- For the World of Remnant episode of the same name, see Kingdoms (WoR episode).
The Kingdoms are the main outposts of civilization in Remnant. These havens are safe from the threat of the Grimm compared to the hostile world that exists outside of their borders. The majority of Humans and Faunus live within the safety of the Kingdoms.
The Kingdoms currently in existence are:
- Vale - located on the central continent of Sanus
- Mistral - on the eastern continent of Anima
- Vacuo - on the central continent of Sanus
Some Kingdoms known to have existed previously are:
- Atlas - formerly known as Mantle; on the northern continent of Solitas (Destroyed)
- Salem and Ozma's Kingdom - location unknown (Destroyed)
- Fat King's Kingdom - location unknown (Destroyed)
- Stern Queen's Kingdom - location unknown (Destroyed)
- Warrior King's Kingdom - location unknown (Destroyed)
- Salem's Father's Kingdom - location unknown (Destroyed)
- Indecisive King's Kingdom - location unknown (Destroyed)
While the Kingdoms were monarchies in the past, by the time of the present they are instead run by members of their respective council. There were also many Kingdoms in the past, but most have fallen either due to the destruction of the first wave of Humanity by The Gods, attacks by the creatures of Grimm, or even internal issues within the Kingdoms with only four remaining by the beginning of the series. At the end of "The Final Word", Atlas was destroyed when it crashed to the ground, leaving only three Kingdoms.
Each of the Kingdoms has their own distinct culture - for example, Atlas was known for its militaristic nature and technological innovation, and Vacuo is known for its rough-and-tumble lifestyle.
The Kingdoms are associated with a color and have a distinct symbol as their national emblem. For example, Vale is identified with the color green and has a pair of crossed axes as their emblem. The color and emblem is also shared with the Huntsman Academy of that Kingdom.
The Kingdoms of Atlas and Vale are in the same time zone, while Mistral is three hours ahead and Vacuo is six hours behind.
In the ancient past, numerous civilizations and Kingdoms existed during the age of The Gods before the founding of the four modern Kingdoms. In the past, a young hero saved the daughter of a nobleman and eventually married her. Because of this, he gained everything he ever wanted and rules a Kingdom as its lord. After his wife died from childbirth however, he started becoming paranoid and obsessive over his only daughter Salem and locked her in a tower for her entire life while sending a servant of his to teach her Magic. By the age of 16, Salem realized her father only loved her as a possession of his rather than his daughter and tricked him into giving her a pen so she could write her story and inspire someone to save her. While almost everyone inspired by the story was killed in the process, one warrior named Ozma succeeded and rescued Salem while killing her father and ending his Kingdom.
While they fell in love and planned to go on adventures together, Ozma died from illness and Salem turned to The Gods in order to revive him. When both turned her down and cursed her with immortality for tricking them however, Salem became hateful towards them. Using her immortality to her advantage, she tricked multiple Kingdoms into siding with her by claiming she stole immortality from the Gods and formed an army with the Kingdoms of the Fat King, Stern Queen and the Warrior King to kill the Gods. When they attempted to do so however, the Gods wiped out all of Humanity with the exception of Salem as a further punishment before leaving Remnant. Because of this, every past civilization and Kingdom on the planet was destroyed.
Following their departure, Salem attempted to take her life by jumping into the Pools of Grimm in the Land of Darkness. Due to her immortality however, it instead have her the destructive aspects of the Creatures of Grimm. Later, Ozma was reincarnated by the God of Light so he could unite Humanity to avoid The Gods from destroying Remnant if he failed. When he reincarnated, he tracked Salem down and the two decided to act as the new gods of Remnant. After gathering a large following, they formed their own Kingdom and had a family with four daughters.
When she discovered they could use magic, she planned on wiping out Humanity and replacing them with her own magical line, causing Ozma to leave with their daughters. However, he was caught by Salem, leading to a battle that destroyed their castle and killed their daughters. Although Ozma managed to kill her, due to her immortality, she instantly revived and killed Ozma, beginning their war against each other.
Some point in the past, there was a Kingdom ruled by a kind and wise King that everyone came to for knowledge to solve their problems. One day however, the king was gifted a crown by an admirer and tried using it. After using it, the king was stuck on a choice presented by the crown and started becoming paranoid and indecisive with the Kingdom beginning to suffer because of it. When a widow managed to convince the King to stop use the Crown, she decided to put on the crown and saw the choice of her marrying the King. After realizing how dangerous the relic was, they agreed to seal it away.
