the sight of people dying all around him, although Emerald briefly expresses a mild pathos as she pensively watches the scale of the destruction unfold. However, once they arrive at the lair of their boss, Salem, their cockiness vanishes as they begin to realise they're in way over their heads. They watch in open-mouthed horror as the Creatures of Grimm they had previously used like tools to invade Vale and Beacon, are being constantly created from inky black pools right before their eyes, implying that humanity cannot hope to defeat their overwhelming, and constantly replaced, numbers. When they see the kind of Grimm that Salem has under her direct control, such as the Seer, they are so terrified that they cringe against the door to try and put as much distance between it and them as possible.
- 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.
- Fanservice Pack: Retroactively. Flashbacks of Emerald's past in "Fall" shows that she used to wear a relatively conservative green tank top. In the modern day, said tank top has been replaced by a much skimpier shirt that bares both cleavage and midriff.
- 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.
- Kick Them While They Are Down: During the fight scene in "Beginning of the End", 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.
- Lack of Empathy: After murdering Tuskon, Emerald casually jokes about about him with Mercury, and only feels bad about disappointing Cinder when she chews them out for not following her orders. It takes being involved in the massacre of an entire city to get even the slightest bit of remorse out of her.
- Master of Illusion: Her Semblance, which allows her to project lifelike hallucinations into the minds of others, and is first seen when she unnerves Coco with a illusion that resembles Yatsuhashi. Unlike Neo's illusions, the hallucinations that Emerald creates lack substance and can easily be identified as fake via touch. In addition, she needs to maintain focus to keep the illusion going, and can generally only focus on one target at a time, any more than that leaving her with a killer migraine afterwards.
- 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: The camera has a tendency to focus on Emerald's eyes whenever she's tapping into her illusion powers, and you can guarantee that something bad is about to happen to the heroes whenever she does, especially in "PvP".
- 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.
- Villain 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.
- 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.
- Voice for the Voiceless: After Cinder receives some injures that make her near-mute, Emerald acts as her voice by repeating Cinder's whispers to others.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: She has pale green hair.
An acquaintance of Cinder Fall and bodyguard of Roman Torchwick who first appears when Torchwick introduces stolen Atlesian Paladins to the White Fang. 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 at least partially mute, as she never speaks but does occasionally chuckle or gasp. She adopts a disguise to attend the Vytal festival tournament 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: 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 Monty's height chart is only 4'11'' in heels) 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 Villains: 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.
- The Dragon: Where ever Torchwick goes, she follows. He even seems to care about her.
- Edible Theme Naming: Like the ice cream flavor of the same name, Neopolitan's appearance is a palette of clearly separated white (vanilla), pink (strawberry) and brown (chocolate). Her eye colours rotate through the same palette depending on her mood, defaulting to one brown eye, one pink eye, but flitting between combinations of the two colours, one or the other, and turning white when terrified. Although she has used other eye colours such as green or red, they only occur when she seems to be using her illusory abilities to create disguises.
- 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. Besides using it to escape, she also uses her power to disguise herself and to completely misdirect opponents.
- 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, standing at 4'11'' according to Monty's height chart. This makes her the shortest character on the show. Yang is unable to harm her, no matter how hard she tries. 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.
- 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 where she's made brief sounds, but that's it.
Salem and Associates
Voiced by: Jen Taylor [EN], Kikuko Inoue [JP]
The children you misleadThe narrator of the first episode and the first four "World of Remnant" videos, providing the initial exposition on the fantasy setting of RWBY. She's credited as "Mysterious Narrator" at the end of Volume 1, and finally appears in the Volume 3 finale. Salem leads a campaign to bring about humanity's downfall from the shadows, commanding the Grimm, Faunus and humans to enact her will.
You'll watch them all bleed
Strength will not bring victory!
You'll watch them all bleed
Strength will not bring victory!
- Affably Evil: Salem is quite calm, friendly, and polite to her minions, even chastising them for needless malice towards each other. When Watts starts talking down to Cinder, Salem stands up for her and points out her successes. When Watts counters those, she listens to, and accepts, them. Even when giving her minions their orders - which will doubtlessly end in the deaths of hundreds of innocents - she's completely at ease, as if ordering them to get coffee instead of kidnapping children and coordinating with terrorists.
- Ambiguously Human: She looks like a woman, talks like one and acts human enough. She even identifies herself as "we" when referring to mankind in the first episode's introduction. However, she has unnatural white skin, purple veins over her face and arms, black sclera and glowing red eyes with vertical pupils. Her colour scheme matches that of the Monsters of Grimm and she has the ability to talk to them and control them.
- Arch-Enemy: She regards Ozpin as her enemy. She seems to think his hope and optimism for humanity is an act of cruelty and therefore seeks to crush his hope completely. To achieve this end, she acknowledges that Ozpin is correct to believe a united humanity is extremely powerful and therefore seeks to divide and destroy humanity to undo everything he has worked for. She is also aware he has placed his faith in a "smaller, more honest soul", and it's implied in her Image Song that she sees the destruction of that soul's optimism as the key to destroying Ozpin. The "soul" concerned is strongly implied to be the ever-optimistic Ruby.
- The Beastmaster: Salem is able to command the Grimm. She communicates with a Seer Grimm in her fortress, using it to rely her orders to the Grimm that are gathering at the fallen Beacon Academy.
- Big Bad: Cinder, who drove the plot for most of the first three Volumes, is only one of many subordinates to Salem, the real antagonist that Ozpin and his allies, as well as Raven, are trying to go up against behind the scenes.
- The Chessmaster: Salem's entire methodology revolves around careful manipulation, using pawns to covertly act and cause destruction and chaos, while leaving her motives and even existence nearly impossible to determine. As a result, humans tend to blame each other for her manipulations, and Salem herself outright says that she divides and breaks apart humanity to weaken them. As Qrow puts it:Qrow: She works from the shadows, using others for her dirty work. That way, when it comes time to place the blame, we can only point at each other.
- Cleavage Window: There is a small opening in her clothes that reveal the crease of her breasts.
- 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 Ozpin by turning the humans he watches over against each other and sinking them into despair. She strongly implies that the only way to truly undo Opzin is to destroy his faith in humanity 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.
- Disappointed in You: Tyrian returns to Salem, sobbing and in total fear, and hesitantly reveals to her that he failed his task... but Salem does not punish him, and only softly and coldly tells him that he has disappointed her and walks off. However, this is still enough to reduce Tyrian to sobs of despair.
- 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."
- Equal-Opportunity Evil: Remnant has a history of violence and inequality between humans and Faunus, and both species fight the Creatures of Grimm to survive, which have an unnatural attraction towards destroying them. Salem controls the Grimm uses them as shock troops, while also recruiting both humans and Faunus to carry out the tasks she needs to achieve her endgame. Her plans led to an assault on Beacon Academy that consisted of combining human infiltrators with two armies that consisted of Faunus terrorists and Creatures of Grimm.
- 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. They also flare up when she's agitated and raising her voice.
- 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.
- 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.
- I Want Them Alive: Salem initially instructs Tyrian to hunt down the Spring Maiden, until Cinder makes it clear she wants Ruby dealt with. Salem responds by instantly ordering Tyrian to prioritise the hunt for Ruby instead of searching for the Spring Maiden. Tyrian is thrilled but, when he begins maniacally giggling, Salem sternly reminds him that she wants Ruby brought to her alive. That instruct leaves Tyrian looking quite depressed.
- 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.
- Leitmotif: "Divide" is her theme, and a slowed instrumental version(like a music box) plays during her first scene in volume 4.
- The Man Behind the Man: For the first three volumes, Cinder is the threat everyone is working to identify and stop. However, Cinder clearly communicates with someone that suggests she's not in charge, even though she adapts the plans on the fly whenever the situation on the ground changes. Salem is revealed in the Volume 3 finale, and Volume 4 makes it clear that Cinder's working for her and that it's Salem's plans she's been carrying out even though Salem has trusted her to adapt plans as necessary to accommodate new information.
- Monstrous Humanoid: From the back, Salem looks like a human woman with white hair that is worn in a bun. However, her skin is a ghastly white covered in reddish veins that are visible on her arms and face. Her eyes are black pits where the sclera should be, with glowing red irises and pupils that are vertically slit like a domestic cat's. Her appearance and colour scheme are shared with the Monsters of Grimm, but it's not clear whether she's a humanoid Grimm or was once a human that has been dehumanised via infection or possession by a Grimm.
- 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: Salem's appearance alone makes it clear she is not a good person. She dresses in a black robe 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.
- Odd Name Out: Nearly every single character in the show has a name that references a colour in some way, even if it's just by association. Eighty years ago, a war ended that had tried to destroy artistic merit and individuality, so Remnant's naming scheme is a deliberate attempt to ensure that kind of war never happens again. Salem joins Ozpin as being the only two characters on Remnant whose names do not follow this colour rule. In both cases, it implies they're very ancient beings who pre-date the war.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: Her irises glow a hellish red, further indicating her possibly Grimm nature.
- 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.
- Villain Song: "Divide" is one of the Volume 3 ending songs. It is partially a song about Salem's sense of success over the way her plan has unfolded throughout the first three volumes, but it is also a song about her anger towards Ozpin and how she abhors the methods Ozpin uses when dealing with humanity.
Dr. Arthur Watts
Doctor Arthur Watts
- Establishing Character Moment: First disses Cinder's subordinates (Mercury and Emerald) and then mockingly suggests thanking Ruby for shutting her up. His remarks to Salem quickly make it clear that he despises failure.
- Ironic Name: While "Arthur" has many different etymology origins, most of them denote heroism especially due to its association with King Arthur. This Arthur is clearly anything but heroic.
- Jerkass: He goes out of his way to mock and belittle Cinder and her team for Cinder's failure against Ruby, and clearly holds himself superior. The fact that Cinder can't speak in her own defense clearly doesn't bother him.
- Morally Ambiguous Doctorate: He is referred to as a doctor, but he's working for Salem. Even if he doesn't know the full extent of Salem's world-destroying plans, Salem indicates he's an accomplice to the fall of Beacon and all the associated deaths that caused.
Voiced by: Josh Grelle [EN], Shioya Tsubasa [JP]One of Salem's associates. He is initially assigned to hunt down the Spring Maiden, but is later told to prioritize hunting down Ruby instead.
- Animal Motifs: Scorpions. He sits in a manner similar to an arachnid, his wrist-blades resemble a scorpion's pincers, and his ponytail looks like a segmented scorpion's tail. Just like his actual tail, which is a scorpion's tail, complete with stinger.
- Arm Cannon: His wrist gauntlets have a pair of machine pistols mounted into each one.
