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- For other uses of "Fall", see Fall (disambiguation)
Cinder Fall  is one of the main antagonists of RWBY and the primary antagonist of the Beacon Arc. She is a member of Salem's Inner Circle as well as the leader of her own faction. She is also the current Fall Maiden. Her machinations are the driving force behind the events of the first three volumes of RWBY.
When Beacon fell, Ruby Rose unleashed the power of her Silver Eyes, putting Cinder into a state of near death. It is later revealed that she lost her left eye, a massive scarring over that side of her face. She had incredible difficulty speaking for a time and it is later revealed that her entire left arm had been completely replaced with a Grimm.
Cinder is a fair-skinned woman with ashen-black hair that covers her left eye, bright amber eyes and is described to be very young.
Original (Volumes 1–3)
In "Black and White", she wears lipstick and violet eyeshadow. She wears a dark-red, off-the-shoulders, v-neck mini dress with yellow designs. There is a blue feather-like accessory on her right hip, at the top of an open portion of her dress. The dress ends in an upside-down triangular tail in the back, ending just above the knees.
There is a baseball diamond-shaped keyhole on the dress' upper back at the same height as her chest. The sleeves end in a triangle shape, which are wrapped or tied around her middle finger, with the gold designs of the sleeve taking over at the wrists. Her fingernails are painted dark red.
She wears black shorts underneath her dress, as well as a black choker on her neck. She has a gold loop earring with a black gem dangling from it on her right ear. She has dark, glass, high-heeled shoes and a jeweled anklet on her right leg.
On her upper back, in the keyhole of her dress, she has a black tattoo of what appears to be a pair of high heel shoes placed sole to sole, forming a heart shape inside. Whenever she uses the Dust that is sewn into her dress, the designs on the arms, back, and chest glow bright orange. Her eyes and earrings also glow.
It is possible that her appearance is influenced by East Asian culture, as the designs on her dress are styled similarly to traditional Japanese or Chinese patterns.
When undercover at Beacon, Cinder is seen wearing the uniform of Haven Academy, a more conservative dark gray outfit with a long-sleeved collared top and white armband. Unlike most female students, who wear silver knee-high socks, Cinder wears black tights.
During her infiltration of the Cross Continental Transmit System Tower, Cinder is shown wearing a black infiltration outfit, which she had previously been seen sewing together in "Extracurricular". The outfit consists of a sleeveless jacket, long gloves, stiletto heel boots, a black glass mask and several straps with containers of powdered Dust lined across her pants. The gloves, boots, and pants have black mosaic designs that are infused with Dust, which glows bright orange when in use. When needed, Cinder can instantly transform her infiltration attire into a formal black evening gown that has black glass designs on it.
When attending the Vytal Festival Tournament, she wears gray pants and boots; a beige leather, sleeveless jacket with light-beige details; brown gloves, a sarashi tied around her chest and another around her hips, and a pauldron on her left shoulder. She also wears a belt around her waist, which has multiple brown pouches attached to it. Her fingernails are tan in color.
During the events of "Beginning of the End", Cinder had shorter hair. Her previous attire looks similar to her original outfit except her dress has separated sleeves and the dress is held up by straps tied around her neck in a bow. Her heeled shoes are made of a more typical material, rather than glass. She did not have her characteristic tattoo until after she stole a portion of Amber's Maiden powers. Her fingernails are a dark red color.
Post-Timeskip (Volumes 4–5)
After the timeskip following the Fall of Beacon, Cinder's appearance went through a drastic change. Her hair is much shorter, she wears a black mask that appears to be made of black glass over her missing left eye and the scarring from said injury extends into a slight x-shape over the bridge of her nose, as well as having deformed and degraded the tissue of her left ear.
