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Friends and Allies
The main protagonist force that is allied with Teams RWBY and JNPR against the villainous forces of Salem. Originally formed by Salem's ancient adversary Ozpin, he has a core alliance of adult Huntsmen and Huntresses that he has personally hand-picked to help him in his fight. They have been trusted with certain secrets about Salem's existence, Ozpin's question, and the existence of the Relics.
This page handles those allies who know the full truth about Ozpin and Salem, and who have the flexibility to be able to travel with Teams RWBY and JNPR. For Ozpin's allies who may not know the full truth, but who are embedded within the power structures of the four Kingdoms and therefore remain in fixed geographic locations, see: Professor Glynda Goodwitch, Professor Leo Lionheart and General James Ironwood.
Voiced By: Shannon McCormick [EN], Kazuhiko Inoue [JP]
Debut: Ruby Rose*
The headmaster of Beacon Academy, Ozpin is also the leader of a secret international group of huntsmen who protect the world from hidden and dangerous threats. Ozpin uses his cane like a rapier when he fights, making blisteringly quick strikes.
- Affectionate Nickname: James Ironwood and Qrow Branwen, who have apparently known him for a long time, both call him "Oz".
- Armor-Piercing Question: Ironwood's response to the danger facing humanity is to bring a large army to protect Vale, but it takes him a long time to understand why Ozpin, Glynda, and Qrow disapprove. He only understands during a group argument that ends when Ozpin asks him a question that emphasizes how armies unsettle people enough to generate the kind of negative atmosphere that will attract the Grimm."There's an energy in the air now, a question in the back of everyone's minds: if this is the size of our defenses, what is it we're expecting to fight?"
- Badass Teacher: In the finale of Volume 3, Cinder is impossibly powerful even by the standards of a well-developed Semblance, yet Ozpin is able to fight that enormous power with just his Semblance even when directly hit by the full force of her power. They also fight in pitch darkness that is only occasionally broken by brief moments of light from their powers. Only Faunus are supposed to be capable of seeing in the dark, but it doesn't even slow these two down. By the time the scene cuts out, Ozpin is easily pushing back Cinder's power and appears to be winning, making his subsequent disappearance very mysterious.
- Barrier Warrior: The Volume 3 finale has him duel Cinder. He employs a range of tactics and abilities both in defense and offence while fighting her, including the ability to create a large, domed shield around himself that is translucent green in color and throws off green energy sparks. Although he initially slams his cane into the ground to form it, he can also maintain the barrier while moving.
- Beneath the Mask: In public, he portrays an unflappable attitude and reacts to everything with great patience, kindness, and good humor. Behind closed doors, when dealing with his secret inner circle, he's willing to display a much greater range of emotion. He gets irritated with Ironwood's militaristic attitude and Qrow's disorderly behavior and more than once holds his head in his hands whenever his subordinates argue. When Cinder's plot finally goes public, he uses controlled anger to make sure Ironwood, Glynda, and Qrow follow his orders.
- Been There, Shaped History: It's apparent that a number of his previous incarnations have shaped world events, their names living on in either history or folklore. He confirms to the protagonists that he was the Old Wizard from The Story of the Seasons folklore and therefore created the Four Maidens from his magical power. Both he and Raven separately mention that he created the Huntsmen Academies, which very heavily implies that he was the King of Vale, who ended the Great War and established the Vytal Festival, the current system of governance across different Kingdoms, and who also created the Huntsmen Academies.
- Big Good: As Beacon headmaster, he oversees the training of the next generation of defenders. Ironwood's introduction indicates generals officially outrank academy headmasters when he gives Ozpin permission to drop the formalities, but it later becomes clear he's "served" Ozpin for years. He is also in charge of a secret brotherhood of people whose job it is to protect the Maidens and the Relics from Salem's evil. Thousands of years ago, the God of Light tasked him with redeeming humanity in order to prevent him from destroying them all and made him walk the earth endlessly reincarnating via his soul, Aura, and memories merging with a new person every time his previous host body dies.
- Big "NO!": Ozpin has developed a habit of keeping secrets and only telling others what he thinks they need to know. While he admits that he has learned over time to obfuscate the truth, he still doesn't stop doing it. When Team RWBY becomes tired of him lying or not giving them the full story, Ruby figures out a way to learn the truth about Ozpin. As soon as Ozpin realizes what Ruby is doing, he yells "No!" for the first time in the entire show. When the Relic of Knowledge tells the team that she can answer any two questions they ask of her, Ruby asks her what Ozpin is hiding.
- Body Surf: Whenever Ozpin dies, only his body is lost. His soul, Aura and memories pair with a new physical body, a male already living somewhere on Remnant, to create a person with 'two souls'. This process is a form of immortality that he calls 'reincarnation'. The God of Light gave him this ability and he has been body-surfing through countless men for thousands of years. The God of Light tasked the legendary hero, Ozma, with a mission to prepare humanity for Judgement Day, where the gods would return to Remnant and decide whether humanity is redeemable or irredeemable. If humanity can be redeemed, the gods will return to live on Remnant, if the latter, the gods will destroy the entire world. Ozma will continuing reincarnating until the day the gods are summoned back to Remnant, but his transition from Ozpin to Oscar is not going very smoothly.
- Broken Pedestal: Raven warns Yang and Weiss not to trust Ozpin, telling them that she once did until she learned about a terrible secret that he keeps. She claims the secret would plunge the entire world into a panic if they knew about it, and she considers both Qrow and Taiyang fools for continuing to believe so faithfully in Ozpin and his cause. In Volume 6, Ruby's group confronts Ozpin once and for all about his half-truths and obfuscations, and finally learn what his secret is. Although they're all horrified by the news that Salem is unkillable, it's when Ozpin is forced to admit that he has no plan for defeating Salem that Qrow breaks. He has been so loyal to Ozpin because his cursed Semblance made him an outcast; Ozpin was the very first person to give him a place and purpose in life, and Qrow felt he was finally do some good in the world. Now, he feels that was all a lie and that meeting Ozpin was the worst luck of his life. Ozpin is so devastated by Qrow's reaction that he locks himself too deep inside Oscar's mind for even Oscar to reach. For the rest of the volume, they struggle to come to terms with the truth: Qrow increasingly retreats into alcoholism, Jaune struggles to trust Oscar for being the vessel of Ozpin, Ruby's not sure she can ever trust Ozpin again, and everyone struggles to commit to the mission to get the Relic to safety. By the end of the volume, the students have learned to rely on themselves and Maria. They remain estranged from Ozpin, and do not commit to anything more than getting the Relic to General Ironwood for safe-keeping.
- Brutal Honesty: His induction speech abrasively states the students standing before him are wasting themselves and it's up to them, not the teachers, to do something about it. Later on, he bluntly states that the first thing the students will do is throw themselves headlong into battle against deadly forces and that if they wish to survive, they better kill anything that moves because the teachers will not come to their rescue. Oddly enough, he manages to make these speeches come across as inspiring rather than discouraging.
- Cane Fu: When Ozpin fights, he uses his cane like a fencing sword. He is capable of fighting at such a high speed, he can turn multiple projectiles flying towards him into dust without them hitting him, and can strike an opponent so fast they can't react in time to parry the cane. He can also slam the cane into the ground to create protective barriers.
- The Chains of Commanding: While he feels the weight of his responsibilities, he rarely shows them openly, with them only coming out in occasionally distant moods. He admits to Ruby that he's made "more mistakes than any man, woman, or child" on Remnant. And he's not lying. Being thousands of years old means it's chronologically impossible for anyone else to make as many mistakes as Ozpin.
- Child Prodigy: Ozpin is famous for having been a child prodigy, which enabled him to become one of the youngest headmasters appointed to an academy. Raven claims he rigged the system; he designed the Academies as the King of Vale, then filled them with people who are loyal solely to him. He himself admits to Team RNJR that the headmasters of the other Academies traditionally follow his orders because he arranges to have lieutenants he can trust during a time of reincarnation.
- The Chooser of The One: Faced with a de-powered and dying Fall Maiden, Ozpin searches for a replacement who possesses the necessary compassion, ability, and mindset to accept the power. For that role, he selects Pyrrha. Years ago, he decided Team STRQ had the necessary abilities to be drafted into his war against Salem. He took Qrow and Raven and gave them the ability to transform into their namesake birds. He's even the person who created the first Maidens; in other words, he's the "wizard" in the Seasons fairy tale.
- The Chosen One: When Oscar first starts hearing Ozpin's voice inside his head, Ozpin tells him that he has grave responsibilities to uphold. In the same Oscar has experienced, when Ozpin was a child, it was his turn to be paired, and he initially reacted to the situation with fear and panic. Eventually he learned to accept the situation and made a choice to accept the world-shaking responsibilities that he had inherited. When he explains his situation to Team RNJR, Ozpin tells them that it is his responsibility to protect the world from Salem, a task he's had for thousands of years. Volume 6 reveals that humanity was destroyed in a conflict between the gods and Salem. When a new, de-powered form of humanity returned to Remnant, the God of Light asked Ozma, who was both a great hero and Salem's lover, to return to life and guide this new form of humanity towards Judgement Day by bringing them together in unity and showing the gods that humanity can be redeemed; if Ozma fails, both humanity and the entire world, will be destroyed. The God of Light deliberately chose to reincarnate Ozma into the bodies of living men over and over again so that his form of immortality ensured that he was never alone. Ozpin was the inheritor of this mission until the responsibility passed to Oscar. However, as Ozma eventually discovered, uniting humanity is impossible as long as Salem exists... and Salem is impossible to kill.
- Classy Cane: To go with Ozpin's smart, dark-green suit, is a dark, silver-topped cane. The silver handle of the cane has a delicate vine-like pattern flowing down it. Where the handle joins the shaft are cogs and a silver lever. Although it complements his appearance, he can also use it in battle, wielding it like a rapier and using it as a focus to produce a barrier that can even stop the full force of a Maiden's power. This kind of use does not require activating either the lever or cogs.
- Clock Punk: Gears are a motif of his. His office is in the heart of the clock tower and as such the gears and cogs are everywhere. Even his desk is made of gears, and his chair is designed to give him the appearance of gear-themed wings.
- Clock Tower: Beacon Academy's tallest tower and his office, with the clock's face acting as a large window.
- Color-Coded Characters: Despite not having a name associated with the color, Ozpin has a lot of green imagery about him: his main choice of clothes are green, his projected barrier and Aura are green, and the moments he takes control from Oscar to talk to others are preceded by Oscar's body briefly glowing green. His past incarnation as the Old Wizard is shown with green clothing.
- Cool Old Guy: He bribes Ruby with cookies when they first meet, gives her a kind speech about The Chains of Commanding when Ruby is uncertain of her place as leader of Team RWBY, and tries to ease her social anxiety by comparing dancing to her favorite activity, fighting. He knows Blake is deeply troubled about the White Fang and offers her a shoulder to lean on should she ever need it.
