It has always been a big trouble for me to understand the mental illness of Reiner. But after these chapters, I am capable of understanding him much better now.
A very broken mother raised him and filled him with her own dream, that if Reiner can become a Warrior, then they’ll live with his father who is hoping for a way to unite with them. And the first burden Reiner started to carry on his shoulders became his mother, and Marley made this weight even heavier for a child to carry, like using children to win a war against another country. But he believes in everything Marley and his mother says, despite everything was all lies. He believed that if he’ll get to choose as a Warrior and punish those evils on that island, he’ll finally have a happy family.
And when the first lie he believed in this much shattered down, we saw him having his first mental breakdown as well.
His father doesn’t want him and her mother. He is not praying for meeting them whatsoever. He thinks they are devils he needs to run away. It is all lies.
He hasn’t even realized a whole time passing, the next time Reiner regains his consciousness, they are about to set off the mainland.
But he still has lies to hold on, that he was chosen by Marley to inherit the Armored Titan, that he’ll be a hero and get rid of those devils on Paradis. But… He finds out that this also is nothing but a lie.
And then he has another breakdown after that realization.
And next time he regains his consciousness again, everything is about to change for him. Once again, we see Marcel getting eaten by Ymir. Once again, Reiner is having a shit day.
And then he starts to run to only lie he has left to believe, that he’ll be the hero to save the world once he punishes those devils on that island.
And once again, a lie he believed in crushes him there.
RBA snick in to the walls they have come to break down and join Military there.
And there, Reiner realizes that these people are not the devils. They are not in fault. It is his fault that they are in pain. On that day, Reiner realizes that the devils living on that island is actually more human than many, even himself. They are not planning to take down Marley, they don’t even understand what is going on. They are innocent. And the final piece of mental health Reiner flies away at that moment.
And Reiner creates a new lie for himself. That he is a loyal soldier and his cause is to protect the Walls and humanity.
I love how Ymir is right after all these time, Chapter 46.
Before these chapters, many of us, including me, thought that Reiner’s soldier personality is based on heroic big brother Marcel. Yes, it was true that Marcel was a big brother but the heroic one was Reiner there. If Marcel and Ymir have something in common, it is that they are both the characters fandom maybe put a little bit too much hope for. Both of them ended up being much simple than we thought they are.
Soldier Reiner was based on Reiner’s lies. Behind the walls, life was so peaceful for child Reiner who never had a chance to have his own dreams and his own interests. So he forgets why he is there, why he is there, and the burden of everything he carried from mainland to Paradis. Forgetting them must have been so peaceful for Reiner.
And the realization must hurt even more.
Chapter title for 95 can’t fit any better for him. And it fits even more, specially after seeing how he keeps lying.
From left to right; Reiner telling Bertl that he is not reliable in Chapter 77, Reiner telling the days he spent at Paradis in Chapter 94, Reiner interrupting Porco and protecting him from accidentally treason in Chapter 95, Reiner telling Falco that he needs to surpass Gabi in Chapter 93.
As he was growing up, he was telling himself the lies he believed in. After years, now he is telling people the lies he doesn’t believe anymore.