Attack on Titan is a harsh and unforgiving setting, but it doesn't mean our heroes can't bask in camaraderie, remember their valiant efforts, and look forward to a hopeful future.
Warning: Spoilers Off applies to these pages. Please proceed at your own risk.
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The Fall of Shiganshina
"To You, in 2000 Years: The Fall of Shiganshina, Part 1"
- Carla's concern for her only son's life. She perishes the thought of losing him outside the Walls.
- Armin is being bullied by three louts who have been listening to the Wall Cult too much. Eren charges them down in defence of his once only and oldest friend and he has done so many times before.
"That Day: The Fall of Shiganshina, Part 2"
- The root of all Eren's rage against the Titans is his mother's death. Although he seemed to slightly resent her protectiveness; his love for her is as absolute as hers was unconditional and his desire to avenge her drives him in even his darkest moments.
- Armin protecting Eren from his own foolishness when he kicks an unsympathetic Garrison Soldier in the shin and gets beaten in return.
- Mikasa putting a suicidal Eren in his place when he lashes out unjustly at Armin. She effectively drums it into him that they have to rely on the kindness of Wall Rose's government and that "auntie" Carla made her promise to keep him safe.
- Armin's grandpa taking part in the Wall Maria Take-back Operation. Evidently doing it so his grandson will have a better chance at survival. That's old viking going to fight a bear levels of selflessness.
- Eren's ambition to overcome all the odds of the Titan Invasion for the sake of Humanity as well as his vengeance, spurring his friends to join the Cadets with him. But EMA have to understandably struggle over letting each other face mortal peril. With the only compromise being that they stay as one and face it all together. Now that's true friendship.Eren Jaeger: The Titans are the cause of all this. If only we could defeat them. Our place in the world would be ours again. Armin, I'm going to apply for the Cadets next year.Armin Arlelt: (shocked and dismayed)Mikasa Ackerman: (closes her eyes, resigned but mournful)Eren: I'll gain the strength to fight them!Armin: ... Me too.Eren: (horrified) Armin?!Armin: (resolved) Me too!Mikasa: I will as well.Eren: Mikasa! You don't need to! You said yourself that staying alive is what's important!Mikasa: Yes. that's why I'm doing it. So you won't die.
"A Dim Light Amid Despair: Humanity's Comeback, Part 1"
- Sasha offering Keith Shadis "half" of her steaming potato, after admitting that she took it and ate it because she didn't want it to go cold. The instructor is so confused that, although he punishes her for stealing food by running laps, he appears genuinely a bit touched.
- Reiner and Bertholdt taking Eren and Armin on the head-clearing moonlit hike into the mountains. Just lads being good lads, taking in nature, sharing motivations and reminisces while bolstering each others resolve for the training to come. Though later reveals make this warm scene where Armin encourages Bert not to be ashamed of his fear and Eren holding new-found esteem for Reiner as a role-model become so much more painful.
"The Night of the Graduation Ceremony: Humanity's Comeback, Part 2"
- During Jean and Eren's fight in the mess hall, Mikasa steps in and tries to ease tempers. All she does is grab Eren's hand, and he calms down. This says a lot about their relationship. Eren was furious at Jean's selfishness but Mikasa's touch calmed him down immediately and he backed off just because she wanted him to. He even looked ashamed of himself for getting so worked up. This proves that Eren doesn't really consider Mikasa a bother like some fans think, and he really does care about and listen to her.
- The trio meeting Hannes again after graduation. They greet and joke with each other at first, and then Hannes tells Eren that Carla's death still haunts him. Eren reassures him that it wasn't his fault, apologising for his naivety and how they will endeavour to defeat the Titans.
- In Chapter 17, Eren tries to impress Annie with his kick to which she teases back that he's hopeless at it. When he asks her about her technique, it's the only time in the manga to date that we see her sincerely smile. Also heart-warming because it signifies the beginning of an unlikely friendship.
Battle Of Trost
"First Battle: The Struggle for Trost, Part 1"
- "Please... Don't die."
- Eren shakes off a severed leg and what must be multiple fractured bones in order to save his oldest friend from a Titan's gullet. That level of brotherhood is beyond Shakespearean.
"The World the Girl Saw: The Struggle for Trost, Part 2"
- The little girl thanking Mikasa for saving her during the evacuation of Trost. Made even sweeter by Mikasa's reaction; she smiles and salutes, making the girl gasp with admiration.
- In the flashback where Eren rescues Mikasa from human traffickers, Mikasa, still in shock from the whole ordeal, mentions that she's cold. Eren immediately takes off his scarf and wraps it around her in as comforting a gesture as he can manage, being Eren's first of a few rare Adorkable moments in the series.
- This is the same scarf that Mikasa continues to wear as an adolescent and symbolises the red string of fate that joins two souls forever along the same destiny.
- We also see that Grisha was far more worked up about his only son risking his life so recklessly rather than the fact that Eren had just committed double homicide at the tender age of nine! When Eren cries that he simply didn't know how else to save Mikasa, his father stops his admonitions cold and can only stare at his son with a faint mixture of pride, worry and awe that Eren's actions didn't stem from bloodlust but from a fanatically genuine desire to protect innocence and freedom.
- The fact that after the deaths of Mikasa's parents, the Jaegers took Mikasa in without a moment's hesitation. And judging from what we saw of her interactions with Carla and Grisha, it's clear that they treated her with the same love and care they gave their own son. Though it came on the heels of one of the darkest times in her life, it is rather nice to know that Mikasa spent the aftermath of that horror in the care of genuinely good people.
"Small Blade: The Struggle for Trost, Part 3"
- Right before Armin and Connie find Mikasa, she's about to give up and let a Titan eat her but then we get this beautifully tear-wrenching, life-reaffirming soliloquy.Mikasa: Why? I was sure I'd given up... Why... am I standing? Why... am I struggling? What for..? After all... I've lost any reason to live. ... So what's driving me?Past!Eren: Fight! Fight! Fight!Mikasa: Eren...Past!Eren: Fight! You have to fight! FIGHT! FIGHT!Mikasa: I'm so sorry, Eren. I won't give up anymore. I'll never give up again. Because if I died... These memories of you will die with me. So... I'll do whatever it takes to win! Whatever it takes to live!
- As she takes strength from her remembrance of Eren's rare happy moments. We see a flash of what Mikasa was doing in the first episode while Eren was sleeping under a tree, looking uncharacteristically at peace. Mikasa for a moment watched him slumber closely with a look of utter adoration on her cherubic face!
- When Armin gives Mikasa his remaining gas and plans to commit suicide to avoid being Eaten Alive, she tosses his remaining blade over the roof edge, and tells him to come with her because she'll never leave him behind.
"I Can Hear His Heartbeat: The Struggle for Trost, Part 4"
- Marco assuring Jean that he galvanised the troops properly and would make a good leader because he can empathise with the weak-willed; knowing what it was like to still have some of that lingering frailty.
- The stern-faced Mikasa crying Tears of Joy when she finds Eren alive and well. The fact that he was found controlling the body of a Titan doesn't register for a second when she runs down the street towards him. That she had just earlier accepted his demise makes her breakdown all the more powerful as she's overcome with joyous relief that he's safe and anguish that she must unstitch her emotional wounds and may lose him again.
- Additionally, when Armin sees Eren's regenerated arm and leg he remembers that they were trying to reach for each other when the Titan snapped its jaws shut and swallowed him; Armin crouches down and laces their fingers together sobbing in gratitude to see his best friend returned whole to him. Making up for not being able to take his hand before.
"Whereabouts of His Left Arm: The Struggle for Trost, Part 5"
- Levi's introduction initially makes him seem like a cold neat-freak who gets pissed when he gets Titan blood on him, but when his subordinate is bleeding to death, he ignores all the gore on the injured soldier's hand in order to grasp it in comfort and solidarity and reassure him that his sacrifice was not in vain; that his death and every other will bolster his own spirit in order to end the war for good.
- Neither Armin and especially not Mikasa have a moment's doubt before being shown to be willing to sacrifice their lives, social standing, and everything to run off with Eren after the military and pretty much everyone turns against him. It isn't even a plot point, it isn't discussed. Their support to Eren is a given and completely unconditional. That, my friends, is a true bond.
"Response: The Struggle for Trost, Part 6"
- The sheer bromantic levels of trust Eren and Armin have for each other. The positive feedback loop goes something like this: "you've saved my life before and you never knew it. I'd gladly rely on you again because you are the most reliable man I know!" "I trust you more than anyone in this world. I was a fool to never realise you trusted me just as much. If you say jump. I ask how high!"
- The little nod Eren gives Armin when he quails under the pressure, giving Armin all the fuel he needs to light one hell of a fire in his heart.
- It appears Armin failed in his negotiations and he's about to be attacked. Cut to Mikasa drawing her blade, ready to pounce at a moments notice, and Eren raising his hand to his mouth, prepared to transform just minutes after his last transformation. It goes without saying, don't even think about messing with these True Companions.
The 57th Expedition
"Can't Look Into His Eyes Yet: Eve of the Counter-attack, Part 1"
- During Eren's trial, one merchant makes the mistake of assuming that Mikasa is a Titan too, because he's operating on panicked mob psychology or something. Eren takes offence to this, yelling that though he may be a monster, Mikasa has nothing to do with it.
- Remember: Eren has... a bit of a temper. You would assume that he snaps long before they accuse Mikasa, like when they suggest he be dissected. That part would usually be when anyone would protest in their own defense. But he doesn't. He remains calm. (Well, as calm as he can be under the circumstances). He snaps only when they threaten Mikasa, and he realizes that he needs to come to her aid. This shows that the loyalty and protectiveness in their relationship doesn't just go one way. He does care deeply about her, he just doesn't show it as overtly.
- And during the same trial, when Levi begins kicking the shit out of Eren (as part of the plan to get the court to give the responsibility of handling Eren to the Survey Corps), Mikasa begins to walk over, getting ready to beat Levi up, Armin grabs her by the arm and tells her to wait, and Mikasa lets him hold her back. She could've easily broken out of his grip anytime she wanted to, but she doesn't. It really displays how much she trusts him and values his way of thinking.