- Dark and Troubled Past: When Ruby asks him if Weiss is right to claim Ozpin is mistaken to appoint her team leader, Ozpin tells her that he isn't - but only after very grimly admitting that he's made more mistakes than any man, woman, or child on the planet. His Aura and Soul have the ability to merge with the Aura and Soul of another person, allowing him to continue existing by moving from host body to host body. The God of Light gave him this ability so that he could prepare humanity for Judgement Day without ever being alone. His first host ignored the mission to reunite with his old lover, Salem, and have a family together. However, they eventually had a terrible falling out that destroyed their home and children and his host. Since then, he's gradually learned to live with his host properly in his quest to unite humanity. However, as long as Salem continues to exist and divide humanity, Ozpin's quest is impossible.
- Deconstructed Character Archetype: Professor Ozpin deconstructs the "cool, mysterious fantasy teacher" who is always bending the rules for the kid heroes. He's secretive and enigmatic, even to his closest allies. He brings Ruby into his school two years early, and grants her team a mission that's closed to first-years just because he knows they'll try and go to that region anyway. Not only do they barely cope with the threat level they encounter, but they accelerate the villain's evil plans in the process. Unable to support Ozpin's dubious decisions, one of his closest allies calls in the kingdom's Council to partially strip Ozpin's authority, who state they'll be discussing Ozpin's career options once the city's finished hosting its international festival. They all play into the Big Bad's plans, a personal nemesis of Ozpin's, whom he refuses to fully explain for reasons of safety and security. This culminates in the invasion of Vale, destruction of Beacon Academy, and deaths of many people, including himself. After the kid heroes, including a fourteen-year-old boy who is dragged into the conflict by virtue of being Ozpin's new host, are brought into the loop about Ozpin and Salem's Secret War, Yang makes it absolutely clear that her continued support is contingent on Ozpin immediately ending his habit of hiding facts and telling half-truths and riddles. In Volume 6, she is immediately furious with Ozpin for hiding the fact that the Relic of Knowledge attracts Grimm to it, thereby putting any people near it in danger. Ozpin only admits it when the protagonists are trying to strategise the protection of a train full of people from a pack of attacking Grimm. The new information forces them to take the drastic action of separating Team RWBY, Qrow, and Oscar from the train so that they can travel through the wilderness alone to avoid bringing the Grimm into contact with other humans. This time, even the ever-loyal Qrow is upset with Ozpin for hiding such life-threatening knowledge.
- Determinator: He's been fighting Salem for thousands of years with seemingly no progress, but outright refuses to give up, putting his hope in humanity again and again no matter how often they fail; even his most loyal supporter, Qrow, criticizes his perpetual optimism. As he lives under a divine curse that prevents him truly dying until Salem is defeated, Salem cannot simply get rid of him by killing him. Instead, she states her plan is to destroy Ozpin's spirit through destroying all his hope for humanity's future. By dividing humanity and sowing chaos, Salem makes it impossible for Ozpin to fulfil his mission to the Gods to unite humanity and prepare them for Judgement Day. However, Salem has been cursed with immortality as well, so Ozpin cannot solve the problem by killing her.
- Drowning My Sorrows: Ozpin has been reincarnating for thousands of years. He hasn't always been able to handle the burden his responsibilities and memories created in previous incarnations. His first incarnation's loss of Salem's love and their children's lives leaves his next few incarnations trying to cope with the grief and pain through alcohol. The hip-flask he carries during one lifetime is almost identical to Qrow's.
- Fatal Flaw: Ozpin's desire to stop Salem is ultimately hampered by his inability to give a straight answer to any question regarding the situation or his past. His behavior stems from a desire to avoid being betrayed leading him to engage in deflections, half-truths, lying by omission and pure deception. While he wants the heroes to trust that he has good reasons for his decisions, his tactics inadvertently alienate his allies. Ironwood's frustration with Ozpin's passivity leads him to go behind Ozpin's back and override Ozpin's responsibility for protecting the Vytal Festival while Raven abandoned him and his cause by investigating the truth for herself. Ruby's group learn the truth through the Relic of Knowledge, leading even the loyal Qrow to turn on him; his response is to lock himself deep inside Oscar's mind where even Oscar can't go.
- God Guise: As part of his curse, Ozpin possesses immense magical power. In the past, before he gave away most of his magic, humans mistook his power for that of a god's. He allowed them to keep thinking he was a god for years. His first reincarnation tried to build a happy home with Salem, who talked him into masquerading as gods to pursue his dream of uniting humanity. However, things fell apart when he realized that Salem planned on using the masquerade to take over the world and kill all humans who wouldn't fall into line. The ensuing battle destroyed everything they'd built and accidentally killed their children. They've been trapped in a cycle of pain ever since.
- Good Cop/Bad Cop: Good Cop to Glynda's Bad Cop. While she was reprimanding Ruby for her foolishness, he walked in to the interrogation room with a plate of cookies for the fifteen-year-old girl and complimented her skills, even offering to let her into Beacon early.
- Guilt Complex: Ozpin claims that he has made more mistakes than any man, woman, or child on the planet and that he has been cursed to walk the earth for thousands of years by the gods for his failure to stop Salem. He also immediately blames himself for the fall of Beacon when he meets back up with Team RNJR and Qrow. The truth is that he's not responsible for Salem's descent into evil, but that he has made some terrible mistakes over the years. In his first reincarnation, Salem convinced him to join her in masquerading as a god. It eventually led to them trying to destroy each other; as they're both immortal, they only succeed in destroying their home and their children instead. Whereas Salem takes absolutely no responsibility for her actions, Ozpin appears to be shouldering responsibility for both his actions and hers. It has led to him bearing responsibility for the fate of the world and all of humanity alone and refusing to share the burden with anyone else. As a result, he is ignoring the God of Light's original advice to him: his form of immortality is supposed to ensure that he never bears this burden alone.
- Heroic BSoD: In Volume 6, the heroes learn that Ozpin's been hiding a secret from them. The emotional toll of having the secret forced from him reduces him to tears. After the group learns Salem is unkillable, Ruby asks him what his plan to defeat her is and he unhappily confesses that he doesn't have one. The news breaks Qrow, who punches him into a tree. When Ozpin realises who hit him, he is stunned; Qrow tells him that his cursed Semblance left him alienated and without a purpose in life until Ozpin gave him one. He finally thought he was doing something good with his life. A tearful Ozpin tries to tell him that he is, but Qrow simply states that meeting Ozpin was the worst luck of his life. A devastated Ozpin agrees that might be true and abruptly disappears, releasing control of Oscar's body and retreating so far inside Oscar's mind that even Oscar can't reach him. In the finale, Ozpin resurfaces just long enough to soothe Oscar's panic and guide their crashing airship into a safe landing, before locking himself away again.
- Hypocrite: Ozpin constantly expresses his faith in humanity and believing in their ability to overcome adversity and their willingness to stop the worst people from causing chaos. However, despite this, he doesn't trust humanity enough to share his knowledge and secrets — not even with those who are putting their lives on the line for his quest to defeat Salem. When Ozpin insists that he be the only person to carry the Relic, Ruby asks him if his talk of having faith in humanity means everyone except the very team that's putting their lives on the line for him, he tries to explain that she's misunderstood his action. However, all it does is convince Ruby that she needs to ask the Relic of Knowledge to reveal what Ozpin is hiding.
- Killed Mid-Sentence: In the past, his very first host was trying to say something at the exact moment he was killed. It isn't revealed what he intended to say, but the circumstances of his death have affected everything about his reincarnations, and the nature of his Secret War with Salem, ever since.
- King Incognito: When Ruby first meets Ozpin, it's when she's being interrogated by Glynda for her reckless attempt to apprehend Roman for robbing a Dust shop. Near the end of the meeting, Ozpin asks Ruby if she knows who he is. She already knows exactly who he is, which seems to please him a lot.
- Lennon Specs: Ozpin wears a tiny set of circular, dark-tinted spectacles that are perched on the end of his nose and are held onto his ears by a pair of extremely quirky arms.
- Meaningful Name: Ozpin is the headmaster of Beacon Academy and is named after "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz". In the novels, the Wizard of Oz's full name is Oscar Zoroaster Phadrig Isaac Norman Henkel Emmannuel Ambroise Diggs, or O.Z.P.I.N.H.E.A.D. (OZPIN HEAD). The Wizard of Oz is a man who is not what he seems to be, and Ozpin is also not the ordinary huntsman he seems to be. He is a man who is hiding secrets, perhaps even from his inner circle who are supposed to know the secret threats in the world. His original identity was a man called Ozma. In the Land of Oz stories, Princess Ozma was the true ruler of Oz, but she was spirited away in secret as a baby by the Wizard. She eventually returns to claim her throne.
- Mr. Exposition: In Volume 5, due to his role as the Big Good and having most of the knowledge, there are a lot of scenes where he gives explanations to the good guys.
- Must Have Caffeine: He is rarely seen without a coffee mug in his hand, even when he's in the most inappropriate locations. He drinks hot chocolate rather than coffee, but hot chocolate is also a caffeinated beverage and he drinks an awful lot of it. He'll sip hot chocolate while interrogating future students or while launching new students off an isolated cliff into a monster-filled forest. Even his silhouette during the episode 9 end credits has the coffee mug in hand. When he admits to Ruby in Volume 5 that he wasn't joking about the number of mistakes he's made, Qrow silently gets up and makes him a drink.
- My Greatest Failure: Ozpin seems to take responsibility for everything that has gone wrong in the world as a result of his feud with Salem. He describes his curse as being inflicted upon him by the gods for failing to stop Salem in the past. He keeps many secrets about the past because he's terrified of people uncovering his worst secrets. He's terrified of people learning that Salem cannot be killed by any known mortal or supernatural means and that the reason she is now so dangerous is partially because of his past actions.
- Narrator: At the beginning of the pilot episode, a female narrator introduces the show through a speech about the history of humanity and the dangerous world of Remnant. Her cynicism and bitterness are countered by a male narrator who appears to be more positive about humanity than his opponent. The male narrator is very quickly introduced as Ozpin, but the female narrator is only introduced much later on. Ozpin is also the narrator for the World of Remnant segments (in Volume 3) that give information on how the World of Remnant works.
- Never Speak Ill of the Dead: After the battle of Haven, the role Leo played in getting so many professional Huntsmen killed and enabling the attack on the school itself is covered up by Ozpin. Leo is instead remembered as a brave Huntsman who died fighting to protect his school. When Yang confronts him about the cover-up, Ozpin tells her that she only knew Leo at the end of his life. She never knew the man he was before his fall from grace, a man who was once dedicated to protecting the people. He clarifies that he thinks that what Leo did was reprehensible, but it shouldn't erase the years of good that were done before it.
- No Name Given: Jinn does not introduce the names of Ozpin's predecessors, and Oscar is a little unsettled to discover that Ozpin's very first incarnation was one whose name was never known. Jinn confirms that the process of learning to share lives with the host who owned the body was something that took time to learn.
- Not Himself: While giving a speech to the new students in episode 3, Ruby and Yang quickly note how troubled he seems, instead of his usual lively self. Ruby even comments that it's as if he's not even present.
- Not Hyperbole: When teaching Ruby about leadership, Ozpin remarks that he's made more mistakes than any man, woman, or child alive. He later informs her that he wasn't exaggerating. Having been forced by a special type of resurrection cycle to walk the earth for thousands of years, he's had far more time than anyone else ever will to make mistakes.
