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Hero Overview
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 the Greater-Scope Hero of the world of RWBY and the Headmaster of Beacon Academy. He is an incarnation of the warrior Ozma.

Ozpin is introduced in "Ruby Rose", inquiring of Ruby Rose about where she learned how to fight, her future goals, and her desire to join his school. He is frequently seen with his cane despite having no visible motor impairment.

In "End of the Beginning", Ozpin's body was killed after his battle with the newly ascended Fall Maiden, Cinder Fall.

In "The Next Step", the villains believe Cinder killed Ozpin, though in "Of Runaways and Stowaways", Salem casts doubt on this when she interrogates Cinder about the matter once more. In "Family", Ozpin speaks to a Mistral farmhand named Oscar Pine through a connection later revealed in "Punished" to be that their souls have combined.

In "Unforeseen Complications", Ozpin reveals his own circumstances - because of a curse placed upon him by the gods, he is forced to reincarnate through individuals with mindsets similar to himself, with Oscar Pine as his latest reincarnation. Although, this was revealed to be untrue.

In "The Lost Fable", it was shown that Ozma, Ozpin's original incarnation agreed to an offer given by the God of Light to return to life as a being who would reincarnate, in the hopes that he would unite and guide Humanity down a path of light.

He is voiced by Shannon McCormick.

Background

Ozpin is the second-most recent reincarnation of Ozma, preceding Oscar Pine. Thousands of years before the events of RWBY, the God of Light offered a deceased Ozma the chance to return to life as a being who would reincarnate in the bodies of like-minded individuals after death, in the hopes that he would reunite Humanity. Ozma agreed and was returned to Remnant. Thousands of years later, Ozpin would describe his reincarnation as a curse placed on him by the Brother Gods for having failed to stop Salem's agenda, though this was later revealed to be a lie.

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.[1]

Some time before the events of the series, he granted Qrow and Raven Branwen with the magical ability to transform into a crow and a raven respectively.

At another time, Ozpin accepted Gretchen Rainart into Beacon, despite the objections of her older brother, Hazel. Unfortunately, Gretchen lost her life during a training mission, and Hazel blamed Ozpin for her death, causing him align with Salem.

According to Weiss Schnee, Ozpin, due to his many years of experience, was regarded as a prodigy and became the youngest person to ever become a Headmaster of Beacon Academy.

Appearance

During the Beacon Arc, Ozpin looks like a middle-aged man with tousled silver hair and thin brown eyes. He has a light complexion and sharp facial features. Interestingly, Ozpin has black eyebrows, suggesting that he may have had black hair when he was younger.

He wears shaded glass spectacles and a small, purple, cross-shaped pin on the cowl around his neck. His outfit mainly consists of an unzipped black suit over a buttoned vest and green shirt. He also wears black trouser shoes and long, dark-green pants. In addition to his cane, his other frequent accessory is a mug bearing the Beacon Academy emblem, from which he drinks hot cocoa.

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, as well as the way he literally launches new students into the Emerald Forest for the Beacon Academy Initiation, that he has no real problem putting his students in mortal danger, given the right reasons or to accomplish an objective.

Ozpin can be humble, admitting that he has made many mistakes in the past. In addition, he possesses a more caring side, comforting Ruby and assuring her that her appointment as team leader was not a mistake. He is seen to care for the well being of his students, as with Blake Belladonna when he told her if she needed to tell him anything, she should not hesitate to ask. Ozpin is also shown to harbor a respect for the Faunus, something made clear during his conversation with Blake, yet is highly aware of the racial discrimination they suffer from humans.

Ozpin can also be very blunt, as shown when Jaune Arc asks him questions about the launch. According to Ruby and Yang Xiao Long in "The Shining Beacon, Pt.2", Ozpin did not "seem himself" while giving his speech to the incoming students.

Ozpin is also known to believe dearly in teamwork, which is one of the reasons why the huntsmen academies focus heavily on it.

