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|“||It is certain that the Eldians are the descendants of the Devil. And it is certain that we are the Devils...||„|
|~ Theo Magath reflects on Marley's status in the world.|
|“||Marley, oppressed more than any other by those devils...then used them to oppress other nations...only repeating the tragedies of the past.||„|
|~ Willy Tybur points out modern Marley's hypocrisy.|
Marley is a sovereign nation in the Attack on Titan universe and serves as the main antagonistic faction of the entire series, replacing the Titans.
Having once been slaves and victims to the Eldian empire - with no ways of fighting back due to the Titan powers of the Eldians, Marley eventually broke free by initiating the Great Titan War in which they managed to steal seven of the nine titan shifters from Eldia. With the Eldian King - who felt that Marley was in the right due to the cruel ways they were treated by the Eldians - not interfering and instead bringing his people to the island Paradis, where he planned to keep his people until Marley decided to annihilate them all, Marley were able to become a dominant power on the mainland. They also swiftly started rounding up any reminding Eldians in their territory and imprisoning them in ghettos. Overtime, the Marleyans become worse than their former oppressor.
Over 1,820 years ago, Ymir Fritz as came across the "source of all organic material". With this discovery, Ymir gained the power of the Titans, becoming the progenitor of all Titans. The power of her Titan, the Founding Titan, was the coordinating point linking unseen "paths" which united the minds of her subjects. What she accomplished with her powers is unknown, but after 13 years Ymir met her death, and her "soul" was split between nine successors. However, her memories would live on throughout the generations due to the abilities of the Founding Titan. Furthermore, all inheritors of her power would be doomed to die after 13 years as she did, in a phenomena that would later be known as the "Curse of Ymir". No Titan would possess more power than Ymir had possessed in life.
Ymir's story is slandered in Marleyan legends. Some time after her death, Ymir's existence was hailed as a god-given miracle. Many would claim that as the Founding Titan, she used her Titan power to cultivate barren lands, build roads across the lands, and raise bridges through the mountains of the world, overall bringing great changes to the Eldian Empire though these claims could never be supported. On the other hand, after the fall of the Eldian Empire in the Great Titan War, the new Marley government would spread slanderous legends that Ymir's power was derived from the "Devil of All Earth". All Titans originate from Eldia. Every single Titan was a human being with Eldian origins who can become a Titan if injected with a particular serum. Only select few like the Ackerman clan, Asians, and certain royals are unaffected by this and thus will never be able to turn into Titans or Titan Shifters.
The Marleyans have been dominated by Ymir's people and according to the Marleyans, they were also eaten by them. Over a century before the battle of Trost, the 145th King of the Fritz family inherited the power of the Founding Titan. For many hundreds of years, eight houses led by the eight Titan shifters subservient to the Fritz family were constantly at war with each other. Rather than following the method of his ancestors and using the Founding Titan to maintain order in the nation of Eldia, King Fritz chose instead to move the capital of Eldia to the island of Paradis to the east of the mainland of their nation. In the King's absence, the oppressed society of Marley instigated the Great Titan War in Eldia, taking control of seven out of the nine Eldian Titans and rising up against their oppressors.
The Eldians who were born in Marley are treated lowly: they live in the ghettos as a low class and are used as soldiers for suicide missions. Zeke Yeager is one of these soldiers and doesn't share the views of his father Grisha Yeager and his mother Dina Yeager, who were Eldia Restorationists who rebelled against the Marley government. Such group was born from the hateful cruelty of the Marley soldiers, whos actions weren't controlled by the government and also provoked the leaders (Eren Kruger and Grisha) by burning alive Kruger's family in front of him and sadistically murdering Grisha's little sister, Fay Yeager, by having her mauled by hounds. The Public Security Authorities eventually discovered the cult of the Eldia Restorationists and punished them by injecting them with titan serum and throwing them off to Paradis, including Dina.
Plan to regain the Founder and War against Paradis
At the closing of the Great Titan War, King Fritz had made a vow of pacifism, promising to keep his Eldians trapped until Marley wanted to strike. He also vowed not to take part in the history of the outside world. However, the Marleyan government informed its citizen that King Fritz had made the ultimatum that if Marley made any move against the remnants of Eldia, the Founding Titan would be used to unleash the countless Colossus Titans which made up the three Walls surrounding Eldia's last territory. However, once Marley decided to make its move on Paradis, they did not know whether the current King of the Walls had the same ideas as Fritz. So, in order to prevent potential desaster, the military of Marley chose to begin a warrior program in which low-class Eldian citizens within Marley would offer their children between the ages of 5 and 7 to the Marleyan military, where they would train until seven would be chosen to inherit the seven Titans in Marleyan possession.
