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Headscratchers for RWBY.

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     Salem's use of 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.
  • 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.
    • 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.

     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.
    • 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 they have little to lose and a lot to potentially gain by asking them (especially with the "prove she's an omnicidal maniac" thing.) Not to mention, even learning what Salem promised each of her generals is potentially invaluable insight into the enemy's psychology and desires that could be used to bribe or deceive them. Plus, knowing Salem's backstory and having access to Oscar, the heroes have more, though still limited ability to figure out if any supposed goal of Salem is true.
  • 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 humanity is united, believing they will finally kill her afterwards, and he freely volunteers this info to Hazel and Emerald. Given he also seemed to tell Qrow and Raven this, it's probable he told the heroes the same thing before the train crash (if the topic even came up). If and why the heroes continue believing him after the vision, given they know he lies to them and Jinn's visions didn't indicate that was Salem's goal, remains unknown.
    • 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)
    • It seems pretty simple when you look at the mechanics of the Grimm. They're scary and want to kill people. That knowledge breeds a kind of existential fear in people. But seeing Grimm every day all around, eventually you start to get desensitized to them. You still fear them on an intellectual level because they're dangerous, but that's different from the emotion of fear, which is a negative emotion that may attract Grimm. It's the same reason that monsters in horror movies become less frightening when you fully get to see them, and why good horror movies build up the suspense by keeping half or all of the monster shrouded in the darkness for a lot of the beginning. Fear of the unknown is very powerful, because once you can see something, it becomes easier for the brain to judge what you're dealing with and the fear is lessened. By getting people more comfortable with the presence of fake Grimm and more familiar with what they look like, they stop being an existential threat for the citizens and become a known quantity, thus reducing the negative emotions associated with them and lowering the risk of Grimm attacks.

     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?
    • Some fans claim that Penny's body isn't subject to the "one creation at a time" limitation because it wasn't specifically requested; RWBY asked him to create a new robot body for Penny sepperate from her soul. And since sepperating a soul from its body kills the person, which would violate his rule against destruction, he needed to create a new, human body to put the soul in. There are a few problems with this, though: 1. If creating the human body was the only way to accomplish the given task, then it was requested, just semi-indirectly, and should be subject to the rules. 2. They told him to "get creative." which could also count as a request. 3. If Ambrosius is such a Benovolent Genie that he can be convinced to make creations not subject to his rules so easily, then he's even more OP than he's already seen as. 4. Sepperating Penny's soul from her body shouldn't count as destruction; since the soul and the body will both continue to exist (we know there's an afterlife in this universe), and even if one didn't, her death is just a side effect that would happen after he's done using his powers, just like how fire he creates can destroy things, or how Penny's new human body would die eventually. 5. If he can take a living being apart, he's a powerful weapon even if said process can't directly cause the being's death; ask him to make a non-immortal body that contains Salem's soul. Or have him make a sculpture out of all of Cinder's non-essential organs.

     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.
    • Actually, Jinn's narration states that Ozpin concluded he needed to destroy Salem for humanity to ever by united. Granted, that was before Jinn told him he couldn't destroy Salem, but given Jinn doesn't state he changed his plans after that, and he says he has no plan to defeat Salem (when even stating his end goal would have helped defuse the situation,) it seem like he really does see things at a perpetual stalemate i.e. has no plan.

     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?
    • Leo passed the information on all Mistralian Huntsmen to Salem, whose subordinates hunted them down and killed them. There are very few good quality Huntsmen left in the kingdom, which is why the Volume 6 train was "scraping the bottom of the barrel" by hiring Dee and Dudley. Nora indicates their decision is based on the fact that Vacuo has an enormous amount of Huntsmen that will be needed when a kingdom's worth of negativity lands on their doorstep. It's not a plan without problems, and it had to be constructed in less than an hour because of Ironwood's deadline, while using exact wording and blueprints because of how the Relic of Creation functions. The theme of the show, and of the Atlas Arc in particular, has been about the lack of good options that exist. Fandom debates about the pros and cons of using Vacuo have covered subjects such as:
    • Pros: Fully functional academy and lots of Huntsmen (Shade took a serious beating in the spin-off novels, but not as bad as Beacon, the the characters don't know with CCT down); a still-functioning Vault; Salem hasn't attacked it yet; it's got space for a kingdom's worth of evacuees to set up.
    • Cons: Atlas and Vacuo have bad blood; Vacuo struggles to support its own population in terms of infrastructure, food, water, and Dust; Vacuo has very dangerous wildlife on top of Grimm; Salem will be attacking it in the future.
    • According to voiced storyboards shown at RTX, we now have a semi-canon update on the situation in Vacuo. 1. Somehow, most everyone got out of the sandstorm and Grimm horde seen and made it to Shade. 2. Shade is surrounded by a city with walls, so the civilians won't be totally reliant on the huntsmen to fend of Grimm or Salem's attack. 3. There are food and housing shortages, but no one appears to be starving. Basically, the situation's bad, but dropping them off in the desert doesn't appear to have mattered, and sending them to Vacuo didn't condemn everyone to starvation and thirst, followed by an onslaught of Grimm who could just go around the huntsmen to walk right up to the civilians.
    • This raises a broader question about huntsmen's effectiveness; a huntsman is good for killing a single grimm, good for bodyguarding one or a few mobile people, and probably can even competently protect a small group of people from a small group of grimm - since while Grimm have limited self-preservation instincts, the fight on the train suggests they will prioritize apparent threats - but guarding a large group of people from a large group of grimm? You need a wall (preferably one with a turret on top) for that, because even the best Huntsman can't distract all the Grimm or kill them fast enough.
     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?
  • 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.
  • There's actually a line from Ironwood that suggests Torchwick wasn't (just) held in solitary confinement, but he might have preferred to have been. Ironwood says he'll be kept in the brig and subject to "Military Interrogation Techniques." So no word on how he crapped or bathed or why they never changed his clothes, but he was presumably kept on the brig to skirt jurisdictional and possible human rights issues, and whatever long-term trauma he might have had if he lived long after getting out, he got enough stimulation in the intervening time to not Go Mad from the Isolation.
     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.
    • 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?)

