Villain Overview

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I want to be strong. I want to be feared. I want to be powerful.
~ Cinder Fall stating her desires.
This is not a tragedy. This was not an accident. This is what happens when you hand over your trust, your safety, your children, to men who claim to be our guardians, but are in reality nothing more than men. Our academies' headmasters wield more power than most armies, and one was audacious enough to control both.
They cling to this power in the name of peace, and yet, what do we have here? One nation's attempt at a synthetic army mercilessly torn apart by another's star pupil. What need would Atlas have for a soldier disguised as an innocent little girl? I don't think the Grimm can tell the difference. And what, I ask you, is Ozpin teaching his students? First, a dismemberment, now this? Huntsmen and Huntresses should carry themselves with honor and mercy, yet I have witnessed neither.
Perhaps Ozpin felt as though defeating Atlas in the tournament would help people forget his colossal failure to protect Vale when the Grimm invaded its streets. Or perhaps this was his message to the tyrannical dictator that has occupied an unsuspecting kingdom with armed forces. Honestly, I haven't the slightest clue as to who is right and who is wrong, but I know that the existence of peace is fragile, and the leaders of our kingdoms conduct their business with iron gloves. As someone who hails from Mistral, I can assure you the situation there is equally undesirable.
Our kingdoms are at the brink of war, yet we, the citizens, are left in the dark. So, I ask you, when the first shots are fired, who do you think you can trust?
~ Cinder giving her speech to all who watched Pyrrha tear Penny apart.

Cinder Fall is a major antagonist in the American web cartoon series RWBY. She is the leader of a group of anarchists seeking to cause chaos in the world of Remnant. Her associates include her subordinates Mercury Black and Emerald Sustrai, the criminal mastermind Roman Torchwick and Adam Taurus, leader of the Vale sect of the White Fang.

It is revealed at the end of Volume 3 that she is a member of an enigmatic organization with malicious goals led by Salem.

She is voiced by Jessica Nigri.


Original (Volumes 1-3)

Cinder has long black hair and glowing yellowish-orange eyes, while her fingernails are painted dark red. She wears a dark red, off-the-shoulders, V-neck mini-dress with a yellow design. There is a blue feather-like accessory on her right hip which is at the top of an open portion of her dress. The dress ends in an upside-down triangular tail in the back, ending just above the knees. There is a baseball diamond-shaped keyhole on the dress' upper back at the same height as her chest. The sleeves end in a triangle shape, which is wrapped around her middle finger, with the gold designs of the sleeve taking over her the wrists.

She wears black shorts underneath her dress and has a black choker around her neck. She wears gold loop earrings with a black gem dangling from each. She has dark, glass, high-heeled shoes and a jeweled anklet on her right leg. On her upper back, she has a black tattoo of what appears to be a pair of high heel shoes placed sole to sole which forms a heart shape. Whenever she uses her Dust abilities, designs on parts of her dress of her arms, back and chest light up along with her eyes and earrings.

Post-Timeskip (Volume 4-Current)

After the time skip following the Fall of Beacon, Cinder's appearance went through a drastic change. Her hair is much shorter now but whether she decided to cut it or the majority of it was destroyed during Ruby's attack is questionable. She wears a black mask over her missing left eye, and the scarring from said injury extends into a slight x-shape over the bridge of her nose. She wears a long, dark red dress with one long, wide sleeve hiding her left arm. The edges of the collar and the opening for the right arm are gold-colored, and the upper chest and left sleeve are decorated with golden designs.

The right side of her dress is open from the hip down with two gold-colored straps made up of interwoven ropes connecting the front half to the back half of her thigh. Under the dress, she appears to wear black pantyhose. On the right hip, the dress has a black rhombus-shaped gem set in a gold-colored metal of the same shape, with feathers of varying shades of blue extending from the bottom of it. On her right arm, she wears a long, gray glove, the top of which has a gold-colored metal ring with curvy branching extensions going up her arm. Her right ear has a new, ring-shaped earring higher up than the dangling black gem earring.

In "Vault of the Spring Maiden", Cinder reveals that her left arm has been replaced with the arm of a Grimm.

RWBY Chibi

Cinder also appears in the non-canon comedy spinoff series. Here, she is an over-the-top cartoonish villain that plots and schemes, but never does anything of consequence. She also appears in two of the many transitions; one, she blows a kiss at the screen, in the other she is chased by Zwei.


