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The main villainous force that the protagonists have to deal with are lead by the enigmatic figure known as Salem. Possessing the power to control the Grimm, Salem also has human and Faunus followers that support her cause and enact her will. Salem is the mastermind behind the assault on Vale, which was successfully carried out by Cinder Fall and aided by Cinder's own subordinates.
For more information on Salem, please see RWBY: Salem
Salem's Inner Circle
Salem has several subordinates who carry out her will around the world. All have very different personalities, motivations and skillsets... and, while they all share the goal of furthering their leader's plans, that doesn't mean they always get along with each other.
- Not What I Signed on For: In Volume 8, Emerald, Mercury, and Hazel are horrified when they discover what Salem's true endgame is. They believed that she planned to simply Take Over the World, and are taken aback to discover from Ozpin that she actually plans to destroy Remnant outright; Emerald and Mercury are further horrified by the realization that Tyrian has known all along and actively supports it.
- Resignations Not Accepted: During Volume 6, Cinder's absence leaves Mercury and Emerald unsure of their place within Salem's group and experiencing doubts about staying with her. Tyrian overhears them and makes it clear that, once signed up with Salem's cause, there is no leaving it. He also makes it clear that if they do try and flee, he'll enjoy hunting them down.
- Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Cinder hates both Watts and Tyrian, as they regularly mock her; she gives as good as she gets. Watts considers her a failure for being defeated by Ruby during the Battle of Beacon while Tyrian mocks her lost eye. In Cinder's absence, Tyrian enjoys bullying and mocking Mercury and Emerald, who hate him back. When Cinder gives Salem the Relic of Knowledge, Tyrian snidely suggests that reveals more about Ironwood's intellect than her own; she snipes back that his and Watts' attack on Atlas ended with Watts' capture, which doesn't bother Tyrian. Although Hazel agrees with Watts' assessment of Ruby defeating Cinder, questioning how one of them could lose to a novice, he doesn't mock or insult others and tends to glare when Watts or Tyrian do so. After their defeat at Haven, Tyrian's attempts to mock and taunt Emerald and Mercury cause Hazel to tell the kids to ignore him.
Doctor Arthur Watts
Voiced by: Christopher Sabat [EN], Tōru Ōkawa [JP]
Debut: The Next Step*
One of Salem's associates. A disgraced doctor and scientist from Atlas, he is skilled at hacking, coding and cybernetics.
During fights, he relies on a revolver and a Hard Light shield.
- Admiring the Abomination: Seer Grimm are eerie jellyfish-like Grimm that move by floating through the air and can hover silently in one spot until they're needed. When Salem calls one into her hall, Emerald and Mercury shrink against the wall in terror to avoid it, and Salem instructs Cinder that she must not display anxiety in its presence. Watts, however, finds them absolutely fascinating, and has no problem with poking and prodding one to satisfy his curiosity.
- Arch-Enemy: Watts has a personal vendetta against Ironwood. Although he calls Ironwood by his first name, something Ironwood only allows friends to do, Watts is bitter that Pietro's project was chosen over his own; he feels as though Ironwood took him for granted and didn't give his genius the credit he feels he deserves. As a result, he's determined to get revenge against Ironwood by any means necessary. He therefore uses his skills to hack computers and Atlesian technology in Vale to turn Ironwood's army against Ironwood and Vale; he then hacks Mantle's security to discredit both Ironwood and Pietro's technology, setting in motion a series of events that leads to Ironwood unravelling from stress. Pietro's project was Penny, who is assigned the duty of protecting Mantle. By framing Penny for a massacre of Ironwood's political rival, Robyn, Watts turns Mantle against him; he then manipulates the election to ensure Jacques wins so that he can use Jacques to infiltrate the Atlesian security and make Ironwood's life a living hell. Ironically theyre both left to die in the end Volume 8 when Atlas falls.
- Awesome, but Impractical: His revolver may be tricked up with Dust rounds and has a large ammo capacity, but reloading it mid-fight is impractical enough that Watts has to count his shots while evading Ironwood.
- Badass Bookworm: He typically aids Salem's cause through his intelligence and hacking skills, but when pushed into a corner he is perfectly capable of putting up a hell of a fight against the heroes. Ironwood ultimately has to pull his arm through a force field that tears the skin off his arm in order to bring him down. When Cinder has him dangling off the edge of a building, he has the guts to dissect her flaws to explain exactly why having strength and power is useless without the intelligence and patience to use it wisely. She backs down instead of killing him.
- Be Careful What You Wish For: Since Volume 5, Watts has become exasperated by Cinder due to her egotistical entitlement to the Maiden powers and jeopardizing their faction's plans to take revenge on her enemies. When he finally puts his foot down and tells her to get her act together, it comes back to bite him hard. Watts breaks down Cinder's attitude with a detailed rant about how her repeated failures are her own fault because she relies too much on brute force over brainpower. Cinder takes this to heart, and using Jinn's final question, devises a plan to not only take back the Staff of Creation, but also kill off Watts. She pretends to be remorseful to trick him into helping her infiltrate the evacuation and take the Relic back from the heroes. Once she's finished using him, Cinder sets the military command center Watts was operating in on fire and leaves him to die as Atlas crashes into Mantle. Watts wanted Cinder to think her plans through, and in the end that's exactly what he got.
- Big "WHAT?!": When Watts fights Ironwood, Watts plans every move he makes and uses technology to his advantage as they battle. Although Watts clearly has a good understanding of Ironwood's personality, Ironwood's resolve takes him by surprise at one point in the fight. Watts exclaims "What?!" when Ironwood tears his arm free of the hard light ripping all the skin off in the process.
- Brains and Brawn: The Brains to Tyrian's Brawn. In Atlas, Dr. Watts uses his hacking expertise to support Tyrian's fieldwork and assassinations from the sidelines, whose speed and strength are only rivaled by Qrow.
- Brains Evil, Brawn Good: During his fight with the heroic General Ironwood, he compares his own brains to Ironwood's brawn and notes that they are evenly matched. Ironwood is clearly the superior fighter in straightforward combat, but Watts makes good use of his hacking skills to control the terrain of Amity Colosseum and keep pace with him.
- Break Her By Talking: Watts is unable to match Cinder's strength and power so, when she tries killing him, he doesn't even try to fight back physically. He instead angrily explains how she's her own worst enemy, and how her character flaws have led to her previous failures. She's left standing in stunned silence for several moments before releasing him, and sheds a single tear.
- Combat Pragmatist: Watts is aware that his mind is his best weapon and stacks the deck in his favor. In Volume 7, Ironwood tricks him into visiting Amity Arena and locks them down; Watts hacks the system and manipulates the environment to his advantage, repeatedly using the biome system to thwart his physically more capable opponent. When it looks like Watts is finally cornered, Ironwood drops his guard because Watts was counting bullets throughout the fight and knows Watts is out of bullets. Watts did that deliberately because the point was never the gun; he was hiding a Hard Light shield trap, which he uses to pin Ironwood by the arm. Ironwood has to sacrifice his arm to escape.
- Conducting the Carnage: While executing a complex feat of computer hacking in order to ensure Jacques Schnee's election to the council, and cover Tyrian's tracks for the murder of Robyn Hill's supporters by framing Penny for it, Watts waves his arms around like a musical conductor in a manner to show his control over the situation and his utter enjoyment of the bloodbath.
- Counting Bullets: Watts' revolver has twenty rounds in the cylinder with many different dust bullets. Since reloading on the fly would be impractical, Watts quietly keeps count to himself every time he fires a shot, planning his next move accordingly.
- The Cracker: The virus that hacks Vale's system to enable Cinder's mission during the first three volumes is designed by someone whose signature is a cursive 'W'. In Volume 5, when Leo is communicating with Watts, Watts' signature is the same cursive 'W', confirming that he's the Vale hacker. In Volume 7, Watts is walking through Mantle talking to Tyrian by earpiece and apparently paying no attention to anything that's happening in the city around him. However, as he travels, security systems start behaving in ways that benefit him: security cameras turn away or de-activate so that his presence on the streets isn't detected, and safety bollards rise in the road whenever he steps off the pavement, causing vehicles to crash into them, but allowing him to cross the road whenever he feels like it. Watts helped design the codes that control Mantle's security infrastructure. While Ironwood is paranoid enough to keep updating Atlesian security software and protocols, Mantle — as it always is — has been neglected and is still using the software and security protocols he helped design. As a result, it's easy for him to hack the Mantle infrastructure. Later, Watts helps Jacques into a seat on the Council in exchange for his log-in credentials, thereby granting him even more control, to the point where he can turn all of Amity Colosseum into a weapon against Ironwood. Ironwood himself coerces Watts into working for him so Penny can be brought back to his side, and the doctor eventually comes up with a way to shut her down remotely.
- Deadpan Snarker: Dr. Watts isn't above using condescending sarcasm to address others.Watts: A spitting image of you, this young lad [Whitley], Jacques; creepily so, if I might add.
- Defiant to the End: After Cinder decides to kill him in "Ultimatum", Watts just laughs at her and delivers an absolutely savage "The Reason You Suck" Speech. It's so effective that it causes Cinder to (temporarily) spare his life and begin to rethink her methods when going about her schemes. Even when she traps him to die later, he furiously attempts to escape until the end.
- Didn't See That Coming: Watts is very clever, but he can still be caught off guard. For one, he doesn't think of the true purpose behind the colosseum's remodeling until Ironwood publicly announces it was meant to become a communications tower. Then he decides to personally sabotage the structure upon hearing it's finished, not realizing the general has set a trap for him. Even after snaring him with a Hard Light shield, Watts turns his back on Ironwood, thereby being completely shocked when he pulls himself free and then scrapes him across the floor.
- Driven by Envy: Watts is a disgraced Atlesian scientist who blames Ironwood for what happened to him. When Pietro came up with the idea of creating Penny, a number of scientists were competing for project support. Ironwood chose Pietro's project over the others and Watts is furious that Ironwood didn't recognize his genius, calling Pietro a "fat imbecile". When forced to find a way to take control over Penny, Watts throws a few snide jabs at his former colleague more than once.
- Early-Bird Cameo: The earliest mention of Watts comes long before his formal introduction to the series, in the form of his distinct "W" signature. He is the creator of the program Cinder uses to control Vale's network, with his signature appearing in the bottom corner of her scroll whenever Cinder accesses systems.
- Entitled Bastard: As revealed in Volume 7, a significant portion of Watts' motives are because he felt General Ironwood took his genius for granted and denied him the respect and credit he felt was rightfully owed to him, despite him being a privileged elite Atlesian scientist who had everything he could have ever wanted. The final straw was when Pietro Polendina's project was chosen over his own; Watts, out of jealousy and spite, joined up with Salem and devoted himself to getting revenge on Ironwood by any means necessary.Watts: You never appreciated my genius, James. You just stood atop it and called yourself a giant!
Ironwood: I gave you everything you could have wanted!
Watts: You chose that fat imbecile over ME!!
- Establishing Character Moment: In Volume 4, he is introduced taunting Mercury and Emerald, and later suggests they thank Ruby for shutting Cinder up thanks to her loss of speech. When asked why he's being so malicious, he states it's because he can't stand failure.
- Evil Former Friend:
- His RWBY: Amity Arena profile reveals that Watts and Pietro Polendina were once friends. As Pietro's research gained more focus, Watts became increasingly jealous and ultimately joined Salem's faction. When battling Ironwood, Watts lays the blame at his feet for not "appreciating" his genius and choosing Pietro over him.
- He was also close to General Ironwood. He habitually calls the general "James", something Ironwood only lets close friends do. Watts personally feels betrayed by Ironwood for his own scientific endeavors seemingly being passed over in favor of Pietro's P.E.N.N.Y Project, which spurred his defection.
- Evil Genius: Out of Salem's associates, Watts appears to be the group's planner and manipulator; his programming expertise allows Cinder to plant a virus on the CCT computers in Vale that bear the signature "W" that he uses when communicating digitally with others. He admits that Seer Grimm fascinates him, and Salem puts him in charge of replacing Tyrian's broken tail. Raven calls him a "disgraced Atlesian scientist", a description he objects to because it misses the fact that he's "technically a doctor" as well. In Volume 7, he confirms he helped write the code for Mantle's security codes and, because Mantle's security is so outdated, he can easily hack the system remotely, ensuring his ability to walk openly on the streets without being electronically detected. A photo on Dr. Polendina's desk also shows a younger Arthur, implying he was part of the program that led to Penny's creation as well.
- Evil Is Petty: As revealed in Volume 7, his entire motive for joining with Salem is out of bitterness and jealousy that Ironwood chose Pietro's P.E.N.N.Y. project over his own work. Despite being an elite Atlesian scientist who was given everything he could have ever wanted, Watts was so outraged that he devoted himself to getting revenge on Ironwood for the perceived slight, going so far as to have several people murdered and frame Penny for the massacre purely to make him look bad. He also goes out of his way to mock and degrade Cinder to her face simply because he doesn't like her, and in his very first appearance in Volume 7, causes several traffic accidents and a full-on collision just so he doesn't have to break his stride as he walks down the street.
- Exact Words: In Volume 8's "Ultimatum", Cinder demands that Watts brings Penny to her, as she was told that he could control her. What Watts had actually said was that Penny was under control, by way of implanting a virus into the girl and giving her a directive to find the Vault, acquire the Relic, then self-terminate. He doesn't actually have any means of remote controlling Penny.
- Faking the Dead: While Raven was able to identify Dr. Watts as "a disgraced Atlesian scientist", the majority of Atlas and Mantle who know of Watts assume him to be dead, per his design. When Watts pays Jacques a surprise visit, Jacques is astonished because he's supposed to be dead. Watts mildly admits that's what he wants people to believe.
- Faux Affably Evil: Downplayed. He is generally polite and cordial with others, but often undercuts this with very biting remarks and sarcasm. Especially notable when he interacts with Lionheart. While his tone tends to be polite, there is an obvious atmosphere of menace he is trying to create just before having him talk with Salem. He also goes out of his way to taunt Cinder during this call, showing how thin his politeness really is.
- "Get Back Here!" Boss: Watts knows that in a straight up battle, Ironwood would be able to decimate him in no time at all. As such, much of their firefight happens while Watts runs from Ironwood, using the Amity Arena to give him an environmental advantage.
- Hack Your Enemy: Dr. Watts' programming skills cause no small amount of trouble for the protagonists. Cinder uses a virus he designed to steal information from Beacon Academy and take control of the Atlesian Knights stationed there. Later in Atlas, Watts manipulates the digital voting for Councillor position so Jacques Schnee can win, then once Jacques' authorization has been extended, shuts off the heating in Mantle to raise tension for a Grimm attack. He even takes control of Amity Coliseum to even the odds in his battle with Ironwood, but is still caught and locked up. The general decides with Pietro gone, he can force Watts to put his talents to use for his side; Watts has the Ace Ops steal one of Penny's blades and later installs a chip that takes control of Penny herself.
- Hand Cannon: While he prefers to work from the shadows, his weapon of choice when forced to fight is a revolver. Unlike Ironwood's more modern and utilitarian design, Watts' has a distinct Old West design along with an enlarged cylinder and lots of ornate gold trim. The cylinder carries 20 shots and leads to two barrels; Watts can therefore alternate between single and double shots when he pulls the trigger. The handle is also solid enough that he can use it for bludgeoning in a pinch.
- The Heavy: Acting under Salem's orders, Watts is the primary driving antagonist throughout Volume 7. He spends his time masterminding a plot to subvert Atlas from within and prepare the terrain for Salem's arrival; his malevolent intent makes him directly responsible for all problems affecting the heroes, with Tyrian following his orders and Jacques being used to give him access to Atlas's highly secure network.
- It's Personal: While he's acting on Salem's will in attacking Atlas with Tyrian, Dr. Watts has a personal grudge against General Ironwood that he's all too happy to act on while doing his job. Dr. Watts was one of Atlas's top scientists, one of the five General Ironwood commissioned to improve the military's technology. Watts resents Ironwood because he claims that the general never appreciated his work, but took the credit for it while also choosing Pietro's P.E.N.N.Y. project over his own genius.
- Jerkass to One: Watts is not a particularly nice person to begin with, and is noticeably condescending to Professor Lionheart, but he usually puts up a mask of politeness when interacting with others. He doesn't bother doing so with Cinder, who he openly despises and goes out of his way to verbally put down at every opportunity he can find. Of course, Cinder's feelings for Watts are mutual.
- Karmic Death: Countless people are dead thanks to his malicious hacking, schemes, viruses, and general pettiness. He joined forces with an Omnicidal Maniac to slam a floating continent to the ground just because he's butt-hurt that a colleague's project was chosen over his own, completely ignoring that his own project is far, far less effective at autonomous operation, and far more vastly vulnerable to being compromised by the enemy, in addition to being far less cost effective or versatile. So it's fitting that his final moments are being trapped in the computer control room of Atlas as the continent is crashing to the ground, with the room itself on fire, no way out, and if the fire didn't get him, the crash and resulting flood should, as unlike Cinder, he doesn't have Maiden Powers to protect him.
- Lean and Mean: Watts has a rather wiry and thin physique even by the show's standards. In addition to working with Salem, he is also rather unpleasant in general with how he mocks Cinder's injuries. He also shows clear relish in Lionheart's fear of Salem when he comes to him to set up a meeting.
- Lack of Empathy: Dr. Watts doesn't care for anyone other than himself. He snidely derides Cinder's injuries, doesn't so much as blink at Lionheart being strangled by Salem's Seer Grimm, and the only reason he objects to Raven wanting them to kill her own twin brother is because it could be too messy. Come Volume 7, the disgraced doctor has Tyrian turn Robyn Hill's party into a bloodbath while framing Penny in the process, the only reaction being satisfaction at the fear generated. He then shuts off the heating systems in all of Mantle which is pretty much a death sentence via either Grimm or the temperatures. Even after being captured, Watts sees dark clouds on the horizon, heralding Salem's coming with her Grimm army; after a brief moment of surprise, he gives a pleased look.Watts: [watching the aftermath of the party's killings] Fine work, Tyrian. I think we're done for tonight.
- Long-Range Fighter: Watts is at his deadliest from a distance. Throughout Mantle, he shoots down the suggestion of a stationary hideout and stays mobile so as to ensure he can't be caught while hacking into the system. His weapon is also a revolver that can chamber more rounds than most models, but seems to lack an alternate form for close combat. Ironwood tricks him into heading to Amity Coliseum so as to stop him, but Watts takes control of the biome system and fires at him from far away. His entire strategy revolves throughout the fight around keeping Ironwood a fair distance away from him while the doctor attacks him with Dust shots and the arena itself. He shows some capability in hand-to-hand combat, but every time Ironwood gets in close, Watts takes a beating.
