|Ironwood vs. Beowolf||"Battle of Beacon"||Won|
|Ironwood, Glynda, Qrow and Cardin vs. Grimm and AK-200s||"Heroes and Monsters"||Won|
|Ironwood vs. Watts||"Gravity"||Won|
Ironwood hails from the region of Atlas, where he is the headmaster of its academy, as well as an officer in its military, holding the rank of general.
At some point in the past, the right side of Ironwood's body was either replaced or enhanced with cybernetic augmentation.
Ironwood had at one point issued a challenge to Atlas' greatest minds, calling for a new modern investment in the kingdom's defenses. Ironwood showed immense interest in Pietro Polendina's "Penny Project," declaring him the winner and leading to the creation of Penny Polendina.
As the second semester begins, Ironwood visits Vale in order to attend the Vytal Festival with students from his academy. However, he arrives not just with his students, but hundreds of soldiers carried by airships. When he appears in Ozpin's office to greets his Ozpin and Glynda, the latter quickly leaves the room after excusing herself.
His meeting with Ozpin in his office is initially jovial, but their differing outlooks quickly become apparent. Ozpin disagrees with Ironwood's "shows of power" and heightened levels of security, but Ironwood feels that it is justified based on the information that Qrow Branwen had given them.
Ozpin tries to reassure Ironwood that if what Qrow said is true, his Huntsmen will be ready. Ironwood retorts that he is just being careful, and in turn, he questions whether Ozpin's students are strong enough to fight a war, before he leaves the room.
Ironwood is later seen attending the Beacon Dance, inviting Glynda to dance with him, which she reluctantly accepts. He is spotted by Mercury Black and Emerald Sustrai leaving the dance early, heading towards the CCT. He interrupts Cinder Fall and Ruby Rose during their skirmish when he arrives in the elevator, a distraction that Cinder takes advantage of to make her escape.
The next morning, Ironwood and Glynda are in Ozpin's office going over the events of the previous night, with Ironwood fuming that their enemies managed to walk in right under their noses. He insists that they should do something to deal with the situation. When Ruby enters the room a short time later, Ironwood compliments her for displaying the initiative and determination he believes are the marks of an ideal Huntress.
The group listens to Ruby's description of the woman she previously fought, and Glynda remarks that the thief's glowing clothes might mean she was the same person Glynda faced off against when she first met Ruby. However, Ironwood points out that imbuing Dust into clothing is an age-old technique, meaning their culprit could still be anyone. Understanding that the teachers were speculating a connection between the thief and Roman Torchwick, Ruby drops some information regarding a possible hideout in the southeast.
After Ruby departs, Ironwood advocates sending as many of their troops as they can to the southeast to discover what is going on and eradicate any potential threats they may encounter. Glynda chastises him for trumpeting up another display of military bravado before Ozpin cuts her off. Though agreeing with her assessment, he urges caution when they know so little of their opponents' endgame and could potentially spread unnecessary panic if they are too rash. Ironwood frustratedly questions whether Ozpin is simply going to sit back and wait. Ozpin vehemently objects, rhetorically questioning Ironwood on how, as a general, he would prepare to go to war - by sending in the flag-bearers or the scouts.
Sometime later, Ironwood is seen looking out into the night sky towards the rest of Vale. Glynda comes up behind him, asking him if he was having trouble sleeping. Ironwood brushes off the notion as his left arm acting up again, but Glynda makes a point that he wouldn't have gotten out of bed fully-dressed to gaze at the city if he were not troubled. Ironwood worries that, despite both his and Glynda's trust in Ozpin over the years, he can't help but feel Ozpin is now keeping them in the dark. Glynda assures Ironwood that his fears are unfounded, and they both know that, if that were the case, it simply means Ozpin himself is the one in the dark.
Ironwood states that only makes it worse and that he cannot believe someone he has trusted for so long could be so passive in light of the situation. Glynda gently tells James that he is a good person who has always done what he thought was best for the people, even against strong protest, which she finds admirable. However, she also points out that he needs to stop talking about trust and start showing it, and he should remember Ozpin has the experience that the rest of them lack.
