masterfully designed

“Already behind him among the goblin dead lay many men and many dwarves, and many a fair elf that should have lived yet long ages merrily in the wood.”
-The Hobbit, J.R.R Tolkien

Does this guy even know how upsetting the stuff he writes is?! Edgar Poe isn’t this upsetting! The immortality of elves is one of the most masterfully designed immortalities ever conceived. If they die, it’s like it wasn’t supposed to happen. Like when a young person dies and they have so much left to live. It upsets me greatly and I don’t like it. whenever an elf dies I just break a little inside.

Weiss Schnee - red under the ice

SECOND REVISION

DISCLAIMER: Whatever I mention in this post may or may not have been intended by Monty Oum when he originally designed the character. But regardless of whether it was intentional or not, art is an activity that is deeply connected to the subconscious. For this reason it is emotional, intuitive and mystical, especially when it deals with complex symbolism. Thus, certain pieces of the mosaic will inevitably fall into place on their own behalf, even without the artist’s conscious awareness.

Introduction

Earlier I made a blog post devoted to Weiss, giving a brief overview of her image and symbolism from a purely visual perspective. After giving it some thought, I realized that I relate to this character on a far more intimate level than I had originally felt. Thus, I’m going to go into an in-depth analysis of what she is and what she represents on visual, symbolic, and philosophical grounds. This might prove to be a boring ride for some, but I’m hopeful it will be worth everybody’s time.

Contents:

  1. Icy on the surface - from a first glance.
  2. Shards and mind among the snow - silhouettes and meanings.
  3. Red underneath - colors.
  4. The armor of ice and solitude - putting the pieces together.
  5. “I’m not perfect. Not yet.” - a philosophical analysis.
    + Spirituality - a Christian perspective.
    + Perfectionism - Arete, Eudaimonia, and The Prince.
    + A Princess in the making - summary.
  6. Conclusion - final thoughts.
  7. Notes

Icy on the Surface

Weiss Schnee is traditionally referred to in the series as the “ice queen”, causing a lot of giggles and puns directed her way. Certainly it is intentional. Her dress is a gradient of white and light blue, which represents the color of ice. She wears an elegant pair of winter boots with heels, and her white ponytail is visually resembles an icicle. For better (or worse) her personality and behavior only complement this masterfully crafted design. She’s arrogant and egocentric. She rarely shows warm emotions, or anything for that matter that could make her seem weak in the eyes of others. Likewise, she also finds it difficult to accept warmth from others. Her name speaks for itself: “white snow” - definitely not something you would want to hold in your bare hands, at least not for too long.

But frostiness and style aren’t her only signature traits. She is also very beautiful physically, elegant in her demeanor, eloquent in her speech, and a marvelous singer. All of which causes her to emit an aristocratic aura, and identifies her as one of noble blood and upbringing.

Shards and Mind among the Snow

By further exploring her image, we will discover a prominent presence of sharp silhouettes. Her primary weapon, the Myrtenaster, is a rapier - a sword that functions similarly to a large needle. Rapiers are designed to pierce flesh rather than to slash or chop it. Therefore, they effortlessly dig themselves deeper into the body more than any other sword normally could. Rapiers do not require a lot of force to inflict pain. They simply do it. And to no doubt, anyone who would be asked to envision a needle in his mind would inevitably end up invoking thoughts of sharp pain.

The snowflake logo on the back of her bolero is comprised of large shards. This visual aspect also repeats itself in all of her glyphs. This yet again presents us with sharp, piercing silhouettes, and alludes to pain.

Lastly, she carries a scar on her face throughout the entirety of the series. In the “White” trailer, she’s shown with blood streaming out of her scar, which further intensifies the presence of pain in her image.

Despite putting up a marvelous display of sword mastery and acrobatics, her primary weapon is her magic. Whilst her rapier is designed to chamber a revolving barrel, which can enhance her sword with a multitude of different powers mid-battle. Magic and multi-faceted flexibility are common metaphors for intellect, thoughts, ideas, and wisdom. Traditionally, mages and wizards in stories tend to represent great knowledge, and Weiss is no exception to this rule.

