Spoiler Alert: This article contains significant spoilers for the Attack on Titan anime / manga.
In Season 4, Part 1 of Attack on Titan, Eren Jaeger tells Mikasa Ackerman that he has always hated her. Her cruel statement brings the typically stoic Mikasa to tears. Mikasa has dealt with man-eating titans, the deaths of friends and comrades, and the traumatic murder of her parents. So why is this moment the one that finally breaks her?
It’s blatantly obvious to any fan of the show that Mikasa has had a crush on Eren since they were kids. Ever since Eren wrapped his red scarf around Mikasa, his heart belonged to him. But given Eren’s cruel and rather confusing statement in Part 1, is there any hope that this potential couple will make it through to the end in Season 4, Part 2?
Source: Wit Studio SPOILERS AHEAD: Eren lies to protect Mikasa.
Mikasa and Eren get over their losing streak? Something like. In the same scene, Eren throws another emotional punch for good measure. Eren informs Mikasa that the only reason she feels compelled to constantly protect him is because of his genetics. According to Eren, the Ackerman clan has a genetic trait that forces them to protect whoever harbors the Founding Titan, no matter what.
But this Ackerman “bond” Eren spoke of turns out to be a lie, proving that Mikasa’s desire to protect him is genuinely based on her love for him. Why did Eren lie to him so cruelly? Our Attack on Titan protagonist basically tries to push away everyone he cares about in order to carry out his master plan successfully.
Source: Wit Studio Why does Eren have to lie to make sure his plan works?
Attack on Titan’s biggest reveal is the fact that there is humanity beyond the walls of Paradis, the island where Eren and his friends live. The people of Paradis, known as Eldians, were brainwashed into thinking that they were the last humans left and the only ones who could face the terrifying Titans. But it turns out that every other country in the world hates Eldians because they can all turn into Titans.
Eren’s plan is to become the villain to create the narrative that the Eldians saved the world, ultimately freeing his people from the centuries of hatred they have endured. To accomplish this feat, Eren realizes that he has to activate Rumble to free the dormant Titans on the walls of Paradis and release them onto the world. Eren agrees that he must become an assassin so that his friends and Mikasa can finally live in peace.
Source: Wit Studio So how does Eren really feel about Mikasa?
Eren loves Mikasa, but he doesn’t tell her this, of course. Instead, we see Armin Arlert reunite with Eren in a memory one last time before the final battle. Eren tells Armin what his plan was all along and explains that once they finish talking, he will erase Armin’s memory of their meeting. However, before he has a chance to erase his memory, Eren has an emotional outburst that shows his love for Mikasa.
Eren jealously says that he doesn’t want Mikasa to be with any other man, or even think of any other man other than him for the rest of her life. Although Mikasa shares his feelings, Eren believes that he must sacrifice any notion of being able to be with her, and asks Armin not to tell Mikasa how he really feels.
In the latest case of sad irony, Mikasa ends up being the one who kills Eren to stop the Rumor once and for all. When she finally realizes what Eren did to save the world, she kisses him after his death. It’s a heartbreaking moment to watch, but one that fans won’t want to miss out on. Be sure to stream new episodes of Attack on Titan Season 4, Part 2 starting Sunday, January 9 on Crunchyroll.