Fans have eagerly anticipated the release of RWBY Volume 9 for longer than usual. As is often the case in devoted fandoms, waiting leaves all the more room for fan theories to be born! So, which are the most likely and prevalent? Here are some of the best RWBY Volume 9 theories and predictions.
Spoiler Warning: If you haven't caught up with the latest episodes, you might want to do so now, as there are major spoilers below.
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Where Has Team RWBY Ended Up?
RWBY Volume 8 ended on a tragic note. Penny is dead, and her Winter Maiden powers have been transferred to Winter Schnee, who is trying to stop Ironwood's authoritarian plans.
There will be a major power struggle in Volume 9, but Ruby and her crew won't get to participate, at least not at first.
At the end of Volume 8, Ruby, along with Yang, Blake, Weiss, Jaune, and Neo, have fallen into the unknown.
The post-credit scene reveals that they've been stranded in a strange world with two suns and a massive tree.
But what is this world? It appears that team RWBY has ended up in a whimsical and colorful fairy tale world, full of talking animals, sentient plants, and thieving raccoons!
It seems that the tree will be an important part of the girls' journey, as they need to reach it if they're going to get home.
But other than that, it seems like RWBY has returned to its fairy-tale origins.
Remember that the inspiration for each of the girls is a fairy tale heroine; Ruby is Little Red Riding Hood, Weiss is Snow White, Blake is Sleeping Beauty, and Yang is Goldilocks.
While these are loose references that refer mostly to the character designs and little details, it's fun to see fairy tales becoming more of a central theme and aesthetic after several bleak and dystopic seasons.
Our only disappointment regarding the fact that this isn't the land of the dead is that Ruby won't be able to meet her mother. Speaking of which...
Is Summer Rose Still Alive?
Previous RWBY volumes have focused quite a lot on Yang's mother, Raven, her mysterious, morally grey agenda, and the revelation that she is the Spring Maiden.
We know less of Summer Rose, Ruby's mother, which is to be expected since she's been long dead. Or has she?
Fans love to make theories about Ruby's mom, with many speculating that Summer is still alive.
At some point in the show, Yang mentions that Summer went on a mission when the former was six, and never came back.
While there's a grave for her, it could be empty. Moreover, Yang's words don't clarify whether Summer Rose's dead body was ever found, or if she simply went missing and is presumed dead.
In the past few volumes, Ruby understands much more about her powers but many more elements would make sense if there was more information about her mom.
Whether or not Summer is alive, it's plausible to assume that Volume 9 will be the season where we finally find out all about her.
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Is Summer Rose the Summer Maiden?
So far, the show hasn't been exactly subtle when it comes to the four Maidens who wield Remnant's vast amounts of magic.
Cinder Fall has stolen the powers of the Fall Maiden, while Weiss's sister, Winter, eventually became the Winter Maiden, as was initially planned.
The only exception is Yang's mother, Raven, who possesses the powers of the Spring Maiden.
If Ruby's mom was the Summer Maiden, it would feel a little predictable, but we can't help thinking that the creators didn't choose her name by chance.
Besides, Raven's status as Spring Maiden seems like a double foreshadowing, as Ruby and Yang are sisters and amongst the strongest characters of the show.
Therefore, fans like to theorize that Ruby, whose powers are special, is also the daughter of a powerful Maiden.
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Ruby Rose's Identity
The trailer seems to suggest that Ruby will be going through a major identity crisis, which is frankly not surprising.
Ruby is the youngest member of the group, having joined the academy at the age of 15 -- two years earlier than most.
Throughout the series, she has lost friends, seen the horrors of war, and learned shocking secrets about her world that would traumatize anyone.
So far, she has stayed optimistic, but fans aren't wrong to think that some help is long overdue.
It seems that Ruby will contemplate the possibility of not going home and leaving her identity as Huntress Ruby Rose behind.
While we don't think that she will go through with this, being the heroine we know and love, we wouldn't be surprised if the fairy-tale-like season takes a darker turn.
What do you think is going to happen in RWBY Volume 9? Tag us with your best theories on Twitter @epicstreamanime.
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