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Headscratchers for RWBY.

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     Salem's use of the Grimm 
  • How did Ozma even know she had anything to do with random Grimm attacks? It's shown that those were already happening before they even got back together. Also, if Salem's goal involves dividing humanity, where exactly do the Grimm come into that?
    • He had hundreds or even thousands of years to observe the Grimm and her behavior. He likely just figured it out over his numerous lifetimes.
    • Maybe there's more to their story? He didn't tell her about Maidens and locks on screen, for starters, but she even knows correct pair matches.

     Stealth polarity 
  • So how has nobody other than Mercury noticed an external force moving their weapons around?
    • Mercury was actively looking for how Pyrrha was able to beat her opponents, and he's an extremely skilled fighter, likely more skilled than anyone else who had fought Pyrrha.
    • Mercury's weapons are literally his limbs. It's much easier to notice something moving your legs directly than something moving a sword 3 feet long.

     Maiden secrecy 
  • How is Ironwood the only one in Ozpin's organization that knows about the Winter Maiden's condition? And how was Leo the only one who knew Spring had gone rouge even before he turned traitor? Why keep those so secret but not what happened to Amber?
    • The communications blackout following Ozpin's death meant that any new updates or information wouldn't be disseminated. Qrow was the only one present in that meeting outside of the Atlas contingent, and he did know that the Winter Maiden was elderly. As for the Spring Maiden, that was Lionheart's responsibility, and he was keeping track of her. The others didn't need to know about her. Compartmentalization is essential in this kind of organization.

     Blake's books 
  • So did she go back to the White Fang's camp to take them with her when she ditched Adam, or what?
    • There's no indication she has a large number of books in the camp. Anything she left behind she could just buy more of when she got somewhere more stable.

     Welding Gambol Shroud back together 
  • Kintsugi is a pretty way of repairing broken objects, and I understand the narrative and artistic reason for Gambol Shroud being repaired in this manner, but, realistically speaking, wouldn't welding the broken pieces of the blade back together like that leave it with a structural weakness along the seam, and thus likely to break again in the exact same spot, because it can't flex properly to absorb shock?
    • We don't really know the exact method used to repair the blade. It looks like kintsugi, but this is Remnant technology, and this is also Atlas tech. For all we know their version of it makes the blade even stronger, or they just reforged the blade but left a gold stripe along the point that it was broken at Blake's request.

     Robyn at the dinner 
  • Exactly how did Jacques invite someone who's a fugitive from the law now, why did he get away with it, and why did she agree to it?
    • Robyn isn't a fugitive, because no one could pin the thefts directly on her.

     Who was in the office and why? 
  • I can accept Cinder breaking in and stealing the lamp offscreen, but I also assumed that bag was the one Watts had earlier. So if they both broke in separately, why was Watts in there? And how had he missed learning about the Amity project? And what was the point of the seer even being there?
    • Ironwood brought Watts' bag in with him after besting the doctor. He was likely going to search it before Cinder's Calling Card distracted him.
    • Cinder didn't steal the lamp. Neo took it off of Oscar. Ironwood took the bag after he defeated Watts, as Watts was shown dropping it in Chapter 11. Watts didn't know anything about the Amity project because it was being kept entirely secret and he didn't have access to the Atlas security network like he did with Mantle's. The Seer was being used to relay communications between Watts and Salem, and Ironwood just happened to unintentionally carry it into the office with him.

     Needing security codes 
  • Was there a particular reason Watts couldn't just hack Mantle's heating grid, as he did with everything else? He could hack Amity, which, given the circumstances, would have to have been as secure as Ironwood's team could make it, so why is that any different?
    • It's explicitly stated in the show that the heating grid was controlled by high-level security that could only be accessed by Council members or the head of SDC. Unlike the law enforcement and traffic systems in Mantle, these were a separate network that Watts hadn't set up and written the code for, so he didn't have backdoors or exploits that he could use.
    • As for why this particular system had better security, presumably it's just newer. Remember the only reason most of Mantle still responded to Watts' old codes was that no one was spending money to upgrade the Mantle systems.
    • Also, as mentioned before in *The World of Remnant: Atlas*, the cold can kill in hours up there. Thousands of lives are dependent on the heating grid working, so it would be given higher priority in terms of security and functionality compared to something like the traffic systems.

     The Stinger in volume 2 
  • Was that a dream, or was it real? In the latter case, why was it never mentioned again, and what exactly happened?
    • Word of God is that it is not canon. It was something that Monty really wanted to be thrown in, even if it made no sense.

     Dance, Dance Infiltration 
  • How did Ironwood know there'd been a break-in at the tower?
    • He didn't until he arrived at the tower itself and saw his men had been knocked out.
    • Why was he even outside then?
    • There are countless reasons why people would leave a party early or unexpectedly. Pick one.
    • Let's face it, it's Ironwood. Leaving a party early to patrol a honking piece of high-end technology isn't exactly out of character for him.

     Mountain Glenn 
  • How did the White Fang clear out the Grimm from the cave they were based in?
    • With guns, numbers, and probably Adam. Also, the Grimm were in Mountain Glenn after the White Fang moved in. There were probably only a small number of Grimm down there in the tunnels when they first arrived.

     Adam and Cinder 
  • Why exactly didn't Adam of all people try to just kill her when she first approached him? And why is he so willing to work with Hazel after that?
    • She approached him in a very respectful and affable manner. Note that when they first appeared, Cinder and her crew were kneeling before him and she spoke to him in a very calm, respectful way, appealing to his pride and strength... and even then he outright refused her and threatened to kill her. She had clearly only barely managed to appeal to him just enough to prevent him from attacking her outright. Afterwards, Adam had thrown his lot in with Salem entirely, so he has to work with Hazel.
    • On a related note, how exactly did he go from being willing to let Blake go in the scene where Cinder tries again to "I will make it my mission to destroy everything you love," and "The Belladonna name has brought me nothing but grief."?
    • He was probably keeping himself from lashing out in front of his men. He was undoubtedly seething at that moment, but he had enough rationality to keep his mask on (figuratively and literally) so that his men couldn't see it.

     Yang's Prosthetic Arm 
  • Why exactly did Ironwood commission it? What exactly did Yang do?
    • She lost her left arm fighting to defend Vale.
    • Ironwood was also feeling guilty because his army got hacked, and was worried about how Ozpin and his people would react. Giving Qrow's niece a new arm would make a few important people happy while costing Ironwood basically nothing.
    • In addition, Yang has ties to two people whom Ironwood (at the time) is strongly allied with; Ozpin and Qrow. It may also have been a "mea culpa" gesture to make it clear he's one of the good guys to two-valued allies (as Yang is one of Ozpin's students AND Qrow's niece).

     What did Winter know in volume three? 
  • It was mentioned in volume seven that Ironwood brought her up to date after the fall of Beacon. So what exactly was her "business" with Ozpin, especially considering that she didn't seem to actually do anything?
    • She had no business with Ozpin. She was overseeing the delivery of Paladins to the Atlas troops guarding the Vytal Festival.
    • How and why did she know about them having reason to assume Qrow had been compromised then?
    • She's presumably high up enough in Ironwood's confidence to be told some details, but not all of them, considering that she was dismissed when they began talking directly about Salem's operations.
    • It's possible she didn't know exactly what they were talking about at the time, but their conversation up to that point provided the necessary context for her to figure that much out by herself. From what the group discusses before she's sent away, she knows that A) Qrow has been doing information gathering on "our enemy" (she could assume that was referring to the White Fang or an affiliated group), B) that Qrow has been "out of contact for weeks", and C) that the group had info that they could have messaged Qrow about but chose not to. From those circumstances, it doesn't seem difficult for someone of Winter's apparent intelligence to make the leap that the reason for C is probably related to A and B.

     Next in line 
  • How exactly was Pyrrha “next in line” to be the Fall Maiden? She wouldn’t have been in Amber’s thoughts given the circumstances.
    • Who was in Amber's thoughts was entirely irrelevant. They were going to transfer her powers directly using the Aura transfer machine. They explicitly stated this in the show.

     Questionable business practices 
  • How, at least at the start of the series, does Weiss even know about how her father does business, considering how controlling he is and how isolated her upbringing was implied to be?
    • There's no indication that Weiss wasn't aware of the company's activities. Whitley's commentary in both Volumes 4 and 7 show that the children were involved in the company. Remember also that Weiss is repeatedly described as the "heiress" to the company, and an heiress needs to know how the company runs.
    • Also, how does she know Nicolas was any different?
    • People told her that he was different. The man had a sterling reputation and a lot of it was a clear public record.
      • It's also possible she simply read up on him, on how the SDC used to be run, etc.

