WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Season 4, Episode 9 of Attack on Titan, now streaming on Crunchyroll, FUNimation, Hulu and Amazon Prime.
Just how did the terrifying and awe-inspiring power of the Titans come to be? In Attack on Titan's early episodes, the nature and origin of the Titans was a total mystery, and learning more about them was the Scouts' entire purpose. Eventually, the mythology of the Titans came to light: Ymir Fritz received the power of the Titans from the Devil of All Earth many centuries ago. But what if everything we think we know is a lie?
Recent events in the story are challenging and overwriting practically every assumption that the Paradise Island inhabitants and viewers alike have made. In Season 4, Episode 9, the origin of the Titans themselves is questioned, and Onyankopon has a new theory: the power came from God all along.
Onyankopon's Alternative Creation Story
Attack on Titan always had a supernatural edge, but now, the scope of the series' mythology is expanding faster than ever. Many implications come packaged with each new theory on how the world and its people came to be. Some theories are used as wartime propaganda, while others serve opposite purposes as rallying cries for peace and solidarity. For example, the Marley Empire and the Tybur family spread propaganda about Helos the hero's role in the downfall of the Eldian Empire of old to demonize the Eldian people who survive today. Onyankopon's idea, in contrast, goes in the complete opposite direction.
According to Onyankpon, the Devil of the Earth is not the almighty creator of all things and might not even be real at all. Instead, he believes a singular great God is responsible for creating the world and all its people -- including, it would seem, lending Ymir the power to become the Founding Titan. In his mind, despite their hatred of each other, all feuding factions and diverse ethnic groups are God's children, and surely this God would be dismayed to see their beloved creations turning on each other like this. Armin Arlert is certain that peace is now impossible, owing to Eren's bold attack on the Marleyan capital, but if Onyankopon is right, then there may be an angle for peace after all.
Is Peace Still Possible?
Onyanpokon states his beliefs in an all-powerful God confidently and is unafraid of being laughed at. At the very least, this shows he has conviction. But does this conviction stem from true certainty or from a desperate hope for peace? As long as propaganda and hate dominate the world's politics, peace may never return, but if Onyanpokon is either right or can convince enough people that he's right, then things may take a turn for the better.
Eren and Zeke Yeager are currently planning to use the millions of Titans inside the walls to set off the "rumbling" and warn the world to never cross the Eldians ever again. This plan, regardless of whether it works or not, will perpetuate division, fear and hate, and that's the opposite of what Onyankopon's God would want. The Attack Titan is currently a symbol of Eldia's revenge, but what if it became a messenger of peace instead, with Onyankopon's God leading the way?
If the Attack Titan becomes a plus-sized envoy of unity in God's name, and if enough people back it up, then true peace might return, inch by inch. God is supposed to love all of their creations, after all, and the many people of this world could be seen to really harm themselves by acting out against their heavenly creator. When brother fights brother, no one wins.