- Ax-Crazy: He's very eager to be given tasks that involve hunting down people. When Salem orders him to go after Ruby, he mocks Cinder by implying he'll take Ruby's eye, giggling madly at the thought. When Salem orders him to capture Ruby alive, he's visibly disappointed. When Jaune makes it clear the gang won't let Tyrian take Ruby without a fight, he smiles and says "good". When Salem reveals she's disappointed in his failure to complete his task, he goes berserk; he leaps on a Beowulf and begins slashing it repeatedly while laughing and crying at the same time. Cinder watches him unravel in open-mouthed horror.
- Berserker Tears: After Salem tells him that he has disappointed her with his failure in his task, Tyrian breaks down sobbing. A nearby Beowolf is attracted to his despair and attacks. Tyrian lets out all of his frustration on the Grimm, jumping onto its chest and stabbing it repeatedly all while his sobbing turns into maniacal laughter.
- Beware My Stinger Tail: He sports a scorpion tail with a wicked stinger at the end. He can use the tail as an extra limb for fighting and blocking, but when he pins down Ruby, he attempts to strike with the stinger just as a scorpion would.
- Blade Below the Shoulder: Tyrian fights with a pair of blades strapped to both forearms, resembling scorpion claws.
- Blood Knight: While he primarily loves killing and maiming, the look on his face whenever he realises he's faced with a challenge is pure glee. When Jaune tells him that his group will fight him to prevent him from taking Ruby, he emphatically states "Good!" and when Qrow shows up to rescue them before Ruby can be stabbed, Tyrian looks thrilled.
- Combat Pragmatist: He initiates his surprise attack on RNJR by charging in swinging, only stopping to talk or throw out fancier moves after the initial exchange shows none of the four are a serious threat to him. He seemingly indulges in pre-fight banter with Qrow, but attacks while the latter is mid-sentence. Notably, he does not stop fighting Qrow afterwards, except to briefly swat away RNJR members when they futilely attempt to help.He envenomates Qrow with his scorpion stinger when Qrow is distracted by Ruby, although it costs him his tail at the hands of Ruby's scythe in the process. He decides to bug out of the fight and live to fight another day instead of fighting to death, even though Qrow is no longer in a position to fight any further.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: A Beowulf made the mistake of thinking that his hysterical state has left him easy prey. Tyrian instead whips the Beowulf right across the room and spends the rest of the scene savagely slashing it to pieces.
- Dance Battler: He's elegant and light-footed when he fights. He's prone to including spinning kicks, somersaults, black flips, and bouncing off his opponents weapons. He doesn't simply look like he's fighting, he looks like he's break dancing as well.
- Evil Is Hammy: He spends much of his dialogue belting out wild peals of laughter, and nearly all of his dialogue is laden with verbose Purple Prose and dramatic gestures. Combined with his extremely expressive face and movements, he dominates most scenes he's in and treats the battlefield like it's an arena for a stage performance.
- Faux Affably Evil: Tyrian adopts a poetic, theatrical manner of talking; he's engaging, conversational and uses flowery language with dramatic gesticulations of his arms. However, as poetic, friendly and polite as his words are, it's offset by a constant smirk and wild, staring eyes. When anticipating bloodshed, or taunting others, his odd speech patterns and eerie facial expressions are joined by lip licking and cackling laughter. When Qrow shows up to save Ruby, Tyrian's behaviour becomes even more theatrical; he politely expresses dramatic awe, calling Qrow a true huntsman and bowing with a flourish. Moments later, he's not so much fighting Qrow as trying to rip him to shreds with his wrist blades, cackling madly the entire time and exulting at the opportunity to take down Qrow as well as capture Ruby. But the whole facade vanishes when Ruby cuts off his tail, with him belting out a livid "You bitch!" at her.
- Flash Step: His movements come off as this even to speedsters like Team RNJR. At one point he is able to go from in front of the whole group to directly behind Jaune, and only Ren, the fastest member of the team, is able to respond in time to cover Jaune before he gets stabbed in the back.
- Giggling Villain: Every time he cracks a macabre joke or hears something gruesome that he likes the sound of, he starts giggling. When he hears what his assignment is, he breaks out giggling... until he realises he's got to bring his target back alive. That cools him off immediately.
- Handicapped Badass: When he is defeated by Ruby's group and Qrow, he scurries away from them, struggling to retain his balance due to the limb loss he's suffered. However, when Salem's disappointment in his failure emotionally breaks him, a Beowulf attacks him from behind. He sends the larger Beowulf flying with a single strike and then physically pins it to the ground. Although it struggles to get up, it's completely helpless in the face of Tyrian's onslaught, who slashes it over and over again. He loses one third of his tail when Ruby cuts it off in retaliation for injuring Qrow. Although it initially looks like he's struggling to balance and can't fight any more, his broken tail can still send a Beowulf flying.
- The Hyena: He's constantly laughing and giggling, even in situations where it'd normally be rather inappropriate, such as fighting or normal conversation. It helps to make his character even more unsettling.
- Know When to Fold 'Em: When Tyrian tries to kidnap Ruby, Qrow intervenes. Tyrian and Qrow fight so hard that both their Auras end up shattering before the fight is resolved. When it becomes clear to Tyrian that he cannot easily obtain Ruby, he chooses to flee the battlefield instead of fighting to the death. Ruby interferes in the fight which enables her to cut off Tyrian's scorpion tail while he and Qrow are distracted by each other after their Auras have shattered. Tyrian bugs out of the fight at that point.
- Knight of Cerebus: Tyrian is a psychotic madman who clearly loves the thought of violence and murder. Any scenes involving him are disturbing, with his wild eyes and sickening laughter. His fight against team RNJR shows that despite their determination, our heroes are still not truly ready to take on the threat that faces them. His battle against Qrow shows that even the experienced mentors are also a bit out of their depth, with Qrow only winning the battle due to Ruby cutting off his tail. Even then, his poison almost killed the man.
- Large Ham: He speaks in flowery phrases like he's peppering his speeches with poetry, and he gesticulates grandly as he speaks like he's an actor performing before a theatre audience. His words and actions are emphasised with exaggerated emotions, usually excitement and amusement, which is reinforced by his constant outbursts of insane laughter.
- Laughing Mad: During the meeting, he breaks out into uncontrollable fits of laughter every so often. Sometimes it occurs when he cracks a macabre joke or when he's given information or instructions that he seems to like the sound of. His laughter is manic and lasts entirely too long, until he's brought out of it or collapses as if weary from the laughing fit.
- Little Bit Beastly: He's a scorpion Faunus with a scorpion tail that his plait is designed to look like.
- Meaningful Name: His name refers to a kind of purple dye. When he and Qrow fight each other to a stalemate, they shatter each other's Aura, revealing that Tyrian's Aura is purple-toned. When he's about to strike Ruby with his scorpion tail, his normally golden eyes turn the same vivid shade of purple as the poison that is stored inside his scorpion stinger. A victim's blood will also become purple if this poison remains in their system for long enough.
- Milking the Giant Cow: Part of his hamminess can attributed to his liking of extravagant gesturing.
- Offhand Backhand: Uses his tail to casually bat Ruby's sniper shots away without even looking in her direction.
- Poison Is Corrosive: When his stinger is severed, it releases a purple ooze that instantly melts divots in the stone where it splashed.
- Precision F-Strike: He dropped the strongest language in the series thus far when he called Ruby a bitch after she severed the stinger off his tail.
- Psycho Supporter: He's so utterly loyal and devoted to Salem that she only needs to express disappointment in his ability to carry out her orders to reduce him to a sobbing wreck on the floor. He then takes out his despair on a nearby Beowulf, slashing the Grimm over and over again until his sobs turn to maniacal laughter. His behaviour alarms even Cinder, who had previous enjoyed destroying Beacon Academy and killing hundreds of people.
- Purple Is Powerful: Tyrian is one of Salem's inner cohort of villains, initially tasked with hunting for the Spring Maiden but transferred to tracking down and kidnapping Ruby. He possesses the speed and strength required to be able to fight Qrow to a stalemate. His name refers to a shade of purple and when he and Qrow shatter each other's Aura, his Aura is purple-toned. The poison contained within his scorpion tail is also purple. When Ruby blows it off it bleeds a purple substance that burns through stone. When his poison infects Qrow, it slowly turns Qrow's blood purple.
- Psychopathic Manchild: Although he's generally communicates in a verbose and melodramatic manner akin to an actor on a theatre stage, he has a very infantile emotional dependence on Salem. He regards her as a 'goddess' and is desperate to please her. When he fails to complete his task, he initially cowers fawning madly to himself that Salem will forgive him. When he reaches Salem, he crawls towards her, begging for forgiveness. When Salem gently, but coldly, tells him that he has disappointed her, he dissolves into sobs of despair that attract a Beowulf. Tyrian then takes out his despair on the Grimm, slashing it over and over until his sobs turn into maniacal laughter. Cinder witnesses his entire breakdown in open-mouthed horror.
- Scary Scorpions: He has a psychopathic interest in attacking people and the opportunity to kill reduces him to fits of laughter. He wears a long plait that takes the shape of a segmented scorpion tail and and he sits in a manner similar to a crouching arachnid. When he fights, he uses wrist-blades that resemble a scorpion's pincers. Underneath his duster, he hides a long scorpion tail that looks almost exactly like his plait and reveals that he is a scorpion Faunus. When striking with the stinger, his eyes turn the same deep purple as the poison that's contained inside the stinger.
- Slashed Throat: When Salem reduces him to sobs of despair, he takes it out on a nearby Beowulf. He slashes the beowulf's chest and throat, and then again. He keeps going, slashing over and over again until his sobs turn to maniacal laughter.
- Slasher Smile: He seems to find anything that's gruesome, malicious, or vindictive funny, and he loves being given assignments to hunt people down. It all produces a grin full of teeth that's far too big for his face.
- Talking Is a Free Action: Played with in Volume 4. When Qrow interrupts his attack on Team RNJR, they do manage to stop and talk for a bit, but Tyrian ultimately attacks before Qrow can finish talking.
- Technicolor Toxin: The poison from his stinger is a very bright purple that can burn cobblestones like an acid. When Tyrian uses it envenomate his victims, their blood eventually starts turning purple as well.
- Villainous Breakdown: When Salem tells him that she is disappointed by his failure to capture Ruby, Tyrian collapses sobbing helplessly. A Beowulf tries to ambush him, thinking him easy prey, but Tyrian lashes out at the creature and sends it flying. He then leaps onto the fall Grimm and begins slashing at it over and over again while it struggles in vain to escape. As Tyrian slashes, his sobs begin to turn to maniacal laughter until he is crying and laughing at the same time. He doesn't stop even when the Grimm begins dissolving away into nothing. His breakdown is witnessed by Cinder, who watches it unfold in speechless horror.
