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Our heroes' worst fears have finally been realized: Salem is here, and the timing couldn't be worse for the divided Kingdom of Atlas. Fear has turned friends into enemies, while doubt threatens to splinter Humanity's remaining allies. With both Salem and Ironwood stacking the odds against them, and the fate of Remnant at stake, it's up to Team RWBY to make their play before it's too late.[1]

Volume 8 is the eighth season of RWBY. It premiered on November 7th, 2020, and ran for 14 episodes. The volume was preceded by Volume 7 and will be followed by Volume 9.

Overview

Salem and her forces arrive in Atlas and battle against General Ironwood's army. Meanwhile, Ruby's group and the Happy Huntresses all struggle to aid the people of Atlas and Mantle from the Grimm and get the Amity Communications Tower operational while avoiding arrest by Ironwood's forces. With chaos spiraling throughout the Kingdom, the heroes struggle between fighting Salem's machinations and Ironwood's ruthless actions. All the while, Penny Polendina begins going through an existential crisis after becoming the Winter Maiden while Qrow Branwen and Robyn Hill bond over their similarities after being framed for Clover Ebi's death.

During the conflict, people from all sides like Yang's Group start to distrust the people they work for and pursue their own goals in the process. Meanwhile, Salem's most recent Grimm begins to put everything known about the Grimm until now into question.

Characters

Major Characters

Other Characters

Minor Characters

Episodes

Main article: Episodes
Chapter Episode Title Original Air Date Run Time External Link
Teaser Trailer Volume 8 Teaser September 16, 2020 0:44 Yt-favicon.png Volume 8 Teaser
Trailer Volume 8 Trailer October 14, 2020 1:07 Rt-favicon.png Volume 8 Trailer
Yt-favicon.png Volume 8 Trailer
Midseason Trailer Volume 8 Midseason Trailer January 23, 2021 1:01 Rt-favicon.png Volume 8 Midseason Trailer
Yt-favicon.png Volume 8 Midseason Trailer
1 "Divide" November 7th, 2020 18:58 Rt-favicon.png Divide
2 "Refuge" November 14th, 2020 17:37 Rt-favicon.png Refuge
3 "Strings" November 21st, 2020 17:50 Rt-favicon.png Strings
4 "Fault" November 28th, 2020 19:31 Rt-favicon.png Fault
5 "Amity" December 5th, 2020 19:10 Rt-favicon.png Amity
6 "Midnight" December 12th, 2020 19:38 Rt-favicon.png Midnight
7 "War" December 19th, 2020 18:50 Rt-favicon.png War
8 "Dark" February 6th, 2021 17:49 Rt-favicon.png Dark
9 "Witch" February 13th, 2021 18:29 Rt-favicon.png Witch
10 "Ultimatum" February 27th, 2021 18:50 Rt-favicon.png Ultimatum
11 "Risk" March 6th, 2021 19:28 Rt-favicon.png Risk
12 "Creation" March 13th, 2021 18:15 Rt-favicon.png Creation
13 "Worthy" March 20th, 2021 18:58 Rt-favicon.png Worthy
14 "The Final Word" March 27th, 2021 23:16 Rt-favicon.png The Final Word

Development

Main article: RWBY Development

On October 3rd, 2019, a month before Volume 7 began airing, the crew announced that writing for Volume 8 had already begun.[2]

During the "Live from Remnant" Volume 7 Hype stream on November 1st, 2019, Miles announced that they had completed the first scripts for Volume 8 and were about to start the storyboards.[3]

Concept art and development was well underway by the end of November, 2019.[4]

Voice recording sessions for key characters began on February 4th, 2020.[5]

Animation for Volume 8 had started by March 2020.[6]

The writing process of Volume 8 was completed on April 8th, 2020.[7]

On May 21st, 2020, Rooster Teeth Productions and Full Sail University announced a collaboration for the production of Volume 8. Full Sail University students and graduates are given exclusive opportunities to design a Grimm that will be featured in Volume 8. The RWBY animation team will select the top five submissions for Rooster Teeth fans to vote on, with the contest ending on June 21st, and voting starting on July 7th and ending on July 12th, 2020.[8] On July 13th, a community announcement was made by Rooster Teeth, in which it was felt that the voting and response to contestants online violated the Code of Conduct upheld for the community and staff. For this reason, they closed voting and instead will select a winner via a panel of judges from the show.[9]

On July 18th, it was announced[10] that the Sulfur Fish Grimm design by Landon Ellis was the winner of the contest, with the Grimm set to appear in Volume 8. The Grimm would later make a cameo debut in "War".

