Much like Chapters 112 and 113, Chapter 114 of Attack on Titan is one that I have slowly come to appreciate more in the years since it came out.
So, I was pretty excited to see it adapted in Episode 15 of the Final Season, “Sole Salvation”, which aired right alongside the delayed episode, “Savagery.”
I mention that episode here because while I think that “Savagery” could have been adapted a little better, I think that “Sole Salvation” is a perfect adaptation of its corresponding chapter that mostly improves on the source material, with its fantastic animation, voice acting, and soundtrack.
Directed by Mitsue Yamazaki, the episode is entirely devoted to Zeke’s backstory and explains his relationship with the mysterious man teased at the end of Episode 14, why he decided to turn on his parents, how he came to his ideology and what this ideology is.
That last point is foreshadowed right at the beginning of “Sole Salvation”, where it is shown how Grisha and Dina tried to indoctrinate Zeke in their cause to restart the Eldian Empire by taking Zeke to a tower and showing him the poor conditions Eldians are forced to live in compared with the rest of the world.
It is at this moment that a seemingly kind, old janitor walks in and apologises for interrupting, saying he can come back later.
Any niceties disappear, though, when he sees the armband on Grisha’s arm and throws his bucket full of dirty water at them in disgust, blaming them for the murder of millions of innocents, even though this happened centuries ago and none of them could possibly be responsible.
The old man even goes as far to scold them for “pumping out kids”, in reference to Zeke, an important line that will affect Zeke’s ideology going forward.
Grisha again uses this situation to try and instill a drive in Zeke to change the world, telling him that he will save everyone, however, this is clearly not helping Zeke, considering the poor kid is doing the worst at training because his heart is not set on being a Warrior.
Can you really blame Zeke, though?
The kid just wants to live with his parents and be seen as their son, not as their tool for reviving Eldia.
It is here that we get our first look at Zeke’s father figure, Tom Ksaver, the former Beast Titan who seems to take an immediate interest in Zeke.
Along with him, Zeke also has his grandparents who do actually care about him and what he wants, yet still try to indoctrinate him with Marleyan propaganda about how the Eldian Empire was pure evil and committed countless sins.
One interesting thing to note about this scene is how the illustrations in Mr and Mr Jaeger’s book on the different atrocities the Eldian Empire supposedly committed against Marley actually link back to the ED of the Second Season.
That ED was just full of spoilers and foreshadowing for future events, wasn’t it?
Back to the episode, we then get the opposite side of the indoctrination Zeke suffers, as Grisha attempts to teach him the exact opposite of what his grandparents said, that Eldia never committed the atrocities Marley claims because Ymir would never allow it.
As for the truth?
Well, it’s probably somewhere down the middle.
The Eldian Empire certainly did a lot of evil things but they also did some good.
It just depends on where you’re perspective falls, I suppose.
Once we see both of these scenes showing how Zeke’s parents and grandparents are trying to indoctrinate him, we then get his introduction to the one person who never tried to, Ksaver.
The two offically meet when Ksaver’s baseball rolls into Zeke’s path, seemingly by chance, although it is pretty clear by the end that Ksaver did this on purpose because Zeke reminded him of his dead son.
The two form an instant friendship, as Ksaver praises Zeke ernestly and not based on what he expects him to be, like Grisha and Dina do.
Speaking of which, we then get yet another showcase of how the two were not the best parents, as Zeke returns to find them arguing with Falco’s uncle, Grice, about Zeke’s low scores, which most likely means he won’t inherit a Titan.
Again, Grisha makes it clear what is expected of Zeke as his and Dina’s son and a child of royal blood but, again, Zeke just cannot live up to these expectations.
He still can’t keep up with the other kids and is horrified when Grisha storms off in disappointment.
Clearly not father of the year material.
At least Dina is kind enough to understand that Zeke is trying, attempting to tell a screaming Grisha this, while Zeke cries in the other room.
I also really have to give props to Grisha’s voice actor, Hiroshi Tsuchida, who did an absolutley amazing job this episode, especially with his screaming.
Again, in Zeke’s darkest moment, Ksaver is there to help him, lifting his spirts by telling him how it’s a good thing he won’t inherit a Titan and that they are both decent people.