"Special Operations Squad: Eve of the Counter-attack, Part 2"
- When Squad Leader Hange Zoë talks to Eren about her experiments with Sawney and Bean, the rest of Levi's squad leaves the room, knowing what's going to happen. From her chipper defence-reflexive attitude, you get the impression that Hange is aware of how she comes across. Eren, wanting to make a good impression with the eccentric senior officer, gladly asks to hear more about her experiments anyway. Which absolutely delights her.
- Hange's bizarre interactions and personality fascination with captive Titans is also astonishingly compassionate considering the state they've reduced humanity to. She even admits she still holds a great deal of hate in her heart but decided that she needed to cast it away for a fresh perspective. The mark of a dispassionate scientist but when it comes time to test Titans for further weaknesses, (often in the form of torture), Hange is beside herself at causing them to suffer.
"What Needs to be Done Now: Eve of the Counter-attack, Part 3"
- When all of Eren's friends in the 104th decide to become members of the Survey Corps, Christa starts crying out of fear of fighting the Titans again. Ymir tells her, "If you're gonna cry, you shouldn't stay." But the way she said it wasn't really "If you're gonna be a big baby then go home." It was more, "If you're scared, you don't have to stay. It's okay if you wanna leave." Which is really nice coming from someone like Ymir.
- Eren has spent all day mucking out the castle's stables but he's rewarded when his duties are finished and he walks outside to spy familiar faces. We see Eren in a rare moment of delight to know his classmates followed him into the Survey Corps because of his passion.
- Jean swallowing his pride and honestly putting his trust in Eren's capabilities on behalf of all the rest of the top ten; nearly begging him to make sure their faith isn't misplaced. Eren is genuinely honoured and overwhelmed at Jean's turnabout.
- During the outset of the 57th Expedition, Eren sees two little children staring at him from a window and talking about how cool the Survey Corps are. The genuine smile on his face is enough to make your heart melt. This poor kid has been through so much, he deserves something to smile about.
"Female Titan: The 57th Exterior Scouting Mission, Part 1"
- Minor given the greater scope of things, but the scene where the Female Titan spares Armin. She just slaughtered a number of the Survey Corps by hand and countless others by luring the Titans towards them, and will continue to kill others afterwards, which almost includes Jean. Yet when she has Armin at her mercy, she merely checks to see that it is in fact him before running off. In the end, it seems that out of all her fellow trainees, Armin was the only one Annie really seemed to like.
"Bite: The 57th Exterior Scouting Mission, Part 3"
- Eren unknowingly transforms into a Titan and Levi's Special Operations Squad assigned mainly for his protection immediately turns on him. After Levi explains their reasoning to Eren and they find out that he really did transform unknowingly, Eld and Gunther admit that they acted too rash. The squad members nod at each other knowingly and simultaneously bite their hands like Eren does when he transforms into Titan (even Oluo), Eld remarks to Eren that it's impressive how he can bring himself to inflict such self-harm. Then, a clearly guilty Petra apologizes to him for being rash and asks Eren to have faith in them from now on, as they will try to have faith in him as well.
"Defeated: The 57th Exterior Scouting Mission, Part 6"
- After their failed mission against the Female Titan, Levi takes the badge off of one of the deceased. We cannot confirm who it is, but it is believed by some to be Petra Ral's badge. After another soldier risks himself and others attempting to recover the body of his dead friend, Levi gives him the badge, telling him that it belonged to the man's friend. Doubles as a Tear Jerker.
"Smile: Assault on Stohess, Part 1"
- Annie, in her own way offering her support to Marlowe if he dares to shoot the corrupt MP officers. She and Hitch are the only two to intervene and stop Marlowe's beating as well.
- Armin's frank 'Good Person' analysis, plus his using Annie's subdued but real feelings of friendship for him and Eren to try and capture her non-lethally.
- Eren practically begging Annie to prove him wrong about her being a Titan infiltrator and Armin joining in, saying that there's still a chance to settle things without violence; they just have to sit down and talk.
"A Choice with No Regrets"
- When meeting Levi, Isabel and Farlan for the first time, Hange tells them they were amazing in taking down their first Titan and how "it was sincerely awe inspiring". This meeting leaves an impression on the trio, as Farlan later points out that even Levi was beginning to get attached to the other members in the legion. It's fitting that this chapter is called "The Heart".
- The trio's friendship in general is this. Even sweeter is that they don't act so much as friends as they do siblings.
Clash of The Titans
- Sasha rushes to a village to evacuate people. She finds only a woman being eaten by a Titan while her child sits there with a blank look on her face. When it becomes clear that she can't kill it, she grabs the child and runs. Along the way, she tells the child to keep running and not stop until she finds people. After successfully blinding and escaping from the Titan, she rushes on to find the child only to discover that she's already been picked up by villagers, Sasha's father among them. Her father relates to her what the girl told them and comments that Sasha has become a splendid person.
- Reiner saving Connie's life in Utgard Castle by shoving him aside and nearly dying in his place. Then attempting a Heroic Sacrifice to save the others.
- Christa's concern for everyone, then bandaging Reiner's fractured ulna and radius with her skirt while apologising for how dirty it is. But Reiner assures her it's fine, even repeating his internal desire to marry a keeper like her!
- Historia cradling a bloody and dismembered Ymir in her arms after the toppling of the castle tower and telling Ymir her real name as she promised. Ymir falls into a healing coma with a genuine smile of contentment instead of her usual snidely cynical smirk.
- Reiner, in his own twisted way, trying to offer Eren an out by peacefully accompanying him and Bert back to their home town. He's disassociated his sins to the point that he believes Eren values their friendship over what he was forced to commit five years ago. Before realising with stark horror that he's a miserable excuse for a human being to think that that would ever fly with any one person in a million years.
- Reiner protecting Bertholdt from Mikasa by shoulder-checking her clean off the Wall. There is an abiding fraternal love between these two young men that is as strong as Eren and Armin's.
- As Eren is in Titan form and duking it out with the Armoured Titan at the foot of the Wall, what is everyone up top doing? Cheering him on! At one point Hange even trusts him enough to land on his shoulder to advise him on strategy. After all the crap he's been given due to his Titan powers, seeing all of Eren's friends and fellow soldiers rooting for him, in his Titan form no less, is a truly satisfying sight.
- When Mikasa hamstrings Reiner, Eren recognises her as she flies past and in his mind he utters her name with a surprising note of affection for her aid, while also at the same time sounding concerned that she's so close to his battle. In the English dub for the same line, Papenbrook even manages to make his guttural monster voice while in Titan form sound almost tender!
- It is sweet to see that Hannes still looks out for the Shiganshina Trio, he offers to get Armin some food and water while he is watching over Mikasa and ruffles his hair affectionately.
- Hannes' talk with Mikasa and Armin, sharing army rations and reminding them how they would always help Eren whenever he picked fights.
- Reiner finding common ground with Ymir, saying how he wants to save Christa from the dark fate the Walls faces just as much as she does. He is even completely transparent in telling Ymir how her life will be compromised if she cooperates with them and that she can only affect Christa's fate for the better. To which Ymir is all too ready to agree.
- Bertholdt showing some pity for Ymir and Eren's situations, realising how ignorant they are about the origins of their Titan Powers and not being able to bring himself to blame Ymir for the death of his comrade.
- Ymir becoming terrified that Historia will hate her for the choices she's made to keep herself safe, and Historia assuring Ymir that, no matter what she does or whose side she ends up on, she will always be her ally.
- Doubling as a Moment of Awesome, Historia boldly correcting Connie about her name and then tearing Ymir a new one for lying to her once again. Followed up immediately by declaring that from now on, they should live for themselves only and that she will never fear anything as long as they can be together.
- Mikasa smiling and thanking Eren for everything including the scarf that he gave to her while being surrounded by Titans with all hope lost.
- Eren replying that he'll always wrap that scarf around her, promising her that they will make it out of this seemingly hopeless situation alive.
- There's also Ymir, in Titan form, stroking Christa's hair and face as a means of saying goodbye to her, before murmuring "So-rry" to her as she makes to aid the traitors.
- Mikasa clutching onto Eren with all her might as they ride back to Wall Rose. In the manga she is clearly sobbing with unrestrained relief.
- Eren looking to the sky, his heart burdened with loss but still remembering Hannes as he lived and not how he died.
- A couple of extra pages were added to Chapter 50 after it was collected in tankōbon form which show what happened to Reiner, Bertholdt and Ymir after they escaped from the Titan horde which provides a lot of insight into their feelings.
- Reiner tells Ymir that, if she wants to escape now is the time since he and Bertholdt are exhausted. Ymir declines saying that she is too tired and that the two of them will be in trouble if they don't bring someone back with them to their Homeland. It really shows the depths of Reiner's character that he was willing to let his only hostage go in gratitude for her saving them.
- Bertholdt asks Ymir why she came back and saved him when she could have escaped. Ymir admits that, while it may not have been intentional, the two gave her back her life after she ate Marcel and that she owed them. Ymir also admits that she is the only one in the Walls who can understand their pain and vice versa. Bertholdt is clearly touched by this, especially since he voiced doubts about Ymir's trustworthiness earlier in the arc and can only thank her in tears and apologise for what she will have to endure. Ymir tells him not to worry about it and, after raising her hand to the moon, comments that being a goddess isn't so bad after all.
- Didn't think an Opening of AOT could reach almost saccharine sweet proportions of sheer wholesomeness? Think again. Red Swan knocks it out of the park, alongside a touching montage of our Shiganshina Trio's childhood shenanigans that encapsulates their incredible bond as well as their wanderlust and desire for adventure beyond the Walls. Accompanied with what little good was in Levi's, Erwin's and Historia's early lives. Capped with a still of Carla and Grisha doting over a newborn Eren. And we see our boy the Jaeger-bomb is remembering those halcyon days with steel in his eyes; he's going to take everything back! It ends with the current new page image which is just about the purest illustration of innocence and joy we'll ever see in the Series.
- Now that Historia has dropped her Christa Lenz persona, who will be the Team Mom of the Levi-Squad Reborn? Eren of course! As he takes the lead in cleaning out the cabin. And there is some great subtext here beyond the fan-teasing: "must please Heichou!" of the Ereri shippers. Eren knows that the last big sweep-up operation he was involved in was with his former comrades, killed at Annie's hands, and that any negligence on their part may bring back bad memories for the Captain.
