- For World of Remnant Volume 3, Episode 4, see The Four Maidens.
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- 1 Description
- 2 History
- 3 Known Maidens
- 4 Image Gallery
- 5 Trivia
- 6 References
There are four Maidens in existence at any time, each corresponding to one of the four seasons - Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall.
Powers and Abilities
The power of the Maidens is magic and is independent of Dust use and distinct from a Semblance. It is not powered by Aura, and a Maiden does not need Aura to use her powers, as shown when Amber continues to use her Maiden powers after her Aura breaks in "Beginning of the End". Maidens are still able to use their Semblance, as shown by Raven Branwen and Cinder Fall.
The Maidens are able to use any elemental power they choose, not being limited to their season, and some Maidens simply prefer certain elements over others. Amber is the first to show this ability in the show, when she uses lightning, fire, wind and ice during her fight in "Beginning of the End". Cinder Fall prefers to use fire but also uses ice to freeze Raven in "Vault of the Spring Maiden", wind to levitate and presumably fly, as seen during her fight against Neopolitan in "The Coming Storm and as well as earth to create a giant flaming rock sword while fighting Raven in "Downfall".
The Maidens are only able to use elemental magic, as they were not given anything else when they first received the powers.
When Maidens use their powers, their eyes become surrounded by a fiery glow that matches their Aura color.
Maidens are capable of conjuring weapons comprised of the elements. Although, Cinder has shown that experienced Dust-users can perform similar feats.
In "The Enemy of Trust", it was stated by Winter that Fria has "fully realized" her power as the Winter Maiden, hinting that hers is a level not approached by the current Maidens. When Cinder tried to steal Fria's powers, she easily overpowered her despite the former being both younger and physically stronger.
The Maidens are also each tied to the Vaults hidden under the four main Huntsman Academies. They act as keys to access the Relics, so nobody else can open the chambers that the Relics are hidden in. Spring can access the Vault in Haven Academy, Fall can access the Vault in Beacon Academy, Summer can access the Vault in Shade Academy and Winter could access the Vault in Atlas Academy.
The powers of the Maidens pass from host to host upon the death of the current holder in a process that has been continuing for thousands of years. The exact method through which the power chooses its next host is not fully understood. Under normal circumstances, the next Maiden, who is always a young woman, is the last person that the previous Maiden holds in her thoughts before she passes away. However, if the person in the dying Maiden's thoughts is male, is too old, or is otherwise not eligible to receive the power, the next host is chosen seemingly at random. This system apparently ensures that no one person can hold the power forever.
In "Never Miss a Beat", Ozpin states that "Maidens choose themselves", possibly indicating that the inheritance of these powers is voluntary, but it is unknown how this would fit into the above set of rules. It is possible Ozpin was speaking metaphorically.
When the Maiden powers pass on to a new host, they bind to the host's Aura, or more likely, their soul, as implied in "Fall" when James Ironwood and Ozpin explain to Pyrrha Nikos why they must use the Aura transfer machine. Cinder had "split" the power by using a Grimm to forcibly steal part of it, leaving Amber in a comatose state. With the Aura transfer machine keeping Amber on life support, her remaining Maiden powers could not be transferred without also transferring her "Aura", due to her still being alive.
When a Maiden's powers are being transferred while she is still alive, the object or Grimm that is transferring the powers glows the same color as that Maiden's Aura. This is first seen in "Beginning of the End", when a yellow-orange glow travels from Amber, through the Grimm beetle's slime and up Cinder's arm. In "Heroes and Monsters", that same glow spreads from Amber, through the Aura transfer machine's pipes, and onto Pyrrha. The effect could also be seen during Cinder's attempts to take the Maiden Powers for herself. In "Downfall" and "Amity", a red and green glow can be seen being transferred from Raven and Penny through Cinder's Shadow Hand.
In the event that someone who has stolen part of a Maiden's power kills the woman holding the other half, the power will seek out its other half. However, Amber's last thoughts could have also been a factor for Cinder fully ascending.
In "Vault of the Spring Maiden" and "The Enemy of Trust", Cinder attempts to claim the powers of the Spring Maiden and the Winter Maiden respectively, showing that she may have the capacity to hold more than one Maiden's power at a time, although this might be due to her arrogance. However, in "Divide", Salem states that she chose Cinder as her vessel for the Maidens, indicating that it might be possible.
In "The Enemy of Trust", it is shown that the power of a Maiden can also be transferred to a synthetic person that has a soul, as Fria's powers successfully transfer to Penny. Although the partial soul inside of Penny originally came from a man, Penny physically appears female and views herself as female, and thus proved to still be a viable candidate for inheriting Maiden powers as she is her own individual.
In "The Final Word", it is shown that when a Maiden perishes, she and her successor are spiritually transported to a limbo where they are able to converse with each other before the Maiden can then pass on her powers.
Becoming a Maiden appears to restore a person's Aura. As when Winter Schnee received the powers, she was able to use her Semblance against Cinder despite her Aura being broken by Ironwood moments ago.
