Winry Rockbell (ウィンリィ・ロックベル, Uinrī Rokkuberu) is a main supporting character of the Fullmetal Alchemist series. A close childhood friend of Edward and Alphonse Elric since their young life in Resembool, she 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.
Manga and 2009 anime
HistoryBorn to surgeons Sara and Urey Rockbell of Resembool in the year 1899, young Winry's formative years were simple and happy, for the most part. Doted on by her paternal grandmother Pinako and growing up next door to the Elric family, whose two boys Edward and Alphonse were close enough to her age to become her dearest friends, the young girl was never lacking in the abundance of love and other small-town pleasures. However, her comfortable extended family unit took a blow when both her parents left to serve as emergency doctors on the front lines of the Ishval Civil War. Young Winry was disheartened by her parents' absence, but carried on bravely until 1909, when news came home to Resembool that they had both been killed in action. From then on, Winry remained in the solitary care of her grandmother and worked as her assistant as the old woman performed surgeries and crafted automail for the people of the town. Already acquainted with medicine - having perused her parents' medical books throughout her childhood - Winry became infatuated with automail and general machinery to the point that she was able to craft her own automail pieces despite being barely a decade old. This would prove crucially useful in 1910 when, after a half a year of alchemical training under Izumi Curtis, her friends Ed and Al attempted to transmute their late mother back to life and failed, triggering a rebound which lost Al his entire physical body and Edward his right arm and left leg. When Alphonse, with his disembodied soul bound to an empty suit of armor, appeared at the Rockbells' door clutching a maimed and bleeding Edward in his arms, Winry and Pinako quickly administered an emergency surgery to save the boy's life.
Some time later, Lt. Colonel Roy Mustang and his assistant 2nd Lt. Riza Hawkeye arrived in Resembool with the intention of recruiting Edward for the State Alchemist program. Though Winry expressed her dislike of soldiers and fear that Ed and Al would be taken from her by the military as her parents had, 2nd Lt. Hawkeye reassured the young girl that no one would be taking her friends by force and that even soldiers fight for good reasons, helping Winry to understand her ability to support her friends when her assistance is necessary. Swayed by Mustang's words, Edward agrees to join the military and asks Pinako and Winry to craft him an automail arm and leg to replace the ones he had lost. Using her expertise, Winry creates Edward's new arm from scratch, putting all her efforts into making it as perfect as possible and, after a year of recuperation, Edward left for his certification exam in Central City in late September of 1911. When he returned on October 3rd, the Elric brothers packed up their belongings and burned down their house as they left town in search of a way to restore their bodies to normal. Of course, though the burning of the Elric home was supposedly a sign of abandoning their point of return, they would come home to Resembool several times over the next three years in order to touch base with their only family they had left and to have Winry service Ed's automail limbs.
Winry makes her first appearance in the series in Chapter 9 when the Elrics, accompanied by Major Alex Louis Armstrong arrive suddenly in Resembool to have Edward's arm fixed, looking very much the worse for wear. Winry is at first overjoyed to see her friends again after their latest absence, but her elation quickly turns to despair and fury when she discovers that the masterpiece automail she had built Edward as a child is not only damaged, but completely obliterated beyond the scope of repair. Wishing to help as much as possible, she exuberantly takes on the task of machining a new automail arm for him from scratch, taking a record three days and two full nights of work to do so. After seeing the Elrics off when they leave for Central City at dawn the next morning, Winry spends the remainder of the day catching up on her lost sleep, not waking until the evening. However, upon waking, she discovers that her lack of sleep may have affected her work, as a bolt she had prepared for Ed's arm lies on her workstation, untouched.
