5 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Pyrrha Nikos

by Kate O'Callaghan 7 months ago in list

How many did you know?

5 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Pyrrha Nikos


Achilles being discovered after hiding as a woman amongst the daughters of Lycomedes

Pyrrha Nikos' character was based on Achilles, the Greek hero. In fact, all of the characters in team JNPR are based off 'crossdressers' in their relative tales.

  • Lie Ren - Mulan
  • Jaune Arc - Joan of Arc
  • Nora Valkyrie - Thor Odinson

Achilles had to go into hiding in one of his stories, calling himself Pyrrha as he does, because he had red hair during this time. Monty Oum, the creator of RWBY stated that Pyrrha was named after her hair colour as well.

'Pyrrha' translates into 'flame-coloured' while 'Nikos' translates into 'victor of people'. A flame coloured victor; rather fitting for the RWBY character, I think.

Famously, Achilles' one weakness was his heel, as it was the only part of him not dipped into the river Stix as a child, a process meant to turn Achilles into an immortal being. In RWBY, during Pyrrha's final battle with Cinder Fall, n arrow hits her in her heel, making her fall to her knees. In some tales of Achilles, this is how he died.

Another interesting thing to note is the concept of a 'Pyrrhic victory', a phrase that means a victory that is won through the great loss of those on your side. Perhaps Pyrrha was chosen to represent a loss for team JNPR, in order for them to live and defeat Cinder later on?

She almost looked very different

The original concept sketch by Monty Oum

As can be seem in the sketch, Pyrrha almost looked very different. All of the bronze areas of her costume were originally grey before being changed to pay homage to greek armor.

There are many smaller differences that can be seen when you compare this art to the next piece of concept art by Einlee.

The large belt was scrapped, as were the long gloves and stockings, replaced with shorter pieces to highlight the heavy armor on the legs and forearms.

Perhaps the most notable change is the addition of her iconic headpiece, the only part of her left behind my cinder.

There are many more subtle changes, but I'll leave you to find those yourselves!

Her weapons were incredibly well thought out

Pyrrha's weapon in all seen transformed and transforming stages

It comes as no surprise that Pyrrha's javelin and shield were both named, and had very well thought out origins almost all RWBY weapons do.

  • Miló—A javelin that can transform into a rifle or a short sword.
  • Akoúo̱—A round shield

In Greek, the word Miló means 'to speak' while the work Akoúo̱ means 'to listen'. Very apt names as the defensive shield will be receiving more 'conversation' than its offensive counterpart, who would be the one dealing out damage itself.

While in its sword or javelin form, Miló resembled a double-edged short sword commonly used by ancient Greek warriors. It's also rumored that the rifle barrel could fire whilst in javelin form, giving the weapon a boost of speed when fired (perhaps at a handsome blonde falling from the sky?).

When in full rifle form, Miló was braced against the shoulder for stability, and used for long-range shots, as any other rifle would be.

Her shield Akoúo̱ was modeled again after ancient Greek weaponry, having two missing sections on either side of a rounded shield was a popular choice back then. However, Pyrrha's weapon was styled as a circle, allowing her to throw it, like a frisbee. The shape also allowed the weapons to echo her emblem when stored on her back.

Her semblance could have come from pyrrhotite

Pyrrhotite is one of only two minerals that can be found naturally magnetized.

As you may know, Pyrrha's semblance was the manipulation of poles, meaning anything metal, she could either repel or attract, like a magnet.

As with Achilles's female name, the pyrrhotite name is derived from the word pyrrhos meaning 'flame-colored' as the mineral carries a copper hue.

Also, a feature that may have been unique to Pyrrha was the ability to unlock others' aura with hers as seen when her and Jaune Arc first meet when she unlocks his through a few words;

For it is in passing that we achieve immortality. Through this, we become a paragon of virtue and glory to rise above all. Infinite in distance and unbound by death, I release your soul, and by my shoulder, protect thee.

An interesting speech, given she was one of the first major characters to die.

Jen Brown

The wonderful Jen Brown shown wearing Pyrrha Nikos cosplay.

Pyrrha Nikos was voiced by a lady called Jen Brown, a well known 36-year-old, American voice actor who has been involved in other RoosterTeeth projects over the years.

Another character that she voices in RWBY is the voice of 'Lisa Lavender' the reoccurring newsreader shown on many of the screens across Remnant. She also stepped in to voice Pyrrha's unnamed relative in volume six.

So, even if Pyrrha is gone, Jen is confirmed as a voice still within the show. She addressed the issue as follows:

To start let me just say it has been a true honor to play such a vibrant character. Playing Pyrrha meant the absolute world to me and getting to see how much she meant to many of you as well, means a lot.

The entire Rooster Teeth team and RWBY crew deserves so much praise for how beautifully the show was handled. I have known from the minute I was cast three years ago that this would be Pyrrha's fate. It was Monty's intention from the start. And although it is kind of a relief to no longer have to keep it to myself, I am very sad that her journey has come to an end. Watching that final scene was beyond emotional for me. When you've invested so much into a character it is hard to let them go.

Most importantly I thank Monty. I miss him every day and thank him for trusting me with Pyrrha. Monty also intended for me to play other roles after Pyrrha's exit and although I have no further details right now... I fully trust that Miles Luna and Kerry Shawcross will stay true to his wishes and have me back as someone new. I love those guys.
I end by giving my heartfelt gratitude to you the viewer. You guys are seriously the best. And for the last time, I'm sorry!
Oh yeah, and also... Long live Lisa Lavender!!!

Along with the continuation of RWBY chibi and her involvement in other RoosterTeeth animations, we are far from saying goodbye to Pyrrha's voice actor just yet!

How many did you know?

Kate O'Callaghan

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Kate O'Callaghan
Kate O'Callaghan
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Kate O'Callaghan

An aspiring female writer from the UK, 21 Twitter: https://twitter.com/ThatWriterWoman

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