Hange Zoë is a Squad Leader of the Survey Corps in charge of the 4th squad, and directs experiments in Titan research.
|Survey Corps Commanders|
|◄ Preceded by|| 14th|
|Followed by ►|
Erwin Smith (845-850)
Armin Arlert (854-Current)
|Do you know what exactly we in the Survey Corps have spilled our blood for? To take back our freedom the Titans stole from us. For that cause...our lives were a small price to pay!|
|— Hange lecturing Minister Nick|
Hange Zoë (ハンジ・ゾエ Hanji Zoe?) was the 14th commander (団長 Danchō?) of the Survey Corps, named so by Erwin Smith before his death. Hange was formerly a squad leader (分隊長 Bun-taichō?) in charge of the Fourth Squad, having the duties of innovative inventing and conducting research on Titans, including Eren Yeager who has the ability to transform into a Titan. Since their promotion to commander, Hange also was in charge of expedition planning, management of the regiment, recruiting, and all the other responsibilities previously handled by Erwin.
Hange had wide, light brown eyes and shoulder length dark brown hair that they often kept tied up in an unkempt high ponytail with bangs parted down the middle. When Hange was caught in an explosion caused by Bertolt Hoover transforming, their left eye was badly injured. This led them to wear a small black eye patch over it. As a constantly busy person, their hair was thrown up very quickly and was usually oily and unclean. Along with their eye patch, Hange wore square, thick-rimmed glasses that had bands strapped around their head to keep them from dislodging during combat. However, when they were out of combat they wore thin oval-shaped glasses, still keeping the bands on their head most of the time. Hange was occasionally shown pulling their glasses up onto their forehead from time to time, often to indicate seriousness or anger. Hange was often seen wearing the normal Survey Corps uniform with a white button-up shirt underneath. When on missions or business, they wore the traditional green Survey Corps cloak and in addition to this uniform, Hange wore a bolo-tie at all times as the other military commanders do. When out of uniform, Hange usually wore a white button-up shirt with black pants, and occasionally sporting a black coat. If Hange was in a hurry, they would only wear their Survey Corps jacket; even if it was over their sleepwear.
To most people, Hange appeared to be an energetic, freethinking researcher with a very unique way of conducting themselves and their work through their rather observant and objective character. They explained that they first had a very resentful heart and insecure character when they joined the Survey Corps, but when they kicked the head of a 3 meter Titan they were shocked and amazed at how abnormally light it was. This drove Hange to forget most of their resentment and insecurity, as well as taking an outside the box approach to Titan research and showcased their wild actions. Hange also showed great compassion for their Titan test subjects, even crying when they were forced to put Bean in severe pain for an experiment, and having a complete meltdown when the Titans were killed.
As the threat of the enemy became much more severe, Hange less frequently showed their lighthearted nature, often becoming blunt and serious. However, Hange still displayed great empathy toward others in general, as well as high sympathy for the dead and the suffering. The last was seen when they attempted to console Mikasa Ackerman by explaining their agony over the constant loss of their comrades, all while hugging her in sorrow. Despite being a brave soldier, Hange confided in Moblit Berner that they felt terror in all of the Titan things that were unknown to them, but their curiosity about the Titans and concern toward Hange's dear ones appeared to be greater. As their responsibilities continued to grow with their position as Commander, Hange more frequently showed signs of severe anger, stress, and exhaustion.
Hange was a genius, using their brain to create weapons, tactical plans, and inventions for the benefit of humanity. As a leader, Hange was thoughtful of their comrades, and could easily figure out complex problems in order to create plans for their teammates to carry out. On a less cheerful note, they could use this genius anyway they could, being able to easily manipulate people to do what Hange wanted, in order to benefit humanity (see Intelligence).
However, Hange's energetic attitude was only half of their personality, alongside a darker attitude normally kept under their usual self. They showed a psychotic side when giving a demented smile to Djel Sannes, telling him of the horrible pain Hange was going to cause him for what he did to Hange's friend, Minister Nick. Furthermore, Hange even smiled and sarcastically joked with Sannes during his torture at Hange's and Levi Ackerman's hands. Probably the strongest emotion Hange expressed was anger, as they were often seen flipping from calm and collected to rage-filled and threatening. However, this extreme change in personality was usually brief as they quickly calmed down themselves, and was only seen in highly urgent situations; this change of character is often marked by Hange putting their glasses on top of their head, and their cheery nature can be seen returning when they put them back down.
During an expedition outside of Wall Rose, Hange and Levi find the corpse of a fallen Survey Corps member. Upon looking at the soldier's armband, Hange states that it is from the 34th expedition, belonging to a woman named Ilse Langnar who had died a year prior.
Hange is present among the Survey Corps as they leave Trost District on another expedition to study the world outside the Walls and lay groundwork for their eventual return to Shiganshina District to retake Wall Maria. As the crowd admires Captain Levi, Hange jokes that his admirers would be disappointed if they knew what a clean freak he was.
Hange and Mike Zacharias are assigned to take Eren to his court hearing in front of the leaders of the Military. Hange is present with the rest of the Survey Corps as Levi beats up Eren and checks on his condition after the tribunal is over, noting that Eren's lost tooth grew back.
Later, when Eren and the Special Operations Squad are at the former Survey Corps Headquarters, Hange explains that Hange is in charge of experimenting with captured Titans Sonny and Bean and begins to prep Eren on previous experiments, but noting his enthusiasm to learn, ends up talking until morning. Hange was about to talk about the curious precedent involving Ilse Langnar when they were interrupted with news that Bean and Sonny were dead. Rushing to the site, Hange cries at the loss of the Titans.
Hange later moves forward with the experiments on Eren. When it turns out Eren cannot turn into a Titan at will, Hange is a little disheartened. However, seeing Eren's Titan hand later on earned an overly-excited response from Hange and breaks the tension between Eren and the Special Operations Squad. When Hange excitedly runs to Eren and touches his Titan arm, Hange burns their own hands on the exposed muscle. When Hange finds a teaspoon being clutched by Eren's Titan arm, Hange concludes that Eren's Titan powers are only awakened when he has a clear objective in mind, such as defending his friends from a cannon. Hange also hypothesized that this switch must have a good reason as well as being connected to the Titan's nature.
