Emerald was Cinder Fall's first known recruit. Cinder happened to notice Emerald use her Semblance to steal, and corners her in an alley while the police were giving chase. Cinder tempted Emerald to join her by promising that she would never go hungry again. It was also suggested in "Beginning of the End" that Cinder demonstrated a power Emerald had previously believed impossible, and thus kept her in line as a subordinate.
Emerald posed as a student from Haven Academy during the entire semester at Beacon Academy leading up to the Vytal Festival. She was able to easily avoid drawing suspicion to herself due to Headmaster Leonardo Lionheart forging documents for Cinder's Faction.
Emerald was originally under Cinder's direct command and obeyed her orders without question. Emerald had the utmost respect for Cinder and greatly valued her approval, sometimes even addressing her as "ma'am" instead of by her name, and eagerly going out of her way to perform tasks for her.
In "Best Day Ever", she enthusiastically greeted Cinder when she appeared. Conversely, after being rebuked for acting impulsively, Emerald looked saddened and said that she would not do anything without her orders again.
"Beginning of the End" reveals that part of Emerald's loyalty to Cinder was due to being saved by her from living on the streets. Whatever affection toward Cinder she had in connection to this was not equally returned, as Cinder was heard striking Emerald and reminding her to know her place when Emerald speaks out against recruiting Mercury Black.
As described in The World of RWBY: The Official Companion, Emerald originally saw Cinder's cause as a second chance for herself.
After the Fall of Beacon, in "The Next Step", Emerald was worried about Cinder deeply, due to Cinder's injuries causing her to be unable to speak at an audible level, and Emerald ended up interpreting and relaying her speech to others.
In "The More the Merrier" Emerald revealed to Ruby her debt to Cinder and was willing to serve Salem for her. In "Haven's Fate", Emerald broke down in tears after realizing Cinder was defeated, causing her to scream in agony as she inadvertently activated her Semblance on everyone in her grief.
In "So That's How It Is", it was shown that without Cinder, Emerald became vulnerable to fear of those around her, especially Salem herself. She was later shocked to find that Cinder was still alive. In "Lost", she stated that she thought of Cinder as family, she taught her everything she didn't know and she cared for her deeply. But when Mercury blatantly told her that Cinder never cared for either of them, Emerald quickly denied his accusation and later caused Emerald to become enraged enough to lash out against him.
In "Divide", Emerald was happy to see Cinder return to them and attempted to excitedly greet her and express her faith that she would come back only to be saddened when Cinder harshly told her to be quiet.
In "Fault" despite their time apart and Cinder's own degrading and disrespectful tone to her during their Reunion, Emerald was still shown to retain her strong loyalty and devotion to Cinder despite the way she treats her. She jumped at the chance to help Cinder during her plans to go behind Salem's back to obtain the Winter Maiden powers despite Salem ordering her to stay put warning.
In "Amity", During Cinder's fight with Penny Polendina, Emerald constantly followed Cinder around as the two Maidens battled in order to provide assistance to her if needed and was shown to smile confidently at Cinder as she began getting the upper hand in the battle.
She later provided support to Cinder by using her Semblance to conjure several illusions to confuse Penny.
After Cinder was defeated by Penny and knocked unconscious, Emerald immediately ran to her side to check if she was alright. She angrily lashed out against Penny when she came close and despite knowing that she stood no chance of actually winning, threatened to fight against her and destroy the Amity Communications Tower controls before she could take her down.
In "Midnight", Emerald was overjoyed upon seeing Cinder waking up and defended her from Mercury after he began belittling her for her choice of going against Salem's orders and that Cinder never cared for her. Emerald was disheartened once again when Cinder told her and Mercury to get out.
Despite everything, Emerald was horrified and sympathetic towards Cinder when Salem began punishing her for her actions by inducing pain in her Shadow Hand.
It is unknown how she currently feels about Cinder following her defection from Salem.
Mercury was originally Emerald's partner and the two shared a close relationship. She appeared to be mildly annoyed by Mercury's antics, but they were also shown lightheartedly joking with each other.
In the "Best Day Ever" after Mercury refused a bribe he replied "You want me" implying a possible physical attraction between the two.
