"The Greatest Kingdom" is the first episode of Volume 7 and the eightieth episode of RWBY. It premiered for Rooster Teeth FIRST members on November 2nd, 2019 and was made public on the Rooster Teeth site on November 9th, 2019.
Team RWBY, Team JNR, Qrow Branwen, Oscar Pine and Maria Calavera arrive in the Kingdom of Atlas and begin to approach the City of Atlas in their stolen Manta. After seeing the city surrounded by a military fleet and receiving radio contact encouraging them to land and meet with a security team, the group decides to be cautious and fly to Mantle instead, while Weiss Schnee attempts to call Winter Schnee. There, they find that Mantle is being patrolled by Atlesian Knight-200s and has broadcasts from James Ironwood and Winter playing on repeat. Unsettled, the group decides to hide the Manta in Mantle and see an acquaintance of Maria's.
As they make their way through the city, they observe and discuss the state of Mantle. One of Blake Belladonna's comments angers a drunken man, who Weiss throws into a dumpster for referring to Blake as a "stupid Faunus". Soon after, Maria and the rest of the group arrive at a clinic to see Pietro Polendina. There, Pietro explains that Mantle is occupied by military forces due to Ironwood's paranoia, which was partially sparked by someone having messed with Atlas security code during the Fall of Beacon. Pietro and Ironwood both fear that the person who did this was from Atlas.
The conversation is interrupted by alarms signaling a Grimm attack, and Team RWBY, JNR, Qrow and Oscar fend off a pack of Sabyrs. The fight is finished by Penny Polendina, who Pietro was able to rebuild after recovering her core from Amity Colosseum once it returned to Atlas. Pietro invites everyone back to the clinic to answer more questions, but Team RWBY, JNR, Qrow and Oscar are soon after apprehended by Ace Operatives, who, according to their leader Clover Ebi, are responding to reports of an unauthorized ship making an unauthorized landing and unauthorized use of weapons by unlicensed Huntsmen. The group's weapons and the Relic of Knowledge are confiscated, and the group is loaded into the back of a vehicle.
Manta airships patrol the skies around the City of Atlas, keeping in communication with each other over radio. As Maria Calavera pilots the group's stolen Manta toward the city, they receive radio contact.
Atlas Air Traffic Female: Manta 5-1. Welcome home. Please continue your approach to Atlas docking bay Omega-12. A security team will meet you there. Over.
Ruby: I don't understand. What's happening here?
Qrow: I don't know.
Weiss: I'm not so sure. I've never seen our forces deployed so aggressively before. If we land in a stolen ship, there's no way the security team will let us anywhere near Ironwood. They might even take me back to my father.
Weiss, having gotten an idea, suddenly looks up.
Weiss brings out her Scroll.
Weiss: (to Maria) Put some distance between us and the fleet.
Maria: You don't have to tell me twice.
As Weiss walks to the back of the ship, Maria steers the ship toward Mantle. As people wander the streets of Mantle, the group looks over the city through the Manta's windows. They fly past a giant screen on the side of a skyscraper. Ironwood's voice comes from the screen, catching Ruby and Yang's attention.
Ironwood: ...cannot express our appreciation enough. Many describe these as uncertain times, and while that may be the case for the rest of the world, I can tell you what is certain. The Kingdom of Atlas will remain strong, and it will remain safe. That is my promise.
Ruby and Yang look saddened.
Yang: General Ironwood. He looks…
Qrow: James, what have you been doing?
Four Atlesian Knight-200s are seen walking down a street in Mantle, while civilians around them complain about their presence.
Civilian 1: Ugh, not these again.
Civilian 2: Why can't they just leave us be?
A small drone floats along a sidewalk, while a pair of small children hide in an alley. One of the children picks up a rock and throws it at the drone, which spins around to look, prompting the children to hide against the wall. Weiss sadly stares out of Manta 5-1's window with her Scroll in her palm. Her Scroll is set to call Winter, who does not answer.
Weiss: This isn't right. None of this is right.
Once again, the stolen Manta receives contact over the radio.
Atlas Air Traffic Female: Manta 5-1, we've noticed a detour in your route. You are to make your way to docking bay Omega 12 immediately. Do you copy? Over.
Maria: We're kind of running out of time here, kids.
Yang: We need to ditch the ship.
Qrow: Agreed. Get lost in Mantle and buy ourselves some time.
Weiss: I'm telling you, my sister can take us to Ironwood.
Blake, who has been staring out of a window, looks over her shoulder and speaks up.
Blake: Uh, Weiss?
