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You shouldn't have come back.
~ Ilia Amitola to Blake Belladonna.
Sometimes, the other girls would say things about the Faunus. That they were animals, that they were dirty, or they lied, and… I’d say these things with them… because I felt like I was one of them. And then, one day, there was a cave-in at the mines. I was at school, when the news broke. Apparently, one of the workers there tripped while handling some agitated Dust crystals. The explosion caused a chain reaction. And my... friends… snickered. I lost control. Every inch of me turned blue as I wept. And suddenly, all the girls that I’d laughed and played with… were scared of me. (Blake: I'm sorry) Don't be. I broke their teeth.
~ Ilia on why she hates humans.
I’ll stand with you! If… if you’d have me.
~ Ilia, deciding to side with Blake.

Ilia Amitola is a major antagonist, later supporting character in the American web cartoon series RWBY. She is a chameleon Faunus and formerly a high-ranking member of the White Fang serving under Adam Taurus. She now supports Blake Belladonna in her fight against Adam Taurus.

She is a minor antagonist in Volume 4 and major antagonist turned heroine/major character in Volume 5.

In the original English version, she is voiced by Cherami Leigh Keuhn, who also voiced Lucy Heartfilia from Fairy TailAsuna Yuuki in the Sword Art Online series, and Elizabeth Midford from the Black Bulter series.

Background

Ilia Amitola grew up in the Faunus miner community in Mantle before moving to Atlas to attend a prep school. During those days, she was forced by her parents to hide her Faunus heritage. She enjoyed blending in with Humans and even spoke badly of Faunus along with her Human friends. One day, she and her classmates received news of a large explosion causing a cave-in at the mines, resulting in the deaths of her parents. Her friends snickered about it, and Ilia could not contain her emotions. As she cried, her skin turned blue, and her friends became afraid of her. She then assaulted them. Sometime later, she joined the White Fang and befriended Blake Belladonna.

Spying On Menagerie

Ilia spies on Blake at the Belladonna's household until discovered, escaping before she can be captured. Later, she fights both Blake and Sun to prevent herself from being interrogated. During the battle, she loses her Scroll, injures Sun and demands that Blake hand over the Scroll. After Blake refuses, Ilia gives her a warning before retreating. The Belladonna family discovers Adam Taurus' plans on the Scroll.

Later, she reports to the Albains on the roof of a building.

Sometime after, she saves an associate of hers as Blake and Sun pursue him. After the Belladonna family and Sun confront the Albain brothers, she approaches Blake, who asks her why she took the fall for the Albains. Ilia tells her to leave Menagerie while she still can.

Targeting the Belladonnas

Ilia interrupts a speaking event hosted by the Belladonna family meant to reveal Adam's character and plans to seize control of the White Fang and overthrow Haven Academy. She reveals herself in the crowd before Blake can speak and addresses the crowd that they should join Adam's movement and that "the Belladonnas are the worst kind of Faunus". Sun attempts to capture her, but Ilia propels herself out of the crowd before Menagerie guards chase after her.

After the conference, Ilia is summoned to the White Fang hideout by the Albain brothers, where she learns that Adam’s coup was successful and Sienna Khan was buried with honor. She is assigned to assassinate Ghira and Kali Belladonna and bring Blake to Adam alive. As Ilia is horrified by this new order, Corsac says it is a necessary sacrifice. She leaves the room with hesitation present on her face.

To lure out Blake away from her parents, Ilia sends a letter to her asking her to meet with her alone. It was a success, and Ilia and her brethren capture Blake. With her old friend on her knees, Ilia reveals to Blake that she will be sent to Adam in Mistral while Ghira and Kali will be killed, for the Belladonnas are the only ones standing in the way of the White Fang's goals. She then reveals to Blake she had romantic feelings for her when they were friends and was jealous at Blake for falling for Adam rather than her. She orders Trifa to send Blake to the docks while she heads for the Belladonna manor.

