Participants Episode Result
Salem vs. Ozma "The Lost Fable" Won
Salem vs. Atlas Military "War" Reformed
Salem vs. Hazel "Witch" Won


Before Remnant

Salem was born in an age where Humanity lived alongside their creators, the God of Light and God of Darkness, and Magic was a force that all could wield.

After losing his wife during childbirth, Salem's father locked Salem away in a giant tower for her entire life, where only he and Salem's nanny were the only ones allowed to see her. Over time, he began to visit Salem less and less to spend time with her. He brought her gifts and food, but nothing she could use against him or against herself to take her own life in fear of losing her.

Salem and Ozma escape the tower.

On Salem's 16th birthday, Salem realized her father didn't truly love her as a daughter, but more so as an object. Crafting a plan to escape, Salem wrote hundreds of copies for this, and word spread out about the girl in the tower trapped by her tyrannical father. One day a great warrior by the name of Ozma arrived to liberate her from her prison. After their escape, the two fell deeply in love, planning great adventures and a full life together until Ozma fell gravely ill and passed away.

Salem cradles Ozma as the Brother Gods face off.

Heartbroken and angry, Salem traveled to the Domain of Light, where the God of Light dwelled. There, she pleaded with him to resurrect her love but was denied. Desperate for help, she traveled to the lair of the God of Darkness, explaining her plight and taking care not to mention her visit with his elder brother. Pleased with her apparent loyalty, the God of Darkness rewarded her by bringing Ozma back to life. However, at that moment, the God of Light intervened and killed Ozma to preserve balance, only for his brother to revive him again. The God of Light explained to his brother that Salem had gone to him first and had turned the Gods against each other. The God of Darkness then destroyed Ozma once more as punishment.

Salem, enraged, prepared to attack the God of Light before she was taken to his Domain. Here, the Gods cursed her with immortality, hoping she would learn the error of her ways and come to understand the purpose of life and death. Instead, the burden of eternal life only enraged her and made her long for death, constantly trying different ways to die only for it to be fruitless. Eventually, she decided to turn Humanity against the Gods, hoping that either she'd be rid of her curse, or that she could make them suffer.

Afterwards, Salem traveled to different Kingdoms across the world, claiming she stole immortality from the Gods and that if they helped her, they could do the same, eventually amassing a great army that she led to the Domain of Light. When confronted by the two Gods, the army launched a wave of magic at them, only for the God of Darkness to simply harness it and use it to wipe out every Human on the face of the planet. After Salem regenerated, the God of Light spoke sadly of his disappointment in Humanity, declaring the planet a Remnant of what it once was. The Gods then abandoned the planet, shattering the Moon in the process.

Salem is transformed.

Salem, the last Human alive, wandered the planet alone before finding herself back in the God of Darkness' home, the Land of Darkness. Here, she found the blackened pools responsible for spawning the creatures of Grimm, the legacy of the God of Darkness. Hoping that the pools would take away her immortality and finally destroy her, she threw herself in. The pools of Grimm were unable to destroy a being of eternal life, and they instead warped Salem's body, transforming her into a being intent on destruction.

The Pretend Gods

At some point after Humanity's destruction and eventual return, Salem made herself a home in a dilapidated cottage on the outskirts of a village, becoming known only as "The Witch". One day, a man came to her door, a man she recognized despite never having seen his face before. Ozma had returned, reincarnated, and the two began a new life together, though both harbored secrets from the other. Realizing they were the only Humans left in existence able to wield magic, they set about using their powers to act as Gods on Remnant and united the new Humanity under their rule. Their Kingdom prospered, and the two eventually came to have four daughters that developed the ability to wield magic.

Salem with her family.

Around this time, Ozma began to show his doubts in regards to Salem's methods, which were becoming progressively more brutal. After their eldest daughter showed them that she can wield magic, he revealed his secrets - the deal he had made with the God of Light, the existence of the Relics, and what would happen if brought together. After hearing this, Salem decided that they were wasting their time in trying to redeem Humanity and spoke of her wishes to replace them with something better, that being their magical line. Ozma, realizing that his wife had gone too far, attempted to escape with their daughters in the night, but was caught by Salem.

A great battle was fought between the two, destroying their home and killing their daughters in the process. Salem murdered Ozma, and thus the millennia-long feud between the two began.

The Girl in the Tower

Creating her own fairy tale

Using her origins and her immortality to her advantage, Salem penned the fairy tale of The Girl in the Tower herself, detailing parts of her father's past as well as her own up until the point where she met Ozma. In doing so, Salem wanted her story to elicit sympathy and motivate people to come to her aid, subsequently dooming many warriors to die for her.

