Penny Polendina was a character who first appeared in the episode "The Stray". She was originally an android created by her father, Pietro Polendina, when he somehow gave her a part of his own Aura to grant her a soul.
She returned in "The Greatest Kingdom" with a new look made by her father, who rebuilt her after the Fall of Beacon. Penny became the official protector of Mantle and eliminated Grimm that invaded the city. In "The Enemy of Trust" after a grueling battle with Cinder Fall, she became the Winter Maiden.
Original Design (Volumes 1-3)
Penny had short, rather curly orange hair that came down to her chin with a small cowlick on top, and she wore a pink bow on the back of her head. She also had bright green eyes, light skin, and freckles. She wore an off white old-fashioned styled off the shoulder blouse with frill detailed trim and frill flared cuffs that half covered her hands alongside copper button detailing on the lower parts of her sleeves. She also sported a short gray pinafore dress with golden trim on the hem alongside four light green stalagmite styled stripes on the lower half of the dress, two on the front and two on the back, accompanied by two matching colored circles above the tips that had a stripe that ran around her waistline, with golden outlines, and a detachable black and light green collar. She also wore a pair of black thigh-high leg pieces that seemingly were attached to black shoes. The leg pieces had a single green stripe up the sides that appeared to light up.
She had a layer of synthetic skin that concealed her metallic structure and spherical joints, and her irises bore similarities to the shutter of a camera. The skin wasn’t strong and could be damaged revealing the metal under it as shown in A Minor Hiccup.
She also wore a silver backpack that contained Floating Array, her weapon.
During the Beacon Dance, Penny wore a short, light green, short-sleeved dress with a narrow black detailing around her waist, white collar alongside a pair of light green green heels.
Rebuilt Design (Volumes 7-8)
After the Fall of Beacon, Penny was rebuilt by her father. Her hair was significantly longer and curled inwards at the tips and she wore a black fabric bow under a pink metal bow that had a golden outlined green power symbol. The ahoge remained and was more prominent.
Penny wore an olive green German styled dress with a black hem that was striped with emerald green. The abdominal region was black with four golden buttons with matching buckles on her shoulder straps. She also wore an off white blouse with puffy shoulders, frilled flared cuffs and vertical black lining down the front centre. Her collar piece did away with the green accents and was instead finished with a black ribbon, another power button at its center that switched on and off when Penny was inactive or active as shown in "Out in the Open". Penny had black metal leg pieces that ran up to her thighs, both having a green stripe that ran down the sides, with a large green circle at the top and a small one at the bottom, both outlined with gold and capable of lighting up too. The knee pieces of her legs were heavily defined to look separate from the rest of the leg pieces. She had a trio of jets in the lower rear part of her leg pieces that granted Penny the ability of flight. She also wore a pair of black low heeled metal boots with the tops hidden by the lower part of her leg pieces.
In addition she also wore a pair of black lacy cuffed gloves with golden stud detailing on the knuckles. She also retained her silver backpack on her back carrying Floating Array.
In Volume 8, the palm of her gloves were spray painted black to conceal her metallic structure after her fight with Cinder.
Upon acquiring a new, fully human form via Ambrosius' powers, Penny retained mostly the same appearance, though with a few changes. She did not keep her gloves, nor her metal legs and boots, leaving both her hands and feet bare. Her backpack containing Floating Array was also no longer present, while the "power button" symbols on the bow of her collar and hair bow disappeared. Further more, the pink part of her hair bow was no longer sharp and metallic looking, instead being made of fabric.
Penny was amiable, excitable, kind and curious. It was stated that Penny got a lot of her attitude from her father. She often showed a distinct lack of social awareness, likely due to not having a lot of experience with Human nature. When Ruby made an unconditional offer of friendship, Penny seemed both immensely pleased and somewhat surprised. Another small quirk was that Penny hiccuped whenever she told a lie. She was also really excited when Ruby Rose offered her a fistbump in A Night Off, an action that nobody had ever offered to her and wanted to do it perfectly.
She also seemed to place great value on friendship, for she was greatly angered at the sight of Ruby being knocked down by Roman Torchwick's flare in "Black and White". She also placed trust in Ruby based on the latter promising that she was her friend in "A Minor Hiccup".
Furthermore, Penny seemed to be immensely curious. Upon hearing that Blake Belladonna had run away, she proceeded to ask Ruby numerous questions, all related to Blake and friendship in general. Despite being told not to wander off, Penny still wandered Vale on her own.