Marley's real goal is to regain the Founding Titan and remain the most powerful nation in the world, using Titans to control it. As Marley kept fighting the war against Eldian factions and their human allies, a group of Titan Shifters was sent to Paradis to recover the coordinate (Founding Titan) from the Reiss family, retrieve the Attack Titan stolen from Krueger years ago, eradicate all the Eldians who lived inside those walls, and bring the Reiss member with the coordinate to Marley. As of Marley's decision to move against Paradis to secure its vast fossil resource, the PSA are also tasked with recruiting warriors from among the Eldian children aged 5–7 in service of the Marley government with the promise of designating the Eldian families of the chosen children as honorary Marleyans. Zeke Yeager, Bertolt Hoover, Reiner Braun, Annie Leonhart, Marcel, Galliard, and Pieck are known to be among those chosen children, and were also chosen to inherit the seven titans. It seems the warrior recruits were subjected to pro-Marleyan indoctrination as part of their training, as Zeke exposed the identity of his parents after he was selected. Meanwhile, Grisha had inherited Eren Krueger's titan power and escaped Marley a long time ago, and abandoned Zeke, as he made a new life in Paradis, befriended Eldians such as Keith Shadis and Hannes, and married an Eldian woman Carla from whom he had another son, Eren, who shares his first name with the deceased Krueger.
Out of the seven Eldian children, Zeke was chosen to become the warchief of the seven warriors, likely due to his older age and royal Fritz blood inherited from his mother Dina Fritz. Annie, in particular, faced grueling combat training in her early childhood in preparation for the program, supervised by her father. However, before she departed on her mission, her father gave her his heartfelt apologies, assuring her that even if the world came to hate her, she would still have her father by her side. All that he asked of her is that she would promise to return home.
In the year 845, Marley sent Titan shifters to the Walls with the mission of wiping out its inhabitants, taking the Coordinate from the Reiss family, and putting an end to the cursed history of the people of the Walls. The four known Titan shifters sent were Bertolt Hoover, the Colossus Titan who would destroy the outer gate of Shiganshina District; Reiner Braun, the Armored Titan who would destroy the inner gate; Annie Leonhart, the Female Titan who presumably called forth the Titans who would invade Wall Maria; and Marcel whose Titan form and purpose are currently unknown.
When they arrived at Shiganshina District, the warriors succeeded in breaching both gates and sending the Titans swarming into humanity's territory. However, before Marcel could succeed in whatever task he was given, a mindless Titan attacks Reiner. He sacrifices himself to save the others, being consumed by the Titan. As the other warriors flee, this Titan inherits Marcel's Titan shifting power and returns to her human form, Ymir, a homeless girl with a name to great for her to bare.
Reiner Braun and Bertolt Hoover were to lead the genocide by kicking the Walls to let mindless titans in. This group of soldiers was dysfunctional and their poor planning led to their failures: Marcel died as a kid before even reaching the destination, Annie started to get sympathetic towards Eldians, Reiner developed identity crisis, and Bertolt remained the only one still fully obedient to Marley and decided to act on his own to protect his friends and just kill all people of Paradis.
Two years after their successful attack on Wall Maria, in the year 847, the warriors enter the 104th Training Corps in the hopes to achieve the highest ranks possible and entering into the Military Police Brigade, giving them easy access to the Interior, and by extent the Reiss family, the holders of the Coordinate. Reiner, Bertolt, and Annie succeeded in earning ranks within the top ten of their Training Corps.
After receiving their desired ranks in the 104th Training Corps, the warriors proceed with their mission on the day before their scheduled graduation. In the year 850, Bertolt Hoover attacks again and successfully breaches the outer gate of Trost District. However, the warriors bring their mission to a halt when they discover a Titan who is openly fighting other Titans, later revealed to be Eren Yeager with newfound Titan shifting abilities. With this unexpected turn of events, the warriors begin to suspect that Eren might have somehow inherited the Coordinate. They halt their plans, and the inner gate is never attacked by Reiner. However, Bertolt and Reiner are caught by the Eldian soldier Marco Bodt, but before he could act they got rid of him, using Annie to let him die at the hands of a Pure Titan.
