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|“||Oh, no. None of you have done anything wrong. And you're not devils. It's just that you all have to die. There's nothing you can do now.||„|
|~ Bertolt threatens Armin Arlert|
|“||If we talk will you agree to DIE?! We only have two demands!! We want you to give us Eren!! And we want all of humanity inside the walls to be wiped out!! That's just how reality is, Armin!! Everything has already been decided!!||„|
|~ Bertolt's response to Armin asking to talk.|
Bertholdt Hoover is a major antagonist in the anime/manga series, Attack on Titan. He is the true identity of the Colossal Titan; an Eldian who infiltrated the military of the Walls as a spy as a part of a plot to eradicate the "remainder of humanity", and the childhood friend of Reiner Braun. He initially appears as a supporting character, until the second half of the Clash of the Titans arc where he becomes the secondary antagonist. He also serves as one of the two secondary antagonists of the Return to Shiganshina arc (alongside Reiner). He makes a posthumous return during the Marley arc flashbacks.
Bertolt is the catalyst for Eren's transformation into a warrior determined to exterminate the Titans; being responsible for the death of Carla Yeager and the destruction of Shiganshina, serves as a foil for Armin Arlert and for the majority of the series is the most dangerous antagonist faced by the protagonists.
He is voiced by Tomohisa Hashizume in the Japanese version of the anime, and David Matranga in the English version.
The Colossal Titan
The second largest Titan ever encountered, having first appeared in the Year 845 outside the District of Shiganshina.
It is approximately 60 meters tall with a physical appearance resembling a humanoid being without any skin, exposing muscles and connective tissue.
In addition, it has not shown any interest in consuming humans. It appears suddenly and without warning in a flash of lightning, and disappears in a similar manner in large clouds of steam, which constantly pours from most parts of its body.
It possesses the ability to release this steam at high pressure to defend the weak point at the base of its neck. Possessing a physical mass far larger than any other known Titan, it was easily able to kick down the Gate into the District of Shiganshina and thus is partially responsible for the fall of the Wall Maria.
It displays cognitive recognition when it appears before the District of Trost in the year 850, as after kicking down the gate into the district, it destroys the cannon artillery atop the wall so that the invading Titans would meet less resistance.
Bertholdt is an Eldian in the continent of Marley and was born in one of the internment zones for Eldians in the city of Liberio. He joined in the Marley military training to become the next generation of Warriors. The Warriors have always trying to show the rest of the world that the Eldians of Marley are not as evil and dangerous as their ancestors were and they always had to fight for their ruling country to avoid mass genocide of their kind. Little is known about his life prior to undertaking his mission and much of his past still remain a mystery.
As a cadet warrior, Bertholdt met Reiner Braun, Annie Leonhart, Marcel Galliard, Porco Galliard, and Pieck. They were all trained by the older teenage warrior, Zeke Yeager. Their training was supervisioned by Zeke's superiors of the Marley military, with Captain Magath on command. Bertholdt had shown sympathy for Reiner, who was the least capable cadet in the training, and soon they became best friends. The Warriors were told about the imminent mission to retrieve the Coordinate and destroy humanity within the Walls of Paradis, and Reiner told Bertholdt how he dreamed to become the hero that will save the world from the "evil Eldians" of Paradis, hoping to gain the promised Marley legal nationality, however Bertholdt and Annie weren't much convinced in the idea of the Marleyans treating them like their equals. Five of the 7 Titan forms under Marley's possession were passed on the Warriors based on their abilities. Reiner got the Armored Titan, Marcel the Jaw Titan, Pieck the Cartman Titan, and Annie the Female Titan. Bertholdt received the deadliest of them, the Colossal Titan, also called the God of Destruction. Only Porco wasn't chosen and had to return to Liberio.
Prior the begin of his mission, Bertholdt fought battles as a child soldier along with his fellow warriors and the Marleyan military against other enemy continents. Back then the technology of any country could not stand a chance against the Power of the Titans and Marley remained the strongest nation of the world. Bertholdt would end battles by blowing up places and towns, causing the enemy soldiers to flee. Many marleyan officers were still doubtful of the idea of choosing to recruit children, unlike the previous generations of Warriors. However Captain Magath explained that it is better to teach the Marley ideology and propaganda to children, which is followed by any other adult Eldian to avoid being killed or turned into a mindless Titan. Also, training them with both uses of human form and Titan form since an early age would help them to serve their country better.
