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The military of Atlas is very proficient and very active around the world. While many serve the general in Atlas, many others are stationed at different locations all around the world, be it on short-term or long-term assignment.
General James Ironwood
Voiced By: Jason Lee Rose [EN], Masaki Terasoma [JP]
Debut: Welcome to Beacon*
A General in Atlas's military and headmaster of their Huntsman academy, he has a long history with both Ozpin and Glynda. He's also connected to Penny. Ironwood fights with a simple revolver to devestating effect.
- Affectionate Nickname: Qrow calls him Jimmy, which is there just to piss him off, but the end of the volume 3 implies their relationship is better than it seems and the nickname is genuinely meant as friendly.
- Badass Baritone: Has one of the, if not the, deepest voices among the cast, making him fit to make great speeches and speak in a convincingly reassuring tone. This is not all talk and no show, though, as he's an accomplished Huntsman who easily mops the floor with whatever enemy he sees.
- Beard of Sorrow: His beard stubble in Volume 4 is implied to be this. He has to keep up a strong front, but the fall of Vale, the loss of Ozpin and his responsibilities since then have taken their toll.
- Bling-Bling-BANG!: His weapon is a revolver that is decorated along the barrel and the handle with the pattern of a swirling vine.
- Boring, but Practical: When Ironwood first reveals his weapon, it takes the appearance of a large, simple handgun. He doesn't bother with bells and whistles or cool transformations. He merely wields it with deadly, casual efficiency to blow away anything that's standing in his path.
- The Brigadier: Is amicable with Ozpin, and is concerned enough about his students' safety to bring some military forces to protect them. He also makes an offhand comment that he "serves" Ozpin.
- Cyborg: Throughout Volumes Two and Three, there have been hints that his right arm is cybernetic, including sarcastic cracks made by Qrow. It turns out that the right side of his body is either replaced or augmented with mechanical components.Qrow: That's what Ironwood can't get through that thick metal head of his.
- Don't Call Me "Sir": Ozpin initially attempts formality, but James immediately tells him it should be dropped between friends. Glynda outright dismisses him.
- Expository Hairstyle Change: Ironwood's hair is shaggier and more unkept in Volume 4 and accompanies a rough, unshaven look to his face. His behaviour throughout Volume 4 is increasingly emotional, aggressive and authoritarian. He's extremely paranoid about both friends and foe: he becomes frustrated and angry whenever Jacques questions his decisions, he doesn't trust the Haven headmaster, and second-guessing the villains leads him to set up Dust embargoes and seal the kingdom from the rest of the world. He also begins to use his two council seats as a means to threaten Jacques to keep him in line. An angry outburst reveals the fall of Beacon and Ozpin's apparent refusal to listen to his advice has deeply affected Ironwood's emotional state, and where his mistrust turns out to be right, it's almost by accident due to his wide-sweeping paranoia.
- Fashionable Asymmetry: In Volumes 2-3, he wears a plain white glove on one of his hands, while the other hand is bare. It's to hide his robotic arm. From Volume 4, he wears white gloves on both hands, but changes to his military uniform include black aiguillettes that are worn only on the left side.
- Four-Star Badass: He's Atlas's leading huntsman as well as the commander in chief of the Atlesian army. He's also capable of soloing an alpha Beowolf with complete ease, judo-flipping the massive beast over his shoulder and pinning down its foreleg before shooting it in the back of the head, executioner-style.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: Over his right eyebrow, there is a small metal plate. It does absolutely nothing to mar his physical appearance.
- Guile Hero: Ironwood looks and acts like a straight-forward military man who prefers action to politics, but he plays the political game as well. He holds two seats on the Atlesian council. When Ozpin appears to dismiss Ironwood's suggestion that they send in the military to deal with the White Fang, Ironwood secretly reports Ozpin to the Vale Council. The Vale and Atlesian Council agree to strip Ozpin of security control for the Vytal Festival and give it to Ironwood. When Beacon falls, he organises a Dust embargo on the rest of the world to cut off the villains' supplies of Dust, and uses the fact that he has two council seats to Jacques's one to keep the profit-hit Schnee Dust Company in line. When Ironwood receives intel that Haven is the next target after Beacon, he uses his position to seal Atlas from the outside world — nobody comes in or leaves without being Council approved. He says he will use his seat dominance on the council to threaten Jacques's business if Jacques does not fall in line.
