The Final Season of the highly acclaimed Shingeki no Kyojin has been leaving audiences gasping in utter shock with the developments of the past few weeks, most notably, Gabi’s apparent successful assassination of series protagonist Eren Jaeger, as well as the unforeseen reveal of the full extent of the abilities of Eren’s original titan – Shingeki no Kyojin, the Attack Titan. It has been a crazy period for this series and it is leaving a mark unlike any other show has done before. Let’s get into what has made the past couple of episodes extremely special, as far as the concluding story goes! If you haven’t seen the most recent episode of Shingeki no Kyojin (Attack on Titan), it goes without saying that the following article contains heavy spoilers, so read at your own risk!
Bellow of the Beast
As we’re all aware, this season began with the surprise assault of Paradis by Marleyan forces led by General Magath. This surprise attack sees Eren fighting two titans on his own, Reiner’s Armoured Titan, and Porco Galliard’s Jaw Titan. He maintains a steady hold over the situation as at this point, the Marleyans are still unaware of the conditions required for Eren’s activation of the Founding Titan’s power: The Rumbling. The Marley forces are in Paradis with the intention of eliminating Eren Jaeger and the secondary objective of retrieving the missing titan candidates Falco Grice and Gabi Braun. The kids manage to find Pieck, who leads them to Magath and Falco’s brother Colt. The Marleyans have no knowledge of what Zeke plans to do, but Gabi tells them about Zeke’s plan. When Zeke eventually arrives, he’s overwhelmed by an onslaught of attacks and amidst the chaos, Colt Grice tries to beg Zeke not to use his Titan Shout to activate his spinal fluid and turn the entire Survey Corps into titans, but it is to no avail: Zeke has already reckoned with the cost of what he is about to do.
The fight between the titans reaches a breaking point as Reiner proves to be a significant hindrance to Eren, who is rushing towards Zeke in order to access The Founding Titan’s power. When Zeke makes his appearance, Eren becomes even more desperate to end the bout against Reiner and Porco, incapacitating both before using the War Hammer’s hardening to hold Reiner while he, no longer in Titan form, runs toward Zeke. Zeke has his hands full with Marleyan forces who have decided to use heavy artillery to kill Zeke and Eren, while the Eldians do their best to protect them.
Gabi has yet another sharpshooter moment in this show, as she fires a round from a heavy rifle that decapitates and kills Eren Jaeger. However, we soon realize that those efforts, valiant as they were, were in vain. Zeke and Eren have accessed the Founder, Ymir.
The landscape is similar to the desert we saw Zeke in earlier in the season, when he had a vision or dream-like experience where his physical body was being rebuilt by an unknown person, using the soil in the desert surrounding him. It turns out that this Ymir is repairing his body, and we soon catch a glimpse of the Founder herself. Zeke is chained up in this realm, while Eren can move freely and in this space, the true power of The Founder can be used. This realm is known as the Path, and the point of intersection between the Paths of all the Subjects of Ymir and the Titans is none other than The Founder, Ymir. From here, Eren can commence the world’s greatest nightmare: The Rumbling.
Zeke’s incapacitation in this space is a ruse, as he uses the opportunity to vibe-check Eren one last time, confirming his inkling of suspicion that his little brother is not really on board with the Eldian Euthanasia Plan. Now realizing that Eren was always opposed to the plan and only sided with Zeke in order to gain access to the Path. However, Zeke reveals that only he with royal blood can order Ymir to do anything. Now that they’re at the Path, the two have access to the memories of every Subject of Ymir, including their father.
Memories of the Future
Zeke and Eren explore the memories of Grisha Jaeger to gain insight into their father’s motivations for raising them differently. They come across a truth that is incongruent with Zeke’s view of a revolution-obsessed tyrannical father, a view that has informed Zeke’s desire to “save” Eren from Grisha’s supposed brainwashing. In Zeke’s eyes, salvation for the Eldians is inexistence, and that is why he wants to invoke euthanasia to prevent Eldian existence and therefore, prevent Eldian suffering.
In Grisha’s memories, the brothers get to see how their father actually hesitated to dispatch the Reiss family but was actually forced into completing his mission as an Eldian Restorationist by none other than his own son, Eren. Eren reveals that the true ability of the Attack Titan involves not only being able to access the memories of past bearers, but also the memories of future bearers of the Attack Titan. What this means is that Eren now, linked to his father’s memories by the Attack Titan, uses the ability of the Titan to manipulate Grisha’s own memories and show him certain elements from the future. So, back then, Grisha only managed to kill the Reiss family because his son, the future wielder of the Attack Titan, uses his memories of the past to show Grisha memories from his future, therefore altering the memories of the past and implanting himself as he is now into Grisha’s memories long before he has even inherited the Titan from his father.
This revelation breaks open the entire structure of Shingeki no Kyojin (Attack on Titan) as a narrative, and at this moment, with this explanation, Eren Jaeger transcends the labels of protagonist and antagonist to become a different kind of omniscient agent, because not only is he informing Grisha’s actions, but long before he’s even established as an agent with plot-shaking power, Eren Jaeger puts into motion a series of events that culminate in the future that he chose, one that is confirmed and true, one that was always going to be. The future constructed by Eren is more terrifying than anything Grisha had ever seen, and deep in his memories, Grisha begins directly interacting with his sons. He apologizes to Zeke for being a terrible father and begs his son to stop him, to stop Eren. These are developments and uses of plot devices in a way that we haven’t seen before. With the Attack Titan’s ability to see the future, it’s all but confirmed that Eren has won.
The second part of the Final Season of Shingeki no Kyojin (Attack on Titan) has been a revelation, an achievement, and a feat of storytelling. It has been a true spectacle to witness the truth unfold, and this particular element, the true power of the Attack Titan, has turned Eren and his protagonist condition into a kind of storytelling marvel that goes beyond the traditional modes of protagonist and antagonist, deconstructs omniscience and the concept of “overpoweredness” in anime, as well as turning on its head one of the greatest anime masterclasses we have ever seen. This is a classic in the making, and it is turning out to be one of the wildest rides we might ever have! What did you think of the revelation regarding Eren’s Attack Titan? Drop a comment below and tell us your thoughts!