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|“||I've been thinking everyday since I came here. How did things turn out this way? Ruined minds and bodies, people with no freedom left, people who have even lost themselves... what kind of person would want to go to war if they knew they were going to end up like this? But... there was something there, all along... pushing us right into Hell. For most of us, that something is not of our own free will. We're forced to by others, or by our environment. That's why the people who push themselves into Hell see a different Hell from the rest of us. They also see something beyond that hell. Maybe it's hope. Maybe it's another Hell. I don't know which it is. The only people who do know... are the ones who keep moving forward.||„|
|~ Eren motivating Falco to keep going.|
|“||Hear me, all Subjects of Ymir. My name is Eren Yeager. I now speak to all Subjects of Ymir by way of the Founding Titan's power. Every wall on the island of Paradis has been unhardened. All of the Titans buried within them have begun to walk. My goal... is to protect the people of Paradis, who bore me and raised me. But the world desires the extinction of the people of Paradis. Over countless years, their hatred has grown beyond this island. They surely will not stop until they have killed every one of the Subjects of Ymir. I reject their desire. The Titans of the Walls will trample and rumble all the lands beyond this island. Until the lives there... are eliminated from this world.||„|
|~ Eren announcing his plans to the Subjects of Ymir.|
|“||I am free. Whatever I do. Whatever I choose. I do it out of my own free will.||„|
|~ Eren revealing his new mindset to his friends.|
Eren Yeager (Eren Jaeger in the anime) is the main protagonist of the Attack on Titan series. He is a former member of the Survey Corps, the leader of the Yeagerists, the current inheritor of the Attack Titan and later revealed to be the Founding Titan as well. Recently, he has become the inheritor of the War Hammer Titan. He serves as Reiner Braun's archenemy and is the half-brother of Zeke Yeager.
While initially presented as a heroic protagonist, Eren gradually becomes more of an anti-hero, committing several violent acts for the sake of Eldia.
As a human, Eren has an average male physique. He has short brown hair and his eyes appear to have a turquoise coloring to them. During his time in the 104th Training and Survey Corps, Eren has gained more of a muscular built. Although this is hardly seen, due to the amount of clothing he wears.
After the time skip, Eren has noticeably changed drastically. He has now become slightly taller and has grown out his hair to a longer length, as well as gained facial hair. He overall resembles his father, Grisha Yeager.
In his Attack Titan form, Eren stands at 15 m. He displays hair long enough to reach to his shoulders and pointed ears. His most interesting features are his teeth, which appear to be formed a jagged shape, displayed outside of his face reaching to his side cheeks with no lips to cover them. Like some of other Nine Titans, Eren's Titan form displays a muscular, humanoid appearance, albeit with no unique features.
When Eren was a mindless Titan, he had a very short appearance with a big head, short arms and legs. His overall appearance was a mixture between his human self and his Attack Titan form with his regular hair carrying over, but his jagged teeth, pointed teeth and crooked nose also carrying over.
In his Founding Titan form, Eren is mostly skeletal in appearance, with spikes growing out of the back of his elongated spine which causes his upper body to become widely disproportionate and to massively tower over the Colossus Titans in the Walls. This makes him the largest titan ever to date in the series. After Armin had destroyed his form, Eren was later able to use the powers of the Founding Titan to recreate his form, this time in the shape of the Colossus Titan, with lanky arms, large legs and exposed ribs.
|“||I think...we were born this way. I just keep moving forward. Until my enemies are destroyed.||„|
|~ Eren to Reiner Braun.|
He is a young man that can be described as being fearless. He was dedicated to both his friends, family and people and very determined to achieve his goals of freeing the world from the Walls. Even as a child, he was always eager to want to join the Survey Corps, for the sake of escaping the Walls and exploring the outside world. This strong yearning for freedom and his dedication to his comrades were Eren's greatest strength and assets.
Because of his strong dedication, however, this can often lead to his obstinate arrogance which ultimately can lead to him making reckless mistakes and decisions that put him, his friends and later the nation which he is supposed to protect, in great danger. During his life as a trainee sent hastily to fight Titans his recklessness claimed lives of his teammates, saving Armin Arlert. He also tends to have a short temper and can often lash out in anger out of nowhere. His anger can rise to brutal levels, as shown when Eren, even though Armin initiated the fight, pounced Armin to a bloody pulp in spite of knowing that Armin was no match for him, going far beyond simple subjugation or restraint.
