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Warning: Spoilers from everything prior to The Charlatan of Choice are unmarked. Read at your own risk.
  • Accidental Innuendo: After America is beaten up by two guards and shoved to the floor, the Ax-Crazy soldier comments that he likes him better on his knees.
  • Alas, Poor Scrappy: Many that despised Blake were caught off-guard and felt sorry for her when she died.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Is Ironwood remorseful for what he and Atlas did to America and Canada? Or does he see their abduction and torment as a Necessary Evil and only "apologizes" to try to get America to agree to fully become Vale? Regardless of his initial thoughts, he grows to regret what he's done and genuinely apologizes for the suffering he caused.
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    • Is England a well-meaning if Knight Templar-ish older brother who only wants what is best for America and will go to admirable and understandable lengths to keep him safe? Or is he a Manipulative Bastard, Jerkass, and anti-Remnant hypocrite who wants to destroy anything to do with Vale, regardless of what America wants and how many innocents get hurt? One the one hand, Remnant put his family through hell and his anger is Justified. On the other, if England succeeded in performing the ritual, Ruby, Yang, and all the people of Vale would have suffered from the loss of their personification. It becomes worse after it's implied Ilia grew gravely ill because Mantle's people lost their connection with Canada and she only survived because she sees Menagerie as her home now.
    • Doctor Polendina post Face–Heel Turn. Has he become so deranged that he is oblivious to his evil actions and how much he hurts America? Or is he perfectly aware of the pain he causes but wears a well-intentioned mask in an attempt to seem sympathetic to his prisoner?
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    • The Ax-Crazy soldier. Did he only intend to torture America and acted touchy-feely towards him simply to mess with his victim, or was he genuinely lustful towards America and planned to sexually assault him?
    • Is Ozpin a Manipulative Bastard who is trying to hold all the info and thus stand above everyone else for (in his eyes) the good of Remnant or has he lost so many people and been betrayed so many times that he doesn't see the point of giving people information until they ask for it?
  • Angst Dissonance: Blake receives more anger, frustration, and disgust than sympathy for her angst over Sun's revealed secret and her damaged friendship with Yang. It doesn't help that Sun willingly told the group his secret while Blake continued to hide hers from her team, and it was Blake's actionsnote  that damaged her and Yang's friendship in the first place. This makes her angst self-inflicted and unsympathetic to some readers.
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  • Angst? What Angst?: Averted. Characters react appropriately to trauma and loss, most notably America, Canada, Pyrrha, and Ruby. For example, Ruby mourns Penny and suffers flashbacks from the trauma of losing an eye and America goes to therapy in an attempt to work through his trauma.
  • Author's Saving Throw: The author realized Blake was not well-liked by fans and gradually lessened her role in the story. She also threw away a plotline which would have been Blake-centric, stating the decision was for the best since readers "would probably see it as a waste of time".
  • Better Than Canon:
    • Many fans think the story handles subjects such as loss, PTSD, and grief with much more realism and grace than canon RWBY.
    • Plotlines like Silver Eyes being a Super-Powered Evil Side and Ozpin's questionable morality are praised for giving characters like Ruby (a Vanilla Protagonist in the show) more depth and nuance and being more interesting than how those plots are handled in the show.
    • The series also has loads of worldbuilding for Remnant which gives the world its own vast history and culture that is distinctly different from those found on Earth. The audience is shown the world, not merely told about it through exposition or a World of Remnant segment.
    • Hazel's reasons for hating Ozpin are also praised for its implementation in this series. He hates Ozpin and works with Salem because Ozpin sent Gretchen's first year team on a third year mission to test the unstable Silver-Eyed girl on their team. The team did not know the mission was meant for third years and were woefully unprepared. The Silver-Eyed girl ended up losing control and slaughtered her team, including Gretchen. Hazel's sister did not know what she was getting into. She died directly because of Ozpin's arrogance and manipulative tendencies.
    • Adam's characterization as a Well-Intentioned Extremist who has no romantic interest in Blake (and thus is not a Yandere), and whose actions are understandable but not excusable has been unanimously praised for the complexity and depth it gives him compared to his canon characterization. It in turn gives more weight and nuance to the White Fang and Faunus Rights conflict as a whole.
  • Catharsis Factor:
    • After all his lies and withholding of the truth, seeing Yang punch Qrow in the face and floor him is satisfying to read.
    • Many enjoyed "The Reason You Suck" Speech directed at Blake by Yang and think the former deserved it.
    • Seeing the heroes learn from past mistakes and grow to recognize Ozpin's lies as lies made many fans cheer. The Reason You Suck Speeches he gets when he continues to lie (and the heroes see through it) are also satisfying.
    • Many were pleased when Pyrrha called out Ruby for taking out her grief on her friends and telling America he was to blame for Blake and Qrow's deaths (which was a factor in him considering suicide).
    • After five books of acting like a Smug Snake and directly hurting characters like Ruby and America, Roman's fiery demise at the hands of America is immensely gratifying.