Weiss walks over to Blake's side and looks out the window with her as a familiar voice plays from a giant screen.
Winter: A reminder.
Winter: Failure to cooperate with Atlas military personnel is a punishable offense. If your sector is under lockdown…
Weiss: (shocked) Winter?
Qrow: No offense, Weiss. I'm not sure that's a good idea anymore.
Weiss tenses her shoulders and turns to Qrow, fists clenched.
Weiss: There's obviously something very wrong. If we can just talk to her, then we--
Qrow: Look, I'm not even sure we should be talking to Ironwood until we know exactly what's going on with Mantle.
Maria: Everyone, calm down. (sighs) I know someone who can help with both.
Atlas Air Traffic Female: (angry) Manta 5-1, you are to make your--
Maria: (shutting off the radio, annoyed) Geez, lady, take a hint!
After landing the stolen Manta in Mantle, Maria cautiously exits an alley by slowly shuffling along with her cane. When she sees the coast is clear, she picks up her cane and walks normally, and everyone else exits the alley with her. In the distance, a small group of Atlas soldiers run down a street in the direction that Maria and the others came from.
Soldier: It landed over there, let's go!
The group begins walking through Mantle together. Trucks drive past, and Atlesian Knight-200s stand on various sidewalks. A small child places a poster of a white-haired woman on a street lamp. There is a hologram board displaying news articles with the following headlines:
"Missing Journalist Found Slain"
Mantle Hometown Hero vs Atlesian Tycoon"
"Embargo: The Right Call?
Pressure and Criticism Continues to Mount on Council"
"Outer Wall Damaged
The group walks past a garage with graffiti art reading "Show Your Teeth"
Maria: Come on now, hurry! It shouldn't be much of a walk.
Jaune: Is this many soldiers normal?
Weiss: No. At least, I didn't think so.
At the back of the group, Yang notices a whirring sound and stops to take a look.
There is a small drone hovering to her right. The camera part of the drone lifts up, focused on her. When Yang shrugs it off and resumes walking, the drone follows her. She stops again and looks at it in surprise and confusion. As she leans in to take a closer look, the drone takes a photograph of her face with a bright flash, which Yang recoils from. In response, Yang kicks the drone, knocking it out of the air and causing it to tumble into the street, where it is struck by a car.
Yang: (cringing at the drone's destruction) Ooh…
Yang turns to see everyone else in the group staring at her. She awkwardly shifts her posture with a sheepish smile.
Yang: Maybe we should pick up the pace.
Everyone resumes walking.
Maria: You have to remember, the Kingdom had just lost the Great War. The people of Mantle needed a sign of a brighter future, and that sign was Atlas. After all, a home in the clouds is as bright as it gets.
They look up at the City of Atlas, while the earlier broadcast from Winter plays once again nearby. A pair of trucks drive by with miners, covered in black material, sitting in the beds. Posters depicting a white-haired woman are plastered across one of the buildings that the trucks pass, with the text "PROTECT MANTLE" printed on them.
Winter: We are here for your safety. Thank you for your cooperation.
Blake and Nora Valkyrie watch the second truck as it drives by.
Nora: (crossing her arms and looking away) Unless you're the one having to look up at it.
Blake: This whole city, it just seems awful.
A drunken voice calls out from nearby.
Drunk Mann: Yeah?
The drunk man comes stumbling down from a porch.
Drunk Mann: You don't like it here? There's plenty of space out in the tundra.
Blake: (sighs) Sorry, I didn't mean to--
Drunk Mann: Atlas is the greatest Kingdom in the world, alright?!
Ruby: (stepping forward to confront him) Hey!
Blake steps forward ahead of Ruby, speaking quietly to her.
Blake: We can't cause a scene.
The drunk man's equally drunk buddy speaks up.
Drinking Buddy: The embargo... The embargo's got us in a rough patch. But it'll blow over, you'll see.
Drunk Mann: (loudly) We try and help the other Kingdoms, and this is what happens? I say let 'em rot!
Blake: (disingenuous) I apologize. I didn't mean to insult you.
The drunk man spits on the ground, glaring at Blake.
Drunk Mann: Stupid Faunus like you wouldn't unders--
He looks down to unscrew his flask and pauses when he sees a black glyph beneath his feet. His glasses hover off his face as his eyes widen in surprise. The glyph flings him into the air, and he falls into a dumpster in the nearby alley, his glasses and flask accompanying him soon after. Yang, Nora, Blake and Ruby stare at the dumpster, then turn to see Weiss pointing Myrtenaster where the man had been standing.
Weiss: (with a shrug and a smile) It was worth it.
