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  • Team RWBY and Fairytale motifs:
    • Yang and Blake become partners in Episode 6 (later becoming a full team when they join with Ruby and Weiss). Going by the lyrics of 'Red Like Roses', that makes them the Beauty and the Beast. This is reinforced by their personalities, but for the opposite character: Yang is the tank of the team and occasionally goes berserk, reminiscent of a Beast. Meanwhile, Blake's book-loving and introverted nature references Belle, the Beauty of the titular fairytale.
    • Making another fairy tale duo, Weiss and Ruby's names and partnership make them Snow-White and Rose-Red. This lets Team RWBY allude to five different fairy tales with only four members.
    • The girls are inspired by seemingly unrelated tales. However, each tale involves a girl, a house, and a potentially dangerous creature within. Red Riding Hood has her grandma's house and The Big Bad Wolf, Snow White has the Seven Dwarves' cottage, Belle has the Beast's mansion, and Goldilocks has the house with the Three Bears.
    • While Blake is the beauty, she is also the beast to Yang's beauty, a cat specifically. Why a cat? Well, Blake is a cat Faunus with black hair, the equivalent of a black cat which are fabled for being bad luck (which given the poor girl's own luck which makes her life a misery just like Qrow's.) But what is the other cat that's fairytale famous? Puss in Boots, a feline that masquerades as a human just like Blake does.
    • In episode 11, Ruby eats cookies while Weiss eats an apple. Rather appropriate, given their respective Fairytale Motifs.
    • The brilliance of Roman being Ruby's first fight: Roman is named, obviously, for the Roman Empire. The Empire's cultural center was Rome. The brilliance comes in when you recall who founded Rome in mythology: Romulus and Remus, two brothers who were... wait for it... feral children raised by wolves. Ruby, meet Roman.
    • Roman being based of Lampwick/Candlewick from Pinocchio make sense when you consider that they are both drawn into a situation they don't fully understand by a less than trustworthy person who indulges their negative desires for their own benefit. The person also allows them to be imprisoned by another and they both die despite coming close to escaping.
    • With the reveal that Tyrian is a Scorpion Faunus, we have a new Fairy Tale: The Frog and the Scorpion. We also get the implication that Tyrian is likely irredeemably evil because the moral of that particular tale is that a Scorpion cannot go against its nature and WILL sting you no matter how much of a bad idea it is for him to do so at the time.
    • According to the "World of RWBY: Official Companion", the agents of Salem are story characters played in different ways- Cinder is Cinderella who never met her prince charming, Hazel is Hansel who lost Gretel, Watts is Watson who met Moriarity- so what makes Tyrian different? Well, in the fable, the Scorpion stabbed the frog while the latter was crossing a river, killing the both of them. Tyrian, while just as murderous, is not so suicidally sadistic. When he and Qrow Enemy Mine in Volume 7, he doesn't double-cross Qrow at all. Once he kills Clover, Tyrian immediately bails, figuring a protracted fight with Qrow would get him nabbed by the army. The Scorpion was Stupid Evil, but Tyrian is Smarter Than You Look.
    • Raven, with her Grimm-like mask, represents another fairy-tale element that shows up a lot in old stories. She's the mother ogre who has somehow (it's never really explained in the fairy tales despite being an element that appears a lot) marries the king and gives birth to a normal-looking, even beautiful, child. In these stories, it's even odds whether the mother ogre is abusive to towards her child or just overprotective and possessive, which pretty much describes Raven's relationship with Yang.
    • A further connection between Weiss and her inspiration, Snow White; Mines. Dust is implied to be harvested from the earth (see the crystals it's sold as in Episode 1), and Weiss's family own Dust mines and process the substance. Snow White traveled to a mine and helped the workers there. In the original version of Snow White, it wasn't her stepmother who poisoned her, it was her mother. Fitting how Weiss's father is antagonistic.
  • Yang is related to Goldilocks. In the show, guess what the first Creatures of Grimm that Yang fights are.
  • Yang's Semblance is first activated upon seeing a strand of her hair falling. She literally has a Hair-Trigger Temper.
  • Yang's symbol is a burning heart, and two of her outfits have undershirts which, combined with the tops layered over them, form a heart shape. What is one of her major character traits? Her open love and devotion to Ruby, of course.
  • Back in the Yellow Trailer, when Yang punched the floor of Junior's club, it uncharacteristically bent around the impact, rather than being shattered upon impact. How? Perhaps the answer lies with Dust - it's been explained in the first World of Remnant that Dust can be woven within cloth, as well as directly fused with human bodies as well. Perhaps it could do the general same with metal/glass/other materials, giving them unique effects. Alternately she could've been channeling her aura directly into the floor. Similar ripple effects take place when both Lie Ren and Fox have used this technique against Grimm.
  • Why everyone's names have to be based around colors. Some of Western literature's most famous and varied fairy-tales were recorded in Andrew Lang's "Colored" Fairy Books or Andrew Lang's Fairy Books of Many Colors.
  • The academies that train people to fight the monsters threatening civilization are called "Signal", "Beacon," and "Sanctum", which reference the "points of light" idea of an Adventure-Friendly World where isolated cities fight against the darkness. When "Shade" is introduced, it seemed like the odd one out... however, it's later insinuated that Shade is located in or near a desert, the prime setting for Dark Is Not Evil/The Sacred Darkness/Light Is Not Good in terms of thematic naming.
  • Ruby's weapon of choice is a Sinister Scythe, which is often associated with the Grim Reaper. The monsters are collectively known as the Grimm. Overall, many characters and creatures hail from stories written by The Brothers Grimm.
  • Some first time viewers typically wonder just how Blake manages to fight in heels. This could have something to do with her being a cat Faunus Cats are digitigrades. They walk directly on their toes.
  • When in fighting stance, Blake often holds her hand near the holstered Gambol Shroud but doesn’t draw it until the last possible moment. It’s because she wants to confuse her enemy about which of her Swiss Army Weapon options she’ll take. Blake is also the only one of the main cast who routinely shares her weapon with others to set up combos, almost exclusively with Yang.
  • Atlas is the most militarized kingdom, and they appear to have actual troops as opposed to just Huntsmen, and when Vale is attacked, Vale's only defenses are the Huntsmen and Atlas' troops. Atlas also is the most technologically advanced of the kingdoms as well, and probably supplies tech to the other 3. So, it appears that Atlas is holding up all the rest of the kingdoms.
  • It seemed unusual that the White Fang would work with humans, and Volume 3 reveals that they were in fact coerced into helping Cinder's group and didn't choose to do so of their own free will, at least at the time. But why did Cinder choose the White Fang in the first place? She needed a large group of people willing to do criminal work, up to and including terrorism. Maybe going from a peaceful protest group to a violent Anti-Human Alliance wasn't the best move, eh?
  • Why is Jaune prone to reckless actions when others are in danger, especially at the start of the series? He immediately leaps to their defense before he has time to think about what to do, unless he actively fights his instincts. Shows that even though he doesn't know what he's doing, the blood of heroes still flows through his veins. It fits with his whole Knight In Shining Armour motif.
  • In the Red Trailer, Ruby has to fight through dozens of Grimm, and is able to tear through them with ease. Why would so many Grimm try to gang up on a little girl, and why is she not panicking? Grimm are attracted to negative emotions, and Ruby had just visited her mother's grave. Furthermore, she probably visits the grave often, hence why she's gotten so good at fighting Grimm.
  • The 4 Kingdoms are good representations of the types of countries that exist in real life.
    • Vale: the isolationist country that takes advantage of its natural borders to shun outside wars, with peace as its primary objective... on the surface at any rate, as its crafty leaders realize that they cannot stay isolated (Ozpin's talk about how all of Remnant is connected), and realize their fate is connected with the outside world, so they take quieter measures (Ozpin sending Qrow and other Huntsmen to investigate) to get a head start on potential threats. Parallels: The United States prior to WW1, WW2, and the military industrial complex (Natural Borders: the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Crafty Leader subtly influencing foreign affairs: FDR sending aid to the Allies through a legal loophole long before the US officially joined the war).
    • Atlas: The militarily oriented kingdom that is at the forefront of science and technology in the world, but is particularly well known for its massive army, and is derided for indoctrinating their citizens to believe in their kingdom first (See: World of Remnant video on Atlas). Tends to deal with problems with excessive firepower. Parallels:
      • Again, the United States after WW1, WW2, and the military industrial complex. Forefront of science and technology: Silicon Valley alone is probably responsible for more of 21st century technology than any other group/region on the planet. Massive army: the US spends more on its military than the next 6 countries combined. Derided for brainwashing: Many (particularly in areas that have low approval ratings of the US) believe that the United States' exports of movies and pop-culture is a way of exerting influence over foreign cultures, and American patriotism is much higher than many other countries. Tends to deal with problems with excessive firepower: Again, how people view this depends on the person's views of the US, but the US does have a lot of drones, really really big bombs, and is thus far the only country to use a nuclear weapon in war.
      • The British Empire at its height. Forefront of science and technology: Britain was at the heart of the industrial revolution and one of the reasons for its dominance was because of sheer amount of goods Britain churned out. Massive army: Britain spent so much on their navy that the taxes to its citizenry were astronomically high. The Empire even had to extend taxes over to their colonies, though that admittedly didn't go well. Derided for brainwashing: a common tactic for colonizing an area would be to create schools to indoctrinate the local students. Tends to deal with problems with excessive firepower: The British Empire's page on our site refers to the main principles as "Divide and Conquer and argumentum ad baculum", and the rest reads like, well, a colonial empire that didn't give 2 #$%^'s about the people it slaughtered.
      • Another connection to both, Britain was known for its control of the seas, and America has had complete air dominance for 30 years. What is Atlas most well known for? Its massive fleet of flying ships.
      • Atlas's newfound reliance on robots to protect the populace can be a mirror to the US's increasing use of drone strikes. Similarly, the fact that their technology could be turned against their own troops could be a complement to criticisms of the US drone programs, that they endanger civilian lives.
    • Mistral: A massive empire that is too large to govern itself, but is united by a common culture. Parallels:
      • The Roman Empire during its decline. Massive empire that is too large to govern: Rome was under constant attacks by the Gauls, and (please forgive the oversimplification) after Rome stopped expanding and no longer had a unifying force of conquest, it fell apart. United by a Common Culture: after Christianity spread throughout Rome's borders, the people all worshiped the same God. Whether or not they agreed about the interpretation...
      • The Chinese Dynasties: Massive empire that is too large to govern: This is not that great of a parallel, as Chinese dynasties were generally pretty stable, but the Mongol empire which conquered China essentially was this after Genghis Khan died. United by a Common Culture: Chinese Dynasties used the concept of the "Mandate of Heaven", which basically gave justification for overthrowing dynasties, and keeping them in power. As such, the idea was very popular for rulers and revolutionaries, and even has some influence on modern day politics in China. Then there's Confucianism, which is like a religion and a philosophy on life, and has influenced a lot of Asia and even Western thought.
    • Vacuo: a prosperous area that is isolated to the point where they don't have as advanced technology as the outside world, but has massive natural resources (Dust) that are being taken advantage of by foreign invaders. Due to this foreign intervention, it's almost a lawless wasteland, with multiple factions vying for control. While there may be a central power in the area (Shade Academy), it is in no way in control. Parallels:
      • The Middle East, Syria in particular: Doesn't have as advanced technology as other countries: A lot of Syria's weapons are from the US or Russia, and militarily the Middle East as a whole is nothing compared to the US, Russia, or probably even China. Massive Natural Resources: Oil, according to Wikipedia, the Middle east has almost 50% of the world's oil reserves. Foreign intervention: The US, Russia, and multiple other countries have invaded the Middle East at some point in history, and for the sake of brevity and sanity, let's just say it went badly for everyone involved. Lawless Wasteland/Central Power with dubious control: While not true of the whole region, Syria in particular (as of winter 2016) is a very dangerous place to be, with rebel groups fighting the government. The US Government has a travel warning for Syria, purely because of the fighting. While not benevolent by any means, the Syrian government is technically a central power, though with the Islamic State, and the other rebel groups, it is not in control.
      • Congo: Doesn't have as advanced technology as other countries: A lot of Congo's weapons are also from the US or Russia, and again, militarily the country is not as powerful as others near it. Massive Natural Resources: Gold, diamonds, oil, cobalt, uranium, but in this modern era, with coltan being one of the most importantnote  and Congo is estimated to have 64% of the world's supply. Foreign intervention: It probably doesn't make as many headlines as it should, but foreign money is financing the illegal mining and smuggling of resources out of Congo. Lawless Wasteland/Central Power with dubious control: Again, while not true of the whole region, there are numerous groups that are fighting in the region, and Congo's government is not been completely in control, and has been criticized for human rights abuses. The US also has a travel warning for Congo. Congo is also rated one of the most dangerous places in the world for women, with disturbing numbers of sexual assaults.
    • And then there's Menagerie. A large island continent in the south east corner of the world, with desert covering two-thirds of the area and replete with the most dangerous wildlife on Remnant. A like-for-like replacement for Australia.
      • Furthermore, there's the history of the Faunus to consider. The humans attempted to imprison the Faunus on Menagerie and strip them of their rights as people. This bears a direct parallel to how the Stolen Generations of Aboriginal Australians were treated from the late 19th to mid-20th centuries.
      • Alternatively the Faunus are the counterpart to the convicts who were sent from Britain for crimes as minor as stealing a handkerchief and finding a place where they made it their own, and once freed still preferred to stay where they'd made their own civilization instead of returning to where they were banished from. Britain also used Australia as a form of debtor's prison, which could tie into the oppressed minority thing again.
  • A vague one that might justify the series's use of Conservation of Ninjutsu, among the White Fang at least. In the series, the White Fang are mostly 'mooks' that go down in a hit or two, save for the occasional Elite Mooks. It seems weird when you think about it, a series where everyone has access to a force-field built of their own life energy having goons that drop to a few hits when they are using the same power as the heroes. But when you take a look at the White Fang rank and file, it makes a lot more sense. Aura has to be unlocked, and then taught to use properly. (Thus the need for Huntsmen academies) The White Fang is shown in volume 2 to be going through a mass recruitment. Given the time-frame of the series, there is little chance that these new recruits had any real training. Someone probably unlocked their aura, gave them a weapon, and showed them a few basics. "Do this and you won't get killed in one hit." They have no advanced training, save for the veterans and leaders, which is why the great majority of them fall in a few hits to trained Huntsmen.
  • Volume 5 later justifies why the low level Grimm are easy enough for student Huntsmen and Huntresses to handle; Grimm being unable to use aura means they only have their own natural protections not the Life Meter that other living beings have. Raven points this out to Cinder, noting after stabbing her Grimm arm that by its very nature she can't protect it with Aura. Weaker Grimm make up for that lack with sheer numbers, something that Huntsmen are trained to deal with. But older and stronger Grimm have greater power and thus protection, forcing more cleverness and skill and power to take them down.
  • The villains, when looking at everyone, fall under four groups, with each of them reflecting a theme for each RWBY member. It's also worth noting that the trailers show each villain faction in their matching member.
    • The Grimm, and by extension Salem and her associates, resemble how this is akin to a fairy tale, something that inspired Ruby to be a Huntress in the first place. Though what she didn't read on was that there would be curves. Obviously the Beowolves are the Big Bad Wolves that are featured in Little Red Riding Hood, with Qrow being the woodsman that bailed her out when she took a trip to her relative's house.
    • The SDC mirror Weiss' fairy tale origins but for a more modern age, namely princess-hood, and all the intrigue and backstabbing that comes with it. Hell, if you interpret him as such, James also qualifies, as his militaristic extremes could count as the war part of keeping a kingdom.
    • The White Fang naturally involve Blake, the Beauty to their Beasts. Adam being an example of a Beast without a Beauty to hold him back or even a straight example of how the relationship between Beauty and the Beast is interpreted as abusive. Blake's response could be how someone might actually respond to such a Beast.
    • Criminals like Roman, Junior, and even Raven's tribe might not match Yang, but her fairy tale origin involves her counterpart pretty much performing a B&E, something criminals do.
    • Roman, the first villain encountered in show (not counting the trailers), has connections to all four. A criminal who used the White Fang to steal Dust (which SDC has huge dealings in) as part of Cinder's plan.
  • The Nevermores, befitting their namesake, have a symbolic connection to the loss of loved ones.
    • The first time Team RWBY fights a Giant Nevermore, Red Like Roses, Pt. II plays. This song is about Ruby grieving over the death of her mother.
    • When Penny is killed in the Vytal Festival Tournament, Ruby is brought to tears. A Giant Nevermore shows up almost immediately afterward.
    • During the destruction of Kuroyuri, although the Nuckelavee was the primary threat, there were also a few Nevermores. This is when Ren's parents (as well as most of the other citizens) were killed.
    • While not about the loss of a loved one and more of loss in general, Maria Calavera fought and defeated a Giant Nevermore before being attacked by Tock, which led to the loss of her eyes.
  • Every team leader has another team leader who is their foil. To wit:
    • Ruby and Jaune: Ruby has a lot of self confidence (moreso early on), and has been training to be a fighter since she was young. However, she will often rush into battle without taking the time to think things through. Jaune, on the other hand, is more doubtful in himself (again, moreso early on), and is not as good of a fighter, to the point he thought he had to fake his transcripts to get into Beacon. He is, however, a very good strategist in battles. They also both are trying to live up to their family names.
    • Cardin and Coco: Cardin is an asshole who often makes fun of others. Coco is much more mellow and is generally a nice person to her allies. Their weapons are even foils: Cardin uses an exclusively melee weapon, while Coco's is better suited to range.
    • Sun and Penny: Sun is a Faunus who loves fun and is very outgoing, and has no qualms being a Faunus despite the racism he experiences. Penny is more introverted and wants to desperately make friends, and wants to no longer be just a machine, but be a full human. Sun is also more emotional, while Penny is very logical.
  • Jaune Arc:
    • Jaune being the only true novice fighter in his class is simply the writers being true to his inspiration. Joan of Arc was a peasant girl with visions from God. She was a leader and an inspiration but on the battlefield, she most likely served as a banner bearer to raise morale. As a fighter she would have been sub-par, especially compared with the other inspirations for Team JNPR (Achilles, Thor and Mulan) who were all recorded as accomplished warriors. So Jaune being The Heart and The Leader makes sense.
    • Speaking of Jaune, his last name is Arc. As in Arc-en-ciel (French for rainbow). He has 7 sisters. How many colors does a rainbow have again?
    • Not only are all four of the inspirations for Team JNPR famous real or mythical warriors, but all four are also famous crossdressers, and their reasons for being crossdressers play a major role in team JNPR's characterization: Achilles disguised himself (as a woman named Pyrrha) to avoid being forced into the Trojan War thanks to his reputation as a legendary warrior, which reflects Pyrrha's desire to be treated normally. Thor had to disguise himself as his sister when the Giant King stole his hammer, but his propensity for rowdy drink gave him away, which shows in Nora's rambunctious nature. Mulan disguised herself as a man to save her family (different versions specify different family members), which is characterized by Lie Ren's desire to avenge his family after a Grimm attack destroys his village. Joan crossdressed for pragmatic reasons; she can't go into battle in a dress and, in a more horrifying case, it actually helped her avoid being raped while imprisoned for a time (she for a time agreed to return to wearing "proper" women's clothing but was promptly harassed to the point she returned to men's clothing to protect herself); Jaune has no formal training in fighting but comes in with forged transcripts that let him pass through Beacon unopposed but it doesn't fully prevent him from being harassed by bullies, especially when the lie is exposed to Cardin.
  • The Volume 5 Weiss Character short:
    • The music is similar to the White trailer, using a lot of mirror imagery like "Mirror, Mirror", does. But it's slightly different. The short's music is mostly centered around growing up and facing changes, ie people taking advantage of her, and how she is becoming more jaded because of it. Mirror, Mirror, is about lamenting how alone she is. This makes sense given the context of the two events.
    • The short is preparation/training for the White Trailer, and during her training, Weiss would likely be learning how dangerous the world is outside of Schnee Manor, and the extent of her father's control and abuse.
    • Weiss's body language in the short is far more lighthearted than in the Trailer, she adds little dances to her fighting, and shows off (throwing your rapier is kind of a bad idea, but it looks cool if one wants to impress one's own sister). That sort of carelessness is completely gone in the White Trailer, and all the Volumes following it. The song is very right to be concerned about Weiss becoming jaded and changing. By the time she gets to Beacon, she's completely different from the girl in the short.
    • Fridge Horror: Winter's warning could've changed her carefree attitude, or it could've been the abuse that she suffered when her father realized how serious she was about becoming a huntress.
    • Winter at the end of the short tells Weiss that she won't always be there for her. She's pretty much right, since Winter, chronologically, doesn't show up onscreen until 3 volumes later. Now what's "Mirror, Mirror"'s main theme? It's how lonely Weiss was. Weiss probably didn't realize how lonely she was until her best friend and sister left...
    • Winter says that she won't always be around to save Weiss. That's partially a reference to her literally not showing up for two volumes, but it's also a reference to her being an Atlesian specialist. It's a high risk job, and good as Winter is, she could easily fall in the line of duty. She's giving Weiss advice about not relying on her while warning Weiss that she probably won't live forever.
  • Atlas is on the Northernmost continent in Remnant, where it's cold year-round. Well no wonder Weiss and Winter are so crabby when they go to Vale at first, they're wearing the exact same things they do in Atlas during winter, but it's much warmer in Vale. They must be overheating continuously.
  • Pyrrha from RWBY and Carolina in Red vs. Blue share a lot of similarities (red hair, being the best fighters on their respective teams, having a reputation for never being tagged in fights), but the biggest is a subtle one. Pyrrha's based off of the legendary Greek hero Achilles, and Carolina is based off of the Halo series. Specifically, Carolina is based off of the legendary warriors in Halo known as the Spartans...
  • Jacques allowing Weiss to go to Beacon makes a lot more sense when you realize that he was upset at Winter for joining the military, and Weiss' comment that the Atlas government, academy, and military are all unified under one overarching authority. Jacques probably thought that Weiss going to the Atlas Academy might influence her to follow Winter's footsteps, but a more civilian-oriented Huntsman academy such as Beacon would be less likely to result in her becoming like Winter and rebelling, despite the geographic distance. The RWBY manga shows that Weiss wanted to go Beacon to escape her dad's influence, and had to earn permission, which was the fight we saw in her original trailer. Of course, Jacques even offering Weiss the chance could've been to reduce the chance of her rebelling.
  • Adding to the fairy tale motifs above, Ruby's motif as Red Riding Hood also serves as a Red Herring to her other motif: Dorothy. Think about it: both are adorable young girls with pet dogs, who go on journeys through new worlds (Dorothy in the literal fantasyland of Oz, and Ruby through the metaphorical world of Huntsmen). Not just that, but in keeping with the main cast's other motifs, the theme of a house is also present. Only, where the other stories involved reaching a house only to find a possible danger within, Dorothy's is about venturing out of her house in order to explore the world and find answers: which Ruby does at the end of Volume 3.
  • Several characteristics about Dorothy's story overlap with Ruby's own, leading many other characters to have extra motifs:
    • In the beginning, Dorothy meets the "good witch" Glynda And so does Ruby, in the form of Glynda Goodwitch. But Ruby already had a fair-haired protector in her life long before meeting Glynda. Who, you ask? Her sister, Yang! A woman who's more than a little protective Ruby, and takes on the role of her unofficial guardian.
    • General Ironwood's motif in Ozpin's entourage is that of the Tin Man. Problem is, before Ruby even encountered him in Volume 2, she'd met a much more literal Tin Man - in Penny. A robot who wants to be a human, much like the Tin Man wanting a heart.
    • In Volume 4 Ruby and the remnants of team JNPR are trekking across Mistral to meet with Professor Lionheart, whose very name is a blatant allusion to the Cowardly Lion in Ozpin's group. However, Ruby's known a Cowardly Lion from the beginning - Jaune. A good naturted man capable of great feats, but is (initially) limited by his poor self confidence.
    • Aside from the above, the entire RWBY team can fit; Weiss is the Tin Man, coming across as cold and uncaring, but underneath the outward frost is a very caring young woman. Blake fits the Cowardly Lion; she's brave for the sake of others like he was in the books and her struggle revolves around rising above her fears to truly be courageous. Yang can also work as the Scarecrow, being essentially "brainless" in that her temper overtakes her mind, but develops into a more thoughtful person when it comes to conflict, culminating in her confrontation with Raven where she beats her with words.
  • As much as Qrow's character alludes to the Scarecrow from The Wizard of Oz, he alludes even more to a character from Tales of the Magic Land, its Soviet adaptation by Alexander Volkov. Namely, to Kaggi-Karr, an old, cynical and harsh, but gold-hearted talking crow who gave the Scarecrow the idea of getting brains and who serves as the chief of Magic Land's intelligence and communications note  during peaceful times, takes over as the de-facto leader if the Scarecrow and Iron Woodman are captured, and frequently accompanies Ellie or Annie (Dorothy's equivalents) in their travels. Although we cannot tell if the CRWBY have read the Tales Of The Magic Land, so it may be just a sheer coincidence.
  • Recoil movement:
    • How can Yang go flying from shooting her gauntlets one second and not move an inch when firing them the next? It's her semblance. She can absorb damage/kinetic energy, so she's absorbing the recoil when she doesn't want to move, but taking the hit if she does. She can choose to get a powerup from the KE, or she can move more quickly. This also explains why most of the other characters never really use their weapon's recoil to move around, they can't control their speed and energy as easily as Yang can.
    • Oh, and the only other character that uses their own recoil to move around? Ruby. Her semblance of speed probably also allows her more control over her kinetic energy. That and she's Yang's sister, where do you think she got the idea from?
  • Chess metaphors:
    • Cinder consistently uses the black Queen Virus in the second and third volumes to infiltrate Atlas's computers, which foreshadows her role in the story.
      • Cinder is one of Salem's most powerful allies, because of her being the Fall maiden. In chess, the Queen is the most powerful piece, by virtue of having the abilities of a rook and a bishop.
      • In chess, the board starts with two Queens, but more can be made if a Pawn gets into the heart of the enemy's territory (getting to the end of the board). By extension, Cinder only gained such a high position by getting to the heart of Beacon.
      • Generally a pawn is replaced by a queen piece that has already been eliminated, (for easy understanding of the piece's role) so the queen's power can be viewed as shifting not unlike Cinder stealing the maiden's powers
      • This also implies that in the grand scheme Cinder can be replaced. A player could lose as many Queens as they could and still win as long as they eliminate the other player's king. Salem's not so veiled threats to Cinder make that abundantly clear.
    • The metaphor can even be continued on to include others in Remnant even if they are not referred to as such:
    • Pawns aren't really powerful, but if you don't pay enough attention to your foe's pawns then they will turn into a threat as big as the Queen, and if you let them get close, they're just as dangerous as any other piece
      • For Ozpin's faction: Ruby Rose was just a quirky young girl admitted into Beacon early, but she has (as of Volume 5) crippled two of Salem's top Lieutenants. Not bad for an awkward weapons nerd. Oh, and both of said cripplings occured because they allowed her to get too close to them. Tyrian let his guard down thinking Qrow was the bigger threat, so Ruby got her scythe around his tail, and Cinder didn't even notice that Ruby got close before she used her silver eyes. Jaune Arc could also be considered a pawn as well, as he was the weakest character at the beginning of the show. However, pawns can only move forward, and they're the only pieces in chess that can change to become more powerful (if they reach the other side of the board they can become any piece). This definitely fits Jaune, the nobody who wants to be a hero and is making great progress to become a valued and adequate fighter. Furthermore, the symbolism of him having 7 sisters could also relate to pawn imagery, as there are 8 pawns on each side in Chess. It can be pushed further and put all students that want to be Huntsmen and Huntresses as pawns; they currently aren't strong enough to handle the foes that Salem can bring to a fight, but they have the potential to really deal massive blows later on.
      • For Salem's faction: This was covered a bit earlier, but to reiterate, Cinder was powerful, however she only became a queen after years of waiting, and getting far enough into enemy territory to gain that power, up to that point she was just a pawn. The White Fang, Roman, and all of her minions can also play this part; the White Fang and Roman in particular are not particularly powerful but provide useful services and man power for her plans. While every single recruit, like Cinder, starts off as a pawn before growing powerful enough to take a stronger role in Salem's plans.
    • Rooks can travel straight along rows and columns, which makes them powerful, since they can reach anywhere, but have the disadvantage of being predictable
      • For Oz: James Ironwood and Atlas's military could crush any Grimm incursion or White Fang attack, but their reliance on technology, while the source of their power, was also their greatest weakness at the Fall of Beacon.
      • For Salem: The Grimm are extremely powerful as well, due to their overwhelming numbers and sheer strength, but Grimm can't utilize strategy, and instead attack in predictable ways.
    • Bishops as less predictable and slightly more unusual in their attacks which can catch enemies off guard. They also have a large range, generally being able to travel across the board. But they have drawbacks, such as the fact that they can't strike on half of the tiles on the board
      • For Oz: Qrow Branwen, his semblance of bad luck means that he is an extremely powerful huntsman, and his crow form means that he can get to places others can't more quickly. But, his semblance means he can't really be part of long term missions with anyone, and his bird form isn't really helpful for attacks, so he's a bit of a glass cannon in terms of long term strategy.
      • For Salem: Tyrian, also a powerful huntsmen, but he's also completely insane. While he does follow orders, he's so unstable, there's no telling how uncontrollable he could become in the long term in the field. Also, Roman Torchwick, he would attack Vale and Beacon in out of the box ways via his criminal enterprises, but he wasn't great at combat. He could manipulate people and things into his favor, but he was never a powerful huntsmen when attacked head on, as evidenced by multiple Huntsmen and women in training beating him.
    • Knights are even less predictable and have a move set that makes using them extremely difficult to use for first time players, and they have the third smallest range in the game. However, knights have one extremely interesting use. Their L-shaped attack, if placed correctly, is perfectly in the blind spot of a queen. In short, knights are made to kill Queens.
      • For Salem: Emerald, and to a lesser extent, Mercury, are not that physically powerful, and their allegiance was difficult for Cinder to earn, but they, due to their craftiness, unusual approach to fighting, and semblances, were able to cripple Amber, the first Fall Maiden, and the metaphorical Queen that Cinder replaced.
      • For Oz: Yang and Jaune end up fitting this in different ways; Yang is the most obvious as her connection to Raven allows her to "beat" her through her words. While Jaune's Semblance unlocks at a key point that lets him counter Cinder and her plans by empowering Weiss so she heals and is able to pull off a stronger than usual summon. Both Yang and Jaune's Semblances actually would aid in tearing apart Cinder or another Maiden; Yang's gets stronger the more she's hit and with her improved patience she is better able to use it. While Jaune's Semblance would allow another's Semblance to be able to better match the firepower that a Maiden can bring to a fight.
    • Kings aren't physically powerful, but they're the most important pieces in the game, so they are usually heavily protected
      • For Salem: Salem herself. At this point (mid-Vol 5) she has not once involved herself directly in a plot, and has stayed in a castle in the middle of the Grimmlands, presumably for protection. She only speaks from the safety of the shadows, like a good King should.
      • For Oz: Ozpin. While he did attack Cinder at the end of Vol 3 and appeared to be powerful, he died in the attempt, and now is one of the weakest main characters now that he inhabits the form of Oscar. However, his knowledge and insight is invaluable, just like a real King.
  • While much has been said about Ozpin's group taking cues from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, a closer look shows that they are more like distorted reflections of the Oz characters;
    • While the Wizard of Oz was an ordinary man posing as a supernatural being who was thrust into his authority by the people, Ozpin is a supernatural being posing as an ordinary man who built an entire conspiracy dedicated to keeping him in power.
    • Glinda the Good Witch was more powerful than Oz, but content to rule her own territory and leave him to his own business. Glynda Goodwitch acts as Ozpin's Number Two at Beacon Academy, and while she may not have agreed with his decisions privately, always deferred to his will.
    • The Scarecrow believed himself to be brainless, but he had numerous good ideas throughout the journey. Qrow Branwen, while Ozpin's chief scout and good at information gathering, tends to be rather listless without Ozpin's direction. In Volume 5, he figures out where the Spring Maiden is, but unwittingly gives it to Leo despite A) Leo hasn't been very trustworthy lately (not checking in with Ozpin or his operatives, allowing terrorists to infiltrate the schools, leaving Haven unprotected) and B) the bad guys have shown they can hack the Kingdom's computers as demonstrated with Atlesian Knights. This allows Salem's group to learn and track down the Spring Maiden.
    • The Tin Woodsman is so sympathetic to others' pain that he would cry over squashed bugs, despite being built without a heart as he believed. General Ironwood, while having good intentions, lets cold logic dictate his actions. In Volume 4, he isolates Atlas more and more from the world, because he doesn't want to risk it being invaded, and is becoming more of a tyrant in order to protect the people.
    • The Lion thinks he's a coward because of his fear, but that never stopped him from doing dangerous things when push came to shove. Leo Lionheart is so cowed by Salem's power and in such fear for his own life that he has basically sold out all of the Huntsmen in his Kingdom to her forces, never tries to fight back against the Seer Grimm until it's just about to kill him, and even considers giving Ozpin's current reincarnation to her if it means being allowed to escape the conflict.
  • Oscar Pine:
    • Oscar's first name might suggest that he is also inspired by the Wizard of Oz, like Ozpin is (that he has the same first name certainly lends to this). However, consider his situation; he's got the character inspired by Oscar Diggs in his head, and eventually their identities will be merged (with a lot of ambiguity over who will be in control). Diggs supplanted the true ruler of Oz, Princess Ozma, in order to take over. Oscar isn't another iteration of Diggs, he's Ozma.
    • Doubles as heavy Foreshadowing with The Reveal in Volume 6 about Ozpin's backstory, each incarnation gains the spirit of Ozma before Ozma eventually takes over. In this case, the roles are played with. Ozma will always reincarnate into a new host, in a sense, taking over their body, while Oscar, the latest incarnation, is at risk of this happening, but desperately doesn't want it to happen. The usurper however isn't happy about it though, and tries to work with the actual owner of the body rather than just take over, much like how Oscar Diggs eventually returned to Oz and became a trusted ally to Ozma. Only difference is, the roles are reversed.
  • Adam's theme has him refer to the Faunus using animal-like terms ("Afraid to leave the nest", "satisfied to gnaw on scraps", etc.). Not only does it showcase his refusal to accept that he's wrong and dismissing naysayers as weaklings, but it demonstrates a crucial point of his character; Adam doesn't care even a little bit about the White Fang, or the Faunus in general. Him using animal terms to describe them? He sees them just like the humans do, and just like he sees humans, i.e. inferior to himself for what he perceives as weakness and cowardice. He's even racist to his own people, despite maintaining that all he does is for their benefit.
  • "Die" isn't about anything from the season it's from. But listen to the lyrics: it's about hate swallowing love, chaos and destruction being the price of life, and the moon being shattered. How do all these things happen? The Gods wipe out humanity, and challenge Ozma to re-unite them. It's about the Gods!
  • The titles of the opening songs for each Volume, when placed in order, seem to be making the lyrics to another song entirely:
    • This will be the day, when it's time to say goodbye.
    • And when it falls, let's just live.
    • And the triumph will be ours.
  • Word of God states that Ozpin's preferred beverage is hot chocolate, rather than coffee. Chocolate contains amino acids encouraging the production of dopamine, a chemical that, to put it simply, makes you happier. It's a known anti-depressant. Given the reveal of his backstory, it makes quite a bit of sense why Ozpin would have that to drink. Becomes depressing when you realize that most scenes before his death, Ozpin always had his mug on hand, meaning he couldn't even appear in public without the stuff lest he come across as depressed. Also explains why he acted off during The First Step, he didn't have his mug with him in that scene, meaning he hadn't had any hot chocolate yet. Also explains why he's more agitated while in Oscar, he hasn't had the stuff since Volume 3 and more stressful things keep happening to them.
  • Rooster Teeth has said that Remnant is LGBT friendly, and what we've seen supports that (no one bats an eye when Saphron introduces Terra as her wife). But then, of course Remnant would be accepting of LGBT people: Closeted people would be stressed-out, walking Grimm magnets.
  • Look at Adam's targets throughout the series, particularly his shorts. There is a common theme: The SDC. Knowing what happened to him, him constantly targeting the corporation makes a lot of sense. It further drives in how he doesn't really care about Faunus rights; even his attacks "for Faunus rights" are just petty revenge!
  • While it may seem unusual that Adam mentions the entire human race when his primary target is the SDC, there's a perfectly logical explanation for this line of thinking besides the usual guilt by association. The SDC is Remnant's largest Dust supplier, and is virtually THE place to buy Dust on the planet. It also runs on a monopoly (after Jacques Schnee bought his competitors or ran them out of business), and its Dust products are used for ammo, fuel for cars and airships, power grids, heating, and so on. In short, by controlling the very resource most people need to function in modern civilization, the SDC now has a virtual stranglehold on nearly everyone. But if the SDC is targeted, they lose said control. Now, let's say someone is buying Dust. Their Lien ultimately goes to the SDC, which is used to finance their operation, built off the backs of essentially slave labor from their Faunus workers in the quarries. Since this Lien is now blood money, and that the overwhelming majority of people today buy Dust from the SDC, Adam's loathing of the human race suddenly makes more sense because every last person is now part of the system that props up slavery and institutionalized Faunophobia in all but name - and that's not counting the organizations that have already made deals with the SDC, such as the Atlesian military when manufacturing the Paladins. Even if they were informed, the negativity would affect the world and screw over the economy due to the scandals that would ensue. Additionally, given the SDC's too-big-to fail status potentially affecting the lives of nearly every person on the planet, there would be even less incentive to speak out against the SDC. In effect, this means that Adam sees practically every human as an enemy supporting the SDC.
  • Throughout the series, James Ironwood has shown to be an incredibly poor leader, both in military tactics and politics, with an Appeal to Force being his hammer. He is also self-absorbed and callous. However, considering his background and the nature of the series, this makes sense.
    • First off, Ozpin. As Raven strongly implies in "Known By It's Song", Ozpin prepares people to join his Secret War by showing them preferential treatment, essentially buying their loyalty. And since the requisite for becoming an Headmaster is "loyalty", Ozpin merely had to pull the strings to ensure someone who put a show of dedication in the seat of power. Constantly being shielded from his mistakes and blunders, along with being given special favors during his formative years has no doubt given Ironwood a giant ego.
    • And then there's the fact that the last large-scale war Remnant had was at least 80 years ago in-universe, the Great War. While there was the Faunus Revolution, it's unclear when that happened or how big it was, we only know how the last battle of that conflict ended. While there have no doubt been Grimm encroachments, there's a big difference between wild beasts and thinking opponents. Ironwood, for all we know, is a general who had never seen a serious battle, either against Grimm or another military force.
  • All the show's villains are antithetical to the main themes (as well as views of the show's creator) of constantly moving forward, improving, achieving one's goals through work and willpower, and seeking not to live forever, but to make something that will:
    • Adam is stuck in the past and unable to move on, lashing out at anyone who he feels hurt him, including those who were not responsible for his injuries or setbacks. He never attempts to address his physical or mental trauma, instead hiding both in a literal and metaphorical mask of a monster. Even with several outs provided, he remained trapped in his same denial and delusion until the bitter end.
    • Hazel was unable to move on or process his sister's accidental death in a positive manner, instead blaming Ozpin and devoting himself to a much worse evil for fundamentally pointless revenge; Hazel's obsessed with killing a perpetually reincarnating being that will outlive him. Pursuing this goal means that he tears other families apart since he's fully prepared to kill anyone that lets him take another shot at Ozpin (the Huntsmen in Mistral being an example), and he rationalizes killing Ozpin's current host as saving them from the immortal's evil. His inability to process grief directly leads to his being an antagonist, and it's reflected in his Semblance allowing him to block out and ignore his own pain.
    • Mercury and Emerald both have ideas in their head that they have yet to move on from. For Emerald, it's the idea that Cinder cares about her, for Mercury it's the idea that all he's good for is killing and violence, instilled in him by a violently abusive father.
    • Cinder has a hefty implied Freudian Excuse, but even ignoring that, she becomes obsessed with getting revenge on Ruby to the point of ignoring Salem's orders on the matter. And even when that blows up in her face the first time, she doubles down with some Loophole Abuse to try it again.
    • Likewise, Neo. Everyone thought she was dead, giving her a perfect opportunity to move on from her criminal past; out of the whole cast, Neo would have the easiest time assuming a new identity thanks to her disappearance during the Fall of Beacon along with her Semblance. The skills she learned while working with Roman could have allowed her to make a new life for herself, but instead she decided to antagonize one of the most dangerous women alive to get revenge for him, with no support or allies of any kind.
    • This also includes antagonists such as Caroline Cordovin, even though they aren't villains, they still remain attached to the past. Argus is supposed to be a peaceful fusion of Atlas and Mistral, but throughout most of her appearances, Cordovin makes it very clear that she sees Atlas as superior and that anyone hailing from the other kingdoms are less than people, whether human or faunus. She views the world outside Atlas and the city outside her base that she's ostensibly defending as full of circling enemies. When Ruby snipes the cannon of her mecha, she refuses to accept responsibility for her actions, repeatedly saying that 'it's all [their] fault' and struggling to free the arm from its frozen/rock dead weight. She can't move forward as she is to attached to the past - similar to how she can't accept that the kingdoms were in an era of peace for 80 years, and that co-operation is achieving greater things than fighting each other ever did. It is only when she sacrifices the arm that she manages to free her mech and use it to defeat the leviathan attacking the city. She moved forward by jettisoning the dead weight, literally and figuratively.
    • Her commanding officer, Ironwood is similar; while not a villain, his actions drive him to oppose the heroes because even though he is genuinely trying to learn from what happened in Vale, his paranoia and fear of Salem cause him to tighten his grip on the kingdom he is supposed to protect. While Oscar tries to help him, ultimately Ironwood is unable to overcome the trauma his past defeats have given him.
    • Like Ironwood, Raven is not a villain (sure she's a bandit, but doesn't directly fight RWBY), but deals with a similar pattern of past fears. She cannot move past her bitterness towards Ozpin revealing the earthshattering truth about Salem and the Grimm, and is constantly afraid of getting dragged into the war between the two sides. Instead of accepting that past fear and fighting on like her daughter does, she clings to it to justify her warped ideology of "survival of the fittest" as an excuse to keep running away from a fight she thinks that she could never win.
    • Dr. Watts was a brilliant scientist responsible for giving Atlas some of its technological superiority, but it's implied both Pietro upstaging him with creating Penny and Ironwood disgracing him led him to throw in his lot with Salem purely out of spite. He now plays an active part in tearing down Atlas, his former home, using the gifts he created for his people.
    • Tyrian's a bit sketchier, but his worship of Salem as a goddess harkens back to when Salem was posing as a goddess thousands of years ago. The world has long since moved on from that, and even Salem herself isn't bothering with her God Guise any more, but Tyrian still believes it.
    • And of course Salem, as the show's main antagonist, embodies all this more than anyone. She, an actual being of infinite life, who literally could do anything, learn anything, create anything humanly possible, bring world peace, who could save countless lives and prevent countless tragedies like her own, managed to waste said infinite life on petty revenge against the Gods, spending the overwhelming majority of it alone and miserable, and brought nothing but grief to herself and humanity (both versions), just because she couldn't move on and kept making the wrong choices.
  • Related to the above, all the heroes have goals rooted in the past, but they aren't obsessed with them like the villains are.
    • Ruby reveres her lost mother. But instead of constantly chasing after her memory or blaming someone for her loss, she simply tries her hardest to be a huntress who her mother would be proud of. She honors her mother's memory, but it doesn't hold her from living her life.
    • Weiss wants to redeem the SDC by bringing back the glory days of when her grandfather was in charge, to the point that she's even training to become a huntress like he was a huntsman. But when her father disowns her, she puts that all aside for the moment and decides to return to her Family of Choice where she can do some immediate good. Her goal is still in her mind, but she decides that helping others is more important than getting revenge on her father.
    • Blake wants to redeem the White Fang and find equality for Faunus. But she knows killing Adam and taking over the White Fang herself won't do any good, so instead she focuses on saving people and convincing other Faunus to do the same.
    • Yang spent her entire life searching for Raven, but when she had a choice between Raven and Ruby, she put Raven aside and focused on helping her sister.
    • Jaune clearly still feels the loss of Pyrrha, but he pushes past his brief Death Seeker stage and doesn't obsess over getting revenge on Cinder for what she did. Using Pyrrha's weapons and armor to upgrade his own, in particular, is a very literal way of using the lessons of the past to move forward.
    • Nora had a horrible childhood, but you'd never know it from her personality. She focuses completely on the here and now, and her relationship with Ren, rather than dwelling on the past.
    • Ren almost got the team killed due to his rage against the monster that killed his parents, but soon calms down and focuses on what's important; acting strategically to destroy a dangerous monster, not getting revenge.
    • Qrow's Undying Loyalty to Ozpin was based around Ozpin being the first person to treat him as something more than a curse. After his Broken Pedestal moment, he begins to realize that he has Ruby and the others to believe in him, and puts aside his flask.
    • Oscar is terrified at the prospect of his identity being washed away and just ending up another Ozpin, but he still decides to stand by his friends, helping them of his own free will. He later shows much promise in bringing out Ironwood's better qualities.
    • Penny hasn't forgotten that Cinder is responsible for her first "death", but instead of just pressing on the attack, she chooses to be by Fria's side when she passes. This earns her the power of the Winter Maiden. And unlike Winter or the Ace Ops, who all blindly follow Ironwood's orders, she decides to join Ruby and their friends in an effort to find another way to save Atlas.
    • The entire way Ozma's immortality works is directly counter to the way Salem's works. Instead of being one single, static person, he merges with a new (though similar) person every time he reincarnates, slowly changing and moving forward.
  • Qrow and Raven were both sent to Beacon for the same mission by the Branwen Tribe and both connected with their teammates. Yet it's Qrow who chose them over the tribe, not Raven, who started a family with Tai. This is probably because Qrow wasn't treated as well as Raven was once their semblances were known as his caused trouble whereas Raven's gave them an escape route provided they had someone she cared about away from trouble.
  • Ironwood's Semblance is revealed to be a passive one that strengthens his willpower and helps with decision-making. At first, it sounds rather redundant, but is actually a strong asset in its own right. As a high-ranking officer in a public position of power, Ironwood has to make difficult choices on a regular basis without much chance to second-guess himself. Therefore, an ability that reinforces his resolve helps him be decisive in times of a crisis and carry on with decisions he believes are right.
    • Of course, the progression of his character arc shows the negative side of such a Semblance: it makes him rigid in thinking and less willing to compromise or consider other viewpoints. This is no doubt why Ozpin and later Ruby and her team have to put so much effort into trying to talk sense into Ironwood, because with his own power constantly active, he's firm in his beliefs that his ideas are the ones that should be followed. So Ironwood goes on to replace Oz in control over security for the Vytal Festival and barely registers the criticism of Nora or Oscar on how to deal with Mantle.
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    Volume One 
  • In "The Shining Beacon" Jaune is walking kind of funny while he's talking with Ruby. Like he's slightly unbalanced. Almost like... he's not comfortable with the weight of his sword and shield yet.
  • Pyrrha didn't use any recoil from her weapon to slow her descent, and just smashed through everything until she stopped. While this in itself is a viable strategy, it makes more sense given that she was intending to help Jaune all along. Since he was just falling, with nothing stopping him, she couldn't slow herself down and still land in time.
  • In The First Step Part 1, shortly after Ozpin comments that partners are determined by eye contact, Yang is seen putting on mirrored sunglasses and winking at Ruby. She didn't want to meet anyone else's eyes until she could make sure they would be a good partner to her.
  • During the Initiation into Beacon, Yang uses her gauntlets to prolong her flight. At first it appears that she is just having fun but considering how she wanted Ruby to team up with someone else, so she can mature a bit, maybe she was ensuring that Ruby won't be able to reach her before running into someone else. Her looking for Ruby later was likely just to make sure her little sister was alright, along with seeing who ended up as Ruby's partner.
  • At the very end of "Players and Pieces", Ozpin appoints Jaune as leader of Team JNPR, to his surprise while Pyrrha grins. Obviously she's proud of him, but there might be another element at work as well: as we later learn, Pyrrha rather dislikes being put on a pedestal, even as she does the best she can with it. As a result, Pyrrha could've been relieved that she wasn't made leader... because it's the kind of position that could've reinforced said pedestal, with the team looking to her to make decisions, among other things.
  • Jaune's potential is foreshadowed very early on; aside from being the one of his group to have a plan and get everyone to follow (as the Awesome page notes) he manages to block a blow from the Deathstalker with his shield. This isn't much, until you remember he only just unlocked his Aura, had none of the physical conditioning the other recruits had, and yet was able to tank a blow from a large and powerful Grimm for a key period of time without falling. He does, in fact, earn his way into Beacon.
  • Pyrrha's Semblance:
    • In Forever Fall Part 2, Pyrrha explains that she can control magnetism. This explains her absurd accuracy with a thrown spear, and her shield (there's a Freeze-Frame Bonus in Players and Pieces where her spear hovers up to her hand with the magnetic sound effect when she gets launched over the Death Stalker). Magnetism would give her a large advantage over most opponents, as most of the characters we've seen so far use metallic weapons. Magnetism is one of the most versatile powers in fiction, reinforcing Pyrrha's position as the "strongest fighter" in Beacon.
    • It also explains how she's able to shield-bounce with skill comparable to Captain America: She's quite literally controlling the direction the shield will move in after she smashes it into someone, as in her one-on-four battle with Team CRDL in Volume 2.
  • The lyric "And victory is in a simple soul" takes on an additionally optimistic tone after having learned that the Grimm are The Soulless, lacking even the simplest of souls and, consequently, victory. And given Episode 1's narration which ends with Ozpin commenting that perhaps the answer lies with a simpler, more innocent soul. Aura, used in combat, draws power from your soul. Victory in this universe is LITERALLY dependent on your soul, not just metaphorically. This was echoed later by Ozpin: But perhaps victory is in the simpler things that you've long forgotten... things that require a smaller, more honest soul. It also is now revealed to be a reference to Ozpin's belief in a simpler, smaller soul being key. And in particular, Ruby is implied to be said soul.
  • The white flash whenever a human character is struck by one of the powerful blows being thrown around in the Yellow trailer is, in retrospect, clearly their aura defending them from lethal damage.
  • Jaune faked his way into Beacon, explaining his initial incompetence, his Boring, but Practical sword and shield as opposed to the Crazy mix-and-match weapons of the rest of Beacon's student body (and his surprise at Ruby's Crescent Rose being custom-made, and how she said everyone's weapons were also custom), his extremely casual clothing (underneath his armor, he's just wearing a sweatshirt, jeans, and sneakers), and the fact that he didn't recognize famouse Huntress-to-be Pyrrha except by a cereal box advertisement.
  • When Blake gets tired of everyone bickering around her while she's trying to read, she gets everyone to shut up by blowing out her candle, seemingly surrendering her book for some peace and quiet. However, we later find out that she's a Faunus, and that means she can see in the dark, so she likely wasn't losing any reading time at all.
  • How do cats act towards new people? Cold, stand-offish... but once they realize you're family; they warm up to you. Exactly how Blake acted.
  • Weiss's refusal to acknowledge that not all Faunus are bad news and Blake's refusal to acknowledge that the White Fang really is showing their black and white views of the issue, matching their color themes.
  • After Blake explains the backstory of the White Fang, it becomes apparent that the song "From Shadows" isn't about Blake, but about the fall of the White Fang into extremism.
  • So we know that Ruby associates better with weapons than with people, and what's her gun's last name again? That's right, she named Crescent Rose like a family member.
  • The RWBY "White" trailer was released on February 14, 2013, otherwise known as Valentine's Day. The song featured in the trailer, "Mirror Mirror", makes constant references to being alone. February 14 is also known as Singles Awareness Day.
  • Jaune's gross incompetence when it comes to the supernatural elements make sense when you think about who he was based on. All the members of Team JNPR are based on ancient heroes who cross-dressed, and JNPR's genders correspond to the reversed genders (Nora = Thor who put on a dress to get Mjolnir back once, Pyrrha = Achilles who dressed as a woman to get out of the Trojan war, Ren = Mulan who dressed as a man to fight), except Jaune's person he is based on is Joane of Arc, who fought the English and is a legit saint. Of the four, Jaune is the only one who is based off of a real person, so of course he would be terrible at the supernatural elements, all of his friends are based on myths so they'd naturally be very well versed in it, but as he is based on someone real, he wouldn't know about any of this.

