"I've been out there, and I've seen the things she's made. And let me tell you: they are fear."Hilarious? You bet. Awesome? Definitely. However, that certainly doesn't mean it can't get scary. Those beasts aren't called the Grimm for nothing.
Warning: Untagged spoilers ahead. Proceed at your own risk.
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- The very disturbing Grimm are vicious, cunning monsters that lack souls. Their single purpose appears to be humanity's destruction; they do not consume food and rarely attack animals, but are hell-bent on hunting humans. Their intelligence and strength increase with age, spanning centuries, and their appearance and behaviour become much more natural and realistic with each passing season, increasingly emphasising their growing threat levels. The Goliaths of Vale are already more than a match for a single hunter, but aren't attacking anyone just yet. They're just waiting.
- The villains are one of the darkest aspects of this show. Cinder works in the shadows to steal the Fall Maiden's powers, cause the fall of Beacon and pin the blame for it on Atlas and the White Fang. She's just the runt of the group. The plan she carries out is the brainchild of Salem, a patient being that desires the extinction of humanity and who has control over the Grimm; she may even be one herself. Cinder's her favourite subordinate to whom she plays an "evil fairy godmother" role. She does have a temper, her hatred burns on a very long, slow wick, and she's trying to destroy humanity just to hurt her Arch-Nemesis, Ozpin.
- When Ruby ends up rushing headlong into danger against the Deathstalker and the Nevermore, she's snagged by one of the Nevermore's feathers. Yang rushes to help her, but she can only watch as Ruby struggles to free herself, while the Deathstalker prepares to deliver the killing blow to Ruby. Had Weiss not intervened, Yang could have seen the death of her sister, while she couldn't do ANYTHING to save her.
Best Day Ever
- Volume 2 opens with the assassination of a White Fang deserter. In a scene reminiscent of Pulp Fiction, two youths enter a book store pretending to be clients, knowing that their mark, Tukson, recognises them. They taunt him when they inquire about a book his store doesn't carry, using the store's tagline ("Home to every book under the sun") to ram home the consequences of broken promises. Emerald and Mercury (the two youths in question) are portrayed as human and relatable, bonding as Vitriolic Best Buds, responding to Cinder like she's a mother figure, and joking about faunus heritage of the man they've just murdered in cold blood.
- Yang tells Blake an Adult Fear story about her childhood: two little children lost in the dark and cold, utterly defenseless against a pack of waiting monsters. If Qrow hadn't shown up when he did, Taiyang would have lost both of his daughters shortly after losing his second wife. Yang faces away from Blake, speaking in a calm monotone, but when Blake continues resisting the moral of her tale, Yang suddenly swings around to reveal that her eyes have turned completely red.
- The backstory of Mountain Glenn is horrifying because it's so poorly explained. Oobleck claims that it was overrun by the Grimm due to a lack of natural barriers. The inhabitants were forced to retreat to the underground railway tunnels but the situation was considered a threat to the rest of Vale's safety. As a result, the city was sealed off and turned into the world's largest tomb. What Oobleck doesn't say is whether or not the citizens were buried while still alive.
- Part of Cinder's plan is confirmed to be driving a subterranean high-speed train, detaching carriages loaded with bombs, to blow open a route for the Grimm to invade the city from underground. Not only does Torchwick do it, but the cameras focuses on the horror and confusion of ordinary people going about their daily business as the Grimm start charging into the city.
- The White Fang Lieutenant is introduced while slowly dragging his chainsword over the floor. He has a deep, raspy voice and, after getting nearly beaten by Weiss, suddenly grabs her face, slams her on the ground, and throws her in the air. It cuts to the next scene right when he's seemingly about to cut her in half with his chainsaw.
"Finally, I get to kill a Schnee..."
- We also see Neopolitan fighting for the first time here, and she's quite terrifying. She inflicts the Curb-Stomp Battle of a lifetime on Yang, the strongest fighter among the heroines, and would've certainly killed her then and there if not for Raven's timely intervention. Plus there's the look of psychotic glee on her face as she goes for the finishing stab.
- When fighting Coco, Emerald vanishes, leaving Coco confused and unable to locate a target to shoot at. Yatsuhashi briefly appears to be approaching her but then she finds out he's still in the centre of the arena and just got defeated and begins shaking, unable to trust her own senses as Emerald sneaks up behind her to finish her off.
