Was Zeke Targeted by Tom Ksaver to Inherit the Beast Titan?

Was Zeke Yeager targeted to inherit the Beast Titan the same way Grisha Yeager was to inherit the Attack Titan from Eren Kruger?

This is an Attack on Titan theory that contains mild – moderate manga spoilers (from ch. 121 onward).

So for a few years now, there has been this persisting theory: The Owl and The Beast Titan Tom Xaver were working together the whole time. 

Maybe they were both Eldian Restorationists, but differing ideals made them go about their mission alternatively. Or maybe, it was always supposed to be this way. 

Obviously in the manga, things are left more up to the reader’s interpretation.  

Small hints here or there, possibly leading to the formation of something bigger. 

While watching Episode 15 of the anime however, I noticed something.  

I’m sure others did that are familiar with the theory, but as I went to bed and woke up thinking about it – I decided to write a post about this topic. 

As with Grisha, Zeke Yeager was also targeted by an adult as a child. 

Grisha decides to go beyond the walls of Liberio as a child after hearing his teacher talk about the dirigible. He brings his younger sister Faye along, and what happens next results in her death. 

Had Kruger not asked Grisha to stay with him and watch the blimp, Faye most likely would not have been killed. Or on the flip side, both Grisha and Faye would have been killed that day – preventing the births of his future sons Zeke and Eren. 

When confronted with their daughter’s death, the Yeager parents play it off and remain docile against the Marleyan guards. 

The whole time, Kruger is watching the hatred swell inside young Grisha. 

Kruger watches young Grisha and the hatred in his eyes for Marley that "could burn the world to ashes". Attack on Titan Season 3, Episode 20
Kruger watches young Grisha and the hatred in his eyes for Marley that “could burn the world to ashes”. Attack on Titan Season 3, Episode 20

When he was old enough and had already chosen a path in life, another appeared – Enter Falco’s uncle Grice.  

Grice attends the clinic Grisha works at, tells him the truth about his sister Faye, and brings his hatred of Marley back to the surface. 

Faye Yeager’s death that day at the hands of Marley was necessary to get Grisha on board with the events that were yet to come, and fulfil the prerequisites necessary to inherit the Attack titan.  

In other words, Faye’s death was the catalyst for Grisha Yeager to inherit the Attack Titan

Then, The Owl introduces Dina Fritz – the only one possessing royal Eldian blood on the continent to the Restorationists – and the rest of the prerequisites are filled. 

Grisha even mentions in Episode 57 that he “let fate lead his life” and went along with wherever it took him.  

Grisha Yeager allowed The Owl and fate to steer his life. Attack on Titan Season 3, Episode 20
Grisha Yeager allowed The Owl and fate to steer his life. Attack on Titan Season 3, Episode 20

From their union a year later, Zeke Yeager was born. 

But…Zeke didn’t live up to the ideals of the Eldian Restorationists. He was not the son his father wanted (although Grisha still loved Zeke dearly).  

Because Zeke was mistreated at home, and in the army…he was caught by the eye of Tom Ksaver. 

We even have a scene of Magath talking to Xaver on a horse where Xaver clearly takes note of Zeke and even learns his name. Then one day while he was on his way home moping from another long miserable day, Xaver drops his baseball and offers to play catch with him. 

Since nobody else was in the boy’s life, of course it would make sense that Zeke gravitated toward him. 

So while The Owl is off busy influencing Grisha and Dina, their young impressionable son Zeke is being influenced by The Beast Titan Ksaver. 

I also find irony in the fact that Zeke is playing with a Beast Titan toy by the time the Marleyean Warrior youth program is announced, and that Xaver’s son had a stuffed toy Ram.  

A stuffed ram toy to the right of Xaver, a wagon with Eren, Zeke, and Ymir with a knife to the left? Attack on Titan Season 4, Episode 15
A stuffed ram toy to the right of Xaver, a wagon with Eren, Zeke, and Ymir with a knife to the left? Attack on Titan Season 4, Episode 15

If you are caught up with the manga, you will know that the ram is the form Xaver’s Beast Titan took. 

Tom Ksaver's Beast Titan form is revealed in Shingeki no Kyojin manga ch 137.
Tom Ksaver’s Beast Titan form is revealed in Shingeki no Kyojin manga Ch 137.

Who do you think gave these children those specific toys? Someone in the Eldian Restorationists, or by way of PATHs did they just happen to receive them?  

(Also I am aware that in the manga Ksaver’s toy is a beast, but was changed for the anime adaptation in light of recent plot developments in ch 138). 

