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|◄ Preceded by||Reiner Braun
|Followed by ►|
|I wanted to become a hero...!! That's why I always acted like everyone's big brother, too. I wanted people to respect me.... That...that wasn't just history or my environment...it was my fault. Your mother was eaten by a Titan because of me!! I...can't stand this anymore.... Just...kill me, I beg of you.... I want...to vanish....|
|— Reiner to Eren|
Reiner Braun (ライナー・ブラウン Rainā Buraun?) is the Vice Captain (副長 Fukuchō?, also translated as "Deputy Chief" or "Vice Commander") of the Warrior Unit and the main protagonist of Attack on Titan from the Marleyan perspective. He is the illegitimate son of an Eldian and a Marleyan and grew up in Liberio's internment zone. Eventually, he was selected as a child to become one of Marley's Warriors. At the age of ten, he inherited the power of the Armored Titan.
In the year 845, he infiltrated Paradis Island alongside Bertolt Hoover, Annie Leonhart, and Marcel Galliard as part of an operation to reclaim the Founding Titan. He joined the Survey Corps after graduating 2nd in the 104th Training Corps.
In human form, Reiner has short blond hair, hazel eyes, and a defined facial structure. His large height, broad shoulders, and serious expression give him an intimidating presence.
In the year 854, Reiner has slightly longer hair, possesses a short goatee and has lost weight making his cheekbones appear more defined. He has also grown taller.
Reiner's Armored Titan form is 15 meters tall and has white plates of hardened skin covering the entirety of its body, except for muscles in its cheeks that become exposed when it opens its lipless jaw, as well as the muscle tissue behind its knees, elbows, and feet. Its eyes are covered by white, organic lenses, and it has short, blond hair. While fighting Eren, it has been noted that it has high agility and is capable of moving at a fast momentum, despite its seemingly-heavy weight and being low on stamina. His Titan is also able to harden its hands and feet which create sharp claws that can be used to climb certain structures, such as the Walls.
As a child, Reiner was rather quiet and meek yet at the same time very loyal and driven. He believed that if he became a Warrior then his Marleyan father would come back and deluded himself into thinking he would still cheer him on as he fought the Eldians, even after he rejected him. Because of his motivation, Reiner was very desperate to become a Warrior, even going as far as to accuse Galliard of being an Eldian spy when he belittled him. However, after he was chosen to inherit the Armored Titan, Reiner gained a newfound self-confidence, though it was quickly shattered when Marcel revealed that he was not chosen for his abilities. Due to Marley's propaganda and his mother's influence, he believed the Eldians of Paradis Island to be "devils" and that he would become a hero by exterminating them. He was also very gullible, never doubting the words of his mother and superiors.
Following Marcel's death, Reiner began incorporating elements from his personality into his own. He became more decisive and assertive, even willing to threaten Annie and Bertolt to ensure they followed his orders, yet also deeply caring and genuinely desiring to protect them. He also accepted that his belief that his father would return if he were to become a Warrior and defeat the Eldians was just a fantasy. In addition to this, Reiner started to develop a negative perception towards himself, believing he was supposed to have failed in becoming a Warrior and that he should have been the one to die instead of Marcel.
By the time he joined the 104th Training Corps, Reiner had completely incorporated Marcel's personality into his own. He built up a reputation of being a passionate and honest person with a strong sense of duty who takes his role as a soldier very seriously and encourages others to do the same. However, he was also noted to have a kind heart and a tendency to always think of others before himself, taking on extra burdens for the sake of his comrades. He was stated to be the "big brother" of the other trainees.
However, beneath this facade, Reiner developed serious emotional and mental problems as a result of living a double-life. While still loyal to his true cause as a Warrior of Marley, he was unable to cope with the guilt he felt towards his actions and thus began to suppress his true memories in an effort to escape. Having to kill Marco seems to have been the final straw for him, causing him to snap and developing psychological issues. During these times, he would forget his actual identity and truly believes himself to be an Eldian soldier. Even after blowing his and Bertolt's cover, he initially still continued to shift between his two personas. However, after Bertolt bluntly told him that he was not a "soldier" but a "warrior", Reiner was, though with some difficulty, able to set his priorities straight.
While similar, there are a few differences between Reiner's "soldier" persona and his true self. He has shown himself to be more ruthless and fatalistic, though this is partly out of necessity. Despite these differences, he still tries to reach out to others and get to see things from their perspective, as seen when he trusted Ymir more than is perhaps wise.
Following the failure of the Paradis Island Operation and fighting in the Marley Mid-East War for four years, Reiner's personality has changed so much that both his mother and cousin noted that he seems like a completely different person. Despite the fact that they are enemies now, Reiner harbors little to no malice towards his former comrades, only sarcastically referring to them as "devils" while humanizing their actions and beliefs before his family. He also suffers from constant nightmares about his near-death experiences and frequently sees memories of his childhood. Eventually, Reiner's negative perception towards himself reached its lowest point and caused him to contemplate committing suicide. However, despite stating that he wants to die, he cannot bring himself to, as his dedication toward his loved ones still exceeds his self-loathing.
However, in spite of all his emotional issues, Reiner is very intelligent with notable leadership qualities, able to think clearly, analyze situations, and formulate effective plans. As Eren himself confirmed, he is able to think ahead and in the long term, able to accurately predict the consequences depending on the course of action taken, all while maintaining his composure. He understood the hidden meaning behind Zeke Yeager's words when he indirectly implied that the Warriors' meeting was being bugged by their Marleyan superiors, and acted accordingly, quickly agreeing to his Captain's plan and intentionally cutting off Galliard before he could run his mouth too much. During their mission on Paradis Island, while it was Annie's job to gather the information, it was mostly Reiner who strategized, coming up with efficient multi-step plans not long after acquiring intel from her. As a leader, Reiner is also very devoted to his mission, to the point that he refused to talk and was ready to die when he was the Survey Corps' prisoner and Hange Zoë threatened to kill him for not cooperating.
Reiner comes from the Liberio internment zone in Marley, which he refers to as his hometown. He was born to an Eldian mother, Karina Braun and a Marleyan father. Growing up, he was not allowed to see his father, as relations between Marleyans and Eldians were strictly forbidden. As a child, it was decided between him and his mother that he would become a Warrior candidate and potentially inherit one of the Nine Titans so that Reiner and his mother could become honorary Marleyans and reunite with Reiner's father.
As a Warrior candidate, Reiner was very weak, his only skill being his strong loyalty to Marley. One day, he learned from another Warrior candidate, Zeke, that in a few years, the operation to reclaim the Founding Titan would begin, and six new Warrior candidates would be chosen to inherit the power of the Titans. He was mocked by Porco Galliard, a prime candidate to inherit the Armored Titan, for this, claiming that he would have to wait thirteen more years to inherit the Armored Titan. This led to a fight that ended when Marcel pulled his brother back and the others left with Zeke. It was during this that he trained with fellow Warrior candidates Annie Leonhart and Bertolt Hoover. Bertolt attempted to convince Reiner to give up his aspirations, as he would only live for thirteen more years. But Reiner believed that after those thirteen years, he would be a hero to the people of Marley and be the best son in the world. Marcel Galliard ultimately influenced the army, leading to Reiner being selected to inherit the Armored Titan in place of his brother Porco. Alongside the other Warriors, the six Titans crushed an entire nation, leading to them being regarded as a stronger group than their predecessors.
In 845 at age twelve, Reiner, Bertolt, Annie, and Marcel were tasked with retaking the Founding Titan in Paradis Island. Before they left Reiner found and confronted his father alone in a kitchen where the man worked. Reiner told his father he knew who he was and that because he and his mother were honorary Marleyans now they could all live together. Before he could finish his father cut him off, calling them Eldian devils and saying that his family would be done for if the truth about Reiner's parentage came out. To stop that, Reiner's father chose to run away.
Upon traveling to the island, the Warriors parted ways with the army at the border and began traveling by horseback under the cover of night. While resting, Reiner learned of Marcel being the reason he was chosen to inherit the Armored Titan. As the sun began to rise, Marcel pushed Reiner out of the way of a Titan emerging from the ground, leading to the Warriors fleeing while Marcel was eaten. This event appeared to have left him traumatized, as he remembered it in moments of stress and expressed an almost suicidal desire to place himself into harms' way for the sake of others.
After the loss of Marcel, Annie and Bertolt wanted to cancel the operation but Reiner opted against it as he claimed to know the consequences. This prompted Annie to attack him for his cowardice. After getting beaten up, Reiner tackled her and declared his resolve to become the leader as Bertolt agreed to continue the operation. When they got within eyesight of Wall Maria, Annie and Reiner switched places as the Titan carrying the other Warriors, as she was exhausted and at her limit. Reiner dropped Bertolt off at the Wall and retreated to allow him the room to transform.
As Bertolt breaches Wall Maria, Reiner is so transfixed at the sight of Bertolt's work, that he is nearly swarmed by the Titans that Annie had been attracting. Breaking away, Reiner retrieves Bertolt from his Titan and begins scaling the side of the Wall. He leaves Bertolt and Annie on top of the Wall, and proceeds to enter Shiganshina on his own.
During the chaos of the initial breach, Reiner makes his way through the city in his Titan form to the interior gate. Once there, he charges towards the gate and smashes through it, allowing Titans to invade Wall Maria.
After the attack, Reiner and his allies enter a refugee camp inside Wall Rose. While with the refugees, the three meet a man from a small village in the southeast of Wall Maria that was destroyed by the Titans. The man is later found having apparently killed himself, and the three decide to co-opt his story as their own.
