|◄ Preceded by||Zeke Yeager
|Followed by ►|
|If we'd never been born in the first place...we never would have had to suffer, either.|
|— Zeke's idea of salvation|
Zeke Yeager (ジーク・イェーガー Jīku Yēgā?) is the former Captain (戦士長 Senshi-chō?) of Marley's Warrior Unit, assigned to take the Founding Titan from the Eldians of Paradis Island. He is the current inheritor of the Beast Titan, and is considered to be the strongest warrior by Reiner Braun , contrasting Levi Ackerman's title of "humanity's strongest soldier." He manipulated and deceived both sides of the war between Eldia and Marley in order to achieve his own agenda of causing the extinction of his own people, which he views as "salvation."
- 1 Appearance
- 2 Personality
- 3 History
- 4 Story
- 5 Abilities
- 6 Relationships
- 7 People killed
- 8 Trivia
- 9 References
- 10 Navigation
In his human form, Zeke has a tall, broad, well-toned body with gray eyes, shaggy platinum blond hair, and a matching mustache that descends into his beard. He was seen wearing no shirt, loose pants, combat boots, and circular glasses. After his return to Marley, and the four-year time skip, Zeke begins to sport a much more clean-cut look, contrasting his look while on Paradis Island. He has his hair cut much shorter, so that it no longer falls into his eyes, and sports a thinner beard.
In his Titan form, Zeke is an extremely unusual specimen, having a distinct, ape-like appearance. However, his posture is closer to that of a human's; like typical Titans he walks bipedally. He stands at a previously unseen 17 meters in height. Dark fur covers a large part of his body, growing on his upper torso, shoulders, limbs, and groin, while also forming a beard and covering his scalp. His face, ears, extremities, and stomach are bare. He possesses pointed ears and teeth, unlike most Titans. The proportions of his upper body are similar to those of the Colossus Titan, possessing a very broad chest which dwarfs his head, as well as disproportionately slim arms. Additionally, his arms are elongated, with long fingers and very dexterous thumbs, allowing him to easily pick up delicate objects off the ground. His Titan's eyes possess dark sclera and irises, making it difficult to determine where he is looking at any given moment.
Zeke is a very intelligent and curious man. He tries to communicate with Mike Zacharias in order to get information about the vertical maneuvering equipment and learn about Mike's language, though such curiosity is often characterized by a marked callous detachment.
He displays the traits of a leader, giving orders and telling other people, sometimes even Titans, what to do. While he was talking with Mike, he told the Titan that was eating him to hold him instead of devouring him. 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 Mike as soon as it disobeyed him, or when he beat Reiner to make him and Bertolt focus on acquiring the Founding Titan instead of saving Annie. His decision 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 and prioritize mission objectives over sentimentality.
Zeke also seems to be a cold, ruthless and sarcastic individual, though not explicitly sadistic. He has killed human soldiers without hesitation and let a group of Titans eat Mike when the latter had exhausted his usefulness, outwardly indifferent to the pain that he was about to endure. Instead, he mused over them speaking the same language.
However, in spite of Zeke's savage tendencies, he has been shown to take pity on the citizens living within the Walls. He has expressed 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, viewing it as ultimately pointless. Zeke's condescending pity towards Paradis is strong enough to have driven him to outbursts of anger at times. To deal with these doubts, he often reminds himself during battle to not get worked up, and to find the "enjoyment" in life.
Zeke's views on the Eldians' prospects in society are extremely negative and nihilistic (possibly as a result of his childhood and lack of attention from both of his parents). As a teenager, he expressed his belief that it would have been better for the Subjects of Ymir to never have been born. He planned to free the world from its fear of the Titans and the Eldians from their suffering by using the Founding Titan's abilities to sterilize all Subjects of Ymir, thus leading to their eventual extinction within 100 years.
During Zeke's twenty-plus years of service as a Warrior (and later captain), he was known to be particularly efficient and ruthless. He acts highly militaristic towards the Warriors underneath him: he has no problem inflicting punishment or abandoning them if they should fail. Zeke would threaten Reiner with death if he continued his disobedience and, in the case of Bertolt, chose to simply cut his losses and left his subordinate to die in order to escape.
Outside of the battlefield, Zeke displays a drastically different demeanor characterized by a much warmer, more affable exterior and a kind of quiet charisma, acting humble around his superiors and being prone to cracking jokes. Zeke also appeared to share a friendly relationship with his fellow Warriors, though Pieck would later remark on how duplicitous and secretive he always seemed. Ultimately, Eren seems to be the only person he truly cares about, as he feels that they are both victims of their father. Zeke promised to "save" him before, which Pieck would note as the only time she could tell that he was not lying.  Zeke's affection towards Eren has since developed into a near-obsessive desire to have his sentiments validated by his half-brother to the point where he was willing to postpone the sterilization of the Eldians until Eren agreed with him. However, this affection for his brother appears to have faded after learning the way that Eren manipulated their father through the Attack Titan's future memory ability, disgusted by the way Eren influenced Grisha to kill the Reiss family, and subsequently abandons his attempt to try and get Eren to join his cause.
Zeke Yeager was born to Grisha Yeager and Dina Fritz, who were planning to overthrow the Marley government and put the Eldians back in power. Grisha was among the rebels when the Marley government announced the Warrior program, asking for Eldian children between the ages of five to seven to serve as potential Warriors, with the promise that their families would be given the title of Honorary Marleyans and be ensured freedom within the country. Grisha then decided to enter Zeke into the program to play the role of a spy for his cause.
At home, Zeke was routinely sent to his grandparents while both Dina and Grisha attended Eldian Restorationist meetings, with most of his visits being spent listening to his grandfather recounting stories of the Eldian race's crimes against the world. Over time, his parents' preoccupation with the Eldian Restorationists led them growing continuously distant with Zeke, with Grisha in particular showing very little investment in his son's life outside of his studies and performance as a Warrior candidate.
