Eren Jaeger’s Conflicting Actions in ‘Attack on Titan’


Photo Credit: Newsweek

Bryan Gonzales Saldana, Owlfeed Managing Opinion Editor

WARNING: This article contains recent spoilers of the 6th and 7th episodes of season 4 of Attack on Titan. 

For anime fans, the most recent episodes of Attack on Titan have delivered more than we asked for and have brought so much excitement and horror in anticipation for what the rest of the final season has to offer. 

If you are mainly unaware of the series, Attack on Titan takes place in an apocalyptic world where humanity is near extinction and takes refuge inside cities surrounded by massive walls that protect them from the outside threats of giant man-eating humanoid creatures, referred to as Titans. The story initially follows Eren Jaeger and his vengeance to exterminate the Titans after his hometown is destroyed and his mother is killed.

However, a major plot change is introduced as Eren himself is devoured by a Titan and he survives and it is revealed that he is one of nine people with the ability to transform into a sentient Titan and utilize its abilities. The name of his Titan being the “Attack Titan.” In the story, the Attack Titan is known for its user to fight for freedom and be able to peer into future and past events. 

This leads to so much more being introduced into the story as a major revelation is shown that they are on an island named Paradis and humanity actually exists outside the walls and that a technologically advanced nation named Marley is responsible for sending Titans to terrorize the people inside the walls. 

In the most recent episodes, Marley decides to declare war on Paradis Island during a festival show in order to regain power and to prompt Eren to fight and start the war. 

During episode 6 “The Warhammer Titan,” Eren immediately shifts into a Titan during a speech while hiding underneath a building and proceeds to battle another Titan shifter and cause a great calamity within an internment zone. 

While this seems appropriate for a war setting, Eren goes on a homicidal rampage and kills numerous innocent citizens with seemingly little to no regret when confronted with what he has done. Something to point out, however, is that he has the power to see the entire future so he deems what he does to be necessary to reach his overall goal in the end. 

Daniel Kurland explains in an article for Den of Geek, “The immediate destruction that plays out from Eren’s Titan transformation is horrifying to witness…citizens trample each other and claim more lives in an effort to get as far away from Eren’s destruction as possible.” 

His actions have become so over the top and his development from the beginning is a stark contrast compared to who he was before. Kurland further elaborates by saying, “Eren’s officially reached a point where he’s no different than the monsters that killed his mother and put him on this path in the first place.” 

Photo Credit: Newsweek

In episode 7, “Assault,” Eren’s actions become far more brutal than ever before. During the fight, his opponent, the Warhammer, has the ability to encase themself in a seemingly indestructible crystal that is impervious to his attacks. Then another shifter named the “Jaw Titan” tries to attack him and Eren notices that this Titan has hardened teeth and claws that can damage the crystal. In an incredibly terrifying scene. Eren rips off his opponent’s limbs and uses its hardened jaw to break through the crystal in order to kill and devour the Warhammer Titan. 

This episode caused high controversy in the fandom as some claim he was in the right to be so brutal towards a country that deemed him as a villain from the first moment. Others argue that innocent people being caught in the crossfire was too much and that he is now the final antagonist of the series. 

Throughout the previous 3 seasons, Eren has always been in the role of the oppressed, while in this season he is the oppressor or the “main villain.” His character growth is amazing and it shows the realities of how betrayal, war, and destruction could affect a person. Life isn’t a guaranteed happy ending and I think the author of the series does a phenomenal job showing his audience that.  

Personally, I believe Eren did what he needed to do and to take out his enemies while they were there. I strongly disagree with how his plan played out though. He is an immensely powerful character, and surely there could have been other options instead of choosing a location where random citizens would be killed. 

All in all, this season is shaping to be an intense and climactic finale to the series, and with the way the story is developing, it’s only going to get more entertaining and destructive from here on out. Since I am a manga reader, it is very exciting to see every page adapted onto my TV screen, but it also surprises me as it shows how terrifying the reality of war could be.