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To create this world.... To govern its very foundation....Do you know what we call that? God. What we call that...is God. There is meaning in every catastrophe. Whether humanity is fated to die, or survive...that decision is in God's hands. And my duty is to bring God back to our world and offer them my prayers. I'm sorry for not explaining everything earlier. But...what other choice do we have left? [...] I'm praying, Historia. For God to lead and guide humanity!
~ Rod explaining the beliefs of the Reiss family.

Rod Reiss, often publicly referred to as Lord Reiss, is a major antagonist of the Attack on Titan franchise, serving as the main antagonist of the Royal Government arc.

He is the real King of humanity within the Walls and uses a false royal family under a figurehead King, presented as the Fritz family, to hide his true power. Officially, he is a regional lord from a northern land in Wall Rose, although he owns a main residence within Wall Sina. He is also the true reason why the Military Police Brigade wanted Eren Yeager so badly during the Female Titan arc, making him the overarching antagonist of the arc.

With his wife, Rod had two sons - Urklyn and Dirk- and three daughters - Frieda, Abel and Florian. He is also the father of Historia Reiss, formerly known as "Krista Lenz", whom he had through an affair with a woman named Alma.

He is a member of Eldia's royal family, the only family who can successfully use the true power of the Founding Titan. When the First King of the Walls erased the memories of the caged humanity, the Fritz family changed their name into Reiss to hide their origins, whilst inserting a noble line of figureheads to the throne.

Under the shadows, Rod rules over the Walls and controls the Royal Assembly of the capital Mitras, a restricted council for only the deepest leaders of the monarchy, which includes the figurehead Fritz kings who rule on the Reiss family's behalf. Other than Rod, the rest of the Assembly nobles and their families are not Subjects of Ymir, and thus are immune to the Founder's control. The Assembly controls the rest of the Royal Government leaders, the chancellery, all the armed nobility and regional lords of the Walls, the military, the wealthy citizens, the newspapers, and the common folk. The whole administration is controlled and governed by the true King Rod, who also guided his eldest daughter Frieda during her rule and dealt with the politics with other nobles and officials in her behalf.

He is voiced by Yusaku Yara in the Japanese version of the anime and Kenny Green in the English version.

Appearance[]

Rod is a short elderly man, standing at a height of 158 cm (similar to Historia), however, he is rather overweighted, with a weight of 68 kg. Rod usually wears white button-front shirt with a black pullover vest, loose black pants and black dress shoes.

As an Abnormal Pure Titan, Rod is known to be the second tallest Titan known in the Attack on Titan franchise, standing 120 meters which is 2 times the size of the Colossal Titan, however, due to its immense size, Rod's Titan is unable to stand, and his constant crawling on the ground damages himself, making his whole body exposed, showing its internal organs.

Biography[]

Rod Reiss was the eldest son of a male Reiss nobleman who would inherit the Founding Titan and become the true King of humanity many years later, sometime around 816. At some point, Rod was joined by a younger brother, Uri. For thirteen years, Rod and Uri constantly begged their father to release humanity from their imprisonment and eliminate all the Titans outside, but he always refused, never disclosing why. It apparently had been so many times that Rod was locked behind bars for his attempts, and it is implied to have happened more than once.

When Rod was still a younger man, he married to an unnamed noble woman, and would have several children with her. They had Frieda in 827 and Urklyn in 828. When it came time for Rod and Uri's father to pass his position to a son, Uri volunteered, asking Rod to pray, and inherited the Founder in 829. After Rod observed his father's presence in Uri the moment his brother had opened his eyes, he realized he had become an all-knowing being and protector of the world; God. On his brother's promise, Rod made his mission to devote his time to protect and guide God and offer his prayers to it.

At some point Rod met Kenny Ackerman when the latter tried to kill Rod's brother and then-King, Uri Reiss. Rod held Kenny at gunpoint with his rifle, after the latter was defeated by Uri's partially-formed Founding Titan. Despite Rod telling Uri several times that they should kill him, especially if he was an Ackerman, Uri refused and apologized to Kenny for the long persecution the Ackermans had to face from the Royal Family (Kenny's father having been executed by the government). This created a bond between the two and Kenny became a servant of the Royal Family, especially working as Rod's enforcer. As Uri suspected, he and Rod found out from Kenny that he was informed about the Reiss family's identity as the true rulers of the Walls by a traitor within the Royal Assembly. After Kenny revealed the traitor's name, Rod and Uri had the minister killed and put Kenny in his place to introduce him to the other nobles of the Assembly. Kenny's service finally ended the persecution of the Ackerman family, due to its renewed loyalty to the King and the rest of the remaining Ackermans being completely clueless about humanity's history.

In total, Rod and his wife had five children: Frieda, Urklyn, Dirk, Abel, and Florian. Dirk was born in 831, and Abel joined in 833 (on the same year as Abel, Reiner Braun was born). Frieda was Rod's favorite child and the person he loved the most in the world. Rod conceived an illegitimate daughter, Historia, with Alma, one of his maids and his closest confidant. During early 835, Rod's youngest legitimate daughter Florian was born to his wife, and only one day later, Historia was also born at the same time to Alma. When Historia was discovered, his mistress was fired, and both her and her daughter were sent away from the Reiss residence and exiled to a land in northern Wall Rose that Rod leased to Alma's parents for farming. It is implied that Alma regularly kept seeing Rod in private in Wall Sina and remained his mistress. Years later, Alma would go off living somewhere else, as far away from her daughter as possible.

During 842, Frieda volunteered to inherit the Founding Titan from her uncle Uri and become the next queen, promising her father Rod that she would not to fall victim to the ghosts of their ancestors (on the same year, Zeke Yeager inherited the Beast Titan from Tom Ksaver and Gabi Braun was born). However, just like Uri, Frieda fell to the influence of the First King. Occasionally, Frieda would go visit her half-sister Historia to the farm of Alma's parents, to check on her and educate her, although she regularly erased all her memories of their meetings (but not her education) to protect her.

Prologue arc[]

During 845, the Titans destroy the Walls and invade humanity's lands for the first time since 100 years ago. On the day that Wall Maria fell to the Colossal Titan and the Armored Titan's attack, the entire Reiss family goes to a chapel owned by themselves to pray in a secret underground area built with Titan hardening; the place where the Founding Titan is passed on to the family and the King's secret headquarters. However, they are unexpectedly interrupted when somehow Dr. Grisha Yeager appears, introduces himself as an Eldian who came from outside the Walls, and begs the family to stop the enemy invaders from killing the entire population. Bound by King Karl Reiss' will, Frieda Reiss declines the plea by answering that Eldia must not escape from its sins and that humanity's judgement has finally come for the Subjects of Ymir, for all their past atrocities during the Eldian Empire's rule.

Neither Rod nor any member of his family acts confused or surprised during the entire argument between Frieda and Grisha about Eldia's guilt and humanity living outside the Walls, implying that somehow they managed to have Frieda revealing them some memories about Eldia and the world's history, but not enough to make Rod stop believing the Founder's will to be godly. Frieda states that her eyes were opened upon seeing memories of past atrocities and abuses of power committed by Eldia's monarchs, including the events of the Great Titan War a century ago, which ended with Eldia's fall. Now it is the duty of the Reiss family to protect both the world and the peace within the Walls, until the inevitable revenge of the world on Eldians, who according to King Reiss are the only ones who need to perish. Frieda tells Grisha that this will atone for all the lives stolen by the Eldian Empire throughout centuries, and that the power of the Founding Titan must not fall into the hands of humans weak to power ever again, and said power will be unusable once the royal family will finally die at the hands of the invaders.