- Wake-Up Call Boss: Deals a Curb-Stomp Battle to the gifted but inexperienced RNJR, demonstrating quite clearly that the threats they wish to confront are out of their league. More importantly, his ability to fight Qrow to a standstill illustrates that even the most powerful of the protagonists may not be up to the challenge.
- Would Hit a Girl: He's thrilled when Salem assigns him to hunt down Ruby and is visibly disappointed when Salem warns him that she wants Ruby alive. When he fights Ruby's group with the intention of taking Ruby, he's thrilled that they decide to fight back against him and relishes the chance to strike Ruby with his scorpion tail.
- Yellow Eyes of Sneakiness: He's a villain who appears to love the idea of murder, torture and mayhem. The thought of hunting people down pleases him. He enjoys tormenting injured people, and macabre jokes make him giggle. His eyes are are tiny gold irises within large wide sclera, but the irises will change size wildly when he's experiencing one of his laughing fits.
Voiced by: William Orendorff [EN], Akio Ohtsuka [JP]One of Salem's associates. He is tasked with meeting the White Fang and ensuring that they correctly perform the role Salem has assigned them. He apparently has a history with Ozpin, being referred to as a man from the latter's past.
- Gender-Blender Name: While Hazel is a very common boy's name, it's more widely regarded as a female name. Hazel, however, is a real man's man who advises a child he briefly helps not to let small problems stand in their way; he solved the kid's problem with a ticket machine by punching it.
- Guttural Growler: Every time Hazel speaks, the tone is a low growl.
- Pet the Dog: Hazel appears to be considerate enough of ordinary humans, despite the fact he's in league with Salem. When he sees Oscar unable to pay for a train ticket, he walks over to help the kid get one. He then gives the boy some life advice in the form of not letting things stand in his way.
- Percussive Maintenance: Because Oscar doesn't have enough lien to buy a train ticket, Hazel slams his fist down onto the ticket machine, causing it to spit one out.
- The Quiet One: He doesn't engage in the bantering and mocking that Salem's other subordinates engage in. He only speaks when he has something specific to say, or when directly addressed.
Professor Leo Lionheart
Professor Leo LionheartThe headmaster of Haven Academy, he is an old friend of Ozpin's.
- Foreshadowing: Salem dispatches Dr. Watts to meet with her informant in Haven, Qrow mentions having had no contact with Lionheart for some time before Beacon's fall, and General Ironwood tells Jacques he doesn't trust Haven Academy's headmaster. Watts' informant turns out to be the Haven headmaster himself.
- Mole in Charge: Ozpin has a secret circle of people who know the true history of Remnant, know of Salem's existence, and are aware that the Huntsmen Academies were designed to protect the four Relics that Salem is trying to collect. Leo, as Haven's headmaster, is privy to all this information, but is working for Salem. Not only does that put him in charge of the next generation of Huntsmen who are supposed to battle against the Grimm, creatures that Salem can control, but he is also in charge of the Relic that's hidden at Haven Academy, and which Salem desperately seeks. Watts implies that Leo has been Salem's informant for some time.
- Repetitive Name: The name "Leo" means lion, and his surname is a way to refer to courage by evoking the idea of lions being brave. His name therefore means "lion-hearted lion" (as in "Courageous Lion").
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 an anti-human agenda, with a particular vehemence towards the Schnee Dust Company.
- Became Their Own Antithesis: They've gone from peaceful protesting to anti-human terrorism.
- Evil Costume Switch: The White Fang used to be a peaceful organization, 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 and mouth 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, fangs bared, on red claw marks instead of within a white circle. Originally blue, the background colour is now usually white or occasionally black.
- He Who Fights Monsters: They were originally peaceful protestors, but their new leader decided to be more "hands-on" with their message. Thus, they've become no better than the humans who persecuted and shunned them. Even other Faunus are disgusted with the White Fang's actions; Sun Wukong in particular outright describes them as a cult that gives all Faunus a bad name.
- 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.
- Renegade Splinter Faction: The Albain brothers tell Ghira Belladonna that Adam's involvement in attacking Vale and destroying Beacon Academy is the work of a splinter faction that has gone rogue from the White Fang and is rebelling against Sienna Khan's leadership. They want Ghira's help in bringing Adam and his faction to justice. When Blake and Sun confront a person who has been spying on them, they manage to salvage her scroll. Ghira discovers it contains information suggesting that Adam is going to attack Haven and blame it on Sienna Khan. However, despite this information, the Albain brothers are clearly communicating with both Adam and Sienna Khan without Ghira's knowledging, making it ambiguous as to whether the splinter faction is genuine or part of a complicated plot designed to fool other people, such as Ghira.
- 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 to 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.
- In Menagerie, the Faunus island settlement, the White Fang are able to walk freely through the streets in their uniforms. The former leader of the originally peaceful protest organisation lives in the settlement as the main city's chieftan. Although under new leadership, the White Fang passes itself off as a more aggressive, but still mostly peaceful, protest organisation that is struggling against human-biased media and an extremist faction that they're trying to capture for punishment before it brings the entire organisation into disrepute.
Voiced By: Garrett Hunter [EN], Yuichi Nakamura [JP]
"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, he possesses a thin straight sword 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.
- And Your Little Dog, Too!: Adam vows to destroy everything Blake loves to make her pay for abandoning him. When he slices off Yang's arm, Blake goes on the run, just as he wanted. Sun follows her home, determined to have her back, but gets injured when they fight Adam's subordinate, Ilia, reinforcing Blake's belief that she needs to be alone. When Sun lectures Blake on abandoning her friends, Blake's parents reveal that Blake and Sun did recover intel from Ilia that proves Adam plans to overthrow the White Fang leader, Sienna Khan, and then destroy Haven Academy. As a result, Blake vows to stop running and take back control of the White Fang from Adam.
- Animal Motif: Adam Taurus has a bull motif. He has two horns, and there are markings on his mask that resemble horns as well.
- Animal Stereotypes: Apart from his implied bull heritage, he also "sees red" and seems unwilling to consider the views of others .
- 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.
- Arch-Enemy: To Blake. He tells her during the battle of Beacon that he plans on making her suffer for betraying him by abandoning the White Fang. He insists that he will destroy everything she loves; when Yang tries to rescue Blake moments later, Adam keeps his promise by defeating Yang with a single swing of his sword, amputating her right arm in the process.
- Ax-Crazy: His obsession with Blake, the implication that he used to abuse her, and his desire to destroy everything she loves is just the tip of a very mentally disturbed iceberg.
- 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 and gloves to go with it. He's also one of the finest swordsmen yet seen.
- 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 Energy Absorption Limit Break, as he tells Blake to distract the Spider Tank while he's doing so. Although in "Heroes and Monsters", he is shown to perform it with much less preparation.
- 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 because she abandoned him, and starts by lopping off one of Yang's arms.
- Domestic Abuser: He behaves abusively towards Blake, blaming her for how he felt after she walked out on him, and blaming her for "making him" hurt her in retaliation. He tells her that he will destroy everything she cares about just because she left him. All the time he's trying to emotionally beat her down, he displays a calm, implacable determination and peppers his speech with terms of endearment such as "my love" or "my darling" which contribute to the creepiness of his behaviour. The creators have confirmed that his relationship with Blake was abusive.
- The Dreaded: The dominant reaction to him is fear. When Blake spots him during the attack on Beacon, her response is terror, and what he does to Yang leads to Blake running away from everyone in fear of what he'll do to them. Yang is also wracked by terrifying dreams of him after he cut off her arm. Even Cinder shows him a degree of exceptional respect, at least until she seizes part of Amber's powers and can face him on a more equal footing.
- Energy Absorption: Although the specifics haven't been explained, the creators state that his Semblance "works in a similar, yet different way than Yang's", resulting in his ability to absorb energy and return it back. Adam channels his Semblance to his sword, absorbing attacks by unsheathing it so the attack directly hits the blade. Adam seems to prefer storing this energy in his sword and then release it for one large attack. The first time it is shown, 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: He used to be Blake's partner within the White Fang until she 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 is confirmed to be one of the White Fang's leaders and has teamed up with Cinder's group. When they clash during the battle for Beacon, he insists on referring to her as "my love" and "my darling" even has he blames her for making him want to hurt her and for deciding to destroy everything she cares about.
- Fairytale Motifs: Adam and Blake form the two halves of Beauty and the Beast. Adam is the Beast, the bull with a violent nature seeking to posses Beauty (Blake). Although the Disney name for the Beast is "Adam", the Beast is a monster who slowly learns how to be decent, whereas Blake implies that Adam was a decent person who has turned into a monster.
- Iaijutsu Practitioner: He favours attacking from a sheathed position and completing the attack by sheathing his sword, even when in the middle of combat. The only time he doesn't do this is when he is about to finish off a downed Yang.
- Implausible Fencing Powers: Adam combines the art of quick drawing with nearly indiscernible movement while blade spamming the hell out of the SDC robots. He also somehow slices robots that are seemingly beyond his sword's reach, either through sheer speed or some other means. 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.
- 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, does not tolerate her walking out on him, and is determined to destroy everything she cared about in retaliation. All the time blaming her for making him behave like this.
- Knight of Cerebus: Until his confrontation with Blake at the end of Volume 3, the White Fang has been a somewhat ineffectual organisation in terms of their confrontations with the protagonists, coming off worst each time. That changes during the battle of Beacon when Adam leads a lethal, successful assault on Beacon Academy. He makes it clear to Blake that his goal was never Faunus equality, it's about painting the world red with the blood of humans. He stabs her in the stomach just to incite Yang to rage, then cuts off Yang's arm. He tries to decapitate Blake as well, but only catches her clone. Angry with Blake's abandonment of him in Blake Trailer, he makes it absolutely clear he's going to destroy everything she cares about just for walking out on him; as a result, she abandons her team, friends and Vale to go on the run.
- Limit Break: The red markings on his mask and jacket light up when he's ready to cut loose with his Energy Absorption.
- 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.
- 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 Limit Break burn away into dust, including the spider droid and Yang's arm.
- Not So Well-Intentioned Extremist: Blake originally believes that Adam shares her idealism for a world where humans and faunus are equal and peaceful; even after she abandons him in the Black Trailer for not caring if humans die during their train heist, Blake still assumes he's just gone too far in pursuit of a noble goal. When they confront each other at the end of Volume 3, Blake understands for the first time that Adam never shared her future vision, believes peaceful equality is impossible, and instead wants to destroy humanity - starting with everyone and everything Blake loves as punishment for abandoning him.