What is wrong with you? How can you be so broken inside… to take so many lives, and then come here and rub it in our faces like it's something to be proud of?! All with that damn smile on your face!
~ Jaune, to Cinder.

Cinder is capable of being a highly ruthless individual, as demonstrated when she delivered a killing blow to a defeated Pyrrha Nikos at point-blank range. Cinder maintains a calm and collected demeanor but also is content to fight anyone when it is deemed necessary. Although Cinder refers to her partnership with Roman as "cooperation" she is prone to show that she is his superior and only informs him of information that is necessary while keeping him primarily in the dark on what she is planning. Despite this, she is antipathetic and intolerant to any form if failure regardless of the circumstances with a tendency to threaten all whom fail her such as Roman.

Cinder is aware of the weaknesses of her plan and sets precautions to ensure they cannot be exploited as shown with her telling to Mercury to stay hidden when framing Yang for presumably breaking his legs.

As of Volume 4 Cinder is shown to lack her normal confidence and to be mocked by her colleagues until Salem herself orders them to stop. She also fully relies on her subordinates, namely Emerald, who speaks for Cinder as she cannot use her own voice. She is also visibly horrified when Tyrian (in a state of lunacy and despair) ruthlessly slaughters a Beowolf, showing she has lost at least part of her previously cold-blooded nature. However, Cinder is also shown to hold a strong grudge against Ruby Rose whom she wishes to personally kill for defeating her in Volume 3.

By Volume 5, she is able to speak again, but her dialogue with both Watts and Salem suggests she no longer maintains the calm and controlling personality she displayed during the Beacon arc, instead showing someone motivated out of vengeance rather than a desire for power, as was her original goal. This is shown when Watts interrupts the talk she's having with Raven stating how he knows Cinder's only agreeing to the alliance just to kill Ruby and Cinder glares at him with a deep hate-filled stare and burns his arm off of hers. During the fight with Jaune, she displayed her calm and cunning nature, but lost it when the Silver Eyes were briefly used. She then stood on top of Jaune and angrily asked if he really had a chance at beating her. 

Cinder is also shown to be a deceiving and manipulative hypocrite, as she berates both Pyrrha and Vernal about how the Maiden powers never truly belonged to them in the first place despite the fact Cinder only posses the Fall Maiden powers because she stole it from the previous Fall Maiden Amber, reasoning that she is the only worthy of such a power.

Powers and Abilities

Cinder possesses a high degree of skill that, in "Ruby Rose", rivals or even surpasses that of Glynda Goodwitch. She can make extensive use of raw Dust without difficulty. Her primary technique at the time of their battle was a highly forceful blast of fiery projectiles, which is powerful enough to block and knock back some of Glynda's manipulated debris. It was later revealed by the presence of her tattoo that Cinder had obtained half the Fall Maiden power prior this confrontation, although the Maidens were not added as a story element until after Volume 2 and thus were not a canon aspect of the show at the time.

Cinder's capabilities also include summoning orange and black circles that can explode from the ground, as well as an Aura-based blocking technique, easily capable of withstanding Crescent Rose's bullets. It should also be noted that before her powers were stolen, Amber was seen doing the same thing with Emerald.

Noticeably, some of Cinder's abilities emit a high-pitched whistling sound when cast.

Dust Manipulation

Cinder has a strong command over Dust, often wielding and manipulating it in battle. In "Dance Dance Infiltration", she is seen transforming a cloud of dust she had previously dispensed into several shards of what appears to be glass, which she proceeded to launch as projectiles. She also displays the ability to do this with ordinary dirt, after she kicks dirt into the air while fighting Amber in "Beginning of the End".

She is able to conjure a Dust-based pair of dual black glass swords, as well as seamlessly transform them into a bow with a series of black glass arrows ready to fire. Her most notable use of reforming her weapons occurs when she melts down and reforms an arrow as Pyrrha Nikos shatters it with her shield, maintaining its forward force and successfully piercing Pyrrha's ankle. Cinder is also capable of triggering this ability to change the shape of Dust-imbued clothes, as shown by her instantly changing into a dress for the dance in "Dance Dance Infiltration".

