Just to be clear I'm NOT talking about those who where swallowed.

We know that titans used to be humans and then somehow they transformed into titans.

When they kill a titan it completely Vaporizes and nothing is left.
So what happens to the human inside them?

Could it be like when Eren was testing his limits and each time he fused more with the titan body? If so, why could Ymir live in titan form for over 60 years and still transform back into human?

  • Arguably, a titan dies when the human inside dies - not the other way around.
    – Oded
    Commented Jan 25, 2017 at 14:32
  • I know that @Oded, but there is no reason that the human body vaporizes. titans are abnormally hot and when the brain dies and cannot control the regeneration, they vaporize. but the human body is not that hot so even when they die there is no reason for them to vaporize.
    – Henjin
    Commented Jan 25, 2017 at 20:01

3 Answers 3


I will try and answer by spoiling as little as possible.

I have read all manga chapters (including the newest one, 91).

We have two types of Titans (so far): shifters, and non-shifters. A shifter is a Titan whose human can voluntarily transform into and out of the Titan shape. As far as we know, shifters are only the 9 original Titans. We also know that there is a certain serum that can transform a human into a mindless Titan. This serum was injected to Ymir (the person) and like all other mindless Titans, she wandered around until she accidentally ate a human who was a Titan shifter (Reiner's and Bertlod's friend). As such Ymir transformed into a human, obtaining the power of the so-called "Dancing Titan".

Which brings me to the next spoiler (approximately manga chapter 88 and above):

Only "The people of Ymir" (Eldians, including Eren and the people inside the walls) can be transformed into Titans. Furthermore, the people inside the walls live on an island called Paradis Island, although far from the shore. Knowing that, the Marley government gathers Eldians on top of a wall next to the shore (but far from the walls), injects them with the serum and throws them on the ground. These Titans wander around eventually finding the walls and creating problems for the people of the walls. (A nice counter strategy from Marley, using a weapon they cannot control). The plot thickens when Marley has managed to convince Eldians to fight for them. These Eldians, such as Reiner, Bertold, Annie, Zeke, each hold one of the 9 original Titans power, and can easily transform from Titan to human to Titan again.

To answer your question

1) If you are talking about Titan shifters

Then you cannot kill a Titan without killing the human inside. The methods used by the Survey Corps are pretty much cutting off their nape. If you cut the nape of a Titan-shifter, then you are left with the human body of that Titan-shifter. If you consume the spinal cord fluid of this human body, you will obtain his/her Titan-shifting power.

2) If you are talking about mindless Titans

Then if you cut off the nape, there is no trace left of the human who was turned into this Titan. As far as it is revealed, we cannot say if the person evaporated, died, or something else. It is assumed that the person inside a mindless Titan dies, when the nape of the Titan is cut off. Hange speculated that the spinal cord and the central nervous system of a mindless Titan functions separately from the body. Maybe that means that the human body simply turns into a mindless Titan, thus leaving no human body inside of such a Titan.

A list of the 9 original Titans is here

  • 1
    Well I was talking about the mindless ones. I got my answer thanks
    – Henjin
    Commented Mar 16, 2017 at 5:10
  • I'm glad I helped :)
    – mjeshtri
    Commented Mar 16, 2017 at 8:06

They die.

Spoilers below for those who don't follow the manga, but have just seen the Anime.

As you mentioned that all Titans are actually humans, that have been converted into the Titans (currently unknown methods). All Titans are compelled to eat humans since there lies a possibility that they may be Titan Shifters. If the Titan dies the human who it was before is also dead, since there is now no way for it to turn back and the body vaporises.

For more spoilers and history about the Titans: http://attackontitan.wikia.com/wiki/Titans

  • please read the comment I wrote on the question
    – Henjin
    Commented Jan 25, 2017 at 20:05
  • 1
    @Henjin You are postulating just a theory. A titan dies when the nape of their necks is cut, since the human if it was trapped is there, the titan dies when the human does. What happens to that body is just pure speculation at this point.
    – Arcane
    Commented Jan 25, 2017 at 22:11
  • why are you so mad? I was just wondering if any evidence or reason has been revealed yet and I missed it
    – Henjin
    Commented Jan 26, 2017 at 7:19
  • 1
    @Henjin I am not mad, just pointing out the fact that as far as we know that the Titan dies by giving a sufficiently deep cut on its nape. We also just know that only Titan Shifters regenerate body parts and no one yet has been turned back to human except by eating other titan shifters. As I said the mechanism of titan conversion is unknown and we do not know how exactly it works. You may be right, but atm we have no evidence of that. Feel free to discuss this on chat. Lots of people follow Snk and would enjoy discussion, but its not really encouraged on the SE. Cheers.
    – Arcane
    Commented Jan 26, 2017 at 8:02
  • 1
    Spoilers ! : 'Hange speculates that the spinal cord operates as an organ separate from the main Titan body. As such, it is concluded that most Titans have completely absorbed the human within, leaving only the central nervous system intact as the means of controlling the Titan body. ' So no need to ask what they becomes. Source : attackontitan.wikia.com/wiki/Titans
    – Ise
    Commented Jan 30, 2017 at 13:42

Ok, a lot of spoilers from chapter 1-92 but pretty much:

when Eldians are turned into mindless titans, their titan form 'absorbs' the human until only the spinal cord remains. When a soldier cuts the nape of the titan, he/she will sever the top of the spinal cord, therefore 'decapitating' the human inside, so like one of the other answers, it could be said that the titan only dies when the human (or what remains) is killed.

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