Overview Image Gallery
The Nuckelavee is a large, horse-like Grimm. that first appeared in "Kuroyuri". In the crew commentary of Volume 4, it is described as two individual Grimm - an Imp and a Horse Grimm - that have been merged together.
The Nuckelavee is a horse-like creature with an equine main body and a skinless humanoid creature that is fused with it. Its forelegs are shaped like claws and it has hooved hind legs that leave a characteristic hoofprint. The humanoid body has long curved horns on its head, a mouth that looks almost sewn shut, and two long elastic arms each with two clawed fingers. On the back of the human torso are boney spikes along its spine and a variety of weapons from previous battles stuck in it.
When walking on its equine legs, its attached humanoid portion hangs limp to one side, making its arms drag along the ground. Once the equine portion stops to stand still, only then does the humanoid portion of the creature become active, doing so with a spasmodic twitching movement. When enraged, the spikes on its spine lengthen, as do its horns, its pupils become vertical slits, and its mouth opens completely.
The appearance of the Nuckelavee was first hinted at by its hoof print in Shion in "Remembrance", which Lie Ren and Nora Valkyrie discover. Later on, its hoof print was shown again in "Two Steps Forward, Two Steps Back", but it was unnoticed by Ruby Rose and Jaune Arc.
Its first physical appearance was in "Kuroyuri", despite only appearing as a silhouette from the smoke of the Grimm's rampage, causing havoc in the town of the same name. This creature is responsible for the death of Ren's parents and the destruction of Kuroyuri. It was shown heading back to the same village years later after leaving a cave filled with lost and discarded weapons, encountering Team RNJR. After a long fight, the Grimm is defeated by RNJR. Its horse half was slain by Nora, and its humanoid half was slain by Ren with the help of Jaune and Ruby who pinned its arms to the ground.
Powers and Abilities
The Nuckelavee has been credited with the destruction of Oniyuri and played a role in the destruction of both Shion and Kuroyuri. Despite its jerky movements, it is quite fast and uses its unnaturally stretchy limbs to attack. Its screams are also very discomforting to the ear. It can also rotate its humanoid torso indefinitely without stretching, twisting, or breaking its attachment to the horse, as seen when it spins around while whipping its arms at RNJR.
The Nuckelavee is far more durable than its size and frail appearance would indicate, shrugging off dozens of rounds from Magnhild's grenades, Crescent Rose's rifle shots, and Stormflower's bullets in addition to slashes from the upgraded Crocea Mors. Its arms and heads were more vulnerable, but the creature's long range and vast strength made attacking them difficult.
Possibly due to its longevity, this creature possesses a degree of intelligence not common in other Grimm. It had a lair in which it discarded many of the weapons embedded in it over its life, as well as trophy-like collections such as a flag from Shion, a town many miles away whose destruction it participated in. It was able to think and strategize, countering Jaune's encircling tactics by spinning its arms in a wide circle to strike all its opponents at once.
However, in the Volume 4 Crew Commentary, it has been stated that only either the horse or the "Imp" can move at a time.
- The Grimm is based on the Nuckelavee, a demon from Orcadian mythology with origins from both Norse and Scottish mythology. The Nuckelavee was commonly blamed for disease and destruction of crops.
- According to the Volume 4 Director's Commentary, part of its screech is William Orendorff screaming the word "Die".
- Lusus Naturae is played during the Nuckelavee's appearances.
- RWBY: Amity Arena Card Bio
- "In the world of Remnant, many Grimm are in the shapes of familiar animals. Birds, wolves, bears, and even scorpions come immediately to mind. However, the Grimm… are not animals. They are not of flesh and blood, and exist only for destruction, and worse yet, their shapes and forms... are not limited to that of wildlife. Sometimes... they take the form of pure-- (un)bridled... nightmares. Descending upon the settlements of Mistral, snuffing out all hope and life, the messenger of death collects trophies on its back, one. by. one."
- The Nuckelavee's jerky and twitchy movement was originally the result of an animator playing around with their shots of the Nuckelavee. After seeing the movement in action, Kerry Shawcross decided that the erratic movements would reflect across the entirety of the Nuckelavee's appearances.