After Frieda counters all of Grisha's arguments and turns down all his pleas, with Rod and the rest of the family silently supporting her, Grisha reveals himself as an inheritor holder of one the Nine Titans, his form being the Attack Titan, which never submitted to anyone. Grisha tells the Reiss family that his Titan is able to glimpse in the future and see certain events yet to come. He starts to scare Rod and everyone else when he also reveals to know that Frieda cannot use the full power of the Founder, due to the limitations imposed by the war renouncing vow. Frieda tells her family to run when Grisha declares that the Reiss family is going to end this very night and prepares to transform, only to fall on his knees in pain and hesitate, due to his inability to kill children or harmless people. This causes Frieda not to transform as well, unless Grisha makes his move. A panicking Rod, however, urges Frieda to transform and kill Grisha at once, before the man can do the same to the whole family. He is joined by his wife and children, who all shout at Frieda to protect her family and their paradise. Eventually, after his mind pushed him to carry on with his mission, Grisha finally stands again and transforms into the Attack Titan, to which Frieda answers by transforming into the Founding Titan, and the two engage in combat.

Though Frieda possesses the power of the Founding Titan, she is inexperienced and only allowed by the First King's will to partially use said power, and thus is quickly and easily defeated and eaten by Grisha's Attack Titan. Despite being told to run, Rod and his family could only stand and watch in horror as Frieda was killed. Grisha then proceeds to kill the rest of the Reiss bloodline, even the children, trampling both Dirk and Abel at the same time, then doing the same to Rod's wife with Florian in her arms, and finally grabbing Urklyn and squeezing him to death. Only Rod manages to escape untouched, blindly fleeing after watching all his family being killed. He miraculously manages to run away from the burning chapel as Grisha's Titan bursts out of it, without Grisha chasing after him.

As the Titans broke trough Wall Maria and invaded all its lands, a large number of refugees come flooding into Wall Rose. A lot of human territory and regions are lost, many nobles and regional lords have to leave their lands, and a great deal of huge business companies from all three Walls suffer financial issues, as most of them owned many activities and enterprises in Wall Maria. The citizens of Trost District also fall in a panic, due to them becoming the closest ones to the Titans, who mainly advance from the south. Two days after the disaster, the Royal Government choose to concentrate all of human activity within Wall Rose and decide that the refugees are going to work on the farmlands as an effort to boost up food rations, in an attempt to prevent famine and conflicts.

Instead of informing the Assembly of the tragedy that occured beneath his family's chapel, Rod keeps secret to them the fact that he has actually lost the Founding Titan, to avoid overbearing rulers like Aurille usurping the Reiss power, as Rod starts to feel that the Reiss will lose their position in the world as the ones "above humanity" and in the center. Having lost his family's key of power, Reiss fears to lose his place in the world, and thus decides he must retrieve the power through a new heir. He decides to take both his mistress Alma and his illegitimate daughter Historia back to his household, so that Historia will one day become the new inheritor of the Founder, while he will make more children for the Reiss family. A few days after the tragedies that occured, Rod heads with Alma to her parents' farm in the land owned by himself to take custody of Historia, seeking her royal blood. Rod's government officials, however, discover his intentions, oppose his decision and become infuriated that Rod is going to introduce himself as the father of a common peasant girl not involved with the nobility. None of the rulers, however, understand why suddenly Rod is after Historia, not even the Interior Military Police, and they all assume the Fall of Wall Maria is causing him to act rashly.

Aurille and the other noble ministers of the Assembly view Rod's behavior as selfish and irresponsible, and they think he keeps ignoring his duty towards the Reiss family to do as he pleases. On the same night Rod and his lover Alma go to take Historia, Aurille and his colleagues send Kenny Ackerman, Djel Sannes, and other officers of the Military Police's First Interior Squad, all disguised in black coats, to kill both Alma and Historia to prevent Rod from embarassing the "holy" reputation of the Reiss, who in the eyes of the public are a noble family very close and involved with the Church.

At Alma's parents' farm, Rod introduces himself to the young Historia, who is one the same age as the late Florian. Historia knows Rod by name as the Lord of the land where her grandparents and neighbor farmers live in. Rod tells her that he is her biological father and that she has to leave the farm and live with him from now on. Historia notices her mother Alma, whom she did not see for the past years, standing nearby quietly and being visibly frightened. As Historia is leaving the farm with her parents, the Police's First Interior Squad intervenes and swarms around Historia and her mother. Kenny confrtons Rod about his actions and questions if Rod is familiar with the two women, which he denies in a quite tone that confirms he is allowing the MP to kill Alma and Historia. Screaming in fear, Alma calls for her master and begs him to spare her, but Rod turns away from her and their daughter and stands silent.

Rod watches as his mistress Alma's throat is slit by Kenny while she desperately denies being Historia's mother, until she gives up and finally expresses her regret for giving birth to Historia. As Kenny moves in to kill Historia as well, Rod orders him to wait and suddenly proposes having the girl sent away from the Reiss lands to live a quiet humble life in southern Wall Rose, as near as possible to Titan territory. Historia is to join the Military Training Corps in two years, as soon as she will reach the eligible age. Rod suggests that that he might have Historia enroll in the Survey Corps in the future, hopefully to die in battle outside the Walls. Seeing this as a fitting alternative, the First Interior Squad agrees to his suggestion. This is revealed later to have been a charade invented by Rod, as up until that point the Military Police making demands of the King seemed somewhat peculiar, and later on Kenny acknowledges having gone along with Rod's plan to get her into the Training Corps. However, Rod also deliberately sacrificed his own lover for this and got rid her, as she was seen as an embarassment by the upper nobility for being a "country whore".

On Rod's command, Historia was spared and allowed to live a quiet life as far away from the Reiss lands and the Interior as possible, forcing her to take the new identity made by Rod himself as Christa Lenz, which is based on a legendary figure with the same name from a book. Rod's colleagues, Aurille, Gerald, Deltoff and Roderich are not so pleased, as they preferred Historia to be dead, but Rod enforced his authority and it is decided that Historia will continue living in the south. Rod and the Assembly instruct the Church's trusted Pastors involved with the Walls' secrets to monitor the girl.

Only some time later, Rod will finally admit and reveal to the Assembly that Frieda and the rest of the Reiss family have been murdered by the Attack Titan Grisha Yeager, after Rod is eventually forced to reveal Frieda's absence and how the Reiss Chapel was destroyed. Rod keeping secret the fact that the Founding Titan is lost will cause the anger of the Assembly and Kenny at Rod for displaying more selfishness and irresponsible behavior. Despite this and Alma's execution, the Assembly still does not support the idea of letting Historia live in Rod's castle and becoming his heir, due to her being born from an affair, and instead want Rod to marry again and have new legitimate children. Officially for the rest of the population and the newspapers, Rod declares that his family has been massacred by unknown bandits, who also burned the chapel. Rod will have his family's chapel rebuilt, in order to continue using its underground hideout.