During the 57th Expedition Outside the Walls, a Female Titan attacks the Survey Corps and decimates their ranks. After the Female Titan is lured into the Survey Corps' trap in a Titan Forest and captured, Hange mockingly explains to it that the Special target restraining weapon is designed so that the more its wounds heal the more its joints will be immobilized.
The Female Titan lets out a deafeningly loud roar, leading numerous Titans begin to swarm the area and attack it. When they begin to devour the Female Titan, Erwin orders all squads to engage the Titans and defend the Female to the death. Hange fights relentlessly among their comrades but to no avail. The Commander, realizing that all is lost, orders his soldiers to pull back and return to Karenes District.
As they retreat from the forest, Hange asks Erwin why he ordered Levi to resupply and split off from them. Erwin asks Hange if they saw the Female Titan's operator get eaten along with the Titan itself, and Hange realizes with horror that their enemy is still alive.
Hange's squad is tasked with capturing Annie Leonhart in Stohess District after it is revealed that she is the Female Titan. After Annie is incapacitated, Hange stops Keiji from continuing to try and break open the crystal Annie encased herself in to avoid capture. Hange orders the crystal containing Annie be removed to safety and worries for the future of the Survey Corps after this failure of a mission. Hange then notices Mikasa is still on the Wall, and is surprised to see that she has found a Titan within the hole. This makes Hange speculate if there are Titans all throughout the Walls. Hange is then approached by Minister Nick who begs the soldiers to stop sunlight from hitting the Titan's face to prevent it from awakening.
After this, Hange tries to question the Minister about what they had just seen, but he roughly states that they do not need to know anything about it, and even threatens to demand compensation for damages done to his church. Furious at his attitude, Hange grabs Nick and holds him over the side of the Wall as a threat, demanding that Nick explain why there are Titans inside the Wall.
Hange comes to the conclusion that his religion has been so opposed to Wall modifications because of what they know is inside the Wall. Hange claims that the people of the Survey Corps sacrifice their lives hoping that one day it will mean something, and because of this they have the right to know what they saw inside the Wall and why it is there.
However, Nick refuses to reveal anything and clearly shows that he would rather die than tell his secrets, but Hange decides to let him live and throws him back onto the Wall.
Twenty hours after Titans are sighted in Wall Rose, Hange is seen on a carriage with Eren, Mikasa, Armin, Levi, and Nick. When Armin questions the reasoning for Nick being there, Hange explains that Nick and the Church of the Walls are keeping secrets about the Titans within the Wall. When Eren lashes out at him, Hange explains that Nick is now considering talking, so he is going to see what the effects of the current situation are doing to the people and Hange explains that he is probably keeping quiet because there is a motive greater than saving humanity. It is revealed that Levi is holding Nick at gunpoint and he states that he will easily keep an eye on Nick.
Levi then asks why Hange is fiddling with a rock in their hands and Hange explains that it is a piece of hardened flesh that fell off Annie when she was trapped in Stohess and that it has not evaporated. When Hange says this, Armin is shocked and questions it, as Hange states that when compared to the Wall material it is the same. They then theorize that the entire Wall is made up of hardened Titan flesh. Armin suggests that if an operation were to be carried out at night, they may be able to make it to Wall Maria and have Eren plug the hole with his Titan body if he could harden it.
Nick, after seeing the state of the citizens due to the Wall Rose breach, finally tells Hange and the other members of the Survey Corps about Historia and that she knows more about the Walls having Titans in them. She went under an assumed name after she was caught in the middle of her relative's dispute, and will tell the corps more about it if she chooses to. When Eren, Mikasa, and Armin hear that Krista Lenz is a fake name, they are shocked and run off to find her. Hange states not to know all the new recruits from the 104th Training Corps and Mikasa describes Historia as the girl always with Ymir. This greatly shocks Hange and Levi as the Titan that spoke with Ilse Langnar spoke about someone named Ymir.
After Utgard Castle falls, Hange and their squad come to save and evacuate the reaming soldiers. Hange is shocked to realize that Ymir has the power of the Titans and is worried about the wounds she sustained after fighting off the Titans.
The surviving soldiers are brought on top of the Walls and Hange overviews the situation on Ymir's wounds and speaks of her value to humanity to Historia Reiss after learning her name is not Krista Lenz. When Hannes arrives with the Garrison vanguard, Hange gives orders to stand by in Trost as there is no breach. When Reiner Braun reveals to Eren that he and Bertolt Hoover are the Colossus and Armored Titans, Eren has a flashback to Hange briefing them on two suspects of Colossus and Armored Titan identities. Hange explains that Reiner and Bertolt came from the same area as Annie and that they were on the right flank of the expedition where Annie appeared as The Female Titan. When everyone dismisses them being affiliated with her, Armin recalls that Reiner drew out Eren's location from him and probably wrote it on Annie's hand when she captured him. Hange then states that they are not to know that they are suspected.
After the transformation of the Colossus and Armored Titans, Hange directs soldiers fighting the Colossus atop the Wall while Eren, transformed, fights the Armored on the ground. After dodging a swing by it, Hange attempts to launch an attack on the half-transformed Colossus but it emits a huge burst of constant hot steam and Hange then tells their soldiers to stand by until it stops. Hange then takes the first squad down the Wall and directs their attack at the Armored Titan.Hange leads an effort to back up Eren in his battle against the Armored Titan, and strategizes with Eren after jumping on his shoulder and tells him to break Reiner's legs. Hange then remembers history concerning armor and how knights needed to be able to move. She is able to accurately deduct that the seemingly-invulnerable Armored Titan has unprotected areas at the joints to allow freedom of movement. This allows Eren and Mikasa to bring him down; but after he lets out a loud scream, the Colossus Titan drops from the Wall on top of Eren and the soldiers.
It is revealed that the Colossus Titan disappeared when it fell off the Wall and that Reiner and Bertolt kidnapped Ymir and Eren. Those who were on the lower part of the Wall were hit with a heat wave and wind pressure from his fall. Hange is heavily injured and unable to move at this time and it has been five hours since Eren was taken. Erwin arrives with reinforcements and some of the Military Police Brigade. Hange then crawls over to a soldier and grabs their ankle, weakly asking for a map. Still laying on their stomach, Hange explains that the enemies probably went to a nearby Titan Forest and that they are probably exhausted from fighting and need to be shielded from other Titans. Hange states that they have until nightfall to reach them.