He claimed that he wanted to do Reiner and Bertolt serious bodily harm and to kill them in the most sufferable ways as possible, after learning they were the Armored and Colossal Titans. When Eren learns the truth about the world and the Titans, he changes quite drastically. His hatred for the Titans has disappeared and has now taken on a calm and more serious approach. He has fully acknowledged Marley as the true enemy and will go out of his way to stop them, even if it means going out of his way to commit horrid acts such as killing innocent bystanders and causing collateral damage.
However, due to committing such arbitrary actions, his relationship with both his friends and comrades have shattered, with most of them having become either hostile or disappointed towards Eren due to the heinous actions he committed in Marley and putting the lives of the Survey Corps in danger, with some of them going as far as wanting him dead, such as Connie and Jean, who blame him for Sasha Braus' death, with the former claiming that when he learned of her death, he laughed and that he showed no remorse to her passing, while also saying that he won't hesitate in killing him himself if there's a need to, as well as his former best friend Armin, who admits that he doesn't understand him anymore, and suggests that they should kill him if necessary if he does switch alliances, or have someone else transform into a Titan and obtain Eren's powers before the end of his tenure, albeit Armin still has faith that Eren is their ally.
Even Connie eased up knowing whatever Eren is up to, its for the greater good and he isn't the "enemy" he appears to be. Eventually, in Chapter 112, after a heated confrontation that culminated in their friendship taking an even severe blow, Armin and Eren came to open exchange of physical blows at one another after Eren chastised both him and Mikasa. Eren told of his hatred towards Mikasa, viewing her as an obedient slave that only follows orders as part of her instincts as an Ackerman, causing Mikasa to break down in tears, crying over how the one person that she's cared for her entire life would say such things. He then called Armin a useless traitor that was being influenced by the enemy and Bertolt's memories. Enraged at Eren's harsh words, Armin lunged at Eren, punching him the face, but it didn't faze Eren at all, who easily beat down Armin.
After joining and fully committing to the Yeagerists, Eren severed all ties with his friends and the military, now viewing them as the enemy. Only when Jean voiced his suspicion of Eren's true motive behind his exterior act of betrayal (the deduction later proved correct), Armin was snapped awake from his profound disappointment towards his old friend-turned-enemy, preventing their still-remaining friendship from totally collapsing. But even so, the irreparable damage had already been done. This is the most ironic turnout of the manga, because the person who correctly suspected Eren's contradictory action was not by Eren's closest childhood friend (Armin), but by Eren's rival (Jean).
Due to his change of personality, Eren has been able to express his relationship with even his enemies. Most notably is Reiner Braun, who, despite committing heinous actions that Eren despises him for, was able to relate with him as both him and Reiner are essentially trying to achieve the same goal. He forgives Reiner and renounces his death threat from a few years back. While this makes Reiner break down and beg for death, Eren helped him up and proclaimed that they were the same, showing he doesn't see Reiner in the same bad light he previously saw him in.
Even after transforming in front of Reiner (albeit to keep Falco safe) Eren showed remorse to Mikasa for the collateral damage he caused, and cast a sorrowful look at Reiner when he left Liberio. Eren admitted to Reiner that he once saw the world across the ocean as "enemies", but after living with them, he realized they were just the same as him. For his "villainous" cover, he seems to harbor a deep understanding that questions calling him "evil". It is later revealed that Eren knew the future, via the Attack Titan's ability and has been spiraling down a state of depression, knowing what the inevitable outcome of the present will be. While he does wish for a peaceful solution, he understands the impossibility of it better than all around him, even Armin.
Further information is revealed that while Eren was infiltrated in Marley (this was before Eren turned into Titan at Marley Square and caused the rampage), he encountered Marleyan-Eldian activists and cross-questioned them, only to realize that they do not see Paradis-Eldians as fellow sufferers, but as the "Devils" who are truly to blame for the Eldians of the mainland's problems. Upon realizing this, Eren gave up any hope of peaceful solution he might have had thought.