During the two following years, Annie discovers that King Fritz is a figurehead and that they will still have to find the true royal family. In order to get closer to the royal family, Reiner decides that they will become soldiers and get close to the Interior Military Police.
Two years after the destruction of Wall Maria, Reiner enlists in the military and becomes a member of the 104th Training Corps. On the first day of training, Reiner is one of the few students who the instructor Keith Shadis does not attempt to haze, as he is able to tell that Reiner has already been through a rite of passage. At a later stage, Shadis does ask Reiner what he came here for, the latter answering "to save humanity."
After failing repeatedly to operate the vertical maneuvering equipment, Eren seeks advice from his fellow trainees and is sent to Reiner and Bertolt for help by Marco Bott. Though initially unfriendly towards Eren and Armin, Reiner and Bertolt quickly warm up to them after learning they are from Shiganshina District and are still willing to enlist in the Survey Corps. Reiner is especially impressed with Eren's will to enlist despite watching his mother being devoured by a Titan. He shares his desire to return to his lost homeland and agrees to give Eren advice.
During hand-to-hand combat training, Eren admits to Reiner that he finds it unnecessary, claiming that it would be much wiser to run away when attacked by another human than to engage them. Reiner reprimands Eren for his attitude and points Eren to Annie, convincing him to try to attack her as punishment for slacking off. Annie makes quick work of Eren and immediately turns on Reiner, beating him for trying to instigate a fight.
Nearly five years into their mission, Annie, Reiner, and Bertolt have a meeting. Annie reports to Reiner that Kenny Ackerman surprised her while she was spying and that she narrowly avoided capture. Kenny might have seen her face so that if she joins the Interior Military Police Brigade she could be compromised. When Annie once more expresses her wish to return to Marley, Reiner again disagrees with her and decides to destroy Wall Rose to flush out the Founding Titan. Annie notes his plan will kill a lot of his new friends from the 104th Training Corps, but Reiner insists the other trainees are not their friends.
Some time after that night, Reiner sees Eren take a bad fall while training with his vertical maneuvering equipment. He tells Eren to take a break, but Eren is afraid to do so. Eren does not want to die without having accomplished anything and asks what he can do to be like Reiner. Reiner tells him to simply do what he needs to and keep moving forward. He says that he is certain Eren will exterminate all the Titans.
In 850, when partaking in a jogging exercise that involves carrying supplies through a rainstorm, Reiner notices Armin falling behind. Annoyed to see him fall behind due to a lack of physical strength, Reiner takes his supplies and carries them and his own for a time, to which Armin refuses, insisting on doing it himself and takes back his supplies.
Later, Reiner watches Eren and Jean argue over Jean's selfishness to join the Military Police so he will not have to fight Titans, and is impressed when he sees him use Annie's technique to put him in line. Eventually, Reiner graduates 2nd in the class, finishing just behind Mikasa Ackerman.
As part of the defensive effort of the military after the second attack of the Colossus Titan, Reiner is assigned to the front guard. However, with the supply team stuck in Trost's Military headquarters, he is essentially immobilized with many of his teammates on a rooftop. He and Annie discuss what to do next, with Reiner suggesting that they wait for the Pure Titans to gather to them before they make a move. Mikasa asks them if they have seen Eren, and Reiner points out Armin, telling her he was in Eren's squad.
Mikasa takes charge, leading an attempt to get to the military headquarters in Trost, which Reiner takes part in. Upon reaching the headquarters, Reiner keeps watch, alerting his teammates when Titans begin to attack the building. Connie, Mikasa, and Armin arrive shortly afterward, with an abnormal Titan in tow that promptly begins to kill the Titans swarming the outside of the building. Alarmed by the Titan's behavior, Reiner tries to find out how much the three know about it but is unable to get any information out of them.
Reiner takes part in Armin's plan to clear out the smaller Titans that have infiltrated the headquarters' armory. After the Titans are lured together by the trainees and blinded by gunfire, he and six other trainees attack them, in an effort to clear out all of the Titans in one move. As the other trainees move out after resupplying, Reiner is among the soldiers that stay behind to observe the abnormal Titan as it is overwhelmed by the Pure Titans. Suspecting that the Titan is one of the Nine Titans, Reiner, Annie, and Bertolt suggest that they should help it and prevent it from being eaten, with Reiner trying to convince his comrades by arguing that the Titan could be useful to humanity. They are silenced when the Titan breaks away from those devouring it to kill one final Titan, before collapsing. They prepare to leave but are shocked at the sight of Eren Yeager emerging from the Titan's nape.
Reiner, Jean, Annie, and Bertolt are placed on standby with their fellow trainees and are ordered not to tell anyone what they witnessed. Later on, after hearing an explosion coming from the Wall, Reiner and the others who witnessed Eren's transformation recognize what is happening and immediately go to investigate.
Later into the battle, Reiner and Bertolt find themselves on a rooftop; believing themselves to be alone, Reiner mentions they will have to change their plan slightly. As he mentions them both being Titans, Marco suddenly appears behind them. He claims to have overheard their conversation and inquires what they were talking about; a shocked Reiner deflects it by assuring Marco that they were merely joking. As he leaves to help with the recovery, however, Reiner tackles Marco and incapacitates his comrade by slamming him into a wall. Reiner then informs his shocked comrade that he is too intelligent to be let go and ponders what to do. Shortly after, Annie appears and Reiner orders her to remove Marco's maneuvering equipment. The three leave Marco stranded on the rooftop and watch in horror as a nearby Titan eats him. After the Titan has partially eaten Marco and discarded the corpse, Reiner kills the Titan while projecting his own guilt and responsibility for killing Marco onto the Titan in a fit of rage.
In the aftermath of Trost, Reiner enlists in the Survey Corps. During the 57th Expedition Outside the Walls, he comes across Armin, who has narrowly survived an encounter with the Female Titan and are soon joined by Jean. Reiner is surprised when Armin deduces the Female Titan is most likely a human just like Eren, and that she is after someone specific. Armin believes she is looking for Eren but Reiner is confused after Armin and Jean tell Reiner that Eren and Levi Squad are in the left wing, as Reiner's copy of the scouting formation had them in the right wing. Reiner asks where Eren is meant to be, to which Armin replies that he believes Eren is at the rear of the center rank, the safest place in the formation.
The three subsequently devise a plan to follow and attack the Female Titan to slow her down and allow the formation time to regroup. Before attacking, Armin tells Reiner and Jean to pull their hoods all the way over to cover their faces knowing that she will not kill them if she does not know who they are, as any of them could easily be Eren. After Armin and Jean are injured, Reiner attempts a direct attack while the Female Titan is distracted by Armin's false claims that Eren is dead. Reiner is grabbed by the Female Titan and seemingly crushed. While his allies are reeling from his seeming death, Reiner discreetly carves Eren's true location into the Titan's hand before slicing himself free from its grasp. Carrying Armin's injured form, Reiner begins retreating on foot with Jean as the Female Titan changes course to pursue Eren.
Afterward, Reiner tends to Armin's head wound while Jean attempts to call back his missing horse. After checking to make sure Armin is not losing consciousness again, Reiner points out that one of them is going to have to stay behind since their single horse can only carry two people. Fortunately, when they fire off a flare to signal for help Krista Lenz is quick to arrive with two extra horses. Stunned by her timely rescue and beauty, Reiner mentally expresses the desire to marry her.
The group rejoins the main force soon after, though they are frustrated by Erwin Smith's decision to continue the doomed mission and the lack of information available. Assigned to stand by at the edge of the Titan Forest and act as bait for the Titans, Reiner repeatedly expresses concern about what is going on inside the forest. When the mission ends in failure, he returns to Wall Rose in poor spirits.
After Annie is revealed to be the Female Titan and captured, Commander Smith believes she had an accomplice and Reiner is among those suspected; Reiner and the others under suspicion are sent to an abandoned mansion on the outskirts of Wall Rose and placed under the watch of Mike Zacharias and his squad. Reiner mentions how unusual it is that they are ordered to stand by without their equipment until further notice. While slightly concerned that he and Bertolt could potentially be discovered, Reiner does not express this and occupies his time playing chess with Bertolt. Reiner later expresses his doubts over these orders, discussing his concerns with Connie Springer and offering to help his friend sneak out. They would never get a chance, as Sasha Blouse alerted the group to an oncoming horde of Titans. The recruits are sent out without their equipment and ordered to travel to the nearby villages and warn them to evacuate.
Reiner joins the Southern squad and accompanies Connie to his home village, Ragako. There, they discover the village in ruins and a single crippled Titan collapsed on the Springer house. Unable to locate survivors or signs of bloodshed, the soldiers gather torches and prepare to begin looking for the Titans' entry point. When Connie relates that the strange Titan had greeted him, Reiner harshly chides him for imagining things and orders him to stay focused on the mission. After many hours of searching, the squad encounters Nanaba's squad and realize that they need to rest for the night. Locating the ruins of Utgard Castle, the soldiers take shelter inside for the night. When Connie mentions the strange Titan from his village again, Reiner begins to harshly lecture him—Ymir interrupts their argument by mocking Connie, ending the conversation there.