- Armin and Eren fussing over Mikasa as she brings in firewood. With our golden-haired cinnamon-bun imploring Mikasa to rest, as it was only a week or so since she was nearly crushed by a Titan. Eren commiserates with his friend, saying she wouldn't listen to his own insistence that she stay in bed; we can even imagine that she probably showed him she could do sit-ups without pain to get off the hook.
- To which Jean of course rears up at Eren with jealousy and tries to act the White Knight on Mikasa's behalf, but it's all too clear that the two are fast becoming Vitriolic Best Buds, as Jean grows fonder of Armin and in turn, sees more positive traits in Eren, their old rivalry fast becoming a bickering that is more habit than any real malice.
- Armin trailing after Mikasa like a concerned little-brother, saying "she's not a wild animal!" When she idly retorts that she musn't get soft.
- Eren continues utilizing his rediscovered sensitive-side to hear out Connie's grief over his family, turned by the Beast Titan. Then he gets Historia to come out of her depressive shell, admitting that he always found "Christa" to be a bit creepy and unnatural, but he thinks that the real her is a sincere and normal girl who's just "stupidly honest". We can see that Eren is unused to being an emotional sounding-board and his expression as he tries to explain his views to her is almost Adorkable.
- Moblit defending Hange from Djel's snide remarks about the Corps. He may constantly berate her eccentricity but its clear he has a deep reservoir of respect for her.
- Mikasa showing concern for Armin's predicament at the hands of the molester and also asking Levi after the state of his leg.
Eren Jaeger: You sure got preachy after you joined the Survey Corps, didn't you.Jean Kirstein: Huh?! Oh yeah? What about you? You've just turned into an indecisive whiner!Connie Springer: No, Jean, he's right. It really is creepy how serious and responsible you got all of a sudden.Armin Arlelt: You still look like a bad guy though...Jean: Hey, you guys! Don't forget I'm the one who swooped in and saved your precious Mikasa!Eren: Thanks, Jean.Jean: ... Huh?!
- Eren's guilt-ridden but heartfelt apology to Mikasa, at the beginning of Chapter 51 as she's stretchered away, Mikasa plaintively raising a hand, reassuring him that she's fine, telling him he's not at fault; all while Armin silently places a hand on Eren's shoulder, supporting his best friend.
- Connie has collapsed in tears following the horrific mission, and Jean takes a moment to get him back up. It's quick but helps to reinforce how much Jean cares for his teammates.
- Eren calling after the Commander when Erwin finally collapses from blood loss; clearly thinking it was his fault and he continues to note the amount of crippling wounds among the Corps that have returned alive. In quiet agony he asks Jean after the butcher's bill for his rescue. And when he's told we can clearly see that Eren's heart is about to crack from the strain of the onus he bears to honour their sacrifices.
- After Jean gives Eren a small Rousing Speech, we get this great exchange that shows how the team have managed to retain their sanity while being able to banter like only true friends can.
- Hange ensuring that Mrs. Springer, the only survivor of Ragako, is treated well even though she's a Mindless Titan, commanding her subordinates to pull out the stakes they've put in her useless hands and feet.
- Relatively minor, but Hange comforting an obviously rattled Levi after it's revealed Titans may actually be humans with a firm, "Didn't I say that it wasn't confirmed yet?" that goes against everything she had said up to that point. Then, Levi returning the favour in the next chapter when she is noticeably upset about Pastor Nick's death and her part in it, and as a result is too afraid to try anything else, although it's more of a What the Hell, Hero? speech. Point is, it's obviously tailored to her needs at the moment, and at the end he gives her the choice of what they should do next (not to mention he calls her by her name and nothing else throughout the entirety of it, a rarity up to this point in the story).
- Levi stating that he's going to push Eren into "complete desperation" by having all his remaining friends from the 104th become the new Levi Squad. While it's clear that he is placing Eren's age-mates around him to encourage his young charge to fight harder than ever instead of invoke The Chains of Commanding.
- Eren tries to take up arms against the First Interior Squad but his panic over Historia when she's sedated distracts him at a critical moment and he's tranqued as well.
- Mikasa yells Jean's name when she sees he is about to be shot. It's a small but poignant reminder that Mikasa values everyone in her troop outside of Armin and Eren.
- Levi and Sasha saving Jean and Armin respectively from another volley of shots from the First Interior Squad.
- Levi holding a struggling Mikasa back from tearing after Eren, even though he's covered by three fire-arm-totting MPs and being driven away across open fields. Necessitating a tactical retreat in the face of losing more of his team.
- Levi assuring Armin that he did the right thing in saving Jean's life by killing the MP who was about to shoot him, even if it was in cold-blood. At the same time he reminds Jean not to give up on his values. After all, he's telling them what's pragmatic for their survival, not what's right. Even pinning Jean with the Armor-Piercing Question: "were you really wrong?"
- Jean handling the Dirty Old Man for Armin, who previously felt him up him in the last chapter. Later on, we see Jean consoling him after the whole ordeal.
- Sasha glaring at Levi for manhandling Historia, who she's in the process of soothing. Not even his reputation can stop her from showing him what she thinks of his bullying her friend.
- Reeves spoiled son, Flegel, who told humanity's strongest to get him a drink in the most obnoxious way possible, said that he would make Levi airborne with one punch if he ever saw him lay a hand on Historia again. While the outcome of such an action is obvious, the sentiment was very sweet.
- Captain Ackerman calling Levi "his pride". Harsher in Hindsight, but still...
- In the anime. Kenny reveals Levi's Ackerman lineage to right-hand woman, Traute Carven. Stating that he raised him and knows he will come after him again. In his own twisted way, he admires the man Levi has become, if nothing else but for his mirrored level of tenacity.
- Mikasa has reached nearly the end of her tether when Hange tells the group how Eren is going to be dinner for a Titan to gain his powers. As she makes ready to storm out, Levi acts once again as the stern distant cousin he unknowingly is and drills some restraint into her while more or less stating how much he wants to get Eren back as well.
- Erwin's solemn promise to Reeves' wife and daughter that he will bring his murderers to justice.Commander Erwin Smith: In the battle of Trost District, Mr. Reeves delayed the evacuation by trying to bring along all his wealth.Mrs. Reeves: So what?! Are you saying he deserved to die?!Erwin: However... given the current situation with Trost on the verge of collapse... he planted his feet in the city and using any means possible, he aided those with no place to go. While striving to revive his home. Now, someone has quashed those hopes. I promise you... I will avenge him.
- He tries his best to comfort the family because Erwin knows full-well what it's like to lose a family member to the government's Totalitarian regime.
- Hitch turning out to be a warmer person than she initially appeared, being genuinely upset over Annie's disappearance and fighting to save Marlowe rather than running away when she thinks he's in danger.
- Marlowe acknowledging that the Corps have always protected humanity and that he made the wrong choice of division, thinking he could do more good in the MP's by cleaning up the corruption. When he sees that he can play a part in ensuring the canker infecting the government is burnt out, he jumps on it without hesitation.
- Jean, in his own way admitting that Eren's suicidal bravery and idealism is an inherent trait to join the band of misfits that is the Survey Corps.
- Flegel Reeves' declaration to protect the citizens of Trost from retaliation by the Military Police in his father's stead and Hange ruffling his hair in pride.
- Nile proclaiming that he is a human of Wall Rose and refusing point-blank to shut the gates of Stohess when ordered to by the corrupt court officials.
- Levi Squad celebrating their fugitive status being revoked.
- Connie and Armin are even weeping in joy.
- The shots of President Reeves, Flegel, the reporters Roy and Beaure, and everyone else who contributed to the success of the revolution against the corrupt monarchy. It shows that violence and brute force was not the deciding factor at the end of the day; it was those who chose to overcome their fear and complacency and make a difference, even at the cost of their social standing or livelihoods and in the case of Dimo, his life.
- Levi once again apologising to Hange for getting Nifa, Abel and Keiji killed. You can tell he doesn't think too highly of himself, what with wandering the countryside ineffectively and gaining one piece of tangential information on his lineage while Hange helped organise an uprising.
- Zackly acknowledging that Erwin has the most painful duty of them all being on the front lines of the fight while not knowing anything about the true nature of their World. And in his own strange way, laying his soul bare to Erwin when he reveals his less-than-noble motivations for helping the Survey Corps. Finally, he asks Erwin after his own reasons for overthrowing the false monarchy. To which we see that Erwin just wants to prove his father right and gain some measure of closure.
- Freida being the Cool Big Sis to Historia. Teaching her to read and write, taking her on horseback rides, even in one panel in the manga we see from Historia's perspective that she's being flung up in the air by Frieda as a parent would for their infant child!
- Historia guilelessly claiming that if she wants to emulate and be like anyone else, it would be Freida. Causing her half-sister to blush in embarrassed surprise and hug her forcefully. Almost crying that little Historia's already a person others should emulate for her own kindness and purity. Historia doesn't realise her elder sibling's sadness and laughs happily at the affection; causing Freida to giggle along with her and simply share a moment of unvarnished joy.
- Kenny was not killing randomly, but watering the ground with the blood of MPs who were hounding his grandfather for the crime of being an Ackerman. Kenny even tried to track the family line that headed for the mountains near Shiganshina, probably to protect them.
- In a strange way, Kenny (of all people) telling off Rod for being a self-absorbed jerk who doesn't actually give two craps about his own daughter is this. It's clear he even feels bad for Historia since it's obvious to him that her dad is just using her to get what he wants. It's enough to disgust even him.
- Historia being unable to go through with her father's demands because of her care for Eren and Ymir's reminder to live a live she could be proud of.
"Outside The Walls of Orvud"
- This great exchange between Eren and Historia as she tries to unlock his manacles.Eren Jaeger: Forget about me, Historia! Since that Titan's of the Reiss Family, just let him come and eat me! Get out of here!Historia Reiss: Hell no!Eren: Why won't you listen to me?!Historia: I might be humanity's enemy, but I'm your ally, Eren. I can't be a good girl. And I don't want to become God either! But... When I see someone crying, saying... no-one needs them... I want to tell them it's not true! No matter who! No matter where! I'll come to their rescue!
- Mikasa rescuing Historia from hitting the crystal walls when she's blown back by Rod's transformation wind-blast and sharing probably the only girly moment we'll ever have in AOT.
