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|“||My daughters. Give birth and multiply. The blood of Ymir must not die out. If you die, my daughters, have my grandchildren eat your spines. If my grandchildren die, their spines will be passed from child to child. To all of my progeny. My Eldians will rule the lands of this land with their massive frames. And my Titans will continue their reign. Into eternity, so long as this world of mine remains.||„|
|~ King Fritz proclaiming Eldia's rule over the world for centuries to come.|
|“||Eldia was a great and ancient nation that destroyed Marley and came to rule the continent. That is when the Dark Ages began.||„|
|~ Mr. Yeager teaching Grisha Yeager about Eldia's past.|
Eldia was an incredibly powerful empire that ruled the world for thousands of years in the Attack on Titan universe. While it is currently the faction of the protagonists of the story, it is clear that its past incarnation as the Eldian Empire was a cruel and pivotal villainous faction that was responsible for a great deal of the tragedies in the world, including the first use of the Power of the Titans as a tool of domination.
2,000 years before the events of the series, a slave girl named Ymir gained by accident a power that granted her the ability to turn herself into the first Titan to ever walk the earth. Noticing her immense potential, Ymir's master and leader of a primitive tribe known as Eldia, a man named Fritz, used her to build bridges across mountains, cultivate barren lands and build roads for his tribe. As time passed, Fritz became pleased with the progress that his people were making because of Ymir's achievements and so the eldian ruler decided to, in his view, "reward" her by forcing her to bear his children, who would latter be named Maria, Rose and Sheena, the first of the Subjects of Ymir, who, by virtue of Ymir's blood, had the ability to inherit the Power of the Titans. Becoming more hungry for power, roughly at the same time Fritz ordered Ymir to, in his name, crush the nation of Marley with her massive Titan form. After 13 bloody years of war Eldia finally managed to bring Marley down and establish itself as a powerful empire. As the leaders of Marley bowed before the now proclaimed King Fritz of Eldia, one man suddenly drew a spear with the intent to end the infamous eldian tyrant who had brought so much destruction and terror to their nation. Ymir, however, willingly put herself in the spear's way and saved the king's life. This resulted in King Fritz forcing his daughters Maria, Rose and Sheena to inherit their mother's power by cannibalizing on her, which resulted in turn in the creation of the Coordinate and, eventually, the rise of the Nine Titans who would terrorize the world of centuries to come. In time, eight noble houses among the growing number of Subjects of Ymir rose to inherit eight of the Nine Titans (Attack, Colossal, Cart, Female, Jaw, Beast, War Hammer, and Armored Titans) to co-rule Eldia under the kingship and supreme power of the Fritz royal family and their Founding Titan.
The fully-fledged Eldian Empire used the Titans as weapons of mass destruction to conquer other nations, wiping out countless cultures in the process, and it was said that they pursued mass rape as a conquering method to give birth to more Subjects of Ymir to turn into Titans. It is estimated that the number of people the eldians have slaughtered is over three times world population of year 854. Allegedly, Marley was once again victim to Eldia's warmongering around 1,200 years before the events of the series, when Eldia assaulted marleyan cities during the "Fall of Lago," the "Devastation of Monte," and the "Ravaging of Valle." Survivors from the Fall of Lago fled into the wastes, but were caught by Titans who had been awaiting their retreat. However, the historical validity of these eldian attacks against Marley are a matter of debate.
Around the year 240, the Subjects of Ymir within the Eldian Empire were spared from widespread death from a worldwide epidemic through the actions of the King of Eldia. Using the power of the Founding Titan, the Subjects of Ymir were altered in their biology, rendering them immune to the disease. At some point in later history, Eldia became a trusted ally of an eastern nation called Hizuru.
Eventually, the eldians ran out of enemies and began fighting each other. The eight noble houses that ruled Eldia entered in a state of conflict, but the Fritz family maintained order with the Founding Titan.
Around the year 738, the Founding Titan came into the possession of Karl Fritz, the 145th King of Eldia. The king believed that Eldia's sins couldn't be atoned for, and that eldians and Titans should not have existed in the first place. He pitied the marleyans and devised a plan alongside the Tybur noble family, the holders of the War Hammer Titan, to end the the domination of Eldia over the world. The king abandoned the internal conflicts, and without the Founding Titan to keep order, the whole Eldian Empire began to collapse as the eldians fought and weakened themselves during the Great Titan War, while the king and the Tybur family fabricated the legend of Helos, a marleyan hero who joined with the Tybur family to defeat King Fritz. They succeeded in their scheme and Marley gained seven of the Nine Titans as a result. The king then proceeded with his plans and moved the eldian capital to Eldia's last remaining territory: the island of Paradis. While the eldian ruler gathered as many of his people as he could to the island, some eldians remained behind on the mainland where the newly-formed Kingdom of Marley forced their submission as second-class citizens and re-located them separately from the standard marleyan population, which promoted the creation specialised ghettos and internment zones such as Liberio. The Kingdom of Marley used their new influence to spread slander of the Eldian Empire, claiming they had resorted to eugenics against the other races of the world for 1,700 years and that Ymir Fritz had gained the Power of the Titans from a demonic entity known as the "Devil of All Earth."
