Category Archives: Romance in RWBY

Romance in RWBY: Blake/Ruby

Hello, Kernook here. It’s time for another “romantic pairing” posts. As usual, first, I’ll talk about all the reasons why you should “ship” these characters for a romantic pairing. Then, I’ll talk about reasons why other pairings might fit better.

If you have different opinions than mine, that’s okay. Everyone is allowed to like different character pairings… I like many of them. I don’t believe in “one true pairing” particularly in the RWBY universe as there are so many vast ways to explore the characters. I think RWBY is a fluid universe when it comes to romance with plenty to explore, so let’s dive into that reguarding Ruby and Blake, shall we?

I’ve already done one of these styles of posts regarding the “Arkos” pairing, which is between Jaune Arc and Pyrrha Nikos. If that pairing interests you, well then you may just want to check that one out. If not, no big deal, but i wanted to let you know it happens to be here if you cared.

In any case, the key thing to keep in mind when reading this particular post, or any others like it, is that I do ship a lot of characters. I think combinations offer interesting insights and ways to explore the series when you break out of the typical molds on canon ideology. Or at the very least, what passes for canon ideology.

“Canon” Verses “Fannon”

When I talk about “canon”, that means there is firm implication or proof in the series that something actually happens romantically between these characters. When I talk about “fannon”, I am speaking about things that the greater fan-base has concluded based on subtext, or clues in the series. Fannon is a very loose term, because it can almost mean anything depending on who you talk to.

Example: Saying that Blake and Ruby both read books for enjoyment is a canon fact in the series established all the way back in the first volume. However, saying that Blake and Ruby might enjoy curling up and reading together is fannon at best. We’ve never seen this happen in the show, and we can’t even assume they keep a preference for the same genre of books considering that Blake reads adult literature.

That said, the Blake/Ruby pairing, also known by fans as “ladybug”, is not a cannon pairing in the series. It is strictly “fannon” or commonly called “fan fiction fodder”. The pairing is made up by the fan-base. It has very little cannon ground to stand on. It will remain that way until the RWBY series proves otherwise.

Frankly, I doubt the animated series will go in that direction. It seems as though the creators of RWBY are headed towards the cannon pairing of Yang/Blake, also known as “bumblebee”.

I’ll cover the “bumblebee” pairing at a later date.

I tend to sail many ships, and “ladybug” just so happens to be one of them. I have written fan fiction on AO3 regarding this pairing, and I will continue to do so. That said, let’s get into the reasons why you should ship them.

Reasons to “Ship” Blake and Ruby (Ladybug)

Ladybug is a weak romance ship in the canon argument debate. However, their strongest argument, the best one in my opinion is their intended lifestyle and their future ambitions. From the start of the series Blake and Ruby are versatile and tactical fighters in the series and they’re both ruthless in combat against their target foe.

For Blake this is the White Fang, and for Ruby this is the Grimm. They both have goals to better the world, and even if they don’t know how to do that, they’re going to do their best to try.

This is explained during the mountain Glenn arc of the series. Neither of their teammates share that same ruthless tenacity early on.

Yang and Weiss just don’t have the same huntress oriented focus based upon bettering the world around them. We see this down to the core combat style of the characters too. Weiss is more defensive in combat, often acting as a support fighter. She has no clear enemy or direct focus upon which to aim her blade. For her being a huntress is a family focused center, and that will shift as the series progresses… more on this later.

Yang is more aggressive early on, but that’s because she loves to fight. Her semblance requires her to be in the heat of battle to really utilize it. That being said though, Yang’s goal to be a huntress has nothing to do with bettering the world either. She just wants to get out to see it, and being a huntress lines up with that.

Early on though, during the Beacon volumes of the show, Blake and Ruby are the most compatible when it comes down to their life and their future goals. This continues well into Volume eight, and no, I’m not kidding. It’s the one constant that they both have.

Secondly, they’re both outliers in their team. They have a difficult time forming bonds with others. This is another trait that is exclusive to the two characters early on. Ruby is the youngest, notably so. Blake is the only Faunus on the team. Both of them face adversity from these dynamics (Blake more so than Ruby).

