Shock factor. This show specializes in plot twists. Just when you think you’ve seen enough, the writers send you into a new storm with no time for comfort. Fans have been at the edge of their seats, screaming at the screen for years, and with season four on our heals, it’s time we remember why we got so invested.
5. The Survey Corpse Gets Rid of the Bodies
We knew there would be sacrifice. The show warned us early on, but not like this. Levi’s small group was vying for time, escaping a titan determined to catch up with them. They were faced with a choice: either keep the bodies — weigh down the cart — or dump the bodies and allow them to roll off to who-knows-where. It wasn’t as if we didn’t know the team. We knew Levi would do what needed to be done in order to ensure their survival, but the pain of watching them grit their teeth and lift each body off the cart is still fresh in our minds.
4. The Talking Beast Titan
This titan wasn’t like other girls. This titan talked to the other ones. Commanded them. It looked nothing like the titans we’d seen before. It had authority over the smaller titans, the lot of which waited for his permission to eat the victim. Maybe it was the human-like sentience or the cadence of a fascinated spectator, but the cruelty of this scene felt slow. The Beast viewed humans with a sociopathic flair, walking away amidst the wailing screams of Zacharias behind it. The camera zoomed in on Mike’s panicked face as titans ripped at his bleeding body, but for “Beast” it was just another Tuesday.
3. Levi’s Past
Up until this moment, we knew Levi to be strong and ruthless. We’d already seen a few of the characters in their childhood; in fact, that’s how we started this journey. What’s striking about this flashback is that Levi was frail. He was starving to death, gulping down lumps of potatoes by the grace of Kenny’s sympathy. For someone so ruthless in his prime, it makes sense for us to see such a ruthless backstory and yet it still comes as a shock. He wasn’t always the man we know him to be. He was once a kid playing spades with Death. He had to work his way above ground.
2. The Titan on Connie’s House
AoT doesn’t keep any cards when it comes to mercy. Of all the suspicions we had, this certainly wasn’t one of them. On their ride through Connie’s hometown, there were titans. Of course there were titans — that’s why the group rides horses — but these titans were laying over decimated houses. They were laying over the land that would otherwise be home for Connie and there were no living people in sight. When Connie spotted his house, a titan was laying over it. It didn’t do anything to Connie or the others when Bertholdt and Reiner rushed up in a worried panic. Instead, it remained silent as they asked about the area. If there were any people he’d found, they wanted to know but, no, there weren’t. (Not yet, at least.) As Connie mounted his horse to leave, the titan’s mouth cracked open and slowly it said, “Wel…come home.”
There were no people in that village. Reiner was the one to keep Connie from making conclusions, barking at him in his worried agony, and if you’d like to be further disrespected by this scene then keep reading.
1. Bertholdt and Reiner are Titans
The others had a connection with these two. They were like brothers to Eren. Family. Eren lost his mother to a titan, so we understood the rage he felt by then. You would think we wouldn’t be victim to such an abrupt announcement considering AoT’s history of punching us in the gut mid-coffee sip, but this was new. It was casual and increasingly strange.
As members of the group walked, Reiner said that they were the Colossal and Armored Titan. He wanted Eren to come with them, but Eren didn’t believe them. Then, Reiner slowly starts to lose his calm. He goes on with this vague speech about how he’s lost his sense by hanging out with idiots for so long, and then he takes off his arm sling. It’s fake. His arm swirls with heated smoke the way a titan’s wounds do when healing. In comes Bertholdt with his bulging eyes, confirming it all without announcing anything. “Are we doing it?! Now?!” They move, and Mikasa swoops in like an assassin to stop their efforts, but the damage is done. Eren’s heart is dealt yet another blow.
Lauren is a 23-year-old cosplayer and writer from Chicago. Her favorite shows include Wolf’s Rain, Terror in Resonance, and Samurai Champloo. If you can’t reach her for whatever reason, she’s probably reading or figuring out how to turn her kendo skills into functional ones. She’ll be back in a minute.