The final battle of Attack on Titan has begun, at last, in the most recent installment, Chapter 135, “Battle of Heaven and Earth”, and, boy, is it a hectic one.
If you thought the Alliance had a low chance of stopping Eren and Ymir before, well, now their odds went down from 100 to one to 1000 to one.
I was genuine surprised that no one ended up dying in this chapter because of how much danger all of those in the Alliance were in.
However, given the positions some of the characters are left in by the end of the chapter, I doubt that many of these characters will be living long in this final battle.
Before I talk about the beginning of this battle though, I have to talk about the intriguing opening page of the chapter, which confirms that Ymir really was the one who freed the pigs, which led to her becoming the first Titan.
In Chapter 122, it was left ambiguous as to whether Ymir really did set the pigs free or if she was framed for it, however, with the confirmation that it was her, this now creates some interesting implications for both Ymir and the Attack Titan.
In the panel after Ymir opens the pigpen we clearly see her eyes, which also have not been seen since Chapter 122.
Characters eyes being unshaded in Ymir’s backstory shows they are not free and the only time Ymir’s eyes have been seen is when she made her first free decision in 2,000 years, by choosing to follow Eren over Zeke.
Now, we see her eyes for the second time here, implying that freeing the pigs was the first free thing she ever did but also the very thing that cost her that freedom.
This could imply that Ymir is longing for freedom and that longing manifested itself in the Attack Titan, which Eren now has.
Ymir’s desire to be free now seems to hinge on the world being destroyed because, as the chapter cuts to the present, she does everything in her power to prevent the Alliance from stopping Eren.
The shot of her standing on the bones of Eren’s gigantic Titan form, looking over the Alliance, sent chills down my spine but it is what she does next that is most shocking.
After realizing that the Beast Titan from the previous chapter is nothing but a husk, and that Eren and Zeke are most likely elsewhere, Armin decides he has to use the Colossal Titan’s nuke attack to try and ascertain their locations.
Before this long-awaited transformation can happen though, a strange looking Titan emerges from the smoke, grabs Armin with its tongue and stuffs it in his mouth, as if Attack on Titan just turned into some freaky kind of hentai.
In all seriousness, the Titan doing this to poor Armin is most likely to stop him from biting his tongue and transforming.
Doesn’t make it any less gross though.
You really have to feel sorry for Armin.
I mean, first he gets molested in the Uprising Arc by that creepy guy, who thought he was Historia, and now this.
However, this one hentai-like Titan is not alone because it has a bunch of creepy and awesome looking friends as well.
There’s a crocodile Titan, a deer Titan, a minotaur Titan, a Titan that looks like the Thing from The Fantastic Four.
Pieck surmises that all of these Titans are past Shifters who Ymir is now using to prevent them from stopping the Rumbling.
While this is certainly a cool turn of events, with plenty of great new Titan designs delivered by Isayama, and it does give the Alliance an enemy force to fight, personally, this twist kind of felt out of nowhere.
I still like it; I just think it could have used a little bit more build up before it happened.
On the plus side, it gave us many fantastic moments like the return of dead Shifters.
Pretty much the only previous Titan Shifter we didn’t see was Freckled Ymir but, hopefully, we’ll see her being used later.
While Freckled Ymir’s Titan is missing, we do see the Titan forms of Porco and Marcel, but by far the most interesting usage of these old Shifters come with the Tyber lady’s Warhammer Titan and Bertholdt’s Colossal Titan.
The Warhammer Titan makes its reappearance when Pieck separates from the Alliance, going to destroy Eren’s nape, since she is not Eren’s friend and she believes this makes her the only one among them who has the strength to take him out.
However, her strength is not equal to Ymir who materializes the Warhammer Titan to stab her with a trident.
Pieck is alive, at least for now, but she dropped the detonator, and that is certainly going to play a role in the upcoming chapters.
Whatever happens with those, I am now extremely concerned about Pieck’s safety.
Armin’s safety, however, is something I am not too concerned about because I am sure he can find a way to make it out of the situation he is in.
It is with him that we get to see Bertholdt’s return, as he materializes in front of a barely conscious Armin, his eyes shaded just like Ymir’s as he cries.
Just as this is happening, Bertholdt’s Colossal Titan also appears above Reiner and quickly destroys his Titan.
Thanks to Jean’s quick thinking, Reiner is saved but his Armoured Titan is thrown at the Alliance, dealing them a heavy blow.
