Winry Rockbell (ウィンリィ・ロックベル, Winrī Rokkuberu) is a main supporting character of the Fullmetal Alchemist series. She is Edward Elric and Alphonse Elric’s close childhood friend of ever since their young life in Resembool and is almost like a sister to the two and essentially their only family. An amateur surgeon and mechanical repair specialist/enthusiast, Winry is Edward's rear line support as his personal automail engineer and mechanic, making sure his prosthetic right arm and left leg are always in good working order. Additionally, she provides a great deal of emotional support for the pair and plays the role of Edward's love interest.
Winry is an attractive young woman with long, light blonde hair and blue eyes. She has a slender, girlish figure and is slightly taller than Edward for most of the story. She usually wears her hair in a long ponytail tied high in back, while leaving a long lock of hair on either side of her face and her bangs falling casually from right to left across her forehead. Winry wears her ears pierced in an avant-garde style, with two identical pairs of hoop earrings on each earlobe and an additional two cuff studs worn vertically on her right ear, above the others.
Though multiple characters have commented on her ladylike beauty in public, Winry is an unabashed tomboy and spends much of her time dressed in her mechanic's garb, donning a beige worker's jumpsuit with the top half open and tied around her waist to reveal her usual black tube top and her belly button. After her move to Rush Valley, Winry swaps out her tube top for a black and white crop top with a large zipper down the front, but the remainder of her work outfit remains the same. Additionally, she ties her hair back with a characteristic bandanna, wears house slippers and protects her hands with light brown suede craftsman's gloves while working. When going out for a jaunt, however, Winry is quite partial to light-colored tank tops and short skirts and occasionally wears her hair down. Though Edward spends much of their early life taunting her for having "no sex appeal", Winry's figure becomes progressively more shapely over the course of the story.
PersonalityWinry is a very emotional, strong-willed and emphatic person who puts all her heart and effort into the things she does. Enthusiastic about machinery, Winry is most at home near cranking gears, whirring bearings and the smell of oil and becomes absolutely giddy when given the opportunity to interact with and learn about such things, causing Edward to mock her as an "engineering otaku" or a "crazy gearhead". She is stubborn and straightforward, often calling others out for their weaknesses and delusions. Though she shares this trait with Edward, Winry is a bit more tactful with her honesty and usually only displays this side of herself to her closest relations. Winry's stout heart allows her to make difficult and dangerous choices very easily so long as they coincide with her strong sense of duty and morality. Contributed to by both of these characteristics is her willingness to work with almost excessive devotion on the various automail whose maintenance she undertakes for the sake of the people who depend on her, going so far as to take multiple consecutive overnight workshop sessions and travel long distances without hesitation in order to ensure their prompt and proper completion.
Kindhearted and empathetic, Winry is the type of person who consistently tries her best to aid and support the people around her. She is very sensitive to the pain of others and has been known to cry frequently on behalf of people who won't cry for themselves, earning her the distinction of being a bit of a "crybaby" in Edward's eyes. As one who values family (immediate and extended) above most other things, Winry is a bit of a worrier and concerns herself with the welfare of people she cares about. It is likely this care that makes her so popular with her clients in Rush Valley, all of whom are greatly moved by the attention to personal detail that she willingly gives to each of them.
However, on the other side of her sensitive and emotional nature is a temper that easily rivals - if not overshadowing - even Edward Elric. When insulted, hurt or embarrassed, Winry is prone to lash out violently - though typically the victims of such tantrums are Ed and Al, in which case she has been known to use her own wrench as her main weapon. As a result, Edward and Alphonse fear her wrath. One sure way to earn her wrath is to damage her automail creations.
RelationshipsEdward Elric - Undoubtedly the most significant of her relationships; as such, however, Edward argues with Winry even more than he does with Al, their similarly stubborn personalities keeping them at odds with one another despite their powerful bond. After the terrible accident that claimed Ed's right arm and left leg, Winry took on the role of his personal automail mechanic, building him sophisticated new limbs at the tender age of eleven. Since then, Winry has served as Ed's constant well of support, both mechanically and emotionally, though they still find themselves arguing frequently. However, this affectionate hostility appears to be masking a deeper relationship. Though Edward has not outwardly admitted any romantic feelings toward Winry, he is rather overprotective of her and becomes unnaturally flustered at the mere suggestion of an amatory relationship between them. Winry, for her part, has admitted to herself that she had been falling for him all along. They finally confess to each other at the end of the series as Edward proposes to her, although they use The Law of Equivalent Exchange to do so. According to the Fullmetal Alchemist Chronicle (Official Guide), they got married in 1917 and had many children in the end.
Alphonse Elric - Alphonse appears to be the little brother Winry always wanted. While Al remarks on the fight both he and Edward had over which one of them would marry her, Winry doesn't appear to have regarded those feelings as being too deep, as she is very casual about how she turned down both brothers' affections at the time. However, Winry does seem to be the one person other than Edward who is most affected by Al's intangible state as a soul bound to a suit of armor. She also seems to unquestioningly regard Al as human, despite the doubts others sometimes express about that. She is both protective and defensive of Al's humanity, and cries openly for his pain as well.
