Attack on Titan started off with a bang. Scenes of blood, gore, and titans were immediately shown to the viewer to give them an idea of what is to come. However, is it just random scenes that we’re shown? Or are there deeper meanings to each frame?
This is all in the anime, of course. The manga starts differently and the mentioned dream sequence is absent, except for one frame. Now, let’s do this, shall we?
This article contains major spoilers for the Attack on Titan manga. Please read ahead at your own discretion!
Eren’s dream in the anime
As mentioned, the anime started with a dream sequence that might have served as a teaser for the theme of the show, but looking back we realize that there is a deeper meaning to the frames shown. We won’t be discussing every frame in this article but will be showing a few. Alternatively, you could click here to see the different frames and keep up with the article!
Continuing on, Eren saw bloody flowers, a roaring titan, a windmill with titans around it, a uniform, toys, people lying dead, a wasp on an eye, and the titan that eats his mother. Yep. This sure set the scene. As gruesome as it might be, let’s take a look.
Flowers, windmills and death
The bloody flowers are, almost surely, from Hannes’ death. He tries fighting the same titan that killed Carla and his blood splatters on the flowers. Eren sees this when it happens. The windmill seems to be from the future as well.
Clearly, the windmill is from Shiganshina. Zeke’s roar might have created those titans These seem to be “memories” from the future that Eren might’ve had as a dream.
Additionally, Eren sees the titan that eats his mother and sees her getting eaten too. Here, the vision of his mother being eaten is blurred. This little note is important. Remember that Eren was crying when he watched Carla get eaten. Maybe that’s why the vision is blurred?
Uniform and toys
Now, this is where things get spicy. Especially when we realize that the uniform and the toys are a very mysterious addition. One might say that the uniform is the uniform of Helos, the brave Marleyan warrior. Likewise, some others say that it is the uniform of King Fritz, one who made the vow of non-violence.
Although, the question is, why him? Notice how the head isn’t there. Is this because of Eren’s rejection of the vow of King Fritz? And what about the toys? It could be Eren’s toy from the past, but what if we could give you another theory?
The toys are Historia’s child’s toys? To add to this logic, there is a theory that Historia will birth a girl child and name her, ‘Ymir’. Are these toys the ones that Eren is seeing? Could this be a hint that the new Ymir might inherit the power of the titans and continue the cycle of the titans?
In the same vein, what about the dead soldiers lying around in a forest? Notice how they aren’t being eaten. They appear to be dead. Isn’t that interesting? It could be a foreshadowing of Annie killing the survey corp members, but could also signify something else?
What this means is that it’s not necessarily an attack from the titans that caused this, but it could be Marley soldiers attacking Paradis. Or even better, what if this is Eren imagining the effects of The Rumbling. Maybe he couldn’t see exactly what would happen, but he realized that his path would lead him to mass destruction.
Understandly, this might be why Eren woke up crying. He saw his mother get eaten and watched as soldiers die and blood is spilled. His young, innocent mind can’t handle the premonition and he cried as a result. That should be the reason…
Or is it?
Eren’s dream in the manga
In direct contrast to the anime, the manga seems to have skipped out on the dream sequence almost entirely. Almost. Interestingly, one panel in the manga is shown before Eren wakes up and this leads us a rabbit hole of a theory. Are you ready? Let’s go.
“See you later, Eren“
These are the words Mikasa said right before Eren woke up. It might seem innocent at first, but if we poke a little deeper, we get to see an interesting picture. Notice how Eren says, “When did your hair get so long?“.
Eren knew Mikasa had longer hair at the time he had the dream, but in his dream, Mikasa appeared with short hair. Until now, where do we see Mikasa with short hair? As you may have guessed, it is right in the current arc.
As things are right now, Mikasa is hell-bent on not killing Eren and stopping him peacefully, but it is hinted by characters that the only way to stop Eren is to kill him.
Maybe what Eren sees in his dream in the manga is the last line Mikasa says to him as he dies? Keep in mind that ‘See you later’ can also mean, “See you on the other side”. With this intention, It is quite possible that Mikasa gives up trying to save Eren and cuts him down with the hope that they’ll meet in the afterlife.
Maybe that’s why Eren was crying.
How did Eren get these memories?
Together with everything said in the past, here comes the big question. How did Eren even get these memories before having Titan powers?
As for this, some fans think that it was just a dream based on the information Eren had and it was a coincidence that the attack happened at the same time he had the dream. To refute this, let us look at Eren’s line to Ymir. Here, Eren asked, “Was it you who led me here?“. What does this line mean?
We would like to propose the idea that Ymir sent these memories to Eren via paths, from years in the future and Eren meeting Ymir was him fulfilling that prophecy that Ymir created. We know that the Attack Titan’s memories are not bound to time.
It is quite possible that Ymir used the power of the coordinates and paths to send these visions to child Eren and set him down this path that leads to The Rumbling. But why Eren? Were there no other candidates for this? Or is this all part of a time loop that keeps on repeating?
What are your thoughts on Eren’s dreams? Did Ymir have anything to do with it? Let us know in the comments below!