  • Complete Monster:
    • Cinder Fall is one of Salem's henchmen. She attacked Amber (Vale) and took part of her Aura, leaving her comatose but aware and unable to interact with the waking world. She successfully causes Grimm to invade Vale during the Vytal Festival by orchestrating the Accidental Murder of Penny Polendina at the hands of Pyrrha Nikos. Possessing part of Vale's Aura gives Cinder an empathic connection with the Kingdom of Vale's people, which means she feels echoes of their emotions. Usually this connection causes the personification distress like a part of themselves are being hurt, but Cinder is the opposite. She relishes in the pain and terror she causes during the fall of Beacon. Upon realizing America has part of Vale's Aura, she hunts him down with the intent of torturing him to death for daring to "steal" part of the power that's "owed to her". She is defeated by Canada but remains unrepentant for everything she's done. Her attempt to stab him in the back fails and he kills her.
    • Atlas (Ciel Soleil) is the personification of the Kingdom of Atlas. After Vale was attacked by Cinder and left comatose, Atlas sought out a personification to put her Aura into in order to prevent the rest from going to Cinder. She kidnapped America and Canada, imprisoning and torturing the twins to test which one was more "worthy" of getting a Remnant personification's Aura. After the fall of Beacon, Atlas opens the Transformation Institute, a facility that brainwashes her people, and throws hundreds of citizens in there. When America confronts Atlas in the Institute and refuses to surrender to her, she threatens to break all of his bones and to have her men either torture or rape him. Later, she stabs America repeatedly while he's protecting Ruby and Weiss, pinning his injuries on Ironwood. She later selfishly unlocks the Relic of Creation and teams up with Emerald and Watts in order to kill Canada. Despite claiming that what she does is "for the good of Remnant", Atlas truly only cares about boosting her own ego, and sees everyone—even her own citizens—as being disposable.
    • The ex-soldier is a Torture Technician who was hired by Atlas in case they needed to "encourage" America and Canada to work with them. After Mantle's Aura was forced into Canada in what was essentially "Soul Rape", the ex-soldier was one of the two to drag him back to his cell. He strikes Canada for laughing hysterically from the pain and would have continued to beat him if another guard had not stopped him. The ex-soldier is fired when America and Canada escape, and is hired by Doctor Polendina to be one of America's guards when he is recaptured with the intent of resurrecting Penny. When America does not do what Polendina wants, the soldier tortures him by carving the word "Sacrifice" into his back until it scars and then keeps coming back to do it over and over again for at least a month. He even convinces the other guards to assist with torturing America—something they normally don't do. Even though he has a brief appearance, the ex-soldier is responsible for torturing America for nearly two months and giving America PTSD—all of which he did for his own amusement.
  • Creepy Cute: Penny 2.0. She never blinks, kills remorselessly, and says unsettling things about murder that should not be brought up in everyday conversations. She is also devoted to America, loves puppies, and is as cute as a button, especially when she begins learning the art of puns.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: Yang's joking threat to "punch Alfred in the stomach so hard he won't wake up until the end of the Vytal Festival". She does exactly that with a shotgun blast while under the influence of Emerald's Semblance.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • All the times Ozpin did not trust his followers with vital information and made them fear he may hurt them becomes a lot harder to read after it turns out canon Ozpin has the exact same characterization. In canon, he does not trust anyone with all the information and he lunges for Ruby when she attempts to discover his secrets. In other words, what appeared to be Adaptational Villainy in Weight of the World was revealed to be nothing of the sort.
    • In canon, Silver Eyes runs on a desire to protect people and activate when Ruby's friends are in danger. In this series Silver Eyes are a Super-Powered Evil Side that wants to destroy everyone in their path and Ruby's friends can do absolutely nothing to break her out of her Unstoppable Rage.
    • Ozpin's internal comments that it would be a shame if the twins did not live to see their full potential realized becomes a lot more insidious after he considers killing Canada after he is infected with Grimm essence and tries to murder America.
    • After Yang is arrested, Ruby worries her team may never be whole again. Later, Blake dies saving Yang, leaving Team RWBY incomplete forever.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • There is a trading town that the heroes stay in on the northernmost part of a continent. The town has a heavy Atlas military presence. Which town is being described: Frontier or Argus?
    • Volume 6 reveals Maria has Germany's Semblance and After the Fall reveals Yatsuhashi has Canada's.
    • In The Atrocities of Atlas, Weiss dons a blue outfit after returning to Atlas. Canon Weiss also wears a blue outfit in Volume 7 after she returns to Atlas.
  • "Holy Shit!" Quotient:
    • Quite a few moments, particularly in chapters seven and sixteen of Weight of the World. Chapter seven reveals Remnant has nation-tans (one of whom is Amber) and chapter sixteen has Yang unknowingly attack America and get arrested.
    • Chapter twenty-six of The Depths of Deception. The heroes lose the Relic of Knowledge, Canada's connection with Mantle's people is severed, and America, France, Romano, and Australia are captured by Atlas soldiers and taken back to Remnant. Holy shit.
