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The main protagonist force that arose to oppose the villainous forces of Salem. Originally created as a Benevolent Conspiracy and led by the enigmatic Professor Ozpin, his allies consisted of hand-picked people who were embedded within the power structures of the four Kingdoms, along with talented Huntresses and Huntsmen who had been recruited to fight for the cause. As time passed though, many of these allies would slowly begin to fall, requiring the fight be taken up by a new generation, one led by Teams RWBY and JNPR, as well as a young boy named Oscar Pine.
- Amazon Brigade: Team RWBY is comprised of four talented female fighters who are fast-tracked in Volume 7 to graduated, licenced Huntresses because Ironwood feels they've been fighting as professionals since Beacon. They are mentored by Atlas's elite Ace-Ops squad, whom they eventually defeat in battle. While Volume 8 clarifies the Ace-Ops' obsession with professionalism sabotages their team-work, Team RWBY's achievement is still regarded as unprecedented enough to cement their reputation as an elite team of female warriors.
- Floral Theme Naming: The team's weapons have names shared in common with types of flowers: roses for Ruby's Crescent Rose; myrtle and aster for Weiss's Myrtenaster; golden gambol (a type of orchid) for Blake's Gambol Shroud; and celica (a type of amaryllis) for Yang's Ember Celica.
- Fun with Acronyms: The team name RWBY is made up of the member's first names and can be pronounced as "Ruby".
For more information on Team JNPR, see RWBY: Team JNPR.
For more information on Professor Ozpin and Oscar Pine, see RWBY: Ozpin and Oscar.
Voiced by: Vic Mignogna (Volumes 3-6), Jason Liebrecht (Volume 7 onwards) [EN], Hiroaki Hirata [JP]
Debut: New Challengers...*
Ruby and Yang's uncle, Qrow is Ruby's mentor who taught her how to use her scythe. He used to teach at Signal Academy and studied at Beacon as a member of Team STRQ, becoming a member of Ozpin's inner circle and his informant in the wilderness. He first appears in Volume 3 but is discussed in earlier volumes.
Qrow's weapon is Harbinger, a massive sword with an in-built shotgun that can transform into the huge scythe he's famous for wielding. His Semblance "Misfortune" is passively active, generating an area of bad luck that strikes anyone who comes near him, including himself.
- Affectionate Gesture to the Head: When Ruby first meets up with him at Beacon, she grabs his arm in excitement, demanding to know if he missed her. He denies it then tousles her hair affectionately.
- The Alcoholic: His introduction consists of him getting drunk in a bar before picking a fight with Winter; when she points it out, Glynda snaps that he's always drunk. He regularly swigs from a hip flask, even in front of children or during important, strategic meetings. While some of his drunkeness has a comic element, his habit of resorting to the bottle to cope with leadership pressures or emotional stress becomes increasingly problematic for everyone until it comes to a head in Volume 6. One volume later, he gives up alcohol for good.
- Animal Theme Naming: He and Raven are both named after corvids and their surname means "white/blessed crow". He was named after the crow because the birds are associated with misfortune and death, and his Semblance causes bad luck for everyone. His weapon Harbinger is a sword/scythe hybrid, giving him reaper symbolism, and he can transform into a crow.
- Becoming the Mask: He and Raven were sent to Beacon in order to learn how they could kill Huntsmen, the only other threat to their Bandit Clan besides the Grimm, becoming a specialized force on defeating them once they got back to their tribe. At some point, they became Ozpin's underlings and part of his secret circle. Raven eventually returned to the tribe, considering both Qrow and Taiyang fools for sticking with Ozpin, whom she no longer trusted. On the other hand, Qrow has fully embraced the job of a Huntsman and is one of Ozpin's closest confidants.
- BFS: Harbinger is a huge sword that is almost as tall as he is. It can transform into both a gun and a scythe. The "sword" is actually the scythe's entire blade; when unfolded with the long handle that comes with a scythe form, the weapon is bigger than Qrow.
- Big Damn Heroes: Qrow has a habit of appearing from seemingly nowhere to save someone's life just in time; he saved Yang from Grimm when she was very young, Ruby from Tyrian in Volume 4, and Amber from Cinder in flashbacks. The reason he can do this is because he can turn into a crow, and tends to sweep in from the sky and transform back just before intervening.
- Blade Brake: Near the end of his first fight with Tyrian, Qrow tosses out Harbinger for him to land and balance on after being tossed out of a shed.
- Blessed with Suck: He mentions that his Semblance is a useful thing to have in battle, but it's what happens off the battlefield that's the problem. His Semblance causes misfortune to himself and others; it's permanently active, cannot be switched off, and is almost impossible to control. As a result, it causes problems for him when trying to interact with friends or family. He explains it's how he got his name; crows are a symbol of bad luck.
- Blood from the Mouth: After the kids wake up at dawn in the forest, they spot Qrow under a tree having a coughing fit that leaves blood on his hand. Once Ruby cuts off Tyrian's scorpion tail for injuring Qrow, the tail oozes purple blood that burns the cobblestones as if it's acid. The blood Qrow coughs up the following morning is the same colour and can also be seen soaking through the bandage covering his injury.
- Born Unlucky: Qrow mostly focuses on the bad luck his Semblance brings to other people, but it affects him, too. When he puts his feet up on a table, it breaks; his presence bursts a trailer's tyre at Brunswick Farms; and when travelling through a Dust mine with Clover, he randomly slips on the ice and almost lands flat on his face (Clover catches him in time thanks to his own Good Luck Semblance).
- Broken Ace: Qrow was a member of the elite Team STRQ as a student. Despite being famous and respected as one of Remnant's top Huntsmen, he's a sarcastic, pessimistic loner. An alcoholic struggling with an uncontrollable Semblance that brings misfortune to himself and those around him, he tries to avoid hanging around those he cares about to spare them the harm he can accidentally bring their way. Upon realising in Volume 6 that everything he's been fighting for might have been a lie, he descends into an alcoholic spiral that makes him a problem to the students he's supposed to be supporting. By Volume 7, he gives up alcohol and starts turning his life around, despite the uphill struggle.
- Brutal Honesty: He doesn't hold back his opinions. He tears into Ironwood for militarizing Vale, stepping on Ozpin's toes and inciting fear in the population, which empowers the Grimm. He admonishes his nieces for thinking they're capable of putting a stop to all crime in Vale and tells them they weren't thinking like true Huntresses. When Ozpin tells Pyrrha why he needs her help, Qrow is one of those who bluntly tell her just how bad the consequences could be for her should she agree. When Ruby tries to reassure Oscar that he's his own person and not just another life to Ozpin, Qrow bitterly remarks "Don't lie to him, Ruby. We're better than that."
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: In Volume 1, Ruby mentions Qrow is a teacher at Signal Academy and gives a (amusing) description of his capabilities, leading to expectations of a stone-cold badass. While characters consider him to be badass, he is introduced getting drunk at a bar and then picking a fight with Winter. According to Glynda, he's always drunk.
- Cain and Abel: He and his sister have a very rocky relationship. Raven calls him a fool for trusting Ozpin and a traitor for leaving the Bandit Clan that raised them. Qrow is angry she abandoned Ozpin and her husband and daughter, and regards the tribe as thieves and murderers. After Salem sends her subordinates after Raven for protecting Vernal, Raven handles the situation by insisting Cinder kill her brother during the attack on Haven; although her plan is to use the chaos to steal the Relic of Knowledge for herself, Qrow is outraged to see her helping Salem and renounces her as his sister.
- Clock Punk: Between the blade and handle of Qrow's weapon is a circular mechanism containing visible gears. The gears allow the handle to rotate at angles to the blade, allowing it to activate its sword, gun or scythe formations. The gears audibly whir whenever the weapon changes form, standing out against the more modern revolving chambers and transformation mechanisms of other weapons in the series.
- Cold Turkeys Are Everywhere: After Qrow spends much of the sixth volume being a hinderance for the team, he decides to give up drinking one volume later as he admits to Clover. At the Schnee Manor gala, Qrow is offered a glass of wine which visibly catches him off guard for a minute, before he leaves under the pretense of patrolling the grounds.
- Cool Uncle: He was the teammate of Ruby and Yang's father, and also of the two women who became their mothers, so they both call him "uncle". In the pilot, Ruby indicates he shaped her from nothing into a brilliant fighter who's above her academic age in ability. In Volume 3, he willingly spends time playing video games with his nieces and giving them worldly advice, despite the very serious humanity-threatening danger he's involved in trying to stop. As the brother of Yang's mother, he's not Ruby's uncle by blood.
- Creepy Crosses: Qrow has a misfortune theme as a result of his association with crows, which are believed in Remnant to bring bad luck. His uncontrollable Semblance brings misfortune to anyone within its area of effect, including himself. He favours shades of grey with muted accent colours, dark rings and fights with a Sinister Scythe. He uses crosses to round out this look and add to morbidity of his aesthetic, wearing a titled cross at his throat until Volume 7, where he switches to cross-shaped waistcoat buttons.
- CynicIdealist Duo: In Volume 7, Clover and Qrow are paired together for missions. Qrow is a cynical, depressive loner with an uncontrollable misfortune Semblance that inconveniences everyone. Clover is upbeat, chatty, prefers team-working and has a controllable good fortune Semblance which helps everyone. They've both experienced Undying Loyalty to morally grey leaders, but Qrow's learned the bitter consequences of that while Clover hasn't; this differing experience drives an insurmountable wedge between them.
- Dance Battler: His style is very fluent and graceful, with many twists and spins that give him the appearance of dancing around his enemies.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Qrow and Raven were raised by a tribe that he describes as being "killers and thieves", who sent him and Raven to Beacon to learn how to kill Huntsmen. Raven returned to them, much to his disgust, but he refuses to have anything to do with them. Raven is angry about that as she thinks he's turning his back on family. He's not too impressed with her definition of "family". The tribe is led by Raven and she led the attack on Shion before Ruby's group made it there.
- Deadpan Snarker: Throughout his entire official introduction episode (Vol.3 Episode 3), almost every word that comes out of his mouth is dripping with snark. It's less obvious in later seasons as he seems to ease off when talking to the kids, but once they're back in civilisation any nearby adult is an acceptable target for his irritable barbs.Ironwood: If you were one of my men I would have you shot!
Qrow: If I was one of your men I'd shoot myself.
- Deconstructed Character Archetype: Of the Rebellious Spirit archetype; he puts up a front of being a cool, lone badass, who defies rules and social norms, but the truth is that he does not actually want to be alone and having it enforced on him has ruined his mental and emotional health. He brags a lot about his skills but in private he's full of self-loathing and struggles to believe that he's worth anything, is very dependent on Ozpin because Ozpin made him feel wanted, and his drinking becomes less of a running joke and more a sign of severe addiction.
- Dirty Old Man: Downplayed. While telling a story to his nieces, he claims he was defeated... by the mere sight of an innkeeper's skirt length, but it's left ambiguous whether he was serious or not. He later mentions he knows a lot of inappropriate stories about his old team, which includes the girls' parents, but he never goes into detail about it. In the episode Family he gives a leering look to a waitress who playfully flirted with him.
- Drowning My Sorrows: Qrow is an alcoholic whose drinking gets worse when he's under pressure or emotionally compromised. While he functions well most of the time, learning Ozpin's secret causes him to enter a Heroic BSoD and he spends most of Volume 6 too drunk to help anyone; even when Team RWBY almost die from Apathy Grimm, he's more interested in his next drink than the danger. He doesn't fully comprehend how close to death everyone came until Ruby and Weiss physically drag him from the house. In Volume 7, he gives up alcohol for good.
- Dueling Messiahs: With Ironwood in Volume 3. Ironwood is uptight, formal and blunt; he favours physical and excessive displays of force backed up by verbal arguments. Qrow is drunk, grumpy and enjoys winding people up; he favours discretion, intelligence gathering and sarcastic verbal attacks that are backed up by physical actions. In Volume 3, their constant arguing about the best way to fight Salem gives Ozpin a headache, but it's their conflict in Volume 7 over the best way to protect Mantle that drives a more serious wedge between them.
- Establishing Character Moment: He is introduced draped over a bar, piss-drunk and criticising all tournament matches as a mess. When the barman asks what fight he's here for, he points out an arriving airship before staggering off. He picks a fight with the owner of that craft, a Huntress-trained Atlesian Specialist, because he's heard General Ironwood has turned on Ozpin, and fights her to a standstill despite being wasted. It's later confirmed that he's a bit of a troublemaker, an habitual drunk and is extremely loyal to Ozpin. He only grows beyond these traits after Ozpin becomes a Broken Pedestal in Volume 6, which forces him to reassess himself, his drinking, and what he fights for from Volume 7.
- Family Theme Naming: In keeping with their corvid-themed surname, which means "blessed/white raven", Qrow and his twin sister Raven are both named after corvids. He states that he was deliberately named after the crow specifically because both he and that particular bird are associated with misfortune.
- Frame-Up: Tyrian takes advantage of the chaos caused by Ironwood's arrest order, playing Qrow and Clover against each other until Harbinger ends up discarded in the struggle. He uses Qrow's weapon to kill Clover and escapes seconds before the Atlas military finds arrests Qrow with a dead Operative and a bloody weapon. Eventually, after the Atlas military arrests Qrow, Jacques Schnee calls him a "murderer", which confirms that Atlas has fallen for Tyrian's scheme.
- Functional Addict: Even drunk, he can fight with the best Huntsmen, is quick on the uptake and perceptive and often looks deceptively sober. In Volume 6, learning Ozpin's secret shatters his faith in Ozpin so thoroughly that his alcoholism completely takes over. Even when the group is attacked by Apathy Grimm, he's too insensible to notice the danger and has to be rescued by them, and he later ends up passed out on the Cotta-Arc doorstep. In Volume 7, he decides to give up alcohol completely.
- The Gadfly: He has a mischievous side, which is expressed by his teasing of Ruby when they reunite and general irreverence towards everyone. He also applies it tactically in battle; when fighting Winter, he goads her into attacking him, constantly mocks by making faces or mimicing her fencing stance, and eggs her on so that the approaching General Ironwood will see his subordinate's attack.
- Gentle Touch vs. Firm Hand: Played with. Volume 3 contrasts the different ways Winter and Qrow mentor their younger relatives. Qrow is the Gentle Touch, talking through issues, offering advice, and encouraging his nieces to think like real Huntresses all while playing video games. Winter is the Firm Hand, commanding Weiss to always be her best, criticising her techniques to improve them and driving her relentlessly until she gets it right. However, if the need arises, Qrow's willing to turn his charges into bait to lure out the enemy while Winter has a motherly side and is horrified when her sister's group risks their lives to steal an airship to get the Relic of Knowledge to Atlas.
- Good Old Fisticuffs: Although Qrow prefers to fight with his weapon, he's not limited to it. After Tyrian disarms him, Qrow briefly looks at his clenched fist, shrugs and then pummels the Faunus with his bare hands before kicking him away. When the heroes arrive in Mantle and confront a Sabyr attack, the veteran Huntsman actually alternates between cutting the Grimm down and punching them in their faces. In the three-man rematch against Tyrian in mantle, he seems to outright utilise his weapon as a distraction to get licks in, and during their fight on the tundra, Clover's fishing rod pulls Qrow's sword out of his hands, so he throws a straight right into the operative's stomach, breaking his Aura in the process.
- Grin of Audacity: He flashes an excited grin when Winter manages to get a hit on him before demolishing the ground beneath the two of them.
- Guttural Growler: Qrow is a grim, cynical Huntsman who struggles through life as an alcohol and believes he's cursed by a Semblance that brings misfortune to everyone around him, including himself. His voice is raspy at the best of times, and becomes an open growl when he's angry or upset.
- Heroic BSoD:
- Qrow becomes devastated upon learning the truth about Ozpin and Salem, and feels like meeting Ozpin was the worst luck of his life. He spends the rest of the sixth volume reeling from the news and becoming increasingly paralytic from drink. He's too drunk to notice the danger they're in from Apathy Grimm and has to be rescued; in Argus, his response to the military refusing them passage to Atlas, results in him collapsing drunk on the Cotta-Arc doorstep. He holds it together just enough to help fight Cordovin's robot and, in Volume 7, decides to become teetotal.
- In Atlas, Qrow usually pairs with Clover for missions. Clover contrasts Qrow's jaded cynicism by being a friendly, optimistic people-person, who helps rebuild Qrow's spirits after his falling out with Ozpin. Once Tyrian kills Clover with Qrow's own weapon, Qrow is left screaming at the sky over Clover's body. After he and Robyn are detained, Qrow remains in a brooding funk for over a day until Robyn finally gets him to start talking again.
- Heroic Self-Deprecation: Qrow lives and works alone, viewing his life as cursed and trying to avoid burdening friends and family with his misfortune Semblance. The first person who saw past that curse and gave him a purpose in life was Ozpin; when he learns Ozpin's secret in Volume 6, his self-esteem shatters and he spends the rest of the volume in a state of drunken despair. He is so uncomfortable with receiving compliments or being viewed as a positive influence on the young heroes that Clover chastises him in Volume 7, telling him that he better than he thinks he is.
- Hero-Worshipper: Qrow used to idolize a legendary huntress known only as the Grimm Reaper, even designing his weapon Harbinger's scythe mode after her own kama, Life and Death. He's shocked when he eventually learns that Maria was the Grimm Reaper, but her response to learning that he wanted to be like her is to indicate that his alcoholism means he's well on the way to becoming as much of a disappointment as she ended up being.
- Honorary Uncle: Qrow is Yang's maternal uncle but is not related by blood to Ruby because she has a different mother. Ruby is treated as his niece every bit as much as Yang is.
- Hope Spot: As he sits in his cell brooding over Clover's bloody pin, Qrow admits to Robyn that there was a brief time when he truly believed that he had a chance to be around others without risk of his Semblance causing trouble. He feels that this was "like a childish dream".
- I Need a Freaking Drink: Qrow often handles challenging conversations by having an alcoholic beverage. In his Volume 3 introduction, Qrow implies he's getting drunk to shore himself up for his confrontation with Winter over Ironwood's betrayal of Ozpin. Later, after arguing with Leo about the Spring Maiden, he sends the kids back home and gets wasted at a bar. While staying at an abandoned farmstead just after learning Ozpin's secret, Ruby's fear he'll take advantage of all the alcohol is realised when he drinks himself into becoming The Load; his later reaction to Argus' military outpost refusing to grant them passage to Atlas is to head for the local bar. He eventually quits alcohol altogether in the seventh volume.
