Overview Image Gallery
The King Taijitu is one of the larger Grimm seen in RWBY, easily dwarfing individuals such as Ren. Where normal snakes have only one pair of large fangs in their mouths, the Taijitu sports many fangs in its jaws, with a long, black forked tongue to boot. It has two halves, a black one and a white one, that are joined in the center with a head at each end.
The Black Half
The black half is primarily black in color, though it does contain a few speckles of white on its underbelly, as well as some isolated areas along its body. Its color scheme is very similar to that of the Beowolves and Ursai that have also been encountered in the Emerald Forest. It has large, blood-red eyes and a white bony covering with red markings on the top of its head.
The White Half
The white half is essentially the inverse of the black half. It also has large, blood-red eyes; however, the bony covering on the top of its head is primarily deep gray with red markings. Also, toward the end of its body, its scales appear to have a checkerboard design of gray and white, before turning black and white, then turning completely black as the other half's design comes into play.
In the manga, a Tentacle Grimm pulls four King Taijitu together and merges them together into one large, eight-headed snake. It also gains short bone spikes on its heads and patches of sharp bone plates on its backs.
Two King Taijitus are seen as silhouettes in the opening narration of "Ruby Rose".
In "The Emerald Forest", during the Beacon Academy Initiation, Ren is ambushed by the black half of a King Taijitu. He draws StormFlower, then engages the creature. He has the upper hand and manages to wound his opponent, but then the white half joins the fray.
The white half disarms Ren, but he soon gets back up. Ren uses his Aura to defend against the black portion's attack. He then rips out both of the creature's fangs, uses one to impale the King Taijitu in the eye, then delivers a palm thrust to destroy its head in one swift blow. He then engages and defeats the white half off-screen.
During the train ride, a King Taijitu was seen falling through the hole created by the blast from an exploding train car in "No Brakes". It followed the train along with the other Grimm, eventually reaching Vale to wreak havoc among its citizens. In "Breach", the very large King Taijitu emerges from the hole caused by the explosion and attacks Team RWBY. Shortly thereafter, Nora Valkyrie arrives and swiftly kills it with Magnhild.
In Chapter 11, several King Taijitus attack Team JNPR during their mission, and the King Taijitus' scales are so tough and slippery that their attacks just slide off. An unknown Grimm fuses with the King Taijitus, creating a much faster and more powerful Grimm. Jaune witnesses this happen, and when Team RWBY arrives in Chapter 12, he relays this information to them and his teammates. In Chapter 13, they figure the unknown Grimm to be the weak point and come up with a plan to distract the eight heads so that one of them can attack it.
- Taijitu is a term that refers to the concept of Yin and Yang, the symbol of which is well known for featuring a black/white dynamic to represent duality. It is used as the symbol of Taoism.
- Taijitu (太極圖) roughly translates to "diagram of supreme ultimate".
- The "King" in their name is a reference to the real-life common kingsnake, which has black and white patterning.
- Another meaning for "King" might be that this one was exceptional in size compared to others, much like the Ursa Major and Giant Nevermore are to their species.
- The mythological snake with a head on both ends is called an Amphisbaena.
- In the RWBY Crew Chat between episodes "Forever Fall, Pt.2" and "The Stray", it was revealed that Ren fought against one King Taijitu during the Beacon Academy Initiation, rather than two, as previously thought.
- This Grimm type is the only species to feature gray bony markings, as all others feature white.
- The eight-headed King Taijitu fusion in the manga is a reference to Yamata no Orochi, an eight-headed snake from Japanese mythology.
- Furthermore, in Chapter 13, Blake mentions a story about an eight-headed snake with a sword inside of it, referencing how the sword Kusanagi no Tsurugi came from within Yamata no Orochi.
- RWBY Volume 1: Episode 9: "The Badge and The Burden"
- DVD Commentary