They took each other's side against Roman Torchwick, whom they both appeared to hold a great deal of derision for. Emerald and Mercury worked effectively as a team, accompanying each other on missions. They also coordinated with each other in battle, often with Emerald distracting the enemy with hallucinations and Mercury following up with surprise attacks.
In "Beginning of the End" it was revealed that Emerald initially protested against Mercury's recruitment.
Upon the revelation that Cinder had failed to acquire the Relic of Knowledge and understanding the precariousness of their situation, Mercury attempted to coax Emerald into a tactical retreat as Emerald suffered an emotional breakdown. Merc and Hazel later on were seen fleeing with an unconscious Emerald into the woods. Following the attack on Haven Academy, Mercury came to Emerald's defense when Tyrian Callows attempted to intimidate her, threatening Tyrian viciously.
In "Lost", Emerald gets angry at Mercury for speaking ill about Cinder and she never cared about either of them leading to Emerald attacking him and entering into a physical fist fight between the two of them, eventually leading to Mercury revealing much of his horrible background being raised by his abusive father, Greatly shocking and visibly startling her due to her partner's sheer vehemence and bitterness in his own circumstances who in Mercury's view was far worse then her own. In "Our Way", Emerald tries to apologize to Mercury only to stop when she sees Salem creating winged Beringels.
In "Midnight", Mercury attempted to get Emerald to understand Cinder's lack of genuine care for her by again bluntly telling her of Cinder's selfishness and the possibility of her being punished by Salem after going against her orders. However, Emerald ignored this, trying to defend Cinder out of her loyalty and devotion to her.
In "War", after learning of Salem's true goal in gathering the Relics, Emerald immediately went to Mercury about her new found knowledge and later attempted to dissuade him from going to Vacuo, showing how much Emerald trusts him.
The two also argued about what to do regarding this revelation, with Emerald becoming completely unsure of their actions and showing clear concern for Mercury in his instructions to go to Vacuo with Tyrian. Later Emerald would give Mercury a concerned and scared look as he left with Tyrian and Mercury would nod his head in farewell in an attempt to reassure her.
As one of Cinder's subordinates, Emerald worked with Roman, but appeared to have little respect for him. She was repulsed at the thought of him "procreating" and the two pickpocketed each other in mutual slights. Unlike her playfully hostile relationship with Mercury, Emerald appeared to have a genuine dislike for Roman, who even went as far as to threaten them both.
Emerald also undercut him with Cinder by boasting of how she and Mercury handled Tukson while Roman did nothing.
Following his death, Emerald likely didn't care that he ended up getting himself killed.
Their relationship was originally that if co-workers since they did participate together with Mercury and Cinder in the Vytal Festival.
In "Amity", Neo and Emerald worked together to help Cinder with her goal in obtaining the Winter Maiden powers from Penny. However, it was obvious that Neo herself did not care much for it and simply went along for convenience in order to accomplish her own goal in obtaining information on Ruby.
After Cinder was knocked out by Penny, Neo was ordered by Emerald to get them out by piloting their Manta, with Neo being notably irritated by the two.
Salem's Inner Circle
While they had little interaction, it was evident that Emerald is afraid of Salem, but was willing to accomplish Salem's goals under Cinder's direction. When interpreting for Cinder, in "The Next Step", she only spoke after Salem lets her, and nervously at that. In "Of Runaways and Stowaways", when Salem angrily ordered Cinder to force out her own answer, Emerald stayed silent.
In "The More the Merrier", Emerald told Ruby that she didn't care about Salem, but indicated that if Cinder's orders align with Salem's goals, she would follow them. During "Haven's Fate", Emerald conjures a horrific illusion of Salem which is based on how she sees her.
In "So That's How It Is", Emerald was forced by an intimidating Salem to pin the defeat at Haven on Cinder. Without her, Emerald was openly fearful of Salem's wrath, especially upon her learning of Ozpin's reincarnation. In "Our Way", Emerald was horrified as she watches Salem using her powers to created winged Beringels.
In "War", Emerald went and sought answers regarding Salem and made a point of overhearing Ozpin's explanation of her true desire, the destruction of the world, causing her to become horrified.
In "Witch", she decides to join Hazel in defecting from Salem due to her fear in the world being destroyed.