- I Shall Taunt You: After hearing that Ironwood and Ozpin have had a falling out, Qrow returns to Vale and fights with Ironwood's subordinate, Winter. He deliberately provokes her into attacking him by destroying Atlesian property, insulting her and threatening to discuss secret information in public. He only stops fighting her when he spots Ironwood coming to break up the fight. By sheathing his sword and mockingly beckoning to her, he taunts her into attacking him one final time just in time for Ironwood to witness it.
- I'll Kill You!: Qrow and Tyrian have had a score to settle since their battle in Anima, which makes Qrow increasingly frustrated and angry while fighting Tyrian in Mantle. When Tyrian murders Clover with Qrow's own weapon, Qrow screams at him that he'll kill Tyrian.
- I Work Alone: Qrow generally operates on his own, as a solitary fighter and an Aloof Ally. Since his Semblance causes uncontrolled misfortune to those around him, he actually works better without any allies nearby; his ability to cause enemies bad luck is one thing, but it can be a nightmare for friends and family.
- Image Song: When Qrow fights Tyrian, a song plays about a person who brings misfortune to others. After the fight is over, Qrow explains to Team RNJR that his Semblance causes misfortune to happen around him; it's useful in battle, but causes problems for friends and families. He describes himself as a "bad luck charm", which is the title of the song.
- Impossibly Cool Weapon: His weapon Harbinger is one part BFS, one part shotgun, onepart Sinister Scythe, one part tonfa, and four parts deadly.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He's abrasive, acerbic and an alcoholic. He'll say what he's thinking, no matter how rude or inappropriate that makes him. He causes chaos when angry or stressed, picking public fights with Winter because Ironwood turned the Council against Ozpin, constantly fighting with Ironwood in private over the best way to fight Salem, and habitually needling people with sharp remarks. However, he's loyal, fun-loving, fights to protect the world, and doesn't hesitate to save Ironwood's life or believe that he'd ever turn his army on Vale. He enjoys quality time with his nieces, disapproves of Raven's abandonment of Yang, and is horrified his sister returned to the murderous bandit tribe that raised them.
- The Jinx: When Ruby demands to know why he followed them instead of just travelling with them, he bitterly explains that he was named after crows because they're bad luck symbols; his Semblance causes misfortune to those around him; as it's permanently active, it can't be controlled well or switched off, which is great for dealing with combat opponents, but not so great when trying to interact with friends and family. Even just touching something briefly sets it off, let alone being near people for more than a few minutes.
- Knight in Sour Armor: Qrow has a strong cynical view of life. His Amity Arena bio points out that the nature of his Semblance has made it impossible his whole life to be sure whether something bad happening was his fault or not. Qrow always expects the worst possible situation to play out, and his time as one of Ozpin's scouts has shown him plenty of horrifying things Salem creates. Nevertheless, he continues to fight for the sake of innocents and his loved ones, a fact pointed out by Ruby and Robyn at different times.
- Leitmotif: A slow, melancholic string of singular notes plays in most of his appearances, usually interpreted with a violin. The full version of the song with an electric guitar, plays during his fight with Tyrian and is revealed to be his Image Song when he explains his Semblance to Team RNJR, describing himself by the song's title "Bad Luck Charm".
- Lemony Narrator: Qrow narrates the third volume of the World of Remnant side-series. In this capacity, he continues to display personality quirks such as sarcasm and alcoholism while expositing about the subjects of each episode, and shamelessly provides his own personal judgements throughout the season.
- The Load: In Volume 6, Qrow is left distraught by major revelations about Ozpin's past. He spends the volume drinking so heavily that he becomes a liability to his teenage companions and doesn't even notice the Apathy attacking them until Ruby and Weiss physically drag him away from his drinking. Ruby is forced to take increasing responsibility for leading the group until the end of the volume, where she's frustrated with Qrow's pessimism and tells him to get on board with their plans or stay out of it.
- Major Injury Underreaction: After Tyrian injures Qrow with his scorpion tail, Ruby retaliates by cutting off the stinger; the blood that burns the cobblestones like acid is purple. The following morning, Qrow coughs up blood; he notices it's the same shade purple, remarks "That's unfortunate", and falls unconscious.
- Meaningful Name: Qrow explains that he got his name because crows have a reputation for being unlucky. His Semblance makes him the very opposite of his surname (which means "blessed (or white) crow") by bringing misfortune to others, which is great in battle but not so great when interacting with friends and family.
- The Mentor: He trained Ruby how to fight while she was at Signal and is the reason why she's mastering his ability with the combat scythe.
- Mix-and-Match Weapon: Qrow's huge sword Harbinger is almost as long as he is tall. It transforms into a scythe or rifle at the push of a button which sets off a series of gears located in the quillon. He can use the blade to deflect bullets, and fire it in scythe mode to propel him forwards. He can halt transformations mid-sequence to give him a sort of bladed tonfa.
- Mr. Exposition: Qrow narrates the World of Remnant shorts in Volume 4, and does a lot of explaining to Team RNJR in A Much Needed Talk. Ironically, Qrow states that having to fill the role of this trope is the reason he quit his job as a Signal Academy teacher in the first place.
- Multi-Melee Master: He is the foremost expert in the use of a gun-scythe, having taught Ruby everything she knows and made her skilled enough to have her skip two grades. However, he is most frequently seen using Harbinger in its sword configuration and proves to be an equally formidable foe while using it. Even when Tyrian manages to disarm him, Qrow just shrugs and proceeds to repeatedly punch Tyrian in the face.
- My Nayme Is: He was named after crows by the tribe that raised him due them believing both he and the bird bring misfortune. He spells the name with a "Q" instead of a "C".
- The Nicknamer: Qrow employs nicknames for both affection and mockery. While he occasionally calls Ruby "Pipsqueak", his preferred nickname for her is "Kiddo". He calls Yang "Firecracker", Ironwood "Jimmy" when he wants to rile him, and sometimes calls Oscar either "pipsqueak" or "farmboy". Calling Winter "Ice Queen" initially confuses Weiss, because that's everyone else's nickname for her.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: At least part of his drunkenness is a facade intended to make others underestimate him. He drops the act when in private with Ozpin, Glynda, and Ironwood; it doesn't change the fact that he really is drunk, but he tends to hide how well he can function while under the influence.
- One-Handed Zweihänder: The default state of Qrow's weapon is a long-handled sword of huge size and width, making it almost as big as him. He frequently uses the sword one-handed and doesn't seem to be encumbered by it at all, incorporating flips, pirouettes and somersaults into his movements to meet enemy attacks.
- One of the Kids: He's not above playing video games with his nieces (and handily beating them at it), doesn't like being called "old", and will gladly join Ruby in a happy dance over tasty sandwiches. He does, however, take pride in being a professional Huntsman and sometimes ends his "play-time" with his nieces by telling them that him being seen with kids is cramping his style.
- Only a Flesh Wound: The only injury Tyrian manages to inflict on Qrow is a thin scratch. A massive bandage is then used to wrap his torso, despite the small wound, but Qrow clearly has trouble moving around that night. The following morning, blood is soaking through the bandage and Qrow coughs up even more blood before lapsing unconscious. The blood is the same purple shade as the blood that was in Tyrian's scorpion tail.
- Perma-Stubble: He doesn't seem concerned with his appearance. He has a somewhat wild appearance, emphasized by his unshaven look. Mercury comments that he has bad hair and smells like his dad after a long day. He is, however, clean shaven in the picture of his team during the opening of Volume 3.
- Power Incontinence: Qrow has a passive Semblance that is always active and, while he has a very limited ability to amplify its effects, he is incapable of switching it off. The Semblance causes misfortune to anyone within its area of effect; it's an excellent tool for bring bad luck to enemies on the battlefield, but it also brings suffering to any allies who are on the same battlefield as well as to people he interacts with on a daily basis. He therefore spends as little time as possible hanging around the people he cares about to protect them from his Semblance.
- Razor Wind: His sword is capable of firing one as a warning shot to Winter. One later assists the cleaving of an attacking Griffon.
- Rebel Relaxation: Qrow has a habit of lounging with his back and one foot against a wall and arms crossed when a conversation is taking place. When Ozpin discusses a children's fairy tale with Pyrrha, Qrow is in the background against a pillar. He only joins in the conversation when Pyrrha needs to be convinced that Ozpin isn't joking about the fairy tale being true. When he talks to Yang after she's disqualified, he starts off in this position, but as the conversation becomes more serious, he loses the stance.
- Recoil Boost: Qrow can use the shotgun feature of Harbinger while it's in scythe form to propel himself forward and strengthen his blade's cutting power.
- Recovered Addict: After spending Volume 6 as The Load due to his alcoholism getting out of control, Qrow gives up drinking. At Jacques Schnee's banquet, Qrow politely declines to drink wine and leaves to patrol the grounds to ensure he won't be tempted.
- Revenge Before Reason: After Ironwood's orders led to Clover's death, Qrow becomes resentful towards him for much of the eighth volume. Once he escapes custody, Qrow's first instinct is to immediately kill Ironwood. This is despite the fact that, as Robyn points out, they have extremely limited resources to kill him and Ironwood is preparing to blow up Mantle. Fortunately, Robyn talks enough sense into him to subvert it.
- Shotguns Are Just Better: The ranged part of Qrow's weapon takes the form of two shotgun barrels mounted on either side of the blade. When he wants to fire it in sword mode, the giant blade flips down so he can blast his enemies. The barrels are capable of rotating at other other angles, and he can fire them just as well while he's fighting with a scythe, often using the Recoil Boost for more power.
- Sibling Yin-Yang: He and Raven have an interesting case of this regarding their Semblances and relations to their families. Qrow can't control his bad luck Semblance and resents how distant it forces him to be from his friends and loved ones to keep them safe, while Raven cut herself off from their family out of insecurity and fear despite her portal Semblance allowing her to instantly travel to their side.
- Sinister Scythe: Taught Ruby how to fight with hers, uses one himself, though most of the time he keeps it in the form of a sword. Turning into its scythe form requires a rather lengthy Transformation Sequence in which the the "sword" segments itself into a curved blade and extends a very long handle, as least as tall as Qrow himself.
- Sour Supporter: He is downright caustic to some of his allies, especially Ironwood, when he feels that they're being reckless or stupid. Despite this rough exterior, Qrow is fiercely loyal to his friends and family, placing special emphasis on the latter.
- Spin Attack: A good portion of Qrow's combat style involves spinning Harbinger, both in sword and scythe form, in his hands or rotating his whole body. This could be so he can make full use of his weapon's weight to add more momentum to his attacks.
- Spin to Deflect Stuff: Despite the huge size of his weapon's default sword-form, Qrow is capable of easily spinning it in battle, using the sword's large size to deflect bullets, flaming rocks and other dangerous projectiles.
- Stab the Scorpion: He does this for Ironwood in Episode 11, cleaving a Griffon that was attacking him from behind in half. Ironwood was shocked, thinking that Qrow was about to attack him.
- Stepford Snarker: Qrow's sarcastic tongue masks his inner self-loathing and insecurities about his Semblance. As his Amity Arena bio notes:When life was nothing more than a series of unfortunate events, all he could ever do was take a long sip, push back his hair, and fake a smile.
- Strong and Skilled: He's a fully trained huntsman with years of experience in the field; an acknowledged expert in the use of sniper scythes, he is equally skilled with swords, guns, and hand-to-hand combat. He can switch styles so easily that he can put the dangerous serial killer, Tyrian, on the back-foot. He can fight with either hand in combat and doesn't benefit from a Semblance boost in battle; in fact, his misfortune Semblance impedes him as much as anyone else.
- Tall, Dark, and Snarky: Standing eye-to-eye with the very tall and imposing General Ironwood, Qrow dresses primarily in black and gray and has a dry wit that is only matched by his drunkenness and deadliness in combat. While Qrow is generally a decent man to his friends, he loves to snark at and piss off people he feels are acting out of people's best interests, as seen when he intentionally picks a fight with Winter and argues with Ironwood at their meeting. He is also very good at what he does, with Mercury fleeing in terror at the sight of him.
- Take Up My Sword: At the end of Volume 3, he implies that whatever happened to Ozpin, he's in no condition to finish the grand scheme, so Qrow himself will have to in his place. He fulfills the trope by taking Ozpin's cane and eventually giving it to Oscar.
- Tempting Fate: At the end of "The Greatest Kingdom", he remarks that he was expecting their arrival in Atlas to be far rougher than it actually was. Ten seconds later, the entire group is captured by the Ace Ops.
- The Teetotaler: After becoming The Load in Volume 6, he decides to swear off alcohol and leaves the room when invited to the Schnee household to avoid the temptation.
- Theme Naming: The Beacon Academy headmaster, Ozpin, has strong connections to the Wizard of Oz, from whom he gets his name. His closest allies are in positions of power in all four Huntsmen Academies and share Ozpin's Oz connections by being themed on Dorothy's companions. Qrow is inspired by the Scarecrow. While the Scarecrow was questing for intelligence he already possessed, Qrow acts as Ozpin's intelligence-gatherer and tends to clash with Ozpin's allies whenever he feels they're not responding to threats in a sound and strategic manner.
- Thicker Than Water: Qrow is extremely protective of his family members, constantly tailing Ruby all throughout Volume 4 to make sure that nothing bad happened to her. He also screams at her to stay out of his fight with Tyrian out of fear for her safety. This also means that he's furious when he realizes that Raven has risked the lives of him, Ruby, Yang, and the others to save herself.
- Token Adult: In Volume 4, Qrow is the only adult connected to Team RNJR's journey; he protects them in secret until Tyrian requires his intervention. In Volume 5, they're joined by Professor Ozpin, who is sharing the body of the fourteen-year-old Oscar and who therefore has a limited impact due to his physical circumstances. As a result, Ozpin has to heavily rely on five teenagers and a single adult (Qrow) to help him protect Haven Academy.
- Tragic Bromance: Volume 7 introduces a counterpart in Ace Ops leader Clover Ebi, a Huntsman with the semblance "Good Fortune". The pair spend much of the volume working together, reaching a point of friendly bantering and jokes in comparison to Qrow's usual withdrawn attitude. Then, Ironwood orders Qrow's arrest and Clover follows these orders without question. In the ensuing battle, Tyrian uses Qrow's sword to kill Clover, setting up Qrow to take the fall for the murder.
- Tragic Keepsake: After the authorities capture Qrow at the end of Volume 7, he has taken Clover's blood-stained four-leaf clover charm into his possession as a memento of their friendship. As he's taken away in a prisoner transport vehicle, Qrow gazes at the badge in his hand while Robyn tries to comfort him. After a bomb is set to fall off of the cargo plane he's in and destroy Mantle, Qrow holds the charm as if he's praying to Clover for a lucky break; he is rewarded when the bomb comes to a halt just short of the edge.
- Undying Loyalty: To Ozpin. He turned on both Winter and Ironwood in Volume 3 for shafting Ozpin in Volume 2. He assumes responsibility for Ozpin's duties when he goes missing after the fall of Beacon, meeting up with Oscar in Haven to give him Ozpin's cane. It's implied that Ozpin had well-placed faith in Qrow to carry out instructions even when he wasn't around. When Ozpin's secret is revealed in Volume 6, Qrow's faith in him shatters; he punches Oscar in the face, telling Ozpin that meeting him was worst luck of his life.
- Unplanned Crossdressing: One of Team STRQ's early stories involved Taiyang tricking Qrow into wearing a girl's uniform. Being raised outside of the kingdoms by a bandit tribe, Qrow didn't know the difference between a schoolgirl's skirt and a kilt. If Professor Port's impersonation is in any way accurate, Qrow took it as a chance to show off his legs.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: The battle of Haven for the Relic of Knowledge can only occur as a result of the villains obtaining the Spring Maiden. However, they've been as unsuccessful as the heroes in locating Spring's whereabouts. After realising his sister is harbouring the Spring Maiden, Qrow tells Professor Leo, expecting Ozpin's oldest friend and ally to help him retrieve her. He doesn't realise Leo is actually a mole for Salem and had an open comm to Watts for the conversation until it's too late. Watts even credits Qrow for the breakthrough when he and Leo report the news to Salem.
- Voluntary Shapeshifting: When Team RNJR travel to Mistral, Qrow secretly follows them in the form of a crow; he shifts between human and bird as he desires, and his clothing and equipment are covered by the shapeshifting, so he is able to carry both his weapon and Ozpin's cane even in bird form. In Volume 5, Raven reveals her raven form to Yang and Weiss to demonstrate proof that magic exists in the world; she explains that the one who gifted the twins with the ability to transform into their namesake birds is Professor Ozpin.
- Weapon-Based Characterisation: Qrow fights with a giant sword that can transform into both a gun and a scythe. The weapon is therefore designed to deal death at both range and close-combat. Qrow is heavily associated with crows and the death and misfortune that crows are associated with. He was named "Qrow" because his Semblance brings bad luck to anyone he's near, making him the same harbinger of misfortune as a crow. His weapon is likewise designed to bring death and misfortune in multiple ways, and its strongest form is the scythe that is associated with death and the Grimm Reaper.
- Winds of Destiny, Change!: Qrow has a secret, unconventional approach to battle. His Semblance causes misfortune to everyone around him and it's something that cannot be controlled or switched off. While it causes big problems for friends and family, causing misfortune to happen to opponents on the battlefield is very useful.
Voiced By: Katie Newville [EN], Marina Inoue [JP]
Debut: Black and White*
One of two subordinates of Cinder introduced in the Black and White stinger. Often feigning an amicable demeanor, Emerald is a snarky woman who also has a habit of sneakily robbing people when they least expect it. She's a premier stealth fighter, preferring opportunity attacks over straight up confrontations.
Emerald fights with pair of revolvers named Thief's Respite that have retractable blades attached via chains. She can use her Semblance "Hallucination" to generate auditory and visual hallucinations; although influencing a single target is straight-forward, she experiences increasing mental strain with each additional person she includes.
