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The White Fang was originally an organization formed after the war to advocate peace between humans and Faunus, but the Cycle of Revenge made sure such a thing would remain a pipe dream. With a change in leadership five years prior to the start of the series, the formerly peaceful movement has traded in its banners for bombs, and engages in wanton violence to perpetuate an anti-human agenda, with a particular vehemence towards the Schnee Dust Company.
- Became Their Own Antithesis: They've gone from peaceful protesting to anti-human terrorism.
- The Coup: In Volume 5, Adam uses his extreme popularity among the White Fang to stage a coup against Sienna Khan, killing her and taking her place while blaming her death upon a human Huntsman.
- Cult: In Volume 1, Sun outright describes them as one. In Volumes 4 and 5, the Albain brothers wear hooded capes that give them a clerical appearance, which, combined with their constant reference to White Fang members as "Brother X" or "Sister Y", creates the impression that they're some kind of priests.
- Evil Costume Switch: The White Fang used to be a peaceful organization, devoted to creating equality through diplomatic, political engagement with the humans and peaceful marches when strength of feeling was required. Their logo was originally white and blue; a white beast's head, eyes and mouth half-closed, inside a white ring on a blue background. When a violent faction took over the organisation to turn the White Fang into a terrorist group, the logo was updated; the beast's head is now blood red, eyes opened, fangs bared, on red claw marks instead of within a white circle. Originally blue, the background colour is now usually white or occasionally black.
- He Who Fights Monsters: They were originally peaceful protestors, but their new leader decided to be more "hands-on" with their message. Thus, they've become no better than the humans who persecuted and shunned them. Even other Faunus are disgusted with the White Fang's actions; Sun Wukong in particular outright describes them as a cult that gives all Faunus a bad name.
- Knight Templar: Several White Fang members, such as Adam and Ilia, act this way towards humans. Ilia goes so far as to crash a rally held in Menagerie just to publicly denounce Blake and her family as traitors and "the worst kind of Faunus" for even daring to suggest that Faunus work with humans. Adam in particular has no qualms against killing his fellow Faunus if they don't agree with his views.
- Mooks: Ordinary members of White Fang are Faceless Goons, identified by their plain (unpatterned) white masks. Their roles consist of filling out fight scenes that involve the White Fang, losing to named characters and creating a sense of an organisation with a large membership.
- Renegade Splinter Faction: The Albain brothers tell Ghira Belladonna that Adam's involvement in attacking Vale and destroying Beacon Academy is the work of a splinter faction that has gone rogue from the White Fang and is rebelling against Sienna Khan's leadership. Blake and Sun retrieve a Scroll that reveals Adam plans to attack Haven Academy next, but can't confirm their suspicion that the Albain brothers are in contact with Adam. When Adam and Sienna confront each other, their argument about whether or not Adam is damaging the White Fang cause ends when Adam kills Sienna and replaces her as leader; deceiving the White Fang into making Sienna a martyr, he intends to inflame the White Fang against humanity and instigate the attack on Haven Academy in direct defiance of Salem's own plans for both Haven and the White Fang.
- Resignations Not Accepted: Tukson is assassinated by Cinder's group for abandoning the White Fang. While a search was initially attempted to find Blake after she deserted, Adam calls it off very quickly citing an imminent departure for Mistral as the reason. By time Ilia pulls her HeelFace Turn, the organization is too focused on attacking Haven to deal with her, and soon after are too divided to care.
- The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized: It once was, but the new leadership decided to be a bit more "hands on" with their message of equality.
- Then Let Me Be Evil: Blake explains to Sun that the White Fang wear masks that are designed to imitate the Grimm. She claims that the person who came up with them reasoned that, if humanity was going to view the Faunus as monsters, the White Fang may as well play the part. Flashbacks in the Volume 6 character short reveal that Adam invented the mask, but that the association between the mask and Grimm is much more ambiguous — spotted by another Faunus, Adam clearly enjoys the association being made but avoids answering the question about why he created the mask in the first place.Blake: The masks are a symbol. Humanity wanted to make monsters out of us, so we chose to don the faces of monsters.
- Western Terrorists: Faunus have historically been treated as second-class citizens by humanity - at best. They have lacked the rights, employment protections and basic equality that the humans take for granted. There have been wars in history between the faunus and humans over this issue. Eventually a faunus organisation called the White Fang was created to ensure peace and equality between the two races, but met with only minimal success. Frustrated, a faction of the White Fang began to engage in violence to make their voice heard and eventually staged a coup to take control of the whole organisation. Now the White Fang is a criminal organisation, engaging in theft, criminal damage, violence and bombings against humanity. Even other faunus dislike what the White Fang have become.
- Your Terrorists Are Our Freedom Fighters:
- A faction of the White Fang felt that peaceful protest marches wasn't getting the faunus the equality with humanity they deserved. They staged a coup, took over the organisation and began to use violence and bloodshed as their route towards equality. They've earned humanity's fear instead of respect, and even faunus who are not White Fang members dislike the White Fang and their actions.
- In Menagerie, the Faunus island settlement, the White Fang are able to walk freely through the streets in their uniforms. The former leader of the originally peaceful protest organization lives in the settlement as the main city's chieftain. Although under new leadership, the White Fang passes itself off as a more aggressive, but still mostly peaceful, protest organization that is struggling against human-biased media and an extremist faction that they're trying to capture for punishment before it brings the entire organization into disrepute. That's shot to hell once the Fang tries to assassinate said chieftain, therefore proving they don't care about anything but their own power.
Voiced By: Garrett Hunter [EN], Yuichi Nakamura [JP]
Debut: Black Trailer
One of the radical leaders of the present-day White Fang, he possesses a thin straight sword named Wilt and a shotgun-sheath hybrid named Blush. He infiltrates a train alongside Blake in the Black trailer, set some time before the events of Volume 1. He makes his first in-series appearance at the end of Volume 2, where it's confirmed he's working with Cinder Fall.
Adam's weapons are a Chokutō (Wilt) and a rifle-sheath (Blush). The rifle barrel serves as the sheath for the sword. His Semblance is codenamed Moonslice, allowing Adam to unleash a single devastating strike after absorbing energy absorbed by his sword parries.
- Abnormal Ammo: Due to the rifle-like mechanism of the sheath, the sword can be fired out of the gun.
- Accidental Murder: Adam's early kills during White Fang missions were regarded as accidents. The Volume 6 Character Short shows one occasion where Adam single-handedly protected Ghira from an ambush by anti-Faunus humans. Adam takes them all down non-lethally until one human starts shooting directly at Ghira. Adam unleashes his Semblance, and the human is killed in a single strike. Ghira is horrified and Adam looks disturbed, but Sienna and the rest of the Faunus surprise Adam by praising him as a hero. In the following scene, Blake is very concerned by the regular pattern of "accidental" deaths that are occurring on Adam's missions and asks how many more there will be. Adam doesn't know because he's risking his life to fight for the Faunus, but his sincerity is ambiguous. From the next scene on, he's no longer killing by accident and is instead killing for pleasure.
- Achilles' Heel: Unlike most characters, Adam exclusively channels his semblance through his weapon. He needs it to both collect energy and release it. Taking Wilt away from him effectively disables his semblance. Blake is able to reduce Adam's fighting skill for a time by trapping Wilt in her own sheath until he can get it back from her. Later on, Yang manages to completely neuter his Semblance by evading his blows, catching it with her robot arm, and disarming him.
- All There in the Manual: His full name was revealed through Monty's Facebook Turnaround models during Volume 1, but not used on-screen until the halfway point of Volume 3.
- And Your Little Dog, Too!: Adam vows to destroy everything Blake loves to make her pay for abandoning him. When he slices off Yang's arm, Blake goes on the run, just as he wanted. Sun follows her home, determined to have her back, but gets injured when they fight Adam's subordinate, Ilia, reinforcing Blake's belief that she needs to be alone. When Sun lectures Blake on abandoning her friends, Blake's parents reveal that Blake and Sun did recover intel from Ilia that proves Adam plans to overthrow the White Fang leader, Sienna Khan, and then destroy Haven Academy. As a result, Blake vows to stop running and take back control of the White Fang from Adam. It reaches a whole new level when he orders the assassination of Blake's parents just to spite and hurt her; not only does this fail, but it also provides just the ammo Blake needs to convince the previously neutral people of Menagerie to stand up against him.
- Antagonist Abilities: Blake explains that Adam's Semblance is like Yang's: they can both absorb the energy thrown at them and send it back at their opponents at will. However, Adam does it by absorbing the energy with his sword while Yang has to tank the damage done directly to her body before she can transform it. Yang lampshades how cheap it is that he can dish out damage without first having to feel it.
- Animal Motif: Adam Taurus has a bull motif. He has two horns, and there are markings on his mask that resemble horns as well. When he finally removes the blindfold he's wearing, it's to show that his face has been heavily scarred around the left eye; the scarring has been caused by the SDC company letters being burned into his face, meaning that he's been branded like cattle.
- Animal Stereotypes: Apart from his implied bull heritage, he also "sees red" and seems unwilling to consider the views of others.
- Arch-Enemy: He becomes one to Blake and Yang over the course of the series. He tells Blake during the battle of Beacon that he plans on making her suffer for betraying him by abandoning the White Fang. He insists that he will destroy everything she loves; when Yang tries to rescue Blake moments later, Adam keeps his promise by defeating Yang with a single swing of his sword, amputating her right arm in the process. By the time of their final confrontation in Volume 6, Adam tells Blake that none of the pain and scarring he's experienced in his life hurt him as much as she did because she left him. When he realises she wants him to let go of the past, he vows to never let her get away from him again. He considers Yang unfinished business and is happy to fight her when she intervenes before he can kill Blake. Seeing her shaking from the PTSD flashbacks she has to the night he cut off her arm, he accuses Yang of cowardice and demands to know what Blake even sees in her. In the end, the final fight rests on the fact that he's alienated and alone while his attempts to isolate the pair from each other only succeed in making them stronger through unity, mutual trust and team-work.
- Asskicking Equals Authority: Deconstructed. Adam's passion and drive to fight against the humans using any means necessary makes him a very successful and dangerous man on missions. He earns the respect of fellow Faunus and the favour of the High Leader, Sienna Khan. Rewarded with leadership of the Vale chapter of the White Fang, he successfully teams up with Salem's forces to destroy Beacon Academy. Faced with recrimination from Sienna, who feels his methods are now becoming too extreme, he kills her and takes her place as High Leader so that he can bring about the downfall of Haven Academy. However, his great skill in personal combat does not translate into ability as a general; with no authority figure left to temper his ambitions to break humanity or his obsession with avenging personal slights, such as Blake daring to leave his side for a different life, means he becomes increasingly reactionary and unstable. His failure to assassinate Blake's family simply for opposing his plot to destroy Mistral leads to the White Fang reaching Haven only to be surrounded by Faunus from Menagerie and the Mistral authorities; the White Fang are then left shocked by the speed at which he abandons his own men to escape imprisonment. He returns alone to the White Fang headquarters only to discover they know what happened at Haven and are refusing to allow him to continue being High Leader. His slaughter of those men and destruction of the White Fang throne effectively ruins the White Fang as an organisation mere months after he first came to power.
- Audible Sharpness: Adam's blade can occasionally be heard even when it hasn't touched anything. One example is the sound heard right as he's about to stab Blake.
- Ax-Crazy: Adam is a deranged Anti-human terrorist dedicated to the enslavement of humanity. He also wishes to kill all of Blakes loved ones as revenge for leaving him. The Albain brothers even take note of his instability and contemplate removing him from power in "Necessary Sacrifice".
- Bad Boss: In "Downfall", he tries to blow up everyone there, including himself and his own followers, just to deny Blake victory. When one of said followers demands to know what he's thinking, Adam grabs him by the throat, screaming that he's making humanity pay for what they've done. In "Haven's Fate", when his men are defeated, Adam flat-out bails on them to avoid being arrested; as Ilia points out, this has effectively cost Adam any respect and support the White Fang had for him. When his remaining followers call him out for his cowardice and mock his ineffectiveness as a leader when confronted by a fearless Blake, Adam slaughters them all in a spiteful fit of rage.
- Badass in a Nice Suit: Unlike most of the White Fang, Adam prefers smart suit-style clothing. He originally wore a single-breasted black jacket over a red top along with black trousers. After the Battle of Beacon, he changes his top to a smart, zipped jacket that is charcoal grey with black accents. In both cases, his personal symbol appears on the back of his jackets. He is one of the most powerful fighters in the White Fang, his combat skills having taken him from the bottom of the organisation to become the leader of Vale chapter of the White Fang, and eventually the High Leader of the whole White Fang organization.
- Better to Die than Be Killed: In "Downfall", with his men cornered by Blake, the entirety of Menagerie, and the Mistral police, Adam attempts to set off bombs to kill everyone there, including himself and his followers, rather than let Blake win. Unfortunately for him, Ilia disarmed the explosives ahead of time.
- Blood Knight: Given his laughter in the face of near-death to a Spider Tank, even if he can beat it, this seems to be in effect.
- Broken Pedestal: In "Haven's Fate", his attempt to blow up both Blake and her allies and his own forces out of spite and a desire to taint Blake's victory, compounded with fleeing while his forces are arrested, has all but obliterated any support he had left in the White Fang's rank and file.
- Can't Take Criticism: In "Argus Limited", Adam returns to the headquarters of the White Fang only to find the Faunus blocking his access to the throne. They refuse to step aside when he commands because they've heard how he abandoned his people at Haven Academy and ran away. While he keeps calm through most of the perceived disrespect, he can't handle his people criticising his inability to deal with Blake. When they suggest she has more control over him than he wants to admit, he loses his temper and slaughters every single one of them. When he reminisces over that claim, he loses control again and destroys his throne.
