Fairy tales are stories that are passed down through the culture of Remnant. Although generally regarded as mere myths and legends, even the most unlikely of stories are said to have some basis in reality.
Known fairy tales include The Tale of the Two Brothers, The Shallow Sea, The Girl in the Tower and The Story of the Seasons. Of these, only the last is known in detail. Qrow Branwen also knows of another tale about silver eyes told to him by Ozpin, although the legend's title is unknown.
The Story of the Seasons
The Story of the Seasons, also known as The Four Maidens, is a famous fairy tale. The story goes that an old hermit (referred to as a wizard in some versions) is visited by four sisters, who each in their own unique ways are kind to him. The first sister, Winter, encourages him to meditate and reflect; the second, Spring, brings him fruit and flowers and revitalises his garden; the third, Summer, convinces him to step outside and embrace the world; and the fourth, Fall, encourages him to be thankful for what he has.
When the old man asks the four sisters why they were so kind to him, they respond that they merely show their kindness to everyone. Moved by this, the old man gives the four sisters great powers in return for their kindness, and as the embodiment of the four seasons, they go through Remnant spreading their gifts. As thanks, the Maidens promise to visit the old man once every year.
Whilst supposedly merely a story told to children, this legend has a factual basis in the history of Remnant – the story purportedly tells of the origins of the four Maidens, who are the hosts of a tremendous power that has been passed down through the generations for thousands of years, throughout all of human history. Once common knowledge, the truth was eventually kept secret for the safety of both the maidens and mankind, and it passed into legend and obscurity over time.
Pyrrha Nikos recounts The Story of the Seasons in the episode "Fall" and remarks that her mother loves that story. Ozpin reveals that the story is more than a simple fairy tale. The story is also recounted by Ozpin in the RWBY: World of Remnant episode "The Four Maidens". It is revealed in "Rest and Resolutions" that Ozpin empowered the four young women who would become the first Maidens, though it is not known how much of the tale reflects on true events.
In the world of Remnant, silver eyes are said to be an extremely rare trait. Currently, the only known characters with said Silver Eyes are Summer Rose and Ruby Rose. The story goes that people who were born with this trait were to lead the life of a warrior. The Creatures of Grimm were said to be afraid of these Silver-eyed warriors. Though it may just merely be an exaggeration, it was also said that a single look from these warriors were able to kill a Grimm.
Although said to be a ridiculous story, this tale, like The Four Maidens, is actually true. In End of the Beginning, Ruby breaks down in tears after witnessing the death of Pyrrha by the hands of Cinder Fall. Ruby in turn cries out the name of her friend, unknowingly unleashing brilliant white light from her eyes, engulfing Cinder and the Grimm Dragon, perched on what was left of Beacon Tower. The Dragon is left frozen on the tower as a result, and Cinder later is discovered to have lost her left eye and temporarily lost the ability to speak properly because of the effect of Ruby's power on her. According to Salem, this is because Cinder's attainment of the Fall Maiden powers gave her a weakness to it, but the reason for this is not explained.
The full extent of these powers and other details of the story remain unknown.
- Many characters in the show allude to fairy tales from the cultures of the real world. For example, Yang Xiao Long alludes to the eponymous character of the fairy tale Goldilocks and the Three Bears.