The Fate of Eren Jaeger: Why Attack on Titan is Far From Over

The blockbuster anime series Attack on Titan recently aired its dramatic finale, but fans are split on whether this truly marks the end for the iconic titan shifter, Eren Jaeger. While the anime depicts Eren meeting his demise at the hands of his childhood friend Mikasa Ackerman, cutting off his head to stop the devastating Rumbling, there is significant evidence that suggests Eren’s story is not over yet.

The Titan Shifter Marks

The Titan Shifter Marks
The Titan Shifter Marks

In the final scenes, as Mikasa severs Eren’s head, his face clearly shows he still bears the marks of being a titan shifter. All of the other previous titan shifters reverted back to normal humans after their powers were taken, losing the distinctive marks. The fact that Eren retains these marks indicates he has not fully lost the Founding Titan’s power.

Given the meticulous attention to detail in both the Attack on Titan manga and anime, this is unlikely to be a simple oversight. Rather, it is a huge hint that while Eren’s physical body perished, his spiritual form lives on with the power of the titans still intact.

Impossible Timeline

Additionally, there is no way Mikasa could have transported Eren’s severed head across the ocean back to Paradis Island where he was buried before decomposition sets in. This means his head must have been preserved by supernatural, likely titan-related means.

Eren’s Web of Lies

Fans are also aware that Eren has been highly secretive and dishonest since inheriting the attack titan. He is shown to be a master manipulator, deceiving even his closest friends for years in order to bring his ultimate plan into motion.

It aligns perfectly with Eren’s character that his final act would be the greatest lie in human history – making the world believe he rid the world of titans forever, when in fact he lives on as the new Founding Titan.

The Next Ymir

Perhaps the most compelling evidence lies in drawing parallels between Eren Jaeger and the original Ymir Fritz. The first titan inherited her devastating powers by falling into a mysterious tree after enduring a life of unbearable hardship and slavery.

Eren led an equally tragic existence, losing family after family to the pure titans. Like Ymir, he gained the Founding Titan abilities through encountering a mystical tree, when he kissed Historia’s hand.

After 2000 years trapped serving King Fritz against her will through the Paths realm, Ymir finally found closure and willingly “faded away” when her descendent Mikasa killed Eren. Just as Ymir passed her duties and eternal curse to Eren, it stands to reason that Eren would follow the same fate: patiently waiting in Paths for another “chosen one” – a new Attack Titan inheritor that can set him free.

The Myth of True Freedom

Did Eren Achieve True Freedom

Eren admits feeling absolute freedom while enacting the Rumbling across Earth. Yet as a child in Paths, this moment of freedom felt more like an illusion or delusion. Eren’s lifelong, obsessive quest for freedom resulted in failure – 80% of humanity wiped out while the people of Paradis still perish to war.

Trapped for an eternity with the souls of billions weighing down on him, Eren continues seeking the “true freedom” that eludes him. Just as Ymir yearned 2000 years for release, Eren now carries that agony until someone worthy takes his place.

hints at this cyclical passage of power and memories across generations in her iconic farewell: “see you later, Eren”. This is not Mikasa’s final goodbye to Eren in the afterlife as the anime presents – it refers to them meeting again once the Attack Titan manifests in a new host.

To know the 45 Secrets You Missed in Attack on Titan’s Epic Final Season visit

The Rebirth

Visually, the anime also reinforces this theme of fiery rebirth during the outro sequence depicting a flaming Phoenix transforming into a massive tree. This reflects Eren’s death giving rise to new life as the Founding Titan, the “seed” planted to fuel the next cycle of attack titans awakening to fight for freedom.

Meanwhile in the manga’s final panel, we see a baby with the same hair and eyes as Eren being cradled by a figure who strongly resembles Historia. This implies that Eren’s consciousness and memories have returned to the mortal world through reincarnation – awaiting the day his inheritor awakens to finish what he started.

Why Attack on Titan Must Continue

From a marketing perspective, Attack on Titan is simply far too profitable of an IP to end here while reaching the apex of its international popularity. Reports of a live action Hollywood movie, potential sequel series, and spinoffs make it clear there are still more stories left to tell in this universe.

But the biggest reason Attack on Titan cannot end is simply that Eren Jaeger’s quest for freedom remains incomplete. Too many loose threads demand tying up through the lens of Eren and the titan legacy he now stewards. And that burden shall persist until the day comes when Eren passes down the Founding Titan to a worthy successor – the one who will finally set him free.

FAQ

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about the theory that Eren Jaeger is still alive:

How does Eren still have his titan marks if the titans were eliminated?

The fact that Eren uniquely retains the shifter marks while the other titans reverted back to human form indicates he still harbors the Founding Titan ability even after his beheading.

Couldn’t Mikasa have realistically transported Eren’s head back to Paradis for burial?

No, there is no way Mikasa could have kept Eren’s severed head preserved for the length of time and distance back to Paradis before decomposition, meaning something supernatural preserved it – likely lingering titan powers.

Isn’t it possible Eren finding “freedom in death” is the fitting end to his arc about fighting for freedom?

Eren clearly states the Rumbling would bring him freedom by taking freedom away from the outside world. Since Paradis still perishes afterwards, Eren’s death did not result in meaningful freedom for his people – so his arc cannot be truly complete.

Couldn’t the extra pages showing Paradis destroyed years later be the conclusive, bittersweet ending Isayama intended?

While the destruction of Paradis brings finality, it also shows that Eren utterly fails in his lifelong mission to secure freedom for his home. This cannot serve as satisfying closure for such an iconic shonen protagonist.

If Eren wanted to eliminate titans, why would he continue the cycle by passing his powers to a new Attack Titan?

Eren’s true motivation has always been attaining freedom at any cost, not wiping out titans. Becoming the Founding Titan allows him to patiently seek out the one who can help achieve his dream of freedom through use of the titans’ power in a better way than his failed Rumbling attempt.

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