    Volume Two 
  • The hilariously over-the-top Food Fight in "Best Day Ever", between Teams RWBY and JNPR, is clearly more than just that; look closely at how many of them used food (and other things) in ways that highly acted like their regular weapons. In other words, a what-if subtext of Team RWBY vs. Team JNPR. Even better. Rubies are red, juniper berries are blue. In other words...Red vs. Blue.
  • Also from the Food Fight, why were Team RWBY and Team JNPR able to use leeks, sausages, turkeys, baguettes and watermelons as weapons? Back in Season One, Pyrrha mentions that Aura can be used to strengthen weapons, among other things, to Jaune. Apparently in the hands of a skilled Aura user, even a broom is as tough as a sword. Or a piece of bread. Or a swordfish. Likewise, who doesn't make an improvised version of their weapons? Jaune and Ruby. Jaune doesn't get a chance because he's knocked out early, but Ruby doesn't have that excuse. It's foreshadowing for her inability to fight without Crescent Rose.
  • There's a neat callback during the Food Fight when once again in a fight, Ruby does a Flash Step directly in front of Weiss. Only this time, instead of screwing up Weiss's attack, it was to take the shot from Nora that Weiss was trying to brace for.
  • Cinder's team acronym:
    • If Cinder, Roman, Mercury, and Emerald were a proper Huntsmen Academy team, they'd be team CRME (Crime).
    • Going by the color rules, it also works as CREM (Cream).
    • With Neo added, they're Team CRMSN (Crimson). (Using Emerald's last name, Sustrai.)
    • With Neo added and Roman removed, they are Cinder, Mercury, Emerald, and Neapolitan, team... um, Cinnamon. Because it is hot.
  • Why did Penny sound unnaturally cheery and exceedingly strict in her diction at the end of Volume 1? Because she's a robot, as revealed in Volume 2, Episode 3. It is likely that her personality hadn't developed much beyond that of a basic AI at the time of first meeting the gang, and in the few weeks between the fight and meeting Ruby again, it could have developed, and is now much more subtle and more natural.
  • Going back to Volume 1: When Nora and Ren are introduced, a joke is made of Nora's motormouth nature by having her constantly gabble over the duo's morning activities. Note how she seems to continue talking about the same subject over each time-skip. Impossible, yes? This could be seen as just a weird mistake... or it could imply that Nora is so scatterbrained, that she keeps looping the monologue back around to the same subjects over and over and over again.
  • Kara Eberle states that Weiss' favorite season is winter. We later find out that Weiss has a sister, named Winter, so this acts as foreshadowing, and Weiss's comment about how she always wanted bunkbeds as a kid suddenly makes more sense.
  • Painting The Town...: Penny observes that Ruby is taking the news of her true nature surprisingly well. All the way back in Shining Beacon, however, Ruby mentions that meeting new weapons is just like meeting new people, only better. Penny, a weapon in the form of a person, is probably one of the coolest things Ruby can think of. No wonder she takes the news so well.
  • Weiss doing the things she does in heels seems absurd, especially given how most people these days are aware of how unrealistic it is. Yet, it makes sense when considering her unique ability controls gravity. Especially notable in Painting the Town..., where she jumps twenty feet off a highway onto the road and holds a perfect stance.
  • Yang's semblance:
    • Yang's semblance absorbs damage and sends it back at her opponent. Her Ember Celica are two shotguns strapped onto her arms, the recoil would cause some force against her arms when she fires them. So basically she absorbs the recoil from her Ember Celica and gets stronger with every shot, without taking the damage that a solid blow would cause to her Aura. One suggestion floated on Tumblr is that her action of punching her fists together is a self powerup.
    • During the food fight, Nora took her out the only surefire way possible... by actually physically taking her out of the battlefield.
    • While possibly not intentional, when Neo fights against Yang, she does so with finesse and control, misdirecting Yang's punches with counters and relatively light blows, to avoid it kicking in.
  • Junior says none of his men came back. What were his men doing with Roman? Robbing a Dust store. What happened during that robbery? They got blasted by Ruby. Not knowing that Yang trashed the bar after they'd left, they'd be too scared to go back to Junior telling him exactly what happened... that they'd had their asses handed to them by a 15-year old girl half their height. Considering what Junior implied about his men, this wouldn't be out of line with their character. While it is possible the police picked them up, as an information broker, Junior would have likely known that. Given what happened to Tukson, this might drift into Fridge Horror too.
  • Pyrrha takes on team CRDL in 4 on 1 fight. Who wants to bet she agreed to that because she still had a grudge for how they treated Jaune? Throw in the brutal way she finished off Cardin and it looks pretty likely. Given Glynda's protests when Mercury requested to fight Pyrrha, it even possible that fighting Team CRDL was Pyrrha's idea. Sadly, she didn't make good on her threat to break his legs.
  • In Vol. 2 Episode 5, Cinder is seen sewing. While the implications for the meaning behind the needle are very much wild mass guessing, the actual act of sewing makes sense in the context of her associated fairy tale; after all, Cinderella was expected to serve her wicked stepmother and stepsisters and do every chore, sewing included. In Vol. 2 Episode 7, we see her clothes glow like fire when she attacks and could change into a formal dress when she had to make a quick disguise. What we saw her do in episode 5 was weaving dust into her clothes.
  • Yang, whose motif is Goldilocks, once traveled to a house inhabited by dangerous animals when she was a child. And Ruby, who has the Little Red Riding Hood motif, went along with her. The sisters are saved from the Beowolves thanks to their uncle, who happens to be a Huntsman.
  • In Vol. 2 Episode 6, we learn that Yang took Ruby when she was a toddler to follow a hint about Yang's mother, when they were attacked by Beowolves, and saved by Qrow. Ruby was asleep for most of the trip, judging from the flashback art and Yang's narration. However, if she wasn't woken up by snarling Grimm, she must have woken up when Qrow saved them with his ballistic scythe; this might have instilled Ruby with the desire to learn such a difficult weapon: watching her uncle save her life.
  • In the first episode of Volume 2 we see Pyrrha use her Semblance power to send a storm of cans at Team RWBY. She was probably just goofing around with her friends, but at the same time none of them were using their regular, metal weapons. The cans were probably the only thing she could do with it. It was probably one of the few times she could actually use her Semblance so openly as well. Extra points because RWBY already knows, since she point blank told most them in Volume 1.
  • With Yang's explanation of hers and Ruby's mothers in Vol.2 Episode 6 (who both disappeared in similar circumstances), Red Like Roses Part II could easily apply to her and her mum as much as it does to Ruby and Summer. Might also even apply to Yang and Summer Rose, considering that by the way she described her, she did (and does) see her as her mother too.
  • Jaune references Weiss singing. The only time we've seen her do that is her trailer, so he was in the audience. It probably influenced his decision to fake his way into Beacon too.
  • Joan of Arc was known for crossdressing and leading the French; she was also known for not doing much fighting on the battlefield herself, but instead being a strategic leader. Come Vol.2 Episode 7, Jaune has officially worn drag, and is the leader of team JNPR. Not only that, but Jaune is just about the weakest fighter in his team; he's the leader because of his strategic skills, not his battle prowess.
  • In "Field Trip", Weiss takes to the puppy Zwei quite quickly after the initial impression. Remember 'I always wanted bunkbeds as a kid'? She's quite ecstatic about something else she likely wanted to have, but couldn't.
  • What if Ozpin was reserving that mission for RWBY in Field Trip?
  • Episode 9 of volume 2:
    • Doctor Oobleck asked team RWBY why they had chosen to be Huntresses, that is, all except Ruby herself. He was probably briefed on why she joined up by Ozpin. Plus, he didn't need to. Ruby has always had the goal in life to be a huntress to protect people. She knows why she chose that career. The others had never really thought about it themselves.
    • Better still, when the girls are being questioned, note that they're all fighting small hordes of Grimm and apparently have been doing it all day; the implication is that they're unhappy, attracting the monsters with their negative emotions. They're one of two possible sources of negative emotions in the abandoned city (the other potentially being White Fang patrols). Meanwhile, what's Ruby doing? Playing with Zwei, happy as can be, with not a single Grimm in sight.
  • Roman's vague terrorism makes more sense when you consider that there were several goals. Aiding the White Fang was one of them, but so was causing panic in general. Panic attracts Grimm. And that's exactly their ultimate plan: To bring Grimm to Vale.
  • Zwei's use as a bullet powered up from Dr. Oobleck's weapon. Sounds like just another case of Monty Oum Awesomenessâ„¢, but remember back to V1, Episode 6. Pyrrha's explanation of Aura was "With practice, Aura can be our shield. Everyone has it, even animals." And Zwei was living with a family of Huntsmen. He was probably trained to use Aura the way we train police dogs to track people.
  • In the Yellow trailer, Yang beats a lighter, more agile opponent (Melanie) by interrupting her kick, grabbing her arm and spinning her before taking her out with a kick to the head... in her preceding fights, she also had a lot more room to maneuver and build up attack power. On the train, she tries to throw Neo too, only to be completely blindsided when Neo moves with the throw, as well as being unable to reach full power. Just another indication of how unprepared Yang is for fighting fast opponents, that she lacks alternate attack strategies beyond throwing her full might into each blow. Also, she couldn't cut loose without risking blowing her train car apart, dooming everyone else in the cars behind her.
  • Of course Coco can easily dispatch Grimm and parry their attacks with just a purse. Her purse has to be incredibly dense and heavynote , seeing as how it transforms into a fully functional minigun. That and possibly aura too. The minigun aspect also explains how she easily tore through a Death Stalker and several Nevermores: the weapons of Teams RWBY + JNPR, with the exception of Nora's grenade launcher, have mostly the power of standard guns, which proved ineffective against these armored opponents. A minigun however propels rounds with a lot more force than all of them, and thus was able to pierce them relatively easily, by comparison.
  • General Ironwood's views:
    • While he firmly believes in military might, his preference for android soldiers means that less people are fighting and dying in battle. When he says he wants to protect people, he means what he says. And in contrast to a listing in the Fridge Horror section, nobody's being sacrificed for hidden agendas.
    • Fear attracts Grimm, so amassing a large army for an attack would require continuous checks on morale so that Grimm aren't drawn to their locations. It's possible, just incredibly hard to do. Using robots that are less efficient than people, but can be condensed into large groups allows Ironwood to Zerg Rush the Grimm and use real military tactics unaffected by the Grimm's telepathy, something that would be extremely difficult with people.
    • This is also fridge horror as well, Ironwood's soldiers were hacked apart so easily because he never expected to be fighting other humans, to the point that his robots are designed from the ground up to fight Grimm. Notice how the soldiers aren't designed to be fast or quick? They are meant to be cheap, and be able to point and shoot at (usually) mindless animals that aren't capable (usually) of tactics and strategy. If they were designed to fight humans, they would've been programmed to get behind cover, or other useful moves, but as very few Grimm are shown with projectile/ranged attacks, Ironwood probably thought he didn't need it.
    • Also, the Battle for Beacon shows how well the robots really work against Grimm. They're not that great, they can only handle low level Grimm, but that's the point, they're designed to back-up Huntsmen by getting rid of the cannon fodder so that the Huntsmen can focus on the big threats. Furthermore, they're shaped like humans, and don't bother using cover, or doing anything else to protect themselves to act as bait to distract the Grimm to give the Huntsmen the edge. Basically, Ironwood built these things to increase the efficiency of current Huntsmen and reduce casualties.
    • Fridge Heartwarming for this as well. These robots were probably designed to protect Huntsmen and give them the best chance at survival. Now ask, who would benefit the most from expendable backup that he doesn't have to worry about and can distract people while he completes dangerous missions? Answer: Qrow, Ironwood is just trying to look out for his old friend, and presumably, all those other Huntsmen as well.
    • If you think about it, it makes sense that Ironwood wouldn't recognize the implications of bringing an army in to defend the Vytal Festival. He's from Atlas, the most militaristic of the kingdoms, they might not view a military presence as a sign of conflict. In some countries with large militaries, the show of presence is a sign of comfort, of safety, and protection. He's not just showing off, he genuinely didn't realize that the people of Vale might not feel safe with a huge fleet of ships flying overhead, because he remembers as a child how they made him feel safe from the Grimm, much as children remember watching air shows.
  • The promo poster for V2 shows the White Fang logo mirrored on Crescent Rose, foreshadowing that their presence in the story.
  • In Volume 2 Episode 4, it takes the entirety of team RWBY and then some just to defeat one Atlesian Paladin. But when the mechs show up again during Episode 11, Ruby and Oobleck tear through them no problem. Then you notice that they're not actually destroying the Paladins, only throwing them off the sides of the train each time, and Oobleck is (of course) an incredibly powerful Huntsman in his own right, and everything makes a lot more sense.
  • The fights in the last two episodes of volume 2 highlights the general difference in first and second year students. While first years are formidable, they typically can be taken down if they lack room to maneuver and build up attacks, like how Yang and Weiss lost even though we know they've beaten stronger opponents and did better in the next episode. Team CVFY on the other hand didn't need the extra room, but demolished the Grimm anyway. Second years and above know how to focus their power for more versatility.
  • A song about having difficulty letting go of a lost loved one seems out of place in the epic battle in Players and Pieces, but then remember the Nevermore's namesake and it makes a whole lot more sense. Following this train of thought, when was the next time a Giant Nevermore posed a major threat to Ruby? Right after Penny's death.
  • Wearing high heels in battle seems like a terrible idea, but for some characters there's a reason for it. Pyrrha is based on Achilles, whose only weakness was his heel. Blake is a catgirl. Cats are digitigrade, which means they walk on their toes.
  • In her tirade against the White Fang, Weiss treats theft on par with murder. Why? Because the thing in question that was stolen just before Weiss' and Blake's argument was a huge Dust shipment—and Dust is most prominently used as a weapon. Revolutionaries like the White Fang would have no other use for it, and the amount they stole would allow them to kill a lot of people. In addition, Dust stolen from the Schnee Dust Company is Dust that isn't being used to fuel weapons and vehicles which would be used to fight the Grimm. Not only are the White Fang using Dust to hurt humans, but they're denying supplies to those who would further protect humanity, indirectly hurting and killing more innocent people. So yes, Weiss is correct to argue that stealing is on par with murder in this case.
  • Monty had mentioned that the character designs have more than a few pockets on them. His reasoning is so people who cosplay the characters will have places to put their phones, wallets, game systems, etc. while in costume.
  • Weiss's color is white. White light is made of all the colors in the visible spectrum. What is Weiss's weapon? A Multi-Action Dust Rapier which can contain any color of Dust for her to use. What is more interesting is that you separate light with a prism. A prism needs at least two mirrors to separate light into the different colors. What is Weiss's song in the White Trailer? Mirror, Mirror. Alternatively, in all art when every color comes together you get the opposite, black. Chapter 11 of Volume 2 shows us Blake using dust shades.
  • Blake's rematch with Roman at the end of volume 2. In their first fight, he handled her and Sun pretty easily, only taking a couple of hits. When she fights him again, aside from using her Dust-empowered semblance clones to offset his great cane skill, her movement is much more restrained. She is fighting smartly instead of impulsively, since her speed blitz the first time had done little good. Moreover, the setting is now in her favor: as we saw in her trailer, she has experience fighting in the confines of a moving train. And on Roman's end, he can't afford to simply shoot her with a charge, and the one time he does it seems to be a relatively low-power firework—if he did, he'd blow the train apart and ruin the plan he's working towards, forcing him to fight up close and get his ass kicked.
  • Some people were clearly upset that after so much build-up, the Grimm attack on Vale was just instantly cleaned up by Glynda. but it does make sense; Glynda's an experienced Huntress with lots of power, so a clean-up would be easy enough in the first place. Plus, the attack was supposed to instigate panic in the people. Her cleaning it up so quickly and easily could be a way to put the people at ease, since that's the job of Huntsmen and Huntresses. They're supposed to protect civilians, and if they can't act quickly in a serious situation, then what hope do people have?
  • Nora seems to really enjoy herself during battle, particularly during the initiation exam. Which makes perfect sense considering she's based on Thor, one of the Norse gods, who revels in combat.
  • Neo's weapon is a parasol, an item used to protect oneself from the sun. Who is the character Neo fights? Yang, one of the characters representing the Sun.
  • How did an illegal activist like Blake support herself between leaving the White Fang and applying to Beacon? Well, the train car she was left on at the end of the Black Trailer was visibly carrying packages of Dust. She probably sold them on the black market.
  • Looking back over the series, it's actually surprisingly consistent how Team RWBY tends to perform in combat. Individually, they're capable of utterly destroying hordes of weaker Grimm and have no trouble tearing through small armies of White Fang. But when they start fighting stronger and better enemies, more often than not, they tend to lose. Ruby was unable to even scratch the Deathstalker in "Players and Pieces," Blake was unable to really stand up to Roman in "Black and White," Ruby wasn't able to stop Cinder in "Dance Dance Infiltration," and both Yang and Weiss were beaten by their respective opponents in "No Brakes." This even holds true among normal Huntsman and Huntresses: Glynda was unable to do much more than scratch the paint of Roman and Cinder's airship when she attacked them on her own. But when the teams work together, as they did in "Players and Pieces" and "Paint the Town" they can defeat vastly more powerful enemies. If the teams had worked together against powerful opponents like Neo, Torchwick, or the White Fang Lieutenant, they probably would have smashed them into the floor with ease. As a team, RWBY is extremely powerful, but as individuals, they're much more vulnerable. Also doubles as Fridge Brilliance for their training. They're Huntsmen and Huntresses: they were trained to hunt, and hunt Grimm specifically. Which for the most part are simply wild animals with no ability to fight properly, as such it would make sense they are less effective against human opponents that can counter and strategize against them.
  • "From Shadows" actually has the robotic voice saying "Intruder: Identify yourself." as part of the vocals. The entire remainder of the song is the response: the White Fang identifying who and what they are by saying what they fight for and against.
  • When the Grimm attacked through the breach, Emerald mentions that the attack "was still days away." But what's happening right at that point in time? All of Beacon's Huntsmen-in-training are getting ready to head out on training missions with professional Huntsman. While some are staying in Vale's walls, many are heading out of the kingdom into the wilds. If the attack had hit on schedule, most of Beacon's Huntsmen and students would have been away from the city when the Grimm came through. RWBY and Oobleck forcing Roman to start early probably saved countless lives just because a lot of Vale's defenders were still at Beacon getting ready to leave and were able to respond to the Grimm attack.
  • As much flak as Ozpin got for the Breach, Ironwood's alternate suggestion wasn't much better; in fact, it was even worse. The General wanted to send a massive attack force (IE, his army) down to Mountain Glenn to destroy the White Fang forces there. But given how Torchwick reacted to seeing just a small team of students poking around (immediately pull out and put the White Fang on high alert), he likely would have launched the train the the minute the very large army touched down in the city above him. Given how instrumental the army was at repelling the Grimm invasion in the show proper, the force being stuck in Mountain Glenn would have resulted in more of Vale being decimated.
  • At first, Weiss and Yang being asked to plan the Dance seems a bit odd, or at least a coincidence. However, consider their personalities. Yang clearly knows how to have fun, and is probably a party girl; she would know what people would want to have at the "party" part of the Dance. Weiss was raised to be a "proper lady"; she would know how the formal "school dance" part of the School Dance is supposed to be organized. Together, they probably could plan a "perfect night".
  • Rubies are attributed to Nobility, Passion, and Protection. Fitting for an All-Loving Hero leader like Ruby Rose, who truly desires to make the world a better place and lacks any selfish motivations for being a Huntress.
  • RWBY's colour scheme is mirrored by that of the team their parents were in. The show's title has a lot more meaning now... It also matches the Magnum Opus, or the method where the Philosopher's Stone would be created.
  • During the food fight, Pyrrha, supposedly the best fighter among all the first-years, is brought down rather quickly in the fight. At first it seems to be because it was a lighthearted scene and she wasn't fighting seriously. Yet remember what Mercury said after his brief fight with her. Her use of Semblance is very subtle. Most of the time, when she's sparring, her opponents are using METAL weapons, but throughout the food fight they're using long loaves of bread, watermelons, leeks, and a swordfish, none of which are known to be all that magnetic. It's likely that she was knocked down so quickly because she was unable to utilize a very fundamental aspect of her fighting technique, controlling her opponents' weapons in her favor.
  • While Ruby calling Jaune to help with the Grimm invasion in "No Brakes" was mainly because he's her first friend at Beacon, a little thought reveals that team JNPR is actually one of the best anti-army teams available:
    • Jaune has a lot of Aura, and doesn't know what his Semblance is; this means that he can just use all of his Aura for defense, making him one of the best endurance fighters of his year. Combine this with his shield letting him block hits without using his Aura, and him being the best out of the first-years at fighting without using Aura or Semblance, and he can theoretically keep going longer than anyone else on teams RWBY and JNPR.
    • Nora is basically an Splash Damage specialist, considering she wields a combination war hammer/grenade launcher. This makes her especially suited to taking out large groups of Grimm.
    • Pyrrha can use her Semblance to compensate for any of the group getting sloppy as the fight drags on, and she can keep her Aura up a long time against the Grimm (they don't have any metal weapons for her to use her Semblance on, and she can block hits with her shield). Not only that, her Semblance is perfectly suited to fighting in an urban environment, and she can weaponise literally the entire city if push comes to shove.
    • Ren will likely become more dangerous as the fight drags on, once he runs out of ammo. Considering that he seems to be the best out of the first-years at weaponizing his Aura, he can just switch to tearing Grimm apart with his bare hands when his weapons are dry.
  • Actually, there is Fridge Brilliance to this as well. Why did Ruby call Jaune for help? Because, alphabetically, "Arc" would be the first name on her contacts list.
  • Blake clearly is attracted to Sun, yet why hasn't she actually begun a relationship with him? Because she is still recovering from the abuse she received at Adam's hands. Blake is not ready for a romantic relationship yet.
  • Jaune was able to get a dress remarkably quick. While this was probably more Rule of Funny than anything else, he does have seven sisters and a rocket-powered locker.

