Thoughts & Predictions: Chap 91
Ahh this chapter. I can’t even lie, after reading it all the way through; I absolutely love it. There is SO much to build off of here and so many directions Isayama could take this in but, knowing how this story is and seeing the subtle (not really) drops of foreshadowing in this chapter has me super excited. This makes for an interesting read because I’m 90% sure these fresh-faced kiddos are in for a very rude awakening when they see the reality of the world they live in.
DISCLAIMER: This is my personal opinion. In no way am I stating what I say here is canon or completely accurate. if you disagree with my opinion, that’s perfectly fine! Everyone has a different point of view, but if you are going to send me messages trying to argue point of views with me or send me hate messages, do me a favor and please just don’t even bother.
“HOW DO YOU DESTROY A MONSTER WITHOUT BECOMING ONE?”
This is one of my favorite questions asked in the series because it perfectly sums up a lot of the picture Isayama is trying to portray in this universe. Where do you draw the line between someone who still retains a glimmer of humanity, and a monster?
- Man-eating titans who were once human.
- Human’s who can shift into man-eating titans.
- Human’s who sacrifice their morals for the sake of victory.
- Humans who sacrifice their morals for the sake of power.
- Humans who sacrifice humans all to achieve a goal.
Where in all of this does humanity as a whole fall? Now that we see the state of the world outside of the walls, I cannot help but to think back to this conversation between Eren and Pixis here from chapter 12:
Eren, our “jump-the-gun” protag, calls out all of humanity right there. He see’s a bigger picture and graps it. Not to its full extent just yet but, he’s close.
So, what now? It’s been four years since this scene. The titans have been exterminated, the secret of the walls has been revealed, and so has their true enemy; other humans. So, what will they do? Will they kill everyone who gets in their way or will they finally unite? And if they do… How will that happen?
Keep in mind that I am not just referring to the walled Eldians here. I’m talking about the ones across the sea as well.
Will the Eldian people as a whole unite together to take down Marley and finally gain true freedom? Or will they kill each other because they stand at opposite ends of the same goal?
I think there are TWO reasons Isayama jumped over to this group on the mainland so suddenly. Reason number one being to reveal this big guy right here:
FINALLY WE SEE THE NINTH TITAN! The Jaws Titan. I have no idea what he can do but, I am still super excited that we FINALLY know what he looks like. Let’s all be real, he looks badass. Plus, his role is bound to be an important one.
I believe the second reason Isayama hopped over to the mainland was to make us see the struggle of the Eldian people across the sea just so we would ask ourselves this question:
Who actually is the “true enemy”?
Is it Marley because of how they treat the Eldian people? Is it the rest of the world for waging war against Marley? Is it the mainland Eldian people who fight for Marley? Is it the Eldians of Paradis Island who fight against them and are called demons?
Truthfully, I don’t think there is a correct answer here even though I’m sure we can all agree that the Marlian government is now the biggest issue. Still though, the lack of balance in this situation makes it all the more difficult to decide which side is right and which one is wrong.
On one hand, we see Eren and his group questioning whether or not killing other people will actually free them. We’ve seen Eren struggle to kill Annie which in turn gave her an out. We see Eren keep an important truth to himself in order to protect Historia’s life. We see Armin struggle with accepting that he shot and killed someone. We see Jean struggle time and time again with killing throughtout the entire series. We see Jean, Sasha, and Connie cry when they think they’ve killed Reiner. But at the same time, we also see what happened to the people of Stohess. We see the lives Erwin sacrificed. The people Levi has tortured or killed. We see what happened with Bertoldt. Killing one to save another and so on. We have SEEN the struggle of those in the walls and how hard it has been to retain even a semblance of humanity in their hearts.
Then we see these new kids in the middle of a body strung battlefield discussing who’s going to win the opportunity to eat one of their own people and become a warrior. We see them calm and collected on the front lines. We see kids who are more than willing to take human life and who see no qualms in death. These are kids who are outright cannon fodder and they are, for the most part, completely chill about it. These are kids who have obviously also struggled but, in an entirely different way. To them, humans are evil if they are different. They haven’t lived through the struggle of Titans roaming their lands. They have NO IDEA what their distant people have suffered, and they have been brainwashed to believe that people who share the same blood as them deserve that fate.
