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What you want is impossible! But I understand because all I want is you, Blake. And as I set out upon this world and deliver the justice mankind so greatly deserves, I will make it my mission to destroy everything you love. Starting with her.
~ Adam Taurus to Blake Belladonna, before cutting off Yang's arm.
Why must you hurt me, Blake?
~ Adam, to Blake

Adam Taurus is a major antagonist in the world of RWBY. He is the current High Leader of the White Fang; as well as the mentor and former lover of protagonist Blake Belladonna. He makes his first appearance in the "Black" Trailer, before being properly introduced in the Volume 2 finale, "Breach". He serves as a major antagonist in the Beacon Arc and in Volume 5 of the series. 

In the English dub, he is voiced by Garrett Hunter. In the Japanese dub, he is voiced by Yūichi Nakamura, who also voiced Muramasa and Gai Tsutsugami.

History

Background

Little is known about Adam Taurus' past or how he became affiliated with the White Fang. During some point though, he joined the organization and became the mentor of Blake Belladonna; and the two formed a relationship together. However, their relationship began to sever as Blake believed Adam had gradually become a "monster"; with this change in personality starting around the time the White Fang began using terrorism to further its newer and older agendas under Sienna Khan's leadership.

Some time later, Adam is approached at his campground by Cinder Fall and her subordinates Emerald and Mercury; who proposes an alliance that she believes would benefit both their groups. Adam immediately rejects her proposal, refusing to sacrifice his men for a 'human' cause, and orders them to leave. Following their departure, Blake approaches Adam and asks him what they were discussing. Adam assures her it's unimportant and tells her they must focus on preparing for the upcoming train heist.

In the "Black" Trailer, Adam and Blake leap onto the roof of the train and infiltrate their way inside; only to find themselves surrounded by a squad of Atlesian Knight-130s. Adam's katana, Wilt, shoots out of his sheath and hits one of the androids in the head, stunning it as he rushes forward and grabs his sword, before cutting it to pieces. The rest of the androids charge in to attack Blake and Adam, but the two easily defeat them as they make their way through the train and enter a cargo hold. Adam looks inside one of the crates and tells Blake to move up to the next car while he sets the charges, having found the target. Blake asks about the people on the train, but Adam shows no concern for them; shocking Blake.

Just then a Spider Droid lowers itself from the ceiling and attacks the pair. The two unsuccessfully fight the droid and Adam is forced to save Blake when she is about to be stepped on. The droid then fires a large blast that knocks both Adam and Blake onto a flatbed car. Adam tells Blake to keep it distracted while he prepares for an attack. Blake fights it off, but retreats behind Adam when the droid charges for an attack. Adam uses his sword to stop the blast, seemingly absorbing the energy from it, which he then uses to destroy the droid.

When Adam turns around however, he sees Blake on the next car, and the latter says goodbye to her former partner before separating the cars; abandoning the White Fang.

Following Blake's desertion, Adam decides to cease pursuit of her and put his focus on returning to Mistral. However, he is interrupted by Cinder Fall and her subordinates slaughtering all the White Fang members in the encampment. Cinder reiterates her request for an alliance, offering Dust and funding to continue his operations, and threatens him with death should he reject it again. Seeing no other choice, Adam is forced to accept the arrangement.

Volume 2

In "Breach", Adam is seen conversing with Cinder Fall, Emerald Sustrai and Mercury Black following the Grimm invasion in Vale. Mercury expresses doubt that the White Fang will listen to them again after the losses they suffered, but Adam reassures the trio that the organization will listen to him.

Volume 3

In "PvP", Adam is seen in a Bullhead leading the White Fang in their assault on Beacon Academy. Adam orders his troops to bring the humans to their knees before unleashing captive Grimm into the school.

In "Battle of Beacon", Adam ruthlessly tosses aside an Atlas Soldier in Beacon's dining hall when he notices Blake, whom he mockingly calls "his darling".

In "Heroes and Monsters", Adam is seen standing atop an Atlas student, asking Blake if she plans to run away again and accusing her of becoming a coward. He lectures Blake about how he wanted to "light the fires of revolution" with her, before unsheathing his katana and preparing to kill the student, though Blake intervenes and stops Adam's attack; declaring that she's not running this time. However, Adam proceeds to kick her away and disarm her, stating that although her dreams of equality and peace between Faunus and Humans are impossible, he understands Blake because all he wants is to be with her; something that is also impossible. He threatens to have his revenge on Blake by destroying everything that she loves – starting with a nearby Yang Xiao Long.

Adam baits Yang by stabbing Blake in the abdomen and provoking her into an angry charge. He then immediately intercepts Yang's attack and severs her arm with his katana. Approaching Yang to finish her off, Blake crawls in between them to protect her. Adam bemoans how Blake continues to hurt him before decapitating her – only to discover she had used her Semblance to distract him while she escaped with Yang. He calmly disposes of an attacking Creep before leaving the area.