- Odd Name Out: Every single character in the show has a name that references a colour in some way, even if it's just by association. Eighty years ago, a war ended that had tried to destroy artistic merit and individuality, so Remnant's naming scheme is a deliberate attempt to ensure that kind of war never happens again. Word of God has stated that Ozpin's name deliberately does not follow the colour rules for the naming of all other characters. After the fall of Beacon, Ozpin confirms that he's been walking the earth for thousands of years due to a curse inflicted on him by the gods.
- Offing the Offspring: In the past, one of Ozpin's terrible mistakes got his host's children killed by accident. When Ozma and Salem realized their concepts of uniting humans were incompatible, they had a falling out that led to them trying to destroy each other with their full power. Their four young children were caught up in the crossfire and died. Ozma's host also died and it's implied he did "kill" Salem; due to her curse of immortality, she simply reformed moments later in the spot where she had "died".
- Oh, Crap!: When Hazel calls out his name in a fury, Ozpin has a moment of slack-jawed horror and can only say, "Oh no."
- O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Ozpin is calm and collected throughout the show, so much so that he has been criticised by Ironwood for not being more proactive in dealing with Salem or the White Fang, and by Qrow for not being so passive about Ironwood usurping his authority over the Vytal Festival. The few times he has become annoyed or angry, his tone may become clipped and authoritative but he still doesn't lose control. When stranded in the snow on the way to Argus, Ozpin becomes visibly rattled by Team RWBY's persistent questioning of his motives as they try and figure out what he's hiding. However, when they realize they can ask the Relic of Knowledge to reveal the answer to that question, Ozpin finally panics. He screams "No!" and charges towards Ruby. Everyone is absolutely shocked by his reaction, and it's the Relic of Knowledge itself who intervenes to stop him.
- Outliving One's Offspring: Ozpin has lived for thousands of years, pairing with the lives of countless men. Some of those lives had families, including children. As a result of his immortality, Ozpin has outlived all of those children. During his first incarnation, Ozma never learned the identity of his first host. He sought out his lover, Salem, and reunited with her. Together they raised four daughters. However, once Ozma realised just how corrupted Salem had become, he tried to remove their children from her presence. The attempt failed and, in the ensuing battle, the four children were killed. Ozma spent many subsequent lifetimes drowning his grief in alcohol before he was able to pull through it. A later incarnation, who appeared to create the cane that Ozpin and Oscar carry, also had children, a son and a daughter.
- Plot-Triggering Death: His original death had very far reaching consequences in the series. Due to it having been the trigger for Salem's Start of Darkness and the destruction of the original race of humanity, every major event in Remnant's history for the past several thousand years can be directly traced to Ozma having died of illness.
- Poor Communication Kills: Ozpin has a very bad habit of keeping people, even close allies, on a "need to know" basis. Even when he does tell someone something, it's later revealed that there's more to tell. This has endangered the people he's sworn to protect and allowed the less-subtle villains to operate more or less unhindered. When Ironwood is in Vale, he becomes so frustrated with feeling like Ozpin's withholding information from him that he betrays Ozpin politically because he's convinced Ozpin isn't acting in the kingdom's best interests. When Yang confronts Ozpin after her mother warns her that he cannot be trusted, Ozpin admits that he's learned to "keep things close to the chest". Although Yang insists that he has to stop doing that if he wants her to keep helping, it later becomes clear that he hasn't stopped at all. He insists that his reasons for being so circumspect with the truth is based on his past experiences; Leo wasn't the first example of someone initially declaring their full faith in him only to betray him later, so he doesn't trust anyone with the full truth. Ozma's first reincarnation learns the painful consequences of both secrecy and full disclosure. After being warned by the God of Light not to get involved with Salem, he withholds the truth of his divine mission and admits only to wanting to unite humanity. Salem convinces him to do it by posing as gods and they together build a life, kingdom and family. He only admits the truth when he realises that her idea of uniting humanity means destroying everyone she doesn't approve of. The revelation destroys his marriage, kingdom, incarnation's life and even the lives of his children; just as the God of Light warned, his next few incarnations are left reeling from the grief and pain.
- Really 700 Years Old: It's not clear how long he's been jumping between bodies as he's done with Oscar, but the memories of what he's done are carried with him with each new body he travels to. He's been forced by the gods to walk the earth for thousands of years in order to redeem humanity. Whenever his body dies, his soul, Aura, and memories merge with another, forcing him to continue in what he describes as a resurrection that is extremely strenuous for all involved.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Ozpin in general shows an even-handed temperament and is flexible and accommodating of his students, showing an inclination toward allowing them to break the rules when it is harmless.
- Early on, when he first sees how Ruby can fight, rather than chide her for the dangerous fighting style she uses, he congratulates her and even offers her a chance to join Beacon two years early. Later on, he tries to guide Ruby to having a more balanced life, reminding her that not all of one's life can be spent on the battlefield.
- When he learns of Blake's involvement with stopping the Dust robbery at the docks, he lets her know that he is aware that she's secretly a Faunus and implies that he's aware of her past as a member of the White Fang, but also offers her an open door if she ever needs to tell him anything about what's happening, rather than try to compel her to tell him.
- Later, it becomes apparent that RWBY are likely going to sneak away to investigate Mountain Glenn on their own, with or without his approval. Rather than risk them run off on their own, and lacking the authority to physically stop them, Ozpin instead approves their recon mission while also providing them with aircraft and a master Huntsman (Doctor Oobleck) as support to keep them safe.
- Resurrective Immortality: When Ozpin's body dies, his soul, Aura, and memories merge with a new compatible body. Over time, the two souls and Auras merge and the new person becomes a part of the being known as Ozpin; with each new host, the addition of a new personality changes Ozpin. However, while Oscar has been granted all of Ozpin's knowledge and abilities, he still needs to train his body and Aura to handle it. Ozpin has been resurrecting in this manner for thousands of years as part of a task given by the God of Light to redeem humanity lest they be judged unworthy and annihilated. He has been, in previous lives, the last King of Vale who set up the Academies in the first place, and the Old Wizard from the Maidens fairy tale.
- Retractable Weapon: Ozpin's cane is a solid, durable item with an ornate handle that contains cogs and a lever which he can use in battle like a fencing sword. The stem of the cane is heavily implied to be retractable, as he can carry it in a concealed manner while wearing only a suit, allowing him to address students while apparently weaponless one minute, and yet be leaning on his cane while watching them the next. For as long as Ozpin himself uses the cane, he is never seen directly extending or retracting the weapon, only appearing to have it one moment and not having it the next.
- Sink-or-Swim Mentor: Makes it very clear on the first official day of the school year that the instructors will not intervene with the first trial and tells the students to not hesitate to destroy anything in their path or they will die... and then he literally launches them into the forest one by one while Jaune worriedly asks several questions which he answers in a very blunt and matter-of-fact fashion. Later, he gives Team RWBY an exception to the rules, but warns them that he's not doing them a favor and that they had better live up to the level that they've set for themselves. In Volume 5, he decides to personally train Team RNJR and Oscar to ensure they can handle Salem's threat level; he warns them he won't go easy on them and that he will be addressing Ruby's inability to fight without her weapon and Jaune's still-locked Semblance.
- Something Only They Would Say: Ozpin and Qrow have a very close relationship. Qrow is loyal to Ozpin to the point of picking fights in public with Winter just because she's the subordinate of the man who went behind Ozpin's back to take away Ozpin's responsibility for Vytal Festival security. Ruby comments that Ozpin and Qrow even sound alike. Ozpin's disappearance after the fall of Beacon results in Qrow carrying Ozpin's cane with him as he follows Ruby through Anima. When Ozpin's soul and Aura merge with Oscar, he prompts Oscar to travel to Mistral in search of Qrow whom he knows has gone there with his cane. When Oscar finds Qrow, Ozpin prompts Oscar to say "I'd like my cane back." Qrow instantly recognizes the situation for what it is and gives Oscar the cane without hesitation, saying "It's good to see you again, Oz." Later, the first thing Oscar says to Ruby is "You... have silver eyes", which is the first thing Ozpin said to Ruby.
- Spam Attack: Ozpin has the ability to fight at super-speed. When he uses his cane like a fencing sword, he can strike his opponent multiple times in a single second. Even with the completed power of the Fall Maiden, Cinder cannot keep up with the speed of Ozpin's cane strikes and gets hit over twenty times in just a few seconds, as if being juggled on the end of his cane.
- Super Empowering: After being questioned by Yang, Ozpin reveals that he can bestow magical powers on others of his choosing, such as Qrow and Raven, whom he gave the ability to transform into birds so that they could help him spy on Salem. He explains that this empowering ability has weakened over the centuries after he sacrificed a significant portion of his magic to create the original four Maidens.
- Super Speed: When Ozpin does finally decide to move or fight, he is capable of extremely fast movements that make him extremely difficult to keep track of. This allows him to move fast, strike multiple times a second, and dodge multiple attacks with incredible reflexes.
- Surveillance as the Plot Demands: Ozpin can watch what's going on from a distance, just by using his scroll. Most of the time, he's keeping track of what Ruby is doing, but it's not unique to him. Other characters can watch events remotely, too.
- Unreliable Expositor: Ozpin has learned over time to play things close to his chest, making it hard to tell when he's telling the truth, omitting important information, or even outright lying. Although he claims that he's been cursed by the gods with immortality for failing to stop Salem in the past, he only admits he possesses magic when Yang reveals she knows that he gave her mother and uncle the ability to turn into birds. When the protagonists agree to help him protect the Relic of Knowledge, Yang insists it's on the condition that he stops lying and telling half-truths. When he fails to mention that the Relics attract the Grimm until the Grimm are attacking a train they're on, the heroes confront him about his secrecy. It results in the Relic of Knowledge revealing that Ozpin has been hiding more of the truth about himself than they knew, starting with the real reason why he is immortal, the truth about his origins, his goal, and his connection to Salem. It leaves the team so distrustful of him that even his most loyal companion, Qrow, rejects him — an outcome that breaks him completely.
- Waistcoat of Style: Ozpin wears a dark green waistcoat, to go with his dark green suit. It makes the green top he wears underneath it stand out vividly. A previous incarnation favoured pin-stripe shirts with charcoal grey trousers and a purple waistcoat.
- Weapon Twirling: While showing off in Oscar's body, he spins his cane rapidly as he explains how he's going to put RNJR through Training from Hell in order to get them to be strong enough to match Salem's henchmen. Whenever he is in control of Oscar's body during a fight, his "tell" is the cane-twirling, something Oscar doesn't do.
- We Used to Be Friends: The Relic of Knowledge reveals that he was once friends with Salem. He rescued her from her imprisonment in a tower, and the two fell in love. When he died of an illness, Salem's relentless desire to bring him back twisted her into a cruel tyrant, eventually leading him to abandon her. He is now spending his eternity trying to stop her plans to eradicate humanity.
Voiced By: Aaron Dismuke [EN], Rie Kugimiya [JP]
Debut: The Next Step*
A boy introduced in Volume 4. He lives and works on a small farm with his aunt, until his quiet life is broken when he starts hearing voices inside his head. As a result of his Aura and Soul merging with Ozpin's, he is the latest inheritor of a divine mission that has been passed down from one man to another for thousands of years.
