Even in Attack on Titan, the shonen protagonist is characterized by three big things:
- Being so unbelievably hot-blooded that its amazing trees don’t catch on fire by being near them.
- Being trusting and good-natured.
- Being somewhat dim.
Eren Yeager, the protagonist of Attack on Titan, is a shonen… Titan? And throughout the story, he has done some pretty insane things and a few things that made sense in hindsight.
Note: This article contains spoilers for the Attack on Titan anime and manga and reflects the writer’s personal views. Some embeds contain depictions of canon-typical violence. Discretion is advised.
Attack on Titan: Five times Eren went wild
5) Pull Armin out of a Titan’s mouth
Early in Attack on Titan, when Trost is under siege by Titans, Eren leaps out into the fray, gets near-instantly beaten, and loses a leg to a passing Titan. However, his best friend, Armin, is about to be eaten by a Titan, a painful death for anyone. So, with will and pure determination, Eren reaches into the Titan’s mouth and pulls Armin out.
Eren then gets eaten about a second later, but hey, he gets out.
4 ) Lets himself get captured
Much later in Attack on Titan, Eren, going undercover, gets himself captured by Marley and is taken to the capital. What makes this so absurd is how clever and risky it is.
With only a few bits of info, Eren sneaks into Marley and manages to decimate a large portion of their forces with just a well-placed Titan transformation.
3) Impale himself further
To turn into a Titan in Attack on Titan, a Titan Shifter needs to drive and hurt themselves to trigger the transformation.
When Annie reveals herself as the Female Titan, Eren is impaled on a piece of debris and can’t trigger the transformation. Ordinary people would stay still and try not to move, but Eren decides that enough is enough and pushes himself further up the debris to trigger his Titan transformation.
2) Carry bombs across his back
Some days, a Titan just can’t get rid of a bomb. When Historia Riess’ father ingests a hefty dose of Titan Serum, becoming a massive Titan crawling along the ground, there’s only one thing to do.
Being a Titan Shifter and much more durable than anyone else, Eren lugs an entire ton of bombs on his back and chucks them into the now Titanized father for an explosive kill.
1) Start the Rumbling
At the end of Attack on Titan, Eren sees only one way to really be free, free of the ghosts of the past, and free of the conflict of the present, and that’s to unleash the Rumbling, killing everyone that stands in his way.
The Rumbling is an apocalyptic event that unleashes the Titans in the walls and kills around 80% of the human race.
Five that made sense
5) Let himself get captured
As crazy as it was to let himself be captured, Eren’s disguise was simple but effective. Claiming to have amnesia from PTSD and missing a leg (Titan Shifters don’t have to worry about losing limbs), everyone in Marley bought his lie, hook, line, and sinker.
With no one to question him, Eren was free to go anywhere he liked, which included talking to Reiner one on one. Hey, if it’s so crazy no one expects it, then go for it.
4) Trust Armin with… everything
Armin is one smart cookie and, indeed, probably one of the most intelligent characters in the series, capable of coming up with pretty sound deductions and making creative plans. In addition, it was because of Armin that the 104th even made it out of Trost in the first place.
With this in mind, it’s little wonder Eren told Armin everything he knew about how the Paths worked, how he felt about Mikasa, and his plans.
3) Somehow plan the entire series
So, this is where things get a little bit confusing. As it turns out, the Attack Titan, Eren’s Titan form, can send messages to various points in time, be it past, present, or future, via the Paths, which operate on a non-linear time scale.
No one sans the author knows how this works, but it lets Eren, or at least the future Eren, tell other Attack Titan users what to say and do. This enables him to set the stage, write the script, and play the music for the rumbling that is to come.
2) Beat Reiner in hand to hand (sort of)
Back when he was training in Attack on Titan, Eren’s only real skill was in hand-to-hand combat. It is not really helpful when it comes to 3DMG combat, but it’s another matter entirely when it comes to Titan shifting. Now able to best Titans hand to hand using his newly increased strength, Eren’s biggest foe is the Armored Titan, or Reiner, who can shrug off direct hits.
However, thanks to training with Annie, Eren learns a thing or two about grapples and can usually fight Reiner to a draw despite his opponent’s massive bulk.
1) Start the rumbling
A controversial pick, but one that makes sense in Attack on Titan. Eren, above all else, longs to be free and doesn’t actually want to fight anyone. This makes it all the more tragic when he decides that no one can be free so long as the conflict between Eldia and Marley exists.
Sometimes, the only thing someone can do is wipe the board clean, and that’s what Eren did when he unleashed the Rumbling onto the world. With his friends now free of the conflict that existed beforehand, Eren allows them to kill him and finally end Ymir’s curse.
Note: This article reflects the author’s views.
Poll : Was Eren smart?