|Just one eye?! You concentrated on the one eye so it'd heal faster?! How can you...do that?!|
|— Petra's last words.|
Petra was a relatively short woman with blonde hair and brown eyes. She wore the typical uniform of a member of the Survey Corps, with a white button-up shirt underneath.
Petra was kind and caring, as shown when she looked after and guided Eren when he was first admitted to the squad. She seemed to have acted as some sort of attachment figure for Eren among Levi's Squad as she was the one shown to worry about him. Although all of Levi's squad wished (and demanded, to an extent) Eren's unconditional trust, it was ultimately Petra who convinced him to do so.
Despite her kind nature, Petra was a conditioned soldier with a quick reaction time against perceived danger, such as the time when Eren accidentally transformed into a half Titan, she took an extreme reaction and interrogated him alongside her squad. She also displayed extreme loyalty to her leaders and superiors and their orders.
She also showed the most remorse over her reaction to Eren's accidental transformation. Along with her comrades, she had bitten her hand just like Eren, signifying that they had established a close bond.
After the post-Trost District battle trial to decide Eren's fate concludes with Eren joining the Survey Corps, the Special Operations Squad is assigned to look after him. Petra, along with the rest of the squad, accompanies Eren to the former HQ of Survey Corps, which will now serve as a hideout for Eren. As the hideout has not been maintained well, Levi orders everyone to begin cleaning. During the cleaning, Petra makes small talk with Eren, cheerfully noting the disconnect between the image of Levi that the public has, and what the man is actually like.
Later that day, while the squad discusses the upcoming expedition, Hange arrives and Eren asks her to explain her experiments with Titans. Petra and the rest quickly leave the room, already painfully familiar with Hange's long-winded speeches about Titans.
Levi finds a way to contain Eren in his Titan form without killing him, allowing Hange to run experiments on him, which Petra and the rest of the squad monitor. Eren is unable to transform for some reason, but later triggers his transformation while attempting to pick up a teaspoon. Petra and the rest of his squad mates immediately prepare to kill Eren, believing he has betrayed them, but Levi keeps them at bay. Later, Hange reveals to everyone the secret behind Eren's transformation. Realizing their mistake, Petra and others bite their hands as a form of punishment, showing that they can trust each other.
One month later, Petra is part of the expedition that heads into the Titan territory. As time progresses, the news of a mysterious Titan killing the soldiers reaches the Levi Squad just as Petra and others witness the black smoke signal, knowing that an abnormal Titan is near their position. Eventually, they enter the forest. Eren questions this, but then notices Petra and others also do not know what is going on. At that moment, the mysterious Female Titan reaches their location. As they are being chased, Petra and the other squad soldiers beg Levi for orders, proposing to take the Titan down as it slaughters the reinforcements from behind. Levi, however, just shoots a sound grenade to calm them down, reminding them of their job. Although Petra begs Eren to trust them and refrain from engaging, Eren finds himself to be unable to comply with the orders as soldiers repeatedly die trying to hold the Titan off. Eren eventually decides to go with the squad, and as the Titan is about to catch up with them, they reach the location of Erwin and other soldiers who manage to trap the Female Titan, much to the surprise of Petra and the squad. They then brag to Eren, claiming that it is thanks to the power of the Survey Corps that they managed to capture their foe.
Afterward, the Special Operations Squad climb to one of the giant trees and is ordered to standby while efforts are made to capture the human within the Female Titan. They discuss Erwin's decision not to tell the soldiers about the plan. Eren wonders why is it that not even the elite soldiers were told about it, angering Petra and Oluo, but Eld agrees with Eren, stating that Erwin must have had a reason. They realize that if they answered Erwin's mysterious question back then, they would probably be trusted enough to be let in on the operation.
Afterward, the squad begins to retreat back to their horses, when a flare leads them off-course. They are then ambushed by an unknown person who murders Gunther, before transforming back into their Titan form. Eren is ordered to flee while the surviving squad members engage the Titan in battle. Petra and the others initially have the upper hand since they blind the Female Titan with the vertical maneuvering gear's gas and cripple both her arms, making them useless.
But when Petra and Eld Jinn move in for the kill, the Titan suddenly regenerates a single eye, demonstrating a previously-unknown ability to focus healing into fewer body parts to speed up the regenerative process as a defensive tactic, and bites Eld in half, killing him.