- Charged Attack: Adam needs time to charge up his Energy Absorption Limit Break, as he tells Blake to distract the Spider Tank while he's doing so. Although in "Heroes and Monsters", he is shown to perform it with much less preparation. In general, Adam's Semblance requires him to either become a stationary target and absorb energy from his Aura, or to deflect gunfire and other attacks to build up energy.
- Cool Mask: He wears a distinctive white mask with red accents which resembles the white and red faces of the Grimm. The distinct design marks him as a more important than the normal White Fang who wear plain white masks. After the battle for Haven, he abandons the mask and in his next appearance he is wearing a black blindfold instead of the mask.
- The Corrupter: Blake tells Sun that she tends to create a single, descriptive word about each person in her life that sums up who they are. In Adam's case, she has come to think of him as "spite" and believes his way of thinking is "dangerously contagious". Blake can see Adam's views rubbing off onto Ilia and wants to save her before Adam can corrupt her completely.
- Crazy Jealous Guy: Incredibly jealous of Blake's closeness with Yang, to the point of driving him into a rage. His jealously is best exemplified by him screaming "What does she even see in you!?" at Yang during their fight.
- The Dark Side Will Make You Forget: As stated by Blake and shown in-depth in his character short, Adam was initially somewhat well-intentioned and noble, and he did care about his fellow Faunus; he's actually shocked when he kills a human in defense of Ghira, and surprised when Sienna and the rest of the Fang praise him for doing so. By the end of the short, set after he takes over the White Fang, he's devolved from a quest for equal rights to pursuing Faunus supremacy and the gratification of his own desires. Whatever nobility he may have had in his goals is long gone.
- Didn't See That Coming: During his character short, Sienna declares Adam a hero for saving Ghira's life, and the rest of the Fang cheer for him after he accidentally killed a racist who was shooting at their convoy. Adam's reaction to this is one of genuine surprise.
- Domestic Abuse: He behaves abusively towards Blake, blaming her for how he felt after she walked out on him, and blaming her for "making him" hurt her in retaliation. He tells her that he will destroy everything she cares about just because she left him. All the time he's trying to emotionally beat her down, he displays a calm, implacable determination and peppers his speech with terms of endearment such as "my love" or "my darling" which contribute to the creepiness of his behaviour. Blake tells Yang that his power comes from his ability to control others and get inside their heads, which is what he did to her. After he falls out with the White Fang, he stalks her across Anima and waits until she's alone and separated from other people to ambush her. He is enraged that she's thrown away her memories of him and makes it absolutely clear that he's never going to let her go ever again.Blake: Adam's strong, but his real power comes from control. He used to get in my head, make me feel small. But now I see he just wanted to pull me down to his size.
- The Dying Walk: After he is stabbed, he staggers forward a few feet. He then collapses to his knees before toppling forwards to fall off the cliff.
- Energy Absorption: Adam has the ability to absorb energy and return it back, channelling his Semblance to his sword; this allows him to absorb attacks by unsheathing it so the attack directly hits the blade. He then stores this energy in his sword and releases it for one large attack. The first time it is shown is in the Black Trailer, where he destroys a Spider Drone by completely absorbing its Wave Motion Gun attack. The second time is during the Battle of Beacon, where he periodically blocks Blake's bullets with his sword and cuts off Yang's arm in the same way he destroyed the Spider Drone. When Blake tells Yang what Adam's Semblance is, she compares how similar the two Semblances are; Yang immediately latches onto the key different between them, which is that she has to tank damage first whereas Adam doesn't.Blake: His Semblance is like yours! He absorbs energy into his sword, stores it up, and then sends it back when he's ready!Yang: He gets to dish out damage without having to feel it? That's just cheap.
- Entitled Bastard: When Adam ruins Hazel's plan to work with Sienna Khan by killing Sienna, Hazel protests that no-one needed to die and Adam should have told him about this plan. Adam retorts that Hazel had no reason to be told because White Fang matters are his problem, not Hazel's. When the Mistral Police and Menagerie Faunus surround Adam during the battle of Haven, Adam demands Hazel help the White Fang fight off the Faunus and the police they brought with them. Hazel refuses by throwing Adam's previous words back in his face, stating it's Adam's business, not his.
- Evil Counterpart:
- To Ilia. Both have suffered at the hands of humanity and desire revenge, supporting the White Fang's violent terrorism. However, Ilia genuinely cares about the Faunus' plight and eventually comes to her senses, whereas Adam is a spiteful Jerkass who just wants to lash out at the world that hurt him, only cares about himself and what he wants, and uses his race's plight as an excuse to get away with murder and pursuit of his own power. In many ways, Adam represents what Ilia could have become had she allowed her hatred and rage at humanity to consume her.
- He also serves as one to Sun. Both are male Faunus who have been or desire a relationship with Blake, but whereas Adam is a spiteful, murdering, sociopathic Jerkass who seeks to make Blake pay for leaving him, Sun is a mischievous but good-hearted Nice Guy who goes after Blake out of concern for her well-being, even willing to put up with abuse she throws his way to do so. Adam eventually becomes the head of the entire White Fang, whereas Sun sees them as a cult. Finally, Adam has a very dark color motif, whereas Sun's is very bright.
- He's also one to Yang. Similar Semblances aside, they also have the benefit of having part of their body horribly disfigured and having Blake run away from them. Yang would be Adam if she let her PTSD consume her into revenge on top of not moving past Blake leaving her.
- Evil Former Friend: He used to be Blake's partner within the White Fang until she realized Adam was knee-deep in the new leadership's violent approach, causing her to desert him and the organisation altogether. When he reappears at the end of Volume 2, he is confirmed to be one of the White Fang's leaders and has teamed up with Cinder's group. When they clash during the battle for Beacon, he insists on referring to her as "my love" and "my darling" even as he blames her for making him want to hurt her and for him deciding to destroy everything she cares about.
- Evil Is Petty: Adam wants to make Blake suffer by slaughtering everyone close to her, all because she walked away from him when she couldn't stomach his increasingly violent behavior any more. Blake believes that Adam's desire to destroy humanity isn't because he believes that equality between humans and Faunus is impossible, but rather because he doesn't want equality to come about due to the injustices that he personally suffered in the past. Indeed, he doesn't want equality at all, but supremacy. To drive home just how pitiful he is, Blake admits that she's come to see him as the embodiment of spite. Not hate or even rage, just spite. Best shown when he's bested by Blake, and rather than admit defeat, tries to set off the explosives that would kill her, her Faunus allies, his own followers, and himself included, just so "everyone loses". When he returns to the White Fang throne room, his remaining subordinates openly criticize him for the way he turned on his people. They refuse to follow him any more and deny him access to the throne; Adam remains calm with the insubordination until his men accuse him of being controlled by Blake, whereupon his temper snaps and he slaughters every single one of them. He then stalks Blake across Anima just to avenge his wounded pride, blaming her for everything that's gone wrong in his life. When she tells him to let go of the past, he interprets it as throwing away her memories of them. He tries to kill her for causing him more pain than anyone ever has, and when Yang intervenes, he tries to turn Yang against Blake by claiming that Blake doesn't keep her promises to stay by the side of the people she cares about. When they fight, he tries to use Yang's PTSD to paint her as a coward who is too afraid to fight, despite the fact he caused her PTSD in their last encounter by cutting off her right arm.
- Eye Scream: In Volume 6, Adam takes off his blindfold to reveal what he's been hiding behind the mask he normally wears. His left eye has a red sclera and grey-black iris. Over the left side of his eye, a massive brand has been burned into his face simply stating 'SDC'.
- Facial Horror: Adam had the SDC logo burned onto his face and across his left eye, leaving permanent scarring. His left eye also has an unnatural appearance, with red sclera and and a strange greyish iris and pupil.
- Fallen Hero: Adam originally fought for Faunus rights, seeking to strike back against the injustices that the Faunus were forced to endure. When he single-handedly rescued Ghira Belladonna from a group of humans that were trying to kill him, he so impresses the other Faunus that they label him a hero. However, the incident involved him killing one of the humans by accident, an act that rebelled Ghira. Initially shocked by the death, Adam comes to revel in the celebrity status he gains and it becomes the start of his downfall. With each mission, he becomes increasingly violent and more humans begin to die. While he justifies it to a concerned Blake as being in dangerous situations where people can and do die, he begins to enjoy killing humans and even looks forward to doing so. Eventually, his quest for equal rights becomes a quest for Faunus supremacy and the gratification of his own desires. By the time he murders his mentor, Sienna Khan, to take control of the White Fang, he's even willing to sacrifice Faunus lives without a second thought just to obtain his own personal desires. When he turns on his own followers at Haven Academy, and abandons them to the Mistral authorities, the White Fang turns against him as a traitor. He slaughters every single one of them.
- Fascist, but Inefficient: Adam is a supporter of Faunus supremacy and seeks to Take Over the World to achieve it, going so far as to kill Sienna Khan so he can take over the White Fang and lead them into a war against humanity. Sadly, throughout Volume 5, it's proven that while Adam is an excellent warrior, he's a horrible leader; he's hot-tempered, spiteful and petty, and makes incredibly stupid moves that blow up in his face. On top of pushing away valuable allies like Salem's faction out of petty spite and bigotry, he proceeds to order the assassination of Blake's parents just to spite and hurt her; the assassination fails, and provides just the means for Blake to rally the previously neutral citizens of Menagerie against him. When cornered at Haven, Adam attempts to blow himself and his troops up with everyone else instead of surrendering or risk trying to fight his way out, and when his troops are all subdued and arrested, he decides to simply make a break for it. Ilia predicts that no one in the White Fang will support or follow Adam after all of this, and come "Argus Limited", she's proven right; when Adam returns to his headquarters, his remaining men block his access to his throne, mock his failure at Haven, and make it clear they won't follow his orders anymore, leading to Adam flying into a rage and slaughtering them all.
- Fantastic Racism: While there's plenty of tension between humans and Faunus, and many Faunus harbor deep resentment and anger toward humans, Adam goes well beyond that, into preaching an outright Faunus-supremacist dogma, believing that humans not only deserve to be overthrown but that the Faunus are the Superior Species and should rule over humans. Sienna's Menagerie representatives, Corsac and Fennec, tell the Belladonna family that Sienna is so troubled by Adam's violence that she wants him captured and brought to her for punishment. Adam seeks her out himself. They argue about how violence should be used to achieve their goals, with Sienna wanting Faunus to be feared and respected and Adam wanting humans enslaved to Faunus superiority. Adam murders her with the intention of martyring her death to inflame the White Fang against humanity and replaces her as leader of the White Fang.
- Fatal Flaw: White Fang High Leader, Sienna Khan sums up Adam's weakness as short-sightedness. He possesses the charisma to lead Vale's faction of the White Fang in any endeavour he supports; even when many Faunus lose their lives during the Volume 2 finale, he is confident that his followers will continue to do his bidding. Claiming he's inspired by Sienna's strength, he joins forces with Salem to destroy Beacon Academy. Sienna is furious because Adam cannot see that his actions have justified humanity's hatred and fear of the Faunus and that the White Fang is now more of a target than it ever was. Blake explains to Sun that Adam symbolises the concept of 'spite' to her; the world hurt him, so he intends to hurt the world right back; he neither cares nor comprehends the wider consequences of his actions. He believes in Faunus superiority and plans for a day when humanity will be forced to serve the Faunus, but he's willing to ruin his own plans for short-term gain, such as the destruction of Beacon Academy or putting a hit out on Blake's family just because they oppose him. Murdering Sienna to obtain control of the White Fang and trying to assassinate the Belladonnas motivates a previously neutral Menagerie to form an army for the sole purpose of stopping him from doing to Haven Academy what he did to Beacon; his ability to control the White Fang is therefore destroyed by his own weakness almost as soon as he set his plans in motion.
- To Ilia. Ilia is what Blake thought Adam was for the longest time: a desperate, misguided, frightened individual who was pushed to extremism after suffering trauma. Blake mentions that Adam became more extreme gradually, in ways that could be explained away until her eyes were finally opened to just how awful he had become, and feels that Ilia is walking the same dangerous path. The difference between Ilia and Adam, is that she regards Adam as a spiteful person who is determined to make the world hurt as much as he's been hurt, no matter what the cost, and that Ilia is just a good person who has lost her way and is making all the wrong decisions.
- To Yang. Adam and Yang have both been Blake's partners for missions. Adam is a manipulative abuser who started off fighting for Faunus rights, but who gradually descended over time into a monster that seeks only to punish humanity for his self-gratification. Yang began as a thrill-seeker who only fights for her own self-gratification, learning over time to become a Huntress who fights to protect the lives of others. When Yang is tricked by Emerald into attacking an apparently defenceless Mercury during the tournament, Blake initially struggles to accept Yang's claim that she didn't intend for such a thing to happen, directly comparing Yang to Adam, who also used to claim that he was hurting people by accident. She concludes that Adam's behaviour was a pattern whereas Yang's action is a one-off, and therefore decides to trust Yang. They also have the same Semblance, an ability to transform the energy of attacks dealt to them and return it to their opponent with greater force. However, Adam absorbs the energy through his sword while Yang has to tank the damage done to her own body before she can benefit. Adam seeks to control Blake and belittle her for his own benefit whereas the only time Yang has ever sought to 'control' Blake's actions it was an attempt to make Blake understand how her obsession with the White Fang was destroying both her mental and physical health. Adam and Yang also carry permanent scars: Adam was scarred on the face by humans and has become hateful, vindictive and spiteful whereas Yang lost her arm to Adam, but learned how to rise above her disability and learn how to adopt a more positive mental attitude to fighting; while Adam uses both his scars and the injuries he dealt to Yang in an attempt to guilt-trip and control Blake, Yang never blames Blake for what happened to her, even though Blake blames herself for it.