Ironwood's lack of faith comes to a head when his robots effectively hold off Grimm during their breach of Vale due to the White Fang's train heist. He is thus appointed Head of Security for the Vytal Festival in lieu of Ozpin, whose position as Beacon Academy headmaster is called into question. Ironwood chastises Ozpin once more, calling himself right.
He then begins to interrogate the now captive Roman Torchwick, and when the criminal proves uncooperative, Ironwood coldly threatens him by reminding him that they have a lot of time to deal with each other. Roman simply smirks as he easily lies to Ironwood.
- Episodes Covering These Events
- "Welcome to Beacon"
- "A Minor Hiccup"
- "Dance Dance Infiltration"
- "Field Trip"
- "Mountain Glenn"
Ironwood interrupts the fight between Qrow and Winter Schnee and asks what Qrow is doing at Beacon. When the meeting is held in Ozpin's office, Ironwood states that everyone thought Qrow was dead or compromised in the field. When Qrow questions Winter's presence at the meeting, Ironwood orders her to leave and meet with him later on his ship.
After her departure, Qrow accuses Ironwood of being indiscreet with his airfleet, to which Ironwood responds that discretion was not working, and that a fleet of ships in the sky is necessary. He claims that the people of Vale feel safe when they see his fleet and that the enemy fears him. Ozpin disagrees, telling him it makes the people of Vale think that the massive security is a testament to the threat they are facing. Ozpin suggests that they find a "Guardian" rather than an army.
Ironwood arrives in Ozpin's office to reveal to Pyrrha Nikos that the inner circle safeguards the four Maidens from The Story of the Seasons. They take the elevator down to a vast vault below Beacon and offer Pyrrha the position as the next Fall Maiden. She accepts before Ironwood tells her the process it would take to give her the powers of the current Fall Maiden, Amber. He says Atlas has studied Aura from a scientific point of view and that he believes he can take Amber's Aura and give it to Pyrrha. However, he, Ozpin, Glynda and Qrow do not know what side effects this may have on Pyrrha. They give Pyrrha the remainder of the Vytal Festival Tournament to decide if she will become the next Maiden.
Ironwood is seated in the Amity Colosseum stands during Penny's match against Pyrrha. After Penny is torn apart and an unknown woman hijacks the camera feed and speakers in the floating arena to give a speech, he goes to the announcer booth and instructs the spectators to evacuate without panic. After the alert system sounds, indicating Grimm breaching the city, Ozpin calls him and instructs him to use his army to defend the kingdom.
- Episodes Covering These Events
The Battle of Beacon
Ironwood sees Grimm start pouring onto the Colosseum's docking bays while an Alpha Beowolf destroys his AK-200s. He proceeds to fight it and kills it with Due Process. As he makes his way to his carrier, the students who defeated the Nevermore in the arena approach him and ask him what is happening. After informing them of the situation, he tells them they could fight and protect the people or save themselves, and that no one would blame them if they decided to run. He then boards the carrier and flies off.
Shortly after his departure, the Atlesian Knights aboard his carrier turn on him and attack him. The aircraft descends with burning engines while a few shots are heard and several flashes are seen in the cockpit.
He survives, but his clothes have been tattered, revealing the right side of his body to be entirely metal. He begins shooting down his infected Knights, saving Cardin Winchester. After declaring the area secure, he is in shock when Qrow appears angry and dashes towards him with his scythe. As he holds his gun and prepares for the worst, attempting to explain the situation to the best of his ability, he realizes that Qrow was saving him from the Griffon behind him. After producing a sitrep, he instructs Qrow to evacuate the remainder of Beacon while Glynda establishes a safe zone in Vale. He heads to his airship, now crashed on the streets of Vale.