Furthermore, arguably, Blake has the most life experience outside of the kingdom’s walls, but it’s to her disadvantage when it comes to forming meaningful bonds. Meanwhile, Ruby has the least life experience, and remains far less cynical as a result. As the series progresses Blake makes note of Ruby’s youthful optimism and tells her that she came to respect Ruby due to that seemingly “youthful” optimism that she once thought of as childish. She has come to admire Ruby deeply. This is a canon event in volume eight.

Opposite to this, their teammates just can’t relate to them. Weiss has spent her time in the spotlight. She’s famous, and she can be very narrow-minded. She’s standoffish by choice early on. Yang seems to fit in with everyone so long as her temper doesn’t get in the way.

This means that Blake and Ruby share an unspoken bond merely because of their nature. They’re outcasts to a point, and that perfectly explains why in the early parts of the series they have no decent character interaction together. Ruby’s too awkward, and Blake always had much more important things on her mind. This also makes for great fan fiction fodder, because writers can play with that topic in all sorts of ways.

Thirdly, and this heavily ties into the first point of a life’s goal, they both know exactly what they want out of being a huntress. The only question in their minds is how to attain it. They both want to be huntresses for the greater good of society. That’s a trait you can’t ignore. It’s so integral to Blake and Ruby as characters that Weiss and Yang just can’t measure up in the lifestyle awaiting them because of what huntresses truly are.

Ruby wants to be a huntress to help people. Blake wants to be a huntress to aid in the Faunus plight. This directly juxtaposes their other teammates. In later volumes, Yang struggles with taking the heat of that decision, such as in volumes seven and eight. As for Weiss, she’s more firmly grounded in the ideologies of a huntress by that point, but Blake and Ruby still have the firm upper hand on her there.

In the end for Weiss and for Yang, being a huntress offers freedom in some way shape or form from family related struggles. Being a huntress is about finding catharsis that comes down to the heart and core of these two characters and their personal family related demons. For Yang this is her mother, Raven, and for Weiss it comes down to her father Jacques.

When it comes to long term “work and life balance” capability the ladybug ship wins the war of ambition by a large and fast margin. This aspect of shared ambition and their emotional ethics is important. Blake and Ruby treat the act of being huntresses as an altruistic endeavor. It’s arguable that Blake and Ruby would grow up into a romance very well as adults. This becomes even more paramount in later volumes.

After a team disagreement, Yang actually leaves the core members of team RWBY for a while to work with their other friends. However the fact is, she leaves Ruby, Blake and Weiss based on that disagreement. Blake stays, she doesn’t choose to go with Yang, this is a core growth. Blake the runner, stays put. Yang, takes another step forward to understanding Raven’s reasons for lashing out and leaving for good. When the group reunites, they’re all stronger for these learned lessons… but what I said above holds true, when the chips are down, and you have to make the hard choices, Ruby and Blake will always choose what being a huntress truly is.

Even their weaponry reflects this. They both use equipment that is complex and dangerous to use. Crescent Rose and Gambol Shroud both have the ability to transform into scythes. Blake’s weapon is classified as a “Variant Ballistic Chain Scythe”. It’s important to note that Ruby is a weapon fanatic with a love of scythes that as she says “is also a gun”.

They both stand up firmly for what they believe, sometimes to their own detriment. Both of them prove to be strong leaders in their own way. Ruby is the leader of her teammates. Blake showcases her skill in leadership the Menagerie arc, learning to unite fellow Faunus together. Yang and Weiss just aren’t the same in this capacity. They’re happy to play “second fiddles” to wider narrative arcs.

They’re not leaders, and despite the complaints Weiss has in volume one, she quickly learns she’s not fit to be a leader at all, that’s not her strength.

Yang shows absolutely no skill in leadership at all. For Weiss the desire to lead the team is short-lived. She learns to be happy falling in line behind Ruby as the “best partner” that Ruby will ever have.

All-in-all as future huntresses, Blake and Ruby are very compatible. They have aligned skills and noble ambitions. They have a true desire to triumph over adversity, and they have the gumption to do so.

They would likely be happy traveling together helping the world after graduation. This is the strongest argument to make in favor of the “ladybug” pairing. Being a huntress isn’t just a job, it’s a lifestyle. Blake and Ruby wish to live as huntresses in similar ways. This could pave the way for a long term relationship. In “ladybug” fan fiction it often does.

There is an argument to be made about Ruby and Blake sharing a few interests and traits. In my personal opinion there isn’t much in this category, but I’ll go over some of them anyway.