If we combine pain, sharp objects, preoccupation with the mind, and turn to the Tarot cards, we will likely end up with the following:

Nine of Swords depicts a man unable to find peace in his sleep due to the countless nightmares, represented in the picture by swords, which endlessly pierce and cut his mind, thus tormenting him from within. The nightmares represent: failure, disappointments, despair, misery, doubt, solitude, grief, conflict, suffering, sadness, and a fear of loss.

This card’s appearance in the deck tells of a preoccupation with past experiences; particularly those of a hurtful or painful nature. It further speaks of inner-feelings of guilt, sorrow and confusion, and advises to take time for inner reflection in order to overcome debilitating emotions.

In Volume 3, Pyrrha tells us the story of the seasons, and describes the winter maiden as one who understood the reclusive nature of the man, and urged him to use his time to reflect and meditate. Thus, the winter maiden aided him in finding peace in his internal struggles.

Red underneath

What I found particularly interesting about her design was the artist’s choice to contrast the faint icy blue exterior of her clothing, with a bright, almost blood-like red interior of her bolero and boots. This is an important and screaming statement by the artist as well as the character herself.

Red as a color is a double-edged sword of emotions, as it can symbolize love and passion, simultaneously with suffering, blood, torment and conflict. Regardless of what it symbolizes, it is without a doubt a color of intense feelings, positive and negative.

Whereas ice symbolizes the exact opposite of that. Ice is cold, therefore it is numbing. Cold slows life down. It undermines one’s ability to feel pleasure and suffer pain. Cold is insensitive, sleeping, and peaceful.

During the first two volumes, we find out that Weiss had a difficult childhood, potentially suffering numerous emotional traumas, and for whatever reason has a very confrontational relationship with her father. Intense emotional conflict with one’s parents can prove to be devastating for a child, and even for an adult. And growing up in such an environment, with pain molding your personality from early age, would leave a scar one would be unlikely to rid himself off for the rest of his life.

The Armor of Ice and Solitude

Summarizing Weiss’s design, we can conclude that she’s a bundle of intense emotions, all kinds of emotions, boiling red emotions. She spent the most part of her life in torment, which continuously made her more vulnerable to harm, more irritated by pain, thus more fearful of it. She had no one to attend to her wounds, therefore she had no choice but to lose herself, or to construct a protective shell - to freeze her heart to numb the pain, and to create a hard crust for an armor to stand her ground against future harm.

The “White” trailer creates an eye-catching contrast, by pitting a fragile little girl against a large powerful knight. The girl represents her inner nature, whereas the knight represents the impregnable icy wall she constructed around her. She succeeded in protecting herself, but by growing insensitive to her own pain, she thus also grew insensitive to the pain of those around her.

Insensitivity, also, is a double-edged sword. For the most part, she reversed her situation by turning the tables on pain, but as a result, she also alienated everyone who never meant her any harm, thus becoming the architect of her own solitude.

“I’m not perfect. Not yet.”

“I’m not perfect. Not yet.”
- Weiss Schnee, RWBY Vol. 1, Ep. 7

Throughout the series we witness countless episodes of Weiss’s preoccupation with perfection; whether it’s her reluctance to acknowledge that she got herself and Ruby lost in the forest (Vol. 1, Ep. 7), the careful attention she gives to properly aligning paintings in her room (Vol. 1, Ep. 9), her growing upset over Ruby’s inability to tell the difference between two table cloths (Vol. 2, Ep. 6), or her focus on maintaining proper form in battle. (Vol. 3, Ep. 5).

It should be acknowledged that perfectionism isn’t always merely an annoying obsession or a paranoia. Given the right context, it may also imply a much deeper spiritual meaning. To explain spirituality and perfectionism, I’ll have to briefly dive into Christian philosophy and classical philosophy, at the very least from the perspective of how it was taught to me by competent people. Things will get complicated from here on, so I suppose those who find this topic boring can skip it.

Spirituality

Man is divided into 4 elements: the flesh, the soul, the spirit, and the subconscious.

