Attack on Titan: What pushed Eren Yeager to the dark side? (Spoilers)

Eren Yeager in Marley (Image via Twitter/ @3iiisaa)
Eren Yeager in Marley (Image via Twitter/ @3iiisaa)

From the beginning of Attack on Titan, it is clear that Eren was not born evil. His actions are all fueled by the series of unfortunate and horrific events that occurred throughout his life. Eren was introduced in Attack on Titan as the main protagonist.

After losing his mother in a Titan attack, he wanted to join the Survey Corps to eradicate all of these monstrous creatures. However, as the years rolled by, he grew much darker and more macabre. Eventually, he became Attack on Titan’s final antagonist.


There were many things that pushed Eren towards his dark side. Some of which occurred right from the beginning of Attack on Titan, but fans just did not notice. However, it’s clear that the worse things got, the more hope Eren lost, and the more obvious it became that he would be the final villain.

That said, here’s a look at the top five things that brought out Eren’s dark side.

Note: The following section contains spoilers for Attack on Titan.

Top 5 events that evoked Eren’s dark side in Attack on Titan

5) The truth in the basement

Throughout the course of Attack on Titan, Eren wondered what was in the basement of his family home. However, he finally found out the answer was not as gratifying as he may have hoped. For years, Eren thought that the titans were the Eldian’s biggest threats and there was no humanity outside of Paradis.

He could not be more wrong. There were thousands of people outside the walls that hated the Eldians and wanted to turn them into Titans. This launched the Attack on Titan.

This realization led to Eren resolving to kill everyone outside of Paradis. That was before he went to Marley himself in Attack on Titan Season Four. Once there, Eren understood that he was a lot like them.

4) Knowing he could not fight destiny

One major event that caused Eren’s shift in Attack on Titan was knowing he could not stop his descent into insanity. Due to Historia’s royal blood and his being the Founding Titan, kissing the former's hand imbued him with visions of the future.


Eren loathed what he saw and wanted to find another way. Despite all his best efforts, it was proven multiple times that the only outcome would be him becoming Attack on Titan’s greatest enemy.

3) Losing faith

Not wanting to accept that he would become the final enemy in the Attack on Titan, he was desperate to find another solution. This caused Eren to rely heavily on his comrades to help him find a way of harmonious living. A solution that does not involve him becoming a mass murderer.

Unfortunately, they were not of much help. As a result, they were forced to watch Eren turn his backs on them. His chilling and burly persona was akin to Kenny The Ripper (Kenny Ackerman).

Within a few seasons of Attack on Titan, Eren went from a close friend to someone they barely knew.

2) The Anti-Marleyan Volunteers

In season four of Attack on Titan. when the Anti-Marleyan Volunteers first came to Paradis, the Eldians were skeptical. They outright refused to let them near Eren. Even so, Eren and Yelena were able to speak with each other. She was even able to bring him to Zeke.

Eren pretended to go along with Yelena and Zeke’s plan. All the while he and Floch secretly worked together to form the Yeagerists, overthrow Paradis, and set the Rumbling into motion.

Although it may not have been the Anti-Marleyan Volunteers’ intentions, they gave Eren everything he needed to become Attack on Titan’s final antagonist.

1) Conspiring with Zeke Yeager

Eren and Zeke teaming up was simultaneously the greatest and worst thing to happen in Attack on Titan. It was great for Attack on Titan fans to see this seemingly annoying protagonist undergo one of the greatest character arcs in anime history.

The dejection was for the characters in Attack on Titan who weren’t aware they had lost their friend, colleague, and general hope, to a world of darkness.


When Eren met Zeke in Marley he acted like a caring brother. He pretended to agree with the latter's sterilization plan for the Eldians. A ploy that Zeke understandably fell for, letting Eren begin the Rumbling.

Had the former been more cautious, he would’ve accomplished his goal. Additionally, Eren would not have killed so many people.

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Edited by Sijo Samuel Paul
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