Eren Yeager, the protagonist of Attack on Titan, has the powers of both the Attack Titan and the Founding Titan. We need to look at the events that occurred before the start of the series and the events during the fall of wall Maria to understand how Eren got his titan powers.
Long answer short;
Now let’s look into this in detail;
How Grisha gave Eren the Founding Titan
Grisha Yaeger was brought to Paradis Island to be converted into an abnormal titan for actively working as an Eldian Restorationist. However, he was saved by Eren Kruger (The Owl) who entrusts him with the power of Attack Titan and asks him to infiltrate the Walls to take the Founding Titan from the Reiss family.
Grisha later settles down in Shiganshina district with his wife Carla Yeager and son Eren Yeager. During the fall of wall Maria, Grisha Yeager goes to the chapel where the Reiss family is hiding. It is in the basement of this chapel that the Founding Titan has been passed on from one generation to another in the Reiss family. Knowing that Shiganshina district has been attacked, Grisha pleads with Frieda Reiss who had the power of the Founding Titan at that time to save the people within the walls from the attack of Marley.
When Frieda refuses to help him, he decides to keep his promise to Eren Kruger and fights Frieda using the Attack Titan. Frieda Reiss, being relatively inexperienced, loses the battle. Grisha then goes on to eat her and the remaining members of the Reiss family (except Rod who runs away) gaining the powers of the Founding Titan in the process.
Sometime after this, Grisha returns to Wall Rose in search of his family. He finds Eren and his adopted daughter Mikasa but comes to know that Carla, his wife, was killed by an abnormal titan.
Now that he had the powers of the Founding Titan, Grisha could have completed the mission that Eren Kruger gave him and returned to Marley. Being an Eldian Restorationist, his ultimate aim was to destroy Marley and restore Eldia as the greatest nation ever. However, Grisha had received the mission and the Attack Titan from Eren Kruger around 13 years ago, meaning he did not have much left to live due to the Curse of Ymir ( a curse which prevents any Titan shifter from living beyond 13 years of receiving the powers).
Knowing that his time was coming to an end, Grisha decides to pass on his mission to his son. He then takes Eren to the woods alone and injects him with a Titan serum to convert him into an abnormal titan. Eren then consumes Grisha and gains the powers of both the Attack Titan and the Founding Titan.
However, the reality is deeper and much darker than what is revealed in the anime till now. We will go through exactly what happened while Grisha Yeager stole the Founding Titan from Frieda Reiss.
The following part of the article contains major spoilers for Attack on Titan manga which has not yet been adapted into the series. Read it at your own discretion!!
Let’s continue then.
How Eren managed to get the Founding Titan:
In the manga, the power of the attack titan is revealed. The Attack Titan can access the memories of its past and future inheritors, though not freely. Eren has only been getting bits and pieces of Grisha’s memories till now. We don’t know if he saw any memories from his successor.
In chapter 121 of Attack on Titan manga Eren and Zeke are going through the memories of Grisha Yeager using the powers of the Founding Titan (Zeke has the royal blood from his mother’s side and Eren has the founding titan which makes it possible for them to access the power together). With the power of the Founding Titan, it looks like the memories of a titan’s predecessor can be completely accessed.
In the chapter it is revealed that Grisha had a vision from Eren‘s memory of Shiganshina district being under attack by the titans. Coupled with another one of Eren’s memories which was sent to him by the latter, Grisha is convinced to go to the Reiss’ family’s hideout under the chapel in order to get the Founding Titan.
After his pleas are rejected by Frieda Reiss, Grisha decides to attack the Reiss family, but fails to do so as his morals from being a doctor who saves lives prevents him from resorting to harsh violence. Zeke is puzzled at this surprising turn of events because the Reiss family was killed by Grisha in the past and the past definitely cannot change.
This is when Eren, who was watching his father’s memory all this time, coerces him into take the Founding Titan. Eren asks Grisha to remember everything he set aside in the past as an Eldian Restorationist, including his first wife Dina and his sister and asks him to take revenge. Grisha, being a man of weak will, gives in to Eren’s demands and proceeds to attack the Reiss family and kill everyone except Rod.
A visibly disgusted Grisha, then warns Zeke to stop Eren.
So in reality Eren is the one who pushed Grisha into killing Frieda Reiss and getting the Founding Titan for himself. This was made possible due to the Attack Titan’s power which helped its host to transcend through time.
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