She next appears in Chapter 13 when, Edward - having lost the use of his automail in a fight - calls her up to ask her to make repairs in Central City. Wracked with guilt over the missing bolt that caused the malfunction, Winry readily complies and makes arrangements to travel to the capital. She arrives in Central and is escorted by Major Armstrong to the small hospital where Ed is recovering from serious injuries. At first, Winry's guilt gets the better of her and she apologizes profusely for not doing a perfect job in building it, but when it becomes apparent that Edward knows nothing of the missing piece and has assumed that his own recklessness was the cause of the malfunction, she coolly allows the matter to be swept under the rug.After administering the necessary repairs and hearing from Ed about Alphonse's recent and strange aloofness, Winry states that she needs to find lodgings for the night and is virtually accosted by Lt. Colonel Maes Hughes, who has come to visit Ed in the hospital. Pushing his over-exuberant hospitality on her, Hughes insists that she spend her time in Central City with Maes and his family. Practically dragging her along, Hughes goes shopping for his daughter Elicia's third birthday and brings young Winry along to the celebration. As she celebrates with the Hughes family and becomes close to Maes, Gracia and Elicia, Winry confides in the Lt. Colonel that she worries about Ed and Al, who constantly keep secrets about their apparently dangerous life from her. Maes explains to her that men like the Elrics hide things in order to keep from burdening those they love, but when they really need help, they will open up.
Winry takes a great deal of comfort in Hughes' words, but when he escorts her back to the hospital, she is disturbed to find Ed and Al embroiled in a tense confrontation. Alphonse reveals the source of his recent behavior is his new belief that the human boy named "Alphonse Elric" had never existed and that he himself is merely a soulless golem with memories and a personality fabricated by his brother and corroborated by everyone else who claims to have known him in his human form. Edward storms out, but Winry stays behind to scold Alphonse, explaining that Edward would never risk his life to create a false younger brother and that he is constantly wracked with the guilt of having reduced Al to such a state. Once Alphonse understands the situations, Winry forces him to apologize to his brother.
After everything is settled between them, the Elric brothers make new plans to head south to visit their old mentor in the town of Dublith. But when Winry catches glimpse of the map and notices that Rush Valley, the "holy land of automail", is on the way to Dublith, she demands to tag along. Though Ed is reluctant to bring her, Alphonse complies and the three leave as soon as Edward is out of the hospital. Winry brings along an apple pie that Gracia Hughes had helped her make and the Elrics explain that the reason they wish to see their mentor again is to ask her about Human Transmutation and the Philosopher's Stone as well as to find ways to become stronger.
Arriving in Rush Valley with the boys, Winry is overjoyed to see the town filled with automail studios and engineers, though Edward is a tad unenthused to be bothered by all the people taking interest in his limbs. Things take a turn for the bizarre, however, when Edward discovers that his State Alchemist's pocket watch has been stolen. The three youths go off in search of a young woman named Paninya, who is rumored to be behind most of the pickpocketing that occurs in Rush Valley and, though Ed and Al use up a lot of time and energy chasing the young thief through the town, it is Winry who catches her - having taken great interest in Paninya's two combat-fitted automail legs. Against Edward's wishes, Winry promises to let Paninya off the hook if she introduces them to the automail engineer who had designed her appendages. Complying, Paninya leads the three out of the village for a trek through the nearby mountains to meet her engineer friend Dominic.
Arriving at the house, Paninya introduces the gang to Ridel (Dominic's son) and Satella (Ridel's pregnant wife); while the boys fawn over Satella's impending childbirth, Winry converses with the cranky Dominic, complimenting the way in which he integrated sophisticated weaponry into fully-functioning limbs without sacrificing the simplicity of the external chassis. Winry asks Dominic to appraise her work with Edward's arm and leg and instruct her on how to make them both lighter and more durable, but when his expert advice prompts her to request an apprenticeship under him, Dominic quickly refuses. He tells the three newcomers to go home, but when a storm erupts outside, everyone is confined indoors until it lets up.