Penny occasionally showed insecurities about her artificial nature. Upon confiding in Ruby that she was a synthetic being, Penny was worried about how she would take the news. However, after seeing Ruby took it rather well, she was glad that Ruby did not seem to care that she was really a machine, for what truly mattered was her heart and soul.
Penny's most notable trait was her kindness. Upon meeting Team RWBY, she greeted them with a jovial "Salutations!", complimented Weiss' hair, and offered to help Ruby track down Blake. In addition, she once saved Ruby from a truck before she asked the driver if he was okay, thanked Team CRDL during the Vytal Festival for the time she had, and told Pyrrha in the finals that it was a pleasure to finally meet her. Despite Atlas and Mantle originally being hesitant of Penny, she still worked as their proud protector.
Penny's more peculiar social quirks appeared to tone down as the series progressed. While earlier appearances had her depicted as cheery, curious, and unfamiliar with many aspects of social interaction, these aspects appeared to diminish with each subsequent appearance; by the time of the Vytal Festival, Penny was barely distinguishable from her former self's naivete and volatile emotional state, sharing a conversation with Ruby about both her plans to stay at Beacon, despite her teammate Ciel Soleil objecting due to running short on time.
Penny was apparently very perceptive, for she saw through Blake's disguise and recognized that she was a Faunus while most people did not. She could also spot both Joanna Greenleaf and May Marigold in "Sparks", even though the latter was using her Semblance to hide them.
After she learned that James Ironwood planned to leave Mantle to die in "Gravity", she started to question if what the military was doing was actually right and was horrified that she and Winter Schnee had to kill the current Winter Maiden for Ironwood's plan to work.
In "Refuge", she confided to Ruby about her worries, telling her that she was going through an identity crisis since becoming the Winter Maiden. Penny stated that she was content simply being the protector of Mantle and regretted having taken the powers.
After she ended up getting hacked, she attempted to fight against the virus corrupting her until she asked Ruby and her friends to kill her so that they would get her powers instead and prevent Ironwood from completing his plans. However, after Nora told her that the virus is only a part of her and Jaune boosts her Aura, she managed to suppress the virus until she was given a human body by Ambrosius.
After she was mortally wounded fighting Cinder in "The Final Word" she asked Jaune to kill her so her powers wouldn't go to her and because she wanted to make her final choice herself. After he reluctantly agreed, she revealed to Winter that she thought about her and that she wouldn’t be completely gone, but now a part of her.
Penny and her personality operated under an AI before she was turned into a human.
Powers and Abilities
As an android, Penny was significantly more resistant to fatal injuries. According to her father, Pietro, she could survive injuries and damage as severe as dismemberment and even decapitation, so long as her cores remained intact. This is evident as her core survived her previous form's destruction and gruesome injuries unintentionally inflicted by Pyrrha in "PvP", an incident which led many to believe Penny was dead. Notably in "War", she was able to survive a crash after falling from Amity Communications Tower to the Schnee Manor despite suffering injures in the process.
She also possessed immense physical strength, made evident when she managed to bring an incoming From Dust Till Dawn truck in "A Minor Hiccup" to a complete stop with her bare hands, even causing the ground beneath her feet to buckle and crack. As seen in "Amity", she was also strong enough to move Amity Tower into position.
Penny's eyes were noted to have possessed night vision and infrared vision. In "Amity", when Emerald Sustrai used her Semblance to create multiple illusions of Cinder Fall, Penny was able to locate the real one through her infrared vision.
In "Dark" while in the process of being hacked, Penny mentioned that she had a self-destruct sequence presumably built into or near her main core.
As of "Creation" Penny was no longer an android and instead a Human, meaning she could no longer be hacked, but also that she no longer had access to her robotic enhancements.
- Main article: Floating Array
Penny's weapon of choice was Floating Array, a backpack which stored multiple short swords that penny could control at will.
As seen in "Black and White", Penny was able to control the Floating Array with simple movements from her hands, able to manipulate every sword simultaneously without difficulty and could fire energy blasts when bringing them together. This blast of energy was powerful enough to simultaneously slice multiple Bullheads in half, shooting them down. She could also put her swords into smaller rings in order to fire multiple weaker beams. Penny could also further empower her lasers through her Maiden powers.
The swords were connected to her and possibly operated by the use of thin strings attached to the hilts. Penny's 'strings' seemed to be quite strong and durable, as they were able to pull down a Bullhead and cut through Penny herself easily. The swords were able to fold in half lengthwise for easier storage.
After Penny was rebuilt, she had not been seen using Floating Array until "Pomp and Circumstance", where she used them to cut a cake. They were seen again in "Sparks", where she used them as a way to threaten Robyn Hill so that she would call off her Happy Huntresses who had the group surrounded.
