Attack on Titan tells the story of humanity living in fear of the Titans -- a race of mindless, human-eating giants who hunt and eat humans for no clear reason. The manga, which was created by Hajime Isayama, has been a huge commercial and critical success, inspiring an anime television series adaptation, a live-action film, and video game.
The series is full of compelling mysteries that keep fans guessing: where did these Titans come from? Why do they hunt down humans? How did the Titan shifters come about? With 22 volumes of the manga and two seasons of the anime released, we have learned a lot about the history of the world and the Titans. Yet, it seems that each answer just adds ten more questions.
Fans have taken it upon themselves to create theories that fill in the remaining gaps in knowledge. Some of their ideas are wacky and out there, but many could easily be true.
Here are the 15 Craziest Attack On Titan Fan Theories That Change Everything.
Warning: spoilers ahead if you are not caught up on the manga.
15 A Titan's Body Is Made Of Yeast
A unique type of yeast is produced behind Wall Sina that is used to preserve food by slowing down the decomposition process. The preservation capabilities of yeast could be what allows Titans to preserve the age of their pilot if their bodies are comprised of it.
Furthermore, yeast produces a great amount of gas and heat -- this would explain why the Titans release gas and extreme heat when they are killed. Yeast also expands the volume of an object when it expands, not its mass. Hangi once kicked a severed Titan's head and was surprised at how light it was.
Finally, UV rays increase yeast production; this could be the reason Titans are more productive during the day.
14 Titans Eat Humans Because They Want To Be Human
One of the biggest mysteries of the series is why the Titans feel compelled to eat humans in the first place. It is established that they do not need humans as a food source, since they end up gagging up the remains later.
They also do not appear to go after animals. They could just be hardwired to destroy humanity. However, even if that were the case, that does not explain why they consume human bodies instead of simply destroying them.
One plausible explanation comes from the revelation that, if a mindless titan eats a titan shifter, they will become human. Redditors have theorized that perhaps Titans know this subconsciously and this is what drives them to eat every human they see -- in the hopes that one of them will end up being a shifter.
13 The 9 Titans Each Have A Purpose
After Ymir Fritz died, her soul was split into the Nine Titans: the Founding, Attack, Colossus, Armored, Female, Beast, Jaw, Cart, and the War Hammer Titan. Unlike the common mindless Titan, these are intelligent and controlled by the humans in possession of the body.
Some fans believe that each of these Nine Titans may represent a particular personality trait or purpose. To gain control of a Titan, a human must share that same purpose or trait to trigger its power.
For example, Eren Yeager is currently in possession of the Attack Titan and he believes that it fights for freedom. It is also possible that the Titans represent the nine noble virtues based on Norse paganism -- as Norse mythology has been an influence in the series. These virtues are courage, truth, honor, fidelity, discipline, hospitality, self-reliance, industriousness, and perseverance.
12 Titans Were Created As A Weapon Of Mass Destruction
We still do not know how and why the Titans were first created. Marley's official story is that Ymir made a pact with the Earth Devil to gain the power of the Titans. However, the Eldia Restorations believed that this was propaganda to make their ancestors look bad and, rather, Ymir had discovered the "source of all organic material" and used the power to build the world's infrastructure.
One thing is for sure: the Titans make great weapons. The Eldians used the Nine Titans to conquer and rule Marley after Ymir's death, with the Founding Titan keeping the order among them. Once the 145th Fritz King abandoned the conflict, Marley was able to steal seven of the Titans to wage war with Eldia during the Great Titan War. What if this was the original purpose of the Titans all along?
Perhaps this is why they are programmed with an instinct to destroy humans and nothing else. One interpretation is that Ymir's deal with the devil was figurative rather than literal. Meaning, maybe the Earth Devil was actually a human who was a scientist or military leader of some kind and together they created the ultimate weapon of mass destruction.
11 The Story Is An Allegory For WW2
Many have wondered if all of the destruction and violence in the series is intended to hold a mirror to the real world. Militarism, corruption, and self-sacrifice are big themes in the series.