    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.
    • True, Roman and Mercury never threatened her, but Neo didn't just previously threaten Cinder; she tried to kill her, but Cinder forgave that to team up with her ('make the spiders work for you'). As for potentially blackmailing Cinder; Neo had also betrayed Salem by stealing the lamp, and conveniently gave Cinder photographic evidence of having done so, so Neo couldn't try to rat out Cinder to Salem without Cinder (who would have plausible deniability and is more useful to Salem) doing the same.
    • I'm pretty sure Cinder was just waiting for an opportunity to off Neo when she was no longer useful and an opportune moment presented itself. After all, Revenge Before Reason has been a big element of Cinder's personality up until this point. She's only gotten better at suppressing her desire for petty vengeance until she can get away with it. She's willing to put aside grudges until she doesn't need the person she hates. She did it with Watts, and she did it with Neo. Remember that Cinder is, again, a petty and evil bitch and, underneath the veneer of stability, mentally unstable. She offed Neo at that moment not for entirely logical reasons, but because she was pissed off at Neo and the opportunity to get rid of her presented itself.
    • The degree to which killing Watts was pragmatic also shouldn't be overstated; they were rivals for Salem's approval, but Cinder doesn't really want Salem's approval; she wants power (to overthrow Salem). Therefore, it shouldn't matter that much if Watts lives and remains Salem's favorite; the main sources of power Cinder can get are Maiden powers, which Salem couldn't give to Watts even if she wanted to, and the relics, which Salem might prefer to have Watts use (if she'd let any subordinate use them), but Cinder could probably steal a relic and kill Watts if he got in her way pretty easily. Cinder's was just being petty and shortsighted, and Mercury should probably be looking over his shoulder now that Cinder's seen Emerald defect and knows she can't trust even her seemingly most obedient lackeys.

     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. I suppose we know he stayed at an openly racist hotel at least once (before gaining an altruistic reason for doing so,) but the show calls no attention to that, and it just means he's not boycotting such a business (a perfectly defensible ethical position, especially if the practice is common.) 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, Rhodes didn't just promise to help Cinder when she turned 18, he trained her in secret for years; an obviously not insignificant investment of time, effort, and possibly money for extra hotel stays that presumably risked landing him in hot water, because otherwise why do it secretly? 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.
      • As for the "kidnapping" issue: no one knew Rhodes and Cinder were associated in any way. If Cinder dissappeared one day, Madame would almost certainly assume she'd found a way to take the collar off and ran away. Even if Madame was willing to risk exposure to get back a disobedient slave by reporting Cinder's disappearance, the search for her probably wouldn't be very thorough (couldn't be any moreso than the one for the most obvious person of interest in a quadruple homicide Cinder walked away from despite having no experience living in the real world). Even if someone spotted Cinder and Rhodes together and made the connection, Rhodes could just say he's a huntsman returning a runaway child, and later on that she gave him the slip and he doesn't know where she went.
    • Word of God (Eddy Rivas, the "lorekeeper" and writer supervisor) says that Rhodes was unaware of the situation Cinder was truly in, and says that he holds some of the blame for how Cinder turned out. Presumably, that means Rhodes was aware of the verbal abuse and tough labor but not the shock collar... but how could it never have come up in the years they trained together? And why then did he have no evident reaction to seeing it used on Cinder as she killed Madame?