However, Zeke’s newly lifted spirt is dashed upon the rocks when he hears Marleyan officers talking about how they are close to locating the Eldia Restorationists and their leaders.
Distraught, Zeke attempts to warn his parents, without explicitly telling them that they are close to being found out.
It is right before this moment that Grisha gives him such a look of disappointment that I’m sure it made all of us want to kick him.
If we didn’t know his own traumatic past then Grisha would be completley unlikeable here.
This past is hinted at in this scene because Grisha only explodes into anger when Zeke brings up his aunt Faye, who was feed to dogs, not wanting to end up like her.
Grisha’s angry reaction results in Zeke breaking down to Ksaver and telling him everything about his parents.
He comforts his father figure, though, telling Ksaver that because of all the fun times they had togethor, he will remember him, even if he is turned into a Titan.
Clearly seeing Zeke as a son now, Ksaver begs Zeke to turn his parents in to save himself and his grandparents, stating that his parents used him as a tool and never loved him, something that is, for the most part, unfortunately true.
And so Zeke turns his parents in at the behest of Ksaver and many years pass, during which Zeke and Ksaver grow closer to being like an actual father and son.
Soon, Ksaver’s term is close to its end, meaning he will have to pass his Titan on.
However, he is thankful that he managed to finish his research, discovering that every single Subject of Ymir is connected to the Founding Titan, meaning that it could change their bodies at any moment, and it is here that Zeke’s ideology finally comes to its full fruition.
Remembering what the old janitor yelled at him and his parents all those years ago, Zeke wonders aloud if the Founding Titan could sterilize all Eldians so that no more Subjects of Ymir will be born, and the power of the Titans will eventually vanish entirely from the world.
In Zeke’s mind, this would also mean no Eldian would have to suffer.
This explains much of Zeke’s apathy when he murdered countless Scouts before.
He believes that he is saving them from the cruel world.
When this genocide by sterlization plan was revealed in the manga, a few people decided this was proof that Attack on Titan was facist propaganda but I think it’s obvious that this is not that at all but a cautionary tale.
Subjected to brainwashing attempts and racism all his life, Zeke came to the conclusion that it would be better if his entire race didn’t exist so seeks to commit genocide by sterilization with his Euthanization Plan, which he sees as saving the world.
It’s screwed up and shows what dangers can be created from such despicable things, like prejudice and indoctrination.
These two things have clearly affected Ksaver as well because his own experiences causes him to align with Zeke’s plan.
When he was young, Ksaver took off his armband and married a woman, who he had a child with.
However, when she found out that he was an Eldian, she killed their son and then herself in disgust.
This goes to show just how strong the hatred for Subjects of Ymir is in the outside world, because it both destroys the Eldians and those who hate them.
In this scene, there also appear to be a few hints through the toys of Ksaver’s son to future plot points but I won’t say what in case any anime only viewers happen to read this review.
Following the formation of Zeke and Ksaver’s Euthanization plan, Ksaver reveals to Zeke how he will need to find someone he can trust to give the Founding Titan to.
Not long after that, Zeke finally inherits Ksaver’s Titan and truly acknowledges him as his father.
Low and behold, who should Zeke learn about many years later who he thinks would be perfect for joining him in his plan to sterilize all Eldians?
Why, his half-brother Eren of course.
The two finally meet in Marley and Eren seems to quickly accept Zeke’s plan, claiming that there is no greater gift than to not be born into this world, warping his own catch phrase into something much more sinister.
Zeke tears up from Eren calling him brother, showing just how much he was longing for this familial love.
Even though Zeke has done monstrous things, you just can’t help but feel sorry for the guy.
Levi, however, is understandably not so sympathetic, as he continues to taunt Zeke in the present about how he will be feed to a Titan.
This was clearly not the best call, along with impailing a thunderspear in Zeke’s stomach because a delirious Zeke rips the pin off with a scream for Mr Ksaver to keep watching him.
Takehito Koyasu also does an excellent job voicing Zeke here, in all his delirious desperation.