- To Sun, who is in many ways Adam's Good Counterpart. Adam is a spiteful, murdering, sociopathic Jerkass who seeks to make Blake pay for leaving him, but Sun is a mischievous but good-hearted Nice Guy who goes after Blake out of concern for her well-being, even willing to put up with abuse she throws his way to do so. Adam eventually becomes the head of the entire White Fang, whereas Sun sees them as a cult. Finally, Adam has a very dark color motif, whereas Sun's is very bright.
- General Failure: As a warrior, Adam is a force to be reckoned with. As a leader, he was the worst thing that ever happened to the White Fang; he's hot-tempered, spiteful and petty, with his growing mental instability leading him to make increasingly stupid moves: on top of pushing away valuable allies like Hazel out of petty pride and bigotry, the supremely boneheaded decision to put a hit out on Blake's parents just to hurt her and subsequent failure of said assassination attempt, was just the tip of the iceberg. When cornered at Haven, Adam attempts to blow himself and his troops up with everyone else instead of surrendering or risk trying to fight his way out, and after his troops are defeated, he runs away and abandons them to their fate. Come "Argus Limited", Adam's remaining henchmen realize he's a horrible leader, criticize him for it, and refuse to follow his orders anymore, leading to Adam snapping and slaughtering them. By the time the dust settles, Adam's leadership has effectively trashed the entire organization, reducing a once-formidable band of terrorists to a divided, leaderless train wreck.
- Hate Sink: Adam is introduced in the original pre-show advertising trailers as someone who doesn't care if innocent humans die when he raids a train, leading to his partner-in-crime, Blake, abandoning him to start the show as one of the main protagonists. When he appears in the show, he doesn't even care about Faunus lives being lost in pursuit of his grand cause. His confrontation with Blake reveals that he's obsessed with possessing her, infuriated that she abandoned him; determined to destroy everything she cares about, he blames her for forcing him to hurt her. He wants to paint the world red with the blood of humans and enslave them; he'll even kill Faunus that get in his way. He goes out of his way to be as despicable as possible; he possesses great charisma, but he uses it only to achieve his violent goals and recruit cannon fodder for his causes. The creators have said that he's so awful, that even Garrett Hunter gets creeped out by his lines.
- Hit Me, Dammit!: Adam is an angry, aggressive fighter. When his opponent merely blocks and parries his blows, he becomes frustrated and insists that he be attacked. During his fight with Blake and Yang, Blake is forced over the side of the cliff, leaving Yang to face him alone. He triggers Yang's PTSD from the night he cut off her arm, leaving her parrying and blocking his blows instead of fighting offensively, and then demands that she hit him.
- Hypocrite: He claims that he has become a terrorist for the freedom of the Faunus, but he happily murders any Faunus in his way (or even Faunus that he just doesn't like or finds inconvenient) and doesn't care that his actions are rebounding onto innocent Faunus. By volume 5, it's clear that his only motive is his own power, even while he claims to be fighting for Faunus rights. Adam is also willing to work alongside Salem's faction (comprised of several humans) to achieve his ambitions, all the while proclaiming Faunus superiority. Sienna Khan calls him out on allying with the very humans he claims to despise. He also repeatedly mocks Blake for running away from him rather than stand and fight him, but when all of his followers are rounded up in Haven's Fate and he's left facing Blake and Sun at the same time, he ultimately turns tail and retreats into the woods, leaving his men behind.
- I Did What I Had to Do: Blake once tells her team that Adam started off as a good person who became bad over time and by degrees. She said it would start as accidents that escalated. In the Volume 6 Character Short, flashbacks over time show this descent into villainy. When Adam kills a human who is trying to kill Ghira, Ghira is horrified by the unnecessary death and Adam also looks disturbed. However, Sienna and the other Faunus surprise him by praising him as a hero. When Blake later challenges him about the increasing frequency of human deaths occurring on his missions, she asks him how many more there will be. Adam states he doesn't know because he's out there risking his life for the Faunus cause, and people get hurt when that happens.
- Iaijutsu Practitioner: During most fights, he favours using lightning-fast attacks from a sheathed position (made easier and deadlier due to the rifle mechanism in his sheath) and completing the attack by sheathing his sword, even when in the thick of combat. The only time he doesn't do this is when he isn't fighting too seriously, such as when he's about to finish off a downed Yang.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: During the fight between Adam, Blake and Yang at the end of volume 6, all three of them end up running out of Aura and Semblance, resulting in the fight degenerating into a scramble to find a means to stab the other and end the fight. While Adam and Blake both dive for the same piece of Blake's broken sword, Yang separately dives for the other half of Blake's broken sword. As a result, Blake and Yang both stab Adam at the same time, Blake from the front and Yang from behind. Adam is pierced through the chest in two places, causing a large amount of blood loss. His reaction is a quiet "Oh!" before he topples off the cliff to his death.
- Implausible Fencing Powers: Adam combines the art of quick drawing with nearly indiscernible movement while blade spamming the hell out of the SDC robots. He also somehow slices robots that are seemingly beyond his sword's reach, either through sheer speed or some other means. And that's before going into his Limit Break, which absorbs the Spider Tank's energy blast to send it back tenfold, reducing it (and the scenery) into nothingness.
- Impossibly Cool Weapon: His rifle barrel is also the sheathe for his sword. On top of that, the sword has been shown to strike enemies outside of its blade range and is actually capable of storing the energy he absorbs with his Limit Break.
- Improbable Aiming Skills: The force his sheathe can fire out his sword turns the blade into an unorthodox projectile which he's very adept with, often striking someone square in the face with the butt of his weapon. While giving chase to Blake in Argus, he's able to shoot Gambol Shroud out of the air with Wilt, disrupting Blake's escape.
- It Gets Easier: As shown in the Volume 6 Character Short, Adam was initially shocked when he killed a human in defense of Ghira, and surprised when Sienna and the other Faunus praised him for it. In the following scene, Blake is very concerned by the regular pattern of accidental deaths that are occurring on Adam's missions and asks how many more there will be. Adam doesn't know because he's risking his life to fight for the Faunus, but his sincerity is ambiguous. In the very next scene, he's actively attempting to kill a downed Schnee Dust Company guard with a huge grin on his face.
- It's All About Me: Adam wants to wipe out humanity, not because he believes a peace between them and the Faunus is impossible, but because he blames them for the personal injustices he's faced. He also makes it a priority to hunt Blake down and and hurt everyone she cares about because she left his abusive butt in the dust when she deserted the White Fang, displaying a Why Did You Make Me Hit You? attitude towards doing so. In "Haven's Fate", the thing that seems to tick him off the most is Blake saying that she's "got bigger things to deal with". Even in his past, as shown during the Volume 6 Character Short, he starts off by telling the Faunus that they will claim "what we deserve"; by the time he's taken full control of the White Fang and is assaulting Haven Academy, he's instead talking about "what I deserve" and has no problem killing the Faunus who serve him to achieve his goals.
- I Want Them Alive: White Fang defectors are supposed to be hunted down and killed. However, he doesn't want Blake dead; he wants her alive so that he can make her suffer for abandoning him by destroying everything she loves. When he gives the order to assassinate Ghira and Kali Belladonna, he makes it absolutely clear that Blake is to be brought to him alive.
- Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: He seems to have a soft side when he saves Blake during the Black Trailer, but then Season 3 reveals that he's violently possessive of her, does not tolerate her walking out on him, and is determined to destroy everything she cared about in retaliation. All the time blaming her for making him behave like this.
- Know When to Fold 'Em: At the end of Volume 5, with the tables turned on him, his men arrested, and Blake and Sun about to double-team him, Adam decides to simply run away rather than face them. Blake quickly realizes that he's trying to lure her and Sun into a trap and refuses to pursue him.
- Limit Break: The red markings on his mask and jacket light up when he's ready to cut loose with his Energy Absorption.
- Logical Weakness: Adam's Semblance is almost the same as Yang's. However, whereas she absorbs attacks through her body to empower her own attacks, he does it through his sword. That means that if he is separated from his sword, he cannot use his Semblance. When Yang realises this, she is able to deprive him of the sword with the help of her cybernetic hand. Although Adam is slightly alarmed to see her holding his sword, he only panics when she tosses the weapon into the ravine. He is unable to reach it in time and so it's lost to the rapids below.
- Major Injury Underreaction: When Adam gets stabbed, he looks at the injury in surprise and says "Oh".
- Mask of Sanity: Adam outwardly projects a vibe of calm and control, in a way that inspires others to follow his lead. However, beneath this controlled mask is a man of anger, rage, and spite. In a private recording he sends to the Albains, he flies into a furious rage while ordering the Belladonna family assassinated, before forcibly calming himself down, complete with a hand gesture that looks like pantomiming putting on a mask.
- Meaningful Name:
- Prince Adam has been dubbed the Beast's real name in the Disney version of Beauty and the Beast. "Adam" can also mean "of the red earth" which fits his color scheme.
- "Blush" is shorthand for "blood rush", and Wilt is a term for when a plant dies, likely referencing the wilting rose of Adam's inspiration literature, but in general referencing death. So his rifle + sword are named Blood and Death.
- Motive Decay: His initial goal is to make humanity pay and make a world where Faunus rule and humans are subservient to them. By Volume 6, his only real goal seems to be stalking Blake and wanting her for himself.
- Murder Is the Best Solution: Adam invokes this to justify killing Sienna Khan to Hazel. As he puts it, Salem was concerned over whether or not Sienna would willingly cooperate with them, and now she doesn't have to be.
- Multicolored Hair: His hair is a series of red and brown streaks, with the red being the most noticeable at a distance.
- Narcissist: Adam has multiple characteristics commonly attributed to a narcissist. He is manipulative, arrogant, egocentric and power-hungry. He is visibly attention-hungry; he expects special treatment from people around him and has a skewed perception of himself as a heroic figure for the Faunus. He never sits on the High Leader's throne, he lounges indolently as he issues his orders. He is unable to handle criticism and takes defiance of his authority personally, retaliating spitefully and with murderous intent. As a result, when Blake turns her back on the White Fang because his violence is hurting innocents, he doesn't simply go after her, he vows to destroy everyone she loves as well.
- A Nazi by Any Other Name: Adam's entreaty to Sienna Khan consists of him declaring the Faunus to be a superior race, better than humans in every way, and stating that humanity should be made to serve the Faunus instead of simply respecting them. In Volume 5, his clothing is changed from a black and red asian-themed suit to a militarised grey suit that resembles a Nazi uniform. He has built a cult of personality around himself that he uses to inflame and radicalise Faunus against humanity. In a scene reminiscent of the Reichstag Fire, he murders Sienna Khan with the intention of fabricating a story about her being murdered by humans to cement his authority as the new leader and deliberately radicalise the White Fang against humanity.
- The Neidermeyer: After taking control of the White Fang, Adam shows a shocking disregard for his own troops and only cares about what he thinks he deserves. This climaxes with his attack on Haven Academy; when cornered by Blake's citizen army and the Mistral police, his immediate response is to try to blow them all up, manhandling one of his men when he demands to know what he's doing. When he's double-teamed by Blake and Sun and his men are being rounded up and arrested, he decides to simply run away. Ilia correctly predicts that this will turn the White Fang against Adam and no one will continue following him.
- Never My Fault: Adam blames Blake for his violent obsession with destroying her and everything she loves. He insists he only wants to hurt her because she has betrayed him by abandoning him. For a while, this worked as she was convinced everything he was doing was her fault, until he pushed her far enough that she decided to begin fighting back. When he confronts Blake again at Argus, he rants that Blake ruined his life the minute she came into it, completely ignoring that he stalked her across the entire continent and waited until she was away from her friends to attack, while refusing to let her go. Blake rightfully calls him out on it and tells Adam point-blank that she wants nothing to do with him or his life.
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: Blake was facing an impossible task trying to recruit a Menagerie militia to save the humans of Haven Academy from an attack being planned by the White Fang, as the Menagerie citizens just wanted to be left alone to escape the discrimination they've experienced from humanity. By ordering the assassination of Blake's family, Adam cements his downfall. Not only does the attempted assassination fail, it gives Blake the means to rally the people of Menagerie. She succeeds in creating the militia needed to defend Haven against Adam's assault. By calling in the Mistral Police Force to help them save Haven, the militia earns Mistral's gratitude, improving local relations between humanity and the Faunus and turning the remnants of the White Fang against Adam.
- No Body Left Behind: Things sliced apart by his Limit Break burn away into dust, including the spider droid and Yang's arm.
- Not-So-Well-Intentioned Extremist: Blake originally believes that Adam shares her idealism for a world where humans and faunus are equal and peaceful; even after she abandons him in the Black Trailer for not caring if humans die during their train heist, Blake still assumes he's just gone too far in pursuit of a noble goal. When they confront each other at the end of Volume 3, Blake understands for the first time that Adam never shared her future vision, believes peaceful equality is impossible, and instead wants to enslave humanity and destroy everyone and everything Blake loves as punishment for abandoning him. He later murders and usurps his boss, Sienna Khan, with a smile, because she isn't ruthless enough to lead the faunus into a war they can't win against humanity. Later on, when Blake turns many Faunus against him, he tries to kill them all, and his own followers, with explosives rather than admit defeat.
- An Offer You Can't Refuse: Adam refuses to work with Cinder on the grounds that the White Fang members would be put in danger because of her, plus the White Fang does not work with humans. Cinder later offers him both money and Dust for his cause. After absorbing a portion of the Fall Maiden's power, she slaughters the White Fang members in front of him and reiterates that her offer can either benefit him as well as her, or just her alone. It's not the money and Dust that convince him, it's the very clear threat.
