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Villain Overview
These kids just keep getting weirder.
~ Roman, commenting on the kids he just fought.
You're asking the wrong questions, Red! It's not what I have to gain, it's that I can't afford to lose! I may be a gambling man, but even I know that there are some bets you just don't take. Like it or not, the people that hired me are going to change the world! You can't stop 'em, I can't stop 'em!
~ Roman, explaining his motivation to Ruby.
You got spirit, Red. But this is the real world! The real world is cold! The real world doesn't care about spirit! You want to be a hero? Then play the part and die like every other Huntsman in history! As for me, I'll do what I do best: lie, steal, cheat and survive!
~ Roman Torchwick's speech to Ruby, also his last words.

Roman Torchwick is a major antagonist in the American web cartoon series RWBY. He is a notorious criminal in Vale as well as a member of Cinder's Faction and an affiliate of the White Fang.

He made a small cameo in the "Yellow" Trailer before being introduced in the series premiere "Ruby Rose", orchestrating and participating in the robbery of the store From Dust Till Dawn, the target being its supply of Dust.

He was voiced by Gray G. Haddock.

Appearance

Roman has slanted, dark green eyes and bright, long, orange hair, with long bangs covering his right eye. He wears a black bowler hat with a red band and a small feather, and wears black eyeliner.

Roman wears a red-lined white suit and a small gray scarf. He has black gloves with rounded sleeves, as well as long black pants and black shoes.

Personality

Now, I'll be the first to admit, humans... are the worst. Case in point.
~ Roman, gesturing to himself.

Roman's personality was a mixture between that of a formal gentleman and a ruthless criminal. He emits charm and speaks calmly even in the middle of an armed robbery. Roman emits hostility when upset or frustrated, as seen in "No Brakes", when he ordered the White Fang to help him shoot Ruby as she escaped, bent his weapon and slammed a subordinate backward.

Roman also demonstrated ruthlessness, evidently willing to use lethal force on Ruby when she foiled his scheme, even going so far as to laugh after successfully shooting her down in "Black and White". In "Heroes and Monsters", he even chastised Ruby for her being blind to the cruelty of the real world while trying to beat her with his cane.

Judging by his elaborate outfit and accessories, Roman also had expensive tastes; a common stereotype of Mafia Dons and other organized crime kingpins. This is further exemplified by his reaction to the destruction of the Atlesian Paladin-290 that he was piloting, which caused him to be violently flung to the ground scattered by debris. Rather than appearing upset with what happened to his mech or afraid of the situation, he simply brushed himself off, commenting that the experience has ruined the cleanliness of his suit.

Despite working with the White Fang, he had no respect for them or Faunus in general. On several occasions he talked to or about them in a derogatory fashion, referring to them as "mutts" or "animals". It is unclear if this is representative of hostility towards the Faunus in general or him acting out his frustrations towards having to work with the group. It may be he did not like being ordered around by Cinder Fall and her associates.

He is also often took to mocking, taunting and insulting his enemies, as seen when he called out to Blake Belladonna, saying, "Here kitty, kitty, kitty," as well as when he responded to Ruby's arrival by saying, "Well, hello, Red! Isn't it past your bedtime?" This quality persisted even when he was in very difficult situations; such as when he was imprisoned and interrogated by General Ironwood.

In "Heroes and Monsters", he revealed that he worked for Cinder's Faction under the belief that nobody can stop them, and he couldn't afford to lose, considering himself a gambling man who knew what bets not to take.

Despite his self-serving personality it is shown that Roman genuinely cared for his right hand woman Neo, to the point that he was both saddened and angered when she was blown away from the airship during their fight against Ruby.

RWBY Chibi

Main article: Roman Torchwick (RWBY Chibi)

Roman also appears in the non-canon comedy spinoff series. Here, he is also an outright villain with self-proclaimed evil plans to destroy Ruby.

Skills and Abilities

Fighting

Roman operated as a formidable fighter, despite never having discovered his Semblance. Roman fought using his signature cane-cannon, Melodic Cudgel. In "Black and White", Roman was shown to be adept in using his cane as a melee weapon. He was very capable in parrying, able to hold his own against both Blake and Sun Wukong, deflecting nearly all of their attacks.

He had the skills to use Melodic Cudgel offensively, such as using it to hook Blake towards him to deliver a punch or staggering her by whipping her knees. In fact, Roman came close to overpowering Blake, having gotten far enough to knock her to the ground and temporarily disarm her.

He also seemed to have exceptional accuracy, as from a considerable distance he was able both to hit Ruby with a blast from his cane as well as snatch her by the hood with the grappling hook. His fight against Blake and Sun, both extremely swift, dual-wielding opponents, showed his reflexes were impressive as well. Despite Blake producing shadow clones using her Semblance, Roman remained perfectly aware of her position and movements during the engagement, quickly countering her attacks. He could also easily deflect long range attacks, which is seen with Sun's weapons. Roman was also able to counter all of Ruby's attacks with ease during their fight atop the airship, even when she was using her enhanced speed. However, Roman was liable to underestimating his opponents and had trouble adapting to surprise attacks. In "No Brakes", Roman found himself unable to counter Blake's use of Dust-augmented Semblance clones and was promptly defeated.

Piloting

In "Ruby Rose", Roman was shown to be a skilled pilot, as he was able to keep a Bullhead relatively stable even though it was being bombarded with multiple attacks.

