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  • Warriors

    Despite being the main villains, all these characters are really just victims.

    Now I know Attack on Titan doesn't really have main villains side from Marley most of the villains are really victims of manipulation. Reiner and Annie being prime examples of this as Reiner was devoted to Marley's cause and believed all the lies told about the Paradis-Eldians being evil devils, only to learn they were really the same as the Marley-Eldians which is why he developed an alter-ego. Annie however was more wise to the lies but was forced into being a warrior by her father. Even Bertolt was horrified by his actions and yet he still seemed to be the least regretful so I got the impression that he was always a little disturbed even before their mission. 
    File:Zeke character image.png
    However Zeke Yeager has always been a different case as far as I'm concerned. He didn't spend 5 years living in Paradis like his warrior subordinates true but he still saw for himself that the people of Paradis were hardly the "devils" plotting to destroy the world, and Reiner and Bertolt likely would have reported their findings to Zeke as well. He allowed Mike to be brutally devoured by a group of Titans while openly contemplating the ODM gear despite clearly being able to hear his screams, of which he only took interest in the fact he could speak! He deliberatly messed with the Scouts at Utgard Castle. He killed Ewrin, Marlowe and 50 other scouts and acted as though he were playing baseball. He even turned in his own parents as a child because he chose to believe Marley's lies over their words, which indirectly led to the events of the series in the first place. So yea while Reiner and Bertolt may have a lot more blood on their hands at least they're remorseful about it, but Zeke has committed so many horrible actions and is barely remorseful. 

    I've never had the same sympathetic view towards Zeke as I have Reiner, Annie and Bertolt, but even as I said before I think Bertolt was always a little disturbed anyway but the mission without question pushed him over the edge, and I think the series is setting him up to be the true main villain of the series considering how the story is progressing. Do you agree or disagree? Let me know.

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    • Well, there are a number of reasons Zeke probably doesn't feel the same guilt for his actions that RBA do. Chiefly, he hasn't spent time among the Paradisians like they have. Granted, he's been to Paradis, but that's not to say he has interacted extensively with them. Besides his conversation with Mike, the battle at Shiganshina, and his conversation with Eren, he's never talked to any of the Paradisians. In fact, he spent around two months in the abandoned Shiganshina District with only Reiner and Bertolt. And you could easily argue that what little he's seen would reinforce his idea that they're "devils". The only times he's ever interacted with them, they've been trying to kill him (granted, he was always the aggressor, but still), so they wouldn't exactly be pacifists in his eyes.

      As for Reiner and Bertolt, they definitely would not have reported any of what they saw to him. Remember how Reiner's family reacted to his story? If Reiner or Bertolt ever gave away any information that would contradict what the Marley government tells the public, they would most certainly be executed for treason, so I highly doubt they told Zeke anything that would have changed his worldview.

      Zeke was also doing a lot more than just pretending to play baseball when he killed Erwin and the Corps recruits. In fact, I seem to remember him getting very upset at the fact that he was being forced to kill them because their memories of the outside world had been taken away. Him pretending to be playing baseball was obviously a coping mechanism for him so that he would be able to kill them.

      I've got my own theory about why Zeke turned his parents into the Marleyans, but I don't have the time to lay it all down now, so I'll just write this paragraph based on the concrete information we have from the manga. Zeke turned in his parents to the Marleyans because, from a very early age, he was force fed two conflicting ideologies that both claimed the other was wrong. Grisha himself acknowledged that Zeke probably chose to believe the stories the Marleyans told him because Grisha and Dina neglected him as parents and only ever treated him as a means to topple the government. It's not hard to see how a child growing up in such an environment could be swayed down the wrong path.

      So, bottom line, I'm saying no. I don't believe Zeke is the main antagonist of the series, I think he's the most tragic character. Someone who has been brainwashed into believing in a twisted ideology, and forced to do things that he hates, simply because his parents didn't care about him as anything more than a means to an end.

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    • I wouldn't call Zeke the main antagonist of the story, he is definitely an antagonist, but but I think the real main villains are the Marley Government, or possibly the Tyber family when we get more information on them. 

      The main antagonist changes with each arc, The colossal titan for the first, then Annie for 'The Female Titan arc,' Reiner, Bertholdt and Zeke are kind of the antagonists in the 'Clash of the Titans arc' and the 'Return to Shinganshina arc,' Rod Reiss or even the MP's for the 'Uprising arc' and finally, the Marley Government  for the 'Marley arc'

      So I don't think there will ever be a defined 'Main Antagonist' because there are different ones for each arc.

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    • I do not think Zeke is the main villain of Attack on Titan because he is being brainwashed by the Marley Government into thinking that the Eldians on the Island of Paradis are evil and have to be annihilated. I think Zeke's plan is to retrieve the Founding Titan so that the Eldian Empire can be restored. Zeke helps to fight for the Marley Government because only they allow Eldians the right to live unlike the rest of the world. I think the main villains of Attack on Titan are the Marley Government, Ymir Fritz, the 145th Fritz King and the Reiss Family.