Once King Fritz, his people and some non-Subject of Ymir eldians arrived on Paradis Island, he used the powers of the Founder to both command thousands of Colossus Titans to form three concentric Walls around their territory and to erase the Subjects of Ymir's memory of all the history of humanity before the raising of the Walls while promoting the non-Subjects of Ymir (and thus disconnected to the effects of the Founder) as noble families within his court. Afterward, King Fritz changed his family's surname to "Reiss" to conceal his true identity as the King of the Walls and used one of this new noble families as a figurehead on the throne while retaining his power. From there onwards, the king's Reiss descendants would be publicly seen as noblemen within the monarch's court while retaining in secret both their authority as the true Kings of the Walls and power by virtue of being the holders of the Founding Titan.
Meanwhile in Marley because of their status second-class citizens and as a supposed "race of devils", the eldians who were accused of committing wrongdoing against the marleyans from now on were punished severely and, in extreme cases, sent to "Heaven" in Paradis Island as mindless Titans, dooming them to wander for an eternity outside Karl Fritz's Walls and condemning the Subjects of Ymir of Paradis, as a consequence of the false memories imprinted to them by the Founding Titan believed themselves to be the last remnant of humanity, to live in fear of the Titans for the next century.
Coup de état and the basement
In year 850, after more than a century of ignorance, a military uprising, led by the commander in-chief Darius Zackly, commander Dot Pixis of the Garrison and commander Erwin Smith of the Survey Corps, managed to overthrow the Royal Government and it's fake king, exposing the government's lies to its own people and putting Historia Reiss, Rod Reiss' daughter and the true heir to the Kingdom of the Walls, in the throne.
Two months after the coup, the Survey Corps led by Erwin Smith executed a massive operation to take Shiganshina District in order to reach Grisha Yeager's basement, which was said to contain the secrets of the world. While the operation nearly ended in failure, they ultimately succeeded in reaching the basement, but almost all of the Survey Corps, including their commander, were wiped out by Zeke Yeager and his Warriors.
The revelations of the basement were shocking for both Paradis' civilians and the military, as they discovered that they were hated by the rest of the world by the past crimes that the Eldian Empire committed against Marley, that the coup de état was only possible due to Grisha Yeager's usurpation of the Founding Titan and that they were a century behind the rest of the world in terms of technology so there is no chance for them to defend themselves if the world decides to attack them unless they use the "Rumbling" superweapon which consists in the awakening of the tens of thousands of Colossal Titans inside the Walls with the power of the Founding Titan that dwells in Eren Yeager.
The arrival of the Anti-Marleyan Volunteers
In year 851 a marleyan survey fleet arrives Paradis Island. While the crew of the fleet arrived to scout the area, they were betrayed by a group of traitors known as the Anti-Marleyan Volunteers led by a woman named Yelena and make contact with the Eldians of Paradis. While the revelation that they were working for their old enemy, Zeke Yeager (who claimed to want to see Eldia restored and that Historia should eat him to become the next Beast Titan of royal blood in order for Eren successfully use the Founding Titan), caused the members of the military to mistrust the Volunteers, they concluded that, being the most hated nation in a world that was practically unknown to them, they had no choice but accept the help it was offered. Ultimately, the Volunteers make a deal to help Paradis Island with covert diplomacy, technological transfer, and intelligence gathering in exchange of granting Zeke and his followers amnesty in the Island.
Through Zeke and the AMV, Eldia renewed their contact to Hizuru, the only named country not openly hostile to Eldia, and began negotiations with Kiyomi Azumabito. Hizuru offered to ally with Eldia once more and speak to other nations on their behalf in exchange for exclusive monopoly rights to resources and proof of the "Rumbling's" power, should Hizuru need help against retaliation from Marley or other hostile countries.
In 853, Hange reveals to a few of the Survey Corps, much to their despair, that dialogue with nearly all countries has proven impossible; most nations are in favour or indifferent/neutral towards the notion of Eldia being exterminated, Hizuru won't share their mononpoly on Paradis resources to allure to other nations and without the "Rumbling" they won't ever risk openly supporting Eldia.
This means that Paradis faces all the world's war machine and can only defend themselves through the "Rumbling", which could wipe out all outside civilizations and most of humanity, a cost many of the Survey Corps consider too high.
The plan to test the "Rumbling" weapon, keeps being postponed time and again, however.
The Raid on Liberio
In year 854, Willy Tybur makes a speech in the internment zone of Liberio to unite the world against the "Island Devils" of Paradis. However, immediately after Tybur finished his speech, Eren Yeager turns into the Attack Titan and eats him. He then begins to destroy the place in order to kill all of the officials from the Marleyan Military in hopes of dealing a fatal blow to it. After that, the War Hammer Titan shows up and engages Eren in a brutal fight. Meanwhile, the Survey Corps, armed with anti-personnel gear modified by the technology provided by the Anti-Marleyan Volunteers for the last 3 years, storm the ghetto to defend Eren, and marleyan soldiers prove to be no match for them; only Marley's Titan Warriors can successfully face them. After a brutal fight, Eren manages to eat the War Hammer Titan with the help of Mikasa Ackerman and the Survey Corps begin their retreat in a stolen Zeppelin, taking Zeke and the Volunteers with them.
