Overview Image Gallery

Shadow Hands[1][2] are Creatures of Grimm that are parasitic in nature. Unlike most Grimm, Shadow Hands take the form of arms.

Salem is capable of summoning and controlling them on command. She also used one to replace Cinder Fall's left arm after her defeat at the Fall of Beacon.


Cinder Fall

Cinder's Shadow Hand

After losing her left arm in her attack on Beacon, Salem gave Cinder a Shadow Hand by unknown means. The arm has the ability to stretch and siphon Maiden powers and its claws are able to impale opponents, such as the case with Vernal and Penny Polendina. Her Shadow Hand cannot channel Aura, making it vulnerable to attacks, but it is capable of channeling magic, allowing her to create her weapons. It also gives her a weakness to Silver Eyes, as seen in the Battle of Haven when the usage of them by Ruby Rose puts her in immense pain.

Cinder's Shadow Hand painfully regrowing and going further up her body.

During her battle against Penny and Winter Schnee, It was shown that the Shadow Hand itself can regrow if ever severed off of Cinder, such as when it was chopped off by Winter. However the process itself is exceptionally painful, as Cinder was screaming and writhing in agony as her arm regrew.

As of "The Enemy of Trust", Cinder's Shadow Hand seems to be growing further up her body. The Grimm flesh has now reached her left shoulder when before, it only stopped in her elbow area. Additionally, the scars on her arm have undergone change, appearing to cover the entirety of her remaining limb and having a more raw appearance.

Cinder using her arm to absorb Penny's Maiden powers

In "Amity", Cinder fights Penny again and uses her arm to try absorbing her Maiden powers while Penny tries holding up Amity Colosseum's foundation. Like in her battle with Raven, Cinder is unsuccessful.

In "Midnight", Salem causes the Shadow Hand to inflict agonizing pain on Cinder as punishment for her disobedience; it spasms and gives off smoke.

In "The Final Word", Cinder fights Weiss, Jaune and Penny and uses her claws to impale the now Human Penny. Her injuries are too severe to be healed by Jaune in time to escape so they decide that Penny's death is the only way to keep the Maiden powers out of Cinder's hands.


As seen with Cinder Fall, Salem can graft Shadow Hands onto a living being in order to act as a prosthetic limb. She did this with Cinder, not only replacing her lost arm, but also granting her the additional ability to steal the Maiden powers and gain them for herself.

She can also control the Shadow Hands even when they are attached to a person, as shown in "Midnight" and "The Final Word" when she uses the Shadow Hand to inflict pain on Cinder.

Salem mainly uses them to restrain opponents, as seen in "So That's How It Is", when she summons multiple Shadow Hands from the floor to immobilize Hazel Rainart for displeasing her with an incorrect response. The arms are summoned through a red glyph and a cloud of black smoke.

Salem can manifest her Shadow Hands across multiple areas and surfaces. In "Witch", she restrains Yang's Group, Oscar Pine and Emerald Sustrai by having Shadow Hands spring out of the walls and floor to hold them down. Salem can also manifest the Imp type instead of solely the Geist type.


Geist Glyph

  • Cinder's Shadow Hand uses the same model as a Geist arm.
  • Salem's Shadow Hands use the Geist arm design in Volume 6 and the Imp design in Volume 8.
  • A red glyph is used when Salem summons Shadow Hands. The same glyph is also used when the Petra Gigas summons an arm.
  • In The World of RWBY: The Official Companion, it is stated that they don't come from another specific Grimm.
  • As seen during Cinder and Salem's training, Salem stated that Cinder had to make her new limb respect and fear her, hinting that despite it only being a arm, Cinder's new appendage had sentience independent from her.
  • Cinder's hand appears to be connected to her nerves like a normal arm; unlike Ironwood's prosthetics, Cinder can still feel pain in the Shadow Hand, despite it being made of Grimm (which do not have similar biology to humans)


  1. Volume 6 Crew Commentary
  2. RWBY Cinder the Fall Maiden T-Shirt description
Minor Combatants