    • In The Atrocities of Atlas a soldier tortures America and scars him in chapter six. In chapter seven, it's revealed Vale is alive and stuck in America's head. And in chapter nine Penny 2.0 is activated and slaughters Polendina and his soldiers.
      • Chapter twenty-three: America fights Atlas and almost beats her. She overwhelms and tortures him before turning on Ruby. Qrow intercepts the attempted killing blow and collapses in front of his niece. As a result, Ruby activates Silver Eyes.
    • In chapter twenty-five of The Charlatan of Choice Ozpin tries to murder America to get more power.
      • Chapter twenty-seven: Blake Belladonna dies and Canada is captured by Salem.
      • Chapter thirty: Roman and Salem use their powers to near-completely incapacitate all of the heroes and America is captured by Salem's forces.
  • Misaimed Fandom: Some fans miss or ignore the underlying messages about using peace and cooperation instead of violence and war to solve problems. Instead of seeing that few characters want war and most genuinely want to work together for the good of both worlds, these fans want Earth to make Remnant "pay" by nuking them.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Many reviewers see Atlas and Ironwood's actions concerning America and Canada as this. If not that, then the Atlesian Knights' massacre of the people of Westwind is when they crossed the line. Though it's later revealed Ironwood had no part in the Westwind Massacre.
    • If readers don't think Polendina crossed the line when he kidnapped America, he certainly jumps over it when he allows his men to torture America and plans to tear out part of his Aura to use America's Semblance for himself.
    • The previously Ambiguously Evil Ozpin vaults over the line and loses all sympathy when he tries to sacrifice America to gain more power and intends to murder the witnesses (Pyrrha and Penny).
  • Nausea Fuel: The vague descriptions of America's internal bleeding from the Solitas airship crash, which includes his insides feeling "sloshy".
  • Never Live It Down:
    • Yang has forgiven Blake for abandoning Team RWBY but many readers have not.
    • People still bring up Ruby's unfair and cruel treatment of America long after she regretted her actions. While some are content for her to apologize, others demand Ruby pay for it through injury or death.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Has its own page here.
  • Paranoia Fuel: There is a figure of authority. He seems like a pretty nice guy and invites America to his home. America finds out he's part of an Ancient Conspiracy and possibly wants him to sacrifice his life to save the world. He insists America has a choice even though there isn't one because the process had already been started. Despite this, America still trusts him and believes he is working for the good of the many. As time passes, more and more of the authority figure's past comes to light, and America slowly realizes just how far the man is willing to go to achieve his goals. America figures out the authority figure did something to Vale (his predecessor) to keep her from sharing his secrets. By the time this happens, America is trapped. He cannot leave the authority figure behind and is trapped with him in a small space. He fears for his life and the lives of his family and friends and can only pray the authority figure will not hurt them. The authority figure spends the next few weeks staring at America. He's always watching him and when they are about to be attacked, he stands directly behind America in a perfect position to stab him in the back. America ignores his instincts and goes with the authority figure and only a couple friends to "make sure the area is secure". Ozpin drew him away from the group on purpose and tries to sacrifice him. He has been planning to murder America for quite some time. America barely escapes with his life.
  • The Scrappy: In contrast to canon's Blake, the fic's version of Blake is disliked or outright hated by many readers. Many find her to be annoying, self-centered, or cowardly. Her inability to understand why Yang was upset with her for leaving without a word, and her admittance that she would not have returned to Team RW_Y if she had not coincidentally run into them at Haven, has not charmed her to the majority. Her reaction to Sun being the personification of Vacuo only increased the dislike thanks to her hypocrisy when it came to secretive pasts. Yang chewing her out, listing her flaws, and refusing to forgive her for leaving is seen as a Take That, Scrappy! moment by most fans when both Yang and Blake were meant to be seen as sympathetic in their argument. The author was shocked fans despised Blake and near-unanimously sided against her.
  • Signature Scene: The moment Yang attacks "Neo" and shoots "her" in the abdomen. It turns out Yang has been assaulting Alfred the whole time.
  • Take That, Scrappy!:
    • A majority of fans cheered when Yang gave Blake a "Reason You Suck" Speech.
    • In opposition to those that felt sorry for Blake, there are those who felt no sadness when she died, or thought she was the best choice to be killed off since she was the least liked of the heroes.
  • Tear Jerker: Has its own page here.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic:
    • The author's notes state she feared Yang would seem unsympathetic when she yelled at Blake for abandoning her team. The author needn't have worried. The opposite reaction happened, with a majority of fans rooting for Yang and cheering when Blake was given a "The Reason You Suck" Speech.
    • To a portion of readers, Remnant as a whole is this. Some feel Earth has been forced to sacrifice too much compared to Remnant even though Earth was not involved in the war until Remnant dragged them into it. This made several readers hope that the forces of Earth will have enough and use nuclear weapons on Remnant. This is despite only Atlas, Salem, and Ozpin being responsible for Earth's involvement in the first place, and Remnant being home to half the main characters and millions of innocents.

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