Both of them have a fondness for reading. Ruby has her love of fairy tales. Blake has an appreciation for trashy romance novels. In the series, Ruby attempts to befriend Blake when she sees the Faunus reading in the corner.

Both of these characters share a deep empathy towards others, although Blake chooses not to make that obvious until volume eight. Ruby comments about Blake’s “cute kitty” ears early on in the show, showing at least a little interest in Blake as well.

As you can see, this is the weaker argument to make in favor of the pairing. Sadly, Ruby and Blake don’t get much screen time alone together. They don’t have time to bond. The few scenes they do share are mainly in the early volumes of the series when they’re at odd’s with each other. Sadly, most of those scenes aren’t even positive dialogue exchanges. Now later volumes, namely Volume eight, once again gives us a tiny bit of fodder to play with, but it’s weak at best without the wider view of the huntress lifestyle to back it up.

The subtext in the series is that Blake and Ruby interact by default as team members. We don’t actually see a deep bond form between them. Clearly there’s a deep friendship there in some capacity, but we can only speculate the extent of it.

Fans have often criticized the show for a lack of content regarding Blake and Ruby as friends, and that is often why shipping them can be difficult. Still, when you think about the perspective in this way, it actually makes a lot of sense. There’s a slowly growing chemistry here and one that’s pretty natural when you consider team dynamics, and how Yang and Weiss play stronger supporting roles for their team members.

Ruby and Blake don’t have strong moments together, because frankly, they’re both on equal footing and don’t need the emotional back-up from each other. They get that from their partners. Blake from Yang and Ruby from Weiss.

Until they’re separated and work as partners themselves, we don’t have to see it. Volume eight proves that their bond is just as strong, though… perhaps stronger in this way, even if only in this way. If you care to look for this subtext, there’s a whole wealth of it to find here.

Reasons to Sail a Different Ship

In all honesty, I will sail the “ladybug” ship until it sinks, just as I will sail the bees and our beloved roses. That said, ladybug does have a lot of downsides. Writing fan fiction for “ladybug” can be very difficult. It’s not that the pairing is impossible. Rather, it’s that you have to go looking for commonalities in somewhat strange places.

Blake is obviously more mature than Ruby when it comes to romantic relationships. At the start of the series Blake is reading adult media. The implication is that she’s engaged in at least some of those acts before entering Beacon. This can be a major issue for fan fiction that takes place during the Beacon/Vale arcs of the RWBY series. The two year age difference between these girls might as well be night and day. That’s fitting though, at fifteen you hit separate milestones than you do at seventeen and eighteen which is about the age of the other Beacon characters. Remember, Beacon is closer to a university than it is a high school.

On her team, Blake has more chemistry with Yang and Weiss from the get-go. You could even make an argument that she has a stronger chemistry with Sun and Ilia than she could ever hope to have with Ruby outside of the profession and lifestyle of what a huntress needs to be.

To contrast that, Ruby has her own strong chemistry line-up. Weiss is obviously the strongest. Little miss “shut up, don’t touch me” is still very willing to hug Ruby back, and that’s a mirrior of the hug between stand-offish Blake and a very physically driven character like Yang.

For someone like Ruby, Jaune sticks out fairly well as a strong contender too, but even Penny, Pyrrha and Oscar make the fan fiction rounds a fair bit. If you want to get really weird and do the sibling romance thing, Yang’s a strong contender too. No shame for those who do, but I’m on the fence about how I feel about that one.

Either way, frankly because there’s hardly any canon material for Blake and Ruby as a romantic pairing, other pairings just make more sense on a surface level. Blake gets more valuable screen time with Sun, Weiss, Ilia, and Yang than she does with Ruby. Those scenes are central plot elements for Blake and they can’t be easily ignored.

The same could be said for Ruby, though. Her key cannon material revolves around Weiss, Penny, Pyrrha, Jaune and in later volumes Oscar.

Now we come to the final nail in the “ladybug” coffin. For all of the arguments I made to support the pairing, most people can make a very valid counter rebuttal. I’m about to do that here…

Firstly, Blake is practically a ninja and she benefits more from fighting alongside Yang or Weiss. Both of them have semblances that compliment Blake’s fighting style in a way that Ruby’s just can’t. The same can be said for Ruby, she benefits more from fighting alongside supporting fighters like Weiss. As it is, both women are better off sticking with their cannon combat partners after graduation.

