The Titan Assassin possesses exceptional power, even among the Nine, and here’s how his secret ability transformed the past and future in the Attack of the Titans universe.

After his world is ravaged by the immense Colossal and Dreadnought Titans, the main protagonist of Attack of the Titans, Eren Jäger, vows to exterminate them all, these human-devouring monsters. Little did he know, when he made this agonizing promise, that he himself was one of these monsters. What’s more, he possesses a unique and incredible ability: the inheritance of future memories.

How Did The Titan Assassin Change History?

The first appearance of Eren’s Titan form occurs during the Battle of Trost District, after his friends thought he had died. Instead, a severe trauma causes him to be reborn as the bearer of the Titan Assassin’s power. The name of the Titan Assassin, one of the nine Primordial Titans, and his impressive speed and physical strength, initially make him seem like a being whose offensive abilities are emphasized. However, after studying the other shapeshifters and with the scientific help of his fellow soldiers fighting the Titan threat, Eren manages to strengthen his Titan skin by hardening it in certain places, enabling him to strengthen his defense and strike even harder than before.

However, it’s not until much later in the story, when his home district of Shiganshina is retaken by the survivors of the Exploration Battalion, that the true power of the Titan Assassin becomes clear to Eren. In chapter 90, when he shakes hands with Queen Historia to accept a reward, the touch of a royal’s skin triggers a wave of memories in Eren’s mind, memories linked to the intertwined fates of their families. As readers, we receive none of this information at the time, but we are left puzzled by the expression in Eren’s eyes.

How Did The Titan Assassin Change History?

It’s in chapter 120 that fans finally find out what happened at that crucial moment, and through a “Fleeting Moment”, as the chapter is aptly titled, we learn something even more shocking than the true nature of the Titan Assassin’s power. Between chapters 120 and 121, entitled “Memories of the Future”, the now older Eren Jäger and his half-brother Sieg, the Bestial Titan, find themselves at the Coordinations, a kind of mystical afterlife for Ymir Subjects (those with the potential to become Titans), where all the lives of their people seem to converge. There, Eren opposes Sieg’s plan to euthanize their race in the name of a twisted “greater good”. But Sieg refuses to abandon his brother and draws him into the memories of their father, Grisha, in order to “save” him from his loyalty to the eldian extremist.

In an almost Dickensian style, Sieg’s ghostly form deliberately shows his younger brother moments when Grisha is at her lowest, but things take an even stranger turn when their father reacts to their presence… in the past. It’s at this point that Eren finally gives his brother and us perplexed readers an answer: all this time, Sieg thought Grisha was manipulating Eren when, in fact, it was the other way around. Eren, by sending his father memories of the future showing the fall of the Maria Wall thanks to the power of the Titan Assassin, convinced him that he had to steal the power of the Original Titan from the Reiss family. And when his father was overcome by remorse, it was Eren who persuaded him to continue the massacre to the end, for the sake of his – their – ultimate mission: to ensure Eldia’s survival.

When Eren kissed Historia’s hand, he simultaneously saw all this before him and in his father’s past, and thus planned his actions accordingly. As Sieg says, the power of the Titan Assassin is the power to “transcend time”. This is also the reason why Eren Kruger, the previous bearer of the Titan Assaillant before Grisha, knew Mikasa and Armin’s names even before they were born.

How Did The Titan Assassin Change History?

Eren used this power to manipulate the past and future to his will. However, while he succeeded in thwarting his older brother’s genocidal plot, he replaced it with his own. It’s possible that all the powers of the Nine come from a single source, the first Titan, Ymir, whose soul is trapped forever in the Coordinations. She might have planned all this herself, waiting 2,000 years for Eren to arrive to break her chains and carry out their shared vengeance.

Whether for good or evil, this ability is designed to propel the Titan Assailant forward, giving new meaning to its name. In Attack of the Titans, the world is constantly obsessed with the sins of ancestors, their own and others, using this to contextualize the sins of the present. Among the Nine, the Attacking Titan stands out as a force for change with a body and a mind.


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