Real talk, part of the reason I get weirdly emotional over Weiss being held is because pretty much everything we’ve seen so far points to a scarcity of loving physical affection in her life.
Because we have moments like this
which we all laughed at endlessly, as we should, because it’s hilarious. But the contradiction in what she says and what she does is also indicative of the fact that Weiss really doesn’t know how to show her affection for people. Which also gives us moments like this
…not “physical affection” exactly, but a caring moment, a “tell us what’s troubling you,” somewhat awkwardly executed and confrontational. Some of the tension between her and Blake specifically is probably contributing to the action here, since this episode comes on the heels of
the V1 Monochrome train Black and White. But even considering that, she shows genuine concern, reveals that she’s been preoccupied by Blake’s mood, and offers help in a dramatic gesture that manages to feel both caring and out of place at the same time.
And watching her interactions with Winter, I’m starting to understand where some of these contradictions stem from. Weiss greets her very formally (like royalty, I remember seeing someone point out) and has to break down the wall of what I originally interpreted as apathy before Winter starts to (stiffly) show her affection. I doubt the two of them get the opportunity to hug often like they did in episode 4, and their physical interactions before that moment were almost entirely Winter correcting her.
That first hit gets played off as affectionate (“I don’t recall asking about your ranking, I’m asking how you’ve been.”) and we see that Winter actually does care about Weiss on a personal level. But coupling a slap with a thoughtful inquiry carries some implications about Weiss’s family life, especially for the dynamic they seem to have that at times more closely resembles parent-child than sisters. I’m not saying that no one ever hugged Weiss or showed her love, because I was honestly touched by Winter’s “learn yourself” speech, and also because this happened
…but even here Weiss seems unsure how to react for a moment before she gives a cute lil smile and makes me go “awww”
“It was really good to see you, Winter.”
This, right here, is what Weiss needs more of in her life: unconditional affection coupled with the reminder that people care about far more than the perks of her last name, which she’s starting to learn isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
The more time Weiss spends with her team, the more we see her depart from the awkward days of V1. We’re not even halfway through volume 3 yet but she’s managed to go from ineffective Pyrrha-fawning, bossy standoffishness, and racist comments, to someone who is willing to step away from her father’s influence and sacrifice herself for her friends (yes Weiss, they are indeed your friends). And she manages to make that growth without totally losing her trademark attitude.
I attribute these changes mostly to RBY’s influence. The beautiful part is that they all challenge and support her in different ways. Ruby’s enthusiasm, combat style, and leader status all really rubbed Weiss the wrong way…
…but she also provides unwavering acceptance of Weiss for who she is and genuinely admires her independent of her family status.
Blake’s background automatically put the two of them at odds and forced Weiss to really examine her stereotyping behavior…
…yet Blake chose to catch her as she fell and carry her to safety even though she had the perfect opportunity to fuck up Torchwick while he was practically begging her to do just that.
Yang cares little for the spoiled rich girl attitude, shares a lot of Ruby’s “fly by the seat of your pants” fighting style that contradicts Weiss’s attention to perfect form, and has a fire affinity to contrast Weiss’s ice affinity…
…yet they collaborate so wonderfully, and Yang’s immediate reaction after the tournament fight ends as she’s coming down from rage mode is to run to Weiss’s side.
“Tell me, can a heart be turned to stone?” she sings in White Trailer, but these three seem bound and determined to make sure that doesn’t happen.
IN CONCLUSION: Everyone should hug the snowy shitlord as much as is humanly possible.