Attack on Titan Just Made the Anime’s First Episode Even MORE Horrifying

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Season 4, Episode 3 of Attack on Titan, "The Door of Hope," now streaming on Crunchyroll, Funimation, Hulu and Amazon Prime.

Attack on Titan continues to play its cards very close to its chest in Season 4's third episode. But though there's still very little information for fans to go on as to what Eren and the rest of Paradis Island are currently up to after the four year time year skip, the final season's newest episode does offer some insight into their past -- and completely recolors our view of the anime's now-iconic first episode in a fresh and even more horrifying way.

Continue scrolling to keep reading Click the button below to start this article in quick view.
Start now

Attack on Titan's Season 1 premiere introduced us to a pre-technological world wherein humanity had been forced to live behind huge walls. Breaking a century of peace, however, was the sudden arrival of the Colossal Titan, whose giant, fleshy face leering down over a young Eren Jaeger has become one of the series' most recognizable images. This historic day led to the fall of Wall Maria, the invasion of Shiganshina by the Armored Titan and scores of hungry Pure Titans, and the genesis of Eren's quest for vengeance against the creatures after watching his mother being eaten by one.

This smiling, female Titan would later be revealed to be the mother of Eren's half-brother, Zeke, in Season 3. At the end of Season 2, Eren finally avenged his own mother's death by killing the smiling Titan before she could claim his and Mikasa's lives, too.

Attack on Titan Season 1 Episode 1 Eren's mother

What the residents of Paradis Island didn't know at that time was that this attack was merely a diversion to allow Reiner, the Armored Titan, Bertolt, the Colossal Titan, and Annie, the Female Titan, to infiltrate the island and begin a five-year search for the Founding Titan. Episode 3 of Season 4 not only traces their dangerous journey (along with the fallen Jaw Titan, Marcel) to the walled civilization from the Marleyan ghetto of Liberio but also reveals how shockingly young they were at the time. These weren't adult soldiers pledging their lives willingly to their gracious motherland; they were child soldiers of Eldian descent, born into a society as second-class citizens and indoctrinated into believing that they could better themselves by throwing away their lives for Marley's pursuit of power and racist imperialism.

While Season 4 reveals that being entrusted with one of the Nine's power is spun as the highest honor an honorary Marleyan can achieve, make no mistake -- it's essentially a death sentence with no real reward. Titan Shifters live just 13 years, after all, and most of that life will be spent in battle. Even some of the Marleyan military's top officials are shown in Episode 3 to be a little squeamish at the idea of sending mere kids on such a risky military operation.

As we also see snapshots of Eren in the episode, Attack on Titan clearly wants to hammer home the horrors on both sides of the war. Not only was Eren's life forever changed by this traumatic experience, but so were the lives of his underage enemies bursting into his home that day. The most revealing shot is one of Bertolt emerging from his Titan body, looking on, wide-eyed, as Pure Titans begin pouring into the district. This is the first time the Warriors would have laid eyes on an enemy whom they'd been raised to believe were less than human -- despite sharing their blood.

Putting actual human faces to them is obviously jarring and, as becomes the case with Reiner as the years drag by, the psychological damage it causes is just as disturbing as anything Eren and Co. go through. After this episode, we can never rewatch Attack on Titan's series premiere in the same way again.

king kai
About The Author