- Jean trying to buoy Eren's shattered confidence in the manga by telling him he's solved plenty of stuff by himself before.
- In the anime, Jean's line is changed to him sternly reminding Eren that they have only come this far by working together and he can cut out the pity-party. Show some remorse, Jean!
- Eren consistently trying to put himself last over the needs of his friends. Its only when Levi quietly reminds him that they may need his power in this situation that he breaks from the depths of despair to try one more time for the sake of his friends before the end.
- Armin reaching out his hand to take Eren's as they clamber out of the caves is really sweet.
- Historia apologising to Eren for her lack of moral scruples when she considered going through with Rod's plan; telling him she was being purely selfish. But she also reassures Eren that his father did what he did for the sake of humanity and to free them from the Will of the First King and that by extension Eren's life is a one-in-a-million chance that must be preserved.
- Conny and Jean trying to stand up for Historia's right to decide whether she has to become queen or not and Historia thanking them gladly before taking up the gauntlet anyway.
"Ruler of the Walls"
- Armin comforting Eren by reminding them that everything has changed since that day. Their collective power can save this city from the fate that befell their own.
- Mikasa almost embracing Eren from behind to stop him from beating himself anymore, while looking guilt-ridden at his tortured emotional state.
- Eren, in part, punching himself not only for his perceived weaknesses but also for his cruel, dismissive attitude towards his two closest friends when they were younger. Hoping that he's got rid of "the brat" that held him back all this time from positive change. Then smiling genuinely for the first time in ages and reaffirming his desire to be Humanity's hope.
- The three children in Orvud District watching Eren's Titan defend them from Rod's monstrous Abnormal.
- Erwin allowing Historia to take part in the battle against her father while joking in his own taciturn way that he's in no condition to stop her.
- The First King's Will has brought nothing but repression and false peace to the People of the Walls but when it is manifest in Uri Reiss, he changes at least one life for the better. He renounces the Royal Family's persecution of the Ackermans, even though he was nearly assassinated by a descendent of that same family.
- Kenny rescuing his orphaned and starving nephew. Making sure he's fed and teaching Levi everything he knows about the only skill he has. How to survive by brutalising your enemies.
- Uri and Kenny's Odd Friendship. In the manga, Sannes notes that the King made the former Ripper his bodyguard; such is the boundlessness of his heart. Uri also reminds Kenny that it was forgiveness that brought them together and Kenny doesn't have the heart to refute his naive hopes for World Peace by saying his respect was only earned by the contrast of such a powerful being showing undue mercy.
- Indeed it went deeper than that. Uri embodied a sense of empathy and compassion that Kenny admired more than anything he had ever witnessed in this cruel world. But he could never quite fathom and reconcile it with the life of violence he had led.
- Kenny's last moments of honesty with Levi, telling him what little he knows and passing on the last thing he has left.
- While Kenny is reflecting over the driving force behind people, we get to see his sister Kuchel as a healthy young woman, crying of joy as she's cradling a newborn Levi.
- Eren and the others are shocked that Historia actually goes through with the testing of her queenly prerogative by whacking Levi on the arm, but all of them, Mikasa included, are absolutely floored when Levi reacts to this by smiling and thanking them.
- The reason why he thanks them takes a trip to the Fridge to get, but adds to the moment; Levi is reeling from a particularly heavy revelation about his past, and probably really needed cheering up a bit. Luckily the rest of his Squad are on hand to do just that (albeit unknowingly), possibly by reminding Levi that he's not as alone as he might be thinking at that moment.
- Reiner was willing to stand up to his dreaded superior and fight the Beast Titan one-on-one for the right to switch their objectives and rescue Annie first. All the poor lad wants to do is get her and Bert back to their home safely.
- After Historia's coronation, she's egged on by Mikasa to abuse her new station by whacking Levi and daring him to hit her back. When Historia plucks up the courage to do so she mimics Eren's Coordinate Scream stance, charges him and punches him in the arm, which of course has zero effect. Before yelling, in essence, "I'M QUEEN NOW! GOT A PROBLEM WITH THAT?!" Making it even better is Mikasa's smug expression while everyone else is left quaking at what the Captain's response will be.
- Historia using the Assembly's seized assets to found an Orphanage of Love that gathers all the lost children from both the Underground City and the far corners of the Walls to give them a better life. We even see the newly crowned queen chasing after two infant rapscallions in a firm but caring manner as they decided to grab some snacks early before dinner.
- Captain Levi supported her on the issue of instituting social care policies for homeless orphaned children; being one himself in the past.
- Eren admitting to Historia that he thinks she's amazing and the queen blushing at his compliment.
- There is something rather heart-warming about how Levi kneels next to Eren while handing him a kerchief after his nose begins bleeding and even in a roundabout way, warns Hange to give Eren a break from all the hardening experiments; as he doubts the amount of mineral he can create is unlimited.
- Grisha earnestly proclaiming that the Survey Corps are the wisest and bravest individuals within the Walls and that men like Keith are chosen by destiny to affect great change.
- Though it was tangentially mentioned back in the very first episode, we finally see why Hannes and all of Shiganshina revered the good Dr. Jaeger. Because he single-handedly cured the residents of a plague similar to sweating sickness.
- Grisha and Carla's marriage. It's clear the two adored each other.
- Carla pleading with Keith to stop his egotistical gallivanting outside Wall Maria and when Keith roars a Motive Rant at her from combat fatigue and despair she calmly reminds him that mankind is special no matter their abilities and that she would never want to foist greatness on her son because in her eyes he's already great. D'aaaw!
- Eren seeing his own insecurity in Keith and asking Hange not to reprimand him for an emotional weakness not so easily overcome.
- The Commandant relays the words Carla last said to him to her son. But Eren had already engraved them to his heart and soul when he was all of one year old! "He was born into this world". The very phrase he says to Dream!Armin when first taking control of his Titan Power and placing humanity's fate on his shoulders. His own will and memories of his father's faith allowed him to first use the power as sword and shield that same day but to master it and build back the gate took the residual, subconscious but unconditional and everlasting love of a mother burgeoning his spirit back into the sky.
- The gorgeous shot of Carla nuzzling her baby boy and putting the Madonna to shame.
- Keith had long realized that he wasn't meant to accomplish anything important. But in a meta sense, he really did — think how different everything would've been if he'd never met Grisha and brought him to the place Carla worked. Keith was the indirect cause for much of the good in this series, that's not too shabby.
- Keith sabotaging Eren's gear, way back in the beginning at boot-camp is a misguided but compassionate gesture, considering that he believed Carla would've wished her son to lead a safer existence.
"Night of the Battle to Retake the Wall"
- He has a funny way of showing it, but Levi makes it very clear that he is deeply concerned for Erwin and wants him to survive.
- Connie snaps Eren out of a flashback by reminding him of all the progress they've made as soldiers in their short time in squad Levi. Eren responds by calling him a genius and giving him a pat on the head.
- The dinner scene, while hilarious, is also rather warm as it's been a long time since everyone could be that relaxed and light-hearted. Even the fight between Eren and Jean is oddly endearing because it comes across as more of a nostalgic squabble rather than antagonism. (Both of them actually smirk a bit before the fight starts as if to say "oh, we're doing this again. Alright, bring it on ya bastard!" and Eren doesn't use any of the dirty tricks he learned from Annie to end the fight, like he did in Season One).
- The episode also makes it even clearer that Levi truly does care for Eren, Mikasa, and Armin. He eavesdrops on them as they reaffirm their dream to see the outside world for themselves.
- His eyes are on them as the push for Shiganshina starts up. The look on his face really sells it; this is a guy who would do just about anything to make these kids' dreams come true.
- When the people of Trost come out to cheer the Survey Corps, the older Corps members don't know how to respond at first; no one has ever cheered for them before. Connie, Sasha, and Jean of all people cheer back, but they're at first looked at as a little unprofessional. And then Erwin Smith, Erwin Smith, smiles for the first non-creepy time in the entire manga and ROARS a cheer back to the people as if he's a fresh new recruit again. It's terribly hard not to get caught up in the moment.
Return to Shiganshina
"The Town Where Everything Began"
- Armin and Eren's bromance is out-of-this-world wholesome. With both of them sharing their fears of failing the most vital mission of their lives. Eren even admits that all his strength, all his courage, he can lay at Armin's feet. Because his first and once only childhood friend is the one who has inspired him to seek freedom in the face of his glorious dream of the outside world. The two are soul-mates in every definition of the word.
- "I can do this...! No... We can do this! Because from the moment we were born... There was something special about all of us! We're free!"
- Mikasa almost bridal-carrying Eren out of his ossified Titan and giving Eren her own cloak after his own is disintegrated during his first transformation.
- "Believe in your own power."
- Erwin proudly declaring that Armin's mind is one of their greatest weapons.
- Levi paying back Reiner in retaliation for the first casualty among the Survey Corps. No matter the extent of his prior losses, The Captain will always remain a Father to His Men.
- Mikasa, as ever, being desperate to aid Eren as he wrestles at a disadvantage with Reiner.
- Bertholdt notices Reiner's injured condition. He disobeys direct orders from Zeke, the man who threatened them with being Eaten Alive, and held off transforming to go to Reiner and check on him. He asks Reiner for a sign of movement to say he's alive, and gets it. He holds his hand over Reiner's heart and embraces him while promising to end this mess.
- When Bertholdt nukes the area by transforming into the Colossus Titan, we see Eren, in Titan form, holding Sasha and Connie in his arms, shielding them from the blast, and he makes sure not to move until he's sure the explosion has ended. He almost looks like a parent, hugging his children. He will give everything to protect his comrades.
- Levi's decision. "I'm making the choice." He's come full circle from that day he lost Isabel and Farlan. Now it's he that must drag Erwin from the depths of despair to make one last stand against their enemy.
- Erwin's speech. Full stop. Crossed with awesome and tear-jerker of course.
- "Have I ever lied to you, Eren?" He never has. Except now, at the end, when he promised Eren that he would fall back if things got too dicey. And that they would see the ocean together. But alas...
- Armin's final thoughts about entrusting everything to Eren, even his own life, and their dream to see the ocean will be fulfilled by Eren. Such is his faith.
- "You were always the bravest of us all..."
