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Quote1 Without spilling any blood, we will overthrow the government. And in front of the people, we'll reveal that the system as they know it has all been a lie. Quote2
— Erwin to Pyxis

Old Story (昔話 Mukashibanashi?) is the 3rd episode of the 3rd season and the 40th episode overall of the Attack on Titan anime, produced by Wit Studio and Production I.G.

Overview

Historia recounts the circumstances of how she grew up on a farm as an unwanted child with a distant mother. She saw her father, Rod Reiss, for the first time when he came to see her after Wall Maria fell, but men in black coats intervened before he could take her away. Rod had them spare Historia under the condition that she live a quiet life far away under the name "Christa Lenz." In the present day, Rod apologizes for that and informs Historia that she has royal blood and is the only person who can save humanity.

Meanwhile, Erwin meets Pyxis and discusses the overthrow of the government. When Hange arrives, she informs Erwin about Historia's royal lineage, and he tells Pyxis his plan to expose the puppet government and install Historia as the new queen. As dawn breaks, Erwin is called outside by the First Interior Squad to account for the murder of Dimo Reeves. He names Hange as his successor before he leaves and shortly thereafter, he and the Scout Regiment are placed under arrest.

Summary

Historia helps on the farm

Historia helps on the farm

Historia Reiss remembers how she told Squad Levi about her upbringing. She grew up on a farm where her mother ignored her, and as she learned to read, she realized that this was not normal, but even when her mother shoved her away, Historia was happy to have gotten any attention at all.

Five years ago, after the fall of Wall Maria, Historia met her father for the first time. He was Rod Reiss, the lord who ruled the land they lived on. Rod said that she would be living with him from now on, but before he could leave with her and her mother, he was approached by men in black suits, including Kenny Ackermann. Kenny grabbed her mother and when Historia called for her, her mother denied that Historia was her child, saying that she had nothing to do with her. Hearing this, Kenny asked Rod for confirmation and Rod reluctantly agreed. Historia watched as Kenny killed her mother, whose last words were wishing that she had never given birth to her. Kenny would have killed Historia as well, but Rod intervened and had her sent away to live a quiet life under the new name, Christa Lenz.

In the present, Rod hugs Historia and apologizes, saying that he had no choice in order to protect her. He tells her that she is special and has royal blood. The Reiss family is the true royal family and because of that she is the only person who can save humanity. He takes her with him to the place where it all began.

Sannes realizes he was tricked

Sannes realizes he was tricked

Meanwhile, Djel Sannes is reunited with Ralph in a prison cell. He attacks his comrade, thinking that he betrayed him, but Hange Zoë admits that it was a ruse and Ralph had only been reading from a script while being threatened with a knife. Sannes breaks down on learning that his betrayal of the King was his fault alone, but warns Hange that the role he plays is one that another will step into to start the act all over again, so humanity will never be done with the sort of work they have. He wishes her luck.

After she leaves the prison, Hange lashes out at the nearby furniture over her frustration with Sannes. She blames it on a cockroach when Levi Ackermann walks in on her. He brings her over to the rest of the squad where she fills them in on how Eren Jaeger will likely be eaten if the government has their own Titan. Hange has concluded this from the conversation Eren wrote down that suggested Ymir used to be a Titan until she ate a comrade of Bertholdt Hoover and Reiner Braun. A Titan that eats a human with the power of the Titans will turn back into a human and inherit that power.

Pyxis and Erwin confer

Erwin and Pyxis discuss overthrowing the government

That same night, Dot Pyxis meets with Erwin Smith. He apologizes for the visit and says that he read Erwin's letter. Pyxis asks if Erwin is serious, and Erwin confirms that if they want to retake Wall Maria they will have to overthrow the government, but his plan will not require military forces to take action if his guess is correct. While they wait for news to arrive, Erwin tells Pyxis a story about his father.