They have weaponry that is complex and dangerous to use. This is all the more reason not to be fighting side by side. Neither of their weapons are entirely predictable. Ruby’s odd fascination with weaponry doesn’t end with scythes, and wouldn’t end with Gambol Shroud anyway. She would be just as enamored with any weapon type that she hasn’t seen before.

Secondly, Ruby is the youngest and that is a huge problem in early volumes. She might be a prodigy, but early on she’s incredibly naive in all of the ways that Blake isn’t. Also, because Blake’s a Faunus she has the potential to have other interesting character pairings. Weiss can be narrow-minded because of her family and her upbringing. Overcoming those odds is a classic “odd couple” sort of romance. Honestly, that’s a driving force in most Weiss/Blake fan shipping, also known as “monochrome”.

A defiance of social norms and adversity makes interesting plot points both in the series and in fan fiction between these two characters. Monochrome has incredible strength by nature throughout the entire series because of this.

Thirdly, they both know exactly what they want out of being a huntress, and that’s a problem. Those desires are similar, but also very different down at the key crux of it all. Given Blake’s character and her motivations, it’s possible that one day she would cease to be a huntress. Chances are good that Blake will end up leading a re-established group like the White Fang. This would turn into a conflict of interest. All that Ruby ever wants to be is a huntress, that is her entire ambition. It’s arguable that both women would be better served by finding other relationships and living their lives elsewhere.

Where Yang and Weiss are intent to follow, Ruby and Blake are natural born leaders, and to heads in this case sometimes aren’t better than one. The emotional support, and team turned family unit relies on this family to maintain its equilibrium to a degree. Weiss is very keen to keep it that way, and her protectiveness of that unit is a good argument for why the romances would never shift. Weiss is particularly territorial over her friends and her teammates down in the subtext… she’s actually a mirror of Sun in that way. If you screw with them, you screw with her, and end up in a garbage can as a result.

Weiss has already made the promise to be the best partner that Ruby will ever have. She fully acknowledges and accepts Ruby as a leader. Weiss is a pragmatist at heart. She sees the value in following Ruby’s orders… and to a greater degree, following Ruby’s ideologies when her own fail to measure up to “be the better/less cynical person” that she wishes to be.

Yang shows no interest in leadership at all, and she willingly follows Blake’s lead at the drop of a hat. Yang has always been as supportive of Blake as possible. To be honest, cannon just slaughters the argument in favor of the “ladybug” pairing when it comes to this point.

Looking at everything from this angle, we can come up with a few different conclusions.

While its true that Blake and Ruby are very compatible as huntresses, they require other teammates to be truly remarkable in combat. They have aligned skills and noble ambitions, but that will lead them in vastly different directions in life. Chances are good they’d be even happier with their other teammates after graduation. Being a huntress isn’t just a job, it’s a lifestyle.

There’s a good chance that Blake will move on, and if Ruby wishes to live as a huntress she may end up alone. Weiss becomes embroiled in the trade after renouncing her family name, and it’s clear she views her team as her family, stating so to her asshole of a father in volume 7. while it’s unclear if they will be a canon ship or not, whiterose has and will always be a very powerful shipping contender… and the way she maintains and upholds the concept of this new family unit really can’t be understated. She truly becomes the mother hen to the wider group, a position that Yang used to fill.

As I said before, there is a very weak argument to be made about Ruby and Blake sharing a few interests and traits. This is a very pairing specific issue. The rebuttals I would make depend entirely on what “ship” I would be trying to sail instead. Listing everything would be impossible, I’ll just say that the rebuttals here are endless, because they literally are.

Final Thoughts

The ladybug pairing is a ship best explored in small fluff pieces, alternate universes, or fictions where ideology play a strong factor in the narrative. That’s because Ruby and Blake don’t have the same sort of natural progression that other characters do. Most of their important scenes together are in volumes 1, 2,3,7, and 8… volume 6 has some content, but it’s not particularly powerful. That honor goes to the roses and the bees, particularly the bees.

The “ladybug” pairing is ultimately unique. Unlike the other shipping combinations of team RWBY and beyond, there isn’t a lot to work with. In fact, “ladybug” shippers probably have the hardest time making a relationship between Ruby and Blake seem believable. However, that being said, the subtext is particularly strong depending on how you choose to view it.

