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Villain Overview

You shouldn't have come back.
~ Ilia Amitola to Blake Belladonna.

Ilia Amitola is a major antagonist turned anti-hero in the American web cartoon series RWBY. She is a chameleon Faunus and high-ranking member of the White Fang serving under Adam Taurus. She was also allies and friends with White Fang deserter and protagonist Blake Belladonna. After her redemption, she joined back with Blake.

She is voiced by Cherami Leigh Keuhn, who also voiced Sunako Kirishiki, Seiros, and Road Kamelot.


Ilia is a young woman and a chameleon Faunus. In her normal appearance, her skin has somewhat darker spots on her arms, legs, and face. Her brown hair is tied back in a ponytail that curls at the end like a chameleon's tail, and her eyes are a light gray with a faintly bluish tint. Her Faunus trait grants her the ability to change the color of her skin, hair and eyes, allowing her to blend in with her environment. Her colors also appear to change in response to her emotions.

As a White Fang member, she wears a Grimm Mask with chameleon horns on it to hide her identity. Her mask also points upward at the top and extends past her hairline; this resembles the crest of a veiled chameleon. She wears a black, plum, and navy sleeveless stealth suit with short legs. The suit has two parts to the bottom section: a navy blue front panel that matches her belts and the rest is plum-colored. The color divide is at the center of her thighs. The stealth suit's zipper is gold, and over it, she wears navy blue belts with gold buckles. She wears simple black boots with a cuff and a black glove on her right hand.

As noted by her concept art, her body type gives her a smaller bust and rear.


Ilia… please. You're a good person but you're making all the wrong decisions!
~ Blake to Ilia.

When she is first introduced, Ilia appears to operate between moral grounds. While she never attacks Blake Belladonna directly, she is not opposed to others doing it or herself harming others in general. She is willing to make personal sacrifices for the betterment of the collective so long as the collective is the Faunus, specifically the White Fang's goals, and not people in general. Though she is romantically attracted to Blake, she sacrifices any future of this in favor of what the White Fang demands.

She shows determination when fleeing from the Belladonna home. She shows a bit of past loyalty when saying "You shouldn't have come back" as a warning. However, she shows no hesitation in harming Sun when he says she does not look like a Faunus.

She used to enjoy blending in with Humans, even supporting their anti-Faunus beliefs despite the hypocrisy. This stopped after an incident involving the deaths of multiple Faunus, including her parents, in a mining accident. The event served as a catalyst for her joining the White Fang. Ilia was also vindictive enough to assault her former friends in Atlas as they snickered at the losses sustained in the mining accident.

Her loathing of humans is not merely because of those who outright mistreat or segregate Faunus but against humans who stand by and do nothing to help or improve the Faunus' standing in society outside of Menagerie. Ultimately, her righteous anger from her painful past has blinded her to the fact that her actions are based on revenge and will make her no better, maybe worse, than those who wronged her.

Ultimately, Ilia realizes her wrongs and seeks redemption, volunteering to stand with Blake and showing her moral compass has guided her back to the right.



Ilia was born to two Faunus parents employed by the Schnee Dust Company. Her parents and she worked in the Schnee Dust Company mines, forced into cruel and dangerous Dust mining jobs as a part of the Faunus labor force. However, her parents wanted her to have a better life, so they eventually managed to get her out of the mines and into a prestigious school. However, she was forbidden to reveal her Faunus heritage, as her parents knew it would cause trouble. So Ilia agreed, and spent her time at the school pretending to be human, even making human friends and pretending to dislike Faunus to hide her true nature.

However, one day, an accident occurred at the mines. A Dust explosion caused a cave-in, killing and injuring many Faunus workers, including Ilia's parents. Despite the tragedy, Ilia's human friends mocked and laughed at the event. Ilia, however, was overcome by grief and accidentally changed color to reflect her emotions, revealing herself as a Faunus. The human students ridiculed and feared her, and Ilia finally snapped and attacked, beating them and breaking their teeth.

She fled from the school, and later decided that she should not blend in with humans, and that she should make them pay for their prejudice. She joined the White Fang under Sienna Khan, but followed Adam Taurus, and later met with Blake. The two formed a strong friendship, and Ilia felt betrayed and angry when Blake deserted the White Fang for a different life.

Volume 4

In "A Much Needed Talk", Ilia is seen spying on Blake at the Belladonna's household until she is discovered; escaping the scene as Blake and Sun Wukong give chase.

In "Two Steps Forward, Two Steps Back", Ilia fights both Blake and Sun to prevent herself from being interrogated. During the battle, she loses Sun's purloined Scroll, injures Sun and demands that Blake hand over the Scroll. After Blake refuses, Ilia gives her a warning before retreating.

In "No Safe Haven", Ilia is seen meeting with fellow White Fang members Corsac and Fennec Albain.

RWBY Volume 5 Blake Character Short

Blake and Sun go out, looking for an associate of the White Fang and Ilia. They spot him and give chase, but Ilia comes in, attacking Blake and sun. She breaks a lift above Blake, causing the crates it carried to drop and smash to the ground, giving Ilia and the associate cover as they escape.

