All spoilers for the first six volumes are unmarked. Examples from Volume 7 can be spoiler tagged if deemed necessary.
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The World of Remnant: Anima
Remnant is a harsh landscape inhabited by the Creatures of Grimm that dominate the skies, land and oceans. There were once many kingdoms scattered across the continents of Sanus, Solitas and Anima. However, most have fallen to the Grimm, leaving behind only four survivors. By combining technological advancement with local topography, civilisation flourishes within the protected boundaries of these four kingdoms.
Anima is the second largest continent on Remnant and contains the Kingdom of Mistral, the kingdom with the largest controlled territory of all. It's also home to the largest non-capital city in the world, Argus, a northern port enabling trade between Anima and Solitas. In the north of the continent is a massive land-locked sea called Lake Matsu, which contains hundreds of islands that float in the air as a result of natural deposits of Gravity Dust.
The Island of Menagerie can be found off the south-east coast of Anima and it has closer ties to Anima than to any other continent.
Kingdom of Mistral
The Kingdom of Mistral is located to the north-east of Anima and is bordered on the west by the huge land-locked sea, Lake Matsu. It is the largest kingdom on Remnant and has contributed heavily to architecture, fashion and the arts. It is also home to the largest black market in the world, and is the host of the annual Mistral Tournament.
Eighty years ago, its attempt to colonise the eastern shores of the Kingdom of Vale was the spark that ignited the Great War.
The Kingdom is Mistral is protected by the elite Huntsman Academy, Haven Academy. One of its main feeder schools is Sanctum Academy, which is located in the City of Argus.
One of the four great Huntsmen Academies of Remnant, this elite school is based in the Kingdom of Mistral and oversees the capital city. Run by Professor Lionheart, it has produced generations of protectors as well as being responsible for the protection of the most wide-spread kingdom in Remnant.
Professor Leonardo Lionheart
Voiced by: Daman Mills
Debut: No Safe Haven*
The headmaster of Haven Academy, he is an old friend of Ozpin's, who once gifted him with a tea-set as a sign of their connection. The tea-set is kept in the headmaster's office and is used by him to entertain visitors to the school.
Leo fights with Stalwart, a shield buckled to his arm. Using Dust, he can create projectiles that he flings at his foes.
- Alliterative Name: Leonardo Lionheart.
- At Least I Admit It: Leo is distraught over setting his old friend Ozpin up. When he and Raven discuss how they are forced to work for Salem in "True Colors", Leo suggests they're both doing it out of fear, lamenting that he's done things that Ozpin will never forgive him for. When Raven tells him that he did what was necessary to survive, Leo simply asks her "Who are you trying to convince?"
- Bad Liar: Watts thinks that Lionheart is very bad at improvisation. He reaches that conclusion after secretly listening in on Lionheart's meeting with Qrow and Ruby's team; Lionheart stalls Qrow from going in search of the Spring Maiden immediately, and claims he had nothing to report when Qrow accuses him of not checking in with Ozpin for months. Qrow leaves the meeting frustrated with Lionheart and in need of a drink. Watts isn't impressed with Lionheart either. Qrow is suspicious enough by Leo's behaviour that he reports the meeting to Ozpin, who agrees something is wrong. Ozpin won't tell Team RNJR what he suspects, only that he's keeping an open mind, but he wants everyone to be very careful about what information gets shared with Leo from now on.
- The Chains of Commanding: Leo drives his point across at the beginning of Volume 5 that even though he's headmaster of Haven, he can't just take resources from Mistral on a whim as Qrow is demanding. With the loss of so many Huntsmen after the fall of Beacon and the threat of War with Atlas looming, convincing the council of anything would take time. However, it turns out that he sabotaged Qrow's efforts and all those huntsmen are dead thanks to him setting them up in the first place.
- Dirty Coward: Despite his status as Salem's mole, Leo desperately attempts to bolt from the conflict between Salem and Ozpin due to his paranoia of the latter. Raven wonders what Salem has on Leo to have turned him against Ozpin and, when Ozpin personally witnesses how Leo is behaving on Salem's behalf, he wonders what happened to Leo. Leo realizes that Oscar hasn't been Ozpin's host for very long and therefore isn't truly Ozpin yet; he concludes that if he can deliver Oscar to Salem, Salem will grant Leo's release. His cowardice eventually culminates in Salem deeming him no longer useful for her plans after the Battle of Haven.Ozpin: Leo, what happened to you?
- Fallen Hero: According to Ozpin, Leonardo was a different person before falling into Salem's service and he seemed just as loyal as the members of team RWBY appear to be now. After Leo's death at the Battle of Haven, Ozpin chooses to spread a lie that the headmaster had died protecting his school from the White Fang, reasoning that Leo should be remembered for his lifetime of service, rather than decisions he made near the end of his life.
- Fatal Flaw: Despite working for Salem, Leo's fear of her powers and his cowardice both end up doing him in. When he realizes that his allies won't obtain the Relic of Knowledge, he tries to flee to safety; despite Leo's frantic request to find her and prove his usefulness, Salem has no further use for him and kills him.
- Foil: To Oscar. Both are characters pushed into the middle of the conflict between Ozpin and Salem, both are also terrified of the conflict and the many ways they can get hurt or die in it. Oscar, however, chooses to get involved in the conflict, and to stay involved, making the decision to harden himself and fight despite being paranoid; he is praised for his bravery by Ruby. Leo is frightened by Salem that he is willing to do her bidding in the hope of being free of her, even if it means betraying his old friend, Ozpin.
- Ironic Name: Leonardo is the Italian, Spanish and Portuguese form of Leonard, which means "as brave as a lion". Lionheart means "having the heart of a lion", which is the same thing and therefore doubles up the meaning. He is also a lion Faunus; his leonine tail is hidden by the long coat he normally wears but becomes highly visible when he doesn't wear the coat. However, he is a cowardly man who is scared of confrontation, doesn't like to fight, and who is so terrified of Salem that he has betrayed his oldest friend, Ozpin, to her. All the headmasters have a Wizard of Oz theme; Leo is the "Cowardly Lion".
- Little Bit Beastly: He is a lion Faunus, complete with a tail that is normally hidden by the long coat that he usually wears. When he takes off the coat to fight, his tail becomes fully visible.
- Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: Leo fights, if he's forced to, with a left arm mounted buckler. The small shield is loaded with dust so when he rotates the shield to line up specific symbols, he can release various attacks. For example, by lining up a red dust symbol and then a white dust symbol, Lionheart can fire a projectile of flaming rock.
- 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 appears to be working for Salem. Not only does that put a man of dubious allegiance 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 may have been Salem's informant for some time and Qrow observes that Leo hasn't been checking in with Ozpin for months.
- Nervous Wreck: For a trained Huntsman, Leo is easily frightened, being terrified when a fellow Huntsman like Qrow happens to barge into his office. It's heavily implied that he wasn't always this way, with his fear of Salem being the likely cause of his paranoia and constant jitteriness.
- The Power of Legacy: Leo dedicated his entire life to serving the people and protecting Mistral to the best of his ability. At the end of his life, he fell under Salem's influence and betrayed both Ozpin and the people of Mistral who expected him to protect them. After the battle to save Haven has ended, Ozpin makes sure the truth of Leo's betrayal is buried with him. Leo is officially remembered as a hero who fought to the death to protect the school. When Yang challenges him about the cover-up, Ozpin tells her that he's not whitewashing how reprehensible Leo's actions were; he thinks that one terrible mistake at the end of a person's life should not undo the good of a lifetime's worth of service, and that the people of Mistral therefore deserve better than the truth.
- Repetitive Name: The name "Leonardo" means "brave as a lion", and his surname is a way to refer to courage by evoking the idea of lions being brave. His name, therefore, means "brave as a lion"... twice. He normally goes by the nickname Leo, which is "lion", so even with his nickname, he's effectively "lion-hearted lion" ("Courageous Lion").
- Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: Leo spends his time in Volume 5 by acting behind Ozpin's faction's back to help Salem's goals. Eventually, his inherent cowardice comes out and he attempts to flee for his life, but meets his end at the hands of Salem's Seer Grimm.
- This Cannot Be!: Leo fully expects Ozpin to return, but he struggles to understand how Qrow fits into it all. When Oscar and Leo confront each other, all Leo sees is a child who shouldn't be such a dangerous situation. Oscar wordlessly pulls out Ozpin's cane, revealing his identity to a shocked Leo, who says the trope name word-for-word. While Leo knew about Ozpin's reincarnation cycle, he didn't expect him to be able to make it back to Haven and is thoroughly baffled by how Ozpin found Qrow. Ozpin's only response is to wonder what has happened to Leo, but he keeps that thought inside Oscar's head.
- Trapped in Villainy: It's implied that Lionheart isn't obeying Salem because he believes in her cause, but because she's threatened to kill him or worse if he doesn't cooperate. When questioned in "True Colors" about why he's working for Salem, he admits that it's because he doesn't believe anyone can stop her and is terrified of what she could do to him. He also admits that he loathes himself for his actions, but feels like he's crossed too many lines on Salem's behalf for Ozpin or anyone else to forgive him.
- Treachery Cover Up: In the Volume 6 chapter "Argus Limited", Qrow sends General Ironwood a letter about the events of Haven. He tells Ironwood that Leo died a hero defending his school and gives a publicly acceptable summary of the incident. There is no reference to the Relic or Leo's role in the attack on the school and the deaths of multiple huntsmen, either in the letter or the official report. As Ozpin's group and the villains are the only ones who know the truth about what happened, that means Ozpin and Qrow have covered up the truth from the Mistral authorities. Ozpin later confesses in "Uncovered" that he covered up Leo's betrayal because he wants him to be remembered for his life of service, and not the dirty deeds he did near the end of that life.
- Villains Want Mercy: When the villains fail to achieve their goals at the end of "Haven's Fate", Leo intends to ask Salem for forgiveness and prove his usefulness to her. He assumes that if he can capture Oscar, Salem will grant Leo's release. Once he fails to defeat Oscar, Leo attempts to bail out of Haven, but Salem catches him with her Seer Grimm before he gets too far. Unimpressed by his frantic pleas for mercy, Salem uses the Seer to kill him.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: With the Relic of Knowledge lost, the White Fang's defeat, Cinder's disappearance, and Leo's compliance with her group exposed, Salem decides he's no longer a useful mole. When Leo attempts to flee for his life, she catches the latter with her Seer Grimm and uses it to murder him violently.
An all-male team of students from Haven Academy, led by the monkey-Faunus Sun Wukong. They arrive in Beacon Academy towards the end of Volume 1. While Sun and Neptune help Team RWBY in Volume 2, the rest of the team only appears in background shots until the tournament fights of Volume 3.
- Korean Pop Music: All four members of the team are inspired by members of the Korean boy-band, Big Bang.
- Scarlet takes design elements from a combination of contemporary Asian fashion and K-pop stars, specifically G-Dragon.
- Neptune takes design elements from a combination of contemporary Asian fashion and K-pop stars, specifically T.O.P.
- Despite Sage's green hair, his actual hairstyle and his chest and neck tattoos are a reference to Taeyang.
Voiced By: Michael Jones [EN], Tomoaki Maeno [JP]
Debut: The Stray*
A monkey Faunus and leader of Team SSSN. Originally from Vacuo, he immigrated to Mistral, where he became a student at Haven Academy. He has a romantic interest in Blake and assists Team RWBY in investigating the activities of the White Fang and Roman Torchwick. His Semblance lets him generate clones of light.
His weapons are known as Ruyi Bang and Jingu Bang, each of which are a pair of shotgun-nunchucks that can combine to form a bo staff.
- Adorkable: Cemented as he insists to Neptune that they keep Blake's secret really secret, and that they have to be cool about it. When his team win their first tournament fight, the victory dance he and Neptune engage in has the whole of Team RWBY affectionately calling them dorks, and his fumbling through a first meeting with Blake's parents in "Menagerie" has to be seen to be believed. When asking Blake what characteristic he personifies, Blake describes Sun as earnest, to which he responds by pulling a trick with his tail and a coconut drink that earns a laugh and a smile from Blake.