Just as excellent is the animation, with the close up on the characters’ eyes and the rain drops falling in slow motion, right before the big bang of the Thunderspear exploding, blowing both Levi and Zeke away, leaving their fates uncertain.
A frusrating cliffhanger for the anime only viewers that is pure Attack on Titan.
“Sole Salvation” is pretty much a perfect adaptation of its chapter counterpart.
With its amazing animation, voice acting, and soundtrack, it easily tops the manga in plenty of areas.
Now there’s just one more episode of Attack on Titan for me to review before we have to wait for the rest of the final season begins airing at the end of the year or in early 2022.
One of the things I love about Attack on Titan is how it presents scenes with simple meanings and then expands on them years later, giving them a completely new and much more interesting context.
Such can be seen in Chapter 121, “Future Memories”, which expands on numerous moments from the series in the best way possible.
Who would have thought that the scene where Eren saw his father’s memory of killing the Reiss family, when he kissed Historia’s hand, would go on to contain one of the most pivotal reveals of the manga so far?
Well, it does because it is revealed in this chapter that the Attack Titan has the ability to interact with memories from the past and the future.
This results in Eren convincing Grisha to kill the Reiss family and then showing him a memory of a “terrifying” future, which Eren ended up seeing all the way back when he kissed Historia’s hand.
So, Eren has known for four years what will happen because of his actions.
This gives so much new meaning to not only that scene from Chapter 90 but to every other scene with Eren leading up to Chapter 121.
Remember the ocean scene where Eren talked about them killing their enemies so they can be free?
Now we know Eren said that not because he thinks he will have to do it but because he knows he will have to do it, based on what he has seen.
It has finally been revealed why Eren was such a different character post time skip.
This also basically confirms exactly what Eren is planning to do with the Founding Titan power; initiate the Rumbling to destroy the entire world so Paradis can be safe.
Although this has yet to be officially confirmed, it all adds up.
It is further supported in this chapter by Grisha saying that Eren’s dream is “such a terrifying thing.”
This, in no uncertain terms, makes Eren a monster.
Even if his reasoning behind this act is to save all of his friends, he still appears to be planning to kill literally billions of people to make that happen.
Just because his reasoning is not monstrous does not mean his actions are not.
His goal appears to be so extreme that it even got me to support Zeke over him for a second.
Let me reiterate that, Hajime Isayama actually got me to temporarily support a plan that involves sterilizing an entire race of people because it is the lesser of two evils.
That is how complex the story has become; basically showing that no matter how this story ends it will not be the happily ever after many, including myself, are desperately hoping for.
No, it will most likely end with Eren destroying the world to keep his friend safe.
Eren doing it for this reason is epitomized by him not paying attention to Zeke because he is too busy staring at the moment he wrapped his scarf around Mikasa’s neck, showing he still cares for her.
However, the best character of the chapter is not Eren or Zeke; but Grisha.
I love what Isayama has done with his character.
Grisha is dead and yet Isayama still finds ways to constantly expand on his character through his memories.
Seeing that Eren had to be the one to push him to murder the Reiss family; because he initially could not bring himself to do it, is very hard hitting.
What is the most emotional scene by far, though, is when Grisha finally sees Zeke and tearfully apologizes for the way he treated him.
He then hugs Zeke and tells him he loves him.
This moment had me in tears.
It is such an emotionally impactful scene that has been building up for a while now.
And the fact that I still sympathize enough with Grisha and Zeke to cry at their reconciliation, despite all the terrible things they have done, shows how brilliant they are as characters.
The scene even leads to Grisha begging Zeke to stop Eren from initiating his plan.
However, this is where my one potential issue with the chapter lies.
This issue is a plot hole because if Grisha wanted to stop Eren then why did he go on to give him the Founding and Attack Titan?
Granted, this is only a potential issue at the moment because it could be explained later.
After all, Eren does tell Zeke that he did not get to see the memory where he ate Grisha; so there could be something to do with this memory that explains Grisha’s actions.
Whatever the case, Zeke takes his father’s advice of stopping Eren and orders Ymir to sterilize all Eldians.
The chapter ends with Eren breaking free of his chains and running to stop her.
