HAVE SOME OF LILAC’S OZPIN AND OZMA THEORYCRAFTING! sCREEEEECH
So this hot take is gonna be about Ozpin and his likely rocky relationship with his predecessor. And I think that this is something that will be explored in Season 8 either directly in the story or in a World of Remnant bit, especially since Oscar’s gonna be alone surrounded by people who don’t particular like the said soul in his body.
Why do I think this?
People probably recall Ozpin’s speech on the first day of Beacon: “You have traveled here today in search of knowledge, to hone your craft and acquire new skills, and when you have finished, you plan to dedicate your life to the protection of the people. But I look amongst you, and all I see is wasted energy, in need of purpose, direction. You assume knowledge will free you of this, but your time at this school will prove that knowledge can only carry you so far. It is up to you to take the first step.”
And with that brief bit, he walks off. Yang remarks that he seemed off while Ruby comments he didn’t seem like he was there.
Nice bit of foreshadowing about the nature of Ozpin’s soul aside, I think Ozpin and his predecessor had only started to truly merge during the start of the school year which Oscar and Ozpin are still ways off from doing. And his predecessor had recently told him a very ugly truth - that Salem cannot be destroyed. Knowledge didn’t set Ozpin free here; it probably dashed the only hope he had for a normal life free of the reincarnation in his head just like his previous reincarnation wondering if their fight with Salem would end in his generation (Oscar doesn’t even know it until the Jinn reveal).
Ozpin could’ve just given up - left everyone to fend for themselves. He doesn’t. Instead, he’s a professor, a teacher - and something to keep in mind when considering who the previous Oz spirit probably is. And he turns it into a lesson, a warning for his wide-eyed, naive students who haven’t realized the truth of the world they live in - that they have to find something worth fighting for because as they’ll learn, this isn’t a fairy tale. The fighting will never end. The loss will never end, regardless of what they learn or do.
So why do I think they’ve only started to merge? Because Blake says something very interesting later during that very same episode, and given CRWBY’s love of playing the long game when it comes to reveals and Chekhov’s guns (Ren and Jaune’s fight in vol 8, Salem as the mysterious Narrator), I think it’s interesting to pay attention to.
When Yang and Ruby pester Blake during the night before Initiation, Ruby asks what sort of book Blake is reading.
Blake replies with “Well… i-it’s about a man with two souls, each fighting for control over his body. “
And that’s why I think Ozpin’s relationship with his predecessor, likely the King of Vale as told by the World of Remnant episode, was probably somewhat rocky and that they were still not quite fused by the start of Ruby’s semester.
Because in the end, I think the like-mindedness characteristic that all Oz’s share is their desire for autonomy, the power to Choose. Ozma after all was robbed of his when he initially came back to life and then later became a piece on the board to hurt Salem, and given what the Lost Fable showed, the gods are petty.
One could definitely make the argument that the God of Light tried to warn him that Salem wasn’t the same, but he didn’t really try that hard, did he?
It felt like one large trap - because the God of Light never told Ozma the most important thing - that his wife was the reason why the gods didn’t think humanity could be redeemed and that granting Ozma his wish to return effectively puts him against Salem. So when the God of Light tells him “ you will reincarnate, but in a manner that ensures you are never alone,” that last bit is not meant as a consolation. It’s a punishment from a very petty god. And it’s only a realization that Ozma makes later, though initially doesn’t notice at first.
Because now Ozma is the one who is robbing the choice of others, putting his reincarnations on a mission they never asked for - ripping apart families and friends for a fight that he soon learns is futile. But he has to fight because who else will?
So the King of Vale, probably Ozpin’s predecessor given the timeline and introduction via World of Remnant, probably was a heroic and righteous man. And since he was a King, he was also used to having his commands listened to. So when he reincarnates and finds himself in a snotty nosed, kinda snarky young adult, who probably was on track on being a teacher (like Oscar being a farmer), he’s not happy. He’s probably less happy when his call to fighting the Grimm and preserving the kingdom is answered with “screw you. who are you to tell me what to do?” (this feels like the standard reaction for Oz’s; I think Oscar’s reaction to a voice in his head was a little tamer aha.). So you have a heroic guy that keeps trying to get this brat to answer the call and a young adult that’d rather enjoy the simpler things like hot chocolate, baking cookies, slapstick comedy (landing strategy, what’s that?) trying to do what they want to do.
And since the King of Vale can occasionally take control to fulfill what he thinks is justice and good, this definitely does not endear Ozpin to the other man. And it probably took a long time for them to even have an inkling of trust for each other, but their conflict doesn’t resolve until later after latter parts of Vol 1 or beginning of volume 2 comes around.