- Allegiance Affirmation: After receiving confirmation from Tyrian that Salem intends to destroy the world, Emerald decides to help Hazel rescue Oscar, Jaune, Yang and Ren from Salem's whale. She later aids the heroes in subduing a malfunctioning Penny and then gives them all a pep talk, confirming her decision to switch sides.Emerald: I think you're wrong, by the way. I highly doubt you're in the same place you started. I-I mean, yeah, you-you guys have been getting your asses kicked some of that my fault but, like, you're at war. You're gonna take hits. Look! I'm just going to be super-pissed if you all finally decide to give up the moment I switch sides!
Oscar: Switch sides, huh?
- Anti-Villain: A petty thief who will assassinate people with a joke, she fakes friendship to gather intel on Team RWBY's tournament strategy and uses her Semblance to destroy reputations to further Cinder's plans. However, she reacts to the carnage in Vale with pathos, and tells Ruby in Volume 5 that she doesn't care about Salem, only Cinder. From Volume 6, Emerald begins questioning her continued involved with Salem and becomes increasingly unsettled by Salem and Cinder's interactions in Volume 8. Once she learns the truth about Salem's plans for Remnant, she defects to the heroes' side and begins her journey towards Anti-Hero.
- Artistic License Physics: Emerald's hair doesn't fall down or indeed move much when she performs flips and acrobatics. This could be excused with products, but it also applies to the two tails hung over her back.
- Back Stab: How she finishes off Coco in the double rounds of the Vytal Festival. It's so devastating that she put her down to the red in Aura levels and knocked her unconscious when Coco's levels were previously at 70%.
- Bare Your Midriff: Although she wears knee-length, or longer, trousers and chaps, she often wears almost nothing on her upper body. Her outfit for the first six volumes is a skimpy two-piece top that exposes her arms and midriff; her flashback outfit was just a crop-top that covered her breasts and little else. Although her Atlesian outfit covers up most of her skin because of the cold climate, it still exposes some of her midriff.
- Because You Were Nice to Me: Emerald's loyalties tend to be formed on the basis of who in her life has been nice to her. Cinder saved her from destitution and poverty, leaving her feeling like she owes Cinder everything. She has no interest in Salem, but obeys, defends and looks-up to Cinder no matter how badly she's treated or how often she's told that Cinder doesn't care about her. After Haven, she becomes close to Hazel, who decides to rescue her and Oscar from Salem once they discover Salem's true end-goal. Devastated by Hazel's sacrifice, she starts bonding with Oscar, who expresses faith in her abilities and consistently vouches for her to the initially suspicious heroes.Cinder: Follow me, and you'll never be hungry again.
Emerald: [genuinely grateful] Thank you.
- Being Evil Sucks: While she seemed rather happy with her life serving Cinder at first, Emerald begins to show second-thoughts about it while witnessing the invasion of Vale by the Grimm. After finding out about Salem and becoming a bigger part of her plans, Emerald becomes increasingly unsure and fearful about her path with her being horrified by the birth of Grimm and is visibly terrified of Salem and some of her creatures such as the Seer and the Hound, and she's also scared and bullied by Tyrian. Her doubts and regrets only increase with Cinder's disappearance at Haven and Salem's assault on Atlas, though it's only after learning about Salem's true goal of destroying Remnant, seeing the scarred people of Atlas and Oscar's encouragements that she finally finds the courage and remorse to leave Salem's side and start becoming a better person. Once she starts helping team RWBY and their friends Emerald becomes visibly far happier and relaxed than she was while serving Salem and Cinder.
- Big "NO!": Emerald yells "no" in shock when she is unable to stop Yang from reaching Haven's vault.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Emerald's good at masking her true intentions with a polite facade. She acts very sweet to the old shop owner while trying to find the location of someone she's looking to murder in cold blood, stealing his wallet in the process. During the tournament, she acts super cheerful and friendly to Team RWBY, but as soon as they leave, she tells Mercury that she despises them; apparently she can't comprehend how they can be so happy all the time.
- Cleavage Window: In the first six volumes, she wears a two-layered design. The green top barely covers her breasts, while a white bolero wraps around her neck. Together they create an exposed cleavage region.
- Combat Pragmatist: During the Tournament, Emerald avoids fighting Yatsuhashi and Coco directly; she melts into the long grass and disappears. Only when Coco is in the forest biome does she re-engage, using guerrilla-style hit-and-run strikes to disorient Coco. When she's finally ready to confront her, she does so from behind. During the battle at Haven Academy, she knocks out Ruby from behind to prevent Ruby from attacking Cinder. During the tournament, she keeps her illusion Semblance secret; her opponent, Coco, is left thinking she's seeing things and starts shaking; even after the fight, Coco's team think she was suffering from stress-induced hallucinations.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: While she sees virtually no action in her doubles fight up until she drags Coco into the forest, Emerald easily defeats her opponent by inducing an hallucination of Yatsuhashi when he's been been beaten by Mercury beforehand, before going in for a strike in the back. One so powerful it knocks Coco's Aura from 70% to critical and promptly disqualifies her.
- Dark Action Girl: Cinder's associate and a thief who uses stealth and isn't above employing under-handed tactics to defeat someone, as Coco can attest.
- Deadpan Snarker: She's pretty sardonic at times. When Roman snarks about how "it's like a divorce" regarding him and Cinder, Emerald immediately counters with:Emerald: Spare us the thought of you procreating.
- Disappointed by the Motive: Has a mutual example with Mercury in The Lost. She's absolutely stunned by Mercury's lack of emotional investment; Cinder wanted an assassin and he was trained to be an assassin, so joining her "felt right" to Mercury. Mercury in turn is unimpressed by her personal devotion to Cinder, since he knows it's misplaced and Cinder doesn't actually care about them.
- Dual Wielding: Emerald has a pair of gun knives she uses in battle, which she uses on both hands in Volume 2's finale.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Growing up on the streets as an orphan, Emerald had no-one to love. After being recruited for her Semblance, Emerald comes to view Cinder as a mother-figure and will do anything for her. At Haven, Emerald reveals she doesn't care about Salem, but she owes Cinder everything. Even though both Mercury and Tyrian tell her that Cinder doesn't care about her, her loyalty remains unshaken. After Haven, Hazel begins looking out for her instead. After he sacrifices his life to save her from Salem, she is left devastated by his death.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Emerald struggles to cope with Salem's plans. She's morose by the carnage in Vale and horrified by the endless generation of Grimm from the Pools of Annihilation. She fears the Seer Grimm and is horrified by Salem's transformation of Grimm in preparation for battling Atlas. When Ozpin reveals that Salem wants to destroy the world, a worried Emerald informs Mercury, becoming anxious and disturbed when an eavesdropping Tyrian confirms it's true. She escapes Salem with Oscar and is visibly disturbed by the sight of terrified Atlesians cowering in the subways from Salem's attacks, especially when she spots small children trying to comfort each other.
- False Friend: She acts friendly towards Team RWBY in the second and third Volumes, but she's actually their enemy and admits to Mercury that she hates them because she can't understand why they're so happy all the time. In Volume 8, she defects to join the heroes when they are at their lowest point. She complains that she's going to be super-pissed if they finally decided to give up just as she's decided to switch sides. After that, she and the heroes begin getting along much better.
- Five-Finger Discount: She enjoys pickpocketing, relieving the Dust Till Dawn shopkeeper of his wallet with nary a hint and later snatching Roman's lighter; all in her first appearance.
- Good Feels Good: Used as a Pre-Asskicking One-Liner in "Creation". Ironwood thinks that Penny has been subdued and goes to reassure her that she's doing the right thing. "Penny" agrees, before dropping her illusion and noting that doing the right thing "feels weird". Emerald uses this opportunity to disarm Ironwood so that JNR, Oscar, and Winter can subdue him.
- The Gunslinger: Her falxes are also revolvers, going along with the cowboy chaps she wears.
- Gun Twirling: Seen when she pulls out her weapons during the Volume 2 finale before opening fire.
- HeelFace Turn: Emerald's constant uncertainty about her place in Salem's fight changes in Volume 8 when she learns the truth about Salem's end-game. After overhearing Ozpin tell Hazel what the end-game is, she tries to convince a sceptical Mercury. Upon receiving confirmation from an eavesdropping Tyrian, she decides to help Hazel rescue Oscar, Jaune, Yang and Ren from Salem's whale. She later aids the heroes in subduing a malfunctioning Penny, confirming her decision to switch sides.
- Held Gaze:
- In Volume 8, Episode 7, unpleasant information results in Emerald and Mercury exchanging a long look with each other as he leaves for Vacuo with Tyrian. She is frightened and melancholic and he gives her a tiny nod to acknowledge why she's afraid.
- In Volume 8, Episode 9, an unpleasant situation results in Emerald and Hazel exchanging a long look with each other. To enable Emerald, Oscar, Jaune, Ren and Yang to escape from Salem's clutches, Hazel decides to fight her, leaving Emerald almost in tears. He just gives her a tender, fatherly smile and tells her to run.
- Logical Weakness: Emerald's illusions affect her target's biological senses, leaving them unable to distinguish between what is real and fake. However, Penny's android senses include thermal vision. Since Emerald's illusions don't give off any heat, Penny is able to easily distinguish the real Cinder from the illusory copies surrounding her.
- Master of Illusion: Her Semblance allows her to project lifelike hallucinations into the minds of others, and is first seen when she unnerves Coco with an illusion that resembles Yatsuhashi. Although she initially struggles to fool two minds at the same time in Volume 3, she begins learning to hone her ability, eventually producing illusions that can fool multiple targets, disguise individuals as someone else, make her targets appear invisible to even the Grimm, and stack multiple different effects at the same time.
- Meaningful Name: "Sustrai" is Basque for "thief". Emerald is a street rat who has become an exceptionally-skilled thief. Put together, her name essentially means "jewel thief" and on at least one occasion she made her living by stealing priceless jewelry.
- Must Make Amends: When Yang's team and Emerald escape from Salem, Emerald initially considers going her own way rather than staying with the heroes. Yang and Jaune's determination not to let her escape means that she gets to see all the Atlesian refugees huddled in the subway, terrified for their lives. As they walk through the crowd, Emerald shows increasing signs of shame and remorse until she becomes visibly horrified upon seeing two young children trying to comfort each other. Oscar notices and tells her that they could really use someone with her abilities. She accepts his suggestion and becomes an active participant in the fight against Salem, starting by helping the refugees get safely to Vacuo.
- My Master, Right or Wrong: To Cinder. Though Cinder only recruited Emerald for her Semblance, Cinder was the first person in her life to reach out to her and offer her something better than a life of poverty. Because of this, Emerald has since become Cinder's most loyal ally. While she does display a hint of remorse during the fall of Beacon, it isn't enough for her to leave Cinder's side. During her fight with Ruby in "The More The Merrier", she outright tells Ruby that she doesn't care about Salem or her goals, but she owes Cinder everything.
- No Sympathy: After murdering Tukson, Emerald casually jokes about about him with Mercury, and only feels bad about disappointing Cinder when she chews them out for not following her orders. It's only when she witnesses from a distance the invasion of Vale in Volume 3 that she begins to start feeling pathos for their victims. However, it's not until Volume 8 when she learns Salem's true end-game and sees up close the plight of Atlas' refugees that she feels enough shame and remorse to join the heroes and actively fight against Salem.
- Not in This for Your Revolution: Emerald's only reason for being on Salem's side is because of her loyalty to Cinder, who happens to serve Salem. When Cinder is exiled for a period, Emerald begins having a serious crisis of conscience, and after Cinder's return she's perfectly happy to help the Maiden disobey Salem's orders. When she learns that Salem's ultimate goal isn't to conquer Remnant, but to destroy it, Emerald decides she can no longer continue serving the witch and joins with Yang, Jaune, Ren and Oscar.
- Not What I Signed on For: At Haven, Emerald makes it clear she's only working for Salem because of her loyalty to Cinder. Thus, she's unsure of her place within the faction, and experiences doubts about remaining while Cinder is ostracised. She eventually reaches her limit in Volume 8; upon discovering Salem's intentions to destroy Remnant, she helps Oscar escape from Salem and sides with the heroes.
- Power-Strain Blackout: When Emerald manipulates Yang into believing Mercury's attacking her to frame her on global television as a vicious thug who enjoys hurting defenceless people, she has to manipulate the minds of the two paramedics who arrive to carry Mercury out of the arena. It leaves her with a pounding headache because she struggles to manipulate more than one mind at a time. During the attack on Haven, the villains find themselves surrounded by Menagerie's militia and the Mistral Police; she conjures an illusion of Salem to distract the nine people inside the building with her, clutching her head and screaming as she does so. When the villains are shown fleeing into the forest, Hazel is carrying the unconscious Emerald.
- Psychotic Smirk: Sports a small one right before she hit Coco in the back of the neck with her falx, winning the fight.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: The camera has a tendency to focus on Emerald's vivid red eyes whenever she's tapping into her illusion powers. Emerald's abilities are the main reason why Cinder is so successful in destroying Beacon Academy and becoming the next Fall Maiden. She can make a target perceive anything she wants, and all the senses are fooled, not just sight. She enables Amber to be ambushed by making Amber think there's a crying child in need of help, and ensures Amber has troubling seeing exactly where Cinder, Mercury and herself are during their fight. She also fools Yang into seeing and hearing Mercury attack her from behind after their tournament ends, resulting in Yang appearing to the watching world as though she's attacked a badly injured and defeated Mercury for absolutely no reason. This disqualifies Team RWBY from the tournament.
- Recruited from the Gutter: Emerald used to live on the streets, surviving by using her illusion powers to steal and facing a future filled only with constant hunger and no prospects. When Cinder witnesses Emerald steal an expensive ring by convincing the jeweller to "voluntarily" give it to her, she decides to recruit Emerald to her cause. She corners Emerald in an alley and gives her the option between being caught by the cops who are closing in on her or becoming a part of something that will ensure she never goes hungry again. Since joining Cinder's team, Emerald has been completely loyal even when mistreated by Cinder or terrified by Salem. When Ruby tries to understand what Emerald is doing with Salem, Emerald emphatically declares that she doesn't care about Salem, but owes Cinder everything.
- Rock Theme Naming: Emerald is named after the semi-precious stone, and her hair is green to match the name. Cleopatra, whom Emerald resembles, was said to have been both obsessed with and cursed by emeralds.
- Selective Obliviousness: Emerald idolizes Cinder as a savior and views her as a mother figure, voluntarily helping her commit all manner of atrocities while refusing to acknowledge or admit that her boss is a ruthless, abusive narcissist who has never shown genuine concern for anyone but herself. Her denial runs so deep that when Mercury tells her point-blank that Cinder has never cared about her and sees her as nothing but a tool, Emerald flies into a rage and attacks him.
- Swiss-Army Weapon: Emerald's weapons appear to be a pair of falxes with alternative gun functionality, each having a blade which folds against the barrel, and can detach with chains to create a kusarigama-like weapon. As such, they can be used for both hand-to-hand and ranged combat.
- Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Back when she first meet Mercury she wasn't too fond of him, and tried to convince Cinder that they didn't need him for their plans, before Cinder reminded her of her place. Their relationship during the Vale mission consists of them teasing and mocking each other like constantly-squabbling siblings.
- Undying Loyalty: Emerald makes it absolutely clear to Ruby that she doesn't care about Salem or what Salem does to people. Cinder saved her from poverty and starvation, and she therefore feels she owes Cinder everything. Even when Mercury tells her she's in denial to think that Cinder cares about her, she refuses to believe it and attacks Mercury for saying it.
- Variable-Length Chain: Her weapon's chain length is usually held at nunchuck size when fighting, but can extend really far away, as demonstrated during the Vytal Festival tournament when she drags Coco all the way from the middle ground into the forest.
- Villainous Breakdown: Upon seeing Yang return with the Relic with no sign of Cinder, Emerald bursts into in tears at the thought of Cinder being gone. When pressed by Mercury to escape, Emerald screams to create one mass illusion that leaves her unconscious while Hazel carries her to safety.
- Villain Song: Emerald and Mercury share the song "I'm the One", played during their fight with Team CFVY. Emerald's part consists of her smack-talking her opponents about her Semblance ability and uses some of the dialogue that occurs between herself and Coco during the fight.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With Mercury; most of their interactions consist of being sarcastic with each other to get under each other's skin. They still share a laugh every now and then, showing that they don't always annoy each other. They are also quick to back each other up when they get into an argument with Roman, and their time in Salem's domain makes them realize that the only people they can trust are each other.
- Voice for the Voiceless: After Cinder receives some injuries that make her near-mute, Emerald acts as her voice by repeating Cinder's whispers to others.
Major AlliesOver the course of the heroes' journey, they have made many friends and bonds all across Remnant. Many of them have come to learn about Salem's existence and remain staunch supporters in the fight against her.
For more information on Ilia Amitola, see RWBY: White Fang.
Voiced by: Melissa Sternenberg [EN], Mayumi Tanaka [JP]
Debut: Argus Limited*
An elderly woman who travels to Argus on the same train as Team RWBY. When the train crashes, she's stranded in the wilderness with Team RWBY, Qrow and Oscar.
In her youth, Maria fought with a pair of dual kama called "Life and Death", which used Gravity Dust to propel Maria around the battlefield. Her Semblance, "Preflexes", gives her enhanced reflexes and allows her to react to attacks almost before they happen.
- Ace Pilot: Maria is the one flying the stolen airship. Weiss at first questions it, but Maria turns out to be quite effective at it, handling well both being attacked by a Humongous Mecha and flying right into a swarm of Grimm.
- Boring, but Practical: Discussed Trope. Maria's Semblance is 'Preflexes', precognition that manifests as reflexes that kick in just before something happens rather than in response to something happening. Elite Huntsmen have exceptional reflexes anyway; while Preflexes doesn't sound like much, Maria believes it's one of the reasons she became a legendary fighter. She tells Ruby that her Semblance and training were more important than the much cooler power of her silver eyes, advising Ruby to develop the same mentality about her own abilities.
- Blind Without 'Em: Maria admits that she's blind without "her eyes", referring to her artificial eyes. When her perspective is shown, her vision is washed out and blue-tinted, which gives her very little awareness of color. She lost her eyesight in battle when she was much younger and is travelling to Argus because her eyes are malfunctioning and in need of repair.