- Hand Cannon: Wields a revolver with a barrel over a foot long as his weapon of choice. It's strong enough that it creates miniature explosions if it's not piercing through armored heads.
- Hypocrite: Ironwood complains to Glynda that Ozpin is hiding something from them, to which she points out that he's part of the inner circle that's hiding things from the rest of the world; Ironwood comments that just makes his issue with Ozpin worse. Ironwood works behind Ozpin's back to undermine his authority in the eyes of the Vale and Atlas Councils, putting Ozpin's job on the line, but nevertheless asks Ozpin to start trusting him. However, as Glynda points out, Ironwood is himself a man who needs to learn how to trust others.
- Leitmotif: A bombastic militaristic theme plays whenever he and the Atlesian Army appear.
- Line in the Sand: When the students ask him what they should do in response to the invasion of Vale, Ironwood states that they can either stay and defend Vale and Beacon or they can go ahead and run to save themselves. They decide to stay and fight.
- Locked Out of the Loop: In Mountain Glenn, he admits to Glynda that he thinks Ozpin is hiding information from him. When Glynda points out he's in the loop that's hiding information from everyone else, Ironwood mentions that makes his fear worse.
- The Paranoiac: While he mostly turns out to be correct, Lionheart implies that after the Fall of Beacon, Ironwood's natural tendencies towards paranoia were exacerbated by the trauma and he has become increasingly wary of his surroundings, both enemies and allies.
- Perma-Stubble: Ironwood was originally a clean-shaven man. However, since the fall of Beacon, he has been sporting an unshaven look, with the stubble reaching all the way up to his cheek bones. He's been run ragged.
- Pistol-Whipping: His weapon appears to have no alternate form, and is just a Hand Cannon... that he can hold by the barrel to bludgeon any unfortunate Grimm that crosses his path rather than shooting at them. When he does so the one time, a Sickening "Crunch!" is heard.
- Properly Paranoid: Unlike most of the world, Ironwood knows about Salem; he knows about the Relics and the Maidens, and the threat that's facing the world. He knows who was behind the fall of Beacon Academy, and he knows the other three Academies are in danger. However, his decision to cut off Dust trade with the rest of the world to cut off supply to the villains drives Jacques up the wall, given that it cuts into his business profits. Ironwood has obtained intel that Haven is the next target, and he doesn't trust Haven's headmaster to deal with the matter properly. He's also still angry over Beacon's fall, feeling Ozpin never listened to his advice. He therefore decides to seal up Atlas, preventing anyone coming or going and implies he'll take control of the kingdom if he has to. Jacques points out this is extreme, echoing Glynda's earlier observation that Ironwood struggles to trust people. Unbeknown to them, Ironwood's instincts about Haven are correct - the headmaster is in league with Salem.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Though he disqualifies Yang and her team for the perceived assault, he believes Yang when she says she saw Mercury attack her, even if he doesn't believe it happened. He also doesn't charge her, despite how everyone feels about what they saw. This contrasts with his anger over Qrow picking a public fight with Winter and arguing about secret matters in front of students. He knows Qrow should know better and is making things worse, but he believes Yang is a stressed soldier who needs the correct support. When he learns Yang has lost her arm, he commissions a customized, state-of-the-art cybernetic replacement for her without ever being asked to do so. While attending a charity fundraiser arranged by the Schnee Dust Company, he witnesses Weiss blow up against a woman who badmouthed Vale's plight, which ends with Weiss losing control of her Semblance and summoning a Boarbatusk that nearly kills said woman before Ironwood puts it down; when the woman demands that Ironwood arrest Weiss for her actions, he refuses and publicly agrees with Weiss' "The Reason You Suck" Speech against the guests ("She's the only one making sense around here.")
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Qrow has red eyes, and possesses an explosive personality. He's a scruffy dresser, is always drunk, and has a jaded, cynical view of the world; he can be prone to childish or whimsical acts when people irritate him. James has blue eyes, and possesses a composed personality. He dresses smartly in Atlesian army uniform and, while he also carries a hip flask, he only drinks sparingly. He has an idealistic view of the world, believing he only has to show people a strong display of protection to make them feel safe in the world. He and Qrow clash a lot over the best way to help Ozpin precisely because Qrow thinks too much about consequences and James doesn't think about them enough.