Later that night he finds Ymir searching for food, and she teases him by suggesting that he is attempting to sneak a grope. Continuing to tease him, she suggests that he might not be interested in women, and in response, he suggests she is uninterested in men. She agrees with his assessment, relaxing and hearing out his request to continue distracting Connie so he does not worry about his missing family. However, he becomes suspicious of her when she is able to read the strange characters on a can. But before he can say more, the soldiers are summed to the tower by their superiors—Titans have appeared and are attacking the castle even though it is night.
During the nighttime attack, Reiner and the others are ordered to head deeper into the castle to defend against invading Titans. He rushes ahead of the others to investigate, and barely manages to keep a Titan from breaking into the stairwell with the assistance of Bertolt and the others, who use an old cannon to crush it. While the group is recovering, a second Titan manages to enter the room and attacks Connie. Reiner pushes him to safety and is injured in the process, suffering a broken arm before the others are able to save him.
Eventually, their superiors are all killed and the unarmed recruits are left to fend for themselves. In order to save the others, Ymir reveals herself to be a Titan and goes to fight alone. Reiner and Bertolt are shocked to recognize her as the Titan responsible for killing their fellow Warrior, Marcel.
As Ymir fights the many Titans, Historia almost falls off the tower but is saved by Reiner and Connie, though he does not let go of her foot for a few more seconds and apologizes for that. They continue to watch the battle down below with uncertainty, unable to make sense of Ymir's choice to allow their superiors to die and wondering what side she might be on. Krista firmly states she is on their side and shouts for Ymir to tear down the tower if necessary to save herself. She does exactly that, but climbs up to rescue her comrades and rides the falling tower down to safety. However, several Titans survive and continue their attack on the survivors. Ymir is partially devoured, and Krista nearly caught before Hange's squad arrives to finally rescue the survivors.
In the aftermath of the battle, Reiner crumbles under the stress, worrying that he will not last much longer. Prompted by Eren's mention of their hometown, Bertolt attempts to cheer his friend up by reminding Reiner that now they are able to return home. The two briefly converse, before approaching Eren for a private talk. Reiner confesses their true identities as the Armored Titan and Colossus Titan, stating that if Eren leaves with them the Walls will be safe. Eren initially plays it off as a joke, causing Reiner to wonder about his sanity and break down. Though deeply troubled, he accepts that he has no other options and decides to fight. Mikasa intervenes before he can attack Eren, seriously wounding Reiner and Bertolt.
When she moves in to finish off a critically-wounded Bertolt, Reiner throws her from the Wall before transforming into the Armored Titan. He manages to catch Eren, who transforms into his Titan form and engages him in battle. As Eren and Reiner continue to fight, Mikasa tries to help Eren by attacking Reiner, but her blades prove ineffective against the armor covering his body.
Although Reiner initially had the upper hand against Eren, whose punches had limited effectiveness against his armor, Eren soon turns the tides of the battle in his favor by resorting to the grappling techniques he learned from Annie. As Eren and Reiner wrestle, Hange is able to discover his weakness, directing Mikasa to strike at the unarmored region at the back of his knees. This crippled his legs, allowing Eren to slowly overpower him. On the verge of defeat, Reiner lets out a roar, calling Bertolt to fall from the Wall on top of both him and Eren. The resulting explosion wounds most of the soldiers present, allowing Reiner to kidnap Eren and escape the scene.
Several hours later, Reiner and Bertolt transport Ymir and Eren to the Titan Forest, with them taking the opportunity to acquire Eren and Ymir's vertical maneuvering equipment while they were both unconscious. As Eren wakes up, Reiner and Bertolt exchange grim glances with him in light of the aftermath of Eren and Reiner's fight. Eren openly questions why his arms have been severed off, and Reiner says he did it due to the little time he had of capturing him. Eren acknowledges his defeat against Reiner, giving both Reiner and Bertolt a cold glance. He attempts to transform by biting his rapidly healing arm but is stopped by Ymir, who informs him of the suspicious Titans lurking around. Reiner counters her words, saying that they lack the strength to transform anyway due to all their energy draining, and their bodies having their hands full rapidly healing their arms. Eren curses Reiner, saying who cares what he thinks, and Ymir questions Reiner and Bertolt's intentions of what they will do with them.
Reiner informs Eren and Ymir that they intend to bring them back to their hometown, but admits that he knows they will not come along willingly. Their location has become surrounded by Titans, and so he advises them to wait until nightfall before attempting to get away from them and says that it will either end in their escape or their capture. Ymir guesses this means he is also too exhausted to transform, but avoids the question by saying he will leave it to her imagination.
Ymir asks Reiner if the Titans at Utgard Castle could move at night, why are they now waiting for nightfall in order to leave. Reiner says Ymir should already know the answer. As Ymir asks for something to drink, Reiner tells her he can not reach an area where it is available and acknowledges his lack of eating, drinking and sleeping for the last few days. He is glad that the Wall was not broken in his battle against Eren, admitting that he is endured a lot and all while managing to keep the Wall intact, and sincerely expresses his want for a "promotion" or appreciation. This visibly shocks Eren, and Reiner continues to say that Eren, Ymir, and even Krista helped in their plan. As the others look on in shock, he continues discussing the events at Utgard Castle and claims that Krista must like him since she is always so nice to him. When Eren loses his temper and threatens him, Reiner becomes confused and asks what he said that was wrong. Eren threatens to kill him if he keeps acting like everything is just fine. Ymir notices Bertolt's expression and confronts him about what they are witnessing. He finally speaks up, informing Reiner that he is "not a soldier," and that "we are Warriors"; this prompts a dark, focused expression in Reiner, who appears more distraught with the words.
As Reiner collapses onto the branch and buries his face in his hand, Ymir theorizes that his strange behavior, such as saving Connie despite him being responsible for breaching the Wall, resulted from repressing his own memories to cope with extreme guilt. She guesses he became so attached to his role as a human soldier, but lost track of who he was, or maybe that he could not stand the knowledge of the consequences of his actions and to protect his sanity, escaped and submerged himself in the belief that he was one of the soldiers protecting the Wall. With his memories altered to suit his delusional state, she believes that the result of this was his consciousness splitting and even fabricating memories. She says that with his overly sincere personality, she is surprised to see him become what he has despite that. He furiously tells her to shut up, and she amusedly admits she might have said too much.
Eren demands Reiner to stop playing around and accuses him of playing the victim, asking Reiner and Bertolt whether he remembers telling them that a Titan ate his mother, and Bertolt vaguely says he felt sorry for him at the time. Eren expresses that they are murderers responsible for the genocide of innocent people. Reiner irritatedly says he already is aware, and Eren tells him to stop grieving as if he is a victim and that he is no longer human, being responsible for turning their world into a living hell. A frustrated Reiner asks what Eren wants from them then if he wants for him apologize or atone for his actions or admit that killing is bad. He says that the person Eren once knew is dead and if it makes him feel any better, he can scream all he likes. This gives Eren a new resolve, and he vows that they both will die horrible, excruciating deaths. Ymir finds Eren's assurance stupid yet amusing, but she questions Reiner on what the "ape-like Titan" was, noting that Reiner and Bertolt both looked like gawking, excited children at his appearance. She reveals that the ape-like Titan must have been responsible for the sudden appearance of Titans from the south and that he might be what they need to return to their hometown. Realizing Ymir might know something, Eren frivolously questions her in which she vaguely mutters a reply but is interrupted by Reiner. He asks whether she believes that their world has a future, shocking everyone. He says that considering all she knows, she should come over to "their side" and return with them to their hometown. He insists that she is trustworthy due to the fact that they share the goal of protecting Krista and he can ensure her future in exchange for Ymir's cooperation.
Bertolt expresses his concern over allying with Ymir, and they recall how she once ate their friend, Marcel. However, Reiner argues that this further proves that Ymir can be trusted to cooperate with them since her motivations are obvious. This causes Bertolt to question Reiner's state of mind, but he reassures him and reminds him that Krista is an important member of a Noble family. They discuss whether or not Eren is the "Coordinate" they were sent to find, and decide that Krista's ties to the Church of the Walls may help their mission.
The two briefly discuss accomplishing their mission and returning home. Reiner suggests that Bertolt confesses his feelings to Annie once they return home, and bitterly notes that their crimes mean no one else could understand them. Their conversation is cut short when they notice signal flares in the distance and realize that soldiers have pursued them. He attempts to convince Eren to cooperate and go quietly with them but is forced to choke him into unconsciousness after a brief struggle.
As they flee through the forest, Ymir notices the flares and demands to be allowed to see Krista. Reiner and Bertolt refuse her at first but are forced to give into her demands after she threatens them. Once Ymir returns from successfully kidnapping Krista, he transforms into his Titan form and flees with the others clinging to his back. The other graduates of the 104th manage to catch up to him, climbing onto his Titan form. He ignores them until Mikasa attacks Bertolt, cupping his hands around his neck in order to provide his partner a safe place to hide. While the others confront Bertolt over his actions, Reiner continues to focus on fleeing towards Wall Maria.
Commander Erwin Smith lures a massive horde of Titans directly into his path, forcing Reiner to make a suicidal charge. Their sheer numbers overwhelm him, restricting his movement and eventually forcing him to begin fighting back—leaving Bertolt and Eren exposed. This allows the soldiers to make a second rush, and in the chaos, Armin is able to get onto his head and confront Bertolt. He reveals that Annie has been captured, and claims she is being tortured in order to confuse and upset the pair. Reiner is horrified by this news and is unable to prevent Erwin from ambushing Bertolt. With Eren freed, the soldiers begin to retreat. In an act of desperation, he begins to throw the Titans attacking him into the path of the fleeing humans.