In the following two weeks, Hange makes a full recovery and begins supervising the investigation of Ragako. Aided by Connie Springer, Hange uncovers the horrifying truth that Titans were once humans, transformed by some unknown means into mindless beings. Though shaken by this revelation, Hange is able to complete the investigation and present their findings to Erwin and Dot Pixis. As previous experiments have never uncovered anything unusual about a Titan's nape, Hange theorizes that the Titan form absorbs the human pilot completely, and that the true means to slay a Titan is the decapitation of what remains of the human.
Soon after, Hange receives word from Moblit that Nick has been murdered. Immediately suspicious, Hange goes to the crime scene and interrogates the two members of the Military Police guarding the site, claiming to be an old friend of the victim. Upon observing Nick's corpse, Hange is able to note tell-tale signs of torture on him, and wounds on one officer's hands that suggest he took part in the beating. Pretending to believe the policemen's official story that Nick was killed in a robbery, Hange expresses their intentions to find the culprits and avenge Nick. Hange and their squad immediately take the news of Nick's death to Squad Levi.
Hange is later seen performing experiments on Eren's Titan. Hange and Mikasa try to free him from the Titan, but find that his body has begun to fuse to it. Hange asks Moblit Berner to make a sketch of it as Mikasa cuts Eren out, and declares the experiment to be over. After Eren regains consciousness, Hange explains to him the details of the experiment. Initially, Eren had control of his Titan and was able to respond to commands, but soon, for no apparent reason, Eren seemed to become pained, and wrote on the ground "my father...to me," a message which intrigues Hange. Despite these failures, Hange expresses optimism that they will be able to get useful information about Eren's versatility and limitations.
The Survey Corps begins to conspire to rebel against the monarchy and discover the secrets they are willing to kill for. When Sannes is captured by the Survey Corps, Levi aids Hange in interrogating him. The two take turns torturing the prisoner, before leaving to fetch his comrade, Ralph. They force him at knife-point to read a script outside Sannes' door, making him believe he has been betrayed and is considered a lunatic by his comrades. This causes the man to break, revealing to Hange the secret of the Reiss family—the true rulers of mankind.
After Sannes' confession, Hange mocks him at length, revealing the truth about Ralph's apparent betrayal. Sannes is deeply shaken, but he warns Hange that someone else will take his place and wishes Hange luck. Visibly shaken, Hange leaves the dungeon and enters a room, violently kicking over a table. Eren finds Hange, and shares with them a recollection of Bertolt and Ymir's conversation, which shocks Hange enough that they rush off to speak to Erwin.
Out of breath upon arriving at headquarters, Hange collapses on the ground before Erwin and warns him that their plans may be ruined. Eren's notes lead Hange to theorize that Titans can absorb the powers of their victims, which allowed Ymir to go from an ordinary Titan to a human with the power of the Titans after devouring one. Hange states that Reiner most likely threw Titans at the soldiers in hopes of Eren being devoured, creating a new holder of the Coordinate. In the same fashion, Hange believes that the Reiss family are going to feed Eren to a Titan in order to pass the Coordinate on to someone they can control.
Before they can continue, Erwin receives word that he has been accused of organizing a murder. He orders Hange and Moblit to leave immediately, and names Hange acting commander of the Survey Corps in his absence. Afterward, Hange discovers Flegel being pursued by the Military Police, and carries him to safety. There, Hange learns what really happened to Flegel's father and attempts to persuade him to continue fighting in his father's stead. When he states they have already lost, Hange reminds him with a smile that the Survey Corps has always had a losing record.
Hange breaks into the Berg Newspapers office, to enlist the paper's help. She informs the two staff members that she now knows the newspaper is fiction controlled by the government, and claims she is going to break their hands, so they can no longer write, before realizing that they are in a position of fear, trying to protect their families. She asks the men to run a report on them for just one day.
When Flegel is cornered by the MPs, Hange and Moblit come to his aid, easily dispatching the three soldiers, and revealing that the 'abandoned' buildings of Trost are actually full of citizens who have heard the police admit to framing the Survey Corps. Hange then confronts Roy and Peaure, who have been watching the encounter. Peaure is willing to help, but Roy is still apprehensive, fearing for his family.
Hange, alongside Marlowe Freudenberg and Hitch Dreyse, later find Levi and his squad after they attacked the Military Police headquarters and Levi attempted to beat information out of a captured MP. Hange tells them that the false charges against the Survey Corps have been dropped and that their actions were seen as legitimate self-defense. Hange goes on to tell them that the royal capital and the administrative district are now under Commander-in-Chief Darius Zackly's control and that there has been no counter-rebellion so far. As the squad rejoices in their regained freedom, Hange remembers Peaure convincing Roy to make him print the proper article. Levi informs Hange that he does not know where Eren and Historia are, but Hange has an idea of where they are and claims that they will end the battle there.
After getting Berg Newspapers to distribute the truth about the Military Police and the Survey Corps, Hange and Moblit go to a stable and meet with Marlowe and Hitch. On the way, they are met with a crowd of villagers who give them information on the Reiss family. After learning this, Hange sends Moblit to deliver the news to Erwin and then meet up with Levi and his squad. After explaining that Eren may be eaten in order to have his Titan shifting powers taken, Hange explains a report commissioned by Erwin of a survey on the Reiss family grounds. Hange explains that if they are with them, Eren and Historia are likely on their grounds and that some Survey Corps soldiers disguised as farmers were able to gather intel on the family and most of what they got led back to an incident five years ago where Rod Reiss, who already had five children, had an illegitimate child with a servant.
While Marlowe and Hitch ask a local for information, Levi explains that Kenny will be their biggest threat. Hange points out that if the previous day was his first time using the anti-personnel vertical maneuvering equipment in battle, there may be a significant opening.
Hange, Levi, and his squad arrive at the Reiss Chapel, finding the hidden doorway to the caves below while Marlowe and Hitch stand guard outside. While the interior MPs await them inside for an ambush, the Survey Corps charges to open the door to the cave and roll in several gas canisters tied to barrels. They then charge in behind as Sasha Blouse uses flaming arrows to create a smoke cloud, and Armin fires flares to obscure them. During the battle, Hange is injured in the shoulder by a hook fired by one of Kenny's subordinates and thrown into a wall, then crashing down on the floor. Levi orders Armin to care for Hange while the rest of the squad advances.
