Cardin Winchester is a minor antagonist in the American cartoon webseries RWBY and parts of its manga adaptation. He was a student of Beacon Academy and leader of Team CRDL. He was also a bully to the other students and often picked on and even beat students that he felt were weaker than him. He especially dislikes Faunus.
He is voiced by Adam Ellis in the original English dub and Subaru Kimura in the Japanese dub.
Cardin is a very tall, muscled teenage boy with burnt-orange, combed back hair with a subtle peak at the center of the forehead. He has indigo colored eyes and a pale complexion. He wears a black collared shirt and black pants, each with red trimmings along the collar and sleeves. He also wears a red belt and a silver breastplate and shoulder pads with gold-colored edges. His emblem, a golden bird with outstretched wings, rests on the front of the armor. His school uniform is a black suit with gold trim and buttons that includes a blue undertone, a white undershirt, and a red tie.
Cardin appears in the first two chapters of the Japanese manga as an antagonist. He bullies Jaune by fighting him and throwing him into Team RWBY's table while they are eating. Ruby Rose stands up to him, and Glynda Goodwitch sets up a practice match for them to settle things in. While at first being intimidated, Ruby soon works up the courage to fight and defeats Cardin in one move.
In "The First Step", Cardin is one of the students being launched into the Emerald Forest for Beacon initiation.
In "Players and Pieces", it is revealed that Cardin and fellow students Russel Thrush, Dove Bronzewing, and Sky Lark all retrieved black bishop piece relics and are thus formed into Team CRDL with Cardin as the leader.
In "Jaunedice", Jaune and Cardin are engaged in a practice match. Cardin taunts Jaune and easily overpowers him, even hitting him a few more times when he refuses to quit. However, Goodwitch calls the match before Jaune is too seriously injured.
At lunch, Ruby and Pyrrha Nikos question how Jaune feels about Cardin's mistreatment towards him. In an attempt to make himself sound tougher, Jaune denies that Cardin has ever bulled him and asks when such bullying has ever occurred. There is then a montage of Cardin harassing Jaune in different ways, such as deploying his sheild in a doorway, knocking books out of his hands, and forcing him into one of the rocket-propelled lockers and making it blast off. Jaune defends himself by saying that Cardin is mean to everyone, and the table looks to see Cardin and his team pulling on Faunus Velvet Scarletina's rabbit ears. Nora Valkyrie suggests breaking his legs, and Jaune leaves with Cardin eyeing him.
In "Jaunedice, Pt. 2", Cardin wakes Jaune when he is sleeping in class, causing him to accidentally volunteer to answer the question of why Faunus had an advantage during the war, which he does not know the answer to. When Jaune answers incorrectly, Cardin laughs at him, causing Professor Oobleck to call on him next. Cardin answers by stating that it is because "animals are easier to train", but Pyrrha answers correctly by stating that it was because many Faunus have night vision.
After class, Oobleck scolds both Jaune and Cardin for slipping in classes. As they leave, Cardin knocks Jaune to the floor before leaving.
Pyrrha decides to take Jaune to the rooftop to help train him, but Jaune does not want help. He comes out and says that he faked his transcripts and had gotten into Beacon Academy illegitimately. As Pyrrha leaves, Cardin climbs to the roof, saying he heard everything and will agree to keep the secret if Jaune does anything he asks.
In "Forever Fall", it is revealed that Cardin has been forcing Jaune to stay up late and do all of his homework assignments for him. He also requests that Jaune go out and buy Rapier Wasps.
The next day, Goodwitch takes Teams RWBY, JNPR, and CRDL on a trip to Forever Fall to collect red sap from the trees, which she warns can attract Grimm. Cardin forces Jaune to collect six jars of sap: one for himself, one for each member of his team, and one for another reason. When Jaune has finished, Cardin explains that he wants to get back at Pyrrha for humiliating him in Oobleck's class by having Jaune throw the extra jar of sap at her and attracting the Rapier Wasps. When Jaune hesitates, Cardin threatens to tell his secret to Goodwitch. However, Jaune turns and instead his Cardin with the sap, refusing to harm his teammate. Furious, Team CRDL grabs him
In "Forever Fall, Pt. 2", Cardin is seen viciously beating Jaune. Jaune states that he doesn't care about Cardin's threats and abuse, he will not allow Cardin to hurt Pyrrha. Cardin becomes enraged and hits Jaune again, but Jaune unintentionally blocks it with his Aura, damaging Cardin's hand and healing his own wounds.
