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Ymir became an intelligent titan when she ate Marcel without his consent. Grisha Jaeger inherited the founding titan's power when he ate Frieda Reiss, without her consent.

But when a random no-name Titan ate Eren Jaeger... well that's when Eren Jaeger transformed into a Titan for the first time, inside the titan that ate him.

My question is... why didn't Marcel and why didn't Frieda transform after they were eaten?

Maybe Marcel had his legs eaten off, first (I don't remember), and his body was unable to transform because it was recovering, but then, when Reiner Braun had a sword through his neck he was able to transform into a Titan, no problem.

Similarly, Frieda might have been exhausted from her fight with Grisha, but when Eren was exhausted after training with his newly enhanced armor ability he was still able to transform, albeit to a smaller Titan.

Any ideas or is this a plot hole?

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For Marcel, this is mostly my interpretation. Because of the situation and their lack of experience in exploring Paradis, Marcel most likely panicked and was unable to transform. He only had time to push Reiner out of the way and had no time to react. He was also feeling guilty during that time when he revealed that Reiner was enlisted not because of his skills but because he (Marcel) wanted to save his brother. This could have also distracted him and clouded his judgement.

As for Frieda, she lacked experience and was severely injured. As mentioned here,

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.

Given that Grisha bit her out of her Titan form, as seen in Chapter 63, that would have caused serious or fatal injuries even before she would be swallowed and since she already made a prior transformation, she cannot do so again unless her injuries would heal but it was too late.

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