Attack on Titan anime starts airing in December and with the manga in it final stages, just 2-3 chapters remaining, the readers have been making theories on how it would end. Based on previously shown things like Eren’s dream in the very beginning of season 1, we have speculated that the Attack on Titan may have a time loop which may be similar to what happened is Neon Genesis Evangelion.
Before we start discussing further, I would like to give you a warning that everything you read ahead will be serious spoilers about not only the AoT manga but also Evangelion. So, you should stop reading any further if you don’t want to get spoiled. Want to continue? Let’s start then, shall we 😉
Before we start discussing about the Attack On Titan time loop theory, I would like to inform you about the Evangelion time loop theory.
At the end of End of Evangelion, Rei absorbs Adam (who is also, essentially, Kaworu) and merges with Lilith, becoming a borderline omnipotent being – and its strongly implied that not only does she survive her physical “suicide” but is also capable of traveling back and forth through time.
Remember in the very first episode when Rei appears on the street, staring at Shinji, before abruptly vanishing? This happened before Shinji had ever met her and had no idea who she was or what she looked like. That exact same apparition also appears at the end of EoE, staring at Shinji from across the bloody lake. The fact that the former scene is retained in the Rebuild films suggests that, ultimately, the same outcome will either occur – Rei becoming God – or that she already has become God and is manipulating the events of the story.
Since Kaworu is now part of Rei – as aptly illustrated in EoE, when Unit 01 is turned into the Tree of Life – it stands to reason that the two of them are partners in this endeavour. They both have a particular interest in making Shinji happy, and they may very well qualify as the same singular entity at this point.
Furthermore, Kaworu’s canon lines: He makes repeated references to ‘This time’, ‘I will meet you again’, ‘practice and practice’ seem to indicate that they are in a time loop.
Attack On Titan Time Loop Theory now –
Before diving into the theory, let’s take a look at Eren’s dream from Episode 1 of the anime. Now this dream is an improved version of the one that we saw in the manga, meaning this is very well canon and could point to something really important!
The images are;
- That’s the titan that killed Eren’s mom.
- He’s being picked up. Who is he?
- Titans inside the walls where humans once were.
- Pixis? Or an old titan?
- The uniform of Helos?
- Dolls, they don’t seem to belong to Eren. Could it be Historia’s child’s?
- Dead Survey Corps Soldiers.
- Is this Eren? Or the guy from image #2?
- Dina Fritz’s titan
- Eren’s mom being picked up.
Now all the images which he sees in his dreams all everything that transpired that very day and some future events (including Hannes’ death). This all led to a very popular theory of Eren being a time traveller back when season 1 was airing. But what if I tell you it could very well be a Time-loop and not time travel.
The name of the very first chapter is ‘To You, in 2000 years’ and the name of chapter 122 is ‘From You, 2000 years ago’, these chapters indicate to us that Ymir sent out a call for help to Eren 2000 years ago. But we can also interpret in the manner that Eren returns to Ymir in 2000 years to respond to her cry for help. And if we go with the second interpretation, we can deduce the evets surrounding Ymir happen 2000 years after the events surrounding Eren.
We already know that Ymir gained the Titan Powers in the Tree of Life or whatever its name is. We don’t exactly know what the Spine (devil? monster?) thing that attached itself to Ymir was. But it gave her the Titan powers. Now it could have been an exo-terrestrial entity or could it be something that was left behind by Eren? I know it sounds weird but just consider the possibility. Eren has triggered the Rumbling in the manga and is on his way to kill every human who can mean harm to the Eldians and to Paradis Island.
What if that trigger’s what causes a time loop in the first place? We see that Shinji triggering the Third Impact in the End of Evangelion ends up turning everyone into orange Tank and only Shinji and Asuka are left. This event causes a time loop as only the progeny of the Lilith survive and the Angels, the progeny of the Adam, will come again to hunt them down, thus restarting the events of Evangelion.
If we compare it to AoT, Eren triggering the Rumbling can be what starts a time-loop. He reduces the world to a flat and nearly causes the extinction of human kind before dying or being killed. Over the course of the next 2000 years, human being slowly rebuild civilization and then Ymir walks into the Tree of Life and contracts the source of titan powers, which could have been something left behind by Eren. And this also explains Eren’s dreams in the first episode, that is, those were the memories of the previous time loop being transmitted to him.
I know this theory sounds a little weird (or maybe a lot) but it explains a lot of things like Eren’s Dreams, The Source of life and the name of chapter 1 and chapter 122. We will only know what happens when Isayama releases the final chapters now.
Till then, Godspeed!