Qrow Branwen (クロウ・ブランウェン, Kurō Buranwen), pronounced "Crow", is the uncle of Yang Xiao Long and honorary uncle of Ruby Rose. He is a teacher at Signal Academy. In his youth, Qrow attended Beacon Academy and was on a team with Summer Rose, Taiyang Xiao Long and Raven Branwen, known as Team STRQ.
Qrow is also involved with Ozpin, Glynda Goodwitch and James Ironwood in a secret society whose purpose is to protect Remnant and is privy to knowledge kept secret from most of the world.
"You two… You're gonna go far, but only if you keep learning, if you never stop moving forward."
- —Qrow, to Ruby and Yang.
Appearance & Biography
- Voice Actor: Vic Mignogna (English), Hiroaki Hirata (Japanese), Not Known (Italian), Not Known (Spanish), Not Known (German), Not Known (Finnish), Not Known (Korean), Not Known (French), Not Known (Latin American Spanish)
In the flashback sequence of "Burning the Candle", Qrow had dark spiky hair and donned a cloak, with predominantly dark or black clothing. In "Ruby Rose", Ozpin described him as a "dusty, old crow".
In his official design, he has graying black, spiky hair, red eyes, and slight stubble along his jawline. With a red, tattered cloak, he wears a gray dress shirt with a long tail, black dress pants, and black dress shoes.
He also wears a ring on his right index finger, two other rings on his right fourth finger, and a necklace with a crooked cross-shaped pendant.
Qrow's bangs are down most of the time, but he pushes his hair back when fighting.
- Hair Color: Black
- Skin Color: Pale White
- Eye Color: Red
- Age: Not Known
- Height: Not Known
- Weight: Not Known
Qrow is a rude, blunt, cynical, sometimes crass, yet cool-headed and nonchalant individual. It's acknowledged that he's an alcoholic as Glynda Goodwitch states, "He's always drunk!" He openly disrespects the Atlas military, apparently for the occupation of Vale and the mistreatment of Ozpin during the Vytal Festival. Qrow's dislike of Atlas is brazen enough for him to immediately get into a brawl with Winter Schnee upon encountering her, and personal enough for him to back down at the last second just for the chance to humiliate Winter in front of Ironwood. He also shows a level of cockiness when he taunts Winter into attacking him. His mischievousness is consistent, for he shows in "Lessons Learned" that he's immature enough to be willing to distract his nieces with a sexual quip in order to claim victory over them when playing a video game. He also has a mercurial attitude towards his age: disgusted at the notion of being called old by his nieces, but willing to use it as an excuse to leave uncomfortable conversations.
Behind this childish facade, however, however, lies the demeanor of a true, veteran Huntsman. While watching the Vytal Festival Tournament, he openly expresses displeasure and lack of approval while observing the matches, even as far as calling one a mess. He hinted to his nieces that his time out in the field has hardened him, which made the much safer displays of strength on the broadcast seem tame and benign in comparison.
Qrow cares for his nieces dearly; he saved Yang and Ruby from being killed by Grimm when they were very young. He also took Ruby under his wing and trained her in scythe-wielding, allowing her to pursue her dreams as a Huntress. "It's Brawl in the Family" and "Lessons Learned" also show that he is very close to his nieces and plays the part of the childish uncle, ruffling Ruby's hair when he sees her again, playing video games with his nieces and not being above distracting them to claim victories. He's also very cautious, warning Ruby and Yang to not let their past (near) victories against Roman Torchwick and the White Fang go to their heads. Although cautious with them, he has faith in his nieces' potential as Huntresses, encouraging them to continue learning throughout their time at Beacon, saying they will go far after graduating.
He's also very aware of Yang's obsession with her mother, Raven, making an unsuccessful effort to conceal her face when he shows his nieces the Team STRQ picture, and quickly putting it away when he notices Yang's fixation on her.
In "Family" it is shown that unlike his sister, Qrow despises killing. He is upset with Raven for not contacting Yang, especially after she knew her daughter had lost her arm. He clearly values family and doesn't appreciate what he calls her skewed perception of what it means.
Qrow is very self-conscious about his Semblance. Aware of its possible impact to people around him, he makes a point to keep his distance from those he cares about.
He holds religion with a bit of dubiousness, but he takes Ozpin's word on the previous existence of the brother gods and their relics.
Powers and Abilities
In the episode "End of the Beginning", after the credits roll Qrow is seen leaping from a cliffside with a black bird in his place, which would suggest that he has the ability to become a crow. Prior to his leap, he has possession of Ozpin's cane, further evidence of his vow to continue the missing headmaster's work.