     Emerald still in the audience 
  • How was Ruby the only one who considered that suspicious under the circumstances?
    • Nobody else cared or suspected an illusion. Ruby only figured something was wrong after talking to Velvet.

     Recalling the troops 
  • How was Ironwood able to issue that order with the CCT down?
    • The many myriad ways commanders sent messages before radios were invented.
    • Probably with radio, in fact. The World Of Remnant on CC Ts mentioned that it was the most common form of wireless communication before the Cross Continental Transmit Towers and the relays that extend their reach beyond the capital of a kingdom allowed for exponentially more information to be sent and received in a single message.

     Watts' hacking 
  • If the main reason he was able to hack Mantle so easily is it was never updated since he worked on Atlas' security, then why was it as easy as it was to develop the Black Queen virus and hack Amity? And why is the heating grid the only exception to that?
    • The Black Queen virus was uploaded from an administrator terminal and thus bypassed most protections. A common axiom in computer security is "physical access is total access." The Amity Arena was also likely infected directly from a physical access point. The heating grid is considered essential for survival and so was upgraded with more modern security.

     The chess piece and the bag 
  • If Watts' bag containing the Seer Grimm reacted to RWBY and Ironwood's argument kickstarted by Cinder's chess piece, how would Watts know that that would happen? Did he somehow know that Cinder would be in Atlas?
    • Watts didn't plan any of what happened in Ironwood's office.

    Jacques' Noose 
  • In "Pomp And Circumstance", Jacques smugly thanks Ironwood for "personally handing [Jacques] the noose to hang [Ironwood]". Exactly what leverage did Jacques have at that moment over James, especially considering he and Watts didn't make use of it for their plan to get Jacques elected?
    • Given he said it to Ironwood's face, I'm pretty sure he was just talking shit. Jacques is neither as clever as he thinks he is/or able to resist a chance to taunt and gloat at his enemies.

     Weiss' character short 
  • Where were they? Where would they have met that Jacques would have let Weiss go, and what was Winter doing at the mansion if that's where they were given that she'd effectively cut ties with him?
    • Weiss was allowed to go where she wanted. It wasn't until Volume 4 that he was confining her to the mansion grounds.
      • Nonetheless I find it difficult to imagine him letting her have contact with Winter.
      • We don't really see any evidence of him limiting her contact with Winter in the show. In fact, when Weiss contacts the SDC rep in Volume 2, Winter is on-site in the SDC building and the rep offers to connect them. His possessiveness in Volume 4 is a new development, especially since he outright says that he thinks he's been letting Weiss act too freely and her surprise that he's confining her to the mansion. The evidence indicates that he was not limiting her contact with Winter prior to Volume 4.

     Our enemy is here 
  • What was that supposed to mean, if Qrow clearly didn't know Beacon had been infiltrated?
    • There is zero context to this statement. You can't expect an answer without giving more context.
      • Didn’t Qrow say that during the discussion in Ozpin’s office? “...An I’m telling you: Our enemy is here.”
      • He didn't know that Beacon was infiltrated, but he knew that the enemy was in Vale somewhere.
      • He's well aware of how Salem operates. While Ironwood seems to presume she's going to show up with some obvious display of force, Qrow isn't nearly so naïve. Both Beacon and Haven were destroyed by a small group of elite operatives and some local turncoats, which is not going to be countered by a blockade, and some rent cops.

     Ruby’s Semblance 
  • So is it speed or the rose petal thing? At this point, we’ve seen her do both.
    • It's both. She has both speed and flight/molecular particle ability, but it was only really speed when Ruby was still at Beacon. It was afterward that it evolved into the ability to split apart into particles in Volume 4.
  • Penny said that Ruby could negate her mass, but from what's been shown show, that doesn't sound right. First Mercury kicked her out of mid-flight, and then when Ruby fought the Ace-Ops she broke through Ironwood's door. Neither of those could have been achieved if Ruby didn't have her mass. How does Penny's explanation work?
    • Semblances grow and evolve over time via use and training. She likely couldn't reduce her mass in Volume 3. Just because Ruby had a limitation in Volume 3, which was close to a year before the events of Volume 8, it doesn't mean that that limitation would remain after she practiced and developed her Semblance. As of Volume 7, Ruby apparently can negate her mass, but she can choose not to if she wishes, which is how she was able to break down the door.
      • That still doesn't add up because Penny's explanation specifically ties Ruby's "extreme velocity" to a reduction in mass. If reducing her mass is only new to this Volume then how was she moving that fast before?
      • We have no idea. We know how it functions now but how it functioned then is unclear. We know that Semblances can have completely new applications and abilities as they evolve - the most recent episode showed that one pretty clearly with Ren.
      • It's possible Penny meant that Ruby can negate the effects of gravity on her mass, but went with a less correct, but easier to tell, explanation due to their situation.

     Change in plans 
  • So why did Ruby change priorities from evacuating Mantle to getting Amity up as soon as Salem showed up?
    • Because Salem showed up. Before Mantle could still be evacuated but Ironwood wanted to lift Atlas out of reach. After Salem shows up, there's no way to evacuate Mantle with Atlas's shields up to protect it against Salem. The best bet to stop her now is to fight her directly, and that requires reinforcements from the rest of Remnant's kingdoms.

     Cinder’s arm 
  • So have Raven and Penny lost some of their powers from that?
    • There's no indication that they have.
      • Why not, if that’s apparently what the arm is for and what Cinder was using it for?
      • Because there's been no mention of either of them losing power or Cinder gaining any powers. Neither of them were grappled long enough for the effects we saw with Amber to manifest. If part of their power had been taken, they likely would have been unconscious like Amber.
      • Well she was definitely taking something, so what?
      • She was trying to take something, and the process was obviously painful, but she clearly didn't get anything since neither Raven nor Penny seem to be any weaker afterward nor does Cinder appear any stronger.
      • Volume 3 established that Maiden powers are bonded to the person's aura, and the only time Cinder successfully absorbed power was after Amber's aura was broken. Its possible Cinder was draining off Raven and Penny's auras before she could get their power.
      • It's worth noting that there's a good chance that Amber's maiden power went straight for Cinder because she already held a good proportion of it. That might well be foreshadowing of the possibility that though she didn't absorb enough to make a practical difference if Raven or Penny dies Cinder will get their Maiden power by default.

     A revolver vs a rampaging Maiden? 
  • How was Emerald threatening to shoot Amity's systems a legitimate enough threat to make Penny let her, Cinder and Neo escape? Cinder tore-ass on the systems before, but they still kept going, and Emerald has only two pistols with (I'm guessing) rather limited ammunition, and even more limited time before Penny kicks her ass, and no knowledge of where to shoot (and that's assuming Penny couldn't just block the shots with her weapons or body like characters do all the time). If they needed Cinder's team to pull a Villian Exit Stage Left, why not just have -I don't know- one of the two villains there with illusion powers cover their escape?
    • Cinder didn't attack the control system itself. She attacked the pillars holding up the platform but ignored the relatively delicate computer in the middle of the platform. Emerald, meanwhile, directly threatened the computer with her revolver. When Emerald shot the terminal it was immediately treated by everyone as a potential threat, indicating it was a fragile target. Penny could theoretically have blocked the bullets, but she's not guaranteed to prevent all of the shots from getting through - which is shown earlier during the fight when she couldn't block all of Cinder's projectiles. A stray shot could also potentially hit Pietro. It would be too much of a risk.
    • As for the illusions, Emerald's illusions do not register against Penny's thermal scanners. Neo is too far away to cover their escape, and Penny likely can see through Neo's as well with her thermals.

