Qrow and Ironwood have known each other for a long time, but the first time they're introduced on screen with each other is in volume 3. Qrow and Ironwood appear very antagonistic towards each other because of their different ideologies. Qrow also condescendingly told Ironwood that if he himself was one Ironwood's men, he would shoot himself. He then asked James why he wasn't being discreet and if he just didn't give a damn. Ironwood then tells Qrow that being discreet wasn't working anymore and that he felt like he had to take matters into his own hands.
Despite their differences they still hold a level of trust of respect for each other. During the battle of Beacon Qrow saves Ironwood from a Grimm he has not noticed approaching and trusts that Ironwood is not responsible for by his robotic army turning against them. Qrow then asked him for suggestions regarding their plan of action to deal with the invading Grimm. Following the fall of Beacon, they part way as Ironwood returns to Atlas to guard his home Kingdom and Qrow begins working alongside Team RWBY.
After the Battle of Haven, Qrow sends a letter to Ironwood telling him of the events happening in Mistral, and their plans to join him in Atlas. Upon arriving, Qrow is shocked by the heavy military presence Ironwood is using and worries how far me may have went. After being arrest by the Ace-Ops, Qrow and the other are brought to Ironwood and are then updated on his plans to fight Salem. After the meeting Ironwood stops Qrow to tell him it is good to see him again, and hugs him, which surprises Qrow at first but he returns the hug. Later, Qrow is shocked to find out that him and Robyn are under arrest by Ironwood's orders asking if Ironwood has lost his mind. In volume 8 Qrow and Robyn are under arrest on Ironwood's orders and Qrow vows vengence on him.
IronQrow is one of the RWBY fandom's most popular slash ships. And is fairly popular overall though the fandom tends to favour femslash and het ships. Shippers were drawn to their antagonist dynamic which can lends itself well to the (fr)enemies to lovers trope. On AO3 it is Ironwood's most written for pairing and Qrow's second most written.
- Qrow calls Ironwood "Jimmy".
- IronQroWeiss — the ship between James Ironwood, Qrow Branwen, and Weiss Schnee