|There were all sorts of people there. And we were there, too. My days there were true hell.|
|— Reiner Braun, as he tells his family what it was like for him on Paradis|
Given how narrowly Marley achieved victory over the Mid-East Allied Forces, it is clear to Marley's military leaders that the era of their country's domination via Titan warfare is coming to an end. Marley plans to revive the Paradis Island Operation to capture the Founding Titan to buy a few more years for their military to restructure and modernize for a post-Titan reality. However, taking the island will be difficult as none of Marley's ships have returned for the past three years, making it clear that Paradis Island controls at least two of the Nine Titans.
The Warriors and Warrior candidates return home to Liberio where they are reunited with their families. Reiner Braun shares some of his experiences on the island, confusing his cousin, Gabi, when he refers to meeting "all sorts of of people" there rather than universally condemning them. The next day, Zeke Jaeger informs the Warriors and Colt Grice of an upcoming festival in Liberio, where dignitaries will be invited from abroard. There, the Tybur family, holders of the War Hammer Titan, will announce the plan to take Paradis Island.
Following Marley's victory at Fort Slava, Theo Magath, Zeke Jaeger, and Colt Grice attend a meeting with their general, who is displeased to hear that the rest of the world is spinning the near defeat of Marley's Titans into a positive for the Mid-East Allied Forces. When asked for his opinion on the matter, Magath is forced to admit that the era of Titans is coming to an end. Their complacency and reliance on Titans have caused them to be underdeveloped. As aircraft advance, the Titans will be unable to do anything but watch.
Zeke suggests that they resume the Paradis Island Operation to recover the Founding Titan as a way to buy time for Marley to restructure and develop better weaponry. The general listens to him and inquires if Zeke only has one year left on his term. Zeke confirms this is the case and that he is concerned that Colt will not inherit the full power of the Beast Titan from him. Before his term ends, Zeke wishes to make up for his failure on Paradis Island four years ago.
After the meeting, Colt marvels at Zeke's ability to be heard by the general, despite his Eldian heritage. He notes that Zeke is unlike any Beast Titan before, reminding him of the Founding Titan, and wonders why Zeke is so special. Zeke plays dumb, but tells Colt that he might find out his big secret someday when he inherits his memories.
The two are interrupted by Magath's arrival, and he asks Zeke if he thinks he can conquer Paradis within a year. Every ship Marley has sent to Paradis for the past three years has failed to return. Magath wants to know what Zeke thinks of that.
Considering Marley lost a total of 32 ships, Zeke believes that the work could not have been done by a single Titan, so Paradis must have at least two of them. Marley will require Titan support to attack the island, and have to watch out for the Scout Regiment as well.
Meanwhile, Reiner Braun wakes up from a nightmare, where he was still in the battle in Shiganshina District. At a nearby desk, Porco Galliard drily informs Reiner that he let him sleep since he seemed to be have a good dream. Reiner attempts to thank him for saving his life back at Fort Slava, but Galliard brushes him off, saying that if he had been the one to inherit the Armored Titan nine years ago, none of this would have happened, including the death of his brother.
Galliard has not been able to see his brother's memories for himself, but he has seen enough through Ymir, who had the Jaw Titan before him. He asks what Reiner thought he was doing on the island, since Ymir's memories showed Reiner trying to portray himself as a reliable guy, the kind of person that Galliard's brother actually was.
Pieck enters the room, using a crutch for support, and telling Galliard not to pick on people who took cannons to the face. It has been two months since she has been a human and it has been long enough to forget how to walk on two legs. She tells Reiner that he should see Gabi and the others, since they are worried about him.
In the harbor, Udo wonders what will happen to the Warrior unit and Eldians in general if Titans are no longer useful in battle. He spots some of the defeated Mid-East soldiers boarding a boat and fears that when they go home they will spread more stories about how inhumane Titan warfare is, making things even worse for Eldians. The other Warrior candidates do not share his level of fear or disgust though. Upset, he begins kicking a mooring post until Reiner arrives to calm him down.
The kids run up to Reiner, happy to see that he is all right following the battle, and Gabi shares the news that they will be returning home to Liberio soon, and suggests that they walk around until then. Before she can drag Reiner away, Falco Grice protests, saying that Reiner should be resting, but Reiner says he is all right, spurring Falco to join up with the rest of the group.
As he watches the four of them, Reiner is uncomfortably struck by how much they remind him of his fellow Warriors at that age.
That night, on the train ride back to Liberio, a drunken Colt and the surviving Eldian soldiers praise Gabi for her hand in destroying the armored train during the battle at Fort Slava. As Reiner and Falco watch the festivities unfold, Reiner notes that Gabi will likely inherit the Armored Titan from him. Falco, dejected, notes that this will mean that Gabi will live to be only twenty-seven years, assuming that she is not killed by cannons first. He asks if Reiner is fine with that.
