The person on the left in this panel is someone we know, and he’s
spying on Reiner:
strange that the only person who is drawn detailed on this panel is
that unknown person. It would have been much easier to not draw
anyone there, and on top of that the person has dark hair which is
also harder to draw, and the hair of this stranger is drawn in great
detail. So maybe the Wall Eldians sent spies to the Marleyan
continent as well, in the last 3 years.
Chapter 93 gave us the confirmation that Ymir has in fact been eaten by Galliard, Marcel’s brother, seemingly marking the ending point of her character once and for all. Given the context of the new episode, as well as the little focus or pages dedicated to her apparent last moments, many of us are very upset with the seemingly lackluster climax of her character arc; and her decision to abandon Historia to save RB and let herself be killed seems to go very much against everything her characterization according to many fans.
The point of this post isn’t to argue about any of that, but instead, to illuminate a possible indicator that we may have not seen the last of everyone’s favorite goddess.
Please let us think back to chapter 50; one of the most impactfull and monumental chapters in the entire series, for many reasons. It marks the only time so far in the story that Eren has successfully manipulated the founding titan within him, the godlike power at the center of the current (and probably final) plot, aimed at his very first enemy; that alone marks a milestone in the series, not to speak of the various character interactions happening along the way. Among others, this chapter also marks the moment Ymir chooses to abandon Historia, the person she seems to care for more than anyone else, despite the fact that the coordinate marks a real hope for the walled world to survive the dangers Ymir is aware of.
Now, despite the fact that this game changing power debuts in this chapter, the narrator this time around focuses on one arguably lesser important event: the aforementioned separation. Let’s look at it.
“At the time, we didn’t know what Ymir’s actions meant. But after that, the armored titan stopped chasing after us”-narrator, chapter 50.
This narration is interesting for various reasons. First of all, it marks one of the rare occasions in which the narrator is not impersonal, but in fact identifies with present characters. Other notable occasions of this include Kenny’s flashback in 69, and Eren’s description of the photograph in chapter 85 (both chapters with heavy plot and thematic value for the story, just like ch 50, if I may add). Here, the narrator refers to himself as part of a group, but opposes themselves against the armored titan, implying narrator is not part of RB’s team, but in fact of the Survey Corps escaping back to the walls (most likely part of the EMA, maybe even Armin himself considering Marina Inoue typically voices the narrator. We should hear that animated soon enough).
That’s not the only thing the narrator is implying though. The use of the past tense as well as “at the time” is crucial. It literally means that, although they did not understand Ymir during chapter 50; at the time of narration, some form of understanding is clearly present. If, at the time of narration, the narrator was still as clueless as back then, there would be no need for “at the time” of past tense, but this particular formulation very much implies that an understanding of Ymir’s actions is very much there in the present time. And here’s the thing: even though Ymir’s death has been confirmed, our characters among which the narrator finds himself have yet to reach a point of understanding Ymir’s actions.
First of, let’s determine “Ymir’s actions”. Ymir herself is a big mystery to our cast, but according to the narrator, Ymir’s actions are what directly precedes the armored titan not following narrator and co; in which case, “Ymir’s actions” has to refer to her abandonment of Historia and her helping out R and B. In that case, the narration above implies the following: the narrator part of the surviving SC forces will eventually come to understand the meaning behind Ymir’s betrayal. Now, as of chapter 93, let’s ask the question: Does anyone present back then understand Ymir?
Ymir herself expresses surprise at her actions, Ymir herself is unsure of her actions when writing the letter, which marks the most recent time anyone inside the walls has received information concerning Ymir. As of chapter 90, the last moment we spent with whomever the ch 50 narrator is, said narrator has yet to reach a point of understanding Ymir. OUR CAST STILL DOES NOT KNOW THE MEANING OF HER ACTIONS, AS FORETOLD BY CHAPTER 50. Isn’t that basically a confirmation that Ymir’s story isn’t done yet?
You may counterargue that its been 4 years and that Isa has changed his mind since, esp since he doesn’t want to drag the story out at anymore. But I find it so hard to believe that, in one of the most important chapters in the series, one that is still relevant to this day, the narrator focuses on this one plot point that simply ends up dropped over the course of the series. Chapter 50 is too important for that kind of redesign, wouldn’t you say? Who knows, maybe it’ll wind up different in the anime and will mark a retrofit by Isayama that fits better in line with 89 being the end of her story, but until we see it animated, I’ll chose to keep doubting that.