- Offhand Backhand: After his confrontation with Blake and Yang results in Blake fleeing his presence with an unconscious Yang, he silently watches her run. A Creep Grimm spots his distraction and runs at him. However, Adam kills the Creep with a single swing, without once taking his attention off the departing Blake.
- Off with His Head!: When Adam's attack leaves Yang unconscious, Blake throws herself across Yang's body as Adam approaches. Adam asks her why she makes him behave this way as he lifts his sword and slices off her head. However, that action reveals he chopped the head off one of her very life-like shadow clone, which has given her just enough time to grab the unconscious Yang and flee to safety. During the Black Trailer, he also deals with the train's guardian robots by chopping off their heads.
- One Head Taller: Blake is his former partner-in-crime and their argument during the battle for Beacon, which is peppered with him him referring to her as "my love" or "my darling", indicates they used to be lovers. When she's wearing heels, her head reaches his chin.
- 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-Boyfriend: He has romantic feelings for Blake, but his lack of concern for collateral human deaths during the Black Trailer leads her to leave him and the White Fang. When they confront each other during the battle for Beacon, he wants to hurt her just for leaving him, and stabs her to incite Yang to attack him. He cuts off Yang's arm in front of Blake and then tries to decapitate Blake just for protecting the unconscious Yang. He makes it clear that, not only will he hunt down everything she cares about just to get back at her, but that he completely blames her for making him behave in such a fashion.
- A Pupil of Mine Until He Turned to Evil: Inverted. After a leadership coup, the White Fang changes from a faunus rights organisation into a terrorist organisation. As one of the leaders, Adam was in a position to school Blake in the new way of doing things. When the pair take part in a train heist, Adam intends to blow the train; upon asking about the innocent humans on board, Blake is concerned to hear Adam reply "What about them?" As a result, she abandons Adam, rescuing the train of people in the process, and goes on the run from the White Fang. She decides to attend to Beacon Academy and train to become a Huntress, someone who protects the people from harm. For betraying him, Adam vows to destroy everything she ever loved, guilt-tripping her into feeling like she's to blame for his actions in destroying Beacon Academy and maiming her team-mate, Yang. It eventually leads Blake to vow to take back the White Fang from him and restore it to its former peaceful model.
- 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 and his goal is the destruction of humanity rather than equal rights for Faunus. He regards Blake's defection from the White Fang as a personal betrayal and is determined to destroy everything she cares about in revenge. His current behaviour, including victim-blaming her for "forcing" him to hurt her, indicates that he is abusive towards her.
- 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.
- Single-Stroke Battle: Against the Spider Droid, Adam unleashes a powerful slash that cuts the Spider Tank, the cargo, and even the forest background in one go. He uses the same attack on Yang during the battle for Beacon, which results in her instantly losing her arm.
- Slasher Smile: When he sees Blake for the first time in about a year during Battle of Beacon, he gives her a creepy smile as he calmly, emphatically lists exactly how he's going to enact his revenge against her for the crime of walking out on him as a result of his enjoyment of killing humans.
- Slowly Slipping Into Evil: 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 where he's content to blow up innocent travellers along with the train, that Blake comprehends just how far he has fallen.
- The Sociopath: During the Black Trailer, Adam wants to blow up the train they're stealing Dust supplies from. When Blake asks him about the human lives that will be lost, he makes it clear he doesn't care, causing her to abandon him and the White Fang. When Team RWBY attempt to stop the train breaching Vale's defences, a lot of White Fang are killed in the process. Adam makes it clear to Cinder that he'll force the White Fang to keep working with her as if he doesn't care about his own people's deaths. During the battle for Beacon, he makes it clear to Blake that he's not looking for Faunus-Human equality. He's out for retribution against the whole of humanity, and he's also going to destroy everything Blake has ever cared about as revenge for leaving him. He doesn't blame his own violent behaviour for Blake's actions, he blames Blake for causing him to behave violently towards her.
- Something About a Rose: Adam has rose motifs. There is a styalised red rose on the back of his jacket and his weapons are named "Wilt" and "Blush", both terms that refer to roses (wilting petals and blush of colour). During his signature attacks, the screen washes with red like petals becoming blood. Although his colour scheme and rose motif is shared by the heroine, Ruby Rose, the differences between Ruby and Adam's motifs are respectively described by the creators as "scatter and wilt"
- Spotlight-Stealing Squad: The show is introduced via four trailers which focus on each of the four main characters and contribute to plot that occurs before the story begins. While three of the trailers focus exclusively on what each of the relevant girls are capable of in battle, the Black Trailer stands out as being a paired fight involving both Blake and Adam. Adam does most of the fighting, Blake acts only to serve as a distraction while he prepares his signature attack and, at one point, he rescues Blake from danger. The trailer appears to display him and his abilities more than Blake's, despite Blake being the main character.
- The Starscream: The scroll Sun and Blake manage to retrieve from Ilia reveals that Adam is planning a coup against the current White Fang leader Sienna Khan.
- Stealth Pun: The name Adam was giving to the "first man" in the Christian tradition. In the show, Adam is the first male character introduced, appearing in the Black Trailer, the third of four prequels for the show.
- Terms of Endangerment: When he and Blake fight during the battle for Beacon, he constantly calls Blake "my darling" and "my love". Their argument consists of how he feels betrayed by Blake leaving him and the White Fang, and how he's going to go out of his way to obtain revenge by destroying everything she cares - including Beacon Academy and maiming Yang for trying to help Blake against Adam. While the pet names are supposed to be terms of endearment, they only serve to make it clear that Adam has an emotionally and physically abusive vision of his relationship with Blake.
- Tranquil Fury: Every single line he delivers toward Blake in "Heroes and Monsters" is filled with venomous rage towards her for her perceived betrayal, but his voice is 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?: During the battle for Beacon, he makes it clear to Blake that he's going to go out of his way to hurt her and everything she cares about just because she walked out on him. When Yang comes into view, searching for Blake, he stabs Blake in the stomach to incite Yang into attacking him, then chops off Yang's arm. When Blake throws herself across Yang's unconscious body to protect her, Adam asks her why she keeps hurting him - blaming her for his own behaviour - and then decapitates what turns out to be one of her very life-like shadow clones.
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: Due to the rifle-like mechanism of the sheath, 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.
- Impossibly Cool Weapon: His rifle barrel is also the sheathe for his sword. On top of that, the sword has been shown to strike enemies outside of its blade range and is actually capable of storing the energy he absorbs with his Limit Break.
- 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: In the Black trailer, when he absorbs the giant robot's Wave Motion Gun with his sword, his sword and his other red features glow red. Near the end of Volume 3's eleventh episode, his sword also glows as he absorbs some of Blake's bullets.
- Recoil Boost: In conjunction with being an Iaijutsu Practitioner, Adam uses recoil to unsheathe his sword instantly.
- Sheath Strike: Unlike conventional examples, the sheath is also a gun, rather than a melee weapon.
- Technicolor Blade: The chokutō is colored bright red.
- Unorthodox Sheathing: Because the scabbard also functions as a rifle, Adam can use the rifle's recoil to instantaneously unsheathe the sword.
White Fang Lieutenant
Voiced By: Gray HaddockA large, as-yet 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 Baritone: Has a very deep voice, and is one of the most dangerous members of the White Fang.
- 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.
- BFS: Carries a chainsaw whose blade is the same length as his own—considerable—height.
- 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 sizeable 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.
- Counter Attack: His apparent strategy against Weiss. Rather than trying to dodge or parry he simply absorbs the damage she throws his way, waiting for her to leave an opening he can exploit.
- David Vs Goliath: The Goliath to Weiss' David during their confrontation. He manages to beat her, making use of his far greater size and bulk to negate her skill and speed advantages.
- The Dragon: Would appear to be Adam's, leading missions in his absence, serving as a consistent presence in his command tent, and immediately backing him up during a confrontation with Cinder.
- Evil Sounds Deep: Has one of the deepest voices of anyone in the cast, and is a terroristic revolutionary.
- 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.
- It's Personal: Seems to have it in for the Schnee family, even by Faunus standards.
- Malevolent Masked Man: He's a huge man in mask that conceals his entire face, and he proves to be pretty menacing.
- Mighty Glacier: He's very bulky and 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. Conversely, 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.
- Muscles Are Meaningful: His heavily muscled frame proves capable of taking everything that Weiss can dish out, and he's able to throw her across the room with one hand, knocking her out.
- No Name Given: Credited simply as 'White Fang Lieutenant', though the staff apparently referred to him as "Bane" ever since his inception.
- One-Handed Zweihänder: His chainsaw is large enough that it should realistically take two hands to carry, let alone swing. He does it with only one hand.
- 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 wields 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.
- White Mask of Doom: He wears a full-face white Grimm mask, and he's much more threatening than the average White Fang member.
- Would Hit a Girl: He doesn't care whether he hits a boy or a girl, so long as it's a Schnee.
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.
Corsac & Fennec Albain
Corsac & Fennec Albain
Voiced By: Derek Mears & Mike McFarlandTwo fox-Faunus brothers who are acquainted with the Menagerie chieftan, Ghira. They represent the White Fang in Menagerie.
- Creepy Monotone: Both brothers talk very calmly, with soft, purring voices that give off a sinister vibe. Throughout a tense conversation with Blake and Ghira, their tone and modulation barely rise, and they keep the same flat voice while casually discussing informing Adam about Blake's whereabouts. It's one of several reasons Sun finds them creepy.
- In the Hood: They wear decorative hoods reminiscent of fox heads.
- Little Bit Beastly: As Faunus, both brothers have one animal trait reflecting their animal affinity, which is a fox. Fennec has huge, oversized fox ears and Corsac has a flowing, very bushy fox tail.
- Meaningful Name: The words "fennec" and "corsac" come from words that mean "fox" in Arabic and Russian respectively. A fennec is the smallest species of canid, and is a type of fox with huge ears that lives in the Saharan desert. A corsac is a larger species of fox from Central Asia, found in semi-desert regions and has a big, bushy tail. Fennec has huge fox ears and is the smaller brother while Corsac is larger and has a big, bushy fox tail. The name Albain comes from a root word meaning "white" from which come country names such as Albania, the Gaelic name of Scotland, and a name for ancient Britain. The names of both brothers therefore means "white fox" and they are the White Fang's representatives in a land (Menagerie) that is two-thirds desert.
- Villain with Good Publicity: As the White Fang's representatives on Menagerie, their main objective seems to be spinning the organization's actions in the rest of the world; they want the Faunus of Menagerie to believe that terrorist actions elsewhere, such as the destruction of Beacon Academy, is the work of a rogue element of the White Fang that has gone AWOL under the command of Adam Taurus. The brothers push the message that the leader of the White Fang, Sienna Khan, is seeking the arrest of Adam Taurus and his followers for giving the White Fang a bad name while in reality being able to contact Adam whenever they need to.