     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.
    • Also, while we know the vaults can keep Salem out, and seemingly the only way to access pocket dimensions like the Relic accessed is using the Relic, we can't be sure how either would work keeping something inside. The Maiden Vaults could work on deadbolt rules; easy to open from the inside. (But this raises the question of why Ozpin would make the vaults like this, if only because it'd be an exploitable weakness.) The Ever After also complicates Relic creation's ability to contain things. Can Ozpin or the relics create indestructible constructs? Could either create an extra-dimensional vault with a ground and a door that locks equally on both ends? Seems like it, but we can't know for sure, and the heroes don't seem interested in brainstorming, nor thought to ask the nigh-omniscient lamp questions any more useful than ''How do I do what literal Gods have said shouldn't happen?" before they lost it.
    • For that matter, given we know Salem can be incapacitated for a few hours by conventional damage, why not ask Ironwood to tell the Altas corps of engineers to build some device that will reduce a captured Salem to atoms every 30 or so minutes? Such a system would probably require constant monitoring, occasional maintenance, and the use of finite resources (though maybe using the Relic of Creation's unlimited energy would save Dust), and still wouldn't be foolproof, but the same could be said of other creations like a floating city, the Maiden Vaults, and the CCT system that Ozpin has no problem trusting in his mission (all only need to work long enough for Ozpin to complete his task of unifying humanity. And if finding Salem is the issue, you have the Relic of Knowledge.)

     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 implied they would, but 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? Was he just raised to be religiously devoted to the Gods as a child?
    • 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), and that the Gods are any more predictable or easier to please than Salem is to keep at bay. Also, didn't the flashbacks imply that Ozpin's original plan was to unify humanity with Salem's help i.e. he decided on the objective before Salem was an issue?
    • 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.
    • There's also the question of the gods' true desires; they claim they want to see humanity united to prove its worthiness, but the battle that made them curse Salem started because Darkness felt he was appreciated more than his brother, and exterminated humanity when it united in opposition to them, suggesting that they conflate worthiness and unity with worship of them, or at least have a deep-seated need for human's appreciation. This reveals them to be even more dangerous because if Ozpin succeeds, he'll be bringing the gods back to a world in no way prepared to worship them; humanity could easily learn about the terrible things the gods have done, and according to supplementary material, Remnant has multiple religions and even those who do believe in the brothers think Darkness is a being of pure evil.
    • There's nothing in-show suggesting the heroes want to summon the Gods. They are, in fact, fully capable of doing so, but they don't, likely for those exact reasons. Their entire goal is to keep the Relics separated forever, both so that Salem can't summon the Gods and so that the Gods don't destroy Remnant.
      • We know Ozpin wants to summon the Gods from Jinn's visions, but only after humanity is unified (the problem is, as stated, that's no guarantee of things improving). The current group of heroes haven't discussed the issue one way or another, so we don't know their thoughts on the matter, but they still might have accepted Ozpin's overarching goal, and not just summoned the Gods yet because humanity isn't yet unified and they've only ever had access to, at most, two relics at a time. And if RWBY and the others don't want the gods to ever be summoned but Ozpin does, then they have a serious problem, because no matter how much they may rebel, Ozpin, being the only immortal, has the final say on the issue.
    • It's possible that the time before humanity's decimation was meant to be a Golden Age of sorts - everyone having magic and having gods around to give favors or advice sounds pretty sweet on paper, especially if you're religious. Go L does say that without their presence, humanity will be a fraction of what it once was, and that upon their return "humanity will be made whole again," which most likely refers to magic, but could mean some other benefit the old world had over Remnant. But the number of flaws that had to exist in the world for the story to happen added up until it no longer seemed that way.

     Tai and Ironwood 
  • How we’re they able to even contact each other in regards to Yang’s arm with the CCT down?
     No emotional attachment? 
  • Even after possessing Neo, the Curious Cat isn't able to pass through the door into Remnant. They claim it's because their host has no emotional connection to Remnant, no reason to want to go back. But Neo did have at least one reason, to take revenge on Cinder. She initially blamed Cinder for Roman's death before being redirected at Ruby. Then she wanted to take revenge for being backstabbed by Cinder in the Void Between the Worlds. We see her shapeshift into Cinder and Ruby briefly in her first appearance in the Ever After to give us a clue what Neo was thinking about. Wouldn't that be an emotional attachment to Remnant?
    • She just learned how meaningless and empty revenge was, that was what made her vulnerable to the Cat's possession in the first place. Therefore, she doesn't want revenge on Cinder and thus, no emotional attachment to Remnant. Roman was the only person she cared about and he's long dead.

