Winry is portrayed in the series as kind, optimistic, and sincere, acting like a concerned family member to the Elric brothers whenever in their company. Having known Edward and Alphonse since childhood, she maintains a close friendship with the two. In the story, she was orphaned at a young age when her parents, serving as doctors in the Ishbal war, were killed, so she lived with her grandmother in the town of Resembool from then on. Known as an "Automail Otaku", she is fascinated by any and all types of machines, tools, excelling in building and repairing automail, and she takes pride in her work as a mechanic. Along with her grandmother, Pinako, who is a famous automail engineer, the two run a small automail shop out of their home. They are also the ones who made and installed Edward's automail arm and leg after he lost his original limbs in a failed human transmutation of his mother. Winry takes it upon herself to make sure that his automail is in top form and will go out of her way to travel for servicing when it's needed. Despite being rather tomboyish she is perfectly willing to use her feminine charms to get what she wants. Across both manga and anime series, Winry falls in love with Edward. On the other hand, Edward shares the same feeling but tries to ignore it whenever he thinks about it.
Winry's first appearance in the manga is when the Elric brothers return to Resembool in order to make Winry and Pinako create another automail for Edward's right arm after it was destroyed by the Ishbalan "Scar". However, she forgets to add other parts to the automail, leading it to be broken after a short time. Therefore, Winry goes to Central City to fix Edward's automail. While the Elrics continue their search for the Philospher's Stone, Winry accompanies them to Rush Valley where she asks Garfiel, an automail engineer in Rush Valley, to be her teacher. After Garfiel realizes that Winry is Pinako's granddaughter, he decides to teach having had a relation with Pinako that terrifies him. Some time later, Winry returns with the Elrics to the Central Headquartes and find that their friend Maes Hughes was murdered. When the Elrics confront Scar once again in order to get closer to the Philosopher's Stone, Winry discovers during the fight that Scar killed her parents during the Ishbal Civil War. She tries to shoot Scar, but Ed jumps in front of her to protect her from Scar and pins the gun down. After Scar escapes, Winry returns to Rush Valley.
Due to her importance in the lives of the Elric brothers, Winry is used as a hostage by the military to gain Edward's obedience. State Alchemist Solf J. Kimblee takes Winry to the North Headquarters, saying that Edward's automail needs maintenance but just to keep using her as a hostage. Therefore, the Elrics are forced to capture Scar for the military, but Winry later bandages him as she thinks her parents would do the same. In order to escape from the military's possession, she decides to act as Scar's hostage. Winry is taken on a military train back into Resembool in a water tank. When she goes into her house, she finds Ed in her room, who tells her to leave the country, but she refuses, wanting to help Ed in any way that she can.
Winry's role in the series highly differs in the first anime. In Rush Valley, Winry meets Ed and Al's teacher, Izumi Curtis, and learns how her son became the homunculus Wrath. Winry continues travelling with the Elrics until she discovers that her parents were killed by Ed's superior, Roy Mustang, while talking with two Ishbalan boys. Winry goes to Central to meet Mustang, but is unable to talk to him when she hears from several people that he is highly respected by his friends including the deceased Maes Hughes. Winry later meets the librarian Sheska who suspected of the woman Juliet Douglas, who is in fact the homunculus Sloth, from the military from being responsible of Hughes' death. Both are attacked by Sloth, but the homunculus retreats when Winry recognizes her as Ed and Al's mother. Winry and Sheska go to Resembool to tell the Elrics about Sloth. Ed and Al soon set to fight the Homunculi but only Al returns as Ed finds himself in a parallel universe. When he finally does in the movie sequel of the anime series, she embraces Ed in tears. Winry reveals that she has prepared new automail for Edward, and upon his return, attaches them to him. After Edward is forced to leave her once again, Winry continues working on automail with her grandmother.
Appearances in other media
In the first 2007 OVA, a drunken Winry confronts Edward about pictures of him and Noah that appeared in a magazine featuring shots and tidbits of the movie. During Ed's explanations, Winry becomes infuriated with jealousy and beats him with wrenches and screwdrivers. In a second OVA, Edward is shown as a grandfather with three grandchildren. One of the children resembles Winry it is unknown who Edward married, our world's Winry or his own who might have found a way across. In the third, Winry herself does not make an appearance, though Envy takes on her form and is kidnapped by Greed together with Al. Winry has her own character CD named Hagaren Song File - Winry Rockbell (Hagaren Song File). Released on June 22, 2009, the CD features tracks based on her character performed by her Japanese voice actress in the first Fullmetal Alchemist anime series, Megumi Toyoguchi.
Caitlin Glass, the voice actress for Winry in the English dub, said that she never thought of auditioning for her, as she had originally tried out for Al, Rose, and Hawkeye. It was through auditioning for Rose that the voice production team said that she could do Winry due to her "hyper" voice type from the Spiral series. She adds that she just said one line of dialogue before she was given the role. In characters popularity polls from the series published in Monthly Shōnen Gangan Winry has commonly been featured in the top ten from each poll, reaching 5th place in the latest one. In the July 2009 issue from Newtype, Winry ranked ninth in the survey of best anime female characters. Several types of merchandising have been developed based on Winry's likeness including action figures, key-chains and patches.
Critical response to Winry's character has generally been positive. Lydia Hojnacki from mangalife.com listed Winry within the group from female characters she likes from the Fullmetal Alcehmist while commenting on her relation with the Elrics brothers. 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." Her confrontation against Scar in the manga was praised by Sakura Eries from the same site who found she was "on the verge of tears" while reading the volume. Holly Ellingwood from Activeanime also praised such moment describing it as an "emotional struggle" and noting that "her own actions afterwards are some of the most riveting of these latest chapters". Ellingwood also praised Winry's first appearance in the first anime noting that her "enthusiasm for anything and everything mechanical and sheer enthusiasm is a welcome change from the dire episodes preceding her arrival." However, she was saddened that her character did not appear until later episodes as the series' focus moved the Edward and Alphonse's search for the Philosopher's Stone. Carlo Santos from Anime News Network praised how her appearance in the north from Amestris while meeting the Elrics brothers was "complete game-changer" due to the fact she was instead being used as a hostage. On the other hand, Samuel Arbogast from T.H.E.M. Anime Reviews criticized Winry's character commenting she seems to be only "stale" character and adding that she "irritates me to no end".
Informations source: Wikipedia