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- The teams sexuality is often up to interpretation due to the only canonical hints being that all but Ruby are attracted to guys, and Ruby herself showing little romantic attraction to anything. This in turn causes most of them to be portrayed as Bi the Way, Blake in particular due to the sheer popularity of Blake/Yang and Blake/Sun, as well as her voice actress being bi. Yang is also frequently depicted as bisexual. Just as often though are depictions of one or more members being homosexual but unaware, particularly Weiss due to the popularity of the Ruby/Weiss ship, her hero worship of Pyrrha, and her status as a "Useless Lesbian". Due to her lack of attraction towards any characters, Ruby is sometimes depicted as an aromantic asexual.
- Fanon originally had it that Blake was an orphan raised by the White Fang while Weiss's mother died when she was young. Season 4 jossed them both by showing that Blake's parents and Weiss's mother are all alive and well, albeit drunk in the latter's case.
- Fanon often suggests that Ruby and Yang grew up poor. In the show, they live in a cottage on the Island of Patch. While they appear to be comfortable and not poor, there are no indicators about their actual financial status.
- When the first trailers came out, Ruby and Weiss barely had any characterization, leaving the fans to make it up themselves. A common fanon consensus was that Ruby was The Stoic and Weiss was a Tsundere. This was promptly Jossed when the actual show started.
- The characters' birthdays being their trailer release dates. (Ruby = November 7, Weiss = February 14, Blake = March 22, Yang = June 1.) Chibi jossed this for Ruby, with her actual birthday landing a week earlier, on October 31.
- In the series, one of the first things we learn about Ruby is that she likes cookies. It's now a struggle to find a fanfic where Ruby's cookie-love isn't more like a drug addiction. (Word of God says her favorite food is actually strawberries — and so the fandom exaggerated that as well.)
- While Ruby does love weapons, several fanworks make her from weapon enthusiast, into a weapon fetishist. Fanworks also tend to make her into a weapon critic/designer, having a habit of both building new weapons and judging ones she sees.
- A good chunk of the fanbase believes that Ruby is biologically Qrow's daughter and that her family did a Family Relationship Switcheroo. Ruby, and most likely Yang, don't know this. This has been Jossed repeatedly by the writers, as Ruby and Yang are officially half-sisters, meaning they'd only work with Qrow as Ruby's dad if Raven wasn't Yang's mom, or if Yang was the child of incest. A reddit AMA in particular outright rejected the idea that Qrow is Ruby's dad.
- Ruby as a Stepford Smiler and Sad Clown. This comes from the Grief Song "Red Like Roses Part II" that depicts Ruby's pain over Summer's death. The events of Volume 3 leading into Volume 4 and more have increased the idea, supported by scenes of her close to breaking down such as her talk with Oscar in Volume 5.
- Canon is vague on what age Ruby was when Summer died, with Yang implying she was an infant but other elements implying she was a young child. Fans usually round this off to between 6 and 9.
- Many depictions of Weiss' summons give them traits similar to Stands or Personas, such as acting in her interest and behaving autonomously. Not without reason as the Boarbatusk she summoned moved to attack the Trophy Wife that was distressing Weiss, and the Arma Gigas she favors acting like a loyal knight to her.
- Weiss's song "The Path of Isolation" contains the lyrics "Scars that cover wounds can't hide the self-inflicted pain". It's metaphorical but many fans took it literally.
- In the show, Weiss openly admits to being distrustful of the faunus and to hating the White Fang, but the full extent of her prejudice is left ambiguous. Fanworks will often assume that Weiss sees faunus as the inferior beings and/or hates them all regardless whether they belong to the White Fang or not. It can be done to make her look worse, to make her argument with Blake feel more serious, or just to throw some dark jokes.
- Blake will have her cat-like attributes exaggerated in fanworks, like having Yang play with her using cat toys. Even her canonical cat-like moments are exaggerated further within the fandom, and Chibi got in on the fun.
- Blake being a Covert Pervert due to her fondness for romance novels.
Yang Xiao Long
- It's common for fans to think Yang's a giant Pungeon Master to make the character Meta Casting for her voice actress Barbara Dunkelman. This eventually became Ascended Fanon in RWBY Chibi.