While the existence of the Colossal Titan and Armored Titan are a mystery to almost the entire population, Rod and the ruling families of the Royal Assembly are well aware that the two monsters are actually human invaders and Intelligent Titans. Due to this knowledge, the rulers of the Walls fear the arrival of the hostile outsiders and entirely stop hiring new servants for their households in their lands or the capital Mitras' royal palace, out of concern about the enemy's possible objective being to infiltrate the Interior and assassinate the royal family and/or steal the Founding Titan.

The efforts of the monarchy to have the refugees produce more food are not enough to prevent a huge food shortage crisis in Wall Rose due to the loss of land and territory, which causes mass famine and rising hostilities between the Wall Maria refugees and the citizens of Wall Rose. The resources dwindle, and during the winter the cold and harsh ground unfortunately does not raise enough extra food. Things are starting to escalate in a possible civil war, which increase the risk of the involvement of Wall Sina and the possibility of the resentful people of Maria and Rose trying to breach it. Eventually in 846, one year after the Fall of Wall Maria, Rod, Aurille and the rest of the Royal Government make a plan to get rid of the war problem. The monarchy declares the Operation to Reclaim Wall Maria, a mission in which the majority of the refugees have to go back to Wall Maria with the Survey Corps to fight the Titans and reclaim back the land. The government forces the majority of the refugees to join this mission, under the Survey Corps' leadership.

The mission is a complete disaster; from the around 250.000 people who were sent out, less than 200 of them come back alive. Almost the entire remaining population of Wall Maria has been killed and devoured by the Titans, resulting with the death of 20% of the overall population within the Walls, one fifth of the population. The overall remaining refugees left in Wall Rose are so few and outnumbered by the population of Wall Rose that civil war never erupts, and the food shortage is also slightly eased enough to avoid chaos, although the remaining refugees keep providing food for themselves by hunting, fishing and working on lands that belong to Wall Rose's citizens, but at that point the people of Wall Maria merged with those of Rose.

To most people, and to all of them after the operation, it was clear what the not-so-secret intentions of the monarchy were; they simply wanted to shorten the amount of refugees so there were fewer mouths to feed. They could not come up with any solution to handle the large masses of unemployed people they could not feed, and thus the true King Rod and his council decided it was either sacrificing the majority of the refugees, or risk their paradise and the peace within the Walls. The Wall Maria recapture operation was in truth only the Royal Government's final solution to alleviate the food shortage brought by the significant loss of territory, and it was silently supported by the whole military and all the people of Wall Rose and Sina, who did not protest for the refugees' lives, whilst being perfectly aware what the monarchy's true objective always was. Thus, according to Commander Dot Pixis this sin is equally bore by all humanity within the Walls, including the refugees who did not have to join the suicide mission, as most of the population always knew that the unemployed masses were being kicked out of the human territory and given to the Titans. No one spoke for the refugees' lives and objected the Royal Government's decision, because everyone was afraid of civil war and the loss of order, so they accepted the sacrifice.

104th Training Corps arc[]

After the Fall of Wall Maria, the Survey Corps' objective to discover the Titans' true identity was changed into reclaiming Wall Maria by bringining lots of materials to repair the two breaches at Shiganshina District. However, the Royal Government was always annoyed with the costs of the Corps' expeditions, as many years ago they just hoped for them to get all killed by the Titans outside and stop interferring with their ideal world. In 847, Kenny asked the Assembly permission to have his own Interior Military Police squad, and despite Kenny being a former serial killer with no military experience, the Assembly granted him permission for it, after Kenny claims that he is going to use it to keep the Walls' peace and counter those who threaten it, like all the political factions constantly fighting each other, the Survey Corps, the rival groups from Sina and Rose, or the nobility and land owners squabbling over the land left within the Walls. Thus, Kenny founds the MP's Anti-Personnel Control Squad, who own new 3DM gears and guns made with technology kept secret by the government. Although the Assembly assumes that this squad is being created to maintain the King's peace and to defend the King's loyalists during possible civil war, Rod always knew that since Uri's death, Kenny's true desire was to steal the Founding Titan's power for himself. Nonetheless, Rod let Kenny serve him and let him follow his dream anyway, because his strength and competence were always useful to him.

With all deaths and famine caused by the Fall of Wall Maria, many of the population fear the end of humanity and the destruction of Wall Rose. As such, many went to seek for salvation through religion and the Church of the Walls quickly gained more followers and power and the support of the majority of the people, as well as financial support from the Royal Government and the armed nobility. The restoration of the Church of the Walls' power is especially supported by the Rod Reiss, whose family has always been known to be members of the Church. The Royal Government uses the Church to get rid of the Garrison's repeated meddling with the Walls and its attempts to do better maintenance, reparations and add military defenses to the Walls. This upsets the Garrison greatly, as they urge the government to arm every Wall, knowing about the existence of the elusive Colossal Titan. The government and the Church fear that the military might find out about the Walls' real material and composition pattern, which are not human materials, but hardened Titan skin. After the Fall of Wall Maria, political debates about sealing every gate of the Walls keep taking place for years, but the factions supporting the Church always win the opposition. At some point prior 850, the Royal Government concedes the Garrison to arm the southern Walls with artillery cannons.

The Female Titan arc[]

In 850, the Colossal Titan returned and attacked Wall Rose by breaching the outer gate of Trost District, causing a second Titan invasion. However, the Garrison and Training Corps somehow managed to stop the invasion by blocking the destroyed gate with a giant boulder from the damage made by the Colossal. After Eren Yeager is revealed to possess the Power of the Titans, concealing his existence and thus the way the Battle of Trost District was won prove to be impossible. Soon all the populations of Wall Rose and Wall Sina know about Eren's power, leading to mixed reception, debates, and a mix between fear and hope.

After learning that Eren inherited the Attack Titan from his father Grisha Yeager, who vanished 5 years ago, Rod begins working discreetly to have the boy brought to him so that he can reclaim the Founding Titan for the Reiss family. As Eren is currently under the Military Police's custody in Wall Sina, Rod instructs the government's Assembly not to involve the Interior Police into this. Instead they allow the military to solve a conflict for Eren's custody and fate on their own, at the court martial under the complete authority of the military's supreme leader, General Dhalis Zachary. Fearing Eren's power to be used for a revolt against the Interior and the Royal Government, the Commander of the MP, Nile Dawk, is part of the opposition against allowing Eren to live. Rod's officials instruct him to fight for Eren's custody in a military trial with political tones, under the pretext that the MP will dissect Eren's body before executing him. In reality, after Nile will win he will deliver Eren to King Fritz, and the First Interior Squad will in turn deliver Eren to Rod in his own lands in northern Wall Rose. A lot of wealthy factions join the opposition against Eren, fearing for their business and wealth, and also the Church of the Walls - represented by Pastor Nick and other priests - sides with the Police. The trial, however, is won by Commander Erwin Smith and the Survey Corps, also supported by Commander Pixis, and Zachary decides to put Eren's final sentence on hold by allowing him to join the Survey Corps and give them a month to prove whether Eren is a threat or an ally of humanity through the results of an expedition in Wall Maria.

