Follow TV Tropes

Following

Fan Fic / Weight of the World

Go To

"America and Canada awaken in a dangerous, monster-filled world. With strange new powers and suspicious blanks in their memories, they seek answers while keeping out of the spotlight. They can't afford to interfere. Not when they need to get home. So they don't. That is, until a city called Vale is breached by the Grimm and America's hero complex kicks in."
— Summary for Weight of the World, Fanfiction Dot Net.
Advertisement:

Weight of the World and its sequels, The Shattered Soul, The Depths of Deception, The Atrocities of Atlas, and The Charlatan of Choice are fanfiction stories available on fanfiction.net and Archive of Our Own by SkyleafAlchemist19 a.k.a. Skyleaf19. The series is a crossover between RWBY and Axis Powers Hetalia. The series was completed on April 20th 2019.

  • Weight of the World can be found here and here.
  • The Shattered Soul can be found here and here.
  • The Depths of Deception can be found here and here.
  • The Atrocities of Atlas can be found here and here.
  • The Charlatan of Choice can be found here and here.


    open/close all folders 
Advertisement:

Warning: Each folder contains unmarked spoilers for the previous books. note  The General folder contains spoilers for all five books, with spoilers for the first three books left unmarked. Please read at your own risk.

    General Tropes 

General Tropes for the series:

  • A Million Is a Statistic: How Atlas (Ciel) views the people of Earth. She is willing to sacrifice them to keep herself safe. This mindset extends to everyone, even her own people.
  • Accidental Misnaming: Canada has trouble remembering people's names, especially Pyrrha's. He eventually misnames her intentionally because it makes her happy. Pyrrha likes it because his misnaming signified he and Alfred did not recognize her.
  • Adaptation Personality Change: Due to the series being written before Volume 5 came out, Adam, Raven and Ozpin's personalities differ from canon.
  • Adaptation Relationship Overhaul:
    • Salem does not want to capture Ruby. Since America is her target, Ruby did not defeat Cinder, and Silver-Eyes are a hindrance more than an asset Salem has no interest in her other than as an enemy.
    • Salem and Ozpin were never lovers in this series. They are disciples created by the Gods of Darkness and Light respectively. Their purpose was to watch over humanity when the Gods left Remnant, but Salem betrayed the Gods with the intent to replace them.
    • Adam and Blake hold no romantic feelings towards each other and were instead partners and friends before Blake left the White Fang. Adam's anger towards Blake is due to her betraying the White Fang and the personification of Menagerie rather than being a scorned and abusive ex-boyfriend.
  • Adult Fear: England and France's younger brothers were captured by a mysterious organization, aka soldiers from Atlas. They didn't find out the twins were abducted until an injured Kumajirou stumbled into the World Meeting the next day. After the twins are rescued from Remnant, France and England are terrified of Atlas coming back for them.
  • The Ageless: The Remnant nation-tans stop aging in their late teens or early twenties. If they avoid receiving a fatal injury, they could live until their Kingdom falls. None have managed it yet and reincarnate.
  • Alternate Universe: For RWBY. Everything is mostly the same except there are no Maidens. Instead there are Remnant nation-tans. The series was also written before Volume 5 was released so it follows original plotlines and characters' personalities and motives differ from canon. See the Adaptation Personality Change entry above.
  • An Aesop: Multiple Aesops are woven subtly through the series:
    • Doing what is right isn't always easy, but that does not mean you should not do it.
    • Don't let others tell you you're not good enough. Believe in yourself.
    • While listening to your elders is a good idea, they should listen to you too. Don't remain silent because the ones in charge are more experienced, especially if there are problems with their plan.
    • Different perspectives help solve problems.
    • Your real friends stick with you no matter what happens.
    • Offer a hand of forgiveness, not threats or promises of war. Peace may be hard to achieve, but it is worth fighting for. Continuing a cycle of violence with more violence is not worth it.
    • Emotions and reacting to trauma are a part of human nature. Don't hold them in or feel ashamed of them. It's okay to ask for help. You are not weak for struggling.
    • If someone wants to control your life and make your decisions for you, you don't have to put up with it. Whether they are family, authority figures, or enemies, you do not have to sit there and endure their abuse. There is no reason they should hurt you.
    • You don't have to change for someone else's approval.
    • Know When to Fold 'Em when you are in over your head. It is better to live to fight another day than fight a battle you are going to lose. There is nothing cowardly about surviving.
    • Not telling someone the truth to protect them is a bad idea. Be upfront with them about the danger so they are not blindsided by it.
    • Do not let your goals blind you to those you are hurting along the way. The ends do not justify the means.
    • It is impossible to save everyone, but that does not mean you should let people die because they "don't matter" in the grand scheme of things.
    • Treating people like pawns will make them turn against you.
    • Don't be quick to judge before you know a person.
    • Respect the strength of those around you. Let them choose what they want to fight for. Don't try to make that decision for them.
  • An Arm and a Leg:
  • Anyone Can Die: The body count includes: Penny Polendina, Cinder, Mantle, Neo, Ciel (Atlas), Doctor Polendina, Jacques Schnee, Tyrian, Blake, Vale, Cardin, Dove, Mercury, Roman, Watts, Ironwood, Salem, and Ozpin. Blake's death solidifies this entry as the death was a main character performing a Stupid Sacrifice with little fanfare. No one is safe.
  • Arc Words: "Choice", "Heroes", and "Sacrifice" are all concepts explored during the series.
  • Asexuality: In a conversation after Jaune breaks into the bathroom while America is in a state of undress, America blandly informs him that he is Asexual and not interested. He knows what sex and romance are but is not sexually attracted to other people and shows no interest in sex or romantic relationships in general. He only cares about other things like his family and friends, food, video games, and being a hero.
  • Battle Amongst the Flames:
    • America sets Kuroyuri on fire as the heroes fight Tyrian, Emerald, the Nuckelavee, and the Grimm.
    • The battle in Choice's Vault is surrounded by America's blue fire, which he uses to keep Salem at bay.
  • Benevolent Conspiracy: Ozpin's group. Though not all of them are benevolent.
  • Big Sibling Instinct: Yang to Ruby. America and Canada to each other. England and France to Canada and America.
  • Born-Again Immortality: Every time a Remnant nation-tan is killed, they are reincarnated this way, in contrast to the Earth nation-tans' Healing Factor and functional Immortality.
  • Character Death:
    • Weight of the World: Penny and Cinder die during the Fall of Beacon.
    • The Depths of Deception: Neo dies in Haven's Vault and Lionheart is killed by Salem.
    • The Atrocities of Atlas: Atlas (Ciel) dies during the Fall of Atlas.
    • The Charlatan of Choice has the largest body count by far.
      • Tyrian is killed by France in the woods of Vale.
      • Blake dies protecting Yang from the Warden Grimm.
      • Vale (Amber) dies saving America's life.
      • Cardin and Dove are killed by Grimm while defending the citizens of the City of Vale.
      • Mercury is devoured by Grimm when England turns them against him.
      • Roman is killed by America in Beacon's Vault.
      • Copper dies taking a blow aimed for Sealand.
      • Arthur Watts is killed by Penny.
      • Ironwood dies killing the Grimm Dragon.
      • Salem dies to America, Ruby, and Canada using fire, Silver Eyes, and the Relic of Destruction respectively.
      • Ozpin's curse is lifted when Salem dies and he fades from Oscar's mind.
  • Chastity Couple: Pyrrha and Jaune. They get together after Beacon's fall, flirt and tease each other, hold hands, and occasionally kiss. It is never hinted they have slept together, nor does either show any interest in doing so. Since they are in the middle of a war, often accompanied by others, and the author has little interest in writing romantic plots, it makes sense.
  • Chekhov's Boomerang:
    • Penny is told to guard America by Ironwood in chapter twelve of Weight of the World in a cute sequence that focuses more on her budding friendship with America, Canada, Sun, and Neptune than anything. Three books or sixty-two chapters later Penny 2.0 is activated with Penny's memories but nor her Aura. Her only non-corrupted mission is to protect Alfred F. Jones.
    • Pyrrha becomes America's bodyguard in The Depths of Deception. Once she returns to Remnant that will never come up again, right? Wrong. Twenty-two chapters into The Atrocities of Atlas Pyrrha's position as Alfred's bodyguard is the only reason Penny 2.0 doesn't kill her.
    • In the first chapter of The Atrocities of Atlas there is a scene in an unknown location where a person leaves something behind on a statue. Twenty-five chapters later it's shown the place is Shade Academy, the statue was the entrance to the Vault, and the thing was a small Grimm-bead that allows Emerald to teleport straight to it. She and Watts walk out with the Relic of Destruction in hand.
  • Chekhov's Gag: Nora always declares she is going to break her enemy's legs. She breaks Atlas's.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture:
    • An ex-Atlas soldier tortures America and carves the word "Sacrifice" into his back in an attempt to make him activate Penny 2.0 through desperation. It doesn't work, but the soldier succeeds in making his "message" stick.
    • Once America is at her mercy, Atlas slowly and maliciously impales him with a spear, repeatedly stabbing him clean through his stomach and out his back. She knows he'll survive whatever she does to him so she does not hold back, causing him as much pain as possible as she demands he submit to her.
    • After that Atlas tortures Canada with an electrified baton.
    • Roman gleefully tortures America in an attempt to kill him and retrieve the Relic of Choice. America stubbornly clings to life because he knows if he loses his will to live and "chooses" death, the Relic will kill him.
  • Coma: Personifications of Earth fall into a coma-like state whenever they receive what would be a fatal wound on a human. They awaken after their body heals.
  • Completed Fic: The series was completed on April 20th 2019.
  • Death World: Remnant is this, especially from the view of the nations. Civilization only survives in small pockets throughout the world and humanity is constantly threatened by the Grimm.
  • Deconstruction Fic: Of common crossover Fandom Specific Plots, specifically ones where the hero is kidnapped or drafted into a different world's war. No, the heroes from another world are not happy or willing to fight for the people who abducted and experimented on their friends. No, they do not forgive the abductors because they are the Big Goods working in the interest of The Needs of The Many. Because of Atlas and Ozpinati's actions, the nations (minus America and Canada) plan to leave Remnant as soon as possible and they do so without regrets... until they're forced back to Remnant.
  • Digging Yourself Deeper:
    • This is said almost word for word when America asks Winter if she is going to cuff him to something to keep him from leaving. He realizes what he said and claims he was joking and never experienced that or expected that to happen. He babbles on until Winter holds up a hand to silence him. She coolly tells him she would never do such a thing, much to his chagrin (and relief).
    • Played for Drama. When Ironwood's suspicious reports on him appear, America tells Atlesian Military Doctor Charon vague information about what Ironwood did to him. He realizes he is making Ironwood sound like a monstrous Stalker with a Crush and backtracks, only to accidentally reveal that he and Canada were captured and experimented on by the General.
  • Disproportionate Retribution:
    • America refuses to yield to Atlas and beg her for mercy. Atlas tortures him and tries to murder Ruby.
    • The heroes defeat Salem's Clone by Conversion body and prevent her from infecting America with a Grimm parasite. She destroys Frontier; blinding America in one eye and killing Qrow, Klein, Sun, and Whitley.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?:
    • England's disgusted reaction to America activating Japan's Aura and his snide comments that America will "do that with anyone" brings Slut-Shaming to mind. America's resulting shame and questions whether his overly-friendly personality led to him "practically asking" to become Vale (despite his blatant Questionable Consent) adds a dose of alluded Victim Blaming to the mix.
    • The therapy session can be viewed as one huge metaphor for a therapist helping their client realize they did not give their consent in a sexual situation (because agreeing only because they are trapped and the other party won't take "no" for an answer is not consent), accepting they were in fact raped, and that they did nothing to deserve being assaulted.
    • Greenlee (the Atlas soldier stationed on Earth) further compounds this by saying America should be honored and grateful that Atlas and Ironwood chose him to become Vale.
    • England's attempts to trick America into performing the severance ritual and his actions when America finds out the truth and refuses are reminiscent of a family member's desire to get rid of a Split Personality, their attempt to Cure Your Gays, Attempted Rape, or a non-consensual attempt to Lobotomize someone (depending on the interpretation).
    • Russia's successful attempt to force America to activate his Aura is reminiscent of someone using manipulation and physical force to pressure a mentally-incapacitated person into having sex with them.
    • The symbolism continues in The Atrocities of Atlas. The sequence where the ex-soldier tortures America is is disturbingly comparable to a rape scene, complete with the soldier shoving America face-down over a table and pressing his body against his.
    • America is knocked out by a soldier. He wakes up naked, in considerable pain, and leaves drops of blood behind as he walks. When he exits the shower, two guards come in and attack him. The scene plays out like the aftermath and lead-up to another sexual assault, as several readers have noted.
    • The ex-soldier catches America again and taunts him about their "bond". The soldier rips off America's shirt, pins him down and lays on top of him, and runs his hands over America's skin. When the soldier makes to stab him, America fights him off and kills his attacker before breaking down. America blames himself for not trying to stop the ex-soldier sooner is deeply ashamed. The above three scenes play out painfully similar to rape and/or attempted rape and the victim's traumatized reaction to it.
    • America ran away from his older brother, was captured, escaped, and is alone in a new world. He implicitly trusts Penny 2.0 (the only "friend" he has at the moment) despite her unsettling and suspicious mannerisms. He brushes off the older and warier Vale's warnings that Penny 2.0 isn't his friend and cannot be trusted. Penny 2.0 is very concerned with America being "undamaged". She knowingly leads America into a trap concocted by her and Ironwood, where he is presumably meant to be captured and given to Atlas. And then there are all the other people in Atlas who have gone missing... The Runaway and Human Trafficking, anyone?
    • When America confronts Ironwood, it plays out much like an abuse victim confronting their abuser. Ironwood tries to get America to go with him, blaming him for fighting back and getting hurt, subtly manipulating him and insinuating America is a bad person if he doesn't do what he wants, and pulling something akin to an If I Can't Have You... when he refuses.
      • In summary, the way Atlas and her cohorts treat America can be summed up as one huge metaphor for being kidnapped, trafficked, and trapped in a sexually, psychologically, and physically abusive relationship.
    • Jaune's failed attempt to heal America's scars is comparable to a Near-Rape Experience where one partner does not want sex but the other does not notice until the scared partner starts crying and trying to pull away. Cinching it are America's quiet pleas for Jaune to stop, which Jaune accidentally ignores until America screams in pain.
    • Russia's attacks on America in the bathroom brings Domestic Abuse to mind. The attacker corners the victim, grabs them by the throat and shoves them around, while insisting this is the victim's fault. The victim is too terrified to move because of past encounters like this but accidentally resists out of survival instinct. The attacker slams them into the wall and pins them there while touching them and the victim shuts their eyes and doesn't fight back. The victim is left with visible cuts and bruises but makes excuses and defends the attacker's actions when confronted by their family and friends. As they are attacked again and again they continue to deny what the attacker is doing is wrong and believes they somehow deserve it.
    • How characters react to America and Vale can be seen as an allusion to someone being biromanticnote  and others failing to understand them or believing they're "confused". America sees nothing wrong with caring about both Earth and Remnant, but others are unhappy that he likes and feels connected to both worlds. Some try to pressure him into choosing one world over the other and scorn him when he refuses to adhere to what they think is right. America eventually ignores those that want him to choose between one or the other and chooses both; because that's what he wants.
  • Doorstopper: Together, the five installments reach over 760,000 words, not including author's notes.
  • Draw Aggro: Italy shoots a Silver Eyes raging Ruby in the back to draw her attention and distract her from attacking an injured Weiss and Japan. He later does it again to protect all of his friends from Ruby. Since Italy has Intangibility, he has the least risk of getting hurt, so he acts as a distraction despite how terrified he is.
  • Emerald Power:
    • Vale's Aura is green. When it combines with America's it becomes a blue-green shade. America's eyes glow green whenever he uses Vale's Semblance.
    • Ozpin's magic manifests as a green glow.
    • England has green eyes, and is the strongest mage of the nations.
  • For Want of a Nail: Canada kills Cinder at Beacon. Because of this (and other Alternate Universe factors) the villains successfully steal the Relic of Knowledge from Haven Academy. In other terms: Cinder isn't around to want vengeance on Ruby, so the villains succeed.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • For America's Semblance.
      • He fixes Ruby and Yang's gaming console unnaturally quickly.
      • The lights flicker when he is upset at England.
      • He hot-wires a car instantly, with Italy commenting how fast he was able to do it.
      • He touches an Atlesian Knight and briefly sees Watts's hacker symbol, then guesses a virus is the reason why they turned against the Huntsmen.
      • The Aura transfer machine works after being damaged.
      • A Scroll that has been exposed to the elements for years miraculously turns on when he becomes frustrated.
      • Japan's number is already in America's new phone despite him never putting it there.
      • America reactivates Canada's email after it was deactivated.
      • It's hinted he subconsciously hacks the video game he and Australia were playing. The last incident makes him test himself and he finally discovers he's a Technopath.
    • For Adam's identity as Menagerie:
      • It's implied (and later confirmed) he recognizes France is a nation and has a connection with nations.
      • Salem says Menagerie is on their side.
      • Tyrian says Menagerie told them France is Vacuo.
      • Qrow says he's heard Menagerie is a "violent piece of work."
      • In Blake's dream flashback, Adam goes to meet with Atlas and is betrayed. He also talks about being responsible for the lives of the Faunus of Menagerie. Blake assumes he is talking about his position as a commander in the White Fang but in reality he's talking about how he's a nation.
    • For the kindly doctor's real identity as Doctor Polendina:
      • He is described as having balding, white hair and a beard.
      • He was brought into the Vale project because of his expertise in Aura science.
      • Atlas threatened Penny when he objected to America's vivisection.
      • He is a roboticist.
      • He created the Atlesian Knights and gave them to the military in exchange for the funds to research and create something. note  He also says he will never regret it with a soft look.
      • He has green eyes, just like his robotic daughter.
    • America wears an eyepatch over his green eye while on Earth. It gives him practice when he is blinded in that eye due to Salem's attack on Frontier.
    • For Blake's death:
      • Yang tells Blake that she does not need her protection. Blake dies protecting Yang when Yang had Aura and Blake had none.
      • Penny mentions it is doubtful all of them will survive the war. Right after saying that, she looks at Blake.
      • Weiss worries Winter or someone in Team RWBY may die. Blake promises they won't.
  • Forced to Watch:
    • In a flashback, the Atlas scientists hook Canada up to machines that track his vitals and force him to watch America's vivisection.
