- For the character of the same name, see Ruby Rose.
The episode begins with a mysterious narrator explaining the origins of humankind and how they discovered and utilized Dust to protect themselves from creatures of darkness and establish settlements where mankind could survive. She then warns that darkness will return and there will be no victory in strength. Ozpin replies that victory may lie in simpler things that require a smaller, more honest soul.
In the present day, Roman Torchwick and a group of henchmen attempt to rob a Dust shop called "From Dust Till Dawn". Unbeknownst to Roman, a Huntress-in-training, Ruby Rose, is browsing magazines in the shop. When a henchman tries to mug her, she retaliates, using her scythe to knock the henchmen unconscious before chasing Roman onto a nearby roof. Once there, Roman boards a Bullhead and attempts to kill Ruby with a Dust crystal explosion. However, she is saved just in time by a Huntress named Glynda Goodwitch, who proceeds to engage in a ranged battle with Roman's accomplice, Cinder Fall. Though both combatants use an impressive array of attacks and defenses, the fight ends in a draw with Roman and his partner escaping.
Glynda takes Ruby to an interrogation room and chastises Ruby for her reckless actions. She then steps aside, revealing the Headmaster of Beacon Academy, Ozpin, who immediately comments on Ruby's silver eyes. After a brief conversation about Ruby's scythe skills, Huntress training and dream of becoming a Huntress, Ozpin offers for her to attend Beacon two years early, which she gladly accepts.
Later, on the airship to the academy, Ruby's big sister, Yang Xiao Long, piles extensive compliments onto Ruby. However, Ruby does not want anyone to treat her like she is special just because she moved up two years in advance, wanting only to be a normal girl. The pair overhears a news report about the robbery Ruby foiled, as well as a Faunus Civil Rights Protest that the White Fang, a once-peaceful organization, disrupted.
A hologram of Glynda interrupts the news broadcast and explains to the arriving freshmen that their world is currently in a state of peace, and as future Huntsmen and Huntresses, it is their job to keep it in that state. As the airship flies over the City of Vale, the students have distant views of both Signal Academy and Beacon Academy, with Yang calling the latter their new home. Unfortunately, the moment is interrupted by Jaune Arc vomiting on Yang's boots.
Fade-in to an image of Beacon Academy.
Narrator: Legends. Stories scattered through time. Mankind has grown quite fond of recounting the exploits of heroes and villains, forgetting so easily that we are remnants, byproducts, of a forgotten past.
The gems in the image glow green and fade to show simple pictures of a man rising from the earth before being surrounded by creatures, barely held back by warriors.
Narrator: Man, born from dust, was strong, wise, and resourceful, but he was born into an unforgiving world. An inevitable darkness — creatures of destruction — the creatures of Grimm - set their sights on man and all of his creations. These forces clashed, and it seemed the darkness was intent on returning man's brief existence to the void.
Black sets in, then suddenly lessens as a light grows brighter and brighter until a gem rises from it and lowers itself into the hands of man.
Narrator: However, even the smallest spark of hope is enough to ignite change, and in time, man's passion, resourcefulness, and ingenuity led them to the tools that would help even the odds. This power was appropriately named "Dust".
The scene zooms out to show men shooting lightning, raising swords, and aiming rifles at the retreating beasts as a castle appears behind them.
Narrator: Nature's wrath in hand, man lit their way through the darkness, and in the shadow's absence came strength, civilization, and most importantly, life.
Narrator: But even the most brilliant lights eventually flicker and die. And when they are gone... darkness will return.
Roman Torchwick and four of his henchmen head down an alley from the shadows. They stop behind Roman, who reignites his cigar without touching it and grins before walking down the road, frightening nearby citizens as they make their way towards the shop From Dust Till Dawn.
Narrator: So you may prepare your guardians, build your monuments to a so-called "free world", but take heed... there will be no victory in strength.
Roman and his henchmen enter the shop, the camera lowering to a young girl wearing a hooded red cloak in the corner of the shop, reading a weapons magazine.
Ozpin (voice over): But perhaps victory is in the simpler things that you've long forgotten. Things that require a smaller, more honest soul.
The henchmen look around and at the Dust crystals in the display when Roman approaches the elderly shopkeeper.
Roman: (flicking his cigar) Do you have any idea how hard it is to find a Dust shop open this late?
One of the henchman points his gun at the shopkeeper.
