Winry Rockbell is a main supporting character in 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 acts as 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 somewhat plays the role of the love interest in the story.
Winry is a rather attractive young woman with a slender yet healthily curvaceous build, blue eyes and long, light blond hair. She is slightly taller than Edward for the entirety of the 2003 anime series and most of the manga and, though Edward spends much of their early life taunting her for having "no sex appeal", Winry's figure becomes progressively more womanly and full-figured over the course of the story. She usually wears her hair in a long ponytail tied high in back, while leaving a loose curtain 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 and an additional pair of 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 bare midriff. After her move to Rush Valley, Winry swaps out her tube top for a black and white halter 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 green 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.
Winry is a 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". 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 automails 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 that of 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.
- 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 arm and 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 (though use Equivalent Exchange to do so). It would appear they got married, as in one of the future pictures she is shown with Ed (wearing a wedding ring) while they are both holding young children.
- Born to the kind family that lived next door to the Elrics, Winry grew up alongside Ed and Al and means as much to them both as would a sister; she and Al are more than childhood friends, they are a family. However, Alphonse had displayed some sort of romantic affections for Winry in his youth, as revealed by his mention of how he and Ed had fought over her hand in marriage, but were both turned down. Nonetheless, Al expresses jealousy in one of the omake pieces over Edward's nearly seeing her naked in Chapter 84. For the most part, Al appears to have put those feelings behind him and takes pleasure in teasing Winry for her apparent feelings for his brother.
- 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'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, who periodically offers the teenage girl motherly advice while teaching her to bake. After Maes' death, Winry remains close to the Hughes women, 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" wink 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 young Elric brothers themselves. She has also displayed a significantly strong throwing arm, able to pitch heavy wrenches long distance with deadly accuracy.
Though displaying relatively few particularly feminine traits in the beginning of the series, 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.
Born 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
Winry meeting Riza Hawkeye.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 limbs.