- Yang tends to be a lot more pottymouthed and sexually aggressive than she is in canon. The former comes from Yang's songs featuring a lot of cursing as well as because of her hot-tempered personality. The latter comes from the Hard-Drinking Party Girl facade Yang gave off in the "Yellow" trailer.
- Hard-Drinking Party Girl Yang is very commonplace due to her personality and the fact her first trailer took place in a bar. It could also run in the family, though unlike her uncle Qrow it usually isn't depicted as outright alcoholism.
- Yang calls Summer "mom" but calls Raven by her name. This gets jossed in Volume 5 when Yang constantly calls Raven mom and begins referring to Summer as "Ruby's mom".
- Jaune is often depicted as either the middle child or The Baby of the Bunch in his family, with his sisters either doting on him or playfully teasing him. Not that far off when his older sister Saphron appears, as she both likes teasing him and doting on him.
- In a case of Never Live It Down, Jaune hitting on Weiss is often presented as a daily occurence and often done in the worst possible circumstances.
- While Jaune lacks any sort of skill at the start of the series, he improves fairly quickly and by Volume 3 he is shown keeping up with other huntsmen-in-training. Some fans overlook this and portray Jaune as being an absolute Butt-Monkey even in later points of the story. They also tend to ignore that Jaune was never physically weak, just completely inexperienced.
- In the show, Jaune being ignorant of Pyrrha's affection is more of a result of him being Entertainingly Wrong than anything else and he seems to catch on once Pyrrha starts being more direct with expressing her feelings. Fans tend to exaggerate that aspect of Jaune's person, often to the point of making him look mentally deficient or at least selectively blind.
- Jaune's great-great-grandfather is thought to have been The Warrior King of Vale, as it would fit both the timeline and would explain Jaune's angst about not living up to his legacy. This assumption also leads to some less common, but popular theories, such as Crocea Mors being secretly one of the relics or Jaune himself having some sort of mystic power.
- Fans have commonly assumed that Ozpin is fully aware that Jaune's transcripts are faked, and is simply looking the other way. Confirmation on this one is somewhat up in the air, as Ozpin implies he's aware of the transcripts in Volume 1.
- Some people portray Nora as being particularly doting and protective of Oscar, given how she is the only one to openly admit that he's a "little cute boy". This was only reinforced when she gave Oscar The Glomp after meeting him again in Argus, shortly after calling him Cute Boy Oz.
- Nora's is often portrayed as being a Cloud Cuckoo Lander and/or Cute and Psycho. Her infamous "We'll break his legs!" line in particular has turned her into a Memetic Psychopath. It can be debated whether this treatment of Nora is justified; While she is unusually enthusiastic and says a lot of crazy things, she never actually does anything crazy, at least not moreso than other characters.
- Lemon fics nearly always depict Pyrrha, of all people, as an aggressive lover. This is probably an extrapolation of the scene where she pins Jaune to a tree to, um "partner" with him.
- Fanworks often portray Pyrrha's feelings for Jaune as well known to all of Team RWBY, apart from occasionally Ruby herself. In canon, none of the four ever show any sign that they are aware of Pyrrha's crush, and Yang even encourages Jaune's pursuit of Weiss, if only very minorly.
- Ren as asexual pops up quite a bit due to him being Oblivious to Love and because he wore an apron that said "Please Do Nothing To The Cook" (as opposed to the classic "Kiss The Cook"). Alternatively, Ren is just as likely to come up as a Covert Pervert, who manages to hide his perversion behind a stoic facade.
Ozpin's Inner Circle
- Some fans believe that Qrow, Glynda and even Ironwood have met before joining Ozpin's Inner Circle. This is more common to people who ship Ironwood/Glynda or Ironwood/Qrow, creating a sort of Everyone Went to School Together fanfic. Cinder used to be a part of this fanon, but this tailed off for obvious reasons when she successfully posed as a Haven student in Volume 2. After Volume 3, most of the fanon regards to Qrow meeting Ironwood after having fought against his team in the Vytal Festival back when they were in academy.
- Ozpin's mug also being a weapon appears in many fanworks, usually as a joke. Then again, considering almost everything can be a gun in this universe, this is occasionally played seriously. Oobleck's coffee-Thermos can apparently shift into a flamethrower, so honestly, a coffee mug doesn't seem all that weird.