After squad Levi escapes the Reiss caves and follows after a now Titan Rod, Hange is seen laying in one of the wagons, still wounded. Hange notes that they now know that only people of the Reiss bloodline can use its true power, and that if any Reiss member does get the power that they will be controlled by the ideology of the First King and will not free humanity. As it is decided that they will have to kill Rod Reiss, Hange asks Historia if she is really okay with it.
Arriving in Orvud District, the Garrison members stationed in the district are appalled to hear that the Survey Corps do not want to evacuate the district, and Hange explains that the Titan is being attracted to the large populace, which is why they want to keep them in Orvud so they can direct where the Titan goes.
As a backup plan in the event that the Garrison is unsuccessful in destroying Rod's Titan, Erwin has Hange and Moblit bring gunpowder, ropes, and a net, to him while the Garrison tries to kill Rod with the wall's cannons. As Rod's Titan climbs up onto the Wall and kneels in front of it, Eren transforms and grabs the haul of gunpowder Hange brought, and uses it to blow apart Rod's head.
Two months after Historia's coronation, Hange is actively engaged in running tests on Eren's Titan hardening ability in preparation for their journey to Wall Maria. In Trost District, a soldier lures a Titan into Hange's invention the Executioner from Hell as its creator watches. As it crushes and kills a Titan, Hange and Moblit cheer and rejoice in the success of the invention. Hange states that they can run these all day without the need for soldiers fighting Titans or using cannons and other resources. Hange then tells the reporters assembled to spread the news to the people, and then turns to Eren and says that they can mass produce these and put them in every Wall city, but stops after seeing Levi handing Eren a handkerchief for a nosebleed he has. Levi points out that Eren's body likely has a limit for what it can do, and Hange apologizes to Eren.
Hange is later present at a Military meeting headed by Darius Zackly. After the meeting ends, Hange meets with the officials in another room and is questioned about the contents of the bottle found in the Reiss Chapel. Hange states to know it is made from spinal fluid thanks to Eren and Historia, but claims that since it evaporates as soon as it touches air it is hard to research. Hange says that this stuff is far beyond their capabilities and questions what the Reiss family did if they created it.
At dinner, Eren remembers Hange explaining to him that Ymir was actually a Titan that wandered around outside the Walls, based on her conversation with Reiner and Bertolt. Hange then ponders a theory to oneself for a moment and states that they will have to talk to the commander.
Hange accompanies Eren to inquire with Instructor Shadis about his involvement with Dr. Yeager. After listening to Keith's story, Hange becomes irritated. Deducing that he retired to the training camp out of feelings of obligation and inferiority to others, they claim that he ran away for a childish reason and tells him not to bring his feelings of inferiority into this matter.
After their return from the training ground, Hange participates in a meeting of a few Survey Corps members in which they explain to Erwin all the information Instructor Shadis gave to them and Squad Levi. Erwin and Hange speculate that Grisha may have wanted to help humanity but was unable to, and ponder what is in the basement in Shiganshina. Hange is later seen in the dining hall eating with the same Survey Corps members, appalled at the soldiers' fighting over the food.
The day of the operation, all the soldiers are ready at dawn. Hange and other high-ranking soldiers salute to members of the other branches and head to the Wall. However, the soldiers are surprised after seeing that the civilians know about the operation's goals and start to cheer for them. Although they are initially annoyed that word of their departure has spread, they are silenced by the sight or Erwin, ecstatic to have such fanfare for the corps, cheering along with the civilians.
On the way to Shiganshina, the soldiers come across a Titan near dawn. Hange quickly orders that they illuminate the Titan, briefly observes the Titan, and orders them to leave it alone as it is shutting down due to lack of sunlight. Reaching Shiganshina, Erwin orders the corps to switch to vertical maneuvering equipment. As Hange and Levi each fire off a signal flare, the two mention how odd it is that they have not seen a single Titan and that they are probably playing into the enemies hands.
After Eren succeeds in sealing the outer hole in Wall Maria, Hange's squad begins moving to the second gate to finish sealing the hole. Seeing a signal flare from Erwin, they order their squad to take up positions atop Wall Maria. It is from there that they witness the sudden appearance of Reiner Braun, followed by the Beast Titan and his Titan army.
On Erwin's orders, all the soldiers deploy. Squad Levi, without Levi himself, and Squad Hange deploy to take down the Armored Titan. Eren transforms and draws Reiner into a fight, while Hange and the soldiers under them prepare to fight Reiner with their new weapons.
As Eren engages Reiner, Hange's squad begins positioning around the two. Eren maneuvers Reiner into a spot where he can be attacked, and Hange and Mikasa dash in and take out his eyes with their spears, as other soldiers strike his nape. Hange then orders another round of spears to be used on his nape. Hange orders another round of spears to be prepared for a third attack, but they notice movement from Reiner, and moments later he lets out a roar. Hange orders that they hit him again, but Armin warns them that they must flee.
As Bertolt flies up above them in a barrel, the soldiers flee from the predicted blast radius until they realize he has halted in his attack. As part of the Survey Corps surrounds Bertolt, Hange leads the rest of the soldiers to finish off Reiner. As they come upon the Armored Titan lying supine upon the ground, Hange spots Bertolt flying overhead just before he transforms into the Colossus Titan. Hange, Moblit, and the soldiers under their command are caught in the explosion of his transformation. They are saved by Moblit pushing Hange into a well as the explosive shockwave hits. Their left eye is injured during the event.
When trying to think of a way to defeat the Colossus Titan, Armin recalls Hange stating that the Colossus was susceptible to drawn-out battles. He thinks back to their experiments with Eren, and recalls when Hange led a squad fighting Bertolt on top of Wall Rose, realizing that he must consume flesh to make steam and eventually will run out and be unable to move as a skeleton.
Hange reappears to help Squad Levi as they attempt to fight the Armored Titan. Hange uses their last Thunder Spear to blow apart Reiner's jaw and open his mouth, allowing Mikasa to shoot her Thunder Spear into Reiner's mouth, blowing him out of his Titan's nape.
