9 saddest deaths in RWBY, ranked from sad to heartbreaking (and 3 most satisfying ones)

In the world of RWBY, actions have consequences, heroes are made, villains are undone, and the audience is forever kept on the edge of their seat (and with tissues nearby).
RWBY - ©2024 Rooster Teeth
RWBY - ©2024 Rooster Teeth /
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RWBY - ©2024 Rooster Teeth /

2) Pyrrah Nikos

Pyrrha Nikos' death is one that will forever stay "too fresh" in the hearts of RWBY fans, making it the second most heartbreaking and shocking death in the series. Pyrrha, known for her fiery red hair, emerald eyes, and distinctive armor, was not just a remarkable fighter - she was a beacon of hope and strength for many, especially Jaune. Her very short journey throughout the show was a beautiful combination of heroic feats and personal growth. As a character, she embodied the virtues of courage and selflessness, making her end all the more tragic. Her final battle was not just a clash of physical prowess but a representation of her dedication to protecting those she cared about, even in the face of overwhelming odds. She saw she probably wouldn't make it and just... didn't care. She went for it.

Pyrrha confronts Cinder Fall, the person behind the attack on Beacon Academy. Cinder, having obtained the full power of the Fall Maiden at this point, is significantly more powerful than Pyrrha. Despite this, Pyrrha chooses to face her in a desperate attempt to stop her and protect the people of Beacon Academy and Vale. The battle between Pyrrha and Cinder is intense and emotional, displaying Pyrrha's bravery and skills that she is famous for in Remnant. But the difference in intensity and levels of their powers becomes evident as the fight progresses and, in the end, Pyrrha is overpowered by Cinder. In a heartbreaking moment, Cinder cruelly dismisses Pyrrha's efforts, shoots Pyrrah with an arrow, and disintegrates her into ashes. I can hear my partner crying over it again.

What made Pyrrha's death so impactful was not just the loss of a beloved character, but the way it shifted the show's tone. Until that moment, RWBY had a relatively lighter atmosphere, with characters overcoming challenges but not facing such irreversible consequences. Pyrrha's death marked a turning point, introducing a heavier, more somber element to the narrative. It was a moment that left fans in shock, not just because of the loss of a favorite character, but because it shattered the illusion of invincibility surrounding the protagonists. It was a raw, emotional moment that underscored the high stakes of their world, making it a defining and unforgettable part of RWBY.