- Offhand Backhand: After his confrontation with Blake and Yang results in Blake fleeing his presence with an unconscious Yang, he silently watches her run. A Creep Grimm spots his distraction and runs at him. However, Adam kills the Creep with a single swing, without once taking his attention off the departing Blake.
- One Head Taller: Blake is his former partner-in-crime and their argument during the battle for Beacon, which is peppered with him referring to her as "my love" or "my darling", indicates they used to be lovers. When she's wearing heels, her head reaches his chin.
- Perpetual Frowner: Adam seems to have one default expression on his face: an either angry or annoyed frown. It makes the few times he smiles or smirks that much more unsettling in comparison.
- Power Glows: Whenever Adam releases the energy he stored with his semblance, his body turns completely black while any red on his person, like his hair or clothing, glows a bright red.
- Psycho Ex-Boyfriend: He has romantic feelings for Blake, but his lack of concern for collateral human deaths during the Black Trailer leads her to leave him and the White Fang. When they confront each other during the battle for Beacon, he wants to hurt her just for leaving him, and stabs her to incite Yang to attack him. He cuts off Yang's arm in front of Blake and then tries to decapitate Blake just for protecting the unconscious Yang. He makes it clear that, not only will he hunt down everything she cares about just to get back at her, but that he completely blames her for making him behave in such a fashion.
- Psychological Projection: He projects quite a few of his own character flaws onto Blake. He accuses her of cowardice, but he abandoned his own men at Haven Academy to be arrested while he escaped; the White Fang turned on him for doing that. He also calls her selfish, but he is the one determined to stalk her across the continent just to drag her back to his side regardless of what she wants. Blake rightfully calls him delusional.
- Psychotic Smirk: Adam has an oddly recurring habit of smirking or grinning sadistically post-Volume 3.
- A Pupil of Mine, Until He Turned to Evil: Inverted. After a regime change, the White Fang changed from a faunus rights organisation to a terrorist organization. As one of the leaders, Adam was in a position to school Blake in the new way of doing things. When the pair take part in a train heist, Adam intends to blow the train; upon asking about the innocent humans on board, Blake is concerned to hear Adam reply "What about them?" As a result, she abandons Adam, rescuing the train of people in the process, and goes on the run from the White Fang. She decides to attend to Beacon Academy and train to become a Huntress, someone who protects the people from harm. For betraying him, Adam vows to destroy everything she ever loved, guilt-tripping her into feeling like she's to blame for his actions in destroying Beacon Academy and maiming her team-mate, Yang. It eventually leads Blake to vow to take back the White Fang from him and restore it to its former peaceful model.
- Putting on the Reich: Adam's timeskip outfit in Volume 5 has a much more militarized style, being a double-breasted outfit with a closer cut, akin to a World War II formal German officer's uniform. The zippers on his sleeves and breast even evoke military rank emblems and medals with their placement, and coupled with all of his other rhetoric, it emphasizes the shift in his behavior and tone.
- Recoil Boost: In conjunction with being an Iaijutsu Practitioner, Adam uses recoil to unsheathe his sword instantly.
- Red and Black and Evil All Over: Adam wears black trousers and a red top, over which is a black jacket with red designs on the front and back. His gloves and shoes are black, but the shoes have red soles. His hair is red, with either black horns or two black tufts of hair designed to look like horns. His rifle sheathe is black while his sword's blade is blood-red. When he activates his power, his hair becomes an even brighter red. His white mask carries intricate red designs. He is one of the leaders that deposed the old guard to drive the White Fang down a path of violent terrorism. He has no problem killing humans, even when he doesn't need to and his goal is the destruction of humanity rather than equal rights for Faunus. He regards Blake's defection from the White Fang as a personal betrayal and is determined to destroy everything she cares about in revenge. His current behaviour, including victim-blaming her for "forcing" him to hurt her, indicates that he is abusive towards her.
- Revenge by Proxy: The White Fang doesn't tolerate defectors and will kill them when they track them down, but Blake's defection is deeply personal for Adam. He's not content to simply kill her. He's absolutely determined to destroy everything she's ever cared about. That includes the people she cares about. He cuts off Yang's arm as soon as he realises Blake cares about Yang. When he finds out Blake is in Menagerie, he explodes with rage. His rant that Blake's family is the bane of his existence culminates in him issuing an order to kidnap Blake and murder her parents, a decision that makes the Albain brothers conclude that he may be too unwell to remain functioning as White Fang leader for long.
- Sanity Has Advantages: Adam is indeed dangerous, but he's also a complete lunatic, and his hotheadedness and spitefulness lead him to make poor choices and alienate his support, as shown throughout Volume 5. By the end of the volume, his failed assassination of Blake's family has rallied Menagerie against him and cost him Ilia and the Albain brothers, his plan to blow up Haven Academy to deny Blake victory fails due to this, his dismissal of Hazel's input leading up to this moment costs him the support of Salem's faction, his own men abandon him after his attempt to blow them all up, and his running away obliterates whatever support he had left. In the end, he's alone and on the run with nothing to show for it.
- Sanity Slippage: After taking control of the White Fang, Adam shows increasingly violent, aggressive behaviour. He is so obsessed with Blake that the mere mention of the Belladonna name produces outbursts. He has to make obvious efforts to calm himself down, and issues the order to murder Blake's family, a plan the Albain brothers are concerned could backfire if it radicalizes Menagerie's population against the White Fang by making Ghira a martyr. The Albain brothers contemplating removing Adam from power if he becomes too erratic. After Blake foils his plans to destroy Haven Academy, he tries to set off bombs that would have killed not only Blake and her supporters but also Adam and his followers; his own followers demand to know what he's doing. When his followers learn he abandoned his men at Haven Academy, they refuse to follow him any more and attempt to block his access to the throne. When they insult the effect Blake has on Adam, he snaps and slaughters them all in a fit of rage. He sits on the throne surrounded by their dead bodies, mulling over what they just said to him. When he recalls the reference to Blake controlling him, he snaps again and destroys the throne itself, screaming out his rage.
- Shadow Archetype: Adam and Ilia were both friends of Blake prior to her defection from the White Fang. Both have suffered at the hands of humanity and desire revenge, but their desire for vengeance has very different impacts on their personalities. Ilia is a legitimately good person who loses her way and makes all the wrong decisions while Adam is a spiteful prick, consumed by hatred and rage into lashing out at the world that hurt him. While Ilia second-guesses her actions, Adam is convinced of his superiority and determined to achieve his goals no matter what the cost. Blake confides in Sun that she has to save Ilia from herself before she becomes just like Adam. By the end of Volume 5, Ilia has come back from the brink, while Adam continues his downward spiral into hatred and madness.
- Sheath Strike: Unlike conventional examples, the sheath is also a gun, rather than a melee weapon.
- Single-Stroke Battle: Against the Spider Droid, Adam unleashes a powerful slash that cuts the Spider Tank, the cargo, and even the forest background in one go. He uses the same attack on Yang during the battle for Beacon, which results in her instantly losing her arm.
- Slasher Smile: When he sees Blake for the first time in about a year during Battle of Beacon, he gives her a creepy smile as he calmly, emphatically lists exactly how he's going to enact his revenge against her for the crime of walking out on him as a result of his enjoyment of killing humans.
- Slouch of Villainy: When Hazel and Adam meet to discuss the future of Haven Academy, Hazel expects a negotiation but Adam instead achieves their goal by murdering their opposition. Hazel and Salem believe that people should only be killed if absolutely necessary, preferring to make use of them first. When Hazel angrily confronts Adam about unnecessary killing, Adam simply sits down, slumping casually against the right arm of the chair, announcing with a smirk that he felt the killing was necessary. White Fang High Leader, Sienna Khan objects to the fall of Beacon and vetoes an attack on Haven because it damages the quest for Faunus equality; Adam murders her in her own throne room as he reveals that he doesn't want equality, he wants humanity broken and enslaved to the Faunus. Hazel is powerless to stop him from inflaming the White Fang by martyring Sienna, and then victoriously draping himself across the throne.
- Slowly Slipping Into Evil: According to Blake, Adam's slide into extremism was gradual, starting with justifying his violence as accidents, then self-defense, then as a necessary evil. It wasn't until the train mission where he's content to blow up innocent travelers along with the train, that Blake comprehends just how far he has fallen.
- The Sociopath: During the Black Trailer, Adam wants to blow up the train they're stealing Dust supplies from. When Blake asks him about the human lives that will be lost, he makes it clear he doesn't care, causing her to abandon him and the White Fang. When Team RWBY attempt to stop the train breaching Vale's defenses, a lot of White Fang are killed in the process. Adam makes it clear to Cinder that he'll force the White Fang to keep working with her as if he doesn't care about his own people's deaths. During the battle for Beacon, he makes it clear to Blake that he's not looking for Faunus-Human equality. He's out for retribution against the whole of humanity, and he's also going to destroy everything Blake has ever cared about as revenge for leaving him. He doesn't blame his own violent behavior for Blake's actions, he blames Blake for causing him to behave violently towards her. He later says his goals are to completely enslave humanity; to achieve this, he begins by murdering the White Fang leader, Sienna Khan, with a smile and a joke right in front of Salem's representative, Hazel, and in open defiance of Salem's plans for the White Fang.
- Something About a Rose: Adam has rose motifs. There is a stylized red rose on the back of his jacket and his weapons are named "Wilt" and "Blush", both terms that refer to roses (wilting petals and blush of colour). During his signature attacks, the screen washes with red like petals becoming blood. Although his colour scheme and rose motif is shared by the heroine, Ruby Rose, the differences between Ruby and Adam's motifs are respectively described by the creators as "scatter and wilt".
- Spotlight-Stealing Squad: The show is introduced via four trailers which focus on each of the four main characters and contribute to plot that occurs before the story begins. While three of the trailers focus exclusively on what each of the relevant girls are capable of in battle, the Black Trailer stands out as being a paired fight involving both Blake and Adam. Adam does most of the fighting, Blake acts only to serve as a distraction while he prepares his signature attack and, at one point, he rescues Blake from danger. The trailer appears to display him and his abilities more than Blake's, despite Blake being the main character.
- Stalker with a Crush: When Blake travels home to Menagerie after the Battle of Beacon, her opposition to the resident White Fang representatives helps her father, the Chief of Menagerie, to try and form a militia to save Haven Academy from being destroyed by Adam. When Adam hears about this, he attempts to have Blake's parents murdered and Blake brought home to him alive. After Blake leads a Menagerie force to stop Adam from destroying Haven, Adam abandons his men to avoid being arrested by Mistral authorities. When he returns to the White Fang, they refuse to take him back for abandoning his people and taunt them for being under Blake's control. Infuriated, he slaughters the remaining White Fang and decides to hunt down Blake. As Team RWBY travels from Mistral to the coastal city of Argus in their quest to reach Atlas, Adam stalks them the entire way. When Blake separates from her companions to disable the Atlesian military radar station, Adam seizes the opportunity to confront her, blaming her abandonment of him in the Black Trailer for everything that's happened to him; when he realises she's willing to let go of her memories of their time together, an outraged Adam vows to never let her go again.
- Start of Darkness: The Volume 6 Character Short shows flashbacks of Adam at different points in his life, showing how he has descended into the monster he now is. It begins with the first time he starts wearing the Grimm mask, where his personal design hasn't even been created yet, leading an assault on a Dust Processing facility. At that point, he's talking inclusively about the Faunus 'getting what we deserve'. After a time skip, a scene shows Ghira's group being ambushed by Faunus-hating humans. On Sienna's orders, Adam single-handedly defeats all the humans; when one human attacks Ghira, Adam lashes out and kills the man. Ghira is horrified but Sienna calls Adam a hero and the rest of the Faunus cheer him for being amazing. Adam initially looks disturbed by the death until he realises, with visible shock, that the Faunus are praising him. While it's ambiguous as to whether that's the first time Adam has killed, it's clearly the first time he's praised for killing, and it visibly causes him pleasure. After another time skip, a raid on a Schnee Dust Company facility sees him approach a defeated security guard, standing on the man and lift his sword; he grins as he's about to stab the man, and only stops when Sienna gives the order for them to move on. By the end of the short, Adam is declaring the attack on Haven will allow him alone to 'get what I deserve', with no regard for the rest of the Faunus.
- The Starscream: The scroll Sun and Blake manage to retrieve from Ilia reveals that Adam is planning a coup against the current White Fang leader Sienna Khan. In "Dread in the Air", he carries out said coup and murders Sienna by running her through with Wilt.
- Stealth Pun: The name Adam was giving to the "first man" in the Christian tradition. In the show, Adam is the first male character introduced, appearing in the Black Trailer, the third of four prequels for the show.
- Stupid Evil: Adam's drive to achieve his goals includes running roughshod over anyone who stands in his way, or anyone who has insulted him in any way. Even if it is detrimental to the Faunus cause, he will insist in retaliating against any slight. This bites him in the ass when he orders his men to assassinate Blake's family just to spite her; the assassination not only fails, but also rallies the entire populace of Menagerie against Adam and the White Fang.
- Superior Species: He believes Faunus to be superior to humans, pointing out that they have "all that humans have, and more".
- Sword Beam: Adam can release the energy he's built up with his Energy Absorption semblance as a red wave projectile attack. During his character short, after deflecting and absorbing bullets while fighting a group of humans, he releases the energy in a wave at the last human, killing him and leaving a spray of blood against their truck.
