Attack on Titan | The Royal Family | A Comprehensive Overview
Attack on Titan: Royal Family's history, Power Struggles, and Legacy. Zeke and Historia, the last descendants of the Royal family. Learn more here!
July 24, 2023
By: Simon Shoklevski
Attack on Titan has repeatedly proved that it’s not only about humans fighting Titans. Many topics like politics, noble families, and wars were gradually introduced into the show.
As the show progresses we learn more about the history of the world and the ancestors who laid the foundations of everything to come in the following years. In this article, we will explore the royal family’s past and present and the meaning of having royal blood.
The History of the Royal Family
It all began 2000 years ago, when Ymir, a slave to King Fritz, got her new unexplained powers. On this day, the rise of the Eldians started and the world started to take a new shape – A much darker one.
King Fritz, being as cruel as he is, mercilessly exploited Ymir's powers to improve Eldia, gain an advantage over every country, and conquer the world. He also married the girl and had three children with her. When Ymir died, he didn’t change his inhumane behavior and fed Ymir to his daughters in order to preserve the power of the Titans.
This so-called tradition of preserving the powers of the Founding and the other Titans in the royal family continued for years to come. Then, things took a turn when the Great Titan War started, and the Royal family lost the majority of the Titans keeping only the Attack and Founding Titan.
What Happened to The Royal Family After the Great Titan War?
To end the war, the 145th King Fritz (not the same one we’ve talked about), took as many Eldians as he could and retreated to Paradis Island. There, by using the powers of the Founding Titan, the king altered the memories of every Subject of Ymir, making them believe that they were the only remaining society in the world.
The King built the walls and swore to unleash the devastating powers of the Founding Titan on anyone who would attack Paradis and break the newfound peace. To keep these powers safe, the Fritz family started a somewhat normal life in Wall Sheena and changed their last name to Reiss.
The other part of the Fritz family who didn’t make it to Paradis stayed in Marley. They hid from the ruthless government, waiting for Eldia to conquer the world and be great once again. Some wanted to start that movement themselves and formed secret armies to defeat Marley from within. However, this plan was unsuccessful as nearly everyone involved was eliminated.
The only remaining Eldian with royal blood was Dina Fritz, the girl who joined the Eldian Restorationists. She taught Grisha some important historical facts and helped him plan the retrieval of the then-hidden, Founding Titan. The pair later got married and had Zeke, a character we know very well.
However, before talking about Dina, Grisha, and Zeke’s roles in the story, I think that it’s best to learn how the Reiss family lived and ruled inside the walls.
Who Are the Reiss Family in Attack on Titan?
This may be confusing to some fans, but the Fritz and the Reiss families are the same people. As I mentioned before, the Fritz family changed their name to Reiss and settled for a quieter life in Wall Sheena.
The family continued to rule Paradis from there, but indirectly. They still possessed the Founding Titan’s powers, so to rule from the shadows, the Reiss family appointed a fake king. This king had no power whatsoever and served only as a marionette.
The Reiss family continued with the titan inheriting ceremonies in order to keep the Founding Titan in the family. The place where this happened was in a cave under the village chapel close to where they lived.
While they perceived this as a special ritual, it was a rather grim one. The tradition happened every 13 years when the person who possessed the Founder was close to dying because of Ymir’s curse. He was then chained and eaten by the successor who was previously injected with a Titan-turning serum.
This inheritance would then give the person all of the Founding Titan’s memories along with a strange desire to follow King Fritz’s ideas of peace and keep the people of Eldia inside the walls.
The Royal Family’s Downfall
While the Eldia Restorationists were planning on acquiring the Founding Titan, it was inherited by Frieda – Historia’s sister, and Rod’s daughter. Unlike her father, she was a good girl who helped Historia become a more educated and well-mannered young lady.
In the meantime, the Eldia Restorationists’ plan didn’t go as well as they hoped, but Grisha still found a way to reach his ultimate goal. After being caught by the military and sent to Paradis, he inherited the Attack Titan from a friend of his who secretly worked for Marley.
With his newly gained power, Grisha went into the walls and started looking for the Founding Titan. In the fourth season of Attack on Titan, when Eren sees the memories from the past, we see how Grisha acquired the power of the Founding Titan. And let me tell you, that scene was terrifying.