In "The More the Merrier" she shows the ability to summon more various weapons of scalding hot glass such as swords and spears which she can shatter to form weapons of pure flame.


Cinder is quite skilled in both unarmed combat and swordsmanship, using such skills to fend off numerous Atlas Soldiers at once and easily defeating them without being hit once. She was confident enough in her skills to walk right up to them, despite the fact that this alerted them to her presence. Such confidence is also seen when she decides to reveal herself to Ruby, smiling while doing so and attacking the young Huntress instantly. She possesses enhanced speed, strength, reflexes and endurance.


Cinder has shown to be quite stealthy as well, having sneaked around a guard to easily knock him out. She is skilled enough in infiltrating places without getting caught, able to calculate so that she can escape and blend in, as seen in "Dance Dance Infiltration". She also successfully infiltrates Beacon Academy along with her partners Mercury and Emerald without raising suspicion to herself and having others believe them all to be from Haven Academy.


Cinder's marksmanship skills are shown during her infiltration of the CCT and her plan to capture Amber's powers in "Dance Dance Infiltration" and "Beginning of the End", respectively. She is capable of launching three arrows at once with great accuracy and pragmatically exploiting any advantage whenever possible, such as launching an arrow in Amber's back just as the latter was about to kill Emerald.


After fully acquiring the Maiden's powers, she is able to utilize more fire-based attacks and gains the ability to fly. Additionally, she is strong enough to withstand great force, and use fire-based power to melt items in her grip. As the Fall Maiden, she has access to the chamber of the Relic of Choice, although she does not seem to know where it is.

Cinder is also adept at piloting, able to fly a Bullhead during one of Glynda's attacks.


Part 1

How very disappointing, Roman.
~ Cinder, commenting on Roman Torchwick's failure in a recent operation.
We have big plans for you, Roman... All we ask is... a little cooperation.
~ Cinder, ordering Roman to continue working with the White Fang.
You'll know what you need when you need to know.
~ Cinder, deflecting Roman's question regarding Cinder's group "grand master plan".
Don't think... obey.
~ Cinder, to Emerald Sustrai
We're proceeding to phase two.
~ Cinder, regarding her plan's progress.
People assume that she's fated for victory, when she's really taking fate into her own hands.
~ Cinder on Pyrrha Nikos' fighting prowess.
It's not about overpowering an enemy. It's about taking away what power they have. And we will, in time.
~ Cinder, to Emerald.
They'd be scratching their heads long after we finished what we came here for.
~ Cinder, to Mercury Black.
Enjoy the rest of the night. After all, it is a party.
~ Cinder, to Mercury.
All in all, I call today a success.
~ Cinder, regarding the Grimm invasion to Vale.
Even if you know how the story ends, that doesn't make it any less fun to watch.
~ Cinder on foregone conclusions.
You will question everything you know.
~ Cinder to Emerald.
The Huntsman severed the connection before it was complete... Yes. It's... an emptiness. It burns. Like hunger. I like it... Yes. I will claim what is ours... Thank you.
~ Cinder's half of a conversation with an unknown person.
~ Cinder, admiring the havoc unfolding below.
It's horrendous.
~ Cinder, sardonically relishing in the chaos she has wrought.
Do not miss what happens next.
~ Cinder, just before the arrival of the Grimm Dragon.
This whole time... Right beneath our feet...
~ Cinder, to Ozpin.
She was right about you... Such arrogance...
~ Cinder, to Ozpin.