- Taking You with Me: When Blake and the rest of Menagerie arrive at Haven with the Mistral police to stop Adam's attempt to destroy Haven, Adam decides to detonate the planted explosives and kill everyone. Fortunately, Ilia had disarmed the bombs before he could do it.
- Terms of Endangerment: When he and Blake fight during the battle for Beacon, he constantly calls Blake "my darling" and "my love". Their argument consists of how he feels betrayed by Blake leaving him and the White Fang, and how he's going to go out of his way to obtain revenge by destroying everything she cares - including Beacon Academy and maiming Yang for trying to help Blake against Adam. While the pet names are supposed to be terms of endearment, they only serve to make it clear that Adam has an emotionally and physically abusive vision of his relationship with Blake.
- Tranquil Fury: Every single line he delivers toward Blake in "Heroes and Monsters" is filled with venomous rage towards her for her perceived betrayal, but his voice is calm and controlled. Much like his fighting style, it's all contained and conservative, until he unleashes it to devastating effect.
- Tyrant Takes the Helm: Sienna Khan wasn't exactly a saint, considering that she was the one who pushed to convert the White Fang into using violence in the first place, but she was still a Well-Intentioned Extremist who legitimately cared about Faunus equality and disapproved of Adam participating in the attack on Vale and Beacon Academy. Adam kills her and takes control, turning them into a full-fledged Faunus supremacist group. Sadly, Adam also proves to be a General Failure, and his hotheadedness and Sanity Slippage lead him to make increasingly stupid decisions that ultimately run the White Fang into the ground and cost him their support.
- Unorthodox Sheathing: Because the scabbard also functions as a rifle, Adam can use the rifle's recoil to instantaneously unsheathe the sword.
- The Un-Reveal: In the Volume 6 Character Short, Adam is sometimes shown not wearing his mask. One scene consists of the camera focusing low down his body on the hand that's holding the mask. As he lifts his hand to put on his mask, the camera follows his hand up his body and looks as though it's going to reach his exposed face and reveal for the first time what his eyes look like behind the mask. However, he manages to slip the mask on just before the camera reaches his face.
- Villain Decay: Adam is first introduced in the Black Trailer dominating the fight against the robotic security during a train heist and rescuing Blake whenever she got into trouble. When he's introduced in the main show, it's as a dominating force in control of Vale's branch of the White Fang and who possesses a great negative influence over Blake's emotional state. When he vows to destroy everything Blake cares about and starts by responding to Yang's frenzied attempt to save Blake by cutting off her right arm with a single strike, he establishes himself as a major threat to Team RWBY that is built up over Volume 4 as Yang and Blake both struggle to overcome the trauma of what he did at Beacon. However, when he returns in Volume 5, he shows deteriorating mental health and makes poor decisions that turns Menagerie from being neutral to opposed against him. When confronted at Haven by Menagerie's force, led by Blake, he is easily thrown off-balance by Blake's defiance of him, allowing her to strike him to the ground. In the span of a single episode, Adam is turned from a dangerous leader of a terrorist organisation into a fugitive who is alone, abandoned by the White Fang, and dismissed by Blake, who is no longer intimidated by him. The final shot of the Volume 6 character short takes place in the aftermath of the Volume 5 finale: emphasising his fall from grace, he stumbles through the night-time forest, completely alone. By the end of Volume 6, he has degenerated in his goals from wanting to make all of humanity pay to just wanting Blake for himself.
- Villain: Exit, Stage Left: At the end of Volume 5. Faced with Blake and Sun double-teaming him, along with his men being defeated and arrested by the Menagerie citizens and Mistral police, Adam opts to flee from Haven.
- Villain with Good Publicity: Sienna admits that he is seen as a popular symbol amongst their organization. Despite the fact that Adam is shown to be cavalier over the loss of Faunus lives in pursuit of Salem's plans, the Vale faction of the White Fang follow him loyally. Adam confirms to Sienna that his Vale followers, and several in Mistral as well, see him as the true High Leader of the White Fang, not Sienna. Sienna's own personal bodyguards turn on her and do nothing when Adam kills her. He loses this when he flees at the end of Volume 5, leaving his forces to be arrested.
- Villain Song: The Volume 6 character short follows Adam's path from a Faunus rights activist to the villain that haunts Blake in the main show. During his first fight scene, "Lionized" begins playing, a dark rock song where the singer boasts about how he will lead the oppressed out of their pathetic existence and become glorified as a hero who unites them in strength and salvation. The scene it plays through consists of a band of humans trying to kill a group of Faunus led by Ghira Belladonna; the Faunus don't fight back, instead cowering behind their vehicles while Ghira tries unsuccessfully to reason with the humans. Adam takes on all the humans, defeating them single-handedly; while Ghira is horrified by the violence, the rest of the Faunus begin to cheer Adam as a hero.
- Weapon of Choice: A chokuto and a shotgun, both of which are devastating in close quarters and are almost always fatal on the first blow. Blush can fire Wilt out of its sheath, letting Adam attack even faster. Fittingly, Adam is also the type who wants to destroy his enemies as swiftly as possible; he has no patience with the continued existence and dominance of humanity, and rejects any attempts to hold him back or slow him down from achieving his goal of destroying humanity's power structures and subjugating the race. This impatience and urge to achieve results as fast as possible is exemplified by his confrontation with High Leader Sienna Khan; when she accuses him of having endangered the Faunus with his reckless assault on Beacon Academy, he murders her with Wilt to prevent her from halting his plans to assault Haven Academy next.
- Western Terrorists: He's one of the higher ranking members of the White Fang post-reform, and he makes it clear to Cinder that they'll listen to him even after Roman's screw-up, which incidentally cost many White Fang members.
- Where's the Kaboom?: When Blake arrives with the Menagerie force, Adam realises he and his men are outnumbered and activates the detonator to the bombs that have been attached to Haven's CCT. When the bombs fail to go off, his response is a subdued "Huh?". Blake confirms that Illia switching sides and having camouflage abilities means the bombs could be located and disarmed before the Menagerie force revealed its presence.
- Why Did You Make Me Hit You?: During the battle for Beacon, he makes it clear to Blake that he's going to go out of his way to hurt her and everything she cares about just because she walked out on him. When Yang comes into view, searching for Blake, he stabs Blake in the stomach to incite Yang into attacking him, then chops off Yang's arm. When Blake throws herself across Yang's unconscious body to protect her, Adam asks her why she keeps hurting him - blaming her for his own behaviour - and then decapitates what turns out to be one of her very life-like shadow clones.
Voiced by: Monica Rial [EN]
Debut: Dread in the Air*
The High Leader of the White Fang. Sienna's reign is what transformed the White Fang from a peaceful protester group into a militant organization for Faunus rights. Her weapon is a chain whip tipped with detachable arrowhead spikes loaded with Dust.
- Bodyguard Betrayal: Her personal bodyguards betray her at Adam's command when he starts his coup, giving him the distraction he needs to kill her.
- Chain Pain: The Volume 6 Character Short reveals that Sienna uses a chain weapon, which she both uses as a whip and wraps around her fist. Both ends have several links of arrowhead-shaped spikes containing Dust crystals, which can be detached and sent flying at her enemies like darts.
- Defiant to the End: Even after being impaled by Adam, her last act is to reach for him as if to strangle him before she's tossed down the stairs and dies.
- Fantastic Racism: While Sienna doesn't seek to enslave or destroy humanity as some of the White Fang members do, she still exhibits a level of disdain towards humanity. She isn't concerned about humans Adam kills during combat and only chastises him after he goes way overboard, and even then she is more concerned with White Fang becoming a target than with humans getting killed by hundreds. When Adam brings Hazel to the High Leader's throne room, Sienna appears insulted by the act and threatens both of them with death.
- Gone Horribly Right: Sienna was the first to push for the White Fang to be transformed into an organization that achieves Faunus equality through violence. However, she only demanded respect for her kin and intended to achieve peace but Adam has embraced the cause so completely that he wants humanity to become the slaves to the Faunus and he feels that Sienna is holding the White Fang back from achieving its potential. He therefore murders her with the intention of turning her into a martyr that will empower the White Fang's resolve. The Volume 6 character short shows in flashbacks that Sienna dismissed Ghira's early concerns about Adam's violence and instead encouraged the White Fang to praise him as a hero which erased any guilt Adam had for murdering people. She also groomed him to become her right hand, which contributed to his ability to take control of the White Fang from her. In short, Sienna created the monster Adam became and gave him the tools he needed to usurp her.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: During Adam's character short, Ghira was extremely critical of Adam's violent, lethal actions against humans that were attacking their convoy. Sienna defended Adam against him and supported the Faunus who were cheering Adam's actions by emphasising that he's a hero. From that time on, she took him on missions and groomed him to rise through the ranks. She gave him command of the Vale branch of the White Fang and expressed the hope that he'd one day stand beside her throne. Instead, he pursued his own agenda and pushed the White Fang far beyond the level of violence Sienna was willing to tolerate. When she confronted him about it, he murdered her and took her throne for himself.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Adam stabs Sienna through the abdomen with Wilt to take her place.
- Inspirational Martyr: After killing her, Adam orders his men to fabricate a story that she was killed by a human Huntsman to radicalise the White Fang so that they support his more violent ways.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Sienna isn't impressed with Adam's role in destroying Beacon Academy. She wants the White Fang to use violence to achieve Faunus equality. She tells Adam that his violence has made things worse for the Faunus by justifying humanity's fear of them. As such, the fall of Beacon is not a success and it's not evidence that Adam is strong; she instead feels it's proof that he's weak and short-sighted.
- She-Fu: During the attack on the SDC facility in the Volume 6 Character Short, she frequently made use of acrobatic flips and kicks to compliment her chain whip.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: Sienna is mentioned early on in Volume 4 as the current leader of the White Fang. She's introduced in the second episode of Volume 5 just long enough to argue with Adam about his role in Beacon's fall. The argument ends with Adam killing her and assuming her authority as High Leader. He intends to use her death to transform her into a martyr that will inflame the White Fang against humanity.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Sienna pushed the White Fang to adopt a more violent philosophy, and is willing to use violence when needed to further her goals. However, she ultimately wants respect and equality for the Faunus after the decades of racism and mistreatment they suffered, and she condemns Adam's attack on Beacon as excessive & foolish as it would just go to prove people's prejudices right. Adam kills her in a coup, believing that she's too soft and that humans should serve the Faunus. Ghira even admits that while he doesn't condone Sienna's methods, he does condone her intentions.
Voiced By: Gray Haddock
Debut: Painting the Town...*
A large, as-yet unnamed member of the White Fang in "Painting The Town..." who speaks at the faction meeting where Roman unveils the Atlesian Paladin. He later reappears in "No Brakes" and "Beginning of the End" and fights Weiss with a chainsaw sword.
- Badass Baritone: Has a very deep voice, and is one of the most dangerous members of the White Fang.
- Badass Normal: He has yet to demonstrate a Semblance or Dust powers, and his weapon is just an ordinary chainsaw, but he's still more than a match for a Huntress-in-training.
- BFS: Carries a chainsaw whose blade is the same length as his own—considerable—height.
- Boss in Mook's Clothing: He's not dressed any differently from the regular White Fang members, albeit he's taller, has an unique mask, and wields a chainsaw. He manages to knock Weiss unconscious after taking a severe beating from her.
- Chainsaw Good: He wields a sizeable chainsaw in battle. He can hold it one-handed like a sword.
- Conservation of Ninjutsu: Several White Fang Mooks can't even touch a Huntress-in-training, but one elite White Fang is a threat to Weiss.
- Cool Mask: Like Adam's, it has strange red markings and his is one of the only two full-face ones seen.
- Counter Attack: His apparent strategy against Weiss. Rather than trying to dodge or parry he simply absorbs the damage she throws his way, waiting for her to leave an opening he can exploit.
- David vs. Goliath: The Goliath to Weiss' David during their confrontation. He manages to beat her, making use of his far greater size and bulk to negate her skill and speed advantages.
- The Dragon: Would appear to be Adam's, leading missions in his absence, serving as a consistent presence in his command tent, and immediately backing him up during a confrontation with Cinder.
- Evil Sounds Deep: Has one of the deepest voices of anyone in the cast, and is a terroristic revolutionary.
- Facepalm Of Doom: Gives one to Weiss before smashing her into the floor.
- Guttural Growler: He doesn't talk often, but whenever he does it's with a harsh, deep voice.
- High Collar of Doom: Like many characters, his collar is popped, and he boasts the highest and straightest in the show. It serves to draw attention to his size in comparison to Weiss and pull the eye towards his unique mask.
- It's Personal: Seems to have it in for the Schnee family, even by Faunus standards.
- Malevolent Masked Man: He's a huge man in mask that conceals his entire face, and he proves to be pretty menacing.
- Mighty Glacier: He's very bulky and wields a large, rather unwieldy chainsaw weapon that's fairly slow. Weiss runs rings around him during their fight, hitting him with blow after blow, but it ultimately doesn't seem to phase him. Conversely, he had a hard time pinning her down, but one hit from him seemed to be all he needed to turn the fight around.
- Mook Lieutenant: He hosts the White Fang's warehouse meeting and flashbacks confirm he was present at the private meeting between Adam and Cinder, despite Blake not being allowed to know what happened. He is confirmed in the credits to be a lieutenant.
- Muscles Are Meaningful: His heavily muscled frame proves capable of taking everything that Weiss can dish out, and he's able to throw her across the room with one hand, knocking her out.
- No Name Given: Credited simply as 'White Fang Lieutenant', though the staff apparently referred to him as "Bane" ever since his inception.
- One-Handed Zweihänder: His chainsaw is large enough that it should realistically take two hands to carry, let alone swing. He does it with only one hand.