Volume 4

Months after the Fall of Beacon, Adam is identified as one of the perpetrators and is reported to have resisted apprehension with lethal force.

In "The Next Step", during a meeting between Salem and her followers, she sends Hazel Rainart to meet with the current High Leader of the White Fang, Sienna Khan, and ensure that they fall in line. Adam arranged the meeting and Salem praises his actions as showing his loyalty to her cause.

In "Family", Adam appears in one of Yang's post traumatic stress-induced nightmares, stalking her and eventually attacking.

In "Taking Control", after searching through Ilia Amitola's scroll, Blake finds files showing that Adam actually plans to overthrow Khan and take over the White Fang, as well as destroy Haven Academy.

Volume 5

In "Dread in the Air", during the meeting between Hazel and Sienna Khan, Adam makes good on his plans and launches a coup. Moments before killing Sienna, Adam reveals his true ambitions of starting a war against humanity and seeking to have them enslaved in service of the Faunus. He then betrays Sienna and kills her, usurping her position as the new High Leader of the White Fang.

After taking over as High Leader, Adam sits on the throne and orders his men to give their former leader a proper burial; as well as to claim Sienna had been murdered by a human Huntsman. He plans to use her as a martyr to justify increased terrorism and violence by the White Fang against humanity. Hazel walks out saying that nobody needed to die, but Adam sadistically smiles as he leaves and says that he simply disagrees.

In "Necessary Sacrifice", Adam sends a message to Corsac and Fennec Albain instructing them to order Ilia Amitola to slaughter the Belladonnas with the exception of Blake, whom he requests be brought to him alive; stating the family has brought him nothing but grief and he means to fulfill his promise to Blake.

Personality

At first, I thought Adam was justice. Then, I thought he was passion. But over time, I realized I was wrong. He wasn't any of those things. He was spite- not hatred, not rage, spite. He won't accept equality, only suffering for what he feels the world did to him. And his way of thinking is dangerously contagious.
~ Blake to Sun Wukong, about Adam in "Necessary Sacrifice.
Blake describes him as feeling completely justified in how he went about making the world a better place. However, his vision for a perfect future did not include everyone, and Blake began to believe that Adam himself was becoming a treacherous monster in the process of trying to obtain it. Unlike Blake, he is shown to have little regard for the lives of innocent people, as he planned to blow up the train with everyone on board.

In "Beginning of the End", he takes his cause, and the lives of his underlings seriously, rejecting Cinder Fall's initial offer of an alliance, citing the unnecessary risk of dying for a human cause. It is also hinted that he dislikes Huntsmen, sardonically stating she could have gone to one who strayed from their "righteous path". However, after Cinder arrives a second time, this time with an offer of Dust and Lien as well as a death threat, Adam agrees to ally with her, albeit grudgingly. Furthermore, in "The Next Step", Salem states that Adam has proven to be extremely loyal to her cause.

In "Heroes and Monsters", Adam's ruthless personality comes to light. He is revealed to be an embittered, sadistic and vengeful man, willing to cut down anyone or anything stopping him from dispensing his twisted idea of justice upon humanity and the world. He takes great pleasure in tormenting Blake, taunting her by calling her "darling" or "my love" and ultimately promising to destroy everything she loves as punishment for her betrayal of the White Fang and (by extension) him. He exhibits extremely possessive and violent behavior.

He is also very merciless and abusive towards his enemies, slicing off Yang Xiao Long's arm with ease when she rushes him and even attempting to decapitate Blake when she appeared to stand between him and a crippled Yang. This characteristic is implied once more in "Of Runaways and Stowaways", when Lisa Lavender reports that all attempts to apprehend him are met with brutal force.

Adam has also proven to be highly purposeful and ambitious, as shown when he discloses to Sienna Khan, the White Fang's High Leader, that he wishes to start a war with humanity and enslave them, before usurping and killing her in the same moment. He expresses delight in taking over and feels no remorse in killing Sienna for it, something Hazel berates him for. He's also a very charismatic person as he was able to rally the Vale branch of the White Fang and other members of the organization across Remnant to aid in his cause and helped him take over the organization in a coup. 

Powers and Abilities

Adam's abilities and skills seem to be on par with that of a highly skilled Huntsman. He is adept in swordsmanship, quickly cutting through Atlesian Knight-130s with ease. He has a preference towards the usage of "Iaido", a method in Japanese sword fighting that involves quickly unsheathing for a rapid attack and then sheathing again.

He has been shown in the trailer to be able to slash at enemies that are seemingly out of his blade's range, implying that he either moved there and back quickly or somehow extended the range of his blade. When he used Wilt to open the train car roof hatch, he moved so quickly that his strike was almost invisible to the human eye.

