He was first seen in the episode "The First Step", in which he prepares to be launched into the Emerald Forest. In "Players and Pieces", Cardin is made the leader of Team CRDL. He serves as a secondary antagonist in Volume 1.
Cardin has burnt-orange hair that is combed backward with a slight peak at the front and indigo eyes. He wears silver-gray armor with gold trim.
His chestplate sports a bird with its wings outstretched. Underneath the armor, he wears a black shirt with red trimmings and black pants with a red sash tied around his waist. He also wears silver-gray armoured under the knee boots that match the rest of his armor.
It should also be noted that Cardin is very tall. He stands at least a head above the rest of his teammates.
Cardin's personality can be compared to the classic stereotype of the "school bully", with some minor exceptions. Such characters are often found in school dramas and teen movies. He and his team enjoy hurting and picking on others. This is shown when he makes fun of Velvet Scarlatina for being a Faunus, which could also reflect some prejudice and hate towards the humanoid species.
He is also shown to excessively bully Jaune Arc. In "Jaunedice, Pt.2", Cardin further showed his racism and discrimination towards the Faunus by saying it is easier to train an animal than a soldier, which reflects on how he sees the Faunus as nothing but complete animals, leaving Bartholomew Oobleck disappointed.
Cardin has shown to get offended quite easily, such as when he clenched his fists in anger when Blake Belladonna commented on General Lagune's failure, which is how he will be remembered by. This implies that Cardin may have looked up to, or approved of, General Lagune. However, it is possible that he was angered by Blake's remark about General Lagune not paying attention in class, a trait which he and Cardin have in common, being the cause of him being remembered as a failure.
Cardin is shown to be quite manipulative and exploitative, as seen when he blackmails Jaune in order to have Jaune do his work. Cardin himself has proven to be quite deceptive, shown when he calls Jaune a "friend", stating he would not reveal his secret.
However, this may have been Cardin's way of getting Jaune to do everything for him, in return to not tell the secret, or a trick in fooling Jaune long enough until the secret is revealed. He also seems to be very lazy, as are his teammates. Shown by how they frequently ask Jaune for favors while blackmailing him.
He is also shown to hold a grudge and may have a tendency to exact revenge on others by whatever means necessary, not caring about the consequences for the target. In "Forever Fall", he asks that Jaune bring him some Rapier Wasps the night before the field trip. He then has Jaune find some extra red sap while in the forest.
He plans to use both of these to get revenge on Pyrrha Nikos for humiliating him in a class by answering a question he could not. This may also show that he finds pleasure in hurting others, or having others hurt people they are close to. This can be seen with his constant teasing of Jaune, Velvet, and many others at Beacon. Cardin is also seen to be somewhat of a coward, almost just like the rest of his team.
It is shown during his battle with Pyrrha that if driven to a certain point, he will ignore his surroundings and do whatever he can to hit the opponent, as shown when Cardin nonchalantly hits his teammates to get leverage for his next strike against Pyrrha.
Despite his negative traits Cardin has displayed some positive qualities. Choosing to back off and stop blackmailing Jaune after the latter saved his life. While many other students fled in panic once the Vytal Festival was attacked, Cardin stayed to join the defense.
Powers and Abilities
During the sparring match in "Jaunedice", he is shown to be physically superior to Jaune during their battle, as he overpowers him easily. His current weapon is called The Executioner - a large mace equipped with a fire Dust crystal. He is able to swing his weapon one-handed and disarm Jaune's shield in one hit. However, he is overpowered by an Ursa in "Forever Fall, Pt.2" while trying to escape, and most likely would have been killed by the Grimm if not for Jaune's intervention.
Cardin is also rather opportunistic, as he quickly noticed an exploitable piece of information to use against Jaune. In addition, Cardin was shown in the battle against Pyrrha to wait for his allies to create an opening before making his attack; however, he unwittingly knocks out Dove Bronzewing during one of his assaults.
- Main article: The Executioner
Cardin's weapon of choice is The Executioner. In "Extracurricular", Cardin was seen to have a high degree of skill with his mace, as shown in his battle against Pyrrha. He used his weapon effectively with one or both hands in addition to deflecting gunfire or using the Dust to generate explosions. Cardin is also shown to be quite durable, taking several direct hits from Pyrrha without being knocked down until the very end, reflecting a Tank-like approach in combat.
- Cardin alludes to Henry Beaufort. For more information on this allusion, as well as other choices the creators made for this character, see Cardin Winchester/Behind the Scenes.
- In keeping with his team's bird-themed naming, his first name is likely also derived from the cardinal, an American bird species.
- This also keeps with the Color Naming Rule, as male cardinals are red birds.
- His first name may also be an alternate spelling of Carden, an Irish name meaning "From the black fortress".
- Interestingly, Winchester also means "legionnaire encampment".