     So... nobody's going to ask? 
  • Salem's endgame remains a mystery to the FNDM; certain readings of one of her lines from the flashback, plus some text from a sourcebook says she wants to rule Remnant, but her actions make her seem more like an Omnicidal Maniac (which is what Raven believed). Now, the CRWBY might intentionally be keeping it mysterious, but that doesn't explain why the heroes don't ask Ozpin directly, or any of Salem's followers they capture like Watts, or Oscar Salem in the recent episode. Isn't knowing the enemy's goals vital to winning any war?
    • For one thing we don’t even know how much the rest of Salem’s organization knows.
    • Heroes knew her short-term goal. Get all 4 relics.
    • Both of those are valid, but I feel incomplete answers. Yes, they don't know what Salem's followers know; because no one has bothered to ask them. Even if they can't do it in battle (despite all the talking they do in battle), they seem to have little to lose by asking them when they're imprisoned. Yes, there's no guarantee they'll get any valuable information that way, but considering only Tyrian seems like he'd willingly work for an omnicidal maniac, if they could provide some evidence that that's Salem's real goal (Robin + Ozpin?), they could potentially turn Salem's followers against her. And as for "they know all that they need to know..." And after all the stank the heroes have raised about not trusting Ozpin, they're just going to keep accepting it as a given that Salem can't be negotiated with or that her victory is the worst thing possible? Plus, if they know her endgame, they can better determine if there's another way, however unlikely, that she could potentially achieve it that they should be on guard for.
    • Then again, I suppose Team RWBY was never very good at seeking out or volunteering specific information; Blake didn't tell anyone Adam's semblance until they were literally fighting him, which is about as need-to-know information as one can get in this world, (though granted, it would have been awkward and used up screentime to just have her explain it in one scene, and the writers may not even have decided exactly what Adam's semblance was until that point), but generally, the team seems pretty "live-in-the-moment," so they make figure that knowing she's evil and wants the relics is enough.
    • Another possibility is that they don't ask because they've pegged Salem as a liar. They've figured that she'd sell each of her subordinates on exactly what they want (Hazel's revenge, Watts' curiosity, etc). So asking all 4 of her generals would net a different and inaccurate answer.
    • Point. But the show should have at least brought that up, and I still say they have little to lose and a lot to potentially gain by asking them (especially with the "prove she's an omnicidal maniac") thing.
  • As of Volume 8's finale, we have some clarification/payoff on this issue:
    • Ozpin indeed believes Salem wants to destroy the world by summoning the Gods before humannity is united, believing they will finally kill her afterwards, and he freely volunteers this info to Hazel and Emerald, so we can assume he said the same things to the heroes.
    • Mercury, Emerald and Hazel all believe(d) that Salem wants to rule the world and will make them rulers in it. We can probably assume Cinder, Watts and Roman believed the same thing. How Salem found them and why they believe she can or intends to deliver on that promise, and who among them would actually enjoy political power are different questions.
    • Tyrion believes she wants to destroy the world. He also freely volunteers that he does, and all indications are that, which facilitates Emerald and Hazel's Heel Face Turns implying that none of these people have ever discussed their motives in the years they've been working together.

     Dust cartridges 
  • How did Weiss give Blake those cartridges out of nowhere in volume two?
    • Blake loaded them into her weapon to alter the properties of her shadow clones.
      • No, I mean what reason did Weiss have to give her those out of nowhere?
      • They were in a combat situation and Weiss thought Blake needed extra firepower. It's not complicated.
      • It may also be a Weiss method of burying the hatchet and entrusting Blake with something valuable, both personally (those cartridges being from the SDC, her family's company), and practically (handing over something that could, potentially, be turned against you). Weiss doesn't say anything because...Weiss

     The mechanics of Salem’s immortality 
  • So Hazel claims that when Salem first approached him, he killed her several times and the longest it stuck was for a few hours. So did Jinn just skip over Ozma lying there bleeding out for that long or something? Because what the hell could Hazel have done without magic that was more thorough than burning her to ash?
    • It might have to do with the question asked: "What is Ozpin hiding?" ultimately reveals what Ozpin thinks is true because, if he truly saw his daughters in danger, why didn't he act to save them and how did he know about the parts he wasn't there for?
    • We're already getting enormous time-skips over the course of the flashback, and we don't really know how badly Ozma was injured in the fight with Salem. Jinn likely just skipped over however long Ozma was out from the fight and got right to the part where he started to recover and Salem regenerated.
    • Another possibility is that she can willingly delay her regeneration (while still being aware). After all, she let Hazel kill her on purpose, she could play along to Bait the Dog to further break his will.
      • Alternatively, she may be able to be put down temporarily (with the severity of the damage slowing her revival), but WILL get back up. So Hazel could "kill" her, but only for a matter of seconds or minutes, and then she's right back on her feet.

     Grimm statues 
  • So why do the people of Remnant have figurines and statues of the monsters trying to kill everyone?
    • For figurines; probably so children's huntsman and huntress toys can have enemies to fight, and so people can see what different types of Grimm look like in 3 dimensions easily. As for statues... yeah, we have plenty of statues of dangerous animals in real life, but a Grimm statue seems like erecting a statue of the bubonic plague (not to mention the danger of a statue being mistaken for the real thing when it's dark). But it is ultimately up to whoever owns the land, and I doubt opinions of Grimm are homogeneous in a world where humanity's lived with them so long. Nobody likes them, but some people are terrified of them, some people likely see them as a distant threat not worth worrying about (in which case, having the statues might serve to remind people inside cities of the danger always outside their walls), some view them as challenges to be, or that already have been overcome.
      • Not to mention some may full well exploit the potential of a sculpture being mistaken for the real deal as a deterrent (something that intimidating could scare off a would-be thief, for example)

     Ozpin's cane 
  • RWBY V8 E10 "Ultimatum" revealed that Ozpin's cane was storing kinetic energy over his many lifetimes, with most of the power used to destroy Monstra. Oscar used a weaker burst to blast a hole out of Atlas in Volume 7's finale. This raises some questions regarding Volume 3:
    • Why didn't Ozpin kill the Wyvern while it was still in the mountain?
      • For the Wyvern, it's not indicated that anyone ever knew it was there.
      • It didn't have the strength to escape until the events starting from "RWBY V3 E9 "PvP"" so it would've been weaker.
    • Why didn't Ozpin kill Cinder in their fight? If Oscar can control the output, Ozpin certainly can.
      • For the fight with Cinder, we don't know the minimum amount of power that the cane can output. We do know that he was underneath the CCT tower, which he explicitly stated could not be allowed to fall. While Oscar did use the blast in the pit beneath the vault of the Winter Maiden, keep in mind that he blasted through an entire floating island and unspecified tons of rock. Most likely he can't dial down the damage below "destroys buildings" levels. In addition, we haven't actually seen how that fight played out; our only indication of what happened was less than half a minute long.
      • RWBY V3 E10 "Battle of Beacon" shows that Glynda knew the Wyvern existed since she knew what the sudden rumbling meant and there's no way she would know and Ozpin wouldn't.
      • All she said was "No." That's a really vague statement. It doesn't mean that she knew where the Wyvern was or even what the rumbling meant, just that it meant something bad was going to happen. if the ground starts shaking in the middle of a massive invasion of monsters, it generally means something bad is about to happen regardless. There's no direct indication that they knew the Wyvern was even there.
  • Furthermore, how did anyone present survive the blast?
    • It's a magical cane that absorbs kinetic energy and is wielded by a thousands-year-old immortal reincarnating wizard. It's already been demonstrated that one can survive the blast when Oscar used it to blast his way out of Atlas. You can also tell from the relative positioning of the characters inside Monstra when he triggered it and the part of the whale that was destroyed that there was a conical shape to the explosion. He can clearly control the direction that the blast travels.

     Emerald and Mercury 
  • So why exactly are they so much more nonchalant about super-villainy in volume two than three and everything since the Beacon saga?
    • Presumably, they knew the gist of the plan to destroy Beacon, but that isn't the same as actually destroying a city, then sticking around to film the results while your boss practically jizzes herself at the sight. I think it was after that that Emerald really began to question her loyalties. Mercury, however, remains pretty nonchalant about supervillainy from the start; he just shows some concern from Emerald, his now long-time partner who he likely sympathizes with due to their similar pasts, and is smart enough to realize that Cinder never cared for them.
    • Because up until that point, they hadn't gone face to face with the sheer horror of the Grimm and the depths of the evil that Salem was brewing. Up until the fall of Beacon, they were pretty much doing normal criminal infiltration and murder. They didn't really get how deep into the nightmare they were immersing themselves in until they were in Salem's castle.

     Open the vault and self-terminate 
  • Was there a particular reason Watts couldn’t have forced Penny to bring the staff to Salem?
    • Watts was working under Ironwood at the time and being forced to create the virus while under guard with literally four guns to his head and almost certainly an Atlas programmer vetting the code he was writing. He would have had to make what Ironwood ordered him to make, and Ironwood wanted Penny to open the vault and then self-terminate.

     Ren’s aura 
  • So why is Ren the only character ever shown doing the whole spider-sense thing, given that Pyrrha implicated it as being par for the course?
    • Like any other skill, it has to be trained and developed to be powerful. For most people, Aura's extrasensory ability is likely very limited, due to natural inclination and lack of training, but Ren is highly trained in its use, especially considering his Semblance is dependent on sensory manipulation and emotions.
    • I think we DO see it with other characters, but in more subtle ways. It's why they can practically dance through most attacks, even ones they reasonably wouldn't see coming, why their reaction times are borderline superhuman, etc. Ren just happens to have trained his Aura-based skills to a higher level than his physical ones (thus why his actual weapons and weapon combat are relatively mid-tier, but he's able to do Aura-boosted Fa Jin techniques and the like)

     The Apathy 
  • How was Bartleby able to capture two of the horde without being affected the same way team RWBY and Maria were during the chase scene? And where exactly were they before that was accessible to him without subjecting the farm to their effect?
  • The herd could have been anywhere in the large, mountainous region. He likely stalked them from beyond their effective range until two stragglers were out of the rest of the herd's range, then he could lure them back by stepping into their line of sight, and staying ahead of them.
    • Remember that back in Volume 2, Professor Oobleck mentions that sometimes smaller groups of Grimm separate from their larger packs. Considering how slow the Apathy are and that their screams seem to be short-ranged, it would be an easy task to draw their attention and stay out of reach of their screams until they can be lured into the tunnels under the farm.

