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Hero Overview
You two… You're gonna go far, but only if you keep learning, if you never stop moving forward.
~ Qrow, to Ruby and Yang
Did you know crows are a sign of bad luck? Old superstition, but it's how I got my name. You see, some people can absorb electricity, and some people can burst into rose petals. And some people are just born unlucky. My Semblance isn't like most. It's not exactly something I 'do'. It's always there... whether I like it or not. I bring misfortune. I guess you could call me a bad luck charm. Comes in real handy when I'm fighting an enemy, but it makes it a little hard on friends... and family.
~ Qrow explaining his Semblance.

Qrow Branwen (pronounced "Crow") is one of the main characters of the American animated webseries RWBY. He is the uncle of Yang Xiao Long and honorary uncle of Ruby Rose, and a former teacher at Signal Academy. In his youth, Qrow attended Beacon Academy and was on a team with Summer RoseTaiyang Xiao Long and his older twin sister Raven Branwen, known as Team STRQ.

Qrow is also involved with OzpinGlynda 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.

In Volumes 3-6 he was voiced by Vic Mignogna best known for voicing Edward Elric. He is currently voiced by Jason Liebrecht.

Appearance

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".

Original Outfit (Volume 3-6)

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 ring 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.

Atlas (Volume 7)

TBA

Personality

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 criticizes the Atlas military for occupying Vale and mistreating 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 Yang with a sexual quip in order to claim victory over her 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.

This childish facade, however, belies the demeanor of a 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 desire to find 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 values family and does not 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 in doubt, but he takes Ozpin's word on the previous existence of the brother gods and their Relics.

In "Known by its Song", Raven stated that she and Qrow attended Beacon to learn how to kill Huntsmen, implying that he once shared her brutal nature in the past.

In "Sparks" Qrow states to Clover Ebi that he has given up drinking and this is confirmed in "Cordially Invited" when a servant offers him wine and he declines.

Powers and Abilities

Weapon

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 Harbinger, as Ruby stated that she designed Crescent Rose herself. There are also notable differences. In "Heroes and Monsters", he was shown 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", Harbinger first appears as a longsword, which contains gears near the crossguard area. And like most Huntsman weapons, his blade also contains a gun component. 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 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 wields Harbinger proficiently with either hand, revealing himself to have trained to be able to use it whether it is in his dominant or weak hand.

Abilities

Qrow is also shown to be proficient in hand-to-hand combat, able to deliver several quick staggering blows and a kick strong enough to put some distance between him and his opponent as shown during his fight with Tyrian. Another testament to his strength and skill, is that even when he's drunk, he was able to match Winter Schnee, a high ranking Atlas official, in armed combat.

Qrow is strong enough to smash a crater into the ground with his sword, cut through metal poles, as well as release Auraarcs. Qrow has also shown proficient accuracy with his sword as a throwing weapon, as seen in his fight with Tyrian when he launched his sword into the ground in mid fall to act as a foothold to regain traction and control of the battle.

Even among his peers, Qrow is a greatly feared and formidable Huntsman, with even the likes of General James Ironwood and Dr. Arthur Watts being wary of his combat prowess.

Qrow has been shown to be incredibly resilient to toxins, as it took a substantial amount of time for Tyrian's venom to work its way through his bloodstream, even with Qrow drinking alcohol, which would make the venom spread even faster.

It is stated in "Welcome to Haven" that Qrow is equally matched with his sister Raven.

Semblance

Qrow's Semblance brings misfortune wherever he goes, and unlike most Semblances, his is almost constantly active and uncontrollable, with random spikes leading 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 on who it affects, which causes him to keep his distance from the people he cares about. According to Kerry Shawcross, he can also choose to amplify his Semblance when he wishes, in which case it uses Aura.