This causes chaos on the battlefield, as soldiers are knocked from their horses and the Titans begin to attack them. Jean Kirstein and Armin Arlert express horror at his actions, wondering whether he even cares anymore about the danger of Eren being killed. His assault is only stopped when Eren's power from the Coordinate manifests, causing the Titan horde to attack the Smiling Titan in his stead. This shocks and horrifies Reiner, who senses the power but seems resistant to Eren's control.
He realizes that this is the worst possible situation, thinking that Eren is the worst possible person to possess that power. Free from the Titan horde, he charges after Eren with unknown intentions. However, he is stopped in his tracks when Eren screams at him to stay away and threatens to kill him. The Titan horde reacts to this command by abandoning their previous kill, swarming the Armored Titan with renewed aggression. Reiner realizes they have lost, expressing the fear that he will not be able to keep Bertolt safe.
The soldiers take the chance to retreat, leaving Reiner to the Titan horde. He desperately attempts to fend them off, shielding Bertolt with one hand. Just as he feared, he is quickly overwhelmed and unable to protect his partner from the Titans. But before one can kill Bertolt, Ymir reappears and begins to fight alongside the pair. The three Titans begin to fight together, while the human soldiers retreat back to the Walls.
They survived the battle and returned to the ruins of the Shiganshina District. Though unharmed, he is physically exhausted and deeply shaken by the events of the past two days. He questions Ymir about her actions and tries to persuade her to escape since her fate is uncertain if she goes with them. However, she refuses and instead expresses her gratitude towards the traitors for their role in freeing her from her Titan form.
Eren later expresses the desire to catch him and make him pay for his crimes, suggesting that he believes they survived.
Roughly two months after Reiner and Bertolt are exposed as traitors and escape the Survey Corps they are reunited with Zeke. They inform him of Marcel's death and Annie's capture. They also inform him about Eren's actions during their escape, believing him to be the holder of the Founding Titan.
Zeke decides to make the retrieval of the Founder their top priority. Reiner and Bertolt protest and insist that the recovery of Annie take precedent over capturing Eren. Eventually, Reiner decides to challenge Zeke to a battle with their respective Titan forms in the ruins of Shiganshina District, but Zeke swiftly and effortlessly defeats him. While Bertolt helps Reiner out of his Titan form, Zeke declares himself the winner and reaffirms that Annie's rescue will wait until after they had acquired the Founder from Eren.
A while later, Reiner and Bertolt are seen on Wall Maria, appearing to have stayed the night on the Wall. They watch the sun set, waiting for the Survey Corps to arrive.
Reiner, Bertolt and Zeke set up camp atop Wall Maria, where they wait for the Survey Corps. Zeke assures them that Annie is not being tortured and reminds them of their mission, but Reiner is unhappy with Zeke's priorities. Zeke offers to fight Reiner again to decide what they should do next, but cows Reiner into submission by threatening to feed him to another Titan if he is beaten again. Pieck appears below and alerts them of the Corps's imminent arrival, and the three Warriors share a last toast before preparing for battle. Reiner disposes of the evidence of their campsite and proceeds to his station with Bertolt.
As Reiner and Bertolt jog along Wall Maria, Reiner notes that the two of them will be in separate positions, and that Bertolt will have to think and act for himself, rather than wait for Reiner's signal. Reiner admits that he never thought of Bertolt as particularly reliable before, as he tends to leave things to others when it matters in spite of his immense ability, but claims that things are different between them now. Bertolt affirms his desire to end things, and Reiner encourages him to keep up that attitude until he can be reunited with Annie. The two part ways.
When the operation starts, Reiner is seen watching the operation with decisive eyes, seemingly ready to act. After being discovered hiding inside Wall Maria, Reiner quickly dispatches the Survey Corps member that found him before turning to attack Armin. However, Reiner is stopped by the interference of Levi, who quickly slices the nape of Reiner's neck before stabbing him through the midsection. Despite this, Reiner miraculously survives Levi's attack by transferring his neurological functions from his brain to his entire body and is kicked down to the ground below Wall Maria, where he transforms into his Titan form while his human body twitches and his eyes glow. As the Beast Titan begins his attack, Reiner rises and turns to face Eren, ready to fight against him once again.
Reiner immediately charges the Wall and begins to climb it in order to give himself a better view of the battle. Upon reaching the top of the Wall, Reiner singles out the Corps's horses and decides to kill them in order to further hamper the Corps's retreat. He uses the flesh inside his Titan to remove Levi's blade from his neck and Reiner realizes if he had been any slower moving his consciousness from his head to his body, he would have died when Levi attacked him.
As he is contemplating, he notices Erwin perched atop the wall only a few yards away. He decides that killing the horses is more important than killing Erwin, but is caught off guard a second time by the sight of Eren transforming in the middle of Shiganshina. As Eren begins to flee, Reiner realizes that Erwin is forcing him to choose between securing Eren and the Coordinate or taking away the corps' horses. Lamenting the trap he has been caught in, Reiner chooses to pursue Eren.
Eren proves to be much more deadly in hand-to-hand combat than the last time they clashed, managing to break through Reiner's armor with his blows thanks to his new hardening ability. Reiner manages to pin Eren down for a short time, but is summarily flipped off of Eren into a small clearing of town surrounded by buildings. As Reiner gets up he is perplexed to see Hange and Mikasa attacking him, believing that they will not be able to break his armor. However, using the newly developed Thunder Spears, Mikasa and Hange blind Reiner and leave him open for another volley which blows open the armor around his nape. Before Reiner can react, a third volley is launched which destroys his Titan's nape.
After the explosion, Reiner's seemingly lifeless body is left fully exposed in the nape, his head destroyed from the jaw upward. Having survived his injury to some extent, he cries out the signal for Bertolt to be sent over Wall Maria. As Bertolt comes soaring over the Wall, he spots Reiner and comes to his side, confirming that, despite his injuries, he is still alive. When Bertolt goes to confront the Survey Corps, Reiner's Titan lies supine upon the street to prevent the Survey Corps from finishing him off while he slowly regenerates his head. Following his regeneration, the Armored Titan returns to the battle. Mikasa, Jean, Sasha, and Connie head towards Reiner with a plan of action. Having regenerated his brain, Reiner flees towards Eren's position only to be stopped by Mikasa's Thunder Spear. Reiner lies confused, having lost all memory of the events following his farewell to Bertolt.
As Jean, Sasha, and Connie come in to attack, he strikes at the roof of a building, sending debris into Sasha and Jean while Connie uses his Thunder Spear to unhinge half of the Armored Titan's jaw. With Sasha's Thunder Spear missing its mark, Mikasa realizes she has the last Thunder Spear and the plan is now endangered. At that moment, Hange arrives at the battle, destroying the other hinge of Reiner's jaw with their own Thunder Spear. Mikasa jumps on the Armored Titan's unhinged jaw, ordering him to get out as she sends her Thunder Spear into his mouth, sending Reiner flying out of the nape of his Titan and defeating him.
After being defeated, it is discovered by Hange that Reiner had been carrying a metal case with him during the battle. As she interrogates Reiner, Hange demands to know what is inside the case, and Reiner admits that it is a letter from Ymir that he had promised to give to Historia. After Reiner refuses to answer any more questions, Hange prepares to execute him. Before they can, however, Jean suggests using the Titan injection to steal Reiner's Titan power, which Hange reluctantly agrees to. Mikasa is sent to retrieve the serum and is ordered to fire a signal flare if there is a change of plans, in which case Reiner will be executed.
Some time after Mikasa departs, she fires a flare to signal that Reiner should be executed. However, before Reiner can be killed, he is rescued by Zeke and Pieck, who retrieves and retreats with him to the top of Wall Maria.
Four years later, Reiner is present at the battle of Fort Slava at the climax of the war between Marley and the Mid-East Allied Forces. Warrior candidate Gabi Braun, whom later is revealed to be Reiner's younger cousin, a foot soldier on the battlefield, has become a potential candidate to inherit the power of his Titan. Reiner appears to be stationed in an airship somewhere over the battlefield alongside several other Marleyan paratroopers. However, he could not be brought onto the battlefield under orders from Commander Magath, who denied Titan use due to the presence of anti-Titan artillery which could kill any Titan with a single 100mm round.
After Galliard manages to destroy the anti-Titan artillery using his Jaw Titan and Marley's forces start advancing towards the fortress, Zeke and Reiner start an airborne attack. After an initial attack, Reiner is deployed in a parachute, transforming in mid air and destroying one of the walls of the fortress, while recalling his life inside the walls and his animosity towards their inhabitants. Reiner attacks the Mid-East Allied Forces inside the Fort with the help of Galliard, using even towers as weapons. After Zeke launches a final barrage of artillery shells against the enemy fleet, Reiner protects the Beast Titan from the naval retaliation with his hardened body, but is left unconscious.
After the battle, Reiner is kept in a hospital. He has a dream about the Battle of Shiganshina District, remembering being attacked by the Ackerman soldiers and the loss of the Colossus Titan. He wakes up from the traumatic dream in a panic. Galliard, who is looking over him starts scolding him passively, criticizing Reiner for his incompetence at Fort Slava and for acting like Marcel while on Paradis Island. This stops when Pieck interrupts them and Reiner leaves the room to meet with the Warrior candidates. He meets up with them on the naval pier, speaking to them affectionately, but begins hallucinating his childhood friends in their place, seeing physical similarities between them.