In the year 845, Marley's government finally launches the mission of the Coordinate's retrieval necessary to keep control of the world and, if necessary, to destroy all Eldians in the world. The main objective of the mission was to steal the power of the Founding Titan, which had been possessed for thousands of years by the Fritz royal family, the creators of the Titans, now known as the Reiss family to hide their origins. Bertholdt was told to exterminate all humanity within the Walls of Paradis with the Colossus and bring the Coordinate to the Marley government. Bertholdt and Reiner were given the main roles to attack the Walls, with Marcel and Annie in supportive roles. Zeke and Pieck were commanded to stay back in Marley and use their Titans to protect it against the other enemies. Captain Magath and other Marleyan soldiers escorted the 4 Warriors to Paradis Island with a military ship and were bidded goodbye the population as heroes that were going to destroy the infamous devils of the Walls. Magath and the officers bring the children at the border of Paradis and tell them to set out after sunset and head north. To return back to home, Magath explained them that the Marleyan army anchored at the borders every month of the day of the full moon. To avoid Titans, the Warriors travel at night, with horses. Bertholdt and Marcel started showing signs of doubts about the danger of the "devils" of the Walls, since it was known that the Eldians there never used their Founding Titan against anyone. At the dawn prior to attacking Wall Maria, Bertholdt encountered Ymir's Pure Titan form while traveling with Reiner, Marcel, and Annie. Still in a mindless state, she attacked the four children and nearly killed Reiner. Marcel ended up sacrificing his life to protect his friends, while Bertolt appears to have fled in terror and possibly abandoned the other two in the process.
Fall of Shiganshina
Bertholdt first appeared as the Colossal Titan in the year 845, at Shiganshina District. Its mere presence is enough to cause considerable panic amongst the population, as it is tall enough to see completely over the wall that is supposed to keep all Titans out. Within moments of its appearance, it attacks and kicks the Wall gate, opening a hole large enough for other Titans to pass through. The attack leads to falling debris scattering across the town, crushing houses, buildings and people in the process. Immediately after his attack, Bertholdt disappears after causing considerable structural damage to the wall and reverts to his human self, while Titans enter the city from outside the walls, resulting in the population being set on by them.
Bertholdt and Reiner waited for the Titans to gather towards the inner gate of Shiganshina were everyone headed to flee. Already in his Armored Titan form, likely before the attack even began, Reiner breached Wall Maria and managed to enter it alongside Bertholdt and Annie. As the chaos ensued and Wall Maria was being evacuated to be abandoned, Bertholdt, Reiner, and Annie stopped there and forged their false family records as residents of Wall Maria. They masqueraded as refugees from deep in the mountains south of Wall Maria, who learned of the attack at dawn as their village was under assault by Titans. In their cover, the three worked in the settlements (or reclaimed lands) of Wall Rose, the former inner Wall where humanity's activity was directed at that point. Bertholdt and the others planned to find the noble family in possession of the Founding Titan.
Joining The Military
Eventually, Bertolt joined the military, with aspirations of joining the Military Police and living in the safety of the inner wall. As part of the 104th, he was considered to be one of the best in regards to 3D Maneuver Gear, enough so that Eren Yeager came to him for advice when he was dealing with faulty equipment. After seeing Eren's determination and desire to join the Survey Corps, he considered himself a coward for wanting to get far away from them. However, Eren encouraged him, saying that after witnessing the attack on his village, no one would blame him for his decision. Eventually, he graduated in the top ten of his class coming in at third place, just under his friend Reiner.
Battle of Trost District
Bertolt reappears as the Colossal Titan five years later in 850, again breaking through the walls so that its brethren can once again devour the humans inside. It is immediately attacked by Eren Yeager, however, it first repels and blinds him with vapor from its high temperature body before vanishing completely from view. He quickly disappear back at Trost, with a hood covering his face. He joins with the other cadets as if he had always been there, preparing to defend Trost for the evacuation. His elusive and quiet personality makes it easy for him to go unnoticed.
When Armin, Mikasa and Connie made it to the headquarters, with the help of the Rogue Titan, Armin devised a plan to get rid of the Titans in the supply room. Bertolt, part of the second group, came in from the ceiling and killed his target in one blow. The mission a success and everyone resupplied, he and the rest of the group leave the head quarters. On the way out, he joins Mikasa and others on the rooftop as they watch the rogue Titan being attacked and eaten by other Titans. Reiner suggests helping it out, but ultimately it ends up not being necessary as the Titan fights his way out and kills the Titan that ate Thomas. After the Titan collapses, he is among the first people to know about Eren's ability. Bertolt joins the Survey Corps with Mikasa, Reiner, Eren, Connie, Sasha, Krista, Armin, Ymir, Jean and a few others.