Initially, Zeke did not perform impressively as a Warrior Candidate, and his trouble keeping pace with his fellow cadets caused him to be ostracized by his peers and his instructor. However, he did manage to make one friend during his training: Tom Ksaver. After a day of routine training, Zeke happened to meet Ksaver while the man was in the middle of playing catch by himself. After some prodding from Ksaver, Zeke joined him in the game, and was thrilled to hear Ksaver complimenting him on his pitching skill. After returning home, Zeke tried to tell his parents about the experience, but found them in the middle of a meeting with a fellow restorationist. Zeke tried eavesdropping on the conversation, and listening in as his parents reassured Grice that he had the ability to save Eldia.
During another public training event, Zeke was once again outperformed by all of the other candidates. To his distress, Zeke observed that both his parents had come to watch, and was dismayed to see his father storm away from the field in frustration. That night, he cried in his room while listening to his parents argue over what to do about his poor performance.
After the training event, Ksaver tried to cheer him up during one of their games of catch, before joking that Zeke becoming a Warrior would be a dumb idea. Surprised to hear a Warrior slandering the Warrior Program, Zeke asked to know why Ksaver had chosen to become one. Ksaver's explanation, that he had wanted the opportunity to study the Titans scientifically, surprised Zeke but he agreed with Ksaver's assertion that neither of them were meant to be soldiers.
While cleaning the halls of the Warriors' headquarters, Zeke overheard that the Marleyan Authorities were close to discovering the location of the Eldian Restorationists. Knowing that this would sentence his entire family and himself to the border of Paradis to be converted to Pure Titans, Zeke went to his parents and begged them to stop, but was met only with their insistence that what they were doing needed to be done for the good of all Eldians. In a desperate attempt to appeal to his father, Zeke reminded him of Faye and asked if he would be okay with his own son meeting the same fate: this only managed to enrage Grisha. Terrified, Zeke tried to remind his parents that their whole family would be sent to Paradis if they were discovered, but Grisha only reiterated his previous statement that they needed to win back the rights that Marley had taken, in order to make sure that no one else met the same fate as Faye. Emotionally drained from the argument, Zeke pointed out that Faye only died because Grisha took her outside of Liberio without permission.
With no one else to turn to, Zeke revealed everything to Ksaver. Although Zeke had resigned himself to being sent to Paradis and spend an eternity as a Titan, Ksaver suggested that he turn his parents in so that only they would be punished; this would allow Zeke and his grandparents to go free. Zeke initially protested the idea but Ksaver insisted that there was no other way, reminding Zeke of all of the turmoil and strife he had experienced on account of his parents forcing their ideals on him without thought for his own feelings. After some thought, Zeke agreed and turned in his parents to secure his status in Marley's eyes as a loyal Warrior. Soon after, Grisha and Dina were sent to Paradis Island to be transformed into Pure Titans. Still not knowing the truth of Zeke's heritage, Marley sent him to be raised by his grandparents.
Despite believing he sent his father and mother to their deaths, Zeke sympathized with their goal to free the Eldian race. Thus, Zeke continued his parents' cause by operating from the shadows to secure the Eldians' freedom from Marley in his own way. Zeke continued playing catch with Ksaver regularly during his time in the Warrior program, often using the games as a time to have long discussions with him. During one such game, Ksaver revealed that the Founding Titan had the power not only to affect the memories of Subjects of Ymir, but also to change the composition of their bodies. Inspired by this, Zeke theorized that a holder of the Founding Titan might be able to use it to render all Subjects of Ymir sterile, so that they would die out within 100 years without a need for mass genocide. Noticing Ksaver not immediately tossing back the baseball, Zeke heard Ksaver reveal that he once had a family with a Marleyan woman who had killed herself and their son after learning he was an Eldian. Listening to his mentor lament his own birth, Zeke vowed to Ksaver that he would take back the Founding Titan from Paradis, and keep it out of Marley's hands to ensure that it could not be used to hurt anyone again. Soon after, Zeke was told the key in the planned euthanasia of the Eldians, the Founding Titan, must be in possession of someone who will agree to the plan and be in physical contact with a Titan descended from the royal family. Ksaver asked Zeke to find someone who is willing to go through with the plan.
At the age of 17, Zeke became the eldest of the Warrior candidates to be selected to receive the power of the Titans, inheriting the Beast Titan from Ksaver in the year 842. Zeke kept Ksaver's glasses after inheriting his Titan, as a memento of his former friend. It was subsequently discovered that through the administration of Zeke's spinal fluid into Subjects of Ymir, he would be able to trigger their transformation with a scream, and control their Titan forms afterwards, even when the moon was out. These abilities could not be explained by the Titan Biology Research Society, who were still unaware of Zeke's royal heritage.
One year after inheriting the Beast Titan, Zeke and his fellow Warriors used their Titan forms to crush an entire nation. Zeke used his Beast Titan form to bombard enemies, in the midst of retreat, with explosive ammunition. With the battle being a large success, the Marleyan army regarded the new Warriors as more effective than their predecessors. Zeke would later speak to his fellow Warriors about how the Marley government were preparing to begin the Paradis Island Operation in the next few years. It was decided that Zeke be kept in Marley alongside Pieck as a deterrent to enemy nations, while the other Warriors (Reiner, Bertolt, Annie and Marcel) were entrusted to take part in the journey to Paradis.
Five years after the start of the Paradis Island Operation, Zeke travels with Pieck and a small number of Marleyan soldiers to Paradis Island to infiltrate the Walls. After arriving, the group locates a small village inside of Wall Rose, and chooses to turn its residents into Titans. The soldiers releases a gas laced with Zeke's spinal fluid into the air, which is blown into the village and inhaled by the villagers. Zeke then lets out a scream, triggering all the affected Eldians to begin transforming into Titans.
As Zeke proceeds farther into Wall Rose in his Titan form, he is spotted by Mike Zacharias, who instantly notes the strangeness of his characteristics and mistakes him for a regular abnormal. As Mike's horse races back to him, Zeke notices it and throws it at Mike, preventing the latter from escaping and causing him to lose his footing and fall into the mouth of one of Zeke's Titans.