Jean and Armin eventually realize that Eren did not betray them after all, but are left with dismay that because Eren cares for them, and as a consequence of this he is doing his outrageously cataclysmic actions by awakening all Colossal Titans and leading them to a seemingly inevitable apocalyptic genocide (Jean suspects that with Eren's logic, by destroying everything hostile to Paradis, his Survey Corps comrades would not have to fight on anymore). Eren doesn't wish to remove his friends' wills, respecting their wish to bring peace on the world. Nonetheless, he doesn't take kindly to his former comrades trying to stop the Rumbling, unleashing 7 of the Nine Titans to fight them.
Most of Eren's post time-skip characterization occurs through the lens of other characters.
There is also a notable difference in intensity, ferocity and irratation before, during and after Eren's visit on Marley. It can be inferred that Eren often worried over/voiced his disbelief on peace and that Hange and Armin refused to prepare for/accept that possibility, at cost to Eldia. This likely frustrated him greatly, as most of Eren's outbursts against his "friends" is centered on their "ignorant" and meek refusal to fight for Eldia's survival. It could also be interpreted that he blames part of his predicament on their insistence on morality, which is why he feels a connection to his amoral/morally ambiguous enemies (namely Reiner).
He is also much more accepting of his friends while fighting in Liberio, when he was determining if he could alter the future. After concluding its impossibility, he cuts off his friends and even returns to his anger of his enemies, as he was visibly enraged at Reiner, even though he understands his motivation well. Eren also showed great anger at his father when he refused to attack the Reiss family, and coldly reminded him of all who died to bring him to that point.
Eren Yeager is introduced as a ten-year-old residing in the town of Shiganshina who dreams of joining the Survey Corps in order to explore the outside world beyond the walls. He got this dream after reading Armin's book about the outside world. A year prior to the events of the story, accompanying his father Grisha to meet her parents, Eren helps Mikasa Ackerman in dispatching her kidnappers, while developing his ideology at a young age. When the Titans invade Shiganshina, Eren is forced to watch his mother be devoured by one of the Titans and thus vows to kill every Titan henceforth. Eren then enlist himself in the military. During his first mission at Trost, Eren sacrifices himself to save his friend Armin Arlert from being swallowed by a bearded Titan. Eren manages to become into a Titan himself, proving his newfound strength worthy to fight for mankind. Eren earns a place in the Special Operations Squad, a branch of Survey Corps under Captain Levi. Eren is hunted by a female Titan but is saved by Levi and Mikasa. The Titan is later revealed to be his classmate Annie Leonhart, who is defeated by Eren but freezes herself. Upon being chased by more of Annie's allies, Eren awakens a power known as the "Founding Titan" (始祖の巨人, Shiso no Kyojin), which he subconsciously uses to direct a group of Titans to attack them.
Soon after, Eren is sent with his friends to an isolated hut while preparations are made for a campaign to retake Wall Maria. Eren is then captured by Rod Reiss, who reveals the Founding was originally in his family for years since their ancestor Karl Fritz created the walls, and that the Reiss family used it to rule until it was stolen by Grisha. Grisha is revealed to be responsible for Eren becoming a Titan and was eaten by his son in the past unconsciously. Eren's classmate Krista Lenz, who is actually Rod's child Historia, refuses to aid her father and frees Eren. Eren and the Survey Corps depart to Shiganshina to reclaim Wall Maria by and defeat an army of Titans led by Zeke, the Beast Titan, and his subordinates Bertolt and Reiner. With Shiganshina secured, Eren and his friends learn of Grisha's past: Zeke is revealed to be Eren's half brother and Grisha's first son, and they are revealed to have originated from another nation named Marley. They learn that humanity exists beyond the walls and that their true enemy is Marley, while they live on an island called Paradis Island, and are a race called Eldians, descendants of the original titan shifter Ymir. Eren learns that he has a limited lifespan as a side effect of being a holder of one of the Nine Titans' power, the "Attack Titan" (進撃の巨人, Shingeki no Kyojin).