Okay, that’s all I have for now, but yes I think vol 8 might reveal Ozpin’s relationship with his predecessor! 8)
Also tiny blurb on the subject of Ozpin and his predecessor. There’s an AU of a 14-year old chaotic troll Ozpin and the spirit that’s with him (King of Vale) which REALLY takes off with the idea of Ozpin being the youngest Headmaster of Beacon. I adore this AU so.
I rest for a few days and come back to this? I swear to the gods if Salem hurts Oscar again I’m going to throw a riot.
Watch “RWBY Volume 5, Chapter 3 Reaction (Ilia makes some valid points)” on YouTube
// Cause even an obsessive omnicidal immortal needs hobbies.- lilac
1. Emergency Meeting
“The Grimm have been oddly quiet,” Ozpin frowned into the camera, staring at the faces of those he trusted the most.
Glynda. Qrow. Leonardo. James. Theodore.
“Vale’s extension into Mountain Glenn had been met with zero resistance,” he continued, “given this anomaly, I’m concerned that the Queen must be planning something. Something big.”
“Have any of you noticed anything strange?”
Numerous shakes of the head and comments came from the participants of the call.
All except one.
James seemed oddly distracted, his face schooled in perfect attention, but his eyes would occasionally dart on the screen. He could faintly hear the repetitive clicking of his keyboard and sliding of his mouse.
Was he working on something?
“James, are you okay? You’ve been awfully quiet.”
Loud keyboard clicking can be heard in the background.
With a small amount of guilt, James Ironwood pressed his microphone to speak into the trans-continental Zoom call.
“Um, yes. Everything’s…fine.”
[MetalDong69 has eliminated you!]
[You have placed #2!]
[KillAllHumans]: Who the hell camps in a barn with a shotgun?!
MetalDong69′s avatar starts crouching up and down on her corpse.
[KillAllHumans]: You dare corpsehump me?! Just you wait you pre-centurian piece of shit.
[KillAllHumans]: I’ll put all my energy into destroying you and everything you love!
Bang bang bang bang.
[KillAllHumans]: Stop shooting my dead body you asshole!
2. One Month Earlier
FortKnight had been released onto the CCT for a week now, the first MMO that joined all the continents together. The gaming company that developed it had close ties with Atlas due to the involvement of the CCT, so when they noticed something really strange, they reported it to Atlas - and in turn eventually reached the top.
The top that also happened to be their top beta player, Ironwood.
“So wait, you’re telling me there’s an account accessing from an untrackable location AND has been playing 24/7 non-stop without any breaks whatsoever?” Ironwood said, his eyes bugging out.
“Can you bring up their profile?”
Several lines of profile information immediately popped up on Ironwood’s scroll.
“So she put her name in as Salem,” the company representative said, “She isn’t too great at the game, and we’re actually planning on banning her because of her extreme flaming and death threats to other pla-” said the company IT person.
“No no no. Just keep her in. In fact, keep her account access unrestricted,” Ironwood continued, “If this is who I think it is, you might’ve done Atlas, no the whole of Remnant, a great service.”
[MetalDong69 has eliminated you!]
[You have placed #22]
[KillAllHumans]: You fucking hacker! You can’t get the sniper scythe that early!
[KillAllHumans]: You must’ve cheated! I’m reportin-
[KillAllHumans]: Stop shooting me! Those are sniper bullets! You barely get fifteen of them in a round, and you’re emptying the magazine on my corpse!
[KillAllHumans]: Fuck you! Fuck your mother! Fuck your dog! Fu-
A couple days later….
“There’s no need to ban this person, “ Ironwood said, “In fact, I’ll fund your company so long as you develop more games dedicated to capturing the attention of this one player. ”
“Uhh, why is this player so important, sir?”
“That’s a military secret. Just know you will be rewarded for doing so.”
Somewhere in the Land of Darkness:
“Cinder, Tyrian , join me. Together we will crush MetalDong69,” Salem ran out of the grand hall as she clenched her fist angrily.
“Yes ma’am,” Cinder said obediently, “Who dares to oppose your might?”
“We’re going to destroy him,” Tyrian said excitedly before following Salem going back inside the hall, “Wait why you’re heading back inside?”
[KillAllHumans]: oh my god why are all of you feeding?!
[StabbingYourMom]: WHY IS THIS METALDONG69 SITTING ON MY HEAD? IF I HAD MY TAIL RIGHT NOW
[KillAllHumans]: SHOOT HIM SHOOT HIM
[ImOnFire]: I’m trying!
