- For other uses of "The Grimm Reaper", see The Grimm Reaper.
"The Grimm Reaper" is the seventh episode of Volume 6 and the seventy-third episode of RWBY. It premiered for Rooster Teeth FIRST members on December 8th, 2018 and was made public on the Rooster Teeth site on December 15th, 2018. It was released on YouTube on December 14th 2019.
In the Haven Vault, Cinder Fall finishes explaining to Neopolitan that she needs to retrieve the Relic of Knowledge from Team RWBY before it can get to Atlas. She states that while she has specific instructions from Salem not to get revenge on Ruby Rose, Neo has no such orders. In exchange for helping Cinder get to Atlas and finding Ruby, Neo can do whatever she wants. Neo seals the deal.
Many years ago, a young Maria Calavera, under her huntress alias, "The Grimm Reaper", is ambushed by a group of assassins after single-handedly defeating a Nevermore using her silver eyes. The leader of the assassins, a crocodile Faunus named Tock, explains that she has been ordered to kill her because of her eyes. Maria manages to kill them all, but not before Tock slashes her eyes out, blinding her.
In the present, Maria finishes telling her story to the gathered heroes, lamenting that after she lost her eyes she only ever looked out for herself. The rest of the group is shocked to hear this, Qrow Branwen stating that as the Grimm Reaper she inspired him to become a huntsman, even modeling his own weapon after her dual-scythes. Maria responds that she has been nothing but a disappointment, noting while looking at Yang Xiao Long that the rest of the group has proven far stronger than her. Just as Ruby asks Maria to train her in how to use her silver eyes, she gets a call on her scroll from Jaune Arc: they have arrived in Argus.
After reuniting with the rest of Team JNPR , the heroes find a place to stay in the home of Jaune's sister Saphron Cotta-Arc, along with her wife, Terra, and their child, Adrian. Terra is preoccupied with some reported issues at the town's relay station, which shares a space with the military's radar system. After getting a chance to rest and get food, Ruby explains that they plan to continue their journey to Atlas by going to the military base. However, Team JNR reports they tried that already and it did not go so well. Yang questions how bad it could be, only for the whole team to have the gates slammed shut in their faces the next day.
In the Vault under Haven Academy, the sound of a weapon clanging is heard. Neopolitan stares at the door that once guarded the Relic of Knowledge; the door itself is now a stone wall since the Relic has been taken out.
Cinder: Now you understand.
Cinder Fall is sitting on a boulder, flicking her dagger and changing its form.
Neo looks back at Cinder.
Cinder: You're not the only one who wants Ruby dead. But unfortunately, Salem does not feel the same way...
Neo places her umbrella on her shoulder and walks toward Cinder.
Cinder: I've been... instructed not to kill her... (melts her dagger in her hand) But you... You have no such orders. You can do as you please.
Cinder's dagger disintegrates and she stands up to walk towards Neo.
Cinder: Help me get to Atlas, help me find her... and the rest is up to you.
Neo ponders Cinder's words for a moment before smiling at her and holding her hand out. Cinder takes Neo's hand with her own, sealing the deal with a handshake.
Wind is heard howling. In a mountainous region, a lone, cloaked feminine figure with a skull mask concealing her face crosses a rickety bridge. Halfway across the bridge, she hears the screech of a Nevermore. She turns to her left to see the Nevermore appear from the fog, and she draws her weapons - a pair of sickles.
The young Maria Calavera backflips off the bridge just as the Nevermore rams through it, splitting the bridge in half. She throws one of her sickles at one of the Nevermore's wing and uses the gravity Dust imbued in it to pull herself back up, while also dragging the Nevermore down. She grabs her other sickle on her way back up, getting above the Nevermore, and uses the recoil of her weapon to spin and grapple onto the Nevermore. She then throws one of her sickles to a mountain, pulling the Nevermore with it. The Nevermore crashes into the mountainside, losing its balance, before crash landing to the ground. Maria's other sickle is called back and lands on the ground in front of it.
