Eren Won. Zeke and Armin Save the Day – Shingeki no Kyojin Chapter 137 Review

This is a review of the Shingeki no Kyojin monthly manga, Chapter 137: Titans.

Check out my review of SnK Chapter 136 here. 

So I should have done this earlier, but better late than never, right? 

It’s funny, last night I held off on writing this after reading the chapter because it was almost midnight. Now, it’s just past 12:30 am as I sit and type this. My reasoning yesterday to not start this was because it was late. I have no clue what my excuse would be now. 

Anywho…this review is going to be short and sweet. 

Why? 

Because our boy Eren won. 

Or well, my boy Eren won. I know everyone feels differently about the events transpiring in the manga. If I happen to be wrong, I’ll gladly admit defeat on this one. But I can’t get over how much of a troll this would be on Isayama’s part if he really did end the series like this. 

We have 2 chapters left.  

I know that whole “he wanted the Guardians of the Galaxy ending” argument is going on, but there was also an interview that surfaced where Isayama talks about wanting to “hurt the reader”. So, take either option with a grain of salt – but here’s where I stand on this. 

This was the first time I actually took notes reading a chapter (mainly because I didn’t want to waste my time scrolling back and forth this late in the game – don’t know if that’s mean to say) so I’m literally going to post my notes as subtopics and provide the supporting evidence for my arguments. 

(There was also some more stuff with the S2 Op and ED that could be analyzed – but maybe another time. It’s 3:04 am and my editing self is tired. Haha ☺) 

Eren’s Founder Titan Formation 

So, I did catch this before, as did many others. When Eren first forms in chapter 122, it’s from feet first.  

The War Hammer Titan chapter 101 and Eren's Founding chapter 124 - Shingeki no Kyojin manga
The War Hammer Titan chapter 101 and Eren’s Founding chapter 124 – Shingeki no Kyojin manga

The same as the War Hammer Titan in chapter 101

In chapter 124 you can get a better angle on how exactly it’s forming. 

Then, in chapter 134 Eren creates missile-like projectiles to shoot down the Marleyan airships from dropping bombs on the colossal titan army.  

Eren uses the War Hammer titan power to create projectiles and titans to fight Marley for him. Shingeki no Kyojin manga chapter 134
Eren uses the War Hammer titan power to create projectiles and titans to fight Marley for him. Shingeki no Kyojin manga chapter 134

With the (presumed) help of Ymir, Eren also forms a beast titan and other ancient, primordial titans to fight for him. 

From this alone, it would be safe to theorize and presume that Eren is not inside of the founding titan, and might even still be on Paradis Island awaiting the birth of his child with Historia. I know a lot of people still think Historia slept with a random Farmer, but I am not in that camp.  

Lara Tybur had a cord for her War Hammer Titan that went under the theatre stage. Maybe Eren’s cord is being obscured by the sea. The gigantic titan head is most likely just a fake out for Helos Squad to see and target.  Maybe they can’t even tell that it’s not real – as Reiner couldn’t initially tell the beast titan was fake and immediately dove at it in chapter 134. 

Historia, Eren, and Founder Memory Manipulation 

In chapter 130 Eren has simultaneous flashbacks of interconnected conversations with both Historia and Zeke.  

Eren's conversation about memory manipulation with Historia. Shingeki no Kyojin chapter 130
Eren’s conversation about memory manipulation with Historia. Shingeki no Kyojin chapter 130

Zeke and Eren seem to be talking about love, and Mikasa – while Eren thinks about Historia and the conversation about a baby. Then we see Eren have a flashback to wanting a child to grow up in a peaceful world while thinking of Ramzi, and Sasha’s death by Gabi.  

He then is shown in the trenches cutting off his leg and gouging his eye out. 

The way I interpret this scene is Eren being fully resolved to carry out the mission in Liberio – to strike first and save Paradis Island and in turn, his unborn child.  

If you’ll remember, Historia had her memories wiped for years by her older sister Frieda. She only received flashes of those erased memories back with the help of her father I believe in the season 3 anime.  

(I can’t remember the manga chapter) 

Historia would be opposed to having her memories wiped due to that experience, and that could be one possible reason that she looks so depressed each time we see her. Eren could have also manipulated the Farmer’s memories as a cover, and Historia is disgusted with playing along. 

But that tangent aside, memory manipulation was present in this current chapter. 

