For the World of Remnant episode of the same name, see Faunus (WoR episode).
Ya know, most of us spend a lot of time talkin' about mankind versus Grimm, but technically, there is a third party in the mix: the Faunus.

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Faunus (singular Faunus) are one of the two intelligent races that inhabit Remnant, the other race being the Humans. While Faunus resemble Humans, they are often easily distinguishable from the latter in that they possess the traits of animals.

Background

Faunus are similar to Humans, except for the fact that they share certain traits with animals. Some types of Faunus are more common than others, with some being extremely rare. Faunus with mammalian traits, in general, seem to be quite common.[1]

Biology

Examples of Faunus traits

Some, such as Blake Belladonna and Velvet Scarlatina, have been shown to have animal ears (in these cases, those of a cat and a rabbit, respectively); Some Faunus with animal ears also appear to have a set of Human ears, and some Faunus, like Fiona Thyme, have animal ears in place of human ears. Other Faunus like Adam Taurus have been shown to have horns protruding from their heads. Some Faunus, such as Sun Wukong and Neon Katt may have tails. In some cases, a Faunus may have a trait that is not immediately apparent, such as Tukson and Ghira Belladonna's protractible claws. Some may even have traits that augment their mobility such as Yuma's bat wings, which presumably grant him the natural ability to fly. Arachnid Faunus such as Tyrian Callows and Trifa possess the ability to secrete substances natural to their Faunus heritage, such as scorpion venom and spider silk, respectively.

In general, wings and mermaid-like fish tails are rather rare, and in the case of mermaid-like Faunus, the trait can be a disability by making it hard to walk. Thus, the Shallow Sea makes life manageable for mermaid-like Faunus.[2]

It has been said that Faunus can only have a single physical trait in common with their animal.[3] However, this only seems to apply to body appendages and the dermis. In addition to these traits, most (but not all) Faunus have remarkable night vision, a trait that they use to great effect in combat, and some seem capable of producing animal sounds.[4]

In addition, Faunus have been shown on multiple occasions to possess other non-physical traits of the animals that they are based on. One such example is food preference, such as how Sun is shown eating bananas, and in "Black and White", Ruby Rose notes that Blake "does like tuna a lot". Ghira is shown roaring like a great cat when angered.

Faunus are genetically compatible with humans, though the children of such unions are typically always Faunus; for example, Velvet Scarlatina is Faunus despite having a human father. Faunus do not automatically have the same animal trait as their Faunus parents (especially those born to two Faunus with different traits), though many do; both Blake Belladonna and her mother Kali have cat ears as their Faunus feature.

Faunus Types

Faunus have attributes of various animals from various classes. The Faunus traits range from ears, skin, fins, claws, to additional limbs like tails and wings. Faunus with minor traits like ears and retractable claws can pass as Human.

  • Many Mammal Faunus are seen throughout the series, typically with animal ears or tails.
  • Lizard Faunus are rare and have mostly lizard skin. Chameleon traits are especially rare like Ilia's skin allowing her to blend in perfectly with other humans.
  • Fish Faunus are seen in Menagerie. We see fish fins and one with a full fish tail.
  • Arachnid Faunus are rare and have very non-human alterations to their bodies.
  • Some fish Faunus have a fully fish tail, which is the most drastic departure from the human body shape we have seen so far.

Pig Faunus with ears as a trait have exceptional hearing.[5] Wolf Faunus with ears as a trait have increased hearing and night vision.[6]

Special Ability

Some Faunus have a Special Ability that gives them a special power or ability, similar to, or in addition to a Semblance. Two official special abilities are Tyrian's Scorpion Stinger, which creates powerful venom that is lethal without medical help and Ilia Amitola's Camouflage which allows her to change the color of her skin and eyes during missions, or due to her emotions. Another trait are Trifa's spinnerets which give her the ability to shoot out webbing to trap her enemies.

Religion and Creation Myths

The God of Animals is a shapeshifting Faunus deity appearing in the stories of The Shallow Sea and The Judgement of Faunus, two Faunus creation myths in Remnant.