The second coup de état
Back on Paradis, Eren Yeager is put into prison for insubordination, the Volunteers are all put into house arrest under suspicion for conspiracy and Zeke Yeager is taken to a Titan Forest by Levi Ackerman.
However, a group inside the military called the "Yeagerists" led by Floch Forster begin to spread the rumors of Eren being arrested to the civilians of Paradis, which causes a mass-scandal and makes the military loose it's popularity. When a manifestation against the military government was taking place in Stohess District, the Yeagerists plant a bomb in Darius Zackly's office and manage to assassinate the commander in-chief. Roughly at the same time, Eren Yeager escapes from prison using the power of the War Hammer Titan. Eren and the Yeagerists then reveal to the remaining military officers that Zeke's spinal fluid was in most of the wine they drank in the last month and forced them to cooperate with him.
Eren takes most of the remaining Survey Corps to Shiganshina and puts them into the local military HQ's prison, while a group of Yeagerists led by Floch use Hange to get to Zeke's position. Meanwhile in the Titan Forest, Zeke and Levi engage in battle, with Levi initially beating and capturing the former but ultimately failing and being caught in a Thunder Spear explosion caused by Zeke. While Hange takes a dying Levi and throws herself in the water to escape, Zeke regenerates from the harm caused by the Spear and meets the Yeagerists, who agree to take him to Shiganshina were Eren is located.
Surprise attack on Shiganshina
In Shiganshina, Marley's weakened military and it's Warriors launch a desperate surprise attack on Paradis in order to take the Founding Titan from Eren and end the threat of the Rumbling. A massive battle ensures, with Eren fighting the combined forces of Reiner, Porco and Pieck, with the former two constantly trying to steal the Founder. Meanwhile, the Eldian anti-Titan and anti-personnel forces clash with Marleyan soldiers who are more prepared to face them now with anti-Titan rifles. The prisoners Eren took from the Survey Corps also join the fight shortly afterwards. While Eren is fighting the Warriors, Zeke suddenly on the Wall and begins to assist Eldia's forces by throwing rocks at their Zeppelins and assisting Eren against Reiner and Porco. However, Pieck manages to shoot Zeke's nape and the Beast Titan begins to fall from the Wall into the ground. Eren then rushes onto Zeke but before he can make contact with him, he is shot in the neck and his head separates from his body, falling into Zeke's open hand.
Because Zeke catched Eren's head before he could fully die, Eren reaches out to Ymir inside the Coordinate and pleads her to lend him her strength, claiming that the choice was her's alone whether to stay in that world forever or put an end to it. Ymir is deeply touched by Eren's words and begins to cry, granting him the full power of the Founding Titan.
Eren then begins to regenerate and a massive spinal cord emerges from his head as he begins to transform into an incredibly huge Titan while the Wall collapses and the Colossal Titans inside it are awakened, initiating the feared Rumbling. Shortly afterwards, Eren telepathically communicates with all of the Subjects of Ymir, and states that his goal is to protect Paradis Island against the world's attack. He also states that, given the imposibility to negotiate with an enemy who wishes the extermination of the "Devils of the Island" and morally sees it as the right thing to do, he is going to protect the Island by using the Wall Titans to exterminate all life outside Paradis. Eren's actions, however, kills or hurts many of Paradis' citizens who lived too close to the Walls and causes minor revolts against the Military.
- The ancient Eldian tribe may have been inspired by the Norse society of old as it resembles Norse aesthetics and warrior culture.
- The relationship between the Marleyans and the Eldians features many real-world reflections of Nazi Germany and the Jews. Like Jews living in pre-WWII Nazi Germany, the Eldians live in segregated ghettos, forced to wear star-emblemed upper armbands to distinguish them from non-Eldians, suffer severe discrimination with frequent comparisons to demonic entities, and face constant calls to be exterminated. The Germanic-traits of the culture as well as most of Marley's and Paradis Island's inhabitants reinforce these strong similarities.
- While most countries wish to exterminate the Eldians of Paradis in order to avenge the pain they caused their ancestors in the past and take their resources, some (like Willy Tybur) also see it as a way to erase the world's greatest source of woes (the Titans) and to launch an era of co-operation and peace for mankind.
- The history of Marleyans and Eldians is also partially comparable with that of the Rwandan populations of Hutu and Tutsi. By 1700, the Rwandan populace coalesced into around eight kingdoms, of which the Tutsi Kingdom of Rwanda became dominant and oppressed the Hutu, fueling a hard relationship between the two races that lasted for centuries. In 1994, during the Rwandan Civil War, the then Hutu majority government perpetrated a genocide against the Tutsi which resulted in the extermination of around 70% of the Tutsi population.