- Manipulative Bastard: In addition to his skill at manipulating technology and coding, he's also skilled at manipulating people. When meeting with Jacques Schnee, Watts entices him with advice on how to win the upcoming council election and recoup his lost profits from Ironwood's embargo. Jacques later appears on a public broadcast informing the kingdom that he's forced to shut down his "non-essential" factories due to the embargo, while promising to restore them by opposing said embargo if he's elected councilman. The news incites riots throughout Mantle, spiking negativity at a time when tensions are already palpable. Watts rigs the election to ensure Jacques wins in return for login access to Jacques' account. He also frames Penny for a massacre he engineers with Tyrian's assistance. Jacques' elevation to the Atlas Council gives Watts full security access, enabling him to shut down Mantle's heating grid and lock Atlas out of its own network to prevent anyone from stopping him. This causes widespread rioting that triggers a full-scale Grimm invasion of Mantle.Jacques: I always knew you were a good scientist, Arthur... but I never knew you were such a good salesman.
- Minored in Ass-Kicking: Dr. Watts is an intellectual first and foremost; he can access his Aura, but never bothered to unlock his Semblance, considering it time he could spend on more scientific work. Still, he shows prowess in marksmanship and is at least not helpless in a physical battle. Upon Ironwood trapping him in the Amity Colosseum, Watts not only hacks control of the arena's biome system, but pulls out his revolver and exchanges shots with the general. Some even hit their target in all the chaos of the battle. The doctor also combines strategy and manipulation of the battlefield with surprising agility for his build to stay out of reach. And when they get up close and personal, Watts flips his pistol so he's holding the barrel and comes in swinging. However, he's clearly nowhere near as skilled a physical fighter as his colleagues in Salem's court or Ironwood.
- Morally Ambiguous Doctorate: He is referred to as a doctor, and was a disgraced scientist before joining the ultimate evil of Remnant as her technological expert (for instance, he was in charge of giving Tyrian his new tail). Even if he doesn't know the full extent of Salem's world-destroying plans (and he does seem to), he was crucial to the fall of Atlas, and Salem indicates he's an accomplice to the fall of Beacon too.
- Noodle Incident: Councilman Sleet expresses disbelief upon learning Watts is still alive. He mentions that Watts was supposed to have perished in something called the Paladin Incident years ago. There is no further elaboration on what happened.
- Not so Above It All: Watts is stiff and formal, does not tolerate failure and will not allow the possibility of Salem's plans being jeopardized. However, he is shown to have a somewhat immature, playful side as well. While reporting to Salem with Lionheart, Watts interrupts to poke and prod at the Seer Grimm - professing his fascination towards the creature that is currently serving as a means of communication to Salem - while taking a jab at Cinder and her injuries. When Raven sums up Cinder, Watts, Emerald and Mercury in a ridiculous manner, Watts concedes that her summation is spot-on but for the fact that Raven neglected to acknowledge that the former was a doctor as well as a scientist. While executing a complex feat of computer hacking in order to ensure Jacques Schnee's election to the council, and cover Tyrian's tracks for the murder of Robyn Hill's supporters by framing Penny for it, he waves his arms around like a musical conductor in a manner that suggests he takes enjoyment in it.
- O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Watts is generally calm, collected, and sarcastic, making it all the more shocking when he's not. In Volume 8, he loses all patience with Cinder's attitude and repeated failures, furiously tearing apart her motives with a "The Reason You Suck" Speech to the point that he all but screams in her face.
- Pragmatic Villainy: Watts is one of the most professional villains, rarely letting his emotions cloud his judgement. When Raven demands that they kill Qrow to obtain the Spring Maiden's aid in unlocking Haven's Vault, Watts opposes the idea because it ruins Salem's more efficient plan of sneaking undetected into the Vault just to give Cinder a shot at settling her score with Ruby. When the pair argue in Atlas, Cinder is furious that Watts' virus will destroy Penny after the Vault is opened and, with it, her chance to steal the power; Watts abrasively informs her that he doesn't work for her, and that her power lust isn't his concern.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: As Cinder prepares to drop him off a building to his death, he laughs in her face and delivers a scathing rant, systematically dismantling every decision she's made over the entire series and outlining how destructive her Revenge Before Reason and It's All About Me attitudes really are. This actually gets through to her, causing her to (temporarily) spare him and rethink her entire approach to achieving her goals.
- Revolvers Are Just Better: Volume 7 reveals he carries an Old-West style double-barreled revolver with 20 rounds and fire, lightning and ice Dust loaded for personal combat. He first uses it when in battle with General Ironwood.
- Right for the Wrong Reasons: Cinder's desire to make a deal with Raven leaves Watts concerned she'll jeopardise Salem's goal to steal the Relic of Knowledge just for the opportunity to get revenge on Ruby. Cinder actually forgoes seeking vengeance during the battle of Haven in favor of trying to steal the Spring Maiden's power for herself, but is blindsided by a gambit that Raven is also playing. The villains therefore lose both the Relic and Cinder, vindicating Watts' fear even though the situation didn't play out like he thought it would. He throws it in Cinder's face during their Volume 8 argument as one of several examples of her obsessions leading to half-baked plans that always backfire.
- Ring of Power: In Volume 7, Watts starts wearing rings on all his fingers. At the touch of a hidden button, Watts can discreetly run any programming command he's installed in them, and use them in combination. He can achieve effects such as creating Hard Light shields, disabling all nearby security cameras, remotely hacking media networks and a political rally to frame Penny for Tyrian's massacre, and gain control of a technological environment as large and complex as Amity Colosseum to use its biomes and arena. Extensive use wears them down and he later complains to Ironwood that it'll take a lot of painstaking work to rebuild them.
- Sharp-Dressed Man: Dr. Watts certainly makes an effort to appear sophisticated; his regular attire consists of a gray suit over a purple waistcoat and yellow shirt with tie. While in Mantle, he takes to wearing a stylish purple overcoat with fur lining the hood.
- The Sociopath: Although Watts listens to Salem, he is prideful, holds himself in high esteem and openly disdains his allies. He will manipulate, maim, frame and enable the murder of anyone to achieve his goals, and is particularly skilled at creating chaos through his aptitude for programming, security and engineering. He shows no remorse for the carnage and destruction he helps bring to Mantle and delights in hacking the heating grid to freeze Mantle's citizens to death. Even when he's arrested and imprisoned, he tells Ironwood he hopes that the general will sacrifice everything to fight Salem; even though it could mean the destruction of the entire kingdom, his reaction to the arrival of Salem is to smirk with pleasure.
- Teeth-Clenched Teamwork:
- While both he and Cinder work for Salem, it's painfully obvious that the two cannot stand each other as Watts goes out of his way to antagonize her every chance he gets. Cinder, for her part, is implied to give back as much as she gets. This is confirmed later on when negotiating with Raven Branwen for her cooperation with the retrieval of the Relic of Knowledge; Watts tries to negotiate peacefully, but Cinder uses not-so-subtle threats when Raven snarks back at them. When Raven proposes a counteroffer (she helps them get the Relic in exchange for the death of her brother, Qrow, in addition to them leaving her and her tribe to live in peace), Watts immediately points out the illogicality of it, but Cinder is too enticed by the possibility of getting revenge on Ruby for the loss of her eye. When Watts catches onto this, he roughly grabs Cinder by the wrist and tells her that he won't take the blame if the heist fails because of her single-mindedness; Cinder merely burns his hand with her Maiden powers, and tells him to go back to Salem and "tinker with his machines".
- Volume 8 sees him working with an old acquaintance, with neither side happy about it. Ironwood enlists Watts to find a way to take control of Penny, armed guards and the prospect of more "motivation" always around the fallen scientist. Watts for his part goes along with the abuse while subtly manipulating the situation to his favor; he succeeds in hacking Penny, but instead of returning to Atlas, she crashes in some part of the tundra. Watts claims he did what Ironwood had ordered him to do and that the girl may be rebooting, but snatches up a damaged Scroll James threw at him in frustration when no one's looking.
- Tempting Fate: Watts is very confident in both his command of technology and his ability to analyze and factor in the personalities and behaviors of the people he's dealing with. During his battle with Ironwood, he traps the general's arm in a Hard Light force-field. Smugly pointing out that Ironwood would have to flay the skin off his entire arm to escape it, Watts turns his back to investigate how best to sabotage Amity Tower. He is shocked when Ironwood promptly rips his arm out of the force-field with a declaration that he'll sacrifice anything to stop Salem.
- Underestimating Badassery: In his introductory scene, he taunts Cinder for failing to obtain the Relic of Choice at Beacon Academy. Although Salem points out where Cinder has been successful, Watts remains intolerant of her and never acknowledges her intelligence, even agreeing with Raven that Cinder is just an egomaniac. After Cinder decides to kill Watts in Volume 8, he lets rip with exactly what he thinks of her inability to chase her goals intelligently. She listens to his advice and they plot to achieve their goals together. Because he dismisses her intelligence, he never realises that she is only using him to obtain the two Relics in a way that sets up the deaths of everyone she wants dead... including him.
- Wicked Cultured: He's a former Atlesian scholar and the most well-dressed and eloquent of Salem's inner circle, and his revolver is adorned with ornate filigree.
- Wipe the Floor with You: When Watts is finally defeated, it is not without receiving injuries on both sides. Even with the skin ripped off his arm, Ironwood still manages to grab Watts by the collar and forcibly drag his face across the Amity Arena's floor before holding him over the edge. It leaves quite a nasty burn on the left side of his face; later in a cell, the burn has lessened in size, but is still noticeable.
For more information on Cinder Fall, please see RWBY: Cinder Fall
Voiced by: William Orendorff [EN], Akio Ōtsuka [JP]
Debut: The Next Step*
One of Salem's associates, and is someone who shares history with Ozpin. He is tasked with meeting the White Fang and ensuring that they correctly perform the role Salem has assigned them.
Hazel typically fights bare-handed or by augmenting himself with Dust, aided by his Semblance "Numbing Agent" which allows him to block out pain.
- Affably Evil: Always polite to people, even to his enemies (unless it's Ozpin). He genuinely regrets having to fight Nora and Ren, and he asks Oscar to forgive him before attacking him. He is also disgusted with Adam's cold murder of Sienna Khan, believing it to be pointless.
- And This Is for...: Hazel hates Ozpin so much that he's willing to assign every punch he throws to whatever wrong he blames on Ozpin. When Salem captures Oscar to learn how to use the Relic of Knowledge, Oscar refuses to cooperate, even after she tortures him with magic. She therefore allows Hazel to physically beat him; Hazel specifies his first punch is for Haven and everything else will be for his sister.
- Angsty Surviving Twin: His RWBY: Amity Arena bio identifies Gretchen as his twin sister, as opposed to a younger sibling. His grief over her death shapes his entire character, fueling his desire to destroy Ozpin at any cost.
- Anti-Villain: As Salem's least antagonistic enforcer, Hazel abhors Adam's unnecessary violence, is reluctant to fight Ren and Nora, and doesn't take pleasure in attacking Oscar. He justifies his actions as Ozpin's fault for monstrously putting children in harm's way, but tries to take the blame for Haven's failed mission to protect Cinder, Emerald and Mercury from Salem's wrath; he looks out for Emerald and Mercury's wellbeing from then on. When assigned to torture Oscar, the boy realizes that Hazel is holding back because it's Ozpin he hates, not Oscar. He is able to convince Hazel to ask the Relic for the truth about Salem, which triggers Hazel into turning on Salem and rescuing Oscar and Emerald.
- Attack Backfire: He attempts to fry Nora using lightning Dust. Unfortunately for him, Nora's Semblance allows her to absorb electricity and convert it into physical strength. He gets a hammer to the gut for his trouble.
- Bare-Handed Blade Block: Hazel's arms are so tough that he can block the blades of Ren's gun-blades and the sword blade of Qrow's sword-scythe using nothing but his bare arms. The blades don't even leave bruises. Ozpin later explains that, because of his Semblance, Hazel can block out pain and carry on with no visible damage due to his constantly-recharging Aura.
- Battle Strip: In a fit of rage, Hazel rips his coat into tatters with his bare hands upon learning that his hated enemy Ozpin had reincarnated into Oscar. This also frees up his arms enough for him to inject himself with raw electric Dust. When he turns on Salem and prepares to fight her, he discards his shirt altogether before putting even more Dust into his now bared shoulders.
- Beard of Evil: Most of the male villains are clean-shaven with the exception of Hazel, who sports a goatee-style chinstrap. Hazel is quiet and calm; he hates fighting and loathes unnecessary killing. However, he relentlessly carries out Salem's will to ensure the destruction of the Huntsman Academies and the theft of the four Relics the academies guard, no matter how many people might die in the process. He also blames Ozpin for his sister's death and sees him as an evil monster who sacrifices children, and will stop at nothing to ensure Ozpin is killed. Hazel therefore stands out among the villains for his personal connection to Ozpin, his conflict between his gentle nature and loyalty to Salem's murderous goals when not triggered, and the absolute insanity of his physically destructive rage when triggered.
- Beware the Quiet Ones: Hazel talks rarely and is one of the more noble members of Salem's group. But the mere sight of Ozpin is enough to drive him into an Unstoppable Rage at which point he'll think nothing of murdering a child just because Ozpin reincarnated into him.
- Boring, but Practical: He is a huge man with enormous physical strength and a Semblance that does nothing fancy, just blocks out pain. His fighting style is therefore simple: overwhelming brute force. When his 8-foot-and-muscular physique isn't enough, he stabs himself with Dust crystals for extra force and elemental effects on his punches. He uses his Semblance and rapidly-regenerating Aura to shrug off both enemy blows and the side effects of the Dust, allowing him to keep a fight going while opponents tire.
- The Brute: Physically, Hazel's the tallest character in the series at eight feet zero, which combines with his muscular build to make even tall characters look frail by comparison. Although Hazel appears calm, rational and pacifistic in most situations, he descends into a violent, unstoppable rage when in the presence of Ozpin, due to his undying hatred for the man he holds responsible for the death of his sister. Unlike most fighters in the setting, Hazel does not appear to use any weapons. Instead, thanks to a Semblance that allows him to feel no pain, he stabs Dust crystals into his arms to power him up beyond his physical limits. He then fights with his fists, empowered by the Dust crystals which give his fists elemental attacks, such as fire or lightning.
- Cold Ham: He hardly speaks, and when he does it's often overly matter-of-fact. However, his presence is very hard to ignore; his entrance during the battle of Haven, instantly draws everyone's attention when he loudly slams the doors shut with the announcement that the White Fang is preparing to blow up the school and no one can leave. When he becomes aware of the presence of Ozpin, whom Hazel believes to be responsible for his younger sister's death at Beacon, he starts shouting Ozpin's name with melodramatically elongated vowels, tossing out gratuitous death threats such as declaring his intention of killing Ozpin over and over again, and loudly insisting that Ozpin is evil and a monster.
- Covered in Scars: Hazel's arms are covered in scars, which seem to be connected to the way he uses Dust: injecting Dust directly into his body by stabbing raw crystals into his arms. He can only use Dust like this because his Semblance allows him to feel no pain. When Hazel rips his tunic to fight, his upper body is also covered in scars.
- Death Glare: After Leo informs him that Ozpin has reincarnated as Oscar he stares at Oscar for a few seconds, gritting his teeth and his eyes slowly becoming wider with rage before he screams Ozpin's name.
- Despair Event Horizon: Hazel only began to follow Salem after she thoroughly proved that it was completely impossible to stop her no matter what anyone tries to do to her. Part of his rage with Ozpin is that Ozpin keeps fighting this unkillable force and encouraging others to do so, something Hazel believes is just throwing lives away. During his interrogation of Ozpin, he admits that Salem gave him every opportunity to kill her to prove her Complete Immortality. He killed her over and over again, but the best he could manage was to delay her return by only a few hours. Once she had convinced him, she rebuilt and redirected his rage towards Ozpin by feeding him the vision of a world without kingdoms or Huntsman Academies. He concluded that Ozpin was the greater evil for using the Huntsman Academies to willfully throw away the lives of children against an unstoppable force of nature by encouraging them to keep fighting an unwinnable war rather than give in to the inevitability of her immortality like he did.
- Determinator: While all Huntsmen and Huntresses can recharge Aura once it's depleted, Hazel's recharge rate is something special. While his Semblance allows him to Feel No Pain and shrug off blows that would normally be crippling, he's still vulnerable to damage, whether it be getting thrown like a ragdoll and pummeled through the entrance of a building courtesy of Nora, or being impaled courtesy of Weiss' Queen Lancer summon. However, Hazel amazes the heroes by still being able to fight afterwards; Nora notes that the former can recharge his Aura faster than she's ever seen and Qrow comments that it seems to be sheer force of willpower. While Ozpin says that "all" they need to do is get him to his limit, it's something none of them achieve by the end of the encounter, despite Hazel being vastly outnumbered. When Salem came to recruit him Hazel, by his own words, killed her over and over until he couldn't lift his arms anymore. After everything, the longest she stayed dead was only a few hours.
- Establishing Character Moment: When Salem's cohort of subordinates is introduced in Volume 4, Hazel barely interacts with the other characters and therefore remains in the background. He later arrives at a train station just as Oscar does. Although Ozpin warns Oscar to be on his guard, Hazel isn't a threat to Oscar; he instead notices that Oscar is trying to obtain a train ticket and comes over to help force the machine to spit one out for him. He then advises Oscar to not let small things stand in his way before leaving. Subsequent appearances reveal him to be a man who loathes violence and killing; he tries to avoid needless death and tells his opponents that he has no wish to fight them. His establishing scene sets up his future confrontation with Oscar; his hatred of Ozpin is so great that he is willing to throw away all his beliefs just for the chance to kill him — even if means killing the innocent boy who currently and involuntarily hosts Ozpin.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Though he's perfectly willing to kill Oscar, a young boy, in order to kill Ozpin, he nonetheless asks Oscar to forgive him before attacking. Additionally, he also tells Ren and Nora that he doesnt wish to fight them, and was also disgusted with Adam for killing Sienna Khan in cold blood, insisting that nobody needed to die.
- Extremity Extremist: Hazel doesn't rely on a weapon for battle, he fights solely with his fists and arms. When he stabs Dust crystals into his arms to power up, his fists become capable of discharging lightning or fire with every blow.
- The Fatalist: According to his Amity Arena bio, Hazel believes that there is no point in fighting as a Huntsman since no matter what any of them do, nothing ever changes. The world is still filled with the Grimm and drowning in darkness, so why should they bother trying if nothing ever gets better? After Gretchen died during a training accident, he held Ozpin responsible for making her believe she could make a difference and convincing her to attend Beacon. So he swore he would force Ozpin to answer this question with his dying breath, no matter how many times he needs to kill him. When he first met Salem, he tried to kill her but could not due to her immortality. Once she had broken him, she gave him the vision of a world without kingdoms or Huntsman Academies. He later redirected his rage towards Ozpin, due to seeing him as the greater evil for using the Academies to throw away lives against an unstoppable force of nature.
- Feel No Pain: Ozpin informs Nora that Hazel's Semblance allows him to block out pain. This is a much better power than it looks like because it's supported by his strong Aura (meaning he doesn't have to worry about accumulating injuries) and it allows him to inject Dust directly into his body, which most people can't do because it's excruciatingly painful.
- Gender-Blender Name: While Hazel is a very common boy's name, it's more widely regarded as a female name. Hazel, however, is a real man's man who advises a child he briefly helps not to let small problems stand in their way; he solved the kid's problem with a ticket machine by punching it.
