August 08, 2023
Attack on Titan | Armin Arlert | Character Analysis
Read about the compelling evolution of Armin, a beloved character in Attack on Titan. Explore his journey from intellect-driven beginnings to strategic brilliance!
By: Simon Shoklevski
- Armin Artlert
Armin is a significant part of Attack on Titan’s story, a character loved by many fans. He is beloved for his intelligence, compassion, and kindness, rather than relying on brute strength like the others. Armin will not be the one to kill all of the world's titans, yet he'll undoubtedly provide the knowledge and strength to those who are destined to. Lets now ask ourselves:
How does a weak boy like this become someone who changes the course of the war?
Armin Arlert’s Background
Armin is a shy kid who was raised in a humble environment surrounded by the warmth of the few people who really love him. He lived in the Shiganshina District on Paradis Island under the care of his grandfather, who took the boy in after the death of his parents.
Armin’s family were open-minded and curious people who wished to explore more of what the world had to offer. However, this curiosity led his parents to an unreturning journey where they were killed trying to run outside the walls.
Later, despite being shy, Armin meets Eren and Mikasa and manages to form a friendship bonded by love and care for each other.
Sadly, Armin’s grandfather dies on a mission to retake Wall Maria, leaving Armin with no family other than his two dear friends - friends with whom he will later accomplish a lot together.
Armin’s Passion for Exploring
His parents’ desire to explore the world, along with his grandfather’s book were a spark that ignited the fire of Armin’s interests. This book showed all of the world’s wonders, the land beyond Paradis Island, and most importantly, the sea.
Filled with excitement about the undiscovered beauty beyond the walls, Armin eagerly shares this knowledge with his friends. This dream becomes Armin’s ultimate life goal and gives him the motivation to deal with all of the challenges in the future. As for Eren, this is just another reason to seek freedom.
Unable to shake the vision of reaching the sea from his mind, Armin endured countless challenges to turn that vision into a reality. He pushed his limits, confronted death, and underwent a rebirth (which is a topic for later discussion). Through all of this, Armin demonstrated his fearlessness in pursuing his goal and striving to create a better world for all.
Finally, in the final episode of the third season of Attack on Titan, this trio and their close companions reached the sea. Armin’s dream became a reality, brought immeasurable happiness to his face.
This happiness only lasted briefly though, as reaching the sea meant new challenges were to come.
Armin As a Member Of the Survey Corps
Armin lacks fighting ability, but makes up for it with his spirit. In Attack on Titan's early episodes, he endured bullying, and was ultimately rescued by Eren. When asked why he didn't retaliate, his response was: "I haven't lost. Because I'm not running away!". This may sound foolish, but it shows that despite his lack of fighting ability, he is brave and wise enough to be the bigger man.
Eren's bravery infused Armin with courage and a determination to aid humanity in unraveling the mysteries beyond the walls. This resolve led him to join the Survey Corps. There, his lack of combat skills and physical abilities became evident, but did not stop him from dreaming.
His lack of fighting ability became a problem for him as a soldier. When encountering colossal titans for the first time, he was overcome with fear and had to be saved by his friend Eren once more.
Though Armin's combat skills may not grant the Survey Corps an edge in battle, his value as a soldier is unquestionable. With exceptional intelligence and tactical prowess, he stands as a brilliant strategist. Armin's unique leadership qualities make him the mastermind behind numerous victories.
One of his most memorable battles was during the struggle for Shiganshina. In this pivotal moment, Armin's skills and newfound courage proved crucial as he crafted a plan that demanded his own sacrifice, ultimately leading to humanity's triumph.
After a long and heated debate, Levi decided to turn Armin into the Colossal Titan, saving his life, and entrusting him with succeeding the great Commander Erwin Smith.
These events marked a pivotal moment of change for Armin's character, shifting his perspective on the world as he emerged from the battle.
Armin’s Change of Personality
During and after the battle of Shiganshina, Armin turned into a much different boy from the one he was before. He overcame his fears, gained confidence, and was able to fight with a clear mind.