His shapeshifting ability is confirmed in "Tipping Point", when he transforms to quickly get to team RNJR during their fight with Tyrian Callows.
Qrow is also shown to be proficient in hand-to-hand combat, able to deliver several quick staggering blows and then knock back his opponents a distance with a kick. Another testament to his strength and skill, is that even while he was drunk, he was able to match Winter Schnee, a high ranking Atlas official.
Qrow's Semblance brings misfortune wherever he goes, and unlike most Semblances, his is always active and uncontrollable. This leads to incidents as small as a glass being knocked onto the floor in "New Challengers..." or as significant as a blocked attack chopping off the corner of a building in "Punished". His Semblance can come to his advantage in a fight, such when Tyrian Callows falls through an old roof. His Semblance does not discriminate whom it affects, which causes him to keep his distance from the people he cares about.
As mentioned by Ozpin, Qrow is a master scythe wielder, having taught Ruby how to use her scythe. Crescent Rose is confirmed not to be a copy of Qrow's scythe, as Ruby stated that she designed Crescent Rose herself. There are also notable differences.
In "Heroes and Monsters", he was showing easily dispatching a Griffon by slicing it in half, demonstrating he has remarkable mastery of his weapon.
In the episode "It's Brawl in the Family", his weapon first appears as a longsword, which contains gears near the crossguard area (on a regular blade). And like most Huntsman weapons, his blade can also transform into a gun. Though as he began to reveal its true form, he stops and retracts it before its transformation is complete. However, the scythe form is later seen in its entirety in "Heroes and Monsters".
Qrow is strong enough to smash a crater into the ground with his sword, cut through metal poles, as well as release sonic waves. Qrow is able to perform a slash with his scythe that is too fast for the eye to see, even when everything is viewed in slow motion. Moreover, during his fight with Winter, Qrow wielded his weapon proficiently with either hand, revealing himself to have trained to be able to use it whether it is in his dominant or weak hand.
Notes & Trivia
- Branwen is Welsh, meaning "blessed white raven/crow", which corresponds to his first name.
- Qrow, along with Raven, may allude to Huginn and Muninn, a pair of ravens that flew all over the world to bring information to the god Odin.
- During the scene where Yang talks about her search for Raven and being saved by her uncle Qrow in "Burning the Candle", the text on the chalkboard (enlarged) is an extract from a poem about Huginn and Muninn, two ravens from Norse mythology. The text supposedly reads:
- :Hugin and Munin fly each day over the spacious earth.
- :I fear for Hugin, that he not come back, yet more anxious am I for Munin.
- On November 10th, 2013, a Wikia account registered as Montyoum made an edit to this page to indicate that Qrow's full name was "Qrow Branwen". As no verification from an official source was provided that this account was linked to Monty Oum in any way, the edit was reverted. Interestingly, however, following the release of the Volume 2 episode "Breach", on October 30th, 2014, it was revealed that Raven's full name was "Raven Branwen".
- The credits for the episode "New Challengers..." confirmed that his last name is Branwen.
- Given his name and association with Ozpin and Ironwood, it's possible he alludes to the Scarecrow from The Wizard of Oz who goes to the Wizard in search of a brain. Correspondingly, Qrow gathers intelligence which he shares with Ozpin, and vice versa.
- The mumbling of the phrase "That's my uncle!" by his adoptive niece, Ruby, is a reference to the Rooster Teeth Animated Adventure "Left 4 Trek".
- This is referenced again in the episode "It's Brawl in the Family" when Ruby first notices Qrow and Winter fighting.
- Qrow was first seen in "Burning the Candle", not in a rendered model, but only as stylized artwork.
- While only officially given a name by Monty when Tales of RWBY was created, the character Qrow is based on what had been a brainchild of the show's creator for nearly a decade. He had gone through many design iterations, but both his personality and combat style have essentially prevailed over the years.
- By saying "damn" in "It's Brawl in the Family", Qrow is the first character in the show to curse without being censored. Previously, Roman nearly said "fuck" in "Black and White", and Ozpin stopped Glynda from saying "dicks" in "Field Trip". Cardin Winchester's use of the word "crap" in "Forever Fall, Pt.2" is not considered a curse because "crap" is often seen as a replacement word used to refrain from cursing.
- During his fight with Winter, his left eye flashed a red glint after Winter whacked him in the face, before he smashed a crater into the ground; however the significance of this, if there is any, has yet to be revealed.
- Kerry Shawcross and Miles Luna stated that Qrow was their favorite character to write because it was refreshing to have an adult character who didn't take things seriously.