If you are currently watching Attack on Titan, then you probably ended up here as you have this sense of confusion after three episodes or so. On the other hand, you are also probably here because you want to start watching Attack on Titan, but you are overwhelmed with all of the “confusion rants” of its fans. So what is actually up with Attack on Titan?
Attack on Titan is confusing because it is meant to be so. Confusion and shock value are the main moods of AOT. Explained mysteries also lead to more mysteries. As you approach the finale of AOT, you will realize that the feeling of being confused is closely tied to the revelations of the anime.
So does this mean that all of this confusion will be worth it to the end? How can we find meaning to all of this confusion for us to stick it out until the finale? We are going to discuss how to make sense of all of the confusing parts in Attack on Titan, so you better keep on reading!
Note: This article is full of spoilers. There are spoiler warnings ahead, so skip some parts to prevent yourself from being spoiled.
What Makes Attack On Titan So Confusing?
It is surprising to note that those who fell on the confusion of it all, turned impatient, thus deciding to discontinue watching the series.
Some fans turned their back on the series come Season 3, but from someone who made it until Part 1 of the finale, I can say that there is some sense to it all. So let us talk about the most commonly asked questions about Attack On Titan.
So hang on there! When you get confused, you can refer to this article to guide you back to illumination. You can treat this as your Attack on Titan cheat sheet.
Note: This article explains general things about AoT (all seasons). If you want to know more about a specific season, have a look at our articles here:
- Why Attack on Titan Season 2 is so confusing
- Why Attack on Titan Season 3 is so confusing
- Why Attack on Titan Season 4 is so confusing
Spoiler warning! Key plot points ahead!
Why Are Humans At The Brink Of Extinction?
Attack on Titan opens their pilot episode with the notion that humans are at the brink of extinction. It was further shown that the remaining humans are safe within a walled area that consists of three walls: Wall Maria, Wall Rose, and Wall Sina.
The threat to the existence of humans is the titans who roam outside the walls. These titans are mindless creatures that resemble humans, but they attack and eat humans.
It was never explained why the humans are in this situation, they simply accept it for what it is and just make the most out of their lives within the walls.
The reason why there is no explanation regarding the state of humans inside the walls is the fact that this situation is entirely false. The humans inside the walls or Paradis were made to believe that they are the only humans left in the world.
This was done, so no one would wander outside the walls and discover that there are other countries in existence. In fact, the walled area is just an island.
No one ever came close to discovering the truth as expeditions outside the walls fail due to the attack of the titans.
This false information is crucial to the plot because the humans residing in this walled city are Eldians. As you go through the series, you will learn how they were persecuted due to their own thirst for power when the Subjects of Ymir got the power of titans.
Where Do The Titans Come From?
Everyone will end up confused as to why there are titans roaming outside the walls and better yet, why are they eating humans? Were they the same humans inside the wall that turned into these mindless giants? If so, then why are they outside?
The titans who are attacking Paradis are actually humans turned into titans. For specificity, they are Eldians that were turned into titans by another country and were left to wander towards Paradis.
Keep in mind that the humans inside Paradis are also Eldians. The Eldians that were turned into titans are the remaining Eldians in the other country who did not relocate to Paradis many years ago. The other country that we are talking about is Marley.
The simple answer is that Marleyans are turning Eldians into titans and set them off their merry way to Paradis to terrorize other Eldians or use them as weapons of war.
How Did Eren Become A Titan?
It was shocking to everyone when it was revealed that Eren turned into a titan. In the onset, many believe that becoming a titan can be based on genes and there only needs to be a trigger to activate that titan gene.
To an extent, this is the case, but it is much more complicated than that. Unfortunately, we cannot answer this question, without revealing a central plot in the series. Therefore, here is your spoiler warning!
Eren became a titan when his father, Grisha injected him with the titan serum. When Eren was injected with the serum, he turned into a Pure titan (a mindless titan)
However, Eren is actually the Attack Titan which is one of the original Nine Titans. He became the Attack Titan when he ate his father who at the time was the Attack Titan.
Here is an even heavier spoiler, so be warned!
Unbeknownst to others, even Eren, he was not only turned into the Attack Titan, but the Founding Titan also resides within him.
The reason for this was that before Grisha injected Eren with the serum, he ate Frieda Riess who was the Founding Titan.
So by Eren eating his father, he did not only become the Attack Titan but the Founding Titan as well.
How A Titan Becomes A Titan
This here serves as your breather as we gave a lot of information that even our explanation may even cause confusion. By now you know that a common trend in Attack on Titan is people eating other people.
However horrifying it may seem, we need to get into this eating program as soon as possible in order to fully understand how titan transformation works. Take a look at the guide below.
How A Human Becomes A Titan
- Obtain the titan power from the tree with a chasm: This method can no longer be done, but this was what happened to the very first titan, Ymir Fritz.
- Inject spinal fluid from a Pure Titan: This is what the Marleyans are injecting to the Eldians to turn them into mindless creatures.
- A Pure Titan eats a Titan Shifter: This was how Eren turned into the Attack Titan and Founding Titan when he ate his father.
- A human is injected with a spinal fluid of a Titan Shifter: This is the method used by Marleyans to transfer the power of titans.
- A human ingests titan spinal fluid and hears the scream of the Founding Titan/Titan Shifter that held a Titan with royal blood/Titan with half royal blood: This is what happened with Zeke’s assault on Paradis.
Outside the general rules on how titans become titans, there are also other circumstances that affect a titan’s power and abilities. Take a look at the following.
How Titans Use Titan Transformation Power
- Only members of the royal family can fully utilize the powers of the Founding Titan. However, they are bound by King Fritz’ vow to denounce war.
- A non-royal blood titan shifter that also possesses the Founding Titan can use the power of the Founding Titan to some extent when he touches or comes into contact with a person who has royal blood. This version of the Founding Titan’s power is not bound by the vow of King Fritz.
- A half royal blood can turn humans into titans by means of giving them his spinal fluid and triggering the transformation with a scream. This power to transform humans into titans is also not bound by the vow.
- Only Subjects of Ymir can turn into titans. Subjects of Ymir are the descendants of Ymir Fritz and is the majority race of Eldia.
What Happens When The Power Of A Titan Shifter Is Not Transferred Before Their Death?
When a titan shifter dies without transferring his power, the titan power is transferred to the first baby that is born after his death. The baby should be a Subject of Ymir.
Further, the distance between the baby and the dead body does not matter. Also, the blood relation or social relationship of the deceased and the people with relations to the baby does not matter in the transfer of titan power.
What Is The Curse Of Ymir?
The Curse of Ymir refers to the lifespan of the titan shifters. Once they acquire a specific titan from the nine titans, the countdown to their deaths starts and it ends in just 13 years.
No one has ever broken this curse. They either die early before the expiration of the 13 years or they die due to poor health brought about by the toll on the body when it comes to titan shifting.
It is believed that this curse originated from the fact that Ymir herself did not pass the 13-year mark as she was killed in an assassination attempt on her beloved, King Fritz. As the original titan suffered this fate, it is also understandable that the others do the same.
The best advice that we can give you to at least curb your confusion when watching Attack on Titan is to take Season 1 with a grain of salt. Just enjoy the ride and even revel in the unanswered questions. This might only be the time you can do so.
With the general guide that we provided you, spoiler or not, you now have the information regarding Eldians, Marleyans, and titan shifters.
You pretty much get the gist of how things work in the AOT world, so you will be more prepared to watch Season 2. Happy watching!