| The subject of this article has no official name.|
It is a fan-given name as substitute for lack thereof, and should not be considered as part of the Attack on Titan universe.
|We're both hoping for the same thing. To settle it here once and for all.|
|— Erwin Smith|
In the two months following the coup d'état against the old Royal Government, the military-run government had begun to make great technological advancements after retrieving the contraband obtained by the Military Police Regiment Interior Police. With these findings, the Scout Regiment was able to develop the "Thunder Spears," explosive weapons compatible with ODM gear designed with the purpose of dealing heavy damage to the Armored Titan, whose location following the Wall Rose invasion had become unknown. Additionally, the glowing crystals discovered in the underground cavern beneath the underground Reiss chapel served as an energy-efficient light source, drastically increasing productivity and providing a means for the Scouts to plot a new course to Shiganshina District under the cover of night.
At this time, the hardening power acquired by Eren Jaeger's Mysterious Titan was used to create the first Executioner from Hell outside of Trost District, allowing for quick and efficient Titan extermination with few to no losses of military lives. After two months' time, the Scout Regiment had successfully plotted half of their route to Shiganshina, and the possibility of retaking Wall Maria had become a reality. With their plans nearly ready, the Scouts solicited all able members of the military to join in their upcoming fight to reclaim Wall Maria, and many soldiers both young and old joined in their cause. During this time, the matter of the Titan serum obtained by Kenny Ackermann in the last days of the coup was discussed by the leaders of the military. Recognizing the significance of the serum, it was decided that possession of the serum would be entrusted to Captain Levi Ackermann, who would decide who should receive the serum if the need arose.
Meanwhile, in the ruins of Shiganshina District, Zeke reunited with his Warrior subordinates Reiner Braun and Bertholdt Hoover, who desired to venture back into the Walls to find and rescue Annie Leonhart, who had been presumably lost and captured in the assault on Stohess. Zeke disagreed with this course of action, instead prioritizing gaining the Founding Titan. Zeke and Reiner fought over the decision with the Beast and Armored Titans, and Zeke easily overpowered Reiner. With the decision settled in his defeat, Zeke declared that the Warriors would remain in Shiganshina District until the Scout Regiment arrived with the "Coordinate" among them.
Some time later, the commanding officers of the Scout Regiment gathered to discuss the matter of locating and investigating Grisha Jaeger's basement after successfully reclaiming Shiganshina. Once all plans were made, Levi spoke with Commander Erwin Smith alone, expressing his concern for his life being at risk due to the arm he lost two months before in the Wall Rose invasion and demanding that Erwin should stay behind while someone else took charge. Erwin rejected Levi's proposition, saying that his desire to witness the truths of the world was more important to him than his own safety or humanity's victory.
Two days before the expedition to Wall Maria, a feast was held for all the participating members of the Scout Regiment, where friends reminisced about their old battles and dreams. When all were present, Erwin Smith presented the Titan serum to the soldiers, stating its purpose and how it would be used in the upcoming expedition: if the Warriors confronted them in Shiganshina and a soldier was wounded but not dead, the soldiers could call for Captain Levi and the serum would be used to turn the wounded soldier into a mindless Titan before eating a captured Warrior.
When the time came for the expedition, the members of the Scout Regiment gathered atop Wall Rose in Trost District just before sunset. The Scouts were given an uproar of praise before their departure, and once the Executioner from Hell had cleared enough Titans from the area the Scouts descended Wall Rose by lift and set out for Shiganshina.
Under the cover of night, the Scouts slowly advanced through the forests towards Shiganshina, only occasionally coming across a dormant Titan. During their advance, the Cart Titan scouted for the Warriors, spotting the incoming soldiers. The Cart Titan quickly returned to Shiganshina and warned Warchief Zeke and the others of their approach, and the Warriors prepared for battle. Bertholdt joined Zeke and the Cart Titan to the north of Wall Rose while Reiner hid within the Wall, waiting in ambush. Bertholdt hid himself within a perforated barrel on the Cart Titan's back, put on standby for the time being. Meanwhile, Zeke by some means presumably gathered all the Titans within and around Shiganshina to use in the battle against the Scouts.
By sunrise, the Scout Regiment had arrived in Shiganshina District. As planned, all of the Scouts pulled their hoods over their heads to disguise their features. After scaling Wall Maria, 100 of the soldiers made a rush for the outer gate of Shiganshina in order to hide Eren Jaeger's position within their numbers. Their advance went unhindered, and with his Titan Eren successfully blocked the breach in Wall Maria. However, Armin Arlelt noticed the remains of a campsite atop the Wall and discovered three cups along with a cold kettle. Bringing this news to Commander Erwin Smith, he suspected that the Warriors had known about their coming ahead of time and made preparations. Commander Erwin gave command of the search to Armin, and the soldiers began searching houses for the Warriors. However, Armin soon suspected that they could have been hiding within the Walls themselves instead and ordered for a new search. After a short time, Reiner Braun was found hiding within a secret compartment of the Walls, emerging to kill an officer. Captain Levi rapidly disposed of Reiner, though his killing blow was nullified with a Titan ability which saved Reiner's nervous system long enough for him to transform into the Armored Titan.
