In season 1 of attack on titan, the colossal titan appears for the second time and this time Erin participates in the battle with ODM gear. He looses his arm in an attempt to save Armin from being eaten by a titan but gets eaten in the process.

He transforms for the first time from within the titans belly, but later on its revealed that a shifter can't transform if he's lost his limbs. How then was Erin able to transform?

  • '...but later on its revealed that a shifter can't transform if he's lost his limbs' This is actually incorrect. Please indicate which chapter or episode this was stated.
    – W. Are
    Commented Nov 22, 2019 at 13:23
  • I want to say there is another question on this site that addresses this, but I can't seem to find it... Commented Nov 22, 2019 at 14:14
  • 1
    His name is Eren
    – VXD
    Commented Dec 12, 2019 at 7:14

1 Answer 1


Titan shifts can transform if their limbs are cut off, as with Erin's tranformation during the titan invasion in season 1. However, if a transformation has recently occurred, they are unable to transform until they have fully recovered.

The ability to transform into a Titan can be hindered by injuries inflicted on the human body. A human can transform into a Titan with injuries as severe as a missing limb, but only if a previous transformation has not occurred recently. If a human emerges from their Titan form and receives severe injury, this person cannot transform into a Titan again until said injuries have healed.

Power of the Titans

Erin also openly asked Reiner why he severed his limbs. Reiner responded to Erin's question by stating he did it because of the short time table he had after capturing him. Seeing how they just had a battle not to long before this had happened, a transformation had just occurred. Severing Erin's limbs in this manner prevent him from transforming, because

  1. He recently transformed
  2. Received a serious injury shortly after coming out of his transformation
  • I would not say that specified requirements are arbitrary. To think about it, shifter's abiltiies would require energy, and if shifter spends too much energy, they are unable to use abiltiies anymore. So, injury is not in fact blocking transformation, as long as shifter doesn't use too much energy for regeneration.
    – lentinant
    Commented Nov 25, 2019 at 12:44
  • 1
    His name is Eren
    – VXD
    Commented Dec 12, 2019 at 7:13

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