|I'm gonna destroy them! Every last one of those animals that's on this earth!|
|— Eren states his intent to kill the Titans|
The Colossus Titan kicks apart the Shiganshina District gate and Eren runs to his house, fearing that his mom was struck by debris. He finds her trapped under the house and tries to lift it with Mikasa's help when Hannes arrives, claiming that he will kill the oncoming Titan, but, he succumbs to fear and takes the children away. While running, Eren sees his mother crushed to death and then eaten. Afterward, Eren strikes Hannes and blames him for the loss of his mother until Hannes tells him they could not have saved her and takes both of the children to the boats. While on the boats, the Armored Titan appears and destroys the main gate of Wall Maria. Eren, horrified, vows that he will wipe out all the Titans. Five years later, Eren, Mikasa, Armin Arlert, and their fellow soldiers graduate from the 104th Training Corps.
|As everyone knows, 107 years ago the entire human race, save for us, was devoured by the Titans.|
|— A training instructor on the history of the Titans|
Returning to the day of Shiganshina's fall, the Colossus Titan continues to destroy the outer gate of Shiganshina District as Eren, Mikasa, and Armin watch, frozen in fear and shock. With a massive hole in the Wall and pieces of debris from the impact being flung onto houses, the inhabitants flee in panic. Armin alarmingly shouts that they must leave Shiganshina as well before the Titans arrive. However, Eren, noticing the damage to the residential areas, immediately begins to worry about his mother and heads back home with Mikasa following. Armin stays behind in a mental state of panic, losing all hope. Despite seeing the widespread damage, Eren desperately hopes for the best.
Turning around the corner, he sees that a boulder has landed on and destroyed their house with his mother still inside. Finding her pinned under some rubble, he and Mikasa frantically try to pull her out. A roar from a nearby Titan adds more stress to the situation, driving Eren and Mikasa into complete desperation. Deducing that the Titans have entered the town, Carla insists that Eren take Mikasa and run. Eren, still struggling with debris, objects and continues his efforts. She then tells him that her legs are crushed and even if he manages to get her free, she will not be able to run and screams for them to listen to her last request. The exchange is cut short when a Titan is seen moving closer to their position. Among the scene of panic, with Carla pleading for her children to run and the Titan bearing down on them, Hannes attempts to intervene by going after the Titan.
Eren's mother stops him and begs him to take the children and run instead. At first, Hannes refuses, saying that he must repay his "savior" by rescuing the family. However, catching sight of the large Titan, he is stopped in his tracks, staring at the horrendous appearance of the Titan before him. Without hesitation, he withdraws his weapons and takes the children. With Carla grateful and Eren protesting, Hannes heads away from the Titan and towards safety. The Titan now directly above Carla, she spends her last seconds hoping the best for the future of her children. As she is pried from the debris by the looming Titan, the weight of her sacrifice sinks in, and she cries, knowing that she will never see her family again. In full view of Eren and Mikasa, the Titan devours her. In shock, Eren attacks Hannes, who then throws him to the ground. Eren angrily insists that with a little more time, his mother could have been saved. Hannes delivers the hard truth that Eren simply was not strong enough to save her. He then admits, guilt-ridden, that even he did not have the courage to face the Titan and asks for their forgiveness. Mikasa, in her usual stoic state of mind, glances back at the site of Carla's death and vaguely observes, "Oh...this again," while touching her forehead.
Afterward, Eren and Mikasa are seen among a large crowd of refugees trying to get to safety. A feeling of devastation hangs in the air. Military officials are debating whether they should close the gate or not, trapping civilians inside but ensuring the safety of everyone else in the inner Walls, or leave them open and risk Titans advancing further into mankind's territory. The debate is short-lived as an Armored Titan that seems impervious to their weapons crashes through Wall Maria. The gravity of the situation dawns on Eren when he realizes he can never go home again. Seeing the weakness of humanity, he vows to erase the Titans from this world.
Five years later, in the year 850, the dire situation humanity faces is stated as they have paid for their 100 years of peace. As a result of their unpreparedness against the Colossus Titan, they were forced to abandon Wall Maria and had to seek protection inside Wall Rose. At the graduation of the 104th Training Corps, the graduates are also made aware of their expectations. A military official announces the top ten graduates of the class, asks them to step forward, and informs them they alone are eligible to apply for the Military Police: Mikasa Ackerman, Reiner Braun, Bertolt Hoover, Annie Leonhart, Eren Yeager, Jean Kirstein, Marco Bott, Connie Springer, Sasha Blouse and Krista Lenz. Eren, as strong as ever in his fervor, renews his vow, promising himself that it is time for humanity to "devour" the Titans.
Characters in order of appearance
Current Publicly Available Information
The reason for having a town jutting out of the main Wall
In this world, Wall construction is a matter of the utmost importance.
As illustrated by the simple diagram on the left, with a town just built inside the Wall, in the event that the Titans burst through, the people would have no means to cope with the crisis. Put simply, with such a vast circumference, people wouldn't know where the Wall would be breached. And naturally, there aren't enough humans to support a military force that could monitor and guard the entire ringed Wall.
In other words, the object is to narrow down the target. This strategy keeps the cost of guarding the Wall manageable and allows the military to consolidate its forces. However, without humans within the Wall to serve as "bait" that will attract the Titans, this strategy has no chance of paying off. Having troops garrisoned at the town guarantees an economic benefit for the area, but that economic advantage falls short when compared to the fear of being eaten by a Titan. Thus, not many people are enthused about living in these towns. Therefore, the ruling monarchy praises the residents of these front-line towns as "the bravest of warriors" in an attempt to drum up more volunteers.
A bit of history: since the strength of the gates that connect the human domain to the Titans' territory outside the Walls is inferior to that of the Wall itself, there was a proposal by conservatives to seal the gates off entirely. However, reformists successfully argued that "abandoning the gates to the outside world is tantamount to abandoning the will of the human race to reclaim its dominion" and the plan was halted.