Roman made a very small cameo in the "Yellow" Trailer before being properly introduced in "Ruby Rose". There he orchestrated the robbery of Dust supplies from the store From Dust Till Dawn, but was ultimately foiled by Ruby Rose.
Roman had slanted, dark-green eyes and bright, long, orange hair, with long bangs covering his right eye. Black eyeliner traced his visible left eye.
Roman wore a red-lined white suit with long black pants and black shoes. His accessories included a small gray scarf, black gloves with buckled sleeves, and a black bowler hat with a small feather tucked into its red band.
Roman's personality was a mixture between that of a formal gentleman and a ruthless criminal. He emits charm and speaks calmly even in the middle of an armed robbery. Roman emits hostility when upset or frustrated, as seen in "No Brakes", when he ordered the White Fang to help him shoot Ruby as she escaped, bent his weapon, and slammed a subordinate backward.
Roman also demonstrated a ruthless streak, evidently willing to use lethal force on Ruby when she foiled his scheme, even going so far as to laugh after successfully shooting her down in "Black and White". In "Heroes and Monsters", he even chastised Ruby for her being blind to the cruelty of the real world while trying to beat her with his cane. Judging by his elaborate outfit and accessories, Roman also had expensive tastes, a common stereotype of Mafia Dons and other organized crime kingpins.
This trait was further exemplified by his reaction to the destruction of the Atlesian Paladin-290 that he was piloting, which caused him to be violently flung to the ground scattered by debris. Rather than appearing upset with what happened to his mech or afraid of the situation, he simply brushed himself off, commenting that the experience compromised the cleanliness of his suit.
Despite working with the White Fang, he had no respect for them or Faunus in general. On several occasions he talked to or about them in a derogatory fashion, referring to them as "mutts" or "animals". It is unclear if this is representative of hostility towards the Faunus in general or him acting out his frustrations towards having to work with the group. It may be he did not like being ordered around by Cinder Fall and her associates.
He also often took to mocking, taunting, and insulting his enemies, as seen when he called out to Blake Belladonna, saying, "Here kitty, kitty, kitty", as well as when he responded to Ruby's arrival by saying, "Well, hello, Red! Isn't it past your bedtime?" This quality persisted even when he was in very difficult situations, such as when he was imprisoned and interrogated by James Ironwood.
In "Heroes and Monsters", he revealed that he worked with Cinder's Faction under the belief that nobody can stop them, and he couldn't afford to lose, considering himself a gambling man who knew what bets not to take.
Abilities and PowersEdit
Roman fought using his signature cane-cannon, Melodic Cudgel. In "Black and White", Roman was shown to be adept in using his cane as a melee weapon. He was very capable in parrying, able to hold his own against both Blake and Sun Wukong, deflecting nearly all of their attacks.
He had the skills to use Melodic Cudgel offensively, such as using it to hook Blake towards him to deliver a punch, or staggering her by whipping her knees. In fact, Roman came close to overpowering Blake, knocking her to the ground and temporarily disarming her.
He also had exceptional accuracy, able to shoot Ruby from a considerable distance along with snatching her by the hood with the grappling hook. His fight against Blake and Sun, both extremely swift, dual-wielding opponents, showed his reflexes were impressive as well. Despite Blake producing shadow clones using her Semblance, Roman remained perfectly aware of her position and movements during the engagement, quickly countering her attacks. He could also easily deflect long range attacks, which is seen with Sun's weapons. Roman was also able to counter all of Ruby's attacks with ease during their fight atop the airship, even when she was using her enhanced speed.
However, Roman was liable to underestimating his opponents, and had trouble adapting to surprise attacks. In "No Brakes", Roman found himself unable to counter Blake's use of Dust-augmented Semblance clones, and was promptly defeated.
In "Ruby Rose", Roman was a skilled pilot, as he was able to keep a Bullhead relatively stable even though it was being bombarded with multiple attacks.
In "Painting the Town...", he was also able to operate an Atlesian Paladin-290, effortlessly guiding it through traffic, moving it fast enough to catch up to a fleeing Blake and Sun. He utilized the paladin's weapons and sensory systems to good effect, yet despite that was unable to defeat Team RWBY.
Roman appeared to be a sort of criminal mastermind. By "Best Day Ever", he had reportedly obtained most of the Dust in Vale, showing that his nefarious scheming was formidable. This image was furthered by "Players and Pieces", as he was seen planning a heist, attack, or something similar, targeting the entirety of Vale. He was also good at planning escapes should his schemes fail, escaping on a Bullhead after his failed Dust heists in "Ruby Rose", "Black and White", and after his Paladin is destroyed in "Painting the Town...".
In "Best Day Ever", Roman's pickpocketing skills are shown, lifting a piece of paper from Emerald Sustrai without her knowing, despite being in close proximity to her.
- Roman alludes to Romeo Candlewick from the story Pinocchio.
- His appearance bears some resemblance to Candlewick's appearance in Disney's film adaptation of Pinocchio named Lampwick.
- The director's commentary on the RWBY Volume 1 DVD mentions that Roman's appearance is a "shout-out to A Clockwork Orange" (1971 British film). This is likely because his appearance, in particular the bowler hat, eyeliner and penchant for white clothing, echoes the appearance of the gang (known as the "droogs") in the film.
- Originally, Roman was only going to appear in Volume 1. However, Monty Oum, Miles Luna, and Kerry Shawcross grew to love his character and how Gray G. Haddock voiced him, and they decided to keep him around.
- Roman's name and weapon could relate to the famous Roman candle firework, which ejects multiple pyrotechnic stars and is illegal in some countries. Also, Roman's weapon fires a blast that resembles a firework.
- Roman calls Ruby by the name "Red", a possible reference to the fact that she is an allusion to Little Red Riding Hood.
- Roman's fighting style seems to be inspired by the martial art of bartitsu, where practitioners are taught to use a cane as a weapon in addition to various hand-to-hand techniques.
- Roman's emblem is a Jack-O'-Lantern, otherwise known as a Will-O'-The-Wisp or Will-O'-The-Torch, the origin of which was a spirit cursed to roam the world with only a torch/lantern.
- In "Ruby Rose", it is revealed that Roman's criminal identification number within the Vale Police Department is 274761453.
- Torchwick miming slitting his throat at Emerald and Mercury behind Cinder's back in "Best Day Ever" was not scripted. It was a character moment added in by Shane Newville.
- Roman is the first character to be killed by a Grimm on-screen.