[KillAllHumans]: NO THAT’S A GRENA-
[ImOnFire has eliminated you.] [ You have placed #13 ]
[ImOnFire has eliminated herself ] [You have placed #12 ]
[ImOnFire]: WHY IS HE CROUCHING UP AND DOWN ON MY FACE.
[KillAllHumans]: I’m surrounded by feeders!
Ironwood slowly walked into the elevator, his hair with bits of white now. Penny, his daughter, and Ruby, her wife, followed behind him curiously.
“So what’s this secret you’re going to show us?” Penny asked.
“Yeah, what sort of secret needs a pair of pro-gamers?” Ruby grinned, an ex-Huntress-now-Gamer now that the Grimm threat had regressed. “And requires us to keep it from Mr. Ozpin?”
“It’s nothing bad,” Ironwood comforted her as he placed his keycard into the elevator, the motion triggering, ”It’s just that I think Ozpin’s finally enjoying life now and shouldn’t be bothered by something like this.”
“But it’s still important. Because behind these doors is the reason why humanity’s had over a decade of peace.”
A bunch of men and women are at a bunch of computer stations, clearly working and designing video games. A large screen showing match-ups for a large game design timeline.
Current: FortKnight 3
In Development: FortKnight 10, GrimmCraft, World of Remnant
“It’s here where all the magic happens. These are the men and women who have kept Salem at bay for more than a decade,” Ironwood proudly said.
The pair could only look at the man in confusion.
“You’ll see soon,” Ironwood said as he sat down onto a computer station clearly designated at his. He turned his head to one of his trusted men, “Clover, is she on?”
“Isn’t she always?” Clover laughed, “She’s about to get out of a game. Won it actually. I’ll put you in her matchmaking group right now.”
“Good,” Ironwood said with satisfaction.
[KillAllHumans]: IT’S YOU. METALDONG69. YOU CAN’T KEEP BEATING ME FOREVER.
[KillAllHumans]: You’ll die someday, you fucker, and then I’ll be the number 1 in FortKnight!
Ironwood turned down his speakers a bit.
“That is Salem, the Queen of all Grimm and the number one negatively-reported player in all of Remnant. She is why I’ve brought you two in,” he said solemnly, “One day, I’ll pass on, and Salem will become the number one in this game and lose interest based on our analysis. When she does, the world might end up going back to the way it was. It’s up to you two to stop that from happening.”
“You will be Remnant’s silent protectors. Two pro-gamers joining forces to stop this threat. Just an hour or two of your time every day. And you’ll allow Remnant to continue having peace. ”
“Now if you’ll excuse me, the game’s starting.”
[MetalDong69 has killed you.]
[You have placed 100 / 100. ]
Hazel really said ‘my sister died at a young age at the hands of a Grimm so now I shall work with the queen of all Grimm and beat up a young child’ huh?
I-I just couldn’t resist. Here you have some animal crossing Ozpin.
Oh same, CRWBY really hit all the emotions for the audience with that scene.
Based on already what happened in just that scene, I wouldn’t put it past Ozpin to do that. He already doesn’t (and has always) want Oscar to suffer because of him for any reason. He already left once thinking they would be better off without him. So narratively, I wouldn’t put it past that now instead he would put himself in the forefront and just tell the secret, especially if it meant saving Oscar from anything.
BUT-on the other hand, Oscar may not even let Ozpin do anything like that. Oscar has become determined to hep the group however he can, and he’s voiced to Ozpin how without him there he seemed to find a place for himself in the group. Oscar may even have residual guilt of the lamp being stolen, and be even more determined to not let Salem now get Jinn.
It’s very possible that Oscar will not let Ozpin take control. Oscar could try to keep Ozpin from taking control so that Salem cannot get to him or him telling her what she wants even to save him.
Ozpin and Oscar are definitely going to get some more one-on-one time. That may lead to some small conflict between the two (possibly arguing about this exactly), or bringing them closer, or a combo of both.
“A gentle touch.”
Ozpin telling Oscar they were going to be okay might as well have been:
Ozpin: You know when adults tell you everything will be okay and you think they’re lying just to make you feel better?
Ozpin: … Everything will be okay.
Oscar: so would I still have ended up as your incarnation if my name hadn’t started with the letter O?
Oscar: Ozma, Ozpin, Oscar. they all start with the letter O. can you only reincarnate as people whose names start with O?
Oscar: if I changed my name could I kick you out?