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This Article Contains Spoilers - WARNING: This article contains major spoilers. If you do not wish to know vital information on plot / character elements in a story, you may not wish to read beyond this warning: We hold no responsibility for any negative effects these facts may have on your enjoyment of said media should you continue. That is all.

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 younger twin brother of Raven Branwen, 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 Rose, Taiyang Xiao Long and his older twin sister Raven Branwen, known as Team STRQ.

He is also involved with Ozpin, Glynda Goodwitch, Oscar Pine, Theodore, Xanthe Rumpole and formerly James Ironwood in a secret brotherhood 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 from Fullmetal Alchemist. From Volume 7 onward he was voiced by Jason Liebrecht, who also voiced The Hound in the same series.

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 sometimes pushes his hair back when fighting. In addition, his hair is made to look like it is composed entirely of feathers.

Atlas (Volume 7-Present)

After arriving in Atlas, Qrow retains his torn cape and black wristband, except he loses his necklace and old rings and now wears a new outfit. He wears a dark gray collar shirt with a black vest that has cross-shaped buttons, and a white v-neck shirt underneath, dark gray dress pants and black dress shoes. His old rings are replaced with black ones worn in the same place as his previous rings were.

The floral pattern on his sleeves resemble his emblem.

Corvid Form

As a corvid, Qrow has black feathers, red eyes and a feathery crest on the top of his head.

Personality

Qrow is a seemingly rude, blunt, cynical, sometimes crass, yet cool-headed and nonchalant individual, who appears at first glance to be somewhat immature, insensitive and stand-offish, but actually has a heart of gold.

He is an alcoholic, as Glynda Goodwitch notes "he's always drunk!" and is usually seen taking swigs from his hip flask, often at inappropriate times such as in front of children or during important strategic meetings. It's also clear that he cannot handle leadership without relying on alcohol as seen during his travels with Team RNJR, following the Fall of Beacon. Qrow has a habit of giving people nicknames, as he refers to Ruby as "Pipsqueak", but his preferred nickname for her is "Kiddo". Other examples include "Firecracker" for Yang, "Oz" for Ozpin, "Jimmy" for Ironwood and "Ice Queen" for Winter Schnee.

He seemingly dislikes Atlas and openly criticizes their 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 Schneeupon encountering her and personal enough for him to back down at the last second just for the chance to humiliate Winter in front of James Ironwood. He also shows a level of cockiness when he baits Winter into attacking him. 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 and maverick facade, however, belies the demeanor of a veteran Huntsman. While watching Vytal Festival Tournament matches, he openly expresses displeasure and lack of approval, even as far as calling one a mess. He hinted to his nieces that his time out in the field had hardened him, which made them much safer displays of strength on the broadcast seem tame and benign in comparison. He is very cautious because of that, warning Ruby and Yang to not let their past near-victories against Roman Torchwick and the White Fang go to their heads. Regardless, 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 also tries to help raise Yang's morale after her disqualification and proposes to help her find her mother though he warns her that Raven is not a kind person and is a dangerous woman with a worldview that he does not share.

Qrow is shown to be tender at heart despite his rough demeanor and cares for both of his nieces dearly. He saved Yang and Ruby from Grimm when they were very young and later 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 has remained very close to his nieces and plays the part of the childish uncle. In "Family", it is shown that unlike his sister, Qrow despises killing and is upset with Raven for not contacting Yang, especially after she learned her daughter had lost her arm. While both Qrow and Raven attended Beacon to learn how to kill Huntsmen, Qrow's disgust and anger toward Leonardo Lionheart shows how far he has come. His value for family is strong to the point he suggests that Raven return to help in the fight against Salem, implying he still cared for her despite everything she had done. However, this changes In "The More the Merrier", as after Qrow finds out Raven joined forces with Cinder Fall and set a trap for him, his nieces and their friends, he claims that he no longer sees her as family. However, he still asks for Raven's whereabouts after the battle showing that he may still care for her. Qrow also agrees to hide Lionheart's cowardice and betrayal from Ironwood for the time being.

He is also very self-conscious about his Semblance to the point self-loathing, aware of its possible impact on the people around him, he makes a point to keep his distance from those he cares about. Qrow regards his life as being cursed due to his misfortune Semblance. Seeing himself as a burden to friends and family because of the bad luck he brings to everyone around him, he tries to spend most of his time living and working alone.

He does not hold back his opinions, he berates Ironwood for militarizing Vale, undermining Ozpin and inciting fear in the population, which empowers the Grimm. He admonishes his nieces for thinking they're capable of putting a stop to all crime in Vale and tells them they were not thinking like true Huntresses. When Ozpin tells Pyrrha Nikoswhy he needs her help and asks her to become a Maiden, Qrow is the only one who bluntly tells her just how bad the consequences could be for her should she agree. When Ruby tries to reassure Oscar Pine that he's his own person and not just another life to Ozpin, Qrow bitterly remarks "Don't lie to him, Ruby. We're better than that."

Despite Qrow's general dislike of authority and rules, he is extremely loyal to and trusting of Ozpin at first. He holds religion in doubt, but he takes Ozpin's word on the existence of the The Gods and their Relics. However, when Ozpin's past is revealed, Qrow feels betrayed and worthless. He turns his back on Ozpin, immediately having lost all faith in him, and lashes out both physically and verbally, deeming meeting him "the worst luck of his life".