Shopkeeper: (raising his hands) P-please! Just take my Lien and leave!
Roman: Shhh, shhh, shhh, shhh, calm down, we're not here for your money. (to the henchmen) Grab the Dust.
A henchman opens a case and removes one of several cylinders, which the group uses to take Dust from the tube containers on the walls.
Henchman 1: (placing another open case on the display to the shopkeeper) Crystals. Burn. Uncut.
The shopkeeper proceeds to fill the case. As another henchman goes for another tube, he hears the muted This Will Be the Day song from the girl's direction, and unsheathes his sword.
Henchman 2: (pointing his sword at her back) Alright kid, put your hands where I can see 'em. (no response) Hey, I said hands in the air! You got a death wish or something!?
He goes over to her and turns her around, the hood dropping to reveal a surprised Ruby Rose wearing headphones. He motions for her to lower them.
Ruby: (doing so) Yes?
Henchman 2: I said, put your hands in the air, now!
Ruby: Are you... robbing me?
Henchman 2: Yes!
Roman is waiting for his men to finish the heist when a "Hey!" and "Hyah!" are heard, and the threatening henchman flies past him. Roman calmly motions for another to handle Ruby.
Henchman 1: (raising his gun at her) Freeze!
Cut to outside the shop, when the henchman and Ruby crash through the window. The other men look outside as Ruby gets up and unfolds Crescent Rose into its scythe form. Roman scowls, but Ruby smiles back at them before twirling the weapon around, striking it into the ground and turning off her headphones.
Roman: Okayyy... (to his remaining henchmen) Get her!
The henchmen head out of the shop and run at Ruby, who spins around on top of her scythe and kicks the first approaching criminal in the face. She gets Crescent Rose out of the ground and fires it off to hit another one with the butt of her weapon, sending him flying. She fires again and brings the side down on one attacker and dodges the next's gunfire with her rifle's speed, getting close enough to knock him into the air and follow him upwards so she can beat him away to Roman's feet.
Roman: You were worth every cent. Truly, you were. (to Ruby, dropping his cigar and crushing it with his cane as approaching police sirens are heard) Well, Red, I think we can all say it's been an eventful evening, and as much as I'd love to stick around... (raises his cane and opens the bottom to reveal a rifle with a cross grid) ...I'm afraid this is where we part ways.
Roman unleashes a red blast at Ruby, who fires at the ground and leaps over it. When she lands and looks up, Roman isn't there, and is climbing up a ladder on a nearby building.
Ruby: (to the onlooking shopkeeper) You okay if I go after him?
The shopkeeper gives a short "Uh huh", and Ruby sets off.
Roman makes it to the roof, with Ruby high-flying again and landing right behind him.
Roman: (stopping at the edge) Persistent...
Ruby readies to fight him, but a getaway Bullhead rises up and opens the hatch to allow Roman inside.
Roman: (turning around and holding up a red Dust gem) End of the line, Red.
He throws it out at her feet and fires at her, resulting in a large explosion.
Roman: Whoa-ho-ho-ho! (stops laughing when he sees something on the roof) Huh?
A woman in a purple cape is now in front of Ruby, casting a circle of protection over them with her wand. As Ruby looks on, Glynda Goodwitch waves her weapon and summons several streaks of purple at the craft. Roman is thrown around in the back until he goes to the cockpit, where a woman in red, her face unseen, is struggling with the controls.
Roman: We got a Huntress!
The woman gets up and heads toward the back as Roman takes the controls.
Glynda glows purple for a moment and aims another blast above the craft, resulting in a dark storm-cloud right over the jet.
Roman: The hell...?
With a flick of her wand, large jagged hail starts falling that pummels the jet and even breaks through the window, narrowly missing Roman's head.
The woman reaches the back and her arms and chest light up like fire, aiming a burst of energy at Glynda. The Huntress blocks it, but the flame splatters behind her and glows hot with the enemy's raised hand. Glynda back-flips out of the explosion, which destroys part of the roof, and magically gathers the shards to create a large arrow, which she throws at the craft. The fiery woman shatters the arrow with several blasts, but it reforms just in time to hit the side of the jet due to Roman's quick aerial lean. The wreckage separates and reshapes into more arrows that encircle the jet, but the woman summons several glowing rings around herself that expand and destroy the shards.
