Check out our theory on why Jean joined the Survey Corps here.
Did Eren Have Good Intentions for Starting the Rumbling?
That seems to be the million-dollar question nowadays in any Attack on Titan fan discourse. What were Eren’s true intentions for starting the rumbling that resulted in the deaths of millions of people worldwide?
Well, I’m here to give my take on why Eren failed to complete the rumbling, and why with the introduction of multiple timelines in the series, Eren absolutely achieves is goal of rumbling the world, and saves Paradis Island from outside forces like Marley in the anime.
How do I know this? Well, the new Final Season Part 2 opening sequence heavily hits at Eren Yeager achieving freedom by completing a 100% rumbling, and killing his friends in the process.
Although in the manga timeline Eren desired to save his friends and allow them to live long and happy lives – in the anime ending (or even the proposed movie) I thoroughly believe Eren will free Paradis through genocide to outside world, and have a child – thus fulfilling Eren Kruger’s memory request to “have a family” and “love somebody inside the walls” in Shingeki no Kyojin manga chapter 88/89.
Let’s dive into our full analysis and breakdown of the 7th Opening song!
The Rumbling by SiM Lyric Analysis & How it Hints at a Changed Anime Ending
Watch the Pony Canyon Video Here.
Rumbling, Rumbling, it’s coming
Rumbling, Rumbling 😝
Coming for You ♫
Eren opens his green eyes, ties back his hair, and puts his jacket on.
Mikasa takes the scarf off!
Armin takes a nap, and a mystery person is walking through the military HQ building basement.
Obviously, Eren putting his jacket on and tying his hair back is in order to get ready for ‘the rumbling’.
Mikasa is taking her scarf off in protest of Eren’s perceived ideology here (like in the manga) but I also think there may be a hidden meaning to this.
More on that later.
Armin takes a nap because he essentially does nothing of note for the remainder of the series, and maybe, just maybe – the unknown person walking through the corridors could be Annie after waking up.
We have some footage of the Colossal Titans walking as the sun is up, and coming out as the walls fall during the evening/nighttime. Then a shot of the Colossal titan heading over the mountains people were running to in Marley (I.e. people from Ramzi’s camp).
A shot of something traveling over the ocean very close to the water’s surface (like a bird) and immediately after we see Eren and Zeke Yeager on opposing sides of the screen.
Eren has some sort of white light shining down on him, while Zeke is just standing stoically.
The background is reminiscent of the red titan shifter interior view used during MAPPA’s animation of the series, along with DNA strands in the distance.
The ocean is shown again, and cue the Attack on Titan the Final Season titan screen.
All I Ever wanted to do was the right things ♫
I never wanted to be the King, I swear ♫
Now, here is where it gets interesting.
Will the Attack on Titan Anime Follow the Manga Ending?
No, I believe that the Final Season of the anime will be different from the manga series ending, whether that be through a Part 3 of the anime, or an original movie with a different ending.
We’re getting into AnR theory territory again. If you have not yet done so, you can familiarize yourself with the theory by reading this Reddit post.
As many have pointed out, Attack on Titan uses a variety of symbolism to convey messages for readers and viewers who enjoy paying attention. One such usage is the appearance of white and black birds to symbolize alternate timelines within the series.
In SnK Chapter 91 Falco is on the battlefield delirious, staring up at a white bird flying overhead in the sky. The same white bird from chapter 130 – going in the opposite direction of the allied fleet.
In the anime, Falco is staring at a black bird, and receives the Jaw Titan memories early.
I am working on a theory as to why Eren gave Falco the jaw titan memories on the battlefield, and how this all ties into the Attack on Titan the Final Season Part 1 ending.
In Episode 79 again, there is a sequence that mirrors the earlier scene with Falco, where the bird circles Falco and the scene is repeated in an odd manner. You can check out a video comparison for reference via Reddit here.
Given the themes of the official Akatsuki no Requiem music video by Linked Horizon, the proposed ending many theorize involved Eren, Historia, and their child visiting the grave of a loved one (theorized to be a deceased teenage Mikasa).
In the extra 8 pages of Shingeki no Kyojin Chapter 139, we got the “Reverse AnR” ending of Jean, Mikasa, and their child visiting Eren’s grave – which had become a central shrine in a wall-less Shiganshina district.
The AnR ending also ties into the current 2nd ending for the Final Season, which child Eren receives memories from an older Eren of an abandoned Paradis. In Season 2’s Yuugure no Tori ending a long line of people are shown walking toward the horizon amongst a flattened earth.
Likewise, Eren turns into a phoenix during the Final Season 2nd ending – the same ethereal phoenix that gives Falco the Jaw Titan memories during Part 1 of the season. (Again, blog posts breaking down the AoT endings and the Falco jaw titan memories theory coming soon.)
But where am I going with this? And What Do the Various Birds Mean in AoT?
Eren Sees the Past and Future Through White and Black Birds
In The Rumbling opening, Eren is first walking amongst the white birds, or doves (symbolizing peace). This could symbolize the timeline, or route where Eren chose to save his friends by completing an 80% rumbling so that they could live long and happy lives.
So we see quick clips of Eren’s friends in their training days, to Jean, Mikasa, and Niccolo visiting Sasha’s grave.
The warriors on Paradis in reminiscent poses from the second anime ending theme, to the warriors and warrior candidates in Marley.
The white birds in this case symbolize the manga timeline. Eren walks in the opposite direction of the white doves – symbolizing that he rejects a peaceful solution.
Eren is walking along the wall, but the side which should be (presumably) Shiganshina is blacked out, and covered in darkness. At 0:34 seconds a raven flies across the screen with one visible eye, similar to Odin from Norse Mythology who saw the world through birds.