    Volume Three 
  • In the Volume Three opening, when it shows Teams RWBY and JNPR falling in a circle, both teams are positioned in a way that they're in order - counterclockwise for RWBY, clockwise for JNPR.
  • At first there didn't seem to be a reason in the food fight in Volume 2 (this is breakfast time, remember) for entire watermelons, turkeys, and swordfish other than Rule of Funny. Then during Round One, we see the bowls given to teams RWBY and JNPR at the food stand are HUGE. Several of them eat the entire bowl without getting sick. Athletes tend to eat a lot more then others due to the high levels of physical exertion they do. Huntsmen would have to be constantly training in order to stay in fighting shape, meaning they would be eating much more heavily to provide the extra energy.
  • When Nora starts babbling about the horrible fates they all have to look forward to if they lose the tournament, her color scheme slowly desaturates for comedic effect. Or was it just a gag? In volume 4, Ren's semblance, which blocks negative emotion, is shown to drain the color out of whoever it touches. Her partner was trying to calm her down.
  • Neptune and water:
    • If his round-ending move against NDGO is any indication, he's not afraid of water per se, but only afraid of water when fighting. Chances are, he's gotten himself badly electrified while fighting in water before, given his weapon's nature. His twinkle-toe step just before sticking his trident into the water could be just comedy, or him being really careful about not shocking himself again.
    • Alternatively, if he had the fear of water before he developed his weapon (assuming it's not related to his Semblance), he likely developed his weapon as an elemental counter to anything aquatic.
    • Who can blame Neptune for being afraid of the water? Have you seen the kind of deadly things that live in the water, from massive sharks with maws with 300 razors inside to 120—foot long jellyfish easily big enough to swallow a human that travel in swarms, and that's both in real life and without going into the terrifying shit that lives in the ocean's deepest crevices, which are reasonably referred to as soulless monsters out to much on humanity. In RWBY, you have actual monsters of that description, and if RWBY reflects the real world, the terror of the Grimm would multiply a hundredfold deep in the water.
  • At first, Qrow's reaction to the fights might just seem like a drunk guy complaining. However, the fights did have problems (mainly lack of teamwork); most viewers (in- and out-of-universe) would just be too awed by the fight itself to notice the technical details. Qrow not only notices them, he calls the fight "a mess". Kind of puts just how powerful and experienced a full-fledged Huntsman (one that is also a teacher) is in perspective. To wit, the problems with JNPR and SSSN's fights (that we can assume Qrow watched):
    • JNPR's fight: it was a stupid decision to have a tactical meeting mid-fight, even stupider decision on the opposing team's part to let their opponents stand there and have a discussion anyway, but the ultimate stupidity is having yourselves be standing right in a bunch, for the better part of a minute, politely waiting for your opponents to launch another big attack. BRNZ only had themselves to blame for getting all of them knocked out at once.
    • SSSN's fight: comic relief from one teammate who's scared of water to the point of obviously displaying that fear and running from the fight entirely (and this behaviour probably being highly unbecoming of a Huntsman), letting the opposition get a 3 versus 4 matchup in their favor just by staying in the aquatic zone, getting your own teammate knocked out (although in fairness, Sun is to blame only as far as he threw the coconuts and his opponent dodged them), stupidly standing in the middle of tornadoes waiting to get thrown out, among others. The remaining members of Team NDGO also make the mistake of all gathering in the water, allowing them to be eliminated in one fell swoop.
    • Cinder also has access to the match-ups, controlling the fights to have the best outcome for her team. Qrow probably picked up on that as well.
  • RWBY's choice for who to send forward for the 2v2 round. We have Weiss and Yang. The two complement each other by picking up each others' weaknesses.
    • Yang is the ultimate Tank/Damage Dealer of RWBY; Not only can can she get the hell beaten out of her and keep going, she gets stronger as she takes hits. Her weakness? She's the slowest member of a team of high speed fighters and lacks long range options. She struggles against people who are fast enough to dodge her and her gunshots are rather slow, meaning she has to get close to hit somebody.
    • Weiss is the team's support expert. She's not as fast as Ruby, but still capable of moving quickly. Her Dust knowledge and Semblance allows her to hinder her opponents or help her allies. Moreover, she also is quite capable of long range combat. Her flaw is that she is rather fragile and doesn't hit as hard. Going up against a tank is bad for her because they can handle her attacks and wait for an opening to counter, and she'll get taken out quickly.
    • They flow well because Yang can take the lead, keeping their opponents focused on fighting her while Weiss supports from behind. Weiss doesn't risk getting taken out, as most opponents would prioritize the fiery brawler being right in their face. Yang gets Weiss manipulating the battlefield, creating barriers to minimize the room to dodge in. Yang's most telling weakness is her speed, and Weiss has an ability that makes her teammates faster. Yang's flaw? No more.
  • Weiss and Yang are representing Team RWBY in the doubles round, while Emerald and Mercury are representing their team. When it shows RWBY fighting the bad guys in the intro, Weiss is fighting Emerald, while Yang is fighting Mercury.
  • As a disguise, Neo is wearing a black wig and has green eyes. At first, the eyes seem like just something to prevent her pink/brown/white sometimes-heterochromia (Neo's eyes are complicated, okay) from giving her away. But then they change to their pink and brown colors, respectively. That means her eyes can also turn green. The original Neapolitan ice-cream, from Naples, Italy, the 3 flavors are vanilla, strawberry, and pistachio. What color is Pistachio flavored ice-cream? Green. So original Neapolitan ice-cream is the same tricolor as the Italian flag.
  • Professor Port mentions Nora as one of his favorite students during the tournament - of course she would be, as he sees a lot of himself in her: they both have a love for battle, like telling over-boasted stories, and generally have a cheerful facade that also covers some Hidden Depths.
  • Qrow still being able to fight Winter effectively while drunk has a brilliance to it. If Glynda was telling the truth and Qrow being drunk is normal, he's probably had to fight drunk before, meaning he's used to the handicap. And it lets him surprise anyone who thinks that the gruff drunkard stumbling around will be a pushover.
    • The Volume 4 reveal that his Semblance passively causes bad luck means he had an edge regardless.
  • For whatever devious reason, Cinder has been directly manipulating the tournament's supposedly random match generator. If you thought it was suspiciously convenient that Weiss got to fight in an ice-filled arena, and Nora in a lightning-themed one, that's because it wasn't random at all. With the revelations given to us in Fall, it'd make sense if she was trying to rig the match against Team SSSN; boys can't inherit the Maidens' power anyways, so there's no point in keeping an eye on them over a team made up entirely of girls. It also makes sense if she was narrowing down the possible vessels for the Maiden's power by having as many girls lose as possible.
  • Ozpin has been stated to be the only character whose name is not based on a color. However, he is based on the Wizard of Oz, and therefore over the rainbow in more ways than one.
  • The wizard ruled over an Emerald City where everyone wore green-tinted spectacles. Ozpin wears them too.
  • A bit of fridge tearjerker but seeing how Weiss first reacts to seeing her big sister and how she wanted bunk beds when she was younger, Weiss may have wished to have a normal and loving relationship with her big sis. Instead, Winter is very cold to her little sister and even hits her when she makes a simple mistake. The worst part is that Winter clearly loves Weiss just as much as Weiss loves her, but she can't show it in public.
  • Qrow's comment about Atlas's military being 'sell outs' takes a new light with the World of Remnant: Huntsmen episode. Huntsmen are an ancient lifestyle and hold standings equal to those in the police and even the military. In three of the four kingdoms, fully trained huntsmen were encouraged to act outside the realm of kingdom politics and choose their own allegiances provided they serve humanity as a whole. But Atlas' school are imposing a military life-style on its Huntsmen-in-training, heavily pressuring them into military special services. His comment wasn't towards Winter, but towards the Atlesian Huntsmen in general for abandoning their ways and conforming to military service.
  • Huntsmen:
    • The World of Remnant reveals that Huntsmen have a lot of free reign after they are commissioned.
      Once finished with their training, Huntsmen and Huntresses are free to choose who they work for, as well as what kind of work they will do through the use of mission boards. Allying with a particular Kingdom or village is entirely up to the individual.
    • To reiterate, they choose their employers and their jobs. They are glorified mercenaries. This explains why there are criminals with the skills to fight full-fledged Huntsmen; the criminals are Huntsmen.
    • Sure enough, "Lessons Learned" has Qrow specifically mention seeing Huntsmen that had been hired by less than savory people.
    • And Roman's anti-Huntsmen rant comes right after he sees Neo possibly die, so it would make sense, as he has likely just seen his best friend, a former Huntress, defeated by a simple trick.
    • On a similar note, the World of Remnant features two characters with unique designs, but they also don't correspond with anyone else from the series. Who are they? Come "Fall", and we're revealed to the story of the Four Maidens, with Summer and Winter looking very similar to them...
  • The volume openings have been getting progressively darker, obviously, but take a look at the knowledge we receive each volume on Huntsmen and see how it correlates.
    • Volume 1- This Will Be The Day- become the hero you dream to be./ We are given just enough information to know that Huntsmen are celebrated heroes.
    • Volume 2- Time to Say Goodbye- Being a hero isn't fun and games./ Some Huntsmen have selfish reasons for being one, but they are fighting for good... right?
    • Volume 3- When it Falls- There is no hope. Good will fail./ Huntsmen are revealed to have a very mercenary-like organization, and the morality of their client doesn't exactly matter.
    • If you noticed a trend, as the songs have gotten darker, the Huntsmen stop seeming to be purely good and more gray shows up.
  • Atlas' policy of military indoctrination of its Huntresses and Huntsmen makes more sense considering both the World of Remnant episode Huntsmen and Qrow's reference to Huntsmen working for dubious employers. As CFVY, Qrow and Winter all demonstrated, Huntresses and Huntsmen are insanely powerful fighters, able to level buildings when push comes to shove. Atlas, being a relatively new country, would obviously want that sort of power completely loyal to it, rather than their wallets.
  • In "Lessons Learned", Coco wasn't shaking due to Emerald. The biggest thing we know about CVFY as a group is that they're extremely close. Coco didn't start shaking until after she learned that her opponents could mimic Yatsuhashi. She isn't afraid of them, she's afraid because she knows that if she sees Yatsuhashi again, she'll have to shoot at him.
  • Coco and Yatsuhashi are defeated rather easily by Emerald and Mercury but there's a couple reasons why this is. One, Cinder more than likely rigged the stage so that the environment is set up to an advantage for fighters like Mercury and Emerald. Secondly, both Yatsuhashi and Coco use rather large weapons and fight by overwhelming their opponents with their strength but both Mercury and Emerald fight almost like how Neo dealt with Yang. By using their speed, finesse, and smaller weapons to use their opponent's strength against them until they end it with one decisive move. What's more, the cheating is now much more obvious now that Fall has come out. Someone was there, making Coco and Yatsuhashi see things other than they are. Mercury and Emerald vanish into high grass, but when it's mowed down, they aren't there anymore. Before, that could've been passed off as skill—not now. Later, when Coco is dealing with Emerald, Emerald literally vanishes into thin air, despite Coco having had her sights right on her. Then, Yatsuhashi comes up behind Coco and speaks her name, only to disappear after Yatsuhashi is revealed to be across the arena, and eliminated. Again with Emerald, we're shown a shot from afar, with Coco alone. A second later, Emerald is right behind her, with no indication of how she got there.
  • Team FNKI:
    • Weiss in the doubles round told Yang to expect extremely disciplined fighters with strong tactics and advanced technology. She was then rather shocked to get Team FNKI instead. However, when you look back at it, her first guess was entirely right; both Flynt and Neon had advanced dust weaponry, and they did act tactically, splitting up their opponents and then putting them in situations where they had the disadvantage (Yang against an opponent she couldn't hit easily, and Weiss in open fiery ground against a tough opponent wielding a powerful offensive weapon). And Neon, for all her apparent silliness, is fighting to a strict rhythm, constantly repeating "never miss a beat" to keep her sense of timing.
    • How utterly different they are from the rest of Atlas: with a military 'rule', everything tries to be orderly, organized, and conformed to some extent. One way of rebelling against conformity is to be as outrageous as possible - Neon provides this in spades, while Flynt has a personal grudge against the Schnee family (who is a big thing in Atlas), giving him reason to do the same.
    • Their defeat wasn't just because of Weiss and Yang's efforts, but also because their biggest advantage was also their biggest weakness. Flynt's sentinel-like style of combat, along with Neon's frenetic pace, and finally their over-reliance on controlling the pace of the fight led to their downfall. Flynt's wasn't expecting to be overpowered by Yang and failed to avoid her retaliation, leading to Neon losing her rhythm and moving too fast for her own good.
    • One little thing that becomes obvious after watching episode 6: Cinder put them against Yang and Weiss because of Neon's personality. She wanted everyone to see Yang's temper so the Deliberate Injury Gambit would be more believable.
    • Neon Katt's entire character is a reference to the Nyan Cat meme, from the rainbow trail she leaves while skating to being a cat faunus. But there's the fact that she keeps endlessly taunting Yang. This seems like an original idea or just a reference to how annoying Nyan Cat is, until you realize what the lyrics to the Nyan Cat song are. It's just saying "Nyan, Nyan, Nyan, Nyan" over and over again. Alternatively, it could be heard as saying "Nya, nya, nya nya nya," a common childish taunt. Both Nyan Cat and Neon Katt almost never say anything but taunts.
    • Assuming that Atlas names their teams like Beacon does, the one who named them FNKI is none other than straight-laced, humorless James Ironwood.
    • FNKI could be both a rebuttal of the World of Remnant analysis of Atlas and Atlesian military doctrine. While it's implied that Atlas is monochromatic with how Winter and Ironwood (the most prominent Atlesian Huntsmen at time) wear matching uniforms, FNKI is proof that Atlas does have some diversity of personalities and races (with a real world minority in Flynt, a Remnant minority in the faunus Neon, and personalities for both of them that are decidedly un-militaristic). However, this is also a rebuke of Atlas's methods as well. FNKI is supposedly the best team in Atlas, which is why Yang and Weiss are pitted against them. Which means that Atlas's best are those who are the most unique and expressive, which explains why people are so concerned about Atlas's indoctrination, it isn't just bad for the students, it makes them worse Huntsmen.
  • In the opening of Volume 2, we see Pyrrha fade in with an effect shaped like autumn leaves. Fast forward to Volume 3, and we find out that Pyrrha was selected to be the Fall Maiden.
  • Pyrrha's entire character comes full circle with that of her legendary namesake Achilles. His name literally means "grief of the people," and Achilles' name dressed as a girl was PYRRHA. The point of the Iliad is the death of men. Achilles is foretold to choose between glory and life. Upon his shield is the symbol of his sacrifice. He gives up the life he could have led. On Pyrrha's shield is an arrow, which the FNDM has interpreted foreshadowing her death (she is killed by an arrow.) Pyrrha faces the same theme of sacrifice and choice in season 3. Like Achilles' sacrifice was foretold on his shield, Pyrrha's choice was alluded to from the beginning. Her selection as Fall Maiden further seals her fate that an old generation of heroes must before the next may come into bloom.
    • Like the generations of leaves, the lives of mortal men. Now the wind scatters the old leaves across the earth, now the living timber bursts with the new buds and spring comes round again. And so with men: as one generation comes to life, another dies away. -Homer, the Iliad
    • On a lighter note when it comes to the topic Pyrrha's name, the name "Pyrrha" actually shows up multiple times in Ancient Greek and Roman philosophy. The most famous one was the daughter of Epimetheus and Pandora and wife of Deucalion. The stories are slightly different between the Greeks and the Romans, but the synopsis is that she and her husband were spared from great floods and were left to repopulate the earth by throwing rocks which spawned people. The part that relates to Pyrrha from RWBY is that the Roman version of the story says that Pyrrha and Deucalion were spared because they were the most devout worshippers. In RWBY, Pyrrha is so far the most religious person in the series, not believing in a specific religion, but putting her faith in destiny.
    • Oh, and on the mythological Pyrrha's name, according to Wikipedia : "In Latin the word pyrrhus means red from the Greek adjective πυρρός, purrhos, i.e. "flame coloured", "the colour of fire" or simply "red" or "reddish".[2] Pyrrha was evidently named after her red hair." Evidently, so was RWBY's Pyrrha.
    • Fridge sadness, she dies fighting a Maiden who wields fire, and disintegrates into fiery flakes.
  • When Pyrrha asks why the existence of the maidens isn't common knowledge, it's revealed that it was until power-mad people tried to kill them and steal their powers. Which means that the power the maidens possess doesn't protect them any more than their own aura. Which explains how Amber was injured to begin with.
  • Winter's weapon:
    • Compared to Weiss, the design for Winter's weapon is surprisingly simple and, more importantly, her fighting style hardly seems to rely on Dust at all. This makes sense when, in Lessons Learned, we learn that Winter also defied their father and got cut off from the Schnee family's financial resources, which presumably includes their Dust supply, so she's learned to fight without relying on it. It also seems to foreshadow that things might get difficult for Weiss in the future, as she'll either have to adopt a new style of fighting or be careful of just how much Dust she uses in battle. No wonder Winter emphasized how important it was for Weiss to learn how to summon, since that doesn't rely on Dust at all.
    • Also, if you were watching the show up to that point, you could've assumed that Weiss's environment shifting... circles(?) were her semblance, but if she is cut off completely from her family's dust supply, then it makes sense for her to have a secondary semblance. Most of the other character's weapons have a primary and secondary function, usually based off each other, the obvious one (like the Ruby's scythe, and Yang's gauntlet) and a secondary ability that stretches the imagination (Ruby's sniper rifle, and Yang's shotgun blast). The other characters also usually have only one semblance ability as well, though those can be used in multiple ways (Ruby's rocket jump, and Yang's kinetic energy absorption and redirection). Weiss's sword has a primary ability (sharp stick used to stab people), and a secondary ability (elemental powers). Weiss only had one semblance ability, the environmental alteration ability. Her being cut off coincides with her getting a secondary semblance so she is on an equal power footing with the other students.
  • If you look closely, Qrow wears shiny silver rings and necklaces. Crows are well known for hoarding shiny things, so it makes sense that Qrow would wear silver.
  • Cinder's choice of using Yang as the scapegoat would not only demoralize team RWBY - having come face to face with Ruby twice, Cinder knows what she is capable of - but would also demoralize another major threat; Qrow, whose niece is now arrested. Not to mention demoralizing his own teammates in case they suddenly get involved in her schemes. It has an extra layer to it—even if there were people who wouldn't have doubted her before, there's the fight that Qrow, her uncle, had with a Schnee just a couple days before, whom he attacked for basically shits and giggles in front of a crowd of student onlookers. Qrow's own arrogant love of fighting is one more strike against Yang now, and with Ruby's well-known love of weapons, everyone's going to think they're a family of violent thugs now. Even worse, Yang does have a history of flying off the handle for relatively minor reasons (i.e. losing a strand of her hair) and doing massive damage in her fury. Remember her trailer? Junior can come in and legitimately say that Yang assaulted him, his staff, and trashed his club for the incredibly petty reason of him calling her "blondie".
  • In Fall, Mercury doesn't even look injured from getting shot in the leg, despite having no aura and thus probably bleeding. The reveal that Mercury has prosthetic legs explains both this and how Mercury would go along with a plan that involved getting shot in the knee.
  • Even if it's revealed Mercury's legs were robotic, it wouldn't change much. Atlas has been making robots and other advanced technology, so for them, it wouldn't matter if his legs were flesh or not. It still wouldn't change the fact that Yang (to the audience) attacked him unprovoked and broke his leg. Of course, part of the plan involved a Wounded Gazelle Gambit. If Mercury is seen without any major injuries, it turns on its head whether or not Yang is telling the truth and leaning into saying she was actually telling the truth. Which means Mercury and his team sabotaged an opponent team.
  • There is actually a really big reason why Atlas is looked down upon for pressing their students to join the military besides simply "selling out". It was explained that the academies were formed after the Great War 80 years prior. That war was fought for individuality and the academies were built to commemorate that. Atlas instead breaks tradition and encourages conformity.
  • Back in Lessons Learned, a quick shot reveals that Mercury did take damage to his Aura, but not nearly what would be thought by tanking a giant strike by Yatsuhashi. Moreover, look at the actual tanking of said strike. The reason Mercury's aura took so little damage is because his legs are robotic, made of metal and thus much stronger than human flesh and not needing as much aura protection to begin with. Clashing weapons is noticeably more easy if they're your entire leg down from the thigh rather than just plating on the heels and ankles, as was previously thought.
  • In "Destiny", Ruby manages to see Emerald from across the entire arena - well, her weapon of choice is part 'customizable high-impact sniper rifle', so she must have some experience seeing from far distances. And while at first you may think there's no visible scope, "Mountain Glenn" briefly showcased her tracking a Grimm through such a lens, revealed to be the small part attached to it's gun form, just under the handle's length.
  • "Extracurricular" has a lot of significant foreshadowing for Volume 3:
    • Mercury is able to deduce Pyrrha's Semblance so quickly because his legs are metal prosthetics.
    • Cinder might have well have sent Mercury (and possibly Emerald) to scout out the brightest students because she knew Ozpin and his conspiracy would be looking for someone to replace Amber as the Fall Maiden. They put Pyrrha on their radar, and sure enough that's exactly who Ozpin and company chose.
    • When discussing Pyrrha's Semblance and how she uses it, Cinder remarks that "people assume she's fated for victory, when she's really taking fate into her own hands." This matches Pyrrha's belief that destiny is something you work toward, not something that happens to you.
    • And finally, Cinder ends the conversation by stating that they don't have to overpower the enemy, just take whatever power they have. Which is exactly what she did to poor Amber.
  • May Zedong sounds very similar to Mao Zedong, a Chinese leader who started the Cultural Revolution... That happened to start in May.
  • Penny's fate was foreshadowed in "Never Miss a Beat" when she had a magnet stuck to her head, showing she was in fact affected by magnetism. Damn that Chekhov's Gun is brutal.
  • Penny and Pyrrha:
    • It seems strange that Penny's wires should be able to shred herself. She fought excellently and took nary a hit from Pyrrha, keeping her on the defensive much of the time. And Emerald's illusions don't seem to be able to affect tangibility or reality, only what people see and hear. But recall that Penny is an android and that Cinder was able to hack her. She might've ended the fight prematurely by shutting off Penny's Aura, making sure her redirected attack destroyed her.
    • Alternatively, Penny can be seen reacting in pain to Pyrrha's magnetic pulse even before the wires get wrapped around her body, visibly affected by the black magnetic aura, and looking like she's having a heart attack. Being a machine, its quite possible the pulse caused some of her systems to fail.
    • Having Pyrrha take down Penny has the added bonus of eliminating what is possibly the single greatest threat to the plan: Penny herself. She put Pyrrha on the ropes - if they had teamed up against Cinder, she would never have won. Beyond this, Penny could have been a Maiden candidate if Pyrrha died, due to her robotic nature and preexisting power.
    • In other works a character like Penny would be the one to defeat the Big Bad or someone like Emerald. Cinder pits Pyrrha against Penny because it takes a character who could No-Sell psychic attacks off the chessboard. Discrediting Pyrrha and causing her grief was a huge bonus.
  • Mercury's decision to spare Ruby could actually be explained rather pragmatically. Mercury only begins attacking her once the fight in the stadium begins and draws everyone's attention to it, and when both of them are indoors. But by the time he catches up to Ruby, she's already outside, and the fight has already ended, leaving the entire stadium stunned with shock and disbelief. Attacking Ruby at this stage risks drawing attention to himself from anyone within hearing range. Also, Ruby's emotions are helping to fuel the Grimm, so letting her live benefits the plan more than hurts it.
  • Part of the reason Team FNKI lose to Yang and Weiss is the fact that Flynt keeps repeating the same tactic. In other words... He's a one-hit wonder.
  • Way back in Volume One, Ruby explains to Blake that she's always wanted to be a Huntress, helping people and asking nothing in return (with Yang clarifying some of this later). Blake thinks this is admirable, but the real world isn't the same as a fairytale, to which Ruby assuredly replies "Well, that's why we're here: to make it better." This is exactly the same reasoning behind the Four Maidens helping out the old man in their fairytale; that they help out because they are able, and do not expect anything in return... for which they were granted his power. And by all indications, this trend continues with the equally-kind Summer + Ruby Rose, who wield an equally-ancient-and-powerful ability - it was practically foreshadowing.
  • When Cinder, Mercury, and Emerald overlook the destruction they caused, Cinder looks satisfied, Mercury is gleeful, but Emerald is unnerved. Now remember Cinder was the mastermind of the plan, Mercury is an assassin, and Emerald is merely a thief. While she has had some exposure to the horrors they caused, she would be the least prepared to take in what they have just done.
  • There's a Funny Background Event in the tenth episode of the third volume, with Neon roller skating away followed by a Boarbatusk. Except when you think about it, it's completely serious: it would only make sense to lead the Grimm away from where the threat of destruction is greatest and would take some pressure off of the defense.
  • According to Qrow, part of the point of the Benevolent Conspiracy is that nobody knows what they're doing. Presumably, one of the secrets they were hiding is the Grimm Dragon. Given the nature of the Grimm, this makes perfect sense. The Dragon is gigantic, summons more Grimm, can fly, and presumably can't be permanently put down (or it would have been already). But by making it an Unperson, they can make sure it stays dormant and can't do any harm. Crosses into Fridge Horror, as now that the secret is out they're going to have to find a way to kill it once and for all; as long as people know about it, they will fear it, and it will keep coming back.
  • When Ruby jumped off the airbus, we all thought she's gonna go rescue Ironwood, but ultimately decided to board the battleship instead. The answer will be clear if you remember Ironwood's words back in Volume 2 Episode 8: Ruby realized what is the threat, and took action like a true leader. The battleship denied the Atlas's army's air superiority. The robots are being controlled, causing mayhem everywhere. Between taking down the ship to give Vale a fighting chance or saving an old guy who's obviously won't die easily, it's easy to understand what would Ruby choose. Ironically, Ruby doesn't save Ironwood because she's busy doing what he taught her.
  • When Weiss and Blake are fighting at Beacon, Weiss focuses on the Atlas droids, while Blake fights the White Fang grunts. It was referenced in Volume Two that the Schnee Dust Company helps fund the Atlas military. By having Weiss fight the droids, it helps cement how, like Blake, she has chosen to not let her past bind her. It also refers to how she and her sister were angered earlier in the Volume when Qrow destroys Atlesian property. Once the robots turn bad they're perfectly cool with destroying the threats as heroes should be.
  • The Grimm exist only to viciously kill humans, so why does the Nevermore stay in the Colosseum to attack Ruby and Pyrrha when hundreds of people have just fled the arena? Simple: Grimm feed on negativity. Ruby and Pyrrha were feeling ten times more despair than anyone in the country at that moment. This also extends to the opening scene of Blake and Weiss in the middle of a crisis, but while they stand there for more than a full minute, the Grimm completely ignore them - because, while the two of them are sad and shaken, the panic of everyone else around them is much stronger than those two, so they have no interest (or if they do, they're going after the strongest sources first, and will only go after them after those are exhausted).
  • Roman's rant and his resulting death In Heroes and Monsters:
    • Roman getting eaten seems to come right out of nowhere, but again; Grimm are attracted to negative emotions. Ruby, Torchwick and Neo have been battling on an airship surrounded by Grimm that, for some reason, don't actually interfere with their fight. It's only when Neo gets blown off and Torchwick physically starts beating Ruby with his cane that one pops up to gobble him up. This makes perfect sense as Torchwick's glaringly obvious fear, worry and rage over Neo's fate would make him the perfect meal for the circling Grimm. Roman just watched Neo be sent flying off the ship and forced to fall through the airborne horde of Grimm, and then he begins ranting to Ruby how the world is going to change and he has no choice but to go along with it in order to survive like he always has. It's likely that Roman was remembering some very unpleasant experiences at that moment. Additionally, Ruby had just affirmed her sincere belief that she and the other Huntsmen and Huntresses will stop their plans. Her hope and earnestness made sure that she wouldn't have been an immediate target by comparison to Roman's sheer negativity.
    • Much more significantly, this proves a thematic point: Roman approaches the situation from the point of view of a common criminal, focusing on the short-term and individual threats to him personally, ignoring the big picture and even mocking those who care about it. He literally got involved with the organization whose goal is to destroy humanity for the purpose of survival. His death shows that Ruby, despite all of his ranting, is actually the less naive of the two, and understands the nature of the conflict much better than he does. Did. Before getting eaten. Presumably his last thought before getting chewed / vaporized / whatever Grimm do to swallowed humans, was 'I literally brought this on myself'. Because he did.
    • Another possibility based on Jaune and Pyrrha's conversation about aura in Volume 1: Aura has to consciously activated for it to work, and some people can have more than others. Either Roman was so enraged that he dropped it on accident, or he just didn't have very much in the first place.
    • It did seem anti-climactic on the surface in the heat of that particular moment (he was giving a very angry, emotion-driven rant to Ruby after fighting her intensely and was about to deliver a presuming final blow only to be eaten by a Griffon), but it was likely done deliberately. One of the main characteristics about Grimm is that they're drawn to negativity, which is why they started attacking Beacon at the end of "PvP" after Penny's death, since there was already brooding emotions that were taken and stirred further by Cinder with her hate speech that really catalyzed the attack as a whole. So it looks like Torchwick's death was less of an Ass Pull and more of a somewhat cruel reminder.
    • It's even foreshadowed - several times actually. Earlier in the fight, when things are looking bad for Ruby and she's clearly afraid, she starts to get targeted by several passing Grimm, albeit smaller ones she's able to swat away. After Neo is removed from the battle, the Grimm begin to ignore Ruby and circle Torchwick, a sign that they've begun to target him instead due to the negative emotions. What happens after is only a surprise if you didn't pay attention to the Grimm.
    • A part of Torchwick's speech to Ruby seems almost like a meta prediction at the fan's reactions to his, Penny and Pyrrha's deaths; especially Pyrrha's as fans even went so far as to make a petition to bring her back because she had so much to live for.
      Torchwick: But this is the real world! The real world is COLD! The real world, doesn't care about spirit!
  • Qrow and Ironwood:
    • Why would Qrow Stab the Scorpion by rushing at Ironwood weapon drawn and cutting it in half instead of letting Ironwood deal with it by screaming something to the effect of "Grimm behind you!"? Ironwood should be more than capable of dealing with it, and it wouldn't have made him believe for the split second before the attack connected that Qrow was attacking him... Well, it's because of Qrow's Semblance: Qrow is The Jinx and could have caused any number of incidents such as a misfire or a plain missed point blank shot that could have ended with Ironwood taking a severe injury, and because of that Qrow dealt with the Grimm personally.
    • Also, his first instinct upon Qrow almost attacking is flipping his gun so he's holding the barrel of the gun, which is nonthreatening, until you realize that that is the exact same way he held the gun when he broke the last robot, with the butt of the gun up for maximum bashing. Given that he was out of ammo, he was probably thinking that he should calm Qrow down, or be in the best position to fight back just in case.
  • Velvet's camera:
    • At first, it seems that Velvet's poor photography skills are just some quirk of hers, and the picture of Sun that she shows to Ruby is just a one-off gag to help lighten the mood. However, notice how the picture is centered on Sun's nunchucks rather than his face. Ultimately, the weapon is what's important to her, and come "Heroes and Monsters," we get to see why.
    • The fact that Velvet's camera is kept inside of the box that's been hyped up, her hobby of taking photos, and the (somewhat) retro style of the camera. Since photography's beginnings, there was a superstition created by those who didn't understand the science of how a photo is produced, and presumed it was magic. The superstition in question? If someone's picture is taken, the camera traps a person's soul, either a portion or its entirety. What's Velvet's weapon/semblance? Power Copying, she can briefly create a perfect Hard Light copy of another person's weapons and copy their fighting style, if she's photographed them. Lending further credibility to this is Velvet's personal symbol and lens cover, a black/hollow heart with yellow stitching across it. What's also often associated with someone's soul, or where it resides in the body? Their heart. In other words, she captures the "essence" of someone's fighting style with her photos, and releases them for her attacks.
  • Three things regarding Volume 3's opening theme:
    • The name of the song is When it Falls. In Volume 3, the Four Maidens are revealed, and the most important and relevant to the story is the Fall Maiden.
    • When Velvet fights the Atlesian Paladins in Heroes and Monsters, I May Fall is played. This song perfectly counters the opening theme. When it Falls is essentially saying "Evil will win and you can't do anything to stop it." On the other hand, I May Fall is saying "I won't let that happen. As long as I can fight, and as long as there's hope, I won't give up." This also mirrors Ruby and Torchwick's conflicting points of view in the same episode.
    • In the Volume 3 Opening, set to When it Falls, the forces of Atlas led by Ironwood are cut to when the line "Crushed by the weight of the world" plays. Now, just what is Atlas commonly remembered for in Greek Mythology?
  • Yang's Arc Words -style intro caption has always come off as ironic.Read it here  This is obviously supposed to refer to Yang, what with her wild, boisterous ways, her lawlessness, and her excitable personality. Yet despite the words speaking of symmetry and misshapen-ness, Yang has easily the most symmetrical character design of all four RWBY characters. Ruby has her massive scythe and her magazine clip, Weiss has her rapier, her scar, and her side-swung ponytail, and Blake's entire design speak to asymmetry, with one sleeve and especially the design of her Mix-and-Match Weapon. Yet Yang's outfit is almost entirely symmetrical save for the barely-noticeable stocking and skirt differences. Even her weapons are identical and dual-wielded. But Now that Yang's arm has been slashed off, she really is the most asymmetrical and misshapen of all.
  • At the end of the "The End of the Beginning", Ruby is setting off to Haven with Jaune, Nora, and Ren. Put them together, and you have JRRN - journey, or perhaps RNJR - ranger. There's also RRNJ - orange (to keep with the color scheming), and JNRR - junior, which can be seen as a reference to the "young soul" Ozpin and Salem have mentioned.
  • Beyond the actual narrative reasons for Ruby joining what's left of team JNPR it also makes sense on the thematic level, since they just lost their "red" team member.
  • People are questioning just how close Team RWBY really is given they split up while their leader was comatose but factor in these things: they are all teenagers, one of them has had their arm cut off and is still dealing with all the trauma from that, the other just found out their ex is a psychotic terrorist willing to destroy everything she holds dear and has run off, and the last one was forced to leave with her father and had little choice in the matter.
    • Yang's extreme reaction to Blake's running away makes perfect sense. Ever since Raven left home, Yang has had severe abandonment issues. She very nearly caused Ruby's death when taking a stroll in the Grimm-infested woods, pursuing a lead on her missing mother. She lashed out at Junior for not giving her the information for her search. And now, someone else who was close to her, her partner, has up and abandoned her. It is entirely in character. Yang also knows how terrible abandonment feels like, which is why she took Ruby with her when she went looking for her mother, despite the fact that she, as a child, had to pull a wagon with her sister in it until she literally collapsed from exhaustion.
  • Watch the Volume 3 opening again: Jaune is the furthest away from Pyrrha, while Ruby and Weiss are holding her hands. This gets reflected in the finale when Pyrrha sends Jaune to Vale while Ruby and Weiss go to help her. Unfortunately, just as Pyrrha is the first to fall away from the circle, and with her flying away it begins the desolation of both Team RWBY and Team JNPR.
  • Some characters have eye colors that match their seeming love interests.
    • Weiss has blue eyes, which refer to Neptune. Blake has yellow eyes, which refer to Sun (or Yang, if you want), and Sun has eyes that are either black, to refer to Blake, or blue, depending on what scene you're in. Ren has pink eyes, which refers to Nora, while Nora has green eyes, which refer to Ren.
    • Blake and Yang fit into this as well. Blake's eyes are yellow, which is Yang's thematic color, and Yang's eyes are normally violet- not necessarily Blake's main color, but a color closely associated with her through her outfit's leggings and the color her attacks usually take, among other things. Also, while not romantic love, the other color Yang's eyes take on is red, alluding to her sister, whom she definitely deeply cares for.
  • Salem is clearly set up to be Ozpin's archnemesis, to the extent that her name itself is an opposite The wizard of Oz was a man pretending to be a wizard and worshiped for it, whereas Salem alludes to people being falsely accused of being witches, and then being killed for it. Even better, her symbol has some similarities to Glynda's one. She's The Wicked Witch of the West to Glynda's Good Witch of the South.
  • Salem's speech towards Ozpin hits some pretty high notes when it cuts to what's going on with the other people dealing with the situation in Beacon.
    • "When banded together, unified by a common enemy, they are a noticeable threat.", paired with Glynda failing to put even a simple door together with her telekinesis. This relates to her effortlessly fixing the area after the Breach in Volume 2, as everyone was banded together against a common enemy: the Grimm.
    • "But divide them, place doubt into their minds...", paired with Blake running away, relates to how she has doubts in her mind regarding whether being a part of a team is a good idea or if it'd hinder them.
    • "Any semblance of power they once had will wash away." Paired with Weiss being sent away to Atlas by her father. She attended Beacon, against her father's wishes, thus establishing just a semblance of power she had over her father. She immediately loses it when he personally brings her back to Atlas.
    • "Of course, they won't realize it at first. Like you, they'll cling to their fleeting hope, their aspirations, but this is merely the first move." Paired with Ruby going with JN_R after visiting her mother's grave. Ruby's clinging onto her fleeting hope: a lead on Cinder, and is walking with her aspirations, Team JN_R.
  • The song Divide, used in the credits after her appearance, at first seem to be sung in grief of the heroes lost in the past few episodes and in anger at their killers... but it's actually from Salem and her faction's point of view, against Ozpin.
    • It was you. Who. Ended their lives. Made them to dig their own graves! With your dark. Sick. Cruel design, convinced them their world could be saved. Have? You? No? Shame? Signing them up for your war? Trained them to fight what they can't beat, your sins are what they'll pay for!
    • Which is even more horrible. The entire song is about the good people that have been lost combating Salem's designs, throwing them in Ozpin's face, and the faces of anyone else who believed in their cause and fought for it. It's a song about Victim Blaming.
    • The theme of the song is even more brilliant since during the Salem Witch Trials the accused witches were blamed for daring to do witchcraft by the "good-hearted" Puritan citizens.
    • And after "A Much Needed Talk", this could also apply to Jaune calling out Qrow as well.
  • Ruby's eyes in connection to her new power makes a lot of sense when you take into account that supernatural monsters are weak against silver. Most particularly werewolves. Ruby has had wolf symbolism since the very beginning. This gets even more brilliant when you remember how much Ruby is based off Little Red Riding Hood.
  • The fact that Ozpin took such an interest in Ruby is both fridge horror and brilliance with the reveal that her silver eyes signify great power and combat prowess. On the brilliance end, it explains why he would pull her ahead two years and put her in a position to grow as both a person and a warrior just for beating up four men who showed no Aura ability. However, this could be seen as him helping a little girl destined for greatness along, or molding her into, on the Fridge Horror part, into a superweapon to use against Salem and the Grimm.
  • Where was Pyrrha shot with an arrow, ultimately leading to her demise? In the heel. Just like the Greek hero she was based on.
  • Cinder's killing of Pyrrha could be a very smart move. Not only was Pyrrha one of the best Huntresses in Training, but people idolized her, possibly even to the extent of being humanity's champion. Can you imagine what killing such a person could do for morale, both in the ranks and that of citizens?
  • Ozpin and Co and The Wizard of Oz:
    • Ozpin's name is clearly a reference to the titular wizard, the "-pin" derived from the initials of The Wizard of Oz's name (which spelt out PINHEAD). He is also portrayed as the mastermind of the group, fitting considering that Oz was a man who operated in the shadows: after all, Oz did run everything through an alter ego. The fact that Ozpin gets stuff done through Qrow, Ironwood and presumably Glynda makes a lot of sense, too: in the story, Oz did manipulate Dorothy and Co to get rid of The Wicked Witch of the West.
    • Glynda shares her name with the Good Witch of the South, and fights with "magic" (her semblance of telekinesis, but still!) that she seems to direct using her riding crop in a way reminiscent of a wand - just like a witch/female wizard.
    • Qrow is less obvious, but all the same an allusion to the Scarecrow. He acts like Ozpin's eyes and ears, keeping tabs on things and informing him of goings-on, like how a scarecrow watches over a field. Qrow also fights with a scythe, a weapon traditionally used to harvest plants like grain. This also connects to scarecrows, considering that scarecrows are used on farms to frighten off birds from eating crops. Qrow being an alcoholic could also be a reference: the Scarecrow had no brain, which alcohol impairs. Qrow taking over from Ozpin after the Volume 3 finale could be a deliberate allusion to the way the Scarecrow took over Oz after the Wizard left. What kind of alcohol does most booze have in it? Grain alcohol!
    • Ironwood is strongly associated with The Tin Man. His name references him, "iron-" referring to the tin man being made of metal while "-wood" referencing the Tin Man being found while cutting down trees. Ironwood has a stoic, emotionless demeanor, an allusion to the Tin Man's lack of a heart, which is often associated with emotion. He also is heavily involved with robots, or "metal men", and later on we learn that Ironwood himself is partly metal. His nation even treats his flesh and blood soldiers like faceless automatons.
    • Leo Lionheart, Haven's headmaster, is based off of the Cowardly Lion; both his name and what we've seen of his colour scheme matches the animal part (tan and white), and the cowardly part is reflected in the heavy implication that he's an informant for Salem.
    • And that leaves Shade's headmaster, who is still unknown at this point; however, they're likely the stand-in for Dorothy.
      • Another theory for Dorothy: who do we know who's an innocent girl - that is, a simple soul - with a dog? Obviously, the answer is Ruby. Alternatively, as Ruby is already Red Riding Hood, it's Summer Rose who was Dorothy. After all, Summer also sported Silver Eyes, much like Dorothy had those silver slippers.
    • Additionally, some theories have suggested that Team RWBY themselves are the stand-ins for the protagonists of the Wizard of Oz. Ruby is the obvious Dorothy, as an innocent girl with a cute dog companion. Yang could be the Scarecrow, as her Character Development seems to be projected towards not being such a temperamental Leeroy Jenkins, i.e, getting a brain. Weiss could be the Tin Man, as she's a cold and distant girl who is gradually learning to be kind, i.e, getting a heart. Blake could be the Cowardly Lion, as her character arc seems to be learning to stand and face her Dark and Troubled Past and her problems head-on rather than run away from them, i.e, getting courage.
    • And even Ruby's current team could work with the Wizard of Oz theme: Jaune is a talented strategist, but hasn't realized it, much like how the Scarecrow never realized he had a brain all along. The stoic Ren is the Tin Man who cares more than lets on. Nora, for all her bravado, appears to be something of a Stepford Smiler who hides her anxieties, much like the Cowardly Lion.
  • The fact that Qrow was shadowing Autumn when she was attacked, and that Ozpin knows that the Four Maiden's story is true and Autumn's own name could mean that Autumn and Ozpin were, at the very least, acquainted. If she knew what was happening in her final moments, imagine how she must feel that she is being sacrificed by someone she knew to be replaced like a defective weapon?
  • Considering all of this, the character of Salem makes a lot of sense. Clearly, it would fit for Ozpin's archenemy to be a reference to The Wicked Witch of the West, and considering that Salem's name references the infamous Salem Witch Trials, it's not too hard to guess that's exactly who Salem is based on.
  • Why does Cinder have influence over Grimm? Cinderella was great with animals!
  • The Narrator being a villain was actually hinted at throughout her narrations. In "Ruby Rose", she states "But even the most brilliant lights eventually flicker and die. And when they are gone... darkness will return" and "there will be no victory in strength". In the World Of Remnant episode "Grimm", she says "And in the end... killing is all that matters." Her seeking to divide the kingdoms is foreshadowed in "Kingdom" when she says "But the four kingdoms stand as beacons of hope. As safe havens from the darkness that surrounds them. They are the key to mankind's survival, as long as they stand united..." Furthermore, the World of Remnants narrated by Ozpin? It's Ozpin trying to convince Salem of humanity's value.
  • Torchwick not bothering to kill Tukson makes a lot more sense knowing that Torchwick is on Cinder's side to ensure he survives whatever happens, if Tukson had managed to escape, it's likely that Torchwick would've done the same.
  • "Do you believe in destiny?" Pyrrha was ultimately not destined to be a hero, and Cinder was not destined to be victorious, but Ruby's silver eye powers meant she was destined to be a great warrior. Cinder's undoing was not Pyrrha's destiny, but Ruby's. Following on this, for anyone following her actual role in the story, it's not surprising that Pyrrha's ultimate destiny is not to BE the hero, but to empower them.
  • Ren and Nora's concern that Jaune and Pyrrha are still missing probably isn't just worry over their teammates. Beacon, the only place they have to call home, is effectively destroyed and they have to flee. Jaune and Pyrrha (plus Team RWBY) are basically the only family they have left, and they have no way of knowing if they're safe.
  • Take another look at the Season 3 intro. Notice how the camera zooms in on Ruby's eyes as she fights Cinder. And how Pyrrha is the first one to go flying off when they're in the falling circle.
  • Right at the beginning of the show, the opening narration very plainly states that there will be no victory in strength. Come the end of volume 3, the strongest fighters Beacon had to offer by the end of the Tournament, Pyrrha and Yang, whose strengths, of body and character, have been a major part of their characterizations from the beginning, are dead and broken with no will to continue, respectively. Meanwhile, Ruby's smaller, more honest soul turned the tide and ruined Cinder's plans at the last second, even if the cost was too great, and she's still maintaining hope for a brighter future, mirroring Ozpin's reply from the first episode.
  • Weiss and Blake. While they didn't end up doing as well as Ruby, nonetheless they ended the fight developing a new level of their Semblances when they rescued Velvet and Yang respectively. Weiss and Blake who said their motivations to be Huntresses was to help people, particularly so Weiss can make up for the Schnee family's mistakes and Blake can redeem herself for her past as a White Fang terrorist. While they aren't quite honest/simple motivations like Ruby who simply wants to help people for the sake of helping people, those are still selfless goals. Yang by contrast just wanted excitement, and viewed helping people as a convenient bonus... and during the fall of Beacon, she was completely crushed and permanently maimed during the battle, didn't learn anything new, and was of no help to anyone. Yang is also the only one of the team completely confident she was one of the most badass people around, compared to Weiss who's well aware she's lacking compared to Winter, and Ruby and Blake who voluntarily sat out after round one because they believed their teammates stronger than them. Yang was the most self centered of the team, and was ineffective as a result.
  • Volumes 1 & 2's openings end with the title RWBY with the four letters grouping close together, while Volume 3's RWBY title has each letter noticeably placed further away from each other. Makes more sense considering that at the end of Volume 3, the whole Team RWBY has broken up and each member goes their separate ways. Not to mention how Ruby's the only one conscious or active in the final shot of the opening where the camera spins around the sitting girls. Each of them becomes inactive, save for Ruby.
  • Just as Team SSSN is pronounced Team Sun, Ruby joining and leading the remains of Team JNPR becomes Team RNJR, or Team Ranger.
  • Part of the chorus for Die says "Shattering the moon and bloodying the sky." I May Fall also has the lyrics "As the skies rain blood" and later on "When the moon is gone." In the place where Salem is first shown, the sky is colored blood-red, and there's a clear view of the shattered moon. The moon is also partially shrouded in clouds, which makes it look as though it's fading into nothingness.
  • The opening animation for Volume 2 shows each member of Team RWBY facing off against one of the villains: Ruby vs. Cinder, Weiss vs. Emerald, Blake vs. Torchwick, and Yang vs. Mercury. The same is true for Volume 3's opening, expect it has Blake fighting Adam instead. This foreshadows the Volume 3 episode Heroes and Monsters, where Torchwick dies and Adam starts to become a more prominent antagonist.
  • The narration at the end of Volume 3 is a continuation of the opening narration from Volume 1. You can hear it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jd9F2ghwOw8
  • If Cinder hadn't had Roman attack that particular Dust shop on that night back in volume 1, it's possible Ruby would never have met Glynda and Ozpin and wouldn't have been pushed ahead two years to go to Beacon, and she would never have been in a position to unlock her Silver Eyes power. Cinder had written Ruby off as more or less a non-threat from that point, but it's ultimately her own fault that something she could never have expected blindsided her because it came from someone whose presence she was more or less directly responsible for.
  • During Cinder's fight with Pyrrha, her dress does not light up as it usually does even though she attacks mainly with fire. At first this may just seem to be an animation error, but then one realizes that she has the Fall Maiden's powers and thus no longer needs the Dust in normal fights. In contrast, during her fight with Ozpin, she uses both Dust and the Maiden's powers in tandem as her opponent is a much more powerful threat than who she faces afterward. This combination of Dust and Maiden's powers also allows for much more excessive use of fire and heat. She outright melts the floor into lava with her hand while sliding to a stop after she's pushed backward, and she lights her swords on fire for the added offensive power. Alternatively, she used up all her Dust during her first fight and had none left for her second.
  • Qrow is dismissive of RWBY's heroics in Vol 1 and 2 saying it's cute but they really can't make a serious dent in the crime of Vale. He's also dismissive of the Academies in general, claiming they're a decent start but only that, and even after finishing it's not until you're a Huntsmen out in the world that you really start to grow, saying you can grow more in a few days out there than you can in weeks of academy training. And sure enough he's right. The students despite being able to take Grimm and mooks are utterly no match for their older, more experienced opponents. Emerald was on her own surviving for years, while Mercury was trained by an angry alcoholic abusive father who forcibly beat into his son far greater skills than the ones taught by supportive teachers like Glynda or Taiyang. Torchwick, as a criminal had to "lie, cheat and survive." They were out in the world, and thus they walked all over the students. As fun and cool as Beacon seemed to be, it was actually holding RWBY back as far as giving them the skills needed to stop Salem.
  • Yet another Torchwick related one; him being Faux Affably Evil makes sense, as Grimm are drawn to negativity. So how does he dodge that little problem? Simple! He and Neo always seem happy, despite Roman's extreme cynicism. Because if he lets all that negativity under the surface loose, he gets killed. So, his statements about relieving stress while hurting Ruby makes sense. That is literally what he is doing.
  • When Yang is talking to Ruby at the end of Volume 3, she never directly mentions her arm. There's a few glances and she's clearly depressed about it, but it's not on the Long List of problems she gives Ruby. Depending on how optimistic you think Yang is, this could either be Brilliance or Horror. The brilliance version is that Yang is pretty damn strong, in body and in spirit. Both have been hurt, but given how she never mentions the arm it could be a hint that she'll jump back into action the moment her team needs her, arm or no arm. The horror version is that she's trying to ignore or avoid the problem, to little effect. This adds another dimension to her anger at Blake, as Yang might be envious of how Blake really did run away from everything; even if Yang ran away too, it's not like she can get away from her injury.
  • Due to Remnant's apparent cultural emphasis on individuality and self expression, up to and including allowing young soldiers to design their own weapons, it's not a stretch to assume things like minor body modification, changing your own name, and designing your own outfit are all also standard. Thus, we can assume that every character presents oneself in the way they feel makes them look coolest. From Pyrrha's 24-Hour Armor to Ruby's Elegant Gothic Lolita, everyone is dressed to look cool. This also helps explain why many of the characters have a strong color motif- most people in real life have a favorite color to wear, or are otherwise strongly attached to their favorite color. This also might help explain the existence of battle skirts and people who fight in high-heels, as well as other highly combat-impractical outfits; there's money in making clothes that are both fashionable and combat ready.
    • Alternatively, self-expression could reinforce Aura and Semblances, so the benefits of Awesome, but Impractical looks and weapons could outweigh the negatives.
  • While we haven't actually SEEN the other schools yet, the names do give a hint as to their nature: Beacon - A light that guides people to a predetermined destination. Shade - A place to hide. Haven - A safe place. Atlas - A map to the destination. Each of the schools probably operates in a manner similar to the name they carry, meaning that where Beacon seeks to guide people, Shade seeks to hide them, Haven seeks to protect them, and Atlas seeks to lead them. It would be a fitting theme for the academies, and leaves open the question: "Are there any schools that seek to empower the people, or do they all seek some form of control?"
  • Minor one, but Blake's new outfit in the concept art for volume 4 shares many similarities with Yang's (former) outfit, what with the Bare Your Midriff and all. At least Blake hasn't forgotten about her partner. In return, Yang's concept art has a bumblebee on her pants. The fact that it isn't on her shirt (which can be hidden by her jacket) or her jacket (which can be taken off) means that in some way, they will always be partners despite the distance between them.
  • When you look at Pyrrha's weapon, Milo, in its sword form, it seems like an odd design for a blade. Its edge is golden, but the rest of the blade is red including the base, even though it's a solid piece of metal. But it resembles a compass needle.
  • Qrow's ability to turn into a crow, while excellent for reconnaissance or escape, is the only one shown that has no applications in combat. Since he wouldn't have used it publicly (like at the Vytal Tournament or in fights while at Beacon), it's possible that it's a complete secret known only to few, which would explain why he's such an effective spy for Ozpin.
  • Pyrrha's name is probably a reference to Pyrrhus (Pyrrhus is the masculine form, Pyrrha is the feminine), the king which the term "Pyrrhic Victory" is named for. It means a victory where the person technically wins, but the cost of the win is so high that it's ultimately self-defeating. So when Pyrrha dies, what happens? Ruby technically wins over Cinder, by freezing the giant Grimm, but Vale is overrun, the intercontinental network is down, the maiden of Fall's powers are now in Cinder's hands, Yang's arm is cut off, and Pyrrha herself is dead, in other words, Pyrrha died for Ruby's Pyrrhic Victory.
    • Alternatively, it was a Pyrrhic victory for Salem/Cinder. Yes, they achieved their goal of destroying Beacon, sowing fear and mistrust throughout the other Kingdoms and eliminated a major enemy in Ozpin. But Pyrrha's death was not the grand slam they think, as it has only caused her remaining teammates and friends to band together more closely than ever before, setting out to hunt down her murderers and further galvanized them to the causes of protecting the world. Having Ruby witness Pyrrha's death directly also jump started her Silver-Eyed powers, possibly making her the single greatest threat to Salem's plans. The battle may be won for Salem's side, but the war is not over and Ruby and her allies still have everything to fight for.
  • Pyrrha wears surprisingly little armor given that she has ferrokinetic powers, but then again, she only has it in important places. The legs (which don't need much freedom of movement), the neck (which weirdly enough bends around despite being metal, which could make sense if she was altering it to move with her powers, and if she's knocked out, it would freeze in place, possibly keeping her from getting spinal injuries), the torso (the vital organs that can't dodge like her head can) and her left forearm (which, if she's right handed, is probably her less powerful arm that she is trying to compensate for).
  • During Yang's 1v1 tournament fight, she and Mercury don't talk at all, which makes sense because they don't have anyone to talk to. She pretty much only grunts and yells the whole time, and it sounds suspiciously like Ruby's voice. This makes sense as Ruby and Yang both have really distinctive voices, but that's mostly because of the age difference making Ruby's voice higher, they're half sisters, and if they were the same age they would probably sound really similar, which is reflected by Yang's higher pitch (which usually comes out only when she is fighting, and usually only when she is hit) sounding similar to Ruby.
  • The revelation that Ironwood is a cyborg, with most of his body being metal, is foreshadowed an episode earlier, he manages to stop a Grimm's hand dead in its tracks with one hand. Of course, that could be explained as his semblance, super strength, or kinetic energy absorption that's similar to Yang, but he has a white glove over that particular hand, which can be inferred as a Luke Skywalker situation, covering up a roboarm, except the biggest physics issue with roboarms is that no matter how tough his arm is, if the force is enough to knock someone off of their feet, it doesn't matter how tough the arm is, it will get ripped off at the point where there's fragile human flesh intersecting metal. Him stopping a Grimm's swipe cold meant that whatever he had enhanced his entire body, or at least enough to take the force that was pushing into him by the Grimm's swipe, and the force pushing him into the floor.
  • In the 3rd chapter, Weiss hits Ruby when she is embarrassing her in front of her sister, Ruby seems to flip out and looks shocked for several seconds until she recovers. At first Weiss seems really strong, but then you realize that Weiss hit her in the Standard Female Grab Area. Maybe one of the creators reads TV Tropes?
  • Listen to the lyrics of "I May Fall", and you may realize that it's not about Velvet's fight. It's about Ruby and Roman, making the song a massive Shut Up, Hannibal!.
  • Pyrrha being based on Achilles makes sense. During the battle where she died, she was doing pretty well and staging a comeback, up to when she gets shot in the heel with an arrow.
  • When Ironwood finally reveals his signature weapon, the viewer may be surprised that it's literally just a gun instead of the Mix-and-Match Weapon that the rest of Remnant uses, but if the viewer pays attention, you notice all is not as it seems...
    • First, it is incredibly powerful, and can take out low level Grimm with ease.
    • Second, it shoots 7 shots instead of the traditional 6.
    • Third, one of those shots is a secondary fire function that apparently fires red dust capsules that explode, which mean's he's got a freaking grenade launcher on his pistol.
    • Fourth, the gun is really big. If it were in real life it would be up there as one of the largest mass manufactured pistols on the planet. It's easiest to see when he's holding it by the barrel, but it's really just massive.
    • Basically the gun is like Ironwood. On the outside, it's cold, practical, and dangerous, but in reality, it's just as crazy as the rest of the world, and you would do well to not get within its firing line.
  • Ironwood's fighting style is parroted by his military doctrine:
    • The fight, broken down step by step.
      • He runs at the Grimm, yelling out while running at it.
      • Shots from a distance to the body of the Grimm, which continue even though they don't appear that effective. The Grimm rushes him, and takes some swipes at him.
      • Ironwood feigns getting hurt, but then grabs the Grimm, catches it off balance, flips it over his head to body-slam it against the ground and then blows its brains (or whatever the Grimm equivalent is) out
    • How it relates
      • The first part, involving yelling while rushing the Grimm, is a little weird given that he is generally more reserved, until the Fridge Brilliance sinks in, he was trying to get the Grimm's full attention away from civilians, earlier the Grimm makes a point to perk its abnormally large ears up which indicates it has heightened hearing. This is similar to how the Atlesian knights don't really attack with any specialized attacks, and instead just shoots any enemies, which is likely for the purpose of drawing attention away from civilians and Huntsmen during Grimm attacks. It also is similar to how Ironwood basically parked his ships in the middle of the sky as gigantic targets, assuming that any attacks would be repelled and would redirect attention from the more vulnerable city.
      • The shots actually serve a purpose, they're not completely useless, as the Grimm has to shake off the pain of being shot. They're also meant to test the Grimm's capabilities, probing it for weakpoints. Not to mention that this enrages the Grimm, enraging it to attack Ironwood even more, but the shots also lull the Grimm into a false sense of security, believing that these conventional weapons, while dangerous, are useless enough that it's safe enough to attack Ironwood with its claws in close quarters. This mirrors how Ironwood wanted to send in top squads to assess White Fang's involvement in Season 2, he's trying to provoke the White Fang into a full on attack by supposedly showing his best cards.
      • The Grimm finally attacks Ironwood with its claws in close quarters, which is pretty much exactly what he wants, as the Grimm doesn't know how powerful he is. This is when he finally shows all of his cards, controlling the Grimm's position, and using the weakpoint that he was able to suss out from the earlier shots. This is essentially what happened at the end of Season 2 with the Breach, Ozpin is able to draw out the terrorists into a full on confrontation which is what Atlas does best, and Ironwood's and Ozpin's forces are able to defeat Cinder's Grimm.
    • Of course, this also shows the negatives of his approach. His style relies on the opponent responding quickly, instinctively, and once. This works very well with Grimm, but doesn't work against Cinder and human strategists. After the Breach, or possibly even before, Cinder realized that Atlesian forces are unstoppable on their own, so she learned from the Breach incident and turned Atlas's might against itself.
  • The Grimm are supposed to represent humanity's greatest fears right? The bigger the fear, the bigger/more powerful the Grimm. Bears are feared, but very well known, so Ursa are numerous, but not that powerful. Scorpions are more feared because they're rarer in most parts of the world, and very dangerous, so Deathstalkers are rarer, but even more dangerous. Crows/ravens/flying black birds aren't actually that dangerous, but the fact that most of them are scavengers made early humans associate them with death, and thanks to somebody they're still associated with such death and bad luck. Thus, Nevermores are serious threats to Huntsmen. So, it makes sense that the single largest, most powerful, and most dangerous Grimm is a dragon, because they were one of humanity's original collective nightmares, created when we found gigantic bones of ancient lizards that were turned into stories of flying beasts who can breath fire.
    • Also, the dragon creates more Grimm in its path, symbolizing how myths like those about dragons can spawn similar stories that also generate fear.
  • When Qrow's scythe is fully extended, the handle is red and black, and bears a striking resemblance to the colors of his sister. Probably some symbolism about how when he is most dangerous, he is most similar to his sister...
    • There's probably more symbolism in the fact that he has used his scythe-mode a grand total of once, and otherwise sticks to his sword, similar to how he rarely shows his full potential or his scarier side.
  • Cinder's fight with Amber makes more sense when your consider that Word of God is that Cinder's Semblance doesn't manipulate glass so much as she manipulates fine dust or sand particles. Sand and dust manipulation, while useful, doesn't have much application in a fight against a demigod like Amber, but when Amber hit the dirt road around Cinder with a fire attack that began melting that dirt into molten glass.... well, Cinder could do something with that, by using her Semblance to shape that molten glass into hardened glass (by essentially taking the molten glass particles and simply freezing them in place, forcing a crystalline structure on them). She did something similar in her fight with Glynda in Volume One, only doing the opposite: shattering the crystalline structure of the glass back into individual particles.
  • When Weiss and Blake are fighting the hacked Atlesian Knights, they are briefly knocked off their feet and thrown to the ground. rather than shoot them, the Knights move up and surround them with their guns pointing at them. That's not the behavior one would expect from robots switched to Kill All Humans mode. However, keep in mind that the Knights were previously on security duty, and this behavior is exactly the behavior of police moving to arrest armed but surrendering or incapacitated criminals. This indicates that all Cinder's virus did was adjust what their internal logic considers to be a criminal, with the virus making the Knights think that any armed human is a criminal to be arrested or neutralized.
  • It seemed that almost everything that turned up in Cinder's direction, such as getting into the basement of a secret facility deep underneath Beacon, but keep in mind that Cinder's based off Cinderella. As in the fairy tale about a girl who becomes a princess through the law of attraction, as in believing things will turn up her way and then they magically do.
  • Pyrrha's entire arc in Volume Three revolves around choice, both her own to become the Maiden and her feeling that she didn't have a choice to begin with. In the ending fight, she shoves Jaune into a locker and flings him away, taking away his own choice. This gains another layer when we learn that Jaune's Semblance is Aura Amplification, and thus letting him go into battle could have turned the tide or at the very least saved her life. By taking away another's choice, she sealed her own fate.

