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What Could Have Been / RWBY

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  • Professor Ozpin was originally supposed to be voiced by Monty Oum himself, but he decided that he wasn't the right fit. Matt Hullum (the voice of Sarge from Red vs. Blue) also auditioned for the part.
  • Monty would have voiced Qrow Branwen had he not passed away. The role instead went to Vic Mignogna and later Jason Liebrecht.
  • Gavin Free was originally slated to voice Junior.
  • Glynda originally had an Australian accent.
  • According to the "World of RWBY" book, Sarah Silverman was nearly cast as Neopolitan, but after the casting fell through, Neo was made largely mute.

Character Design

  • RTX 2013 revealed that both Ozpin and Glynda were going to have more cape elements in their design, but they were scrapped for the same reason as Ruby's cape-muff.
  • RTX 2013 revealed that Roman Torchwick's early designs had a striped scarf.
  • Professor Oobleck was originally going to be a boring, lethargic teacher.
  • Cinder at one point had incredibly long, flowing sleeves similar to Weiss.
  • Volume 3's opening shows Ironwood in a completely different outfit from the one he wore at the time, but for technical reasons the design was cut and Ironwood reverted to his old outfit.
  • RWBY Volume 2: Production Diary 1 describes Velvet as simply having been created for the sole purpose for demonstrating the discrimination Faunus face, but fan response to her was so positive that she was further written into the story for Volume 2.
    Kerry: It's a good thing we didn't go-we almost went with a dude with an elephant trunk. Probably wouldn't have turned out—
    Miles and Kerry: Not as good.
  • Velvet's Hunter outfit's design had several options, ranging from a hood with holes to let her ears through, a lengthy raincoat plus a variant with rolled coat tails, and even a back ribbon that was considered for Nora's outfit. Most of these designs were scrapped for a simplistic model.
  • Russel Thrush was originally Russel Crow.
    Monty: I had to slap that one out of the air.
  • CRDL was originally pronounced something like 'Crow'.
  • Adam had a complete model revision per Shane Newville's Vine account. He initially had shorter sleves, a brighter shade of red in his hair, and wore his sheath on his back compared to his hip.
  • Mercury's jacket and hair went through several revisions, including one where his jacket was yellow.
  • Roman's costume went through major revisions, chief among which ageing him up as he was originally imagined as a street urchin. Alongside longer hair, he also wore a long scarf, darker sleeves and straighter hair at various points.
  • Cinder's spy outfit in Volume 2 was far more conservative in design, being full body and exposing no skin below the neck. In the series proper, it's made to emphasise Cinder's sexuality, in particular her clevage and behind.
  • Winter's Volume 7 design went through many different editions, including one that gave her a half-cape.

    Team RWBY 
  • RTX 2013 revealed that Ruby's hair was originally going to be gray, because Monty wanted to evoke a kind of wolf-like appearance for her. He mentioned later that Ruby's current hairstyle still looks kinda "wolfy". Her cape was also originally going to have a muff-like thing around her neck, but animation issues restricted that.
  • Team RWBY wasn't supposed to have hair colors that matched their theme colors, and everyone but Yang was a brunette. So, Yang was the only one who ended up keeping her original hair color.
  • Early designs for Ruby and Weiss were discarded for those two characters, instead becoming the basis for Melanie and Mitia's designs.
  • Early art for Blake gave her heterochromia and two differently colored cat ears.
  • Monty's earliest doodles of Yang give her pants and some highlights of her clothes were yellow and she had a different style belt. Her promotional art still has her skirt with a more pleated/segmented look as well.
  • Monty's earliest doodles of Weiss' clothes weren't as detailed, her jacket lacked it's red collar, is missing her black undershirt and had a different ponytail. There was also a few early designs for her snowflake emblem.
  • Different production art that was released showed that Weiss originally had a beauty mark instead of a scar, and that Myrtenaster's hilt was built more a complete gun rather than just the revolver mechanism.
  • Something that mistakenly made it into the White trailer in a few shots was that the Dust in the mechanism in Myrtenaster was all red, as opposed to the multicolored seen in the series proper. Each would still have had different properties, but Monty initially disliked the idea of having a rainbow used on the design before deciding that it would make things clearer overall.
  • Crescent Rose was originally much more sniper-like, looking almost like a Barret Sniper rifle with a scythe blade added onto it.

