Quote1.png For two thousand years...she sought someone who'd release her from the agony of love. Then someone appeared. It was Mikasa. Quote2.png
— Eren Yeager about Ymir Fritz

Toward the Tree on That Hill (あの丘の木に向かって Ano Oka no ki ni Mukatte?) is the 5th and final chapter of the 34th volume, and the 139th and final chapter overall of the Attack on Titan manga, written and illustrated by Hajime Isayama.

Overview

After Eren Yeager's death at the hands of Mikasa Ackerman, many of his former comrades from Paradis Island begin recalling memories of him visiting them that were erased due to the power of the Founding Titan. Armin Arlert recalls how they discussed Eren being responsible for killing a vast majority of humanity during the Rumbling and reveals his true feelings about Mikasa, wishing to be able to live with her and the others in peace.

In the present, Armin notices his Titan form dissolving into steam and spots Mikasa approaching with Eren's head. He mourns his best friend's death and while Mikasa leaves to bury his remains, Armin approaches the Marleyan troops with the other Eldians and claims responsibility for the death of Eren. Several years pass and peace talks have begun between those living in Marley and the island of Paradis, which has begun mobilizing an army for the time when Marley and the other countries seek their revenge. As Mikasa sits beneath the tree where Eren is buried, she thinks about him and notices a bird flying to her. The bird picks at her scarf and adjusts it before flying away.

Summary

Eren tells Armin that 80% of the world's population will perish in the Rumbling

Inside the Paths, Armin Arlert and Eren Yeager discuss recent events with each other. Although Armin understands that the Attack Titan's future memories coerced Eren into acting the way he did, he still insists that the beating Eren gave him in Niccolo's restaurant was too far. Eren attempts to apologize, admitting that he only did so to distance himself from his friends, but Armin interrupts him to point out that Mikasa Ackerman is the one who deserves an apology. Armin asks if Eren ostracized his friends in order to set them up as humanity's heroes, which Eren confirms. Eren reasons that, because Eldians from Paradis Island chose to oppose the Rumbling, the outside world will be indebted to them. Armin points out that the outside world might still retaliate but Eren reveals that the Rumbling has wiped out 80% of the world's population, leaving all foreign nations unable to launch any kind of retaliation for the foreseeable future. Horrified, Armin asks if it was really necessary to go to such lengths but Eren ignores him. Instead, Eren asks Armin to follow him.

Eren takes Armin to an erupting volcano to show him its "liquid fire," lava. The two discuss Ymir Fritz, and Eren muses on the fact that the woman remained servile to King Fritz even centuries after her death. Armin is perplexed as to why and Eren reveals that he met Ymir in the Paths. Although he is bemused by the information himself, Eren reveals to Armin that he has come to understand that Ymir continued obeying Fritz because she had come to love him.

Eren reveals that Mikasa was the key to Ymir Fritz's freedom from Fritz

The two proceed to a new area, covered in snow. Eren claims that he was not able to learn anything else about Ymir's mindset, other than a desire for freedom. According to Eren, Ymir waited thousands of years for someone to come to her and free her from the love she felt for Fritz. That person was Mikasa. Armin is shocked, wondering aloud why Mikasa is important to Ymir, but Eren claims that only Ymir herself would know that. Eren claims that the only thing he is certain of is that everything that they have been through; the Rumbling, the infighting on Paradis, and the endangerment of all his friends, occurred solely so that Mikasa could free Ymir. Eren says that his memories from both the past and future have been affecting his ability to think clearly as all of his experiences seem to be occurring at the same time. To Armin's horror, Eren reveals that he himself sent Dina Fritz's Titan to eat Carla Yeager the day Wall Maria fell, because that was the way he knew history was supposed to occur. Cutting his friend off, Armin invites Eren to accompany him somewhere else.

Eren does not wish for Mikasa to be with another man

The two visit the ocean together and Armin asks Eren if he thinks Mikasa will move on from him. He punches Eren in the face, asking him if he actually believes that telling Mikasa to forget him will make up for the way he treated her the last time they spoke. Armin jokes that Mikasa will easily find someone else to replace Eren, causing him to break down and admit that he does not want Mikasa to have feelings for anyone other than him. After composing himself, Eren admits to Armin that he does not want to die. Armin encourages him to remain hopeful that they will find a way to keep him alive, but Eren insists that he will never be forgiven for what he has done.

