Characters: Attack on Titan: The 104th Trainee Corps
The primary focus of the story, a batch of military cadets experiencing their first battle immediately following their graduation.Main Character Index
| Survey Corps
| Military Police Brigade
| Before The FallWARNING: Unmarked spoilers abound.
Beware if you are not caught up to the manga.
Tropes that apply to the entire 104th Trainee Corps
- Break the Cutie: While not all of them are cuties, the Battle of Trost was this for everyone.
- Child Soldiers: The military's minimum recruitment age is twelve. Upon graduation, they are between 15 and 17 years old. Though they might not be considered children where they live.
- Cowardly Lion: All of them break mentally during the Battle of Trost, though a select few of them are willing to brave the Titans again in spite of it. As they volunteer, most of them are visibly freaking out or on the verge of tears, but they hold their ground regardless.
- Doom Magnet/Weirdness Magnet: The 104th have ridiculous luck according to Jean, considering all the stuff they've survived. There's also the fact that their number includes five Titan Shifters and a Heroic Bastard from the royal family. Little wonder so many weird things happen to them.
- Dual Wielding: It's right there on their crest even.
- Fire-Forged Friends: Most of them were on friendly terms when they finished training but the Battle of Trost is what really cements their bond. Most of them even follow Eren into the Survey Corps against their own wishes.
- Mauve Shirt: A handful outside the main cast.
- Naïve Newcomer: Most of them that didn't suffer through a Titan attack are naive about how terrifying they are. Even after training, most of them panic during their first battle with the Titans and start dropping like flies.
- New Meat: Fresh out of training, and thrown into their first battle. Erwin later notes that survival rates for a soldier's first battle are around 50%, with those that make it out earning the right to be considered real soldiers.
- Rank Up: The remaining members of the 104th Trainee Corps after the Clash of the Titans arc are made into the Levi's new squad.
- Red Shirt/Monster Munch: The majority of them, outside the Top 10. Erwin notes they are unusual for having suffered their first casualties prior to enlisting in their chosen Branches.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: Those that survive the battle of Trost become this to one degree or another, having the very dubious honor of fighting Titans the day after graduating from boot camp.
- The Spartan Way: The most recent graduates of the military's three-year boot camp. It is noted that training accidents, including FATAL ones, are considered business as usual.
- Spell My Name with an S: Very few of them have only a single way to spell their names, with things further complicated by the differences in Germanic spellings and the Japanese language.
- Eren/Elen and Yeager/Jaeger
- Jean/John and Kirstein/Kirschtein
- Krista/Christa and Lenz/Renz
- Bertolt/Bertholdt/Berthold and Hoover/Fubar/Huber
- Sasha Braus/Blause/Blouse
- Marco Bott/Bodt
- Team Mom and Team Dad: Krista, Reiner, and Marco are always looking out for their teammates and continuously try to raise morale among them. See their entries for elaboration.
- Teens Are Monsters: Explored, thanks to the series focus on Child Soldiers and how sometimes Humans Are Bastards. While most adults in the series do horrible things fully aware of what they are doing, many of the 104th express callous attitudes or commit cruel acts because of being inexperienced and emotionally immature.
- Eren can be downright terrifying on occasion, thanks to his Unstoppable Rage and past as an Enfant Terrible. He's often driven by raw emotion, which can cause unintended consequences.
- Mikasa is obsessively attached to Eren. If you even think of harming Eren or stopping her from getting to him, she will hurt or, depending on the situation, kill you and has clearly stated that she only cares about Eren and, to a lesser extent, Armin.
- Armin embraces the belief that to defeat the Titans, people must be willing to abandon their humanity and make ruthless sacrifices.
- Jean's callous attitude towards his hometown being attacked, complaining that he was one day away from going to the Interior. This attitude doesn't survive his ordeals in battle.
- Before enlisting, Sasha blamed the refugees from Wall Maria for everyone's suffering, and thought outsiders shouldn't be helped. Her father challenges her to enlist and reconsider her selfish attitude.
- Krista was willing to get herself and Dazz killed, all for the sake of dying in a suitably heroic fashion. Ymir readily calls her out on this nonsense.
- Reiner, Bertolt, and Annie might be incredibly tragic, but they're still responsible for the events that killed off 20% of the human population. While their motivations remain unknown, all three are incredibly ruthless when it comes to accomplishing their mission. Reiner claims they didn't know anything when they began their mission, and all three definitely feel remorse over their actions.....but their youth, relative inexperience as spies, and unstable emotions combined with their power makes them an absolute nightmare.
- Ymir is incredibly callous and calculating, thinking only of herself and the girl she loves, Krista. She's unapologetic in weighing the lives of the people around her against her personal goals, and leaves everyone around her uncertain of her true motives or goals. She admits to being a horrible person, willing to risk Krista's future just to see her one last time and emotionally manipulates her. Unlike her peers, she's painfully aware of just how much of a screwed up person she is, and keenly aware of how messed up everyone else is as well.
- Thousand-Yard Stare: Their instructor ignores Eren, Mikasa, Ymir, Annie, Reiner, and Bertolt during their rite of passage because their expressions reveal they've already survived a major trauma. In the aftermath of Trost, all of them have one.
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"I want to see and understand the world outside. I don't want to die inside these walls without knowing what's out there!"
The main protagonist of the series. An aggressive and adolescent boy with two defining passions: his desire to explore the world beyond the walls, and his hatred towards the Titans. His murderous grudge against the Titans is catalysed further when they invade his home village and he is helpless to save his mother from being devoured.
During his military training he is judged to be of average skill and talent, but through sheer hard work he is able to graduate 5th out of his entire class. After a near-death experience, he discovers that he possesses the ability to create and control a Titan body, essentially transforming himself into a Titan. This revelation makes him a target for several opposing factions, who either view him as a threat or the key to humanity's survival. However, his inexperience with the power means that he struggles to transform into anything that is not a berserker fueled by blind hatred at first. Even after he learns to gain some measure of control, the experience gap places him at a distant disadvantage against his main adversaries.Branch:
- Action Hero: His modus operandi. At the end of the day, fighting is how Eren usually chooses to solve his problems.
- Adaptation Dye-Job: Both the windows and curtains. Eren has dark brown hair and vibrant green eyes in the anime which is a clue to him being the Rogue Titan, but jet-black hair and steely grey eyes in the manga.
- Amazon Chaser: He sympathizes with Annie after seeing her fighting skills. It is later implied by Mikasa that he could have feelings for her.
- An Arm and a Leg: His arms and legs are repeatedly severed over the course of the series, but, thanks to his Healing Factor, he always recovers them.
- And Then Eren Was A Titan: Not that he minds.
- Anti-Hero: He's an idealist in a cynical world, he wants the best for humanity, and his gift is stated to be his Heroic Resolve. What muddies up his status as a straight-up hero is that he's fueled by his hatred for all Titans and his Unstoppable Rage can be absolutely terrifying to behold.
- Attack! Attack! Attack!: His default strategy against Titans is "attack relentlessly until it's dead". Even though it sounds like suicide, he manages to make it work due to having his own Titan body to smash with though it backfires sometimes. He later manages to avert it during his battle against the Armored Titan, once he manages to calm down enough to start using tactics.
- Awesomeness by Analysis: How he learned Annie's fighting technique.
- Awesome Mc Cool Name: See Meaningful Name down below to see just how cool his name is.
- Ax-Crazy: It's probably a good thing he lives in such a violent world, since it gives him an outlet for his Unstoppable Rage. He can be a kind and just person, but he's equally capable of terrifying levels of anger and violence once set off.
- Badass: He is considered the best at hand to hand combat in his class after Mikasa and Annie. After becoming a Titan, he is able to kill 20 normal Titans, and is a match for Annie and Reiner despite them having more experience with their Titan-Shifting abilities.
Eren: Humanity will feast on the Titans.
Keith: ... or will you become a glorious soldier who exterminates the Titans? The choice is yours.
Eren: Yeah, I will. I'll exterminate every last one of them.
- After he finds out that Reiner and Bertolt were the Armored and Colossal Titans:
Eren: I will do everything in my power... To make your deaths as excruciating as possible.
- While inside a Titan's stomach.
Eren: As if I'll give up! I'll exterminate you, every single one of you! Me! With these very hands! (this is made even more badass due to the fact that he'd just had one forearms bitten off).
Eren: I put down some dangerous animals. Animals that just happened to look like people.
- Badass in Distress: After a close fight with Annie in her Titan form, Annie is able to defeat him when he is distracted and he is swallowed, forcing Levi and Mikasa to rescue him. Happens again in chapter 45 after a close fight with Reiner, Bertolt bodypresses him, giving Reiner the opportunity to swallow and abduct him. And even when he awakens to discover both his arms missing, he continues to resist his captors, including PUNCHING Reiner in the face with his stumps repeatedly. It doesn't work out, but points for trying.
- Empowered Badass Normal: Pretty badass by himself - he's ranked fifth in his class - but discovers his Titan-shifting powers after he gets eaten by a Titan.
- Berserk Button:
- The Titans in general and human existence under them are one giant Berserk Button for Eren.
- Even at a young age, flippant comments from people about humans getting eaten or insulting the warriors in the war against the Titans sets him off enough to provoke a violent response. When the townsfolk disparage and ridicule the battered Survey Corps after their failed mission, Eren comes close to taking a stick to them before getting hauled off by Mikasa, and after he watches his mother get eaten, he's angry enough to kick a soldier who wishes more people got eaten so there'd be less refugees to feed. Armin has to get him out of the mess by apologizing profusely.
- Acting casually about human suffering or death, or showing depraved indifference to others, will set him off immediately. We first see how much this sets him off during Mikasa's flashback where he butchers the slavers that killed her family. We see it again when Bertolt and Reiner act chummy with him despite being responsible for thousands of deaths.
- The Berserker: He has pretty serious rage issues. Especially in his Titan form.
- His entire fighting style as a Titan consists of roaring, smashing to a bloody pulp, rinse and repeat.
- Berserker Tears: Against the Female Titan and basically every time he is crying.
- Big Brother Instinct: Inverted, Mikasa acts this way towards him. He hates it though.
- Played straight with Armin, though they're about the same age.
- Big Damn Heroes: As the main character, he's bound to have some of these.
- His first meeting with Mikasa. He tracked down the human traffickers who'd kidnapped her and made a beeline for their hideout, knife at the ready.
- His first appearance as the Rogue Titan, saving Mikasa after she ran out of gas.
- After he has his powers under control, he carries the large rock and seals the hole, giving humanity their first victory against the Titans.
- His biggest one yet is in chapter 50, everything is going from bad to worse. The soldiers are being slaughtered left and right by Titans, Erwin lost an arm, Mikasa is hurt, Hannes was just eaten, Reiner is coming for Eren, Jean was knocked out by Reiner throwing Titans everywhere, Armin being forced to protect him and Eren is having a Heroic BSOD over Hannes' death. After Mikasa breaks him out of it, Eren awakens his new power to control Titans, he swarms the normal Titans to brutally murder the Smiling Titan, then turns his attention on to Reiner, giving the humans the time to escape.
- Big "NO!": Eren screams out one of these as his mother is about to get eaten. In the anime, his scream of "YAMEROOOOOOOOOOOOO!" note has all the intensity of one of these.
- Black and White Morality: His view of the world is very much this, so much so that he feels absolutely no remorse for brutally murdering criminals and even becomes angry at Reiner for having guilt over his crimes.
- Bound and Gagged: He's been tied up more than anyone else. This is due to the fact that Self Harm is a trigger for his transformation so keeping him from biting his hand is everyone's main priority.
- Boxed Crook: He becomes one, after his powers are discovered. Levi and his hand-picked Special Operations Squad are given orders to keep him under control, and kill him if necessary. When the 57th expedition fails, he's almost taken back into custody and the threat of execution is never far off should the government decide he's too dangerous or not useful enough.
- Break the Haughty: Has a brief bout of this during training. After talking big and saying weaklings should just drop out of boot camp (although it was an anime-only scene), he earns little pity upon discovering that he seems to have zero natural talent when it comes to the 3D maneuvering system. His Determinator spirit returns when it's realized that his lack of progress was due to faulty equipment.
- Broken Smile: Sported a brief one upon learning that Marco was dead.
- Broke Your Arm Punching Out Cthulhu: Eren does this quite literally every single time he fights other Titans. He once lost both his arms doing it, and most of his ribs.
- Came Back Strong: His near-death experience triggers his Titan powers.
- Chekhov's Skill: During training, Eren's only remarkable skill was his proficiency in hand-to-hand combat, which he admits is pointless when facing Titans. At least, it would be if not for the fact Eren can turn into one.
- Clark Kent Outfit: Eren, like Mikasa, looks scrawny in his uniform and weighs less than her and the shorter Levi; their weights being 63kg(Eren), 65kg(Levi), and 68kg(Mikasa). Due to this weight difference, Fanon assumed Eren was legitimately scrawny with little muscle; turns out Eren has eight pack abs just like Mikasa. Perhaps all that training paid off.
- Consummate Liar: He doesn't bother with lying most of the time but as seen in Mikasa's backstory, he can act very convincingly, enough to make hardened criminals temporarily lower their guard.
- Crazy Sane: Seriously, if his Unstoppable Rage and Titan Shifter powers weren't extremely useful against the Titans, he'd probably get locked up in a mental hospital.
- Creepy Child: He violently murdered two men at the age of nine, and Hannes admits he always found Eren a little scary because he was so intense.
- Cursed with Awesome: Being a Titan Shifter. Humans regard him as a liability (at best) or an abomination (at worst) but it's extremely useful for Titan-slaying, grants him a useful Healing Factor in both Titan and human forms, gives him an outlet where Unstoppable Rage is actually a good thing, and may very well be legitimate hope for the survival of humanity. He later gains a power that is undeniably useful: Controlling Titans. However, this is the reason that he is being targeted by the enemies of mankind and may be part of the reason they attacked the city and ruined his life to begin with.
- Cute and Psycho: How he's looked at by people outside of his closest friends and family as a 9 year old. The military bring up his actions during his trial to question his humanity.
- Dare to Be Badass: You can bet money that this is his response to anything resembling apathy, doubt, or cowardice in others. A good example is when he rallies the panicking and doubtful Trainees right before the battle for Trost, exhorting them to be strong as they've already shown through 3 years of hellish training that they are strong. Most notably he's had a profound effect on Mikasa (see her entry below).
"If you win, you live. If you lose, you die. If you don't fight, you can't win!"
- Death Seeker: Averted, despite what the majority of his allies think of him. See Not Afraid to Die.
- Decoy Protagonist: Subverted. He's maimed and eaten in the first major battle, which seems like the perfect start to a Stuffed into the Fridge scenario to motivate the more skilled Mikasa, until it's revealed that Eren is a Titan Shifter and escapes.
- Designated Victim: He has managed to be either severely injured or kidnapped in every major arc so far.
- Determinator: The very core of his character. Eren had to earn his position as 5th best of his class through sheer determination as he lacked any other outstanding or natural talent like those ranked above him. When Hannes is asked whether he's worried about the trio's survival, he expresses they all have a trait that helps them survive. While Mikasa has sheer physical prowess and Armin has sharp intuition and intellect, Eren's trait is simply being unbreakable. Hannes notes that even as a child, when Eren picked fights, he might not have always won, but he never gave up.
- Die or Fly: His Titan-shifting powers awoke when he was in the belly of the Titan who ate him, and his ability as the Coordinate manifested when his group was surrounded by titans outside the wall with little hope of anyone getting out alive.
- Enfante Terrible: Even as a child, there's always been something a bit off about Eren. His father implied he was very cold and anti-social, noting that Armin was his Only Friend. At the age of nine, he planned and carried out the brutal killing of two grown men to rescue Mikasa. While it was ruled justified, the soldiers sent to the scene were shaken by what two children managed to do to three adults. Even before his mother's death, Little Eren was a little unstable.
- Extreme Melee Revenge: Killed a grown man as a child, by stabbing him over and over (and over) again while screaming in a murderous rage. He also has a tendency towards this when fighting in his Titan form, especially during his first transformation.
- Face of a Thug: Armin even says he and Jean have the look of a criminal in their eyes. This comes up later when Jean pretends to be Eren so he can escape from the capital and probable execution.
- Failure Hero: The foundation of Eren's struggle; he is a weakling in a cruel world. Throughout the story, Eren fails repeatedly and suffers for his mistakes, but he comes back a little stronger and a little wiser every time.
- Fearless Fool: Jean in particular considers him one, and many consider his over-confident attitude concerning the Titans a death wish. He's beginning to learn to pick his fights, but only after several very harsh lessons.
- Fighting Fingerprint: After Annie kicks his ass and teaches him her technique, he adopts it as his main fighting style. One of the strongest hints that the Rogue Titan is him is that it puts up the same boxing stance and uses the exact same techniques shown earlier.
- Fighting Your Friend: During his training session with Reiner, he was against practicing with his teammates but accepted it after his discussion with him. This is played straight when he has to fight Annie and subverted after he discovers Reiner and Bertolt's true identities.
- Foreshadowing: Some that's very, very easy to miss. When he hurts his head during training he recovers in one night and can be seen with small amounts of steam leaving his head (though that can be interpreted as a visual indicator of his frustration).
- Glad He's On Our Side: Even as he slowly gains the trust of the soldiers in his squad, most of humanity remains fearful of him. And for good reason.
