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With chapter 139 “Final Chapter: Toward the Tree on That Hill”, The Attack on Titan manga by Hajime Isayama has come to an end. Ever since the Marley arc or even before that the manga had been sowing seeds for Eren’s and by extension the world’s ultimate fate. What we are going to discuss ahead lies in major spoilers territory so proceed with caution. You have been warned!
If Eren could manipulate titan s from the past , couldn’t he have prevented everything from ever happening?
The Marley Arc
The Survey corps prepare for Marleyan action against the Paradis island. They capture a scouting Marleyan ship and plan an attack tactic with the military. Apparently, Zeke Yeager has a plan for Eldian victory and Eren seemingly supports it. Yelena later reveals to him that Zeke’s full plan is to actually euthanize all of the Eldian race. Following that meeting, Eren meets up with Floch and forms a secret faction that later comes to be known as the Yeagarists. Apparently, he is only pretending to follow Zeke’s plan. He actually wants to exterminate everyone outside Paradis island to ensure Eldians prevail.
Later members of Survey Corps go to Marley to meet Kiyomi. His friends find the experience exciting but he remains stoic and detached. Eren doesn’t return back to Paradis with his companions. Instead, he infiltrates Marleyan military under a pseudonym.
He meets up with Zeke Yeager and the two plan how to begin the Euthanization plan. Meanwhile, he gains Floch’s trust and has his deliver letters outside the internment zone seemingly relaying information to the scout regiment.
During the Tybur festival, as Will Tybur announces Eren Yeager as the enemy of humankind, Eren takes his Attack Titan form and eats Will Tybur. This announces the beginning of the war. The scout regiment assists Eren and they end up massacring a lot of Marleyans and Eldians. They manage to take Zeke Yeager away.
Upon returning to Paradis, Eren is arrested taken to a cell underground. As he cleans himself up, Eren mutters that Paradis needs to continue fighting.
War for Paradis Arc
Without getting into too much detail here, let’s recap the manga’s final arc. Eren betrays Zeke’s euthanization plan. He manages to harness the power of the founding titan with the help of Ymir and Zeke’s royal blood. Zeke believed Eren was brainwashed by Grisha Yeager. However, as the two travel through Eren’s memories, we soon learn that it was quite the opposite.
Using the Attack titan’s abilities Eren manipulated the past and made Grisha do the things he did. Moreover, he even made sure Dina Fritz ate his mom leading to the events of the entire story. In the end, Eren massacres 80% of the world population before it all finally ends.
Could Eren Have Stopped Everything?
Yes and no! It is true that Eren’s Attack Titan could manipulate events of the past. However, as Eren would later admit to Armin, he could no longer think clearly. For him, past, present and future had become one and the same. As such, he must do things as he remembers them playing out from his memories of the future to ensure Eldian Survival. In other words, having visions of a certain future sets those events in stone and they end up happening anyway like self-fulfilled prophecies.
However, that is too simple of an answer. The fact of the matter is, as Eren admitted to Reiner and later to Zeke, this is who he is. He will continue to move forward towards what he perceives to be true freedom. In doing so, he will destroy anything that comes between him and his idea of freedom. So whether or not Eren could control things from the past, he would still end up making the same choices. That’s what we think anyway.
What do you think? Could Eren have prevented certain deaths and genocide using his time-lord powers?