A clip from the volume was revealed during the Comic-Con@Home Rooster Teeth Panel on July 25th, 2020. According to Barbara Dunkelman, the theme of the volume's story is distrust.[11]

On September 7th, 2020, more sneak peak clips were released through the Mark AR app at a Pre-RTX event in Dallas, Texas.[12]

The teaser trailer for the volume was released on September 16th, 2020 as a part of the RTX @ Home RWBY Panel. It was also revealed that the volume will premiere on November 7th, 2020, and will run for 14 episodes.

Volumes 8 and 9 were being created together and are unofficially even called a single volume production-wise with how things flow together.[13]

As of the production of Volumes 8 and 9, this Volume proved to be the most challenging season to write in the series.[14]

In earlier drafts, the episode "Divide" was originally intended to focus more on Cinder's backstory. This direction was changed and most flashback sequences involving Cinder's upbringing were moved to "Midnight" in order to start the Volume with a better pace, the brief tease of a young Cinder scrubbing a floor is a leftover of this.[15]

While planning Volume 8, there were originally going to be more scenes between Qrow Branwen and Robyn Hill. However, their screentime had to be scaled back due to how much needed to happen during the volume.[16] According to Miles Luna, Qrow and Robyn's plotline in the Volume received the most cuts out of anything else in it. However, he is glad that even with the limited screen time they had, they still had the impact he wanted.[17]

During development, the river of Grimm Liquid was originally going to be a much bigger part of the story before being scaled back.[18] The scene at the Happy Huntresses camp in "Refuge" was originally intended to set up many plot elements from this that were later cut, such as the "Pillar of Grimm" miniboss that was going to be fought by the heroes.[19]

Nora overcharging her Semblance was an early idea in development and it was originally going to happen at a power plant with an electrified security fence. The initial idea behind it came from Kerry Shawcross looking at Reddit and coming across an image of a person who had been scarred by lighting and he thought that kind of scarring would fit great with Nora.[20]

In early drafts of Ren's outburst in "Fault", he also criticizes Jaune for attacking Cinder so recklessly back in Volume 5. It was cut because the writers felt it was "one sting too many".[21] The scene with Yang's Group in the outpost during the same episode was rewritten during the animatic stage, which does not happen that often in the production process. Eddy Rivas stated he believes it was due to reshuffling Ren's arc so he could have a more natural feeling character progression in "War".There were also many elements that were cut or added that changed this scene dramatically. There was also going to be more references to the reasoning that caused Ruby and Yang's groups to split off at the start of the Volume.[22]

Miles Luna outlined that they wanted to use Maria and Pietro this Volume. Since they knew that they wouldn't get a lot of screen time, they decided to give them a big moment to shine in "Amity" so that they were not relegated to the background as support characters that ultimately don't contribute to the overall plot.[23]

When planning which types of Grimm to bring back in the Battle of Atlas for the opening scene of "War", the Death Stalker was one of the Grimm considered and very nearly made an appearance. They were cut because creating and rigging new models for them would have been too time consuming for a large creature that would barely be used in the Volume.[24]

Eddy Rivas explained that having the Ace-Ops pick up Yang's Group in "Midnight" solved a lot of problems they were having with planning the Volume and figuring out how they were going to eventually get to the same place as everyone else. Kerry Shawcross outlined how this decision helped get the Ace-Ops back to the Military base, got Yang's Group back in Atlas, gave more opportunities to show Winter and Harriet's character arcs and primed Ren for his development with his Semblance. Because of this one choice, planning for the Volume became much easier.[25]

Originally they were not planning on making a horror episode in this Volume. The episode "Dark" was limited to one location mostly out of necessity for the sake of production costs, and while discussing how to make the episode interesting it was decided that being trapped in a big house with their brand new scary Hound Grimm would be pretty cool.[26]