He is later seen on a train to Liberio with his fellow Warriors. He has a conversation with Falco Grice, who accidentally makes light of the Armored Titan. Reiner threatens Falco about it and its cruel consequences as Falco rephrases himself. As Reiner learns that Falco intends to save Gabi, he tells Falco to work hard to inherit the Armored Titan, wanting to protect Gabi from the harsh life of having the power of the Titans.
As the train arrives on the outskirts of Liberio, Reiner gets off the train with his fellow Eldians, scolding Gabi for making too much noise in the process. After arriving in Liberio's internment zone, Reiner is able to reunite with his family.
At a family dinner, Gabi recounts her experience blowing up the Armored Train, warranting congratulations from her family, and Reiner agrees when pressed that Gabi is currently the most likely of the Warrior candidates to inherit the Armored Titan. When the topic of Reiner's time in Paradis Island arises, Reiner tells his family about his experiences with the people of Paradis Island. However, his words confuse them all as his descriptions of the Wall people are not as negative compared to typical Marley propaganda.
After dinner, Reiner retires to his old room, where he recalls his childhood, and his early days in the Warrior program.
Soon after arriving home, the Warriors and Warrior candidates are all summoned to their headquarters. On their way, Reiner takes note of the fact that Gabi is no longer bragging about her accomplishments, claiming that she is acting strange. Gabi accuses Reiner of lying about his time on Paradis Island, and admits that she hopes to inherit his memories when she is given the Armored Titan, so that she may better understand him.
At the Warriors' headquarters, Reiner attends a meeting with the current Warriors to discuss the dangerous position Marley's waning power puts its Eldian citizens in. Zeke informs them of his plan to stabilize Marley's power by recommencing their attack on Paradis Island, while simultaneously improving the Eldians' view in the public eye by having the noble Tybur family act as the Warriors' spokespersons during the mission. Reiner, suspecting that the meeting is being bugged by Marleyan officials, immediately interrupts Galliard and agrees to the plan.
After the meeting, Reiner goes to watch the Warrior candidates train, and begins to think back to his first years as the Armored Titan.
After having remembered painful memories of his time on Paradis Island, Reiner prepares to commit suicide by shooting himself in the mouth with a loaded rifle. Before he could kill himself, however, he hears Falco outside, frustrated with his lack of success in the competition for the Armored Titan. Hearing this convinces Reiner to preserve his own life, as he needs to still care for the Warrior candidates. Later on Reiner sees Falco energetically running to go outside Liberio, and concernedly asks him what he was doing.
A month after his suicide attempt, Reiner seems to have regained his composure and attends a military meeting on how to assault Paradis Island. He informs the Marley officers on facts to consider when deciding the logistics of the attack, but is criticized for not creating a plan. On the balcony with the other Warriors, he watches Falco overtake Gabi to win a footrace. Reiner remains quiet as the other Warriors discuss Falco's progress and Colt expresses concern over Falco becoming a Warrior.
On the morning of the Liberio festival, Reiner watches over the Warrior candidates, emptying his wallet over the day to buy food for them. Later in the day, he drags Gabi, full from eating too much food, across the town. They talk about wishing festivals could be every day, and both agree that they feel something is about to change in the world. A little while before Willy Tybur would deliver his speech, Falco asks Reiner to come with him for a moment. Zeke tells Reiner that there will be enough time, so Reiner begins following Falco. He asks Falco what they are doing, but is told to wait and see. Falco leads him underground into a basement, and once entering the room, he is met by the sight of Eren Yeager. Reiner, completely shocked, is told by Eren that he is glad to see he made it back to his hometown.
Seeing Eren sends Reiner into a state of disbelief, before Eren invites him to take a seat. He is horrified to see the bleeding gash on Eren's hand, and nervously obeys his order. Reiner begins breaking down, and asks Eren why he is in Marley, with Eren responding that he is there for the same reason as Reiner; he has no choice. Reiner then follows his instruction of listening to the production.
During the production, Eren asks Reiner why he destroyed the Wall. Reiner explains that they did so as part of their plan to infiltrate the Walls and observe the King's reaction. The Warriors intended to recover the Founding Titan in order to save the world. Reiner asks Eren if he came to Marley to fulfill his promise of killing him, but Eren asks Reiner to forget he said that. Eren explains that he no longer blames Reiner for his actions and understands now why he did what he did. However, Reiner falls to the floor in guilt, insisting that the events of five years ago were his fault. He begs Eren to kill him, wanting "to vanish."
As Willy draws his speech to a close, Eren offers his hand to Reiner and helps him to his feet. He calmly states that they are the same, and he has probably been this way since he was born. Composed, he informs Reiner he will continue to advance before making the declaration that this is until he wipes out his enemies. Still holding Reiner's hand, Eren begins to transform. Reiner senses what is about to happen and breaks away from Eren in terror.
He manages to save Falco through a partial transformation into his Armored Titan and shields him with his Titan's hands. However, though Reiner survives as well, he is unconscious and his injuries have not healed. Falco suspects that this is because Reiner has lost the will to live. He tries to reassure Reiner before he leaves to get help.
Later, Gabi and Falco see that Galliard's Jaw Titan is about to be devoured by Eren and they scream for Reiner to save him. Barely conscious, Reiner is able to hear them but is reluctant to wake up. Frustrated that they will not allow him to die in peace, he opens his eyes and forms an incomplete and unarmored version of his Titan. Reiner is immediately attacked by Eren, who hardens his fist and sends him flying across the ruins of the plaza. However, Reiner manages to grab the Jaw Titan by the hair, rescuing Galliard from Eren's grasp. He tries to get up again, but lacks the strength and falls back to the ground as Eren leaves the battlefield.
Following the battle, Reiner awakens in a hospital and is greeted by the sight of Pieck and Galliard, with the latter offering him a bottle of alcohol. Recalling that Gabi and Falco called out to him during the battle, Reiner asks where the two children are. Along with his fellow Warriors, Reiner is later summoned to an emergency meeting by Magath. They are all stunned to hear that due to Zeke's body missing from within his Beast Titan form, he deceived Marley and was actually partnered with the forces of Paradis. When he hears that Marley must wait six months until a global military alliance forms before retaliating, Reiner disagrees; he states that Zeke is anticipating them to wait and proposes to launch a surprise attack now.
When Marley does launch its retaliation attack against Paradis, Reiner is stationed aboard one of Marley's airships. Having sliced open his palm, he parachutes into Shiganshina and transforms in midair once he has caught sight of Eren; upon reaching the ground, the two immediately charge each other and begin to fight.
Reiner is quickly overpowered by Eren, who uses his superior fighting skills and hardening abilities to smash through Reiner's armor, however, Reiner does manage to tackle Eren and hold him down long enough for Galliard to distract Eren and then letting Reiner completely restrain him, but the two Warriors are caught off guard as Eren uses the War Hammer Titan's ability to impale them on spikes of hardened skin. Magath and Pieck fire two shots from Marley's anti-Titan artillery into Eren's head, severely hampering his motor skills, and Reiner uses the opportunity to free himself and use one of the spikes Eren created to impale the latter. He is skewered again as Eren creates more spikes to defend himself, but Galliard ambushes Eren and distracts him long enough for Reiner to pin him down.
Reiner silently admonishes Eren for continuing to fight and wishes he would just give up his efforts as both of them are doomed to die in a few years' time; he then tries to devour Eren, but is stopped as Eren manages to get a hold of his Titan's head and begins to separate it from the neck by breaking his jaw. As Reiner endeavors to break free from Eren's grip, he is knocked off of his adversary by a projectile thrown by the Beast Titan. Reiner is dazed from the attack but his Titan soon recovers and tries to ambush Eren from behind; this fails due to Zeke noticing him from the Wall and Reiner gets barraged by debris. Soon, Reiner hears a shot ring out and spots that Pieck and Magath were able to shoot Zeke through the nape of the Beast Titan; he stares at the Beast Titan as it plummets from atop the Wall.
With Zeke incapacitated, Reiner is ordered to devour Eren and reclaim the Founder before he can reach his brother. Another shot to Eren's head from Magath's anti-Titan artillery gives Reiner the opportunity to subdue Eren, trying to get Galliard to aid him as he does so. As he tries to wake Galliard, Reiner unknowingly transfers to him the memory of Marcel admitting his role in getting Reiner selected as the Armored Titan. As he continues to grapple with Eren, Reiner is shocked to see Falco and Colt arrive on the scene, and horrified to learn that Falco accidentally ingested Zeke's spinal fluid. Despite the predicament, Zeke uses his scream and orders the newly transformed Falco to attack Reiner. Unable to juggle subduing both Eren and Falco, Reiner is forced to leave his nape exposed as he holds onto Eren, allowing Falco to begin to bite into it.
As Falco is eating through his armor, Reiner sees another shot from Magath's anti-Titan artillery hit the Beast Titan's nape, causing it to begin rapidly decomposing. Believing Zeke to be dead and the danger of Eren activating the Founder to be no more, Reiner decides to undo the hardening on his nape and let Falco devour him so that the boy will be saved. However, to Reiner's confusion, Falco withdraws and does not fully bite through his nape. He then spots a severely injured Galliard nearby and frantically calls out to him. Reiner witnesses Falco charge and devour his fellow Warrior; in a flash of rage, he turns and punches Eren's Titan, at which point Eren hardens and traps Reiner's hand inside his Titan. Letting out a roar, Reiner breaks free and spots Eren trying to approach Zeke; he tries to crush him but he gets shot in the hand by a Thunder Spear, quickly blowing it apart.  In the confusion that follows, Reiner witnesses Eren being decapitated by Gabi, only for Eren's head to make contact with Zeke and unlock the Founding Titan. As the Rumbling begins and the Walls start to shatter, Reiner panics at the fact that Gabi is close to the falling debris.