In The Shallow Sea, the God of Animals is shown to recluse themselves in Menagerie, where they bring a small group of people into the island and transform them into the Faunus. Ozpin claims that while being based on a myth, it holds some truth to it. However, this story has fallen out of favor after the Great War as the concept of a magical island is somewhat insulting to modern Faunus.

In The Judgement of Faunus, a conflicting Faunus creation myth, the God of Animals stops a war between mankind and the animal kingdom by transforming them into the Faunus, making them equals and without a reason to fight. Despite being a contradictory creation tale, Ozpin claims it contains no less truth than The Shallow Sea.

The god's powers includes shapeshifting and transforming others into all kinds of forms, at one point taking the form of even mythological creatures such as a roc.

The Faunus cast their god as a wise and noble figure, while mankind's stories portray them as a trickster who is not to be trusted, which is telling of a discriminatory foundation against the Faunus. Notably, the Faunus fairy tales are open-ended and as a result tend to be either bittersweet or depressing, as they have a belief that their story is still unfolding in the present day and they have yet to uncover their true purpose.

The god's existence is questionable as to whether it is true, but they are described in The Shallow Sea as having ram horns when revealing themselves and having branching horns in The Judgement of Faunus, indicating they may be the Deity Brothers in disguise. Corsac and Fennec Albain are shown to have paintings of a Faunus figure whose imagery is repeated in the White Fang, which may have some relation to the God of Animals.[7]

History

Early History

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Little is known about the origin of the Faunus, and scientists still currently struggle to discover or understand anything about them. Despite what some might think, though, Faunus are not in fact as old as Humans, as they were not present during the time when the gods were on Remnant, only appearing after they had left.

Humans' discrimination toward Faunus began early, due to how startling Humans found it that Faunus looked and acted like them but had animalistic features that were sometimes frightening, such as fangs. This discrimination only grew through rumors and stories that spread fear and suspicion. It was not uncommon for Humans to chase Faunus out of their villages or even to hunt them down and kill them.

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At some point in history, a village in Sanus fell under attack from the Creatures of Grimm, and its survival was thanks solely to the fact that Humans and Faunus worked together to defeat the invading Grimm. After this event, Humans grew to realize that Faunus were not that different from them after all. However, rather than treating them equally, Humans used the Faunus' differences from them to exploit and continue to discriminate against them.

Great War

After the end of the Great War, the Faunus were given equal rights and the continent of Menagerie as compensation for previous treatment. Some saw the gift of Menagerie as fair and just, while others saw it as a slap in the face from sore losers. Over time, it became apparent that Humanity was adamant about centralizing all Faunus there as a form of segregation.

Faunus Rights Revolution

A Faunus protest

In recent history, Humans began countermanding the equal rights won by the Faunus in the Great War and attempted to confine all Faunus to Menagerie. The Faunus began to revolt against this, and thus the Faunus Rights Revolution began. Given that Faunus live amongst the Humans in the present day, it can be deduced that the Faunus were at least successful in both reclaiming their rights and preventing their confinement to Menagerie. While still being able to live anywhere on Remnant, including the four Kingdoms, there are Faunus who still live on Menagerie, seeing it as a safe haven.

Present Day

The "No Faunus" sign

Despite whatever material gains the Faunus achieved during the revolution, they remain a subject of discrimination, as exemplified by Blake's mention of Human shops refusing to serve Faunus shortly prior to the start of the series. There is also an example of this in "Known by its Song", where the bar that Qrow Branwen searches for Huntsmen at is shown to have a "No Faunus" sign. According to "World of Remnant: Faunus", the treatment they receive varies from place to place, but locations like Beacon Academy and Vacuo appear to be host to less discrimination than others, such as Atlas and Mistral which are the most discriminatory towards them. This is shown in "The Greatest Kingdom" when a drunken man calls Blake a "stupid Faunus" and claims she was unable to understand Atlas' situation. Mantle contained a slum directly under Atlas inhabited mostly by Faunus, the city segregated to enough of an extent that a Human woman objects to going there "with those animals." So far, it's been shown that Atlas and Mistral are the two kingdoms containing the most bias and racism for the Faunus, while the kingdoms of Vale and Vacuo have a more tolerant and accepting view of the Faunus.