  • The flesh (body) represents the man’s physical needs. i.e. hunger and sex.
  • The soul (heart) represents the man’s emotions. i.e. sadness, anger, despair, happiness, love, fear.
  • The spirit (mind) represents the man’s reason. i.e. the ability to make choices and decisions, the possession and accumulation of knowledge, the capacity and capability of the intellect to perceive, analyze, understand and use information, as well as the ability to act beyond one’s boundaries, i.e. strengthen one’s will and courage by defeating one’s sloth and fears.
  • The subconscious represents the man’s dark side, which unfortunately is too deep and sophisticated for the man to control. The subconscious influences the man’s dreams, as well as some of his feelings, but that’s where his awareness of it ends.

Spirituality, as can be seen in the word itself, is concerned with the spirit. A spiritual creature is one which expands the spirit’s authority over all the other elements. If man was a kingdom, and spirituality would be its constitution, then the spirit (mind) would be its king - the ultimate ruler of the man’s fate.

Thus, in essence, spirituality is when a man’s decisions and actions are ultimately driven by reason, and not by emotions or bodily needs. To be spiritual is to be reasonable. But one cannot be fully reasonable without knowledge, nor can one be fully reasonable if he is devoid of emotion. Spirituality is the ability of the mind to take in everything you are, everything that surrounds you, and make the rightest of right choices, unhindered by the poor judgement of the body, the heart, or insufficient knowledge.

“Emotions can grant you strength.
But you must never let them overpower you.”
Winter Schnee, Vol. 3, Ep. 4

Spirituality is the only element which is unique to human beings. It is what separates them from animals, as animals can also have bodily needs, as much as they can also experience emotions. But very rarely can they reject these things in favor of reason. Those who reject their spirit will have their fate overtaken by their emotions and their body. And such a fate would be one of torment and suffering.

Perfectionism

Note: from here on the words: perfection, virtuosity, and excellence will be used interchangeably.

Many Greek philosophers of antiquity often invoked the concept of Arete. The word itself has no proper translation, but it revolves around the idea of “excellence” and “virtuosity”. One who is Arete-ous must be excellent in all things, including knowledge, beauty, taste, craft, art, moral virtues. He furthermore must be virtuous by mastering his skills and making good use of his talents.

Since governing a country was and still is considered to be the most difficult of tasks given the high responsibility and stakes involved, many philosophers of antiquity agreed that statecraft must be left only to those who are truly and fully Arete-ous (excellent). This led to the inception of Aristocratic rule. (Aristocracy- from Greek “rule of the best”). Although historically, power ended up in the hands of the rich, who only called themselves “aristocrats” to legitimize their hereditary rule in the eyes of the people. But I digress…

Eudaimoania, which also has no proper translation, but is commonly identified as “happiness”, is another classical Greek concept that is directly connected to Arete. From a Eudaimonist perspective, one can achieve a true form of happiness only by living up to one’s full potential, or in other words: “one can be truly happy only if he succeeds in becoming the best person he can be.

To conclude this boring lesson, we’ll step away from western antiquity, and enter the age of the Italian Renaissance. Niccolo Machiavelli was a famous Italian diplomat and philosopher. He expanded on the classic Greek ideas of virtuosity and excellence, and suggested that a man’s fate lies in the hands of two entities: virtù and fortuna.

“It is better to be bold than timid and cautious, because fortune is a woman, and the man who wants to control her must treat her roughly.”
- Niccolo Machiavelli, The Prince

By calling fortune a woman, Machiavelli suggests that it is an element in our life which is beyond our control. Fortune is luck, and luck is unpredictable. But there is a way to combat luck. And this can be done by maximizing one’s virtuosity. In this sense, Machiavelli is calling upon the Greek Arete, i.e. one’s “excellence in all things”, and one’s “mastery of all things”. From a Machiavellian perspective, one who is truly virtuous (excellent or Arete-ous), will share equal power with fortune over his own fate and success. Thus the fate of a virtuous man will depend 50% on his skill and 50% on his luck. If he rejects virtuosity, he will thus hand 100% of his fate into the hands of fortune.