Maria takes out the sickle from the Nevermore's wing, catching her breath. She looks over to the Nevermore's head, whose eyes stare back at her, causing her to gasp. The Nevermore tries to snap its beak at Maria, forcing her off. It swipes at her, knocking Maria back and forcing her to drop her sickle. The Nevermore charges forward, but Maria's eyes glow brightly, engulfing the area around her. She stands back up and notices the Nevermore petrified in midair, before dropping down and crumbling. Maria walks over to her sickle to pick it up, using the gravity Dust to call her other sickle back to her.
Suddenly, Maria deflects a bullet aimed at her. She notices three men - one with a giant hammer, one carrying a rifle, and one with a machete - come out of hiding. Another woman, a crocodile Faunus named Tock, then walks up behind her.
Tock: Well, that's a fancy trick now, innit? 'Fraid it comes with a price though, love. (crushes a small piece of the petrified Nevermore in her hand)
Maria turns around to face Tock, while the three men ready their weapons.
Maria: I don't think you realize who I am.
Tock: Course I do. (takes out an alarm clock, setting the timer and placing it on her belt) You're the Grimm Reaper, and these... are the last sixty seconds of your life.
Tock hits the button on her clock, starting the timer's countdown. She then draws a pair of saber swords and activates her Aura. The ticking clock can be heard in the background as the battle begins. Tock rushes forward and clashes blades with Maria. Maria attacks back, but Tock's Aura knocks her sickle out of her hand. Tock kicks Maria back, with the latter summoning her other sickle back to her hand. She then proceeds to fight the three men, deflecting their bullets. She cuts down the rifle-wielding man, knocks out the machete-wielder, and dodges out of the way of the hammer user before cutting him down. She then blocks another attack from Tock, who manages to push Maria back, causing her Aura to flicker.
Maria's sickles then circle around her due to the Gravity Dust, before combining together to form a double-edged scythe. Tock and the machete-wielder rush forward to attack, but Maria blocks them. The Grimm Reaper then takes down the machete-wielder before proceeding to clash with Tock again. The two lock weapons with each other, before Tock uses her razor-sharp metal teeth to chomp through Maria's weapon. The crocodile Faunus headbutts the Grimm Reaper, shattering her skull mask in the process. Maria briefly opens up her silver eyes for a bit, when suddenly, Tock slashes at her eyes, permanently blinding Maria.
Silence for a moment, before Maria screams out in pain, her eyes bleeding. She continues to cry out as Tock's alarm clock rings. Tock presses the button on her clock as her Aura deactivates.
Tock: It was a close call, I'll give you that.
Tock walks over menacingly to Maria, who continues to cry out in pain as she holds her blinded eyes. Maria manages to grab one of her sickles and tries to fire at Tock, who nonchalantly dodges out of the way. A clicking sound can then be heard from Maria's sickle, indicating her weapon is out of ammo.
Tock: You know, the only reason my master wants you dead, is 'cause of your eyes. (laughs) But seein' as you ain't got 'em no more, you might be able to convince me to spare your life.
In response, Maria tries to throw her sickle at Tock, but she dodges that too.
Tock: (chuckles) Well, I respect that, a fighter to the end.
Tock readies her saber to kill Maria, but Maria manages to find her other sickle. She clicks the switch on it, calling the other blade back over. Tock, in its path, gets the blade of the other sickle embedded into her back, causing her to fall forward. Maria then uses the sickle in her hand to slash at Tock as she falls forward...
Back in the present day...
Maria: But I wasn't... I went into hiding soon after.
Qrow: (astounded) I can't believe it. You... You're the Grimm Reaper, you were a legend! And then you disappeared...
Oscar: How exactly does a legend just disappear?
Qrow: You never used your name, never showed your face. Lots of us thought you were just layin' low. Eventually, we just came to accept that you were probably dead. But the stories about you, I based my weapon off of yours. I wanted to be as good as the Grimm Reaper.
Maria: Well, I'm nothing but a disappointment, so you're well on your way.
Blake: How can you say that?
Maria: Child, a Huntress is supposed to protect others to the bitter end. But after I lost my eyes, I only ever looked after myself. Even after my surgery, I was too afraid to fight. Afraid someone would find me again, finish what the others started. You shouldn't aspire to be like me, especially when some of you are clearly stronger already.
Upon hearing this, Yang looks down sadly.
Maria: It's... comforting, seeing that your generation seems up to the task of inheriting this world. I'm just sorry I didn't do more to leave it in better shape.