- Gentle Giant: Hazel is the biggest of Salem's inner circle and the least villainous (provided Ozpin isn't in the room). He doesn't insult or provoke Cinder like the rest, he is also rather courteous to Emerald, carrying her during their escape from Haven Academy and gently leading her out of the room when Salem's rage surfaces.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: Hazel's inner elbows are littered with scars, the result of stabbing Dust crystals directly into his arms during battle. The location of the scars and their method of creation are disturbingly similar to the track marks commonly seen with substance abuse. Even when fully clothed, Hazel's scars peek out from under his sleeves and add to his intimidating presence.
- Growing Muscles Sequence: Hazel is able to empower himself further by stabbing raw Dust crystals into his upper arms. His arms noticeably swell up with his veins becoming more pronounced, augmenting his already fearsome strength.
- Guttural Growler: Every time Hazel speaks, the tone is a low growl.
- HeelFace Turn: Salem assigns Hazel to torture Oscar and Ozpin into revealing the password for the Relic of Knowledge, knowing that Hazel will use it to take revenge on Ozpin for his sister's death. However, Oscar realizes that Hazel is holding back against him but likely won't if Ozpin takes control, something confirmed by Hazel when he tells Ozpin to give up the password to spare Oscar further pain. Oscar gives Hazel the password in a gesture of trust, telling him he can ask the Relic itself for the truth about Salem. When Hazel learns that Ozpin told him the truth about Salem, he turns on Salem and rescues both Oscar and Emerald from her in the process.
- Held Gaze: In Volume 8, Hazel and Emerald exchange a long look with each other. In the episode "Witch", he decides to fight Salem to give Emerald, Oscar, Yang, Jaune and Ren the chance to escape from Salem. Emerald is close to tears and shakes her head at him, but he simply gives her a tender, fatherly smile before urging her to run.
- Hypocrite: Due to his sister dying in a Beacon training mission, Hazel hates Ozpin and wants to destroy the Huntsman Academy system because he thinks Ozpin is a monster who kills children for a hopeless war. However, his willingness to harm children in Ozpin's name and help Salem destroy lives and civilisations results in Ozpin calling him out in Volume 8. When Hazel tries blaming Ozpin for his torturing of Oscar, Ozpin says he's not helping Salem make the world a better place, Oscar and the people of Remnant don't deserve what he's doing to them, and he's only thinking about himself.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: While distracted watching the White Fang's antics in Haven's courtyard, Hazel is stabbed through the abdomen from behind by the stinger of the Queen Lancer summoned by Weiss, which proceeds to violently drag him back into the room he had been in.
- Immunity Disability: He may be immune to pain thanks to his Semblance, but it doesn't stop him from taking damage, which Weiss and Nora take full advantage of to land critical blows.
- Ironic Echo: When Adam shocks Hazel by assassinating Sienna in front of him, he justifies not having told Hazel in advance by saying it's his business (Faunus), not Hazel's (human). During the battle of Haven, Adam's small stealth force is overwhelmed when the Menagerie Faunus army led by Blake and her parents shows up with the Mistral Police in tow. When Adam turns to Hazel and asks when they should do, Hazel merely tells him this is Adam's business, not his.
- It's Personal: Hazel is a calm individual who hates fighting and unnecessary killing. Except where Ozpin is concerned. Blaming Ozpin for the death of his little sister, who died during a Beacon Academy training mission, he is determined to see Ozpin destroyed. He knows that Ozpin cannot truly die, instead reincarnating into the body of a boy whenever his current host's body dies; regarding Ozpin as an evil monster who sacrifices the lives of children, Hazel vows to kill Ozpin over and over again — even if he has to kill children himself to achieve his aim.
- The Juggernaut: Hazel is an unstoppable mix of Super Toughness and sheer willpower who is one of the strongest non-magical beings in the entire world. Combine that with his Semblance to block out pain and you get a man who refuses to stay down no matter what the heroes throw at him. An entire flurry of strikes from Ozpin? Nope. A head-on blow from a Semblance empowered Nora? Minor annoyance. Getting impaled by an enormous stinger from Weiss' Queen Lancer summon? Still not enough. By the end of the battle at Haven, both Nora and Qrow voice their astonishment at how he's still going strong despite all the punishment he's taken.
- Knight Templar Big Brother: Although Hazel objected to his sister's application to Beacon Academy on the grounds that she was a child and was not ready, Ozpin accepted her application regardless. When she was killed on a training mission, Hazel held Ozpin personally responsible and has been determined to make him pay ever since. He considers Ozpin a monster for putting children onto the battlefield and believes Oscar is harboring 'evil' inside him. He insists that any children he harms to reach Ozpin, including Ozpin's current fourteen-year-old host Oscar, will be Ozpin's fault. Ozpin tells Oscar that Hazel is wounded in a way that cannot be healed.
- Knuckle Cracking: Although Hazel doesn't like fighting, he doesn't hesitate to engage when pushed into combat. Upon realising he will have to fight, he first cracks his neck and then his knuckles before entering the fray.
- Large Ham: While he is typically quiet and reserved, upon learning that he is in the same room as Ozpin, he starts screaming his name and loudly shouting accusations and death threats.
- Meaningful Name: His surname translates to 'strong judgement' in German. On the surface, Hazel is a man who seldom speaks, and strongly disapproves of unnecessary violence, as shown when he berates Adam for killing Sienna Khan instead letting Hazel take the diplomatic route. Underneath that, however, is a man who holds a very strong grudge against Ozpin for his sister dying during a training mission at Beacon Academy, which Hazel holds Ozpin responsible for. His grudge is so strong that he judges Ozpin as 'evil', and calls him a monster for allowing children to die fighting for him, even if their cause of death is from Hazel fighting them to get to Ozpin.
- Muscles Are Meaningful: His large, muscular frame lends itself well to his unarmed fighting style, being able to throw fully grown men like Qrow like they were ragdolls. Before realizing that Ozpin has reincarnated in Oscar he is briefly seen with fighting Nora and Ren, staying mostly stationary and on the defensive. After stabbing lightning dust into his arms he becomes much more aggressive and quick but is unable to keep up with the smaller and more nimble Oscar.
- Neck Lift: After Leo bumps into him at the end of his tumble down the stairs, Hazel lifts the professor up by his collar with one hand to reprimand him for letting a child (Oscar) make a fool of him.
- Never My Fault: Hazel blames Ozpin for his sister's death, refusing to believe Gretchen chose to become a Huntress and instead accusing Ozpin of manipulating her to death. He is therefore willing to murder Oscar simply for being Ozpin's new host, claiming that Oscar's death will be Ozpin's fault for dragging the boy into the war against Salem; this is despite Ozpin having no control over who becomes his host. Hazel is willing to kill the teenage heroes by blaming Ozpin for putting them in harm's way; he's willing to torture Oscar on Salem's command by blaming Ozpin for the boy's suffering; and he believes Ozpin is more evil than Salem because Ozpin encourages people to fight against an Invincible Villain who just wants a Huntsman-free world. Only when he finds out that Salem's really seeking the planet's destruction does he turn against her; even then, he never accepts fault for the things he's done to Ozpin.
- Noble Demon: Salem tries to teach Cinder to understand that killing isn't always the right thing to do, that making use of people should always be the first port of call. Hazel is very keen to carry out this philosophy; he doesn't go out of his way to antagonize strangers, as shown when he helps out a complete stranger (again, Oscar) obtain a train ticket. He also works very hard to appease Sienna Khan's mistrust of humans, calmly, politely and submissively insisting that he does not want any unnecessary killing and that he just wants to talk. When Adam kills Sienna to take command of the White Fang, Hazel is furious because he feels Adam has engaged in completely unnecessary violence that is in complete opposition to Hazel's attempts to carry out Salem's orders. Later on, when confronting the heroes at Haven Academy, he doesn't deride the heroes the way Cinder, Mercury, and Emerald do, simply barring the doors and stating that no one is entering or leaving before taking on Ren and Nora. He tolerates his fellow operatives and doesn't engage in the bickering that Watts, Cinder or Tyrian like to partake in; he even acknowledges Cinder as a part of their fold while seeming somewhat surprised that she was defeated by a seemingly inferior opponent such as Ruby Rose, and is reluctant to pin the blame for their failure at Haven entirely on her.
- Percussive Maintenance: Because Oscar doesn't have enough lien to buy a train ticket, Hazel slams his fist down onto the ticket machine, causing it to spit one out.
- Pet the Dog: In Volume 4, Hazel encounters Oscar, who's unable to get a train ticket due to insufficient funds. So, he helps Oscar get the ticket and continues on his journey. This is the scene that establishes him as a complicated character when it comes to children, and sets up both his hatred for Ozpin and the interactions he later has with Oscar and Emerald.
- The Quiet One: He doesn't engage in the bantering and mocking that Salem's other subordinates engage in. He only speaks when he has something specific to say, when directly addressed, or when confronted with Ozpin.
- Redemption Equals Death: Hazel becomes increasingly protective of Emerald, ultimately leading him to abandon Salem when he learns her true intentions. But when Salem corners Emerald and Oscar during their escape attempt, Hazel chooses to sacrifice his life to buy them a chance to escape. He literally holds Salem while setting them both on fire, keeping her restrained long enough for Oscar to unleash a Fantastical Nuke that vaporizes Salem, killing Hazel and the Grimm Whale in the process.
- Reluctant Warrior: When Hazel visits the White Fang, he is adamant that no-one needs to die and that he isn't there to fight. He makes it clear that he doesn't like needless death. When challenged to a fight, he states he has no desire to fight but he doesn't hesitate to do so in the face of determined opponents. The only time he'll take the initiative is when confronted with his hated enemy Ozpin, who he's all too eager to rip limb-from-limb.
- Required Secondary Powers: Ozpin blatantly says that his Feel No Pain Semblance is the only reason he can jam so much Dust into himself the way that he does.
- Revenge Before Reason: Hazel hates fighting and unnecessary killing, and believes that Ozpin is an evil monster who deliberately sacrifices the lives of children. He also objects to Adam deviating from Salem's plan to recruit Sienna when Adam uses the opportunity to murder her. However, he blames Ozpin for the death of his sister, which occurred during a Beacon Academy training mission; the moment he realizes Ozpin is present, he deviates from Salem's plan to destroy Haven and steal the Relic of Knowledge, decides killing the fourteen-year-old Oscar is acceptable because he's Ozpin's current host, and further decides to try and torture Nora to death via electrocution just so he can claim that Ozpin's responsible for two more child deaths.
- Revenge Myopia: He hates violence and killing, but works for Salem because he blames Ozpin for his sister's death and thinks Ozpin a monster who gets children killed for an unwinnable cause. Every time he hurts, kills or tortures someone, he blames Ozpin for his actions; when Ozpin challenges him in Volume 8 to explain how hating him justifies supporting someone as evil and murderous as Salem, Hazel explains it's because Salem shares his vision of a world with no Huntsman Academies. When he tried to kill Salem, she broke him with her Complete Immortality and redirected his anger towards Ozpin. Even when Ozpin reveals Salem's true end-game, Hazel won't believe him; Oscar has to offer him the Relic of Knowledge's last question to convince him.
- Secretly Selfish: When Ozpin asks Hazel if he knows why Salem recruited him, Hazel tells him exactly why he's following her. Ozpin points out that supporting someone as monstrous as Salem isn't acting in the name of justice, it's acting for himself because Salem made him believe that taking out his rage on Ozpin would help him. He then asks Hazel if it's helped.
- Shock and Awe: After Hazel injects yellow Dust crystals into his arms he gains yellow electric powers that enhance his already powerful strength. He can also fire bursts of electricity from a distance through his punches.
- Sleeves Are for Wimps: Despite Solitas being a frigid ice-continent that can freeze people to death in hours, Hazel changes his outfit to wear a sleeveless tunic even though most other characters change their outfits to something warmer than they were wearing before. This exposes his powerfully muscled and scarred arms, emphasizing through his physique that he's the power-fighter of Salem's subordinates.
- Super Toughness: While all characters with their aura unlocked have a degree of this due to aura acting as a personal force field, Hazel takes it further. During the battle at Haven, he blocks strikes from Ren and Qrow's weapons using his bare arms without a second thought and shrugs off a barrage of blows from Ozpin when Ozpin forcibly takes over Oscar's body. Even after enduring all of their attacks, he continues fighting with no sign of his aura beginning to weaken, though he does show signs of tiring.
- Tautological Templar: Hazel believes Ozpin is evil because he is encouraging people to fight Salem when he knows she's unkillable, and that his Huntsman Academies are just getting children like his sister killed for a cause that has no victory. Every time he takes a life, and attacks or tortures children, he blames Ozpin for it; Ozpin only reinforces this problem by agreeing that he deserves to be tortured. Only after Oscar convinces him that Ozpin is telling the truth about Salem planning to destroy the world does he decide to turn on Salem; even then, he still justifies his past behavior by telling Oscar to ensure "no more Gretchens" ever happen.
- Token Good Teammate: Downplayed. Salem's team of subordinates include Cinder and Dr. Watts, who are both arrogant sadists, and Tyrian who openly loves battle and killing people. Hazel, in comparison, is calm, restrained, shows the occasional moment of kindness and detests unnecessary conflict, violence or killing. While the other three treat Emerald and Mercury with either disregard, disdain, and/or malice, Hazel is almost protective of them as he repeatedly tries to shield them from Tyrian's jibes and Salem's wrath. He regards Ozpin as pure evil for accepting Hazel's sister into Beacon Academy and then sending her on a training mission that led to her death. That said, Cinder mentions he and Tyrian killed all the Huntsmen in Mistral, indicating he will murder when ordered to.
- Trapped in Villainy: Hazel hates Ozpin because he feels the Huntsman Academies are throwing away the lives of children. While Ozpin accepts Hazel's perception of him, he's baffled by Hazel's conclusion that opposing him means siding with the monstrous Salem. While torturing Ozpin for the password to the Relic of Knowledge, Hazel admits he did go after Salem first. She let him kill her repeatedly until he broke from the futility of fighting her. She redirected his rage at Ozpin, promising him a Huntsman-free world. Hazel's true problem with Ozpin is Ozpin's determination to encourage opposition to an Invincible Villain instead of accepting its futility; when he refuses to believe Ozpin's explanation that Salem's true end-game is planetary destruction, Oscar intervenes to give Hazel the password to the Relic of Knowledge in the hope that Hazel will use it to discover the truth for himself.
- Villain Has a Point: In the Volume 8 episode "Midnight", Hazel points out Ozpin has been sending children to die in his Secret War against Salem, which he knows is unwinnable. Ozpin accepts Hazel's statement by responding that someone has to try then starts telling Hazel what will happen if Salem brings together the four Relics before Salem intervenes.
- Voice of the Legion: After empowering himself by stabbing himself with electric Dust crystals, they alter his voice to become a menacing echo.
- Volcanic Veins: When he injects himself with Dust, he develops veins through his arms of the same colour as the Dust; the veins produce effects based on the Dust he's used. Lightning Dust makes his veins yellow, and they crackle with electricity. When he uses Fire Dust, the veins turn red and spark with flames.
- X-Ray Sparks: When he injects himself with Yellow Dust crystals, it augments his body with lighting, and anyone unfortunate enough to come into contact with it is in for a nasty shock. Two of those victims are Qrow and Nora, whose skeletons are briefly visible when being punched into the ceiling and headpalmed into the floor respectively. Unfortunately for Hazel, this has the effect of buffing Nora's semblance, and her skeleton is seen as she lifts his hand up and throws him to the floor.
- You Killed My Father: Hazel's younger sister Gretchen enlisted into Beacon Academy and tragically died during a training mission. Hazel holds Ozpin personally responsible for her death and has vowed to kill him over and over again, something that is possible because Ozpin is cursed to not die like other people; when his host's body dies, his soul, Aura and memories transfer to a new host.
- You Shall Not Pass!: In "Witch", Hazel demonstrates that he was in fact holding back when he fought Nora, Ren and Ozpin at Haven. After abandoning Salem's service, he resolves to get Emerald and Oscar to safety. Their escape attempt is discovered and Salem quickly subdues them all while unaware that Hazel has betrayed her. Hazel uses this opening to return the Long Memory to Oscar and then attacks Salem to give the children a chance to escape. Even knowing that she cannot die, Hazel uses multiple forms of Dust and sets himself on fire while holding on to the Witch in an effort to slow her down.
Voiced By: J.J. Castillo (Volume 2), Yuri Lowenthal (Volume 3 onwards) [EN], Hikaru Midorikawa [JP]
Debut: Black and White*
One of two subordinates to Cinder introduced in the Volume 1 stinger. Mercury is a laid-back man who frequently engages in friendly bickering with his partner Emerald. He fights primarily with his modified greaves named Talaria and has absolute confidence in his combat ability.
- Armed Legs: His weapon appears to be a pair of greaves that look and act like a dark version of Yang's gauntlets, complete with the ability to fire projectiles. They're also durable enough to withstand the full impact of Yatsuhashi's sword slam. It seems that the greaves function only to store the Dust he is carrying, and his prosthetic legs are his actual weapons.
- Artificial Limbs: His entire legs from the knee down are revealed to be cybernetic prosthetics. This makes him very sensitive to Pyrrha's magnetism Semblance, allowing the villains to exploit her abilities as part of their plan. He is also capable of withstanding Yang's Semblance-powered attacks, allowing him to pretend his legs are broken without being genuinely harmed. Both events allow Emerald to use her Semblance to frame Pyrrha, Yang, and — by extension — Ozpin (as their headmaster).
- Awesome by Analysis: His entire fight with Pyrrha is him simply testing her abilities as well as figuring out her Semblance. Once he gets the info he needs, he immediately quits.
- Badass Normal: Unlike most of the series' fighters, Mercury doesn't fight using his Semblance, because he no longer has one after his father stole it. He never went through the Huntsman Academies, but was instead trained by his father to be an assassin. This doesn't stop Mercury from being one of the best fighters in the series, keeping up with Huntsmen-quality fighters, even those who have Semblances that can significantly enhance their own abilities (such as Yang's).
- Because I'm Good At It: When Emerald wants to know Mercury's reasons for joining Cinder, he tells her "It made sense". He was raised his whole life to be an assassin and, right when he killed his father, Cinder showed up looking for that exact skill set. He claimed "it was just meant to be" and that he feels he's right where he belongs. Tyrian immediately deconstructs it by suggesting that what Mercury is really saying is that he's too afraid of leaving behind the cycle of pain and violence that he was raised into.
- Blood Knight: While he keeps calm and collected in combat, he seemed to find his match against Pyrrha amusing.Mercury: Learning is so much fun.
- Blow You Away: In the Volume 3 DVD Commentary, the production team refers to Mercury's bullets as wind dust projectiles.
- Break Him By Talking: Mercury says he joined Salem because it felt right, but Tyrian takes apart his flimsy reasoning and explains Mercury is just scared of leaving the only thing he's ever known, pain and violence.
- Brought Down to Badass: Having his Semblance taken away by Marcus hasn't slowed him down any, as he is still capable of going toe-to-toe with experienced fighters like Yang, Pyrrha, Yatsuhashi, and Coco.
