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Attack on Titan has some of the most tragic backstories (Image via MAPPA)

8 characters with the most tragic backstories in Attack on Titan 

Ever since it first aired in 2013, Attack on Titan has taken the world by storm and has proven to be one of the best series of all time. The world of Attack on Titan has changed considerably from what was portrayed to viewers in the first season.

One of the strongest aspects of the series is the diverse lineup of characters. The majority of the characters in Attack on Titan are considered important and play a significant part in the story. The series focuses on many characters and their backstories, leaving viewers in awe.


This article will focus on eight AOT characters with the most tragic plotlines.

Note: This article contains major spoilers and reflects the author's personal views.


8 Attack on Titan characters with the saddest backstories

8) Ymir

Ymir deserved so much better

Ymir was a former member of the Survey Corps. As a child, she was taken in by a man who named her Ymir after the founder and brought her to a group of people who worshiped her. After being discovered by public authorities, the man framed Ymir to save himself.

Ymir was later turned into a pure Titan as punishment. She was trapped as a pure Titan for sixty years before eating Marcel, which transferred to her the power of the Jaw Titan.


7) Annie Leonhart

(3/22) Happy Birthday, Annie Leonhart! (via Attack on Titan)

Annie was first introduced in the first season of Attack on Titan, where she was revealed as the female Titan and thus served as the major antagonist. Annie's motives behind her actions were revealed in the fourth season.

As a child, Annie was abandoned by her biological parents because of her Eldian blood. She was adopted by Mr. Leonhart, who made her go through torturous training so that he could live a privileged life. After getting stronger, Annie took revenge upon him, which left him permanently disabled.

6) Reiner Braun

(08/01) Today is Reiner Braun birthday!

Happy Birthday! Warrior!

Reiner was s a former member of the Survey Corps. It was revealed in the second season of Attack on Titan that Reiner was the Armored Titan who breached Wall Maria five years ago. Reiner's complete backstory was revealed in the fourth season.

Reiner was not allowed to see his father because his father was pure Marleyan while he had Eldian blood from his mother's side. Reiner was forced into becoming a warrior so that he could live with his father as an honorary Marleyan. Before going on the mission to reclaim the founding titan, Reiner met his father, with the latter rejecting him completely.

5) Levi Ackerman


Levi is arguably one of the strongest characters in the entirety of Attack on Titan. As a child, Levi was taken in by Kenny Ackerman after his mother passed away. Kenny taught Levi everything he knew before leaving him.

Levi then became an underground thug along with his two friends, Furlan and Isabel. The three of them later joined the scouts at Erwin Smith's request. They planned to assassinate Erwin, but during a mission, Furlan and Isabel were killed by a Titan. This shattered Levi's heart, who then changed his ways and started following Erwin.

4) Zeke Yeager

The growth of Zeke Yeager

When Zeke was first introduced in Attack on Titan, he was easily one of the most despicable characters in the entire series. His true motives were revealed in the fourth season. As a child, Zeke was forced to become a warrior, and despite trying his best, he never received any sort of affection from his parents.

Zeke then met Mr. Ksaver, who possessed the Beast Titan at that time. Ksaver convinced Zeke to expose his parents in order for Zeke to save himself and his grandparents. Years later, Zeke inherited the Beast Titan and vowed to fulfill the euthanization plan.

3) Grisha Yeager

Happy Birthday Grisha Yeager one of the best AoT characters

Grisha is the father of Eren and Zeke. He was tagged as the one who started the whole story. When Grisha was young, he and his sister went out of the internment zone to see an airship. They were caught by the security authorities. Grisha was beaten down and his sister was taken away. It was later revealed that his sister was killed.

Grisha then joined the Eldian Restorationists after discovering how his sister was killed. He married Dina and had a child named Zeke. Zeke exposed their plans to save himself and his grandparents.

Grisha was then forced to see his wife, and all his friends turned into pure titans. He was later saved by Eren Kruger, an Eldian spy working as a Marleyan officer. Grisha then inherited the Attack Titan, which he would later pass on to his son, Eren Yeager.

2) Eren Yeager


Eren Yeager is the main protagonist of the Attack on Titan series. Eren was introduced as a child who hated the idea of living inside the walls and longed for freedom. After the walls were breached, Eren was forced to see his mom get killed by a pure Titan.

Eren was further left traumatized when he found out that he killed his own dad to inherit the Attack Titan and the Founding Titan. Eren's misery continued to intensify as he accessed his dad's memories and discovered the true mystery behind the Titans. The revelations changed Eren forever, forcing him to take drastic measures.

1) Ymir (Founder)


The founder of the Titans arguably had the most tragic backstory in the entirety of the Attack on Titan series. Ymir was an ordinary girl who was very kind-hearted. Her village was attacked by the Eldians, who took her as a slave. One night she released a group of pigs, and when King Fritz found out that she was the culprit, he freed her only to have his men attack her mercilessly as she ran away.

Ymir came into contact with a spine-like being inside a tree that unlocked the Titans' power. Ymir started serving King Fritz, who took advantage of her powers. He had three children with Ymir. Despite his cruelty, Ymir began to truly love him. She sacrificed her life to save King Fritz from an assassination attempt. Ymir was then trapped for 2000 years, all alone waiting for someone to free her.

Note: The article reflects the writer's own views.

Edited by
R. Elahi
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