- Break the Badass: Once known as The Grimm Reaper, a legendary Huntress idolised even by other Huntsmen, she was blinded on her final mission. Assassins were hired to kill her because of her silver eyes; while they only blinded her, she was so terrified more would come that she went into hiding. Since then, she regards herself as a failure who betrayed what it means to be a Huntress.
- Brutal Honesty: Maria is very forthright with her opinions and doesn't sugar-coat her feelings. When the heroes are reeling from the truth about Ozpin, Yang lashes out at Maria's suggestion they evacuate the area. She bluntly informs Yang that they need to keep it together because they're in a precarious situation from both freezing conditions and the risk of Grimm detecting their negativity. Unable to object to that logic, everyone obeys her and quickly leaves the area.
- Color Blind Confusion: Maria relies on a pair of artificial eyes to see, and she has difficulty recognizing colors due to them being in need of repair. She only finds out that Ruby has silver eyes by asking her what color they are.
- Cool Mask: When she was a young woman, she was known as the Grimm Reaper. To protect her anonymity associated with the moniker, she donned a skull mask that was covered in grey patterns. It was ultimately destroyed when she was attacked by Tock and her thugs, taking a headbutt to the face.
- Cool Old Lady: Maria is a senior citizen that gets involved with the main group through a series of misfortunes, but even then, she is nice and kind to the main group and serves as the voice of reason whenever the group starts to disintegrate over emotional shocks or threats to their lives. She also has a sassy personality like most cases of the trope, cracking jokes and having the time of her life Trolling Cordovin.
- Dope Slap: Maria is frank with her opinions and can't abide stupidity or the wrong mentality towards fighting as a Huntress. When Ruby asks Maria to teach her "how to laser beam monsters with [her] eyeballs", Maria hits Ruby over the head with her walking stick for having the wrong mentality to use the power. As a tool of protection and preservation, it is the antithesis of destruction and therefore cannot be thought of as a weapon.
- Electronic Eyes: She lost her eyesight in battle. As a result, she has artificial eyesight that consisted of goggles being surgically attached to her face. Not only can she see clearly, but the flaps of the eyes function like eyelids and move according to her mood.
- Expressive Mask: Maria possesses artificial eyes that cover her face like a pair of metal goggles. The flaps on the eyepieces can adjust with her mood to imitate eyelids. It's therefore easy to see when she's shocked, irritated or concentrating by whether the flaps make these artificial eyes wide and round or narrow, rectangular slits.
- Eye Scream: On her final mission as the Grimm Reaper, Maria is blinded in both eyes and has to undergo surgery to be given the artificial sight she possesses. She was ambushed by a band of thugs ordered to kill her because of that ability. The leader, Tock, manages to strike her across the face with a cutlass, destroying both Maria's eyesight and her power.
- Faking the Dead: When the mysterious, masked Grimm Reaper suddenly disappeared, no-one could uncover what happened to her. For years, many assumed she was simply on a mission, before coming to accept she more than likely died. After being almost assassinated for having silver eyes, the blinded Maria went into hiding, terrified others might come to finish the job.
- Felony Misdemeanor: She has been on an extra screening list for Atlas for a while, which also managed to get her a rivalry with Caroline Cordovin, due to merely taking some extra cashews with her in a flight to fix her eyes.
- Gravity Master: The kama Maria wields, Life and Death, possess gravity dust in the chambers by the base. When she was younger, she would throw one kama, then activate the dust to trigger a magnetic effect and drag the other one, and anything it hit, back to her.
- Hero of Another Story: The Grimm Reaper is a legendary Huntress whose fame is known far and wide, but whose identity was never known. She disappeared one day, leaving the world wondering what happened to her, and whether or not she had died. The only mission ever shown is the one that reveals how she lost her eyesight.
- I Resemble That Remark!: When their train crashes, Yang complains about the situation and sums up how bad it is by concluded that they've ended up with a defenseless old lady. Maria objects to being called defenseless — but then acknowledges that she's hard of hearing and blind without her artificial eyes, which don't work properly. She concludes that she can see Yang's point, after all.Maria: My name is Maria Calavera, and I am not defenseless! I'm just a little hard of hearing. And blind without my eyes, that are in desperate need of repair... okay, I'm starting to see your point.
- I'm Not a Hero, I'm...: Maria doesn't see herself as a great hero, but as a disappointment for running and hiding once she lost her eyes rather than doing the job of a Huntress and continuing to fight. When Qrow tries to compliment her for being a great hero and admits he wanted to be like her, all she can do is call herself a disappointment; she adds that Qrow, who's struggling with alcohol, is well on his way to being the same.
- Living Legend: Maria was once known as The Grimm Reaper, a renowned Huntress whose identity was never known. She disappeared to mysterious circumstances, her legend surviving only as a riddle that no-one could ever solve. Qrow modeled his own weapon Harbinger, a sword-gun-scythe combination, on the Grimm Reaper's weapons Life and Death, which were dual kama. Ruby herself has modeled her own sniper-scythe Crescent Rose on Qrow's weapon, and so has indirectly been influenced by The Grimm Reaper's style.
- Meaningful Name: Calavera is the Spanish word for a representation of the human skull, and is best known for the edible or decorative skulls used during the the Day of the Dead and All Souls Day. Maria carries a staff that is topped by a decorative skull, and also wears a bead necklace which has a single skull as its centerpiece. As the Grimm Reaper, she also wore a half-mask with a similar skull motif.
- Mentor Archetype: Maria is an elderly, legendary Huntress who was almost assassinated by people who were hunting silver-eyed warriors. She was left blinded and too afraid to continue being a Huntress. Haunted by her failure to keep protecting people, she agreed to become Ruby's mentor since Ruby has no-one to teach her how to use her power. She blunt and abrasive, whacking Ruby on the head for having the wrong mentality towards her ability. The most important lessons she feels she can teach the kids is that a Huntress never stops fighting, no matter the odds, and that the key to Ruby's power is that it is not a weapon: it is the ability to protect life because of how precious it is.
- Miniature Senior Citizen: Maria is a frail old woman, who is bent with age and moves with a slow, heavy limp. Her height barely manages to reach the waist of adult men. And yet in her flashback, Maria is at least a foot taller.
- Never Mess with Granny: Maria was the greatest Huntress of her generation until she went into hiding, living for decades in obscurity. Though she usually leaves the fighting to the younger generation, she isn't as helpless as she seems. She not only takes the infamously-untouchable Neo in a fight, she does so with one arm literally tucked behind her back. Laughing the entire time, she counters everything an increasingly frustrated Neo throws at her, even turning Neo's own tricks against her.
- Red Baron: The Grimm Reaper was a legendary Huntress who was famed across the world for her skill in battle. However, Maria's true identity was never known because she was only ever seen wearing a mask and never told anyone her real name.
- Retired Badass: Maria used to be a famed Huntress in her youth, until she was forced into an early retirement. When Tock blinded her, she revealed that she had been sent after Maria by her 'master', who wanted Maria dead for being a Silver-Eyed Warrior. Maria gave up being a Huntress because she was terrified that more assassins would come to finish the job.
- Screw Politeness, I'm a Senior!: Maria never takes any crap from anyone. When Ruby delivers Qrow's message that the group should get some sleep because he intends to wake them before sunrise to leave, everyone immediately obeys Qrow's instruction except for Maria. As everyone else prepares for bed, she gathers up the book she's been reading and marches over to a chair declaring that no kid is going to tell her when she goes to bed. She then mimics the command "Go to bed" in a childish voice and pointedly starts reading. Ruby just shrugs and smiles.
- Shooting Lessons From Your Parents: Maria was raised at a time when the concept of Huntsmen was in its infancy. Her father was an old soldier and a great teacher, so taught her all of her combat abilities, as well as how to use her silver eyes. Although she never went to any 'fancy schools', the quality of his training and her dedication meant that she aced the Huntsman licensing exam, obtaining higher marks than anyone else.
- Sinister Scythe: As the Grimm Reaper Maria wielded Life and Death, a pair of kama, sickle-like weapons imbued with Gravity Dust. She could combine them at the base to turn them into a double-ended scythe. One of them was broken when Tock bit into it, and the other one is used by Maria as a walking cane. Qrow reveals he designed the scythe portion of his weapon Harbinger specifically after Maria's own weapons — Ruby's own Crescent Rose is based on Qrow's weapon and, by extension, Maria's.
- Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: Maria has to travel through Argus every few years to have her artificial eyes checked in Atlas. She once smuggled some cashews onto the flight with her, resulting in the base commander, Cordovin, placing her on an extended screening list. They've been enemies ever since, constantly trying to provoke each other however they can. Even in situations that require de-escalation of tensions, Maria deliberately chews cashew nuts into a radio to taunt Cordovin; instead of scrambling fighter pilots to escort the stolen airship back to base, she activates a gigantic robot just to teach Maria a lesson in defying her authority.
- Skeleton Motif: Maria is represented and shown with human skulls all around her. She has a skull in her necklace, a skull adorns the cane she uses to walk and her mechanical eyes look similar to a skull's eye sockets. Her last name is also the Spanish word for the human skull. As the Grimm Reaper she also wore a half-mask shaped like a skull, playing into the typical portrayal of the reaper as a skeletal being. However, given the specific origin of her name, her Skeleton Motif is more precisely a Dia de los Muertos motif.
- Spider-Sense: Her "Preflexes" Semblance gives her hyper-awareness of her surroundings and incredible reaction speeds, almost to the point of seeing attacks before they happen. She demonstrates the Semblance to Ruby by catching a lemon that falls without warning from the tree she's sitting under. Tock manages to stagger her by biting her weapon in half and headbutting her, leaving her unable to dodge when Tock slashed her eyes. However, by using her senses and her training, she is able to judge where Tock is standing and kill her.
- Strong and Skilled: The Huntsmen Academies were only just starting when Maria was young; her father therefore didn't classify as a Huntsman and she trained with him, passing the Huntsman licensing exam with higher marks than anyone else. Tock makes the mistake of focusing on her mission to destroy the threat of the silver eyes, so doesn't take account of Maria's training or Semblance. Even blind, Maria can use the gravity Dust in her twin weapons and her Semblance to understand their relative positions, thus killing Tock. Maria warns Ruby that her most powerful tools are her training and Semblance, not her silver eyes.
- Uncertain Doom: Maria and Pietro have minor roles in Volume 8 that limit them to dealing with Amity. Once the second half of this volume moves on to deal with Atlas and Mantle, the pair are left behind on Amity having indicated that the Colosseum might even have to land north of the kingdom, but this is never confirmed. After Team RWBY create the evacuation portals with the Relic of Creation, portals open all over Mantle and Atlas, but nowhere else. Even after Atlas and Mantle are obliterated, Pietro and Maria's fates are left uncertain.
- Wrecked Weapon: Maria used to wield two kama known as Life and Death that could combine into a double-ended scythe. While she still retains one that acts as her walking cane, its partner was broken by Tock. On this day, she lost her will to fight as well as her eyesight and weapon; while she lived, the Grimm Reaper died. Maria only returns to the front lines as an elderly woman to become Ruby's mentor; while still an impressive fighter, she and her surviving kama are only a fraction of what they used to be.
Voiced By: Mick Lauer [EN], Chikahiro Kobayashi [JP]
Debut: A New Approach*
A dog Faunus who pretends to be more aloof than he really is. He uses Fetch, a rifle that can transform into a bladed boomerang. His Semblance allows him to freeze a target in place with a single command.
- Animal Motifs: Dogs. Marrow's a canine Faunus, he uses his Semblance to paralyze Grimm with the command "Stay", and his boomerang-rifle's name is Fetch.
- The Baby of the Bunch: Marrow is the rookie of the team and is teased a lot by his teammates for being more brash and emotional than thoughtful and for pretending to not care when he does. He looks up to Clover and, when they leave the mine after defeating the Petra Gigas, attempts to adopt Clover's stride and stern expression.
- Battle Boomerang: His weapon, Fetch, switches between an assault rifle and a precision-guided bladed boomerang.
- Conflicting Loyalty: Of all the Ace-Ops, Marrow is the member who appears to struggle the most with some of Ironwood's orders. He is the one most open about his reservations about fighting the protagonists. He's the only one who doesn't immediately draw his weapon, repeatedly tries to talk Weiss down during their fight, and criticizes Harriet when she tells him off for not using lethal force.
- Damned by Faint Praise: Marrow's RWBY: Amity Arena bio describes him as "better" than other Faunus ("riff-raff") because of his loyalty to Ironwood. The entry implies that there's nothing else about Marrow that's worth praising, solely because he's Faunus and despite the fact he's qualified to be an elite operative.
- Dogs Are Dumb: The rest of Marrow's team-mates make a number of comments at different times that indicate they associate his dog-Faunus nature with stupidity. They complain about being his babysitter rather than his team-mates and mock him as brainless. His actual behaviour indicates he's intelligent enough, but he's young, new to the team, and has an excitable personality. Even Ironwood takes one look at Marrow enthusiastically communicating with some soldiers in the background before ordering Clover to not allow Marrow to join the team on a mission he wants handled delicately; Clover laughs at the assessment but agrees with it. In practice, Marrow handles serious scenarios soberly when the situation calls for it, but he receives little recognition from his team or commander over his nuanced behaviour and instead suffers stereotyping for his more 'dog-like' behaviour.
- Drama-Preserving Handicap: Not only is he a high level operative, but his Semblance could end a fight or at least delay someone rather easily, such as when he immobilized the rest of the Ace-Ops long enough for Qrow and Robyn to cuff them. To counterbalance this, his Semblance burns though aura quickly, and he has moral issues using it on others. In a more specific instance, right as Qrow and Robyn were about to restrain the other Ace-Ops, Watts sends in an Atlesian Knight to act as a suicide bomber, Marrow Taking the Bullet to protect the others, but shattering his aura in the process, freeing Harriet and giving her the opportunity to attempt to bomb Mantle.
- Innocent Blue Eyes: Marrow is the youngest member of his team, with large blue eyes that emphasises his more youthful, idealistic personality, as compared to his more seasoned teammates.
- Little Bit Beastly: Marrow possesses a tail, which identifies him as a Faunus of the canine variety.
- Logical Weakness: Marrow's Semblance lets him immobilize others, even crowds, but only those he's focused on and pointing at. If he loses his focus, the targets are released. When he freezes an angry crowd after they're attacked, he turns his attention to Robyn and the injured Fiona. This releases the crowd, allowing Joanna to fire an arrow at him. He is defeated by Weiss when she and her summoned White Knight attack from different directions; forced to split his focus, he's defeated by Weiss while concentrating on the Knight.
- Minority Police Officer: Marrow is an elite operative in a kingdom with a long history of discrimination against Faunus, and vocal about following the rule of law even while admitting that it isn't equal. Though he is a skilled Huntsman with a powerful Semblance, Marrow is not taken as seriously as his human coworkers and notably has not modified his uniform like the rest of his team. He remains loyal to Ironwood even while his policies harm the Faunus living in Mantle, and he attends the event at the Schnee Manor as a guest in contrast to the many Faunus working as servants. How many other Faunus serve in Atlas's military is unknown, since Marrow is the only one shown so far in the series.
- Noodle Incident: In "A New Approach", Marrow is overheard bragging about the third time he was kicked out of somewhere. Clover interrupts him so that the two groups can formally meet, and the story is never revisited. Where it was or what Marrow did to be thrown out on multiple occasions remains a mystery.
- No Poker Face: Marrow tries to claim he's not interested in making friends with Team RWBY, but his aloof demeanour is sabotaged by his wagging tail. He turns out to have quite an excitable personality that is constantly revealed through his expressive canine tail even when the rest of his body language is calm.
- The Paralyzer: His Semblance allows him to immobilize targets that are in front of him with a single command, freezing them in place. He uses the command 'Stay' as if he's talking to a dog. He can perform this on single targets and crowds.
- Pinocchio Nose: Marrow can try to lie, but his tail often serves as an obvious tell. His Amity Arena bio reveals this was a big issue for him in interrogation resistance training, as regardless of how good his poker face was, his tail would always give him away.
- Puppy-Dog Eyes: Marrow pulls the classic canine "begging" move on Jaune during a morning briefing, starring longingly at his coffee and wagging his tail until the other man relents and gives it to him.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Marrow struggles to accept increasingly ruthless orders, until he finally reaches his breaking point and tells both Ironwood and his team-mates exactly how he feels about their behaviour. Holding the city of Mantle hostage with a bomb causes Marrow to explode in outrage at their willingness to "do Salem's job for her". He calls them out for making excuses, accusing them of believing in nothing and railing against Ironwood for betraying the ideals Marrow believed they were fighting for. This rant nearly earns Marrow a bullet in the back from Due Process, with Winter's intervention saving him from execution.
- Resign in Protest: Throughout the invasion of Atlas, Marrow expresses increasing discomfort with the General's methods. Using the citizens of Mantle as hostages is the final straw, and Marrow rails against Ironwood and his team before storming away. He's very nearly shot in the back for it, and only saved by Winter's quick thinking.
- Sad Clown: Marrow's profile describes him as mischievous, but also someone that uses humor as misdirection to hide his actual feelings. While talking with Weiss and Blake in the mines, he makes a rather jaded observation about the humans mistreatment of the Faunus. He immediately follows this up with a flippant comment, playing things off as a joke instead of a serious discussion.
- This Is Gonna Suck: When Grimm attack the city, Marrow's response is to observe that it's going to be a long night. It's a terrible end to a terrible day where Jacques unexpectedly wins the election and Tyrian goes on a murderous rampage at Robyn's election party in a manner that frames Ironwood's people.Marrow: We've got a long night ahead.
- Token Non-Human: Marrow is not only the only Faunus on his team, but one of only two Faunus shown working in the Atlas military or Academy.
- Tsundere: Upon first meeting the heroes after they were exonerated, Marrow politely denies any pleasure in working with them. His wagging tail gives him away, however, much to his teammates' amusement.
- Willfully Weak: Marrow makes his hesitance to fight team RWBY the most known out of his fellow teammates. Throughout his fight with Weiss, Marrow mainly stays on the defensive, only throwing one attack out the entire time. Naturally, Harriet calls him out on his obvious restraint, which he defends by stating he was aiming to arrest her, not kill her.
