For World of Remnant Volume 3, Episode 4, see The Four Maidens.
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The four Maidens - Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter.

The Maidens are the hosts of a vast magical power that has existed in Remnant for thousands of years. Their powers are derived from Ozma.

Description[edit | edit source]

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[edit | edit source]

Magic[edit | edit source]

Two Maidens displaying their magical 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.[1] 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", 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.[2]

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.

The World of RWBY: The Official Companion states that Cinder Fall has some control over the Wyvern through her Maiden powers, being able to influence its behavior.

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.

Vaults[edit | edit source]

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 can access the Vault in Atlas Academy.

Succession[edit | edit source]

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 isn't a woman, 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.

The machine used to artificially transfer Maiden powers to a new host.

Cinder's Shadow Hand used in an attempt to steal Raven's Maiden Powers.

Cinder's Shadow Hand attempting to steal Penny's Maiden Powers.

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.

Fria's Maiden powers pass on to Penny naturally.

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.

History[edit | edit source]

Origins[edit | edit source]

The old man bestows powers upon the four sisters in The Story of the Seasons.

The Story of the Seasons, a fairy tale passed down through the cultures of Remnant, purportedly tells of the origins of the Maidens.

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.

Secrecy[edit | edit source]

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.

Present Day[edit | edit source]

Fall Maiden[edit | edit source]

Amber, the previous Fall Maiden.

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.

Cinder, the current Fall Maiden.

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 plan 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.

Spring Maiden[edit | edit source]

Raven, the current Spring 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.

Winter Maiden[edit | edit source]

Fria, the previous Winter Maiden.

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 can 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.

Penny, the current Winter Maiden.

After Arthur Watts and Tyrian Callows are apprehended after having caused chaos and a Grimm attack in Mantle, Ironwood returns to his office and is emotionally shaken upon seeing a black queen chess piece left behind by Cinder. Paranoid, he sends Winter to claim the Winter Maiden powers, and soon after, a message from Salem sparks further chaos. Cinder follows Winter to the medical facility and attempts to steal Fria's powers, only for Penny Polendina to claim them instead while Cinder is distracted by Winter. 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.

Known Maidens[edit | edit source]

Winter[edit | edit source]

First Maiden Previous Current
Original maidens - winter - mugshot.png
Winter
Friamug.png
Fria
Pennyv7mug.png
Penny

Spring[edit | edit source]

First Maiden Previous Current
Original maidens - spring - mugshot.png
Spring
BlankMug2.png
Unknown
Raven V5 Thumb.png
Raven

Summer[edit | edit source]

First Maiden Previous Current
Original maidens - summer - mugshot.png
Summer
BlankMug2.png
Unknown
BlankMug2.png
Unknown

Fall[edit | edit source]

First Maiden Previous Current
Original maidens - fall - mugshot.png
Fall
CharMugAmber.png
Amber
Midnightmug.png
Cinder

Image Gallery[edit | edit source]

Chapter 1 Prelude: The Elegy[edit | edit source]

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • The idea for the Maidens was thought up by Monty Oum in between Volume 2 and Volume 3 and worked into the story.[3]
  • The colors meant to correspond to each Maiden appear to differ between the show proper and RWBY: World of Remnant. Consistently, Winter is light blue and Spring is green. However, in "Fall", Summer was orange and Fall was purple, but in the World of Remnant episode "The Four Maidens", Summer is purple and Fall is orange. In "Heroes and Monsters", the power of the Fall Maiden appears to be orange when it passes from person to person.
  • According to Ozpin's Group, Cinder is the first person to have stolen a part of a Maiden's powers.
  • The age cutoff for gaining the Maiden powers has been stated to be unofficially around thirty years old.[4]
  • According to RWBY Rewind Although they have only been shown using elemental powers, Maidens can actually use many different types of magic.[5] This was later changed in RWBY: Fairy Tales of Remnant.
  • Cinder is the only Maiden whose eye glow is limited to her left eye due to damage to her right eye.
  • 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.
  • 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.[6]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. RWBY Rewind
  2. RWBY: Fairy Tales of Remnant Preview
  3. Volume 3 DVD Commentary
  4. CRWBY AMA
  5. RWBY Rewind: Season 2 Ep 8 - Justifying Jaune's Anger | Rooster Teeth
  6. RWBY: After the Fall Special RWBYCast Podcast featuring EC Myers
Setting
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