Bertolt trains with the Survey Corps for a month. Then he takes part in the 57th expedition of the Survey Corps, with all the other scouts of the faction. He does not take direct action in the Female Titan's plan to capture Eren. However, both Bertolt and Reiner are in one of the units that were given false information that Eren was in the right wing of the scouting formation. The two pass the information to Annie, who leads a horde of Titans to wipe out the right front. Since Eren was actually in the center rear of the formation, Bertolt nervously waits for Annie to succeed and disappear. The scouts wait for the Female Titan and capture her in the Forest of Giant Trees, while Bertolt waits with Ymir on a tree. Bertolt heards Annie calling the Titans to eat her, then he returns alive with the survivors at Karanes District after both Annie and Erwin failed their missions.
Clash of the Titans
In the aftermath of the failed mission to capture the Female Titan, Bertolt is among the recruits placed under observation at an old mansion and suspected of being a potential accomplice to Annie. He is shown to have occupied his time playing chess with Reiner, and quickly becomes involved in the operation to investigate the Titans that appeared within Wall Rose. Reiner requests his assistance on the Southern squad headed for Connie Springer's village, which is later discovered to be deserted.
That evening, the Southern squad meets up with a squad including Ymir and Krista and the decision is made to take refuge for the night in Castle Utgard. At some point during the night, the castle comes under attack by Titans and the recruits are forced to defend the interior from the smaller Titans that have invaded. After Reiner takes off on his own to investigate, Bertolt offers a strange observation of his friend's "bad habit" of risking himself for others. When a Titan manages to break through a stairwell door, he comes to Reiner's defense with a pitchfork and helps fight it off. The two reaffirm their promise to survive and return to their home together.
After a second Titan manages to enter and injure Reiner, he helps Ymir toss it out a window. Afterwards, he begins to behave in a withdrawn manner and responds to questions about how Reiner was in the past with a strange comment about how Reiner has changed and is no longer a "warrior". However, he refuses to elaborate further on the subject.
Eventually, their superiors are killed by the attacking Titans and the rookies are left defenseless. This drives Ymir to reveal herself to be a Titan, using her powers to protect the others. He, along with Reiner, are shocked to recognize her as the Titan that had killed their friend, Marcel, several years earlier.
The group is eventually rescued by Hange Zoë's squad and evacuated to the Wall, with the intention of regrouping with their main forces. Injured and distressed over their ordeal, Reiner breaks down under the stress and confesses their identities to Eren while Bertolt watches in growing distress. The two are viciously attacked and almost killed by Mikasa, and Bertolt asks if they're to transform right now. Reiner obliges, saying that as a warrior, he must do his duty till the bitter end.
Critically wounded and terrified, Bertolt transforms into a partial Titan form and begins to attack the soldiers on the Wall while Reiner attempts to kidnap Eren. In the chaos, he manages to capture Ymir and a random soldier, swallowing them both whole. Afterwards, he counters an attack by Hange's squad through generating intense heat and steam, burning anyone that gets too close. He remains in a skeleton-like state, burning profusely to prevent any attack against him.
Reiner then roars to signal his distress. In response, Bertolt topples from the Wall and lands on top of a fighting Eren and Reiner, exploding upon impact. The resulting explosion wounds most of the scouts, and allows Reiner and Bertolt to successfully capture Eren and flee the scene. Bertolt emerges from his Titan form carrying Ymir and wearing the stolen gear of a soldier he devoured. Several hours later, he takes refuge with Reiner and their two captives in the Forest of Giant Trees. However, he is mostly silent during the following arguments and discussions, only speaking up when prompted by Ymir or Eren.
Bertolt responds to Reiner's strange behavior with great distress, and is shown to have known about it long before anyone else. He is able to bring his friend back to reality by informing him that he is not a soldier, but rather that they are both "warriors". Ymir guesses this to have been the cause of previous tensions between them that she had observed.