Before the Titan can devour Mike, Zeke orders it to refrain from eating, intent on questioning the soldier about his vertical maneuvering equipment. The Titan disobeys Zeke and continues to try to eat Mike, prompting Zeke to crush its head. He then proceeds to interrogate Mike, but quickly gives up when the man neglects to respond out of shock. Zeke assumes that they either do not speak the same language or Mike is too frightened to respond to him, and instead notes that Mike uses swords, indicating that the soldiers of the Walls are aware that the nape is the Titans' weakness. He removes Mike's equipment for further inspection, and takes his leave.
As he is leaving, Zeke hears Mike's cries of defiance, and allows the surrounding Titans to devour him. As Mike screams in horror and pain, Zeke notes that they spoke the same language after all before turning his attention to inspecting the vertical maneuvering equipment, ignoring Mike's screams.
Zeke is later seen wandering around outside Utgard Castle where several members of the Survey Corps have been trapped by his Titans. As his Titans surround the castle, Zeke climbs up Wall Rose and watches the ensuing battle.
After the soldiers kill most of the larger Titans, Zeke begins throwing large stones at the tower, killing Lynne, Henning, and the soldiers' remaining horses. He then screams, summoning more Titans to continue the assault on the castle. Afterwards, Zeke climbs over the Wall and disappears into the lost territory of Wall Maria.
At the time Historia Reiss is crowned queen (roughly two months after both Reiner and Bertolt are exposed as traitors and escape the Survey Corps), Zeke is reunited with the two Warriors. He learns from them that Marcel had been eaten shortly after arriving on the island and Annie had been captured by the Military. However, Bertolt and Reiner reveal that they have discovered the identity of the person in possession of the Founding Titan: one of their former comrades in the Survey Corps named Eren Yeager. Stunned to learn that Eren is his younger half brother (along with the fact that Grisha somehow managed to survive and avoid getting turned into a Titan), Zeke breaks down in anguish that evening; in addition, Zeke contemplates how Eren (despite not possessing royal blood) managed to use the powers of the Founding Titan. Realizing that their father must have obtained the missing Attack Titan, Zeke theorizes that he must have also found a way to gain the Founding Titan and passed them both on to Eren (while indoctrinating him much like he did with Zeke). Because of this, Zeke believes Eren to be suffering from the influence of Grisha's will and memories and must be freed to make his own decisions; certain that Eren is the person he has been searching for to make his plan succeed, Zeke makes acquiring his half brother the top priority of the Warriors.
When he informs both Reiner and Bertolt about this, they protest and insist the recovery of Annie takes precedence over capturing Eren. Eventually, Reiner decides to challenge Zeke to a battle with their respective Titan forms in the ruins of Shiganshina District, but Zeke swiftly and effortlessly defeats him. While Bertolt takes Reiner's body from his Titan form, Zeke emerges and proclaims himself the winner. He then tells the two of them that they can rescue Annie after securing the Founding Titan, informing them of his plan to wait in Shiganshina to ambush the Survey Corps in order to capture Eren and the Founding Titan.
Sometime after Zeke's disagreement with Reiner and Bertolt, he reminds them not to worry about Annie, pointing out that the Survey Corps 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 the "cursed history" of Eldia. Pieck arrives shortly afterwards to inform them of the Survey Corps' imminent arrival, and the three proceed to their posts to prepare for the upcoming battle. Before they go, both Reiner and Bertolt warn Zeke about a man named Levi, cited as the strongest soldier within the Survey Corps; intrigued, Zeke acknowledges his subordinates' concerns but internally disregards the soldier as being a threat to him.
Soon after, the Survey Corps initiate the operation to retake Wall Maria. After Eren manages to seal the outer gate of Shiganshina, Zeke, Reiner, and Bertolt launch their operation. After Reiner's failed attack and his momentary downfall, Zeke transforms along with a numerous horde of Titans outside the Wall. Zeke immediately picks up a giant boulder and launches it at the inner gate, destroying it so that the soldier's horses will not get over it, and effectively cutting off their only escape route from the battle back to Shiganshina. Zeke then starts walking slowly towards the city with a maniacal grin on his face. As he advances, he roars, ordering smaller Titans to attack the Survey Corps' 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 Bertolt into Shiganshina in the form of a roar from Reiner's Titan form. After sending Bertolt over the Wall, Zeke begins attacking the Survey Corps north of the district with a barrage of stones, pretending that he is pitching baseballs in order to help himself aim. Each throw breaks the sound barrier and every soldier who is caught in the barrage is utterly vaporized, forcing Levi and the rest of the soldiers to retreat to the base of the Wall.
As he continues his assault, Zeke notices a large group of soldiers led by Erwin Smith riding towards him. Zeke states that he had expected a better counterattack than a suicide run before throwing a barrage of stones at them. As his pitches hit their mark, Zeke laments the fact that King Fritz erased the soldiers' memories of the world, forcing them to 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 into dust and is forced to calm himself down for a moment before resuming his attack.
Killing many more soldiers, Zeke notices that there are some still alive despite the odds, 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 one final throw, Zeke begins to lament their deaths before noticing with alarm that the Titans flanking him have been killed. Bewildered as to what happened, 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 Bertolt 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 his mouth by the captain. Before Levi can execute Zeke, Pieck 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 Survey Corps.
Pieck carries Zeke into Shiganshina, where he locates and approaches Eren, who is holding Bertolt hostage. Zeke recognizes him as his half-brother and tries to talk Eren down, claiming that they are both victims of their 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 Bertolt, stating that he will not be able to save him, before promising Eren that he will come back and "save" him. While escaping, Zeke and Pieck locate a severely injured Reiner, rescuing him from the remaining Survey Corps soldiers who have captured him.
Shortly after the battle of Shiganshina District, the Marley Mid-East War began. In secret, Zeke sends his group of followers - the Anti-Marleyan Volunteers - to Paradis Island to make contact with the Eldians living there. Zeke also gives the volunteers a list of requirements that Paradis Island would need to fulfill in exchange for his aid. Working with his most trusted follower Yelena (and unknown to the other volunteer members), Zeke also arranged the Marleyan survey ships to carry large stocks of wine mixed with his spinal fluid. This wine would be served to members of the military, starting with the high-ranking officers.