They believe they are the better Eldians. That they are the good ones.
The only remaining people left in this story who could tie such vastly different thinking poeple together and give them a common ground to stand on are Zeke, Reiner, and Annie.
I don’t see it being Zeke tbh but, I truly believe that ONE of the original titan trio will need to survive in order to make this happen and to also tell their full story, and I (personally) think that person will end up being Annie. It is really hard for me to see Reiner making it back to Paradis Island for a number of reasons. The main one being that the Marlian government is already trying to basically Hunger Games his power off. Annie though, she is already on the island. Still in her crystal and most likely still alive. Hence why she is being guarded underground. Those in the walls still believe her to be a threat and if she is still alive, being in the crystal probably prolonged her life with the titan ability.
She sympathized with those in the walls. She did not want to carry out the mission in full and that was made very clear quite a few chapters ago. If there is one person from the mainland who can shine light on the entire situation for both ends of the Eldian people as a whole; it will most likely be her.
However, I am not ruling Reiner out juuuuuuuuust yet. He does have respect for some of those in the walls and if there is one person who can help him get back to the Island in order to escape the Marlian government. It’s Zeke.
Not only does Zeke have his own reason to escape since they are also trying to tranfer his power to someone else; but he also has a reason to return to the island beyond saving his own life.
Saving Eren’s (or so he believes).
I doubt highly that Zeke would leave Reiner to be eaten considering he’d probably need Reiner’s help in escaping. Not to mention that Zeke has already saved Reiner once before.
What would have been the point of this scene right here if Isayama just planned to have the both of them easily killed off?
Let me go ahead and throw this out there. I DO NOT SEE ZEKE DYING ANYTIME SOON. Not just because of the unfinished plot points shown above but, also because of this extremely important and unfinished plot point too:
There is no way Isayama will just leave this as unfinished business, which brings me back to the kiddos in the trench in chapter 91.
It’s obvious that the Marley government cannot continue to opporate as it does. It’s also obvious that these kids have seen war and have faced cruelty. But, they don’t know what it’s like to face titans. They probably have no idea what it means to be a warrior because If they did, I doubt they’d be so eagery hashing it out in the middle of a battlefield to gain said abilites. Cutting your life down to 13 years all for the sake of commiting mass genocide for a government that hates you and your people regardless of which land you stand on.
I’m sure that at this point, Reiner, who has lived on both sides, has asked himself what exactly he fought for and has wondered which side was right. Especially when I look back and wonder if the Marlian government ever informed their warriors that they’d only have 13 years left to live after gaining their power. Was it worth it to Reiner? To fight and kill just to be fed off to someone else once he became too weak?
Was Bertoldt’s death really so cruel when he would have had to face the exact same fate at the hand of the government he faught and killed for once he returned to the home he so desperately missed?
This doesn’t look like the face of a man who would say “yes”…
Ignorant, hopeful kids that are fighting to become monster’s in order to gain freedom stand on one side of the sea, and newly grown adults that are struggling to remain hopeful and that are fighting to retain their humanity in order to gain freedom stand on the other side.
So where do you find some middleground?
The only three that remain and can stand in the middle are Zeke, Reiner, and Annie (maybe Armin if he has Bertl’s memories). Humans that can turn into man-eating titans that have seen what it is like on both ends of the spectrum. Beings that are both human’s and monsters. Reiner and Annie have lived it while Zeke is still ignorant to life in the walls. However, I do no see Zeke dying as I stated before.
So, will one of the Marlian warriors help bring human’s of the same origin together to change the world they live in? Will they come together against the common enemy of the Marley government? Or will they be doomed and continue to repeat history and fight and kill each other due to ignorance and misplaced hate?
I have no idea but, I am hopeful for the Eldian people as a whole. They all want to be free from the prisons that hold them. Whether it be the districts on the mainland, or the Walls on the island. They all just want to fly and the only way they’ll truly be able to achieve that is if they all unite.
How do you destroy a monster without becoming one?
By keeping your heart and mind open, even in the wages of war. If you want to fly like a bird, you have to be willing to see beyond the cage that holds you and share the sky with others who only wish to spread their wings just like you.