A Princess in the making

Weiss pursues excellence, and this can be seen in everything, including her studies and grades, her clothing, her demeanor and appearance, the amount of attention she gives to perfecting her stance and technique in combat, and the amount of effort she puts into becoming “the best person she can be”, although she originally aspired to become “the best leader”. But given the context of perfectionism explained in the paragraphs prior, it is clear why she sought to become the leader - one’s ability to lead is also a mark of human excellence.

There are two fundamental catalysts in Weiss’s life that motivate her to pursue perfection (or virtuosity). The first catalyst is her position as the heiress to the Schnee Dust Company. She has an enormous responsibly on her shoulders as a future leader, or as Machiavelli would likely identify her, the future Princess. Power and wealth are complex and fundamentally different things. Inheriting them is one thing, holding onto them, to protect one’s family heritage as well as honor, is completely different.

“He chose money over power. In this town, a mistake nearly everyone makes. Money is the Mc-mansion in Sarasota that starts falling apart after 10 years. Power is the old stone building that stands for centuries. I cannot respect someone who doesn’t see the difference.“
- Francis Underwood, House of Cards 2013

The second catalyst without a doubt is more spiritual. She seeks to attain control over her fate, and primarily over her emotional torment. As we’ve deducted from her character design, she is extremely sensitive underneath, which was likely the product of her difficult childhood. She chose to grow an icy crust around her heart to protect herself from emotional harm. Surrounding herself with an impregnable barrier of ice and snow, she sought to subjugate and control pain directed against her. But as a side-effect, she also lost the ability to sense the pain of others. Insensitivity towards oneself will inevitably produce insensitivity towards those around you. She sought to attain control over her pain, but in exchange she lost control over the pain she inflicts on those around her. She undoubtedly realizes this, and seeks to change it, but only by proceeding to ascend towards perfection.

She isn’t perfect. Not yet. Because if she would be, she would control both: the pain inflicted on her, and the pain she inflicts on others; she would successfully combat her fortune, control her fate, and thus the fate of her family’s heritage and honor.

Conclusion

Weiss Schnee is a fascinating and unique character, as she is the only of them all who actually explores the matters of the spirit, virtue, excellence, pain, weakness, strength, and the will to change one’s fate. For this reason, I identify her as the most human and most spiritual character in the series. She travels a spiritual and philosophical path which I find to be very reminiscent of my own, as I too share many of her circumstances and aspirations.

I don’t know if Monty Oum actually put this much thought into her. I suspect he didn’t. But regardless of this fact, it can’t be denied that he gave life to his art, and his art decided to speak for itself.

Notes

The information presented in this essay is on one hand influenced by my academic studies, and on the other - by my personal thoughts and interests. There’s definitely a lot more I could and would like to say about Weiss, but every monologue must eventually come to an end.

Weiss Schnee - red under the ice

DISCLAIMER: Whatever I mention in this post may or may not have been intended by Monty Oum when he originally designed the character. But regardless of whether it was intentional or not, art is an activity that is deeply connected to the subconscious. For this reason it is emotional, intuitive and mystical, especially when it deals with complex symbolism. Thus, certain pieces of the mosaic will inevitably fall into place on their own behalf, even without the artist’s conscious awareness.

Introduction

Earlier I made a post devoted to Weiss, giving a brief overview of her image and symbolism from a purely visual perspective. After giving it some thought, I realized that I relate to this character on a far more intimate level than I had originally felt. Thus, I’m going to go into a more in-depth analysis of what she is and what she represents. This post will involve most of the things presented in the aforementioned one, and further expand on them. Consider this an essay on Weiss Schnee - it will be long.

Icy on the Surface

Weiss Schnee is traditionally referred to in the series as the “ice queen”, causing a lot of giggles and puns directed her way. Certainly it is intentional. Her dress is a gradient of white and light blue, which represents the color of ice. She wears an elegant pair of winter boots with heels, and her white ponytail is visually reminiscent of an icicle. For better (or worse) her personality and behavior only complement this masterfully crafted design. She’s arrogant and egocentric. She rarely shows warm emotions, or anything for that matter that could make her seem weak in the eyes of others. Likewise, she also finds it difficult to accept warmth from others. Her name speaks for itself: “white snow” - definitely not something you would want to hold in your bare hands, at least not for too long.

