Why did Eren turn evil in Attack on Titan? That might be the question on your mind if you have caught up with Attack on Titan anime because the latest episodes show him taking drastic steps to ensure the survival of everyone on Paradis island. So, why exactly did he become evil? Is he now the main villain of the story? That’s what we will talk about in this article.
For the earlier part of Attack on Titan, the story begins in a typical fashion similar to many anime and manga. The basic plotline we followed was Eren’s desire to see the eradication of all Titans after having experienced Wall Maria’s fall that led up to his mother’s death at the hands of one of the Titans.
As the series’s main character, most of the story revolves around Eren in his self-imposed mission of killing all the Titans despite having the power to become one himself.
Atypical of many stories, however, we slowly see Eren drastically change his viewpoint and personality towards the latter parts of the story, where he first starts displaying anti-hero characteristics before becoming a full-blown villain towards the end, wanting to seemingly destroy the world and commit genocide.
The complete change of Eren’s character from the story’s main character to the story’s greatest villain is something Attack on Titan is well-known for, as it paints Eren in a particularly evil light to everyone around him, including his closest friends and allies.
Is Eren Yeager Evil?
The question you would have at any point of the story where Eren starts to descend into his villainy and wage war against the world will be if Eren is really evil.
To many who aren’t close to him or have an outsider perspective, Eren would undoubtedly appear as such. However, he was able to self-justify his declaration of war against the world as he intended it to protect the people who were trapped within the walls for so many years.
After discovering the truth behind Titans’ origins, Eren decided by himself the path he planned to follow, which many of his friends and allies were heavily against pursuing.
At the surface level, many in the story see Eren as someone who is evil as he is the one behind several of the story’s events and the one responsible for starting a war and the “Rumbling,” which many fans of the series are familiar with.
It was revealed in the Final Season of Attack on Titan that Eren manipulated his father, Grisha Yeager, into killing Freida Reiss and acquiring the power of the Founding Titan.
Eren’s Attack Titan has a unique power called “Future memory inheritance,” where the current inheritors could see memories of future inheritors who would inherit the power of the Attack Titan. Eren saw the memories of his future self and discovered what he would do in the future, so he planned everything from the beginning. He manipulated his father into killing Freida Reiss and acquiring the power of the Founding Titan, and later used that power to trigger the Rumbling!
Why Does Eren Want to Destroy the World?
Eren’s becoming evil and desire to destroy the entire world might have seemed to come out of nowhere and might have felt like a complete U-turn in his personality and motivations, but it is actually not without reason.
The main reason Eren is hellbent on seeing the world’s destruction stems from his desire to protect his people on Paradis Island.
Eldians, the name of the people, was a group of survivors who were trapped within the three walls before the fall of Wall Maria as Titans were wiping out the human population to extinction. But we later discovered that humanity is not extinct outside the walls but is thriving as there are several nations all around the world. Instead, Paradis Island is actually a prison to keep the Eldians locked up!
As an Eldian, Eren started the war hoping to bring a brighter future where the Eldians are the only remaining survivors in the world. Conversely, however, Eren also started the war as a personal vendetta he had against the Marleyans.
His intention of starting the war was so his people could live freely without worrying, as the Eldians were subject to various experiments conducted by the Marleyans. The experiments eventually resulted in the birth of the Titans that roamed the land since the start of the series, revealing that every Titan in the series was originally a human.
The transformation comes as a result when Eldian survivors are injected with a solution containing the spinal fluid from Ymir, resulting in their transformation into Titans. They still retain their consciousness but find it difficult to control their bodies and themselves, which results in their cannibalistic behavior of attacking and consuming other humans.
Having come to the realization and truth about the origins of Titans, Eren decided that waging war against the Marleyans to be his best course of action after becoming the Founding Titan and starting “The Rumbling.”
His allies weren’t keen on the idea of waging war and advocated for a more peaceful solution by uniting with Marley and putting aside their differences and grievances.
How Many People Has Eren Killed?
As a result of Eren’s declaration of war, by triggering the Rumbling, he was able to wipe out and kill a significant portion of the world’s total population. Before he was killed at the end of the series by Mikasa herself, it was estimated that Eren managed to wipe out about 80% of the world’s population, which can easily reach billions in number.
This makes Eren the character with the highest number of kills compared to everyone else in the story. The people whom Eren killed were mainly innocent bystanders and civilians who played no role in the experiments conducted by the Marleyans.
For this reason alone, it isn’t far-fetched to think that Eren is really evil, having taken the lives of many innocent people in his path of revenge and his potential future.
The rest of the 20% of the world would’ve been wiped out if it weren’t for the combined efforts of the Marleyans, together with Eren’s former allies, that led to Mikasa dealing the decisive blow, leading to Eren getting decapitated at the end.
Despite this, however, Eren intended for things to turn out this way, as his death also marked the end of the Founding Titan. This is followed by every human-turned-Titan reverting back to their original forms as the power of the Titans starts to disappear and vanish following the Founding Titan’s death.
This is an ironic twist to Eren’s original desire to eradicate all Titans, as having been killed during the rumbling resulted in all Titans permanently disappearing from the world.
The anime series’ current season and final part will cover this bit of the story. The manga has already ended with the second to the last chapter depicting Eren’s fall and everyone else being revered as heroes who saved humanity.