Attack On Titan: Eren’s Journey from Willful Hero to His Worst Fear

Attack On Titan

Eren’s Dark Side Develops

Instead of his dream of going outside the walls, his goal is now to eliminate every single Titan he sees, from then on we see his rage and anger being a factor throughout season 1. His views on Titans however changes once he learns he has the powers of a Titan and can turn into one, but a special variant form. Eren also finds out that humans can also have Titan Powers as we see one of his comrades Annie Leonhart become a special variant Titan herself called the female Titan Throughout this season 1 Eren learns to become a young man, and wants to use his newfound Titan Powers to help liberate the world from Titans.

Attack On Titan

During Season 2, we see Eren learn the harsh lesson about the truth of betrayal. But throughout the first season of Attack On Titan, it’s been revealed that The Armored and Colossal Titans were Eren’s good comrades. The Colossal Titan has been revealed to be Bertolt Hoover and his role model Reiner Braun as the Armored Titan. Now for Eren, this realization broke his heart. Mainly he grew up with them, he trained with them, and he finds out that they don’t really care about him. Adding to the fact himself, Reiner, and Bertolt made a pledge to protect humanity and be brothers when they joined the Survey Corps.

This all comes crashing down when both Titan’s shifter’s main purpose was to find kidnap and kill Eren. This is because Eren has a special power called the Coordinate which can control and influence other Titans to do his bidding. This tragic realization causes Eren to learn to not trust anyone anymore, and also become reserved and no longer open to people. Basically, the second season made him slowly change into becoming antagonistic towards anyone, including his comrades and friends.

Attack On Titan

Truth Of The World begins Eren’s Descent

Finally, in Season 3, we see Eren learn about political corruption and huge revelations, mainly because this season we see the character becoming a fallen or tragic hero. Season 3 mainly focuses on fan-favorite, Survey Corp Captain Levi Ackerman, with his complex relationship with his uncle, and season antagonist, Kenny. Throughout this season or arc, we see that the Civilization where Eren, his friends, and comrades live is called Paradis. We also learn that Paradis is an island nation that is isolated from the whole world due to their original King Fritz making a peace treaty with an enemy nation called who uses Titans as their main form of weapons.

The enemy Nation is called Marley and that the people of Paradis are a special race called the Eldians. The Eldians, like himself, are descendants of the original Titan shifter Ymir Fritz. During Season 3, Eren realizes the people he devoted his life and loyalty to are filled with corruption and injustice. Fans find out that their current King is a fake, and has been abusing his power on the people of Paradis, especially the lower class. This causes Eren to realize even humanity is cruel, evil, and manipulative.

RELATED: Attack on Titan Final Season Part 2 Premieres January 9, Here’s What You Should Know

During these events, Eren eventually achieves his original dream of seeing the ocean after liberating Shiganshina from Bertolt, Reiner, and the remaining invading Titans. This is bittersweet for fans to witness because Eren realizes he can no longer achieve happiness and peace, while there are enemies everywhere. The third season is the pivotal point for Eren’s character. Mainly since we see Eren that became a hero or savior, to what he fears the most, humanity’s biggest threat. All caused by the tragic events and traumas that happened to him from seasons one to three.

For Season 4 Part 1, The Survey Corps has managed to infiltrate Marley along with Eren leading the attack. During this season we learned that Eren has lived among the Marleyans and has been their culture as well their society. Eren realizes that there are good people in Marley and even had second thoughts of trying to invade Marley. However, still set with his goal, Eren and the Survey Corps attack Marley with revenge in their minds. The original plan was to send a warning message to the Marleyans not to attack or mess with Paradis ever again. Eren’s true intentions are suddenly revealed when he wants to wipe out Marley as a whole including innocents.

Eren becomes his worst fear, The Villain

This unforgivable action completes Eren’s turn to become now the series main antagonist. However, that is not enough for Eren as he concludes that to finally achieve peace, he must cleanse the world of corruption and evil. By doing that, Eren plans on using his Titan powers and his followers, the Yeagerist, in committing Global Genocide. This tragedy and dark turn cause Eren’s friends, comrades, including their original enemies in prior seasons, to join forces and stop him from bringing the end of humanity.

Attack On Titan

Eren Yaeger character journey has been one that was full of complexion. It started with him as a young boy who had dreams of joining the Survey Corps and seeing the whole world. However, that dream also became his curse as he went through many hardships, pain, tragedies, death, betrayals, heartbreak, and trials to achieve his original dream. But that dream and his goals caused him to turn into the dark side and ended up becoming what he feared the most.

A famous quote in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight perfectly connects with this character: “You either die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain.” This line belonged to Aaron Eckhart’s Harvey Dent, who became one of Dark Knight’s main villains, Two-Face. This quote fits Eren’s character perfectly as mainly he started as this hero and champion for humanity. But his obsession with revenge and rage caused him to be another one of anime’s most tragic and fallen heroes.

The first episode of Attack On Titan Season 4 Part 2 is now live on Funimation, as well as Crunchyroll, with a new episode released every Sunday.

What do you think of Eren in the series? Did you enjoy his development from hero to villain? Are you looking forward to the finale of Attack On Titan? Let us know on social media, or in the comments below, and keep following The Illuminerdi for more anime.

KEEP READING: Attack on Titan Streaming Special Bonus Episodes On Crunchyroll Ahead of Final Season Premiere


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Ryan Bueta

Just an average person that loves all thing Pop Culture. I graduated with a Bachelor's of Science In Public Health at California State University Northridge. Was exposed to Pop Culture Media in October 2015 at Los Angeles Comic Con (Formerly Stan Lee's Comikaze). Started being involved in the Pop Culture journalistic world by interviewing Power Rangers Actors in 2016. Then I created my own Social Media Outlet called Morphin Network where me and my team interview former Power Rangers actors, and report Power Rangers related news. Now currently I am a creative writer for the Illuminerdi