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But perhaps victory is in the simpler things that you've long forgotten—things that require a smaller, more honest soul.
~ Professor Ozpin

Professor Ozpin is one of the major supporting protagonists in the world of RWBY and the headmaster of Beacon Academy. Ozpin is introduced in the first episode, inquiring Ruby Rose about where she learned how to fight, her future goals and joining his school.

History

Background

Thousands of years before the events of RWBY, Ozpin failed to stop Salem from abusing the powers of the brother gods. The gods in turn cursed Ozpin: forcing his soul to reincarnate through merging into those of like-minded individuals after death. By the present, the number of souls Ozpin's have merged with became innumerable.

At some point he helped to build Haven Academy. This fits in with it being previously established that Ozpin influenced all the academies, as Miles Luna stated that all the academies use teams because Ozpin believes in teamwork so strongly

Volume 1

Professor Ozpin is first seen after Glynda Goodwitch finishes lecturing Ruby Rose about how it was irresponsible of her to go after Roman Torchwick by herself, but that someone wants to talk to her. Ozpin then enters the room with a plate of cookies and addresses Ruby by name, before commenting on her silver eyes.

Ozpin shows an interest in Ruby's abilities, as he has only once before seen another person display the same amount of skill with a scythe. Ruby tells him that it was her uncle Qrow Branwen who trained her to use Crescent Rose during her time at Signal Academy.

After Ruby states her desire to go to Beacon Academy and become a Huntress so she can help people, Ozpin gives her the opportunity to join his school two years early, which she accepts.

Ozpin reappears on stage to give a brief welcoming speech to the incoming freshman class. His speech is not uplifting, however, as he claims that he only sees "wasted energy". He goes on to say that while all new students come to Beacon with the hope to gain knowledge in order to improve their skills, without a purpose or direction it will all be meaningless, as knowledge can only go so far.

He ends his speech by saying it is up to them to "take the first step", before walking off stage and letting Glynda take over. Yang Xiao Long points out how odd Ozpin was acting, with Ruby adding that it seemed like he "wasn't really there".

Ozpin briefs the first-years on the requirements of their initiation on the edge of the Beacon Cliff, and warns them about the dangers in the Emerald Forest. He also explains how this test will determine teammates for the next four years at Beacon.

Before launching them into the forest from the cliff, Ozpin asks if there are any questions, but when Jaune Arcbegins to ask, he is cut off. The students are then launched one at a time, with Jaune continuing to ask what a "landing strategy" is. Ozpin is very blunt however, explaining that they will use their own strategy to land. As Jaune is launched, Ozpin turns around and watches the new students while drinking from his coffee cup.

He is present when Glynda gives him a briefing on the current situation as well as her opinions on some pairings. He is unresponsive to Glynda's statements when she calls to him, and is instead more interested in the situation Ruby and Weiss Schnee found themselves in, watching them on a Scroll.

After all the teams return from the Emerald Forest, Ozpin begins assigning the students into teams based on which chess piece each two-person team picked. He assigns Jaune as the leader of Team JNPR, Ruby as the leader of Team RWBY, and Cardin as the leader of Team CRDL.

Ozpin appears briefly with Glynda. He watches as the new students race to their first class before taking a sip from his coffee mug.

Ozpin talks with a depressed Ruby after Weiss' criticism of her being chosen as their leader. When Ruby asks if his decision to make her Team RWBY's leader was correct, he states, though he has made many mistakes in his life, he doesn't believe this decision was one of them. Ozpin continues to explain to Ruby the responsibilities and burdens associated with being a leader, and he urges her to prove herself worthy of such a title.

Volume 2

Shortly after Glynda cleans up the results of RWBY and JNPR's food fight, Ozpin prevents Glynda from disciplining the two groups, preferring to allow them to have fun while they still can.

Shortly after, Ozpin is seen conversing with James Ironwood about Qrow's message to them, and how they will handle it, with James questioning Ozpin on if he believes his children could win a hypothetical war. The former grimly states, "I hope they never have to".

Later, in what is revealed to be a flashback from Blake Belladonna's point of view, Ozpin is seen having a conversation with her, focusing on the events of "Black and White".

At the Beacon Dance, Ozpin comes up next to an uncomfortable Ruby struggling with her heels and asks if she isn't enjoying herself. Ruby comments that she isn't much for fancy scenery like this. Ozpin points out she can't always spend her time on the battlefield, and that in many ways dancing and battle aren't all the different, even if the consequences are more mild for the former. He further elaborates that as time tests people's bonds, it is moments like these which can strengthen friendships over the long term.