    • Polendina makes America watch a recording of Penny's death during the Tournament. He puts the recording on repeat and leaves.
  • Forgot About His Powers: Justified. The nations only had their Auras activated recently and discovered their Semblances after that, so they often forget about their new abilities and fall back on the mundane combat capabilities they have used for hundreds of years.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity:
    • Yang is manipulated into attacking Alfred (who she hallucinated as Neo) on live TV, beating him before shooting him in the stomach and painting herself as a murderous, violent monster. This causes a barkeep and other travelers to fear and mistrust Yang. Last they knew she was sitting in jail awaiting trial, so they believe she is running to Mistral's criminal underground to escape justice. With Jaune, Nora, and Ren as her team, Yang uses her "criminal past" to get into Kuchinashi to look for Neo without raising suspicion.
    • Many people on Remnant hate, fear, or shun Pyrrha because they think she wanted to win the Vytal Festival Tournament so badly she purposely killed Penny. Some civilians also blame her for kickstarting the fall of Beacon. It's so bad the passengers on the airship get the crew to kick Pyrrha off, to RNJR and the nations' disgust. Pyrrha wears a hoodie in an attempt to stop people from recognizing her due to this.
  • Hypocrite:
    • England berates Russia for taking advantage of America's amnesia, trust, and naivety to trick him into activating Russia's Aura. England does the exact same thing when he attempts to coerce America into agreeing to a ritual that would sever his connection with Vale's people.
    • Blake is angry Sun kept his identity as Vacuo a secret despite Blake doing something similar when she wore a bow, pretended not to be a Faunus (or the daughter of the former leader of the White Fang), and kept her past a secret from her team. Yang calls her out on it.
  • I Want Them Alive: America has Vale's Aura, and is the only one who can reach and unlock the Relic of Choice. Salem orders her forces to bring him in alive for this reason. Seeing how her non-Grimm forces primarily consist of sadists and sociopaths, (who would happily torture or experiment on America given the chance) she needs to emphasize this point to avoid any unfortunate accidents.
  • In Spite of a Nail: Despite the nations' presence on Remnant, Pyrrha still kills Penny, Ozpin is killed by Cinder and reincarnates in Oscar's body, and Beacon still falls.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia:
    • America and Canada can't remember how they ended up on Remnant. Justified. See below.
    • Canada's Semblance is a weaponized version of this. He can target and erase the memories of someone by touching them and used this ability to erase his and America's memories of the lab.
  • Locked Out of the Loop:
    • RWBY and JNPR are completely unaware that their new friends are nations from another world. At the end of The Shattered Soul Pyrrha finds out the truth the hard way.
      • The others finally find out at the end of The Depths of Deception.
    • Of the Mistral group, only Canada and Qrow know about the twins being Mantle and Vale until chapter 11 of The Shattered Soul.
    • The nations who were not involved in the Remnant rescue are completely unaware of Remnant's existence and everything that entails (including the existence of Aura and Grimm). So far, Romano and China are the only outsiders who have been told the truth. Until Grimm appear on Earth outside the World Conference.
  • Mercy Kill:
  • My God, What Have I Done?:
    • Yang when she sees she attacked Alfred and shot him.
    • Canada when he realizes killing Cinder sent all of Vale's Aura to his brother.
    • Canada is horrified after he strikes America in a fit of rage. The blow is hard enough that his target is knocked off his feet and is left with a huge bruise. Canada's expression says it all.
  • Named Weapons:
    • America calls his bat "Cobalt Striker". Canada's hockey stick is called "Maple Frost".
    • Played for Laughs. Prussia insists that Germany needs to name his ahlspiess semi-automatic rifle. Germany doesn't see why that is necessary, much to Prussia's horror.
    • Prussia's glaive-sniper rifle, arming sword is named "Rapunzel".
  • The Needs of the Many: Ironwood and Atlas (Ciel)'s justification for abducting and experimenting on the twins and Ozpin's group's justification for having America accept the remainder of Vale's Aura. In The Shattered Soul the nations and most of JNPRR disagree and call foul, the latter because they think human experimentation is wrong regardless of the reason and the former because Atlas' actions put millions of more lives at risk on Earth, making their actions less this and more like Utopia Justifies the Means.
  • Never Was This Universe: A case of Never Was The Canon Verse. The plot of Weight of the World sticks close enough to canon that readers may believe the series will vaguely follow it. However, the story veers off into an original plot and completely detaches from canon after The Shattered Soul. What seals the deal is how Remnant's history does not follow RWBY canon's note  and there is no specific divergence point from canon. Case in point it was Salem who destroyed the moon, not the God of Darkness, and Ozpin and Salem's origins and backstories are completely different.
  • No-Sell:
    • America and Canada are completely immune to Emerald's Semblance.
    • Silver Eyes can't disintegrate something they can't touch, as Italy discovers.
    • The robotic Penny is immune to Watts's paralyzing Semblance.
  • Not in This for Your Revolution: England, France, Russia, Germany, Prussia, Italy and Japan's only goal is to find America and Canada and go home. England is the most vocal about how little he cares about Remnant's war against Salem.
  • Pyrrhic Victory:
    • Weight of the World: Cinder is dead and Pyrrha survived but Beacon is overrun by Grimm and the rest of Vale's Aura went to America, making him lose his memories.
    • The Depths of Deception: The heroes on Remnant save Haven from the White Fang and Team RWBY reunites but they lose the Relic of Knowledge to Salem.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • Yang is arrested for assaulting Alfred in the middle of the Fairgrounds and putting countless civilians in danger. Ozpin cannot pull strings to get her out of jail because of the public outcry and bad publicity that would result.
    • Just because your world is overcome by monsters doesn't mean another world will accept being dragged into your war.
    • The Atlas-rescue team only has a single, small cargo shuttle to their name. They are on a time-sensitive mission and do not have the supplies or means to assist the displaced people of Mantle. Nor do they have the means to contact other ships for support. Not that it matters since the people of Mantle were long dead by the time they arrive.
    • Ozpin's habit of keeping vital information to himself comes to bite him. His secret-keeping damages the nations', RWBY, and JNPR's trust in him, preventing them from telling him that Sun is Vacuo.
    • The Vytal Festival Tournament is broadcast everywhere on Remnant. That means the watchers can learn what the future Huntsmen and Huntresses' Semblances are; Watchers which include villains and criminals.
    • Being the key to unlock a magical artifact sucks. America is ruthlessly hunted by people from all sides who want to use him to reach the Relic in Beacon. The stress of his situation weighs down on him to the point where he's beginning to consider himself as nothing more than a prize to be fought over. He knows that Ozpin, Atlas, and Salem do not care about him as a person, only the power he carries.
    • America does not forgive Ironwood for what he has done. A few instances of assistance and kindness does not erase months of torture, abuse, and trauma.
    • People can't protect something when they don't know they are meant to protect something, or that the thing even exists as shown when the inhabitants of Shade Academy let Emerald and Watts walk out with the Relic of Destruction.
    • One talk and some encouragement will not make someone recover from depression.
  • Rewatch Bonus: There's foreshadowing galore for the existence of Remnant nation-tans, America being Vale, Canada being Mantle, Ironwood's involvement, England's arrival on Remnant, Pyrrha's survival, Canada's Semblance, America's Semblance, Adam's identity as Menagerie, and Blake's death.
  • Running Gag:
    • America waking up Canada in the morning by tipping his mattress on top of him.
    • Canada defeating Yang in Remnant: The Game.
  • Sadistic Choice:
    • No matter what America chooses to do with Vale's Aura, millions of people will suffer. In the end, the choice is taken from him anyway.
    • Ruby has to choose between going to Haven and possibly saving the Relic (leaving Yang, Jaune, Ren, and Nora to die at Roman's hands) or saving her friends and risking the Relic's retrieval at the hands of Salem's forces. She chooses to save her sister and friends.
  • Save Both Worlds: Towards the end of The Depths of Deception Grimm invade Earth, pulling them into the conflict against Salem. Now the heroes have to save both Remnant and Earth from human-hunting monsters.
  • Secret Keeper:
    • Of the nation-tans back on Earth, Australia is the only one aware of England and company's mission to bring back America and Canada from Remnant, and that Remnant exists at all.
    • During The Depths of Deception, only the nations who went to Remnant (plus Australia and Pyrrha) know about America's amnesia and that America and Canada were abducted by soldiers from another world.
  • Series Fic: It consists of five fics altogether.
  • Shout-Out:
    • America's fight with the Beowolves is reminiscent of the Red Trailer. He also calls Ozpin "The Wizard of Oz", compares him to Dumbledore, and references Order 66 when the Atlesian Knights turn on the Huntsmen.
    • The title of Weight of the World comes from lyrics in "When It Falls", the opening to Volume 3.
    • America uses Professor X as an example of a hero with memory-erasing powers.
  • Sibling Seniority Squabble: The twins' IDs on Remnant claim Canada is three days older than America, much to the latter's dismay. Canada is rather smug about it.
  • Slashed Throat:
    • How France kills his guards this way with Winter's rapier.
    • France kills Tyrian this way. He also stabs him through the chest to make sure he stays down.
    • Emerald slashes Canada's throat with the Relic of Destruction and leaves him to die. He survives because of the Grimm parasite in his body.
  • Sliding Scale of Unavoidable vs. Unforgivable: Discussed. Does saving Vale (Amber) and keeping her Aura out of Salem's hands justify the abduction, imprisonment and experimentation of America and Canada, which threatened billions more lives on a previously uninvolved world? The audience, characters, and the narrative say "No.": Atlas's actions are unforgivable. On the more unavoidable side, Ozpinati cannot do anything but finish what Atlas started.
  • Spared by the Adaptation:
    • Pyrrha and Roman survive the Battle of Beacon. Roman falls off the airship before a Griffon can eat him and Pyrrha is saved by Canada and Prussia.
    • The Atlas Pilot survives the Lancer fight because the airship doesn't crash.
  • Split-Personality Takeover: After Remnant nation-tans are reborn and reach a certain age, they'll remember who they really are and their nation memories and personality will take over, presumably erasing the human personality they had before. If the human identity is different enough, at most the nation-tan will get two Semblances for that life. This is confirmed by Neo when she dismisses the idea of Alfred's "human identity" surviving the merge with Vale.
  • Swiss Army Weapon: Per the RWBY norm, both America and Canada get these. America uses a pump-action shotgun bayonet-baseball bat and Canada wields a high-caliber sniper rifle hockey stick with a bladed blade.
    • America builds transforming weapons for other nations as well.
      • Japan: Katana, revolver.
      • France: saber, glock pistol.
      • Prussia: glaive, sniper rifle, arming sword.
      • Italy: Arming sword, pistol.
      • Germany: ahlspiess, semi-automatic rifle.
      • Russia: axe, sub-machine gun.
      • Romano: Roman scissor, shield, pump action rifle.
      • China: Dual Tonfas, shotguns.
      • Australia: boomerang, daggers, automatic pistols.
  • Symbolic Mutilation: Two Wide Eyed Idealists, Ruby and America, are blinded in one eye. He regains his sight when Vale dies in a Heroic Sacrifice.
  • The Empath: All nations have a limited empathic connection with their people where they can get a sense of the moods of the general populace. This connection takes a toll on America, particularly when he is in Woodland, Vale (where almost everyone is suffering due to the fall of Beacon).
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech:
    • Yang gives a vicious and well-deserved one to Blake about her abandonment of Team RWBY.
    • Atlas gets an epic one from England about how her actions will cause her people (the people responsible for her very existence) to turn against her. He rakes her over the coals for what she did to his brothers and concludes that she will fail to resurrect because of everything she did, and she only has herself to blame.
    • America calls Ozpin out for being a coward when he tries to convince him to let him put him to sleep before sacrificing him.
  • The Reveal:
    • Remnant has nation-tans. Thanks to experimentation at the hands of Atlas, Canada is Mantle and America has part of Amber (Vale)'s Aura.
    • Canada erased his and America's memories of the lab with his Semblance.
    • America's Semblance is Technopathy.
    • Ozpin sent Summer on a mission to kill Salem despite knowing Summer would die according to Raven.
    • Adam is Menagerie.
    • The ritual severs a nation's connection with their people, leaving them lost.
    • Doctor Polendina is the one trying to capture America, not Salem or Atlas. He succeeds.
    • Silver Eyes cause the S.E.W. to go berserk while using them. The Warriors attack anyone around them; Grimm, foe, or friend.
    • One of the reasons Ozpin didn't let Ruby go to Kuchinashi is because he was afraid of what might happen if one of her friends died in front of her (or she saw something terrible in the city), causing her to use Silver Eyes.
    • Sun Wukong is Vacuo.
    • America has been getting "random" nosebleeds and other pains because the Kingdom of Vale is dying and taking him with it.
  • Trauma Button:
    • After America is shot at by a mugger, he remembers his capture by Atlas soldiers and later being shot by Ironwood to show the twins they now have Aura. He makes a joke about the incident conveniently unlocking the memory but is obviously upset and shaken by it.
    • Calling America naive or an idiot has become one for him as well. Vale constantly berates him with such insults, and when France calls him "a naive idiot", America grows noticeably quiet, uncertain, and passive.
    • Calling France "Vacuo" makes him Freak Out because of Atlas's attempts to brainwash him into believing he was Vacuo.
  • Trauma Conga Line: The series is no picnic for America. He was captured, experimented on, and vivisected by Atlas. Vale's Aura is forced into him piece by piece in a painful and torturous fashion and he is greatly burdened by his unwanted responsibility to save the world. Yang beats him up and shoots him with not a single person stepping in to help him. He is Mind Raped by Vale for weeks and wakes up with amnesia. He travels with criminals who pretend to be his friend but then betray and almost murder him. Raven then slits his throat. Then he is taken hostage by Tyrian and Emerald. England almost tricks him into performing a ritual that would doom Vale's people and he flees... only to be captured once more and whisked back to Remnant. There he is kept in captivity, tortured, and scarred by Polendina's men, betrayed by Penny 2.0, note  nearly drugged into a coma, and tortured more by Atlas. All of this has America teetering on the edge of a Despair Event Horizon, with him suffering multiple breakdowns throughout the series as he slowly crumbles under the pressure.
  • The X of Y: With the exception of The Shattered Soul, all of the books have this naming convention: Weight of the World, The Depths of Deception, The Atrocities of Atlas, and The Charlatan of Choice.
  • War from Another World: The people of Remnant have been at war with Salem and her Grimm for millennia. Atlas discovers Earth's existence and secretly sends spies to the planet to see if its people and resources can be useful to their side. Years later, Doctor Polendina tells Salem about Earth's existence. Salem wants to kill any and all potential hosts for Ozpin, so she sends hordes of her Grimm to Earth, including Spawner-types. As the Grimm threat rises, some parties consider using nuclear weapons on Remnant in order to kill the Grimm at their source and save their world.
  • Wham Line:
    • From Weight of the World:
    Ozpin: You are not walking away. You are going to sit down, and you are going to tell me the truth, General Ironwood. What did you do to Amber? What did you do to my Kingdom? What did you do to Vale?!
    • From The Shattered Soul:
    Canada: The things that erased our memories... was my Semblance. I'm the reason we forgot everything. It was me.
    • From The Depths of Deception:
    Raven: Ozpin is the reason Summer Rose died.
    "And you are going to bring. Her. Back." Doctor Polendina snarled.
    • From The Atrocities of Atlas:
    "This device will remove part of your Aura and place it in my body." Polendina said casually. "That way I can use your Semblance myself. I'm not certain if you will go into a permanent coma like Vale, but considering your regenerative abilities you should recover just fine."
    America stared at the gauntlet, heart in his throat. Oh yes, he'd recover just fine from having his soul ripped apart.
    Mission: Protect Alfred F. Jones.
    Sun Wukong: I'm Vacuo.
    Amber/Vale: (to America) Vale— my Kingdom— is dying. And you're dying with it.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • England calls out Qrow for Atlas's experimentation on Canada and America and how Ozpinati handled Vale's situation in general. Specifically he mentions how they pretended America had a choice on whether to take the Aura or not when in reality that choice was nonexistent. England goes on to point out America's choice was taken from him the moment Ironwood put him in the Aura transfer machine. Although Qrow did not take part in the initial experiments, Ozpinati's (albeit reluctant) acceptance of Atlas and Ironwood's actions and agreement to finish the transfer for the good of Remnant disgusts everyone present.
    • Japan then calls out Qrow for manipulating the group into going to Mistral and accuses him of using Canada as bait, something Qrow does not deny. His laid-back and unapologetic attitude about the whole thing only makes the nations and a majority of JNPRR infuriated with him, with many seeing him as untrustworthy.
    • Germany berates the nations of the Anti-Grimm Taskforce for not bothering to help Austria when he was taken by a Holo!Grimm in their first battle simulation. Seeing as how the purpose of that simulation was to make sure no one was taken, they failed.
    • Prussia lays into the nations of the Anti-Grimm Taskforce again after the fight with the Phoenix Grimm. He chews them out for acting foolishly in battle, fighting over who got to land the killing blow, and not working together to defeat an enemy that could cause wildfires and was threatening a small town.
    • America calls out Ozpin for taking over Oscar's body while they were in the middle of a mundane conversation. He also confronts Ozpin for isolating Oscar and focusing only on defeating Salem instead of trying to save people along the way.
    • Pyrrha blows up at Ruby after she blames Alfred for Blake and Qrow's deaths. Pyrrha tells Ruby that although she is allowed to grieve, blaming Alfred is childish and nonsensical since Blake died saving Yang, and Salem is to blame for both her and Qrow's deaths. Pyrrha also calls out Ruby for her hypocrisy since she is trying to blame Alfred for Blake's death when Ruby never blamed Pyrrha for Penny's. She berates Ruby out for lashing out at the victim and tells her to deal with her grief in ways that don't hurt her friends. Pyrrha then declares she won't let their friendships fall apart because Ruby is being an ass before storming off to cool down.