When using the cane he inherited from Ozpin, Oscar wields it similar to a club, striking his enemies in succession to keep them on the defensive.
- Adorkable: Despite his snarker tendencies, Oscar is shy, sweet, and unassuming to a T. Nora outright calls him "Little Cute Boy Ozpin". His general awkwardness also adds to it, like suddenly getting scared after he returns to his body and his hand is still on Yang's shoulder after Ozpin left it there.Oscar: [while Ozpin is in control] Just don't make us do anything embarrassing...
- Bookworm: He seems to spend his free time in the farm reading every book he can put his hands on, no matter the theme. He has many books in his room, and mentions that his aunt has many more downstairs. The Volume 6 opening credits shows the gang waiting for a train to Argus, and Oscar is sitting quietly on a bench with his nose buried in a manual about Atlesian technology.
- Call-Back: When Oscar first meets Ruby, he's startled by her appearance and the first thing out of his mouth is "you... have silver eyes". This leaves Ruby a little freaked because it mimics the first time she ever met Professor Ozpin, who said exactly the same thing. Ruby's group are new to the truth about silver eyes and have been told that very few people know the significance of them. Oscar's reaction to Ruby's eyes is the group's first sign that Oscar is carrying the soul, Aura and memories of Professor Ozpin.
- Cane Fu: Along with Ozpin's soul, Aura and memories, Oscar also inherits his cane. He therefore learns to fight using Ozpin's cane as his primary weapon. During his first real battle, he strikes, blocks and parries as if he is using a fencing sword and, to abruptly end the fight against his first opponent, he whacks Leo as if using a club or a baseball bat, sending the old headmaster flying down a flight of stairs.
- Deadpan Snarker: When his aunt tells him dinner is ready, he asks what they're having. She tells him it doesn't matter because he has to eat it regardless. He jokes that he didn't agree to such terms when he came to live with her, resulting in her telling him to read the small print and then wash his hands. When he finally accepts Ozpin's advice to travel to Mistral but realizes he doesn't have enough lien, he asks Ozpin if their weird magical situation comes with an infinite supply of money; an amused Ozpin tells him he's on his own.
- Eye Colour Change: Oscar's eyes are predominantly green with a brown speck, but a faint yellow circle borders the pupils. Whenever he and Ozpin switch control of his body, his eyes flash with golden light.
- Farm Boy: A young boy who spends his days working on his aunt's farm, Oscar lives a very ordinary life but secretly wishes for something more exciting. When he begins hearing voices in his head, telling him that could have a special destiny if he wants it, he actively tries to ignore everything the voices tell him, convinced that he's going completely crazy. Ozpin tells him that their Auras and souls have merged, and that he has a potential for greatness if he embraces the opportunity to become the person that guides the world when the world needs help. Oscar eventually resigns himself to the situation, leaving his aunt's farm to find Ozpin's trusted ally, the Haven headmaster. Once at Haven, he is very surprised to discover Qrow waiting for him with Ozpin's cane, in what appears to have been a pre-arranged set up between Ozpin and Qrow.
- Ghost Memory: Without warning, Oscar found his soul, Aura and memories merged with Ozpin's, meaning that he now possesses all of Ozpin's power, abilities and knowledge. However, he needs to train his body and his Aura to be able to take advantage of this inheritance. Ozpin has been reincarnating for thousands of years in order to stop Salem; whenever his host body dies, his soul, Aura and memories merge with a suitable person and the cycle begins all over again. Oscar is the newest host.
- Heroism Won't Pay the Bills: When Oscar finally accepts that he is now The Chosen One, destined to guide the world when it most needs guidance, he sets off for Mistral, exactly as Ozpin wants. He immediately runs into a snag at the train station; he doesn't have enough money to pay for a ticket to Mistral. He asks Ozpin if this weird magical inheritance of his comes with an infinite supply of money. An amused Ozpin informs him that, unfortunately, he's on his own where finances are concerned.
- I Just Want to Be Special: Downplayed. Oscar is a farm boy who lives with his aunt and spends his days doing mundane chores on a quiet, isolated farm. It's not the life he wants to live, but being the reincarnation of a legendary wizard and essentially having the fate of the planet rest on your shoulders is naturally more than anyone could want. Because their Auras and souls are merged, Ozpin can tell what Oscar's dreams and desires really are. He tries to use the knowledge to encourage Oscar to accept and embrace what's happening to him. Oscar isn't impressed.
- Innocently Insensitive: Due to his inexperience and his own fear of what he's up against, he lashes out at Ruby when she tries to cheer him up after a training session, exasperatedly asking her how she can remain so calm in the face of everything that's happening. Oscar quickly regrets his words when Ruby soberly tells him about Penny and Pyrrha, both of whom were murdered by the same person they're being pitted against, explaining that while she is scared of Salem, she is even more scared of what could happen if Salem isn't stopped.
- Instant Expert: Discussed in-universe. While Ozpin's own training will help Oscar along at an accelerated rate, he still needs to train in order to stand any chance in a real fight on top of the need to discover his own Semblance. When Team RNJR witness him training, Jaune is incredulous by the speed at which Oscar is picking things up. However, as Ozpin points out to Oscar, he's still got a lot of hard work ahead of him, especially where developing his Aura and Semblance are concerned.
- Internal Reveal: Oscar is introduced in Volume 4, a lowly farmhand working on a farm somewhere in Anima who is shocked to discover he has a connection to the earth-shaking events unfolding in Beacon and beyond. Volume 4 consists of his struggle to accept his destiny, ending with his decision to travel to Haven Academy to find Professor Lionheart and help. In Volume 5, he tracks down Qrow, who seems to have been expecting him. However, his existence is news to Ruby, Jaune, Nora and Ren, who all stare in open-mouthed shock when he explains who he is and why he's come to find them. A drunk Qrow can't stop laughing at a young kid introducing himself as Professor Ozpin, but Ruby's group can't believe what they're seeing and hearing.
- It Sucks to Be the Chosen One: When other people learn the truth about what's really going on in the world, they have the option to run away from it all. As the new Ozpin, Oscar doesn't. He's forced into a situation he has no knowledge of, is burdened with others' issues regarding Ozpin, and has no choice but to push on. Upon learning the truth about Ozma, Oscar nearly snaps from the realization he is only the latest in a long line of hosts for Ozma's endless war. While he does comes to terms with doing as much as he can while he's still himself, the others willing to support him along the way, he's still forced to admit he may one day simply disappear.
- Legacy Character: Oscar is the inheritor of Ozpin's responsibility to protect and unite humanity. Ozpin tells Oscar that he went through the same experience when he was a child, implying that he was also the inheritor of someone else's responsibility. Jinn reveals that the burden originates with a great warrior called Ozma, who was reincarnated by the God of Light into the body of another man with a mission to guide humanity towards Judgement Day. Prior to pairing with Oscar, Ozma has reincarnated for thousands of years into the bodies of countless men.
- Loss of Identity: One of his deepest fears is that Oscar Pine will eventually be completely consumed by the Ozpin entity.
- Meaningful Name: Oscar is a farm boy, who spends his day digging and tilling the earth. He appears to have a connection to the Wizard from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, whose real name was Oscar Diggs. The acronym of the Wizard's full name is O.Z.P.I.N.H.E.A.D., the origin of Ozpin's name, who is also based on the Wizard. The name Oscar Pine can be condensed to Oz Pin(e), i.e., Ozpin. Oscar and Ozpin are so deeply connected, their souls and Auras have merged into one, giving Oscar Ozpin's thoughts, memories and responsibilities.
- Required Secondary Powers: While Oscar will inherit all of Ozpin's abilities, including muscle memory, he doesn't have a combat background. He therefore needs to train up his body and Aura before he'll be capable of utilizing Ozpin's inheritance effectively.
- Resigned to the Call: Hearing voices inside his head, and gaining new knowledge based on those voices, leads Oscar to justify the experience every way he can, ranging from having absorbed the information from his aunt's many books, to the possibility that he's now completely crazy. Although he initially hates what is happening and desperately wants the voices to go away, he eventually realizes that he's going to have to do something about it. Resigning himself to doing what needs to be done still leaves him fearful, but he admits it also feels like the right thing to do. He's hearing Ozpin's voice inside his head and has full access to Ozpin's memories. It took Ozpin a while to convince Oscar that he's not going crazy, but Oscar eventually accepts Ozpin's advice to leave home and head for Haven Academy's headmaster in Mistral.
- Retractable Weapon: Ozpin's cane is a solid, durable item with an ornate handle that contains cogs and a lever. Oscar can use it in battle like a cudgel or as a fencing sword as he learns to master Ozpin's fighting style. Although Ozpin was never seen to retract or extend the cane, making it seem to come and go mysteriously, Oscar is regularly shown using the lever to control it. At full extension, the cane is almost as tall as Oscar but was only half as tall as Ozpin, who was a tall man. As a result, Oscar usually keeps the cane partially extended so that it only comes up to his waist. When he fights with it, however, he fully extends the stem to give him a longer reach.
- The Runaway: Oscar is living on his aunt's farm when Ozpin's Aura and soul merges with his. As the inheritor of Ozpin's ancient and very secret burden, he has to leave home and journey to Mistral to find his predecessor's allies to continue Ozpin's quest. However, there is no way he can explain his situation without either sounding completely insane or giving away secrets that should not be revealed. As a result, he packs his bag and sneaks away from home without a single word of goodbye.
- Shrinking Violet: Oscar is quite shy and has a hard time talking to people he doesn't know. Most of the time, he stays quiet until someone else brings him into the conversation. He can be prone to nervous mannerisms such as stuttering, slowly spinning out short sentences and avoiding eye contact. New situations tend to make him huddle up, hugging an arm and Ozpin's casual ease with making physical contact with people he is trying to reassure can leave Oscar flinching away in embarrassment when Ozpin returns control back to Oscar, such as when Oscar cringes away from Yang after Ozpin touches her shoulder reassuringly.
- Single Tear: Oscar vents to Ruby that he's terrified of the situation he's in; he admits that he always wanted to be more than just a farmhand but cannot believe anyone would ever willingly ask for this. While he vents, he places Ozpin's cane in the sword-rack and glares at it; when the camera switches to his perspective, the view of the cane is misted over and a single tear falls onto the ground at his feet.
- Split-Personality Merge: Ozpin claims that he and Oscar will eventually merge into a new being that is different from both Ozpin and Oscar. He describes himself as the conglomeration of the many different people, and explains to Jaune that the professor the students knew is the culmination of countless men that tried to protect the world. The truth is more complicated. When the famous warrior Ozma dies, the God of Light reincarnates him with a mission to unite humanity and protect the Relics. To ensure that Ozma will never be alone, he is forced to merge with a like-minded soul each time. While he initially supersedes his hosts, he eventually learns to cohabit with them. It's therefore ambiguous if Oscar will retain his individuality and coexist with Ozma, or if Ozma will try and supersede him as with prior hosts.
- Supernatural Gold Eyes: When Oscar and Ozpin switch control of Oscar's body, Oscar's eyes briefly flash gold, which reveals to everyone who witnesses that a switch is taking place. While Ozpin is in control of Oscar's body, Oscar's reflection will reveal the golden eyes.