- You Are a Credit to Your Race: His Amity Arena bio reveals that he wasn't exempt from the prejudice Faunus faced before becoming an Ace-Op, and that said prejudice was actually a mark against him becoming one initially. However, upon factoring in how loyal he was to Atlas and Ironwood, as well as his powerful Semblance, he was made an Ace-Op in spite of his species, and is considered better than the other "riff-raff".
Voiced By: Taylor McNee (née Pelto) [EN], Megumi Han [JP]
Debut: The Stray*
A very odd girl that Weiss ran into near the docks, Penny is a participant in the Vytal Festival tournament. She very quickly becomes attached to Ruby, who unwittingly called her "friend". She is later revealed to be a robot designed with help from General Ironwood, unique in that she can generate an Aura. Penny fights with a collection of swords tied to her by micro-thin strings called Floating Array. She can use the swords to generate a powerful laser blast.
- Achilles' Heel: Penny's blades, Floating Array, are incredibly deadly and versatile but the method used to control them has been repeatedly shown to be a major weakpoint that can be turned against Penny. The first time happens by accident when Pyrrha is tricked into using her full Magnetism Manipulation against her, causing Penny's body to be torn to shreds. The swords have to function in unison, like the CCT towers: for Penny to control them all, they must be in constant communication with each other and Penny. Ace-Ops steals a sword from Penny by ripping the wire from her back, allowing Watts to plant a new chip into the blade that hacks Penny herself. Her eyes turn red while she struggles to fight off the re-progamming before she finally shuts down completely. As she's high in the atmosphere at the time, this results in her falling out of the sky, experiencing re-entry burn in the process.
- A.I.-cronym: Implied. A shot of her schematics in Volume 3 reveals that her name is an acronym, though what it stands for isn't revealed.
- Androids Are People, Too: Penny, for all her weirdness, is portrayed as a conscious person rather than a machine. She is fully capable of having her own desires and making choices based on them. When Ruby finds out about Penny's nature, she assures her that she is just as real as anybody else. After Pyrrha accidentally destroys Penny, she is overtaken by shock followed by shame and the scene is portrayed as horrific despite Penny being a robot. Both Ironwood and Lionheart refer to Penny as a "girl" afterwards, indicating that they at least recognize her as an actual person. The only characters to ever describe Penny as less than a full-fledged person are Penny herself and Cinder, who is hardly the most empathetic of people. The climax of Volume 7 reveals that she is a real enough girl to be an eligible recipient of the Winter Maiden's powers.
- Artificial Family Member: Penny sees Pietro, her creator, as her father and addresses him as such, and he in turn views her as his daughter.
- Artificial Intelligence: According to RWBY: Amity Arena, Penny is less an actual robot and actually Atlas' first foray into sentient AI, it's just her cores that house her AI and Aura are placed inside a robotic chassis.
- Atlas Pose: When Penny makes the decision to take on a heavy burden, she is briefly forced to take the weight on her shoulders and back in her attempt to find an ideal position from which to complete her objective. When Cinder damages one of Amity Tower's thrusters, Pietro can't stabilise Amity enough to keep it at the height necessary to broadcast a warning about Salem to Remnant. Penny decides to compensate for the thruster by taking its place to help push Amity back into broadcast range. It takes all her robotic power, strength and Maiden magic to pull it off; for the three minutes required, Penny was symbolically carrying the weight of the world on her shoulders.
- Attack Drone: Her weapons consist of an array of wire-operated blades that appear to levitate. Remotely controlling them, she can use them to individually slash at enemies, grapple objects, fire laser beams, combine to form her Wave-Motion Gun, or even use their beams as propulsion.
- Back from the Dead: Penny is introduced in the first episode of Volume 7 as a rebuilt robot. Her creator, Pietro, makes it clear that, as long as her core survives the damage, she can be restored. Despite the level of tearing Penny experienced in the fight with Pyrrha, her core survived and was able to be recovered once the military had brought Amity Colosseum to Atlas. She has not been rebuilt to her original specifications, having received upgrades during her rebuild. RWBY: Amity Arena clarifies she has several cores in her body.
- Because You Were Nice to Me: In "The Stray", the start of her and Ruby's friendship was when Ruby addressed her as "friend", which Penny really took to heart.
- Become a Real Boy: An enforced example. Although Penny is concerned about her status as a robot, she is not initially on a quest to become human and Ruby declares her real in Volume 2 because she can feel Penny's soul. Throughout Volume 7, Penny and Winter debate what it means to be human; Penny following her heart while Winter robotically following orders results in Penny becoming the Winter Maiden instead of Winter. In Volume 8, Penny's soul fights Watts' hack long enough for the heroes to convince the Relic of Creation that her true self is her soul; it's separated from the infected machine and transformed into a living being that resembles an ordinary human.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: As an artifical human, Penny's mind is an an advanced computer and suspetible to malicious coding. With one of Penny's remote-controlled swords, Dr. Watts was able to wirelessly implant a virus into Penny. Under its influence, Penny is driven to open the Vault of the Winter Maiden and then "self terminate". Because of Penny's aura, she can resist the virus' control and constantly struggles against it.
- Catchphrase: She tends to greet people with "Sal-u-tations!"
- Comically Missing the Point: Since she doesn't realize how big of a revelation it was for Ruby, Weiss and Yang to learn that Blake's a Faunus, she has a different take on Ruby's comment:Ruby: You see, Blake might not be who we thought she was.
Penny: (gasps) Is she a man?
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Her first appearances paint a picture of a mild mannered girl, who appears slightly touched in the head. Although she says that she's "combat ready", she turns out to be far more capable a fighter than Ruby has ever seen. When Torchwick lands a cheap blow on Ruby, she not only wipes the floor with the White Fang, she single-handedly downs three armed airships.
- Cruel Twist Ending: As a Robot Girl who seeks to be a normal girl with normal relationships, Penny obtaining the Winter Maiden power at the end of Volume 7 appears to conclude her Pinocchio-style journey to become a real girl. However, Watts hacks her in Volume 8 to force her to open the Vault of the Winter Maiden and then self-terminate. The heroes manage to save her by turning her into an actual real person with the Relic of Creation, only for Cinder to unexpectedly subvert her Pinocchio ending by fatally injuring her not even an hour afterward. The dying Penny convinces Jaune to speed up her death, thereby allowing her to pass the Maiden power to Winter in order to protect them from Cinder.
- Cuddle Bug: The events of "Creation" leave Penny with a significant desire to indulge in hugging. After Ambrosius creates a human body for her, she happily embraces Ruby, discovers that hugging her gives her a warm and pleasant feeling, and immediately hugs each member of Team RWBY in turn.
- Cute Bruiser: Played with - she's cute, surely, but her fighting style isn't power-based, possibly. However, she does pull back a Bullhead with her string blades and using only her body as anchor.
- Dance Battler: Penny controls her swords' motion through body movement. It's best seen in her fight against Pyrrha, in which her movements form a rather expressive dance.
- Death Is the Only Option: In Volume 8, being the Winter Maiden traps Penny in a situation where the only way she can prevent the villains from obtaining the Relic of Creation is by asking Ruby to kill her. With Watt's virus compelling her to open the Vault of the Winter Maiden and then "self terminate", Penny asks Ruby to kill her so that she can protect the Relic of Creation by transferring the Maiden power to Ruby. Ruby refuses and, although the group come up with a way to save Penny from the virus, she is then mortally wounded by Cinder; this time, her request for Jaune to kill her to protect the Maiden power from Cinder is fulfilled.
- Dissonant Serenity: She makes short work of the White Fang and three airships with a smile on her face the whole time. And in her introductory scene, she's fine with starting a conversation with Team RWBY while still on the ground.
- Does Not Know Her Own Strength: Penny tends to be a teensy bit too enthusiastic with showing affection. After Ruby easily accepts her being a robot, she happily pulls in the girl for a crushing embrace. When she glomps Ruby at the tournament, she accidentally slams her to the ground and bear-hugs the air out of her. Happens again in Volume 7's premiere, only this time, she's also got rocket boots, sending them skidding a decent distance. Even something as simple as a knuckle-bump causes pain for poor Ruby. She might not know her own weight given that she's made of metal.
- Elemental Powers: As the Winter Maiden, Penny is able to produce a variety of elemental effects. She can create storm conditions, even when inside a building, producing wind, hail and lightning. She fights the Ace-Ops primarily by creating powerful bursts of wind to drive them backwards and force them to lose their balance.
- Energy Weapon: Unlike most weapons, Floating Array produces energy blasts as projectiles instead of bullets, explosives, or Dust. Every blade is capable of firing independantly, though they can also combine their shots for stronger attacks, going all the way up to Wave-Motion Gun levels if they're all used in tandem.
- First Friend: After Team RWBY first meets Penny, Ruby's casual "Farewell, friend" as she leaves causes Penny to immediately latch on to her because no-one has ever called her "friend" before. Ruby and Penny end up becoming true friends, which allows Penny to confide in Ruby a secret she knows General Ironwood doesn't want people to know about and which her own team-mates, whom she describes as having been forced to spend time with her, also don't know.
- Friendless Background: "Never Miss a Beat" implies that she doesn't have friends among the Atlas students and that Ruby is the first one she has ever made. She confirms this in Volume 7, while also noting that Ironwood has her so focused on defending Mantle that she doesn't have any opportunity to make new friends.
- Fun with Acronyms: In Volume 3 Episode 5, we can see a blueprint for Penny, revealing her name is spelled out as P.E.N.N.Y. No word on what each letter means.
- Half the Woman She Used to Be: The wire strings that she uses to control her blades can also be used to garotte people and sever limbs or cut a body in half. After Emerald tricks Pyrrha into using her full Semblance to repel Penny's blades, the wires inadvertently cause Penny's body to be torn to shreds.
- Heart Drive: Penny is a robot whose identity is contained within several cores somewhere in her body. As long as these cores survives, she can be rebuilt. The cores includes a piece of Pietro's Aura, which was needed to create her in the first place. Each time she is rebuilt, Pietro has to use a new piece of his Aura. The Aura is what makes Penny who she is, but it's also what makes it so hard to create any more robots like her.
- Hero with Bad Publicity: Penny receives bad publicity due to a perception of her being just a robot weapon of Ironwood's. When Tyrian massacres several of Robyn's supporters and Watts manipulates the security footage to make it look like Penny did it, the citizens at the rally call out that it's "Ironwood's robot" and demands her deactivation even after it's proven that the security footage was doctored.
- Idiot Hair: Penny has a single curl of hair sticking upwards from the top of her head. She is an awkward person with a strange way of talking and poor social skills. She latches onto Ruby when Ruby says "see you around, friend", nobody having ever called her "friend" before. The reason for her odd speech and poor social skills is because she's a very high-quality and classified combat robot.
- Image Song: Volume 8's "Friend", which is played over the ending credits for "The Final Word", is about Penny's journey from a robotic creation to a fully-realised person who has friends and loved ones.
- It's Personal: Before taking on Cinder again, Penny observes that the latter was responsible for what happened to Beacon as well as her first defeat in Amity's arena. Cinder points out that what happened to Penny was temporary and she's willing to permanently destroy the robot. In response, Penny states that it gives her "personal feelings".
- Kill the Cutie: During the Volume 3 tournament, Penny is torn apart in front of a global audience when her opponent's Semblance inadvertently cause the wires from her blades to tangle around her body and tear it to shreds. Cinder plays on her cute appearance and gruesome death to turn kingdoms against each other and civilians against their leaders. Subverted in Volume 7, when it's revealed she can be restored, but only if her cores survive and her creator has enough Aura spare to sacrifice without killing him. Then, it's double-subverted towards the end of Volume 8 when she's transformed into a living, hug-loving, person by the Relic of Creation, only to then sacrifice her life to prevent Cinder from obtaining the Winter Maiden's powers. Her cute, cheerful innocence is played up as she uses her dying thoughts to gift the power to a heart-broken Winter.
- Kryptonite Factor: Most humans aren't consciously aware of magnetism and Pyrrha can only directly affect people with her magnetism power if they're wearing metal she can manipulate instead. Penny, however, is a robot that is made of a magnetic material. During the Vytal Festival tournament, the villains deliberately rig the fights so that Penny will be forced to fight Pyrrha to deliberately invoke this weakness. When they trick Pyrrha into using her full power, Penny and her sword wires become so badly entangled by the force of the magnetic pulse that she ends up being torn to shreds by her own weapons.
- Lampshade Hanging: In "Black and White", when Weiss and Yang abandon Ruby and leave her alone with Penny, a tumbleweed blows past to illustrate how awkward the situation is. Penny remarks, "It sure is windy today!"
- Lightning Bruiser: While most of the time she simply manipulates her blades, when she does get moving she both moves fast and hits hard. She has the physical strength to stop vehicles with her bare hands and pull planes out of the sky and she can boost her speed in an almost rocket-boost style fashion when she needs to. She is the first character to genuinely put Pyrrha on the defensive in battle.
- Literal-Minded: Thanks to her naivety, Penny can take statements at face value or misinterpret them. When faced with a potential ambush, Clover orders Penny to "keep an eye on [their] six." "Six" meaning their rear in this situation. Penny confirms the order and states that she would plan for six possibilities.
- Magitek: Penny is the first robot that is capable of generating an Aura and Ruby comments that she can feel Penny's soul. In Volume 7, the dying Fria is able to successfully transfer her Maiden powers to Penny, resulting in Penny becoming the new Winter Maiden and therefore a robot capable of wielding elemental magic.
- Marionette Master: She fights with swords attached to wires that come out of her back. She manipulates the swords as marionette's would be controlled.
- Marionette Motion: When controlling her swords through the use of wires, she starts moving as though she's the one being controlled by marionette strings.
- Master of the Levitating Blades: Her blades, Floating Array, are stored in folded format inside a small compartment on her back. She can use up to ten blades at once, which are attached to her body by wires that are as hard to see as a spider's web; being electronically connected to each other and Penny, she can command them to fight in the surrounding air as if she's a Marionette Master. She can also form a circular funnel with them from which come blasts of energy, and her blades and wires are so strong that she can use them to winch down airships and slice them in half.
- Meaningful Name: "Polendina" is a yellow mushy food that was the insult used to describe Geppetto's hair in The Adventures of Pinocchio. She refers to the man who created her as "father" and she is based off Pinocchio, who was the artificial "son" of his creator, Geppetto. Her fate is to be garroted by her own strings, which is something that also happened to Pinocchio.
- Mysterious Employer: A strange man who collects her in a car after the fight tells her that "her time will come". Implied to be her "father" as her employer is Ironwood, a different man entirely.
- Never Bareheaded: Penny always wears a bow in her hair, in a half-ponytail style. The bow is always worn at a crooked angle.
- No Sense of Personal Space: She tends to stand extremely close to people, due to her being a robot that doesn't know how to socialize properly.
- No Social Skills: She seems genuinely confused that Ruby can be mad at Blake, who is her friend. Her interactions with Team RWBY are also highly awkward, though she gets better about this in subsequent volumes.
- The Not-Love Interest: Penny and Ruby's interactions has all the usual trappings of a robot love interest, but there is no outright attraction shown between the two. Ruby helps her see the world and gets Penny to see herself as more then Atlas' secret weapon. When Penny returns, Ruby turns into Penny's anchor as her life gets ever more complicated. Even when suffering from a virus and torn between her duties as the Winter Maiden, the guardianship of Mantle's citizens and her own beliefs and desires, Penny says that Ruby will be at the forefront of her thoughts if Ruby kills Penny to ensure that Ruby inherits the power.
- One-Woman Army: She is a socially awkward girl who is struggling to learn about friendship. However, in Volume 1, Penny packs enough firepower to defeat a small army of mooks and 3 of their jets by herself, leaving Ruby astounded and forcing Roman to flee. During the tournament in Volume 3, she and her team-mate make it to the doubles-round. However, Ciel stands back and just watches as Penny easily defeats Russel and Dove all by herself. In Volume 7, she defeats an invasion of Grimm all by herself and introduces herself to the protagonists as the official protector of the city of Mantle.
- O.O.C. Is Serious Business: When Ruby first encounters Penny in Volume 2, she tries to find out where Penny's been since she mysteriously disappeared during the Volume 1 finale "Black and White", but Penny acts like she has no idea who Ruby is. It turns out that Penny is being monitored by the Atlesian military because she's a very special person who cannot be allowed to roam freely without some kind of escort or guardian. She's terrified of getting Ruby into trouble if they're caught together.
- Pedestrian Crushes Car: She singlehandedly stops a truck from hitting Ruby in episode 3 of volume 2. This prompts eyewitnesses and Ruby to question who (or what) Penny really is.
- Pinocchio Nose: She begins to hiccup loudly when she lies. Unsurprising, considering she was inspired by the Trope Namer.
- Powered by a Forsaken Child: Penny is the first artificial being that is capable of generating Aura. The origin of her Aura is controversial. Pietro has to remove pieces of his own Aura to create her and every time he rebuilds her, leaving him with burn-like holes in his Aura and deteriorating health.
- Recoil Boost: She can use the beams from her knives as a sort of jetpack to launch herself forward.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: As an android, Penny's eyes can actually change color while running certain programs. Her eyes only turn red in very specific, dangerous circumstances, however. When hacked by Watts' virus, she is compelled to carry out his orders to open the Vault of the Winter Maiden and then destroy herself.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Penny's the Red Oni to Winter's Blue. Ironwood relies on both in his fight against Salem. Winter is a cold, calculating human who buries her emotions beneath dutiful, rational behaviour. Penny is a warm, outgoing robot who speaks from the heart and challenges the morally questionable. In Volume 7, Penny's empathy, humanity and compassionate idealism clash with Winter's stoicism, professionalism and detached obedience, leading to Penny receiving the Winter Maiden's power instead of Ironwood's intended recipient, Winter. One volume later, Penny sacrifices her life to protect the power from Cinder by passing it to Winter, who embraces Penny's ideals and abandons Ironwood.
- Retractable Weapon: About a dozen blades collapse into an object the size of a regular sword, which pops out of a compartment in her back.