But frostiness and style aren’t her only signature traits. She is also very beautiful physically, elegant in her demeanor, eloquent in her speech, and a marvelous singer. All of which causes her to emit an aristocratic aura, and identifies her as one of noble blood and upbringing.

Shards and Mind among the Snow

By further exploring her image, we will discover a prominent dominance of sharp silhouettes. Her primary weapon, the Myrtenaster, is a rapier - a sword that functions similarly to a large needle. Rapiers are designed to pierce flesh rather than to slash or chop it. Therefore, they effortlessly dig themselves deeper into the body more than any other sword normally could. Rapiers do not require a lot of strength to inflict pain. They simply do it. And to no doubt, anyone who would be asked to envision a needle in his mind would inevitably end up invoking thoughts of sharp pain.

The snowflake logo on the back of her bolero is comprised of large shards. This visual aspect also repeats itself in all of her glyphs. This yet again presents us with sharp, piercing silhouettes, and alludes to pain.

Lastly, she carries a scar on her face throughout the entirety of the series. In the “White” trailer, she’s shown with blood bursting out of her scar, which again alludes to the idea of wounds and pain.

Despite putting up a marvelous display of sword mastery and acrobatics, her primary weapon is her magic. Whilst her rapier is designed to chamber a revolving barrel, which can enhance her sword with a multitude of different powers mid-battle. Magic and multi-faceted flexibility are common metaphors for intellect, thoughts, ideas, and wisdom. Traditionally, mages and wizards in stories tend to represent great knowledge, and Weiss is no exception to this rule.

If we combine pain, sharp objects, preoccupation with the mind, and turn to the Tarot cards, we will likely end up with the following:

Nine of Swords depicts a man unable to find peace in his sleep due to the countless nightmares, represented in the picture by swords, which endlessly pierce and cut his mind, thus tormenting him from within. The nightmares represent: failure, disappointments, despair, misery, doubt, solitude, grief, conflict, suffering, sadness, and a fear of loss.

This card’s appearance in the deck tells of a preoccupation with past experiences; particularly those of a hurtful or painful nature. It further speaks of inner-feelings of guilt, sorrow and confusion, and advises to take time for inner reflection in order to overcome debilitating emotions.

In Volume 3, Pyrrha tells us the story of the seasons, and describes the winter maiden as one who understood the reclusive nature of the man, and urged him to use his time to reflect and meditate. Thus, the winter maiden aided him in finding peace in his internal struggles.

Red underneath

What I found particularly interesting about her design was the artist’s choice to contrast the faint icy blue exterior of her clothing, with a bright, almost blood-like red interior of her bolero and boots. This is an important and screaming statement by the artist as well as the character herself.

Red as a color is a double-edged sword of emotions, as it can symbolize love and passion, simultaneously with suffering, blood, torment and conflict. Regardless of what it symbolizes, it is without a doubt a color of intense feelings, positive and negative.

Whereas ice symbolizes the exact opposite of that. Ice is cold, therefore it is numbing. Cold slows life down. It undermines one’s ability to feel pleasure and suffer pain. Cold is insensitive, sleeping, and peaceful.

During the first two volumes, we find out that Weiss had a difficult childhood, potentially suffering numerous emotional traumas, and for whatever reason has a very confrontational relationship with her father. Intense emotional conflict with one’s parents can prove to be devastating for a child, and even for an adult. And growing up in such an environment, with pain molding your personality from early age, would leave a scar one would be unlikely to rid himself off for the rest of his life.

The Armor of Ice and Solitude

Summarizing Weiss’s design, we can conclude that she’s a bundle of intense emotions, all kinds of emotions, boiling red emotions. She spent the most part of her life in torment, which continuously made her more vulnerable to harm, more irritated by pain, thus more fearful of it. She had no one to attend to her wounds, therefore she had no choice but to lose herself, or to construct a protective shell - to freeze her heart to numb the pain, and to create a hard crust for an armor to stand her ground against future harm.

The “White” trailer creates an eye-catching contrast, by pitting a fragile little girl against a large powerful knight. The girl represents her inner nature, whereas the knight represents the impregnable icy wall she constructed around her. She succeeded in protecting herself, but by growing insensitive to her own pain, she thus also grew insensitive to the pain of those around her.