    Volume Four 
  • In the first trailer for Volume 4, Ruby splits into three pieces, seems to teleport in mid-air and is completely invisible when she makes her way to the top of the clock tower. This may be a reference to Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle, which states that the faster an object goes, the less possible it is to find its location.
  • Ruby's expressions in Volume 4 trailer also shows how Ruby is affected from events of Volume 3, when she is shown fighting in Red Trailer she had a stern but calm face but in Volume 4 trailer she is clearly raging against Grimm. She's not forgiving the actions of Salem's faction.
  • In the opening, the lines "And it seems we weren't prepared/For a game that wasn't fair" are heard when Yang is on-screen. Notice anything? The Vytal Festival Tournament was essentially just a game roughly until Yang's fight with Mercury, which, as we recall, wasn't fair.
  • Volume 4 Episode 1 is called "The Next Step". Swap the numbers around to Volume 1 Episode 4, and you have the episode titled "The First Step".
  • Doubles as a Tearjerker. In Volume 4, Jaune can be seen wearing a red sash on his waist. Seems like just a random detail...until you realize who else wore a red sash on their waist. Going off of this, the reveal that Jaune wears a Pumpkin Pete hoodie under his armor is funny until one remembers that Jaune's introduction to Pyrrha involved him recognizing her because she appeared on the cereal box. And he's been wearing this long before he even got the sash.
  • Doubles as Stealth Pun: Salem's four main subordinates are Dr. Watts, Tyrian, Cinder and Hazel. Going by Huntsman team naming conventions, they are none other than team WTCH. Pronounced "Witch".
    • Fittingly, all four of Salem's subordinates (and Salem herself) also have something to do with the theme of witches. For example, Watts is a doctor (as in Witch doctor), Tyrian is a shade of purple, a colour most associated with witches, Cinder, having the powers of the Fall Maiden, can cast magic without the use of dust, Hazel is presumably named after Witch Hazel, and Salem's name is evocative of the Salem Witch Trials.
    • On a somewhat more funny note, the outer four members of Salem's circle - Adam Taurus, Emerald Sustrai, Mercury Black, and Leo Lionheart - can be called Team LAME (both an insult and evoking a colour - in this case, lamé fabric).
  • Cinder, who has acted domineering and arrogant to her underlings in the first three volumes (i.e. threatening Roman and Adam, ignoring Emerald) are explained with her appearance with Salem's subordinates. Given that she is treated with a lack of respect and berated for her failure by Watts (and no one else bothers to defend her except Salem herself) it's easy to see why she feels the need to be superior: when she's surrounded by those on her level of power, she's the runt of the group. Compare Salem's demeanor and behavior to that of Cinder's when she was running things in Vale. The smooth, silky tone, the undercurrent of "don't-cross-me" danger used to keep underlings in check, the aura of regal confidence and authority... Cinder was trying to emulate her master.
  • In the first battle of Volume 4, we see Team RNJR battle a Geist. This actually isn't the first time we've seen this Grimm. Think back to the White Trailer. There's a very strong chance that this is actually what Weiss fought.
    • The manga makes this explicit. Not only was it a Geist, it's a Geist her father deliberately had set on her to try to hurt her badly enough that she'd give up on the idea she could handle herself. He sent a soul-sapping murder-monster specifically to brutalise his teenage daughter into handing over her agency to him.
  • More Wizard of Oz symbolism. Tyrian might seem at first like a generic and uninteresting psychopath, but look at his primal stance, his wild demeanor. Also, the glimpse of his fighting style we get in the intro suggest a lot of acrobatics. He's a flying monkey to Salem's Wicked Witch.
  • The new upgrades of Crocea Mors are implied to be forged out of metal from Pyrrha's armor. In the first episode of Volume 4, the weaponsmith remarks on how good the metal was and wondered where on Earth (sorry, Remnant) he got it from. This makes a lot of sense because Pyrrha controlled magnetism, and since she spent so much time with her weapons, she probably altered their molecular structures subconsciously to her advantage, to be more malleable, more susceptible to magnetism, stronger, lighter, etc. When she was forging it, she was also probably able to purify the metals in it, to get the exact concentrations for the best alloy for her weapons.
    • Or she just bought high-quality metal from the start - she was a celebrity and, most likely, from a rich enough family.
      • Both might be the correct answer; high quality metal that is then altered and made even more pure by Pyrrha's Semblance subconsciously.
  • In the first episode of Volume 4, when Jaune takes off his armor to reveal that his hoodie had a bunny on it, Ruby laughs so hard she keels over. This can probably be chalked up to needing a really good laugh, but there is a bit of brilliance in the fact that Ren and Nora don't laugh with her (besides the fact that it kind of was a stupid joke). Ren and Nora both were on Jaune's team back at Beacon, and shared a room with him, so they probably had already known what was under his armor. Ruby wasn't as close to Jaune at Beacon, so she probably only saw him in armor in class, and since they were travelling through the Grimm infested countryside with only backpacks, they probably didn't have any changes of clothes (yes Huntsmen liberally uses Hammerspace, but those backpacks can only carry so much, and besides, everyone except Jaune has a gun hybrid weapon, most of that space is probably devoted to ammo, Nora's pink rockets are pretty large). This was probably the first time that Ruby had actually seen Jaune only in his hoodie, and honestly, she probably needed an excuse to laugh.
  • Doctor Watts says he's not fond of failures. While this establishes him to be a Jerkass who likes to mock people, if he's really a doctor as his title implies, it makes sense for him to have low tolerance for failure. It comes with the profession, morally ambiguous or not.
  • The people, Grimm, Maidens, and silver-eyed warriors have a rather interesting relationship if you consider them as Remnant's system of checks and balances.
    • Maidens are granted enhanced power and control over aspects of nature itself. They are incredibly dangerous against the Grimm, which helps keep humanity safe. However, Cinder shows they can be corrupt and turn against humanity.
    • Silver-eyed warriors can defeat Grimm with a glance, and can severely harm a Maiden. They keep both of them in check and check THEMSELVES- Silver-eyed warriors don't manifest their powers until they suffer from severe emotional trauma... Which is when they are most likely to be needed in the first place.
    • The regular people, believe it or not, check the Silver-eyed warriors. The Silver-eyed warriors' powers are not meant to work on regular people, and lose their potency as a result.
  • In Episode 2, when Ruby's team comes across the dying Huntsman, Jaune says that he and Ren will take turns carrying him to the next town. Some fans began complaining that Nora should be strong enough to carry him on her own, likely not understanding what a center of mass is. It's not a matter of "Could Nora carry him", it's a matter of "Could Nora (who is one of the shorter characters) carry a much taller person (that is heavily injured) without his weight causing her to fall over", as opposed to having Jaune and Ren (who are closer to the Huntsman's height) take turns carrying him.
  • So we have a determined leader who has a mystical power, an Atlesian noble who constantly dresses her down, a not-so-stoic person who doesn't believe in unnecessary violence, and worked with Adam until he witnessed an unnecessary display of violence from him, and an energetic bruiser who loses a limb. Now, did we describe RWBY or WTCH?
    • Using the "First Letter = Leader" idea, we see that Watts is the "leader" of WTCH. Given how he's Weiss' counterpart, it's easy to say that WTCH could be RWBY if Weiss was the leader like she had suggested back in Volume 1.
  • Episode 4:
    • Oscar (the farm boy) notices his reflection in the mirror, slowly looking at it as if there's something wrong, though there doesn't seem to be... except there is if you look really closely. Notice the Fashionable Asymmetry bits on Oscar's left side? On his mirror image, his right side (Oscar's left) is bare, but the left side (Oscar's right) has them instead - mirrors are supposed to do the opposite of tha. Oscar may not be consciously aware of the problem, but the subconscious wrongness he felt was certainly on-point (even before the unexpected voice). The only question is what it all means.
    • What's weirder is that in the first shot, when we see an over the shoulder shot it's correct, it's only when the camera switches to have the mirror in full screen (from Oscar's perspective) that it changes. Maybe that means that it's a change in his perspective and not something wrong with the mirror?
    • Also, when Ozpin talks to him, he doesn't turn away from the mirror, if Ozpin was physically in the barn Oscar would at least acknowledge it, instead, he keeps his eyes on the mirror the whole time, even when he is falling back, this implies that Oz is somehow communicating through the mirror.
  • Blake's Volume 1 remark that she was basically "born into" the White Fang makes a lot more sense when we find out in Episode 5 that the previous, peaceful leader was her father.
    • Additionally, Blake tells Ozpin in Volume 2 that she was raised "outside the kingdoms". With the reveal that she was raised in Menagerie, we learn that she was telling the truth all along, rather than merely lying to protect herself.
  • The first major battle with Nora in it had her defeating the Deathstalker with an overhead strike in midair, and she tries to use the same move on Tyrian. It looks like it works until Tyrian is revealed to have blocked it with his scorpion tail.
  • The Belladonna Family has a clear Japanese influence, while the two White Fang brothers who speak with Ghira are Fox Faunus. Nobody should be surprised that the brothers are lying.
  • When Ren stops the others, he focuses for a moment before looking up in surprise. Given that he'd just revealed some sad things about his backstory (that he was likely thinking about at that moment), it's not farfetched for him to think that he might have actually attracted Grimm toward them. His look of surprise is probably the realization that the approaching enemy was a human or rather, a Faunus.
  • When Jacques Schnee claims at the charity ball that the Schnee Dust Company offers the same wages to Faunus workers as humans, it's easy to assume it's Blatant Lies. However, after watching World of Remnant: Schnee Dust Company, when Qrow is scathingly deriding Jacques' labor policies, he does not specifically mention Faunus; he mentions the more general term "cheap labor," thus implying human workers don't get better treatment than their Faunus counterparts. So, when Jacques states he gives equal pay to human and Faunus workers, he is likely telling the truth.
  • Weiss becoming a Huntress to restore her family's honor makes even more sense when you learn that her grandfather, who ran the company with compassion and integrity, used his own combat training to lead expeditions personally. He also learned as much as he could about everything in order to make the SDC as trusted and high-quality as it was, which might also be the reason Weiss is so serious when it comes to studying.
  • Qrow's proficiency in unarmed combat. In "It's Brawl in the Family", he was shown drinking at a bar, and then getting into a fight with Winter. It wouldn't be a stretch to say that he got into a lot of bar brawls. In addition, he also studied at Beacon with a brawler on his team, it wouldn't be hard to imagine Taiyang may have taught him a thing or two as well.
  • And why was Tyrian utterly blindsided by a simple set of punches and a very basic kick? Because this is the world of Remnant, where two things are constant: first, that weapons are a deeply significant possession that reflect a person's inner self, and even competent fighters have been shown to be helpless when disarmed. Second is that whenever anyone performs even the tiniest action in a fight, it has to be done with unnecessary amounts of style and flair. No wonder Qrow throwing a few normal, mundane punches had Tyrian briefly staggered.
  • Tyrian tried to stab Ruby with his stinger, which at first doesn't make sense since Salem told him to bring her alive. However, a bit of research proves most scorpion venoms' are not lethal and are used to weaken prey. So it makes sense he was trying to sting her: It's to make capturing her easier.
    • Even when Qwow's life ends up in danger because of the poison, it's mainly due to no one having the antidote/antivenom and needing to seek an actual town to get to a doctor. Salem does have a doctor who has spent more than enough time with Tyrian to know exactly how to counter the poison he produces.
  • Tyrian is defeated when Ruby chops off his stinger. A scorpion's stinger is attached to its anus. In other words, Ruby literally ripped Tyrian a new one! No wonder he was in so much pain! Doubles as Squick, considering his facial expression when blocking Ruby's gunfire from Crescent Rose with his stinger...
  • In "Punished", Qrow warns Ruby not to get into the fight. She barks back that it's her fight too. Qrow tries to warn her of something. "It's not that! It's-!" But he's cut off because a piece of the roof he and Tyrian fell through came down and nearly struck Ruby. In "A Much Needed Talk", Qrow explains that his semblance creates bad luck. It's good in a fight against an enemy, but "bad for friends and family". After his explanation, a log in a fire Qrow happened to poke with a stick outright tumbles out of the fire pit. Qrow was trying to warn Ruby about his bad luck semblance in that fight. Since he and Tyrian went through the unfinished building's roof, it was under the effects of his semblance and could cause any kind of bad luck, like it did when that one wooden plank nearly struck Ruby without her Aura to stop a head injury at a very bad time.
    • Related to his bad luck semblance is a minor event in Volume 3 Episode 2. The bartender drops and breaks the glass Qrow just used.
    • Expanding on the above, the real reason behind Taiyang's glare at the end of Volume 3 may have been less angry about having to leave Ruby's side and more about Qrow never being around because of his Semblance.
    • On a more humourous note, the Semblance likely caused Ruby and Yang to lose the videogame against Qrow in "Lessons Learned".
  • In the World of Remnant episode on the Schnee Dust Company, we learn that Jacques Schnee's maiden name was Jacques Gelé. French for Jack Frost.
  • Ghira's private study is essentially a library, with bookshelves lining every wall. Guess that's where Blake got her love for books from.
  • In their training session, Taiyang is using many kicking techniques against Yang. While this could just be his fighting style, keep in mind that he addresses the issue with Yang's fighting style right after. Yang was shown (and confirmed through Word of God) to be weak against kick-based fighting styles, so Taiyang was pointing out her weaknesses both verbally and physically.
  • The first lines we get out of Qrow while poisoned is of him calling out and attempting to comfort Taiyang, which doesn't make much sense at first...until you realize he's comforting the father after losing either Summer or Raven. He's on death door and is vainly trying to comfort his last teammate over his possible demise.
  • In the opening, when Ruby is fighting Tyrian, he bends a leg over his back, even though he probably won't have the reach to hit that way. It's possible he was going to flip himself towards he but look at how his leg is position - similar to how people portray scorpions arching their tails over their back.
  • In "Punished", Ozpin tells Oscar that he founded the Huntsman Academies personally. In WOR: The Great War, we learn that it was the last King of Vale who actually founded them. Given that the Fusion Dance of Ozpin and Oscar was preceded with one between Ozpin and someone else ... then that someone else must have been the King of Vale.
    • Alternatively, Ozpin could've also simply been Fusion Dance with one of the King of Vale's most trusted followers who were put in charge of the Huntsmen Academies.
  • Nora being unusually short compared to most of her friends makes sense after learning that she was a Street Urchin who had to go through the trash to find her next meal. She was likely very malnourished as a child, also explaining her enormous appetite and unwillingness to let food go to waste. Doubles as Fridge Horror.
  • Ren as a child goes from weeping and panicked to completely calm when his Semblance activates. Nora stops hyperventilating when he shares it with her and even though he was terrified of the Nuckelavee earlier he simply watches it as it goes past. It's meant to hide him from the Grimm and Grimm can sense fear and distress.
  • When Ren gives Nora a toy hammer and tells her they'll keep each other safe, an instrumental version of the song "Boop" is playing in the background. One line of the lyrics is "when did I start to fall for you?" Well, this moment is the spark that caused Nora to fall for Ren, the boy who came to help her and comfort her during the darkest moment of her life.
  • At first, Sun and Kali falling through the door while eavesdropping seems like a running gag. But remember: This is the door to the Chieftain's office, essentially the ruler of Menagerie. If a legitimate spy was attempting to listen in to an actual political meeting and fell through, they would be identified immediately. The door is functioning exactly as designed.
  • Suddenly the reason Cinder and her team disguised themselves as Haven students during the Vytal Festival makes sense with the revelation of the Volume 4 finale. Professor Lionheart, headmaster of Haven Academy, is in league with Salem. It'd be painfully easy for him to forge the data to pass the four of them off as his students.
    • The Professor's Fairytale Motif gives us a likely explanation for his defection. Given how Cinder and her cohorts intimidated Adam Taurus's faction of the White Fang, it's likely that Lionheart was too scared by Salem's power to even consider resisting her.
  • The Nuckelavee being such a let down could actually make sense regarding how Ren and the others handle it. In the end, the big scary Grimm is not really big or scary to the Huntsmen. Especially with the real horrors they faced.
    • Adding to that, the fact that Nuckelavee looks so terrifying to Team RNJR at first is because of their fears. Before the finale, we're only shown how the Nuckelavee is like from Ren and Nora's POVs when they were terrified, helpless young children, portraying it as a terror capable of massacring entire villages. For Ruby and Jaune, the Nuckelavee is a new type of Grimm that they haven't encountered before, so it's fear of the unknown. Once all four members get their acts together they finally realize that, like all the other Grimms, the Nuckelavee has a weakness that they can exploit. From that point on, the Nuckelavee is much less scary and starts to become vulnerable as Team RNJR starts working together more effectively without their negative feelings hindering them.
    • Also, the Nuckelavee's lair is intimidating with tons of weapons in it, but upon closer inspection, none of the weapons actually look like they're Huntsmen-caliber. There appear to be no secondary fire functions on any of the weapons (i.e. none of the weapons are also grenade launchers or guns), and admittedly, some Huntsmen/women don't have weapons that look like they have secondary fire functions (Yatsuhashi, Arslan, Brawnz, and, of course, Jaune all come to mind), so theoretically a Huntsman/woman could have used a medieval weapon, but the vast majority of the Huntsmen/women seen in the show have some secondary fire function (the unofficial tagline for RWBY is "it's also a gun!"), so it's unlikely such a high proportions of Huntsmen and women would've chosen such weapons. Furthermore, the weapons in the cave are stylistically generic, with simple shapes and features (unlike most of the Huntsmen/women' weapons, which are usually very distinctive, with markings or some aspect that is more unusual to set it apart from the others), which could imply that the Nuckelavee isn't actually regularly fighting trained Grimm killers, but instead the militias of local villages (since smaller settlements likely wouldn't be able to make guns or more complex weapons, they would mass produce swords or simpler weapons, which is why some look really similar to each other). It's very likely that the Nuckelavee is a medium-sized fish in a small pond and has never actually had to face a concerted attack by Huntsmen/women. The Huntsmen shortages mentioned in the World of Remnant videos meant that finding and destroying the Nuckelavee was likely a low priority, and most Huntsmen/women moving through the area would probably have just avoided it on the way to more important assignments, like RNJR would've done if Qrow wasn't incapacitated.
  • We don't actually see Ren's Semblance until Volume 4, but in retrospect, it makes sense. Ren's Semblance is hiding himself and other people from the Grimm, and with the exception of a couple of fights in Volume 1, he's never been in a fight involving the Grimm where that Semblance would be useful. Since his Semblance takes time and concentration to activate, and in those fights against the Grimm were close in and actively attacking him, he didn't have the option to hide himself... or the Grimm were relatively easy to kill and he didn't need to hide from them.
  • The Nuckelavee is the first Grimm shown to mimic a domesticated animal, in this case a horse, in its design. It's only fitting that rather than being defeated in battle like other Grimm, it meets its end by being calmly and methodically butchered by Ren.
  • The difference is actually notable as to which weapons work. Only Jaune and Ren manage to get the beast to scream and recoil in agony, or do real damage, when they attack it; the weapons they use for this are both mementoes of loved ones - loved ones, no less, who died fighting for others.
  • Why does Ruby writes her letter with her right hand? Isn't she left-handed? Try writing left to right with a fountain pen left handed. Also, it may serve as foreshadowing that Ruby is ambidextrous, which may come in handy in the future.
  • The credits song about Yang being back in the game has Yang claiming to be "Armed and Ready". Of course the Pungeon Master would make a pun about getting a new cybernetic arm wouldn't she?
  • Ren and Nora have the same color of Aura. They're literally soulmates.
  • Blake and Sun's relationship becomes a bit more heartwarming once you see that it's strikingly similar to Blake's parents: Ghira is like Blake: Strong, serious and righteous but not all that great with people and Kali is like Sun; Silly and joking but very loving, good with people and forces her husband to interact with their daughter (similar to how Sun tries to force Blake to face her problem.) Considering how well adjusted Blake is, it's no doubt a healthy relationship.
  • Ozpin is based on the wizard, whose full name is Oscar Zoroaster Phadrig Isaac Norman Henkle Emmannuel Ambroise Diggs, which spells OZPINHEAD, which is where he gets the name “OZPINâ€� from. Come Volume 4, guess where he is? In Oscar's head.
  • Look at "Two Steps Forward, Two Steps Back". The two people who took their steps forward did not partake in a fight at all, or if they did, they fought in the loosest sense of the term (an argument and a spar respectively) while the two who take their steps back fought both Grimm and a Huntsman in their journey by that point (The Geist/Tyrian for Ruby and the Sea Dragon/Illya for Blake).
  • When Ren uses his Semblance to mask Jaune and Qrow from the Nuckelavee, he does so by touching the ground and casting it out. Now, remember how Ren was able to detect Tyrian from some distance away? Well, considering that his Semblance seems to work by sensing and calming emotions, then Ren's Semblance allows him to detect people through the ground by sensing emotion.
  • We never actually see Qrow receiving anti-venom medical treatment after being flown to Mistral, only sleeping in an inn afterwards. For the series that gave its characters functional Life Meters, and generally heavily influenced by video games, the Trauma Inn trope is a perfect symbol for recovering.
  • The complete version of "This Life Is Mine" is a brilliant example of Weiss using her music to rebel against not only her father but also Atlas' upper crust. While we only hear the first part of it in the show, where it would be appropriate for the genteel aristocracy of Atlas to hear in a concert hall, the more dramatic middle part and especially the aggressive rock part at the end not only show Weiss' rebellion against her father, but are the kind of music that neither her father nor the rich folks of Atlas would approve of and may even be offended by. It's also the first time any of Weiss' songs about not being under her father's thumb also break away from the classical piano and orchestral style of the earlier songs, which fits how Volume 4 is the first volume where Weiss openly rebels against her father, rather than covertly rebelling.
  • It's interesting to note that the catalyst to Weiss' ultimate rebellion against her father and attempting to escape isn't simply Jacques cutting off her inheritance, but also Whitley siding with him against her. When you look back at how Weiss treats her family, it's obvious that she highly values her family's name and history, and idolizes her sister and grandfather. Whitley is more uncertain and a wild card that Weiss can't figure out, however, and Weiss' ultimate loyalty remains to the Schnee family, but until she knows where Whitley stands she's not certain what to do beyond trying to reluctantly support the Schnee name. It's when Whitley finally turns against her and sides with her father that Weiss has her brief breakdown, and then resolves to escape; once she knows where everyone stands, and that she has no allies in her house beyond Klein, the decision of what to do next comes very quickly to her.
  • Following the finale, it's crystal clear that Volume 5 will feature the reunification of Team RWBY, and feature a more balanced fight between heroes and monsters. While the heroes' reasons for going to Mistral revolve around the pending attack (as noted in the finale's recap page), there is a less obvious reason why the villains are targeting it in the first place - sheer geography. Vale is still getting rebuilt, and every other city-state is either too hostile (Vacuo), too cramped (Menagerie) or too isolated (Atlas after the lockdown) for the villains to infiltrate without getting exposed. Therefore, it's little wonder that the villains are set to surface in Mistral; it's the only "safe" place in Remnant which can be infiltrated relatively easily (due to having the largest inhabited area of any kingdom and the largest criminal underbelly). Therefore, the heroes and villains must cross paths in Mistral; it's the only place where the story can feasibly be continued.
  • In a post-credit scene, we have Qrow seated at a bar as Oscar approaches him. Qrow responds by calling him "Pipsqueak". Both Qrow and Oscar are voiced respectively by Vic Mignogna and Aaron Dismuke, who are most well-known for voicing the Elric brothers in Fullmetal Alchemist. One of the biggest running gags was having Edward, voiced by Mignogna, being called out for his diminutive size compared to his brother, Alphonse, voiced by Dismuke.