- Levi is faced with a moral choice: use the Titan Serum on Armin (who's actually Not Quite Dead) or Erwin. He decides to use it on Erwin, but Eren reminds him that he said he would use it on Armin. Levi responds that the serum will be given to the one who will save humanity, obviously meaning Erwin. This prompts Mikasa to pull out her blade, and seems to be seconds away from killing Levi for his callousness. Now there's a true friend. Unfortunately, it actually makes things worse.
- For emphasis on the above scene, Eren doesn't just "remind" him to use the serum on Armin, he immediately appears next to Levi, giving one HELL of Death Glare. He's making it abundantly clear that in his view, letting Armin die is NOT, and never will be, an option.
- And considering who Levi is, and how scared Eren was of him, previously, the fact that he does not back down at all, really shows how much he cares. Especially when, even AFTER Levi backhanded him across the roof, Eren crawls all the way back, and grabs Levi's ankle, speaking of the ocean, and how much Armin wants to see it.
- Props to Levi, though. When Eren first begs him for the serum to save Armin, Levi's actually willing to go through with it, despite desperately wanting to chase down Zeke. He's willing to sacrifice his mission to save what few of his soldiers that he feels has a chance at surviving, as well as respecting Eren wanting to save his friend. He's literally seconds from handing over the serum, before Floch arrives with Erwin that results in the Sadistic Choice.
- Hange holds Mikasa back from attacking Levi and hugs her from behind, sympathizing with her outrage and tells her that she also has people that she wants to bring back from the dead. However, signing up with the Survey Corps means inevitably being separated from the people you love and that no matter what you do, people will end up being killed and die.Hange: I also have people I want to bring back... hundreds.
- Though it's also very sad, Levi choosing to give the Titan serum to Armin and not Erwin, primarily because he knows how tired Erwin has become and doesn't want to force him to continue living as "the Devil" for humanity.
- Erwin's last words to Levi before he charged to his death: "Thank you."
- At the very end, a revived, unconscious Armin emerging from his Titan form is surrounded by his friends, crying their eyes out. It's a pretty fucking powerful way to end what was a roller-coaster of an episode.
- Eren running and hugging Armin after he wakes up, telling him that he's so relieved he's back.
- To add to that, a closer look shows that Eren gave Armin his jacket to wear.
- Levi admitting to Armin that he has a power few in this world can claim and heartedly reaffirming that he will not regret choosing his young subordinate over his beloved commander.
- Levi and Hange have laid Erwin to rest in an abandoned house's bed, covered him with his cape like a funeral shroud and have even placed fresh-picked flowers in a vase on the bedside cabinet in remembrance.
- Mikasa fondly reminiscing about Grisha as she sees the goblet she would bring him, along with a plate of food, in the evenings to take down with him to the cellar.
- Eren and Mikasa open the first of Grisha's diaries in tandem. Ever since the beginning, they will do this together.
- Faye Jeager's cuteness factor in the anime is upped to eleven and it's heart-string wrenching to see the absolute trust and faith she has in her older brother, Grisha. As she allows herself to be innocently lead by the hand even at eight years old. Her Nii-san is obviously her idol.
- Just as Eren's revenge was activated by his mother, Carla's death. So too will Grisha overturn a world-spanning empire to avenge his little sister's gruesome and unfounded murder.
- Grisha standing up for Dina Fritz even after she relays the miserable state of affairs their race is subject to. He proclaims his Undying Loyalty to her branch of the royal family and how they will return the Founder to them to honour their devotion to his people. Dina weeps, overcome and falls into his arms. Smooth... Jaeger-bomb!
- When Eren wakes up screaming from his nightmare, both Armin and Mikasa are immediately there to ask what's wrong. However, take a look at the context. Eren and Mikasa are in two cells, being disciplined for their recent actions against Levi. Armin, who was innocent in the whole affair, is sleeping right outside the cell. In other words, he must have specifically requested that he be allowed to do so, just to be near his friends.
"The Attack Titan"
- After Owl/Kruger saves Grisha from being killed by being fed to a Titan, he promptly destroys the soldiers, their ship, and sits down to explain things to Grisha. As well as tell Grisha his real name. Kruger's first name? Eren.
- Grisha talked a big game, but when it came down to it, unlike both Eren's he could not even hate his sister's murderer when he was being eaten alive. As a doctor, as a man, he believes in the sanctity of life and will not kill except when pushed to the absolute brink... And that eventual breaking-point when he does commit multiple murders likely helped fuel his decision to transfer his powers to Eren from remorse.
- Kruger's magnificent speech: "Our actions will follow us until they are repaid. Unto death, even after death."
- Levi releasing Eren and Mikasa from their cells a few days earlier. Of course, as Levi points out, it would not be right to punish the hero who defeated the Colossus Titan while he and Hange failed to deal with the Armoured and Beast.
"The Other Side of The Wall"
- Historia and Pyxis decide to reveal the truths that were discovered in Grisha's basement to the general public. Since, if they tried to hide it, they would be not so different from the corrupt King who erected the Walls in the first place.
- Hange is visiting Roy and Peaure, the two reporters she befriended in the Uprising Arc, to discuss the information found in the basement. Despite the mixed public reception, the news has brought Roy tells Hange that he is proud of her, both as someone who worked with her in the past, as well as a fellow human being. The praise is enough that it makes Hange blush.
- The Survey Corps make it to the ocean! We get a few scenes of the Corps shock and awe at the sight. Sasha, Jean, and Connie even get to play in the water, like ordinary children at the beach. Given the foreboding nature of future events, it's a nice respite for them to be normal.
The Truths of Marley
- After saving their lives from a massacre in a suicide charge, Gabi is praised to high heaven for her service to the Liberio Eldians. Their genuine appreciation is expressed by loud, hot blooded chants of her name.
- Even Magath and some of the Marleyean officers express some gratitude by allowing the Eldians to loudly celebrate their victory.
"From One Hand to Another"
- Falco's joy with Zofia and Udo cheering him on after defeating Gabi in a race. It's a sweet and cute moment that you can't help but feel happy for him.
- Falco's confession that he's doing what he's doing all for Gabi's sake. However, this only confuses her.
- Kiyomi covering up Udo's accident of spilling a drink on her fancy dress, despite knowing full well that he was Eldian.
- Reiner buying food for the kids at the festival. For a moment, it looks like he's regretting it, but then he sees how happy they are, actually acting like kids, which makes it all worth it.
- The anime included Porco and Pieck as well, just as happy as the rest of kids.
"Declaration of War"
- Eren transforms into a Titan, prompting Reiner to turn around in an attempt to throw himself into Falco's path. The poor guy wants to die more then anything but it shows he stills cares for the lives of others.
"The War Hammer Titan"
- It turns out that Eren isn't alone, as Mikasa and the Survey Corps are also present to help him fight the Warhammer Titan. Eren is expresses how thankful he is everybody has come to help, while Mikasa asks Eren to come home with them.
- Galliard, upon hearing that both Zeke and Pieck may be dead, has a brief flashback of himself and them enjoying a picnic, showing just how close their friendship and camaraderie was. It's then that Galliard decides to go all out, managing to outmaneuver even Mikasa and nearly taking out Eren.
- Falco and Gabi both calling for Reiner to save Galliard is what finally convinces him wake up from his self induced stupor to rescue his comrade.
- Armin being adamant that nobody from the SL be left behind, otherwise the mission might as well be considered a failure.
- A special mention has to be made for the two soldiers guarding the Liberio Internment Zone. Despite being Marleyan, neither of them seem to resent the local Eldians and even have a friendly relationship with Gabi, Falco, Udo, and Sophia.
War for Paradis
- Chapter 106:
- Hanji on her own initiative as the new Commander of the Survey Corps took measures to capture all Marleyan Reconnoitres even before Zeke sent his most trusted agent to facilitate communications. And she almost frantically tries to bring them to the diplomacy table despite the horror stories Eren will no doubt have told her about the attitudes' of their enemies.
- Yelena warmly greeting Attack Titan Eren, saying that she's longed to meet him. It's clear that either her devotion to Zeke carries over to a man who shares his blood or that she holds admiration for one who has beaten back the Warrior's of Marley.
- When Sasha innocently asks why Onyankopon's skin is black, he shares with the team his religious views, saying that the Sky God made the many races of humanity varied in appearance, nature, abilities and temperament for the sake of our differences. He even lauds the unique nature of the people of Ymir! Earnestly saying that their powers are God's Gift and not the Devil's Curse.
- Despite Marley's propaganda about the "Eldian devils," the Eldians of Paradis eventually befriend many of the captured Marleyan soldiers. One of them, Nikolo, is moved when Sasha compliments his cooking, while another one teaches the Eldians about trains.
- After befriending a few Marleyan Soldiers, Armin (and Mikasa), even if it was for a brief moment, show faith that Eldia could make peace with the rest of the world and avoid further bloodshed; it shows that Armin believes there's hope for better future.
- Chapter 107:
- Although Mikasa's mother told her daughter to keep the clan marking completely secret; it's revealed that of course she shared it with Eren when they were children.
- Historia, overjoyed at having the good news of an allied nation, begins to low-key ship Mikasa and Eren, teasing the former on why she showed it to only him in particular. Cue Mikasa blushing as she glances at the young man in question, trying to stutter out an answer to her monarch, but merely managing "uh... that's... um".
- The Queen of the Walls then goes on to joke how she's in the "reliable company" of another burdened with being lost royalty, grinning from ear-to-ear and getting touchy with Mikasa, much to the silent stoic soldier's continued adorable embarrassment. All while Eren smiles softly at the scene...
- After Eren takes the floor to defend Historia from becoming a brood-mother, she can only nearly weep at his concern for her.
- Even though he was a Marleyan soldier, Nikolo comes to pay his respects for Sasha at her grave. This shows how much even a Marleyan could become close to an Eldian.
- Connie thanks Nikolo for cooking for Sasha and comments that Sasha was like his twin, finally stating just how close their bond was.
- In order to honour Sasha, Nikolo offers to cook for her family for free. Mr. Blaus, unlike his fellow countrymen, have no disdain for the Marleyan, is glad to see how many friends Sasha had made over the years and accepts the soldier's offer.
- Chapter 108:
- Mikasa supporting Eren against Connie's understandable mistrust after the Battle for Liberio. Reminding them all that Eren "treasures us... more than anyone else."