- Good Thing You Can Heal: The Healing Factor that comes with being a Titan Shifter has saved him more than once, and it means that he can pretty much shrug off dismemberment and at one point having his face melted completely off.
- Green Eyes: In the anime, his eyes are a vibrant green. It's one of the few features he has in common with his Titan form.
- Guilt-Free Extermination War: The overall goal of the humans but Eren is hateful enough to declare he'll kill every Titan by himself.
- Healing Factor: As he can change into a Titan, he also has this power in his human form. The first time he is eaten both his arms are bitten off, but when he emerges from the Rogue Titan he has them back.
- Hero Insurance: Not totally played straight, but not totally averted either. His fight with the Female Titan destroys a good part of Stohess district, and many of the buildings he destroys were not empty (his first attack notably throws her on a "church" where a bunch of Wall Cultists were praying). The reactions afterwards vary between blaming Erwin for the damage — since it was his plan — yet knowing that this was the only way to stop Annie once she had transformed. But nobody seems to blame Eren personally. Said damage is much more emphasized in the anime though.
- Heroic Build: He has this spoiler:as a Titan and his normal form.
- Heroic BSOD: Once he knows that Annie is the Female Titan, he can't bring himself to transform and fight her, not even to save himself when he's getting crushed. It takes several of his friends yelling at him, including Mikasa, Armin, and Jean, then the memories of his mother getting eaten and the Special Operation Squad getting killed before he finally snaps out of it. It is a sight to behold. This happens only in the anime version, in the manga he snaps out of it much faster, just as Armin and Mikasa go off to distract the Female Titan.
- When he finds out that some of his friends are Titan-shifters instigating mankind's destruction, he does not take the news well.
- He has a nasty one when Hannes is eaten in front of him, making him feel completely useless. It takes Mikasa reassuring him of everything that he has done for her to break him out of it, and when he does...
- Heroic Resolve: A necessary ingredient for transforming into his Titan form.
- Heroic RROD: As he pushes his Titan shifting ability to its limits, maintaining lucid control becomes more and more difficult, and can result in loss of consciousness at best, and Eren melding with his Titan body at worst.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Sacrifices himself to save Armin, except not quite.
- Heroic Second Wind: At one point it looks like he's down for the count but then sees the same Titan that ate Thomas Wagner. He immediately gets the resolve to fight his way through several Titans to put it down.
- Heroic Self-Deprecation: At more than one point in the story so far, Eren's realized that he's made the wrong decision and people wound up dying as a result. While nobody blames him, as said "wrong choice" is more often than not a reasonable one with consequences that no one could have predicted, he still blames himself whenever this is the case and responds by flying into a murderous rage and slaughtering whoever is truly to blame.
- Heroic Will Power: How he maintains control of said Titan form.
- Hero-Worshipper: Little Eren held the Survey Corps in the highest regard and aspired to join them one day.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Armin.
- Hope Bringer: For many people. His Titan Shifting ability is a weapon that could permit them to eradicate Titans. Even more so after chapter 50 when he awakens the power to control normal Titans.
- Horrifying Hero: He's unquestionably on humanity's side but being a Titan Shifter horrifies everyone, understandably.
- Hot-Blooded: Evident throughout the series, but particularly lampshaded in Chapter 34. Due to his perilous situation, he resolves to control his emotions. This state lasts for less than half the chapter.
- How Do I Shot Web?: Eren initially has difficulty activating his Titan Shifting power at his own free will. He eventually learns that only by having a deliberate goal in mind as he experiences pain does the transformation work.
- The Hunter: Well, his last name is Yeager. He's the fourth type, one who seeks revenge against the Titans for his mother's death.
- Hunter of His Own Kind: Humanity's trump card against the Titans, and absolutely vital in taking on the other Titan Shifters.
- Idiot Hero: Not stupid, but he tends to let his emotions get the better of him, causing him to not always think things through, and the consequences are sometimes very grave. Over the course of the series, this trait gradually mellows as Eren learns from his past mistakes, though he never truly overcomes it.
- I Just Want To Be Free: Despises the fact that humanity is reduced to the state it is, going as far as to call the walls "cages".
- I Let Gwen Stacy Die: He blames himself thoroughly for the deaths of the Survey Corps elite squad. In episode 24, when he's undergoing a major Heroic BSOD and his usual motivations (namely "kill all the Titans" and "humanity will be free") don't seem to be able to shake him out of it, he gets angry remembering their deaths and gradually regains his resolve via Unstoppable Rage.
- I'll Kill You!: He says this to the Female Titan, though it can't hear him at the time, even threatening to eat it. Later on, to Reiner and Bertolt.
- In-Series Nickname: The 104th Trainee Corps calls him "the suicidal bastard" since they often mistaken his eagerness to fight for being a Death Seeker. This comes up later on, when Armin bluffs the Female Titan by saying this nickname instead of "Eren" and figures out that she must be one of the Trainees to correctly guess who he was talking about.
- Irony: Hates Titans more than anyone else in the series (to the point that he's essentially powered by that hate) yet can turn into a Titan himself.
- It's All My Fault: At several points he's forced to make choices that end up getting people killed. He hates himself for this and keeps holding himself solely responsible even when there was no feasible way he could've known the consequences.
- Jack-of-All-Stats: His skills at 3DMG are average. He is skilled at martial arts though and that helps a lot when you are a Titan-shifter.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He has a habit of saying what's on his mind when he really shouldn't and his anger is horrifying, but he is ultimately a nice guy in casual conversation.
- Kid Hero: He is 15.
- Laser-Guided Amnesia: After his mother's death, Eren was supposedly injected with a mysterious serum by his father, but can't recall the details due to a side effect of said serum. The serum is believed to have been what gave Eren his Titan-shifting powers.
- Laser Guided Tykebomb: When they discover he is able to transform into a Titan, humans allow him to live so he can exterminate all Titans.
- Leeroy Jenkins: During his first battle, Eren gets pissed upon seeing a Titan eat one of his comrades and charges madly into the fray. This gets nearly everyone with him killed. This becomes less of a problem as the series goes on. Ironically the only time where he doesn't pull this leads to many people being killed by the Female Titan.
- Leitmotif: The first intro theme Guren no Yumiya (Crimson Bow and Arrow) is stated to be Eren's theme.
- Little Mister Badass: As a child, he used his adorable and innocent appearance to get close enough to a kidnapper to brutally murder him. He then immediately turns into a Creepy Child, stabbing the other guy to death while screaming at him.
- Living Emotional Crutch: To Mikasa.
- Living MacGuffin: Just about every faction in the story aside from the Garrison wants to have custody of him. This is understandable, as he's the first known human capable of transforming into a Titan. Even when other Titan-Shifters start pop up, they still see him as important enough to risk everything and abandon their plans to destroy the people within the walls just to kidnap him. This is later revealed to be due to Eren also having the mysterious "Coordinate" power, which lets him control Titans.
- Lovecraftian Superpower: His Titan Shifting in particular demonstrates the more horrifying aspects of the power.
- The McCoy: The brashest, most emotionally-driven, and most eager to fight among the main trio, although he's quick on his feet and can think when it counts.
- Meaningful Name: His surname, Yeager, is a transliteration of Jäger, which means Hunter in German.
- Mega Manning: He's able to learn and effectively use one of Annie's moves after she used it against him. She's genuinely surprised when he uses it later that evening, and ends up teaching him her fighting style.
- Mundane Object Amazement: As noted under The World Is Just Awesome, Eren is amazed and flabbergasted that there might exist bodies of water so massive no merchant could ever empty it, or that there might be entire plains of ice or fields of sand.
- Never a Self-Made Woman: An inversion. Eren became one of the best hand-to-hand fighters thanks to training from Annie, which later becomes very significant when it allows him to overcome Reiner's advantage of size, strength, and armor.
- Never Got to Say Goodbye/Parting Words Regret: His last conversation with his mother, prior to the Titans attacking, involved screaming at her. He later expresses frustration at himself for this.
- Not Afraid to Die: What sets him apart from many other recruits. When Eren fights, he has no time to let the prospect of of death get in his way, and, in spite of what his allies think of him, Eren has every intention of walking out of each fight alive. Best exemplified when he unhesitatingly rushes the Colossal Titan the moment it reappears, meanwhile everyone else is too stunned to even move.
- Not Blood Siblings: With Mikasa.
- OOC Is Serious Business: When Annie is finally revealed as the Female Titan, he does not (initially) react with the typical murderous rage he shows when titans are around—he shows a surprising amount of compassion, and is actually willing to hear her out—he simply cannot bring himself to completely dehumanize her. This highlights just how deeply he's grown to respect her. Contrast his reaction when Bertolt and Reiner's identities are revealed.
- Our Hero Is Dead: Gets eaten by a Titan in Chapter 4. It starts to look like a case of Decoy Protagonist, except...
- Not Quite Dead: Eren comes back A-OK in Chapter 9 as the Rogue Titan who ignored any humans it came across and instead slaughtered every Titan it could find.
- Plot Coupon: He is in possession of the key to the Yeager residence's basement, which is believed to hold a secret that may contribute to humanity's victory against the Titans. The basement in question, however, is still located in Titan-infested Wall Maria.
- Plot Magnet: He is so important that many fans want him to get captured:
- Doom Magnet: Since the Titan Shifters want to capture him, a lot of Titans inevitably end up appearing and many soldiers wind up dying as a result.
- Fight Magnet: He tends to draw in battles with Titans and pick fights with people that he disagrees with.
- Power High: Not so much from power itself, but simply from being able to kill Titans with ease. When he first regains consciousness after having emerged from his Titan body, he sleep-talks about wanting and being able to kill so many titans with a creepy grin on his face.
- The Power of Hate: What really motivates him is his desire to eradicate every Titan on the planet.
- Pro-Human Transhuman: Determined to use his Titan powers for the sake of humanity.
- Properly Paranoid: Before the attack of the Colossal Titan, Eren was always warning others that the walls won't protect them forever. People would laugh at him and say he was crazy — Until that day...
- Protectorate: Under Mikasa's completely unwanted protection, and, later, the Survey Corps'.
- Psycho for Hire: A heroic example. Having a job where you have to kill Titans perfectly suits a guy who craves exterminating them, no?
- Rebellious Spirit: His childhood was marked with constant battles with other children (and even adults in the Garrison), all the while calling people livestock for being content in their lives within the Walls. While he was Properly Paranoid, he continues to challenge social norms and accuse high-ranking military and government officials of being cowards.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Hot-Blooded Red Oni to Mikasa's Emotionless Girl Blue.
- Revenge: Eren has a personal, ever-growing list of people he seeks bloody vengeance for, and every name leads back to the Titans.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: You could say his entire life is one. He always wanted to join the Survey Corps, but after the Titans killed his mother, he promised to kill them all.
- Even before that, there was his first meeting with Mikasa. His father was her family's doctor, so they were the first ones to find out that Mikasa had been kidnapped and her parents murdered. He also found out where they were before the authorities did, and went there with a knife at the ready.
- When Thomas dies during the Battle of Trost, Eren absolutely loses it and pursues the Titan who did it to avenge his friend. It nearly cost him his life. Thankfully, his Titan Shifting powers saved him.
- He has his biggest one yet after finding out that some of his friends were the Titans responsible for all of his suffering.
- Saying Too Much: His restraint isn't that great even after some harsh lessons. At one point he even mentally questions whether to keep his rant going or not during his trial but proceeds anyway. Bad idea.
- Screaming Warrior: Eren is quite prone to this. Especially in Titan form. Mikasa even says that his roar embodies humanity's collective rage.
- Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right: He insists that if he had gone to get help after tracking down Mikasa's kidnappers they would have been too late (which is likely true). With only himself and a knife there, he did the only thing he could to save her.
- Self Harm: How Eren shifts to his Titan form; he usually bites his hand. Eren himself does not understand how he knew doing so would trigger the change. It should be noted that the bite alone isn't enough to do it (as he found out during a Survey Corps experiment), he also needs a specific impetus besides "turn into a Titan" such as "block that cannon shell".
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: The manly man to Armin's sensitive guy.
- Slasher Smile: He sported one while still asleep after his first transformation into a Titan, thinking his memories in that form was a dream. He also gets an epic one when he's one strike from slaying the Female Titan in his Titan form, though his human form is the one doing the smiling.
- Spanner in the Works: Eren being a Titan Shifter derailed the other Shifters' initial plan and made them focus on abducting him instead.
- Spell My Name with an S: The official translation gives his family name as Yeager, which is a common transliteration of Jäger/Jaeger as a surname in the US. (The fact that it's also the surname of one of the most noted Real Life pilots doesn't exactly hurt, either.)
- Spring Cleaning Fever: Eren is shown to thoroughly clean any new place he winds up in, not because he likes cleaning, but because of his experience with Levi.
- Strong Family Resemblance: His face is almost identical to his mother's.
- Super-Powered Evil Side: Initially, he is unable to control his Titan form and viciously attacks Mikasa. Armin manages to get through to him, and he's since learned how to control himself.
- Super Serum: Got his powers after Grisha's injection.
- Super Soldier: Because of his Titan abilities.
- Survival Mantra: "FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT!!"
- Sword Over Head: In the anime adaptation, Eren, while in a murderous craze, has the opportunity to either capture or outright finish off Annie during their fight, but he instead hesitates, allowing Annie to crystalize herself.
- Sympathetic Murder Backstory: Played with. He once murdered two men to rescue Mikasa, but this is later used by the Military Police Brigade to paint him as dangerous.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: An epic one in chapter 19 and to Reiner during chapter 43.
- Thousand-Yard Stare: As he sees the Titan that killed his mother five years ago slowly approaching him in Chapter 49.
- Titan Shall Never Kill Titan: He has the specific ability to subvert this trope thanks to his power to command Titans, as well as being able to do it himself as a Titan Shifter.
- Took a Level in Badass: Twice. The first was awakening his Titan-shifter powers, and the second time was awakening his "Coordinate" power, which allows him to command all normal Titans.
- Too Spicy for Yog Sothoth: He gets eaten, then Titan-shifts for the first time within the Titan's stomach. The results of an unintentional Eat Me are not pretty.
- Traumatic Superpower Awakening: The first time he shifts into Titan mode is inside another Titan's stomach with 2 limbs missing, screaming that he will kill every last Titan. This kid does not give up.
- Awakens his ability as the "Coordinate" after Hannes' death, allowing him to command normal Titans.
- Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: Most normal youths his age don't express the degree of bloodcurdling fury Eren displays. It's a little scary.
- As a child, he killed two grown men to save a kidnapped Mikasa and showed no remorse.
- True Companions: He, Mikasa and Armin are this.
- Unstoppable Rage: His rage is a terrifying thing. Annie is noticeably frightened at several points during their battles, and during the mission to capture her, she abandons her mission to kidnap Eren (a thought that terrifies her comrades) and attempts to scale Wall Sina with her bare hands once he comes out swinging.
- Watching Zhiganshina Burn: His response was to swear revenge.
Tropes That Apply after Castle Utgard
MAJOR spoilers ahead.
After Eren is captured by enemy forces, he awakens his most powerful ability and the main reason the Titan Shifters were after him: the power to control other Titans. In the next arc, he becomes a target for kidnapping again
, this time alongside Historia and by a dangerous enemy faction hiding within the walls.
"And then I'll know....I'll know exactly who to point all this anger at..."
- The Beastmaster: In Chapter 50 he develops the ability to direct Titans.
- Broken Pedestal: Deeply admired and looked up to Reiner, leading to a complete destruction of the pedestal when he learns that Reiner is the Armored Titan. He expresses disgust over his former hero's deception and hypocrisy.
- Brutal Honesty: After Historia shared her concerns with him, he bluntly told her that he found her creepy when she was trying to act as a Nice Girl.
- Compelling Voice: Erwin theorizes that his voice can be used to influence not only Titans, but humans as well.
- Facial Horror: When his Titan shifting ability is pushed to its limits, Eren can barely eject from his Titan body, and his face ends up partially melted off. He recovers. He also happens to be shirtless in this scene.
- Hive Queen: Revealed in Chapter 50 to possess the ability to command Titans, causing them to attack his opponents. The other Shifters are shown to feel/sense the command, but are able to resist or ignore it.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Reiner and Bertolt might have been captured without incident if Eren hadn't gone and mentioned their village at that particular moment. Instead, it inspires them to decide now is the time to make their move and leads Reiner to confess everything to Eren. It rapidly goes downhill from there.
- Shirtless Scene: Gets one in Chapter 53, notable because this was the first canon shirtless scene in the entire manga.
- Worthy Opponent: Reiner, Bertolt, and Annie genuinely respect and seem to care for him, regardless of circumstances requiring that they are enemies.
- You Monster!/You Make Me Sick: His reaction upon discovering Reiner and Bertolt's true identities, stating that he wants to puke. He later delivers a screaming rant to Reiner calling him an inhuman monster with no right to feel guilt over his actions.
- You Killed My Mother: Drops this on Bertolt in Chapter 46, telling him that a chunk of Wall Maria landed on his house, breaking his mother's legs and leaving her unable to run. The seemingly-cold response he gets only infuriates him further, and Eren vows to kill him as slowly and painfully as possible.
"This world is a very cruel place. But it is also very beautiful."