Paralyzed from shock and despite Oluo's pleas, Petra is unable to react in time to the Female Titan's kick, which breaks her spine and splatters her against a tree. Her corpse is seen by Levi with a silent expression when he tracks down the Female Titan.
When the newly established Special Operations Squad goes into hiding for Eren's and Historia's safety, Eren remembers cleaning together with Petra, and the rest of the former Special Operations Squad. Later on, while speaking to Historia under the Reiss Chapel, Eren mentions Petra as being among the victims he and Grisha Yeager are responsible for killing by stealing the Founding Titan.
Later in the Battle of Shiganshina, as Erwin Smith begins to lament the dwindling hopes of his dream, Petra stands among the many fallen Survey Corps comrades in Erwin's mind, wanting to know if their deaths had meaning.
She was a skilled and experienced soldier using the vertical maneuvering equipment and had a high kill record of Titan kills (58 Titans killed, 48 in team and 10 in solo), being one of the highest known in the series so far. For that reason she was handpicked by Levi to be part of the Special Operations Squad. Her coordination with Oluo and Eld was incredible, allowing them to come close to defeating the Female Titan by themselves.
Petra Ral's statistics :
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- Levi Ackerman - Petra expressed great admiration for her captain, and criticized Oluo for imitating him. She noted that many people are surprised upon actually meeting him and admitted that he does not live up to the legend of 'Humanity's Strongest Soldier' due to his many personality quirks and flaws. It was revealed after her death that she wrote to her father about her wish to live up to Levi's expectations and dedicate herself to her career. This letter caused her father expressed his worry over her safety to Levi, as well as his disappointment that she did not seem to want to marry, despite acknowledging that she was still too young.
- Eren Yeager - Initially, she was uneasy around him and drew her swords on him when he accidentally transformed. However, after learning that it was a mistake, she apologized for her behavior and bit her own hand to acknowledge him as a comrade. She quickly took him under her wing, and acted as an almost maternal figure during his month with the Special Operations Squad. During the mission in the forest, she repeatedly asked him to place his trust completely in his comrades and wished for him to believe in her. Petra's death deeply affected Eren.
- Oluo Bozado - Petra and Oluo were frequently at odds, often bickering with each other. She was highly critical of his attempts to imitate Levi and demanded that he stop, lamenting that he should just act like himself. She also stated that he should bite his tongue off and die. However, beneath this seeming-hostility was a strong bond of trust born from their many years of knowing each other and missions together. He also told Petra, "You're still ways to go to be fitting for my wife."
- Eld Jinn and Gunther Schultz - As comrades, she had great faith in them and cared deeply for her comrades. She was enraged after Gunther was murdered, and repeatedly challenged the Female Titan while swearing revenge. Eld's death similarly shook her and caused her to panic and freeze, which eventually led to her death.
- Petra was the only female in the original Special Operations Squad led by Levi.
- Her name is Greek in origin, written "Πέτρα" and meaning "rock" or "stone." It is also the name of an ancient city in the region that is now Jordan.
- Her 58 total Titan kills is the highest confirmed so far in the series; although only 10 have been in solo and 48 in team (a record too). In solo, the record belongs to Oluo with 39. Nevertheless, Levi as Humanity's Strongest Soldier, and Mike Zacharias as Humanity's Second Strongest, are assumed to surpass both of them but their total statistics have not been revealed.
- According to Eld, Petra cried and soiled herself during her first Survey Corps expedition.
- The Attack on Titan Guidebook includes an imaginary interview with Petra and Oluo that supposedly takes place after they were killed by the Female Titan:
- Q: You two came to a very shocking end.
- Oluo: I let that Titan win. You don't seem to understand: beating a Titan isn't necessarily the best way to get noticed.
- Petra: The Female Titan was a tough enemy, so I can't be surprised at what happened. But if the captain was in that situation...
- Oluo: Hah. With the right methods, there's nothing I can't defeat—
- Petra: Hey! Are you trying to imitate the captain yet again?!
- Oluo: You're the one who followed me, Petra. But don't you think it's a little early to be acting like my wife?
- The guidebook also describes Petra's and Oluo's argument as a "lovers' quarrel."
- Hajime Isayama has stated that Petra and Oluo were from the same batch of trainees.