- Ridiculously Human Robot: She identifies herself as fully synthetic, but can generate an Aura and thus has a soul, though this may not have been gained in the typical manner. In Volume 2, she overcomes her robot-like weirdness and starts to behave more human; her guards also treat her like a human girl instead of a robot. Penny indicates that her true nature is restricted information as Ironwood doesn't want anyone to know the truth. Cinder finds out after hacking into Ironwood's scroll and sets her up to be torn apart by Pyrrha's magnetism Semblance in the tournament arena. As she goes off-line, the pupils of her artificial eyes widen and the mechanical irises dull, just as if a human had died. RWBY: Amity Arena elaborates that Penny is less a true robot and more an Artificial Intelligence in a robot chassis, and that her human personality is owed to her being the first sentient AI created.
- Robot Girl: She's cute, girlish and desperately would like to please people and make friends. She's also a metallic combat robot designed to both look and act like a real girl and to kick arse when fighting.
- Robotic Reveal: After stopping a truck with her bare hands in "A Minor Hiccup", she confesses to not being a real girl, while showing that her hands have metal underneath the skin. Prior to that, the fact that her weapons come out of a compartment on her back was a big clue to many viewers that she wasn't human. Pyrrha ripping her to pieces reveals this to Remnant.
- Robot Wizard: Only living things can generate Aura, which gives humans who master the power the ability to manifest their power as special abilities that can seem like superhero powers or even magic-like in function. Although Penny is a robot, she is the very first artificial creation that is capable of sustaining an Aura. In Volume 7, Penny becomes the unplanned successor to the Winter Maiden's powers when her robotic body makes her the only one capable of safely reaching Fria. Her compassion for the dying Maiden creates the intimate connection needed for the powers to pass to her, transforming her into a genuine magic-user.
- Set Swords to "Stun": Her blades don't cut anyone living; to the point of the same blade that knocks a mook down slices into the ground without having changed trajectory. Justified with Aura and its protection.
- Slasher Smile: Sports a convincing one twice, both times before finishing off opponents in the Vytal Tournament, once before slamming Dove and Sky into the ground, and the other before aiming about eight knives at Pyrrha. It's rather alarming given her usually innocent face.
- Spin to Deflect Stuff: Spinning her blades allows her to block gunfire—even airship gunfire, as seen during the fight in the docks.
- Stealth Hi/Bye: While looking for Blake at the end of Volume 1, the group suddenly realise Penny's walking with them when she comments on how lovely Weiss's is hair is today. A startled Ruby asks where she came from.Ruby: Aaah! Penny, where did you come from?!
- Storm of Blades: She can summon multiple blades from her back compartment that she controls with strings.
- Superpower Lottery: As a Robot Girl, Penny has all the great strength, durability, enhanced reactions and sensory perception that implies; she can even see in the dark and detect people who appear to be invisible via Semblances. She's built to be the next generation of Huntress, which means she also has elite combat training, an elaborate set of eight swords she can control via wires, rocket boosters that allow her to fly, and the ability to produce an energy ray, which she often channels through her swords. At the end of Volume 7, she joins the ranks of the Four Maidens when the Winter Maiden dies and bequeathes her the power to protect it from Cinder's attempt to steal it.
- Super Strength: She can pull down a Bullhead that has been caught in her blades, with no grounding issues, and lift heavy objects via the same method, as seen when she defeats Russel and Sky of team CRDL by lifting the boulders they're holding onto and smashing them into the ground. She can also stop an on-coming vehicle in its tracks with her bare hands. The vehicle ends up totaled upon collision with her, but she doesn't even twitch. The latter definitely gets Ruby's attention.
- Swiss-Army Weapon: Her Wave-Motion Gun has her turn her swords into beam-guns that fire in a synchronized pattern.
- Sword Beam: She can do these by folding the knives into some sort of gun form. The first time she does this, she combines all the lasers into one massive beam and blows apart two dropships in one go. The second time, she gets creative and fires them from individual blade-guns to hold off Pyrrha.
- Technicolor Fire: Penny's rocket boots produce green flames when in use. After recieving the power of the Winter Maiden, green flames form around her eyes every time she uses it due to Maiden powers being represented by the user's Aura color. The fire she uses for flight after being made organic is green as well.
- Tempting Fate:
- Before she fights Pyrrha, she gleefully greets her and says "This is going to be so much fun!" These happen to be her last words in the Vale Arc, as she gets killed in the ensuing fight.
- As Penny shows the heroes around Atlas Academy, she excitedly proclaims that it'll be "just like Beacon" again. She was referring to the fun and friendships she had at Beacon but Tyrian and Watts are already working to undermine the kingdom just as Cinder did in Vale. The Vale Arc ended in war, death and devastation. The Atlas Arc ends the same way.
- The Thing That Would Not Leave: Initially, she sticks around because Ruby called her a "friend", much to the chagrin of Team RWBY. She stops once she gets recalled by her mysterious employer, later revealed to be Ironwood.
- To Be Lawful or Good: She finds herself torn between her loyalty to Ironwood and her friendship with Ruby. In the latter half of Volume 7, Penny is the only one of Ironwood's subordinates to openly question the ethics of his decisions or methods, whereas Winter and the Ace-Ops are determined to follow his orders even if they feel uncomfortable with them. When Fria bequeaths the Maiden powers to her, Penny decides to join Team RWBY in opposition to Ironwood rather than return to him.
- Token Robot: As the only synthetic lifeform with an Aura, Penny mostly behaves like any normal human; while her friends treat her like a person, she is in a military environment where her professional colleagues suppress their emotions and behave more robotically than she does. She clashes several times with the excessively stoic Winter over whether to ignore her feelings in favour of following orders, or to follow her heart and side with the heroes. When her Aura makes her eligible for the Maiden powers, she chooses the heroes and defects, causing Ironwood to commission Watts to hack her to regain control. Although her programming succumbs to the virus, her soul resists it, paralysing her between two contradictory forces that can only be solved when the heroes petition the Relic of Creation to separate her soul from her robotic body, and make her a fully living being.
- Toyless Toy Line Character: Until the second wave of blind box figures, and even then that's all she's got.
- Tron Lines: Her outfit sports bright green lines of light racing upwards, the only external sign (apart from her social awkwardness) that she's not quite human.
- Wave-Motion Gun: Generates an effect like this with her blades that cuts through a couple of Roman's aircraft with no effort. These kinds of aircraft withstood several Dust-powered attacks during the battle between Cinder and Glynda.
- We Can Rebuild Him: Or Her, in this case. She is killed late in Volume 3, but Pietro rebuilds her sometime before Volume 7 and she reunites with Team RWBY when they arrive in Atlas.
- What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Penny calls her creator "father" but is insecure about the fact she's not a real girl; Atlas regards her as a military secret so even her team mates don't know what she is. Ironwood's stated mission is to replace human armies with robots to protect human life, and Penny believes her purpose is to save the world. Ruby tells Penny she does have a soul, but Penny's teammate associates with her only because they're ordered. Cinder tricks Pyrrha into publicly killing Penny to expose Penny's secret and frame Atlas for Vale's invasion. Penny's death focuses on her body shredding inhumanely like metal, then on the very human loss of light and life from her eyes. While Ironwood calls Penny a "girl" not a "robot", his focus is on Ozpin's possible reaction to the reveal rather than what happened to her; Ruby and Pyrrha, meanwhile, are devastated, despite knowing she's a robot.
- Youthful Freckles: Penny is a cheerful, positive person who wants to explore the world and make new friends. She wants help people and takes her job title as Protector of Mantle very seriously. Her face is sprinkled with freckles, which helps create the image of an innocent girl with an abundance of youthful energy.
Voiced by: Cristina Valenzuela [EN], Sanae Kobayashi [JP]
Debut: Sparks *
A Mantle native who trained at Atlas Academy. Rejecting the option of joining the elite military Huntsmen after she graduated, she returned to Mantle to pursue a career as a politician who fights for Mantle's rights. Robyn fights with a wrist-mounted crossbow with sharp edges. Her Semblance allows her to tell if someone is lying when she makes contact with their hand.
- Action Politician: Robyn is a Huntress turned politician, campaigning for the open seat on the kingdom's Council. While the other Happy Huntresses provide security during her political events, Robyn is still their leader and a capable fighter in her own right. When her election-night rally is attacked, she responds with weapon drawn and is prepared to join the fight if necessary. And when Mantle is ordered evacuated, she reassures the citizens in a broadcast that she will personally assist in the evacuation process. This is actually a trick to lure Tyrian into the open, using Robyn as the bait. Alongside Clover and Qrow, Robyn defeats and captures the assassin when he comes to kill her.
- Animal Motifs: Her personal symbol is of a bird with flared wings. All her followers have adopted her symbol and her crossbow extends wings on either side whenever she prepares to use it.
- Automatic Crossbows: Robyn's weapon is a wrist-mounted crossbow that looks like a bird spreading its wings in flight while in use. She can fire crossbow bolts in succession without visibly loading them, and if she wants to get up close and personal, the wings expand into a bladed circular shield. She also carries a few explosive bolts, as Tyrian finds out the hard way.
- Blessed with Suck: When Robyn learns how Qrow feels about his Semblance, she admits that she does actually know what he's talking about. As her Semblance exposes whether people are telling the truth or lying, people are often terrified that she'll expose all their secrets and keep their distance from her. She has spent her life struggling to make meaningful connections with people as a result. A startled Qrow admits that it hadn't occurred to him to think about her ability in that way.
- Commonality Connection: Although Robyn doesn't need to be convinced that Qrow isn't responsible for Clover's death, they don't start bonding until they realize that they both have Semblances that can socially ostracize them: Qrow's problem comes from his Semblance causing misfortune to befall those around him while Robyn's causes people to shun her for fear that she'll reveal their secrets.
- Deadpan Snarker: Robyn has a sharp tongue and doesn't hold back when people irritate her. She has a sarcastic wit and will throw snark for a variety of reasons, from trying to cheer up depressed people to trying to bait her enemies into making a mistake. When she tells a funny story only to discover neither the depressed Qrow nor the distracted Jacques are listening to her, she dryly comments that she needs better cell entertainment. Qrow actually cracks a laugh despite himself, which finally pulls him out of his brooding enough to start talking again.
- Didn't Think This Through: Robyn's overconfidence and Hot-Blooded nature makes her prone to rash decisions without considering consequences. The biggest example is in "With Friends Like These": her reaction to Ironwood declaring martial law and abandoning Mantle leads her to attempt to fight Clover when he states Qrow is under arrest. Tyrian goads Robyn into starting a fight with Clover, leading to Tyrian escaping and Clover's death.
- Fatal Flaw: Her Hot-Blooded nature. Robyn genuinely cares for Mantle's well-being, but she has a terrible tendency to leap, then look. She rarely considers consequences and is prone to acting purely on impulse without thinking things through. This comes back to bite her in "With Friends Like These" when she threatens to fight Clover; allowing herself to be baited by Tyrian ensures the fight cannot be avoided. The consequences of them starting a fight in the confined space of a ship means Tyrian is able to escape, crash the ship, and in the ensuing battle that follows, he kills Clover and frames Qrow for it.
- Fury-Fueled Foolishness: Robyn is a passionate woman who cares for her city, but her temper leads her to making rash decisions. When Ironwood decides to abandon Mantle and orders Teams RWBY, JNPR and Qrow arrested, he even sends the arrest order to Robyn. Angry with the idea that Ironwood's betraying her yet again, Robyn immediately attacks Clover, even though they're on an airship in flight transporting Tyrian. This contributes to a cascade of disasters that result in the ship crashing, her being knocked out and Tyrian escaping after framing Qrow for the murder of Clover.
- Hero Antagonist: Robyn is trying to become a member of the Atlesian council because she's trying to fight for Mantle's rights. This puts her at odds with General Ironwood who is making decisions based on the Secret War with Salem that Robyn knows nothing about. When Ironwood diverts construction material away from Mantle's crumbling perimeter walls, Robyn blockades the transport. She confronts Clover, Ruby, and Qrow over the fact it appears to make no sense to divert construction supplies to an isolated, abandoned mine when Mantle's need for them is desperate and urgent. While Clover defends the decision, he doesn't seem to enjoy opposing her and genuinely wishes her luck in her attempt to be elected to the council.
- A Hero to His Hometown: Robyn is extremely popular in Mantle because she's willing to fight Atlas to improve Mantle's living and working conditions. As a native of Mantle, the locals refer to her as their 'hometown hero'.
- Hot-Blooded: One of Robyn's biggest flaws is her impulsiveness, which can make her short-sighted when dealing with the villains' plan to destabilize Mantle, such as responding to the massacre at her rally — which the villains commit to frame Penny — by turning into a vigilante and robbing Ironwood's transports. When she learns that Ironwood plans to abandon Mantle, her immediate response to begin fighting Clover in the enclosed airship after agree with Tyrian that there's no point delaying the confrontation. Succumbing to her temper contributes to Tyrian's escape, Clover's murder, and the arrest of her and Qrow.
- It's Personal: The murder of her supporters and other citizens across Mantle in Volume 7 made her determined to find the culprit and gain revenge. After luring Tyrian into a trap with Qrow and Clover, Robyn comments that she wanted to take him on by herself but Ironwood made the other two join.
- The Leader: She leads the Happy Huntresses in trying to secure Mantle and take back the resources that are supposed to be shoring up the city's defenses rather than going to Amity. She combines the Charismatic and Headstrong versions of this trope, tirelessly crusading for Mantle's rights while being brave and stubborn enough to butt heads with Ironwood.
- Living Lie Detector: Robyn's Semblance allows her to take a person's hand and encase both clasping hands in her Aura. When so joined, she can tell if her target is lying whenever she asks them a question. When a person tells the truth, her Aura turns green.
- Locked Out of the Loop: Robyn knows Ironwood is doing something secretive with Amity Colosseum, but she doesn't know the details because Ironwood doesn't trust her. She correspondingly doesn't trust him, especially given the negative impact his decisions are having on Mantle. Although Blake and Yang tell her that he's planning on building a communications tower and reveal that there's a third party in Mantle actively working to turn Atlas and Mantle against each other by framing Ironwood for murders occurring in the city, they don't tell Robyn anything about who that third party is or what they're after. Robyn is angry to be left dangling and warns them that she's not going to stop until she knows the full truth. She's finally brought into the loop when Ironwood comes clean to her and the Atlas Council in "As Above, So Below".
- The Nicknamer: Although she doesn't use nicknames with her huntress team and Clover, she has a habit of automatically assigning nicknames to people she's just met and then continuing to use them during subsequent encounters. Ruby is 'pipsqueak', Qrow is 'five o'clock shadow', Marrow is 'Wags' and Yang is 'Fisticuffs'.
- The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Discussed and defied. She states that she really wanted to pummel Tyrian on her own, but General Ironwood ordered her to share him with Qrow and Clover (Qrow especially has a far more personal grudge against Tyrian after the events of Volume 4).
- Positive Friend Influence: In Volume 8, Qrow is spiraling into depression and rage from Clover's death, and starts to believe that he can never have close connections due to his Semblance. Robyn consoles him by drawing a comparison to her own Semblance, acknowledges his pain in losing his friend and in isolating himself, and calls him out on putting Revenge Before Reason in regards to Ironwood. Thanks to her influence keeping him grounded, Qrow is able to keep from backsliding and stay focused on what matters, and even gains a new perspective on his Semblance.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Robyn is the Red Oni to Ironwood's Blue. Both stubborn and convinced they're right, their respective Fatal Flaws clash when Ironwood prioritises Atlas and Robyn prioritises Mantle. Ironwood is initially an ally commanding overwhelming authority and a powerful military while Robyn is initially an antagonist commanding no formal power and rag-tag band of misfits. Ironwood is mistrustful, haunted, uncooperative, and uncompromising; by sacrificing empathy and humanity to achieve his goals, he is seen as increasingly villainous by both the kingdom and heroes. Robyn is open, engaging, cooperative and flexible; by embracing empathy and humanity to achieve her goals, she is seen as increasingly heroic by both the kingdom and heroes.
- Unaccustomed as I Am to Public Speaking...: During what should've been her election victory, Robyn says she was never much for public speaking, then goes into a heartfelt and flawlessly delivered speech to her supporters.
- Vague Age: When Yang reads Robyn's bio, the information reveals that her age is listed as "Late 20s - Early 30s". This is despite her having been educated at Atlas Academy, which should mean her exact age is well-known.
- Vigilante Woman: Robyn was previously willing to push the limits of what she could do legally to oppose Ironwood's reassignment of Mantle construction materials, such as barricading the road to stop lorries. However, she backs down after arguing with Clover and later claims to Marrow that she's never done anything illegal. During the election, some of her followers get murdered, which acts as the last straw. She begins launching attacks on military convoys to capture the construction supplies and redistribute them to Mantle supplies. Clover actually uses the term 'vigilante' when describing her behaviour to Ironwood.
Voiced By: Michael Jones [EN], Tomoaki Maeno [JP]
Debut: The Stray*
A monkey Faunus and leader of Team SSSN. Originally from Vacuo, he immigrated to Mistral, where he became a student at Haven Academy. He has a romantic interest in Blake and assists Team RWBY in investigating the activities of the White Fang and Roman Torchwick. His Semblance, Via Sun, lets him generate clones of light.
His weapons are known as Ruyi Bang and Jingu Bang, each of which are a pair of shotgun-nunchucks that can combine to form a bo staff.
- Adaptational Angst Upgrade: Before the Dawn gives him more focus and a greater insight into his psyche, as well as revealing that his parents died at a young age and that he struggles with his responsibility to his team as well as dealing with his own trauma from Beacon.
- Adaptational Jerkass: In the series proper, Sun is often rather carefree and supportive with his worst quality being that he's Innocently Insensitive at times, being described by Blake as very earnest, and even coming to the conclusion that while he had done it to help Blake, his running off on his team made him a horrible leader, leading to him deciding to go to Vacuo with his team to try and improve. In RWBY: Before the Dawn, Sun is ignorant and dismissive of his teams issues with him, and repeatedly demonstrates Never My Fault over his running off and thinking the team just needs to get over their issues with him. It takes having the issues spelt out to him by Velvet for him to finally realize how shitty he's been to his team. His team-mates believe he's incapable of staying in one place for too long out of fear of growing attachments to either places or people, which pushes his friends away in the process.
- All There in the Manual: His weapon name was only revealed by Monty on Facebook.
- Amazon Chaser: His first scene in Volume 2 is telling Neptune about how awesome Blake is in a fight and making his friend promise not to ruin his chances with her. In Before The Dawn, Sun's inner monologue reveals that he "likes being bossed around by strong girls".