One month later, the 57th Expedition Outside the Walls ends up in a disaster, with huge lossess for the Survey Corps, including many veteran soldiers. The heavy costs and casualties of the failed expedition cause great outrage in the population, and the monarchy decides that it is time to disband the Survey Corps. Despite Eren not being responsible for the deaths and having remained obedient to his superiors, the Royal Government still publicly claim that he is too dangerous to be sheltered within the Walls, while in reality they want him because he has the Founding Titan. The monarchy decides that Eren will be handed over to the Military Police, as the Scouts will no longer exist as a regiment. The King's Assembly summons Erwin and his main leaders to Mitras' royal palace in a few days, as the true King Rod wants to reclaim the Founder at all costs.

Still believing that the government might want the best for humanity, no matter its corruption, Erwin does not want to start a rebellion against the King, and instead makes one last plan to try show the government that both the Survey Corps and Eren are much needed to both humanity's survival and Wall Maria's recapture. Erwin causes a fight between an enemy invader from outside the Walls known as the Female Titan and Eren's Attack Titan in eastern Wall Sina, at Stohess District, causing the partial destruction of the city and many civilians and military casualties, and a total of over 100 deaths. Despite the anger of the government officials and Pastor Nick, the governor of Stohess agrees with Erwin and reports back to Mitras the events.

Rod's Assembly learns that the enemy Titans who are attacking the Walls have infiltrated the military and the population, presumably having been after the Reiss family for the Coordinate. As this is a serious threat, it is decided that the Corps' summons to the Capital must be put on hold for the time being, as the Female Titan invader was a recruit member of the Military Police, Annie Leonhart, which means the government might be in danger. Leonhart has been captured alive, but before any interrogation could take place, she used her hardening power to encase herself within a crystal shell, making the sacrifices of Stohess less worth it. The Scouts are allowed to continue to exist and maintain custody of Eren for now, until the identities of all the spies, especially those of the Colossal and Armored Titans will be exposed. The government also grants the MP custody of Annie within an underground cell beneath Stohess' military structure. However, thanks to the Female Titan's damage, the Survey Corps also discovered how the power of the hardening functions and that the Walls are entirely made of huge Titans, after personally witnessing one Wall Titan inside the damaged wall. Thanks to Pastor Nick's admission, the Survey Corps also learn that the Church's leaders always knew about all this.

Clash of the Titans arc[]

After the military brings the alarm in Wall Sina that Wall Rose has been breached a second time, and that the Titans are invading once more, the Royal Government allows the mass evactuation of the entire population of Wall Rose to Wall Sina, and forces a unit of the Military Police to join the Survey Corps on their way back to southern Wall Rose for the first time, wanting to find out what is going on with the invasion. Despite being a high-ranking government official, Pastor Nick volunteers to join the Survey Corps in Titan territory, later reveals to them that the Church is protecting a certain bloodline and then tips them off to the Reiss family by directing them to the recruit Historia, who still lives under the name Christa Lenz that her father gave her. During the events of invasion, Christa retakes her true name Historia Reiss, which leads to the Survey Corps's interest in the Reiss family and later researches about their background.

With the third Titan invasion, the Royal Government has all the refugees from Wall Rose take residence in the huge Underground city beneath Capital Mitras, which is also the poorest place of the Walls, entirely abandoned by the Reiss family. But the food stockpiles for emergency are almost all gone after only a week. At the end of the week, tensions between the civilians and the MP grow so high that after the Survey Corps and the Garrison cleansed the south of Titans, the monarchy immediately declares that Wall Rose is safe again and orders to have all refugees allowed to be sent outside the Interior and Wall Sina back to their homes at once before full riots occur.

Royal Government arc[]

After learning that Eren has indeed inherited from Grisha the power of the Founding Titan from the military's reports about the chase of the invader spies Reiner Braun and Bertolt Hoover, who both fled the Walls with another Intelligent Titan named Ymir, Rod and his fellow rulers become worried for the changes within the Walls, fearing that the century-long peace is starting to collapse. Rod decides that they must enforce their authority and work with the law to gain immediate custody of Eren and now Historia Reiss as well, before the Survey Corps destroy their paradise completely. While they always acted subtly in the shadows before, now Rod and his enforcers start to come out directly and act more boldly, as they are becoming more desperate. Rod plans to have Historia become the vessel for the Founding Titan, so he can remain free from the First King's brainwashing, be able to rule to protect the noble families, and be able to advise Historia and find a way to protect humanity from total destruction without having to follow King Karl Reiss's extreme suicidal views.

It is implied by certain conversations between the ruling nobles, that Rod planned to convince Historia to use her Founder's power to control all the invading Titans who were destroying the Walls. Either simply letting the Intelligent Titans stay in their paradise and hold their powers without having Eldia fight for its survival, or at least control all the Pure Titans and make them leave all the lands of the three Walls, without doing anything else, nor abusing the Coordinate's power. Although how Rod planned to bypass Karl's self-destructive ideology in the process is a mystery, as Rod's ideas are based on mere hope that "God" will listen to his guidance. This is also the reason why Rod refused to inherit the Founder's power himself, as he believed it would have doomed humanity in that case, due to Karl's control. The difference between Rod and Karl's will is that while Rod wants Karl's ideal utopia to go on forever, Karl believed that Subjects of Ymir have to face the world's judgement and let it happen, as Rod clearly heard from Frieda's words. Although Rod does not support the idea of humanity within the Walls getting all massacred by the enemies from outside, he still prioritizes and trusts his inherited ideology of his own family and their "paradise", and wants the Reiss to remain "the center of the world" as "rulers of mankind". Rod is convinced he can solve the issue regarding Eldia's sins on his own, as it seems likely he does not understand how big the outside world and the human civilization really are.

The government finds out that Pastor Nick left Stohess District and joined the Survey Corps during the last invasion and is now cooperating with them and hiding somehwere in the southern Wall Rose. Fearing what secrets Nick might have told them, Rod and his people send Djel Sannes and Ralph of the First Interior Squad to punish the traitor and interrogate him to find out what he spilled to the Scouts. Rod also has multiple squads of the Interior Police sent to the south to Trost District, where the Survey Corps operate, to take over the panicking population, who has been abandoned by the normal MP and all the powerful city leaders except the Reeves Company, who are the only ones still providing work and maintaing the city. Nick is found in Trost's military barracks and tortured, questioned and finally murdered by Sannes and Ralph.

After Pastor Nick's murder, the Survey Corps start to fear that whilst they are busy working for their mission to reclaim Wall Maria with Eren's power, they will be backstabbed by the mysterious enemy within the government, the person being their ruler Rod himself. After having a private talk with Nile, Erwin finds out that the Royal Government were always the ones after Eren since the end of the Battle of Trost District. He becomes interested in Lord Reiss, after reading all the report about Historia's upringing, realizing that despite being a regional lord, Rod is deeply involved in the affairs of the monarchy and the Church and knows the secrets of the Walls, according to the late Nick.