The adoptive sister of Eren and mutual childhood friend of Armin, Mikasa hides her emotions but cares deeply for Eren — never hesitating to cry with tears of joy or despair depending on what happens to him. She shares an unbreakable bond with Eren following events in their past, and his mother requesting that she protect him made her even more overly protective of him than she was beforehand. She is the top-ranked graduate of the class.Branch:
Tropes That Apply after Castle Utgard
MAJOR spoilers ahead.
Discovering several traitors hiding in their midst, Mikasa reaffirms her mission to protect Eren. With Humanity's Strongest sidelined by an injury, she is forced to step up and take to the front lines to protect Eren. While facing the traitors, she realizes her own attachment to comrades may impede her mission and is deeply shaken by her failure. This leads to her becoming more ruthless, even willing to cut down her own comrades if they should prove an obstacle. She is promoted into the second incarnation of the Special Operations Squad, and appears to have become Levi's new second in command.
"I don't have time to spare...or room in my heart."
- Freak Out: She has a bit of a breakdown after Bertolt and Reiner make off with Eren. Her eyes become massive and bloodshot, even by this manga's standards, and she buries her face in her red scarf.
- Functional Genre Savvy: After her previous encounter with kidnappers, Mikasa makes sure to double check that there are only three men the second time around.
- Last-Second Chance: She surprisingly enough offers one to Bertolt, after his Villainous BSOD. Her expression, when he refuses, is murderous.
- Tearful Smile: For perhaps the first time since childhood, she smiles as she thanks Eren for everything he's done for her with tears in her eyes. It would be a nice moment, if not for the fact they were surrounded by Titans with no way of defending themselves.
- With Us or Against Us: She makes it very clear to Historia that her only consideration is Eren's safety, and people should either help her or get the hell out of her way. She has no sympathy or mercy for those that get in her way.
"People who can't throw something important away can never hope to change anything."
Eren's and Mikasa's best friend, whose dream is to see the world outside the wall. Although physically weak and initially a coward, he excels in strategy and gains considerable confidence. His plans are instrumental in several key victories, saving his classmates and later the city of Trost through his unconventional ideas. Enlisting in the Survey Corps, he proves to be one of their most vital members during the 57th expedition. His encounters with the Female Titan allow him to deduce her identity, leading to her eventual defeat.Branch:
- Alliterative Name Armin Arlert.
- All of the Other Reindeer: Bullied as a child, due to his intelligence and heretical interest in the outside world.
- Classical Anti-Hero: Has all the right intentions but lacks the confidence and physical strength his compatriots have (at least at first).
- Pragmatic Hero: Showing signs of this as time goes on. He's growing into a ruthless military thinker that declares only leaders capable of throwing away the lives of their men have any hope of changing things. While Jean is horrified at the idea, Armin completely supports the most ruthless actions of their superiors, such as using soldiers as cannon fodder.
- And Zoidberg: Contrary to popular belief, Armin didn't make the top 10 in the class. The misunderstanding may come from most of the main characters being top-ranking. Fans who are aware of this might refer to the main cast as "the top ten... plus Armin."
- Badass Bookworm: As a child, he always had a book with him. As a teenager, although he is still not that useful in a physical fight, the others rely on him to have a strategy and most of his guesses and plans have worked out great. IT he was who first deduced that the Female Titan was intelligent, and accurately guessed her true identity based on an incident from months previous.
- Bad Liar: Lampshaded by Annie.
- Later subverted when his quick thinking and Blatant Lies manage to distract the Female Titan by bluffing that she killed Eren after having figured out that the Female Titan's goal was to either capture or kill Eren. His quick lie saves Jean's life.
- Then played straight during the mission to capture Annie. Armin believes that she knew his request was a trap from the start.
- Subverted once more when he manages to ruthlessly bluff about the fate of Annie in order to distract Reiner and Bertolt.
- Better To Die Than Be Eaten: During the Battle of Trost, he gives Mikasa his remaining equipment, but asks to keep a blade for himself in case a Titan comes along. Mikasa, finally out of her Heroic BSOD, denies his request.
- Bishōnen: Joked about in an official omake where Armin is suggested to look better in a bunny girl outfit than any of the actual girls.
- Blatant Lies: A heroic variant. In episode 17, he suddenly starts screaming for Jean, who was about to be killed by the female titan to avenge his "best friend", obviously meaning Eren. Armin had figured out that the female titan's goal was to get to Eren. By lying about his fate, he managed to distract her enough so that she didn't murder Jean.
- Brains and Brawn: The brains to Mikasa's brawn.
- Catch Phrase: "People that can't throw something important away can never hope to change anything." These become important words for him as he matures and comes to terms with what has to be done in order to win.
- Character Development: Evolves from a timid and uncertain boy to a more confident and brave young man. And later, to a hardened strategist who understands what needs to be sacrificed for the greater good.
- The Chessmaster: He isn't one yet but shows very high potential to be one with enough experience. A good example is how he pieced together who the Female Titan was from bits of information gathered thus far then planned a trap to apprehend her in a rather short period of time. On the other hand, he's starting to understand just how important is is to be able to trade a pawn for a piece of higher value, meaning that he's starting to look more and more ruthless.
- Chessmaster Sidekick: He's absolutely brilliant and shows great potential for ruthlessness, but he's utterly loyal to his friends and respectful of his commanding officers.
- Child Prodigy: Far smarter and more interested in his studies than his peers, which unfortunately got him beat up when it came to his knowledge of the world outside.
- Cowardly Lion: He snaps as easily as a twig during the first phases of Trost though later on he's willing to do the unthinkable (for him at least) if it means he can protect his friends. He is willing to stand with Eren and mount a bold defense with his words for him when everyone looks poised to kill them and later on, he volunteers to join Mikasa in what looks like a suicide mission to cover Eren.
- Crazy Enough to Work: Most of his plans are this.
- Crossdressing Voices: Shares the same voice as the (female) narrator in the Japanese version. Averted in the dub.
- Failed a Spot Check: He completely misses the Rogue Titan emerging from the same Titan who just ate Eren, despite having been right there when it happened. This may be justified as Armin was in the middle of a traumatic Heroic BSOD at the time.
- Guile Hero: Armin's strength lies not in his fighting ability, but in his tactical genius, both at the drawing board and in the field.
- Heart Is an Awesome Power: Initially he thinks he'll be useless since the only thing he has going for him is his book smarts. It turns out he's great at both analyzing people and situations within moments and formulating plans to get out of bad situations, making him an invaluable tactician for the Survey Corps.
- Heroic BSOD: When he's too scared to move, Eren sacrifices himself for Armin. This causes Armin think of himself as worthless, and is pretty much catatonic until Mikasa shows up.
- Heroic Self-Deprecation: Armin initially has nothing nice to say about himself, feeling he is useless. He gets better.
- Heroic Wannabe: He is at first misguided in his endeavors to be useful, believing he must become a kind of hero to deserve being at Eren and Mikasa's side.
- Hero-Worshipper: He admires leaders like Pixis and especially Erwin because they are able to sacrifice people to save humanity.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Eren.
- Hyper Awareness: Armin can quickly notice things no one else can. Best shown in his analysis of each surprising discovery they make: in the case of the Rogue Titan he notices its intelligence based on its fighting style and its tendency to ignore humans within moments and in the case of the Female Titan, he's very quickly aware of its intelligence based on its knowledge of 3DMG weaknesses and it protecting its weak spot, so he pieces together that it must be another Human Titan.
- I Just Want to Be Badass: His greatest desire is to be useful. After he realizes that his friends do not think lowly of him at all, he grows out of it.
- I Never Said It Was Poison: He's clever enough to make use of this. When he's bluffing the Female Titan he makes specific statements like "the suicidal bastard" and "my best friend". Based on its subsequent actions he deduces that it is, in fact, one of his classmates he knows well since it guessed (correctly) he was talking about Eren, since the former is the 104th Trainee class's nickname for Eren and the latter is only obvious to people that knew both Eren and Armin personally.
- Innocent Blue Eyes: They fit him to a T, though later on he's gradually losing the "innocent" part.
- I Will Only Slow You Down: Attempts this repeatedly, and is proven wrong each time.
- Jade-Colored Glasses: Developing them slowly, as he begins to grow into an up-and-coming Chessmaster. He readily accepts the most questionable actions of his superiors, and recognizes the ugliness of the Crapsack World he lives in.
- Japanese Pronouns: He uses the modest and soft-spoken "Boku".
- The Kirk: Mediates nicely between Eren and Mikasa.
- Like Brother and Sister: With Mikasa.
- The Load: He was always saved by Eren and Mikasa since his childhood. He was still the Load until the Battle for Trost. It's also subverted in a way because he saved his friends many times along the way.
- Lovable Coward: At first.
- Male Gaze: Parodied in the episode 23 4-koma. A horrified Annie accuses Armin of looking at her like that, while flashing back to him repeatedly checking out her Titan form.
- Morality Pet: To Annie. Armin managed to befriend her, to the degree she's unable to hurt him and gets drawn into a trap because he said he'd consider her a "bad person" if she didn't help him.
- Non-Action Guy: In the beginning. Eventually he becomes a perfectly competent soldier in his own right, though he still pales in comparison to Eren and Mikasa.
- Odd Friendship: Becomes friendly with Jean, though only after their respective Character Development. Emphasized more in the anime.
- Only Friend: Armin was Eren's only friend before he encountered Mikasa.
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: The senstive guy to Eren's manly man.
- Shorter Means Smarter: One of the shortest of the main male cast (second only to Connie) and the most intelligent - the character guidebook lists his intelligence as a perfect 10/10.
- The Smart Guy: It's stated to be his gift.
- The Strategist: Although he's lacking in physical strength, his smarts more than make up for it. He usually comes up with ideas that end up saving the other characters lives, such as baiting the smaller titans inside the storehouse during the Battle of Trost with soldiers on the elevator, having said soldiers shoot the titans in the eyes to blind them temporarily, and having their best soldiers sneak up on them and kill the titans. Although not everyone managed to kill their target on the first try, they're able to eliminate the threat and resupply without any casualties.
- Survivors Guilt: He suffers from this after Eren sacrifices himself by yanking him out of the Titan's mouth, and getting himself eaten in the process.
- Teen Genius: He is the smartest of the group and was first in theoretical courses.
- Took a Level in Badass: When he realizes that he isn't The Load, he grows into a fairly competent soldier and an even better strategist.
- For a concrete example, he goes from being completely unable to move as Eren is devoured by a Titan in front of him to preparing to face down a Titan alone, on the ground, while dragging an unconscious Jean under one arm.
- Watching Zhiganshina Burn: He actually doesn't seem to have watched it from the boat, hiding with the other refugees.
- Wise Beyond Their Years: Strategists listen to his insight despite being older and out-ranking him. His wisdom is the reason that his friends and allies trust his insight without question: case in point, Armin succeeded at stopping Mikasa from trying to intervene with Levi's beatdown of Eren just by saying "Wait!" and giving a knowing look. That's right, Armin is the only force on earth capable of stopping Mikasa from acting on her Berserk Button and his holding her arm back definitely had nothing to do with it.
- The World Is Just Awesome: Less pronounced than Eren, but still just as important. Armin was the one who introduced the bizarre descriptions of the outside world to Eren, and was repeatedly bullied by other kids for his fascination with it.
Tropes That Apply after Castle Utgard
MAJOR spoilers inbound.
His keen mind proves vital in uncovering the identities of several traitors hiding among his comrades, providing key evidence to their guilt. He takes part in the mission to rescue Eren from the traitors, revealing a far more ruthless side in order to turn the tide of the battle. Afterwards, he is promoted into the second incarnation of the Special Operations Squad charged with protecting Eren and Historia. To this end, he wears a disguise and becomes bait to lure out their enemies.
"What else do I need to throw away? How do I make things change?"
- Ascended Meme: Armin's feminine appearance and resemblance to Krista has often been joked about among the fandom. He later actually winds up having to impersonate Historia as part of a mission.
- Attractive Bent-Gender: Deconstructed. He crossdresses at one point, and ends up getting the worst kind of attention from a Dirty Old Man.
- Awesome by Analysis: Many are willing to listen to his plans. He was able to discover the identities of the enemy by piecing together seemingly unrelated pieces of circumstantial evidence along with his own information gathering.
- Body Double: He serves as a convincing double for Historia.
- Closet Key: An old man who kidnapped him while acting as Historia's Body Double turned bisexual because of him.
- Consummate Liar: Gradually outgrowing his Bad Liar tendencies and filling this role. Proves to be a great asset on the battlefield, for example in Chapter 49 when he claims that Annie is currently being tortured by the military in order to upset and distract Reiner and Bertolt.
- Disguised in Drag: Used as the Body Double for Historia, wearing a long wig and her clothing.
- Even the Guys Want Him: Armin, while disguised as Historia, winds up molested by a man after he is captured. Even after his true gender is revealed, the man insists that he's still attracted to Armin.
- False Flag Operation: Discusses such an operation, horrifying his comrades. Eren notes this isn't the first time Armin has dreamed up those kinds of scenarios.
- Grin of Audacity: Before lying to Bertolt.
- Slasher Smile: The look on his face when he describes how Annie is supposedly being tortured is absolutely terrifying. Isayama actually toned it down from its original version, as shown on his blog◊.
- I Have You Now, My Pretty: After being kidnapped while acting as Historia's Body Double, Armin is molested by one of his captors. It's a disturbing and jarring scene, especially due to the series tending to avoid sexual themes.
- I Shall Taunt You: He distracts her allies by telling them that the military is currently torturing Annie for information. Its not true, of course, but its enough to perturb Bertolt.
- "Just Joking" Justification: When noticing how much his False Flag Operation idea horrifies his comrades, he tries — and fails — to write it off as a joke.
- Manipulative Bastard: In chapter 49, he lies to Bertolt to manipulate his feelings and disturb him.
- Rank Up: Assigned to the new Special Operations Squad. He is notably the only new member that did not make it into the Top 10 of the trainees.
"I've had enough of people dying on my account!"
Ranked 6th. A cynical and hot-headed young man, he comes into constant conflict with Eren over their differing ideals. He declares his intention to join the Military Police Brigade, wanting only to live a comfortable and safe life. After the battle of Trost, he abandons his selfish ways, enlisting in the Survey Corps and growing into a capable young leader.Branch:
- Adaptation Expansion: He has more scenes and lines in the anime compared to the manga. It makes his character development easier to understand.
- Armor-Piercing Question: When he confronts Eren about the mission to reclaim Trost, Jean delivers several of these in a row.
- Badass Normal: Considering who the people that ranked above him are all The Ace except Eren, and four of them are Titan Shifters, Jean's pretty badass for being normal.
- Being Good Sucks: Gives up his ambitions to live a comfortable, Titan-free lifestyle with the Military Police Brigade and enlists with the Survey Corps even though he knows he's basically joining the Redshirt Army.
- Body Double: Serves as a double for Eren twice, mostly due to the two being noted to have a similar general appearance, although Eren is quick to point out that he doesn't have a horse face like Jean.
- Break the Haughty: The entirety of the Battle of Trost. His home district takes a major beating, he gets shell-shocked by his first encounter with the Titans, he tries to take charge of the directionless recruits and several die following his lead, he very nearly dies himself when he runs out of gas, then it all culminates with his finding Marco's corpse. By the end of it, most of his earlier Jerkassery got ripped straight out of him.
- Brutal Honesty: Admits that he has a habit of always speaking whatever's on his mind, appropriate or not. In his first appearance he gets asked by the Drill Sergeant Nasty why he's here and he truthfully tells him his selfish intentions (instead of lying about more noble ones) and gets headbutted for his trouble.
- Butt Monkey: Basically, nothing ever goes Jean's way. Misfortune and tragedy have beset him at nearly every turn since joining the military, and his "faith in humanity" having long been wiped off onto Connie's back.
- The Call Knows Where You Live: His hometown, Trost, becomes the site of the first major attack in five years and he suffers considerably for various reasons. The call also reaches him just one day before he would've gone to the Interior, a fact he himself lampshades as incredibly inconvenient.
- Casting Gag: Shares similar looks and name spellings (though not pronunciation dubwise) with Jean Havoc.
- Caught with Your Pants Down: In one of the fake volume previews, Jean's mother bursts in on him while he's dealing with the curse of puberty.
- The Chains of Commanding: He gets a taste of it when he briefly needs to take charge during the Battle of Trost. See My God, What Have I Done?.
- Character Development: Starts as a self-centered and arrogant young man, but develops into an honorable leader who learns to trust his comrades (even Eren to some extent).
- Cowardly Lion: He completely detests the idea of putting himself in harm's way, but he'll do what's needed when it counts the most.
- The Cynic: As opposed to Eren, Jean believes that humanity stands no chance against the Titans, and readily sees everything with a critical and doubtful eye. He slowly outgrows this over the course of the series.
- Dead Sidekick: Marco, his closest friend.
- Doomed Hometown: The Trost District, which narrowly escapes this fate thanks to Eren successfully plugging the breach with a boulder. It's heavily damaged by the battles, but not completely destroyed.
- Establishing Character Moment: Arguing with Eren over how joining the Survey Corps is suicide.
- Everyone Can See It: Everyone seems to realize that Jean likes Mikasa and is picking fights with Eren because of this. Besides Eren, himself.
- Face of a Thug: Armin says he and Eren have the same "dangerous-looking eyes". This comes up later on when Jean needs to pretend to be Eren so as to mislead the Military Police Brigade as to what Eren is really doing at the time.
