To Raven's surprise, she found someone willing to take her place as the villain of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: the son of Evil Sorceror of Swan Lake, Rotbart von Schwartz, Raven's half-brother. He has his reasons for replacing Raven: one he is very close to his sister and he would do anything for her. Since Raven doesn't want to be evil and doesn't want her destiny, he decided to shoulder it for her.
Second, he is in love with Duchess Swan who he is destined to make suffer. He doesn't want to hurt her and the best thing he could do is to leave so she would be free to pursue who or what she wants.
Third, he is actually having fun being in Apple White's story.
Tropes found in Poisoning Apple:
- Adaptation Name Change: The Evil Sorceror of Swan Lake is named Eric von Rotbart, whereas in story his name is Eric von Schwartz and his son's name is Rotbart.
- Animorphism: Rotbart can turn himself into an owl later a falcon.
- Baleful Polymorph: When Apple torments him with her singing, he accidentally turns her into a swan to get her to stop. He, Raven and Sparrow have to rush to change her back before anyone finds out.
- Rotbart traps himself in owl form when he was too injured from a monster attack. He stays in his form when Apple rescues him and has to have Raven bail him out when Apple tried keeping him.
- Berserk Button: Do not make fun of Apple's singing.
- Don't mess with Rotbart's pet owl or force cute stuff on him.
- Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Apple, Raven and Rotbart, the three protagonists of Poisoning Apple follow this archetype.
- Break the Haughty: Rotbart's initial relationship with Apple consisted of this since he is trying to bring down what sees as an entitled Royal down a peg.
- Once Apple figures out Rotbart's buttons she does this right back.
- Daring Charming is humiliated in front of the entire school, caught cheating on Apple.
- Both Sides Have a Point: The debate of Rotbart taking Raven's place as Apple's villain. Apple's right that Rotbart is abandoning his responsibility to his story which could doom both Snow White and Swan Lake and it's very presumptive of him that he expects her to accept him. Rotbart is right that Apple's story will be fine with a replacement villain, especially someone who actually wants to play villain. If Apple complains that he's too evil, well he's a 'villain.
- Card-Carrying Villain: In contrast to his sister, Rotbart fully embraces his destiny as a villain. He cultivates his reputation as someone one doesn't mess with and is quick to describe himself as evil.
- Did You Actually Believe...?: Rotbart makes a bet with Apple to leave her story if he's wrong about the date of Raven's birthday. Apple quickly finds out that Rotbart doesn't make bets that he'll lose.
- Entertainingly Wrong: Apple believes that Raven and Rotbart to have mutual romantic feelings for each other since Raven is the only one Rotbart listens to and who Rotbart goes out of his way to please.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Despite Rotbart being a true villain, he does have Raven's back.
- Even Evil Has Standards: The one line Rotbart refuses to cross is causing someone heartbreak or attacking someone experiencing one. He grew up watching many of his father's swan maidens lose themselves to heartbreak. He empathized with the maidens and could not harden himself to their suffering.
- Evil Redhead: Rotbart is redheaded and reveals in his destiny as a villain.
- Gone Horribly Right: Rotbart turned himself into an owl so Apple would help while he was defenseless without realizing Rotbart's helplessness. It works but then Apple tries to keep the owl she rescued!
- The Four Loves: Rotbart's motive to abandon his own story and become a villain for another has a lot with his fraternal love for Raven and his romantic love for Duchess.
- Hate at First Sight: Apple and Rotbart hated each other from the first time they meet. Apple disliked him for replacing Raven and following his own destiny. Rotbart disliked how entitled and perfect she acted.
- Hidden Depths:
- To Rotbart's surprise, Apple takes duty very seriously and she is genuinely kind. She also has a long vindictive streak when one earns her wrath.
- To Apple's surprise, Rotbart is a huge romantic and has a streak of honor in him.
- I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Rotbart quit being the villain for Swan Lake because he couldn't stand the thought of making his crush, Duchess suffer a horrible fate. Since he knows that Duchess doesn't even like him, the best he could do is to make her free to pursue her own destiny and her own love.
- Irony: While Rotbart's a Swan Lake villain, he does have a right to play the Snow White villain since he's the elder child of the Evil Queen.
- It's All About Me: What Rotbart dislikes about Apple is that she can be pretty spoiled and entitled, wanting things to go her way despite the offering of other options.
- To Rotbart's disgust, his crush Duchess is also like this. Duchess hated him for leaving their story despite him telling her that he did it because he wanted her to be happy. She is quick to condemn Apple to life as a swan in the hopes of taking Apple's happy ending.
- Jerkass Has a Point: Rotbart does have a point that Apple should be happy that her story will continue since it has a eager replacement villain. Since Apple is so used to the non-threatening and benign Raven being her villain, she is not used to the idea that she would actually have to work for her happy ending with a genuinely evil villain.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Rotbart is a jerk and he reveals in being one. He picks on Apple frequently and will mess with other students. But he is kind to Raven and Duchess and is willing to help Apple if she's actually in trouble.
- Like Parent, Like Spouse: To Rotbart, Dexter Charming is very similar to Raven's father the Good King; nice but boring.
- Primal Scene: During the Yule Ball, Apple and Rotbart accidentally walk in on Charming and Lizzie Harts having oral sex. Apple runs away in tears with the knowledge that her fiancee is cheating on her.
- Relative Error: Raven and Rotbart don't look anything alike and no one actually know that they share the same mother. Apple gets the impression that Rotbart and Raven are romantically involved to explain why Rotbart took Raven's place and why would Raven would tolerate a jerk like Rotbart. This is seemingly confirmed when Rotbart gives Raven the very romantic gift of his mother's jewelry.
- Recursive Fanfiction: Rotbart is originally from Janet-Mufasa's Tales as old as time should've been retired years ago but Poisoning Apple's author got permission to use him.