What follows is a scene of Mikasa metaphorically carrying the whole Alliance on her back, as she has to save them from Titans constantly, proving how she is the new strongest human character since Levi’s injury.
Speaking of Levi, he is in even more danger of dying because, not only does he seem to break his leg again when saving Connie, but he also coughs up blood, suggesting he is bleeding internally.
Connie is also injured with a nasty cut to his head, and both Jean and Reiner have broken their ODM Gear.
At least we got more character development for Jean, as he holds Reiner by the hand, preventing him from falling to certain death, showing his growth from Chapter 127 where he beat Reiner to a bloody pulp.
As the Alliance prepares for certain death, being completely surrounded by Ymir’s resurrected Titans, Mikasa calls out to the Titans to attack her because she is the strongest and can take them on, calling back to her speech in the Trost Arc after Eren’s supposed death.
However, before she can make her last stand, why, what is that?
Is it a bird?
No, it’s Falco’s flying Titan, with Annie and Gabi on board to save the day!
While a predictable turn of events, it was still an incredibly hype one that makes me intrigued to see how Falco’s Titan will turn be used.
Maybe Ymir could make other flying Titans to pursue them?
In any case, with Annie back in the final battle, and looking committed to fight based on the cliffhanger being her saying that she’s glad she came, it seems that her main goal in the next chapter will be to rescue Armin from the clutches of Ymir.
Armin does know about Ymir now so the Alliance will have to deal with her somehow if they hope to win, since she is all powerful.
There’s also Annie’s father, who is atop Fort Salta, so the buildup to Annie reuniting with him is bound to pay off soon, most likely tragically.
On the subject of Annie’s father though, he and the other Eldians have rescued Onyankopon, who is, thankfully, alive but with a head wound.
If the Alliance can stop the Rumbling he may survive the story, which is good, since I think he’s an underrated character.
Other characters now likely to survive are Kiyomi and Yelena because they weren’t atop Falco’s flying Titan so they probably stayed on Kiyomi’s ship and out of harm’s way.
Almost everyone else is the Alliance, however, has a guillotine placed over their head and only time will tell which one of them Isayama decides to cry at, “off with with your head!”
All in all, Chapter 135 of Attack on Titan, “Battle of Heaven and Earth” is a great start to the final battle of the manga.
We have probably have four chapters left, at the most, so buckle up and prepare for whatever ending Isayama has in store for us.
With Chapter 134, the final battle of the Attack on Titan manga has begun and it looks like we only have one more volume left before the end of this epic story.
This means we most likely have four or, if Hajime Isayama wants to do a longer volume since it’s the last one, five chapters left.
Now that the story is so close to the conclusion, it means we are getting into predictions that will tie into the ending, so I am excited to lay out how I think Isayama will want to finish the tale he has been weaving for over ten years.
I will start with a prediction that I promised to expand on in my review of “In the Depths of Despair.”
What’s up With Historia Giving Birth Now?
At the beginning of Chapter 134, Historia is shown to be giving birth.
However, this is rather strange since, in Chapter 113, Levi said it was a few months before the baby was due.
Canonically, it has been five days since Levi said this and yet the baby is being born now?
Personally, I don’t think this is a mistake since Isayama rarely makes them.
But, if Levi saying Historia was a few months from giving birth, only for her to be giving birth now, is a purposeful clue left by Isayama then what is this pointing to?
Well, I think there’s two possibilities, the first of which is that it is a premature birth.
This could align with the setup of what the Military Police said of the dangers of Historia giving birth in Chapter 108.
However, what I think kills this possibility is the fate of the child.
In Attack on Titan, the world is around 100 years behind us technologically so, if the baby were to be born two months prematurely, then this would not only kill Historia but the child as well because medical care is not far enough along to save its life.
The reason I think that this eliminates the possibility of the birth being premature is that children are a very important theme in Attack on Titan, especially in this final arc.
From Mr Blouse’s speech about getting children out of the forest, to Onyankopon proclaiming that children are the future, to all the panels and references to children in the most recent chapter, it is abundantly clear that children, especially newborns, will be important to the manga’s ending.
Heck, the teased final panel is of a man holding a baby and telling it that it is free, and this baby is most likely Historia’s so it definitely isn’t dying.
So, if the birth isn’t premature, then why did Levi say it was a few months away from being born earlier?
Well, because that’s what he and everyone else was told.
Historia lied about the timing of the conception.
To hide the true identity of the father, Eren Jaeger.
Yes, I know, the debate over whether Eren or the farmer is the father of Historia’s child has been beaten to death at this point.