    Volume Five 
  • We learn from Professor Lionheart and Qrow that the Maidens alone possess the ability to open the chamber where each Academy's respective Relic is kept. The Winter Maiden can access Creation, the Summer Maiden guards Destruction, the Spring Maiden is the key to Knowledge, and the Fall Maiden is the steward of Choice. It can be inferred, therefore, that the Choice Relic is/was hidden at Beacon and the Knowledge Relic lies within Haven's walls - thereby meaning that the Spring Maiden running to a thriving Branwen bandit tribe and staying there for the last decade (and some) made the relic safer than anyone ever realized.
    • This also explains why Salem originally had Tyrian searching for the Spring Maiden and why Haven is her next target: Spring is the only one who could access the Knowledge Relic hidden within Haven Academy.
    • This also explains a big question from the previous season. Namely why if Leo was already working with Salem he didn't just up and give her the relic straight off. Without Spring he can't.
  • The reveal that the Relics are locked in chambers that only the Maidens can access sheds a bit of light on something Glynda and Ozpin said in Volume 3; that word of the Maidens' existence getting out would lead to religious chaos. Because the Maidens have a connection to the two brothers, learning of the Maidens' existence could also lead to learning that at least some aspects of this religion are real, meaning that every other religion would be called into question. It's easy to see why that would cause panic.
  • We never saw how Qrow learned that Raven has recruited the Spring Maiden. Is the information pulled out of his ass? Oh wait, we know when he learned it. During his conversation with Raven in the inn.
    • Qrow is a master spy. And any master spy worth his salt knows that what people tell you is the least interesting thing about a conversation. Much more interesting is the way they say it ("I saved her!", almost but not quite Suddenly SHOUTING!, as if saving her own daughter once and then washing her hands off it was something extraordinary.). Even more interesting, is what they don't say. Omissions are the most telling thing a person will do in a conversation. ("I don't know where the spring maiden is either, but if you know, I need you to tell me." "And why would I do that?" She could have said no. She didn't. Qrow picked up on this, and deduced Raven knew. "Because without her, we're all going to die." "And which "We" are you referring to?", the way she said it almost made them sound like Qrow and Raven were enemies. That told Qrow Raven has taken the Spring Maiden in some fashion.)
    • Qrow's familiarity with the Maidens allowed him to realize that the extensive damage dealth to Shion might have required some massive power, and filling in the blanks with the fact that the Branwen tribe attacked the village... Raven has recruited Spring.
    • Lastly, Qrow is able to manipulate people into doing his bidding. He provoked Winter into attacking him. That's provoking a highly trained, highly disciplined soldier (as proven by the fact that she just stops anything in a split second when her CO orders her to stand at attention. Stopping mid strike just when barked an order takes some massive discipline, especially if you hate your target as opposed to more impersonal fights that might happen on the field) into attacking him without taking hostile actions beyond property damage. And getting her in trouble with her CO, a guy who absolutely, positively, does not likes him in the slightest. And that was while being completely sloshed. Qrow was sober, dealing with someone he literally knew from birth as they are twins, so he has an immense advantage here. Qrow didn't just pick up on Raven because she had a classic case of Saying Too Much (or too little in some cases)-itis, he intentionally probed and prodded her to trick her into revealing sensitive infos to him.
    • Furthermore, Raven later reveals that she's aware Qrow knows this. How did she find this out? She probably thought back to this conversation and realized she inadvertently gave it away. Or, she intentionally made him suspect that she's recruited Spring to keep him from considering that she is Spring.
  • Nora discovered her Semblance on a Thursday, a day named after her Motif; Thor.
  • Ozpin telling Ruby she needs to learn how to fight without Crescent Rose is good advice that she reacts to as if she's been told more than once to work on it. Of course she would, considering her father and sister are both masters of hand to hand combat. And if her uncle/mentor Qrow can still be a threat to Tyrian in battle without his weapon, then so should Ruby.
    • Her reaction is two-fold when you recall that the last time she was fighting without Crescent Rose, it led to the worst moment of her life, being unable to save Penny and having it trigger the Fall of Beacon. Being told to work on something that would have meant a world of difference would at least annoy someone.
  • The reveal that the Albain brothers are using Adam and plan to dispose of him if he gets out of control makes way more sense given the animal motifs. Foxes are cunning and known for trickery. Bulls have a more varied impact. Across various cultures and religions, bulls have been viewed as everything from sacred to demonic, which certainly describes how Adam is viewed by the cast. Some cultures such as the Roman Empire and the Celts would sacrifice bulls to ensure their peoples' well being, which matches the Albain brother's plans as well (even the name of Albain is of Latin origin). Adam's descent into madness could also be a reference to mad cow disease, with him being "infected" by Sienna Khan's ideology.
  • Yang's complete lack of interest in emotionally connecting with her mother after she'd previously been shown almost desperately searching for Raven is neatly explained by the reveal of Raven's semblance. Once Tai told her that Raven, wherever she was, could have visited Yang any time she wanted to but didn't, Yang realized Raven wasn't going to be the type of mother she wanted or needed.
    • Never mind visits, from learning about Raven's semblance to finally meeting her, Yang no doubt considered that her dismemberment and Blake running away might not have happened if Raven was at Beacon when it fell.
  • Throughout the volume, Ilia's reluctance to harm Blake has been prominent throughout the Menagerie arc. In Episode 8, the real reason for this is revealed out of the blue; Ilia had genuine feelings for Blake in the past, and had been jealous that Blake only had eyes for Adam.
  • Raven's dressing down of Cinder, regarding how her name was so appropriate she probably picked it herself, can seem a tad ironic coming from a woman named Raven, whose last name means 'Beautiful Raven', who can turn into a raven. However, the brilliance sets in when you realise they're in exact opposite situations; Raven infers that Cinder picked the last name 'Fall' because she intended to gain the Fall Maidens power, but Raven got the power to turn into a raven from Ozpin with the implication she got that power specifically because her name was Raven.
  • It's noted multiple times that, with Ilia being a chameleon Faunus, she could hide the fact that she's a minority if she wanted to. The thematic reason for this becomes clear with the reveal that Ilia is gay. Her hiding her faunus nature by pretending to be a human is similar to how members of the LGBTQ community can also pass as straight, even though it is denying a fundamental part of themselves, just like how Ilia's colors are a fundamental part of her.
    • Or it's a reference to how Blake hid her own cat ears with a bow for three seasons and change. Blake lost the bow when she decided to stop hiding who she was and running away. Ilia never bothered with either of those.
  • A lot of people might think that Ilia's heel face turn was rushed, but there are a few very simple justifications for it:
    • Ghira saved her. Ilia came to the Belladonna household with the intent to help the other White Fang kill Blake's parents, but then one of the people that she was going to help kill saved her when he didn't have to. Also, she was only in a position like that to start with because of her own refusal to stop fighting, and Fennec didn't make a single move to help her.
    • Also, think about how the Albains were acting. One of them snapped at her to get back to fighting when she locked up at how much damage they were doing, one of them showed a self-entitled attitude when the other got knocked out by Ghira, Fennec tried to kill Ghira while he was vulnerable from just saving Ilia's life, and Corsac angrily blamed Ghira for how badly things turned out. She saw that too many in the Fang had become a Not-So-Well-Intentioned Extremist because they put their rage above the group's original noble goals.
    • Also, despite saying that she doesn't like hurting people, we haven't seen Ilia do anything too awful with the exception of giving Sun a minor shoulder injury that he recovered from quickly, which he forgave her for anyway. The only contribution Ilia had to the attack was leading Blake away and keeping her busy with their fight. She didn't even participate in the fights against Ghira and Kali.
  • Fridge Hilarity: Of course Kali could take down Yuma. Who better to get the drop on Batman than Catwoman?
    • Though on a more serious note, consider Blake's backstory. Travelling between Kingdoms for protests, having to fight to survive? Kali would've been there too - her and Ghira's current lifestyle, the big house in Menagerie, that's only happened in the last five/six years. Before that, she would have been having to fight out in the world as part of the White Fang.
    • While Kali attacking with the tea tray definitely seems silly, remember that Aura allows those trained in its use to effectively be able to fight with anything as a weapon, best demonstrated back in volume 2's food fight - Kali's Aura would've enhanced the tray's durability, making it more effective as a bludgeoning tool.
      • The Faunus are a persecuted group in Remnant. In our world, it was a persecuted group that brought us Krav Maga, a school of fighting based on being a pure Combat Pragmatist and using an Improvised Weapon whenever a real weapon isn't available. The Faunus seem the most likely group to have developed a fighting style based on the same principle of being a Combat Pragmatist and using an Improvised Weapon whenever a real weapon isn't available.
  • Ilia is very effective against Blake. Not only is Blake holding back, but they have similar weapons, and probably trained together. By contrast, Sun's fighting style relies on overwhelming close-range force from unpredictable angles, and Ilia's style relies on keeping opponents at range. Not to mention the disorienting effect of having shotguns go off next to your ears and her own weapon still being frozen up.
  • It seems rather boneheaded of Adam to order the Belladonnas' deaths, even though it will obviously turn the people of Menagerie against him. But he's done this sort of thing before, a pointless act of spite that pushes his would-be supporters away. Where? In the Black Trailer. After successfully securing the SDC cargo, Adam was going to blow up the train and kill the entire crew as an act of defiance to the human-run Dust Company, even though the train's workers have no say over the Company's policy. That attempted murder is the thing that convinces Blake to leave the White Fang, and now the attempted assassination has convinced Menagerie to get over their Bystander Syndrome.
  • The pairings that were made during the battle in Episode 11 of Volume 5 make a lot of sense as they were grudge matches that were waiting to happen:
    • Jaune vs. Cinder: Cinder killed Pyrrha, so there's an obvious reason for him to be angry.
    • Ruby vs. Emerald: Emerald killed Penny, who was Ruby's close friend, even closer than Pyrrha.
    • Weiss vs. Vernal: Weiss was captured by Vernal's tribe, personally stole her weapon and crushed her hopes of Winter coming to save her.
    • Yang vs. Mercury: Mercury participated in the framing of Yang during the Vytal Tournament.
    • Qrow vs. Raven: Sibling Rivalry.
    • Oscar/Ozpin vs. Lionheart: Headmasters on different sides of the coin.
    • Nora/Ren vs. Hazel: The odd ones out.
  • After several fighters leave, the fight gets reshuffled.
    • Oscar/Ozpin vs. Hazel: Driven by revenge over the death of Hazel's sister.
    • Qrow vs. Lionheart: Qrow personally knew some of the huntsmen that Lionheart compromised and let die.
    • Ruby/Yang vs. Mercury/Emerald: Same reasons as before, but now it's sisterly teamwork.
    • Raven vs. Cinder: Both are Maidens. Not to mention that Cinder just killed/wounded Vernal.
  • The reveal that Raven is the Spring Maiden:
    • Why was Raven wearing a mask for most of their talk? A Maiden's eyes have a ring of power around them when they use their powers and she didn't want to give herself away while she is making all that wind blow.
    • It was foreshadowed in the Volume 5 intro. One image shown is Cinder and Vernal facing each other, followed by Raven and Yang turning away from each other. The Foreshadowing comes in when you realize that Raven is in the same spot as Cinder. It was also foreshadowed on the poster for the volume where Raven and Cinder, both Maidens, appear opposite each other at the top of the image.
    • Note that every time the Maiden's power was used, not only was Raven wearing her mask but the actual source of those powers was not directly shown. The camera would focus on Vernal to make it look like she was the source of the power, but at no point did Vernal have the fiery eyes, nor was she shown actually casting the magic like Cinder did.
    • Might be a coincidence, but rearranging the letters and removing the 'L' from Vernal's name gives us Raven's.
    • It seems oddly arrogant for Raven to tell Vernal not to bother using her powers against Weiss - unless Vernal had no powers, and Raven knew she'd be too busy fighting Qrow to fake it. Vernal is too headstrong and cocky to voluntarily restrain herself to physical combat if she had the power, especially against Weiss who's been winding her up for a bit; Raven had to say something to keep Cinder from getting suspicious.
  • Cinder's desire to simply steamroll the Branwen Tribe rather than convince them help makes sense in light of the fact that she has a Grimm arm that can steal the magic of the Maidens. She sees no reason to bother playing nice when they can get what they need without the roundabout approach.
    • Likewise Salem's decision to convince the Raven to help her side is actually quite tactical. While they could slaughter the tribe and take the Spring Maiden by force, that runs the risk of a warrior on Qrow's level turning against them and only works on the off chance they can actually subdue said Maiden. Gaining willing cooperation on the other hand means they have an ally that equals Qrow, the largest active threat against them, as well as someone who likely knows Ozpin's secrets.
  • The Relic of Knowledge being inside a giant tree is a dual reference to both Yggdrasil and the Tree of Knowledge.
  • Salem has clearly planned out the roles that each of her subordinates play in fighting Ozpin's forces and obtaining the relics, but it was difficult to tell why she made Hazel a part of her circle. While he's exceptionally strong and the most diplomatic of the group, she has other people who have these traits (Cinder and Tyrian are also strong fighters, and Watts can be diplomatic when he needs to be). After “Vault of the Spring Maidenâ€�, though, his most important purpose is clear. His grudge against Ozpin is so strong that, as Hazel himself states, he wants to kill Ozpin every time he reincarnates. And given Ozpin's open fear of him, he may be capable of doing so in the right situation. Hazel is a major setback for Ozpin, and therefore very useful for Salem.
  • Fans hark to Volume 1's "Forever Fall Part 2" as when Jaune's Healing Hands were foreshadowed, but a careful look shows that they've been hinted very subtly throughout the show;
    • According to Ren, Some Semblances might be an example of Personality Powers. Jaune is the poster boy for niceness. Even in a fight, the only thing he's been able to turn his sword on are the Grim, which are not strictly "alive" as we know it. When he does go for people, he almost always ends up blocked or dodged. Almost as if it's against his nature to harm others...
    • In RPG games, the healing character is nominally the weakest fighter at the beginning, at least until they are buffed. Jaune started the series as the weakest fighter among the students.
    • Even taking into account that Jaune's power isn't actually healing but strengthening someone else's aura so they can heal themselves, it still fits: Jaune's been shown to be a weak fighter, but an excellent tactician when he's focused; in other words, his primary combat skill is to get others to be more effective, just as his semblance is revealed to make others more powerful. To use RPG terms again, he's the support member of the team directing traffic while flinging out buffs on individuals.
    • And in Grimm Eclipse, this is subtly manifested as Jaune's Ult.
  • The World of Remnant about Dust had the Narrator speak about how it is possible for someone to fuse Dust with their body or weave them into clothes. We see that be done by Hazel and Cinder respectively. Who was the narrator for that World of Remnant? Salem. Of course she would know it is possible to do those things with Dust considering some of her Inner Circle members can do it.
  • It seems odd that Blake managed to do so well against Adam in "Downfall" until you take into account his fighting style. It's confirmed that his Semblance is like Yang's and against others he does best by staying on the defensive until he's in the right position to attack. Here he charges at Blake out of anger and she's able to trip him up by using her Semblance to set him up for the hit. Basically she turned his fighting style against him because of his own temper.
  • Adam seems quite pathetic in his entire confrontation with Blake, but it makes complete sense why he would be like this. Blake has won majorly against Adam, not just in outsmarting him and conquering her fear of him, but also ideologically by completely proving him wrong about peace being impossible between Humans and Faunus. That's why he was freaking out at the police showing up to assist the Menagerie contingent and why he was specifically asking her how she did it — to Adam, this scenario of an army of united faunus and humans fighting against him, especially the humans in power that he'd expect to attack the faunus purely out of Fantastic Racism, was not only unaccounted for, but literally impossible. Hazel pretty much telling Adam to go screw himself was the cherry on the top. Blake and her allies are united, fired up, and ready to stand up against him, and Adam's allies are dwindling, defecting, and/or openly questioning his sanity. On top of already being unhinged, it's no wonder he tried to blow everyone up; in the words of Tommy Wiseau, everybody betray him, he fed up with this warrrrld.
    • Also, in all prior moments where Adam was shown as a cool and badass character, he was in the position of power, with no significant threat to himself or his plans facing him. But one's true strength is shown only in their lowest moments. Adam had one such moment when Cinder invaded his camp and threatened him with her newly-acquired Fall Maiden powers - and he immediately caved in, without even a token attempt to uphold his previous policy of not helping humans, or to avenge his defeated "brothers and sisters" before him. While he presents himself as strong and cool when given opportunity, rationalizing that he made those "powerful friends" of his own accord, in reality he's a weak and petty person who easily breaks down under pressure.
  • Back in season three, Mercury took advantage of Yang because of his artificial legs, tricking her. Now in season five, Yang takes advantage of Mercury with her artificial arm, tricking him and escaping his grasp. The irony is as palpable as it is delicious.
  • Raven is the perfect opponent for Cinder not only because both are maidens, but also because of the symbolism between the two. After all, Spring is the complete opposite of Fall.
  • Things turned around for the heroes so fast in episode 13 for the same reason they went bad in volume 3: the elements of surprise and divisiveness. Thanks to Emerald, Qrow couldn't identify Cinder's team. Furthermore, Ozpin's team could only get bits and pieces as RWBY stumbled upon them, and there was some divisiveness between Ozpin and Ironwood. Then after PvP it was just one surprise after another until the heroes were overwhelmed thanks in part to the villains' prep work over the first two volumes. Now the goods guys have come together, know what's going on, and have surprises of their own, while Salem's faction and the White Fang are cooperating with each other, but not truly unified.
    • Blake's Big Damn Heroes moment is also a reflection of what the heroes did wrong in Vale; In Volume 2, Team RWBY tried to go at it alone, and as such, merely provoked Torchwick into causing the breach ahead of schedule, allowing the true mastermind, Cinder, to get away Scott-free. In Volume 3, Ozpin's group, despite seeing the warning signs, didn't tell anyone what the stakes truly were. The most they did was pressure Pyrrha into joining (breaking her emotionally), and when things took a turn for the worse, the good guys could barely do anything because they had no idea what was going on. When Blake heard that Adam was going to attack Haven, rather than trying fix things on her own, she took Sun's advice and rallied the people of Menagerie to fight against the White Fang, and got the forces of Mistral to join on the counterattack. By letting other people in and allowing them to help, Blake saved Haven, turning things around.
    • Even Jaune's Semblance is a reflection of what went wrong in Volume 3. Yang rushed in recklessly to save a friend and got her arm chopped off for her troubles, but eventually got a new weapon in the process, while Jaune rushed recklessly to avenge a friend and got another friend fatally injured in the process, but eventually unlocking his Semblance at his lowest point.
  • It is odd that Raven chose to freeze Cinder instead of stabbing or decapitating her, but considering that her swords are made out of dust and they have shattered multiple times, it's possible that she just didn't have enough dust to make a new sword.
    • Alternatively, given that Raven is both a cunning strategist and fully aware of the rules behind Maiden succession, she might not be trying to kill Cinder, but rather take her out of play. If Cinder dies, then the Fall Maiden's power would most definitely either pass to one of Cinder's subordinates or to some random bystander, both of which are unfavorable outcomes to Raven given how the former is a strategic nightmare and the latter hits upon Raven's personal hatred of innocent people getting dragged into the conflict between Ozpin and Salem. Freezing Cinder offers the best chance for Raven's best case scenario to occur — The Fall Maiden is taken out of the equation either permanently or long enough for Raven to make off with the Relic, and nobody else has to get a power that they may not want.
  • It's fitting that Cinder's possible demise is by fading into the abyss as her body freezes over and most likely shatters apart when she reaches the ground, given that she killed Pyrrha by burning her from the inside out, leaving nothing but dust in the wind.
  • Emerald's illusion in the finale uses red and black imagery, along with a warped and distorted version of Salem. It's literally an Emerald Nightmare.
  • The Relic of Knowledge is constantly emitting a whispering sound, as though the secrets it holds are incapable of being held.
  • In a blend of this and CMOF, the Relic of Knowledge is a lantern. In other words, it's enlightening.
  • The overarching theme of this volume is "bravery and cowardice", and how overwhelming power and strength can be undercut by weakness of character, as shown by Raven, Lionheart and Adam. It all culminates in Yang's confrontation with Raven in the vault, where Raven shows how shallow her idea of bravery is when she scoffs at Yang for being clearly frightened, and Yang rebuts her by admitting she's scared and willing to stand up to her mother anyway, alone and without even her prosthetic arm... and Raven, in spite of her superior strength, caves after being shamed by Yang pointing out Raven's cowardice and hypocrisy. Raven relinquishes the Relic to her estranged daughter, and retreats from the battle entirely.
  • Ozpin orders Qrow to take the Relic of Knowledge to Atlas first makes sense. Now that Beacon (and by extension, all of Vale) has fallen and Haven compromised, the only other safe haven is Atlas since Vacuo is on the other side of the planet from Mistral. Plus Ozpin knows that General Ironwood is there, a trusted ally, who commands a strong defensive army ready to deal with outsider threats. Atlas is probably the safest place on Remnant right now, and the most logical choice to send the group and the relic for safety.
    • Another reason: Ironwood was correct. He was right to bring his army to Vale, even if it was early, and it was hacked, and he was right not to trust Leo. Ironwood made the right decisions at the time, and all of his assertions were proven accurate. Even if he wouldn't trust Ozpin anymore, his heart is in the right place, and all of his actions up to this point would indicate that he would guard the relic regardless of what he feels about Ozpin
    • Oh, and Ironwood closed Atlas's borders. Atlas really is the safest place on Remnant.
  • Why did Raven go to Tai in the end, even though she's been avoiding him for a very long time? Simple. Her portals lock on to people, not places. She currently has three known lock-ons. Two are in the place she's just run away from. The third was Tai. She's not there for some dramatic reason. She's there because he's literally the only place she can portal to.
    • Even if she had another portal that would take her to the Branwen Tribe, the most likely person for that portal to lock onto is Vernal, and she just died, leaving her no other options for escape.
  • Professor Lionheart is a Faunus, but the only way of knowing this is if you look at his backside - he has a lion tail, but no other obviously lionoid features. You only see it when he turns tail and runs.
  • The Menagerie militia being armed with melee weapons and shields seems anachronistic, as their adversaries have guns and even hi-tech weapons. However, while it's impossible to give someone a proper Huntsman training within two weeks, let alone an a whole company, it's perfectly possible to teach them to use shields in formation - and to unlock their Auras. As evidenced by Jaune, shields and Aura go together incredibly well even when used by a novice: raising a shield is a perfect metaphor (and trigger) for engaging your Aura, and Aural reinforcement makes even the flimsiest shields bulletproof (as shown by Kali blocking a shot with a freaking serving tray). While individually Faunus volunteers may be no match against White Fang, together they can form an impenetrable wall.
  • Professor Lionheart fleeing the minute his aura breaks becomes more understandable when one considers his Dust-based shield. Since Dust requires Aura to be used in a combat setting, it's little wonder that Lionheart legged it once his Aura broke.
  • With the release of the Adam Character Short and the reveal of Sienna's abilities, some have expressed confusion as to why Adam was able to kill Sienna so easily. But, even if Sienna had her weapon and was ready to fight back, she still would've been killed by Adam. Why? Sienna's weapon is a chain-dart that specializes in long range, and her fighting style reflects this. Adam specializes in close-range combat and Wilt & Blush are a sword-and-shotgun, two extremely close-range weapons. Where was Adam when Sienna realizes what is about to happen? RIGHT IN FRONT OF HER. Regardless of whether Sienna had her weapon or not, she was dead the moment Adam walked up those stairs.
  • Why does Adam start suffering Sanity Slippage for no real reason? Because despite gaining what he wants things aren't improving for him. In fact his view is that things are getting worse. In his eyes Blake should be suffering in misery alone, but she is fighting back harder than ever. The Faunus of Menagerie should just roll over and accept his guidance, but the leadership of the White Fang are condemning Adam's actions and fighting him every step of the way. Even after he kills Sienna and becomes the High Leader, the Belladonnas suddenly start turning Menagerie against his faction of the White Fang; look at just how angry Adam is at this development during his message to the Albain brothers. He's a case of Evil Cannot Comprehend Good who isn't getting the results he expects despite achieving his goals, and is driven mad because he can't grasp why things aren't going his way.