Rod stops working subtly under the shadows to reclaim the Founder through civil methods and decides to use full aggressiveness and be ready to fight the Survey Corps, in order to bring back the power which belongs to the Reiss family by right. Thus, on his orders the Royal Government freezes all the Scout activity outside the Walls and orders Erwin to hand over both Eren and Historia at once, without explaining why, but making it clear that they do not plan to have Eren dissected. Rod sends Captain Kenny Ackerman, Traute Caven and the rest of the Anti-Personnel Control Squad to southern Wall Rose, along with the rest of their comrades of the Interior Police. After a few days, the government's orders are not followed by the Survey Corps and the authorities have to rely on violence and question Erwin. In order to protect the secrecy of the MP into this, Kenny initially uses the Reeves Company to kidnap both Eren and Historia, forcing the remaining boss of Trost District's company, Dimo Reeves, to work with him, but also promising him a reward if he succeeds. Failure will result with the government plundering all the Reeves' wealth and seizing their company, and finally abandoning the collapsing city of Trost on their own to starve.

In the anime version, Rod successfully raises support for King Fritz and his family from the population of the Walls by showing how generous the King is, which is by having the Royal Government expend 60% of the royal food reserves to distribute them to all the citizens, especially to the starving population of Trost, as business collapsed in the south and people are leaving due to the recent Titan invasions and the city being the most dangerous zone in the Walls to live in. The civilians take the bait, whilst resentment towards the Survey Corps and the Garrison grows higher, due to their repeated failures to save humanity and bring prosperity, instead only making them pay more taxes with no benefits. On Rod's orders, the capital's Interior Police occupies the entire city, officially to support Trost and maintain the peace, when in reality they are there to control both the Survey Corps and the Garrison and avoid any alliance between Erwin and Pixis.

In the anime Rod is seen at Mitras, at King Fritz's throne room, guiding his Royal Assembly as he hears his lords' misgivings about the amount of food rations spent for the population. While Aurille thinks it was too much, Rod insists that the expenditure was necessary to boost the citizens' morale, and to improve the royal family's public approval. He explains them his plan to reclaim the lost Founding Titan, expressing the urge to recover the power and the new vessel. Sannes also returned to the capital's royal palace, to report to Rod and the ministers that the Military Police and the Reeves men failed the first manhunt against the Survey Corps. Rod is not upset about it, as he already sent Kenny and his squad to take care of the matter and promises they will have the power soon, so they will be fully able to control the population again and protect the paradise that was estabilished a century ago.

After Dimo Reeves fails to kidnap Eren and Historia, he secretely allies himself with the Survey Corps, working with Levi Ackerman's Special Operations Squad, which also includes Eren and Historia in it. Reeves' betrayal results in the capture of Djel Sannes and Ralph, the former one of the highest officials of the royal guard near the King and a staunch supporter of the First King's ideology, having executed in the Reiss' name Pastor Nick, Erwin's father and Armin Arlert's parents, and having took part in the execution of Alma and the banishment of Historia. Sannes' capture is a serious crime and betrayal, especially when he ends up betraying Rod through a deception by willingly revealing that the Reiss are the real royal family of humanity. This leads to the Survey Corps making another investigation about Rod Reiss and his family's background. They read the old news about the infamous incident in the Reiss Chapel and the massacre of Rod's wife and children five years ago, about the family's relationship with the Church, and about Rod and Frieda Reiss' reputation. They discover that everything within the Walls - all the administration, the newspapers, the nobles' activity and politics - is reported to Lord Reiss, who apparently controls everything going on within the Walls.

As Sannes confessed to them, the Survey Corps confirm that Rod holds the real power within the Walls, and not King Fritz, and that the Royal Assembly answers to him. Erwin's intentions are to capture Rod and speak to him to understand his motivations, as he cannot see why they have to fight when they both share the same situation and fate under the threat of the enemy Titans outside the Walls. Erwin is not interested in power or ruling humanity, so he wants to find out why Rod rules in hiding and why his government is so against humanity leaving the Walls, so far correctly guessing that all the government leaders are protecting their power, status and wealth within the caged world.

The Interior MP finds out that the Reeves Company betrayed the government, but they play along when the unaware Dimo Reeves reports his successful abduction of Eren and Historia and is now waiting to deliver them to Captain Kenny Ackerman. Knowing that Reeves is just play along in a scheme prepared by himself and Captain Levi, the Anti-Personnel Control Squad meets him to collect the targets. For his serious betrayal, which led to Sannes' capture and the reveal of the Reiss family's identity, Dimo Reeves is punished by Kenny, who personally slices his throat while his subordinates kill three other employees of the Reevs company, but Dimo's son Flegel manages to escape without being noticed. Kenny's squad kidnap both Eren and Historia, who were already tied up and prepared by Dimo, Flegel and the other three employees to be handed over on Levi's orders, as part of a plan to follow the Police to Rod Reiss's hideout, as the Scouts already discovered that the government true goal is to have Eren eaten by a mindless Titan of their own, in order to seize Eren's Titan power of the Coordinate.

On the Assembly's wishes, Kenny and the rest of the First Interior Squad have Reeves' death pinned on the Survey Corps, by declaring to the population and Dimo's wife and another female relative that Erwin had Reeves silenced after he was no longer useful to him, possibly having Eren himself killing him. Furthermore, the First Interior Squad reveals to the population that Erwin and his subordinates evaded handing Eren over to the government, accusing them of monopolizing Eren's Titan powers for themselves and violating the sixth clause of humanity's charter's law, which is one person or group prioritizing their own gain over the longevity of humanity. This, along with Reeves' murder, causes the immediate outrage of the citizens of Trost, who already hated the Scouts more for the death and destruction they caused to Stohess District. The Interior Police have all the Survey Corps apprehended for treason, including Erwin himself, and order to hunt down every remaining Scout that was not present for the mass arrest at Trost and is still on the run. Any Scouts who are still free officially become outlaw criminals and enemies of humanity to be hunted down. Erwin and all the arrested Scouts are brought to the Interior to Mitras, awaiting for their final judgement from the King.

Rod's enforcers already prepared a trap for Squad Levi, who despite everything kept following Reeves and Levi's plan to use Eren and Historia to being led to the MP's destination. However, Kenny's Anti-Personnel Control Squad were already aware about the plan and allowed Levi's team of pursuers to follow their carriage en route to northern Wall Rose from Trost. As they travel through the lands of eastern Wall Rose and Wall Sina, Kenny's squad ambush both Squad Levi and most of Squad Hange at Stohess District, killing all three members of the latter, who were temporarily lend to work in Squad Levi. Levi and his own subordinates survive the confrontation, in which Levi personally kills at least 11 MP soldiers and Armin kills one. However, Kenny's squad successfully kidnap Eren and Historia and the Scouts are forced to fall back and lose their tracks as the MPs carry on the journey to northern Rose.

Following this confrontation, the population concludes that the Survey Corps are definitely enemies of humanity, especially with the murders of the law enforcers by Levi's squad, who are seen as victims. The citizens of Stohess District are especially against the Survey Corps, still angry for the massacre at Stohess during the fight between Eren and the Female Titan, and the over 100 deaths and damage that it caused. The Walls' population start speculating that the Survey Corps want to use Eren's power to conquer the Walls. Working with the Interior Police, Commander Nile Dawk mobilizes all the troops of the Military Police in order to start the manhunt of the Scout fugitives around Stohess' lands, whilst the Berg Newspapers publishes articles that inform the population about the Survey Corps and Erwin, Levi and Eren's crimes. Kenny reports the successful mission to Rod, who in turn sends word to the Assembly at Mitras that soon they will have the Founding Titan back.