Ruby: Well, maybe you can do something now. Teach me to use my powers the way you did.
As Maria looks back at Ruby, a Scroll's ringtone can be heard. Ruby pulls her Scroll out and gasps in excitement.
Ruby: It's Jaune!
Yang stops her bike, looking back in surprise. Everyone says "Huh?" as they wonder how Jaune contacted them.
Ruby: (answering her Scroll) Uh, hello?
Jaune: (voiceover from the Scroll) Ruby! Oh, thank you! I've been checking my Scroll for your signal since we made it to the city!
Ruby: The city? Wait...
Ruby looks to her Scroll, her contact name for Jaune being "Vomit Boy". She looks at the little signal symbol under Jaune's portrait, watching it get better as she points her Scroll toward the road ahead. The group sees a hill where the snow ends. Yang proceeds forward to drive them up the hill. At the top of the hill, the group sees a walled city in the distance along the ocean.
Yang: (smiling) Ladies and gentlemen, we have arrived in Argus.
At the entrance to the city of Argus, Yang inputs a code, "4-5-8", to lock Bumblebee and the trailer in a garage. Team RWBY, Qrow, Oscar, and Maria take the time to admire their surroundings. Through the crowd, a certain bubbly ginger-haired girl in pink zooms in.
Nora: Cute! Boy! OZ!!! (points her finger to the group)
Oscar looks over in confusion, only to get tackle hugged by Nora.
Nora: Oh, come here!
Jaune and Lie Ren also arrive.
Ren: Are you all okay? (hugs Yang)
Jaune: We were so worried! (hugs Blake)
Yang: It's been kind of a crazy trip.
Weiss: That's an understatement.
Nora: (noticing Maria) Wait, who's the old lady?
Blake: I'm so glad you're all safe.
Nora: Ah! You're gonna love this place!
As everyone else engages in their own conversations, Ruby and Jaune walk up to each other and give each other a big hug. After parting from the hug, Jaune looks down and frowns.
Ruby: Hey. I promised, didn't I?
Jaune: (smiling while tears well up in his eyes) Yeah, you did. (wipes his eyes) It's good to see you guys.
The two share a smile together.
Later on, the group is seen traveling through the city on a trolley.
Yang: It's a lot bigger than I thought it'd be.
Ren: It's actually one of the largest non-capital cities in all of Remnant.
Ruby: (gasps) No way! But wait, wouldn't it be harder to settle something this big away from the main Kingdom?
Jaune: Well, it was, until Mantle showed up. Early settlement attempts by Mistral didn't go well. But colonists from Mantle were able to help them brave the cold climate and return for goods that Solitas couldn't provide.
Ren: The two nations worked together to create a hybrid city. While it falls under Mistral domain, Atlas keeps a military presence here to help keep the people safe and keep trade between the two nations steady.
Nora: Well, until recently...
The trolley makes a stop and everyone hops off.
Blake: We should probably start looking for a ship.
Oscar: (to Jaune) So, where have you guys been staying?
Jaune: Uh... (chuckles nervously)
Saphron: There you are!
Yang: Is that...?
Jaune: Hey, Saph. (smiles and waves back)
Ruby then zooms in, all starry-eyed. She looks back and forth between Jaune and Saphron, and gasps upon realizing who the woman is.
The group later reconvenes in a living room at a home.
Ruby: I can't believe I'm meeting your sister! I have so many questions.
Nora: Oh, I can give you the rundown later!
Jaune: Will you guys knock it off?
Saphron: What? I love telling stories about my baby brother. (squeezes Jaune's cheek)
Jaune: (groaning while also flailing his arms at his elder sister) I am not a baby! That is a baby. (points at Adrian, who huffs back at him)
Yang and Weiss get all wide-eyed as they fuss over Adrian. Both of them make baby talk at him.
Yang: Aww, you're so cute! Yes you are! Oh, look at your little face!
Weiss: Aww, coochie-coochie! Aw, baby! Oh my!
Blake: So Saphron, you're the only Arc living here?
A picture on the bookshelf of the Arc siblings all together can be seen, with the young Jaune at the center with pigtails and a deadpan expression while holding a sign that says "HELP" on it while his sisters do various crazy things around him.
