|“||I'm the Destroyer of Worlds.||„|
|~ Ruby declares to her mother.|
|“||I'm a disappointment. You said that, Mom. And after everything that you've done to me, I've kept trying, because all I've ever wanted to do is please you. You're my one weakness, Mom. And I'm yours.||„|
|~ Ruby revealing her true nature to General Hale as she overthrows her.|
Ruby Hale was one of the two secondary antagonists (alongside Qovas) of the second half of Season 5 of the ABC TV series, Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
She was the highly intelligent but deeply psychotic daughter of General Hale, who was genetically designed by Daniel Whitehall to become the perfect leader of HYDRA, who also develops an obsession with Daisy Johnson/Quake, including a desire to defeat her and absorb the Gravitonium and become the 'Destroyer of Worlds'.
She was portrayed by Dove Cameron, who is best known for her portrayal as Mal in the Descendants franchise.
Origins and Childhood
Ruby was born to HYDRA agent General Hale, although she never knew her father. In fact, unbeknownst to her, she was the result of Daniel Whitehall's work to create enhanced humans in order to create the organizations future perfect leader, as he then had her mother inseminated with a genetically altered seed he created in order to give birth to her. During her childhood, Ruby was regularly taken to the home of fellow HYDRA leader Baron Wolfgang von Strucker and was sent to play with his son, Werner. One day, Ruby struck her head on the kitchen counter, resulting with a scar on her forehead. Werner was blamed for the accident and was beaten in front of Ruby and her mother.
Like her mother, Ruby had studied in a secret academy which dealt in training students into becoming HYDRA agents, with Ruby being at top of her class and with skills of a dangerous assassin. While she still questioned where she would be assigned, with Whitehall dead, however, her capabilities that would place her into HYDRA's leadership was put into question. During the organization's downfall, Ruby refused to complete the final test: executing her dog to confirm her loyalty. After arguing with her professor, she witnessed her mother execute him, making the two of them the last of HYDRA's leaders. After HYDRA's downfall, Ruby's relationship with her mother grew to become strained as she was then forced to live in the academy.
Destroyer of Worlds
When Hale came into contact with a group called The Confederacy, which warned them about an oncoming alien invasion and that they will offer their protection in exchange for Gravitonium and a large number of Inhumans, Hale intended to reignite the Destroyer of Worlds project to merge the contender with the Gravitionium to wipe out the Confederacy and any threat to humanity, with Ruby believing she is destined for it. However, she began to suspect that Hale considered Daisy Johnson to be a more worthy participant due to her lack of impulse. This sparked Ruby's obsession with the Inhuman and left her with the full intention of hunting her down and defeating her to prove herself even more. After S.H.I.E.L.D. was declared terrorists after Glenn Talbot was shot in the head by Daisy's L.M.D., Ruby's mother took up Talbot's position and the two of them worked to locate and capture the remaining agents.
Months later, Talbot woke up from his coma and placed into the HYDRA academy where Ruby coldly ignored when meeting him. When Talbot angrily confronted her, Ruby coldly twisted his arm and held him defenseless. After Hale arrives, she explains to Talbot about the Confederacy and her plan. However, after he refused to work with the likes of HYDRA, Ruby tied him up and dragged him off for torture, where he was confident that S.H.I.E.L.D. would come for him. After an unknown amount of time, Ruby successfully broke him and extracted every information they needed.
Maiming Yo-Yo's Arms
After Ruby missed class, Hale showed up in her room and confronted her about it. Ruby, after apologizing about it, later questioned her if she was a good guy in regards to S.H.I.E.L.D. and how they were praised as good guys until recently, and that if she wasn't sure that hunting made her the bad guy. Hale defended her actions and that her actions were for her. Ruby accepted this just as her mother leaves.
When the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents turn up again, Hale sends Ruby to spring the trap laid by one of the other agents who believed it was a peaceful negotiation. Although Hale sends Ruby and her robot soldiers to capture them, Ruby planned on killing them if necessary. Upon arriving, disappointed that Daisy wasn't accounted for, Ruby orders her men to kill them to grab the former's attention. After a fight ensues, Ruby, desiring Daisy more, decided to use her chakram to injure Yo-Yo Rodriguez to provoke the agents into retaliating. This was successful and resulted in Yo-Yo's arms being dismembered, forcing the agents to fall back with the beacon (which was intended on blowing up).
