|According to these, we're a special race called the Subjects of Ymir who can turn into Titans. There's also a belief that we may rule the world again. That's why the world wishes to eradicate us Subjects of Ymir for good.|
|— Hange Zoë relays the truth found in Grisha's basement|
The Subjects of Ymir (ユミルの民 Yumiru no Tami?) are an ethnic group descended from Ymir Fritz and the only race capable of becoming Titans. They are the majority race of a nation called Eldia, and are often called Eldians (エルディア人 Erudia-jin?). Many Subjects of Ymir live on Paradis Island, behind the three Walls; however, outside the Walls, Subjects of Ymir live inside internment zones such as Liberio's.
The Subjects of Ymir believe that they are the "chosen children of God"; however, the rest of the world views them as an "evil" race of devils, the "spawn of the Devil" (悪魔の末裔 Akuma no Matsuei?).
The Subjects of Ymir claim descent from Ymir Fritz herself, the first human to acquire the Power of the Titans over 1,800 years ago. After Ymir's demise, her Subjects conquered the old nation of Marley using the Nine Titans and established the Eldian Empire, which over the centuries would come to rule the mainland continent of its origin.
The rule of the Eldian Empire lasted until the end of the Great Titan War, which resulted in Marley's resurrection as a nation and Eldia's capital being moved to Paradis Island. The land surrounding the new capital of Eldia would later be surrounded by three concentric Walls raised through the guidance of the Founding Titan. On the mainland, Marley gathered the Eldians, and placed them into internment zones such as the one within Liberio. On the island, the Subjects of Ymir had their memories of the world outside the Walls erased by the Founding Titan. The Eldians of other races were unaffected by the Founding Titan, so the royal family either granted them nobility in exchange for silence, or persecuted them as in the case of the Ackermann and Oriental clans.
Titans and Paths
The Subjects of Ymir are the only living things capable of transforming into Titans. Some of them will also inherit the Nine Titans. If one of the Nine Titans is not transferred before dying, the Titan will be sent to a random baby among the Subjects of Ymir, with distance and blood relation playing no factor. This led to the discovery that all Subjects of Ymir are connected by paths, and these paths connect all Subjects of Ymir to the Founding Titan.
According to Marley, the Eldian Empire had forced other races to have their children, to produce more Subjects of Ymir. This implies that if a Subject of Ymir reproduces with an individual of another ethnicity, the offspring will be a Subject of Ymir.
Subjects of Ymir can be identified through blood testing.
In the year 849, Ilse Langnar of the Scout Regiment's 34th Exterior Scouting Mission encountered a Titan who called itself a "Subject of Ymir." The Titan spoke to her, believing her to be "Lady Ymir," and Ilse attempted to question it. After Ilse panics when the Titan gives no answers, the Titan kills Ilse bitterly before storing her corpse in a nearby tree.
One year later, Ilse's notebook recounting her time in the scouting mission is found by Section Commander Hange Zoë and Captain Levi on the 49th Exterior Scouting Mission. The findings in Ilse's notebook convince Hange and Commander Erwin Smith that attempted Titan capture should be resumed as a Scout Regiment practice.
Upon uncovering the secrets of Grisha Jaeger's basement following the Battle of Shiganshina District, the surviving members of the Scout Regiment learn of their ethnic identity as Eldians and as Subjects of Ymir, a race despised by all peoples of the world.