In the anime version, Kenny's confrontation against Squad Levi occurs on the same day the Reeves company fail to kidnap Eren and Historia, and it takes place in Trost instead of Stohess like in the manga. All the events and interrogation of Djel Sannes, the discoveries about the Titans and the royal family, and Dimo Reeves' death occur after the government gains custody of Eren and Historia.

Disguised in their black coats, the First Interior Squad bring Historia and Eren to Rod in some hideout in Wall Sina or Wall Rose. Rod undoes Historia's restraints and embraces her, apologizing to her for everything that has happened, much to her shock. Rod claims to have done everything he did in order to protect her (not entirely false, as despite everything Rod had no wish to see his own child executed, although he has no bond with her). He reveals to her that the Reiss family is the true royal bloodline and claims that Historia is the only person who can save humanity. Moved to tears by her father's words and his display of parental affection that she never received, Historia immediately becomes loyal to him and his cause, siding with the Royal Government. Rod, Historia and their MP escorts then travel with a carriage back to the Reiss lands in northern Wall Rose, carrying the restrained captive Eren with them.

Whilst Rod is busy with his mission to reclaim the Founding Titan, the ministers Aurille, Gerald, Deltoff and Roderich carry on their attempts to execute Erwin Smith in order to protect the secrets and the peace of the Walls. Gerald personally violently interrogates Erwin, but no important information comes out of him, leading the Assembly to understand that Pastor Nick must have not revealed to the Survey Corps any important secrets. The Assembly lords remain against Historia putting forth any claims to become Queen of the Walls, as they still do not see her worthy of the throne, due to her low birth and also because the Fritz figurehead family must remain officially in power, and the Reiss must remain in hiding and not expose themselves to the enemy invaders from outside the Walls. All the heads of the military are summoned to Mitras to attend Erwin's final judgement and the official disbanding of the Survey Corps for treason by the King.

Days since the fight between Kenny's squad and Levi's squad, Rod is seen with Kenny in the underground ceremony chamber beneath the rebuilt Reiss Chapel, used to pass on the Founder every 13 years. There they took Eren and restrained him so he cannot transform or escape. After Eren awakes and Historia briefly promises that her father is an ally of humanity, Rod comes back into the chambers, and observes that Eren seems to recognize the cavern despite never having visited it. Rod promises to explain what is going on and along with Historia makes physical contact with Eren. Their royal blood triggers in Eren's mind glimpses of Grisha Yeager's own memories: Grisha murdering Frieda and the rest of the royal family, a brief moment of Grisha meeting Commander Keith Shadis, and last Grisha injecting his son Eren with a serum and transforming him into a Pure Titan. The last memory glimpses show Grisha's perspective of his last moments; himself allowing his own transformed son to devour him, with a terrified expression, in order to have Eren inherit his powers of the Attack and Founding Titans. Rod calls the first memory "Grisha's sin".

Rod notices that Historia is also visibly shaken, and learns from her that she was often visited by his eldest child Frieda, who taught her how to read, write, and ride the horse. Rod is interested to learn that making contact with Eren also restored Historia's memories of Frieda, the former being shocked and even sad that she had forgotten every moment spent with her. Rod explains that Frieda was Historia's half-sister, and that Frieda likely erased Historia's memories of her to protect her. Historia asks to see Frieda so she can thank her, but Rod informs her that Frieda is dead, killed along with the rest of Rod's family by Eren's father, Grisha. Rod tells Historia about the event of five years ago, when his whole family was slaughtered by Grisha's Attack Titan in the very place they are now talking. He leaves out the verbal confrontation between Grisha and Frieda, as it was about Eldia's guilt, and claims not to know who the man was. Historia is horrified and outraged, wondering why Grisha did that and why would he.

The two are interrupted by Kenny, who arrives with important alarming news; he informs his King that the military has successfully led a coup d'état against the Royal Government at Mitras. All the military branches of the Walls sided with their supreme leader, Premier Dhalis Zachary, the whole Interior Police at Mitras and all the rulers of the Assembly ended up getting detained, and now the entire population knows that King Fritz is a fake and the Reiss is the true royal family, as the Berg Newspapers surprisingly published the truth. The population also discovered that Mr. Reeves has been murdered by the government, not the Survey Corps. Premier Zachary now rules at Mitras and has full administrative control, meaning Rod has lost his influence in the Interior. The families of the Assembly ministers, the regional lords, and rest of the nobility of the Walls are remaining neutral for the time being, not taking any sides. Now the only members of the Interior Police left to protect Rod and Karl Reiss's peace are the Anti-Personnel Control Squad. Kenny urges Rod to hurry up, as it is only a matter of time before the military arrives at the chapel. Sligthly annoyed, Rod orders Kenny to take his squad and guard the entrance to the cavern, as he needs them absent for the ceremony, although Kenny is not happy with his attitude, as Rod always treated him like a dog.

Later after Kenny's squad left to prepare for battle, Rod retrieves a bag with supplies of Titan serum injections and small vials of hardening power. He tells Historia that Frieda is not entirely dead, as the consciousness of the Intelligent Titans and their memories still live on through their successors (their souls still remain in the world of the living within the Paths). Rod tells his daughter there is a way for her to see Frieda again and asks her in a manipulative manner if she would like to, to which she happily answers yes. The two then hear the sounds of a battle in the other underground chambers, and Rod realizes the enemy rebels have arrived to rescue Eren. As Eren tries frantically to communicate with Historia through his gag, Rod explains to her that Eren knows he intends to return the power that Grisha stole to its rightful place. Rod explains the history of the Founding Titan, and the powers that it holds, revealing that it was the First Reiss King who built the three Walls by using barricades of hardened humongous Titans. Afterwards the King used his scream to erase all the memories of humanity with the power of the Coordinate, in order to create a peacful society within the Walls, devoid of all memories and hostilities of their past history.

Rod reveals that several bloodlines were somehow excluded from the Founder's power, and those bloodlines were made into the ruling nobility of the monarchy, and their descendants retain no knowledge of the history prior the last century. Only the holders of the Founding Titan did, like Frieda who gained the knowledge of the world and human history after eating her uncle Uri eight years ago when she was 15 and inheriting the Founder from him. Rod explains that the Reiss family passed the Founder through generations in this manner, always in the cavern beneath the chapel. As the power of the Coordinate controls all Titans, Frieda would have been able to use it to rid the world of the Titans, but in the hands of a non-Reiss like Eren, devoid of royal blood, the power is dormant. Rod tells Historia that so long Eren remains the vessel of the Founder, the hell humanity lives in will never change.

Rod is interrupted by Kenny, who returned from the ongoing battle and now demands with a disappointed and unhappy expression confirmation that the Founding Titan is useless to anyone who is not a Reiss. Rod confirms this, and Kenny becomes enraged, grabs Rod and begins to threaten him, outraged that Rod has taken advantage of him all this time. Rod is unfazed by Kenny's threats and admits without problem that he indeed knew about Kenny's secret dream and real motivation to create the Anti-Personnel Control Squad all along, and just took advantage of it to manipulate him into keep serving him. Rod simply muses that he is glad his silly whimsical brother Uri employed a "stray dog" like Kenny. Kenny threatens to kill Rod if he continues to bad mouth Uri and Historia grabs Kenny's gun as she tries to stand up for her father, telling Kenny to release him.