Returning to Ruby's bedroom, Hale states her disappointment in her (especially as a daughter). Ruby angrily defended her failure by declaring it an opportunity to find Quake, but a unperturbed Hale locks Ruby in her bedroom for an unknown period of time before hiring Carl Creel as her new right-hand.
Seducing Werner von Strucker
As instructed by her mother, Ruby went to the lobby to see Werner von Strucker, ignore him and leave so that he can later follow. After so, Werner finds her training in the gym. They meet and Werner recounts the two of them meeting before, how they used to play together and one day, she hit her head which resulted in a scar, his father blamed him for it and beat him in front of her and her mother for it. Werner then uses a knife to take Ruby hostage and demanded to speak with her mother. Conveniently, Hale showed up and demanded to him to release Ruby. Werner did so and Ruby then stood by as Hale and Werner exchanged words about his new powers, HYDRA, and his father Wolfgang. After Hale sent him to his room so he can leave in the morning for refusing to be any part of her plans, Hale told Ruby to have a go at convincing him whatever it takes.
Ruby then approached Werner during the night while he was waking up to a nightmare. While discussing his enhanced memory powers also make him feel every pain he's ever felt, Ruby then told Werner that her mother told her that she wanted Ruby to do exactly everything that happened and that she wanted her to seduce him in order to convince him to join them. Ruby then told him that he didn't have to join Hale's team but that it could actually both of their team, suggesting that Ruby may have plans of her own.
The next morning, Ruby went to see if Werner stayed, to which he did. She then brought Werner to introduce him to Carl Creel in the gym. While overseeing the two men, Hale arrived to congratulate her and then asked her how she did it. Ruby then replied that she told him "the truth".
A few weeks later, after Phil Coulson wakes up in the facility and heads into the lobby, Ruby once again does the same thing and ignores him, who doesn't fall for it before leaving. This impresses Ruby. A while later, Ruby visits Coulson in his room after being dragged and locked there. She asks him if he indeed went to the future, in which he didn't deny it. After asking how she failed at being the "Destroyer of Worlds", he reveals that it was actually Daisy. Ruby threatens Coulson to tell her where Quake was, but he is unmoved by this. Ruby then brought in a tormented Glenn Talbot to show him what happened when he declared that he wouldn't talk, before leaving with him.
After a week, Ruby is with Hale overseeing Creel testing the Gravitonium where they witness him nearly being absorbed into the element. Ruby, beginning to grow suspicious of her mother's motives, visits Werner to see if he is making progress on redrawing the Element Fuser blueprints. She opens up about her suspicions towards her mother, where Werner states that she is the true Destroyer of Worlds and that her mother knows that.
Later, after Carl Creel learns of Talbot's current status and breaks him and Coulson out, Ruby along with her Sleeper Mechs pursue them. After the Mechs are beaten, Ruby begins fighting Creel with the two of them both evenly matched. However, just before she could kill him, Hale storms in to break it up and demands to know what she was doing. Ruby, caring less for her mother's opinion, threw her chakram at Creel who turned to wood in the nick of time. Hale confronts her daughter and asked who she was, with the latter declaring that she was the [true] "Destroyer of Worlds". Intrigued by her answer, Hale then command her to get Talbot and Coulson.
Face Off With Quake
Ruby pursued Coulson and Talbot to where they transported to, a snowy mountain forest area. As he attacked them, she was ambushed by Daisy. As Coulson and Talbot escaped, Ruby conversed with Daisy about how the latter was the sort of idol every little girl dreams of becoming when they are older. As Daisy remarks that she took a wrong turn in her choices, Ruby simply stated that she was engineered differently and that she never intended to become her: she wanted to DEFEAT her. They then fight with the two of them somewhat equally matched. However, Daisy is able to defeat her and escape just as General Hale arrived and extracted her daughter back to their base.