However she was discovered by Salem, who was both impressed and annoyed at the use of her Semblance affecting her. She then intended on interrogating her for the location of the Lamp, before she was interrupted by Hazel.
In "So That's How It Is", Emerald did not get along at all with Tyrian due to how he mocked them over their failure at Haven as well as Cinder's supposed death. Although she threatened him when he mocked Cinder, she was far more afraid of him when he grimly warned her Cinder was no longer there to protect her. In "Lost", Emerald was disgusted with Tyrian after he mocked her and Mercury about the dilemma they were in.
Later in "War", Emerald's fear for Tyrian has only increased after he confirmed Salem was really going to destroy the world. Emerald herself has shown to be now even more fearful of him and expressed worry for Mercury after Salem ordered the two of them to go to Vacuo.
Watts' exact relationship was unknown, but it was shown that it was one of mutual disdain. Seeing how he seemed to greatly enjoy mocking Cinder and her team greatly and sarcastically called them her "Posse", earning the mutual dislike from both Emerald and Mercury.
Later Watts further reinforced his low opinion and disdain for Emerald by agreeing to Raven's snide comments and analysis. Agreeing that she was nothing but a child that was tricked into following Cinder, again earning the young thief's disdain.
Without Cinder to lead them, Emerald and Mercury both stuck close to Hazel after the three of them escaped Haven. In turn, Hazel appeared quite protective of them, especially Emerald, and the two seemed to trust each other enough to work together.
In "So That's How It Is" a terrified Emerald admitted that Cinder was responsible for their defeat at Haven Academy after Salem nearly killed Hazel for taking the blame for her master.
In "Witch", Emerald and Hazel's relationship was shown to have indeed grown close during Cinder's absence, due to following him in his decision to defect from Salem and helping Oscar escape.
Later, Hazel came to Emerald's rescue as Salem prepared to torture her for the location of the Lamp, punching her away and causing the bindings to release. When Hazel made it clear that he planned to fight Salem despite being out classed, Emerald weakly tries to convince him to escape with her. But instead, Hazel simply told her to run away while he kept Salem occupied, bidding her goodbye.
In "Ultimatum", Emerald was shown to be notably distraught upon realizing Hazel's death and was in shock as she called out his name in the disintegrated remains of the Monstra as she processed his death, showing how much she had come to care for him.
The two first met when Ruby accidentally bumped into her while running to the library to retrieve her board game. Emerald helps the latter up after she fell. After some interaction with Cinder, Ruby then redirects Emerald, Mercury, and Cinder to their respective building.
In "Extracurricular", Emerald is seen putting on a friendly act around Ruby, smiling sweetly when she speaks to her, but scowling and rolling her eyes as soon as Ruby looks away.
After the battle in "Breach", Emerald briefly joins Ruby and the rest of her team in celebrating their victory.
In "Round One", it is revealed that Emerald has managed to forge what initially appears to be a strong friendship with Ruby and her team in the interim between the end of the second semester and the beginning of the Vytal Festival. They greet each other amiably and share a pleasant conversation, and Ruby even invites her and her team out to lunch.
However, once their backs are turned, she expresses her intense dislike for Ruby and her team to Mercury, claiming that she cannot stand their constantly positive attitude. Evidently, she only tolerates their presence due to being on a fact-finding mission from Cinder.
In "The More the Merrier", Emerald fights Ruby to prevent her from helping Jaune Arc. She easily fools Ruby with a hallucination of Cinder and later knocks her out to prevent her powers from harming Cinder. In "Haven's Fate", Emerald refuses to surrender to Ruby and her friends, as she is confident that Cinder will defeat all of them.
In "Ultimatum", After following Oscar and Yang's group to the Schnee Manor, Emerald was shown to still have a hostile relationship with Ruby, with her having been shown ready to draw her weapons in self defense when Ruby went for hers after seeing her again. During the events of "Risk" however, she starts to help everyone when they try to restrain Penny and later even states that she would be pissed off if Ruby and her friends just gave up fighting after she switched sides. After she states this, Ruby laughs and is happy to have her help.
Like the rest of her team, Emerald has managed to fake a friendship with Yang, who appears familiar with her, even fondly addressing her by the nickname "Em". In actuality, Emerald holds Yang in low regard, referring to her as a "bimbo".