- Sleeves Are for Wimps: Both arms are bare, showing off intense muscle and a strange tattoo in the case of the left arm. It should be noted he wields a chainsaw as large as he is, which makes it very large.
- Sword Drag: When he appears in "No Brakes", he nonchalantly drags his chainsaw across the floor as he prepares to face Weiss.
- Tattooed Crook: As shown in his image, he has a large, intricate tattoo on his left shoulder that goes nearly all the way to his elbow.
- Uncertain Doom: It's unknown if he survived the train crash at the end of Volume 2 or if he was among the White Fang members lost in the crash.
- What the Hell Is That Accent?: He has an odd, unrecognizable accent in his first appearance. According to Word of God, this was because that voice acting was originally a placeholder but ended up in the show anyway. In subsequent appearances the accent is completely gone, and his voice is much deeper.
- White Mask of Doom: He wears a full-face white Grimm mask, and he's much more threatening than the average White Fang member.
- Would Hit a Girl: He doesn't care whether he hits a boy or a girl, so long as it's a Schnee.
Corsac voiced by: Derek Mears [EN], Hiroshi Shirokuma [JP]
Fennec voiced by: Mike McFarland [EN], Tomoya Yano [JP]
Two fox Faunus brothers who are acquainted with the Menagerie chieftan, Ghira. They represent the White Fang in Menagerie. The two fight with similar wands, one loaded with Wind Dust, the other with fire.
- Combination Attack: They are able to use both their wands at the same time causing a combined swirl of gusts of wind and fire.
- Creepy Monotone: Both brothers talk very calmly, with soft, purring voices that give off a sinister vibe. Throughout a tense conversation with Blake and Ghira, their tone and modulation barely rise, and they keep the same flat voice while casually discussing informing Adam about Blake's whereabouts. It's one of several reasons Sun finds them creepy. Averted Trope as they attack the Belladonna estate, where they yell like one would expect in the tense situation of a fight.
- The Dividual: Corsac and Fennec are always seen in each other's presence and, when other characters talk about them, they are always referred to as a unit rather then separate people. They have very similar physical features, but there are enough personality and physical differences to tell which brother is which: Corsac is bigger, more dominant and sports a big, bushy fox tail while Fennec is smaller, more cautious and sports huge fennec fox ears.
- Don't Create a Martyr: Adam's drive to achieve his goals includes running roughshod over anyone who stands in his way, or anyone who has insulted him in any way. Even if it is detrimental to the Faunus cause, he will insist in retaliating against any slight. When Adam's vow of revenge against Blake results in him ordering the assassination of her parents, the Albain brothers are privately concerned that Adam will create martyrs; Blake's parents are popular leaders of Menagerie, and Fennec fears it could turn Menagerie's inhabitants against the White Fang. While the assassination fails, the Albains' attack on the Belladonnas does indeed turn Menagerie against the White Fang.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Their love and care for each other is genuine and true. The brothers care deeply and as shown in their fight against Ghira, are fiercely protective of each other.
- Even Evil Has Standards: In "Necessary Sacrifice", Fennec shows concern at Adam's violent, aggressive approach to achieving his goals and Corsac admits that Adam's current murderous plan may not simply be poorly received by Menagerie's population, it may even backfire on them. Although they reluctantly decide to follow Adam's instructions, they're not thrilled by his planning and seem willing only to go along with it for as long as it suits their own goals.
- Expressive Ears: Fennec's ears droop as he realizes he's about to be crushed by a falling section of an interior balcony.
- Gory Discretion Shot: Fennec's fate at the end of True Colors. Firstly he attempts to stab Ghira in the back with both of the brothers daggers while Ghira is trying to keep the upper level of the Belladonna estate from falling on top of him. When he tries to do so Blake uses Gambol Shroud to pull Ghira out of the way right before Fennec was going to stab him which causes the upper level to fall on top of Fennec's head. Then to add insult to injury both of the wands explode afterwards no doubt destroying the rest of his body.
- In the Hood: Both brothers wear decorative hoods that are shaped like fox heads and which also cover their shoulders. The hooded cape give them a clerical appearance, which combines with their constant reference to White Fang members as "Brother X" or "Sister Y" to create the impression that they're priests of some kind.
- Little Bit Beastly: As Faunus, both brothers have one animal trait reflecting their animal affinity, which is a fox. Fennec has huge, oversized fox ears and Corsac has a flowing, very bushy fox tail.
- Make an Example of Them: Ilia's conflict between her personal relationships and her duty to the White Fang are addressed by Corsac when she expresses reservations about her duties. Corsac tells her that the people of Menagerie need to learn what happens to those who question the White Fang. Adam wants Blake's parents assassinated to keep making good on his threat to Blake. When the Albain brothers pass the order on to Ilia, they want her relationship with Blake to be used to ensure Adam gets Blake alive but her parents dead. Fennec later confesses to Corsac that Ilia was right to be concerned; attacking the Belladonna family could create a martyr that rallies Menagerie against the White Fang.
- Meaningful Name: The words "fennec" and "corsac" come from words that mean "fox" in Arabic and Russian, respectively. A fennec is the smallest species of canid, and is a type of fox with huge ears that lives in the Saharan desert. A corsac is a larger species of fox from Central Asia, found in semi-desert regions and has a big, bushy tail. Fennec has huge fox ears and is the smaller brother while Corsac is larger and has a big, bushy fox tail. Their last name Albain comes from a root word meaning "white" from which come country names such as Albania, the Gaelic name of Scotland, and a name for ancient Britain. The names of both brothers therefore means "white fox" and they are the White Fang's representatives in a land (Menagerie) that is two-thirds desert.
- Never My Fault: In "True Colors", Corsac's Villainous Breakdown after Fennec's death has him loudly blame the Belladonnas for ruining everything. Of course, he conveniently ignores the fact that he and Fennec were trying to murder them over what was quickly becoming a doomed effort, as well as the fact that they were ordered to do so by Adam, who they put in charge of the White Fang in the first place.
- Self-Disposing Villain: Fennec meets his just end when he tries to dive at Ghira while he's holding up the second-story balcony, but he misses due to Blake yanking her father out of the way at the last moment.
- Villain with Good Publicity: As the White Fang's representatives on Menagerie, their main objective seems to be spinning the organization's actions in the rest of the world; they want the Faunus of Menagerie to believe that terrorist actions elsewhere, such as the destruction of Beacon Academy, is the work of a rogue element of the White Fang that has gone AWOL under the command of Adam Taurus. The brothers push the message that the leader of the White Fang, Sienna Khan, is seeking the arrest of Adam Taurus and his followers for giving the White Fang a bad name while in reality being able to contact Adam whenever they need to. The brothers finally lose this status after their failed assassination attempt on the Belladonna family exposing them for the terrorists they are.
- Villainous Breakdown: After their assassination attempt on the Belladonnas fails and ends in his brother's death, Corsac's calm demeanor goes out the window as he struggles to his feet and screams at the Belladonnas and Sun.Corsac: What have you done? You've ruined everything. EVERYTHING!
- Was It Really Worth It?: They pulled the strings to have Adam take over the White Fang and kill Sienna Khan, and carried out his orders to assassinate Blake's parents. In the end, all they manage to achieve is getting Fennec killed, getting Corsac arrested, and turning all of Menagerie against the White Fang. When Saber Rodentia - Ghira's bodyguard - asks Corsac this very question as he's being taken away, Corsac just hangs his head, indicating that no, it wasn't worth it.
Voiced by: Nick "Lanipator" Landis [EN]
Debut: Necessary Sacrifice*
A subordinate to the Albain brothers who is tasked with intercepting Ghira's messenger and then assisting in the capture of Blake. He is a bat faunus, whose animal trait is a pair of bat wings rising from his shoulder blades.
- Assassin Outclassin': When Yuma accepts an assignment to commit an assassination, his mission doesn't go according to plan when his target fights back. Yuma attempts to assassinate Blake's mother, Kali. However, while he is strangling one of her bodyguards, she takes him on with nothing more than a tea tray. She's later seen dragging his unconscious body one-handed through the house and looking completely unharmed.
- Guttural Growler: He speaks with a deep, gravelly voice that befits his role as the Albains' main assassin and troubleshooter.
- Little Bit Beastly: His animal trait consists of a pair of leathery bat wings that appear at his shoulder blades.
- Slasher Smile: While strangling one of Kali's bodyguards, he adopts a twisted smirk.
- Winged Humanoid: He is a bat Faunus; he is basically human in appearance except for the leathery bat wings that appear at his shoulder blades.
Voiced by: Emily Fajardo [EN]
Debut: Alone Together*
A subordinate of the Albain brothers who assists with the capture of Blake. She is a spider Faunus, whose animal trait is spinnerets in her hands.
- All Webbed Up: She possesses the ability to produce copious amounts of spider silk from the palms of her hands. She can use it like rope to bind opponents.
- Animal Motif: As a spider Faunus who can shoot webs from her palms, Trifa's symbol is the spider. On Her short sword, the blade is attached to the handle by a design that is in the shape of a spider. The front four legs come to a point in the centre of the blade, while the back four legs come to a point in the centre of the handle.
- Little Bit Beastly: As a spider Faunus, she has grey veins in her skin that stem from her hands. Her hands can produce silk rope from spinnerets contained within the centre of the palms of her hands. When she is using the spinnerets, her hands and wrists turn completely grey.
- Tainted Veins: Trifa's arms and chest are covered in grey veins. Whenever she uses her spinnerets to produce spider silk from her palms, her hands turn solid grey of the same shade as her vein markings.
For more information on Blake, please see RWBY: Team RWBY
Voiced By: Kent Williams [EN], Masafumi Kimura [JP]
A Faunus from Menagerie, the father of Blake, chieftain of Menagerie, and a previous leader of the White Fang.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: He is the chieftain of Menagerie and the previous leader of the White Fang. These days, he lives in a big house with lots of security guards to protect him. When his house is invaded, however, his armed guards struggle to repel the threat and die under the onslaught. Meanwhile, he's dropping assassins with his bare hands.
- Badass Beard: Has a very large and full beard that blends in with the rest of his hair. And as we can see from the White Fang's attempt to assassinate him, he has the "badass" to back it up by wiping the floor their Mooks, fighting Corsac and Fennec even after getting his aura depleted, and holding up a large section of a falling ledge to stop Ilia from getting crushed.
- Bare-Fisted Monk: Doesn't use a weapon (unless it's time to break out the claws), but is nonetheless fully capable of taking down armed White Fang fighters with his hands and his immense strength.
- Battle Strip: Ghira throws off his blue coat to answer the challenge of the White Fang's assassination attempt.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Ghira is a Gentle Giant and loving husband and father, and constantly pushes for non-violent solutions for Faunus equality. That being said, when the Albain brothers attack his home and try to kill him, out pop the claws, and he lets out a Mighty Roar before throwing down.
- Brought Down to Badass: In the fight with Corsac, Fennec and the other assassins, the hits he took were enough to break his Aura. He was still able to fight at full effectiveness and even withstand a stab that would have killed a lesser man.
- Brutal Honesty: Twice, he sums up his feelings about Sun in only five words:"I really don't like you."
- Carpet of Virility: He has hair across parts of his body in a similar way to classic werewolf mythology. His hands show enough visible skin to display fur on the back of his hands and wrists, suggesting furred arms. His chest is fully exposed and shows a patch of fur right in the center; it even has the vague, rough shape of a wolf's head.
- Category Traitor: In Volume 5, he gives a speech to the people of Menagerie telling them that Adam is planning on taking over the White Fang and then launch an attack on Haven Academy. When he asks the people to travel to Haven to help protect the humans, Ilia interrupts the speech to denounce him and his family to the populace, openly declaring Ghira to be a traitor and the "worst kind of Faunus" for even suggesting that the Faunus of Menagerie assist the humans after all of the crimes humanity has committed against them.
- Complaining About Rescues They Don't Like: Flashbacks reveal that Ghira was once travelling with other Faunus, but was assaulted en route by armed humans who tried to kill them. While Ghira attempts unsuccessfully to calm the situation down peacefully, he is struck by bullets fired from human guns. In response, Sienna gives Adam permission to strike back at the humans. He takes them on single-handedly and defeats the majority of them. However, one of the humans is killed by his strike, resulting in Ghira chastising him for what he sees as unnecessary bloodshed. Sienna, however, chastises Ghira in return for being ungrateful to have been saved by Adam's heroism. The other Faunus present side with Sienna and cheer Adam's actions leaving Ghira isolated in his beliefs.
- Facepalm: When Sun comes around after receiving his injury from Ilia, he and Blake talk about the situation Blake is in. As Sun emphasises that any of Blake's friends would stick with her no matter what, the door collapses and Kali tumbles to the ground, revealing that she and Ghira have been eavesdropping the same way Sun overheard Ghira and Blake's earlier conversation. Like Sun, Kali jumps to her feet and makes a sheepish, terrible excuse about why she's fallen through the door. Ghira can only slap a hand over his face in disbelief at the situation.
- Fashionable Asymmetry: His coat is longed sleeved on his right side while being short on the left side. He also wears an armored mantle that only covers his left shoulder, and leaves his right bare.
- Foil: To Jacques Schnee, which is stated by Blake when Kali says that a "father always has time for his daughter" and Blake says that not all of her friends might agree. Physically, they're exact opposites, with Ghira having a massive build, thick beard, and a dark color scheme with tribal elements to his clothing, compared with Jacques' thin physique, white hair and mustache, and refined suits. Where Jacques treats Weiss as a possession, punishing her for disobeying him and trying to live her own life, Ghira expresses support for Blake and her decisions. Ghira is honest and a bit awkward, while Jacques is domineering and erudite. This even extends to their homes: Ghira's study being large, open, built of rich wood and with earth tones throughout, while Jacques' study is smaller, more cramped, with a lot of white and icy-blue stonework.