Before Commander Erwin could give an order, Zeke transformed into the Beast Titan to Shiganshina's north, along with the many dozens of Titans he had prepared for the battle. Zeke bombarded and collapsed the north gate, blocking off the soldiers within Shiganshina from their horses to the north of the Walls. With the Beast Titan to the north and the Armored Titan in the city, the Scout Regiment was faced with a war on two fronts.
The Armored Titan
The Beast Titan and the Armored Titan quickly began the battle, acting in unison. While Reiner climbed Wall Maria to approach and kill the horses on the other side, the Beast Titan commanded a horde of 2 - 3 meter Titans to charge the structures just to the north of Shiganshina where the Scouts' horses were standing by. Prioritizing the horses' safety, Commander Erwin sent Squads Dirk and Marlene to group up with Klaus at the north gate to defend the horses while Squads Hange and Levi confronted the Armored Titan with their newly designed Thunder Spears. However, Levi would leave his team in Hange's command while he assisted the squads north of the Wall to eventually confront and defeat the Beast Titan, being the only one possibly capable of doing so. Armin would cooperate with Hange for a special strategy to defeat the Armored Titan. Eren would transform far from the Walls where the Colossal Titan could not possibly fall on him, and he would run to the south. Eren would then turn around and climb back over into Wall Maria's territory, continuing northwards for a short distance until he could turn southwards once more to flank the Beast Titan.
When the Armored Titan had reached the top of the Wall, Eren transformed into his Titan in the middle of Shiganshina and began to ran southward. Left with the decision to kill the horses and let Eren escape, which would then result in the Beast Titan flanked, or to abandon the horses and confront Eren which will distract him from the former choice, Reiner chose the latter option and descended Wall Maria. Meanwhile, Levi assisted the new recruits to the north of the Wall in killing the smaller Titans in the town.
Seeing Reiner's choice to confront him, Eren and Reiner battled in the middle of Shiganshina in Titan form. With Eren's new hardening powers, the rematch was seemingly in his favor initially, as he caught Reiner off-guard by his punches now having the power to shatter the armor. However Mikasa, along with Squad Hange, expresses worry when Reiner still proves to be dangerous as he easily slings Eren into a nearby building, gaining him the upper hand. The skirmish went on for a short while until Eren gained some distance from Reiner in an open street. With Reiner out in the open, Squads Hange and Levi closed in with the Thunder Spears to blind the Armored Titan. With some reluctance to kill their former friend, the recruits launched a barrage of Thunder Spears into the Armored Titan's nape, completely blowing the flesh and armor away and destroying Reiner's brain. However, Reiner's Titan abilities saved his life once again, transferring his brain functions into his Titan's brain as a last resort. Using the last of his strength, Reiner's Titan let out a loud roar to signal for backup: the Colossal Titan hidden elsewhere.
The Colossal Titan
Hearing Reiner's cries, Zeke took Bertholdt from the barrel atop the Cart Titan's back and threw it over Wall Maria for Bertholdt to transform into the Colossal Titan, a move which will devastate everything below it. The squads within the district maneuvered away with all possible speed. However, Bertholdt's strategy was abandoned upon sighting Reiner's fallen Titan. Coming to his side, Bertholdt saw that Reiner had miraculously survived the assault, and he asked for him to lie supine on the ground in preparation for the Colossal Titan's transformation. Hange led her squad to finish off the Armored Titan after placing command of Squad Levi in Armin's hands to confront Bertholdt. Seeing that Bertholdt did not transform, Armin attempted to negotiate with Bertholdt. Hange and Moblit Berner stayed behind with Squad Levi to witness the confrontation, which yielded no results.
When it had become clear that Bertholdt was determined to kill the people of the Walls for reasons unknown, Mikasa went in for a killing blow, but Bertholdt escaped. Hange and Moblit then made their way to rejoin the squad in confronting the Armored Titan. Bertholdt, at long last, using ODM gear to soar above the district and transformed into the Colossal Titan, causing a devastating explosion to tear through the city. Squad Hange was entirely wiped out shortly after reaching Reiner's supine Titan form, and Hange narrowly avoided death when Moblit sent her into a well before he too was caught in the explosion. Squad Levi was not within the lethal radius of the blast, but they were now the last soldiers left within the city to face the Colossal Titan.