- Take Up My Sword: Because their souls and Auras have merged, Ozpin encourages Oscar to travel to Mistral to locate Qrow, whom he knows has carried his cane from the fallen Beacon Academy to Mistral. Once Oscar locates Qrow, Ozpin prompts him to tell Qrow "I'd like my cane back". Qrow recognizes the situation instantly and gives the cane to Oscar, telling Ozpin that he's glad to see him again. Oscar is extremely startled when the handle he's been given elongates into the full cane simply as a result of his touch.
- Talking to Themself: Due to the merging of their souls, Ozpin can only speak inside Oscar's head unless he takes control of Oscar's body. As a result, whenever Oscar talks to Ozpin, he is the only one who can hear what Ozpin is saying. To everyone else, he looks like he's talking to himself.
- Teens Are Short: Ruby, being two years younger than the rest of her peers, is one of the shortest characters, even among the teenagers. Nora, despite being two years older, is slightly shorter than Ruby. Oscar is fourteen years old, being two years younger than Ruby and four years younger than Nora. He very nearly reaches Nora's height, making him one of the shortest characters in the show. It creates a sharp contrast with Professor Ozpin, who was one of the tallest men in the show; when fully extended, Ozpin's cane reached his waist, but is almost as tall as Oscar's entire height. Oscar therefore tends to the cane in a partially extended state except when fighting when he uses the full extension for increased reach.
- Took a Level in Badass: Oscar's training with the gang has made him good enough to take Headmaster Lionheart completely by surprise, keeping him on the defensive all throughout their clash, a far cry from his initial appearance as a completely hapless kid.
- Unskilled, but Strong: Oscar has inherited the powers of Ozpin, who was able to go toe-to-toe with the Fall Maiden, which would naturally make him a power player. However, he doesn't know how to use his abilities and lacks any form of combat experience or basic training. Despite his body's lack of training and his Aura's lack of strength, Ozpin can still force Oscar's body to easily somersault through the air from a standing start. However, as soon as Ozpin returns control back to Oscar, the boy loses his balance and falls off the chair Ozpin landed on.
- Voice of the Legion: Oscar has the ability to temporarily grant Ozpin control of his body. When this happens, Oscar's voice periodically becomes multi-layered with Ozpin's in an echoing effect that indicates the merging of two beings.
- You Are Better Than You Think You Are: When Oscar admits to Ruby that he's more terrified than he's ever been in his life, he and Ruby have a heart to heart about their fears. Ruby tells Oscar that the fact he's even willing to try and help protect the world speaks volumes about his character; she concludes the pep talk by telling him that he's braver than he thinks he is.
- Youthful Freckles: Oscar has freckles all over his cheeks. As a fourteen-year-old-boy, he is the youngest main character in the show but carries the greatest burden of them all as the inheritor of both Ozpin's soul and responsibility to protect humanity from Salem. Compared to the old headmaster who knew everything about the threat the world is facing, Oscar is a farm hand with no combat background and limited life experience.
Voiced by: Vic Mignogna [EN] (Volume 3-Volume 6)note , Hiroaki Hirata [JP]
Debut: New Challengers...*
An ex-teacher of Ruby's at Signal Academy who taught her how to use her Scythe. He is also Ruby and Yang's uncle. He studied at Beacon as a member of Team STRQ, and by present-day is Ozpin's informant in the wilderness. He first appears in Volume 3 but is discussed in earlier volumes.
Qrow's weapon is Harbinger, a massive sword that can transform into either a shotgun or a huge scythe. His Semblance is passively active, generating an area of misfortune that strikes anyone who comes near him, including himself.
- Affectionate Gesture to the Head: He tousles Ruby's hair when she hangs off his arm.
- All of the Other Reindeer: Qrow reveals to Ozpin that, throughout his entire life, no-one ever wanted him because of his cursed Semblance. He never felt he belonged anywhere until Ozpin became the first person to ever accept him, giving him both a place and a purpose in life.Qrow: No one wanted me. I was cursed. I gave my life to you because you gave me a place in this world. I thought I was finally doing some good.
- The Alcoholic: His first non-flashback appearance is in a bar in Vale; his dialogue has a noticeable slur and, when he walks away, he's visibly swaying. When Winter irritably accuses him of being drunk, Glynda informs her that Qrow is always drunk, and he often swigs from a hip flask even in front of children or during important strategic meetings. Although some scenes of him being drunk have a comic element to them, such as everyone staring in disbelief as he carries on drinking when Glynda accuses him of always being drunk, or his behaviour when he introduces Oscar to Team RWBY, no scenes are ever played entirely for laughs: the disbelief and anger in the meeting at his behaviour is genuine, and Ruby is visibly exhausted with Qrow's drunkenness when Oscar is introduced to them. As Volume 5 makes it increasingly clear that he can't handle leadership without retreating to a bar, the comedy elements become less noticeable; as the pressures the team are facing start to take their toll, he becomes increasingly reliant on the bottle until Volume 6 focuses exclusively on the disadvantages to himself and everyone around him of his vulnerability to emotional stress.Winter: [complaining] He was drunk!
Glynda: He's always drunk.
[Scene cut to Qrow, drinking from a flask again.]
- Animal Theme Naming: Like Raven, he's named after corvids; his first name specifically referring to crows and his surname means "white/blessed crow". Crows are associated with misfortune and death, and his weapon Harbinger is a scythe which is heavily associated with the same negative symbolism. He can also transform into a crow. His uncontrollable Semblance is the exact opposite of his surname; it causes misfortune to everyone around him, which is how he got his name: he brings bad luck, just like a crow.
- Armor-Piercing Slap: When Qrow learns the truth about what Ozpin has been hiding from him, he punches Ozpin in the face. Ozpin barely reacts to the physical pain of the blow itself, but is utterly stunned when he realises who hit him. Qrow's breaking point isn't learning that Salem cannot be killed; it's learning that Ozpin has no plan to defeat her. Qrow felt alienated his entire life because of his cursed Semblance, and Ozpin was the first person to give him a home and purpose in life and he felt like he was doing something good with his life. A horrified and tearful Ozpin starts to tell him that he is doing something good with his life, but Qrow simply tells him that meeting Ozpin was the worst mistake of his life.
- Becoming the Mask: He and his sister were sent to Beacon in order to learn how they could kill Huntsmen, the only other threat to their Bandit Clan besides the Grimm, becoming a specialized force on defeating them once they got back to their tribe. At some point, they became Ozpin's underlings and part of his secret circle. Raven eventually returned to the tribe, considering both Qrow and Taiyang fools for sticking with Ozpin, whom she no longer trusted. On the other hand, Qrow has fully embraced the job of a Huntsman and is one of Ozpin's closest confidants.
- BFS: Harbinger is a huge sword that is almost as tall as he is. It can transform into both a gun and a scythe. The "sword" is actually the scythe's entire blade; when unfolded with the long handle that comes with a scythe form, the weapon is bigger than Qrow.
- Big Damn Heroes: Whenever someone is in trouble, Qrow has a habit of appearing from out of nowhere to rush in just in time to prevent a fatal blow. When a very young Yang drags Ruby off in search of her biological mother, Qrow appears out of nowhere to save the children from being killed by the Grimm, and the reason Cinder was only able to steal half of Amber's Maiden power is because Qrow managed to sever the power theft connection and rescue Amber just in time. Volume 4 reveals how and why he does it: just as Ruby is about to be defeated by Tyrian, a crow sweeps in from the sky and apparently transforms into Qrow, who blocks Tyrian's strike just in time. Qrow's Semblance uncontrollably causes misfortune to anyone around him, making it very useful against enemies but very problematic for friends and family.
- Blessed with Suck: He mentions that his Semblance is a really great thing to have in battle. It's what happens off the battlefield that's the problem. His Semblance causes misfortune to others. It is permanently active and cannot be controlled or switched off. As a result, it causes problems for him when trying to interact with friends or family. He explains it's how he got his name; crows have a reputation for being unlucky.
- Blood from the Mouth: When the kids wake up at dawn in the forest, they spot Qrow under a tree having a coughing fit that leaves blood on his hand. When Ruby cut off Tyrian's scorpion tail for injuring Qrow, the tail oozes purple blood that burns the cobblestones like acid. The blood Qrow coughs up the following morning is the same colour and can also be seen soaking through the bandage covering his injury.
- Brutal Honesty: He doesn't hold back his opinions. He tears into Ironwood for militarizing Vale, stepping on Ozpin's toes and inciting fear in the population, which empowers the Grimm. He admonishes his nieces for thinking they're capable of putting a stop to all crime in Vale and tells them they weren't thinking like true Huntresses. When Ozpin tells Pyrrha why he needs her help, Qrow is one of those who bluntly tell her just how bad the consequences could be for her should she agree. When Ruby tries to reassure Oscar that he's his own person and not just another life to Ozpin, Qrow bitterly remarks "Don't lie to him, Ruby. We're better than that."
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: In Volume 1, Ruby mentions Qrow is a teacher at Signal Academy and gives a (amusing) description of his capabilities, leading to expectations of a stone-cold badass. While characters consider him to be badass, he is introduced getting drunk at a bar and then picking a fight with Winter. According to Glynda, he's always drunk.
- Cain and Abel: Abel to his sister's Cain. Their relationship is rocky at best, due to a strong disagreement over how they each prioritize family and view the world around them. Raven calls her brother a fool for trusting Ozpin and a traitor for leaving the Bandit Clan that raised them; Qrow is angry she turned her back on Ozpin, that she abandoned her husband and daughter, and that she returned to a tribe he regards as thieves and murderers. Qrow thinks her world view is dangerous and that she's a hypocrite to lecture him on family values when she ignores her own daughter's suffering; he also calls her out on how her bandit raids devastate communities twice — firstly from the bandit raid she leads and secondly as a result of the Grimm being attracted to a devastated village filled with negative emotion. When Cinder arrives at the bandit clan's home camp to insist on using Vernal to obtain the Relic of Knowledge for Salem, Raven insists she will only help them if they help her kill Qrow during the White Fang attack on Haven Academy. During the attack, Qrow is outraged to see Raven helping Salem and renounces her as his sister.
- Clock Punk: Between the blade and handle of Qrow's weapon is a circular mechanism containing visible gears. The gears allow the handle to rotate at angles to the blade, allowing it to activate its sword, gun or scythe formations. The gears audibly whir whenever the weapon changes form, standing out against the more modern revolving chambers and transformation mechanisms of other weapons in the series.
- Combat Pragmatist: He can really think on his feet during fights. During his fight with Tyrian, he gets disarmed of his sword, after which he just decides to start beating Tyrian up with his bare hands, which works effectively and takes Tyrian by surprise. During the latter half of their engagement, Qrow cleverly identified weaknesses in the terrain and exploited them to gain the upper hand.
- Cool Uncle: He was the teammate of Ruby and Yang's father, and also of the two women who became their mothers, so they both call him "uncle". In the pilot, Ruby indicates he shaped her from nothing into a brilliant fighter who's above her academic age in ability. In Volume 3, he's willing to spend time playing video games with his nieces and giving them worldly advice, despite the very serious humanity-threatening danger he's involved in trying to stop. As the brother of Yang's mother, he's not Ruby's uncle by blood.Ruby: UNCLE QROW!!! (Jumps and latches onto his arm) Hi! Aahh! It's so good to see you! Did ya miss me? Did ya miss me?!