Ozpin notes that her story did not include the whole truth about her past and her actions, and is ambiguous as to what might have been false. The Girl in the Tower would become secret propaganda to bring others to serve Salem.[1]

Conflict with Ozma

Over the long course of history, both Salem and Ozma waged war against each other. Eventually, the countless eons walking Remnant drove her to find a way to remove her immortality. Her current method is to acquire the Relics so that when the Gods return and destroy Remnant, the curse on her will be broken allowing her to finally die.

At one point, Salem had apparently heard about The Circle and came to suspect the true identity of the "The Infinite Man" that they worshipped was Ozma. Salem then sent one of her servants to kill him.

Her agent successfully fulfilled this mission and killed Ozma and then orchestrated the massacre that annihilated The Circle and left only one of its members alive to bear a message to Ozma during his next incarnation.

Decades before the start of the series, Tock served under Salem as a subordinate. During their time together, Salem would repeatedly mentor and warn Tock to finish her prey off before her Semblance's invulnerability wore off, leaving her exposed. Tock never took this information to heart, remaining arrogant, ultimately resulting in her demise in a battle with Maria Calavera.[2]

Following this, she eventually shifted her focus from simply killing Silver-Eyed Warriors to collecting them for her experimentations, one of which being The Hound.

At some point, Salem amassed a large horde of Grimm in an area with no Grimm activity in order to break Tyrian Callows free from his transport after being captured by Huntsmen following his serial killings. He later joined her group.

She also sought out Hazel Rainart following his sister's death. Hazel killed Salem multiple times, but she simply regenerated after each kill. After he could not lift his arms no longer, and seeing how futile it was to kill her, Salem made him an offer that he could achieve his vengeance through her by creating a new world order. Hazel accepted, and joined her group.

At some point, she met Cinder Fall who she managed to convince to join her with the promise of power.

Some time after this, Leonardo Lionheart joined Salem as a spy due to his fear of her. He forged documents to let Cinder and her followers infiltrate Beacon Academy without raising suspicion.

At some point prior to the start of the series, Salem encountered Summer Rose, who had seemingly discovered Salem's immortality, and claimed she'd stop Salem. What happened during the encounter is unknown, but it was implied that Salem is possibly responsible for her death and that the encounter was memorable enough for her to distinctly remember it.


A Voice of Warning

In "Ruby Rose", Salem narrates the early days of history, of Humanity, born from dust. She tells of their struggles against the Creatures of Grimm, their discovery of nature's wrath, Dust, and the beginnings of civilization in the absence of the shadow of the Grimm. While Salem maintains that strength would not bring victory, Ozpin counters by saying victory lies within simpler things that require "a smaller, more honest soul."

Salem cannot wait to watch Ozpin burn.

After the fall of Beacon Academy and the death and destruction wrought upon Vale, their conversation is continued in "End of the Beginning". Salem declares that Beacon's fate is merely the first step in her plan to divide Humanity, and thus to snuff out all hope for their survival. She threatens to destroy everything Ozpin has built and challenges him to send in his Guardians, believing they will fail as will his "simple soul".

Episodes Covering These Events

After the Fall of Beacon

Salem, adjourning the meeting.

After the fall of Beacon, Salem holds a meeting with her subordinates in the Land of Darkness. She orders Watts to meet with the informant in Mistral, Professor Leonardo Lionheart. She sends Hazel to meet with the White Fang leader, Sienna Khan, and Tyrian to hunt down Ruby Rose whilst Cinder stays at her side for treatment. She claims Haven Academy will be the next to fall. Salem's treatment of Cinder includes telling her that "it" can sense her fear and that she has to make it fear her instead.

After a Seer floats into the meeting room and gives a message to Salem, she turns to Cinder and adamantly asks Cinder for a final answer confirming that she killed Ozpin. Cinder reaffirms Ozpin's death. Salem orders the Grimm to reinforce their numbers at Beacon Academy, stating "The Relic is there." She mutters to herself, "What are you planning?" Salem puts Cinder through intense training to control her powers and is not impressed with her progress. When Tyrian appears and reluctantly reports his failure in capturing Ruby, Salem tells him that he disappointed her and leaves the room. Sometime later, Salem watches and smiles as Cinder masters her power.

Episodes Covering These Events

Sights on Haven

Salem learns of the Spring Maiden's location.

After Cinder's training, Salem learns from Watts and Lionheart that the Spring Maiden is with Raven Branwen. She decides to send Cinder and her team to Anima to find the bandit leader and convince her to cooperate with them. Salem also has Watts work on a "new" tail for Tyrian. Afterward, she tells Cinder to understand everyone's usefulness and to be patient and ready to deal with Ruby.