These topics are often associated with the Japanese Imperial Army during World War II. Furthermore, most of the characters have Germanic names. One fan speculates that the series portrays the Japanese soldiers during the last part of the war when they were in retreat, and that the Titans represent the Americans.
They draw a parallel between the opening theme and the alleged words of Commander in Chief Yamamoto Isoroku -- "I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve."
They also note that Mikasa is the name of the flagship of the Japanese fleet in the Battle of Tsushima of 1905, where the Japanese faced off against a stronger Russian fleet. Another fan noticed that some aspects of Attack on Titan resemble the manga Barefoot Gen, which is set in Hiroshima after the atomic bomb drops. This fan wonders if the Titans are meant to symbolize victims of the atomic bomb.
10 Paths Theory
The series has mentioned "paths" that connect all Eldians and transcend space. Some fans think that these paths also transcend time and allow Titan shifters to share memories from the past and the future; that when someone gains control of a Titan shifter, they can gain access to the shared memories.
In the first chapter "To You, 2000 Years From Now", there is a scene in the chapter where Mikasa is waking Eren Krueger up from a nap. At this time, they are still young and living in the Shiganshina District.
In his dream, he sees Mikasa with short hair -- like she has later in the series in the Survey Corps -- saying "see you later." When he awakens, Mikasa has long hair. He mentions that he had a very long dream, but cannot remember what it was about. Eren also mentions Mikasa and Armin in the past, before they exist.
9 The Ackermans Cannot Kill Titan Shifters
Levi and Mikasa Ackerman are the fiercest warriors of their respective generations. They have perfect control of their bodies and never exhibit fear or self-doubt in battle. However, they have both failed at one task in particular -- killing Titan shifters.
When Mikasa attacks Bertolt and Reiner, she is unable to kill them when she has the chance. Similarly, Levi is unable to kill Reiner in a later chapter. Both express extreme frustration with their failure and are not sure what happened.
One possibility is that the Ackermans physically cannot kill any Titan shifters due to their background as protectors of the king and the royal family, who held the power of the Founding Titan. Each Ackerman has exhibited a strong trait for protecting their leaders. Perhaps it is so strong that they are actually programmed with a fail safe so that they cannot betray their leader.
8 Marley and Eldia represent China and Japan
The nations of Marley and Eldia are mortal enemies. There is speculation that the two are meant to represent the long and complicated history between Japan and China.
In ancient times, Marley was a powerful nation until Eldians gained the power of the Titans. According to the Marleyans, Eldia used the Titans to destroy their nation and gain complete control over the mainland.
The Eldians supposedly considered all other races inferior and committed atrocities such as genocide and ethnic cleansing. The conflict between the nations ceased when the 145th king retreated to Paradis and constructed the walls.
The king wiped the memories of the humans living behind the walls, which may mirror Japan's attempt to downplay the actions of Imperial Japan. The people of Marley still hold a strong grudge towards Eldians for the crimes of their ancestors against their people, similar to the anti-Japanese sentiment in China.
7 The Story is about Ragnarok
There are several references to Norse mythology in the series, leading some fans to believe that the hellish world is actually Ragnarok -- the Norse end of the world. The clearest reference to Norse mythology is the name Ymir Fritz, the first of all the Titans.
In mythology, Ymir is the ancestor of all the frost giants. The gods Odin, Vili, and Vé created the universe from Ymir's body -- his flesh became the earth, his blood the ocean, his skull the heavens, and his eyelashes were used to keep the giants at the edges of the Earth. There are possible parallels between the series and Norse mythology.
The Ackermans -- fierce soldiers who serve their leaders -- could represent Odin's soldiers the Berserkers. Annie could represent the wolf Fenrir, who is chained by the gods; it is prophesized that on Ragnarok, Fenrir would break free and join the battle of the giants against the gods, though Annie is currently trapped in a crystallized state.
Furthermore, Ragnarok is a cyclical process of life and death. If this world is Ragnarok, it could explain all of the references to the future and repeated mistakes.
