|How pitiful...To never learn from the mistakes of history....In the end, they'll send every last person in the walls, down to the children and elderly, on a suicide charge. Saying if they're going to die, they might as well die proud. It's bullshit!|
|— Zeke's frustration at humanity|
Zeke Jaeger (ジーク・イェーガー Jīku Yēgā?) is the War Chief (戦士長 Senshi-chō?) of the Warriors and the current holder of the Beast Titan. He is the half-brother of Eren Jaeger through his father and a member of the Fritz royal family through his mother.
In his human form, Zeke has a tall, broad, well-toned body with shaggy blond hair and a matching mustache that descends down into his beard. He was seen wearing loose pants with circular glasses and no shirt on.
In his Titan form, Zeke is an extremely unusual specimen, having a distinct, ape-like appearance. Its body structure and facial features are like that of a human's and it walks upright like one as well. It stands at a previously unseen 17 meters in height. Dark fur covers the large majority of its body, with the exception of its face, hands, feet, and torso. Its arms are also elongated, with long fingers and fully-functional thumbs. The proportions of its upper body are similar to those of the Colossal Titan, possessing a massive chest and small head, as well as disproportionately long arms.
Zeke is a very intelligent and curious individual, as seen when he tried to communicate with Miche Zacharius in order to get information about the omni-directional mobility gear and learn about Miche's language. Zeke's cerebral traits are also characterized by a marked apathy and callousness, such as him showing complete indifference to Miche's death in favor of examining the man's ODM gear which he had stolen.
Zeke displays the traits of a leader, comfortable with giving orders and commanding his subordinates. If his orders are not followed, he does not hesitate to use brute force. This was seen when he crushed the head of the Titan that was eating Miche as soon as it disobeyed him, or when he beat Reiner Braun to make him and Bertholdt Hoover focus on acquiring the Founding Titan instead of saving Annie Leonhart. Additionally, his ability to prioritize the capture of the Founding Titan over rescuing Annie, and his deduction that she was not really being tortured by her captors, demonstrates an ability to think tactically as a leader, and prioritize mission objectives over sentimentality.
However, in spite of Zeke's cold, militant personality, he is somewhat self-conscious of his emotions: associating sentiments such passion and honor with his negative perception of his father, Zeke strives to differentiate himself by insisting upon cold logic and detachment to evaluate his experiences. However, his repressed emotions surface at times: he has been shown to take pity on the citizens living within the Walls, claiming that it is a "tragedy" that they continually sacrifice their lives trying to leave the Walls because their memories of the world have been taken away, even to the point of growing angry himself at their sacrifice. To deal with these doubts, Zeke will often remind himself during battle to not get worked up and to find the "enjoyment" in life, indicating that his outward apathy towards his actions might be some form of a coping mechanism.
Zeke Jaeger was born to Grisha Jaeger and Dina Fritz, Restorationists who were planning to overthrow the Marley government and put the Eldians back in power. When the Marley government announced the Warrior program, asking for Eldian children between the ages of five to seven to serve as potential Warriors, Grisha decided to enroll Zeke into the program for the latter to infiltrate the Marleyan military as a spy for the Restorationists. Zeke was subjected to intense indoctrination to the Restorationists' rhetoric by his parents while simultaneouly taught to obey Marley's teachings to earn their trust; such contradictory instructions proved to be too much for young Zeke to handle and cracking under the pressure and the stress, he turned his own parents in to Marley's government.
Zeke infiltrates Wall Rose and somehow transforms the citizens of Ragako village into Titans. He then leads them in an attack within Wall Rose. He is later spotted wandering around by Miche Zacharius, who instantly notes the strangeness of his characteristics, mistaking him for an Abnormal. Noticing Miche, Zeke grabs his horse as it is returning to him, crushes it, and launches it at him, preventing his escape and throwing him from the roof he was on. After Miche falls to the mouth of a Titan, Zeke orders the Titan to withhold on eating him so that it can question Miche about the omni-directional mobility gear.