Pinako Rockbell - Even since before the death of her parents during the Ishval Civil War, Winry has always had a close relationship with her grandmother, but since the tragedy that befell the Rockbell homestead, Pinako has served as Winry's sole caretaker and closest - if not only - blood relation. The two have a relatively amicable relationship, ribbing each other every so often as they go about their days jointly running their automail atelier, but the bond between them remains as that of doting grandparent and adoring grandchild. When Winry finally sets out on her own path as an automail engineer, Pinako worries silently that the greater world will be too hard on her little Winry, but is very proud when she sees and hears evidence of the young woman's progress. Conversely, Winry worries about leaving her grandmother alone and communicates with her regularly, knowing that there will always be a place for her at home in Resembool if she should so require.
The Hughes Family - Encountering Lt. Colonel Maes Hughes almost by chance during her first trip to Central City, Winry is immediately accepted into Maes' circle of friends as he practically drags her to his daughter Elicia Hughes's third birthday party. She becomes close to little Elicia, who quickly comes to regard Winry as an older sister, as well as Maes' wife Gracia Hughes, who periodically offers the teenage girl motherly advice while teaching her to bake. After Maes's death, Winry remains close to Gracia and Elicia, sustaining an almost familial bond.
Winry is an exceptionally gifted and passionate mechanic, excelling in the repair of machines of widely varying complexity. Of course, her truest passion and most extensive expertise is in the crafting and overhauling of automail prostheses. Brought up under the tutelage of her grandmother, master automail engineer Pinako Rockbell, Winry has been working with automail for most of her youth and can be considered somewhat of a machinist prodigy, having built Edward a complex pair of limbs at the tender age of eleven. Since that time, her skills have improved to the point that she has surpassed even her grandmother (once hailed far and wide as the "Pantheress of Resembool") and gained a fair bit of notoriety in her position at Atelier Garfiel in Rush Valley.
In addition, Winry appears to have a remarkable wealth of surgical knowledge for her age (despite a lack of formal training), gleaned from having grown up in a family of surgeons. Edward remarks that Winry's early comprehension of advanced medical literature is on par with the familiarity with alchemical texts shared by the Elric brothers when they were young. She successfully delivered Ridel and Satella's child in the 2009 anime, further proving her medical knowledge.
She has also displayed a significantly strong throwing arm, able to pitch heavy wrenches long distance with deadly accuracy. Winry learns to bake from Gracia Hughes during her first trip to Central City and develops her ability to bake pies - specifically apple pies - as the series progresses.
- Winry's surname "Rockbell" is a play on the Rockwell scale that is used to measure the hardness of different metals. It has been posited that Winry's given name began as a mis-transliteration on the part of the author, who intended to name her "Wendy", however, no evidence for this has been given.
- It's possible that Winry is a reference to Rosie the Riveter, a cultural icon of the United States which represents the women who worked in factories during World War II (see the image).
- Winry is a very loved character. For example, Mania Entertainment's Jarred Pine liked how Winry's character is further developed in the manga than in the first anime, remarking her first meeting with Riza Hawkeye which he claims "It is such a simple scene, but it really speaks volumes about the characters."
- In the most recent fan poll, Winry was ranked 5th most popular Fullmetal Alchemist character, making her the second most popular female character after Riza Hawkeye (who was ranked 3rd overall).
- Winry's trademark bandanna is colored green in the manga and 2009 anime, while in the 2003 anime, it's red, however, in the end of episode 51 she switches to a green one.
- Winry's pants are also colored light purple, instead of beige.
- On the cover page of Chapter 107, Winry is included putting her hand in the circle with the rest of the protagonists.
- The reason Winry pierced her ears is because she saw that Riza Hawkeye had earrings when the two first met.
- In a Brotherhood OVA Winry explains that the reason she has so many piercings in her ears is because Ed and Al gave her multiple pairs of earrings and Winry wanted to wear all of them.
- In the Brotherhood character theme album, Winry's theme song is called "Look Up at the Sky," sung by her seiyu, Megumi Takamoto.
- On the cover page of Chapter 107, Winry is included putting her hand in the circle with the rest of the protagonists.
- Ed and Winry's romantic relationship is heavily implied in the FMA series. The relationship is confirmed during end of the manga, as the two end up together with children. This is one of the most popular FMA pairings. It's also known as "Edwin". Apparently, the number "503" was also previously used as a name for this pairing, based on a brand of jeans of the same number by a company called Edwin. "503" was also the number of Winry's hotel room when she visit Ed and Al in Central.
- In the OVA "Kids," one of the children looks almost identical to Winry and is Edward's great granddaughter. No one knows if Winry somehow got to our world and had children with Edward or Ed simply found our universe's version of Winry, whether either of them are relevant is never explained. Evidently, Ed is revealed to be wearing Automail in the OVA, which implies that Winry may have gotten to our world, and fitted new types of automail for Ed.