- Brutal Honesty: In Volume 6, Emerald tells Mercury about how Cinder cares about her, but he bluntly says Cinder actually doesn't care about either of them. Emerald is momentarily shocked, then loses her temper and fights with him.
- The Chain of Harm: During their training sessions, Marcus brutalized Mercury and stole his Semblance. Mercury later killed him and allied with Salem, becoming particularly enthusiastic about fighting and causing destruction. Tyrian points out that Mercury only joined to perpetuate the cycle of abuse because he never learned anything else and is too afraid to leave it.
- Conveniently Timed Distraction: Not so much the timing as the length but, during the battle of Haven, he and Emerald are distracted by Weiss's summon for twenty seconds, giving Yang the time to run toward the relic's room without them noticing until it's too late. Mercury can also been seen standing ramrod-stiff in the background when Yang first sees Blake.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: In the doubles rounds of the Vytal Festival tournament, not only does he completely dominate Coco and Yatsuhashi on his own before forcefully separating both of them with Emerald's help, but he then goes on to relentlessly strike Yatsuhashi until the latter is pushed into an erupting geyser, at which point Mercury ends his part of the fight with a merciless dropkick.
- Dance Battler: He's a kick-fighter and his weapons are based around his shoes and ankles. His fighting style can make him look like he's break-dancing, involving lots of body rolling and spinning, to free his legs for attacking. He has been seen performing extremely difficult breaking moves like air flares to fire his weapons. He will even drop to the ground, spinning his body and legs to enable his weapons to fire in all direction. Additionally, it takes cues from Capoeira... which is the Martial Art of Dance Battlers.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Cinder and Emerald first meet Mercury just after he's killed the assassin they wanted to hire — Mercury's own father, Marcus. Mercury is tottering on heavily bandaged and bleeding legs which are later amputated and replaced by cybernetic limbs from the knee down. Upon witnessing a drunken Qrow fighting Winter, Mercury describes Qrow as smelling like his father after a long day, implying that his father was alcoholic. When Emerald asks Mercury why he signed up for Cinder's cause, he tells it that he felt that "it made sense". His resentful father raised him from birth to be an assassin, forcing him through a level of training that felt like he was being beaten every day. He was expected to become as strong and skilled as possible and to never rely on a Semblance. Regarding it as a crutch and a weakness, Marcus stole Mercury's Semblance as soon as Mercury unlocked it and went to his grave never having given it back. Thus, Mercury was forced to become as strong as everyone else without having a Semblance to help him.Mercury: I'm sorry you didn't have a mommy that loved you, but I had a father who hated me!
- Death from Above: He is very fond of taking flying leaps and bringing his right heel down on his enemies' faces. It's almost a signature move for him—he uses it twice in the doubles rounds, once on Yang, and unsuccessfully tries it on Amber. It even features in his Volume 2 opening scene.
- Deliberate Injury Gambit: Emerald uses her hallucination Semblance to make Yang see Mercury attacking her, fully expecting her to counterattack and break his leg on a live broadcast when the real Mercury was already down. Considering his legs are prosthetic, it wasn't that big of a sacrifice.
- De-power: Mercury was trained by his father, Marcus, to be an assassin, if training can be defined as brutalizing one's child on a daily basis'. As part of this, when Mercury finally activated his Semblance, his father used his own power to steal it, telling his son it was a crutch and he would receive it when he got strong. Unfortunately, even after killing Marcus, Mercury never got his Semblance back.
- Disappointed by the Motive: Has a mutual example with Emerald in The Lost, as he thinks her admiration of Cinder is misplaced and she in turn is incredulous in his lack of emotional investment.
- Early Installment Character-Design Difference: During his brief cameo in The Stinger of the Volume 1 finale, Mercury's design differs from the one seen in Volume 2 onwards in a number of ways. He lacks his fingerless gloves as well as the armor he wears on his arms. His hair is also significantly different, being purple instead of gray and styled differently in the front.
- Extremity Extremist: Mercury primarily attacks by kicking his opponents, using a deadly combination of taekwondo, capoeira and breakdancing. His fighting style is also enhanced by his metal, prosthetic legs and a pair of boots called Talaria which he uses to fire projectiles.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Salem's methods and plans are something Mercury and Emerald struggle to cope with; they're both horrified upon discovering the Grimm are endlessly generating from the Pools of Annihilation in the Domain of Darkness, they cringe in fear of Salem's Seer Grimm, and they're horrified when Salem begins transforming the Grimm into new forms in preparation for battling Atlas. While Mercury claims to Emerald he's right where he's supposed to be and is fine with helping Salem create a new world order, he's deeply unnerved by Salem's relationship with and use of the Grimm and becomes very unsettled when Tyrian confirms Emerald's claim that Salem wants to destroy the world instead of remake it.
- Evil Counterpart: To Yang Xiao Long. Like Yang, Mercury fights with Artificial Limbs that use Dust in battle, and has suffered a traumatic experience. Whereas Taiyang used compassionate wisdom to teach Yang how to fight smarter, use her Semblance as a last resort, and move beyond her pain, Marcus subjected Mercury to his abusive Training from Hell, trapping his son in a cycle of pain after permanently stealing his Semblance. Both are protectors; Yang for her sister, Ruby, and Mercury for his friend, Emerald.
- Fashionable Asymmetry: Towards his right side. The right side of his collar is folded while the left is popped, his hair is cut to hang lower on the right, and like Yang he has a cape (though in Yang's case it's a skirt) around his waist on the right side, bearing his sigil.
- For the Evulz: Discussed and deconstructed. When Cinder first asks Mercury to join her cause, he wants to know what's in it for him. Her answer isn't revealed, but his subsequent behavior shows he enjoys the work they do, such as being thrilled when Cinder orders him to record the Atlesian robotic army killing Vale citizens instead of protecting them against the invading Grimm. He will even ignore Cinder's orders to lay low to pursue violence: he threatens the secrecy of the villains' plans by assassinating a White Fang defector and taking a comic book from the bookstore as a momento; he also resurfaces after framing Yang for crippling him just to attack Ruby and reveal enough of Cinder's plan for Ruby to realise Pyrrha and Penny's tournament fight has been fixed, smiling while she collapses in tearful despair. When Emerald asks him to confirm why he joined Cinder's cause, he claims it feels right and that he's right where he's supposed to be. Tyrian overhears this and deconstructs him by observing that Mercury, who was raised by a violent, abusive father, is only involved with Cinder and Salem because he's too afraid to walk away from a life of pain and violence.
- Freudian Excuse: Mercury has one of the darkest backstories in the series, according to Word of God. His father, Marcus, was an abusive, alcoholic assassin who raised Mercury to be a killer by regularly brutalizing him under the pretense of training. When Mercury finally unlocked his Semblance, Marcus used his own to take it, telling Mercury it was a crutch that would make him weak and promising it back when he was strong. However, Mercury eventually killed his father in a fight, which was implied to have cost him his legs, but never regained his Semblance. Oddly enough, Mercury actually denies this has anything to do with why he joined Salem, claiming he works for her because he felt like it, though Tyrian suggests he's just too afraid to leave the cycle of abuse.
- Guys Smash, Girls Shoot: Mercury usually teams up with Emerald during fights, and faces opponents up close with fast and devastating kicks while Emerald targets them with her revolvers and hallucinations, setting Mercury up to ambush them.
- Hairstyle Inertia: Downplayed. Unlike Emerald and Cinder who have very obviously different hairstyles during the flashbacks in Beginning Of The End, Mercury's hair is almost exactly the same as his current look, just with a less spiky fringe.
- Hates Their Parent: He despised his father, Marcus, and has made it clear the hatred was mutual. Mercury was raised by Marcus to be an assassin, and was often brutalized by him. Eventually, Mercury killed Marcus for unknown reasons, but he makes it no secret that he loathed his father.Mercury: He never went easy on me! Every day of training was a beating. And when I unlocked my Semblance, he stole it with his! "This is a crutch!" "This makes you weak!" He told me I could have it back when I was strong. So I got strong, but I never got it back!
- Homing Projectile: Mercury can pull this off with the bullets in his greaves, guiding them around the battlefield by some unknown means. Twice he is seen crafting a miniature hailstorm of bullets before sending the whole thing at an enemy.
- I Let You Win: He explicitly throws his fight with Pyrrha, and it's heavily implied that he would have beaten Yang during the Vytal Festival had the plan not required his defeat (Yang's aura, as seen in the background, is just one percent above the knockout threshold).
- I Shall Taunt You: Though he doesn't talk much during battle, Mercury's cocky attitude and demeanor, alongside his mocking smirks during combat do their job at riling up his enemies.
- Implausible Hair Color: Mercury is strongly associated with silver, metallic, and grey color themes, and he has matching metallic grey hair and eyes.
- Jerkass: While in Vale, he casually jokes about murdering a White Fang defector in his own bookshop and ruining Yang's reputation by getting her arrested on live TV; his confrontation with Ruby during Penny and Pyrrha's tournament match only ends when he finds her collapsed on the ground in horror at the consequences of the fight; he smiles smugly and calmly departs, leaving her weeping with despair. When the full plan unfolds, he takes great pleasure in capturing the slaughter and destruction of Vale's citizens on camera. It's clear he takes great enjoyment in other people's pain and misery and doubles-down on what the villains did to Vale when confronting the heroes at Haven Academy months later: he mockingly suggests Yang apologize for being tricked into breaking his prosthetic leg and reacts to Jaune's tearful rant about what Cinder did to Pyrrha with a shit-eating grin.
- Jerkass Has a Point: In "Lost", he bluntly calls Emerald delusional for thinking Cinder cares about her. While he's unpleasant, it's true that Cinder has never displayed concern for anyone besides herself.
- Kick Them While They Are Down: After Mercury intentionally loses to Yang during the Vytal tournament, Emerald makes her hallucinate Mercury attacking again, prompting Yang to retaliate in self-defense, but appearing to the crowd as her randomly breaking the leg of her defeated opponent which enrages them.
- Know When to Fold 'Em: When Yang returns to the group with the Relic, revealing Cinder had failed, Mercury wisely decides that he, Emerald, and Hazel need to retreat whereas Emerald is too heartbroken to move.
- Laughably Evil: Mercury is prone to moments of snarking and overall goofy behavior whenever he's not involved in Cinder's plan or doing something he doesn't take seriously.
- He mocks and playfully flirts with Emerald when she gets them lost in Vale while on the way to murder a man.
- He has almost childlike glee after fighting Pyrrha to discover her Semblance.
- He sniffs a boot on one of the stands during the Vytal Festivalnote , which allows Emerald to claim he's too "socially awkward" for Team RWBY to be allowed to spend time hanging out with the undercover villains.
- Meaningful Name:
- His appearance is a mixture of greys and blacks to give the "silver" tones associated with the element mercury. His foot weapons and the winged helmet motif allude to the Roman god Mercury.
- Mercury, or at least Hermes (his original Greek counterpart), was also responsible for transporting people to the underworld and thus was associated with death. Mercury Black has the first on-screen murder in the entire series.
- Mercury's Wings: Rather fittingly, his updated design features little add-ons to his boots that resemble wings.
- Missing Mom: It's never exactly discussed what happened to his mom, as he never makes a mention of her.
- Misery Builds Character: Mercury rants to Emerald about the abuse he suffered from his father and how, as a result, he has had to work harder than anyone else to achieve his position in the world. Tyrian then deconstructs Mercury's stance by observing that, since abuse is all Mercury has ever known, he's only following Salem because he's too afraid to leave the familiarity of pain and suffering and forge a different life.
- Misery Poker: Emerald and Mercury fight over Emerald's belief that Cinder was the mother she never had after growing up without a family. Mercury retaliates that while she didn't have a mother, his own father abused him, and goes into detail about just how horrific it was.
- More Dakka: Seen twice, once to get the drop on Coco and Yatsuhashi and the other to land his final series of hits on Yang. With Yang, it's used to give her a Death of a Thousand Cuts pummeling that leaves her one point short of a loss.
- Not in This for Your Revolution: While all of Salem's minions have some kind of emotional investment in her plans, Mercury and Emerald do not. Emerald is there for her devotion to Cinder, and Mercury joined because he felt like it. However, Tyrian strongly suggests Mercury joined out of fear of leaving his life of violence.
- No Social Skills: Emerald jokes to Team RWBY that he lacks social graces when they see him sniffing a boot in the Volume 3 premiere. Given his childhood likely spent a lot of time in the wilderness training, he may genuinely lack them.
- Oh, Crap!: He reacts this way when he notices Salem about to lose her temper, and when he witnesses her mutate the beringels.
- Patricide: Mercury bluntly talks about how his father may have been an abusive alcoholic. He killed the bastard either way. Cinder actually wanted to recruit Marcus; when she witnesses how Mercury dispatches his old man, she recruits him instead.
- Pet the Dog: Despite Mercury's sadism, the fact that he genuinely cares for Emerald's wellbeing is established at the end of Volume 5; he doesn't simply flee the way Adam does, he's concerned by Emerald's breakdown and tries helping her escape Haven. That establishes a pattern of behaviour whereby he defends her against Tyrian, and tries making her realise Cinder doesn't care for her.
- Power Loss Makes You Strong: Marcus' reasoning for taking Mercury's Semblance. After Mercury unlocked it, Marcus used his own Semblance to steal it, explaining it was a crutch that would only make Mercury weak, but told him he could have it back when he got stronger. Eventually, Mercury killed Marcus but never got it back.
- Rank Up: In Volume 8, Mercury informs Cinder that he will no longer be taking orders from her and now works directly for Salem. When Salem gathers everyone before her, Mercury joins Salem's group rather than staying off to the side with Cinder's underlings.
- Sadist: Mercury enjoys hurting people and watching them suffer. He's entirely happy to taunt and terrify Ruby, and when he sees Ruby crying over Penny's destruction he has an immensely cruel and satisfied grin. Later, as Vale is being overrun by Grimm, he's recording the entire thing with another sadistic smile.
- Slasher Smile: Lets out a few of these when he's going to do something sadistic. Like when he's going to murder Tuskon, beating down Ruby, or filming the massacre at Vale.
- Smug Smiler: When he is tasked to take on a combat role, interfere with an enemy's activities, or murder someone for the cause, he tends to sport a small smirk and a cocky, playful attitude. It creates the sense that he feels comfortable and confident in lethal situations and enjoys fighting and killing; he knows how good he is at both and Cinder hired him precisely because of his ability to kill.
- Smug Snake: While he is a very competent fighter and most of his smugness is justified, he's not completely aware of where he stands on the totem pole, and occasionally underestimates his opponents. His attempt to intimidate Raven is met with scorn, and when he disarms Ruby and starts mocking her, she cuts him off with a headbutt to the face.
- Spiteful Spit: Upon meeting Mercury for the first time, Cinder asks for his father Marcus. Mercury spits before pointing to Marcus's dead body.
- Super Reflexes: Mercury is faster than he looks. His legs are capable of combating some very fast actions his opponents take. Volume 3 gives him several impressive feats, including a Flash Step across an arena to get behind Coco and Yatsuhashi, stopping Ruby when she's using her Semblance at top speed, and dodging lightning during his fight with Amber. Fitting for someone named after the Roman god who's often depicted as being incredibly fast.
- Training from Hell: His abusive father put him through it, his idea of training Mercury to be an assassin amounting to subjecting his son to brutal beatings on a daily basis. When Mercury unlocked his semblance, Marcus stole it with his own, telling him that Semblances were a crutch and that Mercury could get his back when he "earned" it. Mercury never did get his Semblance back, and as he tells Emerald, has had to work harder than anyone else to get where he is now.
- Trapped in Villainy: Tyrian believes that Mercury's boast about being fine with serving Salem because he's a trained assassin is hiding the fear of leaving the cycle of pain and violence his abusive father trapped him into. After Salem promotes him out of Cinder's group, Tyrian confirms to him and Emerald that Salem's true end-game is to destroy the world. Mercury is visibly hesitant, but is whisked away to Vacuo by Tyrian before he can discuss it further with Emerald; these leaves her free to defect, but not him.
- Villain Song: Mercury and Emerald share the song "I'm the One", played during their fight with Team CFVY. Mercury's part consists of him smack-talking his opponents about his combat skill and toughness.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With Emerald. He constantly annoys her by trying to come onto her and being relatively lazier, but he does give her a good chuckle every now and then. They are also quick to back each other up when they get into an argument with Roman and Mercury begs Emerald to get up when they leave Haven.
- Would Hit a Girl: Aside from going all-out on his female opponents, he also attacks an unarmed Ruby just to keep her from running away. He then kicks her in the stomach and shoots her phone out of her hand.
- You Have GOT to Be Kidding Me!: During the Battle of Haven Academy, Hazel, Emerald, Mercury, and Leo are fighting the heroes to a standstill, but when Leo is shot by Ruby and his Aura breaks, he flees in panic, leaving the other three to fight an uphill battle. Mercury is not amused and voices this trope in verbatim.
- Zipperiffic: Like many of the other characters, Mercury gets a much more complex design for Atlas, which includes numerous zippers. Each of his pant legs features a zipper directly on top of where Mercury's prosthetics attach, and there's even fan art playing off of how ridiculous it would look if they were unzipped.
Voiced by: Josh Grelle (Volumes 4-8) [EN], Yoku Shioya [JP]
Debut: The Next Step*
One of Salem's associates, he is initially assigned to hunt down the Spring Maiden until redirected to hunt down Ruby Rose instead.
Tyrian wields The Queen's Servants, a pair of wrist gauntlets adorned with a pair of machine guns and razor-sharp blades. His Semblance allows him to corrode Aura and bypass it to attack a foe directly.
- Animal Motifs: Scorpions. He sits in a manner similar to an arachnid, his wrist-blades resemble a scorpion's pincers, and his ponytail looks like a segmented scorpion's tail. Just like his actual tail, which is a scorpion's tail, complete with stinger.
- Arch-Enemy: Tyrian has continuously caused Qrow grief throughout their encounters. The first time they meet, the Faunus is gunning for Ruby and despite being chased off, still manages to poison Qrow and leave him near death. Much later in Atlas, Tyrian happily stabs Clover, a Huntsman whom Qrow considered a friend, In the Back with Qrow's own weapon, thereby framing him for the kill. At this point, Qrow furiously swears he'll kill Tyrian. Tyrian for his part simply says their score will have to be settled another time on account of him escaping the authorities.
- Arm Cannon: His wrist gauntlets have a pair of machine pistols mounted into each one.
- Armor-Piercing Attack: His Semblance appears to create an opening in someone's aura, bypassing it entirely and allowing him to attack a foe directly. However, this effect only seems to work if his hands actually touch the target's body; Tyrian channels his Semblance in both hands during his fight with Clover, but the latter blocks it with his fishing rod and shows no signs of his Aura being corrupted in the process.
- Arrow Catch: During his confrontation with Robyn, Tyrian is able to catch her crossbow bolts in a variety of different ways, such as between his two fingers when she fires one directly at his face. When fighting Robyn, Qrow and Clover together, Tyrian is able to effortlessly evade, deflect and catch almost all of her bolts. Robyn eventually uses this against him; when he catches one with his teeth, it turns out to be an explosive bolt, which detonates in his face, shattering his Aura and leaving him open for the final blow.
