Welcome, one and all, to my latest weekly episode review for Attack on Titan Season Three. Today, I’m looking at the episode Attack Titan. Way back, old school wrestling had a simple philosophy: get as much as you can out of as little as you can. In a way, this episode reminded me of that, because in terms of what it did, there was very little going on. At the same time though, it achieved a lot with it. Let’s have a look.
Birth Of A Titan
The brunt of this episode continued the flashback to Grisha and Kruger, and as such, we picked up where we left off: with Kruger finishing of the Marley troops. It turns out that his full name is Eren Kruger, so now we know where Eren got his name from. Grisha feels pretty useless at this point because he rightly feels like his actions led to disaster for those he was close to. Kruger kinda puts him in his place in terms of showing that he isn’t the only to suffer here too.
Kruger may have cut Grisha’s fingers off during torture, but he isn’t the only one. The Owl has tortured thousands of citizens and turned them into Titans, including women and children. If he hadn’t, he would have been found out. For him, I think it was all leading up to this moment with Grisha. Both of them had a similar hatred, with Kruger’s being due to watching his parents being burned alive. It’s that similarity that makes his suitable for what Kruger wants him to do: take his Titan Power. That led into a nice little revelation…
Death Of A Titan
Kruger wants Grisha to infiltrate the walls and take back the power of the Founding Titan from the King. Grisha obviously wants to know why Kruger can’t do it himself, and Kruger explains that those who have one of the nine Titan powers have their lives shortened. They cannot survive for more than thirteen years, and his time is now up. Jumping forward in time, our three protagonists also discussed this a little, as it means that, even if Mikasa doesn’t want to believe it, Armin now only has thirteen years to live and Eren has less than eight.
This was a very good addition to the lore for me. Giving them a limited lifespan has a lot of consequences because it means that the heroes have less time than they’d like to make use of their abilities. At the same time, it also means that if the villains already know this fact, they will be better prepared to keep the powers within their fold for longer. For such a small point, it does change the shape of the overall battle quite a bit.
Connecting The People
This is added to by the point that, should a Titan Shifter die without passing their power on, the power will pass on to a child yet to be born to a subject of Ymir. In this way, the powers essentially go on forever, meaning that they are always in play. This connection also means that those with the powers are prone to seeing paths that crisscross and converge at the location of the Founding Titan. These paths bring the blood and bone that make Titans, but also bring memories from others.
This link surfaces in three different ways this episode. The first one is obvious: Eren stated in the previous episode that he was linked to his father’s memories. We now know that that was literal, with Eren getting full flashes of what his Dad did. The second big one comes at the end when Kruger is convincing Grisha to take on his mission. Here, Kruger tells Grisha that he has to succeed or he won’t be able to save Mikasa, Armin, and the others. The implication here is that the link between the Nine Titans allows time to be something other than a one-way flow. It would also explain why Grisha was happy to adopt Mikasa when he finally found her. That alone was an interesting touch. The third time this comes into play involves someone who isn’t themselves a Titan Shifter…
Royal Blood And Eren’s True Ability
Historia gets to read the letter from Ymir, and it’s really quite a sad moment. Ymir tells her that she doesn’t have long left now and that she’d love to say that she can die with no regrets, but in truth, she does have one: she never got to marry Historia. That had me welling up. When Historia ran her fingers over the words on the paper though, she got a couple of flashes of memory.
This is then brought up again later one. We learn that Eren’s Titan form is called the Attack Titan. We also learn that Grisha succeeded in capturing the Founding Titan and passing the ability on to Eren. The implication here is that when he injected Eren, Eren ate him, and assumed both the Attack Titan that Grisha took from Kruger and the Founding Titan that he gained during his mission. The problem is, royal blood seems to be a requirement for it to work.
The story is that only those with royal blood can truly access the power of the Founding Titan, but those with royal blood can’t do much with it. The reason is that the King made a pact that avoids war with the outside world, and so the royals that have the power tend to be forced into the same ideal. Hange theorizes that it may not need a royal family member to control it though as Eren has controlled Titans before and he’s not of royal blood.
That’s where Eren realizes something. The last time he controlled other Titans, it was after touching the Titan that ate his Mom and Hannes. He knows that the Titan was originally someone that his father was previously married to, which means that it was Dina, the last royal descendant left in Marley. Touching her helped him activate the Founding Titan powers. He can’t say anything about it though as, if he does, he worries that the military will do something to Historia.
The interesting thing here is that it has the potential to put Eren in a bit of a bind. If he can’t access the powers, then the logical choice is for them to find a way for Historia to devour him. They don’t have the serum anymore, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t go looking for some. Eren is going to need to find a solution for this, or things don’t bode well for him.
I think that there was an attempt at comedy this week. Twice, Eren reacted strongly to his memories. Once, while talking to himself in his cell, and once in the gathering to discuss the books, when he yelled out. This resulted in Hange and the others saying he’s going through a phase because he’s fifteen. So I guess we’re getting puberty jokes now. I really hope that doesn’t become a regular thing. I have no issue with the idea of adding some funny moments in when appropriate, but they can do better than that.
Like I said, this episode really did very little. It was essentially two sets of conversations, one I the past and one in the present. The amount that it built on what we already knew was really quite impressive though. We now know more and have a few more bumps for the protagonists to traverse. So, great work there.
In terms of the Nine Titans, we now also know the following Shifters: Eren (Attack and Founding), Armin (Colossal), Zeke (Beast), Reiner (Armoured), Annie (Female), Ymir (Jaw). We’ve also seen the Quadrupedal Titan but don’t know who it is yet. That also leaves one more Titan yet to be revealed. It’s going to be fun seeing what comes next with this! I have a theory though. The memory that Kruger had was Eren’s. It made it clear that Grisha had to take the Attack Titan, as it would lead to him getting the power and so make him able to enact a larger plan. I think that Eren is going to end up devouring with either all or most of the Titan powers. I’m not sure how he’d get it from Armin without killing him – I can’t see him doing that – but I think that he’s destined to be in control of them all. In the end, he will do something to remove the Titan powers from the world.
So, those were my thoughts. But what about yourselves? Did you enjoy this episode? Do you agree or disagree with any of my observations? Let me know in the comments below.