- Episodes Covering These Events
Political Aftermath of the Fall of Beacon
Sometime after learning of Yang Xiao Long's amputated right arm, he delegates one of his top scientists to work on a replacement cybernetic arm specifically for her. He relayed through her father Taiyang that she fought admirably and should be proud of herself. The finished product arrives at Yang's home in Patch.
Ironwood meets with Jacques Schnee in the Schnee Manor, discussing the recent Dust embargo. Ironwood calls for the embargo, believing Atlas should not export any Dust until certain that no Kingdom will declare war. Jacques believes the embargo would destabilize Remnant besides the fact that it has cost his Schnee Dust Company millions of lien. Their discussion is halted when Weiss reveals that she has entered the room. Ironwood apologizes for overstaying his time, and he leaves after inviting Weiss to enroll in Atlas Academy.
Ironwood is present at a charity event during which Weiss becomes angered at the guests, and at one woman in particular, claiming that they're "talking about nothing". When a subsequent scuffle with her father causes Weiss to accidentally summon a white Boarbatusk that nearly attacks the woman, Ironwood shoots it before it causes harm. The woman demands that Ironwood arrest Weiss, but he coldly replies that Weiss was the only one making sense before leaving.
Upon learning from Winter of a brewing threat in Mistral, Ironwood decides to close the borders of the Kingdom of Atlas.
Episodes Covering These Events
A New Approach
By the time Ruby's Group makes their way through his closed borders, Ironwood has thought of a new plan to defeat Salem.
After they meet in person, Ironwood tells the group of his new plan which involves updating the communication systems of Remnant through Amity Colosseum and revealing the existence of Salem to the world, showing RWBY's group an image of the Amity Communications Tower.
Ironwood learns Oscar is the new incarnation of Ozpin, he is immediately relieved to have his friend and mentor back. Ruby lies to James, telling him the questions of the Relic of Knowledge have been used, and that Ozpin disappeared with no reason, saddening James. Ironwood returns the lamp to Ruby, much to her surprise, assuring her they're qualified to keep it safe, and that they must work together if they are to fight Salem and win. Ruby's Group accepts the offer, and Ironwood decides to upgrade their weapons to Atlas' standards, sending RWBY over to Pietro Polendina with Penny to do so. While RWBY and JNPR leave, Ironwood stops Qrow and personally assures that he's happy to see his friend, hugging Qrow.
Ironwood assigns their first mission in Atlas: to secure the Schnee Dust Company Mine #2 alongside the Ace Operatives, which will serve as the launch site of the Amity Communications Tower. The mine itself had to be cleared of Grimm, particularly a Geist that has managed to evade the military's initial sweep.
After their success, James lands on the site, discreetly giving Clover a covert mission, asking him to find a small group of Huntsmen for the operation and not to take Marrow. After Clover leaves with his orders, James then tells Qrow, Ruby and Jaune Arc that a series of murders have been going on in Mantle and the victims are people who have been actively opposing him, causing unrest and framing him and Atlas, the most recent one being Forest. Jaune criticizes Ironwood's embargo, which James relents to.
Jacques Schnee then arrives, angry with Ironwood for making "unauthorized" access to one of his facilities. Jacques then notices Weiss, raging at James for roping his daughter into his plans. Weiss defiantly stands up to him, and Jacques then tries to get to Weiss by informing her of her mother's worsening condition, but Team RWBY stands by her side as Weiss declares to him that they are her family now. Throughout this, Ironwood's shadow serves to keep Jacques in line, and as he leaves, James informs him to brush up on the kingdom's policies before he loses in the elections.
Later, Ironwood has the two student teams gather at Amity Colosseum, where he promotes them to official Huntsmen and Huntresses, much to their surprise, throwing the students a small celebration party before taking his leave.
As Ruby's Group continues their preparations to get the Communications Tower ready and hone their skills, Ironwood works closely with Oscar, training him and showing him around the academy to try and bring Ozpin back out. He also overlooks JNPR's sparring match with Team FNKI.