- Speaking of coffee, Ozpin's love for coffee is in of itself fanon, as according to Word of God, what he has in his mug is hot chocolate. Despite this, most fics tend to depict him as addicted to the stuff, with more humorous depictions having him nickname his coffee brewer as "coffee-chan''.
- Qrow's relationship with Summer is up to interpretation, though he is typically depicted as having been in love with Summer before she got together with Tai, making her The Lost Lenore to both of them. Just as likely is to depict him as being present at, if not the cause, of Summer's death, typically by virtue of his bad luck semblance.
- Penny and Ironwood's relationship was given little focus in the series, leading to different interpretations of it for fanfic writers. Most will see Ironwood as a father or mentor like figure for Penny, sometimes having a similar relationship to Ruby and Qrow.
- The story behind Ironwood's robotic limbs hasn't been revealed, but a lot of people believe the damage he suffered was due to protecting someone from an explosion, often the person he protected was a group of students of his.
- One of Ironwood's comments when talking to Yang in Volume 3 has given fans the idea that James suffers from PTSD.
- In more spicy or comedic material, fan artists wonder whether Ironwood's unfortunate name and robotic limbs add up to him having a mechanical male anatomy. Even then there are variations on how that would work.
- Fans tend to assume that Winter and Ironwood work closely together and possibly share a personal relationship. While Winter does show a great measure of respect toward Ironwood in the series, there is nothing that would suggest that their relationship is anything other than professional or even that they know each other really well. The closest they are implied to be are superior officer and soldier, as Ironwood reprimands Winter for her fight with Qrow, and orders her to leave the meeting with Ozpin's circle and go to his ship for further discussion at a later date. He does refer to her as one of his best when arguing with Jacques, and entrusted her with monitoring the situation in Mistral, implying he places a good deal of trust in her, but outside of that, there is nothing to suggest their relationship is any more than commander and officer.
- Its heavily ambiguous as to why Salem desires the Relics, though the common idea was that she sought the end of humanity and faunus kind due to the testimony of Ozpin. With Volume 6 revealing her and Ozpin's shared Dark and Troubled Past, there rose a variety of ideas as to what her endgame is.
- With the revelation that the Relics when brought together will summon the Brother Gods back to Remnant, a common idea is that Salem's entire crusade is a Suicidal Cosmic Temper Tantrum, with the intent of making the God's cast judgement on humanity and faunus kind for failing to unify and commit genocide to Remnant, killing herself in the process.
- An equally prevalent idea is that Salem is trying to continue her stint as a God before Ozma betrayed her, and plans to use the Relics to subject Remnant to genocide herself and recreate it in her image.
- Cinder was originally presumed to be around Ozpin, Glynda, and Ironwood's age. However, when Volume 2 showed that she can easily pass as a late teenager, fans lowered her age by around 10 years. She's usually seen as older than school-aged cast but not as old as the teachers (typically 25-35).
Emerald Sustrai & Mercury Black
- How exactly Emerald loves Cinder is left up to the audience, with the two common ideas being that Emerald is romantically in love with Cinder or that she sees her as a surrogate mother figure. Chibi had a skit in Season 3 where Emerald dreamed of Cinder as the "mother figure I may or may not have ever had". Lost clarifies that Emerald sees Cinder as the only family she's ever had.
- Although it was confirmed in Volume 3 with Cinder slapping Emerald, most fans had already taken to treating an Emerald/Cinder relationship as abusive.
- A common post Volume 5 theory was that Emerald would, in mourning for Cinder, be groomed by Salem to serve as a replacement candidate for the Maiden powers or that Emerald would adopt some of Cinder's fashion choices into her own costume. Jossed in Volume 6, with Emerald retaining the same outfit and Salem having no specific plans for Emerald.
- Mercury is often depicted as being almost violently protective of Emerald, often being the one trying to tell her that Cinder doesn't love her or pushing for her to leave Salem's forces due to her relative innocence. This came from Mercury's inspiration, the Roman God, being known as the "Protector of Thieves", while Emerald draws inspiration from Aladdin. So That's How It Is and Lost had all of these confirmed barring pushing for Emerald to leave.