Ozpin is seen once more alongside Glynda until she is invited to dance by James Ironwood. When Ironwood leaves for the evening, he is later seen escorting him out to the front-entrance.

The next morning Ozpin is sitting at his desk in his office with Glynda and Ironwood, putting his head against his hands and rubbing his temples with his fingers in contemplation while the two of them argue over how they should respond to the break-in to the CCT last night during the dance. He then looks up and invites Ruby to come in when she arrives. Ozpin informs her that while Ironwood has filled them in on most of the details of what transpired last night, he asks if she might have anything to add.

After some discussion of what she saw and who there suspect might be Ruby asks them if they think there's a connection between the woman who broke in and Roman Torchwick and the White Fang. Ozpin admits it's possible but that the evidence isn't conclusive enough to link them together at this time.

Ruby then mentions that the woman might have mentioned a hide-out in the south east, which catches Ozpin's interest as he gazes speculatively at Ruby. When Glynda tries to question her further about the source of this information, but Ozpin cuts her off, thanking Ruby and letting her go, though not before asking that she keep this matter discreet.

After Ruby leaves, Ironwood immediately advocates that they send all the forces they have to the south east to find out what is going on and eradicate any potential threat along the way. Ozpin interrupts Glynda's tart retort to that proposal, though agreeing with her assessment that Ironwood's response was too forceful. He instead advises caution in light of their lack of knowledge of how large this conspiracy truly is, and that they couldn't take such bold action and risk the spread of panic in the process.

When Ironwood testily asks if he was simply going to stand back and watch Ozpin gets out of his chair and angrily refutes that assertion. He then calmly asks James that as a general what the first tactic when preparing to go to war should be, sending in the flagbearers or the scouts?

Ozpin is later present when all the first year students gather in the amphitheater. There he gives a speech on the background of the Great War that ended eighty years ago and the context on why it was fought, along with the legacy of peace and unity that they as prospective Huntsman and Huntresses now have to uphold and protect.

He then sends them off on their first missions for the next week, where each team will take up individual assignments while shadowing a professional Huntsman. Before concluding, he reminds them to remember their training, to be safe, and to do their very best.

After Team Ruby is denied access to a mission in Quandrant Five, which is in the south east, Ozpin appears and informs them that the concentration of Grimm was deemed too extreme for first year students to handle. However, he humorously voices his suspicions that Team RWBY would try to make their way to the south east regardless of whatever mission they accepted.

Ozpin then expresses his wonder about some of the events Team RWBY were purportedly involved in, such as why they were at the docks last semester, or how they came by the information on the hide-out in the southeast, or vague reports by witnesses of their battle with Torchwick on the highway, before concluding in an amused tone that he probably would never learn the answer to these questions.

So, rather than waiting for them to inevitably break the rules, Ozpin bends them for the group instead, granting them access to the mission. When Ruby expresses her gratitude, however, Ozpin tells her that they shouldn't thank him for this, reminding them that while they had come far, none of that would matter to the things waiting for them outside the safety of the Kingdom.

Ozpin pointedly says to stay close their assigned Huntsman, reminding them that if they are judged unfit by him they could be sent back at any time, before wishing them good luck and walking off.

Over the course of his stay at Beacon, Ironwood has become uncomfortable with Ozpin's passive stance towards the threat of the Grimm and White Fang. Though Glynda assures him and requests that he keeps faith in his old friend, he still wavers. This eventually comes to a head in "Breach": due to the sudden Grimm invasion and the excellent performance of Ironwood's forces in defending Vale, Ozpin is removed as head of security for the Vytal Festival Tournament and has his position as headmaster questioned.

Volume 3

Ozpin breaks up the scene Winter Schnee and Qrow start by informing the crowding people that they could watch regulated fights and eat popcorn in Amity Colosseum. He, Glynda, Ironwood, and Qrow meet in his office to have an unexpected meeting, where Qrow details what he has learned about the infiltrators in Vale. Qrow says the tournament needs a guardian to protect it instead of an army. After that meeting ends, Qrow returns to his office some time later and asks if Ozpin has picked a guardian yet. As Ozpin explains who he thinks should be the guardian, Pyrrha Nikos enters the Cross Continental Transmit System elevator and visits Ozpin.

Ozpin and Pyrrha have a lighthearted conversation about Team JNPR, and Pyrrha wonders what Ozpin actually called her to his office for. She asks him, and he answers with another question. Ozpin asks what her favorite fairy tale is, and after a clarification, she lists a few. Ozpin asks if she knows The Story of the Seasons, and Pyrrha recounts it. Ozpin asks her if she would believe the story is true. Pyrrha thinks he is joking but soon realizes he is not. Ozpin asks if she would believe four Maidens exist, who can wield large amounts of power without using Dust or their Semblance, only "magic". Pyrrha is in disbelief, but Qrow is with Ozpin, saying the first time hearing the truth is crazy.

