Warning: This article contains spoilers about season 2 up to and including the season finale.
The second season of Attack on Titan has been agonizing. And because it starts in medias res, it is arguably more intense than season one. Recapping the final episode, “Scream”, leaves us with a lot of feels (I highly suspect the episode title was a warning about how we’d feel by the end), and even more speculation. A few highlights include:
– This one really got me. Hannes death is significant not only because he is eaten by the same titan who ate Eren’s mother, but also because he died actually fighting that titan. When this titan first appeared last season, Hannes couldn’t bring himself to attack it because he was scared. In this episode, Hannes is fearless and with defend and protect Eren and Mikasa if it’s the last thing he does. And sadly, it is. Hannes has incredible character growth this season, and it’s a shame that this is where that growth ends.
-Christa reveals that her real name is Historia Reiss, an illegitimate child of a nobleman. Ymir is the only person who is aware of this before it is revealed, and we see her flashback to years before when she heard a discussion about killing Historia. Instead, Historia was assigned a new name and identity, which led to her enlisting as a Cadet. This means that she has noble connections, giving her potential power in the future.
-Ymir’s choice to leave Historia and join Reiner and Bertholdt instead.
– Throughout the entire series, Ymir has presented herself as a selfish and ill-natured character—only Historia seems to think otherwise, and in this season we see why. Ymir has always valued Historia’s safety and well-being above everything else, yet it has gone unnoticed until this episode. While she had previously insisted on Historia staying with her for protection, Ymir suddenly decides that Historia will be safer inside the walls with the Scouts. She’s never believed herself to be a good person, but there’s no denying that she has a heart of gold after this episode.
– Her decision to hang with Reiner (the Armored Titan) and Bertholdt (the Colossal Titan) also supports that. She knows something about their village, and she seems to know how much trouble they’ll be in if they come back empty-handed. Feeling that she is the only person who can understand what Reiner and Bertholdt are going through indicates that she in, in fact, capable of feeling compassion and empathy—a far cry from season 1 when she tries to stop Historia helping Sasha after her punishment. Ymir seems to be setting us up to see a greater character arc in which she is revealed to have a greater knowledge of the outside world and it’s functions in the bigger picture of the show.
-Connie’s info session with Commander Erwin
– Connie coming in to talk to Commander Erwin about his discovery in his home village comes as no surprise. But Levi’s reaction to finding out that the titans are actually all humans is unexpected. The normally stone cold character gets as close to emotional as I think we will ever see him, and it nearly broke me to see it. On the flip side, Erwin starts smiling after Connie leaves. Smiling. All her can focus on is that they now have more information about the titans which can help them further understand how to stop all this madness. His reaction is more what I expected, but it’s creepy nonetheless.
-Eren’s new powers revealed
– I kept questioning why Reiner and Bertholdt were so hell-bent on taking Eren to their hometown, but after his new power (“the Coordinate”) was revealed I understood. Calling titans into a battle has been done by the Female and Armored titan before, but Eren’s new power takes it a step further by not only summoning titans but also controlling them, all without screaming. The real kicker? He doesn’t have to be in his titan form to get the job done. He seems to have the upper hand against the other titan shifters now, which completely switches the power dynamic between them.
-The man on top of the beast titan at the end of the episode.
-The episode ends with a zoom on a mysterious man sitting upon the Beast Titan’s shoulder while overlooking one of the walls. Who is he? Where is he from? And how is he connected to the Beast Titan? This final scene leaves us with more questions than answers, a perfect cliff hanger leading into the next season.
What do these things mean?
-There’s strong potential for chaos within the walls due to food shortage. Because there’s never enough drama within the walls.
-Eren has become even more valuable and his new power could change the Scouts’ approach to fighting the titans. Combined with the new knowledge Erwin, Levi, and Hange have, this could be a serious turn around for mankind.
-There is an entire population outside the walls with more knowledge about the titans, which means that more answers are out there. Commander Erwin’s thirst for truth will most likely lead to another mission outside the walls soon (after what’s left of his arm heals up of course).
Long story short: we are in for a roller coaster ride of a third season, which has been announced to air in 2018!
Make sure to come back soon for updates on the next season and news about the fandom!