Zeke would also make contact with Kiyomi Azumabito from the nation of Hizuru on the possibility of forming an alliance with Paradis. He acknowledges what he did to his parents and reveals that Marley does not know what a Titan with Royal blood can do when joined with the Founding Titan. As a token of goodwill, Zeke brings out the vertical maneuvering equipment he took from Mike Zacharias and presents it to her; he mentions the existence of iceburst stone, which powers the device and there are scant traces still inside. Noting that it is found solely on Paradis, Zeke tells Kiyomi it would greatly assist the nation of Hizuru. The two sides agree and Kiyomi makes plans to travel to Paradis while Zeke returned to Marley and continued with the war effort.
At the climax of the war, Zeke takes part in the assault on Fort Slava. As Eldian captives parachute down from an airship, Zeke uses his royal blood powers to transform the captives into Titans, inflicting a devastating airstrike upon Fort Slava. After the Armored Titan destroys the Anti-Titan artillery, Zeke transforms into the Beast Titan and joins the battle. Using leftover artillery rounds as projectiles, he destroys the Mid-East Allied Forces fleet. The fleet themselves fire upon Zeke before their destruction, but Reiner's Armored Titan saves Zeke, being destroyed in the process.
After the conclusion of the battle, Zeke takes part in a meeting with Marley officials to discuss the war's conclusion and Marley's future. Here, Zeke suggests resuming the Paradis Island Operation to retake the Founding Titan as soon as possible, using the full power of his Beast Titan before the time comes for Colt to inherit it. When reminded that Marley cannot rely entirely on Titans anymore, Zeke mentions that Marley can also use this time to improve their own military ordinance for their ground troops while they seek out the Founding Titan on Paradis Island.
After the meeting, Zeke speaks with Colt about his powers as the Beast Titan. Colt, unaware along with rest of Marley about the properties of Zeke's royal blood, calls him special; Zeke feigns ignorance over the reasons behind his powers, but promises that Colt will know his secrets after inheriting his Titan. Commander Magath joins the conversation, and they discuss the 32 survey ships that have disappeared when sent to Paradis Island. Zeke speculates that Paradis Island has control over four Titans and that at least two of them were responsible for the disappearance of the 32 survey ships. Zeke informs Magath of the anti-Titan weaponry, as well as the existence of the Ackerman clan and says underestimating these factors were what led to his defeat.
Zeke later holds an unofficial meeting, attended by his fellow Warriors and Colt. He speaks about the worlds growing animosity towards Eldians, as well as the future in which conventional weaponry will eclipse Titan weaponry. He also expresses worry for the future of the Eldian race for these reasons. Zeke states that to solve these concerns, Marley must continue with the plan to regain the Founder, with the prestigious Tybur family narrating the Warriors plans to the world, giving the Eldians within Marley an extent of clout. These points are debated among the Warriors, with him and Pieck staying on the same wavelength throughout. The unofficial meeting had been tapped by Marleyan authorities, with Zeke seemingly aware of this fact.
Along with the Warriors, Zeke attends a meeting with his superiors where they explain their plans for the new operation on Paradis Island. Later, as Colt states his brother does not need to become a Warrior, Zeke calls him to order but quickly softens up. He then leads Colt away to play a game of catch.
Zeke would eventually meet with Eren in Liberio while the latter is infiltrating Marley. He notes how similar in appearance Eren looks compared to their father; he mentions to Eren that he knows the details behind the Ackerman clan lineage and reveals it to him. Finally, Zeke tells Eren of his plan to euthanize the Eldian race and asks him if he will support it by using the powers of the Founding Titan to render all Eldians sterile. After a moment, Zeke is relieved to hear Eren agreeing to help, sharing his belief that Grisha's strategy was a mistake. Zeke agrees to meet with Eren within Shiganshina District and gives Eren a baseball, in lieu of a handshake, to symbolize their agreement.
Later on, Zeke arrives at the festival with the Warriors for Willy Tybur's speech. When Falco Grice asks Reiner to accompany him, Zeke allows it since there is still time before the play begins. Just as the show is starting, a Marley soldier informs the remaining Warriors that Magath has summoned them. Recognizing the soldier as Yelena in disguise, Zeke stays silent and leads both Pieck and Galliard away. Whilst being walked to Magath's apparent location, the soldier instructs Zeke to split off and go through the front gate, which he does.
Later on, after hearing the battle between the Attack Titan, the War Hammer Titan and the military, Zeke transforms into the Beast Titan and approaches the battlefield while joining the Cart and Jaw Titans; Zeke then gives the order to annihilate the enemy while staring down the Survey Corps and locking eyes with Levi. He provides artillery once more by launching debris at the soldiers and nearly gets attacked by two soldiers but is saved by Pieck. He has her provide covering fire from behind and he repels the Survey Corps back. He then announces that Eren Yeager is not his enemy, but another soldier from Paradis Island is, Levi Ackerman. He calls out to Levi and demands him to come face him again, stating that "time is running out." Shortly afterwards, he notices Armin's transformation into the Colossus Titan from the nearby harbor along with everyone else.
While the explosion has everyone distracted, Levi seizes his opportunity and catches Zeke by surprise. He then attacks the nape of his Titan successfully causing the Beast Titan to fall into a prone position, and is unable to defend itself as Levi immediately throws a bomb into the open nape. The bomb detonates, shocking the other Warriors (and the rest of the Marley forces present) with the presumed loss of their most capable Warrior.
However, Zeke survives the attack from Levi and is taken aboard the Eldian airship. As he regenerates his severed limbs, Zeke converses with both Eren and Hange Zoë. When both Gabi Braun and Falco are brought aboard, Zeke expresses surprise at seeing them there. He then discusses with Hange that despite a number of "miscalculations," namely the two Warrior cadets, the sacrifices made during the fight were worth it to ensure Eldia had both the Founding Titan and someone with royal blood. He is now confident that Eldia will have a chance at finally obtaining their freedom.