    Neo's random Trivia 
  • How did Neo know about Penny dying in Atlas?
    • "Penny", thus Neo, reasoned that Penny died since last she saw, Penny was fighting the homicidal Cinder and there's no sign of her in the Ever After.
  • For that matter, how did she know Ironwood died? Or Lionheart? Or any of the people in her tea party?
    • For Pyrrha and Ozpin, being stuck with Cinder for so long would mean that Cinder would eventually brag about killing the "usurper" for her power and one of the most powerful men in the world. For Lionheart, it was made public that he died in the attack on Haven, though the cover story is that he died defending the school from the White Fang. For Clover, she would have heard Tyrian's report of events to Salem, and he loves detailing how he kills or hurts people. For Ironwood, Neo was working with Cinder and Watts on their masterstroke to kill the heroes and take the Relics. She knew Atlas was doomed and the General would "go down with the ship".
      • Ironwood would have to be a lucky guess on her part, because they had no specific plan to kill Ironwood, and being Atlas' military leader, he could be assumed to have every motivation and opportunity to escape the general disaster. She might as well have shown Qrow, Robin or the Ace Ops, who were also in Atlas as it fell, and Cinder and Watts would certainly kill if given the chance. Or Winter, Ren and Nora, who hadn't left the portal area before Neo fell. The writer's were at least somewhat aware of the Fourth Wall Myopia, given Vine wasn't at the party.

    Enough hope to fill this jar 
  • Shouldn’t Ruby’s teammates have realized she was in a worse place than it seemed at the auction, when it was pretty clearly demonstrated she had seemingly no hope left?
    • They were probably stuck on the question of how you're supposed to fill a jar with hope to think that Ruby was literally hopeless.
    • It may be that they thought of it as a temporary thing, that Ruby was just feeling "down", instead of realizing that it was a sign of how utterly BROKEN she was by everything.

    The fallen victims of Atlas 
  • We know that hundreds of citizens from both Atlas and Mantle are shown falling down the void along with Team RWBY, Jaune and Neo during the panic and chaos. But why didn't they make it into the Ever After with the named characters? I don't even recall that ever being brought up once.
    • Most likely they died without active Aura.
    • Also, there weren't "hundreds." There were at most about a dozen or so, and they were likely killed by pressure waves, heat, and shrapnel caused by Cinder's attacks.
    • Word of God confirmed that they were killed by the attack.

     But Ozpin can destroy Salem. 
  • How can Jinn say Ozpin can't destroy Salem if we know there's one way he can be directly responsible for her death: summoning the gods and somehow convincing them to do it? Jinn didn't use any Exact Words bullshit when answering team RWBY's question, and if she is being that literal, how can Ozpin know there's not a weapon or superpower on Remnant that can do it? Maybe both of them understood that Ozpin meant "with the means available to me on Remnant," but summoning the gods is still within those means, and even if he summons the Gods before humanity is unified, that doesn't mean he won't be able to convince them to destroy Salem. The rules for Jinn state she can't see the future, but she clearly knows about the gods and their power, and that they are sentient beings who can be convinced to do certain things.
    • If Ozpin summons the Brothers and they choose to destroy Salem, then they're the ones killing her and not him, and that's assuming he can convince them to do it. He might not be able to do it; indeed, if Jinn says Ozpin can't destroy Salem that might well mean that any attempt by Ozpin to convince the Brothers to kill her is invariably doomed to failure. It should also be noted that we've only seen Jinn answer three questions onscreen, and that's not really a good sample size to determine if she does use Exact Words or not. It's even explicitly discussed in the show itself that Jinn used Exact Words when she said that Ozpin can't destroy Salem, so it's clear that the writers are leaving that interpretation of her words as a possibility.
      • But again; not only would Ozpin convincing the Gods to kill Salem count as him killing her by any reasonable interpretation, but if simply adding another sentient being to the equation makes it not Ozpin destroying Salem in Jinn's eyes, then Jinn's answer doesn't rule out that there's someone with a power on Remnant who could kill Salem (or maybe even a weapon, since you could say it's the weapon that's killing Salem.) Jinn also can't see the future and thus can't know if Ozpin can or cannot convince the Gods, unless her omniscience of the present and past allows her to make perfect predictions down to what sentient beings will do in any possible scenario, in which case she can seen the future. So either Jinn's answer was untruthful, or seriously unhelpful and not worth obsessing over.
      • As for the Exact Words issue; Jinn also told Cinder exactly what she wanted to know when Cinder asked about what RWBY's planned; she didn't show them a past plan or one step of their larger plan. Not a huge sample size, sure, but in two out of three cases Jinn has been a Benevolent Genie despite the questions being vague enough to invite innumerable unhelpful or misleading answers, one is inconclusive, so she's not being written as a Literal Genie (or rather, Jackass Genie as she would have to be to give such a misleading answer, given doing something and doing something alone are two very different concepts.) Not to mention, we see Ozpin asked Jinn many questions over the centuries, and while we don't see the answers, Ozpin did, and would presumably know exactly how Jinn worked, and wouldn't have asked such a narrowly-worded question if there was a chance Jinn would interpret it poorly. And even within the Exact Words, Ozpin could convince the gods to remove Salem's curse, then destroy her himself.

