Attack on Titan: Gabi FINALLY Learns the Series’ Most Important Lesson

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Attack on Titan Season 4, Episode 18, "Sneak Attack," now streaming on Funimation, Hulu and Crunchyroll.

Gabi Braun is indisputably Attack on Titan's fan-favorite character when it comes to how much audiences love to hate her. The one who shot and killed Sasha Braus, there may never come a day when anyone, characters or fans, can forgive Gabi for what she's done. It'd be one thing if she were sorry, but she's spent the majority of the Final Season screaming about being a "good Eldian" and eradicating the devils of Paradis Island. When it was starting to seem like Gabi was never going to change, an unexpected run-in with Sasha's family seems to have finally set her straight on the most important lesson in the series.

The top cadet of Marley's Warrior Class, Gabi was poised to inherit the Armored Titan from her cousin, Reiner, when Eren launched his assault on the Liberio Internment Zone. The Eldian people who live segregated inside Marley, particularly Warrior Candidates, are conditioned to hate their Eldian heritage and taught that their kin on Paradis Island are a plague upon the world. So, when a man named Eren Jaeger arrived from Paradis and devastated Gabi's hometown, killing two of her friends, it's easy to understand how Gabi's already radicalized mind was pushed even further toward blind hatred for "bad Eldians."

Colt, Gabi, and Falco take cover in the war between Marley and Paradis in Attack on Titan

Ironically, Gabi Braun is quite like a young Eren Jaeger in Attack on Titan. Both were traumatized as children into unyielding hatred for an entire race after an attack from the outside world that they didn't understand. Unlike Eren, however, Gabi has been conditioned from a young age to hate the people of Paradis Island, when Eren didn't even know Marley existed until he was already a grown man.

Propaganda is a powerful tool and for her entire life, Gabi was conditioned that the only way to redeem herself and her family was to fight against "bad Eldians" from Paradis Island. Unlikeable though she may be, Gabi's passionate hatred and stubbornness are entirely understandable.

Now that Gabi has spent significant time on Paradis Island, she has come to understand the very thing that drove Reiner into a split personality disorder and later a near-suicide attempt. She has realized she was lied to and that there are no devils on Paradis Island, only people. Expecting only savages and meeting people capable of kindness and forgiveness has forced Gabi to accept that nothing is as she thought it was. Fittingly, this is a lesson she learns when she is given food and shelter by the family of the same soldier she shot and killed aboard the stolen airship -- the Braus family.

Gabi Braun overhears the Braus family talking about her in Attack on Titan

As the battle in Shiganshina rages on in the Final Season: Part Two, Gabi entered the warzone with Colt, Falco's older brother, in hope of finding her missing friend. Convincing Colt to stand down when Nile Dawk approached with Falco, Gabi realized that she had just done the unthinkable: trusted an "Island Devil."

Taking cover from the battle, Gabi overhears the Braus family, being escorted to safety by Niccolo, talking about how they hoped Gabi and Falco had made it to safety. Despite knowing she killed their daughter, the Braus family has chosen forgiveness, to Gabi's shock. The young Warrior Candidate has finally learned that a person's race doesn't make them evil or good and that each individual person is the sum of their own choices, nothing else.

Prejudice has become a major theme in Attack on Titan thanks to the war between Marley and Paradis Island. It's a relief to see one of the series' most stubborn and unpopular characters finally get it through her head that, while some on Paradis Island are still her enemies, it's not because of their race. Now that Gabi's character has come full circle, it will be interesting to see where she goes from here. This breakthrough could be the closest thing her character gets to redemption before this war takes her life, or she might finally be ready to take her place as one of the series' most important characters.

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