Qrow: (smirks) Nope!
Ozpin: Qrow! A word, please.
Qrow: (Quietly, to Ruby) I think I'm in trouble...
Ruby: You did kind of tear up our courtyard.
Qrow: Yeeeah, I did. Catch you later, kid. (Bumps fists with her)
- Creepy Cool Crosses: He wears a necklace with a small cross hanging diagonally off of it. Qrow has a death and misfortune theme as a result of his associations with crows, which are believed to bring bad luck. His Semblance causes misfortune to happen to anyone within its area of effect, including himself, and it isn't something he can control. His grey-themed shirt, smart charcoal trousers and ragged red cape give him a steampunk vibe that is rounded off by the lopsided cross at his throat.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Qrow and Raven were raised by a tribe that he describes as being "killers and thieves". Raven returned to them, much to his disgust, but he refuses to have anything to do with them. Raven is angry about that as she thinks he's turning his back on family. He's not too impressed with her definition of "family". The tribe is now led by Raven and she led the attack on Shion before Ruby's group made it there.
- Deadpan Snarker: Throughout his entire official introduction episode (Vol.3 Episode 3), almost every word that comes out of his mouth is dripping with snark.Ironwood: If you were one of my men I would have you shot!
Qrow: If I was one of your men I'd shoot myself.
- Dirty Old Man: Downplayed. While telling a story to his nieces, he claims he was defeated... by the mere sight of an innkeeper's skirt length, but it's left ambiguous whether he was serious or not. He later mentions he knows a lot of inappropriate stories about his old team, which includes the girls' parents, but he never goes into detail about it. In the episode Family he gives a leering look to a waitress who playfully flirted with him.
- Drowning My Sorrows: Qrow is almost always drunk, but he's able to function as a Huntsman, protect people and contribute to tactical and strategic planning despite the heavy drinking. After he learns the truth about Ozpin and Salem, his faith and trust in Ozpin are so shattered that Ruby worries about how he's handling the situation. When the group takes shelter from a blizzard in an abandoned house, she unsuccessfully attempts to hide from him the existence of a bar and cellar. Instead of keeping watch over everyone that night, Qrow drinks himself unconscious, and, instead of helping preparations to leave the farm, he sits by a fence and drinks until driven into the bar by Team RWBY arguing about the Relic of Knowledge. While Team RWBY and Maria fight off a horde of Apathy Grimm in the cellar next door to Qrow, he drinks himself into an oblivious stupor. Even when they try to rescue him, all he comprehends is that they're separating him from his alcohol. He doesn't realise the danger they're all in until Ruby and Weiss are physically dragging him from the house.
- Establishing Character Moment: In his first proper appearance, he is draped over a bar, piss-drunk, and complaining that all the tournament matches so far are a mess. Even his nieces have fought by that point. The barman mentions he hasn't liked any fight and asks which one he came for, prompting a sullen response that the fight he came for is the elaborate airship just arriving outside. It's later shown that the rest of his social circle do seem to regard him as a bit of a trouble-maker and a habitual drunk.
- Family Theme Naming: He and Raven are both named after corvids.
- Foil: To Ironwood. While both serve under Ozpin, James is uptight, formal and likes getting straight to the point, while Qrow is drunk, grumpy and enjoys winding people up. James prefers approaching problems with open, physical and excessive displays of force, while Qrow prefers intelligence gathering, working from the shadows and playing his cards close to his chest. Both men are aggressive, but James focuses on macho, physical aggression that's backed up by verbal arguments, while Qrow prefers sarcastic, verbal attacks that's backed up by physical actions. Putting the two men in a room together is a recipe for fireworks; they both want the same thing, but their personalities clash on how best to achieve it.
- Functional Addict: His alcoholism doesn't seem to dull his abilities as a professional Huntsman all that much. He can fight with the best huntsmen, is quick on the uptake and perceptive. Aside from the occasional bout of severe drinking where he ends up insensible, most of the time he acts like he isn't drunk beyond a slight slur to his speech. In Volume 6, learning Ozpin's secrets about Salem so shatters his faith and trust in Ozpin that Ruby becomes increasingly worried about his ability to cope; when the group is attacked by a horde of Apathy Grimm, he is so insensible that he doesn't even notice the danger the girls are in — they instead have to rescue both themselves and him.
- The Gadfly: Has a mischievous side, expressed by his teasing of Ruby when they reunite and general irreverence towards everyone, that he even applies tactically when fighting; he irritates Winter enough that she starts the fight they have, and suckers her into carrying on after her boss has arrived.
- Grin of Audacity: He flashes an excited grin when Winter manages to get a hit on him before demolishing the ground beneath the two of them.
- Guttural Growler: Qrow is a grim, cynical Huntsman who struggles through life as an alcohol and believes he's cursed by a Semblance that brings misfortune to everyone around him, including himself. His voice is raspy at the best of times, and becomes an open growl when he's angry or upset.
- Heroic BSoD: When Qrow learns the truth about their mission, he is absolutely devastated. When he learns that Salem cannot be killed, and that Ozpin has no plan for defeating her, he punches him and tells him that he devoted his life to Ozpin's service because Ozpin was the first person in his entire unlucky life to ever give him a place and a purpose in life. He declares that meeting Ozpin was the worst luck of his life. He then spends the rest of the journey to Argus reeling from the news and sinking further into drink. He's too drunk to notice the danger the students are in from the Apathy Grim, so they have to rescue him. In Argus, when the military base refuses to let them travel to Atlas, Qrow disappears off to get drunk. The next time they see him, he's slumped on the steps outside the house they're staying in, leaving the home owner to worry what the neighbours will think. During the battle with Cordovin's giant robot, Qrow pulls it together just enough to help them disable the robot's shields and to catch Ruby when she falls out of the sky after her Aura has shattered.
- Hero-Worshipper: Qrow used to idolize The Grimm Reaper, even designing his weapon Harbinger's scythe mode after her own kama, Life and Death. The moment he learns Maria was her, and that his hero was right in front of him, he can't help but be in shock. After Maria's I'm Not a Hero, I'm... moment, Qrow can only stare at her.
- Honorary Uncle: Qrow is Yang's maternal uncle but is not related by blood to Ruby because she has a different mother. Ruby is treated as his niece every bit as much as Yang is.
- I Shall Taunt You: When Qrow hears that Ironwood and Ozpin have had a falling out, he returns to Vale and picks a fight with Ironwood's subordinate, Winter. He deliberately provokes her into attacking him by destroying Atlesian property, insulting her and threatening to discuss secret information in public. He only stops fighting her when he spots Ironwood coming to break up the fight. By sheathing his sword and mockingly beckoning to her, he taunts her into attacking him one final time just in time for Ironwood to witness it.
- I Work Alone: Qrow generally operates on his own, as a solitary fighter and an Aloof Ally. Since his Semblance causes uncontrolled misfortune to those around him, he actually works better without any allies nearby; his ability to cause enemies bad luck is one thing, but it can be a nightmare for friends and family.
- Image Song: When Qrow fights Tyrian, a song plays about the subject of the song having a habit of bringing misfortune to others if they get too close to him. After the fight is over, Qrow explains to Team RNJR that his Semblance is passively active and causes misfortune to happen around him, something that is useful in battle but which causes immense problems for friends and family. He describes himself as a "bad luck charm", which is the exact title of the song.
- Impossibly Cool Weapon: His weapon Harbinger is one part BFS, one part shotgun, one-part Sinister Scythe, and three parts deadly.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He's abrasive, acerbic and an alcoholic. He'll say what he's thinking, no matter how rude or inappropriate that makes him. When he gets angry, he causes chaos, even picking fights with Winter in public because Ironwood turned the Council against Ozpin. He constantly fights with Ironwood because he disapproves of the way Ironwood is handling their secrets and behaving towards Ozpin. He's extremely loyal to those he cares about, even taking time out to play video games with his nieces, and just because he has a falling out with Ironwood doesn't stop him from saving Ironwood's life or giving him the benefit of the doubt when the Atlesian army turns on Vale. He strongly disapproves of Raven's apparent lack of maternal instinct for Yang, and is very dismayed that Raven has returned to the bandit tribe that raised them because they're thieves and killers.
- The Jinx: Qrow makes a crack to Ruby that he's called "Qrow" because crows are considered unlucky to be around. When Ruby demands to know why he followed them instead of just travelling with them, he jokes bitterly about his name, explaining that his Semblance causes misfortune to those around him. He observes that it's permanently active so can be neither controlled nor switched off, which is great for dealing with opponents in battle, but not so great when trying to interact with friends and family.
- Leitmotif: A slow, melancholic string of singular notes plays in most of his appearances, usually interpreted with a violin. The full version of the song with an electric guitar, plays during his fight with Tyrian and is revealed to be his Image Song when he explains his Semblance to Team RNJR, describing himself by the song's title "Bad Luck Charm".
- Major Injury Underreaction: Qrow doesn't complain very much about the injury he receives from Tyrian. When Tyrian injures Qrow with his scorpion tail, Ruby retaliates by cutting off the stinger; the blood that burns the cobblestones like acid is purple. The following morning, Qrow coughs up blood; he notices it's the same shade purple, remarks "That's unfortunate", and falls unconscious.
- Meaningful Name: Qrow explains that he got his name because crows have a reputation for being unlucky. His Semblance makes him the very opposite of his surname (which means 'blessed (or white) crow') by bringing misfortune to others, which is great in battle but not so great when interacting with friends and family.
- The Mentor: He trained Ruby how to fight while she was at Signal and is the reason why she's mastering his ability with the combat scythe.
- Mix-and-Match Weapon: Qrow's weapon, Harbinger, is a huge sword that is almost as long as Qrow is tall with a blade that is wider than a man's thigh. However, the sword can easily transform from a sword to a scythe or a rifle at the push of a button which sets off a series of gears that are located in the quillon between the handle and sword blade. He can also open the blade to fire bullets from the hilt, or fire it in scythe mode to propel himself forward.
- Mr. Exposition: Qrow is the narrator for the World of Remnant shorts in Volume 4, and does a lot of explaining to Team RNJR in A Much Needed Talk.
- Multi-Melee Master: He is the foremost expert in the use of a sniper scythe, having taught Ruby everything she knows and made her skilled enough to have her skip two grades. However, he is most frequently seen using Harbinger in its sword configuration and proves to be an equally formidable foe while using it. Even when Tyrian manages to disarm him, Qrow just shrugs and proceeds to repeatedly punch Tyrian in the face.
- My Nayme Is: Despite being pronounced "crow", Qrow's name is spelled with a "Q" instead of a "C".
- The Nicknamer: Qrow comes up with nicknames for everyone in his life. While he occasionally calls Ruby "Pipsqueak", his preferred nickname for her is "Kiddo". He calls Yang "Firecracker", Ozpin "Oz", Ironwood "Jimmy", Taiyang "Tai" and Winter "Ice Queen". This last initially causes some confusion when Weiss first meets Qrow as she is so used to being called "Ice Queen", she immediately assumes he's talking to her instead of her sister.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: At least part of his drunkenness is a facade intended to make others underestimate him. He drops the act when in private with Ozpin, Glynda, and Ironwood; it doesn't change the fact that he really is drunk, but he tends to hide how well he can function while under the influence.