The ocean scenery turns to a vision of trampled land strewn with corpses as Eren admits that, even if he had not known he would be stopped, he would have still caused the Rumbling in order to create a new world outside the Walls. Armin asks him why, and Eren admits that he does not know.

Armin thanks Eren for taking on the world's hatred for Paradis

Eren tells Armin that it is time for them to part and that he will be temporarily erasing his memories of their conversation. Once their final fight is over, Eren promises that Armin will remember their conversation. Armin gives Eren a seashell and thanks him for taking on the world's hatred for Paradis's sake. The two embrace a final time and Eren tells Armin that, even though he does not know what will happen after his death, he is sure that his friend will do whatever is necessary to save humanity.

Annie Leonhart's voice calls Armin back to reality. He is on the boat sailing to Odiha, with no memory of his conversation with Eren.

Mikasa emerges with Eren's decapitated head in her hands

At Fort Salta, Armin awakes to find that he can now remember his last conversation with Eren. Hearing Mikasa's voice, he turns and is heartbroken to see her carrying Eren's decapitated head. As Armin weeps for his friend, Mikasa asks him if his memories have returned. Armin confirms that they have; he now remembers that Mikasa's choice to free Ymir has caused the Power of the Titans to disappear.

Jean Kirstein, awakening in his human form once again, mourns Eren's death along with Reiner Braun. Connie Springer recalls through tears that Eren promised that his mother would also be returned to normal. Annie reunites with her father, and Falco Grice and Gabi Braun happily greet each other. Levi Ackerman rests against a rock, where he sees a vision of his fallen comrades watching him. The fallen members of the Survey Corps salute him and Levi salutes them back. Reiner finds his mother and reveals that he no longer has his Armored Titan power. To his surprise, she is thrilled by the news and embraces him while apologizing.

Mikasa tells Armin that she is going to leave to give Eren a proper burial. Mikasa suggests taking his head to the place where he liked to sleep as a child and Armin agrees. Mikasa departs into the vapor from the fallen Titan bodies and Armin prepares to reunite with the other Eldians.

Armin defends the Eldians and declares that he killed Eren Yeager

Muller arrives with a group of Marleyan soldiers to confront the Eldians. Mr. Leonhart tells the secretary that Eren is dead and that the Power of the Titans has been eliminated, but Muller demands that he provide proof. Leonhart tries to suggest a blood test, but Muller insists that they will all be killed unless they can provide immediate proof that they can no longer turn into Titans. Before the situation can escalate, Armin presents himself to the secretary. Armin points out that the Eldians gathered would be using their Titan powers to defend themselves and their loved ones from the Marleyans if they still had the ability to transform. The fact that they are doing nothing in response to Muller's threats should be enough to prove that they are powerless. Muller orders his men to lower their weapons and asks Armin who he is. Armin claims that he is the man who killed Eren Yeager.

The survivors sail back to Paradis Island after three years

Three years after the so-called "Battle of Heaven and Earth," the survivors of the battle embark to Paradis as ambassadors for Marley to begin peace negotiations with Paradis. As they sail for the island, they read a letter from Historia Reiss which explains that the remaining Yeagerists have formed an army to defend Paradis from the threat of the outside world. Reiner admires the letter, causing Jean to reprimand him for lusting after a married woman. Pieck notes that Jean himself seems to be concerned about his looks, but Jean claims that he only wants to look good for the history books. Annie tells the group that they are nearing Paradis and asks Armin if it is truly a good idea for the people who betrayed Paradis and killed Eren to act as peace ambassadors to the island. Connie insists that they should trust Historia, since she chose to protect his and Jean's families from the other islanders. Armin argues that, once the people of Paradis see friend and foe working side by side, they will want to know what caused them to work together.

Mikasa thanks Eren for wrapping the scarf around her

Outside Shiganshina District, Mikasa sits by the tree that Eren used to sleep under. She tells his makeshift grave that their friends will soon arrive to visit him. As she remembers their childhood together she begins to cry, wishing to see him again. Her weeping is interrupted by a bird, which grabs her scarf and tightens it around her neck before flying away. As she watches the bird fly away, Mikasa thanks Eren for wrapping the scarf around her once more.

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