- A Father to His Men: Despite his initial self-centeredness, Jean genuinely cares for the lives of his comrades. He is ashamed of himself when he is forced to use his dead comrades as a decoy to secure safety for those who are still alive.
- Foil: To Eren. Jean is cynical, cautious and brutally honest, and often serves to provoke and highlight Eren's idealistic and reckless nature.
- Fragile Speedster: Like Connie he's noted as being exceptionally agile when he's using his 3D Maneuver gear but his actual combat skills don't particularly stand out compared to his stronger peers. Marco even points out he's not a strong person but this trait might be a good thing, allowing him to relate to and lead others that also lack inherent strength.
- He's fast enough to close in on the Female Titan and get within striking distance then escape on two separate encounters, an impressive feat considering how many soldiers it slew that were trying to do the same thing.
- Freak Out: When he discovers the body of his Dead Sidekick, Marco. This kicks off his Character Development, and results in him abandoning his dream of an easy life with the Military Police Brigade in favor of following Eren into the Survey Corps.
- Gibberish of Love: The normally-blunt Jean is left tongue-tied and nearly speechless the first time he sees Mikasa, barely managing to get out more than a vague comment about liking her hair. Almost immediately afterwards, Eren suggests she cut it.
- Green-Eyed Monster: His entire relationship with Eren is this, although he and Eren had different viewpoints they were civil with it at first. Then Jean got a crush on Mikasa and he noticed how close she was with Eren, causing his hatred of Eren.
- The Hedonist: Downplayed. He's not indicated to enjoy any particular vices but he does care only about his own comfort, wanting to enter the Military Police Brigade for this exact reason. Later on when he loses this attitude he realizes that he's giving his cushy lifestyle up (and isn't very happy about it) but does it anyway.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Defied. He's one of the relatively few people in the series not looking to make his death useful; he doesn't want to die in combat at all. At first his dismissive attitude toward this idea marks him as a Dirty Coward, but after his Character Development it's given a more sympathetic light: as a young man with his life ahead of him, he's just not as willing as the others to throw it all away.
- When he and 21 other Trainees stay behind to join the Survey Corps, Erwin asks them if they're willing to give their lives to humanity. Jean bluntly yells "I don't want to die!", which Erwin accepts as an understandable outlook.
- Hidden Depths: In contrast to his reputation as an abrasive and self-centered jerk, he actually possesses great empathy and potential as a leader. Interestingly, he's developed into a voice of morality and reason, challenging the more ruthless methods embraced by Erwin and Armin.
- Hopeless Suitor: Towards Mikasa, who devotes herself solely to Eren.
- It's All About Me: When Eren complains about the corrupt system that sends the best soldiers to live as far away from the Titans as possible, Jean states the system should continue solely so he can benefit from it. After he gets over this, he still has reservations about the notion of self sacrifice during his character development.
- It's All My Fault: Blames himself thoroughly for the recruits that died following him even though there was very little he could have done about it. When he realizes that he does in fact care about the lives of his comrades, his selfish attitude begins to turn around.
- Jack-of-All-Stats: Statistics-wise he's basically this. Jean is quite smart, agile and skilled with the 3DMG but similarly to Eren, he lacks any outstanding talents.
- Jerkass Has a Point: Accurately predicts what would happen to anyone under Eren's command.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He's quite rough and a bit mean at times when he´s first introduced, but Character Development turns him into a nicer person who trusts others.
- Knight in Sour Armor: Develops into one.
- The Leader: When no one else is up for the task, Jean is level-headed enough to take charge. Marco states he's a natural.
- Love at First Sight: When he encountered Mikasa.
- My God, What Have I Done?: During the Battle of Trost, Jean is forced to use the deaths of some of his fellow trainees as cover to lead those who are still alive to safety. To his horror, several more die under his command at this time.
- Not Quite Flight: He's proven to be extremely agile with his 3DMG, at one point being able to easily maneuver his way around even when he had no structures to latch on to.
- Odd Friendship: Eventually develops one with Armin. Additional emphasis is provided in the anime.
- OOC Is Serious Business: In chapter 23 his actually looking out for others is pointed out as unusual.
- Refusal of the Call: He's vocal about his intention to never fight, and instead live a comfortable and safe life in the Interior. It goes about as well as expected when the Call catches up to him.
- The Rival: Eren's. The two have conflicting viewpoints, and their relationship is further aggravated by Jean's huge crush on Mikasa. Marco and Sasha, however, joke that his antagonism towards Eren is fueled by something else.
- Signature Move: In the anime, he seems to favor an evasive backflip as his main demonstration of his above-average skill at 3DMG. He can be seen doing it in slow-motion in the first intro.
- Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: Cynical and convinced that humanity is doomed, which drives his ambition to join the Military Police Brigade. He wants to live a comfortable life before the end.
- Sour Supporter: To Eren.
- Spell My Name with an S: An unusual example, as most sources use "Jean", while the Funimation release uses the English variation "John".
- Tragic Bromance: Marco's death shook him to the core, forever changing him from a selfish and cynical youth into a promising young leader that strives to live up to his friend's expectations.
- The Watson: Has this role occasionally, especially when he interacts with Armin and asks him logical questions (that the audience is probably wondering) about the situation at hand and what his analysis of it is. Additionally, as a rather straightfoward person, point out the most obvious solution so that someone else can explain why that wouldn't work.
- Unfriendly Fire: He briefly discusses (hypothetically) how unpopular officers might be killed off by their disgruntled subordinates while he's bemoaning the lack of information that Erwin gave everyone. He drops the subject soon afterwards and doesn't appear to have been serious.
- What the Hell, Hero?: He's unwilling to remain silent over Eren's reckless behavior, or Erwin's willingness to risk lives by withholding information about the true nature of the mission. Or the Resupply Squad Trainees that left everyone hanging in Trost. This guy does not hesitate to say what needs to be said.
- A more minor one, but even with his normally tongue-tying crush on Mikasa, he's not afraid to call her out on her near-obsession with Eren if the situation actually calls for it. For example, in episode 16 when discussing what happened at the beginning of the mission to plug the hole in Wall Rose, specifically when Eren went nuts in Titan mode and tried to squish Mikasa. She tries to deflect his brutally direct questions (very lamely), to which he replies that not everyone is willing to just up and blindly sacrifice their lives for Eren like her and rightly points out that they need to make sure that he's got a handle on his Titan form, or he'll be a danger to everyone around him.
- Another minor example is him angrily chewing out the Resupply Squad (the point where he decks one and has to be restrained) during the Battle for Trost for cowering under tables instead of keeping everyone refueled, leading to more deaths than necessary. When another explains that Titans made it into the supply room and they couldn't do anything, he retorts that "'Doing something' is your job as a soldier!"
- In episode 24, he confronts Eren over his inability to face Annie after she's revealed as the Female Titan. He references their previous What the Hell, Hero? conversation, reminding Eren that he has a responsibility to his comrades for the faith they've placed in him and their willingness to sacrifice their own lives for his sake. He demands to know if this is how Eren intends to repay them.
Tropes That Apply after Castle Utgard
MAJOR spoilers ahead.
While his comrades remain under suspicion, Jean finds himself included within Erwin's inner circle and acts as a decoy by dressing as Eren. He is deeply shaken upon learning that several of his comrades are traitors, and joins the expedition to rescue Eren. He proves a capable leader during the mission, keeping the others going and even managing to almost reach his former comrades. Afterwards, he is promoted into the second incarnation of the Special Operations Squad.
"I think that whether those people that died in order to get you back will end up having died for something or if it was all in vain is up to what you do from here, no?"
- Big Damn Heroes: In chapter 49, where he stabs a Titan's eye out to save Mikasa, of all people.
- Rank Up: Assigned to the new Special Operations Squad.
Krista Lenz / Historia Reiss
Voiced by: Shiori Mikami (JP), Bryn Apprill (EN)
"No matter what... I'm on your side!"
Ranked 10th. Though she's known as a kind girl who puts herself out for others, Ymir suggests that her selflessness may actually stem from a lack of self-worth and the desire to become a martyr.Branch:
- Action Girl: Ranked 10th in her class. Although she didn't really get to show us her stuff until later chapters.
- All-Loving Hero: Krista does not seem capable of displaying ill will towards anything.
- Ambiguously Gay: She is fiercely devoted to Ymir, willing to abandon humanity for her sake and declaring that she won't fear anything as long as they have each other. While Ymir's feelings have been confirmed as romantic, it isn't clear whether Krista's feelings are romantic or platonic in nature.
- Badass Adorable: Implied. She's adorable beyond all comprehension, but also one of the top-ranked soldiers in her class. Well illustrated when she saves Ymir in chapter 49, where she manages to look adorable even when killing her first Titan.
- Beauty Equals Goodness: The most beautiful girl in the manga and the nicest.
- Bishoujo: She even sparkles on occasion, when being admired by her peers.
- Broken Hero: Despite the Crapsack World she lives in and everything she's been through, she's still incredibly sweet and nice to everyone. Still, she's a lot more affected by it than she lets on.
- Cuteness Overload: Armin, Jean, and Reiner suffer from it after she rescues them.
- Death Seeker: Ymir accurately points out that Krista only joined the military with the intention of looking for a heroic and noble way to die. Since being called on her martyr complex many times, and nearly losing Ymir, she seems to be getting past it.
- Defiant Stone Throw: When she is left without her 3DMG, Krista uselessly throws a rock at the Titans.
- Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life/Martyr Without a Cause: Ymir diagnoses Krista with this, pointing out, that despite saying she needs to drag a teammate to safety through a snow storm, and chastising Ymir for cynically saying they should leave him behind, she never actually asks Ymir for help. Ymir says she might have good intentions, but her subconscious need to prove her morality to people is going to get her killed uselessly.
- Once she sheds the Krista Lenz identity, she tells Eren that she sees herself as having no more purpose in life.
- Dude Magnet: Admired by all her male classmates, who think of her as a "Goddess".
- Even the Girls Want Her: Or, at least Ymir does.
- Extreme Doormat: Averted. She gives this impression, but she can be pretty stubborn and didn't hesitate to return the headbutt Ymir gave her.
- Friend to All Living Things: Grew up on a farm, caring for the various animals. It's noted that she has a special way with the military's horses, and no one is surprised when she shows up with Jean's missing horse. When spooked, it ran off looking for her.
- From Dress to Dressing: Turns her ankle-length skirt into a miniskirt, using the pieces to create a makeshift bandage and sling for Reiner after he's injured.
- Hair Contrast Duo: The cute, sweet blonde to Ymir's moody brunette.
- Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Kind, gentle, and so beautiful that her peers call her their "goddess". Deconstructed, as she's desperately attempting to live up to this image to an unhealthy degree.
- Heal It With Booze: She uses a bottle of wine as improvised disinfectant while treating Reiner's injuries.
- The Ingenue: She actively tries to cultivate this reputation.
- Innocent Blue Eyes: Wide, big, and baby-blue, representing her beauty and goodwill.
- Like a God to Me: Played for Laughs. The official site notes that her peers think of her as the 104th's "Goddess".
- Living Emotional Crutch: To Ymir. A darker example than Eren and Mikasa, though, as Ymir is completely willing to take away Krista's chances of a future in order to see her one more time.
- Love Bubbles: Non-romantic example: When she gives a starving Sasha food, Sasha's vision sees her in this light.
- Morality Pet: To Ymir.
- Motherly Side Plait: Wears her hair this way, on occasion, and acts as the group's Team Mom.
- Nice Girl: Deconstructed. She is desperate to be liked, and thought of as a noble and kind person to the extent that she is willing to risk not only her own life, but that of her comrades. Ymir calls her out of this nonsense, and forces her to confront her true motivations for being such a helpful, kind person. Her kindness is genuine, but tainted by her serious issues.
- Eren tells her in Chapter 54 that her kindness in the early parts of the series, while sincere, seemed forced and unnatural.
- No One Gets Left Behind: Krista refuses to turn a blind eye to an ally in need, though some of her "efforts" are actually revealed to be more deliberately suicidal than helpful.
- One Head Taller: Ymir isn't particularly tall (172 cm or 5 feet 8 inches) but she seems this way compared to Krista who's only 149 cm (4 feet 9 inches).
- Only Friend: To Ymir. She's the only person who sees past Ymir's crude exterior and accepts her.
- Phrase Catcher: "A goddess!" or "Marry me", depending on the characters.
- Protectorate: To Ymir, for reasons not fully known yet. Word of Gay confirms that Ymir's feelings, at least, are romantic.
- Running Gag: Her ability to charm any of her male comrades simply by being kind to them. Comes up again in a more serious manner when Ymir wants her romantically because she was kind to her in spite of everything.
- School Idol: According to the official site, she is considered the idol of the 104th.
- Stepford Smiler: Type A, her cheerful nature hides incredible insecurity and desperation to be considered a good person.
- Team Mom: Most often seen bearing food and supplies (like horses) when they're needed most and in general does the scolding for comedic purposes (most often to Connie or Sasha).
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: The girly girl to Ymir's tomboy.
- Undying Loyalty: Her loyalty to Ymir cannot be shaken, no matter what the other girl does to push her away.
- Unkempt Beauty: Frequently shown with messy hair, or sweaty and dirty from fighting....but still very beautiful.
Tropes That Apply after Castle Utgard
MAJOR spoilers below.
Honoring her promise to Ymir, Krista reclaims her true identity as Historia Reiss — illegitimate daughter of a powerful nobleman. When Ymir is taken by the traitors, she insists on joining the expedition to rescue her friend, but is instead kidnapped by Ymir and convinced to abandon humanity. Though prepared to leave the Walls with Ymir, she is instead left in the care of the Survey Corps and completely abandons her false "Krista" persona. Placed under the protection of her comrades, she becomes a vital key to humanity's fate.
"Do you think...everyone is disappointed? That I'm such an empty person..and the kind Krista Lenz doesn't exist?"
- Abusive Parents: Her father was never there and her mother hated her and avoided her at all costs.
- All of the Other Reindeer: While she was growing up, other children actively ostracized her to the point that she was afraid to leave her home.
- Battle Couple: Heavily implied, due to her devotion to Ymir. They battle a horde of Titans together, with Krista declaring she won't fear anything as long as Ymir is with her.
- Beneath the Mask: Her self-sacrificing kindness is a front to mask her feelings of inadequacy and guilt.
- Bilingual Bonus: See Meaningful Name.
- Blue Blood: The bastard child of the royal family privy to conspiracy secrets.
- Broken Hero: Despite her traumatic and lonely past, she chooses to be a kind and loving soldier.
- Dark and Troubled Past: The daughter of a prominent nobleman and a servant, she was sent to live with her mother's parents at a young age.While physically provided for, she was isolated completely with no one showing her any affection.
- A Day in the Limelight: Chapter 52, aptly titled "Krista Lenz," partially focuses on her backstory and motivations.
- Daughter Of A Whore: It's implied that her mother was one in her backstory.
- Emotionless Girl: After the events of Chapter 50, she rarely shows emotion anymore.
- Empty Shell: Refers to herself as this in Chapter 54, saying that at least Krista Lenz had a personality and a purpose in life, while Historia Reiss doesn't and only seems to serve as kidnapping bait and a source of information.
- Everything's Better with Princesses: The Reiss family is actually the true royal family, making her a possible heir to the throne. Erwin plans on using this fact to ensure a bloodless revolution.
- Harmful to Minors: Watches her mother get her throat slit at the tender age of 10, immediately after her mother furiously denied being her mother and wished she'd never given birth to her.
- Heroic Bastard: She's a hero and her parents weren't married when she was conceived.
- Laser-Guided Amnesia: The mysterious woman from her past would erase herself from Historia's memories every time they parted ways. She has a dream of one of their meetings, but cannot recall it after waking up.
- Living Macguffin: More proactive than the usual example, but following The Reveal of her Secret Identity, the Survey Corps invest as much time and resources in her safety as they do Eren's, due to her possessing knowledge about the walls. Chapter 53 even has an attempted kidnapping staged on her.
- Love Martyr: Says she'll support Ymir even after Ymir claims she was just using Krista to save herself. She was also one to her other, who despised her.
- Meaningful Name: "Krista Lenz" sounds a lot like "crystal lens," which can magnify objects or help see them more clearly. Her real name, Historia, is Latin and Spanish for "history", which itself means "inquiry" or "knowledge acquired from investigation". Both make sense, since she has the authority to freely speak whatever she knows about the truth of the walls, and our heroes are told to go ask her about them.
- Meaningful Rename: Fulfilling her promise with Ymir, once the lattershows her her "secret" (that she can turn into a Titan), she decides to go by her real name once more.
- Perpetual Frowner: After the events of chapter 50, she does not smile anymore.
- The President's Daughter: Subverted, as a noble family's illegitimate child, she's actually held in very low regard by the rest of society. What makes her valuable to several factions, however, is the fact that, as a bastard, she can reveal the secrets of the Wall the legitimate members of the Reiss family can't.
- The Quiet One: In stark contrast to her early sociable, charming nature, Eren notes that she hasn't talked much since the events of Chapter 50.
- Rank Up: When she's assigned to the new Special Operations Squad, though like Eren she is primarily protected by the others.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: It's revealed that the Reiss family is the real royal family, making Krista a princess basically and a potential successor to the throne.