    Team JNPR 
  • Jaune's original concept art played up a moral rural/rustic part of his character, with his clothes having a more tan-based color scheme. His eyes also went from red, to brown, to eventually settling on blue. Jaune was also originally named "Jean" after jeans for the show's color naming rule, until Burnie walked in on the writers and suggested a different name.
  • Nora was originally meant to have a sash that wrapped around her waist, and ended in two long tails. Monty scrapped the idea because he thought it would be too hard to animate.
    • Volume 3's commentary also mentioned that Nora was meant to get spikier hair when using her Semblance as an homage to anime characters hairs spiking up when they power up, but it wasn't worth the effort/time to make a new model just for it.
  • Early art for Ren implies that he was originally intended to be a more androgynous or even female character wielding a sword.
  • Monty's earliest doodles of Pyrrha give her some armor covering her sash instead of a belt, extra armor on one leg, and no tiara or ponytail.



  • Jaune's original line after Ruby killed the Nevermore was going to be a quiet, awestruck, "Bye bye, birdy."

Grimm Design

  • The Apathy was one of the first Grimm designed. However, the creators realized that they'd be too strong for Team RWBY in the early volumes, so it took until volume 6 for them to appear. There was also discussion of whether other Grimm would be affected by the Apathy, with an emaciated Beowolf too weak to hunt humans being in concept for a while.



  • Miles revealed during the Reddit AMA post-Volume 5 that had "Jaunedice" not gotten such a cold reaction, Volume 1 may have included more character-centric episodes like it.
  • Before the show premiered, Corsac and Fennec Albain were going to be the villains of Volume 1. Then came Roman Torchwick, who stole the show beyond anyone's expectations. The Albains would later become the overarching villains of Blake's story in Volumes 4 and 5.
  • Warner Bros. Japan asked Burnie Burns to include a Hot Springs Episode in the future. Burns staunchly refused due to Ruby's age.
  • Prior to the release of Before the Dawn, EC Myers, author of After the Fall discussed on a podcast several instances of this that occured while making the first book:
    • CFVY weren't the first choice for the book's protagonists, with early considerations including covering Roman's background and focusing on Team STRQ. Neither story was very fleshed out before CFVY were chosen to be the leads.
    • Coco's Semblance was initially something different, until EC was told of a character in-show who had a similar Semblance.
    • The book series was initially going to feature the return of Penny Polendina, which was shot down because of the character's return in Volume 7.
    • Fox was going to meet the Summer Maiden in the desert, who would have appeared to save him from Bertilak.
    • The Ravager Grimm were originally going to be called the Camazotz, an allusion to the Mayan bat god of the same name.

    Volume 1 
  • By the original plans, Jaune was actually on the right track in the cave in Players and Pieces, because the relics were going to be inside assorted Grimm, including the Deathstalker stinger.
  • Penny's curbstomp of the White Fang forces, where she clearly shows signs of being a robot (weapon popping out of her back, inhuman strength even by the standards of what had been shown, firing energy beams in a very mechanical fashion), was not intended to be in Episode 16, and was added by Monty without prior knowledge. This is clear in the DVD commentary, where Miles Luna makes it clear he had intended Penny stopping the van to be the first indication of Penny's true power and identity.