What this will result in is anyone’s guess but I personally think it could lead to us seeing Ymir’s memories if Eren comes into contact with her.
Given how I was completely wrong about everything else that would happen in this chapter, though, I would not be surprised if Isayama blew my mind in a completely different way.
One final thing to note before I get into my overall thoughts is that I have no idea how this series can make me laugh when so many dark things happen in it.
The moment when Zeke sees Freida talking about how they should perish, and then he talks about how he thinks they would “get along well” had me bursting with laughter… before that humor turned to horror, as expected.
Overall, Chapter 121, “Future Memories”, is another brilliant Attack on Titan manga chapter.
It provides a great twist that redefines the meaning of many prior scenes, expands on the characters of Eren, Zeke and Grisha brilliantly, and made me cry with one of the manga’s most emotional scenes.
Coming into Attack on Titan Chapter 120, “Instant”, I was incredibly nervous.
After the shocking cliffhanger of Chapter 119, I was concerned that Eren would not survive.
Even though I was pretty sure he would, there was this lingering feeling of doubt in my mind.
Thankfully, the meme part of Attack on Titan‘s fan base was right because, as they predicted, Zeke catches Eren’s head when it falls towards him, showing that his baseball skills have more than paid off.
This allows Zeke to send him and Eren to the Path dimension for Eren to recover.
It is here that we get what I already consider to be some of the most glorious panels in the manga.
The one of Eren standing, illuminated by the light of where the Paths meet the Coordinate, is beautiful, and shows just how far Hajime Isayama has come as an artist.
Along with the great artwork, the character development of this scene is also stellar, with Eren and Zeke attempting to top one another with their betrayals.
Eren’s line here about how he betrayed his brother “because I was born into this world” is amazing and probably my favourite usage of that recurring line.
Before this, however, we get official conformation that the girl who saved Zeke in Chapter 115 is Ymir Fritz, the first Titan Shifter.
One thing I did not expect, though, was that Ymir apparently has no mind of her own.
She just serves the royal blooded Titan Shifters, which is why she saved Zeke, essentially making her a slave.
This seems to carry through with the themes of freedom Attack on Titan is known for, and has me wondering if Eren will attempt to free Ymir from her enslavement.
He looks like he wants to help her when he realizes her position.
I have actually already heard a pretty good theory that the Attack Titan was created to eventually save Ymir since it stands for freedom.
But, whatever happens, I do hope Ymir has more of a role in the story because it would be disappointing if the most important character in the series’ lore was reduced to an emotionless slave.
Anyway, after her introduction we get the betrayal topping scene, where Eren betrays Zeke, only for Zeke to betray Eren.
I expected Eren to turn on Zeke because I knew there was no way he would be in favor of the euthanasia plan but I had no idea Zeke was suspicious of Eren’s true motives.
I thought he was blinded by the love he has for his brother.
It was great to see that Zeke had actually outsmarted Eren here because, in earlier chapters, I thought Zeke was getting stupider.
These last few chapters Isayama has really hammered home how intelligent Zeke is again.
Just how intelligent?
Well, after spending so long in the Path dimension with Ymir, waiting for Eren to wake up, Zeke has found a way to remove the Fritz King’s renunciation of war.
This not only allows him to have control over the Founding Titan but, supposedly, should allow any royal blooded person who inherits the power to use it.
So, for example, if Historia or her child inherited the Founding Titan in the future they may be able to use it fully, without being influenced by the first king’s ideology.
Speaking of Historia, I would like to go back to the moment just when Zeke catches Eren’s head.
After this moment, we get a full page panel of Eren’s memories, along with Kruger’s and potentially Uri’s.
Here we get an image of Historia who we can see is wearing the clothes she wore in the flashback panels of Chapter 108, where she was seen talking to her child’s supposed father while a mysterious figure looked on.
This figure is thought to have been Eren by a lot of readers and this image of Historia from his perspective seems to support that.
If this is Eren talking to Historia at that moment then it could be when he convinced her she needed to get pregnant so she could save herself.
Whether this means Eren is the father remains to be seen but, with this image being shown, I do not think conformation is far off.
In fact, we may get a bunch of reveals going forward as Eren and Zeke look over Grisha’s memories.