- Voiced by: Cherami Leigh
- Animal Motifs: She has subtle chameleon-like traits, such as hints of scaly skin on her face and shoulders which are ambiguous enough to allow her to easily pass as human. In addition, her ponytail curls back on itself like a chameleon's tail, and her weapon lashes out extremely quickly like a chameleon's tongue.
- Foil: To Blake. Where Blake was born into the White Fang as a child of Faunus living in Menagerie, Ilia grew up in Atlas, hiding her Faunus nature in a well-off primary school. And while both she and Blake hid their nature among their classmates, when they were inevitably revealed as Faunus, they took completely different paths, with Blake being horrified and fleeing before reconciling, and Ilia lashing out and breaking her friends' teeth, recalling the event with obvious pleasure. Ilia was ultimately drawn toward the White Fang because of their violent tendencies, while Blake was driven away for the same reason.
- Gender-Blender Name: Ilia is a female Faunus, but her name comes from a Slavic form of the Hebrew name "Elijah". This is usually a male name, more commonly spelled "Ilya".
- Hide Your Otherness: Ilia comes from a Mantle Dust mining community. Being able to pass for human gave her parents the chance to try and get her a better life. They insisted she suppressed her Faunus traits to allow her to function in an Atlas prep school, and make friends. She wasn't allowed to tell her friends anything about her family, and she had to go along with her peers whenever they mocked or insulted the Faunus. When tragedy struck the Mantle Dust mines where her parents worked and her human "friends" laughed about it, she's outed when she lost control and turned blue from the grief. She responds to the newfound fear of her by her former friends, along with their prior nastiness, by snapping and beating them all to the point of breaking their teeth.
- Hollywood Chameleon: Averted. While she can turn her skin and hair black when she's skulking in the shadows, when she's speaking with Blake out in the open, her appearance changes to colours that are not designed to blend in with anything. Her appearance changes colour while she's in a volatile mood and using different types of elemental Dust powers. She initially managed to pass herself off as a human until news of a dust mining accident where her parents worked turned her blue with grief, causing her former friends to turn on her for being a Faunus.
- Horned Humanoid: Subverted. She wears a White Fang mask with horns jutting out of the mask. Many White Fang have masks that permit their horns to show through. However, when her mask breaks and falls off, it's revealed the horns are part of the mask, and therefore fake.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: When Blake asks Ilia why she joined the White Fang if she can pass for human, Ilia explains that she was raised human to improve her future prospects, even if it meant she could never introduce her human friends to her Faunus family and had to join in with her friends' anti-Faunus rhetoric. When a tragedy struck the Dust mine her parents worked in, Ilia's friends laughed about the Faunus' suffering. Ilia turned blue with grief, outing her as a Faunus and causing her former friends to turn on her. In retaliation, she broke their teeth. This led her to the White Fang's door where she now fights underneath its terrorist banner.
- Meaningful Name: Her last name is the Sioux word for rainbow. Her skin, hair and eyes can all change colour whenever she wants, and she has displayed several different colours across her body.
- Ninja: She invokes the classic ninja aesthetic, with a dark jumpsuit, stealthy skills, and agile parkour movements, as well as a mask akin to the classic kabuki theater masks. To further accent it, Ilia is able to change her skin color at will, and her first appearance had her looking entirely like a ninja with jet black skin. Sun lampshades it on first seeing her.
- Power Incontinence: Ilia's color-changing ability is inherent to her as a faunus, but she sometimes has trouble controlling it when her emotions get the better of her. Becoming angry turns her red, while being overcome by grief causes her skin to turn blue. When telling Blake about her history in Atlas, she mentions how turning blue from a bout of extreme grief outed her to her human friends.
- Rainbow Motif: Befittingly for a chameleon Faunus, she's associated with one. Every part of her body can change to any color of the rainbow, the revolving Dust chambers in her weapon are organized in a standard chromatic spectrum. Her name is a Sioux word for "rainbow".
- Whip It Good: Her weapon is a collapsible whip capable of using a variety of different kinds of Dust that are contained in a rotating chamber at the base of the handle. The weapon lashes out with great speed in the same way as a chameleon's tongue striking out at an insect when the chameleon is hunting for food. As with most RWBY weapons, it also includes a gun component, which she uses in the Volume 5 Blake short to knock down some crates between herself and Blake.
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.
- Oh, Crap!: When the mobsters realise Yang is approaching their club in Volume 2, they are horrified. They panic, yelling to alert Junior, while activating their defences and barricading a huge, reinforced door. When she breaks down the door as though it's kindling, the mobsters brandish a forest of guns while the DJ on the opposite side of the room hides behind his decks.
- 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.
- 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, at least until Volume 2 when she meets Neo.
- 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—though he does perform better than any of his henchmen, including Melanie and Militia.
- 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.
- Combat Stilettos: Melanie not only wears heels, but weaponizes them, with each heel sharpened to a razor point.
- 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.
- 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 with her bladed hands.
- 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.
- Villains Out Shopping: Looking in the crowds during the Vytal festival, you can see some of the goons (or maybe just one)◊ sitting down and enjoying popcorn during the tournament.
- 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.
Schnee Dust Company
Jacques Schnee (né Gelé)
Voiced By: Jason DouglasThe President of the Schnee Dust Company (SDC), one of the largest producers of Dust in Remnant and the father of Winter, Weiss, and Whitley Schnee. His original name was Jacques Gelé (French for Jack Frost), but he took the Schnee name when he married into the Schnee family and was given control of the company by his father-in-law.
You said "Know your place.
Accept your fate and show good face,
And be thankful that you're there."
Accept your fate and show good face,
And be thankful that you're there."
- Abusive Parents:
- He is cold, distant and controlling towards Weiss, he only acknowledges accomplishments when they can be used to benefit him. He organizes a charity to manipulate the world's opinion of the Schnee family and deliberately manipulates Weiss into singing at the benefit just to remind the world that a Schnee fought on the front lines to protect Vale. The song "It's My Turn" also suggests he's actively trying to suppress Weiss's ambitions and independence.
- The manga indicates that the Knight Weiss fights in the White Trailer is powered by Grimm and that it was a test Jacques designed. He did not want Weiss to attend Beacon Academy, so forced her to undergo this test and "earn" the right to go. Weiss comments that she's clearly expected not to succeed.
- During the party after the charity concert in Volume 4, Jacques doesn't even want to let Weiss leave his side, and even grabs and holds her arm. Later, when she speaks up at the Jerkass elites around her, he grabs her again, causing her to react on emotional instinct, unconsciously summoning a Boarbatusk that attacks the guest she's angry towards.
- Goes Up to Eleven in "Punished"; he hits Weiss when she backtalks, strips her of her heiress status, and has her imprisoned for good measure.
- Archnemesis Dad: Shaping up to be this to Weiss in Volume 4. During her encounters with him, she is focused on gaining and/or maintaining her independence from him, and he is focused on keeping her controlled and abusing her emotionally and physically. By "Punished," she has solidified him as such, after he decides to imprison her indefinitely and strip her of her heiress status so that nobody will think about her again in Atlas, and she won't get in his way.
- Control Freak: He dominates his children, expecting them to obey his orders without question and to lead lives and careers that further his agenda. He has no interest in their personal desires, only in what they can do to further the business interests of the Schnee Dust Company. When Weiss states she wants to leave Atlas, he imprisons her in her room; her confinement is to last until they reach an "agreement" about how her future will unfold. When Weiss realises that Whitley has been waiting for Jacques to disinherit both daughters so that he will inherit everything, he makes it absolutely clear that there is only one way to handle Jacques: to become exactly the people Jacques demands them to be.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: The Schnee Dust Company was founded by Nicholas Schnee, the son of a dust miner, who was determined to save the Kingdom of Mantle from its economic decline. By training as a Huntsman, Nick was able to lead expeditions in search of Dust and personally protect the people who worked for him. When he handed the company to his son-in-law, Jacques, the company had a reputation for both quality and trust. Jacques, however, is motivated only by profit, maximizing turnover at the expense of workers' rights and salaries. He will engage in philanthropic activities, such as charity fund-raising to help the beleaguered Kingdom of Vale, but only as a PR exercise to protect his company's investments and profits.Qrow: Cheap labor, dangerous working conditions, doing whatever it takes to destroy the competition... Jacques Schnee doesn't care about people. He cares about winning.
- Evil Sounds Deep: His voice is actually quite high most of the time, but his register gets significantly lower when he's being particularly sinister.
- Gold Digger: Jacques Schnee is the son-in-law of the man who created the company. He married into the family and took the Schnee name so that he could take control of the company once its founder, Nicholas Schnee, became too ill to continue leading it. Jacques is a cunning businessman who is motivated solely by the size of the profit he can generate. He has taken the company from strength to strength by focusing on profit at the expense of workers' rights and wages, and at the cost of the company's original philanthropic soul.
- Hate Sink: Everything about him, from the way he runs SDC to the way he treats his children, makes it clear that he's not meant to be liked.
- It's All About Me: When it comes down to it, despite doing such things as charity events and fundraisers, Jacques is only concerned with maximizing profits and his own image, and doesn't give a damn about anyone who's not him unless he can use them to benefit himself.
- Jerkass Has a Point: Jacques is a self-centred and remorseless profiteer, but he also understands consequences and can see the bigger picture. Ironwood bans Dust shipments to starve the enemy of fuel; this not only damages Jacques' profit margins, it also puts a strain on Atlas's economy and casts suspicion onto Atlas. Seeing only self-interest in his argument, Ironwood dismisses Jacques' concern that the Kingdoms will turn on Atlas as stocks run out, so Jacques organises a fundraiser on behalf of Vale to improve PR. Ironwood later locks down Atlas in response to Winter's intelligence about an imminent attack on Mistral, leaving Jacques concerned that Ironwood is amassing too much power at a time when his judgement is impaired by guilt over Ozpin's fate. Yet again seeing only Jacques' selfishness, Ironwood threatens him in a borderline abuse of power, thereby validating Jacques' concerns.
- Lack of Empathy: As Qrow himself states, Jacques cares nothing about anyone but those he can use to further his ambition and status. He only hosts a fundraiser for Vale in order to get good publicity, and flat-out tells Weiss to her face that her dreams and ambitions mean nothing to him.
- The Maiden Name Debate: His original name was Jacques Gelé. The ailing founder of the Schnee Dust Company named his daughter's partner heir, so Jacques changed his surname upon marriage. Doing so ensured the company's brand continuity and gave him the family's influence and prestige. Weiss tells him she regards the family name as more hers than his because she was born a Schnee and he wasn't.
