Whitley Schnee is the younger brother of Weiss and Winter Schnee. He is first seen in "Remembrance" at the Schnees' home. After their father, Jacques Schnee, stripped Weiss of her position as heiress in "Punished", Whitley became the heir to the Schnee Dust Company until the company's destruction.
Following his father's arrest in "As Above, So Below" however, all of the company's employees abandoned him and his mother Willow Schnee at their home. After running into Weiss and her friends again, he was originally reluctant to help them until having a change of heart and made up with his sister in the process while using all of the company's resources to help them save Mantle until it's destruction in "The Final Word".
Whitley has white hair and light blue eyes with a fair complexion. His hair is mostly pushed to left, although he does have a cowlick. Whitley is fairly tall with a slender build and stands a few inches taller than his older sister Weiss.
His attire consists of a short-sleeved white dress shirt, the sleeves fastened just above his elbows by navy blue cuffs, each with twin gold buttons. Over his untucked shirt, he wears a light blue vest, with a black handkerchief in his right breast pocket. He also wears a black necktie, navy blue trousers and black dress shoes.
He seems very formal about his attire and his posture. He usually has at least one hand behind his back.
Like his sisters and father, Whitley is careful to maintain an appearance of calm and control. He is exceedingly polite in conversation and is very conscientious about what emotions he lets show, usually outwardly projecting a friendly and agreeable demeanor. His personality is still somewhat of a mystery, but he has shown the capacity to be arrogant, cold and pitiless. On Weiss' return, Whitley initially only showed his sister kindness and respect, which she found peculiar. He also claims to have respect for Winter's resolve, despite admitting that he was never particularly fond of her. However, upon being given the title of Heir to the Schnee Dust Company, he reveals feelings of anger and contempt towards Weiss, momentarily dropping his polite and amiable facade. His personality is described as typical for Atlas elites like his father.
The extent of his true feelings towards his sisters and his family are still unexplored, but according to Weiss, his relationship with his sisters has never been close. Out of everyone in the family, Whitley seems the closest to his father.
While both Weiss and Whitley have an interest in the future of the Schnee Dust Company and family name, Whitley appears to have taken more after his father in his approach. While Weiss has shown little interest in the day to day operations of the SDC or cultivating her father's connections to the high-society of Atlas, Whitley attends board meetings with his father, readily schmoozes with the Atlesian upper-class, and appears to be taking a more active role in the company overall and was trustworthy enough in his father's perspective to be made the new heir, although Willow did say Whitley latched onto Jacques only because Weiss and Winter had left the family, and Willow herself was unable to be there for her son, hinting that Jacques' hold on Whitley is not as strong as he may think.
Unlike his sisters, Whitley sees personal combat as beneath him. It is implied that he has little to no martial skill and even less interest in learning. When it comes to Huntsmen, Whitley views them as barbaric and unnecessary, as he feels Atlas' sizable military forces can do any Huntsman's job just as well.
When speaking, Whitley is expressive through his body movement, frequently shifting positions. He is described as ruthlessly ambitious in The World of RWBY: The Official Companion.
In "As Above, So Below", a more vulnerable side to Whitley is shown. As seen when his father was being roughly escorted by the Atlas Authorities into his prison transport due to his part in helping Arthur Watts and illegally winning the council elections was revealed, Whitley showed clear grief and sadness to his father's arrest, showing that despite Jacques' faults and controlling attitude, Whitley still genuinely loved and idolized him as his father. Miles Luna implied that his personality would soon change after these events. This is shown during the events of volume 8.
After meeting Weiss and her friends again after they infiltrated the Atlas Command Center, Whitley was annoyed to see them again after they got his father arrested before he is reluctantly forced to help them. While he was already scared from the situation in Atlas, he simply hid his uneasiness about it behind his typical behavior.
After overhearing May Marigold about why she left her family in "War" and her coldly stating that Whitley himself was just another self-serving individual among the hundreds in Atlas, he decides to call Klein Sieben back to the Manor to help Nora Valkyrie out, showing that despite trying to copy his father, Whitley himself still retains a sense of empathy and selflessness for others. As seen "Dark" and "Creation", he is shown to also think about the safety of the people of Mantle and used his position as heir to the Schnee Dust Company to help evacuate them to safety and offered to help with anything to save them.
Powers and Abilities
Since the Glyph Semblance is hereditary in nature and runs in the Schnee Family, it is likely that Whitley has the potential to use it. However, given Whitley's negative views on Huntsmen, it can be assumed he has had no type of training, Aura or martial and no plans to even try to obtain the needed skills.
It can be assumed that due to his tutelage under his father, Whitley is reasonably knowledgeable in the fields of business and political gamesmanship. He is quite cunning and is able to readily read into the deceptions and lies of others.
As seen in "Dark", Whitley has also been taught and trained on how to use the SDC networks and systems and has shown to be skilled enough to be able to create and issue a mass operation to the SDC's cargo ship air fleet and give mass commands to the company's automated drones.
As seen in "Creation", Whitely also possess an incredibly sharp memory and a good understanding of architecture, construction, and digital designing, this is seen where he stated that he had already studied the evacuations plans used by Atlas for its main city and was able to help in creating the evacuation center schematics for Ambrosius to use as a base for creating it.
As revealed in "Dark", as the new heir of the SDC, Whitley is revealed to have a powerful pull with the company. As seen where he possessed the necessary clearance and credentials to order a large scale automatic operation using the SDC networks to command the Company's dust cargo ships and drones to go and evacuate Mantle.
- Whitley is an Anglo-Saxon name meaning "white meadow", from "white" and "lea", meaning "clearing", "meadow", or "field".
- His surname, Schnee, means "Snow" in German, following the Color Naming Rule of Remnant.
- It could be interpreted that Weiss having siblings was first alluded to in "The Badge and The Burden, Pt.2", when Weiss told Ruby Rose that she always wanted bunk beds as a kid.
- based on concept art compared to Weiss' offical height
- RWBY Volume 7 Crew Commentary - Chapter 8
- RWBY Volume 7 Crew Commentary - Chapter 8
- RWBY Volume 8 Directors' and Writers' Commentary Chapter 4