It was later revealed that following the Fall of Beacon Lionheart had intentionally sent all of the Kingdom's Huntsmen out on missions and gave their locations to Salem. In response to this, she sent Tyrian and Hazel to kill them all.

In the end, the Battle of Haven concludes and she later finds out from Lionheart that things have gone awry. Disappointed, Salem uses a Seer to kill Lionheart for his cowardice.

Episodes Covering These Events

After the Battle of Haven

Salem explains to her subordinates the consequences of putting their desires before hers.

After Hazel, Emerald, and Mercury returned from their failed mission in Haven, a displeased Salem asks who is responsible for their defeat. Hazel attempts to take the blame, but Salem sees through his lie and shows her discontent by summoning Geist arms from the floor which grab Hazel and drag him down. Salem then asks Emerald, who admits that they failed because of Cinder. Salem confirms her answer, stating that Emerald must understand the failure, and adds that Cinder "must be left to toil in her isolation until she redeems herself".

Salem tells her subordinates that no matter what drives them, they must not put their desires before her own. She discusses the Relic of Destruction located in Vacuo's Shade Academy, but Hazel interrupts and informs her about Ozpin leading Qrow's group and taking the Relic of Knowledge to Atlas. Upon hearing the news, an enraged Salem demands everyone to leave the council chamber. Once everyone has departed, Salem calms herself while seething with anger, but suddenly delivers a powerful scream that shatters all the windows.

Sometime later, Salem orders Watts and Tyrian to head for Atlas before Ironwood calls for help from Vacuo. Outside of her castle, Salem creates winged Beringels from the Pool of Grimm, which Hazel deems as proof of Salem finally taking matters into her own hands.

Episodes Covering These Events

Targeting Atlas

Salem appearing before the group.

After Watts' defeat and Tyrian's capture, General Ironwood had unknowingly brought with him a Seer contained within Watts' bag, which reacted to the severe negativity of Ironwood's argument with Team RWBY. The Seer revealed itself and seemingly cracking into black fog, where it then took the form of Salem, greatly surprising the Ace-Ops, Team RWBY and Ironwood. She then proceeded to congratulate the General and his Huntsmen who successfully defeated and repelled her subordinates, before revealing that their goal was never to defeat the Kingdom but instead weaken it and set the stage for her own personal invasion.

However before commencing her attack, Salem had come to deliver an ultimatum to Ironwood: surrender the Staff and the Lamp to her and she would spare Atlas from being annihilated by her wrath, or face her and be destroyed.

Salem arriving in Atlas.

In the "The Enemy of Trust", Salem reaches Atlas, darkening the skies around her with a massive storm cloud as she swarms the city with Grimm, most notably standing on atop Monstra. Salem smirks as she reaches her destination.

Inside, Salem is presented the Relic of Knowledge by Cinder Fall and Neopolitan, the former of the two taking the credit for their work, much to Neo's annoyance. After some teasing from Tyrian, Cinder introduces Neo to Salem, referring to her as an asset, which once again upsets Neo. Soon after, Emerald, Mercury Black, and Hazel arrive. Emerald is delighted to see Cinder, but Cinder harshly shuts her down. When Cinder declares that she will take the Winter Maiden power from Penny Polendina, Salem reminds her that she is not to act without Salem's orders. She dismisses her group to summon The Hound to track down Oscar Pine in order to activate the Lamp.

Episodes Covering These Events

Reunion with Ozma

Salem interrogating Oscar.

The Hound returns with Oscar Pine and Salem conjures a dark cloud with images of her daughters before he wakes up. Referring to him as "my long lost Ozma", Salem is amused that his host was so small and questions if he has nothing to say as they haven't met face-to-face for so long. When Oscar attempts to mimic Ozma, she easily sees through his attempts and grabs him by the face, stating that he hasn't fully merged with Ozma yet. Wondering if they can have a working relationship, Salem questions Oscar for information regarding the location of the Relic of Choice, as due to her forces not being able to find it yet, deduced that Ozma used some means of deception to hide it differently than the other Relics.

When Oscar states he doesn't know, she accepts this, having suspected that Ozma would keep it's whereabouts secret as long as possible even to his incarnations, and decides to then ask for the password for the Lamp. She easily sees through the lie about the Lamp having used up all its questions and proceeds to torture him with magic, causing Oscar to scream in agony, before commenting on how Oscar really is a like-minded soul to so easily come up with a lie.