A full trailer was released on October 14th, 2020.[27]

On December 4th, 2020, it was announced that, due to remote production issues resulting from Covid-19, the season would have a longer than average mid-break, returning February 6th instead of January 3rd, 2021.[28]

Following the airing of the first half of Volume 8, a sneak peek of the second half was released on December 25, 2020, as part of a partnership with Rooster Teeth and HBO Max.[29]

An official mid-season trailer was released on January 23, 2021.[30]

On February 17, 2021, Kerry Shawcross announced that, due to the severe winter storm wreaking havoc in Texas at the time, the release of the tenth episode of the volume would be delayed by a week to February 27 to focus on the production team's safety.[31]

According to Eddy Rivas, Volume 8 as a whole was completed on March 26th, 2021.

Trivia

  • The main theme of Volume 8 is Distrust.
  • The title of every episode of Volume 8 was a single word, save for the final episode.
  • This is the first volume to include content warnings before an episode, specifically before "Ultimatum," "Worthy," and "The Final Word."
  • This is the longest volume in terms of runtime, with a runtime of 4 hours, 26 minutes and 39 seconds.
  • On an episode of Stay Zen, Eddy Rivas said that in an early Volume 8 outline, Ruby and May would be on Monstra.[32]
  • Kerry Shawcross revealed in the commentary for the Volume that they have an entire spreadsheet showing the timeline of events that happened in the Volume which helped them plan where to place certain scenes. One of these examples would be when exactly the sun would rise in "Ultimatum".[33]
  • At different points in the Volume, the episode directors asked how brutal they could make certain moments.[34]
  • The main menu of the Volume 8 Bluray release plays "Trust Love", the opening theme of Volume 7, instead of this Volume's own opening theme, "For Every Life". This is likely due to the full soundtrack for Volume 8 not being released by the time of the Bluray's release.
  • The first two episodes of The Grimm Campaign, "The Mission" and "Action Time!", are included as special features on the Volume 8 Bluray release.

Image Gallery

Official Graphics

Full Sail University Competition

References

  1. Entertainment Earth
  2. Eddy Rivas' Twitter
  3. Live From Remnant Volume 7 Hype Stream
  4. Erin Winn on Twitter
  5. Arryn Zech on instagram
  6. I Have Notes: "Staying Creative in Quarantine!"
  7. Eddy Rivas' Twitter
  8. Full Sail University website
  9. Rooster Teeth Community Update
  10. Rooster Teeth Animation YouTube
  11. Rooster Teeth | Comic-Con@Home 2020
  12. Mark AR App on Twitter
  13. RWBY Panel | RTX 2020
  14. RWBY Volume 7 Crew Commentary – Chapter 13
  15. RWBY Volume 8 Directors' and Writers' Commentary Chapter 1
  16. RWBY Volume 8 Directors' and Writers' Commentary Chapter 4
  17. RWBY Volume 8 Directors' and Writers' Commentary Chapter 11
  18. RWBY Volume 8 Directors' and Writers' Commentary Chapter 5
  19. RWBY Volume 8 Directors' and Writers' Commentary Chapter 2
  20. RWBY Volume 8 Directors' and Writers' Commentary Chapter 3
  21. RWBY Volume 8 Directors' and Writers' Commentary Chapter 4
  22. RWBY Volume 8 Directors' and Writers' Commentary Chapter 4
  23. RWBY Volume 8 Directors' and Writers' Commentary Chapter 5
  24. RWBY Volume 8 Directors' and Writers' Commentary chapter 7
  25. RWBY Volume 8 Directors' and Writers' Commentary Chapter 6
  26. RWBY Volume 8 Directors' and Writers' Commentary Chapter 8
  27. RWBY Official Twitter
  28. RWBY Volume 8 mid-season break
  29. RWBY Volume 8 Pt. 2 Sneak Peek
  30. RWBY Volume 8 Mid-Season Trailer
  31. Kerry Shawcross' Twitter
  32. Stay Zen with Kdin Jenzen, at 52:50
  33. RWBY Volume 8 Directors' and Writers' Commentary chapter 10
  34. RWBY Volume 8 Directors' and Writers' Commentary Chapter 12
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