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    • i know that hajime isnt gonna screw it up like Hiro Mashima. Mashima literally revealed the main antagonist(Acnologia's) back story at the last moment and made his death sad.... he was evil throughout the story and suddenly he had a flashback of his childhood...  and we already know that Zeke has a sad past too. Which kid would feel good if their parents just put their sadistic perspectives and propaganda above him/her? I'd do worse than just hand them over to the government.... Zeke actually did grisha a favour by buying him time, which Kruger exploited, and saved Grisha. 

      Surprising fact: it almost seemed like Kruger and Zeke had a plan to trap Marley in this loop. but then, which 7 year old kid would be smart enough for that.

      But Zeke isn't the antagonist by far. just take facts. the only history we know about the AoT world is based on Marley sources and textbooks. its been highlighted that Marley are specifically evil. according to me, they just manipulated the names of the Eldian rulers of the past, and so manipulated history in their own favour.

      Zeke is gonna cut himself off from the rest of the world. he clearly doesn't like any side. if he had really been loyal to Marley, he would've told them about his blood. he likes to have the enjoyment in life. he's a character every Anime or Series has: the one who doesn't give a shit.... he is cool and serious, unlike Reiner, who's behaviour towards his superiors is childish and foolish. 

      Finally, i can conclude that Marley are the real enemies. They have exploited Eldia and told false facts to the rest of the world, that Eldians are evil, making Eldians a disposable resource for Marley....

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    • Hopefully, Hajime Isayama will not screw up like what Masashi Kishimoto did in Naruto with Madara Uchiha.

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    • Lets just say that Zeke is just doing what he believes is right, needless to say he did say he will come and save Eren, he didn't seem to hold a big grudge against him but against the others on the island.

      I think Zeke is more of like the kind of guy who might be conflicted between his blood or his loyalty. But in any circumstances, he would do anything he can whether its ruthless or not for marley. Its just its suprising as to how he became that quick to turn his father, there could be other reasons...if there are other reasons, it could lead to the developing plot of a story of how evil he is.

      Zeke could be the main antagonist, however I also feel like he is someone who is just a victim of war.

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    • GodKingReiss
      GodKingReiss removed this reply because:
      s
      05:36, September 8, 2017
      This reply has been removed
    • Zeke may be a lot of things, like tragic and perhaps done some bad things to others without some remorse but I wouldn't go as far to say he is evil. Although I do want to see a fight between Zeke and Eren or Levi one last time who's ideology should follow Marley's or freedom and equality. 

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    • Tdfern14 wrote:
      Zeke may be a lot of things, like tragic and perhaps done some bad things to others without some remorse but I wouldn't go as far to say he is evil. Although I do want to see a fight between Zeke and Eren or Levi one last time who's ideology should follow Marley's or freedom and equality. 

      That will happen. In time.

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    • I agree with the point that I don't feel as much sympathy, but I haven't known him as long as bert and reiner, soooo....

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    • Atlantis007 wrote:
      I agree with the point that I don't feel as much sympathy, but I haven't known him as long as bert and reiner, soooo....

      Good point. Do you hate Reiner and Bertholdht or do feel some sympathy for them despite they done so much damage? 

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    • I don't think there are any real heroes or villains in Attack On Titan. Protagonists and antagonists, sure, but the villain/hero labels imply moral connotations, but it's not morally straightforward. I believe the reason for Isayama's large amounts of flashbacks and exposition was exactly to prove this point; that all characters and entities are shaped by their expeiences and that many of their cruel actions aren't without unreasonable motives. Even Marley's mistreatment of Eldians isn't completely unjustified, since Eldia had oppressed it and most of the other nations for over a thousand years, and they even treat the Eldians better than the other nations do, as Udo had revealed. 

      Zeke is a soldier, who was raised to believe that all from Paradis are "devils", so the ease with which he kills them is reasonable. Even if he doesn't buy into the Marleyan propaganda, the people of Paradis were still his enemies. As for his sadistic tendencies, let's not forget Levi and Hange. They had taken enjoyment in torturing Djel Sannes without even asking him any questions, and these are among the main protagonists. If you try to use Nick's torture as justification for their actions, please search the term Moral Myopia in the TV Tropes website. Isayama, unlike many other manga authors, imbued the 'heroes' with personality aspects we as readers aren't exactly comfortable with, for he's trying to be as realistic as possible, and in the real world, both sides in a conflict have good and evil in them. The 'heroes' can be self-righteous, hypocritical and intensely selfish too.

