Attack on Titan Ending, Explained
Attack on Titan Ending, Explained

Attack on Titan Ending, Explained

Attack on Titan Ending, Explained

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  • Attack on Titan finally concluded after a decade, leaving fans with mixed emotions and a sense of emptiness without the anime.
  • The final season sees Eren unleashing a horde of Colossal Titans to eradicate the world while his former allies join forces to stop him.
  • The ending is bittersweet, with Eren’s true plan revealed, a time jump, and a glimpse of a never-ending cycle of destruction. It’s up to the audience to interpret the ending.

After ten long years, a few delays, and a transition through two distinct animation studios (Wit and MAPPA), Attack on Titan has finally concluded, leaving fans hollow, for better or worse. While several viewers had already finished reading the manga when it ended in May 2021, everyone was partly excited about the finale and saddened to learn that their favorite series was coming to an end.

In the first part of the final season, Eren, who has attained the power of the Founding Titan through Ymir Fritz, unleashed a horde of Colossal Titans in hopes of killing everyone in the world except for his home, Paradis Island. Knowing that mass genocide is wrong, Armin, Mikasa, and several of Eren’s former allies have joined forces with remnant Marleyans to stop the Rumbling. So, how did the anime end following such a difficult decision?

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Resolve to Save the World

Attack On Titan

Attack On Titan

Release Date
September 28, 2013

Marina Inoue, Hiro Shimono, Takehito Koyasu

Main Genre


Despite eliminating the Jaegerists who sought to stop the Allied forces from reaching Eren’s Rumbling, they were vastly outnumbered. On the one hand, Eren is flattening everything he can, and on the other, he makes it clear that he will not stop marching until he has accomplished his objective of eradicating the entire world.

With no other way to persuade Eren, Armin resolves to use his Titan form to blow up the Founding Titan and then save his best friend by bringing him back to his senses. However, before he reaches the nape of Eren’s Titan, he is swallowed by an okapi-like Titan, rendering him unable to use his transformation. Furthermore, Eren is fully prepared to fight both his friends and enemies, summoning countless deceased Titan users from the past, including Bertholdt, Ymir, and Galliard.

Armin’s Helplessness and Hopeless Battle

Mikasa with her broken blades being shattered in Attack on Titan

After being swallowed by one of Eren’s subordinates, Armin is utterly restrained, unable to injure himself to activate his transformation. With their trump card sealed, the allied troops have no other option but to rely on Pieck, who battles her way past the multitude of Titans and plants explosives around the Founding Titan’s neck.

However, just as she is about to pull the trigger, the manifested War Hammer Titan pierces her chest, changing the tide of the battle. With the rest of her allies occupied by other Titans, the fight seems hopeless, especially since the Rumbling is on the verge of destroying the last stronghold where their families have arrived.

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Turning the Tide & Eren’s Feelings

Eren and Armin giving each other a hug, with Eren's hand bloodied in Attack on Titan

Armin, now restricted by the okapi-like Titan, attempts to put pieces together and is eventually transported to the Paths dimension, where he meets Zeke, who has completely lost hope after being deceived by Eren. However, Armin makes him realize that if they can save the rest of the world, he could have a happy life like he did when he played baseball with Ksaver. With Zeke as the sole link to the Founding Titan, his realization causes the deceased Titans to resist the control of Ymir Fritz.

With the Titan shifters on their side, the allied forces regain momentum, while Zeke appears on the surface, only to be decapitated by Levi in an instant. As Zeke dies, the Rumbling comes to a halt, and subsequently, Jean goes in for the kill, detonating the bomb on Eren’s neck and blowing up the Founding Titan. However, this wasn’t enough to kill it, so Armin uses his colossal explosion to separate Eren from Ymir Fritz’s will, leaving Eren in his Attack Titan form and the worm-like creature struggling.

Although their gambit succeeds, they are unable to destroy the Founding Titan – therefore, their only option is to kill Eren. On the other hand, the worm-like creature releases the gas that turns all the surrounding Eldians into Titans, once again shifting the battle’s momentum. Still, Mikasa, despite her desire not to kill the love of her life, has a dream in which she lives a peaceful life with Eren in a remote cabin and resolves herself to end the war once and for all.

She infiltrates the Attack Titan, decapitates Eren, and bids him farewell with a final kiss, tears streaming from her eyes. Meanwhile, in the Paths dimension, Eren and Armin have a similar vision where the former finally admits his feelings for Mikasa, saying that he doesn’t want her to forget about him even after ten years, reminding us once again that despite becoming an anti-hero who went against the world for his loved ones, he is still a child at his heart.

Eren’s True Plan and the Bittersweet Ending

While the vision between Eren and Armin continues, Eren eventually reveals his true plan, which is to wipe away 80% of the world’s population in order for them to kill him and earn the status as global saviors, giving the Paradis Island a chance at survival even if another war is initiated. He goes on to reveal that everything was predestined, and he couldn’t change things because he had foreseen every possibility and that this was the best he could do.

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Armin, who finally understands Eren’s true intent, bids him goodbye by thanking him and bears a part of his burden. With Eren’s death, not only did the Rumbling come to an end, but every Titan in the world, including the Eldians present, returned to human form. The story then has a time jump and moves forward three years, to a time when Paradis Island has grown stronger than ever and at peace, although not fully trusting the outside world.

With the allied forces forging a peace treaty, they try to negotiate terms to see whether they could live in harmony for the first time in centuries. Unfortunately, though, it appears that humankind will never be able to co-exist peacefully, as we see a clip of Paradis, which has now evolved into an advanced city, being bombed after several hundred years. In the meantime, an unknown individual discovers the tree where Eren was buried, implying that he may bring the Titans back to the world, repeating the never-ending cycle of destruction.

The ending of Attack on Titan lets the audience interpret everything for themselves, depending on what world they want to picture, but that’s what truly makes it a bittersweet and one of the greatest anime endings of all time.

Stream Attack on Titan on Hulu


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