Eren later confronts him about his role in the death of Carla Jaeger, demanding to know what he thought when he learned about the suffering he'd caused. He responds with a vague comment about having felt sorry for him, horrifying Eren and leading him to scream at them both. Eren expresses that they are murderers responsible for the genocide of innocent people. Reiner irritatedly says he already is aware, and Eren tells him to stop grieving as if he's a victim and that he is no longer human, being responsible for turning their world into a living hell. A frustrated Reiner asks what Eren wants from them then, if he wants for him apologize or atone for his actions or admit that killing is bad. He says that the person Eren once knew is dead and if it makes him feel any better, he can scream all he likes. This gives Eren a new resolve, and he vows that they both will die horrible, excruciating deaths. Bertolt remains silent at this point, as Ymir finds Eren's assurance stupid yet amusing, but she questions Reiner on what the "ape-like Titan" was. Noting that Reiner and Bertolt both looked like gawking, excited children at his appearance, she reveals that the ape-like Titan must have been responsible for the sudden appearance of Titans from the south. She thinks that it might be what they need to return to their homeland. Realizing Ymir might know something, Eren frivolously questions her on who the enemy is, in which she vaguely mutters a reply but is interrupted by Reiner. Reiner asks whether she believes that their world has a future, shocking everyone. He says that, considering all she knows, she should come over to "their side" and return with them to their homeland. He insists that she is trustworthy, since they share the goal of protecting Krista and he can ensure her future in exchange for Ymir's cooperation.
Though she agrees to work with them, Bertolt remains unconvinced and warns Reiner that she cannot be trusted. He brings up the death of their friend, who was devoured by Ymir, though Reiner reassures them that she can be trusted since her only consideration is Krista's safety. Bertolt worries he may be slipping into his delusions again, but is reminded that Krista has value to them since she's a member of the Reiss family and may be able to provide them with important clues. They discuss their mission to find the "coordinate", which may or may not be Eren, and Bertolt expresses his eagerness to go home and never return to the human lands. Reiner responds by teasing him, demanding that he confess his feelings to Annie once they make it home. Bertolt attempts to protest, but Reiner claims his tendency to stare at her gave him away.
The pair notice a signal flare and realize the rescue team has already found them, and prepare to flee. While Reiner subdues Eren, Bertolt confronts Ymir over the death of his friend. She states she has no memory of having done it, but apologizes to him and asks if he hates her. He admits he isn't certain, but he can't hold her responsible since none of them wanted to devour humans. He asks how long she wandered as a mindless Titan, and implies that he and Reiner may have also spent some time trapped in their Titan forms in the past.
As the group flees, Ymir notices the signal flares and becomes agitated. She demands that they kidnap Krista, and attacks Bertolt when they refuse. They are forced to land in the trees, and she further physically intimidates and threatens Bertolt until they relent. Once Ymir returns from kidnapping Krista, he straps an unconscious Eren to his back and both cling to the Armored Titan's back as he runs from the pursuing troops
Realizing how close the troops have already gotten, he shouts at Ymir about having delayed them so much. He demands to know what they've been doing all this for, and whether she intends to abandon Krista inside the Walls to save herself. His words get through to Ymir, and watches the exchange between the two women intently.
A short time later, Mikasa manages to get onto the Armored Titan's back and attacks first Ymir (and Krista) before turning on Bertolt. To escape, he slips down onto the front of Reiner's neck and shouts for him to protect them. In response, Reiner cups his hands around his neck and encloses Bertolt and Eren safely against his neck. Eren, now awake, begins to struggle and ignores all efforts to calm him down. The other members of the 104th Trainees Squad climb onto the Armored Titan's shoulders and begin to shout at Bertolt in his hiding place.
He initially attempts to ignore them, as Jean Kirstein and Connie Springer alternately attempt to coax him out and confront him over his betrayal. At last, he breaks into tears and yells at them that he never wanted to kill anyone. He confesses to having truly thought of the 104th as his friends, stating that their time together was enjoyable. Even so, he refuses to surrender and return Eren, stating that "someone has to do it".
Before he can elaborate any further, Hannes screams a warning to the group as Erwin Smith leads a horde of Titans directly towards them. This forces them to retreat for a time, while Reiner attempts to charge through the oncoming horde in his Titan form. It ultimately proves hopeless, and the Armored Titan is quickly overwhelmed by the large group and forced to begin using his hands to fight. No longer protected by his partner, Bertolt is forced to defend himself when the soldiers return in force and attack him. Beginning to panic, he shouts to Reiner that they have to bring Eren back to their home.
He narrowly escapes another attack by Mikasa, and is confronted by Armin, who reveals that Annie has been captured. Taunting Bertolt, he asks if they intend to abandon their comrade and claims that Annie is currently being tortured by the military. This drives Bertolt into a rage, and distracts him long enough for a wounded Erwin to launch a surprise attack and free Eren. Wounded, Bertolt can only watch in shock as the soldiers begin their retreat.