Unfazed when Oscar makes it clear he won't tell her anything willingly, Salem has Hazel beat Oscar to torture him and walks out with The Hound before she is met by Cinder. When she inquires on what it is, Salem tells Cinder that The Hound is an experiment and is pleased with the results but refuses to give her permission to go retrieve the power of the Winter Maiden. When she tries to plead further, The Hound growls at her, and Salem makes it clear that though she has always been patient in her immortal life, she states that Cinder will stay here until she is needed, before leaving with The Hound.

Salem contently watching on as Ruby's message airs.

Salem later on watches as Ruby reveals her existence to the world with a smile in her face.

When Ozma tried to reason with Hazel, Salem opens the door to the chamber and states that "the show" is about to begin. Assembling all of her inner circle, with Ozma restrained by Hazel, Salem forgives Cinder going against her orders after temporarily torturing her and tells her that Watts has contacted them. She sends her to recover Watts so he can lead her and The Hound to Penny, from which Cinder can finally have the Winter Maiden's power. When Ozma tries to reason that they will only help Salem bring about the end, she mocks him by saying he is too late.

After causing the Grimm Liquid to burst up and destroy Atlas's Hard-Light shields, Salem grins and says it's time, landing Monstra on the island and spawning more Grimm.

Episodes Covering These Events

Invasion of Atlas

Salem overseeing the battle.

As the invasion begins, Salem personally oversees the battle against the Atlas Military. Within Monstra, She controls the Grimm Liquid to create an endless army of Grimm faster than the military can destroy them.

With this going on, Salem also ordered Tyrian and Mercury to head to Vacuo for a new mission, presumably in order to make preparations for her eventual arrival to the Kingdom.

Later, she encounters Emerald and whom she believes to be Hazel in one of Monstra's passageways, and asks whether Oscar has relinquished the password to the Lamp. Though when "Hazel" is hesitant to answer, Salem soon becomes suspicious. At that moment, she hears the Seers wailing, and realizes there are intruders within her base. She orders her acolytes to find them and then races down the hallway, to ensure that the Lamp is secure.

Salem about to torture Emerald for the Lamp's location.

She is next seen bursting into the hangar area of Monstra, cutting off the group's escape route. She quickly catches Emerald when she tries to run, noting how her Semblance had improved. Lie Ren opens fire on her, and Salem counterattacks with an energy beam, incapacitating both him and Jaune Arc. She is quickly rushed at by Yang Xiao Long, who peppers her with grenade bullets, then detonates them. Undaunted, Salem shoots forth a tar-like substance from her hand while she regenerates, and pulls Yang towards her. Upon hearing Oscar yell, she turns and is hit with an energy beam, causing her to stagger, but recovers quickly and and hurls Yang towards him. She then binds the group to the ground with Shadow Hands.

Salem states she knows the Lamp is missing, and demands Emerald reveal its current location. When she states she does not know of its location, she turns her attention to Oscar, and asks him why he keeps coming back. Though Yang interrupts, stating everything she's lost personally is because of Salem, specifically Summer Rose, which Salem finds amusing.

Salem blasting Hazel with energy.

At that moment, Hazel appears in the hangar, and Salem orders him to return Oscar to his cell while she tends to Emerald. Though unexpectedly, Salem is sent flying by a sucker punch from Hazel, which releases her captives. She summons a whirlwind to lift herself, and asks him if he's given up on getting vengeance for his sister. To this Hazel states that he's simply doing what she would have wanted.

Amused, Salem launches a barrage of energy beams at him. After he blows her head off, Salem summons more Shadow Hands that restrain Hazel in the air. Once she reconstitutes, she blasts him with magic, then smashes him onto the ground, incapacitating him. Before she can continue, she turns towards Oscar as she senses him activate The Long Memory. Racing towards him, she is grabbed from behind by Hazel. Though she binds him in turn with Shadow Hands, he bites down on a Fire Dust shard which sets them both aflame. Oscar then unleashes a spell at Salem, resulting in a blinding and devastating explosion of light that temporarily destroys her and obliterates Monstra and Hazel.

Episodes Covering These Events

Fallen Kingdom

Salem and Cinder leave Atlas as it is destroyed.

She is next seen reforming within the remains of Monstra, shortly after the invasion came to an end. Once she fully reforms, her presence is felt by Cinder through her Shadow Hand. She travels to the Atlas Vault as a cloud of smoke, where she encounters Cinder and a fallen Ironwood. As she transforms back, her acolyte confesses her failure, citing how the group managed to evacuate the people of Atlas and Mantle, that Neopolitan "killed" Ruby, and that the group used the Lamp's final question, before offering both the Lamp and the Staff. After a pause, Salem takes the Relics, and responds by saying Cinder's efforts were worth the cost, deeming their mission a success. Salem then flies from Atlas, with Cinder following behind.

Episodes Covering These Events


RWBY/Justice League
Minor Characters