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This article is about the 72nd episode of the Attack on Titan anime. For the manga chapter of the same name, see Children of the Forest (Chapter).


Quote1.png In the end, though she left our forest, the world is a great, big forest where everyone's fightin' for their life. I reckon Sasha died 'cuz she wandered in the forest too long. Quote2.png
— Artur Braus's view on his daughter's death

Children of the Forest (森の子ら Mori no Kora?) is the 13th episode of the 4th season and the 72nd episode overall of the Attack on Titan anime, produced by MAPPA.

Overview

Zeke Jaeger claims to have used gas mixed with his spinal fluid to transform the villagers of Ragako four years ago. He says he did not want to do it, but it was to provide cover while he was working for Marley. Levi Ackermann distrusts him though, because regardless of which side Zeke is truly working for, he does not seem to regret the lives taken.

Nicolo treats the Braus family at the restaurant where he works. Gabi Braun and Falco Grice make contact with him, in hopes of finding a way home, but Nicolo attacks her with a wine bottle when he learns that she is the one who killed Sasha Braus. Falco takes the brunt of the attack for her and is knocked unconscious. Both the Braus family and the Scouts intervene with Artur Braus choosing to forgo revenge. Subdued, Nicolo asks the Scouts to clean the wine out of Falco's mouth because it is probably tainted with Zeke's spinal fluid. Before they can finish bathing Falco, Eren and the Jaegerists arrive and take everyone hostage.

Summary

Levi and Zeke talk about what happened at Ragako

Zeke Jaeger explains the circumstances of how he used his spinal fluid to transform the villagers of Ragako into Titans four years ago to Levi Ackermann. He says he did not want to do it, but it was necessary to prevent Marley from discovering his allegiance to Eldia. Levi is still distrustful of him though, because Zeke does not appear to feel guilty about it.

Changing the subject, Zeke asks when he and Eren will begin their test of the rumbling, and Levi tells him it is up to headquarters. A soldier then interrupts to provide news of Zachary's death. Levi learns that the Jaegerists have taken control of the Walls and that the military suspects it is part of a plan Zeke put together with help from Yelena and Eren. Levi thinks back over all the times he saved Eren, and how many comrades he lost, because he believed Eren was the hope for humanity. He is unhappy with where his beliefs have led him.

Meanwhile, the children of the Braus family marvel at the fancy restaurant they find themselves in. Gabi Braun and Falco Grice look around nervously, which does not go unnoticed by Artur Braus. Nicolo welcomes the family and leads them to their table while Kaya points him out to Gabi and Falco as the Marleyan who invited them. She explains how Nicolo wanted to treat Artur to the food his daughter loved, and that Nicolo was probably in love with her.

Greiz informs Nicolo of the Scouts

As Nicolo works to prepare their food, he is interrupted by Greiz who says the Scout Regiment wants to see him. When he goes to tell them that he is busy with customers, Hange Zoë says they can talk once he is done. Onyankopon explains that the Scouts are investigating the Anti-Marleyan Volunteers' detainment and are hoping Nicolo can help.

He shows them to a room where they can wait and Conny Springer speculates that it is normally reserved for the Military Police. Jean Kirschtein picks up a bottle, wondering if it is the wine the soldiers have been talking about. He discusses sharing a sip with Conny when Nicolo charges over and snatches the bottle from him. Jean tries to calm him down, saying that he and Conny did not mean it. Upset, Nicolo tells them that it would be wasted on Eldians. Jean is disappointed by Nicolo's racist remark, but Nicolo does not apologize and leaves, taking the bottle with him.

Seeing Nicolo return, Gabi prompts Falco to fake a stomachache. He leaves the table under the pretense of needing to use the restroom and Gabi goes with him, saying that she will help him. They follow Nicolo into the restaurant's cellar and tell him that they are Warrior candidates from Marley. The two of them ended up on Paradis because they boarded an airship during the raid on Liberio.

Nicolo asks Gabi if she killed anyone

Horrified, Nicolo asks if they killed a female soldier. Falco recognizes the significance of the question, but before he can stop her, Gabi excitedly tells Nicolo that she did. Realizing Sasha's killer is in front of him, Nicolo grabs the bottle of wine and attacks her. Falco pushes her out of the way and the bottle shatters over his head. Shaken, Gabi tries to rouse him, but Falco does not respond.

Nicolo punches her and carries the two back to the dining room where the Braus family is. He throws Gabi to the floor and tells Artur that she is the one who killed Sasha. Nicolo offers him a knife and says that if Artur cannot kill Gabi, he will.