      Ultimately, I don't think Zeke is a villain, let alone the main villain, but there is always a possibility he could be the main antagonist. We'll just have to wait and see.

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    • Marley and Tybur are the true enemies.

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    • Marco1995mega wrote:
      I don't think there are any real heroes or villains in Attack On Titan. Protagonists and antagonists, sure, but the villain/hero labels imply moral connotations, but it's not morally straightforward. I believe the reason for Isayama's large amounts of flashbacks and exposition was exactly to prove this point; that all characters and entities are shaped by their expeiences and that many of their cruel actions aren't without unreasonable motives. Even Marley's mistreatment of Eldians isn't completely unjustified, since Eldia had oppressed it and most of the other nations for over a thousand years, and they even treat the Eldians better than the other nations do, as Udo had revealed. 

      Zeke is a soldier, who was raised to believe that all from Paradis are "devils", so the ease with which he kills them is reasonable. Even if he doesn't buy into the Marleyan propaganda, the people of Paradis were still his enemies. As for his sadistic tendencies, let's not forget Levi and Hange. They had taken enjoyment in torturing Djel Sannes without even asking him any questions, and these are among the main protagonists. If you try to use Nick's torture as justification for their actions, please search the term Moral Myopia in the TV Tropes website. Isayama, unlike many other manga authors, imbued the 'heroes' with personality aspects we as readers aren't exactly comfortable with, for he's trying to be as realistic as possible, and in the real world, both sides in a conflict have good and evil in them. The 'heroes' can be self-righteous, hypocritical and intensely selfish too.

      Ultimately, I don't think Zeke is a villain, let alone the main villain, but there is always a possibility he could be the main antagonist. We'll just have to wait and see.

      Well said. You got to look at this series in different perspectives to get a feel what they had to do and for what reason they do it and why.

      Also didn't know you look up in TVTropes?

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    • I don't think so, Zeke probably just following the flow of the Marley's evil plans. He maybe planning to retake the throne of their family due to fact he is a royal blooded son of the previous monarchy. He was like Lelouch who will use force to achieve his goals. 

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    • I can see where you're coming from. As people say he's more of a tragic character than the true and main antagonist of this story. I agree, he has done some horrid things but honestly, these Eldians of Marley aren't truly at fault for killing or hating the Wallians (Eldians inside the walls). I mean they are bad for killing other human beings but when you're indoctrinated, you don't see the wrong doings of your actions. Look at Nazi Germany against the Jews, look at Racism and Jim Crow against Black People. (it was cool to see Black People in chapter 98 hehe) When your peers and government says what's right and wrong, you'll believe it and possibly do it. This is part of the Human mind. Manipulation. Zeke was torn between this, being an eldians and listening to the Marley government as a child and sold his parents out and killed people like they are an anthill waiting to be killed. Humans are pretty barbaric. 

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    • Bonkinhead wrote:
      I can see where you're coming from. As people say he's more of a tragic character than the true and main antagonist of this story. I agree, he has done some horrid things but honestly, these Eldians of Marley aren't truly at fault for killing or hating the Wallians (Eldians inside the walls). I mean they are bad for killing other human beings but when you're indoctrinated, you don't see the wrong doings of your actions. Look at Nazi Germany against the Jews, look at Racism and Jim Crow against Black People. (it was cool to see Black People in chapter 98 hehe) When your peers and government says what's right and wrong, you'll believe it and possibly do it. This is part of the Human mind. Manipulation. Zeke was torn between this, being an eldians and listening to the Marley government as a child and sold his parents out and killed people like they are an anthill waiting to be killed. Humans are pretty barbaric. 

      But, Paradis didn't say anything to anyone for 100 years. It was Marley who struck first after so many generations. There were good people on Paradis, no one knew war. 

      It is a very common notion in stories that people who try to have revenge because of the past end up dead, similar to Marley. Marley could have developed their tech during the time they spent venting their anger on Eldians and supressing them. This anger and supression from Marley's side was why so many Eldian revolutionaries came to power. Marley are evil. They convinced children to invade a whole island of people. They ordered Zeke around, taking advantage of his hate for his parents. Zeke has probably realized that. Maybe he has already betrayed Marley. But i'm 100% sure that Marley are the true antagonists.

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    • Arshpar wrote:
      Bonkinhead wrote:
      I can see where you're coming from. As people say he's more of a tragic character than the true and main antagonist of this story. I agree, he has done some horrid things but honestly, these Eldians of Marley aren't truly at fault for killing or hating the Wallians (Eldians inside the walls). I mean they are bad for killing other human beings but when you're indoctrinated, you don't see the wrong doings of your actions. Look at Nazi Germany against the Jews, look at Racism and Jim Crow against Black People. (it was cool to see Black People in chapter 98 hehe) When your peers and government says what's right and wrong, you'll believe it and possibly do it. This is part of the Human mind. Manipulation. Zeke was torn between this, being an eldians and listening to the Marley government as a child and sold his parents out and killed people like they are an anthill waiting to be killed. Humans are pretty barbaric. 
      But, Paradis didn't say anything to anyone for 100 years. It was Marley who struck first after so many generations. There were good people on Paradis, no one knew war. 