Hange interrogates Reiner about a case he had on his person, and Reiner claims it is a letter from Ymir to Historia, which Hange agrees to deliver. When Reiner refuses to give any other information, Hange prepares to kill him but is halted by Jean, who recommends they feed Reiner to someone injected with the Titan serum. Hange insists they must kill him immediately, but Jean continues to press the subject until Hange sends Mikasa to retrieve the serum. They tell Mikasa to shoot a flare if she cannot, so Hange will know to kill Reiner.
Just as Mikasa fires her flare, Zeke and the Cart Titan appear behind Hange and attempts to kill them. Jean is able to tackle Hange out of the way, but the Cart Titan manages to retrieve Reiner in their retreat. Jean curses his decision to intervene, but Hange again reminds him that this was their choice.
When Hange arrives with Levi's squad to see Eren's group, they find Mikasa attempting to steal the Titan injection from Levi so that she can use it to save Armin, despite Levi's choice to save Erwin. Hange apprehends Mikasa, holding her back as Levi prepares the injection for Erwin. Hange tries to convince her that humanity needs Erwin to be saved, explaining that they still require Erwin's leadership.
Hange tells Mikasa that they too have people they wish could bring back, and tells Mikasa that everyone has to say goodbye someday, insisting that they all must move forward. Levi decides to save Erwin and Hange takes Mikasa and clears the roof with everyone else. However, when Levi returns to them, he returns with Erwin, having chosen to save Armin. He swears to Erwin that he will kill the Beast Titan, before Hange notes that Erwin has already died.
After Armin awakens atop the Wall, Hange and the others gather around him and brief him on the events from the past four hours and the previous battle. Hange notes that they believed Erwin should have lived as well, but concedes that there is nothing more to say about their current situation, and that Hange and Armin will have to carry on in Erwin’s stead.
Hange accompanies Levi, Mikasa and Eren to the Yeager house. After managing to enter the basement, they notice that at first glance, it looks like a typical study. Deducing that it was meant to look ordinary, the four search the room and locate a small keyhole on the side of the desk, which accepts Eren's key. It unlocked a small, empty drawer which Levi finds a false bottom in. Within are three books, and together Eren and Mikasa open the first book and find a piece of paper inside.
Returning to Trost District, the four recount what they had seen: a photograph, with a message from Grisha stating that he is from beyond the Walls where humanity lives an extensive and refined existence. Humanity has not perished outside of the walls.
Hange joins Levi and Armin in visiting Eren and Mikasa in prison, announcing that their sentence has been cut short. The group meets with Historia to speak with her, before meeting with other military commanders and officials to discuss the recent expedition, the journals, and the massive loss of life. Hange informs the officials about what was discovered from the journals, revealing their role as Subjects of Ymir, and how they are being hunted by others due to once ruling the world and having the potential to rule it again. Despite concerns of revealing this information to the citizens of the Walls, it is decided that they will announce their findings to the people.
Later, the nine surviving soldiers of the Survey Corps are awarded a medal of honor in the form of a dark bolo tie with the wings of freedom on it.
Months later, the Survey Corps once again ventures outside of Wall Maria on an expedition for the first time in six years. They eventually come into contact with a Titan that lacks proper limbs to walk on, before following the trail left by its crawling until they reach the edge of Paradis Island. Here, the Survey Corps sees the ocean for the first time. The soldiers dismount their horses, roll up their pant legs and step into the water in awe, where Hange retrieves what appears to be sea cucumbers before staring into the horizon.
Roughly a year after the retaking of Wall Maria, Hange brings the Survey Corps to the shore of Paradis Island to defend the coast from Marleyan interference. Hange and Levi capture a soldier from the advance party of the first survey fleet, to use as a hostage. As Eren's Titan overpowers and beaches the fleet's main vessel, Hange welcomes the Marleyan soldiers and offers them tea. The captain refuses and gives his soldiers the order to fire; however, another soldier named Yelena shoots the captain dead and agrees to the invitation.
At a camp nearby, Hange inspects Yelena's Marleyan weaponry in amazement and is shocked when Onyankopon admits that Marley is capable of attacking from the sky. Hange asks why they have yet to attack with these capabilities and learns that, along with Titan activity making invasion difficult, Marley is in the middle of a war against multiple countries. Hange correctly guesses that the two are spies working against Marley and is shocked to hear the one backing their efforts is none other than Zeke Yeager. At an assembled meeting between the military, Hange passes on the list of requirements given by Zeke that would ensure his cooperation. The other military heads are initially skeptical about the plan, but Eren is able to back up Zeke's claims, convincing them to work with the volunteers. Hange works closely with Onyankopon, Yelena and several other Marleyan soldiers for the next three years, incorporating modern means of transportation like ports and train tracks on the shores of the island.
Another year passes and Hange takes the Survey Corps and meets with an ambassador from the nation of Hizuru named Kiyomi Azumabito. Hange is present during the meeting where Kiyomi outlines the three procedures Paradis must follow in order to catch up with the other nations of the world, including Historia taking the role of the Beast Titan from Zeke Yeager. Hange wonders if all of this would end in fifty years as Kiyomi suggests, or all Titan inheritor families would go through the same thing the Reiss family had for generations. Hange does not think it would be forgivable to leave such a problem for future generations.
In 853, Hange receives word from Hizuru saying that they will be unable to help Eldia trade with the outside world. Despite being disheartened initially, Hange decides to hold an expedition to Marley, intending to meet and build trust with the people outside the Walls.
Roughly a year later, the Survey Corps veterans journey to Marley's mainland to meet with Kiyomi. At the Azumabito estate, Hange and Kiyomi discuss the unlikeliness of Eldia forming friendly relationships with other countries. Hange decides the Corpsmen must remain undercover and place their faith in the "Association to protect the Subjects of Ymir" speaking at an international forum the following day.
The soldiers sit in on a speech by the association discussing the mistreatment of displaced Subjects of Ymir. They are horrified when the speaker begins calling for the hatred being shown towards Eldians worldwide to be redirected towards the Eldians living on Paradis. Eren slinks off during the hearing, and later sends letters to the Survey Corps, informing them of his intention to trust Zeke and attack Liberio.
