Why Eren Yeager’s actions in episode 4 of Attack on Titan final season part 2 change everything

Zeke and Eren at the end of Attack on Titan episode 79 (Image via MAPPA)
Zeke and Eren at the end of Attack on Titan episode 79 (Image via MAPPA)

In the fourth episode of Attack on Titan final season part 2, Eren Yeager’s actions shocked everyone. As promised, the episode reveals new truths to Eren and Zeke about their father, and about Eren himself.

Eren’s actions in the latter half of the episode in particular not only flip the viewer's understanding of the events in Attack on Titan, but also answer several questions as well.

Note: This article contains spoilers for Attack on Titan final season part 2 episode 4.


Eren Yeager shocks everyone in episode 4 of Attack on Titan final season part 2

In episode 4 of Attack on Titan final season part 2, Eren and Zeke travel to the past via Grisha Yeager’s memories through the Paths. Zeke, under the impression that Eren was brainwashed by their father, intends to show Eren Grisha’s true colors. They begin at the moment of Eren’s birth, and move through the defining moments of his childhood.


Zeke’s perplexity

Eren revealing his nature to Zeke (Image via MAPPA)
Eren revealing his nature to Zeke (Image via MAPPA)

As the episode progressed, Zeke slowly became aware of what the audience had always known; that Eren was not brainwashed by Grisha. Zeke, however, could not understand why Eren would go to the lengths he did without Grisha’s influence. While they witnessed his younger self kill Mikasa’s kidnappers, Eren explained to Zeke that he is this way by nature, and that he values freedom above all.

Throughout Attack on Titan, Eren has always been vocal about his obsession with freedom. To have him confirm the lengths to which he would go in order to secure his freedom explains some of the decisions he has made in the final season of Attack on Titan.


The chapel

The true shocker, however, was what Eren did in the Reiss family chapel. It was hinted throughout that as the Holder of the Attack Titan, Grisha may be able to see Zeke and Eren in their Paths forms. It was confirmed when the brothers arrived at the Chapel, where their father confronted Frieda Reiss.

Earlier, when Grisha had found the base of the King within the Walls, Eren looked both shocked and distressed. From the memories he had inherited from Grisha, Eren knew how the slaughter of the Reiss family played out. He had also informed Zeke about it.

Now, inside the chapel, the events played out as they did in Eren’s inherited memory. Grisha pleaded with Frieda to fight and return the memories of the people of Paradis, but Frieda refused. Grisha revealed that the Attack Titan could see the memories of future titans, and states that he knew how this was going to end. Zeke was not aware of this.

However, Grisha was unable to kill the Reiss family since there were children there. As he dropped his knife and knelt before Frieda, Zeke stood frozen because this was not how the events went, and they do not have the ability to influence the past.


Eren’s manipulation

Proving him wrong, Eren knelt down beside his father and instigated him to kill the Reiss family. Bringing up the memories of Grisha’s sister, Dina Fritz, and Eren Kruger, Eren drove Grisha to a state where he was forced to pick up his knife and stab himself, turning into the Attack Titan. From there on, the events played out as they did in Eren’s inherited memory.

It was revealed that Eren found out about his future role in his father’s most heinous act when he had touched Historia’s hand during the medal ceremony in Attack on Titan season 3. It follows then, that he has been preparing himself for this day ever since.

After the slaughter, Grisha informed Zeke that Eren was in control now, and that whatever Eren has planned is truly terrible. He urged a shell-shocked Zeke to stop Eren. Zeke was jolted out of the past to find Eren looming above him in the World of the Paths.


Final thoughts

Eren’s manipulation of Grisha not only establishes Eren as the mastermind behind the unfolding of some of the key events in Attack on Titan, it also opens up the possibility that Eren might have influenced the behavior of other Titan Shifters before this.

It also makes the whole narrative of Attack on Titan a cyclical one. From beginning to end, the events of the series are caught inside a time loop, where each event is interconnected with every other event, both in the past and the future.

Additionally, it deepens the contrast between a young Eren who hated his father based on this very act and tried to sacrifice himself in penance, and the adult Eren who coldly instigates this slaughter. This also indicates that Eren, now in control, is willing to make any sacrifice for freedom. This makes Eren’s ultimate plan seem sinister and destructive.

It is ironic how the episode began with Zeke trying to undo Grisha’s influence on Eren, but ended with the revelation of Eren’s influence on Grisha.

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Edited by Siddharth Satish
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