- All There in the Manual: His weapon name was only revealed by Monty on Facebook.
- Amazon Chaser: His first scene in Volume 2 is telling Neptune about how awesome Blake is in a fight and making his friend promise not to ruin his chances with her.
- Animal Stereotypes: As a monkey Faunus, he's a trickster who loves bananas and enjoys hanging off trees.
- Armor-Piercing Question: When Blake, Sun, and all of Menagerie ambush Adam's group at the battle of Haven, Adam confidently tells Blake that he's made powerful new friends in Salem's group. Sun simply asks him where they are, pointing out that for all his talk about having allies, none of them are rushing to help him. When Adam looks around, seeing his men being rounded up and arrested, he realizes that Sun's right and ultimately escapes Haven.
- Art Evolution: The shift from Volume 1 to Volume 2 brings with it more detailed abs, more detail and shadow added to his hair as well as a shift in hair shape, as well as changing the necklace from a detailed gold necklace to a simpler cord with improved physics. The shift from Volume 2 to Volume 3 brings back the non-shaded hair and adds more detail to his shirt, making it look less stiff. Also, in Volume 1, his eye color was very hard to pin down, but usually seemed to be a muted blue. In Volumes 2 and 3, his eyes look black, but Volume 4 shows his eye to be a bright, clear blue and his hair a shade darker than it used to be.
- Artistic License Physics: His necklace is part of his character model in Volume 1 and does not slip off if he's hanging upside down. It's fixed in later Volumes.
- Banana Peel: Uses it to distract his opponents, by throwing it right on the guy's head. Twice.
- Bare-Fisted Monk: He is so far the only fighter not only able to fight without a weapon, but consistently shown to do so. He shows off some impressive martial arts skill against the White Fang in the Volume 1 finale, then in the Vytal tournament, matches his partner's armed stance without his weapon, only taking it out to utterly annihilate Octavia, and then putting it away for the rest of the fight. In the lineup scene with at the end of the third volume's tenth episode, every single other fighter is wielding their weapons, but he chooses to forego his staff.
- Big Damn Heroes: Joins Blake's fight with Roman the moment it seems Roman might have an advantage over her.
- Big "SHUT UP!": When Ghira tries to tell the Menagerie population about the threat Adam poses to humanity and therefore to any change of achieving Faunus equality, Ilia rants to the crowd that Ghira is betraying the Faunus and that they should support Adam's fight for their rights. Sun yells at her to shut up and leaps at her, forcing her to flee.
- Boom Stick: The ends of the weapon incorporate flintlock pistols that he can reload as fast as he fires them.
- Brooding Boy, Gentle Girl: A gender-inverted example with himself and Blake. He tries to bring Blake out of her shell and be a shoulder for her to lean on when she is feeling distressed, though Blake usually doesn't want his company. Blake is a depressive, caustic girl who isolates herself and has a pessimistic worldview. She often tries to deal with problems herself (and hurts herself in the process) or avoids them altogether. By contrast, Sun lives by the motto of always getting involved with friends whether or not they want any help. "Like Morning Follows Night" expands on this dynamic; Blake questions whether Sun understands what she's been through, and feels like she must keep everybody at a distance so that they don't end up suffering alongside her. Meanwhile, Sun tries to convince Blake to let go of her past and forgive herself for her mistakes.
- Characterization Marches On: Particularly in his relationship with Blake. When he first meets Blake, Sun is quite flirtatious with her and continues this through the first three Volumes. However, after the time-skip and through Volume 5, Sun's determined efforts to help Blake have become much less about winning Blake's affections and much more simply wanting to help and support his friend, particularly in how much Sun pushes Blake to return to her team.
- Digging Yourself Deeper: When Blake's parents admit they've been worried about Blake, Sun tries to ease their fears by pointing out what a good fighter she is, but enthusiastically describes it as she "has some moves". Blake's father demands to know what he means by that phrase, sending Sun into a nervous panic. His attempts to clarify lead to him sounding like he's insulting Blake's looks. He eventually rambles to a halt and attempts to change the subject.Sun: Well, you see sir, it's just that, you know, she's such a good fighter and all [...] that's not to say she's not good-looking. She is very or, slightly? She's definitely above average... I mean, uh, this tea is really good.
- Doppelgänger Attack: His semblance is creating tangible yellow images of himself to attack.
- Dual Wielding: When his weapons are in shotgun-nunchaku form, he wields both of them at the same time while shooting at Roman Torchwick.
- The Dulcinea Effect: For Blake. He met her once, followed her around town despite her not talking to him for ages, and despite his disdain of the White Fang (and surprise that she was once a member), he selflessly aids her in her attempts to discern if the White Fang are responsible for Dust robberies.
- Entertainingly Wrong: In "Of Runaways and Stowaways", because Sun witnessed Blake run off on her own after making sure everyone she cared for evacuated safely at the end of Volume 3, he thinks Blake is going on a one-woman rampage against the White Fang as revenge for trashing Beacon and hurting her friends. This logical conclusion makes perfect sense to him, except Blake is instead running away from the White Fang to prevent any further harm.
- Everyone Has Standards: He's a kleptomaniac and prone to breaking the law, but he does not support the actions of the White Fang, outright describing them as a "cult" that makes all Faunus look bad.
- To Blake. Both are Faunus, but Blake hides her race to because she's afraid of what people will think of her, while Sun revels in his race and doesn't seem to care how people view him. Blake is ex-White Fang and believes in the need to fight for Faunus rights, while Sun views the White Fang as a cult who appointed themselves as Faunus representatives without say-so from other Faunus. Blake's Semblance produces shadow-based clones that are used for defense (deception, dodging, and escaping), whereas Sun's Semblance produces light-based clones that are used offensively to attack the opponent directly.
- To Adam Taurus, another Faunus and Blake's abusive former lover. In many ways, Sun is Adam's complete opposite. Whereas Adam is domineering, cruel, blood thirsty, vengeful, self-centered, and spiteful, Sun is a free-spirited, earnest, reckless, mischievous, fun-loving, compassionate guy who is unwilling to leave his friends defenseless. Adam is now the head of the White Fang after a violent coup, Sun sees them as nothing more than a cult. Sun has a very bright color motif, while Adam has a darker one. Adam seeks to make Blake pay by killing everything she loves to punish her for leaving him, Sun goes after Blake when she runs away out of concern for her safety, his friendship played a massive role in helping Blake out, and he actually cares about her well-being, being willing to take abuse she hurls his way if he has to.
- Fool for Love: Sun makes it clear to Neptune that he likes Blake and doesn't want to screw things up with her. However, he becomes very nervous around her and tends to overdose on laddish and flirtatious behavior as a result. Blake eventually starts using face slaps to put him in his place.
- Good Counterpart: To Adam. Both are male Faunus who have been or desire a relationship with Blake, but whereas Adam is a spiteful, murdering, sociopathic Jerkass who seeks to make Blake pay for leaving him, Sun is a mischievous but good-hearted Nice Guy who goes after Blake out of concern for her well-being, even willing to put up with abuse she throws his way to do so. Adam eventually becomes the head of the entire White Fang, whereas Sun sees them as a cult. Finally, Adam has a very dark color motif, whereas Sun's is very bright.
- I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Rather than follow Blake to Atlas in Volume 6, Sun decides to return to Vacuo to train and let Blake be with her team, as he feels they are what she needs at the moment. Neptune chides him on "letting her go", but he explains that both of them have different things to focus on.
- Impossibly Cool Weapon: A Simple Staff that splits into nunchucks that are made of Sawed-Off Shotguns.
- In the Hood: In "Of Runaways and Stowaways", a cloaked figure is seen stalking Blake on the ship. When the ship is attacked by a giant Grimm sea monster, the figure jumps on her head and removes their disguise, revealing itself to be Sun, much to Blake's shock and annoyance.
- The Kleptomaniac: His Establishing Character Moment is showing up as a stowaway (and referencing Die Hard's "common thief" line for good measure). Lampshaded in the following episode when Blake asks him if he ever does anything legitimately - after Volume 1 ends, he's never shown doing it again, but he probably still has the instinct deep down. Having grown up in Vacuo, a Kingdom that really isn't big on order and rules (just survival), conforming to rules isn't naturally his style. He's still willing to break the law, stowing away yet again in order to follow Blake without her knowledge.
- The Leader: Of Team SSSN by default, though he's shown more ability. Among SSSN he acts almost purely as a Charismatic leader, both as The Face (or rather, the abs) of the group as well as their most iconic member. However, when the chips are down, he shifts gears completely. During Volume 3's Grimm invasion, he unofficially appears to take up the mantle of overall leader of the larger group, rallying and directing members of different teams, as well as trying to keep dangerous lone-wolf decisions to a minimum. This makes him a staunch Levelheaded Leader when he needs to get serious.
- Little Bit Beastly: He has a monkey's prehensile tail.
- Lovable Rogue: While he's fond of apparently breaking rules, he's quite a nice guy who helped Blake for nothing in return. It helps that he's just mischievous rather than malicious.
- Love at First Sight: Towards Blake. Team RWBY first see him as he's racing past them when the authorities chase him for stowing away on a ship, yet he immediately singles out Blake for a wink. Having instantly seen through her disguise, he latches onto her for the rest of Volume 1 and helps her investigate the White Fang even though he barely knows her. When he introduces his team-mate Neptune to Team RWBY at the beginning of Volume 2, he makes it clear to Neptune that he's very interested in Blake so he doesn't want Neptune to screw things up. He spends the rest of Volume 2 helping Blake and trying to convince her to go to the school ball with him.
- Meaningful Name: Named after the Monkey King. In keeping with the theme, his weapon is, among other things, a Telescoping Staff, and its names (Ruyi Bang and Jingu Bang) are two of the names for the original Sun Wukong's weapon.
- Mischief-Making Monkey: He's a monkey Faunus and a mischievous person; the first time he appears, he's fleeing the authorities for illegally stowing away on board a newly-docked ship. He comes to Vale as part of his Academy for the tournament, so he doesn't need to travel this way. He does it for kicks. Later on, he steals apples for himself and Blake instead of buying them. Because he can.Sun: I stole you some food! [holds out an apple]
Blake: Do you always break the law without a second thought?
Sun: Hey, weren't you in a cult or something?
Blake: [Death Glare]
Sun: ...Okay, too soon.
- Moment Killer: When Blake and her father have an emotional heart-to-heart about how she feels she betrayed her family to side with the White Fang, he asks her why she left her friends back at Beacon. Just before she can answer, Sun accidentally falls through the flimsy sliding door. Although he's there to ask Blake a question about White Fang behavior in Menagerie, he becomes frantic when he realizes what's happened, claims he's looking for the bathroom, and lampshades that he's just ruined a tender moment.Sun: WHOA! This isn't the bathroom! I'll just be going! Sorry to interrupt this tender family moment! [nervous laughter]
Ghira: I really don't like you.
- Mr. Fanservice: Monty has stated that only one word was used to describe Sun to the concept artists: ABS. Also, his pose on his valentine. When his team is introduced to the crowd at the tournament, someone can be seen holding up a placard of his chest, with a heart-shape surrounding his abs.
- Mukokuseki: Despite having the name of a character from a Chinese novel and using abilities related to that same story, he is blond, slightly tanned-looking, and has gray eyes.
- My Species Doth Protest Too Much: He views the White Fang as crazy extremists that make all Faunus look bad. He even calls them a "cult" and, upon learning the White Fang wear Grimm-masks because some humans call them monsters, says he thinks the mentality behind such reasoning is a little dark.
- Necessary Drawback: In Volume 2, Sun's clone semblance lets him create doubles of himself he can fully control and fight with. However, Sun must stop moving entirely and keep his hands clasped together. The moment he moves, his clones vanish. Volume 4 shows that the more clones he summons, the more of his Aura it takes to sustain them, and summoning four of them to pin Ilia drains his remaining Aura so quickly that a single hit from her weapon can incapacitate him.