    Volume 2 
  • During Mercury and Emerald's Establishing Character Moment of their assassination of Tukson, the crew considered adding an extra shot of some of Tukson's blood on a wall.
  • During Best Day Ever, the first food Yang caught was going to be a cherry with stem, then she reveals the stem with a knot tied in it (you can see her 'hold small object' hand pose when she does the 'with a Yang' pun), but they decided that was a hair too risque.
  • Ren originally grabbed a pair of cucumbers during the food fight, but they were changed to leeks after a lot of "Is he hitting Yang with a pair of green dicks?" reactions.
  • Sun and Neptune were meant to partake in RWBY's fight against the Paladin, but Monty was having difficulties with Sun's gunchuck rigging that he had the two be knocked out of the fight for his own sake. The gunchuck rigging proved to be "one of the most stupidly complex rigs" for Monty (requiring him to reuse old animation for their scene in Volume 1) and after Volume 2 he began work on a new rigging system for the gunchucks to make them easier.
  • During Pyrrha's fight with CRDL, the plan was to include a flashback to Pyrrha training as a child and getting to see her mother.
  • Neo didn't exist until late in production, based off Monty seeing a genderbent cosplay of Roman and deciding it would be easier to make Neo and her Semblance than justify Roman escaping the Paladin battle otherwise. Neo's impact on the plot makes her a series-wide example of this.
  • Monty initially wanted the events of the Breach to lead directly into the Fall of Beacon, but he was persuaded to pull back and delay it until Volume 3.

    Volume 3 
  • A massive change that occured between Volumes 2 and 3 was Monty adding the Maiden power system into the series, which necessitated large changes for several character arcs, including Cinder, Raven and Penny. Cinder was most affected by this as the show goes from her fighting with Dust woven into her clothes to using magic afterwards. One only wonders how the plot of the Volume and the series from here would have gone had the Maidens not been implemented.
  • There was going to be a Nora and Pyrrha vs. Sun and Neptune fight during the Vytal Festival Tournament, but it was cut due to not having any real relevance to the plot and being short on time.
  • Other cut fights from Volume 3 per leaked test footage included a 4v4 between JNPR and CFVY and a full sequence of Neo breaking Roman out of jail, with her encountering Yang again. The test footage also reveals that the cut 2v2 was originally going to be Sun working with Scarlet instead of Neptune.
  • Adam and Yang were meant to have a full battle instead of him one-shotting her at the Fall of Beacon, with Monty having already done prelimary work on it before his death. The parts he animated were later repurposed in the two's fight in Volume 6.

    Volume 4 
  • Miles during the Volume 4 commentary mentions that his "Favorite Grimm" was left on the cutting room floor. With the knowledge since then that the Apathy were this Grimm, it means RNJR nearly encountered them on the way to Mistral.
  • Jeff Williams revealed while working on the Volume 4 soundtrack that BMBLB nearly didn't make it in; he planned to do it for a later soundtrack, but due to a leg injury he had more time at home than intended so he was able to finish the song.

    Volume 5 
  • Originally, the Atlas Cargo Pilot was going to have a line about his boyfriend back in Atlas, but the writers realized that having their first LGBT character be a morally ambiguous bit character who died in the second episode he was in would be in poor taste.
  • The commentary for Volume 5 revealed that large chunks of RNJR's plotlines in Mistral were cut due to the Volume's troubled production making it easier to just have RNJR stay in the Mistral house. In particular, two plotlines were salvaged and repurposed for Volume 6:
    • Qrow was meant to meet Maria Calavera during his Huntsmen search, who would have been living with a cat. Maria would have then taught Ruby about her Silver Eyes.
    • Jaune, Ren and Nora finding the statue dedicated to Pyrrha was another plotline alluded to that was meant to be in this season but had to be cut.
  • During an interview talking about Volume 6 in retrospect while preparing for Volume 7, Miles revealed that one draft of the Battle of Haven in Volume 5 had Adam dying.