Reiner harshly reminds Falco that it is an honor to inherit one of the Nine Titans and what the consequences would be if his dissatisfaction is reported. Falco, terrified, quickly reaffirms his commitment to Marley, and his desire to inherit the Armored Titan over Gabi. Reiner, satisfied, asks Falco to work hard to inherit his Titan, so that Gabi will not have to.
Arriving at the outskirts of Liberio, an ecstatic Gabi celebrates returning to their hometown while the other Warriors and Warrior candidates disembark for the walk home. Falco looks at Reiner and wonders if he can trust him, and if he also wants Eldians to be free of war.
As the Eldians return to their ghetto, Galliard tells Falco he can take it easy for a while, but Falco intends to return to training tomorrow, which Gabi misunderstands as an attempt to boost his grades.
Ahead of them, the others reunite with their families. Zeke meets with his grandparents, who are proud of him, though Zeke says that he has not done enough yet. Reiner and Gabi are greeted by their relatives, and Falco is distracted by the sight of a large number of wounded Eldians who are being escorted away. Koslow explains to Falco that they were left traumatized by the war. As Koslow happily begins tormenting the soldiers with a mock shelling, Falco tries to help those who have fallen in shock, assisting one soldier who has his Eldian armband on the wrong arm.
Later, Reiner and his extended family have dinner at their house. Gabi recounts how she single-handedly destroyed the armored train, and Reiner's mother, impressed, asks her son if she will become a Warrior. Reiner assures her that it is almost certain that she will inherit the Armored Titan. His mother is delighted to hear that a second member of their family will become a Warrior, noting that all that is keeping them from being happy is the inhabitants of Paradis Island. This prompts a question from his uncle about the island. Though Gabi says that Reiner would not want to talk about his experiences on the island, even if they were not classified, Reiner says that he is allowed tell them some things.
He frames his story as one which they want to hear and consistent with Marley's propaganda, rather than how he experienced it, beginning with a story about each was "more hopeless" than the last: an Eldian who had eaten a stolen potato during their entrance ceremony and attempted to bribe her instructor when she was caught. He describes the people he met during his time on the island: an idiot who would forget why he went to the bathroom, an insincere jerk who thought only of himself, and an oaf who only cared what other people thought. Reiner makes special mention of a single-minded Eldian who charged ahead and all the "chumps" who followed him. He concludes by saying that there were "all sorts of people there", which made his days a true hell.
Gabi is puzzled by Reiner's choice to describe the people of Paradis Island as "all sorts of people" when they are all bad. Reiner's mother, realizing the implications of Reiner's statement, quickly agrees and reminds her that the "island devils" turned their world into hell. It is up to the good Eldians like them to ensure that the people of Paradis never leave their island.
The next day, Reiner and Gabi walk through the streets of Liberio's internment zone. She tells him that his mother noticed that he has changed since coming back from the island. Reiner attempts to explain away it as a natural change since he left as a 12-year-old child and returned a grown man, but Gabi suspects he is lying.
Zeke holds a meeting of the Warriors plus Colt in his room. Galliard asks where the Marleyan officers are, and Zeke obliquely tells him they are not in this room, asking why they cannot meet just for tea. Despite the casual pretense for their gathering, Zeke makes it clear they must obtain the Founding Titan and Paradis Island's resources to secure Marley's future, and thus the future of the Eldians living in Marley.
Someone needs to sell the story of the threat from Paradis, and Zeke says it will be the Tybur family. They hold the War Hammer Titan and were influential in driving King Fritz away during the Great Titan War. The world would listen to them, but Galliard is skeptical about why they would want to come out and play that role. Unlike most Eldians, they live well in huge mansions.
Zeke understands Galliard's point, but says the Tyburs are also concerned about Marley. He goes on to explain that there will be a festival in Liberio soon, with dignitaries invited from abroad. The Tyburs will announce the plan to capture Paradis there.
In another room, Marleyan officers take note of the Warriors' conversation. Most of them have no complaints over the Warriors' words, but Magath notes that Zeke mentioned that the brass were "not in this room" which could have tipped the others off that their conversation was being monitored, which, coincidentally, Reiner seems to have deduced and glances suspiciously at the phonograph while repeating "not in this room" in his mind as he leaves. The next day, Reiner watches Gabi and Falco train while contemplating whether having to return to Paradis Island.
Currently Publicly Available Information
These armbands are used to differentiate the Eldian "devils" from the other races. Eldians of higher classes may have armbands with different colors. Armband color can also vary depending on if the Eldian is in the military or a regular civilian. It is mandatory for Eldians in Marley to wear their armband when they go outside.