After Yang "breaks" Mercury's leg following their match in the finals of the Vytal Festival tournament, Emerald shoots Yang an angry glare for hurting him. Though part of the act, it is possible she was letting her true opinion of Yang show through.
In "Haven's Fate", Emerald is shocked when Yang emerges from the vault with the Relic of Knowledge.
Later in "Witch", Emerald and Yang would meet again during her and her group's infiltration of the Monstra to free Oscar Pine. Upon running into Emerald while she was disguising him as Hazel, Yang showcased clear hostility for her. Upon Emerald undoing her illusion on Oscar and revealing that she was helping him escape, Yang remained suspicious of Emerald and demanded to know why they should trust her. Upon Ren revealing Emerald's motivation of betraying Salem upon learning of her true goal, Emerald was shown to begrudgingly assist Yang and her group in escaping the Monstra.
In "Ultimatum" Emerald reluctantly walks with Yang's group with Yang having taken her weapons and holding her at gunpoint with Ember Celica. Upon hearing about Yang's reasons to distrust her for her actions and how she's partially responsible for the fall of Beacon and loss of her arm Emerald agrees with Yang about her not being trustworthy and states that she would rather leave than accompany them. She's also shown to be nervous when Yang pushes her to make them go with them after hearing cries. Though after seeing the people of Atlas having taken refuge in the subway and despite not being held at gunpoint from this moment Emerald continues to walk with Yang's group.
In "Risk" Emerald takes a frightened expression and puts herself in a defensive stance after a frustrated Yang ask her why she isn't leaving after Emerald made a comment about Ruby not being her usual optimistic self, indicating that she's intimated by Yang and still afraid of a physical confrontation with her despite Yang having reluctantly agreed to give her a second chance. She's later shown to be flustered after Yang teases her with a "Aww" as a response to her saying that she switched sides.
As seen during the events of Volume 3, Emerald secretly detested Weiss alongside her teammates while keeping up the appearance of having befriended them. This is seen where Emerald annoyingly and degradingly referred to her as the "Heiress" behind her back. Emerald herself would later officially enter into hostility with Weiss during the Battle for Haven as she fought her.
However as seen during the events of Volume 8 and Emerald now switching sides and proving her sincerity to help them, Weiss was shown to now have friendlier relationship with Emerald. This is seen in "Creation", where Weiss entrusted Emerald with one of the most important roles in helping their plan to outmaneuver Ironwood and save both Mantle and Atlas.
Together with Mercury, Emerald searched for Tukson to kill him due to him trying to leave the White Fang and flee to Vacuo. The pair at first toyed with him, with Emerald putting on a friendly façade and enquiring about his inventory of books, before they began to intimidate and ultimately kill him.
She appeared to show no remorse for him after he was killed, even joking about the matter and calling him a rat.
During their stay on Monstra, Emerald encounters Oscar who has been captured by the Hound. At first the two don't have any real interaction but after hearing the truth about Salem's motives when Ozpin and Oscar showed Jinn to her and Hazel, Emerald decides to leave Salem and agrees to help him escape Monstra by making him look like Hazel with her Semblance.
After reuniting with Yang's group Oscar becomes defensive and supportive of Emerald, being willing to give her a chance to make up for her actions and do the right thing. While at first not willing to help him and the others, Emerald chooses to keep following him and the others after seeing Atlas' citizens in the subways and after Oscar tells her that they could use someone like her to help them.
In "Risk" Emerald appears to have become grateful to Oscar for his continuous kindness toward her and willingness to give her a chance. As seen when she's flustered after Oscar teases her about her admitting that she switched sides. She then accepts to take Oscar's hand when he offers to help her get back up and smiles warmly at him after he does, indicating that that she may have begun to see him as a true friend.
In "Worthy", Emerald seems annoyed with having to do the tedious, but right thing for once, and Oscar silently chides her, encouraging her to follow through. Even with her irritation, she still helps Ren and Oscar with the mission.
Throughout Volume 8's production, Eddy Rivas referred to their friendship as "Emerald City," referencing both their character's allusions. In the case of Emerald, it's referring to her name, and in the case of Oscar, it references the Emerald City present in The Wizard of Oz.
- Volume 5 Directors Commentary Chapter 14
- Eddy's Twitter