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|After defeating the great nation of Marley, they ruled over the continent. Thus began the Dark Ages...|
|— Grisha's father teaching young Grisha Jaeger|
Eldia (エルディア Erudia?) is a nation created and chiefly populated by the Subjects of Ymir, a race of humans who can turn into Titans. In ancient times, the Eldians used Titans to build their empire, slaughtering countless peoples and taking their land. Eventually, the Eldian Empire grew unstable due to internal conflicts between the families with the Power of the Titans and collapsed during the Great Titan War a century ago. Eldia lost most of its land as well as seven of the Nine Titans to a newly reborn Marley, and many Eldians retreated to their last territory, Paradis Island. The first Reiss King raised the Walls to protect Eldia from Marley and the other nations of the world, and erased the memories of Eldia from the Subjects of Ymir inside.
Two millennia ago, a girl named Ymir Fritz gained the Power of the Titans. Her clan, the Fritz family, came to rule over her people as the royal bloodline. After Ymir Fritz passed away, her spirit, with her power, was split into the Nine Titans. These were inherited by nine of her subjects, with one receiving her role as the Founder. With their Titan powers, the Subjects of Ymir waged war against Marley, a nation of the early world, and established the Eldian Empire.
The Eldians used the Titans as weapons of mass destruction to conquer other nations, wiping out countless cultures in the process. However, the historical validity of Eldian attacks against Marley are a matter of debate.
Eventually, the Eldians ran out of enemies and began fighting each other. The eight of the nine houses with the Nine Titans remained in a state of conflict, but the Fritz family maintained order with the Founding Titan.
After 1,700 years, the Founding Titan came into the possession of the first Reiss King, the 145th King. The King believed that Eldia's sins cannot be atoned for and that Eldians and Titans should not have existed in the first place. He pitied the Marleyans and devised a plan to end the Eldian rule. The King abandoned the internal conflicts, and without the Founding Titan to keep order, the Eldian Empire collapsed. The Eldians fought and weakened themselves during the Great Titan War and Marley gained seven of the Nine Titans as a result. The King moved the capital to Paradis Island, Eldia's last remaining territory, and gathered as many Eldians he could on the island.
On Paradis Island, the King used the Founding Titan to cause Colossal Titans to form three concentric Walls around their territory: Maria, Rose, and Sina. Afterwards, the First Reiss King used the Founding Titan once more to erase the Subjects of Ymir's memory of the Great Titan War and all of history before the raising of the Walls. For the next century, the Subjects of Ymir in Paradis Island lived on in peace, unaware of their past conflicts, their history as the Eldians, and the world outside the Walls.
On the mainland, the Eldians who did not flee to Paradis Island were conquered by Marley. Marley spared these Eldians, who became second-class citizens. They were forced to reside within internment zones, such as Liberio's, separate from the Marleyan population. Marley used their new influence to spread slander of the Eldian Empire, claiming they had resorted to eugenics against the other races of the world for 1,700 years and that Ymir Fritz had gained her power from the "Devil of All Earth." Any Eldians accused of committing wrongdoing against the Marleyans were sent to "Paradise" and turned into Pure Titans, doomed to wander for eternity and devour other Eldians.
However, some Eldians attempted to resist and restore Eldia. The remaining members of the Fritz family still on the mainland led a revolutionary army against Marley, but the army was crushed and its members were executed. Others, such as Grisha Jaeger, met together in secret, plotting to venture to Paradis Island and retrieve the Founding Titan in order to restore the Eldian nation.
In the 1,700 years between Ymir Fritz's death and the Great Titan War, the Eldian Empire divided into various noble houses, each possessing one or more inheritors of the Nine Titans which split from Ymir's "soul." These houses warred against each other within the Eldian Empire, though conflicts in the Empire were nonetheless maintained with the power of the Founding Titan held by their royal house.
After having lost the Great Titan War, the Eldians descended from those who remained on the continental mainland are regarded as low-class citizens by the nation of Marley, considered "filthy-blooded" and inhuman. Eldians are segregated from the main population into the designated areas such as in Liberio, with Subjects of Ymir as a potential selection of Titan weapons.
On occasion, Eldians can be given permission to exit the internment zone with special permits distributed by the Marley Public Security. Furthermore, all Eldians both within the internment zone and beyond in Marley territory are required to wear armbands denoting them as Eldian when appearing in public. Most Eldians seem content with this existence, though on numerous occasions resistance forces had been organized in order to restore the Eldian Empire, though all known attempts have failed.