Armin and Zeke see two different things in PATHs. Shingeki no Kyojin chapter 137
Armin and Zeke see two different things in PATHs. Shingeki no Kyojin chapter 137

Armin was sitting in the PATHS realm with Zeke just casually building sandcastles and bonding over their mutual self-loathing. Armin then finds a leaf of all things, and it reminds him of a memory he had of himself, Mikasa, and Eren running towards a big tree. 

Seemingly, the same tree Eren fell asleep under at the start of the series. 

In the interview I linked above, Isayama mentions something about characters like Armin and Eren being necessary to the story. Like opposing factors, or ‘foils’ to one another.  

Armin then goes on to mention how he believes he was born just to run up that hill at that moment.  

In Season 3, Eren Kruger told Grisha Yeager that if he wanted to “save Mikasa and Armin”, he needed to love someone in the walls. To get close to someone, otherwise it would all repeat. 

He then makes the point to mention that someone else could be seeing those memories, as well. 

Eren talks to Grisha through Kruger's memories. Attack on Titan Season 3 Episode 21
Eren talks to Grisha through Kruger’s memories. Attack on Titan Season 3 Episode 21

Grisha obviously has no clue who those people are, and Kruger wonders whose memories he’s seeing. 

Linked with the current events of the story, and the revelation in chapter 121 that the Attack Titan can see the future – I am going to theorize and propose that those were indeed Eren’s memories.  

"The successor of the Attack Titan" does not "obey" anybody. Eren passing his will down? Shingeki no Kyojin manga chapter 121
“The successor of the Attack Titan” does not “obey” anybody. Eren passing his will down? Shingeki no Kyojin manga chapter 121

And that in order to stop the cycle of hatred against Paradis (and Eldians everywhere) he himself needed to start a family, and love someone inside the walls.  

The Attack Titan can see the future. Shingeki no Kyojin manga chapter 121
The Attack Titan can see the future. Shingeki no Kyojin manga chapter 121

This had to be done to save his friends, and his family. 

"...It's clear to me. He's a true monster. And not because of his titan abilities. No matter how you try to hold him down...No matter what cage you lock him up in...Forcing his mind into submission is an impossible task." Attack on Titan Season 1, Episode 19
“…It’s clear to me. He’s a true monster. And not because of his titan abilities. No matter how you try to hold him down…No matter what cage you lock him up in…Forcing his mind into submission is an impossible task.” Attack on Titan Season 1, Episode 19

This also puts the conversation with Zeke and Eren’s thoughts on both Historia and Mikasa into better perspective. Remember this scene from chapter 123

Mikasa has her moment with Eren and...she blew it. Shingeki no Kyojin manga chapter 123
Mikasa has her moment with Eren and…she blew it. Shingeki no Kyojin manga chapter 123

Eren asked Mikasa what he was to her, and she got flustered and completely blew it. 

Some time after that he’s having a brotherly chat with Zeke, and while Zeke attests that Mikasa loves Eren, Eren has kind of already made his decision… 

Zeke and Armin Will Save the World 

Zeke, Armin, and baseball. Shingeki no Kyojin manga chapter 137
Zeke, Armin and baseball. Shingeki no Kyojin manga chapter 137

During their little sandy chat, Zeke wonders if the catharsis of dying provides one with freedom. Slowly, he decides that he would like to be reborn one day. Continuing on from earlier, when Armin finds the leaf and holds it up to Zeke, he sees a baseball – which symbolizes his will and promise with Xaver. 

In chapter 120, Zeke tosses a baseball to Eren and tells him something along the lines of “…we must save everyone (of Eldians)” to which Eren purposefully drops the ball. Blaming his stint in the hospital for his lack of strength. 

Eren drops the ball. Attack on Titan manga chapter 120
Eren drops the ball. Attack on Titan manga chapter 120

I also really love the 2 panels afterward, because the look of betrayal on Zeke’s face is hilarious to me. It completely mirrors what happened in PATHS when they went through Grisha’s memories.  

Surprised Pikachu face Zeke Yeager. Attack on Titan manga chapter 120.
Surprised Pikachu face Zeke Yeager. Attack on Titan manga chapter 120

Also, the panels theory could apply here – Eren is to the Right and Zeke is to the Left. 

To me personally, Eren quite literally dropping the ball on Zeke’s proposed plans, hopes, and dreams was not only foreshadowing, but a reinforcement of Eren’s will.  