- The Fall Maiden, Amber, is in stasis with a hideous scar on her face. Ozpin's group explain to Pyrrha that this is unpredecented - Amber's had half her power stolen and they need transfer Amber's Aura and life to Pyrrha to prevent Cinder getting the rest of the power - not only will this kill Amber, but it might destroy Pyrrha's identity, too. Pyrrha has looked increasingly uncomfortable and scared by people she initially thought were just her teachers and now realises are complete strangers to her. She's terrified of them and the situation; with her ace-student persona gone, she's reduced to a terrified child. When she asks why the Maidens aren't common knowledge, she's told they used to be until power-mad people tried to kill them for their powers, confirming the Maiden powers do not protect them and knowledge of them would overturn society as they know it, including religion.
- The reactions of the nearby Grimm, including Goliaths, to the combined horror from what happened in the arena: they pause and look up at the faraway sight of Amity Coliseum, as though they know that soon it will be time to stop waiting. The Goliaths are seen close-up for the first time as well, at least five stories tall (Word of God says they're 200 feet tall).
- Yang shooting Mercury is, in itself, pretty damn horrifying; it happens so quickly and callously. One minute Yang is seemingly walking next to Mercury and then, without warning, Yang turns around and shoots a barely moving, begging Mercury in the kneecap with a sickening crunch. He falls into a fetal position, screaming in pain. No wonder the crowd was horrified by what they saw.
- Mercury is revealed to be the son of an assassin when Cinder arrives at his home to recruit Mercury's father. The audience is treated to the sight of a badly injured Mercury teetering on bandaged legs in front of his father lying dead in a heap and his home burning to the ground while Cinder confirms she just witnessed Mercury and his father fighting to the death; she enjoyed the fight so much, she recruits Mercury on the spot.
- Amber gets shot in the back with an arrow and is then propped up by Mercury and Emerald while having half her soul ripped out through her face. The procedure leaves her in a coma and with scars all over her face. All she wanted to do was help a crying child.
- Cinder forces the White Fang to work for her by giving Adam an ultimatum: join her in a mutually beneficial partnership or she will wipe out the entire unit. It's not only clear she can easily do this, but it's confirmed that she only has half the power of the Fall Maiden at this point.
Cinder: Our plan will be beneficial for both of us...or one of us.
- Penny is shown being torn apart by her own wires. When Pyrrha is tricked into blasting the blades away with her Semblance, Penny grabs her chest as if the magnetism has stopped her heart. In slow motion, the wires wrap around Penny's body with a metallic crushing sound, followed by a close-up of her body being ripped in half with a metallic screech. The Grimm react to the enormous negative reaction of the audience, and at least one unidentified Grimm completely dwarfs even the Goliaths.
- During Cinder's speech, two Atlas soldiers listening to the broadcast on a scroll find themselves suddenly rushed en mass by such a large number of Grimm, their situation is implied to be hopeless.
- The episode ends with the Grimm attacking and the White Fang assaulting the inside of the city with their a mixture of Faunus and Grimm. Cinder turns Atlas' own weaponry against them and the people. Pyrrha is emotionally compromised and Torchwick has stolen an Atlas ship.
- The second breach of Vale, full of chaos, destruction, and devastation as the city becomes overrun with Grimm. Even named characters suffer, with Roy from Team BRNZ being carried off by a Nevermore. Even Emerald is disturbed by the sight of it all. Then the Grimm Dragon arrives, bursting out of Mount Glenn, shattering the entire mountain in the process. It's bigger than any other Grimm seen to date, its head alone being more than twice an Ursa's size. Its mere presence is enough to make the normally fearless Goodwitch react with horror and, as it flies, it drops blobs of darkness that spawn more Grimm as they hit the ground.
- As cheesy as it is, Adam's line to Blake is horrendously creepy. It's combined with an Ominous Pipe Organ rendition of "From Shadows" to extremely chilling effect.
Adam: Hello, my darling.
- Just as Roman declares prepares to deliver a Coup de Grāce to a downed Ruby while ranting how he'll survive by any means necessary, a giant Griffon swoops down on him and swallows him whole, before threateningly roaring at a shocked Ruby.
- Once it becomes clear Roman's winning, he switches from being an elaborate, tactical fighter, to just repeatedly hitting a curled-up Ruby with his cane while ranting at her to die like every other huntsman in history. When he tells her he'll survive by any means necessary, a giant Griffon swoops down and swallows him whole.