However, the Titan disobeys him and he crushes its head to release Miche. Zeke then proceeds to interrogate Miche, but as he neglects to respond out of shock, Zeke theorizes that they speak the same language but Miche is simply too frightened to speak. He also notes how he uses swords, indicating that the soldiers of the Walls are aware that the nape is the weak spot on Titans, and removes Miche's equipment for further inspection. After stealing the equipment he hears Miche's cries of defiance, and allows the surrounding Titans to devour Miche. As Miche screams in horror and pain Zeke is amused to see that he could in fact talk. He then leaves the grounds contemplating the ODM gear ignoring Miche's screams.
Zeke is later seen again wandering around outside Utgard Castle where several members of the Scout Regiment are trapped by Titans, despite them being usually inactive at night. He then climbs up Wall Rose and watches the Titans surrounding the tower from a distance. After the Scouts kill most of the larger Titans, Zeke begins throwing large stones at the tower, killing Lynne and Henning along with their remaining horses. Shortly afterward, twice as many Titans begin to advance while Zeke roars at them from atop Wall Rose. Nanaba notices the unusually strategic method in their attacks, indicating that Zeke is controlling the other Titans actions. As the Titans swarm Utgard, Zeke descends the other side of Wall Rose.
While waiting in Shiganshina District, Zeke eventually meets up with Bertholdt Hoover and Reiner Braun, who try to convince him to work with them to free their comrade Annie Leonhart from captivity. When he refuses, Reiner uses his Armored Titan to try to force him to help them, but the Beast Titan swiftly defeats him. As Bertholdt tries to remove Reiner's body from his Titan form, Zeke emerges from his Titan body, telling the two of them that they can rescue Annie after securing the Founding Titan. He then informs them of his plan to wait in Shiganshina to ambush the Scout Regiment in order to capture Eren and the Founding Titan.
After settling their disagreement, the three Warriors begin waiting for the Scout Regiment atop Wall Maria. Zeke advises Reiner and Bertholdt not to worry about Annie, pointing out that the Scouts would not be able to torture her without triggering her Titan abilities and theorizing that she is likely only in hiding. Noting their dissatisfaction, he questions whether they have lost their resolve. He offers to fight Reiner again to decide what they will do next, but threatens to feed him to another Warrior if he loses again. When neither of them is willing to risk fighting him, Zeke proclaims that their sole objective is to regain the Coordinate in order to put an end to what he calls a "cursed history." The Cart Titan arrives shortly afterward to inform them of the Scouts' imminent arrival, and the three proceed to their designated posts to prepare for the upcoming battle.
The next day, the Scout Regiment initiates its operation to retake Wall Maria. After Eren manages to seal the outer gate of Shiganshina, the Warriors launch their attack. After Reiner's failed attack and momentary downfall, Zeke transforms along with a horde of Titans outside the Wall and immediately throws a large boulder at the Wall's inner gate, destroying it so that the Scout Regiment's horses will not get over it. Having cut off the the only escape route for the soldiers and trapping them within Shiganshina, Zeke begins advancing toward the district with his army. As he advances he roars, ordering smaller Titans to attack the Scout Regiment's horses while having the larger Titans form a circle around the entrance of Shiganshina District in order to prevent the soldiers from escaping.
After some time, Zeke receives the signal to throw a barrel containing Bertholdt into Shiganshina in the form of a roar from Reiner's Titan form. After sending Bertholdt over the Wall, Zeke begins assaulting the Scouts north of the district with a barrage of rocks. He muses about his first pitch being too high, and decides to go for a "perfect game." Each throw breaks the sound barrier and every soldier who is caught in the barrage is utterly mutilated, forcing Levi and the rest of the soldiers to retreat to the base of the Wall.
As he continues to throw projectiles, Zeke notices a large group of soldiers, led by Erwin Smith, riding toward him. Zeke notes that he had expected a better counterattack than a suicide charge, before throwing another barrage of rocks at them. As his pitches hit their mark, Zeke laments the fact that King Reiss erased the soldiers' memories of the world, forcing them keep making the same mistakes and push themselves to "die honorably" as a result of their ignorance. Getting worked up at the thought, Zeke accidentally crushes the stones in his hand even into dust and is forced to calm himself down for a moment before resuming his attack.