During the Survey Corps' attack, Hange takes command of the airship functioning as the Corps getaway vehicle. After collecting Armin from the nape of his Colossus Titan, Hange has Onyankopon follow a path of lights set up in the internment zone to ease the Survey Troops' extraction. Hange discusses the risky nature of the plan with Armin, wondering if he has been possessed by the ghost of Erwin. As the Survey Corps soldiers file back into the airship, Hange orders Onyankopon to stay the course, before asking Zeke if everything went to plan. When Eren says they have bought themselves some time by destroying the leaders of the Marley army and their naval ports, Hange says that his actions have made the entirety of Paradis Island a target to the rest of the world. Hange reprimands Eren for deciding to use himself as bait again, forcing the Survey Corps to come to save him once more. As a result, Hange declares that the Corps has lost their trust in him.
After returning from Marley, Hange visits Eren in his cell and hears him talking to himself. Hange tries to get him to open up by reminding him of the first time they met, but Eren is not in the mood. Although Eren had insisted that there is a better alternative to Zeke's plan to maintain the "Rumbling" by having Historia bear as many royal-blooded children as possible, Hange states that no other option has presented itself. Hange asks him if he no longer cared about Historia, considering all the trouble he has caused by acting independently of the Survey Corps. Eren does not answer, and instead threatens Hange by grabbing them through the bars, saying that if there is another way they should tell him. Hange pulls free and leaves the prison, calling Eren a rebellious idiot. Outside, Hange laments that being made commander was Erwin's only mistake before he died.
Hange later receives word that several recruits had leaked Eren's confinement to the press and goes to interrogate them. As Hange approaches the building where they are held, Hange is surrounded by members of the press who bombard Hange with questions. Hange tells them to take it up with the Military Police, but is confronted by both Roy and Flegel Reeves. Flegel asks Hange to look him in the eye and say he can still trust their judgment; after a pause, Hange merely states it is for the good of the entire Eldian race. Hange goes in and confronts the leakers, asking Floch why they did it. After hearing it was to free Eren, Hange reminds the four that his actions have given a reason for the other nations of the world to target them and endangered all their lives. Hange goes on to say that there is no guarantee the "Rumbling" will even work at all. After hearing Floch ask Eren be freed immediately, Hange reiterates that they went through with Zeke's plan but the responsibility is still Hange's; they have the four arrested and taken away to be punished. Alone in the room, Hange remembers their conversation with Djel Sannes and mentions there is still something they need to do.
Hange meets with Onyankopon, who asks them why the Walls are doubting the volunteers after all their cooperation. Hange apologizes for this, telling him that this was not what they had envisioned. When he agrees, Hange fearfully looks into his eyes for confirmation. Hange tells him about the secret meeting between Yelena and Eren, and Onyankopon shows himself to have been unaware of this, though does not deny that it was likely. Hange asks him to inform on Yelena, who he says had shown her loyalty to Zeke by her ruthlessness towards suspect Marleyan comrades. Hange finds it odd that Yelena had acted so ruthlessly toward Marleyans, yet had been very outspoken in convincing the military to respect the captive soldiers' human rights. Believing him to be innocent, Hange releases Onyankopon from his house arrest and takes him. During an emergency military meeting, Hange provides an alibi for the volunteers stating that they are under house arrest while Onyankopon was with Hange all day. Hange is shocked to hear Eren has escaped his confinement and blocked the tunnel he made to cover his escape.
Hange informs the military officials that the Yeagerists's purpose is to put Zeke and Eren in contact with one another before purging the Corps with Eren at their center. Hange then mentions the military's plan to transfer the Founding from Eren to another soldier is what triggered the rebel's response. Roeg then demands Hange take responsibility but is interrupted by Pixis who insists they stop bickering among themselves. Pixis then asks Hange how many people know about Zeke's location before ordering to secure them. Afterwards, he announces they should surrender to Eren and begin negotiations much to everyone's surprise. After the meeting concludes, Hange and the other Survey Corps members leave to investigate the Marleyans in suspicious lines of work since they need to find out Zeke's intentions before he makes bigger fools of them.
The Survey Corps officers later arrive at a restaurant and are told by Niccolo to wait in another room while he attends to his other guests. Hange is later called to the other room to find Niccolo threatening to kill two Marleyan Warrior candidates. After surrendering himself, Niccolo asks Hange to rinse the wine from the mouth of the wounded candidate, revealing that the wine likely contains Zeke's spinal fluid. While Niccolo explains the reasons for his suspicion, Hange washes out the candidate's mouth. Connie exclaims how Eldians who drank the wine should have frozen up, but Hange explains that this could have easily been made up by Zeke to throw off suspicion. After more discourse, Hange orders those present to take measures to prevent ingesting the wine. Hange sends Onyankopon out of the room to tell Mikasa and Armin the same.
While helping bathe the Warrior candidate in a backroom, Hange hears Onyankopon call their name. Opening the door in curiosity, Hange is shocked to find Floch and the Yeagerists holding Onyankopon hostage. With guns pointed at the Corps, Floch demands that Hange take them to find Zeke, declaring that Eren has refused the military's ultimatum. While being bound, Hange accosts Floch that they do not have the time to be fighting one another, as Zeke's wine ploy has put everybody into the palms of his hands. By his apathetic reaction, Hange is able to deduce that Floch already knew about the wine, though he smugly instructs Hange to keep quiet. The Yeagerists then take the group to Shiganshina District. En route, Falco experiences a sudden shock, causing Hange to realize that Zeke has activated his spinal fluid.
After arriving in Shiganshina District, the Yeagerists interrupt the 109th Training Corps during a defense exercise. Floch demands that all of the assembled trainees join the Yeagerists and that they prove their loyalty by brutally beating their instructor, Keith Shadis - much to Hange's shock. Hange implores Floch to stop this, but Keith assures them he will be okay. After the Yeagerist-turned trainees finish beating him, Floch demands that Hange lead them to Zeke as Hange gazes sadly at the injured instructor.
