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During the Beacon Arc, Ozpin looks like a middle-aged man with tousled silver hair and thin brown eyes. He has a light complexion and sharp facial features. Interestingly, Ozpin has black eyebrows, suggesting that he may have had black hair when he was younger.
He wears shaded glass spectacles and a small, purple, cross-shaped pin on the cowl around his neck. His outfit mainly consists of an unzipped black suit over a dark green, buttoned vest and green shirt. He also wears black trouser shoes and long, dark-green pants. In addition to his cane, his other frequent accessory is a mug bearing the Beacon Academy emblem, from which he drinks hot cocoa.
Ozpin is typically both stoic and affable towards people he speaks to. He, like Ruby Rose, has been shown to think outside of the box. It can be inferred from his indifference toward Ruby fighting Roman Torchwick, as well as the way he literally launches new students into the Emerald Forest for the Beacon Academy Initiation, that he has no real problem putting his students in mortal danger if he feels they can handle it, given the right reasons or to accomplish an objective. This is not to infer that Ozpin throws his students recklessly into mortal danger. Rather, he takes into consideration that precautionary measures are taken. At the Beacon Academy Initiation, it was implied that students should be at the skill level where fighting in the Emerald Forest would be appropriate as well as being thrown off a cliff and using a landing strategy. Students were also being filmed the entire time instead of just meeting up with the students after they got their relics.
Ozpin can be humble, admitting that he has made many mistakes in the past. In addition, he possesses a more caring side, comforting Ruby and assuring her that her appointment as team leader was not a mistake. He is seen to care for the well being of his students, as with Blake Belladonna when he told her if she needed to tell him anything, she should not hesitate to ask. Also, while Ozpin is a headmaster of a hunter and huntress academy, he shows great care for the well-being of his students in "Welcome to Beacon", where he infers that he hopes his students will never have to fight a war. Ozpin is also shown to harbor respect for the Faunus, something made clear during his conversation with Blake, yet is highly aware of the racial discrimination they suffer from Humans.
Ozpin can also be very blunt, as shown when Jaune Arc asks him questions about the launch. According to Ruby and Yang Xiao Long in "The Shining Beacon, Pt.2", Ozpin did not "seem himself" while giving his speech to the incoming students.
Ozpin is also known to believe dearly in teamwork, which is one of the reasons why the Huntsmen academies focus heavily on it.
However, Ozpin is also known for being secretive, which is sometimes a detriment. Said flaw can go so far as endangering his allies or even innocent people, as shown in "Argus Limited" when he chose not to relay how the Relic attracts Grimm until the train was under attack, forcing Team RWBY and Team JNPR to separate in order to protect both the Relic and the passengers.
In "Uncovered", Ozpin is shown becoming testy after Yang and Weiss scrutinize him over breaking his promise to stop withholding secrets and making a false martyr out of Lionheart. Nevertheless, he resolutely defends his actions, believing the people of Mistral "deserve better than the truth," which in turn shows, not only how much he values his allies, even the ones who betrayed him, but also empathy to those who make mistakes.
Though once he discovers the Relic is missing, he becomes fearful of his past failings and trauma at Salem's hands being exposed, so much so that he desperately tries retaking the Relic from Ruby once she summons Jinn to learn the truth.
In "So That's How It Is", Ozpin is shown crying in the snow after his past is revealed to the group. After Qrow disowns him, Ozpin seals himself away in Oscar's consciousness.
He makes his true return in "The Enemy of Trust," where he briefly takes over Oscar to prevent him from passing out. He gives a monologue on the nature of fear and how it affects others, showing he has reflected on giving in to his fear in the previous volume.
Powers and Abilities
Before being defeated and subsequently attaching to Oscar, Ozpin harbored immense physical power as demonstrated in his fight against Cinder after she became the Fall Maiden. He possessed superhuman speed, creating green afterimages as he moved.
From what was briefly seen of Ozpin's fighting style in his duel with Cinder, his style emphasizes adaptability, changing from powerful high speed strikes to rapid retreats to solid defense.
Ozpin is a capable strategist and leader. He has the ability to persuade even volatile personalities to cooperate with his plans and knows the right balance of firmness and kindness to get the desired results from his subordinates. He is also flexible enough to "bend the rules" if he feels the situation requires it, as shown in "Field Trip".
Due to accepting the task of uniting Humanity for the Gods, Ozpin has been endowed with the ability to reincarnate. This ability causes his soul to attach to a new like-minded host when his previous body is destroyed, the two merging memories and abilities over time until only a single soul remains. As of Volume 5, Ozpin's soul is attached to and merging with that of Oscar's. Oscar can grant Ozpin control of his body, enhancing his combat prowess and the strength of his aura, though only for limited periods of time. In addition, he can forcibly take control of Oscar's body, though he seems severely drained, and Oscar relays that Ozpin needs to rest after the fight.
In "Rest and Resolutions", Ozpin reveals that he himself possesses powerful magic that he used to create the original four Maidens, as well as grant Qrow Branwen and Raven Branwen the ability to shapeshift into corvids. It is stated that the amount of power expended in the creation of the Maidens greatly drained his magic. Ozpin himself admits that his magic powers are dwindling, but does not state the exact reason for it. Despite this, he still has enough to aid him in combat. During his battle with Cinder, he is able to conjure an energy barrier to protect himself from her attacks.
As revealed in "The Lost Fable", Ozpin as Ozma used to be one of the only Humans on the planet with powerful magic that rivaled Salem's own.
- Ozpin alludes to Oz from The Wizard of Oz. For more information on this allusion, as well as other choices the creators made for this character, see Ozpin/Behind the Scenes.
- Some characters stand in as a certain role for another character's allusion, separately from their own. Ozpin stands in as god Odin for Raven's allusion to Hugin and Qrow's allusion to Muninn.
- Monty Oum released an image detailing the color-naming rule of RWBY, stating "Thus all the names in RWBY (Minus Ozpin... for reasons....) follow this rule."
- In "Field Trip", Ozpin reveals that the color-naming rules have been a naming tradition in Remnant because of a war that ended almost eighty years before the events of the series.
- In "Unforeseen Complications", Ozpin reveals that he had lived for thousands of years due to a curse placed on him by the gods for failing to stop Salem in the past.
- Despite popular belief, Ozpin drinks hot cocoa, not coffee.
- Ozpin's voice actor, Shannon McCormick, said, "Ozpin obviously takes his coffee black", jokingly noting that there's never any cream or sugar around him when he pours a cup. He also noted that, by the sound effect used in "It's Brawl in the Family" as the headmaster sloshes his coffee, he drinks iced coffee. Gray G. Haddock, however, has noted that this interpretation of the sound design is not true.
- Shannon has cited Charles Dance's portrayal of Tywin Lannister from the American television series, Game of Thrones, as an inspiration for Ozpin's voice, despite their being very different characters from one another.
- A silhouette of Ozpin appears in the DVD and Blu-ray exclusive World of Remnant episode, "Aura", while the narrator says "With enough training and focus, a user's Aura can turn them into something much more than just a man".