- 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
- Atlas - on the northern continent of Solitas (Destroyed)
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.
It is known that numerous civilizations existed before the founding of the Kingdoms, but they did not endure. Protected by natural barriers and human tenacity, the Kingdoms of Vale, Vacuo and Mistral were founded well over eighty years ago and managed to weather the hostility of the world into the present day. The Kingdom of Mantle existed in the region currently known as Atlas.
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 a peace 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 the Kingdom of Atlas.
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.
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 fled to Vacuo for refuge.
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.
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.
- 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!