Grisha Jaeger’s death in Attack on Titan explained

The story of Attack on Titan (Shingeki no Kyojin), penned by Hajime Isayama, is a convoluted blend of betrayal, mystery, and humanity’s fight for survival against the vicious Titans. 

The death of Grisha Jaeger, the father of the series’ protagonist, Eren, is central to the story’s development. This moment is not just an emotional turning point, but it also carries significant plot revelations. 

Grisha’s Origins and Motivations

Originally from Marley, Grisha was an Eldian who faced discrimination and persecution. His life took a tragic turn when his sister was killed by Marleyan officials, which fueled his hatred against the Marleyan regime. 

As a result, Grisha became part of a resistance group aiming to restore the Eldian empire. However, his involvement with the resistance was discovered due to his first son Zeke selling him out.

Grisha was sent to Paradis Island as a punishment, where he was supposed to be transformed into a mindless Titan.

However, instead of serving his punishment, Grisha was given the Attack Titan’s powers by Eren Kruger, a Marleyan official who was an Eldian mole called The Owl. 

With this newfound power, Grisha made it his mission to restore Eldia’s freedom by aiming to retake the Founding Titan.

Acquiring the Founding Titan

Upon arriving in the Walls of Paradis Island, Grisha started a new life, got married to a woman named Carla, and had his second son, Eren. 

However, his mission was always at the back of his mind. The true power to change the world was the Founding Titan, held by the royal family within the walls. Grisha’s main objective was to acquire this power to use it for Eldia’s liberation.

When Reiner and Bertholdt attacked the walls in the year 845, Grisha confronted the royal family in their underground chamber. 

Here, he faced Frieda Reiss, the current possessor of the Founding Titan. Despite Frieda’s immense power, Grisha’s Attack Titan defeated her, allowing him to consume her and obtain her powers. 

With this act, he not only gained an incredible ability but also wiped out most of the Reiss family, ensuring the power didn’t remain in their hands.

Grisha
Image Source: Wit Studio

Passing the Torch to Eren

After acquiring the Founding Titan’s power, Grisha’s time was running out. Every inheritor of a Titan’s power has a limited lifespan, known as the Curse of Ymir

With his time numbered as he acquired the Attack Titan many years ago, Grisha passed on his powers to Eren, trusting him to carry on the mission. He eventually found Eren after Wall Maria fell and injected him with the Titan serum, transforming him into a mindless Titan. 

In this state, Eren ate his father, thus inheriting both the Attack and Founding Titan powers. This death was a necessary sacrifice, ensuring that the powers he had acquired would continue to be used for Eldia’s freedom.

Aftermath

This death was explored through Eren’s memories of this event, unlocked after he came in contact with the Royal Blooded Historia.

Those memories reshaped his understanding of his past, present, and future. It explained his father’s actions and made him come to terms with his role in the grand scheme of things.

Moreover, Grisha’s decisions, leading to his eventual death, set forth a chain of events that would determine the fate of the entire world in the series. 

His actions put Eren in the middle of the conflict, making him both a key player and a target in the battle between Marley and Paradis.


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