That said, the baby is clearly so important to the ending with the numerous references to children that I just mentioned, and the implications of Historia possibly lying about when the child was conceived are there, so I just can’t help but speculate about it.
Basically, this theory is that Eren got Historia pregnant some time after their meeting in Chapter 130.
Historia then met with the farmer and convinced him to act like the father of her child.
Some months later, after Eren had left for Marley, she announced her pregnancy, with the farmer acting as the father, to eliminate Eren as a possibility for the father in the MP’s minds because they would not have accepted this once Eren went rogue and likely used the child against him.
Along with the implications of this possible lie, there is also the implications of the child being born right as the final battle is starting.
I can’t help but remember what Eren said in Chapter 88, “if someone who holds the power of one of the nine Titans dies without anyone inheriting that power then the power of that Titan is suddenly inherited by a baby belonging to the Subjects of Ymir.”
With the final battle now ongoing, it is likely we could get some Titan Shifter deaths.
This could mean that if a Shifter, say Pieck, dies right at the point Historia gives birth, then her child will gain the power.
Not only this, but the quote could also be suggesting the popular theory that Historia’s child will be the reincarnation of Ymir Fritz.
I do think that Eren is going to eliminate Titan powers all together after the final battle and this may mean destroying the Paths Dimension, which could end up freeing Ymir Fritz, causing her to reincarnate.
This reincarnation would then occur in the Subject of Ymir that was just being born, Historia’s child, which Historia would then fittingly name Ymir, after Freckled Ymir who saved her from killing herself and put her on the path of living for herself.
Whether any of this happens or not though, it is clear to me that Historia’s child will be incredibly important to the ending of Attack on Titan, whether this is purely for symbolic reasons or, hopefully, the story based reasons that I have outlined in this prediction.
Where Really is Zeke and What is his Role?
Zeke disappeared all the way back in Chapter 122 and he has been absent from the current story ever since.
We might have seen him in the most recent chapter, as Eren used Zeke’s Beast Titan to destroy the airships sent to bomb him and the Rumbling.
Zeke is now the target of the Alliance because they believe killing him could cut Eren’s connection to the Founding Titan and stop the Rumbling once and for all.
However, there is one pretty big hiccup in the Alliance’s plan, which is that we actually don’t know if Zeke is inside this Beast Titan.
Eren could have moved him anywhere inside his gigantic Titan form, using the power of the Warhammer Titan.
The next chapter could open with Levi cutting Zeke’s nape, only for the Alliance to realize he isn’t inside, throwing the Alliance’s entire plan into chaos.
Most likely, finding Zeke’s whereabouts will be a big focus after this, with him being anywhere in or around Eren’s Titan.
However, it is Zeke’s role in the final battle that I am more interested in.
We’ve known since Chapter 121 that his goal is now to stop Eren as Grisha begged him to, so his motivations now align with the Alliance’s.
I can actually see Levi temporarily putting aside his desire to kill Zeke to work with him so they can stop Eren and save the world.
How hype of a cliffhanger would it be for it to seem like all is lost when Levi and Zeke charge in, working together, despite their differences?
At least, this is what I hope to see in Zeke’s future.
For all we know, he died and Eren absorbed his power in Chapter 122.
Isayama killed Freckled Ymir off screen so he’s not above this.
Hopefully, this doesn’t happen because Zeke’s one of my favourite characters and I don’t want to see him go out as badly written as Freckled Ymir did.
Possible Peace Ending?
One of the highlights in “The Depths of Despair” is the unnamed Marleyan general admitting to his and his country’s wrongs in persecuting and hating the Eldians, and vowing to never make that mistake again, should they survive.
This moment could be seen as possible foreshadowing of a peaceful ending with the survivors of Eren’s genocide deciding to end generations of hatred and make peace with Paradis to stop another worldwide massacre, like the Rumbling, from happening ever again.
Kiyomi and Hizuru could help in this endeavor, as well.
Now, given that it has been stated time and time again that stopping the Rumbling will cause the world to destroy Paradis, many could see this potential ending as a copout.
However, there are some factors that could make it more believable, like the Helos theory, which will see one of the Eldians who defeat Eren, or maybe take credit for it, like Reiner for example, become a hero in the eyes of the world, preventing the destruction of Paradis.
Another important thing to take note of is that the general who says he wants to devote himself to peace is just one person and obviously not reflective of the entire world.
Therefore, I believe that, even if we get the peace ending, there will still be a significant amount of tension among the Eldians and the rest of the world, which could end the story on a bittersweet note.