- Eren voicing how he must soon decide who to pass on his Power to and the rest of the Squad all take up the mantle gladly, each voicing why the other shouldn't. Mikasa is first to throw herself into the line of fire for him of course, to which Jean and Eren disagree for her sake, then Jean volunteers but Connie won't hear of it and offers himself in turn, Sasha tries to protect him and says she's the most viable candidate and Eren, touched and dismayed by their readiness says he has no intention of letting any of them shorten their life-spans; as they are all too precious to him for him to condemn to his fate and he emotionally wishes them long and fruitful lives.
- To which everyone is struck dumb with "aw shucks!" sheepishness, Eren first of all for his heartfelt confession! Leading to all of the team to descend into shared crimson faces. Mikasa remembers the scene fondly and tells her friends that Eren has only resorted to such extreme measures because he wants to ensure their safety.
- Jean rightly points out that he wouldn't have risked their lives by forcing them into battle if he still cared for them that much; as he never sought to put them in harm's way in the past. And Mikasa, although shaken by Eren's change in character, denies it by insisting it must have been because he had faith in their abilities.
- When Connie is about to tell Mikasa and Armin how Eren reacted to Sasha's death, Jean half-heartedly tells him to stop. Not wishing to disturb Eren's closest friends any further.
- Despite Armin voicing the worst-case scenario to forcibly transfer Eren's Titans to a trusted individual if he wants to go World-breaker, he also announces that he and Mikasa just need to talk to him and ascertain his intentions. Then they can convince the military that Eren is still on their side, just like old times.
- Reiner trying to convince Magath of the need for a lightning-assault on Paradis before Zeke can put his master plan into action. We know it is really for the sake of rescuing Gabi and Falco that he wishes to return to Paradis.
- Chapter 109:
- Mr Blaus and his wife have taken in four orphans at his horse ranch and he doesn't hesitate to take in two more when Falco and Gabi have nowhere to go.
- Floch, Louise, Holger and Wim, firebrand members of the Survey Corps all stand up for Eren and demand his freedom. Even leaking Intel of his imprisonment to the public. Though next chapter makes their concern much darker; they think Eren is Eldia's messiah.
- Louise is the girl Mikasa saved and saluted to all those years ago in Trost. She earnestly claims that she joined the Corps just to be close to her idol.
- Falco and Kaya both commiserating with each other about the violence that has befallen either side of the Marley - Eldia conflict and Kaya proclaiming how she will emulate her own rescuer and show them safely to a Marleyan defector. Unfortunately, that Marleyan defector is likely a cook who had an unknown level of emotional attachment to Sasha...
- Chapter 112:
- Armin attempting to punch Eren after he told Mikasa he hated her, which made her cry. While it's heartbreaking to see the Shiganshina Trio falling apart, Armin doesn't hesitate to stand up for Mikasa. He's come a long way from being the shy bullied boy at the start of the series. When Eren continues to belittle Mikasa, Armin is finally able to land a punch on him. Unfortunately Armin gets beaten up in response, but he did try.
- Chapter 114:
- Tom basically becoming Zeke's surrogate father figure, teaching him everything he knows and treating him like his son ever since his biological son was killed due to Pater Familicide committed by his wife. As for Zeke, it's clearly obvious that he adores the old man back, starting from wearing the same pair of glasses on his adulthood.
- Chapter 117:
Zeke Jaeger: You heroically withstood them all by yourself, Eren. Now leave the rest... To your big brother!
- After rescuing Gabi, Magath immediately scolds her but is ultimately glad she is safe. Also, his next immediate worry is about Falco's whereabouts, showing he is truly A Father to His Men.
- Zeke riding in to save the day and defend Eren against his former comrades. The man has committed atrocities but the only family he swore to never abandon, but one day come and save, is his brother from another mother! And now he keeps that promise he made five years ago in that same city.
- Chapter 118:
"This is not a place for children. Go back home."
- Onyankopon risking his life to free Eren's friends. He truly wasn't aware of the wine and the euthanasia plan, and truly believed that Zeke and Yelena wanted to turn Paradis into a self sufficient nation capable of resisting Marley. He is genuinely emotionally distraught at Zeke and Yelena's betrayal of their original purpose.
- Armin still not losing his faith in Eren when everybody else does, deducing that Eren is only putting up a Jerkass Façade to protect them all from Zeke and Yelena.
- Gabi and Colt proceeding the Paradis army headquarters alone in order to rescue Falco, no matter how small the chance.
- Niles goes out of his way to make sure Falco escapes Paradis custody, even so far as risking getting himself shot by Colt as he passes Falco over to him.
- Despite both Falco and Gabi being outed as Marleyans, Mrs. Blouse is still concerned about their safety, while Mr. Blouse is confident that they are both fine.
- Gabi finally understands Reiner's trauma, realizing just like him that Eldians and humans are not so different.
- Falco gaining the courage to admit his feelings to Gabi, telling her he wanted to become the Armoured Titan in order to spare her from a reduced lifespan and his intention to marry her.
- Chapter 119:
- While Zeke stating his intent to turn the junta's officers into Titans is monstrous, he's only doing so to defend both him and his brother from Marley's assault as the battle turns against them. Eren looks aghast and even stretches out the Attack Titian's arm towards his half sibling, in a vain attempt to stop the elder Jaeger. (which Zeke notices and does refrain momentarily) This while Reiner has him pinned and near defenceless under the Armoured Titian and given how he mentioned knowing how Falco had been infected back in Chapter 116, it's clear that he wanted to stop his brother to save Falco from becoming a Titan. He may have being using the poor lad but it's clear that he still cares about his life.
- Never mind Falco! Eren had been battling Reiner, Porco, Magath and Pieck; so he had no idea the infectees of the spine wine had been released from HQ. Likely thinking they would crush or burn his comrades to death upon transforming in their cells.
- Porco's self-sacrifice. After seeing his brother's memories and understanding why Marcel died to save Reiner, Porco gives his own rapidly expiring life in much the same way to save Falco from the hell that is being a Pure Titan. Along with saving Reiner from being devoured, Porco makes peace with his childhood rival, finally forgiving him for the death of his own brother.
- While Zeke stating his intent to turn the junta's officers into Titans is monstrous, he's only doing so to defend both him and his brother from Marley's assault as the battle turns against them. Eren looks aghast and even stretches out the Attack Titian's arm towards his half sibling, in a vain attempt to stop the elder Jaeger. (which Zeke notices and does refrain momentarily) This while Reiner has him pinned and near defenceless under the Armoured Titian and given how he mentioned knowing how Falco had been infected back in Chapter 116, it's clear that he wanted to stop his brother to save Falco from becoming a Titan. He may have being using the poor lad but it's clear that he still cares about his life.
- Chapter 120:
- When Eren first gets a good look at who Zeke assumes is the Founder, Ymir, as a bedraggled waif who must endlessly create the Titans from sand and water like Prometheus did mankind with clay... His immediate response is pity... And he asks her in dismay whether she has been trapped here alone for near 2000 years. His memories of Faye and Historia's childhoods likely influencing him.
- Though it rips Zeke's briar-wrapped heart apart, Eren reaffirming the sanctity of life and harshly reprimanding his half-brother that the euthanisation plan is not a clown, but the whole circus, invokes fist-pumping good cheer!
- Even though Eren throws Zeke's vision of the future in his face as ridiculous, Zeke proves to be a better man than anyone expected when it comes to his little brother. As he has managed to wrest the Founder from his sibling and could leave him trapped in the Paths Realm, mind-wipe him into his willing lackey, or even refuse to regenerate his physical body. Yet he claims he will never abandon him and that together they will save the world.
- Zeke dives into Grisha's memories with Eren in an effort to prove their father would always put his mission above family. However, all we see in every memory, beginning from Eren's birth, is Grisha demonstrating that he learned from his mistakes, approaching fatherhood as if it were new to him and loving Eren unconditionally.
- The first memory, with Grisha picking up and trying to rock a days-old Eren in his arms but quickly passing him back to Carla when Eren wails for his mother. Then he tries again after Carla has hushed him and this time Eren responds brightly, pinching his father's cheek while Carla watches on fondly. We see present!Eren scrunching up his face with undeniable sweet sadness for those lost days of innocence.
- Another for Zeke, who does not seem in any way overcome with jealousy of his half-sibling's comparatively idyllic childhood or of caring to invest anymore hatred for his father's second chance. Although he remains snide and cutting of Grisha, it's clear as he watches Grisha play with baby Eren, that the resentment of his youth has cooled to regret and profound sorrow.
- As they proceed further into Grisha's memories, Zeke and Eren are stunned to see that Grisha located the entrance to the Founder's Cavern when his second son was all of fifteen months old! But he turned away from a confrontation with Uri Reiss to instead embrace Carla and Eren; preferring domestic bliss for as long as possible over completing Kruger's mission.
- Zeke doggedly maintains that Eren must have suffered some kind of manipulation at their father's hands for their ideologies to align so perfectly... But then discovers to his gobsmacked surprise that Grisha never truly forgot about his first son and murmurs apologies to Zeke in his sleep.
- Grisha partially witnessing the shade of Zeke's apparition through Paths and calling out to him.
- Chapter 121:
- A small moment when Eren looks mournfully at the scene of his younger self giving Mikasa his scarf and accepting her into his family. It hints at the idea that he does in fact regret breaking her heart and driving all the people he loves away from him, and he probably has no chance of making amends.
- The full scene of Grisha confronting the Reiss family shows that he tried in earnest to persuade Frieda to use the Founding Titan to save the people of Wall Maria before he had to resort to violence. Even when faced with no other option but to take the Founder by force, he breaks down and laments that he couldn't just kill children. Even Zeke had to acknowledge the empathy his father had gained over the years, showing that he changed much from the ruthless, uncaring revolutionary he was in his youth.
- Grisha tearfully embraces Zeke's apparition when he speaks with him at the end of his memory. He comments on how much Zeke has grown, apologizes for being such a horrible father, and tells his son he loves him and wishes he had been a better father to him. Zeke seems to accept this gesture, even calling Grisha 'dad' for the first time since he was a kid.
