Lie Ren, more commonly referred to by his last name Ren, is a former student at Beacon Academy, a member of Team RNJR and one of the remaining members of Team JNPR. His weapons of choice are a pair of green, fully automatic pistols with sickle-like blades attached vertically under the barrels, named StormFlower.
Original (Volumes 1-3)Edit
Lie Ren is a male teenager with long black hair tied into a ponytail that ends midway down his back. There is a magenta streak on the left side of his hair. His eyes match the streak in his hair, and his clothing appears to be influenced by Chinese culture.
He wears a dark green, diagonally-buttoned, long-sleeved tailcoat that is red on the inside, with black and gold trimming and pink cuffs. The trimming goes down the right side of his torso and forms a black collar.
This color scheme seems to be influenced to some degree by the lotus flower, which is his emblem. He wears a black, long-sleeved shirt beneath the suit, and light-tan pants with black shoes.
Post-Timeskip (Volume 4 - Current)EditAfter the timeskip following the Fall of Beacon, his design is updated. Ren wears his hair down, and it has grown to, as his concept art notes, "almost butt-length". His attire is similar to before in color. He has a longer, sleeveless tailcoat. Under it he wears a black, sleeveless turtleneck with red, tasseled ropes over the hips, pants that get tighter below the kness, and calf-high open-toed sandals. From his middle finger to his biceps run gradient pink-to-black detached sleeves ending in metal armbands.
As a young child, Ren was much more cheerful and even a little sassy according to his mother. He was also shown to be very naive, not understanding how to use Lien or thinking he could buy sake. He also was easily frightened, shown when the bullies looked at him and he was about to run away.
Ren is usually mellow and wishes for peace and quiet, much like Blake Belladonna. He seems very much in control of himself, as shown by his calm and deliberate response to the appearance of the black half of a King Taijitu. He also does not appear to be a morning person, as seen from his groan from having to get out of bed to get ready for the Beacon Academy Initiation.
He is unbothered by Nora Valkyrie's bubbly and contrasting personality, showing a great deal of patience when dealing with his hyperactive, happy-go-lucky childhood friend. Nora has called him "the perfect student", implying that he may be something of an intellectual. However, this is not to say that he is completely humorless. He is slightly playful after finding Nora in the Emerald Forest, during the events of "The Emerald Forest". This is also shown when he and Nora were debating over team names in "The Next Step". Ren is also indicated to be a bit of a cook, as he makes pancakes for the team in "Forever Fall, Pt.2" and in "Search and Destroy" when Nora implied that it was his fault that she was hungry. However, not everything he cooks is well received, as the nutrition drink he prepared in "Destiny" made Nora ill even though he drank it with no problems.
Ren is also shown to be quite studious, as seen in "Welcome to Beacon", in which he openly agrees with Neptune Vasilias as to how libraries should be only for reading. Likewise, he is well informed about villages in between kingdoms, such as when he explains to Ruby about Higanbana in "Family".
In "Remembrance", Ren is more solemn than his teammates are about the destruction of Shion Village. His advice is to keep moving forward. This is something he repeats with a bit more angry emphasis in "Two Steps Forward, Two Steps Back" when Ruby suggests going to the destroyed town of Kuroyuri in search of abandoned medical supplies. Being one of the few survivors of the Grimm massacre of that town manifests itself in Ren's less calm emotions.
In "No Safe Haven", Ren reveals a much more reckless and vindictive side to him previously unseen, when he lets out all of his anger against the Nuckelavee in attempt to avenge his parents and all its other victims. This is a stark contrast to his usual calm and patience.
Powers and AbilitiesEdit
Lie Ren is a very capable fighter and can hold his own against creatures of Grimm, such as a King Taijitu. He demonstrates peak physical ability, being able to do various acrobatics. He can move and react with impressive speed.
Ren appears to be proficient in martial arts, using palm thrusts and various combat stances when fighting the King Taijitu. His combat skills were also seen in "Best Day Ever" during a food fight with Team RWBY, where he briefly held his ground against Yang Xiao Long, although he was soon bested by her.