The short is also cut with flashbacks of Ilia and Blake while they were both in the White Fang, with Ilia revealing her backstory to her former friend.

Volume 5

In "Welcome to Haven", Ilia herself surreptitiously visits Blake Belladonna, unrepentant about letting the blame be passed to her. She urges Blake to stop and leave before it is too late, but knows it is useless.

In "Unforeseen Complications", Just as Ghira is about to bring Blake up to speak, Ilia Amitola emerges from the crowd and calls out the Belladonnas as traitors, saying that following Adam is the only way for the White Fang. Sun tries to apprehend her, but she gets away, though she is chased down by Menagerie guards.

In "Necessary Sacrifice", Ilia is summoned by Corsac and Fennec Albain at a hidden White Fang hideout. She is given the news about Sienna Khan's death and Adam's ascension to the throne, before being assigned her next task: to assassinate Ghira and Kali Belladonna and deliver Blake to Adam alive. Ilia is horrified at this new order, but Corsac assures her that it is a necessary sacrifice. Ilia nonetheless shows hesitance over this as she leaves.

In "Alone Together" Ilia lures Blake away from her home a letter, and has three other White Fang members ambush her. She tells Blake she is sorry it has to be this way, though Blake does not believe her. Ilia then tells Blake that she is sorry, but the only way to snuff humanity's hatred of the Faunus is with fear, and the while she does not like hurting people it has gotten them (the Faunus) results. When Blake ask what it has gotten Ilia personally, she is clearly shaken by her question, but still asserts to Blake that they all have to make sacrifices for the grater good.

Blake then ask if she thought that killing her was good for everyone, Ilia tells her no but killing her family is, much to Blake's horror. When Blake tells Ilia that she will not allow her to harm her family, Ilia tells Blake that she knows which why she was going to be sent to Mistral, into Adam's hand. While Blake begs Ilia not do this, and that this was not how she was, Ilia tells her that it is, but back when they were friends Blake was to busy falling for Adam to notice, telling Blake that she was always jealous of the way Blake looked at him, and wanted Blake to look at her that way, revealing that she has romantic feeling for her (her chameleon skin even makes it look like she is blushing when she tells her this), but they can't always get what they want.

Ilia then leaves with one of the White Fang member, leaving the other two to take Blake away. Unbeknownst to Ilia, Blake had prepared for such a situation, having Sun lie in wait, who helped free Blake from the two White Fang members. Ilia then heads over to the Belladona's house where she aids in the raid to kill Blake's parents lead by the Albain twins.

In "True Colors", Ilia runs into Blake and the two end up fighting where during the fight, Ilia reveals that she only sided with Adam due to her having no idea what else to do. Ilia is then pushed to the sidelines when the Albain twins and Ghira burst in mid-fight and one of them ends up dead and the other is taken out by Ilia. She's then escorted outside by the Belladona's guards along with any other survivors from the battle and sides with Blake in her quest to defend Haven Academy and is allowed to join along with the other Faunus with the intent on removing Adam from power and reclaiming the White Fang.

In "Downfall", Ilia appears again and is sent in ahead of time by Blake to check to see if the White Fang had planted explosives around Haven Academy in preparation for its planned downfall. When it was confirmed that explosives were set up, Ilia had them all disarmed in secret and when Adam tried to detonate all of them in a suicide attack, Ilia revealed herself holding the cut wires to Adam angrily glaring at him.

In "Haven's Fate", Ilia fights off White Fang soldiers that Adam brought along who began firing at the Mistral Police who arrived to arrest Adam. During the fight, one group of White Fang soldiers was surrounded by Faunus from Menagerie and they put down their weapons unwilling to harm them, but one of the White Fang troops tried to attack, to which Ilia attacked him and managed to pin him to the ground and arrest him. One of the Faunus thanks her and she smiles back showing that she's redeemed herself. After the battle, Haven Academy is spared and Ilia walks back in telling the Belladonna's how the while Adam did flee, his desertion will not go unnoticed and the White Fang will soon find itself divided without a leader which inspires Ghira to suggest the formation of a new Faunus rights organization.

Volume 6

In "Argus Limited", the Belladonnas pardon Ilia of her crimes and allow her to help with the foundation of the new Faunus rights group. Ilia goes to see Blake off in the train station, thanking her for her forgiveness and wishing her good luck.

RWBY: Amity Arena

Ilia appears as a unit in RWBY: Amity Arena. When deployed, she turns invisible and is unable to be seen by enemy units, and remains invisible until she reaches her target and begins a series of quick melee attacks.

Powers and Abilities

Ilia is very agile, able to climb and run along trees and rooftops.