    Weight of the World 

Weight of the World contains examples of:

  • A Tragedy of Impulsiveness: If Ruby didn't jump into the fight between Japan and Neo (which Japan was winning) she wouldn't have lost an eye and fallen unconscious, leaving her Silver Eyes dormant and the Grimm Dragon circling Beacon.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Yang calls America "Sky-Eyes" and Canada "Emperor Curly".
  • America Saves the Day: Deconstructed. America is expected to (and wants to be) the Hero and save Remnant by accepting the rest of Vale's Aura and keeping it from Cinder, but doing so would put his own people at risk of losing their personification. Having the fates of two worlds resting on his shoulders leads to him having a breakdown and claiming he doesn't want to be a hero.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: At first, Weiss doesn't accept that a Semblance capable of messing with minds is possible when Jaune suggests it but she quickly comes around and considers it. Played straight with Ironwood, who dismisses Penny when she brings up such a possibility.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: Canada and America during the breach.
  • Bash Brothers: Again, Canada and America.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Canada wakes up from unconsciousness in time to save America from an Alpha.
  • Brutal Honesty: Qrow goes for this approach when telling America the risks of accepting the rest of Vale's Aura.
  • Bystander Syndrome: When Yang beats up America while under the influence of Emerald's Semblance, none of the present Academy students or civilians step in to stop her and help him. They all stand by and watch. This is especially noteworthy since all of the students have Aura and could have intervened with a low risk of getting hurt. A man interviewed by the news calls them out for their inaction, and other interviewees express dismay and disgust at the students' lack of interference.
  • Cassandra Truth: RWBY refuses to believe Emerald was the one who tried to pickpocket America.
  • Death by Adaptation: Cinder.
  • Death of Personality: What America fears will happen if he agrees to do the transfer and receive Vale's remaining Aura. He loses his memories.
  • Deconstruction: Of Yang's Blood Knight and Hair-Trigger Temper tendencies. Because of them, the villains are able to trick her into attacking Alfred on live TV.
  • Delirious Misidentification: Using her Semblance, Emerald makes Yang believe Alfred is Neo. Yang attacks him and would have killed him if not for his Healing Factor and Immortality.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Chapter two: The guards mention there was a "freak snowstorm" shortly before the twins arrive.
    • Chapter four: America is wary of Cinder and knows she's a villain but cannot recall why. Canada is similarly wary because Cinder threatened Mantle.
    • Chapter six: America and Canada know Remnant's history.
    • Chapter seven: Cardin tries to shove Alfred into a locker. He fails. Jaune and Pyrrha succeed.
    • Chapter eight:
      Yang: Continue that sentence and I'll punch you in the gut so hard you won't wake up until the end of the Vytal Festival.
    • Chapter twelve: America records a message for Canada in the Vault.
  • Frying Pan of Doom: The Shopkeep threatens to confront Ozpin with a wok when he finds out his workers (Canada and America) were kept in police custody for hours after helping with the breach.
  • Gut Punch: Literally. Yang shoots "Neo" in the abdomen, but it's really Alfred.
  • Ignore The Fanservice: Justified. Coco blatantly flirts with America and Canada, looks them over, and calls them "cuties", much to Velvet's embarrassment. America doesn't care and continues on with his conversation, while Canada turns red and covers his face. The scene is in Blake's POV and she believes America is oblivious to the flirting, but he is actually Asexual and has no interest in flirting.
  • Innocently Insensitive: Canada and Japan when America tries to tell them about Vale. They don't know the consequences and end up sounding like they are encouraging him to sacrifice himself.
  • Lampshade Hanging: For the invoked Captain Obvious Reveal that Blake is a Faunus. Canada, America and all the other nations immediately know Blake is a Faunus upon meeting her. Even the least observant of them can see it. Canada's internal dialogue comments on how Blake's bow does nothing to hide her twitching ears.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: This habit causes Ruby to lose an eye.
  • Limited-Use Magical Device: The Earth nations' portal necklaces can only be used once, and only to return to Earth.
  • Loose Lips: Ruby lets slip that Penny doesn't need to sleep (because she's a robot). She awkwardly covers it up with comments on how "Of course everyone needs sleep" and "Normal people eat food." The others have more pressing matters to think about so they dismiss her slip-up.
  • Not So Stoic:
    • Ozpin shouts when interrogating Ironwood about Amber.
    • Japan is shaking, teary-eyed and visibly angry when America is shot by Yang.
  • Off with His Head!: Canada beheads Cinder.
  • Properly Paranoid: Canada is wary of Atlas and their robot soldiers. Atlas abducted him and America and when they escaped, sent their robots to retrieve the twins, massacring a village in the process.
  • Psychological Projection: When Weiss meets Arthur and realizes he wants Alfred and Matthew to leave Beacon, he reminds her of her father and worries about the twins being forced to leave against their will. She sharply defends their right to stay at Beacon and mistrusts Arthur for a while after.
  • Teleport Interdiction: Invoked. Only the nations can shatter the magic necklaces that will teleport them back to Earth. England and Tony purposely made them that way no one else can use them.
  • Title Drop: Ironwood says the title as part of his chant to activate Canada and America's Auras.
    Ironwood: For it is in passing that we achieve immortality. Through this, we become a paragon of strength and power to shield others from the weight of the world. Infinite in potential and unbound by fate, I release your soul, and for my Kingdom, give this burden to thee.
  • Twin Telepathy: Ruby wonders if Matthew and Alfred have this. They don't, much to her disappointment.
  • Underestimating Badassery: Emerald underestimates the quiet and unassuming Matthew Williams. She gets her butt soundly kicked in a spar.
  • Video Wills: America records one for Canada in Amber's Vault in case he does not survive the Aura transfer. In it he asks Canada to pass on messages to his friends, tells his family he loves them, apologizes for "leaving", and tearfully admits he's terrified of possibly dying. Canada finds the message after America goes missing.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Emerald uses her Semblance to make a little girl walk in front of a truck to see if America is immune to her hallucinations.

    The Shattered Soul 

The Shattered Soul contains examples of:

  • Aloof Ally: England tries to be this to JNPRR. Whether he has grown attached to them or not remains to be seen. He hasn't.
  • Amnesiacs Are Innocent: More like "Amnesiacs are Too Trusting." Poor Alfred...
  • Amnesiac Hero: America/Alfred.
  • Amnesiac Resonance: Alfred remembers how to fight, what Grimm are, and other common skills from America and Vale. He's getting back memories from both of them too.
  • Blood from the Mouth: Prussia coughs up purple blood thanks to Tyrian's poison.
  • Death Faked for You: Qrow tells RNJR that Alfred, Matthew, Pyrrha, and the others died in the exploding building. He didn't see them survive, but he knows the nations had a way to return to Earth and could not be killed so they must have succeeded in going home. He chooses not to inform RNJR to keep those that would hunt Alfred/America/Vale in the dark about his location and survival.
  • Dull Eyes of Unhappiness: Alfred has them when he is held hostage by Emerald and Tyrian.
  • Dwindling Party: Non-lethal version. One by one, the nations are returned to Earth, leaving RNJR behind thinking they and Pyrrha are dead.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: When their lies are discovered, Roman, Mercury, and Neo attack Alfred, rob him, shoot him, and leave him to die in Grimm-infested woods. Ouch.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Raven doesn't understand why Alfred refuses to join a group of murderous bandits in exchange for protection.
  • Exact Words: England says Italy, Prussia, Germany, and Russia are "gone" and "no longer in this world". Ruby assumes he means they're dead and England doesn't correct her. Seeing as how he is planning to leave the instant he grabs America, it's Justified.
  • Extreme Mêlée Revenge: A villain hands out one. Alfred cuts Roman's face during their fight. Roman beats him up while he's down and Auraless, ranting all the while about how they were never his friend and he is just leverage to them. He doesn't stop until Mercury tells him enough.
  • Face Death with Dignity: Alfred. Twice. Being immortal, he doesn't die either time. Not that he knew that.
  • False Friend: Neo, Roman, and Mercury to an amnesiac America. Emerald to Ruby.
  • From Bad to Worse: Where to begin? Kuroyuri is on fire, half the heroes are fighting Tyrian and Emerald, the Nuckelavee arrives in town and Ren charges in recklessly to fight it, dozens if not hundreds of Grimm are attracted to the fight, Prussia is unconscious and helpless, and Germany is injured defending Italy.
  • Identical Twin Mistake: Salem's forces mistake Canada for America aka Vale, their target.
  • I'll Kill You!: England screams this at Qrow when he finds out about America's possible Death of Personality.
  • Kick Them While They Are Down: Roman and Neo do this to Alfred, with the former pummeling him to a bloody pulp until Mercury stops him.
  • Let's Split Up, Gang: JNPRR and the nations separate, with Ren, Nora, Japan, Italy, and Russia heading to Mistral while Canada, France, Ruby, England, Jaune, Pyrrha, Germany, and Prussia go to Kuroyuri. The Mistral group is forced to rush to Kuroyuri because the Nuckelavee is headed there.
  • Lured into a Trap: Vale was set up by Mistral/Neo and attacked on the road by bandits.
  • Madness Mantra: Emerald hasn't taken Cinder's death well.
    Emerald: (To Canada) You killed her. You killed her. You killed her.
  • Merger of Souls: Happens to America and Vale/Amber, causing them to lose their memories. It's unclear if it is permanent or not.
  • Mind Rape: Desperate to survive, Vale/Amber does this to America, intent on destroying his soul. It is described much like a physical beating or assault. America is trapped inside his soul as Vale attacks him, crushing him, smothering him, tearing him apart, and driving her soul into the cracks in an attempt to obliterate his. He tries to fight back by focusing on his loved ones and everything that makes him himself, slowly pushing her out but Vale forces herself back in and makes him feel like he is being stabbed with red-hot spears among other tortures. She only stops when America calls her Amber and she can no longer go through with destroying him.
  • Mistaken Identity: The villains believe Canada is Vale. They also believe that France is Vacuo.
  • Monochromatic Eyes: Alfred briefly gains green ones when he summons lightning and flames to burn Kuroyuri to the ground.
  • Not Enough to Bury: Appears to happen to the nations and Pyrrha. In reality, they are transported to Earth using England's portal necklaces.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Alfred has this reaction when he comprehends he has found a criminals' stash of stolen Dust.
    • Alfred has it again when he exits the building and runs into Tyrian and Emerald.
    • France responds this way when Emerald and Tyrian think he's Vacuo.
  • Personality Powers: The story takes Canada's Forgettable Character Running Gag and makes it into a memory-erasing Semblance.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Ruby, Jaune, Nora, Ren, and Pyrrha are completely in the dark about Matthew, Alfred, and their friends' identities as nations from another world. When the nations and Pyrrha are seemingly blown up RNJR believe their friends are dead and needlessly grieve. Qrow's insistence that they move on and refusal to give RNJR more information damages the trust Jaune has in him and Ozpin.
  • Power-Strain Blackout: Ruby falls unconscious after using Silver Eyes for the first time.
  • Silly Rabbit, Idealism Is for Kids!: Though they admire her for her optimism, the nations quickly grow weary of Ruby's idealism and blind trust in Qrow.
  • Tranquil Fury: Alfred remembers England pointing a gun at him during the Revolution. The latest "betrayal" sends him into this and he starts burning Kuroyuri to the ground.
  • Traumatic Superpower Awakening: Ruby activates her Silver Eyes when she believes Pyrrha, Matthew, Alfred, and the other nations are dead.
  • Was It All a Lie?:
    • Ruby wonders this about her and Emerald's friendship.
    • Said nearly word for word by Alfred during Neo, Roman, and Mercury's betrayal.
Advertisement:

    The Depths of Deception 

The Depths of Deception contains examples of:

  • All for Nothing: The Kuchinashi mission was pointless. Salem's forces found Mistral first so Yang's group entered Kuchinashi and were captured for nothing. Not only that, but their absence from the City of Mistral means Salem's forces get the Relic of Knowledge and kill Neo/Mistral.
  • Bloody Handprint: In Pyrrha's nightmare, Dream!America leaves a trail of bloody fingerprints on the glass of the Aura transfer machine as he dies.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Adam turns the Faunus Blake brought to fight him against each other. It's unclear if this is only due to his Semblance or something more.
  • Canon Character All Along: The kindly doctor seen in the flashbacks is actually Penny's creator, Doctor Polendina.
  • Cover-Blowing Superpower: During the fight with the Karkadann Grimm England warns America not to use Vale's Semblance because doing so will confirm to Salem that he is indeed Vale. He is forced to use his powers to end the fight and what England fears comes to pass.
  • Cynicism Catalyst: Downplayed Neo, Roman, and Mercury's betrayal, Raven's murder of him, his vague memories of Yang's attack, and England's apparent "betrayal" all lead to America being much more wary and slower to trust than before.
  • The Dog Was the Mastermind: It wasn't Atlas or Salem who orchestrated the America's second abduction. It was the kindly doctor aka Doctor Polendina.
  • Fake Defector: In order to find Neo/Mistral in Kuchinashi, Yang, Jaune, Nora, and Ren pretend to defect from Ozpin's side and search for employment in Torchwick's gang.
  • Fed to the Beast: Summer's fate. According to Raven, she was devoured by a horde of Grimm while Salem's forces watched.
  • Humans Are Flawed: France acknowledges that humanity could benefit from having Aura and Semblances, but knows many would use those powers for their own gain and to hurt others, and the emergence of such abilities could cause wars and other problems.
  • I Have Your Brother: In the Atlas lab, Ironwood forces America to comply with his demands by threatening Canada. Specifically, Canada will be punished if America acts up, and if Canada becomes "irrelevant" to the scientists' research, Ironwood will give him to them.
  • Internal Reveal: Jaune learns Neo is Mistral.
  • Irony: Everyone is worried about Salem and Atlas going after America for Vale's Aura and his ability to retrieve the Relic of Choice in Beacon's Vault. It turns out Polendina is after America because of America's own Aura and Semblance, not Vale's.
  • Killed Mid-Sentence: The scientist and assistant that vivisected America are both shot by Ironwood; The former while ranting about Atlas' refusal to use the nations for study, and the latter while begging for his life.
  • Leonine Contract: Upon awakening after being dissected in the previous flashback, America makes a deal with Ironwood and his forces that he will be completely compliant in their experiments in exchange for Canada's (relative) safety, promising to willingly offer up his organs for study when the scientists want them. America was already their prisoner, and at this point all he can do is try to prevent his brother from suffering the same pain he did.
  • Lured into a Trap: Yang, Jaune, Nora, and Ren meet with Roman but are betrayed and captured. Yang suspects it might be a trap beforehand but this is their only chance to find Neo in time. Too bad Salem's group already has her.
  • Manipulative Bastard: England tries to manipulate America into doing a ritual that would sever his connection with Vale's people, thus taking away those people's national identity and leaving them scattered and lost. He does this by claiming the ritual would simply sever the connection that is causing America pain. America finds out the truth and is deeply hurt.
  • Not What It Looks Like: America remembers England pointing a gun at him during the Revolution, but none of the context. He believes it is yet another betrayal. England's retort that they were at war does nothing to convince America otherwise.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: Literally. It's revealed that Russia teleported back to Earth off-screen because he landed on his necklace when the Nuckelavee threw him.
  • Playing with Syringes: After America has a nightmare, Canada confirms that the twins' regenerative abilities were tested by the Atlesian scientists, including "testing how long it took [them] to heal from grievous injuries". America has a flashback to one such procedure in chapter thirteen and another in chapter twenty-one.
  • Power Incontinence: Canada isn't sure how to activate his Semblance and keeps accidentally erasing people's memories. It is implied he might also be erasing and manipulating his own memories without knowing it. As a result, he fears he will never be able to control his memory-erasing Semblance.
  • The Promise: Ruby and Jaune promise not to keep any secrets from each other or their teams, even if Ozpinati insists they do.
  • Questionable Consent:
    • A non-sexual and non-romantic example. Throughout his therapy session America uncomfortably defends Atlas and Ozpinati's decisions concerning him and Vale. The therapist mentions it sounds like America was coerced and pressured into consenting to the Aura transfer. America comes to realize he had never had choice on whether or not to become Vale in the first place since the process was already started, so in the end his "choice" was inconsequential.
      America: I said yes to them. I gave my consent. I mean, I didn't want to, and I didn't really have another choice but I said yes.
    • In another non-sexual and non-romantic instance, England attempts to trick America into participating in a ritual that would sever his connection with Vale's people. Not only is America amnesiac and unaware of the intricacies of what a personification does and is, but England purposely keeps the ritual's true purpose from him, stopping Norway from explaining the truth. England takes advantage of America's naivety and trust because he knows America would never agree to the ritual if he knew what it actually did.
  • Secretly Dying: Due to Mantle's deterioration, Canada is slowly freezing to death with the doomed city. He hides it from everyone in an attempt to keep them from worrying and "wasting their time" attempting to help him, which angers Cuba when he finds out. Cuba says Canada's friends would rather waste their time trying to save him than unknowingly stand by and do nothing as he dies. England saves him by using the ritual.
  • Small Steps Hero: Ruby chooses to save Yang, Jaune, Nora, and Ren instead of the Relic. She declares she will not sacrifice more people she cares about for the world.
  • Stalker Without a Crush: Greenlee (an Atlas soldier) follows America and takes pictures of him on Atlas' orders. note 
  • Strapped to an Operating Table: America has a flashback to his and Canada's time in the lab in Atlas where he is paralyzed with a drug, restrained, and dissected to test his Healing Factor. He understandably freaks out.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: Romano claims he did not give America energy drinks when Canada mentioned no such thing, all while America bounces around the room on a sugar high.
  • There Are No Therapists: Averted. America and Canada go to therapy and the therapist tells Pyrrha his door is open to her as well.
  • These Hands Have Killed: Yang is upset after killing invading rival criminals while working for Torchwick's gang. The criminals didn't stand a chance against her and Nora and the girls could easily have subdued them, but there was no way for the team to let them go without compromising their cover.
  • Took a Level in Cynic: America is much less trusting than he used to be.
  • Was Too Hard on Him: Deconstructed. England is cold, disapproving, and snappish towards the amnesiac America when America's only "crime" is he wants to get to know the brother he forgot. This consistently harsh attitude eventually makes America retreat in tears and blame himself for everything that happened to him. Canada and Pyrrha call England out for his attitude and he realizes he is angry at himself for not being there to help America when his brother needed him most. He stops taking his anger out on America and does his best to accept America as he is by acting like his older brother once more.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: Flashbacks reveal Adam used to be one.
  • The World Is Not Ready: The reason given why America and Pyrrha are told not to activate anyone's Aura, no matter what. Earth doesn't have Grimm, so humanity would use their superhuman abilities against each other. It is also why the nations in the know are keeping Remnant's existence to themselves. Many of the other nations and their bosses would want retribution for Atlas abducting and experimenting on two of their own.
  • You Are Too Late: Salem's forces retrieved the Relic of Knowledge three days before RNJRWY-etc. got there, which is also a day before they found out Mistral was in enemy hands. Even if they had left Kuchinashi straight away, they wouldn't have made it in time.

    The Atrocities of Atlas 

The Atrocities of Atlas contains examples of:

  • Abandoned Mine: There is a series of abandoned Dust mines underneath Atlas. They aren't really abandoned and are the location of the Transformation Institute.
  • Aesop Amnesia: Discussed. Yang brings up how Blake always runs from her problems, tries to do things alone, and does not trust her team to defend themselves. Blake protests she has finally changed but Yang doesn't believe her.
  • Antagonist Title: The Atrocities of Atlas is named after Atlas (both the personification and the Kingdom), the antagonists of the book.
  • Apocalypse Anarchy: When footage of the Transformation Institute is revealed to the public, the city immediately falls to chaos. There are looters, Academy students and Huntsmen fight each other over whether the Institute was right or wrong, and soldiers and heat-packing rioters brawl in the streets.
  • Awful Truth: Silver Eyes make Silver-Eyed Warriors go berserk and attack anyone near them. Attack as in disintegrate them from the limbs inward with their Eyes. Ozpin insists that Yang not tell Ruby the truth but she overhears the conversation.
  • Barefoot Captives: America is temporarily removed from Penny's room and allowed to shower. When he gets out he is not given replacement socks or shoes, forcing him to go barefoot on the cold cell floor.
  • Blast Out: The release of footage from the Transformation Institute proves to be the final straw for the unprivileged people of Atlas and they begin rioting in the streets. Once the Atlesian Knights are deactivated, civilians, rebels, and soldiers begin firing upon each other in a massive shootout, with the protagonists caught in the middle.
  • Bound and Gagged: Polendina keeps America chained to Penny 2.0's table and gagged, both to keep him from escaping and in case America can use his Technopath Semblance by speaking. He cannot, but Polendina does not know that and America cannot tell him. Not that Polendina would believe him if he could.
  • Broken Pedestal: The pedestal was already deteriorating beforehand but the reveals about Silver Eyes and Summer's death shatters the remaining trust the nations, RWBY, JNPR, and Sun have in Ozpin. They can no longer deny Ozpin is keeping information from them, and are terrified of the dark secrets he still holds.
  • Create Your Own Hero: Atlas kidnaps and experiments on America and Canada, giving the former Vale's Aura and the latter Mantle's. The twins free her prisoners in the Transformation Institute and kill her, ending her evil reign. Her crimes likely would have gone unnoticed if she did not kidnap two personifications from another world.
  • Cyanide Pill: America creates a ring with poison inside to inject himself with if he is about to be captured. Since he is immortal he cannot die, so the best thing he can do is keep himself unconscious as long as possible. He wonders if Polendina had a cyanide filling in case his "friends" found out about him tricking them both. America uses the ring on Atlas. The cyanide is faulty so it doesn't immediately kill her, though it causes her to vomit and sweat among other nasty symptoms. It eventually finishes the job.
  • Death by Irony: Atlas permanently dies because she hurt the people responsible for her very existence, causing them to turn against her.
  • Dehumanization: Atlas does not view Faunus or the nations and humans of Earth as people. In the latter case, it is to the point where she doesn't believe people of Earth are capable of having Aura, despite clear evidence to the contrary. (i.e. Many Earth personifications have their Auras activated throughout the series, which Atlas knows firsthand.) In other words, Atlas doesn't believe people of Earth have souls.
  • Denied Food as Punishment: Polendina starves America and keeps him in complete discomfort and isolation in order to motivate him to resurrect Penny. America contemplates that he will only be given food when he is too weak to use his Semblance to do what Polendina wants.
  • Do Androids Dream?: Although Penny 2.0's Aura Moderation Module is offline, she appears to be developing emotions and an evolving personality.
  • Easily Forgiven: Subverted. Yang does not forgive Blake for abandoning her team. As she points out, Blake never truly returned to them through her own choice and only ran into them at Haven coincidentally. Yang fully expects Blake to ditch them again, and flatly tells her to at least leave a note next time.
  • Eat the Rich: If a few rioters' rallying cries and reactions to Winter are any indication, the elite of Atlas are being targeted and hunted by the masses.
  • Electric Torture: Atlas tortures Canada with an electric baton. It leaves blackened burns on his body.
  • Elevator Action Sequence: During their battle, America forces Atlas into an elevator into an attempt to get her far enough away from Weiss and Ruby that her Semblance will no longer work on them.
  • Fan Disservice: America is bound, gagged, shirtless, and bent over a table… as he's tortured by an Ax-Crazy soldier who carves "SACRIFICE" into his back. The scene is presented in a way disturbingly comparable to a rape.
  • Fascists' Bed Time: A curfew is in place in Atlas. If anyone is found outside after seven, they are arrested.
  • Flaw Exploitation: Atlas and Watts goad England into attacking them by threatening and insulting America. Atlas tries a similar tactic with Canada by implying the terrible things Ironwood did to his brother. It does not end well for her.
  • Go Mad from the Isolation: Invoked by Polendina to try to break America. America knows Polendina keeps him in isolation with the intent for him to become lonely/desperate enough to activate Penny 2.0. Despite that knowledge and his efforts to remain hopeful, said isolation slowly gets to him enough that he sinks into an apathetic haze, hoping something will happen. He regrets that desire when Polendina finally visits him and leaves a recording of Penny's death behind for him to watch on repeat.
  • Hearing Voices: It turns out the "voice" in America's head is Amber/Vale.
  • Heel–Face Turn:
    • After having a Heel Realization, Ironwood chooses to assist America in rescuing his friends by refraining from shooting him, telling him where his friends are, and giving him the passcodes to get through the Institute, thus turning his back on Atlas. However, he knows he has gone too far to be forgiven by the public and is resigned to go down in history as a villain.
    • He was not exactly evil but Whitley turns against his father and goes with Weiss, leaving Jacques behind.
  • Hope Spot:
    • Any hope that France, Romano, and Australia will be freed with America is crushed when America finds out they are not with him in Polendina's home. They are in the Transformation Institute.
    • When Atlas attempts to shoot Ruby, her gun is out of ammo. America has a brief moment of relief before Atlas tosses the gun aside and throws her spear instead.
  • Hot Wings: One of the Grimm on Earth is a Phoenix-like bird that can set a large countryside alight.
  • I Have You Now, My Pretty: Downplayed. America is on the receiving end of this from the Ax-Crazy soldier, though his intentions are geared more towards torture than lust. He does trail his lips along America's neck, though he may only do that to mess with his victim. Either that or it's implied the soldier planned to sexually assault him... It's up to interpretation.
  • I Reject Your Reality: America and Canada have their Auras activated before receiving Vale's and Mantle's respectively. France also has his Aura unlocked, as do several other nations of Earth. Atlas knows all of this yet she refuses to believe the nations or people of Earth have souls. This is despite how she has to make sure France's Aura does not regenerate while he is captured by her.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice:
    • Atlas stabs America through his stomach and out his back with a spear. Multiple times.
    • Qrow is impaled through the back while shielding Ruby from Atlas's thrown spear.
  • Instant Sedation: Horrifically averted. Ironwood drugs America with a paralytic. It instantly paralyzes him but doesn't knock him out. Seeing as how sedation is not the drug's purpose that makes sense... so Ironwood keeps injecting America with more doses until he is nearly catatonic.
  • Insulted Awake: Subverted. America attempts to use this trope to wake Romano but it does not work.
  • It's Not You, It's My Enemies: Deconstructed. Yang is furious and hurt that Blake left without telling her why. She points out that Adam would still come for her whether Blake was there or not, and that she is in danger regardless of Blake's presence because she's a Huntress and danger is part of her job.
  • Kick Them While They Are Down: Ironwood batters America until his Aura depletes, while he is tied up in Penny's wires and unable to fight back.
  • Kitsune: The Spawner Grimm that the Taskforce fights at China's house is a gigantic nine-tailed fox.
  • Let's You and Him Fight: Penny 2.0 unexpectedly runs into Pyrrha in the mines. Despite them having the same goal note  it goes about as well as you expect considering the last time Penny "saw" Pyrrha, note  Pyrrha accidentally murdered her predecessor.
  • MacGuffin Person Reveal: Sun is the personification of Vacuo.
  • Molotov Cocktail: During the Atlas riot, multiple rebels throw what appear to be homemade bombs through store windows.
  • Mook Horror Show: Penny utterly decimates Polendina's soldiers, slaughtering all of them in brutal ways with a serene expression on her face. A few of the deaths include: a slit throat, impalement, being dragged screaming across the floor and stabbed, and a snapped neck.
  • My Greatest Failure: Summer's death for Ozpin. Having become overconfident due to finding a Silver-Eyed Warrior for the first time in decades, he foolishly let her go on the mission to kill Salem, resulting in Summer's demise.
  • Naked Freak-Out: Subverted. When America wakes up completely naked, he's too exhausted to care, and sees new clothes laid out for him before he can consider panicking.
  • Necessary Evil: Ironwood sees America's capture and the Transformation Institute as this. In his eyes, they are necessary to protect Remnant and keep Atlas secure.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Ruby goes to comfort a distressed Polendina and tells him she's looking for Alfred without knowing who Polendina is. As a result, Polendina thinks he's out of time and threatens America with an Aura-draining gauntlet.
  • Outfit Rip Species Check: A female guard viciously tears Weiss's scarf from her head to see if she is a Faunus.
  • Override Command: Polendina installed a kill-on-sight command for Pyrrha in Penny 2.0. It overrides all other missions in favor of Pyrrha Nikos's termination. All missions except protecting Alfred F. Jones, of course. Unfortunately, Penny's logic processes dictates that both missions align.
  • Pistol-Whipping: During their fight in the mines, Ironwood depletes a downed America's Aura by bludgeoning him with his revolver.
  • Playing Both Sides: Polendina manipulated and made deals with both Atlas and Salem in his quest to revive Penny. One or both of them promised to let him use the Relic of Creation if he retrieved America for them but Polendina kept America's capture a secret, instead attempting to use him himself to bring Penny back.
  • Please Kill Me If It Satisfies You: Pyrrha feels so guilty for killing Penny Polendina that she doesn't fight back when Penny 2.0 attacks her. Other than to briefly explain what happened during the Vytal Festival, Pyrrha silently accepts her death. America stops Penny and convinces her to let Pyrrha live.
  • Poison Ring: America creates one to use on himself if he's facing capture, in the hope of delaying the time when he will awaken in captivity. He uses it on Atlas.
  • Police State: Atlas has become a police-military state. There is a strict curfew, soldiers round up people they claim are criminals in highly public and brutal arrests, and said "criminals" are sent to a place known as The Transformation Institute to be reeducated.
  • Powder Keg Crowd: The oppressed of Atlas turn out to be this. Unknown to the heroes, someone has been planning a rebellion behind the scenes and begins a riot by releasing footage of the Transformation Institute.
  • The Power of Friendship: Weiss attempts to calm down a Silver-Eye powered Ruby by reminding her that they are her friends and assuring her the enemy is gone. It doesn't work.
  • Pull Yourself Down the Spear: Atlas impales America through the stomach, pinning him to the floor. He yanks himself up the spear to reach her and slashes her with his Poison Ring.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Penny's eyes turn red when her protocol to kill Pyrrha is activated.
  • Rejected Apology: Yang does not forgive Blake for abandoning Team RWBY after the fall of Beacon.
  • The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized: The revolution in Atlas begins as a violent riot, where soldiers and rebels shoot at each other will little concern for allies or property damage. Some take advantage of the chaos to loot and destroy stores while burning every building they can.
  • Room 101: Political dissenters, criminals, and the captured nations (minus America) are taken to the Transformation Institute, a brainwashing facility pretending to take criminals and "reeducate" them before letting them integrate back into society. The reintegration is a complete scam. As a member of the Atlas Council said, no one leaves the Institute. Prisoners are kept in small, damp cells and are shot by the guards at random. If prisoners are let out of those cells, it's so they can be tortured, executed, brainwashed, or possibly raped.
  • Sanity Slippage: After Penny died, Polendina lost it.
  • A Scar to Remember: Invoked. The ex-Atlas soldier carves "SACRIFICE" into America's back so that he will forever remember the human who did that to him.
  • Seeks Another's Resurrection: Polendina's motivation for kidnapping America is because he wants him to bring the original Penny back to life. He fails. Penny 2.0 activates, but she lacks Penny's Aura.
  • Shameful Strip: The Ax-Crazy soldier rips off America's shirt before cutting his back until it scars.
  • Shock Collar: America is forced to wear a Slave Collar that injects him with a paralyzing drug whenever he attempts to use Vale's Semblance, tries to use his Semblance on it, or when his captor presses a button.
  • Shower of Angst: After suffering a breakdown upon discovering Vale is in his head America's captors allow him to take an ice-cold shower while in chains. He spends it washing off all the blood he's accumulated from his numerous injuries.
  • Spider-Sense: Germany's Semblance allows him to subconsciously sense incoming danger (to himself and his allies) and take measures to avoid it.
  • Superpowered Evil Side: Silver Eyes make the S.E.W uncontrollable, sadistic, cold-blooded, and ruthless. When Ruby activates Silver Eyes after Qrow is impaled, she instantly disintegrates Atlas's arm. After Atlas flees out of sight, Ruby then turns on her friends. She blasts Weiss through a wall, disintegrates Japan's leg and tortures him, and tries to rip Italy's whole body apart, all with a sadistic expression on her face.
  • That Came Out Wrong: Played for Drama, Downplayed, and Implied. To stop Winter from bringing America to military HQ, Penny vaguely informs her of the situation. She keeps to minimal details and only gives information she believes will not reveal the soldier that attacked America is Ironwood. This includes telling Winter that America was locked in a basement and how a soldier wanted him to go back with him and America said no, so the soldier attacked him and threatened to shoot him. She also mentions how the soldier "looked under Alfred's shirt". The information Penny gives makes it sound like America was kidnapped and nearly sexually assaulted by a soldier in the mines. America does not help clear things up by forcing a laugh and saying "Well, it wasn't the first time that happened. You'd think I'd be numb to it by now." Winter's subsequent actions and questions heavily imply she thinks he was stalked, kidnapped, and imprisoned by soldiers. And since this is America and Penny, they have no idea what the story sounds like.
  • Thwarted Coup de Grâce: When Ironwood is about to shoot America in the head, Penny 2.0 attacks him and throws him down a mineshaft. Penny then takes America and escapes with him.
  • Time-Delayed Death: Variant. America jabs Atlas with his Poison Ring. She goes on to fight Japan, loses an arm and ear to SE!Ruby, and runs off. Then she fights Canada and England, losing an eye and getting her leg broken before the cyanide in America's ring kills her. At first the heroes are confused how she died but Ren notices the needle-mark on her neck and guesses she was poisoned.
  • To the Pain: Atlas sadistically describes to America what she and her men will do to him when she captures him. She promises to break his bones, cut out his tongue, and have her men stab and kill him over and over until he begs her for death and goes insane.
  • Villainous Face Hold: Polendina grabs a bound and gagged America's chin and forces him to look him (Polendina) in the eyes as he demands to know whether America can activate his Semblance verbally.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Atlas loses her cool when America jabs her with his cyanide ring. Her stoic mask crumbles and she stabs him multiple times while demanding he beg for her forgiveness.
  • Why Did You Make Me Hit You?: Polendina continually belittles and guilt-trips America, acting as if he is unreasonable and cruel for not resurrecting Penny and telling America it is his fault that he (Polendina) must go to such extremes. He finally gives up on trying to pressure and threaten America into bringing back Penny through words and leaves, claiming what happens next is America's fault and he brought it onto himself.
  • Your Soul Is Mine:
    • Polendina plans to use an Aura-draining gauntlet on America in order to use his Semblance himself. Before he can try, America activates Penny 2.0 out of desperation.
    • Emerald steals part of Sun/Vacuo's Aura using her upgrades. With it she takes the Relic of Destruction from Shade Academy.