Upon returning to base, Hale then commented on how Ruby should put ice on her injuries claiming that she needed her at her best. Ruby however complained that she could have defeated Quake if Hale had not forced her to run, although Hale argued that Quake had an unfair advantage and promised that once they had finished their objective with Project Destroyer of Worlds she would be able to defeat Quake with ease. Ruby told Hale to move up their timetable which Hale refused as she wanted Carl Creel to tell them more about the Gravitonium before ordering Ruby to return to her room.
Ruby furiously objected to being locked away yet again, despite Hale then reminding her over how she went against her orders and tried to murder the Absorbing Man. Hale then noted how both Creel and Ruby were out of her control and, as Ruby had tried to walk away, Hale aggressively shoved her against a wall and threatened to force her. Ruby reluctantly agreed and returned into her room, discovering that Hale had taken down all of her posters and decorations, leaving the room completely bare. Before Ruby could object, the door was then locked behind her, leaving her trapped inside her room.
Seizing Her Destiny
Betraying Her Mother
While still locked inside of her bedroom, Ruby was visited by Werner von Strucker who told her he had finished going through Baron Wolfgang von Strucker's notebooks and figured out how to complete the Particle Infusion Chamber. However Ruby informed Strucker that Hale would not allow her to go inside the Chamber until they finished testing as she still listened to what Carl Creel told her. Strucker noted that she could betray Hale, while Ruby claimed that she did not know why she had not done it already.
While Strucker left, Ruby had her door remain open until Hale walked by and came to investigate. Hale noted her surprise that Ruby had not left with Strucker to which she noted that whether there was a lock on the door or not, she could never run away from her own mother, noting that over all the years Hale had succeeded in making her completely obedient. Hale claimed that she had great plans for her daughter, to which Ruby noted that Daniel Whitehall had once had great plans for Hale herself, noting that while Hale had always wanted a choice she had never provided Ruby with a choice.
Ruby began crying as Hale acknowledged that she had been asking a lot from her recently, to which Ruby claimed that she had been asking the impossible. Ruby tearfully confessed that she had done everything within her own power to be what Hale wanted from her, including eliminating her weaknesses while passing every test and yet she still was not enough, reminding Hale that she had called her a disappointment following a previous mission. Hale listened in dismay as Ruby continued telling her how she had continued trying in order to please her mother, before calling Hale her one weakness.
Upon hearing this confession, Hale sorrowfully took Ruby in her arms and embraced her. However, this proved to be exactly what Ruby had planned as she noted that she was also Hale's only remaining weakness. With Hale defenceless in their embrace, Ruby launched her over her shoulder and slammed her against the ground, before grabbing her Ring Blades and Combat Armor before walking out the door. As Hale begged her to stop, Ruby promised that she would make her mother proud before locking the door behind her, trapping Hale inside the room with no possible exit available for her. With General Hale having been dealt with, Ruby rejoined Werner von Strucker who had successfully ordered a scientist to prepare the Gravitonium for transport to the location of the Particle Infusion Chamber for Ruby to finally complete Project Destroyer of Worlds' goal for her. Ruby joined Strucker as he still held his gun to the scientist, where she told him that they were finally free before smiling at Strucker as their plans were now finally all coming together.
Capturing Fitz and Simmons
Together, Ruby and Werner von Strucker then travelled to the facility where they discovered that Anton Ivanov had been defeated, resulting in his Sleeper Mechs being shut down. Investigating the facility, Ruby soon found Leo Fitz and Jemma Simmons in one of the rooms surrounded by downed Sleeper Mechs. Ruby then got their attention by throwing one of her Ring Blades near them, imbedding it into a table, while Strucker held them at gunpoint. As Strucker noted that both Fitz and Simmons had been there while S.H.I.E.L.D. had tortured him while he was locked into the Theta Brain-Wave Frequency Machine, he then went to the Particle Infusion Chamber only to discover that Fitz had just destroyed a vital part of it, meaning they could not infuse Ruby with the Gravitonium. Ruby then placed her blade under Simmons' throat, demanding that they fix it or she would slice her. Despite Simmons noting that they could not allow Ruby to do this, Fitz then claimed that they never had any other choice.