- Mercury's part in the song I'm the One, along with his comments that Qrow smelled like his dad after a bad day, and the Word of God that Mercury has one of the darkest backstories in the show, have drawn many to the conclusion that Mercury was horrifically abused by his drunken father Marcus. Some take it the extra mile and think Marcus forced Mercury to have robotic legs by cutting his own off, and some take it even further by pointing out the line "defiled by a father", suggesting Marcus raped Mercury. As of Lost, the raped part seems to be jossed, but the abuse aspect is confirmed, with Marcus beating Mercury daily under the pretext of "training". The "defiled" part is interpreted to refer to Marcus defiling Mercury's soul by taking away Mercury's semblance with his own; the fandom regards Semblances as being part of a character's soul. The fanon on what his Semblance actually was tends to revolve around some kind of speed enhancer or the power to generate a poison (coming from his namesake, Mercury, being a dangerous poison).
Roman Torchwick & Neopolitan
- After a group photo at Brunswick Farms depicted a young girl with a similar hairstyle to Neo and several members with similar hair to Roman, many became convinced that Neo and Roman are the sole surviving residents of the farm after it's fall to the Apathy, and that their Like Brother and Sister relationship is a result of them being childhood friends.
- Torchwick's strength and importance often gets overstated by the fans. In the show he is merely one of Cinder's subordinates who follows her more out of fear than anything else. And while he is certainly a skilled fighter, he still gets defeated multiple times, at one point losing to Blake alone. Even his skills as a criminal are questionable, as he was caught at least once before the events of the series and had to rely on hired mooks to perform robberies. Fanworks tend to portray him as a criminal mastermind and strong enough to threaten the entire team RWBY in combat, when a Tumblr Q&A confirmed that he never even unlocked his Semblance. Earlier works would sometimes even make him into a Big Bad of the story, though that portrayal became unjustifiable after the events of Volume 3.
- Very little has been revealed about Neo, except that she never talks, seems to primarily (but not exclusively) act as Roman's support, and her appearance and name were inspired by both cross-gendered cosplay costumes for Roman and Neapolitan ice-cream. The fandom generally assumes she is a mute, that her favorite food is ice-cream (and that she's obsessed with it), that she and Roman have an important relationship (which ranges from father/daughter to siblings to lovers and everything in-between — although Word of God states they are Like Brother and Sister), and that she's Older Than They Look (ranging from early 20s to early 30s). The "mute" part is confirmed when Cinder tries to start a conversation with her and Neo only frustratedly points at her mouth before Cinder realizes her mistake.
- A common conclusion is that Adam's weapon is a blade that can cut through aura, which became increasingly popular when he used it to pierce Blake's belly (even though she still had aura as evidenced when she used her Semblance to get out of there), slice off Yang's arm, and kill Sienna Khan in an ambush. This has been debunked for the most part, as Volume 5 clarified that one needs to be actively using one's Aura to defend oneself, and Adam's attacks often simply come too quickly to be protected from.
- Adam and Raven are assumed to have some form of relationship due to their visual and combat similarities, with the common guesses being that Raven trained him in iaijutsi, Adam is a former member of the Branwen Tribe, or that Raven is Adam's mother.
- After the brand on his face was revealed, many were convinced Adam was at one time an employee of the SDC, and had been branded for being disobedient or as a result of a racist superior. Inversely, his scar is just as likely to be seen as a result of a work related accident and that Adam falsely blames humans for giving it to him on purpose.
- Although hinted, it was never confirmed for several years that Team CFVY's Fox, who has pure white eyes, is blind. His bio in Amity Arena finally confirmed that yes, Fox is blind.
- Tons of stories have Jaune's mother obssessed with having grandchildren, even though she has yet to appear in the show proper.
- CFVY getting revenge on CRDL for their bullying of Velvet is a near constant in stories focused on either team. Confirmed in Blake's anthology manga where CFVY do assault CRDL in the background of a panel.
- Why exactly Velvet, a second year, was in Oobleck's first year history class is never said in universe, but the common idea is that Velvet flunked the tests the first time around and was catching up.
- Scarlet is often thought of by fans as either nonbinary or a trans boy.
- Neptune's flirtatious demeanor is occasionally depicted as due to being an Armored Closet Gay, with it being a means of trying to come across as straight. If not that, his flirtatious demeanor is instead depicted as his means of overcoming his social awkwardness by appearing confident, similar to Jaune's in canon reasoning for trying to appear confident.