- Animal Stereotypes: As a monkey Faunus, he's a trickster who loves bananas and enjoys hanging off trees.
- Armor-Piercing Question: When Blake, Sun, and all of Menagerie ambush Adam's group at the battle of Haven, Adam confidently tells Blake that he's made powerful new friends in Salem's group. Sun simply asks him where they are, pointing out that for all his talk about having allies, none of them are rushing to help him. When Adam looks around, seeing his men being rounded up and arrested, he realizes that Sun's right and ultimately escapes Haven.
- Art Evolution: The shift from Volume 1 to Volume 2 brings with it more detailed abs, more detail and shadow added to his hair as well as a shift in hair shape, as well as changing the necklace from a detailed gold necklace to a simpler cord with improved physics. The shift from Volume 2 to Volume 3 brings back the non-shaded hair and adds more detail to his shirt, making it look less stiff. Also, in Volume 1, his eye color was very hard to pin down, but usually seemed to be a muted blue. In Volumes 2 and 3, his eyes look black, but Volume 4 shows his eye to be a bright, clear blue and his hair a shade darker than it used to be.
- Artistic License Physics: His necklace is part of his character model in Volume 1 and does not slip off if he's hanging upside down. It's fixed in later Volumes.
- Ascended Extra: Goes from being a major supporting character in Blake's plots from Volumes 1-5 to the deuteragonist in Before The Dawn.
- Banana Peel: Uses it to distract his opponents, by throwing it right on the guy's head. Twice.
- Bare-Fisted Monk: He is so far the only fighter not only able to fight without a weapon, but consistently shown to do so. He shows off some impressive martial arts skill against the White Fang in the Volume 1 finale, then in the Vytal tournament, matches his partner's armed stance without his weapon, only taking it out to utterly annihilate Octavia, and then putting it away for the rest of the fight. In the lineup scene with at the end of the third volume's tenth episode, every single other fighter is wielding their weapons, but he chooses to forego his staff.
- Big Damn Heroes: Joins Blake's fight with Roman the moment it seems Roman might have an advantage over her.
- Big "SHUT UP!": When Ghira tries to tell the Menagerie population about the threat Adam poses to humanity and therefore to any change of achieving Faunus equality, Ilia rants to the crowd that Ghira is betraying the Faunus and that they should support Adam's fight for their rights. Sun yells at her to shut up and leaps at her, forcing her to flee.
- Boom Stick: The ends of the weapon incorporate flintlock pistols that he can reload as fast as he fires them.
- Brooding Boy, Gentle Girl: A gender-inverted example with himself and Blake. He tries to bring Blake out of her shell and be a shoulder for her to lean on when she is feeling distressed, though Blake usually doesn't want his company. Blake is a depressive, caustic girl who isolates herself and has a pessimistic worldview. She often tries to deal with problems herself (and hurts herself in the process) or avoids them altogether. By contrast, Sun lives by the motto of always getting involved with friends whether or not they want any help. "Like Morning Follows Night" expands on this dynamic; Blake questions whether Sun understands what she's been through, and feels like she must keep everybody at a distance so that they don't end up suffering alongside her. Meanwhile, Sun tries to convince Blake to let go of her past and forgive herself for her mistakes.
- Characterization Marches On: Particularly in his relationship with Blake. When he first meets Blake, Sun is quite flirtatious with her and continues this through the first three Volumes. However, after the time-skip and through Volume 5, Sun's determined efforts to help Blake have become much less about winning Blake's affections and much more simply wanting to help and support his friend, particularly in how much Sun pushes Blake to return to her team.
- Deliberate Values Dissonance: A lot of Sun's conflict with Team CFVY and the rest of his own team in Before the Dawn is the result of his Vacuan upbringing making him very quick to try to move on from conflict and trauma, which comes across as Innocently Insensitive at best and very self-centered at worst, though it's shown that he actually does mean well by it.
- Digging Yourself Deeper: When Blake's parents admit they've been worried about Blake, Sun tries to ease their fears by pointing out what a good fighter she is, but enthusiastically describes it as she "has some moves". Blake's father demands to know what he means by that phrase, sending Sun into a nervous panic. His attempts to clarify lead to him sounding like he's insulting Blake's looks. He eventually rambles to a halt and attempts to change the subject.Sun: Well, you see sir, it's just that, you know, she's such a good fighter and all [...] that's not to say she's not good-looking. She is very or, slightly? She's definitely above average... I mean, uh, this tea is really good.
- Doppelgänger Attack: His semblance is creating tangible yellow images of himself to attack.
- Dual Wielding: When his weapons are in shotgun-nunchaku form, he wields both of them at the same time while shooting at Roman Torchwick.
- The Dulcinea Effect: For Blake. He met her once, followed her around town despite her not talking to him for ages, and despite his disdain of the White Fang (and surprise that she was once a member), he selflessly aids her in her attempts to discern if the White Fang are responsible for Dust robberies.
- Endearingly Dorky: Sun is an extremely enthusiastic, larger-than-life personality who likes to encourage people to enjoy life as much as he does. When his team win their match during the Vytal Festival tournament, he and Neptune start enaging in a really bad, funny victory dance which leads to Team RWBY affectionately calling them dorks. When he first meets Blake's parents, he can't stop digging himself in a hole with her father when his attempts to compliment Blake accidentally make it sound like he's sexualising her; when he eventually attempts to change the subject by desperately complimenting the tea, Blake's mother whispers to Blake that she really likes him. When he learns that Blake tends to think of people as symbolising certain words, Sun asks her what characteristic she'd describe him as: she calls him 'earnest'; his response is to pull a trick with his tail and a coconut drink that makes Blake laugh and smile.
- Entertainingly Wrong: In "Of Runaways and Stowaways", because Sun witnessed Blake run off on her own after making sure everyone she cared for evacuated safely at the end of Volume 3, he thinks Blake is going on a one-woman rampage against the White Fang as revenge for trashing Beacon and hurting her friends. This logical conclusion makes perfect sense to him, except Blake is instead running away from the White Fang to prevent any further harm.
- Everyone Has Standards: He's a kleptomaniac and prone to breaking the law, but he does not support the actions of the White Fang, outright describing them as a "cult" that makes all Faunus look bad.
- Fighting Spirit: Sun's Semblance manifests as clones of himself, made from light. Initially, he has to stand still and concentrate while act: they can fight, they can support structures to stop people being crushed, they can engage in combination manoeuvres with others as if they're solid beings, and they can pin people down. However, the more clones he creates, the more rapidly his Aura is drained. In RWBY: Before the Dawn, he has learned how to fight actively while they fight independently of him. He still has to be careful of how long they're active to avoid draining his Aura rapidly, but he no longer has to stand still for them to function.
- Fool for Love: In Volume 2, Sun makes it clear to Neptune that he likes Blake and doesn't want to screw things up with her. However, he becomes very nervous around her and tends to overdose on laddish and flirtatious behavior as a result. In Volumes 4-5, he abandons his team to help Blake after she runs away from Vale, clashing regularly with her desire not to be helped by anyone until she learns to accept help and he learns to back off. At the beginning of Volume 6, they part ways as friends when they each return to their own teams; Neptune mentions that it seems like he's letting her go. Sun tells him that his decision to follow her wasn't about that in the first place, but his own thoughts in Before the Dawn amend it to "wasn't entirely about that."
- Good Counterpart: To Adam. Both are male Faunus who have been in, or desired, a relationship with Blake. Whereas Adam is a spiteful, murderous sociopath who seeks to make Blake pay for leaving him and attempts to destroy her friendships, Sun is a mischievous, good-hearted Nice Guy who goes after Blake out of concern for her well-being and who is determined to restore her to her friends. Adam desires to turn the White Fang into an excessively violent force that serves his personal agenda whereas Sun rejects the White Fang as a cult that shouldn't speak for all Faunus. Finally, Adam has a very dark color motif, whereas Sun's is very bright.
- Hair-Contrast Duo: Blake and Sun: the Shadow and the Light. Blake is an aloof, moody, and reserved while Sun is overprotective, cheerful and outgoing. She is a black-haired, black-themed Faunus whose Semblance is based on defensive shadow-clones while Sun is a blond-haired, yellow-themed Faunus whose Semblance is based on offensive light-clones. She is an ex-White Fang member who still fights for Faunus rights but objects to mundane crimes such as petty theft; he views the White Fang as an unwanted, self-appointed cult who give Faunus a bad name, but enjoys engaging in petty theft for fun. Sun's role is to act as a counter to Blake, encouraging her to lighten up, loosen up and protect her back until she figures out her problems. In return, Blake encourages Sun to learn restraint and take responsibility for his actions. When they part ways in Volume 6 it's because they've both grown beyond the need for each other's support.
- Hidden Depths: Sun presents himself as a lackadaisy, devil-may-care renegade, but he's hiding a soft heart and can be surprisingly sharp on occasion. Notably he doesn't make a single joke near the end of Volume 4 where he gently but firmly tells Blake that she's free to make her own choices, but her allies will as well.
- I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Rather than follow Blake to Atlas in Volume 6, Sun decides to return to Vacuo to train and let Blake be with her team, as he feels they are what she needs at the moment. Neptune chides him on "letting her go", but he explains that both of them have different things to focus on.
- Impossibly Cool Weapon: A Martial Arts Staff that splits into nunchucks that are made of Sawed-Off Shotguns.
- In the Hood: In "Of Runaways and Stowaways", a cloaked figure is seen stalking Blake on the ship. When the ship is attacked by a giant Grimm sea monster, the figure jumps on her head and removes their disguise, revealing itself to be Sun, much to Blake's shock and annoyance.
- Innocently Insensitive: Sun is extremely prone to this, generally blurting out what he's thinking without much consideration as to whether other people (especially Blake) want to hear it or not. It becomes deconstructed come Volume 4 however, as his inability to read the room causes him to thoroughly misunderstand Blake's intentions for coming to Menagerie, and her emotional state after being terrorized by Adam Taurus. This doesn't improve until he is injured by Ilia, to which he starts to finally get on the same page as Blake.
- The Leader: Of Team SSSN by default, though he's shown more ability. Among SSSN he acts almost purely as a Charismatic leader, both as The Face (or rather, the abs) of the group as well as their most iconic member. However, when the chips are down, he shifts gears completely. During Volume 3's Grimm invasion, he unofficially appears to take up the mantle of overall leader of the larger group, rallying and directing members of different teams, as well as trying to keep dangerous lone-wolf decisions to a minimum. This makes him a staunch Levelheaded Leader when he needs to get serious.
- Little Bit Beastly: He has a monkey's prehensile tail.
- Lovable Rogue: While he's fond of apparently breaking rules, he's quite a nice guy who helped Blake for nothing in return. It helps that he's just mischievous rather than malicious.
- Love at First Sight: Towards Blake. Team RWBY first see him as he's racing past them when the authorities chase him for stowing away on a ship, yet he immediately singles out Blake for a wink. Having instantly seen through her disguise, he latches onto her for the rest of Volume 1 and helps her investigate the White Fang even though he barely knows her. When he introduces his team-mate Neptune to Team RWBY at the beginning of Volume 2, he makes it clear to Neptune that he's very interested in Blake so he doesn't want Neptune to screw things up. He spends the rest of Volume 2 helping Blake and trying to convince her to go to the school ball with him.
- Meaningful Name: Named after the Monkey King. In keeping with the theme, his weapon is, among other things, a Telescoping Staff, and its names (Ruyi Bang and Jingu Bang) are two of the names for the original Sun Wukong's weapon.
- Mischief-Making Monkey: He's a monkey Faunus and a mischievous person; the first time he appears, he's fleeing the authorities for illegally stowing away on board a newly-docked ship. He comes to Vale as part of his Academy for the tournament, so he doesn't need to travel this way. He does it for kicks. Later on, he steals apples for himself and Blake instead of buying them. Because he can.Sun: I stole you some food! [holds out an apple]
Blake: Do you always break the law without a second thought?
Sun: Hey, weren't you in a cult or something?
Blake: [Death Glare]
Sun: ...Okay, too soon.
- Moment Killer: When Blake and her father have an emotional heart-to-heart about how she feels she betrayed her family to side with the White Fang, he asks her why she left her friends back at Beacon. Just before she can answer, Sun accidentally falls through the flimsy sliding door. Although he's there to ask Blake a question about White Fang behavior in Menagerie, he becomes frantic when he realizes what's happened, claims he's looking for the bathroom, and lampshades that he's just ruined a tender moment.Sun: WHOA! This isn't the bathroom! I'll just be going! Sorry to interrupt this tender family moment! [nervous laughter]
Ghira: I really don't like you.
- Mr. Fanservice: Monty has stated that only one word was used to describe Sun to the concept artists: ABS. Also, his pose on his valentine. When his team is introduced to the crowd at the tournament, someone can be seen holding up a placard of his chest, with a heart-shape surrounding his abs.
- Mukokuseki: Despite having the name of a character from a Chinese novel and using abilities related to that same story, he is blond, slightly tanned-looking, and has gray eyes.
- My Species Doth Protest Too Much: He views the White Fang as crazy extremists that make all Faunus look bad. He even calls them a "cult" and, upon learning the White Fang wear Grimm-masks because some humans call them monsters, says he thinks the mentality behind such reasoning is a little dark. Justified, since he hails from Vacuo, where discrimination against Faunus is generally not as prevalent as the other Kingdoms due to the need to band together to stay alive in the harsh environment, compared with the Faunus who have to live in much more racist locations like Mistral or Atlas.
- Necessary Drawback: In Volume 2, Sun's clone semblance lets him create doubles of himself he can fully control and fight with. However, Sun must stop moving entirely and keep his hands clasped together. The moment he moves, his clones vanish. Volume 4 shows that the more clones he summons, the more of his Aura it takes to sustain them, and summoning four of them to pin Ilia drains his remaining Aura so quickly that a single hit from her weapon can incapacitate him.
- Never My Fault: While he did have good intentions in going with Blake to Menagerie, Sun struggles to accept that his teammates have a right to be angry with him during Before the Dawn, thinking they'll get over it eventually and that it shouldn't be a big deal. It takes bonding with Velvet and arguing with Coco for him to realize how badly he screwed up in their eyes, causing him to apologize by the books end, allowing the team to finally start mending their relationship.
- No Shirt, Long Jacket: A long white jacket with no shirt underneath is his default uniform, which shows off his very muscular abs and adds to his prankster personality.
- Le Parkour: He scales a bunch of walls effortlessly while running away from angry guards.
- Odd Friendship: RWBY: Before the Dawn sees him form one with Velvet over the course of the book. As the two end up working together to look into the Crown, she becomes one of the few people Sun openly confides in about his insecurities, and Velvet in turn works to help Sun improve on his shortcomings, the two bonding the entire time. By the books end, he willingly takes her along with his team to his cousin Starr's dojo, Velvet encouraging him to reconnect with her when it looks like he's getting cold feet.
- Prehensile Tail: It's strong enough to support his weight when he's hanging off a street lamp with it. He also uses it to hold his cup of tea, toss his scroll to his friends, and, in one instance, knock a full-grown man on his ass.
- Put on a Bus: After Blake and Sun arrive at Haven Academy at the end of Volume 5, Sun has the opportunity to reunite with his team, who arrived home long before he did. At the beginning of Volume 6, he confirms that he will be spending time with his own team by taking them all to Shade Academy in the Kingdom of Vacuo, which is the kingdom he was born in. He explains that his reasons for doing so include giving Blake space to reconnect with her team, to reconnect with his own team, and to improve his leadership skills.
- Restrained Revenge: At the end of Volume 4, Ilia stabs Sun while fighting him and Blake. In Volume 5, Sun gets the opportunity to avenge himself. When the Albain brothers' attempt to kill Blake's parents fail, Ilia switches sides to help Blake and then support her attempt to recruit an army to protect Haven from Adam. As the excitement dies down, Sun walks over to her and indignantly reminds everyone that Ilia stabbed him. Before Ilia can find the words to respond, Sun pinches her arm hard and tells her they're now even.
- Ship Tease: His introduction to the story occurs when he's fleeing authorities due to stowing away on a ship. He pauses briefly to wink at Blake as he speeds by. From there, he quickly becomes attracted to her, from being willing to help her despite barely knowing her to fretting to Neptune about helping him be cool in front of her. He's crushed when she refuses to attend the dance as his date. Fortunately for him, Yang manages to convince Blake to go to the dance to stop her from driving herself into the ground, and she arrives to the dance with Sun.
- Shockwave Stomp: He does this with his staff at one point, knocking away some White Fang Mooks in the process. It seems to be a property of the weapon.
- Spin to Deflect Stuff: Blocks one of Roman's explosions just by spinning his staff.
- Stealth Pun: Monty has stated that he was thinking about making a "Gun-gun", as a joke to lampshade the weapons he had designed already. Chinese martial artists often use a staff known as a Gun. So, Sun wields the Gun-Gun. Also, the shortest version of a Gun Staff is called a bang, and the two parts of the staff are dual Bang Guns.
- Sticky Fingers: His Establishing Character Moment is showing up as a stowaway (and referencing Die Hard's "common thief" line for good measure). Lampshaded in the following episode when Blake asks him if he ever does anything legitimately - after Volume 1 ends, he's never shown doing it again, but he probably still has the instinct deep down. Having grown up in Vacuo, a Kingdom that really isn't big on order and rules (just survival), conforming to rules isn't naturally his style. He's still willing to break the law, stowing away yet again in order to follow Blake without her knowledge.
- Took a Level in Badass: In the show, when Sun activates his Semblance, he is unable to move while the clones take action. Initially, he is only able to summon two clones at a time that last for only a very short time and disappear as soon as they collide with their target. By Volume 5, he can create four clones that can wrestle with an opponent, although he still has to stand motionless and quickly runs out of Aura. By the time the events of RWBY: Before the Dawn occur, he can summon two clones and all three can actively fight multiple opponents for a short period of time.
- Walking Shirtless Scene: He says that Vacuo, his birth place, isn't known for "shirts and ties", which is why he prefers not to wear anything over his abs.