Kenny effortlessly retakes his gun from Historia, throwing her on the ground, and then argues with her about her father's intentions and past actions. With amusement, Kenny tells Historia how her existence was always nothing but a nuisance and embarassment to the entire Reiss family and the Royal Government, who had sent Kenny to take care of the problem five years ago. He tells her how all of these problems and Historia's pitiful existence only happened just because Rod "forgot his place in the world" out of selfishness so he could "feel good" with his own servant and confidant Alma. He angrily recalls how Rod even hid the whole massacre of the Reiss family and the loss of the Founding Titan to the Assembly for a long time, which almost destroyed all balance. Sticking his knife into Rod's mouth with cruel amusement at both him and the crying Historia, Kenny accuses Rod of only caring about Historia's royal blood, rather than Historia herself, and claims that Rod is a coward who is too afraid to become a Titan himself, so he just forces his younger brother and daughters to do it.

Rod offers no argument and simply insists that he cannot become a Titan himself. Kenny then releases Rod, whose mouth is bleeding from a small injury received from the knife. Rod frees Kenny from his service, suggesting that the man leave the political affairs and live the rest of his life on his own in comfort, whichever way he wants. Kenny answers that it would bore him to death and refuses to live his days out until he dies in his sleep. To Rod's horror, Kenny declares there will be no headstarts for him and Historia; he approaches Eren, removes his gag and cuts the boy's head open, intending to force Eren and Historia to fight in their Titan forms for the Founding Titan. Rod panics and forces the syringe into Historia's hands, explaining that the injection will turn her into a Titan powerful enough to defeat Eren, instructing her that she must consume Eren's spinal fluid in order to inherit the Founder.

As Rod and Kenny get far away from the zone of the impending transformations, the two only end up seeing nothing happen. Instead they hear a regretful and self-hating speech from Eren, who is having a crisis and is now supporting Rod's cause. Eren refuses to struggle and fight back for his life and agrees to willingly die and hand over the Founder back to the Reiss family, so they can finally exterminate the Titans once and for all. Historia thanks Eren and prepares to inject herself, but then stops and hesitates, and then asks her father why none of the previous Founding Titans used their powers to help humanity and liberate them from the Titans for a whole 100 years. She also recalls how at times Frieda would have sudden and scary changes of behavior and it seemed she was slowly losing herself every time, one time even crazily having scolded Historia for crossing the farm's fence.

Rod explains that it was the wish of the First Reiss King that humanity be controlled by the Titans, believing that it was the only path to peace. He tells Historia that during his younger years, both he and Uri had tried many times to convince their then-King father to use the Founder's power to kill all the Titans, but he would always refuse to grant such wish. Only after Uri inherited the Founder from their father, Rod became a follower of the First King's ideology, as he saw that Uri had become a "God" the moment he inherited the knowledge of the world and the power to rule and control mankind. Rod believes there is a motivation for all the tragedies that happened during the last years, and humanity's fate is entirely up to the hands of the Founder; God. As Historia constantly seems ready to inject herself, but then keeps hesitating, Rod grabs her arms to help her do it, as he claims that his mission is now to bring God back and offer his prayers to her.

Historia, however, - realizing that the Founder's power destroyed Frieda's humanity and that her father is only using her to reclaim the Reiss family's power - knocks away the syringe, smashing it on the floor. Horrified, Rod loses his composure for the first time and lunges at Historia with rage (despite the fact he has other injections in his bag), but she flips the small-sized man over her shoulder, slamming him into the ground and tearfully accusing him of keeping manipulating people for his own gain. Still remembering Frieda's insanity, Historia tells him she will not let him "kill" her, and then runs away with his bag to avoid Rod injecting himself and with Rod's keys to release Eren, much to Kenny's amusement. As she goes to free an emotional and crying Eren begging her to do as Rod says, an equally emotional and unstable Rod mutters his call to his father, Uri and Frieda, promising them he is coming for them and their memories. In a desperate last-ditch effort to reclaim the Founding Titan from Eren, he pulls himself across the floor to the shattered syringe and licks its spilled serum contents off the groud. The serum makes contact with Rod's blood from the injury that he received from Kenny, causing him to transform into a Pure Titan.

Rod's transformation, however, goes wrong and beyond control, proving that Rod and his family did not know the specifics behind Titan biology. The transformation catches everyone off guard, forcing both fighting Anti-Personnel Control Squad and Squad Levi to search for escape routes. The Reiss Chapel in fact, is not able to withstand Rod's out-of-bounds transformation, as the cave was built for large, but normal-sized Titans. As he is gigantic, twice the size of the Colossal Titan, Rod's transformation takes longer to complete, however, he now pays no attention to Eren, who keeps asking for Rod to devour him anyway, as Levi and his squad arrive to release him from his chains with Rod's keys. They manage to do so just as the entire ceremony chamber is collapsing and Rod's Titan begins moving, whilst an angry Kenny tries to find a way out. After grabbing a vial of Titan hardening that was left on the ground from Rod's bag during the King's violent transformation, Eren drinks its contents, then transforms into the Attack Titan and hardens his skin for the first time ever, building a rudimentary barricade to protect himself and his comrades from Rod's burning heat. In his transformation, the mindless Rod ends up killing all the MP soldiers of the Anti-Personnel Control Squad who survived the battle, including Traute Caven, who are crushed under the falling debris. Rod also mortally injures Kenny and burns half of his face.

Rod's Abnormal Pure Titan destroys the whole Reiss Chapel and frees himself from the underground as it is still night outside, sensing a huge concentration of human beings not too far away from the lands owned by his human self. Due to his gigantic size and small limbs, Rod's Titan cannot stand and thus crawls on the ground to move. Despite being night, Rod's Titan is still able to move, using the small amount of sunlight reflected on the full moon. The rest of the Survey Corps forces led by Erwin Smith just arrive the scene, only to witness the enormous crawling Titan. Rod ignores them, and instead crawls towards Orvud District, the northernmost city of Wall Sina, drawn to it by the city's large populace and ignoring any village or nearby country building in the city's favor. The soldiers try to intercept him and lead him away, but are unable to get close to him because of the enormous amount of heat emanating from his skinless body, which burns anything near him, like the trees. Whilst Erwin's forces reunite with Levi and Eren's squad and learn that the Titan is their own King Rod Reiss himself, Rod keeps crawling to Orvud.

Knowing that a usurper of the Founder without royal blood cannot unlock the power's full potential, Eren still considers allowing himself to be eaten by Rod to save humanity, and Levi assumes that the Survey Corps can find a way to undo the First King's brainwashing. But Historia argues that the Reiss family has already tried undoing the brainwashing for decades, including Rod himself, which is why Grisha instead tried to wipe them out. Historia warns her comrades that once Rod has the Founding Titan's power, he can alter everyone's memories and make them uninterested in restraining him, also entirely forgetting the uprising and every single other thing that happened these last years. Historia is convinced that taking away the Reiss family's ability to alter memories was the only way to save humanity. The Survey Corps agree with the choice of letting Eren stay the Founding Titan and try to find a way to save humanity without Reiss blood. However, as they lack the means to restrain a Titan of Rod's size, this means they will have to kill Historia's father. Historia is not thrilled by this and has a brief internal conflict, thinking about her reunion with Rod and admitting she really was going to kill Eren back in the cavern, and not for humanity's sake, but because she did not want her father to hate her. Now she accepts it is time to say goodbye.

