If we can't hold this line, it will continue to spit out Grimm and we lose the city.
—Winter Schnee

The "Battle of Atlas" is a large scale conflict that took place throughout the episodes "Midnight" to "Ultimatum", where Salem attacked the Kingdom of Atlas.

During the battle, James Ironwood and the Atlas Military held off against the endless Grimm she produced from Monstra.

Preceding Events

Aboard Monstra, Cinder Fall recovers from injuries sustained from her fight at Amity, and reports to Salem alongside her master's subordinates. Salem tortures Cinder for her failures, and orders her to free Watts from his imprisonment to claim the Winter Maiden's powers, in a race with her experiment, The Hound. Salem orders Tyrian Callows and Mercury Black to Vacuo, and launches her attack as they leave.

Yang's Group is confronted by Winter Schnee and the Ace-Ops, where they watch a river of Grimm Liquid tear apart Atlas' shields, horrified.

The Fight

In the farmlands of Atlas, Salem begins to conjure various Grimm through Monstra. Ready to fight, a legion of Atlas Soldiers and advanced Atlesian Paladin-290s meet them. The two enter into a fight which appears to last the entire day.

After arresting Yang's group, the Ace-Ops receive orders to go on a mission inside Monstra to blow the creature up from the inside with bombs. Jaune and Ren convince Winter to let them scout the monster and make sure the coast is clear in the operatives' stead, while searching for their friend Oscar Pine, who was held hostage in the whale, in the process.

In "Dark", as May Marigold flies back to Mantle from Atlas to help with the evacuation, she watches a Tempest destroy an Atlesian Airship.

In "Witch", the war continues with many Atlesian soldiers, including the Ace-Ops and Team FNKI fighting the seemingly never-ending army of Grimm. Winter prepares a platoon of soldiers including Marrow to clear a path to Monstra to deliver the bomb in an attempt to stop the whale.

In "Ultimatum", following a conflict inside Monstra, Oscar releases the stored energy from The Long Memory, destroying the whale and most of the Grimm spawned by it, ending the battle.


Salem's Forces

Atlas Military

Yang's Group

Image Gallery







  • The attack on Atlas marks Salem's first direct assault on Humanity in the show.
  • Connor Pickens stated that the opening battle scene in "War" was a really fun scene and they tried to "pack as much scope into it as possible" because they knew that not much of the battle was going to be seen.[1]
  • According to Connor Pickens, the opening scene of the battle in "War" was influenced by "The Lord of the Rings" with him in particular constantly referencing it during production for the scene. The scene in question was influenced by the Battle of Pelennor Fields.[2]
  • When planning which types of Grimm to bring back for the opening scene in "War", the Death Stalker was one of the Grimm considered and very nearly made an appearance. They were cut because creating and rigging new models for them would have been too time consuming for a large creature that would barely be used in the Volume.[3]
  • The writers originally wanted to show more of Team FNKI's role in the Battle of Atlas, but their screen time had to be limited to focus on the fight with Salem in "Witch" and other elements much more relevant to the plot.[4]


  1. RWBY Volume 8 Directors' and Writers' Commentary chapter 7
  2. RWBY Volume 8 Directors' and Writers' Commentary chapter 7
  3. RWBY Volume 8 Directors' and Writers' Commentary chapter 7
  4. RWBY Volume 8 Directors' and Writers' Commentary Chapter 9
Battle Pages