She wears a long, dark red dress with one long, wide sleeve hiding her left arm. The edges of the collar and the opening for the right arm are gold-colored, and the upper chest and left sleeve are decorated with golden designs. The right side of her dress is open from the hip down with two gold-colored straps made up of interwoven ropes connecting the front half to the back half of her thigh. Under the dress, she appears to wear black pantyhose. On the right hip, the dress has a black rhombus-shaped gem set in a gold-colored metal of the same shape, with feathers of varying shades of blue extending from the bottom of it. On her right arm, she wears a long, gray glove, the top of which has a gold-colored metal ring with curvy branching extensions going up to her arm. Her right ear has a new, ring-shaped earring higher up than the dangling black gem earring.
Mistral Disguise (Volume 6)
After the Battle of Haven, Cinder kills a woman passerby and takes her cloak; a light brown robe worn over a white shirt and pants with a shawl, sash and skirt of a matching dark brown color, black socks and light brown sandals. Her left Grimm arm is wrapped in bandages, and she no longer wears her black mask. Additionally, her model lacks painted fingernails.
Current Outfit (Volume 6-Current)
In "Our Way", Cinder wears a new left eyepatch that has straps that run both above and below her right eye. She sports a black tank top and shorts that are mostly covered with a black cloak worn over her left arm, all of them having gold trimmings. Her blue feather accessory is over the right side of her chest. She also has a black and gold band over white bandages, a black band on her right wrist, a glove over her left arm, covering her Shadow Hand, black knee-high laced heeled boots and she also retains her two earrings from her previous attire. She appears to have put blush on her cheeks, as seen in "Out in the Open".
The Shadow Hand replacing her left arm appears to have extended up to her left shoulder, as shown in "The Enemy of Trust". Additionally, it appears the scars in Cinder's arm have gone through change, now having a raw appearance. It is possible, however, that these changes may simply be a revision in her design. Following her battle with Winter and Penny, Cinder loses the glove covering her arm, exposing her Shadow Hand.
Cinder is ruthless and sadistic, as demonstrated when she delivers a killing blow to a clearly defeated Pyrrha Nikos and later throws a spear at a defenseless Weiss Schnee. Relentless in her pursuit of power, having crossed every line to obtain it. Cinder demonstrates a cunning that shows in her successful manipulation of events and people throughout the first three volumes. Cinder is also arrogant and egomaniacal, and as such, relishes in dominance and gloating, displaying shameless pleasure in the misery she has caused others.
She also seems to be ambitious and demanding in the role of a leader, expecting her subordinates to execute exactly as she wishes with what little she gives them. She does not seem to tolerate failure, seen with Roman, preferring for her goals to be successful regardless of the situation. Cinder prefers that such problems be solved quickly, is seen to give very direct orders and keeps Roman on a strictly need-to-know basis, sharing a similar leadership style to Salem. However, she does display a cunning streak as her allegiance revolves around having Neo kill Ruby so Cinder will not be going against Salem's orders to not kill her. She believes that the power she is after is owed to her, having been promised god-like abilities and the Maidens' powers by Salem.
Usually, she maintains a calm and collected demeanor and is willing to take over a fight if necessary. In the rare occurrence in which she is caught off guard, Cinder's monumental temper surfaces, showing her immense shock and outrage. This is most notable when Jaune Arc nicks the edge of her mask during the battle at Haven Academy. The explosive response to even the slightest attack on her shows Cinder's intolerance of fear, leading her to react poorly when others see her feel it. Cinder seeks to be feared and therefore detests being made to feel fear by both her enemies and her superiors alike. Additionally, Cinder is stated to be jealous of those with natural talents.
After the Fall of Beacon, Cinder is utterly humiliated from her encounter with Ruby atop Beacon Tower. She no longer displays her usual confidence, instead appearing sullen and taking insults from the other members of Salem's Inner Circle without reply due to her inability to speak and thus relying on her subordinates. Because of this, Cinder is shown to have developed a deep desire for vengeance against Ruby. Arthur Watts notes that this desire affects her judgment, shown when she negotiates a deal with Raven that would allow the latter to betray her by stealing the Relic from Haven Academy.
