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Professor Ozpin was the Headmaster of Beacon Academy, and an incarnation of Ozma, the ancient warrior dedicated to protecting Remnant from Salem. He is the first known incarnation after the King of Vale.
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 Huntsman 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.
In RWBY: After the Fall, one of his students, Coco Adel, describes Ozpin as mischievous and having a young, boyish charm that reminded Coco of her younger brother. 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, as shown in "Argus Limited" when he chose not to relay how the Relic of Knowledge attracts Grimm until the train was under attack, forcing the group 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.
He is shown to be capable of reflecting on his mistakes and learning from them. In "The Enemy of Trust", Ozpin gives a monologue on the nature of fear and how it affects others, showing he has reflected on giving in to his fear since his self-exile. Later in "Refuge," he agrees with Oscar Pine about not wanting their souls to merge into one and stresses that everyone needs to learn how to work together after everything that has happened- not just the two of them.
Due to Ozpin's soul being merged with Oscar's, he has taken on his personality and traits. In "Midnight", he is much more open and expressive when dealing with Hazel Rainart. Later in "War", he reveals to him the truth about Salem in an attempt to sway him, where normally he would keep it secret.
Later in "Risk", he reveals himself to Ruby's Group again and admits that when they learned the truth about him that he ran away but remembers the story of "The Girl who Fell through the World". He explains that he knows that they took a risk trusting him before, and asks if they would take another risk trusting him again to help them.
Ozpin is shown to have something of a guilt complex in that he tends to shoulder all the blame for both his own actions and Salem's- such as in "Unforeseen Complications," where he accepts all the blame for what happened during the Fall of Beacon. His guilt over lying to his allies drove him to self-exile in "So That's How It Is," even going as far as to agree with Qrow Branwen that maybe meeting him was the worst luck of the latter's life. His guilt over his past actions is so extreme that in "War", when Hazel snaps that Ozpin deserves to be tortured, he agrees without hesitation before expressing concern for Oscar and the people in Atlas. This shows that he truly believes his life is worth less than others because of his mistakes.
Powers and Abilities
Before being killed and bonding 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".
- Main article: The Long Memory
Ozpin's weapon of choice was The Long Memory, a walking cane which he built in a previous incarnation. Following his death, the cane is now wielded by Oscar Pine.
Due to accepting the task of uniting Humanity from the Gods, Ozpin has been endowed with the ability to reincarnate. This 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. Currently, Ozpin's soul is attached to and merging with that of Oscar's. He can grant Ozpin control of his body, enhancing his combat prowess and the strength of his Aura, though it is not retained when Oscar is in control. In addition, he can forcibly take control of Oscar's body, though this severely drains him afterwards.
In "Rest and Resolutions", Ozpin reveals that he himself possesses powerful Magic that he used to create the original 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 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".
- It is unknown if there was an incarnation of Ozma between the King of Vale and Ozpin, but given the timeframe it is possible there was at least one incarnation between them.
- RWBY: Before the Dawn
- Rooster Teeth online store, and Volume 3 Director's Commentary
- RWBY: After the Fall (p. 41).
- Volume 3 Blu-Ray Extra "3, 2, 1, Begin"
- RWBY Naming Rules
- Monty Oum's Twitter
- RWBY AfterBuzz TV (11:49)
- RWBY Volume 3 Afterbuzz TV 1
- RWBY Volume 3 Afterbuzz TV 2
- RWBY AfterBuzz TV (14:35)