- Adam tries to murder a student just to force Blake to fight him, creepily uses terms of endearment while threatening to destroy her and everything she loves, then following through as soon as he realises she's close to Yang. He stabs Blake to make her scream, drawing in a screaming Yang and chopping off Yang's arm in a single strike. He then tries to decapitate Blake for protecting Yang, but only gets Blake's Semblance-clone. His relationship with Blake is clearly abusive (confirmed by Word of God), shows remorselessness towards her, and seeks to make her take the blame for his sadism towards her. Just like real life abuse.
- Cinder slays Amber with an arrow to the heart, which causes Amber's power to flow straight to her, giving her the full power of the Fall Maiden. Jaune ignores Ozpin's warning to not attack Cinder, and gets effortlessly thrown back. Cinder easily deflects Pyrrha's polarity and Ozpin decides to hold the line alone against Cinder while the kids escape.
- Pyrrha's fight with Cinder ends when Cinder shoots Pyrrha with an arrow. Ash and embers rise from the wound as Pyrrha briefly gasps for breath. When she stops breathing, Cinder steps forward and gently cradles Pyrrha's cheek with her hand. Pyrrha promptly turns to ash, her remains scattering to the wind, only leaving behind her circlet. Ruby is forced to witness this, arriving just moments to late to intervene. As Pyrrha crumbles to dust, Ruby screams Pyrrha's name and white light erupts from her eyes, reducing Cinder to an unusually shocked and panicked state. We later learn that Cinder's Maiden status made her extremely vulnerable to Ruby's eyes, and the resultant injuries were horrific.
- The episode ends by revealing the identity of the Mysterious Narrator from the pilot episode and certain World of Remnant shorts. She muses that mankind's greatest attribute is the ability to hope and to derive strength from that hope. It is therefore her plan to devote all of her power to destroy humanity's hope to break Ozpin and her Villain Song emphasises her hatred for him. She is humanoid, but her appearance is that of the Grimm: a white face, glowing red eyes with black sclera and dark veins across her skin and she speaks with delight over what is to come for both humanity and Ozpin.
Salem: This is the beginning of the end, Ozpin. And I can't wait to watch you burn.
The Next Step
- In a dark realm, flickering with unnatural lighting is an inky pool staining the ground. From the pool oozes forth a form that coalesces into a Beowulf. As the camera zooms out, it becomes clear that the landscape is littered with countless pools, all spewing forth multiple new Grimm. Then the camera reveals Emerald and Mercury's faces as they watch the scene from Salem's eerie tower above. Even Mercury, who revelled at the sight of Beacon being torn to shreds by violent assaults that kill many people, is looking sick and horrified by what they're witnessing. When Qrow said he'd seen the things "she" was making and that these things were "fear", it becomes clear that Salem is creating the Grimm to sow fear and despair.
- Salem is designed to be creepy. The camera pans over the eerie tower with the unnatural lighting and colour. It's a purple crystal that creates everything - the walls, the chairs, the table, the candle holders and even the lighting itself. The subordinates stop bickering when the huge double-doors slowly swing open by themselves. The camera is at ground level, looking upwards as Salem enters the room to a very slow, haunting rendition of her Image Song "Divide". Her body is so covered by black clothing, she seems to glide rather than walk and the upwards angle makes her look both alien and untouchable.
- Salem is hunting down the Maidens one by one, and the person assigned to do it is a man who can barely control outbursts of unhinged laughter. He revels in his mission, showing utter glee at being ordered to find the Spring Maiden. However, when told to delay that and instead hunt down the sixteen year old girl who accidentally injured Cinder, Tyrian can barely contain his excitement. Although momentarily dampened by the instruction to bring Ruby back alive, he immediately cheers up by tormenting Cinder with the implication that he's going to enjoy torturing Ruby by taking the girl's left eye. Not only does he not have any fear for Ruby's silver eye power, Hazel makes it clear in a casual, dismissive tone that Salem's gang has dealt with Ruby's kind before, implying they're responsible for Summer's death... and Summer was a fully trained, experienced Huntress. Her daughter is neither experienced, nor is she properly trained.
- Ruby having nightmares filled with Pyrrha's voice, showing that the guilt of failing to save her is still lingering.