Just then, Armin Arlelt enters the room, and uncertain of what is going on, he calls for the rest of the Scouts. When they arrive, Jean recognizes Gabi and asks Nicolo what is going on. Nicolo tells him to stay away and that he is avenging Sasha. He holds his knife to Falco's throat, using him as a hostage.

Gabi pleads with Nicolo to not hurt Falco

Gabi asks Nicolo to stop, and he turns on her, asking what Falco means to her and explaining that he had someone he cared about too. He pours out his feelings for Sasha, ending with the fact that Gabi took her from him. Gabi shouts back that Sasha killed people she cared about first, but Nicolo does not care who started it.

Artur quietly interrupts and asks for Nicolo's knife. He gives it and Artur begins to explain how Sasha grew up a hunter. Artur knew that eventually that way of life would end for them, so he sent her out into the world where she became a soldier, shot people, and got herself shot. Though she left the forest, the world is simply a bigger forest where everyone is still fighting for their lives. He hands the knife to his wife who puts it on the table and tells Nicolo that he believes Sasha died because she wandered in the forest too long. Adults need to keep children out of the forest, and it is up them to shoulder the sins of the past.

Seeing that Artur is getting through to him, Lisa asks Nicolo to put Falco down, and she and her husband look after him while Jean and Conny restrain Nicolo. Artur also asks Gabi if she is okay, and she is shocked that he does not hate her.

Kaya tries to kill Gabi

Kaya, however, sprints around the table, grabbing the knife, and aims it at Gabi. Mikasa Ackermann stops her before the blow can land. Kaya shrieks, calling Gabi a murderer and saying how she thought she was a friend, as Artur and Lisa pull her away. Mikasa and Armin take Gabi out of the room.

Now that the danger is over, Nicolo tells Hange to rinse out Falco's mouth because some of the wine got in it. He thinks it has Zeke's spinal fluid. When Jean forcefully presses him for information, Nicolo admits he does not have proof, but the first Marleyan scout fleet was packed to the brim with that wine, more than any mission would have needed. As a Marleyan soldier, he is familiar with the power of Zeke's spinal fluid. When he got his job at the restaurant, he was told by Yelena to serve that wine to high-ranking officers. As far as he knows, Yelena is the only volunteer in on it.

Jean concludes that the reason Nicolo grabbed the wine earlier, was to protect the Scouts from drinking it, but Nicolo himself is not certain. His feelings are mixed up. He does not think he can be as forgiving as Artur, and wonders what was wrong with him to contemplate killing a child.

Gabi sits with Mikasa and Armin

In another room, Gabi asks Mikasa why she protected her when she killed their comrade and attacked a guard. Mikasa says she has no reason. Gabi asks them to kill her instead of Falco, but Armin says they do not plan to. Disbelieving, Gabi insists that they want to and Armin quietly refutes her, noticing that killing is all Gabi thinks about, and compares her to someone he knows.

Eren then walks up to the table and holds up his hand to show that it is bleeding.

In another part of the restaurant, Hange and Jean are bathing Falco, trying to clean the wine off of him, when they hear Onyankopon cry out. They return to the dining room to see Floch Forster holding a gun at Onyankopon. Several Jaegerists point rifles at the Scouts. Floch says he will have Hange take them to Zeke. When Hange says they have no intention of fighting with them, Floch says they will not negotiate with the military. Eren knows that Dot Pyxis will not give them control of the island and is probably already plotting to take the Founding Titan from Eren.

Jean wonders how the Jaegerists knew they were here and Nicolo sees Greiz among them. Greiz says Nicolo is too obsessed with Eldians, which is why he never told him how to reach the Jaegerists.

Hange tells Floch about the wine mixed with Zeke's spinal fluid

Hange tries to get Floch to stand down by explaining that Zeke's spinal fluid is being spread through the military as part of a plan, but Floch does not care saying that it will just make the MPs bigger idiots. Having never said anything about MPs drinking it, Hange realizes that Floch is in on the plan.

Floch knocks on the closed door to the room where Eren is and says he and the others are going ahead. Eren sits at the table with Armin, Mikasa, and Gabi, and says that he wants to talk.

Currently Publicly Available Information

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Marleyan Cuisine

The regional food of Marley which consists largely of fish, shrimp, and other various shellfish. Served deep-fried, steamed, marinated, and in stews with aromatic vegetables, the many styles of Marleyan cuisine are enjoyed by people worldwide. The famous red wine of Southern Marley is often used as a secret ingredient in their cuisine, but is paired with meals as well.

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