- Secret Identity: She is actually Historia, the bastard child of the Noble/Royal Reiss family. Pastor Nick states that she has the authority to reveal the secrets about the Wall Titans, though whether or not she's privy to her family's knowledge is unknown. She's not... yet. This makes her very important to several factions.
- The Stoic: Grows into this more and more after the events of Chapter 50.
- Swallowed Whole: Ymir does this in order to kidnap her.
- That Thing is Not My Child!: On the receiving end of this, as her mother only spoke to her twice in her entire life and both times referred to her as a "thing" and wished her dead.
- Thousand-Yard Stare: Sports one after the events of Chapter 50.
- Used To Be More Social: After Chapter 50, her withdrawn, quiet nature is in stark contrast to her earlier charming, cheery attitude.
- You Are Worth Hell: Feels this way towards Ymir. Although Ymir ultimately denies her the chance to prove it.
Voiced by: Saki Fujita (JP), Elizabeth Maxwell (EN)
"She smiled, and she was kind to me, despite knowing what kind of person I am..."
A mysterious and aloof member of the 104th Trainee Corps. Though skilled enough to place in the Top 10 of the class, she deliberately slacked off so that the tenth spot could be taken by Krista Lenz. She clearly hoped that Krista would choose a safe posting in the Military Police Brigade.Branch:
- Action Girl: Sort of required when you're in the military.
- Affectionate Gesture to the Head: She pats Connie on the head after he gives her his knife. This is right before she reveals her Titan form, marking a point of no return for her.
- Aloof Ally: Eren notes most people don't really know her well, and Krista is the only person she seems to care about. Becomes an Enigmatic Minion to the other Shifters, and is last seen assisting them as they fend off a swarm of normal Titans, but only after returning Krista safely to the Survey Corps.
- Ambiguously Brown: In the anime. Olive-skinned, with black hair and dark brown eyes. It's one of several hints she comes from somewhere outside the Walls.
- Armor-Piercing Question: Fond of giving these to others.
- Badass Gay: She's gay and she's badass.
- Because You Were Nice to Me: Her devotion to Krista is stated to have been born from this.
- Be Yourself: A firm believer that people are not alive unless they can be true to themselves. She even makes Krista promise at Castle Utgard that if they get out alive, she has to stop hiding and be her true self including going by her real name Historia Reiss.
- Butch Lesbian: Not the most blatant example, but Reiner still notes that "she doesn't look like a girl who is interested in guys." Her manner of speech is also pretty masculine.
- The Cynic: Has no illusions about what kind of world she lives in.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Based on the few hints she'd dropped, her early years were pretty horrible.
- Establishing Character Moment: Shows up when Krista is feeding Sasha and questions the altruistic nature of Krista's actions with a condescending attitude. She then lifts a passed out Sasha up and takes her back to the barracks, explaining that's she's doing the favor so Sasha will owe her.
- False Reassurance: She repeatedly insists she's only doing things for herself, and only cares about her own interests. It's just that her interests happen to revolve around protecting Krista, the girl she loves.
- Gut Feeling: She has exceptional instincts about other people, getting accurate readings on their motivations and hidden issues.
- Hair Contrast Duo: The angry, moody brunette to Krista's nicer, gentler blonde.
- If We Get Through This: "That's my Krista! Once this operation ends, marry me!"
- Lack of Empathy: She makes no effort to mince her words, and outright refuses to show compassion, which causes friction between her and Connie.
- Jerkass Façade: She's not nearly as harsh and unfeeling as she pretends to be. Not that she would admit it, even to herself.
- Lecherous Licking: She does this to Krista, while making a joke marriage proposal.
- Mysterious Past: She intentially keeps her past a mystery.
- No Name Given: Though Ymir first appears in chapter 5, her name isn't revealed until chapter 36.
- Likewise in the anime, which is to be expected as it hasn't reached that chapter. The anime credits refer to her as "Freckles".
- One Head Taller: Ymir isn't particularly tall (172 cm or 5 feet 8 inches) but she seems this way compared to Krista who's only 149 cm (4 feet 9 inches).
- Only One Name: Only name given is Ymir.
- Psycho Lesbian: Zigzagged. She's clearly devoted to Krista, and is willing to cross lines for her sake. This leads people to view her as insane or untrustworthy, but she's probably not the psycho people think she is.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: The tomboy to Krista's girly girl.
- Walking Spoiler: The revelations concerning her are very significant. Read the below section at your own risk!
- Wild Card: And she makes certain others know it, declaring that her only consideration is her own interests.
Tropes That Apply after Castle Utgard
MAJOR spoilers head.
In order to protect the girl she loves, Ymir reveals herself to possess the Titan's Power and is gravely injured in battle. Along with Eren, she is kidnapped by the traitors and convinced to ally with them to protect Krista. Though their plans fall through, she makes the decision to leave Krista in the Survey Corps' care and leaves human territory with the other Titan Shifters. Though her past remains a mystery, it is revealed that she existed as an ordinary Titan for 60 years and is independent from any other group, guarding many important secrets.
"It was like...I was in an endless nightmare."
- An Arm and a Leg: Loses her right arm and leg in the battle at Castle Utgard. She gets better.
- And I Must Scream: Previously spent over sixty years trapped in her Titan form, but managed to regain her humanity and control over her shifting after eating Reiner and Bertolt's best friend.
- Battle Couple: Heavily implied. Ymir is very obviously in love with Krista, and they prove to be an excellent match when facing a horde of Titans together. Krista's feelings remain slightly ambiguous, but her devotion is obvious enough.
- Big Damn Heroes: In stark contrast to her previous selfishness, during the battle against the Armored Titan, Ymir manages to save Erwin and Bertolt's lives Just in Time despite getting no benefit from it.
- Bolivian Army Cliffhanger: She is last seen fending off a swarm of Titans alongside Reiner and Bertolt. Volume 12 averts this, however, by including an epilogue that reveals they survived the battle.
- But Now I Must Go: In Chapter 50, after having repeatedly risked their lives for each other and confirmed their devotion to each other...Titan!Ymir gently caresses Historia's hair and runs off to help the other Shifters. It's unclear when, or if, they will see each other again.
- Cannibalism Superpower: It's heavily hinted that she regained her human form after devouring Marcel, who most likely shared his companions' power.
- Chekhov's Gunman: She's introduced early on in Chapter 5, but it is not until much later in Chapter 36 that she actually starts playing an important role. The anime provides a bit more attention to Ymir during this gap, but she still remains much less important compared to the other trainees.
- Cold Equation: To emphasize her self-serving attitude, Ymir, in the past, has advised abandoning an unconscious Daz in the mountains before she and Krista freeze trying to save him.
- Come with Me If You Want to Live: When she destroys what's left of Castle Utgard, with the others still on the tower. As it collapses, she climbs to the top and manages to speak enough to tell them, "Wanna live... climb on."
- Cruel to Be Kind: She viciously mocks Connie until he drops the subject of the Titan found lying on his house. Later, Reiner states she did it so Connie would stop worrying and asks her to keep it up. It's debatable whether Ymir did it out of genuine kindness or because she didn't want Connie to think too much about the Titans' origins, as she is one herself.
- Face Heel Revolving Door: She sides with the enemy in exchange for Krista's safety, but abandons them once things turned sour, only to return to their defense after safely returning Krista to the retreating Survey Corps.
- Good Feels Good: "It's not so bad playing goddess..."
- Healing Factor: Comes with being a Titan Shifter.
- Hunter of Her Own Kind: First, simply as a soldier doing what she has to survive. Once she reveals her true nature, she fights to protect Krista and the others.
- In Love with the Mark: She says she originally got close to Krista with the intention of taking advantage of her Living Macguffin status. However, we know over time she genuinely started to care for and is now in love with Krista. Still, she claims to only be thinking about herself.
- I Owe You My Life: When Bertolt asks why she saved his life, she states that it's because she feels indebted to them since she never would have regained human form without encountering them. She refuses their offer to let her escape, offering herself up as a trophy so they won't return to their home empty-handed, though it may very well mean her life.
- It's All About Me: In chapter 47 she boldly declares that she'll take Eren and go back to the Survey Corps, ruining Reiner and Bertolt's plans, and even taking away a chance at making sure Krista isn't killed in the conflict, just so she can see her again. She says that she's fine with taking away Krista's future so long as she can see her again, because Ymir is simply that terrible a person.
- Lotus-Eater Machine: Inverted. Ymir reveals she spent 60 years as a regular Titan, and describes it as having been trapped in an "endless nightmare". She notes she has no memory of her physical actions during that time, and only regained her consciousness and human form 5 years ago.
- Lovecraftian Superpower: Titan Shifting is fairly horrific, involving generating a giant meat suit fused to the human pilot. Ymir's is a simian-like creature with fangs and claws]
- Love Makes You Evil: She's willing to side with the enemy, if it means protecting Krista. Even then she freely admits she's a horrible person so selfish she would risk Krista's future just to be able to see her one more time. Possibly subverted, when she reveals that she might need Krista for different purposes. It's unclear whether she's telling the truth. By the end of chapter 50 it seems she was indeed lying.
- Meaningful Name: Ymir's name is a reference to Norse Mythology. note Ymir also means "The Scream", foreshadowing her being stuck in a titan body for over sixty years.
- Older Than She Looks: She reveals that she spent 60 years in her Titan form, suggesting that she's at least in her late 70s.
- Put on a Bus: Last seen preparing to head back to the Titan Shifter homeland with Reiner and Bertolt.
- Reliable Traitor: Reiner states he can trust her to work with them, since her only consideration is who can best help her protect Krista.
- Revealing Skill: She can read the strange characters on a can, and does so without thinking about it. Immediately, Reiner becomes suspicious of her.....but they're interrupted before he can do more than express surprise, and the subject is dropped until The Reveal of her true nature as a Titan Shifter.
- Robbing The Mob Bank: Long ago, she stole the Titan's power from the group the other Shifters serve. Hiding within Wall Sina, and then enlisting in the military to find Krista was her desperate attempt to save herself from them.
- Save the Villain: In chapter 50, she makes the decision to leave Historia behind and rescue Bertolt from being devoured by a Titan. She's last glimpsed helping Reiner fight off the horde of Titans, though her motives remain unclear. However, she's shown to have reacted strongly to Bertolt's Villainous BSOD, suggesting she's at least partially acting out of sympathy.
- Secret Identity: A Titan Shifter independent of the other four, who joined humanity's ranks for reasons yet unknown (although her motives right now seem to be protecting Krista). The Aberrant Titan Ilse Langner encounters seems to worship her, calling Ilse "Ymir-sama" upon their meeting.
- Self Harm: She borrows a knife from Connie, and slashes open her hand in order to transform into a Titan.
- Super Soldier: The 3rd known Titan Shifter.
"Anyway, I'm not stupid enough to enjoy playing soldier in this shitty world."
Ranked 4th. She is cold and aloof, but has a deep admiration for people with strong ideals. Noted for her exceptional and unique fighting style, which she taught to Eren. While her classmates choose to join the Survey Corps, she follows through with her stated plan of joining the Military Police Brigade. During the 57th Expedition, she appears as the Female Titan and slaughters many soldiers while pursuing Eren. Failing to capture him, she is identified by Armin and led into a trap by him. Defeated by Eren and Mikasa, she uses a mysterious power to encase herself in crystal and remains in the Survey Corps' custody.Branch:
Military Police Brigade
- Action Girl: Noted to be one of the best trainees at fighting and that's saying something.
- Adaptation Distillation: Her mentorship of, and relationship of mutual respect and admiration with Eren was altogether removed from the anime. This causes Eren's Heroic BSOD to be unexplained.
- Adaptation Expansion: In the anime, when she's called out as the Female Titan by Mikasa, instead of grinning creepily like in the manga, her response is to burst out laughing. According to Isayama, this was a change pushed by himself, because he wanted her to convey her "fear, sadness, shyness, loneliness and guilt" while having a "relieved" outlet.
- Alas, Poor Villain: Her defeat at the hands of Eren and Mikasa is combined with memories of her father, finally causing her to burst into tears and seal herself away in crystal.
- Aloof Ally: Prefers working by herself. This is implied to have hurt her class ranking, as her combat skills are higher than Reiner and Bertolt's, but strategy and ability to work as part of a team are also factors when deciding graduating rank.
- Anti-Villain: While she's much better at hiding her guilt than her partners, she's deeply disturbed by the loss of life at Trost and described by Word of God as a "normal girl" forced to do horrible things. It's clear her father is a major part of her reasons for what she's doing and she loves him regardless of what he's put her through.
- Badass: Her combat skills are ranked 10/10, equal to Mikasa's, and higher than Reiner's, Bertolt's and Eren's.
- Bad Liar: According to Eren.
- Because You Were Nice to Me: Implied to be the reason for her (relative) closeness to Armin.
- Becoming the Mask: To a minor degree, as she does spare Armin and comes to admire certain traits of Eren's. She is also very disturbed by the human remains left by the Titans that invade Trost. Annie even apologizes.
- Beneath the Mask: She actively cultivated a cold and distant persona, but when her mask slips hints of a kinder person emerge. Word of God describes her as an "ordinary girl", and when she finally stops hiding her true self, it's both unnerving and heartbreaking.
- Big Bad Friend: Though she acted as Eren's mentor, and is on good terms with others such as Armin... ultimately she's revealed as the Female Titan responsible for the slaughter during the 57th Expedition. Eren is so shocked by this revelation that he's initially unable to muster the focus and willpower to fight her. Armin also has a shocked expression when she reveals herself, despite the fact that he was the first to suspect it.
- Big, Thin, Short Trio: The "Short" to Reiner's "Big" and Bertolt's "Thin".
- Black Eyes of Crazy: While in the midst of transforming into her Titan form, her face is briefly glimpsed and reveal Tainted Veins as well as black sclera. By that point, her Sanity Slippage has begun and leads to her final desperate battle against Eren.
- Blatant Lies: Sometimes states that she's weak and helpless, which Eren (or anyone else who has seen her fight) can tell from first-hand experience is a load of crap. Though there may be more to that phrase than it seems (she may be referring to her mental strength, i.e. that she lacks the resolve to "go against the flow").
- Blondes are Evil: In contrast to dark-haired heroine Mikasa.
- Blood Knight: She does not show it on the surface, but, as Eren suggests, Annie only comes alive when she's showing off her fighting skills.
- Broken Bird: Hinted to be one.
- Broken Tears: When she is about to be captured.
- Chekhov's Gun: She slips on a plain metal ring as she agrees to help Armin smuggle Eren out of the capital. When this turns out to be a ruse and the Survey Corps tries to apprehend her and prevent her from biting herself, she whips out a barb in the ring and inflicts Self Harm to transform.
- Clark Kent Outfit: Her abs rival Mikasa's.◊
- Cleopatra Nose: A Greek nose like hers is pretty rare to find in an anime, especially if it belongs to a girl.
- Crystal Prison: After being dragged out of her titan body with nowhere to run, she's encased in one of these. It seems to be some sort of defense mechanism, but it also means that she's not going to give up any information anytime soon.
- Daddy's Girl: Her father had a very strong impact on her, and she seems to have fond memories of him. Whether this makes her Daddy's Little Villain or not is still unclear. He seems to have regretted raising her as a Tyke Bomb.
- Dangerously Genre Savvy: Noticed that something was very wrong when Eren, Mikasa, and Armin's escape plan involved going someplace underground (where she couldn't Titan shift) in an area where everyone seemed to be conveniently missing. She was right to be suspicious, several Survey Corps members were waiting to ambush and capture her.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Raised by her father as a Tyke Bomb, taught to hate the world, and sent into the Walls to spy on humanity while committing acts of mass murder]
- Death Glare: Oh boy,◊ she is a master of it.
- Dissonant Laughter: At one point she actually laughs out loud while blushing and it's rather cute. Or rather it would be if not for the fact that she's admitting her Secret Identity, making it really creepy.
- Dull Eyes of Unhappiness: Thanks to their shape and the shading underneath, her eyes look like this. Given her backstory, it's not hard to see why.
- Early-Bird Cameo: She makes a blink-and-you-miss-it cameo in episode 2, as one of the refugees in line for bread.
- Emotionless Girl: It's not that she can't have emotions, she just doesn't care about the world around her. When she gets angry, she looks creepier. It's revealed that the likely source of this is that her father put her through Training from Hell and asked her to hate the world.
- Evil All Along: Zigzagged all over the place. While an enemy to mankind, her teaching Eren to fight - and to question some aspects of the society he lives in - was a genuine act and she's a deeply conflicted, morally complex character.
- Evil Counterpart: To Mikasa, being a cold, exceptionally skilled, and ruthlessly efficient girl in the Corps and in her trio.
- To a lesser extent she's also this to Armin, being a very insightful person regarding human nature and the ideals of others. Like him, she's also ruthless when it comes to accomplishing her goals; her downfall comes as a direct result of faltering in said ruthlessness and not killing him, later leading to her being emotionally being manipulated by him.
- False Friend: As much as she tried to avoid it, and ends up being undone by it when she genuinely starts to care.
- Fighting Fingerprint: Her fighting style is unique. Because of it, Armin is able to pin her as the Female Titan, and after she teaches it to Eren, he manages to one-up Reiner during their fight.
- Signature Move: A Muay Thai high kick.
- Eren also lost the first Titan vs. Titan fight against her because he was distracted when he recognized her fighting style and realized that the Female Titan was Annie.
