So I just finished "Attack on Titan" last night, and I still feel like I'm not quite getting the big picture. I became confused when the use of the PATHS came into play. I know that with the power of the founding titan, Eren was able to see the past, present, and future all at once. And I know that he was somehow able to manipulate these events through PATHS. I've read that Eren saw the future after kissing Historia's hand, so I'm assuming that's when he became aware of everything that was going to happen. But it seems to me that Eren truly got lost along the way. It seemed to me that he began not really knowing exactly what he wanted, and that his goals were changing.

So my question: is everything that happened in AOT the will of Eren or the will of Ymir? Was Ymir just using Eren? It seemed to me that Eren became a captive of the founding titan's power, and that he wasn't even in control of it during the Rumbling. It just seems like everything that happened was because Ymir wanted it to happen, and because she wanted to be free.

1 Answer 1


It was Eren's will. I'm not sure if you're referring to the manga or the anime, but I've only seen the anime, so that's what I'm going by.


Watch the final conversation with Eren and Armin again. The two of them piece together what happened pretty clearly. Marley was getting ready to muster the whole world against them and wipe them out, and after infiltrating a summit and seeing the rampant hatred against the "island devils", Eren himself viewed diplomacy as not an option. Eren wanted to protect all of his friends and also his home. He got all those visions of the future, and because he was an idiot, the only solution he could come up with was the one he carried out (this is something he says directly to Armin in the final conversation).

Furthermore, Armin was the one who first planted the idea in Eren that the world was supposed to be uninhabited. It is not unusual at all for someone with Eren's temperament to view this as the way the world was supposed to be, and then after seeing that the world was "incorrect", to try and correct it.

In short, Eren was too stupid to see any other way to protect his friends and his homeland other than slaughtering eighty percent of humanity with the Rumbling, and it's unlikely there was much that could have changed his course.


From what I recall, the characters speculated that Ymir wanted something from Mikasa. And there was further speculation that Ymir had actually been in love with King Fritz, in spite of all the horrible things he did to her and the world. Ymir likely saw her situation as analogous to to Mikasa's and Eren's, and thus she wanted to see Mikasa kill Eren and choose a different path than she had.

Whether or not Ymir had influence over Eren, she was not controlling him and Eren's actions are still his own, as they are all actions towards fulfilling his own objectives.


Eren's corruption is likely to represent the common theme that absolute power corrupts absolutely or something like that. He himself was the head of a genocidal fascist coup, since the Jeagerists are portrayed as extreme Eldian nationalists that follow a cult of personality around Eren.

But this is far from the only regime in the story to consider. Marley's own military dictatorship treats the Eldians with paramount cruelty, while simultaneously utilizing their Titan abilities to bolster their military. The corruption of the initial government in Paradis which callously let its citizens die in the initial Titan attack and then refused to distribute resources to the have-nots who needed them, as well as the gradual corruption of the government following the coup our protagonists in the Scouts initially conducted, whereby we saw the new government following the same information control tactics as the previous one, both paint a bleak picture.

As such, and given other factors of the story, Attack on Titan seems to portray a rather nihilistic view of the world and humanity.

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