Since the White Fang's turn to violence five years prior to the events of Volume 1, the Faunus had begun receiving better treatment. However, some people (including other Faunus) criticize and dislike the methods through which the White Fang achieved this, due to it being through fear rather than respect. These violent tactics have also established conflict between the White Fang and the Schnee Dust Company. The Schnee Dust Company was also known for mistreatment of it's Faunus workers, with it's former CEO Jacques Schnee claiming to be trying to help his faunus workers in Mantle while actually being apathetic towards the situation. Many of his workers like Ilia's parents having been killed in accidents due to constantly being forced to work in unsafe conditions. While many of the humans in Atlas laughed at their deaths, Ilia Amitola decided to join the White Fang after breaking her former human friends teeth. Adam Taurus was also another one of Jacques employees until he got into an argument with his superior in the company and had the company's logo branded on his face, causing him to join the White Fang after this inhumane treatment.

RWBY

In the past, Leonardo Lionheart became the headmaster of Haven Academy in Mistral at the request of professor Ozpin. He had him become headmaster since the Kingdom of Mistral was one of the most prejudice towards the Faunus and wanted Lionheart's role to ease that prejudice. After Lionheart became a turncoat for Salem however, he only wanted to save himself from her wrath.

In "Ruby Rose", Lisa Lavender presents a news report on a Faunus Civil Rights Protest. She says that a protest by a group of Faunus was disrupted by a group known as the White Fang, an organization previously known as being peaceful, which turned the protest violent.

Velvet being bullied

In "Jaunedice", during a meal in Beacon Academy's cafeteria, Cardin Winchester and the rest of Team CRDL pick on Velvet, a female Faunus with rabbit ears. Cardin pulls on Velvet's ears mercilessly as she begs him to stop. Yang Xiao Long comments that it must be hard being a Faunus.

Later, in "Jaunedice, Pt.2", Bartholomew Oobleck gives a lecture on the history of the Faunus Rights Revolution. His lecture reveals a great deal of Faunus history, including their relationship with Humans and the conflicts that arose from their inability to coexist peacefully. During the lecture, he asks if any Faunus have experienced discrimination, to which several students, including Velvet, respond in the affirmative. He notes that this treatment is exactly what breeds violence and mentions the White Fang as an example of such happening.

Blake's ears, shortly after her revelation as a Faunus by her team

Toward the end of Volume 1, in "The Stray", Team RWBY observes a crime scene where a Dust shop has been recently robbed. After overhearing the police speculating that the White Fang is behind it, Weiss Schnee begins speaking ill of the organization, even going so far as to use derogatory terms, which Blake construes as racist. They then see a monkey-based Faunus, Sun Wukong, escaping the police, who are trying to apprehend him for being a stowaway. Weiss' comments about him, especially her use of the words "filthy Faunus", anger Blake even more, leading to a long argument. At the end of the argument, Blake accidentally reveals her identity as a Faunus to her team, and after running away, she reveals her cat ears beneath her bow.

In "Never Miss a Beat", Neon, a tournament competitor on the opposing team of Weiss and Yang, is a Faunus who is cat-based but has a tail instead of cat ears.

While some Faunus traits, such as ears and tails are noticeable, others are not.

As the show carries on, not only mammalian-type Faunus are revealed, but also arachnid and reptilian ones. Notable examples include Tyrian and Ilia Amitola respectively.

After many of the Faunus on Menagerie are unwilling to help Blake and Sun stop the White Fang from destroying Haven Academy, The White Fang Branch in Menagerie attempt to kidnap Blake and kill her family. After the attack was unsuccessful, Blake managed to convince the Faunus of Menagerie to assist them along with Ilia. After managing to stop the White Fang's attack, the Faunus begin to be seen in a different light by the people of Mistral. Professor Lionheart, who was killed in the attack by Salem after attempting to run away, had his involvement in the Fall of Haven covered up by Ozpin due to wanting him to be remembered for his years of service instead of what he did in his final years.