Episodes Covering These Events
Massacre in Mantle
As RWBY and JNPR train, Ironwood interrupts a session, displaying a graphic that shows Robyn poised to win the election in a landslide, worrying that either result will cause instability. Ruby, Nora, and Jaune all suggest he try to make amends with Robyn, but Ironwood is skeptical. In light of the potential difficulties, Ironwood orders a night off.
Soon after, Tyrian Callows crashes Robyn Hill's election celebration party, murdering dozens and framing Penny and Atlas for what had transpired. Ironwood has declares a curfew and a ban on public gatherings, informing the people of Mantle that the footage released of Penny had been doctored. Despite this, Mantle called for the deactivation of Penny. This leads to an escalation of matters from the Happy Huntresses, who steal materials from the Atlesian Military for the city.
In his office, Ironwood tells Winter, Clover, Qrow, Ruby Rose, Nora, and Lie Ren that Robyn's theft of material has stalled the launch of Amity. Winter suggests he could declare martial law to stop things, which Ironwood heavily considers. Ruby says that Winter's plan plays right into the hands of Salem and the plan she sent Tyrian to effect. Clover shows a graphic of Tyrian, him and Winter telling her he was a serial killer who escaped a prison transport due to a Grimm attack. Ruby confirms his identity. Nora becomes exasperated about the secrecy, frustrated Mantle is taking the brunt of the problems in regards to the Amity plan, but Ironwood shuts her down, bidding Robyn's arrest as well as Tyrian's. Ren is the most firm in his assent.
Ironwood shows Oscar the vault housing the Relic of Creation, hoping it might provoke memories since one of his past incarnations had decided to use it to raise Atlas, and that this plan had inspired the Amity project. Ironwood tells Oscar that one day he won't be able to tell himself from Ozpin, and questions what he'd think about his actions. Oscar warns him against his autocratic path, but Ironwood fears weakness, invoking Leonardo Lionheart. Oscar tells him that he should speak with those he's most afraid to speak with, to which Ironwood responds he's starting to sound like his predecessor. As Ironwood and Oscar leave the vault, Winter, accompanied by Penny, shows Ironwood an invitation to dinner, hosted by Jacques Schnee, at which Ironwood will be defending his seat in council.
Episodes Covering These Events
A Banquet at Schnee Manor
On the night of the banquet, Ironwood brings Ruby's Group, Winter, Penny, and the Ace Operatives to the Schnee Manor. Whitley Schnee lets them in after revealing to Weiss that Klein Sieben was fired from his job as a butler. He then guides Ironwood, Penny, Winter and Clover to the dining room, while the others stay behind in the foyer.
Ironwood, Clover, Winter, and Penny enter the dining room to find Jacques, Sleet, Camilla, and Robyn waiting. They take a seat and begin talking, but Jacques controls the conversation and questions how safe it is to have Penny in the room, to which James assures to him that Penny is under his control.
Ironwood is constantly interrupted by the councilmen and Robyn, and Jacques questions if Ironwood has figured out who has been killing Mantle civilians and what he is doing with Amity Colosseum. Winter has an outburst, shouting at Jacques about trust, and he turns it around on Ironwood, criticizing the lack of reasons Ironwood has given the council to trust him. Winter storms out of the room, nearly bumping into a dark-haired waitress on her way out.
Sleet and Camilla call James out for his broad use of the power of his two Council seats. A Faunus waiter whispers in Jacques's ear that something is happening with his authorization, which shocks him; when the others at the table ask what was said, he deflects, concurring with Sleet and Camilla. Robyn asks what Ironwood is hiding and asks him to submit to her Semblance, only to be interrupted by Weiss, who shows those assembled footage from Willow Schnee's cameras of Jacques meeting with Arthur Watts, in which Jacques gives Watts his credentials in exchange for manipulating the election. Jacques tries to run, but his exit is blocked by Weiss' Arma Gigas, and Weiss places him under arrest.