Saphron: Yep! Moved the second I could. Jaune and I are the only two living away from home. (in a teasing voice) I guess he just wanted to be like his big sis.
Jaune: I, uh... (groans)
Saphron: (teasing) Aw, you didn't deny it!
The two siblings play fight with each other by pulling each other's cheeks. Then, a door is heard opening. A dark-haired woman with glasses is seen walking in with bags of groceries.
Saphron: Everyone, this is my wife, Terra Cotta.
Everyone greets Terra.
Nora: Hey there!
Blake: Nice to meet you.
Terra: (chuckles) Why, hello there! Wow, quite a party, you weren't kidding. Hun, can I get some help please?
Saphron quickly runs over to help Terra in the kitchen. Later on, Jaune, Ren and Nora are seen preparing sandwiches for everyone.
Weiss: And you're sure it's alright if we stay with you?
Saphron: Of course, we're happy to house Huntsmen and Huntresses.
Terra: You all risk so much to keep people like us safe. It's the least we can do. (turning to Qrow) Especially for such an elite Huntsman like yourself. Although, I will say I was surprised to learn you had students helping you. Is that even... legal?
Qrow, not paying attention, gets his arm bumped by his niece.
Qrow: Uh, of course. Think of it as an extended training mission. Trust me, I was a professor. Even went to the same academy as them. Let me tell ya, these kids are way better than we were at their age.
Jaune, Ren and Nora walk back into the room with plates full of sandwiches. Ruby gasps happily upon seeing them.
Qrow: (continuing) Well, not better than me specifically, but a lot of students--
Ruby: Shut up, there's food!
Everyone heartily eats the sandwiches. Saphron and Terra share a look with each other, before the latter's Scroll is heard buzzing.
Terra: (sighs) Excuse me, I'll be right back. (answers her Scroll and walks out of the room) Hello?
Blake: Is everything okay?
Saphron: Oh, yeah, it will be. Terra's a technician for the town's relay tower. Unfortunately, the military's radar system is also housed there. (making baby talk at Adrian) Guess what's been on the fritz lately and who's getting falsely blamed.
Terra: (peeking back into the room) Me.
Saphron: So, what's your plan for tomorrow?
Ruby: (mouth stuffed) Well... (takes a gulp) We're trying to make our way to Atlas. We'll probably start with the military base.
Nora and Ren share concerned looks.
Jaune: (nervously) So, we kind of already tried that, and... it didn't go... super great.
Yang: Come on, it couldn't be that bad...
The next day, Team RWBY walks up to the Atlesian Military base on the island off the coast of Argus, only for the gates to abruptly close on them before they could even enter.
- The name of the episode references the Grim Reaper, the personification of Death. The wordplay also references Maria's previous occupation as a Huntress and killing (reaping) Grimm.
- The license plate number of the street tram that the characters ride is 12082018, which can be read as 12/08/2018, the date that the episode was released for FIRST members. Since RWBY is an American-made webshow, this date is written in the American format.
- Ruby's name for Jaune in her Scroll is "Vomit Boy", his nickname from Volume 1.
- One of Jaune's sisters in the family photo is dressed as David, a character also voiced by Miles Luna, from Rooster Teeth's animated series Camp Camp.
- Weiss' line, "I am so regretting not packing my coat", as well as other lines heard in the background when the heroes reunite in Argus, are ad-libs.
- The front wall of the Argus Theater shows four posters:
- A poster for gen:LOCK, another Rooster Teeth series, is somewhat obscured by a tree. The poster is marked "Coming Soon", referencing the fact that gen:LOCK had yet to premiere as of the FIRST member release of this episode.
- A poster for a movie called Tryst in the Mist.
- A poster for a movie called Demon of the Deep, possibly foreshadowing the large aquatic Grimm that attacks Argus later.
- A poster for a documentary on the Fall Of Beacon.
- Miles Luna created Tock and came up with the idea of the fight between Maria and Tock only being 60 seconds long due to them having a restriction on how long fights could be.
- The Arc siblings are all a color of the rainbow, with one set of twins. Saphron is orange.
- The toy Adrian is playing with was a foreshadowing to the plane and the Leviathan.
- Main article: The Grimm Reaper/Image Gallery