- Meaningful Name: His maiden name, Jacques Gelé is French for "Jack Frost". In stories, Jack Frost was a creature who was always a threat to Christmas, making him an opponent of Father Christmas. The founder of the Schnee Dust Company, Nicholas Schnee, is based on Saint Nicholas, a wealthy man who used his wealth to better the lives of others and is believed to be the origin of the Santa Claus folklore. Nicholas passed on a thriving and philanthropic company to his son-in-law, Jacques, not realising that Jacques would destroy everything that had never mattered to him. Jacques has turned the company into a profiteering business that climbs on the backs of the poor and which keeps people in poverty instead of helping them escape it.
- Parental Favoritism: During a conversation with Ironwood and later Weiss in his study, a very brief scene of the desk reveals that the only portrait Jacques keeps on his desk is of Whitley; there's no sign he has any daughters or even a wife. After Weiss accidentally summons a Boarbatusk that almost kills a guest at the charity fundraiser, Jacques disinherits her and makes Whitley the sole heir of the company.
- Photo Op with the Dog: Since Atlas has halted Dust exportation with the world in a state of high political tension, Jacques is organizing a charity concert to show the public that the Schnee Dust Company is still on their side, and intends for Weiss to perform during the event to remind the masses that a Schnee was on the front lines during the Beacon attack.
- Precision F-Strike: In "Punished," when Weiss tells him she wants to leave Atlas:Jacques: Young lady, I don't give a damn about what you want.
- Rage Breaking Point: Despite his Control Freak tendencies, he is willing to engage in a bit of give and take with Weiss, like his begrudging acceptance of her desire to study at Beacon. Weiss declaring him not a Schnee causes him to drop the hammer on her and show just how much he could have been controlling her life all along.
- Slave to PR: By the nature of his business. While unethical to an extreme, Jacques is able to get away with it by having "the best damn PR team in the world" according to Qrow, and uses charity events and aggressive PR to cover up his abuses and monopolizing.
- Tranquil Fury: After he finally loses his patience with Weiss, he slips into a tone that is calm, but still conveys how his patience for Weiss defying him is completely gone.
- Would Hit a Girl: As an abusive parent, he slaps his own daughter when she brings up the fact that he married into the family, and he has no reservations about doing so.
Voiced By: Howard WangWeiss and Winter's little brother.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: When Weiss returns home, she finds Whitley being civil and friendly towards her and respectful of Winter. She's suspicious of this because she knows that Whitley doesn't like either of his sisters, but Whitley shrugs it off as a sign he's growing up. Whitley's encouragement and support for Weiss is all for show. By behaving as a perfect, obedient son, Jacques views Whitley as the only option for the legacy of the SDC when his daughters rebel against his controlling authority. He disinherits both Winter and Weiss and makes Whitley his sole heir, exactly as Whitley planned.
- Family Theme Naming: The three Schnee children all have names beginning with the letter 'W' and which evoke the color white. Whitley's name comes from Anglo-Saxon roots, where 'whit' means 'white' and a ley is a clearing in a forest or wood. 'Whitley' therefore means 'white glade'.
- Fish Eyes: When Weiss accusing Whitley of being manipulative, he leans right into her face. As he does so, his eyes seem to swell in size and his eyes slide slightly off-centre, creating a wall-eyed look that emphasises in a creepy way just how resolved and angry he is in return. Weiss has just realised that Whitley has manipulated appearances to make Jacques think ill of his daughters, disinheriting them, ensuring he will be the sole heir to the company. The eerie focus on his eyes occurs as he states that it's foolish to disobey their father, making him look both angry and slightly unhinged.
- Green-Eyed Monster: Weiss accuses Whitley of being jealous of the abilities that she and Winter possess, concluding that the reason he doesn't like his older sisters is because he doesn't like it that they can do things that he can't. He calmly dismisses her claim emphasising that he prefers an army to a single Huntsman; armies are more efficient and less barbaric.
- Like Father, Like Son: Whitley's friendly and supportive behaviour towards Weiss leaves her feeling suspicious as it's unlike his usual behaviour. She also doesn't understand why he's speaking respectfully about Winter when he doesn't like her. It's revealed to be a ploy when Weiss finds out Whitley was fabricating support of his sisters to ensure Jacques' viewed him as the only viable heir to the SDC. Just as Jacques is implied to have manipulated Nicholas Schnee and the daughter he married to become the sole heir of the SDC, Whitley has done the same against his own siblings.
- Manipulative Bastard: He tries to steer Weiss into a conflict with Jacques by pretending to be nice and encouraging her, but ultimately this consisted of mainly standing back and watching their respective clashing personalities result in the only logical conclusion, Weiss defying Jacques and getting disowned for it.
- Non-Action Guy: Unlike both of his sisters, Whitley has demonstrated no combat prowess whatsoever. After Weiss accuses him of being jealous of his sisters' abilities, he states that he considers combat training to be beneath those with power. The real power, according to him, is in armies like the one Atlas has, and that a single Huntsman, no matter how powerful, is still nothing compared to an entire army.
- Parental Favoritism: During Jacques conversation in his study with Ironwood and later Weiss, a very brief scene of the desk reveals that the only portrait Jacques keeps on his desk is of Whitley; there's no sign he has any daughters or even a wife. After Weiss accidentally summons a Boarbatusk that almost kills a guest at the charity fundraiser, Jacques makes it clear to her that he considers her just as disinherited as Winter and that Whitley is now his sole heir to the company.
- Sharp Dressed Man: Although Whitley appears to be drifting around the house, he's in a suit: smart trousers, shirt, tie and waistcoat. He's not wearing a suit jacket, however.
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. According to the manga, it was used to "test" Weiss by Jacques to prove if she was able to go to Beacon.
- Animated Armor: There's nobody inside of it, and it seems to move of its own accord. According to the manga, it's a replica of a set of armor in the Schnee Museum, three times stronger than the original, possessed by a group of small Grimm. The volume 4 Director's Commentary corroborates this by confirming that it's possessed by a Geist variant, and named Armor Gigas.
- Beef Gate: In the manga, the battle with the Armor Gigas is a test issued by Weiss's father. If she defeats the Knight she will be permitted to attend Beacon Academy.
- BFS: The Armor Gigas is easily three times the size of Weiss and its sword is just as tall as it.
- Continuity Nod: In "Welcome to Beacon", there are Knight figures on the board of the game that Team RWBY is playing.
- Crippling Overspecialization: It displays excellent swordsmanship, but once disarmed it only takes Weiss a few moments to destroy it.
- Literally Shattered Lives: Once it hits the floor after Weiss's Coup de Grâce, it completely shatters apart like ash.
- No Body Left Behind: When Weiss destroys it, it dissolves away into snowflakes.
- No-Sell: Most of Weiss's attacks don't so much as scratch its plating.
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.
- 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".
- 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.
Creatures of Grimm
Grimm as a Group
Voiced By: William OrendorffEnigmatic 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.
- 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:
- It's a plot point that Grimm are drawn to negative emotions and congregate around sources of fear, hatred, sadness, and despair. Ozpin's Benevolent Conspiracy justifies secrecy because widespread fear would inflict Grimm attacks on cities; the villains use the same rationale to inflict widespread fear and panic to trigger Grimm attacks against population centres.
- Cinder uses the first three volumes to weaponise the Grimm by priming the city of Vale, and wider world, with negative emotions. In the first two volumes, her crime spree on Vale and alliance with the White Fang unsettles and frightens Vale, building up tensions. In the third volume, she manipulates the Tournament to manipulate the emotions of the global audience. Publicly framing Yang and Pyrrha as cheats who betray the Huntsman code of honour causes global condemnation, creating Grimm spikes all over the world that centre on Vale. When they expose Penny and imply she's evidence of secret technological warfare by Atlas, both the Tournament arena and Vale suffers a full-blown assault by the Grimm.
- The White Fang, through their mere presence, draw large numbers of Grimm to Mountain Glenn, which they then draw toward Vale at the end of Volume 2 when their train attack breaches Vale's defences, allowing Grimm to flood the city.
- Ironwood brings his army to Vale for the Vytal Festival because he thinks it'll reassure the public. However, the army just makes the jumpy citizens more ill-at-ease, attracting even more Grimm to Vale's borders. When Cinder takes remote control of the robotic army, she is able to make it look like Vale is under attack by Atlas. Even after the Volume 3 assault is repelled, the citizens are left so confused and afraid by what happened - and why it happened - that the Grimm continue taking an interest in Vale.
- Volume 4 has two instances showing the Grimm converging on a village in response to fear and panic. In the first case, RNJR come across the remains of a town where bandits had raided, and the sole surviving Huntsman says that the Grimm came in huge numbers in response to the panic from the raid. Later on, in a flashback, Ren's village is shown initially being attacked by the Nuckelavee, and only after some time did other Grimm begin to enter the town and attack the people in response to the panic caused by its presence.
- 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.
- Improvised Weapon: Some Grimm don't have to rely on just their natural abilities. They can use the environment around them to enhance their threat level and fight tactically. In the Volume 4 short, Ruby faces Beowolves that fight by hurling rocks at her and a Beringel that fights by hurling nearby Beowolves at her.
- It Can Think:
- While smaller, younger Grimm are simple-minded, older and larger versions are smarter, coordinate their attacks, use battle tactics and improvised weapons, and can even command lesser Grimm.
- The Grimm Dragon coordinates with Cinder to hit the clock tower at the right moment to let her break free from Pyrrha's grip.
- The Beringel in the Volume 4 short uses other Grimm as projectiles, tossing Beowolves at Ruby, and another Beowulf uses an elevated position to hurl chunks of debris at Ruby.
- The Geist/Petra Gigas uses its environment as a weapon, assimilating nearby objects, and when its main body is destroyed, it runs away to fight again.
- The Nuckelavee collects battle trophies from its victims; it also adapts its tactics to counter enemy tactics, such as using its elastic arms and greater reach to prevent RNJR from simply maneuvering around it; when Team RNJR try to surround it, the arms twist around its body in a spiral, allowing it to spin like a corkscrew, attacking in multiple directions at once.
- 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."
- In Volume 4, scenes focusing on the Grimm are often accompanied by a lone string cover of the beginning of "Lusus Naturae".
- 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. "Grimm" is also German for fury, wrath, fierceness or grim, a fitting title for creatures whose sole desire is destruction.
- 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: Humanity knows very little about the Grimm; their origin, lack of Aura and how they exist are a mystery, and why they seem to target humans without even hunting animals for food is a source of much speculation. They disintegrate when killed, making it difficult to observe them and do not live long in captivity, making it impossible to learn how they reproduce or why they are attracted to negative emotions. The Grimm Dragon produces black ooze from which new Grimm are summoned and Salem's realm contains pools of black ooze from which new Grimm climb.