- No Shirt, Long Jacket: A long white jacket with no shirt underneath is his default uniform, which shows off his very muscular abs and adds to his prankster personality.
- Le Parkour: He scales a bunch of walls effortlessly while running away from angry guards.
- Prehensile Tail: It's strong enough to support his weight when he's hanging off a street lamp with it. He also uses it to hold his cup of tea, toss his scroll to his friends, and, in one instance, knock a full-grown man on his ass.
- Put on a Bus: After Blake and Sun arrive at Haven Academy at the end of Volume 5, Sun has the opportunity to reunite with his team, who arrived home long before he did. At the beginning of Volume 6, he confirms that he will be spending time with his own team by taking them all to Shade Academy in the Kingdom of Vacuo, which is the kingdom he was born in. He explains that his reasons for doing so include giving Blake space to reconnect with her team, to reconnect with his own team, and to improve his leadership skills.
- Restrained Revenge: At the end of Volume 4, Ilia stabs Sun while fighting him and Blake. In Volume 5, Sun gets the opportunity to avenge himself. When the Albain brothers' attempt to kill Blake's parents fail, Ilia switches sides to help Blake and then support her attempt to recruit an army to protect Haven from Adam. As the excitement dies down, Sun walks over to her and indignantly reminds everyone that Ilia stabbed him. Before Ilia can find the words to respond, Sun pinches her arm hard and tells her they're now even.
- Ship Tease: His introduction to the story occurs when he's fleeing authorities due to stowing away on a ship. He pauses briefly to wink at Blake as he speeds by. From there, he quickly becomes attracted to her, from being willing to help her despite barely knowing her to fretting to Neptune about helping him be cool in front of her. He's crushed when she refuses to attend the dance as his date. Fortunately for him, Yang manages to convince Blake to go to the dance to stop her from driving herself into the ground, and she arrives to the dance with Sun.
- Shockwave Stomp: He does this with his staff at one point, knocking away some White Fang Mooks in the process. It seems to be a property of the weapon.
- Spin to Deflect Stuff: Blocks one of Roman's explosions just by spinning his staff.
- Stealth Pun: Monty has stated that he was thinking about making a "Gun-gun", as a joke to lampshade the weapons he had designed already. Chinese martial artists often use a staff known as a Gun. So, Sun wields the Gun-Gun. Also, the shortest version of a Gun Staff is called a bang, and the two parts of the staff are dual Bang Guns.
- Walking Shirtless Scene: He says that Vacuo, his birth place, isn't known for "shirts and ties", which is why he prefers not to wear anything over his abs.
- The Watson: Sun grew up in Vacuo and is being educated in Mistral. He has never been associated with the White Fang or visited the Faunus island of Menagerie. As a result, he isn't privy to the inner workings of the terrorist organization or the realities of life on Menagerie. As Blake is from both, she is able to teach him what they're like; through this the audience learns how the White Fang turned from a peaceful civil rights group to a terrorist organization and why life on the island is difficult.
- Weapon Twirling: He does this a lot with his weapon, whether in staff form or in chucks form. This, incredibly, does not hinder his firing rate in the slightest, and allows him to reload his guns in an instant.
- Wink "Ding!": When he winks to Blake in "Black and White", it's accompanied by a "ding" sound effect.
- Would Hit a Girl: Given the kind of world he lives in, this is flat-out essential for survival, but it still deserves mention for the crunch-inducing flying kick he delivers directly to Octavia's face◊ during New Challengers. When fighting Ilia, he points out to her that he's not above hitting girls if he has to.
- You Are Not Alone: After being injured by Ilia, he loses patience with Blake's insistence that she has to live alone because she's a danger to her friends. He tells her that, contrary to her beliefs, shutting out friends and loved ones is not a selfless act and causes far greater pain than her enemies ever could. He emphasizes the fact that she doesn't have the right to make her friends' choices for them and if they want to take the risk to protect the people they care about, nothing will stop them from doing so.Sun: You think you're being selfless, but you're not. Yeah, that chameleon friend of yours got me pretty good. But I'd do it all again if it meant protecting you. I could promise Yang would say the same. You can make your own choices, sure. But you don't get to make ours. When your friends fight for you, it's because we want to. So stop pushing us out! It hurts more than anything the bad guys could do to us.
- You Have Got to Be Kidding Me!: Verbatim. In "Heroes and Monsters", most of the Huntsmen and Huntresses in training go all out against three hijacked Paladins. They are pushed so hard that Velvet has to use her one-shot weapon and Weiss succeeds in partially summoning an arm and sword to protect Velvet once her power is used up. Once the three Paladins are defeated, the exhausted kids can barely catch their breath before a fourth Paladin comes barreling in. Upon seeing it, Sun exclaims this trope word-for-word as his shoulders slump.
Voiced By: Gavin Free
The second member of Team SSSN, Scarlet fights with a cutlass and pistol called Hook and Darling.
- Badass Gay: The creators have confirmed that Scarlet is homosexual, and does pretty well in the match against NDGO before he received a Groin Attack.
- Coat Cape: He wears a pirate-style coat over his shoulder, though he ditches it for fighting.
- Even the Guys Want Him: A young man is seen holding up his picture while girls are holding up pictures of his team members (well, Sun's abs).
- Fashionable Asymmetry: Has a fingerless glove on his right hand and a bandage around his right bicep, his hair covers his right eye, and his Coat Cape is over his left shoulder.
- Fingerless Gloves: On his right hand, which leaves the fingers completely exposed.
- Gender-Blender Name: Scarlet is often used as a female name.
- Groin Attack: He gets smacked in the crotch by a coconut during the Vytal Festival tournament, hitting him hard enough to lower his Aura to critical levels.
- Grappling-Hook Pistol: His pistol has a grappling hook component. However, the grapple doubles as the trigger guard instead of being a conventional grapple hook.
- Pirate: He has the appearance and weapons of one, using a cutlass and pistol that looks like it came out of a pirate movie. The majority of his first fight in the series against NDGO is on a beached pirate ship and his duel with Nebula Violette is played up to resemble a pirate's duel.
- Peek-a-Bangs: His hair covers his right eye.
- Pretty Boy: He's slim-faced, and accents it with a tattoo around his eye.
- Straight Gay: Mentions in passing to Ruby in an anthology manga that he prefers men, which is the sole hint to his sexuality.
- Sword and Gun: To go along with his pirate theme, he wields a cutlass and flintlock pistol.
- Two First Names: "David" can be a first name or a surname.
Voiced By: Joshua Ornelas [EN], Ryuichi Kijima [JP]
The third member of Team SSSN, Sage wields a large broadsword called Pilgrim in battle.
- BFS: He wields a giant sword that is nearly as tall as he is.
- Curtains Match the Window: While not the same exact shade, both his eyes and hair are a deep green color.
- In a Single Bound: Performs one before beheading the Nevermore below. Yatsuhashi was boosted up by Arslan, yet he gets to roughly the same height by himself.
- No Shirt, Long Jacket: His jacket is even longer than Sun's, looking more like a Trenchcoat, and also shows off his muscular abs.
- Visual Pun: Sage has wings tattooed on his chest. When going up against Dew Gayl, he's quickly sent flying... straight out of the arena.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: A dark green color.
Voiced By: Kerry Shawcross [EN], Yoshiki Nakajima [JP]
Debut: Best Day Ever*
The fourth member of Team SSSN, Neptune often hangs out with Sun. He takes an interest in Weiss and also assists Team RWBY in their search for the White Fang and Roman Torchwick. Neptune fights with a trident that can also function as a rifle that fires electric bolts, nick-named Tri-Hard by Sun.
- Amazon Chaser: He starts paying attention to Yang when he first experiences her wild motorcycle driving, and quickly becomes even more impressed with the aggressive, dominant way she handles both Junior's men and Junior himself.
- "Awesome McCool" Name: "Vasilias" is a Greek word for a king or equivalent leader. So he's King Neptune.
- Blade on a Stick: It can transform to a guandao that turns into a trident.
- Casanova Wannabe: He has an eye for beautiful ladies and flirts with them as soon as he sees one. However, while he seems just as popular as the other members of team SSSN among their sizeable female fanbase, most of the main cast spurn his advances. Weiss was attracted to him during Volumes 2 and 3 but did not appreciate him flirting with the all-female Team NDGO during the tournament. He also flirted with Ilia, an attempt that was doomed to failure.
- Curtains Match the Windows: Neptune has vivid blue eyes and he dyes his hair to match the colour. Jaune mentions that not many people can pull off blue hair the way he can.
- Elemental Eye Colors: Short of Nora, he has the bluest eyes in the show, fitting his association with water.
- Extraverted Nerd: Inverted; he initially comes off as a cool lady's man, but he's implied to be afraid of heights, can't dance, is an intellectual and hydrophobic. According to Episode 7 of Volume 2, he actively works at constantly being seen as cool to make up for his failings.Jaune: Well, I certainly feel a lot better about myself.
- Hidden Depths: Neptune comes across as the epitome of coolness, but not only is he afraid of heights and an intellectual, but he also admits to actively perpetuating his coolness vibe to draw attention away from his flaws, especially his lack of an ability to dance.
- I Can't Dance: Admits this to Jaune as his explanation for turning down Weiss's invitation to the dance. He's extremely embarrassed about it.
- Improbable Aiming Skills: So far he has only been shown hitting moving targets, once on a vehicle moving at highway speeds. The other time, he shoots Dew Gayl out of the sky, right from over Sun's head where she was aiming a stab from out of the sky.
- Incompatible Orientation: While Sun is saying goodbye to Blake, Neptune spots the presence of Ilia behind Blake. He is immediately happy to see her and heads over to flirt with her. Blake starts to call off Neptune because she knows that Ilia is gay. However, Sun tells her that Neptune will figure it out eventually.
- Insistent Terminology: He is not a nerd, he is an intellectual.
- Ironic Name: In Roman mythology, Neptune was the god of the ocean. This Neptune is hydrophobic.
- Meaningful Name: His last name "Vasilias" is a derivative for king in Greek, connecting him to the God of the Seas. However, it also gives him a connection to a Journey to the West character, too. King Neptune was a famous World War 2 US Navy mascot, a pig that raised millions for the war effort and was buried with full military honours when it died. The Monkey King's pig-themed companion, Zhu Bajie, shared Neptune's habit of hitting on every woman he met. He was also formerly Tiānpéng Yuánshuài, the Heavenly Naval commander who was cursed to become Zhu Bajie for his inappropriate feelings for a moon goddess.
- Prongs of Poseidon: As a trident wielded by a man named after the god of the Sea.
- Retractable Weapon: When not in use his weapon can be collapsed and stored on his back, in a manner similar to Ruby's scythe.
- Ship Tease: He flirts with Weiss at their first encounter. She is flattered by his advances and later on tries to partner with him in a mission. Weiss also asks him out to the dance and cheers for him at the tournament. However, his attempt to flirt with the all-female Team NDGO during the tournament puts her off him.
- Shock and Awe: He can channel electricity through its melee form, which is extremely effective for fighting opponents in water.
- Spiky Hair: His hair is spiked forwards, a little like the shape of ocean waves.
- Swiss Army Weapon: His gun initially resembles a railgun and can transform into a guandao and a trident.
- Twinkle Smile: Flashes one when Sun tells him to "be cool" in front of his new friends.Neptune: Dude.Sun: (Beat) Good point.
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Team SSSN's first tournament match occurs on terrain that is a mixture of desert and water. Neptune is terrified of water, and immediately tries to get as far away from it, endangering his team's cohesion in the process. It's not until half of SSSN is knocked out and team NDGO groups up in a water pond that he gets out of his funk and steps next to the water to deal the winning move, and even then, Sun has to yell at him to seize the opportunity.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: He has blue hair in keeping with his theme as Neptune, King of the Sea. At Beacon's school ball, Jaune mentions that not everyone can pull off blue hair, but Neptune can.
A rival team from Haven whom Team RWBY fights in the Vytal Festival tournament. Pronounced 'auburn'.