After the airship arrives at Paradis Island, Zeke is seen with Levi inside of a carriage, commenting that the citizens celebrating in the streets are ignorant of the true impact of the assault. Although Levi tries making death threats to him, Zeke is unperturbed and coolly insists that Levi take him to Eren.
Levi instead takes Zeke to the Titan Forest, informing him that this is where he will be staying. Marveling at the sight, Zeke asks Levi if he can show the trees to Gabi and Falco, but is told that it depends on his own actions. While Zeke is being guarded inside of the forest, he explains how he was able to transform the citizens of Ragako. Levi is bothered by Zeke's nonchalant explanation, accusing him of having no concern for human life. Zeke waves away Levi's criticisms, explaining that his loyalty to Marley would have been questioned if he had not complied with his orders. Changing the subject, Zeke requests to know when he will be able to begin experimenting with Eren's Titan abilities, but Levi claims he is not allowed to answer. Zeke claims that it would be unwise to remain inactive for much longer, to which Levi readily agrees.
He later asks if there is any wine left and Levi informs him that the soldiers drank it all; Zeke sarcastically mentions that Levi comes up with the worst punishments. As Levi walks off, Zeke sees an opportunity to escape and runs into the forest. Before Levi or any of the other soldiers can stop him, Zeke lets out a piercing scream. This triggers all the Survey Corps soldiers in the camp who drank the wine to transform into Titans, which fall out of the trees around Levi. Confident that Levi would not slaughter his own subordinates, Zeke mockingly states he did not want to do this but laments that this is not a proper conflict. Regardless, he summons three of the newly created Titans and bids farewell to Levi. He ponders if the Eldians truly understand the ramifications of their surprise attack on Liberio and inwardly states that only he and Eren truly know the costs.
As he plans to have the Titans take him to the agreed upon meeting place with Eren, Zeke is stunned to see a bloodied and angered Levi appear in front of him. Zeke frantically orders two of the Titans to attack him and then subsequently transforms into the Beast Titan. He immediately hardens his nape and scans the area for Levi. Finding him, Zeke tears apart the final surviving Titan and throws the bloody Titan pieces towards his foe. He chastises Levi for killing his subordinates and notices many tree branches falling towards him. Zeke is unable to spot Levi among the branches, and is struck by several Thunder Spears that pierce through the hardened nape of the Beast Titan. Horrified, he only has a moment to process this before Levi detonates the spears, severely injuring Zeke.
Sometime later, Zeke awakens tied up on a carriage with a Thunder Spear sticking out of his abdomen. Levi informs him that the fuse and triggering mechanism are tied around his neck and any sudden movements can set it off. While Zeke vomits uncontrollably, Levi begins to slice off Zeke's legs to prevent him from transforming, making Zeke scream in agony. Only half conscious, Zeke asks where his glasses are, before having his memories of Ksaver flash before his eyes. Zeke mutters about his plan to euthanize the Eldian nation to ensure the world's safety. Levi mocks him for this, declaring that his impending death at the hands of a Titan is too merciful for the lives he has taken. Zeke weakly protests that he was saving their potential children's lives by killing them, prompting Levi to angrily prepare to cut off his legs again. Suddenly, Zeke screams out Ksaver's name and jerks his head back, pulling the pin on the Thunder Spear lodged in his stomach, causing an explosion.
The explosion leaves Zeke completely mutilated and his wounds too severe for his body to regenerate from. As he begins to succumb to his injuries, Zeke recalls the meeting he had with Eren in which the two of them agreed to sterilize the Eldian race. As Zeke loses consciousness, one of the Titans he created regenerates and approaches his body. Rather than devour him, the Titan tears open its own stomach and places him inside.
Zeke regains consciousness to find himself alone in an unknown location. Surprised to discover that he is somehow still alive, he notices a lone girl silently reconstructing his body out of soil. As this occurs, Zeke looks above him and notices strange patterns in the "sky." He theorizes that he has experienced a Path, and that the girl before him is his ancestor Ymir Fritz.
After a short time, Zeke is released from the Titan's stomach, fully healed from his injuries and in a slight daze. He watches on as soldiers pursue Hange before being approached by a number of Yeagerists with Floch Forster trying to ask him what happened. Recomposing himself, Zeke avoids his questions and merely proclaims that they just have to move forward before departing with the Yeagerists.
Zeke arrives in Shiganshina to find the district under siege from Marley's forces and Eren locked in combat with Reiner. After climbing to the top of Wall Maria in his Titan form, Zeke launches debris which knocks Reiner off of Eren and commends his younger brother for standing against Marley's forces, comforting him that he will now take care of the enemies. Zeke throws a barrage of stones which destroys at least some of the Marleyan airships before turning his focus towards Pieck and Magath. After the Marleyans forces begin to fall back, he spots Reiner charging at Eren and proceeds to bombard the Armored Titan, as well as Galliard when he tries to ambush Eren.
Zeke begins to gloat about how close he and Eren are to achieving their dream but is silenced after spotting the charred remains of the Cart Titan. Believing Pieck to have perished in the attack, he mourns his former comrade's death. He is caught off guard by the sight of several Marleyan soldiers emerging near the Cart Titan to attack. Before Zeke can react, Magath fires a round from the anti-Titan artillery atop the Cart Titan's corpse, damaging his Titan's nape and shearing off much of his human body. Incapacitated by this, Zeke plummets off the Wall and crashes into the ground.
As Zeke comes to his senses, he sees Eren grappling with Reiner and announces to his brother that he will transform the soldiers who have ingested his spinal fluid. Struggling to get to his feet, Zeke is about to unleash a scream when he notices both Colt and Falco arrive at his location. Zeke is shocked to hear from Colt that Falco accidentally ingested his spinal fluid and begs him to refrain from screaming until Falco can safely get out of the range of the scream. Dismayed at Falco's predicament, Zeke gives his condolences to Colt and remarks how he understands that his former comrade merely wants to protect his younger brother (seeing Colt's plea as being similar to his own wish to protect Eren.) Despite this, Zeke ignores Colt's request and lets out a scream, triggering all the affected Eldians to transform into Pure Titans.