- Ax-Crazy: He's very eager to be given tasks that involve hunting down people. When Salem orders him to go after Ruby, he mocks Cinder by implying he'll take Ruby's eye, giggling madly at the thought. When Salem orders him to capture Ruby alive, he's visibly disappointed. When Jaune makes it clear the gang won't let Tyrian take Ruby without a fight, he smiles and says "good". When Salem reveals she's disappointed in his failure to complete his task, he goes berserk; he leaps on a Beowulf and begins slashing it repeatedly while laughing and crying at the same time. Cinder watches him unravel in open-mouthed horror. Winter directly calls him a homicidal maniac when recounting his backstory.Watts: You need to keep their attention on Mantle for as long as possible.
Tyrian: You want more chaos than a Grimm invasion?
Watts: If anyone on Remnant could deliver that, wouldn't it be you?
- Berserker Tears: After Salem tells him that he has disappointed her with his failure in his task, Tyrian breaks down sobbing. A nearby Beowolf is attracted to his despair and attacks. Tyrian lets out all of his frustration on the Grimm, jumping onto its chest and stabbing it repeatedly all while his sobbing turns into maniacal laughter.
- Beware My Stinger Tail: He sports a scorpion tail with a wicked stinger at the end. He can use the tail as an extra limb for fighting and blocking, but when he pins down Ruby, he attempts to strike with the stinger just as a scorpion would. The stinger gets cut off by Ruby during their fight in Oniyuri, though it is later replaced with a prosthetic stinger courtesy of Watts.
- Blade Below the Shoulder: Tyrian fights with a pair of blades strapped to both forearms, resembling scorpion claws.
- Blood Knight: While he primarily loves killing and maiming, the look on his face whenever he realizes he's faced with a challenge is pure glee. When Jaune tells him that his group will fight him to prevent him from taking Ruby, he emphatically states "Good!" and when Qrow shows up to rescue them before Ruby can be stabbed, Tyrian looks thrilled.
- Brains and Brawn: The Brawn to Dr. Watts' Brains. In Atlas, Dr. Watts uses his hacking expertise to support Tyrian's fieldwork and assassinations from the sidelines, whose speed and strength are only rivaled by Qrow.
- The Bully: When not relishing in the anticipation of violence, Tyrian enjoys toying with other's emotions and childishly mocking those who can't fight back. When Cinder returns badly wounded from Ruby's silver-eye powers, Tyrian repeatedly laughs at her and promises to take Ruby's eye out the same way Ruby's powers did to Cinder's, while pointing at his own eye for added mockery. When Hazel returns with Emerald and Mercury after the failed attack on Haven Academy, Tyrian immediately comments on Cinder's disappearance and laughs when Emerald begins to freeze up in anger before mockingly asking her if something happened to Cinder. When Emerald threatens to "cut off more than [Tyrian's] tail" in response, Tyrian immediately gets up in Emerald's face while warning her that Cinder isn't there protect her, scaring her until Mercury tells him to back off. He later spies on Emerald and Mercury while the latter is venting to her about his abusive upbringing and how it ties into his reasons for working with Salem, mocks his motives and assaults Mercury when he retaliates physically. He then tells them that they're in the wrong field if they aren't working for Salem because they want to and not for personal gain, but at the same time they can't leave Salem. He then tells, or rather begs them to do what makes them feel happy, while brandishing his new stinger at them in a manner that implies he'll be happy to hunt them down if they decide to leave.
- Character Tics: Tyrian tends to clasp his hands in front of his chest, squat on chairs instead of sitting properly, giggle with sadistic glee, balance on his tail, or wag his tongue. He will often do combinations at the same time, and it all contributes to the overall feeling that there's something "off" about him.
- Combat Pragmatist: Tyrian is extremely fast, acrobatic and talkative. He will hide his scorpion tail to catch new opponents by surprise with a "fifth limb", he'll mix up his behavior so his opponents are never sure if he's going to talk or strike; if an opponent tries pre-fight banter, Tyrian will attack them mid-sentence. When trapped in a three-way battle between himself, Qrow and Clover, he exploits his opponents emotions to help Qrow against Clover, setting up a grudge match that leads to Clover disarming Qrow, who in turn breaks his Aura; Tyrian then stabs Clover from behind with Qrow's dropped weapon.
- Combat Sadomasochist: Tyrian enjoys violence and bloodshed and is a brutal fighter. However, he not only enjoys hurting others, he also seems to enjoy hurting himself. When Ruby takes potshots at Tyrian with Crescent Rose during his battle with Qrow at Oniyuri, he blocks the bullets with his tail and grins blissfully as the bullets strike. When Emerald threatens him after he repeatedly mocks and laughs about Cinder's apparent death, Tyrian slowly advances towards Emerald and rubs his face along the curves of her blades while threatening her right back. While he does this, he disturbs Emerald by moaning as if enjoying the feeling of the blade cutting his skin. His fighting style is almost dance-like and involves him getting as uncomfortably close to his enemy as possible. He is willing to crash an airship he's travelling in, and has fun while doing so. He then escapes his bonds by dislocating his right thumb, quietly giggling all the while. Even when he grunts in obvious pain, it immediately turns into a pleasured sigh. He then crunches it right back where it belongs with equal joy.
- Crazy Sane: Tyrian's highly unstable mental state makes him equally disturbing to both villains and heroes, partly because of how perceptive it makes him; he's the only villain who understands Salem's true intentions. Salem's subordinates serve her because they believe she can help them achieve their personal desires, but Tyrian serves her because he wants destruction for its own sake; he gleefully informs a horrified Mercury that he views Salem as destruction incarnate precisely because her success will mean the planet's destruction. He is the only villain who isn't deluding himself into thinking Salem's mission is something that'll benefit them.Tyrian: If you couldn't see that from the start, you must be out of your mind.
- Curb-Stomp Battle:
- Tyrian makes short work of Team RNJR, taking no serious damage until Qrow shows up; they usually rely on powering up up Nora lightning Dust to end fights for them, but he even shrugs off her most powerful attacks with ease.
- A Beowulf made the mistake of thinking that his hysterical state has left him easy prey. Tyrian instead whips the Beowulf right across the room and spends the rest of the scene savagely slashing it to pieces.
- Dance Battler: He's elegant and light-footed when he fights. He's prone to including spinning kicks, somersaults, black flips, and bouncing off his opponents weapons. He doesn't simply look like he's fighting, he looks like he's breakdancing as well.
- Evil Is Hammy: He spends much of his dialogue belting out wild peals of laughter, and nearly all of his dialogue is laden with verbose Purple Prose and dramatic gestures. Combined with his extremely expressive face and movements, he dominates most scenes he's in and treats the battlefield like it's an arena for a stage performance.
- Faux Affably Evil: Tyrian adopts a poetic, theatrical manner of talking; he's engaging, conversational and uses flowery language with dramatic gesticulations of his arms. However, as poetic, friendly and polite as his words are, it's offset by a constant smirk and wild, staring eyes. When anticipating bloodshed, or taunting others, his odd speech patterns and eerie facial expressions are joined by lip licking and cackling laughter. When Qrow shows up to save Ruby, Tyrian's behavior becomes even more theatrical; he politely expresses dramatic awe, calling Qrow a true huntsman and bowing with a flourish. Moments later, he's not so much fighting Qrow as trying to rip him to shreds with his wrist blades, cackling madly the entire time and exulting at the opportunity to take down Qrow as well as capture Ruby. But the whole façade vanishes when Ruby cuts off his tail, with him belting out a livid "You bitch!" at her.
- Flash Step: His movements come off as this even to speedsters like Team RNJR. At one point he goes from in front of the whole group to directly behind Jaune, and only Ren, the fastest member of the team, responds in time to cover Jaune before he gets stabbed in the back.
- Giggling Villain: Every time he cracks a macabre joke or hears something gruesome that he likes the sound of, he starts giggling. When he hears what his assignment is, he breaks out giggling... until he realises he's got to bring his target back alive. That cools him off immediately.
- Hero Killer: Volume 5 reveals that he and Hazel, with Lionheart's aid, were able to isolate and pick off a large portion of Mistral's Huntsman population. Clover and Winter are very disturbed when Ruby reports seeing Tyrian in Mantle and ask her to confirm by showing her a picture they have. He has a record in Atlas and Mistral as a serial killer who has murdered multiple Huntsman and left a bloody trail of bodies across Anima. When his transport ship went down under mysterious circumstances, he was assumed dead until he showed just to murder the officer who had helped apprehend him. One of the reasons Ironwood has for keeping his plans secret from the population and Council is because the idea of a mass murderer being on the loose in Mantle will only create the kind of panic he's trying to avoid. In Volume 7, Tyrian is ambushed and captured by Qrow, Clover and Robyn; however, when Clover is sent a message to arrest Qrow, he takes advantage of the former allies turning on each other to kill Clover, frame Qrow for it, and escape from the authorities once again.
- Hidden Depths: He hides it well but Tyrian has a very sharp mind that allows him to very accurately observe his targets. Volume 6's commentary even calls him one of the smarter people on Salem's team, and his intelligence is most clearly seen when picking apart Mercury's reasons for serving Salem in "Lost".
- Horrifying the Horror: Cinder is nothing short of a murderous, spiteful, manipulative sociopath, and even then the sight of Tyrian butchering a Beowulf out of anguish over disappointing Salem is enough to terrify her.
- The Hyena: He's constantly laughing and giggling, even in situations where it'd normally be rather inappropriate, such as fighting or normal conversation. It helps to make his character even more unsettling.
- Implied Death Threat: When Emerald and Mercury debate whether or not they belong with Salem in the absence of Cinder, Tyrian reveals he's overheard their debate and suggests that if they're not doing what they love, they're in the wrong field. When Emerald asks if he's telling them to leave, he laughs and retorts that they can't. He then tells them he's "begging" them to do whatever makes them happy. He's filled with sinister glee and he points his scorpion stinger right at them as he says it. His message is clear: he relishes the opportunity to hunt them down if they do decide they want to leave.
- In Love with Your Carnage: An ex-serial killer turned Psycho Supporter and assassin, he fanatically worships Salem as his "goddess" specifically because she's a violent murderess bringing destruction and death to the Kingdoms of Remnant - and because she lets him do it, too. He's also the only subordinate aware that her real plan isn't to conquer Remnant, but to completely annihilate it - and he can't wait.
- It's Personal: Though the enmity between Qrow and Tyrian isn't as mutual on Tyrian's end as it is for Qrow, he does still acknowledge that they have a score to settle. He seems to treat his rivalry with Qrow with great glee, enthusiastically stating that he looks forward to their next rematch as he flees later in the episode.
- Know When to Fold 'Em:
- When Tyrian tries to kidnap Ruby, Qrow intervenes. Tyrian and Qrow fight so hard that both their Auras end up shattering before the fight is resolved. When it becomes clear to Tyrian that he cannot easily obtain Ruby, he chooses to flee the battlefield instead of fighting to the death. Ruby interferes in the fight which enables her to cut off Tyrian's scorpion tail while he and Qrow are distracted by each other after their Auras have shattered. Tyrian bugs out of the fight at that point as while Ruby and Qrow are weakened, the rest of RNJR are ready to tip the balance.
- After crashing in the tundras of Atlas, Tyrian decides to leave after impaling Clover on Harbinger, as Qrow's about to be taken in for the supposed murder of the Ace Operative and Tyrian takes joy in Qrow's psychological torment over Clover's death.
- Large Ham: He speaks in flowery phrases like he's peppering his speeches with poetry, and he gesticulates grandly as he speaks like he's an actor performing before a theatre audience. His words and actions are emphasised with exaggerated emotions, usually excitement and amusement, which is reinforced by his constant outbursts of insane laughter.
- Laughing Mad: During the meeting, he breaks out into uncontrollable fits of laughter every so often. Sometimes it occurs when he cracks a macabre joke or when he's given information or instructions that he likes the sound of. His laughter is manic and lasts entirely too long, until he's brought out of it or collapses as if weary from the laughing fit.
- Lecherous Licking: In "Menagerie", Tyrian startles the waitress that had previously been serving Qrow. Before interrogating her for information, he pauses to slide his tongue over his lips in a disturbing manner and laughs hysterically when the woman shrinks away from him.
- Like a God to Me: Tyrian was a Serial Killer in Mistral before he was caught by authorities. As they were transporting him to prison, they were attacked by Salem and the Grimm to rescue Tyrian and recruit him into her cause. Since then, he has worshiped Salem as his goddess and has done everything in her name. He has known from the beginning that she seeks the destruction of the world and not the new world order the rest of the villains believe. He thinks anyone can't immediately figure that out is insane. As he worships her as "destruction incarnate", he regards her plan as the definition of beauty and eagerly works to help her achieve it.
- Little Bit Beastly: He's a scorpion Faunus with a scorpion tail that his plait is designed to look like.
- Meaningful Name: His name refers to a kind of purple dye. When he and Qrow fight each other to a stalemate, they shatter each other's Aura, revealing that Tyrian's Aura is purple-toned. When he's about to strike Ruby with his scorpion tail, his normally golden eyes turn the same vivid shade of purple as the poison that is stored inside his scorpion stinger. A victim's blood will also become purple if this poison remains in their system for long enough.
- Milking the Giant Cow: Part of his hamminess can attributed to his liking of extravagant gesturing.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: The Volume 6 commentary points out that Tyrian is more cunning and observant than he seems, with his apparent lunacy hiding an ability to analyse, manipulate and destroy people psychologically. This is most clearly seen when he effortlessly picks apart Mercury's reasons for serving Salem in "Lost".
- Offhand Backhand: Uses his tail to casually bat Ruby's sniper shots away without even looking in her direction.
- Omnicidal Maniac: Tyrian is a psychotic Serial Killer with a love for death and chaos. He joined Salem after she rescued him from the authorities that were transporting him, enamored by the destruction she caused. It's revealed that he alone is aware of Salem's intentions to reunite the Relics to summon the Gods back to Remnant so that they will see humanity irrevocably divided, and destroy Remnant and all life on it, including Salem herself. Tyrian eagerly support's Salem's ambitions to destroy the world, praising her as "destruction incarnate", despite the fact that this would also result in his own death.
- Poison Is Corrosive: When his stinger is severed, it releases a purple ooze that instantly melts divots in the stone where it splashed.
- Practically Joker: Tyrian is a serial killer who is infamous for a string of murders across Mistral, who speaks in exaggerated, theatrical prose, and who has a purple Colour Motif that is represented in both his name and the purple poison that his scorpion tail produces. He loves killing and serves Salem as her assassin, kidnapper, and as an agent of chaos to distract enemies from Salem's real plans and goals. Unlike the other villains, he serves Salem because he worships the chaos and evil she represents and revels in spreading it to the world. The only time he disappoints her, he's so distraught that he lashes out at a Grimm, hacking while his tears turn to manic laughter as a horrified Cinder watches. Orders to hunt and kill make him grin with pleasure; enacting them makes him laugh with glee. He delights in making macabre jokes, such as telling Cinder to get 'an eye for an eye' against Ruby for her maimed eye. He tells Emerald and Mercury they're in the wrong job if they don't love Salem's violent, murderous work; he then begs them to flee Salem just to give him an excuse to hunt and kill them. When he commits a massacre on Atlas's election day, he thrills at the carnage and chaos he causes. When Watts's needs even greater chaos in Mantle than a Grimm invasion, it's Tyrian he turns to for help.
- Precision F-Strike: He dropped the strongest language in the series thus far when he called Ruby a bitch after she severed the stinger off his tail.
- Psycho Supporter: He's so utterly loyal and devoted to Salem that she only needs to express disappointment in his ability to carry out her orders to reduce him to a sobbing wreck on the floor. He then takes out his despair on a nearby Beowulf, slashing the Grimm over and over again until his sobs turn to maniacal laughter. His behaviour alarms even Cinder, who had previously enjoyed destroying Beacon Academy and killing hundreds of people.
- Psychopathic Manchild: Although he generally communicates in a verbose and melodramatic manner akin to an actor on a theatre stage, he has a very infantile emotional dependence on Salem. He regards her as a 'goddess' and is desperate to please her. When he fails to complete his task, he initially cowers fawning madly to himself that Salem will forgive him. When he reaches Salem, he crawls towards her, begging for forgiveness. When Salem gently, but coldly, tells him that he has disappointed her, he dissolves into sobs of despair that attract a Beowulf. Tyrian then takes out his despair on the Grimm, slashing it over and over until his sobs turn into maniacal laughter. Cinder witnesses his entire breakdown in open-mouthed horror.
- Purple Is Powerful: Tyrian is one of Salem's inner cohort of villains, initially tasked with hunting for the Spring Maiden but transferred to tracking down and kidnapping Ruby. He possesses the speed and strength required to be able to fight Qrow to a stalemate. His name refers to a shade of purple and when he and Qrow shatter each other's Aura, his Aura is purple-toned. The poison contained within his scorpion tail is also purple. When Ruby blows it off it bleeds a purple substance that burns through stone. When his poison infects Qrow, it slowly turns Qrow's blood purple.
- Purple Prose: Really enjoys using this when he talks, adding to his hammy and over-the-top persona, such as this line when he's fighting RNJR.Ruby: What do you want?
Tyrian: (gasps melodramatically) The rose has thorns! My little flower, I'm here to whisk you away with me!
- Scary Scorpions: He has a psychopathic interest in attacking people and the opportunity to kill reduces him to fits of laughter. He wears a long plait that takes the shape of a segmented scorpion tail and and he sits in a manner similar to a crouching arachnid. When he fights, he uses wrist-blades that resemble a scorpion's pincers. Underneath his duster, he hides a long scorpion tail that looks almost exactly like his plait and reveals that he is a scorpion Faunus. When striking with the stinger, his eyes turn the same deep purple as the poison that's contained inside the stinger.
- Serial Killer: Tyrian is one of Salem's primary assassins, sent to murder in her name and his own sadistic glee. He, along with Hazel, systematically killed off most of Mistral's professional Huntsmen to deprive Haven of protectors. His mission in Mantle is to murder protestors speaking out against Atlas and General Ironwood, framing Ironwood in Mantle's eyes. Per the general, he's killed at least three targets within a single week - and goes on to kill at least ten more victims in as many seconds at Robyn Hill's election rally. His Amity Arena bio and the information Winter's got on him reveals that he was captured for a string of murders in Mistral before getting picked up by Salem.
- Slashed Throat: When Salem reduces him to sobs of despair, he takes it out on a nearby Beowulf. He slashes the beowulf's chest and throat, and then again. He keeps going, slashing over and over again until his sobs turn to maniacal laughter.
- Slasher Smile: He does this a lot. He finds anything that's gruesome, malicious, or vindictive funny, and he loves being given assignments to hunt people down. It all produces a grin full of teeth that's far too big for his face.
- Speak Ill of the Dead: In "So That's How It Is", he openly mocks Cinder's apparent death to Emerald's face and laughs over it. Emerald immediately draws her weapons on him and threatens to "cut off more than his tail," which Tyrian just takes as a challenge. Of course, Cinder isn't actually dead, but Tyrian didn't know it at the time.
