Attack on Titan | The Secrets of The Basement
Unraveling the basement's secrets in Attack on Titan: What is Grisha hiding behind the door?
Attack on Titan thrives on a myriad of mysteries – be it the unknown origins of the Titans or the question of life beyond the walls. Among these mysteries lies the Jeager family basement.
What's in the basement?
Eren and His Goal of Reaching the Basement
The first episode of Attack on Titan begins with a day from Eren’s childhood. This scene perfectly sets the mysterious tone for the rest of the series. Before leaving for business, Grisha shows Eren a key which he is wearing around his neck and promises his son the secrets of the basements upon his return.
In the beginning, Eren did not have any special interest to see the basement – his mind was laser focused on joining the Survey Corps. However, things quickly changed on the day the Titans attacked Shiganshina. During this tragic event, Grisha hurried back home and gave Eren a key, a Titan injection, and passed on the powers of the Attack and Founding Titan.
After gaining new memories from the Attack Titan's powers, Eren also realized that the key held a much bigger secret than he previously thought. With his new memories of the past, and future, Eren became certain that the basement would uncover the truth of the world. With this, opening the door to the basement became one of the main missions of his squad and an important plot point in the series.
The Survey Corps Reach Grisha's Basement
A long time has passed since the Fall of Shiganshina, and many lives have been lost against the Titans during this time. Many things have changed since, such as, Eren and his friends became important members of the Scouts, and the never-before-seen Beast Titan was seen for the first time.
By the end of the third season, Wall Maria was retaken and the Shiganshina District was finally free of Titans. The price of their new freedom was not cheap though, Commander Erwin Smith had been killed in battle.
But, with Wall Maria being retaken, the basement was finally within reach. The day that Grisha’s key would finally open the basement finally arrived.
The basement key didn’t actually unlock the door!
However, Levi forced their way inside; the squad stumbled into what looked like an ordinary doctor’s laboratory. But then Mikasa uncovered its real purpose by finding a secret drawer with a keyhole. Eren and Mikasa opened the drawer and found a false bottom hiding three books – Grisha’s journals. These books hold the true history of the world, a history that was not taught in their schools.
Their new history lesson began with a photograph of Grisha accompanied by a woman and a young boy.
The Basement’s Secret Getting Unveiled: What is Grisha Hiding?
The journals revealed information about a different country than the one they lived in. For the first time, Eren, Mikasa, Armin, and the others learn about Marley, a highly developed country across the sea where humanity lives in elegance.
Grisha introduced Marley by talking about his hard life in this foreign country. As an Eldian, he and his family were prosecuted and treated like scum. His people lived with few rights and were forced to wear armbands to mark them as second-class citizens. Punishments were severe; the Eldians were often beaten or killed by the military police and sometimes even sent to Paradis Island and injected with titan spinal fluid to turn them into a Pure Titan.
All the misery the Eldians in Marley were living through sparked the idea of a revolution. Grisha was a leader of this revolutionist group and gained help from Dina Fritz, a woman of the Royal Family bloodline. Later, he and this woman started a family and had a child named Zeke. This is the family seen in the photograph mentioned before.
Grisha Yeager Goes to Paradis Island
As time went by, Grisha was caught by the Marleyan authorities for his revolutionary ideals. His punishment was to be turned into a Titan and send him to Paradis. However, before being injected with the Titan serum, Grisha was saved by Eren Kruger, a friend of the revolutionaries who possessed the Attack Titan powers. He then gifted his powers to Grisha, entrusting him with his goal to restore Eldia.
To bring Eldia back and stop Marley’s reign, Grisha planned to go behind the walls and claim the Founding Titan. After gathering information, Grisha attacked and killed nearly the entire Royal Family and claimed the Founding Titan power for himself. As he lost his Marleyan family, Grisha eventually remarried a woman named Carla, beginning a new chapter in his life.
They have a child named Eren, and well... you know what happens next.
The World is Changing
With the basement's revelation came the introduction of the broader world. Consequently, the show adopted a more serious tone, addressing genuine issues like discrimination and nationalism.
Furthermore, the characters' perspectives underwent significant transformations. Internal conflicts escalated, particularly when it came to Eren. In a single day, he discovered his father's true identity and identified the real adversaries responsible for the hardships endured on Paradis Island.
This newfound awareness reshaped the goals of every Eldian. Titans were no longer the sole antagonists; the focus shifted to Marley. Just when it seemed that the world might escape destruction and turmoil, a larger threat emerged on the horizon. This set the stage for the next season, the subsequent story arc, and ultimately, the series' conclusion.
The Fans’ Reactions
The revelation about the basement had a significant impact on the fans. There were numerous speculations and expectations regarding what secrets the key would unlock. As always, following this event, there were various reactions.
The majority of fans were genuinely captivated by the plot twist they witnessed on their screens. After three seasons of anticipation, the truth of the world had finally been unveiled, leaving them both amazed and apprehensive.
On the other hand, some fans felt that the buildup had been excessively prolonged, and the ultimate revelations didn't quite meet their expectations. They argued that the plot twist was foreseeable or that the storyline had taken an unexpected turn, among other things.
Final Thoughts on the Basement in Attack on Titan
Although the conflict between Titans and humans took center stage at the beginning of the series, the mysteries concealed behind the basement's doors remained impossible to ignore. After exploring the basement, we discovered a whole new world. While some of our questions were answered, an equal number of new questions arose.
Ultimately, the basement in Attack on Titan and the unexpected twists that followed its revelation became truly iconic. The mysteries and world building, such as the basement, truly emphasizes Attack on Titan's status as one of the greatest series ever produced.
In what episode of Attack on Titan do they go to the basement?+
The Survey Corps reach the basement in Season 3: Episode 19 - “The Basement”
Where is the basement in Attack on Titan?+
The basement is under Eren Jeager's house. It’s Grisha’s secret workplace which is locked by his key.
Why is the basement so important in Attack on Titan?+
The basement holds the secrets about the Titans and the truth about the real history of the world. Everything is revealed by Grisha in three journals which he wrote after he arrived at Paradis.
Did Erwin see the basement?+
No, Erwin did not see the basement. He fought and died in the Battle of Shiganshina so that his squadmates would be able to reach it.
What did Eren find in the basement?+
He found his father's journals that revealed the truth about his father and the whole world, answering many of the mysteries that they (and the viewer) had.
What happened in episode 56 of Attack on Titan?+
In episode 56, called “The Basement” Eren, Mikasa, Armin, Hange, and Levi finally reach the basement, where they learn new information about the Titans and who their real enemies are.
What is the basement key in Attack on Titan?+
Grisha gave Eren a key which had to do with their family basement. However, when it was later used, the key did not work on the door. It was actually the key that unlocked a secret drawer in the basement that uncovered many secrets of the world.