In “Instant” Zeke is showing Eren their father’s memories to prove to him how Grisha has brainwashed him, only for the reverse to happen.
Instead of Zeke proving to Eren that Grisha never felt sorry for his actions, Zeke learns that he actually did.
The two brothers see their father quickly track down the location of the Founding Titan, only to abandon his mission to stay with his family.
This means Grisha took the Founding Titan when he was left with no other choice after the Colossal and Armoured Titan attacked.
Oddly enough, he even seems to see Zeke and apologies to him for how he was treated as a child.
Zeke is clearly very affected by this and that fact has me wondering if Eren could actually sway him into changing his mindset.
As for what would push him in this direction, I think maybe seeing that his father figure Tom Xaver was working with Eren Kruger could do the trick.
Again, this is just a theory of mine but with images of Kruger’s life being seen in that big memory panel it stands to reason we could get some memories from him next chapter.
And what memory could be better to get Zeke to help Eren than one of Xaver helping Kruger?
However, Zeke working with Eren may not be a good thing since I currently think Eren is planning to destroy the world with the Rumbling.
Still, we do not know Eren’s goal but this seems to be the most likely scenario.
Setting aside this grim topic, I have to say I found the scenes in Grisha’s memories to be rather funny at times.
There is a great moment of sarcasm from Eren and we even see a moment that confirms Grisha meet Kenny.
The reason I found that last one funny is because as Grisha is walking away from him he is sweating like a mad man, probably realizing how demented Kenny was.
It will be interesting to see what memories Eren and Zeke will uncover next chapter.
Maybe they will go even further and see the origins of the Titans?
No matter how much they see, though, almost no time will have passed in the present, as shown perfectly by the title of the chapter “Instant”.
This title speaks to how all that is happening in the Path dimension will be over in an instant once Eren and Zeke return to the real world.
Overall, I thought Chapter 120 was another great one of Attack on Titan.
It once again went in a direction I did not expect, and looks to be laying the foundation for future reveals and the end of the manga.
At the very least, I think we have ten chapters left before we finally reach the story’s conclusion.
Chapter 115 of Attack on Titan, “Support,”was an amazing read, with many explosive reveals that will have a lasting impact on the series.
From Levi’s uncertain fate, to Zeke’s resurrection, to Pieck ambushing Eren, the chapter had many moments that left my jaw on the floor, and wondering how these storylines would continue in Chapter 116, and beyond.
So, I decided to list my theories and predictions for the upcoming chapter, and others, to see if I get any right.
Let’s get into it.
What does Yelena plan to do and how does Onyankopon factor in?
It was clear right from the moment Yelena entered the story that she was untrustworthy and Hajime Isayama has definitely followed through on making her so.
She is essentially a crazy Zeke fan girl, who believes he is a god and will follow his every command.
This has me wondering what she and the other Yeagerists have planned for the military members who drunk the wine with Zeke’s spinal fluid, including Pyxis.
The chapter ends Yelena’s scene with her declaring that Pyxis and the others must be punished for going against Zeke.
I think this punishment will be turning him, and everyone else identified by an armband as having drunk the wine, into Titans with Zeke’s scream.
These Titans will then be used in the final battle when the world commences an all out assault on Paradis.
Sadly, this means Pyxis, Nile, and every other person in the military who drank the wine will die.
However, I do not think they will go down without a fight.
Pyxis has been getting a lot of scenes with Yelena and this has me believing he will play a central role in her downfall.
Then there is Onyankopon, whose loyalties remain uncertain.
He was helping Hange in prior chapters but in “Support” he was seen working with Yelena again.
However, I believe that Isayama laid a few subtle hints in this scene that he may actually betray her.
There is a panel of him glaring at her out of the corner of his eye and, when Pyxis asks her why Yelena is thinking of saving the world rather than the island, Onyankopon questions her, showing he has not been told the full plan.
Because of all this, I think Onyankopon will begin working against her, potentially helping Pyxis and maybe even releasing Mikasa, Armin and the rest of the scouts from their prison cell.
As for what happens next, only time will tell.
What will happen to Levi and Hange?