- Chapter 122. Eren witnesses Ymir Fritz's memories of her Dark and Troubled Past. Afterwards, we see that he's been embracing the poor girl and tells her that he will end this world where injustice such as that can afflict the innocent. He implores her that she has every right to choose her own fate and that after an eternity of suffering, surely she must have been waiting for someone to value her unconditionally and not for what she can give. This is definitively the kindest thing anyone has ever promised to Ymir, who is otherwise compelled to create Titans for the whims of selfish monarchs. Her blank-eyed facade cracks and she starts sobbing in grief. For the first time in her existence, she disobeys a person of the royal bloodline and helps Eren of her own free will! Granted, that choice was to destroy everything so her decision isn't exactly good but Eren's sympathy doesn't appear to be faked.
- Chapter 123. The Survey Corps hanging out with the refugee kid's family. It is speculated that Eren knew what he had to do and this was their last moment of having fun before he went away on his own.
- Earlier in the chapter, the refugee kid attempts to pickpocket Levi. However,when the Marley citizens display their Fantastic Racism and antagonize him far too much, all of the Corps speak up or the kid and protect him, claiming that he's "their kid brother just screwing around." Levi even scoops the kid up and gets him away from the crowd.
- The aforementioned party? The kid's father invited the corps, likely to repay them for their kindness.
- Chapter 124:
- So Eren's plan is to cause The End of the World as We Know It for basically everyone outside of Paradis. Horrifying? Absolutely. But as Jean, of all people, points out, everyone outside of Paradis essentially wished for nothing more than the complete annihilation of everyone inside the Walls, be it men, women, or children. Eren rejects this wish. He wants nothing more than to see his people, his friends survive, and he would raze the entire world over to destroy those who would do them harm.
- Gabi arriving in the nick of time to save Kaya from being eaten by Nile's Titan. Not only has the Warrior candidate truly broken free from her brainwashing, but she is actively trying to make amends for the mistakes she made regarding Sasha and her family. Kaya, who only moments ago expressed her desire to kill Gabi, actually forgives her and protects her from the suspicious Paradisian soldiers.
- Instructor Shadis saving the trainees who joined up with the Yeagerists and brutally beat him up from the Titans invading the fortress. He doesn't bear any grudge against them and encourages them to use what he taught them in training to stay alive, much to their tearful gratitude. It's also great to see him back in action, proving that he, a former leader of the Survey Corps, is far from the useless bystander he always held himself to be.
- Chapter 126:
- In an effort to find her scarf, Mikasa locates Louise in a hospital ward wearing it. Louise confides in Mikasa that the one time she managed to talk to Eren, he gave her an order to throw the scarf away if she ever came into possession of it, but decided not to. Despite hearing that along with Eren's entire spiel about how he's always hated her, Mikasa still requests her scarf back. With all odds against her, She carries hope that the Eren who saved her and gave her the scarf the night her parents were murdered, the Eren who defended her during the trial to determine his fate after Trost, the Eren who said he sincerely wanted to protect his friends and loved ones from danger, can somehow be saved from the terrible path of global genocide he has set himself on.
- Connie undergoes a Heel Realization and not only decides not to feed Falco to his Titanized mother, but also saves Armin. He then remembers the kind of person she wanted him to become, and realizes that she never would have wanted him to save her at the cost of another's life.
- Chapter 129:
- There is something a little uplifting in seeing Reiner and Annie fight alongside their former friends on Paradis again after all this time, opponents and grim circumstances notwithstanding.
- Reiner once again demonstrates how loyal and protective he is of his comrades by taking several Thunder Spears to protect Annie.
- Connie saves Annie and Reiner from being killed by Thunder Spears, repaying them both for saving his life in Trost and Utgard Castle respectively.
- As Magath prepares to detonate the ship, he tells Shadis that he will eventually be remembered as a hero who saved the world, meaning Shadis finally achieved his goal of becoming someone special and celebrated. Shadis says the same of Magath, but Magath denies it. He expresses regret over the fact that he allowed himself to be swept up by the Marleyan military junta rather than following his heart and allowing the warrior cadets to live ordinary lives. He truly shows that he cares about the kids as more than just expendable soldiers. Shadis manages to raise Magath's spirits and the two exchange names and mutual smiles before they detonate the ship.
- Pieck and Gabi cry over the death of Magath, showing that they cared for him just as he did for them.
- Chapter 130:
- In a rather... twisted example considering what is at stake... Eren confides in Historia his plan to destroy the world, so that her life and her children's will not be cut short via Titan inheritance. While touched at his concern, it's understandably outweighed by horror at the steep cost. And when begging him to think of how many mothers he will condemn to a fate just like his own fails to move his heart, she tells Eren straight-up that she feels obligated to oppose him. Only for Eren, of all people, to claim he will erase such a burden on her conscience if she cannot endure it with the Founder's power. Eren's dark expressions even soften as he gives her a way out.
- Historia grapples with the fact that, whether she supports the junta or Eren, her pride will be crushed and that she cannot keep his plan secret. Eren refutes this, assuring her with absolute faith that she can. That she saved everything that he was and recollects how she claimed to be "the worst girl who ever lived" all to spare his unworthy hide and likely damning their small world in the process. Now he asks of her to do it again, with him. Historia is struck dumb at this pronouncement - warring between guilt and astonishment, selflessness and selfishness... (YMMV on whether this is gaslighting on the level of Eren urging Grisha to commit triple infanticide on the Reiss family)
- The mere fact that he told her the actual plan! He didn't have the Founder at that point, so he was making himself incredibly vulnerable. Historia could've turned him over to the MPs or the 104th if she had wanted to. Eren willingly gave Historia the key to stop him, this is nothing more, or nothing less than a staggering display of how much he trusts her. Eren is a man who only found the inspiration to keep on living through her courage and strength, this along with the risks and lengths he's willing to go to spare her pain... Is there a truer example of unconditional trust and friendship amongst all this darkness?
- The scene in the ship as Annie admits she doesn't want to kill anyone anymore, not even Eren who is about to kill her father. We get to see the 'normal girl' beneath her Warrior facade, despite what many in the fandom might think she is no remorseless killer. It's heartbreaking to see her give up all hope of ever meeting her father again but at the same time, it's really heart-warming to see how much her old friends still mean to her.
- It also brings to mind the time during the Female Titan Arc where Eren refuses to believe that Annie is the enemy, and even when she shifts he refuses to fight her. It's nice to see that, even after the world goes to hell, Annie feels much the same way about him. Without anything forcing them, these two lost souls can't bring themselves to fight each other.
- None of the Alliance seems like they can bring themselves to try to kill Eren at this point, the whole outside world is about to be ashes and none of his friends can dredge up resolve to fight for a lost cause. It really shows how strong the bonds between the 104th Cadets are, regardless of how many times they have been forced to fight and kill each other on the battlefield, they all seem to still hold their comrades dear to them.
- The Eren flashbacks shows us without a doubt that Eren still cares for his comrades, his last thought being that he wishes they all live long and happy lives after he is gone. Eren is determined to go through with his plan, which appears to truly be the destruction of the entire outside world at this point, but Isayama shows us that Eren still retains humanity. If the Tybers had never rallied the world against Paradis, likely none of this would have happened and Eren would have spent the rest of his days with his new family.
- Chapter 131: This is without question the darkest, most depressing chapter of the story yet, but there are still a few bright spots to find if you look for them:
- Eren realizes that he is a hypocrite for wanting to save Ramzi from his beating when he will end up killing him a later time anyway, but he still can't help the compulsion to step in, beat up his tormentors, and carry the boy home to his family. The kind, compassionate, and heroic person Eren once was still smolders beneath his cold and aloof persona.
- Annie thanks Armin for coming to talk to her during the years she was crystallized. Annie believes that he only did so out of his inherent kindness and good nature, unaware that Armin has developed romantic feelings for her. Armin also refutes her claim that he is only doing what he is doing now because he is a good person, confiding in her all the horrific things he was forced to do to save Paradis and to get the alliance on the boat to stop Eren. He has committed many of the same sins as Annie and the warriors, and sees no reason to further condemn her for her past actions.
- Armin also affirms that despite how cruel and disappointing the world beyond the walls of Paradis was compared to his old book and his dreams, he still believes that the world is worth protecting and fighting for, and he will do what he must to stop Eren from destroying everything.
- Chapter 132: Right after her Heroic Sacrifice, Hange is reunited with the other fallen soldiers from Eldia — yup, Erwin is there. And they want to know everything that happened since their deaths.
- A small moment before that. Levi salutes Hange and tells her to 'dedicate your heart', and Hange excitedly mentions that it's the first time he has ever said the Survey Corps motto. It's a fitting way for Levi to see off his old friend and compatriot and show how dedicated he has become to the Survey Corps, and gives Hange a much needed laugh in the face of imminent death.
- Annie reveals to Mikasa that she can't bear to keep fighting anymore, and that she wants to leave the alliance to finally find the peace she was denied her whole life. She inadvertently reveals to Mikasa that she has developed a crush on Armin, and despite Mikasa's shock, she accepts Annie's decision, signalling that their rivalry is more or less at an end.
- Mikasa tells Annie that she will stop Eren without killing him. Even after everything he has done and said, the ever loyal and loving Mikasa still believes that the kind and noble Eren of the past in still in there somewhere and that she will find a way to save him from his dark path.
- When Annie bids farewell to the alliance, she hugs Reiner and promises to keep Gabi and Falco safe for him. Despite how much coldness and frustration she showed towards Reiner throughout their mission, she still cares very much for him.
- The alliance as a whole bid Annie a warm and pleasant farewell, indicating that they've forgiven her for her past crimes against them. Armin in particular gives Annie a longing look, which she lingers on before turning away.
- Chapter 133:
- Eren actually didn't take the other shifters' powers, acknowledging they are free to try and stop him. He won't stop for them, but he's aware they disagree with him and as such concedes they have a right to oppose the Rumbling with every mean at their disposal. It's quite bittersweet, considering the situation, and yet it's so perfectly Eren.
- A minor detail, but when the alliance are in paths, Ymir and Eren are holding hands.
- Pieck's father refusing to throw away his armband, since his daughter sacrificed so much for him to earn it.
- When coming up with a plan to stop the Rumbling, Levi suggests that killing Zeke may cut off Eren's connection to the Founding Titan's powers. It's not easy to guess Levi's intentions, especially after Hange's death in the last chapter, but the silent reactions from the Survey Corp members show they are seriously considering the alternative to save the world without killing their friend.
