Beowolves are large, dark, werewolf-like creatures of Grimm.
A larger, armored version, known as an Alpha Beowolf appears in "Battle of Beacon". This variant is much stronger than the standard Beowolves.
Beowolves have gone through several re-designs over the course of the series, but all incarnations share certain common traits. Consistently, Beowolves stand on their hind legs, albeit with a slouch, and are extremely muscular.
In the "Red" Trailer, Beowolves appeared like pitch-black, featureless shadows in the shape of wolves, with red eyes and jaws.
The Volume 1 redesign added the bone-like mask with red markings characteristic of most Grimm, as well as the bone-like spikes protruding from their arms, back, and knees. Their hands and feet are also tipped with long, sharp, white claws. They can vary greatly in size, with the average specimen being about the size of a human, but with larger Beowolves appearing more than twice as large.
The Alpha Beowolf, first appearing in "Battle of Beacon", is a distinct type or subspecies of Beowolf, covered in more bone-like armor and spines. It has a more angular skull, larger teeth and sharp triangular ears.
In the "Volume 4 Character Short", the Beowolves underwent another visual change, with a more angular head and more prominent ears, somewhat resembling the Alpha. Their glowing eyes also now leave a visible trail of red light as they move. Black smoke also seems to emanate from their bodies.
After firing a few bullets, Ruby fully activates Crescent Rose so that she can use its scythe function to strike back at the Beowolves in a series of vicious attacks. Eventually, one Beowolf puts Ruby on the defensive, but only temporarily, as Ruby switches ammo and quickly goes back on the offensive, finishing off the remaining Beowolves.
Beowolves are among the species of Grimm that are shown as silhouettes in the opening narration of "Ruby Rose".
In "The Emerald Forest", Beowolves appear in the Emerald Forest as Ruby and Weiss Schnee walk through it. Weiss, separated from Ruby, prepares to attack the largest Beowolf of the pack. However, Ruby suddenly reappears and hits it with her scythe, though it blocks her strike. This causes Weiss to misfire when she moves to stop herself from hitting Ruby, resulting in a small forest fire being started. This distracts Ruby long enough for the Beowolf she had initially attacked to hit her into Weiss. Ruby plans on continuing the fight with the Beowolves, but is forced by Weiss to flee when the fire spreads.
A Beowolf pack is encountered by Team RWBY and Bartholomew Oobleck during "Search and Destroy". They serve as fodder, as Team RWBY proceeds to slay them all, while talking to Oobleck about why they wanted to be Huntresses. In "Mountain Glenn" a lone Beowolf is seen briefly from the view of Ruby's weapon's scope. It scrounges around aimlessly; however, it isn't hostile towards Ruby, despite staring right at her.
In "No Brakes", Beowolves are among the many Grimm infesting the underground tunnels in Mountain Glenn, and were thus free to enter Vale when the barriers were destroyed by the crashing train. The Beowolves that entered the city were dispatched by Teams RWBY, JNPR and CFVY, with help from the Atlesian military, Zwei, Doctor Oobleck, Peter Port, Glynda Goodwitch, Mercury Black and Emerald Sustrai in "Breach".
In "Lessons Learned", Winter Schnee summons a Beowolf as a demonstration of the summoning ability of the Schnee Semblance. The Beowolf summon is friendly to Winter and has a white and blue appearance rather than the standard black and red.
In "Fall", Beowolves, Goliaths and Creeps sense negative emotions and turn their attention towards Vale. They walk through Mountain Glenn and closer to the city's border. In "PvP", they begin to attack the city. Some Atlas Soldiers attempt to fend them off, but are overwhelmed.
In "Battle of Beacon", the stronger, armored variant, the Alpha Beowolf, makes an appearance for the first time at Amity Colosseum during the Grimm invasion of Vale. After easily destroying a pair of Atlesian Knight-200 androids, it attacks General Ironwood, who manages to kill it after a brief fight with a shot through the skull from his revolver.
In the "Volume 4 Character Short", Beowolves are seen attacking a village in Sanus, alongside Nevermores and a Beringel. When Ruby enters to defend the village, some lunge at her while another throws rocks and rubble from above the roof of a building before being slain.
In Grimm Eclipse, Beowolves are among the Grimm enemies encountered by Team RWBY in the Emerald Forest and Mountain Glenn. Team RWBY also encounters mysterious mutant Beowolves in Forever Fall forest, at a Grimm holding facility. These Beowolves were even larger than the Alphas, glowed with a green color and were capable of firing a line of spikes that fire up through the ground as a medium-ranged attack.
In the first chapter of the manga, a group of Beowolves fights Ruby in a flashback to the fight from the "Red" Trailer. A flashback to the time when Qrow saved Yang and Ruby from a pack of Beowolves also appears in the second chapter.
Powers and Abilities
They are first shown in the "Red" Trailer as Ruby's opponents. They attack like a regular wolf would, with clawing and lunges, and no special skills or abilities demonstrated as of yet.
Their behavior varies depending on age. Younger Beowolves do not act like normal wolves, lacking any sense of self-preservation. They relentlessly attack no matter how hurt they are or how many of their pack members are slain. Older Beowolves gain a sense of self-preservation like normal wolves and eventually become more intelligent than them, observing their allies, retreating when needed and developing strategies for future encounters against Huntsmen and other threats.
They are extremely agile, as seen when they stalked Ruby through the Cliffside Forest, as well as in their subsequent fight with her.
Alpha Beowolves are a much more dangerous, armored version of the Beowolf. Alphas are easily capable of destroying a pair of Atlesian Knight-200 androids, literally ripping them apart. Unlike the standard Beowolves which are easily dispatched in droves by trainee Huntsmen and Huntresses, this one was able to put up an intense (albeit brief) fight against Ironwood.
- The name Beowolf originates from the Anglo-Saxon epic poem Beowulf, which is about a great hero who slays many monsters.
- According to Miles Luna, Rooster Teeth is "very proud" of the name "Beowolf".
- According to Monty Oum, Ruby fighting wolves (in the "Red" Trailer) was intentional as he wanted people to see the obvious reference to Little Red Riding Hood.
- In the "Red" Trailer, the Beowolves appeared as black wolf shadows because Monty was working on the trailer by himself. Patrick Rodriguez, one of the concept artists and character designers for the series, later redesigned the Beowolves, creating the look that would appear in the series proper. The Beowolf design was later revised again by concept artist Erin Winn for Volume 4.
- During RTX 2014, Monty stated that the Beowolf was considered the "Slime" of the Grimm, referring to the Dragon Quest franchise's weakest enemy type. This could mean they are the lowest tier of the Grimm species.
- In the December 2014 Sponsors-only Pre-Alpha demo of the video game RWBY: Grimm Eclipse, a white Beowolf appeared once the normal Beowolves were defeated. It acted as a boss, presenting superior strength and intelligence compared to the "normal" Beowolves, blocking and dodging attacks. As a placeholder, the white Beowolf does not appear in the final build of the game.
- Beowolf pieces are included in Remnant: The Game and Ruby has Beowolf figures displayed on her bedroom shelves in Patch.