Winter Schnee is the elder sister of Weiss and Whitley Schnee and a Specialist in the Atlesian Military's Special Operatives unit. She is first mentioned in "A Minor Hiccup". She first appeared in the series itself in the episode, "It's Brawl in the Family".
After being wounded in "The Enemy of Trust", Winter chose to stay with Ironwood rather than go with Weiss and her friends, but she allowed them to escape to give them a head start. Thus, she has since become a somewhat sympathetic antagonist for Ruby's Group.
Winter is a tall and fair-skinned young woman with slate-blue eyes. She wears her white hair tied up in a bun, high on the left side of the back of her head, while her bangs are shaped around the right side of her face, a small curled lock of hair reaching almost to her left shoulder.
Original Outfit (Volume 3-Volume 5 Trailer)Edit
Her outfit consists of a white long-sleeved coat with a single dark blue clasp around the center waist holding it shut alongside a red jeweled brooch on the collar. The coat's length runs down to her ankles and the sleeves are split from shoulder to elbow. She wears a white pleated sleeveless blouse with a dark blue waistcoat. A pair of white trousers with dark blue garters alongside a pair of gray thigh boots with black detailing around the knees. She also wears a pair of black forearm length gloves with gray trimmed cuffs.
Post-Time Skip Outfit (Volume 7-Present)Edit
From Volume 7 onwards, Winter can be seen wearing a white collared undershirt, a necktie that connects to her new brooch, and a girdle underneath the lapels of her coat. She wears navy blue gloves and pants and sports a Dust pouch around her waist.
Following her battle with Cinder Fall, Winter is heavily injured in combat, left with burns, cuts and bruises, a scarred nose, and a black eye. Her hair bun is undone, letting it fall naturally.
During the fight, her clothes are also ruined and tattered. The entirety of Winter's left sleeve is ripped open in addition to the collar. Her gloves and pants are ripped.
At first glance, Winter appears to be a cold, dignified, and distant person who prefers to keep her emotions subdued and speaking in a very high-class, eloquent, almost robotic fashion. However, when interacting with Weiss, she smiles and shows that she cares about her younger sister's life and well-being, based on how she inquires if Weiss has been eating properly, gained any new hobbies, and made any new friends, in "It's Brawl in the Family". Winter is very intuitive towards her younger sister's emotions. With that said, she is not afraid to raise her hand at her younger sister whenever she is annoyed. Overall, she truly loves Weiss and wants her to succeed in life. Later, it was revealed that due to the Schnee Family's broken family life and their mother's descent into alcoholism and their father's controlling personality, Winter had to effectively take a maternal role in her sister's upbringing, as seen in "A New Approach", when she momentarily lost her composure and began reprimanding her sister and expressed clear worry for her when she learned about her willingly putting herself in danger, where she genuinely panicked and worried for Weiss and her safety when learning about her escapades in robbing a Manta airship in Argus.
Winter can be very harsh as well, as shown in "Lessons Learned". When she attempts to teach Weiss how to Summon old foes with her Semblance, only for her sister to fail. Winter fiercely rebukes her younger sibling's excuses, citing her lack of resolve will not help her in the tournament, or as a Huntress.
Although she strives to keep her emotions in check, she can be rather hot-headed at times. Once she becomes angry, she drops her dignified ladylike demeanor and loses all restraint. This is shown when she attempts to attack Qrow Branwen when provoked. She also snapped at her father during the dinner he held, saying that trust has to be earned, not bought. She is fiercely loyal to her superior, James Ironwood, and becomes infuriated whenever his judgment is questioned. She is equally faithful to his authority, however, and respectfully defers to him when at odds with an order. After Winter learned her career had been groomed by Ironwood to position her as the next Winter Maiden, she came to accept the destiny which had been chosen for her, making it her own and taking great pride in it. She is gentle and caring with Fria, patiently waiting for her time to pass and grant Winter strength. When Penny Polendina is the one to take Fria's powers instead of Winter, she glares at her former partner and bitterly tells her that Fria and her powers are now a part of her, indicating jealousy and anger over being denied what she believed was her destiny.
Winter believes that you should wrestle with your emotions, never letting them overpower you but still allowing them to guide you and make sure you stay on a righteous path keeping you human. While she feels guilt over having to later end Fria's life before her natural passing to obtain the Maiden's powers, her dedication to the Atlas military is greater than her feelings on the subject.
Powers and AbilitiesEdit
- Main article: Winter's Swords
Winter shows great skill with her weapon, displaying above-average speed, agility and reflexes in combat. She is able to both start moving and stop in an instant, as shown when she aborted her final attack on Qrow at the last second upon hearing Ironwood's voice. Her skills with her weapon are impressive, and although she was unable to land any serious blows on Qrow, she was able to parry and match all of his attacks for the duration of their fight. However, Qrow wasn't trying to hurt her and was mainly toying with Winter.
- Main article: Semblance#Winter Schnee
Winter has the Schnee family Semblance of Glyphs. Her glyphs have many of the same effects that her sister's do, most notably including the ability to exert forces on herself and objects, which Winter uses to increase her speed to superhuman levels and boost jumps.
Like Weiss and other members of the Schnee family, she can also Summon versions of her past enemies to fight for her. Unlike Weiss at first, she displays great mastery of this aspect of her Semblance. Her Summons are known to include dozens of small Nevermores and full-sized Beowolves along with a Manticore which she can use as flight transportation. Her Summons take on a white-blue coloration and emit a soft glow.
- For information on choices the creators made for this character, see Winter Schnee/Behind the Scenes.
- Winter shares her last name with the rest of her family, which is German for "Snow", following the color naming convention on Remnant.
- Like Weiss, Winter's first name begins with a "W" and she is also referred to as "Ice Queen."
- Winter is one of the four calendar seasons, usually characterized by cold weather, often accompanied by snow, further tying her entire name with her color motif.
- It could be interpreted that Weiss having siblings was first alluded to in "The Badge and The Burden, Pt.2", when Weiss tells Ruby Rose that she always wanted bunk beds as a kid.
- Winter is shown to be ambidextrous or having some skill in wielding two weapons at once, as shown by her unique sword and dagger combination against Qrow in "It's Brawl in the Family".
- In the RWBY Chibi episode "Battle of the Bands", she is shown writing with her left hand.
- Qrow refers to Winter as a "Specialist" in "It's Brawl in the Family". During the "Huntsmen" episode of RWBY: World of Remnant, Winter is shown to be a member of the Atlesian Military's Special Operatives unit, enlisting the follow-up of her graduation from Atlas Academy.
- On August 7th, 2015 during the RTX 2015 RWBY Panel, it was announced that Elizabeth Maxwell would voice Winter. Concept art for her character design and outfit were also revealed.
- Winter's new design for Volume 7 was made by senior concept artist Erin Winn.