- Jean and Connie forgive Reiner for his betrayal and say that they now understand what he had to go through all those years on Paradis.
- Onyankopon declares that even with half a tank of gas fuelling the plane, he will do whatever it takes to get the alliance to Eren, both for the sake of the world and in honour of his fallen friend, Hange.
- Chapter 134:
- Although there is an Ambiguous Situation of Historia's feelings toward her consort, when Historia is going into painful labour, Farmer-kun is shown beside her, praying for her and her unborn child's safety.
- When one crowd is forced to a cliff-edge to flee from the Rumbling, one mother throws her crying baby to the raised arms of the crowd to ensure their survival. One by one, the crowd pass the baby over their heads to keep them alive, despite the fact they will soon die themselves whether by falling off the cliff or being crushed by the approaching Colossal Titans.
- When Levi spots the sliver of the Beast Titan on the Founding Titan, Armin announces to the alliance that their target is the Beast Titan before they jump from the plane, confirming that they don't want to kill Eren to stop the Rumbling.
- As Reiner attacks the Beast Titan copy, Karina is moved to tears to see her son alive and fighting to save the world.
- Chapter 136
- Levi reveals why he chose to save Armin's life over Erwin's- that Armin had the same look in his eyes that Erwin once did. It's nice to finally see someone who sees the value in keeping Armin alive.
- Chapter 137
- Armin reminds Zeke that even with every horrible thing that has happened in the world, it's still worth fighting for, because the small moments in life give it meaning. Armin reminisces about racing through the fields, feeding a squirrel, reading a book, and spending time with his friends, and Zeke remembers playing catch with Ksaver, and agrees The World Is Just Awesome. This awakens the other spirits of the Titan Shifters past, who all rally to save the world with them.
- Zeke resolving himself to perform a Heroic Sacrifice that gets him killed. By Levi, no less. Up until that point, he had trembled in fear of him, outright calling him a monster every time the two met. Now? He simply offers himself up to him and allows himself to die by Levi's hands, calmly accepting his fate all the while.
- Just before Zeke dies, he takes a short moment to appreciate the world around him, commenting on how beautiful the day is—something he was never able to do before in his entire life, as Zeke was too focused on the cruelty of this world.
- Mikasa putting a supportive hand on Levis back, who notably looks empty after fulfilling his promise to Erwin. Additionally, it's heartwarming seeing the two showing concern for one another after not much interaction prior.
- Jean and Pieck's newly forged war camaraderie, with Jean going out of his way to save the defenseless (in her human form) Pieck. Considering that Pieck used to be an enemy and, unlike Reiner and Annie, was never friends with any of the Paradisians, and that they have a history of Jean shooting several thunder-spears into Pieck's Titan face, their level of cooperation is surprising.
- Reiner's character arc always had him desire to be a hero, out of a longing for acceptance. Here, as he's going for the heroic play by preventing the Source of All Organic Matter from reattaching itself to Eren, he stays behind so Armin's transformation can deal the finishing blow, caught in the blast radius. Reiner will finally become the hero he's wanted, for real this time.
- Chapter 138
- It's revealed that the baby being desperately passed among fleeing refugees to prevent it from falling off a cliff in chapter 133 was ultimately saved just as the Rumbling is stopped, meaning its mother's and countless other people's sacrifices were not in vain.
- The Reveal that the surviving Marleyan soldiers and Liberio survivors ultimately did not fight each other and agreed to set their differences aside to fight Eren. Unfortunately, this moment was short lived thanks to Eren and the Founder.
- The surviving Warriors being able to reunite with their families. Even though it's brief, it's one of the rare moments where you can see everybody happy and relieved.
- While by far one of the biggest Tear Jerkers in the series, the lead-up to Eren's death at Mikasa's blade can qualify for some. Mikasa has a vision of an Alternate Timeline where she confessed her true feelings to Eren. They then elope and abandon the war with Marley to live out Eren's last four years together. In the vision, Eren tells Mikasa to throw away her scarf and forget about him once he dies, so that she can live her own life. It's implied that this vision was actually sent by Eren using the Paths both as a way to let Mikasa know that he doesn't actually hate her, and that he might even reciprocate her feelings, and as way to urge Mikasa into killing him. Mikasa refuses to throw away her scarf, but goes through with killing Eren, giving him one last kiss before he finally dies.
- Chapter 139 - The Final Chapter
- As Eren and Armin talk about Eren's ultimate plan within the Paths, Eren shows Armin all of the various wonders of the world they wanted to see as kids. Considering that the Rumbling likely permanently changed the worlds landscape this is probably the only way Eren can show his best friend the wonders of the world.
- Last chapter had Ymir smiling as she saw Mikasa kissing Eren. It's revealed Ymir actually loved King Fritz, despite him treating her like crap, so seeing Mikasa oppose Eren despite her love for him finally allowed Ymir to free herself from her abusive connection with King Fritz.
- Eren finally admits that he loves Mikasa, and doesn't want her to love anyone else but him. Since he values Mikasa's happiness too much to actually impose his feelings on her as he is about to die, though, he limits himself to confessing his feelings for Mikasa to Armin, the one person he trusts the most.
- Armin thanking Eren for shouldering the worlds hatred onto himself, giving him the shell he found on the beach all those years ago, and the two embrace one final time.
- Eren's last act along with Ymir before they disappear for good is to remove Titans from the world altogether, making Eldians mere humans once again. This means that Jean, Connie, Gabi, the Liberio survivors, and any remaining pure Titans are returned to their human forms.
- With Connie's memories restored he remembers Eren telling him that his mother will also become human again after the titans are gone. After spending the entire Time Skip having written Eren off as a piece of shit who betrayed his friends Connie can only cry and thanks his friend for saving his remaining family.
- In addition to the disappearance of Titans, this also eliminates the Curse of Ymir, meaning that all of the Shifters will be able to live full lifespans.
- With his mission finally done, Levi catches a glimpse of all of his fallen comrades, including Erwin and Hange, who salute him one last time. In addition, both Jean and Connie catch a glimpse of Sasha's spirit bidding them farewell.
- With everybody human again, Annie is finally able to have a proper reunion with her father, Falco practically tackles Gabi in relief, and Reiner finally comes to terms with his mother.
- Speaking of Reiner, now with him making peace with everyone and being forgiven by everyone, his inner conflicts and guilt have been resolved, restoring him into his normal, headstrong personality we knew before. He was able to truly atone himself for everyone, and that's a difficult task.
- It's revealed that Historia's child, a girl, was born safely and will no longer have to be used as a pawn to inherit on the Founding Titan.
- Armin, Jean, Connie, Reiner, Annie, and Pieck return to Paradis as ambassadors ready to negotiate a lasting peace between Paradis and the rest of the world.
- Seeing the easy banter between the six of them it's implied that in the three years they've acted as ambassadors the former Shifter's and Connie have fully buried the hatchet between them and become true friends.
- After the timeskip Gabi and Falco stick together with Onyankopon and the now wheelchair-bound Levi and lead seemingly happy and ordinary lives in a well-prospering city somewhere in the world.
- Mikasa disappears from the public eye so she can carry Eren's head all the way back to Paradis, where she buries it under the tree she, Eren, and Armin used to spend so much time together under.
- Can we just talk about the fact that Levi finally realized that all the deaths in the Survey Corps weren't in vain? With the rumbling over and people now starting to return to human forms now that the titans are gone for good like he always wanted, he finally gives a big salute to his fallen comrades as they can live in the afterlife in peace, while giving him closure.
- The final shot of the series; as Mikasa sits under the tree where Eren used to nap as a child she admits that she still misses him and wishes she could see him again. Suddenly a bird flies down and adjusts her scarf around her neck, just like Eren did. Seeing this Mikasa smiles and for one final time thanks Eren for wrapping her scarf around her.
- Armin also gets to see the bird, and as it flies by, it leaves behind a feather that he catches.
- Crosses over a little bit into Tear Jerker, but Eren ultimately succeeded in his plan, even if he had to become a villain to do so. The cycle that he had sacrificed so much to destroy might finally be ending, even if there's a lot more work to do. It's just a shame that he wasn't around to see it and know that, in a way, he did make a better world.
- However, the appearances of the bird and its interactions with Armin and Mikasa heavily implies that the bird is Eren himself, no longer chained to a life of captivity, death and destruction and finally able to fly freely liked he always dreamed of.
- Mikasa gets married, and has children and grandchildren. They are shown visiting Eren's grave. Eventually, Mikasa dies of an old age and is buried still wearing the scarf Eren gave her.
- Although another war inevitably reduces Paradis to rubble, this happens so far into the future that the world is basically identical to our own, untold decades if not centuries after Mikasa died. This means numerous generations of Paradisians got to enjoy the peace that the main cast worked so hard to achieve which, considering the sheer amount of misery they went through, is still a victory in and on itself.
- This, combined with the above, also gives Armin and the rest of the survivors a victory, as they most likely have also lived long fulfilling lives like Mikasa had, and probably had children and grandchildren of their own. This on its own is the ultimate victory for Eren, as Paradis may have gotten destroyed in the future, but his friends were able to live happily like he wanted.
- Volume 34 (the final volume)'s cover depicts a young Eren, Mikasa, and Armin on the tree on the hill, only Paradis is free from the walls. The back cover shows the rest of the Trainees (including Marco and the Warrior Trio), also as children, running up to join them.
- A blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment in the final fake preview, but while Armin and Mikasa are arguing about the movie they watched (which is supposed to represent the manga's ending and the reactions to it), they walk past a woman and her three daughters—so it looks like Ymir and her kids got a happy ending in one world, at least.
- The fake preview itself counts. While Mikasa and Armin argue over whether the ending of the movie was a satisfying payoff to the story or a terrible ending that leaves more questions than answers, Eren says that he just enjoyed watching it with his friends. It's also worth keeping in mind that Isayama stated after finishing the final chapter that he was very anxious about the ending's reception and was disappointed to hear about the Broken Base it caused. With this being the last volume and likely the last piece of Attack on Titan content from him, he lets the audience know that regardless of how it ended, he is glad to have so many people read it to the end.
Meta and Out of Canon Moments
- Elizabeth posted this tweet in 2018 of her and Bryn hugging in Lexacon 2018. It speaks on the significance of the relationship between Ymir and Historia.