When Chapter 115 was released and everyone thought Levi died, a thousand fans screamed out in anguish.
But, upon closer inspection, it looks like Levi actually survived the explosion.
Otherwise, Hange would not have glared at Floch when he asked to check Levi’s pulse, and she would not have taken his body when she jumped into the river.
Finally, there is Levi’s new scar.
Isayama would not go to the trouble of giving him a battle scar if he was not still alive.
So, if Levi is alive, the question is what happens to him and Hange now?
Many people have speculated about where the river will take the two and most believe they are either going to Shiganshina or Historia’s home.
It honestly could be either, or neither, at this point.
This is the one question that I do not have the slightest idea what the answer is.
Arriving in Shiganshina may seem a bit too convenient, and the reason I do not think they will end up at Historia’s ties into my next prediction.
In all honesty, I think it could be a few chapters before we figure out what happened to them.
All I can say for certain is that if Levi is going to die then Hajime Isayama will be sure to give him a meaningful, and impactful, sendoff.
The crazy fan girls would attack him if he did not.
Where are Reiner and Porco?
The reason I do not believe Levi and Hange will meet up with Historia is because I believe two other characters are going to: Reiner and Porco.
We have not seen these two since Chapter 108, and this has created much confusion when Pieck was shown on Paradis without these two with her.
Since Reiner suggested an all out assault on Paradis in 108, it would be weird if Pieck was the only one sent to the island.
So Reiner and Porco must be on an important mission there that we have not been shown yet.
And, in my opinion, this important mission is to capture Historia.
This would make sense both for practical and story reasons.
Marley’s goal is to gain the Founding Titan power but, in order to do this, they need someone with royal blood.
This would make Historia and her unborn child vitally important to Marley.
As for the story reasons, Isayama could do a lot for the narrative and character arcs by having Reiner and Porco meet Historia.
Reiner had a crush on Historia when he was pretending to be a soldier, and made a promise to Ymir that he would save her.
These factors would put Reiner at odds with his mission, and could lead to more growth from him.
Personally, though, I am much more interested in Historia meeting Porco.
Porco ate Ymir, who was very close to Historia, and now has all of her memories, which means he knows a lot about Historia.
Not only that but we have seen how memories affect Titan Shifters, like when Armin inherited Bertholdt’s memories.
So, both he and Historia could grow so much from meeting and interacting with one another.
Along with this, their meeting could hopefully lead to some more revelations about Ymir with maybe a flashback with Porco’s memories from her?
In any case, I truly believe that not having Historia and Porco meet would be a massive missed opportunity.
Another thing to note is that this could finally let us know what is going on with Historia’s pregnancy.
If you have read any of my prior reviews, then you know I hate this storyline so am hoping for some kind of twist to make it better.
Maybe her meeting up with Reiner and Porco could provide this?
What is Pieck’s Plan?
After talking about Reiner and Porco, we now move on to their comrade, Pieck.
We spent five chapters wondering what she was up to after she appeared in Chapter 110, and “Support” gave us our answer.
In the cliffhanger of Chapter 115, Pieck ambushes Eren when he comes to talk to Gabi, stabbing his guard in the throat and then holding him at gunpoint.
On the surface, this seems like a stupid decision on Pieck’s part.
Her Titan is by far the weakest of the nine and Eren has three Titan powers, among them the two most powerful, the Founding and Warhammer Titan.
This puts Pieck at a huge disadvantage and, again, makes her look stupid.
But here’s the thing; Pieck is not stupid.
Isayama has shown her to be one of the smartest characters in Attack on Titan time and time again.
She managed to free herself and Porco from the hole Yelena trapped them in and, most recently, managed to sneak into Eren’s inner circle and ambush him.
Not to mention that Zeke constantly praising Pieck for her intelligence, with him proclaiming “that’s exactly right, Pieck”, has become a meme.
So, Pieck must have some sort of plan but what is it?
Coming back to my theory about Reiner and Porco going to capture Historia and her baby, this might tie into that plan.
One of Eren’s biggest motivations for turning against the military was because they planned to sacrifice Historia so he would want to protect her at all cost.
And, if the fanbase is right and Eren is the true father of Historia’s child, this would increase his desire to save her tenfold.