- The village of Shion was attacked by bandits and Grimm, and was massacred and razed because, with Beacon Tower destroyed and communications down across the globe, it couldn't call for help. There are bodies strewn everywhere, and one of them dies on-screen while Ruby's group argue over how best to help him. How many other villages are suffering the exact same fate without anyone knowing? Qrow says it's common for villages outside the Kingdoms to disappear overnight - does this mean it's actually gotten worse? And then Ren and Nora recognise the mark left behind, implying what has happened to this village is connected to their back story which has only briefly mentioned they have no families and no home.
- The Asian Dragon Grimm that attacks the ship Blake is on is huge; the ship's crew comment that it's not just the largest Grimm they've ever seen, it's the largest one anyone has ever seen. It's not just a creature of the deep waters, but it clearly has no trouble breathing above water either. It can also produce wings, giving it mastery of both the sea and air. Even though the ship is covered in cannons and guns, it can't make a dent in the beast, which is simultaneously too fast and too powerful to be damaged. Its Breath Weapon gives it a long-rage attack, and is the power of electricity, which Neptune has already proven with his own electricity-based power, is a horrible ability when the victims are surrounded by water. Not only did the ship need Blake and Sun to disable the wings for the ship to stand a chance, but if the ship hadn't hit the disabled dragon at ramming speed and used its main cannon to blow the head off, Blake and Sun would actually have sacrificed their lives to disable just the wings, meaning even two trainee Huntsmen working together didn't stand a chance against it alone.
- The treatment Salem is performing to heal Cinder consists of her doing something to Cinder's arm that makes a very unnatural sound. Cinder is fighting against something which causes her great strain while Salem states she must make 'it' dread her. Mercury and Emerald again look deeply uncomfortable with what is happening, and then a jellyfish-type Grimm floats in, covered in black flesh, spiles and red tentacles, and making some eerie clicking noises. Mercury and Emerald back themselves into the wall trying to avoid being touched by the thing. When it comes to a stop next to Salem and Cinder, Salem orders Cinder to force her broken voice to work enough to answer her questions truthfully. The creature next clicks the whole way through, collects Salem's orders and departs, leaving even Cinder looking deeply unsettled.
- Yang's PTSD is explored in a nightmare she has about Adam. She's in a Dark World version of the room she was in when she lost her arm, notices that she has her arm back, and sees Adam approaching her to an eerie soundtrack and glowing like red fire. She suddenly has Ember Celica, and begins frantically firing at Adam, but her shots pass right through him. She tries firing again, but discovers with horror that Ember Celica and her arm have vanished, and Adam is suddenly standing right in front of her. He sneers and draws his sword. What was once a vivacious, fearless and confident girl is now a shrivelled wreck of her former self who has clearly built up Adam to be an unstoppable monster in her mind.
- The Branwen siblings were raised by a bandit tribe. Although Qrow has left the lifestyle, Raven is the tribe's new leader, and was responsible for the raid on Shion. Raven appears to take no responsibility for the Grimm that attacked the village in the aftermath of her tribe's assault and lives by the rule that people should only be given one chance to be strong, after which all bets are off. Even though it's well known that the negative emotions caused by being assaulted will attract the Grimm, Raven is practically victim-blaming to dismiss her role in the later Grimm assault and apparently have no care for the people she left behind to be slaughtered. This is the mother that Yang wishes to find... a woman who knows her own daughter has lost an arm but who has no intention of intervening because Yang's already used up her allotment of Raven's "one chance" rule, and who thinks she should receive a pat on the back for deigning to warn Qrow twice that Ozpin's plan, and Beacon itself, were doomed.
- The episode ends with Tyrian, who's being his usual self, showing up in front of Qrow's waitress from the last episode, asking if she can help him find someone. Not only does this indicate that he's close on Ruby's tail, but it doesn't look good for the waitress's fate either. To make matters worse, we never find out what happened to her after this scene.
- Oniyuri is an abandoned village RNJR come across by accident. It's an eerie ghost town, but not because it's been wiped out by bandits or Grimm. It's a town that was never completed. While Mountain Glenn was wiped out after it was up and running, Oniyuri was abandoned while still being set up. It was a project designed by wealthy elites who had a beef with Anima's government and who wanted to create their own rules, society and even Kingdom. They were stopped by Grimm. A special Grimm. Just one. The stunned disbelief on the faces of his friends as Ren reveals this emphasises how strange and eerie this tale is, even for a Death World like Remnant.