Insensitivity, also, is a double-edged sword. For the most part, she reversed her situation by turning the tables on pain, but as a result, she also alienated everyone who never meant her any harm, thus becoming the architect of her own solitude.

Clawing up the Mountain of Perfection

“I’m not perfect. Not yet.”
- Weiss Schnee, RWBY Vol. 1

It should be acknowledged that perfectionism isn’t always merely an annoying obsession or a paranoia. Given the right context, it may also imply a much deeper spiritual context. To explain spirituality and perfectionism, I’ll have to briefly dive into Christian philosophy and classical philosophy, at the very least from the perspective of how it was taught to me by competent people. Things will get complicated from here on, so I suppose those who find this topic boring can skip it.

Spirituality

Man is divided into 4 elements: the flesh, the soul, the spirit, and the subconscious.

- The flesh (body) represents the man’s physical needs. i.e. hunger and sex.
- The soul (heart) represents the man’s emotions. i.e. sadness, anger, despair, happiness, love, fear.
- The spirit (mind) represents the man’s reason. i.e. the ability to make choices and decisions, the possession and accumulation of knowledge, the capacity and capability of the intellect to perceive, analyze, understand and use information, as well as the ability to act beyond one’s boundaries, i.e. strengthen one’s will and courage by defeating one’s sloth and fears.
- The subconscious represents the man’s dark side, which unfortunately is too deep and sophisticated for the man to control. The subconscious influences the man’s dreams, as well as some of his feelings, but that’s where his awareness of it ends.

Spirituality, as can be seen in the word itself, is concerned with the spirit. A spiritual creature is one which expands the spirit’s authority over all the other elements. If man was a kingdom, and spirituality would be its constitution, then the spirit (mind) would be its king - the ultimate ruler of the man’s fate.

Thus, in essence, spirituality is when a man’s decisions and actions are ultimately driven by reason, and not by emotions or bodily needs. To be spiritual is to be reasonable. But one cannot be fully reasonable without knowledge, nor can one be fully reasonable if he is devoid of emotion. Spirituality is the ability of the mind to take in everything you are, everything that surrounds you, and make the right choice, unhindered by the poor judgement of the body, the heart, or insufficient knowledge.

Spirituality is the only element which is unique to human beings. It is what separates them from animals, as animals can also have bodily needs, as much as they can also experience emotions. But very rarely can they reject these things in favor of reason. Those who reject their spirit will have their fate overtaken by their emotions and their body. And such a fate would be one of torment and suffering.

Perfectionism

Many Greek philosophers of antiquity (many of whom became the founding fathers of modern western philosophy), often invoked the concept of Arete. The word itself has no proper translation, but it revolves around the idea of “excellence” and “virtuosity”. One who is Arete-ous must be excellent in all things, including knowledge, beauty, taste, craft, art, moral virtues. He furthermore must be virtuous by mastering his skills and making good use of his talents.

Since governing a country was and still is considered to be the most difficult of tasks given the high responsibility and stakes involved, many philosophers of antiquity agreed that statecraft must be left only to those who are truly and fully Arete-ous (excellent). This led to the inception of Aristocratic rule. (Aristocracy - from Greek “rule of the best”). Although historically, power ended up in the hands of the rich, who only called themselves “aristocrats” to legitimize their hereditary rule in the eyes of the people. But I digress…

To conclude this boring lesson, we’ll step away from western antiquity, and enter the age of the Italian Renaissance. Niccolo Machiavelli was a famous Italian diplomat and philosopher. He expanded on the classic Greek ideas of virtuosity and excellence, and suggested that a man’s fate lies in the hands of two entities: virtù and fortuna.

“It is better to be bold than timid and cautious, because fortune is a woman, and the man who wants to control her must treat her roughly.”
- Niccolo Machiavelli, The Prince

By calling fortune a woman, Machiavelli suggests that it is an element in our life which is beyond our control. Fortune is luck, and luck is unpredictable. But there is a way to combat luck. And this can be done by maximizing one’s virtuosity. In this sense, Machiavelli is calling upon the Greek Arete, i.e. one’s “excellence in all things”, and one’s “mastery of all things”. From a Machiavellian perspective, one who is truly virtuous (excellent or Arete-ous), will share equal power with fortune over his own fate and success. Thus the fate of a virtuous man will depend 50% on his skill and 50% on his luck. If he rejects virtuosity, he will thus hand 100% of his fate into the hands of fortune.

