Any good character in any story needs to have flaws, and Attack on Titan’s Eren Yeager is no exception. Despite being the savior of Paradis, in the minds of a select few, he’s far from infallible, and many actions prove this.
Ironically, some of Eren’s biggest mistakes also represent the biggest steps in his character arc. This is especially evident in the third and final seasons of Attack on Titan, where his attitude and ideals change drastically.
Here are Eren Yeager’s 10 biggest failures and mistakes in Attack on Titan.
Using Falco as a pawn comes in Eren’s 10 biggest failures in Attack on Titan
10) Giving up
In the first half of Attack on Titan’s third season, the Reiss family is introduced as the true ruling family of Paradis. Eren is captured by Rod Reiss, the family patriarch, and essentially loses hope and gives up after learning the true nature and origins of his powers.
His giving up here nearly condemns Paradis to struggle as it has for years, left at the mercy of Pure Titans and the unseen enemy across the seas.
9) Fighting Annie
When Eren fights Annie in Attack on Titan’s first season, the fight leaves Stohess District an absolute mess. Many civilians die in the battle, and even more buildings and utilities are destroyed. The assault was incredibly ill-conceived, and in terms of keeping casualties and damage to a minimum, it was a complete failure.
8) Trusting Levi Squad
When Eren trusts Levi Squad to save him from the Female Titan, the elite soldiers quickly and violently fall to their enemy. Here, the Attack on Titan protagonist learns that he has to rely on his strength against the newfound enemies. Ironically, while correct at the moment, this train of thought leads to an even bigger mistake later on in the story.
7) Losing control during second transformation
When Eren transforms for the second time in Attack on Titan, he loses complete and utter control of himself and his faculties. He even attacks Mikasa at one point, one of his closest friends since childhood. While the mission eventually succeeds, his lack of control and preparation nearly jeopardizes all of humanity’s survival.
6) Using Falco as a pawn
In the first half of Attack on Titan’s fourth season, Eren disguises himself as an injured veteran for the Marleyan army. He meets Falco Grice in the process, whom he then uses as his pawn to plan Paradis’ invasion and even meet with and incapacitate Reiner.
The very motivations he detests earlier in the series end up becoming the tactics he uses on Falco, one of his biggest failures.
5) Devoting himself to violence before learning about his enemies
At the end of Attack on Titan’s third season, Eren devotes himself to killing his enemies across the seas so he and his friends can live freely. Clearly, he forgets the redeeming qualities Reiner, Bertholdt, and (to a lesser degree) Annie displayed when they were friends.
His devotion to hating his enemies before meeting or learning about them is undoubtedly one of his biggest failures.
4) Not understanding Founding Titan’s powers earlier
Had Eren understood the Founding Titan’s powers earlier in Attack on Titan, so many pointless and integral deaths could’ve been avoided. Being able to take control of Zeke’s Titans could’ve saved an entire recruitment class of the Survey Corps, allowing Erwin to survive.
This is but one of many examples where understanding the Coordinate’s power would’ve been incredibly helpful.
3) Succumbing to the cycle of hatred
As mentioned in the fifth entry, Eren devotes himself to hating his enemies before considering who they are. In the process, he joins the cycle of hatred instead of trying to break it, which was a key theme of the story up to and through this point.
His lack of desire to break the cycle is arguably his biggest failure in Attack on Titan.
2) Betraying his friends
As mentioned in the eighth entry, Eren learns early on that he has to rely on his own, special powers above anyone else’s strength. However, he takes this too far in Attack on Titan’s final season, when he turns his back on his friends, his brother, and even his followers for his own goals. By doing so, he makes the entire world his enemy, even those he wanted to protect.
1) Killing Marleyan civilians
Finally, Eren’s biggest mistake and most inexcusable failure in the series is his indiscriminate killing of Marleyan civilians. With such an action, he essentially renounces his humanity and embraces the role of the monster which some Paradisians and all Marleyans have thus far assigned to him.
It’s inexcusable, and shows he’s forgotten his roots.