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This article is about the event itself. For the seventh anime opening, see The Rumbling (Song).


Quote1.png The threat of Paradis Island is the stampede of millions of Colossal Titans—a rumbling. As I mentioned, the vow renouncing war prevents the King's bloodline from fully using the Founding Titan. But currently, this 'Eren Jaeger' who possesses the Founding Titan may begin this rumbling at any moment. Once the Rumbling is set into motion, there is nothing that we can do. Nothing but tremble at the footsteps of doom, fleeing in vain. All lands and civilizations will be trampled, literally razed to the ground. Quote2.png
— Willy Tybur explains the destructive potential of the Rumbling to his audience during the Liberio festival[1]

The Rumbling (地鳴らし Jinarashi?) is a cataclysmic event involving Karl Fritz's Wall Titans marching across the earth, destroying all life upon it. It was a key deterrence factor for the Subjects of Ymir on Paradis Island, until the year 854 when Eren Jaeger unhardened the Walls, freed the Wall Titans, and began the Rumbling.[2]

Prelude

Karl Fritz's ultimatum

Karl Fritz formed the Walls

During the final days of the Great Titan War between Marley and the Eldian Empire, King Karl Fritz used the power of the Founding Titan to raise three Walls on Paradis Island: Maria, Rose, and Sina. These Walls were constructed from the hardened flesh of countless Colossal Titans created with the Founding Titan's power.[1]

Upon gathering the remnants of the Eldian Empire into the Walls and closing the gates to the outside world, Karl Fritz issued one final declaration which assured the enemies of Eldia that if Paradis were to come under attack, the Founding Titan would unleash the Wall Titans to trample the earth into ruin.[3] However, Karl Fritz secretly confided with the Tybur family[1] and the remaining Fritz family on the mainland[4] that this ultimatum was an empty threat of deterrence. In truth, Karl Fritz made a "vow renouncing war" with the Founding Titan ensuring that none of his successors would use the Founding Titan to threaten the world again, allowing for Eldia to live in a brief paradise before their enemies would arrive to destroy Eldia as Karl Fritz believed they deserved to be.[1]

The Restorationists discuss the King's threat

As Karl Fritz had hoped, no open declaration of war or act of aggression was made against the people of the Walls for over a century, though Marley would use the lands beyond the Walls on Paradis Island as a penal colony for criminal or undesirable Subjects of Ymir transformed into Pure Titans. However, over eighty years after the end of the Great Titan War, Marley's declining military industry turned the nation's attention towards Paradis and the fossil fuels hidden beneath Eldian lands. Despite the vow renouncing war being known to Marley, the threat of the Rumbling was too great a risk to attempt a full scale invasion. Instead, Marley began training the Warriors in preparation for the Paradis Island Operation, an infiltration of the Walls with the Power of the Titans that would not provoke the attention of the King of the Walls with military force. Likewise, the Eldia Restorationists led at this time by Grisha Jaeger attempted to use this Warrior program to infiltrate the Walls in the same fashion in order to steal the Founding Titan to restore Eldia.[3]

In the year 845, the power of the Attack Titan caused Grisha Jaeger to inherit future memories from his son Eren, revealing the Fall of Wall Maria later that day. Grisha fled to the chapel of the Reiss family where he was influenced by the will of Eren in the distant future to steal the power of the Founding Titan and slaughter the Reiss family. The future memories of the Attack Titan revealed to Grisha the sight of the Rumbling that Eren would create.[5]

While spying on the Eldians within the Walls before his entry into 104th Cadet Corps, Reiner Braun reminded himself and his fellow Warriors Bertholdt Hoover and Annie Leonhart that the threat of the Rumbling and the fate of all humanity depended upon the success of their mission.[6]

Truths rediscovered

A Wall Titan is revealed

During the Scout Regiment's attempt to capture Annie Leonhart, a portion of Wall Sina in Stohess District is damaged by Annie's Female Titan, revealing the face of a Wall Titan within it.[7] This revelation causes great confusion among the Scout Regiment and panic in Pastor Nick of the Order of the Walls, demanding the scouts to cover the face of the Titan before sunlight could reach it. The presence of the Titan in Wall Sina leads Section Commander Hange Zoë to quickly deduce that all of the Walls must contain Titans within them.[8]

Upon discovering the journals of Grisha Jaeger in the Jaeger family's basement in Shiganshina District, the Scout Regiment learns of the nature of the Rumbling as a deterrence factor that has kept enemies of Eldia away from Paradis Island for over a century until five years ago.[3] During a gathering to discuss the findings of Grisha's journals, the leaders of the military in the Walls discuss how the power of the Founding Titan to release the Wall Titans may be achieved despite the vow renouncing war. Recalling his encounter with a Titan whom he later realized was Dina Fritz, Eren Jaeger realizes he can still bring out the Founding Titan's power despite his non-royal blood as long as he is in contact with a royal-blooded Titan, though he keeps this realization to himself for the sake of Queen Historia Reiss.[9]

