- For the original Fall Maiden, known as Fall, see Maidens.
Cinder Fall is one of the main antagonists of RWBY and the primary antagonist of the Beacon Arc. She is a member of a small group of people with malicious goals led by Salem and the leader of her own group. Her associates include her subordinates Mercury Black and Emerald Sustrai, the criminal Roman Torchwick, and Adam Taurus, a high-ranking member of the White Fang. Her machinations are the driving force behind the events of the first 3 volumes of RWBY.
In "Heroes and Monsters", Cinder becomes the new Fall Maiden, granting her vast power. However, in "End of the Beginning", Ruby Rose unleashed an attack of unexplained nature, enveloping Cinder in a blinding flash of light. "The Next Step" revealed that she lost her left eye, with massive scarring over that side of her face. Cinder is also shown to have incredible difficulties speaking, barely being able to voice a single word at a time. Due to this, Emerald acts as Cinder's aid when she needs to communicate verbally.
Original (Volumes 1-3)Edit
Cinder has ashen-black hair and bright amber eyes, while her fingernails are painted dark red. In "Black and White", she wears lipstick and violet eyeshadow. She wears a dark-red, off-the-shoulders, v-neck minidress with yellow designs. There is a blue feather-like accessory on her right hip, 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 are wrapped or tied around her middle finger, with the gold designs of the sleeve taking over at the wrists.
She wears black shorts underneath her dress, as well as a black choker on her neck. She wears a gold loop earring with a black gem dangling from it on her right ear. She has dark, glass, high-heeled shoes and a jeweled anklet on her right leg.
On her upper back, in the keyhole of her dress, she has a black tattoo of what appears to be a pair of high heel shoes placed sole to sole, forming a heart shape inside. Whenever she uses the Dust that is sewn into her dress, the designs on the arms, back, and chest glow bright orange. Her eyes and earrings also glow.
It is possible that her appearance is influenced by east Asian culture, as the designs on her dress are styled similarly to traditional Japanese or Chinese patterns.
When undercover at Beacon Academy, Cinder is seen wearing the uniform of Haven Academy, a more conservative dark gray outfit with a long-sleeved collared top and white armband. Unlike most female students, who wear silver knee-high socks, Cinder wears black tights.
During her infiltration of the Cross Continental Transmit System Tower, Cinder is shown wearing a black infiltration outfit, which she had previously been seen sewing together in "Extracurricular". The outfit consists of a sleeveless jacket, long gloves, stiletto heel boots, a black glass mask, and several straps with containers of powdered Dust lined across her pants. The gloves, boots and pants have black mosaic designs that are infused with Dust, which glows bright orange when in use. When needed, Cinder can instantly transform her infiltration attire into a formal black evening gown that has black glass designs on it.
When attending the Vytal Festival Tournament, she wears gray pants and boots; a beige leather, sleeveless jacket with light-beige details; brown gloves, a sarashi tied around her chest and another around her hips, and a pauldron on her left shoulder. She also wears a belt around her waist, which has multiple brown pouches attached to it.
During the events of "Beginning of the End", Cinder had shorter hair. Her previous attire looks similar to her current outfit except her dress has separated sleeves, and the dress is held up by straps tied around her neck in a bow. Her heeled shoes are made of a more typical material, rather than glass. She didn't have her characteristic tattoo until after she stole a portion of Amber's Maiden powers.
Post-Timeskip (Volume 4 - Current)Edit
After the timeskip 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 within 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 across 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 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.
Cinder is imperious and cunning. She can also be ruthless and cruel, as demonstrated when she delivered a killing blow to a clearly defeated Pyrrha Nikos at point-blank range. Usually, she maintains a calm and collected demeanor, and is willing to take over a fight if necessary. Although she refers to her partnership with Roman as "cooperation", it is obvious that she has the upper hand, as she very quickly makes an implicit, and not very subtle, threat to Roman by conjuring a fireball in her hand.
Cinder also seems to be ambitious and demanding, stating that she has "big plans" for Roman, and is willing to enlist the White Fang to achieve her goals by any means necessary. Often, she is very direct on the matter at hand, as shown when she quickly jumps to Roman's failure of robbing a cargo hold of Dust.
She doesn't seem to tolerate failure, seen with Roman, preferring for her goals to be successful regardless of the situation. Cinder also prefers that such problems be solved quickly, and is seen to give very direct orders, and doesn't like when she is disobeyed, reprimanding Emerald and Mercury when they failed to keep their hands clean.
When it comes to planning, Cinder is very secretive, keeping Roman on a strict need-to-know basis. Cinder has confidence in her strategies, and is usually unfazed by new elements. She shows no concern upon the arrival of Qrow, who has been tracking their actions. She claims that Ozpin's Group has no idea who she or the rest are, confident that their identity as the ones infiltrating Beacon Academy is still secret. She's also a self-assured fighter, having attacked Atlas Soldiers and Ruby Rose head on. However, despite her skill and strength, powerful warriors such as Ruby and Pyrrha have landed hits on her, meaning she is not completely invulnerable.
She is aware of the weaknesses of her plan and accordingly assigns specific instructions in order to prevent them from being exploited. For example, in her plan to frame Yang and cause an international incident, she instructed Mercury to keep himself hidden after the group escaped to an unknown location. She also has a low tolerance for margin of error, as she instructs her followers to follow the plan as perfectly as possible when creating the ambush against Amber.
Cinder has a desire for power and dominance, as she states in a flashback that she wants to be feared. She enjoys flaunting the superiority her power gives her, like when she threatened Torchwick and when she mocked a defeated Pyrrha.
At the beginning of Volume 4, Cinder is utterly humiliated after her encounter with Ruby atop Beacon Tower. She no longer displays her usual confidence, instead appearing sullen and taking insults from the other members of Salem's Faction without reply due to her inability to speak and thus relying on her subordinates. Later in "Taking Control" she is visibly horrified by watching Tyrian Callows maniacally massacre a Beowolf. In "No Safe Haven", Cinder is shown to have a deep desire for vengeance against Ruby, going as far as to have Emerald create a hallucination of Ruby in a submissive state for Cinder to imagine burning alive.
Powers and AbilitiesEdit
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 a powerful blocking technique, easily capable of withstanding Crescent Rose's bullets. This blocking technique may be Aura-based, as it strongly resembles a technique used by Lie Ren, but this is unconfirmed. 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. Her eyes often glow brighter as evidence of the Maiden powers, since Amber's eyes did the same, and Cinder's left eye hadn't until after she'd completely become the Fall Maiden.
Cinder has a strong command over Dust, often wielding and manipulating it in battle. 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 is even 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".
She 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.
Her 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.
Cinder is also adept at piloting, able to fly a Bullhead during one of Glynda's attacks.
Despite gaining vast powers as the Fall Maiden, in "The Next Step", Salem states that Cinder also gained a vulnerability to the powers of Silver-Eyed Warriors, which led to Ruby's powers affecting her more heavily than they would normally. However, she does not elaborate.
- 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 slippers.
- 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 before 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.
- Monty Oum confirmed that Cinder is not the mother of Ruby Rose, Yang Xiao Long, or Blake Belladonna.