After hearing from Paninya how she had lost her legs in a train accident and how Dominic had built her new ones free of charge, Winry persuades the young woman to give up her thieving ways and attempt to pay Dominic back through more respectable means, but when Paninya's first step under a new leaf is to return Ed's watch, Winry opts instead to examine it before giving it back. Upon discovering that Edward had sealed the watch shut alchemically, Winry uses her tools to force it open and discovers that Edward had engraved a date on the inside cover by hand: October 3rd of 1911 - the day the Elrics had burnt down their home and left Resembool on their journey. Emboldened by Edward's courage, Winry goes back to ask Dominic one more time for an apprenticeship, but instead discovers that Satella has suddenly gone into labor. While Dominic goes out into the storm to fetch the obstetrician, Winry makes the emergency decision to oversee the child's delivery herself using her rudimentary yet impressive cache of medical knowledge. With Paninya and Ridel assisting, the delivery is a success and afterward, Winry apologizes to Ed for breaking open his watch. She asks Dominic again to take her as his apprentice, but he refuses once more but recommends her to an automail engineer in Rush Valley named Garfiel who would be happy to take her on. The youngsters depart for Rush Valley so that the Elrics can continue their journey to Dublith and, after calling Pinako to tell her that she won't be returning anytime soon, Winry begins working as an apprentice mechanic at Atelier Garfiel.
Return to Central
Before long, Winry becomes a welcome and productive member of Rush Valley society, amassing a loyal and grateful clientele as well as the trust and friendship of all her associates at Atelier Garfiel. Shortly, however, her happy life is interrupted by a surprise visit from Alphonse and Edward, who has once again managed to severely damage her custom arm in combat. After dealing with Ed accordingly, Winry makes plans to tag along with the boys on their impending trip to Central City, hoping for the chance to visit the Hughes family once again. She is introduced to the Elrics' new acquaintance, Ling Yao - who claims to be a traveler from the far eastern nation of Xing - and, after Winry rebuilds Edward's arm, the party (followed by Ling's pair of vassals Lan Fan and Fu) heads off to the capital by train.
Arriving at their destination, Ling's habit of wandering off kicks in and the party manages to lose him. Ignoring his absence, Winry heads with Ed and Al to Central HQ so as to greet Hughes but is surprised to re-encounter Lt. Hawkeye and Colonel Mustang there. Unfortunately, when the trio asks how Hughes is doing, Colonel Mustang informs them that Maes has retired from the military and left for the countryside with his family. Disappointed, Winry and the boys find lodging at a local military-run hotel. Shortly afterward, however, Winry is shocked when Ed and Al make a lot of noise in their room next door and rush out with hardly a goodbye. When she enters their room to see what the matter is, she discovers the horrible truth in a discarded newspaper: that Maes had been mysteriously murdered shortly after their last visit.
Distraught, she heads over to the Hughes residence the next morning and spends time with Gracia and Elicia, who help her to bake an apple pie. Gracia calls Edward at the hotel and asks him to come see Winry safely home, but when the boys arrive, they have a serious discussion with Mrs. Hughes, explaining that Maes was likely killed for helping them investigate a conspiracy tied closely to their quest to restore their bodies. Having come to a solemn decision regarding the safety of those dear to him, Alphonse shockingly declares that, if it will cost other people their lives, he no longer wants his human body back. But Winry and the boys are all surprised when Gracia urges them to press on in the pursuit of their goal, telling them that her husband would want them to continue and their failure to do so would be to render Maes' death meaningless.
The three youngsters return to their hotel, where Winry mopes in her room. When Edward comes to check on her that evening, she invites him in and has him taste the apple pie she had made in Gracia's kitchen, lamenting tearfully that she had worked so hard to be good at baking in the hopes that Maes could have sampled her confections, too. The next morning, while Winry polishes Al's armor, the boys discuss what their next move should be. Stumped, Ed asks Winry for advice and, taken aback by this sudden change in his usual policy regarding her involvement, Winry expresses his anxiety over the danger the boys are constantly in and says she would like them to stop traveling, but adds that after hearing Alphonse say that he would quit trying to get his body back, she realized that it is absolutely necessary for the Elric brothers to keep moving forward until they reach their goal.