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    Volume Six 
  • In the opening, the lyric, "We're the same /You and me" is played during a close-up of Salem's face before she goes ballistic. And this is 100% true. Despite their difference in ideology, Salem and Ozpin have virtually identical methods to achieve their goals; They both manipulate society from the shadows through their chosen agents, manipulate their agents through lies and half-truths, and while they try to present themselves as composed and enlightened, the Sixth Volume will show just how broken they truly are.
    • The opening also starts by showing a whole moon before dramatically breaking it. Subtle foreshadowing how this volume will be the one explaining why Remnant's moon is shattered.
  • The official story of the Battle of Haven holds that Professor Lionheart died a hero's death defending his academy. In other words, he's been... lionized.
  • Remember Blake's conversation with Sun in "A Necessary Sacrifice" about how she sees her friends as the personifications of certain words? Well, Ilia's reflections on Haven's salvation gives a hint at how Blake viewed her all this time: she represents the concept of faith. For so long, Ilia had faith in the organisation that took her in as an orphan; that faith was ultimately misplaced and taken advantage of, and she realised it before it blinded her completely. And now, as Ilia herself notes, being given a new start and a new movement to work with has given her more faith than ever before.
  • Covering up Lionheart's betrayal, while a kind gesture after what he did, actually has pragmatic value to it. Leo was both the head of Haven Academy and a Faunus, meaning if word got out it could cause people to distrust the headmasters of the other Huntsman Academies, but also cause people to suspect that Ghira and the Faunus Militia staged the whole thing.
    • Additionally, the outburst of negativity that would've come about had the truth been told in the first place could very well have caused another Grimm attack - with Mistral suffering from a huntsman shortage, there's no way Leo's actions could ever have come to light.
  • Ozpin's statement that the Relics might be attracting the Grimm might not be accurate. On the one hand, of course the Relics would attract Grimm. Not only are they probably giving off a lot of energy that anything with enhanced senses could pick up - such as Grimm, who can sense negative emotions from miles away if they're strong enough - but they must seem familiar to the Grimm, in more ways than one. If there's any truth to Qrow's story about the Two Brothers, that the Relics were gifted to mankind by them, not would only the Relics smell of their own maker, but also of his opposite (who represents everything they were created to destroy). On the other hand, Adam was on the train; the Grimm might've attacked because of his rage issues.
  • The Reveal of "Uncovered" sheds new light on Ozpin's conversation with Pyrrha back in Volume 3's "Fall". Note how Ozpin gently cuts Pyrrha off when she mentions the fairy tale of the Girl in the Tower.
    • To drive the point even further, once Volume 6 got released on YouTube, the very first sentence of the description for "The Lost Fable" is, what else, "What is your favorite fairy tale?"
  • Why is Jinn naked? Ask yourself this: Why do we wear clothes? To keep ourselves warm, but also to hide our bodies from others, which you could interpret as symbolism for keeping secrets. Jinn is naked because she has nothing to hide, and unlike Ozpin who tries so desperately hard to withhold information, Jinn gladly shares her knowledge.
  • We've seen Jinn before Volume 6, Chapter 2. Where, you may ask? Well, take a look at the statue within the lift to Haven's Vault.
  • There are some who ask why Salem couldn't just bust out of the tower from her own. This is because according to concept art, she was locked from the outside, with no doorknob inside her own chambers. So every time she had to leave, access to the castle beyond her room would be strictly controlled.
    • And because magic was a gift available to everyone at the time, she couldn't use her own magical potential to try and escape because someone stronger or more loyal to her father would make sure she couldn't get far. And that's not counting the traps already laid in place, which had to be overcome after the evil noble was defeated. When her father wanted to make sure she stayed inside the Tower, he damn well made sure she did.
  • Some have wondered why Salem simply didn't bother to go to the Brother of Darkness first. Well, this is because she figured death was his domain, so like Hades in Greek mythology, she would fear a rejection from him should he take offense at her requesting Ozma's resurrection. Second, the brother was responsible for introducing not only the Grimm, but also famine, and disease - the same one that killed Ozma, no less - all out of disgust for his brother's creations, and apathetically left them there to plague mankind, their masterpiece! It's no surprise why she, like many others, refused to consider him an option when making requests at all, and why Salem thought of him as a last resort in the first place!
  • The Brother of Darkness' comments on Salem's army using magic against him ("My own gifts. Turned against me.") would explain how Cinder's inner Grimm was able to "steal" the Maiden's powers- They come from the same source, and are thus compatible.
  • There's also a reason why the Two Brothers' are the respective patron Gods of Creation and Destruction respectively - their personalities match what the tale portrays their description and their feud as. The Older Brother, the God of Light, is perfectly suited as the God of Creation as he is able to successfully create many different things through focusing his thoughts in a logical process and never losing his cool, even in speech. Meanwhile, the Younger Brother, the God of Darkness, has Creative Sterility because he is more emotionally driven, which leads to his disgust with his brother's creations. This kind of behavior leads to more petulant tantrum throwing and aggressive acts towards violence, which is why he is better suited as the God of Destruction.
    • It also explains their reactions to Salem's request - besides the fact that the God of Light receives countless requests that he takes for granted (or is outright annoyed by), his colder, more logical thought process has made him appear more detached from humanity, including Salem herself. Meanwhile, his attention-starved brother finds a follower that isn't repulsed by him immediately, and therefore, is overjoyed to receive some form of emotional support- which is why he appears more empathetic to her because he can feel empathy and express emotions more acutely than his brother.
  • Remember back at the beginning of the series, where Salem's speech described 'man born from dust' and that man was remnants of a forgotten past? Well, after learning of how the conflict between Salem and Ozpin started and that humanity was wiped out once by the God of Darkness before he caused an extinction level event, we now know that she literally meant man was born from dust.
  • Salem cannot be killed, but the key to defeating her doesn't lie in battle. Remember how she was cursed with immortality to begin with, and what the gods told her. The only way she'll become mortal again, is if she acknowledges the value of life and death. She needs to be convinced of their value, and once that happens, she will die. Of course, this is easier said than done...
  • The fact that Salem, an untrained fighter, could somehow get the better of the defeat a warrior like Ozma may at first seem odd. Until one remembers that Salem can't die, she doesn't need to beat him with skill or strength but rather attrition. Salem can't be stopped but Ozma can, as such it's inevitable he would eventually lose. Strength will not bring you victory indeed...
  • Ozpin's reluctance to trust in Ironwood's military back in Volumes 2 and 3 takes on a new light when you learn that Ozpin and Salem were essentially warlords during Ozpin's first reincarnation, albeit well intentioned (at least on his part); his Heel Realization is part of what led to their falling out.
    • As well Ozpin would know all too well how short of a jump it is from "Benevolent governing force" to "Do as I say or suffer" since that's essentially what happened to Salem.
  • When looked at critically, a lot of Salem's initial actions can be explained as her having the emotional maturity of a child, being unable to cope with and grasp many concepts a normal adult could.
    • Salem's Start of Darkness is more than just Love Makes You Evil. As the archtypical Girl in the Tower, she had probably been raised with very minimal social experience, while being waited on hand and foot. A nice guy finally breaks her out... and then dies. Of course she wouldn't have the emotional maturity to handle it, nor would she probably have anyone else to help her through this difficult time.
    • Salem doesn't even seem to consider Together in Death with Ozma until after such a choice is denied to her. She wanted things to be the way she chose and would settle for nothing else, much like how a child will throw a tantrum if not given what they wanted.
    • After failing to kill herself in the God of Darkness' domain, Salem seemed perfectly content with hiding herself in a small woodland cottage, scaring anyone away from confronting her. She effectively returned herself to her former conditions of being alone, but this time of her own volition and in a place of her own design, much like how an angry child would run to their room and desire to be alone. It's only when Ozma returns does she leave the cottage, for she had been given what she wanted. And when Ozma tried to leave with her daughters, she responded by lashing out in a rage and wanting to see Ozma burn, much like a child would get angry when someone takes their toy and start to hold a grudge.
      • Of course, it's logical seeing why Salem would actually have that mentality - she was imprisoned for Gods-know how long inside the damn tower. Locked in complete isolation, surrounded by her father, any loyal/sycophantic guards, and with no one to visit. The reason why she latched onto Ozma wasn't because he was handsome or strong, it's because for the first time in her life, she had someone treat her decently as a person, not as a prize or possession. Ozma not only was the first person able to make good on his promise to survive against, let alone defeat her father, but also cared about her well-being, and was able to genuinely provide for her emotional needs, without ordering her around, unlike her father, who demanded her to be at his beck and call for most of her life until that day.
      • And because she spent most of her life cooped up in the tower, she probably lacked the emotional maturity and social skills to actively form new connections with other people. This imprisonment emotionally stunted her and made her akin to a shy child. With Ozma actively approaching her first, she clung onto him as a symbol for warmth and comfort and never let go, just like a teddy bear. This explains why she was never able to make emotional connections with other people outside the tower despite having long left it for many adventures afterwards - they were all too foreign to her from her years of isolation and little contact from the outside world, so she essentially didn't trust them enough to join her inner circle to become a friend, and kept them at arms' length as acquaintances at best, unlike Ozma, the one person she always trusted.
      • So when Ozma died, the factors above, combined with the inability to comprehend loss, nor the coping mechanisms to deal with such a situation, it makes perfect sense as to why she couldn't simply move on as most people would assume. No social or emotional support beyond Ozma, no chance to develop emotionally or socially beyond her imprisonment inside the tower, and you have one emotional wreck in the form of a womanchild desperate to reclaim the one person that she could find any sort of happiness in.
  • It may seem excessive what the Deity Brothers do to Salem. But then you realize that she's basically jumping up and down on whatever Berserk Button she can find that they both have, and the increasingly harsh consequences are escalation for someone refusing to repeatedly learn her lesson.
  • It's been noted Remnant's moon rotates on its own, instead of the same side always facing the planet like our own, which is unusual. However, the force of an impact powerful enough to shatter part of the moon - via the God of Darkness departing - would also be enough force to send it into a spin, regardless of whether it was spinning before or not, which would then stabilize over time into the current norm.
  • Why are the ones with powers that come from being the embodiments of seasons always the "Maiden" i.e. Always Female? Is there some cosmic reason? Turns out, Ozpin (or whatever this specific incarnation was called) created the maidens, at least subconsciously, as a Replacement Goldfish for his 4 daughters he had with Salem. If they're Replacement Goldfish for his children, who were young girls, no wonder only young girls can become Maidens.
    • Going a step further, this means that whenever a new Maiden is being selected, such as Pyrrha, Ozpin's looking for someone who reminds him of that specific daughter.
  • Tyrian referring to Salem as his goddess and grace comes off as more than just terms of affection or madness with the knowledge that Salem and Ozma were once treated as Gods to early Remnant. Tyrian legitimately sees Salem as a goddess because that is what she passed herself off as before, and possibly still is doing with Tyrian.
  • In "The Shining Beacon: Part 2" Ruby and Yang noted that Ozpin seemed off during his opening speech. Jinn explains that Ozpin's Resurrective Immortality works by sharing a body with his next vessel, so it's possible that the "Ozpin" giving the speech was actually the true owner of that body.
  • The Reveal about the truth of Salem and Ozpin's connection, also comes with the confirmation that Ozpin wasn't wrong to keep such things secret. What happens as soon as everyone finds out Salem is completely immortal? They give up. They give up and stop fighting, which is likely what Ozpin in part feared. He's been fighting a hopeless battle for a very long time and he refuses to give up, but judging by his past incarnation's reaction to when he first found out the truth that he cannot destroy Salem, he knows that finding out your opponent is immortal is a hope-crushing revelation. He doesn't want people to give up the fight; if they give up, then Salem really wins.
  • Look at the castle closely. It's strikingly similar to the one Salem currently uses as her base of operations. This has one of two meanings, possibly even both. One, Salem rebuilt the home where she lost the love of her life and their daughters, effectively serving as a reminder for herself that she has no possibility of happiness anymore. Or two, she build her base in the same style of her old home to serve as a reminder of the betrayal and the things she has lost. In all likelihood, her (current) home may just be a substitute of the one she sought after so long ago.
    • On the opposite side of the war, we have Ozpin and Beacon Academy, which also looks extremely similar to the castle where Salem was kept, specifically the tower. It's very possible that Ozpin established his office in the very tower that once housed the woman he loved, either in appearance or in actuality, to serve as a reminder to himself of what he too lost. Seriously, it's depressing that these two former lovers choose to remember the days they enjoyed by the buildings they call home.
      • This makes the destruction of Ozpin's office, which happened to house the CCT tower, surprisingly apropos - Cinder, on behalf of Salem, just also happened to have destroyed the one place that reminded her of her abuse in the tower - the one thing that messed up her mind and made her life hell in the first place.
  • Though Ozpin kept secrets from Salem, it's mentioned before by Jinn that Salem didn't tell him the truth of how the original humans fell. Both of them kept secrets, important secrets, from each other and thus it's no wonder their second chance ended in horrifying failure.
  • Ozpin claims early on he made more mistakes than anyone else has. Except Jinn's story reveals one person made even worse mistakes; Salem. She truly is his Evil Counterpart in that her very human nature led to her making horrifying mistakes that are responsible for how things are in Remnant. Unlike him however, Salem operates on a Never My Fault mindset while Ozpin has a guilt complex fuelled by all his mistakes and failures.
  • Remember the reason why Ozpin never chastised Qrow for drinking in Volume 3? That's because one of his past lives was an alcoholic. He perfectly understood how hellish Qrow's life must have been to get him to drink, given their similar pasts.
  • Salem states the importance of one not losing sight of the desires that drive them, citing examples such as love, justice, and reverence. These seem random, and merely rhetorical examples so that she can get into her main message to her subordinates not to put those desires for hers, but at the same time they seem oddly specific. That's because, as a human before she jumped into the pool of darkness, she once held fast to these desires. She once revered the Gods of Light and Darkness, and her love for her fallen lover Ozma drove her to plead with them to break the balance of life and death. When the Gods denied her pleas and cursed her with immortality, she wanted justice and led an army of humans to rise up against the Gods. Losing sight of these desires only made things worse for her when she finally drove Ozma away for good.
    • It also works on another level, as those three words also describe the motivations of the minions she's currently talking to (minus Watts and Mercury, whose motivations are respectively "unknown" and "sure, why not"). Tyrian reveres Salem as a goddess, Hazel wants justice for his sister, and Emerald loves Cinder for saving her from the streets.
  • Salem says that Cinder will not be killed for botching the Haven mission, but will be on her own until she redeems herself. This is two-fold: Salem was a mother, so this is the equivalent of a time-out. Also, there are still three Relics and Maidens to deal with, the Beacon Relic still hasn't been recovered yet, and Cinder is the only magic user that Salem can send out, as she doesn't want to reveal herself.
  • Right before Salem's meltdown over learning Ozpin's revived again and her enforcers leave the room, one individual notices something wrong before anyone else; Mercury. Why? Because Mercury is a former victim of child abuse at the hands of his drunken father. Abuse victims have been known to recognize micro-expressions due to repeated exposure to an abuser and their behavior, allowing them to pick up on signs of when the situation will become volatile. When Salem first hears Ozpin's revived, he's already tensed up, and is the first to notice the cracking of the windows around them, something the others don't notice until they're about to shatter. When she tells them all to leave, Mercury is the first one out the door, already aware something nasty is about to happen.
  • Despite Cinder's protests of Misplaced Retribution from Neo, Neo blaming Cinder for Roman's demise isn't all that unbelievable. In addition, she has little reason to pin the blame on Ruby.
    • The only reason Roman and her were involved in Cinder's plans was because Cinder was threatening Roman, and it was Cinder's plans for the Fall of Beacon that released so many Grimm into the skies around Amity Coliseum, including the Griffon that devoured Roman.
    • Right before Ruby sent her flying away, Neo and Roman were dominating their fight with her, and even with Neo gone, she has little reason to believe Roman would lose to Ruby. In all their confrontations, Ruby never truly beat Roman, their initial confrontation having Roman escape into Cinder's Bullhead, Roman running from the docks after Penny started fighting, and Neo picking him up after his Paladin was destroyed by Yang. Even his fight with Blake is implied to have been forfeited so Cinder's plans could continue, requiring he be captured. Since Neo has Roman's hat now as a Tragic Keepsake, she had to have at the least come across the wreckage of Ironwood's ship, meaning she could get an idea as to the battle between the two, and combined with her knowledge of how Roman fights and his history with Ruby, she could probably tell he didn't lose to her.
    • So who else would she blame for his death if not Ruby? Cinder.
      • Conversely, Cinder isn't entirely wrong to blame Ruby for Roman's death. While Cinder did set the stage with her plan, it wasn't until Ruby sent Neo over the ship that Roman died, having unknowingly attracted the Grimm in his rage. If not for Ruby, Roman would've survived.
  • Speaking of Neo and Cinder's fight, notice what Cinder does when she says she's "gotten stronger." She hits Neo with a fireball as she tries to sneak up on her, whereas last season she lost her fight with Raven because because she didn't pay attention to Vernal—who was behind her. Looks like someone's taken Raven's advice to heart.
  • Why is Weiss so scared upon discovering the corpses of the Brunswick farmers that she goes into a fetal position? Death is an expected part of being a huntsman. There was no visibly apparent cause of death or signs of a fight leading to that bedroom, and therefore no reason to mentally prepare themselves.
  • There's a small bit of brilliance as to why Bartleby, knowing how dangerous the Apathy were, would choose to leave closing the cellars to the next day and thus leaving the entirety of Brunswick Farms to suffer their fate; the two Apathy he already lured were taking their toll on him, thus ironically leaving him too apathetic to properly finish the job on the same day. His plan was pretty much doomed to fail even at that point.
  • Weiss burning down Brunswick Farms is still practical even if it didn't immediately stop the Apathy; future travelers in the area who pass by are far less likely to stop at a burned-out building for shelter and risk getting killed by any of the Apathy who remain.
    • There's also a major catharsis element for her. Given her family history, she's probably been fantasizing about setting fire to a room full of booze for quite some time.
  • In Volume 2, Oobleck stated that regarding packs of Grimm, lone Grimm have been observed to stay isolated from the pack for days or weeks, even months. This line-of-thought could've influenced Bartleby's plan: if lone Grimm can stay away for that long and the others don't react strangely, then it wouldn't be that much of a stretch to split off two and take them away. Normally, by the time the pack realized the others weren't back for some time, they would either be much farther away, believe they were killed, or eventually lose interest to more current matters. Unfortunately... the Apathy Grimm didn't follow normal Grimm pack patterns.
  • The various victims of the Apathy's despair aura are affected in different ways, depending on their personality and history.
    • Ruby, a Paragon of optimism and hope, manages to hold out the longest. However, with her driving inner spark dampened, her insecurity and fears gain the upper hand, leaving her timid and panicky.
    • Weiss, still upset over having to return to a broken home after working so hard to escape it therefore leaving her unbalanced, would understandably be one of the first to be affected.
    • Yang starts looking for an easy way out of their current predicament and tries to rationalize her choice for abandoning their journey - much like her mother.
    • Blake seems to be the most affected by the Apathy in the cellar, most likely because of her extreme guilt about leaving her team being unresolved and her recent rejection by Yang.
    • Maria, like Ruby, manages to resist the worst of the despair for quite some time, being an extremely stubborn old lady who refuses to do anything - including dying - that's not on her own terms.
    • Though Oscar would have experienced the effects just as much as, if not worse than, the rest of RWBY (because he's housing the spirit of a millenias-old mentor who was only recently revealed to be untrustworthy, and he's still processing the fact that he essentially left his farm home on a suicide mission and might go through a Loss of Identity someday), he's still able to keep some bearing through the cynicism and follow Qrow's instruction to fix the plow tire before everyone has to flee for their lives. Along with some youthful resilience on his part, he was never directly exposed to the Apathy unlike the rest of the girls, and he's also used to making himself useful as quickly as possible from his aunt (of course, depending on how much work he had to do around his home and how bossy she was as a parental figure).
    • Qrow, despite having the similar benefit of not being directly exposed to the Apathy, had it just as bad as Weiss, Yang and Blake. His alcoholism relapse aside, his overall cynicism and the grief he felt at Ozpin's deception exacerbated the Apathy's effects on him and would have caused the Grimm proper to kill him if Ruby and Weiss hadn't pulled him out of the bar.
    • Furthermore, he recently had his twin sister try to kill him and side with the enemy while a trusted friend and colleague had been proven a traitor. And we saw in his time in Mistral he found that several Huntsmen and Huntress he knew personally had been killed. Add in the points above and he was an emotional wreck waiting to happen. No wonder the Apathy had such a potent effect on him.
  • A meta example: Argus is clearly based on San Francisco and just like the latter it has an island in the middle of its bay. Said island is military base just like what Alcatraz was originally.
  • Maria, despite being a seemingly harmless old lady, has some very strong nerves. From her reaction to surviving a train crash, to being stranded in the middle of the woods, to learning about a hopeless war that may end in Humanity's extinction, to coming across a village whose residents seemingly died in their sleep, nothing seems to phase her. With the revelation that she used to be a legendary huntress called "The Grimm Reaper", her prior calmness at such extraordinary situations makes sense.
  • How did Maria remain completely unscathed after the train crash the heroes survived only thanks to Weiss gravitically tethering all of them to the roof? The same way. Her weapon, which she is now using as a cane, has its own gravity Dust supply.
  • So Maria turned out to be a legendary huntress, who was idolized by Qrow to the point he designed his weapon after hers. Who, in turn, is idolized by Ruby to the point she designed her weapon after his and generally views him as father figure despite them being not blood-related. So, Maria, in an unusual spiritual way, is a Grandmother to Ruby's Little Red Riding Hood.
  • It starts to make sense why after three volumes Ruby got no training or advice from Ozpin and Qrow about her silver-eyes. Maria and her father knew very little other then how their powers work. It is likely that Qrow and Ozpin knew even less.
  • The power of the silver eyes is triggered by emotion and the desire to protect others. No wonder that it worked stopped the Wyvern but only slowed down the Apathy, who have the ability to dull emotion.
  • Mercury not having a Semblance certainly explains why he is such a smug little jackass. Thanks to his father, he'll always be surrounded by people who have this cool ability, while he's essentially stuck with Boring, but Practical martial arts, so feels compelled to look down on others just to keep down from doing the same (In his mind). Combined with his abusive past, he's probably developed a Inferiority Superiority Complex.
    • It can also be seen in a different perspective: He's such a smug jackass because he's badass without needing a semblance. He's got a crippling handicap that most would never have, and the only two other characters who were specifically established as not having a semblance were Torchwick and Jaune; the former due to never unlocking it and the latter only unlocking it very recently due to inexperience. But that's the thing; Roman never unlocked it, but he always had the chance to do so. Jaune always had the chance, but just didn't do so until later. MERCURY will NEVER be able to get his back, no matter what he does because it's been permanently stripped away from him. And yet despite that, the fact that Mercury can more or less easily keep up with people that have far greater advantages than him, or always had the means to become stronger but just needed the chance to do so, a chance stripped from him, and arguably do even better than them in many circumstances would make his smug sense of superiority pretty valid.
  • Oscar returning ready for combat and willing to take up the metaphorical sword to continue the fight has an interesting bit of trivia about it; if you use his last name of Pine he can slot into Team JN_R. Though it's also sad, the same episode that had him do so also showed that Jaune, Ren, and Nora are starting to find the way to truly move forward despite the loss of Pyrrha. And Oscar is ready to step forward to become a Huntsman; Jaune would be the perfect team leader to another member who is currently struggling to catch up to the rest and discover his Semblance, having gone through the same!
  • Adam's new headgear is perfectly symbolic of him. He can't see the world in anyway other than shades of Black, be they the evil that the world has inflicted onto the Faunus and conversely onto him, or Blake and how it's her fault he lost everything.
    • His being "unable to see the world in anyway other than shades of Black" takes on a whole new meaning once we see the blindfold come off. He can only see the bad things.
  • The sensor feed plug that Maria uses provides a good explanation for why the Atlesian pilot that Weiss flew with in Volume 5 was wearing a helmet with visor inside his cockpit. His helmet likely had a sensor feed socket, providing him with a comprehensive HUD. What with air routes in Remnant passing along floating islands, flying Grimm and other hazards, an increased awareness of one's surroundings can only be good for a pilot to have. Given the Atlesian love for uniformity, it also makes sense that the data plug system would be standardized across their tech, allowing Maria being able to plug in without issue.
  • Qrow wasn't selected to take out the radar, despite having the best skill-set for the task. This is because: the near-volume long funk he's been in has ruined his focus, his semblance could accidentally wreck Argus communications (which the team doesn't want), and his bird powers are a secret the team can't risk blowing.
  • Yang's doing at lot better against Adam this time, for multiple reasons;
    • Why was Yang, an up close brawler, able to thrash Adam, an Iaijutsu Practitioner fast enough to parry bullets and blitz others from across the battlefield, while Blake, someone who knew Adam's fighting style well enough to create a strategy to disable it, could only land a few hits by tripping up his normal style? Because Adam is actually best matched against Long-Range Fighter types. He can react to long distance attacks fast enough to completely negate them, catch the projectiles with his sword, and then throw off Sword Beam attacks much stronger than anyone trying to snipe him would likely be able to. Yang however is best off getting in close enough to pummel enemies into submission which actually counters Adam's style quite well. She's in close enough that he doesn't have enough time or room to fully draw his sword in quick draw fashion for his strongest attacks, him trying to blitz her won't work because she's able to tank most low level blows and power up from them, so wearing her down would fail. While he can hit hard and move fast, his defense isn't quite as polished due to him focusing on pure offense and always nullifying hits with his sword, meaning he lacks endurance to pain and can be staggered by taking a hit, which leaves him open to taking even more so long as you can keep up an assault.
    • Blake also didn't do as well because while she knows Adam's strategy, he knows hers just as well. They previously fought together as combat partners, remember. Add in how well his style counters hers (parrying her shots easily, able to easily destroy her shadows, etc.) and Blake wasn't likely to outfight him without some very good fortune.
    • This also explains Adams's tendency to rush in near his enemies during a fight. It's a psychological tactic to keep them from realizing the flaws in his fighting style, and he focuses on killing his opponent before they can get his measure.
    • Why was Yang's replacement arm able to withstand an attack far more powerful than the one that cut it off to begin with? Ironwood worked closely with the headmaster of her school and her uncle and was responsible for security at the Vytal Tournament. He would have had several ways of learning about her Semblance and gave her a model that would work well with it.
    • Ironwood would have extra incentive to gift her an especially durable replacement. He's expressed the view of always improving rather than settling for what already works. He didn't just give her an arm that could work with her Semblance, but one that would actually improve her ability to use it.
      • Yang's Bare-Handed Blade Block actually has a much simpler explanation: by the end of the fight, Yang has purposefully gone on the defensive, effectively baiting Adam into attacking wildly and burn through his semblance and stamina. By the end, he has no energy left to give his sword its absurdly sharp quality, so Yang can catch his sword with little danger to herself. Yang effectively counters Adam's abilities with a strategy similar to one Neo used to counter her own back in Volume 2.
    • Furthermore, take their mindsets into consideration. In Beacon, Yang was confused and angry over what was happening- first the world turned on her, and then it began to violently end. When her rage broke over Adam stabbing Blake, so did her concentration, and with her loss of focus she couldn't summon a defensive aura. In Argus, while still anxious, Yang has better control over her emotions, while Adam is now lashing out at everyone.
  • Adam nearly executing a downed SDC guard back in his trailer was just another example of his cruelty before. Now, however, it makes a lot more sense. The SDC branded Adam. Of course Adam would jump at the chance to butcher SDC employees!
  • Adam has one good eye and one bad eye. The bad eye was the result of a brand onto his face at a very young age, because he was viewed by humans as something less than human, a monster. It serves as a nice bit of duality symbolism for him, representing who he tries to pass himself off as, and who he actually became underneath it, with the camera taking different perspectives to highlight this during his encounter with Blake and Yang. The camera likes to view Adam's face from the left side, emphasizing his branded eye, but nearly always keeping his good eye within view and near the center of frame, especially whenever Adam is trying to manipulate Blake and Yang during the fight. Adam has long been corrupted into a Revenge Before Reason / Evil Is Petty kind of person, and his branded eye is symbolic of that, which is why it is always in view and spatially closer to the audience. It also emphasizes the fact that we as the audience have only seen Adam do bad things, and therefore it's also a representation of the audience's perspective of Adam. However, Adam's good eye is in frame along with his branded eye isn't representative of a good side, but rather Adam's more sympathetic qualities, which he tries to use in order to manipulate Blake and Yang. But, we, Blake and Yang know better, and when the time comes for Adam to be stabbed with Gambol Shroud, his face is entirely viewed from the left side, emphasizing that any sympathetic qualities have long been eclipsed by his evil, and that Adam will die as the monster he became to fight other monsters.
  • When Blake and Yang speak about Adam's Semblance, it suddenly becomes apparent that Moonslice is emblematic of Adam himself. Adam absorbs damage with his sword, not taking it himself as Yang does, then unleashes it when he's ready. Similarly, Adam can't stand people criticising him for his choices (as seen in "Argus Limited") while he constantly hunts Blake for choosing to leave him - in short, he dishes out damage which he can't take.
    • Another way of looking into Adam's Semblance is that he wishes to absorb damage - symbolizing the suffering brought by his brand - and repay it back tenfold, indicating his furiously Disproportionate Retribution for injuries towards him that's aimed at the entire human race, along his desire to turn his enemies' strength and cruelty against them. Additionally, the fact that Adam requires a medium such as his sword to do so signifies the fact that he can't move past the pain he felt in his life (and therefore, would rather not feel it directly). Adam prevents himself from accepting pain, causes others to feel way more, but never addresses the core of his issues and blames others for his own choices. Yang has to take all her pain and injuries on but makes herself stronger for it, and she was inflicted with a similar injury but faced the resulting trauma and moved on.
    • Also, remember how when Yang was framed during the tournament, Blake thought that maybe Yang was guilty? Semblances are considered to be reflections of the soul. With Yang having a semblance similar to Adam's, it may have played a role in Blake doubting her partner.
  • The shot of a lone Ruby confronting Cordovin in her giant mech profoundly mirrors the Episode 7 shot of Maria in her prime, preparing to take on the Giant Nevermore. Ruby truly is Maria's heir, the next silver-eyed Grimm Reaper.
  • The Leviathan doesn't seem to notice the Hard Light barriers until bumping into one. Given the placement of its eyes and the shape of its skull, the creature is seriously lacking in the binocular vision department.
  • Adam's entire downfall in Volume 6 mirrors that of a Professor Moriarty: he loses his organization and all of his power overnight due to the hero's scheme and, unable to move on, vows for petty revenge, stalking his train-riding target across the continent, waiting them to separate from their friends and eventually chasing them up to a waterfall - only to overestimate his fighting ability and die in said waterfall, striking a rocky outcrop before disappearing into water.
  • In "Nevermore", one of Yang's part's lines is "The goal of a savior is not to be lionized". Yang understands it because she has known, for a very long time, someone who truly wants to save people, not asking anything in return: Ruby.
  • While Adam's white emblem on the back of the jacket initially first appears as fancy floral designs or possibly referencing a rose thorn, one should consider that Adam's sigil only encompasses red-colored rose designs, including his emblem. That means that the white sigil actually represents the curved stems and flowers of the deadly nightshade plant, aka the atropa belladonna. Sound familiar? Yes, that symbolizes his control over Blake. Well, with his eventual demise (through the same impact spot, no less), it signals that Blake has emerged victorious over Adam, and that his hold over her is now over. For bonus points, his rose sigil is superimposed over the nightshade symbol, adding further credence to Adam's abuse imagery.
    • Also the curved stems of the nightshade emblem may also represents Blake's willingness to change her perspective over time, while the straight stems of Adam's rose symbolizes his stubborn insistence towards violence that gets him defeated.
  • Adam's full theme, "Lionize", combines brutal, intense thrashing sounds with heroic and uplifting music. Why? Because it's Adam in a nutshell. Part of the song is Adam's thoughts of himself, and part of it is Adam's facade breaking and his inner viciousness arriving!
  • At first glance, the design of the Colossus mecha seems odd, with giant armored "boots" taking a good half of robot's bulk. However, the Square-Cube Law requires anything bipedal of that size to have incredibly sturdy legs to support its huge weight. Colossus cannot be strengthened by Aura like Huntsmen's weapons are, and material properties can only get you so far, so the only solution was to make its legs disproportionally large and thick. Additionally, the robot was intended to operate in the shallow sea; longer legs make it easier to stride through water, and thickness and armor plating helps deal with stress caused by water resistance and protects from smaller Grimm which could hide in the water and bite at the mecha's ankles. Either way, the designers were thoroughly averting the "Colossus on clay feet" situation.
    • In Pacific Rim, which most likely was among the sources of inspiration for the episode, Gipsy Danger is badly crippled when a kaiju chomps on its knee. That trick wouldn't work with Colossus nearly as well.
  • Jaune's ability to recharge his Aura at will (like Hazel) was subtly foreshadowed in "Seeing Red". After taking a hit for Nora from the Colossus, which apparently shatters his Aura, he moves with noticeable pain and restraint and has to rely on Nora's support to walk. Then the mecha aims its cannon at Ruby and suddenly Jaune is seen sprinting towards the girl with no sign of injury. Minutes after, in "Our Way", he's amplifying Ren's Semblance, though his Aura does run out shortly. Seeing Ruby in apparent danger made him recharge some of his Aura to heal himself without even thinking, just like seeing Weiss dying in "Vault Of The Spring Maiden" led him to discover his Semblance to begin with.
  • In "Haven's Fate", Raven claimed that she survives because she's strong enough to do what others won't, which Yang mocked. Raven ultimately failed to kill Cinder because she chose a more indirect method (knocking her off and freezing her), while Yang did kill Adam because she personally stabbed him through the chest. Yang was the one strong enough to do what Raven wouldn't.

    Volume Seven 
  • Penny's status as the highly visible protector of Mantle hearkens back to Ozpin's criticism of Ironwood in Volume Two: "A guardian is a symbol of comfort. But an army is a symbol of conflict." Ironwood might still have his army out in force, but his giving the people of Mantle a lovable and comforting guardian like Penny shows that he is taking Ozpin's words at least a little to heart.
  • Being the commander of the Atlas military, it stands to reason that Ironwood would be well aware of who's in charge of the Argus base. It's quite possible that he assigned Cordovin there himself. With that in mind, his Actually Pretty Funny moment when Ruby sheepishly admits to stealing their airship - which is almost certainly registered as hailing from Argus - could be taken as him having put two and two together.
  • The teal of Clover's eyes is the inverse of Qrow's dark red. How appropriate for two men with opposing Semblances.
  • The golden weld used to repair Gambol Shroud hearkens strongly to Kintsugi, the Japanese art of mending broken pottery using laquer mixed with gold. The philosophy behind the art is that the object is all the more beautiful for having been mended, and that it should be highlighted, rather than hidden. It's immensely fitting for Blake, who learned to no longer run from her past and refused to be afraid anymore. Adam damaged her, but he could not keep her broken. (There's also the fact that the gold is Yang's color, and Yang had quite a lot to do with Blake's development.)
  • Compared to Ruby and Yang, Blake shows more support and anger for Weiss when Jacques tries to guilt trip his daughter. Even going as far as to hold Weiss's hand. This makes sense when you remember that Blake is a victim of abuse, manipulation and victim blaming herself. So, seeing some else, especially a close friend, getting the same treatment would upset her.
    • Not to diminish Yang's anger, she looks just as mad as Blake does during the shot of them and Ruby reacting to the aforementioned guilt trip. Then you remember that she was the first and (apparently) only one of them that Weiss told of the circumstances surrounding her terrible childhood, so Yang knows what really happened and therefore sees Jacques' manipulation for what it is. It makes sense, then, that she'd be angry as well.
  • Holding up a military transport as a civilian is a rash move by any metric, and seems like the sort of thing that ought to get you arrested, if not shot at. However, given the circumstances, Robyn's move actually makes a good deal of sense. With tensions in Mantle and Atlas being what they are, James Ironwood cannot afford to have an outspoken political opponent get mysteriously arrested right before an election. Any vague statement along the lines of “Interference with military business” simply screams of trumped-up charges; the military would have to come clean about why Robyn was being arrested. And that means admitting that a military transport carrying extremely valuable construction supplies was being sent to the middle of nowhere, rather than the walls of Mantle. Suffice to say, that’s a situation that the Ironwood regime does not want on its hands.
    • This would explain why Robyn was invited to the meeting at the Schnee Mansion; Given that Ironwood wants to keep the diverted resources business as quiet as possible to protect Amity's secrecy, he could not issue a solid warrant without drawing attention to it.
  • Winter being the designated new Winter Maiden explains why she's appearing alongside Ironwood in the government's public service announcememnts in Mantle. When he goes public with the truth about Salem, Ironwood may well intend to use the Maidens as Propaganda Heroes, magically-empowered champions of humanity in the face of a supernatural evil. The videos are introducing her to the people ahead of time, and associating her with order, safety and the government of Atlas.
  • In contrast to most Huntsmen, who dress in bright and vibrant colors, the Happy Huntresses have drab and muted clothing. This can be seen as a show of solidarity with the similarly-dressed people of Mantle... and also ensures that they won't stand out in a crowd if the authorities happen to be looking for them.
  • Nora of all characters is the one to get upset enough to properly call Ironwood out for how the people of Mantle have been treated. This seems fairly out of character for her to be the most serious- but think about it. Of the entire main cast, Nora probably relates the most to the Mantle people since she herself was homeless. Even Blake having to deal with racism never actually grew up needy, since her parents were still well off. Nora understands better than anyone else there what it's like to not get any help at all from the people in power when you need it the most.
    • Ren by contrast supports Ironwood wholeheartedly to the point of conflict with Nora and starts acting very unlike himself. Which makes sense because he was a child during the last time a bunch of people didn't want the frustration of dealing with the government and high class snobs and struck out on their own without their assistance. Everyone but him and Nora died horribly when the Nucklevee came through. In his mind it's better for Mantle to suck it up and deal with Ironwood bossing them around and the Atlas higher ups treating them like second class citizens, because it beats having your whole family killed by Grimm because you wouldn't accept their protection.
  • The Staff of Creation being used to levitate Atlas off the ground makes sense when you look at it from different angles. Alongside Mistral, Mantle was one of the losers of The Great War; the people probably felt beaten and downtrodden. Ozma suggesting to have its relic lift up Atlas could be seen as him trying to inspire the people there and literally rising them up out of the darkness. After all, a kingdom of innovation would certainly appreciate a symbol of them not settling for the average level and aiming for something higher. Sadly, it seems this purpose was misinterpreted as Mantle was left behind and there is such tension between the two cities.
    • And given what has occurred as of Episode 12, there's also another possible function that it could serve as: An Ark to save as much of humanity as possible in the most dire situation. And what better fuel source for a final resort to save what remains of humanity than a relic that can NEVER run out of power?
  • There may be another reason why Whitley is the way he is. The Resenter he may be, but his insistence on speaking to Weiss in "Cordially Invited", along with Willow's statement about the latter leaving him behind implies that he is trying to make sure Weiss stays with him.
    • It's implied that his polite, supportive demeanor towards her (compared to everyone else), and his scheme to get her disgraced from the company is to make sure she stays in the manor as long as possible to support him. After Jacques and Willow proved to be poor parental figures, Whitley may have turned to Weiss as the Parental Substitute after Winter effectively cut all ties to the family.
  • The Schnee family's responses to Jacques' abuse directly mirrors the four ways abuse victims respond to trauma: fight, flight, freeze, and fawn.
    • Weiss: "Fight". Weiss's response has always been to fight. Those who are stuck in a constantly activated “fight” response to trauma tend to act entitled, angry, and contemptuous, which is what Weiss was like at the beginning of Volume One. “Fight” types typically see themselves as perfect and morally superior to others as a defense mechanism against abandonment, which, unfortunately, tends to perpetuate their loneliness. As Weiss grows and begins to heal from her trauma through healthy relationships, she is able to use her “fight” response in healthier ways. For example, instead of completely removing herself from the family, she intends to reclaim the family name and restore its honor, which is a great goal to have and one that gives her purpose. As Blake has said, the word that best describes Weiss is “defiance”.
    • Winter: "Flight". Winter’s response to trauma was flight. Her goal was to get away from Jacques as quickly as possible, and her chosen escape route was the Atlas military. “Flight” types tend to have obsessive-compulsive tendencies, believing that order and perfection will keep them safe. They lose themselves by constantly being busy so that they do not have to present with their emotions, which they don’t know how to deal with. Winter still seems to struggle with actually confronting her feelings, but as she works through her trauma, we begin to see a healthy manifestation of her “flight” response: she has gained the distance needed to create her own destiny.
    • Willow: "Freeze". Willow Schnee, knowing that there is no escape from her husband and that resistance is futile, did the only thing she knew she could do; she froze. “Freeze” types tend to withdraw into themselves and dissociate as much as possible in order to numb the pain. This is learned helplessness. They self isolate, avoiding others and using whatever method of distraction best distances them from reality. In Willow’s case, she uses alcohol. While Willow is still stuck in her “freeze” state, we see one positive way she has used it; she has been able to gain an advantage over Jacques by placing cameras all over the estate without his knowledge. Only someone like Willow, who presents as helpless and detached, would be able to get away with such a thing without being caught.
    • Whitley: "Fawn". Unlike his sisters, Whitley doesn’t have the Schnee family semblance or the talent that would have allowed him to join the military or enroll in an academy. As the last of the children, he must be aware that his father is going to hold on to him tightly and not let him get away like the other two. So what does he do? He “fawns”. “Fawn” types seek safety by forfeiting all of their needs, preferences, and boundaries in order to become exactly what the abuser wants them to be. They essentially try to do damage control by complying with the demands of others and by trying to be as agreeable as possible. These are the codependent types. Whitley, knowing he was left alone by his sisters and cannot depend on his detached mother, must do everything in his power to get along with Jacques so that he can survive.
  • As noted in Fridge Horror below, Weiss's Knight summon wears the armor of Nicholas Schnee, her grandfather and the Honest Corporate Executive founder of the SDC. It's immensely fitting that she should use the specter of Nicholas to arrest his corrupt son-in-law.
  • Compared to Qrow and Jaune's violent reactions to Ozpin's big reveal in Volume 6, Ironwood's response seems understated. But, Ironwood has always been a man who has tried to keep his emotions under control, even to the point of seeming heartless. Furthermore, there has been no indication that Ironwood has suffered any personal losses; Pyrrha, Jaune's partner and love-interest for Volumes 1-3, was killed by Cinder after being pressured to become the Fall Maiden, and it's strongly implied that Qrow's sister Raven left because of Ozpin's frequent manipulations. By contrast, Ironwood is predominantly surrounded by people who are essentially his yes-men, rarely if ever contradicting his orders and being reliable soldiers, but also meaning that they cannot truly understand or help Ironwood bear the burden he has. On top of this, he has a known history of being inflexible, paranoid, and confrontational when things don't go his way, and while he was able to deal with the pressure of the truth about Salem and Ozpin at first, when he finally crumbled under the strain, his failings as a person and a leader on top of a lack of a strong support network ensured that his breakdown would be SUBSTANTIALLY worse than either Qrow or Jaune.
  • Ironwood's duel with Watts is a good reflection of his overall progress against the villains. Ironwood's always preferred direct confrontations, but Salem's forces are always one step ahead, manipulating the environment to trip him up and render his strength useless, just like how Watts manipulates the Amity Arena to attack Ironwood. Ironwood is only able to catch up to Watts by coming at him from a different direction, just like how he finally drew the doctor and Tyrian into the open by opening himself up to Robyn's help. However, Watts manages to trap Ironwood's flesh arm in a Hard Light barrier. While most people would just damage the rings generating the Hard Light, Ironwood just sacrifices his arm pulling it out, a testament to how little he views his own humanity in pursuit of victory, as well as demonstrating Ironwood's inflexibility when it comes to finding solutions for his problems.
    • What happens to his arm is also an allusion to the Tin Woodsman from the original story: The Wicked Witch of the West enchanted the Woodsman's axe so that every time he swung it, he would chop into his own limbs. Gradually, his entire body was replaced by metal. Here, Ironwood has already lost roughly half of his body in what was implied to be a terrible ordeal and now practically flays his last flesh arm indirectly due to Salem, seeing as Watts is her subordinate. The difference is that the Woodsman still considered himself human, whereas James doesn't appear to care about how much humanity he has to give up to stop Salem.
  • Ironwood's Image Song "Hero" contains the lyric "I would fly into the sun", which at first seems to be foreshadowing Ironwood's eventual plan to raise Atlas away from Remnant to escape Salem. However, it can also be taken to be part of Ironwood's low-key Icarus Allusion; On the floor of Ironwood's office, you see constellations painted on, indicating that Ironwood seems himself as someone who walks the heavens. Watts accuses Ironwood, "You stood atop [my genius] and called yourself a giant!" something that Ironwood technically does not deny. It also highlights Ironwood's tendency towards plans that appear grand and epic, but are actually self-destructive and stupid in hindsight.
  • Tyrian not doing so well in his rematch with Qrow makes sense when you consider the circumstances. First, last time, he ran circles around four first-year students and Qrow was the only real threat; Ruby just caught a lucky break in chopping off his tail. Not to mention, he had the element of surprise. Here, Tyrian's opponents are three fully trained Huntsmen who deliberately lured him out in the open, and Qrow knows how he fights as a bonus. Second, the place where they fight was also different: instead of the remains of a village full of open ground and buildings to hide in, he's stuck in a narrow alley with little room to manuever, which hampers his Dance Battler style. Robyn probably chose that spot deliberately so that they could box him in. Finally, the strategy is what takes him down: Qrow takes the direct approach with Clover lending support and tripping up Tyrian, while Robyn hangs back and only fires normal arrows. The former two pummel and exhaust Tyrian until, seeing as how he's been catching arrows left and right probably believes that's the extent of Robyn's arsenal, he catches the last one in his mouth, which turns out to be an explosive, and delivers the final blow. The three of them had probably planned that strategy ahead to take him down, and it worked flawlessly.
  • Shock from physical trauma can cause confusion, anxiety and restlessness. Ironwood's mental state wasn't going to be in a great condition to begin with, but flaying the skin off his arm can't have helped much, either.
  • Ironwood going from seemingly accepting the fact that RWBY hid the truth about Salem from him to being furious about them going behind their backs can be attributed to more than just seeing the chesspiece on his desk. At least when Oscar told him the full truth, he did it of his own volition and expressly apologised for covering it up. When he confronts Blake and Yang about telling Robyn about Amity Tower and letting her escape, the two offer no apologies for their actions and simply act like they did nothing wrong. Weiss chiming in with, "That doesn't matter right now," doesn't help their case much, as Ironwood furiously yells back, "Loyalty always matters!" In his eyes, he has given the team everything: lodging, licenses as official Huntresses, better weaponry, extended training... and the girls have apparently consistently abused his trust, and their actions indicate to him that they'll disobey him in spite of the boons they've received. Ironwood deeming them unreliable is unfortunately justified from a certain perspective. His rant about how loyalty always matters is also set against the fact that the villain he faces has the M.O. of making people turn against each other and had The Mole on her side. Kinda helps to know who's on who's side when your villain works like that.
    • Team RWBY has also repeatedly shown to have few qualms about not following the rules to do what they think is important. From Ruby's first appearance where she beats up a group of thugs robbing a Dust store, to throughout their first semester where the four girls (with Weiss offering minimal protest at best) taking it upon themselves to go after Torchwick and the White Fang without following any sort of protocol, or getting the authorities involved. Ozpin recognized what they were up to and kept covering up for them so they could walk away scot-free, though he partially tried reining them in a bit. But both the later half of Volume 6 and this volume begins to deconstruct their Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right! mentality. By stealing an Atlas airship to get past the lockdown, the group gets Cordovin chasing them in a Humongous Mecha and nearly leaving Argus vulnerable. And the airship's flight into Atlas being unrecorded and unauthorized leads to them being arrested; Winter even angrily points out they could've been shot out of the sky. And finally, Ruby lying by omission about the truth of Ozpin and Salem, along with Blake and Yang letting a wanted fugitive run off with vital intel (and as previously mentioned, showing no regret whatsoever) has proven to Ironwood they can't be trusted. They're in Atlas Academy, a school that famously encourages discipline, obedience, and strict behavior, so of course neither Ironwood nor the Ace-Ops are at all happy with their antics. Team RWBY has simply grown too comfortable with breaking rules in favor of doing their own thing, and only now it's starting to cost them.
    • Ironwood, on the other hand, has a history of tossing people under the bus when they disagree with him, regardless of how much help they've been beforehand; Ozpin made him a headmaster, giving him two seats on the council, but when Ozpin criticizes the large army Ironwood brought to Vale for the Vytal Festival, Ironwood near immediately pushed the councils to remove Ozpin from his post soon as incidents started happening in Vale; he effectively blamed Ozpin for not stopping apparently random incidents, spinning it as negligence to the council so the defense of the city could fall to him. The SDC helped build Ironwood's army, with Jacques Schnee calling him an "old friend" in Volume 4, but Ironwood had no issue with crippling the company's profits with an embargo to sate his paranoia. And while he suffers blows to his reputation, Ironwood has so far faced no repercussions for this attitude or his own past failures- he's still a general with two seats on the council. While the Ruby Gang are growing out of their chaotic ways, Ironwood is too spoiled by his past enabling to consider any alternative he doesn't like. Soon as Team RWBY shows they won't do things his way, they're just another enemy to be taken down.
  • Weiss going "None of this matters!" in regards to Ironwood's Control Freak tendencies going berserk is an excellent Call-Back to her own Character Development in Volume 1; There, she learned that she didn't have to be a leader to be a great Huntress ("The Badge And the Burden"). Then there's Ironwood, who can't function unless he's in a position of power. His pathological obsession to have his orders followed to the letter must be especially frustrating to her, as just hours ago Team RWBY had saved Ironwood from losing his place on the council; had they truly been against him, they could have just waited for him to be ousted. From her perspective, he's throwing a hissy fit because things didn't go his way.
  • The ease with which Ironwood shut off the Ruby gang's new Scrolls- that he himself provided -puts all of his previous speeches on trust in a different light. Whenever Ironwood spoke on how trustworthy Ruby and the others were, they were clearly uncomfortable, given the truths they were hiding concerning Salem. But the fact that Ironwood put a kill switch on their Scrolls at all proves that he never trusted them; his previous speeches and gifts were nothing more than ploys to guilt the heroes into serving him, much like how Adam used Ghira and Kali leaving the White Fang to guilt Blake into sticking with him during the "Adam" Character Short.
    • Or it could be that he did genuinely trust them at first, but his own paranoia drove him to add safety precautions to the Scrolls.
  • Robyn attacking Clover even though she's not technically under arrest is in character for her. Throughout this Volume, she's shown to be very passionate about defending the needs of Mantle, often to the point where she makes drastic steps (like holding up a military transport, as noted above). When those she cares about are hurt, she gets particularly furious. This is seen with Robyn pushing aside Ruby who was trying to help Fiona and throwing a chair against the wall when Jacques seemingly dismisses the lives lost in Tyrian's massacre. Plus, despite saying she fully supported Ironwood's plans, she (correctly) figures the general has abandoned her home, raising her hackles again. Clover being the loyal soldier doesn't win him any favors with Robyn either, so she decides to fight back, forgetting in the heat of the moment that an airship in flight isn't the best spot for a confrontation.
  • The Ace Ops defeat at the hands of RWBY and Qrow seems out of place since they are obviously better fighters, but is in a fact a beautiful representation of an Aesop. An Aesop is a story that warns us of a moral that is important to follow; even the best can fall if they aren’t careful. The Ace Ops did themselves in by ignoring the very lessons they represented:
    • Harriet is based on the titular hare from “The Tortoise and the Hare”, an Aesop about how overconfidence will cause you to fall behind and ultimately fail. Harriet’s pride in her skills riles up her competitive nature when Ruby provokes her at the start of the fight by insulting her, and she refuses to listen to the latter’s pleas due to said pride. Harriet's ego causes her to focus on fighting Ruby exclusively, the girl who innocently compared the speed of her Semblance to Harriet's all of once, ignoring her team in the other room and not supporting them at all. As Harriet becomes more impatient and angry, she becomes sloppier (missing attack openings, letting Ruby escape her grip). Finally, when she becomes hyper-focused on taking down Ruby, she fails to notice Weiss who creates a thick wall of ice for Harriet to run into at full force, knocking her out.
    • Elm and Vine are based on “The Elm and the Vine”, a story about the importance of cooperation in marriage. During the fight, Elm lets her anger get the best of her and ignores Vine’s attempts to only subdue their opponents. Likewise, Vine refuses to go along with Elm’s desire to use lethal force that's contrary to their orders. This destroys their teamwork and causes them to barely help each other at all, and against Blake and Yang whose synchrony is unparalleled, this is bad news. This disadvantage becomes most apparent when the two girls subdue Vine, leaving Elm completely shocked and alone, and allows Blake and Yang to take her down within seconds.
    • Marrow is based on “The Dog and its Reflection”, which warns the reader that if you covet everything, you lose what you have. Marrow is the most conflicted of the Ace Ops, completely loyal to General Ironwood but genuinely wants to cooperate with Team RWBY. By trying to simultaneously fight Weiss but also talk her down, he leaves several openings for her to attack. Even his Semblance reflects this: he can only freeze targets in one direction at a time, but he can’t stop both fighters if they aren’t together. When he tries to freeze the Armas Gigas, he releases Weiss and she’s able to knock him out. He wanted to covet both his loyalty and his relationship to his new allies, and it led to his defeat.
    • Clover is based on “A Fisherman’s Good Luck”, a tale saying that the best luck comes from being patient. Clover immediately prioritizes his newest orders of arresting Qrow in midflight back to base, ignoring both Qrow’s offer to discuss the sudden changes with Ironwood and that he’s supposed to be transporting the deranged serial killer Tyrian to Atlas. This impatience gives Tyrian an opening to crash the plane, and then Clover continues to focus on incapacitating Qrow first instead of Tyrian in their Mêlée à Trois. The situation resulting from his impatience puts Clover in the unluckiest situation possible: Qrow being forced to pull an Enemy Mine with Tyrian, breaking the Ace Ops leader’s aura and allowing for Tyrian to stab him in the back, leading to his death.
  • Harriet’s Hidden Disdain Reveal makes a lot of sense when you compare her source material to her fellow Ace Ops'. The other four are based on stories where the focal characters are neutral protagonists. Harriet's story? The hare in that aesop is an antagonist who belittles the tortoise as being weaker than him, like how Harriet openly sneers at the RWBY girls once they become enemies and underestimates their strength.
  • Looking closely at the Mêlée à Trois between Qrow, Clover and Tyrian, one'll notice that there is actually little teamwork between Qrow and Tyrian. Qrow mainly attacks Clover, but he doesn't help Tyrian in any way; he's likely trying to come up with a way to both knock out his friend and take down the lunatic. But that's where Tyrian comes in: he consistently closes the distance between them and actually nudges and pushes Qrow around with his tail to put him up against Clover, while also not attacking Clover as much. Tyrian has already proven he can think, and sowing chaos in the battle forces the other participants to get increasingly desperate. When Clover's Aura is shattered and both combatants are physically and emotionally exhausted, Tyrian seizes his chance due to being relatively fresh and ignored and strikes at his prey's most vulnerable spot.
    • Another factor that played in Clover's death is his own personality. Throughout his time in this season, he shows little worry in dangerous situations: the severely unstable mine, the Teryx tearing into the ship; both times he's completely calm, even a little careless, because his Semblance protects him. Clover is definitely a skilled fighter, but he tends to rely too much on the fact that the odds are usually in his favor, which shows in how relaxed he generally is. If luck's in his corner, why should he worry? This contrasts with Qrow, whose Semblance brings bad luck; due to his own power actually being a hindrance most of the time, Qrow's had to fight tooth and nail his whole life to reach his current level. He knows luck probably won't be on his side, so he doesn't count on it, and he's prepared for things to go wrong at any moment. Clover has unconsciously come to rely on his Semblance like a crutch, and his luck eventually ran out.
    • Literally. Note that Clover's death came seconds after his aura failed. Fighting two vastly superior and more ruthless opponents, after surviving a plane crash without a scratch, his luck was probably the only thing keeping him alive in that fight. So the second his aura failed, and his luck with it, his time was up.
    • Also, it's insinuated above, but to clarify more clearly, it should be noted that Clover's semblance is probably at least partially canceled out by Qrow's. He's not used to fighting on "fair" terms, let alone unfair 2v1 fights against better fighters, which explains why he's so brutally broken by the two.
    • Additionally, Clover's fighting style works best in groups, with him acting as support for more powerful fighters by giving them openings. In the Tyrian/Clover/Robyn/Qrow fight in the beginning, he rarely ever hit Tyrian directly, instead trying to tie him up to give openings for Qrow and Robyn. He tries to use the same techniques in the T/C/Q fight, regularly getting Qrow and Tyrian with his fishhook to trip them up, even knocking away Qrow's weapon. But Clover couldn't capitalize on any of this because he wasn't aggressive enough, and even if he was, he just couldn't put out enough damage with his weaponized fishing pole to put them down. But both Qrow and Tyrian are plenty aggressive fighters, and with their numbers advantage, they quickly overwhelmed him, breaking his aura and with it, the luck that was the only thing keeping him alive.
    • Also, Clover's semblance probably wasn't just propping him up. The Ace Ops losing to RWBY seems out of character, until you realize that the Ace Ops are used to operating with a good luck charm on the team, while RWBY tends to operate with a bad luck charm (unintentionally) working against them. RWBY's been playing with a handicap, while the Aces have always been working with a loaded deck. But now they're on even footing, and the Aces are the ones with a handicap of missing their leader, and losing team cohesion because of Ironwood's actions. Not to mention that they're a five member team in a world of four member teams, funded and armed by the greatest city on the continent. The last time they've had to fight an uphill battle against other huntsmen was probably in the academy.
  • When Cinder did her hacking in volume three, it seems strange that she would leave the chess piece display where it could be found, given that Salem works in secret and didn't want any hints of her existence left behind. Given the plan was to leave people thinking the White Fang were the sole organizers of the Grimm invasion, why leave evidence there was another party involved? At the time, it was probably written off as a taunt aimed at Ozpin. Come volume seven, we see that same chess piece used to tip Ironwood over the edge. The chess piece wasn't just a taunt to Ozpin, it was also preparation for a psychological attack on Ironwood, who Cinder knew would soon be seeing the forces he brought to safeguard the public attacking and killing people instead and would be reminded of that when he saw the chess piece in what should have been a safe and secure location.
  • Oscar saying he has to meet James alone is a smart move on his part. Ironwood is already on edge, and a group of people who he currently wants arrested will just start a fight that neither side wants. Jaune and especially Nora have already called him out in one form or another for his actions, so neither one would have any chance of getting through to him. Oscar, on the other hand, has been able to establish some sort of a friendship with James throughout this volume, even convincing him to bring in Robyn and the Council into the fold. He's probably got the best chance out of all our heroes of talking the general down from his paranoia. However, James is simply too far gone to listen to reason.
  • At first glance, the title of the volume's theme song Trust Love might seem like it isn't relevant to the theme of the arc, that it's just an upbeat detail for the audience to learn from. But the message permeates the entire volume:
    • Ironwood needed to think about the people around him instead of letting his paranoia drive him into callousness. But he doesn't and alienates nearly everyone around him because they don't agree with his methods.
    • Ruby became cautious over trusting Ironwood with the truth regarding Salem's immortality even though part of Ironwood's plan is to unite people against Salem. Oscar decides for her to tell Ironwood the truth in the not-so-optimal situation of a rioting Mantle being attacked by Grimm and being confronted by the Council and Jacques over his plans. As a result, the piling stresses caused Ironwood to snap and go full dictator mode.
    • Robyn refused to trust anyone besides the Happy Huntresses wholeheartedly (understandable considering how little Atlas seems to care about Mantle), so they unwittingly delayed the Amity Tower project, and her jumping into a fight with Clover indirectly led to Tyrian freeing himself, killing the pilots of the airship they were in and crashing it to get away.
    • Qrow and Clover should have focused on fighting Tyrian together instead of being at each other's throats. Their mutual mistrust resulted in Clover being done in by his own impatience and Qrow getting screwed over by Tyrian.
    • The Ace Ops treat those who should be their friends (even each other) like either work tools or obstacles depending on Ironwood's orders, and care more about what their boss says than protecting their own people. Their lack of camaraderie is the principal reason they get defeated by Team RWBY.
    • Ren and Nora have been more at odds with each other than we've ever seen them be so far. Nora's attempt to bridge the gap between her and Ren resulted in the two of them being distracted when Tyrian started killing people and Ren's care for Nora caused Neo to get away with the Relic.
    • Even Cinder, who only cares about power and rejects loving or trusting anyone she knows, failed in her pursuit of the Winter Maiden's power, and she feels nothing for Neo who is her only ally at the moment, and going by Neo's reactions to Cinder's commands, the feeling's mutual.
    • Meanwhile, Penny and Winter's arcs this season have been about learning to trust their hearts instead of blindly following orders. In the end, the entire point of the volume is that things have gotten so bad because people just wouldn't trust those they're surrounded by. The only ones who did the right thing here have proven that they "trust love".
    • Then there's Blake and Yang, who strike the middle of both extremes. Yang puts her faith and trust into Blake's judgement in telling Robyn the partial truth about the CCT and this results in Robyn understanding why Ironwood is doing what he is doing (and by extension, leading him and Oscar to tell the truth to the Council and Ironwood respectively), but at the same time, pushes Ironwood further into distrusting RWBY as he told them not to reveal that to anyone out of fear that the plan would be leaked to the enemy. This plants the seed of distrust in Ironwood's mind that Team RWBY will not obey his orders whenever they feel like it.
    • Ultimately, though the volume ends badly, there's a difference in how the protagonists are;
      • The Ruby Gang, who treat people with respect and compassion, while they've lost the Lantern and their one-sided "friendship" with Ironwood's army, managed to keep their allies in Robyn, Pietro, and Penny as the Winter Maiden. Also, Oscar has accessed Ozpin's magic.
      • Ironwood, who views everybody around him as either a tool or an obstacle, has nothing. His best agents are either dead or injured, and his strongest weapon Penny has defected in response to his heartless attitude.
  • During the opening, a screen showing Ironwood briefly flicker's to Jacques before the scene changes. This could be Foreshadowing that ultimately, Ironwood and Jacques are Not So Different. They are both serious Control Freaks who hide behind a kind veneer (although Ironwood's is sincere) that slips whenever their authority is challenged. Just as Jacques tried to isolate Weiss from the world while providing her superficial luxuries and safety, Ironwood used a similar tactic on the heroes: he dismissed their concerns and complaints on Mantle's conditions by giving them new equipment and licenses, and then put them through an unending barrage of training and missions so they'd have no time to interact with anyone else ("A Night Off" is implied to be the only serious rest time Ironwood gave them). When Weiss made it clear that she wasn't going to be Jacques' precious propaganda mascot, her father had her permanently grounded until she changed her tune. When Team RWBY refused to follow Ironwood's plan of self-preservation, he put out arrest warrants on the entire group.
    • Similarly, "Out in the Open" and "Gravity" eerily parallels Cinder and Ironwood. After learning that Salem is coming, they are both shown staring out the window declaring, "The timeline has changed." Looking back, one can see how much alike they are; both are egotistical, who prefer to demonstrate their power with overt displays of what they have (Cinder, her Maiden powers, Ironwood is his military), and have a pathological compulsion to be in a position of authority. Furthermore, both have lost parts of their body and need artificial enhancements to function (Cinder's Shadow Arm, Ironwood's cybernetics), and while they can be cunning, they grasp the Idiot Ball whenever their alleged superiority and control of a situation is threatened.
  • A nice hint of Foreshadowing is seen in the intro of Volume 7. Penny is focused on during the final line of the pre-chorus, specifically the line "your power will shine" where she turns to the screen and smiles, a scene immediately followed by the lines "But in time you'll through love" which display the members and allies of Ruby's group. This foreshadows that Penny would ultimately be the character who fully chooses love and trusting her instincts over her orders/self-interest, making her worthy of the Winter Maiden's power by protecting Fria. With her new Maiden power and implied to now have a genuine Aura, her powers now literally shine through. Her coming into focus after the shot of Ruby's shows that she would ultimately side with them and not Ironwood's army, since the former group believes in love and protecting others over victory at any costs.
  • Penny becoming the Winter Maiden isn't just a big win for herself, but is also the ultimate humiliation to Cinder's ego and the perfect payback for what the latter put Penny through. Cinder inflates herself as being stronger than others by kicking them down into nothing, and if any of those victims try to fight back, she'll sink them down even further to reassert her dominance. Cinder orchestrated Penny's live dismemberment in Vale that traumatized the robot girl even after she was rebuilt. Fast forward to Volume 7, Cinder loses one of the four powers she has been seeking to her former victim, making that victim an equal to Cinder in terms of magical potential. Second, Cinder implanted her Grimm arm as a means to suck the life and power out Maidens and let them writhe in agony as they die. However, Penny being a robot means that it's unlikely Cinder could even penetrate the former's inorganic body to steal the Winter Maiden powers, considering she had to rely on Pyrrha's semblance to achieve Penny's first death, and Penny can shrug off most Grimm attacks no problem. Little wonder Cinder was spewing flames by the end, she lost one of the easiest Maiden powers to nab to the last person she could hope to steal it back from, and Penny got the revenge she wanted without even trying.
    • It's also a huge middle finger to Ironwood, who treated both robot and Maiden horribly. In order to gain total control of the Winter Maiden's powers by proxy, Ironwood imprisoned and isolated Fria, with her only visitor being Winter Schnee in the hopes that Winter will be in Fria's dying thoughts. But Fria could have bestowed her powers onto Winter anytime she wanted, but clearly did not trust Winter (And by extension, Ironwood) with that all. Penny, meanwhile, had no freedom, and if she hadn't met Ruby by chance, would have had no friends. "Penny is completely under my control." is how Ironwood defines her- as a tool with no agency. Except, Penny's brief escapes in V1-2 show that she can defy Ironwood. When she learns of how Ironwood is going to abandon Mantle and put Atlas under martial law, she only sticks with Winter because she has no other alternative. When Team RWBY shows up to help her escape, she goes with them. Ironwood thought he had mastery over both, and like everything else, he was wrong.
    • This is also a sort of way to rub salt in the wounds from the ending of Season 5; both times, Cinder took on two enemies in hopes of taking Maiden powers for herself, both times the enemy who didn't end up with the Maiden powers attacked Cinder at a crucial moment to distract her at the cost of being heavily injured themselves, and both times, she ultimately failed to take the powers for herself.
  • Nora's rage at keeping secrets from the people in Mantle makes a lot more sense when you remember that a key part of Pyrrha's breakdown and eventual death was her own stress and fear from being unable to confide in her teammates, and Nora herself is struggling with Ren's inability to confide in her after learning Ozpin's secrets. Secrets have been the bane of team JNPR since the beginning.