Armin's emotions were in turmoil after this event. He grappled with feelings of sadness over the loss of fellow soldiers, gratitude for his resurrection, and even anger towards Levi for not choosing to save Erwin instead.
He opted to value the efforts everyone had made on his behalf and seize the opportunity to aid humanity in winning the ongoing war. The realization that his squadmates had chosen to revive him instead of Erwin inspired Armin to be the best leader possible.
In the Raid on Liberio, he was one of the soldiers who led the Eldians into Marley, giving them the strength to fight. Armin displayed commitment and determination to do what was best for everyone, even if that meant standing up to his friends. This was exemplified in an episode where he stood up to Eren, who was being harsh and disrespectful towards Mikasa.
As we reach the end of the series, with everything at stake, fear has no place on the battlefield. Armin recognizes this truth and exhibits newfound confidence, persistently embodying the leadership and tactical prowess required by both the Eldians and the entire world.
After losing his entire family, Armin found the meaning of life through his two best friends, Eren and Mikasa. They shared their days conversing and envisioning a shared dream: to witness the sea together. Their path led them to enlist in the Survey Corps, marking the inception of an extraordinary journey – an adventure beyond imagination.
In the Survey Corps, Armin met Annie, a girl who became his love interest. Their first meeting occurred in the Survey Corps, where the two began with mutual respect for one another as fellow squadmates. Subsequently, as Annie transformed into the Female Titan, her efforts to avoid hurting Armin while defending herself from other soldiers revealed a nuanced layer of her feelings – a subtle yet poignant sign of her affection for Armin.
Annie eventually encased herself in a crystal to save herself from death. After three seasons of being trapped in that hardened state, Armin remained the sole person, aside from Hitch, who persisted in visiting and talking with Annie. After returning to normal, Annie confessed her feelings and thanked Armin for talking to her. Later, they fought side by side with the goal of making the world a place where they could be together in peace.
Armin shares a close bond with others as well. Reiner, Jean, and Connie are some of the people who care and support him in times of need. The higher-ups like Armin, too. While not showing it through their emotions, Levi and Hange’s fondness for Armin is often shown through their actions on and off the battlefield.
Final Thoughts on Armin Arlert
In a world where strength and highly developed physical abilities are a requirement for survival, Armin has neither. He is an incredibly intriguing character, showcasing how one can achieve numerous feats with a strong will and the presence of good friends. Armin exemplifies that on occasions, the mind can indeed prove mightier than the sword.
Without Armin’s tactical mind, the Survey Corps might not have been able to accomplish as much on the battlefield. He proves that by having a clear goal and the right support beside you, all fears can be overcome.
Armin undergoes a transformation, emerging as an individual who can assert himself and undertake necessary actions. His character development is remarkable, and seeing him become a very important part of the whole story is truly beautiful.
What sets Armin apart from others in Attack on Titan?
Armin stands out for his intellect, compassion, and kindness, unlike relying on brute strength like others.
What drives Armin's pursuit of the sea?
Armin's pursuit of the sea stems from curiosity sparked by his parents and his grandfather's book. It becomes his life goal, driving him to overcome challenges and seek a better world beyond the walls.
How does Armin contribute despite his lack of combat skills?
Despite lacking combat prowess, Armin's strategic brilliance, leadership, and determination make him an essential asset.
Who is Armin's love interest?
Armin's love interest is Annie, a fellow member of the Survey Corps in Attack on Titan. They have both shown to have feelings for one another at different points in the show.
What happens to Armin in Attack on Titan?
Armin nearly dies during the battle of Shiganshina, but is saved via a titan injection, leading to his transformation into the Colossal Titan. This pivotal event marks his transition into a key player in the series.
Why did Armin say he killed Eren?
Armin claimed he "killed" Eren to conceal Mikasa taking Eren's head and to ensure a strategic move. This cover-up helped preserve peace in negotiations and involved Armin as the Scouts' leader in potential peace talks. Limited options due to titan transformations and Levi's condition also played a role.