He remains perched on the Armored Titan's shoulder as it begins to hurl Titans at the fleeing soldiers, slowly healing his injuries. When Eren's power as the Coordinate activates, he senses it and reacts with shock. The partners begin to pursue Eren once freed from the Titan horde attacking them, but this freedom is short-lived. Taking advantage of his new-found power, Eren screams at them to stay away and threatens to kill them. Both react with shock and horror, sensing Eren's power and realizing that it has directed the horde at them once again. Reiner initially attempts to protect him from attackers, but they are quickly overwhelmed and he is forced to fight on his own.
His screams draw Ymir's attention, causing her to hesitate in fleeing with the soldiers. Just as a Titan is about to kill him, Ymir appears and rescues him. The three Titan Shifters begin to fight together, while the human soldiers retreat back to the Walls. The narration notes they did not pursue, leaving his fate in the aftermath of the battle unknown. Eren later expresses the desire to catch him and make him pay for his crimes, suggesting that he believes they survived.
This is confirmed in an epilogue, which reveals that he survived and fled back to the ruins of Shiganshina District. The group, exhausted from their two-day ordeal, rest atop Wall Maria while attempting to make sense of things. He questions Ymir about her decision to save his life, and is shocked that her actions were motivated by gratitude for having been saved from her "eternal nightmare". Knowing that she faces an uncertain future when they return with her to their homeland, Bertolt struggles to hold back his tears while thanking her.
Bertolt is briefly seen in the the ruins of Shiganshina District, calling out to Reiner and helping his human body out of the severely beaten Armored Titan, who had a fight with Zeke's Beast Titan because of their disagreement regarding what to do next; either rescuing Annie or finding the Coordinate. As Zeke emerges victorious from his Titan, the Warchief orders Reiner and Bertolt to prioritize on the Coordinate's retrieval over Annie's safety.
Personality and Character
Bertolt gets very different perspectives and judgmentes from the audience: some consider him evil, some called him innocent and good-hearted, some mentally unstable, some good but too much apathetic and indifferent. The character was created to be mostly read through his facial expressions and buried emotions.
Bertolt is a quiet young man who identifies himself as someone that follows popular opinion with "no will of his own" and no purpose in life. This sometimes bothers his companions, because he acts as if he can't fight or do anything else, yet during his trainings in both Marley and Paradis' Walls, he excelled at everything he did and he was praised for his great shooting abilities. Likewise, his instructor noted him to be a person with great potential, but an utter lack of initiative, noting these words: "Highly proficient in various hand-to-hand combat styles and has great potential. But lacks in self-confidence and tends to leave it to others when it comes to showing assertiveness.". Because of his personality, passive behavior, and utter dependence on others' commands, Bertholdt's potential and talents are considered wasted and thus, at the Walls, he got the grade A- and ranked under Reiner, instead of Mikasa. He was further described by Eren Yeager as being taciturn, and often acting as "Reiner's shadow". Among his former comrades, he was particularly close to Armin Arlert and read with him. He was also often seen with Jean, Eren, and Marco. Other times he could find himself surrounded by all his comrades, due to him being with Reiner, who used to be the most popular trainee, and Bertolt never approved of this due to his fear of Reiner exposing their real identities. Bertolt failed to stop his partner from becoming too popular. Reiner developed a delusional personality entirely taken from Marcel and even got a crush on Christa. While Eren got along with Bertolt, the former still had his reservations about him, not having a clear view of his reserved and silent nature. Besides Bertolt's trouble with Reiner and concern for his mental stability, his relationship with Annie is completely unknown, except for Reiner and Armin's impressions that he has a crush on her and a some flashbacks with Bertolt with Annie, Reiner, Marcel, Porco, and Pieck as children, where Bertolt tells Annie and Reiner how loyalty towards Marley is important. Sometimes, instead of being alone or with Mina, Annie would join with Bertolt, Jean, and Marco during meals. He is often called Bert, even by Levi and the Survey Corps. Bertolt tends to remain in the background unless necessary. By his own admission, he is something of a coward and is noted for his low self-esteem and lack of aggressiveness, though ways to anger him do exist. When Reiner calls him unreliable Bertolt quietly agrees without protests and the only thing he acknowledges about himself is being athletic and able to fight. His best talent is actually his exceptional aim with guns, as he never misses his targets and is the best Warrior in marksmanship.