Clawing up the Mountain of Perfection

Weiss pursues excellence, and this can be seen in everything, including her studies and grades, her clothing, her demeanor and appearance, the amount of attention she gives to perfecting her stance and technique in combat, and the amount of effort she puts into becoming “the best person she can be”, although she originally aspired to become “the best leader”. And given the context of perfectionism explained in the paragraphs prior, it’s completely understandable why she sought to become the leader.

There are two fundamental catalysts in Weiss’s life that motivate her to pursue perfection (or virtuosity). The first catalyst is undoubtedly her position as the heiress to the Schnee Dust Company. She has an enormous responsibly on her shoulders as a future leader, or as Machiavelli would likely identify her, the future Princess. Power and wealth are complex and fundamentally different things. Inheriting them is one thing, holding onto them, to protect her family’s heritage as well as honor, is completely different.

“He chose money over power. In this town, a mistake nearly everyone makes. Money is the Mc-mansion in Sarasota that starts falling apart after 10 years. Power is the old stone building that stands for centuries. I cannot respect someone who doesn’t see the difference.“
- Francis Underwood, House of Cards 2013

The second catalyst without a doubt is more spiritual. She seeks to attain control over her fate, and primarily over her emotional torment. As we’ve deducted from her character design, she is extremely sensitive underneath, which was likely the product of her difficult childhood. She chose to grow an icy crust around her heart to protect herself from emotional harm. Surrounding herself with an impregnable barrier of ice and snow, she sought to subjugate and control pain directed against her. But as a side-effect, she also lost the ability to sense the pain of others. Insensitivity towards oneself will inevitably produce insensitivity towards those around you. She sought to attain control over her pain, but in exchange she lost control over the pain she inflicts on those around her. She undoubtedly realizes this, and seeks to change it, but only by proceeding to ascend towards perfection.

She isn’t perfect. Not yet. Because if she would be, she would control both: the pain inflicted on her, and the pain she inflicts on others.

Conclusion

Weiss Schnee is a fascinating and unique character, as she is the only of them all who actually explores the matters of the spirit, virtue, excellence, pain, weakness, strength, and the will to change one’s fate. For this reason, I identify her as the most human and most spiritual character in the series. She travels a spiritual and philosophical path which I find to be very reminiscent of my own, as I too share many of her circumstances and aspirations.

I don’t know if Monty Oum actually put this much thought into her. I suspect he didn’t. But regardless of this fact, it can’t be denied that he gave life to his art, and his art decided to speak for itself.

5

revolMiNi - 006: War Machine

Much like in every other medium, War Machine’s revolMiNi absolutely blows away Iron Man’s. Fixing any issue I had with QC and poor design choices for Stark is addressed with Rhodes or improved upon. The leg design that made Iron Man so great was ever so slightly improved to compensate for his bulky design and even allows for a teeny-tiny bit more range. The only negative comes from the bulkier suit design…(which is awesome so who cares). The collar is only slightly obtrusive for his head and shoulder movements but the design of the shoulders does compensate for this. Even though he has the same engineering in his shoulders as Iron Man, Rhode’s is slightly hollowed out more than his (should be) side-kick to allow for the same range that is only hindered by the character’s suit design. Masterfully done figure by Yamaguchi. I wish everyone could appreciate these small touches that only come from an experienced artist such as him.

In a perfect world you could get both Iron Man and War Machine. If you do get both, the effect pieces for Iron Man can work with War Machine, (which I will highlight in my Top Toys of 2014) then afterwards you can toss Iron Man out. Just kidding. As great as Iron Man’s revolMiNi iteration is, if there has to be a choice, you should pick up War Machine. I lucked out over here and got War Machine for less than Iron Man but the higher price point is warranted here.

More revolMiNi || RM - 003: Iron Man