     A whole kingdom’s worth of negativity 
  • So why is the negativity from everyone they’re evacuating only a problem when they get to Vacuo? Why weren’t they attracting Grimm back in Atlas?
    • They were attracting Grimm. There were constant Grimm attacks on Mantle, including one right at the start of Volume 7 and one immediately after the election midway through Volume 7. One of the reasons Robyn and her huntresses were stealing Atlas military supplies was because they needed them to rebuild Mantle's wall because of the number of Grimm attacks on the city.
      • At the time of the evacuation I mean.
      • They were attracting Grimm during the evacuation as well. The Atlas military was fighting them off or most of the Grimm were dead after Ozpin used his cane.

     Ozpin’s relationship with his subordinates 
  • Why had all of Team STRQ apparently never discussed their daughters/nieces with Ozpin before? Or was he pretending not to know who Ruby was to avoid freaking her out? And on a related note, why, in the latter case, did he wait until that night at the Dust shop to approach Ruby?
    • The thing with a conspiracy is that you don't tell people about it. He didn't tell Ruby that he recognized her because Ozpin is extremely cagey and cautious when it comes to his secret conspiracy to protect the world from Salem. And he only "approached" Ruby because she was a skilled fighter with silver eyes and he wanted her advanced into Beacon.
    • Let's not forget that while team RWBY is one half team STRQ distilled into two sisters, the other half is the biggest political bombshell on Remnant. He might not have been considering bringing them into the conspiracy until after using Weiss and Blake to handle two of the biggest problems on Remnant, the White Fang and Jacques Schnee, by having Ruby and Yang vouch for him as the guy who mentored their family to get their cooperation. Once Weiss took over the family business, that would've practically put the full might of Atlas on Ozpin's side.
      • Also, in that scenario I don’t get why he acted as surprised as he did about her eyes.
      • He didn't act surprised. He simply remarked on them. They are an unusual feature, after all.

     Penny's Human Body Loophole 
  • How is it that Penny survived? The logic that the show used to justify her surviving doesn't work the more you think about it. First flaw is Ambrosius' "Can't Destroy"; Team RWBY states that Penny won't die because Ambrosius can't destroy. However, if that was the case, they could have just asked him to build Penny a new body without the virus. As Ambrosius 'can't destroy', he wouldn't be able to let the new Penny die because of this rule. However, Ruby brings up this very solution as one that wouldn't work since Penny would disappear due to the "One wish at a Time" rule, meaning this is a flaw in the "Can't Destroy" Rule. This suggests that despite the fact that Penny had a Soul, her mechanical body would have been destroyed if hey have just wished her a new body sans virus. Having a human body does not change any of that as to the rules; the only difference between what happened in the show and what they could have done is that one's a robot and one's human. It doesn't change the result: Penny's body should have been destroyed by according to the Rules.
  • Second flaw is that Penny's soul might not actually die if Ambrosius made a new body from it. RWBY V6E3 "The Lost Fable" clearly shows that there is some form of afterlife that souls pass on too, so Ambrosius wouldn't be destroying Penny's soul.
  • Third flaw is that, regardless of what logic they did come up with, Penny still should have died when they made a second wish. Any creation of Ambrosius gets destroyed when the next one is made, meaning that Penny's new human body, which is clearly stated by Ambrosius and implied by Ruby to be "[Ambrosius'] work" means that it should have been destroyed when they wish for the bridges. That it didn't can go one of two ways:
    • A) If you believe that the previous wishes destroying themselves is Ambrosius actively and consciously doing so as per his rule, then this is a defiance of his "Can't Destroy" Rule since he is destroy things, and makes it a lie and thus loses all meaning. And if he does have control, then by this same rule, Team RWBY should have been perfectly able to just ask him to build Penny a new body without the virus and then going "Uh uh uh, you can't destroy!" when they wish for something else, saving Penny. This would run counter with the "One Wish at a time" Rule since there is now Penny and whatever else he creates, but that runs counter to the "Can't Destroy" rule since he can't destroy Penny as the old wish as she's alive, and so on...
    • B) If you believe that the previous wishes destroying themselves is an unconscious, involuntary and uncontrollable part of Ambrosius' power, then Penny should have been destroy as Ambrosius made her new human body, and as something created by him it should be destroy upon the next wish; that it didn't is straight-up against the rules and has no explanation, making it a plot hole.
      • Penny's new body was created by Penny's own Aura. He all but outright says that this would be the case when he talks about how much of it would be his creation and how much of it would be hers.
      • Even if that was the case, that still doesn't change the issue of the "One Wish at a time" rule, in that Penny should have be destroyed afterwards because Ambrosius has dabble his magic in making her new human body. And as shown by the mechanical parts of Penny's robot body, even if Ambrosius doesn't outright make something(in this case, Penny's robot parts), if he uses it in the creation of something, then they get destroyed upon the next wish. Giving him any involvement in the process with the words "my work" means that Penny's human body is subject to his powers and thus should be destroyed.
  • Next flaw is Ambrosius being a Literal Genie, stating that he will give you "exactly what you ask for" and tells you not to complain "if it isn't what you wanted". Team RWBY didn't wish for Penny to have a new Human body, so Ambrosius should be under no obligation to give Penny a Human body since that isn't what they asked for. Even then, why give her a Human body? He could have just given her another mechanical body without the virus and he would have achieved this unspoken-demand-that-he-doesn't-need-to-do. Now you could bring up the "Can't Destroy" rule, but that runs a foul by the logic in the previous examples.
  • So overall, by all accounts, the Penny loophole... just doesn't work. If it isn't a violation of one rule it's a violation of the other rule, making this all a confusing mess. So is there something missing here? Or is this Loophole, in fact, a plot hole?
    • I looked up Ambrosius's lines during this scene: "I suppose I could do a little, oh, add a touch of, but if I do that, how much the old Penny would be my work and how much would be her? Just coming up to the surface." The implication is that Ambrosius and Penny both made her human body, or she created it all herself somehow, and thus it was exempt from Ambrosius's rules.
      • As stated, that doesn't change the fact that Ambrosius' power was used directly in some capacity in Penny's body creation. Which means that even if he didn't entirely create it, it should still be destroyed in some fashion when another wish is made, as shown by Penny's robot parts being destroyed with the next wish despite the fact that Ambrosius didn't make the robot parts; just used them in the creation of something else.
      • Perhaps all Ambrosius did was give Penny's soul the energy needed for her to make a body on her own, and since that energy would already be used to make that body, there would be nothing left of Ambriosius' work to be destroyed by the next wish?

     Ambrosius "Can't Destroy" Rule 
  • Why is this even a rule? There is a lot of evidence that shows this rule isn't true is pretty much every sense except the most direct sense, that you only ask him directly to destroy something. There are numerous ways that this rule doesn't apply, however, despite things clearly being destroyed:
    • First is if he was asked to build something using pre-existing parts or materials, like Team RWBY asking him to make a new Penny body using her existing mechanical parts, then asking him to build something else. That previous creation would be completely destroyed despite the fact that he didn't make the parts themselves and only used them in the wish thing's creation.
    • Second is if he was asked to build a new body for someone/someone's soul to inhabit, as that body would be destroyed and kill the person when a new wish is made, in spite of his "Can't Destroy" Rule. Team RWBY bring up this very reason for why they can't simply ask Ambrosius to make Penny a new body without the virus killing her, since that body would disappear with their next wish and kill Penny, thus ruining their efforts of saving her. This example in particular is the most glaring work-around method.
    • Third is wishing for something that would cause great amounts of destruction when something else is wished for, such as Atlas. As he was used to make Atlas fly(with some assistance from Gravity Dust), wishing for something else causes it to lose the main thing keeping it afloat, making it fall and destroying both it, the city of Mantle below, and anyone or anything still in the area.
    • And finally is simply asking him to create something that is inherently destructive and/or would then go destroy things, such as Cinder wishing for a great supply of fire to be spread across Atlas, destroying numerous buildings and killing anything still living there, such as a trapped and abandoned Watts.
      • There is also that, due to No Ontological Inertia, the thing he previously created is destroyed when he makes something new. However, it is unknown whether he is actively doing this according to his "One wish" rule or if it's just an uncontrollable function of his power, so this point is ultimately debatable.
  • Overall there just seems like too many gaps and loopholes in this rule that it is very confusing why the rule even exists other than to give the Staff of Creation some duality with the Sword of Destruction.
  • Answer: RT didn't want Ambrosius to be a Deus ex Machina. If he didn't have the rules, RWBY would've made Penny's human body out of Cinder's body.
    • But the rule itself has so many workaround that it's ultimately pointless to have the rule there in the first place. If the rule covered those as well, and was less "Can't destroy directly" and more "Can't Destroy in any way", then its presence would be much more justified. But all these exceptions to the rule just make it empty and meaningless to have it there.

