Attack on Titan: 5 moments where fans could not forgive Zeke Yeager

Zeke Yeager has many shades (Image via Sportskeeda)
Zeke Yeager has many shades (Image via Sportskeeda)

Zeke Yeager is one of the most controversial characters in Attack on Titan. His motivations and convictions stem from ignorance and indoctrination. While his intentions can be considered noble, his methods are deplorable at best.

Zeke’s introductory scene had set him up as an antagonist, and most of his actions failed to improve the fans’ opinion of him from that point on.

Note: The article contains spoilers up to Attack on Titan Episode 79 and reflects the views of the writer. The list is in chronological order.

Attack on Titan moments that made Zeke Yeager an unforgivable character

1) The death of Miche Zacharius

I love how creepy Wit made the Beast Titan. Very scary to look at! Also props to his & Mike's VA. They both perfected that scene (especially Mike's with how the ep ended). #aotspoilers

In Attack on Titan Episode 26, The Beast Titan, Miche Zacharius (alternatively Mike Zakarius) is killed horrifically by the Beast Titan. This is before Zeke was introduced to the audience in his human form, and as such the identity of the Beast Titan remained a mystery.

While patrolling inside Wall Rose, Miche fights and kills five out nine Titans from the horde that suddenly appeared inside the wall. As he tries to escape, the Beast Titan flings his own horse at him, crushing his legs and trapping him. When Miche refuses to answer his questions about the ODM gear, the Beast Titan takes his gear and leaves him at the mercy of pure Titans, who tear him to shreds.

This was how Zeke was introduced in Attack on Titan. While Miche was not one of the main characters, he was loved by the fans. His death was unnecessarily cruel, and it appeared as if the Beast Titan was playing with him. This was definitely the moment when fans started disliking Zeke.

2) The scream in the forest

i think this also played a part in levi's rage towards zeke vs his rage towards annie🤔

In Attack on Titan Episode 73, Savagery, Zeke turns all the members of the Survey Corps (who were guarding him) into Titans in order to escape Levi. Zeke had mixed his spinal fluid into the wine that was being served to the soldiers in the forest as well as to the military of Paradis.

Zeke used his scream with the surety that Levi would not harm his comrades and would be killed in the process. While Levi was horrified and saddened, he carried out his duty and slaughtered the entire horde of Titans to get to Zeke. There, Zeke killed a pure Titan to use his skull as a projectile in order to harm Levi.

The entire incident was brutal and tragic, and fans had empathized with their beloved Heichou having to lose his comrades yet again. Zeke had further sullied his already negative reputation with this stunt.

3) Eldian euthanization plan

Ksaver was Zeke's Carla, he did not burden him with his ideals and valued him as the normal person he was, resulting in the euthanisation plan born from their shared ideals. It's exactly this inaction that rubs Eren the wrong way, eventually building up to Grisha's choice.

In Attack on Titan Episode 74, Sole Salvation, the audience finally gets to know Zeke’s plans regarding the Founding Titan. After meeting Tom Ksaver (alternatively Tom Xaver), Zeke gets to know about his Marleyan wife taking her and her child’s life upon realizing Ksaver’s identity.

Zeke slowly came to this conclusion that in order to break this cycle of death that has been propagated by the Eldians and the Titans, the entire race needs to die out. After learning that the Founding Titan can alter the genetic make up of Eldian, Zeke crafted the plan to sterilize the race and thus forcing them to go extinct in about a hundred years.

While Zeke might think that this was a noble plan meant to pay for the sins of their ancestors and ease the suffering of people like Ksaver, this was an unethical and cruel plan that violated several human rights. Taking away the collective future of a race is perhaps even more heinous than genocide, and Zeke presenting it as a path towards salvation did not endear him to the fandom at all.

4) Fatally injuring Levi

In Attack on Titan Episode 74, Sole Salvation, Zeke triggers the Thunder Spear that Levi tied on him and injures both the captain and himself. Levi had taken plenty of precautions to keep Zeke immobile and subdued, repeatedly cutting off his limbs in order to keep his regenerative capacity in check. However, instigated by memories of his mentor and his mission, Zeke takes a risk and activates the thunder spear.

The resulting explosion blows both away from the cart. A pure Titan finds Zeke and assists him in healing. When Floch finds him, he emerges from the remains of that Titan completely unharmed and whole. But Levi, being a human, is left wounded and bleeding in a shallow ditch until Hange finds him. His fate remains unknown as of yet.

Considering that Levi is one of the most popular characters in Attack on Titan, no one was pleased with Zeke blasting him into pieces.

5) Turning Falco into a Titan

In Attack on Titan Episode 78, Two Brothers, Zeke uses his scream to turn every soldier (who had ingested the wine infused with his spinal fluid) into a pure Titan. Unfortunately, having accidentally drank the wine, Falco Grice is also affected by his scream and turns into a Titan. He later eats Porco Galliard and presumably returns to his human form, now in possession of the Jaws Titan.

This act of Zeke’s becomes especially deplorable considering that Colt Grice had pleaded with him beforehand to spare his brother. Zeke prioritized activating the powers of the founding Titan over the request of his disciple, which makes tactical sense but is condemnable from a moral and ethical standpoint. Colt dies when Falco is transformed because he refuses to leave Falco’s side.

Falco is just a twelve-year-old child and is also one of the most loved characters in Attack on Titan . Not only did Zeke’s scream have unforeseen repercussions, but it also hurt and traumatized a majority of the characters and incurred the anger of the fandom.

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Edited by Siddharth Satish
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