6 The Ackerman Family Is The 9th Titan
All we know about the ninth Titan shifter is that it is called the War Hammer Titan and is believed to be in the control of the Tybur family. Its abilities are unknown and it has not been seen for a century.
It is believed that the Ackerman family is so powerful because they are a product of Titan science, making them genetically modified humans with Titan-like power. For example, Mikasa has exhibited extraordinary healing abilities-- Titans have regenerative abilities that allow them to heal quickly.
Each Ackerman can unlock their power during an awakening of some sort, which for Mikasa was sparked when her parents were killed. What if the ninth Titan is not one person, but its power is held by several people? Maybe the ninth Titan was sacrificed and used in the experiment that created the Ackerman family and thus, the power is split amongst the family.
5 A Vegan Tirade Against Meat Eaters
One of the most absurd theories out there hypothesizes that the series is a metaphor for the mistreated of animals by humans. In this case, the humans represent animals and the Titans are meat-eating humans.
Many vegans and vegetarians argue that humans do not need to eat meat to survive and they simply do so for the pleasure of the taste; Titans do not need to eat humans to survive either.
The humans are trapped within the walls and doomed to become food for the Titans -- the entrapment could parallel animals being trapped within the walls of a farm. The lyrics of the anime's first opening theme song make several references to prey and hunters.
The first line states "are we the food/prey? No, we are the hunters." The song also mentions: "have peace as livestock."
4 Eren Kreuger Is Eren Yeager
One of the many other time-travel related theories is that Eren Krueger and Eren Yeager are actually one and the same. We know that they are connected somehow since they have both possessed the Attack Titan and Krueger references Armin and Mikasa when he is talking to Grisha, though he claims not to know who they are.
Possible explanations are that Eren is a time traveler that went to the past to give his father vital information about Titans. Krueger warns him not to make the same mistakes. Maybe this is Eren telling his father that something went horribly wrong in the future and he is trying to correct it.
Another possibility is that Eren Yeager is a reincarnated Krueger. Some fans think that the Eren Yeager bears a striking resemblance to Krueger when he was younger.
3 One Titan Shifter Will Eat All The Others
As the series is drawing closer to its close, fans are wondering how the story is going to end. One possible ending is that one of the Titan shifters will gain the power of all the others and use it to end the conflict between humanity.
Marley and Eldia will never stop fighting for the power of the Titans, so the only solution would be to take them out of the equation. Killing the Titan shifters does not work since the power simply transfers to another human.
However, if one Titan shifter eats all of the others and then uses the crystallizing ability of the Female Titan to seal themselves away, the cycle would end. Since Eren currently has the power of the coordinate, he would be the most logical choice. Sadly for this theory to be true, it would mean that Eren would have to kill Armin.
2 Armin Is The Narrator
Whoever narrates the series seems to be speaking about the past and often uses the word "we," making it highly possible that the story is being told by a surviving member of the Survey Corps after the events of the story have taken place.
If the story is being retold by someone in the future then that begs the question: who is the narrator? The answer could lie in the casting for the anime. In the original Japanese cast, Marina Inoue plays both Armin and the off-screen narrator.
In the English dub, both roles are voiced by Josh Grelle. What if this was done purposefully by the creators? There is possible proof in Ova 3 of the anime. Armin is reporting an incident with a gang of thieves to their instructor Keith Sadies. When Sadies asks Armin a question, the narrator states: "I couldn't answer it."
1 Time Loop Theory
Any fan who has looked up theories online will sooner or later run into the time loop theory. This one brings together all of the speculation about time travel and theorizes that the entire universe is actually stuck in a time loop.
One idea is that humans have somehow gained the means to restart the universe or continuously send someone back to the past. Krueger's reference to repeating the same mistakes is also used as evidence for this theory.
Perhaps humanity keeps losing their fight to the Titans by making the same fatal error over and over, and are desperately trying to fix it. In Eren's dream at the beginning of the series, Mikasa from the future says "see you later, Eren." Maybe this occurred right before the time loop restarted and, in the future, the characters are aware that time is cyclical.
What do you think? Are there any other Attack on Titan fan theories that interest you? Tell us about them in the comment section!