His withdrawn and emotionless behavior initially led to the impression of him being the least emotionally compromised of the three Titan agents. He showed little attachment or remorse over his actions, seeming to care only about his partner, Reiner. However, when confronted by his former comrades and questioned about their friendship, he revealed himself to be far more conflicted and guilt-ridden than it originally appeared. His claims of not having a choice add a further level of ambiguity to his character, leaving many of his actions in question. He shows great devotion to both of his fellow agents, Reiner Braun and Annie Leonhart, and is easily driven to action or anger when he feels either is threatened. He rarely smiles and the only times he did it more often was during his 3 past years of training. In reality, he is constantly nervous, gloomy, with a frowning face showing uneasiness and insecurity. He is wary of others and acts as a voice of reason to Reiner, cautioning him repeatedly about lowering his guard. He refuses to trust his prisoners and prefers to incapacitate them. His interactions with Ymir reveal that while his actions have caused considerable suffering, he is not a cruel person and is capable of showing genuine kindness towards others. Bertolt can also showed panic and slight tears when he saw Marco dying. He also points out that what he does is his job and his own feelings must not get in his way, causing Eren to view him as cold, indifferent, and unsympathetic person.
Raised as a Warrior child, Bertolt was trained to be only a ruthless war machine to serve the power of the Marley Empire. He was fed with lies and to believe that one day he could save all the Eldians living in the Marley ghettos from Ymir's curse by eradicating all the remaining rebel Eldians in the Walls. While Reiner and Annie allowed their feelings get in the way, Bertolt always remained focused on his mission and never forgot his real identity. In his mind general, Bertolt became neutral in the war and all he wants eventually is to just end his mission and return home with his companions, already accepting himself as a terrorist with a short life anyway. Before he started showing more of his way of thinking and remorse, the audience thought he was the worst of the titan trio, apparently being the least conflicted of them and acting indifferent about his actions, fo example his cold and composed reaction when Eren reminds him his role in his mother's death. The fans accused him of being evil and amoral, even after he showed his remorse when talking to Connie and Jean, accusing him of genuinely trying to be remorseful, but in reality being more able to kill than spare lives. At first Bertolt let his insecurity and fears get the best of him and was deeply remorseful to betray his comrades, especially when he's cornered by them. Months later he decided to stop hiding behind Reiner and cast away his guilt and carry on with killing his former friends for the sake of his real side and real companions, thus acting more aggressive and threatening, even accepting Mikasa's challenge to fight. To succeed his military mission, he had to embrace his role as the Colossal Titan even if he hated it, so that he could finally use his destructive power without hesitation. For the sake of his Warrior companions and to protect Marley's secrets, Bertolt lies to his enemies by making them believe what they always thought: that he is Humanity's Greatest Enemy and that he decided himself to kill all humans.
By his thoughts and extra information from Hajime Isayama, Bertolt showed that he's not very able to put a value for life in general since he doesn't see anything good about the world or any decent reason to live, to the point of not even having a will of his own or independent thoughts and simply follow the orders of Zeke Yeager and the military officers who sent him to destroy the walls and recover the coordinate. Among the many different perspectives from the fans, there are those who consider his behavior, from a psychological perspective, the one of a borderline sociopath and a bit suicidal who was only getting worse and more ruthless, despite his hate for violence, as his mission was getting more frustrating as well as seeing Reiner, Annie, Marcel, and Marco suffering too much while he was only shaking, running away, or sweating. Even after his death, much of Bertholdt still remains unkown and it's never revealed how his enviroment where he grew up has made him like that.
Although he genuinely pities his enemies, Bertholdt knows how to deal with his mission and broke down in tears once, due to a stressful situation at facing his friends' reactions to his lies. He also cried during Marco's murder, as he never prepared to have to dispose of him in human form only because he and Reiner talked to loud. As a child, he acted cool about his mission, then during the training in the 104th he became extremely quiet. He still attacks the Walls for a second time and causes the battle of Trost. When Reiner decided to not continue their advance to Wall Sina and focus on Eren's capture, Bertholdt was actually bothered, showing a weak disagreement in letting Eren plug the Wall because he had "worked hard" to prepare the Trost invasion. Another mistake of his was taking Erwin's bait and join with Reiner in the Survey Corps, wait one month before having Annie trying to take Eren from the more experienced Scouting Legion The best course of action would have been kidnapping the weak Eren back at Trost and flee to Marley, then return later to deal with the Reiss family. Upon facing the consequences of the exposal of his identity, Bertholdt panicked and lost all confidence to the point of tears, but nor enough to attack the Survey Corps and stealing a ODM gear and Ymir. When not nervous or scared, he acted passive and cold in Wall Maria.