Protected by natural barriers and human tenacity, the four remaining Kingdoms were founded at least over 1000 years ago with Vacuo being founded by Malik the Sunderer with Vale and Mistral founded likely at the same time. The Kingdom of Mantle existed in the region later known as Atlas. Due to the strengths of the Kingdoms, they managed to survive the hostility of the world into the present day. However, they still had issues with each other due to differing policies such as racism towards the Faunus and slavery, Vacuo's natural Dust resources being drained by the other three Kingdoms, and criminal syndicates and bandits attacking them.
Around eighty years before the start of the series, all four Kingdoms became involved in the Great War, the greatest conflict in recorded history, fought over questions of individuality and oppression, among other reasons. The destructive war came to an end when the King of Vale stepped into the fight and single-handedly ended the war. Because of this, peace between the Kingdoms was brokered on the small island of Vytal. The peace forged at Vytal would last for the next 80 years and into the present, and is celebrated biennially by the Vytal Festival, a cultural exchange and celebration of the diversity of the four Kingdoms.
Also founded at the peace accords of Vytal were the four Huntsmen Academies, one to each Kingdom, whose purpose was to train Huntsmen and Huntresses, warriors who would fight the Creatures of Grimm and whose allegiance would not be linked to a Kingdom. Huntsmen and Huntresses from these Academies would also compete in a combat tournament in the Vytal Festival every two years. The Huntsman academies and the Kingdoms they correspond to are:
- Vale - Beacon Academy
- Mistral - Haven Academy
- Vacuo - Shade Academy
- Atlas - Atlas Academy (Destroyed)
Some time after the founding of the Academies, the Kingdom of Mantle ceased to exist. The Academy, military and government coalesced into one new Kingdom, known as Atlas. While students were usually allowed to become independent Huntsmen after they graduate, Atlas encouraged them to join the Military instead which was considered a controversial practice by the other Kingdoms. Following the war, the Schnee Dust Company was founded by Nicholas Schnee to help the Kingdom with its Dust supply issues. As a gift to the other Kingdoms, Atlas also gifted the other three Kingdoms with a new communication technology known as the Cross Continental Transmit System, which would allow all four to stay in contact.
Following the war, the Kingdoms of Remnant attempted to place all Faunus on Menagerie in order to remove them from themselves. Due to this mistreatment, the Faunus Rights Revolution began with the Faunus eventually becoming victorious. Because of their victory, the White Fang was founded to help further human and Faunus relationships.
Due to the formation of the Huntsmen Academies, the monarchies of the Kingdoms were dissolved and instead replaced by an elected council.
In recent years however, the Kingdoms of Remnant began having their own issues. Mistral was too big for the council to fully govern and allowed Criminal Syndicates to control parts of it. Vacuo resented the other Kingdoms for hurting its environment and draining its Dust supply while Jax Asturias attempted to overthrow the Academy and re-establish the monarchy. Atlas began neglecting the former Kingdom of Mantle with the military becoming more controlling as time went on. Finally, Vale had issues with members of its council and Police working for criminals and monopolizing its Dust supply.
At the beginning of the series, Salem began her attack on the Kingdoms in order to acquire the Relics. During the 40th Vytal Festival, her forces assaulted Vale and Beacon Academy with help from the White Fang and the Grimm while framing the Atlesian Military as partially responsible for the attack. They also took down the CCTS system to stop global communications between the Kingdoms. Because of this attack, General James Ironwood places an embargo on Dust supplies in order to prevent war between the Kingdoms, which damages the profits of Jacques Schnee and the Schnee Dust Company. Following this, Ironwood closes the borders to Atlas to prevent Salem and her forces from entering the Kingdom and later recalled all Atlas Military soldiers outside the Kingdom back with the exception of the ones stationed in Argus.