The story goes that an old Wizard is visited by four sisters, who each in their own unique ways are kind to him; the first by encouraging him to meditate and reflect, the second by bringing him fruit and flowers and revitalizing his garden, the third convincing him to step outside and embrace the world, and the fourth by encouraging him to be thankful for what he has. The wizard gives the four sisters great powers in return for their kindness, and as the embodiment of the four seasons, they go through Remnant spreading their gifts.
In "Rest and Resolutions", Ozpin reveals that the old wizard in the story was in fact, himself in one of his previous incarnations and that he gave them their powers.
While the existence of the Maidens was initially common knowledge, power-hungry individuals began to hunt them down in the hopes of inheriting their power. Because the consequences of these powers falling into the wrong hands would be potentially disastrous, a group was founded in order to protect both the Maidens and the people of Remnant.
The group decided to keep the Maidens secret from the public and allowed their existence to fade into myth and legend. This secrecy is still upheld by the current members of this group, which includes Ozpin, Qrow Branwen, Glynda Goodwitch, James Ironwood, Leonardo Lionheart, Theodore, and Xanthe Rumpole. Raven is also aware of the secret. Following the Fall of Beacon, James Ironwood entrusted the Ace Ops, Winter Schnee and Penny Polendina with this information.
Sometime around the events of the "Black" Trailer, the previous Fall Maiden, a young woman named Amber, was attacked by Cinder Fall and her allies, Mercury Black and Emerald Sustrai. Cinder used a mysterious glove to steal Amber's powers but was interrupted by Qrow, who severed the connection before Cinder was able to steal all of Amber's power. Cinder was able to escape, retaining the stolen portion of Amber's power. Amber was left comatose by the attack and was therefore placed on life support in a vault deep beneath Beacon Academy.
Ozpin feared that if Amber were to die, her powers might pass to her attacker, as she is likely to be the last person in Amber's dying thoughts. Alternatively, upon her death, the power might attempt to seek to reunite with its other half, also currently being held by Cinder. The possibility of a dangerous individual assuming the powers of the Fall Maiden has the potential to threaten the peace that Remnant has been experiencing.
In order to avoid this, Ozpin and his allies elect Pyrrha Nikos to become the next Fall Maiden. As the succession cannot occur by natural means, they planned to use experimental Atlesian technology to artificially transfer Amber's Aura, to which the Maiden's power is tied, to Pyrrha. However, the other consequences of this are unknown, and Ozpin states that Pyrrha may not be the same person after it.
After Vale comes under attack by Grimm and the White Fang in an attack orchestrated by Cinder and her allies, Pyrrha decides to undergo the transfer out of selflessness. Unfortunately, the procedure is interrupted when Cinder infiltrates the vault and shoots an arrow into Amber's chest, killing her and causing her power to reunite with its other half, completing Cinder's status as the new Fall Maiden.
Over a decade prior to the events of Volume 5, an unknown young woman had inherited the powers of the Spring Maiden. She underwent training for her powers at Haven Academy, which was overseen by Leonardo Lionheart. At first, she was determined, but the weight of her responsibilities overwhelmed her, and she ran away and disappeared. Sometime after that, she was discovered by the Branwen Tribe and trained by Raven Branwen. According to Raven, the training did not go well no matter how hard she pushed the girl to become stronger. Through unknown circumstances, Raven came to inherit the Spring Maiden powers from her. Raven claims that whatever action she took that led to this was an act of mercy due to believing the girl being "too weak" for the dangers of the world.
Knowing that she could potentially be targeted for her Maiden powers, Raven kept her powers secret and had a fellow tribe member, Vernal, pose as the Spring Maiden. Vernal pretended to use the powers, while Raven hid her Maiden flames with a mask.
Raven often used her Maiden powers in her raids with the Branwen Tribe. One notable example was Shion, as Qrow noted that most of the devastation and destruction of the town was likely brought about by a Maiden, though did not suspect his sister of being one.
During a temporary alliance to help destroy Haven and secure the Relic of Knowledge, Cinder double crosses Raven and Vernal and attempts to siphon the Spring Maiden's power from Vernal, only to find out she attacked the wrong woman. Raven reveals herself as the true Maiden, and she and Cinder duel, resulting in Cinder's defeat. Raven then opens the chamber to the Relic of Knowledge, only for her daughter to dissuade her from taking it.
Sometime in her youth, Fria, had come to inherit the Winter Maiden Power either through being randomly selected or being in the last thoughts of the previous Maiden upon her death. During her youth, Fria had trained in the usage of her powers and eventually became a "Fully Realized" Maiden and completely master her powers. Fria would then continue to hold on to the power of the Winter Maiden until her old age.
Sometime in her elder years, Fria would come under the protection of James Ironwood and become acquainted with him as he placed her under Atlas Military Protection to safe guard her powers until she passes and a suitable candidate could be found for her power.
Upon arriving in Atlas, Ruby's Group learns about the current Winter Maiden and her situation and that she is in stable condition and is being kept safe. Later, Winter Schnee takes Weiss Schnee to a heavily guarded medical facility to show her the Winter Maiden, Fria. There, she reveals that Ironwood only allows Winter to see Fria so that the powers will be passed on to her.