A good deal of Ruby’s friendship or possible romance with Blake remains implied. It’s never shown in direct detail. They don’t have any interactions that turn into long-running direct core plot points, either. All of the other teammates do, but Ruby and Blake just don’t.

Trying to romanticize what little we do see, requires creativity. You can’t sail this ship if you’re following strictly cannon screen time. You need to step out of the box and be willing to suspend some of your disbelief to truly enjoy it.

That being said, “ladybug” is one of my top ten pairings in RWBY. No matter what your view is, I will avidly sail this ship until it sinks.

What are your thoughts on Blake/Ruby as a ship? Love it? Hate it? Tell me why down in the comments below.

This has been Kernook of The Demented Ferrets, where stupidity is at its finest and level grinds are par for the course. I’ll see you next time.

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Romance In RWBY: Pyrrha and Jaune (Arkos)

Hey everyone, it’s Kern here, time for another RWBY related fandom post. Today I’m talking about romance in RWBY.

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As of Volume 3 the “Arkos” ship in the past, and although it is canon content Pyrrha died in that volume. Regardless of that, I still enjoy the concept of the ship and thought it prudent to talk about it today. At the time of this post Volume 8 is in full swing, and soon to be completed.

I really want to get into discussing RWBY content and this is as good a place to start as any when it comes to shipping since it is a ship that (as far as fans know) doesn’t need to compete with possible cannon content in later volumes yet to be released.

Pyrrha Nikos and Jaune Arc comprise the pairing affectionately named “arkos” by the fan community. For the first three volumes of RWBY, Jaune and Pyrrha are teammates that grow into being vague lovers. In the end of volume three Pyrrha dies and Jaune must live on.

Volumes four, five, and six show Jaune learning to heal from his grief. His slow emotional recovery is well done, probably some of the best I’ve seen in a production like RWBY.

As of Volume 8, it’s safe to say that Jaune has mostly recovered from his grief at this point. Though there are moments where it crops up on occasion. So let’s take a look at this romantic pairing a little more closely.

Early Beginnings

In volume one, the romance is entirely one sided. Jaune’s eyes are on Weiss, not Pyrrha. Of course, Pyrrha doesn’t make her feelings truly known, either. Jaune is typically very dense, but at the very least he’s earnest.

In volume two Jaune and Pyrrha become a cannon pairing. However, Pyrrha’s tragic death in volume three also opens the way for Jaune to pair off with someone else in later seasons. Unless the writers of the show somehow bring Pyrrha back to life, it’s safe to say she’s gone for good.

I don’t personally sail this ship from a cannon perspective, but I do read fan fiction with the pairing in it. For me, it depends entirely on the setting. Alternate universe fan fiction, or fan fiction in the Beacon/Vale timeline can be well written. People who choose to write the pairing earnestly can often offer an entertaining read.

I do think that Jaune and Pyrrha have better pairings for each of them. The “Arkos” ship is a bit of a mess as far aa romantic pairings are concerned. In early cannon, Jaune is oblivious and has other interests. This is compounded by the fact that Pyrrha doesn’t make her affection obvious until much later. Then once she does, she doesn’t live long after.

That said, I respect “arkos” and its cannon roots. It certainly is a popular pairing, and I’d never disparage that.

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Reasons to “Ship” Jaune and Pyrrha (Arkos)

Just like other ships in RWBY, the first volume of the series focuses on how completely incompatible Jaune and Pyrrha really are. Whiterose, and to a lesser extent bumblebee, also suffer from this trope. The first volume wanted to imply how vastly different hunters can be. Showing that off between teams and partnerships really gets the point across.

Let’s be bluntly honest, early on Jaune is not a good candidate to become a good huntsman. He has a noble ambition, but that’s about it. Like Ruby, he’s awkward beyond belief too. He lacks basic combat skills, common sense, and he lied on his school documents. Beyond that, Jaune has his priorities in the wrong order. That’s a fact most of the others around him notice, Ruby particularly.

He is constantly bullied for lack of skill in the early parts of the series. Jaune has no right to be a Beacon student in the first place, and he knows it. Let’s be real honest here, it’s going to take a lot of volumes before he finds his footing, six of them to be exact.