Although Reiner manages to reach Gabi and shield her from the falling debris, his Titan's armor begins to crumble as well and he is forced to return to his human form. As the two Brauns retreat from the wall on foot, Gabi tries to find Falco and Reiner speculates that the boy was likely taken hostage by Jean and Connie. Before they can go any farther, Reiner collapses from fatigue, overcome with despair at the thought that the world will soon be destroyed. Gabi helps Reiner into an abandoned building, where Reiner orders his cousin to retreat to the south and evacuate Paradis with the rest of Marley's forces. Although Gabi argues that they should continue to fight Eren, Reiner argues that fighting is pointless as long as Eren can use the Founding Titan to control all Subjects of Ymir. Reiner advises Gabi to flee again before succumbing to fatigue and passing out.
Reiner remains unconscious for days before finally being awoken by a kick from Annie. Reiner is shocked to awake to the sight of his former comrade standing with the rest of the 104th and the group explains to him that they want to work together to stop Eren.
The group leaves Shiganshina and camps together with the rest of their allies. While eating dinner together, hostilities and arguments continually break out between the Warriors and the Paradis Eldians. Yelena begins antagonizing both sides and brings up Annie's role in Marco's death to try to enrage Jean. Reiner comes to Annie's defense, claiming that she was only following his orders, and explains that he had Marco killed in Trost because he overheard Reiner and Bertolt discussing their plans. Guilt-ridden, Reiner reveals that he killed the Titan that ate Marco and tries to apologize to Jean for what he did. Jean flies into a rage and begins beating Reiner, only stopping when Gabi puts herself between the two of them.
The next morning the group continues traveling to Paradis's docks to gain access to Kiyomi Azumabito's flying boat. Although Jean and Reiner are civil, Jean makes it clear that he does not intend to forgive Reiner for his past deeds. They arrive to find that the Yeagerists have already occupied the harbor and begin gearing up to fight. The 104th's opposition to the idea of fighting former allies reminds Reiner of Eren's claim during their meeting in Marley that he and Reiner are the same, prompting him to suggest that only he and Annie fight so that the others will not be forced to kill anyone.
The conversation is interrupted by Hange, who reveals to Reiner's horror that Eren and his Titans have already reached Marley. This spurs the group to proceed with a plan to trick Floch into handing over the Azumabito mechanics, with Reiner and Annie on standby in case things go awry. When the plan fails and the Yeagerists are alerted to their presence, the group takes the Azumabito to the basement of the building they are being held in, allowing Reiner and Annie to transform and attack the Yeagerists without risk of collateral damage.
However, when the plan changes and the Amuzabito need to run for the ship, Reiner and Annie are quickly overwhelmed as they are forced to bodily protect the engineers from the Yeagerists. Reiner shields Annie from the Thunder Spears, which she has never faced before, but the two Titans are gradually overwhelmed. Before they can be killed Pieck's Cart Titan and Falco's Jaw Titan arrive to help. Once it is safe for the ship to depart, Connie and Jean carry Reiner aboard.
At some point, Eren pulls Reiner and the rest of his friends into Paths individually in order to speak with each of them. He reveals his true intentions, to have his friends kill him so that the outside world will be indebted to them, and wipes their memories so that they will not remember anything he has revealed until after his death.
After arriving in Odiha, Reiner helps move the flying boat into a hangar. He suggests cutting off the explosives attached to it, but Armin convinces them to keep the explosives.
As preparations for the flying boat near completion, Annie reveals to Reiner and Pieck that she will not be coming with them. Reiner takes the opportunity to apologize to Annie for forcing her and Bertolt to continue the Paradis Island Operation and admitting that it is his fault neither of them had the opportunity to return home to their families. Annie admits that she has often dreamt of killing him and Reiner commends her for her restraint. Before Annie departs, Reiner asks her to watch over Gabi and Falco.
Before the flying boat can depart Floch reveals himself, shooting holes in the boat's fuel tank and forcing the mechanics to make further repairs to the boat. However, as repairs are beginning, the group feels the ground start to rumble and realize that Eren's Titans have arrived. Reiner volunteers to hold them off, but Hange insists that every Titan inheritor is needed to face Eren and volunteers to stay instead. As Hange holds off the Titans, Reiner and the others help start the flying boat and depart on it.
En route to Eren, Reiner participates in a meeting to discuss how to best stop him. During the discussion, Connie apologizes to Reiner, admitting that killing the Yeagerists has made him realize that he is not better than Reiner, Bertolt, or Annie were. Reiner tells the 104th that he will likely never forgive himself for what he did to them even if he does succeed in saving what is left of the world. Jean also apologizes to Reiner, prompting Reiner to recall Eren's claim in Liberio that he and Reiner are no different from each other. Reiner suggests that Eren might truly want them to stop him, and Armin observes that he has not restricted them from using their Titan forms despite having the ability to do so. Reiner suggests that the pain of slaughtering humanity might be too much for Eren, and that he is waiting for someone to either take the Founder away from him or stop him.
Reiner is interrupted when Eren suddenly pulls the group into Paths to speak with them. He tells them that they will have to kill him if they want to stop the Rumbling before sending them back to the flying boat, where Reiner laments that his guess was right.
The flying boat reaches Eren on the outskirts of Fort Salta and immediately comes under fire from the Beast Titan. Reiner jumps from the boat with his comrades and uses his maneuvering gear to get closer to Eren before transforming into his Titan form and colliding with the Beast Titan to fight him head on. Reiner and his comrades quickly defeat the Titan but find that Zeke is not inside its nape. The group decides to retreat so that Armin can transform and use the resultant blast to uncover Zeke's location, but they are set upon by an army of past inheritors of the Nine Titans, generated by Ymir. Pieck is attacked by Lara Tybur's War Hammer Titan when she tries to blow up Eren's nape and before Reiner can help her he is attacked by Porco Galliard's Jaw Titan. Connie saves Reiner from the Titan and the group attempts to rescue Armin, who has been abducted by the Titans.
Before the group can make any progress, Bertolt's Colossus Titan appears and grabs Reiner. It attempts to devour him, but Reiner is rescued from his Titan's nape by Jean at the last second. The Colossus Titan throws Reiner's Titan at the group, and the impact knocks them all from Eren's Titan. Reiner and Jean's maneuvering equipment are busted and they are left stranded, hanging from Eren's Titan. Reiner tries to convince Jean to let him go so he can transform again, but Jean points out that he will only be crushed by the Colossus Titans beneath Eren. As the Nine Titans of the past begin to attack, the group is rescued by the arrival of Falco, who has learned to fly with his Jaw Titan.
Seeing that Gabi has accompanied Annie and Falco to rescue them, Reiner attempts to scold her for putting herself in danger. Gabi continues to insist that she can help, and seeing his cousin's determination, Reiner reminds Falco of the promise he made to protect her at any cost. Levi decides to have the group split up, and Reiner and Jean decide to attack Eren's nape on their own while the rest of the group try to save Armin. Transforming into his Armored Titan, Reiner begins fighting off the War Hammer Titans which have spawned on Eren's back while Jean attempts to reach the explosive Pieck left on his nape.
Reiner is eventually overwhelmed and left at the mercy of the War Hammers. However, he is saved at the last second by the intervention of Ymir's Jaw Titan, which begins fighting off the War Hammers. With new allies to hold off the other Titans, Jean manages to reach the explosives on Eren's nape and detonate them. The centipede like creature that emerges from the Founding Titan's nape tries to reattach itself to Eren's severed head again, but Reiner tackles it to the ground below Eren's Titan. As Reiner holds the centipede in place, Armin transforms into his Colossus Titan form.
Both Reiner and the centipede survive Armin's transformation. Reiner and Armin begin to return to Fort Salta, where the centipede has traveled, but Eren transforms once again. As Armin returns to fight Eren, Reiner attempts to reach the centipede. To his horror, the centipede begins emitting a smoke into the fort which transforms the Eldians inside into pure Titans. Bracing himself for the worm and its army, Reiner declares that it will not got past him. As he holds the centipede in place he is joined by Annie and Pieck, who use their Titan forms to try to hold the creature back as well. In order to keep the centipede immobile the three are unable to defend themselves from the pure Titans and are quickly overwhelmed.
Following Eren's death, the Power of the Titans is eliminated from the world and all of the Eldians return to their human forms. Recovering his memories of his final conversation with Eren, Reiner mourns for his friend. He greets his mother and reveals to her that he no longer has the power of the Armored Titan. To his surprise, she is pleased by the news and embraces him. Their reunion is cut short when the surviving Marleyan soldiers from Salta come out to confront them. The Marleyans threaten to kill them if they cannot prove that they are no longer Titans, and only Armin is able to talk them down.
In the three years following Eren's death, the survivors of the "Battle of Heaven and Earth" at Fort Salta are made peace ambassadors between the remnants of the outside world and Paradis. As the ambassadors sail to Paradis to begin peace talks in the year 857, Reiner begins lusting after Historia and Jean reprimands him, reminding him that she is now married. Reiner in turn makes a joke about Jean's looks before their argument is cut off by Annie, who points out that the odds of them successfully negotiating with Paradis are low. Despite the group's misgivings, Armin is confident that the sight of the Warriors and the Survey Corps, former enemies, working together will be enough to get the Eldians of Paradis to listen.
