But, seriously! How did Eren end up on the other side of the ocean, and for what? If you managed to decode the hobo-soldier as Eren Jeager, I’m sure these questions must be running through your head. Firstly, we see Eren as someone who is overlooking Reiner and the young cadets walk off. Next, we see Falco Grice helping a soldier who wore the armband on the wrong arm. However, the four year time skip with no preface has raised many questions on the intentions of Eren.
What is Eren doing in Marley? How did he get there? And what could he be planning?
The following article contains major spoilers for Marley Arc from Attack on Titan. Read ahead at your own discretion!
Why did Eren go to Marley?
In short, Eren went to Marley to meet with Zeke Yeager and bring him to Paradis Island as the latter had planned. He did so without the approval of the Survey Corps members. Eren was instructed by Yelena about Zeke’s intentions. Now let’s discuss these in detail, shall we?
By the end of Attack on Titan Season 3, we realised that the future of Paradis Island was not secure. The Eldians were looking to be eradicated by Marley. According to Yelena, Zeke had devised a secret plan for saving Eldians as a whole. This involved him coming in contact with Eren and making use of the powers of the Founding Titan. He couldn’t do so while he was in Marley. So he wanted Paradis Island to offer him shelter and agree to certain terms of his. As a part of this plan, he sent Yelena and a bunch of his lackeys to negotiate with Historia and the superiors governing Paradis Island. This means Zeke was not technically on Marley’s side.
The survey corps were wary of Zeke’s plan initially. Because this was the same Zeke who had almost wiped out most of their forces single-handedly and even their previous commander Erwin Smith. However, while the corps looked for other options to save Paradis Island and Eldia, Eren decided to go along with Zeke’s plan. However, he did not let the Survey corps know about his intentions even though he travelled with them to Marley the first time.
The failing of diplomacy:
As part of his plan, Zeke got Hizuru in touch with Paradis Island through Kiyomi Azumabito. This was done for Paradis to try and develop diplomatic ties and project themselves in a better light in front of the world. When Eren first went to Marley it was under cover with the survey corps with this objective.
The job of the corps was to listen to the Association for the Protection of Ymir’s Subjects. It was Hizuru, who gave the idea of this negotiation. If the organisation in question was pro-Paradis, the Survey Corps would establish negotiations with them. However, the negotiations fell flat and Eren decided to stay back. This was because he wanted to know more about his enemies on this other side of the wall, and also to meet Zeke and hear out his plan in detail.
So, Eren pulled the biggest uno-reverse card and infiltrated the Eldian Warrior Unit. He made his way to Fort Slava to take part in the Marley-Mid east War, injured himself and returned to Liberio. Eren then managed to enter one of the hospitals in the internment zone as a traumatized soldier. This was the only way for him to stay there without raising any suspicion. Now you know how he got the hobo look. It is here that he would be able to meet Zeke with much less obstacles. He would later cleverly send letters to his friends through Falco Grice and proceed to attack Marley and Willy Tybur.
How long was Eren in Marley?
Thanks to Isayama sensei making a fool out of the concept of time, we can only assume. However, with the way the events are, we can say that Eren was in Marley for around 3 months.
With investment from Hizuru, the completion of rail lines in Paradis finished by 853. 854 is when the Marley- Mid East Alliance War reached its climax at Fort Slava. From Eren’s get up, it’s obvious that he infiltrated the unit that was digging trenches during the war. Therefore, the Survey Corps arrived in Marley when the war is going on.
Eren was not happy with how the association was anti- Paradis. Therefore, he realised that diplomacy was not the way, and he left the meeting. He was there in the frontlines for more than a month or maybe two. The meeting with Falco and the Tybur festival probably took place another month after his return to Liberio.
How did Eren get to Marley?
Simple answer: with a boat, and some lying. With their alliance with Hizuru and Hizuru’s own vested interest in Paradis, Lady Kiyomi sought out everything so that the corps could make it to Marley and take part in the Association for the Protection of Ymir’s Subjects.
It is very important to know about Hizuru. Our favourite Wonder Boy Zeke Yeager managed to somehow convince Lady Kiyoomi to establish diplomatic relations with Paradis. The Eldia-friendly nation had not previously established any ties due to global pressure. Moreover, establishing ties with Paradis had economic advantages for Hizuru. The nation could use the resources of Paradis for its own benefit.
Diplomacy sounded like a great idea, which is why Hizuru helped the Survey Corps reach Marley to attempt to make ties with the association.
As mentioned, Yelena told Eren to meet Zeke. However, Eren did not tell anyone that he had been in contact with Yelena and knew of Zeke’s true intentions. Therefore, he went to Marley pretending to have the same objectives as everyone else. While the failure of negotiation with the diplomacy gave Eren a convenient way to slip, we can surely say he would leave to meet Zeke regardless.
In conclusion, Eren went to Marley to not only know about the outside world, but to meet Zeke to discuss his true plans. Eren did so by abandoning the corps and infiltrating the Eldian Warrior Unit to slip into Liberio. There, he managed to meet Zeke and kept in touch with the corps through letters he sent. What happens next, you either know, or you’re not ready :).