The manga “Attack on Titan” has a fascinating storyline that is as foreshadowed and difficult to follow as a mystery novel. On the other hand, there are many readers who are left with questions about the story because it is too complicated, even though it is a completed work. In this article, we will introduce and discuss in detail the foreshadowing of the mysterious abilities of “Attack on Titan,” as well as foreshadowing throughout the story. Before the final season of the anime airs, let’s take a look at the story once again! This article contains spoilers up to February 2023, so please be careful when reading.
From here, we will introduce and discuss foreshadowing related to Eren’s “Attack Titan” ability. The term “Attack Titan” here is not the title of the work, but rather one of the names of the Titans. Attack Titan” is one of “The Nine Titans” created by the founder Yumir after his death by dividing his abilities. There are a total of nine other special Titans, including “Colossal Titan,” “Armored Titan,” and “Female Titan. Only the people of Yumir can inherit the nine Titans, and they can possess their abilities for 13 years. The Attack Titan is the only Titan that has never been ruled by the Founding Titans, and is known as “the Titan that has continued to seek freedom at any time and in any age. He also has the unique ability to see the memories of past and future successors.
In the second episode, Eren’s mother, Carla, is devoured by Titans. This scene was the turning point in Eren’s hatred of Titans and his determination to exterminate them. On the other hand, there is a significant foreshadowing in this scene that is fundamental to the story. The Titan that attacked Carla was actually the Titanized form of Dinah, the ex-wife of Eren’s father Grisha and a descendant of the royal family. Dinah’s Titan then reappeared in front of Eren, triggering him to activate the power of the coordinates.
(Last Episode, Episode 138)
At the beginning of the first episode, Eren wakes up from a nap to Mikasa’s words, “Itte rasai. In reality, however, Mikasa was only calling Eren’s name, and Eren thought he was dreaming and did not pay attention. The same scene was depicted in the last episode, and the meaning behind the scene at the beginning was finally revealed. Eren, as the holder of the “Attack Titan,” which has the power to see the past and future, had already seen what was going to happen at that time.
Later in the story, it is revealed that Eren’s father, Grisha, used his Titan powers to manipulate Eren’s actions. The most memorable scene is when Grisha slaughters the Wraith family and takes the Founding Titan’s power; when the Colossal Titan breaches the wall and threatens the family, Grisha begs Frida to protect the people. Grisha, bound by a pact of non-war, refuses, and he decides to take the Founding Titan and destroy the Wraith family. Hesitant to take a young child in her hands, Grisha reconsiders.
Then Eren, who had seen the memories along with Zeke, who had temporarily been able to use his ancestor’s power, said, “You did it to reward your sister who was eaten by dogs, didn’t you?” He made Grisha reconfirm his motive, saying, “This is the story that you started, isn’t it? As a result, Grisha carried out his plan. After taking the Founding Titan from Frida, she killed the entire Wraith family except for Rod.
In the first episode, Grisha is depicted as saying to Eren, “Let me show you the basement. However, in the initial depiction, only Grisha’s mouth is shown and his expression is not at all clear. Later, this scene is depicted several times as a recollection, and we know that Grisha is not looking at Eren. In fact, Grisha was not speaking to the young Eren at this time, but to the adult Eren who had traced his memory. Grisha, who had seen Eren’s future through the power of the Titans, knew that the adult Eren was watching him.
Erwin and Armin, Eren’s words in the scene where their lives hung in the balance. Eren understood Armin’s ability to think out of the box, his bravery at the critical moment, and his kindness better than anyone else. And later in the story, Eren, realizing what he had to do, took on the role of the villain and acted to make Armin into a hero. In fact, after Eren was defeated, Armin, who understood his intentions, took the lead in saving the Eldians and successfully ended the conflict.
Eren Krueger, who possessed Attack Titan before Grisha, tells Grisha, “If you want to save Mikasa, Armin, and everyone else, you must complete your mission” before handing over the Titan’s power. Of course, there is no way that Krueger knew about Mikasa and Armin at this time. And later, Grisha says a similar line to Eren before he inherits her power. This suggests that Krueger had seen, or unconsciously let into, Grisha’s or Eren’s memories.
Just before Eren’s mother was devoured by the Dinah Titan, we know that Bertolt had actually encountered Dinah as well. Dinah is a simple Titan, so it should indiscriminately kill anyone who comes into view. However, Bertolt was not attacked and Dinah went straight to the Jaeger family. It is later revealed that Eren was manipulating Dinah’s actions. In order for Armin to inherit Colossal Titan, Eren decided that Bertolt should not die yet. He also sent Dinah to Carla, claiming that her mother’s death was necessary.
Mikasa is frequently described as suffering from headaches during the course of the work. It was Yumir, the founder, who was causing the headaches. Yumir was looking into Mikasa’s head and seeing what was going on. There are various theories as to why it was Mikasa, but the most popular theory is that she felt a kinship with Mikasa, whose Ackermann instinct led her to serve her host, Eren. Perhaps Yumir loved King Fritz and continued to serve her, and saw herself in Mikasa.
Erwin risked his life to fight Titans as the leader of the Scout Regiment. When he first appeared in the story, he was portrayed as a leader with a picture of purity and innocence, but his motivation was more selfish. He was not after the victory of mankind, but rather the knowledge of the truth of the world. Therefore, during the mission to retrieve Eren, he expressed his desire for Grisha’s basement, which was the key to solving the mystery, saying, “Even if the mission fails, before I die…” In a sense, Erwin’s human nature is more like a human being. In a sense, this scene reveals Erwin’s humanity.
Historia surprised many readers when she suddenly became pregnant. It is surmised that the man in the hunting cap who appears around her is the father of her child. And we later found out that the man was the boy who had thrown stones at Historia in her childhood. Furthermore, the reason why Historia had to get pregnant in a hurry is also revealed in the later description. In fact, a plan had been proposed by some people to have Historia inherit Zeke’s power. Therefore, it is thought that Historia bought time for the plan to be carried out by getting pregnant.
In “Attack on Titan,” where one mystery after another is created, there are also foreshadowing lines left unclaimed and left to the reader, including the subtitle of the first episode, “To You 2,000 Years Later,” and the foreshadowing concerning the subtitle of episode 122, “From You 2,000 Years Ago,” which is also one such line. From the title, there is no doubt that this is a grand foreshadowing for episodes 1 through 122. Also, as can be inferred from the content of the episode, the point of the episode should be the liberation of Yumir, the first ancestor who has served the royal family for a long time. It is reasonable to assume that the figure of 2,000 years is the number of years Yumir has waited, and that it is a message from Yumir to Mikasa, but in fact it is not mentioned precisely. Therefore, many other theories exist and are considered unclaimed foreshadowing.
So far, we have thoroughly discussed the foreshadowing that has been laid out in “Attack on Titan”. The vast amount of foreshadowing that has been cleverly laid out from the very first episode is once again breathtaking! Even if you have already read the story, if you read the story while being aware of the foreshadowing, you will surely see the story in a different light than the first time. Even if you have already read the story, reading it with foreshadowing in mind will surely change the way you see the story for the first time. Please take a deeper dive into the world of “Attack on Titan” based on the discussion presented in this article!