- When Weiss snaps at a woman for insulting Vale's plight, Jacques publicly grabs Weiss with the intention of dragging her off, causing her to pull away and fall to the ground from the effort. For a moment, Weiss loses control of her summoning and sends a Boarbatusk after the woman she was arguing with. If Ironwood hadn't shot it, it likely would have killed or maimed the woman. Jacques doesn't seem to care about the woman, focussed instead of glaring quietly at Weiss. Given his public spat with her a moment before, the glare suggests he's willing to go much further in private.
- Ren halts RNJR, sensing something the rest of them clearly can't. As he focuses his attention, the camera cuts to Tyrian, covering a huge amount of distance at high speed, giggling as he goes. Although RNJR are completely prepared for Tyrian's attack, his first attack sends them all flying, showing how out-of-their-depth the kids are against an experienced adult; the rest of the fight only proves it, confirming that the kids have no idea what trouble they're walking into and just how completely unprepared for it they are. Tyrian himself realises this fact very quickly, and is delighted that Ruby doesn't comprehend the situation she's in. He goes on to prove it by breaking her Aura in just five hits.
- While Tyrian is after Ruby because he's been ordered by Salem, the interest he takes in Jaune is outside his remit. In other words, there's something about Jaune that has made a psychopath sit up and take personal notice. Jaune has enough smarts to be deeply spooked by this turn of events.
- Unusually, the Big Damn Hero moment of the saviour appearing out of nowhere to block the final blow doesn't happen, at least not for the audience. Instead, Qrow's race to save the kids is detailed. A crow flies in at breakneck speed, wings flapping madly, only to transform into Qrow, and not gracefully. He stumbles, pants, and forces himself to keep running through the stumble. It makes him look desperate and panicked. When he does step in to block Tyrian's final blow, he actually catches his breath, and sighs in relief. In other words, the creators have made it clear to the audience that Tyrian's attack on the kids has not only caught the gang's secret guardian off-guard (despite his level of knowledge about Salem's activities and Ruby's secret power), but something about Tyrian's attack has terrified him into thinking that even he wasn't capable enough to save them. By comparison, nothing about the idea of opposing an evil Fall Maiden like Cinder bothered him anywhere near as his run to reach Tyrian did, and Tyrian himself is part of a group who looks down on Cinder, despite her possessing unnatural powers.
- Things hit rock bottom for Weiss; whose father places her under house arrest, strips her of her inheritance, and cuts her off from her future career as a Huntress. Then Whitley reveals he has taken an "if you can't beat them, join them" approach to dealing with his father, by becoming the same kind of person as Jacques. The way Whitley's eyes bug out as he warns Weiss not to go against their father's wishes shows that something is clearly wrong with the kid. It's hard to tell if the look in his eyes is one of malice, madness, or abject terror; maybe even all three.
- Qrow getting cut by Tyrian's scorpion stinger implies envenomation. Although the wound looks like a long scratch, it's the most blood that's been shown in the show since Mercury's legs just after he murdered his father.
- Ruby immediately chops off Tyrian's stinger when he injures Qrow, but their reactions to the strike are out-of-place. After insulting Ruby, Tyrian starts to hunch over and cringe. His behaviour becomes furtive and paranoid and he begins muttering over and over that Salem will forgive him, in a tone that suggests he knows she won't. He's also clearly got balance issues now his tail has been damaged. Meanwhile, Ruby hasn't batted an eyelid over the injury she's caused, giving her a strange combination of casual brutality and innocent protectiveness.
- Tyrian: YOU BITCH!
- Qrow's entire description of Salem and the flawless nature of her plans. Nobody can stop her from making people blame one another, because knowing about her would only speed up her plan to have Grimm destroy everything in the panic and chaos.
- 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.
- Blake's reaction to Sun's interruption. Slapping him in Episode 3 was Played for Laughs. Not so much here, where not only does she slap him twice, but Sun looks genuinely afraid before the second one. Then, when he tries to show her the picture he took of the White Fang member, she throws his scroll away. Given that he's her Implied Love Interest, Blake is edging dangerously close to becoming an abuser like Adam was. And to make matters worse, it's Truth in Television: those who've been abused can just as often become abusers themselves, even without meaning to.