- The Watson: Sun grew up in Vacuo and is being educated in Mistral. He has never been associated with the White Fang or visited the Faunus island of Menagerie. As a result, he isn't privy to the inner workings of the terrorist organization or the realities of life on Menagerie. As Blake is from both, she is able to teach him what they're like; through this the audience learns how the White Fang turned from a peaceful civil rights group to a terrorist organization and why life on the island is difficult.
- Weapon Twirling: He does this a lot with his weapon, whether in staff form or in chucks form. This, incredibly, does not hinder his firing rate in the slightest, and allows him to reload his guns in an instant.
- Wink "Ding!": When he winks to Blake in "Black and White", it's accompanied by a "ding" sound effect.
- You Are Not Alone: After being injured by Ilia, he loses patience with Blake's insistence that she has to live alone because she's a danger to her friends. He tells her that, contrary to her beliefs, shutting out friends and loved ones is not a selfless act and causes far greater pain than her enemies ever could. He emphasizes the fact that she doesn't have the right to make her friends' choices for them and if they want to take the risk to protect the people they care about, nothing will stop them from doing so.Sun: You think you're being selfless, but you're not. Yeah, that chameleon friend of yours got me pretty good. But I'd do it all again if it meant protecting you. I could promise Yang would say the same. You can make your own choices, sure. But you don't get to make ours. When your friends fight for you, it's because we want to. So stop pushing us out! It hurts more than anything the bad guys could do to us.
- You Have GOT to Be Kidding Me!: Verbatim. In "Heroes and Monsters", most of the Huntsmen and Huntresses in training go all out against three hijacked Paladins. They are pushed so hard that Velvet has to use her one-shot weapon and Weiss succeeds in partially summoning an arm and sword to protect Velvet once her power is used up. Once the three Paladins are defeated, the exhausted kids can barely catch their breath before a fourth Paladin comes barreling in. Upon seeing it, Sun exclaims this trope word-for-word as his shoulders slump.
Voiced by: Elizabeth Maxwell [EN], Ayako Kawasumi [JP]
Debut: It's Brawl in the Family*
Weiss's older sister, and the direct subordinate of general Ironwood in the Atlesian military. Cold and aloof, but not above showing concern for Weiss's well-being. She briefly visits Beacon Academy to oversee the transport of additional Atlas security units.
Like her sister, Winter has the Schnee family Semblance, letting her generate glyphs that allow her to manipulate gravity and summon the spirits of anything she has killed in combat, alongside other abilities when combined with Dust. She fights with a rapier that has a dagger inside the hilt.
- Alliterative Family: Winter, her two siblings and her mother all share a name beginning with the letter W, refers to the colour white and can be combined with their surname, which means "snow". Her mother is Willow ("snow willow", a real life tree species), her sister is Weiss ("white snow") and her brother is Whitley (either "snow-white glade" or "snowy white glade").
- Bifurcated Weapon: She wields a sword that splits into what appears to be an estoc and a saber.
- Big Sister Instinct: Though it's mixed with some Tough Love, it's abundantly clear that Winter is very protective of Weiss. Upon realizing that the Ace-Ops have captured Weiss when they arrive in Atlas, Winter threatens to hurt the guards unless they take off the restraints within 10 seconds, which they do.
- Blade Run: Plants both feet on Qrow's huge sword and flips to kick him in the head.
- Broken Tears: After an entire volume of struggling with her emotions, the Volume 8 finale "The Final Word" leaves her sobbing on her knees until Jaune can get her back to her feet. Unable to rescue Weiss from falling into the Void Between the Worlds, Winter's left thinking her sister is dead. Even after Jaune gets her back to her feet, she still sheds a Single Tear upon seeing her family in Vacuo, who don't yet know Weiss's fate.
- Combat Stilettos: Her boots have some pretty prominent heels, and she kicks ass while wearing them, managing to keep up with Qrow.
- Complaining About Rescues They Don't Like: Winter isn't above prioritizing missions over her own safety and will object when others don't share her attitude. During the Volume 7 battle to decide the fate of the Winter Maiden's power, Winter is knocked off her winged familiar and her Aura is shattered, forcing Penny to drop her pursuit of Cinder to catch Winter before she hits the ground. Because this allows Cinder to reach Fria first, Winter criticizes Penny's decision, stating that her life doesn't matter. Penny begs to differ.
- Cool Airship: A private white one with trailing blue banners behind it. It is distinctive enough that both Qrow and Weiss recognize it on sight.
- Cool Big Sis: Weiss is of this opinion, and while Winter can be a bit cold she certainly cares about her sister's personal wellbeing more than anything else. It especially shows while they're in private, with Winter taking time out of her schedule to have lunch with Weiss, give her a practical lesson with her Semblance, and valuable family advice.
- Dope Slap: She smacks Weiss whenever she thinks her little sister is being a little too silly. Once when not receiving actual information on Weiss's well-being, another when she doesn't try hard enough at Summon Magic.
- Dual Wielding: Like Blake, she has a second blade hidden inside the first one.
- Everyone Has Standards: Winter has proven time and again to be firmly loyal to Ironwood, willing to do whatever he says even if it means abandoning Mantle, taking the Winter Maiden's power by force, or arresting her own sister. However, throughout Volume 8, Ironwood's deteriorating behavior shocks even her. When Sleet shows up to challenge Ironwood about declaring martial law, Ironwood simply shoots him dead and walks off. Winter and Harriet visibly struggle with what he's just done. Later, Ironwood takes Mantle hostage and threatens to destroy it if the heroes don't surrender Penny, then is only just barely stopped from summarily executing Marrow when he objects. This finally pushes Winter past her limit, and she turns to the heroes' side and helps them capture Ironwood and disable the bomb so they can save everyone.
- Gentle Touch vs. Firm Hand: Played with. Volume 3 contrasts the different ways Winter and Qrow mentor their younger relatives. Qrow is the Gentle Touch, talking through issues, offering advice, and encouraging his nieces to think like real Huntresses all while playing video games. Winter is the Firm Hand, commanding Weiss to always be her best, criticizing her techniques to improve them and driving her relentlessly until she gets it right. However, the show also reveals that, if the need arises, Qrow's willing to let his charges become bait while Winter can soften her approach to become more motherly.
- Hates Their Parent: Winter loathes her father Jacques and joined the Atlesian military to get away from him and his controlling ways. Come Volume 8, while Weiss ultimately can't abandon any sense of family towards Jacques, Winter has no such sentiment and makes it clear she couldn't care less what happens to him. Though he thanks Winter for promising to evacuate him from Atlas, she bluntly informs him it was actually Weiss' decision.
- High-Heel Power: Winter is one of Ironwood's best special operatives and his second-in-command, but her uniform is heavily feminised compared to other female Atlesian characters, including frilled jacket, delicate Schnee patterns and jewellery. The sound of her high-heeled boots is often used to emphasise her slow, deliberate power walks, especially where her dominance over Weiss or the Ace-Ops is displayed, or when she is leading Weiss to see the Winter Maiden. At the end of Volume 8, she becomes the Winter Maiden and de facto leader of the Atlesian people, putting her into direct conflict with the well-heeled and feminine villainous Maiden, Cinder.
- An Ice Person: In keeping with her snow and winter themes, one of Winter's swords is loaded with ice Dust, and all of her summoned avatars are made of spectral ice. She can summon freezing blizzards and waves of snow and ice that are able to disarm Weiss in her Volume 5 character short. When she inherits the Winter Maiden powers from Penny she focuses mainly on ice magic, creating an icy wind effect when she flies, blocking Ironwood's attacks with an ice shield, and contrasting Cinder's fire themes when they fight.
- Icy Blue Eyes: To a greater degree than Weiss. While she is caring at the same time, she can be cold to her sister, striking her upside the head just for misinterpreting a question. Where Weiss kept others away by being confrontational, Winter's voice never comes above an indoor voice and she treats even her challenger, Qrow, with critical disdain. To match this persona, her eyes are a steely gray-blue.
- Instant Runes: All Schnee have the ability to produce glyphs that can perform a range of functions. Winter's mastery of her glyphs is more advanced than her sister's because, as the older sister, she's had more time to develop her abilities. She displays the ability to summon Beowolves and flocks of miniature Nevermores and can shrink her summon circle down to the palm of her hand or grow it to much larger proportions to place underneath her feet or behind her body.
- It Was a Gift: Ironwood groomed Winter's career so that she would be capable of inheriting the Winter Maiden powers, the very thing he wanted her to have. However, when he tries to claim credit for this towards the end of Volume 8, she angrily says he chose nothing because she was given a gift. Penny chooses Winter to receive the Winter Maiden powers to protect them from Cinder, because she has faith in her and she considers Winter her friend. Winter's transformation is therefore rooted in Penny's sacrifice, their relationship, and their rejection of everything Ironwood stood for.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Even though Winter is a bit callous and aloof (even Dope Slapping Weiss at one point), she deeply loves Weiss and acts as a mentor figure to her, even teaching her how to use her summoning Semblance.
- Lady of War: To contrast Qrow's BFS, Winter uses a slender sword, and is very aloof, dignified, elegant and precise, though she can be particularly aggressive. It must run in the family.
- Leitmotif: A majestic, orchestral movement plays when her presence is made known.
- Magic Knight: Subverted Trope. Winter can use her Semblance in combination with swordplay and Dust, augmenting attacks, defying gravity, and summoning avatars of her defeated foes. However, because Semblances and Dust are not magic and only mimic it, she is therefore a subversion of a Magic Knight. Double-subverted at the end of Volume 8; when Winter inherits the Winter Maiden's powers from Penny, she is able to combine magic with her Semblance, avatars, and swordplay, thereby becoming a true Magic Knight who favours ice in battle.
- Mundane Object Amazement: Is perplexed when Weiss mentions the bunk bed she shares with Ruby.
- My Master, Right or Wrong: Discussed. She follows Ironwood's orders without question. When Penny expresses concern about some of the orders Ironwood is issuing, Winter tells her that he's trying to protect the whole of Remnant. When Ironwood instructs Winter to forcefully take the Winter Maiden's power, Penny is deeply disturbed by what they're about to do. Winter acknowledges that she has similar feelings and agrees there's nothing good about what they're doing, but also states that her feelings will not alter the actions she's going to take. Instead, Winter tells Penny to use her feelings to help identify right and wrong and that this struggle with personal feelings is what makes someone human. Later, after Penny obtains the Winter Maiden's power and Weiss is branded a wanted criminal along with her friends, Winter reluctantly lets them have a head-start while calling for medical treatment. Eventually subverted. Upon seeing just how far Ironwood has fallen and what he is prepared to do, she joins the heroes, and she is the one who ultimately defeats the General.
- No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Winter is on the receiving end of one of the more brutal beatdowns in the series, sustaining critical injuries due to having fight past her Aura broken. When Penny is comforting Fria in her final moments, Winter puts herself between Cinder and Penny to buy time for the power transfer, even though her Aura had already been broken prior. Cinder summarily beats the ever-living hell out of Winter, leaving her with a black eye, burn marks across her torso and left arm, various open wounds, and her hair is down.
- Not So Stoic: She believes in controlling her emotions and swallowing her personal feelings in the interests of maintaining professionalism at all times. However, her temper makes this difficult for her to do. The first time she's introduced, Qrow successfully baits her into brawling in front of the school while the Atlesian council meeting leaves her tapping her finger with increasing impatience until she finally explodes at her father's criticism of Ironwood's trustworthiness. When she complains later to Penny that she succumbed to her feelings and sounded like a petulant child, Penny tells her she was speaking from the heart and that there's nothing wrong with that. She and Penny later debate whether it's a good thing to suppress personal feelings or embrace them when they debate Ironwood's decisions over protecting Mantle and the Winter Maiden.
- Number Two: Winter functions as Ironwood's right-hand woman; her uniform is more similar to Ironwood's uniform than the Ace-Ops, while being more feminine and containing elements of her Schnee heritage. When he speaks to Mantle about his intentions for protecting them and keeping them strong, his broadcasts are followed by instructions from Winter on what rules the citizens must follow. He confides in her everything he knows about the war against Salem, and chooses her to become his candidate to receive the dying Winter Maiden's powers. In Volume 8, she learns that Ironwood is serious about bombing Mantle to force Penny's surrender, which convinces her to finally turn on Ironwood and side with the heroes for good.
- Passed-Over Inheritance: In the backstory, Winter is implied to have been disinherited by her father in favour of Weiss for escaping his control to join the Atlesian military. While discussing the situation with Ironwood, Jacques says he's unwilling to forgive the former for stealing his daughter away from him. Ironwood, however, is annoyed at Jacques throwing this accusation at him multiple times before.
- Peek-a-Bangs: She has a long fringe that sweeps down the right side of her face partially obscuring her right eye. It forms part of her professional, stern and unapproachable appearance, all of which hides an inner vulnerability that becomes more obvious in the Atlas Arc.
- Power Glows: Whatever she was about to do to Qrow right before Ironwood stopped her, it caused her skin and eyes to glow a bright white.
- Prim and Proper Bun: She wears a high bun that is very slightly offset to her left. She's a high-ranking member of the Atlesian military and a stern and professional woman who carries herself with dignity and elegance. In her Volume 7 duel with Cinder, she is left badly injured and her bun unravels. One volume later, she wears a pony tail instead.
- Promoted to Parent: According to The World of RWBY, Winter is a substitute for Weiss's absentee mother.
- Reverse Arm-Fold: Like her general, Winter always reverts to clasping her hands behind her back, a sign of her military service. She even maintains this stance when she is pacing a room in frustration.
- Red Herring: Winter's first name gives the impression that she is or soon may be one of the four Maidens. In Volume 7, it's revealed that she isn't the Winter Maiden yet, but has been assigned by Ironwood to take care of Fria, the elderly Maiden. In the finale "The Enemy of Trust", she, alongside Penny, is sent to transfer the Maiden's power to herself, but Cinder attacks. Winter intervenes, but has her Aura shattered and is beaten to near unconsciousness by her, while Penny is the one who receives Fria's title and power. It's then subverted in the Volume 8 episode "The Final Word" when a dying Penny chooses her to be the inheritor of the mantle. While conversing with her one last time Penny says that this was her choice too.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Penny is the Red Oni to Winters Blue Oni. Ironwood relies on both in his fight against Salem. Winter is a cold, calculating human who buries her emotions beneath dutiful, rational behaviour. Penny is a warm, outgoing robot who speaks from the heart and challenges the morally questionable. In Volume 7, Penny's empathy, humanity and compassionate idealism clash with Winter's stoicism, professionalism and detached obedience, leading to Penny receiving the Winter Maiden's power instead of Ironwood's intended recipient, Winter. In Volume 8, Penny sacrifices her life to protect the power from Cinder by passing it to Winter, who embraces Penny's ideals and abandons Ironwood.
- So Proud of You: After Weiss returns to Atlas, she and Winter get the opportunity to spend time together and train together. Winter ends up concluding with approval that Weiss has grown a lot as a person and has come a long way from the young girl who didn't have the strength to break free of her father.
- Steven Ulysses Perhero: She's been named Winter since birth. Later on in life, she manifests her inherited family Semblance, which includes the ability to produce ice avatars of any Grimm foes she's felled in battle that helped contribute to her growth as a person. At the end of Volume 8, a dying Penny chooses Winter to inherit the Maiden powers, preventing Cinder from obtaining them and resulting in Winter becoming... the Winter Maiden.
- Stern Teacher: Her methods of testing and teaching Weiss are very stern. In Weiss's Volume 5 trailer, she throws a nonstop horde of summoned Beowolves at her sister, and eventually steps it up to using waves of ice and snow to disarm her and leave her vulnerable... and then lets the Beowolves begin to swarm Weiss while she's pinned down. It's only when Weiss calls out for her to stop that Winter dismisses them and in the moments leading up to it the look on her face was one of absolute terror. Afterward, Winter reminds Weiss that she won't always be there to protect her, and that she'll have to get much better if she ever hopes to be able to leave the safety of her home.
- Summon Magic: Has been shown to be able to summon a flock of tiny Nevermore Ravens as well as a full-sized Beowolf, all of them made of ice. The Volume 5 Weiss trailer shows that she can also summon several Beowolves at once and coordinate their attacks, and dismiss them just as quickly. When battling Cinder in midair, Winter calls forth a Manticore as a mount and to launch ranged attacks.
- Technician vs. Performer: Discussed between Weiss and Winter with regards to how they use their Semblance. Although Weiss initially focused on proper form, once she settles into Team RWBY, she starts prioritising inventiveness and creativity. Using her glyphs and summoning ability constantly for a range of effects, she will augment Dust assaults and enhance movement, often combining them with ballet moves to pirouette or look like she's ice skating instead of running. Winter, in contrast to Weiss's Huntress-style flair and flexibility, is a military officer who always functions according to strict discipline and self-control; she isn't a flashy fighter and uses her Semblance sparingly, sticking to simple, pragmatic acts, such as augmenting a physical strike or summoning only when she has to. In Volume 7, Winter comments that Weiss's technique is still "maddeningly sloppy" but accepts that she has learned how to make that work for her. Weiss accepts it as a compliment.
- Temporal Theme Naming: Women with seasonal names in RWBY are all very plot significant. Winter is a role model for her younger sister, Weiss, exerting a strict and affectionate maternal influence on her. Winter is a Huntress-trained military subordinate of Ironwood and has an ongoing personality clash with Qrow, who is loyal to Ozpin. When introduced, she is connected to Ozpin's secret group that protects Remnant from secret threats; however, she is only entrusted with the full truth after the fall of Beacon. By Volume 7, Ironwood has indeed chosen her to succeed Fria as the Winter Maiden by manipulating the former's circumstances to increase the likelihood that her power will transfer to Winter upon her death. This is subverted when Penny obtains the power instead. Double-subverted when Penny transfers the Maiden power to Winter at the end of Volume 8.
- To Be Lawful or Good: Winter initially believes it's her duty to serve her kingdom by adhering to the military chain of command and loyally obeying Ironwood's every command. In the seventh and eighth volumes, she regularly debates with Penny or Marrow the importance of swallowing how they feel about Ironwood's increasingly authoritarian orders in favour of doing their duty and being loyal. The final straw is when Ironwood threatens to blow up Mantle if Team RWBY doesn't surrender Penny, which leads to Winter teaming up with Marrow and the heroes to thwart Ironwood for good.
- Wall Run: She runs straight up a 90-degree pillar during her fight with Qrow.