While manga readers were well aware of the obvious foreshadowing in the opening theme, “The Rumbling,” Attack on Titan episode 80 finally delivered on that promise for anime-watchers. The fifth episode of Attack on Titan Final Season part 2 explores yet another darker side of humanity.
While the majority of the episode was devoted to exploring the tragic past of Ymir the Founder, the episode shifted gears in the few scenes near the end and left viewers on the edge of their seats.
[This article contains spoilers for Attack on Titan episode 80]
The tragedy of Ymir Fritz is explored in Attack on Titan Episode 80, the Rumbling begins
In Attack on Titan episode 79, Eren and Zeke traveled through Grisha’s memory and Zeke understood that Eren was never influenced by Grisha’s views. As they progressed through the past, Zeke came to understand his father’s regret over his actions towards his eldest son, and his brother’s inborn propensity towards violence.
It all culminated in the moment inside the village chapel, where it was revealed that Eren manipulated Grisha into killing the Reiss family. Afterwards, Grisha was able to see Zeke and apologized to him, imploring him to stop Eren.
Attack on Titan episode 80 is titled “From You, 2000 Years Ago.”
Attack on Titan episode 80 starts in the World of Paths, where Zeke confronts Eren, who is still chained. Zeke realizes that he incited an unwilling Grisha into committing this act, to which Eren replies that Grisha was shying away from his duty. He further reveals that he had seen this memory of his older self manipulating his father back when he had touched Historia’s hand four years ago.
In shock, Zeke replied that Eren had not seen everything, since he was unaware of how he would not be able to use the abilities of the Founding Titan inside the World of Paths. Zeke commanded Ymir to sterilize all Eldians. Eren forced his way out of the shackles, losing two of his fingers in the process, and ran after her as she moved towards the Coordinate.
During one of Frieda’s visits to Historia, the two sisters talked about Ymir Fritz. Frieda told Historia that Ymir was kind and thought of others before herself. However, Attack on Titan episode 80 shows the truth of Ymir’s life.
More than 2000 years ago, young Ymir lived in a village that was conquered by the tribe of Eldia under their leader, Fritz. She was taken as a slave alongside the rest of the villagers. One night, someone had let some pigs out of their pen. In the morning, Fritz threatened to gouge out an eye from every slave unless the culprit was found. Everyone pointed towards Ymir, who was then hunted for sport as a punishment.
Ymir was fatally wounded and fell into a water body inside the hollow of a tree. A primordial, luminous, centipede-like creature fused with her spine and she emerged as the very first titan. Fritz used her to squash his enemies and do construction work. As she grew up, the tribe of Eldia slowly became a kingdom. Fritz had her bear his children, but motherhood did not excuse her from being used as a war machine.
A man tried to assassinate Fritz during his coronation as King, but Ymir protected him with her life. When he realized that he had lost his slave, Fritz had his three daughters, Maria, Rose, and Sheena, eat their mother’s remains. He instructed them to keep feeding their children their spines, and so on, so that the blood of Ymir does not die out.
After her death, Ymir appeared in the World of Paths. As her daughters consumed her flesh and became titans themselves, the Coordinate appeared with three branches extending from it. As more and more of her descendants became titans, more branches started appearing. Ymir was bound in an endless cycle of building titan bodies from the sand, because she believed Fritz’s words that she was a slave to the royal bloodline.
The Rumbling begins
Back in the World of Paths in the present, Eren hugged Ymir and told her that she was only human, not a slave or a God. He asked her to lend him her powers, so that he could destroy this world that they both hated. He understood how she must have waited 2000 years for someone to set her free, and that must be why she brought him here. Ymir’s resentment finally overflowed and she restored Eren’s body.
In the real world, a spinal cord extended from Eren’s neck and reattached his severed head to his body. Eren transformed into his hulking Founding Titan form, and the hardening on wall Maria was destroyed, letting all the Wall-Titans free. As everyone watched dumbfounded, Reiner moved to save Gabi, who was too close to Eren. Armin realized that Eren had gained the powers of the Founding Titan and must be leading them to victory over the Marleyans.
While he was telling Mikasa this, however, he noticed that not just wall Maria, but wall Rose and wall Sheena were also undone. Armin understood that there was no need for this many titans to just take out Marley and the Allied Forces, leading him and Mikasa to doubt Eren’s intentions. However, right at that moment, Eren brought every Eldian into the World of Paths, telling them about his intention to destroy the world.
Eren’s goal is to protect Paradis and the people close to him. In order to do that, Eren is going to set the army of Wall-Titans on the world, and exterminate everyone until the people of Paradis are the only ones who remain. This march of the Wall-Titans is called the Rumbling.
King Fritz had told Ymir to destroy the Marleyans in the name of Eldia, and 2000 years later, Eren seems to be doing just that. There is a multifaceted debate in the Attack on Titan community about whether Eren is justified in doing what he plans, but more important is the question of who can stop him, and how.
Attack on Titan episode 81 is titled “Thaw.” The episode will deal with everyone’s reactions to Eren’s plans and how they plan to support or stop him.