Seeing Eren struggling to get away from Reiner, Zeke orders a newly transformed Falco to fight Reiner and kill him. After giving the command, Zeke is subsequently shot by Magath's anti-Titan artillery a second time. Exiting their Titans to make it appear that they have both been defeated, Zeke crawls towards Eren and reaches out towards his brother. However, before the two can reach each other, Eren is decapitated by a blast from an anti-Titan rifle fired by Gabi.
Eren's head lands in Zeke's outstretched hand, allowing him to activate the Founding Titan before Eren can die from his injuries. Zeke arrives in the Coordinate first and is forced to wait for Eren. While waiting, he uses his time to learn more about the Founding Titan, culminating in him learning to break Karl Fritz's vow of nonaggression.
Zeke waits in chains until Eren finally arrives, informing his confused younger brother that they are inside the Coordinate. As Ymir Fritz approaches them, Zeke explains her presence to Eren, theorizing that she uses the sand in the Coordinate to create the Nine Titans and heal their users' bodies when they are injured. Zeke encourages Eren to command Ymir to begin their euthanasia plan, but Eren first asks about Zeke's chains. Zeke claims that the chains are what keeps Karl Fritz's descendants from acting freely.
To Zeke's despair, Eren reveals that he has no intention of following the euthanasia plan and was only using his brother as a means to activate the Founder. Heartbroken, Zeke reveals to Eren that he freed himself from Fritz's vow while waiting for Eren, and that Ymir will only obey a person with royal blood. Chaining Eren, Zeke laments that Eren has been brainwashed by Grisha, but promises to save him. Despite Eren's protests, Zeke begins showing him their father's memories.
As the brothers systematically observe Grisha's memories of his time on Paradis, Zeke bitterly notes how seemingly easy it was for Grisha to move on to a new family and forget about his old one. He shows Eren how Grisha used his occupation as a doctor to socialize with nobles to try to gain information on the royal family, despite the risk such actions would pose for his family. Zeke himself is surprised to learn that Grisha apparently delayed his mission upon discovering the Reiss family's chapel out of love for his new family, coldly admitting that Grisha might have learned from his failure with Zeke. To Zeke's shock, his musings are interrupted by a scene of Grisha seemingly trying to apologize to his first son in his sleep.
The two brothers continue their journey through Grisha's memories, with Zeke admitting that Eren was evidently not brainwashed by Grisha. In light of this, Zeke questions Eren on why he betrayed him, and what he had planned to do with the Founder's power. Eren answers by stating he had always been this way and that the pitiful brother Zeke had wished for does not exist in him. Despite this, Zeke promises to save Eren by opening his eyes to the danger Eldia presents, deciding to do this before saving the world with his euthanasia plan.
Zeke and Eren eventually arrive at the date Grisha steals the Founding Titan from Frieda at the Reiss Chapel. While watching the memory play out, Zeke notices Eren's face distorted with rage at listening to King Fritz's ideology, and is later astonished when Grisha explains the Attack Titan's ability to peer into its future inheritors' memories. Zeke is shocked once more when Grisha finds himself unable to kill the Reiss family, confused as to whether the past had changed. His shock quickly turns to angst, however, when Eren begins talking to their father, encouraging him to fight.
Outside of the chapel, Grisha, faintly aware of Zeke's presence, despairingly reveals to him that the future will not go his way but Eren's. However, he tells Zeke that when seeing one of Eren's memories from the future, what he saw was terrible. Grisha becomes fully aware of Zeke's presence and emotionally embraces him, expressing regret that he was a poor father and still loves him. Grisha ends by pleading Zeke to stop Eren.
In the unknown land, Zeke breaks away from Eren, and looks at him with horror while processing the fact that Eren had been the one to push Grisha to fight, and had shown certain memories to their father in order to manipulate him. Eren thanks Zeke for allowing him to access Grisha's path, thereby enabling the future he had seen within his father's memories to occur. Terrified, Zeke orders Ymir Fritz to steal the ability to reproduce from the Subjects of Ymir. As she begins walking towards the pillar of light, Zeke tells Eren that Grisha had wished to stop him, having seen part of Eren's future which Eren had not. When Eren escapes his chains after a struggle, Zeke says that it is pointless, as once Ymir begins to move, nothing is capable of stopping her.
Eren embraces Ymir and begs her to help him end the world with her power, much to Zeke's alarm. He is even more alarmed to see that Ymir has stopped moving and frantically tries to reach his brother and Ymir, repeatedly ordering Ymir to obey his previous command, stating that he is descended from royal blood. However, before he can reach them, Ymir agrees to help Eren, activating the Rumbling.
Upon Eren's transformation, Zeke is evidently eaten and loses control of his body. What remains of his being is left alone in Paths until he is joined by Armin Arlert who had met a similar fate after confronting Eren's Founding Titan. After Armin attempts to introduce himself, Zeke asks Armin if Ymir also ate 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 the Titan and the power of his royal blood to transform the inhabitants of Ragako into titans and impose his will on them imperfectly. His skill in pitching transfers to his Titan, letting him throw projectiles to great distances, even destroying entire fleets using explosive shells. He retains his ability to speak even when transformed.
Beast Titan's statistics :
Some of his abilities are:
- Communication: Unlike most humans with Titan power, he is able to fluently speak without any issue in his Titan form, casually talking to mindless Titans and giving them orders which they can obey.
- Titan Control: Zeke's control is eventually revealed to be limited to those Titans that were transformed with injections directly from his own spinal fluid and a result of him being descended from the Fritz royal bloodline. However, his control over the Titans is not absolute, as one Titan continued to chew on Mike, despite Zeke ordering it not to.
- Regeneration: Just like all Titans, Zeke has the ability to regenerate any wound on his Titan or human body at a tremendous speed. After being fatally wounded by Levi, Zeke healed part of his face when he encounters Eren.