Voiced By: Ami Naito [JP]
Debut: Round One*
The leader of Team ABRN, Arslan is a martial artist who utilizes a rope dart for both mobility and combat.
- Alliterative Name: Arslan Altan.
- Ambiguously Brown: Her dark skin stands out amongst her teammates and fellow competitors.
- Animal Motifs: "Arslan" is Turkish for "lion" and her hair and color scheme make her look like a lion. She is also the leader of her team, a position associated with lions.
- Bare-Fisted Monk: Arslan primarily fights with barehanded martial arts. Her actual weapon is an extendable utility wire - or perhaps a rope dart - which she mainly uses for tripping up her opponents, or for quick change in direction of movement when suitable objects are nearby. Additionally, her outfit appears to be heavily based on Buddhist Monks.
- Boring, but Practical: Arslan's weapon doesn't appear to be anything more than a dagger which doubles as a rope dart. She ends up sparring with Yang and keeps up with her opponent throughout the match until Bolin and Nadir's "difficulties" become too much of a distraction.
- Charles Atlas Superpower: Easily one of the physically-strongest combatants in the series, though where her Aura control and mundane physical strength intersect is unclear. Regardless, she's strong enough to match fisticuffs with Yang despite lacking a weapon to counter Ember Celica, and later shatters an enormous ice boulder created by Weiss with one punch.
- Dark-Skinned Blonde: Arlsan has platinum-blonde hair and dark skin.
- Playing with Fire: She can be seen throwing fireballs during the battle of Beacon.
- Super Strength: Arslan's sheer strength stands out even in this series. Along with the examples mentioned above, during the Grimm attack on the coliseum, she flings Yatsuhashi into the air to give him a better attack vector on the Nevermore, with only one arm, despite him being, well, Yatsuhashi.
- Surrounded by Idiots: Arslan implies this by rolling her eyes after Reese got eliminated and Bolin and Nadir got immobilized in a rolling ice ball.
Voiced By: Jon Risinger [EN], Ryōsuke Morita [JP]
Debut: Round One*
The second member of ABRN, Bolin wields a bo staff.
- Blade on a Stick: Look closely, and his Simple Staff has curved blades on both ends by the time he uses it to chop a piece of fire Dust.
- Simple Staff: Bolin's weapon is a simple bo staff, at least in its melee form.
Voiced By: Chisato Mori [JP]
Debut: Round One*
The third member of ABRN, Reese utilizes a hoverboard that can be split into two guns and also enhanced with dust crystals to add elemental effects to her attacks.
- Anime Hair: Reese has pale green hair that falls down the right side of her face in a series of large spikes.
- Awesome, but Impractical: Reese's hoverboard style comes off as this: since it splits into pistols she dual-wields, it removes her movement advantage, and they can't be fired in board mode. She has to get up close to attack that way, reducing the board's otherwise good utility.
- Bifurcated Weapon: Reese's weapon is a Cool Board that can split into a pair of energy pistols.
- Cool Board: In its melee form, Reese's weapon is a Hover Board that can integrate elemental effects, in addition to direct melee attacks.
- Curtains Match the Window: Her hair has been coloured a very similar shade of green to her eyes.
- Defensive Feint Trap: She falls hard for this. When Blake retreats from her, Reese follows and finds Blake with her back to her, standing in plain sight, uncomfortably close to the edge of the ring. Upon trying to attack her from behind and knock her out of the ring, she finds herself closelined and knocked out herself.
- Elemental Powers: As mentioned, her hoverboard can be enhanced with Dust crystals, with fire and ice being the types observed thus far.
- Facial Markings: Reese wears eye black, a functional "makeup" applied under the eyes to reduce glare.
- Fragile Speedster: Her board grants her near-unparalleled aerial mobility, and between it and her inherent agility she's more than fast enough to keep up with Blake, who is no slouch in the speed department herself. Once Blake gets a hit in courtesy of the aforementioned trap, though, Reese goes down fast.
- Geo Effects: Her board can utilize a crystal from the fire stage and become hot enough to thaw ice.
- Guns Akimbo: Reese's weapon can transform into a pair of energy pistols for ranged combat, and she's seen holding them in this style mid-air.
- Precision-Guided Boomerang: Reese's hoverboard returns to her hand twice after Blake redirects it.
- Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: Had she done this in the above scenario, she would never have fallen for Blake's trap.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Reese has green hair.
Voiced By: Eiji Takeuchi [JP]
Debut: Round One*
The fourth member of ABRN, Nadir wields an assault rifle that appears to have a blade that can extend from it.
- The Load: Nadir doesn't contribute much to his team's fight with Team RWBY and just gets incapacitated with ice, making Reese and Arslan un-freeze him.
- Meaningful Name: His combined name is a pun on "nadeshiko", the Japanese name for a series of pink flowers that sometimes contain mild toxicity, but not enough to cause harm. This is, of course, a reference to his complete lack of contribution to his team's battle with RWBY.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: He has pink hair.
City of Mistral
The capital of the Kingdom of Mistral, the city of Mistral is home to Haven Academy and boasts a thriving market economy set among picturesque mountains and waterfalls. Beneath this civilised veneer, however, lies a black market where anything can be bought... for a price.
Dee and Dudley
Voiced by: Alex Mai (Dee) and Christopher Guerrero (Dudley) [EN]
Debut: Argus Limited*
Dudley: But, for a generous tip, we can be sure that your passenger car gets extra special attention.
Two professional huntsmen assigned to guard trains going from Mistral to Atlas. Not the brightest or most effective bodyguards. Dee has an electric mace, while Dudley wields a lever-action rifle.
- Leeroy Jenkins: When faced with the Manticore, Dee charges and immediately gets killed.
- Say My Name: During the battle with the Grimm on the train, Dudley is alarmed when Dee rushes away from his side to attack the Grimm alone. A Grimm attacks Dee from the side, grabbing him. Dudley calls out his name as he's carried away.
- Small Name, Big Ego: They think they're hot stuff being professionally certified huntsmen, but the huntsman and huntress trainees that they're trying to impress are far more skilled than they are. Qrow immediately shuts them down before they can boast about being professional huntsmen.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: Dee and Dudley are only introduced as Huntsmen who protect the train and bribe passengers for more money by offering to give them special protection. As a result, they're only in the show for as long as Team RWBY is on the train.
Little Miss Malachite
Voiced by Luci Christian [EN]
The leader of a Mistrali crime organization whose members can recognised from the tattoos they wear of spiders sitting on a web. Also the mother of the Malachite twins, according to the V6 commentary.
- Animal Motif: Little Miss used to be afraid of spiders. As a result, she decided to overcome that fear by making spiders work for her. She now runs a criminal information network in Mistral, using the symbol of a spider sitting on a web to identify her criminal headquarters. Every single member of her organisation can be identified by the presence of a tattoo of the same symbol somewhere on their body.
- Good Smoking, Evil Smoking: Little Miss tends to do business from behind a wooden table in a building that appears to function like a pub or pub-restaurant. She sometimes conducts her business while smoking a cigarette using a long cigarette holder. The cigarettes have two bands of purple, her signature colour. When she sets up a confrontation between Cinder and Neo, she casually smokes her way through the fall-out and pauses only to suggest to her subordinates that they might want to protect the decent glasses.
- Knowledge Broker: People approach her to find out information for them. However, she usually demands an up-front fee before she'll discuss business. She's also willing to delay giving information back to her clients just in case there are other people looking for information on those clients. When Cinder escapes from the Vault of the Spring Maiden, she seeks out Little Miss to find out where Teams RWBY and JNPR have gone. Little Miss says it'll take her a week even though she already knows the answer, purely because she wants to know if there are any people searching for information on Cinder.
- The Queenpin: Little Miss is the head of an organized crime syndicate in Mistral. She is implied to be rather connected since she can get information on most people's whereabouts in exchange for compensation. Her gang's presence is signified by having a spider tattoo somewhere on their body, and Cinder notices that everyone in Lil' Miss's bar has the spider tattoo.
- Tattooed Crook: She's in charge of a criminal organisation whose presence in Mistral is depicted by tattoos of spiders sitting on webs being marked on buildings. Every single person who works for her organisation has the same tattoo somewhere on their body. Little Miss wears her tattoo on her shoulder.
Beyond the Kingdom
There are plenty of places for thieves and traitors to hide in Mistral, but for some folk that isn't enough. Many people live outside the kingdom in settlements or villages and even in towns or cities.
The wilds of Anima are also home to bandit clans who dominate the regions they claim as their territories.
City of Argus
One of the largest settlements outside the kingdoms, Argus is a city that Mantle and Mistral founded together decades before the Great War. A vital trading port between the two kingdoms, Argus technically falls under Mistral's jurisdiction, but Atlas still maintains a base and sizable garrison to protect the city.
Special Operative Caroline Cordovin
Voiced by: Mela Lee [EN]
Debut: Dead End*
A special operative from Atlas who is tasked with maintaining the security of the border between Mistral and Atlas. She controls who is allowed to enter Atlas through the port.
- Alliterative Name: Caroline Cordovin.
- Big Damn Heroes: When Argus is attacked by a Leviathan Ruby's Silver-Eyes only succeed in partially freezing it, stalling but not stopping the giant creature. Cordovin then arrives, having detached the wrecked cannon arm of her mecha, deploying a giant drill from the remaining arm to kill the Grimm off.
- Disproportionate Retribution: After Weiss and Maria steal one of her aircrafts and Maria pisses her off by chewing cashews in a blatant display of defiance, Cordovin forgoes scrambling the fighters in lieu of personally piloting the Colossus, a Humongous Mecha designed for fighting sea Grimm, with the intent of displaying her superiority to both the protagonists and all of Argus by killing the protagonists.
- Fantastic Racism: She views the Atlesians as superior to other humans. She thus stops Weiss's friends from entering Atlas, despite her willingness to let Weiss return home. When Cordovin antagonises Team RWBY, she looks directly at Blake when she describes some of them as having "questionable character". It's made clear that, while she distrusts anything she thinks is not Atlesian, she has an even worse opinion of Faunus.
- Hero Antagonist: Cordovin is in charge of protecting Argus from attack by the Grimm. However, she is egotistical, prone to overreacting, and obsessively believes in Atlas's superiority. Determined to prevent Atlas's border lock-down from being breached, she refuses to even consider the possibility that the heroes might have an urgent reason to make contact with General Ironwood. As such, the heroes steal an airship which brings them into conflict with Cordovin. When Maria rekindles her old rivalry with Cordovin, the latter snaps; instead of following the standard protocol of dispatching fighter pilots to escort the stolen craft back to base, she uses a gigantic Grimm-killing robot to battle the heroes personally. The fight only ends when Ruby's group disable the robot only to quickly realise that they have inadvertently caused the Grimm to attack the city. The two sides are forced to cooperate to kill the giant Leviathan that is threatening the city, which results in Ruby apologising to Cordovin for her recklessness and Cordovin allowing the heroes to enter Atlas in the stolen ship.
- In-Series Nickname: When Team RWBY first meets Cordovin, Maria calls her "Cordo" to her face. The nickname sticks; Teams RWBY and JNPR all refer to her as "Cordo" from then on.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Even though she acts like the most important woman in Argus and has a beef against Faunus as shown when she describes Blake as a less trustworthy friend of Weiss, it eventually turns out that she does care about what happens to her fellow comrades. When she realises that her own actions have put Argus in danger by the end of Volume 6, she helps finish the Grimm off after Ruby weakens it, and allows RWBY to take the airship in thanks for defending the city.
- Large Ham: Cordovin is prone to acting boisterously about how highly capable she thinks of herself as well as Atlas's superiority. When antagonising the heroes, Cordovin theatrically waves her arms around, melodramatically talking about how superior Atlas is compared to the other kingdoms and flashes her credentials as a special operative. spoiler:Later, Cordovin snaps when Maria steals an airship from her base and deliberately chews cashews in front of the intercom to further humiliate her; every line she speaks thereafter becomes a grandiose performance of rage and intimidation.