When the time comes for their graduation, Bertolt and Reiner change their plans of joining the Military Police and instead join the Survey Corps, Eren's chosen military branch. Annie Leonhart proceeds with her original decision to join the Military Police Brigade in the Interior. However, when the Survey Corps embarks on the 57th expedition beyond the Walls, Annie invades the expedition as the Female Titan in order to locate and capture Eren for the Hometown. With the help of Reiner she nearly succeeds and manages to wipe out the Special Operations Squad, but is foiled by Mikasa Ackerman and Captain Levi. Because she spared Armin Arlert in the attack on the expedition, she is found out to be the Female Titan. A few days after the expedition, Annie battles with Eren in Stohess District and is ultimately caught by the Survey Corps. However, she uses her specialized hardening abilities to conceal herself in an ultra-hard layer of crystallized skin, preventing interrogation. Annie's comatose body is kept in the custody of the Survey Corps.
On the same day as the battle within Stohess District, a new warrior arrives within the Walls. Warchief Zeke Yeager, an experienced and powerful warrior of Marley, invades Wall Rose, turning the people of Ragako village into mindless Titans, perhaps in order to test humanity's strength, before leaving Wall Rose later that night. During the ensuing efforts of the Survey Corps and Garrison to deal with the event, the Survey Corps receives family records from the chaos of five years ago and begin to suspect that Reiner and Bertolt were in league with Annie. A day after the beginning of the Ragako event, Reiner and Bertolt are indeed discovered to be the Armored and Colossus Titans. Throwing all secrecy away, Reiner and Bertolt battle with the Survey Corps and capture Eren and Ymir, who they learned earlier was the Titan that ate Marcel. Over five hours later, a combined effort of all three military forces embarks on a rescue operation, and Eren is retrieved. In this battle, Eren seemingly unleashes the Coordinate upon Reiner and Bertolt, confirming their worst fears. The warriors flee with Ymir to Shiganshina District to recover and formulate a new plan. Ymir is later taken prisoner by the Marley military and executed by being eaten by Marcel's brother, Porco Galliard, who inherits the Jaw Titan's power.
Two months later, Zeke brings Pieck with him and joins with Reiner and Bertolt in their mission to destroy the Survey Corps. The two express their desire to save Annie from the Survey Corps, but Zeke prioritizes the retrieval of the Coordinate. They lie in waiting in Shiganshina District for the Survey Corps to arrive in search of Eren's basement, which is believed to hold secrets of the Titans. When the Survey Corps arrives, a battle ensues between the soldiers and Zeke's warriors and Titans. The Corps, numbering in over one hundred at the start of the battle, loses nearly all of its soldiers in the attack, though they succeed in defeating Reiner and Bertolt. However, in the last moments of the conflict, Pieck, using her Cartman Titan, saves Zeke from Levi. Using Pieck as a mount, Zeke is also able to rescue Reiner from Hanji and escape from the battle, leaving Bertolt to the mercy of the Survey Corps. Shortly thereafter, Bertolt is eaten alive by a revived Armin Arlert after being administered the Titan serum, signaling the loss of the Colossus Titan. This is the final battle against Paradis. After that, Marley terminated the plan and the Walls were never attacked again.
War against the Mid-East Allied Forces
During the last 4 years, the remainder of the eradicated Survey Corps started exploring the world outside the Walls and liberated the entire island from the Titans and found the ocean. The table turned and Marley suffered great losses, as their navy has been greatly damaged by Eren and Armin's titans. Now free from the royal Reiss and Fritz tyranny of the Walls suffered from their own Eldian rulers, Paradis started developing its technology as well. The nations of the world started to rebel against Marley's Titan power.
The defeats of Bertolt Hoover and Annie Leonhart signed the beginning of the end of the dominion of the Titans in Earth and a huge crisis for the Marleyans. Ever since the great failure, another enemy nation of Marley rose in attack and declared war: the Mid-East Allied Forces. They are generally equal to Marley in terms of military technology, but are superior in some instances. took advantage of their enemy's weakened military capabilities and declared war on Marley. Over the course of four years, the Mid-East Allied Forces gradually lost their advantage against the enemy, losing control of the seas by the time of the battle of Fort Slava. The Allies' navy, however, dealt significant damage to the Marley navy in their naval battles.
At some point before or during the war, the Allies develop the anti-Titan artillery, a heavy cannon designed to kill any Titan in a single shot, even one of the Nine Titans.