The people of Mantle riot, stealing Dust crystals for a bonfire. As those assembled in Schnee Manor enumerate Jacques's crimes, including the murders at Robyn's rally, they receive messages informing them of the crisis in Mantle. Jacques's response makes clear he was already aware, and Winter demands he restore the heat, to which he responds that he has been locked out of the system. As Ironwood tries to track and contain Watts, noting that Amity remains safe, Robyn interrupts to again ask what Ironwood is hiding, this time openly referring to Amity Communications Tower.
In Mantle, the riots attract Grimm. Clover Ebi and Oscar Pine interrupt Robyn's questioning of Ironwood to request ground support; Robyn insists they evacuate Mantle instead, but Ironwood objects this would leave Atlas vulnerable. Oscar reminds Ironwood of having asked his advice, and pushes him to tell the truth; Ironwood agrees to brief Robyn, Sleet, and Camilla. Oscar and Ruby decide to tell Ironwood about Jinn's revelation. As Camilla and Sleet discuss Ironwood's claims, with Robyn thinking silently, Oscar tells Ironwood the truth in private. Ironwood, stunned, opts to focus on the present danger to Mantle. Oscar compliments him on living up to the ideals behind Atlas's raising, to which Ironwood responds he sounds as though he'd been there.
Episodes Covering These Events
Out in the Open
As the Battle of Mantle wages, Ironwood and Robyn Hill send out a broadcast to all of Mantle and Atlas, in which Ironwood reveals the existence of Salem and links the recent murders in Mantle to her minions Tyrian Callows and Arthur Watts, while Robyn uses her Semblance on him to prove it to all be true. The two encourage everyone to stand together due to Salem's goal being to divide them. While the broadcast zooms in and only shows Ironwood from the chest up, he reveals his plans involving the Amity Communications Tower, claims it is ready for launch and tells the civilians they will be evacuated to Atlas. Robyn voices her support for Ironwood's plan as the citizens all cheer.
Watts tells Tyrian to cause more chaos in Mantle to keep their full attention away from Watts and the Amity Tower. Tyrian overhears a broadcast from Robyn saying she will personally escort Sector 17's civilians, which gives him an idea. Robyn leaves her Happy Huntresses to search for any missed civilians and is shortly after cut off by Tyrian. Tyrian attempts to attack Robyn but is ambushed by Qrow Branwen and Clover Ebi, and Robyn reveals it to be a trap that she and Ironwood devised.
Meanwhile, Watts flies up to Amity Tower only to find it unfinished. He is then locked inside the Amity Colosseum arena and confronted by Ironwood, revealing his lie about the tower's completion to have been a trap. Watts hacks into the Colosseum and activates the gravity biome before pulling out his revolver and proclaiming that he won't go down without a fight.
The two begin to battle in the arena, in which Watts is put on the back-foot due to inferior combat skills compared to the general. During the fight, Ironwood loses his black revolver. Ironwood shatters Watts' Aura, and tackles Arthur out of the biomes into the center of the arena, breaking his own Aura. As the two recover, Watts yells at James, telling him he never had appreciated his genius and simply stood atop it. Ironwood retaliates that he had given Watts everything he could have wanted, only for Watts to express resentment towards him for choosing Pietro Polendina over Arthur's innovations.
The two begin to fight again, in which they find themselves in a draw. At the end of the fight, Watts traps Ironwood's left arm with Hard-Light Dust, and severely burning it. Watts tells James that he shouldn't try ripping his arm off the trap as it'd require more cybernetics, then gets back to working on disabling the Amity Communications Tower. Despite this, Ironwood pulls his arm free, despite receiving serious injuries from it. He charges at Watts, drags him across the floor, then holds him over the edge above a lava biome, declaring he'd sacrifice anything to stop Salem. Watts spits at his face, hoping that he does. Ironwood incarcerates Watts in Atlas, returning to his office.
Episodes Covering These Events
Ironwood arrives in his office carrying Watts' bag, with his left arm having been treated for the injuries. As he arrives, he receives a transmission from Clover, the trap laid out for Tyrian worked and he had been captured. Ironwood smiles in relief, only to look he see something that disturbs him. James contacts Winter and Penny, ordering them to have Winter claim the powers of the Winter Maiden from Fria. Team RWBY, Team JNPR and the other Ace-Ops are called back to Atlas Academy. Jaune decides that he, Nora and Ren will go get Oscar and meet up with Team RWBY later.
