This is going to be filled with many Attack on Titan spoilers, so, heads up! Well, it is a must if need to understand Eren’s Titan powers.
Did you know Eren ate his own father? Yes, it’s true. And, no it’s not in some sexual way. He quite literally ate his father. As dramatic and senseless as it may sound, it is exactly what happened.
Let’s go back a little and try to understand what just happened. Attack on Titan is regarded as a dark fantasy. It is filled with brutal deaths and will-shattering depressive atmosphere. So, you don’t have your typical shounen where there is a bad guy and good guy. What I am talking about is directly connected to how Eren got his titan powers.
Thus, you may say it’s pretty messed up and psychological. That’s why you have Eren eating his own father, and to understand why he did it and how it’s part of some grand scheme; we’ll have to look at Titans themselves.
Life as a Titan
It is easy to question, how are Titans more than just mindless human eating monsters? Well, the answer is pretty straightforward, because they’re humans themselves. Titans are people who were once humans. They have been made into Titans by the use of serum injections. But note that only humans from Eldrian race can be made into a Titan. So, here you have the main cast of AoT killing their own kind who happen to be in form of Titans.
If you would like to know more about Titans check out my post about the History of Walls in Attack on Titans.
Eren’s Titan Powers – How did this happen?
Titans are helpless to what they are and live in some sort of an endless nightmare where they can’t get out from. They eat other humans because it is built into their instinct. If a mindless Titan happens to eat a Titan shifter, the mindless Titan will go back to their original human form.
Maybe. that is why you have these Titans randomly eating people, simply because they want to end this nightmare and become human again. This is very clear when you consider Ymir’s situation. She ate the Jaw Titan holder when Reiner and his pals were venturing outside the walls. And since a titan can assume a human form when that happens, she ends up turning into a human again.
She described her experience of being a Titan as a “walking nightmare”. You have to eat and kill others for your own survival. Yea, brutal innit. That’s the sort of thing Eren had to do. His father, once he had taken the Founding Titan by eating the previous holder, went back to Eren. Turned him into a Titan by the serum injection he took and made him into this baby Titan . . . Who ate him due to that instinct. And, that’s how Eren got his Titan abilities.
Why did Grisha make Eren eat him?
Grisha did that all for a greater good. Yea, he had himself eaten and sacrificed for a greater good. The Survey Corp had been killing these Titans for a greater good. Similar his first son, Zeke ( the beast Titan, Eren’s half-brother ) sold his parents out to Marley; they were a rebellious group in Marley’s mainland. They got captured, brought to Paradis Island and made into titans to roam forever; but Eren Krugar had something else up his sleeves . . .
Anyways, more to the point, Zeke did all that for a greater good because according to him, he knew Eldrians wouldn’t be freed that way. So, he decided to become a part of Marley and started this long-run freedom plan. Well, you can kill something where there is no human quality to them; like totally bad, no need for empathy. But when you find out that they were also human and more miserable than you, yea. That’s some change of perspectives.
How does this impact the story?
Now, at this point in the story, you have no bad guy. Everyone can be bad and good, that’s the sort of plot it has become ( I’m enjoying ). Our main characters went ahead and did a mass murder of people of Marley; making the same sort of destruction that was brought on them when the wall was breached. Are they bad? No, Marley declared a war on them, and this was their first move. Is Marley bad for starting this war? No, the Eldrian treated them even worst and they’re justified to treat them like shit.
Yea so here is the so-called psychological aspect, where you don’t have black and whites of good and bad. Attack on Titans is pretty brutal if you think about it, especially if you see how they handle themes of survival and ending others for greater good, revenge and well… not dying. One way or another there is death for them, they die if they fight and if they don’t; but at least by fighting there is more so a chance to survive, even if it means doing the worst-
Honestly, do ends really justify the means? Can you live with the guilt of what you have done? I’m just waiting to find out how this manga will reach its conclusion. But, from the looks of the latest Eren we’ve seen; it’s getting to him- the hate and guilt.