     Pneumatic Tube Evacuation 
  • The tubes from volume eight, chapter two seem like a convenient way to get people to Atlas. The SDC facility where they're located appears to be right next to, if not inside, the crater where everyone in Mantle is already being moved. And the only complaint that the heroes have with Ironwood's plan is that it abandons the people of Mantle. Why not just call Ironwood up and say, 'We can evacuate everyone without using military resources. Once we're done, we'll cooperate with the staff'?
    • Because the evacuation would, from what we saw of those tubes, be a very slow process (there aren’t that many of them and they would each be able to take about one person at a time) that not everyone would be willing to go along with and may not be the safest method for someone without Aura. And they believe (probably correctly, given what we see later in the Volume) that Ironwood’s plan would at best delay the inevitable at that point.
    • Also, generally speaking, pneumatic tubes aren't safe for people. Among the refugees would be sick, elderly, children, and wounded, and high-speed pneumatic travel which is safe for cargo crates would be dangerous or even deadly for them. The main characters are able to use it because they have strong Auras and can withstand those kinds of pressures and speeds.

     Willow’s summon 
  • When exactly would she have had an opportunity to kill a Boarbatusk?
    • During most of her life? She hasn't spent her entire life cooped up in the Schnee Manor drinking for her whole life, and she is the daughter of a famous adventurer.

     Hazel’s past 
  • So based on his own statements Hazel’s grudge against Ozpin was in large part due to a combination of Salem’s prodding and a belief that she’s invincible, so targeting Ozpin isn’t something he would have done on his own, and he doesn’t really seem to have any real combat training based on what we’ve seen of his fighting style, yet volume six (the picture in the news broadcast Cinder sees) suggests he already had some sort of criminal record and Ozpin already knew him from some previous incident. So had he already targeted Ozpin on his own? And if not why did Salem never bother to actually train him in any serious capacity?
    • I'd guess Hazel attacked Ozpin not long after Gretchen's death, explaining his record and their history. Then, some time after, Salem appeared to him and convinced Hazel that Ozpin was evil.

     No plan? 
  • Doesn’t “keep the relics away from Salem and each other until humanity meets the gods expectations so they deal with her when they return,” which seems to be what he was doing until Volume Three, constitute a plan to defeat Salem?
    • It's an incredibly vague end goal, but not an actual plan of action, especially compared with what they were dealing with at the time. It's the difference between knowing what objectives need to be captured to win a war versus ho you're going to go about capturing those objectives.
     Professor Ozpin in general 
  • If all four headmasters report to him anyway, what was being one of them himself supposed to accomplish?
    • It puts him in a position of power over one of the locations where a Relic is stored, without being suspicious. If he has to be in a position where he is going to be keeping watch over one of the vaults in secret, best he do so in a position where he can be there and administrate the site without drawing suspicion from anyone outside of the conspiracy.
     Where are Atlas’ other huntsmen? 
  • Why are the Ace Ops, Winter and Team FNKI the only ones seen responding to the invasion in any way?
    • The same reason Beacon is large enough to have thousands of students, and we see what look like hundreds of generic models in some scenes, but less than two dozen (mostly from other academies) fight Grimm invasion; Roosterteeth can only create and animate so many huntsmen.
    • I meant the in-universe reason. We’re they all killed trying to assault Salem’s ship earlier or something?
    • In-universe, there probably were hundreds of huntsmen on that battlefield (which was likely far larger), the same way movie depictions of historical battles that had thousands of combatants only have a few dozen, but we accept them as a depiction.
    • It's a massive open field battle of which we only see a small portion of the military action. We don't see any other Huntsmen because they were likely both wearing uniforms (thus hard to see) and they weren't relevant to the events of the battle and so they weren't shown. FNKI's presence on the battlefield was the token representation of Atlas' Huntsmen.

     Amity security 
  • Why was Amity apparently about as protected as Mantle (or at least so unprotected that Watts was able to access it with basically no prep time or anything) given how critical it was to Ironwood’s plan?
    • Either Amity didn't get an upgrade due to it being far away from Atlas, or because Watts had gained physical access to the structure, which is the easiest way to take over any computer network. Physical access is total access.

     Why Vacuo? 
  • Wouldn’t it be safer to bring everyone to somewhere like Mistral?
    • The evacuation plan being used as a blueprint was for Vacuo. Ambrosius uses the exact blueprint he's given and the exact words of the person asking for him to make something.
    • Presumably, they could alter the plan if they wanted. Whether or not Vacuo was the best option has already been debated throughout the FNDM, and the gyst of it is that pros of Vacuo are:
      • A still-functional academy and lots of huntsmen (or so they think. Shade took a serious beating in the spin-off novels, but they don't know about that due to CCT being down)
      • A still functional vault.
      • It's very far away from Salem.
    • Cons are:
      • Atlas and Vacuo don't get along very well.
      • Vacuo can barely support its own population in terms of food, water and housing.
      • Grimm and even non-Grimm monsters with no walls or complex infrastructure make Vacuo a very dangerous place with a psuedo social-darwinist culture. Thousands of negative emotion-filled refugees dumped on their doorstep...
      • A very limited police force.
      • Limited infrastructure for further evacuations.
    • In my opinion, the cons seriously outway the pros, considering that Mistral and Vale haven't actually been damaged that badly. They should have at least had the characters discusses it, but the writers probably took it as a given that we were going to Vacuo next.
    • This is assuming that Vacuo was the end goal of where all the people of Atlas would end up. They may very well have intended Vacuo to be a stepping stone and would have used the Staff to move people to Vale and Mistral as well once they had some breathing room from Salem. They could work out the logistics of moving an entire Kingdom in more detail once the people were out of imminent danger. Unfortunately, Cinder nixed that plan.
      • Also remember that this plan was put together on the fly in less than an hour. They had to put together the entire blueprint to show Ambrosius plus come up with the specific wording of how they wanted to save Penny and coordinate with Winter, Qrow, and Marrow for their ambush and then get everyone to where they needed to go before Ironwood's deadline. They just did not have time to come up with anything more complex.
      • IRRC, the only part of the plans that made it an evacuation to Vacuo and not anywhere else were explicitly the endpoint coordinates (which were apparently in the middle of the Vacuo desert, and not Shade itself?) All they needed to do give a different set of numbers (one of the books in Schnee manor must have had a world map with longitude and latitude). Even if they can't do that, there's no mention of evacuating anyone any further, and they're pretty stupid for not anticipating Cinder or any of Salem's faction interfering, which was really the only logical result of their plan.
      • An evacuation plan on that scale would be a complex beast already, due to the complexities of aircraft schedules and flight routes, and adapting that to fitting an interdimensional road would likely be eating up most of their time to begin with, especially with as everything else they have to coordinate at the same time plus moving into position ahead of Ironwood's deadline. They just didn't have time to go over and foolproof the entire operation (Case in point: Weiss messing up the wording of the construct's function) and the issues with the plan were almost certainly an oversight as a result of having to come up with three separate plans and getting into position to carry them out in less than an hour.
    • One of the reasons the heroes choose Vacuo isn't for the sake of the refugees, but for the continued struggle. They know Vacuo is next on Salem's list for the Relic of Destruction, and they know Mercury and Tyrian were already sent to prepare things like Watts and Tyrian did in Atlas and Mantle. This was about getting the heroes in position to fight off the next step in Salem's goals.
  • The time crunch and the fact that they're mostly just children arguably explains the massive flaws in their plan (they've demonstrated quick-thinking before, and their large group means more minds to point out the plan's problems) but does not excuse them; by creating and going through with a plan that had the perfectly forseeable problems of any random point in Vacuo proving a bad place to evacuate people and their enemies following or trying to stop them, they're set to have gotten everyone in Atlas and Mantle killed for no reason, especially because with the relic, they could just create another pathway to Vacuo once the civilians are safe.
     Weiss vs Whitley 
  • Given his characterization since then, what was screwing Weiss out of her inheritance supposed to accomplish? And how exactly did being uncharacteristically nice to her play into that?
    • One can assume Whitley was still trying to get Jacques to show him any sort of affection at all, so he did things that he thought would get his father's approval.
     Romans’ cell 
Would someone even be able to survive for the few weeks, at minimum, Ironwood had him in there in such a small enclosed space? In general, given what solitary confinement does to people, how was that supposed to work?
  • Somebody read my (now removed) entry on Nobody Poops. You could ask the same question about the cells Robin, Jacques, Qrow and Watts are stuck in for at least a few days. The simple fact is that adding toilets, bedding, a sink etc makes a set, digital or live-action, more trouble to create. The best explanation is that that's just his cell for sleeping, and they take him out to another part of the ship to use the bathroom, shower, (change clothes?), and maybe interact with other prisoners. Or maybe a toilet folds out of the wall, they feed him through a slot, don't give a shit about his mental health (and he's hard-assed enough to endure it) and humans on Remnant (or at least those with their auras unlocked) don't grow body hair or sweat profusely unless they want to.
     Qrow in Beginning of the End 
  • Where exactly was he that he apparently knew Amber was under attack but couldn’t actually get there until basically the last possible second?
    • The same place he was when Tyrian attacked RNJR in Volume 4, I suppose? Probably scouting ahead some distance away to clear the route of Grimm or something.
     Controlling Amity 
We saw Cinder upload a virus to the CCT, but how did it get to Amity and Ozpin’s office from there?
  • Ozpin's office is in the CCT, so it's on the same internal network. We also see from Ironwood's scroll in Ozpin's office that the virus jumps to devices based on proximity. Someone in the CCT got the virus on their scroll and went to Amity, and the virus jumped to Amity's wireless network.
     The ambulance 
  • So how did nobody notice the ambulance Cinder’s team used in volume three going missing?
    • Considering that Cinder has a virus infecting most of the systems at Amity and the Beacon CCT, it's entirely possible that she could have simply taken it without its disappearance being registered. Alternately, they only borrowed it long enough to get Mercury out and returned it without anyone noticing. Remember also that less than a day after that incident, Beacon was overrun. Even if the ambulance was reported stolen, word of the theft likely wouldn't have reached anyone relevant to the plot before Cinder struck.
     Qrow's reaction to the final scene in Volume 8 
  • Weren't Qrow (and Robyn) briefed on the plan to use the staff to evacuate Mantle and Atlas? Because if so, then why was he so distraught, calling out his nieces' names, at the sight of Atlas crashing into Mantle and the whole thing being flooded? To his knowledge, weren't Ruby and Yang already out of the city?
    • When Qrow is distraught, you can see that he's doing so over his scroll which is showing no signal being received. Presumably the scrolls could get some signal through the gateways and he learned that they were ambushed, and then the signal was terminated.