The group flees while a pair of Atlesian Knight-200s investigate. The man's drinking buddy hurries down from the porch and looks around in thought, before reaching out toward the girls.
Drinking Buddy: Hey, wait! (running after them) You're-- That was--
The drinking buddy trips and collapses to the sidewalk. Winter's broadcast is heard playing once again.
Winter: We are here for your safety. Thank you for your cooperation.
The group approaches a building with a glowing green plus symbol above its front door. The side door opens, and a Faunus with a prosthetic arm exits, waving cheerfully to the man who speaks to her from inside.
Pietro: And no more heavy-lifting, yah hear?
Maria: Ah, it's good to see you again, old friend.
An older man is sitting behind the desk, shuffling things around in a drawer. Maria clears her throat, startling him, and he lifts his head to look at her, shutting the drawer. Maria smiles at him.
Pietro: Ah, yes, yes. (pushing a stack of papers aside) Have we met?
Ren: (as he enters) Well, this is off to a fantastic start.
Maria: Cybernetic optical implants. (pointing to her eyes) You adjust them. Every ten years or so?
He stares at her for a few moments before throwing his hands cheerfully into the air.
The robotic chair he is sitting in begins walking out from behind the desk.
Pietro: Yes, with the cybernetic optical implants! I adjust them every ten years or so.
He offers his hand to her and leads her to an examination table.
Pietro: (laughing) Oh wow, has it been that long already?
Maria: Ah, I know. I age like a fine wine. Would've been here sooner if I hadn't run into these jokers. At the time, I thought they might need my guidance while fighting a little old Sphinx.
Pietro: Oh, did they?
Maria: No, no. They had much more complicated issues.
Qrow: (clears his throat) And this is?
Maria: So impatient. I didn't think I'd need to introduce one of Atlas' finest minds.
Yang: Working in a place like this?
The building creaks, and a ceiling tile falls to the floor.
Maria: He likes to keep a low profile. Something I've come to realize none of you know anything about.
Pietro: You can call me Pietro.
Maria: Finest heart, too. This pharmacy is just where he volunteers when he's not building the future of Atlas alongside Ironwood, up in the clouds.
Pietro: Oh, it's stuffy up there. Down here, I get to help the locals and have a little fun. I'm currently working on shoes that make you dance. Wanna try 'em on?
Nora: (excitedly) YES!
Yang: (stepping in) Before we get to that, we were wondering if you could help us. We came to Atlas hoping to talk to General Ironwood, but um…
Blake: What exactly has been happening here?
Pietro: (coughs) Well, the Fall of Beacon took a toll on all of us. James was no different. I couldn't tell you exactly what it was he saw there, but it changed him. He's…
Qrow: He's scared.
Pietro: Paranoid would be the more appropriate term. You have to understand, it wasn't just the Grimm. Someone completely dismantled Atlas security code, made it their play-thing, and made us look like traitors to some and buffoons to everyone else. Whoever managed to do that is either a genius or one of our own. I fear the answer may be both, and so does the general.
Ren: Maybe Atlas isn't as safe as we thought.
Oscar: After we came all this way, we can't just leave, can we?
Weiss: (stepping forward) How does the council feel about all of this? Or Winter Schnee? Do you know anything about her?
Pietro: Well, the council's so scared, they'll agree to whatever he wants. Though, some representatives from Mantle… Wait, you're… You're Weiss Schnee!
Weiss gasps and steps back, with her friends looking nervous.
Yang: (stepping forward with her prosthetic arm outstretched) Wait, what was it that you were trying to say about Mantle?
Pietro: (looking at the prosthetic) You painted it.
Yang: (withdrawing her arm, confused) What?
Ruby: Is everything okay?
Pietro: You're Team RWBY!
The Team RWBY girls look at each other in confusion.
Ruby: You know us?!
Pietro: Oh, my girl, I do. I most certainly do. And I feel like such a dunce for not recognizing you sooner. My daughter's told me so much about you.
Ruby: Your… daughter?
Their conversation is interrupted by the sound of an alarm and people screaming. Outside, civilians are running, and the lights from the street lamps have turned red.
Jaune: Ah, trouble.
The group runs outside.
Pietro: (reaching out to them) Wait!
Everyone in the group draws their weapons. Upon drawing her katana, Blake looks at the broken blade, exhaling sharply before folding the blade down to wield it as a gun.
Oscar: I guess the city defenses aren't doing much.
Nora: (glancing at Ren) Somehow, that doesn't surprise me.
Down the road from them, growling is heard, and an Atlesian Knight-200 is thrown against a lamp post.