As for how Ymir’s story can still be told to our main cast? Here’s one possible option: Galliard
According to the (admittedly bad) fan translation, Galliard understands Ymir and her wish to bring back her titan-something neither us readers nor the narrator in question do as of right now. Granted, this could just be terrible translation, but Galliard could wind up being the gateway between Ymir and the main cast. Or its something entirely different. In a story about time travelling memories, matter that forms out of thin air, and the literal power of a god capable of reshaping the planet and controlling an entire species, death seems like a far too small barrier to stop someone from being relevant to the story, one way or another.
Since the majority of this argument is based off the lines spoken by the narrator in 50, there is a minor chance this is all ridiculous blunder if the official translation turns out to somehow differ from the Japanese original, and if anyone knows if it does, I would appreciate if you could inform me. But otherwise, I personally will start taking those words from chapter 50 as heavy evidence Ymir’s story hasn’t fully been told yet. I don’t want to create false hopes for anyone, but until proven otherwise, I don’t think it’s too unreasonable to believe in it.
SMELL OF BRIMSTONE,
BONFIRES BURNING BRIGHT,
HAIL HAIL WALPURGIS NIGHT.
WITCHES DANCING, PALE MOON RISES,
BE PREPARED FOR MORE SUPRISES. BREAKNECK BROOMSTICK FLIGHT ALL THROUGH
THIS AIN’T NO SUPERSTITION, NO SCIENCE FICTION, THAT’S THE REAL THING BABY, AIN’T NO FRICTION.
TWISTED MIND, WICKED BRAIN,
WALPURGIS DANCE DRIVIN’ YA INSANE.
UNTIL TOMORROW, BUT THIS IS JUST ANOTHER DAY, BEWARE OLD NICK’S DANCING WALPURGIS NIGHT AWAY…
(TO THE FOLKS WHO’LL HAVE FUN TONIGHT, EVERYBODY ELSE SHOULD BETTER STAY HOME IN BED…)
In the panel in chap 93 where Reiner is walking away with the soon to be warriors, who is the girl to the far left with a eldian arm band?
Are you talking about this girl? I don’t know, to be honest. Probably some random Eldian, nothing more.
About where Gabi and the kids want to drag Reiner.
Gabi asks him to take a walk with them in the town, but it is dangerous for Eldians and that is because well… They are Eldians. Whole world hates them so it is dangerous for kids walking around with no protection, even if they are soldier kids. So it was not like Gabi asked Reiner to take them to a strip club or a bar, she just said let’s take a walk in the town all together.
I don't get why shippers are calling out Isayama for killing ymir
Sure she’s dead and that sucks. She was an awesome character. It shows that anyone can die at anytime no matter who they are. Also the fact she chose to die going against her friends doesn’t fit but we might find out why in later chapters. Her death scene may even be shown at some point.
Back to shippers anyway. People kicking off because their ship is dead… look at Marco x Jean. You’ll be fine. Again this shows that this manga doesn’t give a shit about your feelings.
Mom, I just wanna thank you for that one post about Ymir's death. I knew there was something making me uncomfortable about it but I didn't really know what, and your post summed that pretty well. I have to say I'm mad, tbh. Like, I don't think killing Ymir was just like the "dead lesbian" plot some stories (and some games~) use because Ymir's death wasn't simply related to her relationship w/ Historia and there was more to their stories as separeted characters, but I'm frustrated, cause I feel +
+ like it was simply illogical and useless to her character. I knew any of them could die at any moment because, well, we’re talking about SnK, but I’m sad that it happened this way. I started watching SnK when I was discovering myself as a lesbian, and Yumikuri was that one ship who helped me see myself as normal, because their relationship and their character arcs wasn’t only about them being girls who romantically liked each other, but people with their own issues trying to overcome those +
+ issues. So I guess that makes me extra sad, but at least I know that Ymir’s death doesn’t make them not canon anymore. This was mostly venting so I’m sorry omg (also you can publish this if you want, it’s ok)
I want to repeat something from a conversation I had with my friend @bossard right as the serum bowl was beginning. She tossed it off as a quick aside but it summed up everything I was feeling.
Something authors need to be aware of when they kill characters is that somewhere is someone for whom that character is deeply important. They see themselves there, the character helps them through their struggles, and is a touchstone of strength. It’s not just ‘I love this character’ but ‘this character is part of me’.
That was Erwin for me. It sounds like Ymir is that person for you. And my heart breaks for you. I want to make my blanket fort bigger and invite you in!
If my experience losing a beloved character is anything to go by, it’s going to hurt for a long time. He’s been out of the story for 8 months and I’m still not over it. But it’s like you said, a character’s death doesn’t make them matter less. It doesn’t make their relationships any less important. Or any less canon.
We also have a wonderful fandom who will step in to help ease the hurt. I haven’t checked ao3, but I’m sure the talented yumikuri writers are firing up their reincarnation aus. If you find one that brings you comfort, please share it with me.