Four years later, he took down and capture the Marleyan scouts with the new Colossal Titan Armin, he helped in Paradis' development and conspire with Floch to destroy the world. He soon joined Survey Corps' trip to Marley before abandoning them. Having his left leg amputated, Eren assumes the identity of "Mr. Kruger" (クルーガーさん, Kurūgā-sa), a former Marleyan military officer. During the festival held by Willy Tybur to declare war on Paradis, Eren responds with an attack, killing Willy and then devouring his sister to gain the War Hammer Titan's power. Eren's actions result in his arrest but he escapes with a group of Survey Corps members loyal to him called "Yeagerists", and he resumes his search for Zeke. Eren makes himself known to Armin and Mikasa, showing antagonism for his friends, and is ambushed by Marleyan army led by Reiner and Magath. Eren attempts to reach Zeke to activate the Founding Titan's power, but is nearly killed by Gabi.
As his head lands in his brother's hand, Eren suddenly finds himself standing before a pillar of light in an unknown land. He is greeted by a chained Zeke, who informs Eren that they are standing in the Coordinate. Eren and Zeke travel to Grisha's memory of the day he stole the Founding Titan from the Reiss family. As he observes the exchange between his father and Frieda Reiss, Eren becomes increasingly agitated by Frieda's claims that the Eldians must take on the world's wrath for the sins of their ancestors. Despite Grisha's declaration that he will steal the Founding Titan from the Reiss family, Eren is disappointed and enraged to see that his father cannot bring himself to carry out his mission. To spur his father forward, Eren reminds Grisha of his fellow restorationists and Faye, ordering him to finish what he has started. Zeke saves his brother but was betrayed by Eren and convinces Ymir to help him after giving her the choice to make her own decision. Revived, Eren frees the Titans within the Walls with the intention of exterminating all life outside Paradis in order to protect his people, becoming the world's enemy.
Eren and his Titans arrive at Marley's coast to find it guarded by the Global Allied Fleet. However, the fleet proves to be ineffective against Eren's Colossus Titans and is immediately wiped out. The land artillery on Marley is also unsuccessful in stopping the advancing Titans, causing the soldiers to retreat to higher ground. As his Titans begin the destruction of Marley, Eren remembers the death of his mother and reiterates his desire to destroy every last one of his enemies in the world. While he is advancing, Eren summons each of his friends to speak with him in Paths individually. He reveals to each of them his true intentions, to become a threat to the entire world so that they can kill him and earn the favor of the nations outside of Paradis. He also reveals that his death will permanently destroy the Power of the Titans, causing all Eldians trapped as Pure Titans, including Connie's mother, to return to their human forms.
When Eren speaks with Mikasa, he shows her a vision of a possible future in which they decided to run away together while in Marley and live out the rest of their lives together in peace and isolation. After spending some time together in the vision, Eren asks Mikasa to forget him after his death. When Eren speaks with Armin he tries to apologize for the way he treated him at Niccolo's restaurant, but Armin says that he should be more worried about apologizing to Mikasa. Armin worries that the world will try to retaliate for what Eren did, but Eren reveals that he succeeded in wiping out 80% of the world's population before he was stopped. The nations will not be able to launch any meaningful counterattacks for the foreseeable future. Armin tries to insist that there was a better way but Eren ignores his protests and asks Armin to follow him.
Eren takes Armin to a volcano to show him the "liquid fire" that he read about as a child, lava. Eren reveals to Armin that he has come to understand that the reason Ymir Fritz remained servile to the royal family even centuries after her original master's death is because she genuinely loved him, despite the abuses she suffered by him. Although he does not understand the woman fully, he knows that it was Mikasa who managed to free her from her servitude. Eren claims to not know why Mikasa is important to Ymir, only that every action he has taken since he received his future memories has been done in the service of Mikasa freeing Ymir.
As he reflects on everything he has done, Eren sorrowfully confesses to Armin that he can no longer think clearly, as the combination of past and future memories in his head have rendered him unable to distinguish what is past, present, and future. His warped perspective of time has caused him to take actions to ensure history should play out the way he remembers it, even using his powers to go back in time and influence Dina Fritz's Titan to eat his mother.