Following the destruction of Beacon, Ruby's Group attempted to track down the ones responsible for the attacks in the Kingdom of Mistral. After eventually reaching Haven Academy and finding it empty, they learn that Leonardo Lionheart helped Salem with the attack on Beacon and sent all of the Huntsmen in the Kingdom to be killed, as he believed that she could not be stopped. Following a failed attack on Haven, the White Fang being stopped and Lionheart's death, they obtain the Relic of Knowledge and attempt to deliver it to Atlas. However, the members of the military stationed in Argus refused to help them and eventually forced them to steal one of their ships until they allowed them to reach Atlas without reporting it.
When they reached Atlas however, they learned that due to the embargo placed on the Kingdom, Mantle was suffering even more. Also, Jacques Schnee intended on becoming a council member in order to stop it, as it was hurting the Schnee Dust Company. However, after winning, it was discovered that he cheated his way to victory with help from Arthur Watts and was arrested for treason. By this point however, the heating grid in Mantle was shut down and a riot began to attract Grimm to the city with the military beginning to evacuate the city.
Following Ironwood learning that Salem was on her way and realizing Ruby's Group lied to him, he turned on them and declared Martial Law in the Kingdom, with the intent on using the Relic of Creation to raise the city to keep the Relics and Maiden from her reach, which would abandon Mantle. Later when Salem attacked Atlas directly and Ironwood had most of the military fight off the invasion, he threatened to destroy Mantle himself if the group didn't give him what he wanted. Because of this, some of his most loyal soldiers defected from the military and helped stop Ironwood by overthrowing him and arresting him.
In "The Final Word", the Kingdom of Atlas ceased to exist when the city of its namesake, along with Mantle underneath, were destroyed following the removal and usage of the Relic of Creation. The majority of its people that either did not perish during the preceding Battle of Atlas or fall into the void below the central location, however, survived and evacuated to Vacuo.
While the Kingdoms were ruled by monarchies in the past, they have since been dissolved in favor of using councils in their place.
Each of the Kingdoms has a governing council that sees to the needs of its people. These councils presumably control the day-to-day running of the Kingdoms and make policy decisions.
While the process for choosing members of the council has not been shown for other Kingdoms, it is shown in Volume 7 that an election is held for council seats in the Kingdom of Atlas.
In the past, slavery was an allowed practice in some Kingdoms such as Mistral and Mantle. Following the end of the Great War, it has since been made illegal.
The Huntsmen Academies are separate from the government but still work under the authority of the governing council, which have some influence over the appointments to the Headmaster of the Academy. Huntsmen and Huntresses are also sent on missions to uphold the security and safety of the Kingdoms.
In addition to Huntsmen and Huntresses, conventional militaries also exist, but most Kingdoms only call upon their citizens when it is absolutely necessary.
However, Atlas was different from the other three Kingdoms, as the Academy, military and government all existed as a single institution. Atlas was also known to keep a standing conventional military which also included Specialists, or Special Operatives Huntsmen, who worked with the military. However, this was a controversial practice given that Huntsmen are intended to be independent of Kingdom allegiance. Following the Kingdom's destruction, the Academy, Military and Government were all disbanded.
- When making the four Kingdoms, they compared each of them to parts of the real world. In Atlas and Mantle's case, they were two different versions of America.
- The symbol of each Kingdom appears to correspond to the Relic hidden in its Huntsman Academy.
- The Relic of Choice takes the form of a crown and is situated in Beacon, whose insignia features a floral wreath surrounding a pair of axes.
- The Relic of Knowledge takes the form of a lamp and was situated in Haven, whose insignia forms a stylized lantern. It is currently possessed by Salem following the destruction of Atlas.
- The Relic of Creation takes the form of a staff and was situated in Atlas, whose insignia is a staff situated among stylized gears. It is currently possessed by Salem following the destruction of Atlas.
- The Relic of Destruction takes the form of a sword and is situated in Shade, whose insignia is three swords.
- Different cultures and kingdoms have different ways of expressing their bonds to other people, and there's not a set standard for that across the board. Most often it comes to incorporating it on their clothes/person in some way, usually through color. Such an example is Kali and Ghira Belladonna, who express their marriage their partners' colors represented in arm bands.
- Despite being called Kingdoms, none of them are monarchies by the time of the main show due to the monarchies being dissolved after the Great War and are instead run by members of their own council.
- RWBY Volume 7 Crew Commentary - Chapter 1
- We are E.C. Myers, Violet Tobacco, and Eddy Rivas, here to answer questions about the RWBY books from Scholastic. Ask us anything!