Ilia is next seen inside the manor, perched atop an upper floor's railing, and sees Blake entering below. Both hesitate before reaching for their weapons. Ilia initiates the fight and gains an upper hand for a short while when she dims the lights and uses camouflage. However, Blake sets the house ablaze to stabilize the odds. Blake freezes Ilia's whip, disarms and traps her. Blake says Ilia is a good person making the wrong decisions and asks if her deceased parents would approve of her. Ilia has tears in the midst of saying, "I don't know what else to do". Ghira, Sun and the Albain brothers enter the room, and after a brief fight against Sun, Ilia is shoved against a breaking column. With the house on fire, the column breaks, and a section of the upper walkway falls toward Ilia before Ghira catches it. Ilia heads to safety, and Fennec dies in a failed attempt to trap Ghira under the fallen upper section. Corsac charges at the family, and Ilia sobs as she wraps and shocks him with her whip, incapacitating him.

Ilia emerges safely from the house and is present as Blake speaks to the gathered crowd. Ilia offers to accompany Blake in the mission to Haven, and Blake accepts despite a guard's protest.

The Battle of Haven

Ilia joins Blake during the Battle of Haven. Using her camouflage, she scouts ahead and disables the bombs that Adam and his followers planted around the school. She then participates in the ensuing battle, where she manages to overcome Adam's men and earns admiration from fellow Faunus for her change of heart. After the battle has ended, Ilia says how Adam had escaped, but all of the other White Fang members were captured and that Adam's decision to run away from the battlefield will lead to his downfall as the White Fang wouldn't accept a leader who runs away and leaves his people behind and the organization will be left divided in the end. 

Appearance

lia is a young woman and a chameleon Faunus. In her normal appearance, her skin has somewhat darker spots on her arms, legs, and face. Her brown hair is tied back in a ponytail that curls at the end like a chameleon's tail, and her eyes are a light gray with a faintly bluish tint. Her Faunus trait grants her the ability to change the color of her skin, hair and eyes, allowing her to blend in with her environment. Her colors also appear to change in response to her emotions.

As a White Fang member, she wears a Grimm Mask with chameleon horns on it to hide her identity. Her mask also points upward at the top and extends past her hairline; this resembles the crest of a veiled chameleon. She wears a black, plum and navy sleeveless stealth suit with short legs. The suit has two parts to the bottom section: a navy blue front panel that matches her belts and a plum color to the rest. The color divide is at the center of her thighs. The stealth suit's zipper is gold, and over it, she wears navy blue belts with gold buckles. She wears simple black boots with a cuff and a black glove on her right hand.

As noted by her concept art, her body type gives her a smaller bust and rear.

Personality

Ilia… please. You’re a good person but you’re making all the wrong decisions!
~ Blake to Ilia.
Ilia appears to operate between moral grounds. While she hesitates to attack Blake Belladonna until "True Colors", she is not opposed to others doing it or herself harming others, such as Sun Wukong. Until then, she is willing to make personal sacrifices for the betterment of the collective so long as the collective is the Faunus, specifically the White Fang's goals, and not people in general. Though she is romantically attracted to Blake, she sacrifices any future of this at the time in favor of what the White Fang demands.

She used to enjoy blending in with Humans, even supporting their anti-Faunus beliefs despite the hypocrisy. This stopped after an incident involving the deaths of multiple Faunus, including her parents, in a mining accident. The event served as a catalyst for her joining the White Fang. Ilia was also vindictive enough to assault her former friends in Atlas as they snickered at the losses sustained in the mining accident.

Her loathing of Humans is not merely because of those who mistreat or segregate Faunus; it is also against Humans or Faunus who stand by and do nothing to help or improve the Faunus' standing outside of Menagerie. Ultimately, her righteous anger from her painful past has blinded her to the fact that her actions are based on revenge and will make her no better, perhaps worse, than those who wronged her.

Ultimately, Ilia realizes her wrongs and seeks redemption, volunteering to stand with Blake and showing her moral compass has guided her back to the right path.

Powers and Abilities

lia is very agile, able to climb and run along trees and rooftops.

Her Faunus trait allows her to change the color of her skin, eyes and hair. This gives her the ability to hide from others by blending in with the environment. Like a real chameleon, her skin seems to change with her emotions. For example, in "Two Steps Forward, Two Steps Back", when she becomes frustrated, her skin turns red, and her hair, eyes and skin spots turn yellow. Following this, she takes on a more sorrowful expression, with her skin turning green and her hair, eyes and skin spots turning blue. The change in color begins at her eyes and reaches to her extremities from there. In certain cases, her eyes or skin spots may change without her skin changing.