- Foe Romance Subtext: Her relationship with Eren is fairly ambiguous, though it's clear she harbors some type of affection for him. While Word of God states Eren's feelings are platonic, Annie's feelings remain a mystery. In a flashback, she's seen teasing Eren about needing to learn how to talk to girls. Mikasa promptly interrupts them by throwing Reiner at Annie, and then challenging her to a match.
- Foil: To Mikasa - even physically. Mikasa is tall, Annie is short; Mikasa has dark hair, Annie is blond; Mikasa's fighting skills are almost instinctive, while Annie relies on complex techniques; Mikasa has small, dark eyes, while Annie's are large and blue; Mikasa has a small nose, while Annie's has a Cleopatra Nose; Mikasa lives for others, while Annie is self-centered. However, both are emotionally repressed, skilled fighters, and both have found themselves unable to kill someone, which would prove to be a critical mistake.
- Four Is Death: Ranked fourth in her graduating class and she's also the first enemy Titan Shifter to be discovered. Furthermore, she also has the highest kill count out of any titan.
- Freudian Excuse: Hinted at, with the revelation that her father raised her to think of the rest of the world as her enemies.
- Genre Savvy: She's well aware of what would happen if an idealist like Eren or Marlowe made it to a position of authority in a thoroughly screwed-up system.
- Glass Cannon: She lacks brute strength but she's skilled enough that her strikes are precise and fast enough to make her an formidable fighter regardless. Eren and Reiner underestimate her during hand-to-hand combat training and are stunned at how quickly she hands them their asses.
- Healing Factor: She's never shown to use it in human form, but is noteworthy for her ability to selectively focus her regeneration to prioritize regrowing one eye instead of both.
- Hero Killer: Implacable and ruthless, aggressively hunting Eren in the Survey Corps at the cost of many experienced soldiers' lives.
- Hidden Depths: Annie embodies many contradictions, some very intentional on her part. She hides her kinder nature beneath an aloof mask, and references her small build as a weakness while being one of the most skilled and dangerous fighters in the series.
- Hidden Heart of Gold: She cultivates an image of disinterest and apathy, but she's actually more caring than she seems.
- Humans Are the Real Monsters: Conditioned by her father to feel this way since childhood, most likely to keep her from sympathizing with the group she was infiltrating.
- Hunter of His Own Kind: A villainous example; she kills Titans so her cover won't be blown.
- Icy Blue Eyes: Mirroring her cold and aloof personality.
- Ignored Epiphany: Utterly horrified in the aftermath of Trost, when she discovers what may have been her friend's corpse. She apologizes to it over and over, having been forced to experience the full horror of what her mission involves. This doesn't stop her from brutally slaughtering soldiers left and right during the 57th Expedition, or rampaging through Stohess District later on.
- Kick Chick: Focuses quite a bit on kicks, which is Fridge Brilliance since the 3D maneuver gear requires incredible leg strength. Her Signature Move is a Muay Thai-style high kick using her shin and the top of her foot.
- Lady of War: Very graceful and aloof.
- Lovecraftian Superpower: Her Titan Shifting, which creates a 14-meter Titan.
- Luminescent Blush: In the anime. However, unlike most examples, it's not a good sign.
- Meaningful Name: "Annie" means "grace." Her surname means "Lionheart". Considering that the lioness is More Deadly Than The Male, her being one of the best fighters in the series this shouldn't come as a surprise; however it's also ironic given how the lioness often works in tandem with others and Annie has the second-lowest teamwork score among the 104th.
- The Mentor: She teaches Eren a lot of hand-to-hand combat techniques.
- Mixed Martial Arts: Uses moves from Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu-jutsu, among others.
- The Mole: One of the Titan Shifters sent to infiltrate the human ranks, and most likely her true reason for joining the Military Police Brigade.
- More Deadly Than The Male: Second only to Mikasa in terms of her fearsome reputation among the recruits. She also has the highest body count of any Titan, and several of her kills are particularly cruel. One unfortunate soldier is killed by her spinning him around by his wires, causing his body to fold completely backwards at the waist from the force.
- My God, What Have I Done?: During her second titan battle with Eren, she's visibly horrified when she accentally kills civilians.
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain:
- She teaches Eren some hand-to-hand combat techniques. He later uses them effectively in his fight with her fellow Titan mole Reiner.
- Sparing Armin's life while in her Titan form led him to expose her as the Female Titan.
- Noble Demon: She genuinely respects people with the courage to pursue high ideals, and cannot bring herself to hurt her former classmates even though doing so required great personal risk.
- No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: A rare villainous example. Had she not spared Armin's life during her attack on the expedition, she probably wouldn't have been exposed as the Female Titan by him.
- Peek-a-Bangs: Of the "concealing something" variety.
- Perpetual Frowner: She never smiles, except for the occasional Slasher Smile here and there.
- Pint-Sized Powerhouse: She's tiny, which makes it all the more jarring when she easily hands Eren and Reiner their asses...
- Put on a Bus: Or more accurately, encased herself in a crystal.
- The Rival: Hinted to have been this to Mikasa, at least during their trainee days. A flashback shows Mikasa passive aggressively asking Annie to show her a few moves when she thinks Annie is putting the moves on Eren. In response, Annie wondered if her moves would even work on "a beast". As they prepared to fight, everyone else started making bets on who would win, clearly waiting for the day when the two strongest fighters would face off. What's more, Eren is asked who he thinks will win, to which he repeats "Which one..." in a manner that made it seem like it narratively had a Double Meaning to it.
- Robbing the Dead: She's extremely vague on how exactly she ended up with Marco's equipment, leaving it unclear whether he died before or after she stole it.
- Sadist: She may be this, based on some of the utterly and unnecessarily vicious ways in which she killed members of the Survey Corps.
- In the manga, right before she killed a guy by spinning him in incredibly fast circles with his 3D Gear wires, she very clearly grinned before doing it.
- Secret Identity: The Female Titan.
- Self Harm: She makes use of a specially-designed ring to transform. While it looks like a normal, silver ring it actually hides a small blade that can be flipped out to cut herself.
- Shared Unusual Trait: Her Cleopatra Nose - similar yet different to Reiner and Bertolt, the other two Warriors.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: Gets regarded as one by her comrades in the Military Police Brigade because of her involvement in the Battle for Trost. It turns out she is indeed suffering but for completely different reasons as a mole.
- Slasher Smile: Annie can be kind of scary when you push her the wrong way.
- The Stoic: She barely ever changes facial expression or tone, to an even greater degree than Mikasa.
- Not So Stoic/OOC Is Serious Business: At one point in the anime she breaks out in genuine, rich laughter and starts blushing immensely. It would be an adorable moment in another series that would signify a significant shift in personality but considering the circumstances, it's just her fake stoic persona breaking down, making it highly disturbing. This is reinforced by her changing her tone and expression to an alarming degree afterwards now that the cat's out of the bag.
- Sugar and Ice Personality: Discussed. Eren and Armin both express the belief that she hides a much kinder personality beneath her cold exterior.
- Super Soldier: She's physically stronger and tougher than an ordinary human, with a Healing Factor and the ability to transform into a 14-meter monster. She single-handedly slaughters some of the best veterans in the Survey Corps.
- Sympathetic Murder Backstory: A traumatized mass murderer, clinging to the promise she made to return home to her father. Eren wonders what would drive her to kill people, and the revelation of her betrayal shakes everyone to the core.
- Tragic Villain: She expresses admiration for heroic, good people....but also views herself as a terrible person. A flashback to her childhood reveals her father weeping as he apologizes to her, and then asks her to consider the entire world her enemy. Word of God describes her as "lonely" and "in pain" because of what she's had to do.
- Training from Hell: Her idea of training Eren is beating the tar out of him until he can memorize her motions.
- Tyke Bomb: Her father began her Training from Hell when she was still very young, and she's been on her mission to infiltrate and exterminate humanity since the age of 11.
- Villainous Breakdown: After her identity is revealed, Annie becomes noticeably more unhinged. She starts expressing a variety of emotions such as fear, fury and desperation, a far cry from her previous calm collectedness.
- Waif-Fu: Her fighting style, which focuses on removing larger, stronger opponents' size advantage. She likes to claim she's a "weak maiden", but no one buys this for a moment.
- Weak, but Skilled: She views herself as weak and says she is still winning against Eren because of her martial arts skills. But according to Eren, she is not weak at all.
"We're soldiers, aren't we? There are times when we can't back out."
Ranked 2nd. He has a strong sense of duty and is deeply admired by the others, who consider him to be their surrogate big brother. His village was destroyed by Titans, and he longs to return there someday. He strongly influences Eren to take his responsibilities as a soldier more serious, and is prone to crude humor during stressful moments. His reassuring attitude and humor boost morale, leading others to deeply trust him.Branch:
- The Ace: Ranked 2nd in the class, and looked up to by the others.
- Broken Ace: Turns out he's not nearly as solid and stable as he seems.
- Ambiguously Bi: While he's prone to thinking about marrying Krista when she's especially nice to him, he also readily agrees with Ymir when she states that they're both uninterested in the opposite sex. His tendency to make inappropriate jokes and multiple conflicting statements make it difficult to figure out what his actual sexual orientation might be. Added to the confusion is his Significant Birth Date, August 1st — celebrated by certain fans as Yaoi Day.
- Ass Shove: He jokes that this is a Titan's other weakness. Connie appears to take this claim seriously.
- Badass: He's ranked 2nd in his class, and has survived multiple close calls involving Titans.
- Big Damn Heroes: He helps save Armin from the Female Titan. However, it turns out to have been a trick to pass information to Annie.
- Big Brother Instinct: Everyone considers him their big brother, due to his tendency to take the weaker members under his wing. This is best demonstrated during training, when he risks punishment to help Armin with his gear.
- Big Brother Mentor: To Eren in particular.
- The Big Guy: Described as having the strength (and willpower) of an ox.
- Big Man on Campus: He's ranked 2nd in class, has a Heroic Build and is very much a Gentle Giant (or so it seems). The databook even gives him a 10 out of 10 in Social Skills.
- Brown Eyes: A light, almost amber shade. He's the reliable Big Brother Mentor to the others, considered to have great mental and physical fortitude.
- Bruiser with a Soft Center: He constantly looks after others, putting their well-being before his own. This has earned him the respect and admiration of the others, who view him as a surrogate brother.
- Chronic Hero Syndrome: Connie observes his tendency to always take the most dangerous assignments, and always act for the sake of others. Bertolt notes it's always been one of his worst habits.
- Cleopatra Nose: An aquiline (Roman) nose, to go along with his lantern jaw.
- Doomed Hometown: A remote mountain village, that was overrun by Titans during the destruction of Wall Maria. He states his desire to return there someday.
- Early-Bird Cameo: He makes a brief cameo as one of the refugees in episode 2, listening to the announcement of the mission to reclaim Wall Maria.
- Establishing Character Moment: When he takes Armin's pack during a training run, and risks them both getting in trouble to help Armin out. This is, of course, the beginning of a montage establishing the main cast through a narration by their instructor.
- The Fettered: His strong sense of duty inspires Eren to take his role as a soldier more seriously. Deconstructed, since it results in him suffering quite a bit later on.
- Gentle Giant: Built like a linebacker, but is the resident Team Dad whom the others rely on for support.
- Hair Contrast Duo: With Bertolt.
- Heroic Build: He stands out upon the soldiers for his heavy build. This actually becomes an issue, when they're in a Titan-infested area with only one horse and three people. Reiner is too heavy for the horse to carry him and a second person, and still run at full speed.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Attempts one to protect Connie, but is saved at the last moment by the others.
- Heroic Wannabe: Bertolt describes him as having always been one, which goes about as well as can be expected in this sort of series.
- Hidden Depths: He looks like a typical bruiser, but he provides emotional support to the others and cracks randy jokes to lighten the mood during tense moments. His graduating 2nd in his class suggests he's also far more intelligent than expected.
- Hot-Blooded: Extremely passionate, and masculine to the extreme. It's hard to believe he's only seventeen.
- Hunk: Ruggedly handsome, and stands out among the younger characters for being manly as hell.
- Lantern Jaw of Justice: Just look at it.
- Made of Iron: He survives a Titan's attempt to crush him and manages to walk it off.
- Meaningful Name: "Reiner" means "Deciding Warrior".
- Mighty Glacier: He's not particularly fast compared to the others (especially Jean, Connie, and Mikasa) but he's one of the most physically strong and tough recruits, being able to shrug off a Titan's attempt to crush him then cut his way out. His bulkiness and relative slowness do sometimes work against him, as Glass Cannon Annie makes quick work of him using his size against him in hand-to-hand combat training and later on something similar happens to his Titan form.
- No Brows: According to the design notes, though most of the time it looks like they're merely blond and very thin.
- Rated M for Manly: A hot-blooded, ruggedly handsome Big Brother type. His design stands out from the others, overflowing with masculinity in contrast to everyone else being a gangly teenager.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The red to Bertolt's blue.
- Running Gag: His desire to marry Krista whenever she's kind to him.
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: The Manly Man to Bertolt's Sensitive Guy.
- Shared Unusual Trait: His Cleopatra Nose and unusual height, shared with Bertolt.
- Shipper on Deck: Encourages Bertolt to pursue Annie, although whether or not there's actually genuine interest on either side is unclear.
- Significant Birth Date: Played with Laughs. August 1st is celebrated as Yaoi Day, due to the Otaku shorthand of 801 being used for the genre.
- Spit Take: In chapter 3, during Eren and Jean's argument. Out his nose. Armin has the misfortune of being sprayed in the process.
- Stepford Smiler: He actively tries to keep morale high, making awkward jokes or offering reassurances he knows aren't true. In this way, he's exceptional at keeping his issues as a Broken Ace well hidden.
- Survivor Guilt: Hinted to be at least part of the reason he's prone to throwing himself into harm's way for the sake of others. Within moments of recalling his friend Taking the Bullet for him in the past, Reiner nearly sacrifices himself to protect Connie in the exact same manner.
- Team Dad: He's viewed as a big brother by the other Trainees, encouraging them and doing whatever he can to protect or help them. He's especially protective towards Armin.
- Those Two Guys: With Bertolt Hoover.
- You Can't Go Home Again: Recognizes this, but says he at least wants to physically go back one more time.
Tropes That Apply after Castle Utgard
MAJOR spoilers ahoy.
Injured during the battle at Castle Utgard, he crumbles under the stress and confesses to Eren — revealing himself as the Armored Titan, and a spy sent to attack humanity. Unable to convince Eren to cooperate, Reiner kidnaps him along with Ymir and flees into Titan territory. Pursued by the military, his thin grasp on reality continues to weaken and he is revealed to be guilt-ridden over his actions to the point of madness. He convinces Ymir to ally with him, but is eventually routed by the military and forced to abandon his mission, fleeing back to his homeland in defeat.
"We were just kids....we didn't know anything."
Voiced by: Tomohisa Hashizume (JP), David Matranga (EN)
"I have....no will of my own."
Ranked 3rd. He is noted to have exceptional skill, but has horrible self-esteem and defers to others on almost all things. His comrades consider him quiet and awkward, in complete contrast with his childhood friend, Reiner. A refugee from a remote mountain village, he lost his home to a Titan attack and longs to return their someday. He expresses admiration for Eren's conviction, stating that he intends to join the Military Police Brigade in order to be safe from the Titans. However, he is one of those that follows Eren into the Survey Corps.Branch:
- Affectionate Nickname: The Official Site notes that his nickname is "Bertl". Oddly, Ymir is the only one who calls him this.
- Amazon Chaser: At least according to Reiner.
- Ambiguously Brown: In the anime, with a darker complexion than his classmates and unique facial features.
- Badass Longcoat: Parodied in the Chibi special. In order to make him stand out more, Armin gives Bertolt a makeover featuring a bright red coat with a flaming skull version of the Trainee Corps' insignia. He's immediately dragged off by the instructor to face punishment for altering his uniform. Armin labels it a complete success.
- Beautiful Dreamer: Subverted.
Jean: Bertolt, you made sprawling out when you slept into an art. At some point, we started looking forward to your new creation every morning. We'd even use your posture to forecast the day's weather...
- Beware the Quiet Ones: He's ranked 3rd in his class, and quite dangerous when absolutely necessary.
- Cleopatra Nose: Long and down-turned.
- Cowardly Lion: He is among the top students of his class, but is constantly comparing himself negatively to others in terms of skill and mental fortitude.
- Doomed Hometown: A remote mountain village, that was overrun by Titans during the destruction of Wall Maria. Along with Reiner, he dreams of returning there someday.
- Early-Bird Cameo: He makes a brief cameo as one of the refugees in episode 2, listening to the announcement of the mission to reclaim Wall Maria.
- Establishing Character Moment: Questions Eren and Armin about their past, and expresses surprise that they would still willingly face the Titans after everything they went through. He admits to being a follower that just goes along with whatever is expected of him.
- Everyone Can See It: Discussed (or possibly parodied?). Reiner claims that "anyone could see it", while teasing Bertolt over Annie. It's unclear if he actually does like Annie, or if Reiner is just being an overly-pushy Shipper on Deck.
- Extreme Doormat: Claims he has "no will of his own", and just goes along with whatever others tell him to do.
- Green Eyes: A dark, muted shade of green. Their color hints at his later Character Development, listed below.
- Hair Contrast Duo: With Reiner.
- Heroic Self-Deprecation: He has an extremely negative view of himself, describing himself as weak-willed and cowardly.