However, there is another way this story could end other than peaceful, and that is with the full destruction of the world with Eren’s Rumbling succeeding.
Is Eren Actually On Paradis?
One theory that I have seen thrown around is that because Eren has activated the Founding Titan, his War Hammer Titan abilities have increased tenfold.
If this is the case then he could be apart from his massive Titan form from even larger distances, say, all the way back at Paradis, for example.
I can see it now; the Alliance think they have Eren defeated and they rush in for the final blow… only to discover that Eren is not there and all the way back on Paradis controlling his Titan.
The Alliance is too far away to stop him now and Eren destroys the entire world, leaving only those on Paradis alive.
However, there are some holes in this theory, like the build up Mikasa had with her bloodline in Hizuru.
What would be the point of that if the world is destroyed?
Still, this does not completely rule out this dark ending happening.
Personally though, I’m hoping for an ending that is more bittersweet, rather than completely dark or completely happy.
Final Death Predictions:
The final battle of Attack on Titan is obviously going to come with a lot of emotional, gut wrenching character deaths.
So, I’m now going to go through every important character left in the story and give a percentage to their chances of dying and my reasons for thinking so.
- Eren Jaeger = 50% – I think it could go either way for Eren at this point. He could be killed by someone in the Alliance, he could complete the Rumbling and have to live with the guilt, or he could get stuck in the Paths Dimension or deliberately stay there. I can see all of these possibilities fitting into his character arc and, given how amazing Isayama has made him since the Marley Arc, I have complete faith in the ending he will deliver for his main character.
- Mikasa Ackerman = 50% – Like Eren, Mikasa could go either way. Sure, there is a lot of build up with her connection to Hizuru, which has not payed off yet, but there are some distressing signs that point to Mikasa’s death. One such example can be seen in Chapter 126, where Louise says Eren told her to get rid of Mikasa’s scarf if she had the chance. This means Eren was most likely trying to prevent a future he saw for her. Whether this future was her dying, her killing him, or something else, I don’t know. If she does die though, I can see Armin never forgiving Eren.
- Armin Arlert = 30% – I find it unlikely that Armin will die in the final battle. For one thing, we know he’s the narrator of the story so him living through it all is pretty certain. Also, I cannot really imagine a scenario where Armin dies here. He just became the new Commander of the Survey Corps and, whatever ending happens, Armin’s gonna need to be there to help rebuild the world, whether that world is only Paradis after Eren destroyed the world, a united world following Eren’s defeat, or something else entirely.
- Levi Ackerman = 50% – Levi is yet another character I can see it going either way for. Despite being a fan favourite, his injuries do make him more likely to bite the bullet in this final battle.
However, he will not die before his rivalry with Zeke ends, either with him killing him or putting that aside to work with him in stopping Eren. One thing that points to Levi living is that him being humanities strongest soldier but everyone still dying around him is kind of his thing. This could suggest Levi being one of the last people standing and living on to honour his comrades’ memories, or finally being able to join them in death.
- Jean Kirstein = 50% – Another character whose chances are 50/50 when it comes to living or dying, Jean is a character with death flags but I can also see Isayama allowing him to live. Him dying could tie into his arc of putting aside his own selfish desires for the good of humanity, which is supported by him seeing his dead comrades, just like Hange and Erwin did before they died. Yet, you never know with Isayama. He could find a way to have Jean survive and make it fit into his arc. We’ll just have to wait and see.
- Connie Springer = 60% – I debated on what chance of dying to give Connie and, in the end, I settled on 60% because he’s just not a character who’s too important to the plot. Him living or dying wouldn’t really affect it that much, other than his death motivating the other characters.
Then there’s his mother, who is still a Titan. If he lives, then he might just be able to live with her if she gets turned back into a human. If he dies, then Armin can tragically tell his mother that he died protecting people like he wanted. One thing I am expecting is a confrontation with Zeke because he was the one with Titanized his whole family and Connie did say he wanted to fight him in the Uprising Arc.
- Reiner Braun = 30% – Oh, poor Reiner. The one character who wants to die and is never able to. I honestly expected Reiner to die giving his Titan power to Falco but, after that role fell to Porco, I just couldn’t see him dying anymore and I still can’t. I honestly think Reiner has a great shot at making it out of this story alive and living with all of the bad things he has done as the new Helos, hero of the world, although an unwilling one at that. Whether that last part actually happens or not though, it will be interesting to see what role Isayama has for Reiner in the ending.