Killing many more soldiers, Zeke notices there are some that, despite the odds, are still alive and continue their charge. Seeing their persistence causes him to become annoyed again, opining that they can shoot smoke at him all day long, as it will not achieve anything. As he finishes off the stragglers with a final barrage of stones, Zeke begins to lament their deaths before noticing with alarm that the Titans flanking him have been killed. Bewildered as to what is happening, he is suddenly ambushed by Levi, who slices his arm to pieces as he attempts to grab him. Realizing that he is facing the soldier that Reiner and Bertholdt warned him about, Zeke tries to guard his nape but is immediately blinded by Levi. Before Zeke can react to being blinded, his Titan's achilles tendons are slashed, leaving him unable to stand. Realizing that he has no time to harden his nape, Zeke tries to use his hand to shield it, but it is immediately cut to pieces as well.
As Levi begins to cut open his nape, Zeke emerges from his Titan, trying to use the steam emitted to blind Levi, but is immediately skewered through the mouth by the captain. Luckily, before Levi can execute Zeke the Cart Titan rescues him and carries him away from the battlefield. As they flee, Zeke orders his remaining Titans to kill Levi, gloating that once Levi is dead he will have wiped out the entire Scout Regiment.
The Cart Titan carries Zeke into Shiganshina, where he locates and approaches Eren, who is holding Bertholdt hostage. Zeke recognizes him as his younger half brother and tries to talk Eren down, claiming that they are both victims of his father. Eren is shocked by Zeke's resemblance to Grisha, but before Zeke can further elaborate he is forced to retreat due to the arrival of Levi, whose sudden appearance takes Zeke by surprise. As he takes his leave, he apologizes to Bertholdt, noting that he will not be able to save him, before promising Eren that he will come back and "save" him. While escaping, Zeke and the Cart Titan locate a severely injured Reiner, rescuing him from the remaining Scouts who have captured him.
Zeke is able to transform into a 17-meter Titan referred to as the Beast Titan (獣の巨人 Kemono no Kyojin?). He used this form when he transformed the inhabitants of Ragako. It is unknown how he gained his power. He retains his human mind even when transformed, allowing him to do delicate tasks, even speaking.
Some of his abilities are:
- Speech and Titan Control: It is able to fluently speak without issue in its Titan form, casually talking to other Titans and giving them orders which they follow. However, his control over the Titans is not absolute, as they can sometimes disobey.
- Regeneration: Just like all Titans, Zeke has the ability to regenerate at a tremendous speed any wound on his Titan or human body. After being fatally wounded by Levi, Zeke healed part of his face when he encounters Eren.
- Enhanced Strength: He possesses immense physical strength, enough break off large chunks from Wall Rose and hurl them at a great distance away, and throw a bombardment of rocks with devastating destructive capability, as well as creating a visible sonic boom when he lobs them, effectively throwing them faster than over 700 feet per second.
- Precision: The Beast Titan's throwing ability and great accuracy is second to none, seen when it accurately threw a horse at Miche and again when it lands a direct hit when tossing a boulder at Lynne and Henning from a great distance away atop Wall Rose. It also seems to possess dexterous hands, as it managed to retrieve Miche's ODM gear without damaging him or the gear.
- Hardening: Zeke is able to harden his Titan body at will to protect himself from attacks. However, this ability needs some time to prepare; during his brief battle with Levi, Zeke tries to harden the nape of his neck but was unable to due to Levi's overwhelming speed.
- Fighting Skills: He seems to be a very formidable fighter, since he was able to defeat the Armored Titan and inflict him considerable damage without sustaining any visible injury. According to Reiner, while Levi is indeed powerful, the former claims that he is no match for their War Chief. It is unknown if Zeke possesses some combat knowledge outside his Titan form.
- Marlo Freudenberg
- Erwin Smith
- Miche Zacharius
- Ragako inhabitants
- Zeke shares an English dub voice actor with Shikishima from the Attack on Titan live-action movies.
- He appears to have had limited to no contact with the humans inside the Walls, as he expresses interest in humanity's omni-directional mobility gear.