- Enhanced Strength: He possesses immense physical strength, enough to pick up a horse or even break off large chunks from Wall Rose and hurl them at a great distance away. His throwing ability is second to none, and he creates a visible sonic boom when he lobs rocks, effectively throwing them faster than over 700 feet per second. He also seems to possess dexterous hands, as he managed to retrieve Mike's vertical maneuvering equipment without damaging him or the equipment.
- Human Transformation: Zeke possesses a scream that can transform Subjects of Ymir into Titans. These Titans, unlike the regular Titans encountered, were capable of functioning at night as long as the moon is out. In order for the human to turn into a Titan, all the human must do is to intake Zeke's spinal fluid and Zeke must use his scream at the targets, and after doing so, they turn into Titans. These Titans are connected to his Beast Titan via "paths" and obey his orders. There appears to be a range to this ability, although those out of range who are contaminated with Zeke's spinal fluid can still feel the influence of his scream, which they describe as a numbing electrical sensation.
- 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 increased speed and attack, not giving Zeke enough time to harden himself. While offering ample protection, it can be damaged and destroyed with the use of Thunder Spears.
- 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. He is also mentioned as "the most powerful Titan" in the final notes of Chapter 70. According to Reiner, while Levi is indeed powerful, the former claims that he is no match for their lead Warrior. It is unknown if Zeke possesses some combat knowledge outside his Titan form.
- Grisha Yeager - As a child, Zeke could sense his father becoming distant with him and was often envious of other children who had a more positive relationship with their fathers. When the Marley government decided to recruit Eldian Warriors, Grisha forced Zeke to enlist as the Eldian Restorationists' mole. For two years, Grisha forced his beliefs and philosophy into Zeke's mind; this would soon cause Zeke to harbor resentment towards his father for using him. Around twenty years later, Zeke learned his father survived banishment and fathered another son. He later mentions that both he and his half-brother Eren are "victims" of Grisha and have been brainwashed by him, showing his continued dislike for his father. Furthermore, he has "disowned" Grisha as his father, calling him detestable. Despite having poor views on his father, Zeke eventually learned that Grisha regretted his poor treatment of his first son, greatly shocking him. When Zeke and Eren saw Grisha's past memories, Grisha was somehow able to see Zeke and tearfully apologized for making him suffer as a child and being a terrible father. Grisha embraced Zeke, who was shocked by this sudden display of emotion, and actually called him "Dad." Shortly before ordering Ymir to sterilize all Subjects of Ymir, Zeke mentions Grisha's plea to stop Eren, implying that he wanted to follow his father's wishes.
- Dina Fritz - It is presumed that, just like with his father, Zeke initially had a positive relationship with his mother Dina. Eventually, her commitments towards the Eldian Restorationists led him to view her in a negative light just like with Grisha. Despite this, Zeke was crestfallen to hear of his mother's demise while on Paradis Island.
- Mr. Yeager and Mrs. Yeager - As Zeke's grandparents on his father's side, following the arrest of his parents, Zeke was cared for by them. Zeke loves them greatly as he was seen fondly greeting them upon his return home after the conclusion of the Marley Mid-East War.
- Tom Ksaver - Zeke met Tom by chance as a child during his early days as a Warrior cadet and would soon view him as both a friend and a surrogate father figure in his life, often going to Tom for advice on what to do. He would soon learn of Tom's history and vow to succeed him as the Beast Titan; due to Tom's influence in his life, Zeke would also begin to develop his ideology and drive to take back the Founding Titan.
- Theo Magath - Magath had evidently watched over Zeke to some extent throughout the 22 years Zeke had spent in service to Marley and even was his instructor when Zeke first joined the Warrior program. While he expected Zeke to display the respect towards Marleyan authority that would be expected of any Eldian, he nonetheless openly expressed how impressed Zeke left him with his words and actions. He was willing to disclose valuable military information with Zeke, and even accepted his advice on the issues faced by such matters. Magath no longer viewed Zeke favorably following his actions during the battle of Liberio, and saw him as a threat to Marley from that point on.
- Reiner Braun and Bertolt Hoover - As a fellow Warrior, Zeke serves as Reiner and Bertolt's superior. While offering encouragement to the two Warriors, he does not hesitate in displaying his dominance as a Captain, settling disagreements he has with them through combat; a prime example is Zeke's fight with Reiner over his decision to forsake Annie's well-being in favor of waiting in Shiganshina for the Founding Titan. He is also not above threatening them, as seen when he threatens to have Reiner give up his Titan, and his life in the process, to another Warrior if he ever challenges Zeke to combat and loses again. Four years after their defeat, Zeke still seems to hold Reiner in contempt blaming both himself and Reiner for the war with the Mid-East Allies and the current situation with the Eldians. However, the two of them are still able to work together on the battlefield with Reiner taking enemy fire in Zeke's stead. After Zeke betrays Marley, any camaraderie between Reiner and Zeke is severed, and they later meet on opposing sides of the battlefield.
- Annie Leonhart - Zeke appears to be very familiar with Annie, as displayed by his knowledge of her expertise in kicks and his tendency to affectionately refer to her as "Little Annie" (アニちゃん Ani-chan?). Despite this familiarity, he made the decision to wait to save Annie until after he had received the Founding Titan, prioritizing the power over Annie. However, despite his apparent lack of care for Annie, Zeke seems to trust her abilities to an extent, explaining to Bertolt and Reiner that he believes Annie is fine, and in hiding, as she is skilled enough to avoid being captured, and her Titan powers are enough to keep anyone from attempting to harm her.
- Pieck Finger - Zeke and Pieck appear to share a close camaraderie. During a meeting in his office, Zeke is shown to greatly admire Pieck's intellect and ability to deduce and solve problems. Following the revelation of Zeke's betrayal, Pieck plays a role in significantly injuring him during Marley's counterattack showing that whatever camaraderie the pair shared is gone. Despite Zeke's intentions to actually kill Pieck during the Revenge for Liberio, he laments the way she was allegedly killed by the Yeagerists.