Now here’s where all PATHs converge… 

Zeke is on cleaning duty for being a terrible child soldier and overhears some higher ups in the Marleyan military just openly talking about The Eldian Restorationists. Why they had the door cracked is beyond me, but as we have been shown before – the Marleyans aren’t too bright.  

Zeke warns his family and when they do not listen, he confides in the only adult who has been kind to him – Tom Xaver. 

A dirigible flies overhead as Xaver tells Zeke to turn his parents in, and attests that they never loved him. 

(It’s almost the same as “that day”.)

A dirigible flies overhead Zeke and Xaver in Marley as Xaver tries to get the young boy to accuse his parents on 'that day'. Attack on Titan Season 4, Episode 15
A dirigible flies overhead Zeke and Xaver in Marley as Xaver tries to get the young boy to accuse his parents on ‘that day’. Attack on Titan Season 4, Episode 15

Zeke turns them in, and essentially falls into the care of his grandfather and Xaver – both of whom share the same ideals. 

His father Grisha is taken to the wall, where The Owl finally explains everything and specifically mentions that his goal was to “restore morale” to the Eldian Restorationists.  

A morale that ended with Grisha and Dina becoming the leaders, and from their union birthing a child with royal blood – Zeke

While on the wall, Grisha remarks that he has essentially destroyed the Restorationists, and Kruger tells him that he will see his mission through.

Why? Because Kruger has already seen it. 

Here now we can take a look at the reverse uno – 12D Chess game masterpiece that was Shingeki no Kyojin chapter 121. 

In that chapter, we finally learn what Eren saw when he touched Historia’s hand during the retake of Shiganshina award ceremony/honorary military funeral:  

The conversation between Grisha Yeager, and the Reiss Family.  

With one important added detail: Eren saw his older self in his father’s memories – which catapulted him into going to Marley, launching a raid on Liberio, and becoming the person he is now. 

In the memory, and while Eren and Zeke are traveling their father’s memories in PATHs, Grisha lets the cat out of the bag that the Attack Titan has the ability to see the future.  

Grisha and the 145th Fritz King argue for a bit, until Grisha mentions that he already knows he will murder them all there (with the exception of the father Rod Reiss. – He was needed in order for Eren to get the hardening serum  to retake Shiganshina to reach the basement, and for Historia to become her own person and break away from her father’s grip to become queen).  

Grisha chickens out midway, and Eren has to step in and influence Grisha to carry out the act of obliterating the royal family members that would not be useful for Eren’s future plans. 

Jumping back to Chapter 88 of the SnK manga with Grisha and Kruger on the walls, Kruger mentions that he never told the Restorationists about the ‘Curse of Ymir’. He continues that if he had, Grisha and Dina never would have let Zeke train to potentially inherit a (Beast) Titan. 

Eren Kruger reveals his true goal to Grisha Yeager while on the outer walled port of Paradis Island. Attack on Titan manga Chapter 88
Eren Kruger reveals his true goal to Grisha Yeager while on the outer walled port of Paradis Island. Attack on Titan manga Chapter 88

In other words, Kruger manipulated Grisha for unknown reasons to fulfill his “mission” of getting him to the point where he would inherit the Attack Titan.  

Kruger was shown memories of the future and targeted Grisha as a child. And allowed his sister to get eaten by dogs based on the memories Eren sent backward and showed him to influence the desired outcome.  

Interestingly, Kruger gives his own thoughts and basically calls Grisha an idiot for not listening to his father and sequentially getting his wife (and almost son) shipped off to Pardis.  

Kruger then tells Grisha to stand, and shows him a photo he brought from his house of his family. 

Meaning, this was all premeditated. 

Kruger already knew to bring the photo from Grisha’s house and to be on that specific boat when the Eldian Restorationists were being shipped to Paradis.  

Hopping back to Chapter 121, Eren egged on Grisha from PATHs to write the “humanity has not perished” messaged on the back of the photograph. 

In addition, this allows future Eren to see a picture of Zeke, and to experience the revelation of how he used the Coordinate power for the first time by coming into contact with Dina Fritz.  

This in turn influences Season 3  Eren to realize what would happen to Historia had he shared this memory with the military corps, further putting young Eren onto the PATH older Eren wanted. 

Continuing on, Grisha then locks the portrait and his life story in three volumes within the confined basement study for future Eren to find with the key in view of older PATHs Eren.  

