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This article is about the 81st episode of the Attack on Titan anime. For the manga chapter of the same name, see Thaw (Chapter).


Quote1.png The world is like this 'cuz there's a devil in all of us. Quote2.png
— Nicolo explains to Gabi Braun how she is not the only one who hurt people for the wrong reasons

Thaw (氷解 Hyōkai?) is the 22nd episode of the 4th season and the 81st episode overall of the Attack on Titan anime, produced by MAPPA.

Overview

The Titans created by Zeke Jaeger now run amok in Shiganshina District as Eren and the Wall Titans march to trample the rest of the world. Armin Arlelt, Mikasa Ackermann, and Jean Kirschtein rally the district's defense as Conny Springer escapes with an unconscious Falco Grice, whom he plans to feed to his his mother to make her human again.

In the Titan-filled streets, Gabi Braun saves Kaya from a Titan and the rift between the two begins to mend. After the fighting dies down, the Braus family takes her to meet Armin and Mikasa. She explains her intent to find Falco and then leave, but is horrified to learn of Conny's plans. Gabi pleads with Armin to talk with Eren so everyone outside the island does not have to die, asking that he hit specific targets like he undid the Armored Titan's hardening. On hearing this, Armin realizes that all Titan hardening has been undone, not just the Walls', which means that Annie Leonhart is now free.

Summary

Annie's father hears Eren in the paths

As the Walls crumble, revealing the Wall Titans, Eren Jaeger uses the power of the Founding Titan to speak to all Subjects of Ymir. He says he will use the Titans to trample all life in the outside world in order to protect the people of Paradis Island.

In Liberio, Eldians come to their senses after having heard Eren's words. Annie's father realizes that the Titans are coming to kill them all.

Back in Shiganshina District, an injured Reiner Braun limps after Gabi, who is looking for Falco Grice amidst the rubble. Reiner expects Falco to be unconscious and without memories of recent events due to the trauma of being changed into a Titan. He tells Gabi that Falco was carried away, probably by Jean Kirschtein and Conny Springer due to his value as someone who can transform into a Titan.

Reiner explains how he was injured

As he falls to his knees due to his wounds, he tells Gabi that his armor was undone when the Walls came down and a chunk fell on him. Reiner laments not being able to stop Eren from destroying the world. The two of them take refuge in a house and Reiner tells Gabi to go to the Marleyan airships in the south to escape. Someone needs to warn the world of what is coming, but Gabi asks him what the point is since they would have nowhere to run. She worries about their family getting killed and says they have to stop Eren, but Reiner has given up. Gabi, however, refuses to abandon hope and decides she will start by finding Falco.

On a rooftop outside, Jean and Conny meet up with Mikasa Ackermann and Armin Arlelt. They have Falco with them. Though Jean is uncomfortable with Eren's actions, he tries to rationalize it by suggesting the outside world provoked them by labeling them "devils." Armin feels that this is going too far, but Jean points out how much Eren has done things in their favor, from protecting them from Zeke's euthanasia plan to refusing to sacrifice Historia Reiss to obtain the Founding Titan's power. The Eldians on the island are the only group who will benefit from the mass genocide.

Sounds of battle disrupt their conversation and they notice that the Titans Zeke transformed from former soldiers are fighting their own military. Armin is surprised since Eren should be able to control all the Titans with the Founder's power. Jean wants to go help and suggests that they may be able to feed Falco to a soldier to bring someone back since Falco probably holds the Jaw Titan. He begins to suggest Dot Pyxis, but Conny interrupts to say they should save his mother, who is still in Ragako.

Armin tries to reason with Conny

Against the idea, Armin reminds the two that Falco is like a little brother to the Warriors. Killing him would invite more conflict between them, and there will be no point in continuing to fight them after Marley is destroyed by the Titans. Conny does not take the suggestion well, turning it around to insinuate that his mother does not matter to Armin. He reminds Armin that he is here only because he ate Bertholdt Hoover. Before they can reach any resolution, their argument is interrupted by the arrival of a Titan. Conny uses the opportunity to escape with Falco, leaving everyone else to handle the oncoming Titans.

Inside the military fort, the Anti-Marleyan Volunteers panic because of the Titans climbing on the walls to get to them. Onyankopon tries to get Yelena to move away from the window, but she watches the Titans with interest, noting that even though they were created by Zeke Jaeger they do not appear to be controlled by him.