As the Yeagerists head towards the Titan Forest where Zeke was being watched by Levi and 30 members of the Survey Corps, Hange hears the explosion of a Thunder Spear, and realizes that it came much closer than the forest. Floch and the Yeagerists go to investigate, and they all discover the remains of a wagon along with a Titan nearby. Hange then spots a soldier near the river and goes over to investigate; and is horrified to see that it is a severely wounded Levi. When a soldier volunteers to shoot Levi in the head as a precaution, Hange responds that there is no need to; recognizing the wounds as coming from a Thunder Spear, Hange proclaims Levi to be dead after suffering from severe internal injuries due to being caught up in the blast. Floch goes to check for sure, but the nearby Titan begins to suck steam into itself and dissipates, before a fully-healed Zeke emerges from the Titan's stomach, much to everyone's surprise. Taking advantage of the distraction, Hange quickly takes Levi and escapes by diving into the river while being fired upon by Yeagerists on horseback.
After killing their pursuers, Hange dresses Levi's wounds. Hange laments the situation they have been placed in, but begins fashioning a sled for Levi out of his destroyed wagon shortly after. As Hange is working, Eren announces the start of the Rumbling to all Eldian people through the Paths, much to Hange's horror. The message manages to rouse Levi and the two resolve to find a way to stop Eren.
While transporting Levi, Hange comes upon the Cart Titan and a Marleyan soldier before approaching them, insisting that Levi and themselves are harmless. Hange and Levi are able to convince the Warriors and the four agree to join forces.
Hange sneaks into Shiganshina and contacts Jean and Mikasa. Hange informs the two of the plan to join forces with Marley to stop Eren and asks that they also take part. Although Mikasa agrees, Jean is hesitant. Hange tries to argue that even if Eren is stopped, his threat will stave off any attacks on Paradis for a number of years and give them more time to broker peace with the outside world.
Jean's continued objections cause Hange to become angry and scream their objection before apologizing. Hange admits that their refusal to act is what forced Eren's hand, but they also make it clear that they do not believe any of their fallen comrades in the Survey Corps would have been happy simply saving one island when the rest of the world was at stake. Hange feels as though they can see the souls of their dissatisfied fallen comrades surrounding them. Hange admits that they are no longer Jean and the others' superior, but they are still the 14th commander of the Survey Corps. Jean then states that he is also a member of the Survey Corps, and agrees to join Hange in their pursuit.
After the Cart Titan rescues Jean, Onyankopon, and Yelena from the Yeagerists and Mikasa arrives with more reinforcements, the amassed soldiers all have dinner together. Tensions run high between the Warrior Unit and the Survey Corps and Hange is forced to intercede in the arguments that break out while Hange is cooking.
The group travels to the Paradis' harbor to use the Azumabito clan's airship, only to find that the Yeagerists are already occupying it. Hange deduces from the fact that the airship is still intact that the Yeagerists are not yet certain that anyone plans to oppose Eren and will not destroy the airship unless absolutely necessary. As Hange is watching the harbor, they realize that, based on the trail of steam left by Eren's Colossus Titans, Marley has likely already begun to feel the effects of the Rumbling.
With little time left to act, the group hatches a plan to trick Floch into freeing the Azumabito mechanics so that they can activate the airship. The plan goes awry and Floch alerts the Yeagerists in the harbor that they are under attack. Hange, Magath and Jean help Mikasa escort the Azumabito to the basement of the building they are being held in, giving Reiner and Annie the freedom to transform and fight the Yeagerists as Titans.
While sheltered, the mechanics inform the group, to their horror, that it will take them at least half a day to prepare the flying boat for launch. Hange laments that even if they get the boat running, the amount of time it will require and the rate that Eren's Titans are traveling will mean that they have no chance of saving Liberio. Kiyomi suggests bringing the flying boat to an island off Marley's coast, Odiha, where it can be serviced quicker, which the group agrees to.
Hange brings news of the new plan to Mikasa before engaging the Yeagerists themselves, helping to distract them as the Azumabitos go to the ship. However, Hange turns their attention to the Yeagerists reinforcements arriving by train and is baffled when it is derailed. Once the ship is ready to leave, Hange helps an injured Pieck board it before the group departs.
Once on the boat, Hange and Kiyomi reveal to the group that they will be heading to Odiha instead of Liberio, much to the Warriors' distress. Hange also states that Liberio cannot be saved anymore which prompts Annie to try and leave the group, and Hange attempts to talk her down by reminding her that there are more lives at stake than just Marley and Liberio.
Upon reaching Odiha Hange has the Azumabito mechanics begin preparing the flying boat for departure while Hange interrogates Yelena about Eren's next destination. Yelena admits that Eren will likely be heading to Fort Salta, but she asks in exchange for Hange to admit that Zeke's euthanization plan was correct. Hange only agrees to admit that Eren provided no better options and that they are powerless to do anything else.
As preparations for the flying boat near completion, Hange and the remaining Survey Corps soldiers equip their gear. Hange attempts to give the Warriors a chance to back out, but Reiner and Pieck insist on continuing with them. As the soldiers and Warriors return to preparing, Hange asks Levi if he believes that their fallen comrades are watching them. Hange's musings are interrupted by Floch, who arrives in the hangar and begins firing his pistol. Mikasa manages to mortally injure him, but Floch succeeds in rupturing the flying boat's fuel tank and the mechanics tell Hange it will take an hour to fix. Before they can start repairs, though, the group realizes that they can feel the ground rumbling.
As Armin and Reiner argue on who will stay behind and slow down the Rumbling's advance, Hange interrupts them, stating that they cannot use up any more of their Titan's powers. Hange states their intention to stay behind and names Armin the 15th commander of the Survey Corps. As Hange departs, the former commander takes a moment to say goodbye to Levi and is left ecstatic to hear him to them to dedicate their heart for the first time.
Flying out to meet the Titans, Hange takes a moment to admire the sight of the Titans before engaging them. Hange quickly uses up their two Thunder Spears to take down two Titans, and, seeing that the group will need more time, prepares to kill using their blades. Getting close enough to kill the Titans with blades cause Hange to immediately begin suffering burns, but they manage to endure the heat long enough for the flying boat to take off before succumbing to their injuries.
Hange awakens on the trampled ground, worried for the flying boat and its occupants, but Erwin reassures them that it successfully departed and their sacrifice had paid off. Overjoyed to be reunited with all of the fallen soldiers, Hange recounts the hardships experienced as Commander, while many friends listen in.