- The episode ends with Qrow and Team RNJR spending the night in a forest in the middle of nowhere having just established that none of them, including Qrow, have any idea what they're doing beyond going to Haven and hoping the headmaster can give them direction. The episode's end brings with it dawn and the sight of a poisoned Qrow coughing up purple blood and slipping into a coma right before Ruby's horrified eyes. They're kids in a forest, in the middle of nowhere, and the last dying huntsman they came across died while they were panicking over how to help him. That was just a stranger, this time it's Ruby's uncle and mentor.
- The last scene focuses on the mark that was left behind after both bandits and Grimm destroyed Shion, outside a village that Ruby has decided to head for. Ruby and Jaune carry the infirm Qrow to the long-destroyed village of Kuroyuri. The symbol lying on the dirt road leading to the village is implied to be recent. Ruby and Jaune are walking into danger with a dying huntsman to protect and down two warriors due to Ren and Nora seeking help in a different direction.
- The strange hoof print marks seen throughout the volume are confirmed to be the creature that destroyed the villages of Shion, Oniyuri and Kuroyuri, and it looks like a Nuckelavee. The creature looks like a horse and rider, but it's a single being; the hindlegs end in hooves, the forelegs end in clawed feet. The 'rider' part is skeletal and the head is horned; things stick out of its body like it's a pin cushion and the eyes of both 'rider' and 'horse' glow red. Its shrill scream carries for many miles, and is something no human or horse would make; it's unique even for Grimm. Villagers without specialised Huntsmen training don't stand a chance against it as the beast plods slowly through the burning streets, demolishing buildings and slaughtering defenders with ease. What's worse, other Grimm are all maniacal violence, bolting from victim to victim and attempting to inflict as much damage as possible. The Nuckelavee is cold deliberation, stalking slowly after those too wounded to flee. Sadism is a far cry from the bestial behavior of most Grimm, and it makes one fear just how smart Grimm are capable of becoming.
- Everything about the second flashback. Previous episodes have shown Grimm attacks, but those always focused on the warriors, forcing back the beasts and protecting the bystanders. Here there's none of that, just helpless civilians running in abject terror as Grimm stalk the streets and descend from above. This is what played out in Shion, Oniyuri, and countless other villages across Remnant. It really drives home just how precarious life is outside the protections of the kingdoms and Huntsmen... and just how deadly the Grimm can be.
- The Nuckelavee's cave is covered with the same black substance that oozes from the Grimm. Ren and Nora are drawn to the cave when a torn banner carrying the Shion symbol blows out of the cave. Scattered all around the cave are old swords, weapons and cloth; Ren even locates one of his father's arrows. The strong implication is that this Grimm is intelligent enough to collect trophies of all the victims it destroys. As this sinks in for Ren and Nora, they realise it's in the vicinity, and spot it travelling through the trees towards a distant village that might be Kuroyuri - where Jaune, Ruby and Qrow are. As Ren and Nora hold hands in horror, the episode fades to black, ending on a scream that sounds eerily like the screams of many dying humans.
- Salem doesn't make a fuss when she finds out Tyrian failed to capture Ruby. Very softly, very coldly, she simply says she's disappointed with Tyrian and walks off; this makes Tyrian's subsequent breakdown electrifying; he collapses to the ground, sobbing helplessly, causing a nearby Beowulf to see its chance and attack him from behind. Tyrian explodes with raw emotion in response; his broken tail whips the Beowful clean across the room and before it can recover, Tyrian's on it, slashing the creature over and over again while it struggles helplessly beneath him. Tyrian keeps lashing out until he is both sobbing and laughing maniacally at the same time. As the Grimm dissolves away, Cinder - who enjoyed watching people dying during the destruction of Beacon - watches Tyrian's savage meltdown in open-mouthed horror.
- The Nuckelavee begins to be revealed in partial camera shots that don't reveal the whole appearance at once: an equine muzzle, breathing clouds of black smoke; a hunched back, embedded with weapons that rattle in the wind; and a humanoid head with a mournful mask, eerie, rasping breath, and a neck that twitches and cracks like a glitching robot. There is a subtle hint of the huge size of the Grimm, towering over Team RNJR and just seeing it there, in his devastated hometown, causes Ren to collapse to his knees in despair and horror while his companions call out his name in panic.