While Fitz was working on rebuilding the machine, Ruby continued to sadistically throw her blades at a tied down Simmons to keep him motivated, but was convinced to release her so he can rebuild it faster. After they failed to persuade her into stopping her scheme, Werner then returned with the Gravitonium and news of Anton Ivanov's death, thus learning of someone else one the premise. After learning that Fitz and Simmons intentionally rebuilt it incorrectly, Ruby beat up Fitz to force them into finishing it properly. After that was done, Ruby climbed into the machine, Ruby was injected with 8% of the element due to being in absolute pain. However, she quickly loses control of her new powers and her sanity, constantly listening to voices of Ian Quinn and Franklin Hall, while also accidentally killing Werner. Distraught and driven mad, Ruby then attacked a recently-arrived Quake, but before she could kill her, her mother stopped and tried to reason with her. However, before anybody knew it, Yo-Yo arrived and killed Ruby out of revenge for maiming her before, and then the Gravitonium exploded from her body.
Initially, Ruby is shown to be like any typical teenage woman: anti-social, rude and unappreciative, especially towards her mother regarding her job of capturing S.H.I.E.L.D. However, it is later shown that Ruby is in truth far worse than any other teenager, as being an highly-trained HYDRA assassin to her mother, she is cold, sadistic, cruel, ruthless, cunning, sociopathic, emotionless, unpredictable and highly intelligent in planning her tactics. Her cruelty is demonstrated when she shows completely no remorse when she dismembered Yo-Yo's arms and simply used it to provide an opportunity. Ruby also shows no regard for potentially being the cause of the future destruction of Earth, as she doesn't love many people to even care for.
Ruby shows a deeply disturbing obsession towards the S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, Daisy Johnson as she intends on defeating her rather than become. Because Daisy is viewed by General Hale to be a more worthy candidate to infuse with the Gravitonium, Ruby's willingness to defeat her is far greater than following her mother's orders and capturing the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, all to prove that she is more worthy. She also had no second thought in trying to kill the agents or using Daisy's friend Yo-Yo's suffering to grab her attention. Ruby also shows no interest in following her mother's commands (who was disappointed in her failures) as she views her as a means to an end and desires to overthrow her to be free of her commands. Ruby is also highly intelligent as she knows injuring Yo-Yo and allowing them to take the detonating beacon in order to send a sort of message.
However, it is also shown that Ruby does have some remorseful traits as she angrily refuses to kill her dog to show her loyalty to HYDRA, and that at some time before, she and Hale did indeed have a loving relationship. When speaking to her mother, Ruby emotionally confessed that she only wanted to impress her, and even after while she overthrew her, Ruby realized that her mother was her weakness and only wants to make her proud.
- High-Level Intellect: Ruby has shown to be highly intelligent as she easily deducted her mother's questionable morality in regards to finding S.H.I.E.L.D. She also used the exploding beacon and injuring Yo-Yo in order to provoke the agents.
- Chakram Mastery: Ruby is able to wield her chakram blade with skill, predicting where Yo-Yo would be while using her speed, effectively cutting off only her arms and nothing else, showing precision.
- Expert Marksmanship: While her exact full skill of marksmanship isn't fully shown yet, Ruby has so far demonstrated that she was able to dismember Yo-Yo's arms with her chakram whilst at super-speed.
- Skilled combatant: Being a highly trained HYDRA assassin, Ruby has become skilled in hand-to-hand combat. Although her full capabilities are currently undisclosed, she has shown to to easily overpower to HYDRA students at once.
- While it was widely assumed that the name "Destroyer of Worlds" was a nickname given to Daisy Johnson due to belief that she destroyed Earth in the future, it is later revealed that it is the name of the project that created Ruby.
- Although she never appeared in the first half of Season 5, due to her actions possibly destroying the Earth which leads to the humans and Inhumans becoming slaves, she could be possibly considered as the Bigger Bad of the season's first half. However, she was later outranked by the actual Bigger Bad.