Attack on Titan creator Hajime Isayama initially planned for another character to die in the final chapters of the manga.
WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS FOR THE ATTACK ON TITAN MANGA AND FINAL SEASON OF THE ANIME FOLLOW.
According to ComicBook.com, Shintaro Kawakubo, the editor of the Attack on Titan manga, revealed in an interview that Isayama originally wanted one of the series' most popular characters to die sometime before the series wrapped up. Fans of the manga already know that Levi doesn't get through the series unscathed, but his fate was originally planned to be much worse. "The opposite of what ending Levi got in the last chapter was an option at one point," Kawakubo said, adding, "Isayama said it is okay to have a story where Levi dies."
Kawakubo revealed that he and Isayama would have a meeting every time the Attack on Titan creator wanted to kill one of the series' central characters, and would debate whether the death would add any meaning to the overall story. "If a character's death is meaningful, then so be it. We try to figure out whether the death is meaningful from the story's perspective," Kawakubo explained. "In Levi's face, Isayama reconsidered his decision."
The Attack on Titan manga published its last chapter in April 2021, concluding a story that began more than a decade earlier. Part 2 of Attack on Titan: The Final Season, which is scheduled to premiere sometime in 2022, will adapt the remaining chapters of the manga. In an interview livestreamed during Anime Expo Lite 2021, the series' producer Tetsuya Kinoshita revealed that he wasn't sure if his team would be able to adapt the entire manga to animation.
The Attack on Titan manga is published in North America by Kodansha USA. Season 1 of Attack on Titan anime is available on Netflix. The first three seasons, as well as part 1 of Season 4, are available for streaming on Hulu, Crunchyroll, and Funimation.