- Stealth Expert: Watts disabling security cameras in their vicinity helps, but Tyrian proves in Mantle that he is very good at going unnoticed when he's not being theatrical. During Robyn's preemptive celebration, all it takes is for the lights to go off, and he proceeds to cut down multiple people in seconds. This is despite there being eight Huntsmen and Penny in the warehouse; only two know the Faunus is there (Ruby, who caught a glimpse of him just before the massacre began, and Penny) and he still evades their sight. Even when he's right next to Robyn after wounding Fiona, neither of the two notice him; only Penny sees Tyrian, and that's because he wants her to push Robyn out the way.
- Talking Is a Free Action: Played with in Volume 4. When Qrow interrupts his attack on Team RNJR, they do manage to stop and talk for a bit, but Tyrian ultimately attacks before Qrow can finish talking.
- Technicolor Toxin: The poison from his stinger is a very bright purple that can burn cobblestones like an acid. When Tyrian uses it to envenomate his victims, their blood eventually starts turning purple as well.
- Three-Point Landing: During his battle with RNJR, he launches himself off of Nora's hammer into a building to get some distance from the team. When Ren demands to know who he is, he drops out of the building, theatrically flipping into a three-point landing before standing up and explaining why he's there.
- Thought They Knew Already: In Volume 8, he's surprised to discover that Emerald and Mercury genuinely had no idea what Salem's true endgame was, remarking that it should have been obvious from the second they met her. Emerald, Mercury, and Hazel all believed that Salem merely planned to conquer Remnant, only for Ozpin to clarify, and Tyrian to confirm, that she actually plans to destroy it outright.Tyrian: If you couldn't see that from the start, you must be out of your mind.
- Token Religious Teammate: Played With. He reveres Salem as a goddess, which initially comes across as him simply being fanatical. Considering she and Ozma were revered as gods for some time though, it's implied he really does see her as a goddess. He's the only one among her subordinates who does.
- Undying Loyalty: He regards Salem as a goddess and is willing to do absolutely anything to please her. When he fails to capture Ruby in Volume 4 and crawls back to Salem begging forgiveness, Salem only has to tell him she's disappointed for him to fall into hysterics. His loyalty to her is so strong, he's willing to crash the airship he's travelling in just so he can escape to continue serving her.Qrow: What are you doing?!Tyrian: The will of our goddess!
- Villain Has a Point: While he's psychotic, Tyrian is also extremely perceptive; he often sees the truth of a person or situation faster than others and revels in revealing uncomfortable facts. After the failed attack on Haven, he baits Emerald by mocking Cinder's absence to point out how precarious her situation is now that her only protector is gone. He unsettles Mercury when revealing that he knows Mercury's only playing at being a villain because his violent upbringing has left him too afraid to break the cycle of abuse.
- Villainous Breakdown: When Salem tells him that she is disappointed by his failure to capture Ruby, Tyrian collapses sobbing helplessly. A Beowulf tries to ambush him, thinking him easy prey, but Tyrian lashes out at the creature and sends it flying. He then leaps onto the fall Grimm and begins slashing at it over and over again while it struggles in vain to escape. As Tyrian slashes, his sobs begin to turn to maniacal laughter until he is crying and laughing at the same time. He doesn't stop even when the Grimm begins dissolving away into nothing. His breakdown is witnessed by Cinder, who watches it unfold in speechless horror.
- Wake-Up Call Boss: Deals a Curb-Stomp Battle to the gifted but inexperienced RNJR, demonstrating quite clearly that the threats they wish to confront are out of their league. More importantly, his ability to fight Qrow to a standstill illustrates that even the most powerful of the protagonists may not be up to the challenge.
- Would Hit a Girl: He's thrilled when Salem assigns him to hunt down Ruby and is visibly disappointed when Salem warns him that she wants her alive. When he fights Ruby's group with the intention of taking Ruby, he's thrilled that they decide to fight back against him and relishes the chance to strike her with his scorpion tail.
Initially recruited to help her carry out Salem's plans for Beacon Academy, Cinder continues to find uses for them even after they leave the Kingdom of Vale.
For more information on Emerald Sustrai, please see RWBY: The Heroes.
"Voiced" By: Unknown [in RWBY], Casey Lee Williams [in BlazBlue] [EN], Konomi Fujimura [JP]
Debut: Painting the Town...*
Neopolitan, born Trivia Vanille, is a petite young woman who accompanies Roman Torchwick, protecting and aiding both his and Cinder's criminal activities. Though Neo cannot speak, she's very expressive with her body language and Semblance.
She fights with a parasol named Hush that contains a retractable blade and a concealed rapier. Using her Semblance "Overactive Imagination", she can generate illusions that can shatter like glass when disrupted.
- Avenging the Villain: Roman's history of petty theft was the scourge of the Vale police department. It is why he was hired by Cinder as part of her efforts to carry out Salem's plan to destroy Beacon Academy. However, Roman's alliance with Cinder leads to his death during the Battle of Beacon, something Neo is very upset about. She returns in Volume 6, hunting down Cinder to kill her for getting Roman killed. Neo stands down when Cinder uses her Maiden powers, and Cinder insists that Ruby is the real enemy and that they should join forces against her.
- Audible Sharpness: The blade inside her parasol, which can be heard even after it's out of the sheath.
- Badass Adorable: She's really short (shorter even than Ruby and according to Monty's height chart is only 4'11'' in heels) and looks really young, yet she's able to utterly outperform Yang in speed and uses her maneuverability to make Yang's strength useless, all while wordlessly taunting her throughout their fight.
- Bare Your Midriff: Her tournament outfit includes a midriff-revealing blouse. This also extends to her new outfit in Volume 6.
- Beleaguered Assistant: Neo partners with Cinder in order to achieve their goals of stealing the Relic of Knowledge and killing Ruby. However, Neo is vastly more successful than Cinder but doesn't receive any thanks for her work, frustrating her. Cinder takes the credit for procuring the Relic from Neo, referring to her as an asset. Neo expresses her dismay and anger with this through her facial expressions and folding her arms, becoming increasingly uncomfortable the more she heard Cinder and Salem interact. Despite her muteness, her body language makes it clear that she doesn't like her association with Cinder.
- Breakout Villain: Neo was originally designed off of a genderbent cosplay of Roman and was just Roman's sidekick. However her design and the Curb-Stomp Battle she delivered to Yang quickly made her very popular in the fandom. After disappearing for several volumes she returned with a larger role in the story and appearing in BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle as the only character not on Team RWBY to appear, as well as being the protagonist of her own expanded universe novel.
- Characterisation Click Moment: Originally, Neo's only presence on screen was whatever Roman needed her to be. Aside from being someone who toyed with her opponents, dragged out battles and took her time going for the kill, Neo's role was mostly as background support to the main villains. In Volume 6, she comes back from an extended hiatus by ambushing Cinder and fighting her with her usual panache and style... only for the fight to change tone when her illusions disappear and she reveals her true form to Cinder: a solemn, lonely girl with torn clothing and wearing Roman's hat as a memorial to him. From that moment, her characterisation has solidified into something more jaded, with her showing increasing levels of impatience with Cinder. While her fights retain some of her mocking elements, she's now more efficient, doesn't waste time taking them down and is much more willing to use her blade in battle.
- Combat Stilettos: She's not the least bit hindered by her heels when battling Yang, adding to her graceful fighting style.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: Despite not looking at all the part, any encounter she engages in quickly becomes this in short order. Ruby and Yang, two exceptionally skilled fighters, cannot land a single hit on her and get beaten down and nearly killed by her with style, and this was likely the case with an entire airship full of trained soldiers as well, judging by the aftermath. The one time an opponent catches her by surprise (the equally enigmatic Raven Branwen, someone to be feared by principle of being a grown Huntress alone), she still blocks both strikes sent her way before promptly disappearing. It's telling that the fews fights where Neo has been on the back foot were against Cinder, one of the most powerful fighters on the show, and against Maria, whose age hasn't dulled her fighting capabilities and whose Semblance serves as a perfect counter to Neo's combat style by allowing Maria to counter her every move before she even makes it.
- Curb Stomp Cushion: While Neo does well against Cinder, it's very obvious that Cinder is holding back due to not wanting to use her Maiden powers in the enclosed environment of Malachite's bar. Once the fight is taken outside, Cinder quickly takes control of the fight and ends it in a draw.
- Curtains Match the Window: Her hair and eyes are multicoloured. The right side of her hair is pink with white streaks and the left side of her hair is brown. Her default eye colour is reversed: the left eye is pink and the right eye is brown. However, she can switch the colours of her eyes at will. Sometimes her eyes perfectly match her hair (left eye brown, right eye pink), sometimes both eyes are pink, or brown, or white. She can even turn her eyes green or purple. However, her default eye colour is always the pink/brown combination of her hair.
- Cute and Psycho: She showed an obvious glee as she was about to deliver a Coup de Grâce to a incapacitated Yang, and later right before she stomped another poor dude's face. She takes over one of Ironwood's airships with a casual glee despite the bodies lying around her.
- Cute Mute: She's said nothing in any of her appearances, stayed completely silent during her fight with Yang, and rare is the time when she might make a sound at all. The only time she's made any vocal sounds is a mocking giggle in Cross Tag Battle. This is lampshaded in Volume 6, when Cinder suggests that they talk, and Neo points to her mouth to remind her how one-sided that would be.
- Dance Battler: All of her moves have an elegant flow to them; so much so that she even manages to calmly take a seat mid-fight. This aspect of her personality seriously irritates Yang, which Neo takes full advantage. She made use of her umbrella's parasol in parrying Yang, using it to catch her off guard and open her up to incoming blows, which she delivered with a series of skilled and highly acrobatic use of kicks. This is enough to keep (a highly irritated and consequently slower) Yang from her ability to tap into her Semblance, and it ends with Neo knocking her out by throwing her onto the ceiling, all in a graceful and elegant way that screams finesse.
- Dark Action Girl: Torchwick's associate, she trashes Yang during their fight and came close to gleefully killing her.
- Determinator: She is hellbent on getting vengeance for Roman, no matter the cost. Neo crosses two continents, endures working with Cinder, steals the Relic of Knowledge twice, blackmails the Fall Maiden for a shot at revenge, and while falling through a seemingly endless void, she attacks Ruby with the intent to kill in a last-ditch attempt at accomplishing her goal.
- Distaff Counterpart: To Roman Torchwick. Inspired by cosplayersnote , her outfit is essentially a feminized version of his with softer colors (pink, brown and white vs. red, black and white), they both wield weaponized accessories associated with the gentry and they do so with a smirk on their faces.
- Dude, Where's My Respect?: Although Neo located and retrieved the Relic of Knowledge, Cinder blithely tells Salem that she was the one who stole the Relic. Unable to say anything because she's mute, Neo visibly expresses shock and then folds her arms in anger at Cinder's lie. Cinder eventually acknowledges Neo, but only as an "asset". Cinder's love of "collecting assets" amuses Salem, but leaves Neo emoting visible distress at being discussed as though she's only a tool.
- Edible Theme Naming: Like the ice cream flavor of the same namenote , Neo's appearance is a palette of clearly separated white (vanilla), pink (strawberry) and brown (chocolate). Her eye colours rotate through the same palette depending on her mood, defaulting to one brown eye, one pink eye, but flitting between combinations of the two colors, one or the other, and turning white when terrified. Although she has used other eye colors such as green or red, they only occur when she seems to be using her illusory abilities to create disguises.
- Elegant Gothic Lolita: During the Vytal Festival tournament, she disguises her appearance to take part in the televised fights. Her disguised form consists of black hair and green eyes, with a frilly black and white outfit reminiscent of Victorian dress.
- Enemy Mine: Neo pursues Cinder, blaming her for Torchwick's death. However, Cinder tells her Ruby's the one at fault and that she also resents her, prompting the two to team up to kill Ruby.
- Enigmatic Minion: Neo is a mute woman with exceptional combat skill; she works for Roman, to whom she is completely loyal. That is all that is known about her; why she's so loyal to Roman, why she's a better fighter than him, and what her back story is in general is completely unknown. As her Semblance appears to be related to the creation of illusions that shatter like glass when dispelled, even the nature of her ability to change eye colours is a mystery.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Roman's love for Neo was clearly reciprocated, if her heartbroken and vengeful reaction to his death is anything to go by.
- Every Proper Lady Should Curtsy: She gracefully does this to introduce herself to Team RWBY after shielding Torchwick from one of Yang's blows.
- Eye Color Change: During her second fight with Yang, her eyes change over a dozen times. Combinations include: both brown, heterochromatic (sometimes in line with her multicolored hair, sometimes opposite to her hair), to pure white when she flees in terror. During her first team fight in the Vytal tournament, her eyes initially appear green, before turning back to their usual set of colors as a cue to her identity. A similar thing happens in "Beginning of the End", except this time they appeared purple.
- Fanservice Pack: Her outfit at the end of Volume 6 has her materializing an outfit with a corset that also enhances her cleavage. The outfit also bares her shoulders and midriff.
- Flash Step: She's fast enough to seemingly teleport Roman and herself away to an awaiting escape ship.
- Freakiness Shame: A defied example. Trivia's parents were ashamed of her mismatched eyes, inability to speak and troublesome Semblance. They tried hard to instill this shame into Trivia, to force her to wear brown contact lens, not use her Semblance and learn to speak. When they couldn't succeed, they packed her off to finishing school hoping that would instill normality in her. Instead, it brings her into contact with Roman, the first person to accept her for who she really is, allowing her to embrace and fully accept her true self.
- Friendless Background: Roman was quite literally her first and only friend. Her parents kept her locked up and isolated from the world, and after being sent to Lady Browning's finishing school, she was friendless and bullied.
- Girlish Pigtails: She styles her hair like this while in disguise during the Vytal Festival tournament.
- Guys Smash, Girls Shoot: Inverted with her relationship with Roman, especially during their skirmish with Ruby. He prefers shooting fireworks, and when he attacks physically, he tends to augment it with candle shots. On the other hand, Neo is responsible for solely physical beatdown, not seeming to have any long-ranged capability anyway.
- Heartbroken Badass: She's still reeling from Roman's death by the time she reappears in Volume 6 and seeks vengeance on the people she holds responsible for his death. She first takes out her grief on Cinder until the latter convinces her to direct her hatred towards Ruby.
- Hyper-Competent Sidekick: Neo is an extremely competent side-kick no matter whom she's partnered with. While Roman is getting his ass kicked by Blake, Neo is destroying Yang and would have killed her if not for Raven's timely arrival. When Neo teams up with Cinder, Cinder fails to obtain the Winter Maiden's power but Neo successfully steals the Relic of Knowledge from the heroes.
- Imaginary Friend: With an overactive imagination and an under-stimulated family environment, Trivia eases her isolation and boredom with the help of "Neo", a mischievous pink-haired girl who regularly gets Trivia into trouble by encouraging her to break the rules. Her parents are deeply frustrated by this imaginary friend and keep trying to find ways of snapping Trivia out of having one. As Trivia grows and develops, she begins to understand that Neo is a manifestation of her Semblance. As her Semblance becomes more powerful, other people begin being able to see Neo as well. The illusion is eventually destroyed by her mother striking it when Trivia's Aura is depleted. Once the illusion shatters, Trivia is never able to recreate it; over time, she comes to understand that Neo is a part of her and manifests through her instead of as an illusion. This leads to the eventual development of her adult persona, which she feels is her true self.
- Know When to Fold 'Em:
- Towards the end of Volume 2, after Raven stops her from killing Yang, Neo takes one look at her and flees upon realising her identity.
- In Volume 6, she only stops fighting when she realizes that Cinder now possesses the full power of the Fall Maiden.
- Lady of War: She maneuvers herself in a graceful manner while fighting Yang and maintains a dignified air throughout the fight, even taking a moment to take a seat on a crate, complete with crossing her legs.
- Leitmotif: Most of her appearances are punctuated by the sound of a waterphone.
- Locked into Strangeness: On the pink half of her hair, there are three white streaks. Although the pink hair is dyed, the white stripes are an unconscious expression of her Semblance; RWBY: Roman Holiday makes it clear that she's not certain why they appeared, and doesn't know they're there until Roman points it out. When she updates her appearance for the Atlas Arc, the white stripes seem to have disappeared. They first appear after she is indirectly responsible for her parents deaths.
- Lonely Rich Kid: Her well-off parents kept her isolated throughout her childhood, embarrassed by her inability to speak. Roman was her first and dearest friend.
- Master of Disguise: Neo possesses the ability to alter her physical appearance, which can range from costume only to her actual physical body. Volume 3 shows her in disguise on three occasions and the process of her lifting the disguise is shown in "Heroes and Monsters". The means by which she alters her appearance is clearly supernatural, but it's implied it's her Semblance doing.
- Master of Illusion: Unlike Emerald who creates hallucinations that are only visible to her targets, Neo creates something akin to mirages/holograms that are visible to everyone but are not physically real. While she can use this to disguise her physical appearance, such as hair color and clothing, she can also uses it during combat. The illusion can hide her true location meaning that shattering the illusion only for Neo to become visible in a completely different location can make it look like she's teleported. Neo can use this misdirection to confuse opponents as to her exact location or to escape attacks. By creating a mirror image of herself and Roman, she creates a decoy that allows them to escape from Team RWBY in Volume 2; the image only vanishes when Yang tries to hit her, shattering the illusion like glass. Neo repeats this tactic again during her Volume 3 battle with Ruby atop the airship. In Volume 6, she reveals that she can disguise a Mistral airship as a much smaller Atlesian one.
- Misplaced Retribution: In Volume 6, Neo plots to avenge Roman's death. Although she initially targets Roman's superior, Cinder, she convinces Neo Ruby's responsible so she can circumvent Salem's ban on killing Ruby by getting Neo to do it on her behalf. Unknown to Neo, Roman actually killed himself by ranting negatively while surrounded by human-killing Grimm that are attracted to negative emotions.
- Nonchalant Dodge: During her fight with Yang, Neo easily dodges most of Yang's blows. She fights, dodges and parries by using body language that is designed to mock the easily-angered Yang. When Yang attempts to punch Neo, Neo backflips away from the strike and lands in a sitting position on some cargo boxes, twirling her parasol with a cocky smile.
- Older Than They Look: Neo is 4'10" tall in heels, making her one of the shortest characters in the show. Although she is in her early twenties, she is around Oscar's height, making it appear as though she's closer to him in age rather than being an adult. In RWBY: Roman Holiday, her height does make people assume she's younger than she is, including Roman; the first time they meet, he doesn't realize how old she is until he can get a good look at her.
- Parasol of Pain: One that is strong enough to block Yang's powered-up shots and she uses it to great effect in her fighting style.
- Parasol Parachute: Ruby forces her into one during their battle to take her out of the fight.
- Quizzical Tilt: She does this in the middle of her fight with Yang, though she's obviously doing it to taunt her opponent rather than express confusion.
- The Reliable One: Neo is extremely capable and effective; Roman relies on her to bail him out of tricky situations and Cinder relies on her as a getaway driver in Volume 3. In the Atlas Arc, she acts as Cinder's back-up and successfully steals the Relic of Knowledge for her. In Roman Holiday, Roman can count on Neo to adapt to anything he needs; she even learns technical skills on the fly to rescue him from Lil' Miss Malachite.