Ruby, finally acting, reverts her scythe into its rifle form to fire at the woman, who blocks each shot and creates several blazing circles around her two opponents. Glynda telekinetically pushes Ruby and rolls herself out of the explosion's radius; looking up to see the hatch close and the craft fly away.
Ruby: (looking at Glynda) You're a Huntress! (putting on a pleading, awe-stricken face) Can I have your autograph?!
The scene cuts to Ruby's amazed face turn to one of shame as Glynda, with a tablet computer, paces around the table Ruby is seated at, right underneath a bright light in the otherwise dark room.
Glynda: I hope that you realize that your actions tonight will not be taken lightly, young lady. You put yourself and others in great danger.
Ruby: They started it!
Glynda: If it were up to me, you'd be sent home... With a pat on the back... (she notices Ruby's smile) ...And a slap on the wrist." (she demonstrates with her riding crop, which Ruby barely avoids as she gives out an "Eeek!) But... there is someone here who would like to meet you.
She moves out of the way so a surprised Ruby can see a man in green come through the doorway, holding a mug and a plate of cookies.
Ozpin: Ruby Rose... (leans in to look at her face) You... have silver eyes.
Ruby: Uh, um...
Ozpin: So! Where did you learn to do this? (gesturing with his head at the tablet showing Ruby's fighting)
Ruby: S-Signal Academy.
Ozpin: They taught you to use one of the most dangerous weapons ever designed?
Ruby: Well, one teacher in particular.
Ozpin: I see...
He puts the cookies on the table in front of Ruby. She tentatively picks one up, eats it in a single bite, and then, not seeing any rebuttal, shovels the rest into her mouth.
Ozpin: It's just that I've only seen one other scythe-wielder of that skill before. A dusty, old crow...
Ruby: (mumbles through her full mouth) Oh! That's my uncle! (she then swallows and wipes her mouth, embarrassed) Sorry. That's my Uncle Qrow! He's a teacher at Signal. I was complete garbage before he took me under his wing. And now, I'm all like— Hooowaaah! Witchaaaa! (proceeds to make some karate-style poses and noises)
Ozpin: So I've noticed. (placing his cup on the table as he leans in, then sits down opposite Ruby) And what is an adorable girl such as yourself doing at a school designed to train warriors?
Ruby: Well... I want to be a Huntress.
Ozpin: You want to slay monsters?
Ruby: Yeah! I only have two more years of training left at Signal! And then I'm going to apply to Beacon! (talking faster and faster with her enthusiasm growing) You see, my sister's starting there this year, and she's trying to become a Huntress, and I'm trying to become a Huntress 'cause I wanna help people. My parents always taught us to help others, so I thought, Hey, I might as well make a career out of it! (giggles) I mean the police are alright, but Huntsmen and Huntresses are just so much more romantic and exciting and cool and really, gosh, you know! (flips out at the last part, staring at the two with a wide, crazy smile)
Glynda and Ozpin study her.
Ozpin: Do you know who I am?
Ruby: You're Professor Ozpin. You're the headmaster at Beacon.
Ozpin: (smiling) Hello.
Ruby: Nice to meet you.
Ozpin: You want to come to my school?
Ruby: More than anything.
Ozpin: (exchanging glances with Glynda, who shows her disapproval with a "Hmmph" before he turns back to Ruby) Well, okay.
Ruby smiles, wide-eyed and open-mouthed.
Yang: Oh, I can't believe my baby sister is going to Beacon with me! This is the best day ever!
Ruby: (gasping) Please stop.
Yang: (releasing her sister) But I'm so proud of you!
Ruby: Really Sis, it was nothing.
Yang: What do you mean? It was incredible! Everyone at Beacon is going to think you're the bee's knees.
Ruby: I don't want to be the "bee's knees", okay? I don't want to be any kind of knees! I just want to be a normal girl with normal knees.
Yang: What's with you? Aren't you excited?
Ruby: Of course I'm excited... I just... (sighing) "I got moved ahead two years. I don't want people to think I'm special or anything.
Yang: (going over and giving her sister a one-armed hug) But you are special.
The girls' attention is drawn to the 2-D animated newscast on Vale News Network playing nearby, talking about the robbery and showing Roman's mug shot.
Cyril: The robbery was led by nefarious criminal Roman Torchwick, who continues to evade authorities. If you have any information on his whereabouts, please contact the Vale Police Department. Back to you, Lisa.
