Attack On Titan | The Great Titan War
Learn about the origins of Attack on Titan's story with the Great Titan War – a tale of power, greed, and humanity's intricate struggle for dominance!
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The Great Titan War is a period in Attack on Titan’s history that serves as a starting point for the main story. It’s a period where the world was introduced to a never-before-seen power so great that dictated dominance, a power that reshaped the world for the next two thousand years.
This story brilliantly captures humanity’s behavior when in possession of such power, while also managing to portray the immense consequences of greed.
How Did The Great Titan War Begin?
With the appearance of the first Titans, the Eldian empire quickly became a world-dominant force. With the mad King Fritz as its leader and the power his wife Ymir possessed, Eldia’s reputation and territory grew by the day.
As the years went by, the power of the Titans was passed down through generations, eventually reaching the final number of nine Titans. These Titans were in possession of the noble families, allowing to Eldia conquer the entire world. Everything was going great for Eldia, until something happened which marked the beginning of the kingdom's downfall.
Having no enemies to overpower and conquer, the noble families of Eldia started to seek power within the country, as a result, a civil war began. This war would later be known as The Great Titan War.
Marley’s Role in The Great Titan War
Marley, a large country whom has oppressed by Eldia for years, used this opportunity of internal conflict to bring down the Eldians. Led by the Tybur family, they managed to turn the tides in their favor and get hold of seven out of the nine Titans. With the War Hammer Titan in their possession, and a powerful hero named Helos by their side, they succeeded in defeating the Eldians.
With this new power, the Marleyans regained their dominant position in the world and slowly but surely took back everything taken away from them.
Or that’s just what the history books in Marley say.
The Reality Behind The Great Titan War
The real story behind Eldia’s downfall is later told by Willy Tybur in the fourth season of Attack on Titan. While the story was similar to the one people already knew, it contained one unknown and shocking detail.
The Tybur family still played a key role, but they weren't alone. Having a great relationship with the 145th King Karl Fritz, they collectively came up with a plan to give Marley the edge in this war.
Unlike typical conflicts won through might, dominance, and power, this war took a unique turn. Despite having the brute strength of the War Hammer Titan, the Tybur family has ended the war using mind games and manipulation.
It all started with the King who grew weary of bloodshed and oppression. Believing that Eldia had to atone for all of their wrongdoings in the past, the king made up a fake hero, a savior named Helos responsible for Marley’s rise to glory. This hero served the purpose of covering the King’s real plan: retreating and letting Marley win.
In order to end The Great Titan War, Karl Fritz retreated to Paradis Island taking as many Eldians as possible. Then, using the powers of the Founding Titan he constructed three walls named Maria, Rose, and Sina. Walls that contained countless Colossal Titans within.
The World After The Great Titan War
To ensure peace between Eldia and the rest of the world, Karl Fritz made a promise to use these Colossal Titans to wipe out the entire world if someone tried to attack his nation. Later, to further increase his power inside the walls and create a peaceful environment, he used the Founding Titan’s powers to wipe everyone’s memories of life outside the walls.
However, this plan only partially worked as people from Hizuru (the Asian Clan) and the Ackerman Clan were immune to this power. Because these people were not Eldians by blood, to keep his ideals safe, Karl Fritz had no choice but to persecute and kill them to near extenction. In the end, the remaining people from these clans lived on the edge of the country or in underground cities, hiding from the King’s madness.
On the other side of the ocean, after the war ended, the country of Marley saw a great improvement and implemented some rather rough politics with the Eldians there. Since every Eldian couldn't leave with the King, they remained in Marley as low-class citizens with much fewer rights, residing in intermittent zones.
That concludes the world-changing story of The Great Titan War, however, the actual war was far from over. Even if it seemed like King Fritz had made the right decision and global peace was reached, Marley wanted complete control over all Titans.
Over the years, Marley would send over pure Titans to the island of Paradis, but they never made a serious attack against the nation of Eldia. Not until one special day where they launched an attack on the Eldians; an attack that marked the beginning of the Attack on Titan series as we know it.
This is the moment which thrust Eren Yeager, Mikasa Ackerman, and Armin Arlert into the heart of the conflict, setting the stage for an epic journey and adventure that we all know to love.
Final Thoughts On The Great Titan War
The Great Titan War is a great representation of mankind's neverending hunger for power and dominance. Despite Eldia having everything and being feared by everyone, some people wanted more.
This is a fictional story that is a part of the fantastical world of Attack on Titan. However, this story is one not too different from countless ones throughout humanity’s history. Politics, manipulation, and secret plottings have been ever present in all nations throughout all times; Isayama managed to perfectly portray it perfectly.
Attack on Titan is a story that extends far beyond a mere conflict between humans and Titans. The ideal quote that highlights the events of this war would be a saying by Peter Schiff: “Greed is normally balanced by fear.”
This quote perfectly captures King Fritz's attempt to put an end to the madness in his country and the world as a whole.