Fairy tales are stories passed down through the history of Remnant. Although generally regarded as mere myths and legends, even the most unlikely of stories are said to have some basis in reality.
Known fairy tales include The Tale of the Two Brothers, The Shallow Sea, The Girl in the Tower, The Story of the Seasons and the story of the Silver-Eyed warriors. At least three of these stories are known in detail and have turned out to be real and have a great influence in Remnant.
The Story of the Seasons
- Main article: The Four Maidens
The Story of the Seasons, also known as The Four Maidens, is a famous fairy tale. The story goes that an old hermit, who is referred to as a wizard in some versions, is visited by four sisters, who are each, in their own unique way, are kind to him. The first sister, Winter, encourages him to meditate and reflect; the second, Spring, brings him fruit and flowers and revitalizes his garden; the third, Summer, convinces him to step outside and embrace the world; and the fourth, Fall, encourages him to be thankful for what he has.
When the old man asks the four sisters why they were so kind to him, they respond that they merely show their kindness to everyone. Moved by this, the old man gives the four sisters great powers in return for their compassion, and as the embodiment of the four seasons, they travel through Remnant spreading their gifts. As thanks, the Maidens promise to visit the old man once every year.
Whilst supposedly merely a story told to children, this legend has a factual basis in the history of Remnant – the story purportedly tells of the origins of the four Maidens, who are the hosts of a tremendous power that has been passed down through the generations for thousands of years, throughout all of Human history. Once common knowledge, the truth was eventually kept secret for the safety of both the Maidens and mankind, and it passed into legend and obscurity over time.
Pyrrha Nikos recounts The Story of the Seasons in the episode "Fall" and remarks that her mother loves that story. Professor Ozpin reveals that the story is more than a simple fairy tale. The story is also recounted by Ozpin in the RWBY: World of Remnant episode "The Four Maidens". It is revealed in "Rest and Resolutions" that Ozpin empowered the four young women who would become the first Maidens, though it is not known how much of the tale reflects on true events.
- Main article: Silver-Eyed Warrior
In the world of Remnant, silver eyes are said to be an extremely rare trait. Currently, the only known characters with said Silver Eyes are Summer Rose, Maria Calavera, and Ruby Rose. The story goes that people who were born with this trait were to lead the life of a warrior. The Creatures of Grimm were said to be afraid of these Silver-eyed warriors. Though it may just merely be an exaggeration, it was also said that a single look from these warriors was able to kill a Grimm.
Although said to be a ridiculous story, this tale, similarly to The Four Maidens, is actually true. In "End of the Beginning", Ruby breaks down in tears after witnessing the death of Pyrrha by the hands of Cinder Fall. She cries out the name of her friend, unknowingly unleashing brilliant white light from her eyes, engulfing Cinder and the Wyvern, perched on what was left of Beacon Tower. The Wyvern is left frozen on the tower as a result, and Cinder later is discovered to have lost her left eye and temporarily, the ability to speak properly, due to the effect of Ruby's power on her. According to Salem, this is because Cinder's attainment of the Fall Maiden powers gave her a weakness to it, but the reason for this is not explained.
The full extent of these powers and other details of the story remain unknown.
The Tale of the Two Brothers
- Main article: The Gods
The Tale of the Two Brothers is a creation myth first told in "A Much Needed Talk". According to Qrow, there were once two gods who were also brothers. The elder was a god of light, life and creation, while the younger was a god of darkness, death and destruction.
During the day, the elder brother filled Remnant with life in the form of water, plants, and wildlife; at night the younger brother would discover his brother's creations and become disgusted, so he created drought, fire, and famine in order to rid Remnant of life, but life would always come back in the end.
In order to completely wipe all life off the planet, the younger brother created nightmarish, soulless versions of his brother's creations whose sole purpose was to destroy anything and everything, these would be known as the Creatures of Grimm. Finally, the elder brother decided that they shouldn't fight anymore and make peace by creating something together and the younger brother agreed by using the four gifts of Knowledge, Creation, Destruction, and Choice to create Humanity who could choose to use their gifts for either light or darkness.
Before abandoning Remnant, the two gods created four Relics that were physical embodiments of the four gifts given to mankind and it is said that if someone were to bring the Relics together, they could change the world.
- Many characters in the show allude to fairy tales from the cultures of the real world. For example, Yang Xiao Long alludes to the eponymous character of the fairy tale Goldilocks and the Three Bears.
- The Tale of the Two Brothers was Miles Luna's first big contribution to the planning of RWBY.
- The Shallow Sea is an area around Menagerie.
- As several fairy tales reference or are based on actual in-universe events, the title The Girl in the Tower likely references Salem, as she spent her early life locked away in a tower by her father.