"Vault of the Spring Maiden" is the sixty-fourth episode of RWBY and the twelfth episode of Volume 5. It premiered for Rooster Teeth FIRST members on January 6th, 2018 and was released for non-FIRST registered users of the Rooster Teeth site on January 9th, 2018, and was made public on January 13th, 2018.
Jaune Arc rushes to the unconscious Weiss Schnee after she was impaled by a spear thrown by Cinder Fall. Oscar Pine tries to wake up an unconscious Ruby Rose. Leonardo Lionheart reveals to Hazel Rainart that Oscar is Ozpin. Surprised and enraged at this revelation, Hazel challenges Ozpin to a fight, with the latter receiving help from Qrow Branwen. Cinder, Raven Branwen, and Vernal use the confusion to enter the Vault containing the Relic of Knowledge.
As Oscar and Hazel fight, Ozpin reveals that Hazel's sister, Gretchen, was once a student enrolled at Beacon Academy, who was killed in action while on a mission, and Hazel holds Ozpin responsible for her death. Oscar rebuttals Hazel's resentment towards Ozpin, saying that Hazel's sister made her choice. However, Hazel still wants to kill Oxpin. Realizing that Oscar is no match against Hazel right now, Ozpin takes over Oscar's body despite his objections.
Meanwhile, Jaune and Lie Ren tend to Weiss, who is on the verge of death. Desperate to save her life, Jaune unlocks a previously unknown ability, which allows him to heal Weiss' wound. Ruby wakes up and is relieved to learn that Weiss is going to be okay. Nora Valkyrie volunteers to protect Weiss and Jaune while he continues healing Weiss, while Ren agrees to help Oscar fight Hazel. Ruby then goes to help Yang Xiao Long fight against Emerald Sustrai and Mercury Black.
Down in the Vault, Cinder, Raven and Vernal approach the chamber containing the Relic. Just as Vernal's hand is about to touch the door to the Relic, Cinder freezes Raven in place and impales Vernal in her stomach with her left arm, which is revealed to have been replaced with that of a Grimm. As Vernal collapses, Cinder expresses confusion over the fact that she cannot detect any of the Spring Maiden's power in her. As Raven finally frees herself, she reveals that she, not Vernal, is the true Spring Maiden.
Cinder Fall is shown smirking. Jaune quickly gets up and runs past Cinder. Oscar Pine watches Jaune approach and pick up the unconscious Weiss Schnee from his position. He then looks over to the unconscious Ruby Rose. Angered, he smacks Leonardo Lionheart with his cane, causing him to fall down the stairs and into Hazel Rainart, who remains unfazed as Lionheart falls to the ground. Oscar quickly runs over to Ruby, with Nora Valkyrie joining him.
Oscar: Ruby, get up! Get up!! We need you!
Hazel picks up Lionheart by his collar, lifting him off the floor.
Hazel: You're lettin' that boy make a fool of you.
Lionheart: That's not just a boy! It's Ozpin. (Hazel's eyes widen when he says this) He's already reincarnated!
Hazel drops Lionheart and looks over to Oscar, who is still trying to nudge Ruby to wake her up. He then notices Ozpin's cane being held in the young farm boy's hand.
Suddenly, the usual calm demeanor of Hazel slowly turns infuriated. Ruby stirs for a bit.
Oscar: Ruby! You--
Oscar looks up.
Ozpin: (mentally) Oh no...
Hazel: You thought you could hide from ME?!!
Hazel rips his coat off, and then grabs a pair of lightning Dust crystals from a couple of pouches on his legs.
Hazel: You'll pay for what you did! You'll die over and over again!!
He stabs the lightning Dust into his arms, with his blood vessels turning yellow and popping out from his skin as well as having some lightning coat them. His eyes glow yellow, and he lets out an intimidating roar. Oscar slowly backs away, holding his cane up cautiously.
Oscar: Do-- do we fight?
Ozpin: (afraid) No, run!
Hazel leaps forward to charge into Oscar, but Qrow Branwen gets him out of the way in time. Qrow transforms Harbinger into its scythe form while Cinder watches. Raven Branwen and Vernal walk to her sides.
Cinder: (angry) Ozpin is here?!
Raven: Is that a problem?
Cinder: I'm not sure, but right now we got the upper hand. Let's not waste it.
Lionheart is shown on his knees when Cinder's voice gets his attention.
Cinder: (offscreen) Leo! Open the path to the vault!
Lionheart gets back up and approaches the statue in the room. He takes out his pocket watch and places it in a small niche on the statue. The hands on the watch gradually spin faster and the statue lowers. Yang Xiao Long watches the situation in front of her. She looks to Jaune and Lie Ren as they tend to Weiss and then looks over to Nora who is still trying to wake Ruby up. Nora looks to Yang.