- Revolvers Are Just Better: Ironwood's weapon is a revolver that has no other special qualities aside from being very large and powerful with patterns on the barrel.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: In the episode "Destiny", he talks to Team RWBY about the affects of adrenaline on the battlefield, and how it can make even experienced warriors see things that aren't there. Although he's trying to understand why Yang's version of her fight against Mercury doesn't match what the world saw, he touches his cybernetic arm and mentions "even after the threat has passed". There's a strong hint that Ironwood may be talking more about himself and his past than Yang's current situation, further implying that he suffers from PTSD.
- Shirtless Scene: In Volume 3's eleventh episode, he leaves the wreckage of a ship with most of his shirt and some of his pants torn/burned away. It reveals that the right half of his body is biomechanical, and there is burn scarring where it's attached to his body.
- Skunk Stripe: His black hair has a few white streaks on the sides of his head.
- Super Strength: Ironwood can use his gloved right arm to stop an Alpha Beowolf's punch, and swing the thing over his head like it's nothing, which is impressive given it is roughly three times his size and weight. It's more justified than usual for the series, in this case, as said arm was also the cybernetic one.
- Unwitting Pawn: Ironwood is very dependent on technology and science. Cinder uses that to exploit him when she hacks Vale's CCT. Eventually, she hacks his personal scroll as well, gaining a lot of classified information, including the secret of Penny's true nature. Later, a freed Roman exploits this further by hacking his forces of Atlesian Knights and Paladins to increase the chaos during the attack on Vale.
Voiced by: Elizabeth Maxwell [EN], Ayako Kawasumi [JP]
Debut: It's Brawl in the Family*
Weiss' older sister, and the direct subordinate of general Ironwood in the Atlesian military. Cold and aloof, but not above showing concern for Weiss' well-being. She briefly visits Beacon Academy to oversee the transport of additional Atlas security units.
Like her sister, Winter has the Schnee family Semblance, letting her generate glyphs that allow her to manipulate gravity and summon the spirits of anything she has killed in combat, alongside other abilties when combined with Dust. She fights with a rapier that has a dagger inside the hilt.
- Bifurcated Weapon: She wields a sword that splits into what appears to be an estoc and a saber.
- Blade Run: Plants both feet on Qrow's huge sword and flips to kick him in the head.
- Combat Stilettos: Her boots have some pretty prominent heels, and she kicks ass while wearing them, managing to keep up with Qrow.
- Contralto of Danger: Elizabeth Maxwell provides a deep voice for Winter, who is able to keep up in a fight with Qrow.
- Cool Airship: A private white one with trailing blue banners behind it. It is distinctive enough that both Qrow and Weiss recognize it on sight.
- Cool Big Sis: Weiss is of this opinion, and while Winter can be a bit cold she certainly cares about her sister's personal wellbeing more than anything else. It especially shows while they're in private, with Winter taking time out of her schedule to have lunch with Weiss, give her a practical lesson with her Semblance, and valuable family advice.
- Dope Slap: Smacks Weiss whenever she thinks her little sister is being a little too silly. Once when not receiving actual information on Weiss' well-being, another when she doesn't try hard enough at Summon Magic.
- Dual Wielding: Like Blake, she has a second blade hidden inside the first one.
- Foil: Is one to Qrow as an idolized family member a RWBY member deeply admires and loves, as well as opposing schools of Huntsman/Huntress philosophy, as shown in the opening for Volume 3. Qrow is an informal classic huntsman, complete with personal allegiances to his friends and family, while Winter is an exceedingly formal Huntress who's been indoctrinated into a more militarized job as a Specialist. Qrow is also more openly affectionate and, while seeming undisciplined, is in complete control of himself, while Winter only shows her affection while in private and is regimented, but easily provoked.
- An Ice Person: One of Winter's swords is loaded with ice Dust, and all of her summoned minions are made of spectral ice. She's also shown to be able to summon a localized blizzard in the Volume 5 Weiss trailer, and apparently generate some kind of wave of snow or ice able to knock Myrtanser out of Weiss' hand.