- One-Handed Zweihänder: The default state of Qrow's weapon is a long-handled sword of huge size and width, making it almost as big as him. He frequently uses the sword one-handed.
- One of the Kids: He's not above playing video games with his nieces (and handily beating them at it), doesn't like being called "old", and will gladly join Ruby in a happy dance over tasty sandwiches. He does, however, take pride in being a professional Huntsman and sometimes ends his "play-time" with his nieces by telling them that him being seen with kids is cramping his style.
- Only a Flesh Wound: The only injury Tyrian manages to inflict on Qrow is a thin scratch. A massive bandage is then used to wrap his torso, despite the small wound, but Qrow clearly has trouble moving around that night. The following morning, blood is soaking through the bandage and Qrow coughs up even more blood before lapsing unconscious. The blood is the same purple shade as the blood that was in Tyrian's scorpion tail.
- Perma-Stubble: He doesn't seem concerned with his appearance. He has a somewhat wild appearance, emphasized by his unshaven look. Mercury comments that he has bad hair and smells like his dad after a long day. He is, however, clean shaven in the picture of his team during the opening of Volume 3.
- Power Incontinence: Qrow has a passive Semblance that is always active and, while he has a very limited ability to amplify its effects, he is incapable of switching it off. The Semblance causes misfortune to anyone within its area of effect; it's an excellent tool for bring bad luck to enemies on the battlefield, but it also brings suffering to any allies who are on the same battlefield as well as to people he interacts with on a daily basis. He therefore spends as little time as possible hanging around the people he cares about to protect them from his Semblance.
- Razor Wind: His sword is capable of firing one as a warning shot to Winter. One later assists the cleaving of an attacking Griffon.
- Rebel Relaxation: Qrow has a habit of lounging with his back and one foot against a wall and arms crossed when a conversation is taking place. When Ozpin discusses a children's fairy tale with Pyrrha, Qrow is in the background against a pillar. He only joins in the conversation when Pyrrha needs to be convinced that Ozpin isn't joking about the fairy tale being true. When he talks to Yang after she's disqualified, he starts off in this position, but as the conversation becomes more serious, he loses the stance.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: Ozpin once tells Ruby that the gun-scythe weapon is one of the most dangerous weapons in the world and he only knows of two people who wield it with great proficiency: she and the man who trained her, Qrow. Qrow is an ill-tempered, rude-humored, hard-drinking huntsman with eyes that are a greyish red in colour. He spends his time in the dangerous wilds of Remnant on mysterious missions for Ozpin or looking out for the safety of his nieces. However, his Semblance is permanently active: like a bad luck charm, his Aura triggers misfortune for everyone he spends any time around. It's extremely useful in battle where his opponents find their luck turning against them, but it also means he struggles to spend any time with friends and loved ones. When Qrow appears on the scene, Mercury panics that his presence may disrupt the villains' plans, and Salem hints that Qrow is enough of a threat for her to consider it useful to her cause if he's taken out of the equation.
- 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.
- Recoil Boost: Like Ruby, Qrow can use the shotgun feature of Harbinger while it's in scythe form to propel himself forward and strengthen his blade's cutting power.
- Sinister Scythe: Taught Ruby how to fight with hers, uses one himself, though most of the time he keeps it in the form of a sword. Turning into its scythe form requires a rather lengthy Transformation Sequence in which the the "sword" segments itself into a curved blade and extends a very long handle, as least as tall as Qrow himself.
- Sour Supporter: He is downright caustic to some of his allies, especially Ironwood, when he feels that they're being reckless or stupid. Despite this rough exterior, Qrow is fiercely loyal to his friends and family, placing special emphasis on the latter.
- Spin to Deflect Stuff: Despite the huge size of his weapon's default sword-form, Qrow is capable of easily spinning it in battle, using the sword's large size to deflect bullets, flaming rocks and other dangerous projectiles.
- Stab the Scorpion: He does this for Ironwood in Episode 11, cleaving a Griffon that was attacking him from behind in half. Ironwood was shocked, thinking that Qrow was about to attack him.
- Tall, Dark, and Snarky: Standing eye-to-eye with the very tall and imposing General Ironwood, Qrow dresses primarily in black and gray and has a dry wit that is only matched by his drunkenness and deadliness in combat. While Qrow is generally a decent man to his friends, he loves to snark at and piss off people he feels are acting out of people's best interests, as seen when he intentionally picks a fight with Winter and argues with Ironwood at their meeting. He is also very good at what he does, with Mercury fleeing in terror at the sight of him.
- Take Up My Sword: In the Volume 3 finale, he implies that whatever happened to Ozpin, he's in no condition to finish the grand scheme, so Qrow himself will have to in his place. He fulfills the trope by taking Ozpin's cane. At the end of Volume 4, he gives the cane to Oscar.
- Theme Naming: The Beacon Academy headmaster, Ozpin, has strong connections to the Wizard of Oz, from whom he gets his name. His closest allies are in positions of power in all four Huntsmen Academies and share Ozpin's Oz connections by being themed on Dorothy's companions. Qrow is inspired by the Scarecrow. While the Scarecrow was questing for intelligence he already possessed, Qrow acts as Ozpin's intelligence-gatherer and tends to clash with Ozpin's allies whenever he feels they're not responding to threats in a sound and strategic manner.
- Thicker Than Water: Qrow is extremely protective of his family members, constantly tailing Ruby all throughout Volume 4 to make sure that nothing bad happened to her. He also screams at her to stay out of his fight with Tyrian out of fear for her safety. This also means that he's furious when he realizes that Raven has risked the lives of him, Ruby, Yang, and the others to save herself.
- This Is Unforgivable!: Qrow's reaction in "The More the Merrier" when he discovers that Raven is willing to help set him and Team RWBY up is outrage. Despite Qrow's cynicism about Raven's loyalties, he had enough faith in her to believe that she'd never turn on them like this. By this point, he's given up on her completely, telling Raven in no uncertain terms that she's crossed the line and disowning her.
- Token Adult: Throughout Volume 4, Team RNJR storyline focusses solely on their journey across Anima to reach Haven Academy. For much of this time, Qrow is the only adult involved in their quest. He initially follows them in secret, keeping most of the Grimm at bay so that they're not attacked too frequently as they travel. When he finally reveals his presence, it's to protect them from Tyrian. In Volume 5, Qrow is able to reunite with Ozpin, who is sharing the body of the fourteen-year-old Oscar, and the storyline focusses on the Team RNJR and Oscar preparing to protect both the Relic of Knowledge and Haven Academy from the villains. Although the group is led by Ozpin, his role is limited by his physical circumstances. As a result, he has to rely heavily on five children and a single adult (Qrow) to prepare for the fight that is to come.
- Undying Loyalty: To Ozpin; it's clear that Qrow respects the man and wasn't exactly thrilled of how Ironwood kind of shafted him, which is implied to be one of the reasons why he doesn't seem fond of Ironwood and why he picked a fight with Winter to begin with. Qrow's response to Ozpin going missing after the fall of Beacon, is to take over Ozpin's duties and carry Ozpin's cane across Anima to Mistral. There he waits for a sign that Ozpin has caught up with him again. When Oscar arrives on the scene and nervously obeys Ozpin's voice to request the cane back from Qrow, Qrow gives it up instantly and tells Oscar that it's good to see Ozpin again. Ozpin appears to have had faith in Qrow to follow his orders even when he can't be there to see if Qrow carries them out or not... it's well-placed faith. When the group learn the truth about Ozpin and Salem's shared past, that Salem can't be killed, and that Ozpin has no plan for defeating her, Qrow snaps. He punches Oscar in the face then tells Ozpin that meeting him was the worst luck of his life.
- Unwitting Pawn: Qrow believes highly in Ozpin, and by extension, Ozpin's group. When he figures out the Spring Maiden's location, he tells Professor Lionheart of Haven Academy where she is so to get his help retrieving her. Unfortunately, Lionheart had by that point lost all faith in beating Salem, and has been press-ganged into being the Mole in Charge for her forces. By telling Lionheart, Qrow essentially helped Salem find the Spring Maiden.
- Voluntary Shapeshifting: When Team RNJR travel to Mistral, Qrow secretly follows them in the form of a crow; he shifts between human and bird as he desires, and his clothing and equipment are covered by the shapeshifting, so he is able to carry both his weapon and Ozpin's cane even in bird form. In Volume 5, Raven reveals her raven form to Yang and Weiss to demonstrate proof that magic exists in the world; she explains that the one who gifted the twins with the ability to transform into their namesake birds is Professor Ozpin.
- Wrong Context Magic: He has the ability to turn into a crow, something that is neither his Semblance nor a Faunus animal trait. It is therefore a power that is not explained by the story's standards of physics-breaking abilities of Semblance, Aura and Dust - all of which are emphatically not magic. Real magic does exist, but it's rare and is kept secret from the general population. Raven reveals her transformation to Yang and Weiss to prove that magic really does exist; she states that it's something Professor Ozpin did to her and Qrow.
- Weapon of Choice: Qrow fights with a giant sword that can transform into both a gun and a scythe. The weapon is therefore designed to deal death at both range and close-combat. Qrow is heavily associated with crows and the death and misfortune that crows are associated with. He was named "Qrow" because his Semblance brings bad luck to anyone he's near, making him the same harbinger of misfortune as a crow. His weapon is likewise designed to bring death and misfortune in multiple ways, and its strongest form is the scythe that is associated with death and the Grim Reaper.
- Winds of Destiny, Change: Qrow has a secret, unconventional approach to battle. His Semblance causes misfortune to everyone around him and it's something that cannot be controlled or switched off. While it causes big problems for friends and family, causing misfortune to happen to opponents on the battlefield is very useful.
Voiced by: Melissa Sternenberg
Debut: Argus Limited*
An elderly woman who travels to Argus on the same train as Team RWBY. When the train crashes, she's stranded in the wilderness with Team RWBY, Qrow and Oscar.
In her youth, Maria fought with a pair of dual kama called "Life and Death", which used Gravity Dust to propel Maria around the battlefield. Her Semblance, "Preflexes", gives her enhanced reflexes and allows her to react to attacks almost before they happen.
- Ace Pilot: Maria is the one flying the stolen airship. Weiss at first questions it, but Maria turns out to be quite effective at it, handling well both being attacked by a Humongous Mecha and flying right into a swarm of Grimm.
- Blind Without 'Em: Maria admits that she's blind without "her eyes", referring to artificial eyes she now has. When her perspective is shown, her vision is washed out and blue-tinted, which gives her very little awareness of color. She lost her eyesight in battle when she was much younger and is travelling to Argus because her eyes are currently malfunctioning and in need of repair.
- Break the Badass: In her youth, she was known as The Grimm Reaper, a legendary Huntress whom Qrow idolised so much he designed his weapon after her's. However, on her final mission, she was permanently blinded. Her fear of the consequences of that fight meant that she never fought again. Assassins came after her with the explicit instructions to kill her because of the power of her silver eyes. While they only managed to blind her, she was so terrified that more assassins would come that she went into hiding. Even after she was given artificial sight, she couldn't bring herself to return to the battlefield. She now regards herself as a failure who betrayed what it meant to be a Huntress.