     Why Solitas? 
  • Why was Solitas appealing enough to colonize given how cold it is? I could buy the mention of the Grimm being averse to cold as a reason, but from what we’ve seen they do just fine there despite what was said. And how did nobody actually die from the heat being off/why was the heat so important if it was that easy to survive?
    • They first colonized the area because the Grimm initially couldn't survive the cold. Defense is the first priority of any settlement. The Grimm did eventually adapt to the cold but by the time Mantle and Atlas were established. They survived via using fire Dust to keep warm in the extreme cold.
     Why was Mercury even there? 
  • Why was he backstage at Amity, given that he was specifically told to lay low and anyone seeing him there would have thrown a major wrench into the plan?
    • This was already answered in the archives, but I'll repeat it here: because it wouldn't throw any wrenches into the plan. Mercury could easily kill or at least delay anyone who saw him, and he only showed himself to stop Ruby from interfering. He likely would not have shown himself unless there was a risk of someone interfering, and when he did appear, the fight was already underway between Pyrrha and Penny. He only needed to stay out of sight until the fight began, and by that point no one could stop them. Mercury only needed to keep anyone interfering with the plan busy for just long enough to let Emerald trick Pyrrha into killing Penny.
     Penny’s design 
  • Why did a robot built to be Pietro’s daughter look nothing like him?
    • That question is kind of difficult to answer, since you would have to ask Pietro, the person who designed her, why she looks like that. It could be that he intentionally made her look nothing like himself, or she was an idealized design.
    • Fanon is that Penny looks like Pietro's late wife, but the real reason is likely that when Penny was created, she was just made white because the creators saw white as the default and she's voiced by a white actress. Pietro was likely barely conceptualized by that point, and when it came time to make him a character, they'd already gotten criticism for the lack of diversity. There's some Unfortunate Implications that Youtuber Unicorn Of War pointed out of a POC hand-crafting their child to be white, especially if he intended her to be "idealized."
    • Ironwood wanted her to blend in with the rest of Remnant. Penny's appearance may have been his idea.

     Penny in general 
  • What was she even supposed to accomplish? I had seen a theory about her being made to be a host for the power of the Maidens, but that wasn’t Ironwood's plan. And why was he keeping it secret from Ozpin?
    • She was clearly a next-generation AI and android. After all, she incorporated previously unseen technology that gave her an Aura. Her whole purpose was to be a major technological advancement in terms of robotics.
    • As Cinder pointed out, the implications are horrific. She's built to blend in with humans, which is useless regarding Grimm. Given what we learned about Ironwood in the Solitas arc, his long-term plan may have been to make his own android army to control Remnant. Take Torchwick and Neo for instance: would they stand a chance against Penny, let alone a living war machine?
     Cinder’s Ship 
  • How did nobody notice it approaching Atlas if they noticed the one the heroes took?
    • We don't see them land or approach the city, so for all we know, the Atlas military did notice it, but Neo was better at getting them in undetected. The heroes took no real effort to disguise their approach beyond ditching their ship at the first opportunity, after all. RWBY and JNR were detected mostly because they stopped to fend off a horde of Grimm, which is something that Cinder and Neo wouldn't be doing.
     Phone calls 
  • If Ironwood had a kill switch installed in everyone’s Scroll during volume seven, why do they work at all in volume eight?
    • They likely got new ones during the break. They were able to meet up with the Happy Huntresses between volumes.
    • It's also likely that it wasn't a true killswitch that bricked their scrolls, but a temporary revocation of communications privileges inside Atlas' own comms network, tied to their specific scrolls. Once they were outside of Atlas and back in Mantle - which runs on its own network - they would have regained communication. This would also make sense later on, since Ironwood would have had to allow them access to communications within Atlas when he wanted to talk with them.

     Salem’s intel 
  • I can accept Cinders arm allowing Salem to keep tabs on her closely enough to know she survived the battle of Haven, but how were she and Tyrian able to find Team RNJR with global communications down?
    • Tyrian just tracked them normally from Vale. It wasn't like they were trying to hide their path or objective.
      • Then why did it take months to find them, and what exactly did he have to track them over that distance and time?
      • It took months because Tyrian had to follow them across multiple continents starting from Vale. They weren't exactly hiding their route so he would have had an easy time figuring out where they went and gathering information along the way by questioning people in Vale, getting the name and destination of whatever ship they used to get across the ocean, and then following them from village to village until he found them.
     Volume 4 Timeline 
  • If, as discussed above, Tyrian took the 6-8 months between volumes three and (most of) four to find Team RNJR, then how did Hazel and Watts get their assignments at the same time and take that long to travel to Mistral? And when exactly did Hazel and Tyrian have time to kill all those friends of Qrow’s in that time?
    • I assumed Salem's entire faction had been killing off the Mistral Huntsmen for months, possibly years before the Fall of Beacon; at least as long as they'd had Leo in their pocket, making it possible and easier to cover up.
      • On that note, did the meeting at the beginning of Volume 4 take place right after Beacon (in which case how did Watts and Hazel take so long to get where they were each going?) or closer to the rest of the Volume (In which case what were they all doing between the fall of Beacon and then?)

    Salem’s control over the Grimm 
  • If she can control them well enough to make them attack population centers (I mean how else would Ozma know she had anything to do with it if there wasn’t some kind of change after their falling out) then why couldn’t she just have the Grimm swarm Beacon back when Amber was first hidden there until any resistance was inevitably overwhelmed?
    • We've never seen Salem directly control Grimm from across the ocean, only when she's relatively close, and Salem generally doesn't leave her castle until the attack on Atlas. Cinder had to set things up for a massive Grimm swarm because Salem operates from a distance through pawns and doesn't like to do things personally.
      • Then how was she apparently making them attack settlements in a way that Ozma could trace back to her?
      • Jinn's statement that Ozma traced them back to Salem was incredibly vague and referencing a vague event that happened at a vague point in time very long ago. Without any more information there's no way to tell how he tracked them back to Salem, just that Jinn stated that he did. Most likely he just gathered information over years or decades and followed clues back to Salem.

    Why are we waiting? 
  • So Salem arrives in Atlas and waits several hours to actually attack in force. I mean I get that she needed to get the staff and Oscar, but why couldn’t she do those things during the attack?
    • The river of raw Grimm material needed to gather underneath Atlas with enough power to be able to break the hard light shield.

