So, last week when I wrote my first RWBY Speculation blog about why so many fans have become disenchanted with RWBY, there was quite a response. Many people offered their own takes on it, but the ones I found most interesting were the criticisms on the story. Some thought Volume 4 tip-toed around the major points of plot and others felt that Vol. 4 was just meandering. Basically, that the story blew its load in Volume 3.
Well, the sharper ones amongst you will remember that I mentioned Vol. 4's story was messy and that the action of RWBY did crescendo in Vol. 3 with Vol. 4 still feeling like resolution. And, since I was going to write a speculation/theory post on where the story of RWBY was going anyway, I decided that now would be a good time. So, let's get on with it.
So, then, where is RWBY going?
That's sort of a hard question to answer seeing as how according to Kerry and Miles, we only just got out of the introduction. In books, movies, and TV shows, often times the introduction is the shortest part of the story. However, there are usually some tantalizing clues about a story's conclusion in the introduction--some stories tend to write themselves. Ergo, there must be something we can conclude.
So, back in Vol. 3 when the concept of the Maidens was introduced, I'm sure I wasn't the only one who saw the obvious connection between the Maidens and Team RWBY. There are four girls per each, and to some extent, we can already predict who is supposed to be what Maiden: Yang is summer, Weiss is winter, Ruby is spring, and Blake is fall. Or it could be that Ruby is fall and Blake is spring because in the team name, they are ordered R, W, B, then Y, ergo fall, winter, spring, and summer.
But anyway, that's where I thought the show was going in Vol. 3. In fact, when Ozpin started describing the girl he'd chosen to be the Fall Maiden, I thought he was talking about a member of RWBY. You can imagine my surprise and confusion when it turned out to be Pyrrha. Especially because she's more of a summer than a fall. But, I keep saying that "I thought" this; so what am I thinking now?
Well, when Vol. 3 ended and the story expanded in Vol. 4, we found out about the four relics. Why do they matter? Well, because I'm not entirely sure about their place in the story. Why do they exist? That is to say, why do they exist in a story that seems to have been fine with just the idea of a wizard and four maidens? Why bring in this relic biz? It's still too difficult to say, but did you notice how there are four relics? There are also four members per team, four huntsmen academies, four kingdoms, four seasons, fours maidens, four brides for four brothers. Things in RWBY happen in fours. Hence, it's still possible for RWBY to become the Maidens, but that sounds far too simple to me. No, I think there's going to be a few epic twists here and there, and I think the relics have something to do with it.
In fact, when I was looking for images for this blog, I found this:
Apparently someone called Snow Daze from RWBY Amino had the same feeling, and they took the trouble to match each relic with an academy, kingdom, and maiden. At first, I wanted to fight them on the fact they were claiming the Fall Maiden was related to Beacon and Vale, and the Spring Maiden to Haven and Mistral, but it does make sense. Remember, Qrow took Amber to Beacon to protect her, and Qrow mentioned to Raven that he didn't know where the Spring Maiden was. It wouldn't have made sense for Qrow to transport Amber across the planet to Beacon or to ask about Spring if she was half a world away. So...
But what does this mean for the story of RWBY? Well, if the Destruction relic is indeed beneath Beacon, then I wonder if that had something to do with Beacon's fall, kind of like Qrow's Semblance. And, this image seems to suggest that Blake is fall and Ruby is spring as creation and destruction seem to fit their personalities. But, other than that, this image doesn't give me any insight into where the story is going.
But on to my original point about the number four... with the number four appearing everywhere, we are forced to take a look at it; does it offer us any clues? Well, a quick search through numerology reveals that four is seen as stable, like a square. It has four sides, four corners, and no weak spots. Four represents safety and security. And while that's all well and good, I don't think RWBY is about pointing out how strong the number four is because there were already four Maidens and four huntsman academies before everything in the story began to go down hill. This most likely means that Monty, Kerry, and Miles didn't mean for the number four to be taken as any sort of symbol.
|I always the number four was a weak number.|
And girly to boot. I don't know why.
It is much more likely that four is another aspect of RWBY's fairy tale theme. Numbers tend to pop up in fairy tales, like "The Three Little Pigs and the Big, Bad Wolf" or "Snow White and the Seven Dwarves." In fact, I found an honors paper done by Grand Valley State student Alonna Liabenow called "The Significance of the Numbers Three, Four, and Seven in Fairy Tales, Folk Lore, and Mythology." According to Liabenow, four is usually linked to nature, especially the seasons and cardinal directions. Unfortunately, that's not of much help because we already know the season angle, and the cardinal directions don't give us anything. However, there was something of interest in Liabenow's paper.
She mentions how the Mayans were very into the number four, especially when it comes to the four cardinal directions. In fact, the Mayans even associated colors with the cardinal directions. Any guesses as to what colors they were?
If you guessed red, white, black, and yellow, you are correct. Red was East, Black was West, Yellow was South, and White was North. And so, thinking about how the girls in RWBY are similar to the seasons, I thought of the Ancient Greeks because they applied different meanings to the winds depending on which direction they came from. North winds were often associated with cold weather, and South winds represented hot weather. East winds were then associated with poetry and literature, and West winds with mild weather, which at first seems backwards when taking Ruby and Blake into account, but remember, Ruby wanted to be a hero like in the books and Blake, when not sulking, is the most mild-mannered member of the team.
|Ruby: "I love books!"|
Blake: *chillin' out*
So, what does this all mean?
Enh, not much as far as I can tell. From one angle, it looks like Monty may have been influenced by Mayan culture, and maybe even Ancient Greek culture, but those are two pretty big stretches. Likely he just had a cool dream with four girls and four colors. But, it wouldn't be beyond possibility to say he may have discovered these connections later and worked them into RWBY. I mean, nature is a big deal in RWBY; we have four Maidens of the seasons, the girls of team RWBY who could also represent the seasons, there's the strange origin of Dust which seems to come from the planet, and there's the battle with the Grimm, all of whom are based on animals. (Perhaps that's Salem's game--the vengeance of nature.) So, who knows.
And so I must admit, I don't where RWBY is going. The Maidens theory is awfully tempting, but I don't believe our writers are that predictable. There's got to be more to this. Who knows? Maybe Volume 5 or even next week's Blake Character Short will give something away. Speaking of which, I'll be doing a video critique of Blake's Character Short for my YouTube channel, and I'll be covering it on my blog. But until then, I'm completely clueless. If you have some ideas, I'd love to steal them--I mean, hear them! Yes, hear them.
But, anyway, if you want to make sure you don't miss my criticism of Blake's Character Short, sign up to receive a notification about it on my RWBY mailing list here. And if you want to make sure I don't get a real job so I can keep writing about RWBY, support me on Patreon. I'd appreciate it.
Keep writing, my friends.
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