- Zeke Jaeger = 80% – Zeke is the character that I believe has the biggest chance of dying in the final battle. Taking him out is currently the Alliance’s number one priority, and both Levi and Connie have personal grudges against him. However, like I said, I can see Zeke siding with Levi to try and stop Eren. But, even if this happens, I find it difficult to imagine an ending where Zeke makes it out alive. Whatever way he does end up going out, if he dies at all, his rivalry with Levi will almost certainly be resolved.
- Annie Leonhart = 60% – When Annie left the Alliance, I was disappointed because I wanted her to be there for the final battle. Well, now that she is set to arrive on Falco’s flying Titan, I am scared for her safety. That final glance she shares with Armin in Chapter 132 just screams tragic ending for me and, since I don’t see Armin dying, this raises Annie’s chances of dying significantly. Maybe she will die with her father, or he’ll see her alive before he goes out. If Annie does die fighting Eren though then, just like with Mikasa, Armin will probably never forgive him.
- Pieck Finger = 60% – Pieck is a strange character to speculate about when it comes to whether she will live or die because she is a pretty stagnant character. There is nothing wrong with having a character like this, and I really do like Pieck, but it makes predicting how she could die pretty hard. The only member of the Alliance who she has any emotional connection to is Gabi so I don’t see her dying until she shows up. Then there is Yelena, which Pieck has kind of a rivalry with, so her story could end with hers if Yelena ends up coming to the final battle. Pieck’s a hard character to guess but I’m going 60% since she isn’t really all that pivotal to the plot.
- Gabi Braun = 30% – Like Armin and Reiner, I honestly don’t see Gabi dying. With Isayama’s focus on children being the future and her having moved past her hatred, I think she will survive the final battle and help educate her fellow Eldians in Marley about the wrongs of the Warrior program. I will be pretty surprised if she ends up biting the bullet in the end.
- Falco Grice = 30% – Falco is another character who I think will survive the story, again because of Isayama’s focus on children thematically. With the plane having crashed and the Rumbling fast approaching the surviving Eldians from Liberio, I see Falco rescuing them all using his flying Jaw Titan. As for when he will show up, probably in the next couple of chapters at the most. Either way, I don’t see him dying.
- Historia Reiss = 50% – Historia has basically become the new Annie. She was an incredibly important character who has been sidelined for a very long time. I hope Isayama can give her something interesting to do, like he is now with Annie, before the end. Whether she will die or not is hard to say. If she does die, it will certainly be from child birth, as was foreshadowed by Nile laying out the dangers of pregnancy in Chapter 108. Personally though, I really don’t want Historia to die after how little screen time she has had. It would be like Freckled Ymir all over again and Historia deserves better than that. Historia will either die giving birth or live on with her child.
- Onyankopon = 60% – Onyankopon has served his purpose in the story, as the one who flew the Alliance to stop Eren. At the end of Chapter 134, he is trying to crash land the plane and his fate is up in the air. If he lands in the direction the Rumbling is moving, he will almost certainly be crushed. I hope this doesn’t happen though because Onyankopon is a cool side character who I think deserves to make it. However, his chances are less likely because he has served his purpose and is now in danger.
- Yelena = 50% – I thought about giving Yelena a high chance of dying but I don’t even know if she is going to be in the final battle or not. She looked pretty sick in Chapter 132 and I don’t if she would want to come. On the other hand, she did say that she wanted to see how this would all end in Chapter 128 and Falco, Annie and Gabi could use her to guide them to Fort Salta. If Yelena does end up going to the final battle I am pretty sure that she will die after getting her storylines with Zeke and Pieck resolved. However, if she stays behind then it is safe to say that she will live through the story.
- Kiyomi Azumabito = 40% – Kiyomi is a character who I am confused by because, aside from delivering the plane that the Alliance has used to reach Eren, she hasn’t really gone anywhere as a character, despite her connection to Mikasa. This makes me think her role isn’t over yet because she may have some role for Mikasa planned after the Rumbling ends, which would mean the likelihood of her dying is pretty low. Not as low as Armin, Reiner, Gabi and Falco but still pretty low since her storyline with Mikasa has yet to pay off.
So, those are my death predictions and we will surely be seeing a lot of death as Attack on Titan comes to its conclusion, most likely with the next volume.
I am incredibly excited, both for that and for the final season of the anime, which will air in a week.
Fingers crossed that Studio Mappa can adapt this final season excellently, which it deserves.