Suddenly, there is a knock at the door and they receive a sudden visit from Major Armstrong, who says nothing but throws a heavy blow at Edward, denting his automail arm. Ignoring the youngsters' protests, Armstrong declares that he will be taking Fullmetal to Resembool for repairs while Alphonse - who is too conspicuous - remains in the capital. Winry and Al remain utterly confused by this strange turn of events until Ling suddenly appears outside their hotel room window and explains the situation as he heard it from his investigative sources. Ling tells Al and Winry that Colonel Mustang had orchestrated an elaborate attempt to lure out the mysterious enemy that has been dogging them all this time; meanwhile, Edward's departure with Major Armstrong is part of a rendezvous mission wherein all involved parties pitting themselves against the elusive villains would sneak across the border to the ancient eastern nation of Xerxes in order to exchange and synchronize their collected information regarding their opponent. When a signal flare from Lan Fan ignites above the city, Ling announces that the second phase of the mission to "fish out" the enemy has begun. Alphonse declares that he will go with Ling in order to find out as much as possible and perhaps discover the identity of Hughes' killer. After Winry makes him promise to com home safely and tell her everything, he and Ling set off in the direction of the flare. Winry waits all evening for his safe return and is overjoyed when Al reappears at the hotel's doorstep, still alive though looking quite the worse for wear with large chunks of his armor body having been violently carved away.
With Edward still gone a full day later, Winry and Al begin to worry about their dwindling hotel expense money and try to contact him in Resembool. However, they receive word from Pinako that, while Edward has yet to return to Resembool, another guest has - the boys' father Van Hohenheim. Returning to their room, Winry and Al discuss the matter of the Elrics' estranged father with Ling, who - in discussing his own paternal relationship - reveals that he is, in fact, a royal prince in line for Xing's throne. Explaining that he requires the secret to immortality in order to gain his ailing father's favor and rise to emperorship amid dozens of other siblings, Ling comments on how Alphonse's current existence is the closest thing to real immortality. However, Alphonse himself explains that his metal body is not as convenient as one might think; as a human soul bound to a metal body, the instability of his existence means that, at any given time - in a year, a century or even a day - the two unlike essences may reject each other and Al will die just as suddenly or unexpectedly as anyone else. Horrified by this news, Winry reaffirms the necessity of returning Al to his human body as soon as possible, but Ling sees the situation differently. He argues that Al's soul could simply be transferred to another body before instability sets in and remarks that, not needing to sleep, eat or feel pain, Al's state is pretty ideal. Hearing this, Winry explodes with fury, admonishing the prince for his insensitivity and ignorance before storming off to her room. As Alphonse comes over to console her, Winry reminisces sadly about Al's first night in his new body, the first of countless nights spent awake and alone during Edward's emergency surgery.
That night, Edward finally returns to the hotel and Winry ushers him up to his heavily damaged brother. While he repairs Alphonse's body with alchemy, Winry and the armor boy explain what has been going on in Edward's absence. In turn Edward explains that, while in Resembool, he unearthed the entombed remains of the creature they had believed to be their resurrected mother in order to verify its identity and discovered that it was not Trisha Elric at all. But through this discovery, Ed has become convinced that, rather than needing to fashion a new body for Al, it may be possible to return him to his original body, previously thought to be lost forever. After asking Winry and Al to discuss childhood memories that Edward himself might not be privy to, he remarks that Al's memories of these occurrences confirm that his is the soul belonging to the human Alphonse Elric, but since his memories since the accident would require some sort of physical storage space, his real brain must still be in existence somewhere between life and death. As the boys discuss the matter in depth, alchemically, and resolve to move forward on the path of discovery, Winry notices that she has begun to look at Edward with a more manly air. She goes back to her room to pack and rest up for her trip back to Rush Valley the following day, but Edward sheepishly holds her back, commenting that his automail will likely be sustaining damage in the next few days.
