What Happened to Summer Rose in RWBY?

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What Happened to Summer Rose in RWBY
Credit: Shaft

Although we haven't seen her much, Summer Rose is one of the favorites when it comes to RWBY theories. Ruby's mom is interesting not only because of the cool powers Ruby inherited from her but also for her ambiguous story. So, what happened to Summer Rose in RWBY?

Table of Contents

Potential spoilers below!

Who Is Summer Rose in RWBY?

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Credit: Shaft

Summer Rose is the mother of Ruby, the show's main character. She was the leader of team STRQ which included Taiyang Xiao Long - who later became her husband - as well as Raven Branwen and Qrow Branwen.

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She's Taiyang's second wife, having married him after Raven abandoned her family.

Since Raven left when Yang was very young, Summer also raised her, to the point that Yang considers Summer has been more of a mom to her than her birth mother.

Summer Rose was a skilled huntress and it's implied that at some point she faced Salem.

What Happened to Summer Rose?

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Credit: Rooster Teeth

Summer Rose is thought to have died prior to the events of RWBY when Yang was six years old and Ruby was four.

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On her gravestone, a line from Thomas Moore's poem, The Last Rose of Summer can be read.

The exact circumstances of her death are unclear, but it likely happened during a confrontation with Salem, her minions, or Grimm.

Related: The Best Action Anime with a Badass Female Lead

Is Summer Rose Still Alive?

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Credit: Rooster Teeth

There is no clear indication as to whether Summer Rose is still alive but fans like to speculate due to the ambiguity of the situation.

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So far, we've had flashbacks about other important events in the series, but no character has recalled or described the exact circumstances of Summer's death.

Ruby has very special abilities, likely inherited from her mother, and Summer is brought up quite often. Even if she has died, then, her powers might still be discussed, or even affect future RWBY Volumes.

Moreover, since every detail matters in fiction, lots of fans have dwelt on Yang's line about Summer: “And then, one day she left for a mission and never came back.”

Yang's words could indicate that, perhaps, Summer went missing, and since her loved ones never heard from her, they presumed she had died - it's unlikely that Salem would let her live if she caught her.

It might be the case that no dead body was ever found, or that none of the main characters actually saw Summer die.

In fiction, the rule of thumb is that fans won't fully believe a character is dead after seeing their dead body.

This isn't exactly applicable here, as it would be far-fetched for the death of a backstory character to be depicted on-screen but the RWBY fandom is creative, and there are plenty of theories about Summer.

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Is Summer Rose the Summer Maiden?

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Credit: Rooster Teeth

Many fans have theories about who the Summer Maiden is in RWBY and Summer Rose is one of the favorite candidates.

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The reason for that is two-fold. Firstly, Summer's name is a strong indication, as Rooster Teeth hasn't been exactly subtle with allusions and fancy names.

So far, we've seen Cinter Fall steal the powers of the Fall Maiden with Raven - Yang's mom - even noting that her name is too fitting to be a coincidence.

Then, we have Winter Schnee had been set up as next in line to be the next Winter Maiden, and, though Penny ended up taking up that role first, Winter did, eventually earn the powers she had trained for, as Penny surrendered them to her before dying.

The above has led many fans to believe that Summer Rose is or at least was the Summer Maiden.

So far, the only notable difference is the Spring Maiden who is revealed to be Yang's mother Raven.

If this pattern is going anywhere, it would be fitting for Summer to be/have been the Summer Maiden both because of her name and because another main character's mother is also one of the Maidens.

Related: Is RWBY: Ice Queendom a Reboot?

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On the other hand, the above can be read by some as reasons why Summer is not one of the Maidens.

After all, one could argue that the fact that Maidens have fitting names sounds a bit silly or unimaginative. The creators are undoubtedly aware of that, so why did they choose this?

Could it be to lead fans towards believing that Summer is alive, and a Summer Maiden only to give the role to someone completely unexpected?

This, too, is a possibility, and only when we get a big revelation, or when the series ends will we know exactly what happened to Summer.