Besides resistance movements, other secret Eldian organizations included a cult dedicated to the worship of Ymir Fritz, the first Titan and a goddess in the eyes of several of her subjects. The followers of this cult were fanatic in nature to the point of resorting to worshiping a homeless girl by the name of "Ymir," though the leader of said cult seemed to lead the group only for profit. Eventually, the cult was discovered and captured by the Marley Public Security, in which the cult's leader turned against Ymir without hesitation, and all were exiled to the borderline of Paradis Island as Pure Titans. However, their devotion to their goddess was strong enough to cause one follower to display great reverence even in Titan form to a soldier who resembled Ymir.
Because they are treated as second-class citizens, many young Eldians strive to join the Warrior program in order become Honorary Marleyans. These Eldians also serve as potential candidates to inherit the Power of the Titans under Marley's control.
When the Eldian Empire was isolated to the Walls on Paradis Island off the east coast of the continental mainland, the first Reiss king made use of the Founding Titan to force his subjects to believe they were the last remnants of the human race in a world overrun by Titans. The Fritz monarchy remained as the royal family over Eldia, however they went into hiding as the Reiss family while a pretender bloodline was placed upon the throne under the Fritz name.
Other Eldian races unrelated to the Subjects of Ymir also lived within their new territory, such as the Oriental clan. Due to the nature of the Founding Titan, these bloodlines interfered with King Fritz's plan for a perfect peace. Most of these bloodlines complied with King Fritz's orders keeping silent concerning the history of the world beyond the Walls, becoming the nobility within the interior of Eldia's new territory, however the Ackermann family along with the mysterious Oriental clan objected to the King's ideology and rebelled. Both bloodlines were subjected to extermination, and those who survived fled into hiding in places such as the underground beneath Eldia's capital of Mitras or in the isolated wildernesses beyond the towns.
As an additional measure to ensure the Eldians within the Walls would never be able to venture beyond them without authorization, the Royal Government placed firm restrictions on the technological progress that could be achieved by the craftsmen and engineers of Eldia. Those who broke this regulation would be secretly targeted by the Interior Police, the elite force within Eldia's Military Police Regiment, who received orders directly from the monarch of Eldia. Due to this restriction of progress, Eldian technologically would fall behind the rest of the world as the decades passed.
A majority of the Eldians within the Walls are content with their isolated existence under the King's rule. Those who desired to see humanity's territory reclaimed would join the Scout Regiment, the military branch authorized to exit the Walls periodically, though many civilians considered the act of leaving the Walls to be a foolish and wasteful gesture.
Information is spread throughout the territory within the Walls through various newspapers such as the Berg Newspapers. However, until the coup d'état which overthrew the old system of government, the newspaper industry was heavily influenced by government interference, disallowing the publication of any information which conflicted with the motives of the government. Information is at times also spread through the merchants' association, which as its name implies gathers information solely from civilian merchant groups such as the Reeves Company. Before the overthrowing of the government, it was at a civilian's discretion whether to trust the official word of the government or the hear-say of the merchants.
Paradis Island Technology
The firearms used by the military of Paradis Island are based on the flintlock mechanism, where a piece of flint ignites the gunpowder and fires the gun, which must be reloaded after every shot. These come in the form of muskets, pistols, buckshot rifles, hand cannons, and flintlock sniper rifles. The firearm technology has not progressed much as guns were proved ineffective against the Titans. Part of the reason was due to the restrictions on technological progress which the Interior Police secretly enforced, including advancements in firearms, with two of the advancements that were suppressed being the development of revolvers and metallic bullet cartridges. The Scout Regiment and the Garrison also use flare guns to communicate over long distances. Furthermore, cannons line the top of the Walls. While each one originally had its own track so it could be pushed to the outer edge or the inner edge, tracks were later laid along the entire Wall to connect them all and enabled them to be pushed to different positions. Later, Thunder Spears became standard issue equipment for anti-Titan warfare.
One of the most sophisticated pieces of technology the Walls use is the omni-directional mobility gear. The advances needed for the system to work include steel wire, compressing gas under pressure derived from iceburst stone, and blades made of ultrahard steel, a substance which can only be manufactured in the blast furnaces of the factory city.
Transportation within the Walls is derived primarily from horses. Furthermore, sail-less boats guided by pulleys and rails connect some districts by river, such as the boats providing transport between Shiganshina District and Trost District.
Other forms of basic technology have been shown to exist within the Walls, such as pocket watches, pulley-based lifts, metallic water pumps, and the printing press. Photography is not something that the people inside the Walls initially know about, as Eren Jaeger, Mikasa Ackermann, Hange Zoë and Levi Ackermann are not able to identify what a photograph is without Grisha's note written on the backside.
Outside of the Fritz bloodline, the remaining eight Titans were kept within various families subservient to the monarchy. Conflict frequently arose between the houses, though the exact influences each had over Eldia as a whole is unknown.