However, Cinder's thirst and desperation for power stems from a life of powerlessness and having nothing. This desperation has led to a fear of failure and a hatred towards the elite class, who have held power from others forever. She apparently detests being called out on her actions, as shown when Raven cites Cinder's choice to take the arm of a Grimm. Cinder retorts angrily, showing she sees herself as being beyond judgment or the moral codes of others. This shows just how little she thinks of others, feeling that none have the right to pass judgment on a superior being such as herself, indicating that she is amoral, seeing no point in limiting oneself or ambitions based on a code of ethics. However in "Taking Control", she is visibly horrified watching Tyrian Callows maniacally massacre a Beowolf, showing that even she has limits with absolute violence. It's implied Cinder herself only enjoys the psychological/emotional torture she inflicts and dislikes the bloodier brutality of her associates.
Later the full extent of Cinder's temper and desperation for power is shown in her reaction of again being denied the power of a Maiden, as seen in "The Enemy of Trust", as seen when she gradually began losing her cool and becoming more impatient as she battled Penny Polendina and Winter Schnee and upon being overpowered by Fria and being beaten to reaching her in her dying moments Cinder's anger, frustration and hatred began to reach its boiling point as she began viciously lashing out at Winter for again deterring her quest for power and wasting her time venting her frustrations on the Huntress rather than focus on her true goal of stealing the Winter Maiden Powers, showing that Cinder's tendency to focus on her immediate desires and feelings over her long-term goals has still not changed.
Cinder is given advice by Salem and Lil' Miss Malachite about making allies rather than killing off potentially useful people. She apparently takes this to heart, forging an alliance with Neo instead of killing the girl for her attempt on her life. This shows Cinder has grown enough to understand she has room for improvement. Following her arrival in Atlas, Cinder has been shown to have learned from her mistake of prioritizing her wants over needs, insisting to Neo that they obtain the Relic before going after Ruby to redeem herself in Salem's eyes.
Powers and Abilities
Cinder is a highly skilled combatant in both unarmed combat and swordsmanship, being able to land several hits on Neo in their fight, a feat that even Ruby or Yang was incapable of doing, and out-dueling both Winter Schnee and Penny Polendina simultaneously in a sword fight.
She is also a capable markswoman, launching three arrows at once with great accuracy and pragmatically exploiting any advantage whenever possible, such as launching an arrow in Amber's back just as the latter was about to kill Emerald. Cinder has shown to be quite stealthy as well, having sneaked around a guard to easily knock him out. She is skilled enough in infiltrating places without getting caught, able to calculate so that she can escape and blend in, as seen in "Dance Dance Infiltration", and is also adept at piloting, able to fly a Bullhead during one of Glynda's attacks.
Cinder is adept at Aura-based blocking techniques, easily capable of withstanding Crescent Rose's bullets. It should also be noted that before her powers were stolen, Amber was seen doing the same thing with Emerald. Noticeably, in early volumes, some of Cinder's abilities emit a high-pitched whistling sound when cast.
She can make extensive use of raw Dust without difficulty. Her primary technique at the time of their battle was a highly forceful blast of fiery projectiles. It was later revealed by the presence of her tattoo that Cinder had obtained half the Fall Maiden power prior to this confrontation, although the Maidens were not added as a story element until after Volume 2 and thus were not a canon aspect of the show at the time. Cinder is capable of weaving Dust into her clothes, as shown in "Extracurricular".
Cinder's physical strength is shown being well above average can be seen in "End of the Beginning" and " The Enemy of Trust", where she knocks Pyrrha away by jabbing her in the stomach with her elbow and physically overpowering both Penny and Winter with ease.
- Main article: Semblance#Cinder Fall
Cinder's Semblance is named Scorching Caress, which allows Cinder to super-heat objects and manipulate their shape. She can use it to generate explosions by superheating the ground, as well as melt dirt and dust into glass.
So far Cinder has been seen using her Semblance to create various glass-based weapons from dirt during combat, as seen during her battle against Ozpin and Amber, where she is seen forming Glass projectiles by kicking/melting dirt/particles into the air to reshape into spikes.
