WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Season 4, Episode 13 of Attack on Titan, now streaming on Crunchyroll, Funimation, Hulu and Amazon Prime.
In Season 2 of Attack on Titan, Connie Springer realized that a handful of Titans had come from his home village's direction -- a small town called Ragako within Wall Rose's confines. Despite his good instincts, Connie went back to investigate Ragako, and what he found there horrified him.
Over and over, the main cast of Attack on Titan has suffered death, destruction and grief, from a Titan eating Eren's mother to Historia Reiss's unhappy childhood on a remote farm. While much time would pass before we'd have more precise answers for the fate of Connie's hometown, Season 4 recently revealed it ties into Zeke Yeager's plans for Paradis Island.
What Connie Saw At Ragako Village
When Connie and his fellow soldiers arrived at Ragako village, they feared the worst and assumed they'd find disturbing carnage. Instead, they found an abandoned village with no signs of violence or bloodshed at all. Connie desperately hoped that his fellow villagers had escaped before the Titans had arrived, but strangely, all the horses were still there, which made that theory unlikely. How could everyone vanish like that?
The strangest -- and eventually most heartbreaking -- moment comes when Connie found his house with a small Titan lying on it. The blonde Titan laid with their body facing the sun, with arms and legs far too thin to walk or grab people. Stranger still was its face, which looked oddly like Connie's mother. Before Connie rode off, the Titan mumbled, "Welcome home," which hauntingly rang out in his head and caused him to question everything for that brief moment.
Hange Zoe, Reiner Braun and Bertolt didn't have any answers either, but there was no time to waste. The soldiers had to move on before any Titans arrived. Connie burned with confusion and anxiety over his village's fate, and with Season 4, Episode 13 -- along with some foresight -- some much-needed light is shed on this strange situation.
Zeke Yeager And His Serum Tests At Ragako Village
By now, it has become clear that the Marley Empire is at fault for the brutal Titan assaults on the walled city, and once Wall Maria fell, the Marleyans got to work within Eldian territory. Reiner, Annie and Bertolt were operating behind enemy lines while posing as Paradis soldiers, and Zeke Yeager was carrying out a different mission entirely. While searching for a way to turn Paradis Island's inhabitants into Titans, he needed to test this power first. So, the Marleyans used their advanced tech to add Zeke's spinal fluid to a compound emitted as a mist across the entirety of Ragako village. Once the serum soaked in, Zeke used his Titan scream to forcibly transform all of Ragako's people into pure Titans -- including Connie's mother.
Being a bearer of royal blood, Zeke can command Titans with ease, and his cruel test at Ragako village was a success. Now, he is spreading his spinal fluid to all of Paradis Island's military officers through wine rather than an airborne mist, and many people have consumed it already (and Jean almost did, too). At any moment, Zeke Yeager can use his Titan scream to activate that spinal fluid and transform Paradis Island's leaders into Titans themselves, throwing the entire island into disarray.
With the equivalent of nuclear launch codes, Zeke could more comfortably reach his goals, including using this power to prevent the rigid military from interfering with his and Eren's Eldia restoration movement. This plan puts Zeke at odds with the mighty Captain Levi. With Zeke's plans creeping ever deeper into Paradis Island, and after just a test or two, he could confirm his powers and move forward with his bloody ambitions. Connie Springer's entire family paid the price, and Zeke couldn't be less bothered. That's the steadfast, cold resolve of an Eldian restorationist.