That he will not play with, or gamble the lives of the Paradis people. 

Armin on the other hand, passes the baseball back to Zeke – which causes him to ‘hallucinate’ his former mentor, father, and Eren Kruger along with a few others into PATHS.  

I say hallucinate, because we were shown chapters earlier that the shifters were under the control of Ymir.   

As with the rumbling and death of Ramzi, Ymir is here at this scene too, silently observing. And as with the scene with Ramzi, it is unclear if only Armin can see her, or if Zeke can but is just too busy to notice. 

In chapter 122 when Eren grabs Ymir and wakes her up from her trance, Ymir’s eyes go from hallowed out to bright again. In chapter 133 – “controlled Eren and Ymir” have eyes that are similarly blacked out – which causes Armin and the rest of the Scooby gang to question just how “free” he really is.  

Eren Yeager frees the Founder Ymir from her 2,000 years of suffering. Shingeki no Kyojin manga chapter 122
Eren Yeager frees the Founder Ymir from her 2000 years of suffering. Shingeki no Kyojin manga chapter 122

As a sort of mockery that riles them up to fight at the same time – causing our current chain of events. 

Bertholdt with hollow eyes as Ymir watches on. Shingeki no Kyojin manga chapter 137
Bertholdt with hollow eyes as Ymir watches on. Shingeki no Kyojin manga chapter 137

Look at Bertholdt’s eyes here – does he look like he is currently of his free volition? Especially when he was crying (again) while looking at Armin chapters earlier before he attacked them all on the Founder’s spine. 

If anything, I’d say this was a memory manipulation in order for these two characters to get closure

Armin and Zeke get closure. Shingeki no Kyojin manga chapter 137
Armin and Zeke get closure. Shingeki no Kyojin manga chapter 137

Zeke’s willingness to die and then escape PATHS to immediately be cut down by Levi means that his Beast Titan was never passed on. 

And that…an unsuspecting Eldian baby being born at this moment could inherit his titan powers. 

Hmm…I wonder what character we know that just went into labor as the rumbling started? 

Historia Reiss goes into labor during the Rumbling. Shingeki no Kyojin Chapter 134
Historia Reiss goes into labor during the Rumbling. Shingeki no Kyojin Chapter 134

What character has continually been linked with the beast titan being forced on her against her free will? 

Ah yes, Historia Reiss. Current Eldian Queen of Paradis. Of Royal Blood. 

This is perhaps where the AnR ending theory would come in, in a perfect world. 

Perhaps it still could. 

Either way, I’ve rambled on long enough.  

Long story short – is Eren Yeager dead? No. Absolutely not. 

Eren lives on, and so does his will. 

"I'll destroy the entire world...I am Free" - Eren Yeager, Attack on Titan Season 1 Episode 25
“I’ll destroy the entire world…I am Free” – Eren Yeager, Attack on Titan Season 1 Episode 25

As Eren prophesized, Armin would save the world. As Grisha declared, Zeke would save them all

They both fulfilled the promises placed on them, just not in the way anyone expected. 

Did Zeke actually die at the end of this chapter? Will Historia’s baby inherit the beast titan? 

How do you think Armin being the narrator of the Attack on Titan story fits into this theory? 

Grisha tells Zeke that things will no longer go as he wishes. Shingeki no Kyojin manga chapter 121
Grisha tells Zeke that things will no longer go as he wishes. Shingeki no Kyojin manga chapter 121

Leave your thoughts in the comment section below, I’d love to hear from you! Also be sure to follow us for weekly Attack on Titan the Final Season anime episode reviews! 

Recommended: How Will Attack on Titan End? 

☆ In Asian Spaces  

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Author: In Asian Spaces

I write in my personal time and I haven't published much at all. I don't know if that qualifies me as a writer or not, but I'd like to change that. I have a deep passion for travel, cinema and (mainly) East Asian things, but I plan on writing various things to keep it spicy. Let's prosper together ~ よろしくおねがいします。

2 thoughts on “Eren Won. Zeke and Armin Save the Day – Shingeki no Kyojin Chapter 137 Review”

  1. Eren being in Paradis Island the entire time and not in the Founding Titan is an interesting theory but I think it’s unlikely since that would mean the Warhammer’s cord is thousands of kilometers long, going through ocean and other environments. Its too much of a stretch (no pun intended).

    Liked by 1 person

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