Powers and Abilities

In "Unforeseen Complications", it is revealed that Ozpin was cursed by the gods of Remnant when he failed to stop Salem at an undefined point in the past. This curse causes his soul to attach to a new like-minded host when his previous body is destroyed, the two merging memories and abilities over time until only a single soul remains. As of Volume 5, Ozpin's soul is attached to and merging with that of Oscar's. Oscar can grant Ozpin control of his body, enhancing his combat prowess and the strength of his aura, though only for limited periods of time. In addition, he can forcibly take control of Oscar's body, though he seems severely drained and Oscar relays that Ozpin needs to rest after the fight.

In "Rest and Resolutions", Ozpin reveals that he himself possesses powerful magic that he used to create the original four Maidens, as well as grant Qrow and Raven Branwen the ability to shapeshift into corvids. It is stated that the amount of power expended in the creation of the Maidens greatly drained his magic. Ozpin himself admits that his magic powers are dwindling, but does not state the exact reason for it.

Before being defeated and subsequently attaching to Oscar, Ozpin harbored immense physical power as demonstrated in his fight against Cinder after she became the Fall Maiden. He possessed superhuman speed, creating green afterimages as he moved. Furthermore, Ozpin was able to resist attacks of incredible power by creating an energy barrier around himself. Whether any of these abilities were a part of his natural physical ability, Semblance (if he does have one), or his use of magic is unclear.

From what was briefly seen of Ozpin's fighting style in his duel with Cinder Fall, his style emphasizes adaptability, changing from powerful high speed strikes to rapid retreats to solid defense.

Ozpin is a capable strategist and leader. He has the ability to persuade even volatile personalities to co-operate with his plans, and knows the right balance of firmness and kindness to get the desired results from his subordinates. He is also flexible enough to "bend the rules" if he feels the situation requires it, as shown in "Field Trip".