Unaware of Squad Levi's position within the district, Bertholdt began to aimlessly destroy the structures within the city, sending burning buildings up into the air to come crashing down in the streets. With no other soldiers left alive to assist in the attack on the Colossal Titan, Armin decided they should regroup with Commander Erwin and leave the Colossal Titan trapped within the district until it exhausted its strength and Bertholdt would come out. However, Jean Kirschtein pointed out that the Colossal would still be able to use the burning debris against the soldiers to the north of the Walls, catching the recruits in Squads Dirk, Marlene, and Klaus in a pincer attack. Armin gave command of the squad to Jean for the time being, and he decided their best move would be to make for the river in the city. As the Colossal Titan began to approach the northern Wall, Eren let out a roar to catch Bertholdt's attention, but he was ignored. Squad Levi moved in to stop the Colossal Titan's advance, but Eren's Titan could not keep Bertholdt from moving his legs. The Colossal Titan sent Eren's Titan soaring away with a kick, knocking Eren unconscious.
The remaining recruits of Squad Levi began an attack on the Colossal with their remaining Thunder Spears, but Bertholdt's steam abilities prevented them from keeping a grapple on his Titan form and repelled the spears sent his way, wounding some recruits in the process. By this time, Reiner had recovered enough to return to the battle as the Armored Titan once again. As the others worried over the prospect of confronting Reiner and Bertholdt at the same time, Armin noticed that the Colossal Titan's steam blast had reduced its muscle mass noticeably. Figuring out a plan to defeat Bertholdt, Armin left to wake Eren up as the rest of Squad Levi confronted the Armored Titan.
While the other soldiers confronted Reiner, Armin woke up Eren in his Titan form and told him of his strategy to defeat Bertholdt, which they carried out as planned. Eren slipped and fell to the ground below near the collapsed north gate while Armin approached the Colossal Titan, grappling to its teeth. Bertholdt used his steam ability in an attempt to knock Armin away, but Armin was securely attached to Bertholdt's Titan since the teeth would not degenerate in the steam blast.
Wanting to kill Armin quickly, Bertholdt unleashed a tremendous explosion of continuous steam, but Armin refused to fall as his hair and flesh were burned away. Armin remained stuck to the Colossal Titan until he fell unconscious from his injuries, falling to the ground below. Bertholdt turned his attention to Eren's Titan, but he soon discovered that it was a hardened shell of his Titan form left as a distraction. Eren used the moment to attack the Colossal Titan from behind, cutting Bertholdt out of the nape. Eren returned to the ground with a limbless Bertholdt, stopping by Armin's charred body.
Meanwhile, Reiner ran north towards Eren's position, but a Thunder Spear to his knee stopped him in his tracks. After regenerating his brain, Reiner could not remember anything of the past day since he and Bertholdt had split up earlier that morning before sunrise and was therefore unaware of the Thunder Spears' danger. With very few Thunder Spears remaining, Jean formulated a plan to defeat Reiner with what they had left. Two Thunder Spears would be used to unhinge Reiner's jaw at both sides, and a third would be sent into his mouth to blow Reiner out of his nape from within. Conny landed his target, but an attack from Reiner injured Sasha, who missed her mark. Luckily, Hange arrived at the scene in time and landed a Thunder Spear on the other side of his jaw, and Mikasa shot the final spear into Reiner's mouth, knocking him out of the nape. While Sasha's wounds were treated, the soldiers quickly blinded and dismembered Reiner.
The Beast Titan
While the two squads stationed within Shiganshina District confronted the Colossal and Armored Titans, the soldiers to the north of Wall Maria faced their own battle against the Beast Titan. The initial defense went smoothly as the recruits in Squads Dirk, Marlene, and Klaus cleared out the Titans in the right side of the town to the north of the inner gate. Shortly after Bertholdt was sent into the district, Zeke began a new assault on the Scout Regiment. Using crushed boulders gathered by the Cart Titan, the Beast Titan bombarded the Scout squads north of Wall Maria with devastating firepower. The experienced soldiers on the front lines were torn to pieces by Zeke's throws, and the survivors were left with no choice but to regroup under the cover of the buildings to the north. Erwin descended Wall Maria to regroup with Levi and the recruits.
With no knowledge of the situation of the squads within the district, Erwin and the others were left to assume escaping into Shiganshina would be impossible while the Colossal Titan roamed. At this time, Eren's Titan collided into the top of Wall Maria from the Colossal Titan's kick. The new recruits fell into a panic at the hopeless situation. Meanwhile, Captain Levi proposed gathering Eren and all survivors for a retreat while he confronted the Beast Titan, but Erwin proposed an alternate do-or-die strategy that would mean the defeat of the Beast Titan but also the deaths of the new recruits as well as possibly even himself. Erwin faced great reluctance in this strategy, which would deprive him of his chance to see the basement that held the answers he had spent his life searching for. Levi reluctantly made the choice for Erwin, telling him to lead the recruits to their deaths, while he attacked the Beast Titan. Erwin was grateful.