- Icy Blue Eyes: To a greater degree than Weiss. While she is caring at the same time, she can be cold to her sister, striking her upside the head just for misinterpreting a question. Where Weiss kept others away by being confrontational, Winter's voice never comes above an indoor voice and she treats even her challenger, Qrow, with critical disdain. To match this persona, her eyes are a steely gray-blue.
- Instant Runes: Being a Schnee, her Semblance is glyph manipulation. It is implied she has a greater range of ability than Weiss has shown as she can also use the glyphs to summon, something Weiss can't yet do.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Even though Winter is a bit callous and aloof (even Dope Slapping Weiss at one point), she deeply loves Weiss and acts as a mentor figure to her, even teaching her how to use her summoning Semblance.
- Lady of War: To contrast Qrow's BFS, Winter uses a slender sword, and is very aloof, dignified, elegant and precise, though she can be particularly aggressive. It must run in the family.
- Leitmotif: A majestic, orchestral movement plays when her presence is made known.
- Mundane Object Amazement: Is perplexed when Weiss mentions the bunk bed she shares with Ruby.
- Number Two: An official one to Ironwood; she reports directly to him, and has an outfit that's basically a gender-flipped version of his (similar to Neo's Torchwick style get-up).
- Ojou Ringlets: Has a small one on the left side of her hair. Appropriate for the daughter of a powerful businessman.
- Peek-a-Bangs: She has a long fringe that sweeps down the right side of her face partially obscuring her right eye. In her concept art, her right eye is covered by the fringe, but that version didn't make it into the show.
- Power Glows: Whatever she was about to do to Qrow right before Ironwood stopped her, it caused her skin and eyes to glow a bright white.
- Prim and Proper Bun: Wears her hair in a bun, and she's a very stern and professional person.
- Stern Teacher: Her methods of testing and teaching Weiss are very stern. In Weiss' Volume 5 trailer, she throws a nonstop horde of summoned Beowolves at her sister, and eventually steps it up to using waves of ice and snow to disarm her and leave her vulnerable... and then lets the Beowolves begin to swarm Weiss while she's pinned down. It's only when Weiss calls out for her to stop that Winter dismisses them and in the moments leading up to it the look on her face was one of absolute terror. Afterward, Winter reminds Weiss that she won't always be there to protect her, and that she'll have to get much better if she ever hopes to be able to leave the safety of her home.
- Summon Magic: Has been shown to be able to summon a flock of tiny Nevermore Ravens as well as a full sized Beowolf, all of them made of ice. The Volume 5 Weiss trailer shows that she can also summon several Beowolves at once and coordinate their attacks, and dismiss them just as quickly.
- Temporal Theme Naming: Females with seasonal names are all very plot significant. Winter is a role model for her younger sister, Weiss, exerting a strict and affectionate maternal influence on her. Winter is a Huntress-trained military subordinate of Ironwood and has an ongoing personality clash with Qrow, who is loyal to Ozpin. She is connected to Ozpin's secret group that protects Remnant from secret threats, but to what extent is ambiguous.
- Wall Run: She runs straight up a 90-degree pillar during her fight with Qrow.
- Woman in White: White dress, white hair, and named after a season associated with snow.
Special Operative Caroline Cordovin
Voiced by: Mela Lee [EN]
Debut: Dead End*
A special operative from Atlas who is tasked with maintaining the security of the border between Mistral and Atlas. She controls who is allowed to enter Atlas through the port.
- Big Damn Heroes: When Argus is attacked by a Leviathan Ruby's Silver-Eyes only succeed in partially freezing it, stalling but not stopping the giant creature. Cordovin then arrives, having detached the wrecked cannon arm of her mecha, deploying a giant drill from the remaining arm to kill the Grimm off.
- Fantastic Racism: She views the Atlesians as superior to other humans. She thus stops Weiss's friends from entering Atlas, despite her willingness to let Weiss return home. When Cordovin antagonises Team RWBY, she looks directly at Blake when she describes some of them as having "questionable character". It's made clear that, while she distrusts anything she thinks is not Atlesian, she has an even worse opinion of Faunus.