After the heating grid in Mantle was shut off and the Atlas Military turned against Ruby's Group, Yang's Group attempted to help the people of Mantle evacuate to the city's crater for warmth. While some were apprehensive towards sharing the space with the Faunus, Yang tells them that the Faunus are at least helping them out even if some of them don't actually deserve it. Thanks to Amity Communications Tower, Ruby Rose was able to send a message to all of Remnant publicly revealing the existence of Salem and asking for help with the current situation in Atlas. After this, some of the people began to work alongside the Faunus to evacuate to Vacuo using the Evacuation Central Location.

Notable Faunus

See also: Category:Faunus

Huntsman Academies

Beacon Academy

Haven Academy

Atlas Academy

Shade Academy

Antagonists

White Fang

Salem's Inner Circle

Menagerie

DC Comics

Other

Trivia

Faunus in the manga

  • The word "Faunus" is derived from Faunus, who is the Roman god of forests, wild and nature. He is also the Roman equivalent to the Greek god Pan.
    • Faunus are associated with Satyrs, which incidentally have a less Human morphology than the Faunus people shown in the show.
  • In a Rooster Teeth livestream on August 21st, 2014, it was confirmed that Faunus and Humans can interbreed with one another.
    • On a Facebook Q&A, Miles Luna and Kerry Shawcross broke down the breeding genetics of Faunus.
      • If two Faunus of the same type breed (e.g. two dog Faunus), their child will also be of the same species.
      • If a Faunus and a Human breed, their child will either be a Faunus or a Human. This was later clarified in "World of Remnant: Faunus", where it was revealed that if a Human and a Faunus breed their child is typically a Faunus of the same kind as the Faunus parent.
      • If two Faunus of different types breed, their child will be a random type of Faunus. Thus, a cat Faunus and a dog Faunus could produce a bat Faunus, for example.[11]
  • In a RWBY livestream it was explained that mammalian Faunus are most common but other varieties also exist.[1]
  • Faunus having one animal trait stemmed from Poser's limited ability as it is designed for humans.
    • Faunus having only one trait makes the world more varied as you can have a cat Faunus with a tail next to a cat Faunus with ears. It also stops Faunus being full cat people.
    • Miles Luna has also stated that he feels some regret for limiting themselves to only one trait per Faunus.
  • Several Faunus have additional elements in their design that tie into their animal traits
    • Gambol Shroud's ribbon sometimes flows behind Blake like a cat tail.
      • Early concept art of Blake has heterochromia iridium, with one of her eyes being yellow and one blue. This trait often appears in cats.
    • Ilia's hair is tied back in a ponytail that curls at the end like a chameleon's tail and her weapon can be interpreted as a chameleon's tongue.
    • Neon's Atlas attire has her hair tied into twin cones that look like cat ears, her gloves have cat paws and her hoodie has cat ears.
    • Kali's ribbon dangles behind her like a cat tail.
    • Ghira has paw shaped tips on his boots.
    • Tyrian's weapons form scorpion pincers and his ponytail is in the shape of a stinger.
    • Corsac and Fennec's hoods are in the shape of a fox snout.
    • Sienna has tattoos resembling tiger stripes.
    • Leonardo's hair resembled a lion's mane.
    • Tock had sharp prosthetic teeth. Teeth are a major crocodile trait. Her mohawk hairstyle may also reference the spines along a crocodile's back.
    • Marrow Amin's weapon and Semblence reference him being a dog faunus:
      • His Semblance seems to be inspired by dog commands
      • His weapon, Fetch, is a boomerang and comes back, which could be a reference to the game fetch as the game is typically played with dogs. This also lends to the name of his weapon.
    • Fiona's earring seems to be a cowbell, a bell used to keep track of a variety of free-roaming livestock including cattlem goats and sheep
    • Fiona's Uncle wears small glasses that make him look more like a Badger.
    • Arrastra's skin is shown to have blemishes on it, which could reference the pattern on a serval's fur.
    • Fenix's brass claws reference the claws of a lion and his fur trim collar references lion fur.[12]
  • Some Faunus changed during their creation:
    • Early concept art of Blake has heterochromia iridium, with one of her eyes being yellow and one blue. This trait often appears in cats.[13][14]
    • Some concept art depicts Marrow with dog ears instead of a tail as his Faunus trait.[15][16]

Image Gallery

References

Setting
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