On their way to Orvud District, the Scouts try to use Eren's power of the Coordinate to command Rod to stop, to see if they can control him instead of killing him, but Rod shows no reaction to Eren's orders and keeps crawling towards Wall Sina, confirming Rod's words that a person without royal blood cannot use the Coordinate whenever they want, leaving more mystery behind Eren's unique moment in which he had managed to control a horde of Pure Titans in Wall Maria to escape the Armored Titan.

The military chooses not to evacuate the city, because Rod seems to be attracted by large concentrations of people, meaning that an evacuation will cause him to follow in the direction of Orvud's citizens by destroying the wall and then finding himself within inner Wall Sina, until he will crawl towards the Interior and reach Mitras, which the largest population number of the Walls.

Rod's Titan standing

Rod as an Abnormal Pure Titan.

After spending the whole night crawling towards Orvud District, Rod's Abnormal Titan arrives at dawn at the city's outer wall, where forces of the Garrison and Survey Corps members led by Captain Carsten and Commander Erwin are waiting for him atop the wall and in front of its outer gate to intercept him before he can destroy Wall Sina. Instead of giving the alarm to evacuate the population, the military announces a surprise evacuation drill in case of Titan attack, much to the disbelief of the citizens, as this is northern Wall Sina, not Trost District in the south. Rod's presence cannot be concealed anyway, as the citizens notice the mysterious smoke coming from outside in the north, making them realize something terrible is happening, instead of a simple evacuation drill.

The Garrison fires an enormous barrage of cannon fire at Rod, both from the Walls and from the ground. The cannons cause great damage on his back, but he withstands all the attacks. He still slowly ends up right below the Garrison's cannons, who can easily fire at his nape. Unfortunately the wind changes direction, leading Rod's massive heat and smoke towards the soldiers, who have to cover themselves. Rod's Titan tries to stand and scales the Wall. The citizens of Orvud panic as they witness their own King revealing himself as a Titan, much bigger than the Walls. Due to the self-inflicted damage caused by his all-night crawling, Rod's Titan is lacking half of its face and the whole half of his body is damaged, spilling huge guts atop the wall.

Carsten and the Garrison retreat, whilst Erwin and his troops take over in their last attempt to stop the Titan. The intense heat of Rod's Titan body and the wind change force the Scouts to cover themselves in water to prevent themselves from being burned. The Titan's hands are blown off by Squad Levi, which makes Rod lose balance and fall over the Wall. After this, Eren transforms into the Attack Titan and shoves barrels of gunpowder into Rod's mouth, making an enormous explosion and blowing off his head and nape.

To prevent Rod's Titan from regenerating, Squad Levi begins to cut up the flying pieces of its body in hopes of cutting the nape. The final blow is committed by Rod's daughter, Historia, who finds the piece of his nape as she slices Rod, indirectly avenging her mother's death and her past pain caused by him. Through their royal blood, Historia receives some of her father's memories in the process, which give her a better understanding of his misguided beliefs and perspective. She sees the young Rod in a prison cell, demanding explanations from his father for his unwillingness to release humanity from the Titans' rule, Rod trying to find solace in Alma, and of Uri and Frieda volunteering to inherit the Founding Titan and expressing their belief that inheriting it will not change them (showing that Rod never forced them as Kenny insinuated), and finally Rod's inner thoughts of horror and regret for having caused Alma's death and having allowed his royal soldiers to kill her. Rod's Titan then explodes, accompanied with a last human scream from Rod heard only by Historia.

After Rod's death, the military enthrones Historia as the next Queen, actually in an effort to unite the population and nobility, whilst estabilishing military rule within the Walls. Rod's defeat signifies the loss of power of the Reiss family, the end of the MP's First Interior Squad, and above all the end of Karl Reiss' personal utopia, which lasted a whole century. The Lords of the Royal Assembly - Aurille, Gerald, Deltoff and Roderich, but not the former King Fritz - as well as the entire First Interior Squad, including Djel Sannes, are all sent to a state prison as inmates. A lot of considerable talent, however, is lost within the Walls, due to the military purge and the reformation of the Military Police at Mitras. Rod's supply of Titan fluids was destroyed by his own transformation; however, the military managed to retrieve one syringe containing serum that was stolen by Kenny from Rod's bag (due to Kenny's failed plan to steal the Founder). Two months after Rod's death, Rod's last syringe is used to steal the Colossal Titan from the enemy Warriors from outside the Walls, following Bertolt Hoover's defeat in the Battle of Shiganshina District.

Gallery[]

Navigation[]

           AOT logo Villains

Main Characters
Eren Yeager | Reiner Braun | Zeke Yeager

Titans
Progenitors
Devil of All Earth | Source of all living matter

Nine Titans
Founding Titan | Attack Titan | Beast Titan | Colossal Titan | Armored Titan | Female Titan | War Hammer Titan

Phantom Titans
Okapi Titan | Snake Titan

Pure Titans
Smiling Titan | Jumping Titan | Bigmouth Titan | Peering Titan | Bearded Titan | Running Titan | Talking Titan | Four-footed Titan | Araki Titan | Gluttonous Titan | Portly Titan | Mr. Springer

Eldia
Royal Family
King Fritz | Ymir Fritz | Maria, Rose and Sina | The Original Nine | King Karl Fritz | Lord Rod Reiss

The Nine Titan Houses
The Ominous Colossal

Eldian Warriors
The Hunters

Paradis Island
Eldian Military: Premier Darius Zackly
Nobility: Minister Aurille | Minister Gerald | Minister Roderich | Minister Deltoff | Puppet King Fritz | Lord Xavi Inocencio
Military Police Brigade: First Interior Squad (First Interior Squad Commander, Djel Sannes, Ralph) | Anti-Personnel Control Squad (Captain Kenny Ackerman, Traute Caven)
Yeagerists: Eren Yeager | Floch Forster | Daz
Religious factions: Church of the Walls | Titan Cult
Civilians: Dimo Reeves | Niccolo | The Kidnappers

Marley
Tybur Family
Lord Willy Tybur

Marleyan Military
Governmental Party: General Theo Magath | General Calvi
Public Security Authorities: Sergeant Major Gross | Eren Kruger
Warrior Unit: War Chief Zeke Yeager | Vice Captain Reiner Braun | Bertolt Hoover | Annie Leonhart
Soldiers: Kruger | Yelena | Niccolo | Griez | Airborne Unit (Paratrooper Unit Commander) | Gas Weaponry Soldiers

Anti-Marleyan Volunteers
Zeke Yeager | Yelena | Griez

Eldian Restorationists
The Owl | Grisha Yeager | Dina Fritz | Comrade B | Comrade C | Comrade D | Unnamed Comrade

Civilians
Cult Leader

Live-Action Movies
Kubal | Shikishima

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