As one of the top ten graduates of the 104th Training Corps, Reiner is highly competent in the use of vertical maneuvering equipment and respective weapons. He is also one of the best hand-to-hand fighters among the recruits, having also trained other skilled fighters such as Eren. Reiner is noted to possess both a strong body and will, both in his human and Titan form. After returning home and fighting a war for Marley for four years, it can be assumed that Reiner has had additional air force-related training as he is able to parachute out of an airship onto the battlefield.
Reiner Braun's statistics as of year 850:
Reiner is able to transform into a 15-meter Titan referred to as the Armored Titan (鎧の巨人 Yoroi no Kyojin?) in the series. Reiner uses this form to break down the inner gate of Wall Maria and actively uses it after he reveals his identity and objective to Eren. As he retains his human intelligence, he uses his hand-to-hand combat skills against other human-turned-Titans such as Eren, which in conjunction with his armor-like skin, gives him a solid advantage in combat.
- Regeneration: Reiner, like all other Titans and humans with the Titan powers alike, has the ability to automatically regenerate any wounds sustained and even entire limbs. This also applies to his human form as seen when he sustained a broken arm in a scuffle against a Titan in Utgard Castle, his arm was almost fully healed when he rejoins the Survey Corps on top of Wall Rose. Furthermore, Reiner loses the bottom part of his forearm when it is sliced off by Mikasa, however, he is seen with a complete limb by the time he is in the Titan Forest a couple of hours later. According to Falco, this ability also depends on his will to live as Reiner is unable to recover quickly after shielding Falco from Eren's transformation as he lost all his will to live from his experience in Paradis Island.
- Regeneration Withdrawal: Reiner possesses the ability to consciously control his regenerative ability, keeping it "off" to prevent injuries from blowing his cover as a Titan spy. Initially, Reiner was the only person with the power of the Titans who was seen capable of doing this until Eren displayed a similar ability during his infiltration of Marley several years later.
- Enhanced Strength: During the massacre in the Shiganshina District, Reiner in his Titan form demonstrated enough physical power to raze the buildings around him by simply taking off into a charge, then promptly smash through the inner gate of Wall Maria. While squaring off in an attempt to capture Eren in his Titan form, Reiner was shown to easily overpower his opponent with punches powerful enough to blow at least half of his head off. Reiner’s tackle had enough force to throw Eren’s Titan form back into Wall Rose, cracking it in the process. In addition, he uses his unique hardened skin to supplement his physical blows making them deadlier than those of normal-based Titans. In his second fight with Eren, Reiner was easily able to barge out of Eren's assault and throw Eren's Titan form around without much effort.
- Enhanced Speed: During the fall of Shiganshina, Reiner in his Titan form demonstrated enough speed to quickly cross the gap to the inner gate of Wall Maria preventing cannons from accurately firing at him. While fully armored his speed is noted to be much slower, however, Reiner has shown that he can choose to shed certain areas of his armor, such as joints located at the back of his legs, boosting his overall speed. This tactic was used several times by him successfully during his fight against Eren’s Titan form.
- Armor Hardening: While transforming into the Armored Titan, Reiner's body automatically produces a hardened, armor-like skin that covers most of his body, save for areas such as his joints at the back of his legs. The armor is hard enough to repel concentrated cannon fire without even stopping him, blows from other Titans such as Eren, as well as blade strikes from the vertical maneuvering equipment. The durability of this armor is enough to withstand a direct collision from the Colossus Titan who fell from the top of Wall Rose, wounding most people in the area, incapacitating Eren's Titan form, and leaving a large crater in the ground. As stated previously, the Armored Titan can choose to harden or not to harden joints at will, sacrificing speed and combat ability for protection. However, similar to medieval armor, his body needs gaps around the joints in order to move with necessary speed. This makes him vulnerable in just a few spots, like the inner part of his knees and his elbows. Additionally, he can harden his fingertips and toes into points in order to grip and climb flat, vertical surfaces like the Walls.
- Steam Generation: Reiner's Titan seems to overheat, judging by the "fire breath" that appeared after destroying the inner gate of Shiganshina District. As his Titan bears solidified skin over most of its body, it seems that the excess heat and vapor builds up and must be vented out through the mouth. The extent of this function the single time it appears was enough to superheat and ignite the steam that comes out.
- Brain Function Transfer: During the battle for Shiganshina District, Reiner was able to prevent his certain death on multiple occasions after transferring the functions of his brain into the rest of his body. With this profound ability, he was able to survive a direct strike to his spinal cord in the neck by Levi Ackerman's blade. Shortly afterward, he could use this same ability to maintain some control over his Titan form after his brain was destroyed by a Thunder Spear explosion by using his Armored Titan's brain as a backup, even to the point of regenerating his head after the fact. However, it is said that this ability is incredibly difficult to successfully carry out and is only used as a last resort. This proved to be the case when Reiner regained consciousness after regenerating his head, but lacking the memories of everything that had happened after parting ways with Bertolt earlier that morning.
Armored Titan's statistics as of year 850:
- Bertolt Hoover - Reiner got to know Bertolt in their early days of the Warrior program after the latter saved Reiner from the bullying of fellow candidate Porco, becoming inseparable friends. Reiner often partnered with Bertolt and they were rarely seen apart, with Reiner taking the lead most of the time. Ymir notes that his psychological issues have caused friction between them, though Bertolt was vital in helping him maintain his grasp on reality. During their failed mission to kidnap Eren, he expresses a great desire to keep Bertolt safe, placing himself at a major disadvantage in order to protect him. Reiner's reaction to Bertolt's demise was not shown but has been shown to be aware of it, sometimes thinking about him, Annie, and Marcel four years later.
- Annie Leonhart - Despite training and working together for several years, Annie and Reiner had a strained, but professional relationship. While training to become Warriors, Annie was initially indifferent to Reiner; however, things became tense after the death of their leader Marcel in Paradis Island. Annie then blamed Reiner for his cowardice, for trying to manipulate her and Bertolt, and for Marcel's demise. Since then, Annie has been largely cold to Reiner and even hostile to him in private, frequently criticizing his decisions for their mission. However, they do not let their personal issues interfere with their mission and cooperate when working together in the field. Just before the Battle of Trost District, Reiner apologizes, feeling that he has put too much pressure on her. Reiner also swears to her and Bertolt that he will do his best to lead them and get them home safely. Despite their conflict, Reiner is concerned with her well-being, and even fought Zeke so he could try rescuing her. Several years after he last saw her, Reiner is shown to still think about Annie, and he harbors considerable guilt over her defeat and capture. After Annie escapes confinement and joins the Survey Corp and Warriors once more, he immediately apologizes for his actions towards her during the operation 9 years ago and Annie forgives him; it is believed they are on slightly good terms as Reiner asked Annie to protect Gabi and Falco.
- Marcel Galliard - Another one of Reiner's fellow Warriors; Marcel was the opposite to his more bullish brother often restraining Porco and breaking up their altercations and apologizing to Reiner afterward. The night before the four Warriors were meant to go to the Walls, Marcel broke down in tears as he confessed that he manipulated the Marleyan military's decision to choose Reiner over his brother as the inheritor of the Armored Titan, however his actions caused him to feel guilty. The next morning Marcel pushed Reiner out of the mouth of a Titan but was eaten by Ymir. Reiner regrets the loss of his friend and even saves Connie from a Titan similarly to how Marcel saved his life, illustrating his emotional connection with him. Reiner respected Marcel's leadership enough, that he consciously began basing his personality around him in order to lead the Warrior group on Paradis Island. Upon remembering the death of Marcel, it seemingly further motivates Reiner and Bertolt to complete their mission and return to their hometown. Nine years after Marcel's death his memory haunts Reiner, who is now more friendly towards Porco, no longer reacting to his verbal jabs, and showing him respect by calling him by his preferred name, Galliard.
- Zeke Yeager - Zeke was Reiner's captain and was looked up to by the other Warriors, including Reiner. He refers to him as their strongest and believed even Levi was no match for him. While generally loyal and obedient, they do have their struggles. Reiner attempted to convince Zeke to rescue fellow Warrior Annie Leonhart, but Zeke expressed no interest whatsoever. This prompted Reiner to challenge Zeke and the two fought in their Titan forms, a brawl which ended in Zeke violently beating him to a pulp. Zeke then announced that rescuing Annie will wait until after they accomplished their primary goal. Reiner would refrain from challenging Zeke again, knowing he would lose his life if he was not victorious. After their defeat at the hands of the Survey Corps in Shiganshina, Zeke rescued Reiner from certain death, but left Bertolt to die. Though, despite letting his friend down, Reiner saved Zeke from death, almost getting himself killed in the process. It is presumed that Reiner's relationship with Zeke has been severed after the latter's betrayal and defection during the Raid on Liberio.
- Porco Galliard - Galliard was one of Reiner's fellow Warriors and both used to be contenders for the inheritance of the Armored Titan. Galliard disliked Reiner for his weakness and obsequious behavior, and tried to taunt him when he showed some hope to become an honorary Marleyan, in their childhood candidate times. The two had some form of conflict and rivalry. In the year 854, Reiner showed gratitude towards him for protecting him in the battle at Fort Slava. However, Galliard still blamed him for the death of his brother and was disgusted with him for subsequently mimicking Marcel's personality to create his big-brotherly "soldier" persona. As such, while Reiner remained amicable towards him, Galliard typically criticized and mocked him in return. After Reiner saved Galliard's life in the Raid on Liberio, their following interactions seemed less hostile. Their rivalry remained, however, until Galliard's death, where he proclaimed his superiority before he sacrificed himself, saving Reiner in the process.