     So when/why did they film the speech used for the broadcast? 
  • Presumably sometime between volumes, but why did they do it when they couldn’t be sure that would even still be possible?
    • The message wasn't filmed between volumes. It was broadcast live.
      • But wasn’t there a shot of Ruby watching it?
      • From the background in the broadcast she seems to be in one of Robyn's safe houses. Ruby probably filmed it after the groups decided to split up but before sneaking up to Atlas.
     Dividing humanity by giving them a common enemy 
  • Put simply, how does Salem expect the Grimm to help with her overall goal of turning people against each other?
    • I'd bet money that the finale will involve he inadvertantly doing this, fulfilling the Gods plans. But a few things. 1. we don't know for sure she's intentionally dividing humanity, because we don't really know her endgame, but we do know Ozpin concealed facts about the tasks the Gods gave him, at least initially, so it's entirely possible she doesn't know the importance of humanity's unity. 2. Grimm existed long before her, and while we know she can command them to some extent, exterminating them or restraining all of them indefinitely is probably far beyond her. 3. Grimm can be useful for dividing humanity because even without her control they keep resources scarce by denying humanity territory, and scarce (or perceived as scarce) resources have been identified as the primary cause of war as far back as Socrates. Think of zombie fiction; people who once lived together in a society are constantly fighting each other because when the zombies have occupied all the stores and factories, a few cases of canned food are worth killing over.
    • While the Grimm are a known enemy that all humans fight against, they aren't an existential threat. They do tie up resources but as we clearly see in the setting's history, the various nations have managed to stabilize their territory and strengthen their defenses enough that the Grimm do not threaten their survival. They are a fact of life that everyone deals with and survives against, but not such a threat that they inhibit things like international relations, trade, farming, economy, politics, and culture. Nor do they inhibit international war. The Grimm are a problem, and a dangerous one, but not so dangerous as to actually unite humanity. There's a reason why Salem doesn't gather up the Grimm into massive hordes, and that's because doing so would unite humanity very swiftly if they perceived that the Grimm were no longer an external but manageable problem but an existential threat to their survival.

     Volume 4 opening 
  • So when was it relative to the rest of the Volume? Because as far as I can tell, it either took place in the aftermath of Volume 3 and Watts and Hazel each took months to get where they were going or it took place closer to the rest of the Volume and Tyrian was able to track Team RNJR across an entire continent in a matter of days. So which was it, and how are either of those things possible?
    • For the first point, transit time does take a while when there's limited movement between continents. So it could have taken Hazel and Watts time to get where they were going. Another thing to consider is that Hazel and Watts were not just going to meet with the White Fang and Raven's gang. Qrow's attempt to get Huntsmen to help him indicates that in addition to those tasks, the group had also been going around Mistral assassinating Huntsmen in addition to their "diplomacy". The story itself was also intentionally vague on travel time and who went where and what they were doing. To quote the director of Babylon 5, everyone moves at the speed of plot, which happens in a lot of fiction.

     No other way to Haven? 
  • Was there a particular reason Team RNJR couldn’t take the trains that are explicitly shown to have still been active and saved a lot of time?
    • To repeat on a similar topic brought up in the archives, there are no trains in the region that RNJR was traveling through. The only mass transit infrastructure in that wilderness were airships, and the only airship that they would have had access to was destroyed by the Grimm. The entire region is sparsely inhabited wildlands with a few scattered villages independent of Mistral itself. To compare to the real world, that area is akin to Alaska or much of Canada where the only way you can get around in the farther reaches is to fly on planes, because there is just no other infrastructure. Oscar used a train but he clearly lives in a more civilized and populated region of the continent and thus there is infrastructure to support commerce.

     Seriously, why did Cinder kill Neo? 
  • Watts was a Jerkass and a rival for Salem's attention, so it's no surprise Cinder killed him when the technological part of their plans was largely over. But why'd she kill Neo, who'd proven herself a useful asset and was largely loyal to Cinder? Sure, Cinder's a bully who just likes killing people and was probably still sore about Neo attacking her when they seemingly first met and (almost, but ultimately proving herself trustworthy if Cinder treated her well) betraying her earlier, but if she was that eager to bump off her own allies when there would no doubt be further fights ahead, wouldn't she have killed the snarky Mercury, who hasn't done much for her since Beacon, by now? Or killed Roman after she explicitly said she was dissapointed in him at the end of Volume 1, and his further use wasn't immediately obvious?
    • "You never should have threatened me." Cinder's a petty bitch, and Neo did something Cinder cannot allow: she threatened Cinder by holding the Lamp hostage until Cinder honored their agreement. Remember that while Mercury and Roman were of reduced utility to her, they still always followed her obediently and never, ever threatened her. But Neo dared to threaten Cinder, and that's enough to toss her into the void. It's an irrational and petty move, but Cinder is an irrational and petty bitch.
    • On a more logical and pragmatic note, Neo could have threatened Cinder's narrative on how she recovered the Lamp. Getting rid of Neo removes anyone else who might have known how the Lamp was recovered, and that would secure Cinder's value in Salem's eyes. Cinder didn't need to worry about cleaning house when she had Emerald, Mercury, and Roman under her thumb because they were obedient. But Neo, like Watts, was a partner, not a servant, and knew too much. Her hours were numbered the moment she helped take the Lamp.

     Cinder in the office 
Why was Cinder in Ironwood’s office if she already knew the lamp wasn’t there, and why did she feel the need to leave a calling card?
  • To scare him into sending Winter to protect the Winter Maiden, which let Cinder follow her to her target. That's why Cinder comments that Ironwood was predictable when he sends the order to Winter.

     Drawing the Grimm toward the passengers 
  • So why did the train even have those turrets? Did nobody notice that on any previous trip?
    • The turrets would presumably have been good enough to deal with minor Grimm threats. The problem was that the Lamp was drawing way more Grimm than the train and its Huntsmen guards were accustomed to fighting. In that situation, there would be too many Grimm, and they would be too powerful, for the turrets to safely destroy.
      • Meanwhile, on that note, why would Qrow expect deactivating the turrets to get rid of the Grimm they were already dealing with?
      • He never said it would. Deactivating them would have the Grimm focus on the threat they can see - the Huntsmen - instead of going after the turrets and thus attacking the cars with the passengers.

Why exactly did Ironwood station two soldiers and nothing and no one else out in a random field?
  • They were likely a patrol, and there probably were other troops in the general area that we didn't see. Keep in mind that the Grimm were not expected to break through Vale's perimeter defenses that easily and in such overwhelming numbers.

     Cinder's Slavery/Rhodes Other Options 
  • Why did Rhodes not go to the police or social services about Cinder's mistreatment by Madam, or take Cinder away himself? It seems the only two explanations are either slavery is illegal in Remnant, but adopting a child to do menial labor for no pay and torturing them if they disobey isn't and Rhodes hands were tied, or Atlas is so corrupt that a Huntsman with an all-but iron-clad case of child abuse and slavery can't do anything to help the poor girl (who isn't even a Fanaus) because the perpetrators own a single upper-class hotel with no real employees. Which explanation, if either, is likely true?
    • Neither. Rhodes may have been friends with the owner of the hotel and thus likely didn't want to anger her. This does put him in a morally gray area, of course, but Rhodes is implied to not be that good of a person, considering he was unwilling to do anything until Cinder was a legal adult. Not to mention that we don't really know how wealthy or powerful the owner of the hotel was. There's the possibility that she has wider connections and friends in the government who would sweep the whole thing under the rug.
    • Where was it implied that Rhodes was friends with Madam? Sure, he frequented the place, but it's a hotel. And outside of the Fridge Logic of Rhodes not doing more to help Cinder, how is it implied he's not a good person? Onscreen, he only ever shows compassion by helping Cinder then turning on her when she kills three people. And again, Madam doesn't seem that powerful; she runs a single upscale hotel; not a chain of them (despite Mega Corps like SDC existing in Remnant), works the desk later hours herself, and appears to have no real employees. And to help Cinder, Rhodes didn't necessarily need to get Madam convicted; just make keeping Cinder more trouble than its worth.
    • We don't really know enough about Rhodes or his relationship to be certain, I'll admit. But he was unwilling, for whatever reason, to go to the authorities, which may be explained by a connection with the hotel owner. And he is definitely not a moral and upstanding character, precisely because he doesn't appear to do anything to get Cinder out of the situation she's in beyond waiting for her to become a legal adult. He might have felt bad about her situation but he obviously didn't intervene beyond a promise to help her when she turned eighteen. It's pretty clear that, for Rhodes, getting Cinder out of her de facto slavery wasn't worth whatever it would cost him.
    • Agree to disagree as to whether we can or should extrapolate that from a character not taking a never-mentioned alternative in a fictional world. Several other people found online came to the "corrupt Atlas" or "it was legal" conclusion. Also, and this is largely semantics, but Rhodes did help her by training her in secret for years; she just wouldn't see the benefits of the training until she was eighteen. And from a storytelling perspective, Rhodes not being the hero would seem to undermine the themes. If he was a genuinely good person, Cinder's story is that she grew up abused, but when morality and kindness did show its face, she squandered the chance it gave her by stooping to her abuser's level, solidifying that Fruedian Excuse Is No Excuse and helping to explain Cinder's hatred for Huntsmen and other ostensibly moral authorities. If Rhodes was a friend to slavery who showed some compassion, but turned on her when she helped herself more than he did by killing her abusers, the story just feels less impactful or complete.
    • There are a few factors keeping Rhodes from simply taking Cinder away. The biggest problem is that she's a minor and the Madame is her legal guardian. If Rhodes tried to take Cinder to safety, he'd be arrested for kidnapping. And while we see the torture and slavery Cinder is in, Madame is careful enough to not use the shock collar in front of anyone other than her daughters. Rhodes has no real evidence of Cinder's slavery outside of Cinder's word, and Madame can twist that into Cinder exaggerating the nature of her chores and Madame's "tough but fair" discipline. Her word against theirs, and hers would hold more weight.
      • Cinder wears the shock collar, which has given her scars, at all times; it'd be relatively easy to find out what it is by examining it. Plus, Rhodes is a Huntsman i.e. a licensed agent of law enforcement, whose probably expected to give truthful testimony in various cases, so his word would probably hold a great deal of weight, even if he didn't get other hotel guests' testimony that Cinder wears a uniform and does actual staff-work in the hotel.