Transformation

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, the first demonstration of his ability to transform into a crow. His shapeshifting ability is shown again in "Tipping Point", where he transforms to quickly catch up with team RNJR during their fight with Tyrian Callows. In "Known by its Song", it is stated by Raven that Qrow was given this ability by Ozpin. The exact nature of the ability or how it is granted is unknown except that it is magical in nature.

Quotes

Queen has pawns.
~ Qrow, in a mysterious message to Ozpin.
That was a mess.
~ Qrow, criticizing SSSN's performance.
Happy Vytal Festival!
~ Qrow, as he drunkenly pays for his drinks.
You know what you really are? A bunch of sellouts, just like your boss.
~ Qrow, towards Winter Schnee about the Atlesian Military.
Listen to big sister, Weiss. She'll protect you. Just like Atlas is gonna protect all of us, right?
~ Qrow, to Weiss, after Winter tells her to leave.
Alright then. Come take it.
~ Qrow, to Winter after she threatens to remove his tongue.
If I was one of your men, I'd shoot myself.
~ Qrow's comeback towards James Ironwood.
Communication is a two way street pal! You see this...that's the 'SEND' button!
~ Qrow, calling Ironwood out on not comunicating.
Despite what the world thinks, we're not just teachers or generals or headmasters. The people in this room, the leaders of the other two academies, we're the ones that keep the world safe from the evils no one even knows about. It's why we meet behind closed doors, why we work in the shadows. So you tell me James, when you brought your army to Vale, did you think you were being discreet, or did you just not give a damn?
~ Qrow, describing the nature of Ozpin's Group and that James defied it.
You think they're scared of your little ships? I've been out there and seen the things she's made, and let me tell you, they are fear.
~ Qrow, about Salem.
I had come across a small village in the swamps west of Mistral. Right off the bat, I knew something wasn't right. I needed information. Tired from battling Grimm along the way, I decided to start my search at the town's inn. The place was crawling with lowlifes and thugs and even a few Huntsmen that I could only assume had been hired by less than reputable people for less than respectable jobs. And that's when it happened. I was defeated by the mere sight of the innkeeper's skirt length!
~ Qrow, about his last mission.
Sure, you may be acting like Huntresses, but you're not thinking like one. Do you really think four girls and their friends can end all crime in the kingdom?
~ Qrow, on Team RWBY's efforts.
Violence hasn't dropped since Roman got nabbed. It's stopped completely. No White Fang activity anywhere around the city. You cut off the head of a King Taijitu, but now the second head's calling the shots. That's what Ironwood can't get through that thick metal head of his.
~ Qrow to Ruby Rose and Yang Xiao Long.
Remember, you're talking to a member of the coolest team to ever graduate Beacon! Team STRQ... That's when I met your parents. We were pretty well known back in the day.
~ Qrow, about his former team, Team STRQ.
Look, just remember that you've still got a long way to go. And don't think for a second that graduating means you're done. Every day out there is worth a week in this place. You two... you're gonna go far, but only if you keep learning, if you never stop moving forward.
~ Qrow, to Ruby and Yang.
Honestly, we've run out of time. I don't know if you've not noticed, but things are getting a lot scarier out in the world. Tensions are high. Grimm are growing stronger, more prevalent. And it's not going to be long before the peace we've been enjoying for so long goes out the window.
~ Qrow, explaing to Pyrrha Nikos why they are recruiting her to be the Fall Maiden.
All I know is that you attacked a helpless kid. So either you're lying or you're crazy.
~ Qrow, to Yang.
And here I thought your dark-haired friend was the emo one.
~ Qrow, to Yang.
She wanted me to tell you that she saved you once, but you shouldn't expect that kindness again. Raven's got an interesting way of looking at the world that I don't particularly agree with. And she's dangerous.
~ Qrow, about Raven and her message.
You idiot. I know you didn't do this.