After Salem's agents cause chaos and a Grimm attack in Mantle, Ironwood sends Winter to claim the Winter Maiden powers. Cinder follows Winter to the medical facility and attempts to steal Fria's powers, only for Penny Polendina to claim them after a fight between the three girls. Amidst Ironwood's falling out with Ruby's Group, Penny chooses to leave with the latter, taking the Winter Maiden powers with her and leaving Ironwood unable to access the Relic of Creation, which he had planned to use to raise Atlas into the atmosphere.
Following her defection, Penny worked with Ruby, Blake, Nora and Weiss to infiltrate Atlas and launch the Amity Communications Tower, but encountered the Ace-Ops in the process. Instructed by Watts and Ironwood, Harriet Bree steals one of Penny's swords. During Amity's launch Penny and Cinder engaged for a second fight as Cinder attempted to claim her powers again, but lost when Penny used an enhanced laser blast to knock out Cinder and force her side to retreat.
During the battle Cinder damaged part of Amity and Penny was forced to manually raise it into the sky. However, Watts exploited her sword to inject her with a virus and follow strict instructions: open the Vault and self terminate. Penny crash landed in front of the Schnee Manor, where Ruby and her group attempted to help her while fending off The Hound from capturing her for Salem. Penny was unable to control her Maiden abilities while fighting for control against the virus.
After the destruction of Monstra, Penny fought against the virus and attempted to fly off to fulfill her instructions. Pinned down with the combined forces of RWBY, JNR, Oscar and Emerald, Jaune used his Semblance to empower Penny's Aura, allowing her to fight the virus for the time being.
To save Penny along with Atlas and Mantle, Team RWBY used the Relic of Creation to specifically create a new version of Penny's robotic parts, but leave the rest aside, effectively transforming Penny fully Human and casting aside her infected robotic body. Later, with the creation of the Evacuation Central Location, Penny's former body disintegrated.
In the central location, Penny engaged Cinder once more with the help of Team RWBY, recreating her lost weapon through her Maiden powers. Despite her efforts, Cinder landed a fatal injury on Penny. In her last moments, Penny asked Jaune to give her a choice by killing her. In her final thoughts, Penny reunited with Winter and managed to spiritually pass on the powers to her
After acquiring the Maiden Powers, Winter was able to defeat Ironwood by redirecting an energy blast before going through the portal and challenging Cinder, causing the two Maidens to enter into a destructive battle against each other. To stop her from reclaiming the Staff, Cinder caused her sister to fall into the void. In tears, Winter exited to Vacuo, unleashing a wind gust at the Grimm and proceeding to face them on.
Chapter 1 Prelude: The Elegy
- According to Ozpin's Group, Cinder is the first person to have stolen a part of a Maiden's powers.
- In one draft of RWBY: After the Fall, the Summer Maiden was set to make an appearance, rescuing Fox Alistair from a battle with Bertilak Celadon.
- The color of a Maiden's eye glow matches her Aura, rather than being specific to which Maiden she is.
- Nearly all Maidens so far have had a matching Aura and eye color except for Amber whom had brown eyes and yellow-orange Aura, with her eye glow matching her Aura. This indicates that the eye glow does not necessarily match the Maiden's eye color but does match her Aura color.
- The age cutoff for gaining the Maiden powers has been stated to be unofficially around thirty years old.
- Many Maiden's names relate to their Maiden Seasons:
- Cinder Fall is named after Fall and is hinted she chose it herself
- The name of the decoy Spring maiden, Vernal, means something that is occurring in or relating to the springtime.
- "Fria" means "cold" in several languages.
- Both the original and current Winter Maidens have the shared name of "Winter".
Behind the Scenes
- The idea for the Maidens was thought up by Monty Oum in between Volume 2 and Volume 3 and worked into the story.
- According to RWBY Rewind Although they have only been shown using elemental powers, Maidens can actually use many different types of magic. This was later changed in RWBY: Fairy Tales of Remnant.
- The colors meant to correspond to each Maiden appear to differ between the show proper and RWBY: World of Remnant. Consistently, Winter was light blue and Spring was green. However, in "Fall", Summer was orange and Fall was purple, but in the World of Remnant episode "The Four Maidens", Summer was purple and Fall was orange. In "Heroes and Monsters", the power of the Fall Maiden appears to be orange when it passes from person to person.
- Cinder is the only Maiden whose eye glow is limited to her right eye due to damage to her left eye.
- In "It's Brawl in the Family", Qrow refers to Amber's status as "Autumn's condition". Autumn is the common name for Fall, as Fall is said in replacement for Autumn, albeit only in North America.
- RWBY Rewind
- RWBY: Fairy Tales of Remnant Preview
- RWBY: After the Fall Special RWBYCast Podcast featuring EC Myers
- CRWBY AMA
- Volume 3 DVD Commentary
- RWBY Rewind: Season 2 Ep 8 - Justifying Jaune's Anger | Rooster Teeth