    The Charlatan of Choice 

The Charlatan of Choice contains examples of:

  • Accidental Pervert: Lampshaded and Conversed for Laughs. Jaune breaks into the bathroom as America is getting out of the shower, causing the latter to leap back into it and cover himself. After an exchange and America gets dressed, an embarrassed Jaune is dragged out by Penny. At the breakfast table, a still-annoyed Penny bluntly tells everyone that Jaune broke into the bathroom while America was in there. Nora immediately begins teasing Jaune about being a pervert and America joins in as revenge for Jaune walking in on him. Everyone knows the cliché and that Jaune did not intend to walk in on America. They still tease Jaune about it, to his horror.
  • Advice Backfire: France encourages America to talk with him about his trauma and accept what happened to him. Rather than give America the strength to push forward, he instead realizes the horribleness of everything he's gone through and that he's likely going to die soon. This causes America to cross the Despair Event Horizon.
  • Ambiguous Situation: While certain details match up, Ozpin and Salem tell different versions of their history. The known facts are that they were created by the Gods of Light and Darkness to watch over humanity, Salem rebelled against them, and Ozpin was punished since he failed to stop Salem. What isn't clear is how truthful their contradictory statements are. For example, Salem claims Ozpin went behind the Gods' backs to exterminate her kind, while Ozpin claims Salem’s humanoid Grimm were an army she built to try to destroy the Gods. Which parts are true is left ambiguous, and since the heroes only have Ozpin and Salem's words to go on, there is no available way to verify which version is the truth.
  • Ambiguously Evil: Ozpin did something to Vale to keep her from sharing his secrets. Vale is terrified of him, and begs America to be careful when doing something as simple as asking him questions. When America rhetorically thinks Ozpin would not kill people for asking questions, Vale shudders. We later find out Ozpin intentionally forced Vale to seal the Relic of Choice and accidentally tongue tied her, though he has since tried to turn over a new leaf. He is not one hundred percent successful.
  • Amputation Stops Spread: Denmark gets hit in the arm with Grimm essence. China cuts off the arm to stop it from infecting his body. Since Denmark is a nation, the arm grows back.
  • Apathetic Citizens: None of the natives of Frontier give a second glance to an obviously injured and distressed America, allowing him to walk out of the town and into the woods. When the searchers return with him, Ruby hears a citizen comment that "At least they found this one." as if disappearances like that happen every day and are nothing to worry about.
  • Asshole Victim: No one will mourn the abusive and bigoted Jacques Schnee, not even his daughter. This lack of grief makes Weiss question if something is wrong with her.
  • Awakening the Sleeping Giant: Tony is undoubtedly on America's side, but he has little interest in helping the nations of AGATE. That changes when Salem attacks America's mansion, which drives Tony to create anti-Grimm biological weapons.
  • Be Careful What You Say: America desires to protect the Relic of Choice from Salem and is willing to die to keep it safe. He says as much while holding the Relic of Choice. The Relic interprets that desire as a choice so it sinks into his body in a way that Salem will be unable to retrieve it unless he dies. She immediately orders her forces to attack Washington DC and destroy the City of Vale in order to kill America.
  • Bears Are Bad News: A giant Ursa Spawner is sent by Salem to eliminate Ruby's group. It nearly kills Yang but Raven saves her at the last moment.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Upon realizing the man he talked to is an Atlas soldier and was in-part responsible for America's kidnapping and torture Lithuania begins beating him to a bloody pulp until Poland pulls him off the guy.
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • Lithuania, Prussia, Austria, and Poland are saved from the Byakko Grimm by an Atlas soldier named Copper.
    • Raven saves Yang from being killed by the Ursa Spawner Grimm.
  • Breather Episode: Chapter six. The characters spend the whole chapter playing games and hanging out together. Nora forbids anyone from talking about Salem or the Relics.
  • Bullying the Disabled:
    • Russia attacks America in an attempt to force him to get over his PTSD and depression. It doesn't work.
    • At Woodland, an elderly woman mocks and insults America because of his depression. She tells her friend people like him should walk into the Grimm-filled woods so they don't attract Grimm and kill "good folk" along with themselves.
  • The Bus Came Back: After not being seen since The Depths of Deception Roman returns and takes the Relic of Creation from Nora and Romano to give it to Salem.
  • Caged Inside a Monster: The Warden Grimm was created for the sole purpose of capturing and holding America. Its giant ribcage splits open at the sternum to allow it to place prisoners within its chest cavity before the ribcage seals closed around them. Its bones act like bars, and the thin membrane of skin over its torso allowed people to see inside. Canada is captured inside it and teleported directly to Salem.
  • Call-Back: An American college student is recorded jumping in front of a truck to save a little girl and emerges unscathed because of his Aura, just like America during Weight of the World.
  • Can't Kill You, Still Need You: The only reason the heroes don't kill Ozpin after his betrayal (other than the fact they don't want to kill Oscar) is because they need Ozpin alive to keep the shield around the ruins working. If the shield goes, Salem can walk right in and take America. They also might need him to reach Beacon's Vault but that may not necessarily be true.
  • Captive Push: America is captured by Ironwood and his men. They handcuff him, put a drug-injecting collar around his neck, and begin marching him off the airship. America manages to escape and fight his captors off.
  • Career-Ending Injury: Atlas's spear went through Qrow's spine. He has lost the ability to walk and will never be a Huntsman again.
  • Casting a Shadow: Salem can create constructs out of darkness like spears and chains.
  • Cats Are Mean: The Grimm that attacks and nearly kills Lithuania, Austria, Poland, and Prussia is a tiger-like Grimm called a "Byakko". It is one of the most dangerous and vicious Grimm in the series. It nearly crushes Lithuania beneath its paws and bites into Austria's shoulder before swinging him around like a rag doll.
  • Clone by Conversion: Salem can overtake any of her Grimm and turn them into her form. She can do this only one Grimm at once and it is more like astral projection in that her real body is left behind and out of harm's way.
  • Collective Groan: The group has this reaction to Australia's awful proposed weapon names. Only Yang and America like the punny ones.
  • Colossus Climb: Italy climbs up the Warden Grimm to reach its ribcage and rescue America and Canada. He grabs America before falling and accidentally leaves Canada behind.
  • Converse with the Unconscious: Whitley takes time out of his schedule to talk to the comatose Sun. He also reads him books... about law and business.
  • The Corruption: The Grimm essence is in Canada less than a day before it begins affecting his mind. After Ozpin's betrayal, Canada hisses that they should destroy him. He realizes what he said (and what it implies) and is horrified.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Tyrian does not stand a chance against an enraged France.
  • Cut Himself Shaving: Russia attacks America, leaving him with noticeable cuts and bruises. When confronted about the injuries, America claims he tripped into the shower. Canada, Weiss, and Winter do not believe him.
  • Death Notification: Ozpin sent a teacher to tell Hazel about his sister's death instead of going himself. The teacher gives Hazel Gretchen's remains in a small box.
  • Despair Event Horizon: America finally crosses it in chapter four. After discussing his trauma with France and getting hit by everything that has happened to him, he loses all hope that things will get better and he'll survive. America completely shuts down. Canada stops him from laying in bed and waiting to die but he doesn't recover because of one talk and stays in a depression.
  • Didn't See That Coming: The heroes try to lure Salem's henchmen into a trap by using America as bait. They did not expect both Salem and Roman to bombard them with their Emotion Bomb powers (negative emotions and cynicism/apathy respectively) and take advantage of their grief and rage over Blake's death so greatly they could not fight effectively. This mistake leads to America's capture.
  • Dies Wide Open: Blake dies so quickly her eyes remain open with shock.
  • Distracted from Death: Blake is grievously wounded while protecting Yang from the Warden Grimm and falls to the ground. No one realizes she is dead until after the fight is over.
  • Don't Make Me Destroy You: England makes this threat to Ozpin after finding out he hurt Vale in the past. In England's defense, he remained calm until Ozpin avoided his questions and insinuated Vale was lying and America was foolish for believing her. England threatens to kill Ozpin if he tries to sacrifice his family, friends, and Team RWBY and JNPR for his goals and mentions Earth is perfectly capable of creating a bioweapon attuned to Ozpin's Aura (thus killing him every time he reincarnates).
  • Driven to Suicide: Defied. America considers killing himself to stop Salem from ever getting him and stopping anyone else from having to "sacrifice their lives for him." He makes a sheathe for the sacrificial dagger instead and calms down enough that he is not sure he wants to go through with it. Australia arrives before he can consider it more.
  • Due to the Dead: The heroes hold a funeral for Blake, cremate her body, and leave a memorial where she died. They gather the ashes to take with them so they can be given to her parents and properly buried.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: In the end, Salem is defeated, the nations return home, and the heroes all heal from their physical and mental wounds. Not all of the trauma goes away, but twenty years later, the future is peaceful and bright on both worlds.
  • Eldritch Abomination: The Warden Grimm. It is a gigantic hovering, Dementor-like monstrosity with seven arms, an exposed cage-like ribcage, and dagger-tipped tendrils that form a tattered "cloak".
  • Emotion Bomb: Salem can enhance the negative thoughts and emotions of her targets. She can also create those emotions out of nothing. She uses this ability to make everyone except America increasingly antagonistic to each other to the point where they come to blows. America realizes something is off, retreats to figure things out, and runs into Salem.
  • Evil Only Has to Win Once: Once Salem steals the Relic of Creation (the last Relic she needed other than Choice), keeping America out of her hands becomes the heroes' top priority. If Salem gets America and Choice, the heroes lose. The realization of this puts a lot of stress on America, who passes out upon being told he's the last guardian of the Relics remaining.
  • Eye Scream:
    • Austria stabs the Byakko Grimm in the eye to blind it.
    • When Salem attacks Frontier, America's left eye bleeds profusely. By the time the attack ends, he is blind in that eye.
  • Fainting: Emotional Fainting with some Exhaustion. America has a panic attack and passes out when he finds out Salem's forces took the Relic of Creation, leaving Choice (and by extension, him) as the last thing Salem needs to bring her plans to fruition.
  • Finishing Stomp: Salem stomps on Penny's head and begins applying pressure to crush her skull after felling her.
  • Flat "What": England has this response when America tells him and Canada that Vale is in his head.
  • Force Feeding: In a Cold-Blooded Torture version, Roman force feeds America bread by shoving the whole thing into his mouth to choke him. He yanks it out before America can pass out. Roman then rips the bread into pieces and threatens to shove something "much less pleasant" (presumably his switchblade) in there if America resists or tries to bite him. America is restrained with a drug-injecting collar around his neck and cannot fight back. He also realizes he is unlikely to be fed again before reaching Salem, so he allows Roman to feed him despite his humiliation and fear the food is poisoned. Once the bread is almost gone, America bites Roman, who swiftly retaliates.
  • Forced Sleep: England puts a sleeping spell on America that can be triggered in order to keep Salem from being able to use him to unlock Beacon's Vault and Relic of Choice. America can only be woken from the spell by a specific phrase. As he is about to be taken to Salem, America uses the spell, falling into a Deep Sleep.
  • Framing the Guilty Party: "Framing a Known Guilty Party for Something Else" version. Ironwood did some terrible things, which include approving of the Transformation Institute. However, America suspects the investigators are planning to make Ironwood appear to be his Stalker with a Crush at the very least, along with pinning Ironwood for other crimes the General did not actually commit.
  • Freak Out: After Tyrian calls him Vacuo, France flips out and beats Tyrian to a pulp before killing him. Seeing how Atlas tried to brainwash France into thinking he's Vacuo, it is no surprise why.
  • Game-Breaking Injury: Due to a series of attacks on Vale, America goes blind in his left eye. He later loses one of his kidneys and part of his liver and then has his leg broken in yet another attack. Salem purposely attacks him in ways that will hurt but not kill him in order to weaken and torture him.
  • Grand Theft Me: Ozpin's reincarnation is revealed to be this rather than the Many Souls One Body the heroes previously thought it was. He is slowly overriding Oscar's soul and will soon eradicate it unless Salem is defeated in time. Unlike many examples, Ozpin has no ill intent and the process is completely out of his control. That does not mean he is a good person.
  • Having a Blast: An Atlas spy's Semblance allows him to turn air into massive explosions.
  • Hellhound: One of the Grimm Spawners sent to attack DC is a huge three-headed Cerberus. It's so big that it looms over the buildings around it and its paws are several streets away from each other.
  • Heroic Sacrifice:
    • Blake dies protecting Yang from the Warden Grimm.
    • Discussed and Deconstructed. Vale points out how hurt Yang is that Blake died saving her, particularly since Yang did not need to be saved. She says that no matter the sacrifice's intentions, the person they died to save will grieve and be plagued by guilt that their loved one died to save them. Heroic sacrifices are not as heroic and inconsequential as fiction makes them out to be, and leave a lot of hurt and grieving people behind.
    • After Salem begins laying waste to the City of Vale, Amber uses the Relic of Choice to kill herself in order to save America from dying with her Kingdom. She gives her remaining Aura to regenerate his before passing away.
    • Copper dies while protecting Sealand from an Ursa.