By "Lost", Qrow falls into a depressive state, and his alcoholism worsens. He refuses to talk with anyone about his problems and resorts to drinking to numb his pain. It is not until Ruby stands up to him that Qrow starts to snap out of his depression, even making efforts to drink less. He also shows surprise and pride in Ruby's growing maturity and leadership skills. Qrow mentions to Clover Ebi in "Sparks" that he has given up alcohol and in "Cordially Invited" he turns down a drink when offered.

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. By comparison, when Qrow realized that Leonardo had the Mistral Huntsmen killed, he expressed pure disgust and anger towards his former ally, showing how far Qrow has come since his youth, fully embracing the responsibilities of a Huntsman and developing a strong sense of right and wrong.

Although he has made strides to better himself, Qrow nonetheless holds a double standard regarding secrets when it comes to his family. In "A New Approach", he goes along with Ruby's decision to lie to Ironwood and keep Ozpin's disappearance, how many questions left in the Relic of Knowledge, and Salem's immortality a secret from him, despite the fact that it was this decision that made Qrow turn on Ozpin in the first place. Later in "Pomp and Circumstance", when Ruby asks him if she is just like Ozpin, Qrow replies no and states that the difference between the two is that she is making sure they prove themselves first, which is the exact same thing that Ozpin did before revealing his secrets to others.

Powers and Abilities

Despite his reputation as a frequent alcoholic, Qrow is nevertheless one of the most capable Huntsmen in the series, being a trusted member of Ozpin's inner circle.

A testament to his strength and skill is that even while under the influence, he was able to match Winter, a high ranking Atlas official, in armed combat despite her status as a highly trained Huntress. His skill and power are so great that Mercury Black, a professional assassin who can casually defeat trained 2nd Year Huntsmen-in-Training like Yatsuhashi Daichi and Coco Adel, was seen terrified of his presence and immediately flees on sight.

Even among his peers, Qrow is a greatly feared and formidable Huntsman, with even the likes of Ironwood and Arthur Watts being wary of his combat prowess and reluctant to engage him in battle.

It is stated in "Welcome to Haven" by Lionheart that Qrow is evenly matched with his sister Raven, although this did not take her Maiden powers into account as it was unknown at the time.

As one of Ozpin's closest lieutenants and operatives, Qrow is incredibly skilled at intelligence gathering and espionage, having been known to bear witness to some of Salem's as-of-yet unseen creations, describing them as fear itself. His ability to transform into a bird was given to assist him in this capacity.

As revealed in RWBY: The Grimm Campaign, Qrow's skills and prowess as a legendary Huntsman is in fact a worldwide, publicly known fact, to the point where Qrow is even seen as a celebrity.

Physical Abilities

Despite his slim and lean build, Qrow has shown to have great physical prowess.

Even when disarmed, he simply resorted to fists to beat Tyrian Callows back with ease, despite the latter's status as one of Salem's most trusted followers and showing himself 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. His hand-to-hand skills are later shown against Tyrian once more in "Gravity", where he employs punches and kicks against the serial killer extensively.

Qrow is strong enough to smash a crater into the ground with his sword, cut through metal poles, as well as release Aura arcs. Qrow has also shown proficient accuracy with Harbinger 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.

Qrow has been shown to be incredibly resilient and durable, to both toxins and physical force. 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. Also, Qrow was seen taking powerful Dust-enhanced blows from Hazel Rainart, an incredibly strong unarmed fighter capable of battling multiple trained huntsmen simultaneously, and yet managed to keep fighting.

In addition to strength and durability, Qrow is shown to be extremely fast and agile, dodging an attack from someone as fast and mobile as Winter. He was also able to keep up with Tyrian, whose own speed proved difficult for someone as quick as Ruby.

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.

Semblance

Qrow's Semblance, Misfortune, causes bad luck around him and unlike most Semblances, it’s eternally active and can never turn off. Its effects can lead to incidents as small as a glass being knocked onto the floor in "New Challengers..." or as significant as impacting an entire fight.

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 in a fight to amplify the chance of his opponent getting hurt. This can be an advantage to him against unprepared opponents, but he is forced to fight alone as to not cause problems for his allies. His Semblance can be helpful in a fight, such as when Tyrian falls through an old roof, but can cause problems as when a piece of wood almost fell on Ruby.

Transformation

In the post-credit scene of "End of the Beginning", Qrow leaps from a cliff-side, and a black bird takes his place. This is the first demonstration of his ability to transform into a crow. In his bird form, Qrow is able to cover large distances and for stealth purposes.

His shape-shifting ability is shown again in "Tipping Point", where he transforms to quickly catch up with Team RNJR during their fight with Tyrian.

In "Known by its Song", Raven states Ozpin gave the twins their shapeshifting abilities. Ozpin validates this claim, stating he granted them this power with both of their consent, to aid him against Salem.

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.
  • Given he came from a band of nomads and his own presence causes bad luck, Qrow likely doesn't have a permanent residence. Most possibly he stays at inns, hotels or just passes out drunk at bars.

Gallery

Sources

Qrow Branwen on the RWBY Wiki.

Trivia

  • In the Japanese version, he is voiced by Hiroaki Hirata, best known for voicing Sanji in One Piece.

Navigation

           RWBY.png 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 Porfirio | 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 | Winter Schnee

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

Team SAFR
Arrastra Skye | Asher Mora | Fenix Nemean | Pyke Rite

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

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