(basically, under Future Eren’s direction to do so) 

Before leaving to complete his mission of retaking the Founder from the Reiss family (the same mission introduced to him by Kruger via the influence of The Owl), Grisha lets young Eren know in Chapter 1 he will show him the “secret he’s been hiding” in the basement when he gets back – in full view of older Eren glaring at, and coercing him from PATHs.  

(Eren also calls The King of the Walls a coward in the first manga chapter, as well.) 

This plants the seed in Eren’s mind that if he just gets to the basement, all will be revealed. Which in turn allows him to enter the Survey Corps, join Squad Levi, help Historia in the Reiss family church, get the titan hardening serum necessary to clear Shiganshina District of titans, etc, etc.) 

Jumping back to Chapter 88, Eren Kruger tells Grisha that their “brothers and sisters sought freedom, and paid the price for it”. And that those actions will follow them both until they die, even if they die, and after their deaths.  

A compilation of Eren telling Grisha to keep moving forward in Shingeki no Kyojin chapters 01, 88, and 121, respectively.
A compilation of Eren telling Grisha to keep moving forward in Shingeki no Kyojin Chapters 01, 88, and 121, respectively.

In Chapter 121, young Eren echoes these words to Grisha, as a reminder or sort of trigger to Grisha that this was the day he had to retake the Founder from the Reiss family. 

(Grisha also steals the one vial of titan serum to give to Eren during his Reiss Family mission.) 

So essentially, Eren tells Grisha twice the same words to trigger him to remember his mission, and why this all started. 

Grisha embraces the final mission The Owl leaves him with. Shingeki no Kyojin Chapter 88
Grisha embraces the final mission The Owl leaves him with. Shingeki no Kyojin Chapter 88

Kruger finally gets through to Grisha, and as the sun sets on one Attack Titan, another one is born.  

Before turning him, Kruger tells him that each of the nine titans have different names.  

Eren tells Grisha that he will be inheriting the Attack Titan. Shingeki no Kyojin manga Chapter 88
Eren tells Grisha that he will be inheriting the Attack Titan. Shingeki no Kyojin manga Chapter 88

And that “in every era, the (Attack Titan) has always moved forward, seeking freedom.” 

Eren tells Reiner that he keeps moving forward before the attack on Liberio in Shingeki no Kyojin manga chapter 100
Eren tells Reiner that he keeps moving forward before the attack on Liberio in Shingeki no Kyojin manga Chapter 100

In Chapter 121, Grisha reveals to the 145th Fritz King that throughout the ages, the Attack Titan never obeyed others. And that Grisha realized it was all for this day, to oppose the self-righteousness of the king who has sent his people to slaughter.  

The Attack Titan inheritors have memories of the future, and in Chapter 88 Eren tells Armin while in jail that there are “PATHs invisible to the eyes…At times, those PATHs even carried memories or the will to act.” 

Eren establishes to Armin how memories and 'the will to act' can be sent through PATHs. Eren then thanks Zeke for making it possible for him to send both to their father through PATHs. Shingeki no Kyojin Chapters 88 and 121, respectively
Eren establishes to Armin how memories and ‘the will to act’ can be sent through PATHs. Eren then thanks Zeke for making it possible for him to send both to their father through PATHs. Shingeki no Kyojin Chapters 88 and 121, respectively

“And that all of those paths cross at a single coordinate. In other words, that is the founding titan”. 

In Chapter 121 Grisha is then influenced by Eren – the coordinate – in the past.  

Eren uses the power of the coordinate to command his father to murder the Reiss family. 

Eren uses the power of the Founder and Coordinate to make Grisha Yeager murder the Reiss family. Attack on Titan manga chapters 88 & 121
Eren uses the power of the Founder and Coordinate to make Grisha Yeager murder the Reiss family. Attack on Titan manga Chapters 88 & 121

Finally, in Chapter 88 Eren tells both himself, and Grisha to have a family inside the walls. 

This ensures that: 1. Eren is born to inherit the Attack and Founding titan 

And 

2. Eren is reminded to have a family of his own to eventually break the titan cycle. 

Since Mikasa family-zones Eren in Marley, Eren chooses Historia to have a child with…who may possibly inherit the Beast Titan at birth. 

Although given the events of Chapter 138, maybe it was best Eren chose a different PATH… 

As for how Zeke and Mr. Xaver tie into this plot, well…who on earth told his wife that he was an Eldian? 

Xaver said he told no one of his secret. 

Unless…a young Owl in the Eldian Resotrationist let his suspicion slip to an unwitting young woman with a child shopping for groceries one day. Which propelled Xaver to come home and see his family was dead…leading him to “commit suicide in the most glorious way possible” and end up inheriting the beast titan. 