He will also occasionally use Blush for ranged attacks in conjunction with Wilt. Furthermore, Adam's speed is shown to enable him to deflect numerous bullets in rapid succession with Wilt and Blush. Like Blake, Adam appears to have advanced endurance, showing no signs of fatigue during an extended battle.

Adam is able to absorb or block the energy from an enemy attack and re-emit it again, usually with his sword. When absorbing attacks or shortly before striking back, the details on his body appear to glow red. When he attacks, the color appears to drain from the world and everything turns red and black. This move apparently requires some preparation, as he tells Blake to buy him some time before he is able to perform it.

When he uses this ability, red rose petals are shown floating in the air, symbolizing his theme of "wilt". In "Heroes and Monsters", his first strike against Yang is so powerful that it both breaks through her Aura and completely severs her arm, all in a single hit. However, the power of this technique may depend on how much energy he absorbs with his sword. Adam had taken two hits fired by Blake before attacking Yang, while he had absorbed a continuous beam of energy from the spider robot in the "Black Trailer" before disintegrating it.

Aside from his combat abilities, Adam is also an assertive and charismatic leader. Sienna even describes him as a symbol for many in the White Fang in "Dread in the Air". In "Breach", he assures Cinder's faction that the White Fang will listen to him despite the prior events, and in both Volume 4 and "Dread in the Air", Adam is able to gain enough support from many branches of the White Fang, including Sienna's personal bodyguards, to help him overthrow her and become high leader himself.

Quotes

The White Fang is not an organization for hire! We're a force of revolution
~ Adam to Cinder
Running away again? Is that what you've become, my love? A coward?
~ Adam to Blake
You and I were going to change the world, remember? We were destined to light the fires of revolution!
~ Adam to Blake
We can win a war against the humans. Not only because we have the support of Hazel’s master, but because the Faunus are the dominant species of this planet. We’re better than humans. We have everything humans have and more. Humans shouldn’t just fear the Faunus, they should serve the Faunus.
~ Adam expressing his goal
I will not allow them to ruin this. The Belladonna name has brought me nothing but grief. You've done well in finding the deserter. Bring her to me alive but not before you've slaughtered her family. I have a promise to keep.
~ Adam, in a message to the Albain brothers.

Gallery

Videos

Trivia

  • In Hebrew, Adam (אדם) means "Man" and Adom (אדום) means "Red". It is likely that Adam's name is a play on these two words. Adam is also known in Abrahamic religions as the first man created, possibly referencing the fact that he is the first male character to appear.
  • Adam Taurus alludes to the Beast from Beauty and the Beast. This allusion has had the following influences on the character and show:
    • In the Disney version of Beauty and the Beast, the Beast/Prince's name is Adam.
    • His emblem is a wilting rose. In the fairy tale, the curse placed on the Beast would become permanent when the wilting rose he possessed lost its last petal.
  • Adam's last name, Taurus, is a Latin word meaning bull.
    • His mask has two red horn-shaped markings similar to that of a bull.
  • Adam's sword is based on Kagura's sword from Ga-Rei: Zero.
  • Adam underwent a character re-design sometime during the development of the "Black" Trailer. In the behind-the-scenes footage released by "RWBY" animator Shane Newville on his Vine account, Adam's original model can be seen. Adam's original model lacks his signature longcoat, instead having a black, short-sleeved top with a combat vest, cargo pants and combat boots. His sword, Wilt, originally had a black blade that glowed orange when making strikes, and was carried diagonally across his back.

Sources

Adam Taurus on the RWBY Wiki

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           RWBY Villains

Grimm
Beowolves | Beringel | Boarbatusk | Creep | Death Stalker | Geist | Giant Armor | Goliath | Griffon | Grimm Dragon | Grimm Sea Dragon | King Taijitu | Lancers | Nevermore | Nuckelavee Grimm | Parasite Grimm | Rapier Wasps | Seer | Ursa

White Fang
Adam Taurus | Sienna Khan | White Fang Lieutenant | Corsac & Fennec Albain | Ilia Amitola | Perry | Deery

Cinder's Faction
Cinder Fall | Roman Torchwick | Neopolitan | Emerald Sustrai | Mercury Black

Salem's Faction
Salem | Cinder Fall | Arthur Watts | Tyrian Callows | Hazel Rainart

The Club
Junior | Malachite Sisters | Junior's Henchmen | DJ

Branwen Tribe
Raven Branwen | Vernal | Shady Man

Schnee Dust Company
Jacques Schnee | Whitley Schnee

Merlot Industries
Merlot | Androids | Mutant Beowolves | Mutant Creeps | Mutant Death Stalker

Other
God of Darkness | Cardin Winchester

Chibi
Cinder Fall | Roman Torchwick | Neopolitan | Trouble Clef