Hange's abilities as a soldier were an extremely valuable asset to humanity. Their different approach to Titans had yielded an impressive amount of information and research. Hange's capabilities were noticed by their teammates, especially their superior Erwin Smith who named Hange his successor. Hange's persistence and drive for knowledge often aided in acquiring information. Hange would spend hours studying Titan subjects and Eren Yeager when he was transformed. Thanks to information left behind by Ilse Langnar, Hange was able to get authorization to resume Titan capture operations in the Survey Corps despite being turned down several times. This information had aided Hange in a great deal of their work with the Titans. However, Hange was often reckless when working around Titans and because of this they would often endanger themselves and sometimes others. Hange demonstrated an impressive resolve when put under great pressure, as they were able to use their intelligence and wits paired with any means necessary to devise cunning plans and inventions. They also could lead people who oppose humanity to do what Hange needed them to do, such as Minister Nick, Djel Sannes, Flegel Reeves, Roy and Peaure of Berg Newspapers, and even Erwin and Levi. Despite being a quick thinker, Hange was known to show great anger from time to time and little remorse when faced with people who have the means to help humanity but do not.
Hange's intelligence and wits were not their only valuable features. They displayed superior skills when operating their vertical maneuvering equipment. Due to their passion for Titans, Hange was constantly very close to them and because of this, they had developed an impressive reaction time that helped them to always slip through their fingers. Their many years in the Survey Corps had helped them to master the equipment and they were easily able to take down Titans with their blades.
Hange Zoë's statistics :
- Levi Ackerman - They worked well together as senior members of the Survey Corps, and Hange appeared to enjoy teasing him on occasion. Levi often used insulting terms to refer to Hange and seemed annoyed by their eccentric behavior. Though the two may clash every now and again, they trusted each other's ideas and plans for serious situations, such as missions or the break-in on the Reiss Chapel.
- Erwin Smith - As Hange's commander, Erwin was a respected figure and tactical partner to them. Hange strategized with him often and turned to him at the Survey Corps' most vital moments. Hange and Erwin had a relationship of deep trust and respect, dating back to even before the fall of Wall Maria. Erwin included Hange in top-secret missions such as capturing the Female Titan and later on, in his career, he named Hange as his successor. Erwin worried for Hange's safety during the Survey Corps' clash with the government, warning Hange to get away from the area had had come to. Even when Erwin was on the brink of death, Hange fought for him to be the choice to live and commended his leadership and symbolism to humanity. When Hange declared Erwin as deceased, they sat with him and Levi on the roof with sorrow.
- Moblit Berner - Moblit was Hange's assistant, and their relationship had always held a great deal of tension as Moblit constantly fretted over Hange's safety. His main job as their assistant was to be with Hange on important tasks such as research, interrogation, and missions. However, most of the time he played the role of a bodyguard from others and Hange themselves. To Hange, Moblit was their right-hand man who went everywhere with Hange on almost all of their businesses, an important friend, and comrade. Even though he was under constant stress, Moblit fulfilled his duty to keep Hange out of trouble to his last breath. Just as Hange was to be blown away by Bertolt Hoover's transformation, Moblit yelled out to Hange as his commander and pushed them into a well; protecting them from the blast. As Hange turned around before falling, they saw Moblit stare at them as he was obliterated after his sacrifice.
- Eren Yeager - Hange was one of the first to welcome him into the Survey Corps, and was put in charge of studying him. Hange took to this with great enthusiasm and became one of his most ardent supporters, despite their enthusiasm startling (and slightly unnerving) Eren when they first met. After four years, however, their relationship soured when Hange was angered that Eren, despite knowing it would cost lives to free him, willingly placed himself in harm's way yet again and forced the Survey Corps to come to rescue him. Their friendship is soon after severed completely after Eren became the leader of a splinter cell group that openly defied the Military.
- Ilse Langnar - While a close relationship was not shown, Hange recognized Ilse's armband knowing she had died during the 34th expedition. Hange was also said to have inherited Ilse's will as it was from Ilse's notes that Hange took up trying to communicate with Titans. It was later shown as well that it was from her notes that Hange recognized the name of Ymir.
- Keith Shadis - Hange once respected Keith as their commanding officer when he previously led the Survey Corps, however, when Hange and Squad Levi sought him out for information, Hange learned of his "foolish" ideas and developed negative feelings for him, saying he was not worth their time. When Hange later exited a meeting with Erwin and other Corps members, one of them remarked that Hange once had a crush on Keith, to which they responded with annoyance and embarrassment, telling the soldier to shut his mouth.
- Onyankopon - Almost immediately, Hange formed a genuine friendship with Onyankopon due to their shared beliefs and inquisitive minds. Over the course of several years, they had built a rapport and would often collaborate together to better improve the technology of Paradis. Eventually, the respect between them convinced Hange to trust Onyankopon enough and share some of the suspicions the Military had of Yelena and Zeke.
- Armin Arlert - Hange saw great potential in Armin's strategic skills. Before their death Hange appointed Armin as the 15th commander of the Survey Corps, saying there is no one better suited for this role than him.
- At least 1 member of the Anti-Personnel Control Squad
- At least 8 members of the Yeagerists
- Hange ranked seventh in the First Character Popularity Poll.
- The manga's author, Hajime Isayama, has left Hange's gender open to interpretation as he told his editor that 'either one is fine' and instructed Kodansha Comics not to confirm any gender in their translation. Since then, Kodansha has removed gendered pronouns for Hange in their translation and clarified that indeed, Hange's gender is up to the reader's interpretation. The anime and the live-action movie, on the other hand, have consistently depicted Hange as female or with more pronounced feminine traits, as well as many manga translations into languages where avoiding gendered pronouns is hard or impossible.
- Hange believed they got along with Levi best among the Survey Corps soldiers.
- In Levi, Erwin, and Hange's character interview, it was said that Levi forcefully bathed Hange by knocking them unconscious.
- In 2015, Isayama revealed on his blog that he had selected the song "True to Oneself" by Shinsei Kamattechan as a character song for Hange.
- It is notable that this song's subject deals with defying conventional gender stereotypes, which could reference Isayama's comments that he wants Hange's gender to be left ambiguous to the reader.
- Rough sketches of manga panels included at the Attack on Titan: Final Manga Exhibition revealed that a working name for Hange was Yamada Hanako (山田花子 Yamada Hanako?).
- In the rough sketches Mike Zacharius is referred to by the name "Yamada Taro," suggesting a possible familial connection was intended between the two.