Outside, the Braus family and Nicolo flee from one of the newly created Titans. Most of them turn into a narrow alley to escape it, but Kaya, watching over her shoulder, misses the turn and instead trips through an opening in a wooden gate and falls down a set of stairs. The Titan crashes through the gate to get to her and she has flashbacks of her mother being eaten. She calls out for her big sis to save her when a shot from an anti-Titan rifle tears through the Titan's neck.

Gabi runs to save Kaya

Gabi picks herself up off the ground and shouts for Kaya to get up as she charges forward at the still living Titan. She jams the barrel of the rifle down the Titan's throat and fires, blowing the Titan's head off. Lisa Braus comforts Kaya as Nicolo marvels that Gabi has not already left. She tells him that she is looking for Falco.

Just then, Scout Regiment soldiers find them and speculate that Gabi is the escaped Marleyen captive because she is holding the anti-Titan rifle. Kaya finds her resolve and answers for Gabi, saying that she is not, and they are a family who runs stables. Nicolo takes the rifle and claims that he was the one who killed the Titan, since as a former Marleyan prisoner he had the training. The rest of the Braus family quickly changes the topic to finding a path to safety as Gabi marvels at how they are protecting her. Artur Braus tells Gabi to stay with them for now, but to escape with Falco once she gets the chance.

As the soldiers escort the family, Gabi asks Kaya why she saved her. Kaya counters her with the same question, given that Kaya tried to kill her. After all, in Gabi's view, Kaya is a devil. Gabi is unsure of the reason, but says that she herself is the devil, since she killed so many people just to earn praise. Nicolo remarks that there is a devil inside of everyone and that is why the world is the way it is. When Gabi asks what they can do, Nicolo says they will have to escape the forest.

Keith tells the cadets to follow him

Back at the fort, Surma is nearly eaten by a Titan when Keith Sadies arrives and cuts down the Titan. He chastises the frightened cadets and tells them to get old sets of omni-directional mobility gear so they can follow him and live.

As Jean, Mikasa, and Armin arrive outside the fort, Jean shouts for those inside to gather on the top floor and bring all the Thunder Spears they have. They gather with the collected soldiers on the pinnacle of the fort and collectively jump off and fire their Thunder Spears into the gathered Titans.

Meanwhile, Keith leads the cadets through Shiganshina District. Using themselves as bait, they lead the city's Titans back to the fort where they can be slain along with the others.

Mikasa, Armin, and Jean stare at Pyxis's Titan

As the group at the fort rearms, Armin, Jean, and Mikasa recognize one of the Titans as Pyxis. Knowing they cannot save him, they still head into battle. Armin acknowledges that they only made it this far because of Pyxis as he shoots one of the Thunder Spears into his Pure Titan's nape. The soldiers then proceed to clean out the rest of the Titans.

After the battle, there are no remaining Pure Titans and the Marleyan forces have been wiped out. As Onyankopon and Jean watch the Wall Titans march away, Onyankopon asks if this means his homeland is doomed, but Jean does not answer. A soldier brings Floch Forster in. Floch is happy that Jean took care of the Titans, though Jean is less pleased to see that he survived. He walks up to Yelena, who is sitting dejectedly in a chair, and points a gun at her head, telling her to summon the Volunteers for detainment.

Elsewhere, Artur Braus has managed to find Armin and Mikasa and leads them to his family and Gabi. Noticing their surprise, Gabi quickly explains that she just wants to find Falco and then they will leave. Seeing the distress on their faces though, Gabi realizes that something must have happened. She learns about Falco's kidnapping and why Conny wants him, but find herself unable to give up on Falco. She asks if Eren could turn back Conny's mother with the Founding Titan, but Armin suspects he cannot, otherwise he would have turned back the Titans that had been recently transformed by Zeke. Undeterred, she pleads with Armin to talk to Eren, to ask him if he could just take out military bases instead of killing everyone off the island.

Annie wakes up for the first time in years

She mentions that this should be possible since Eren stripped Reiner of his Titan's armor, which surprises Armin. He asks her when Reiner's armor came off and she replies that it was as soon as the Walls came down. Armin realizes that Eren undid all the Titan hardening, not just that of the Walls.

In a basement, an uncrystallized Annie Leonhart lies on the floor and takes a few ragged breaths of air.

Currently Publicly Available Information

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Anti-Titan Rifle

A large-caliber, single-shot rifle developed for use against Titans. Debuting in the surprise attack of Paradis Island, it's powerful enough to bring down a Titan with a hit to its nape, but the rifle's utility is questionable. Its size, weight, and significant recoil make it a liability to the shooter.

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