- Hidden Depths: While quiet and submissive, he's also a soldier of exceptional skill and potential. His stoic exterior also conceals the full depth of his emotions, taking others by surprise when he finally speaks his mind.
- Japanese Pronouns: He uses "Boku", in line with his meek personality.
- Nervous Wreck: A very low-key example. He admits to lacking any confidence in himself, and wears a near-constant look of nervousness and discomfort. Once his composure is broken, he becomes a full-blown example constantly either on the verge of Tears of Fear or shrieking in panic.
- Noodle Incident: His famous, weather predicting sleeping positions.
- Protectorate: Messing with him is the fastest way to push Reiner's Berserk Button. When things are at their worst, he repeatedly thinks only of Bertolt's safety.
- The Quiet One: He's fairly quiet, leaving Reiner to do most of the talking. When he does speak up, however, it's often due to intense emotions or having something very important to say.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The blue to Reiner's red.
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: The Sensitive Guy to Reiner's Manly Man.
- Shared Unusual Trait: His Cleopatra Nose and unusual height for his age, shared with Reiner.
- Shrinking Violet: Downplayed. He's got horrible self-esteem, and tends to linger awkwardly on the outskirts of the group. Even close friends like Eren can't offer more insight on him than that he's very quiet. He does open up and become more outspoken later on, after certain major events.
- Socially-Awkward Hero: Awkward in social situations, but he's ranked 3rd in his class and an exceptional soldier. Actually a villainous example.
- Submissive Badass: He's ranked 3rd in their class and considered to have great potential, but also noted to lack initiative or self-esteem. He pretty much defers to Reiner on all things, following his lead and going along with whatever he does.
- Sugar and Ice Personality: He's described as being taciturn by the others, but there's the occasional glimpse of warmth under his quiet, shy exterior.
- Spell My Name with an S: Bertolt Hoover is the official version, but Bertholdt Fubar is how his name is often translated.
- Tall, Dark and Handsome: He towers above his peers, and is relatively handsome with dark hair and Green Eyes. His personality is anything but suave and charming, though.
- Those Two Guys: With Reiner Braun.
- Troubled Fetal Position: He's shown to do this when sitting, in line with his meek personality.
- Unfortunate Name: His last name is sometimes translated as "Fubar", which is military slang for fucked up beyond all recognition/any repair/all reason. Though given certain revelations, the name really does suit him...
- You Can't Go Home Again: Like Reiner, he dreams of returning to their Doomed Hometown someday.
Tropes That Apply after Castle Utgard
MAJOR, sweat-inducing spoilers ahead.
Unable to stop Reiner's stress-induced breakdown, Bertolt is exposed as a spy sent to attack humanity as the Colossal Titan. In the ensuing chaos, he is nearly slain by Mikasa but is successful in kidnapping both Eren and Ymir. Though initially cold and unresponsive to his former friends, when pushed by Jean and Connie, he admits to his remorse over his actions and claims that he has no other choice. When Reiner is defeated by the military, he is forced to abandon his mission and retreat back to Titan territory along with his partner and Ymir.
"Please....someone...I'm begging you...someone find us."
- Anti-Villain: Bertolt knows that his mission is despicable, but states that it has to be done.
- Becoming the Mask: Seemingly averted, but then played straight. When pressured enough by the others, he breaks down and admits that he cares about the others but "someone had to do it".
- Beneath the Mask: His mask of awkwardness and stoicism has served to keep others from realizing the depth of his emotions, as well as his guilt over his actions.
- Berserk Button: Putting Reiner or Annie in danger is about the only way to get him to act aggressively.
- Big Bad Friend: He's the Colossal Titan, the very being considered to be mankind's great enemy. But he's also the soft-spoken, passive guy that slept in such odd positions the others made a game of predicting the weather based on him. He admits to having thought of the others as his friends, but carries out his orders regardless of his attachment.
- Big, Thin, Short Trio: The "Thin" to Reiner's "Big" and Annie's "Short."
- Bolivian Army Cliffhanger: He is last seen fending off a swarm of Titans alongside Reiner and Ymir, though an epilogue included in Volume 12 reveals that they survived the battle.
- Chekhov's Gunman: He's been around the whole time, and easily mistaken as a minor character right up until the revelation that he's the Colossal Titan.
- Conveniently Unverifiable Cover Story: He claimed to be a refugee from a remote mountain village, destroyed by Titans when Wall Maria fell. Hange notes that the family records were still in shambles five years later, and if they hadn't made the mistake of identifying themselves as from the same village as Annie.....they might have never been found out.
- Cry Cute: He sheds Tears of Remorse when cornered, showing that, despite everything he's done, Bertholt is still human after all. He later weeps again, when Ymir states her intentions to risk her life so that Reiner and Bertolt can go home.
- Dark and Troubled Past: A survivor of a Titan attack, and responsible for carrying out the destruction of the Walls while still a child.
- Dull Eyes of Unhappiness: When Eren confronts him and swears to make his death as horrible as possible. Instead of reacting, he merely looks resigned.
- Evil All Along: Zigzagged all over the place. He's mankind's greatest enemy and carried out two horrific attacks on humanity....but also revealed to care about his friends in the 104th, and aware that the things he's done are unforgivable. Like everyone else, he's a morally complex character that can't be strictly defined as evil.
- Evil Counterpart: To Armin, being the meek childhood friend and weakest overall fighter of the Titans.
- To a lesser extent he's also this to Mikasa, being a talented warrior who could master anything he is taught. Unlike Mikasa, his insecurity and lack of confidence cripples his potential.
- False Friend: He readily took actions he knew would kill the others, and held it together the best of the three spies. Heartbreakingly, like the others, it turns out he did care about them but seems to have no choice but to betray them.
- Foreshadowing: Many hints exist prior to the revelation of his true identity.
- When Eren describes the Colossal Titan to the other recruits, Bertolt is shown to be listening intently.
- During the siege of Castle Utgard, Bertolt begins to behave strangely and makes several statements that leave the others confused. He refers to Reiner as no longer being a "warrior".
- When the Dancing Titan climbs the tower, he brings his hand up to his mouth. It looks like he's merely recoiling in fear, but after The Reveal, it becomes clear he's preparing to transform using the same method as Eren.
- Good Feels Good: He states they were prepared for being hated. But it's clear he wasn't prepared to make friends, or be genuinely happy while infiltrating the military.
- Healing Factor: What with being a Titan Shifter. It allows him to survive getting his jugular slashed open by Mikasa.
- Hunter of His Own Kind: A villainous example; he kills Titans so his cover won't be blown.
- Ignored Epiphany: He admits to caring about the others, and recognizes how horrible his actions are, but immediately claims that it's impossible to even attempt to apologize. Like Reiner, he seems to believe that it's too late and continuing their mission is the only choice left to them.
- I'm a Humanitarian: He eats one unfortunate soldier in order to steal his gear..
- I've Come Too Far: He states they've already done too much to ever hope for forgiveness, and refuses to surrender when given the opportunity.
- Insistent Terminology: Not "soldiers" — "Warriors." He uses this as a way to keep track of Reiner's mental state.
- I Did What I Had to Do: After being persuaded by his former comrades, he breaks down and screams that he did in fact think of them as his friends, but nevertheless must finish his mission, because someone has to do it. He tends to adopt this philosophy whenever anyone reminds him of his blood-stained record.
- Kill All Humans: Reiner claims this was their original mission, though Bertolt states it isn't something they wanted to do. Regardless of his feelings on the matter, the fact remains that he's indirectly responsible for killing off 20% of the human race. With a single kick.
- Last-Second Chance: Offered one by Mikasa, after he breaks down. He responds that he can't give Eren back, a refusal that results in many more lives being lost.
- Lovecraftian Superpower: The most Lovecraftian of the bunch, as his Titan form is a 60-meter skinless horror.
- Meaningful Name: It means "Bright strength" or "Bright ruler".
- The Mole: One of the Titan Shifters sent to infiltrate the human ranks.
- Moral Myopia: He's aware that the things he's done are wrong and cruel, but threaten Reiner or Annie and all bets are off. Armin bluffing about Annie being tortured sends him into a murderous rage, even though he's indirectly responsible for killing many of their classmates at Trost.
- Necessarily Evil: He readily admits to knowing how horrible his crimes are, but insists that someone has to do it.
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: His mission requires him to bring Eren back, but unfortunately his actions in destroying Wall Maria resulted in the death of Eren's mother and attacking Trost five years later triggered Eren's Shifting powers. Both cement in Eren the desire to have revenge on the Titans, and provide him with the power necessary to turn the tide in humanity's favor.
- Not So Stoic: More recent events have involved greater displays of emotion from him — while coming to Reiner's rescue, attempting to cheer him up, or sobbing hysterically after Mikasa slits his throat and moves in for the kill. Later on, when confronted about his lies, he breaks down in tears. This emotional state is exploited by Armin, who claims that Annie is being tortured in order to send Bertolt into a rage — allowing Erwin to ambush him and rescue Eren.
- Put on a Bus: Last seen preparing to head back to the Titan Shifter homeland with Reiner and Ymir.
- Robbing the Dead: Steals the equipment from one unfortunate soldier after eating him.
- Secret Identity: The Colossal Titan.
- Self Harm: A very subtle hint towards it. When Ymir climbs the tower in Titan form, close observation of his reaction reveals him preparing to bite his hand in the same fashion Eren uses to transform.
- Slashed Throat: Mikasa tries and fails to kill him this way, which goes to prove just how tough Titan Shifters are. A normal human with such an injury would probably lose consciousness within moments, while Bertolt still has enough strength for a partial transformation.
Voiced by: Hiro Shimono (JP), Clifford Chapin (EN)
"I'm a genius."
Ranked 8th. He is short and agile, but considered somewhat clueless by the others. He wishes to join the Military Police Brigade to make his village proud, and likes to claim that he is far more intelligent than he actually is. He is close friends with Sasha, with the two providing much of the series' comedic moments. He is part of the group that abandons their ambitions, following Eren into the Survey Corps.Branch:
- Book Dumb: Not that school is a huge priority in this universe but he still doesn't know things that presumably everyone knows. In his introduction he gets screamed at for screwing up the salute since it implies that he thinks that the heart is on the right side of the body.
- Break the Cutie: He's especially broken up after the Battle of Trost, weeping openly as they burn the dead. Repeatedly in rapid succession. It begins when he discovers the horde of Titans came from the direction of his village, and they arrive to discover it utterly in ruins. His superiors quickly realize that while there's no signs of anyone being killed, there is also no signs that anyone could have possibly escaped....and so everyone resolves to lie to him in an effort to keep him calm. Then the one Titan they found lying on his house speaks to him, and he can't stop thinking how it resembled his mother. And when it seems everything is over, his surrogate big brother is revealed to be The Mole. Connie needs a hug.
- Bridal Carry: In episode 8, he can be seen carrying Armin this way, due to him not having any gas in his 3D-Maneuver Gear, as he and Mikasa regroup with the others of the 104th.
- Butt Monkey: Shares this role with Sasha as what little humor the series has is often at their expense. His getting the short end of the stick stops being funny after a while when it looks like the universe really doesn't like him being happy.
- Catch Phrase: "I'm a genius."
- Character Development: Connie initially joined the military just so that his village would think better of him, and didn't really understand what it meant to be a soldier. He starts off as a happy-go-lucky smart aleck, but as reality gives him a rude awakening, he becomes more serious, realizing he now has a duty as a soldier that he cannot ignore, and joins the Survey Corps despite having the opportunity to join the more peaceful Military Police.
- Cowardly Lion: Visibly scared of facing the Titans again after the Battle of Trost, but he decides to do it anyway.
- The Cutie: He's perhaps one of the kindest, most honest characters in the series.
- The Ditz: Described as being the most physically agile, with the downside of not being particularly agile mentally. Case in point: he can't seem to remember which side of his body his heart is on and almost believed Reiner when he brings up the Titans' "second weak point".
- Dumbass Has a Point: When he gives an accurate assessment of the first part of Trost (everyone's stuck until they can resupply) in lieu of Armin, who was shell-shocked at time, Jean mentions that it's good that he's using his head for once.
- In Chapter 49, he manages to talk Krista out of a dangerous situation. Lampshaded by himself.
- Dumb Is Good: He's a loyal and caring friend, but he can be pretty slow sometimes.
- Fragile Speedster: His gift is being very fast, which is saying something considering how humanity in general are Fragile Speedsters compared to the Titans.
- I Just Want to Be Special: Wants to be in the Military Police Brigade since they are known as humanity's most Badass and elite soldiers, and joining would make his village proud of him. An inspiring speech by Eren, and later, Jean, makes him reconsider.
- I'm Alive: He says this after every operation, completely surprised that he's still kicking.
- Like Brother and Sister: With Sasha.
- Meaningful Name: Connie Springer has the highest speed stat among the recruits.
- Nice Guy: Connie seems to be one of the nicest characters in the series, repeatedly exposing himself to dangerous situations to protect others, and always keeping the well-being of his friends in mind.
- Perma Shave: His permanently buzzed hair.
- Plucky Comic Relief: Starts out as this, often in conjunction with Sasha. And then he gets broken, over and over again.
- Ramming Always Works: Distracts a Titan from eating Jean by colliding with the tip of a Titan's head while maneuvering.
- Unskilled But Fast: Has top ratings for the "Speed" attribute but is only average in "Agility" according to the manual. The boy's fast but not as skilled at directing that speed to where he wants to go as Jean or Mikasa.
- "Well Done, Son" Guy: Wants to join the Military Police Brigade so his mother will be proud of him and his village will respect him. He realizes he's giving this up when he chooses the Survey Corps but does it anyway.
- Wide-Eyed Idealist: Tended to treat his training as a game and wanted to join the Military Police Brigade solely to make his village proud and not for personal safety. This seriously hurts him after he has to come to terms with the realities of the military after the Battle of Trost.
Tropes That Apply after Castle Utgard
MAJOR spoilers ahoy.
His village becomes the epicenter of a new disaster, as Titans flood into Wall Rose and leave humanity again on the brink. He is deeply shaken upon learning the identities of the traitors, taking part in the expedition to rescue Eren so that he can confront them. In the aftermath, the ruins of his village provide terrifying evidence of the true nature of the Titans and he is forced to come to grips with losing everything. He is promoted into the second incarnation of the Special Operations Squad, and charged with protecting Eren and Historia.
"All I have left is this picture....and my mom."
- Doomed Hometown: Returns to his home village to find it destroyed. Mysteriously, however, there's no sign of blood.
- Heroic BSOD: When he discovers his village has been destroyed, and there's a Titan laying in the ruins of his house. It gets worse when it speaks to him, and he realizes that it looks like his mother. He has another brief one, upon learning of Reiner and Bertolt's true identities.
- Morality Pet: Hinted to be one for Reiner.
- Rank Up: Assigned to the new Special Operations Squad.
- This Is Unforgivable: After learning the true fate of his family and village, Connie swears vengeance on whoever is responsible.
- Trauma Conga Line: Oh, Connie.
- Was It All a Lie?: Declares that he won't believe that Reiner and Bertolt are their enemies until he can ask them himself. Even after confronting them, it's not clear how he feels about their betrayal.
- What Happened To Mommy: Barely avoided, as Mrs. Springer's Titan form is unable to move. She remains alive, but in custody and he notes that she's the only thing he has left besides a photograph of his parents.
- You Can't Go Home Again: Notes that he doesn't think that he can ever go back home after the events of Episode 22. He ends up being right, when his village is destroyed and he indeed no longer has a home to return to.
Voiced by: Yuu Kobayashi (JP), Ashly Burch (EN)
"Calm down. This prey is big...but slow!"
Ranked 9th. Originally the inhabitant of a small hunting village, she left to join the military when an influx of refugees from Wall Maria forced the villagers to give up their traditional way of life. She tries to hide her accent by speaking very formally, and has a tendency to steal food whenever she sees it. She is considered a coward and a fool by some, but is respected for her keen instincts and warm nature.Branch:
- Action Girl: Not at first, but definitely grows into her own as she learns to confront the Titans more confidently.
- Apologizes a Lot: She even tries to apologize to a Titan after failing to kill it, though this is more like a panicked reaction than anything else.
- Big Eater: Implied to be due to the famines back home. In episode three of the anime, some characters comment that she was more shocked at the fact that they wouldn't be giving her anymore food that day, rather than the fact that she was told to run all day and night as punishment for stealing the potato she was seen eating in formation. She is also often seen eating or stealing food.
- Blackmail Is Such an Ugly Word: Sasha would like the other trainees to know that she "borrowed" meat from the officers' rations, and most definitely not stole it.
- Brown Eyes: Though considered strange, she's humble and shows great insight due to her upbringing as a hunter.
- Butt Monkey: When they need an excuse to cover up the noise caused by another fight between Eren and Jean, Mikasa blames it on Sasha's farting, horrifying her.
- On a more serious note, Sasha get's one of most pathetic Freak Outs/HeroicBSODs among the main characters, being the only one to actually outwardly break down in fear and make feeble excuses to leave after confronted by the Titans rather than inwardly loosing her cool.
- Cloudcuckoolander: She can be a little odd, most famously demonstrated by the "potato incident" during her basic training. The same teacher later in his thoughts admitted she was weird. Later on her oddness is mostly chalked up to operating on a different wavelength than everyone else since her background lead to her having keen instincts but lacking a sense of what is considered "normal".
