Eren Yeager’s evolution as a character in Attack on Titan is nothing short of remarkable. Initially perceived as a typical shonen protagonist, his role expanded significantly after the time skip, reshaping the narrative from a dark fantasy action series to an apocalyptic political thriller.
As the story progressed, opinions on Eren’s character became complex. Some debated whether he was still the protagonist, a tragic antagonist, or a figure defying classification. This ambiguity added to the show’s allure. However, a more pressing question emerged: did Eren truly have agency in his actions, or were they determined by the transfer of past and future memories through inherited Titan powers?
Eren’s upbringing in the Shiganshina district, on the outskirts of Wall Maria, was marked by fear and confinement due to the Titans. The tragic loss of his mother during the Fall of Wall Maria fueled his determination to eradicate all Titans. Joining the Survey Corps, he discovered his own Titan powers, setting in motion a journey of self-discovery and epic battles.
With the Survey Corps, Eren faced formidable adversaries, from the Female Titan to the Armored and Colossal Titans. The discovery in his basement shed light on the truth of their world and the circumstances that led to the creation of the Walls. The eradication of Pure Titans marked a pivotal victory, granting Eren the freedom he longed for as a child. However, a new threat emerged from across the sea, and Eren was confronted with a nightmarish future, triggered inadvertently by the power of the Founding Titan within him.
Faced with the relentless hatred of the world, Eren sought to protect his friends and homeland, even if it meant drastic measures. He orchestrated the Raid on Liberio, eliminating any hope of peace for Paradis. Collaborating with Zeke, he triggered the cataclysmic Rumbling, releasing Titans within the Walls to safeguard his home.
The complexity of Eren’s choices arises from the intricacies of the Founding Titan’s power. The ability to see future memories through the Attack Titan created a causal loop, blurring the distinction between past and future. Eren’s path seemed preordained, with little room for deviation.
Ymir Fritz’s influence played a pivotal role in the activation of the Rumbling, as Eren’s plea granted her agency over her fate. This act unshackled her from the eternal prison of the Paths. Eren’s Founding Titan form, coupled with the Attack Titan, allowed him to transcend time through the Paths, fracturing his own psyche.
Ultimately, Eren’s actions, including the tragic event involving his mother, may have been orchestrated by a collective will, shaped by incomplete memories passed down through generations. This deterministic view of events suggests Eren was ensnared in a web of fate, compelled to fulfill a destiny that transcended his own desires.
In a cruel twist, the boy who cherished freedom above all else found himself ensnared by destiny, condemned to shape a future he may have had little true agency in. Eren’s journey is a poignant exploration of the complexities of choice, fate, and the burdens of wielding extraordinary power.