Months later Bertholdt underwent a serious change and returns colder, detached, indifferent, callous, and a lot more dangerous and careless. He embraced his role as "the villain and the greatest enemy of humankind", and he was ready to fulfill his savage duty with his full potential and abilities. Armin thought Bertholdt would listen to him, for the sake of their old friendship, and tried to talk him out his mission and turning into the Colossal Titan, giving him a change of negotiation and redemption: Bertolt rudely declined Armin's offer and mocked both Armin and his old self, statying that this time he wouldn't cry and flee and that Armin had no way to play mind games on him. In fact Bertolt remained calm and composed, and did not feel sorry or bad when he told his former friends that he will kill them and all humans inside the Walls because he has decided to do so. He was not fazed by Armin's attempt at manipulating him by bringing up Annie, and told him to have her fed to the pigs for all he cared. He did not feel panic or dread when other Scouts where going to kill Reiner and he had to leave him to himself, and Reiner was rather helpless at this point. This time Armin ended uo victim of Bertolt's mind games and ruthless behavior, resulting with everyone noticing tey were dealing with the infamous and imposing Colossal Titan, not the timid and nervous comrade they knew. Bertolt noted how Armin is unable to do anything to him as long as he shakes in fear of his presence. Their conversation it only ended with bickerings, mutual mind games, and Bertholdt and Mikasa fighting, when the latter finally felt too threatened and tried to kill him. Mikasa was dismayed to see that Bertholdt and the Survey Corps realized that they wouldn't find pity or negotiation from him. Bertholdt used his fighting techniques against Mikasa and repelled her attacks to get rid of her, unlike that one time where he had panicked and run upon seeing her.
Bertolt came to accept his villainous self, and rationalized that none of it is his or anyone's fault, but that the world is just cruel, and all of it was inevitable. Even if he admitted that he never hated Armin and the others, Bertholdt proceeded to blow up the entire district with a huge explosion that killed almost every person present. He showed disappoitment and annoyance when ironically his 104th old friends were the only survivors, admitting to himself that he hoped they could just die already. He then proceeded to destroy the entire city and attempted to kill all his former friends, while Zeke kept Erwin and Levi busy, killing all the other scouts that weren't on Bertholdt's reach.
Bertholdt soon finds himself confronted by Eren's Attack Titan, whom he dispatches with a single kick. Before he can finish Eren off, however, he is attacked by Armin and is forced to stop moving in order to repel him. This proves to be a costly mistake: Although Bertolt fatally injures Armin with his steam attack, he is unable to defend himself when Eren (now in human form) appears from behind and violently cuts Bertolt's out of his Titan body, severing his arms and legs in the process.
After being defeated, Bertolt is tied up and rendered unconscious by Eren and the other surviving Corps members while Levi decides who to feed him to: Armin or Erwin. He ultimately picks Armin and transforms him into a Pure Titan. Bertolt awakens just in time to see Armin's Titan reach for him. He cries out in terror, first begging for help from the Survey Corps, and then from Annie and Reiner, before being eaten by Armin.
Bertolt's death caused a great change, chaos and ended the world's fear for Marley and the Titans. It signed the liberation of Paradis from the Titans, Marley's first defeat after 100 years, a new war against an other continent, and the beginning of the end of the dominion of the Titans in earth. The defeat of the Colossal Titan resulted with freedom of the people from the Walls and ended Marley's advance and forced its government to start updating their normal war machines, navy, and airline. Without Bertolt, Zeke and Reiner alone were not powerful enough to stop the Wall Eldians, that had gained improved brand new equipment to fight Titans. Despite such heavy consequences Zeke and Reiner were not punished by the Marleyan government, even if protecting Bertolt and bringing him back was supposed to be a priority, as his Titan (besides the Founding Titan), was the only thing that could have kept the Power of the Titans unquestioned by its enemies. With the Colossal Titan under Paradis' possession, the Titans are now obsolete and no match to the other countries' war machines.
Several of Bertolt's personality traits seem to have been passed onto Armin in addition to the Colossal Titan power, namely his meekness and his attraction to Annie. After eating Bertolt, Armin visits Annie in her crystal prison often, and Eren notes at point that Armin's strategic abilities have faltered since becoming the Colossal Titan.