     How does Ascension usually work? 
  • We saw it with the Herbalist and Ruby, but the former was forced by the Curious Cat and the latter was an extremely atypical case in general. More to the point, why did the Paper Pleasers need to go to all that trouble to Ascend? Jaune was stopping their suicide attempts, but what was he doing to prevent them from ascending however they were supposed to?
    • Perhaps the ground opening up is a default method and won't work for certain people. The Pleasers are meant to beautify the land, and opening up giant cracks in the ground goes against that, hence they need a different way to Ascend.

     How Do I Defeat Salem? 
  • Why didn't Ozpin or some other character ask the Lamp "how can I defeat Salem permanently?" or something similar before they lost it? The obvious Watsonian and Doylistic explanations are that the characters are victims of tunnel vision, and the writers are setting up an Exact Words twist. But as soon as the vision is over, Ruby asks Ozpin how he plans to defeat Salem, meaning she understands the difference between defeat and destruction, and the show doesn't intend such a distinction to be obscured. Ozpin himself also seems to understand it, given his reply isn't "Jinn just told you that was impossible." They have limited uses for the lamp, but such a question would have to be asked sooner or later (preferably sooner, and with Ozpin present so the answer is immortalized). Then there's the question of whether Jinn even can give such strategic advice, given her inability to see the future. But if that's the case, then "you can't" was the only meaningful answer she could have given to Ozpin's question, since he could potentially fail any given method of destroying Salem.
  • For that matter, why didn't the heroes make more use of the Lamp while they had it? They could have used it to learn who was (Watts) and wasn't (Ironwood) in league with Salem or what the bad guys plans were. Each answer would only be 100% accurate up to it's point of statement, but that still provides a wealth of information, and Salem doesn't seem to change her plans without some major success or failure. And yes, they have limited uses for the lamp, but this is clearly a crisis situation where such intel could prove the difference between defeat and victory, and Qrow, at the very least, should understand that "use em or lose em" applies in such a situation. Plus, if they do use up all the lamp's questions, it getting stolen (as they knew was a real possibility) is significantly less of a problem.
    • They were probably put off from using the lamp given that the one answer they got doubled as a psychological sucker punch.
      • Setting aside of how immature it would be to stop using such a vital resource because of one emotionally bad experience (and they didn't seem eager to distance themselves from it), was their experience with it really that bad? Ruby got to use it to save a city thanks to Loophole Abuse that Jinn allowed, and when they asked it a question, Jinn gave them Ozpin's full backstory, which revealed some scary truths, but was effectively what they wanted out of the lamp. And their collective arc in Volume 6 was about acknowledging the scary truths of their situation, and deciding to fight anyways, so why would they avoid more information from the lamp if it might save countless lives?
      • Well there’s also the fact that they only have one use available before having to wait a century for any more. That’s not something to use lightly.
      • Not to be used lightly, but again, definitely to be used in a crisis like this, since again, using all the questions makes it less useful to the enemy if stolen, and the answers could prove the only reason the world even lasts another 100 years. Also, didn't they have two left after they asked the first? (now down to one thanks to Cinder, but that's a moot point now since her having it means they can't ask any questions, and wouldn't have been possible if they'd used all the questions and/or used the lamp to prepare for Cinder and Neo.)
      • When Ruby first used it, Jinn said she had two questions left before Ruby asked what Ozpin was hiding. If I had to guess, Ozma must have used one for information about some aspect of how he sealed the relics away.

     Salem's Curse 
  • The God of Light told Salem "You must learn the importance of life and death. Only then may you rest," which rather decisively states that her curse has a win-condition, and doesn't need to be lifted by the Gods' direct intervention. So why wasn't her curse lifted when she began trying to kill herself? She clearly appreciated life beforehand, and wouldn't desperately want death if she hadn't come realize its importance. Or what about in the present, assuming Ozpin is right that she wants to die because she's just tired of living? What other possible understandings of "the importance of life and death" besides "if there's no death, you'll never see your loved ones again" or "you'd get bored" could there be that she either hasn't already achieved, but her curse could feasibly help teach her? (Only she is immortal, so it won't teach her the dangers of overpopulation, and she still lacks any cosmic insight the Gods might have.)
    • The curse was put on her in response to getting Ozma resurrected. Now that we know the Brothers' origin, the importance probably ties back into the logic behind the Ascension process in the Ever After, a process of renewal and improvement. While it was tragic for Salem to lose Ozma, she also had the chance to do things she couldn't do if she were still attached to him, but threw that away because she was obsessed with maintaining a status quo that she liked. Another way to phrase it is the moral from Red vs Blue Season 10:
      Agent Carolina: You need to let go. Your past doesn't define who you are. It just gives you the starting point for who you're going to be.
      • But she's clearly moved on from Ozma now, at least in regards to mourning him or wanting him back. Sure, she's not wholly psychologically detached from him, doubtlessly hating him as an enemy and obstacle and probably still holding lingering feelings of betrayal, but how is becoming psychologically detached from someone the same as "the importance of life and death?" Is it that, when someone dies, you can detach from them emotionally and become a whole new person? That sort of works, even if the person not staying dead skews it (and it Salem really does want to die, then I'd say she's very much changed as a person even if she is still selfish. Plus, a person doesn't need to die for you to detach emotionally from them) but Light's words implied it was about "balance."
    • While we can only theorize over what the God of Light actually wanted Salem to learn, what matters most is that she doesn't want to learn that, and even though she's changed a lot, she's still incredibly stubborn and selfish. Almost all of her actions depicted in the show serve only two purposes: to get whatever she wants (including Ozma), and to get back at those who wronged her (primarily the gods, and later Oz). She did appreciate life while she could get what she wanted, and her attempts to kill herself are just the means to defy the gods (especially since she knows they're not omniscient) by having her curse undone on her own terms, not the result of her realizing the importance of death. Plus, her callously throwing literally everyone else under the bus clearly shows she hasn't learnt the importance of life either.
    • Point, but even without Salem looking for it, observations like these can inform us (and the characters) about her curse. And all the obvious "answers to the riddle" being ruled out means her curse's solution is either extremely esoteric or not normally possible, which informs us about the characters and themes.