She has a least some training in handling explosives, for she is able to disarm Adam Taurus' bombs at Haven Academy.

Weapon

Ilia's weapon of choice is a whip that is able to load Dust. It is capable of cutting through metal easily with its blade. It has two slots along the hilt filled with Lightning Dust. The Dust’s effect can be remotely activated by grasping part of the hilt, which causes electricity to run along the whip. The effect is strong enough to taze people as shown when Ilia uses it on Corsac Albain.

Quotes

Give it to me.
~ Ilia, demanding that Blake Belladonna give back her Scroll.
Your plan isn’t gonna work, Blake. Please… just leave Menagerie before it’s too late.
~ Ilia begged Blake to leave Menagerie.
I know.
~ Ilia resigning herself to her failed attempt to convince Blake to flee Menagerie.
Cowards. After everything the humans have done to us, everything they put us through, you're asking us to help them?
~ Ilia, to Ghira Belladonna.
Where was their help when the Dust companies treated us like slaves? Where was their help when Kingdoms hunted Faunus just for being who they are. Where was my help when my parents were killed in a Dust mine? Where?
~ Ilia, to Ghira once again.
The Belladonnas are the worst kind of Faunus. They want us to work with the same people who are trying to hold us down. If you truly, truly want to help your people, now is the time to support Adam, not the Belladonnas. He will bring about the future that you deserve. And know that if you are unwilling to fight, know that the White Fang are willing to do it for you!
~ Ilia, to the gathered Faunus of Menagerie.
I am sorry it has to be this way, but you and your family are holding the Faunus back!
~ Ilia, to Blake after the latter was ambushed..
There’s no such thing as innocent! There’s no right thing to do! Only what’s best for us! There’s the humans that still hate the Faunus, and there’s the others who stand by and let the hate happen! But you know what snuffs out hate? Fear. I don’t like hurting people. But I’ll tell you this… it’s gotten us results.
~ Ilia to Blake, while justifying the White Fang actions.
I guess back then you were just too busy falling for Adam to notice. I was always jealous of the way you looked at him. I wanted you to look at me that way.
~ Ilia admitting to Blake she has feelings for her.
Quit taking potshots and fight me like you mean it!!
~ Ilia demands Blake to take the fight seriously.

You used to see things the way I did! The way Adam did! If no one’s going to do anything to stop the humans that attack us, then the only choice we have left… is to attack back!!
~ Ilia, to Blake.
I don’t know what else to do!!
~ Ilia, after Blake asks what her parents would have wanted her to do.

Trivia

  • Amitola is the word for "rainbow" in Sioux or Cherokee.
  • Prior to the Volume 5 Blake Character Short, Miles Luna noted that Ilia could easily pass for a human.
  • Ilia is the first confirmed LGBT character in RWBY.
  • In the Japanese dub, she is voiced by Mariya Ise, who also voiced Stocking.

Navigation

           Rwby-logo-png-9 Heroes

Team RWBY
Ruby Rose | Weiss Schnee | Blake Belladonna | Yang Xiao Long

Team JNPR
Jaune Arc | Nora Valkyrie | Pyrrha Nikos | Lie Ren

Team SSSN
Sun Wukong | Scarlet David | Sage Ayana | Neptune Vasilias

Team CFVY
Coco Adel | Fox Alistair | Velvet Scarlatina | Yatsuhashi Daichi

Team STRQ
Summer Rose | Taiyang Xiao Long | Raven Branwen | Qrow Branwen

Beacon Academy
Professor Ozpin | Glynda Goodwitch | Peter Port | Bartholomew Oobleck | Qrow Branwen

Atlas Academy
Penny Polendina | Ciel Soleil | Flynt Coal | Neon Katt | James Ironwood | Winter Schnee

Other
Oscar Pine | Cardin Winchester | Maria Calavera | God of Light | Ilia Amitola | Whitley Schnee | Zwei

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