    • Ironwood volunteers himself to fly an airship filled with Dust into the Grimm Dragon's mouth to blow it up from the inside. He and the Grimm Dragon die in the explosion.
  • Heroic Suicide:
    • Defied. America contemplates killing himself so Salem can never get the Relic of Choice and win the war. England and Australia convince him no one wants him to make that sacrifice and killing himself won't save anyone.
    • Played straight with Vale, who kills herself using the Relic of Choice in order to sever her connection with America and save his life.
  • Human Sacrifice: Ozpin tries to sacrifice America in a magic nexus temple in order to regain some of his lost magic. Oscar stops him at the last second.
  • Humanoid Abomination: Salem's default appearance is that of a humanoid woman. She can transform her body into that of any of her Grimm and take on their likeness. She also has a wide range of powers at her disposal including: Emotion Bomb, Clone by Conversion, Voluntary Shapeshifting, darkness manipulation, controlling Grimm, immortality, and the ability to corrupt people with Grimm parasites.
  • If It Bleeds, It Leads: VNN runs a story about the discovery of a mass grave under Atlas. They are about to show footage of the site when Nora turns it off.
  • Jump Off The Slippery Slope: The realization that Salem has three of four Relics, is far more powerful than Ozpin can hope to be, has the heroes cornered, and only needs America to win breaks Ozpin. He tries to sacrifice America to gain more power, albeit reluctantly. Oscar stops him.
  • Kangaroo Court: Ironwood's trial has a predetermined verdict of guilty. The trial is a sham. Its real purpose is to make his crimes as public as possible.
  • Keystone Army: Tony and Norway blow up the Grimm pools in Salem’s land with Tony’s bioweapon. This destroys a majority of the Grimm and leaves Salem weakened enough that America, Canada, and Ruby can kill her with fire, the Relic of Destruction, and Silver Eyes respectively.
  • Kill All Humans: Salem's ultimate goal. She will not let any humans live if she wins, be they on Earth, Remnant, or any world. Though she claims her henchmen will be spared and rewarded, it is unlikely that is true. Learning she plans to kill everyone causes Hazel to turn against her.
  • Killed Offscreen: Qrow, Whitley, Klein, and Sun are killed when Salem attacks Frontier. Subverted. They were saved by Raven.
  • Kraken and Leviathan: One of the Grimm Spawners is a gigantic Kraken, much to Austria's dismay.
  • The Last Dance: The Relic of Choice is slowly killing America so he pulls out all the stops and vows to kill Salem before he passes. He survives the battle but passes out from his wounds.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: Denmark gains the habit of jumping into fights without thinking after multiple missions where AGATE fights nothing but low-level Beowolves and Ursa. He has a cocky and flippant attitude about fighting the Grimm, to his teammates' exasperation (and worry).
  • Ley Line: The temple the heroes take shelter in is over a magical nexus attuned to Ozpin's magic, which is why he tries to sacrifice America there in order to regain some of his lost power.
  • Mêlée à Trois: Ironwood and Hazel both want to capture America while they themselves are on opposite sides. Ironwood attempts to capture America, but he escapes and immediately runs into Hazel. America is forced to fight and escape both of them while trying to get out of a burning airship they are trapped in.
  • Mercy Kill Arrangement: More like a "Mercy Coma Arrangement" since personifications cannot die and instead go into a coma when they are badly injured. America asks England to put a sleeping curse on him that can be activated if he is about to be captured by Salem. Fatal wounds would only keep him unconscious for a small period of time, so he needs the curse in order to stay down. As long as he is comatose, Salem cannot use him to get the Relic of Choice and Remnant and Earth will be safe. America also hopes to use the spell to avoid being tortured. The request is treated much like asking for a mercy kill in the face of capture, with England agonizing over the decision as he is horrified that his little brother would ask him to "kill" him. He eventually agrees.
  • Mistaken for Suicidal: Implied and Played for Drama. A distressed America wanders out of town and into Grimm-filled woods, where it is hinted people commonly go to die. When he is brought back, a nurse tries to strap him to his bed with restraints and says it is "protocol for patients like him".
  • Moment of Weakness: After Blake's death, Ruby blames America for it even though it was Yang that Blake died protecting from Salem's Grimm. She goes on to blame him for many other deaths note  and demands to know how many more people are going to die for him before England silences her. She does this despite none of those deaths being America's fault in the slightest, something which Ruby subconsciously acknowledges but ignores.
  • More Expendable Than You: After Salem nearly captures him, Teams RWBY and JNPR agree they need to guard America seriously since his capture will lead to Salem's victory. They pledge to defend him with their lives, which includes jumping between him and Salem. America is understandably upset.
  • Murder Is the Best Solution: With Salem at their doorstep (and in possession of three of the four Relics), Ozpin decides it would be best to sacrifice America and gain power from his death instead of risk him getting captured by Salem. Oscar fights Ozpin off before he can sacrifice America via a dagger through the heart.
  • Neck Lift:
    • Salem is very fond of doing this, usually right before performing a Neck Snap. She lifts Uni, Ruby, and Canada like this.
    • Hazel grabs Roman and lifts him by his throat after he disobeys Hazel's orders and attacks America. After warning him not to do that again, Hazel drops him, leaving him gasping for breath and coughing on the ground.
  • Neck Snap:
    • Hazel kills a soldier this way, just by clenching his fingers.
    • Salem does this to America's pet unicorn when she tries to protect Poland. She survives but is badly injured.
  • Never Smile at a Crocodile: The Vale-bound heroes encounter crocodile-like Grimm after the airship crashes into a lake. The smaller one grabs Yang and pulls her into a death roll before she is freed and leaves visible bite marks in her robotic arm. The larger one has a mace-like tail and teeth as long as America's arm.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Russia leaves his teleportation necklace in Woodland. A little boy finds it and gives it to Watts.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Roman viciously beats up and shoots Romano simply because he is America's friend.
  • No Man Should Have This Power: America has Ruby use the Relic of Destruction to destroy the Relic of Choice because it is too dangerous for anyone to wield.
  • No Sympathy: Russia has no patience for America's PTSD, depression, trauma, and touch aversion so he tries to force him to get over it by roughly grabbing and attacking him. It doesn't work, and only makes America feel worse.
  • Not Worth Killing:
    • Salem realizes how weak Ozpin has become and does not bother to fight him. She cannot believe she ever saw him as a threat.
    • Hazel decides there is no reason to kill Oscar since Ozpin will only reincarnate into another body.
    • This is also the reason Salem leaves Oscar and Penny alive. They are no threat to her plans.
  • Out-of-Character Alert: Everyone in the Remnant group except America and Penny, who is deactivated at the time, begins acting more and more miserable and aggressive towards each other until they come to blows. America realizes something is wrong and tries to interfere, only to be punched by Canada with enough force to send him sprawling. America puts distance between himself and his friends to figure things out and so they do not hurt him more. He theorizes that they've been cursed. He's wrong. It's Salem's doing.
  • Possession Burnout: The Grimm hosts disintegrate after Salem stops possessing them.
  • Power Incontinence: America is overwhelmed by the negative emotions of the suffering people of Woodland. Their feelings enhances his own depression and he suffers from extreme migraines. He becomes more and more despondent the longer they stay in town to the point where he starts considering suicide like some of the citizens. He snaps out of it.
  • Public Execution: Jacques Schnee is executed on "live" TV. The footage is not actually live and was prerecorded, but VNN pretends it interrupted their broadcast.
  • Quote Mine: Lampshaded. After being "interviewed" by Charon America realizes that his interviewer may manipulate and splice his words in order to make it seem like Ironwood is a Stalker with a Crush at best. The "testimony" will then be used at Ironwood's sham of a trial, making him seem like more of a monster in the public's eye.
  • Sickening "Crunch!":
    • Salem breaks Uni's neck with an audible snap. Uni survives.
    • During the attack on the Vale town of Wells, and later during the Warden Grimm's attack, America's leg breaks with a crack almost as loud as his scream of pain.
  • Single-Stroke Battle: Canada defeats Emerald in a single strike by erasing her memories of her current situation and cutting off her head while she's confused.
  • Sleepy Depressive: As America's depression and PTSD worsens, he spends days in bed and alternates between laying awake for hours and sleeping all day. One day he gets out of bed for only twenty minutes. He spends those minutes in an apathetic, exhausted haze before he mumbles that he's too tired and returns to bed. He goes back to sleep without eating or showering and feels worse because he did not accomplish anything that day. As he falls asleep, he tries and fails to reassure himself that he will feel better tomorrow. He doesn't.
  • Stupid Sacrifice: Deconstructed and Discussed. Blake dies defending Yang, even though the latter had Aura and would have survived the blow while the former had no chance. Vale reluctantly points this out when trying to convince America that he is in no way to blame for Blake's death. She made a foolish choice, and it cost her her life. Everyone grieves anyway.
  • Tainted Veins: Canada is infected with Grimm essence by Emerald through a small cut on his chest. It leaves black veins around his heart, and they are spreading.
  • Talking Down the Suicidal: After Ruby's Moment of Weakness, America flies off and Australia follows him into the woods. He asks America if he's going to do anything stupid and America admits he should not be left alone. Australia panics but talks to America and tells him Blake's death and Canada's capture are not his fault. He demands that America give him his weapon and tries to cheer America up. America hands over Cobalt Striker and, to Australia's dismay, begins crying. England arrives and America says he should kill himself to keep Salem from capturing him. England gives a vehement "No." and tries to convince America that there is worth in his life and no one wants him to sacrifice himself to save them. America breaks down crying in his brother's arms.
  • Tears of Blood: America's left eye bleeds profusely during Salem's attack on Frontier, reminding Ruby of bloody tears.
  • They Died Because of You: In a case of Blatant Lies, Ruby says this to America about Blake and Qrow's deaths. In reality, Blake died protecting Yang and Salem "killed" Qrow while destroying Frontier.
  • Treasure Chest Cavity: After America makes an (unknowing) choice to do everything he can to keep the Relic of Choice from Salem, the Relic sinks into his torso, where Salem cannot touch it (or him) until he dies. She orders her army to attack DC and destroy Vale. Once Salem is defeated, he has Ruby destroy Choice, ridding it of its power. Some of its chopped up pieces remain inside his body but they have no power anymore.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: The young boy from Woodland gives Watts Russia's portal necklace. Salem uses the necklace to track the heroes and eventually uses it to teleport the Warden Grimm straight to them. During the different encounters, Canada is infected with Grimm essence, Ozpin loses hope and tries to sacrifice America (irreparably breaking the trust everyone has in Ozpin), and Blake is killed by the Warden Grimm. All because a little boy wanted to make some money to help his mother.
    • Russia is not free of blame either. He is the one who purposely dropped his necklace to stop Canada from sending him back to Earth.
  • Villainous Rescue: Hazel saves Italy from Silver Eyes Ruby.
  • We Are Experiencing Technical Difficulties: During a broadcast, the screen turns to static and VNN pretends to be powerless to stop Atlas rebels from showing footage of the "live" execution of Jacques Schnee. In actuality they received a recording and either wanted the views or were ordered not to show the footage, thus the "hack".
  • Wham Shot:
    • The man the Woodland boy gives Russia's necklace to is Watts.
    • Canada is scratched by Emerald’s Grimm essence. The blood from the injury is black.
    • From chapter twenty-seven:
    Blake lay where she had fallen with a large gash carved into her torso.
    Her yellow eyes stared lifelessly at the sky.
  • What You Are in the Dark: In a Moment of Weakness due to grieving for Qrow, Ruby shows a selfish and petty side when she does not stop Russia from dragging an unwilling America into the woods. She is the only other person awake but does not help Alfred because she blames him for Qrow's death.
  • Will Not Be A Victim: America is tired of being captured, manipulated, and tortured again and again. When Ironwood tries to recapture him and Hazel shows up to do the same, he fights tooth and nail to escape. And he succeeds.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: The Relic of Choice's forcible bonding with America has a negative effect on his mental state. He is in constant pain and on the verge of Laughing Mad as he observes all the past and potential choices of the humans around him. The only reason his mind does not break completely is because, as a personification, he is used to processing more information than a human can cope with.
  • With My Hands Tied: America fights off Ironwood and Hazel while in a drug-injecting Slave Collar and handcuffs. He manages to escape them.
  • Yet Another Baby Panda: VNN runs a story about four newborn Pomeranian puppies. The next story is about the discovery of a mass grave under Atlas.
  • You Can't Go Home Again: America accepts that he cannot return to Earth until Salem is defeated because she will never stop hunting him until he retrieves and unlocks the Relic of Choice. He refuses to draw her attention to Earth and put it in more danger by trying to return home.
  • You Should Have Died Instead: A part of Ruby blames Alfred for Qrow and Blake's deaths. She realizes she's blaming him for things that are not his fault but cannot help herself.
  • You Won't Feel a Thing: Ozpin says this word for word to America after saying he can put him to sleep before sacrificing him.
  • Your Days Are Numbered: The Kingdom of Vale is dying and killing America/Alfred with it. Until they defeat the Grimm and Salem, Vale/Amber predicts America's health will deteriorate and warns him a tragedy like what befell Mantle could kill him permanently.

Top

Example of:

/

Feedback