- Eren Yeager - Eren is Zeke's younger half-brother. Zeke first learned of him when Reiner and Bertholdt Hoover return from their mission and understood Eren was born from his father's second family. Though their first encounter was as enemies during the Battle of Shiganshina District, by the time of the Raid on Liberio, they were already working together over their mutual goals and belief that they both were victims of their father's brainwashing. Eren trusts Zeke enough to turn against his friends at the Survey Corps and plot with him an attack on Marley behind their backs and eventually overthrow the military of Paradis, with the aid of the Anti-Marleyan Volunteers and Yeagerists. Likewise, Zeke appreciates having a younger brother whom he can be honest with and relate to, and rushed to support him by attacking his former fellow Warriors when they were trying to eat him and steal the Founding Titan. Pieck also noted that the encounter between Zeke and Eren at Shiganshina was the first time she saw Zeke being honest. Eventually, it is revealed that Eren had been deceiving Zeke and refuses to go along with his plan to sterilize the Subjects of Ymir, which shocks and hurts Zeke. At first, he believes this is their father's will and memories controlling him, but this is later proven false, and Zeke later becomes horrified when he finds out Eren used the Attack Titan's ability to send future memories to a predecessor at an earlier point in time, to motivate Grisha into slaughtering the Reiss family and stealing the Founding Titan. Despite his earlier statement of not giving up on Eren and not triggering his "euthanasia" plan until they reached an agreement, Zeke changes his mind and presumably gives up on Eren. When Eren succeeds in stopping Ymir Fritz (the source of the Founder's powers) from putting the plan into effect, Zeke becomes visibly distressed when Eren asks her to aid him in "ending the world."
- Yelena - Zeke saved Yelena's life during the Marley Mid-East War, after which she started to idolize and see him as a god, following his commands without question. As one of Zeke's closest followers, it is presumed that Zeke holds great respect and admiration for Yelena. He trusted her enough to reveal his euthanization plan to her, which she believed would save the world. And after Zeke was defeated and betrayed by Eren, Yelena continues to believe that Zeke's euthanization plan was the only way to do it.
- Levi Ackerman - As the Beast Titan and superior to Annie, Reiner, and Bertolt, Zeke serves as one of Levi's greatest enemies. In turn, Levi's status as humanity's strongest soldier made him a priority target for Zeke. During the battle of Shiganshina, Levi blinded and severely wounded Zeke. In vengeance, he told the remaining Titans to kill Levi. While trying to save Bertolt shortly afterwards, Zeke was shocked to see Levi had survived and followed him, forcing him into a tactical retreat. Four years later, when Zeke returned to Marley and reported the events, he admitted that he never wanted to meet Levi or any Ackerman again. After Levi helps lead a surprise attack on Marley, Zeke does not hesitate to order Levi to be killed. After four years, it is presumed that Zeke's hatred for Levi has mellowed to some degree as they both helped coordinate the attack on Liberio and acted civil to each other during the escape. Despite this, Zeke and Levi still share a mutual dislike for each other and do not hesitate to insult each other with Levi threatening to kill him on multiple occasions. Their animosity returns after Zeke triggers many Survey Corps soldiers to transform into Titans and tries to escape in order to rendezvous with Eren.
- Hange Zoë - Zeke seemed to have a cordial relationship with Hange Zoë as they were seen conversing with each other as the Survey Corps were leaving from Liberio. He initially did not see Hange as an enemy and helped coordinate the Liberio raid with them and Levi; however, after aligning with his brother and his group of rebels, it is presumed that Zeke saw Hange as an enemy once more.
- Colt Grice - As the candidate set to inherit the Beast Titan from Zeke, the two shared a close camaraderie. Colt greatly admired Zeke's high status and influence in the Marley military as well as his unique ability to create and control Titans. The two had a mentor and protégé relationship with Colt standing by his side in important meetings and even playing catch together. Their relationship, however, did not stop Zeke from activating his scream to transform all the affected Eldians, including Falco, although he admitted it was a pity and had a somber look in his eyes.
- Tom Ksaver (as a Pure Titan)
- Marlowe Freudenberg
- Erwin Smith
- Colt Grice
- Cavalry and Infantry unit of unnamed nation
- At least 49 unnamed Survey Corps members
- Mid-East Union naval fleet
- Several Marleyan airships
- Mike Zacharias
- Nile Dok
- Dot Pixis
- Porco Galliard
- Ragako's inhabitants
- Numerous counts of unnamed Mid-East Allied Forces soldiers
- Numerous counts of inhabitants of an unnamed nation's capital
- Numerous counts of Marleyan soldiers
- Numerous counts of Yeagerists
- 28 unnamed Survey Corps members
- Zeke ranked twentieth in the Third Character Popularity Poll.
- Zeke's first appearance was in a sketch by Hajime Isayama given to the Ueno Park Royal Museum, before his first manga appearance in Chapter 70.
- Zeke's name is the shortened form of "Ezekiel," which is Hebrew in origin meaning "God will strengthen." In Biblical literature, Ezekiel was a prophet among the Hebrews exiled to Babylon who prophesied the destruction of Jerusalem and Israel's restoration.
- Zeke's Titan appearance resembles a number of cryptids, such as the Sasquatch/Bigfoot, Yeti, and Yowie.
- In the final notes of Chapter 70, Zeke is described as "the most powerful Titan." However, this is contradictory with his stats revealed in Attack on Titan Guidebook where he got a 7 (of 10) in "power", being surpassed by the Armored Titan with 8 and the Colossus Titan with 11.
- Zeke is a fan of baseball, referring to his boulder tosses as "pitches" with the hopes of achieving a "perfect game" in the battle of Shiganshina. This stems back to Zeke's time spent playing catch with Tom Ksaver.
- Zeke seems to be a person who suffers from cat's tongue (猫舌 Nekojita?) which means that he cannot stand hot or spicy food.
- He shares the same birthday with Reiner Braun.
- In Chapter 86, a young Zeke is seen playing with a long-armed monkey toy, foreshadowing his Beast Titan form in his later life. This toy is identical to one previously possessed by Ksaver's son.
- Zeke and Historia Reiss are the only living people who have royal blood.