In "Amity", it was revealed that Penny's swords operated within a closed network, which was linked to Penny in order for her to manipulate and control them in combat.
In "Creation" the backpack that stored Floating Array inside her ceased to exist along with the rest of her robotic parts.
She could allow Floating Array to pull her around or anchor herself and use them to pull large objects, including an airship in flight despite the mass and thrust power of the vehicle. She could also use her weapons as thrusters, allowing her to move extremely quickly through the air.
Penny was able to jump great distances, with the force of her jump being enough to break the ground. She could also use her wires to catapult herself. She also seemed to have a high amount of speed or stealthiness, as seen when she appeared in one spot before quickly showing up in another.
As of "The Greatest Kingdom", Penny, in her new body, appeared to have flight capabilities without Floating Array due to rocket thrusters implemented in her boots.
As of "Creation", upon Penny being transformed into a biological human and losing her android body, Penny no longer had access to the same flight and mobility abilities offered to her by her android body, thus relying on her maiden powers to fly.
In the episode "Painting the Town..." Penny revealed that she was the first synthetic entity to be capable of generating an Aura. According to other references to Aura, this could also imply that Penny truly had a soul and that she could also wield a Semblance.
In "Worst Case Scenario", Pietro revealed that he used a part of his own Aura to create Penny's. The exact mechanism of how he did it was not revealed. However, Pietro notes that it takes a little more of his aura each time he rebuilds Penny.
- Main article: Maidens
As the Winter Maiden, Penny possessed the ability to manipulate the elements. In "Strings", she created a large gale of wind to blow away the Ace-Ops with enough power to fling them out of their feet. Penny also showcased the ability to create storm clouds around her that generate green lightning. Finally, she was able to cause the storm cloud to produce hail, through not particularly powerful, as it only bounced off Marrow Amin.
Penny displayed more uses of her powers in "Amity", where she generated blasts of ice to freeze and create giant chunks of ice, as well as created weapons of ice shaped like the swords of her Floating Array. She was also capable of siphoning the lightning generated from her storm clouds and focus them to further empower her beam blasts. When holding Amity Colosseum to ensure it does not drift down, she generated blasts of blue fire to increase her strength.
In "Worthy", Penny made use of her powers to make up for the former abilities offered to her by her Android Body. These included producing green flames under her feet to fly similar to Cinder Fall and to create magical versions of Floating Array after she lost her originals.
- Penny alludes to Pinocchio. For more information on this allusion, as well as other choices the creators made for this character, see Penny Polendina/Behind the Scenes.
- Penny's name can bring to mind the color of copper, which pennies are coated in. It can also bring to mind the green color that copper takes on when it is oxidized.
- In her debut episode, when Ruby tells Penny that she is her friend, Penny exclaims, "We can paint our nails, and try on clothes, and talk about cute boys!" which is a callback to Weiss' sarcastic rebuttal of Ruby's friendship in "The Shining Beacon, Pt.2". Ruby acknowledges this.
- Since Penny has ferromagnetic components, she can be affected by magnets, as seen in "Never Miss a Beat" and "PvP".
- Penny's fighting style resembles that of Naminé as she is depicted in Dead Fantasy, an online series also created by Monty Oum.
- Going along with her robotic theme, her swords have the international standby/power symbol on each of them.
- The destroyed character model of Penny from "PvP" and "Battle of Beacon" was actually built by her voice actress, Taylor McNee, who is also a 3D artist on the show.
- Penny's emblem is a green sword, similar in design to the swords she uses in combat.
- Penny's model number is revealed in "Never Miss a Beat" to be M374, which is possibly a reference to the M374 Hephaestus Combat Suit worn by the Meta in Red vs. Blue. Coincidentally, the numbers 3, 7, and 4 are sometimes used as letters, specifically E, T, and A respectively. If you replace the numbers in M374 with the letters, you get Meta.
- A new model of Penny based off of a scene from the Shirow Miwa manga was set to be included in RWBY: Amity Arena, but Rooster Teeth denied use of it owing to Penny's return in Volume 7.
- "Never Miss a Beat" Credits
- RWBY Volume 7 Crew Commentary - Chapter 1
- RWBY Volume 7 Crew Commentary - Chapter 6
- RWBY: Amity Arena Penny 2.0 Bio
- RWBY: Amity Arena Penny 2.0 Bio
- RWBY: Amity Arena Penny 2.0 Bio confirms multiple cores
- RWBY Volume 7 Crew Commentary - Chapter 6
- AfterBuzz TV
- RWBY: Amity Arena Twitter