Grisha found out about the Reiss family’s cave under the chapel and went there to confront them. After seeing the whole family there, Rod, Frieda, and other kids, Grisha hesitated as he couldn’t see himself eating a child. However, with Eren manipulating him from the future, he transforms into the Attack Titan bringing havoc to the Reiss Family, leaving only Rod alive.
The Founding Titan Leaves The Royal Family
Leaving Rod alive wasn’t the best decision. Years after the Reiss family lost the Founder Titan, who was now in Eren’s possession, Rod made one last desperate move to reacquire these powers.
He chained Eren in the cave and tried to perform the inheritance ritual by using his daughter Historia. After refusing to cooperate, Historia destroyed the syringe full of spinal fluid and ran away. Rod left alone, drank the fluid himself but was transformed into an abnormally big titan.
Rod was later killed by Historia, and that's when the royal family's centuries-old possession of the Founding Titan came to an end.
The Difference Between Subjects of Ymir and the Royal Family
This is a very confusing aspect of the series, and according to many, a possible plot hole. So, how is it that every Eldian, every Subject of Ymir is a descendant of Ymir and King Fritz, but only some people are of Royal Blood?
I think that the last phrase, “Royal Blood” is confusing many. What makes the difference is not the blood itself, but something else we will talk about in a minute. Firstly, let’s clarify who is who:
A Subject of Ymir is a person who has Ymir’s blood and can transform into a Titan.
The Royal Family are also descendants of Ymir and King Fritz, but they carry the “Fritz” (and later the “Reiss”) name.
Ymir was a slave to King Fritz and after dying, she still remained a loyal slave in the Paths. There, she still isn’t free and is obedient to anyone with the King’s name making the royal family the only people who can have the Founding Titan’s powers.
Who Are the Characters With Royal Blood in Attack on Titan?
After Grisha’s attack on the Reiss family, only two royal members remained. The first one is Zeke, Grisha’s son from his marriage with Dina Fritz, and Historia, Rod Reiss’s daughter.
Zeke was a smart boy who was almost used as a spy for the Eldian Restorationists. However, before joining Marley’s invasion team, Zeke betrayed his parents which resulted in them being sent to Paradis. We know that Grisha managed to escape, but Dina was turned into a Titan who later ate Eren’s mom. Fascinating writing by Isayama…
The government of Marley took Zeke to work for them, but not as a spy. He inherited the Beast Titan to help the country in their attacks on Paradis and the mission to retrieve the Founding Titan. Later, in the fourth season, Zeke was the one who helped Eren take the form of the Founding Titan and start the rumbling. Eren wasn’t of royal blood, but since he touched someone who was in the moment of the transformation, he was able to completely transform.
That was Zeke’s story. Now let’s talk about Historia. Unlike Zeke, Historia is a true royal family descendant who was a child of Rod Reiss. She was raised in a remote location, far from everything, without proper education or anything of the sort. The only one who truly cared about Historia was her sister Frieda, who would often come and teach her stuff.
Historia then joined the Survey Corps and tried to live a different life from the one before. Later, she opposed her father and ruined his plans of retrieving the Founding Titan. After these events, Historia was crowned as the new queen who ruled the Eldians in their war against Marley.
Final Words on the Royal Family
The Royal Family in Attack on Titan is an interesting, somewhat mysterious, and confusing part of the story. There isn’t much explanation in the series as to how the royal blood power works and how the royal family is different from the Subjects of Ymir.
However, after watching the show, reading the manga, and reading what the community thinks, there are some logical explanations as to how everything works. This shows the importance of the royal family in everything that has happened in the last 2000 years in the story.
From King Fritz and Ymir to the Reiss family and finally Zeke and Historia. There isn’t a single person with royal blood who hasn’t made a plot-altering difference, no matter how big or small.
Why was there a fake royal family Attack on Titan?
The fake royal family in Attack on Titan was appointed to rule from the shadows while the true royal family retained the Founding Titan's powers. This deception was to maintain control and hide the Reiss family's true identity and authority within the walls.
Does Eren have Royal Family blood?
In Attack on Titan, Eren Yeager isn't of royal blood. His possession of the Founding Titan comes from his father Grisha consuming it, not from direct lineage. His mother, Carla Yeager, had no royal descent
What royal Titan ate Eren's mom?
In Attack on Titan, Eren's mom, Carla Yeager, was eaten by Dina Fritz, a royal Titan and Grisha's first wife. Dina's transformation caused Carla's tragic fate during the fall of Wall Maria.