      It is a very common notion in stories that people who try to have revenge because of the past end up dead, similar to Marley. Marley could have developed their tech during the time they spent venting their anger on Eldians and supressing them. This anger and supression from Marley's side was why so many Eldian revolutionaries came to power. Marley are evil. They convinced children to invade a whole island of people. They ordered Zeke around, taking advantage of his hate for his parents. Zeke has probably realized that. Maybe he has already betrayed Marley. But i'm 100% sure that Marley are the true antagonists.

      And didnt MArley make up lies of the past? Twisting history to make it seem like Eldians are the worst? Marley is pretty much Nazi Germany of this story. It's pretyy sad to see self-hating Eldians. Even Willy Tybur hates the blood he has in him. 

      The Marleyans worried too much about titans winning their battles that they fell behind in technology.. Marley is truly messed up and I can't wait to see Paradis come back to the world. Man the story is gonna end with blood. I wonder if Armin is gonna wage war or use a peace treaty. The titans in the wall.... The epic battle in the end... Oh my gosh.. It's gonna get epic

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    • It'll end with peace but the path to peace will be bloody

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    • Arshpar wrote:
      It'll end with peace but the path to peace will be bloody

      So will the path to freedom.

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    • Arshpar wrote:
      It'll end with peace but the path to peace will be bloody

      That is a great quote

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    • Here's another one:

      "The war between Marley and Eldia will end when we can see both sides of the coin at once, which will never happen, so, for peace, the coin has to be destroyed...."

      Here, the coin is the truth, and we can truly only see one truth at a time....

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    • Arshpar wrote:
      Here's another one:

      "The war between Marley and Eldia will end when we can see both sides of the coin at once, which will never happen, so, for peace, the coin has to be destroyed...."

      Here, the coin is the truth, and we can truly only see one truth at a time....

      Reminds me of what Eren Kruger said once, there is no such thing as a One truth, as people can interpret any way, somewhere along those lines. 

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    • "This isn't war, this is just a few fat and greedy politicians' thirst for wealth and resources"

      I guess that fits completely into the story (with reference to the Marleyan politicians and authorities)

      But the thing that adds to it is the Eldians' exploitation and suffering, which makes them want revenge on the Paradis people, who feel the same way about Marley. Man that's one pretzel-shaped storyline!

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    • Arshpar wrote:
      "This isn't war, this is just a few fat and greedy politicians' thirst for wealth and resources"

      I guess that fits completely into the story (with reference to the Marleyan politicians and authorities)

      But the thing that adds to it is the Eldians' exploitation and suffering, which makes them want revenge on the Paradis people, who feel the same way about Marley. Man that's one pretzel-shaped storyline!

      Are you sure, it ain't triangular? 

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    • Tdfern14 wrote:
      Arshpar wrote:
      "This isn't war, this is just a few fat and greedy politicians' thirst for wealth and resources"

      I guess that fits completely into the story (with reference to the Marleyan politicians and authorities)

      But the thing that adds to it is the Eldians' exploitation and suffering, which makes them want revenge on the Paradis people, who feel the same way about Marley. Man that's one pretzel-shaped storyline!

      Are you sure, it ain't triangular? 

      It may not be a pretzel, but it has more than 3 sides.... In the last chaper Udo revealed that the other nations (East Sea Nation, Mid-east Clan, Africans etc.) hate Eldians more than the Marleyans. Udo said that Marley was way better, as his family was from another country's Internment Zone, and he said that the condition of Eldians was worse there. Looking at how many nations are there, we can't even call the Hate Figure a shape! I think Marley have slowly grown on the Eldians who have been loyal to them. But that is only with a few figures, such as Reiner's dad (Who loved Karina and Reiner, but wanted himself and them to stay alive), the guards at Liberio gates, Magath and many others. But in the end, nobody knows anything about the other's thoughts, and Paradis, Liberio, Marley, Teiber and other nations are probably gonna end up clashing. We'll probably see all Eldians uniting as one (Paradisers and Ghetto Eldians). It's all going as Pieck explained.

      As expected of PIeck!!

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    • That may become possible but we shall see.

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    • To be honest, they both suck. We think that Marley is the enemy and that Zeke is 'evil'  because we were first introduced to the story through the Walldians' perspective. Because of this, it has influenced our opinion of who is antagonistic. But what if we started the story from the very beginning from the Marleyan side? We might then say that Eren is an antagonist because he has the power to destroy the entire world by summoning the Colossal Titans within the walls.

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