Suddenly, an Ursa comes out of the trees, attracted to the sap on Cardin. The rest of Team CRDL flees while Cardin tries to fight it, but is disarmed and knocked to the ground. The Ursa prepares to kill Cardin, but Jaune comes in to defend him and manages to hold it off. With some help from Pyrrha, Jaune manages to kill the Ursa. Jaune then helps Cardin up, but tells him never to mess with him or his friends again. Jaune then leaves Cardin with a newfound respect and remorse.
In "Extracurricular", Team CRDL is seen in a four-on-one practice match against Pyrrha. Pyrrha easily overpowers the other teammates, and Cardin attacks with his mace (unintentionally hitting Dove in the process). However, Pyrrha easily evades and defeats him. He tells Pyrrha that it was a "lucky shot" before collapsing, indicating that he still holds some minor resentment and jealousy towards her.
In "It's Brawl in the Family", it is indicated that Team CRDL won their off-screen tournament battle in the Vytal Festival Tournament, though Cardin does not move to the doubles round. In "Heroes and Monsters", Cardin is one of the many students defending the school in the Battle of Beacon. He kills an Ursa before being attacked by some Atlesian Knight-200s, which he is saved from by General James Ironwood. It is unknown what happened to him after the school fell.
Cardin is brash, arrogant, and has many of the traits found in the "school bully" archetypes. The difference between him and a simple "jerk" is the fact that he isn't afraid to both physically and emotionally harm others to great extent. He loves to pick on those under him or unable to fight back.
He is also racist and discriminatory towards the Faunus species and openly expresses his hatred for them by making racist comments and hurting them both physically and emotionally.
Despite his lazy and violent nature, he is shown to be very intelligent when it comes to blackmailing and manipulation, such as how he acted when he learned Jaune's secret. He can be cunning and is an expert on keeping Jaune under his thumb. However, he is not shown to be smart in the fields of history or any curricular subjects.
He can also be wrathful and vengeful, as he is shown to easily develop and hold a grudge. When Jaune disobeys him and even mocks him, he does not hold back in beating him violently and harshly. He also planned out revenge on Pyrrha for humiliating him and still is jealous of her skill and intelligence.
Despite all of this, he is assumed to be good-natured at heart, as he does want to become a Hunter and defender of Remnant. He partook in the Battle of Beacon and actively worked to defend his school and other students.
Powers & Abilities
Though his Semblance has never been shown or discussed, it can be assumed that he has one, just does not use it often. He also possesses an Aura like most other inhabitants of Remnant, a manifestation of the soul that can protect him from damage (to a certain extent) and heal minor wounds. This is also not shown to its full extent, but he is able to take several hard hits from Pyrrha and keep going, outlasting his fellow teammates.
Cardin's weapon of choice is his big black mace, which has oversized flanges and a red Dust crystal embedded in the center. Using this crystal, he is able to release explosive fire blasts upon impact. He is skilled with the mace, able to wield in with one hand and easily disarm Jaune. Cardin uses his mace with his own strength, which allows him to overpower and beat opponents.
- Cardin alludes to Henry Beaufort, the Bishop of Winchester and a cardinal, who presided over the trial of Joan of Arc (whom Jaune alludes to) prior to her being burnt at the stake.
- In "Forever Fall", Cardin's scroll number is shown to be 1374-BEAUFORT. Henry Beaufort was born in 1374.
- The relics chosen by Team CRDL were the Black Bishop pieces.
- In keeping with his team's bird-themed naming, his first name is likely also derived from the cardinal, an American bird species.