Meanwhile, Pyrrha Nikos is an accomplished student. It’s implied that she’s somewhat of a celebrity, but this isn’t touched upon as heavily as it is for other characters. Pyrrha has won tournaments and received a sponsorship. No matter how loosely it’s touched upon, she’s famous, and her face is plastered across cereal boxes.

Weiss Schnee, heiress to the Schnee Dust Company, regards Pyrrha with the utmost respect. Considering how rude Weiss can be in volume 1, this is a mild indication that Pyrrha has dabbled in high society. There is firm subtext that Weiss and Pyrrha may have even crossed paths before. They don’t formally introduce themselves, and Weiss seems particularly friendly with her. Despite Pyrrha’s popularity, Jaune doesn’t even know who Pyrrha is.

In fact, in my re-watching of the series, I realized how much of a jerk Jaune was to Pyrrha even when she tries to introduce herself to him.

He practically pushes her out of his way just so that he can talk to Weiss. It’s obvious that Weiss isn’t interested in him, but he doesn’t seem to realize that.

At first, Jaune and Pyrrha are simply unfit for each other. As a pairing, his sights aren’t even set on Pyrrha as a romantic interest. Instead, he’s much more interested in Weiss. This is what I mean about the pairing being a little messy. It’s not even a love triagle, so much as it is Jaune being unable to “read the room” so-to-speak.

For Pyrrha and Jaune, volume one is nothing more than establishing personal growth for these characters. While Pyrrha holds a romantic fondness for Jaune, he’s too dense to really notice. With his sights so firmly planted on Weiss, he doesn’t see the love and affection that Pyrrha wants to offer him.

If it sounds like I’m harping on that a lot, that’s because I am. The series is very focused upon the unrequited love dynamic going on between them, and it all comes to a boiling point eventually, but until then, that’s what we get out of them. Jaune acting like a dunce, and Pyrrha still caring very deeply for the misguided and well-meaning idiot. Jaune still has a lot growing up to do, but that comes later.

Until then, Pyrrha acts as a supportive partner for Jaune flawlessly. She unlocks his aura, and helps him with his training, teaching him the basic skills he doesn’t have. At first, Jaune fails to return that level of loyalty. Instead he befriends Cardin, and allows himself to be bullied. Even with Pyrrha’s best efforts, Jaune finds himself failing, both as a team leader, and a huntsman-in-training.

As I said though, the second volume is when Jaune begins to understand the important role he has as a team leader. He starts to emulate Pyrrha’s actions, learning to be humble. He isn’t exactly happy when Pyrrha forces him to study, but he doesn’t argue with her either. Pyrrha shows growth in her own ways too. Much like Weiss, Pyrrha has learned that small moments of immaturity aren’t a bad thing. Pyrrha joins the food fight between teams RWBY and JNPR. She reads comic books, and enjoys spending time with her teammates.

Jaune still fawns over Weiss, even though she isn’t interested in him.

Pyrrha isn’t obvious about it, but now she shows signs of being jealous. This becomes a major turning point during the school dance. Jaune is so sure that Pyrrha will find a date to the dance that he says he’ll wear a dress if she doesn’t have one. After being rejected by Weiss for the umpteenth time, Jaune attends the dance alone.

When he sees Pyrrha sad and alone, he can’t help but follow her. When he asks where her date is, she tells him that she never had a date to begin with.

Pyrrha explains in detail that her privileged place in society makes it very difficult to connect with others. For the first time, she’s being blunt with Jaune. Upfront and honest about her feelings for him, she lets him know exactly how she feels. She makes it obvious he’s the sort of man she wants in her life… so, needless to say, Jaune eats his words.

Jaune goes and puts on a dress. Returning to the dance, he spends the rest of his evening with Pyrrha. This moment is what officially sets their relationship into motion in cannon.

To be honest, we don’t get much else for Jaune and Pyrrha in volume two after this point. Major plot elements and story elements take place for team RWBY, meaning that other teams get sidelined.

It should come as no surprise when I say that the “arkos” pairing is strongest during volume three. Pyrrha shows affection for Jaune openly, and he returns it. She’s much more open about her feelings now, and Jaune reciprocates that. All of this relationship for the past three volumes culminates into a sudden and climatic kiss. Then Pyrrha rushes off to face a battle all on her own, knowing it’ll get her killed.