While the boys spend the next couple of days about town, Winry occupies herself by connecting with Gracia and Elicia Hughes and goes with them to visit Maes' grave. She explains to Gracia that Maes' sudden death in her absence reminds her of her parents' untimely demise during the Ishval Civil War and that she suspects she had seen something of her own family in the Hughes' happiness. As the three stroll through the city, however, Winry overhears some townspeople mention that the Elric brothers are currently embroiled in a fight against a State Alchemist killer and apologetically leaves the Hughes family in order to find the boys. Terrified of losing more important people, she rushes past battle-scarred terrain and cautiously distant onlookers toward the supposed scene of the fray. As she stumbles into an alleyway where Ed and Al are engaged in a tense standoff with the Ishvalan murderer known as "Scar", she tragically overhears Edward accuse Scar of murdering Urey and Sara Rockbell in Ishval even after the two doctors had saved his life.Distraught, Winry collapses to the ground, demanding that Scar answer to her. She spies the dropped sidearm of a fallen military policeman and haltingly picks it up, leveling it at the Scarred Man against Ed and Al's vehement protests. Though the Elrics demand that Winry drop the weapon, Scar asserts that - as the daughter of the Rockbells - she has every right to fire at him, but adds that he will count her as his enemy the moment she pulls the trigger. He declares to the three young Amestrians that the cycle of hatred will never end until one side is destroyed, but reminds them that it was their people who drew first blood. Demanding that Winry leave the battlefield if she is not going to shoot, Scar renews his assault on Edward and Alphonse. As she watches the State Alchemist killer aim turn his rage upon her childhood friends, Winry shakily takes aim once more, but Edward throws himself hastily between her and her target before the two can harm each other. Alphonse intervenes, chasing Scar from the alleyway while chastising Ed for his recklessness and telling him to get Winry to safety. As Ed convinces her to drop the gun, Winry sheds confused tears over the fact that she wasn't able to fire at Scar despite his being her parents' murderer as well as a direct threat to her friends' lives, but Ed reminds her that her hands - which delivered a baby in Rush Valley and gave him a new set of limbs - were not meant to take life, but to give it. She breaks down in sobs as Edward gives her his coat and instructs a nearby military policeman to escort her to a safe location. Promising to explain everything about her parents and Scar when he returns, Edward heads off to help Al, leaving Winry to wonder why all she can do is wait all the time.
She is escorted to the Military Police station, where she waits until Ed and Al can pick her up, but while she waits, she is greeted by Führer King Bradley who chats amicably with her about her childhood in Resembool with the Elric brothers. When the boys arrive some time later and the Führer leaves, Winry asks Ed to fulfill his promise to her. He explains that, while at the Xerxes ruins, he had heard that the Rockbells had been beloved doctors on the front line who treated Ishvalan and Amestrian injured alike and refused to abandon the region even as supplies became scarce and the danger escalated, but were slain one day near the end of the war by an Ishvalan warrior monk whom they themselves had helped save - a man with bandages all over his face and an elaborate tattoo running up the length of his right arm. Discovering that Scar fit the description, he deduced that they might be the same man and was correct. The sad story told, Winry expressed her pride that her mother and father stood by their beliefs but remarks that she would have preferred that they would have returned safely to her. The three are escorted solemnly back to their hotel and, as they arrive, the front desk clerk informs Winry that a telephone call has just come in for her. Taking the phone, Winry recognizes the voice of Garfiel in Rush Valley, who asks that she return to the atelier as soon as possible, since her customers have been piling in and refuse to be serviced by anyone but her. As the phone is passed around and her customers express their eagerness to see her again, Winry tearfully promises to return immediately. The boys see her to Central station shortly afterward and, before boarding her train, Winry thanks Ed for stopping her in the alley, asserting that she would not have been able to face all the happy people in Rush Valley if he had allowed her to become a murderer. Though she has not yet come to terms with the fate of her parents, she affirms that she will be able to pull through as long as she has people who wait for her and believe in her. She says her goodbyes and as her train starts to pull away, an embarrassed Edward makes Winry a promise - that the next time he makes her cry, her tears will be those of joy. Watching the boys walk off as her train continues on its way, Winry comes to the realization that she has been in love with Edward for a long time now.
Hostage in the North
In Chapter 64, while attempting to call the boys at their hotel in the capital, Winry discovers that Ed and Al have headed north toward the Briggs mountain range. Winry reappears in Chapter 68, when she receives a phone call from Military Command requesting that she head immediately to the command post at Briggs so as to refit the Fullmetal Alchemist's arm and leg with cold-climate models. Gathering her supplies, she departs immediately for North City, where she is escorted the rest of the way by a man named Solf J. Kimblee. On the ride up into the mountains, Mr. Kimblee remarks that Führer Bradley had told him about Winry's connection to the Rockbells who had lost their lives in the Ishval War and elaborating that it was his squad that had recovered her parents' bodies from the field, unfortunately having arrived just moments after their murder. He compliments their conviction as doctors and their courageous sacrifice.