Memories of the future

Eren sees future memories

During a ceremony honoring the survivors of the Battle of Shiganshina District, a moment of contact between Eren and Historia opened a glimpse into Eren's future memories where he saw himself influencing the decision of his father Grisha in stealing the power of the Founding Titan and slaughtering the Reiss family. At this time, Eren saw the sight of the Rumbling that he would cause in the future.[2]

One year after the medal ceremony, Paradis Island was visited by the Anti-Marleyan Volunteers, a secret organization of Marleyan soldiers led by Yelena, all foreign conscripts who wished to aid Eldia against Marley with the help of Zeke Jaeger.[10] Through the Volunteers, Zeke proposed cooperation with Paradis to bring him into contact with his half-brother Eren Jaeger to begin a small-scale Rumbling which would further deter enemy attacks until Paradis could reach a point of technological advancement sufficient enough to no longer rely on the power of the Titans for protection.[11] While the various military leaders of Paradis were openly against cooperation with Zeke, a former enemy, Eren revealed his discovery of a royal-blooded Titan acting as a potential loophole for the Founding Titan's power, thus making the Rumbling a possibility for Paradis to use in self-defense.[10]

Eren refuses Zeke's plan

One year later, the Volunteers introduced the leadership of Paradis to Kiyomi Azumabito, ambassador from Hizuru and ally of Zeke. When discussing the requirements to make Eldia a self-sustaining nation on Paradis Island, Kiyomi proposed the use of the Rumbling as deterrence for at least a period of 50 years while Paradis caught up technologically with contemporary nations. Despite his foresight of the Rumbling, Eren refused to comply with Zeke's plan to use the Rumbling and pass his Beast Titan to Queen Historia to ensure the perpetuity of the process, deciding instead to pursue diplomatic solutions for Paradis. Regardless, the Rumbling would become a key factor in the military alliance between Eldia and Hizuru.[11]

The following year, Hizuru's trade proposals for Paradis Island failed, once again leaving them with only the Rumbling as deterrence. As one final alternative, the Scout Regiment made plans to embark on an undercover survey to Marley in order to gauge global sentiments towards Eldia for themselves.[11]

Marley's preparations

Willy Tybur discusses the Rumbling

After the conclusion of the Marley Mid-East War, Willy Tybur is recruited by Zeke Jaeger to announce to the world the threat that Paradis Island poses in order to remove global hostility towards the Subjects of Ymir as a whole.[12] During his speech before the international ambassadors and journalists, Willy reminds the audience of the many Wall Titans present on the island and the possibility of Eren Jaeger unleashing these Titans upon the world. In order to prevent this apocalypse from occurring, Willy Tybur urges the leaders of the world to unite against Paradis in open war.[1]

Shortly after Eren escaped imprisonment on Paradis Island for his desertion, Marley launched an assault upon Shiganshina District in revenge for Liberio in order to take the Founding Titan from Eren.[13] When Zeke arrived upon the battlefield, Marleyan forces desperately tried to prevent Zeke and Eren from coming into contact and unleashing the Wall Titans. After learning of Zeke's true plan to use the Founding Titan to sterilize the Subjects of Ymir, Armin speculated on Eren's true motivation for conspiring with Zeke. Deducing that Eren would instead use the Founding Titan to unleash the Titans in Shiganshina's Walls, Armin trusted that Eren was on their side.

The Rumbling

The Walls fall

When Eren and Zeke came into contact, an instantaneous moment in time occured where Eren came to understand that Zeke's will as a descendant of the royal family superseded his own will as the Founder's carrier. Eren learned that the Founding Titan's power was dependent on the will of Ymir Fritz, forever enslaved to obey the will of the royal family who enslaved her in life 2,000 years ago. When Ymir prepared to carry out Zeke's will to sterilize the Subjects of Ymir, Eren urged her to reject her duties and act in her own will.

The Wall Titans are unleashed

Choosing to support Eren, Ymir lent the power of the Founding Titan unto Eren, who then unhardened all the Walls on Paradis Island. With the full power of the Founding Titan, Eren telepathically declared his will to all Subjects of Ymir that he had unleashed the Wall Titans upon the world to crush all life beyond Paradis Island.[2] Eren then led the Colossal Titans on a southward march, unhindered by the Marleyan and Eldian soldiers preoccupied with Zeke's Titans throughout the city.[14]

The Wall Titans' path

After several days, the last of the Wall Titans began to leave Eldian territory on Paradis Island. By this time, the remaining Marleyan Warriors on the island joined forces with Eren's former friends in an attempt to pursue him and stop the Rumbling. While the allied soldiers were left to confront Floch Forster and the Jaegerists guarding Paradis Island's port, Eren and the Colossus Titans approached the Marleyan mainland,[15] crossing the sea by swimming.[16] Commander Hange Zoë estimated that in the half a day it would take to prepare the Azumabito family's flying boat to pursue Eren, the Rumbling would have already destroyed up to 600 kilometers inland, the entire continent to follow in as few as four days.[17]

Arrival on the mainland

The Wall Titans reach Marley

While the allied soldiers were en route to Odiha, the Rumbling arrived on the northeastern Marleyan coast, completely bypassing the fleet of the Global Alliance and shrugging off all artillery fire during their advance.[16]

References

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