RWBY volume 5 episode 8 found Blake captured in Ilia’s quite literal web. Blake Belladonna and Ilia Amitola have a storied history that was revealed over the fourth and fifth volumes of Rooster Teeth’s anime. Both are members of the Faunus race and both have been affiliated with the White Fang movement. But whereas Blake left the group and her former White Fang boyfriend Adam Taurus after she came to disagree with their more radical activities, Ilia stayed.
In the wake of the Battle of Beacon and Adam severing the arm of Bella’s teammate Yang, she left Team RWBY to keep them safe from White Fang insurgents and to investigate the group herself. In RWBY volume 4, Blake discovered Ilia was still with the White Fang after brothers Fennec and Corsac Albain tried to re-recruit Blake. She also found out Ilia had been spying on her and Sun Wukong, and a scroll Ilia had contained plans by Adam and his violent splinter group to attack Haven Academy just as he raided Beacon Academy in volume 3.
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RWBY volume 5 gave more backstory on Blake Belladonna and Ilia’s complicated history. In Blake’s volume 5 character short, a flashback shows a conversation between Blake and Ilia when they were both in White Fang. When Blake asks Ilia why she joined, Ilia confesses her chameleon Faunus abilities allowed her to blend in with humans enough for her parents’ to secure a place at an Atlas Academy prep school without revealing her Faunus identity. One day, there was a cave-in at the mine where her parents worked which killed them and many other Faunus. After her classmates laughed at the news, Ilia began embracing her Faunus identity and joined White Fang.
Throughout RWBY volume 5, Ilia seems torn between her friendship with Blake and allegiance to Adam and his splinter group. While Blake and her parents were trying to convince the local Faunus population in Menagerie to help Haven Academy, Ilia denounces the Belladonnas as traitors, but she also seems reluctant to fight her former friend. In RWBY volume 5 episode 8 “Alone Together” Ilia sends Blake a note asking to meet, leading Blake to hope she can save Ilia from White Fang’s clutches.
Those hopes are soon dashed when it turns out the note was a ruse so her allies could ambush Blake. Ilia’s fellow crony Trifa – a spider Faunus – captures Blake in a web while Ilia reveals just how deep into White Fang’s terroristic side she really is. She tells Blake of White Fang’s plans to assassinate her parents and deliver her to Adam. Ilia also confesses she had feelings for Blake in the past but the latter was too busy with Adam to notice.
Luckily, Blake is no fool and brought along Sun Wukong as backup who helps her escape. As fans of the RWBY anime series know, Ilia did come good in the end although it would be a few episodes until the chameleon Faunus would abandon the White Fang and rebuild her friendship with Blake.
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