In "Painting the Town...", he was also able to pilot an Atlesian Paladin-290 and utilized the machine's weapons and sensory systems to good effect, though he was unable to defeat Team RWBY while using the machine. Roman also showed great skill in piloting the Paladin, effortlessly guiding it through traffic, moving it fast enough to catch up to a fleeing Blake and Sun.

In "PvP", he was shown to be able to pilot an Atlesian Airship all by himself and uses it to take down two other Atlesian Airships with ease.

Planning

Roman appeared to be a sort of criminal mastermind. By "Best Day Ever", he had reportedly obtained most of the Dust in Vale, showing that his nefarious scheming was something to be reckoned with. This image was furthered by "Players and Pieces", as he was seen planning a heist, attack or something similar targeting the entirety of Vale. He also appeared to be very good at planning escapes should his schemes fail, escaping on a Bullhead after his failed Dust heists and after his Paladin is destroyed.

Quotes

Do you have any idea how hard it is to find a Dust shop open this late.
~ Roman, talking to the From Dust Till Dawn cashier.
Calm down, we're not here for your money... Grab the Dust.
~ Roman, assuring the From Dust Till Dawn cashier and commanding his henchmen.
Okay.....get her.
~ Roman, commanding his henchmen.
You were worth every cent. Truly, you were.
~ Roman, standing over the body of his fallen henchman.
Well, "Red", I think we can all say it's been an eventful evening. And as much as I'd love to stick around, I'm afraid this is where we part ways...
~ Roman, to Ruby Rose.
Persistent......
~ Roman, running from Ruby Rose.
End of the line, Red.
~ Roman, to Ruby Rose.
We've got a Huntress.
~ Roman, to Cinder Fall.
We're gonna need more men.
~ Roman, to his White Fang henchman.
Oh, kid, didn't you get the memo? The White Fang and I are going in on a joint business venture together!
~ Roman, to Blake Belladonna.
I wouldn't exactly call it a 'little' operation.
~ Roman, in response to Blake, as more ships come.
You are not the brightest banana in the bunch, are ya kid?
~ Roman, to Sun Wukong.
Why hello Red! Isn't it past your bedtime?
~ Roman, to Ruby.
Oh, look! She sent the kids again! This is turning out just like the divorce.
~ Roman, making a comment towards Mercury Black and Emerald Sustrai.
Look around, kid, I've got this town running scared. Police camping out at every corner, Dust prices through the roof and we're sitting pretty in an old warehouse with more Dust crystals, vials and rounds than we know what to do with.
~ Roman to Mercury, on his contribution to Cinder's plan.
But, before the claws come out, I'd like to mention the fact that you and I all have a common enemy: the ones in control; the people pulling the strings; the dirty, rotten humans that run our kingdoms! Government; military; even the schools: they're all to blame for your lot in life! And they're all pests that need to be dealt with! Fortunately, I'm the best exterminator around... No offense to any rodents in the room.
~ Roman, speaking in White Fang Faction Meeting.
Just got this thing cleaned...
~ Roman, after the Atlesian Paladin-290's destruction.
Ladies, Ice Queen, Always a pleasure!
~ Roman, to team RWBY.
Is it good or bad, Perry? Because let me tell ya, I have had a day... That would be bad.
~ Roman, on finding Ruby.
Hello, kitty cat. You miss me? You know, we really gotta stop meeting like this. People are gonna talk...
~ Roman, to Blake on the train.
I know this might be hard to believe, General, but uh... I'm not the biggest fan of local law enforcement.
~ Roman, to James Ironwood.
Well, hello, gorgeous.
~ Roman, upon meeting Cinder.
Oh, it is good to be back!
~ Roman, after destroying two Atlesian Airships after being freed from his cell.
Hmm, let's see, what does this button do? Oh, fun!
~ Roman causing havoc at the controls of his stolen airship.
Now this one... This one's going to be fun.
~ Roman, after he gets the infected Scroll.
Little Red, little Red, you are just determined to be the hero of Vale, aren't you?
~ Roman, to Ruby.

Trivia

  • Roman alludes to Romeo Candlewick from the story Pinocchio.
    • His appearance bears some resemblance to Candlewick's appearance in Disney's film adaptation of Pinocchio named Lampwick.
  • The director's commentary on the RWBY Volume 1 DVD mentions that Roman's appearance is a "shout-out to A Clockwork Orange (1971 British film), with his appearance, in particular the bowler hat, eyeliner and penchant for white clothing, seeming to echo the appearance of the gang (known as the "droogs") in the film, specifically Alex.
  • Originally, Roman was only going to appear in Volume 1. However, Monty Oum, Miles Luna, and Kerry Shawcross grew to love his character and how Gray G. Haddock voiced him, and they decided to keep him around.
  • Roman's name and weapon could relate to the famous Roman candle firework, which ejects multiple pyrotechnic stars and is illegal in some countries. Also, Roman's weapon fires a blast that resembles a firework.
  • Roman calls Ruby by the name "Red", a possible reference to the fact that she is an allusion to Little Red Riding Hood.
  • Roman's fighting style seems to be inspired by the martial art of bartitsu, where practitioners are taught to use a cane as a weapon in addition to various hand-to-hand techniques.
  • Roman's emblem is a Jack-O'-Lantern, otherwise known as a Will-O'-The-Wisp or Will-O'-The-Torch, the origin of which was a spirit cursed to roam the world with only a torch/lantern. The symbol can be found on Roman's lighter and Melodic Cudgel.
  • In the Japanese dub, Roman is voiced by Shin-ichiro Miki, who also voiced Zamasu and Mizuki.

External Links

Navigation


           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

Grimm
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

Other
God of Darkness

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