There are a ton of parallels between Eren Yeager and Odin already, so let’s just leave it at that for now.
What’s important to take away here is that Eren is walking on the wall, and is following the direction of the black birds.
This could be confirmation that Eren did indeed turn into a bird, and the white and black birds throughout the Attack on Titan series symbolize Eren visiting memories throughout different timelines.
We then get a scene of Levi and Hange, followed by a low vantage point of Zeke and Xaver playing baseball. The background shot is skewed a bit, and looks different than it did in the manga.
Due to the vantage point as well, maybe this could hint at Eren viewing this memory through a bird’s eyes? (Although it may be a stretch, because I went back and watched the episode and couldn’t find or hear any birds during the sequence.)
What’s important next is that while standing on the walls on Paradis, Eren bites his hand and transforms into a titan.
I’d like to theorize that this is when Eren starts the rumbling, wandering PATHs and an abandoned Paradis (as shown in the Final Season pt 2 ending) when time in the outside world has stopped. How would this make sense?
Well, remember that weird panel in the manga of Eren taking a nap in the manga after starting the rumbling?
And then after his talk with Armin (in an abandoned Shiganshina) the two fight in chapter 139, resulting his ‘death’ which only resulted in him returning to PATHs and growing a Founder tree like Ymir?
Reiner, Pieck, and whoever else said they had memories of conversations with Eren.
Armin gets transported to PATHs and sees a child Eren before seeing a white seagull on the boat before talking to Annie.
All of these scenes from the manga make sense if Eren was in PATHs the entire time, communicating through a different timeline. (I know that sounds crazy, but let’s just go with it.)
So, Eren is standing atop the wall, and using the Warhammer titan starts the rumbling while staying on Paradis.
We get glimpses of Eren charging Reiner during the Marley invasion on Paradis, Pretty Boy Reiner against a brick wall (like The Great Escape – Cinema Staff ED)
Pieck in titan and human form, Porky in titan and human form (with Freckles Ymir in the window reflection).
you tell me what have I missed still wandering in the deep mist ♫
Annie waking up in the basement, and the strange scene of Armin with Bertholdt crying over him again for like the 1000x time.
The Warhammer titan holder Lara Tybur’s last stand in Marley, and then Eren having the Warhammer Titan (and memories) in his literal clutches.
(Which would also explain the glimpse of toys Eren saw in season one from the (season four) Tybur family estate, and maybe a future memory of the Tybur family children singing in a choir in Attack on School Castes AU.)
Images of PATHs, blood dripping onto white flowers (could be from Ymir’s backstory episode or past scenes concerning Eren in earlier seasons), Ymir being freed from PATHs (either in chapter 139.5, School Castes, or both.)
Then, of course, footage of the Global Allied Forces trying to stop the Colossal Titans in open sea.
All I ever wanted to do was save your life ♫
I never wanted to grab a knife, I swear ♫
Eren’s infamous “freedom” panel from the manga interspliced with adult Eren turning monochrome and switching to child Eren holding the blade he saved Mikasa with from human traffickers.
If I lose it all, lose it all, lose it all ♫
The masses running from the rumbling, mixed with Eren’s declaration to all Eldians via PATHS – where drunk guy who was killed during Eren’s rampage in Season 4, Episode 6 makes an appearance…
and finally, the core 11 standing in their factions reminiscent of the Attack on Titan Ending 2 –
With Ymir and Krista (Historia), Jean Sasha and Connie, Armin Eren and Mikasa, Annie Reiner and Bertholdt.
Mikasa Ackerman Will Die in Attack on Titan Season 4 Anime Original Ending
Mikasa wraps her scarf along the walls between darkness and light that only Eren has been seen walking on, and it is a flashback to everyone running to the tree on the hill.
(Quick Note: Mikasa also stands on the wall and watches Eren before being transported to a different reality in her OVA)
Instead of Eren being first, Mikasa being second and Armin trailing behind – Armin rushes past Mikasa and Eren looks to Armin while Mikasa looks shocked or worried.
Eren has a timeskip where he grows up in front of the tree (similar to Mikasa’s Season 1 ED), Eren’s Founding Titan form is revealed, and Eren finally screams with titan marks on his eyes and steam coming from his back.
A Colossal Titan is shown stepping onto the ground, and a split frame shows a boot print crushing a butterfly in a field surrounded by flowers. Which, I will interpret as Eren finally killing Mikasa, ending the timeloop, and confirming the AnR theory.
I know that may be a bit of a stretch, but let’s quickly go back to the monochrome scene of Eren, and child Eren’s memory of saving Mikasa from the kidnappers.
In Mikasa’s Lost Girls: Lost in the cruel world OVA, Mikasa controls time with the help of a blue butterfly. Each time Mikasa wraps her scarf, or holds her hands in a position to “pray”, she creates a new timeline where Eren is safe – usually when they are children within the walls.
In my ‘Mikasa the Butterfly Goddess Theory’, I stated that the monochrome butterfly on Mikasa’s cabin window could signify Eren.
And with that specific butterfly from the OVA being crushed by a human boot print, it can be speculated that Eren will kill Mikasa.
Does that sound flimsy? Well, yes and no.
In Ending Theme 2, Mikasa is placed near a ‘praying mantis’.
In her OVA, child Mikasa watches a praying mantis eat a butterfly.
Note: Female praying mantis eat their mates after sexual encounters. Putting that into context, the cabin timeline with Mikasa seems a whole lot more interesting…
In Shingeki no Kyojin manga chapter 138 Mikasa kills Eren by chopping off his head. Or, the praying mantis murders the monochrome butterfly.
Maybe I’m looking into this too much, or maybe it’s just a coincidence…but in my opinion, these connections are worth paying attention to.
But, what are your thoughts?
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