— PLEASE REMEMBER THAT ART IS SUBJECTIVE & ANY OPINIONS GIVEN HERE ARE MY OWN —
Towards the end of SEASON 15 of RED VS BLUE, there is an interesting exchange between Tucker & Carolina in regards to the main antagonist of the season, Temple.
"But he deserves it more than anyone! He's a killer!"
"And so are we."
I realize that starting a RWBY thread with a quote from RED VS BLUE may be a bit unusual, but I find the context to be fitting. The fact that Carolina is voiced by Pyrrha's voice actress is just an added bonus. That being said —
— does Cinder deserve to die?
I have no doubt that the majority of responders would volunteer their free time to be the executioner. But that's avoiding the question. I didn't ask if you want Cinder to die — I asked if she deserved to die. Two very different topics as what someone deserves contrasts heavily to what someone wants.
Let's look at the evil Cinder has wrought — and make no mistake, she has done terrible things.
• The Fall Maiden
Our earliest known act of violence. To be honest, I'm surprised Cinder & her group pulled this one off. Either Amber simply did not have the training that Cinder did — and she obviously has had a lot — or she made the tactical mistake of underestimating her opponents.
• The Fall of Beacon
We are using that word a lot, huh? It's almost like Barbara wrote VOLUME III. While I have no doubt that many deaths occurred during this battle, it's important to remember that that it did not take place simply at Beacon Academy, but within Vale itself. Cinder herself is responsible for three casualties — Ozpin, Pyrrha & Amber. All others can be attributed to the Grimm, the White Fang or the Atlesian Knights.
But if Cinder hadn't done what she did, none of this would have happened!
Remember that Cinder was working for Salem & if you want to do guilt by association, there's going to be a lot of finger pointing.
• Pyrrha's Death
Okay. The big one. Personally, I don't feel as though killing Pyrrha warrants the death sentence, though Cinder does need to pay for her crime in some way. I've argued before that Cinder didn't even seek Pyrrha out — it was the other way around. But I'll attempt a different approach.
At the very least, we know Mercury killed the bookstore owner in VOLUME II. And what about the main cast? While most of the opponents that our hunters & huntresses have faced have been Grimm — a significant amount are humans or members of the White Fang. I doubt that any of the White Fang who faced off against Penny were simply incapacitated & it's unlikely those who faced Team RWBY on the train in VOLUME II faired any better.
What about Raven? She flat out admits what she did to the former Spring Maiden — not to mention countless villages raided by her tribe.
Cinder killed a beloved character. I do not question that. To be honest, Pyrrha was one of my favorites in the show. But ask yourself, if Pyrrha was still alive & the person Cinder killed was someone you had never heard of — would you care as much?
• Possible Path to Redemption
Can it be done? Yes. For several reasons — and I know I skipped Vernal, but it's getting late here — and it all goes back to this one exchange of dialogue:
"Do you believe in destiny?"
Cinder believes in destiny. What that destiny is, we have yet to discover. But for five volumes, Cinder has essentially gone undefeated — her destiny has been unchallenged. Now, all of a sudden she has failed. When someone believes in destiny & that destiny is suddenly challenged — they are forced to re-examine their entire world. Cinder's world has been shaken to the core — and no, I don't think she's dead.
None of us want to see Team RWBY split up again — but someone has to start clearing out Beacon. What better way for a redemption arc to begin than with the character attempting to fix what they destroyed?
Obviously, she can never make up for everything & I'm not suggesting that will ever be the case. But it would be interesting to watch — especially if Mercury & Emerald join her.
Please share your thoughts & opinions — but please, be civil.