WHY ATTACK ON TITAN SEASON 4 CHANGES EVERYTHING
By Andrew Halley
The horror-action anime Attack on Titan has remained fairly straightforward in its previous seasons. But season 4 takes the small world we thought we knew, and expands it tenfold!
Attack on Titan (AoT) painted a thrilling plot: the last remnants of humanity were trapped behind three giant walls, while giant man-eating beasts called “titans” roamed outside.
All is well until one day two seemingly intelligent titans puncture the walls, allowing for titans to enter. One of them eats the mother of our protagonist, Eren Yeager. He vows to wipe out the titans.
Now the cracks begin to form, ever so slowly. More intelligent titans begin appearing, with special abilities unlike the mindless monsters that roam the plains and forests.
The biggest revelation is that Eren himself can turn into a titan, though he does not know how or when he achieved this ability. But it does raise the question, how many “shifters” like him are out there?
Throughout the series it is slowly revealed that at least six people are shifters, including several Eren knew personally. But they all seem to hail from the same “village”. Where and what is this village?
These are the questions that keep AoT viewers curious. The mystery slowly starts to unravel, but then completely explodes near the end of season 3.
One mystery that lingered for so long was “What is in Eren’s locked basement?” After a harrowing journey, journals are discovered within… and they reveal a lot.
The journals of Eren’s father (Grisha) reveal: • There are actually nine shifters, including himself. • The walls are erected on an island, called Paradis. • The mainland across the sea is called Marley.
• Citizens of Paradis are known as Eldians. Many of their relatives still live in Marley. • Those that do are forced into internment zones and wear armbands, a clear-as-day parallel to Germany during WWII.
Eldians are persecuted because their ancestors used the power of titans to rule the world over a thousand years ago. Meanwhile, deportees are sent to Paradis and forcefully transformed into titans.
As season four begins, we now change point of views to citizens of Marley, namely - titan shifter Reiner and his apprentices, Falco and Gabi.
The history they’ve been fed for years clearly affects their treatment of Eldians, ironically being Eldians themselves. They are products of their environment, tools of the Marley empire.
It is revealed during this four year time jump, Eren himself infiltrated Marley, and learned about what the people really feel. He knows that these humans won’t stop until Paradis is wiped off the map.
And so Eren strikes back at Marley and declares war. He vowed to destroy all titans, but to do that he has to go to the source: the Marley Empire.
These acts against Marley are justified to Eren, but as we see through the eyes of many, everyday people get caught up in the slaughter. Violence affects everyone, whether with power or not.
The simple premise of AoT has suddenly gotten complicated. It was so easy to cheer on our heroes when it was them against a mindless force of nature. But to face a whole empire...
Even Eren, our hero, is falling down a dark path that could end the world. Will his friends be forced to stop him? Will he become like the monsters he seeked to destroy? How will it all end?