Armin takes Eren to see the ocean and asks him if he believes Mikasa can move on from him. Eren claims he does not know and Armin punches him, enraged at the way he has been treating Mikasa. Armin begins ridiculing Eren, joking that Mikasa will forget about him quickly, and Eren finally breaks down and admits that he does not want Mikasa to love anyone but him. After composing himself, Eren confesses that he does not want to die. Armin tries to convince him that he can keep living, but Eren reminds him that the world will never forgive what he has done.
As a ruined landscape of trampled corpses appears before them, Eren confesses that he would have continued Rumbling even if his friends had not tried to stop him. Armin demands to know why, but Eren claims he does not know. Eren tells Armin that he will be temporarily erasing his memories until his death and Armin gives him a seashell, thanking him for everything he has done for Paradis's sake. The two embrace and Eren tells Armin that he is confident Armin will be able to save humanity after his death.
While going to Fort Salta, Eren summons Mikasa, Armin, Jean, Connie, Levi, Reiner, and Pieck into the Paths to speak to them. His former comrades beg him to stop the Rumbling, but Eren tells them that he has no intention of stopping. He explains that he will take all of the world's freedom so he can achieve his own, but he promises not to deny the alliance's will to thwart his plans. He reinforces his intent to destroy the world, refusing to negotiate on any terms and stating that the only thing to stop his advance would be his death.
Marleyan airships are launched from Fort Salta in an attempt to stop Eren's advance and begin dropping bombs on his Titan. In response, Eren dispatches the Beast Titan to shoot them down. Eren and the Beast make quick work of the airships, but his former comrades arrive and manage to evade the Beast Titan's projectiles long enough to reach him and engage him directly. As his friends attempt to reach his nape to destroy it, Eren and Ymir begin generating more Titans on his back to defend him. Despite this, the soldiers eventually manage to reach Eren's nape and blow it up, severing his Titan's head from its body. Armin then transforms atop his Titan in an attempt to kill him.
This proves to be ineffective, and Eren's head transforms again into a new Colossus form to continue its march. He is met by Armin, who chooses to engage him in a hand-to-hand fight with his Colossus Titan form. Eren once again proves to be the better fighter between the two, but Armin manages to immobilize him long enough for Mikasa to enter his Titan's mouth and and kill Eren by severing his head from the spine, before kissing him goodbye.
Following his death, Mikasa and Armin decide to bury Eren's head at the foot of the tree he liked to nap under outside of Shiganshina District, and a small grave is made there for Eren, which Mikasa continues to visit years later.
Powers and Abilities
Powers of the Nine Titans
In general, Eren Yeager has access to the basic power and abilities of a Titan. Having access to the Attack, Founding and War Hammer Titans, however, Eren also has special abilities granted from these three Titans.
- Superhuman Strength: As a Titan, Eren has displayed strength far beyond human capabilities on multiple occasions. Some of these include carrying a massive boulder over his head, punching the Female Titan with enough force to send her into the air, moving the collosal titan´s. He was also able to break the Armored Titan's armor at one point, relying on his martial skills. In regards to opposition, Eren´s titan form is evenly matched against the female, armored, jaw and other titans with few exceptions like the colossal, warhammer and even the beast titan, since he single-handedly defeated the armored titan much faster than the Eren himself.
- Superhuman Speed: Eren in his Titan form can move at speed surpassing human capabilities. His speed has shown to rival with that of the Female Titan.
- Superhuman Endurance: Eren in his Titan form has shown to take heavy hits from the likes of Reiner and Annie and stand back up on his toes quickly from them, despite having his jaw destroyed and being punched hundreds of feat. During his first transformation, he defeated 20 mindless Titans with moderate difficulty His endurance improves during his time in Marley, when he turns into a Titan three times in a row without rest.
- Regenerative Healing Factor: Eren can heal from serious injuries and wounds as both a Titan and as a regular human. He has also shown to be able to stop the regenerating process and hold it for a long period of time, most notably being when he cut off his own leg to play off as an injured Marleyan soldier.