After four years, the Allies make a final stand at Fort Slava, a fortress equipped with heavy machine gun defenses and anti-Titan artillery overlooking their last naval station. Commander Magath of the Marley military leads a siege against the fort alongside an 800-man unit of warrior cadets, with their Titan shifters kept on standby, as Magath is unable to use them due to the anti-Titan defenses implemented by the Allies. However, when cadet Gabi destroys the armored train carrying artillery around the fort, the Allied soldiers are attacked by Jaws, the Titan of Galliard.
Despite the battle being won, Marley realizes that the age of the Titans has come to an end. Accordingly, they plan to show the world their strength by planning an attack on Paradis, using the world's united hatred against Eldians as a way of uniting the nations. Marley invites envoys and ambassadors, including reporters, from many countries in order to convince them to join Marley in attacking Paradis and extinguishing the Titans. Willy Tybur, patriarch of the Tybur family - an Eldian family that joined Marley early during the rebellion and was awarded the status of "honorary Marleyans" - plans to unite the people by informing them that the fact they believed for years - that Karl Fritz threatened to unleash the Wall Titans should the ever be attacked - was a lie because Fritz made a vow of pacifism which each of his successors inherited. However, Tybur reveals that the Coordinate has recently been stolen by Eren Yeager, who made no such promise and might be willing to unleash the countless wall titans onto Marley and the other states.
Battle of Rebellio
While Tybur holds his speech, surprising and convincing the ambassadors and envoys to join Marley in declaring war on Paradis, suddenly Eren Yeager himself appears in his titan form behind the stage, smashing and murdering Tybur in front of everyone. While most of the audience flee the slaughter, Eren moves on and annihilates the assembled military leaders of Marley - who have been deliberately sacrificed by Willy and Magath so that Magath, now the highest ranking military official, could build Marley's military anew. Meanwhile, Willy's sister is revealed to be the real Warhammer Titan and transforms and attacks Eren. While Magath's soldiers attempt to shoot Eren with Anti-Titan-Artillery, they are suddenly attacked and killed by the Paradis Scout Regiment, leaving Magath's fate ambiguous. Although she manages to defeat Eren, the Warhammer Titan is taken down by Mikasa Ackermann.
While the Survey Corps destroys military buildings in Liberio and kills all the Marleyan soldiers attempting to fight back, the situation on the plaza resolves into an all-out titan war when the Warhammer Titan gets back up and in addition, Pieck and Porco join the fight in titan form. In addition, the Survey Corps attaches lights to conquered buildings for a yet unknown plan. Once the Beast Titan appears as well, the few remaining Marleyan soldiers, Magath included, are forced to stand back as the Survey Corps and the Titans are about to clash once more. At the harbor of Rebellio, Armin Arlert transforms into the Colossus Titan, completely annihilating the port and the assembled fleet. During the fight in Rebellio, Pieck is severely wounded when her Titan is ripped apart by the Survey Corps' thunder spears and the Beast Titan is cut down by Levi, seemingly killing Zeke. After Eren can get hold of the crystal now holding the War Hammer Titan, he picks up the defeated Jaw Titan, puts the crystal into his mouth and crushes it with force, smashing Lady Tybur and drinking her remains. With Marley's military severely weakened, the Survey Corps flees in an airship.
In the aftermath of the battle, Marley and the military forces of the other nations unite to perform an annihilation attack on Paradis in six months. Thus, Willy Tybur actually succeeded in his plan to unite the earth against Eldia, despite having lost his life in the process. It is also revealed that Zeke is not dead but defected to Eldia and fled aboard their airship. Since Gabi and Falco have also entered the airship and are now prisoners, Reiner pitches a proposal to Magath; infiltrating Paradis Island and performing a surprise attack before the United Forces of the world are even assembled. Magath accepts and sends Pieck to infiltrate the Walls of Paradis.
- Marley resembles Nazi Germany in both its general aesthetics and politics but its technological development is slightly less advanced, being at around early 20th century level.
- According to the character Udo, the treatment of Eldians from the Marley nation is a lot tamer compared to the rest of the world. Humanity wanted the Eldians all dead and are still impatient to see Paradis gone, but Marley convinced the other nations to keep the Eldians alive. Still, the other countries treat Eldians so badly that many of them emigrate to Marley for better treatment, like Udo's family. So apparently, if it wasn't for Marley, the Eldians would have already been exterminated.
- Marley's reason to desire for the annihilation of Eldia may go beyond revenge or conquest. Since modern Marley uses Titans to conquer other countries, they are as hated as Eldia was and if they did not ally with the world first, the world may ally against them as soon as the Titans became obsolete, as theorized by Theo Magath.