Quotes

You... have silver eyes...
~ Ozpin, upon getting a closer look at Ruby Rose.
It's just that I've only seen one other scythe wielder of that skill before. A dusty old crow...
~ Ozpin, talking to Ruby and referring to Qrow Branwen.
So I've noticed.
~ Ozpin, after hearing Ruby boast about her skills.
And what is an adorable girl, such as yourself, doing at a school designed to train warriors?
~ Ozpin, in response to Ruby's revelation of going to Signal Academy.
So you want to come to my school?... Well, okay.
~ Ozpin, inviting Ruby to Beacon Academy.
I'll...keep this brief. You have traveled here today in search of knowledge--to hone your craft and acquire new skills. And when you have finished, you plan to dedicate your life to the protection of the people. But I look amongst you, and all I see is wasted energy, in need of purpose – direction. You assume knowledge will free you of this, but your time at this school will prove that knowledge can only carry you so far. It is up to you to take the first step.
~ Ozpin, giving a commencement speech to the new students.
For years you have trained to become warriors, and today your abilities will be evaluated in the Emerald Forest.
~ Ozpin, explaining Beacon's initiation process.
No. You will be using your own landing strategy.
~ Ozpin, answering one of Jaune Arc's questions as politely as possible.
Do not hesitate to destroy everything in your path... or you will die.
~ Ozpin, giving crucial advice before the initiation.
Congratulations, young man.
~ Ozpin, showing Jaune a personal touch.
It looks like things are shaping up to be an... interesting year.
~ Ozpin, reflecting on his new students.
Hmm... Well that didn't seem to go very well.
~ Ozpin, to Ruby after Weiss Schnee yells at her.
Ruby. I've made more mistakes than any man, woman, and child on this planet. But at this moment I would not consider your appointment to leader to be one of them. Do you?
~ Ozpin, reassuring Ruby of her position.
Being a team leader isn't just a title you carry into battle, but a badge you wear constantly. If you are not always performing at your absolute best, then what reason do you give others to follow you?
~ Ozpin, giving his opinion on leadership.
You've been burdened with a daunting responsibility, Ruby. I advise you take some time to think about how you will uphold it.
~ Ozpin, giving Ruby advice about how to be a good leader.
... And they will be. But right now they're still children, so why not let them play the part? After all, it isn't a role they'll have forever.
~ Ozpin, to Glynda Goodwitch about teams RWBY and JNPR.
I hope they never have to.
~ Ozpin, after James Ironwood asks if Beacon students could win a war.
I admire your drive. And I am proud to run a school that accepts individuals from all walks of life – rich, poor, human, Faunus...
~ Ozpin, to Blake Belladonna.
Why do you wear that bow, Blake? Why hide who you are?
~ Ozpin, asking Blake on why she hides her Faunus heritage.
I may be your headmaster, but I am also a Huntsman; and it is my sworn duty to protect this world from the forces that conspire against it.
~ Ozpin, to Blake.
If you ever need to talk to me... please don't hesitate to ask.
~ Ozpin, to Blake.
If you think about it, fighting and dancing aren't so different.
~ Ozpin, to Ruby.
It's not every day that friends are able to come together like this. Time has a way of testing our bonds, but it's nights like these that can help keep them stronger than ever. Nights like these are ones we'll never forget.
~ Ozpin, to Ruby.
So tell me, when you prepare to go to war, which do you send in first: the flag bearer, or the scouts?
~ Ozpin, to Ironwood.
Today we stand together, united. Mistral. Atlas. Vacuo. Vale. The four Kingdoms of Remnant. On this day, nearly eighty years ago, the largest war in recorded history came to an end. It was a war of ignorance, of greed, and of oppression. A war that was about much more than where borders fell or who traded with whom, but about the very idea of individualism itself. We fought for countless reasons, one of which being the destruction of all forms of art and self-expression. And as you are well aware, that was something many could not stand for. As a result, those who opposed this tyranny began naming their children after one of the core aspects of art itself: color. It was their way to demonstrate that not only would they refuse to tolerate this oppression, but neither were the generations to come. And it was a trend that is held to this very day. We encourage individuality, expressionism, and unity through diversity. As I have said, today we stand together, united. But this bond cannot exist without effort. Which is why today, while the rest of the world celebrates peace, Huntsmen and Huntresses will work to uphold it. As first year students, you will be tasked with shadowing a professional Huntsman or Huntress on a mission. Some of you may be taken out of the Kingdom for several days. Others may work within the walls for the rest of the week. But no matter which path you choose, remember to be safe, remember your training, and remember to do your very best.
~ Ozpin's speech before the student first mission.
Instead of waiting for you all to break the rules, why don't we just bend them?
~ Ozpin, to Team RWBY.
A guardian is a symbol of comfort. But an army is a symbol of conflict.
~ Ozpin, to Ironwood.
There's an energy in the air now, a question in the back of everyone's minds... "If this is the size of our defenses, then what is it we're expecting to fight?"
~ Ozpin.
I suggest we find our guardian.
~ Ozpin.
His heart is in the right place. He's just… misguided.
~ Ozpin, about Ironwood.