- Healing Withdrawal: As briefly mentioned, Eren can withhold his regenerative healing for 3 years during his infiltration in the marleyan military similar Reiner braun during his time in the paradis military.
- Crystal Hardening: After drinking Rod Reiss' bottle of "Armor", Eren has gained the ability to harden his Titan form. This ability ranges from hardening his fists to his entire body. His hardened fists are strong and durable enough to break the Armored Titan's armor and can hold massive structures together in place.
- Structural Hardening/Creation: With the powers of the War Hammer Titan, Eren is able to create various solid structures made from his Titan flesh and can use them to layout traps, ambush his opponents or create weaponry.
- Future Memory Inheritance/Clairvoyance: With the powers of the Attack Titan, Eren is able to see the memories of future inheritors, or relay his memories to previous users. Eren later revealed to Armin as a negative side effect with additionally having the Founding Titan, Eren's perception of time became non-linear and he acted with the flow of the history he was shown, and thought incoherently. However it also gave Eren a more powerful version of the Future Memory Inheritance ability, letting him take control of Dina Fritz's pure titan 9 years into the past to ensure history played out as he remembered.
- The Coordinate/Founding: With the powers of the Founding Titan, Eren has access to the Coordinate, where all the Eldian Paths converge. With the Coordinate, the Founder is able to manipulate the Subjects of Ymir (all of them connected to the Coordinate) in almost every way as they act as if they were part of the Founder's own body itself. This allows the Founder to change the composition of the bodies of all Subjects of Ymir and could have several applications, including but most likely not limited to: memory manipulation, sickness immunity, telepathy and potentially causing their bodies to be sterile. The Founder can also cause any Subject of Ymir to become any type of mindless Titan the Founder wishes and its control over them is completely absolute. Initially, he could not use the Coordinate freely because he does not have royal blood and had to come into contact with a member of the royal family to gain access to it, but after Ymir Fritz was convinced by Eren that she was not a slave to the royal family, she granted him the full power of the Coordinate and can now use its immense power with no restriction. However, in spite of this, the royal blood seems to still be necessary in order to keep the Founder fully active, as evidenced when Zeke was killed and the Rumbling came to a sudden halt. This was very briefly though, as Eren was able to create a new Founding Titan in the shape of the Colossus Titan, and emit a gas that would turn all the other Eldians present (with the exception of other titan inheritors and members of the Ackerman family), into Pure Titans.
- 3D Maneuvering Skills: Eren initially started off struggling with handling the 3D Maneuvering Gear equipment. However, even when training with a broken one, he was able to keep himself balanced for a short period of time, which Keith Shadis noted as an impressive feat. Eren is commonly not seeing using this gear as he mainly engages in battle in his Titan form, but when using his gear, he displays competent skill with it. Most notably is when he faced off against Bertolt Hoover after returning to Shiganshina, where he launched himself in the air and cut him out of the Colossal Titan.
- Martial Arts: During his time at the 104th Training Corps, Eren would sometimes practice his martial art skills with his friends. One of these notable moments is with Annie Leonhart, who taught him a special trick of evading attacks and pinning your opponent down. These skills would later come in play when taking on the Armored Titan for the first time.
- Master Manipulation: After the time-skip, Eren has become quite adept at manipulating people to accomplish his goals, evidenced at when he easily manipulated Falco into sending letters for him to plan an attack on Liberio and lead Reiner into a trap. This is taken to a whole new level in the War for Paradis arc, where Eren engineers his way out of prison and when it is revealed that he has been manipulating Zeke the whole time just to access the power of the Founding Titan. He also manipulates Grisha by showing him only the memories he wants his father to see in order for him to kill the Reiss royal family.
- Eren and his father, Grisha Yeager, are the only known Titan shifters to have taken more than one of the Nine Titans.
- Eren was likely named after the first known inheritor of the Attack Titan, Eren Kruger, who had a profound influence on Eren's father Grisha. Ironically enough, Eren would later use Kruger's last name when infiltrating Marley, presenting himself as Eren Kruger.
- Hajime Isayama designed Eren's Attack Titan form after Japanese martial artist Yūshin Okami.
- His surname, Yeager, is derived from the German word Jäger, meaning "hunter".
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