- Miniature Senior Citizen: Cordovin is an elderly woman of tiny stature. She barely reaches the waist of adult men and even the fourteen-year-old Oscar is taller than her.
- The Napoleon: Even though Cordovin is an extremely short woman, she makes up for it with a highly aggressive personality. She is haughty and condescending towards Team JNPR for returning to the military base after denying them access. When she taunts Remnant for turning its back on Atlas after the fall of Beacon, Weiss tries reasoning with her by saying that they understand General Ironwood's "worry", but Cordovin doesn't take it well and boasts about the general's courage. Upon realising that the heroes have stolen the airship in an effort to undermine her authority, Cordovin deploys a gigantic robot to fight them personally, as opposed to dispatching fighter pilots to recover it.
- Patriotic Fervor: She views Atlas as superior to the rest of the kingdoms and notes that the latter is kindly extending their hand and superior technology towards other nations. As such, she's got a beef against anything she believes is un-Atlesian like Faunus, and views any negative traits as a mockery of her kingdom's military honour and prowess as shown when she dismisses Weiss's perception of General Ironwood's "worry". During this speech, the Atlesian flag waves behind her to emphasise her nationalism.
- Reassigned to Antarctica: Initially an Implied Trope, as Maria insinuates that the reason she is in Argus is not because it's an important position, but because she's so irritating and fanatical that the Atlesian military wanted her as far away from their HQ as possible. The commentary for Volume 6 would later confirm this, as it states she was assigned to Argus because she was considered a nuisance in her home Kingdom, and that she could do the least damage at Argus.
- Revenge Before Reason: Seeing her rival Maria fleeing away in a hijacked plane leads Cordovin to try stopping her in an Humongous Mecha, no matter if it causes turmoil among the citizens and attempts to kill Maria's partners. Once she's defeated, a whole new level of unreasonable shows up, as a swarm of Grimm is coming, including a giant one that the (now borderline unusable) robot was supposed to be used against...
- Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: To Maria. Both make no attempt to hide their distaste for each other when they see each other at Argus. This conflict stems from a past incident when Maria once brought cashew nuts onto a flight. As the nuts were a banned substance, Cordovin permanently added her to an extended screening list. So when Maria hijacks a plane, Cordovin doesn't take it well and Maria starts chewing on cashew nuts for extra taunting.Caroline: Witch.
- You're Insane!: She ends up on the receiving end from Maria, after seeing Cordovin bring out the massive mecha and try to blow the airship out of the sky with a massive energy cannon that could blow up mountains.
Voiced by: Lindsay Sheppard [EN]
Debut: The Grimm Reaper*
An older sister of Jaune Arc. Saphron allows Jaune and the others to stay at her home while in Argus. She is raising a son with her wife, Terra Cotta, who is a technician for Argus's relay tower.
- Cool Big Sis: Though Jaune finds her embarrassing, she's a loving older sister to him nonetheless, allowing him and his friends to stay with her and her wife and son while in Argus. When Saphron teasingly suggests that Jaune decided to leave home to become a Huntsman because she was the first one to leave home, Jaune is flustered but doesn't deny it.
- Family Theme Naming: The Arc siblings have names taken from the colours of the rainbow; Saphron normally is spelled Saffron, a shade of orange.
- Happily Married: She's married to a technician named Terra Cotta, and they both happily raise a son together. Though they are both inconvenienced by Terra's troubles at work, Saphron doesn't seem to mind, Terra doesn't take it out on her or her son, and they both love each other regardless.
- Meaningful Name: According to the Volume 6 commentary, each of the Arc children are named after a colour of the rainbow; in Saphron's case, she's named after a shade of orange.
Voiced by: Jamie Smith [EN]
Debut: The Grimm Reaper*
A technician for the relay tower in Argus. Her wife is Saphron Arc, with whom she is raising a son. Terra allows her brother-in-law Jaune and his friends to stay with them while in Argus.
- Happily Married: She's married to Saphron Arc, and they both happily raise a son together. Though they are both inconvenienced by Terra's troubles at work, Saphron doesn't seem to mind, Terra doesn't seem to take it out on her or her son, and they both love each other regardless.
- Smart People Wear Glasses: A technician for the relay tower in Argus, and she wears glasses.
Voiced by: Lucella Wren Clary [EN]
Debut: The Grimm Reaper*
The infant son of Saphron Arc and Terra Cotta, and by extension the nephew of Jaune.
- Crocodile Tears: Despite the fact he's only a toddler, he is a fast learner. Saphron has trained him to be able to cry and throw a tantrum on command. When Weiss struggles to smuggle Maria onto an airship she's pretending to take home to Atlas, Saphron notices that Cordovin is becoming suspicious of Weiss's behaviour. She encourages Adrian to start his tantrum to distract everyone. As he wails and screams, the guards turn their attention to the fussing infant, allowing Weiss to get on board the ship without further interference.
- Cuteness Proximity: Yang is fairly pragmatic and matter-of-fact while Weiss is serious and self-possessed. However, when Adrian starts trying to mimic Jaune's pouting body language, both Yang and Weiss immediately start cooing over how adorable he is.
- Has Two Mommies: He is being raised by a lesbian couple who are married to each other. Whether he is adopted or the biological child of one of them is unknown.
The Branwen Tribe is a tribe of bandits that live in the east of Anima, to the south of Mistral. They make their living by raiding towns and villages; while stealing and murdering are part of their lifestyle, they consider kidnapping and ransoming to be more trouble than it's worth — although they have been known to make exceptions.
Voiced By: Anna Hullum [EN], Megumi Hayashibara [JP]
Debut: No Brakes*
Yang's missing mother, Raven rescues her daughter from being killed by Neopolitan in "No Brakes". She wears a Grimm mask like members of the White Fang but her allegiance does not lie with them. Instead, she leads the bandit tribe that she and Qrow were both born into. She used to be part of Team STRQ with Summer Rose, Qrow Branwen, and Taiyang Xiao Long, Yang's father. According to her twin brother, Qrow, she has an unusual view of the world that he doesn't fully agree with.
Raven fights with a katana named Omen and a revolving sheath of Dust blades. Her Semblance "Kindred Link" allows her to bond to certain people; when she does so, she can create a portal that allows her to instantly teleport to them. Current known recipients of this are Taiyang, Qrow, Yang and, by implication, Vernal.
- Animal Motif: Like her brother, she is named after the bird. Her surname is the name of the Branwen tribe, which means 'white/blessed raven'. She wears a White Fang mask that covers her face and is shaped like the face and beak of a bird, and she styles her hair accessories to make it look like a mane of feathers is growing through her black hair. Also like Qrow, she has the ability to shapeshift into a raven. The ability is not natural, it's a form of magic that was done to the siblings by Professor Ozpin.
- Asskicking Equals Authority: She is stated to be Qrow's equal in terms of combat ability and she has taken the lead of her tribe since leaving Taiyang and Yang. She and Qrow joined Beacon Academy because the tribe needed protection from huntsmen in order to continue carrying out raids and the twins were the right age to apply. As a huntress, she surpasses the majority of the tribe in skill and power and therefore has no trouble leading the tribe. Raven is secretly also the Spring Maiden, one of four Maidens in the world who possess unimaginable magical power.
- Bandit Clan: She and Qrow both grew up in the Branwen bandit clan, and she returned to them after graduating from Beacon and became their leader. She wants Qrow to return home, but he's not so eager. She was the one who led the attack on Shion Village, and when the Spring Maiden joined her clan she became even more powerful. And as with most bandits, she's also not above abduction, given how she kidnaps Weiss in Volume 5 when she finds her crashed airship.
- Believing Their Own Lies: Raven tends to justify her actions to herself using the same logic she uses to justify them to others, despite her misgivings. For example, Lionheart asks her who she's trying to convince when she's assuring him that there's no shame or fear in working with Salem because she knows the latter is unstoppable. When Yang confronts her at the Vault about killing the previous Spring Maiden, she tries to convince herself it was truly a Mercy Kill as much as she is trying to convince Yang.
- BFS: Her katana can extend to become as long as she is tall. During the battle of Haven, it's revealed that the Dust cartridge sheath is a rotating cylinder that contains dozens of Dust infused blades. Raven defaults to the red blade, but can change them quickly in the heat of battle.
- Byronic Heroine: Raven is one of the most conflicted characters in the series, straddling the line between Anti-Hero and Anti-Villain; she stubbornly tries to escape from the greater scope war between Salem and Ozpin after being worn out of it prior to the story, but it always finds its way back to her. While powerful and charismatic enough to lead a bandit tribe, she's repeatedly called out on her cowardice and hypocrisy, something she never gets to properly defend even though she claims she's been through so much more than anyone has a right to. This creates conflicts with her family and their allies in Volumes 4 and 5. When she attempts to grab the Relic of Knowledge by the end of volume 5, it comes at a great cost, and Yang chews her out on it, noting that it would go against everything Raven stood for up until now. For this, Raven breaks down and flees out of regret, leaving Yang to take her place as the one who takes the Relic to become Salem's next target.
- Cain and Abel: The Cain to Qrow's Abel. Their relationship is rocky at best, due to a strong disagreement over how they each prioritise family and view the world around them. Raven mocks Qrow as a fool trusting Ozpin and a traitor for leaving the Bandit Clan that raised them; Qrow is angry she turned on Ozpin, that she abandoned both her husband and daughter, and that she returned to a tribe he regards as thieves and murderers. Qrow thinks her world view is dangerous and that she's a hypocrite to lecture him on family values when she ignores her own daughter's suffering; he also calls her out on how her bandit raids devastate communities twice — firstly from the bandit raid she leads and secondly as a result of the Grimm being attracted to a devastated village filled with negative emotion. When Cinder arrives at the bandit clan's home camp to insist on using Vernal to obtain the Relic of Knowledge for Salem, Raven insists she will only help them if they help her kill Qrow during the White Fang attack on Haven Academy. During the attack, Qrow is outraged to see Raven helping Salem and renounces her as his sister.
- Cool Gate: She can create one with a stroke of her sword to vanish as quickly as she appeared. In keeping with her red and black appearance, the portal is also red and black in color.
- Cool Mask: She wears a mask similar to those worn by the White Fang, which is designed to look like the Grimm. Hers covers her face and then some. The mask has four eyeholes, mimicking the Nevermore ravens that she shares her theme with. It's strongly implied that she wears it to hide the fire that rings a Maiden's eyes whenever they use their magic; she's using Vernal as a decoy so that nobody realizes she's the real Spring Maiden.
- Cool Sword: Her primary weapon, Omen, is a long, Japanese-style sword with a bulky, mechanical sheath. She can draw the blade normally or she can fire the blade from the sheath like a gun. While she typically uses a blood-red blade, the mechanical sheath consists of a rotating cylinder that contains multiple spare blades, all made from different types of Dust. To choose a different blade, Raven sheathes her sword, switches to another blade, and continues fighting as if nothing has happened.
- Cover-Blowing Superpower: Raven goes to some lengths to hide her identity as the current Spring Maiden. She only uses those powers when her decoy Vernal is also present and required to demonstrate, and does so while wearing a mask so that the fiery aura around her eyes is concealed. As such, she fights the heroes in "The More The Merrier" holding back and can "only" evenly match her brother instead of overpower him. She inverts the trope to Vernal, giving her a verbal order that would justify her not using the Maiden power, for no reason except to uphold the masquerade.
- Cursed with Awesome: The ability to transform into a raven, gives her a sky-high vantage point for viewing what's happening and a way to cover distance quickly and without being identified. However, Raven intimates to Yang that she does not appreciate the ability and acts like it's a curse. It's a magical ability bestowed upon her and Qrow by Ozpin. She indicates to Yang that this is a curse that was forced upon her, but both Ozpin and Qrow regard it as a gift that the siblings freely chose to accept.
- Dangerously Short Skirt: She wears a very short black microskirt, and she keeps the tradition by being powerful enough to utterly shock Neo in "No Brakes".