     Is Oscar ever gonna mention his seemingly only living relative? 
Of course, any answers here will just be speculation, but will Oscar ever contact or mention his aunt?
  • This show isn't known for having characters talk about things not immediately relevant to the current action, and as of Volume 9, cross-continental communications are down with even less ways of getting them back up that in the Atlas arc, so it seems unlikely. But then again, Volume 8 brought up Jaune cheating his way into Beacon after 7 years and we saw Glynda again after 5, so hope springs eternal that Oscar might mention her in a line or that she'll get a cameo in a montage. Then again, the latter would require RT to make a whole new character model, and even then most viewers probably wouldn't recognize her voice or Oscar's farm in the few seconds of screen-time they could afford her.
  • It's impossible to know, since we can't see into the future.

     Why was it even necessary to lie? 
  • I mean I get that Salem wanted Ruby alive, but would she really have been that upset about Cinder using the last question, given that they got the staff out of it? What questions did Salem have that would take priority over something like that?
    • This, along with her killing Neo and Watts, may have been an intentional choice to show Cinder backsliding into old habits of cynicism and Stupid Evil; she's not sure how Salem will react to her having effectively used up one supremely powerful magical artifact to get another, but is also too arrogant to imagine Salem could ever see through her lies, so Cinder tells the story that paints her in the best possible light. As for what Salem might have asked... perhaps she's Salem is smart enough to ask "how do I defeat Ozpin", perhaps she lacks the full story on the relics and their purpose and wants to ask about that, or perhaps she wants to know exactly what'll happen when she summons the Gods. Point is, there are many possible questions more important than a single relic (that was already out of its vault, meaning getting it another way would be far from impossible) she could possible want answered.
    • The need to lie is actually quite simple. Cinder was pursuing personal revenge against Ruby - putting her own desires above Salem's. That is a colossal no-no in Salem's organization. That it got Salem the Staff is largely irrelevant, what mattered is that Cinder was pursuing her own desires over those of Salem.

    Is Beacon a high school or a college? 
Like a college, Beacon:
  • (Usually) takes students seventeen or older
  • Holds lectures in halls
  • Is taught by professors rather than teachers
Like a high school, Beacon:
  • Has lockers
  • Requires students to wear uniforms
  • Seems to have most students eat in a cafeteria
So is Beacon a college with a strict uniform policy, or an Elaborate University High?
  • Neither. It's a combat training school for late teens/early adults who want to become Huntsmen and slay monsters and do other mercenary work. There isn't a real world equivalent, since we don't have schools IRL that specialize in training monster-slaying mercenaries while also providing a finishing education.

     Why not imprison Salem? 
  • I mean, since Ozma apparently created the vaults, what’s stopping him from making one for that purpose? Or using the Staff for it?
    • Doylistically? The writers saw Salem's status as an Invincible Villain with Complete Immortality as a separate concept from the vaults that hold the Macguffins. Both lead to interesting stories, they just didn't consider how the two would interact. Even if they realized that possibility, defeating Salem that way would be like Luke Skywalker killing Darth Vader; it'd solve the problem, but wouldn't match the themes.
    • Because Salem isn't just going to meekly allow herself to be shoved into a prison that can contain her. I'm sure the Vaults can contain Salem, and the Staff can likely create a prison to hold her, but that still requires getting her in said prison. And seeing as she's the most powerful person on Remnant in the modern day, that's a lot easier said than done.
      • But, as Watts’ death demonstrates, Ambrosidus can create things long-distance. Why not create a prison that way?
      • That first requires knowing where she is.
    • Hazel claims to have incapacitated Salem for several hours (though she likely wasn't resisting.) Ozpin did the same when she was. She's tough, but far from invincible, and her healing takes time, ergo: jump her, keep injuring her while she heals, and use that bought time to imprison her. Yes, easier said than done, but it's A plan; infinitely more than Ozpin, Hazel, Raven, RWBY, Ironwood or anyone else has thought of.
    • Ozpin had to use several lifetimes worth of stored energy to even incapacitate her for that long, it's not something that he can just do normally.
      • Yes, he had to sacrifice several lifetimes of stored energy, so it's not something he'll do casually, but he can and will do it to buy his current host and current companions a few hours, so would he do it for even a chance at defeating Salem for good? Absolutely. And such a method almost certainly isn't the only way to incapacitate her for a few hours. A blast like that would destroy her at an atomic level, and so would extreme heat or force. Sure, maybe that fact that it was a magic blast and her curse is magic tacked on some time, but you know what else is magic? Dust, maiden powers and semblances. Even without destroying her physically, Atlas alone has a guy who can freeze whole crowds, a woman with masterful illusion powers, and three people with the New Powers as the Plot Demands of Schnee Glyphs. They've got options.

     Why Would Ozma Want The Gods Back? 
  • Assuming Ozpin is trying to unify humanity to complete his given quest and not for its own sake... why? All the gods promised would happen if he did so and summoned them is that they would return and live among humanity again. But Ozpin should know that life with the gods (and magic, which they didn't promise to restore), wasn't utopia, or else it wouldn't have needed a hero like him (Grimm were already a thing, so were incurable diseases and wars). Creation would sometimes grant humans wishes, but never anything monumental, and Destruction has proven fully willing and able to destroy humanity on a whim. Why would Ozpin want to complete their task if it's possible rewards as so meager, and it means humanity would live with such a threat hanging over them for the rest of eternity? Does he just want to finally die, and not care what happens afterwards?
    • At this point, the only ones who can stop Salem permanently are the Brother Gods, and Salem has made it clear that she intends to keep causing chaos and dividing humanity out of spite, not to mention she likely intends to summon the Gods back herself if she gets her hands on all the Relics. So it's a better option for Oz to do the summoning on his terms with the conditions of the Gods met, rather than keep letting Salem do what she pleases and potentially getting humanity wiped out again, this time permanently.
    • Fair enough. But whether having Salem around is any worse than having the Gods around largely depends on the assumption Salem really is invincible and will keep fighting for eternity (see above or Just Eat Gilligan), and that the Gods are any more predictable or easier to please than Salem is to keep at bay.
    • I don't see why they would be any worse, and I think people are overselling just how bad the Brother Gods are. Before Salem's actions, they were content to just wait in their domains, and occasionally granting favors to those who asked. It was only when Salem lied to and led an army against the Brothers that the God of Darkness wiped out humanity. Yes, that was certainly an overreaction on his part, but the point remains that you actually have to go out of your way to deliberately piss them off before the Gods will actually be angry enough to wipe out everyone.
      • Salem may or may not want to destroy humanity, but she can't do it on a whim. The God Of Destruction may not want to at any given moment, but he certainly can, so it's a tradeoff. As for the Gods originally being docile; true, but one has to consider that even if Ozpin wins their little game, they're not just going to forget how Salem proved Humans Are Flawed. That they'll get pissed off again, deliberately or otherwise, is a very real possibility, especially when this world has people like Cinder, Tyrian, Watts and Jax Asturias, able and willing to do massive damage for the pettiest of reasons.