- 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.
- Roar Before Beating: The Grimm near-universally let out some kind of growl, roar, or shriek before attacking. Most Grimm are relatively young and act more on instinct than intelligence. More ancient Grimm are intelligent and patient and, when they fight, rarely let out the roar prior to attacking.
- 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.
- Superpowered Mooks: Some Grimm display abilities that make them far more dangerous than they would otherwise be.
- The Heartless: Grimm are attracted to human negativity. Sadness, envy, loneliness, hatred.
- The Usual Adversaries: The Grimm are everywhere, serving as an omnipresent threat no matter where one goes.
- 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 Grimm. 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.
- Art Evolution: Beowolves have been redesigned twice. They appear as black wolves with red eyes and teeth in the Red Trailer. In volumes 1-3 they are given spiky protrusions and a mask over their face. Volume 4 redesigned their heads to give them an even more intimidating appearance.
- Composite Character: In the manga's full color page reenacting 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.
A large gorilla-like Grimm first seen fighting Ruby in the Volume 4 Character Short.
- Boom, Headshot: After Ruby pins the Beringel to the ground with her scythe, she finishes it off with a single shot to its head.
- Boss In Mooks Clothing: Proves to be a physical match for Ruby, taking her on one-on-one in a fight that lasts several minutes and forces her to improvise new tactics to win. For a Grimm—and a normal sized one at that—this is a very impressive performance.
- Fastball Special: It throws Beowolves as projectiles, catching Ruby entirely by surprise in the process.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: The first of Ruby's attacks to actually damage it was being impaled through the chest by Crescent Rose.
- Killer Gorilla: It's a massive gorilla-like Grimm. It's stronger than the Grimm that appear in Volumes 1-3 and is noticably intelligent, using human-style tactics in its battle with Ruby, such as launching other Grimm at her that can attack her and act as a decoy for it to get closer.
- No-Sell: Ruby's first strike doesn't even make it flinch. Neither do the rest for that matter.
- Scars Are Forever: A large scar covers half of its face, a large chunk of its neck and shoulder, and one eye. This indicates it has survived some fights in the past, and may explain why it is so much more powerful than many of the other Grimm.
Wild boar-like Grimm. It made its action-packed debut in Episode 10.
- Attack Its Weak Point: It has no armor on its belly.
- Full-Boar Action: Wouldn't be quite as Grimm without the tusks.
- Rolling Attack: One of its techniques, and one is seen taking out a few SDC robot soldiers this way.
A Theropod-like Grimm that was first 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.
Giant scorpion Grimm. One first appears in Episode 7, fighting Team JNPR in Episode 8.
- Alluring Anglerfish: When travelling through a dark cave, Jaune and Pyrrha are drawn to something glowing in the darkness. Jaune hopes its the relics they're searching for, but it turns out to be the Death Stalker's tail stinger.
- Beware My Stinger Tail: The Death Stalker is a giant scorpion, and its large, flexible tail carries a huge, bulbous stinger that can glow in the dark. Team JNPR's first fight with a Death Stalker initially goes very badly for them as they're barely able to damage it. When Ren manages to damage the stinger, however, the stinger turns out to be powerful enough to kill the Death Stalker with a single strike.
- 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: When searching for Ozpin's relics, Jaune and Pyrrha find an interesting cave with ancient human art around the entrance. They enter in the hope of finding the relics inside, but discover it's so dark that even a makeshift torch barely lights the way. They stumble around until they encounter something glowing softly in the darkness. Thinking it's the relics, Jaune moves closer... only to discover it's the monstrously-sized stinger of a Death Stalker.
- Go for the Eye: Team JNPR's first fight with a Death Stalker initially goes quite badly, with the armoured monster being able to ignore most of the damage the kids try to cause. As a result, Pyrrha throws her spear into the Death Stalker's eye. The spear sticks, but the Death Stalker barely slows down.
- Immune to Bullets: Or at least extremely resistant to them. Sustained fire from Pyrrha's rifle and Ren's pistols don't manage to make it so much as flinch, though the team has more luck once they resort to physical blows.
- 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.
- Meaningful Name: It's a monstrously-sized, heavily armoured scorpion that can run as fast as an adult human and kill with a single strike of its stinger. Its name comes from the real-life scorpion species, Leiurus quinquestriatus, known in English as the "Deathstalker". With a powerful cocktail of multiple different types of toxin that are highly resistant to antivenom treatment, the deathstalker is the deadliest scorpion species known to man.
- Scary Scorpions: It's a monstrous scorpion the size of a small hill. It can run as fast as a human, and is very well-armoured. Its extremely lethal stinger alone is almost the same length as a grown man, and once it starts pursuing a human, it doesn't stop until it's caught its prey or died trying.
- The Worf Effect: When Teams RWBY and JNPR are in their first day of their first year at Beacon, they find it extremely difficult to do any damage to the creature. Only Nora's grenades have any effect on it until Ren manages to damage its stinger and Team JNPR then use both teamwork and the stinger to defeat it. However, Team CFVY are older and more experienced students, who are in an higher year group. In the team's first on-screen fight, Coco single-handedly makes very short work of a Death Stalker just by firing her mini-gun at it.
A frail, ghost-like Grimm with the ability to possess inanimate objects. One fights against Team RNJR in "The Next Step", where it took on the form of a large, stone golem-like creature, named "Petra Gigas".
- Assimilation Backfire: Subverted; when it replaces the rocks that composed its right arm with a tree, Ruby thinks she's found the key to defeating it and fires a shot that ignites the tree. All that achieves is to give the Geist a flaming arm attack.
- Attack Its Weak Point: The only vulnerable part of its body is its head. The rest of its limbs are expendable and it can easily replace them in seconds with anything nearby.
- Demonic Possession: It specializes in bonding its limbs to objects in its environment, including rocks and trees, and using them as weapons and body parts.
- Meaningful Name: The name refers to the spirit of a being, and this Grimm is a creature that inhabits something like a spirit taking possession of the object.
- Monster Suit: A variant. The external appearance is actually the foe, but the true being is still much weaker and contained within.
- No-Sell: In its Petra Gigas form, its immune to cutting and shooting attacks. The only things that can hurt it are brute force strikes to dismantle its limbs or attacks to the face.
- One-Hit-Point Wonder: Once its body has been destroyed and the Geist itself emerges, a single shot can kill it.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: While most Grimm keep attacking no matter what, the Geist retreats when the battle turns against it, because its actual body is extremely vulnerable.
- Shockwave Stomp: Does a punch-based version in its Petra Gigas form, sending the entirety of Team RNJR flying despite being a considerable distance away.
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.
- Evil Is Bigger: Oobleck describes them as much older and more powerful than any Grimm the cast have encountered up to this point. Fittingly, they're enormous, towering over most buildings even at a great distance.
- Immune to Bullets: Oobleck states that Crescent Rose's bullets would only agitate them.
- 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.
- Stronger with Age: Grimm grow stronger and more intelligent as they age, and while we've never seen a Goliath in a fight, even Oobleck (a veteran Hunter) thinks fighting them would be a bad idea, attesting to their power.
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.
- Dragons Are Demonic: The dragon variant of the Grimm is noted to be the most powerful and dangerous of them, and is capable of summoning other kinds of Grimms.
- 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.
- 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 population awakened it 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.
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: In the Emerald Forest, 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, one white and one black. 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, in English, is referred to as the Yin-Yang symbol, which in modern times is usually black and white. This creature is a snake with two heads at either end, instead of a head and tail. One head black and the other head is white. At the centre of the creature, the colours merge and pass each other in a diamond pattern.
Avian Grimm. Debuted in Episode 8, when Team RWBY fight a giant version of it.
- Arc Villain: One giant Nevermore functions as the Over Arching Villain of the team RWBY and JNPR's recruitment test in the Emerald forest, it is a duel Final Boss along with a Deathstalker.
- Circling Vultures: They circle towns under attack, though they're fully capable of flying down and joining the slaughter themselves.
- 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.
- Foreshadowing: When the students are thrown into the Emerald Forest on their first day at Beacon Academy, bird motifs begin cropping up. As Ruby shoots through the air towards the forest, she accidentally kills a crow during her descent that she reacts to as if it's an ordinary bird. When she fights with Weiss and chops down a tree in frustration, a feather longer than the tree is tall floats to the ground along with it. Ruby and Weiss eventually make it to the ruined temple the headmaster ordered them to find by flying on a Giant Nevermore and jumping to the ground. The monstrous bird then becomes Team RWBY's first opponent where they fight as a team.
- Freeze-Frame Bonus: The tiny bird Ruby crashes into is actually a "shadow person" version of a Nevermore.
- 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 and the size of its beak alone dwarfs a grown human. It continues to fly like a normal raven, but is so tough that it can swallow bullets shot at point-blank range without injury.
- Kaiju: The giant form of the Nevermore is so large that a single wing feather is longer than a tree is tall. When Yang braced herself between a Giant Nevermore's beak to wedge it open long enough to fire her gauntlet-guns directly down its throat, she was dwarfed by the sheer length and thickness of the beak alone. Death Stalkers and King Taijitu dwarf humans in their great size, but the Giant Nevermore dwarfs even them.
- Kidnapping Bird of Prey: One of them is seen carrying off Roy of Team BRNZ during "Battle of Beacon".
- Meaningful Name: Its name is a reference to the Catch-Phrase of the raven from the poem of the same name by Edgar Allan Poe.
- 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 the concerted efforts of teams JNPR, ABRN, FNKI, SSSN and CFVY; its head is severed by a combination of Yatsuhashi and Sage's cleavers.
A Grimm that combines elements of both human and equine creatures. It destroyed the village of Kuroyuri during Ren's childhood, and still roams the wilds around the town's remains. Based off the demon of the same name in Orcadian mythology.
- An Arm and a Leg: When Team RNJR defeat the Nuckelavee, Ren uses his father's knife to sever its limbs, one by one. For each cut, Ren states it's for someone: his father, his mother, every person the Nuckelavee has ever killed, and finally himself. This puts to bed Ren's revenge arc, as the Nuckelavee was the creature that destroyed his home and killed his parents when Ren was only a small child.
- Annoying Arrows: Li Ren fired three arrows at it at short range, but the creature doesn't even slow down its advance.
- Arc Villain: The Nuckelavee is the overarching antagonist of the RNJR part of Volume 4, with its presence foreshadowed throughout the volume in destroyed villages across Anima, and it's mere existence and memory of its attack deeply affecting Ren and Nora. The last quarter of the volume features the monster itself quite prominently, and it serves as the final antagonist in the last episode of the volume.