Nora: Stop them! We've got your team covered!
Emerald: You wanna get to them? You're going to have to get through all of us.
Emerald uses her Semblance to create multiple copies of Mercury, which surround Yang. Meanwhile, Jaune uses his hands to apply pressure on Weiss' wound, while Ren holds her wrist checking her pulse.
Jaune: Ren, talk to me!
Ren: (sadly shaking his head) This is bad.
Jaune's eyes widen in horror.
Jaune: No, no, no, no, not again! Weiss, c'mon, please!!
Meanwhile, Vernal steps onto the platform leading down to the vault.
Cinder: (to Lionheart) Make sure they leave Ruby alive. This won't take long.
Cinder steps onto the platform. Raven looks back a bit as she hears her daughter fighting vainly, shaking her head before she steps on the platform too. The platform then lowers down. Oscar is then shown dodging out of the way as Hazel slams his fist into the ground.
Oscar dodges another attack from Hazel.
Oscar: I told you, no!
Oscar gets punched back by Hazel several feet into a column.
Ozpin: Please, let me take over! I can handle him!
Oscar: You told me I needed to fight for myself! (standing back up) So I will.
Ozpin: This is not your fight!
Oscar: What does that mean? Why is he so upset with us?
Hazel: He didn't tell you my tale, did he, boy? (he approaches Oscar menacingly) I thought you looked familiar, to think that evil was inside you when our paths first crossed. (he holds his fists in the air) Your blood won't be on my hands, it'll be on his.
Qrow jumps in the way to block Hazel's attack, but he slams his fist into the ground, the shockwave knocking both him and Oscar back. They both get back up as Qrow engages Hazel.
Oscar: What was he talking about?
Hazel: Tell him, Ozpin! Tell him how you KILLED HER!!
Ozpin: Gretchen Rainart was Hazel's sister. Despite her brother's wishes, she enrolled at Beacon Academy to become a Huntress and tragically lost her life on a training mission. Hazel... holds me responsible. Please, let me fight. I know Hazel. He's wounded in a way that cannot be healed.
Hazel: (off screen) You know now! (tossing Qrow aside) You can forgive me for what I'm about to do. (begins approaching Oscar)
Oscar: Did she know?
Hazel stops in place at his inquiry.
Oscar: Did she know the risk of being a Huntress?
Hazel: She was only a child! She wasn't ready!!
Oscar: She made a choice! A choice to put others before herself! (holding his cane up defensively) So do I.
Hazel just glares at him.
Hazel: Then you've chosen death!
Oscar glares back, determined.
Ozpin: I'm sorry.
Oscar's eyes glow and his body falls to the ground as Ozpin takes over him. Ozpin looks up, and Hazel looks back at him, enraged.
Meanwhile, Jaune and Ren continue tending to Weiss.
Ren: She's hardly breathing. I... I don't know what we can do...
The both of them look down to Weiss as she struggles to breathe, before suddenly stopping.
Jaune: No, it wasn't supposed to be like this! Please! (voice breaking) We can't lose anyone else...
Jaune sadly closes his eyes. Suddenly, a faint shimmering sound is heard and a white aura starts to coat over Weiss' body. Weiss suddenly gasps for breath again.
Meanwhile, Cinder, Raven and Vernal are seen riding the platform down to the vault.
Cinder: (to Vernal) Are you nervous, girl? The first Maiden in - why, I'm not sure anyone knows how many years - is about to open a vault. I would say it's quite an exciting time. Don't you feel honored?
Vernal: No, I'm not concerned with any of this. All I care about is my tribe - my family. This is a burden, not an honor.
Cinder: (chuckles) You've conditioned her quite well, Raven.
As the three continue to ride down the platform, they see the vault under Haven Academy - a massive cavern with a large tree that has glowing orange flowers. The platform reaches the bottom, and the gate protecting the vault is lowered into the ground.
Cinder: Hm, it's certainly grander than Beacon's. I wonder what the extra effort was for.
Raven: Can we please not linger?
Cinder: After you.
Vernal steps off the platform first, followed by Cinder, and then Raven, the latter putting her mask back on.
Back above ground, Hazel and Ozpin fight each other intensely. Lionheart tries to intervene by launching another attack from his weapon, but is stopped by Qrow. The two of them fight each other, with Qrow blocking Lionheart's projectiles. Ozpin and Hazel engage against each other again. Hazel tries to smash him with his fists, but Ozpin is too fast for him. Eventually, Ozpin manages to knock Hazel down on all fours. Ozpin then twirls his cane and prepares to deliver the finishing blow, but Hazel roars and smashes his fists into the ground, creating another lightning shockwave. Meanwhile, Weiss starts to gasp and breathes normally again as the white aura encoating her continues to glow.