- Detachable Blades: Her Dust swords tend to shatter easily in the heat of battle, so her sheath contains a rotating chamber of spares that she can switch out to if she sees fit. To add even more utility, the chamber holds several different types of blades, each with their own powers.
- Dirty Coward: Raven's philosophy is that the weak die and the strong live; she'll only ever save a person once — they must save themselves if they find themselves in danger again. She also refuses to get involved in the conflict between Ozpin and Salem, as she feels that anyone foolish enough to trust Ozpin will die for a lost cause. By the end of "Haven's Fate", Yang makes Raven aware that her cowardice becomes apparent whenever a serious danger arises; Yang says that she is willing to fight Salem despite her fear while Raven would rather flee for her life despite being more powerful than her daughter; when Yang gives her the option of fleeing once again, she does so with a tearful apology, leaving her daughter to take the heat from Salem for possessing the Relic of Knowledge.
- Dramatic Unmask: During a dream-like sequence in The Stinger of Volume 2, she removes her mask in front of Yang. She has a very similar face to Yang, if somewhat wider, but Ruby's color motifs and hair color.
- Due to the Dead: In "Downfall", after Vernal uses her Last Breath Bullet to distract Cinder long enough for Raven to finish her, Raven takes the time to close her eyes and thank her before going for the Vault.
- Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Raven has dark hair and a deathly white complexion, making the focus on her fierce red eyes that much more striking. Because of her aloofness, each of her appearances is always played seriously, with the atmosphere becoming tense even when it's about a family reunion with Qrow (the latter of which is understandably not thrilled).
- Everyone Has Standards: Raven might be a self-absorbed, pretentious Social Darwinist who doesn't think much about who is hurt by her actions and is willing to abandon her daughter for most of her life, but she's appalled by how far Cinder's willing to go for power, even calling the latter a monster for replacing her arm with that of a Grimm.
- Everything's Better with Samurai: Her appearance evokes a Samurai motif, from her Japanese-style sword to her hakama-like attire. The wrapping around her stomach even has a Japanese mountain printed on it, even though Japanese culture is nonexistent in Remnant.
- Face Palm Of Doom: In "Downfall," she finishes her fight with Cinder with a palm strike to the face, destroying Cinder's eyepatch and sending her falling to her apparent doom.
- Family of Choice: Raven considers the Branwen tribe her true family rather than her estranged husband and daughter, and isn't happy that Qrow has turned his back on them. Qrow retorts that she has a skewed perception of what family means.
- Family Theme Naming: She and her brother Qrow are both named after corvids. Their family name is also corvid-themed, being named after a Welsh goddess that was strongly associated with corvids and whose name translates to "Blessed/White Crow".
- Flaw Exploitation: Yang wants to meet Raven so that she can ask the latter about her abandonment, even telling Blake that it's a lifelong obsession she had to learn to control. By the time Yang finally meets up with her mother in Volume 5, Raven uses her knowledge of the secrets of Remnant and Ozpin to try and lure Yang into staying with her instead of following Ruby and Qrow, who are working with Ozpin. However, Yang's desire to protect Ruby is far stronger as opposed to any of Raven's offers. When Raven ridicules both Taiyang and Qrow for their continued loyalty to Ozpin, Yang makes her aware that they were always there for her. Thus, it ensures that Yang departs the bandit camp more empowered against her mother than she was previously.
- To Blake. Both are Japanese-themed, dark-haired swordswomen with criminal backgrounds, who are driven by fear to run away from their problems. Both cut ties with their teams to return to their people, abandoning a vulnerable Yang in the process: Raven abandoned Yang as a baby to return to her bandit clan, while Blake fled back to Menagerie when Yang lost her arm. The climax of the Volume 5 plotline sees Blake finding the strength to lead a Menagerie army to stand-up to the White Fang and reunite with Yang in the process, while Raven flees from Yang's presence, escaping Salem's grasp as she always wanted but only by accepting Yang's offer of having her take the Relic of Knowledge, something that should have remained sealed in the Vault, thus allowing Yang to become Salem's (and by extension, the Grimm's) target instead.
- She's also one to Taiyang. While she abandoned Yang shortly after giving birth and only kept watch at a distance, Taiyang raised both Yang and Ruby after their mothers left him. Raven is very antagonistic towards her twin brother Qrow, while Taiyang is close enough to Qrow to call him a jerk in the same way his own daughter calls him one. Whereas Raven has shown no interest in her child's condition outside of potentially how strong she's become, Taiyang is an extremely devoted parent who drops everything to support and care for Yang. Yang has been positively influenced by her father, and her clothing colors have similarities to his. However, Raven's influence on her is non-existent; Yang didn't even know she had a different biological mother to Ruby until after Summer's disappearance, and the one time Raven rescued Yang, the latter wasn't conscious enough to witness anything but a brief flash of Raven's back as she left the scene. Related to Yang's condition, her ability to save herself: while Taiyang will continuously help her, picking her up whenever she falls, Raven's attitude reveals that she'd sooner deem Yang too weak to live in the same situation and would tell her to pick herself up if she wants to keep going.
- She's also the polar opposite to her daughter, with their only real similarity (outside of physical appearance) being anger issues and a willingness to use violence. While Yang is a Cool Big Sis to Ruby, Raven is very hostile towards Qrow. While Yang owns up to her faults, Raven dismisses her role in the Grimm attack on Shion. Where Yang looks out for those she cares about and is a very nurturing person, Raven barely thinks of others outside of her clan and is a Social Darwinist. Where Yang loves her family despite Ruby only being her half-sister, Raven barely even loves her own twin brother. In other words, the resemblance is only skin deep. In "Haven's Fate", Yang finds the strength to continue fighting Salem despite being afraid, while Raven keeps trying to bolt from her.
- Volume 5 strongly contrasts Cinder and Raven, even placing them back-to-back in promotional posters. Cinder wants to be known and feared while Raven wants to be a hit-and-run criminal who avoids the limelight. Cinder seeks to be actively involved in the war between Salem and Ozpin while Raven has done her best to stay out of it. Cinder enjoys flashing around her Maiden abilities at every opportunity while Raven has tried so hard to hide hers that she even created a decoy to distract attention from her. Both also get their Maiden powers by killing the previous Maidens, but while Cinder shows no remorse in her pursuit of power, Raven shows some hint of regret of what she did and tries to justify her action as an act of mercy for the weak Maiden so she won't be on Salem's hit list.
- Human Popsicle: Once they're inside the Vault of the Spring Maiden, Cinder freezes Raven in ice so she can't interfere while she attacks Vernal for her Spring Maiden powers. Raven frees herself from the ice, but not before Vernal's fatally wounded.
- Although Raven presents herself as a powerful bandit, she's frustrated with Qrow abandoning the tribe that raised them because she feels he's turning his back on their family. Qrow is angry with Raven because he thinks she's a bad mother to Yang and therefore has no business lecturing anyone on how they feel about family. She later mutters in front of Yang about family only coming to her when they need something, but she only ever seeks out Qrow when she needs something from him.Raven: They were your family.
Qrow: You have a very skewed perception of that word.
- When Raven and Cinder fight at the end of volume 5, Cinder speculates that the Spring Maiden must have trusted Raven a great deal for Raven to have ended up as the Spring Maiden. She suggests that's a mistake, believing that Raven killed Spring to take the Maiden powers for herself. When Raven realises Cinder has a Grimm arm, she calls Cinder a monster to obtain power; Cinder brings the conversation back to how Raven obtained her own power by retorting "Look who's talking".
- Although Raven presents herself as a powerful bandit, she's frustrated with Qrow abandoning the tribe that raised them because she feels he's turning his back on their family. Qrow is angry with Raven because he thinks she's a bad mother to Yang and therefore has no business lecturing anyone on how they feel about family. She later mutters in front of Yang about family only coming to her when they need something, but she only ever seeks out Qrow when she needs something from him.
- Iaijutsu Practitioner: Raven's default fighting stance always has one hand ready to draw her katana. She blocks Neo's final attack on Yang with an incredibly fast sword draw, slash, and sheathe.
- I Did What I Had to Do: This is Played With. Raven displays a more selfish version talking to Lionheart about setting Ozpin and co. up, citing an inability to fight Salem. Raven is less heroic than most examples of this trope and used more to show her cowardice than her inability to act.
- It's All About Me: Raven left Yang at a very young age, damaging not only her relationship with the latter but her brother Qrow and her ex-lover Taiyang to be with her self-appointed family. She then killed the Spring Maiden, a young child, because the latter failed to live up to Raven's standards. She also risked (and eventually lost) the life of her own lieutenant to protect her own. She also tried tricking Yang into staying for her benefit, going as far as to threaten her. She tried risking the lives of Qrow and Yang to Salem so she could steal the relic for herself and constantly attempts to justify her irrational behaviour as right. All in all, Raven only cares for her own glory.
- Jerkass Has a Point: Despite being a self-absorbed bandit, Raven warns Yang and Weiss that Salem's an Invincible Villain and she cannot be reasoned with. While Yang's dismissive about it, that was the one time she should have listened to her, as by the time of Volume 6, Raven's ultimately proven right when Ozpin reveals that Salem is invincible after all.
- Katanas Are Just Better: She wields a long, blood-red katana and is heavily implied to be one of the dangerous characters in the series, to the point that Neo immediately high-tails it in terror when Raven begins walking towards her.
- Know When to Fold 'Em: Her motivation in volume 5 is to obtain the Relic of Knowledge for her tribe and use it to keep Salem away from them. By the end of the volume, however, Yang points out that Raven's plans would result in Salem pursuing her for the rest of her life. Without hope of obtaining the Relic of Knowledge herself, Raven tearfully apologises to Yang and flees, leaving Yang to take the Relic.
- Lady of Black Magic: Wearing a red and black hakama and carrying herself with a serious-minded, cunning air, Raven has a dark elegance about her. Thanks to her powers as the Spring Maiden, she is one of the strongest magic users in the setting, able to form spikes of ice, conjure gusts of wind, generate magical swords imbued with electricity, and fly. She spent several years planning for the possibility that Salem will find her. As a result, when she fights Salem's subordinate, the recently-created Fall Maiden, she uses her experience and planning defeat Cinder.
- Lady of War: Raven's a cool, cunning, and very dangerous warrior with an arrogant personality, even if it's in service to a very selfish and amoral belief system. She wears a red and black hakama and wields a long, blood-red katana, giving her the image of a female samurai. Wielding her katana in the Iaido style, she draws her blade and slashes with deadly speed and grace.
- A Lighter Shade of Black: Raven is the leader of a Bandit Clan, a ruthless believer in the idea that the strong survive and the weak die, and is someone who doesn't think much about the people she hurts; she will even kidnap others for ransom purposes if the price is right. Volume 5 pits her against Cinder, a sadist whose hunger for power cannot be sated and who enjoys pain and killing; she thrills at the destruction and suffering she causes to the city of Vale, picks off people to die just to torment their friends, and is willing to work for someone who wants to destroy humanity if she can obtain great power out of it. Cinder's lust for power is so great, she's even willing to attach Grimm body parts to herself to aid her search for power, an act that infuriates Raven.
- Mercy Kill: Raven attempts to justify killing the previous Spring Maiden and stealing her power with this trope, saying that the Maiden failed to make any progress when Raven tried to train her. Yang calls her out on this.
- Might Makes Right: Taiyang tells Yang that Raven relied heavily on strength. Whenever she encountered a problem, she would always solve it by bulldozing her way through the problem instead of pausing to see if another way could be found. Taiyang is explaining that Yang's inherited this attitude off Raven.
- Modesty Shorts: Raven wears an extremely short, pleated micro-skirt that looks like gym-wear. Underneath the skirt, she wears a pair of black hot-pants that only occasionally becomes visible when she's moving during low camera angles. As a result, even when she's fighting or the camera is angled upwards from the ground, there's no danger of anything being revealed.