Fridge Horror:

    General 
  • Negative emotions:
  • The Grimm aren't just drawn to any source of negative emotion. They are specifically drawn to those from humans. Grimm don't normally attack animals even though they can feel negative emotions as well. Why? Because they're emotion eaters. Rather than consume matter to survive, the Grimm might actually feed on negativity itself, like the fear that comes knowing your home is being invaded and that the creatures closing in on you are about to kill you. Their multiple forms could also be them drawing on the phobias of creatures like wolves, bears, snakes, scorpions, and ravens, as well as more supernatural fears like ghosts. Emotions and phobias that only humans seem to be capable of experiencing. The events during the tournament might've been like a giant dinner bell for them, drawing them all in for the opportunity to feed. In other words, Remnant is a terrible place for humans to be special.
  • On a more personal scale, let's imagine a romantic relationship between a huntsman/huntress and a regular person. This would be a recipe for disaster. You have someone who will be away from home on missions, potentially for months at time, who may someday come home in a coffin, or worse, go MIA. If the Huntsman/Huntress doesn't go KIA/MIA, their lifestyle will put a strain on the mundane half of the equation; look no further than real life couples with one half in the military to see the emotional messes it can cause. And huntsmen/huntresses may be superhuman thanks to aura, but they still suffer from Survivor's Guilt like anyone else, going by Ren's actions in Volume 4 that just scream PTSD trigger.
    • Episode 6 of Volume 5 reinforces this. Qrow heads to the home (which is basically a shanty shack) of a Huntress he knows, but only finds her husband and daughter. The daughter asks if he knows where her mother is, and Qrow leaves, apologizing for taking up their time.
  • Ozpin reincarnates into a new body every time he 'dies' in the current body. With his new host being Oscar, the two souls share the same body, but it's clear that Ozpin can take control of Oscar's body at will should the situation calls for it. It begs to question just how much control Ozpin has over his host's body. Ozpin revealed that he is cursed to be reborn in a new body of a like-minded individual every time he died for centuries, and that Ozpin's previous form wasn't his first body as well. This implies that Ozpin's previous host: the young, friendly headmaster of Beacon Academy, might had been someone else entirely before Ozpin 'took over' and became known as the prodigy that would be one of the youngest Headmasters appointed a school. We're never shown Ozpin having a split personality in the first three volumes, not once, so whoever the original body's owner might've been before, he lost control of his own body to Ozpin entirely before the series even began proper, and even if he's still in there somewhere, he's definitely dead by the time Ozpin fought with Cinder during the Battle of Beacon where Cinder destroyed his body, which he might or might not even be aware of at the time. The thought that your own body could have been taken over by someone else over time (who could get yourself killed) while you could do nothing about it, even if he's benevolent, is a pretty chilling thought.
  • Yang discovered her Semblance during her first haircut. It's funny, but Yang must have been less than five at the time. Given the self control of small children, how easy it is for them to trip and get hurt, and the fact that Yang's Semblance gives her Super Strength, she must have been a nightmare to take care of. Taiyang referring to her Semblance as a temper tantrum might stem from her actual childhood temper tantrums. What's more, Taiyang is a seasoned Huntsman by the time he had Yang. What would happen if a civilian had a child who discovered their Semblance at an early age, and was unable to restrain, discipline, or help them because their child is too strong to come near?
  • Adam's constant desire to have Blake alive (Even though he decapitated an illusion of her back in Season 3) likely isn't just him being a yandere. In all likelihood, Adam has the complete intention to "make her his" in any way he can. Yeesh.
  • There was once a war that was fought between Mantle and Mistral on one side and Vale and Vacuo on the other side in the name of the preservation of arts and self-expression. While it seems that the latter side won, many things in the series hint that a compromise between both sides is what most likely happened.
    • The color-based names. Names are not limited to colors. They could be based on professions, historical figures, celestial bodies, and many more. By naming their children after colors, the people of Remnant suppressed other ways of naming.
      • This does get zig-zagged; the last few volumes have seen characters which don't feature names that blatantly evoke a colour (such as Jaune or Cardin). Atlas, for instance, has a habit of giving characters normal first names, but with surnames that evoke a colour (e.g. Henry Marigold, Caroline Cordovin, Jacques Schnee, James Ironwood etc.) - which was likely due to them losing the Great War (which they helped instigate by banning artistic expression and compelling Mistral to follow suit) and still being rather bitter about it.
    • The characters come from various places (Ruby and Yang from Vale, Weiss from Atlas, Pyrrha from Mistral, etc.). Yet all of them speak the same language with the same pronunciation to boot. Forget the fact that countries with similar language still have differences (like between the US and the UK), there nothing that indicates the existence of accent. If the people of Remnant ever have more than one language (which is like since "Weiss Schene" could only be related to "white" in German), then it's likely that only a few parts survive with the rest being extinct.
      • Again, the show's changing this. Atlesian characters, for example, have increasingly been given British-sounding accents (such as Klein, Cordovin and Dr. Watts) over the last few volumes; this was likely due to RT using professional voice actors instead of solely relying on their in-house talent.
    • The Same writing system. Every time a written language is shown in the series, it's the same no matter where it is. In Europe, alone writing system varies. Most likely, any other system that ever exist has gone extinct like language as well.
  • Ozpin, now a known Unreliable Expositor, claims that he reincarnates into "like-minded men". We know that he has reincarnated into Oscar, a fourteen-year-old child who sometimes actively resists him. Ozpin's detractors love to harp on the fact Ozpin sends teens into life-threatening situations. Ozpin refuses to think badly of Leonhart because, if he does, he'd have to apply that same judgement to himself and be consumed by guilt, or commit to a level of cognitive dissonance that Salem would be all too eager to exploit. Fourteen happens to be just about the perfect age, developmentally, to explain away any suspicion around a major personality shift.
    • What if Ozpin always reincarnates, not into an adult man already inclined towards his cause, but into a pliable young teenager he can mould/groom into taking his side? As of the end of Volume 6, all signs point to Ozpin not having a choice in who his next host will be or how old they are, but how else can he fend off the guilt of taking away a teenager's identity and future, unless he wholeheartedly convinces himself that fourteen is an age at which a child can "consent" to lay down their life For The Greater Good?
    Oscar: (falling to his knees in distress) I never agreed to anything.
    Ozpin:note  ... No, you didn't. And neither did I, at first. note  But you do have an opportunity.
    Oscar: For what?
    Ozpin: Greatness... hopefully. Greatness in knowing that when the world needed help, you were the one to reach out your hand. It won't come without hardship, without sacrifice, but I know you don't want to live the rest of your life working as a farmhand in Mistral.
    Oscar: (horrified) So you just decided to read my thoughts?
    Ozpin: (caught off-guard but reflexively self-justifying)... I... well... They're our thoughts, now.

    Volume One 
  • Recall how, in "Ruby Rose", Roman throws a single Dust crystal at Ruby and shoots it, causing an explosion that could've easily severely injured her, and in "Welcome to Beacon", Ruby sneezes on three bottles of Dust, creating a relatively large explosion left a crater in front of the school grounds. Now recall how almost everything in Remnant is powered using Dust.
  • First exam:
    • The first actual exam for Beacon Academy involves catapulting several students several hundred feet in the air, into a forest infested with shadow-like beasts, and at least one cavern that is home to a gigantic scorpion. Most of the main cast is tough and well-trained, with the exception of Jaune, who had no knowledge of how to use his Aura, the same power that makes the other characters superhuman. What would have happened to Jaune if Pyrrha hadn't gone out of her way to land quickly and save him? Assuming he did survive the fall, he wouldn't have lasted long in that forest. It hasn't been mentioned yet if there have been any students like Jaune who may have been killed during this exam in the past. Beacon does perform some manner of background check on their entrants, but Jaune got in, despite being obviously unprepared, through a so-far vague screening process. This makes even more sense when you find out Jaune faked his papers to get into Beacon. Is the reason Ozpin still accepted him because he knew If he was lying, he would likely die in the first test, anyway? This makes Ozpin's "I'm proud of you" moment sound a lot more sinister.
    • Still horrifying from the opposite perspective: if Ozpin didn't know there was something fishy about Jaune's acceptance to Beacon, imagine how he and Glynda would have felt if Jaune had died in the forest... compare to a military commander having to tell a family their child died in training.
    • Also, it would be Fridge Horror that people can just fake transcripts to get into Beacon, but then again, not everyone is cut out to be a Huntsmen and most probably avoid the deadly murder school.
  • The Lyrical Dissonance of "Red Like Roses Part II" causes a lot of this. It might just be referencing Ruby's life in some way... In fact, ALL of the songs have dark lyrics with the exception of "I Burn" and even that could be interpreted several ways. Makes you wonder if RWBY isn't a regular Dysfunction Junction. It got worse when the full version of "Red Like Roses Part II" was released. It turned out to be a duet...and the singers are mother and daughter in real life.
  • In Vol.1 Episode 4, after rattling off a list of Pyrrha's achievements to an oblivious Jaune, Weiss asks whether he really believes he's worthy of talking to her, to which he reluctantly admits that he isn't. In Vol.2 Episode 7, Pyrrha tells Jaune that this is the exact problem she faces: because of her status as The Ace, everyone assumes she's completely out of their league and won't talk to her. The one person who actually had the confidence to approach Pyrrha as a friend (if only because he didn't know who she was), and Weiss tried to turn him away from her.
  • A bit more of a Fridge Tearjerker than Fridge Horror, but when Pyrrha takes Jaune up to the roof in Jaunedice, his first reply is to say he's "not that depressed." Pyrrha takes a second to catch the meaning behind that before frantically pushing him away from the edge. So, Jaune seems to have assumed his partner would cheerfully encourage him to commit suicide.
  • Apparently, if it lives to be centuries old, a Grimm will become both enormous and smart. Smart, waiting behemoths that have centuries of experience to draw upon.
  • How is it that Jaune has never heard of Semblance or Aura before coming to Beacon, when he comes from a long line of heroic hunters? Did no one in his family feel the need to tell him about these things, or were they deliberately hiding it from him under the misguided attempt to make him give up after showing no innate talent in fighting? Considering you need to know these things in order to survive in the hell world of Remnant, his ignorance is shocking and terrifyingly stupid.
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    Volume Two 
  • The opening song for Volume 2 has a rather somber moment where the singer laments on whether they're just heroes or cannon fodder dying for someone else's glory. If you think about some of the more famous fantasy stories, like Harry Potter, Chronicles of Narnia, or even The Wizard of Oz, you will find theories, interpretations and possibly confirmations that the Big Good was simply using the hero for their own scheme (i.e. Glinda using Dorothy to kill the Wicked Witch for her and the Wizard of Oz simply going along with it). Kind of unnerves you just thinking about if there's a similar hidden agenda, especially when RWBY's own Big Goods are named after those very same Wizard of Oz characters that put Dorothy up to killing the Witch. Even worse when you consider that Cinder is likely using the White Fang for such an agenda.
    • What makes this even more unnerving is that we actually have a case in RWBY where someone ends up invoking a Rage Against the Mentor: Jaune, over Qrow's, and by extension, Ozpin's decision to use Pyrrha as a vessel for the Fall Maiden, thereby stressing her out.
  • In the first episode of volume two, Cinder caresses Roman's face when telling him just to do what she tells him to do. ...her eyes start to glow; and you can hear a faint sizzling. She's using her fire-dust woven clothing or even her half-Maiden powers as a threat; just enough that Roman can feel it. As in, she was telling him she could burn his face off if he gets too nosy.
  • So what happened to the people in those cars that Roman knocked off the road in his Paladin Mech? While they'd have Aura, their Aura were likely still locked like Jaune's was.
  • Going back to Vol.2 Episode 1, Roman lists off three effects of his robberies: People are panicking, the police are acting in force, and most importantly, the price of Dust is through the roof. The SDC is fully capable of taking full advantage of this situation, acting as the hero to Roman's villain. It's even likely Roman has them thinking that his thefts are false flag operations just to hide the fact he is also in cahoots with the real White Fang. Team RWBY is screwed.
  • Yang is a GREAT sister to Ruby. There was even a song about what a great sister she was to Ruby! However, a little of that could stem from the fact that Yang endangered Ruby when she was a toddler, almost getting her killed by Beowolves because of her own curiosity when she took her in a wagon to look for her own birth mother.
  • In "A Little Hiccup", we find out that Penny is a robot developed by Atlas and the first ever capable of generating aura. Because it's doubtful Atlas got this in one go we're left to wonder what became of the (likely many) failed prototypes and just how conscious were they once they were deemed failures. And of course we already know the Schnee Dust Company has a very close relationship with the Atlas military, especially in weapons and robot manufacturing.
  • Above, it is listed as Fridge Heartwarming that Ironwood wants to develop android soldiers to protect living beings from being sacrificed in battle. However, this turns into Fridge Horror when you consider that he's involved with the project to create ensouled robot soldiers to die in their place. What's worse: Droids can be hacked, how long will it be until the government loses control of these droids to the criminal underworld? Or is that WHY he wants to create ensouled robots? Have Atlas combat droids been hacked in the past, and he has reason to think that giving them self-awareness and an aura will make them more resistant to hacking?
  • Halfway through Volume 2, we see Blake forgoing sleep, food, and any basic self-care in favour of trying to determine the White Fang's motivations. Two volumes later, she cuts herself off from her friends, stating that she wants to be the only one who suffers as a result of her past. Her constant, insistent disregard for her well-being and safety may stem from the fact that she was a victim of abuse at Adam's hands, thereby having learned at a young age that she as a person doesn't matter. If even the people who are supposed to love her don't value her as a person, why should she? This may explain why she gets frustrated by her friends trying to help her and support her, as she doesn't consider herself worth the attention.
  • The Grimm Invasion of Vale, which was forced to be kicked off early by Torchwick - Emerald had this to say: "That's still days away!" What do a few days matter? Well, consider the concurrent events going on; teams are taking on missions outside the city, shadowed by experienced Huntsmen/Huntresses - Team RWBY left the day before Team JNPR, and no doubt it would have taken days for them all to be gone on their missions. Not to mention, a few more days, and the military would have likely left too after its business was concluded. In other words, the city would have been comparatively empty of fighters when the invasion started... and by the time anyone could get back, it would have much, much worse. Forcing it to kick off early is what saved the day (and the city) in the end, just barely. What's more, the visitors from other nations that survived would go back to their own countries full of panic and fear, making them vulnerable to Grimm in their very own nations just from an attack in a different one.

    Volume Three 
  • In volume 3, Nora lists off what could happen if JNPR loses in the tournament and gets depressed in the process. While this scene is suppose to be comical, Nora mentions briefly that her and Ren have no parents and no home left to go to. Did something bad happen to Ren and Nora in the past?
  • As amusing as drunk Qrow is, Glynda's admission that he is almost constantly drunk makes it both sad and horrifying. Qrow probably has very good reasons to stay plastered. He lost one of his team-mates and he doesn't even know if his own sister is even alive past their last conversation. His Big Damn Heroes when he saved little Yang and Ruby may seem heroic but he must have been absolutely terrified that he might lose some more people dear to him.
  • Cinder and the tournament:
    • Cinder choosing the lineup for the second round. Note that, when we first saw Qrow, it was drunkenly dismissing Team JNPR and Team SSSN's fights, even calling SSSN's match a mess. However, we now know that being drunk doesn't seem to slow his perceptions much. And with him telling the other leaders that their enemy is already at Vytal, this makes both Cinder choosing the line up and Qrow's comment even more concerning - Cinder's been fixing the matches all this while, explaining Mercury's comment at the end of Episode 1 about knowing who would win. In that case, Cinder has some agenda that involves moving known factors (RWBY, JNPR, and maybe SSSN), up through the ranks, while eliminating unknown or too powerful factors herselves (Mercury and Emerald vs Coco and Yatsuhashi).
    • The fight itself reinforces just how terrifyingly out of their depth Team RWBY is when dealing with Cinder and her plans. It reinforces the fact that, for all their strutting and the ease with which they can mow down Grimm, the members of Team CVFY, while older, are still students. On the other hand, Mercury and Emerald, for all their palling around with Ruby and hanging out with them both in and out of the classroom, are not. As the first chapter of Volume 2 reveals in their introduction, Mercury and Emerald are killers and experienced ones at that, possibly every bit as dangerous as Neo, who utterly dominated in her fight against Yang. Pyrrha, with all her skill, was sparring against someone who was more than capable of killing her at any time. Ruby and her teammates have been hanging out with a girl who was not only able but, if her sentiments are to be taken seriously, more than willing to kill them if given the chance and reason. In fact, the only reason that Emerald and Mercury haven't killed anyone (aside from that one time) is not from any compunction against it, but because it would undermine their infiltration of Beacon.
    • And now we have an idea what Cinder's doing: In Fall it's revealed that Cinder nearly killed the Fall Maiden and stole part of her powers. To prevent what's left from being stolen, Ozpin plans to move the rest to Pyrrha. Cinder's already in the Beacon networks, adding students like Pyrrha to a list for some previously unknown purpose, but now it seems she's trying to keep track of possible vessels. It also explains everything Cinder's done up to this point: cause enough havoc to quietly steal the rest of the Maiden's power. Following the botched Grimm invasion in volume 2, Cinder's rigging the tournament bouts to remove other potential vessels from consideration and narrow down the target. The only thing left is what does Cinder plan to do with this power...
    • And part of the plan also happens in "Fall". Yang ended up breaking Mercury's leg and getting arrested on a live international broadcast. Everyone who saw Yang believed she attacked him without being provoked whereas she believed that Mercury was about to attack her. While the stream of people raging about her apparent attack seemed to summon Grimm, you also have to think of the flipside too. Some of those people who saw what happened were Yang's friends, including her sister. This can easily become a Heroic BSoD for them, which can also attract Grimm. Adding to this are how it will go down from here. If Yang is punished, those friends will probably upgrade that BSOD into either a Break the Cutie or even a full-blown Despair Event Horizon. If, for whatever reason, Yang isn't punished, people will cry out for justice. Either way, Cinder gets an army of Grimm to Vale.
    • For further fridge horror there is a chance that Taiyang was watching as well if not on the arena itself then on the TV. Keep in mind that guy has already lost way too much. His first love is missing, his second love is dead, and now he saw his daughter being arrested. For something he saw her doing. He won't even have a comfort of hope that it was a mistake they'll soon realize and release her. For all he knows his daughter broke someone's leg for no reason and got rightfully arrested, and that's Adult Fear at its finest.
    • There's also the case of the situation being neatly tied up within a short span. It wouldn't really matter though. The damage has been done. People would be terrified of Yang, her friends and family will be doubting themselves, the fear and anger sparked from the incident is enough to summon the Grimm. After all, all they need is one spark.
    • If you think about it there is a very good reason why everyone reacts to Yang this way. One must remember that not everybody has superhuman abilities. The vast majority are pretty much normal humans. If any one of these Huntsmen were to lose their temper or suddenly turn criminal they would be unstoppable, as even Huntsmen-in-training are capable of laughing off bullets and break concrete with their fists. A fully trained Huntsman would be a potentially unstoppable killing machine. Heck we even got confirmation from Qrow that he met some criminal huntsman in his missions. More importantly they are pretty much the world police of Remnant in all but name. So Yang's attack would be the rough equivalent of a military or police officer assaulting an unarmed civilian on camera.
  • During "Fall" it was revealed that Ironwood and Atlas scientists have found a way to capture Aura and put it into someone or something else. Remember how Penny is described as "the first synthetic person capable of generating an Aura" back in Volume 2? There's a strong possibility that Penny's Aura is not actually her own; it was taken from someone else, probably as an experiment to test the functionality of the Aura-Capture technology Atlas was creating to transfer the Fall Maiden's power.
  • In the World of Remnant episode "Cross Continental Transmit", it is revealed that the CCT is Remnant's version of the internet, and happens to be the main method of communication within and between the kingdoms. One major flaw that the system has is that if one of the main comm towers goes down, the entire CCT system will fail. This is evidently quite common, as the narrator goes on to say that the towers are routinely taken offline for maintenance. Now, remember that Cinder had hacked into the CCT tower in Vale back in volume 2 and consider what she could do. Chances are good that part of Cinder's plan involves taking the CCT network down. If that happens, she could wreck havoc in Vale while the people there are helpless and unable to call for help. Meanwhile, people living elsewhere would just assume the CCT was down for repairs as usual, blissfully unaware that their loved ones visiting for the Vytal Festival could potentially be caught up in the chaos and slaughtered by the invading Grimm. Let's not forget that the virus infects anything that gets into contact with the Beacon network, like the other CCT towers. Let's also not forget that Beacon's CCT is one of only four towers that manage total global communication. All the plot relevant actions in one place, but she might already have seized the entire system without anyone realizing a thing.
  • On the back of Cinder's glove is a symbol- a circle or wheel centered around a stylized eye. She uses it to summon a beetle-like Grimm to try and steal Amber's power. Who else do we know who has the power to summon creatures using the power of stylized symbols? A power that's been passed down through their bloodline? Did I mention the symbol on Cinder's glove is red?
  • When Cinder begins the process of draining Amber's powers, a swirling black and red portal appears beneath them, a visual effect that is disturbingly similar to the portal Raven used to leave the train in No Brakes after she saved Yang from Neo, as well as the red-and-black orb seen in the show's openings that appears to present a threat.
  • The Grimm introduced in the Beginning of the End is small enough to fit into a woman's palm, but put a person as terrifyingly powerful as Amber on life support by draining half her power. Logically, had it been able to fully drain her, it's possible it would've killed her outright. So far, this is the only specimen ever seen. How many other Huntsmen has this species taken down, without anyone knowing?
  • What would have happened if there were witnesses to Pyrrha's outburst with Jaune? Especially since people are already critical of Beacon's students after what happened with Yang.
  • Volume 3 Episode 9 will feature Penny vs. Pyrrha, with Emerald overseeing the fight. The obvious implications are bad enough, but there's one crucial flaw: people have already seen a Beacon student flip out on an opponent. Cinder clearly wants a Grimm invasion, so she might escalate the violence beyond a mere fight. Penny has the strongest ranged weapon seen in the show, and we still don't know how much control Cinder's virus gives her over Ironwood's robots or the tournament systems. If Cinder can drop the barrier around the arena, and control Penny's weapons, we're looking at a full on slaughter. Especially since Penny represents Atlas literally and metaphorically. Going to that example, Cinder could simply have Penny slaughter everyone and instead of feeling safe when they look up to the sky, they will feel fear, as it's littered with Atlas Ships.
  • Jaune's reaction to Pyrrha seemingly killing Penny. After his talk with Pyrrha last episode, where he encouraged her to do whatever she must to fulfill her destiny, and Cinder's speech, where she suggested that this action was deliberate, one can only imagine what he's thinking.
  • That moment when you realize that on top of all the shit hitting the fan at the end of Episode 9, the train attack from the end of Volume 2 could've also been a part of this had the girls not derailed that.
  • In Lessons Learned, Winter gets a lot of points for encouraging Weiss to choose her own path, especially given that judging from the private ship, Winter herself probably gave in and begged her father for her money back when she was cut off. However, she also gets points for suggesting that Weiss "stop avoiding him and call home". Papa Schnee's attitude towards his daughters is almost certainly as harsh or harsher than Winter's, but it's sad to think that maybe he really is desperate to talk to Weiss, especially given she's almost died at that point, be it by Grimm or worse, a chainsaw. Weiss herself admits that seeing people die and go missing was basically a part of her growing up. And now, she's caught in the middle of what's basically an apocalypse Cinder's started, and her father's a continent away able to do nothing about it. He must be terrified for his daughter. Unlike Winter, if Weiss were to die, he'd have had no chance to speak to her again.
  • There's a chance that Penny isn't really dead, but in some kind of safe mode. It makes perfect sense for a machine designed for combat, especially since she has a soul of her own. Except, in the midst of the Grimm attack, will anyone be able to get to her? Or worse, after so much time has passed, what if her remaining power's already depleted?
  • Amber woke up during the aura transfer process. She was stuck in a coma since she was attacked and the only thing that could wake her was having her soul ripped out. As painful as the process was for Pyrrha, imagine what she was feeling.
  • Right when Yang discovers Adam, pay attention: she does demand Adam get away from Blake, and she is very ready to act....but she doesn't move. Yang isn't just charging in. She's learned from her experiences that that isn't always the best way to do things, and she gives Adam the chance to do as she says or suffer. But unfortunately, Adam and suffering are synonymous, and he sheathes his sword in a combative stance and grins at her, and when she loses it, she loses her arm. For the first time ever, maybe giving her opponent the chance to move wasn't the right thing to do.
  • It's closer to Fridge Tearjerker, but in the finale, the room Ruby wakes up in has two beds in it. The bed she's in has a red pillow and throw, Ruby's color; while the other bed has a yellow pillow and throw, Yang's color. However, the room Yang is in is sparsely decorated and small, with white pillows. Yang didn't even want to see Ruby or anyone, that's how badly the events of the past few episodes have affected her.
    • When Ruby wakes, Taiyang, their dad, is asleep while in a seat, clearly having fallen asleep watching and waiting for her to wake. It's not outside the realm of possibility that he hasn't slept in his own bed since Ruby was brought home, and willingly gave up his own bed for Yang, though its also a possibility that it was just a spare room, and if both of these are in play, furthers the Fridge Tearjerker - Yang doesn't even want her dad's comfort.
  • The Volume 3 Finale was released to non-sponsors on Valentine's Day, a day usually associated with the heart-pierced-with-an-arrow logo. Taken a bit too literally with Pyrrha. Not to mention that Jaune/Pyrrha was the One True Pairing of some of the fandom and they were rooting for them to be together...
  • Adam makes it clear to Blake that he intends to destroy everything she holds dear. This, of course, includes her team... which effectively disbands in the days following him crippling Yang. Ruby's travelling with three skilled Huntsmen-in-training at her side (not including Qrow), and Blake breaking off on her own would make her harder to track, but Yang is INCREDIBLY vulnerable right now: Yang's so deep in depression that she's been bedridden for months, and her mental and physical state would make her an easy target if she was tracked down especially considering how easily Adam dispatched her when she was at full strength.
  • You know that logo on Cinder's Grimm-summoning glove? The one which also looks like the portals Raven uses to get around? The same logo that appears on Salem's back.
  • At the end of "Heroes and Monsters", when Pyrrha, Ozpin, and an utterly confused Jaune head to the vault to transfer the Fall Maiden powers to Pyrrha, Ozpin tells Jaune he can help by standing guard. However, when the transfer causes enough physical pain to Pyrrha to cause her to scream in agony, Jaune turns from the entrance to see what's going on, and that's when Cinder strikes. Amber and Pyrrha are dead because Jaune had one job and he screwed it up. Can't be good for his less-than-stellar self-esteem.
  • If Jaune had stayed focused on the entrance, then when Cinder arrived, he would most likely have engaged her in combat, and seeing that Cinder's far more powerful than Jaune, she would have effortlessly killed him. Jaune being distracted by Pyrrha's screams, while ultimately resulting in Amber and Pyrrha's deaths, saves his life from Cinder, who's too focused on getting the Fall Maiden powers to deal with him.
  • During the last few episodes of season 3, Cinder's plan extends FAR beyond merely stealing Amber's powers. Her speech paints the world leaders as untrustworthy, describes the Atlas presence in Vale as a military invasion, presents Pyrrha and Penny's fight as a Beacon student brutally murdering an Atlas one, and ensures the entire world see the Atlas forces attacking innocent Vale civilians. Her very last act is to destroy the CCT tower, which cuts off all global communications between the kingdoms. Cinder's plan seems to be to divide humanity by starting another world war.
  • Imagine what Jaune must've gone through in the months before he met back up with Ruby. Getting the news that Beacon has fallen and Pyrrha didn't make it, with plenty of time for him to reflect on it all that's happened up to now, including the realization that Pyrrha was interested in him from the beginning and he never noticed. Maybe thinking that if he had, then things would've turned out differently. Hopefully he had Ren and Nora around for support.
  • Back in Vol 2 Ozpin approved of sending RWBY on that mission despite it being far above their skill level. Even though he appears to be the wise mentor believing in his students they're badly outmatched and only luck and Raven showing up to save Yang keeps them all getting out alive. Except Ozpin clearly knew about Ruby's eyes which required a Traumatic Superpower Awakening (typically the death of a friend) to finally activate. And he sent them into a situation where they would clearly be in serious danger (more so than usual). Was he hoping one of them would die or her own life would be pushed to activate them early? Furthermore what would have happened if Raven didn't show up? Neo would have killed Yang, and Ruby would have ended up clutching her beloved sister's corpse Which definitely would have turned on her eyes. Did Raven really show up to save Yang or was she just trying to prevent the latter from happening? And if it was to prevent Ruby's power boost, why? Calls into question both Ozpin and Raven's actions as not nearly being as noble as they seemed.
  • The Grimm Dragon's ability to spawn lesser Grimm, as seen at the end of Volume 3, was a sneak peek for the origins of the Grimm. If that's true, then all the known types of Grimm found in the areas around Vale originally came from that thing. And if so, then what could've spawned it?!
  • Right before Roman is Swallowed Whole, he's just finished his rant. Most likely, had that little thing not happened, he would have killed Ruby and been on his merry way, unscathed and escaping. Even worse, knowing Roman, there was about an 80% chance he would have caught the damn thing. Two seconds later, and he would be fine, his Arch-Enemy dead, and living peacefully while everything's going to hell.
  • Roman's rant gets worse when you think about what Cinder did to the White Fang. While Roman's certainly no saint, he has a few redeeming qualities. Cinder, however, does not. He does just seem to be looking out for himself most of the time, but a death threat won't make him work with people he hates, he needs some show of force. What the hell did Cinder do to him to make him so willing to go along with the plan? And worse, he spent his time becoming the best criminal in Vale, possibly all of Remnant. She considers him useless anyways. How powerful does Salem have to be do make it so that Roman is completely expendable?
  • In "End of the Beginning", Cinder is standing in Ozpin's office. She speaks to the Grimm Dragon in a gentle soothing tone, and the monster responds to it. This raises so many unnerving implications for Cinder's connection to the Grimm in general to be able to converse with one of the mightiest of their numbers.
  • Taking into account their history, Team STRQ is one giant case of Fridge Tearjerker:
    • First up is Summer Rose, a person described as an amazing mother to both Ruby and Yang and probably a caring person. However, she also had Raven completely disappear without a trace one day, scarring both Qrow and Taiyang, two people she probably grew close to. She tries to comfort the latter, enough for him to open his heart up to her and have a second daughter only for her to die, leaving behind a girl who already lost a mom, an even younger girl who has lost her mom before she can understand what has happened and her two partners already scarred by another loss. For someone who seems to want to comfort people, she has caused a lot of strife and misery. Sadly, she's the least depressing member.
    • Raven is a different kind of depressing. From what little we know of her, she doesn't seem to really care at all about her own daughter, calling saving her a "kindness" she won't repeat. Her only interaction with Yang was through her brother to basically say she doesn't care about her. Speaking, it appears she doesn't even stay in constant contact with Qrow, her brother, who is probably worried sick that she could die and he'd never know. And judging from her words, she hasn't even contacted Taiyang, a man who shut down partially because of her. At best, she's a very harsh Sink-or-Swim Mentor towards her daughter and has No Social Skills. At worst, she simply doesn't care about anyone but her brother, and only a little at that.
    • Qrow lost, at best, his team leader whom he probably grew close to, has the constant worry of his sister dying in some far off land and he won't know it and his friend broke down in front of him. He also nearly lost his nieces, who he saved by sheer luck, and has seen them for through hell. No wonder he's drowning his sorrows. And if Volume 4 is any indication, he maybe blaming himself for most of the problems caused...
    • Last and saddest, Taiyang. First off, Raven, one of the two women he loved, abandoned him without a single word and leaving him a dad without anyone to share his burden not to mention if he blamed himself for her disappearance. After this, he does get a break when Summer comforts him, enough for him to open his heart to her. They get married and he even gets another child and all seems right. Then she dies, leaving him with TWO children and probably some serious mental problems. He proceeds to break down from the stress and sorrow, only for his kids, the only people he has left, to be nearly killed. Then, while his kids are participating and doing good in the Vytal tournament when his eldest daughter suddenly attacks her opponent for no reason, then she gets incarcerated then the CCT goes down as a Grimm invasion happens. He only gets any comfort when his brother in law shows up with his kids, except one is comatose and the other has lost an arm and is depressed. Then his younger daughter leaves with only a note. He's got the worst of Ruby, Yang AND some of Qrow's troubles.
  • Winter explains that the family semblance lets them summon the forms of fallen opponents. Given the Volume 2 finale, Weiss may have a few White Fang summons.