Therefore, maybe this is the ace up Pieck’s sleeve.
She could threaten Historia’s life if Eren does not cooperate.
Or, maybe Eren could convince Pieck to come over to his side, who knows?
Either way, if Eren kills Pieck next chapter I will be dissapointed, both because it would make Pieck look like an idiot, and because we know the least about her out of all of the warriors.
I really like Pieck as a character and what to know more about her, so maybe Chapter 116 will give us some insight into her backstory and what her true motivations are.
Who is the little girl who resurrected Zeke and what part will she play in the story?
Ymir Fritz… Seriously, who else could it be?
If the little girl who saved Zeke is anyone other than Ymir Fritz I will be shocked.
And, since Ymir Fritz has probably been introduced, then that truly shows that we are in the endgame of this story.
What I find to be the most interesting question right now is how the original Ymir will tie into this endgame?
She saved Zeke so he is obviously important to whatever her plans are.
This may make it seem like she is trying to make his euthanasia plan succeed but I think her goal is quite the opposite.
I believe she may actually be trying to make Eren’s plan come true because I am almost certain he is manipulating Zeke.
Whatever Eren’s true plan is, he needs Zeke to initiate it and Ymir Fritz saving Zeke shows she is in favor of that plan working.
Maybe she is even already in communication with Eren, since he has three of the nine Titan Shifter powers.
Whether she is or not though, I am almost certain she will play a pivotal role in the story’s conclusion.
I also have a number of theories about how she may be connected to this ending, and I believe it all comes down to Historia’s child.
If you look at Ymir Fritz, she looks almost exactly like Historia when she was a child, living on her mother’s farm.
Not only that, but she has a similar pose, holding a bucket just like Historia.
As for the baby, it would make a lot of sense for Historia to name her baby Ymir because of how much she had an influence on her life.
This would technically make this child’s name Ymir Fritz since this was Historia’s family’s original name before they changed it to Reiss.
My theory is that Historia’s child IS Ymir Fritz and that she is working through paths to ensure Eren’s plan works in the past.
Maybe the series will end with Eren sending his memories of her into the past, generating the legend about Ymir gaining her powers from the devil, which may be Eren.
Although if this theory is correct, then it does raise the plot hole of what created the Titans in the first place so I am probably wrong about this.
Still, I do not think I am wrong about Ymir Fritz playing a major role in the story’s conclusion as that is pretty much a given at this point.
So those are my predictions for Chapter 116 of Attack on Titan and beyond.
I hope you enjoyed them.
Be sure to check out my review for the chapter when it officially drops in April.
The previous chapter of Attack on Titan hinted at Zeke’s past and motivations, and now we got the reveal of both of those with Chapter 114, “The Only Salvation.”
Most of the chapter is devoted to a flashback of Zeke’s childhood and the emotional abuse he suffered from his parents, along with him finding a new father figure in the previous Beast Titan, Tom Xaver, and how this all contributed to his motives.
“The Only Salvation” did a great job of making me sympathize with Zeke after seeing the treatment he has been subjected to all his life, especially in childhood.
Just like Reiner, Zeke is revealed to have been the weakest of the Warrior candidates when he enlisted.
He was also subjected to attempted brainwashing from both sides of his family.
Zeke’s parents wanted him to believe Eldia is a good thing while his grandparents wanted him to believe all of Marley’s propaganda.
Because of how both sides constantly tried to influence his decisions and worldview, Zeke rarely experienced love from his family in his childhood.
The way his parents, Dina and Grisha, treated him is borderline emotionally abusive.
Upon seeing that Zeke is weaker than the other Warrior candidates, Grisha storms off with Dina in pursuit, leaving Zeke to cry as he watches his parents leave him.
This would have cast Grisha in an extremely negative light had his past tragic experiences not been brought up in the chapter.
We see how the death of his sister influenced Grisha to the point of becoming like his father and neglecting his own son, which inevitably leads to his downfall.
So, Zeke did not receive any kind of love from his family and was in desperate need of a parental figure.
Enter stage right, the surprisingly kind Tom Xaver.