Team RWBY and the Ace-Ops go to Ironwood's office, where he reveals that one of Salem's subordinates left a black queen chess piece on his desk. He begins panicking, questioning if everything that he and the others did was part of Salem's plan. He slams his fist onto the desk, and the chess piece falls over and rolls. The noise makes Ruby Rose realize that the chess piece is made of glass, leading everyone to realize that Cinder Fall is alive and is somewhere in Atlas.
Ironwood becomes even more worried, suspecting that Hazel Rainart had also infiltrated Atlas. When Blake attempts to reassure him, Ironwood questions whether or not Team RWBY really is on his side, asking them how Robyn knew about the Amity Tower project. Yang confesses that she and Blake told her, infuriating Ironwood due to the broken trust and false loyalty. The argument becomes more and more heated, and suddenly, a Seer bursts out of Watts' bag, dies, and breaks open to release a smokey apparition of Salem.
Salem proclaims that Watts and Tyrian's mission was not to secure victory, but rather to set the stage for Salem herself. She then attempts to convince Ironwood to surrender, where he declines her offer. She is soon distracted by Ruby delivering a speech about how they learned the truth about her from the Relic of Knowledge and will still stop her even without killing her. Salem tells Ruby that Summer Rose once said those same words but was proven wrong, causing Ruby to break down crying with her silver eyes flickering and flaring.
The Salem apparition disappears, and the Ace-Ops begin to panic, especially upon realizing that the proximity alarms along the coast near Atlas are inactive. Blake asks about the readiness to launch the Amity Tower, but Yang realizes that Ironwood just said that to lure out Watts. Ironwood states that he has sent Winter to claim the Winter Maiden's powers and that he wants to seal the Relic of Knowledge in the vault with the Relic of Creation. He tells Ruby that he changed his mind about letting Team RWBY keep the lamp because they lied to him and because Salem is on their doorstep while everyone is too exhausted for another battle.
Ironwood then explains that he intends to raise the City of Atlas into the atmosphere instead of Amity Tower. There, the city, the two Relics and the Winter Maiden will be safe from Salem. Team RWBY protests that this plan would mean leaving people in Mantle to die due to the evacuation not being complete, but Ironwood and the Ace-Ops refuse to reconsider. Suddenly, Jaune opens a group call with Ruby, Qrow and Winter. Taking the opportunity, Ruby uses her Semblance to get past Ironwood and warn the others about his plan. Ironwood locks communications, declares that Team RWBY are under arrest, and leaves while the Ace-Ops get ready to detain them.
In the vault, Ironwood hears the elevator descend, and assumes Winter has taken the Maiden's powers, expressing deep regrets over having sent her to kill Fria, apologizing. He finds Oscar instead, staring down at the vault. Oscar tries to talk Ironwood out of his plan to abandon Mantle. At first, Ironwood is uncertain if he's talking to Oscar or Ozpin. Oscar assures James that it's still just him, and explains how he wants to talk things into calming down. He argues that leaving millions in Mantle to die is going to divide the world. James insists that everyone else is unable to see the big picture, leading to Oscar compare him to Salem.
Ironwood informs Oscar that only his friends call him James and to Oscar he's "general," then shoots Oscar off the platform, which breaks Oscar’s Aura and causes him to fall into a deep pit. As he falls, Ozpin finally remerges, keeping Oscar from losing his consciousness. This allows Oscar to unlock his magic and blast his way through the bottom of the City of Atlas.
Later, Ironwood receives a message from Winter telling him that she had lost the Maiden's powers, effectively locking the Staff of Creation in the vault until he could recover them from Penny Polendina, who had gone rogue after a battle with Cinder. Ironwood screams in rage upon the realization his plan had been outright stopped.
Episodes Covering These Events