Part 2

Shhh... This is your home now.
~ Cinder, to the Grimm Dragon
It's unfortunate you were promised a power that was never truly yours. But take comfort in knowing that I will use it in ways you would never had imagined.
~ Cinder, to Pyrrha Nikos.
~ Cinder, on Ruby's activation of her silver eyes.
I don't understand. Working with bandits? Keeping Ruby alive? What's the point? We're strong enough to take what we want by force.
~ Cinder, to Salem.
So this is the long-lost Spring Maiden. Prove it
~ Cinder, to Raven and Vernal.
Raven, I won't underestimate you, so please don't insult my intelligence. There is a slim chance you and your Maiden could escape here today. But if you know our master as well as you claim to, then you know you could never truly escape her. But we come bearing an olive branch.
~ Cinder, to Raven.
If you come with us to Haven, we'll leave you, your tribe and your little secret to live out the rest of your days squabbling in the wilderness. We just need the Relic.
~ Cinder, to Raven.
Fly back home and tinker with your machines. And tell Salem she'll get what she wants and more.
~ Cinder to Arthur, while striking the deal with Raven.
Aww, don’t take it personally, little bird. Your sister was a recent addition. The lion on the other hand… Entrance into the Vytal Festival was a real treat, but Leonardo’s been sending Salem all sorts of information for a very, very long time. Isn’t that right, professor?
~ Cinder, to Qrow.
Who are you again?
~ Cinder cruelly forgets Jaune Arc and the pain she caused him.
Did you think you actually had a chance against me?! YOU?!
~ Cinder, livid at Jaune wounding her pride.
You’re just a failure with a death wish.
~ Cinder, to Jaune.
Are you nervous, girl? The first Maiden in - why, I’m not sure anyone knows how many years - is about to open a vault. I would say it’s quite an exciting time. Don’t you feel honored?
~ Cinder, to Vernal.
It’s nothing personal, dear. You’re just not worthy of such power. But I am...
~ Cinder, to Vernal.
So I will take… what is mine…
~ Cinder, to Vernal.
Vernal was a decoy this whole time. The last Spring Maiden must have trusted you a great deal before she died. I bet that was a mistake.
~ Cinder to Raven, before they fight.
Look who's talking.
~ Cinder to Raven, after Raven says Cinder became a monster for power.
Shut up!
~ Cinder's last words before Raven sends her into an abyss.


  • Cinder alludes to Cinderella from the fairy tale of the same name.
    • In the Volume 1 cast commentary, it is mentioned that the shoes she wears with her red dress are made of glass. This is supported by the "clink" noises they make in "Ruby Rose". This references the fact that Cinderella wore glass shoes to the ball.
    • Cinder's ability to manipulate glass may be a reference to Cinderella's signature glass shoes.
    • Miles Luna and Kerry Shawcross made a joke that they "originally wanted to call her Cinder Ella", using the Spanish word "ella" (pronounced "eya"), meaning "she".
    • Her emblem, which is tattooed on her back, appears to be a pair of high-heel slippers placed sole to sole, making a heart in the empty space between them.
    • In the episode "Dance Dance Infiltration", Mercury tells her that she should return to the dance by midnight, and she manages to make it back just before midnight. On her way back, she transforms her stealth outfit into a black dress and ditches her glass masquerade mask. This references how Cinderella needed to leave the ball by midnight, as that was when the spell that created her outfit and carriage would wear off.
  • The first part of her name alludes to a partially or mostly burned piece of coal or wood, represented in her fire abilities. Her surname alludes to Fall, the American name for one of the four calendar seasons, which brings to mind amber and brown colors.
  • Cinder Fall can be considered the secondary antagonist of the entire RWBY series, considering that she appears to be Salem's most trusted henchwoman and is the second biggest threat to Ruby Rose, the protagonist of the series.
    • Not only that, but she can also be considered the Bigger Bad of season 1, the main antagonist of seasons 2 and 3 (with Salem as the Bigger Bad), a supporting antagonist in season 4, and the main antagonist of season 5 (again with Salem as the Bigger Bad).
  • Her ability to manipulate Dust woven into clothing may be a possible reference to her voice actress' career as a cosplayer and model (in regards to the production of costumes).
  • Her unofficial theme is "Sacrifice", which can be heard during the end credits of the Volume 2 finale "Breach".
  • In the Japanese dub, Cinder is voiced by Yūko Kaida, who also voiced Jessica Bailey.


           RWBY Villains

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

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

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

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

Branwen Tribe
Raven Branwen | Vernal | Shay D. Mann

Schnee Dust Company
Jacques Schnee | Whitley Schnee

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

Beowolves | Beringels | Boarbatusks | Creeps | Death Stalkers | Geist | Giant Armor | Goliaths | Griffons | Grimm Dragon | King Taijitu | Lancers | Nevermore | Nuckelavee Grimm | Parasite Grimm | Rapier Wasps | Sea Feilong | Seers | Ursai

God of Darkness

Cinder Fall | Emerald Sustrai | Mercury Black | Roman Torchwick | Neopolitan | Trouble Clef | Cardin Winchester