- The Nuckelavee's appearance is revealed in full. Both equine and human ribcages are fully exposed. The entire body moves in a twitching, unnatural way. The body remains slumped over one side of the 'horse' until it needs to straighten up, which it does so by rearranging its bones with a loud cracking noise. The equine body is pure power, tramping and kicking anything that gets too close. The humanoid body lashes out with tentacle-like arms and spin its body round and round so that the arms fly in a circle that catch or smash anything they hit.
- Ren's method of killing the Nuckelavee ends up being unnerving. Once the team have worked together to defeat the beast, Ren slowly walks forward, pulls his father's knife out of the Nuckelavee's body and then slowly begins to dismember the creature. With each slice, he calmly dedicates the act to someone: his father, his mother, all the people the Nuckelavee has ever killed, and then himself. The Nuckelavee screams in pain throughout the whole, slow process.
- Whereas in previous episodes, Salem was dissatisfied with Cinder's progress in developing her abilities, a solution has now been found. Emerald creates illusions of Ruby, which Cinder has no problem getting into the right frame of mind to destroy. Witnessing Cinder's hate-filled face as she destroys the image of a defenceless, begging Ruby, brings a smile to Salem's face.
World of Remnant
World of Remnant: Kingdoms
- While the video is mostly normal, the narration eventually takes a dark turn into discussion of roaming nomads and small villages. On Remnant, it isn't uncommon for groups like these to disappear overnight, and it's not hard to guess why.
- The short itself is easily the most graphic in all of RWBY despite the stylized nature of it. It shows a Nevermore tearing bits of flesh from a killed human to eat, along with showing one human bash another one's head in with a rock.
- Apparently, the world of Remnant is not as nice as we've seen, even within the confines of the Kingdoms. Mistral, apparently, is a haven for Remnant's criminal underground. According to Qrow:
Qrow: Need something that's hard to find? Got someone that's hard to kill? They can help... provided you've got the Lien to pay for it.
- Once again, we learn that even the Kingdoms are not as nice as we were previously led to believe. Vacuo was apparently once a thriving oasis, but the people who lived there grew complacent and were powerless to stop the other Kingdoms from ruining the environment and turning them into a client state. Now, the native residents are forced to live in temporary dwellings and move to escape the Grimm. Apparently, Shade Academy is just about the only piece of civilization in the whole area.
- The Grimm are clearly the big threat to civilization, destroying most unprepared settlements within a year, but the true danger comes from the bandits, who arrive and sack the town, stirring up fear and weakening the settlement. After that, the Grimm come along and mop up what the Bandits didn't kill.
- The video doesn't do much to hide the nature of the racism between humanity and the faunus, including one bit showing a faunus being driven out of a human town, cornered against a cliff wall, and then the screen is covered in splatters of blood.
- Qrow states outright that Jacques is The Sociopath. To him, people are merely tools to be used to further his own personal ambitions. This puts his relationship with his family in a new, horrifying light. We have a man who callously disowned his eldest daughter because she managed to escape from his control, and who now sees his youngest daughter as the last person on earth who he can control since his son seems disinterested and his wife is nothing more than a broken toy to him.
- Remnant's legends claim that the war only ended because the King of Vale finally took to the Vacuo battlefield; his destructive power was so extraordinary and terrible that all world leaders (including Vale's ally, Vacuo) surrendered themselves and their entire kingdoms just to make him stop. Prior episodes mention that the Great War left Vacuo a wasteland from which it has never recovered; while Remnant historians claim the stories about the king are exaggerated, this episode strongly implies Vacuo's devastation was single-handedly caused by the King of Vale. The legends, and the historians, imply the King of Vale was supposed to be the good guy, but neither view what's happened to Vacuo as anything good.
- Chapter 3 of the RWBY manga reveals that the Armored Knight Weiss fought in the White Trailer was actually a Grimm that possessed it and was unleashed to beat Weiss into going to Atlas. Her father and his associates stooped so low to not only possess such a fearsome creature, but to turn it loose on one of the heiresses for having a dissenting opinion.
- In Chapter 10, we are introduced to a new Grimm what looks like a giant six-eyed skull with tentacles coming out of it. On it's own it isn't anything that bad. But then cue the next chapter where the same Grimm ambushes a group of King Taijitus and forcefully fuses them together to create a giant hydra-like Grimm. Yes, Grimm fusions now exists.