Jaune: Huh? Wha- what's happening?
Ruby: (off screen) Weiss!
Nora helps Ruby up on her feet, who then quickly runs over to her teammate's side.
Ruby: What happened? What's going on?!
Ren: (smiling) I think she's going to be okay! She seems to be stabilizing.
With Weiss breathing again, Ruby smiles, relieved that her friend's life is not endangered anymore. Ruby then hears her sister struggling, she looks over her shoulder to see Yang getting knocked back by Mercury. Yang charges forward, but Mercury's form disappears as a result of another one of Emerald's Semblance hallucinations. Emerald then creates an image of Raven, which Yang is hesitant to attack. Yang then blocks another attack from Mercury, but she is then knocked down again. Ruby then looks over to Oscar fighting Hazel, with the latter's attack becoming too wild and unpredictable for the young boy. Oscar is then hit by one of Lionheart's projectiles and holds his shoulder in pain. Hazel is about to punch at Oscar again, but Qrow pushes Oscar out of the way and takes the blow in his back, launching him upwards. Ruby then lifts Jaune's hands up to see that Weiss' wound has closed.
Ruby: Whatever you're doing, don't stop!
Jaune: I won't.
Ruby: Good. Oscar needs help.
Ren: I'm on it.
Ruby: Jaune and Weiss still need cover!
Nora: No one's gonna touch 'em. (smiles)
Ruby: (smiling) Okay, make it happen, RNJR!
Ruby stands back up, transforming Crescent Rose into its scythe form and flips over. She lands to her sister's side, knocking Emerald back. Emerald's Semblance copies of Mercury then disappear, reforming back into the main Mercury.
Yang: Thanks, sis. (standing back up) You okay?
Ruby: No, I'm angry.
Ruby proceeds forward.
Back down in the vault, Vernal, Cinder, and Raven walk towards the Relic chamber. Suddenly, a symbol on the ground glows bright, as well as the circle enclosed around it. Similar circles with symbols in them also glow leading up to the Relic chamber's door. The tree's flowers then glow even more, and it's petals gently fall and float around the vault. One petal falls into Vernal's hand.
Cinder: Having fun?
Vernal glares back at Cinder as the petal in her hand dissolves into particles.
Raven: Vernal, stay focused.
Cinder: Oh, come now, Raven, let her enjoy this. It's a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Vernal: How does this work?
Cinder: Once the Spring Maiden places her hand on the door, it will open. For you - and only you. Then I will walk into the vault, and retrieve the Relic. No one else. Is that clear?
Raven: It doesn't matter to us. Let's get this over with.
Cinder: Alright then. Vernal, when you're ready.
Vernal approaches the door. While she does so, Raven slowly reaches for the hilt of her sword, but stops when Cinder speaks.
Cinder: You know, I've heard so many stories about you, Raven. They say you're a cunning leader, that you're strong, that you're clever.
Vernal hovers her fingertips close to the door.
Cinder: It's a shame that they're wrong...
Cinder then lets out a blue, frost-like projectile from her hand.
Raven reaches out, but she is too late as she is frozen in place from Cinder's attack. Vernal takes her hand away from the door and takes her weapons out on Cinder, but she is stabbed by something in her stomach. She looks down and notices an elongated Grimm hand coming from Cinder's left arm.
Cinder: It's nothing personal, dear. (she approaches Vernal) You're just not worthy of such power. (face to face with Vernal) But I am...
Vernal is then pushed to the ground, and she screams out in pain as she struggles to get the Grimm hand out of her stomach. The ice coating Raven is shown cracking.
Cinder: So I will take... what is mine...
Eventually, Vernal stops struggling and goes motionless and quiet. Cinder smirks as she looks down on Vernal's body, but then realizes that something is wrong.
Cinder: Wha-- what is this? Where's the power?!
Cinder hears ice crack from behind her and sees Raven free from her frozen prison.
Raven: You won't find it, because Vernal isn't the Spring Maiden... (she takes her mask off) I am!!
Raven opens her eyes, with a red flame-like effect glowing and trailing from them before the screen cuts to black.
- When Ruby saves Yang from Mercury and Emerald, she does a similar pose to one she did at the end of the "Red" Trailer.
- Animator Kim Newman revealed in the season 5 commentary that she did the motion capture for most characters in the episode - which in the case of Hazel, given her diminute frame compared to how tall the character is, led to some scaling up.
- Main article: Vault of the Spring Maiden/Image Gallery