Throughout the production of a series, a lot goes on behind the scenes in regards to planning and design, which often go through multiple stages before resulting in the final version that is seen on screen. Some concepts and ideas can have an effect on the show and characters, and unexpected occurrences during production can also lead to changes and additions to the plans for the show.
Nora Valkyrie alludes to Thor, from Norse mythology, which follows JNPR's theme of people who dressed themselves as the opposite gender. In order to steal back his hammer, Thor once had to disguise himself as the goddess Freyja, wearing bridal gear along with the disguise. This allusion has had the following effects on the character and the show:
- Her emblem is a hammer with a lightning bolt through it.
- She wields a warhammer that has a Norse name. Thor is said to wield a hammer called Mjolnir.
- Her last name is Valkyrie, which references the fact that Thor had to disguise himself as Freyja, who is sometimes associated with valkyries.
- Her Semblance allows her to absorb and produce electricity to power up her muscles, giving her more strength. Thor is known for his strength and his connection to lightning and thunder.
- She discovered her Semblance when she was struck by lightning on a Thursday. The word "Thursday" means "Thor's Day" in Old English and is named after Thor.
Nora's emblem is a hammer with a lightning bolt going through it. This emblem appears on some of Nora's possessions:
- On the head of her hairbrush.
- Original battle outfit - on the back of her shirt.
- Pajamas - on her Boop shirt.
- On the ear pieces of her headphones.
- Timeskip battle outfit - on the back of her jacket.
- Suitcase - on the suitcase she has in Volume 6.
- Atlas battle outfit - armlet on her left bicep.
Original Battle Outfit
Not much of Nora's appearance has changed from the concept art that was drawn by Einlee. Both pieces show her wearing the same outfit as her final design, albeit the ribbons of her bow are shorter, due to animation limitations. The only other difference that can be seen is that her eyes were originally going to be pink.
Concepts With No Change
There are no visible differences between the show and concept art versions of the following outfit.
- Monty Oum told Miles Luna and Kerry Shawcross that "Nora is a powerful woman" and let them come up with the rest of her personality. Miles and Kerry's development of Nora's personality began with her and Lie Ren's introduction scene in "The First Step". They decided that Nora is a morning person, while Ren is not. From there, "it exploded" into Nora always being energetic and Ren never being energetic.
- In Vol. 5: Shine, Ein Lee comments on her various contributions to the series. There, she mentions when working with Monty Oum and the design process for Nora. Originally, Monty's idea was that Nora wore high heels and had a long hairstyle. Ein Lee suggested that to fit the character's allusion, her hair should be shorter and spiky in order to feel more electric.
- Nora's very first scene, where she wakes up Ren singing "It's morning!", also served as Samantha Ireland's audition for the role.
- From the beginning, they wanted Nora to wield a hammer, and Monty stated that he did not want her hammer to be a "dinky" one-handed one.
- In the original Volume 1 Opening storyboard, Nora hops onto Jaune Arc's back while he is posing with Ren and Pyrrha Nikos.
- After Volume 3, Rooster Teeth changed animation software from Poser Pro 2013 to Autodesk Maya. With this change, the animation department also made all new models for RWBY. The Nora Valkyrie model's face was given modeled lips.
- Nora overcharging her Semblance was an early idea in development for Volume 8 and it was originally going to happen at a power plant with an electrified security fence. The initial idea behind it came from Kerry Shawcross looking at Reddit and coming across an image of a person who had been scarred by lighting and he thought that kind of scarring would fit great with Nora.