- Battle Trophy: It collects weapons and banners from towns it's destroyed. Ren and Nora find a torn banner from Xion Village, as well as an arrow that looks like one of Li Ren's.
- Creepily Long Arms: Despite its height, the arms of its humanoid torso are long enough to drag along the ground.
- Creepy Long Fingers: There are two, extremely long and thin fingers on each hand, the length of which seem even longer than the length of the hooves.
- The Dreaded: Those who face it are utterly terrified and the few who survive that experience are haunted for years to come. This extends to entire armies, as no area it's ever attacked has been rebuilt and patrols stopped entering its territory. The terror caused by its attack on Kuroyuri alone was enough to bring in follow-up waves of Grimm to destroy the rest of the town.
- Exorcist Head: An entire exorcist spine, its humanoid body can rotate completely around at any point in its spine.
- Footprints of Muck: Its unique hoof prints, appear in the mud of every village it has destroyed. When Nora and Ren find its lair, they see another hoof print in in the stone floor, formed from a strange black ichor that is splattered across the walls and floor like blood. The creature itself does not appear until the last few episodes of Volume 4.
- Foreshadowing: A giant hoof print starts appearing from early in Volume 4. The first sighting is outside the destroyed village of Xion, where Ren and Nora recognise it immediately. At Oniyuri, a town that was abandoned before it ever finished construction, Ren mentions the tale of Oniyuri and how its end came about as the result of a single Grimm, describing it as "not just any one". When Ruby and Jaune approach the long-destroyed town of Kuroyuri, the same hoof print is in the mud as the one seen at Xion. During the flashbacks that reveal the fate of Kuroyuri years ago, the Nuckelavee is only partially seen, but its scream is heard as it attacks, a scream that is also heard in the present day when Ren and Nora realise it's attacking Kuroyuri again.
- Hellish Horse: The creature looks in silhouette like a rider and a horse, but is a fusion of the two to create a single being. The creature has the typical colour scheme of the Grimm: black hide, white hooves and glowing red eyes. The horse form only has two hind hooves. The front two legs end in something more foot-like. The creature is capable of letting rip a very loud, unnatural scream. Looking closely also reveals that it has no skin; the black covering is muscle.
- Hell Is That Noise: Its roars are painful at close range and traumatizing to anyone who's encountered it before. More frightening: according to the DVD commentary, it's actually saying "die."
- Horns of Villainy: The part of the creature that looks like a rider is skeletal and vaguely humanoid in appearance. However, out of its head rise two long, thin horns. The creature is associated with destruction, having been the cause of at least three villages being attacked.
- Human Pincushion: The humanoid body has a number of weapons protruding from its back. Its lair is littered with various weapons it's pulled out of its hide as evident by the black "blood" splattering the walls.
- It Can Think:
- Unlike other Grimm, the Nuckelavee collects trophies from places that it attacks, including weapons from enemies it's killed and banners from towns like Shione. When Team RNJR start applying tactics against it, it shows the ability to adapt to the tactics and counter them. When the team encircle it and keep moving around it, it begins to spin its body, causing its elongated arms to smack the team flying and end that strategy.
- It's also implied to be intelligent enough that it can choose to attack humans without being prompted by negative emotions, such as its assault on Kuroyuri, or to attack a target that is vulnerable but not yet suffering panic or fear in sufficient amounts that Grimm would begin massing against it, such as Shion. When it first encounter RNJR, the Nuckelavee's first target wasn't any of the active team members who could see it and were unnerved by its presence, but instead the barely-conscious and badly-wounded Qrow.
- It can apparently even border on speech according to the director's commentary. When it screams, it is in fact trying to yell "die."
- Kinetic Clicking: Used for horror rather than action. The joints of its humanoid body, specifically the fingers and spine, all make unnerving cracking noises with every movement.
- Limp and Livid: The humanoid torso almost never stays upright. When not fighting it'll often lay limp against the equine body. During combat, it often just hangs wherever the momentum of its arm attacks left it. Combined with its jittery movements, the upper half acts like a thing possessed.
- Make Me Wanna Shout: When it opens its mouth far enough to snap the webbing between its jaws its cries are loud enough to cause those nearby pain.
- Nightmare Face: Its upper face sports glowing eyes, a bone mask that looks almost mournful, and curving horns. Its lower face is pitch black, with a mouth that looks like the jaw formed without an opening and subsequently ripped one open in its semiliquid flesh.
- Off with His Head! Ren decapitates its humanoid body, ultimately killing it.
- One-Man Army: This thing is responsible for singlehandedly destroying many villages across Anima, killed countless well-armed opponents (going by the remains of weapons left in its lair) and was dangerous enough that the Mistal patrols never got near its hunting range. In the end, it took an entire team of Huntsmen like RNJR working together to actually destroy the creature for good, and Ren and Nora were nearly killed during the fight.
- Rubber Man: Its humanoid arms can stretch to strike targets seemingly out of range.
- Signature Roar: Not even other Grimm have produced a scream quite like this high-pitched, double-toned shriek. It's so loud that it carries to the mountain cave where Ren and Nora are standing and the many miles to where Ruby and Jaune are staying in Kuroyuri.
- Turns Red: After Team RNJR does enough damage to it during their fight, the spikes on its back extend, its horns grow even longer, and it rips the webbing connecting its jaws as it lets out a violent screech. From that point onward, the Grimm's attacks become even more aggressive.
- Two Beings, One Body: The equine and humanoid bodies each have their own mind. As they both have the same goal of destruction and slaughter, it doesn't cause any conflict. Notably, both heads have to be destroyed to actually kill it, as destroying the horse half only immobilizes the main body.
- According to the animators' commentary for Volume 4, the Nuckelavee is made up of two entities: the "Horse" and the "Imp". While both can be active at any time, one can become dormant and the other can become much stronger, so when the Horse part is moving around the Imp portion goes limp, and when the Horse slows or stops, the Imp can stretch its arms and strike much faster.
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.
- 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.
Sea Dragon Grimm
Sea Dragon Grimm
A sea-dragon Grimm that prowls the waters of Remnant. Blake and Sun encounter it on a boat to Blake's home on Menagerie.
- Attack Its Weakpoint: Its wings are the only part that are vulnerable to human-sized weapons. The rest of it shrugs off any attack that isn't coming directly from the ship itself.
- Breath Weapon: It is capable of shooting a yellow beam from its mouth, seemingly made of electricity.
- Dragons Are Demonic: It's one of the largest and most dangerous Grimm seen on the show. Unusually for this trope, it's designed more like an Eastern dragon than a Western one.
- Flight: The sea dragon initially crests the waves as a serpentine creature with a dorsal fin. However, the fin parts to allow bat-style wings to unfurl from inside its back giving it strong, swift flight.
- Half the Man He Used to Be: When it's finally pinned between the ship and some rocks, the gun's main cannon is able to blast the top half of the dragon's body clean off the rest of it with a point-blank shot.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: The ship captain has Blake and Sun lure it so he can ram the bow of the ship into its body. While that doesn't kill it, it does leave it pinned and unable to dodge the point-blank cannon shot that does so.
- Kaiju: It's not quite as large as the Grimm Dragon but it's getting there. The captain observes that none of them have ever seen a Grimm that huge before.
- Lightning Bruiser: Don't let its size and initial slowness fool you. This thing is so horrifyingly fast it can dodge an entire ship length of guns without getting scratched. It's also so tough, it can withstand the cannon fire from an armed ship and tear through solid stone while flying at full speed.
- Our Dragons Are Different: In contrast to the Grimm Dragon, which was based off a wyvern, this one has an appearance based off Eastern dragons.
- Sea Monster: It's a giant sea serpent that lives below the waves (or occasionally flies above them).
- Shock and Awe: It creates a yellow blast of crackling energy in its mouth which it uses as a blast attack.
A jellyfish-like Grimm that Salem seems to use to communicate with other Grimm forces, such as the ones occupying Beacon.
- The Dreaded: Salem warns Cinder that she must not feel anxiety before it approaches. As it enters the room, Emerald and Mercury look utterly freaked out by this thing and press themselves into the door to avoid getting any closer to it than they have to.
- Mission Control: Salem orders it to strengthen the Grimm presence at Beacon. It leaves the room to carry out that order.
- Power Floats: Levitates through the air rather than walking.
- Power Glows: A pulsing light can be seen at the core of its being.
Bear-like Grimm first 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.
- 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.
Others (SPOILER WARNING!)
Voiced by: Dave Fennoy
Awaken my brood, today you will riseThe 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.
I've given you life my lusus naturae
Open your eyes!
I've given you life my lusus naturae
Open your eyes!
- Admiring the Abomination: He believes that while the Grimm are individually flawed and damaged, as a species they are beautiful and full of potential.
- The Beastmaster: 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.
- Mad Scientist: His ultimate goal is to fulfil the Grimm's potential by using science to improve them where nature failed, a goal that got him labeled as a madman. The various mutant Grimm that appear in the game prove that, whatever else, he isn't wrong about their capacity for improvement.
- 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.
- Never Found the Body: He was presumed dead after the fall of Mountain Glenn. Again at the end of the game, when his laboratory is destroyed but his fate is ultimately unknown.
- Shout-Out: To the titular doctor from The Island of Doctor Moreau, down to having a laboratory on an island and working to elevate bestial creatures into something he sees as superior to humanity much like the 1977 and 1996 film versions. One of the levels is even titled, "The Island of Doctor Merlot".
- 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.
- Villain Song: "Lusus Naturae", played in the credits of Grimm Eclipse. The song talks about how much Dr. Merlot admires the Grimm and what potential they might have if he uplifts them through his science to show the world he's more than the madman they label him. Eerily, it's also used as a leitmotif for the Grimm multiple times after its release.
- 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.
Cephalopod GrimmA Grimm that looks like a giant skull with multiple tentacles sprouting from it. It first appears in Chapter 10 in the manga when Roman is investigating Mountain Glenn.
- Attack Its Weakpoint: Much like the Geist's mask, its body is the weak point of the gestalt Grimm it creates. Attacking the 'core' at the center of the merged Taijitus is how teams RWBY and JNPR manage to weaken and defeat the monster.
- Combat Tentacles: Its main form of attack is to use its myriad of tentacles.
- Dem Bones: Its main body looks like a giant horned skull.
- Demonic Possession: According to Weiss, it's a possession-type Grimm similar to the one possessing the Knight armor she fought in the trailer (later revealed by Word of God to be a Geist variant), in which case it does this to other Grimm as opposed to inanimate objects.
- Extra Eyes: It has six eyes peeking from the "skull" it has.
- Fusion Dance: It is capable of forcing itself and four King Taijitu to combine into one giant hydra-like Grimm.
Mutated GrimmA 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.