     Neo’s Powerup 
  • Two questions: one, why did just being in the Ever After make Neo’s Semblance so much more powerful, and two, where did she get the tea later on and how did she know anything about it or how Ascension works?
    • Her sheer determination to kill Ruby unlocked her upgrade, though we can speculate that it was something about that side of the Ever After, since no one else went there. As for her knowledge, either she was following the gang more closely than we thought or she assimilated the Jabberwalker's knowledge when she assimilated the beast itself.

     Ozpin's "No Plan" 
  • Leading on from a question above, what's Ozpin's goal, or rather, strategy? From the flashbacks, we learned he decided to unify humanity, then summon the Gods to complete his given task. When Salem broke bad, he decided that Salem had to die for humanity to ever be unified. Then Jinn told him killing Salem was impossible. Now, in the present, he says he has no plan to defeat Salem. Does this mean he only has a goal of "unify humanity and summon the gods, after which, they will presumably kill Salem themselves, or she'll at least be no longer a threat since humanity's worthiness is no longer in question?" That is a plan insomuch as it is a a strategy, and he has tactics to complete it as well (the maiden vaults, his secret society, tech like the CCT), so he does have a plan. Or does he mean he sees things as at a perpetual stalemate, since unifying humanity without killing Salem is impossible and Salem is impossible to kill? If so, why would he still believe the former premise, given the backstory showed he's competent enough at manipulating Remnant's politics and thwarting Salem's efforts that he as able to pass up a potential opportunity to unify humanity by becoming king after the Great War, and there's been 80 years of relative peace (maintained, against Salem, only by his tiny secret society) since then?
    • Well for one thing there are still issues like discrimination against the Faunus (and the White Fang and their actions by extension) and criminals like Roman, Neo and the Branwens, so humans are still fighting amongst themselves (the fact that that wasn’t why the gods actually left notwithstanding).
      • The question isn't "why hasn't he summoned the Gods yet?" (even without those examples, four different countries doesn't scream "unity.") It's "what is current goal?" What was meant by bringing up his chance to become king of the world was that putting all people under one flag would count as unity by some definitions, and him getting such a chance proves he is really good at controlling Remnant's politics, and the fact that he didn't summon the gods then suggests he expects to see an even more unified humanity in the future. Ergo, Salem isn't an insurmountable obstacle to unifying humanity, which is, itself, possible. And while the gods didn't give specific criteria for what "unified" entails, and Faunus discrimination should hopefully (and could feasibly) be gotten rid of if one wants the world as unified as possible - not just politically unified and no major conflicts - before summoning the gods, presumably a few bandit tribes and criminal gangs existing aren't enough to make humanity fail the challenge; even if the Gods are unreasonable enough to think that its possible to get rid of them entirely, Ozpin should know it isn't, and clearly doesn't consider regular crime a problem he must solve first, or else he'd see his task as impossible and have given up.
    • One potentially important detail is that the God of Light never technically said humanity needed to be united, just not fighting amongst themselves and having put aside their differences. Jinn says Ozpin sees his mission as uniting humanity, but that could just be shorthand for the actually stated objective. This might explain why Ozpin didn't make himself King after the great war and has since focused on more realistic methods to lasting world peace (monarchies tend to have succession crises), but also means that he's even closer to victory than initially believed, since there's been 80 years of lasting peace and Faunus discrimination is probably his only roadblock besides Salem.
      • Hell, during volumes 6 and 7, including the point in time when Ozpin said he had no plan, he'd possibly already won,: all four relics were accessible, and the Belladonna's usurping of the White Fang ended the only major violent conflict on Remnant note  Faunus discrimination was still a thing, and God of Light said "set aside your differences," but one assumes that's only in the context of the next line "no longer fighting amongst yourselves," otherwise you're at best making guesses as to the Gods' senses of social justice, at worst, seeking to create a culturally homogenous world (also likely impossible and immoral.) Yes, hummanitys continued existence being at stake warrants caution, but the threat Salem poses makes not summoning the gods when you have a pretty good, but temporary chance of passing their test a great risk, too, and the point remains that Ozpin seriously sells himself short, or Salem high. And if Ozpin does want the world he presents to the Gods to be the safest bet possible, why did he pass up the chance to create a singular government and give himself more direct control over the project after the Great War?
    • Doylistically, this is all is probably the result of two different visions of Ozpin's character. Earlier seasons established a largely peaceful world for various reasons, and characterized Ozpin as an intelligent, largely benevolent immortal. The writers also made the latter responsible for the former which, in isolation, seems smart writing. But in Vol 6, they decided to pull the rug out from under the audience and characters by revealing Ozpin doesn't know what he's doing, even though they'd shown and implied too much that contradicted that. In-universe, Ozpin probably never believed he could unify humanity with Salem around, and thus has no plan beyond maybe a perpetual stalemate, even though his backstory doesn't make sense in context of him believing that, and him believing that doesn't make sense in the context of his backstory.