Pyrrha asks why Ozpin would tell her that, and he reveals that Ozpin's Group has chosen her to be the next Fall Maiden. Ironwood and Glynda arrive via elevator, and the adults inform Pyrrha that besides the positions they hold at schools, they are also members of a group that protects the four Maidens.

The five take an elevator to a large vault below Beacon, where Pyrrha is filled in on how Maidens are chosen and how the powers transfer to the next one. When they reach the opposite end of the vault, they come across a life support machine with Amber, the current Fall Maiden, lying inside, comatose. The inner circle tells Pyrrha that Amber was attacked, and half of her power was stolen. The only way to prevent the loss of her remaining power was to keep her stable in a life support machine made in Atlas. Pyrrha asks why they would not be open about the existence of the Maidens, and Ozpin says that if they reveal the Maidens, it would incite panic, bringing Grimm to the kingdom.

Pyrrha agrees to become the next Fall Maiden, but Ozpin tells her it may have adverse consequences on Pyrrha, saying she may not be the same person when the transfer of powers is complete. Ozpin tells Pyrrha she must decide to be or not to be the next Fall Maiden by the time the Vytal Festival ends.

Ozpin sits in his office to watch the singles fight between Pyrrha and Penny Polendina. After the fight ends with Penny's body in two, the camera feed is hijacked, and an unknown woman gives a speech incriminating Ozpin and Ironwood, also warning the public of a future war between nations. The unexpected events cause panic among all of the spectators, and the nearby Grimm sense this, breaching the city's walls. Qrow and Glynda enter his office, and he orders them to aid the resistance effort in Vale. Soon after, he calls Ironwood. The General attempts to explain Penny's robotic nature, but Ozpin immediately dismisses him, ordering to use his previously unwelcomed army to fight the Grimm invasion.

Ozpin watches in horror over his desk's surveillance feeds of various Grimm attacks happening. He grabs his cane and walks to center of his office until an earthquake strikes. He then watches as the Dragon heads towards Beacon, before making his way out to the courtyard. Upon reaching his destination, he locates Team JNPR, trying to get Pyrrha's attention, prompting her to walk over and meet him.

Accompanied by Jaune, Ozpin and Pyrrha make their way to the Beacon Vault in order to transfer Amber's powers to Pyrrha. After Pyrrha enters the pod, Ozpin asks one last time whether she is certain that she wishes to become the Fall Maiden and, upon receiving verbal confirmation, activates the transfer.

Unbeknownst to them, however, Cinder Fall follows them down to the Vault and kills Amber before the powers finish their transfer to Pyrrha, aborting the process and allowing Cinder to absorb the remainder of Amber's power. Jaune moves to engage Cinder, prompting Ozpin to attempt to stop him, but he is blasted back by Cinder's powers. Pyrrha attempts to fight as well, but Ozpin halts her and orders her to escape with Jaune for her safety. He also orders her to find Ironwood, Glynda and Qrow and bring them back to the vault. As Pyrrha and Jaune flee, Ozpin moves to engage Cinder.

Ozpin is last seen dueling Cinder in the Beacon Vault. Cinder is later seen leaving the vault alone, with Ozpin's whereabouts and status unknown. Whether or not he survived the duel is unclear, but his cane is currently in the possession of Qrow, who refers to him as "gone".

After the events at Beacon, a mysterious individual named Salem addresses Ozpin (who is not actually present), claiming that everything that has happened was merely the first step in her plan. She says that she cannot wait to see Ozpin burn.

Volume 4

At a meeting with her associates, Salem claims that Ozpin was killed by Cinder. Some time later, Cinder is questioned by Salem about whether she really killed Ozpin. Cinder chokes out a "yes".

At a farm, when Oscar finishes his chores and looks into a mirror, Ozpin's voice can be heard as he introduces himself, scaring the young boy. Later, Ozpin speaks through Oscar's mind, telling him they should leave the farm. He claims that their Auras have become one and that they share each other's thoughts and memories.

Despite Oscar's initial unwillingness, Ozpin manages to convince him to travel to Haven. On their way, they meet Hazel who helps Oscar with the ticket machine. Ozpin warns Oscar about Hazel, who is a person from Ozpin's past.

Later, in the city of Mistral, Ozpin gets Oscar to retrieve his cane from Qrow Branwen, who greets Oscar by Ozpin's nickname at the request.