- Color Blind Confusion: Maria relies on a pair of artificial eyes to see, and she has difficulty recognizing colors due to them being in need of repair. She only finds out that Ruby has silver eyes by asking her what color they are.
- Cool Mask: When she was a young woman, she was known as the Grimm Reaper. To protect her anonymity associated with the moniker, she donned a skull mask that was covered in grey patterns. It was ultimately destroyed when she was attacked by Tock and her thugs, taking a headbutt to the face.
- Cool Old Lady: Maria is a senior citizen that gets involved with the main group through a series of misfortunes, but even then, she is nice and kind to the main group and serves as the voice of reason whenever the group starts to disintegrate over emotional shocks or threats to their lives.
- Dope Slap: Although Maria agrees to act as a mentor figure, she's very frank with her opinions and can't abide stupidity or people having the wrong mentality towards fighting as a Huntress. She will knock sense into people's heads by hitting them with her staff. As Maria is experienced at fighting with the power of her silver eyes, Ruby eagerly asks if Maria can show her "how to laser beam monsters with [her] eyeballs". Maria hits Ruby over the head with her walking stick for having the wrong mentality to use her power. As it's a tool of protection and preservation, antithesis to destruction, it can't be thought of as a weapon.
- Electronic Eyes: She lost her eyesight in battle. As a result, she now has artificial eyesight that consisted of goggles being surgically attached to her face. Not only can she see clearly, but the flaps of the eyes function like eyelids and move according to her mood.
- Expressive Mask: Maria possesses artificial eyes that cover her face like a pair of metal goggles. The flaps on the eyepieces can adjust with her mood to imitate eyelids. It's therefore easy to see when she's shocked, irritated or concentrating by whether the flaps make these artificial eyes wide and round or narrow, rectangular slits.
- Eye Scream: On her final mission as The Grimm Reaper, Maria is blinded in both eyes and has to undergo surgery to be given the artificial sight she now possesses. She was ambushed by a band of thugs ordered to kill her because of that ability. The leader, Tock, manages to strike her across the face with a cutlass, destroying both Maria's eyesight and her power.
- Failure Hero: Maria feels she should not become a role model for anyone because she never returned to fighting the Grimm after losing her sight. Even after being given surgery to give her artificial sight, she was still too afraid to return to the battlefield. She comments that the team already seem stronger than she ever was, a diplomatic reference to Yang still being in the fight despite having lost her arm. What Maria feared was Tock's unnamed master sending more assassins after her to finish the job Tock started, so she has lived in hiding ever since.
- Felony Misdemeanor: She has been on an extra screening list for Atlas for a while, which also managed to get her a rivalry with Caroline Cordovin, due to merely taking some extra cashews with her in a flight to fix her eyes.
- Gravity Master: The kama Maria wields, Life and Death, possess gravity dust in the chambers by the base. When she was younger, she would throw one kama, then activate the dust to trigger a magnetic effect and drag the other one, and anything it hit, back to her.
- Hero of Another Story: The Grimm Reaper is a legendary Huntress whose fame is known far and wide, but whose identity was never known. She disappeared one day, leaving the world wondering what happened to her, and whether or not she had died. The only mission ever shown is the one that reveals how she lost her eyesight.
- I Resemble That Remark!: When their train crashes, Yang complains about the situation and sums up how bad it is by concluded that they've ended up with a defenseless old lady. Maria objects to being called defenseless — but then acknowledges that she's hard of hearing and blind without her artificial eyes, which don't work properly. She concludes that she can see Yang's point, after all.Maria: My name is Maria Calavera, and I am not defenseless! I'm just a little hard of hearing. And blind without my eyes, that are in desperate need of repair... okay, I'm starting to see your point.
- I'm Not a Hero, I'm...: Maria doesn't see herself as a great hero, but as a disappointment for running and hiding once she lost her eyes rather than doing the job of a Huntress and continuing to fight. When Qrow tries to compliment her for being a great hero and admits he wanted to be like her, all she can do is call herself a disappointment; she adds that Qrow, who's struggling with alcohol, is well on his way to being the same.
- Living Legend: Maria was once known as The Grimm Reaper, a renowned Huntress whose identity was never known. She disappeared to mysterious circumstances, her legend surviving only as a riddle that no-one could ever solve. Qrow modeled his own weapon Harbinger, a sword-gun-scythe combination, on the Grimm Reaper's weapons Life and Death, which were dual kama. Ruby herself has modeled her own sniper-scythe Crescent Rose on Qrow's weapon, and so has indirectly been influenced by The Grimm Reaper's style.
- Meaningful Name: Calavera is the Spanish word for a representation of the human skull. The word is most well-known for its use as edible or decorative skulls used during the Mexican celebration, the Day of the Dead, and the Roman Catholic holiday, All Souls Day. Maria carries with her a staff that is topped by a decorative skull, and also wears a bead necklace which has a single skull as its centerpiece. As the Grimm Reaper, she also wore a half-mask with a similar skull motif.
- Mentor Archetype: Maria is a very old Huntress who is haunted by the fact she gave up being a Huntress when young instead of continuing to protect people. Ruby, however, suggests she can still help, but in the role of a tutor. She is inclined to speak her mind and bluntly tells the alcoholic Qrow that if he's trying to emulate her past prowess, he's well on the way to ending up as the same disappointment she did. Maria was trained to use her silver eyes in battle, but Ruby has no idea how to harness her own silver-eye power and Maria is the first person she's ever met who can teach her. Maria regrets being too afraid to continue as a Huntress after an assassination attempt destroyed her eyes, so she is attempting to pass her knowledge and wisdom on to Ruby — even if it means whacking Ruby over the head for thinking of her power as the ability to laser beam monsters instead of as the ability to protect life. The distinction is important because the power cannot be used for any reason and can only be used in the presence of Grimm — and only if Ruby has cultivated the correct state of mind to activate it.
- Miniature Senior Citizen: Maria looks like a frail, old woman who is bent with age and moves with a slow, heavy limp. Her height barely manages to reach the waist of adult men.
- Red Baron: The Grimm Reaper was a legendary Huntress who was famed across the world for her skill in battle. However, Maria's true identity was never known because she was only ever seen wearing a mask and never told anyone her real name.
- Reports of My Death Were Greatly Exaggerated: When the Grimm Reaper suddenly disappeared, no-one could uncover what happened to her. For years, many assumed she was simply on a mission, before coming to accept she more than likely died. As the Grimm Reaper had always worn a mask and never revealed their real name, Maria found it relatively easy to disappear from all awareness of the world despite being a legend. She was blinded by Tock, who was sent to assassinate her by someone who wanted the Silver-Eyed Warriors dead. Maria was so frightened by the thought of other assassins coming after her to finish the job that she went into hiding.
- Retired Badass: Maria used to be a famed Huntress in her youth, until she was forced into an early retirement. When Tock blinded her, she revealed that she had been sent after Maria by her 'master', who wanted Maria dead for being a Silver-Eyed Warrior. Maria gave up being a Huntress because she was terrified that more assassins would come to finish the job.
- Screw Politeness, I'm a Senior!: Even though she's an elderly woman, Maria never takes any crap from anyone. When Ruby delivers Qrow's message that the group should get some sleep because he intends to wake them before sunrise to leave, everyone immediately obeys Qrow's instruction except for Maria. As everyone else prepares for bed, she gathers up the book she's been reading and marches over to a chair declaring that no kid is going to tell her when she goes to bed. She then mimics the command "Go to bed" in a childish voice and pointedly starts reading. Ruby just shrugs and smiles.
- Shooting Lessons From Your Parents: Maria was raised at a time when the concept of Huntsmen was in its infancy. Her father was an old soldier and a great teacher, so taught her all of her combat abilities, as well as how to use her silver eyes. Although she never went to any 'fancy schools', the quality of his training and her dedication meant that she aced the Huntsman licensing exam, obtaining higher marks than anyone else.
- Sinister Scythe: As the Grimm Reaper Maria wielded Life and Death, a pair of kama, sickle-like weapons imbued with Gravity Dust. She could combine them at the base to turn them into a double-ended scythe. One of them was broken when Tock bit into it, and the other one is currently used by Maria as a walking cane. Qrow reveals he designed the scythe portion of his weapon Harbinger specifically after Maria's own weapons.
- Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: Maria has to travel through Argus every few years to have her artificial eyes checked in Atlas. She once smuggled some cashews onto the flight with her, resulting in the base commander, Cordovin, placing her on an extended screening list. They've been enemies ever since, constantly trying to provoke each other however they can. Their greeting consists of Cordovin calling Maria a witch and Maria calling Cordovin a she-devil. When Cordovin realises that one of her airships has been stolen by Maria and Weiss, Maria deliberately chews cashews into the radio to taunt her. Cordovin skips the usual military response of scrambling fighter pilots to escort the airship back to base; she instead activates a gigantic robot whose normal function is to protect Argus from the enormous Grimm that live in deeper waters just to teach Maria a lesson in defying her authority.
- Skeleton Motif: Maria is represented and shown with human skulls all around her. She has a skull in her necklace, a skull adorns the cane she uses to walk and her mechanical eyes look similar to a skull's eye sockets. Her last name is also the Spanish word for the human skull. As the Grimm Reaper she also wore a half-mask shaped like a skull, playing into the typical portrayal of the reaper as a skeletal being.
- Spider-Sense: Her "Preflexes" Semblance gives her hyper-awareness of her surroundings and incredible reaction speeds, almost to the point of seeing attacks before they happen. She demonstrates the Semblance to Ruby by catching a lemon that falls without warning from the tree she's sitting under. Tock manages to stagger her by biting her weapon in half & headbutting her, leaving her unable to dodge when Tock slashed her eyes. However, by using her senses and her training, she is able to judge where Tock is standing and kill her.
- Strong and Skilled: Maria lived during a time when the Huntsmen Academies were only just getting up and running. Her father didn't really classify as one so she only knew him as an 'old soldier'. She was trained by her father instead of going to the academies, but when she took the Huntsman licensing exam, she got higher marks than anyone else. Tock is so focused on completing her mission to destroy the threat of the silver eyes power that Maria possesses that she doesn't take account of Maria's training or Semblance at all. When she blinds Maria, Maria is able to use the gravity Dust built into her twin weapons and her Preflexes Semblance to understand their relative positions. It allows her to recall her fallen weapon back to the weapon she's holding, which impales Tock in the back because Tock is standing in the flight path. Maria is then able to decapitate Tock, despite being completely blind. Maria emphasises to Ruby that it doesn't matter what she can do with the silver eyes power, Ruby must always think of her training and her Semblance as her most powerful tools — those are what saved Maria's life.
- Wrecked Weapon: Maria used to wield two kama known as Life and Death that could combine into a double-ended scythe. While she still retains the staff-form of one of the kama and uses it as her walking cane, the other one was broken during the fight in which she lost her eyesight. Tock possessed metal teeth and a powerful bite; she was able to bite right through the end of one of the kama, shattering the handle. Its final fate is unknown, though she appears to use one as a walking stick.