This article contains major spoilers from the Attack on Titan manga. Please read ahead at your own discretion!
An enigma. That is what Willy Tybur is. A person who is secretive and intentionally manipulative. He pulls the strings of Marley behind the scenes and seems to be on their side… Or is he?
Willy’s plan to wage war on Paradis makes no sense. He knew that Eren was not bound by the king’s vow, and he had received confirmation from Reiner that Eren was able to use the co-ordinate. While the conditions remained unknown, launching an all out war just on hunch doesn’t exactly sound like a masterplan or a solution.
Well, there are two reasons as to why this could have happened.
Firstly, Willy Tybur might not have fully believed that Eren could control the Founding Titan. After all, he only got a report from Zeke and Reiner that says that he could control it in one instance. The other is that Willy Tybur was more interested in attacking first, rather than waiting for an attack from Paradis or worse, death from The Rumbling.
Sure, it looks like a calculated risk. A surprise attack would work wonders. On the other hand, the surprise attack might also push Eren to a corner and make him start The Rumbling as a desperate measure. So what exactly was Willy aiming for here? For better or worse, we’ll never know what was to be!
Even if sacrificing his life to lure out spies was the solution that Willy sought, he should have reaslised that Eren’s attack on Liberio would certainly incite other countries. This would then lead to a full-blown war. And if Willy perceives Eren as a revolutionary, who does not care about peace; he had to understand that if war were to break out, there was a high possibility of Eren starting the rumbling.
I mean, Willy did not even err on the side of caution, as Marley did during the operation to retake the Founder nine years ago. And that was a time when the Founding Titan was bound by King Fritz’s vow.
The more we look at Willy’s actions, the more it seems that he had ulterior motives; which definitely was not meant to aid Marley or the rest of the world. Let’s take a look at why this line of reasoning is plausible.
Eren didn’t have the mental resolve until Willy Tybur’s speech
Willy Tybur tugged at Eren’s heartstrings and thereby pushed him into taking the drastic action of Rumbling. Nothing romantic. The thing is, till Willy Tybur made his speech, Eren had doubts about what he was going to do. He had broken down when he saw what would happen to Ramzi. Eren cries and tells him that he’s sorry. This shakes Eren quite badly. It shakes his resolve.
Due to this, mentally, Eren can’t take the pain and pressure of killing so many innocent people. This mental stress, along with the experience he has in Marley strikes doubt into his heart.
To Eren’s surprise, the people he thought were demons who only wanted to kill Paradis citizens didn’t turn out to be that at all. Like Reiner realized after living in Paradis, Eren realized after living in Marley. The people are all the same.
As a matter of fact, everyone is human and everyone is normal. They are not the enemy. Clearly, only the government that incites war and tries to take over the world are the ones who need to be held accountable. As this new information comes to light, he realizes that he might not be able to use the Founding Titan to destroy the entire world.
So what made Eren start the rumbling and send the world into a never stopping downward spiral?
In short, Eren might have had doubts and might not have wanted to go ahead with mass genocide. However, when Willy Tybur gives his speech and says a few very crucial but hard-hitting lines, Eren goes through another mental change.
It’s like even though Eren wasn’t sure what to do, Willy Tybur nudged him on and pushed him over the cliff, leaving him no choice but to embrace the plan he was afraid of setting into action.
As a result of this mental state being altered, we can see that Eren is not of sound mind. To add on, Mikasa and Armin end up doubting if Eren is even on their side and why he seems to be ready to attack and brutally kill innocents in Marley.
This resolve that Eren has to kill everyone outside of Paradis seems to have been a weak thought that was heavily solidified by no one other than Willy Tybur.
Willy Tybur wanted the rumbling all along:
As mentioned, Willy Tybur might have been the reason Eren went off the deep end. This raises the question, though. Why? What about Eren’s rumbling plan gave confidence to Willy Tybur to keep prodding him?
Did Willy know about the Rumbling?
Willy Tybur might have known exactly what Eren would do. The Rumbling might be what Willy Tybur was after all along. After all, Willy is a very cryptic person and says vaguely suggestive lines like, “Now that I am at the wheel, I can understand why no one moved it“.
Willy Tybur clearly felt like a huge responsibility had been placed on him. He was unsure of what to do with his turn at the wheel and knew that turning it would lead to unforeseen consequences.
Laura Tybur also tells Willy that he has fulfilled his duty as a Tybur. What does that mean? We know that the War Hammer Titan memories are passed on to the whole family. Maybe these memories hold a deeper meaning with what is going to happen. Maybe the Tyburs knew what was going to happen already.
Is the wheel heavy because he knew that it would cause The Rumbling? Was his duty to cause The Rumbling?
Willy Tybur Urges Eren to attack
In the event that this assumption is true, it is time to put on the tinfoil hats! Now hear me out. Willy Tybur intended to strengthen Eren’s resolve and encourage him to keep marching on because he was tired of Marley’s abuse towards Eldians and wanted Eldians to be free.
He is an Eldian himself and he sees the hate that falls on the Eldians of Paradis, coming from the Eldians of Marley! Eldians hating Eldians? This way, the cycle of hatred will continue forever.
Therefore, MAYBE, Willy Tybur decided that letting Eren activate The Rumbling would eliminate Marley and the hate that resides within and would provide a clean slate for the world to rise again.
To add on to this, let’s look at the first line of the article
Eren realizes that these words have a connection to future memories. That’s right. Not past memories of his mother saying, but future memories where Eren himself says it. Did Willy intentionally choose these words? Could Willy Tybur have known exactly which words would’ve triggered Eren? Maybe the memories from Eren were passed on to him through the Attack Titan?
To wrap this up, look at Eren’s expression and reaction when Willy Tybur declares war. It is an immediate contrast. Eren goes from calmly listening to showing emotion. He sighs, he laughs and he shows shock on his face. That is to say, he realizes that war is imminent and he mentally strengthens his resolve to do what he much. Take out the leaders of the world and let them know: Paradis will not fall easy.
Willy Tybur basically makes Eren feel like there is no other choice but to destroy everyone.
At least if he wants to keep his friends safe.
What do you think? Was Willy Tybur trying to prod Eren in action? Did Eren play into Willy Tybur’s hands? OR did Eren make Willy Tybur do exactly what he wanted him to?Let us know in the comments below!