Attack On Titan: 10 Things That Pushed Eren To The Dark Side

PostedAt: Sun, Oct 3, 2021 12:07 PM

Eren wasn't born evil. His actions are guided and fueled by the unfortunate and horrific events that he had to bear throughout the course of his life.

At the beginning of Attack on Titan, Eren was the main protagonist. He wanted to join the Survey Corps and kill the titans. However, over the years, he became a much darker character, and eventually became the series' final antagonist.

There were many things that pushed Eren towards the dark side, some of which happened from when the series began, but fans just didn't realize it at the time. However, the worse things got and the more Eren lost hope, the more obvious it became that he was going to become the final villain.

10. His Hatred For The Titans

Eren Jaeger as a child

Ever since he was born, Eren wanted to be free. Unlike most people around him, he felt like a prisoner inside of Paradis and knew that, in order to obtain his freedom, he would need to kill the titans. Though this desire motivated him to become a soldier and he did many heroic things at the beginning of the series, it would also lead him down a dark path later on. If he was like most of the Eldians in Paradis and learned to live like them, he probably wouldn't have become the final antagonist.

9. His Mother's Death

His hatred for the titans significantly increased after the Colossal Titan broke into Shiganshina, allowing the titans inside of the walls. They ate many people, including Eren's mother, Carla. He and Mikasa tried to save her, but she begged them to let her go so that she could protect them. They refused to do so and Hannes had to take them away as they witnessed Carla get eaten. Ironically, it was revealed at the end of the manga that Eren was also responsible for his own mother's death as a future version of himself had used the Founding Titan's powers to get Dina to eat her.

8. Becoming A Titan Himself

It was believed that the titans were the only villains the main characters would face. Because of this, Eren becoming a titan secretly foreshadowed that he would become the series' greatest antagonist.

He inherited the Founding and Attack Titans from Grisha, not knowing that he ate his own father for years. However, after he graduated from the 104th Cadet Corps, he discovered his abilities, and, though he originally used them to help the Survey Corps, he would eventually use them in much more sinister ways.

7. Seeing A Lot Of His Friends Die

Original Levi Squad Together

Similar to witnessing Carla's death, seeing his friends die caused Eren a lot of pain, resulting in him becoming an antagonist. Some of the friends he had for years in the 104th Cadet Corps were killed when the titans invaded Trost. He joined Levi's squad shortly after and felt responsible for his comrades' deaths when they fought against the Female Titan. The more friends he lost, the darker Eren became, until he would have let all of his friends die if it meant killing his enemies.

6. Learning That His Friends Were The Female, Armored, And Colossal Titans

reiner annie bertholdt

Eren didn't lose all of his friends due to them dying. Instead, he felt betrayed when he learned that some of them were his enemies. The first time that this happened was when Annie turned out to be the Female Titan, which he had a hard time believing. Though they weren't too close, they did spend some time together as they trained to become soldiers, and she taught him a lot. Shortly after, he found out Reiner and Bertholdt were also the Armored and Colossal Titans, which hurt him even more. Learning that people he cared about were responsible for the deaths of his loved ones caused Eren to lose more faith in the world.

5. Learning The Truth Of The Outside World

Grisha Yeager's portrait with his family.

For years, Eren wanted to know what was in the basement of his childhood home. However, when he found out, he wasn't happy with the answer. While he thought for years that the titans were the Eldians' biggest threats and that all of humanity lived inside of Paradis, there were thousands of people outside of the walls that hated the Eldians and turned them into the titans. This caused Eren to think about killing everyone outside of Paradis before going to Marley himself and understanding that he was a lot like them.

4. Finding Out What Would Happen In The Future

Anime Attack On Titan Eren Touches Historia's Hand

One of the biggest things that caused Eren to change was knowing who he would eventually become and not being able to stop it. Due to Historia having royal blood and him being the inheritor of the Founding Titan, when he touched her hand, he was able to see things that would happen in the future.

Even though he hated what he saw and wanted to find another solution, he was proven multiple times that things could only end with him becoming the world's greatest enemy.

3. Losing Faith In A Peaceful Solution

Eren didn't want to accept what he saw and was desperate to come up with another plan. He heavily relied on his comrades to help him think of a way they could live in peace without him having to become a mass murderer. However, they weren't able to do anything for him and slowly watched as he turned his backs on them. Within a few short years, he went from being a close friend and their hope to being someone they barely knew and couldn't trust.

2Meeting The Anti-Marleyan Volunteers

Yelena and Eren

When the Anti-Marleyan Volunteers first arrived in Paradis, the Eldians were skeptical about working with them and refused to let Eren go near them. However, Eren and Yelena were eventually able to speak with each other, and she was able to bring him closer to Zeke. While he pretended to go along with her and Zeke's plans, he and Floch secretly worked together to form the Yeagerists, overthrow Paradis, and begin the Rumbling. Though it wasn't the Anti-Marleyan Volunteers' intentions, they allowed Eren to become the final antagonist of the series.

1. Teaming Up With Zeke

Eren _ Zeke _ Attack on titan

When Eren went to Marley on his own, he was able to secretly meet with Zeke and acted like a caring brother in order to deceive him. He pretended to agree with Zeke's goal of making it so Eldians could no longer be born and Zeke fell for it, letting Eren begin the Rumbling when they finally entered the coordinate. If Zeke had been more cautious around Eren, he would have been able to achieve everything that he worked for and Eren wouldn't have killed so many people.

Copied to clipboard
More From Zatayat