Ren appears to have a high degree of control over his Aura. When fighting in the Emerald Forest, he first uses it defensively by forming a shield against the attack of a King Taijitu. After tearing its fangs off, Ren uses his Aura offensively by blasting the black King Taijitu's fang through its own eye, blowing its head to pieces.
Despite this, he still has a very limited amount of stamina. Ren is shown collapsing after he, and the rest of JNPR, defeated the Death Stalker during "Players and Pieces". His average endurance was also seen after he defeated the King Taijitu, when he was seen catching his breath. This could have been due to his heavy usage of Aura, which is needed to fight as shown in "Jaunedice". However, his lack of endurance is shown once again in "Best Day Ever", where he is defeated by Yang in very few blows.
Along with his physical abilities, Ren can also skillfully wield his weapons, StormFlower, and effectively uses them for both ranged and melee combat. As of "The Next Step," he can even use his weapons as boomerangs by throwing them as he did with one during the battle against the Geist.
Ren carries a dagger that originally belonged to his late father, Li Ren. The blade of the weapon is similar in shape to the blades of his StormFlower. As seen in "No Safe Haven", the dagger itself is strong enough to easily sever the limbs of a Nuckelavee whereas the weapons of Team RNJR could not, even after repeated attacks. The dagger itself can also be skillfully thrown in an arcing loop.
Ren's Semblance masks negative emotions which aids him in avoiding detection by Grimm, as demonstrated the night Kuroyuri was attacked. When he first used it that night, he was hiding in a small channel, gripped with panic. His Semblance activated, and soon after, he became calm and rushed to help Nora with no interference from nearby Grimm. Once there, he activated his Semblance again, extending its effects to Nora, who stopped trembling and whimpering. A Nevermore that was perched atop the house moved down and looked around, but it left them alone.
When his Semblance activates, the affected person's colors become temporarily desaturated to at least the viewer.
Ren can also channel this ability through the ground to reach those from a distance, as shown when he desaturated Jaune and Qrow in "No Safe Haven."
- Ren alludes to Hua Mulan.
- Monty Oum stated that each member of JNPR alludes to someone who crossdressed in their story. Mulan had to disguise herself as a man to sneak into the Chinese army.
- Liè (烈) is Chinese for "ardent". Ren (蓮) is Japanese kanji for "lotus", hence his emblem. Chinese translations use the same characters, translating his name as 烈蓮 (liè lián). Japanese translations generally render his name phonetically using katakana as ライ・レン (rai ren)
- The spelling of his name is also taken from the pinyin for the Chinese word for "hunter," lièrén (猎人), a reference to him being an aspiring Huntsman.
- Despite Monty stating that real-world countries don't exist in RWBY, Ren is still based on Chinese culture as his clothing is reminiscent of traditional Chinese clothing and his habit of resting a coffee mug on his palm instead of holding it by its handle, a style seen more often in Eastern cultures, as Eastern-style mugs have no handles.
- Ren's weapons are described as "dual SMGs with wind and fire blades" by Miles Luna, though Kerry Shawcross qualifies this as only "kind of". Kerry also hints that certain elements of StormFlower's original design were "saved for something else".
- In the episode "Players and Pieces", Ren appears exhausted twice. The first time is after he and Nora ride on an Ursa, and the second time is after Team JNPR killed the Death Stalker. Since Ren was voiced by the series' creator, Monty Oum, this could be a nod to Monty's tweets about his sleep deprivation, which he was well known for.
- Monty Oum, Ren's original voice actor and director of the show, passed away on February 1st, 2015. In light of his passing, the RWBY team ultimately turned to Monty's brother, Neath Oum, to voice the character.
- Ren had an alternate accent as a young child, which he eventually lost.
- Ren's Semblance reflects the symbolism of the lotus; the way he puts his negative emotions beneath him can be compared to the lotus flower growing out of the mud/murky waters.