- Main article: Shadow Hand
During the Fall of Beacon, Cinder becomes injured by Ruby's Silver-Eye powers. Her left arm is replaced with a Grimm limb known as a "Shadow Hand". It's implied that the arm itself possesses some sort of sentience, as Salem instructed her to make her new limb respect and fear her. The arm is capable of stretching out somewhat of a long distance, and has been shown to be capable of extracting the Maiden power as seen in her fight with Raven.
The arm is capable of regrowing after being cut out with no permanent damage, as seen during "The Enemy of Trust". However, it can be noted that the process itself is exceptionally painful, as seen when it caused Cinder to scream in agony as it regenerates itself.
As of Volume 7, Cinder's Shadow Arm seems to have slowly begun progressing in covering her entire body, as seen where unlike during the events of Volume 5-6, the Grimm flesh has now reached all the way to Cinder's shoulder while previously the arm only halted in her forearm/elbow.
- Main article: Maidens
After initially acquiring the half of the Fall Maiden's powers, Cinder had initially only displayed immense fire and heat-based magic. Whether this was due to her own preference for this element, familiarity with it due to her semblance, or due to only obtaining half of the power is unknown. But upon obtaining the remaining portion from Amber and becoming the true full Fall Maiden, Cinder's powers were magnified, having now displayed even greater fire-based magic than before such as creating and conjuring solid glass weapons with a fiery core without the need of Dust or her Semblance and create gigantic extremely powerful fire blasts with ease.
Cinder has also displayed power over other elements previously never used by her. Examples include conjuring a small blast of ice magic powerful enough to freeze a fellow Maiden solid for a considerable amount of time, the power to manipulate the element of wind to levitate herself and fly in high speeds, and the power of earth to create a giant flaming rock sword. She also has displayed the power to manipulate and affect the behavior of Grimm, having been able to influence the actions of a gigantic Wyvern through her Maiden Powers. As the Fall Maiden, she is the only one that can access the Relic of Choice and unlock the vault underneath Beacon Academy in Vale.
Since her arrival in Atlas, Cinder is shown to have improved in her capabilities, being able to summon weapons that explode at will. She is also capable of breathing fire. However, she is not a fully realized Maiden yet, as she could not face Fria in a fight.
Following an unexpected defeat during the Fall of Beacon at the hands of Ruby, Salem reveals that upon acquiring the powers of a Maiden, she gained a "crippling" weakness to the powers of the silver eyes. However, Salem does not elaborate on the specifics of her vulnerability, or whether it's a unique case due to her usage of a Grimm glove. After getting a Grimm arm grafted into her body, its innately soulless status prevents Cinder from protecting it with her aura, leaving it vulnerable to other weapons and silver eyes. Upon her first exposure to the silver eyes, Cinder was greatly weakened and significantly injured.
- Cinder alludes to Cinderella from the fairy tale of the same name. For more information on this allusion, as well as other choices the creators made for this character, see Cinder Fall/Behind the Scenes.
- Miles Luna and Kerry Shawcross made a joke that they "originally wanted to call her Cinder Ella", using the Spanish word "ella" (pronounced "eya"), meaning "she". This joke references the fact that Cinder alludes to Cinderella.
- The first part of her name alludes to a partially or mostly burned piece of coal or wood, represented in her fire abilities. Her surname alludes to Fall, the American name for one of the four calendar seasons, which brings to mind amber and brown colors.
- Similarly to both the Remnant and Qrow Branwen pages, a user account registered as Monty Oum made an edit, adding the surname "Fall" to Cinder's name on November 10th, 2013.
- While Maiden powers allow her to use every elemental power, she chooses to specialize in fire.
- The black glass swords that Cinder wields are made of obsidian, a volcanic glass.
- ↑ "Downfall"
- ↑ Monty Oum's Facebook
- ↑ RWBY Volume 2 Director's Commentary
- ↑ Newsweek Interview with Miles Luna and Kerry Shawcross
- ↑ Knights Chronicles crossover
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 The World of RWBY: The Official Companion
- ↑ Volume 6 Crew Commentary
- ↑ RWBY Volume 2 Production Diary 3
- ↑ Cinder's character card in Knights Chronicle x RWBY