- Hero Antagonist: Cordovin is in charge of protecting Argus from attack by the Grimm. However, she is egotistical, prone to overreacting, and obsessively believes in Atlas's superiority. Determined to prevent Atlas's border lock-down from being breached, she refuses to even consider the possibility that the heroes might have an urgent reason to make contact with General Ironwood. As such, the heroes steal an airship which brings them into conflict with Cordovin. When Maria rekindles her old rivalry with Cordovin, the latter snaps; instead of following the standard protocol of dispatching fighter pilots to escort the stolen craft back to base, she uses a gigantic Grimm-killing robot to battle the heroes personally. The fight only ends when Ruby's group disable the robot only to quickly realise that they have inadvertently caused the Grimm to attack the city. The two sides are forced to cooperate to kill the giant Leviathan that is threatening the city, which results in Ruby apologising to Cordovin for her recklessness and Cordovin allowing the heroes to enter Atlas in the stolen ship.
- Hitler Cam: The camera makes judicious use of the subordinated viewpoint to make her more intimidating than her diminuitive stature suggests.
- In-Series Nickname: When Team RWBY first meets Cordovin, Maria calls her "Cordo" to her face. The nickname sticks; Teams RWBY and JNPR all refer to her as "Cordo" from then on.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Even though she acts like the most important woman in Argus and has a beef against Faunus as shown when she describes Blake as a less trustworthy friend of Weiss, it eventually turns out that she does care about what happens to her fellow comrades. When she realises that her own actions have put Argus in danger by the end of Volume 6, she helps finish the Grimm off after Ruby weakens it, and allows RWBY to take the airship in thanks for defending the city.
- Large Ham: Cordovin has a very high opinion of her own self-worth and Atlas's superiority, often emphasising these points with grand and dramatic gestures, speaking in a large and booming manner, and making exaggerated and disproportionate responses to any challenge. When antagonising the heroes, Cordovin theatrically waves her arms around, melodramatically talking about how superior Atlas is compared to the other kingdoms and flashes her credentials as a special operative. Later, Cordovin snaps when Maria steals an airship from her base and deliberately chews cashews in front of the intercom to further humiliate her; every line she speaks thereafter becomes a grandiose performance of rage and intimidation.
- Miniature Senior Citizen: Cordovin is an elderly woman of tiny stature. She barely reaches the waist of adult men and even the fourteen-year-old Oscar is taller than her.
- The Napoleon: Even though Cordovin is an extremely short woman, she makes up for it with highly aggressive personality. She is haughty and condescending towards Team JNPR for returning to the military base after denying them access. When she taunts Remnant for turning its back on Atlas after the fall of Beacon, Weiss tries reasoning with her by saying that they understand General Ironwood's "worry", but Cordovin doesn't take it well and boasts about the general's courage. Upon realising that the heroes have stolen the airship in an effort to undermine her authority, Cordovin deploys a gigantic robot to fight them personally, as opposed to dispatching fighter pilots to recover it.
- Patriotic Fervor: She views Atlas as superior to the rest of the kingdoms and notes that the latter is kindly extending their hand and superior technology towards other nations. As such, she's got a beef against anything she believes is un-Atlesian like Faunus, and views any negative traits as a mockery of her kingdom's military honour and prowess as shown when she dismisses Weiss's perception of General Ironwood's "worry". During this speech, the Atlesian flag waves behind her to emphasise her nationalism.
- Reassigned to Antarctica: Maria insinuates that the reason she is in Argus is not because it's an important position, but because she's so irritating and fanatical that the Atlesian military wanted her as far away from their HQ as possible.
- Revenge Before Reason: Seeing her rival Maria fleeing away in a hijacked plane leads Cordovin to try stopping her in an Humongous Mecha, no matter if it causes turmoil among the citizens and attempts to kill Maria's partners. Once she's defeated, a whole new level of unreasonable shows up, as a swarm of Grimm is coming, including a giant one that the (now borderline unusable) robot was supposed to be used against...
- Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: To Maria. Both make no attempt to hide their distaste for each other when they see each other at Argus. This conflict stems from a past incident when Maria once brought cashew nuts onto a flight. As the nuts were a banned substance, Cordovin permanently added her to an extended screening list. So when Maria hijacks a plane, Cordovin doesn't take it well and Maria starts chewing on cashew nuts for extra taunting.Caroline: Witch.
- You're Insane!: She ends up on the receiving end from Maria, after seeing Cordovin bring out the massive mecha and try to blow the airship out of the sky with a massive energy cannon that could blow up mountains.