While under the authority of Marley, the people of Eldia held no political influence in the nation, being segregated into internment zones separate from the population. The only government information received by the Eldians of Marley came through public announcements or secret information sent from spies such as "the Owl."
- Main article: Royal Government (Anime)
When the last remnants of Eldia after the Great Titan War were isolated within the Walls, the Royal Government served as the head of power throughout the land. The main body of the Royal Government consisted of the monarch of the Walls as well as an assembly of noblemen subservient to the monarch. However, soon after the founding of the Walls, the King, took his family into hiding under the new name of the "Reiss family," playing the role of a house of nobles in Wall Sina. While in hiding, the Reiss family would still communicate with the assembly while a false monarch held the public throne.
Politics and Diplomacy
Little can be said of the diplomacy of the Eldian Empire in ancient times, due to slander spread by the Marley government after the war. After the Empire's downfall at the hands of Marley, the Eldians of the continental mainland held no political positions of power, with the known exception of "the Owl," an Eldian spy within the Marleyan Marley Public Security.
As King Fritz had wanted, the Eldians of Paradis Island who lived within the Walls made no interactions with any nation of the outside world, believing themselves to be the last surviving remnants of humanity in a world conquered by the Titans.
Very little can be said of the military possessed by the Eldian Empire in the days before the building of the Walls. Evidently, the Nine Titans under Eldia's control played a great part in the nation's conquering of the known world centuries ago. These Titans may have served as leaders or commanders for ground infantry in ancient times, as portrayed in the history books in Marley. Furthermore, the Founding Titan was able to command armies of "Pure Titans" on the battlefield, with great destructive potential. While nothing is known exactly of the Eldian military at the time of the Great Titan War, it is highly likely that its technology would be comparable or equal to that of the military of the Eldians who would live within the Walls by the end of the war, since technological advancement was suppressed by the Royal Government after the raising of the Walls.
After the downfall of the Eldian Empire and the rise of Marley on the continental mainland, the Eldians under Marleyan rule ceased to have a standing military, but they did make organized attempts to fight off their new rulers. In Grisha Jaeger's youth, open rebellion had become a thing of the past. Militant-minded Eldians largely went underground or chose to continue the fight by infiltrating the ranks of Marley's government and military force. Most of the Eldians of Marley, as low-class citizens, would have no possession of serious military power until the time of the Warrior program, where Eldian children were given the opportunity to inherit the seven Titans in possession of the Marley government.
- Main article: Military (Anime)
After the raising of the Walls, the Eldians of Paradis Island possessed a three-branch military with each branch serving specific functions: the Garrison, which safeguards and reinforces the three Walls; the Scout Regiment, who venture beyond the Walls into Titan territory as a means of researching the Titans; and the Military Police Regiment, which exercises control and order over the citizens of the Walls. The latter-most branch is a position of privilege available only to the top ten graduates of each yearly Cadet Corps.
Upon finally reaching the basement in the Jaeger family household in Shiganshina District, the Scout Regiment discovers three of Grisha Jaeger's books, describing all his knowledge of the history of Eldia and his own experiences in joining the Eldian resistance in Marley. These findings are later discussed in a meeting between the surviving members of the Scout Regiment as well as the highest military leaders, where the nation of the Walls is acknowledged by its people as Eldia for the first time in over a century.
- The emblem of Eldia is a nine-pointed star, most commonly found on the armbands of Eldian citizens in Marley.
- The name Eldia in Japanese, Erudia, is similar to the Latin word "erudio," a word that has multiple translations such as instruct, educate, and enlighten.
- The history of Marleyans and Eldians is comparable with that of the Rwandan populations of Hutu and Tutsi. By 1700, the Rwandan populace coalesced into around eight kingdoms, of which the Tutsi Kingdom of Rwanda became dominant and oppressed the Hutu, fueling a hard relationship between the two races that lasted for centuries. In 1994, during the Rwandan Civil War, the then Hutu majority government perpetrated a genocide against the Tutsi which resulted in the extermination of around 70% of the Tutsi population.
- The Eldian Empire's imperialistic past resembles the British Empire's.
- The technology of the Eldians within the Walls appears to roughly correspond with the technology of pre-Industrial or early Industrial civilization in the Western world.
- If mirrored vertically, the territory of the old Eldian Empire is very similar to Africa.
- Marley's placement in an alternate Africa also coincides with the Rwanda parallelism, as Rwanda is a country within the mainland of Africa some distance northwest of Madagascar. When turned mirrored vertically, Rwanda is at the southwest, and it is said that Titans primarily target the southern regions of the Walls.