I had an idea coming into the chapter that Xaver would be working with Eren Kruger to manipulate Zeke and Grisha into following their plan, so it was surprising, in a good way, to see that Xaver was just a kind man who wanted what was best for Zeke.
And after seeing Zeke suffer so much emotional abuse from his family, it made me happy to see Xaver making it his personal mission to look out for him.
Xaver is also very likeable because of this and, even though he will probably not be featured after this chapter, he is still a character I will remember because of his personality and tragic backstory.
Xaver is basically Marley’s version of Hange, with him wanting to know the Titans’ secrets, and he has one of the most tragic backstories of the series.
He tells Zeke that he fell in love with and married a Marleyan woman, who did not know he was an Eldian, and had a child with her.
When his wife found out about him being Eldian, she killed herself and her child, once again highlighting the strong prejudice and hatred Marleyans have towards Eldians.
This made Xaver want to die, but in a “luxurious” way, which is why he became a Warrior.
However, then he met Zeke and saw his dead son in him, and, upon knowing his backstory, this is apparent when looking at how the two interact.
The scene where Xaver convinces Zeke to turn in his parents is the most emotional moment of the chapter.
I could feel Zeke’s pain when he said he would remember Xaver, even if he is turned into a Titan.
The following three panels of Xaver’s face are very striking because we can see what he is thinking just by looking at him.
In the first panel he is horrified by the thought that this might happen to Zeke, then in the second panel Xaver realizes he must convince Zeke to turn in his parents to keep him safe, and in the final panel we can see him accepting this.
These panels show how greatly Xaver cared for Zeke just through visuals and make him a very sympathetic character.
After the scene of Zeke turning in his parents, we get a flashforward of an older him playing catch with Xaver, before he is set to inherit his Beast Titan power.
Here, Xaver admits he has learned that the Founding Titan can change Eldian body compositions.
Influenced by the emotional abuse he suffered, and an event seen at the beginning of the chapter when Zeke and his family were yelled at by a racist Marleyan that they should stop having children, Zeke’s motives are revealed by what he says next.
He wonders if the Founding Titan could be used to sterilize all of the Eldians so there would be no more Titans.
This appears to be Zeke’s ultimate goal to bring peace to the world because it will stop Titans from killing people but also stop Marley from being able to wage war with them.
However, if this is his true motivation, then it is highly unlikely that Eren is on Zeke’s side.
Eren has always been about freedom and would not agree with sterilizing all Eldians.
Zeke seems to think Eren is on his side though, based on earlier chapters, so Eren is almost certainly manipulating him.
Either way, what “The Only Salvation” revealed about Zeke made me sympathize with him and gave me a greater understanding of his character.
The flashback was not all perfect, sadly, because I do think Zeke’s backstory is a little too similar to Reiner’s but, other than that, it was pretty great.
But this is not where the chapter ends, oh no.
After Zeke’s flashback we are taken back to the present with Zeke stuck as Levi’s captive, being continually tortured so he cannot transform.
It is here that the most shocking moment of the chapter happens, when Zeke, in an act of desperation, pulls his neck down hard, triggering the thunder spear impaled in his stomach.
The chapter ends with the explosion sending both Levi and two halves of Zeke flying, leaving us to wonder if either survived.
In all honesty though, I think both are still alive.
Zeke has a lot more story to give and Isayama makes a point of showing the front half of his body flying away from the explosion where it can possibly regenerate.
As for Levi, if he was going to die here, Isayama would have shown his dead body but all we get is a shot of him being thrown away from the explosion.
This said, he might have lost a limb because we do not get a clear shot of one of his arms and one of his legs, and there does seem to be a lot of blood trailing from Levi.
If Levi does lose a body part, then it is unlikely that we will see the stand off between him and Eren many of us have been hoping for, which is disappointing.
So, in conclusion, I am fairly certain both have survived.
Sure, it is pretty contrived for both to have survived the explosion at such close proximity but Reiner survived having his head blown off in the Shiganshina Arc so anything is possible.
Overall, I really enjoyed Chapter 114, “The Only Salvation.”
It made me finally understand Zeke’s motives and has me very excited to see what will happen to him and Levi next.