RWBY Volume 6 has gotten off to an impressive start filled with action, confrontation, and most recently, a ton of lore. Episode 3 saw Ruby and friends finally learning the truth about Ozpin, Salem, and the gods. But questions about Remnant's past are like the heads of a hydra. Cutting one down just leads to two more growing in its place. To those who like to theorize about the future of the show, that's all the more reason to be excited. If you're caught up on the show (or just don't care about spoilers), keep reading to dive headlong into a theory about the true origins of humankind, as well as the Faunus.
Previously we had been told that humankind was created by the gods of Light and Darkness, imbued with the powers of Creation, Destruction, Knowledge, and Choice. While this is largely true, it's far from the whole truth. Humanity, as it turns out, has two origin stories. The god of Chaos wiped out the entire populace (excluding Salem) in a fit of rage at her arrogance, but later humans would come to populate the earth once more. We also learned that Faunus were apparently exclusive to the second genesis of sentient beings.
What's not made explicitly clear is how humans returned or why the Faunus appeared the second time, but not the first. Did the god of Light recreate humankind? If so, why did he choose to add the Faunus into the mix this time? He demands that humankind learn to "live in harmony" and "set aside your differences," which has some speculating that the Faunus were created as a test for humankind. I don't believe this to be the case, and setting the Faunus up as an object of hatred would be a fairly malicious act if it were. Instead, I believe a close examination of his words implies an origin outside of creation by gods.
Speaking to Ozma, the god of Light declares, "Mankind is no more, yet your world remains, and in time your kind will grow to walk its face once again." He establishes a future timeline and chooses the word "grow" to describe their return, none of which is consistent with the idea of them simply being created by the gods once more. Instead, I believe mankind (and the Faunus) came into existence through evolution, although the gods were likely the catalyst for that process.
If you go back to the show's first episode, Salem (unnamed at the time) narrates the history of mankind's creation, and she states that they were "born from dust." This is a common theme in ancient mythologies, but in the context of the RWBY universe, what if it's referring to the very dust that enables humans to harness the elements? I propose that the power of dust impacted the evolution of the animals of Remnant (which we know survived the genocide), causing many of them to gain intelligence, thus leading to a wide variety of sapient life, instead of just humans.
The reason that this didn't happen the first time around, I believe, is because dust wasn't present. As we know from Volume 6 Episode 3, the god of Darkness shattered the moon while abandoning Remnant, and its shattered fragments rained down on the planet in a fierce storm. I believe this is the origin of dust on Remnant, as well as the spark that brought mankind back and gave birth to the Faunus. In the World of Remnant video on dust, Salem (as the narrator) remarks that mankind doesn't know how dust came to exist. As this line is spoken, the camera zooms out to show the planet from space. Perhaps this was an early hint at its origins, hidden away years ago.
As I was writing this article, I learned that Eddy Rivas would soon be answering questions about the episodes on the recap show, RWBY Rewind. Rivas is Rooster Teeth's "Lore Archivist," which means it's his job to keep track of the facts and stories in all of their shows, so he's quite the expert. Naturally, I decided to tune in and see if he had anything to offer before publishing, and boy did he ever.
Rivas was asked how the Faunus came to be when they weren't around before, and although he stopped short of giving a clear answer, he dropped some important hints. Rivas explained that some scenes and lines that would have clarified things further had to be dropped to save time but "a lot of pieces are there that the episode does confirm if you connect some dots." He also called the return of humans a "life finds a way" situation, which would seem to lead more credence to the idea of evolution. When Ellie Maine, a co-host on the show, brings up evolution as the likely cause, Rivas starts to agree, but is interrupted by another question.
Later the hosts speculate that the dust-like remains of the original, annihilated humans could have caused the evolution of humans and Faunus, and Rivas responds. "You had pieces of the moon falling. You had all kinds of crazy stuff going on down there. Nobody knows." None of the other hosts had brought up the moon rocks as a possible catalyst, so Rivas choosing to mention them specifically after teasing that the pieces of the puzzle were there only furthers my confidence in this theory.
Was mankind truly "born from dust" their second time around, and did it come from the moon? If so, what other secrets could it be hiding? And does any of this relate to the mystery of the Silver Eyed Warriors? Hopefully we'll continue to learn the answers to these questions and more as this season rolls on!
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A Note From the Editor-in-Chief
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