     Hazel and Tyrian 
  • So did Tyrian just never mention the fact that Salem wants to destroy the world before despite how freely he offers that information when Emerald and Mercury are discussing it in volume eight? I mean I could see the rest of the group being used to disregarding a lot of what he says because he’s insane, but Hazel never even mentions having heard that before when Oscar brings it up.
    • The simple answer is probably a form of Offscreen Inertia; Emerald and Mercury discussed their motivations for seemingly the first time in Vol 6 despite having worked and lived together for years by that point. Likewise, since they were never shown discussing their motivations with Tyrian (or with Tyrian in earshot), it didn't happen in-universe until it was shown.
    • Even if they could brush Tyrian off, the mere introduction of the idea that Salem might want to destroy the world should probably be enough to get them to question their loyalties, considering A. If Salem told Tyrian this, it means she lies to her followers, so how to they know she'd not lying to them? and B. From their POV, there'd be an awful lot of evidence backing Tyrian's claim: They know nothing about Salem's origins, which means next to no theory (she's the God of Darkness, she's an alien, she's the Grimm parody of humanity in the same way most Grimm are twisted parodies of other animals, and just got immortality instead of multiple incarnations) could be ruled out, but do know she looks like a Grimm, controls Grimm, and all their efforts so far, besides getting the relics, have been focused on destruction of people and infrastructure i.e. the things they will supposedly rule over once they're done, with no actual power-building.
  • Come to think of it, did Ozpin not tell Hazel that Salem is an Omnicidal Maniac (albeit one with different methods and motivations) back when Hazel was on his side, like he seemingly told Qrow, Raven, and probably his other council members and the current heroes?
    • I personally never got the impression that Hazel ever worked directly for Ozpin, for one.
      • Details are indeed sketchy, but he almost certainly had some greater knowledge of events than the public even before meeting Salem, given his sister's death (unremarkable in Remnant) somehow lead to a confrontation with her and and "we're fighting a being who wants to destroy the world" is pretty much the lede of Ozpin's entire secret society and mission that anyone even remotely in the know would learn first.
     Logistics of a Flying City 
  • Would an elevated Atlas be entirely self-sufficient, as it would have to be to be a practical solution to Salem? Even being as generous as possible, it doesn't seem like they'd last more than a few decades. We saw potential farmland outside the walls (though probably not enough to feed thousands.) Maybe the force-fields could create an artificial atmosphere to allow them to go higher than the highest-flying Grimm could breathe, and they'd configure some method of collecting rainwater without compromising their atmosphere. And maybe the Staff of Creation could foot the energy bill for the forcefields and their electricity as well as keeping them afloat. But even recycling as well as possible, their technology would get damaged beyond repair and without it, they'd fall out of the sky, right? Now, I can almost understand Ironwood being so shortsighted in his plans, but they say one of Ozma's incarnations came up with it.
    • Apart from the staff, which doesn’t need any kind of maintenance, explicitly being what keeps the city airborne, they probably have food and materials shipped from Mantle and/or the other kingdoms as needed. You’re not the first to note that Ironwood completely cutting them off would probably end badly.
      • I was referring to Ironwood/Ozma's plan to raise the city even higher, which would leave them unable to receive supplies from Mantle or other kingdoms (because Salem's forces could destroy supply ships, even if the ships could fly that high). Such concerns of supplies are arguably the #1 question of siege warfare, and a plan that doesn't account for them should be thrown out out of hand. Also, while the Staff supplies the energy, doesn't Atlas actually turn that energy into lift through conventional machines (which would be subject to mechanical failures)?
    • As I recall Ironwood specifically said initially putting the city in the sky was Ozma’s idea but he was going to take it further.
      • Ironwood says "it was Oz's plan in a former life, but he didn't take it far enough. If we harness etc." This likely means that Oz's original idea was simply to raise the city very high and make it more defensible, as opposed to Ironwood's idea of taking it into the upper atmosphere and seemingly staying there for good. If this is true, Oz's plan would possibly leave it easier to resupply the city, but also easier to attack it. Ironwood's plan would make doing either effectively impossible. But this means that Ironwood is probably incompetent (not just callous or paranoid) military leader of the millennia if he's willing to even consider a plan of defense that completely cuts you off from supplies. Unless he's banking on the rest of the world being being able to deplete Salem's forces enough to where it's safe to come down. But if Ironwood doesn't think the most technologically advanced army in history can do that, why would he think the other kingdoms can?
      • He didn’t fully think the idea through. It’s a bit of a theme with the character. His answer to everything involves a “triumphant display of military bravado,” regardless of how good an idea that may be.
      • A triumphant display of military bravado would have meant attacking Salem's forces; this is a display of scientific retreat, if not cowardice, suggesting he's just incompetent all around.
      • But while the decision to go through with the plan was made in a time of crisis, the plan wasn't, and so had time to be rationally thought through and summarily dismissed. Was he struck with panic-induced-idiocy/desperation that he drudged up an idea from a planning session years ago and forgot the obvious and inescapable reasons it was dismissed?
      • I don’t remember it being mentioned that it was ever discussed before, but if it was it may have been assumed that they’d be able to wait the enemy out and eventually come down. It might have been approved in that case, but whoever came up with it in that scenario probably didn’t anticipate an organized siege by Grimm lead by an immortal witch.