- Sadist: There are hints of it during her fight against Yang, which she attempts to finish her off with a Slasher Smile, and she sports one again when she stomps on the head of an already defeated opponent.
- Self-Made Orphan: Trivia did not have a good relationship with her parents. After her parents sell Roman out and try to imprison her again, Neo escapes and tricks the Spiders into blowing up the mansion. She planned to kill her father by trapping him with the Dust cache he'd been hiding in her bedroom most of her life...but she accepts her mother's likely death as a consequence of earning her freedom.
- Shapeshifter Guilt Trip: Though normally Neo isn't disguised for battle, if she's caught in a disguise she'll use it to her advantage. While disguised as Nora, Ren has lunged at her for the next attack. Neo completes the Nora appearance and looks up at Ren with such fear and sadness it robs Ren of his will to attack, letting Neo slip past him and make her escape with the Relic of Knowledge.
- Shapeshifting Trickster: Neo enjoys messing with her opponents if she's allowed to, and silently taunts them for her own amusement. Her Semblance also enables Neo to alter her appearance and mimic others.
- Ship Tease: Roman Holiday is full of this for Roman and Neo. The book covers how they met, how they saved each other, became partners in crime, and gives them romantic teasing that ultimately ends with Neo giving Roman a kiss on the cheek that makes him blush.
- The Silent Bob: She is mute but pretty expressive in her facial expressions and gestures.
- Silent Snarker: Even while silent, her body language and facial expressions show how much she's taunting Yang in their fight, and she snarks often in her text messages to others. When Cinder suggest they "talk" about how to kill Ruby and company, Neo's only response is to point a single finger at her mouth.
- Slasher Smile: Pulls off one◊ while about to deliver the finishing blow to Yang in "No Brakes", and again in "Round One" before stomping her opponent's head into the ground.
- Smug Smiler: Neo fights using her body language to tease her opponents. While dueling with Yang, she taunts Yang with a mocking smile whenever Yang fails to hit her or fails to damage her when she does hit. During the fight with Ruby, Neo smiles whenever she gets the advantage, and especially when Ruby is hanging off the side of the airship by one hand. While it doesn't bait Ruby, it does successfully bait Yang. During her fight with Cinder, she often taunts Cinder with a mocking smile whenever Cinder fails to land a proper blow on her. Like Ruby, Cinder isn't easily baited.
- The Speechless: Neo was born mute at birth. She can vocalize effort sounds in combat and giggle, but she is unable to actually speak. When Cinder tries to make a deal with her in Volume 6 and asks for her response, Neo points to her throat in exasperation to remind Cinder that she cannot verbally respond.
- Spell My Name with an S: Almost all official material spells Neo's name as "Neopolitan", including Chibi, Combat Ready, Monty Oum's facebook page and the 2019 Companion book. However, both RWBY: Amity Arena and BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle have it spelled "Neo Politan" based on the references files Amity received.
- Spirited Young Lady: Trivia is the only child of a prominent city manager who works for the Vale City Council. Born into wealth, she kept isolated and hidden away from society because of her perceived imperfections. Determined to be her own person, she constantly rebels against her controlling parents, sneaking out to go shoplifting to spice up her life. It's only after she meets Roman that she's able to identify who she is and wants to be, which helps her break free of her parents for good.
- Stealth Pun: Neo isn't just short, she's pint-sized. Ice cream often comes in pint containers.
- Super Reflexes: As much as or greater than Roman. When fighting Ruby, she flawlessly dodges every single attack thrown at her and disarms Ruby as though it's nothing. She can perform multiple flips and kicks in a single jump and land them all exactly on target, all while avoiding the massive spinning scythe headed her way.
- Sword Cane: She has a sword hidden inside her parasol. She doesn't use it in fights, only to finish off downed opponents.
- Sword Drag: In "Heroes and Monsters", she does this on top of the airship, preparing to kill Ruby.
- Technicolor Eyes: She often displays heterochromia, with one eye being pink and the other brown. However, her eyes frequently change color depending on her mood and/or situation. The following combinations have been seen: two brown eyes; two silver eyes; brown in the left and pink in the right; brown in the right and pink in the left; brown in the right and silver in the left; green in both eyes during the Vytal tournament; and purple in both eyes while pretending to be a nurse.
- Teen Genius: Neo was good at crime from a young age; at the age of fifteen, she was teaching herself driving, lockpicking and shoplifting. When she enters finishing school at eighteen years old, she so impresses the headmistress that she is inducted into a secret advanced class after just a few months, to be taught combat, espionage and social engineering for a potential life of crime; normally, students have to wait for their third year to be inducted, and the talented ones are usually in their second year.
- Teen Superspy: When she's 18, she's sent to finishing school to try and drill some normality into her. Instead, she begins sneaking out at night, spying on the Malachite twins, and swooping in to save Roman's life after he's ambushed by them. She's put into the advanced programme only a few months after arriving, which normally only third years, and some talented second years, are put on. This teaches combat, espionage and deception, in addition to social etiquette; Neo ends up using this for crime once she befriends Roman.
- Took a Level in Badass: Before her reappearance in Volume 6, Neo's holograms shattered with a single clean hit, making them excellent distractions but ultimately a defensive tool at best. After the Fall of Beacon, her Semblance has grown to the point that she can fight Cinder on even footing with just one of her holograms (albeit, while Cinder is withholding her Maiden powers to avoid drawing unwanted attention).
- Tragic Keepsake: After Roman's death, Neo is angry that his involvement with Salem's forces got him killed. Determined to avenge him by killing his boss, Cinder, Neo now wears Roman's derby hat and a similar neckerchief to his as a reminder of what she's fighting for. Cinder convinces her that the real source of her revenge should be Ruby.
- Troll: Seems to be one. She tricked Team RWBY with an illusion before escaping them, and then drove Yang nuts in their fight while stomping her. All with a big smile on her face, and occasionally taking a relaxing break in the middle to show just how little of a concern her opposition is.
- Underestimating Badassery:
- Neo runs into problems during her duel in "Amity" because she doesn't know who her opponent is. Though Maria's a blind, elderly woman, she's also the legendary Grimm Reaper, and possesses a Semblance that allows her to counter attacks almost before they happen. So, after Maria turns all her moves against her, a frustrated Neo becomes so determined to win that she leaves herself wide open for Penny's attack.
- In Volume 8, Neo is unprepared for the level of villainy at which Salem's team functions. She steals the Lamp to blackmail Cinder into giving her Ruby; Cinder apologises and complies with the demand. Seconds after she obtains both the Lamp and the Staff, Cinder throws Neo into the Void Between the Worlds for threatening her. Neo underestimated both Cinder's vindictiveness and how successful she is at manipulative scheming.
- Villainous Friendship: With Torchwick, apparently. It's not very obvious on her end but Torchwick displays his first emotions other than smug and annoyed when she gets blown off the ship. The fact that she's now seeking revenge for his death, first on Cinder then on Ruby when the former convinces Neo that she was to blame, seems to indicate that she cared a great deal about him as well.
- Villain Song: "One Thing" plays during Neo's battle with Cinder in Volume 6. Cinder is initially mystified about why a former ally is attacking her until she locates the real Neo. Upon seeing that Neo is now wearing the deceased Roman's signature derby hat, Cinder realises that Neo blames her for Roman's death. She tells Neo that her blame is misplaced and that she should be blaming Ruby. She then offers Neo the opportunity to join her so that they can both seek vengeance against Ruby together. The song lyrics are about the singer's desire to avenge the death of a close friend, and it's later used to represent Neo in BlazBlue.
- Villain Team-Up: Neo uses Little Miss Malachite's services to track down Cinder, seeking revenge for Roman's death while in Cinder's employment. During their fight, Cinder convinces Neo that her blame is misplaced, and that the person she needs to target for revenge is Ruby. Neo stops fighting Cinder when she is given a demonstration of the Fall Maiden's full power, but becomes a little irritated with Cinder's suggestion that they talk it out because she doesn't speak, something Cinder momentarily forgets.
- Waif-Fu: Neo is the smallest adult human and stands around 4'11" tall when including heels. She is also one of the most expressive, graceful and acrobatic of all fighters, dodging the blows of enemies with ease, using moves such as pirouttes, somersaults, kicks and fencing or parrying with her parasol. She also appears to deflect attacks with her parasol or legs the rare few times they do appear to connect. She easily defeats the much taller, super-strong Yang, who can't even land a blow on her; she fights evenly with a villain as dangerous as Cinder in non-magical combat; and she can easily defeat multiple opponents. If she does ever end up in a corner, she can fall back on her Semblance... creating illusions that can fool multiple opponents at the same time.
- Would Harm a Senior: Maria's age and handicap mean nothing for Neo. While still capable of defending herself, Neo would have executed the elderly woman when she was distracted all the same.
Voiced By: Gray Haddock [EN], Shin-ichiro Miki [JP]
Debut: Yellow Trailer
A crime lord based in Vale who works with the White Fang and spends months stealing the kingdom's Dust supplies when he encounters Ruby Rose in a Dust shop he's robbing.
Roman's weapon, Melodic Cudgel, appears to be an ordinary walking stick, but when activated it raises a crosshair and fires an unstable explosive round resembling a roman candle. He hasn't unlocked his Semblance.
- Affectionate Pickpocket: When he is visited by Mercury and Emerald in ''Best Day Ever", he initially acts friendly to them in order to steal the address slip from Emerald in order to find out where they were all day. Though this allows Emerald to steal his lighter.
- Arch-Enemy: In the first three volumes, Ruby is a constant thorn in Roman's side, whom he derogatorily nicknames "Red". Roman goes from being amused by a little girl standing up to him to being irritated by her mere presence. Her constant idealism and optimism so infuriates him that, when they fight during the Battle of Beacon, he launches into an enraged rant about how detached from reality he thinks she is. As far as he's concerned, a world this harsh and cruel needs survivors, not heroes, and he just wants her to die.
- Back for the Dead: He missed the majority of Volume 3 after he got arrested at Volume 2's climax. Neo frees him in PvP and he gets to enjoy the freedom for two episodes before he gets Swallowed Whole by a Grimm Griffon in Heroes and Monsters, after which said Griffon is sent crashing into the Atlesian ship's deck courtesy of Ruby.
- Badass Normal: Roman learned how to fight on the streets of Wind Path, and never unlocked his Semblance, but his combat ability and Aura strength enable him to fight Huntsmen students; he's good enough to be able to deal with Blake and Sun at the same time, and Ruby on her own with little difficulty.
- Bad Boss: Aside from Neo, he's very abusive and demeaning to any employees under his command, particularly if they happen to be White Fang members.
- Benevolent Boss: To Neo, and only Neo. The two are respectful of one another and work well together, even able to wordlessly coordinate attacks even with Neo throwing illusions around. It helps that Neo is the only person Torchwick cares about besides himself.
- Bomb Throwing Anarchist: Subverted. When recruiting the White Fang for Cinder's plan and introducing them to the stolen Paladins, Roman portrays himself as an anarchist who shares a common enemy with the Faunus terrorists: the leaders of human society, the governments, the people pulling the strings. Although he does enjoy causing mayhem, he actually believes in having a functional city that can be exploited for personal gain. As he eventually tells Ruby, the only reason he's siding with the Big Bad is because he believes it's impossible to oppose her, and his survival instincts tell him to join what appears to be the winning side.Roman: I'd like to mention the fact that you and I all have a common enemy! The ones in control, the people pulling the strings, the dirty, rotten humans that run our kingdoms. Government, military, even the schools. They're all to blame for your lot in life!
- Boom Stick: His cane can be used as a gun, with the base of the weapong flipping up to both expose the barrel and act as a targeting sight. When the cane fires, it uses explosive rounds that resemble a Roman Candle in design.
- Breakout Villain: He was originally going to be a first-episode-only villain who does little fighting, but positive reception led to Monty making him more significant in the grand scheme of things (and more dangerous too).
- Cane Fu: Roman has designed the cane to function as a gun, complete with the base flipping up to function as a targeting sight. However, the cane can also be used like a fencing sword or a club. When he is attacked by both Blake and Sun, is able to overpower Blake while at the same time parrying every shot from Sun's twin nunchuck-guns. When fights Ruby on top of an airship, he uses the cane in every single possible way while fighting her: as a gun to shoot her from a distance and as a means of blocking her bullets and her scythe-blade. When she goes down, he uses his weapon as a club to beat her into the floor while he rants about the short-sightedness of her heroic optimism.
- Captain Ersatz: DVD commentary points out he's Alex DeLarge from A Clockwork Orange, wearing a derby hat, a white jacket, using a cane as a weapon, and having Alex's eye tattoo. While Roman isn't Ax-Crazy like Alex, he's certainly a ruthless criminal mastermind.
- Casual Danger Dialogue: Defeating him is just not enough to get him to shut up. Seriously; he has one-liners for almost every single instance his plans have been thwarted by the heroes.
- Classy Cane: Roman is always smartly dressed in black trousers and a red-lined white overcoat. He accessorises with black gloves, a grey neckerchief and a red-banded black Derby hat. To finish off the look, he carries a hook-handled cane that is designed to fit in with his clothing: the handle is white, the staff is black, and there is red finishing where the handle meets the staff and at the base of the staff. The staff is designed to be a weapon; he usually fences with it or uses it as a gun, but he can also use it as a club where necessary. The weapon is designed to suit his style and his classy appearance.
- Combat Pragmatist: Roman has no problem using everything he can to win a fight. Against Sun and Blake, he starts shooting hanging shipping crates to try and drop them on his opponents. When Ruby turns to tell Penny to stay back, he immediately blasts her. During their battle on top of an airship, Roman takes advantage every time Ruby falls, at one point delivering a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown with his cane while she curls into a ball to protect herself.
- Curse Cut Short: When Blake sneaks up on him in Black and White:Roman: Oh, for fu—
- Curb-Stomp Battle: He and Neo dish one out to Ruby in their 2-on-1 fight as they defeat and corner her with relative ease, and Roman soon begins to give her another one before his overwhelmingly negative emotions cause a Grimm to promptly interrupt the fight.
- Dastardly Dapper Derby: He wears a Derby as his hat of choice and he's appropriately a suave villain. Volume 6 reveals that it somehow survived when he was Eaten Alive, as Neo shows up wearing it as a Tragic Keepsake.
- Deadpan Snarker: He has a sharp wit and usually snarks in a calm voice. Most of his dialogue with other characters consists of him making sarcastic quips about everything from their mannerisms to the situations they're in. The few times he drops it is when he's being intimedated or he's sufficiently pissed off.Roman: Well, you were worth every cent. Truly you were.
- Didn't See That Coming: When he fought Blake again in "No Brakes" she managed to surprise him by incorporating Dust into her attacks, a trick she hadn't displayed in their previous battle.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: Roman and Ruby are fighting while surrounded by Grimm. Roman gains the upper hand, knocks Ruby to the ground and beats her with his cane while ranting about the idiocy of her positive, heroic idealism in a world where huntsmen die young and the only thing people can do is just try to survive however they can. Just as he emphasizes he's a survivor instead of a hero, he is abruptly swallowed by a Griffon. His rant had been highly negative, and Grimm are attracted to negative emotions, but the death is very abrupt, and unexpectedly mundane by this show's magical standards.
- Early-Bird Cameo: The Yellow Trailer is the last prequel before the show begins and introduces Yang fighting Junior, a bar owner, and his men, when Junior fails to provide the information she's looking for. When Yang first enters the bar, Roman can just be seen in the background finishing a conversation with Junior and leaving. Roman is introduced in the show's pilot episode, robbing a Dust store with men he's hired from Junior's bar. The hired men don't do any better against Ruby than they did against Yang, much to Roman's sarcastic disgust.Roman: You were worth every cent. Truly, you were.
- Eaten Alive: Right as he's in the middle of a loud rant to Ruby on why she should just give up, a Griffon lands behind him and chomps him. When it roars a second later, there's no sign of Roman.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: The only time he shows any slight concern for any life other than his own is when Neo is blown off the airship by Ruby. He reaches out and calls her name as she's blown off the ship, and this event notably marks the beginning of his swift Villainous Breakdown.
- Evil Is Hammy: Roman is defined by his over the top personality. He can be superficially polite and makes jokes with people he dislikes as if theyre good friends, but always in a way that comes off as condescending, treating younger people like wayward children he has to deal with. When he runs into problems while out in the field his attitude changes to snark and heavy sarcasm. He can delve into melodrama and exaggerated theatrics as shown by him dramatically gesturing towards the dust he's stolen when Cinder questions him about not taking care of Tukson earlier. Other times he acts like a child, pulling faces at Cinders subordinates as shes admonishing them and expressing a childlike glee in destroying things when he takes over an Atlesian battleship.
- False Reassurance: In Vol. 1 Ep. 1 he and a few goons visit the From Dust Till Dawn shop. He assures the shopkeeper that he doesn't want any money... right before ordering his men to steal the Dust.
- Fantastic Racism: Has a low opinion of Faunus and badmouths some hired Faunus mooks. The DVD Commentary clarifies that his racism isn't exaggerated to show villainy; it's Remnant's standard human perception of Faunus.
- Faux Affably Evil: Played With. Roman can swing in between acting like a formal, if not snarky, gentleman but can also show sides of him being a ruthless criminal as well, it really depends on what his mood is. If he thinks he's in control of a situation, he'll act almost friendly with ally and enemy alike, but if he's upset by anything, he reveals his short-tempered violent side in the blink of an eye.
- Freudian Excuse: Roman's selfish nature and bleak view of the world are the consequences of growing up on the streets of the crime-ridden kingdom of Mistral. His mother abandoned him at an orphanage in Wind Path as a young child, leaving him with trust issues. Upon arriving in the city of Mistral, his attempts to help a mugging victim get him arrested when the "victim" turns out to be a criminal whose dodgy dealing he accidentally ruined. He loathes team-work, partners and sharing until he meets Neo.
- Gentleman Thief: Subverted, while Roman likes presenting himself as a dashing, polite gentleman as he's being a crime boss, he's willing to use violence when necessary; namely, when a trainee Huntress has just pulverized all his goons. He's still skilled at the thief part, and is able to fill an entire warehouse with stolen dust.
- Giggling Villain: When he fights Sun and Blake, he lets out a series of maniacal, though low-key, cackles. Ironically, it's only when he laughs that either one gets a hit on him.
- Good Smoking, Evil Smoking: Torchwick is the only character in the show to have been seen smoking and, like any good crime boss, he favors cigars. In the pilot episode, he stubs his cigar out on a glass display cabinet while intimidating a shopkeeper as his men rob the store of all its Dust. He also smokes for stress-relief, as he tries to smoke one after being threatened by Cinder at the beginning of Volume 2; he is thwarted because Emerald pick-pockets his lighter without him noticing.
- Grappling-Hook Pistol: Roman usually uses his cane as a gun, where the length of the staff acts as the barrel of the gun and the base flips open to act as a targeting sight. However, the hooked handle of the cane can be fired to grab a target and pull it back in towards Roman. He uses the grappling function in Mountain Glenn to capture Ruby when she tries to run away from him.