After all, a child with royal blood and a child with the founding titan – two brothers working together as one to change the world…is a once in a lifetime opportunity, right? 

Yelena declares to Pixis that she wants to watch two brothers remake the world. Shingeki no Kyojin manga Chapter 110
Yelena declares to Pixis that she wants to watch two brothers remake the world. Shingeki no Kyojin manga Chapter 110

So, did Xaver influence Zeke to wish for the euthanasia of all Eldians? 

Was The Owl Eren Kruger sent  knowledge or memories that The Rumbling would eventually happen? 

Or on the flip side…was Xaver the doctor that falsified Eren Kruger’s bloodwork in order for him to infiltrate the Marleyan military?  

And instead of Kruger, it was actually Ksaver who brought The Owl into the Eldian Restorationists? 

I was just wrapping this article up and ready to edit when I was searching for a certain photo I had in mind to use and came across this post on Reddit. 

Is there a possible connection between Tom Ksaver (Beast Titan) and Eren Kruger (The Owl) in the Shingeki no Kyojin manga?
Is there a possible connection between Tom Ksaver (Beast Titan) and Eren Kruger (The Owl) in the Shingeki no Kyojin manga?

(I unfortunately don’t have the original credit of who edited the image above.)

The OP makes the connection to falsified Eldian bloodwork, and I remember Kruger telling Grisha that doctors make good spies.  

In that same vein, scientists could, as well. 

(Does this make Grisha becoming a doctor another perquisite for inheriting the Attack Titan from The Owl?) 

You should read that reddit theory if you have time. They also added in a few really good connections concerning Mr. Leonhart and Annie.  

He’s always been kind of shady to me, so I’d like to actually believe he had a bigger purpose than just adopting an Eldian baby who turned into a crystal for 4+ years.  

Haha ☺. 

Anyway, I think I’m going to wrap it up here.  

"Armin? Mikasa? Who are they" "Hmm who knows? Whose memories are those?" - Eren Kruger wonders whose memories he was seeing. Attack on Titan manga chapter 89
“Armin? Mikasa? Who are they” “Hmm who knows? Whose memories are those?” – Eren Kruger wonders whose memories he was seeing. Attack on Titan manga Chapter 89

Be sure to leave your thoughts, comments, and AoT theories down below! Also follow us for more weekly Attack on Titan the Final Season reviews!  

We are also creating AOT-inspired merchandise for fellow fans, drop by our Redbubble store if you have a chance – you get cool gear, and it helps support the blog!   

Recommended: (spoilers) Hallucigenia – the Primordial Spinal Creature from Attack on Titan – Anime Anthology 

Another AoT Theory: How Will Attack on Titan End? 

Recent Shingeki no Kyojin manga review: ch 138 

☆ In Asian Spaces  

Twitter Patreon Pinterest BlogLovin 

Extra

More parallels between Zeke Yeager and Grisha Yeager being targeted by both Xaver and The Owl on ‘that day’.

Young Grisha Yeager and the owl sit in a field watching a dirigible on 'that day'. Attack on Titan Season 3, Episode 20
Young Grisha Yeager and the owl sit in a field watching a dirigible on ‘that day’. Attack on Titan Season 3, Episode 20
Young Zeke Yeager and Xaver the Beast Titan sit behind a building as Xaver convinces the boy to turn in his parents to the authorities. A dirigible flies overhead. Attack on Titan Season 4, Episode 15
Young Zeke Yeager and Xaver the Beast Titan sit behind a building as Xaver convinces the boy to turn in his parents to the authorities. A dirigible flies overhead. Attack on Titan Season 4, Episode 15

Also in the photo concerning Ksaver and Zeke, there is a shadow of an alarm present as Xaver becomes closer to convincing Zeke to turn his parents in.

I thought it was a really nice touch. Like Zeke is about to “sound the alarm” on the Eldian Restorationists.

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 “Was Zeke Targeted by Tom Ksaver to Inherit the Beast Titan?”

  1. Neat. I thought Kruger speech on Grisha to love someone was based on the fact Xavier betrayals him for his love of Zeke. Hence why Kruger said to not repeat pass mistake, history to Grisha. Btw how long do you think next chapter will be I don’t think it’s possible for a satisfying ending that answer big questions in 40 pages.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s one way of interpeting it, yes ☺

      Probably only the regular 40 lol. I’m really hoping it ties in most of what questions are still lingering, or has a twist that gives us all that “aha” moment.

      (I don’t want to get my hopes up too high, though.)

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s