Zeke’s Yeager’s status has been left hanging multiple times in the Attack on Titan series. In the latest episode of the final season, we see him being taken down by Levi with particular ease. So did Zeke really die here? To answer in short; No, Zeke Yeager is not dead. Getting defeated by Levi was actually part of his plan. To know more about it read this article here and another one which details his actions.
The following article details the incidents from much ahead in the Attack on Titan manga and contains major spoilers for anime only fans. It is also unrelated to the latest episode of the final season. So if you are here for the answers regarding the Raid on Liberio, do check out the links we mentioned in the previous paragraph!
The following article contains spoilers for chapter 135 of Attack on Titan which can be read on the Comixology and Crunchyroll app. Read ahead at your own discretion!
Ever since the rumbling was activated by Eren, Zeke Yeager has been missing in action from Attack on Titan. He is nowhere to be seen. The anxious fans were finally happy to see the beast titan in chapter 134 (more than an year after its last appearance). But questions were raised about whether Zeke was really the one controlling it and if we would see him soon.
In chapter 135, it was confirmed that the Beast Titan that we saw in the previous chapter was just an empty shell being controlled by Eren (or Ymir). And the events that followed have fans worried about Zeke’s status. Could Marley’s golden boy be dead?
The Titans Spawned By Ymir
In chapter 135 we see Ymir spawning Titans left and right to fight the alliance army that managed to land on the back of Eren’s Attack Titan. Thanks to Onyakonpon the chad! On realising that Zeke was not inside the Beast Titan, Armin made the decision to transform into the Colossal Titan and blow apart the bones of the huge Attack Titan. But before he could set this plan into motion, a host of titans show up.
These titans also materialized in a similar way to the Beast Titan, meaning they were all controlled by the Warhammer Titan’s abilities. But these were not mindless titans. As Pieck notes, they were intelligent titans of the past times. Ymir was apparently able to make their copies using the Founding Titan’s powers. It seems like the consciousness of the past users were not transferred into these Titans.
Among these past users were Galliard’s Jaw Titan, Willy Tybur’s sister’s Warhammer Titan, Ymir’s Jaw Titan, Bertholdt’s Colossal Titan and many others. And the one thing that was common about them all? All of these Titan Shifters are now dead!
So is Zeke dead too?
Zeke’s Beast Titan was manifested in a similar way to all the past intelligent titans. This has the fandom worried about Zeke sharing the same fate as them. Considering how close Zeke was to Eren when the latter transformed into the huge skeletal Founding/Attack Titan, it is possible that he is dead. If he was unable to use the healing ability at that point, then Zeke might have burnt to crisp, just like Colt did.
But if Zeke indeed is dead then it raises some questions!
How is the rumbling still going on?
Zeke is the lynchpin that let Eren use the powers of the Fouding Titan, or atleast let him enter the Paths realm and meet with Ymir Fritz. So if Zeke is dead, it should ideally have taken away Eren’s control over the rumbling right?
But the rumbling is still going on with no issues!
The key to having the powers of Founding Titan here is Ymir. If we look back at chapter 122, Eren essentially sets Ymir free. Eren lets her know that she no longer is a slave. She is free to choose what she wants. And Ymir chose to lend Eren her powers. She ignored Zeke’s orders even though he had the royal blood. This kinda points to the fact that Zeke was no longer needed in the equation and the rumbling can go on without him and his royal blood.
However, this would takeaway the only option Armin, Mikasa and the other allied members have at stopping the mass genocide. Their current plans revolves around finding Zeke, killing him and putting a stop to this harrowing nightmare.
But, looking at how Pieck planted the explosives around the Attack Titan’s nape and how the detonator is just hanging there begging to be pressed, it seems Eren is the one and not Zeke who the allied forces will eventually take out. While this certainly is a very plausible outcome, we feel that Zeke should not be shunned aside so easily. Considering how he was betrayed by Eren, we feel his character arc still needs some kind of closure (not that he certainly will get it). This leads us to believe that Zeke could be alive, in some form at least.
Could Zeke be trapped in the paths?
One possible way that Zeke could have survived is by being trapped in the Paths realm. Though his body may have been decimated or burnt to crisp, it is possible that his consciousness is still there in Paths. Will this consciousness of Zeke be able to stop Eren from continuing with the rumbling. Seeing how determined Eren is, it seems not!
It is also possible that Zeke’s body is somewhere in the Founding Titan, which is most common and most accepted theory right now. The injuries he sustained might be slowly healing, while his consciousness is still trapped in the paths.
But then, the question of how Ymir or Eren was able to manifest his Titan remains. Of course, we see the Warhammer Titan’s powers in play. But given that the Founding Titan has nothing holding it back, what miracles can it pull off? And Ymir seems to be the one in control of the defenses, what could she be doing right now? What is she planning? Can she even make others bend to her will? A lot needs to be cleared up in the coming chapters of Attack on Titan.
What are your thoughts on Zeke? Is he alive or is he dead? Let us know your opinions in the comments section!