Shortly thereafter, Hange and Moblit Berner arrive, bringing news of Historia's lineage. Erwin informs Pyxis of the true royal family and how Squad Levi is currently trying to rescue her. Once they do, they will install her as Queen and force the fake King to relinquish the crown. Pyxis agrees to back his plan.

Erwin names Hange the next commander

Erwin names Hange the next commander

After Pyxis leaves, Erwin hands Hange the results of his investigation into the Reiss family. One of his soldiers also comes in to inform him that the First Interior Squad is making a ruckus out in the city, saying that Erwin organized a murder. Erwin orders Hange to get away from here while he acts as the face of their organization. He informs her that she will be the next commander of the Scout Regiment and places the Scouts under her command.

It is dawn outside when Erwin arrives to find Dimo Reeves' grieving family around his body. One of the MPs addresses Erwin and explains a story about how Reeves kidnapped Eren so that the Scouts would not have to turn him over to the government. Then the Scouts killed Reeves to keep him from talking. The MP charges Erwin and the Scouts with a violation of clause six of the Humanity Charter; prioritizing one's gain over the safety and longevity of humanity. For this, all Scouts are to be apprehended. Hange and Moblit get away, but the rest of the Scouts at headquarters are arrested.

Mr. Smith shares his theories with Erwin

Erwin's father shares his theories with his son

As he is taken away, Erwin reflects on the story he told Pyxis. Erwin's father was a teacher and Erwin asked him a question in class one day that he declined to answer. At home, his father privately explained to him that the government history books were filled with contradictions and mysteries. Erwin shared this information with the other kids he knew and eventually the Military Police came asking about his father. His father died in an accident that same day, and Erwin realized that the government had him killed.

Erwin's father had a theory that the King altered the memories of humanity when they entered the Walls in order to make them easier to rule. It would justify killing his father for getting close to the truth. However, Erwin has come to realize that the government is not interested in protecting humanity so much as their land and wealth, and that they will kill anyone who threatens that authority. In the end, there was no justification for his father's death aside from human greed.

Squad Levi camps in the woods

Squad Levi camps in the woods

In Stohess District, the Military Police hand out fliers for the arrest of the Scout Regiment. Jean Kirschtein takes one before he, Armin Arlelt, and Mikasa Ackermann leave the city for their camp in the woods. Armin tells Levi that if it is true, the Scouts will be disbanded and he heard that the Military Police are searching for them and covering all the roads. Levi says the wagon with Eren and Historia will take a day to reach Reiss territory so they will have to use that time to come up with a plan. Before they can discuss further, Sasha Braus announces that she hears footsteps.

Currently Publicly Available Information

ACPAI40

Intelligent Titans (with power to transform)

An Intelligent Titan is conceived when a Pure Titan lacking intelligence consumes some other Intelligent Titan. By consuming an Intelligent Titan, it gains consciousness as well as the consumed Titan's powers.

Characters in order of appearance

  1. Historia Reiss (flashback)
  2. Conny Springer (flashback)
  3. Sasha Braus (flashback)
  4. Jean Kirschtein (flashback)
  5. Levi Ackermann (flashback)
  6. Eren Jaeger (flashback)
  7. Mikasa Ackermann (flashback)
  8. Armin Arlelt (flashback)
  9. Alma (killed in a flashback)
  10. Rod Reiss (flashback)
  11. Kenny Ackermann (flashback)
  12. Ralph
  13. Hange Zoë
  14. Moblit Berner
  15. Djel Sannes
  16. Bertholdt Hoover (flashback)
  17. Ymir (flashback)
  18. Reiner Braun/Armored Titan (flashback)
  19. Erwin Smith
  20. Dot Pyxis
  21. Dimo Reeves (corpse)
  22. Roger
  23. Flegel Reeves
  24. Caven
  25. Mr. Smith (killed in a flashback)
  26. Deltoff (flashback)
  27. Gerald (flashback)
  28. Aurille (flashback)

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