The mugshot changes to Lisa Lavender, with a photo of animal-eared demonstrators holding signs saying "WE ARE NOT ANIMALS!" followed by an image of the logo of a growling red wolf's head with three scratch marks.
Lisa: Thank you, Cyril. In other news, this Saturday's Faunus Civil Rights protest turned dark when members of the White Fang disrupted the ceremony. The once peaceful organization has now disrupted...
The news feed is cut off as a hologram of Glynda replaces it.
Glynda: Hello, and welcome to Beacon!
Yang: Who's that?
Glynda: My name is Glynda Goodwitch.
Glynda: You are among a privileged few who have received the honor of being selected to attend this prestigious academy! Our world is experiencing an incredible time of peace, and as future Huntsmen and Huntresses, it is your duty to uphold it. You have demonstrated the courage needed for such a task, and now it is our turn to provide you with the knowledge and the training to protect our world." (disappears)
Ruby: (among several other cries of surprise) Oh, wow! Look, you can see Signal from up here! (Ruby and other students look through the glass walls at the town below) I guess home isn't too far after all!
Yang: Beacon's our home, now.
The two hear a passenger groaning and hunched over nearby, running to the back of the ship.
Yang: Well... I guess the view isn't for everyone. (rolls her eyes)
Ruby: It was a nice moment while it lasted.
The ship is seen approaching Beacon across a large body of water.
Ruby (voice over): I wonder who we're gonna meet! I just hope they're better than Vomit Boy. Oh, Yang, gross! You have puke on your shoe!
Yang (voice over): Gross, gross, gross, gross, gross, gross, gross, gross!
Ruby (voice over): Get-Get away! Get away from me! Get away from me! Get away from me! Get away from me!
The scene fades to black and This Will Be the Day starts playing.
- Henchmen voiced by William Lopez and Isaiah Torres
- Cyril Ian (First Appearance)
- Lisa Lavender (First Appearance)
- Shopkeep (First Appearance)
- Jaune Arc (First Appearance)
- The narrator at the beginning is voiced by Jen Taylor, who is best known for voicing the character Cortana, as well as the scientist she was created from, Catherine Halsey, in the Halo games. The narrator is later revealed to be Salem.
- At 1:25, The Fourth Doctor's scarf from Doctor Who is visible in the background hanging from a clothesline.
- The magazine Ruby reads before Roman's robbery is focused on weapons, and the back has the Schnee Dust Company's snowflake symbol with the words "The finest of them all" above it, referencing Weiss Schnee and her allusion to Snow White, the "fairest of them all".
- The henchmen in this episode are voiced by two children from the Make-A-Wish Foundation, William Lopez and Isaiah Torres.
- In the Dust shop, one of the magazines behind Ruby has a cover showing an entirely-white humanoid figure with a wide grin and is titled "Truth". This is a reference to Fullmetal Alchemist.
- The Dust canisters in the Dust shop are based on a wine opener owned by Miles.
- Ozpin points out Ruby's silver eyes, hinting at their significance.
- The line "Oh, that's my Uncle!" while Ruby's mouth is full of cookies is a reference to the Rooster Teeth Podcast, in which Burnie Burns said "That's my uncle!" when doing an impression of Japanese media. The line evolved into an internet meme of sorts afterward, also becoming the basis for an episode of Rooster Teeth Animated Adventures parodying anime.
- The event of "Ruby Rose" are re-told in Chapter 1 from RWBY: The Official Manga.
- As an easter egg parody, the shopkeep's store is called "From Dust 'Til Dawn". It's closer similar to the horror movie "From Dusk 'Til Dawn".
- This episode to the end of Season 1 will have silhoutes as people haven't been fully modeled until Season 2 onwards.
- During the Volume 3 Director's Commentary, Kerry Shawcross revealed that Ruby's uncle Qrow Branwen was originally intended to first appear in this episode.
- Battle Pages
- Main article: Ruby Rose (episode)/Image Gallery
- Volume 1 DVD Cast Commentary
- Volume 1 DVD Cast Commentary
- Volume 1 Directors Commentary "Ruby Rose"
- Rooster Teeth Podcast #143
- Volume 1 Directors Commentary "Ruby Rose"
- That's My Uncle! – Rooster Teeth Animated Adventures
- Volume 3 DVD Directors' Commentary Chapter 2