- Weiss' mother is given the Fan Nickname "Willow" to go along with the Family Theme Naming. This does stem from pseudo-canonical information due to intrepid fans reading some of Monty's open files during a behind-the-scenes video, but has yet to be confirmed.
- Most fans assume that Jaune has at least one set of twin sisters and/or is a twin himself.
- All of Jaune's sister are blondes. They are all either civilians or they are all badass huntresses, no variation permitted. The blonde theory was confirmed in Volume 6 with a shot of the Arc Family as kids showing all of them are natural blondes.
- Jacques Schnee as being not just emotionally abusive but also physically abusive to his family appears a lot, but it isn't supported in canon. Judging by Weiss' reaction to being slapped, he doesn't hit her at least.
- Weiss' mother is an alcoholic, but it's never mentioned to what degree. Fans have a tendency to depict her as a heavier drinker than even Qrow. Weiss eventually admits in Volume 5 that her mother is a frequent day-drinker.
- "Gold" is a lullaby by Summer to Yang and Ruby. She taught it to Yang, who would sing it to Ruby after Summer's death.
- Summer's status as an O.C. Stand-in with little info on her results in varying depictions of her. The two most common are: Ruby is essentially a mini version of Summer and they share the same personality down to an adoration of cookies, or their personalities are completely different despite their similar looks, with Summer being much more serious and stoic than Ruby.
- Team STRQ are usually imagined as having a loose polygamous relationship during their Beacon years (barring Raven and Qrow for obvious reasons). While the general meme is that Taiyang was the one to seduce his entire team, some interpretations have Summer either doing it after him or giving him the idea.
- The members of team CRDL are generally depicted as complete pushovers, viable to all be beaten by any member of the main cast alone. While they lose to Pyrrha in the show, there is nothing hinting at them being weak relatively to other students, especially since they got into the doubles round of the Vytal Tournament and it took Penny to eliminate them.
General and Settings
- Semblances are often considered to be manifestations of a characters soul, with each one being indicative of a person's personality or fighting style. In canon however, the exact nature of semblances are still up for debate, the argument they are based on your soul being only one of several. Other arguments in canon include the idea semblances are what define you instead of you defining them, and the idea that there is no correlation.
- There are signs that Faunus do exhibit some behavioral traits stereotypically associated with their animal species (Cats like fish and hate dogs, so does Blake; monkeys like bananas, so does Sun). However, the fandom takes these animal traits to extremes so that faunus have heat cycles and Velvet is an Ethical Slut because rabbits are stereotyped as obsessed with mating.
- One common fanon interpretation of Aura is that it is a form of 24-Hour Armor: a shield that is always on and will deflect incoming attacks. This actually goes against how it is depicted in the show, where characters are frequently dealt knockout or even lethal blows by attacks that come abruptly or without warning, such as Coco getting knocked out by Emerald in their battle in the Vytal Festival or Yang's injury from Adam's sudden sword strike at the end of Volume 3. Ren clarifies in Volume 5 that it takes a conscious effort to use Aura for protection; with enough training, it can eventually become second nature. The fanon on how Aura works is so embedded that the fandom often claims that later information on Aura has retconned older information when it's only debunked the fanon.
- It's common fanon that only one person can have any one Maiden's powers at a time, despite the fact that all of the Maidens' powers originated from one person: Ozpin himself. This fanon was ultimately debunked in Volume 5, when Cinder attempts twice to take the Spring Maiden's powers, and even starts to drain them from Raven with no adverse effects, proving that one person can have multiple Maidens' abilities.
- Faunus refer to their children as "cubs", "pups", etc.
- Faunus and humans have various cultural and behavioral differences. In canon, this hasn't been touched upon. Faunus are mostly treated as humans with animal attributes and a few quirks, such as an improved sense of hearing.
- When Pyrrha unlocks Jaune's aura, she recites a short chant. Fans, especially fanfic writers, tend to assume that doing so is necessary for the process and that every character has a version of the chant unique to them.
- In fanworks Beacon is mostly portrayed as poorly organised, extremely dangerous and/or flat-out ineffectual as a school. Events like the Food Fight between teams RWBY and JNPR are shown to be common, Headmaster Ozpin is portrayed as neglectful to his duties at best and downright insane at worst, and Glynda is seen as the Only Sane Man struggling to keep a semblance of order.