Another robot is thrown, and three more back up into view, shooting at Sabyrs, which tackle and destroy them one by one.
Ruby: Well, we didn't come this far to fail now!
Ruby changes Crescent Rose into scythe form and aims the sniper barrel toward the Sabyrs, which finish destroying the Atlesian Knight-200s and charge toward her and her friends. Everyone readies their weapons. Yang charges forth using recoil from her gauntlet, followed by Ren launching himself forward.
Nora: (gasps) Hey!
Getting an idea, Nora looks at Jaune, who looks startled. She uses Magnhild to pole vault toward Jaune, who puts up his shield in response, allowing her to land on it. She then kicks off from his shield, launching herself. After Yang uppercuts a Sabyr, Ren lands on another one's back, stabbing his guns' blades into it, and it leaps into the air to knock him off, only for Nora to slam it to the ground with her hammer. Jaune beheads a Sabyr, and when a second one leaps at him, he blocks with his shield and stabs it just above its collarbone.
Qrow slices two Sabyrs in half, leans back to dodge a third as it attempts to tackle him. He transforms Harbinger into scythe mode and uses it to hook the Grimm as it makes another attempt to tackle him. As he finishes spinning his scythe, he plants its blade into the ground and punches another Sabyr in the head, then uppercuts it into the air. He then kicks Harbinger upward, catches it, straightens the blade, impales the Sabyr, and slices another one that leaps at him from behind the deceased Sabyr's smoke.
While Qrow shoots at more Sabyrs, another one turns its attention to Oscar. It charges him, and he leaps into the air and stabs at its skull with Ozpin's cane. While he watches it die, another one leaps at him from behind, only to be sniped by Ruby, who smiles and nods to Oscar.
Ruby transforms her rifle back into scythe mode and runs forward. As a Sabyr leaps at her, she does a flip and slices it in half. She continues running, fires Crescent Rose, and begins using her Semblance to speed down the street, before appearing to split into three blurs of red that go around a Sabyr, which splits apart with a roar. The blurs converge and transform back into Ruby, who stabs the tip of her scythe into the asphalt, swinging forward on it and landing on the ground. She fires Crescent Rose and lets go of it, sending it spinning through a Sabyr and into the air. She leaps onto and kicks off of another Sabyr, spinning and catching her scythe. She fires Crescent Rose to keep up momentum and slams the blade into the ground, sending out a shockwave that takes out two more Sabyrs.
After Weiss slices through a Sabyr, four more come running toward her from another street. She casts four black glyphs, using them to levitate the Grimm. As they flail helplessly in the air, Ren leaps from Sabyr to Sabyr, cutting each of them in half. Meanwhile, another Sabyr attempts to run up behind Yang while she finishes one off, only to be shot by Blake, who smiles and nods to Yang.
Suddenly, another Sabyr leaps into the air behind Blake, who gasps and turns to face it. Before she can fight back, a green laser fires from the sky, cutting the Grimm in half. More lasers shoot from above, striking down the remaining Grimm. The alarms throughout the city stop, and the street lamps change back to their normal color. Everyone watches as a figure with long hair flies into view, with green jets coming from her feet. She twirls in the air and slowly descends. Pietro and Maria walk outside to join the group, while Ruby stares at the girl before gasping and gaining a look of recognition.
Pietro: Darling, why don't you say hello to your friends?
Penny turns to look in the direction her father's voice came from. Upon seeing Ruby, she gasps and her eyes shine with joy. Ruby smiles and puts her weapon away. Penny leans forward a little.
Ruby: (confused) Huh?
Penny lowers to one knee as a high-pitched charging noise is heard.
Ruby: (nervous) Uh…?
Penny begins gleefully sprinting toward Ruby at high speed.
Penny leaps and activates her jets, rocketing forward and tackling Ruby, who flails her hands around in front of her and screams, eyes wide. Upon crashing to the ground, Ruby groans in pain. Everyone else puts their weapons away and approaches the pair. Penny pops back up onto her feet, while Ruby slowly rises with her hand on her head.
Penny: It is such a pleasure to see you all again!
Ruby: (tearfully) Penny, I… I-I thought you…
Pietro: Died? (riding his chair over to Penny's side) I guess, in a manner of speaking, she did. But we were able to recover her core from Amity Arena once it had made its way back to Atlas. It took me some time, but…
Penny: I'm as good as new! Better, even! And now I'm the official protector of the city!
Pietro: That's my girl. We're not going to let a little ripping to shreds stop us, are we? (laughs, then coughs)
Penny: No sir! (knocking on her head with a clanking sound)
Weiss: This is…
Blake: Strangely wholesome.