Volume 5

At the house Qrow and Team RNJR stay at in Mistral, Oscar grants Ozpin's soul control over his body. Ozpin speaks directly to the former students, revealing himself as a person in a chain of those whose souls and memories are transferred to another upon death. He takes responsibility for their hardship and says they must keep the Relic of Knowledge secure, which the missing Spring Maiden is capable of reaching, if they are to stop Salem. After hearing of the group's meeting with Professor Lionheart, Ozpin is skeptical of the headmaster's behavior in disobeying Ozpin's orders from earlier. Ozpin says the group must enlist more Huntsmen to find Spring, telling Qrow to make sure they are trustworthy. He also says he will train Team RNJR to improve Ruby's hand-to-hand combat and unlock Jaune's Semblance among other things.

On a later day, Ruby and Oscar spar with the former winning. Ozpin tells the boy that he has forgotten to engage his Aura, and that the training will make him less likely to forget. He then takes over Oscar's body and spars with Ruby, prevailing with ease. Later, when Jaune laments about not knowing about his Semblance, Ozpin tells him not to worry. He explains to everyone that unlocking their Semblances is not the end, as they can grow and evolve if they put in the effort.

One night, after Oscar's conversation with Ruby, Ozpin states that Ruby is a remarkable person, but she was not the best Huntress at Beacon for several reasons. However, he states that she possesses a unique "spark" that inspires others even in the darkest of times. Ozpin then agrees with Oscar that the situation they are in is very hard on her.

Raven Branwen tells Weiss Schnee and Yang Xiao Long about how her and Qrow Branwen went to Beacon because to become a counter force against Huntsmen that threatened their tribe. Raven Branwen mentions how Ozpin payed more attention to team STRQ often giving them extra training. Ozpin was the one who informed Raven Branwen and Qrow Branwen about Salem. Raven also knows about Ozpin's ability to reincarnate. Raven Branwen states that her and Qrow Branwen's ability to magically transform into corvids was granted by Ozpin himself. However, it is unknown how Ozpin granted them their transformations.

Appearance

Ozpin is a middle-aged man with tousled grey hair and thin brown eyes. He wears shaded glass spectacles and a dark green scarf with a small purple cross-shaped emblem on it. He wears an unzipped black suit over a black buttoned vest, with a green undershirt underneath. Ozpin also wears white gloves, black trouser shoes, and dark green long pants. Interestingly, Ozpin has black eyebrows, so he may have had black hair when he was younger. He is often seen with a mug bearing the Beacon Academy emblem on it.

Personality

Ozpin is typically both stoic and affable towards people he speaks to. It can be inferred from his indifference toward Ruby fighting Roman Torchwick and the way he literally launches new students into the Emerald Forest for initiation that he has no problem for the most part with putting them in mortal danger given the right reasons or to accomplish something. He can also be very blunt, as shown when Jaune Arc asks him questions about the launch. According to Ruby and Yang in The Shining Beacon, Pt.2, Ozpin did not seem himself while giving his speech to the incoming students, implying that he may usually be livelier than he was at the time.

Abilities & Powers

Though nothing about Ozpin's physical capabilities are known, his weapon of choice appears to either be a sword, or his cane has been weaponized, from the ending credits of episode 9, as a handguard of sorts can be seen.

Trivia

  • Ozpin was originally supposed to be voiced by Monty Oum.
  • Matt Hullum had actually read for Ozpin before the part went to Shannon McCormick.
  • He seems familiar with Crescent Rose as he seemed surprised that someone as young as Ruby Rose could wield it, citing it as "one of the most dangerous weapons ever designed."
    • Given Ruby's statement that she designed Crescent Rose, he likely was referring to the general scythe design.
  • His name could be a reference to the titular character from "The Wizard of Oz." The color of his clothes could also reference the Emerald City from the aforementioned story.
    • Also of interesting note is that the Wizard's name, Oscar Zoroaster Phadrig Isaac Norman Henkel Emmannuel Ambroise Digg, acronyms as OZPINHEAD which may be what Ozpin's name and position of Headmaster is based on.
  • Ozpin almost always has something in one of his hands. He is normally seen holding a coffee mug, but he has also been seen holding a tray of cookies or, on later occasions, a cane.
  • Ozpin was seen alongside Glynda Goodwitch as a silhouette in the ending credits of The Badge and The Burden. He is also seen holding his cane, however it appears to be some sort of weapon that is similar in shape to a sword.
  • The background of the ending credits to the episode also suggest that his emblem is a dark green gear.

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