     Salem's Priorities in Regards to Ruby 
  • If Salem ordered Ruby captured alive because she wanted make Ruby into another Hound (which IIRC, the show treats as the answer to this plot-thread), then why didn't Salem rescind the order after Tyrian failed? After that, it should have been clear that capturing Ruby wasn't going to be easy, and forcing your soldiers to pull their punches when dealing with an enemy leader with a superpower especially dangerous to your faction is an obvious recipe for failure. And even accepting that Hounds are as effective as they're supposed to have come across in Vol 8, Salem already has at least one of them, and between them and another human soldier is a tradeoff at best, so how is getting a new one now, after you're waging war openly, any kind of priority?
    • Concievably to torment Ozpin by breaking his “simple soul.”
      • That seems WMG at best; while the Hound reveal doesn't outright disprove such a motivation, it doesn't give it much validation because it gives Salem a theoretical pragmatic reasons for having wanted Ruby alive, and places the focus on her Silver Eyes, not her innocence (and honestly, turning Ruby into a Hound and making Ozpin fight or kill her probably isn't the worst possibly thing Salem could do to Ruby from Ozpin's perspective). And when was it ever confirmed that the characters acknowledged that opening conversation as important to current events, or that anyone truly thinks that Ruby is the important simple soul? And sure, Salem has a spiteful side, but is she really willing to put her greater plans in jeopardy to torture one of countless allies to Ozpin now and through the ages? Simply killing Ruby in her relative infancy would certainly hurt Ozpin, so would destroying all the systems he built and, likely, humanity soon after. Seeing Ruby as a Hound certainly couldn't hurt anymore than all that, especially since Ozpin has to understand that Ruby will die eventually. If Salem is that obsessed with torturing Ozpin in every possible, minor way, doesn't seem like she could be as effective at greater villainy as she has been.

     Salem's tactics given her army 
  • If Salem can raise an army of Grimm strong enough to terrify the Atlas army on their home turf, why doesn't she use it and brute force all her efforts to find the relics, and by extension, how has she not won already? Potential answers are:
    • She fears doing so will unite humanity against her, and thus allow Ozpin to complete his mission. But IIRC, she expresses no fear, nor her enemies any hope that that will happen when she does ultimately lead the full assault, which actually makes sense, since if she has just one relic, the threat of Ozpin completing his goal all but vanishes.
    • Her army is powerful, but based on how Ruby and Co encouraged Ironwood to fight it and tried to call for reinforcements, not invincible; it could maybe be defeated by killing all the Grimm Salem has brought with her, and after that, Salem will have to retreat, or get killed over and over until her enemies figure out something to do with her. (though it'd have been nice to have that clarified in the show). But if her Grimm army is strong enough to terrify Atlas, almost certainly the most technologically advanced army and secure city in history, what chance would the humanity from decades or centuries past have, even if they could get over their pre-great war animosity to work together? note  And since she's immortal and Grimm naturally occurring, even if she loses, she can probably just try again in a few years/decades on a weakened humanity.