- Previous holder of the Colossal Titan (as a mindless titan)
- Moblit Berner
- Numerous residents of Shiganshina District
- Black-haired soldier
- At least 17 unnamed Survey Corps members
- Carla Yeager
- Samuel Linke-Jackson
- Thomas Wagner
- Mylius Zeramuski
- Mina Carolina
- Nac Tias
- Franz Kefka
- Hannah Diamant
- Marco Bott
- Mitabi Jarnach
- Ian Dietrich
- Ruth D. Kline
- Numerous counts of Shiganshina District citizens
- Numerous counts of Wall Maria residents
- Numerous counts of unnamed 104th Cadet Corps members
- Numerous counts of unnamed Garrison members
- According to Reiner, Bertholdt was the only known human in the current story to have been able to master his Titan form the very first time as a child, without ending up exhausted and unable to stand like normally should happen the first time, the Titan form being also the most difficult to control. Nevertheless, when he was a child soldier he still struggled to keep his Colossal form for too long, unlike when he is older. Bertholdt's many outstanding abilities would explain why the Marley military would decide to give the Colossal form to someone as insecure as him, however it seems that neither Magath or Zeke has ever bothered to work on his flaws that made most of his talents unused and wasted. In fact Bertholdt's personality makes it easy for everyone to underestimate him, including Bertholdt himself (much to Reiner's frustration), who refuses to take any initiative in anything unless only Reiner or Annie are in danger.
- Out of all the young Warriors in training, Bertholdt and Annie were the only ones who didn't look interested in the Marley's teachings at all and kept a nonchalant attitude about it. Both of them are self-admitted weak persons who follow the greater flow without ever using initiative or expressing their actual thoughts. They also use their abilities only when it's necessary, otherwise they do nothing or speak at all. Their behaviors and lack of teamwork didn't go unnoticed by Reiner to the point that, after he took Marcel's personality and became a leader, he sometimes called them slackers and unreliable, who let him plan everything alone. However, unlike Annie, Bertholdt considers loyalty important, hence why he never hesitated in his mission. Also unlike Annie, Bertholdt doesn't feel the need to cause creative deaths and inflict unnecessary extra pain.
- There are parallels between Bertholdt and Mikasa Ackerman: they both know they live in a cruel world and they were both terrified by it. Their fears were replaced by control, self-awareness, and coldness.
- The difference is that Mikasa did it while she was still a child and found something to live for, while Bertholdt only really stopped trembling when he realized he was just standing there all the time while he let most of the dirty job to Reiner and Annie and would not stop them when they made foolish mistakes. Mikasa's faces the cruelty of the world while looking beyond it and sees beauty and love, she focuses on those things and keeps living. Bertholdt doesn't see this and has only a nihilistic view of life. He's often apathetic and even admits to have no reason to live for to the point he considers death as freedom. In his last moments he had no problem with killing countless people anymore and was even cool with Annie being fed to the pigs or Reiner failing and die, possibly because he didn't expect to live longer anyway. He burned Armin alive with no hesitation, despite he was one of his favorite comrades, thinking he was putting him out of his misery. However, when he was defeated and was about being eaten alive, he still panicked and screamed for help.
- Another interpretation from readres is that perhaps he became too self-indulgent, having no true life purpose or actual like for life and will to live. It's believed that his projection of conflict into Armin is the culmination of all the subtle gathering of suppressed thought. So he would have been impenetrable not because the audience are denied access to his mind; rather, he is impenetrable because he doesn’t do a lot of thinking, and when he does, it’s superficial. The kind of defence he muster to explain himself is truistic, yet with a total absence of context it is cryptic and morally ambiguous. When he doesn’t hide himself behind somebody he hides himself behind words.
- Bertholdt, Annie, and Marcel never returned to their families in their hometown (Liberio's internment zone). Out of their group, Reiner is the only one who ever made it back to Liberio's ghetto and to his family.
- During the training in Marley, Bertholdt and Annie ranked above Reiner because they fight better than him and have more talent. While during the training in Paradis, Reiner ranked both of them, second only to Mikasa. Although Bertholdt and Annie are better at fighting and more agile, and Reiner always lost against them, it's apparent that he still ranked above them due to his stronger spirit, loyalty, and above all teamwork. All of those are the most required things requested by the Wall military and the most necessary things to fight and survive the Titans, and Bertholdt and Annie lacked those traits.
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