Erwin proposed his strategy to the new recruits, none of whom were ready to die in the proposed maneuver. Erwin admitted to the recruits that the means of their deaths would not matter, whether it was for the cause of the Scout Regiment or in an attempt to escape with their lives. However, Erwin stated that their actions would give meaning to the lives of those who died before them, and the actions of those who would follow will give meaning to their own deaths. Moved by Erwin's words knowing that their demise was a certainty, the recruits followed Erwin's final strategy.
Mounting their horses, Commander Erwin led the recruits in a frontal charge against the Beast Titan, using signal flares to hinder the Beast Titan's aim as much as possible. Meanwhile, Captain Levi slaughtered the Titan blockade surrounding the north end of the city, using the Titans one by one to approach the Beast Titan standing in the center of the Titan line. Angered by the Scouts' willingness to die for their cause, Zeke continued in his bombardment unhindered by the smoke signals. Erwin was struck in the hip during the first bombardment, collapsing alongside many others. The second bombardment eliminated nearly all the rest of the recruits, leaving just three alive on their horses. A third and final bombardment eliminated the three recruits left, completely stopping the charge.
Zeke realized afterward that the Titans on his right side had fallen, and he was soon ambushed by Captain Levi. Underestimating Levi's abilities, Zeke was brutally overpowered and was quickly cut out of his Titan's nape. With Zeke at his mercy, Levi wondered if any soldiers from Erwin's charge were left alive to receive the power of the Titans from the Titan serum entrusted to him. But before he could make a decision, the Cart Titan came to Zeke's side and carried him away, escaping to Wall Maria while Zeke sent the remaining Titans after Levi. He immediately pursued them, slaughtering all Titans between him and Zeke.
Meanwhile, a lone recruit by the name of Floch remained miraculously uninjured from the Beast Titan's bombardments. Floch began to restlessly search the battlefield for any survivors. Eventually he came across Erwin Smith, who was still alive but quickly bleeding out. Floch considered killing Erwin to put him out of his misery, but realized instead that he should be brought back with the Titan injection in Levi's possession. Hastily bandaging Erwin's injuries, Floch carried Erwin away from the battle and followed after Levi.
Final confrontations and insubordination
Mounting atop the Cart Titan, Zeke entered into Shiganshina District to search for the remaining Warriors. He found Bertholdt at Eren's mercy, and upon meeting each other the two recognized each other as individuals with the power of the Titans; Eren realized the man before him was the Beast Titan. Seeing that Eren would not give up Bertholdt, Zeke claimed that both he and Eren were victims of Grisha Jaeger. Zeke left the scene upon seeing Levi pursuing, and he promised to one day return for Eren. Before Levi could continue pursuing Zeke, he required Eren's ODM gear gas and spare blades. Eren prepared to give Levi the necessary supplies, but stopped everything after hearing Armin cough, still alive even after burning from the Colossal Titan's attack.
Elsewhere in the city, Hange and the rest of Squad Levi interrogated Reiner for information, receiving a letter left by Ymir for Historia. They debated keeping Reiner alive to pass his power to a surviving soldier, but Hange believed the conditions for keeping a Titan alive had not yet been met. Jean was upset at the possibility of letting a Titan power go to waste, so Hange ordered Mikasa to regroup with Eren and Armin to check on their status before the decision to kill Reiner would be made. Upon arriving at the scene, Mikasa saw Bertholdt defeated and Armin near death, and she gave the signal to kill Reiner. Before it could be done, Zeke and the Cart Titan found Reiner at Squad Levi's mercy and took him away from the scene. The three Warriors leave for Wall Maria to depart from the battlefield while Hange and Squad Levi headed for the others' location.
Captain Levi was prepared to give Eren the injection necessary to save Armin, but at that moment Floch arrived with Erwin who was also near death. When Levi announced that the injection would instead go to Erwin, Eren and Mikasa turned on Levi in an attempt to take the serum by force. Floch took Levi's side, expressing his reasoning for saving Erwin, and eventually composed himself to interfere while Mikasa had an exhausted Levi overpowered. When Hange and Squad Levi arrived at the scene, Eren and Mikasa were pulled away from Levi and Armin, though everyone sympathized with their shared agony, Hange in particular. Levi ordered everyone present to leave the area while he gave Erwin the injection, but once he was alone he began to have second thoughts. Realizing that Erwin had already given up on his dreams and accepted death while Armin still had dreams to live out with his friends, he chose to save Armin's life. After receiving the injection, Armin transformed into a Titan and ate Bertholdt, who cried out for help in his dying screams. Armin left his Titan form fully healed, and Erwin died of his wounds.