    Volume 6 
  • Volume 6 was originally meant to have 14 episodes like Volume 5, but due to unknown production reasons (commonly suspected to be the cost of producing the extra-large episode "The Lost Fable" and the cost of making all the new Atlas sets for just one episode) it lost an episode and had its contents merged with the 13th episode and Volume 7's premiere. The Volume 7 commentary later elaborated on this and had the crew saying that the finale would have been an extended version of what was seen in episode 1 up to Penny's return.
  • Salem was originally meant to have her full Tainted Veins appearance in "The Lost Fable," during the flashback, but Miles suggested that she not have the veins so as to make her more conventionally attractive and look less like the Antichrist.
  • While the series never reveals what Ruby got for Yang in "Argus Limited," Miles revealed during C 2 E 2 2020 that the plan was for Ruby to have bought matching friendship bracelets for the team that, during the Apathy arc, would have granted the team a second wind to let them escape. This got scrapped for being too corny for the intent of the episode.
  • Storyboarding for "Lost" revealled that Tyrian's new cybernetic stinger initially had a more kitbashed appearance to it, before the smoother edition he uses in the series proper.

    Volume 7 
  • On a rewatch thread for Volume 7, Eddy shared that Team RWBY were meant to become aware of Tyrian's presence in Atlas in episode 4, but the choice was made to push this internal reveal back as Tyrian's role in the election massacre had more impact.
  • Volume 7's commentary had the crew discussing several major deviations in the original script:
    • When discussing Penny's return, several ideas were tossed around as to her mental state, with one possibility being that she would be completely amnesiac and not remember Team RWBY.
    • Ruby and Qrow's scene in the fourth episode was considered a "Low priority" scene for the team to adapt and nearly was cut for time.
    • Much of Robyn's subplot and a lot of the bigger Team RWBY/JNR moments would only come together late in production, as scenes including Ruby, Ren and Nora being at the election rally and Blake and Yang's talk with Robyn were both not part of the original scripts.
    • The original plan for RWBY following Robyn's election massacre was that they and Ironwood would investigate a warehouse to find information on Tyrian.
    • Much of Ren's arc was entirely cut from the season, including him explaining his more irrational behavior and decision to side with Ironwood that was summarily dropped. His kiss with Nora was one of the above-mentioned RWBY/JNR scenes that was added after initial drafts upon realizing how little the teams did in Volume 7.
    • Marrow was meant to have a scene with Blake where they discussed their Faunus heritages, but the scene was pushed from Chapter 3 to 6 then out of the season entirely.
    • Cinder and Neo were meant to be in the season sooner than they were shown, with a Neo reveal especially being pushed around several times.
    • The original plan for Tyrian and his role in sowing mistrust in Mantle was to stage a scene where it looked like Atlas soldiers were firing on civilians. The idea then became framing Team RWBY for the massacre, before settling on Penny.
    • "Gravity" initially ran for over twenty minutes before it was cut down.
    • Ruby in the storyboards for "Gravity" was depicted as furiously activating her Silver Eyes after Salem taunted her by mentioning Summer Rose, while in the show proper she instead has a small breakdown and is left crying.
    • During Qrow, Clover and Robyn's fight with Tyrian, the battle was meant to have several chase scenes where only Qrow would be able to keep up using his bird powers. One of the chases would end with him landing in front of Tyrian and saying a one liner, only for Tyrian to ask if Qrow can talk in bird form or if he needs to change back to be able to speak. Tyrian was also at one point meant to charge into an alleyway full of Grimm to show his lack of real self-preservation.
    • Fiona's Semblance "Deep Pockets" was based off a rejected idea for Torchwick's Semblance.
    • Penny and Winter's fight with Cinder originally had a section where Penny was knocked into a collection of deactivated robots, with Cinder somehow using the Maiden powers to bring them to life. The idea was scrapped after Miles wondered why Cinder wasn't just blasting through walls, leading to the aerial battle.


  • Starting with Volume 3, we can only wonder what the series might have been like had Monty Oum lived to keep working on it. He was reportedly more of an ideas man who preferred to work on the animation, but given what kind of show this is and several instances of Monty inserting ideas into the show just because he thought they would be cool, it's sadly a major creative loss.


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