- Gentle Giant: He is a huge man with a partially-furred body, shoulder plates, and a huge beard. He speaks in a rough, deep voice and only has to narrow his eyes at Sun for Sun to be intimidated. However, he's thrilled to see his daughter Blake, and his wife tells Blake that he was pacing with worry when news of Beacon Academy's fall reached them. Ghira is the former White Fang leader, who led the organization in peaceful protest and who was forced to stand down with the new leadership took over and transformed the organization into a terrorist group. He is also a terrifyingly powerful fighter, battling with little more than extendable claws and his bare hands against fully-armored and armed enemies, and also saves Ilia from being flattened by a falling ledge in his house despite how she was just attacking his family.
- Good Parents: While he's a bit of an Overprotective Dad, he does love his daughter. When Blake returns to Menagerie years after having left, he greets her with a warm smile. His claims that he wasn't worried for Blake's safety when hearing the news of the Fall of Beacon are rebuffed by his wife Kali, a Good Parent herself, who retorts that he was pacing the floor when he heard the news. In "A Much Needed Talk", he eagerly invites Blake into his study for tea and conversation, and puts Blake's worries that she doesn't deserve his or Kali's love for running away and joining the White Fang to rest by saying he loves her unconditionally and he's proud of her for returning to the right path in life. Even though the Faunus have been oppressed by humans for years, he supports Blake's choice of friends, and was about to ask Blake why she left them before Sun breaks the door he was eavesdropping against and unintentionally ruins their family moment.
- Honor Before Reason: During his days in the White Fang, Ghira always pushed for non-violent solutions. He continued to try and reason with the humans who opened fire on them unprovoked, suffering damage to his aura in the process. When Adam drove off the humans and killed one of them, Ghira immediately chews him out for using violence against them, justifying their behavior. Sienna calls Ghira out on it and reminds him that Adam saved his life in that instant.
- Horrible Judge of Character: He apparently never noticed anything strange or suspicious about the Albain brothers until Blake and Sun inform him of the White Fang's involvement in the attack on Vale, which the Albains kept from him.
- Large and in Charge: He's one of the biggest characters in the series and he's the chief of Menagerie, as well as the former leader of the White Fang.
- Locked Out of the Loop: Although he knew that Vale had fallen and Beacon Academy was destroyed, he was unaware that the White Fang chapter led by Adam Taurus played an instrumental part in the attack. He only finds out when Blake and Sun inform him as such when representatives of another White Fang leader, Sienna Khan, come to visit him. Said representatives are able to deflect Ghira's suspicion by claiming that the chapter led by Adam is a rogue splinter faction and they need Ghira's help to apprehend him, which is a lie.
- Martial Pacifist: He always is going for a peaceful solution, and him leaving the White Fang marked the organisation's turn for violence. He also beat up a squad of armed White Fang assassins with his bare hands, throwing them like rag dolls one-handed and KO-ing most of them in a single hit. Still, he didn't kill any of them, and was genuinely upset when Fennec, who had already stabbed him in the back, did himself in while trying to repeat that feat.
- Mighty Roar: Ghira is by far the most massive Faunus seen in the series, and when the Albain brothers kill the last of his guards at the end of Alone Together, he lets out an appropriately huge roar.
- Overprotective Dad: While listening to Sun describe the battle of Beacon, Sun compliments Blake's fighting skill by stating "she's got some moves." Ghira instantly gets suspicious about Sun's word choice and quickly comes to dislike the boy.
- Save the Villain: When he sees that Ilia is about to be crushed by falling debris, he leaps in to catch and hold it up, telling her to run. This event, followed up by Fennec immediately trying to kill Ghira while he's still holding up the debris, helps push Ilia to turn on the White Fang.
- Super Strength: Powerful enough to catch and hold a falling balcony that was about to crush Ilia. What makes this particularly remarkable is that this is natural physical strength; his Aura was depleted when he did it.
- Wolverine Claws: His fingernails can flex into large claws that he can use in combat.
- You Are Better Than You Think You Are: He reassures Blake, who hated herself for her perceived betrayal of her family, that despite leaving her parents to stay with the White Fang, her eventually leaving and setting herself back onto the right path took a great deal of strength.
Voiced By: Tara Platt [EN], Megumi Toyoguchi [JP]
A cat Faunus from Menagerie. She is the wife of Ghira and the mother of Blake.
- Action Mom: When their home is invaded, Kali is separated from her husband and is protected by a bodyguard when they're attacked. When her bodyguard is killed, she picks up his gun and begins fighting back, yelling at the intruders to get out of her home. She also knocked out Yuma off-screen with a dinner tray. In "Downfall", she's seen accompanying Mistral's police forces in their airship while cornering Adam.
- Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: She often causes a good amount of embarrassment for her daughter, particularly in front of Sun. She not-so secretly whispers she "likes (Sun)" as her husband is interrogating him on his relationship with Blake, much to her embarrassment.
- Cleavage Window: She wears a white kimono-style garment underneath her hakama-style trousers, and a black bolero over her shoulders. The white undergarment has a v-shaped neckline, exposing part of her cleavage. The black bolero is fastened at her neck, which combines with the white undergarment to expose the front of her chest.
- Damsel out of Distress: During the attack on the mansion, she is isolated from her husband and left with guards that are being taken out one by one, with the last one needing protection herself. Kali picks up a gun and goes on to defend herself and knock Yuma out cold. By the end of the invasion, she barges in where the action is happening carrying Yuma's unconscious body and ends the night without so much as a scratch, in spite of Ghira constantly asking others to save her.
- Date Peepers: She's caught spying on Blake as she's tending to an injured Sun who is giving her a heartfelt speech about the error of her current actions; Blake is not amused with her.
- Fashionable Asymmetry: Her bolero consists of a loose sleeve on her right arm, but no sleeve on the left. Instead, her left arm has a black fingerless glove that goes just past her elbow and which loops around her middle finger. There is a purple cloth tied around her upper left arm. She wears two earring studs in her right cat ear and one earring stud in her left cat ear.
- Good Parents: Greets her daughter Blake with a hug and a soft "My baby girl" after not seeing her for years. She tells Blake about her and her husband Ghira, a Good Parent himself, worrying for Blake's safety when hearing the news of the Fall of Beacon, and rebuffs Ghira's claims that he wasn't worried by retorting that he was pacing the floor when he heard the news. She supports Blake and Sun's friendship, despite Sun's awkwardness and lack of social grace, saying that "[She] likes him", much to Blake's embarrassment. She also tries to help Blake get over her nervousness of talking to her father, Ghira, by forcing Blake to have tea with him in his study.
- Improvised Weapon: Knocks out Yuma and protects herself from bullets using a dinner tray during the invasion to her home.
- Locked Out of the Loop: Like her husband, Kali was unaware that the White Fang chapter led by Adam took part in the attack on Vale and the destruction of Beacon Academy, only finding out from Blake and Sun when representatives of Sienna Khan come to visit.
- Meaningful Name: Kali means "she who is black". Kali is a cat-Faunus, with black hair and cat ears, and who favors predominantly black clothing with white and gold accents.
- Mundane Solution: In "Downfall", Blake gathers a citizen army to oppose Adam and the White Fang's plan to wipe out Haven Academy. Ghira organises training for the citizens, who don't necessarily know how to fight, for the two weeks of their journey to Haven. However, when they confront Adam at Haven, the Menagerie citizens don't have to do very much beyond make a symbolic stand against Adam and his men. The reason why is because Kali turns up with the Mistral Police force, surrounding the villains with an army of airships containing armed and properly trained law enforcers. It's the arrival of the police force, not the Menagerie citizens, that forces the villains to abandon Haven and flee.
- My Instincts Are Showing: Beats the unholy hell out of Yuma during the assassination attempt on her family. Much like a real cat, she then proudly drags his body back to show the family.
- Strong Family Resemblance: She and Blake are the same height. Although her hair is short, Blake gets her wavy hair from Kali. Their facial structures and eye shapes are very similar. Kali looks like an older version of Blake as a result.
Voiced by: Cherami Leigh [EN], Mariya Ise [JP]
Debut: A Much Needed Talk*
A chameleon Faunus and old friend of Blake's during her time in the White Fang. After her parents are killed in a Dust mining disaster and she witnesses her human "friends" laughing at the plight of the suffering Faunus, Ilia turns her back on the life her parents were trying to build for her and joins the White Fang, becoming a key supporter of Adam's violent vision for the future of the Faunus.
However, Ilia eventually realizes that what she's doing is not what her parents would have wanted and pulls a HeelFace Turn, helping Blake stop Adam from destroying Haven Academy. Afterwards, she joins the new Faunus movement under Blake's father and former White Fang leader, Ghira Belladonna.
Ilia fights with a whip that can be augmented with Dust via a revolver mechanism in the hilt.
- Anguished Declaration of Love: After subduing Blake before the assassination attempt on her family, Ilia admits that she had been in love with Blake when they were in the White Fang together, and was jealous of her feelings for Adam.
- Animal Motifs: She has subtle chameleon-like traits, such as hints of scaly skin on her face and shoulders which are ambiguous enough to allow her to easily pass as human. In addition, her ponytail curls back on itself like a chameleon's tail, and her weapon lashes out extremely quickly like a chameleon's tongue.
- Anti-Villain: Ilia has admitted her distaste for using violence, but has simultaneously admitted that it has been the only way to help the Faunus that she's seen. She sees humans as either outright aggressive towards faunus or complacent about the abuse they receive, and perceives that the only way to stop this is by inspiring fear in the human's hearts. She has clearly been led to believe that these actions, as much distaste as she has for them, are the only option she has to achieve justice for the Faunus, unaware the Albains are just using her and that Adam doesn't want the same thing she does. In True Colors she shows her, uh, true colors when Blake bests her in combat: really her anger is a mask to cover her feelings of sadness, fear and helplessness over not really knowing how to save her people. Once this mask is broken, she ultimately makes the right decision and defects from the White Fang, opting to instead help her friend.
- Badass Gay: A competent Ninja with a specialization with stealth missions and capable of taking in Blake and Sun in a fight with her pistol/whip. She also has harbored a long-term unrequited crush on Blake, being the first named character in the show to be confirmed LGBT.
- Bare Your Midriff: Her new outfit in Volume 6 shows her stomach.
- Bomb Disposal: In "Downfall," Adam tries to set off bombs to kill Blake's group and his own in a Taking You with Me attempt. It fails because Blake had Ilia disarm the bombs ahead of time.
- Chameleon Camouflage: Ilia's animal trait is the ability for her skin, hair and eyes to change colors like a chameleon. Strong emotions can make her lose control of the transformation, but she can use the ability tactically as well. When she needs to be stealthy, she can change her skin and hair color to become the same color as night and shadow. Whenever she spies on Blake's house from the trees, she turns dark to blend with the night. Most Faunus, including Blake, have night vision; during the assassination attempt on Blake's parents, Ilia turns off the lights in the house and blackens to the same color as the shadows. She is so well camouflaged that not even Blake's night vision can see her.
- Conflicting Loyalty: It's shown a few times that she has a hard time thinking of Blake as an enemy. Despite being so deep into Adam's faction she knew the true details of Sienna Khan's death, when told she and other White Fang members will be targeting the Belladonnas she is clearly shaken and unsure. She finally decides she'd rather side with Blake than the White Fang and Adam, and pulls a HeelFace Turn.
- The Corruptible: Discussed; Blake has come to view Adam as the embodiment of spite and describes his way of thinking as "dangerously contagious." She can see that Adam's views are starting to rub off on Ilia, and wants to save her before she is corrupted fully and becomes exactly like him. As of "True Colors," she's succeeded in pulling Ilia back from the brink.Blake: That's what worries me about Ilia. She's not like Adam, not yet at least, but I don't know how long that will last.
- Driven to Villainy: She joined the White Fang after her parents were killed in a Dust mine and her human friends laughed about it, leading to her beating them up and breaking their teeth. She argues that the White Fang terrorism against humans is acceptable because there's no such thing as innocent humans — they either actively hate Faunus or stand back and let the hate happen. She's therefore willing to follow Adam's more extreme path to a world where the humans are broken and enslaved to the Faunus. She only comes to her senses when Blake uses her parents against her, asking what Ilia thinks her parents would say if they could see what their daughter's turning into.
- Don't Make Me Destroy You: In "Welcome to Haven," she pleads with Blake to just leave Menagerie before it's too late for her. Blake refuses, stating outright that Ilia will have to make her do so.
- Easily Forgiven: When Blake and Sun try to stop Ilia from spying on them for the White Fang, she stabs Sun. Despite that, all Blake wants to do is save Ilia from the moral cliff edge instead of punishing her. Despite being complicit in the plan to kill Sienna, kidnap Blake and assassinate Blake's parents, Blake manages to turn Ilia from Adam's path. When Ilia offers to stand with Blake at Haven to protect the humans from the White Fang, Blake immediately forgives her and accepts her offer. Sun then takes his revenge for Ilia stabbing him by pinching her arm and calling them even; when the police chief, Sabre Rodentia, demands to know why Ilia's being let off so easily given all she's done, Ghira lectures him on the strength of forgiveness. Ilia herself lampshades this trope in "Argus Limited", stating she doesn't feel like she deserves freedom after all her misdeeds.