- Never My Fault: She never acknowledges that her own tribe's assault on Shion has left it vulnerable for the Grimm to destroy it. Volume 5 continues this tradition with having Raven seemingly pass off the blame for not seeing Yang onto her daughter, refusing to acknowledge her association with Salem despite harboring a Maiden - though it turns out she is the Maiden so she's involved regardless of whether she likes it - and not taking yes for an answer to her setting Qrow and his comrades up.
- Not in This for Your Revolution: Raven says that she only cares about her bandit tribe and protecting them from any threats that attempt to stop them from carrying out their raids. She tells Yang and Weiss that she and Qrow originally became huntsmen so that they could learn how to kill huntsmen to protect their tribe. She emphasises that she's uninterested in Ozpin's war against Salem, and gives Yang an option to either stay with her and have every question about her and Ozpin answered or pursue Ruby and Qrow and hope the latter might finally tell the truth. When Yang chooses the latter option, Raven warns her that in their next meeting they'll probably be enemies. It takes an even deeper meaning once the reveal comes out that she is the Spring Maiden and thus is involved whether she wants to be or not.
- Not So Different: Cinder attempts to claim as such in "Downfall." When Raven expresses disgust at how far Cinder's willing to go for power and calls her a monster, Cinder retorts "Look who's talking!" While it seems like little more than a Lame Comeback at the time, it's revealed in the very next episode that Raven killed the previous Spring Maiden and took her power for herself, just as Cinder killed Amber for the Fall Maiden power.
- Palette Swap: She looks like Yang, except with permanently red eyes and Ruby's red-tinted black hair color. Volume 4 gives her a more distinct appearance with a broader face, squarish eyes and wrinkles; her hair is also more spiky in contrast to Yang's wavy style.
- Parental Abandonment: Raven abandoned Taiyang and Yang while she was still a very young child, driving Yang to search for her mother for much of her youth and saddling her with abandonment issues. Eventually, Yang finds Raven in Volume 5, but by that point the former is more concerned with finding and helping Ruby than dealing with her mother.
- Redemption Rejection: When Team RWBY encounters Raven in the Volume 5 episode "The More the Merrier", the latter declines Qrow's offer to hand over the Spring Maiden and help them fight against Salem, saying that the latter is unstoppable. Ruby also tries convincing Raven to join forces with the others, reasoning that they've done impossible feats by working together. But Raven simply tells Ruby that she reminds her of Summer, and has Cinder's team attack them. Outraged by this, Qrow quickly renounces Raven as his sister.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: Her red eyes are visible between the slits of her Cool Mask. Neo, who has no trouble thrashing Yang, takes just one look at her and flees the battlefield with a very shocked expression on her face.
- Secretly Selfish: While Raven initially appears to be a powerful Social Darwinist, her actions in Volume 5 show that she's quite a self-absorbed, pretentious jerkass who always puts herself above her family and the tribe's value. Raven is even willing to risk the lives of her own brother and Team RWBY to obtain the Relic of Knowledge in order to save her own skin. However, she fails to take into account that she'll be on Salem's hit-list.
- Shock and Awe: In keeping with her corvid motif, Raven has lightning powers. As the Spring Maiden, she favours proving her power by summoning storm winds and unleashing lightning. When she and Cinder fight over the Relic of Knowledge, she summons magical swords from a blue nimbus that crackles with electricity.
- The Social Darwinist: Qrow and Raven feel very differently about the tribe that raised them to a bandit lifestyle. He thinks they're killers and thieves and turned his back on them. However, Raven is now their leader because she believes that "the weak die, the strong live" as far as she's concerned. Even though she only rescued Yang once, she expects Yang to save herself. She even killed the previous Spring Maiden because of her perceived weakness.
- So Proud of You: She's never been around to raise Yang and is constantly chastised by Qrow for appearing to have no interest in her daughter's well-being. However, when Yang locates her tribe's base camp and fights through the bandits to reach her, she openly admits she's impressed with how strong and determined Yang was to find her.
- Strong and Skilled: She's a trained Huntress, the current host of the Spring Maiden's power, and far more experienced with her power than Cinder is with the power of the Fall Maiden. Throughout their showdown in "Downfall", Raven has the upper hand, and is only forced on the defensive when Cinder attempts to use her Grimm arm to drain her powers.
- Strong Family Resemblance: Raven and Yang have identical features - facial, body, height. The only difference is hair and eye color. Raven's hair is black and feathered while Yang has her father's blonde hair, hers is styled much longer and thicker than Raven's. Yang's purple eyes are mid-way in color between her mother's red eyes and father's blue eyes. However, Yang's eyes turn as red as Raven's whenever she's angry, making the similarities even more pronounced. This even extends to their personalities, with Taiyang noting that both Yang and Raven tend to solve their problems with brute force and aggression instead of thinking their way around the problem.
- Superpower Lottery: As a fully trained Huntress, she's had some of the most elite combat training in the world. Her Semblance allows her to teleport to anyone she has bonded with. She also possesses the ability to transform into a raven, giving her the opportunity to travel huge distances without being noticed. She also possesses the full magical powers of the Spring Maiden, giving her the ability to control and summon the elements, such as ice, wind, lightning and storm clouds. All of this gives her a range of abilities that exceeds most other characters on the show.
- Sword and Fist: Raven rounds out her advanced swordsmanship with use of heavy kicks, giving her a distinct advantage over otherwise equally skilled swordsmen. In "The More the Merrier", she sends Qrow flying off-screen with a single basic side-kick and in "Downfall" she dropkicks Cinder clean through house-sized boulders multiple times.
- Take a Third Option: She deeply mistrusts Ozpin, thinks he's fighting a war that cannot be won, and is luring people to their deaths with false information. However, she also knows how evil Salem is and that serving her only leads to death. By harbouring the Spring Maiden in her tribe, she knows that sooner or later, Ozpin and Salem will pursue them, and so has planned for that eventuality. When Salem's subordinates find her tribe first, Watts says that she will give them the Spring Maiden willingly or die. Raven's long-term plan produced a decoy Spring Maiden to hide the truth that Raven is the real one. When Salem's group present their either/or option, Raven demands they take on Ozpin's forces to kill Qrow in return for Raven handing over the Spring Maiden; while Salem and Ozpin's forces fight each other, Raven will use the chaos to steal the Relic and disappear off into the wilderness with her tribe.
- Tears of Remorse: At the end of volume 5, Yang makes Raven aware that power does not equal strength, exposing the latter as a powerful but cowardly person. She also points out that Raven's plans to steal the Relic of Knowledge would ensure that Salem will pursue her for the rest of her life. For this, Raven tearfully apologises to Yang and regretfully flees, leaving Yang to take both the relic and the future heat from Salem.
- Thicker Than Water: A subverted example. She considers the bandit tribe she was raised in to be her family more than her own estranged husband, daughter, and niece, something Qrow, her twin brother, calls her out on. She's willing to do anything to protect the safety of the Branwen Tribe, even offering Qrow, Ruby, and Yang to Salem's forces in exchange for having Salem leave the tribe alone.
- Thinking Up Portals: Raven's Semblance is the ability to create portals that allow her to quickly travel to and from people she's made a connection with. She creates glowing red portals with a slice of her sword and first uses one to appear and then depart from the train that Neo and Yang are fighting on. She rescues Yang from being killed by Neo while temporarily knocked out. She later uses a portal after having finished a conversation with Qrow about their family and what knowledge they each might have about recent events. Yang knows of three portal connections she has: one to Taiyang, one to Yang and one to Qrow.
- Treachery Is a Special Kind of Evil: Despite Raven running away from the fight against Salem, Qrow still had some degree faith in her and believed she would never betray them. It isn't until Raven sets Qrow and Team RWBY up to save her own skin that Qrow finally reaches his limit, telling Raven in no uncertain terms that she's crossed the line and disowning her.
- Villainous Rescue: During Yang's fight with Neo on the train in the episode "No Brakes", Yang is overpowered by the small assassin and is left at her mercy. When Yang is about to be killed by Neo's Coup de Grâce, Raven arrives via one of her portals and scares Neo off. According to Qrow this is a part of Raven's philosophy, she will protect someone she cares about just once, after that they are left to fend for themselves.
- Voluntary Shapeshifting: Raven reveals to Yang and Weiss that she and Qrow can transform into ravens, and then proceeds to demonstrate the transformation to prove it. When they ask how it's possible, she suggests they ask Qrow. What she does tell them is that it's a form of magic and that Professor Ozpin did it to them.
- We ARE Struggling Together: Her conversation with Qrow in "Family" indicates that she also opposes Salem, but isn't willing to risk her tribe's survival for it, much to the rest of the world's expense. She then reveals in "Lighting the Fire" that she used to trust Ozpin, but now warns Yang he is not the man everyone thinks he is, and mocks Qrow as a fool for still trusting Ozpin.
- Weather Manipulation: As Cinder mentions, Raven has Vernal very well conditioned: Vernal is implied to summon lightning to restore order in the bandit camp on Raven's command. When Cinder asks Vernal to prove she's the Spring Maiden, Vernal holds out her hands in concentration. Storm winds whip up from nowhere and the blue sky is suddenly eclipsed by black clouds. Cinder is convinced. It's only when Cinder later turns on Vernal, ruining their agreed plan by deciding to steal the Spring Maiden's power for herself, that Cinder discovers Vernal is a decoy — Raven is the Spring Maiden, and was therefore the person controlling the weather.
- Wild Card: Raven has been expecting Salem to take an interest in her whereabouts for a long time and therefore has planned for such an eventuality. When Cinder's faction and Watts show up to strong-arm Raven into supporting Salem's goals, Raven first negotiates herself into a better position before agreeing. Privately, she tells Vernal that they'll be stealing the Relic of Knowledge to avoid either Salem or Ozpin's side having it, which will ensure her own tribe is better protected by having such a powerful artifact in their possession. She told Cinder she would only help if they agreed to help her kill Qrow during the raid but later tells Vernal that her plan is to create chaos by having Salem's team fight Qrow's team while they steal the Relic and scatter the tribe; Raven hopes to protect the tribe from Salem if she has the Relic.
Voiced by: Amber Lee Connors [EN]
Debut: Unforeseen Complications*
Vernal is the most trusted commander of Raven's bandit tribe, being her confidante and number two. She fights with two bladed chakrams with firearms inside.
- Boyish Short Hair: Vernal has extremely short hair that gives her face a boyish look. She favours trousers over skirts, and carries herself with a rough, laddish attitude.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: When Weiss attempts to fight Vernal, Vernal's greater combat experience makes it impossible for Weiss to do anything than defend against Vernal's attacks. Vernal is a pragmatic fighter so she leaves Weiss no opportunity to activate her most powerful glyphs or to summon her knight.
- Dies Wide Open: Vernal uses the last of her strength to fire her weapon at Cinder, creating a distraction that allows Raven to win the fight. Upon discovering that Vernal has died with her eyes wide open, Raven gently closes Vernal's eyes before she leaves.
- Guns Akimbo: Vernal's weapon consists of a pair of bladed laser guns. The blades form a circle around the gun, and the weapon can be thrown like a chakram. She fights with both at the same time.
- Last Breath Bullet: After being fatally wounded by Cinder in an attempt to absorb the Spring Maiden power, Vernal uses the very last of her strength to fire her weapon, which distracts Cinder long enough for Raven to defeat her.
- Meaningful Name: Vernal's name is based on a word that refers to anything relating to the season of spring and is pretending to be the Spring Maiden to hide the identity of the real one, and chose her name for that purpose.
- Pragmatic Villain: She states the bandits don't really deal in human trafficking because it's not worth their time. When they accidentally pick up a Schnee, they change their minds because they can ransom her back to her very powerful father. This pragmatism also extends to her fight with Weiss during the battle of Haven; she constantly puts Weiss on the defensive and never gives her a chance to utilize her summons or more powerful Glyphs.
- Red Herring: Cinder insists on Vernal accompanying her to the Vault of the Spring Maiden so that she can use the Spring Maiden's powers to gain access to the Relic of Knowledge. As her tribal leader, Raven insists on going with her. Once in the vault, Cinder turns on them in an attempt to steal Vernal's Maiden powers for herself. She fails because she didn't realize that Vernal was a decoy for the real Spring Maiden — Raven.