Her Faunus trait allows her to change the color of her skin, eyes and hair. This gives her the ability to hide from others by blending in with the environment. Like a real chameleon, her skin seems to change with her emotions. For example, in "Two Steps Forward, Two Steps Back", when she becomes frustrated, her skin turns red, and her hair, eyes and skin spots turn yellow. Following this, she takes on a more sorrowful expression, with her skin turning green and her hair, eyes and skin spots turning blue. The change in color begins at her eyes and reaches to her extremities from there. In certain cases, her eyes or skin spots may change without her skin changing.

She has at least some training in handling explosives, as she is able to disarm the bombs Adam Taurus ordered to be planted at Haven Academy.


Ilia's weapon of choice is a whip that is able to load Dust. It is capable of cutting through metal easily with its blade. It has two slots along the hilt filled with Lightning Dust. The Dust’s effect can be remotely activated by grasping part of the hilt, which causes electricity to run along the whip. The effect is strong enough to stun people as shown when used on Corsac Albain.


I know I look just like any other human girl and for years that's how I was raised. We lived in Mantle with the other Faunus working in the mines, but my parents wanted something better for me. They managed to enrol me in an Atlas prep school. Imagine that! The little Faunus girl from Mantle going to the city of dreams. I felt like a princess. But I had to follow a set of rules: No bringing friends home, no talking about my parents, and absolutely, under no circumstances, was I allowed to change colours. No-one could know I was a Faunus.
~ Ilia to Blake, about her past.
Sometimes, the other girls would say things about the Faunus. That they were animals, that they were dirty, or they lied, and… I’d say these things with them… because I felt like I was one of them. And then, one day, there was a cave-in at the mines. I was at school, when the news broke. Apparently, one of the workers there tripped while handling some agitated Dust crystals. The explosion caused a chain reaction. And my... friends… snickered. I lost control. Every inch of me turned blue as I wept. And suddenly, all the girls that I’d laughed and played with… were scared of me. (Blake: I'm sorry) Don't be. I broke their teeth.
~ Ilia on why she hates humans.
Give it to me.
~ Ilia, demanding that Blake Belladonna give back her Scroll.
Your plan isn’t gonna work, Blake. Please… just leave Menagerie before it’s too late.
~ Ilia begging Blake to leave Menagerie.
I know.
~ Ilia resigning herself to her failed attempt to convince Blake to flee Menagerie.
Cowards. After everything the humans have done to us, everything they put us through, you're asking us to help them?
~ Ilia, to Ghira Belladonna.
Where was their help when the Dust companies treated us like slaves? Where was their help when Kingdoms hunted Faunus just for being who they are. Where was my help when my parents were killed in a Dust mine? Where?
~ Ilia, to Ghira once again.
The Belladonnas are the worst kind of Faunus. They want us to work with the same people who are trying to hold us down. If you truly, truly want to help your people, now is the time to support Adam, not the Belladonnas. He will bring about the future that you deserve. And know that if you are unwilling to fight, know that the White Fang are willing to do it for you!
~ Ilia, to the gathered Faunus of Menagerie.
I am sorry it has to be this way, but you and your family are holding the Faunus back!
~ Ilia, to Blake after the latter was ambushed.
There’s no such thing as innocent! There’s no right thing to do! Only what’s best for us! There’s the humans that still hate the Faunus, and there’s the others who stand by and let the hate happen! But you know what snuffs out hate? Fear. I don’t like hurting people. But I’ll tell you this… it’s gotten us results.
~ Ilia to Blake, while justifying the White Fang actions.
We all have to make sacrifices for the greater good, no matter how much it hurts.
~ Ilia to Blake.
I guess back then you were just too busy falling for Adam to notice. I was always jealous of the way you looked at him. I wanted you to look at me that way.
~ Ilia admitting to Blake she has feelings for her.
Quit taking potshots and fight me like you mean it!
~ Ilia demands Blake to take the fight seriously.
You used to see things the way I did! The way Adam did! If no one’s going to do anything to stop the humans that attack us, then the only choice we have left… is to attack back!
~ Ilia, to Blake.
I don’t know what else to do!!
~ Ilia, after Blake asks what her parents would have wanted her to do.
I'll stand with you! If... if you'd have me.
~ Ilia, deciding to side with Blake.


  • Her last name "Amitola" is the word for "rainbow" in Sioux or Cherokee.
  • Ilia is the name of a species of butterfly, Apatura ilia, or the lesser purple emperor butterfly, bringing the color purple to mind.
  • Prior to the Volume 5 Blake Character Short, Miles Luna noted that Ilia could easily pass for a human.
  • Ilia is a lesbian, having had a crush on Blake when she was in the White Fang. This is reinforced with Blake telling Sun that Neptune wad "barking up the wrong tree" by trying to flirt with Ilia.
  • Ilia may have been partially based off of the main character Ilia from Mozart's Opera Idomeneo
  • In the Japanese dubbed version, Ilia is voiced by Mariya Ise, who also voiced Stocking.
  • The song "Smile" from the RWBY Volume 5 Soundtrack alludes to Ilia's past, hiding her Faunus identity from people in Atlas.

See also

Ilia Amitola at the Heroes Wiki.


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