Basement: Whole, Covet, Pine, Crickets Throw their Voice, Earl Grey, Oversized, Halo, Aquasun // Turnover: Bella Donna, the entirety of Peripheral Vision (Dizzy On the Comedown, Cutting My Fingers Off, New Scream, everything wow) // Modern Baseball: Just Another Face, Your Graduation, Apartment, @chl03k. Welcome to the glorious part of the pop punk scene that is these bands
All these chapters and Grisha Jaeger is still about as much of a mystery as the coveted basement. More info has been revealed about him now, but what precious info we were given only raises more questions. It’s enough to keep my head spinning with ideas, at least enough to occupy myself for the time being because why not.
When chapter 71 debuted, there was finally confirmation that Grisha was from beyond the walls. So hooray for that…but we don’t know where from explicitly, because even if Keith Shadis did probe for further questions, he was only met with a simple explanation of “I don’t remember.” I can’t tell if Grisha actually suffered from some amnesia, or if he just was dodging questions. Either way, more food for thought.
The only known factions beyond the wall are Ymir and her people who may be long gone by now, and of course the warrior village. For a long while I assumed Grisha had some connection to Ymir, because titan resemblance (elf ears on titans is really something else), though not explicitly blood related. I didn’t think he was in touch with the warriors given how he would seem to be against them committing mass murder and putting the life of his family at risk.
As always, Isayama throws in another curve ball. A long time ago, the SnK wall exhibitions revealed a drawing of who would be later known as RBA’s boss, War Chief Zeke AKA the Beast titan/Ape titan/Monkey Trouble. Zeke, in his human form, was canonically revealed in chapter 70. The chapter immediately preceding the one where we get some extra backstory info on Grisha from Keith. Interesting.
Once chapter 70 was released, my immediate thought concerned just how much Zeke and Grisha looked alike. Not to mention more titan-form similarities. Luckily some smart people were on this and wrote out this theory which nicely wrapped some details together, ultimately forming the theory that these two could be closely related.
…Although I’m personally more on board with the two being brothers. Maybe even half-brothers. Great news, Eren, you’ve got an uncle you’re destined to meet soon! Another character who has an uncle that isn’t exactly aligned with our protagonists. Guess he and Levi can bond over that if it’s true.
I’m gonna assume that their relation is true in some form for the sake of this theory. Because I have other ideas to bounce of off that one.
One of those ideas is that Grisha actually originated from the warrior village. The jury is out on whether he defected from the village and fled to the walls, or if he was sent there on a mission from God.
Regardless, I think Grisha approached the walled society with peaceful intentions. A pacifist who would only resort to extreme measures when the time called for it. He was trained as a medical doctor, so his skills were surely needed regardless of where he came from. Losing him would mean the loss of a valuable resource.
Maybe the warrior village wasn’t always known for its warriors. This lovely post on chapter 81 by ghostmartyr suggests something I hadn’t thought of before: if the village has always had the advantage in terms of military forces (or at least for a good long while), then maybe they spent the majority of their time using less progressive, less genocidal ways to achieve their goals. Until sometime over 5 years ago. She suggested a change in leadership happened, which could point to Zeke taking command as War Chief.
I’m gonna roll off of that piece of speculation, because I’m at a bit of a loss regarding all the motivations of the village. Why didn’t they make such a brutal attack earlier? What was stopping them? What changed, exactly?
So maybe a previous attempt included Grisha being sent to the walls. Or if not a direct order, something he imposed on himself. To try something different. To become a well respected doctor who the people would trust. He could work his way up, say, in hopes of one day successfully negotiating with the Reiss family and whoever possessed the Coordinate?
Come to think of it, the guidebook info regarding Grisha shows one of his highest stats is…trust of the locals. A solid 10/10. Shame the walls being breached sort of ruined any long-term plans. He wound up pleading with Frieda for…something. Probably help to stop the titan invasion. But King Reiss prevented her from cooperating and things got a little out of hand.
Imagine Zeke assumed Grisha was long dead by the time the attack was initiated. Which then killed his wife. And led to Grisha forcing his son to kill him to gain the titan’s power. Oh the irony.
I like to think that Grisha and Zeke were close, or at least cared for each other enough, but didn’t always see eye to eye on handling foreign affairs. Grisha was gone for about 15 years, and no sign of returning. This just looked like another failed attempt at making progress. Maybe he was believed to have been killed by the walled people. Nothing like your enemy killing your beloved family member to help fuel your vendetta – hey. Maybe his relation to Eren isn’t so far-fetched, right?
Whatever tactics used before had little effect, so he and Grisha had diverged on new ways to go about this. One opted for a peaceful way that would preserve lives, and the other to go all out with violence and disregard any innocents – no more half-measures. When Grisha’s plan failed, from Zeke’s perspective, it was time for something more radical to end this cursed history. People who can’t throw something important away can never hope to change anything.
Yin-yang siblings is a popular trope, isn’t it? They even got that light vs dark hair motif going for them.