- To Blake. Where Blake was born into the White Fang as a child of Faunus travelling between Kingdoms and protesting, Ilia grew up in Atlas, hiding her Faunus nature in a well-off primary school. And while both she and Blake hid their nature among their classmates, when they were inevitably revealed as Faunus, they took completely different paths, with Blake being horrified and fleeing before reconciling, and Ilia lashing out and breaking her friends' teeth, recalling the event with obvious pleasure. Ilia was ultimately drawn toward the White Fang because of their violent tendencies, while Blake was driven away for the same reason. Eventually, Ilia follows the same path Blake did and realizes what she is doing is wrong, and defects to help Blake.
- To Yang. Both have very strong feelings for Blake, and were deeply hurt when Blake left them behind. However, while Yang is able to work through her resentment towards Blake with Weiss' and Ruby's help, and admit what she's really hurt about, while Ilia became bitter, and felt that Blake doesn't really know her at all, but is open about how hurt she is. Eventually, she breaks down and admits she doesn't know what to do, allowing Blake to reach her true feelings.
- To Adam. Both have a past with Blake, and are both in love with her. However, where Adam is vindictive and spiteful and more than willing to hurt Blake for rejecting him, Ilia is hesitant to attack Blake and simply holds sadness that her feelings for Blake went unnoticed. And while Adam has made it his mission to destroy everything Blake cares for out of spite, Ilia has decided she can't remain angry at Blake, and defects from the White Fang after figuring out Blake was right.
- She's also this to Sun. Both are Blake's friends, and it's made more than clear that Sun has feelings for Blake, much like Ilia outright states having in the past. Ilia is shown to be conflicted and hesitant of her actions, while Sun is headstrong and impulsive.
- Gender-Blender Name: Ilia is a female Faunus, but her name is a typically-male name on Earth; it's more commonly spelled "Ilya", and comes from a Slavic form of the Hebrew name "Elijah".
- "Get out of Jail Free" Card: She attacks and severely wounds Sun and is fully aware of Adam's plot to attack Haven Academy. However, she has a long friendship with Blake, who isn't interested in punishing her: she just wants to help Ilia find a way back from the moral cliff edge she's currently jumping off. Ilia is also an accessory to the murder of Sienna, having known about it in advance, and is also required to set up Blake's kidnapping for Adam while the Albain brothers assassinate Blake's parents. During the fight inside the Belladonna household, Blake convinces Ilia to turn her back on Adam's vision for the White Fang. When Blake publicly announces that she's going to forgive Ilia and let her come with her to save Haven, the police chief Sabre Rodentia demands to know why Ilia's going to be forgiven instead of thrown into jail for all she's done. Ghira gives Sabre a lecture on the strength of forgiveness while Sun's 'revenge' for being stabbed is to give Ilia's arm a quick pinch and call it even.
- Good Counterpart: To Adam. Both have suffered at the hands of humanity and desire revenge, supporting the White Fang's violent terrorism. However, Ilia genuinely cares about the Faunus' plight and eventually comes to her senses, whereas Adam is a spiteful Jerkass who just wants to lash out at the world that hurt him, only cares about himself and what he wants, and uses his race's plight as an excuse to get away with murder and pursuit of his own power. In many ways, Adam also serves as Ilia's Shadow Archetype, representing what she could have become had she allowed her hatred and anger at humanity to consume her.
- HeelFace Turn: After going back and forth between her loyalties to the White Fang and her affection for Blake, Ilia finally rejects the White Fang and joins the good guys' side first by taking out Corsac. She then resolves to help Blake take on Adam and protect Haven Academy.
- Hide Your Otherness: Ilia comes from a Mantle Dust mining community. Being able to pass for human gave her parents the chance to try and get her a better life. They insisted she suppressed her Faunus traits to allow her to function in an Atlas prep school, and make friends. She wasn't allowed to tell her friends anything about her family, and she had to go along with her peers whenever they mocked or insulted the Faunus. When tragedy struck the Mantle Dust mines where her parents worked and her human "friends" laughed about it, she's outed when she lost control and turned blue from the grief. She responds to the newfound fear of her by her former friends, along with their prior nastiness, by snapping and beating them all to the point of breaking their teeth.
- Hollywood Chameleon: Averted. While she can turn her skin and hair black when she's skulking in the shadows, when she's speaking with Blake out in the open, her appearance changes to colors that are not designed to blend in with anything. Her appearance changes color while she's in a volatile mood. She initially managed to pass herself off as a human until news of a Dust mining accident where her parents worked turned her blue with grief, causing her former friends to turn on her for being a Faunus.
- Horned Humanoid: Subverted. She wears a White Fang mask with horns jutting out of the mask. Many White Fang members have masks that permit their horns to show through. However, when her mask breaks and falls off, it's revealed the horns are part of the mask, and therefore fake.
- Irony: She criticizes the Belladonnas as "the worst kind of Faunus" and Category Traitors for daring to suggest they ally themselves with humans after everything humans have done to them, declaring that Adam's methods are what the people of Menagerie should be supporting. A few episodes later, Ilia herself decides to follow the same path as the Belladonnas and pulls a HeelFace Turn, siding against Adam in the process.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: When Blake asks Ilia why she joined the White Fang if she can pass for human, Ilia explains that she was raised human to improve her future prospects, even if it meant she could never introduce her human friends to her Faunus family and had to join in with her friends' anti-Faunus rhetoric. When a tragedy struck the Dust mine her parents worked in, Ilia's friends laughed about the Faunus' suffering. Ilia turned blue with grief, outing her as a Faunus and causing her former friends to turn on her. In retaliation, she broke their teeth. This led her to the White Fang's door where she chose to fight underneath its terrorist banner, up until Blake convinces her to defect.
- Luminescent Blush: A variation. Due to her body changing color according to her mood, the spots on her face turned bright pink when confessing that she is (or was) in love with Blake.
- Meaningful Name: Her last name is the Sioux word for rainbow. Her skin, hair, and eyes can all change color whenever she wants, and she has displayed several different colors across her body. She is also the first confirmed LGBT character, as "Alone Together" confirms that she has (or at the very least had) feelings for Blake.
- Morality Chain Beyond the Grave: In "True Colors," after every other attempt to convince Ilia that what she's doing is wrong falls on deaf ears, Blake asks her if her parents would approve of what she's doing it or would have wanted her to go down this path. Ilia bursts into tears and admits she doesn't know what else to do. By the end of the episode, she's pulled a HeelFace Turn.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Blake's repeated attempts to get through to Ilia finally get her to realize that what the White Fang is doing is wrong, at which point she breaks down crying.
- Ninja: She invokes the classic ninja aesthetic, with a dark jumpsuit, stealthy skills, and agile parkour movements, as well as a mask akin to the classic kabuki theater masks. To further accent it, Ilia is able to change her skin color at will, and her first appearance had her looking entirely like a ninja with jet black skin. Sun lampshades it on first seeing her. Her ability to blend into the shadows is so powerful that even Blake, with her enhanced night vision, can't see her when she turns out the lights.
- Power Incontinence: Ilia's color-changing ability is inherent to her as a faunus, but she sometimes has trouble controlling it when her emotions get the better of her. Becoming angry turns her red while being overcome by grief causes her skin to turn blue. When telling Blake about her history in Atlas, she mentions how turning blue from a bout of extreme grief outed her to her human friends.
- Put on a Bus: When Team RWBY leave Haven at the beginning of Volume 6, Ilia confirms she is remaining in Mistral with Blake's parents to create a new organisation from the ashes of the White Fang.
- Rainbow Motif: Befittingly for a chameleon Faunus (and the show's first confirmed lesbian), she's associated with one. Every part of her body can change to any color of the rainbow, the revolving Dust chambers in her weapon are organized in a standard chromatic spectrum. Her name is a Sioux word for "rainbow".
- Shut Up, Kirk!: When Blake and Ilia meet alone, Blake desperately tries to reason with her, stating that the choices Ilia's making aren't the person she really is. Ilia retorts that Blake doesn't know her as well as she thinks she does, and her actions are exactly the kind of person she really is. She gives Blake an example of what she means by saying that Blake was so busy falling for Adam that she never noticed Ilia was falling for her. Blake is shocked into silence by this confession.
- Silly Rabbit, Idealism Is for Kids!: When Blake derides Ilia and the White Fang for attacking innocents, Ilia bitterly rants that no one is innocent; she categorizes humans in two ways: those who hate Faunus and those who stand by and let the hate happen.
- Swiss Army Weapon: Her weapon works as a sword, a whip, a taser and a gun.
- Trapped in Villainy: Ilia is not a fan of the extreme methods that the White Fang employ and doesn't relish the idea of hurting people. However she has long since crossed the Despair Event Horizon and genuinely doesn't know how else to help the Faunus aside from violence. During their fight in True Colors Blake tells Ilia that she is not a bad person but that she just keeps making the wrong choices. Eventually Ilia breaks into tears during their fight and asks Blake what she is supposed to do. She finds her answer after stopping Corsac from attacking the Belladonnas, and pulls a HeelFace Turn.
- Vague Age: She's heavily implied to be around Blake's age, but she's seen in the Adam Character Short serving under Ghira's regime looking the same as in the present. Ghira left the role of leading the White Fang roughly five years before the series began, so either she's five years older than Blake, Ghira's time leading the White Fang was retconned, or Ilia wasn't given an appropriate character model.
- Villain Has a Point: Ilia makes a valid point when she insists to Blake that humans either hate Faunus or stand back and let the hate happen. Her words serve as a Call-Back to Volume 1 when Velvet was being harassed by Cardin Winchester; although both Teams RWBY and JNPR all expressed disgust with Team CRDL's behaviour and sympathy for Velvet's plight, none of them intervened to help her — not even Blake. While Blake still doesn't condone Ilia's actions, she notably cannot refute her claim.
- Villainous Breakdown: During her fight with Blake, she starts to breakdown when confronted with the choices she has made, as well as Blake's continuous faith that she is a good person deep down. Ghira almost sacrificing himself to save her as well as knocking out Corsac leads her to finally break down crying in front of the family and ultimately decide to be by Blake's side on the upcoming battle.
- Villainous Crush: During their time together in the White Fang, Ilia fell for Blake around the same time Blake was falling for Adam, and has been deeply jealous of this fact for a while now. She seems to still hold some feelings for Blake as she blushed when finally admitting them, but they aren't enough for her to side with Blake over the White Fang. Ultimately, she does side with Blake, due to several factors, including her love for Blake, her knowledge that she's doing something terrible, and Ghira rescuing her from being crushed.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Ilia claims that she hates hurting people, but feels she can't deny the results it gets for the Faunus and therefore supports Adam's violent cause. However, she joined the White Fang after her parents' were killed; having pretended to be human, her Faunus nature was revealed when her skin turned blue with grief upon hearing about their deaths. When her human friends turned on her, she turned on them and hasn't looked back. Blake thought she and Ilia shared a dream of achieving Faunus equality but it merely blinded her to the just how deeply Ilia blamed the humans for her parents' deaths. Once Blake realizes, she's determined to try and make Ilia understand that, by following Adam, Ilia's on the road towards becoming a Not-So-Well-Intentioned Extremist forged in Adam's image. When the conflicted Ilia helps the Albain brothers attempt to assassinate Blake's parents for Adam, she and Blake fight; Blake insists that Ilia is a good person who is making all the wrong decisions and asks Ilia what her parents would think if they could see what she was doing. The question breaks Ilia, who admits she doesn't know what else to do. After that, a sobbing Ilia helps the Belladonna family defeat the Albain brothers, and then she asks if she can join Blake on her quest to save Haven from the White Fang.Ilia: We all have to make sacrifices for the greater good, no matter how much it hurts.
- We Used to Be Friends: Ilia and Blake apparently used to be quite close when the two worked together in the White Fang and became fast friends. However, their friendship eventually deteriorated once Blake left the White Fang. However it seems that the two still care about each other to an extent, during her Volume 5 character short, Blake has a chance to capture Ilia but lets her go when she remembers their shared past. Likewise, Ilia tries to persuade Blake not to go public with the White Fang cover-up in the season premiere of Volume 5 and leave Menagerie before it's too late. When Blake tells her she will have to make her Ilia sadly comments that she knows. After Ilia pulls a HeelFace Turn, she and Blake begin to mend their friendship.
- What Is Evil?: In "Alone Together," when Blake demands to know how Ilia can possibly think that attacking innocent people is the right thing to do, Ilia retorts that there's no such thing as innocents. She dismisses humans as either being those who hate Faunus or those who let the hate happen, which is a Call-Back to Volume 1 when the protagonists (notably including Blake herself) did just that.Ilia: Theres no such thing as innocent! Theres no right thing to do! Only whats best for us!
- Whip It Good: Her weapon is a collapsible whip capable of using a variety of different kinds of Dust that are contained in a rotating chamber at the base of the handle. The weapon lashes out with great speed in the same way as a chameleon's tongue striking out at an insect when the chameleon is hunting for food. As with most RWBY weapons, it also includes a gun component, which she uses in the Volume 5 Blake short to knock down some crates between herself and Blake.
- Whip Sword: She is also able to retract and stiffen the whip to block sword strikes. She can even send an electric charge through it for surprise attacks.
- With Us or Against Us: When Ghira tries to tell the people of Menagerie that the only way to stop Adam's plan to kill High Leader Sienna Khan and destroy Haven Academy is to protect Haven Academy (and therefore all the humans there), Ilia publicly denounces the Belladonna family as traitors and 'the worst kind of Faunus'. She declares that people should support Adam's violent methods and either join his fight against humans or stand back and let him do the fighting for them. She states that anyone who suggests there might be a reason to stand side-by-side with humans is a traitor to Faunus because of the persecution and discrimination Faunus have suffered at the hands of the humans. In a case of Irony, she soon chooses the same path as the Belladonnas by pulling a HeelFace Turn, in turn siding against Adam.
For more information on Tukson, please see RWBY: Sanus (Eastern).