Attack on Titan: Why did Eren start the Rumbling?

Attack on Titan: Why did Eren start the Rumbling? (Image via MAPPA)
Attack on Titan: Why did Eren start the Rumbling? (Image via MAPPA)

Attack on Titan is a manga and anime series that is known for well-written characters that are complex and multidimensional. The protagonist of the show, Eren Yeager, is a prime example of a good character from this show.

Towards the end of the manga, Eren is responsible for certain things that have led to the fans questioning his moral compass.

Hajime Isayama, the creator of Attack on Titan, has written the story in which the conclusion is somewhat open-ended. Attack on Titan fans have to process the ending themselves, and so far the community has been divisive over Eren’s actions.

Note: This article contains spoilers from the last chapter of the manga.


Why did Eren start the rumbling in Attack on Titan?

In Attack on Titan Eren knew that it was up to him to break the cycle of war and rid the world from the curse of Ymir. He was able to see the future, owing to the Founding Titan powers, and help from Ymir as she constantly led him on this path.

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He needed to make a decision, either give the world the freedom it deserves, or do nothing and let humanity suffer for thousands of years. He trusted his friends enough, and knew that the Alliance would kill him and put an end to the endless cycle of suffering.

With that confidence, Eren decided to become the villain and activated the Rumbling. In the end, Mikasa killed Eren and the world was set free of Titans.

Hajime Isayama created Attack on Titan in a manner that would put the reader or viewer in a position to pass the judgment and make sense out of the characters. The open-ended narrative has made Attack on Titan fans question Eren’s actions and his philosophies.


Did Eren’s core principles change in Attack on Titan?

Eren Yeager has always been a character that prioritized freedom and understood its essence. From the first season of Attack on Titan, we saw Eren yearn for freedom. Especially ever since he had a conversation with Armin about wanting to explore the world.

The Attack on Titan protagonist, during the course of the show and manga, would not mind taking someone else’s freedom if his freedom was ever in a position of being taken away from him. He knew that in order to obtain true freedom, the world needed to be free from the wretched Titans.


In the fourth season of Attack on Titan, Eren had a conversation with Falco. While he was talking to the little boy, he said, ”Every day since I came here, I’ve been thinking. Why did things end up this way?”

The war shackles people, makes the mind and body rot, and most importantly, people lose their sense of self and their freedom is taken away. He knew that the Titans would have to be obliterated, and only that would lead to the end of wars.

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Edited by Abu Amjad Khan