- Guyliner: Roman's visible eye is traced with black eyeliner, which contributes to his Alex Delarge appearance.
- The Heavy: He is the only key villain focused on during Volume 1. The media mentions the manhunt for him and every time the protagonists run into a villain, it's Roman. In the pilot episode, he appears to order his female get-away pilot to fight Glynda while he takes over the controls, but The Stinger at the end of Volume 1 reveals that the shadowy, faceless woman in the pilot episode is actually his boss, and his Dust thefts throughout the volume have been ordered by her. In Volume 2, Roman remains the face of villainy for that the protagonists are trying to track down and stop while Cinder, Mercury and Emerald infiltrate Beacon as students. Once he's captured by General Ironwood's forces at the end of Volume 2, Cinder replaces him as The Heavy for Volume 3.
- Hidden Depths: During his final fight with Ruby, she can't understand why he's helping Salem's group. Roman's response implies that he actually doesn't want to be involved with these people at all, he was stuck with an offer he couldn't refuse because he realized that these villains are too dangerous for him to oppose.
- Ironic Last Words: Near the end of his rant during his Villainous Breakdown about the futility of heroism, just before he gets Swallowed Whole by a griffon:Roman: As for me, I'll do what I do best. Lie, steal, cheat, and survive!
- I Shall Taunt You: Roman excels at talking his way out of danger, using mockery and sarcastic comments to throw enemies off. In RWBY: Roman Holiday, he escapes being Fed to the Beast by a rival gang by taunting the leader until his rage causes the Grimm to turn on him instead of Roman.
- Know When to Fold Them: He's a very good fighter, but he knows better than to get into a prolonged fight with the main cast, so whenever it looks like he's just about to face some trouble, he hauls his ass out. It's implied that this was the reason he joined Cinder in the first place.Roman: I may be a gambling man, but even I know there are some bets you just don't take.
- Laughably Evil: Roman's a ruthless crime lord whose every interaction with both allies and enemies is laced with condescending, sarcastic wit. He talks down to younger allies and enemies as if he's a parent and they're wayward children, and sarcastically flirts with female allies and enemies alike. He has a childish, petty attitude that makes him pull faces at allies when they're being reprimanded and excitedly press random buttons just to see how much destruction the Atlas ship he's commandeered can cause. When spanners get thrown into his plans, he becomes melodramatic and bombastic, such as when Cinder implies he hasn't been pulling his weight and he objects by theatrically unveiling the city's entire Dust stockpile that he's stolen for her.Roman: [when Cinder sends him Mercury and Emerald] Oh, look! She sent the kids again! This is turning out just like the divorce.
- Locked Out of the Loop: Cinder keeps Torchwick on a need-to-know basis about their plans, and although he doesn't like not knowing what is really going on, he keeps his mouth shut out of fear of Cinder.
- The Nicknamer: He calls Ruby "Red" during their first encounter and continues to use it in future ones. His first encounter with Weiss results in him calling her "Ice Queen" due to the ice attacks she was using on him. He doesn't know others call her that because of her personality. After seeing Blake's cat ears, he refers to her as "Kitty Cat" during their next encounter.
- Normal Fish in a Tiny Pond: The reason Roman found such great success as a criminal in Vale is because he grew up in Mistral's underworld, which is such a Wretched Hive he Had to Be Sharp. Compared to Mistral where law enforcement is always on high alert and he was always competing with rival gangs, the peaceful Vale was so complacent that his audacious crimes overwhelmed anyone trying to stop him because they weren't prepared to deal with a crook of his level.
- Peek-a-Bangs: He's a violent, deceitful criminal with a taste for fashion. He correspondingly has a right-sweeping fringe that is so long it hides the top half of the right side of his face and ear, almost down to the nose. His right eye is almost never seen.
- Play-Along Prisoner: He's arrested in the Volume 2 finale, but remains completely confident and taunts Ironwood when he tries to interrogate him; it's part of the plan.
- Plucky Comic Relief: Despite being a villain, his scenes during the fall of Beacon are some of the few funny moments in the otherwise tense and dark situation. Him playing with the controls of the Atlas ship like a kid in a candy store, is one example.
- Politically Incorrect Villain: He looks down on Faunus and calls them animals to their faces. He does acknowledge that they're both people and dangerous, particularly if the 'dangerous' aspect means in danger of getting his arse kicked by any nearby Faunus who are offended. It's a downplayed example because his attitude isn't because he's a villain; Faunus discrimination is wide-spread in Remnant, which is why the White Fang originally formed to fight for equal rights.
- Psychopathic Manchild: When Cinder reprimands Mercury and Emerald for killing Tukson, Roman taunts them by childishly pulling faces behind Cinder's back. During the battle for Beacon, he's given control of an Atlas ship and randomly begins pressing buttons like an excited child to see what they do; blowing up an Atlas ship with the touch of a button thrills him into exploring what other chaos he can wreak.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: After Ruby forces Neo off the ship, she argues with him that she's going to stop him no matter what he tries. He drops the cute one-liners and executes a volley of moves to regain the upper-hand and rants about her determination to be a heroine. He points out what a dangerous, crappy world Remnant is, that people who try to be heroic just get themselves killed, and that the only thing Huntsmen do well is die young.Roman: You've got spirit, Red, but this is the real world!! The real world is cold!! The real world doesn't care about spirit!! You want to be a hero!? Then play the part and die like every other huntsman in history!!! As for me? I'll do what I do best! Lie, steal, cheat, AND SURVIVE—!!!
- Recurring Boss: The main cast do keep running into him. He and Ruby are introduced together when they run into conflict with each other while he's stealing Dust from a shop she's in. He later takes on Sun and Blake in two-on-one combat, fights RWBY, Sun and Neptune in a giant mecha, climaxing in a huge confrontation between RWBY and Roman's group that leds to Roman's capture - although being captured appears to be part of the plan.
- Sedgwick Speech: During the Battle of Beacon, Roman goes on a furious rant when he believes that Ruby has been beaten. In his arrogance, he completely ignores the on-going battle and the numerous flying Grimm all around him. His speech is cut short when a large Grimm lands behind him and swallows him.Roman: As for me, I'll do what I do best: Lie, steal, cheat, and survive! [Griffon swoops down and eats him]
- Self-Deprecation: When he tells a large group of White Fang recruits in Volume 2 that "humans are the worst", he uses himself as an example of what he means, indicating he's well aware of the rather less than stellar life and reputation he has.
- Ship Tease: Roman Holiday is full of this for Roman and Neo. The book covers how they met, how they saved each other, became partners in crime, and gives them romantic teasing that ultimately ends with Neo giving Roman a kiss on the cheek that makes him blush.
- Sigil Spam: A jack-o-lantern face is carved around the cane's tip. Judging from the episode 8 credits, it's probably his symbol.
- Silly Rabbit, Idealism Is for Kids!: The show depicts Remnant as a world where humanity clings to existence within four protected kingdoms while villages outside the kingdoms live a precarious, often short, existence. This is due to the Creatures of Grimm swarming all areas of the world, hunting down and trying to destroy humanity. While Huntsmen do their best to fight the Grimm and protect humanity, there are far more Grimm than Huntsmen, and Huntsmen often die young as a result. Ruby dreams of being a Huntress so that she can protect humanity like the heroes in the fairy tales she grew up reading; her desire to protect even extends to dealing with prosaic villains like Roman, who is a thief and killer. When he finally loses his temper with her constant attempts to 'save the day' he rants about her idealism being completely at odds with the reality of the world. He points out that Huntsmen always die young, and the only way to live in such a dangerous world is to become a pragmatic survivalist like he is — cheating, lying and murdering as necessary for his continued survival. It doesn't dent her resolve.Roman: This is the real world!! The real world is cold!! The real world doesn't care about spirit!! You want to be a hero!? Then play the part and die like every other Huntsman in history!!!
- The Social Darwinist: Episode 11 of Volume 3 gives him shades of this, when he tells Ruby that, since she wants to be a heroine so much, she ought to die like one, while he does what he does best: "lie, steal, cheat, and survive!"
- The Social Expert: Being a stylish and charismatic crime boss, Roman can walk onto a stage in front of a mob of angry Faunus, use himself as an example of why Humans Are the Real Monsters, and still have them cheering for him by the end, courting them over to his side even when they are interrupted by Sun and Blake. His nature makes him a valuable pawn for Cinder, who herself is forced to rely on An Offer You Can't Refuse in order to recruit people.
- Starter Villain: In the first episode, he organizes a simple store robbery only to be thwarted by Ruby and Glynda. His popularity among the fans and the voice actor's skill with the character convinced the creators to give the character a more long-lasting role as the face of the villainous threat Ruby's team begins to investigate while the real threat works undercover, unrecognized by Ruby and her team.
- Stuff Blowing Up: When he gets control of an Atlas warship, he spends all of his time figuring out how which controls make the best explosions.Roman: What does this button do? [distant explosion] Oooooh, fun!
- Super Reflexes:
- Despite Sun and Blake's superior speed, he's still able to keep up with both of them attacking him near-simultaneously, and able to dodge and/or deflect almost everything the pair sends his way, including point-blank shotgun blasts courtesy of Sun.
- In "Heroes and Monsters", he's quick enough to shoot a round from Melodic Cudgel, grab it with the cane's handle, then redirect the shot to Ruby.
- Surrounded by Idiots: In the pilot episode, he has hired men to help him rob Dust stores. They're defeated by the teenaged Ruby in less than a minute. He's not at all impressed by the money he wasted on them.
- Swallowed Whole: Gets swallowed by a giant Griffon just after finishing his rant to Ruby in "Heroes And Monsters". Ruby promptly trounces the Griffon and makes the Griffon, Torchwick, and the entire battleship explode.
- Tactical Withdrawal: In the first episode, he chooses not to face Ruby head-on after she knocks his goons out. And in the sixteenth, he flees after watching Penny decimate the White Fang and destroy three airships in quick succession.
- Talking Is a Free Action: Averted in the Volume One finale. The moment Ruby turns to look at Penny and tell her to get back Torchwick blasts her with a direct hit from Melodic Cudgel. Averted again, this time against him, when a Griffon grabs him while he's monologuing.
- Tattooed Crook: RWBY: Roman Holiday reveals that he has a tattoo on his forearm. It was originally the Spider's gang tattoo, but he later had the spiderweb covered with a pumpkin theme after coming to Vale.
- Teeth-Clenched Teamwork:
- He clearly shows disdain for the Faunus, but he's forced to work with them under Cinder's orders.Roman: We're not exactly the most inconspicuous of thieves at the moment, so why don't you animals try and pick up the pace?
- He can't stand Emerald and Mercury, and made it plain (and public) that Cinder is the only reason he hasn't tried to kill them outright.
- He clearly shows disdain for the Faunus, but he's forced to work with them under Cinder's orders.
- Tempting Fate: He lectures Ruby that, in this harsh world, heroes just get themselves killed and she should do what huntsmen do best... die. He tells her that, unlike her, he's a master at surviving against the odds. He barely finishes the rant before he's swallowed whole by a Griffon, having forgotten they were surrounded by monsters that are attracted to negativity.
- Trapped in Villainy: Roman was already a crime boss, but he never would have worked towards destroying an entire kingdom, let alone Salem's ultimate ambitions. But by the time he realized what Cinder and her cronies were up to, he was already in too deep and knew Cinder would kill him if he tried to get out. At that point, he decided 'if you can't beat 'em, join 'em.'
- Trojan Prisoner: Roman is deliberately captured at the end of Volume 2 because Cinder's plan needs him on that ship. While Ironwood is happy to have captured him, Qrow is concerned it's an excuse for the "second head" of the enemy to work more freely. Cinder needs one of Ironwood's ships under her command to take out the fleet when she sets off the second Grimm invasion of Vale. Neo breaks out Roman, who takes control of Blue-2.
- Villain: Exit, Stage Left: He has a tendency to use a colleague as a distraction so that he can escape via a suddenly available airship. It's done in his debut departure in Ruby Rose and repeated in Black and White and Painting The Town.
- Villain Has a Point: He has a point when he gives Ruby a good lecture for her idealism. Turns out in the real world, no matter how strong or determined you are, trying to be heroic when the odds are against you is a quick way to get yourself killed. He's proven right post-mortem when Pyrrha engages Cinder, who has absorbed all of the Fall Maiden's powers, alone in a desperate attempt to save Beacon. This results in her dying tragically while Ruby can only watch on in horror.
- Villainous Breakdown: After Ruby forces Neo off the ship, she declares that she would never give up her fighting spirit no matter what he throws at her. Roman's fighting style becomes much more aggressive; he drops the cute one-liners and back-talk and concentrates on a swift execution of moves that overpowers Ruby and forces her to the ground. As she falters, he begins ranting at her and beating her over and over with his cane. He's so angry with her determination to be a heroine that he doesn't spot the huge Griffon that lands directly behind him.
- Villainous Friendship: While he treats most people like tools or morons, he does seem to legitimately care about Neo. The only time he displays anything nearing concern for anyone is when Ruby throws Neo off an airship.
- What Does This Button Do?: While piloting one of Ironwood's ships in Battle of Beacon, he's seen pressing buttons on the control panel at random while saying this. One button sets off an explosion, while another causes the Atlesian Knights onboard to be jettisoned (though Roman thinks it doesn't do anything).
- The Worf Effect: In Season 1, Roman is an effective enough fighter to take both Sun and Blake at the same time (neither of whom are inexperienced fighters), he then gets his ass handed to him by Blake using Dust with her semblance to show how effective Dust can be. In Season 3, he then shows that he's more than capable of beating Ruby on his own.
- Would Hit a Girl: Ruby is a fifteen-year-old girl, not that Torchwick hesitates to fight her. Even when he's making his escape, he throws explosive uncut Fire Dust at her, requiring Glynda to intervene to protect her. In their encounter in Heroes and Monsters he gives her a real beating with his cane while she's curled up in the fetal position as he monologues to her about how meaningless spirit is in the real world with the implication he wouldn't have stopped if he wasn't eaten alive.
- You Have Failed Me: Junior implies that Torchwick did this to his hired mobsters, seeing how none of them returned after their dust heist, though he may have just left them to be arrested after escaping with Cinder. He also implies this will happen to a White Fang member who momentarily objects to his order to start the train early.
- You Got Guts: During his final confrontation with Ruby, her resolve to keep fighting leads him to admit that she's got spirit; he then adds that this attitude won't get her far in life.
- You Have GOT to Be Kidding Me!: His reaction ("You can NOT be serious") when he finds out Ruby, of all people, managed to board the ship he hijacked.
Voiced By: Ruth Urquhart [EN], Natsumi Fujiwara [JP]
Debut: The Grimm Reaper*
A crocodile Faunus that served Salem in the past, tasked with hunting down the Grimm Reaper. Tock fought with two sabres and her Semblance, which makes her Aura nearly indestructible for sixty seconds but immediately depletes her reserves after the timer runs out.
- Ax-Crazy: Tock relished in her status as a "predator", modifying her teeth to enhance her frightening appearance and give her a devastating bite. She enjoyed playing with her victims ("food") to the extent that Salem warned her against it, but Tock enjoyed the game too much to give it up.
- Combat Compliment: Despite being sent to kill Maria, she compliments her on a close fight and respects her decision to keep fighting even though she's been blinded and is about to die.
- Cruel Mercy: Tock is sent to kill Maria but takes great pleasure in the fact that she blinded her instead. She mentions that she was sent to put an end to the power of Maria's silver eyes so concludes that blinding Maria is just as good as killing her. She offers Maria the chance to live in this blinded state, but takes it back when Maria refuses to lie down and die.
- Delinquent Hair: She's a villainess who's sent after the Grimm Reaper with the intention of assassinating her. As part of her appearance, she sports a green mohawk that is styled in a spiky fashion.
- Dual Wielding: When she fights the dual-wielding Grimm Reaper, she draws a pair of swords, and fights with a combination of dual sword attacks and physical combat.
- Evil Brit: She has a Cockney accent courtesy of Ruth Urquhart and has been sent to kill Maria because of the power of Maria's silver eyes. When she blinds Maria, she takes great delight in offering her the chance to live blind instead of dying.
- Hour of Power: Her semblance amplifies her aura for 60 seconds, turning her invincible. The drawback is that once the 60 seconds end, her aura immediately shatters, leaving her vulnerable. To keep track of how long she has, she uses an alarm clock on her waist. She also tries to keep her fights within the 60 second time limit for the same reason.
- Little Bit Beastly: Although she looks human, she's a Crocodile Faunus. She has pale green skin which is heavily scaled in a darker shade of green.
- Never Smile at a Crocodile: Tock was a Crocodile Faunus, and has replaced her teeth with a set of steel jaws similar to that of a bear trap. A single bite from those jaws allowed her to bite right through one of Maria's kama, breaking the dual scythe mode they were in and leaving Maria defenseless.
- Off with Her Head!: After being impaled in the back by one of Maria's kama, Tock is finished with a swipe of her other kama to the neck, decapitating her. The scene cuts to black just before the swipe is completed.
- Posthumous Character: Tock and Maria fought decades before the series began, and their fight ended in Tock's death.
- Sadist: After slashing out Maria's eyes, she gloats over it while Maria is screaming in anguish, and takes great delight in offering her the chance to live blinded rather than die.
- Scary Teeth: Intentionally invoked to enhance her crocodilian appearance. Tock had razor-sharp metal teeth implanted into her mouth, allowing her to terrorize her victims and bite with enough force to break Maria's kama.
- Slasher Smile: When Tock fights Maria, she enjoys flashing broad grins that show off all of her razor-sharp metal teeth.
- Underestimating Badassery: When Maria has been blinded, Tock thinks she's now helpless and therefore drops her guard. However, Maria can remember where her weapons fell, allowing her to reach for the one that's lying next to her so that she can activate the Gravity Dust that recalls the second weapon back to her. Tock, who is standing in between Maria and the recalled weapon is impaled in the back by the returning kama's blade. This allows Maria to swing the other kama in front of her to decapitate Tock, whose Aura has been drained by the deactivation of her Semblance.
Debut: Grimm Campaign*
He is the primary antagonist of The Grimm Campaign, which takes place prior to the main series.
- Epic Flail: He fights with a flail, suited to his overwhelming physical presence.
- Evil Sounds Deep: Eddy Rivas describes him as having a deep-accented voice, which adds to his intimidating presence.
- Full-Boar Action: He wears a mask designed to look like a Boar's head,
- The Juggernaut: Nothing phases him. His attacks are strong enough to leave Pike momentarily stunned, and nothing Team SAFR dishes out even slows him down. In the end of their encounter, all Team SAFR and Taupe can do is run away.
- Malevolent Masked Man: He's the leader of a criminal gang, wears a mask resembling a boar's head, and is generally very intimidating.
- Power Copying: His Semblance allows him to use the Semblances of those around him. When attacking the heroes, he copies Pike's Fate's Hand - allowing him to suss out the location of an artifact currently in their possession.
- Villain of Another Story: The villain of a Prequel side story, known as the "Kuchinashi Incident". Whether or not that incident was his last mission for Salem remains unrevealed.