- Refusal of the Call: When Team RNJR and Qrow arrive in Haven, Qrow and Leo discuss the fact that the Spring Maiden hasn't been heard from in over a decade. Initially eager to try and honor the burden of being the Spring Maiden, it proved too much for her. She rejected her role and went on the run, disappearing off their radar until Qrow discovered that she's been living with the Branwen Tribe. This is true with the previous Spring Maiden, whom Raven murdered after gaining her trust; meanwhile, Vernal, who was Raven's most trusted lieutenant and in on the scheme, made for the perfect decoy by using the last known facts of the Spring Maiden's whereabouts.
- Satellite Character: Vernal's role in the story is to serve Raven's orders as the Spring Maiden that everyone is after, while Raven acts as her protective tribal leader. Although Cinder notices that Raven has Vernal very well-conditioned to follow Raven's beliefs about putting the protection the Branwen Tribe before all other concerns, she doesn't realize the purpose of that conditioning: that Vernal is designed to be a decoy, deflecting attention from the real Spring Maiden.
- Shock and Awe: When Yang and Weiss defy Raven, her bandits take it upon themselves to retaliate. To prevent the campsite descending into mass chaos, a bolt of lightning streaks down from the cloudless sky stopping everyone in their tracks. The lightning strike is accompanied by a supernaturally-enhanced shout from Vernal. It's later revealed to have been a trick; Vernal does not have that power at all.
- Tattooed Crook: Vernal has a tattoo on her left arm of a phoenix rising from flowers towards the crescent moon. She's a member of the Branwen Tribe, which is a band of thieves and murderers that have been known to hit villages and then leave them vulnerable to subsequent Grimm attacks as a result of the negative energy their attacks create. When the tribe captures Weiss, she is thrilled to have the chance to ransom Weiss off to her father.
- Weather Manipulation: Comes with being a Maiden. When the bandit camp is about to descend into a fight with Yang and Weiss, a bolt of lightning from the sky stops everyone in their tracks. When Cinder later asks Vernal to prove she's the Spring Maiden, Vernal raises her hands in concentration. Storm winds suddenly whip up and black clouds gather in a previously blue sky. Vernal is a decoy; the real Spring Maiden is Raven, but the deception convinces Cinder that Vernal is the person she's after.
- You Got Spunk: When she confronts the caged Weiss, she's impressed that Weiss anticipates her ransom demand with mocking humour and responds to threats by threatening her back. She concludes that Weiss might fit in with the tribe.
Shay D. Mann
Voiced by: Clifford Chapin [EN]
Debut: Welcome to Haven*
A bandit of the Branwen tribe. When Yang comes looking for Ruby in Mistral, he approaches her, claiming he can help her in her search.
- All There in the Script: His name is never spoken in the actual show, just listed in the credits.
- Butt-Monkey: Nothing ever goes his way. His plan to lure Yang into a trap backfires when the latter effortlessly defeats the group of bandits ambushing her, and his revolver tends to jam when he needs it most.
- Punny Name: In his first two episodes he is credited as "Shady Man". After that, he's credited as "Shay D. Mann".
- Revolvers Are Just Better: Subverted. His weapon of choice is just a handgun with what looks like a hunter's knife built into the handle; nothing special, except maybe for the fact that the moment he puts it into action, it jams.
- Teeth Flying: After hitting on Yang, she punches him hard enough to knock out one of his teeth, which flies past his body in slow motion as she strikes. Every time he smiles or bares his teeth after that, the gap from the lost tooth is visible.
In a region of wilderness that even the Mistral patrols seldom venture into, exists a long-abandoned village that bears the scars of the tragic fates that befall many of the settlements that spring up outside the kingdom.
Li and An Ren
Voiced by: Kaiji Tang [EN], Yōji Ueda [JP] (Li), Dawn M. Bennett [EN], Azusa Tanaka [JP] (An)
The parents of Lie Ren. They made their first onscreen appearance in a flashback in the episode, "Kuroyuri". They both died during a Grimm attack on their village, which shares its name with the episode.
- Bow and Sword, in Accord: Li primarily fought with a bow, but he also had a dagger for close range that he gave to his son shortly before his death.
- Deceased Parents Are the Best: An is a gentle mother who thinks Ren has inherited her sass; when she tells him no, she takes the time to explain why, she trusts him with money to buy presents for his father, and seeks to reassure him during the attack even though she is herself quite frightened. Li teaches his son to always take action when it's necessary, and is willing to put his life on the line to protect his son.
- Dying Moment of Awesome: On Remnant, the likelihood of being killed by bandits or Grimm means that villagers can often go out in a blaze of glory. Li flees the collapsed home with Ren in his arms, despite being badly injured in the ribs. When he falls, the Nuckelavee catches up to them. He gives Ren his knife and tells Ren to run away. To buy Ren time, he drags himself back to his feet and, even though he's in agony every time he has to stretch his torso muscles to draw his bow, he keeps firing at the Nuckelavee until he runs out of arrows.
- Expy: Li Ren was explicitly modeled after Hanzo, complete with bow and arrow and similar facial features.
- Eye Scream: Subverted. After An's death, the scene cuts to Li running through the chaos in the village with Ren in his arms. In the time between these scenes, he received a scar that ran over his left eye but leaving the eye itself uncut. It is unknown how he got this scar.
The head of a farmstead in northern Anima known as Brunswick Farms. He and the rest of his community are dead by the time Team RWBY encounter the farmstead, but the diaries he leaves behind offers the group an insight into life on the farm, and the responsibilities he had as the person in charge of it.
- Evil Is Not a Toy: Bartleby tried to lock two Apathy in the sewers beneath the estate as an attempt to use their influence to force everyone in the farm to stay calm and avoid the bad feelings that attract Grimm. His plan was to minimise the expense of hiring Huntsmen because the farm was haemorrhaging money. What he doesn't realise is that, when he seals up the underground waterways he's trapped them in, the rest of the pack has already followed their missing members. Instead of two manageable Grimm, he locks the farmstead up with hordes of them, dooming the lives of everyone who lives there.
- Gone Horribly Right: Bartleby tried to bring back a pair of Apathy Grimm to help keep everyone calm so he could cut costs on Huntsman protection. He made the mistake of leaving it a night before sealing up the tunnels to trap the two Apathy underneath the farm. That gave the pack of the captured Grimm time to follow their missing members and join them underneath the farm. When Bartleby sealed up the waterways, he had no idea there was an entire horde inside the tunnels, more than enough to kill everyone on the farm — including himself. Maria summed it up perfectly:
- Too Dumb to Live: Though he acted with the best intentions, Bartleby's final scheme to help the town overcome its hardship only ended up wiping it out. When separating a pair of Grimm from their pack, he failed to consider that the rest of the pack might try to follow the pair. These specific type of Grimm had the ability to drain the will from a living being with their sheer presence, causing its victim to either waste away or be left open to being killed. When Bartleby put the pair of Grimm in his cellar, he didn't bother to immediately seal up the tunnels, instead leaving it until the following day. This gave the pack plenty of time in which to arrive at the farm and locate their missing members. Bartleby therefore sealed in an entire horde of Apathy Grimm rather than just two. The sheer level of power emanating from such a huge pack saps the energy from the entire farmstead, killing all of them in their sleep, even Bartleby.
- Zany Scheme: Bartleby's diaries reveal that he was an ambitious man who set up the farmstead to try and make a community that wasn't stifled by the kingdom's authority. Maintaining the farm required hard work and massive expense. As a result, he was constantly coming up with odd schemes to save money and make a success of the farm.
Voiced By: Bruce Carey [EN], Hiroki Yamada [JP]
Debut: Of Runaways and Stowaways*
The captain of the ship that Blake and Sun are sailing on in Volume 4. He and his crew are both experienced and very, very well armed - necessities when sailing across the Grimm-infested seas of Remnant.
- Badass Beard: The captain has a full and shaggy white beard and side-burns, and full moustaches. It initially helps make him seem grandfatherly when he first tries to bring the anti-social Blake out of her shell, but once the sea dragon attacks, it helps give him a no-nonsense air, portraying him as a grizzled veteran when compared to his young crew and the two young Huntsmen that are travelling on the ship. Although even he has never heard of a Grimm this big, he calmly issues instructions and swiftly devises a plan to defeat it. He not only easily splits his attention between the movements of the Grimm, the effectiveness of the ship's side-guns, the ship's main cannon and his crew's activities, but he also takes command of Blake and Sun. It's his orders they follow to slow down the Grimm enough for his ship to become effective. Turning his ship into a battering ram, he pins the dragon to a sea stack and blows the creature's head off with the main cannon. It saves Blake and Sun's lives in the process.
- The Captain: The highest-ranking officer on the ship, a skilled helmsman, calm under pressure, and a cunning tactician. He cares about his crew and his passengers, to the extent that he tries to talk to Blake when he realizes she's troubled and travelling alone. He's willing to give two young huntsmen a chance to help him protect his ship, and is very quick to direct Sun and Blake in what needs to be done so that he can finish off the Grimm.
- Chekhov's Gunman: He only physically appears in Volume 4, but in Volume 5, Blake mentions that she knows of a captain who can ferry a large number of Menagerie volunteers, bringing him to mind. Sure enough, a really large army of Faunus gathered by the Belladonas' efforts shows up as The Cavalry during the battle of Haven.
- Father Neptune: When the sea dragon Grimm attacks the ship, the crew are stunned, having never fought a Grimm that huge. The captain observes that no-one has ever fought such a large Grimm before, and then calmly, efficiently, takes full command of the situation. He instructs the crew on how to fight, he strategises the use of the ship-board side-guns and main cannon, as well as turning the ship into a battering ram. He also takes command of the Huntsmen on board, instructing Blake and Sun on what he needs them to do for his ship to become effective against the fast-moving, flight-capable monster. No-one questions his orders once he takes over, not even the anti-social Blake or mischief-making Sun, and it's his tactics that result in the defeat of the Grimm, rather than any plan the protagonists come up with.
- Nerves of Steel: The crew has never seen such a huge Grimm in all their time on the sea. The captain's response is to immediately take charge, rally the crew into performing their jobs, issue commands to both his crew and Huntsmen, when he realizes he has a couple on board. He can keep track of his ship, weapons, the coastline, two huntsmen and the Grimm to coordinate everything and destroy the Grimm with a killing blow. Not once does he lose his cool, or stop thinking and strategising.
- Nice Hat: A sweet naval officer's cap to round out the uniform and beard.
- Ramming Always Works: His solution to the sea dragon boils down to having Blake and Sun cripple and draw its attention so he can ram the ship into it at full speed, stopping it in place so the main gun can finish it off.
Voiced By: Christopher Guerrero [EN]
Debut: The Next Step*
A blacksmith who lives in a village on the continent of Anima. As payment for Ruby, Nora, Jaune and Ren saving the village from a Grimm, the blacksmith makes modifications to Jaune's weapons and armor.
- The Blacksmith: He is the blacksmith of the village that is saved from the Grimm by Ruby, Nora, Jaune and Ren. As payment for their services, he makes modifications to Jaune's weapons and armor. He creates a border for the shield and a motif at the bottom of the shield. The sword gains a gold line down the center of the now sharpened blade and intricate design work at the cross-guard. The armor is made from scratch and is white with gold banding to match the weapons. He comments that the metal the team provided with is extremely high quality. The metal came from Pyrrha and the motif that's been added to Jaune's shield is in the shape of her tiara.
- Foreshadowing: When Ruby tells the blacksmith they're heading to Shion village, the blacksmith warns them that they've lost contact with the village ever since the attack on Beacon, and warns the group things might not go smoothly for them. As soon as they arrive, Shion is in ruins after a bandit raid and subsequent Grimm attack.
- Little Bit Beastly: He has bull-like horns growing out of his forehead above his eyes, identifying him as a Faunus.