However, when Winry arrives at Fort Briggs, she is shocked to find the Elrics incarcerated and none too happy to see her.After changing Ed's automail and learning the truth of both the Elrics' and the enemies' plans considering finding Scar and Dr. Marcoh, Winry decides to join the search party in the town of Baschool. She then escapes the military by hiding inside Al's armor, while the brothers run off to look for Marcoh and Scar by themselves. They eventually encounter Marcoh (along with May Chang and Yoki) and Winry stays with him while Ed and Al head out to capture Scar. Once they succeed in it, she shows up, and, instead of taking revenge, bandages Scar's wounded arm, saying that this is what her parents would have done, remarking however that she still can't forgive such a "monster". In order for her and the others to finally escape from the military, she comes up with a plan to pretend that Scar has taken her hostage. After that, she, Scar, Marcoh, May, Yoki, Jerso and Zampano go into the mine to get out of the town and hide in the Fort. However, as soon as they come out of the tunnel, they run into Al, buried in snow, who informs them that Briggs is no longer safe; they then took a road that leads to a nearby Ishvalan slum. Upon reaching the building to stay in, Winry and the others figure out the real meaning behind the notes of Scar's brother. She stays in the slum during Marcoh's battle with Envy; when the defeated and weakened Homunculus tells her that Ed has supposedly gone missing Winry becomes worried, but Al tries to reassure her that Ed is fine. Afterwards the team, minus May, Scar and Marcoh, head for Reole, where they run into Hohenheim. As Al and goes to talk to his father and Jerso, Zampano and Yoki go help rebuilding the town, Winry stays at Rose's place. In chapter 84 Winry is taken on a military train back to Resembool in a water tank. When she comes into her house she is shocked to find Ed in her room while she is undressing. The two scream, which causes everyone to believe Ed and Winry are in danger and she soon kicks (literally) everyone (minus Ed) out of her room. Shortly after she fills Ed in on where Al is and what's been happening in Reole, she finds out Ling has become Greed and why they were hiding out in her house. Ed tells her to leave the country, but she refuses, wanting to help Ed in anyway she can. Ed soon departs and Winry stays in Resembool for the time being.
The Promised Day
In Chapter 104, Winry is seen in Resembool as the effects of the Nationwide Transmutation Circle are felt everywhere. Pinako and she collapse in their house as she utters her last word: "Ed." In the next chapter, however, it is revealed that Hohenheim has been planning for Father's nationwide transmutation circle. He has hid parts of his Philosopher's Stone in the soil, and using the Umbra, the moon's shadow, the souls of his Philosopher's Stone are able to rip the people of Amestris' souls out of Father and back into their bodies. Winry is next seen coughing and says that she felt like she was drowning in a whirlpool of pain and suffering.
The Final Battle and New Beginnings
Later, after Ed sacrifices his alchemy to resurrect Alphonse, they are seen going back home. Winry hears Den barking and goes outside to see what's happening. Once she spots Ed and Al, she runs towards them, making them fall on the ground after she jumps on them while giving them a hug along with her tears of joy. Two years later when Edward is about to leave for the West, he confesses to Winry in the form of "equivalent exchange", asking to give half of his life to her, if she gives half of her life to him. Winry, facepalming at Ed's awkward form of proposes, says that she'll give him her entire life. She then blushes and corrects herself, saying that she'll give him 85% of her life. Edward laughs, and after she shouts at him for making fun of her, Ed denies it, calling Winry "incredible" because of how she overturned the law of Equivalent Exchange. He then hugs her, saying that he'll be back soon.
They are last seen in a photo with Ed, Alphonse, May, Xiao Mei and, in the anime, Garfeil and Paninya; Ed and Winry hold two young children, and Ed is also shown to wear a wedding ring.