This is where the “arkos” ship sadly sinks. After her fight, volume three ends. Jaune learns to live without Pyrrha Nikos in his life. While volumes four, five, and six have moments of him recalling his time with Pyrrha, that’s all there can be anymore. During the sixth volume, Jaune comes across a memorial statue of Pyrrha, and finally comes to a catharsis about her death.

So, why should you ship this pairing? It’s quite simple. Jaune grows from a cocky teenage boy into a resolute young man during the first six volumes. Pyrrha was the catalyst for that growth. Pyrrha’s own self-discoveries, while subtle, shouldn’t be understated either. As a fan, it’s interesting to think about how these characters would have grown into adults with full fledged hunting licenses.

While other pairings in the series focus on grandiose character moments and memorable witty dialogue, it’s not the same for Jaune and Pyrrha. For these two, it’s all about the things left unsaid. The simplicity of mundane life that gets taken for granted. It’s profoundly beautiful and tragic. This is perhaps what allows the pairing to live on within the fandom.

Reasons to Sail a Different Ship

There is only one reason, and for now it’s just the way the cannon story played out. Pyrrha’s dead, and Jaune isn’t. Even so, you can still find Pyrrha alive and well in fan fiction. Although those usually take place before the events of volume three, it’s an alternate universe entirely, or follows a peaceful timeline… one where the fall of the kingdoms either don’t occur, or they occur with her still alive and well.

As of right now, Jaune stands in an interesting place within the series. He can have his past love of Pyrrha, and still have another cannon pairing down the line. Even if he does get into a new pairing, that doesn’t change the cannon timeline and the past.

Pyrrha Nikos will always be his first love, and his first real loss. He’s also shown a cannon interest in Weiss in the past. Depending on what later volumes do with Weiss, they may become a cannon pairing down the line. Although, that’s only speculation on my part.

As far as “fan related shipping is concerned, there are many implied options to choose from. Jaune can easily be shipped with Ruby or Weiss. Cannon gives him just enough moments with both girls both to provide fan fiction fodder. He can also be placed in a bisexual triad relationship with Ren and Nora, which is a common thing to do too.

Jaune plays the role of the underdog in the series. He acts as a vessel for male viewers to latch onto and relate well with. Fan fiction showcases this in spades. Jaune is often put into unnaturally erotic situations that he usually wouldn’t find himself in. Women who canonically show no interest in him, start to fawn over him in the world of fandom. This makes him a strange outlier among male characters in the series, and his pairings are practically endless when it comes to erotic fantasy.

For Pyrrha, There are also a few implied options. Ruby and Weiss are the stand out choices for monogamous relationships, but the fandom doesn’t stop there. Ruby, Blake, Yang, Ren, and Nora are stand out options for polyamory ships.

In fact, much like Jaune, open relationships tend to run rampant with Pyrrha. Fans often ship Pyrrha using polyamory with her teammates and trusted friends. Countless other characters, male and female alike will occasionally be thrown into Pyrrha’s polyamory blender, making for some of the more interesting pairings within the fandom.

Final Thoughts

The “arkos” pairing is one of the most dynamic pairings in the RWBY series. Jaune and Pyrrha are side characters, particularly during the early volumes. They don’t get a whole lot of screen time compared to team RWBY.

In spite of this, their romantic progression is on display almost all the time. The hints are subtle, most of them are buried deep under subtext, particularly in the first volume.

For me, the ships are less about who they’re paired with, and rather, the dynamic itself. I’d rather read about Pyrrha in small polyamory groups. However, I generally prefer Jaune when he’s steadfast in his monogamy.

I think there’s something to be said for reading Jaune as a bisexual, and seeing him in an open relationship with Ren and Nora. Lastly, I believe shipping all of team JNPR together is just as valid as shipping all of team RWBY together. Perhaps, it’s even more valid simply by the notion that there are no siblings involved (sorry enabler fans).

All in all, like all pairings, there’s no “right” ships to sail. It’s up to you as fan. Getting to decide how best to enjoy these characters, and the ships that come along with them is one of the hallmarks of fandom, and that should never be forgotten.

This has been Kernook of The Demented Ferrets, where stupidity is at its finest and level grinds are par for the course. I’ll see you next time.

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