Yang: Sounds like Penny to me.
Penny excitedly grabs Ruby's shoulders.
Penny: We have so many things to catch up about. I cannot wait!
Just as Penny finishes her sentence with a grin, the city's alarms begin blaring again.
Penny: (without changing her demeanor) It seems we will have to wait.
Penny bounces backward and salutes. As she charges her jets and then rockets off into the sky, she continues speaking quickly to Ruby even as she takes off.
Penny: Let's talk more later! I can't wait to hear about all of your adventures and tell you how I have been and I am just very excited about the whole experience!!
Nora: I can't tell if I completely understand what's going on or have, like, a million questions.
Pietro: (on his way back to the pharmacy) And thankfully, I have about a thousand answers. But let's get out of this weather first.
Maria: (following Pietro) I have absolutely no idea who that child was. Is she important somehow?
Jaune: That was unexpected.
Ren: Never a dull moment.
Qrow: But I wouldn't say unwelcome. I was honestly expecting things to go a lot rougher.
The group begins following Maria and Pietro. However, as they walk, Ren senses something behind them. Before anyone can react, several bolases wrap around Nora, Oscar, Jaune and Ren, the spheres at the ends of the ropes locking into place with Gravity Dust. Blake turns to look back at the commotion, just in time for all of Team RWBY to be caught. As Ruby lands, the Relic of Knowledge comes unhooked from her belt and clatters to the ground. Qrow draws his sword and looks for their unseen enemy, before being captured himself. Five uniform-clad people come out of hiding and surround the group.
Clover: Good work, team.
Oscar: Hey! What's going on?!
Qrow: Hey, pal! I'm a licensed Huntsman! Just helped save everyone?
Clover looks down at Qrow, twirling a horseshoe on his finger. He puts the horseshoe away and picks up Qrow's weapon. The other uniformed operatives begin gathering everyone else's weapons, while Atlesian Knight-200s approach, and the operatives hand the confiscated weapons to the robots. Clover then approaches Ruby, picks up the Relic, and looks at it.
Clover: Hm. Let's get them loaded into the next transport.
Ruby: Please! We were just trying to help!
Pietro: What is the meaning of this? (coughs) What are the Ace-Ops even doing down here in Mantle?
Clover: Doctor, good to see you. Well, we heard a report of an unauthorized ship making an unauthorized landing, followed by an unauthorized use of weapons by unlicensed Huntsmen.
Maria turns and walks away.
Pietro: If we could just talk this out--
Clover: (tossing the Relic from one hand to the other) They'll be able to talk this out once they get to Atlas. Let's move out!
The Ace-Ops split up and leave the area. Team RWBY, Team JNPR, Oscar and Qrow are forced into the back of a secure van with their wrists bound.
Qrow: Now, this… This is much closer to what I was expecting.
The back doors of the van are slammed shut.
- Ruby Rose
- Weiss Schnee
- Blake Belladonna
- Yang Xiao Long
- Qrow Branwen
- Maria Calavera
- Jaune Arc
- Nora Valkyrie
- Lie Ren
- Oscar Pine
- James Ironwood (Recording)
- Winter Schnee (Recording)
- Pietro Polendina
- Penny Polendina
- Ace Operatives (First Appearance)
- Drunk Mann (First Appearance) (voiced by Joe Mann)
- Drinking Buddy (First Appearance) (voiced by Dustin Matthews)
- Forest (First Appearance)
- The first 12 minutes of the episode were shown to the attendees of NYCC 2019.
- A sneak peek of the episode's fight scene was played at RTX 2019 on July 5th, 2019. The clip was an unfinished work-in-progress at the time of it's showing, with the buildings and running civilians being untextured, some effects missing and reused music. The finished clip was made public on October 31st, 2019.
- According to Miles Luna in the Volume 6 audio commentary, this episode or at least a portion of it was originally written as the finale for Volume 6, hence the initial announcement that Volume 6 would have 14 chapters but only released 13. It was turned into the Volume 7 premiere when it was decided "Our Way" provided a better ending to the previous volume. Originally it was going to end with Penny being revealed, dealing with the Grimm, and ending on "Salutations."
- The Drunk Mann and his Drinking Buddy are caricatures of animators Joel Mann and Dustin Matthews, voiced by themselves.
- It was a challenge in this episode to make it clear that Atlas is a new place for some characters, but a familiar one for several others, but that the Atlas in Volume 7 is a different one than what they remember.
- Main article: The Greatest Kingdom/Image Gallery