~ Qrow to Ironwood, about the hostile androids.
You're special, Ruby, and not in the "daddy loves his special angel" kind of way. You're special the same way your mom was.
~ Qrow, to Ruby.
Remnant's full of legends and stories. Some of them true, some made up. But there's one Oz told me from a very long time ago. Back before Huntsmen, before Kingdoms, it was said that those born with silver eyes were destined to lead the life of a warrior. You see, the Creatures of Grimm, the most fearsome monsters mankind had ever encountered, were afraid of those silver-eyed warriors. They were the best of the best. It was said that even a single look from one of these fighters could strike a Grimm down. It's a ridiculous story.
~ Qrow, to Ruby.
All those missions I go on, all the times I'm away in some far-off place, it's been for Ozpin, but he's missing now. Something's been set in motion. With Oz gone, I'll have to pick up where he left off.
~ Qrow, to Ruby.
It's just obnoxious that you'd bring up family and then carry on like your own daughter doesn't exist.
~ Qrow to Raven Branwen about Yang.
You have a very skewed perception of that word.
~ Qrow to Raven about "family".
Because without her, we're all going to die.
~ Qrow, about the Spring Maiden.
Look, pal, I'm not sure who you are, but you need to leave my niece alone.
~ Qrow, to Tyrian after he saves Ruby Rose.
You took the words right out of my—!
~ Qrow's unfinished sentence before Tyrian attacks.
What's your favorite fairy tale?
~ Qrow, to RNJR.
This world's been around for a long time, long enough that people have created dozens of gods. But if you believe Ozpin, two of them are actually real.
~ Qrow Branwen.
Tai. She's not... coming...
~ Qrow, out of it due to the poison.
It's quiet... good job, kiddo.
~ Qrow to Ruby, upon realizing RNJR has killed the Nuckelavee.
Hey, aren't I normally the one to save you?
~ Qrow to Ruby, as he recovers from poison in Mistral.
It's good to see you again, Oz.
~ Qrow, when he meets Oscar Pine.
No, reckless is leaving one of the Relics completely unguarded. It’s not checking in with Oz for ages!
~ Qrow, chewing Lionheart out.
I found him!
~ Qrow, drunkenly declaring he has found Ozpin.
I did it!
~ Qrow, crowing about having found Ozpin/Oscar.
Play things close to the chest until we get a better hand.
~ Qrow, on what to do next.
This isn’t right. I get one or two of them, but… all of them?
~ Qrow, confused that all the Huntsmen and Huntresses haven't returned.
How can six kids possibly make so much noise eating dinner?!
~ Qrow, complaining about the group's noise.
Yang, that’s enough! We made a choice. We wanted this.
~ Qrow, telling Yang that he and Raven got their shape-shifting of their own free will.
Leo,what have you done?!
~ Qrow upon realizing that Leo betrayed them and told Raven of their plan to attack her and her tribe
Running away was one thing, but this… you’ve crossed the line!
~ Qrow, to Raven.
We’re not family anymore.
~ Qrow, no longer sees Raven as family anymore.
Meeting you,was the worst luck of my life.
~ Qrow to Ozpin after learning that he was keeping Salem's immortality curse a secret
You try stopping these kids when they have their mind set on something.
~ Qrow to Winter after revealing they stole a ship to get to Atlas
What? Has James lost his mind!?
~ Qrow after Clover reveals that he and Team RWBY are all under arrest after Ironwood decides to declare martial law and abandon Mantle
Why couldn’t you just do the right thing instead of the thing you were told?
~ Qrow to Clover after their fight
I'LL KILL YOU!
~ Qrow to Tyrian after he stabbed Clover

Videos

Trivia

  • Branwen is Welsh, meaning "blessed white raven/crow", which corresponds to his first name.
    • Qrow may allude to Brân the Blessed, who was the brother of Branwen, which Raven could allude to.
    • 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 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 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 confirmed that Qrow was their favorite character to write because it was refreshing to have an adult character who didn't take much seriously.

Gallery

Sources

Qrow Branwen on the RWBY Wiki.

Navigation

           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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