    Volume Four 
  • In Volume Four, Hazel, one of Salem's associates, makes an offhand comment about them having dealt with 'Silver-Eyed warriors' before, and Dr. Watts then adds that it should be no trouble if they have to deal with another one. This means two things: Ruby's silver-eyes powers might've been useful against someone with a Maiden's power like Cinder, but might not be that much effective against Salem's other underlings who've been specifically trained to handle it, so the one Story-Breaker Power that Ruby has is not so breaker anymore, assuming she can even make use of it again without having something bad happened in front of her first. Also, if Salem and her associates have dealt with silver-eyed warriors before, then it's highly possible that they are responsible for killing Ruby's mother, Summer.
  • In Volume 4 episode 2, we see Xione Village in ruins after bandits and Grimm rampaged through the town. With the CCT out of commission, no-one was able to get word out when the bandits attacked. With no way to call for help, the panic attracted the Grimm, who proceeded to go on a killing spree and finish off the survivors. Bear in mind that the CCT has been down for MONTHS at this point. It's almost certain that Xione Village is just one of many places to suffer this sort of fate. As of Family we know who's responsible for the entire tragedy. Raven Branwen and her bandit tribe. Considering it was heavily implied Ren and Nora knew the tribe that did this, it stands to reason that the mother of a close friend also participated in the deaths of their own family.
    • It gets worse; we learn in "Kuroyuri" that it wasn't Raven's bandit tribe that destroyed Ren and Nora's hometown; click on the Nightmare Fuel page if you wish to see what did.
  • Winter's bitterness towards Qrow, a known alcoholic, takes a new darker light when Whitley implied their mother is an alcoholic herself. While there are many other possible unknown factors towards their antagonistic relationship, its entirely reasonable she finds Qrow's alcoholic demeanor infuriating because it serves as an uncomfortable reminder of a home she desperately (and justifiably) wanted to escape.
    • Not only that, but he's the uncle of her sister's team leader and partner. Just what kind of person is Ruby if she's Qrow Branwen's niece? Plus, from everything we've seen Weiss is the only Schnee Winter might possibly consider "family."
  • Whitley's nature and name. Sure, it makes you think of white like the rest of the family but guess what else? Break it apart and you get "whit ley," in other words "white lie."
  • In episode 3, we see an aquatic Grimm. Remember when we mocked Neptune for being afraid of water?
  • Qrow's alcoholism itself takes on a potentially darker light if that's possible. While many fans speculate that his alcoholism started at some point during STRQ's collapse, its been revealed that he and Raven were raised by a Bandit tribe - which Qrow scorns as killers and thieves. The same tribe which was all but stated to have attacked Shion village under Raven's leadership. Wouldn't be too much of a stretch to think he's been using it to escape the memory of where he came from, now wouldn't it?
  • The final fate of old Nick Schnee seems like a good parallel to the conditions old Coal Miners would face as they aged, as the coal dust they would inhale would build up and give them Black Lung. Nick wasn't just inhaling coal dust though, he was breathing what was basically magical gunpowder.
  • Ozpin apologizing to Pyrrha while he merged her aura with Amber's takes on a much darker light when we learn he's a reincarnation who goes from person to person by merging with their Aura. While the process is very different from the mechanical transfer done to Amber and Pyrrha, he had reason to believe it would be similar to his own experience. What would have happened to her mind had the transfer been complete, and what will happen to Oscar if he continues to resist it?
  • Winter's reasons for leaving the path her father wanted are more fleshed out, but her choice to join Atlas military structure is highlighted as an example of their indoctrination ways. Neither route she could have followed are viewed as favorable by the series. Poor girl was damned if she did, damned if she didn't.
    • It can also explain why Winter isn't the heiress despite being older. Her dad fucked her over.
  • Whitley:
    • He's starting to get fleshed out as a character now too, and it ain't pretty. Given how he feigned warming up to Weiss, his own sister, just to manipulate her into pissing off Papa Schnee enough to strip her of her rights as heir to the SDC we can see he is just as cruel and manipulative as his father. The question is, did Whitley inherit Jacques' sociopathy? Or did he grow to become like his father over time, observing and learning by example, as is often the case in real life?
      • Alternatively, Whitley could be lashing out at his sister for, in his mind, abandoning him to go to Beacon, leaving him trapped with an alcoholic mother and manipulative father.
      • Episode 9 gives a possible Freudian Excuse: Weiss thinks that Whitley's jealous that his sisters inherited the family semblance, to which he gives a Suspiciously Specific Denial. Grandpa's a legend, mom's an alcoholic, and his sisters make him look like an invalid. Whitley takes after his dad because that's the only role model he can actually emulate.
    • We know that Whitley doesn't like either of his sisters. He might've had a role in Winter's departure as well.
    • Given Whitley's actions so far, not even Jacques might be safe. As long as dear old dad's alive, there's a chance that he might reconsider who inherits the family fortune.
  • In Punished, Tyrian recognises Qrow by name when the latter turns to face him. However, Qrow doesn't do the same; he only manages to ascertain the attacker's name and affiliation before having to fight him. This means that, despite knowing about Salem and Cinder's faction, Qrow (and likely Glynda and Ironwood) didn't know about Salem's other operatives (with Ozpin having known Hazel years before and Professor Lionheart knowing Dr. Watts personally) ... and therefore had zero idea as to how powerful Tyrian really was before encountering him.
  • With the reveal in A Much Needed Talk that Qrow's Semblance supposedly causes bad luck, a thought occurs: Just how much of the misery that has happened around him (Summer's death. Raven's leaving. Taiyang's depression, his nieces' near death experiences and Ozpin's fall) does he blame himself for?
    • A far more disturbing question: How much of it legitimately is because of him?
    • With Qrow's "bad luck" and his attitude in following team RNJR around, it's entirely possible Qrow doesn't visit his family very often in fear of infecting what little family he has left with his bad luck.
      • All this goes a long way to explain his alcoholism.
    • It also makes one wonder how he managed to get through training at Beacon Academy with such a semblance; and how many things that may have befallen his team during their tutelage was his fault, indirectly or otherwise.
  • Qrow says that the Grimm predate humanity. But Salem is clearly a humanoid Grimm, and the Nuckelavee Grimm is patterned on a horse and its rider. Clearly whatever made the Grimm is capable of inventing new species, and given how dangerous the Nuckelavee is, they've been improving.
  • "If it looks the same coming up as it does going down, then there's something wrong!" When Nora said it back in season three, it seemed to be a joke. But with the reveal that she was a dumpster-diving street urchin, she may actually have known what she was talking about.
  • Think about it this way: Ozpin's crew talked with Pyrrha about the Maidens. This ended up stressing her out in time for her fight against Penny. On top of this, she ended up being manipulated into killing Penny, which in turn set off the Fall of Beacon and allowing Cinder to claim the rest of the Fall Maiden's power. In short, in an attempt to get the Maiden's powers away from Cinder, Ozpin and crew ended up causing her to claim it easier than if they didn't inform Pyrrha. No wonder Jaune's pissed at Qrow.
    • This can also explain Ironwood blaming Ozpin for Beacon. He was following Ozpin's lead on the Maidens, despite Winter being a better choice tactically speaking: she's more experienced than Pyrrha and was in Vale for a couple days before leaving. Ironwood might've suggested Winter but Ozpin turned him down. No wonder he's angry. Furthermore, both his and Ozpin's colossal mistakes are haunting Ironwood to the point where he shuts off Atlas's borders, and implies that if necessary, he'll take control of the Kingdom if it meant saving it. This, of course, essentially makes Ironwood the King of Atlas in all but name; even Jacques Schnee points out how extreme the General's behaviour is, and can see how harmful his isolationism will be to Atlas in the long run.
      • However, Ironwood's extreme paranoia was justified to an extent; he also tells Jacques that he doesn't trust "Leo" to deal with the attack effectively. In the last episode's montage, we see Dr. Watts chatting with his implied informant; none other than Leo Lionheart, the Headmaster of Haven. Although we're still not sure whether Lionheart's truly fallen, or if he's a triple agent for Ozpin trying to undermine Salem, the implications don't bode well for Mistral.
    • Although for the above point, Ozpin might not have chosen Winter because of Atlas indoctrination. She would've been more inclined to do what Atlas wants rather than what Remnant needs. Plus, she was pretty quick to lose her temper with Qrow. It would be better for Qrow's health if he didn't get killed pissing off a Maiden empowered Winter. So, avoidance of conflict.
    • And if you think about it, it's Fridge Horror on why Pyrrha was chosen. Nora was too chaotic and attached to the hip to Ren. Ruby would be incompatible (given she has Silver Eyes), not to mention being young and naive, Weiss was the heir of the SDC, Yang has an incredibly short temper and all the extra power would lead to chaos, and Blake was too stubborn and rebellious to authority to be given that power and would probably abuse it. Pyrrha was chosen because she was strong, skilled, polite, and subservient to authority.
    • As much as Ozpin insists on keeping these a secret to prevent a panic, it ends up happening anyways. Pyrrha is unable to tell Jaune about the Maidens which stresses her out because she's unable to word it in any other way without Jaune getting the wrong idea and without anyone else to turn to, she ends up bottling it up inside, which led to the Penny fight. Then when Jaune and Pyrrha go to see Ozpin, they don't explain to him about anything, and rather just go about the procedure while Ozpin instructs Jaune to watch the door. This leads to him being rightly confused and scared when he sees Pyrrha appear to be tortured by their headmaster and be distracted enough for Cinder to take the remaining power, leading to Pyrrha's, Ozpin's, and even Beacon's demises. Just because "we'd cause a panic". Is it any wonder that Salem has such a obsession with watching Ozpin burn?
  • Imagine if the Nuckelavee Grimm hadn't left its den just before Ren and Nora discovered it. They would have been completely outmatched, and if it had managed to kill them and moved on to Kuroyuri to deal with Ruby, Jaune and Qrow, there would have been absolutely no hope for their survival.
  • Qrow's Semblance is that he is basically a bad luck charm. While it's easy to point out the scenes where his Semblance acts up whenever he's on screen, it's something else when you realize, with the knowledge of Qrow following the kids and all the unfortunate events they come across (Shion, fighting Tyrian and later the Nuckelavee, and even the situation at Haven), that perhaps Qrow's Semblance had something to do with that.

    Volume Five 
  • The moment at the end of Weiss's sparring session with Winter (during her character short). A Beowolf has her pinned down and others are closing in for the kill. Sure she yells for Winter to stop it, but you can see her fear and desperation before she does. Now just imagine how many time this has played out in Remnant, except it's not training, the Grimm are real and that unfortunate soul becomes another fatality in the seemingly endless war.
  • The Path to Isolation, song which plays during the Weiss character short, alludes to the girl's lonely childhood and inner struggles. It manages to be even more depressing than her other songs and has multiple lines which hint that her upbringing was even worse than we were led to believe. Special mention goes to the line from the full version: "Scars that cover wounds can't hide the self-inflicted pain". Has Weiss actually tried Self-Harm at some point?
  • Isn't it the least bit disturbing that Ilia mentions that as a human-passing Faunus, she gleefully hurled racial slurs at her more obvious brethren just because she fit in with a clique of human girls? It's hard to imagine how her parents would feel after sacrificing everything, from food, money, and Dust, struggling to survive in the cold to send their child to school in the hopes of a better future, only to have her act like she's so far removed from being a Faunus and their own daughter - essentially just disgracing her family and making every sacrifice all for naught by mocking her own people, no less?
    • It also paints how hard it is for human-passing Faunus to fit in without losing their identities - either they accidentally blow their cover and get mocked for it, or it works all too well, and they become no different than the human bigots that they spend so much effort trying to avoid. Or both, if Ilia's story is anything to go by.
      • Then again, neither is dying from a Dust explosion due to terrible safety training, equipment, or standards, leading to careless work practices by the employees.
      • And then she proceeded to break the human girls' teeth, even after they were scared of her and were at her mercy once they found out she was a Faunus? Imagine being defenceless and shocked after finding out the one person you hung out with was a Faunus whose race you mocked, right before she goes to beat you up, leave all kinds of traumatic wounds on you, and forces you to have dental surgery, if possible. Sure, bigotry is indefensible, but still, the reaction is a little too much!
      • It especially hurts because before Ilia was outed as a Faunus, she was considered a member and friend in everything else but race when she fit in with the clique, and lost all of it the second she was found out. This "betrayal" really ran deep for both of them!
  • After Lionheart meets with Qrow and team RNJR, we discover that Watts bugged the office and heard the whole thing. One can only wonder just how much sensitive information's been leaked from Lionheart's office due to that, along with how many other places in Mistral have compromised privacy.
    • Also, the defence of Mistral after the CCT went down was likely coordinated in the same office. If Salem or Watts was listening in, then Lionheart (wittingly or otherwise) sent his own staff and huntsmen to their deaths.
  • In the second episode, we discover just how hard Lionheart's nadgers are being gripped by Salem, and that it's not a case of him inadvertingly leaking information. Watts has placed an honest-to-gods Seer Grimm inside a chamber next to Lionheart's office, for communication purposes. When Lionheart suggests to Salem that time is of the essence when retrieving the Spring Maiden, she responds by nearly choking the headmaster to death while threatening him - even though she congratulated him warmly for reporting the Spring Maiden's whereabouts not a minute beforehand. One can only imagine what she did to secure Lionheart's services.
  • Raven's speech at first seems like a moment of heartwarming as a mother welcoming back her long-lost child, but closer inspection along with a few contradictions in her words brings another possibility to light; the entire speech and dialogue with Yang was her trying to get Yang to join her bandit tribe by emotionally manipulating her.
  • The last scene in Chapter 5 shows the Albains revealing Sienna's death to Ilia and revealing their next move; Ilia is to lead Blake away from her house while other White Fang members swan in and murder her parents. Once that's done, Blake is to be brought alive to Adam. As a reluctant Ilia walks out, another member enters and confirms that he murdered Ghira's messenger at sea. Clearly, shit is set to hit the fan in Menagerie.
  • In Chapter 6, Qrow's search for Huntsmen and Huntresses in Mistral ends in total failure. At first it seems that they were all just hired by the Mistral Council, but then we (and Qrow) get to see the mission boards. Some of the Huntsmen he was looking for are on them, with a vast majority saying that the missions are either on hold, still incomplete after 6-8 weeks, or were terminated a few weeks ago. Qrow later notes that at least a few of them should still be home, not none of them. As noted in the Tear Jerker page, something is happening to Mistral's Huntsmen.
  • Chapter 7 has the group talking about Weiss' summoning of a Boarbatusk. It's pretty obvious that the incident is the one where Weiss nearly killed the trophy wife and how it led to her losing her inheritance. Thus it's unnerving to hear Yang ask Weiss if she had let the wife "have it."
  • Chapter 8 ends with Ghira extending his claws, narrowing his eyes and roaring at the Albains, who've come to attack him. The Nightmare Face he sports is jarring enough as it is, but watching his personality change from calm and controlled to animalistic and predatory gives a valid reason why Ghira was so committed to peaceful protest when he led the White Fang. It's very likely that he feared what he would become if he gave in to violence like Sienna and Adam did.
    • Ghira is likely not the only Faunus to have a feral side to them. This combined with their other abilities, to say nothing of what Aura training can provide, would explain humanity's prejudice against Faunus.
  • Chapter 10 ends with the Albain's assassination thwarted, with Fennec himself killed in the attack. That's good, but the White Fang lost a safeguard against Adam's instability. Hazel knows from earlier so Salem might know as well, and there might be others in the White Fang, but now the WF's bound to become even more violent.
    • As awesome as it is that Ilia made a Heel–Face Turn, one must remember that in doing so she's planted herself firmly in Adam's crosshairs, and there's no real evidence that Team RWBY, even after the Time Skip would be able to match him. Couple that with her crush on Blake, and Adam's got every reason to give her special treatment for the sake of hurting Blake. Bury Your Gays may not be as averted as one could hope in this situation...
  • Vernal's weapon has lasers included. Actual lasers that can do a lot of damage and deplete Aura in moments. And a mere bandit has possession of them. It's terrifying enough that weaponry like that actually exists but someone that is clearly lacking in morals has possession of them. Whether they were self built or stolen from elsewhere, that is an unsettling thought to say the least.
  • The spear Weiss was impaled with apparently pierced her stomach but no major blood vessels. As evidenced in next two chapters, Cinder still has near-perfect aim even with only one eye and extreme strength and agility, so she didn't miss Weiss's heart. In reality, she didn't want to simply kill Weiss to hurt Jaune - she wanted her to slowly and agonizingly die in his arms... and again, she threw a spear, Pyrrha's trademark weapon and one of her best moves. She tried to kill one of Jaunne's friends with what amounts to the symbol of his murdered mentor/love.
    • Also, in the next chapters, when Weiss is already back on her feet and fighting, we sometimes get a view on a bloody spot where the entry wound was. It's right in the center of Weiss' back - she was impaled through the spine. Without Jaune's help, even if Weiss survived by some miracle, she would probably be rendered paraplegic and, at best, would have required a complicated surgery, possibly cybernetics, and months of rehabilitation to be able to walk again.
  • Chapter 12:
    • Consider this, Raven has won the Superpower Lottery; her semblance allows her to get around the entire planet with ease, she has magic that allows her to turn into a raven, useful for getting around and for spying, and she's a borderline Physical God as the Spring Maiden. And she's still so scared of Salem that she thinks that there is no winning against her. Just what the hell is Salem?
    • The fate of Hazel's sister is sad, and it's likely that she wasn't the only student who died during a Training Mission. Just how many families were torn apart because of the war between Salem and Ozpin? Worse still, we have seen families torn apart because of their war: the main characters, and most especially Yang.
      • Hazel is Yang's counterpart on Team WTCH - elder sibling, bare-handed fighting style, generally calm until sufficiently provoked, etc. Until Gretchen's death pushed him over the edge and left him with issues. What's worse is that Yang was dangerously close to that same edge when Ruby almost died during the mission in Volume 2 (during another training mission, no less), and especially when Beacon fell in Volume 3 from the Trauma Conga Line put upon her.
      • Ozpin taking control of Oscar's body in order to fight Hazel (meaning he lied about needing permission), but knocks him unconscious in order to do so (suggesting he has a disturbing amount of control over Oscar's body even when he's not in the driver's seat)
    • We see that Salem gave Cinder a Grimm-like arm to replace the one she lost to Ruby. This itself is horrifying enough, but it makes one think: Is Cinder the only one with a Grimm body part?
      • Then there's the implications that, for all we know, this or something similar was how Salem was created: An unlucky soul who became one with a Grimm.
      • It's likely that Cinder isn't the first of Salem's minions to have such a graft. Since we saw Salem coaching Cinder to control the new arm in V4, telling Cinder to make the graft fear her in order to control it, there was some fatal trial and error in the past. Oh, and Grimm grafts are sapient too.
      Salem: Tyrian needs a new tail.
      Watts: -exasperated- What happened to his old one??
      • As disturbing as Cinder's Grimm graft is, this is a world with readily available cybernetics, and Salem has an expert on staff. While magic seems to need a normal arm to flow through, Cinder's been favoring her right arm lately, Cinder would've recovered quicker as a Cyborg than as a hybrid. The arm is Salem's way to control Cinder - and given it's implied to have the same capability as the Parasite she used to drain Amber's power, it's possible this isn't something that's been added to Cinder since her injury, but something coaxed out from what's already in her body (and why she, in particular, is affected by Ruby's Silver Eyes, as only that arm was affected in Ruby's recent brief outburst, and Raven wasn't affected by it at all, suggesting the weakness to Silver Eyes is due to how Cinder acquired the power).
      • Even more horrifying: Cinder's arm stretches in the same way that the Nuckelavee's did. One of the strongest Grimm we've ever seen, and Cinder shares one of its defining abilities. The Nuckelavee was already a horrific hybrid abomination, and now we know that Salem can basically mix and match whatever she wants to any being she can imagine. The horrors she can create in such a way don't bear thinking about.
  • Chapter 13
    • We learn that Hazel's Semblence is immunity to feeling pain. This is terrifying; pain is the the brain's way of providing self-preservation. If something hurts, stay away from it. Not only Hazel is burly enough to shrug off most attacks, but he feels nothing from it; that's scary. But his preferred way of fighting is injecting himself with dust crystals and powering himself up. He has a lot of scars on his arms and adds more crystals when he's losing; this might be addictive for him. He even puts the crystals very close to one of the usual addict injection sites.
    • After learning that Raven is the Spring Maiden, Cinder suggests that the previous Spring Maiden must've trusted her before she died, and that was likely a mistake. Raven, tellingly, reacts with anger and begins the fight.
      • We then find out in chapter 14 that Raven found Spring, tried to train her to use her powers, but saw weakness within her and killed her in a hare-brained attempt to hide the Maiden power from Salem. Raven knows Cinder has a point, but refuses to take responsibility.
  • Chapter 14
    • When Emerald uses her Semblance, she is in the middle of a breakdown and at her weakest. The resultant illusion becomes a gigantic and monstrous Salem. Perhaps this is what her subconscious sees Salem as? A monster beyond comprehension, beyond scope, something that she truly fears deep inside. How else would this 'Salem' look and behave so frightening?
    • Emerald has a look of pure despair when she realizes that Cinder might be dead, and the resulting illusion of Salem is horrifying enough to terrify everyone present while also knocking herself out in the process. The whole situation is very similar to how Ruby activating her silver eyes powers when she saw Pyrrha got killed, which also resulted in her being passing out afterward. For Emerald, losing Cinder is akin to Ruby losing Pyrrha. Cinder, in her eyes, is someone she looked up to and cared very much about, even saying that she owned Cinder everything, even if in reality Cinder only uses Emerald as a tool and does not really care about her. Cinder has effectively conditioned Emerald into seeing her as a parent figure despite the abusive relationship between the two, and losing her causes Emerald to have a Traumatic Superpower Awakening not unlike Ruby did. A very twisted take on Even Evil Has Loved Ones trope.
    • After Emerald's illusion of Salem vanishes, Blake asks what they just saw. Ozpin says that it was "an illusion, but an accurate one". This implies Salem might be able to turn herself into that kind of monster.
    • With the state of Haven's Academy effectively being up in smoke (it's spared, but the Headmaster's gone) and the status of the local Huntsmen (i.e. dead or missing in action), Mistral's forces against the Grimm have been more crippled than it was after the Fall of Beacon. And remember what Lionheart said about how Mistral was in chaos?

    Volume Six 
  • The Traintop Battle in "Argus Limited" serves as another reminder of the dangers of transportation within Remnant, and how neither aerial nor terrestrial travel is safe from monsters, just like aquatic travel isn't either. One can only imagine how difficult building the rail-lines got with Grimm crawling everywhere, or even how people survived traveling on foot before that.
  • After chapters 2 and 3, we suddenly know why Ozpin's so determined to keep his people on a strictly need-to-know basis. Not only was Leo's defection the latest betrayal he's suffered at the hands of his lieutenants, but we discover that (a): Salem was human once; (b): she and Oz were lovers (and started a family, kingdom and religion too); and (c): that she can't be destroyed. Ozpin's never looked as desperate to avoid scrutiny before now, and one can only wonder just how deep his deception runs or the lengths he'd go to silence people, considering he tried to tackle Ruby to stop her.
    • In addition his rant about how Leo shouldn't be demonized for one mistake after a lifetime of good, while somewhat noble, also carries the tone that he doesn't want to hold people to the standard of one mistake or betrayal marking someone as scum forever because if he did he'd either have be an admitted hypocrite, or hold himself to such standards which would mean Ozpin himself is a fiend because he admits he's made countless mistakes and judgment lapses over the years. Basically hating on Leo invites people to hate on himself.
  • Ozpin mentions that Grimm are attracted to Relics, hence why they're guarded by an army of warriors, and locked behind magic doors that only a specific Maiden can unlock. First, this makes Raven's plan to hold the Lantern hostage even worse than Yang thought - akin to lighting a flare than painting a target. Second, he ran Beacon under his real name, essentially putting a target onto the school. Going back to Yang, her anger in this volume is understandable since this revelation means her mother betrayed her, and all the ensuing pain and death that ensued, was for almost nothing, save Jaune unlocking his semblance.
  • When Cinder approaches Miss Malachite, she mentions that the money she uses was "someone's" life savings, implied to be that of the woman she killed and whose clothes she stole. However, it's unlikely that she was carrying all that money on her, which implies that Cinder didn't just kill her, but likely forced her to give up all of her bank account information before killing her.
  • The Lost Fable puts Volume 3 as both Fridge Horror and a Tear Jerker as well: when the series started, the world had 80 years without a global war (thanks to Ozma when he was the King of Vale), and several decades had passed since the Faunus Revolution. All Professor Ozpin would've needed is to figure out a way to suppress criminals, bandits, and maintain race relations with the Faunus populace to prevent the White Fang's radicalism from reaching critical mass. That's right - Ozpin was this close to uniting all of mankind, fulfilling his mission, and preventing the Brothers' judgment from wiping out the human and Faunus races forever. Then lo and behold, Cinder, Adam and Salem waltz in, instigate the Fall of Beacon, and divide the entire planet in a single night by sowing chaos and misery all over. All that hard work undone, replaced by increased tensions and anxiety over how the Brothers would likely purge all of man off the face of the earth. Could you really blame his anxiety issues when not only when he has to deal with the Fang and Salem undoing the painstaking work he did and risking the extinction of mankind from the Gods themselves?
  • On the flipside, it's kinda scary that the mostly teenage-to-young-adult group have no qualms about Qrow punching what is clearly a 13-15 year old in the face, nor do they have any problems yelling at him, pushing him around, or outright stressing him out.
  • When Hazel tells Salem that Ozpin reincarnated, and she appears visibly enraged, Mercury is the first one out the door. Growing up with an abusive father taught him how to recognize when someone was about to blow up.
  • When the team is split, Jaune becomes incredibly concerned for Ruby specifically, even though she is with multiple friends who are trained fighters and can take care of her. Ship Tease aside, this isn't the first time a red-headed girl from his team sent him away from battle, and he can't help but relive that fateful moment.
  • Maria being forced to go through extra screenings in Argus because she brought hidden cashews onto a flight seems like Disproportionate Retribution... until you realize it's possible someone on the flight may have had nut allergies. Which is why Real Life airlines have strict rules about food you're allowed to eat or bring on board.
    • It also explains why Maria was taking a train to the city instead of a flight.
  • Cordovin's apparent Atlas fanaticism is Played for Laughs due to how over the top she is about it, but it's also a very worrying reminder of the state of Remnant post-Fall Of Beacon: the way this woman talks makes it sound like she's already convinced that another war is inevitable, and paranoid that the other kingdoms are getting ready to gang up on Atlas; exactly the kind of atmosphere Salem wants. One can only hope that attitude isn't widespread among the Atlesians, but given the blockade, it seems Ironwood at least agrees with her...
  • Lost reveals that Marcus Black, Mercury's father, had a Semblance that allowed him to steal other Semblances, even taking away Mercury's. Makes you wonder how many Semblances he stole in his assassination career... to make matters worse, it's implied that Marcus would've needed to give them back manually, as when Mercury killed him prior to Cinder's recruitment, he didn't regain it. Effectively, those parts of people's souls are lost forever.
  • The fact that Adam has an SDC brand over his left eye raises very disturbing implications. Since Adam is currently in his early twenties and that he lost his eye before joining the White Fang several years prior to the events of the series, that would mean he was branded and maimed as a child. The violent actions White Fang has taken against the Schnee Dust Company suddenly look a lot more understandable.
    • Doubling as Fridge Brilliance - Adam had understandably gotten PTSD (and little support since then) from the incident, which explains why he is Yang and Ilia's Evil Counterpart - fuelled by rage, he can do nothing but lash out at everyone.
  • With the fact that Adam was more or less confirmed to be on the train when he was stalking Blake, considering how he was on the rest of the train when Ren and Jaune did their thing, who's to say he didn't decide to take out a couple of passengers?
  • From the aftermath of Yang losing an arm to Adam all the way up through the fight by the waterfall, Yang's PTSD has been depicted across multiple seasons, reflecting the long term effects PTSD has in real life. Now go back and watch everything from Episode 1, Volume 1. Most of Blake's "quirks" of personality match symptoms associated with c-PTSD (complex post traumatic stress disorder). Suddenly a lot of Blake's actions can be seen in a new light.
  • Food for thought: Blake is lucky that Adam focuses his Semblance in his sword. Just imagine how strong he would be if he used other objects, including his clothes, as a medium for storing damage as energy for his attacks. Because absorbing damage through his sword allows him to not take damage through his Aura, the best case scenario is that he becomes just as strong as Yang while still being heavily wounded, while the worst case scenario is that he becomes like Sebastian Shaw from X-Men: First Class: a Nigh Invulnerable and insanely powerful energy absorbing killing machine before he can even take damage to his Aura!
  • Watching Salem create the "Flying Monkeys" Grimm was disturbing enough, but whose to say that is the limit of her ability to create Grimm Could she have created the Apathy, the Leviathan, the Wyvern? Is The Nuckelavee's unusual appearance and abilities the result of her creativity?
    • If the Nuckelavee was a kind of prototype for hybrid Grimm, that would explain a lot about it. The jerky, twitching motions the "rider" makes, the maladjusted proportions of the limbs, even the fact that it's monstrous looking even for the Grimm. Which only adds to the horror in a way: Salem unleashed it knowing it was imperfect, and let it run rampant to see what would happen.
    • There's also a degree of Fridge Brilliance here: in flashback to the Time of the Gods, the only Grimm shown are beowolves, ursai, and nevermores. This was before Salem got her Grimm powers, meaning they were made by the God Of Darkness. Of course the brother who represents destruction would have a limited range of creatures: the ability to make new things is his older brother's domain alone, meaning Darkness probably suffers from Creative Sterility. It would take a human, with gifts of both Creation and Destruction to make new species of Grimm.
  • Ruby's flashbacks in the final episode are all before Volume 4. This includes hanging out with her friends and family. While the Doyalist approach is to say that Ruby didn't have any specific moments with the others (not helped that RWBY was fully reunited after Volume 5), the Watsonian approach is sadder: Ruby barely had time to rekindle her friendships with the others because she was too busy being the hero. As such, the relationships between her and every other person will never be the same as it was at Beacon.
  • Marcus Black stole Mercury's Semblance and told him once he got strong he could get it back. While talking about this, Mercury says that he "got strong" but that his Semblance was never returned, meaning he likely saw killing his father as proof that he was strong. This makes his recruitment scene back in Beginning of the End even more horrifying. It took place directly after he killed his father, so it was almost certainly during the exact moment he realized his Semblance was gone for good and his legs were in bandages, hinting that the fight cost him his limbs as well. All in all, calling it a bad day for Mercury would be an understatement.

    Volume Seven 
  • In "A Night Off", Nora makes out with Ren in what could be moments before Tyrian struck and killed dozens. Considering how Ren was able to detect his presence in Volume 4, one couldn't help but wonder if Nora ended up contributing to the massacre.
    • Possibly not; he can seemingly detect incoming presences from a small-to-large distance, but it's implied Tyrian was inside the building from the moment they entered, simply standing in place and not doing anything that would distinguish him, and Ren (though he had stuff on his mind) didn't seem to notice anything was amiss well before Nora kissed him.
    • More to the point, Tyrian's hiding in a large, tightly-packed crowd whose emotions are running high due to the important election that's counting down before all their eyes. Ren's prior success in detecting those approaching him was in abandoned places where one distinct presence approaching him was cause for concern... and now he was guarding a warehouse where people had been streaming in for hours.
  • Tyrian's proven himself to be very dangerous in Volume 4, but in "A Night Off", he only needs the lights turned off to effortlessly massacre at least ten people. And let's not forget, he's in a warehouse with eight trained Huntsmen (two of which are Faunus and have night vision) and Penny, and the only time he's seen is when he wants to be seen. Robyn doesn't even notice him when he's crouching right next to her. As if having a master hacker in a "city with a thousand eyes" isn't enough, but a serial killer with that skill in stealth is scary.
  • The armor that Nicholas Schnee is wearing for his portraits bears a distinct resemblance to that of the Arma Gigas. Jacques' "test" for his daughter boiled down to sticking an abomination into a replica of her grandfather's armor and having it fight her with live steel. One can only imagine the emotional impact that might have had on her, and on Willow. It also adds another layer to Jacques' emotional abuse, in a sense twisting Nicholas Schnee's image for his own selfish purposes.

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