- Pieck Finger - Reiner and Pieck joined the Warrior program at roughly the same time and presumably had a stable relationship. After Zeke's betrayal, Reiner began to operate more closely with the few remaining Warrior candidates still loyal to Marley and his relationship with Pieck increased as a result. When Marley leads an attack against Paradis, Reiner noticeably was concerned after seeing the charred remains of the Cart Titan, fearing that Pieck may have been killed.
- Eren Yeager - Eren was one of his closest friends, with Eren considering him both a "strong, capable guy" and something of a big brother. Eren looked up to Reiner, expressing that he wanted to become strong like him. However, their friendship turns violently antagonistic after he revealed his true identity to Eren, and the two are forced to fight. Eren recalls seeing Reiner's overflowing expression of justice after graduating the 104th Training Corps and is now disgusted by his former friend. After he is kidnapped and taken to the forest, Eren abandons his former feelings for Reiner and looks at him with hate and rage and says he will make sure they die in the most painful way possible. Upon learning that Eren possesses the Coordinate, he reacts with great concern and notes that Eren is the worst possible person to have it. Several years after the last time he saw him, Reiner is shown to still think about his time as a trainee and his interactions with Eren. This suggests a lingering affection towards Eren, even after they become enemies. However, upon seeing Eren again for the first time in four years, Reiner is shocked and frightened by his presence in Marley and begins to panic after questioning his motives for being there. Reiner even begs Eren to kill him after bringing up the latter's previous promise and stating he has nothing left to live for. Eren tells him that he experienced close to what Reiner had, though Eren still wants to see Reiner dead as he tried to kill him; however, it was not out of malicious intent but simply because they are on opposing sides of the war. Likewise, Reiner wants to kill Eren for similar reasons. He thinks Eren's death is best for the world, and does not understand why Eren wants so fiercely to live, wishing that he would just "sleep."Reiner later realize Eren's words back at Liberio and they are the same but on opposing side.
- Marco Bott - It is unknown what relationship Reiner had with Marco, although it is possible that Reiner recognized Marco's uncanny ability to remain calm and collected when fighting against a group of enemies or Titans. While Reiner is responsible for Marco's death, he would remain haunted by it for years. This lingering guilt would continue even after joining the remnants of his former comrades in the Survey Corps during his second trip to Paradis.
- Jean Kirstein - Alongside with many others within the Training Corps, it is unknown what Reiner thought of Jean aside from being comrades within the Training Corps and the Survey Corps. When Reiner meets Jean along with the others set to fight against the Yeagerists, their relationship takes a harsh turn when he admits to Jean his part in Marco's death four years prior and is nearly beaten to death. Although Jean and Reiner have begun to act civil towards each other, Jean makes it clear that he does not intend to forgive Reiner for his past deeds. However, afterwards, he admits to Reiner that they are the same, since Jean also killed to save others.
- Historia Reiss - It has been hinted that he may have feelings for her, though it is unclear whether this is a simple crush or something stronger. It is also unclear whether these feelings are part of his delusions, or genuine. Prior to the battle in Shiganshina, Reiner tells Bertolt that he made a promise to Ymir that he would save Krista "no matter what." After his defeat, Reiner used the last of his energy to reach for the letter Ymir wrote to her and begged the soldiers to give it to Krista right before they started talking of executing him.
- Ymir - Their relationship was complex. They recognized quite a bit about each other's motivations and shared a desire to keep Historia safe from harm. He used these feelings to manipulate Ymir into becoming their ally, but he also expressed more trust in her than Bertolt felt is wise. Unlike Bertolt, he did not appear to harbor any ill will towards her for nearly killing him as a child, nor for killing Marcel. Having failed his mission and even knowing that he cannot go home empty handed, he attempted to persuade Ymir to save herself by escaping.
- Connie Springer - Connie was also one of his closest friends and someone that Reiner had repeatedly put himself into harm's way to protect. After his true nature is revealed, Connie refuses to believe that Reiner is truly their enemy. After Reiner's escape with Bertolt and Eren, Connie questions the traitors, asking if the time they had as trainees was fabricated. Connie mentions that they said they would grow old and drink together, but a distressed Bertolt says that it was all real. Connie empathizes with Reiner's pain of having to kill comrades, and Reiner comforts Connie by placing a hand on his shoulder and saying they while they could never forgive themselves, they could still save the rest of humanity.
- Armin Arlert - Reiner had a close friendship with Armin, even risking his own scores to help the smaller boy during training. They frequently sat together during meals and played chess during their free time. When the Female Titan attacked, Reiner seemingly came to his rescue. However, this turned out to have been a ruse and their friendship was shattered by the revelation of Reiner's true identity. Notably, it was Armin who devoured and killed Bertolt, Reiner's best friend.
- Karina Braun - Reiner was very devoted to his mother in childhood, and a large part of his motivation for becoming a Warrior was due to his desire to obtain a better life for her in Marley as well as reunite her with his father. His beliefs about the "inherent evil" of Eldians was also passed down from his mother, as she often parroted Marleyan propaganda to him when he was young. However, due to his experiences on Paradis Island and discovering that the Eldians living there are in fact just normal people, he has been somewhat distant and cautious around his mother upon returning to Liberio. Karina herself is also evidently not bothered by the fact that her son only has two years to live, and in fact, encourages his younger cousin and her niece Gabi to consume him and inherit his power as the next Armored Titan. As such, Reiner has become disillusioned with his mother and no longer sees eye to eye with her on many of her beliefs.
- Gabi Braun - As Reiner's younger cousin, she is fond of Reiner and worries about his well-being more than others. Reiner, on the other way, has rather complicated feelings about Gabi's high motivation and loyalty to Marley. Unknown to Gabi, Reiner wants Falco to inherit the Armored Titan in order to save Gabi from a tragic fate "she would never imagine", despite Gabi's determination to become the next Armored Titan and inherit his memories that she suspects to be "painful and difficult to talk about."
- Falco Grice - Seeing Falco's determination to become the next holder of the Armored Titan and spare fellow candidate Gabi from having a shortened life, Reiner began to observe the young boy and would intimidate him to try and continue his push to surpass Gabi. Ultimately, Falco's encounter with Reiner on the train back to Marley cemented his determination to become a Warrior. Unknown to Falco or anyone else, it was Falco's sudden appearance outside of the building Reiner was in that brought him back from the brink of suicide. Despite threatening him earlier, Reiner cares enough for Falco and the other Warrior candidates to convince him to keep on living. Reiner's care for Falco is further displayed when he transforms to shield Falco from harm, despite personally having no will to live.
- Previous inheritor of the Armored Titan (as a Pure Titan)
- Numerous members of the Garrison
- One Survey Corps member
- At least 8 members of the Mid-East Allied Forces
- At least 4 unnamed members of the Yeagerists
- Carla Yeager
- Thomas Wagner
- Mylius Zeramuski
- Mina Carolina
- Nac Tias
- Franz Kefka
- Hannah Diamant
- Marco Bott
- Mitabi Jarnach
- Ian Dietrich
- Numerous counts of Shiganshina District citizens
- Numerous counts of Wall Maria citizens
- Numerous members of the Garrison
- At least 4 unnamed Survey Corps members
- Reiner ranked eighth in the First and Fourth Character Popularity Polls.
- Hajime Isayama has stated in recent interviews that Reiner is his favorite character in the series.
- When designing Reiner, Isayama took the eyes and eyebrows of David Beckham, as well as some characteristics from a personal friend of his, and added them to the appearance of Private First Class James Francis Ryan (Matt Damon) from Saving Private Ryan.
- Isayama has stated that he designed Reiner's muscular appearance and "outstanding personality" to give readers the impression that Reiner is a person "destined for great things."
- In a blog post, Isayama revealed that Reiner's Titan image (the Armored Titan) was actually based on Brock Lesnar, an American professional wrestler, and former Mixed Martial Artist.
- According to Hajime Isayama, amongst his fellow 104th squadmates, Reiner is the most popular boy.
- Reiner's bulky body is not the result of his training from his time in the 104th Training Corps, but is inherited from his parents, specifically his well-built father. Isayama likens Reiner's predestined body to Fedor Emelianenko, Koji Murofushi, and Hulk, people he believes to be naturally strong.
- According to Isayama, if the 104th Training Corps had an arm wrestling competition, Reiner would place second, losing only to Mikasa Ackerman.
- Reiner shares the same birthday with Zeke Yeager.
- From the Germanic Raganhar, his name is Old Norse in origin, and means "Counseling Warrior."
- In German, the word "Braun" means "Brown."
- In the early draft of the series, when the graduates discuss the branches they intend to join, Reiner states his intention to join the Survey Corps. In the published version, he never states his intentions.
- Reiner's psychological issues resemble those of dissociative identity disorder, in which a person's identity is fragmented into two or more distinct personality states, producing behavior changes and lapses in memory. This condition is often associated with post traumatic stress disorder and can lead to depression and suicide attempts.
- Isayama revealed on his blog in 2017 that he had selected the song "Romance" by Shinsei Kamattechan as a character song for Reiner.