- Country Mouse: From a rural hunting village and noted to be somewhat out of place among the others, largely manifesting in her not knowing when and why it is considered inappropriate to procure food. People generally consider her a weirdo, but in reality she's one of the kindest characters in the series and is noted to have exceptional intuition.
- Cowardly Lion: Despite the freak out, she chooses to join the Survey Corps, although she is crying when she decides to do so.
- While she was initially terrified of the Titans, Sasha also ran down a 50 Meter wall in order to save a comrade plummeting to his death and later defends a small child from a Titan armed with nothing more than a hatchet, a bow and a few arrows.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Most of the time, she's spacey and obsessed with food. Then we see her take on a Titan with a bow and live.
- Determinator: She shows sign of this, when faced with a smaller Titan without her gear, she uses a bow and arrow. One lands in its eye. Down to her last arrow, she jumps and pierces the Titan's other eye.
- The Ditz: She can be a bit slow with things. In her famous "potato incident" when she's asked (furiously) by the Drill Sergeant Nasty why she's eating a potato in formation, she interprets it as a question of why is she eating a potato instead of another food and 0then as a philosophical question of why people in general eat potatoes. After several intense moments she gets it wrong (again) by thinking that he's angry because she isn't sharing any with him and offers him half. Said drill sergeant is exasperated by the end of this exchange.
- Freak Out/Heroic BSOD: Has pretty bad one among the main characters, trying to talk down a Titan she failed to kill uselessly and then losing any sense of dignity she had because of it, resulting in her pathetically trying to declare herself wounded due to stomach pains. She manages to recover from it, however, leading to the above examples.
- Genre Savvy: When she finds out about the Female Titan being captured, she urges people to not let their guard down, since from her experience a cornered animal is the most desperate and therefore most dangerous. She turns out to be right.
- Good Old Ways: In the past, she felt this, saying her people, who survived by hunting and foraging in the forests, should just cut themselves off from the rest of humanity. Her father disagreed, saying that was selfish thinking, and they could only count on help in the future if they were willing themselves to help others, even if it meant changing their way of life.
- Gut Feeling: Her keen intuition is noted by her instructor to be one of her greatest assets.
- Hidden Depths: She possesses keen intuition, and her upbringing as a hunter has made her a skilled archer and tracker. Even her most comical aspects come from deeper origins — her obsession with food is the result of surviving a famine, while her strange behaviors are a result of her adjustment to society outside her isolated village.
- If We Survive This: Manages to get her hands on a huge slab of meat before the battle of Trost, and she and her fellow comrades jokingly suggest eating it in celebration of their survival. Later, though, it wasn't the meat that ended up eaten.
- Inappropriate Hunger: While everyone else is left horrified by the tragedies they've witnessed, Sasha is more bothered by how hungry she is.
- In-Series Nickname/Never Live It Down: "Potato Girl", due to being seen eating one when standing in formation d0uring their recruitment while being yelled at by a Drill Sergeant Nasty. Jean still calls her this years after it happened, much to her embarrassment.
- Like Brother and Sister: With Connie.
- Lord Error-Prone: Sasha suffers quite a few slip ups while fighting Titans, and miraculously survives them all.
- Physical Fitness Punishment: The infamous Potato Incident during initiation results in her having to run laps for several hours. When she finally finishes, she collapses from exhaustion.
- Plucky Comic Relief: One of the few sources of comedy in the series.
- Shoo Out the Clowns: After she gets shell-shocked at Trost, she's seen and heard less and less. She's a more serious person when she becomes prominent later.
- Plucky Girl: As emphasized in her introduction: Shadis sentenced her to run until she collapses, and she does it without complaint. What got her upset was being denied any dinner. Sasha later has several brushes with death, but never loses her optimistic nature.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning/Glowing Eyes of Doom: Played for Laughs - her eyes instantly glow bright red in the presence of food.
- The Snack Is More Interesting: Her Establishing Character Moment is casually eating a stolen potato while Shadis is grilling her fellow recruits.
- Simpleton Voice: Defied. She worries her natural way of speaking would make her sound like some dumb hick, so she hides it by speaking overly politely.
- Sticky Fingers: Has a habit of stealing food.
- Superdickery: One of the fake volume previews has her beating up Reiner for no apparent reason.
- Super Senses: Her family comes from a long line of hunters, so her senses are sharper than most people. For instance, she can hear Titans coming from farther away compared to the others who can't hear them.
- Tomboyish Ponytail
- What Could Have Been: She was originally supposed to die early on, but Isamaya kept her alive due to her popularity.
Tropes That Apply after Castle Utgard
MAJOR spoilers ahead.
During the crisis within Wall Rose, she returns to her village and is forced into single combat with a 3-meter class Titan. Surviving the battle, she is reunited with her enstranged father and finally gains his approval after rescuing a child. She misses out on the expedition to rescue Eren and defeat the traitors, but reunites with her comrades in the weeks that follow. Promoted into the Special Operations Squad, she is charged with protecting Eren and Historia. She is shown to have begun to make use of a bow in place of the less accurate military-issue rifles.
- Character Development: Goes from rude and disinterested in the outside world in her backstory, to more polite and goofy during her time training, to breaking down during her first battle, to finally taking on a Titan on foot with a bow and arrows.
- Doomed Hometown: Her village seems to have narrowly averted this, due to quick action. When she arrives, there's only a single Titan present and only two people left behind. She manages to save the child, though it's unknown if the mother being snacked on survived or not.
- Double Standard: Rape, Male on Male: In the panel◊ where Jean is consoling Armin after he was molsted by a Dirty Old Man who later admited to having been turned gay after finding out that Armin was a guy the entire time Sasha can be seen in the background, grinning like a lunatic.◊
- Put on a Bus/The Bus Came Back: Absent from an entire story arc, due to having been separated from her comrades prior to The Reveal and the subsequent chaos that resulted. While the arc stretched for several chapters, she was actually only gone for about two days.
- Rank Up: Assigned to the new Special Operations Squad.
- Sacrificed Basic Skill for Awesome Training: Hails from a rural hunting village where she developed a strong hunter's intuition and some impressive skill with hatchets and bows, which is put on full display when she fends off a Titan without Maneuver Gear or swords. However, she doesn't fit in that well in city or military settings and does things like steal food without understanding why people consider that a bad thing. She also started off lacking social skills and had to try exceptionally hard to not make her background obvious to the others.
- The Straight and Arrow Path: Both played straight and subverted. The first time Sasha is shown to be competent in combat is not with her 3DMG, but with a bow and arrow she finds lying around. However, Sasha is not a perfect marksmen, and can only use her arrows as a means of escaping a Titan. The result is both badass, yet humanizing. She is later able to wield her bow with exceptional skill, shooting a gun out of a man's hand.
- Took a Level in Badass: She screws up under pressure during the Battle of Trost and ends up being too shell-shocked to be of much help by the end of it. Later on, we see her get much better about her fear and her combat skills really begin to shine.
- You Can't Go Home Again: Played with, though not a tragic example like the others. When Sasha finally returns to her village after three years away, she finds it utterly unrecognizable. The forest has been clear-cut and what was once an isolated hunting village is now a thriving farming village that raises horses for the government. Still, she accepts this as her home after being reunited with her father.
Voiced By: Ryota Ohsaka (JP), Austin Tindle (EN)
"I hope you won't get angry when I say this....but you're not a strong person. So you can relate to how the weak feel."
Ranked 7th. He is an open and earnest young man, with a strong sense of duty towards King and people. Unlike most that express interest in joining the Military Police Brigade, he truly believes in doing his best to serve the King. His death at the Battle of Trost deeply shakes his comrades, and acts as a major catalyst for Jean's Character Development
. Later, his missing gear is found to have been stolen by Annie
, leaving sinister implications about his fate.Branch:
None, killed prior to joining one.
- Born Lucky: According to Jean. But not lucky enough, it would seem.
- Bromantic Foil: Rounds Jean off by being kinder and gentler than his Hot-Blooded closest friend.
- Brown Eyes: The most down-to-earth of the Trainees.
- Character Tics: Rubbing the tip of his nose when nervous.
- Chekhov's Gun: His missing equipment. Annie steals it, and later presents it as her own during the investigation into the killing of the Titan test subjects. Armin recognizes it, and later confronts her about it as evidence of her being a spy.
- Dead Sidekick: To Jean.
- Dies Wide Open: In contrast to his normal upbeat smile, his corpse has a grisly smile and sunken eyes, and is extremely pale.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: Justified, as he's merely one of many young soldiers that died at Trost. It drives home just how easily any of them could die a lonely, undignified death fighting the Titans.
- Dying Alone: Jean is horrified when he's unable to find anyone that saw how he died.
- Forgotten Fallen Friend: Averted; While he's not mentioned much in conversation, his death is a cornerstone of Jean's Character Development and he states his desire to not disappoint Marco. His stolen gear also proves to be significant towards proving Annie's guilt as The Mole.
- Half the Man He Used to Be: Titans ate the right side of his body, leaving just enough left to be identified.
- The Heart: Very empathetic towards his allies and acts as the voice of reason amongst the group.
- The Idealist: Ready to devote his life to the King's service when he joined the Military Police Brigade, in stark contrast to Jean.
- Kill the Cutie: One of the most sympathetic and upbeat characters, and also the first of the Top Ten trainees to die.
- Killed Off Screen: And nobody knows how.
- The Leader: Charismatic, group-minded, and well-respected by his peers. Everyone agrees that he is a natural leader.
- Lucky Seven: He's ranked 7th in his class. Subverted, since he's the only member of the Top 10 to be killed in battle so far.
- Mauve Shirt: Presented like a major character, but dies early and suddenly, ultimately having little direct impact on the story.
- Meaningful Funeral: The survivors from the 104th gather at the bonfire where his remains at being cremated, and discuss what Branch they intend to join. It's a major turning point for Jean, who resolves to join the Survey Corps.
- Meaningful Name: Marco means "From the God of war", while Bott means "messenger". Hence, "Messenger from the God of war". Perhaps in nod to his role as the Sacrificial Lion.
- Nerves of Steel: One of the only trainees able to remain calm and in control, during all the chaos and horror of their first battle. Once they get room to breathe, though, he has a brief Post-Victory Collapse.
- Nice Guy: Pretty much a textbook example of this trope. Marco is friendly, kind, understanding, psychologically well-balanced, has no glaringly negative traits, and knows how to bring out the best in people.
- Not Afraid to Die: He admits to knowing he might die as a soldier, and that what he really fears is a meaningless death that serves no purpose. Is it any surprise that that's exactly what happened to him?
- Sacrificial Lion: The only member of the Top 10 to be killed in action, leaving his comrades deeply shaken. In particular, it triggers Jean's Character Development and decision to enlist in the Survey Corps.
- Team Dad: Always attempts to keep the peace and raise morale among the other trainees.
- Too Good for This Sinful Earth: Kind, idealistic, level-headed, selfless, and a capable leader that provided emotional support to the other Trainees. Clearly, Marco had to die.
- Wide-Eyed Idealist: Wants to join the Military Police Brigade for the right reasons, apparently unware of just how screwed up the organization really is.
- Youthful Freckles: emphasizing his youthful energy and sympathetic nature.
Voiced By: Shūhei Takubo (JP), Brad Venable (EN)
A member of the 104th Trainee Corps, prone to emotional outbursts and something of a coward. He was once saved during training by Krista and Ymir, after he collapsed in the snow.Branch:
- Better To Die Than Be Eaten: Pretty much says this during one of his Freak Outs, but Marco stops him from doing so.
- Cowardly Lion: Although he could only watch in horror as his comrades were eaten in front of him and is later about to abandon his position to spend the last minutes of his life with his loved ones, after hearing Commander Pixis' speech he decides to stay (and is in tears while doing so).
- Freak Out: Twice during the Battle of Trost.
- Gonk: Noticeably funky looking, and pretty much there to be pathetic.
- The Load: Daz, who was teamed up with Krista and Ymir for a training hike in the snowy mountains, wastes no time passing out from overexertion and requires Krista and Ymir to lug his unconscious body back to camp before they all freeze.
- Suicide by Cop: Attempted, and used to illustrate just how terrifying the Titans really are. When faced with the order to fight them a second time, he nearly draws on a commanding officer that threatens to execute him for desertion and screams that it'd be better than having to go back into Trost. Pixis manages to resolve the situation, before the officer can carry out his threat.
- Tears of Fear: Cries in terror at the thought of having to face the Titans again... when he decides to stay and fight so his family won't be killed by the Titans.
- Vomit Indiscretion Shot: Twice when preparing to go into battle.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: He's briefly glimpsed during the recruitment speech for the Survey Corps and as such survived the Battle of Trost, but hasn't been seen since. It's assumed he was one of those that joined the Garrison.
Voicey by: Shigeyuki Susaki (JP), Duncan Brannan (EN)
A blonde boy who was assigned to Eren's team during the Battle of Trost. Although at first he thought humanity could not win against the Titans, Eren's passionate speech about humanity after their graduation convinced him to join the Survey Corps, though he was the first of Eren's squad to die during the Battle of Trost.Branch
- Body-Count Competition: He suggests this to Eren before they rush into battle. Cruelly subverted when he is the first unlucky person to die due to a jumping Titan. Still manages to tie with Eren, who also scores no kills....at least until he becomes a Titan.
- Nice Guy: In contrast to Jean, who only argues with Eren for not joining the Military Police Brigade because he sees it as stupid, Thomas argues with Eren because he is genuinely concerned about his friend's safety.
- Red Shirt: In the manga.
- Mauve Shirt: In the anime; due to the Pragmatic Adaptation we get to see the training episodes before the Battle of Trost, causing Thomas' character to be more developed.
- Swallowed Whole: His ultimate fate.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: Though we did get to know him more than most other trainees outside of the Top 10.
Voiced By: Chika Anzai (JP), Alexis Tipton (EN)
A girl with pigtails, who was assigned to Eren's team during the Battle of Trost. She expressed interest in joining the Survey Corps with him, but was killed while following Eren's example.Branch:
- Cruel and Unusual Death: She was still struggling while one of the smaller Titans had the top half of her head in its mouth.
- Facial Horror: Her corpse is missing the entire front portion of the skull, and recognizable only by her Girlish Pigtails.
- Girlish Pigtails: Check.
- Monster Munch: Exists solely to show how dangerous and terrible the titans are, and to (posthumously) show a bit about Annie's character.
- Only Friend: Hinted to have been Annie's friend, with the two sitting together during meals and classes. The discovery of her remains leaves Annie so horrified that all she can do is apologize repeatedly to it.
- Plucky Girl: She's quick to join in Eren's optimistic view of the future, declaring her intention to join the Survey Corps with him.
- Red Shirt: Her role in the story.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: She gets only a tiny bit of screentime before dying.
Voiced By: Kenji Takahashi (JP), David Trosko (EN)
A member of the 104th, assigned to cannon maintenance the day after graduation. He was wounded during the Colossal Titan's attack, and rescued from falling to his death by Sasha.Branch:
- Agony of the Feet: His life is seemingly saved by grappling hook through the calf.
- Catch a Falling Star: Sasha charges down Wall Rose to rescue him, using one of her grappling hooks to catch him by firing it into his leg.
- Not the Fall That Kills You: He takes a nearly 50 meter plunge head first, and seems to have survived the sudden stop just fine. In real life, he probably would have either died from the impact of coming to a sudden stop, or smashed into the Wall.
- Punny Name: After giving his name in boot camp, Shadis tells him it's a stupid name and he should change it immediately. Some anime fans may not agree.
- Standard Bleeding Spots: From his forehead, most likely from being struck by debris.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: He hasn't been seen since being rescued by Sasha, so his ultimate fate is unknown.
Hannah and Franz
Hannah is voiced by: Megumi Satou (JP), Tia Ballard (EN)
Franz is voiced by: Kenta Okuma (JP), James Chandler (EN)
A young couple, often teased by the others for their romance. Franz dies during the early stages of the Battle of Trost, while Hannah's fate is unknown.Branch:
Unknown (Hannah), None (Franz)
- CPR (Clean, Pretty, Reliable): Hannah tries this on Franz. It obviously does not work.
- Freak Out: Armin finds Hannah, trying to do CPR on Franz even though he's obviously dead.
- Half the Man He Used to Be: Franz, though it's more explicit in the manga due to a frontal view. In the anime, the scene where he's revealed to be chomped in half is a back view for censorship and can be interpreted as him simply being dead if one doesn't notice that he's simply a torso on initial inspection.
- Heroes Want Redheads: Hannah's a redhead, and the only one in the squad with a confirmed romantic relationship.
- Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Franz is one of the taller soldiers, in comparison to tiny Hannah.
- Please Wake Up: Hannah to Franz, as she attempts to perform CPR on him, despite him being quite obviously dead.
- Red Shirt: Both serve as this.
- She Is Not My Girlfriend: When Eren teases them, calling them the "married couple".
- What Happened to the Mouse?: It's unknown if Hannah survived the battle of Trost or not.
- Youthful Freckles: Hannah has them.
Voiced By: Susaki Shigeyuki (JP), Tyler Walker (EN)
A member of the 104th that joined the desperate rush towards Headquarters. He ran out of gas, and became stranded on the street. Several of his comrades die attempting to save him, and his death serves to distract the Titans long enough for Jean to lead the survivors to safety.