Ever since the day I met her, I had the feeling she would be the one. She's strong, intelligent, caring… but most importantly, she's ready.
~ Ozpin, talking about his candidate for Guardian (implied to be Pyrrha Nikos).
We are telling you this, Pyrrha Nikos, because we believe you are next in line to receive the Fall Maiden's powers.
~ Ozpin to Pyrrha, on why he called her to his office.
You brought your army to my kingdom, James. Use it.
~ Ozpin to Ironwood, ordering a defense against the Grimm.
I'm... so sorry.
~ Ozpin, to Amber.
Take Jaune and get out of here. Find Glynda, Ironwood, Qrow. Bring them here right away. The tower cannot fall.
~ Ozpin, to Pyrrha.
I understand how you're feeling. I went through the same panic and confusion.
~ Ozpin trying to comfort Oscar.
We are in complete agreement on that matter, I promise you. Believe me, I wish this weren't the case. But as I've told you, our Aura, our souls are combined.
~ Ozpin, to Oscar.
Greatness, hopefully. Greatness in knowing that, when the world needed help, you were the one to reach out your hand. It won't come without hardship, without sacrifice, but I know you don't want to live the rest of your life working as a farmhand in Mistral.
~ Ozpin, to Oscar.
I'm afraid you'll have to solve this one on your own.
~ Ozpin, to Oscar, about there being no magically created supply of money.
I once told you I made more mistakes than any man, woman or child on this planet. I wasn't exaggerating. I'm... cursed. For thousands of years I have walked the surface of Remnant; living, dying, and reincarnating in the body of a like-minded soul. The Professor Ozpin you all met was not my first form, and it clearly wasn't my last. It's... an extraordinarily strenuous process, on everyone involved.
~ Ozpin through Oscar, explaining his situation to Team RNJR.
I am the combination of countless men who spent their lives trying to protect the people of Remnant. With every rebirth my soul is eventually merged with another and I am changed, but my memories stay with me. This curse was bestowed upon me by the gods because I failed to stop Salem in the past. But we must stop her now.
~ Ozpin, further explaining his true nature.
Don't worry, Mr. Arc. Your journey is far from over, and the same might be said for all of you. Unlocking your Semblance isn't the end. It can still grow and evolve. Providing you are willing to put in the work, who knows what could happen?
~ Ozpin, giving Team RNJR words of encouragement.
In some ways, yes. But in many others... no. She has her quirks, her faults, just like everyone else. But she also possesses something unquantifiable: a spark, that can inspire others even in the darkest of times.
~ Ozpin, to Oscar about Ruby.
My ability to reincarnate, though a curse, isn’t without a few key benefits. Much like the Maidens, I too possess a certain… “magical” power. Using this power, I was able to gift the Branwen twins the ability to “see” more, to move freely and be unburdened by their natural bodies. I… well… gave them the ability to turn into birds. Rather ridiculous sounding out loud, isn’t it?
~ Ozpin, on how he gave the Branwen twins their shape-shifting power.
As helpful as that might be, unfortunately it is not that simple. My power is finite, and if I’m being honest, dwindling. The amount that I gifted to Qrow and Raven was, all things considered, rather miniscule. You see, centuries ago, I sacrificed a great deal of magic to four young women, who I hoped would use my gift for good. They were the first Maidens. Miss Xiao Long, it was never my intention to lie to you. To any of you. There are just some matters that I prefer to… “play close to the chest”. I believe that’s how you phrased it?
~ Ozpin, admitting to have created the Maidens.
The road ahead is undoubtedly filled with hardships and peril. However, it’s been far too long since you have all been together. Please, take tonight, enjoy this moment.
~ Ozpin, telling the group to take the night off.
There are indeed a misguided few who have filled their hearts with malice. It doesn’t take a great number of people to cause harm, but I still believe there are far more people in this world willing to prevent it.
~ Ozpin, to Qrow about humanity.
Let’s just say I made finding the Relic at Beacon a… bit more challenging than at the other schools.
~ Ozpin, to Ruby about the Relic of Choice.
While this cane is indeed very precious to me, it is also just that - precious to me. While I admit it still has a few more tricks up its sleeve, I can firmly say that being a Relic isn’t one of them.
~ Ozpin, about his cane.
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.
~ Ozpin, talks about Hazel's sister to Oscar.

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.

Gallery

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           RWBY 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 FNKI
Flynt Coal | Neon Katt | Kobalt | Ivori

Team CRDL
Cardin Winchester | Russel Thrush | Dove Bronzewing | Sky Lark

Team ABRN
Arslan Altan | Bolin Hori | Reese Chloris | Nadir Shiko

Team BRNZ
Brawnz Ni | Roy Stallion | Nolan Porfiro | May Zedong

Team NDGO
Nebula Violette | Dew Gayl | Gwen Darcy | Octavia Ember

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 | James Ironwood | Winter Schnee

Ace-Operatives
Clover Ebi | Elm Ederne | Harriet Bree | Marrow Amin | Vine Zeki

Happy Huntresses
Robyn Hill | Fiona Thyme | Joanna Greenleaf | May Marigold

Others
Amber | Fria | Oscar Pine | Ozma | Caroline Cordovin | Maria Calavera | Ghira Belladonna | God of Light | Jinn | Ilia Amitola | Kali Belladonna | Pietro Polendina | Klein Sieben | Saber Rodentia | Willow Schnee | Whitley Schnee | Zwei

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